Monday, April 29, 2013

2 weeks left.. Crazy!! #4

Dear family and friends!

I can't believe I have already been here for a month! There's only like 17 months of the mission left! Sad day! I feel like I've been here forever, but at the same time, I feel like I was just home and I'm so not prepared enough to go to ARGENTINA.. a different country!!!!! Crazy!!! No new news about the visa.. I think we'll probably get reassigned though. So we'll probably find out in about a week and a half where we will go. They are having a problem with visas in Peru as well! There are some elder's in our zone that are supposed to go to Peru this week, but they all got reassigned to...... VEGAS!!!!! Yay for Vegas! (except not the bad part) I hope I get reassigned there! That would be soooo cool!!!!

This week was so great! I feel more energized and more dedicated and focused every day! I feel like I learn so much every week that I want to take back what I said the week before! I was just a kid then! Well I still am.. but you know.

My companion and I get along great! One of the girls in our zone was telling us how it was hard for her to be with the same person 24/7 and how she really wishes she had some alone time. As she walked away, Sister Roberts said, "Man! That must be hard having to be with the same person all the time! I would get so sick of them!" We get along so well that it doesn't even seem weird to us! We don't even notice it! ha! So we've kinda given up on our 5 mile goal.. and I've gained like 5 pounds.. which is weird because I really don't eat more than I did at home.. Except when we go to breakfast at the temple. :) Today I had the best omlette AND the best waffle ever! It's a nice little break from the cafeteria food that gives our whole district bad gas... our teacher bought us some Febreeze.. haha. But GREAT NEWS!!!! I am officially 100.8 pounds! FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE!!!! Yay for food!!!!

This week for Relief Society, the Second Counselor in the General Primary Presidency spoke to us! She is great! Then we watched the Testaments and we've been quoting Kohor all week! haha. You are a spektor from the Gods! We live off of Mormon Messages in the MTC and the other day we wanted to watch one as a class and we all cheered because they came out with a new one! ha! My favorite is called Mountains to Climb. I watched it 5 times in a row when I first saw it because I got done with our activity early.. sooo good! I love President Eyring.

This week we got two new investigators! We are teaching the Elder's in our district and acting as our friends! So we are teaching Elder Smith's friend "Jeremy", and Elder Dye's friend, "Nathan". Teaching is going so well!! Our investigator Jennifer wants to be baptized!!!! We got out of our lesson and hopped all the way down the hallway!! We were so excited!! I've realized that when the Spirit is really in a lesson, Spanish isn't even a problem! We had a lesson with Jessica and it was not going so well, but once we started baring our testimonies, the Spirit was there! And after the lesson, we realized that we didn't even think about Spanish at all at the end! Our testimonies flowed and we didn't even stop to correct ourselves or laugh at our mistakes.. It. Was. Awesome. I love the Spirit!

I've been studying in the Scriptures about the word "strength". And I've looked up every time it says the word "strength" or "strengthen". I've realized that every time it talks about strength, it never talks about the strength of a person, but the strength of the Lord! I've realized especially on a mission that I don't have any strength! I can't do anything without the Lord and His strength! And I want to do everything I can to have His strength! Because I NEED it! It's interesting that I started studying that because after I've been studying that, I read my Patriarchal blessing and the word strength is in it so much! But of course, not MY strength. :)

We got a new district last week and most of them are from Gilbert or Mesa! I didn't know any of them, but we know a lot of the same people! Cool huh!

I love you guys so much! I hope all is well! I'm praying for you alllll the time!!! Thank you for all the letters and love and support!!! Talk to you sooon!!!!

Hermana Lawrence

Friday, April 19, 2013

Our "Title of Liberty" #3


How is everything? I miss all of you! Everything here is good! This has been a great week! Our district had kind of a rough weekend, but Sunday really energized us and helped us move on and become better! We had problems the first week focusing and working as hard as we could and trying our hardest to apply everything the teachers were teaching us. So, we received a couple of talkings to by our teachers and had a "purifying day" where we decided to be better as a district and try our best to become the best missionaries we can be! We made a class "Title of Liberty" and wrote it on a pillowcase. Our pillowcase says, "We will  be THOSE missionaries, who NEVER lose their fire, because we are here in Christ's name. We can do all things through Him. We will remember. We will not be shaken." We recite it every day after our missionary purpose and the First Vision, and every time we say it, the Spirit is so strong and we are reminded of why we are here! I love my district! We are already like a family and it's only been three weeks! It's going to be so sad to leave them. One of our Elders, Elder Haught, was supposed to be in the Peru MTC, but he didn't have his Visa. He got it last week and left us on Monday. It was so sad! I'm sure he is doing amazing in Peru!!! Our district is doing so well now! And taking the Sacrament on Sunday felt so good :)

Spanish is going great!! I was asked to be a tutor for one of the girls in the new district! It is a little bit difficult because she has never taken any Spanish! It's hard to think back to when I first started and how I learned best. ha. But Hermana Villalobos is doing great! She already speaks so well! After a week! The MTC is amazing! I feel really good about my Spanish! I love speaking it! Spanish prayers are my favorite! Lessons are going good! We only taught once this whole week.. the other groups have taken so long that we end up getting skipped because we run out of time. But we were promised 2 lessons before the end of the week, so that's good! Practicing makes me feel better :) Right now we are working on memorizing D&C 4 in Spanish! It is pretty hard.

This week we had some amazing devotionals! For Relief Society, Mary Ellen Edmunds came to speak to us. She is the cutest old lady ever and I swear she could be Ellen's grandma! She was hilarious! She has been on 4 missions, so she gave us mission advice the whole time, but it was amazing! Something funny she said was when she was talking about flirting. She said, "DON'T TOUCH THE ELDERS. DON'T TOUCH THEM. But keep track.. of the ones you would like to touch when you get back.. Stay in shape on your mission, and then at the reunions.. touch them, and see what happens." hahaha! I want to be her when I'm old!

We also heard from the Brother in charge of the media for the Missionary Campaign of the church. I forget his name. He talked about all of the advertisements and campaigns the church has been doing around the world. He showed pictures of ads they put all over New York City and London! Mormons are sooo cool!!!!! Then he told us how many views on came from those ads and it was amazing!! The church is true! And the wave is coming!

Tuesday night, we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Richard G. Scott! That man is incredible. He is definitely called of God. He talked to us about prayer and how it is a privilege to talk to God and we need to be better at it! He said a lot of things that I had heard from a lot of his other talks, but combined they were so good!! He talked a lot about our calling and how God didn't call us here to fail. If we are having a hard time, we can tell Him, "You called me, please help me." We won't be asked to do anything we cannot do because He called us! I loved it and I learned so much from Elder Scott!

My companion and I are loving being companions! She is my best friend! We have also become really good friends with the other sisters in our district! They are awesome! Yay for Sister Missionaries! I love being here and I am reminded every day of why I am here! 3 weeks in and it already feels like it's been forever, but at the same time, I feel like I just left! I have a great almost 17 months ahead of me! :)

Thank you to everyone who has written me! I love letters!! I love you all and I'm so glad to hear everything is going so well! You are in my prayers always!

Love love love,
Hermana Lawrence

1. Hermana Roberts and I in our classroom! :)
2. The Hermanas in our district! (Me, Hermana Roberts, Hermana Naylor (From South Jordan), and Hermana Hawkins (from Laguna Beach, CA) I love them!
3. I'm small.
4. Our district!
5. Hermana Duke! Our first Sister Training Leader :)
6. The map picture.. cause you gotta. Yay for Argentina!
7. Our Bandera! And our teachers!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eternal Life...Me Gusta!! #2


How is everything going? Time is flying by so fast and slow! Looking back, I feel like I have been here for months! But I also feel like my last P-day was yesterday!! I love the MTC!

Oookkay, how awesome was conference?? It was so fun to watch it here in the MTC! I took more notes than I ever have at Conference in my whole life! And I didn't even fall asleep once! Yay for being a missionary! I felt like every talk was just for me! And they all applied to missionary work! We got to watch all the sessions AND the Young Women's Broadcast. My favorite talk out of Conference was President Uchtdorf's that he gave at the Young Women's Broadcast. It applied so well to what I have been praying for and a lot of the questions that I wrote down for conference! Prayers answered :) I especially liked when they quoted Les Mis, If they quote it in conference, you know it's good. Also, if you haven't had a chance to watch the training videos Elder Ballard was talking about yet, do it! They are so cool! I watched a little bit of it during some of our additional study time and I loved it!

After conference on Sunday, we had an amazing devotional! Vocal Point came and sang to us! I fell in love nine more times, except not really really in love because I'm a missionary. And I'm focused. I promise. But it was a good devotional. After the devotional on Sunday nights, they play videos of past devotionals that were really good or you can watch the Joseph Smith movie or The Legacy. This week, we watched the Legacy. It was like a real movie! As cheesy as it was, when the main couple kissed, everyone cheered so loud! Welcome to the MTC.

This last Tuesday, we had another amazing devotional! Gerald N. Lund spoke to us about revelation and how to tell if it is just you or if it is really the Spirit. I took six pages of notes on his talk! I didn't tell you last week, but we did hear from Sherri Dew. Amazing. She talked about the adversary and some ways that he tries to get us off track. She said Satan tries to confuse us about who the Savior is and what He's already done for us, he tries to confuse us from understanding who we are, and he tries to confuse us about how we get revelation. She said "the Savior isn't our last chance, He is our only chance." Yay for Sherri Dew.

The assistant to the Consulate came to speak to us yesterday! He gave us a presentation of what Argentina is like and the different areas. I knew a lot of the stuff he said already, but something new I learned is that when you eat there, you're supposed to keep both hands on the table, or in sight, at all times. Then I had to redo some fingerprints that they took last week and sign a paper that THEN will go to the Consulate. They said it could take up to 3 weeks to get them finished, but they're so far behind, that I'll probably be one of the last to get my visa. So there is a slight chance that I'll get my visa before I leave.. I'm not really sure what percent yet. BUT, I don't know what a wink to Argentine's mean.. and the  Consulate definitely winked at me. So I'm pretty sure I'll get accepted. :)

Hermana Roberts and I are learning the principle of obedience really well. Before you go on a mission, everyone and their mom tells you, be exactly obedient. And I was like ok that'll be easy, but now that I'm here, it's kinda hard. I forget that I'm not supposed to sing Les Mis or One Direction, I'm not supposed to dance, or talk about movies or speak in English.. I've been doing my fair share of that.. After conference, Hermana Roberts and I shared what we learned, and we both decided we need to work on obedience. We made a pact to help each other be obedient and stop each other if one of us does something we're not supposed to. It has helped so much!

Our lessons are even getting better! We got a new investigator this week named Jennifer. We've only had one lesson, and it didn't go great, but we learned a ton! Our lesson started out super awesome! The Spirit was with us super strong when we got there and started asking questions and getting to know her. Once we knew her well, we thought yes! We know exactly what to teach her! So we said the opening prayer and then she asked us a question about doctrine and boom, the Spirit was gone. We thought we knew best, but we were so wrong! The Lord knows her best and the Spirit is the one who teaches the lessons.. Without the Spirit, the lesson got really hard and we didn't know what to say. She said we could come back, but she has to say that, and we have a lot to work on before we teach her tomorrow. Ha. I'm so glad that we have the MTC to work out these kinks and learn these lessons before we go out and teach real people. Their salvation is at stake and I only have one chance to teach these people and prepare them for baptism! Yay for practicing!

So, everything is going really well! I love my companion! We are best friends! My district is amazing! Every night after we plan for the next day, we go around the room and tell each other something interesting about ourselves or stories of our lives back at home. We are getting to know each other really well and it is the best! I'm going to miss them when we all go to different missions..

I'm still rockin' the cereal and soda for every meal, but don't worry, I'm flossing.

So, on Sunday morning they don't like to cook food, so we all get cereal. And on the cereal dispensers somebody wrote "eternal" above the Life cereal sign.. An Elder in my district came and sat down next to me and said, mmm.. Eternal Life, me gusta. Haha! That quickly became the motto of our district. :)

I love you guys and hope everything is going well!! I'm so glad I made the decision to go on a mission! I am reminded every day of why I am out here! I love the Lord!

Alma 26:16 :)

Love love love!
Hermana Lawrence

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Yay For Emails!! #1

I know you all thought I may have died in the wilderness by now, but you are wrong.. I am still alive.
How is everything for everyone?! I miss you all so much!!! I am so glad to hear that you had a good Easter!! Today is my first Pday and it felt like it would never come! haha. It's so busy here every second of every day, but I love it!
Everything is going so great!! I'm a missionary!!!! And I love it!!!! After you dropped me off, I went straight to my room and then straight to class. On my way to class I saw my friend Hermana Roberts. We had a class together at BYU (Western Humanities) and we opened our mission calls on the same day! Anyways, we said hello and then I went to class. After I'd been in class for five minutes, my companion came in.. and guess who it was?!?!? Hermana Roberts!!! It's super hard not to call her by her first name, but we get along so great and it's been a huge blessing to be her companion!!! I love her! She is from Apple Valley, California and loves to run! We've been running 2 miles every day around the track! We're working up to 5. :) Oh! And she is headed to the Argentina Buenos Aires, West Mission.
My teacher Hermana Wilding is super awesome! She is really easy to understand and soo nice! I feel like my Spanish is super bueno! I have improved so much in just one week and my confidence has raised a ton! I can speak Spanish! It's actually really hard writing this email because half the things I want to say come out in Spanish and then I have to erase.. haha. By the way, we have an hour for email now, so that's good!
 The food here is alright. I'm sure people who like to eat food like it. haha. So far, every meal for me has either been white rice, cereal, a quesadilla, french fries, or a bagel. So, I'm surviving! haha. But this morning we went to the Temple and ate a Celestial Breakfast! Best waffle I've ever eaten.. It was so fun to go to the temple today! Just what I needed! :)
Easter was so great!! We had a special Sacrament Meeting where the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Cosse and his wife spoke to us. They shared an Easter message and applied it to our missionary service. One thing I particularly like was a thought that Sister Cousse shared. I learned that we shouldn't feel guilty for all the pain we've caused the Savior. He didn't come to condemn us, He came to save us. In fact, Christ takes away all of our guilt! He felt it all! And if we repent, we can always be happy! Another thing I learned this week that I loved (there are so many I can't possibly share them all!) was a goal that an Elder in my district made, and I decided to make it a goal of mine as well. His goal was "to repent as soon as possible". I love that!
My district is awesome! We have 4 Elder companionships and 2 Hermana companionships. We are all going to Argentina, Chile, and Peru. None going to my mission, but that's ok. They are so fun and I love working with them!
Hermana Roberts and I have taught 5 lessons so far to our first investigator, Gabi. Our last lesson was yesterday and we invited her to be baptized! She said she wants to, but she has to ask her mom. Then she told us that she was going to be our new teacher! ha! How neat is that!
Teaching is HARD. But it feels soo good!!!! I love teaching and I learn something every lesson about how I can do better for the next one. When I came in I felt pretty prepared, and the first little bit I was doing really good, but once you start teaching that's when it gets challenging. There are some parts about missionary work that you just can't prepare for. But I am learning! And loving what I learn! I am learning to rely on the Lord, to love people better, to be super obedient, and to not put sprite in your chocolate milk.. don't ask.
I see Hermana Crawley all the time! So fun! Also, I have seen Elder Martin and Elder Carlson! All of the Argentina missionaries! Woohoo!
OH MY GOSH! I forgot to tell you some great news! So, this week on Tuesday, all of the Argentina missionaries had to go get fingerprinted again. I don´t know exactly what for.. but on Wednesday... The Consolate is coming!!!! Well the assistant to the Consolate.. and they haven´t really told us exactly what that means.. but I´m assuming it´s good and that it means our Visas will be fine!!! Hopefully.. but it sounds good right? Yay for visas!
Well, I would send pictures, but I think I've only taken two so far.. ha. And we're in a lab that we can't send pictures in.. but I promise to take more pictures this week and send them next week! Thank you for all the letters and packages! I feel so cool when I get a letter! And it's so fun to hear from everyone!
I love you all so much! And I love hearing from you! I am prayng for you all the time! Thank you for all of the advice and the Nacho quotes.. they have been much needed. Keep 'em comin.  
Love you!
Yay for the MTC!
-Hermana Lawrence