Monday, May 27, 2013

From the Green-Land! #9

Dear Family and Friends,

I love Napa! And I never want to leave! It is so green here! It's raining this morning and it is soo pretty!!! I don't want to leave!

This week has been so great! My companions and I are best friends and we have so much fun! They teach me so much about being obedient and doing it because we love our investigators, not just because it's a rule of the mission. I get so excited every night to go to bed so I can wake up and start another day of work! I've never been so happy and energetic than I have been on my mission! I love being a missionary!

Our branch is amazing! Four of our less actives came to church this week!! It was a miracle! None of our investigators were able to come this week.. but we're working on that. I love our investigators! We got four new ones this week! Please pray for Refugio, Ana, Idalia, and Jonathan! Pray that they will feel the Spirit and be converted to the Gospel even through our imperfect teaching. I know the Lord wants to bless them, they are all so prepared!!

We started singing in lessons and it is so powerful! We got 2 people to cry this week! Yay for music! The power and Spirit music brings is amazing!

We currently have 4 investigators with baptismal dates. We had to move two of them back because they are not progressing.. One of our investigators is so prepared! Betty told us in our last lesson that her brother had just gotten baptized and her cousin is getting baptized this week! She's reading the Book of Mormon and is getting ready to get baptized in a couple of weeks! I hope that I am still here to see our investigators get baptized.

This gospel is true! I know it more and more every day as I see other people make changes in their lives because they know it's true. Hearing someone pray for the first time is one of the most amazing experiences. And hearing them bear their testimonies about God before we even teach them is amazing as well! There are so many great people out there just waiting for the fullness of the Gospel that we have! And we'll never know who they are unless we talk to them! Even if they don't want to listen, we invited. It's really hard for me to be bold with people.. but poquito a poquito, I am pushing myself to talk to everyone and share with them what I believe and how it can bless them. In Spanish! It's hard work, but I have so much fun doing it! Being a missionary is probably one of the greatest things ever!

I'm so excited! The Prophet and Apostles are so inspired and dedicated to helping this work go forth! I know what they are teaching us is from God and it works! People still reject us, but the people who are prepared will be found more easily this way. The gospel is spreading!

Sorry I can't send pictures today.. the library is closed since it's memorial day, so I am currently writing this in the dentist's office of Hermano Perez.

Bueno pues, I love you all and I am praying for you every day!

Love you!!!!
Hermana Lawrence 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"I am a happy and energetic woman!" #8


I feel like it's been forever!!!! How is everyone and everything??

Well, I'm in my first area of my mission!!! CRAZY! I am currently in Napa, California and I LOVE IT!!!!!! There is an Argentine lady in our Spanish branch and she said Napa is exactly like Mendoza! So that's great because I love it here and I don't ever want to leave!

Napa is beautiful! I've never seen so much green in my life! I am in a trio! With Sister Chavez, from Mexico, and Sister Wise, from Indiana. Sister Chavez has been out for about 8 months, and Sister Wise has been out for 6 weeks! They are both training me. And they are amazing! I learn so much from each of them every day and we are already best friends! Whenever we get a door shut in our face, Sister Chavez says "I am a happy and energetic woman!" And we all stay happy. :) She's the best.

The first night I got here we stayed the night in a hotel and had an orientation devotional where we met our trainers and headed off for the day. Our mission goal is "to be the most obedient mission in the world!" And we have a goal to get 101 baptisms as a mission in the month of July! I love this mission because we have so many goals! And we pray for each other and help each other get excited to reach those goals! It's so fun! My companions are the Sister Training Leaders in our Zone, so I am dragged to a lot of meetings, but it's great because I get to learn so much about the organization of the mission and see our great leaders in action! The leaders in our zone and district and mission are amazing! I love them! And I feel so lucky to be called to this mission! It's the best!

And the people here are so prepared and so ready to hear the gospel! There are a lot of Mexican people here so a lot of Spanish to be spoken :) But my first lesson here was actually in English! Lucky me! ha! We had our first lesson with Betty on Wednesday night! She is in her 20's and speaks better English than Spanish. My companions met her through her daughter because she would follow them around on the street and ask for stickers! Cutest little girl ever! Betty lives with her husband and her daughter and they are the cutest little family and are ready for the gospel! In the first lesson, I invited Betty to be baptized and she said yeah, she thinks she is ready! WOAH! hah! My first day! And it is definitely thanks to the Lord, because I was so scared! haha! Betty is so prepared! So we are teaching her and helping her to prepare to be baptized on the 22nd of June! Woohoo!! Please pray for her!!

We also teach a lot of Mexican grandpas and they are the cutest people on the face of the earth! I love them! After every lesson we teach I get in the car and say "I love them!" The people here are so easy to love and they are so humble and loving! People always invite you back and offer you food and water, but the problem we have been having with people is commitment. The funny phrases we here are: "Will you come to church?" "Oh, if God want's me to.." Well of course he does!!! Or my personal favorite: "Can we set up a time where we can come back and teach you more about our message?" "Of course! But I don't want to set a time because what if I'm not here..?" So, we have set a lot of return appointments, but the chance of them going through is always sketchy. haha. But they really are great people!

Another one of our investigators, who has a baptismal date on June 1st, is Jesus Medina. I haven't met him yet, but from what we've been talking about and what I've heard and seen about him, he needs a lot of prayers! Please pray for Jesus Medina! He is so great! And I already love him even though I never met him! ha!

Something I love about being a missionary is all the people you get to meet! We meet so many new people everyday! And people are so great! And funny! Yesterday we were talking to a guy about prophets and he said, who is your prophet, how will I know if he's a real prophet? So we pulled out a picture of him and he said "I know that guy! He sells cars on TV!" hahaha! Not quite..

Our branch is amazing! There are two sets of Elders and us in our branch! And we eat all together at members houses every night! The members are amazing! The Perez family is always willing to help us with our missionary work and invites us over to dinner all the time! Every time we need a member to go to our lessons with us, Hermano Perez is the first to volunteer. They are the greatest family!

I am learning so much every day! Some days I get home and say "I learned too much today, what am I supposed to do with all of this?" But it's great! I am so happy! And my companions are helping me to be the most obedient that I can be! They are such great examples!

It is great to be a missionary and feel the love that God has for every one of His children! I feel it every time I talk to people! No matter how many doors we get shut in our faces, how many rejections we get, how many plastic bags with copies of the Book of Mormon are left on people's doorsteps, the Lord still loves those people. And everytime we get a rejection, I think of that and everything is okay. The Lord loves them, it's just not their time. The people that are prepared are out there and we just need to find them. I just need to do my part and be obedient so I can be ready when we do find them. And the Lord loves me! There truly are miracles everyday on the mission and I love to see them and be a part of them. The mission is hard. But I am a happy and energetic woman and the Lord loves His people! And that makes everything great. :) This is the best thing I've ever done in my life!

I love you all and I hope everything is well!!

Hermana Lawrence

Ps. My address is 1260 Trower Ave. Napa, CA 94558 
I love letters!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Dear family and friends,

HERMANA ROBERTS GOT HER REASSIGNMENT! She will be serving in Chicago Illinois! Her flag on her Missionary Portal on line changed.. mine hasn't yet, but ...... I'M GOING TO SANTA ROSA CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow!!!!

Wow. I'm going to California! I'm so excited!!!!!!! I'm going to a mission! I am going to talk to real people!

This week has been so great! Not gonna lie, I was a little bit bummed to find out that I would be staying here another week, but after much prayer and learning, I have realized the Lord needed me here another week. I have learned some great things this week that I couldn't imagine going to the field without!

There are only three of us left in our district, Elder Todd, Sister Roberts, and I. So we are a small district, and class is kind of weird because there's only three of us there to answer questions! haha. But it's fun. We're a ton more focused! ha. Things have been going well! Not much is new this week.

I feel like I don't have much to say this week.. except that I'm going to California!! Everything that I could say other than that is not as exciting!

I'm still learning a lot! We had In-field training this last Friday and it was awesome! It got me so excited to get out and talk to everyone!! Last night we had a devotional and Elder Eduardo Gavarret from the Quorum of the 70 came to speak to us. It was great! After the devotional we had a district meeting and talked about it. Something my Branch President said was that the people that we will find are so prepared for us! I have been studying Alma and his mission and that is exactly what happened to him! When he went to the city of Ammonihah, the people rejected him and kicked him out of the city. The Lord sent him back and Amulek was prepared to receive his message. Overnight, an angel appeared to Amulek and prepared him for the gospel! Maybe the investigators I teach will not be visited by angels, but they will be prepared! And I don't need to be afraid because the Lord has prepared people for me! I'm just the instrument! It will be hard work, but I'm ready! I cannot wait to get out there and share the gospel!!!

I'll talk to you soon!!! Love you!!!! You're in my prayers!

Love love love!!!

Hermana Lawrence

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Big News!! Reassignments!! #6

So.. we got our reassignments! There were 200 elders and sisters in the MTC that needed and 160 slots in the US to reassign people to, and I am one of the 40 who will get reassigned next week. I think visas will still take a while so I will be somewhere in the world next week! So I'll keep you posted on what happens! Hermana Roberts, Elder Todd, and I are the only ones in our district staying behind, so Elder Todd will for sure be put in a new district and I think Hermana Roberts might be in a class all by ourselves next week.. maybe not, I don't know what they'll do. But we're excited! I know the Lord needs me here another week for some reason! So I'll probably leave next Monday or Tuesday and I'll have another Pday here before I head out and I'll talk to you on Wednesday! Hermana Hawkins is going to Orlando Florida and Hermana Naylor is going to Tempe Arizona!!!! Tell President Hansen to look out for her! She's the best! Other Elders in our district are going to Portland, Oregon and Pittsburg, Pennsylvannia! So great day! I'll find out next week where I'll be going! Whoohoo!!!! Love you guys so much!!!!
-Hermana Lawrence

The Big Week!! #5

Hellooo everyone!

This is it.. the last week! I should be leaving like Monday or Tuesday! We were supposed to get our travel plans on Friday, but we didn't which means no visa.. but someone told me that the Bretheren pray about our reassignments on Wednesday and the travel office should have our plans tomorrow! I'll keep you posted!

The spring semester at BYU started yesterday, so all the teachers needed to switch their schedules, which means we needed to change our schedules. So, my P-day is now on wednesday! Hopefully this is my last one and I won't have to stay at the MTC for three more weeks.. ha. One of our teachers is going home for the Spring, so her last day with us was yesterday, that was sad.

So craziest week of my life.... Last Thursday, I auditioned to sing a musical number at a devotional or something. I sang that version of I Stand All Amazed that you guys sent me. They told me it was wonderful and said they would find a time I could sing and let me know when. Then during my laundry time, Sister Nally (the MTC president's wife) found me and asked if she could talk to me really fast. She said they loved what I did, but was wondering if I could sing a different song. She didn't exactly tell me why and I was like ok.. .I guess I can learn one, but I'm leaving soon. So I wasn't sure if it would be worth it to wait all the way until this thursday again and only have one more devotional to be able to perform at and not even make the cut. But then I told my accompianist and I felt bad that she had spent all that time learning my song and then I was just giving up on her, so I said ok let's go get a new song and prepare it for Thursday. So we went to the music library on Monday to look through stuff. There were about 5 songs we wanted to try, and she knew three of them, so I thought I should probably pick one she already knows, so that she can be comfortable by Thursday, but as we were going through them, I felt like I really needed to sing This is the Christ. So we picked it and started practicing. I figured I would probably sing at a small devotional or a Senior Orientation or something. That afternoon, Sister Nally called me out of class. I sat in her office and she told me that a senior couple had just checked into the MTC. It was Michael Moody, the man who wrote This is the Christ and she asked me if I could sing that song at the devotional the next night! I said NO WAY! I just picked that song this morning and really felt like I should sing it! And we sat there, all of our jaws open, when the Moody's walked past the door.. Sister Nally called them in and I got to meet Michael Moody and his wife! They are the sweetest people! So we practiced really hard and last night I sang This is the Christ in front of the man who wrote it, the entire MTC, and President Packer's son who was speaking! WHAT?! It was crazy! Looking back it doesn't even seem real, but now I'm kind of a celebrity! ha! I've even gotten asked for autographs! I was super nervous, and I know that God helped me to sing that song. For some reason, He wanted me to sing that song, and He helped me remember the words, not to be nervous, and to be able to bear a sincere testimony of His son, Jesus Christ. It was the neatest experience, and I'm really sad that it's over! But it was pretty much the best day of my life. "With saints of old, in joyful cry, I too can testify: This is the Christ!"

On Sunday, during Relief Society, we got to hear from the new Young Women's President, Sister Oscarson! It was her first assignment! She did a wonderful job and helped me understand my purpose as a missionary more. Something that really comforted me was a story she told. She said that she was called to be a Mission President's wife when she was 25 years old and her fourth child was a week old! She expressed her concern to the Prophet that she didn't feel ready, and she didn't know all the things she needed to know to be a mission president's wife, and he said, "Of course you don't! You were just barely called!" I don't need to know how to be a perfect missionary yet, because I'm just starting! But I'm learning more and more everyday and I can't wait till I'm actually good! ha! She also said one of my favorite quotes, "Two people can do anything as long as one of them is the Lord!" I have definitely noticed that here! I need the Lord! Every second!

So, I tried Barbeque Sauce this week on my chicken nuggets.. and I liked it! I also tried ranch on a carrot! I like ranch too! Yay for new food! That's two new things in one week! I think I'll do well on my mission! As long as I don't keep gaining weight! I'm not even eating anything, how am I gaining weight?! All of my cardigans look funny buttoned up.. so I have to keep them unbuttoned.. But I've kicked up my work out a bit, so don't worry.

This week we've been talking a lot about what it means to be a light unto the world. We talked about how it doesn't mean just being an example. In 3rd Nephi 12:16, it says "Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." So we want OUR good works to make other people want to do good works and come unto Christ. We talked about not only doing what Christ did but feeling what Christ feels for other people. I realized that "follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do," also includes the Atonement. Obviously, we can't perform the Atonement, and we can't forgive other people, but as we feel Christ's love for us, we can use that love to love other people and feel like Christ felt! And THAT is how I can become a light, not by doing good for others to see, but doing good because I love God and because I know what Christ did for me! I hope that I sang that way last night. Everyone keeps telling me I have a beautiful voice, and how does a big voice come out of a body that small? But I just want to tell them, that's not why I sang! ha. But compliments are nice too. :)

I love the MTC, and I am really sad to leave all of the people here. My district has really become like my family and I can't wait to see them again after the mission! I will keep you updated on what happens with the visa sitch!

I love you all! And you are in my prayers always! I will write soon!!

Hermana Lawrence