Monday, July 29, 2013

Yay For The Gospel

Dear family,

This week was amazing!!!! So many miracles!!!

Victor was baptized yesterday and it was so great! We were a little
nervous because the day before the baptism his phone broke and we
weren't able to contact him all day! But it all worked out and he was
super excited! Elder Deborah baptized him and told us that he cried
when he came out :) And two of our other investigators came to the
baptism as well! The Spirit was so strong and I know they will follow!

After the baptism, Victor left kind of fast because he had to take his
aunt home, but we went over to visit him. He saw us coming and stood
outside to wait for us. When we walked up to the door he said "Mis
hermanas queridas!" He was drinking something and he told us it was
coffee... We were like what?!? You just got baptized what are you
doing?? But then he said, "Just kidding.. es leche." (milk) ha! We
were so scared!! But he told us that he felt so happy and so good! He
is amazing and I am going to miss him so much! I know I'm here in Napa
for a reason and he was definitely one of those reasons!

Everything else this week was great too! My companion and I are still
best friends and loving the work! We're still working on finding more
people to teach, but the work will go on! We picked up a new
investigator this week and the work on facebook is going great as
well! It feels weird to be on facebook as a missionary, but it's an
awesome missionary tool!

I'm so glad to hear everything at home is going well! Transfers are
coming up and I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I will know by
next week, so I'll keep you posted! I've been feeling that I'm going
to leave soon.. but some other days I also feel like I'm going to stay
with Sister Vance for 1 more transfer. :) Who knows what will happen,
but I know the Lord does and where ever I am is where He needs me! :)

Well, I love you all and I am so grateful for all of your support and
love! Good luck with everything and you are in my prayers always!

Love love love!
Hermana Lawrence


Dear Family,
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!! This week has been amazing and I've loved every second of it! The Lord really is preparing His children here in Napa! Miracles are happening!
We are getting so excited for Victor's baptism this Saturday! Victor is so ready to follow Jesus Christ and to keep all of the commandments! When we teach him, he doesn't want us to leave because he wants us to teach him another commandment he can follow! He has so much faith and he is so excited for his baptism! We've been praying so hard for some of our other investigators because we haven't been able to contact them.We need new investigators. I love this work and I am growing every day! Sister Vance and I made a companionship goal this week to work on urgency! We decided that urgency plus love = work! And we are going to work hard this week! The 101 is coming and we are so grateful to be a part of it! The Lord is on our side and Sister Vance and I have really felt the Lord guiding us these last couple of days! The Spirit is with us and we are going to find so many new people to teach this week because the Lord will prepare them for us!

This week we had some funny things happen to us.. On Monday I freaked out because all of a sudden there were Twinkies again! I was so grateful to be still in the states to experience that day. I bought some and they were gone rather quickly. The other night we were talking with one of our potential investigators out on a bench and this creepy man who kinda looked like a zombie sped past us on his wheelchair scooter thing. He sped past us back and forth a couple times before stopping right in front of us really fast and saying "In case you didn't know.. HOSTESS IS BACK! Twinkies, hoho's and wonder bread! I'm going to the store right now to get some!" And then he sped past us again. It was nuts! And then the guy we were talking to was like, "He's weird. He rides by here all day even at 4 in the morning, but he walks fine!" hahahahaha. It was awesome!
Also, the other day there was a baptism of Maria Rodriguez. Elder Deborah had never baptized anyone before and when he lifted her out of the water she fainted! I was on the side holding the towel with her 11 year old daughter who immediately started bawling because she thought her mom was dead. They closed the curtains and Sister Lozano the funniest lady in the world barged in, hiked up her skirt, and climbed in to pick her up and take her out. She was passed out for a good 2 minutes and we were all freaking out because we didn't know what to do. When she came to, she told us that the Spirit had hit her so strong and her body just relaxed and she couldn't move. It was a total Book of Mormon moment, but I'm glad it wasn't for 3 days or we could've been in trouble.. It turned out to be an awesome experience once she told us what happened! I think poor Elder Deborah might've thought she was dead too because right before she passed out she said "My body is resting now.." Yikes. But we all felt a peace and knew that everything would be okay. And it was! Maria is amazing and we are so glad to have her in the branch!
I love all of the funny things and funny people I get to meet on my mission! It really is nuts. But nothing is better than the feeling you get when you see the Spirit working in someone to change them and help them realize there are more blessings they can ever imagine for them! Thank you so much for all your support! You are a huge part in moving this work forward! I feel your prayers and your love for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you all so much and I pray for you all the time!
Hope all is well! Love love love!
Hermana Lawrence


Dear Family,
What a week of miracles!!!! This week has been absolutely amazing! And I love this work more and more every day!
This week we picked up 4 new investigators! More unexpected miracle ones too! We found super, solid Miguel when we were looking for a former investigator. Miguel told us that the man we were looking for didn't live there, but he would like us to come in and teach him! He started asking tons of amazing questions about God and religion and my Sister Vance and I just wanted to blurt out all the things we knew about the gospel! He is amazing and so ready! Also, we have a new baptismal date! Alexis is 17 and she couldn't stop smiling when we asked if she would be baptized! Her family isn't very supportive though, but we are praying for them and for her. Please pray for her! :) We really have been seeing the blessings of being exactly obedient! The church is true!
It's been pretty hot here, but I'm sure it's hotter for you down there! My hair is getting long enough where I can finally put it in a bun.. which is bad news bears, because I'm going to do that every day now. Not really, I'll make it look good I promise. :) But it feels good to get it off my neck. Also, I am not gaining any more weight! We don't have as many dinners because now we have 9 missionaries in the ward and we take turns at members houses.. so that's good! Except yesterday at one of our members houses, Sister Lozano (the one from Argentina) was telling everyone how when I first came on my mission I was sooo skinny you could see my bones but now she's glad becuase she fattened me up! hahaha. She's awesome. And I'm not really fat I promise.
Big news!!! I am now a Facebook Missionary! Whoohoo! So today I am deactivating my old account and starting my new one! I'm not supposed to add family or friends so sorry.. but you can probably look me up! I am so excited for the work that is happening! Facebook is going to help so much here with our investigators and members!
In 12 days I hit my 4 month mark.. Sad day.. In two months I'll only have a year left of my mission! Time goes by so fast here!
Spanish is so good! The other day, a Mexican told me that I sounded like I am Mexican!!!!!!!! BEST DAY EVER! The Lord is helping me so much with Spanish! It's amazing!  But I love you all and I hope all is well!!!!!! Love love love!!!!
Sister Lawrence :) 

Yay For The Mission!!

Dear Family,
How is everything going? How hot is it down there? It's actually been cooling off here the last couple of days so that's good.. and they're coming to put an AC in our apartment on Wednesday so that's really good!
Things here are awesome! I absolutely love my mission! And I probably say this every week, but I am so happy!!! I love being a missionary! This week Sister Vance and I had so many miracles and they came in ways we didn't even expect!
The other day, we went to go teach our investigator Rosalinda. She wasn't home, but her nephew was. He said we could teach him, so we did! Luckily, we had already had a member with us to come to our other lesson! (Miracle #1) So we taught him and right off the bat, our member talked about baptism and how excited she was that she just got baptized and she just wants to share her excitement with everyone because she is so happy! (Lupe is amazing!) Then he says, "oh wait, let me go get my Book of Mormon!" Turns out, he is a former investigator of the church and he is now ready to read and come to church and he is preparing to be baptized at the end of this month! It was not a coincidence we knocked on his door! He promised us he would come to church and read before we even invited him to! His name is Victor and he is so awesome! He is super prepared! That same night, we were going to teach one of our less active members. We had planned to do a "practice" with her and teach the restoration to her friend that she would pretend to be. As soon as we sat down and started asking about her friend, her son and his girlfriend walked in the door. She then told us that she was really interested in the church and that we should just teach her instead! So she sat down and we taught her about the restoration! She told us that she felt the Spirit so strong and she is ready to learn more! She is changing her work schedule so she can come to church! Our less active sister felt the Spirit in her home that night too, and I know that having an investigator taught in her home with help her get excited and bring a special spirit into her home. Please pray for our new investigators! They were super unexpected miracles, but I know they come because of obedience.
My new companion is an amazing example of obedience! She always helps me to make sure I'm obedient and she always says, "Ok, we have a lot of potential to reach our goals tomorrow, let's make sure we're exactly obedient so that we can see miracles!" And even if the day is a little rough, she says, "that's ok. the miracles will come later." Sister Vance has so much faith and she helps me to work harder and be a better missionary!
I love being a trainer! I am learning so much from Sister Vance every day! It isn't easy, but we are trying our best and I know the blessings will come.
Funny: This week when we were teaching Victor, we were reading the Restoration pamphlet with him. There is a little box that says something like "Revealed truths are lost when people reject the prophets." We asked him to read it and he did. Then he said, "Wow. Can I read that again? I liked that. In fact, I loved that!" So he read it again.. haha! That was his favorite part of the whole lesson! It was awesome.
Well, I don't have much time left, but I just want you all to know I love you! The Lord loves you too and He has so many blessings that He is waiting to give you! He is preparing the way for many miracles in your lives and in the lives of those around you. He is preparing your friends to hear the gospel! I can promise you all that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to happiness! I know because I see people get happy as they change their lives and live the gospel. Why wouldn't we want that for our friends! The work is hastening! People are ready! And we cannot lose because God is on our side! I love you all and hope all is well! Thank you for your prayers, they are much needed :)
I'm praying for you!
Love, Hermana Lawrence
P.s. Substitute your name for the word "charity" in Moroni 7:45. So cool!!! 

It's really hot here...

How is everyone?! How is life?
Everything here is amazing! I got my new companion on Wednesday! Her name is Sister Vance! She is from Canada and we are basically the same person! She is studying Elementary Education at BYU and she loves to sing! We have so much fun and we get along so well! We're already best friends! Today is Canada Day so we're celebrating for her. :) She is so sweet and an amazing missionary! She is a great example to me and I am learning so much from her!
The work is a little slow but we are finding like crazy! We just split our area in half, and we have one investigator in our "new" area. But we set up a bunch of return appointments for next week so that's good! This area has so much potential! The people here are amazing!
It's been super hot here, so it's kinda hard to find people during the day.. no one is outside and no one is at home. I don't know where they go, but there's no one. Also, people don't do anything when it's hot outside. They use it as an excuse not to be taught! We can't go teach them because "it'll be too hot". Tricky.. but at night it's a lot better. So if anyone has any finding ideas for the scorching hot afternoons, they would be much appreciated. :)
Our mission has a goal of getting 10 contacts, 3 lessons, and 1 baptismal invite every day. At a mission conference right before I got here, Elder Perry told our mission that if we contacted 10 people every day, our baptisms would double! And as we contact those 10 people every day, the lessons and the baptisms follow. So our goal as a companionship this week has been to get the 10 every day! The last three days we've gotten 9, 13. and 10! And out of those, 6 have turned into lessons we have for this week! The miracles are coming!
I love the people here! We have also been spending a lot of time visiting members of our branch this week! We'll stop by for about 10 minutes, see how they're doing and sing them a song. Music brings the Spirit so strong! And by the end of the song, the members can feel it! We're really starting to gain the members trust and I think it'll bring a lot of good things our way as we start to visit them more and as the branch starts to get more involved in missionary work! Pretty soon we'll be a ward!
My Spanish is awesome! The Lord is helping me so much as I've started to train! I didn't even realize it, but the day I started training, words came out so much easier! I feel like I'm fluent! I can start up a conversation with anyone and I can understand everything they say! It is such a blessing! Training is going great! I got a GPS, so we know where we're going! ha. And everything else is going really great too! My companion is training me! She's so great!
Because we have 9 missionaries in our branch, we don't eat at member's houses as much anymore which is really good. ha. I'm not feeling as fat. We switch off Elders and Sisters, so we only have dinner every other night with the members.
I did get to see Sister Palmer at transfers! She is so great! And she is going to be an amazing missionary! I hope that I will get to see her again before I leave!
Sad news.. Jesus didn't get baptized this week. The other Sisters were teaching him about honoring the law and it turns out he has two more years of probation from a DUI.. so he can't get baptized until it's over or until he goes to court and gets things straightened out. Since that lesson, the Sisters haven't been able to get a hold of him and he didn't come to church.. so we're a little bit worried about him. But I know the Lord does things in His own timing. Jesus knows it's true and he'll be baptized one day :) 
Well, I love you all and I hope everything is going well!!! You are all in my prayers! 

Love you! 
Hermana Lawrence 
Jacob 3:1-2

This is it!

Dear family,
I have some very crazy news.. transfer doctrine!!
So, I have been called to stay in Napa for the next transfer and I will be training a new missionary! Sister Chavez is leaving to serve in Middletown and Sister Wise and I will split our area in Napa, each with a new missionary! Crazy, huh? I was embarrassed because I let out a huge gasp when Sister Alba asked me on the phone. ha! I know it will be a huge challange.. but I know the Lord will magnify me, because He called me! I am so excited to find out who my new companion will be! Please pray for her and for me! We will need it!
We don't have any investigators in the part of our area I'm taking.. so I'll be doing a lot of finding this transfer! Which will be fun! We'll get a car.. but my companion will probably drive because they told me they wouldn't certify me. Does Dad sell GPS's? because.. I don't know where I'm going.. haha. If not, I'm going to buy one at the store today. Because I need it for Wednesday.. I got an email from the visa people and they said that my visa still hasn't come, but they will tell my mission president when it does.
I know the Lord still needs me here and I'm happy to stay! I love it! And I'll be seeing Sister Palmer on Wednesday! Maybe she'll be my new missionary! :)
This week has been great! I'm going to miss my companions a lot! There are currently 8 missionaries in our small Spanish Branch (soon to be 9!) And one of the sets of Elders had a baptism last night! I played the piano and Sister Wise, Sister Chavez, and I sang! It was so great! The Spirit was so strong and there were so many members there to support! There were also a lot of non-members that we got to talk to! And our investigator Jesus came! He is getting baptized next Sunday! He is getting so excited and ready! We have a couple more things to teach him and then he can have his interview on Friday! I won't be teaching him anymore after Wednesday.. so I hope that I can get an investigator to come to his baptism by Sunday! I will be sad if I miss that!
Our other investigators are doing well! They'll all go to Sister Wise when we split, but I'm excited to explore my new area! And of course I still love those people! I have a couple more days with them! But I will be sad not to see them anymore.. they better come to church!!!
On Sundays, we started doing something to help the members stay for all 3 hours of church. Right after sacrament, we send the kids off to there classes and have 10 minutes of opening exercises before we split up into the other sunday school classes. It's worked out really well! In church this week, Brother Perez was gone, so he asked me to teach something for those 10 minutes.. He asked me to teach them how to sing! ha! (because we kind of stink..) So I taught a music lesson in Spanish! ha!
Wasn't that meeting yesterday awesome?! I loved it! And I love how you are all getting excited to do missionary work! They need you down there! Only one of our members showed up to the meeting.. so that was a bummer.. but we will get them excited and I know they will be a huge help in the work here in Napa! Napa is so ready! We are baptizing weekly in our district and I know we can keep it up! I loved how Elder Holland said that instead of saying "There they go" you will be saying "here they come!" We are here to help the members do their jobs! And that's what we're gonna do! Our branch has so much potential and we are really going to focus on strengthening them this transfer so we can find more people!
Well, I love you all! And I am so grateful for all of your prayers and support! I need em! I hope everything is well and that you are having such a fun summer!!!
Love love love!!!!!
Hermana Lawrence