Wednesday, November 27, 2013 day closer to Christmas!!!

Ok, I really do love Thanksgiving. But it gets me more excited for Christmas! ha! 

For Thanksgiving, we are going to the casa of the familia Mora. They are from Honduras! So it should be sweet! I've heard they make a bomb turkey. I think we are also getting together as missionaries to play sports and do service, so that should be fun! AND THERE ARE ONLY 30 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!! Which means Skype! Yay! 

So the other day, our zone leaders were skyping with the AP's and I walked by in the background and one of them said "Wait, Hermana Lawrence! You got your visa??" And I said "no..." And he said, "Whoops..." ...... Not sure if it was a joke.. but I guess we'll find out soon! ha! I could have a hot Christmas after all! 

The temple trip was amazing!!! I have the name of Aunt Maude and I will send it back to you! Thank you for sending that so last minute! Sorry :/ But it really was a great experience and I definitely needed it. 

This week was a little rough number wise, but next week we are determined to step it up! There are people out there waiting for us and we are going to find them this week! 

For my Thanksgiving dinner table contribution: I am thankful for a wonderful family who raised me in the true church of Jesus Christ. And for 5 best friends who will get to live with me forever! No empty chairs! 

Love love love love love love love love you all!!!!!!
Hermana Lawrence 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yay for Baptisms!

November 18, 2013

Dear Family,

This last week was amazing! We were becoming a little bit discouraged because after the baptism of Isela, we had to start over and find more people to teach. We were talking to EVERYONE and no one seemed to want us to teach them. This last week Sister Alba and President Alba came and told us about the training they had received from Elder Ballard a couple of weeks ago. He told them that the California missions will one day stand as an example for all of the missions in the world! And he taught them about "the doctrine of high expectations". I learned that God has some really high expectations for us and we have the tools to meet them! We were talking to everyone so that we could get our 20 contacts every day and do what the mission president asked of us, but if we are really seeking to do what GOD wants us to do, we will work so much harder, love so much more, and the Spirit will accompany us in everything that we do. We received a lot of training that changed my mission in just one day! I am so much more energized, so much more excited, and so ready to baptize the world! Elder Ballard told us that we can baptize weekly in our mission if we use the skills we have learned and love everyone. The people are being prepared,  but if I'm not doing my part, we won't find them. I have a lot of repenting to do and a lot of growing up to do, but I know I'm not alone, and I know as I serve others with everything I have, the blessings will come. 

My companion and I are getting along so well! We're best friends! And we work so well together! She has so much fire and she inspires me everyday to arise and be better! This weekend we found a lot of new potential investigators and today we have 4 lessons scheduled with member presents! The Spirit has been with us a lot more since we've received the training and I know the Lord is guiding us and helping us as we are desiring to make this change in our work.

Right now, we are teaching Fortino Martinez, Maria Negrete, Luis Casteneda, and Cristina and Israel Presiado. On Saturday, Luis came to the baptism of Margarite, who is now in the English ward, but he speaks English. He loved the baptism and wants to be baptized too now! He'll take a little bit of time to prepare, he says, but it's something he wants to be able to prepare for. :) I know he'll be prepared soon. The Spirit was so strong at the baptism! Kristin Parker is a member from the English ward that has been coming to lessons with us. Her roommate is Margarite, so they invited us to sing at her baptism and that's how you got the picture! :) Kristen served in Chile, and she is so great! We're good friends :) 

Other than that, we are finding the elect every day! Slowly but surely, we will work up to one baptism a week! 

Know that I love you all! Know that I love Jesus Christ. I know He is with us always and we can always decide to step it up and be better. He will always support us in that. ha. The Book of Mormon is true. No matter how many people say it's not. The work is hastening and we are all a part of it! Zion is being created in our homes, our wards, and stakes. Next step, the world! We're growing every day! Because the Gospel has been restored :) Keep the faith and keep on trucking! 

I love you all soo much! 
Con todo mi amor y muchos abrazos, 
Hermanita McKenna Lawrence  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yay for Christmas!!

November 4, 2013

To the world:
I would like to inform everyone that there is now only 51 days until Christmas!!! Yay for Christmas! I made my paper chain on Halloween :)

Wow, what a week! It has been pretty busy here in Vallejo. Tuesday, the day before transfers, Elder Connors (our zone leader) and his greenie Elder Faerber were at the church in the morning for studies and as they were walking out to their car, there was a man with a truck. He asked the Elders if they would like some Redwood bark for our church lawn. They told them it was completely free, a once in a lifetime deal, because people pay good money for that stuff and all we have now is ugly bark. Elder Connors thought and tried to call the
Bishop or anyone who had authority. And while he was on the phone, the
guy said that he had to leave, so Elder Faerber said, yeah sure just
do it. So a huge pile of Redwood bark was left in our church parking
lot and we all spent all day shoveling it and putting it on our lawn.
It still smells like Christmas! And my back is still sore. Pictures to

Also, during our zone meeting this week, a homeless man came in and
sat down. So one of the Elders went to talk to him and he said he just
wanted to come listen to the sermon. So we let him stay and gave him
the papers we were handing out, and he was also really hungry because
he helped himself to the whole two boxes of cupcakes that were in the
back for after the meeting. ha! He's been coming to church lately, but
doesn't want to talk to anyone. But we love him the same!

So it's been kind of a funny week. ha. But other than that Isela is
getting ready for her baptism this Saturday and we are so excited!
I'll send pictures next week! :) Keep praying for her!

We found a new investigator this week who is sweet! He came to church
yesterday and told us that he loved it! We are setting a baptismal
date with him on Tuesday! Yay!

On Halloween we had a sweet combined ward party and it was a lot of
fun! There were quite a few non-members there with their kids so we
got some people to go and visit!

Everyone, the church is true. Never forget that! The Gospel of Jesus
Christ can solve any proplem, and it is the only thing that will save
us in this crazy world! Jesus Christ is our brother. He loves us. He
wants us to come back to Him and be surrounded by His love. No matter
how lost we feel, our afflictions will only be a small moment, and all
of our losses will be made up. I know that the Book of Mormon is true.
Read it. Share it with everyone! It will change their lives.

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your prayers
for the people here in Vallejo. They need em! I hope everything is
well at home and I am praying for you always!

Much love,
Hermana McKenna Lawrence

Ps. The picture attatched to this email is probably one of the best
pictures you'll ever see of me. And I will most definitely be putting
it in my wedding slideshow when I'm married. Don't stare too long or
you'll probably die. Feliz Navidad!

Yay for Birthdays!

October 21, 2013

Dear Family!

Happy Birthday to everyone and their dog! Happy Birthday to Dad! Happy Birthday to Austin! Happy Birthday to Whitney!! Whoohoo!!! You're all so old! I can't believe it! I feel like I've been gone for your whole lives! I miss you guys!

I hope everyone has a great birthday! There are cards coming this week! :) It sounds like you had some fun celebrations!

Things here are going great! Transfers are coming up and we are getting nervous! Our district has a huge white board for guessing where everyone is going! There is a whole point system and everything! It should be fun. ha. But my companion and I have been feeling that we are staying. So hopefully :)
Our investigator, Isela, is progressing so fast! We taught her about the Word of Wisdom and she told us that ever since she met us she has been trying to quit smoking! She has gone from 20 packs a day to 1 cigarette a day! She's incredible! The Elders gave her a blessing yesterday too, and she is so excited to have some extra strength and so ready for her baptism! We might even move the date up to the 2nd of November!

Fortino isn't super progressing but he will be soon! Please pray for him!

Other than that everything is great! The work continues forward! I finally have some pictures to send! Sorry they're not very good. Ps you should all try Strawberries with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate drizzeled over it. Delicious.

I love you all!!!!!! Hope everything is well! You're in my prayers always!

Un abrazo!
Hermana Lawrence

Yay for the Mission!

October 14, 2013
Hello! How is everyone? I'm so glad you had such a fun trip! Jealous!

So, we didn't reach our zone goal of 101 baptismal invites for the week.. but as a district we invited 62 sons and daughters of God to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized! As a companionship, we got 23 of those! In one week! A lot of people said no, but a lot of people said yes! And we are going back to visit them soon! So cool!

We also set two baptismal dates this week! Isela, the one who came to conference last week, is going to be baptized on November 9th, and Fortino will be baptized on November 16th! We have been working with him for a while, so it's great to have a date with him!

Things are going so well! I love my area and I love my companion! And I love my mission! The Spirit guides us every day to the people who really need our help! And we all have the opportunity to participate! The Lord needs us all!

I hope everything is well at home! I love you all! And I'm praying for you always!

Love Hermana Lawrence

Ps. Something funny: We have this Filipino family that lives above us that just got a karaoke machine. They start at 6:30 in the morning and sing ALL DAY! And they don't sing very good.. so far we've heard Shania Twain, Josh Groban, and Alicia Keys.. killed. It makes for very entertaining mornings. ha. 

Love you!!

Yay for Conference!

October 7, 2013
Dear Family,

Wasn't conference amazing?? I loved it so much! I'm so sad that it's all over! But I can't wait till it comes out on the iPad! I can't even attempt to pick a favorite talk because I felt like they all were exactly for me! I loved hearing about your experiences with conference and I'm so glad you had such a fun trip!

Things have been going really well here! I have learned so much from my companion and we have been working so hard! In our zone this week they have issued a challenge for 101 baptismal invites! We are about half way! It's awesome!

We picked up a new investigator named Isela this week! She is amazing and so ready to be baptized! We asked her what some of her expectations were for meeting with us and she said, "Well, I would really like to learn how to receive eternal life." Well, we can teach you that! ha! She's so sweet! And she LOVED conference yesterday! We are going to set a baptismal date with her this week!

Paulo, the one from the grocery store, moved to Santa Rosa. :( But the Elders from there, called us and said they are teaching him! So yay! Sounds like everyone is doing well down there! Good luck starting back up with school and work and everything! I'm so glad you had a fun week in Utah! I was looking for you in conference, but I couldn't find you. :( haha.

Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers! I love you and miss you so much! Keep being lights to the world!

Love love love!
Hermana McKenna Lawrence