Monday, September 18, 2017

One Year!!!

I have one year of....
Living on a tropical island
Eating rice and beans for every meal
Being called Gringa, Rubia, Mi Amor, and Americana
Walking for endless hours in the hot sun
Preaching the Gospel
Being with someone 24/7
Speaking Spanish
Sweating profundly just for walking like a normal person
Being eaten by mosquitos (and sometimes bed bugs...)
Showing with dirty, cold water
Eating the best fresh fruit smoothies 
Waking up at 6:30
Being around the best people in the world

It´s been a great year! I wouldn´t change the time here for ANYTHING!

It´s been a decent week as well! We had a ward activity on tuesday night! Noche de Cine! We had quite a few investigators there! We watched Meet the Mormons.

We also found a family this week! They´re super great and Im exited to teach them more! WE also have a new investigator from Aruba, so she speaks 4 languages! Its super cool talking to her and learing about all the different cultures she knows! She has so much potential also, so things are looking up as far as new investigators go! The way we found her is a MIRACLE as well. We literally showed up at the perfect time!

 TIme is flying by! I can't believe Hna Jensen and I only have one more week as her first transfer! I am hoping and praying that we can stay together! Yesterday we got another companion as well! Hna Falcon. She´s from the DR, so we´re going to make her cook us yummy dominican food every day! It was a special transfer...Apparently things were going on, I don´t really know what...but apparently we´re supposed to be careful...haha. A lot of times I really think President has a LOT more trust in me than he should. 

We also had to move out of our apartment again!!! WHOOO! We still have bed bugs! Technically I think we´ve had them for the past weeks because we´ve all had bug bites, but we just barely told hna smith yesterday, so we had to pack up and move for the week to a different apartment. haha

I love the gospel! I love the time that I have here! I LOVE YOU ALLLL!!!

Hermana Lawrence

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What Hurricane???

This week was interesting. We were going crazy buying tons of water, storing water in containers, preparing to evacuate our house even...Wednesday night we had to come into the house an hour early and Thrusday we weren't allowed to leave the house to proselyte. We had 8 hermanas in our house! The hermanas that are in the areas that were most going to get effected by the hurricane. We studied, planned, ate (some really good rice and beans...haha) and played a game with hymns...haha misson life. We were just waiting for the storm to come. It was overcast, windy, rainy and there were thunderstorms, but nothing that yelled "HURRICANE" When we were allowed to leave on Friday there were leaves and branches and a lot of trash in the streets, but that's actually quite normal in this long story short, I didn't see any real impact from the hurricane (but now everyone is telling us that there's another coming?) All the Dominicans tell us that everyone in the country is so believing and pray so much that the natural disasters won't ever effect us here! Haha I am grateful for all the prayers that are said!

We have been contacting with the Book of Mormon a lot! It's been cool to see the reactions (this week we've gotten that we worship Joseph Smith, that we can marry more than one person, that we're wrong, that we're Jehova's witnesses....and so much more!) and we have been able to feel the spirit while contacting! We set a very high goal for the number of people we wanted to contact. Everyone in the zone was like "that many people just for your goal of baptisms?" but we showed them! We contacted 3 more people than our goal! We're praying that our efforts will eventually lead to progressing investigators. This week was hard for visting investigators because we had Consejo de Lideres and Interviews with president, but we made sure we still made contact with them through phone calls-made sure they were okay through the storm! 

Funny thing: we were walking in the street one day and something hit my face and it hurt really bad. I yelled at Hna Jensen: "Get it off! Get it off!" IT WAS A BEE AND WHEN THE BEE LEFT THE STINGER WAS STUCK IN MY NOSE. Luckily Hna Jensen remembered some first aid and she took the stinger out with a card instead of her hand...haha I think that's a thing. It hurt. I don't think a bee has ever stung my nose before that....

We've been doing cosechas in all the areas in the zone. We went to Villa Agricolas on saturday and it was refeshing to go to a "normal" area and work there. Then on Sunday everyone came to our area. We got some references and we hopefully will be able to see results! The ward was really supportive as well. Pretty much all the elders that came (there were like 10  elders) were able to do divisions and go out with members! 

I love being a missionary and I love being able to see change in people. I am grateful for every hard thing I have to go through. I am grateful I can learn patience in afflictions. I love you all and hope you all have the greatest week ever! 

We went bowling for P'Day with some of our besties!

Hermana Lawrence

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Book of Mormon has POWER!

It´s been a good week! We have been contacting A TON because we have had to drop (and all my investigators got cut in half when the area divided) a lot of investigators. It has been long, hot days, but I know that we are and will be rewarded and see the miracles from our obedience and diligence! We are continually striving to be more obedient, and I know we will be blessed from it! 

One cool experience we had from contacting is we were walking in a park and Hna Jensen said ¨lets contact her¨so we walked over and started talking to her. Her name is Brenda. She was telling us about her family and then how she had been having some difficulties in her life. We pulled out a book of Mormon and read Alma 7:11-12 but put her name in it. We then told her we wanted to give her the book so that she could find the peace and joy from it....and she started crying! She told us that she felt so blessed that we were giving her the book! It made me realize that I need to be so grateful for the book of mormon, even more than I am! And that the Book of Mormon has POWER. And as we can use the power of the book in any situation! There have been various other contacts that have really impacted me and really taught me to follow the promptings of the spirit and not to judge who to talk to and not. FOLLOW THE SPIRIT!

We had a noche de hogar in a less actives house last night. There were so many relief society sisters there! Sifrida (the less active) invited her neighbors, which is a Mom, Loren, and her two sons, Joel and Adriel and then her 3 nieces and nefew ( that how you spell it??) Esther, Erene, and Ermes. They´re a great family and we have an appointment to go visit them this week! MILAGRO! Sifrida is excited to help us teach them as well! 

We got to eat sancocho 3 TIMES this week. The members in this area all made sancocho and then they all explained to hna Jensen that it was a typical dominican dish. I think hna jensen is almost ¨aplatanada¨ how they say it here haha She´s doing so great. I feel very blessed that she´s so easy! She´s teaching me soooooo much!

We had a zone activity today and the elders all suprised me with a cake with exploding candles! haha Happy birthday again! 

Love you all so much! have the absolute besst weeekkkk evvveerrrr!!!
Hermana Lawrence

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Birthday Week!

First off, sorry for all the pictures. They´re from the last couple of weeks...haha....

So this week has been super great. I can´t really remember a lot. I know that I´ve been speaking a lot, both english and a LOT of spanish...a lot of translating! haha I love it! Hermana Jensen is doing fantastic! We´re working hard, and trying our very best to be exactly obedient! 

We had zone conference this week, which was really good. We learned more about how to use the book of mormon in our teaching and contacting. I love the Book of Mormon and I KNOW that it is true! Every time I read from it I gain a stronger and stronger testimony of it, so I definitly invite you all to read every day from the Libro de Mormon and enjoy the blessings that you´ll recieve! 

Yesterday was a good day! We arrived at church and Leiby and Eugeni were already there! And we arrived very early! They were sitting there reading their Book of Mormon and it made my heart so happy! Then we went to go visit them at night. I can´t remember how much I´ve told you about them,
but Leiby is like 29 years old and she is ¨married¨ really like her boyfriend to an inactive member. Her son is Eugeni and he is 9. We have been working with them and I love them so much! They are preparing to be baptized. After we taught them the lesson, Leiby left the room and came back with a cake with candles on top for my birthday! Then they threw confetti all over us! haha It was fun and something very, very unexpected. They´re progressing so well! They are really delving into the LDM and they are able to tell us the whole story of Lehi and his family! It makes my heart leap with joy. Moments like that are what I live for in the mission!

I love being a representative of Jesus Christ and I know that Heavenly Father loves you all so much! There is no where else I´d rather be spending my 20th birthday than here being a missionary! Les Quiero mucho! 

Hermana Lawrence

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Great Week!

Hermana Lawrence and Hermana Jensen

This has been a pretty neat week! On Tuesday we had the nerve racking meeting where president assigned us to our trainees!  I received my new companion! Hermana Jensen from American Fork, Utah! She is 20 years old, and she is super cute! We get along really well! We both really like the movie Little Women, so that's cool! Its been different having two more Hermanas' in the house. In fact, we just barely unpacked today because we couldn't decide how we were all going to share the space! haha I was telling Hermana Smith that the house was dingy and dark, so she brought us a fun rug and a vase of silk flowers to make the house more fun, and it really did make a difference! She's great!

Legna is progressing so well! We went and taught her twice this week. The lessons were so amazing. The spirit was so strong! She started crying when we talked about how families can be together forever. There was such a calm feeling. The second time we went we invited her to be baptized. She told us that she had some doubts that she needed to sort out before she made such a big decision. We invited her to pray and read the book of Mormon. On Sunday at church she was telling us after we had left she was praying and thinking a lot. Her friend came to her house and saw the book of Mormon open on her table. She started going off at Legna saying that she was crazy and she didn't know what she was getting herself into and not to investigate with us. But she told her friend that she was so happy with us and that her house, after we left, felt different. There was a peace and she got goosebumps thinking about everything we had taught her. And that actually she didn't have doubts, she just doesn't want to let Heavenly Father down.  Right now she is preparing for the 16th of September to be baptized! 

Hna. Smith, Jensen, Lawrence and Pres. Smith
I got a call from the assistants on Thursday night telling us that we had a special invitation to have a meeting with Elder (or President....?) Gonzales....WHAT? So Friday morning Hna Jensen and I went to the office and we got to be in a special training for our mission. It was the assistants, The finance elders, the secretary elders, President and Hna Smith and Hermana and Pte Gonzales. And Us. It was amazing. They told us that they are trying a new concept in introducing the Book of Mormon to people while contacting on the street, and so we got to be there to hear and learn the new way! It was a little nerve racking when Pte Gonzales asked me to try it out in front of him...haha. But it was a really cool, unforgetable experience!

Last night we went to Leiby and Eugeni to teach them. They fed us dinner (dominican spagetti with avacado and tostones) and we talked about the Book of Mormon. It was great! Eugeni read in his book of mormon and highlighted a bunch of stuff. He is the cutest little boy! The two of them are preparing to be baptized. 

I know that Heavenly Father loves every single one of you. I love you all too! Have the greatest week ever!

Hermana Lawrence

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Crazy, Emotional week

So this was an incredibly crazy, emotional week! Hermana Arciniega ended up going home early on Friday morning. The doctors gave her a medical release. She told me that she felt good about her decision and that she´s happy. I´m glad that she feels good. It was hard sending a companion home early...but the way it happened I don´t feel like it was a terrible thing for her. Love her! So since she left early on Friday, Thursday night Hna Ferrer came to Gazcue to be with me until tommorrow (she was in a trio so she just left her other two companions in her new area). We have been staying in a different apartment because instead of choosing to move us from the house we were in, they are fumigating it really well. Well enough that we couldn´t stay there. So I actually had to pack up all my stuff along with hna arciniega and now I´ll be moving back into the Gazcue house with my NEW COMPANION AND TWO MORE. That´s right, people. There´s going to be four hermanas in Gazcue! I´ll be in Gazcue A with a NEW MISSIONARY. I´m training! And Hermana Chamu (one of my old companions) and Hermana Mendez will be in Gazcue B. I´m also going to be the Hermana Leader with Hermana Chamu. Getting the call from president on Saturday made me kinda nervous....and thinking about the responsibility I´m about to take on makes me even more nervous. I´m going to have to show the area of Gazcue to 3 new people, while training and being an hermana leader. I am excited for this new transfer that is going to start tomorrow, though!  

Yesterday in church we had a cool experience. There was a woman there that we had never seen at church before. So obviously we went and talked to her. She just moved here a month ago from Venezuela. Two different friends of hers told her to go to the mormon church, so she showed up. In sunday school the topic was The Word of Wisdom. She then shared with the class that when she was 20 years old she was investigating the church but as soon as she learned she couldn´t drink coffee she stopped because she was addicted to coffee. Now, 15 years later this was the first time that she came to church and we talked about how we can´t drink coffee. She told us that God is giving her a sign...haha. Her name is Legna. We have a cita to go visit her in this week, so I´m excited! The day was going pretty well yesterday...we had lunch with a member (sancocho) and ate ice cream! There were also some other really good lessons that we had (some little kids gave us stuffed animals because they love us so much!) and they day was going really well. We were on our way to go see Fania, our only baptismal fecha, and I was telling Hna Ferrer about how the day could not get worse.
I really think Heavenly Father has a good sense of humor, because we got to fania, and her cousin (member, who she lives with) told us that Fania had packed up everything and left. She doesn´t know where she went, but she thinks she ran away to Haiti....My heart sunk. I felt really discouraged after that. They are dividing the area and the only fecha we had fell. I was thinking why...and the only thing I could think was that there are MIRACLES that are going to happen in the next couple of weeks. I´m excited to see all of them.

Love you all so much! Have the most splendid week ever!
Hermana Lawrence

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Home bound and bed bugs :-(

This week was very interesting. And at this point next week I have no idea who will be my companion, where I´ll be, or anything. The week started with my companion telling me she was too sick to leave the house. Obviously I tried to get her to leave, but nothing was working, maybe she really was sick. Things happened and so the next day she had an interview with Pte Smith where she told him that she wants to go home. Before this point she didn´t want to go home. We went to the doctor, they gave her a million and two drugs and she still didn´t feel better. Right now we are waiting for a response from Pte on whether or not they´re sending her home or not. So this week has been a little stressful. Especially because the majority of it was spent in the house. When you have ¨sick days¨on the mission, you kind of get incredibly bored. I read a lot of the Book of Mormon, practically every Liahona we have in the house, I cleaned the house 10 times, and drew some funny drawings for my companion...haha. What makes it worse is that on Wednesday morning (at like 3 in the morning) Hna Arciniega woke me up and said we had bed not only were we stuck in our house...we were stuck in our house with bed bugs and cockroches... It was splendid. That´s why I cleaned so much. hopefully I got rid of them! On wednesday night we sleped at a different house in the mission that has air conditioning. It was the first time in 10ish months that I have slept with air conditioning....and i FROZE. I never thought I would wake up so many times during the night because I was freezing. haha Interesting how things change. Luckily it was only one night! 

Since we were unable to proselyte this week, I was getting worried about our investigators. I was calling them like crazy! Haha I was also praying that it wouldn´t effect the progress of Gazcue. I was literally praying for a miracle. I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers! Because He did mine! We had 8 investigators at church! Four of which was a family that showed up because their friend told them to check out the ¨mormon church¨ (thank you friend...) The mom´s name is Alba and then there are her three children Yohshua (9), Wiliagnny (10), and Abigail (15). They´re the cutest! They absolutely loved church! All the members were going crazy when they showed up. They´re already members in my mind! I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven that knows our desires and knows personally! Heavenly Father even answered my prayers when I got a call Sunday night from Hna Jones telling me that Noelia, Yoly, and Fraili got BAPTIZED! That´s right! All three of them are a miracle! They were people that I was teaching up there, and they all got baptized! If you remember me talking about Fraili, it really is a miracle! haha Yesterday, with a lot of persuasion, we were able to go see one investigator, Leiby. She accepted to be baptized! WHOOO! And her Son, Eugeni,  as well! They still don´t have a fecha, but they will soon. 

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a representative of Him. I know that HE Lives!

Hope you all have the most fantastic week EVVEEERRR.

Les Quiero!
Hermana Lawrence