Monday, December 4, 2017

Viajando! (Traveling!)

This past week was a week of TRAVELING. On Wednesday we had consejo de lideres so we had to go to Hato Mayor to do an intercambio and from there Hna Lana and I went to Gazcue. Thursday we had to go to La Romana for our zone meeting. Then we slept in Hato Mayor that night to be able to wake up at 4am and be in San Pedro at 6 to catch the guagua to go to Zone Conference in Las Americas. It kills me that we have to spend so much time traveling and not proselyting, but I know that Heavenly Father knows each one of our needs and so our investigators will be okay, we just have to be smarter with our time! We also get to have some interesting experiences contacting on the guaguas!

We traveled so much because we had a ¨misson tour¨with Elder Gonzales. We learned many, many valuable things that I know will change our proselyting and teaching!

On Tuesday I got to meet a family that had been to church before I got here but then stopped going. They´re not members. It´s a mom and her two kids. Leo is 10 years old and he participated in the primary program and everything! We found out that they stopped going to church because the kid´s dad who lives in Canada said that the Mormon church is bad and doesn´t want his kids going there. But as we interacted with the mom, Ana, she completly changed! She wants to go back to church and wants her kids to go to church! She told us that she was moving, so we offered to help her. Wednesday morning we only had a couple of minutes, but we arrived at her house and she was very grateful for the help we gave her. I´m excited to continue to teach them! 


Yesterday Hna Aleixo and I sung ¨regocijad! Jesus Nacio¨in sacrament meeting with a couple other members. It really got me thinking about Christmas time. The song talks about how we REJOICE because Jesus was born and the bad things of the world are taken away because we have a salvador! I am grateful for Jesus Christ and His atonement. I know that through Him we can be better people. I´m changing and have changed because of Him and I´ll forever be grateful! LOVE YOU ALL! You should all do the 25 days of christmas of the church. Light the World

Les Quiero MUCHO!
Hermana Lawrence

Monday, November 27, 2017

Only in the DR

Only in the DR will you be traveling on public transportation and people will be having arguments about who has more sins than the other....So we were traveling to another part of our area (its so big it would take over an hour and a half to walk to some parts of our area!) in a guagua and it was  FULL. We were sitting in the back and because the guagua was so weighed down when it went into gutters or lower parts the back would scratch on the cement. The guagua driver yelled ¨the people in the back must have a lot of sins!¨ Then the two other women sitting in the back got REALLY mad. They started yelling that he was the one who had a lot of sins and that everyone in the back was christian ¨gracias a Dios¨ haha. 

Another weird thing...we were walking in the street and we passed in front of another church and they were singing ¨when there´s love at home¨ but to like a different tune...

So Cleopatra had her baptismal interview this week,, but long story short she didn´t pass, so we´re still working with her. She´s a little frustrated that she can´t get baptized, but we´re hoping it can be in this week.
Washing the family dog

We´ve been working a lot with Ailyn. She´s 10 years old and is READING the book of mormon. She´s in 1 nefi 10 and told us the entire story of what had been happening since the begining of the book. Even what each person said. She had her interview this week as well and passed, but she says that she wants to recieve a confirmation before being baptized, but she also told us that she isn´t praying to recieve a confirmation, so we invited her to do so. We also did service for her family by washing their dog....haha

We had a fun thanksgiving lunch for our zone meeting (our meeting is on friday, soo...) with really yummy food! Hna Aleixo and I made a yummy brazilian dessert to take. We went around and said all the things we are grateful for. It was a cool experienceª

We´ve been seeing opposition, but also a lot of opportunity and we are going to see SO much success in december and january and the months that are coming!

I love you all so much and hope you have the holliest, jolliest week ever!

Hermana Lawrence


Thanksgiving lunch with our zone!

Christmas countdown!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lluvia! (Rain!)


This week was great! It was a week of some really long days, but those ones are always the best...It´s been a week of a lot of rain too....I don´t think I´ve stayed dry. haha

Angelica is a cute little girl that is really interested. She´s 12 years old. When we arrived at her house (we were a little late) she was there reading her book of mormon! We stayed outside her house just watching her (probably a little creepily...oops) because we were amazed at how diligently she was reading! She then told us the whole story about Nefi and his famliy. When we went back later in the week she had written us the story and drawn pictures of ¨hermana Aleixo and Hna Laura¨ (I´m hermana laura...lawrence is not a thing here) and it is adorable! Unfortunatly she lives really far from the church and doesn´t have money to get there, so we are working with members so she can get to church because she really wants to be baptized.

We also visited Cleopatra this week! She´s amazing! She is 51 years old and has been investigating for a while now, but she accepted to be baptized this saturday! She loves the gospel!

A HUGE miracle we had this week was that we had 9 investigators at church, and the majority of them are people that we´ve never even visited before! This week we´re going to be super busy visiting all of them! I am so excited to start this new week!

I read a talk this week that I really loved. It is for missionaries, but I think it can apply to everyone! It says that we should always be ready to talk about the Savior and have his name on our lips, always testify of Him. It doesn´t matter how much we talk about the Savior, it´s never too much! I am grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and that we have a savior!

Love you all! Have the best week ever! (Especially with Thanksgiving...I´ll be here in the DR eating green bananas and chicken :))

Hermana Lawrence

In my zone we´re 4 hermanas...and the other three are from Brasil!
I´ve got my gang of brasileñas! 







Monday, November 13, 2017

Estoy en Higuey!


Sorry about the crazy email last week! But right now I have been working in Higüey for almost a week now! It is very beautiful here! My companion, Hermana Aleixo, is from Brasil and has about 4 months in her mission! We get along really well and she´s teaching me portuges! I´m pretty pummped to be here! It was SO bittersweet leaving Gazcue, but I know that I´m here where I am for a reason! The area is SOOOOOOOOO big. I don´t think I´m ever going to be able to learn all the streets and places. 

My first day here we were able to but a baptismal date for a 13 year old boy named Jefferson. He lives with his aunt because his mom lives in the US. He is haitian, so speaks French, Creole, Spanish and even some English! They have a hymn book in french, so we sang some christmas songs in french. Let´s just say I´m forever grateful I´m learning spanish and NOT french. That is very difficult! And yes, it is christmas here. It starts on October 15th and ends in January....everyone already has their christmas trees and lights everywhere! And we have been singing christmas hymns for a couple of weeks now! haha

On Saturday we had a conference with ELDER COOK! Technically he was in Santiago and broadcast to us here, but still. He spoke to the three missions that are here in the DR. IT WAS AMAZING. One thing that really stood out to me is the apostolic promise he gave to us. It was that one day, every single one of us will realize that our mission was not for us. It was and is for someone else. I know that my mission has and IS changing me. I am closer to our Savior Jesus Christ, I have a stronger testimony of the restauration, and there are so many changes I can´t even count them. But to know that someday I´ll realize that this mission isn´t for me, is incredible to me. I don´t know...it just hit me. After the conference, we went as a zone to El Seibo to do a cosecha. It is a beautiful area in the mountains! I helped push a giant truck to help it start and then we contacted the people there using the book of mormon. Then we played leap frog with a bunch of kids and contacted them and their parents with the book of mormon. Being a missionary is just plain fun! 

Well, I´ll try to write a better email next week...haha LOVE YOU ALL!

Hermana Lawrence
A beautiful Catholic Cathedral in our area



Standing on the roof of our house
This area is beautiful!

Dirt roads in our area


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hola!







Today is a holiday and all the internet sites are closed, so i am quickly writing in the office so thats
Raiza's Baptism
why everything is so loco!

First things first... TRANSFERS!!!  I'm leaving my lovely Gazcue after six months of being here... It's bittersweet!  I really love this crazy area.:-)  I'm going to HIGUEY! The furthest area of hermanas from the office.  I'm going to be with Hna. Alexio from Brasil who just finished her training and I'm going to be the Hermana Leader.  Hna. Jensen is staying here in Guzcue... AND TRAINING! Whoo! I'm so excited for her.  She will be AMAZING!  But I'll miss her a
TON!!!  She's the best!

This week was crazy!  Tuesday Raiza got baptized! It was a really awesome experience for Hna. Jensen and me to be able to help out Maria Aviliadora... and something that I've learned lately is that "converts" are not "ours", they're the Lord's.  Raiza was really happy.  :-)  (what a better way to spend Halloween)

Wednesday... Consejo de Lideres was amazing!  Learn a lot!  I
don't remember much of this week.. Haha!

Saturday we sent to Familia Acosta's to do service.  The ward has been planning for a while to fix up their house because they have very humble circumstances.  The ward brought them beds, food, painted their house and fixed it up A LOT!  The family  basically every single member shared their testimonies on Sunday crying saying how grateful they were and it was an awesome experience!



Summer was baptized on Saturday.  He's been investigating on andoff for a long time and it really is a miracle how
easily he accepted to be baptized. His service was great!  The spirit was strong!

...okay... I don't remember a ton right now...

LOVE you all!
Hermana Lawrence


For Halloween we carved a papaya.  It works incredibly well!







Thursday, November 2, 2017

Where do I even start?!

Wow! A week full of miracles, SO MUCH OPPOSITION, and more miracles!

On Monday night, we were so excited to go to Estela and fill out her baptism record and get her so ready for her baptism on Tuesday night. We arrived at her house and she started telling us that she wasn't ready, that she couldn´t get baptized because she was going to have to move...etc. She gave us a lot of reasons why she couldn't get baptized, but really Hna Jensen and I mainly just felt she wasn't telling us the truth. We went home that night and I was just frustrated that Estela wasn't trusting us and telling us the truth. Our district leader called us and was telling us something about her baptism and then I broke down and told him that estela might not be getting baptized. (I think i cry a little too much for no good reason. In the moment I feel like the world is ending but then it always turns out that God is just making sure I´m learning the lesson I need to learn...) Then the other hnas got home and told us that Maritza, a member, said that Estela called her and was talking to her about some things. So tuesday in the morning we went to Maritza´s house and asked her about what Estela had said. She told us that she explained that she shouldn´t get baptized because she feels an obligation to someone, but apparently I was frustrated for no good reason because Estela was still getting baptized, and for the right reason! So tuesday night we arrived at her house to walk with her to her baptism. We arrived at 6¨30, and we waited there for about an hour before Estela even got home from work. Her baptism was supposed to start at 7, but really didn´t start until 8ish. But the
baptism went really well! Her brother, who is a member but hasn´t been to church in like 6 years went to her baptism and was crying and smiling at the same time because he was so happy about his sister making the decision. The spirit was strong! It always is nice when your companion can play the violin like a pro too! 

On tuesday night we got a text from the zone leaders saying that we were going to have cosechas in different zones to help the zones that haven´t baptized yet, baptize. We have the promise this month that every companionship is going to baptize. So on Wednesday morning we packed up two guaguas full of missionaries (we are in the DR so of course we fit WAY too many people into the guagua! Probably 25 missionaries in a 10 person guagua....haha) The guagua that I was in headed to Los Molinos. Hna Jensen and I went to a place called La Ureña and contacted our lives out searching for pepole prepared to be baptized. There, we gave away 12 copies of the Book of Mormon and found many prepared people! Then we ate some lunch and packed up the guagua again and we all headed to San Pedro! Hna Jensen and I continued to contact and give away books of Mormon. We found a very prepared family in Santa Fe! The excitement of all the missionaries was soo coooool to see! At the end of the day we all met up at the stake center (there were missionaries working in every area in San pedro) and we all knelt down and said a pray thanking heavenly father for the success and miracles we had seen that day. There were about 65 missionaries working in ONE zone. We were able to put 40 baptismal dates in 3 areas that didn´t have any baptismal dates before that! On the way home we were all tired, hot, but very very happy! We sang hymns all the way back to the capital! I wish you could all see the videos....it was incredible!

On Thursday, we did an intercambio and i went with Hna Falcon to the assistant´s area. (hna jensen and I have been helping with the assistant´s investigator that is getting baptized this month) We taught Raiza, and she told us that we was ready for baptism on Sunday!

Friday morning Hna Jensen and I went to go over the baptismal questions with Raiza, and she passed with flying colors! Then we got picked up to head back to San Pedro. This time we worked in the area of Kennedy. Hna Jones is serving there! We we able to contact more and find more prepared people! That day 25 more baptismal fechas were set for this month! There were people calling the assistants asking permission to do baptismal interviews that very minute! So many miracles happened! Again, we sang heading back to the capital! My heart was so full of happiness and excitement!

Saturday we headed to my first area, MENDOZA! To do a cosecha there. We went to the area of Villa Carmen and visited a girl that already had her baptismal interview, passed, but then said that she wasn´t ready, so didn´t want to get baptized anymore..even though she already passed her interview. We talked to her and invited her to pray to God and ask when he wanted her to get baptized, and she said that tuesday was good....THE LAST DAY IN OCTOBER! Miracle right there, people. Then we went to go teach Raiza again, but she wasn´t home. We then found out that her cousin had just gotten murdered, so they were over at their house helping out with that and to be with family. I feel like someone has to die every time someone has a baptismal date. It´s terrible. So we wrote a note and left it for her hoping she´d get it and go to church and her baptism the next day (and we prayed a lot). Then we went and taught Summer, He is now preparing to get baptized this saturday!

Sunday, Estela got confirmed! She was hugging the whole bishopric a lot because she was so happy! Then, during Sunday School, we got a call from the Assistants asking us to talk to Raiza over the phone and basically persuade her to leave her house and go to church and her baptism. She wasn´t wanting to leave the house. So over the phone, we sang I´m A Child of God and we prayed with her. After about a 30 minute conversation, we came to the conclusion that she wasn´t going to leave. So we just continued to pray and have faith. Later that afternoon, they asked us to go to her house and talk to her in person, so we went and after 5 minutes of talking to her and her mom, her mom said, ¨so when can Raiza get baptized?¨ We asked Raiza if that´s what she wanted, and she said yes and we put the fecha for tuesday (tomorrow). The elders told us we were miracle workers, but if I have learned anything this week, I´ve learned that it is ALL Heavenly Father! I am not an extraordinary missionary, but the Lord is extraordinary. He can work miracles, and any miracle that ¨we work¨ is always in His name. Heavenly Father has given each and every one of us talents and gifts to bless His children. I know that this is HIS work. I love being an instrument in God´s hands and being able to see so many miracles and blessings! I love you all and hope you all have the greatest week ever! We´re always going to have opposition, especially when we´re about to see something amazing, so we just have to have faith to overcome the opposition and push forward!

Les Quiero!
Hermana Lawrence 



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Guineos por un peso!


Hola! It has been a good week, still difficult, but I am still learning and growing everyday! I love everyday and every experience I am having! 

We have really been focusing on contacting with the Book of Mormon. Hna Jensen and I decided we were going to carry books in spanish and creole. There was a guy on the sidewalk selling sweets or something. We walked up to him and asked him if he spoke creole. He said yes, so we continued to say that we had a book in creole that we didn´t understand and we were hoping that we could give it to him. He said yes. So we gave him the book and asked him to read Helaman 5:12. He read it in creole, obviously. I could only understand a couple of words, but I could feel the truthfulness of what he was reading. The whole street went quiet. not a single car passed by (which is very rare here haha), and we were just standing there listening him read the Book of Mormon in creole. It´s an experience I will never forget! I felt the spirit very strong! 
We had a noche de testimonios/movie night on Tuesday as a zone. Everyone brought their investigators and we watched the movie ¨finding faith in Christ¨it turned out really well! There were a lot of people there, and we were able to meet the investigators from other areas and create friendships with them! I am really seeing a difference in how our zone and our mission is working together to accomplish great things! The Lord is blessing us!
We went to go do Estela´s baptismal interview on Thursday because her baptism was for Saturday.  We were waiting for the elders to show up at the church...and they were late. Hna Jensen said ¨Let´s say a prayer. There´s way too many things that could go wrong right now.¨ I really love Hna Jensen! SUCH an example to me! I know that when we ask for help, and then do something about what we ask for, Heavenly Father blesses us. FAITH is very important! We showed up and the first thing she told us was ¨hermanas. I can´t be baptized saturday¨my heart sunk. She then explained to us that her daughter´s dad died, and so she was going out of town for the funeral, but that any day after sunday was okay for her baptism! I don´t understand why someone has to die in her family right before her baptism....but she had her interview, she passed and now the baptism is tomorrow! I´m excited! NOTHING IS GOING TO GO WRONG.
On sunday we did a cosecha in Villa Juana. Hna Jensen and I had the relief society president with us and also a young women of 16 years. Walking around the area, teaching them how to contact people, learning their conversion stories, and sharing the gospel was one of the highlights of my week. I could not stop thinking Ï WANT TO BE A MISSIONARY! But then I kept reminding myself that I am one! How lucky am I?!
I love you all! Hope your week is the greatest! 

Hermana Lawrence

-We went to the Parque Mirador Norte (it´s like a national park or something) and as we were walking out there was a truck full of bananas, so i asked the guy how much each one cost, and he said ONE PESO! Usually they are 5 PESOS! So we bought 20.....I don´t know what I´m going to do with 20 green bananas. I guess i just got a little exctied that they were so cheap. Thats like 20 bananas for 40 cents! WHOO! If anyone has good green banana recipes....send them my way! haha