Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I Can Cook Dominican!

A member told me how she makes meat, so I tried it and it turned out really well! Be prepared to eat the Bandera Dominicana when I get home! :)

Mini Milagros

This was a great week! We were able to see small miracles everyday...and big ones too! :)

We had consejo de lideres on Wednesday, so it was another week of traveling. We are learning to make better plans for our goals as a mission. In the days after consejo, Hna Aleixo and I made plans and goals and then STUCK TO THEM. Even though every contact we made with the Book of Mormon didn´t turn into a new investigator, and every new investigator isn´t progressing, we have had giant steps with existing investigators and I know Heavenly Father is blessing us in other parts of the work because we are trying  and focusing on reaching our goals.

I think Hna Aleixo and I are becoming professional dog-washers. Cleopatra hurt her knee and hasn´t been able to do anything for a while, so we asked her what we could do to help her. She asked us to help wash her dogs! haha This week we were able to several small services to investigators, and really it has been fun! Washing clothes, dogs, and they are very grateful. 

We had an intercambio this week. I was with Hna Moura in Hato Mayor. We had a cool experience in which we went to an investigators
house of theirs and she let us in. I sat down like normal thinking she was the investigator, turns out Elizabeth is the investigators sister and she has NEVER let the hermanas go inside the house when she´s there. We started singing the hymn and part way through a man showed up at the door and stood there until we finished the song. She invited him in. His name is Angel. Turns out Elizabeth and Angel used to be together but about 5 months ago they broke up and now they´re just friends....but we taught them Plan of Salvation and invited them to be baptized. They sat there and said nothing...we were in silence for a while and I asked angel how he felt. He said ¨joy and peace¨ he realized that it was the spirit and he accepted to be baptized! 

Campusano had his interview in december and didn´t pass because the morning of the interview he had drinken coffee. After the interview he basically disappeared off the face of the earth. We called, we called his girlfriend (who is a member) we passed by her house (because Campusano lives in a ¨campo¨ kind of far away, so we´ve never actually been to his house, we always teach him in her house) and we could not make contact with him. He didn´t go to church the sunday after the interview, so it had been more than two weeks since we were able to talk to him or make contact with him. I was getting nervous that we had lost him. But lots of prayers later, yesterday he was in the church before us in his white shirt and after the meeting he told us that the morning he drank coffee before his interview...was the last time he drank coffee!! His girlfriend asked when he could be baptized and have his interview again. HEAVENLY FATHER ANSWERS PRAYERS! We never gave up calling. We tried everyday, so if there´s anything I´ve learned from this...it´s perseverence. Recently the work has been a little harder, and I explained my feelings to President Smith, and today he gave me advice that will help me and I hope will help you all as well. He said¨, ¨we are called to the work and must press forward - despite what we may be tempted to see as failures, in reality they are successes when we do our part and continue to press forward.¨ Pressing forward and seeing the good in every circumstance is a MUST. If we constantly look at the negative in everything, we´re going to be pretty sad people! Let´s be happy! :)

Love you all and hope you all have the greatest week!

Hermana Lawrence

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

WOW. How do I sum up two crazy weeks in one (short) email....? Here are some of the main points:

-We had NAVIDAD! For christmas we were invited to 6 different members houses...we could only go to three, but three christmas dinners is a lot on one´s stomach! Thank goodness for to-go boxes! This past month we hardly sang christmas hymns in church, so walking to the chapel I commented to Hna Aleixo that if we didn´t sing christmas hyms I would be sad.....not a single song was a christmas hymn. And the talks given were about the word of wisdom....haha definitley not a normal christmas sunday, but it was definitley a good one. Christmas morning you all might have woken up to snow, but i woke up to a full rainbow...:) Island Life! 

-Campusano had his baptismal interview ..but we´re still working with him. It was a little disheartening for me after his interviewWe had to travel to La Romana right after the interview and so I had some time to think and reflect on what I´m doing wrong...and to be honest, I was really beating myself up. But I´ve learned a lot from this. We were able to go to the temple the next day and while in the temple I had some reflection with the Book of Mormon. I read in Omni 1:26. I learned that I need to offer my WHOLE SOUL as an offering to the Lord right now. Consecration is something I am learning right now, and bringing my whole soul to the Lord is changing me., for many reasons. 

-We put a baptismal date with Sandra! She´s amazing. Hna Aleixo taught her when she first arrived in the area, but then they dropped her because she wasn´t progressing. A member came up to us in church a couple of weeks ago and told us that a woman named Sandra wanted us to visit her again. So the member took us to Sandra´s house and sure enough it´s the same Sandra! She´s 50ish years old, and is in a deep place in her life right now. We taught her plan of salvation and she bawled through the whole lesson. She told us that there was a post on facebook about what people would ask santa for for christmas and people were commenting wordly things. She explained to us that she would ask for 5 minutes to hug her dad again. We promised her that someday she will have the eternity to hug her dad, not only 5 minutes. The spirt was very strong and we invited her to baptism. She accepted!

Well, a LOT happened that I´ll just have to tell you about someday, but know that I love all you! and Heavenly Father LOVES YOU SO MUCHHHH!

Have the happiest new year!

Hermana Lawrence

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Day!

We loved speaking to Hermana Lawrence!  She looks beautiful and is great!

Christmas Week!

I hope you all have the best NAVIDAD ever! This week was a week full of miracles! Our ward had a christmas dinner on wednesday. I´m not joking when I say that there were more non-members at the dinner than members. Practically every member brought a friend and we were able to meet all of them! Many of the people are already investigators. The program was really great, the food was yummy, and the spirit was strong! 

Transfers are this week...Hna Aleixo and I are staying together for another transfer in Higuey! (I can´t believe it´s already been 6 weeks in this
area...It literally flew by!)

I got bit by a dog on my foot this week.....haha....

Thursday we were with Ailyn. For a long time we´ve been trying to get her dad´s permission for her to be baptized. She had accepted to be baptized on the 23rd of this month. So when we went on thrusday in the middle of the lesson Ailyn asked us if there was a chruch in Barahona. We told her that there was. She told us that she was going to go there for a while. I got a little nervous in my mind. we finished the lesson and her step mom (ana) who is a member menos activo, asked Ailyn when she was going to get baptized because she was leaving on the 20th to go with her mom. Ailyn said she could get baptized before then. We then asked her dad if Ailyn could get baptized on the 16th (two days after...) and he said yes! He signed the baptism record and we got going on planning. She had her interview on saturday morning and was baptized satruday in the night. Her baptism
started at like 8:30 because everyone is out of town right now and we were searching crazy for one more priesthood holder. We found one and she was baptized! Her dad was at the baptism, which is a huge step! His heart is slowly softening :) Sunday she was confirmed and so HAPPY! She´s the cutest little girl! 

We had a meeting with the assistants as a zone and one of them shared the story of David and Goliath. David had faith that he could defeat Goliath with one stone, but he picked up 5 stones to be prepared. We can have faith that things are going to happen ¨como Dios quiere¨ (how god
want´s) but we still need to be prepared and expect opposition! 

Have the best Navidad of your life! Remember our Savior Jesus Christ! 


Hermana Lawrence

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

More Miracles!!!

So many miracles here in Higuey! We had consejo de lideres on wednesday, so Hna Lana and I traveled to Las Americas (again). It was amazing. During the whole meeting I kept recieving little slaps in the face on things I need to improve on! I am grateful for the opportunity I have each day to become better, to learn, and to feel the spirit as it tells me what I need to do better! After the meeting, we went with Hna and Pte Smith and the Zone leaders and had a meeting with the stake presidency to see how the work is going here in La Romana. The meeting was inspired to say the least. We planned a Noche Blanca for the 23rd of Diciembre! Instead of having a ¨white christmas¨ like the majority of you all are going to have, I´ll be witnessing a ¨white christmas¨with many people dressed in white entering the waters of Baptism! I am grateful for this time I have to serve as a missionary! I can´t imagine being anywhere else right now! After the meeting, I got to have my interview with Pte Smith! He is the greatest. And Hna Smith is the greatest! I am grateful for inspired leaders! And then Hna Lana and I stayed in Quisqueya to be able to go to our zone meeting the next day. We had 30 minutes left before it was 9o´clock so we contacted by singing christmas hymns! It was a lot of fun!

Thursday into friday we did our intercambio, I was with Hna Moura (also from brasil) in Higuey. We went to go visit someone that I had only been to their house once....so we got lost. But we contacted a bunch of people along the way asking for directions! One lady we ran into told us that she had just been left by her husband, who threw a pot of hot oil on her. She showed us her wound...it was bad. We read in the book of mormon for her about the atonement and she started crying. It´s amazing how powerful the book of mormon is! We then found the people and we invited Solene to be baptized. She´s Haitian and a member´s sister. The whole lesson had to be translated because she hardly understands spanish, but she accepted to be baptized, but she´s moving to Chile in less than a month, so we´ll have to see what we can do!

We had a noche de hogar in a members house with two investigators, Yunior and Eliel. The member is leaving for her mission to panama in January, and has really been doing missionary work already! Eliel is her ¨boyfriend¨and Yunior is her neighbor. We helped her make carrot bread and then talked about the gospel. the two of them accepted to be baptized! They´ve already been to church suffiecient times to be able to be baptized, so we invited them for right before the member leaves! Cool experience for her and for us and them!

Campusano is a members boyfriend, who has been going to church for a while now. We went yesterday to try and find him to teach him. He lives in some campo far away, but milagro! He was in the members house! There were also a bunch of different members there. One of them said ¨General! When are you getting baptized?!¨ It caught me off guard because it was so sudden, but really the invitation to be baptized can be sudden! We put the fecha for the 30th of December! He said that he wants to have it a big party, so we are going to eat sancocho for his baptism too! YES! 

A couple of weeks ago Hna Smith gave us a reference from a lady that she contacted in the park while exercising. She told us all she remembered is that her name is Diana and she is the owner of a small grocery store in Higuey called Super _____ Higuey and that there used to be 3 but now there is only one that still exists. and thats it. I honestly thought we´d never find it.....higuey is HUGE. But I kept it in mind for a long time. This week we were walking in a random street....Honestly I don´t even know how we got there (obviously the spirit) and there was a small grocery store called Super Higueyano. We stopped outside and contemplated entering. We finally went in and talked to the cashier and told him the whole story. He said the owner isn´t named Diana but that there used to be three and now only this one existed. We asked when the owner would be coming in, and he replied that the owner never came in......but guess who walked in just when he said that....you guessed right! THE OWNER! His wife is named Daianira and it was her that hna smith contacted! MILAGRO! :)

Also a couple of weeks ago we were walking in the street and a lady called us over and asked us if we were the ¨mormons¨ we replied that yes, we are. She told us that she wanted us to teach her son and to come back in 2 sunday´s. so yesterday was the two sundays after. We went. We met Jesse, her son. He´s 20 years old. But we asked the mom and him how they had heard of the church. It turns out when Jesse was 5 or so years old, she took the lessons. She then continued to recite the whole story of Joseph Smith...even the scripture that Joseph read to recieve an answer, and when we were walking in the street she knew that her son needed to know this too! She said she almost got baptized, but for some reason she didn´t. But that is def un milagro also.

So many great things are happening here in Higuey! I´m excited to continue seeing the Lord´s hand in my life! I hope you´re all participating in the 25 days of christmas ¨light the world¨ from the church! This week is full of good things to do :) Look for miracles in every day! Pray every moring and night and in between, I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers and will answer specifically YOUR prayer...because you´re his child! 

Les QUIERO mucho!

Hermana Lawrence

The house we stayed at in Quisqueya was the Elders house three weeks ago and now is vacant...
but we were welcomed into a lot of cockroaches... dead and alive... and this wonderful bathtub.

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