Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Feliz Navidad!

This week was definitley difficult! With having to go in at 6:00 every night and most of our investigators only have time after 6, we had trouble finding people in their houses. But, despite this, we still were able to see miracles! :) Everyone here goes to the Campo for Christmas too, so that was another trial this week. This forced us to contact more and we found more people to teach!
Zone Christmas Party!

We had a Christmas party with President Corbitt and like 6 other zones (the other zones were a different day) Each zone prepared a song to sing. My zone sang "O Noche Santa" (o holy night) and it was beautiful! Amazingly it came together at the last minute. Even the elders sounded pretty good. haha Then we had a good lunch and some other activities. One of the things was a slide show of us missionaries as babies or other pictures from before the mission. It was hilarious! 

For Christmas eve we went to Evangela's house. We helped them prepare the dinner for like 3 hours (Here, if you have a dinner/lunch appointment, people don't start cooking until you arrive, so then you have to scarf the food down really fast...) and then it was like 8:45 so we had to take the food to go and eat it at our apartment.
The family on Christmas!
It was so good to see and talk to my family yesterday! I SAW SNOW! Hermana Castillo was so amazed by the snow! haha

On Christmas night we went to Evangela's house again in the night and had an "angelito" which is like a secret gift exchange thingy. We could only spend 100 pesos. The way we gave the gift was we had to get up and imitate the person we were giving to. It was hilarious! Abuela (that's what we call her) had me and she got up and said "Yo no hablo mucho español" ahhhhh....
Love you all! 
Hermana Lawrence

Zone Christmas Party - Companions Hermanas Lawrence and Castillo

Hot chocolate for Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2016

Nomar, Our Christmas Miracle

Hermana Stewart, Hermana Lawrence, and Nomar

NOMAR IS BAPTIZED! It really is a miracle. Nomar is 17 years old and his mom Kirsey and his sister Amber are recent converts, but he never wanted to be baptized. Hna Stewart and I were working on him since the begining and he was always so solomn and not happy, but we continued to teach him. We extended the invitation to be baptized many times and he never accepted. But in Hna Stewart's and I last week together....HE ACCEPTED! We literally screamed for joy when he said yes! And after he accepted he was a TOTALLY different person. He was happy, he listened to us better, and I hardly recognized him as the same Nomar! His baptism was on Saturday at 5:30 but as time passed and time passed I was scared he wasn't going to show up! Finally he did and he put on his white jumper and was running up and down the halls of the church yelling "I'm going to be mormon!" haha It made me SO happy to see him so happy. When he finally went down into the water I wanted to cry. It was so beautiful....haha. After his baptism he was running up and down the halls again saing "SOY MORMÓN!" Literally the best thing ever. 

So here in República Dominicana instead of having spiders in your house...there's lizards. I don't know which is worse...ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

On Friday we got a call from our District Leader at like 5:55 and he said we had to be in our apartment at 6:00 from here on out until the new year...Because it is peligroso (dangerous). I don't really think it is that bad (don't worry mom) the president just wants to take care of his Hermanas. The elders don't have to go in at a special time....

Well, LOVE YOU ALL! Feliz Navidad! 

Hermana Lawrence
Just hangin' in the hammock

Thursday, December 15, 2016


!I forgot to write about this last week (it was a highlight of the week) but I guess it is good, because now I have even more to write about it! So last sunday "the Prophet" came to our ward. This random guy was in our class for investigators and recent converts. The lesson was about the second coming. The teacher started the lesson with asking what anyone knew about the second coming. THIS GUY WENT OFF. He started talking (yelling, really) about how he was the prophet and Jesus is is son and Mary is his wife....He was literally crazy. He called Hna Barreda and Hna Morgan lamanites and that when they left the room to find the bishop to do something about him, they were being controlled by satan. He was so crazy. He got on his feet and started preaching "his gospel" and everything. He even had handouts made about how he was God and asked us to make copies and hand them out to everyone. Uh, no. Luckily, all our investigators thought he was crazy too! He went to priesthood and preached the same thing and the bishop asked him to leave. BUT there's more. HE CAME BACK TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! The bishop escorted him out again. haha

I ate pigs feet this week...

The pictures: We were waiting in a street for an investigator to come to an activity with us and this random girl asked if she could braid my hair! haha. It actually looked really good!

The freezer in our fridge had so much ice in it, we made a snowman out of the ice! it was a miracle to see snow...hahaha

There was a ward  party and that is our family photo (with all the hnas)

Well, I love you all and remember that Heavenly Father loves you all too!

Hermana Lawrence

Monday, December 5, 2016

1st Transfer tomorrow!

We got the long awaited (and not really wanted) phone call on Saturday night about transfers...

So our house has been Me and Hna Stewart and the Hna Training leaders Hna Morgan and Hna Barreda. Now with this new transfer I am STAYING in my area, but with a new companion! Hna. Castillo. All I really know about her is she only speaks spanish :) ha... I am super nervous! This means that I have to show the person training me the WHOLE area and tell her about EVERYONE and pretty much have to know everything at the begining. I am super nervous! Hna. Stewart is now going to be a Hna training leader with Hna Morgan. So I will still live in the same house with them! I am excited to improve my spanish even MORE! :) haaaaa

We had a mission tour this week! The area 70, Elder Civic, spoke to us! It was so good! He talked about our purpose as a missonary and being obedient. It seems like we always learn about the same topics, but always learn something new...so it must be important ;) The zone leaders texted us and had us wear matching colors to the misson tour...pink. To my astonishment, the elders actually had pink ties. They also had us match for the temple a couple of weeks back..navy blue. We all made fun of them for making us match, but the pictures actually looked really good matching, so this time we
didn't question them. We also took pictures in our matching zone t-shirts! They say "Yo Tube en Santo Domingo East Mission" you pronounce the "tube" like Tubey. It's supposed to be yo estuve, but with dominican slang, dominicans say yo tube. Funny.. :) I'm still trying to learn Dominican!

We had a lesson with Ana Mercerdez on Friday night. She is SO ready for baptism. A lot of her family members  are members of the church. She just is scared to get baptized! She's been having lessons from the missionaries for like so long now. So many things led up to this lesson that I just knew it was going to be great. We watched "Together Forever" and then talked about how families can be together FOREVER! Her nephew is serving in our mission right now and he wrote a letter to her that we gave to her that talked about how he wanted her to be able to have this eternal family, so she needed to be baptized and eventually go through the temple! THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG. Let me tell ya! I cried in this lesson because the spritit was just like BAM! I am so so so grateful for my eternal family! She wouldn't accept a baptism date, BUT she accepted to fast with us this Sunday for an answer! Which is a HUGE step for her, because before now she hasn't even prayed to know if she should get baptized. I hope that she was able to recieve an answer...I guess we will see!

Something that I haven't told you all about yet is how we greet people. It isn't weird for me anymore, so I have forgoten that this isn't normal in Utah! I haven't shook a woman's hand this whole time I've been here! To greet someone you kind of side kiss their cheek! Its totally normal for me now! Guys do it too, but for obvious reasons...we just shake guys hands haha
Hermana Lawrence & Stewart making lunch

The pictures: Making lunch! Tostones are like my favorite! They're plantains that are smooshed and then fried. SO GOOD. And then there is the ward christmas party (The bishop is the guy on the right). 

I am excited to start my second transfer and learn even more! I love you all! The church is TRUE! Heavenly Father LOVES YOU ALL SO MUCH and so do I!

Hermana Lawrence 
Ward Christmas party

Monday, November 28, 2016

Templo, Accion de Gracias, y Jardin

Botanical Gardens on P-day

Aye mi MADRE! It has been a busy, really rewarding, crazy, amazing week! On Tuesday we got to go to the temple and do a session! It was so great to go back! My first session in spanish! We get to go to the temple every 3 months here! AH! :) While there I went into the CCM and saw Hermana Lynch! (Gabbie) We took pictures together, but (i am devistated about this) somehow all my pictures from the beginning of my mission got deleted! I let another hna look at the pictures on my camera, and when I got it back, they were ALL gone. I am sad, but it's okay. I'm making up for the lost ones by taking even more! haha 

Thursday was Accion de Gracias (thanksgiving) and they don't celebrate it here, but we celebrated with our zone! We ate chicken, rice, mashed potatoes, green bananas, rolls, and stuffing. Then for dessert we had brownies, arroz con leche (kind of like rice pudding....I think?) and cinnomon rolls (that I HOMEMADE because my mom sent me her recipie :)) It was really fun and yummy! I want to start a tradition of having green bananas every thanksgiving now! They're actually really yummy! 
Thanksgiving dinner
That night we went out proselyting like normal. I really forgot it was even a holiday! The night was absolutely AMAZING. WE HAD SO MANY MIRACLES! It started out that within 5 minutes ALL of our citas fell through. We were praying to know what we should do. We went to one of our investigators that we haven't really been able to teach yet (in the 5 weeks we have been here) and she was there and her mom and her brother AND her grandma! We were able to teach them and they want to get baptized! We taught another family that night that has so much potential also! It's really true that when you are serving other people you really forget about yourself. 

BUT that's not all! WE FOUND TWO MORE FAMILIES! Hna. Stewart and I are really seeing SO MANY miracles! We were told that we need to contact more, so we made a goal to contact 4 people a day. One night we had like 10 minutes before we had to go in for the night so we went up to a girl and shared a small message with her and she asked us to come back and teach her more, so on Sunday night we went back to teach her and it was her, her mom, and her two sisters! And the other family has three little girls, two old enough to get baptized and they want to get baptized! MIRACLES!

On sunday we went to a members house to eat lunch. The mom taught us how to cook really yummy food! We made pastelon which is mashed plantains and meat layered with cheese on top. And really yummy rice. I am excited to learn how to make many more yummy dominican dishes! 

Today for P-Day we went to the West mission....with permission, of course! The Hnas in our zone went to the Botanical Garden! IT IS amazing. I got to wear my chacos and I felt home being away from the city. Even though the plants were not like the plants in Utah, it really felt like being back! The gardens were amazing! There was a butterfly room we went into, and you know how usually it is super hot and humid when you go into butterfly rooms and they're indoors? Well this was outside and just kind of like a mesh tent because it is already hot and humid here :) haha We took a nice lunch of PB&J and chips, and banana, and Strawberry, Chinola juice! Side note: I just found out that chinola is acctually passion fruit...I love it.

Well, there's a lot of pictures and a lot of writing, but this dosn't even start to express how much goes on here. I love the work and I am so happy. Love y'all!

Hermana Lawrence
Preparing Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving dinner
At the botanical gardens


Friday, November 25, 2016

Noche de Hogar x2!

Hola! This week has been busy and good!

I had my cumplemes on monday! 2 months in Republica Dominicana! We celebrated with "Dollys" which are a pastry with guava jelly in it. They're really good :)

I went on my first intercambios (exchange) with Hna. Morgan! It was fun to have a companion that didn't speak english! Spanish is still very difficult, but definitly getting better! It is surprising sometimes to hear myself speak...it's weird.

I was kind of sick this week. I threw up right in front of one of our investigators houses! I was so embarassed! It only lasted a little bit though. I'm all better now! I wasn't restricted in proselyting at all, so I am grateful for that!

We had interviews with President Corbitt on Thursday! He is awesome. So is Hna. Corbitt! He knows where the Union Station is in Ogden! That's cool! He gives really good advice, too!

We had two noche de hogar's this week (home evening). The first was in the home of 3 of our investigators: Nuris, Samarya, and Esagnie. They are really great...but sometimes a little crazy! Haha. The bishop, his mom and 8 other ward members were able to come! It was a really cool thing to see. Nuris was telling us that that morning she was washing her clothes and one of her shirts had a stain on it that was a cross and then under that it said "Dios" (which is God in spanish) and then when we all showed up, it was confirmation to her that our church is true...I guess whatever works for her. It really is awesome how much support we have from this ward!
The second noche de hogar was one we were invited to in the home of a member. We helped them decorate for Christmas and then they gave us homemade cupcakes and homemade hot chocolate (LITERALLY THE BEST STUFF EVER. They gave us the recipie, so I'll have to share it with yall later :)) Then we sang christmas hymns! It was a lot of fun and really spirtiual as well!

Mariella was confirmed and recieved the Holy Ghost on Sunday! So exciting! She is the sweetest! We also had a mission-wide 24 hours of EXACT OBEDIENCE on sunday. President Corbitt said that if we are all able to do that, we will see an explosion of miracles. We really need to see some miracles with a couple of our investigators, so we worked super hard to be EXACTLY obedient!

I LOVE YOU ALL! (We get to go to the TEMPLE! tomorrow! I am so excited!)
Hermana Lawrence

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mariella is baptized!

It has been a really, really good week! Mariella is a 14 year old girl that we have been teaching here. Her mom is a convert of about a year and there have been a lot of missionaries that have been teaching Mariella since.I think that there were at least 5 sets of Hermanas that taught her before us, so she had heard all the lessons multiple times. The Hermanas before Hna Stewart and I said that she was going to get baptized on November 26, her birthday. She wanted to stop saying bad words before she got baptized and she decided that she would stop saying bad words on her birthday.  We were okay with that, we were just going to teach her until her baptism. But, on Wednesday we had the prompting to ask Mariella if she would be baptized on Sunday (yesterday). Our zone was holding a "noche blanca" where all the missionaries in our zone would bring those that are getting baptized and it is a super special program. We told her that baptism is not something that you need to wait forever to do, that she was ready (because she totally was)

and that baptism is a starting point. You only improve more after you're baptized! AND SHE ACCEPTED! We were so excited when she said she would. It was UNREAL. So Sunday came and we had so much anxiety that she wasn't going to follow through with her baptism. We went to her house and kept calling her to remind her haha. The "Noche Blanca" was super special. There were 6 people being baptized. A lot of people came, the whole chapel was filled! There were some really good talks by the stake presidency and other people. Not everyone could fit into the font room (Obviously) so they broadcast the baptisms into the chapel. (Hna Stewart and I got to be in the font room, though :)) I cried when she went under the water. It was one of the happiest moments on my mission thus far. I know that Mariella will be blessed because of her choice to be baptized!

So it has rained a lot here lately. One day we were going to Mariellas to teach her and our umbrella was pointless. The rain was pelting and we were SOAKED anyway. When we got to their house Maria (Mariella's mom) dried us off and gave us shower caps to wear on our heads so our hair wouldn't get wet. ALL the Dominicans wear shower caps or bags on their heads when it rains so their hair doesn't get wet. So I guess I'm one step closer to being Dominican now because I wore the shower cap :) 
Shower caps to keep our hair dry!

We have been teaching a lot of people. One of the people we have been teaching is Esmerlyn. She is 12 years old and the cutest thing ever. She really wants to get baptized, but her mom isn't giving her permission, but we haven't been able to see her mom since she said that! Her mom is never home. We pray that her mom's heart will be softened! We are trying to teach her mom as well, so I hope that everything will go well! 

I love it here and I love the work! I LOVE YOU ALL!
Hermana Lawrence

Monday, November 7, 2016

Another good week in the Republica Dominica!

Another good week in Republica Dominicana! 
Carving apples for Halloween

We didn't have water in our apartment for four days this week! Ah! It's amazing all the things you use water for that you don't think about until it is gone! We got permission to go shower at a members house, so that was nice! We do have water now, and I am so grateful for it!

For Halloween last monday we carved apples (NOTHING pumpkin here) and then dipped them in caramel. It was super yummy! The other Hermanas in the house have never celebrated halloween before, so it was fun to tell them about it!
Cleaning the school

We got to do service one morning! The ward helped clean up a school in the area. It was really overgrown with weeds and what not. It was really cool to see before the mormons come and after the mormons come! haha. Hermana Stewart and I mopped like 10 classrooms! They were really dirty! It was fun to help!

For P-day today, Hna Stewart and I went to the "colonial" part of Santo Domingo and saw Christopher Columbus' house and other really old places! We got into a lot of places for free because we were missionaries! We ate at a really good chineese place (sometimes you just don't want rice and beans!) and I bought a shirt that says ï love RD"for $150 pesos, so like $3 US dollars. They;re super cheap! 

This week had it's ups and downs. One day ALL of our appointments fell through. No one was home or said that they couldn't. It was really frustrating. We walked from one side of our area to the other all day long. I was praying that we could have one lesson, and it was a miracle! We taught an amazing lesson for the last lesson of the day. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers! Despite a couple of hard days, it was all better because on Sunday we had 4 of our investigators come to church! And then we had so many good lessons that day. I am seeing so many miracles, but my patience is also being tested. I read a quote by President Uctdorf this week that really helped me. "Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can-working, hoping, and excercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring, it is enduring well!" Our district leader also told us that when we are being obedient and working hard, Satan is working extra hard to try and bring us down. More ups than down's this week, though. I am grateful for that!

Love you all!
Hermana Lawrence

Monday, October 31, 2016

In the mission field!

Good bye to the Mission Training Center!


Last monday night we packed our bags until 1:30 in the morning and then woke up at 5:30 to head off to our missions! It was bittersweet saying goodbye to everyone in the CCM because we all got so close to each other (spending 16 hours a day, every single day for 6 weeks with people will make you pretty tight...). Presidente Corbitt picked us up and we took a short drive to the mission office where we had interviews. I expressed my concern with not knowing very much spanish. He told me my spanish was good (If he can lie, I think he was...) and that I will have it down by Christmas. hahahahaha i sure hope so! This week has been CRAZY with spanish. Dominicans don't speak spanish. They speak Dominican. SUPER fast and they shorten everything (just like I was afraid of). 

Hermanas Corbitt,  Lawrence,  Stewart, and President Corbitt
I got my new companion! Her name is Hermana Stewart. She lives california but her mom is from Honduras, so she speaks spanish perfectly. She has been out for 5 months. The area we live in is called Mendosa. It is in the city. (i am in the same zone as Hna. Jones! So i get to see her every thursday!) Hna Stewart and I are white-washing it! We feel a little overwhelmed because of that fact, but we have been doing well and have quite a few people who have accepted the Baptismal invitation! I am praying that they follow through with it. We live on the fourth floor of an apartment building (the stairs are killer, especially with a couple trips with groceries) I guess that it is a nice
apartment! We live with two other hermanas. (i put a picture attatched of our view from our balcony) We have warm water, but we don't really have a shower! We have a bathtub and then we fill up a bucket with water and pour it over ourselves to shower! It's not really as bad as you might think. There is no AC (nowhere has AC really...) so we always have fans going because it is a bajillion degrees. I think that it is worse because we're on the fourth floor! 

Church was interesting. I didn't understand like....anything. haha I love this ward, though! We went to a relief society party with an investigator and THEY ARE CRAZY! I love these people's enthusiasm! We have already eaten with members twice (such good cooks!). The food is a lot of rice and beans! A couple things I ate this week:
1. Tostada: meat (i don't know what kind. I have learned not to ask), cheese, mayo, ketchup in bread and then toasted.
2.Yaroa: Chicken, nacho cheese, ketchup and mayo and another kind of cheese melted on top of french fries (Pictured)
3. Chinola Juice: It is super good. I don't even know how to describe it (also pictured with the yaroa)
4. Orange peels: that are kind of like they're pickled but with sugar. Its weird. Like i was eating an orange peel. weird.

I eat fruit every day! There's always people pushing fruit carts around the streets for super cheap. It's awesome! I'm devistated, though because I guess mango season just ended so no one is selling mangos!! AHHH! 

Aye mi madre! (an expresson used A TON) If I had a dollar for every time we got cat-called in the streets while walking around..I would have to open my own bank to hold all the money. I''ve already had 3 marriage proposals. The men stare at us and yell at us. It's kind of funny, but by the end of the day it's kind of like...really? When they yell at us we just invite them to church, though.

I started the Book of Mormon over this week, so i was reading in 1 Nephi. Laman and Lemuel needed a lot of humbling. But so do we all. It was an eye opener to me!

Ah, It's awesome. I love you all! 
Love, Hermana Lawrence