Thursday, September 29, 2016

Week Numero Dos!

Days feel like eternities, but weeks pass in a blink of an eye. I can't believe it's already been another week in the Dominican Republic! I am growing spiritually and in Spanish every day! I am loving my time here!

We went to the store on Friday! It's weird that that is something I am actually excited to tell you all because going to the store back home was almost a daily occurrence. It is basically just a condensed version of Walmart. You can buy almost anything...i say almost because the only thing that was on my list (those little hair elastics) they didn't have! Luckily one of the other Hermanas gave me some :) I bought some weird coconut suckers. They're just weird. Pesos to dollars is still confusing to me, though!

Being in the same classroom all day long gets old really fast, so Hermana Jones and I like to go to the temple grounds for personal and companion study. It's super humid and my scripture pages are starting to get crinkly from the humidity, but its totally worth it :) Hermana Jones is my favorite. We are always singing together, we lay on the classroom floor to memorize things, we skip/hopscotch everywhere we go and we share the same love for colored pens!

Push-ups are a very common occurrence around here. Our teachers make us do 10 pushups every time we talk in English or when we mess up on reciting something we memorized. "Pechadas!" is heard a lot!! (The dictionary told me that pushups is actually "plancha" but our teachers say pechadas, so yeah...) I've only had to do them a couple of times, but the elders have to do SO MANY. They're always doing them.

Sunday was absolutely magnificent! We had church, which was great, and then we had a devotional by President Romney, and then we watched the Joseph Smith movie! I cried through the whole thing. We are all so blessed that Joseph Smith had the courage and perseverance to restore the church back on the earth. With all the trials he had to through, never once did he give up hope or doubt the validity of the gospel. One quote i liked from the movie was "The Lord calls us in our weakness, but he qualifies us for the work." If the day had ended there, I would have been content, but it got even better! We watched a devotional by Elder Anderson. He gave an analogy about hunting and fishing (so of course I was all ears). He said that sometimes we will go out and throw out our nets and we will catch so many fish to teach the gospel to (figuratively) and other times we will go out hunting and go long stretches with no luck. It is hard not to give up, but we have to believe that there is that one person out there that needs to hear the truthfulness and if we turn back early to camp, we will miss our opportunity. And the day got even better because....Ice cream. Enough said.
Typical dinner in the MTC

There was a lightning storm this week. No rain, no thunder, JUST lighting. It was super cool.

Hermana Jones and I usually help set up for lunch if we get down there on time, so one day we were helping and we uncovered the food....there was OCTOPUS STIR FRY for lunch. I ate it. It was nasty. Never again.

I LOVE THIS GOSPEL! It makes me so happy. I LOVE YOU ALL!

Love, Hermana Lawrence

P.S.  The pillow on the left is what I was sleeping on for the longest time, but then this past week, some of the Elders were so kind to bring Hermana Jones and I two of the fluffier pillows on the right.  There is a supply closet on their end of the hallway that we aren't allowed to go down, but I'm sleeping a lot better now :)

Friday, September 23, 2016

One week down in the Dominican Republic!

Hola! This week has been crazy! I love the Dominican Republic, and believe it or not, I really like the
DR CCM (MTC). There are only about 50 missionaries here, which is super nice. We're all just friends and know each other well! It is beautiful (AND HOT & HUMID) here! From my bedroom window I can see the Temple and the ocean! All the tropical plants are super cool! During gym time we will be playing volleyball or basketball and the temple is our backdrop. If we want to run to work out, there is probably a quarter of a mile that we are actually allowed to stay on, so the space is limited, but very pretty! 

My head is going to explode with the amount of spanish I am having to learn, but i have learned more in the past week than in 2 years of high school spanish! There are like 300 words, 40 phrases and a couple of scriptures I need to have memorized by Saturday... I have a lot of it done already, but I have a lot more work to do! 

My companion is Hermana Jones. She is from Salt Lake City. She graduated from Olympus High, but went to Utah state this past year. We get along so well! We are already reading each others minds haha!
Hermana Lawrence and Hermana Jones

The food is really good! Its usually typical Dominian food. For breakfast they always have cereal (they don't refridgerate their milk...its weird) yogurt, bananas, and then a dish such as breakfast burittos, or eggs. One of my favorite breakfasts is when they have chocolate oatmeal. It tastes like they just put hot chocolate mix in the oatmeal. SO good. Lunch is always two different kinds of meat (we never know what kind of meat it is, its just good) two kinds of rice, and a bowl of beans to pour over the rice. My favorite part of the lunch is always the fresh fruit. They always have FRESH MANGO (i rave about the mango every time i eat it) fresh pineapple, fresh papaya, and sometimes cantaloupe. Dinner ranges from meat and yucca (like potatoes but better), to pizza. On Sundays we have homemade pizza and ICE CREAM!!!! 

Yesterday we went to the University to do service. We got on our yellow (!) vests and went around and picked up trash. The city is so dirty! I guess they don't have a good garbage system here, so everyone just throws their trash wherever. Hermana Jones and I were just going along, picking up trash, when a group of guys came up to us and tried talking to us. Of course we couldn't understand them, but then one of the native Elders came up to us and told us to just stay with their companionship because all the men would just try to flirt with us (ick). Everyone stared at us and yelled "hey gringas!" It was actually really hilarious!

Waking up is really easy because it is already light when we wake up at 6:30. The sun sets at like 6:30pm, though. 

The Carribean Area President came and spoke to us this week about how to be a good companion and other things. He taught us the the Book of Mormon is is a portal of revelation and we all need to figure out how it reveals thing to us specifically. Some days I think it is difficult ot remember the real reason that I'm here because they are pounding us with spanish 24/7, but during personal study, I make a special effort to focus on the scriptures. Sundays are the best, though. Church, devotionals, and we watched Meet the Mormons! 

My district is great! there are 3 companionships of Elders and 2 companionships of Hermanas. We spend almost every waking moment of the day together, so we are all already super close. Some people have even gotten in funny little arguments haha.

This morning we went to the temple! We got to do sealings and then an endowment session! I LOVED IT! We get to go every P-Day morning, so I look forward to that each week! A lot of the temple workers don't speak english, but we got along just fine!

Our teachers don't speak english to us, even they are able to! I think that helps though, because i am actually able to understand now if they speak slow enough for me to comprehend what they're saying. Hermana Jones and I have already taught an "investigator" two lessons and a "less active" a lesson! IN SPANISH! What?!
One scripture that has helped me this week is Alma 26:27. It is great. Go look it up. I don't have time to type it here haha. 

I LOVE YOU ALL!! I'm happy, I'm healthy, and I'm ready to take on another week in the Dominican Republic!

Love, Hermana Lawrence​

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pictures of arrival at the MTC

   Sister Romney, Hermana Lawrence, and President Romney (MTC mission President)
                                                       September 14, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I am in the Dominican Republic!

I have arrived! The planes landed safely and I am currently wearing a "Hermana Lawrence" name tag! The driving is crazy. CRAZY. Thought I was going to die on the way to the CCM. We were greeted by Hermana Corbitt with fresh Orange and Papaya juice and fresh bananas! Love you guys! My P Day will be every Thursday...but not tomorrow. Starting next Thursday I can tell you more and more about my crazy adventures! I am so happy right now. Santo Domingo is crazy!


Hermana Lawrence

McKinley is now Hermana Lawrence!


 At 5:45 this evening, we met at the stake center and McKinley was set apart as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  After a family dinner, we all took Hermana Lawrence to the airport.  About 10;00 pm, after a tearful, yet exciting good-bye, Hermana Lawrence waved and set out on her exciting adventure.  We love McKinley and will miss her, yet we are so excited to share in the experiences she will have as a missionary.
Hermana Lawrence was able to join up with other new missionaries to make the trek.  Their flight left Salt Lake at 11:50PM.  They flew to New York City, and from there to the Dominican Republic.  See you in 2018!
Sisters! McKinley, Maddie, Sierra, and Kelsie

Adios Hermana Lawrence!

Monday, September 5, 2016