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

Friday, October 21, 2016

Last week in the training center!

Next time I email y'all I will be in the field. In real life. BEING A REAL MISSIONARY.

I'm getting a little of of "senior-itis" from being in the CCM for so long, but I am also super nervous to leave! The CCM is nice...air conditioning, clean water, prepared meals, showers, and washers and dryers are really nice. But as nice as those things are, I am ready to leave here!

On Friday we got to go on splits with missionaries from the West mission! I went with a Hermana from Panama, so she spoke only a little bit of english. We went contacting to start with and then we had an appointment with a 13 year old girl. We taught her the Plan of Salvation (at least I think that we taugh the Plan of Salvation..haha) I got to bear my testimony and pray! We then went out contacting again and at one point we had walked past this alley and she stopped and turned around and went in the alley. We walked up to a house and since they don't have doors, they just have gates, she yelled into the house for someone to come out. A man came out and we asked him if we could come back another day because we thought he was alone. He said his daughter and niece were home and we could teach them! We taught them and now they have another appointment! It is awesome how the spirit leads missionaries where they need to go!

We went to the store and CHRISTMAS is already up everywhere! They don't celebrate halloween or thanksgiving here, so it is already Christmas season! We sing Christmas hymns. So instead of the 25 days of christmas, we have the 55 days of christmas here! haha

As a district, we went out to the Temple grounds and read out of Helaman 10. In verse 4 Nephi is blessed because he declared the word of God with unwearingness. In the foot notes unwearingness is described as dedication, dependability, magnifying callings, and steadfastness. We all need to be unwearing! If we are, God promises in verse 5 that he will "bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works." I know I will need power while I teach and porclaim the gospel, so I will have unwearingness!
(I spilled the sprinkles all over my ice cream and the floor. I never though ice cream could taste gross, but i was basically chewing the ice sad)

Hermana Lawrence

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fantastic Week!

It's been another fantastic, humid week here in the Dominican Republic! I shouldn't be complaining about the humidity though, because we are only outside for MAYBE 3 hours a day. Sometimes only one for gym. I absolutely love it here, though!

On Friday we went out contacting at the University! They gave each of us a Book of Mormon that we wrote our testimonies in and each companionship got 15 Restoration pamphlets. Naturally, I was a little scared to go and talk to people in a language that I don't really know. It was amazing how everything worked out, though! Hermana Jones and I gave out all but 3 pamphlets and we were both able to give away our Book of Mormon! We were able to communicate pretty well and hopefully we got our point across and maybe something might come of us going out! At one point we were talking to/teaching 3 girls sitting on some stairs when all of a sudden this guy came up to us and said that he was a professor at the college and everything we were saying was not true. He said that there is no proof that Jesus Christ came to America (but...the proof is in my hand. It's called the Book of Mormon...) We couldn't understand everything he was saying and we don't know enough to try and correct him. One of the girls kept on doing the finger thing around your ear saying the guy was crazy, so we sat down by her and taught her the restoration. She loved what we were telling her and she was really excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon, so hopefully she is reading it! :)

Hermana Jones and I committed BOTH of our "investigators" to baptism this week! We teach one in the morning and one at night.

Each Tuesday for lunch we eat a soup-type thing called sancocho. It is chunks of random meat with bones and everything, corn on the cob, plantains, yucca, and a thick broth type thing. You pour it over rice and it is super good! You then cut up avocado and put it in. The avocado is delish! To make up for such a weird lunch, we have pandulce on Tuesdays too! You take two slices of bread, one side you put peanut butter and the other you put Nutella and then you put OREOS in the middle and then Panini press!  It is so sweet! haha

Hermanas with hair braids
Our night teacher's wife (she is also a teacher here) always comes and braids all of our hair (thus the picture).
I love you all and hope you're all doing well! :)

Hermana Lawrence

Thursday, October 6, 2016

We played volleyball in a hurricane!

Apparently there was a hurricane that passed over Haiti (I don't really know details) so we had a TON of rain and wind this week. We're mainly just inside the whole day, so it didn't affect us too much. The power has gone out a lot, but that isn't anything new because the power is always randomly going out. Monday was super rainy. When time came for gym (it is at 3:30) it wasn't raining too much so we all went out to play basketball and volleyball like we normally do. Within 10 minutes of us being out there it started POURING. There was not a dry spot on our body. We continued to play volleyball, and it was a BLAST!! Then we turned the parking lot into a slip-n-slide because the cement gets really slick when it's wet and it goes down a hill (and there was a massive amount of water). The president and other people came out and took pictures and videos of us because they thought we were crazy. When we had to go back inside there was puddles and puddles of water all the way up to the fourth floor (our rooms are on the fourth floor) and all the way down the halls into our rooms. The floor was slippery for a
good hour after that! haha So, I played volleyball in a hurricane :)

Conference was great! It was a very much needed break from spanish :) We started off eating homemade cinnamon rolls! President Madsen made them...they were almost as good as moms :) We watched conference live, so here it was 12:00 and then we watched until 6:00. After sitting in the same chair for that long your butt starts to loose sensation. I'd say it was worth it, though! We got to watch the Best Two Years on Saturday night! We used this Sunday as our fast Sunday too. It was not as bad as I expected. I felt like conference talked a lot about missionary work, but maybe that's just because I'm on my mission. I LOVED CONFERENCE!

President Romney called me into his office on Tuesday. On the walk down the hall I was racking my brain trying to think of anything I could have done wrong...I guess I didn't do anything because he asked me to be the Hermana Training Leader. That came as a really big shock to me. There are so many other Hermanas that are better than me, but I am excited to take on this calling! :)

Hermana Jones and Hermana Lawrence
Our District has made a goal to only speak spanish after dinner to 9:00pm. For every WORD you say in english you have to do 5 pushups. I'm going to die!! Last night I said 3 words in english...

We got all the new missionaries yesterday! It's crazy that I'm part of the old group now. My time in the CCM is halfway gone! There is a HUGE group of Haitians that came in. Most of them only speak French, so there is a language barrier there, but they're the coolest people! They're super nice and sing SUPER loud. It's amazing!

This morning in the Temple I got to meet the woman who was the first member of the church in the Dominican Republic. That was super cool!! :)

I am learning so many things and loving my time here! Love you all!

Love, Hermana Lawrence