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'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