Monday, January 30, 2017

Answers to Prayers :)

So many awesome, weird, sad and AMAZING things this week! I can't put words to all of it!

So we had one investigator, Denny, who was 19 years old and really wanted to change! He had a baptism date for the begining of this month, but he got sick and so we couldn't go see him very often, so his fecha fell. We went to go see how he was doing at the begining of this week (very first thing we did of the day) and we walked up to his house and I saw candles with his picture next to them and flowers. I immediatly thought "uh oh" his mom was sitting there and so I went up and asked her how he was doing. She only replied two words: "Denny murió." He died two days previous. We could not even believe it! He was only 19 years old! So sad. We don't really know what exactly happened because it was really fresh for us to ask. But yeah. Later in the day while we were contacting a lady invited us into her house and gave us Sancocho and Avocado, so that made the hurt a little better :) It's interesting though, because the mom, Heidi, never was really interested. We only ever taught her one lesson...and that lesson was Plan of Salvation. 

On Thursday something strange happened. Every single cita we had planned was FIJA! Like they were all there when we had them planned. That's a miracle in and of itself!

Friday we had an AMAZING lesson with Rosa and Lucy, two investigators. I can't even begin to describe how happy this lesson made me. So the lesson previous they both accepted the fecha for the 4th of February. We had taught them Plan of Salvation and gave them folletos. In the back of folletos there are questions with scripture references from the book of Mormon and the Bible. Lucy had all the questions answered and things highlighted in the folleto and questions to ask us and her Libro de Mormón highlighted and everything! I have never seen anyone do this before! She was telling us that she was working on this at work and her co-worker told her she couldn't believe she was investigating the "mormon church." Lucy told her that she didn't care what she thought. WHAT? Aye mi madre! Rosa didn't do all that, but in the lesson Friday when she saw that Lucy was doing all that work, she was all like "i want to be better than Lucy" and started on her homework haha  They were waiting all week for us to return too! They had coke and cake for us! People always give us coke to drink! That is one thing I have had to learn to really like! haha

So Samarya told us on Friday that she needed more time to make the decision to get baptized. We told our District leader that in the phone call that night. The next day he called us at 3:00 and said that he and one of our zone leaders was coming to give her a baptism interview RIGHT NOW. We had no knowledge in advance. We were kind of nervous about that, becuase just the day before she had told us she needed more time. Luckily it all went well. The interview lasted TWO HOURS. I'm curious what they talked about, but now she has a fecha for next week. I have faith that it can happen. We were talking to Isagnie in those two hours and she KNOWS the book of mormon. Like she has read a ton of it and knows a lot. She was asking us how Joseph Smith died. We told her and she was like "WHAT? they did that to a prophet of God?" Too bad she is Catholic and crazy and doesn't want to be baptized... Since we already had the elders in our area, we took them to another one of our investigators, Paulino. He was drunk. It was terrible. haha

Anyway, Good week. I read something I really liked this week:

"Why does the Lord allow the evil speaking to chase after the good? One reason is that opposition against the things of God sends seekers of truth to their knees for answers...Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God." -Neal L. Anderson

Don't be afraid to get on your knees and talk with Heavenly Father! He loves you! So do I! :)

Hermana Lawrence

P.S. I tried sugar cane for the first time this week! (see photo) It is good! And the other photos are Ambar and Esmerlyn and the fruit carts that are always around. Dang. I love those fruit carts.

Felize Dia de Duarte!

Okay, so Día de Duarte was on Thursday, but they always celebrate holidays on Mondays, So happy day today! 

But, really. This was one of the most stressful, exhausting, craziest, testimony-building, and rewarding weeks in my mission. I can't even begin to describe everything. Y'ALL DON'T EVEN KNOW! So first things first. Traslados: I am staying in my area and getting a new companion (another that doesn't speak english) Hna Stewart is also staying, but getting a new companion as well. I'm excited for another transfer! Yay! I'm really gonna miss the other two hnas, though. I truely love them!

So Wednesday we had a mission conference and we are having changes in all missions in schedules and Key indicators. I think the thing missionaries are most excited about is an extra two hours for P-day...haha. Wednesday I was thinking we weren't going to have any baptisms for this month. But in the night wed. we went to Smerlyn and I asked her what she was doing on Sunday. She said nothing. I asked her if she wanted to be baptized on sunday. and guess what? SHE SAID YES. If you remember, the begining of my mission she wanted to get baptized and her mom wouldn't give her permission. After that she kind of lost a desire
and started going to a different church. So it is a miracle that she had that desire otra vez. But permission from her mom was still a desafió. Her mom is always working and never home, so we showed up late on Friday night to her house and her mom was there! The elders convinced the mom to let them do a baptismal interview. She passed (of course) and the mom FINALLY gave permission! AHHHHHH It might have taken a little (lot) of persuasion, and we might have bought pica pollo for the mom, but It was all for a good cause. 

Edimar ad her brother, Ediel were our
investigators and we were about to drop them because they were never there for us to teach them, but they loved everything. They loved the church. But we went to them on Friday and they were like "we want to get baptized" so they had their interviews the same day and their mom, Mayri signed the papers! AND THEY got baptized too! SOOOO much went into these 3 baptisms and I am leaving so much out and I can't even tell you all my feelings and everything. AHHHHHHH And Mayri came to church on Sunday and she loved it and now she's going to be our next convert...even though she doesn't know it yet...haha

The other two baptisms that the other Hermanas had were people that Hna Castillo and I found and gave the refrences to them. Maryanyeli is a friend to one of our investigators, Ariagna. We asked her if she wanted missionaries and she said yes, and now she is baptized too! She's the cutest little 11 year old ever!

AND RICHARD. I have always heard stories like this, but I never thought something like this could happen to me! So we got a reference from other missionaries that said: "Richard: Caille Puerto Rico con Caille Costa Rica en frente de un cosa de muebles." and thats it. no phone number. no last name. no exact address. So one day we were trying to find this Richard. It was extremely difficult. We were trying for like an hour asking everyone in the streets, in colmados, EVERYONE. And no one knew anything. Really frustrating. So we decided to ask one more person. He told us to ask this guy that washes cars in our area because he knows everyone. So we went and he was washing this car. We asked him and he didn't know anyone. Ugh. BUT then the guy that was having his car washed was like, "Who are you looking for?" and we told him. and his name was RICHARD. But not the richard on our reference because this Richard lives in a different place. We gave him a pass-along card and invited him to church. Didn't think much of it past that, only that we thought it was funny. (the location of the car wash is in front of a couch (mueble) place....) He came to church that Sunday! The Hnas started to teach him and he was SO good So interested. 9 days after the Hnas started teaching him, He was BAPTIZED (sunday) He was telling us that the day before we talked to him he was feeling that he needed more in his life. And then we talked to him, and now he is a member! To this day, we still have not found the Richard from our reference, but I am convinced that he doesn't exist. This is a referal from God.

WOW. Okay. I feel like those explanations are not sufficient, but we saw SOOOOOOOOOOOOO
many miracles and I can't even describe everthing. But definitly one of the most stressful weeks. A few tears might have been shed(from happiness and stress)....haha!

Today for P-Day we went to Los Tres Ojos. Its a really beautiful cave water thingy. They filmed part of Jurassic Park there too! SUPER pretty (and I got to wear my chacos...always a good day when that happens.)


Love, Hermana Lawrence

Friday, January 13, 2017

I love being a missionary!

I finally played baseball in República Dominicana! We were walking in the street and 3 boys, Michael, Jaime and Alexnis were playing with make-shift baseballs and a broom handle. We went up to them and said "we want to play!"so they let us try and of course I hit it out of the park ;) haha they were impressed and we talked to them for a while about the church and everything and they have SO much potential. It's definitly the most fun way I've contacted yet! We have a cita with them tomorrow!

Last monday when we were out we were heading back to the house in a hurry and then a guy from his car yelled (in english) "hey! Where are you going?" We kept walking because we thought he was just another freco, but he was pretty persistent and in my mind I thought "hablar con todas"so we went over to him and started talking to him. He would only talk in broken english and I would respond in spanish because I wanted Hna Castillo to understand. He seemed pretty freco, so we just gave him a pass-along card with our names and the direction to the church and invited him to church. Didn't think much of it. Fast forward to Sunday. We were sitting in sacrament meeting and a guy walks in that isn't a member and none of us recognize him. He sits in the very front row and then starts looking around. He turned around and started waving at me. I had no clue who he was! So time went on and sunday was fast and testimony meeting. HE GOT UP TO THE PULPIT. He got up there and said "This is my first week here. I was invited by (and he holds up the card) Hermana Lawrence and Hermana Castillo. Thank you" and then he sat down. Hna castillo and I looked at each other in terror because we could not for the life of us remember who he was. After the meeting we were talking to him and asked him where we talked to him and he said he was the taxista! Ah. So embarassing. But so wierd. Anyway, milagro.We also had many more milagro investigators in the church on Sunday! I am so happy about all of them!

This morning we went and visited a contact and we sat down and started como comenzar ensenar (prepare to start teaching) and everything. I had the prompting to share el plan de salvación. She had no clue that we even existed before this life! I love being a missionary and teaching these amazing gospel principles to people! I love seeing their faces light up! And then when we got to after we die, she started crying. We were talking to her and she shared with us her story. About 3 months ago her husband went missing and then a while later they found him dead. She (obviously) is still really heartbroken. We shared our testimonies (with tears) that she will be able to see her husband again! It was actually difficult to talk through my tears haha The spirit was so strong! I love the message of hope this gospel brings! ❤   

I read a quote this week that I really liked: "That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to DO is increased" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope everyone has the best week ever! I love you all! 

Hermana Lawrence

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

I hope all of you had the happiest of New Years! Mine was incredible. On New years eve (saturday) we had a last minute meeting with President Corbitt and it was AMAZING. I learned so much and it was a great pump-up for us all. We have the promise that our mission will baptize 300 almas in the month of January, which is crazy, but it will happen with our fe excepcional! President Corbitt is really the best. Then in the night we went to a members house for dinner (weirdly enough, we had more invitations for new years eve dinner than we did christmas..) and we got to eat SANCOCHO!!!! AH! I have missed eating this wonderful soup! Then in the night, the other hnas came into our room at midnight and yelled FELIZ ANO NUEVO! and then they watched the crazy fireworks....I didn't hear any of I didn't wake up. So my new years eve was spent sleeping..haha I guess I was tired.

One morning when Hna Castillo and I went out, we saw 7 (Thats right, SEVEN) Jehova's Witnesses within like 5 minutes. They are everywhere! Luckly we have a message that is true so we need not fear!

One thing that we are supposed to do is hablar con todas (talk to everyone). Saturday morning we were walking in the street and decided to talk to this guy because we're supposed to talk to everyone, right. Usually we wouldn't have talked to him because he looked pretty sketchy, but hablar con todas! We invited him to church on sunday. HE CAME! Aye mi madre. Seriously a miracle! He even walked with some members he found on the way! Us 4 hnas gave talks in sacrament meeting about the plan of salvación and after the meeting we talked to him and he said he wanted to learn more! He had never heard of this before and he loved it! MILAGROS!
Sunday Dinner! :-(

Well, LOVE YOU ALL! The picture with popcorn is really funny because we got to the night on
sunday and realized we didn't have any food but popcorn (and a couple of almonds) haha. Luckily we found more food in our cupboards and made a fancy dinner of rice, tuna and hard boiled eggs. Oh, the life of a missonary. It's grand! (But really, i love it) Don't worry though. We went grocery shopping today! :)

Hermana Lawrence