Monday, March 27, 2017

Juagua




Another good week aquí en YAMASA. I can´t believe that I´m in the Dominican Republic. Every day I am here I still just can´t believe it. 

We had 6 investigators in church yesterday! SUCH A MIRACLE. Orquidia came for the very first time...she´s been investigating for a really long time and yesterday was her first time in church. SHE LOVED IT! Jairo was there too. And Alejandro and Justin and Fraili were there. In fact, Alejandro was there before we even got there helping set up chairs and pass out hymn books. It was amazing.

So Franchesca has been an investigator since January. She´s 17 years old, super cool, goes to church every week, attends seminary every day...but she´s still not baptized. Her dad hasn´t given her permisson all this time. But yesterday we went with the President of the Rama and went to go talk to him. We talked for a while and finally he told us that if her mom says yes, he´s okay with it! Her parents are separated and her mom lives far away, so we´re just waiting until Franchesca can call her mom and get permission from her mom. Then we were talking to them about how when we make the right decisions, Satan is going to try everything to make you change your mind and try to bring you down. And then walked in the Grandma. She´s really the reason why the dad wouldn´t give permisson. She´s super catholic. like, SUPER catholic. She then went on to say that Franchesca is already saved ¨gracias a Dios¨and that she´s already baptized. We explained more, talked more, and I think we´re still good, just waiting on the mom. TRUELY a miracle.

Today for Pday we went HIKING! to the Juagua. I didn´t know what the Juagua was, but we walked on this trail for 3 hours in the jungle and then finally arrived in a little town that´s called Juagua. Go figure. I can´t believe that people live there! There was a school that had just gotten out of session when we arrived and I don´t think any of those kids have ever seen a white person before haha. They were all yelling ¨YOU´RE WHITE¨and I was like haha I know! The hike was sooooooooooo pretty. The pictures don´t do it justice. I thought that the DR was all beaches and everything, but it is MUCH more. I think the jungle part is my favorite (still haven´t been to the beach, beach though...). 

Love you all. Heavenly Father loves you soooo much too!
Nos Vemos! 
Hermana Lawrence

Monday, March 20, 2017

Great week!


This week was great! Tuesday we had ELDER ANDERSEN come speaktous. I was literally in heaven! There were also a lot of other 70's and area authorities there that spoke to us as well. Spiritually amazing, and it's never bad when you have the opportunity to shake the hand of an apostle :) The meeting gave me a lot of animo to continue forth! Elder Andersen actually speaks really well in spanish. The parts where her really wanted to get his point aross, he spoke in english and had a translator, but when he was speaking in spanish, we all understood!


We went and taught Justin and Alejandro. It's really a miracle that their parents are so supportive. That's usually a difficulty here. They have baptismal dates for the 8th of April! Then, their friend Fraili came up to us and told us that he wanted to be baptized as well, so we went to go teach him and his grandma is SUPER supportive and super nice. It's literally a miracle. The three of them are going to get baptized together on the 8th :) They are golden investigators. They're literally always at the church playing basketball, helping out, hanging out.... Yesterday we took the three of them to the "Noche blanca" in the stake center so they could see the baptisms. On the drive back they were all yelling on the guagua "Soy Mormon!" Literally the best thing.

On saturday we went to Orquidia and Jairo. The hermanas have been teeaching them forever, but jairo never wanted to get married. Orquidia wanted to get baptized, but couldn't becasue they needed to get married. Finally on Saturday he told us he wanted to get married and they have a baptisml date for 15of April! We made sancocho with her (it's actually pretty easy to make) I've gotten pretty good at peeling plantains. She told us that when we come back with our families we're going to make a HUCH batch of sancocho and dance bachata to Frank Reyes. Whoo!

Well, pretty good week. We're seeing really good things happening in this area. I have really felt the Saviors love this week. I know that when we are going through trials, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are always there to support us and carry us. They are always mindful of what we are going through. I love being a missionary and there is nothing else I would rather be doing right now!

Love you all!
Hermana Lawrence





Monday, March 13, 2017

Miracles!



This week was pretty good. We saw some great miracles and I tried a lot of new things!

We had an activity Friday night in which we watched Meet the Mormons and had popcorn and treats. All the members were supposed to bring a non-member friend (in which we could then teach...) One of the converso recientes brought a lot of his friends! Two of them told us they wanted to get baptized....thats right. They ALREADY want to be baptized. They're both 13 years old, Alejandro and Justin. They both came to church yesterday and we have citas with them this week! They already have a lot of friends in the church, so this is going to be really good :) The activity was really good. It was supposed to start at 7, but with "dominican time" we started at 8. haha 

So you know how I said last week that we needed to have 70 people in church to stay a branch? Yeah....we HAD 77! WHOOO! Everyone could hardly fit in the room that we hold sacrament meeting! There were tons of menos activos and we had investigators too! Overall a pretty dang good sacrament meeting and church!

We had consejo de rama yesterday also, and these people are CRAZY! haha Already love all of them! They're all yelling and getting fiesty about chruch things. Its awesome! 

Everyday for breakfast this past week I've been making papaya and banana smoothies. SOOOO GOOOOD. Its papaya, banana, carnation (evaporated milk...dominicans use carnation for literally EVERYTHING), "normal" milk (no milk here is from a cow) honey, and ice. UGH. IN LOVE.

One day we brought home our "harvest" of what investigators gave us (See photo) Zapote, lechosa (papaya), and mamon. Ive never had zapote before this week and tampoco mamon. They're interesting, but really good! We were talking about all the fruit and vegetables that I haven't tried yet with one of our investigators....THERE IS A TON. wow

Hna Chamu told me that I was talking in my sleep the other night. That's nothing new because my other companions told me i talk in my sleep, but what is different is this time I was TALKING IN SPANISH. Whaaaaaa haaha

I ate the BEST sancocho yesterday made my a member. We helped her make it, but I don't think i could ever make it as good as her. ugh. love sancocho.

The pictures are us in our area! Dirt roads, JUNGLE, TONS of mosquitos...love it.

We ran into a guy that was wearing a Weber state t-shirt. I asked him if he knew where it was, he said no..haha oh well.

LOVE YOU ALL!
Hermana Lawrence




video
This video is right outside our house.  There are ALWAYS chickens clucking.  Its great background noise...haha!  It's kind of annoying.  I also fall asleep to the sound of chirping crickets every night.  It's awesome!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Transfered! I'm in the mountains!


So Yamasa is in the MOUNTAINS. I´m SO in love. It is absolutely gorgeous! The only down side of living in the mountains...is there are a TON of hills. I´m getting a pretty good workout just walking to all of our appointments. And the houses are more spread apart, so one day we walked 45 minutes just to get to someones house! But it is absolutely beautiful here! Can´t even believe that I´m living here! 

So monday night I said goodbye to everyone. (tear) But I learned how to make arroz con leche with Maria and Mariella, and then somene else gave us pizza and brownies and then we ate dumplings (SO GOOD) and flancocho (cake and flan...yeah thats right. its to die for) But, unfortunately, when I got back to the apartment for the night, I was about to die from eating too much. 

Tuesday we went to the office and I met my new companion, Hermana Chamu. She´s from Mexico. We then took our 2 hour drive to our area, but I couldn´t stop telling her how much I loved the mountains (because our drive was through the mountains!!!!) We´re so secluded from everything. I LOVE IT. So the church here is a Branch. Yesterday at church there were like 30 people in total. TINY. But they´re all so great. I love everyone already. But, yesterday we had consejo de rama (branch council...?) and the Branch President was telling us that this next week is branch conference and if 70 people aren´t in church, they micht take away the branch!!??? NAAHHH. So this week we have a list of like 45 less active members that we need to work with.... The leadership in this branch is really young. The president is like 27 and his councilors are like 24 and 22. And none of them are married. I guess this is just way so weird for me. But There´s a lot of work to do here, so I´m excited to get started! 

We have to travel an hour and 15 minutes to get to our District meeting in a Guagua...Hot and squishy. haha. 

FRIDAY we got to go to the TEMPLE!! It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo perfect. I learned so much and felt the spirit soo strong. But, I have to admit, we broke a white handbook rule to get there....So we took the Metro to get there. My very first time. We were running with the other hnas in our zone to catch the metro and the three of them got on, and then all of a sudden the DOORS SLAMMED SHUT and I WAS NOT ON THE TRAIN. They couldn´t open the doors back up and off when the train with my companion and the other two hermanas. I didn´t have the cell phone and I didn´t know which station we were even supposed to get off at. So I got on the next one and luckily we found each other. But yeah. That was crazy.

Yesterday Niselly got baptized! She´s the cutest little girl! She had been going to church forever but never was baptized because her parents are not members...She had her cute white dress and white shoes for her baptism day and it was adorable! Love her!

I tried habichuelas con dulce for the first time this week! It´s a dessert that is like beans with coconut. It´s pretty good.



And I also tried tamarindo (the actual fruit) for the first time. They make juice out of it. It´s really good!

Well, love you all! Heavenly Father loves you TOO!

Hermana Lawrence 

I love these people!


It's crazy how I got to this area and I couldn't even comunicate with people...and now they're some of my best friends. My cuerpo is leaving this area, but I think my corazón is staying here. We got the news Saturday night that I'm being transfered....to Yamasa in Villa Mella. It's "campo"which from what I have heard so far, it's like camping...haha We'll see how this goes! Church yesterday was hard for me. It was ward conference and all the talks were about how great this ward is and how great the people are (and they really are) so I was basically just crying all through sacrament meeting. Sin embargo, I'm excited to go work in a new area y traer mas almas a Cristo! I went and said all my goodbyes yesterday (I'll finish them up today) and I made a couple of people cry...Paulino cried.(the picture is him in the black) It was the saddest thing ever. He didn't end up getting baptized this week because he still has a couple of things he needs to work out, but I know that he is going to get baptized. I'm just sad I won't be there to see it. Richard (the guy who Hna Castillo and I found and got baptized like 2 weeks later) was talking to us after church yesterday because I told him I was leaving. He started crying. So I started crying. Again. haha I don't know how to begin to describe the JOY I have from being a missonary. It's not all sunshine and flowers, but when I see the change in people and when I know that I even helped one person have the happiness of this Gospel...I don't even know. Literally the best thing ever. But enough with the crying. 

Last night we were walking in the street and a Taxi driver called us over. The day before he had driven some of the Hnas from the other area and as they were leaving the taxi they just handed him a pass-along card and yeah. So he saw us walking in the street and wanted to know. We talked to him for AN HOUR AND A HALF about the Book of Mormon (we gave him a copy, don't worry), The restoration, baptism, what happens after death, baptisms for the dead, EVERYTHING. And he was like "wow. this is true"  YES IT IS! So he's going to go to church on Sunday and from everything he said, he's basically already a member. 

Today is Independencia Nacional, so the bandera is everywhere and everyone is so festive. It is awesome! I LOVE REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA. 

Well, I love you all. I hope you all have the best week ever!

Hermana Lawrence