Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Earthquakes (not), High Goals, Salchipapa and GENERAL CONFERENCE!!

Oh My Dear Dear Family,

How I love you!  I am so thankful to know we were watching the same conference at the same time, and it was an amazing one!  Hey Mom, it has been 18 months since the age change, so maybe there is hope this will go by decently fast?  Haha, I am going to go through the week in my usual, scattered inefficient way. :)

Monday! I am ever thankful for email time on Mondays.  I love you all so much and I love to know what is going on in your lives.  Also, I am getting very good at typing very fast. Hahaha.  After email last Monday, we went to lunch at the mall thing as a district and went shopping with the other hermanas in Tottus.  I love spending time with them, especially Hermana Dillon.  It takes some pressure off companionships and gives us all time to just chat.  We spent all of our PDay time (until 6) with them and then went to work:).  We weren't wildly successful, but we did find Dwight and Carlos and teach them. Dwight is less active and Carlos is his cousin. I love to teach them because I feel comfortable with them and we can talk Spanish.  We also had some ward missionaries with us who are all somewhere around our age and a lot of fun to go proselyting with.

Tuesday we had our District Meeting, and it turns our all of our district is struggling to have success recently (Elder De'Leon, Hermana Dillon and Hermana Rodriguez and us).  So we are all struggling and growing together.  I got a letter from Grandma.  Tell her thank you and that I love her :).  We went to eat lunch with the other hermanas after because we do not have a pencionista and we didn't want to leave them yet, so that was fun.  Then that night we heard about the Chile earthquake from our Mission Leader.  When we got to his house, they were moving all of their emergency stuff down.  I was really worried about Trevor and a lot of missionaries in our Zone are from Chile, but I felt strangely assured that we would be safe. And our Mission President didn't even tell us anything, so I am sure we were totally safe the whole time ;).  We didn't feel a thing.  Although I fell that day, so we are going to blame it on the earthquake.  It was all very embarrassing.  The sidewalks are worn and slippery, and fell flat on my butt.  Quite painful.  That night we ate salchipapa and it was amazing.  It is just french fries with hot dogs and a bunch of different sauces.  But it is heavenly, if not asking for a heart attack.  You must try it. :)

Wednesday.  I had a change of heart about study time today. :)  I still would rather be out, but I see the importance of study and planning to be able to be effective and have fun during the time we are out.  That being said, we struggled that day.  Literally all of our appointments fell through and I felt kind of like we were just working in circles around ourselves.  It was rough.  But those days come ;), more often than not I am sure.  Also, I sent letters this day. :)  Let me know if you get them!

Thursday.  We had Zone/Training for the first of the month and as always I love meetings.  I love learning and I love being with everyone.  It seems like someone always gets offended in them though, so maybe I should be less happy.  Or maybe I don't speak Spanish as well as I thought.  But really I kind of think it is because I grew up with all brothers and never was in to the dramatic girl thing as much as everyone else.  I know I am dramatic, the first phrase I learned in Spanish was "Vamos a morir", which means "we are all going to die".  :) It is just different drama.  We ate lunch with Hermana Dillon and Rodriguez again.  And then we still had a sort of rough night.  But we taught one of our investigators and his little brother who is sweeter and sweet (12 years old) and is going to be a new investigator.  He is really smart.  Their names are Luis and Fabrizio. :)

Friday.  We had to go to the nice part of the city for a doctor appointment for Hermana Saenz.  It was a nice change up.  The hospital was niceish, but it was still terrifying.  It made me firmly decide to never, ever get sick here.  Firmly decide.  Hahaha.  Well it looked really nice and the guy was intelligent, but it kind of reminded me of like an insane asylum.  I don't know.  REGARDLESS. Not going to get sick. :)  After we went to the nicest McDonalds I have ever seen, for real, then we went back to the slums.  Just kidding, ahahaha.  But it is remarkable how big of a difference is like 20 minutes away.  Then we had weekly planning and we made really high goals.  But why not? I truly believe that if we are exactly obedient and pray and work our hardest, we can do anything.  So we will :). I have faith.  That day I saw a lady walking with two big bags and asked if we could help her.  After that SHE asked US when we could visit!  There are miracles to be seen here in San Juan.  We also had a lesson with one of our investigators, Lenia, and I talked the most! :)  Yay progress!  Also, that afternoon, sweet Hermana Lourdes Tapia (Miguel's mom, mission leaders's wife) asked us to come make a cake.  But really she didn't know how and that is why we were invited and I made a cake from scratch.  You would be proud, it was delicious! :)

Saturday:  General Conference!  That morning we had breakfast with the Tapias and during the sessions, we watched in English with our Zone.  I was amazing.  I have 17 pages of notes in all. :)

Sunday:  I was blown away. Apparently everyone as a tradition comes to the morning session at the Stake Center, not just the leaders and random ones like yesterday. It was PACKED.  It was a beautiful thing actually. :)  It touched my heart.  My favorite parts of conference were sitting with the other missionaries and these quotes:

"We are made of the stuff of eternity"  Elder Uchtdorf
"I pray because I can't help myself"  C.S. Lewis
"The Gospel isn't weight, it is wings." Sister Stevens
"Standing on the shoulders of giants."  Elder Walker

I like that one because that is the reference to pioneers and I also feel to all of my family.  I am standing on your shoulders and you are giants to me. :)

My all time favorite part was Boyd K. Packer's testimony.  I bawled like a baby.  Through the T.V., through his feeble physical body, came a testimony of a man called of God has seen the living Christ and walked with Him.  I know that Christ lives and that he has appeared to man. I love the Gospel.  I love my Christ.  I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes as I write this. :)

I love you all!  I love hearing what you are all doing.  I hope all is going well.  You sound busy, but we always are!  It is the best way to live life.  :)  I also noticed everything said about families and am truly thankful for mine every second of every day.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I love you so!


Hermana Lauren Bailey

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