Monday, June 30, 2014

Proud to Be an American!

Hello my beloved gringo family!

I truly am very proud and feel very blessed to be an American. We live in the promised land, and we are very blessed to have the freedoms that we do. Have a fun 4th of July, I bet it will be awesome! and warm! It is a little chilly here so I am pretty jealous of that fact. Hahaha send my love to all of the family, I seriously love each and every one of them.

Anyway. on to other things...

Random Info:
There is an elder Lleishman in my zone! he is from Colorado and we think his grandpa is the brother of President Leishman. I know he is family because he looks exactly the same as the rest hahaha. It kind of freaked me out when I first met him. I will try to take a picture today for next week! He is a really good elder. Brand new and speaks Spanish better than I do. Turd head.

Weird foods of Peru...
Choclo! chocklo? I don't know how to spell it but it is really just like a big type of corn. It is really good and they serve it a lot with Peruvian cheese which I actually think is goat or llama cheese or something but I just choose not to question it because I like it to an extent. They also like cook the choclo sometimes and it is like a different type of popcorn.

Peru....
This week the rain is driving me nuts so far. Literally. Nuts. I have the hair of a wild banshee. every single day after about 2 seconds outside. But hey that is life, what can ya do? Hahaha

So.... sad news of this week is that Hermana Dillon went home. She has been really sick for like almost 3 months, and losing weight really fast. we knew she was probably headed for an early termination of her mission. but it was still really surprising and very fast. One day she was here, and we had our last Pday. and then that night they told her she would be going home the next day. It has been a little rough emotionally and just a weird feeling, that all of a sudden she is gone, home in her house. Also, I am now the only American girl in my zone and therefore have not spoken English in a very long time. Well only a week, but it is freakin me out.

Also this week, we had a multi-zone with President. He talked a lot about sacrifice and its relation to a testimony, for ourselves as well as for our investigators. It was amazing. He talked a lot about tithing and it was very powerful. I love to listen to President. It always leaves me inspired and ready to go convert everyone. Ahahaha, also I got to see Hermana Santiago and Hermana Wilkins, and it was nice to vent and commiserate about Hermana Dillon going home in English.

We also had interviews on Friday! They are every three months... and wow that three months flew by really fast! The interviews are only 8 minutes, but it is an amazing 8 minutes. He told me I am most likely having a change in two weeks, so I am preparing myself for that. I will really miss this area, and I am also a little apprehensive of what might be coming my way. Hahaha, but excited at the same time! Changes are good. I never ever thought I would say that ahahahaha.

On a serious note, we had some powerful, sacred experiences this week that impacted me very much. I know without a doubt that the scripture in D&C 84:88 is a promise that is fulfilled. I know that we are protected. I know that the battle between good and evil is very real, both in the world that we can see and in the world around us that we can't see. I know that the bad is fighting hard, but I know that we are on the winning team and can never fall. I know without a doubt that we live in two worlds, one of which we cannot see. I know the gospel is true. I know that we are in the right. I know that we are blessed and protected and that we are winning this battle. We are christian soldiers, marching in this war. 

I love you so much family! I miss you, and you better send me pictures of the 4th! I love you so so so much :) God be with you until we write again in one week! I love you:)
The real Hermana Bailey.....Banshee

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Faith and Her Strand of Plastic Pearls


Lauren and Nicole

My family Whom I Loveth,

First of all, the title of this email is reference to a song that they played for us at the sisters conference. I don't remember it exactly, but I think you could find it on google with this. After the song, they gave us a strand of plastic pearls. It was a really tender song.

Anyway. I am going to write this one by topics to make it a little easier :) and hopefully more comprehensive. My mind is all over the place, but that is nothing new :) I think I have ADD. 

Awkward Moments:
Well, the only one  I can really think of is that we were walking and some men called out to me and called me  ¨bonita gordita gringa¨ which is actually a little creepy and happens a lot but for some reason.  It killed me and I just burst out laughing and I think it simultaneously hurt their feelings and shocked them that I understood them.  They walked away really fast after that. Oh, also I touched the ugly dog that lives on the street! And we are friends now and he is actually really cute.  I think he is cold, which makes me sad. Hahaha because he has no hair. Like almost none at all. And also, there is a rumor or a myth or what not that these types of dogs can heal people like with asthma and stuff. But I think that is a lie because I have had a wicked cold and I am not healed and have been touching him like every day! Hahaha

Weird foods:
I really like papaya, but I simultaneously hate it because it smells and kind of tastes like vomit sometimes. It is a love hate relationship. Yesterday, we had lunch with a member and it was sooo good because it was lasagna and this brothy soup and garlic bread and just generally not rice and peruvian food ahahaha. Also this family is less active, but the husband works for Marriot and speaks english, as well as the wife. There is a marriott here in Lima and it sounds really nice :)

Peru....
We were running really late to one of the baptisms we had saturday and it was far away, so we caught the first moto that came by. It was me, Hermana Trejo, and nicole who was going to be baptized and it was the most questionable, sketchy moto ever, on busy roads for like 20 minutes. I almost died, and I have a really high danger tolerance now. Hahahaha I only briefly panicked. I dont know how to spell panicked. The other totally typical peru thing that has been happening to us is on and off  is not having electricity in the morning, which means no hot water. This morning, the shower was so cold I was labor breathing.  It was awesome, but hey,  on the bright side I am really awake now. Hahaha

Tender Mercies:
The sisters conference was definitely a huge tender mercy. The instant I saw Hermana Bott, we just hugged each other.  I seriously love her, she is by far one of my best friends, which is weird. But a huge tender mercy :) She is doing great. I also saw Hermana Bond and Hermana Rush. I love them all so dang much. Laughing with Hermana Rush was just as great and stress relieving as it was in the CCM, and I loved just seeing that they are all still alive. It was great, and the conference was really beautiful and uplifting. It's true, women need each other.
The other tender mercy is the DVDs we have of the District. My companion was on bedrest for 3 more days this week, and it is sad how much entertainment I got out of the district. I almost peed my pants laughing. 


The lesson highlights of this week were definitely the two baptisms. Nicole just cried and told me that when I bore testimony to her about repentance and the Atonement, it all clicked and she felt of the love of Christ. She gave me her ring and bore a killer testimony in the baptismal service. Then, in Paula´s baptism, we had a ton of support from the ward.  Her mom, who is inactive and living with a man right now, came and felt the spirit really strong and is working on reactivation now. Paula is only 16, but she has a testimony that is stronger than mine. She wants to serve a mission and will be so amazing. It was a beautiful day. I love to see the gospel change people and bring the happiness and hope into their lives :)

Administrative boring things....
First off thank you so much for the purity and the oil for my hair. I think it is serioulsy saving my hair. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Also, no rush, but in the next package you send I would love some Opcon A and a package thingy like the yellow padded envelopes, an empty one so I can try to send you stuff someday :)

Well, that is a pretty comprehensive email I think. I love you all so dang much and miss you with all of my heart. I love this gospel, and I love that it is a message of hope and joy and repentance and love. The gospel is light and it is a beautiful burden. I am so proud of my beautiful family. Of my Mom who was the best example I could have. For my dad who is worthy and amazing and a wonderful Stake President. For my sweet, kind, handsome brothers. For extended family that supports me. For grandparents :) For Grandma Judy! Oh how I love you all so much. Never forget :) I love love love you! Have a great week :)

xxooxxoo Lauren

Monday, June 16, 2014

Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars

My Dearly Beloved Family,

I feel so overwhelmed with joy and happiness and gratitude right now! I have felt little promptings ever since I found out that they were replacing the Stake Presidency, including a dream where Dad was the one giving me my final interview when I got home from my mission. I feel so proud of him.  I always have known that he is a man that is better than most men, and yesterday while I was thinking of him during Father's Day and all, a song that is about our Heavenly Father kept running through my head as a realized how amazing my own father is, especially the lines "He loves me the way I am, He is my strength when I stand, He is my kind and my father, I am His daughter¨ I am so thankful to be a daughter of my Heavenly Father, and a daughter of President Jeffrey S. Bailey. I love you all so much.  I feel the many blessings of our family's consecration at this time in our lives every single day.  It is surreal.

Well, in all honesty, your week was more eventful than mine :) My companion has been sick and we had a down week.  I had a lot of time to study and also to learn more about the doctrine of Christ. This week we will have 2 baptisms, one 15 year old girl named Paola and one 18 year old girl named Nicole. They will be baptized on Saturday (for mom's birthday). Also this week on Wednesday we have the Hermanas Conference and I am beyond excited to see Hermana Bott, Bond, and Rush. It is a little ridiculous :) In food news, you should google choko sodas which in reality are just saltines with chocolate but are delicious. They are super popular, but I somehow haven't tried them yet. They are freaking delicious. I highly encourage searching them on amazon, along with Inca cola and Aji.

Haahaha I love you all so much :) I don't really know what else to say.  I feel so overwhelmed by all the news of our family in the last couple months! I am so happy to be a part of such a beautiful family with such great opportunities to become true disciples of Christ. I love each and every one of you with all of my entire heart. Have an amazing week :) Be happy and be healthy. Have fun :) I love you all so much.

Te amo!

Lauren

My training paper, we had to send it in to be filed but it is proof that I supposedly am a real missionary now!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Just Love You :)

I am trying to think of what happened this week.... We actually had to stay in for Thursday until Sunday, with the exception of our Baptism on Saturday because Hermana Trejo was really sick. But I did Inter Changes with the Hermanas from the other ward so it was ok :) We also had the opportunity to go into the office for a training with President, just our companionship and him. It was amazing :) He showed us a different way to plan for weekly planning and it changed my whole mission. It was amazing :) He is an amazing man, I love to learn from him and feel of his spirit.

 Holy cow I loved your email and the pictures! I love you all so much. It is a little ridiculous. Sorry about Dad's knee.... but I also find it a little funny. Haahaha ;)

The baptism of Lucero was the best. She was so ready and excited to start this new pathway in her life. Also very cool was that Miguel baptized, a continuation on his path of conversion. It is amazing to see the gospel work in peoples lives. it changes a person completely.  Even when things are incredibly difficult, we have the peace and assurance that comes from the testimonies we have of the gospel.  It is truly a beautiful thing.

We had a big family home evening with a bunch of ward members last night to welcome lucero into the ward.  It was beautiful.  Hermano Manuel and his wife were there too.  Manuel is so amazing.  He is so prepared and so committed to this gospel. Please continue to pray for him and Lucero. We also have a baptism in the other ward this weekend of Nicole, who we taught for the elders because she had some things she felt uncomfortable talking about to the elders.  Please pray for her and also Paula, a little 16 year old who i think will be baptized the 21st.  I feel so very blessed with the success we have been having lately.  We are seeing the fruits of the work we did the last change. Also, yesterday we were able to set a goal for baptism and marriage for a couple where the husband is less active and the wife is investigating the church, along with one of their daughters who is 8 years old. Their names are Luis, Clara, Alondra, and Salina. I know lots of people to pray for! I  just have so much faith in the power of your prayers and faith that  I know it helps, maybe more than mine do :)

It is interesting, one of the big problems for baptisms here is that a lot of people are living together, not married. Ahahaha. Oh peru, where nothing ever really gets done, including marriage ;) One of the pictures is us in the taxi on the way back from the office with the Hermanas of Institute. I haven't really changed much at all... aahahaha :) The next one is us with Lucero and her Grandma at the baptism ;)

I have been thinking a lot in the sacrament and its doctrine and meaning for us this week. There is a really really really good article in this months Ensign about the sacrament in the beginning. I loved it ;) I love you! I cannot tell you how much you all mean to me. And how much I love our family relationship and shenanigans :) Thank you for your examples and faith. I love you all so much :) until next week! I loveth you :) be safe! Be happy! Be healthy! (dad, go to the doctor.) Be happy :) laugh, live, love. 2 TImothy 1:7

Te amo! Lauren


It Is Well With My Soul :)

Hello My Crazy Beloved Family!

 You have had the craziest week ever! Like insane! But it is in the happiest way ever :) new life is amazing! I am so happy for you all! I cant even express how happy the emails made me. It is amazing to see the blessings and hand of God in our lives. AHHH I am so grateful.

Well, my week was relatively eventful as well. First of all, I will be staying in San Juan for another 6 weeks with my companion Hermana Trejo :) At first, on Saturday waiting for the transfer calls, I was really kind of hoping for a change. But then. after that night (which was truly amazing) I was literally praying to stay in San Juan for one more transfer. And here I am :)

 So to start, on Wednesday was the interview for Manuel's baptism with our district leader Elder Rudas. In the middle, about 40 minutes in, he came out and asked to see us in a seperate room. He told us that Manuel was still wobbly on President Monson and that he wasn't sure if he could be baptized Saturday or not. We decided to kneel in prayer, me and Hermana Trejo and Elder Rudas and Elder Deleon. After that, Elder Rudas just said he knew what to do and went in. When he came out, they were all smiles and we were set to go on Saturday. He was committed to pray to know if he was a prophet. The very next day we went over and watched the life of president Monson with him and he loved it. It was a beautiful experience, and he was ready to get baptized on Saturday :)

Now skip to Saturday. We spent literally the entire day looking for clothes to fit him. Literally. they like don't have clothes for men of his size here. We ended up using the pants of an elder who has gone from size 44 pants to size 34, and Manuel bought a shirt to fit him. It was insanity. but the service was beautiful. Honestly the most amazing experience so far on my mission. I feel like I actually had something to do with his conversion story, and i feel so grateful to know him. After 24 years of investigating the church, he was finally baptized. His return missionary wife has been reactivated in the church and is so happy to have her husband a member as well. They are preparing to be sealed in one year and I think I will be able to attend that as well :) The actual service was amazing. We sang "I Like to Look for Rainbows" in Spanish with some members and Hermana Dillon and her companion, and then a man from the ward sang a song called "Moroni's Promise"(in Spanish). It was beautiful. Then, Hermana Janeth (the wife) and then Manuel bore their testimonies and it made me cry. It was beautiful. At the end, Manuel wanted to hug us but knows he can't, so he just squished both of my hands in his and cried. It was the most tender moment. I am so grateful to be able to see the miracles of this gospel and the atonement work in peoples lives. This gospel is happiness. It is true :) It is amazing. It is the only way we can have eternal families and live with our Heavenly Father again. I feel so blessed.

I also want you to remember in your prayers a girl named Lucero (loo sair o), who is set to be baptized this week or next, and also an Hermana Nicole who has a very sad past and is preparing to be baptized the next week.

 On Sunday., the day after the baptism, we had a huge family home evening at Manuel's house because we weren't able to have like refreshments after the baptism for Fast Sunday and it was amazing. There were like 20 members there to support him. We watched the John Tanner story and then played a game that I dont completely understand, but it was hilarious. Mostly, it was just a huge blessing to see the support of the members for this man.

I am so happy. I am so happy for the blessings I have had this week and for the blessings my family has had! I am thankful for the puppies and baby cows and for all that we have. I am excited to be able to go to Disneyland and the beach with you next year! Find those pretzels with cream cheese inside and eat one for me :) Remember I love you with all of my entire heart. I cant even handle it. I love you so :) never forget :)
I love you. xxooxxoo Lauren

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Don't Think I Like Rice and Potatoes Anymore!

My Dearly Beloved Family of Mine!

Well. I am going to categorize this letter again. Here goes. I dont think my brain works like other people's brains. Hahaha

Awkward Moments!
Well really only the thought that every day of my life is pretty awkward because it involves contacting. And that is difficult in a city of people who are not interested in listening. It was a challenge slash commandment from president to try and talk to every family and couple. So big ol gringa Hermana Bailey has been chasing down families and couples as they ignore me. Hahaha but! There are also the special few that listen to me and that I get to testify of the importance of the restored gospel and the message that families can be eternal. I got frustrated once because this lady and her husband and their child were running for me so I just yelled ├»n spanish ¨Your family can be eternal and  I am spending 18 months here away from mine to tell you! And they stopped. And they listened to me and we took down their info and sent it to the other missionaries in their area. So that made me feel good. Hahaha welcome to my awkward world ;)

Weird foods!
There is this stuff called masamora that is like the consistency of homemade bluberry syrup. The morado kind is the best and last night a member made us some and served it warm with peaches in it and it was the most delicious thing ever. Seriously. I will make it for you all someday, some way, some how. Also, two commom foods for you to google. Ahi de gallina and papa huancaina. Both are good! not my favorite... I don't know what is my favorite....Alfajores :)

Peru....
There is this weird song thing that all the cars, especially like vans or buses play when they back up and it is the most annoying thing ever. And it sounds like dramatic or something... like it is predicting your death. Also. lately, it rains. Because it is winter. but it isnt real rain.... its like a little more than a mist. Just enough to make me have an afro. Every day. Ahahahaha

Tender Mercies  :)
I got a dear elder from Maisie Hobbs that made my entire week. Made me think :) Made me thankful. Can you tell her that I love her with all my heart and will try to write her in some point in my life? 

We had intercambios on thursday and I was with Hermana Jameson (the girl who was there during the call and that is one of the Hermanas of Institute and one of the sister leaders of the Lima zone.) and it was amazing. She is amazing. I want to be a missionary like her. A person like her :) We were tracting for one afternoon and she literally contacted like everyone. And it was amazing. We taught a lesson and it was amazing. We had Miguel and Rocio (his sister in law) Tapia with us and they were blown away just like I was. She is remarkable. the next morning She just talked to me and the love she has for everyone. And that I knew at that moment what she felt for me was pure and christ like. She is amazing. The things she taught me, told me, and showed me in that short time changed my mission. Her name is Samantha Jameson. She lives in Orem or Salt Lake and she went to Skyline High School and BYU.

What I learned...
Yesterday in sacrament meeting I was just thinking and it hit me how much the Young Womens Values mean to me. They apply to what things we need to develop in all facets and times in life. Like to me right now in the mission.

Faith: I am really learning to be humble and walk and live by faith. I am seeing the power of faith work in the lives of investigators and change their worlds forever. I am learning the correlation between faith and personal revelation, faith and comfort, faith and love, faith and happiness. Faith... is everything. Ithink that is why it is first and white. if you have faith, you can be sanctified and purified.

Divine Nature: Well I love the idea that we are two beings. We are the mortal being born of our parents, and we are an eternal being. We are made of the stuff of eternities! Also, the tenderness of being a mother is very apparent to me.  I always think of motherhood when I think of divine nature. I cant wait to be one.  I am so incredibly grateful to have the best one in the world, and I am so grateful to meet ones here in Peru and help them have eternal families.

Individual Worth: I  am learning how much Heavenly Father loves me and how much he loves every one of these children. We can't comprehend how much we are loved by him, and we will never be able to. But for this same reason, we should never put down a child of God. Including ourselves.

Knowledge: i am learning how much of that I lack. How much I want to gain :) How much we can learn from the scriptures. How important the basic truths of the gospel are! the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and all of the commandments and ordanences (i have no idea how to spell that in english anymore. ordenanzas.). It is also amazing to know the promise that if we search diligently, we can have that knowledge made known to us.

Choice and Accountability: Every single thing that happens to us and the people around us and the people whose lives we affect are affected by our choices. As a missionary, I am more and more able to identify  when I am in the right and in the wrong, and consciously make the decision. It kind of scares me... but is also beautiful. I know the choices we make decide where we go after this and how happy we will be. We are accountable for every action, every thought, every choice. We cannot hide from God.

Good Works: Christ himself came to the world not to be served, but to serve. Serving others and being disciples of Christ is the most valuable thing we can do and is the great test of our character. This made me think of my parents and their service and sacrifice in raising me (I love you so much more than words can say) and giving me the example of serving others in church callings and other ways first. I love that my brothers are hard workers and willing to lift another at all times. Remember how important it is to lose your life in good works to find it :) I am learning that real fast. Hahaha HUMILITY SMACK. I just made that up.

Integrity: When it all comes down to it, integrity is what you do and think when no one else is watching or knows. I am really trying to develop integrity and resp├▓nsibility in everything I do.

Virtue: Virtue is like the crowning value. besides being chaste, it is being christlike. Pure. Virtuous :) In thoughts and actions and words.

That is my spiel on the values. I love young womens :)

Lesson slash investigator highlights!!
Well in slightly disappointing news Manuel wasn't baptized saturday because he was sick and had a slight issue with a living prophet. BUT!! he is on track to be baptized this week :) Pray for him! This weekend we stopped by to see him and he had made me a bracelet. It made me cry :) He has been sitting in his house sick and made it for me. He also played this song called `Como No Creo en Dios?`about how he is so blessed, and he knows the gospel is true. So that was awesome :)

All in all, all is well! I love and miss you all dearly. I love hearing about your lives :) Never forget how much you mean to me. More than the world :) Families are the stuff of eternities. and I am so grateful every day :) Happy Memorial Day which I actually forgot was today! Eat Zeppes for me!!

Someone Really Likes the Black Eyed Peas!

My Dearly Beloved Family of Mine,

Every morning, someone is playing the Black Eyed Peas on our street. I am not a fan. I like the Journey and AC DC  a lot more, and Stairway to Heaven. Modern music can be such a disappointment.

For this week I will try to go by topic again :) 

Awkward moments: Last monday, we were all in a taxi and I was attempting to contact the driver- It was all going quite well, he was a single dad with two kids and felt very strongly about families. It started going downhill when he asked me if we were allowed to marry and if we were normal nuns or we could have families.... It was actually really hilarious and I basically ran out of the taxi when we finally got to the store. It is always terrible to be in taxis with two companionships because someone has to sit up front and it is a lot more difficult to escape if it gets awkward. All in all, hilarious. Contacting is by far the most entertaining thing.

Also, on Friday we were eating lunch with a member who invited us and we happened to rememberr that one of the papers we received from the mission of members who have disappeared and we are supposed to find them or where they went had a last name like her daughter's. We asked her, not knowing who it could be because her husband's last names are different and she only has a daughter who is like forty and lives with her and a daughter who is like 30 and lives in France, and this was a male name. so we asked, thinking maybe it was her husband or a cousin or something weird, and she said, "That is my son". I just about choked right then because I was sure we had brought up a son that had died or something. I was getting ready to apologize profusely when she said, ¨My son, is my daughter". Oh my gosh. I really just about choked then. It was better than a latin daytime soap. And those are pretty great. It actually led to a really spiritual conversation about the love of christ and the love of a mother, and temple attendance. She has never gone to the temple because she feels guilt for the decisions of her son slash daughter, but now she has goals to go and be sealed to her other daughter. It was hilarious in a really sad and horrifying kind of way.

The other awkward moment of the week was we had a lesson with Manuel on Friday to answer some more of his last minute questions (He is still set to be baptized saturday! Please pray for him to make it.) While we were teaching, there was this crazy dog who they are dog sitting that was very intent on making me his girlfriend. It was very distracting to teach in Spanish while a dog was trying to rape me. Although I was actually still able to focus and deliver a profound thought in spanish. It felt good,  aside from not-so-secret rapist doggy.

Weird foods and their possible side effects:
Mm seriously look into this Ecco stuff. It is Nestle brand, I wonder if you could find it on the internet. It is just like coffee. We seriously drink it almost every day. It is delicious. and very convenient for people like Manuel who are trying to give up coffee.
Chirumbaya or guanabana or some such. It is a green fruit with white insides and big black seeds. And it is delicious. Seriously. Like heaven.
I also am following in love with Honduran food because my comp cooks for us a lot. Fried green platanos and guacamole. Ah. also, I am no longer a picky eater. And I love tomatoes and onions and peppers. What happened to me?

Peru....
Our neighbors were passed out drunk at 10 am yesterday morning in the street. That just doesn't happen in that quantity in other countries. Latin America is awesome.
If you think people are late to church in Utah, or you think we are late to church, you should come to 8 o'clock church in San Juan Peru. Before the sacrament (and i mean barely before the sacrament) we had 63 people in the chapel. At the end of the meeting, there were almost 90. All because no one has any concept of punctuality or time here. It is very frustrating but also hilarious.
Also, my favorite redneck peruvian invention of the week is just motorized bicycles. It's great.

Tender Mercies:
We went to the office last monday with Hermana Saucedo and her companion because her comp went home this week. She never wanted to be here. But anyway we spent like 2 hours there and I talked to Hermana Alkema and Hermana Santiago was there for a health blessing because her back is really bad, so I got to see her and cry with her. She might be going home for a while to wait it out, and she is crushed. I think she will find out this week.  But it was a tender mercy to be there in the exact moment she exited presidents office and cry with her.

Hermana Jameson is a huge support to me. She is the freckly one who was with me in the Mothers Day call and she is the Sister Training Leader for Lima and one of the Hermanas of Institute. She is amazing, and she helps me a ton.
Also, last monday, I got two letters from mom and it was a huge blessing . I absolutely love them. I have read them no less than 20 times each. I am going to try to send some old letters today :) It has been a little inconsistent with Serpost. But oh mom, seriously thank you. 
Also Derek sent me a massive package of treats and now everyone is in love with him in my zone. The elders told me if I don't marry him, they will. Horrifyingly hilarious.

What I learned this week scripturally;
I was reading the parable of the talents in Jesus the Christ, and I realized that that is how it is with investigators as well. God is going to give more new investigators to those misisonaries who follow up with the ones they have and quickly decide whether they are going to prgogress or not, not wasting time. This could also apply to blessings, God will give more to those who realize they have them. I love the scriptures, and the parables of christ. I am almost done with Jesus the Christ. Then I am going to read it again :)

Lesson Highlights of the week:
We  talked to the family tapia for like an hour about the signs of the times and it was awesome. It is really cool to think of how many saints there are around the world, righteously awaiting the second coming of Christ.
Amidst the dog crisis, our lesson with Manuel was beautiful. He expressed a doubt about the love of Christ, because so many people are hungry or mentally ill or homeless. I testified that some of us have illnesses that everyone can see, and some of us have illnesses that no one can see, but God who knows us perfectly is going to give us all individually what we need to overcome in this life to return.

We had a lesson with a new investigator named Jesus Lima, and it was amazing. We taught with the hermanas of Institute and us, and the ping pong was flawless. He believes (believed) in reincarnation and refused to accept a baptismal date, but now is working to be baptized in June :) When I have a year in the field, I want to teach like Hermana Jameson. She is just bold and full of power and authority in a loving and fluid way. It was beautiful, and the Spirit was powerful.


Well, I miss you all dearly but know we are all doing well and being blessed. I cant believe school is ending this week! Have so much fun as you start your summer :) My how time flies. Know that I love you all with all of my whole soul, and can't wait to hear about more crazy summer adventures. I love you I love you  I love you. Never forget! Have a great week :) Send my love to the rest of the family! and the young women :)

Lauren

Yesterday Was the Best Day of My Mission

My dear beloved family,

Yesterday really was the best day of my mission. I absolutely loved just seeing your faces. I was so terrified it would make me want to come home and be horribly homesick, but i have never felt so pumped to just work my butt off for 14 months and then come home to my crazy family. It was as if seeing your faces and just hearing your voices for a short time was enough to give me life and comfort and joy to continue. I can't thank you enough.

Which reminds me, did I even tell you I love you? Hahaha I was so awkward and just thrilled to see you that I didn't even think to say I love you all with all my heart, except maybe in Spanish at the end.

Mom: Happy Mother's day to literally the best mom in the world. I am not even joking, I feel so incredibly grateful for you. Every single day. You have blessed my life forever in so many more ways than I can possibly count. Listening to your voice during the pre call and just seeing you and hearing you and talking to you on Skype made me so happy. Funny story, my voice sounds like you when I am speaking in spanish. I think it is because it is a little higher and I can hear myself, but it sounds just like you. Anyway. I just want you to know I love you more than earthly words will ever be able to express. I have never been so happy in my life, and all because I saw my Mom's face. Happy Mother's Day my dear best friend.

Dad: I love you so much. I can't even express how close I feel like I have gotten to you on my mission. I love you so much. I loved seeing your face and just knowing that you are safe and happy and everything. I love you so much. I thank you for all of your amazing emails and for your support and for being such an amazing, faithful dad! Coaching baseball endlessly and writing me emails every week and being so tender and loving and for loving my mom and me and being a worthy priesthood holder and just being literally all around amazing. I consistently feel humbled and blessed everyday for my family.

Judd: Holy crap. Youre tall. And you have an adams apple.... and hermana chavez thinks youre adorable and wants you to marry her sister. I am so proud of your accomplishments in baseball :)

Wyatt: Hermana Jameson wants you to marry her sister. She thinks you are so sweet and handsome. I was so happy to hear your sweet voice and see your sweet face.  I am so proud of the young man you are.

Will: Hermana Trejo wants you to marry her niece, so all my brothers are married off. I was so happy to see that nothing has changed and you are still a sweet little goofball. I love you so much. Yes, I am still a butt.

Grandma Judy: I know you are working on your goals, and I love you so dang much. Thank you so much for your support for me and for your love for my family. You are the best grandma in the whole world, and you look awfullly younng and gorgeous for 74. Happy Mother's Day and Happy Birthday :)

Grandma and Grandpa Bailey: tell them they look great and happy and thank you for the Easter package. The Elders were all very pleased with the jelly beans.


I seriously love you so much. Yesterday was amazing. It made me think of Alma 26:1 where he says could we have imagined when we parted that we would be so greatly blessed? or something along those lines. I feel so incredibly blessed, and I thank you so much.

Have a great week! Next week, I will be back to normal emails about life and work and love and the spirit and investigators :) Have a great week!

Lauren