Monday, November 24, 2014



Family that I love so much!!

How are you?!

I am seriously overjoyed that you guys got to meet Hermana Jameson. She is definitely someone who is more than special. And Hermana Bott's family to top it all off! What a crazy thought. I look up to Hermana Jameson and Hermana Bott so much it is crazy. They are amazing missionaries and even more amazing women :)

I also can't believe you got to talk to Elder Perry and such! I heard that the conference was amazing. I bet it was a super special experience :)

Well, seeing as this week is Thanksgiving, I thought I would make this my email of gratitude and outline just a few things I am grateful for. There are so many things that I just am going to hit the highlights. I am so incredibly blessed in my life, and so very unworthy of those same blessings, but I love my Heavenly Father so much for the tender mercies that He gives to me.

I am thankful for my body. I sometimes claim that I hate it and there are more than a thousand things I want to change about it, but when it all comes down to it, I am just incredibly thankful for a body. For hands that feel and can touch and hug. For feet that carry me to help other people, to run, to go where I am needed to go. For fingers to type to my family :) For eyes that can see all of the amazing creations of my Heavenly Father. For ears that can listen to voices and music and the people that I love and the thoughts of those around me. For a nose and a tongue and all that allows me to enjoy this time in mortality to the maximum.

I am thankful for the little miracles, for plants that grow and produce flowers. For beauty that exists in the middle of terror. For people who love and live and laugh. For blue skies and white clouds. For busy days and highlighted scriptures. For mission leaders and singing birds :)

I am thankful for the earth that God created for us. Deserts, jungles, rivers, rain, snow, forests, leaves that change, fields, all that there is from good old West Weber to Lima to Ayacucho to Ica. It is a gorgeous, diverse, beautiful world.

I am thankful for technology. For family history and email Mondays, for sharing the Gospel and combating the evil by sharing the good. Spreading the goodness :)

I am thankful for education. For the opportunity to learn and to grow, to educate yourself and be a force for good. I am thankful for how much easier it is to get an education now, even if it is a sacrifice. It is vital.

I am thankful for a house. Even though my HOME is in Utah far from me, I am thankful for 4 sturdy walls and freezing water and a bathroom and a desk and a bed.

I am thankful for the US of A. It is .... the promised land. I am so proud to be an American. I am thankful for my country :) GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

I am thankful for the temple. All that we do depends on the temple and the covenants and ordinances that it includes and how well we work and sacrifice to honor them. We are a covenant people. The things we learn and feel there shape our life decisions and the way we live. It is our final goal and the symbol of all we do.

I am thankful for the Gospel. It is my life, my love, my map and rock. The only constant thing that exists and the driving force behind who I am and who I want to become. 

I am thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I don't even have words sufficient to express it, but it is what gives meaning to any word I will ever say.

I am thankful for love, the emotion so rich and deep in sentiment and import that it can change the very nature of a person.

I am thankful for Repentance. For the opportunity to, with humility, immediately beg forgiveness and correction and have a clean slate all over again. It is a beautiful, beautiful gift.

I am thankful for prayer, for the power and gift to be able to communicate with Heavenly Father. I am just now relearning that relationship and the beautiful effect it can have on our lives.

I am thankful for my mission. For Peru. For President Douglas. For every single missionary with whom I have served. I am thankful for the eternal perspective that I am gaining and for the faith I am learning to have.

I am thankful for my parents. My mom is my very best friend in the whole world. She is my rock and my counselor and my voice of reason. My dad is the perfect example of a good man, possibly the best man in the world. I am more than grateful for my parents, and I only hope to be half what they are. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be who I am. I wouldn't be anything. I will be ever and eternally grateful for all that they are to me.

I am thankful for my brothers. For Judd Wyatt and Will. I miss them and their crazy schemes dearly. I love them and cherish their examples and funny memories. They are so much stronger and better than I was, and I can't wait to hang out with them for the rest of their lives (hehehe).

I am thankful for Grandma Judy and her weekly letters (and emails!!). I am thankful for Tonya and her weekly updates. I am thankful for Derek and his constant support. I am thankful for Jenessa and our friendship. I am thankful for Shay and for Parker, for Tyler and Kenzie and Maisie. I am thankful for ward members of West Weber 2nd! I am thankful for amazing family members and friends. I am thankful for Hermana Jameson :) I am thankful for Hermana Bott, for Hermana Rush, for Hermana Bond and for every companion and sister in this mission. I am so beyond blessed :)

Remember how very thankful I am for each and every one of you. Remember how thankful I am for the Gospel :) Look up Thanksgiving in the Topical Guide! Remember that I love you more than words can say.

I love you!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Life is Flashing Before My Eyes!

My Dearly Dearest Dear Family!

I can't believe how fast the time is flying by here in Peru. It is literally shocking. Hahaha, but it is a beautiful whirlwind :)

Well, this week was a tad slow with changes and lots of baptisms here in Ica as well as like half the zone was gone for two days to go to Immigration. But it was still an awesome week!

On Tuesday we had District meeting and it was a great last Zone meeting as well. We had a really awesome transfer with those missionaries and felt a lot of the spirit of Elijah working with them and their converts. I will miss them and the awesome change we have had, but I am so excited to keep working with those that are staying and keep seeing the miracles in the area. 

On Wednesday President called us and asked us for stories about Family History in Ica, so I sent the one that I forwarded to you. They are putting together a presentation to show to leaders in Salt Lake and demonstrate what we are doing here in the mission! I am so excited (not because they will read my story. I am actually ashamed of my grammar no that English is my second language) because  Family History is really catching on every where... I understand now that it is a huge part of what we do in the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is all tied to the temple and the doctrine of Christ the things we need to do and have in order to get back and live with our Heavenly Father. We are a covenant people :)

Then on Thursday we did service with our district and it was so fun!  But so hard, once again. We moved a gigantic pile of rocks from the front of the house, through the house, to the back. They were giant and there were like 500. My arms hurt so bad until yesterday, hahaha.  But it was so worth it.  I love service, and it makes me feel like maybe  I really actually can help these people in a temporal way. Help them to build a house, to make a shelter for their family. To have something that I am so blessed with. This family was so grateful, the mom is sick and the two sons have to work all the time to pay for medical expenses, and their house is really suffering. These people who have so little teach me so much. They have a faith that is rock solid. And it shows me the importance of having treasures in heaven, not just temporal riches. Because when it all comes down to it, all of these people can be as happy as the richest person in the world because what it really depends on is your relationship with Heavenly Father and with your family and the people that you love.

That afternoon the zone leaders dropped by and I got a package and like 15 letters. Seriously, best day of my whole life :)  I am so thankful for the amazing family and friends that I have. And so are the Elders who were very happy to get a Reese's. They like accepted them like Gollum and it was so funny.

Well, we have a lot of big plans for this change! Pray that we will be able to consecrate ourselves and help the missionaries to see their potential and the potential of their converts and rescues. I love this gospel so much, and I love the temple. I know that our purpose here is completely tied to families and the covenants we make, and I am so thankful for the family that I have. Have a great week!!!

 I love you so much!!!

Random things I enjoyed and thought I would share.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES.... Because I Have Seen Them.

Family, Whom I looooove!!!

I love you. And now I shall update you on my life. 

Well Monday was Pday and was actually relatively lame compared to other Pdays because the two Chileans decided to make Chile food, but it took like 6 years so I just passed out sleeping.  It was actually like the best sleep of my life because my companion snores, but she wasn't sleeping so there was no snoring and I was like dead. So I am actually incredibly grateful... still one week later I feel recharged ahahaha. Then, that night we actually ended up having three lessons which is like amazing for any day, but especially Monday. So that was a pretty awesome day.

Ya know, in the mission I find myself saying at the end of almost everyday saying well, that was a pretty awesome day. Even if it really wasn't at all for parts of it... because in the end, they are all pretty awesome days, because I am a missionary :)

Anyway. Tuesday was District and Zone meeting like always.  The focus of President this week (like every other week) is families families families. It was so funny because one elder was finally like what the heck all we talk about is families.  How can we not be trunky to see ours and get married. And then our Zone Leader was like ya know I think sometimes that is half of the point. To get us to really actually understand the purpose. Why we are here... because really, it is to be a part of a family. Ours that we have and the one that we will someday create. And then I thought of my new slogan for priorities that I have been using in my mission and life.... is it something I need to make time for, or something I was given time for? Families and the divine nature of us is all a part of the plan. I can't explain it. But the point is.... families. Son lo maximo. 

Wednesday..... was sooooo looooong. Ugh. Hahaha but it was actually fine because I watched some Mormon Messages and read some talks.  I  know that life may not always be easy, that we are in reality here to be tested in mortality, but it will always be doable and in one way or another always be incredibly beautiful. Because in reality, we are all just beautifully broken. We need to break to be molded into what our Heavenly Father needs... to become clay in the potters hands. I need to be softer clay :)

On Thursday we went and did service with some of the zone for the first time since I got here! We usually have been doing like forms and such on service day so we haven't gone, but I have missed it. It is one of my favorite parts of the mission! Thursday mornings :) Anyway. we went to the Elders area in Santa Maria and we walked like a mile and climbed a sand dune. While we were walking the Elder was telling me we were going to help destroy and start building a house, which really we do a ton for service. Break some adobe, clean some rocks up, etc. Well we got to the house and it was literally a grass hut on top of a sand dune. We had to take out the big corner poles of bamboo slash wood stuff, move them, and wire this like woven grass wood stuff back up for the walls. Floor of sand dune. It was definitely one of the most humbling experiences of my whole mission. The Elders were so hit by it too, we actually all ended up staying late to finish it and do it the very best we could. They just kept saying it is like building a stupid tree house that you are going to knock down when summer is over, but it is their house! I am so thankful for the mission and the things I am seeing and learning.... it just makes you see things in a really different way. I am so incredibly blessed. I don't understand why sometimes.... but I do know that God is perfect. and that He loves His children and truly wants every single one of us to return to him.  No matter what it takes, no matter where we are in our lives. He loves us so much. Even in a humble grass hut in Ica Peru. He loves us so so so so so much.

On Friday I got to proselyte for like 3 hours! And we are going to proselyte Monday nights now too, so that is awesome. I am so excited :) We taught a little girl and her mom.  I love teaching kids because they just get it better than adults. And it is a secret way to teach super simple and profound so that the parents get it too.... I love it. 

Saturday and Sunday were amazing! We were so close to finally meeting a weekly goal for lessons.... so we made like an all out effort with the whole zone and we made it EXACTLY.  It was a ton of work, but it was so worth it. And it was a really cool experience :) I really do love working in family history. I get to know and help so many people with the fire of new conversion still in everything they do to go to the temple so that they NEVER lose that fire, no matter what. The temple is the key to everything. It is the goal. It is the end. It is the answer. It is a sacred, tender, holy, beautiful place. Everyone should go as much as they can. It is where we can find out who we really are. I love this gospel. I love the temple :)

Well, I love you family. This week is changes, but I am sure I am staying here. But no email until like Tuesday or so.... just FYI. 

Omni 1:26 is my scripture of this week :) 

I love you so much. You all are so special to me. You are my rock and my love :) Thank you for everything you do for me! I love and miss you!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

OOOOOOOHHHH We're Halfway There, ooooOOOh Livin' on a Prayer :)

Soooo.. there are approximately 4,498 miles from Ogden, Utah to Ica Peru and my beautiful beloved family still somehow figured out a way to send me flowers on my halfway mark. Are they perfect? Yes. They are so incredibly perfect. That was probably up in the biggest surprises of my life. The lady touched the doorbell for the church. When we went out we were like,  "Oh she is probably lost". But then she was like,  "Are you Lauren Bailey?"  I was just like "uhhhhh yes?" And she gave me a dozen roses. So surprising. Best surprise of my life :) And all of the elders are just flabbergasted. Flowers? They sent you flowers? From.... your house.... to here? Ya I don't understand either, but it makes me think they are pretty dang great. Roses have never really meant love for me or been so special, but now and forever more I am pretty sure they will ALWAYS remind me of love and make me feel special. I was just delighted :)

Anyway. back to the beginning of the week. On Monday, we watched 17 Miracles with some of the Elders. Every single time I watch that movie I cry and cry. I love the pioneers so much for the faith they had and what they did for the gospel. It kills me.

This week, I learned that I think what is most important in life is to be where your feet are. Wherever you are in any given moment, be all there.  Love with all your heart. Love the person you are with in that moment, and tell them. Show it :) Make the most of life, and love with all you have :) Just my life thoughts. Also on Tuesday night Hermana Wilkins and Freyre slept over in our house on the way to Nazca. Me and Hermana Wilkins slept in my bed and it was probably the scariest night ever because we were sure it was gonna break and we were gonna die. But, it was hilarious.

Well.. Wednesday was my nine months and it was a great day. I got the flowers.  I felt so special after that and I just felt a really special spirit about life and felt my family very close to me. We were actually really busy that night, and a little boy from this ward (San Isidro) gave me a bracelet he made with the Broncos colors on it because he likes football too (that is soooo rare for a 7 year old boy in South America I don't even know how he knows about it).   I just stared at the flowers in the office all day. As you can tell from the pics, I basically was obsessed with them all week. Mostly because it is just so amazing to me that they even made it.  I can't get over it. Hahaha I love love love love love love love love my family. And roses. 

Also, that night while I was saying my prayers, I had a very clear memory back to my first days in the field in San Juan. I felt so strongly that while am still the same nut-job person, I have changed a lot. I like to think maybe I have grown up a little, that maybe I will come home a little more mature and ready to deal with life and be a more better person. More better? Ya. More better. 

Then, Thursday was insane busy and literally almost every single companionship brought somebody in for a lesson and it was amazing and busy and beautiful. I love family history. Did you know the Spirit of Elijah's job is to testify of the divine nature of families? I have felt that so strongly in family history and with the people who come through here. It is a beautiful, beautiful spirit.

Friday... were INTERVIEWS WITH PRESIDENT. It was so great. He is amazing. literally, amazing. He really helped me to get the whole vision of this temple family history work shmeal deal and I really am so pumped now to get all of these people finding names and to the temple. It is all about the preparation and spiritual experiences they have along the way and when they get to the temple. And our job is to prepare them for that, in every way. Then, that night (it was Halloween), when the elders were coming in for lessons, every one that came in brought us candy.  Then the Elders of San Isidro brought us a pizza!!! The Elders here are seriously so special. Well everyone always says it is different in the south (of the mission) but it is so true.  It is like you have a family, because we are so far from everything but closer than in Ayacucho to each other as missionaries, like distance wise. It is so fun.  I feel like they are all my little brothers.... because all the little 18 year-old gringos (so all of them) ask me hilarious questions because I am like their big sister and the only Hermana who speaks English. I love them in the least romantic way ever :) They mostly just make me laugh.

Also, Saturday, we went to the temple with 2 converts! It was crazy. we left at 6 a.m., 6 hours on a bus, sprint to the temple, print off the cards, hug the converts, send them in the temple, go eat lunch, then get back on the bus. But it was worth it :) And it was mostly to teach me how to do it... cause my comp will probably have a change in 2 weeks. AHHH. But it was gorgeous :) and humid. Ya. Don't miss Lima... hahaha

Well, I think preparation is the key to everything. When we prepare for something, it goes better and we can have a spiritual experience;   in a lesson, in the chapel, in the temple, or just starting the day right and feeling tranquilo all day. 

Also, I love my family. They manage to make me feel loved and super special, even from thousands of miles away. It made those thousands of miles on that nine month day seem a lot smaller :) I absolutely love my family and am so grateful for the knowledge we have that  I get to be with them for eternity! It is a huge blessing.

Quote of the week:  "We don't follow because we are blind, we follow because we can see!"

I love you all so much more than words can even say. Thank you! For absolutely everything.

Hermana Lauren Bailey