Monday, July 20, 2015

Howard Bound

Hola mi querida familia whom I love dearly and eternally so much!!!!!!!!

You guys are the best, did you know that? 

Well, I am really pretty scattered, and I don't know what to say. I can't believe that this day is real, or that the time has gone by so fast. I feel so grateful and so blessed, and my heart is so full that it hurts.

This week was miraculous and very tender, full of soooo many tender mercies and special moments that were like little divine signatures and gifts from my Heavenly Father.

I wanted to bear my testimony this week, because that is one of the most tender mercies that Heavenly Father has helped me to have during this time.

I know that families can be together forever, and that the sealing power of the priesthood exists in his holy temples. Helaman 10:7, Malachi 4:5-6, Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-16

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to restore His church. Doctrine and Covenants 135

There is a plan! We came from living with God, and we are here to prepare to live with Him again.  Alma 34:32-33

There is only one way to return to HIm, by accessing the power of the Atonement through faith in Christ and His Atonement; daily, constant, profound and sincere repentance; making and keeping sacred covenants; and enduring to the end.  2 Nefi 31

The only way to be happy in this life is by making covenants and keeping commandments. Mosiah 2:41

The Book of Mormon is true.  It is my guide and my strength. It is the most correct of any book on this earth. Moroni 10:3-5

I know that my Redeemer lives! What comfort this sweet sentence gives.... 3 Nefi 11... He is here. He is in your world's darkest moments, and He will be the light.

Love.... it is why Christ suffered and died for us. It is why God sent His only son. It is why we live and breathe. It is how we grow closer to Him. It is the most powerful force on this earth, 2 Nefi 26:24

I know that angels and spirits exist, and that they protect and minister unto us. Moroni 7:29-30

I know that miracles happen every single day in our lives, and that they are tender mercies of the Lord poured continually upon us because God loves us. Ether 12:12

I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. Amos 3:7

I know that Christ suffered in Gethsemane and that as we ponder that fact, our hearts are filled with profound gratitude that crowds out all negativity. Alma 34:38

I know that divine light and peace develop in places of peace and quiet, and that our own minds and hearts can be sanctuaries of peace. Moroni 8:26

I know that the Holy Ghost can influence and guide us in all things, and that if we are worthy, it can dwell with us always. 2 Nefi 31:12, 2 Nefi 32:3, Ether 4:11, Moroni 10:5

That trust in Christ and in His grace and love lead to hope through the Atonement and Resurrection Moroni 7:41 and that this faith and hope brings peace to us.

The power of the Atonement makes it possible for us to  repent, and erases the pain and despair caused by sin. 2 Nefi 9:7

The atonement also allows us to see, do, and become good and more like Christ, molding us in ways that we could never do for our mortal selves. Eter 12:27, Moroini 9:25-26, Phil 4:7

He lives! And He is our eternal hope. He is the light and the life of our own personal worlds. He is the source of peace and joy. He loved us enough! He came to earth and He kept the most holy of covenants-one that he made with the Father to suffer and die for each of us that we may return. He loved enough, and through Him all things are possible and all things have a divine purpose. There. Is. Nothing. Impossible. For. HIM. He died to save ALL. He rose again to break the bands of death for ALL. His eternal sacrifice is incomprehensible to me. But I do know that its power is so very, very real and that He loves us.

                These 18 things I know. Y en el fin, todo es Gracias a Él

I am so incredibly blessed and so incredibly grateful. I can't even express how much my heart is feeling right now. This last Saturday was possibly the most beautiful, tender day of my mission. We went to the temple, and on Friday when we met Hermana Rush and Hermana Mendez (Nasca and Ica) to go up together, Lisbeth and Enrique and Fernando were with them as well. Them and Hermana Mendez didn't tell me anything, but they came up on Saturday with us to the temple and it was AMAZING. So grateful, so blessed, so sweet and tender. We also saw a ton of the relief society from San Juan and Hermana Bott and Hermana Bond and Hermana Rush and Hermana Mendez and Hermana Chavez. Then we got home right in time for Hermano Roberto's baptism done by Eutemio, our recent convert, and the Spirit by that point was so strong it was choking me. I. am. so. blessed. 

I love being a missionary. 

I love this gospel.

I love my Savior :)

Oh, tis sweet to sing the matchless love. 

Until next time,

Hermana Bailey

I Can't Actually Wrap My Head Around All of These Things

Hola my dearly beloved family whom I love dearly!!! 

How the heck are you? Sounds like everything is going well at home, and that summer is in full swing with all of the included hustle and bustle. I love you all very much :)

As I sit here right now, I am trying to think of what I would like to say. Usually, every week I read from the notes I take in my planner during the days about things that happened, and then I just write a quick summary. It is almost always super scattered, as I am sure you have noticed. But so are my thoughts almost always. The mission flies by, every day and every hour. I think it is because we are running on an eternal time clock, and these minutes are not my own. When I try to make them my own, the time drags on and I don't feel satisfied. The time we have here on earth is given to us to be able to use if for what we really should use it for. That is the battle, battling priorities of good, better, and best and trying to learn how to listen to the spirits voice to guide us. 

This week we had  baptismal interview with the man who is going to get baptized this week (whooooooooooooooo) Roberto, and he passed with flying colors. He is 74 years old and hilarious. He works as a like self sufficiency guru for all of the city and everyone loves him. He is one of the most intelligent, charitable, hilarious old men I have ever met. When I first met him, it was his second lesson with the missionaries and my first day in la villa, Pisco. After teaching him about Christ ministry on the earth, I felt impressed to have him read 2 Nefi 31:10-12, emphasizing that baptism was only valid by the priesthood power we had just explained. Then we taught the apostasy, and he almost started to cry. The spirit was testifying to him that what he now understood thanks to the Book of Mormon scripture and wanted more than anything did not exist for a time. When we got to the restoration and Joseph Smith the spirit was palpable, and we invited him to be baptized. He said yes and his date never fell. The other older man who was rescued a few weeks ago is his friend and is going to baptize him, despite his cancer. 
 As we sat in the church waiting for the interview, the spirit swept over me and I remembered all of the special moments and miracles with all of the other converts and rescues from my whole mission. All of the sacred moments as they were prepared to enter in the waters of baptism and make a covenant with God, and to see someone that I loved so much make correct choices. I remembered the pivotal moments in the lessons with each and every one of them, and the piercing feeling of when the spirit comes into a lesson, like angels rushing in on chariots of fire and fills a tiny room of a humble home to testify of the truthfulness of the message of the restoration. I remembered all of the crisis moments, all of the heartbreaks. I remembered all of the intense do or die lessons and how much it hurt when someone I loved so much decided they didn't want to listen to us anymore. I remembered the feeling the first time I felt the pure love of Christ for me and for those around me overwhelm me, and how it feels to have that more and more often. I remembered the many days that I staggered off of a bus in front of the Lima temple with a group of anxious converts and rescues to do baptisms for the dead.  I remembered watching the sunrise on the house of the Lord, and seeing the light enter even more profoundly into their lives and hearts. 
I remembered the nights where I got home to my apartment tired and frustrated, and when I learned to pray and talk to my Heavenly Father. When I learned and knew without a doubt that He existed and that He answers prayers. The thousands of times that he spoke to my heart that these things are true. The days where I knelt to verify my own testimony, and felt once again that it is true. I remembered walking down dusty roads and watching kids play volleyball as the sun sets in front of stick and adobe houses. I remembered walking with companions whom I grew to love as my sisters. I remembered how it feels to testify to someone who is crying in the street, and to be able to assure them that there is hope. How it feels when someone lets you into their house for the first time, and at the end of the lesson you kneel with their whole family on a dirt or cement floor and hear them offer their first prayer. I remembered the miracles I have witnessed and the truthfulness of this work, of the countless examples and courage that I have witnessed. I remembered the hand of the Lord in his work.

I remembered that He died so that we might live. I remembered that I owe him eternally. I remembered that I am so grateful just to be a part of his work. I remembered how much I love my Savior and this gospel and my family. I remembered all that my heart could never, ever forget. As I have mentioned before, I once thought that I was here to help change people's lives. I quickly learned that they would change mine much more profoundly and tenderly than I ever could. I am so grateful, and my heart aches to know that this chapter must come to an end so soon. It aches with love for all of these people and for my family and for this gospel. I am so grateful. I don't even know how to express it in words. They are things that are too celestial for earthly words. It is a much more celestial feeling. I am so grateful :)

I know that this church is true. I know that families can be together forever, and live in eternal glory with our Heavenly Father. I know that Christ is our Savior and that he died for us on the cross. I know that through him, all of us can be saved. I know that this life is the time that we have been given to prepare to live with Him again, and that it is never, ever too late to come unto Him and be healed. That the spirit that comes when we repent is tender and can stay forever as long as we remain worthy of it. I know that God loves us, and that He answers our prayers. I know it :) 

I love you. I am sorry this is so scattered, i just typed and typed ahaha. I. love. you. dearly. 

Hermana Lauren Bailey
Peru Lima South Mission

Monday, July 6, 2015

Bind Me Not........

Hello my beautiful family that I love!!!

This keyboard is sticky and I hate it. Hahaha anyway!

I really do love you guys. That is the only thing that is keeping me sane.... because if i didn't love you so dang much I would escape into the sierra of Peru and stay there forever. But I love you dearly.

Well, this week flew by! Every week flies by, and it really hurts my heart. But it was a great week!

On Monday I was actually really scattered, and really tired, but we cleaned our whole house (last command of President Douglas). Then we got to work and it was really easy to focus again. Something I have learned on my mission and in the temple is to be where you are in the moment with all that you are. Just leave all the worries in your mind aside when you are with others and focus on them, and slow down and let the spirit come and open your ears and your heart. We had some really special lessons with 2 different less active members.  One with a girl named Almendra who is about my age and is really fighting to believe that God can really forgive her. And one with an older man named Eutemio who got rescued this last week (whoo!) and has cancer in his nose (don't ask I don't understand either). It was a very powerful lesson to be able to testify of the healing power of the priesthood as well as the atonement.

I came on this mission thinking that I could offer my love to people and change their lives.... and then they changed me. Today, I had an email from a rescue in Nasca (Cleici) and I just love them all so much, all of those people who I have had the opportunity to know, and who have helped me grow. How did I  get to be so blessed? They have changed my life. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were really good days, I really felt like we were doing it all and being missionaries of whole purpose (don't know how to say that well in English). We were finding new investigators ( a new one who told us I have always wanted to get closer to God, but never knew how? "Oh my gosh I have a book for you".....) and helping a recent convert couple from one of the branches to do family history and go to the temple this week. And working to retain our own recent converts and recent rescues and rescuing Eutemio, and helping Roberto progress towards baptism. It just felt really good. Like I finally know how to make it all work together... and it is when I stop trying to know and start listening to the spirit. 

On Thursday we had a multi-zone to get to know the McGinns... they are super nice and really great. I am excited to work with them. I got to see Hermana Rush and Hermana Mendez which was the highlight of my life :) love them. 

On Friday I went on exchanges with Hermana Wilkins who is my sister leader now :)  I was retired... ahahaha It was so fun,  her first exchange - my last.... Everything has changed so much, and it was an amazing day. We found a new family and the lesson was so spiritual. Who knew two Southern Utah University girls would be sitting in  little house in Peru teaching a family in Spanish? Who knew two SUU girls could change so much and figure out just how small two little SUU girls are. 

On Sunday Roberto came to church!! He is our investigator with a baptismal date for July 18th :) He is seriously so great and so prepared. He is like 70 and is so receptive. He has left coffee and beer and came to church in a white shirt yesterday.... We didn't tell him to, he just did. He is amazing.

I love you all so much! I love this gospel. I love this mission. I love these people. I love my Savior. This is so scattered, but I just want to tell you everything and about everyone and it gets scattered. I love you all so much. I know this church is true, and the Christ's atonement is infinite. Alma 37:44-46. 

The Book of Mormon is true.

Absolute truth exists. 

And this is it.

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Set Me Free to Find My Calling.....

My dearly beloved family whom I love dearly!!

Whoa, lots and lots of things are happening in the worlds of all the people whom I love so much! HUGE shout out and congrats to my dearest of dear friends Jenessa who is continuing strong in the duty of a missionary.... to be ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED in good works. Hahaha but seriously so happy for her :) Couldn't be happening to a better person. 

And the boys and the family are just so big I can't get over it. Big milestones and happy days :) I love being a part of an eternal family that is so close knit and so special, and I love being a part of so many eternal relationships that have blessed and enriched my life. As I mentioned last week, I never knew my heart could love so many so much, and I feel so blessed and so grateful.

Speaking of marriage and beautiful happenings, I sent the pictures of the wedding and baptism of Lizbeth and Enrique!!!! It was an amazing day for them, filled with lots of opposition up until the very end, but they are doing well and are oh so happy. The branch is really rallying to help them get situated in their new lives as members of the one and true church, and they are progressing rapidly :) I miss them so much it hurts, but that is bound to happen when you love so deeply. I am just grateful to have been able to take part in such an exceptional teaching and learning process with them- I can truly say my faith and testimony grew leaps and bounds with theirs, and it was a beautiful, beautiful time in my mission.

Speaking of beautiful times, the whole mission is pretty great and this week was very special! Lots of little spiritual moments that are like Heavenly Father telling me that it is all ok and that I am doing well and that he loves me and all of those around me.... We had a lesson with a less active where I felt strongly prompted to promise her some very specific blessings if she were to attend church. It was a very powerful moment of feeling like a real mouthpiece of the Lord and seeing the spirit work in her. In her prayer, she promised God that our visit would not be in vain and that she wanted to change her life. We also had a lesson with our investigator con fecha, Roberto, and we taught the word of wisdom. He had problems with alcohol and coffee, but he accepted it right away and is going strong, hasn't fallen in a week! He came to church yesterday :) He is really awesome. 

I seriously don't have time to write all of the amazing, spiritual things that are happening, but they aren't even huge experiences. It is just that the more time I am here, the more my eyes are spiritually opened.

This weekend, last Saturday, we also went to the temple with a caravan from our ward and some converts and rescues from all of Pisco, and it was really fun! It is nice to be in a ward that is big and sort of functional (although the church is under construction so the meetings are outside, and it is a disaster, but it is all good) and loves the missionaries. But anyway we saw a lot of miracles leading up to the temple trip. One of the coolest experiences was one of the recent converts, Rosa Cancino, was planning on doing quite a few names in the temple, including that of her daughter who died 2 years ago at the age of 18. When we arrived at the temple and gave her the cards that we had printed out for her to do the vicarious work, it turns out that a glitch in the system had erased the information entered about her daughter and the card was not printed. With only 10 minutes left until the time scheduled for our group to do the work in the temple, we went running to the family history center only to find that it was closed. We desperately looked for a way to make it possible for her to do the work for her daughter, and after many desperate prayers we found a member with a smartphone and it worked miraculously quickly.  We were able to put in all of the information on her daughter and print off the card necessary with a speed that was uncanny and unheard of in all of my time in family history. She began to cry as she waited in line to enter the temple as she remembered the pain of losing her daughter and, now, the joy of knowing that all is not lost.  It was seriously a miracle, and as me and her cried together with the card to do the ordinances for her daughter I felt the spirit so strongly and I know there are people on both  sides of the veil working for salvation. The veil is very thin at times.

I feel so grateful and blessed to have been able to be in family history and spend so much time in the temple. It has been a very special part of my mission, and I am very grateful for it.

I don't have words or time or space to express all that I want to about my testimony and the tender mercies of the Lord, but I do want to bear testimony that I know that real, lasting, beautiful personal peace exists. It is not easy to obtain or to keep, but it is very real and very centered on our Savior Jesus Christ,  and repentance and His atonement :)

I love you all so dearly, and I hope you have an amazing week!

The church is true!

Hermana Lauren bailey

To Your Thoughts I'll Soon Be Listening...

My dearly beloved family whom I love dearly!!!

 How the heck are ya? I really do love you dearly, I hope you know that. 

This week absolutely flew! Like they all do. But it seems to go even faster when you are new in the area. I miss Nasca so dang much. It was so hard to leave, but I have decided that there is like a divine principle in that.... where much is learned, much is loved. I will always have a special place in my heart for Nasca and all of the people there, and I am excited to go visit them. I am just thankful for that time I had there. 

Here in Pisco the members are really great. They accompany us all the time and it is amazing. I love the members and talking with them, they are all really nice and willing to go out with us. This week we found a new investigator named Sandra and she is very receptive.  The lesson was very spiritual with her and we felt the spirit really strongly as we talked about the Book of Mormon. We had a lot of really good lessons this week and found a lot of really good people, but I think my favorite lesson was with a less active named Almendra. All of her family are active members of the church, but she isn't attending. She is 22 years old and studying. During the lesson, we started to talk about the doctrine of Christ and the atonement, and she at one point just started to cry. She told us that she had wanted to come back to the church for some time, but that she was ashamed because she felt like she had done too much to be able to come back to church. She was ashamed and didn't feel like she could be forgiven. We talked about repentance and the way we feel when we repent, and we were able to testify of the infinity of the atonement, and invite her to prepare to go to the temple in July by becoming active again. It was a great lesson. 

Then, that night, there was a cultural event for the dedication of the temple in Trujillo. The celebration was absolutely beautiful ( look for it on youtube maybe.... does youtube still exist?) but I cried through the whole thing. I don't even know why, but it just hit me so hard that the church is so true. So true! It is so tender. I love Peru so much. Where much is learned, much is loved. My heart will always, always be here. I can't even describe the profound love I feel for this country and these people, for this gospel and for my Savior. Alma 29:10

I was thinking this morning that I have been in the city, the mountains, the desert, and now on the coast. Peru is so diverse, and Peru Lima South is really big so I have gotten a little taste of all of it. I feel so blessed to have been able to walk in all of those places and to feel of the love of my Savior in every one of those places. I was thinking this morning also during my personal study, am I truly happy?  I was able to feel so strongly that I truly, truly am. And it is because of my knowledge of the doctrine of Christ and that through faith and repentance, making and keeping covenants and enduring to the end, I can have eternal life with my family. That that knowledge gives me a fullness of joy, and that joy increases to be able to share this with the people of Peru and to see their lives change. To be a part of their lives and to help them and to know so many amazing members and companions and just everyone. I have been so blessed, and I am so grateful. I love this gospel!

I love this gospel family. I  love you dearly. I know that this church is true. 

I love you!

Sorry this is so scattered. Hahaha but I will have a lot to tell you when I get home this way :) Hahahaha

Hermana Lauren Bailey 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

If You're Hoping I'll Return.......

My beautiful beloved family whom I love dearly!!!!

I love you so much!! I hope you had a great week and are enjoying summer vacation! 

I am in PISCO!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOO! I am very excited to be able to serve here and my companion Hermana Zambrano from Columbia is awesome! I know it is going to be 6 weeks of miracles and hard work.

On that note, it was really, really, really extremely hard to leave Nasca and Lisbeth and Enrique and Hermana Méndez. It was truly an honor to serve in the Vista Alegre Branch and to be able to teach and to know all of the people in Nasca. I learned there that there are many of the noble and great ones everywhere in the world, Shiblons who quietly serve and live and love without recognition and without fanfare, in little dirt homes and casa capillas. I learned that everything comes in the Lord's due time. I learned that there are people in this world who are being prepared to hear the gospel, and that doctrine understood changes lives. I know that Lisbeth and Enrique were prepared to receive this gospel and that they will be strong members in that branch, and that their family can be eternal thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the gospel. 

We also had the opportunity to take a few converts to the temple this last weekend and it was amazing to feel of the spirit of the temple and to once again feel of the excitement that comes when the converts can do their family history. Here in Pisco I am still in family history and it is an amazing blessing.  It has been a big part of my mission and has changed my whole life. 

I have been thinking a lot about love the last couple of days. Love is a weird thing. I never ever knew I could love so many people in so little time. My heart literally hurts when I think about San Juan, and Ayacucho, and Ica, and Nasca, and my companions, and my family and how in so little time so many people and places have filled my heart so much. I will never, ever be the same. The places I have walked and felt the Spirit- on dusty roads and in broken homes, in little chapels and dirt floor stores, walking alongside companions and learning to just open my heart and feel the Spirit and the love that Christ and Heavenly Father have for all these people I love soooo much. I am so incredibly grateful for this feeling. It is tender. I am so blessed! 

I know without a doubt in my mind that this church is true. I know that Christ died for us, and that by having faith, repenting, making and keeping covenants, living worthy of the Spirit and enduring to the end,  we can enjoy the power that comes from His atoning sacrifice.

The church is true, and I am so grateful to be a missionary!!

I love you dearly!! 

Keep praying for Lisbeth and Enrique this week!!! And that we can find families in Pisco!!!

Hermana Lauren Bailey

If You Find It's Me Your Missing.......

My dearly Beloved Familia whom I love with all my heart!!

How are you? I continue to be amazed at how much and how quickly everyone is growing and changing. But it is a beautiful thing. Really, really beautiful :)

Anyway. I spent a lot of time reading emails and gawking at things today so I am going to hurry up and update about what happened this week :)

It was actually a very busy, spiritually uplifting week with not a ton of time in our area.  On Monday we traveled to Lima (I traveled with Hermana Santiago. She finishes this week... weird right?) and got there late at night.

On Tuesday was the last concilio of President and Sister Douglas.  It was such a tender, spiritual conference. It was all about the Doctrine of Christ, applying to us and our investigators and our lives and everything. It was an amazing conference, one of my favorite lines was that "God doesn't want perfect people, just people who are perfectly willing". That is what it means to be a missionary of excellence, a disciple of excellence, just to be willing to accept the Lord's will. The concilio actually ended pretty early, with President's final testimony being 2 Nephi 31:13. 

Then we went to the temple all together and Sister Rush and I were in the session with Hermana and President Douglas. It was a very tender session, and a very vivid reminder that all that matters in this life are the covenants we make and how well we live the Doctrine of Christ in order to qualify for the blessings that go with them. Fun fact, for the first time in almost 18 months, the four Peru Lima South girls (me, Rush, Bott, and Bond) where all in the temple together. It was very tender to be able to talk and share scriptures. I thought a lot about eternal relationships. Being in there with President and Hermana Douglas made me think of my parents and my family. I am so grateful for all of the people in my life, family and friends, mentors and companions, and for the amazing impact they have made on me. Nothing is coincidence. We were all together before and we will be together after if we can endure to the end and use the Atonement of Christ in our lives.

On Friday, I had my last interview with President Douglas. It was a pretty crazy 10 minutes, but it was amazing and I was really grateful for that interview. I truly love President and Sister Douglas, and will be forever grateful for their service and sacrifice and for the change they have made in my life. Not going to share all that was said in those precious ten minutes, but I feel impressed to share a couple little things....
Don't rush! Into anything, remember that the Spirit leads and guides in moments of peace and reverence. 
The Doctrine of Christ is absolutely everything-Marry a man that knows that and understand how that applies to the Atonement and to everything. Teach your children that. Marry someone who lifts you spiritually and makes you so happy you can't even breathe. Be a disciple of Christ in every moment and live a celestial life.

Just a few highlights. Also this week, we had a hugely successful activity with our district (planned by the missionaries). It was exhausting, but spiritually amazing. 130 people attended, and we talked about the Doctrine of Christ and being a covenant people. It was amazing.

Lisbeth and Enrique are doing amazingly. I am going to dedicate next week's email to just sharing their journey....  But it is sufficient to say that after all is said and done, I know without a doubt in my heart that each and every one of us is a beloved child of our Heavenly Father, and that He desperately wants each of us to return to him. 

I know this church is true, and I love this gospel with all of my heart. 

Remember always that I know this is true, and if anyone everyone is questioning it, lean on my testimony of these things. And the last of all is this- that there is no other way unto salvation save it be through our Savior Jesus Christ.

I love you all!!!

Hermana Lauren Bailey

The Church is True...

My Dearly Beloved Family Who I Love Dearly!!

How the heck are you? I miss and love you all....  
Anyway. This is probably going to be extra short and scattered, but the general message is that I love you dearly and that I love the mission and I love the gospel dearly.

So.... this week flew by even faster than usual. Seriously.

Also, I hate this keyboard and don't have a lot of time so I am just going to do a few topic summaries of what is going on in life in Nasca Peru.

This week we actually had to cut a lot of our days in half because the miners randomly decided to go on strike so it supposedly wasn't safe, but really all they did was argue and drink and everything closed for like 4 days. So on the numbers end, it was a pretty slow week. But it was a great week for getting a lot of other plans put in place for the last 2 weeks of this change and to talk with my companion.... Hermana Mendez has been my companion with who I am the closest since Hermana Rush. So it has been really a great transfer :)

We are planning an activity for our whole district in Nasca for this Saturday. we have been feeling like the branch and the district, like the members, just really need something to strengthen them. So we have been brainstorming and me and my comp had an idea for an activity. The whole zone jumped on it. We have been working like crazy to get that all worked out this week, the invitations and the announcements and everything. I think it is going to be great success :)

The other big happenings of the week all had to do with Lisbeth and Enrique and the literal hell of trying to get all of their docments together.... I have never spent so much time in a municipal building in my life. More on that next week :) I have lots to say, but the date is set for the 12th and they are progressing beautifully :)

Sorry the letter is so short. Tomorrow is President Douglas' last concilio, so everything is crazy.  I feel it is an honor to go and am very excited. 

I know that this church is true without a doubt in my mnd. As the end of my mission draws nearer, I feel myself being slowly more and more lost in it. I love these people and this work with all that I have, and I am so grateful for the chance to serve.

I love and miss you all dearly!

Alma 30:44 :)

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What Shalll We Give?

My beautiful beloved family whom I adore!!

How are you? Sounds like all is going well and you are now freed from the slavery of the school year.... now to enter the maybe more psychotic slavery of summer. Yay summer!!!

Anyway. Hope you know I love you all dearly :)

This week was pretty great!! It FLEW by, but they are all really starting to fly by to be honest. It is really crazy. ON Monday for Pday we made pizzas with the Fowlers which is always a fun Pday. Then we played a few really violent rounds of Uno (which is still called Uno in Spanish, fun fact, I was hoping it would be called One.....) Then that night the Fowlers had a Family Home Evening and we were able to bring CLEICI!!!!!!!!! I was beyond excited. I don't know if I have mentioned her lately, but she is a less active who we have been working with my whole time here in Nasca. She is amazing. She is 21 and about to have a baby, the end of this month!!!!! She hasn't come to church since she found out she was pregnant, but we have been able to have some amazing lessons with her and she really wants her baby to have a gospel foundation, so she is working really hard to get back to church. It was a perfect F.H.E. about seeing the hand of God in our lives and the Spirit was very strong. It was a great night!

On Tuesday I had exchanges with one of the other sisters in Nasca and it was really good. I think I learn more on the exchanges than the other sisters who I am supposedly helping. We had a lesson that afternoon with Lizbeth (Enrique is away in the mine on the weekdays) and she was a little discouraged. They are having a lot of opposition in getting the money together to get married (it is insanely expensive and complicated here) and their whole family is telling them they are making a mistake. We were able to talk about following the prophet and left a Liahona with a talk by President Monson for her to read. We have been praying and working super hard for them this week. They are seriously so special, and I know that is why they are being faced with so much opposition. Satan knows how great they are. 

On Wednesday we found a new less active named Gloria! She is really confused about church doctrine and what she believes, but she has a lot of desire to be able to be able to listen and work on gaining that testimony back. We were able to explain the importance of the restoration of the church and the doctrine of Christ. Ever since we had the last training with President Douglas, not a lesson has gone by that we haven't talked and testified of the doctrine of Christ. It is truly a daily pattern of life.  It is how we come to be disciples of Him and be worthy to return to Him :)

On Thursday we had a lesson with a recent convert from the other branch about family history and committed him to prepare to go to the temple on  the 13th of June. He is super prepared and has a really strong testimony of this gospel and of the Book of Mormon. We are getting a lot of people ready with hopes that we can take 15-20 people to Lima to go to the temple on the 13th of June, which is also the day of transfer calls. Pray for them!! That night Hermana Mendez and I ended up talking about the mission and what we had learned and the meaning of life. Haha, but really it is amazing, It just continues being amazing to me how much I have learned in such a short time. I thought I knew a lot before the mission.... but I didn't. 

On Friday I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants 59 verses 8 and 12.  In the footnote of verse 12  (it is 12a in Spanish, no se in English.) It talks about what Christ wants us to offer to him. The song "What Shall We Give?" from Christmas started running through my mind and I realized that all He really wants and all that we can really control and give to Him is ourselves and our will. Then, that night we taught Lizbeth about keeping the sabbath day holy and it was awesome. She had told us that Fernando had like a parade thing for school (there is ALWAYS school stuff on Sundays here.  It is terrible) and that they weren't going to be able to go. We were able to teach the doctrine of the sabbath day and how we would be blessed for observing it and why it was so vitally important.   She was like, Wow I understand now, I can't even miss one Sunday, one day of taking the sacrament. We will be there. There will be other parades, but not other opportunities to remember my Savior. She is seriously awesome. Their family is one of the most prepared families I have ever taught in my whole mission, maybe the most prepared.

On Saturday, we had a lesson with both Lizbeth and Enrique and we were super nervous because they were expressing a lot of doubts about getting married and other things we had taught. We went into the lesson praying for guidance and it was once again an amazing spiritual roller coaster. Their questions are directly from the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit is constantly guiding us to scriptures that answer their questions. They had to push back their wedding date, but they are now planning on being married on the 11th of June, and baptized on the 12th. They are even more determined to get to that goal, and they are working very hard to gain strong testimonies of the Gospel. In reality, they already have them, but they are just in the process of accepting it :)

Yesterday was a pretty great day in church! Lisbeth, Enrique, and Fernando came as well as Cleici and all her sisters. I know that this branch is ready to grow, and now we are just working on the members and helping them to be strong. It is a really young branch, but there is a lot of potential here:) I can't wait to see it in 30 years, seriously.

Every week I am continually amazed by the power of the atonement that I feel and see every single day. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Christ paid the price for each and every one of us, and that he suffered all our sufferings. That is real and literal, infinite and pure. I know that Christ lives, and that this is His church. I know that He loves us, and wants us to succeed and return to Him :) I love him, and I am so humbled to be a representative for Him for 18 months.

I love you all!!! Have a great week! Share the Good News!!!!!!

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Faith is Like a Little Seed

My beloved beautiful perfect HUGELY TALL AND GROWN UP family whom I love!!!!! 

It was so amazing to talk to you yesterday. I can't get over how much the boys have changed.... but it is good to know that the important things stay the same. I can't believe that was thae last skype call in my mission... but it was a great one!!

Anyway. I am going to hit a couple of highlights of the week, because it was seriously an amazing week. We were able to see lots of miracles and tender mercies, and have a lot of faith building experiences. 

One of them was on Thursday night. It was about 8 p.m. and we still hadnt found any new investigators or had any real success all day. We decided to say a prayer to be able to find somebody new in the last hour of the day. As we finished our prayer, we decided to go and contact a reference. Well, on the way we were going to swing by a members house and ask for more references, but she wasn't there. Then when we were walking down this like dark, dirt road, a guy comes out of nowhere and gives us a watermelon.... so we were like, "Oh, maybe this is God's gift of a new investigator."  So we started talking to him. He was really nice but mostly just really, really has a passion for watermelon and mother earth.... like he worships mother earth. Soooo... maybe false alarm. But we laughed pretty dang hard for about 10 minutes. Then, we finally got to the reference's house (with the watermelon hahahah) and the lady (the girlfriend of the reference) let us right in! So we found a new investigator and have an appointment tonight with their whole family. Whooo hooo!! Prayer, Watermelons, and Yesenia. Miracle 1 ;)

Then, On Friday we were in Marcona doing family history, and out of nowhere we get a text that says something like "Hermana Beiley, this is Lisbeth. I need to meet with you.... can you come to the plaza in Vista Alegre?" Backing up a little, on Thursday we walked past her house and heard her fighting with her husband/boyfriend (no one is married). We were sure she was going to tell us they were splitting and involve us in some strange drama that we can't actually participate in. But even though we were in Marcona an hour away, we really felt like we should go. So we tore out of the chapel running and jumped in a van to Marcona at like 7 pm. When we got to Vista Alegre it was about 8. We ran up to the plaza and started looking for her, and when we finally saw her we saw that she was there with her son (3) and husband as well. We were even more confused and nervous, but we walked up to them. Backing up more, her and her pareja came to church once.  The week that no one we had planned for came and they walked in. So I recognized him and he has had a little experience in the church.  When we got to the bench, Hermana Lisbeth started to hug me and to cry. We were so nervous. Then she just whispered in my ear, "We are ready".  Then they proceeded to tell us that they wanted to be bapitzed, fix their family, and change their lives. We were dumbfounded. It was a beautiful lesson about repentance and the process of it all. The next night they came to Family Home Evening. They couldn't come to church, but we are hoping this week to be able to put a baptismal date with them and a wedding date. They are truly amazing. It was an experience I will never, ever forget. Vans, texts, and prepared hearts. Miracle 2!

On Saturday, we had an appointment with a family we contacted and have never been able to find.... but all of our appointments fell through so we decided to give it another shot. When we got there, they were there! Drinking.... but not a lot. They are a super young family, a mom and dad and 2 daughters, and they are married! Unheard of, seriously. Anyway, we had an amazing lesson with them and they seem really interested! Another family! We have been praying for families all week, and I have been praying for families my whole mission. Seek, and ye shall find! Miracle 3 :)

Miracle and tender mercy number 4 was Sunday when I was able to talk to my amazing family. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and love you dearly. I don't' know what I would do without you. I am quite convinced I have the best family in the whole world, and I think I could win any argument about it :) Thank you for your support, testimonies, and examples. Please, stop growing whenever you would like. Hahaha, but I love you so dearly and was so grateful to be able to see your faces and hear your voices :)

It was a really good, hard, beautiful, miraculous week. I can feel myself being shaped and molded, which isn't always easy, but is always necessary. I know that through the atonement of Christ, we can be better people and come to be what he wants us to be. I was reading Doctrine and Covenants 76:69 and in Mateo 5:48 (I think....) in the footnote it defines perfect as being complete, fully developed. The atonement is so that we can become complete, whole. Fix the bad things about us and be better in Him :) I testify of the truth of this gospel and the reality of his atonement. 

I love you all dearly :), more than mortal words can say. I miss you, and I am excited to work hard until I can see you for real :)

I love you!

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Carry On, Carry On, Carry On!

Hola my dearly beloved family whom  I love and cherish dearly!

Wow. This week flew by. This 6 weeks flew by in reality.... it just keeps on going faster and faster. It stresses me out. Hahaha, anyway I feel like a bajillion things happened this week, all of which weren't incredibly important, hahaha, so I am just going to hit on a few days and spiritual happenings of Vista Alegre in Nasca, Peru. 

Oh, first off Hermana Torres had transfers to Lima, and now my companion is Hermana Mendez from Mexico. We are actually finishing together, so that should be fun. She is an amazing missionary and has the fire that this branch needs to get working. I am really excited for this transfer :)

Anyway. This week was Concilio and it was amazing, a total focus on the Book of Mormon. We talked a lot about how it is the key, the base of everything. If the investigators can come to know that it is true by reading it with real intent and asking in prayer if it is true, they can progress through any doubt they have. That if they read it, and we use it to answer their questions and bear testimony of its truthfulness, the power of the gospel will enter more fully and quickly into their lives. It was super spiritual and a very powerful meeting. Also, I got to talk to Hermana Bott all the way their and all the way back. She is truly one of my best friends. She got transfered to Lima too... Gonna miss her. 

Then on Thursday we had the Zone Concilio and I have really gotten to be comfortable teaching in front of the zone. I feel like that is one skill I had to develop being a leader... being able to teach in front of big groups of people and not shake and look like I am going to die. That has lessened,  a little....

Wednesday was a really good day. We had an awesome lesson with an investigator named Lisbeth. She is the mom of the little family that came to church last Sunday. Teaching her is amazing, she is so prepared- We are really hoping to find her husband this week and help them to get married and progress in the gospel... Pray for them, and that we can find more families like them this week.

Sometimes I find myself wishing I could just video tape everything. Just to let you see what I see, feel, love.  Like a little barefoot boy carrying Inca cola on his head and kicking a soccerball as he runs down the dirt road as the sun sets in front of houses made of adobe, sticks, and tin.  And as we teach Hermana Lisbeth about the Book of Mormon and testify of the truthfulness and the power in prayer, inviting her to ask God and having her respond with tears in her eyes that she wants to ask. 

I know this is short, but I get to talk to your beautiful faces on Sunday :) Wow, that flew by. I never thought we would get to this point, hahaha and it flew..... I am so thankful for this time I have to serve a mission, to be an instrument in the hands of God.

I had a testimony when I got here, thanks to amazing parents and family, but I never imagined how much it would grow.

I know that this church is true. I know without a doubt in my mind that the Book of Mormon is true. 

I know that the Savior lives, and that he loves us. That through him, we can overcome our weaknesses. Ether 12:24-29

I love you so eternally much. Thank you for everything! See you Sunday :)

Hermana Bailey

Monday, April 27, 2015

Just a Sinner Who Keeps on Trying

My beautiful beautiful family whom I love dearly dearly! How are you?!?! I am great, I miss and love you all!

This week was really good, and it seriously flew by. I decided today that I am just going to relate a couple really spiritual experiences from the week. Bear with my scattermindedness :) I just made up that word I think :)

On Wednesday we went to read the Book of Mormon with Faviana (she is the recent convert who is 75 and can't read) and when we finished the chapter and asked if she had any questions or anything, she asked us what she had to do to go to the temple and receive her endowments. We just about fell over and died. We have been trying to encourage her for weeks to go, but she was nervous about this, that, and the other. Her health isn't great. She can't read. She doesn't always understand well. She can't remember for very long, and she was nervous to have to travel. But she had been praying a lot and some of the relief society came by to encourage her about it. When we came by she decided she wanted to go. Well we hopped right on that. She had an interview with President Galargaza (the Branch President) on Thursday and an interview with the mission counselor on Saturday, and she is all good to go. We were a little worried just because sometimes it is hard for her to understand and sometimes it is hard to understand her, but both interviews went perfectly. The thing is, even though she may not understand a lot of things or a lot of what will happen in the temple, her spirit and her faith make it impossible to deny that she is more than ready to go to the temple and a more than worthy candidate to be endowed from on high. She has had a very hard life, including an incredibly abusive husband, which is why she has so many issues. But the Lord blesses His followers and loves those who just keep on trying. It was a very happy few days with her :)

On Friday, we went down to Marcona to do family history and were very successful. The members down there are awesome. Me and my comp split up to be able to teach and create accounts online at once.  I ended up teaching a recent convert couple with an older lady who has a son on a mission (who I actually knew in Ica, but that is random info).  As we talked about the temple and vicarious work, their questions lead us to a higher focus on eternal marriage, enduring to the end, and repentance. They are an AMAZING couple, and they just really want to progress and do everything they should be doing. They were so cute and sincere, and the member with me bore a powerful testimony of eternal families and the sealing ordinance. I am so thankful for the priesthood and the temple. We are so blessed.

Then, yesterday, all of our investigators with baptismal dates fell through and couldn't come to church. I was devastated. None of them lost their date, but I just felt like we had explained everything; the why, the how, the blessings, the consequences and had made really good plans and it all just fizzled out. I was praying really hard and asking Heavenly Father to forgive us for whatever mistakes we had made to not help them get to church when one of the ladies we have been teaching walked in with the member (Mayi) we had committed to get her and HER HUSBAND AND LITTLE BOY. A family walked in to the church :) It has been my prayer for months to be able to teach and help a whole family. So when they walked in, I just started to cry. We had made really firm plans with the wife and she really gets everything we teach her. They are young and have a lot of questions about everything, and they are amazing. Their names are Lisbeth and Enrique, and their little boy Fernando. HUGE tender mercy, and we are way excited to start teaching them. 
I also had to speak in church yesterday, and spoke on praying, reading the scriptures, and attending church to receive personal revelation. I felt the spirit so strongly as I spoke, and had been feeling it all morning as I prepared the talk. I felt like it was really what Heavenly Father wanted me to speak about. Then, after the meeting, 9 different people came up to me and thanked me, saying that it was exactly what they needed and that they would never forget what I had said, but more they would never forget what they felt. All 9 of them said that. It was a huge testimony to me that God knows His children, and that He will prepare his servants to be instruments in His hands when we seek it and are worthy and listen. He knows every one of his children.  He orchestrates it so that an insufficient missionary can give a talk and 9 people with real problems in Vista Alegre Nasca Peru can feel His love. God is big, but He loves individually. I know that. Christ will walk with us every day if we let him and invite him. His atonement is real, and the love of God is infinite. 

I know this gospel is true, and that Heavenly Father loves us.

The blessings of the temple are priceless.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is REAL. And it happened. On a cross at Calvary, many years ago. And my life changed that day, and continues to change every day because of that day.

The Holy Ghost is real, and powerful.

I love my family dearly, and feel eternally blessed every day to have each and every one of you :)

I love you!! Have a great week :)

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Juan 3:16
Alma 7:11-12

Monday, April 20, 2015

Surrounded by Your Glory, What Will My Heart Feel?

Hola my beloved family whom I love dearly!!!

How are you? Can't believe how fast everyone is growing and changing and how busy everyone is. Just that time of year I suppose :) I love you all so much and am always so proud to hear about all you are doing and accomplishing. You are a very special group of very special people :) (and I that mean that in a sarcastic way, boys.)

Anyway. This was another crazy week that just cements further and further my absolute love for the gospel and my being enamored with being a missionary for the only true church. Faith is built on trials and triumphs, setbacks and heartbreaks, leaps and crashes. It is a beautiful thing, really. Ever molding and growing the seed of perfection that lies (deep) within us. 

Well, I will stop letting my mind meditation spill out and give a quick update on the week :)

On Monday in Lima after internet we went to the center of Lima! It was gorgeous and I got to spend P day with Hermana Rush so that was a huge tender mercy. Also, the office Elders saved all of my letters and packages from going to Nasca so I got them in Lima!! 4 letters from Grandma Judy and my Easter package!! Another perfectly timed tender mercy. The center of Lima was super pretty, and in the evening we went to the doctor and found out that my body had just finished pushing out the parasite, and now I just have to be careful because a string of parasites and bacterias during my mission have made my colon irritable (how rude) and so now I finally have my perfect excuse to not eat rice :)  I have been eating a bunch of chia seeds, enough that my output could easily grow a chia pet. Just a fun fact :)

Then, on Tuesday we had a district meeting (in chorrillos) and I remembered why I am grateful to be in the South... because in Lima president just randomly shows up sometimes. Tooooo much pressure hahaha, but it was great to see him and hear him. He told me to go back to Nasca and ignite and change, to be what the Lord needs me to be. So I am super pumped to be back in my area :) That day with the Hermanas, we found a nuevo who talked a lot but is really interested in finding out what is true. Then, we taught this little boy who is the son of some recent converts who is going to complete 8 years and he is hilarious.  I love little kids, they are so sincere and their concerns are tender. Then, we were walking to the next appointment and started contacting a guy with one leg in a wheelchair. He leaves work everyday at 4pm to get home by 830.... I would guess he pushes his wheelchair along super busy sidewalks for close to 8 miles, no exaggerating. So we pushed him and talked to him for like 18 blocks, and then we had to leave him because it was a dangerous area and he insisted. It was a humbling experience to know someone who has to sacrifice so much just to live, and a blessing to be able to serve him in a small way.

On Wednesday we had to go to a different doctor for Hermana Guzman (she has similar to what I have but worse) and it was in Miraflores and oh my gosh it is beautiful there. BEAUTIFUL. So nice. I just walked around with my mouth hanging open in a whole different kind of culture shock. And that is still in Peru! I am actually really nervous to go home now.... it has been a long time since I have seen normal things. Hahaha, I know that sounds weird but it is true. Then, that night we taught a less active and we were able to extend a really bold invitation to come to church and explain really clearly the consequences and blessings... I really think she understood and is going to go to church :)

On Thursday we taught some really amazing people as well, and the three people we taught really just got it. They taught is :) It was really spiritual and special to be able to see the level of progression and the speed of conversion that comes when the people really repent and begin to change their hearts. Now to find that kind of people in Nasca..... onward and upward!!!

On Friday I FINALLY got to come back down South :) They had to wait forever so there would be someone I could travel with.... I ended up traveling to Pisco with an elder and a new mini missionary.  I met up with Hermana Torres (POR FIN) in Pisco and went to Ica to stay overnight Then we got back to Nasca Saturday :) Yesterday, Susana came to church! She has a baptismal date for the 23 of May, so all may pray for her :) and also Belen!! Slowly but surely the area is starting to see its miracles. I know it is all possible with the Lord's help :)

Today, we are going to eat pizza with the zone at the Fowlers house! 

This morning I read 2 Nefi 2:13, one of my favorites :)

I love you all so much.

I know that this church is true :)

I know that the temple es lo mas importante para las familias. Que por medio de las ordenanzas y convenios que efectuamos alli, podemos ser familias eternas y gozar de las bendiciones de la eternidad.

Lo siento, a veces español me sale mas facilmente.

I love you all so much.

Have a great week!!

Hermana Lauren Bailey :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is this water sanitary....? It looks questionable to me.....

Hahahaha that line alone may perfectly describe the life of a missionary in a foreign country. Hahaha and I just really love that movie :)

My dearly beloved family whom I cherish and adore!! 

How are ya? I am doing great. I love being a missionary more than words can even describe :) Well, this has been a weirdish week so I am just going to get started rambling as usual. Bear with me :)

On Monday we went to the beach in Marcona (a super southern part of Nasca) (I will send pictures next week, didn't bring my camera to Lima lo siento) and it was gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous :) I collected a bunch of really pretty rocks because it reminded me of being with the family and we walked around and took pics and looked at the ocean and pondered. I have always loved the ocean and the beach because how can you be looking at the ocean from the beach and not feel the love and greatness of God? Ah. Refreshing :) 

On Tuesday I don't really remember much of what happened, but I do remember finding a new investigator who is actually an old investigator that we are revisiting. Her name is Marina and she is very interested in the gospel, but she is afraid of changing her life and then falling again. That is a super common fear of investigators - getting baptized and then messing up. But she is really, really good, and I know that she has potential :) 

On Wednesday, we found a new less active who is actually a tad insane and talks wayyyy too much but is sweet at heart and has a daughter who isn't a member. We are now teaching her daughter and she has a baptismal date (whooooo hooooo!). Also, that day we had splits with 2 members and I went with Hermana Mayi. While we were walking, she pointed out a house of a friend to me, and we decided to stop and visit her. It was really weird not having a companion, but it was really cool to be able to  teach the restoration by myself to this amazing lady! She is super receptive, and I think she has a lot of potential. She isn't married but she totally wants to get baptized, so here is hoping we can find her husband too. It was a super cool to teach alone and see that I can do that.... I just love being a missionary, maybe a little too much.

Well, on Thursday we had a multi zone, and on Wednesday night Elder Grover (health elder) called me and told me I would be traveling to Lima for 3-5 days after the multi zone to go to the doctor because they think I have a parasite hahaha. Yay for new little friends!! So I would be traveling with Hermana Douglas. WHAT?  So I packed my bag and we left with the zone Thursday morning at 5 am ( 5 AM) to go to Ica. The multi zone was AMAZING. It was the last one we will have with the Douglases, which was actually super, super sad. It was such a spiritual meeting and you could just feel the love radiating from Sister and President Douglas. They are amazing. Talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and refining ourselves in the mission for the life thereafter. Then we got to watch MEET THE MORMONS!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, talk about surprise. It was super good :) I love President and Sister Douglas, and they also brought their 14 year-old son Chris so that was cool as well. Then, after the meeting, I said goodbye to my comp and my zone and headed to the bus station with Hermana Douglas and Chris and the Assistants (President went to Nasca for district conference). I got to sit and talk to Hermana Douglas for like 5 hours. It was really cool, a rare blessing. She reminds me a lot of mom. But I have lost a lot of ability in conversing in English.... haha

When we got to Lima, I went to the office (at like 12:30 am) with the Assistants and then Hermana Jara and Hermana Guzman came to get me in the office. They will be my hosts :) They are amazing. I have been staying with them and proselyting with them, and it has been really fun. I went to the doctor, had uncomfortable discussions about my poop with him (they think I have a parasite ....did I mention that that is why we spoke of my poop) and then had to have blood drawn from my hand (oww.) Then I had to take home a 3 day poop test. Eww. So many things I didn't know I would do in this life. Hahaha, and the last little poop container (I call them the smurf tubes, to myself, because no one else speaks English) was delivered this morning.  I have an appt. tonight and then I should be good to go back to Nasca very soon!! Whoo hoo for no more carrying poop in smurf tubes on public transportation in one of the biggest cities in the world! Hahaha Lima is weird. Parts of it are super nice and I just walk around with my mouth open because I have been in pueblitos for like a year. Hahaha

While I have been in the area of the Hermanas, they had a really beautiful baptism and a lot of spiritual lessons :) I love that wherever you are, you are a missionary. Lots of taxi driver contacts too, They are really interesting people always. A bus lady talked to me in English today... and she accepted a baptismal date. I am excited to pass that reference along :) I love being a missionary. More than anything else I have ever done :) I am quite sure I will never stop missing this calling. I love it :) 

I love my Savior. 

I love doctors :) (sort of....)

I love this Gospel.

I love, love, love being a missionary.

I love my Mission President.


I love the temple :)

I love you.

Have a great week!! 

Hermana Lauren Bailey and her possible parasite friends :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Can Teach You to Dance, but You Have to Hear the Music....

That talk was sooo pretty. I really loved it and thought it was profound :) and I love music. It was Wilford A Andersen of the 70 :)

Holy moly hola my familia who I love so deeply and eternally!!!

Happy (belated) Easter and conference weekend!!! Wasn't it amazing? I think it was amazing. I love conference, and I think easter is one of the most tender holidays ever. It is just a really special time of year :) I loved stepping back a little this year and really trying to think about what was happening during this last week more than 2000 years ago in the life of Christ (which isn't that difficult when you live in a catholic country with lots of relatively scary parades and so forth to reenact it all) and it was a really cool experience. 

Last Monday for pday we traveled!! Whoo hoo! Hahah this week was concilio for leaders in Lima so on Monday we got up bright and early to head for Ica. We did internet there and then ate Burger King. :) Ahhh, tender mercies ahahaha. Then, I went to Lima with Hermana Bott and her comp Hermana Villena who is also a leader this change. We had to take the normal bus (we usually take vip which is faster and has bigger seats and doesn't stop every 10 seconds and has air conditioning) to pick up another sister in Cañete.... so that was entertaining. Hahaha but I got to see Hermana Wilkins for like 6 seconds and it is always a delight to get to talk to Hermana Bott, so all is well :)

The next day was concilio and it was sooo good. I really love and respect President and Hermana Douglas so much. I am really going to miss them when they leave. They are truly amazing. And after more than a year I feel really close to them. And the spirit was very, very strong in this concilio. I feel like everything in the mission and the concilios and what I am experiencing just keeps getting more and more spiritual. It is an interesting thing :) They talked a lot about finding and helping people to repent and progress through commitments. I really think we can apply that a lot to my area and progress better, so I am very excited for that.

Then on Wednesday we finally made it back to Nasca after sleeping over in Ica. We were able to have a few lessons and a few in family history. But funny story I was actually feeling sick and so we had to like book it to the capilla and we were in a taxi and there was a song called fireball (I don't know if it exists in English but I don't know that it is good so don't look it up) but it was just so ironic because my insides were on fire and I could help but laugh. Then after I felt way better so no worries :)

One of the really spiritual experiences of this week was when we had a really sweet single mother member (Mayi, she is absolutely amazing. Big fire in this branch) accompanying us to an appointment. It turned out she knew the investigator and that they are both single moms. In the middle of the lesson, we asked Mayi to share her testimony and it was very very powerful. We are hoping we can have more lessons with the two of them this week and help her family to progress :)

We found 2 awesome new investigators also with the help of Mayi, so it was a really good week. I absolutely loved conference, I cant even hit all my favorites but I love when they testify of the atonement and resurrection. I love the fact that we can always change. That God's promises are right there and that he wants to bless us. That he needs us to be as good as we can, and that we can do it! That families are sooooo important and so beautiful. That marriage and home and children are tender :) I am so thankful for the home I was raised in, for my amazing parents and for my brothers. I am so thankful for extended family and for this gospel. For the temple and for the enabling power of the atonement :) For the blessing of being a missionary at this time. It is my only true prayer and hope that I can be and do what the Lord wants me to do and follow HIs will.

Matthew 25:34-40, 21.

I love you all so dearly!

The blessings of the temple are priceless.

All of God's blessings will be received by the obedient.

I love my family!

I know this gospel is true without a shadow of a doubt. 

I love you :)

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Seeds of Perfection

One of my favorite quotes from conference was (something like....) none of us are perfect in this mortal life, but we all have seeds of perfection within us. I love that! I think that is so profound. I need more time to ponder it hahahaha :) 

Anyway. My dearly beloved family whom I love so dearly!

How the heck are you??? Seriously getting a kick out of all the pics and videos I had today, made my whole life. I am so blessed and grateful to have such an amazing family.  I am eternally grateful, and eternally grateful that I will have them for eternity :)

Well on Tuesday we actually ended up working for half of P-day because we had appointments... I think that means we are old lame missionaries, hahaha ,but it was  really good day. Hermana Tuquerres got in from Ayacucho and she told me that Diana Pastor got baptized!!! She was Jossy's sister in Ayacucho that couldn't get baptized because she wasn't married. I cried :) I love this gospel.

On Wednesday we had our District meeting and the focus of this week was to find 10 new investigators to show our repentance and diligence to open our mouths (Doctrine and Covenants 33) and we left totally excited to find as many as we possibly could. We had found 2 on Monday and were ready to show our faith and just find :) Well we left that meeting and had like the weirdest afternoon of my mission hahaha. We taught 5 new people. 5!!! That is unheard of!! But of those 5, only 1 accepted a second visit... also unheard of. Hahahaha so we taught like full lessons and then got straight up rejected by 4 people.  It was pretty weird... but also pretty funny. We ended up with 1 new investigator that day (Vanessa, is a single mom with a 7 year old son who believes in God but has a lot of trials) and felt like we were still off to a good start, with increased opposition which almost always means what you are doing is right :)

On Thursday we found a new investigator right off in the morning! Liliana has lot of faith in God, but has never really understood how to exercise it. Then, the whole day no one was around. Hahaha so after the morning... pretty much nothing happened, haha, but still a stellar day. We passed by to talk to a less active we have been working with and she totally opened up to us for like the first time. We were able to teach a little better to her needs. (Cleisy. She is the bomb.) and she said she was going to come to church!! Then she got sick and she didn't, heartbreak.)

On Friday we didn't find anyone because we went to Marcona!! Yay for hour long adventures in scary scary vans! Haha but it was really great. We always have lots of family history success down there. And there was a lady who just hugged me and hugged me because she was so excited to meet someone with pioneer heritage. I am so blessed (I will never understand why) and so grateful to be able to serve among the loving, faithful people of Peru.

On Saturday my comp woke up sick!!! We called the Elders ASAP for a blessing and were praying all morning to be able to leave in the afternoon and find new investigators. We were able to leave and as a huge miracle and tender mercy found THREE right away. Maria and her two youngest kids Alonso and Jimena. They are so receptive and sweet, and we are way excited to keep teaching them ;) We saw miracles ALLLLLLLL week with new investigators as we really tried to repent and be the best missionaries we could be. Then that night was the Women's Conference, and I absolutely loved it. Always thinking of all my ladies at home.... mom, grandmas, aunts, friends and missionaries as well :) I have a lot of blessings in my life. Especially my mom :)  and my dad. And well I guess the 3 bros too :) loved the focus on families and eternity. Was the best :)

Then, on Sunday, freaking nobody came to church. KILL ME. Everyone was on vacation for Semana Santa. flip. But then in the afternoon, we saw 3 MORE MIRACLES. Three new investigators :) completing our goal of 10. We are so incredibly pumped and even more humbled. I love this gospel, and I love this missionary message and this missionary work.

We are so blessed to have the church (so well established) in our lives.

The temple brings blessings that are temporal and eternal.

I saw 2 rats and 3 cockroaches this week.

I promise I will send pictures next week, don't trust the computer.

A lady with a hand scythe totally got in our taxi this week and it was so funny and so scary. Should have seen the driver's face #pricelesss #gonnamissperu

I am so blessed. I know this church is true. I know that Christ lives, and so will we.

I love my family :)

Les amo!
Hermana Lauren Bailey

Drop in the Ocean

Mother Teresa once said about the difference she was making (or not making) "What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean, but if we didn't do it, the ocean would be one drop less than it is."

We are all just trying to add our drops to the ocean :) When I think about all of the people I love and care about all trying to add their drops..... we make a pretty big difference. 
And one drop of an incomprehinsibly immense ocean is an awful lot for one person alone to be filled with.... 

Just a thought :)


Well, as you all know Monday was a weird day because the internet just like quit working, In all of Nasca. Seriously, how does that even happen? It is actually really funny, because then yesterday was transfers (I am staying with my comp :)) and everyone had to travel to Lima and the bridge got washed out (it is a really little bridge) and now no one can come back.... Nasca is just a funny little place. Monday was still a great day, even after waiting 5 hours to do internet. I love you all so much, and I am so blessed to have such an amazing family.

Tuesday was a pretty routine day, we taught a few people in familiy history as well so that was really great. This week I have been trying to read the conference talks from the last conference to prepare for this weekend (YAY WOMENS CONFERENCE OH MY HECK EVERYONE NEEDS TO GO) and next weekend. I was reading the talk by Elder Kelbingat (or something like that) about approaching the throne of God with confidence. And it was sooo good. I loved the part where he talked about repenting constantly and quickly, as to be always fit for the kingdom of God. It was really good (although there is also a burn in there about being over weight... thanks Jorg no one asked you) but it was amazing. I love it :)

Wednesday was AMAZING. Elder Waddell was doing a mission tour and he came down to Ica to talk to all of us. He talked a lot about finding and our purpose as missionaries, and he said at least 100 times that our goal is to create eternal families. That the priesthood exists to create eternal families. and that all that we do is to create eternal families. That is God's purpose (Moses 1:39) and that is EVERYTHING. The temple and what we do there is EVERYTHING. The people who we love and call family are EVERYTHING. This gospel and following the path of discipleship is EVERYTHING. And i am so grateful for it, and for the spiritual boost it was on Wednesday.

On Thursday, we went to visit a less active named Gladis and were able to teach her with her 10 year old son Juan who has never been baptized. He is so smart and has such a huge desire to learn. It was a really neat experience to be able to teach him (I love kids, they get the simpleness of the gospel perfectly) and I think it is really going to motivate his mom too. Eternal families is the goal :)

On Friday I was reading in Mosiah 5:7-9 about being a covenant people and being disciples of Christ. In verse 9, it talks about taking Christ's name and recognizing by which name we are called.... and it reminded me of when Christ appears to Mary in the garden and she recognizes him as the master when he calls her name, because she had heard it before. She had followed him and learned the way that his voice sounds. She had heard it calling her before. We too can come to know by what name we are called, by ever trying to bring ourselves closer to Christ.

On Saturday, we received a miracle. We found 2 new investigators! One was the mom of a less active family that we have been working with like this whole transfer, and we are really really excited to start working with her. Saturday was also the day that we found out about changes, the most dreaded and anticipated call of every 6 weeks (and it is always like at 11:30 at nightt) and we are staying the same here in Nasca! Me and Hermana Torres! We are really excited, and really ready to see the miracles here in Nasca.

Sunday was a good day as well! We had one investigator in church (a friend a member brought, yay member missionaries! We need lots of those...) and then we found 3 NUEVOS INVESTIGADORES!  Talk about grace and miracles and tender mercies. We are really finding some really great people, and we finally surpassed our rut of not finding new people. It was amazing :) Then, that night, as is tradition in Nasca, we all went to the Fowler's house for dinner to say goodbye to everyone who is leaving. We had pancakes and french toast and bacon and it was a really fun night. I am really going to miss Hermana Wilkins, and we realized last minute we probably might not see each other again in Peru.... just depends. but weird stuff :) It has been fun to be in a zone with her again.  Hermana Tuquerrez, my old comp, is coming to the zone!!! So that should be fun :)

Well, yesterday was Monday and not P-day because of transfers so we had to proselyte.... and usually Monday just really doesn't go well proselyting, but yesterday we saw EVEN MORE MIRACLES. We found 2 GOLDEN investigators, one in the morning (Anaiis who is 23 and looking for God in her life) and Dennis who is a mother of 2 who is passing through a lot of trials and is from Ayacucho and is pretty sure she saw me in Alameda?  She lived in the elders area :)) We had a really successful day with lessons, which just doesn't happen on Mondays. Ever. In my whole mission. Hahaha we are being so blessed and seeing sooooo many miracles. I feel so blessed and so happy to be a missionary in this time. 

I know that the miracles we see depends on us, and how well we are fulfilling our calling. I know that this church and this gospel are so true :) I know that families can be eternal, and I know that the temple is the most important place on this earth, aside from the home. 

I know that Christ lives, and that he loves us.

I love you all so dearly!

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Monday, March 16, 2015

Discover How Much Your Heart Can Hold

My Dearly Beloved Family, Today the internet was (and is) down in Nasca for the whole day. 
3rd world problems.... 
I take so much for granted, and sometimes God just has to remind me. This email is going to be super fast and super scattered, but my heart is full and I feel incredibly blessed this week and today. God is good, and patience and faith are the formula to lasting happiness and joy. It is just carry on, carry on, carry on! And it is a joyous
journey.if we make it that way through gratitude and using the atonement:) Anyway. On Monday, we went to this ruins place called Cahuachi and it was sooo windy but was really cool because according to like history it could have totally been Zarahemla.... very cool. Also that night we had planned a Family Home Evening with some less actives and a ton of members came and it was a huge success! We are really working on strengthening the branch and the members. 

On Tuesday, we had a lot of member support again! Three members came with us
to visit a family of inactive sisters who just really need a lot of support. It was awesome to see the branch working and the blessings flowing. Wednesday, I had exchanges with Hermana Sintay and it was really good! She is an
amazing missionary, and I continue learning more than anyone else on the exchanges
through their examples. 

Thursday was the best day of the week. We started proselyting in the afternoon and I just felt weird and down.... I don't know what it was, but we were both feeling it. Then, we decided to go and visit a recent convert who is about 80 named Fabiana. She can't read, so we read the Book of Mormon to her and try to help her understand. She is really smart, just never had the opportunity to get an education because she lived in a little pueblo and then worked her whole life. But it frustrates her to not be able to understand the scriptures and things very well.... Her faith is amazing and she literally wants it more than anything. But it is hard for her. Well we read in 1 Nephi 11 when he asks Nephi if he understands the nature of God and he says I don't understand everything, but I know God loves us. After that, she prayed to close the lesson and it was the most sincere prayer begging for light and understanding I have ever heard in my whole life. She has so much faith in God, and she was just pleading with him to understand, and she just said, "I am your daughter!" and i just started bawling. I felt it so strong, what she by faith understands. That she is a daughter of god! and that He WILL care for us. 3 Nephi 13-26-33, Doctrine and Covenants 50:40-41, Moses 1:13 After that lesson, we prayed as a companionship and went to our next appointment and were able to set a baptismal date! Susana, who lost her husband, is preparing to be baptized the 18th of April. Then we found a new investigator, and the spirit of our day just completely changed. Thanks to the faith of Fabiana :)

 I was reading this week in the bible dictionary about temples,  and it says the temple and the home are the holiest places
 in the world. Doctrine and Covenants 136:31, we are tried in all things to be fit for the kingdom. The Spirit is so important and so delicate,.... it comes in the still and quiet moments, and we need to learn to live and thrive in those moments to be able to feel and live by the spirit. I am so thankful for this gospel, for this day, and for the blessings that God has given me. I am so thankful for my family, and for the Holy Ghost. God lives and He loves us, and we are His children. The temple is a holy house where we can feel the love of our Father and taste our potential. 

Christ lives, and He died for every single one of our sins, sorrows, and sufferings. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Kingdom of God on this earth, and only by and through the teachings of the  Book of Mormon can we make it back to Him who created us. I am so filled with love for my Savior and for my family and for the people of Peru. 

Thank you for everything, I love you all!!! -- 

*Hermana Bailey*