Monday, January 26, 2015

Well That Was Fast....

Birthday Party

Hermanas at the Oasis

That really did go really fast.

I can't believe that one year ago Wednesday, I was in the temple doing sealings with my parents and one year ago Thursday I was in a plane headed to a far away country :)

I can't believe the testimony of that sealing power has carried me on its wings until today or that that far away land has become my refiners fire and my home.
Well, actually I can believe that.

Anyway :) I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I am so blessed. I was flooded with Happy Birthday emails today and I got 3 packages from my family and from Grandma Judy this week. I am so blessed :)

Anyway. quick update on the semana :)

On Monday, we went to the Huacachina. For the record, it is still a hellish experience to climb the sand dune. Burns your feet, Burns your face, lots of wind and dirt and pain. But it is also inexplicably fun and pretty :) I am going to miss climbing it when I am not longer in Ica.... sort of.

On Tuesday, first we had our meeting of Liders and then of the whole zone and President sent out a focus of quality and quantity, talking about how as a mission we are baptizing more prepared people, and now we just need to build our own faith to find more of the more prepared people. It was really powerful. :) And right on for my focus and personal goal of building my faith.

On Wednesday, I read your faith talks that you sent me upon request :) Thank you. They were really awesome :) Also, we didn't have very many lessons, so I had some time to sit and read some stories about my ancestors and it was just really cool. And really tender :) Family history is seriously so special. 

Then, on Thursday, for service we went and helped Hermana Aurora, our pension, to clean her house and stuff. I love her so much :) They have been my favorite pension in my mission. They are a very special, humble little family. 

On Friday we had a ton of lessons, and we are really sprinting to get ready for the temple this week. We have about 20 people prepping.  Pray for all of them! This is the week when the opposition comes, because satan also knows how important and vital the temple is for them. We felt like we were really really blessed, and earlier in the week we had decided to just put EVERYTHING  in order... our area book, records, indicators, house, and lives ahahah and then trust in the Lord to bless us with lessons and people. Cleaning the vessel and the instrument so that it could be used in the hands of the Lord and His work... and it has WORKED. It has been such a tender mercy and a testimony building week. I know that the Lord blesses those who are worthy, but it isn't always easy to be so worthy. That is the trial :)

On Saturday,  I was on an exhange with Hermana Alonso and it was way fun :) We spent the morning walking around all of Ica looking for houses though... and it was really, really, really hot. Hahaha and then... Saturday in the night.... my pension and the Elders and Hermanas threw a birthday party for me :) Mostly, it was just like to have a dinner all together because this week is going to be crazy, but we ate tacos and had fun and it was really, really, really sweet. It was actually insanity because  we had to cook it but it was delicious :) and sweet. I really love my pension family and all of the missionaries we pension with :) 

I am totally only giving really sporadic information this week, sorry. I was talking back and forth with the family and repeatedly watching the Happy Birthday videos they sent me :) To finish this most random email ever, on Sunday (yesterday) I stole a cactus. Because my companion is constipated and apparently those help when you eat them? And I got like 15 pokies in my hand and I ran so fast and it was like in the middle of the day. Hahahahaha :)

Anyway. the important thing is that I love you all :) and I love this mission. I love the Savior, and I love this gospel. I love the Book of Mormon, and I love the temple. 

Thank you for all the birthday wishes and continual, loving support. I am so incredibly blessed.

I love you! 
Thank you!!

Hey. We made it a year :) :)

Hermana Lauren Bailey

In honor of my birthday and one year in the mission, I will now list 20 things I haven't done after one year in the mission field: 1. Driven a car 2. Been to church in English 3. Hugged my mom 4. Held a baby 5. Been to a family party (of my own family related by blood, mind you) 6. Gone a whole day without eating rice 7. Had a deep doctrine discussion with my dad 8. Seen a completely normal dog 9. Smelled cow poop 10. Listened to worldly music 11. Watched Judd play ball 12. Taken a nap after church 13. Read a book that wasn't in the missionary library 14. Watched T.V 15. Heard Wyatt laugh 16. Been to Walmart 17. Drinken (drunk? drank? flip.) Cream of Weber milk 18. Been to Costco 19. Pulled Will´s hair 20. Worn pants for a whole day

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Ship in the Harbor is Safe... But That Isn't What Ships Were Made For

My Dearly Beloved Familia Whom I Love!

Well, here we go with another too-fast-typed, completely rambling, horrible grammar email. All that I hope is that the love I have for you and the mission is conveyed in the disjointed commentaries that always spill out of my emails :) Hahaha


On Monday, after Pday, we went on splits with the other Ica sisters and I was with Hermana Villena and we had a FHE with our pensionist family (the Galindos, whom I love) and I hurt my finger and Candy, their little girl, (the one from the Christmas picture) was like you need to look for your Mom! And I just started laughing and it made me think of how much I love my parents. And how I always go to them instantly when I am hurt or need their help :) Well, except when I am like in a different country. But in reality.... it is still their faces and voices and advice that comes to my mind. And then it also made me think... how quick are we to repent or to turn to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when we get hurt? They know how to fix it. It might hurt... like a mom waiting with hydrogen peroxide and a band aid when you skin your knee... but she knows how to fix it. Just like our Father in Heaven and our Savior :)

Then on Tuesday I got 3 letters from Grandma Judy! She will probably never know how much those mean to me (and little does she know she is keeping our family history....) or how much it pains me to not be able to answer her and just have the other side of the conversation with her (It doesn't help that Serpost of Ica (just Ica, no worries) is on strike, or too lazy to open...) and then, that day I was reading in Mosiah 4 ( I love Mosiah 4) in verses 6-12 and I loved that it says just believe in God. Believe that He is! That He exists. I think that is one of the huge things I have learned on my mission.... that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real. That the Atonement really happened. That the creation really happened. That we are really daughters and sons of God. That it isn't all just a fairytale or something you learn at church.... it is the most important knowledge and understanding we can come to have. 

On Wednesday, I walked into a mission prep class to steal a hymn  book and the teacher asked me to bear my testimony to the class about family history... Sometimes all we need to feel the fire again or to remember why we are here is to testify. Bearing testimony and saying to ourselves and to others and to Heavenly Father what we believe allows the Holy Ghost to enter us and remind us that WE DO believe it. Testimony is very powerful :) 

On Thursday, we were playing like Spanish quaker in language study where the first person to speak Spanish loses (I lost, by the way) and it was hilarious because when I lost, Hermana Villena (in English) was like she knows the rules... she broke the rules.... and the way she said it was so funny. And really this isn't even funny now that I think of it, but everything is funny in the mission because.... well it just is. There isn't a lot of entertainment outside of the scriptures. Ahahaha. And the stupid Huacachina that we are climbing today. Again. 

On Friday (like all other Fridays) we had weekly planning and we had both just felt really strongly that we needed to work to put everything in order.... So we did and then that night it was lesson locura (madness) from like 6-9.  It was awesome and a huge blessing to see what happens when you follow the Spirit and try to do everything to like "clean the vessel" like it says in the scriptures.

On Saturday, we had a like finance workshop all morning (which will help in the mission and in my future life,but math stresses me out) and then we went to the restaurant of the family Galindo where we pension.  They were like super stressed with customers and it was just the two of them working with the little girls running wild por todos lados. So I went in the kitchen and started washing dishes to help them.  It was just something I felt like I could do... a lot of times, we want to help but there are very few things we know how to do. So we just do what we know how (that is all the our Heavenly Father asks of us, too. Just do what you can.) and Hermano Galindo was like, "Hermana Bailey, do you know that you are a good person?" And that just hit me really hard. Because that is all I really want to be. I want to grow to be a good person. And I have a looooong way to go. But I hope that my mission is accelerating it :)

Well, this week has flown by. This next week we are going to be working like crazy to get a bunch of people ready for the temple. We are planning on going the 30th and 31st of January. Pray that all will fall into place for these people! They are working so hard in their family history.  I can't wait for them to have the satisfaction of getting to go inside the temple and do the ordinances for their ancestors :) 

I love the temple! I love the mission. I love people :) I LOVE my family :) I love my Savior. And I know that he lives :)

Thank you for all that you do for me!

Have an amazing week!

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Marvelous Work and a Wonder :)

Hermana Bond, Hermana Bailey and Hermana Bott

How the heck are you? I really do miss you, even though I really do love my mission and am never coming home (although I don't think they allow that so Wyatt may want to work on coping skills) 

ANYWAY. This week was crazy long and crazy short. Life is so weird, seriously.

Monday, right after email we packed our bags and ate lunch and headed out with the zone leaders of Ica and of Nazca to go to Lima. It was a hilarious, long bus ride. But shorter than usual because we went VIP which reallly only means they don't stop and in the middle, and they give you ginger ale which you promptly want to throw up. But it was great! Hahaha. And then that night we got there at like 9 and we got to stay in a hotel with Hermana Bond and Hermana Saucedo and eat pizza. I got to reflect and talk to Hermana Bond for like 2 hours and it was the bomb. And we stayed in a hotel (not like a nice one, hahaha, but still.... weird.... ) 

Then, on Tuesday we woke up early and got ready because we had to be in the chapel (that is going to be the new mission office. Seriously, it is enormous. Like the brigham city temple) at 830. When we got to the chapel the gym was all decorated with big tables and pretty table cloths. What concilio is is that once a month (the first Tuesday of every month usually) all zone leaders and sister training leaders go to Lima and President and Hermana Douglas and the Assistants train us and then we go back and train the zone. The meeting was awesome. President talks with so much fire and I was only mildy awestruck the whole time. Hahaha. I love that the focus of the mission has changed so much since I got here... now it is all on families and the temple. The work is hastening :)

Then on Wednesday we came back (well, concilio ended late at like 5 and we came home at like 10) and we taught all of the workshops that they taught in concilio... and that was a little scary. These last couple of changes I have had a lot of practice presenting and stuff because of family history but this was scarier. Teaching in front of the whole zone. But it was good and I finished it without even dying. I think I am being forced to grow a ton so that is fun. Hahaha or not....

Then, on Thursday we had 6 lessons for family history. It was crazy. And it was really great because we were really worried about not having lessons this week but that day helped us boost our numbers a ton. 

On Friday, we left at 10 for Nazca to do exchanges! And I was really, really nervous, but it was great! I was in a trio to do a double exchange with Hermana Torres and Hermana Freyre. I learned so much. I have never learned so much in an exchange in my life.  And I was just hit by the love I have for them and the respect I have for them. If anyone who has a missionary in the Peru Lima South Mission reads this, just know that your missionary is amazing. I am constanly humbled by the examples around me :)

Well, the weeks just keep flying by. Time is weird on missions, but it is a good weird. A blessed weird :) There are soooo many tender mercies and little miracles in every day. 

There are only about 27 of these emails left....

Weird. I love you all so much! I Hope you have the best day ever.  Seriously. You are all such a blessing to me :) 

I love you.

I love you!

Do something in the work of salvation this week :) Share the gospel. Bear your testimony :) Go to the temple!

Hermana Bailey

Monday, January 5, 2015

Like Stones in a River....

There is a song that says like stones in a river we are tossed and turned, smoothed til the edges are gone.....

Some weeks, you get tossed and turned a lot more than you would maybe choose of your own free will. But that is life... right?


How the heck are you?? Sounds like you are freezing to death there... bahahaha it is like 75 degrees in Ica.... jealous?

Anyway. this week was great! well, it was actually really really really stressful. But like I think I have said before, whenever I look back on the week it was always just fine. I think that is like the beautifying power of the mission... and maybe the enabling power of the atonement. allowing us to do and continue on through the things we never thought we would be able to.

I think I am rambling. Anyway.
This week with Hermana Santiago started out with a disaster. Well, the realization of a disaster. We were just talking about like family history and indicators and such and all of a sudden (I think it was the spirit because I really don't know how else it would have even happened ) I just had a huge feeling that something was very wrong with our indicators. So I made her stop and explain every indicator of family history they were using in Pisco (in family history) in this weird like excel form the mission office has us use. Well, all in all, in the end it turns out here in Ica we were counting two indicators (well more like 5) really, really wrong. And it was like one of those things that is like a little, almost unnoticeable mistake IN THE BEGINNING. But after 3 months, it was a huge numerical difference. Massive, really.
And it was my fault.
And somebody had to fix it.... 
And.... somebody had to tell President. 

Well, after racking my brain and freaking out for like two days, the indicators were fixed (and a lot lower) and we felt.... weird. Like something wasn't right. And we started digging further and further into alll of the indicators and the form that the whole mission for family history was using isn't measuring things correctly.... so we started doing crazy excel formulas (anyone who knows me knows I loathe math. It was literally a week of mind blowing math) and just now it is sort of right....

I realize this probably doesn't even make much sense, but this was my stress of the week. Ahaha and even hesitated to say it.... but without it, I wouldn't have anything to write because this was literally my entire week. The freak out. And, I am still happy :) The mission is still my favorite thing in the whole world. But, it is not easy at times. That is why it is so special I think :)

Aaaah. Well, in the end, all is (almost) well, President did like heavy labor breathing (as I silently cried and tried not to pass out from fear)  on the phone for 30 seconds when I told him that the form he had just sent to the Area Seventy was wrong and it was my fault. He is so great. He handled it so well. Hahaha 

Anyway. I think this week was so hard.... because I was like humbled to the polvo. (dust?). And (this is hard to admit) I hate admitting that I am wrong. And I really find taking the blame and responsibility for things very difficult..... but I had to do it this week. And that was really humbling... but also on some level sort of freeing. 

I also was able to see the little tender mercies more clearly this week, weird how when we are passing through a difficult time, our eyes are better opened to the little things. Like my amazing pension who makes me steak when they cooked fish because they know I hate it. For Tejas (delicious Ican candies) while looking for housing for elders. For the feather pillow Hermana Muñoz gave me :) For Hermano Nefi (an old less active that was rescued during my time in San Juan) and seeing him in SOYUS on Monday! For conference talks and email Monday and Inca cola and the sacrament :) I love this gospel.

We are never alone. When it is hard, He is there. Christ came to earth to suffer for us so that He could be with us in the hard times. So He could understand us :) So that he could help us to be better and return to live with Him :) 

I love this gospel, 
I love being a missionary :)
I love my family!!!

Have a great week :)

(sorry this email is so scattered... I promise I am not crazy.)

Hermana Bailey

OH my missionary scripture is Alma 29:9.... but this week I read verse 10. And those two verses together I think is the biggest thing I have learned so far in the mission :)

I love Christ.