|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!
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