Monday, February 23, 2015

Did You Think to Pray?

In Front of the Church in Nazca

HOLA FAMILIA!!!!!!!!!!!! I loveth you all :)

Well every week is packed with so much stuff and yet flies by sooo fast.

Here we go :)

On Monday after internet we went to the Fowler's house, who are the senior missionary couple. We ate mini pizzas, and they were soooo good. Then we played Uno and Pictionary and it was a really relaxing, fun Pday. (Today we are playing water games (it is like 95 degrees) and eating Chilean food) then, in the evening, we were looking for less actives to teach. I called President about an exchange for the week. While we were talking, he told me that we needed to have faith that we would find a new investigator in the next hour and it would happen. So we prayed and went and asked a member for a reference, and we found a new less active and her 13 year old daughter who isn't baptized! It was a big testimony builder and it really got us fired up for the week.

On Tuesday we had our district meeting.  Right after I had an exchange with Hermana Giler who is in training and it was way good. We taught a crazy less active who just kept screaming at us, but we were able to talk about sacrifice.... if God sacrificed his Son for you, can't you at least go to church to partake of the sacrament every week? And then she stopped screaming and agreed to come to church. That was a good spiritual experience for Hermana Giler, it was awesome :)

Then on Wedenesday we had a multi-zone up in Ica and we had to get on the bus to go at 6. But it was way worth it! We saw Hermana Bott and every one in Ica and the Galindo family. It was a super good multi-zone. We practiced a lot of teaching the apostasy (it is a hot button topic in a catholic nation) and I learned a lot! The goal of the multi-zone was to see our weaknesses as teachers and change them. I felt really good (humbled) afterward and just really excited to change and learn more about the way the Lord teaches and apply it in my teaching.

On Thursday I had an exchange with Hermana Wilkins and it was really fun to be able to proselyte with her and be able to talk in English in the street....I miss English, but I also don't know how to speak it anymore. Ahahahah, it is rather shameful. We talked a lot of deep doctrine too, and it was really fun conversation. We had a lesson with a convert who recently was endowed and talked about how important the law of chastity is (she got a new bf....). It was really powerful to realize that it is one of the only commandments mentioned in the temple... obviously it is really important. It was a really spiritual lesson :)

Then on Friday, the grace finally came :) (after all you can do).  We were walking to a lesson and a little boy came running out of a side street thing and asked us if we were Mormons. Then he told us his mom wanted to talk to us. It turns out they just moved here from Iquitos (jungle) and the mother- in-law isn't a member, so we started teaching her! It was awesome. This family is seriously so cute. They live in one of the most humble houses I have seen.  While we were waiting for them to get ready for church yesterday, it almost made me cry. Then they came out all dressed in the best they have and speed walked all the way to the church. Just so excited. They are really great :)

On Saturday we found another new investigator, the mom of a recent convert whose husband died 2 weeks ago. She is super prepared and super ready to learn about the Plan of Salvation. She already has a huge testimony. So we have a lot of plans to help her progress towards baptism. She is amazing, and is really sad, but is trying to find comfort in her faith. That night we had an activity with the Relief Society about family history and we also made chocolates... and it was way funny and I think we gained a lot of trust with the sisters, which we really need. I am super excited to work with them and know them better!

On Sunday, we had 3 investigators come to church and we were really happy. We have a lot of plans this week to set baptismal dates, find nuevos, and bring them all to church!

This week was a week of miracles, hope, and faith. I know that the miracles are there, we just have to be faithful enough to receive them. I know that this is the work of the Lord, and that His hand is here. I know that this church is true, and that it is the pathway to get to eternal life.... I know that love is a power more powerful than anything else, especially the love of our Savior for each one of us.

The church is true.

Christ lives :)

I love the mission.

I love my dear family :)

Have a great week!!

Hermana Bailey

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Goal is a Consecrated Life

Hola familia that I love dearly!

How are you? Before I begin the random, scatter-brained recount of this week, I had to tell you before I forget that my last weekend in Ica, my pension fed us manta ray (like the thing that stung Steve Irwin and killed him).  It was really weird and not very appetizing, and they wouldn't tell me what it was until I ate it. I just felt you needed to know that. 

Anyway. Moving on. 

On Tuesday for Pday, we bought a bunch of stuff we needed for our house and ate at a delicious cafe. The middle of Nasca is like super touristy so there is random yummy food.... hahaha and then we slept for like 2 hours and it was glorious. That night we had a lesson in family history with this crazy recent rescue. It was really spiritual and tender until she started telling us about how she had a theory that God lived in the ocean and we were all fish until God discovered that he could fly and we all became humans.... I almost died. I just love people so much.

On Wednesday we had our District meetings and so forth, and they were really powerful. We talked a lot about teaching in the Lord's way, and inviting people to make and keep commitments that will really help them progress. There are only 12 missionaries in Nasca, so it is a fun little group. That afternoon we taught a woman named Basilia who is progressing towards baptism. Her and her husband have come to church and she has a lot of desire. They are slowly making plans go get married so that they can get baptized :) It is really fun to teach her because she really lets the Spirit work on her and she understands how she needs to change to be able to follow the Savior. We just are trying to have more lessons with her husband and help them to come to church :) We also taught a recent rescue named Mama Rina, hahaha, and she was telling us about her experience doing the temple work for her mom. It was really tender and I felt once again how important the work of the temple is in our lives, the hope and peace that temple covenants bring to us :)  

On Thursday me and Hermana Torres were talking a lot about what we had learned on the mission and what we wanted to see happen here. We talked about wanting to be better followers of Christ and his counsel.  We made some really great goals for these next couple of months and we are really excited :) Then we went to visit a bunch of less actives and walked like 8 miles. But it was a gorgeous walk and we contacted a lot, so it was great :) Then that night at midnight we got on a bus with the members and headed to the temple. I just love members. They are hilarious. We got to the temple early in the morning and the senior missionary couple, the Fowlers, and us printed out all the name cards and got them distributed to all the members. They spent the whole day (7-7 ) in the temple doing multiple baptisms, sessions, and sealings for their family members. It was a really cool spirit as they filed out and told us about the work they were doing. We also got to do a session in the afternoon with some of them, and that was really, really fun. I love the temple :) I think about the faith of these members to sacrifice and go to the temple every time I sit in the visitors center in Lima and watch the sun rise on groups of sleeping saints from all over Peru, Chile, and other close countries. It is inspiring :) 

On Saturday (Happy Valentines Day!) we found new investigator named Gubin and it was a super  funny lesson. He has some weird theories about God and such...

Then on Sunday we had church! One of our investigators named Gustavo came and it was really cool to see him interact with the members. Our branch is teeny tiny, 68 people (and one persistent dog) attended yesterday. Our church is on the first floor of a house and it is so weird. Like a whole new kind of culture shock. But there are a few super duper faithful members here, and I am super excited to be able to work with them and see the spirit of missionary work transform this little branch into a strong ward of families and priesthood holders :) 

This week I was really struck by what it really means to live a consecrated life. It means to give everything to the gospel and trying to live a Christ centered life. It is the example of my parents :) It is what I want to have, and what I want the people I teach to have. It is the key to happiness :)

The gospel is true! The Savior lives. The purpose of life is to have joy :) I love missionary work. I love my family :)

I love you!

Hermana Lauren Bailey

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Savior, Redeemer of My Soul

Holy cow my dearly beloved family time goes by so fast and I miss you so dang much!


It has been a crazy 8 days (only 8 days? 8 whole days? So much happened and yet it flew by soooo fast...) and mostly it has been full of conferences and changes :) But I love it! But not Lima and the bus. Hahaha, although that is also pretty entertaining at times....


On Tuesday, we had the Family History Conference in Lima with all of the sisters who are currently doing family history as well as all of the sisters in Lima.  So I actually got to see Bott AND Rush all day again. Tender mercies :) The meeting was actually really spiritual and really necessary. We talked a lot about standardizeing everything everyone is doing because we are the only mission in the whole world doing it.... and that in July the church is going to want to see a report of this year and what we have done, so we have to keep meticulous records and everything. It was really cool and really intimidating.... the work of salvation is going so fast. Like.... apresurando?  I have no clue how to say that in English. President also talked a lot about how the restoration also restored all of the priesthood powers, including for the temple and for the vicarious work. It was really cool to see how literally everything in the gospel is interconnected and dependant upon the restoration.

Then after the meeting, I went and proselytized and did exchanges with two sisters in Family History and San Juan. They live in my old area and it was soooooo weird. So weird. That was a year ago! It was like a lot of nostalgia and meditation. The next day I was supposed to meet Bott in front of the church to go to concilio together because she was in the other area in San Juan.  While I was waiting I SAW MIGUEL AND HIS SISTER MONICA. They all of a sudden just came running down the street, and I just started crying. It was like a movie, ahahah, but I love them soooo much. They are seriously one of my favorite families ever :) Then, concilio was amazing. President talked a lot about making ourselves fit for the kingdom through obedience and Hermana Douglas talked about consecration. It was a really spiritual and powerful meeting. 

We also got to go to McDonald's while we were waiting for our bus, so that was really, really cool.....

On Thursday we had to teach concilio to the zone. Teaching in front of people actually really makes me nervous, but I feel like it is really stretching me. So that is good. I guess. Hahaha

Friday and Saturday were really slow in family history, but Saturday was transfer call day and it was like the most anxiety filled day of my life. Ahahaha, just like always, but also the more time I have in the mission - the more scared I am .... but I love it.  And I was super surprised and excited to find out I was coming to Nasca! I am so excited to work with Sister Torres and work hard. 

This email is so scattered. And really short.... I am working on writing letters ( I didn't get them sent with Hermana Bott's dad... I will send them in Serpost. I really promise this time, I hope.) and I will explain better my whole life and my thoughts and so forth.  I will write today :) 

To end, I have been pondering love these last two days because Valentines Day is coming up and I just love love. Love is so pure and powerful :) It is the catalyst to missionary work and to all that matters in this life. What is love?(baby don't hurt me.... oh man that is an old song) Love is putting yourself second. Love is listening. Love is accepting. Love is sharing the gospel. Love is my family. Love is supporting those we love.  Love is the temple. Love is the prophets of old and modern days, like Nephi who were able to see our day and to love us enough to keep records for us. Love is repentance.  Love is a triagnle.... it requires two people and Heavenly Father. Love is the atonement.  "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, and I tremble to know that for me he was crucified."

I love you all so much. I know the gospel is true. I love being a missionary! We are going to the temple this weekend with some converts from Nasca.... pray for them!

I love you.

John 3:16


Monday, February 2, 2015

The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed is Death.

Oh my family whom I love so dearly :)

How are you?!?! Well I have a ton to say and very little time to say it so here we go. 

On Monday I was on exchanges with Hermana Alonso and we contacted this lady and she let us into her house to teach her and everything. And then in the end when we invited her to read the Book of Mormon she was like, " Uh no, I actually don't want your book because I will never read it and I am too busy to be looking for answers like these."  And I was ...... dumbfounded. How can somebody turn down their salvation so quickly? How can someone understand at least a little how important this is and then say, well I actually don't even want to look for an answer.... And I think it is fear that does that. And then I started thinking.... am I too afraid to ask for and look for and listen to revelation sometimes? When we have enough faith in the Savior and the Atonement, we arent afraid to look for and act on the hard answers. 
Then, right after we went to another house and the lady had this crazy dog with a lime around its neck (because it is sick) (Peruvians do that... I don't know if I have ever mentioned it before ahahaha it is actually hilarious) and she has this 98 year old grandma that her son brings to church and (the lady isn't a member. or the grandma...) and it was a really cool lesson to be able to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation and why we don't need to fear death,... because she is really worried about her mom all the time. I love the eternal truths and comfort of this gospel and the plan of happiness.

On Tuesday we were actually busy all afternoon with medical things and doctor visits (not for me mom, don't worry just breathe). Then when we got back from the clinic we had a lesson with a recent convert named Renzo. He was so cool because he already had an account made and like information in it when he came for the lessson! He is so prepared and excited to go to the temple. He is planning on February.

Wednesday.... was my birthday! And it was a really, really great birthday. Thank you to my family for the packages and to family and friends for all the birthday wishes last Pday :) It was a relatively normal day but when we got to lunch the Galindo family and the Elders and Sisters had made like a huge sign with balloons where I sit. They gave me Inca Kola and a Chocoteja and then after lunch they brought out a cake and sang.  One of the traditions in Peru is that you have to bite your birthday cake and when I went to bite it, one of the young men in the ward that works at the restaurant squished my face into it (which is also a tradition that I thought I would get out of considering I had an interview with President in a half hour, but no.) and it was hilarious. And it totally reminded me of the boys.... it is as if they were there in spirit. All in all, it was a really great birthday!

Then, right after all that I had my interview with President. It was great, amazing as always. We talked about faith and finding people to teach and relying on the Atonement. He also said he got an email from mom and dad and that you are awesome, he truly respects and admires you greatly.... that you are exceptional and he is so excited to meet you someday. It was a really great 10 minutes with President :) I look up to him so much.

Thursday was crazy psycho to get ready for the temple. I am going to give a short rundown on everyone who went!

2 went Friday in a ward caravan.

Juan Enciso, who we have been teaching forever, but before couldn't have a recommend. He called us out of the blue one night like 2 weeks ago and was like "What do I need to do to go to the temple right now? I have a recommend!!!", and it was awesome. He did 11 baptisms and confirmations for family members.

Girardo Ortiz, a recent convert of 17 years old. He showed up to the temple with a name to do and we helped him get it ready right then! He looked for 3 weeks to be able to do the baptism and confirmation for his uncle. 

On Saturday, 10 more came under the direction of our pension Edwin Galindo (who is also a recent convert)

Maria Cantoral who is a rescue after being inactive for around 5 years. She did the work for 4 people in the temple and came out saying that she felt happy and content for the first time in months.

Fabio Casalino, who was baptized two months ago, was able to do the work for 5 people and has a goal to get married in the temple and serve a mission (close to home because he has bad knees).

Carlos Astocaza, who was going to go back in December, but couldn't because his family opposes the church so much that they literally detained him. But he was able to go and do 3 names :)

Monica Gonzalez, who was baptized 3 weeks ago, was able to do 14 baptisms and confirmations. Her work has helped jump start her inactive family,  and her mom is now starting to come back to church :)

Odilia and Guillermo Andia, a mother and son duo, who are both rescues. They are really special to me. We have been working with them since I got here. In all they did 9 ordinances and Odilia stood up to bear her testimony in church yesterday about the power of the priesthood. She also received a calling :)

Edwin and Aurora Galindo, our lovely pension :) Aurora is a returned missionary and recent rescue, and edwin is a recent convert. They are one of the most amazing families I have ever met (I want you to meet them) and in all they did 9 baptisms and confirmations on Saturday and they brought their two little girls :) They still remember (well, the 3 year old) getting sealed last year :)

Lourdes Felipa, who was baptized last transfer, was able to (after a lot of looking and searching and praying) be baptized for her mom. She wore a dress (she borrowed from Hermana Alonso) and came out of the temple with a noticeable glow. She has a difficult life and it was truly a sacrifice for her to go, but she said it was worth every second. She also received a calling yesterday :)

Genaro Morales is a 17 year old recent convert who is prepping full force to go on a mission and he is amazing. He did the work for 2 people and smiled the whole way there and the whole way back :) 

It was an amazing weekend. On Friday we got to do a session (first one in 10 months) and it was great. 

The temple... reminds me of home. It just feels... like home. I think because it is a glimpse of our heavenly home :)

Also on Saturday I got to see Hermana Rush and Hermana Bott. Hermana Rush was a total surprise, she was there with a convert and it was awesome. It was really cool to talk to them for a minute. When one of the other sisters took the picture she said "one year later " and we were like in shock. I can't believe what has happened in that one year. But I am thankful to have had those two sisters with me in that year and on Saturday :)

I have been thinking a ton about covenants, vicarious work, and the atonement this week. These are my closing thoughts :)

  Peter 4:6

"For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that aredead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."


D Todd Christofferson – Why do we baptize for the dead?

The Power of Christ’s Resurrection

As regards the Resurrection, Paul asked, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29). We are baptized for the dead because we know that they will rise. “The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame” (Alma 40:23). “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living” (Romans 14:9).
It matters tremendously what we do in relation to those who have gone before, because they live today as spirits and shall live again as immortal souls, and that because of Jesus Christ. We believe His words when He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). By the baptisms we perform in behalf of the dead, we testify that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. …
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:22, 25–26)

Death is conquered, man is free. Christ has won the victory :) 57 baptisms and confirmations were done this week. Death is conquered, and man truly is free because he will rise again just as Christ did.

The church is true :)

I love you!

Hermana Bailey