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