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