June 27, 2011
How is everyone this fine week? Well I´ve got some news to report! Transfer calls came last night and it turns out I´m headed to the other side of the street! Haha. I´m staying in the same district but going to the area of Villa Carmen with Hermana Vera. I am really excited to learn yet another area and serve with Hermana Vera as she is a great missionary and has alot of energy. I think we will have alot of fun together. The new president arrives in just a few days and we are all anxiously awaiting to see the changes that will come. Today we got to spend P Day with the President playing dodgeball and having a barbeque. I somehow managed to make a spectacle of myself as the last person (much less sister missionary) standing in our zone as we battled another zone. Now everyone thinks I have dodgeball skills when really the elders just didn´t want to peg me. Haha. Also, a funny story to relate from the week. Thursday for zone meeting we took pictures and as we were walking out of the chapel I had a bit of an accident. There are columns right outside the doors and instead of paying attention to where I was going I started laughing at my companion who´s shoes say ¨pecadora¨ on the inside because that´s the brand. Well, justice speaks swiftly because as I turned around I ran straight into the sharp corner of a column. I had a bump the size of a small egg on my forehead immediately, but thankfully the swelling went down quickly and my head is back to it´s normal size. Although I´ve learned my lesson not to make fun of people when I´m not paying attention to where I´m going. Haha. As for the work, it´s about the same. We have a baptismal date set with Hamlet and Leidy now, but they failed to make it to church so it will have to be pushed back. Sometimes it´s hard to see people fail to meet with the commitments when you know things would be so much better for them if they would just do it. But I know the area of Los Trinitarios will be in good hands with Hermana Mejia and Hermana Loftus. Anyways, I hope all is well at home and that the house sells quickly. Keep me updated on any new developments and for any of you that see Sara, give her lots of hugs for me! Love and miss you all!
Posted by Laurie at 2:33 PM
June 23, 2011
Well it appears that summer has officially arrived in the DR and I will now be sweating for the duration of my mission. At least I won´t be suffering from seasonal depression right? Sometimes you just have to look for a bright side, a lesson I am reminded of constantly out here. This week was mostly hard. Between fallen through appointments, water and light problems in the house, and just overall personal difficulties, it has been a growing week. However, the Lord blesses us with the strength to overcome whatever trials we confront as long as we confide in Him, and this week strengthened my testimony of that principle. Yesterday I had the stressful privelege of giving a talk in sacrament meeting on the fly about missionary work. I have to admit, even after almost a year in the field and testifying daily, getting up to speak publicly still makes me want to wet my pants. But I survived anyway and hopefully the ward got something spiritual out of my jumbled words. As for the work, right now we are focusing on Hamlet, who lives in the sketchy part of town with his family and is determined to avoid the trouble of the street life. As we´ve begun to share the gospel with him he has made great efforts to keep the word of wisdom and law of chastity, involve himself in activities at the church, and study the material we leave him to read. So, even though he didn´t make it to church yesterday, we have high hopes that he will be baptized next month and continue to grow spiritually. We are also making great efforts to find new people to teach as our pool is constantly being cleaned, which is a good thing. Next week President Antivilo will leave and President Hernandez will arrive, so it should be interesting to see the changes that come as a result. The longer I´m out the more I realize that change means challenge and challenge means growth. Love and miss you all!
P.S. I can´t believe Sara is home! Hope you all take good care of her!
Posted by Laurie at 3:02 PM
June 13, 2011
Dear Fam and Friends,
So I just have to start with a little funny story. Today for P'Day my companion and I decided to go eat at a pica pollo that happens to be owned by some chinese people. Well after ordering our food I went to sit down while my companion payed and the chinese girl leans over the glass and asks her if I´m a nun! My companion laughed and said no, that we both are actually missionaries. Afterwards Hermana Mejia told me I should probably stop putting my hair in such a tight bun. Hahaha. Oh how I love the mission! Anyways, things here in Los Trinitarios are moving right along and I´m surprised to find myself halfway through this transfer. The only mark of time passing is the fact that it is getting A LOT hotter and I know that I can only expect more sweat and sun for at least the next 4 months. What a joy. In spite of the heat though, Hermana Mejia and I are working hard as we have lots of progressing investigators and new ones with potential. Right now we are visiting Teresa and Sebestian, the daughter and son in law of our bishop, who show real potential and have come to church the past two weeks in a row along with reading the material we leave them. Sebastian recently found out he has a malignant tumor in his back and both he and Teresa have alot of blessings and comfort to gain from the restored gospel. We hope to put a baptismal date down with them both before the end of this week. We´ve also been blessed to find a promising new investigator in Hamlet, a 22 year old young man who showed up to church last Sunday after weeks and weeks of us passing by and inviting him. Basically, the work is taking off and we are just trying to stay focused and help the ward support the work. Friday night we had a very successful, albeit small, Noche de Amistad where we brought two investigators and shared a message from the New Testament. The big hit of the night however was the activity. I decided to make good use of all the games I learned from my Jeru friends and taught everyone how to play Signs. Everyone loved it and we hope to see even more members and investigators next week. Another funny experience of the week was our visit with the Terrero Dominguez Family. We passed by their house intending to share a brief scripture because the power was out (as always), but when it began pouring rain we stayed longer. After sharing a very spiritual lesson, we knelt down to pray and asked Cesar, the father, to offer it. Of course he started making an excuse and right after he made one there was a HUGE clap of thunder and flash of lightning. So we utilized the moment and said it was a sign that he needed to offer the prayer, and when the heavens speak, men comply, which Cesar willingly did. LoL. Then right before leaving Cesar assured us ¨Don´t worry, it hasn´t rained enough yet for you to get wet.¨ However, the flooded street proved otherwise and after wading knee deep in dirty street water and listening to everyone yell from their porches ¨Don´t get wet!¨ we arrived sopping wet and laughing to our apartment. Experiences that I won´t soon forget. Anywho, hope all is well at home. Love and miss you all! Until next week...and I can´t believe Sara is going home next Tuesday! Ahhh!!!
Posted by Laurie at 2:13 PM
June 6, 2011
Dearest Family and Friends,
The rain doesn´t appear to be leaving anytime soon and I´m starting to understand a little bit of what Sara must feel like in Washington. I´ve only seen the sun a handful of times this week. The only difference between us is that it´s hot and sticky here, so I don´t miss the sun much...at least not yet! My feet seem to be constantly wet, but I just count my blessings that the rain is here to bring down hotter temperatures. In the last week I´ve seen a big change as my first week in the area was rather hard. Following the example of my companion, I´ve begun to ask the Lord daily to help me see a miracle and have a mission experience. And I am here to say that the Lord truly does answer prayers! Not only were we able to see the baptism and confirmation of Jerhemi this week, but we´ve already put down another fecha with Yanci and had 7 investigators in church compared to our 2 from last week. We also had a really neat experience visiting an old contact we made. Almost 2 weeks ago while sitting on a park bench for a minute to rest and strategize, we contacted an man named Medina and invited him to church. He was very amiable, so we exchanged addresses and gave him a pamphlet of the restoration without thinking too much of it. But then Sunday when we had some unplanned extra time in the evening and two members leaving with us, we decided to drop by Medina´s house. After searching for almost 20 minutes and knocking on his door in the dark (because of course the light was out...like always), we were almost scared away by a gruff WHO´S THERE? from the other side of the door. However, when Medina opened and saw it was us, he quickly changed and told us that he had lots of questions and read the pamphlet and wanted to know more! It was a really neat experience, and helped me realize that you never really know what might come of a simple invitation. We also taught the first English class of Los Trinitarios, and were happy to see more than 20 people show up. Turns out English is a pretty popular interest! We hope to see some fruit come out of that service as well. Hermana Mejia and I are also earning reputations for ourself in the ward...me as the ¨peleona¨ and her as ¨la risita¨. We had an especially good laugh on Saturday during the baptism of Jerhemi as we attempted to sing a special musical number as the 4 ward missionaries. Unfortunately the elders had intercambios the last minute and poor Elder Newell just had to wing it when he showed up, which resulted in him accidentally singing in a wrong part, causing Hermana Mejia to laugh so hard she had to hide her face behind the hymnal and leave me singing alone for a moment. Oh well. Hopefully the Spirit was still there! Hope you all have a good week and to finish off here´s a great quote I read from the June Liahona this morning. ¨Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more....To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.¨ - Elder Richard G. Scott. So here´s to some stretching and discomfort!
Posted by Laurie at 4:08 PM