September 26, 2011
Well, it's been another week. What can I say? Trials and blessings, every day. That is a mission isn't it? Blessings first though. We had Alexandra and Porfirio's baptisms on Saturday, and even though the ward didn't have a great showout, it was a good service and I love seeing people I love enter the waters of baptism.
Another blessing is that we have a new bishop who is a young RM and really interested in the mission work, so we're excited to work with him! This week we also finally started our Noche de Amistad and had a good turnout of 12 people despite the downpour of rain that day. We hope to see more in the next one.
Another tender mercy has been Elicia, our sweet 73 year old investigator of months who just gave up her coffee cold turkey. She is such a sweet old woman with a tender spirit and we are now preparing for her baptism on the 8th of October. This ward also continues to improve in enthusiasm for the work almost weekly as we continue to receive new references. We're also teaching an amazing family right now that's promised to go to general conference this weekend, so we're praying hard.
Oh and we had transfers...I'm staying here with Hna McEntire and Hna Vera has already gone to her new area of Mendoza. So yeah! That's the week. I won't bother to complain too much about the fact that we're without water again, haha, but just enjoy your showers in my honor for a few days ok? Love and miss you guys, and make sure you all take time out to listen to OUR PROPHET AND APOSTLES this weekend! So excited!
Posted by Laurie at 5:37 PM
September 20, 2011
So this week was SUPER busy, hard, exciting, exhausting, and great. I´ve found that usually when some really great things are about to happen Satan doubles his efforts to discourage us, but no matter, because we are still seeing miracles! First of all, Felix´s two siblings Alexandra and Porfirio, who the missionaries have been visiting since before I got here, are going to be baptized this week! The Lord really opened doors for us on Friday as we went to go teach them and it was just incredible how smoothly their interviews and everything went, especially since just the day before we were starting to wonder if we´d have to drop them. I love when the Lord just makes things happen!!! We also had a wonderful opportunity to serve with the Oriental Stake in the worldwide service day of ¨Limpieza de Las Costas¨. We got to put on some helping hands vests and pick up garbage for a few hours and it felt SO good to get out there and work! I didn´t even mind the sweat. LoL. Between our little group of 4 we picked up almost 45 pounds of garbage! Aside from that, the Lord continues to lead us to new investigators each day. Yesterday we made an unplanned stop at a new members house and found a neighbor there visiting her who told us just the day before she had this random desire to sit down and read a religious pamphlet in the house, but couldn´t find one. So when we gave her a pamphlet of The Restoration that reminded her of the day before when she had the impression and her face just lit up. So cool!!! Basically, the work of the Lord rolls on! I can´t believe how much there is to do and I feel so blessed to be here right now. We still trials everyday of course, the least of which trying to get things figured out between three of us instead of just two, but with LOTS of prayer and humility, we are learning together and it´s incredible. I am so grateful for all the lessons my mission is teaching me everyday! Love and miss you all!
Posted by Laurie at 5:50 PM
September 14, 2011
Familia y Amigos,
Buenas Tardes! Como le va en todo? Buuuueno, aqui en la Republica Dominicana hace MUCHO calor, pero ya ustedes sabes, la mision no es facil. :) Pero....hope you all are enjoying the cool breezes back at home! Things here lately have been fraught with trials, I can´t lie. BUT, each day I realize that these trials are especially designed for me and that I´m learning to overcome my weaknesses. I reread a fantastic conference talk today by Elder Robbins on ¨What Manner of Men Ye Ought to Be¨ and found alot of wise counsel to apply to companions, investigators and especially myself. I encourage you all to check it out. Despite the struggles of fallen through baptismal dates and a lack of ward coordination, the Lord also sent an extra dose of help via our special conference with Elder Cornish. His messages were so incredibly inspiring and based on doctrine that it made me want to go out right away and apply everything. I love being in the presence of inspired leaders and feeling of the genuine love they have for us as missionaries as well as the people. Elder Cornish was actually a mission president here in the D.R. a few years back, so he knows what things are really like and knows how to really encourage us. It was a privilege and blessing to be taught by him this week. Another great blessing this week was seeing the baptism of Elsa. I´ve never had an investigator so excited to be baptized! Every time we visited her during the week she was just counting down, and seeing her dressed in white on Saturday was amazing. No matter how hard the mission gets, NOTHING beats the feeling of seeing people enter the waters of baptism wtih a true commitment to endure to the end. I was writing a letter this week and realized as I wrote it that before my mission I hadn´t really known what true joy was, because I hadn´t really known what true suffering was. But through the refining process of this mission, I have truly come to know both, and I wouldn´t change that experience for the world. It has shaped me into the person I needed to become...and is still refining me. As Elder Oaks explains ¨The final judgment is NOT just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts...what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect...of what we have BECOME.¨ So true! Anyways, I hope you all have a lovely week, and thank you so much for all the letters and emails this last week, I needed them so much!
Posted by Laurie at 11:09 AM
September 6, 2011
Hello People I Love!
Sorry I can only send a mass email this week, time got cut short as a result of internet problems. It WAS the perfect p-day...including pizza, frozen yogurt, cultural trips to the park, and lots of air conditioned buildings...until we tried to do our emails. Haha. Oh well, that´s just life. But anyways, on the brightside, this week was a great week for mission work! We had Kenia´s baptism on Saturday and it was pretty neat to watch her son Felix baptize her. Kenia also shared a beautiful testimony in fast and testimony meeting yesterday. I´m so grateful to be a part of this work and see the gospel bring families closer together. Elsa already had her interview as well and will be baptized next Saturday, so we´re all really excited for that. This will be my first baptism of someone I contacted, taught, and baptized, so it´s pretty incredible! We also put a baptismal date with Alfredo, the son of Celeste. After he gets baptized, that will have been 3 sets of mothers and sons I will have taught and baptized on the mission. So cool! As for the homefront, after almost 3 weeks of fighting through waterless conditions, the water has magically fixed itself! I´m not sure if a grouchy neighbor was doing something to our water pump or if it was just a matter of figuring out how to open and close the apartment valve, but as a companionship we now give thanks daily in our prayers for water to shower and clean with. LoL. Sometimes the Lord has to give us trials to make us recognize better the blessings. This week we have some special conferences planned with the new area seventy Elder Cornish that is here visiting, so we´re all excited for that, and yeah. Basically, things are going great. And for the funny story of the week...This week as Hermana McEntire and I were indulging in buying some bread from a street vendor, he started accusing me of being a detective. The problem is that he used a word in spanish for detective that I´d never heard of, so I just looked at him confused and said, ¨I don´t understand what that means¨ to which he replied sagely ¨Oh yes you do! You get to know people really good and be their friends and all.¨ I started laughing and asked him if he´d ever visited the church to which he laughed back and said no. So I told him to visit the church first and then decide if we were detectives. Dominicans can be so funny. Anyways, hope you all have a lovely Labor Day free from work and school! I promise to write more individual emails next week!
Posted by Laurie at 6:12 AM