December 14, 2011
Wow. I can hardly believe the time has come for me to be writing my last family email to you all! Where has the time gone? Honestly, I think I just thought my mission was going to last forever and now that it´s come down to the end, I feel a little unsettled! But I know the Lord has a bigger and better plan than I could ever understand, so I´m just going to try to hold on to the ride! This last week (and a half since I last wrote really) has been a rather long and trial filled time, but always with big blessings. First of all, I have a wicked gripe (that´s what they call colds) that I can only blame on myself since we got caught in a freak rainstorm over the weekend and I unwisely ignored the Spirit when it told me to bring my umbrella. Ironically, later on that same day the Spirit told me to NOT leave the keys in the chapel library where I again ignored the prompting and found myself cursing my stupidity when we arrived to the house later without the keys in tow. Hermana Bradley strikes again! Haha. Now I´m just trying to not let my head explode with this head cold of death, but I hope to make a full recovery before Tuesday when I´ll get to see all your lovely faces!!!
Anyways, as for the work, which is way more important than my cold anyway, it´s going amazing! We had Alondra´s baptism on Saturday and it was quite possibly my favorite service I´ve had here in Villa Carmen. It would have been almost perfect, had we started on time instead of waiting 45 minutes for a special person to show up...but all´s well that ends well right? Right. We´ve also been blessed to find 2 new young families lately, and I am so sad that I won´t get to see them progress! But I´m happy to know that I will get to hear all about them from Hermana McEntire in the future. We also were able to put baptismal dates with Saul and Noeli, who both finally made it, not only to church, but the ward Christmas party as well! I just love those two and how they ALWAYS read everything we assign them and ask so many questions and just hunger for more knowledge of the gospel. Why can´t everyone be like that? Haha. Anyways, the Christmas party was a HUGE success as well and it just made me sad to know I´m going to have to leave this ward family! It´s crazy how fast people can become like your family when you´re on a mission. But I just have to keep telling myself that I will come back someday.
Here at the end of this crazy mission business, I can´t help but compare it to a rollercoaster. There´s moments where you´re up in the air with your stomache in your head wondering when you´re going to puke, and others where you´re laughing your head off and wishing it would never end. But by the end, when it´s all said and done, you want to go again, and you can´t. So you just have to content yourself with the memories and move on. However, I will always ALWAYS be grateful for the decision I made to come on a mission. For all the good, bad, hard, sad, and high moments. It was all worth it. I love this gospel. I love my Savior. And I am determined to continue being a representative of Jesus Christ for the rest of my life! Love you all and SEE YOU SO SOON!!!!!
(For the last time! Sad!)
Posted by Laurie at 1:40 PM
December 5, 2011
Greetings Family Dearest!
So it´s been one very long week and yet at the same time I feel like the time is just whizzing right by...how do missions do that? Anyways, I have some very interesting stories to share this week. First of all, remember how I said my companion and I were having some problem with rashes on our arms and legs? Well we found out the problem after 3+ weeks. Hermana McEntire climbed onto the roof of our 4 story apartment building to check our tinaco (a giant water tub where the water pumps up to and sits until we use it) and found that the lid had been either stolen or blown off. To our HORROR she found a dead bird in their that had been decomposing for weeks...which means we´d been washing our clothes, our dishes, and ourselves, in contaminated water for weeks. I was downright hysterical at the thought and basically yelled at the poor president´s wife that someone needed to come fix it NOW. Haha. Well apparently when you scream alot people listen because by the afternoon two office elders and a member came and cleaned it out with disinfectant and bleach, so now we´re just waiting for the rashes to go away. Trials. Bleh. But it´s over.
On the brightside, today we had a multi-zone activity and played some baseball...the first and last time I will ever do so in a country that is known worldwide for it´s baseball craze. Hermana McEntire LOVES baseball, so we decided we should experience a little culture for my last real pday in the field since next week we´re going to the temple (which means I´ll be emailing wednesday). I even got out in the hot sun, hit a grounder, stole 2nd base, and made a run for our team. Not half bad for an hermana playing with elders! LoL.
The good news is that we had stake conference yesterday and BOTH Esperanza and Alondra went with us. We actually couldn´t get ahold of Alondra before and so we walked the 30 minute trek to her house early in the morning only to find her apartment empty. But then as we were on our way to the stake center with Esperanza one of the other missionaries called us and told us she´d arrived nice and early and was there. It made my entire week! Not to mention she was there in a brand new blouse and skirt since she didn´t have one last week. She is so amazing and I am SO excited to see her get baptized. She makes me laugh with all her crazy random questions too. I just love her.
As each day passes and my departure from the lovely D.R. gets closer, I find myself getting a little sadder. Even though there have been SO many trials...there are so many people I love and will miss. Not a day goes by that someone from the ward asks me sadly with puppy eyes ¿Cuando se va? and I just want to tell them never. The idea of taking this name plaque off and never being able to wear it as a full time missionary again just makes me want to cry. I think I´m going to have to go on a mission again in the future...so hopefully I find a willing husband! Haha.
I am so grateful for this gospel and the love the Lord has shown me through his children here in the Dominican Republic. I never thought I would grow to love a place and a people so far away from my own home. My testimony of this gospel has become so much stronger in just being able to see the hand of the Lord in the lives of the people here, and as well in my own. The Lord is SO aware of us, moment by moment. I hope I never forget all of the lessons I have learned out here and continue being a witness of the Lord, just as I and every one of my investigators promised at baptism. Jesus Christ is truly our Savior and this really IS His church. We may be imperfect, but it is by the small and simple that the Lord works great miracles. I love and miss you all!
Posted by Laurie at 1:21 PM