Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bringin the Church to the streets and the streets to the Church! Letter on April 2, 2013


I love you all! thank you for your kind e-mails and letters! i love getting them, so keep them coming! This week has been AMAZING. I keep waiting for a day that is awful, haha but every day has been wonderful! It was SO fun to have some visitors last wednesday (The WALDRENS) at the Trail Center! ahhh it made my day to see familiar faces! i hope they were able to give you hugs from me. I love them. Mom - THANK YOU! thank you for your package! it seriously brightened my day so much to get some mail, especially such a fun package! i love you so much. You always know the perfect thing to send :) I am so glad that you got my post card and letter for anne :) Dad - your email and talk were amazing. You are incredible. No surprise to me that they asked you to speak on Easter, because you have such a love for the savior. You are such a great example to me. i love you so much. Spen and Mcken!! - ward missionaries?!?! AHHH that is AWESOME! i am so happy they have that calling. now as a missionary i am SO grateful for those ward missionaries. you guys will be amazing. ok. MATTHEW!!! - CORNELL??!?! i am not surprised at ALL. But seriously that is AMAZING!! You are awesome. Ah i am so happy for you and min! i will be praying for you in the move out there.. how exciting! and... you should stop on by Omaha on your way ... just sayin :) i love you guys. anne - i love you cheese ball. keep wearing my clothes - they look cute on you ;) hahah 

This week has been incredible. i dont even know where to start! The Church is true. Every single day i get a reaffirmation of that. I get to see miracles happen every single day, it is amazing and i feel so incredibly blessed. Here are a few of the experiences i had this week:

The Lakes - oh my goodness. This family is so incredible. I told you a little bit about them, but let me tell you more! So they are from Jamaica, and sister Lake is absolutely hilarious. She grew up penecostal, and went to school to study the bible so she is SO well versed in it. i love it. She has taught me a lot about the Bible which is great. So she was baptized about ten years ago, and has been less active for the past few years. She is now coming back to church, and her daughter Daniele is GETTING BAPTIZED in a week!!! SO AWESOME! K so Sis Lake makes me laugh so hard, she says "AMEN" and "Hallelujah" or "Praise Jesus" after everything that we say in a lesson. While we are praying she says amen at least 15 times haha i have to bight my tongue so i dont laugh (which for me, is impossible haha). So the Lakes came to church on easter sunday and two girls sang the song Because he lives (the same one clark and i sang together!) and it was BEAUTIFUL. the spirit was so strong. right after they sang the room was silent because of the spirit. well, of course. Sister Lake, with her loud voice does a "AAAAAAMMEEENNNNN" right after they finish! hahaha i was crying because i was laughing so hard. it was awesome. I love her.

Sister Webb - i cant remember if i told you about Sister Webb, but she is incredible. She is a less active and hasnt been to church in atleast 15 years. But since we have been teaching her, she has decided to give up smoking and drinking, and has made some amazing progress. We had committed her to coming to church two sunday's ago, but she made up some excuse the morning of which was heartbreaking. but we had a lesson with her this last friday that was amazing. I felt prompted to share why i decided to come on a mission, and how i had received that personal revelation from God, and that she could also receive revelation. We talked about some of her concerns and why she was nervous about coming to church. She sat there for a while after, and finally said "well, i guess i have to start somewhere... id need a ride though". Sister Whittaker and i almost fell out of our seats. so, she KEPT her commitment and came to church on easter!! it was amazing. she commented in sunday school, signed up to bring something to a relief society meeting this week, and really had a great experience. i cant wait to talk to her this week about it more. The church is true. such a wonderful miracle.

We decided to go tracting one of the days this week which was so fun! hahaha i hadnt been knocking yet, so i was so excited to experience it. We had so much rejection it was kind of hilarious. I was thinking about you dad and how you would count how many doors got slammed in your face. it was fun to do the same thing :) well, one experience that was great was we met this big black guy who was walking down the street. my first instinct was to just keep walking, but of course sister whittaker is so friendly and starts talking to him. he is awesome. he is super religious, but wanted to come to the trail center to learn more. we busted up when he was talking to us because this is what he said "you know, we gotta work togetha! C'mon yo, let's bring the church to the streets and the streets to the church!" haha it was so great. That is sister whittaker's and my motto now. Hopefully he comes to the Trail center this week!

So while we were knocking doors this week, we were about to cross a street when we met a boy on a skateboard. We didnt really get to talk to him at all, just said hi and bye basically. Well, because we were short on miles, we had to eat out somewhere in our area for dinner. Sister Whittaker and i are the same person, which is great except that we cannot make decisions! haha so we drove around looking for something to eat and could not come to a conlusion as to where we should go. Finally, i decided to write down 3 places that we could go, ripped them into pieces, and had her pick out of my hands. pathetic, i know. haha so she picked this place called the garden. We walk into the restaurant and guess who is our waiter. the guy on the skateboard! no coincidence. We were able to give him a pass along card and talk to him about the gospel. This was such a small experience, but a HUGE one as well. The Lord is in the very details of our lives, and He is preparing those of His children to hear the gospel! as i told you, we picked out of a hat, totally by "chance" where we should eat. But the Lord knew that we needed to eat at this restaurant so we could meet that boy again. Absolutely amazing. The Lord is so good to us. 

I am almost out of time, but i wanted to share one more experience. So at the Trail center we have an exhibit downstairs of all the paintings of christ by Liz Lemon Swindle. They are phenomenal. It was amazing because on Easter Sunday, we had a TON of visitors who came in just wanting to see the paintings. I was able to give tours down there, and the spirit was incredible. its amazing because no one tells the visitors to whisper down in the gallery, but everyone does because of the spirit of those paintings. I gave a tour to a young couple and their daughter that i will forever remember. We were both in tears by the end, and i could really feel of God's love for this couple. Although i did not say much, the Lord was speaking with us and it was amazing. Sitting down there looking at the paintings on Easter Sunday, and being able to bear testimony of the savior to everyone who came was such a blessing and converting experience for me. I am so blessed, and so grateful i am on a mission. definitely the best decision i have ever made.

i am so incredible happy. I love the Lord. i love this church. It is the only true church on earth, for it is the same exact church the Jesus Christ set up when He was hear. I love my savior. He is the Christ. 

Thank you for your prayers - you have no idea how much it means to me to know that so many people are praying for me. Thank you. i can feel them. We had an experience the other night where the other sisters we live with forgot to close the garage door all day. We live in kind of a janky area and so we were nervous to go inside our house haha. we are such girls. But i can tell you that we were completely protected, and i know that it is because of all of your prayers and protection from the Lord.

I love you all and miss you each day. keep being missionaries. when we are truly converted to the gospel, that is when we want to share it! Thank you for being my examples in this way.

Love you all! Let's do this!

Sister Lauren :)

Fun Fact:
I am allergic to cats. hahah. (mom we are the same person) i just discovered this this week since everyone owns atleast 2 cats and i kept leaving appointments with itchy eyes and a stuffy nose. ha thank goodness for benadryl! 

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