Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life is Beautiful!

Family and Friends!! i feel like i have a million things to say and only a short time to email haha so bear with me if i sound scatter brained... because i am!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARK!! love you SO much! i thought of you all day on the 18th. you are an old man now... so crazy! thanks for being such a great example to me, and my best friend! love you! ps.. do you know Alli Farnsworth?? she serves here with me and knows you. small world.

some matters of business first.
did you all like my blonde moment last email? hahaha. so i will be singing the national anthem tonight at the Tucson Padres vs Omaha Storm Chasers baseball game. i dont even know what i wrote last week, but it definitely wasnt that. haha.
Second. I got a gps in the mail from amazon. was i supposed to open it? because i did. woops. I thought that i was supposed to refuse the package but the mission office accepted it. i havent taken the packaging off, so if i need to return it i can... i am obviously confused haha. let me know what i should do!

This week. I feel like a MILLION things happened! haha it was an INCREDIBLE week. SO many miracles it was insane. The Lord is so good to us, i am in awe every single moment of the day at how He continues to pour blessings on me and everyone ha. it is amazing and i am so grateful.
We were at the trail center a TON this last week. which i loved. there were SO many amazing miracles that happened.
first miracle of the week: I was "sitting up" at the Trail Center, and a boy walks in the doors. he reeks of weed, and he looked a little bit confused haha. But he said that he is a history major, and wanted to learn more about the mormon pioneers/what happened at winter quarters. So i got to take him on tour, and it was quickly obvious to me that he was not there for a history tour. he was really wanting to find out about the mormon beliefs (which happens almost every time people come saying "they want the history")! it was AMAZING. He was 22, and so i felt like i was just talking to a friend. it was awesome. There is a big map at the end of the tour that shows where all of the missionaries were from 1840-1890. while there, I bore testimony of the book of mormon and how it had influenced my life and brought me to omaha! he looked at me SUPER excited and then said, "well.. i don't know how to say this, but... can i get a copy of the book of mormon?" music to my ears. I gave him a book of mormon, he is reading it, and i am going to call him this week to follow up. Man it was amazing. i love being a missionary.
second miracle: There was a group of 60 kids from BYU-Idaho that came in on sunday for a tour. We split them into two groups, and i got to take one of the groups around the gallery/the cemetery. At first, they were way distracted with themselves ha and didnt really want to listen to what i had to say. And honestly, i wouldnt want to listen to me either the way i was talking to them. I soon realized that i was being too unrelatable, and i needed to be more myself. the INSTANT i did that, they all perked up and wanted to listen. It was by far my FAVORITE tour i have taken since being here. it was SO much FUN! I could be my complete self: both missionary and pre-mission Lauren. It was awesome and one of the most spiritual tours that i have taken. Because i was able to just be myself and testify of Christ, the spirit was tangible. i wish i could explain in words how it was, but i hope you can feel what i am trying to say! while in the memorial room of the gallery, i was able to really talk with the kids and help them understand what a privilege it is to be a member of this church. I also smashed them all into the cabin we had, and read scripture in there. man it was awesome. We sang hymns in the cemetery. And our hearts were all touched. A girl came up to me after and asked for some of the quotes i had shared, and also said that she has her mission call and i was the type of missionary she wanted to be like. it made me cry haha i was so touched. But truly heavenly father let me take that tour and i am so grateful that he did.
third miracle (...i wont do 17 miracles, i promise) haha. ok cheesy. anyway. haha. ZONE TRAINING. oh my goodness. that was a miracle. i was so nervous i couldnt eat for a good two days haha which is definitely saying something! but the training went so well. it was all the Lord speaking through me, and i cant even get over how blessed i was during that training. It was amazing because i had prepared super hard and had a lesson plan pretty cemented, but when i got up there to train, the Lord took me a totally different way. It taught me a beautiful lesson - "when we are prepared, we shall not fear" and i would add to that, that when we are prepared we will not fear because we can have confidence that the Lord will bless and protect us. It was amazing to sit down after the training and look back over what i had prepared, and see that what i had said was completely different. But it was amazing because after i trained, the next speakers thoughts tied directly to mine and it was so powerful. the Lord was so good to me, and i am so thankful.
fourth miracle: I sang a solo in church on sunday, "I am a child of God". the pretty version that the primary sings? but i sang it as a solo. Anyway, my voice has been pretty raspy since i have come to Omaha, so i was nervous to sing. But EVERY single time i am about to perform or sing, i remember my patriarchal blessing and know that i can ask God to bless me with my voice, because He has promised me i would have it through that blessing. Once again, i was practicing before and my voice was gone. But i got up to sing during sacrament, and my voice was strong, and perfectly clear. Coincidence? no way. Heavenly Father healed my voice for those few minutes, and i am so incredibly grateful. He never ceases to amaze me.
fifth miracle: (and last one i'll share... props to everyone who is still reading! haha) there is a boy in our ward named George who is super less active. He came up to sister whittaker and i weeks ago during sacrament (like literally during the sacrament.. really awkward haha) and started talking to us about having us come over to teach him the lessons because he wants to go on a mission. Well, since he is a YSA, we turned him over to the YSA elders. Well this week while we were driving trying to find another house, we turned around the corner and we were right outside George's house! i thought we were in a completely different area, so i was shocked to see we were outside his house. but i knew instantly that the Lord had led us to his house. So we get out of the car and he comes outside. The elders had never contacted him and he has been really struggling. we were able to share a message with him, and will now be teaching him. it was amazing. i loved it because even though we had been planning to see another investigator, the Lord led us to exactly where we needed to be. our plans are rarely, usually never what the Lord has planned, but He always guides us. it is amazing.
This week was amazing. i am SO thankful to be here! i feel like the time is flying by so fast, i just want to slow down a bit. but i am loving every second i am here, and am continually "amazed by the love Jesus offers me." He lives.
i love you all! thank you for your prayers! i miss you all. keep reading your scriptures, ok? the church is true!

Sister Lauren

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