Buenas Noches Familia!
I hope this letter finds you all well. I am overwhelmed with the lovely emails you sent me, and I wish I had time to respond better. But, alas, the scheduled life of missionary will not allow that. I will try to answer all your questions in this one email!I expect letters, and I promise to respond IF I get them ;).
Alright, so I am in the field! A real missionary! Can you believe it?! A year ago, this wasn’t even close to the plan. Here I am, and I am LOVING it. I smile all the time. Even when I get homesick. I can´t help it. I’m always so happy. It’s weird, because there honestly isn’t anything super great or fun. It’s not going to Disneyland or the beach every day. It is simply being able to testify to people that my life is happy because of the gospel.My trainer is great. Hermana Tibbitts, granddaughter of Dan and Barbara Workman...do we know them? I feel like we do. Please tell me how I know them so I can tell her. She is great. She has been out for 8 months, but she studied Spanish before coming here for few years at BYU. Everyone tells her she speaks perfectly and they think she is native. Then they look at me and smile... sometimes I get compliments too, but only in the afternoons. By nighttime my Spanish has said ADIOS!
So, I will tell you a little about my trainer. She is 21 and going to be an English teacher, enjoys Harry Potter and was sterling scholar for theater. We get along really well. She is quiet, and might be a little taken aback by how much I talk, but she is really supportive. She is always trying to help me improve. I definitely feel like my fasting and prayers have been answered from the past month and I have gotten an amazing trainer.Alright. Well. My area is in a pretty busy part of town. We live in an apartment with two other Hermanas, one from the CCM with me and her trainer who is from Mexico but speaks English. We laugh and serve each other a lot. So far, no problems. I am pretty sure it will stay that way.
The field is hard. The first few days I felt useless. We are ALL in a new area, so we have been working this week trying to get to know the ward and less actives. It has been a priority of ours to include the wards members in the work. They are all super excited to have 4 hermanas in the ward! We talked to some great families and have had had lunch with a family every day.One of my favorite member families is two grandparents who remind me of grandma and grandpa GREAT Van Cott. Only, Chilean, of course. They have a daughter who lives with them who has a mental handicap, I don’t know what. She is about 40, and she is the sweetest spirit. The family actually adopted her when she was a baby, and they call her their ¨angel¨. It’s adorable. She likes to hug me and kiss me. I call her ¨mi mejor amiga!¨ like, my best friend, and she lights up. LOVE IT.
Even though I don’t understand a lot and can’t communicate all that I want to, I love that I am still able to receive revelation. During a member with a less active, I was completely lost in the conversation. Then I felt prompted to share 2 Nephi 28:21 and to bear testimony that sometimes Satan wants us to think ALL IS WELL, and that keeps us from progressing. I talked for a minute or two, and then was lost again. I asked my companion later what happened, and she said it was PERFECT. My companion was stuck and didn’t know what to say, and after I shared the lady was more open to us and talked about how she knew she wasn’t progressing because she has stopped going to church. The spirit is the most important tool. I try to constantly be listening, and I really hope I never miss a prompting.Another experience I want to share. We were sitting at a park, and looking at our map trying to map where members live so we could have them help teach new investigators. I looked back over my shoulder and saw a Dad and Mom. I had the thought to talk to them. Then I brushed it off because my comp needed help mapping. Then, again. The thought. SO this time, I told my companion that we needed to talk to the family behind us. So, we hurried and packed up and went to chat.
This family is AWESOME. They have 5 kids, ages 17 to 3 months. They are very close to each other. Get this, they were receiving the missionaries 5 YEARS AGO. Since then, some things have happened to soften their hearts, one of them being their new baby. They invited us to talk to them on Sunday. We had a great visit. The oldest daughter is so awesome. My companion and I both related well to her, since we are both the oldest of five. I hope all goes well with this family. I will keep you updated :)
Last thing, MOM. Thanks for teaching me to write THANK YOU cards. I wrote GRACIAS cards to all the Hermanas who fed us this week, and I think it helped our welcome into the ward. They all are so willing to serve and help us go on splits and such.I feel homesick every now and then, but it goes away when I get to work. The only time I cried was during church because I missed ward choir, pathetic. I was thinking of the words in English because my comp left to lead music and took the hymn book... we sang the, OUT in the desert they wander....bringing them back to the fold...song. I love the hymns, and it is weird to not participate in choir. It’s the first time since 3rd grade I haven’t been in the Ward Choir...ha-ha.
Oh, and sorry about Mr. Cat. I have been telling people here that I have a cat at home, but I guess that isn’t true. My condolences and congratulations go to Grandma and Grandpa Morrey. Thankfully, I haven’t shed a tear...maybe it will hit tonight...ha-ha.Pday was great. McDonalds was the main attraction...oh the joys. I also got to watch the Joseph Smith movie and take a short nap, so no complaining here!
Love you all, you’re in my prayers! I will send pictures next week! WRITE ME, please!Love,
Hermana Van Cott
(This is her dad now - If anyone has the skills and time to manage and maintain Lauren's blog please message me on facebook or email me. I have a hard enough time lately finding time to sleep. It would be greatly appreciated. Blogger is one title that I need to delegate)