Monday, September 16, 2013

All Is Well

Hola Familia y amigos!

This week has been draining. I can´t even explain how tired I am, but I am really loving it! Thank you for your emails and for keeping me up to date on things back home, I absolutely love hearing your news!

So, to start off. Here are the ¨YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MISSIONARY WHEN¨moments from this week:

When you remember what you ate 4 weeks ago for lunch.
When you celebrate Mexico´s Independence Day during the week of Chile´s independence day because your co-companionship (living with us) contains a Mexicana.
When you kiss more people on the cheek than you EVER have in your life, and they are all women.
When you have one family in your ward that is AWESOME at being member missionaries and randomly invite neighbors over to meet with the missionaries. This family also gives you the address of their non member brother. Then you visit a house around the corner of a less active women and realize she is the mom of these awesome missionaries...WHY HAVE THEY NOT MENTIONED HER? We went up to him at church, and it was my turn to speak. I said, ¨Hey, we met your mom the other night!¨ He looked surprised and said,¨Oh, mi Mamí?!¨ then I said, sarcastically, ¨Si, recuerde ella?!¨(yes, remember her?). Haha, he laughed. Now we have an appointment scheduled with them!
All is well.

When you plan a Family Home Evening for the ward, and it gets moved because of a soccer game. Then, the day that it happens, it is supposed to start at eight, but nobody shows til 8:40. We pulled it off fantastically, of course! Now the ward is more excited to work WITH us in missionary work. Success.
When you think ¨the district¨is a real movie.
When you feel like little pioneer children as you walk and walk and walk...and pass fossilized dog poop. Sort of like buffalo chips, yeah? ....and walk.
When you have a countdown for GENERAL CONFERENCE!

There you have it.
In other news, we are now professionals at meeting with less actives. PEOPLE, if you have ever had a testimony of the church, GO BACK. The church needs you, your ward needs you. But, more than that, YOU need to be able to renew your covenants every week with the sacrament! Do it for your OWN salvation. When you miss a week...or two....or 5 years...the spirit leaves you. You don´t receive the blessings from being a member unless you are fulfilling your covenants. I hate to be blunt, wait, no, I love it, but I wouldn´t be so blunt if I didn´t believe 100% in the atonement and in the blessings that come from our baptismal and temple covenants.
I went on 2 divisions this week, where my companion leaves for a day each division and I stay here in my sector with a new companion and take them to all of our appointments and what not. It is a little scary, not going to lie. I got to go with a DARLING girl, Hermana Willard. Her parents are mission presidents in Bolivia, do you know them mom and dad? They got there the same time you guys did. Anyway, we both bonded over that fact. She goes to UVU and is an ambassador (I think...) and is in the CAL program. She told me that when I got home (6 months after her) I will have to talk to her and she can help me get more involved at UVU. That is exciting. She rooms with a cute girl a year older than me, Olivia Bowen, who I know from jr. high and high school! Small world. We both laughed at the fact that we have no house or family to go back to- her dad was a seminary teacher before being called. It was nice to talk to someone who has the same worries as me when it comes to that.
Doctrine and Covenants 23:3 hit me this week. It says ¨Thy heart is opened, and thy tongue is loosed, and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church continually. Wherefore, thy duty is unto the church forever, and this because of thy family. Amen.¨
I definitely feel like my heart has been opened and my tongue loosed. My calling, all of our callings as members of the church, is to strengthen the church continually. It isn´t the church that saves you, but the covenants and ordinances that we make and participate in do. In order to fulfill those covenants, we need to be faithful forever. In order to be with our families for eternity as one unit, we need to do these things. If one person chooses to not be faithful, they are choosing to destroy their eternal family. It is NEVER too late to start living by your covenants, and how great shall be your joy if you decide to partake of these amazing blessings that have been promised us on conditions of our obedience!
I love you all. I want every member of my family, every member, to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the SAME church that Christ established when he was on the earth. We have prophets, apostles, authority, & revelation. If you don´t believe me, tune into General Conference coming up in a few weeks. I testify that only through temple ordinances can we be wit our families for eternity. I testify that you are all children of a Heavenly Father, and he knows you. He knows your struggles, he knows your worries, he knows your strengths, he knows your desires. He can make weak things become strong- and that is why we are here. We are all weak. We all have things that we struggle with. We are on this earth to learn and to grow. Keep learning, keep growing spiritually. The process NEVER stops.

I love you, I love you. Be good and safe and have a fantastic week!


Hermana Lauren VanCott

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