Monday, January 13, 2014

Three Weeks at Once!

Sorry family and friends!  I have been a little busy and haven't posted Lauren's blogs as often as I should. Hopefully I can get some great pictures posted soon but I don't have time tonight.  I need to teach someone to do this because (I need a pity party) it is hard to take time with how busy we are.  Enjoy!

December 30, 2013

Dear Family,

It was so great to see you all, even if it felt like it was only 5 minutes! You all look great and happy, which made me feel great and happy!

Until Saturday night, when I was ¨with vomits¨, literal Spanish translation, estuve con vomitos. So, that made for a lame Sunday as I couldn´t move and my body was achy and I had a head ache. Our lovely ward sent someone to give us The Sacrament, which I am very grateful for. Today I am still a wee bit weak, but feeling better! At least it is Pday, so I can continue to rest a smidge.

I took up reading ¨Jesus The Christ¨ yesterday, which probably contributed to my headache as I contemplated deeply the meaning of all things. What a great book, but maaaan, it is difficult to read! I thought it would just be a nice breeze, full of lovely stories about the life of Jesus Christ. Well. Let´s just say I felt like Brian Regan, sitting there drawing in the air and re-re-reading sentences. My companion was laughing at my struggles. BUT I AM DETERMINED TO READ IT. It is just a lot of big wordsies.

Here is a cool story. We are teaching a mom who had received the sister missionaries 19 years ago. It has taken a loooong time to find her and get into her house, but it has been worth it. She has genuine interests now, and she loves the spirit that we bring into her home. The other day we taught her the First Vision, and she was so touched that a 14 year old boy would have desires to know for himself which church was true. We told her that Heavenly Father has given us evidence, The Book of Mormon, that Joseph Smith really is a prophet. The member that we were with shared his testimony, and told about how the Book of Mormon was key to his conversion.

She then dismissed herself. The member asked if we had a Book of Mormon to give her, and we sheepishly said ¨No¨ because we had just given ours to another investigator family. Well, miracles exist. The lady came back, and in her hand was a Book of Mormon, covered in dust.

She said, ¨I haven´t looked at this for 10 years, since the missionaries gave it to me. But, I walked in my laundry room and started looking for it. I turned around and there it was, right in front of me! I think God wants me to read it.¨

We agreed that God wants her to read it.

I just am amazed everyday at how the Lord prepares people. It is so true that not everyone we talk to is ready for the message of The Restoration, but every time we talk to someone we are helping prepare them for that message. If it weren´t for those sister missionaries 10 years ago, this Sister wouldn´t have had the chance to see that mini miracle, that God loves her and wants her to know Him better.

Well. I do not have much to say. I will try to be more fun next week. I will send some pictures!

Eli, happy baptism this week! I am so proud of you and your decision to follow Jesus Christ. Make sure to send me pictures, and I want Eli to write me and tell me how it was so that I can share his experience with the people I talk to down here!

Truman Maxwell VanCott, you are so cute. Thank you for your card and for your letters. I love hearing about how well you are doing and how smart you are. And hey, we can be PARK BUDDIES again in a few months at Disneyland! Woot!

Grace, it was fun to make dinosaur faces with you. My companion loved it, and the members now think I am crazy. That´s okay.

Christian, you are skinny. Send me your diet.

Mom and Dad, you look great and really tired. Thanks for all you are doing for me through your service to the Lord. I feel the blessings that I know come from being raised by such great parents. Also, NOT FUNNY Dad. The only part of your letter I saw was ¨going to have another sibling¨as I was scanning it fast....nearly had a heart attack. Thankfully it was ¨no you are NOT going to have another sibling.¨ Hope all went well with Elder Kent F. Richards. I am excited to hear what he shared!

Have a Happy New Year!

My resolutions?

1. Don´t drink soda more than 2 times a week.
2. Talk to everyone.
3. Be a missionary.
4. Don´t forget my nametag when we go running in the mornings.
5. Read the Book of Mormon in Spanish.

Have a great week!


Hermana VanCott



January 6, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Ohkay. Besides getting used to writing ¨2014¨ in my high-tech missionary planner, there isn´t much difference between this year and the far.

For New Years we went to bed at 10:30, hoping to escape the noises of dogs, fireworks, and drunks. No luck. I woke up all through the night to noises that were far from a ¨Soundscape¨ CD. Here in Chile, the party doesn´t end until the hangover starts, I figure.

Also, everyone has decided that it is a great time to go to the beach, which, it is.... but it is ALSO a great time to sit in your homes with a little plug in fan and listen to the good news that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored!


In the meantime we are making ourselves at home in the streets. We have learned the best times and places for shade, and we are making new friends left and right...they are just hard to get in touch with again!

I personally (well, and with my companion, of course) have decided to focus more on the members this month. We, as members, need to hear the lessons just as much as the investigators. Plus, it gives us a great chance to show them how we teach and help build trust.

The quote of the week from the one and only Hermana Tibbitts is:

¨Warm water makes my tongue feel weird...¨

and that being said whilst walking in silence in our ghost town sector for 2 hours. I died laughing. That shows you my mental condition right now. EVERYTHING is funnier than it should be, so forgive me if my humor is a little off.

ELIJAH! Welcome into the Church! Congrats on your baptism, I hear it was great and I heard you sang very well! I can´t believe how old you are.

It´s good to see pictures of the George´s, and hear that Shannon and the kids and grandparents made it to the baptism! Awesome, sounds like a party!

So, I have been thinking. You guys, as members, have it good. Wanna know why? Well, because you can do things missionaries can´t.

1. You can be in homes of people for more than just an hour.

2. You can invite people to YOUR house.

3. You can invite people to activities that aren´t so ¨churchy¨, but still be examples and build relationships.

4. You can ¨Focus on the ONE¨ during your visiting teaching and home teaching time.

5. You can testify, as a NORMAL person, who relates to the every-day struggles.

I´m not saying missionaries don´t do these, but they are SO much more powerful coming from a member! Especially with less actives. A lot of the time, all they need is for their Brother or Sister to say ¨Come to church with us! We miss you!¨ It means a lot more coming from someone who has been and will be at their side all the time, not just the missionaries who are changed every few months.

Well. I am trying to think of funny stories. It´s a bit of a struggle. A semi-funny story is that we brought an investigator to church and she literally slept through the whole least she was peaceful?

Being with my companion for 5+ months has its´ ups and downs. We are getting good at the lessons. We can switch and keep it interesting and keep a good flow. We never fight. We know (almost) every name of each other´s extended families. I am planning on going to all the Workman family reunions that I can hit when I get home.

Downsides are that we have told every story. Sometimes, we begin a story and the other one jumps in and tells the rest. ¨Oh yeah! ...and then you.... and then she....and then the corndog it even possible to fit twenty marbles in your mouth?... and I can´t believe that he thought mammoths didn´t exist!¨ Really. We know everything and everything.

I am starting to think eternity is a long time to be with anyone. Hahah. Just kidding.

HUGE NEWS FOLKS: I am 1/3 of the way done with the mission. That means...I will be rolling in the next New Year in the States! Weird to think that I will be home before Eli´s next birthday. Also, parents, ya´ll are 1/6 of the way done! Whoa!

A new game we play is called ¨Speaking Spanish¨. Since my companion is gringa and since the little Chileans are playing hide and seek right now, we end up speaking a lot of English when we are outside. This week the rule is ¨NO ENLISH OUTSIDE OF THE APARTMENT!¨ It´s going to be rough. We bought candy bars to reward ourselves every night when we complete a day of only españ that should be motivating!

Well. I love you all. Jason Patterson, if you are reading this, and anyone else that has written me a handwritten letter that I haven´t responded to, please send me an email at! I don´t have a mail office in my area, and I forget to send things when I am out and about! So, thanks! I promise to email back! But, thank you for all of the letters and encouragement! It is appreciated and very much so needed!

Say your prayers & read your scriptures!

Hermana VanCott

January 13, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week started with the worst Pday in the history of Pdays (nothing we wanted to do worked out) and ended with an Hermano´s sacrament talk which, in essence, stated that if you don’t go to EFY you won´t gain a testimony. haha. I just sat their wishing Christian was there to laugh with me. I know that EFY is a great youth program, but $400 to go to EFY does not guarantee salvation.

Thankfully, the days in between were fantastic! Our ward is realizing that missionary work is fun, and when they aren´t at the beach they are willing to come with us to find & teach. I love it. The change in attitude is gradual, but it is happening! I couldn´t be more excited to see how the spirit of Missionary work will affect all aspects of their ward. It is amazing the miracles that take place when we focus on the basic doctrine and on serving. That is literally the life of a missionary, a miracle!

Ok. I am done being cheesy. Now, on to the good stuff.

My companion and I made a ¨Things you can ONLY do on the Mission¨ list as we walked from our apartment to our sector, a walk that can be related to crossing the Sahara.

You can only _____ in the mission:

Invite yourself and others into the house of a stranger.

Change a 20 minute rant about dogs, a mean neighbor, or the weather, into a gospel conversation and end with a prayer.

Eat at a different person´s house every day.

Work 15 hour days and still feel like a lazy bum.

Have full conversations with dogs.

Make friends from 312832719 different countries at the same time.

Avoid latino men´s kisses.

Accidently mix up scripture and movie quotes.

Get ready in under 20 minutes, every day, for 547 days.

Wake up at 7:30 every day, for 547days.

Count time by months. ¨I have been in Chile 14 months...¨

There is the list so far. Now, funny stories anyone?

We had an investigator come to church. She is great, and we were so happy to have her there! My companion and I made sure that she sat in farther on the bench and told her that she could watch our example of how to take the Sacrament. So, after we were all arranged, my companion leaves me with her on the bench to go play the piano for the meeting. She stayed up there on the stand during the Sacrament, so the responsibility fell on me to be the ¨example¨. Yeah, nothing hard, I have been taking the Sacrament my whole life. All you do is take the bread, eat it. Take the water, drink it, put it into the hole full of other mini plastic cups with lipstick marks on them....right?

Well. I wasn´t thinking much in my actions as I took the bread. I went for the bread with my right hand, because I am right handed. Then, I realized my arms was trapped by my bag and I couldn’t reach my mouth with my right hand. So, I switched the bread into my left hand.

My pause to figure out how the bread was going to get in my mouth, and then switch of hands, was then mimicked by our investigator. hahaha. It was just really funny to me. I didn´t laugh in the moment, but after church I was explaining to my companion and had a little giggle fit.

Another story about ¨mimicking¨.... Hermana Resendiz was talking to our ward mission leader in the hall at church. Us three gringas were standing by. He told her, ¨We are going to work on the Ward Mission Plan today!¨and she said ¨Yaaay, Mision Plan!¨ To which, us three gringas, without planning, all mimicked ¨Yaaaay, Mision Plan!¨ with an added emphasis of jazz hands. We were all suprised that our reaction was the same. The ward mission leader just thinks it is a gringa thing...but he kept asking us to do it while we were talking later that day, so obviously he thought it was funny.

I thought that we looked like Sid (from Ice Age 2) and those little whatever animals they are. The Mexicana missionary is our leader, and we gringas are the animals.

Parents, I sent a letter to you this last week! There were two envelopes, so hopefully they get there in the next month! haha.

People who ask if I want things in packages...I am fine! I don´t need packages to feel loved. BUT, if you want to be overly generous with me, I guess I will send you some ideas. :)

Church music CD´s. Mormon Tabernacle Choir, especially.

Family History Stories (if you are my family)

Those footie sock things that you wear with flats.

True to the Faith. I don´t have one in English.

Yeah. There are my ideas. Thank you for all the love! Letters take about 4 weeks to get here as of right now, and packages about a month and a half.

Love you all! Have a great week. Write me emails! I miss hearing from you all. Even the things that are boring to you are fun to hear for me! Anything. anyyyyythingssss.


Hermana VanCott


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your interesting letters. I really enjoy them and look forward to reading all about your mission experiences. I am happy that you are enjoying your mission. My prayers are with you and all the missionaries.