Friday, July 27, 2012

Week 3

Hola familia y todos personas!!

First of all- CONGRATS BRYCE AND LISA!!!!!! You just made my week! I'm going to go print off those pics after I'm done e-mailing and show them off!!

I hope you are all doing well. I totally forgot that you were all heading up to NY! I'm so jealous, wish so bad that I could have been there. I'll be fasting for Emmett too. Miss you all so much and wish I could be there to help out with everything, comforting to know that Heavenly Father can step in instead...He's probably more help than I am anyways ;).

This week was really great. We have 2 new investigators- Mario and Anna! We haven't met with them much yet, but I'm excited to teach them. Yesterday, we got to teach volunteers at the TRC! that was so fun. We taught 2 RMs, Taylor and Alex, and then a woman name Silvia, each for 20 minutes. The Spirit was there. It's amazing how broken our Spanish can be, and yet when the Spirit is there, somehow our thoughts and feelings are communicated. I finially think I understand a little bit more that spiritual things really are communicated spirit to spirit, not by words. You can teach in perfect english, or testify, but if you don't do it with the spirit, it still doesn't really matter what you said at all. That's been humbling to learn.

This Tuesday, we had a good devotional from Gary Coleman. He used to be the Arcadia mission president!!! AND- I found out that he's one of my really good friend's grandparents! I was going to go say hi to them after, but decided against it since we had to get back to our classroom. He talked about how we as Mormons are obsessed with Christ! It's true!! Everything we do is about coming closer to Him. It was a great devo. My favorite talk we listened to this week was Elder Bednar, Character of Christ talk. He gave it on Christmas day last Dec, and they replayed it on Sunday. It is incredible. AFter reading it, I've been thinking alot about it. It made me think of the scripture in Matthew 4 that says" follow me and I will make you fishers of men". One of the things that Elder Bednar was talking about is that it's what you are and who you become that invites the power of the Spirit as you teach. I want to become PMG so that I can teach with that power. He talked alot about turning outward, rather than inward. Christ's character was to always turn outward, even during His suffering in the GArden and on the cross, He was still concerned for others (He healed the guard's ear and taught the thieves on the crosses next to Him). Part of Christ's character is to always turn outward. I want to be like that too. There are so many opporutnities to think that in some way, I have it harder and thus, I should be given some slack, or somethings- it's easy to focus on myself and what I want out of my mission and what I want to feel and learn and do, but that will never make me a good missionary. Turning outward, like Christ is so key. I hope my mission becomes like that.

One of the missionaries in our zone left for Peru this week! It was sad to say good bye to her! 3 of our elders are leaving to Guatemala MTC this week. That will be a little hard. They'll be great, our district will be all to CA after they leave. Today is P-day and the temple is open again so we get to go to the temple today!!! I"m so excited!

Sorry, this is all so random. Just thoughts I've had during the week. Being a missionary has a way of making you look at yourself if a totally different way. I always assumed that as a missionary you just all of the sudden were perfect at everything. I know it's silly, but i was a little surprised when I realized that I'm still me! I still have the same struggles, and runway does not all of the sudden just get shorter (that's for you dad!) but that is changing. Missionary work is great.

Randome things for family:

Carrie- I got your letter!! the elders were teasing me about it being a boyfriend because I was so excited to open a letter!
Bryce and lisa: ah!!!!!! so excited for you!
Mom- can you send me the list of addresses for my thank-you notes. you can dear elder me and let me knwo if you need me to send you a list. also, I realized that I never brought any family pics here!! any chance I can have you send me some?! (and my camelback waterbottle maybe later) I dont' have the cord for the camera, so I was just thinking of sending you the card when it's full. and then having  you send it back to me!
Katy and Micah- I love you, and am praying hard and will be fasting of Emmett!
Everyone- I'm sorry I can't write individual e-mails to you all. I wish I could. Once I have your street addresses, I will for sure! Lisa, I got your e-mail! I'll keep an eye out for him too! Thanks for the e-mail. Renee and Carrie, I hope you are doing ok with your little ones still inside ;).

I miss you all and love you more! The church is still true!


Hermana LaPierre

MTC Address

In case you never got this, this is the snail mail address, or somethings along these lines, sorry 30 mins goes by so fast!!
MTC box 204
CA-ARC 0911
2005 N 900 E
Provo Ut 84604

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mission Life Week 1.5

Como le va? How are you all? Hope everyone and everything is going well. I know I can't always send personal e-mails to everyone, so I just wanted to start by saying, thank-you so much to all of you for your help and support. thanks to the sibs (Bryce and Lisa and Lisa and Jim) who let me come visit them before I left in TX and D.C. and Nicole, Betsy, Renee, and Carrie, for coming down to visit- I am so grateful to have been able to see all of you, and that you drove down for it! Betsy and Renee- thanks for taking me to the MTC! I'm glad you were there to send me off, especially when I was so nervous! (the rest of you were there in Spirit!) And Mom, Dad, Katy, Micah, Jamie, Michelle, and Cris- thanks for putting up with me for the past 2 months (that grants you special gospel blessings already I'm sure!) Jim- there is an elder in my zone who reminds me so so so much of you! He's from PA and he even looks like you!
So I think I should start by saying that I think I spoke a little too soon last week when I said that Spanish was a breeze for me. I may or may not have been a little overly confident :). I still have a lot to learn. It's been helpful to be able to understand quite a bit, but I still have a long way to go before I can say things correctly, and get a better religion vocab...Woburn High must have skipped the religion section ;) They told me that I could jump up to an intermediate class, but I deciced to stay here, with my district. I love them, and I love my companion. It's been fun to get to know each other even better, especially the other companionship of sisters. The elders seem so young sometimes, but they are really great guys. 3 of them go to the Guatemalan MTC in 2 weeks, and that'll be really sad. I think we've gotten pretty close with each other and we all get along really well. We're all incredibly different, but that's what makes it fun. My comp and 3 of the elders are all going to Arcadia!
We had a good devotional this week- Vaugh Featherstone gave it. He talked about his great niece who served her mission in Boston!! It was a great devotional- no specific theme (other than mish work obviously), but really inspiring and uplifting. We got to sing This is the Christ in the choir for it, which was also fun. I love that song. (thank-you cris ;)  )
Hermana Southworth and my highlight this week was committing Manuel to be baptized!!!! yesterday was our last time teaching him, which was kind of sad. it's been a great experience. It's amazing how quickly you become invested in someone else's wellbeing, especially when the Spirit backs you up. I know it's all roleplay, but it's felt so real to me. I think Hermana Southworth and I would both agree that we've learned alot from this. I know I'm not a perfect teacher, and there's alot I can work on, but I loooooove teaching the gospel! I love testifying that everything will be ok when we come closer to Christ. I love that if you're teaching the gospel, Heavenly Father will back you up and the Spirit will come- even in broken, awkward spanish.
Random experiences this week- I think it's a combo of a new face wash and dry desert, but my face has been peeling and super dry all week! I keep joking that it looks like my face is shedding! I think I'll invest in new facewash and a water bottle soon! Ha! Apparently we aren't allowed to have gum. That's been tough. I have alllot of gum to send you soon! P-day is awesome- took the best nap of my life today! We dont' have an official Sunday school and our sacrament meeting and RS are separated during the day- it feels like old school church! Last week in RS we learned about how to be more proper, lady-like women ;) I couldn't get Princess Diaries and Miss Congeniality out of my head!! It was great though. I'm apparently not a natural lady, correctly crossing my legs will never happen. The food here is a little weird too- or at least for me, but it's not too bad, just making me a little sick,but not bad. I love it here though! It's been great!
The Church is true and the gospel is amazing.
Sister/ Hermana Laree LaPierre

Saturday, July 14, 2012

MTC/CCC Acclimation

Hola familia!!!
I've been in the CCM (MTC) for a total of 4 days (going on 4) and already it's been a really great growing experience. I finally understand why so many missionaries write such short messages to friends. They keep us so busy!! We're supposed to have the purpose memorized by Sunday, a talk to give to our comps done by sunday, the handbook read, and letters writted and lessons planned, and it is hard to do all of that!! It has been really great though.
Without the help of the Spirit, I have no idea how we can work this fast. On our first day, they only spoke Spanish to us in class. They kept it pretty simple and wrote a lot of things on the board in ingles. I could understand quite a bit and could speak to them quite a bit too. They told me I could go into the intermediate class if I want to, but I'm not really sure if I want to or not. I don't feel like I'm always challenged in my Spanish, but know that there's quite a bit of the basics that I still mess up alot. I also really love my companion, Hermana Southworth, so having to change companions and districts would be hard. Sometimes it's tempting, but I think I can help Sister Southworth with her Spanish and hopefully help myself in the process. I want to help her, but also don't want to come off as a know it all. and truthfully, my Spanish is really not great at all. I think I just take a bunch of words/ phrases/ etc. and put them together and hope it makes sense. My congugations are all over the place and my vocab is still pretty limited. AND my pronunciation is terrible! It's been fun though! And I'm having fun with it, just trying to find ways to challenge myself so I can keep improving my Spanish.
We taught our first investigator last night!!! It was really cool. His name is Manuel (it was a teacher acting like an investigator). Because Hermana Southworth and I were the last to go, we had a ton of time to prepare, so we essentially prepped the first discussion. We had watched a video about Manuel, so we knew a little about his life and planned the lesson to that. He's been in the U.S. for a little over a year and is from Mexico. His family is here because his sister has cancer and they're seeking treatment here (it's all role play scenarios I'm pretty sure). Anyways, so in our broken Spanish we tried to talk about God, and families especially. I felt impressed to share a little about Emmett and so I did. The Spirit was really strong. It was really cool. Hermana Southworth and I tried to transition back and forth from testifying and sharing scriptures and explaining principles. It was really fun, especially for our first time teaching. I think we rocked it! ;)
All of the hermanas that I live with are great, energetic missionaries. They're awesome. Sister Southworth is sooo sweet. I love her. She has never learned Spanish before in her life, so I've been trying to figure out how to help her without making her feel uncomfortable or without sounding like a know it all, and trying to find the balance there. However, she is amazing!!!! she's familiar with so many different languages (like 6 or 7) including- German, Arabid, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese and Brail! she has a sight impairment and so she's learned brail her whole life. She's been teaching me a little here and there. And chinese too, she knows I'm interested in chinese- I told her I work at chinese flagship. She's really quiet and timid, but it's been fun to get to know her. I think we're becoming a little more comfortable with each other. She's also really positive and so I've really enjoyed being able to learn from her in that way. She also knows her scriptures reallly well. I think we'll make a good teaching couple.
So glad to hear that Emmett is doing well and is perky. Give him a hug from La! and everybody else too! .
Everyone was so perky when we first got here! it was a little overwhelming! Now, I feel like I'm one of them! ha! I've been able to see a bunch of friends from school and live on the same floor as on of the girls in my ward last year. we put our papers in on the same day! It's been fun. I saw Mark Gillespie a couple days ago, and know some of the teachers as friends from school too. That's helped alot to make me feel more comfortable. I know I'm doing the Lords work and know that because of that, He can help me and Hermana Southworth as we try to figure this out. He already has! there are so many miracles around! I love it and I love you all!!
Miss and love you,
Hermana LaPierre

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pre Mish Summer

After I finished school last semester I was able to visit Bryce and Lisa in Texas and Lisa and Jim in D.C. I spent about 2 days in each place and had a blast! It was so much fun to get to spend time with all of them. I didn't take my camera out much while I was there, so there's not much to show for it unfortunately. It was so so fun to get to visit the LaPs and Schillings before I leave on my mission. Next time, I'll have to stay for longer :)

When I got back home, I started working at the dental office again almost immediately, which obviously took up alot of time and tried to get some things checked off my list to get ready for my mission. Turns out though, that trying to run errands after work is a little more difficult though, so I truthfully did not get a ton done while I was working. But I was able to spend time with family and especially grateful for the opportunities I had to spend some time visiting Emmett, Katy and Micah while Emmett was admitted in the hospital, as well as spending time with everyone else as well. Before I leave for my mission, I will have seen everyone of my siblings within the last 3 months (that's a miracle for our family!)

I took the last 2 weeks off work so I could full time get ready, which ended up being a really good thing, as there were alot of things that needed to get done. Finding shoes was probably one of the most painful processes so far. I tried to find shoes that would fit me, look at least semi- professional, and give me some kind of support while being on my feet all day. I'm sure that's hard to find for women with normal, adult sized feet, but with kids sized feet, that's apparently close to impossible. Luckily, I was able to find some really good pairs of shoes that I think will be great, especially once they're broken in a little bit more. 

I was also able to do some fun things with the family while I've been home. Today, mom and dad and I headed to Plum Island for a couple hours. I had wanted to get up there at least once before I headed out, so I was really glad to get to go. The water was really warm and felt great, especially since it's been so hot! 

On the 4th, we went on a harbor cruise and were able to watch the tall ships, and the Constitution (is that considered one of the "tall ships"?) sailing around. AND the Blue Angels did a few fly bys!! It was the second time we saw them in 1 week and they were AMAZING!!

Last Friday, we went to an air show that the Blue Angels were flying in. It was incredible!! I wanted to watch Top Gun again so badly after coming home from the show that night! We (Mom, Dad, Cris and I) took Tyson with us so his parents could recover from baby Benjamin being born earlier that morning!

 They were literally right in front of us! Since it was a private show for GE, etc. employees, there were not alot of people there so we were able to get up really close! Thank-you dad for working at GE!!

 Tyson is probably a good example to show how hot it was that day. Soooo hot!!!
Even more exciting than the air show was that baby Benjamin was born that Friday morning!! Jamie and Michelle called around 4 am, so mom and I drove over to take care of Tys while Jamie and Michelle went to the hospital. We took Tyson home with us to come play at our house once he woke up. Before we went to the air show, we stopped into the hospital so that Tyson could meet his new little brother.

 When mom and I took Tyson home with us, he went directly to the tool shed, and picked up this long metal bar and started playing with it around the house. He looked so cute so I had a little fun taking pictures of him.

 I also had some fun taking pictures of Katy, Micah and Emmett a few Sundays ago. It was such a beautiful day and Emmett was doing pretty well that day so we went for a little walk and took some pictures! I took most of the pictures with their camera, so I don't have a ton to show for on here! It's been so much fun to get to spend so much time with so much family the past few months. I'm sure going to miss everyone when I head out to California. I'm so glad I know it's where Heavenly Father wants me right now in my life. I'm really excited to serve other people and come to know my Savior even better. I think it'll also be really exciting/ interesting to see what kind of challenges come and see the blessings and miracles that come through enduring and overcoming those challenges. I'm so grateful for the gospel and have no idea where I'd be without it!