Did you love conference?! Ah! It was so great- I wish I could sit and listen to talks all day. The age change was crazy!! It totally surprised me and I am so jealous! I would have loooooved to go when I was 19! It would have been so nice to leave after only 1 or 2 years of school than just while I'm towards the end of school. It'll be interesting to see how it changes the social side of BYU for freshman. I'm jealous, I totally would have went when I was 19 if I could have, but it's probably a good thing I didn't because I would have had a totally different experience and wouldn't have gotten to know the people I met had I left earlier. So I make myself feel better when I think about that. Besides changing the age for missionaries, conference was really powerful. I always think it's so interesting to hear the repeated themes that seem to jump out each conference.
So generally our pday is on Monday, but this week it was changed because we got to go to the temple today! Since it's out of our mission, we had to have a member drive us, so Sister Ross, who we live with, drove us. I was really adament about no other temple being as awesome as Boston, which is almost true, but the LA temple AMAZING!! It is was so beautiful! It was really great to get to go to the temple, the Spirit is strong there, it was the perfect finish to General Conference weekend. We got to see the Staples Center (where the Lakers play) and Dodger Stadium, and downtown LA! We also stopped in the visitor's center there since we missed the 8:30 session. They have a room in there that is decorated to look like you're in Jerusalem, it was really cool to sit in there for a while and watch videos with parts of Christ's life. We also stopped by the distribution center and I finally got a new set of scriptures!!! I've been wanting a new set since the MTC, but they didn't have any matching sets left. I'm so excited to mark them up with everything I've learned finally! I also got the cds of last october general conference in Spanish so I can try to get more practice with understanding Spanish! (I'm getting better, but trying to speed up the process)
This week has been really good. Last Wednesday we started teaching English Classes. We used the program the Church has set up and did the first lesson- it was introducing yourself to others/ neighbors, etc. It was suuuuper simple. and I think some of the women were a little offended at how simple it was. Now that we know that they're all a bit more advanced, we can try to make it a little more challenging. Most of them know at least some simple English from just living in the U.S. for a while. I'm excited to teach them, it's been kind of weird to teach English, while I'm still trying to learn Spanish! But I think it also helps me to know how I can improve my Spanish, and have learned some good ways to learn/ practice a different language too, so that's been helpful. Our next class is tomorrow so I'm excited to see how that goes.
Last week we also went knocking into a man named Jose. One of the weird things about being a Spanish missionary in LA/ CA is that you never know when to start out in Spanish or English, so we usually just start in English and then if they say that they can't speak English, we go to Spanish. However there's a toooon of Armenians and people from all over so it's sometimes hard to know what language people speak. Well, we knocked into Jose and started talking with him about who we are, and asked him what he knew about us. He said he didn't know much English, so I asked him what language he speaks- "Spanish"! So we started talking to him in Spanish and he said "What?! Why didn't you say that first?!" We talked about the Book of Mormon and he asked if he could read it. Ha! Um...yes! We lent him a Book of Mormon and he asked when we'd be back. (Golden door approach...on his part, not mine!) We're going to visit tonight and are really excited.
We also had a great lesson with our investigator Isis. We had a ward member, Hna. Thompson come with us. She was great. They clicked really well. We taught the Plan of Salvation, which was a great lesson. She still has a baptismal date of Oct. 28th, so we're working towards that and are really excited to watch her progress. We also had a good lesson with another investigator, but it got cut short since she had to take care of her daughter after something had happended. We were going to drop her thinking she was just now wanting lessons (we've stopped by a bunch of times), but she seemed to really be up for us coming over. Now that we've made contact with her and have set up appointments, it's been a lot easier to meet up with her.
Sister Becerra (my mission president's wife) came out to teach us on Saturday night. It was kind of nerve wracking because we didnt' have any lessons planned, but we were able to meet with 2 less actives that we haven't gotten to see in a long time. She was really bold and got to the point in both situations. It was really fun to watch her, I learned alot.
Betsy- Happy birthday last Friday! I hope it was good. How was Wicked in August by the way?! And Bryce and Lisa- Happy Anniversary today!!!!
I hope everyone is doing well, love you all.
Hermana Laree LaPierre
I wanted to tell one more story! so sorry!
We went to eat at the house of a woman in our ward this week and she told us this story. Earlier that day she was at work (cleaning houses) when the daughter of her boss came up and gave her an envelope and told her not to open it there, she didn't want her parents to see it. She put it in her pocket and forgot about it. After work she went to pay her bills and only had $6 to her name. She realized she was feeding us that night and had no idea what to do since she literally had no money. She remembered the envelope, opened it and found $30 in it! She was able to buy the materials for our dinner for only $15 (and it was soooo good- chorizo tostadas, and beans). After she told us that story she was talking about how the Lord was watching out for her and how she knew it was becuase she kept the commandments, and paid her tithing. She kept saying "aqui, pasa los milagros". I believe it. She has chosen to follow the Lord and has chosen to see His hand in her life, and because of that, He has continually blessed her and helped her out. Anyone could say that that was just a coincidence, but she chose to see it as a miracle and a blessing because of her obedience. I know it was and I know that as we seek to see His hand more often in our life, we'll begin to see Him more. It is amazing to get to know these people better. It is so humbling to hear about their stories and the lives they have come from. I was amazed and shocked by her story and how, even when having so so little shared so much of that with us (she only told us that story after we ate!) and didn't even think twice about it, she set up a feast for us and kept offering us more and more. It's amazing how when they have so little, they choose to see the Lord so much.
I'm way over time,so I should leave. I love you all. Have a great week.