Monday, November 26, 2012

hello family




Hello family,

Well, this week was a good week, much better than last week. We had another investigator at church this week!!!! Remember the first or second week I was here and I talked about that investigator who we taught and committed to be baptized and she said yes and I was so excited and freaking out for her baptism 3 weeks later?! yup, well 11 weeks later she finally came to church for the first time!! woo! She brought her little girl too. She was so cute. Isis (the mom) was really nervous about her daughter acting up at church, but I think she was better behaved than most 2 year olds I've seen at church. it's amazing what a little thing of stickers, paper and a pencil can do to keep a child entertained. All of the meetings were really really good for Isis. The lessons were perfect and in my opinion, things that were good for her to hear. 

It's amazing how difficult it is to get investigators to church. if they don't come at least 3 times, they can't get baptized. usually it's not because they need a ride or anything, just because other things come up. it's interesting to see how something so simple (just coming to church) becomes so difficult for people. I think it's because it plays such a huge part in their conversion and progression, and so everything seems to make it hard for them to get there. 

Another exciting day was Thanksgiving! We had an interesting day. We tried to visit with some people, but soon realized that it was difficult to since.. go figure...everyone is with family and/or not home/ "too busy". We had 2 meals with people... right after each other, so that kept our afternoon pretty busy. I was super nervous to do the meals. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but since I've been on my mission, I really have not been able to eat much at all. Not necessarily because I get full really fast, but eating just makes me sick alot of the time, sometimes, just after a couple bites. So- I said many a prayers to be able to handle the food that day. It wasn't too bad. The first one we went to was a Cuban lunch. She's a neighbor of some members in our ward. We had rice and beans, and a few other little sides. It was good. She didn't give me a ton of food since she knew I couldn't eat a ton, but it still added up and after the pie, I was pretty done and feeling a little sick. So after that we headed off to another dinner. The food was good, but there was aaaaaalot of it. I couldn't finish it but luckily, it was pretty casual and no one really seemed to notice that I didn't finish. whew. I made it alive and very full through my first Thanksgiving in the field!!

We were able to teach a 20 yr old less active and her 15 yr old brother the other day. They have been LA for years and so getting to have lessons with them is a big deal. It was really really good. They've begun to be alot more open to us since we've started coming. she's the one that did a kneeling prayer with us after a lesson we had with her the week before. (I think i told you that story). It's a small miracle that we keep meeting with them. 

We were able to go to Chinatown this past week on pday! I sent mom a picture of me contacting Winnie the Pooh. He seemed to be really considering the Book of Mormon. One of the members of the ward took us and we had alot of fun with her. We went and looked in all the shops and I bartered for the first time! Truthfully, I think I could have done better at bartering, I gave in too fast, but I got a couple dollars off a necklace that I wanted, so that was good. 

We had a mission conference this past week! It was really good. Brad Wilcox came (his daughter is visa waiting in our mission). He talked about the scattering/ gathering of Israel and our birthright as members of the church. I learned so much. It helped me understand alot about why I am here as a missionary and why so much is required of us missionaries. He talked about how we are here to help Israel remember who they are and the promises the Lord gave them. He mentioned that there is a difference between being loved and being trusted. The Lord loves all of His children, but as members of the church and as missionaries especially, we are trusted with an "extra portion" for the birthright,and thus extra responsibility. 

The work is going well here. Hope all is well with y'all. 

Love, 

Laree
Hermana LaPierre


I thought I might amuse you with a picture of me after our 2 Thanksgiving meals and dessert with the family we live with that night. The coconut cream pie was worth the pain. for sure. Aren't you so excited to see me rolling off the plane in 14 months?

Monday, November 19, 2012

CA Week...?

Hola family,

How are you all?! I'm sure you saw but I ran into Brother Blake last Sunday at a Member MTC. Hope the video isn't too awkward, I didn't get to watch it. 

So I had a funny experience the other day. We got a phone call, so I answered it. I answered in English, but the woman was speaking a different language, so I just started going in Spanish. There was a lot of me saying "como?" and being super confused- I couldn't understand a word she was saying, but I was trying to soooo hard. Sometimes, understanding people's Spanish is really hard, especially on the phone. So I gave my comp the phone and she started talking to her and apparently the woman asked her if this was the Fillipino sisters. Well, turns out that I was speaking Spanish to her and she was speaking Tagalog to me. So I'm not as bad at Spanish as I thought, or I am since I couldn't even tell. I'm so used to not really knowing everything that's going on.

We had a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday in our ward which was realllly good. We spent alot of our day helping to set up it was kind of intense. somehow we (me and my comp) got roped into doing a duet with one of the girls in the ward. She's so cute and played the ukelali ( i have no idea how to spell that) and wanted us to sing  I am  a child of god with her. if it were anyone else, I don't think i would have been quite as willing. it went pretty well though. 

We had a really good training meeting this week. at zone conference we had talked alot about finding and we reviewed what we had learned from the meeting. One thing he really stressed is how we are not supposed to be knocking doors/ tracting anymore. He told us that we could knock doors of neighbors of less actives, etc., but that essentially we don't knock until we have a name to talk about. so we've been learning to change how we work. it's shifted alot of how we think about missionary work and what we do with our time. 

we had a couple lessons this week with investigators and less actives that went pretty well. this week has been really challenging in alot of ways, but I'm trying really hard to work better and to make things work, and praying really hard. The work is good though, it keeps moving. 

Thanks. Love, 

Hermana LaPierre


Since I couldn't take the full hour this morning to write e-mails, I was able to get back on and let you know that I am sending a package home. I sent my ipod and a camera with the sd cards back. I have no way to get the pictures off, so I'm sending it to you. I have Renee's camera too. Also, I'm sending Jamie's hymn book too since I got one at the MTC. I'll try to send a more exciting package later.
Also, I thought you'd be excited to see the new investigator I picked up while we were in Chinatown today.
love you,
Hermana LaPierre
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A sighting


Some "old" friends of ours saw Ssr LaPierre at a stake fireside


Let's see if  I can post the video.


video








Monday, November 12, 2012

Another Week

Hola everyone!

Today we went on a hike in Arcadia with all of the sisters in the mission and Sister Becerra. It was really pretty. I got to see Sister Southworth, I haven't seen her since we first got to CA, so that was really good. 

This week has been good. We had 2 investigators that said that they'd be coming to church and were really certain about it and then right before, one of them cancelled, which was sad because her kids were going to be in the primary program (she really wanted to come but had car problems, so I'm sure she'll be there next week). The other one just didn't show up and we have no idea why. We stopped by after church, but she wasn't there, we're hoping to go visit her tonight. Our investigators are doing pretty well though. Imelda (the woman with the kids) is progressing. When I first came we were never able to see her and when we did talk to her, she wouldn't really let us in. She's become soooo much more receptive. We went over this week to practice the Primary songs for the program. It was so funny - they looooved "Choose the Right Way", everytime we'd sing it, they'd kind of mumble the verses and then would sing the chorus really loud. That one was there favorite. It's been really cool to watch her children get so excited about all things church. (Except for sacrament meeting last week- they got a little bored then ;)  ). She's become a lot happier too I've noticed since we've started teaching her. 

We had an interesting experience as we were going to visit some potential investigators yesterday. We had met with them before and everytime we try to talk with them, they are suuuuper religious and quote a bunch of Bible references and talk to us about a whole bunch of doctrine and things that we do wrong in our church. Who doesn't have at least one person like that on their mission?! Well, we went to talk to them for a couple minutes, and as we were parking, saw the son walk out, see us, and then walk back in. When we went to knock on the door, the screen door was locked and he didn't answer. We took as a pretty obvious message and decided it was better for them to "break up" with us than for us to do it. The meetings with them weren't really going anywhere, but it was still a little disappointing. 


We've had a really good week. We went with a member on Saturday to a garage clothing sale, both to try to find a jacket for me (it was reeeeeeally cold that day), but also to contact the woman, one of the members' friends. As we were talking to the woman, we found out that all of the clothes (there were a toooon of clothes) were all owned by this one older woman, who's been widowed for 30 years and just shopped a ton. The woman selling it all had been hired by the family to sell the clothes, for super cheap. Alot of the clothes hadn't even been worn. They kept trying to get me to buy some of the clothes, but they were too big (thankfully- most of it wasn't really anything that I liked). I did end up getting some skirts though for super cheap. The woman selling the clothes was really nice, we got to have a good conversation with her, and talked to her about the Church for a while. She was really nice, but didn't seem super interested. 

Hope you're all doing well! 

Love you, 

Hermana LaPierre
 
 
(Sister LaPierre ran into an old family friend, Brett Blake, at stake conference the other day and he emailed this picture of her to us!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

CA Week 8

Hola toda!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!

Como estan? This week was good. Halloween was fun, we were not allowed to go out on the streets for Halloween night, so instead we had our district meeting and played volleyball and gatorball (random game they play here in the mission- like soccer and rugby together). It was fun. 

On Friday, we went to our investigators' house to make/ decorate cakes and then to have a lesson. She and her mother (her mom was going to show us how to decorate cakes) were not home, but we got to have a really good conversation with her sister, who we've been wanting to start teaching. She is super talkative, so it was funny, every time we tried to turn the conversation to a lesson, she'd keep going! ha, well we got an in talking to her about the Plan of Salvation and it was really good, especially since she just had a baby a couple weeks ago. She's really cute. They're family has met with missionaries before and so they remember alot about what they taught. We ended up going over on Saturday again and got to have a little cake decorating lesson while we tried to talk to our investigator about her baptismal date. 

One of the most exciting things that happened this week is that another one of our investigators came to church with us this Sunday!!! The missionaries have been teaching her since April and this was her first time! she brought 3 of her 4 kids with her and they were so cute! I sat next to one of them during Sacrament meeting and tried to explain a little about the sacrament to him. He's 6. He was so cute about it. He didn't know who Jesus Christ is, so I tried to explain who He is to him. I told him to count how many times he heard people say the name Jesucristo. The kids were getting a little bored, but they did really well in sac. meeting. Towards the end, Axel, the one I was sitting with, heard someone say Jesus Christ and he looked up at me and smiled, so excited that he had heard them say Jesus Christ's name. It was so cute! The primary was prepping for the primary program that day too so they got to be part of that. At the end of church, they went up to their mom and explained how they needed to come 10-15 minutes early next week so they could be there on time to do the program.and they were so excited to show the parts that they had to say in the program! It's been amazing to watch Imelda begin to get a real desire to listen to our message. Her kids' excitement has in alot of ways softened her heart and she is starting to really progress, after all this time. The miracles of introducing the Gospel into the family. 

We had zone conference yesterday as well. It was soooo good! I loved it. Something I haven't really stopped thinking about since is how amazing it is to be involved in missionary work right now. This is one of the coolest times to be a missionary. Pres. Becerra explained how the church's family history system has started getting attention from different countries and they are starting to give the church thousands of records to be included in the system, and they are starting to lease out the church to help them with their family history. Mitt, a high priest and temple recommend holder, is running for president (just had to throw that one in there ;)...just kidding, Pres. Becerra actually did say that). The new online youth program that's been in the works for 3-4 years and is focused on PMG is about to open up in January. and now, the announcement of the missionary age change has made the work explode. they said SLC gets 1100 missionary apps now a week, usually they only get around 700. we're getting 50 new missionaries in our mission. He talked about how 12 week training will probably not happen. They may be switching transfers to just 3 weeks, they'll be putting way more missionaries in smaller areas, on bike or foot. He quoted Elder Perry, who said that right now about 1/3 of the world is already to receive the Gospel right now. makes me think of the scripture in D&C 4- the field is white already to harvest. It's really exciting to be out right now. We really are paving the way and preparing the world for the Savior. (That sounds so cheesy, but it's true.) It is amazing. 
They taught us alot about how we can find people and doing our best to find quality people who show real growth in the church- going to the bishop and asking what kind of people he needs/ wants coming into his ward, then going out and finding them. They also talked about teaching as simply and clearly as we can to help investigators understand the principles of the Gospel. One of my favorite lines from the conference was Sister Becerra saying "missionaries teach what they are, not what they know". I feel like doing that makes us more natural and normal missionaries as well.

Lots of exciting things are happening in the Church right now. It's cool to see it all effecting missionary work. 

Love you all, miss you too. Hope everything is going really well. 

Love, 

Hermana Laree LaPierre