Monday, March 25, 2013

Hola familia,

This week was really good. We had exchanges on Tuesday, which actually went really well. It was fun. We went to teach a new investigator of ours-this70something year old man and his caretaker came and sat in on our lesson. Her husband is a pastor at her church. Needless to say, it was an interesting discussion on the Restoration. We'll see what happens this week :)

On Saturday, our recent convert wanted to take us to a fresas y crema cart (strawberries and cream) so met him at his house. When we got there, he and his nephews were eating raw oysters. It's kind of gross- they just open up the shell and put some lemon/ lime juice on it, salt and chili and then you just eat it out of the shell. Anyways, long story short, I tried some and it was definitely kind of weird, but not as bad as I had expected. I ate two and I my stomach is still doing ok, so I think we're good. He was telling us that their is a kind of shellfish they eat in Mexico that when you open it, it's red with black juice and it's still alive/ moving around. You just put chili on it and then eat it...squirming and everything. Maybe next time. I wanted to take a picture of it, but I didn't bring my camera so hopefully I can take a picture next time.

Some of the elders in our ward had a baptism yesterday and our investigator Juan came with us!! He is the one that took forever to pray a couple weeks ago. Actually, it was really interesting because last week, alot of things changed with him. We met with him that Sunday after church and he told us that he had read the entire chapter we left with him and he'd watched the Restoration 3 or 4 times before we came! He really really likes coming to church and has begun to make some really good friendships with some of the men in the ward. Anyways, he'd told us in the past that he could only meet with us on the weekends, but then that Sunday, he said that he actually has a couple hours in between his jobs where he is home during the week. He told us to come whatever day we want to. He's trying to overcome drug and alcohol addictions right now to prepare for his baptism, and he's doing really well. There's several men in the ward that are also helping him and strengthening him through that. It's amazing to see how different he is from when we first met him. We're so excited for April 21st!

We had a mission conference on Thursday that was really great. They talked a lot about asking questions (quoted Clayton Christensen's book several times), faith, sacrificing our heart, might, mind and strength to the work and the Lord, and then the character of Christ. It was in alot of ways what I needed to hear right now and helped answer some of the things I've been thinking about lately. It was kind of funny. President took some time to teach us how to talk to people. Kind of funny/ pathetic that our generation has to be taught how to socialize with people, but asi es. I've been surprised on my mission to realize how much of missionary work really does have to do with your ability to communicate and build relationships with people. Especially since most people don't communicate outside of anything technological/ texting/ video games/ etc...

Love and miss you all,

Hna. LaPierre

Monday, March 18, 2013



I don't even know what week I'm on now, but I do know that I'm close to my half way mark. If there's one feeling that's scary on a mission it's feeling like time is running out and the countdown has started.

CA has been fun this week. It's definitely summer. It's funny because the mornings are always chilly and cold and I study with 10 layers on still and then by the end of it all the extra layers are off and I'm hot! It's been good though.
They have these trucks here on the side of the road where you can just order a bag of fresh fruit, whichever fruit you want (that they have) and then you can put chili or salt on top. We've lived off that this past week. It's soo good. very Mexican. I love going up to them and talking to them in Spanish. Actually, I think that's my favorite thing in general, when people see us and think we're super wuera, and then we speak Spanish to them! (Especially when they didn't think I understood the conversation they just had with each other... or when they try to get us to go away by saying they don't speak English- that excuse gets shut down pretty quickly!) Also- everywhere we go people give us water! By the end of the day we each have about 5 partially drunken water bottles. I won't have to worry about being dehydrated this summer, maybe finding enough bathrooms though.

One thing I do not love about CA is the BUGS. We went to dinner at a member's house this week and I was washing my hands int their bathroom and saw this thing crawling around their toothbrush cup. I looked in and their was a HUGE cockroach in their. Seriously, it was huge!!! I've seen tons of cockroaches in people's houses before, but usually they're smallish. This one was like at least a good 3 inches long and and inch fat (not including it's 2 inch antenna things). Well, I thought I'd be nice and get rid of it for them because after all, who wants a cockroach climbing all over your toothbrushes, right? that's nasty. so I started pulling the toothbrushes out so I could dump the roach into the toilet. He didn't get the memo that I was trying to kill him (or he did) because as I was going to grab on of the last toothbrushes he came out super close to me. he went to the side of the sink where I couldn't get too him before I could kill him. those suckers are fast! I about died.  this is probably a pathetic story for anyone who's lived outside of the US, but ugh it was gross gross gross. Cockroach: 1   Hna. LaPierre: 0   Next time.

This Friday, we did a no car Friday where we walked the entire day. Besides the blisters that I got, it was actually a really great finding opportunity. We went to a Latina supermarket to talk to people and get food to eat and there was this man sitting outside. I felt really impressed to talk to him after making several awkward eye contacts with him. We started talking. He's a labor worker, from Mexico and lives here with his 3 sons and grandaughter and he was really interested in hearing about our message. He gave us his address and phone number and we had a lesson with him last night. [when, outside of a mission, would you every hear of anyone giving some random person their address and phone number after talking to them outside a grocery store?! ] He is very excited to learn and super anxious to meet with us. We're excited. It's exciting to see the evolution of the work here since I first got here. It's changing so much and I love it.

I'm about to get kicked off.

I love you, Hna. LaPierre

Monday, March 11, 2013


Querida Familia,

We have our new trainee! Her name is Hna. Stohlton and she is the first 19 year old hermana in the field! It is definately different training her than it was my other trainee, but she's doing well, especially considering she only had 12 days in the MTC and she's 2 years younger. She has an interesting background- she's completely white, from UT, etc. but her parents both served spanish missions and so they raised their kids speaking both! She's not fluent completely, but it's really interesting because she learned it like a native, so she just inherently uses tenses without having to think about it. (Her parents are genius.) Anyways, she's a good addition to our companionship. It's kind of intense though because of all the missionaries that are coming in in 3 weeks, we have to get her ready to either train, or be a with a really inexperienced missionary (someone that's probably been in only like 2 weeks more) in 3 weeks. It's crazy- we don't know what they'll do with us, so we'll see.

Yesterday we had a lesson with an investigator, we had planned to teach him about the Book of Mormon and then invite him to pray. The lesson was so intense as we invited him to offer the closing took him 2 hours (pretty much from when we invited him to to when he prayed). It was so painful for him! (And for me because I had to go to the bathroom soooo bad the whole time! I could barely walk when we left....very awkward leaving that lesson. But I was not leaving until he prayed!) But I learned alot about prayer. He is trying to make significant changes in his life, changes that will draw him closer to God. He has suffered drug addictions, etc... for many years and so Satan has had a pretty good grasp on him. The impression that came to me in the lesson was that praying was so hard for him, because it will turn him closer to God- it's a form of repentance for him. It was painful, because Satan did not want him to do it. So we waited and eventually he did it!! The Spirit was working within him and I know he felt the difference.

This investigator is really interesting. He is incredibly similar to the man who just got baptized last week. They're both named Juan, both live in the garage of their sisters' houses, both were contacted because they're sisters families were referrals, both into drinking/ drugs, both about the same age, both have practically the same questions, wanted to change really badly, scared to go to church the first time.... We've been bringing Juan (Recent Convert, Juan) to our lessons, and he's amazing. We wouldn't be able to teach Juan (investigator Juan) without him. Our last lesson, they stayed to talk to each other for a while after we left and Juan (RC) told us he read with him after we left.

I love missionary work. Love it.

Love y'all,
Hna. LaPierre

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Talked to my mom today and she mentioned they had an earthquake a few hours earlier.  It was 4.7, so fairly good size and the news reports say it was felt as far north as Los Angeles.  Anyway, she may have felt it - or not - but thought I'd pass it along in case you wanted to know...

have a great day!
Lisa Michelle

Monday, March 4, 2013

So this week has been pretty intense for alot reasons:
1. We spent the first week going to investigators that they had been working with the past few transfers. one just got baptize (see point below) and the rest weren't really progressing, and hadn't been progressing for a long time. last week we ended up essentially dropping all of the investigators that they had been teaching except for Juan, which was really scary, because that meant that after Sunday (yesterday) we wouldn't have anyone to teach. Well, it turns out dropping them was really good because we ended up focusing our time on other things and focusing in other places/ people. We picked up 3 new investigators that are all really promising, and have several more potentials we have to meet with this week. We're really focusing on finding more this week.
2. Turns out planning a baptism includes thinking of alot of little details you'd never think you'd have to worry about, like finding towels for them to dry off after, (small minor detail we didn't think of until 15 minutes before), getting himnarios because no one knows the hymns in english, getting back up speakers in case rides fall through, getting food/ having RS set up food, getting programs printed. getting baptismal clothes, font filled, chairs set up, etc. before. PMG suggests how the program should be run but does not mention the little logisitics you never think of. Anyways, the program was really good. He was so happy and the Spirit was there, no doubt. I'm happy the program is done though and ready to do another one hopefully by the end of the transfer. It's a busy I wouldn't mind having to deal with more.
3. We got a call from the APs last night around 10:15 to let us know that another hermana is coming in TODAY and needs somewhere to go. So we'll be training her. Yes, this is not normal- transfers were 2 weeks ago. the flood is coming in and they don't want missionaries in the MTC if they don't need to have them. the mission is going crazy right now. supposedly next transfer there's supposed to be 8 or 9  new hermanas coming in, which means that essentially every spanish hermana will have to train and/or open new areas. BRING IT ON!
4. The stake I was serving in did mini missions on Saturday, so we had a YW come out with us to see what missionary work is all about. She was really fun. Didn't speak much Spanish, but she did really well. Because we had her with us we were able to meet with a man named Juan (different than the other one). I think I mentioned  him in my last e-mail, but he has a very strong desire to change. He's been addicted to drugs and alchohol for a long time and feels really depressed and is looking for a way out. He's really similar to the recent convert we had. Our lesson was really powerful and simple. It's amazing to think how much power the Gospel has to change us.
5. I've been trying to focus on listening more intently and sincerely this week, especially to investigators and less actives while we teach them. It's so easy to listen on surface level, but it's been interesting to note the difference I feel and the Spirit that I've noticed more when I do that.
It's interesting how many aspects of missionary work there is. You deal with problems you never thought you'd have, you're excited over things you never thought you'd get excited about, you're pushed more than you ever thought you'd be pushed.
And at the end of the day, you feel so happy to be a missionary and you loooove missionary work, and then you feel frustrated and exausted emotionally and anxious about the work and you don't like it so much...and then you go back to loving it. I've never gone through so many ups and downs in one day ever. But at the same time it's the best thing I've ever done. I can't believe I'm almost half way, it freaks me out to think about how little time I have. Never thought it'd go this fast.
Love you and miss you all,
Love Laree/ Hna. LaPierre

me olvide las fotografias. aqui estan.

also- I forgot to mention that we had zone conference this week which was so good. Exactly what I needed to hear. Exactly.

President and Sister Becerra saw your announcement in the church news and they were really excited. He announced it in the zone conference, which was kind of funny. and mildly uncomfortable. but I'm excited too so it's ok.


and here are some pictures from the baptism yesterday and from our mini mission (I think I look more like the one that's the young woman sadly, especially since they're both alot taller :)