Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good morning family!
Yesterday we had our zone conference, so our pday got switched to today! We had our zone conference in Pomona- where I just served, and got to see some of the members I had worked with and it really helped me to think about my mission a little differently.
I never realized how much I love these people, how much I would do anything to help them spiritually, to see them in the celestial kingdom some day, or even to get to go inside the temple with them.I want to be able to do all that I can for them now so that one day I can embrace them in the temple, or on the other side of the veil and know that I didn't let them down, that I really did give them my all. I love these people. I want to be more consecrated here because I don't want to let these people down. I imagine that there will be a day when I'll see the people I teach (whether they get baptized or not) again, here or on the other side, and I want to know that I gave them my whole heart and soul. I know that my time is coming up when I'll have to leave my mission and I want to be able to say that I have done absolutely everything in my power to help them.
I was also able to go to do exchanges this week in Tujunga, where I served the first 6 months of my mission. I had studied that morning in Ether 12:12, 14,18, and 6 about faith so that I might know how to help the hermanas there. It's interesting to me to note that sometimes faith is just sticking out in the trials of life- enduring to the end. But, we can endure a trial, and we can "endure it well" (there's a cross reference to D&C 121:7-8). Those are 2 very different experiences, with 2 very different results. Sometimes, our missions are hard, sometimes life is hard, and we don't always get what we want right away, even if it's a righteous desire (like baptisms, having a family, etc.), but that's no excuse to keep us from diligently being a disciple of Christ, consistently keeping our focus. (Maybe even enjoying ourselves and having some fun in the process!) As we enjoy the experiences the Lord is giving us, and diligently live what we know we should be living, rather than stressing that we're not seeing the fruits of our labors, the Lord will bless us, and like Joseph Smith, if we endure our trials well, we "shall be exalted from on high". Really, as we embrace and live the doctrine of Christ. I know this is the work of the Lord. He truly knows and loves each of us and gives us the experiences we need to help us grow, and to teach us how to endure well our daily lives.
I love this work! It's been a while since I've added photos, so here are some from a long time ago. some are from by birthday, one is from Tujunga with an investigator I had worked withthere, Imelda, adn the others are with my comps. we also eat some weird fruit here. love you all!

Hermana LaPierre

Sunday, August 25, 2013


This week was pretty awesome, we had one of the best lessons yet with one of our investigators yesterday. She rents a room out from a member, so we were at her house eating with them yesterday and got to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was such a powerful lesson, the Spirit was the strongest it's ever been when we teach her. I was so grateful for that, it makes a big difference. She is so awesome, still has some hang ups but she's getting there. She comes to church almost every week, and has for the past 3 months. She's just struggling to realize that she's ready. But she is. It was really cool because during dinner, we started talking about her reading (we left her with Alma 32) and then somehow the Word of Wisdom came up (we still haven't taught her that, but knew she'd have problems with smoking and coffee). We got to talk to her about why we follow it and how it really comes down to faith. It was the perfect lead in to the Gospel. She's going to be baptized on September 22nd and I am so excited for it!

Our FHE with the Becerras went pretty well too, their whole family came! Alex, Jovita, their son, Alex, and his parents- Leon and Amelia (Amelia kind of reminds me of gma LaPierre). So it was a pretty big crowd. We had planned a pretty simple lesson- watch the Restoration video, introduce Book of Mormon, invite her (Jovita) to a baptismal date, and to read and pray, and go to church. It went really well. It's so interesting though, because they all have different needs and different doubts- so it's hard to know how to help them all at the same the same lesson. It was awesome to have president there to help them with their doubts and questions. He was awesome. Hermana Southworth and I were talking about it and I think at some point in the lesson every PMG lesson was touched on, so it was a lot. But it was good. We were able to address alot of their questions, hopefully.
It was kind of sad though, their family has alot of issues, one of which is that they struggle letting go of who Alex was in the past. He's as changed man, but they tend to still hold on to who he was and not let it go. That really made me think. You can see in his face that he's a repentant man, he's different.You could see the emotion and regret in his eyes. He still has some things that he's got to work out before he can get baptized, but he's different. It made me sad to see his family not letting go of who he was. It made me realize how absolutely important it is to forgive others. When we hold on to grudges or things that happened in the past, we refuse to accept that the Lord can change people's hearts, that His Gospel is really true and really works. I am so grateful for the reality of His Gospel, that makes bad men good and good men better every day. It is the best thing that has happened to me and the best thing that can happen to anyone. I know it changes people because it changes me everyday. It helps me let go of wrongs done to me and forgive those around me, it also gives me the hope that I can become better than I am right now. That is the healing power of the Atonement, the reason Christ came to this earth. What a blessing to take part of that every day.
Love you all,
Hermana LaPierre

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15

Hello Family!!

How are y'all?! This week has been super fun! Hermana Hazelton, our visa waiter, leaves for Peru tomorrow morning at 3 am (early morning for us!). I can't believe how fast the weeks go by here! It's been a fun week with her. She's a talker, so she keeps things fun for us! We'll both miss her when she leaves. I'm excited to be working with Hermana Southworth still though, she's a suuuper sweet woman, you can't not get along with her. 

This week we've seen several small miracles. We got to meet Laura Vasquez, who was a Head Quarter Referral. She just moved here and has been looking for a church, she had met missionaries in WA just before she left, who referred her to us. We had the opportunity to do a how to begin teaching lesson with her and it went great! She is so excited to learn, and seems to have a lot of potential. 

We had a lesson with a new investigator Jovita and her ex husband Alex, and Alex's parents this past week that went really well. She was a referral from President Becerra, who has been working with Alex for a while with the english missionaries. It was so cool! They are awesome! Alex already wants to be baptized, the only thing holding him back is that they are living together (yes...they are divorced...don't ask). But! now that we're teaching Jovita, I'm excited to see what changes happen! She is super cool, she's from Mexico, but speaks some english (i can't actually remember if I've ever heard her speak english or not...they both just kind of mix so I feel like it's all the same now). It's funny, they live in a nicer area than we're used to working in and their house is nicer than any other house I've ever been in on my mission, so we kind of feel a little out of our element. It's fun though. We're doing a family home evening with them at President's house in Arcadia this Thursday, which I'm kind of nervous about (because we're the one teaching it instead of him). It'll be good. She's pretty receptive to it all and she's really sharp, so she's fun to teach. She didn't get to come to church this week though, which was kind of a bummer. Alex came though and I thought it was funny- he is so social! He just walked right up to people and started talking to them. We walked out of Relief Society and he was out talking to a bunch of people exchanging phone numbers. yeah! if everyone we taught was like that, we'd have it so easy!

I'm so grateful I stayed here in Rimgrove for a lot of reasons. One of which is because I've gotten the chance to keep working with some of my recent converts from the last time I was here. I wouldn't say that they're struggling, but maybe just that they "have a long runway" as far as things go. So it's been a blessing to get to keep working with them, and strengthening them. There is nothing better to me than seeing them progressing still, and nothing more sad to me than seeing them fall. Because of that, I'm trying to do everything I can while I'm still here to help them keep going. I know that at least in part, this is why I was sent here- to help them persevere until the end and to inspire them to become true disciples of christ! 

We had a lot of fun and there's a lot of good things happening here. Little by little things keep picking up. I can't wait to see this place exploding with baptisms! Hopefully I'm here still to see it happen. 

I love the Gospel. It's amazing! Love you all. 


Hermana LaPierre

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5

Dear family,

Today has been a good day. It's pday and the first day of transfers. My companion left, so we had to take her to the office to bring her to her new companions. It's a fun pday when we do transfers because all of the missionaries that are leaving are there and then other missionaries come for transfer moves so we get to talk for a while. My 2 district leaders in my first area, Tujunga, are leaving this week, so it was crazy to say goodbye to them. I can't believe how fast time is going by. 
Transfer calls were a little surprising. We got a call from the APs and assumed that either Hermana Southworth or I would be going, since Hermana Davis is still new. So I picked up and he asked for her, what?! She'll finish up being trained in a different area, West Covina, and Hermana Southworth and I are staying in Rimgrove. We also have a visa waiter with us for about a week before she heads out to Peru. This call was really crazy because guess what....I'M NOT TRAINING!!!!! Woohoo! For the first time in my mission, I'll only have 2 and a half hours of studies, we'll be leaving to proselyte at 10:30 am!! Crazy! I'm kind of sad to not have all of those studies, we'll have to be more efficient with the time we have. Not to say that I don't enjoy training new missionaries. They are fun, but that first transfer is always an emotional (as the trainee) and stressful (as the trainer) one. Turns out that there are alot of things in missionary work that is not just black and white or obvious, which is something most people do not come out understanding. Like, why we do things certain ways, what to do when plans don't work out (a principle used more often then not), people's agency- unfortunately you can't just force them to accept the Gospel- as much as I'd like to think I can sometimes! Then add a different language and culture to the mix. It's a fun time. To them, usually they realize that missionary work is not what they had expected, and they haven't been out long enough to be grateful for that. They're confused about why we do what we do, discouraged that people aren't home or listening, or things aren't working out right away, confused about how we use our time, why it's effective. I remember feeling all of those things. And for trainers, alot of the time it comes across like they don't think you're a good missionary, they don't respect you, they keep questioning everything you're doing. You feel stressed because you doubt that you're doing it right. Things aren't always working out either, but you want it to so you can be awesome to them, you're a little defensive because you feel like they are doubting you (but they usually just don't fully get it yet) and yet, you know that being a trainer is super important because it plays a huge role on how their mission goes. I know my 3 months being trained played a huge role in who I am now as a missionary. It sets everything else off for how the rest of your mission goes, in some aspects. Anyways, you get the idea. I just realized all of this a couple weeks ago and it shed some light on training. I totally get where they're coming from, and totally see where my trainer was coming from now too. it's definately not a negative thing, I just thought it was interesting to take a step back and look at what's going on on both sides. It's interesting to look at things that way- makes me have a different perspective. It's great to be a trainer because you get to help them understand and love missionary work like you do. and  you get to help them understand to love every situation, every trial and every success. What a blessing! anyways, that's my thoughts on training.

It's been one of the best and hardest experiences I could have had on my mission. I am grateful for it. The Lord truly knows what we need to help us grow. I've been blessed with incredible companions my entire mission. Each has made me a new person and has taught me something new. I'm excited to see what else comes. Supposedly we won't have new hermanas in for 3 months, so we'll see what happens. 
This week was great. We had a lesson with President Becerra earlier this week. It was so great. He taught a new investigator (a family he had worked with with other missionaries, but she speaks Spanish, so we get to teach her!) of ours. He taught the lesson so we were there to meet her and to set up an appointment, and to add our testimonies pretty much. He briefly explained the Atonement and Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was kind of nice to get to sit and listen to him teach those principles. What an incredible concept, and yet, it's so simple! It makes so much sense. Heavenly Father is so wise, His plan is so perfect. I am so grateful that He sent Christ here to atone for our sins. What peace and comfort come from knowing that Christ truly is our Savior and Redeemer. That as we follow His Gospel, we truly become new people, His children (Mosiah 5), to become safe in His arms some day. I love this Gospel. I know that it is true. It is so real and so alive- something that moves within each of us every day, something delicate that needs to be used every day too! I love John 4 that describes it as living waters. We have to drink from those waters every day in order to live, as we partake of the waters of the Gospel, it grows in us and becomes a "spring to everlasting life". I know that that is true. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that this is His Gospel.

I love you all so much. Hope you're all doing well. 

Love you, 

Hermana LaPierre