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

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