Monday, June 30, 2014


OK easy to summarize the first week in Mexico....not. 

Well of course when we got to Puebla it was raining. The Lord knew what he was doing when he sent me to a part of Mexico when it rains a ton. Sometimes I see the dark clouds and say I hope it rains! And my trainer says she hopes it doesn´t haha. I´m getting ahead of myself. The first night was so strange, it was super late so we stayed with random companionships. One of the hermanas I was with kind of scared me a little bit about pretty much everything that could go wrong in  Mexico ha but it´s really been fine! The next day was transfers and finding out who our companions are. I thought for SURE I would have a latina trainer, but nope, she is a 20 year old white girl from Saint George! She is 20 and actually played in the symphony at Dixie like I did, but I had already left the school, weird huh? OK the keyboards here are different and I´m struggling.

I found out right away that we need to move! Super normal to be in charge of moving houses when you´re new to foreign country haha! But yeah a lot of things don´t work in the house. We actually didn´t have even cold water one day. or rain. just nothing. Surprisingly, I wasn´t too freaked out by using buckets to shower (probably because hermana hymas in my district in the mtc had warned us and i drilled into my head for weeks to be prepared for it)
the new house will have warm water.

Finding the new house was one of the coolest days i´ve had here in mexico so far. I saw this sign that said for rent and we both had a good feeling about it and figured it couldnt hurt to call. It all started just working out perfectly. The guy renting the house is catholic and really respects that we´re christians and out preaching the word. So the day started with us teaching one of our investigators, Max. In the first week, one of the goals is for the junior companion to ask investigators to be baptized. So my trainer nudged me in the lesson and for some reason I didn´t have any fear about asking Max to prepare to be baptized. We set a date for July 12 and I hope it works out, she was tearing up and the Spirit was really strong. So my companion and I floated on a cloud out of that lesson. Then, we had the zone leaders come down because they need to approve the house. The thing is, the church doesn´t want us signing contracts because we eventually leave. So the zone leaders and Humberto, the man renting the house, were having this exchange. And finally he just puts the contract down, looks at our name plaques that say JESUCRISTO in the middle and says ok then, we´ll just rent the house in the name of Jesus Christ? It was INCREDIBLE, wow we are experiencing miracles as missionaries. We were supposed to move in today, using a camion (somewhere between a big van and a bus) driven by a nice man that offered to help us, but he didn´t show up. So we´re hoping to move in tomorrow. Oh and after we were super excited about the house I got to try MOLE AND I LOVE IT!!! My trainer is not a fan hahah but Puebla is famous for it so I felt bad but when the people preparing the food asked what we wanted I asked if we could please try it. I have no idea why a chocolatey sauce on chicken and rice is so appetizing to me, but it is! 

Its pretty difficult getting adjusted to everything! im having a pretty bad allergic reaction to a ton of mosquito bites. We kind of werent doing anything about it but then I got a blessing and then the NEW MISSION PRESIDENTS ARRIVED! and we found out the mission presidents wife is a nurse so she looked at it and said yes, lets have you talk to the doctor. I got some medicine today so hopefully the swelling starts going down! other than that having no problems with sleeping or eating or anything like that. i feel very mentally, physically, and emotionally strong on my mission. What a blessing

This next week will be better because the new house we´re in is actually close to our investigators and the other members, way less walking or spending money on combis and camiones. The camiones are CRAZY, the craziest driving I have ever experienced haha it´s pretty funny. Everyone stares, I´m definitely the only blonde head bobbing around for miles. 

Everyone is really open to the message! A guy even approached US on the street the other day. I was smiling so big. my trainer said that in another area she had a man come up to her and say 'excuse me, do you know how i could get closer to god?'. The Lord has really been preparing the hearts of a lot of these people. When we teach things they never look confused or say  nooo thats not how it is. Even though they were taught differently in the catholic church, theyre very open to the message and always tell us how beautiful it is. They love the hymns too. 'que bonita, que bonita'.

my language haha. Its coming along! I get really nervous about talking. i can understand mayabe 75 percent. Its a lot to think about,trying to capture the attention of both adults, and kids, in a culture with a different sense of humor and different customs, and of course, trying to bring the Spirit into their house, because that´s what were here to do. But theyre very patient, and with a couple of the members ive started to understand their jokes. When this one was talking about 'meekol yackson' (michael jackson) we were all laughing so hard. at the least, its really funny that im the awkward white girl with the deer in the headlights face when i get asked a question in super fast spanish

sorry that this email is all over the place, next p day when were not moving will be better. i love it here and its soo fun living in mexico! the Lord is watching over me, and guiding my trainer and I to find the right people. 

Send me Dear Elders! I think the district leaders will give them to me every tuesday at district meetings. I dont have my planner with ALL of my mtc peoples addresses im really sad and its kind of rushed and complicated. hermana hymas if you get this, can you forward it to the other girls and to hermana tew and hermana gibson?

also, didnt know what the situation was with cameras and cords, its so crazy, so ill have to upload pictures next monday ugh im sad! but its ok
Thank you for your prayers and your faith. Love you all! 

Friday, June 20, 2014


Well all good things must come to an end!!! It's my last P day in the MTC!!! I am not sure when my P day will be in the field- we'll have to see when I get there! My P Day is today because yesterday we had 'in-field orientation' basically a day long seminar prepping us, it was good but really long. Really grateful I can get everything organized and go to the temple today.

We had to say goodbye to our main teacher, Hermano Glock. Hermano Glock is extremely inspiring to me. His converstion story is so cool- I wish you could hear it in person. Basically his family is Evangelical and he joined the church as a teen because of his girlfriend, then goes to BYU, then a mission, marries the girl, and now teaches at the MTC and is just so INCREDIBLE. I can't even fathom the fact that the missionaries were once just teaching this 16 year old kid and now he teaches MISSIONARIES. He has sort of a no nonsense attitude but is still fun- just totally fit the exact kind of teaching style I really thrive in. He has taught us about Spanish and the Gospel in a way that all leads to a goal, not just to teach us. We went to go take a picture with him on the last day and I want you to imagine this visual- a 6'4 guy walking around smiling, waving to elders, and trying to find a spot to take a picture in, and then 6 petite girls following behind, crying. I think it was hitting us that we had a bunch of goodbyes in front of us, and this one was just particularly tough, we have literally spent hours of our day with Hermano Glock, learning and laughing. So he's trying to get us to focus and he's talking about where to take the picture and keeps saying 'el agua or el grass?' - dont ask me why a fluent spanish speaker suddenly couldn't say grass in spanish. El agua or el grass el agua or el grass and then I finally realize we need to get it together, and wiping tears from each eye choke out 'el grass'.I'll send a picture of us in el grass with our dear Hermano Glock. The last thing he said to us was to work hard. He just has the HIGHEST expectations of us and KNOWS that we are capable of doing anything.

Hermana Best's district sisters with Hermano Glock in el grass
We got to hear from  M. Russell Ballard at the devotional this past week! Oh and Sheri dew too- did I mention that the last time? It's all blurring together. He talked about being proud of who we are and making bold declarations about the church regardless of what people think or say. He also talked a little bit about striking that balance between those bold declarations and being a humble person. It was hilarious because afterwards the girls and I accidentally went out this door that we didn't realize we weren't supposed to and were just standing there with the MTC PRESIDENCY hahaha we all just shook their hands and said hi as if it was normal...then realized, yeah thats a special exit for them so they can say bye to the speakers and such haha...oops. They said 'goodbye you Mexicans...and then wished us all luck'. The presidency is SO AMAZING I just love it here. But definitely excited for some Mexican adventures ahead of me. 

If you're reading this blog and need some advice about the MTC I would recommend that you

Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Join the choir
SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE as much as possible
and pray for help. Some days there's so much going on and you think you can somehow do all of it by yourself. and you just can't.

We finished all of our lessons and such- I'm getting nervous because we've had a couple of days using a lot of English- I need to work on my Espanol!!! I get to call my family in the airport on Monday I'm about to jump out of my seat excited! I'm the travel leader so I'll be herding the 5 other girls in my district as well as our friend Elder Keiken who is also going to Puebla South. We travel first to Houston, then to Puebla. We leave here at 7am and get there at 8pm so it will be a full day of traveling. I'm glad I get to have one night of sleep there and then it's to work the next morning! Thank you SO MUCH FOR THE LOVE AND SUPPORT all of the letters, dear elders, and packages have been amazing you have no idea how much it brightens up a missionary's day. I know I'll be further away but if you can continue to correspond with me it would mean the world to me- it doesn't make me homesick, it makes me feel still connected to you! Attached is also a picture of four of us at the temple- I will miss the temple!!!

Hermana Best

Hermana Best with some of the sisters in her district in front of the Provo, UT temple. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


AH!!! I didn't have any time this week to write down thoughts so hopefully this is somewhat cohesive.

My companion and I already got released from the music calling and called to be Sister Training Leaders. I guess when you're only somewhere a month and a half they want to switch around and give you different responsibilities. This means we're in charge of all of the girls in our ward- which is a few districts now. To simplify it, there's 14 girls. We visit the girls every night, we will be hosts to the new missionaries next week, we're in charge of music and prayer and such in our classroom, getting mail, making sure everyone's getting along and being obedient, etc. It's going to fly by! I am most impressed by the fact that I was somewhat nervous about visiting the girls because sometimes I feel like Real World Lauren and Missionary Lauren don't know how to join up and connect with people. You can't really start off by doing some weird off kilter joke out here haha but one of the girls said 'sit down!' and made ME feel at ease, and the visits started going much better. These girls are incredible to go out at 19, I know I wouldn't have done it. 

We got to hear from another apostle- Elder Quentin L. Cook! Our branch president said that they are probably taping all of these apostle visits, here in the MTC we frequently watch clips from MTC devotionals from Holland and Bednar and such. The most powerful part of the devotionals for me is that he was the third speaker to change his message just from being in the huge building with all the missionaries. Meaning he said 'i had things prepared for tonight...but the Spirit is telling me you need something else.' All three times that has happened you could just feel we all needed to hear it. I can't explain how strong the Spirit is here, many of the leaders have said we're just used to it, but they can feel it like it's almost palpable when they walk into the rooms here. Elder Cook's talk was about not doubting our capabilities or the Lord and basically to sum it up 'you can do it', which I know I really needed. I'm getting a little frustrated with myself that I can understand a fairly advanced level of Spanish, but can only speak it at a pretty elementary level. But I know that if I do my part the Lord will make up the rest. 

We've had all sorts of lessons with our 'investigators' this week. Just to clarify, an investigator at the MTC is either our teachers role playing an investigator they once had, or we go to the TRC (training resource center) and there are hired people acting as investigators, most of them are hispanic,- one's even from Puebla! Ours is named Natalie and I have had amazing experiences with her. With my teachers I'm just too nervous and self conscious about my Spanish, knowing the doctrine, etc. But with Natalie we get into these awesome discussions and I ask questions and am able to say things that I don't even plan out beforehand! It's crazy that I'm having 45 minute gospel conversations with someone in another language... Natalie really causes me to think HARD about the gospel- man, all of her questions have another question within it! She wanted to know why Christ applied to her life now if he lived so long ago. We explained the atonement and that through him we can be cleansed through sin. But she said how did he do that. We said he suffered in Getsethamene...she said how, if that was so long ago? She also asked why did we come down to Earth if we were living with God before? What is the point of being tested down here? And so on. This has made my studies so much more effective because I'm literally just digging to find the answers both for Natalie and myself. Sometimes I wish I could just get on Google, but I'm glad I can't.  I'm learning the scriptures much better which was one of my mission goals. The scriptures were my peace of mind at home and they still are here as well. 

We had a funny experience 'teaching' one of our teachers (acting as an investigator), it kind of had the feel of a first lesson for some reason, lots of weird things happen. Apparently my companion and I knock on the door really loud. Then we sat down and she said 'Que paso?' which is more like WHAT HAPPENED, rather than, what's up? So with big eyes he said 'with what?' and we all were just kind of blinking at each other. 'ohhhh que PASA', he said hahah. THEN, I got him mixed up with someone else and asked 'how are your applications going for work?' and he wasn't applying for a job. Once we got over THAT awkwardness we were trying to explain the law of tithing. I was trying to say that it pays for things such as temples, chapels, and even the clothes he would wear for his baptism. The last time we met with him we just could not figure out how to explain the baptism jumpsuit so we settled on 'pants and shirt together' super classy ha. But this week I looked in the dictionary and it said 'mono'...that makes sense, I thought. One, one piece.  I told him tithing even helps to pay for the mono he would wear at his baptism....yep that means MONKEY. When he explained that I couldn't even hold my laughter in. He looked at the dictionary later and said it wasn't right. I think its a mono de something something, a once piece falling suit or something , we had another teacher look on his iphone later. Anyway as we walked out the door I said don't have fear about a monkey at your baptism haha. Oh man. 

I found out one of my super good friends in the district, Hermana Hymas was in LOGAN'S EFY GROUP ONCE UPON A TIME!!! How crazy is that? Oh and there are TONS of missionaries here now and more to come, now that high school is out (high school!!?!?! I feel so old!!!), and apparently the MTC is just going to 'explode' in June. That's why my email was late today, the laundry room is a mad house.

Just a reminder that DEAR ELDER is the best way to get ahold of me in the MTC! We found out a Spanish speaking missionary will spend 600 WAKING hours in the MTC, and only once every Thursday for 6 Thursdays for no more than an hour I get to log on and the time flies by. I adore getting the emails and the pictures- keep them coming. But Dear Elder allows me to hold onto your words, and then I can write you a letter on my P day or during Sunday free time. And still all you have to do is type! Oh and make sure you put your correct address- I sent Logan, Annie, and Carly letters hopefully everyone's getting stuff- I have no way of knowing throughout the week!!!

Hope everyone's summer is going well. If you're feeling down about anything, remember that the Lord will take your weakness and make it strong. The scripture doesn't say your 'weaknessES', it says your weakness, our weakness we all have is that we're the natural man, and we're going to make mistakes. But the Lord will do his part when we do ours. 

Love you all!!! Hope to hear from you soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


WOW! There is so much going on here I wish I had more time to record it all. I'm still loving it here- all of us are starting to get a little sad- the good kind- about the small amount of time we have left here. We had our one and only Fast Sunday here and only two more Tuesday night devotionals...

Hermana Best said about these photos, "That's me and my companion studying on the porch. There's no real story there ha. It was just like hour 9 or 10 in that classroom and it was the most delightful thing ever."

I wanted to share an experience i had the first week that I forgot to mention from choir. The director is amazing and always inspires us about the songs we sing so that they really mean something. The song we sang that week was "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" You should try to find the story online more in depth because it's just heart wrenching. So the woman who wrote this hymn was driving on the freeway when a crowbar from a truck flew through her window and it crashed into her face. I think she was also dealing with some extremely huge other life stressors at the time. She had to have reconstructive surgery on her face and just felt awful about life. This is why she wrote 'where can i turn for peace'- it was literally her question. The choir director then told the story of Christ walking on water. Peter wanted to do it but he didn't have enough faith. When he was drowning he reached his hand up and said "Lord, save me". Christ reached down and pulled him up.  Hence the lyric "reaches my reaching".  It doesn't matter how far down we feel like we've sunk- Christ reaches our reaching. When we're in our Gethsemane he 'answers privately'. Of course tears were streaming down my face and I could barely choke out the first verse. I will never forget this experience or sing the song the same again. 

Still learning and growing here! Our main teacher, Hermano Glock, said its easy at around week 3 to fall into a pattern of mediocrity. I really needed to hear his warning because I think our district has really mastered at this point the ins and outs, so to speak, of the MTC. And now sometimes it just kind of feels like I'm sitting in an apartment complex all day speaking  Spanish with a bunch of girls that also don't really know Spanish- pretty odd haha! That's why our 'PURPOSE' is very important. A speaker at one of the devotionals said that missionary work used to be something along the lines of : FIND, CONVERT, BAPTIZE. Now everywhere at the MTC we have the PURPOSE hanging up. I recite it in Spanish so I'll try the english version: We invite others to come unto Christ by helping the receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. WOW I had to have my companion help me with the English of that. 

This purpose is very important when you're stressing about the language, worrying about what you need to teach, or wondering why you're doing this. I'm learning Spanish so I can better help the people in Puebla come to Christ! The Spanish is getting intense- cramming a lot more tenses and grammatical things that took entire semesters in high school. At testimony meeting they said we could bare our testimonies in English but without talking about it my awesome companion and I both did it in Spanish. It's not to show everyone how I know Spanish- its stilll pretty elementary- it's because that's how I'll be testifying in MExico so I want to be able to express that well so might as well practice now! Afterwards the branch presidency said they couldn't understand what we were saying but they knew it was true! What a relief!

Another awesome devotional we had was the man who is the head of internet proselyting. He had a SUPER cool 'prezzi' presentation about the Book of Mormon back in the day when people were first giving it to each other to read. This was people like the Whitmers, the Taylors, Woodruffs, etc. Each time the graph branched out it would show a picture of that person- it was SO cool to see the old fashioned pictures of everyone! My fave was definitely Porter Rockwell- he seems like the man. He shaved his long hair when his wife was sick to make her a wig. Idk if this presentation is available online but you should look for it, the  man's last name is Hemmingway.

What this all lead to was a picture from Facebook headquarters of the globe and all these blue lines shooting across the seas and within the country. It was only a portion of the connections being made on that site- the actual amount is too much for a computer to generate. Elder (?) Hemmingway emphasized that 'social networking' isn't some new 'invention'- Heavenly Father created it from the start. And now we need to use it to share the message. When Elder Hemmingway was at some zone conference a while back I guess he sat down for lunch with some missionaries and one turned to him and said 'I joined the church because of facebook'.  He explained that his cousin had posted that he was baptized, so this young man emailed him asking more about it. The cousin invited him to Stake conference and the rest of here was this kid, a convert, on a mission, talking to the head of internet proselyting. The Spirit was so strong during this story. I urge you all in the next week to share a gospel message on FB if you feel inspired to do so. I think those of us that were born in the church sometimes take for granted what we have- I know I do sometimes. So you don't have to knock on a door or approach someone on the street- just share an uplifting message or express your gratitude for being a member.

Thank you for the love and support. I am at my limit for snacks- please do not send me any more goodies!!! It's more than I can keep up with and I'm actually feeling really strong and healthy here at the mtc- probably due to actually sleeping 8 hours a night, eating 3 solid meals that aren't deep fried sushi, exercising for a full hour a day, and drinking lots of water. I love that you're thinking about me but if you want to send me something send a picture of us and a note about your week or if you really want to nourish me send me a gatorade or something- no more sweets! Haha! 

Well as always I wish I could share more but that will have to be it for this week. I have a very strong testimony about church attendance - it literally changed my life. Please attend your meetings - there's a reason God set aside the Sabbath for us to learn more about the gospel, rest from our labors, and feel the Spirit.If you do the blessings will flood in that you can't even picture, just like they did for me! Hope you're enjoying your summer! Attached is a picture of my super good friend Hermana Dalrymple and I because I pointed out we looked like postal workers that day. Love you!

Hermana Best

Lovely Lauren with Hermana Dalrymple