Monday, November 24, 2014


Hello all. I feel like a lot has happened this week. First we had a reallllly fun P Day- played soccer with our investigator Leslie!!!!! :) I was surprised that I could actually keep up (except with the 8 year old kid that was better than us all), normally im not usually one for sports but i really like soccer, and this field was AWESOME, it overlooks the whole city. i scored one goal and by the end i had tons of energy and all the teenage kids were beat...i guess all the walking every day has given me way more stamina than i realized? 

Action shot
Leslie is getting baptized this Saturday!!!! wahoo!!!! Its been a total miracle considering that first we thought that shed have to wait THREE YEARS to be 18 so her mom would let her. Her cousin gets home from his mission this Tuesdayand is going to baptize her, not sure if I mentioned that.

Havent been feeling super well this week. First started with allergies, President{s wife told me that a ton of the missionaries here have been getting hit with it, because its the non rainy season? who knows. This turned into losing my voice- super fun as a missionary when all you do all day is talk hahaha. You shouldve seen the people trying to understand the white girl speaking Spanish with the frog voice going in and out. Later my stomach wasnt doing so well. Steadily on the incline, but its hard when we{re walking around in the sun all day, the suns been REALLY strong, and weve had appointments all over town. But hey can{t complain!!! glad to have appointments :)

 Even though I havent had physical energy Ive been working overtime on a creative boost for a bunch of projects for families here. I bought a bunch of little things of tupperware and personzlied them for dif families with slips of paper with a scripture or passage of scripture a day, and also some home- made family home evening games for really young kids, oh and more progress charts for recent converts for reading scriptures, praying, and going to church like Hermana Cascante and I made in my last transfer. I find a lot of joy in doing activities like this and hope that they will help these families do the small but important daily things.

Also this past week we had interviews with president. While we all wait for our turn with president the assistants do a not sure of the word in english haha. But its always really powerful and really inspiring. This one was about prayer, and we really reflected on how much we pray as missionaries, but if these prayers are really meaningful or just the routine? my comp and i are trying to have more meaningful prayers. My interview with President was short but good.  He{s putting a plan into action to reactivate people in every ward- its going to be a lot of work but we know we will see a lot of results from it.

Im getting a little antsy to leave this area even though I love it a LOT. i{m definitely reallllly attached to the people. weve been finding a lot of new people to teach, so thats awesome. i can FINALLY feel my teaching skills improving, the first few months were pretty tough in a new language. this next week for a district meeting i have to give an hour long class (to missionaries) im nervous!!!!!  i pray that it goes well

Beautiful area to serve
heres a soothing photo, easy when you look over and see the volcano erupting smoke

until next week!!!! email me!!! xoxoxoxo
Hermana Best

Monday, November 17, 2014


Our bishop is hilarious and he always cheers for my new companion, Hermana Cardus. She is really great and we get along super well. Maybe too well, we laugh all day, sometimes to the point of tears. Somehow she completely gets my sense of humor, and she is also super musical so we really are on the same brainwave. On top of that she is a great teacher and has a lot of time on the mission, hence lots of patience and humility. I am really lucky. 

Sorry for all the emails with the pictures trying to get them to work. I just want to share what things are like here because its so different! I hope one of the forwards I sent today worked with the pictures. The weather here is still pretty much the same haha. We{re freaked out to see Christmas decorations but I guess were getting close to that time! How weird that no one here is gonna say anything about Thanksgiving. Oh well, Ill buy an icecream cone or something.

This week MARY ELENA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! YAYYY!!! I have shared about her family a lot, we first met them in  July, but a ton of different things have happened in their family, and in September or so she moved, so the elders finished teaching her the lessons. I got to give a talk at her baptism and it was really special!!! She said a bunch of amazing things when she gave her testimony after her baptism, that she felt very happy. Also leading up to her baptism she was continually smiling and saying how content she felt and that she knew this is the right decision. YAy mary elena!!!!!

So excited for Mary Elena :)
That was pretty much the big news of this week as far as missionary work, we are still working really hard. President is making a lot of changes that I LOVE, and that had been on my mind, really crazy how that happens. For instance I was thinking 'there is NEVER enough time in the food. we get there and the sisters dont have everything prepared, then we eat it all, then we have to share a spiritual message, and were always running late'. so now we have an hour and a half in the food, because president wants us to be more involved in the lives of people here, and with this, we will have more names of people they know, that are more prepared for this message than, say, a random person on the street. So im really loving this new rule!!!!

Some news ive been forgetting to share for a while is that i FOUND A GUITAR IN THE TRASH. the second counselor in the bishopric bought me new strings and is going to help me fix it up. the bishops son knows a really pretty acoustic version of Love One Another so i am hoping to learn that. it will be fun on p day or sunday night when im stressed to play it. what are the chances that on the street we live i found a guitar? 

miss all of you a lot and love to hear from you, or even if you just remember to send one picture to me!!! but i am loving the work here, my testimony is growing like crazy and i have more and more faith. i have a lot of inner peace thanks to the gospel and thats something that i know i can have forever.   heres a great video for thanksgiving, always get teary eyed when i watch it: 

Thank you so much for all of your support!!!!! 

Monday, November 10, 2014



Things are going super well here in Castillotla. Thank you for the birthday wishes. My birthday was pretty much a normal day in the mission, but I opened packages from my family in the morning!!! I was surprised how nice it was not just to get a package but to see my mom{s and  my Aunt Laura and all of her family{s handwriting. I miss little things like that!!!! My other one request for my birthday was platanos machos fritos. A platano is a banana, but platanos machos are huge and kind of orangey, and frito means fried. In conclusion, even though I HATE bananas, theres this large fried banana dish here that I love. Here's me super content with it.

Platanos Machos... mmmmm...
 Also this Hermana made one of my favorite dishes here, Picaditas. AFter the fried bananas I was super full, but my convert Max and her kids came over with a big cake! IT was a really cute surprise. THey sang the Mexican version of happy birthday which is REALLY long and everyone yelled for me to bite the cake at the end (its tradition) so I gave in.

The traditional biting of the cake
Things are on the upside with the investigators here!! Whew!!! I was getting so desperate I didn{t know what to do. One new investigator that I particularly am super excited to teach is named Eldy. She{s like a super ...with it? snappy, on the go, active grandma. We were walking down the street one night and she goes 'what are you still doing working girls? are you selling something?' we explained that we are missionaries and she invited us over. Its literally so hilarious how fast paced she is. She lives with her mom who is in her late 80s-easy. Every time we explained something she{d yell out to her mom in the other room 'hear that mom? its like ive always told you! listen this is important!' hahahah.

 Also she came to church that very Sunday. She showed up in clothes that I would literally wear, and when the bus didnt arrive she whipped out her smart phone and called a private taxi service hahaha. On the way to the chapel people are always selling things in the streets at stoplights and she bought this HUGE thing of juice, it was so funny seeing her walk into the chapel with the juice like it was a sporting event. She was commenting in gospel principles class and making everyone laugh. When we teach her and bring a pamphlet she starts reading the pamphlet outloud without us asking her too haha! I think she will get baptized really soon, shes very receptive to everything. What a blessing that we happened to pass by her in the street and she asked us first who we were. Just reminds me that we should be talking to EVERYONE we see!!!

Another investigator Im super attached to is Leslie. Shes this cute little 15 year old that I feel like would be my friend if I was born here in Puebla. Here she is on the left. I first talkd to her way back in July just randomly outside the chapel, I felt like I should practice my Spanish with someone. I told her I liked the red little bracelets everyone wears here, and the next time I saw her she had bought one for me and my companion! Shes super thoughtful like that. Her family is less than thrilled with her desire to be baptized, but we are praying like crazy and each time we arrive theyre more and more open to the idea. THey finally said its her decision, and she doesnt need to wait until shes 18!!!!!!!!!!! Her cousin is actually a member and gets home in 2 weeksfrom his mission and she wants him to baptize her. We are praying that her parents don{t change their minds at the last minute and that they can continue to see what a difference _Leslie is making in her life since she started going to church and living the standards!!!! 

Hermana Best with her new(ish) companion and Leslie (I think)
I am enjoying EVERY SINGLE DAY here, especially because I only have less than a month left in this ward that is like family for me now (unless I stay here more than 6 months but I highly doubt that). I can see that when we exercise more faith we receive more faith, which is an odd concept, but its the truth. I have faith that a lot of the people we{re teaching right now can be baptized in this transfer before I leave, and if not, they are in good hands in this ward!!!! Until then, working SUPER HARD. 

Can't resist the dogs
Les amo bastante !!!!! CuĂ­dense mucho

Monday, November 3, 2014


My new comp is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Didn't realize until I got to the mission that Buenos Aires literally means Good Airs haha. 

The mystery of the pictures has been solved by my friend Rusden - I have a virus  because we can only use internet cafes, and the computers always have something weird. I hope to find a solution soon :( I have so many cool pictures I want to share!!!!

Well everyone thinks my companion is from America because shes as white or whiter than me and she died her hair orangey blondey. I guess there are people with white skin in Buenos Aires. Its hilarious with her being new because the people here say things like Oh another from Utah! Or wow your Spanish is really good! Keep it up! And then I politely say that shes from Argentina hahaha. Her accent is SUPER different. Its as if you were new to America and heard someone from the south speaking. Sometimes I say HUH? She says the ll and ys as 'shh', its kind of confusing. Little by little I{ll understand it more. 

Well this week I have 6 months in the mission-aghhhh how weird. I took a picture of me with a sign that says 6 months so just...visualize that haha. Sometimes it still feels ike day 1, and sometimes it does, in fact feel like 6 months. With my comp being new, just like with Hermana Cascante I have to explain all the details of the area....itd be easier in english but oh well. 

i forgot to mention a hilarious mission moment from a  couple weeks ago. we were teaching a woman who i think maybe isnt super interested, but just wants friends, because she always talks with the jehovahs witnesses. at the end of the lesson they walked in ....and we were all there together hahahaha Jehovahs Witnesses on one couch, Mormons on the other. I was dying inside at how funny it all was. We had pretty much finished the lesson so we just kind of wrapped it up and said wed return later!!!! stuff like this happens all the time (not this specifically, but hilarious things) and i always forget to share it all!!!! 

Sunday was really great. We had some investigators come to church. Both commented in the gospel principles class that they felt it was fate that they met us the missionaries which really surprised me, because i wasnt sure how they felt about our message.

 One shared something that she never shared with us,t hat her family was going to move right before they met us. She was making eye contact with mea s she said it and I was just blown away....she has been a little hesitatnt this whole time weve been teaching her but yesterday really opened up taht she can feel that this is the truth. It was amazing! she was super nervous with her two daughters in route to the capilla. I told her shed have to talk in front of everyone but not to worry! hahah (yes i still make jokes like that). by the end of church she was super comfortable, commenting in the lessons, and in the gospel principles lesson they asked people to write on a piece of paper someone they could share the gospel with. she came up to me at the  end of the class and handed me the paper. on it is her husbands name. it was so touching. i am sure that her family, if they work hard , can have the peace of the gospel in their home. their lives have been really difficult, and this woman  and her hsuband have very strong personalities, but we have seen her heart be softened more and more. she no longer yells at her kids during the lesson, but is super patient with them. its actually an example for me.

i have also changed a lot. this helps me to encourage people to apply gospel principles to their life . no change was overnight. for me the whole year prepping for my mission i changed. i changed in the mtc. and im changing a lot here. yes im still Lauren, im still sarcastic, i still do weird faces and impressions, i want to take every cat on the street home with me, all the normal stuff. But i am learning to be more patient with people because we all come from different backgrounds. Im learning that I cant always make things perfect, so to not stress SO much. And im learning that my Heavenly Father knows whats best for me. When I try to zoom off on my own route sometimes he takes the wheel to adjust where I{m going,and i find that the destination is WAY better. 

love you all and hope you have a great week!!!! please pray for the investigators that came to church that they can know that this message is the truth!!!!! mucho amor from Castillotla!!!!!