Wednesday, August 26, 2015


OK OK OK so lots of surprises here!!! My comp and I had no idea that they were going to COMBINE our old area, so all the notes we left for the 'new sisters' that were going to 'live in our house' are for nothing, the elders are going to live where they have always lived but work with the people in our area. As less and less missionaries come to our mission our areas are going to get bigger!!!! So that was surprising. Also, after lots of teasing each other that my comp was going to to go my old stomping grounds of Atlixco, and her telling me i was going to go to her old stomping grounds of Nealtican, and both of us saying 'NO I AM NOT' (me not wanting to go here ONLY because it is notorious for filling missionaries with heaps and heaps of food to the point of wanting to cry)....we got sent to those exact zones hahaha!!!

"We didn't think we'd both get transferred and on Monday NO ONE WAS HOME so we had to literally RUN (literally) from house to house of our investigators/members/converts Tuesday, the day we left, to tell them that we were leaving!!! I didn't even put makeup on. BUT I'm so glad I got to see Concepcion one last time."
After Lauren typed up her email and sent the picture of Concepcion above, she received an update on Concepcion and sent the following photos with an explanation for each: "OK IT MADE ME OVER THE MOON HAPPY TO GET THIS EMAIL FROM A MEMBER IN VALSEQUILLO OF CONCEPCION!!! SHE LOOKS SO HAPPY!!! SHE GOT BAPTIZED!!! :D I COULDN'T GO BECAUSE IT WAS TOO LATE AND I'M TOO FAR AWAY BUT I LOVE HER!"


"Saying goodbye to Luis. The investigator that has made the most drastic change in my whole mission, I would say. Gonna miss him and his wife, Lupita."
A couple photos from Transfer meeting. "Our fearless leader, Elder Penaloza finished his mission!"
"Saying goodbye to the familia Guagnelli :( A family that always took care of us. I'll miss being around their big table with everyone, eating, joking around, and reading the Book of Mormon together."

So I am in Nealtican.
cow. It is gorgeous. we are LITERALLY right by the volcano, people!!!! Even closer than I was in Atlixco!!!!! I try not to be a crazy picture lady taking the same picture every day of the volcano but I just cant help it!!!

The volcano! Name: Popocatpetl (normal name)
My new comp is Hermana Rivera, shes my second comp from El Salvador. She has done the impossible for me....for all those who know me please get ready for a shock. She has gotten me to GO OUTSIDE TO GO RUNNING AT 6:30 IN THE MORNING. Yep, go back and read the sentence if you need to. After 15 months of politely telling my comps 'No thank you , we will not be doing that :) ,' I said WHAT THE HECK my poor old mission body could use it. OK IT IS SO EXHILERATING!!! The air feels so fresh and I can see the volcano puffing smoke out... people are going in their horse drawn carts (no lie) to work (in the fields) and at one point we have to slow down our run to let a donkey pass or so that the dogs don't come up and bite us. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

Two volcanoes! And a new companion, Hermana Rivera!
Volcanoes at 6:30 in the morning! 

NEW COMPANION! Hermana Rivera
TO GET TO OUR APPOINTMENTS WE HAVE TO WALK THROUGH CORNFIELDS. I did not expect to get sent to a pueblito (little town?) I've been in the city more or less for my whole mission. I thank my Heavenly Father for this chance to be here and experience the beauty! and the PEOPLE!!! They're so sweet! The other night 20 little old ladies and little old men were all dancing in the town square in their traditional clothes and braided hair...the images here are priceless! 

We have 2 investigators with baptismal dates and lots of referrals to find new people. There are tonnnns of members here. As we walk in the streets my comp will tell me 'She's a member. He's a member. They're members,' so lots of less actives to work with. Oh and get this my companion and I cover not one, but TWO WARDS. Names of the wards:
and Santiago Xalitzintla.
Super easy to learn those names and not get them confused...NOT. But I'm working on it!!!! :D

I'm just working on getting to know everyone and where they live, all the usual details of being new in an area. I replaced an american that has some similar features so its pretty hilarious when halfway through a conversation someone randomly starts staring at my name tag and saying 'Wait...why aren't you Hermana Smith?' hahah .

Love you all so much!!! Your emails inspire me and lift me up!!! I know I am doing the Lords work here, he is guiding me and helping me in every minute!!!!! Love you!

Hermana Best

Monday, August 17, 2015


OH NO!!!!!! OUR AREA IS GETTING WHITE WASHED!!!! I did not see that coming. Ok, I thought about it for one second but then dismissed the thought. That's right- we got the call last night and my comp and I are BOTH leaving the area. :( Im sad because we have a baptism programmed for THIS SATURDAY! But that's ok. Her name is Concepcion and she is so prepared! She already paid for her spot to go to the open house of the temple in mexico city this Friday!!! Ah she's so great!!! If i stay close to the area theres a chance i could go to her baptism, but if not, I know that it will be great and she is going to be a wonderful member!!!! I will miss her!!!!!!!

I have seen SO MANY MIRACLES in our area in these last three months!!! We have been blessed with members that are always willing to help, leaders with just the right counsel, and investigators that complete with their commitments!!! The people here are so prepared!!! Not to mention being with my long lost sister, Hermana Jimenez has been so fun. We truly helped one another to be better missionaries.

"Us with Lulu and German, recent converts that always help us! Lulu always accompanies us to the lessons! They had us over for pancakes this morning since my comp and I are leaving :( We laughed until the point of tears. I will miss these people!!!"
"This is an AWESOME member named Samuel!!! He served in Campeche where my comp is from and he LOVES the culture of the U.S.A. so he says we're the best combination of cultures you could ask for, and we bring him a lot of 'nostalgia.' He always encourages us or brings us a treat or something random to make us smile!!! I will miss the AWESOME members in BARRIO XILOTZINGO!"
This past Saturday we had a Noche Blanca (white night?) of baptisms. That was really cool to see again in my mission! (also had one in atlixco). I got to play violin again, and all us missionaries sang. There are two new members in the ward, and many new members in the whole stake! the new sister missionaries that come to our area tomorrow can do a lot of 'reaping' , the field is ready to harvest in Xilotzingo!!!

I am so blessed to be happy and healthy and well in the mission. I am learning so much in my personal studies , and it helps me to be a better teacher. its so fun teaching the gospel every day. The right words just flow out of my mouth and sometimes its just so odd that its all happening in SPANISH.

"Week of photos I guess!!! This was after a great Zone Conference (our leaders brought us Krispy Kreme donuts- we were pretty happy)"
I know the ins and outs of missionary work and its great to apply everything ive learned every day. Ive seen how the Lord is preparing many people for the message of the gospel and also softening their hearts, thats something I saw a lot these last 3 months. I testify that this is the true church and that our Heavenly Father loves us so much!!! I hope you all have a great week :)

Hermana Best

"Everyday its a complete coin toss if its going to rain or not. We went weeks without rain so we stopped bringing umbrellas and jackets (it's a real back killer lugging everything around all day just for it to not rain) and lately people have had some pity on us. We had one investigator that BOUGHT us shnazy umbrellas just because one night we didn't have them. These classy capes are the courtesy of another investigator. As if we don't stand out enough as 2 foreigners in skirts and name tags constantly walking around, just add this Green Cape (and water!) and its a total classic."

Monday, August 10, 2015


We've got some great pics today from what Lauren entitled "African Safari." I believe no other explanation is necessary (also this was all the info we were given). Enjoy!

African Safari with our favorite companionship!
An emu!

The latest addition to these awesome pics- holding a lion cub!!!
"A part of African Safari where you put sticks with bird food and the birds fly to it. Not sure if you can tell that the whole day at this zoo I was really happy..."

Pretty smiles!

Monday, August 3, 2015


A few photos from our favorite Hermana. She said, "We have awesome leaders that have organized cool activities for us!!! I love the awesome people I've met on the mission!!!"