Monday, December 28, 2015

Yep, it was Christmas.

First of all, I would like to tell everyone that I ran over my first animal this week in the car and it was a possum. Opossum? Whatever it is, I hit it. (PS--roadkill is literally EVERYWHERE here so I'm shocked I didn't hit anything ever prior to this.)

It was so AWESOME to talk to y'all on Christmas! Ellie looks like 25 without braces so that's weird and Bailey looks the same (sorry Bai). Can't even imagine what y'all will look like in 14 more months!

Okay Georgia is so weird because in Utah we get HEAPS of snow, but here we get heaps of rain that nearly kill me when we are driving down the roads. It literally comes down in buckets so hard (not an exaggeration), I've never seen anything like it. There were major flood warnings this week!

We officially got to meet Helen Samuel (the Samuel's long lost daughter in Idaho) who we've been told for the last 3 months looks and acts exactly like Sister Russell. They are definitely twins!

Christmas Eve was the BEST! The Cahill's (Snellville Ward Bishop) spoiled us rotten... Actually the Snellville ward in general spoiled us rotten this Christmas. We have an entire 3'x3' cabinet in our kitchen filled to the brim with sweets and treats and candy and now i just want to throw up and pull out all my teeth. 

Christmas Day was killer... Obvi we got to Skype :) and then we went with the Elders and Kate to the hospital to go carol to the patients there! This was by far the most rewarding Christmas activity i think I've ever done. We met so many awesome people who were so grateful to have visitors on Christmas... One man in particular sat and cried at his father's bedside as we sang "Silent Night" to them and afterward he looked up at us with tears streaming down his face and said "Thank you so much, you really have no idea how much this means to us." We had the opportunity to pray with them right there in the room and the spirit was so strong! it was by far one of the most powerful experiences I've had on a mission yet. I'm thankful for the power of song and the power of the spirit!
*Side note: saw the most McDreamy of all McDreamies doctor....not important*
Later Christmas night, we had a lesson  scheduled with a J-Dub (because they are strange and don't celebrate Christmas.. or any holiday for that matter) but unfortunately it fell through :( #classic

Since we have less than 30 miles left for the last 5 days of the month on our car, we trekked it up so much the day after Christmas. it was about 80 degrees and the most humid day I've seen yet THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. It was so hot. But while we were out walking around, we met a young man named Terry who was playing basketball. We stopped to talk to him a little bit about what missionaries do and asked if we could share a message with him. He told us that he's the only Christian in a family full of Muslims and he just moved here a month ago from New Jersey so it's been a tough adjustment. He feels very alone in his family with his Christian beliefs and had so many questions about our purpose here on earth and where we are going after this life. It was so cool to testify to him that we knew the answers to those questions and they could also be answered in the Book of Mormon. We got his number and gave him Alma 34 to read from the Book of Mormon and Sister Russell gave him her Bible so he could cross reference and stuff since he only has the Quran laying around at home. Well we invited him to church, found him a ride and got a solid commitment from him to come the next morning! Buttttt.... when we called to confirm that night, a very VERY unfriendly man answered the phone that was definitely not Terry. So we now have no way to contact Terry and Sister Russell's bible was stolen. :( Moral of the story: don't give away your bibles to rando's off the skreet. 

****Skreet (n): a word used in a Southern English dialect to describe the pavement on which one drives. (Other words used in the same dialect include skrong, axe (ask) and skrengf.)****

Sunday was great! SHENELLE IS OFFICIALLY ON DATE FOR JANUARY 16TH!!!! Prayer works guys.

Okay that's all we got this week... hope y'all had a merry Christmas, and have a happy new year!
Make good resolutions and strive to be better this year than you were last year!

xo,
Sister Lawson

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

GREENIE BUSTEDDDDDDD / MERRY CHRISTMAS

The best news of the week is that I am officially not a greenie, and I officially DONE with the "12 week training program" for new missionaries. HOLLLAAAA #ChristmasMiracle (that was the worst.)
Lots of good things are happening....
1. Sister Russell and I realized that we are super good at cross-stitching. Don't ask us how we figured this out but we did.
2. Met the nicest J-dubb yet. He was a fun one to talk to...He invited us to Kingdom Hall haha! But yeah, teaching him was interesting because we'd ask him a question and he'd throw all these bible verses at us and then completely contradict his previous statement every time we asked him something. He doesn't believe in second chances and thinks everyone is condemned... that's so sad. #ThankfulForTheRestoredGospel..but yeah, he's a nice guy but keeps bailing on us every time we try to set up something to meet with him again.
3. Santana is considering moving to work overseas because she hates her job so much haha. But she's  also been considering working for CES! That would be SWEET.
4. Sister C STILL really wants to get sealed to her cats.
5. Best news... Shenelle is still doing so good! It's kind of funny though, every time we go over to teach Shenelle, it turns into a lesson for her mom... This week she was like "ya know, I've never fasted before. I probably should because I'm trying to find a more stable job." so we talked to her about it and bore our testimonies and shared experiences we've had from fasting! We're really praying she'll have a good experience. But yeah, it's been crazy watching how much her mom's heart has been softened in the last month! When we first started meeting with Shenelle, her mom was very against us putting her on date for baptism. But now at the rate she's been going, her mom might be getting baptized before Shenelle does haha :) AWESOME.
6. buying a voice recorder was the best decision we've ever made. I can't tell you how many crazy people we meet on the side of the road and how many strange conversations we've recorded in the last week alone. 
7. We had another lesson with this woman I'm going to call J because she's a little strange. We met her a few weeks ago and had a lesson about the Restoration which didn't go so well...she is one confused person. She's one of those "Christians" who believe one thing, but then contradict it in the next sentence, and in the end they actually don't know what they believe, but keep trying to convince you they know absolutely 100% what they are talking about. But to be nice, we invited her to church and she was really pumped for that and actually came!  We just don't know how much longer we are going to keep seeing her though because we're not sure that she's all there actually... also I'm pretty sure she's narcoleptic because she kept randomly falling asleep at church and would snore super loud, then wake up suddenly. It was strange. Also she says she has a website.. she gave me her card. Still not sure what the purpose of her website is, but I'm sure it's great hahaha. She said "Yeah one time i was just surfing the web and this thing popped up asking me if i wanted to create a website so i totally did! And it's a website company from Denmark. I post videos and answer questions from people. You should check it out." So yeah, i have her card and i will definitely check it out when i come home hahahaha. :)
8. In honor of my non-greenie ness, Sister Russell organized a graduation ceremony for me involving an African dress, a princess Santa Claus hat, and peanut butter. I'm not going to try to explain it but just know that it was magical and I am OFFICIALLY no longer a greenie. :) hahaha

I'm sorry that I hardly ever include spiritual things in here... Seriously though, I can't even begin to explain how much my testimony has grown in just 3 short months! It's incredible to see so many miracles happen every day and I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ truly is my Savior, that God loves me and has a plan for me, and that if I follow what he has asked of me, I WILL return to live with my Father and older brother again one day.
I love this gospel so so much, and am so blessed to be able to share my testimony with others around every single day, especially during this christmas season! #cliche
christmas.mormon.org #ASaviorIsBorn SHARE IT!!!!

Peace and blessin's,
Sister Lawson
1. The best district!
2. Classic georgia.
3. My favorite Nigerian, Brother Samuel in astronaut form.
4. Me bein' pasty white and also thuggy.. don't ask how that works.
5. Graduation ceremony... I can't even try to explain.






Monday, December 14, 2015

#ASaviorIsBorn

Can you believe it's almost Christmas!??
I seriously can't. There's no snow!!!!!!!!! and it's 70 degrees!!!!!!!!

First news: no transfers! Sister Russell and i are pumped that we get to spend another transfer together in the best ward on EARTH! Snellville aint ready for this. #hollaaaaa
We saw some major miracles this week, and also some major hardships this week.
Hardships: 
1. Tuesday night, we invited Rainy and Sehaj and Jay to the mutual activity that was going to be AWESOME. It was this whole "caroling" activity where the youth would go door to door and it was pre-arranged that they'd get totally rejected by everyone and at the last house, they show up to, the person would take them around back because they had "no room to let them inside" and there would be this huge nativity set up and they'd have a big fireside about Christ. Wellllll.... there were many problems. Rainy and fam showed up 45 minutes late so they didn't get the full effect, it was FREEZING, there were major technical difficulties, and the spirit just wasn't there. It was heartbreaking and we were so embarrassed! And we haven't seen them since... oh well. We will let you know what happens in the future!
2. Wednesday: This was probably the worst, hardest day of my mission so far. We were so pumped because we had 4 different lessons set up with all of investigators, however, every single person we met with was so hard-hearted and threw us some of the toughest questions I've ever heard. Lesson after lesson after lesson we were completely attacked and torn to shreds haha. It was horrible. After the 3rd bad lesson, sister russell and i just sat in the car and cried our eyes out for a second. We just could not catch a break! But the miracle of this all was that even when these people did everything they could to prove us wrong, we still testified with POWER and AUTHORITY and stood our ground. We know what we believe, and we will defend it til the day we die. I love this gospel and i can firmly say without a shadow of a doubt that I KNOW THIS CHURCH IS TRUE.

Okay, enough sad stuff because this week was literally the best. 
MIRACLES:
1. JOHN. John is the most amazing person. This week we met with him and the spirit was SO STRONG. I can't even explain it.. we just testified so simply and plainly that the gospel and the Book of Mormon will change his life, and you could just see in his eyes that he believed it! After the lesson, i couldn't even remember a word taht was said. That's how you KNOW it was a lesson completely led by the spirit! We love John so much and I'm so excited we get to spend another transfer here teaching him more about how he can receive eternal happiness. WOOOO
2. Sister Russell and I bought voice recorders so that's been a hoot haha.
3. I survived driving on Atlanta highways....this is a big moment for me.
4. ELDER HOLLAND CAME TO ATLANTA. I shook an apostle of the Lord's hand and that is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. Sister Russell and i sat on the 4th row and we could literally see the spit and the fire coming out of his mouth. I think my eyebrows got singed a little bit. :) But for real... it was incredible. Some major things i learned:
-A mission is A high point of my life, not THE high point. Our mission will affect us for the rest of our life and we are NEVER done progressing on the eternal path of the gospel. He said "Seize this opportunity to start the course for the rest of your life." And I'm going to do it. My mission does not stop when i get home, and it will never stop.
-I have finally been taught why a mission is so hard. It's because I signed up to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I have signed up to experience equally hard things like He did, do equally hard things like He did and be equally tested, tempted and tried like He was. The atonement was not easy, so why should a mission be easy if I am His disciple? By accepting the call to serve, i took on the challenge to become more like the Savior than I will ever get the chance to do again in my life and I will not take that lightly. I have been given 15 more months to strengthen my relationship with the Savior as much as I can and I have finally accepted the fact that it will be hard. 

I can't even begin to sum up everything I learned this week. There were a lot of trials and adversities, but also so many miracles and evidences that God loves me and has a plan for me. MISSIONS ARE THE BEST

Well friends, i love you all! Stay good and stuff.

Sistah Lawson 

1. Posin' with Santa at the Ward christmas party
2. Potential Christmas Card
3. Sister Russell and her alpaca spirit animal
4. Georgia sunrises <3
 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BIG NEWS

EVERYONE. I GET TO SHAKE ELDER HOLLAND'S HAND THIS SATURDAY. I AM SHAKING AN APOSTLE OF THE LORD'S HAND. Ask me if I'm dying because I am. He's coming for a mission wide conference this Saturday and it's going to be INCREDIBLE. More details to come next week...

Okay the other best news is that we have met some AWESOME, super prepared people this week and I'm so pumped about it.
1. Rainy(mom), Sehaj (we have no idea how to say this name still)(son) and Jay(other son): This is an Indian family who were former investigators, but we have no idea why the previous missionaries stopped meeting with them. Basically they are the coolest and SO OPEN to what we teach, it's insane. We invited them all to read the Book of Mormon daily and they've been doing it! And they love it! We're meeting with them later this week so to be continued...
2. John: he is THE BEST. We originally met him while he was out having a garage sale to earn money while he's been out of work with a really bad back injury a while back. He's a 10-year recovered meth addict and just wants to strengthen his relationship with Jesus Christ. Sometimes he meets with the J-Dubs (he thinks they're weird), but he's too nice to turn them away. So we go over and read the Book of Mormon with him and he's very appreciative and loves what missionaries do!
3. Carrie: yep, she's back! To help you remember her... she's the one with MS and had breast cancer. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon again and pray about baptism because she doesn't understand why God would want her to be baptized again. #classicGeorgian
4. Ida: we met her when i first got here and it's been SO HARD to find a time to meet with her because she's crazy busy. We finally did and had a lesson with her about the restoration. The spirit was so strong as Sister Russell and I testified to her about how much the Book of Mormon has blessed our lives and why she would need another book on top of the Bible... Hopefully she'll read... we'll see!

We saw a huge miracle with Shenelle this week! Up until this point, her mom (non member, but super christian) has been very supportive of her taking the lessons from us, but hasn't wanted us to put a date on baptism because she wants Shenelle to have "conviction" before getting baptized... Anyway... we were reading the Book of Mormon with her this week and Shauna said "You know, ever since Shenelle has been meeting with you, i've noticed a really huge change in her. She cares a lot more about church and about God than she ever has before. Her prayers are a lot more sincere, and when she answers your questions, they are really deep answers with thought put into them." WHAT/?!? Huge miracle because Shauna is starting to recognize the change happening in Shenelle and her heart is being softened! I can't tell you how long we've been praying about this. We are hoping to put her on date later this week...

Frank has not called us back in about 2 weeks sooo... yep, there's that.

Saturday was the Ward Christmas party! Not much to say there... major stress though because almost nothing was ready to go the morning of... it was a mad dash to get it all done and only started an hour later than it was originally planned for! :) haha.. 
Also the best thing: We found an ALPACA SHACK. with REAL LIFE ALPACAS. We decided that sister russell looks like an alpaca.  And they sell socks made of alpaca fur so i'll probs be buying 298415 pairs of those. 

anyway... sorry this was all over the place. For pictures from the week, check out my comp's blog because i'm the worst and hardly ever take pictures. I promise i'll be better!

Love,
Sister Lawson

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Turkey Dayyyy

Hello family and friends!
Unfortunately I am a dingus and forgot to bring my old planner so I don't remember too much about this week, but just know that it was incredibly slow because of the holiday and I'm way sad about it.

Updates on major investigators:
Frank: still going strong-ish... he's having a couple doubts because he keeps talking to his minister friends who hate mormons and it's becoming an issue. Also he's really hard to meet with so that's where we are at.
Shenelle: definitely still going strong!
Franklin: Not much progression... we call him ocassionally, but he's not following through on any comittments. :(
Donna: she is currently in the process of moving and is going through MAJOR family issues.. She called us in hysterics the other day to ask for financial help for her daughter and it was so sad..so we are giving her a little space til everything gets worked out.

Thanksgiving as a missionary is the weirdest thing because it feels just like any other day... you're expected to go out and knock on doors like any other day and talk to people like any other day... it's so weird. Obviously, this would irritate some people on a family oriented holiday, so we spent our time at member's houses and talking to people at the park so that was fun. Also we went to thanksgiving lunch at a member's house where there were 60+ other people crammed in there as well so my anxiety kicked in hard core, and also there was a man dressed like a pirate. apparently, he dresses like a pirate every day, and has dressed this way for the last 10 years so that was really exciting.

Friday was so exciting! WE WITNESSED A CRIME. (I PROMISE I WAS SAFE THE WHOLE TIME). Basically we saw these 2 boys sprinting down the street away from a car spun around with slashed tires. Then we noticed one of them had a gun so that was more exciting. The best part of this all was that we saw all of this happen at the exact time that we were in the middle of leaving a message for our district leaders on the phone so they heard everything and were calling us back frantically asking what was happening! hilarious.

Saturday was also AWESOME. We went to the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in downtown Snellville and became total BFFs with the Mayor! And it turns out he loves mormons so that's really great news. He is the sweetest old man and we got a picture with him!

Sunday, we had dinner with Sister C which was the best dinner appt of all time. Favorite Sister C quotes at dinner included: 
-"You can't get sealed to cats, I've already asked the bishop."
-"I gave one of my cats a lot of cat therapy when she was first born."
-"Oh i have a family tree for all the cats! i can email it to you." (there is a lot of confusion and incest amongst her cats) (sadly i forgot to give her my email)
-"I have 3 cats buried in my back yard."
Good times, friends.

So yeah, that's about all i have this week. 
I'm thankful for all of you and hope you had an awesome thanksgiving! LOVE YOU

xoxo,
Sister Lawson

1. me and Santana!
2. us and the MAYOR OF SNELLVILLE
3. Christmas tree selfieeeee
4. me making Nigerian FuFu (foo foo)
5. us and the Mann's on Thanksgiving
6. me and (one of) sister C's creepy hairless cats







Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Weeklyyyyyyy

Okay friends,

This week was much more disappointing than last week in the sense that not much really happened.

Monday: We made Nigerian food with a woman in the ward and sister russell and I have come to the conclusion that Nigerian food is actually disgusting. I don't know why people keep trying to feed it to us.

Tuesday: same old, same old

Wednesday: TEMPLE TRIPPPPPP. #holla. Sister Russell and I had been focusing a lot leading up to this trip on how we could make it more of a spiritual experience. Sad thing: As missionaries, we are very used to feeling the spirit all the time, so to be honest, the first time going to the temple as a missionary really wasn't all that much of a spiritual experience and i feel awful about that! So this time around, I wanted to do everything I could to set this temple trip apart from every day life as a missionary and make it more spiritual. We decided to read our patriarchal blessings the night before and fasted the day before as well. It's amazing the difference that hardcore preparation does for you when you're going to the temple. I'd encourage all of you to try it out next time you go! 
Also this day was Zone Training and we recieved the dreaded TIWI on the car which basically tells you how much you stink at driving and then reports it to your mission president! :) AWESOME. I was also made to be the new designated driver on this EXACT day. #hollaaa

Thursday: Went and chalked up the park once again with the Plan of Salvation and met a partially crazy man who loves the gospel and really wanted to hug us so we'll probably not be talking to him again haha. He was sweet though!

Friday: Best day EVER because we were hardcore bashed by a crazy 7th Day Adventist woman who locked us in her house so she could tell us that prophets don't exist and the Bible is the ONLY word of God. That was a good time. :) Also had 3 appointments fall through one after the other. #MissionaryLyfe

Saturday: regular day...

Sunday: Okay earlier in the week, i read a talk by Dallin H. Oaks called "Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament" that everybody HAS TO READ as soon as possible. It completely changed my life when it comes to Sacrament observance and i put the counsel he gives into action this sunday. (Also read "The Sabbath is a Delight" by Russell M. Nelson afterward to make you feel better about yourself and help yourself improve after reading the first haha). Elder Oaks is VERY very blunt and kind of singes your eyebrows and you feel like you're the worst person on earth after you read it, but seriously guys, you've just gotta read it. This is the quote that hit me the most: 

      "During sacrament meeting--and especially during the sacrament service--we should concentrate on worship and refrain from all other activities, especially from behavior that could interfere with the worship of others. Even person who slips into quiet slumber does not interfere with others. Sacrament meeting is not a time for reading books or magazines. Young people, it is not a time for whispered conversations on cell phones or for texting persons at other locations. When we partake of the sacrament, we make a sacred covenant that we will always remember the Savior. How sad to see persons obviously violating that covenant in the very meeting where they are making it."

Ooooh, OUCH. That hit me like a dagger to the heart. When i read that, i remembered every time i had ever sat on my phone during sacrament, or whispered and goofed off with my sisters or just completely zoned out. We are so BLESSED to have the chance to partake of the Sacrament every week and we really cannot afford to NOT have His spirit to be with us always, especially during these wicked, perilous times we are living in. We are ONLY qualified to have his spirit with us when we truly do 'always remember Him', especially while partaking of the sacrament. We desperately need the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to guide us and help us make decisions that will affect our eternal destiny. I invite all of you to remember this quote the next time you take the sacrament and do everything you can to remember the Savior for ALL of the sacrament service. i'm probably going to remember it for the rest of my life. 

Okay, that's about it! Hope you all have a WONDERFUL thanksgiving! I love you!

xoxo,
Sistah Lawson

Monday, November 16, 2015

"It was like, a miracle!"

Well since I'm 20 now (barf), and since this week was AWESOME, I decided to try to share with you 20 miracles that happened this week.

1. We went on exchanges this week! FAVORITE
2. Remember me my second day in Georgia talking about Lunjua and how she fell off the face of the planet? SHE CALLED US THIS WEEK AND WANTED TO SET UP ANOTHER APPOINTMENT. And then...... we found out she moved 100 FEET OUTSIDE OF OUR BOUNDARY. :( But still, it was a huge deal!
3. Since we were on exchanges, I FINALLY got a turn to drive the car. #blessin's
4. Tuesday we were all out of lunch food so we decided to go to Waffle House and I was a dingus and missed the turn for the first one, so we drove to the next closest one instead. But it was a BLESSING because we ended up getting a new investigator out of it! His name is JT... he was the cashier who is in college. He was quite the character and had a gnarly Valley Girl voice mixed with a Southern drawl. In high school, he had a Mormon teacher who gave him extra credit for going to seminary hahaha. favorite quotes from JT: "So yeah, like we went to this class thing early in the morning and read out of y'alls weird book and it was just like weird". also, "Don't mormons like, wear that weird underwear or something?". *we invited JT to church* "Oh yeah, totally! I'll bring my roommate Jeffrey, he's a little older than me. He's like 65." (also JT is probably 21... is anyone else concerned about this?)
5. We got 2 referrals in the span of 1 hour! (we very rarely get referrals so this is definitely a miracle)
6. One referral was doing a project in her college class about Mormons and requested a Book of Mormon to PASS AROUND HER CLASS DURING THE PRESENTATION. What?!??! This is a huge deal. We were pumped, we gave her like 8 copies and a bunch of pamphlets and pass a long cards... everything. We hooked her up and even offered to come to her class and do a question-and-answer thing! The best part is that this girl has no idea how awesome of a missionary she is about to be. WE WILL BE PRAYING HARD THAT IT WILL BLESS MANY LIVES!
7. Got a new investigator named Donna! She's 68 and decided she's going to go to BYU to get a degree in Genealogy. She's really interested in religions and wants to know everything there is to know about Mormons, especially since she'll be around them all the time. We're pumped because she's the most open minded person I've met out here yet!
8. Franklin is praying about a specific date to be baptized!! YAY
9. Got some sushi this week. :)
10. Ate the BEST frozen custard of my life!
11. Sisters Training meeting... it was exactly what you'd expect: #feminism
12. WE WENT WITH SANTANA TO THE TEMPLE FOR BAPTISMS! The miracle here is that literally everything that could have gone wrong this night did go wrong. There was major miscommunication about how we were all getting there so Santana was almost to the temple while we were waiting at a member's house for her to come there so we could all ride down together... it was crazy. Also so much traffic. But #miracles because we made it and beat Satan and she had a WONDERFUL experience. Miracles happen, folks!
13. 3 LESS ACTIVES WHO HAVEN'T BEEN TO CHURCH IN 10+ YEARS WERE THERE ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We've been working so hard to get them there and it happened!
14. Found 3 new investigators one after another on the same street, and also handed out almost 20 book of mormons on my 20th birthday. #blessin's
15. Eating some of the best Fried Chicken of my life while birthday-dancing to Tamela Mann's "Take me to the king" was definitely a high light.
16. I am learning to love southern gospel music. 
17. um
18. I actually can't think of 20 miracles, but you get the picture. it was an awesome, awesome AWESOME week.

Some of my favorite gospel songs from the week:
Take Me to the King--Tamela Mann
Hosanna (LIVE VERSION ONLY)--Kirk Franklin
I smile--Kirk Franklin

OKAY BYE EVERYONE I LOVE YOU

1. Just a couple of the cute gifts sister russell gave me <3 (9 samuel L. jackson star wars pens, snowman salt and pepper shakers, some of her old braids.)
2. #ballin' it in our apartment
3. WAFFLE HOUSE
4. partyin' with sister welch on exchanges (we look high, it's fine)





Monday, November 9, 2015

2 MONTHS HOLLAHHHH

Kinda running out of time, but it's fine because this week was half-way super exciting.

Monday: nada

Tuesday: Taught Shenelle (she's 11) about the Plan of Salvation which was cute because we had visuals and everything. She's currently off-date just because we don't think she'll be ready for baptism by the 14th. But #Pray4Shenelle!

Wednesday: Taught Frank with the Shaffers, and he's awesome! He's all the way into Jacob in the Book of Mormon (still mind-boggling to me) and hasn't smoked for almost 3 or 4 days straight! (Keep in mind, this is INSANE because he's struggled for the last 50 years with this addiction). He's progressing so much! However, we invited him to baptism and he said "nah, maybe next year" so that's an issue. Stay tuned...

Thursday: Okay major miracles. For the last few weeks, we've been praying a lot to find people who are looking for "church homes" (because apparently that's a thing in Georgia). So Thursday, we went finding like mad and found 3 or 4 solid people LOOKING FOR CHURCH HOMES. Prayer works, folks. Also on this day, we attempted to get in contact with a referral named Brian who is actually the Senior Pastor for this HUGE baptist church in snellville (i'll include a picture of the "Great and Spacious Building" in which he worships.) But yeah, we gave him a BoM and are hoping he'll get back in contact with us so that he can either 1) Bible-Bash us to shreds, or 2) allow us to unfold to him the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ in it's restored simplicity. So we will let you know which happens later. :)

Friday: For dinner, we were fed Nigerian food by a real life Nigerian. So I was actually super excited about this, but it turns out that Nigerian food is an acquired taste that I'm not willing to 'acquire' to. Yep, Nigerian food is nasty. But I can say I tried it! Also I'm sorry that all I ever talk about in emails is food. 

Saturday: Saw Chika again! She's mad stressed out because she works full time, goes to school full time and has a family full time so it's going to be rough getting in contact with them. BUT THEY ARE SO PREPARED D*NG IT. THEY NEED THE GOSPEL. Also Chika gave us MORE Nigerian food so yay.... :/  

Also taught Frank again! We realized that our mistake last time was that we never explained WHY we were inviting him to be baptized. #dinguses. So we fixed our mistake and he's starting to understand more of why it's so important. YAY4PROGRESS. Also he loves Joseph Smith so much. 
Saturday night, we also went and visited Sister C and the hairless cats. and guess what??! I found out more neat-o facts about her! :) She loves to cook her food in....THE BATHROOM. She has a stove, mini fridge and everything in there. Neat-o, huh?! Also, she loves to use the word 'Neat-o'. Man, i love her.

Sunday: FRANKLIN CAME TO CHURCH. FRANKLIN, SISTER C'S BLIND FIANCE. HE CAME. Oh my goodness, it was so happy. And afterwords, we taught him a lesson with Brother Austin who is INCREDIBLE. He knows the scriptures so well and it was a blessing to have him there with us. We all just bore powerful testimonies to Franklin about the Book of Mormon and Prophets and the priesthood and I really think we got somewhere new with Franklin and answered a lot of the questions he had. The spirit was SO STRONG. I'm so thankful for the Book of Mormon and the convincing evidence it is that Joseph Smith truly is a prophet of God, and that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God STILL speaks to us through prophets, and he continues to give us more revelation every single day because of the love that he has for each of us. I love the chance i have to be able to share this good news with everyone each and every day. 

I LOVE THIS WORK. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. AND I LOVE YOU GUYS.
Stay golden.

always,

Sister Lawson


1. Our cute friend Earl. He's had lots of strokes so he's extra cute and spells a lot of words for us.
2. Us out walking with Kate!
3. The cool hats Sister Youngblood gave us
4. The Great and Spacious building





Monday, November 2, 2015

Transfer news is in . . .

Transfer news is in... We are both staying here in Snellville! #hollaaaa

As exciting as it was that Halloween was this week, nothing all the exciting actually happened. The leaves are changing like mad here though so I guess that's good news.

This week we've been trying really hard to find some new investigators to teach because the less-actives we used to visit all the time are not-so-less-active anymore! :) but yeah, so there have been many finding activities this week which included drawing a giant "PLAN OF SALVATION" diagram all over the park in chalk and talking to old men walking their dogs who "don't speak the language of Jesus that i speak". Wut?

We also had a huge miracle: On Sunday, we were out finding, and feeling pretty low because it had been a slow day. But the spirit spoke to me saying, "go knock on that door". So we did. I asked if we could say a prayer with this happy woman who opens the door! (and this was another one of those awesome Georgia moments where people immediately invite you in if you're ever talking about Jesus.) Her name was Chika and her husband was Obi (they're from Nigeria). and immediately they bombard us with these questions like "What church are you from? what are your beliefs? What is the way to eternal life? You're telling us we can be together forever--how do we do that?" like seriously, it was crazy. They were eating it up. And then Sis Russell was all "Can i read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with you?" so we are reading with them and after, Chika is all "Wait, that sounds like something from the Bible.. are you sure that's not the bible?" And we are all "No it's not the Bible, but it sounds familiar to you because they testify of each other! We need both of them! Blah blah blah.." So yeah, that was nuts. They committed to reading the BoM every day and we are following up with them later this week! The only sucky part is that they have crazy work schedules and it's hard to catch them all together at the same time. But pretty much, they are the most prepared people I've met so far and we are really praying that they'll continue reading daily and progressing! #MiraclesAndStuff

So a week or so ago, Sister Russell ran into this guy named Frank while we were on exchanges, and we've been teaching him ever since! I can't remember if i've already talking about him, but he's this really sweet old puerto rican man who LOVES using his arms to talk. I think he's almost accidentally punched me in the face like 3 times. But anyway..he's come to church the last few weeks and has read SO MUCH of the Book of Mormon-like a good 2-3 books, which is unheard of to me so far on my mission. Most people only read like 3 pages or less, if any at all. He loves it and loves all the "characters" in the book haha. He says "This book is scary. Every time I read it, it freaks me out because it makes me want to change so badly. I'm such a sinner!" Haha it was cute. And the other day he was like (in his cute spanish accent) "So what's the um...code of behavior I would need follow to be of the church of the Latter-day saints?" UM LET US TELL YOU PLEASE. Basically, he's golden and he's totally ready for baptism. We are stoked! Moral of the story is: the Book of Mormon (along with the spirit) has more power to convert if people simply read it! #SCRIPTUREPOWER

Hilarious story: Sister Russell gets crazy bloody noses apparently. A few days ago we were about to go to a member's house for dinner and all of a sudden her nose starts GUSHING blood. I literally mean gushing. So she's hanging out the car door just dripping this blood for a good 20-30 minutes and I got it all on video. HOLLAAA

Another hilarious story: Sister C has TWELVE (12) HAIRLESS CATS. TWELVE. SHE HAS TWELVE OF THEM. She has 12 hairless cats. We had the lucky privelege of meeting 2 of them this week and they were the creepiest things. One of them almost jumped on me and i screamed for a sec. She's all "Yeah, i'm moving all 12 of them out of Franklin's house eventually to come live with me so you'll be able to see all of them soon! yay! :D:D:D:D:D" Wut. But Sister C is doing AWESOME. It's been incredible to watch the change she's gone through since I first met her and every time we go over there, it brightens my whole week to see how happy she has become. #ILOVESISTERC

Welp... I love you all I hope you're all reading your scriptures and praying daily. Make good choices, don't get fat on Halloween candy... don't be a dingus.

BYE

Love, Sista Lawson

Monday, October 26, 2015

11 Black Cats and a Black Companion

Happy One-Week-Till-Halloween-ish!
Basically all the black cats of the world decided to show their faces this week in preparation for halloween, hence the title. Seriously, we saw so many. #spooky

So many things happened this week. Hopefully I can tell you only the important ones...

Monday: Sister Russell's fro is officially gone. #BRAIDZ5EVER

Tuesday: Nothing too fancy. Just doin' work. Also we recieved 4 large pizzas from an unknown source for dinner this day...? huh?

Wednesday: Normal missionary work.

Thursday: ELDER ZWICK from the quorum of the 70 came for ZONE CONFERENCE. It was a really long day, but so spiritually empowering. Sister Russell and I were asked to sing a musical number for the conference in front of 150 people and I literally think I pee'd my pants... It was terrifying and I never want to do that ever again in my life. But cool story because we can say that we've sung for a general authority. We were taught all about the power of a pure, simple and intense testimony and it was awesome to be able to hear from a man called by god testify plainly of things he knows to be true. We also learned about how to apply the atonement more fully into our lives and in our work. The atonement should completely change us DAILY. I'd encourage everyone to go read through Alma 5 this week and study and answer each question asked in those verses and then ask yourself "What can I change to help me progress and become changed daily through the power of the atonement?" and I promise you that the holy ghost will reveal to you what you should do. :)

Also on this day, we were told there was a Cafe Rio in Jonesboro so we trekked far and wide to find it. Nothing. Is it too much to ask for some CAFE RIO DRESSING?!??!? That's literally all we want. So instead I had my first real life experience eating at Bojangles and ordered the grilled chicken sandwich. But turns out that in Georgia, "grilled" actually means quadruple deep fried with a side of more deep fried chicken. So that was a good time.

Also headed out on exchanges after the meeting! 

Friday: Exchanges in Conyers! So many good times. Here are the highlights from exchanges:
1. Touched/petted/played profusely with a flea-ridden dog and probs have fleas myself now.
2. A baby peed all over my lap. Literally ALL over my lap. #mothermaterial
3. Ate the most delicious, real life japanese food at a member's home. SO YUMMY.
4. Learned lessons from my temporary companion about how to love finding and knocking on doors which has been a real struggle for me. She is so good at knocking and getting people to talk to her for 15 or 20 minutes on their doorstep. She also helped me realize that being myself and having confidence is absolutely essential. To be completely honest, these first few weeks have been somewhat difficult, just trying to figure out where I fit in and how i can still be myself, but also be a good representative of Jesus Christ. Sister Welch, you are awesome! Thank you for the lessons you taught me in 2 short days!

Saturday: Had a baptism for Caelyn! She's 9, and has been taught by Sister Russell for the last few months and was finally baptized on saturday! It was awesome and she was SO ready! We also had a fall festival for the ward which was a HOOT. Probably my favorite day in Snellville so far. So many non-members and less actives came! They all said that it was probably the biggest event the ward has ever had. Some highlights:
1. Our ghetto trunk for trunk-or-treating. Hilarious because we thought it would be so cool to use some dry ice for the back of it, but it was definitely the biggest fail of all time. Also we are cool and inventive because we handed out pass a long cards instead of candy hahaha. 
2. Straight-thuggin' it with Sister Youngblood and her light saber. 
3. Sister Russell and I switching name tags because that's about as crazy as we can get when it comes to halloween costumes.
4. Brother Samuel screaming his head off in the 'haunted forest'. (not even scary)

Sunday: PRIMARY PROGRAM. Enough said. the best part about it was that we had an investigator named Frank come to church! It really is something different to hear children bear pure and simple testimonies of the principles of the gospel we teach regularly! The spirit was stronger there than in any lesson I've ever taught. Honestly, 5 year olds should be the ones with the name tags on and not us. They teach it better than 20 year old kids can! But yeah, we were PUMPED to see Frank walk in. At the end of church, he said "You know what? This is the church for me." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?? We should just have primary programs every week. I dont think anyone would complain. 

Yep. Pretty much this was my favorite week ever. The last few weeks have been a struggle for me, not gonna lie. Adjusting to missionary life is a tough thing, but I'm here to tell you that PRAYER TRULY DOES WORK and Heavenly Father does hear us and wants to help us when we are in need of help. All we have to do is put the effort in on our part and His grace will be sufficient to take over whatever things we can't handle ourselves. Jesus Christ's atonement is infinite and unlimited to any challenge we may be going through. I love my Savior and I KNOW that He lives and loves us all individually and unconditionally and will always be there to help us get through the tough times.
I love you all and appreciate the prayers and love you send me daily!

Also, ponderize scripture of the week: Mormon 9:34. THINK ABOUT IT.

Always,
Sistah Lawson











Monday, October 19, 2015

#SnellvilleIsLyfe

Welp I guess this week was actually awesome.
Sister Russell is currently in the process of getting her hair BRAIDED. No mo' fro. Pics coming next week...

Monday: P-day adventures feat. Goodwill, Snellville style. Our purchases included a semi-fugly Hawaiian skirt, and a mug that says "I love you like Kanye loves Kanye" so that rules.

Tuesday: I was volun-told to teach the Bible Study this week for the ward. Just me. I had no idea what I was doing. I taught about the Plan of Salvation and thankfully only one other person showed up besides the missionaries, but this one other person happened to be Santana, and somehow the lesson got SO DEEP and I was so concerned that Santana would be so confused and lose her testimony hahaha. It was a hot mess but I guess it turned out alright.

Wednesday: missionary work. (i.e. tracting, finding, eating pizza, etc.)

Thursday: Okay cool/weird stuff happened. Things weren't really working out and plans kept falling through so for whatever reason, we were prompted to go visit this really random less active member in the ward. So we go to her house: not home (shocker), and decide to tract it out. Across the street, we see these 2 women outside talking and go to start talking to them--Barbara and Ashley. They were super sweet and as we were telling them about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, you could literally see the wheels turning in their heads and things were clicking for them. They were so interested and wanted to read it themselves! We even put them on date for baptism on the 7th of November and hope to meet with them next week! I think that's one of my favorite things about being on a mission--that first initial moment when the spirit testifies to people and when they feel how it can change their lives for themselves, that's incredible. It's such an addicting feeling honestly, and I'm stoked that I get to keep having experiences like that for another 17 months.

Friday: We had new missionary training and i got to see SISTER BRUME!!!!!!!!!!! It was such a happy reunion <3 and I got to see a bunch of my friends from the MTC like Elder Jenkins and Elder Delahunty and Carnahan..man, it was the best. Also we found out there is a CAFE RIO in Jonesboro?!??!? Can anyone confirm or deny this for me? WE NEED TO KNOW. All Sis Russell and I want is some Café Rio :( Remember that woman Carrie we've been meeting with? Yeah, she's fallen off the face of the earth. I don't think she's super interested anymore because she basically thinks we are telling her that her baptism is completely invalid. So that's a bummer. Updates coming next week... Also this night, we went to see a less active named Sis C that we go see very regularly. Sis Russell says that she's come a LONG way since she met her and she is working really hard to be able to go through the temple to marry her non-member fiancé Franklin who is blind. So we met with her and ended up teaching a phone lesson to Franklin and answered his super tough questions. He's a major scriptorian and knows so much about the Bible, so he has tons of questions, but he is VERY sincere about wanting to change and be BAPTIZED so he can marry Sis C!! So we are working with him right now and it's so awesome. Everyone please pray for Franklin! Saturday: was crazy. We went to the most stressful dinner I've ever had. This family has tons of little kids and they were all jumping on the table and throwing food and breaking plates and screaming the whole time... I wanted to cry. I also ate a delicious European meat pie of some sort from a euro-mart down the road, and later that night ate food from the Ivory Coast. #culture. Sunday: Spoke in church. yay. Sorry these emails are always all over the place... it's super hard to just narrow it down to a few things, or telling you everything. Also I'm still getting the hang of it. An hour and half is not a lot of time OKAY?!? Okay bye y'all. <3 Sister Lawson. 1. Caught in the pouring rain 2. Actually being cute with Sis Brume 3. NEW WHIP