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.

Sistah Lawson

Monday, October 19, 2015


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, 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

Monday, October 12, 2015


Hey friends and family!
I'm sorry, but I didn't use my time very wisely today and I also am typing on an iPad in a member's home, so that's extremely difficult.

Tuesday: we met this AWESOME woman named Carrie! She has had MS for 18 years, she's been a breast cancer survivor for the last three years, has lived in Germany, and is also the most hilarious person of all time. When we went over to teach her, her friend Cynthia (who we totally thought was anti) was actually listening in the other room and has decided she also wants to be nice and take the lessons from us, haha. So that rules! PRAY FOR CARRIE. Also on this day, I because best friends with a 4 year old named Mia. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. She literally gave me a picture she colored and acted out animals for me. She slithered like a snake for me for 10 minutes. #theatricality

Wednesday: found a woman who said "the bible ees sufficient" (she had an indeterminable accent) approximately 9 times to us in a conversation that lasted 30 seconds. Not an exaggeration. Also, received 14 bug bites on my already-hobo-looking legs. <3

Thursday: #missionarywork

Friday: *HERE IS WHERE THE SUBJECT LINE COMES FROM*. So this was the most exciting day for me yet here in Snellville. The family in our ward from South Africa had us over for dinner and fed us REAL LIFE SOUTH AFRICAN FOOD. We had sausage rolls (not what you think it is), kidney pie (definitely what you think it is), and bull tongue gravy (WAAAAT). I was courageous and ate the kidney pie and it was actually really delicious!...until I smelled a very distinct urine smell coming from the pie and then I decided to barf for a second. Still exciting to say I tried it though. Also, bull tongue gravy is very gross. #ImCultural. Also, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE please go find a recipe for "Malva Cake" and make it ASAP because that's probably my new favorite dessert. Also, I'm incredibly sorry that half of this email is about food. But who else can say that they've tried South Africa food?!? Answer: only South Africans and Sister Lawson can.

Saturday: Santana was baptized!!! That was super exciting. Sister Russell and I sang "I Am a Child of God" on the ukulele and it was a hot mess but that's fine, haha. We are so excited for her!
Also another cultural experience of the week: Sister Russell is in the process of getting twists in her hair so we went into a black hair store to buy the fake hair and that was a very "only in Hotlanta" cultural experience. So go me!

Ponderize scripture of the week: Alma 26:12. CHECK IT OUT!

Anyway, I love you all! PEACE

Sister Lawson

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's All Good in the Hood

Hey friends and family!

Yep, I am definitely still alive.

The work has been a little bit slow but that's okay. We spend a lot of our time tracting and finding.
Here are my thoughts on conference:
Every day this week, we've been inviting people to come listen to a prophet of God. And it literally never hit me until coming out here that other religions don't really have something like that. Like the Baptists have their preachers, but every preacher teaches something different, and the Catholics have the Pope... but the Prophet literally gives us modern day revelation that applies to us and is directly from God. FATHOM THAT FOR A SECOND! We are so blessed to have a prophet here on the earth today! I feel like such a dingus for taking it for granted all my life. There were so many times where I would listen, but be on my phone most of the time, or fall asleep, or not even watch a session because I was "busy." Being out here really makes me realize what a blessing and privilege it is to hear the counsel Heavenly Father wants us to receive. I pray that when I come home, I won't forget how special that is, and that the rest of us can remember as well because...well, it's awesome! (Also SHOUTOUT to the Riverton youth choir! That ruled. Also, I think I saw Kimber's sister..???)

Anyway... conference ruled. We watched it at the church and invited tons of people to come, so naturally, no one came :) YAY. It was just us all by ourselves in the church with the other missionaries who also got no one to show up hahaha. I got a ton of new things out of it that I'm going to try using to help me become better and improve! My companion and I really loved the idea of "PONDERIZING", so we have taken the challenge: we will be ponderizing one scripture a week for the duration of our mission and even after we come home. The first scripture I chose this week (and you are totally welcome to do the same with me this week if you would like) is 2 Nephi 27:23.

"For behold, I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today and forever; and work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."

Here is what I've 'ponderized' so far about this:
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Something that we talk to people about down here a lot is the idea of Prophets. They are familiar with prophets in the Bible like Moses and Noah, but they think prophets ended when Christ died. So our favorite thing to tell these people in the South is that God has again reached out to us in love and provided us with a prophet, just like He did in the days of old. He doesn't love this dispensation any less than he loved the people in the Bible, so why wouldn't he give us a way to receive direct revelation and help from him, just like those in the Bible? So going back to the idea that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church on the earth with a prophet called of God, exactly like those in the Bible, GOD LOVES US ENOUGH TO RESTORE THE FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL BACK ONTO THE EARTH THROUGH A PROPHET OF GOD SO THAT WE MAY RECEIVE THE FULLNESS OF HIS BLESSINGS. Bam! I hope that all made sense, because I was so mind-blown during personal study about this idea today. Also, cross reference this verse with Mormon 9 if you are wanting to do some more studying. PROPHETS ARE AWESOME!

Other things that happened this week:
1. Santana is getting baptized this weekend! October 10th to be exact. Sister Russell and I are singing a song and stuff so that'll be cute. She had her baptismal interview and is so excited! Everyone keep her in your prayers, she needs it!

2. We were able to go to the temple on Friday! I LOVE THE ATLANTA TEMPLE. It reminded me of the Jordan River one on the outside, but the inside had been completely redone. It made me excited to see the JR temple when I come back. When are they starting construction on that by the way?

3. Sadly, Lunjua has fallen off the face of the planet and is no longer on date. We have been trying to meet with her so many times, but she's in the process of moving so she's hard to catch at a good time :( please pray for her too. She is so ready for baptism, but we are worried that Satan is getting a hold of her and causing her to doubt. UGH.

4. We helped 2 different people move this week. The first was the Womble family and here's a hilarious story: After we helped them unpack, they bought us wings to eat and forgot to mention that they were ATLANTA INFERNO hot wings. So naturally, I took a huge bite, and cried my eyes out because such lava in my mouth. Definitely that was the most painful experience of my life.

The second person we helped move was this cute old woman who said "can you come help me move a few boxes?" So we go to help her in our dresses and skirts and it turns out she actually had 2 GIANT storage units full to the brim with boxes and large furniture. And she needed it all out. Shockingly, it only took us 2 1/2 hours to do. But right before we went to move the couch, Sis. Russell and I were super nervous because it was seriously HUGE, so we decided to say a prayer for #strength before coming up to the unit to move it. When we came up, we saw that the 2 old women with broken backs and canes had somehow moved the couch out of the unit and onto the carts to push it down the hall without our help. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Prayer works guys.

5. Hilarious story of the week: Sister Y. (a woman from the ward) called us one day and started going off about her toe being infected with a staph infection and how she couldn't leave the house or do anything because of it. She ranted about it for 5 or 10 minutes and it totally reminded us of that episode of The Office when Michael shuts his foot in the George Foreman grill and can't do anything for the rest of the day. We laughed for hours haha.

6. I HAD MY FIRST "PRAYER TALK" EXPERIENCE THIS WEEK and it was magical. We knocked on this door and this Mexican woman pulls us in to say a prayer for her. She spoke mad Spanglish and asked me to say a prayer for her health (P.S.--the best thing about the south is that you can knock on a random door, ask if they want you to say a prayer for them, and it's totally not even weird.) And she starts this crazy, mighty Spanish prayer-talk while I’m praying for her. It was so bizarre. And it was so hard to say the prayer without laughing. I am horrible :(

Welp, I think that's it for this week! Talk to you next week! :)


1. Atlanta Temple!
2. Typical #DayInTheLyfeOfSisterLawson
3. Photo/text from the Samuels Family in the Snellville Ward