Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year Birthday's

Um okay I'm really sorry but this week was super boring as far as stuff to report on to you.
FIRST OFF, today is Sister Howell's birthday (yes she is a leap baby) and she turned a whole 5 years old today! WOOOO

We did a whole lot more service this week than normal, so that was good news. The best service of the week by far was going to this Old Folks home and calling out bingo to 5 of the funniest old people I've ever met. Man, those folks can really play their bingo. I think we played like 7 rounds of blackout, and they still wanted to keep going when we were about to leave. Also the most awkward part was me wanting to high-5 a man named Miles when he won and he either 
1. rejected me hardcore, 
2. couldn't see past 6 inches in front of him, 
3. isn't "hip" enough to know what a high-5 is, 
4. he was feeling feisty that day
Either way, it was awkward. 

On Monday I also had awesome "Southern cultural experience", which involved me going to a Southern Baptist version of Deseret Book and buying a real-life SOUTHERN BIBLE. It's so beautiful. I'm in the South...buying a Bible is just one of those things you have to do.

There really wasn't too much excitement happening in Snellville this week... 
We found out this week that John is really really interested in baptisms for the dead... We're teaching him today about it on our off-day because he's going out of town and because #dedication. I'll keep you updated!

Erika is still doing awesome! She has a court date coming up soon to handle some family issues so we don't really know what's going to end up happening... but we really love her so much, it'll be super sad when she leaves. :( Teaching her has been like hanging out with all my little Oakcrest buddies from the summer... they "grow up", they learn who they are and Who's they are, and gain a huge understanding of how much Heavenly Father really does love them, and that's exactly what Erika has done. Ahhh...the gospel is awesome, y'all.
We went on exchanges with the Centerville Sisters and I got to go out with Sister Welch for my 3rd time! Heavenly Father just really wants us to hang out together on these exchange things I guess. :)

We also had a 5 year old BIRTHDAY BASH for Sister Howell this week, complete with Princess crowns, a piƱata, and barbies. BOMB DIGGITY

I'm really sorry, like seriously. This week was somewhat boring as far as "miracles" and stuff go. Sometimes you just have those weeks i guess.

Okay, i love you all lots.
1. (Ignore the darkness) CENTERVILLE EXCHANGES
2. The pinata mid-strike
3. Birthday girl
4. The classic "Birthday mantle" pic @ the samuel's.
5. Me and compy
6. Cute birthday selfie with cute birthday flowers. ISN'T SHE A BABE???

Monday, February 22, 2016

Prayers go up, Blessin's come down...

GOOD NEWS! This week was 1000 times better than last week. Mostly because we had a lot of personal and spiritual growth. PRAYER IS AWESOME

This week I found out our ward mission leader, Brother Shaffer, is the coolest person of all time BECAUSE:
a. He is the most beautiful chef
b. He makes the most beautiful Indian food feasts for us

Updates on current investigators:
John--We had a majorly BOLD lesson in which Sister Howell just vomited spiritual promptings and stuff all over him and invited him to baptism and everything! Seriously, she just spoke by the spirit for like 10 minutes (then at the end we gave him time to respond and share his thoughts because that's what good missionaries do--they LISTEN). Butttt....he rejected. So that's rough. Life for him in his family is just really difficult right now and he was feeling really overwhelmed...his exact words: "I know in my heart this is true, but my head won't let me believe it." WHAT. Fortunately though, we uncovered a lot of his concerns in this process so that's good news. 
Erika--(11 year old Foster child). She still REALLY wants to get married in the temple which is so hilarious and awesome and we love her a LOT. Loves the Book of Mormon, loves to'rythang. She's awesome.

In other news, I have realized that working with less-active members of the church is my most favorite thing of all time. Remember how we were super bummed that we only have like 2 investigators in our teaching pool? Well we have finally realized that our calling here in the Snellville ward is to reactivate the less-actives so that's exactly what we've been doing (but also not shirking our duties to find new people to teach...i promise we are still doing that). Most of our focus has been on the LA's, so therefore our "Less-active teaching pool" is MASSIVE. I have come to realize as well that I don't care if I baptize another person on my mission--if all we do is reactivate people and help them remember why being a member of the church is so awesome, then I will have considered my mission a success. :) One member in particular that we've been working with for a while CAME TO SACRAMENT for the first time in years! We were literally about to start screaming in the middle of the meeting when we saw her walk in late, but refrained because that's not socially acceptable in Mormon culture during sacrament meeting. Also there are just a million other awesome things going on with various other members of the ward and we can't even begin to express to you how pumped we are.

This week we also had an exchange with our favorites--the Stockbridge sisters! It was also my favorite exchange of all time. I went out with my good old pal Sister Emma Worsham from RIVERTON. We graduated the same year and everything...Hilarious because I didn't even know she existed in High school, but now we are forced to interact with one another in mish-lyfe. But it's fine because I love her. HERE IS THE REASON WHY I LOVE EXCHANGES SO MUCH: She basically laid down the law and told me to start being myself more and do missionary things the non-conventional way because I am "creative and non-conventional and spastic" or whatever (her words, not mine). So we have really taken that to heart--we've been "spastic" with our efforts. We jump out of the car at stop lights to hand random unsuspecting persons cards with our church address on it, we chase people down the road to invite them to church, We ask people about their dogs but end up asking them why they love Jesus Christ instead... It's been awesome. The work had been pretty lame and boring up to this point if I'm being completely honest, but the Stockbridge sisters let us know that it's okay to be creative and be yourself and HAVE FUN. That is after all why we were called to our areas--for our personalities. Exchanges answer prayers, and we have a whole new excitement for the work now. :)

Wizdum Nuggs from Sister Worsham & Sister Creech: 
"God has already outlined the picture, it's just up to us how we color it."
"Be awkward, it's fine."
"There are 3 seats open in the back of the car for a reason...God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are always with ya."

Okay that's it. I hope you're all as excited about this week as I am... Sorry if that was too over the top and spastic hahaha. I JUST LOVE MISSIONARY WORK OKAY

Okay be good, do good things, read your scriptures, and stay golden.

Sister Lawson

PS--I won a YANKEE CANDLE this week. Spent 200 points at the Relief Society auction for it so that's awesome.

1. Taking 5 because stress
3. Beautiful Indian food made by beautiful Brother Shaffer (actual tears were shed this night)
4. Brother Shaffer rubbing his "butt"
6. A cute note from Erika. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

D&C 123:17

Okay I did not use my time very wisely this week so I'm super sorry about that. This will be brief!
Here are a few semi-important things we did this week:
1. TEMPLE TRIP and sister Howell and I actually took a picture together!
2. We had to do a zone training because #STLduties. This was incredibly stressful, but ended up not being that horrible! It's weird for me training missionaries on how to be missionaries when I've only been out 5 months and don't even know myself how to be a missionary. But oh well.
3. We had our first exchange with the Conyers sisters! Exchanges are different now... both companionship's work the same area, rather than splitting up and it is SO STRESSFUL to plan for. Basically you are planning for two days in one. Planning has been my biggest weakness but thankfully the Lord has been blessing me to get things done!
4. John and Erika are progressing BEAUTIFULLY. Erika loves to read the Book of Mormon and prays every night! (Reminder: she's 11 and is a Less-active's foster child). She's also been super interested in temples lately... we found her a picture of the El Salvador temple (her homeland!) and she LOVES it--She said she wants to get married there one day! :) CUTE
5. We saw Sister C and Franklin this week (12 hairless cats lady) and Franklin has A CAT LANGUAGE. Yep, he was speaking to his cats in this language the other day. Probably the highlight of my whole mission.

Okay, I'm going to be brutally honest for a second. This week was HARD. One of the harder weeks I've had on my mission. Lots of tears shed, but also lots of answered prayers. 
It has been a huge struggle to be working hard following up with people in an effort to build up the teaching pool and seeing ZERO results. (You know how I am--I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and i like to be the best). I know that's how missionary work goes, but that doesn't make it any easier. The longer this goes on, the more Satan has been working on me. It's been difficult to feel like I'm using the Lord's time wisely when the "numbers" are low, and there aren't any results happening on the surface. I've been having a lot of negative thoughts about the impact I'm actually making as a missionary, and at times have questioned my decision to serve (as I'm sure many past missionaries can relate), so the motivation to go out and work hard has been extremely low.
One thought that has kept me going however came from my dear  companion Sister Howell and it literally changed my whole perspective. During a hard, tear filled companion study we had this week, she shared D&C 123:17 with me (somehow I've never heard this one), and it's become my new favorite scripture!

"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God and for His arm to be revealed."

This verse has been going through my head all week long. It's hard for me to put my thoughts into words so I hope this comes out the way I want it to.
Sometimes in life, we go through really hard things. Sometimes life doesn't really turn out the way we want it to and we have to change our game plan. Sometimes what we want isn't always what God wants. But no matter what, He is always going to do what is best for us, and our efforts really do matter. As long as we keep pressing forward with a happy attitude and do everything we possibly can, God will make up for the rest. 
It's really hard to see what's going on "behind the scenes" when all we can see is our own movie screen, but if we take a step back, we are able to refocus our perspective and see the big picture. Heavenly Father truly does have His hand in our lives every step of the way and He knows what is best for us! This life is short but we are going to succeed! Our efforts DO matter and we ARE doing a lot of good. I've learned a lot about gratitude this week and it's really helped me to focus on the positives of the work we are doing, despite the lack of results we've seen: The faith of our less-actives is increasing ENORMOUSLY, our investigators are progressing at a faster rate now that we have more time to focus on them, and we are definitely planting a lot of seeds. I know that my efforts matter and that Sister Howell and i are doing a lot more for this area that we realize. 
I'm thankful that God is mindful of me and my situation, and I know that He's mindful of YOURS too. Keep your chin up, it's going to all work out in the end. :)

I LOVE YOU ALL and have definitely felt your prayers this week! i appreciate you.  Also you were all my Valentines this week.

Song of the week: Never Gone--Colton Dixon. (Lots of head-banging in a spiritual way to this one)

Sister Lawson
Temple fo daaaayyyzz

Matching. On purpose. (Me and Sister Howell

Monday, February 8, 2016


Why am I so happy, you ask?

HAPPY BECAUSE I love my companion Sister Howell and I found out this week she's the funniest person I've ever met AND she has wonderful taste in TV shows and music.
HAPPY BECAUSE we came up with a new hashtag this week--#YOSMO (you only serve a mission once)
HAPPY BECAUSE we are going to the temple this week and I've missed it so so soooooooooo much.
HAPPY BECAUSE I'm super stressed to the max with STL responsibilities like training and exchanges. But stressed in the best possible way. :)
HAPPY BECAUSE we are seeing major success and miracles from practicing teaching the five lessons to the members of the ward.
HAPPY BECAUSE there are a lot of former investigators we are going to follow up with this week and may see success from that.
HAPPY BECAUSE we saw Frank this week and he didn't yell at us.
HAPPY BECAUSE we ate Steak N Shake this week <3
HAPPY BECAUSE we got to see Sister C and her 12 cats and teach Franklin!
HAPPY BECAUSE Franklin came to church yesterday!
HAPPY BECAUSE all of our lessons with investigators fell through this week but that's okay.
HAPPY BECAUSE it was Fast Sunday yesterday!
HAPPY BECAUSE John has been reading the Book of Mormon!
HAPPY BECAUSE missionary work is hard. 
HAPPY BECAUSE the weather has been beautiful.
HAPPY BECAUSE I'm actually understanding the war chapters in the Book of Mormon.
HAPPY BECAUSE I miss my family but that's okay.
HAPPY BECAUSE I have bags under my eyes because I'm tired.
HAPPY BECAUSE we didn't die on our way home from Peach Tree City in Atlanta traffic.
HAPPY BECAUSE we are so busy finding new people to share the restored gospel with!
HAPPY BECAUSE I love Jesus Christ.
HAPPY BECAUSE I love being a missionary. 
HAPPY BECAUSE my testimony is stronger than it's ever been.
HAPPY BECAUSE I know who I am--a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father.
HAPPY BECAUSE I can see my conversion deepen every day and can see my progression from week to week.
HAPPY BECAUSE I have finally started to understand the magnitude of love the Savior had for us all when we performed the Atonement. 
HAPPY BECAUSE I can use the Atonement every single day to help me get through the hard times and sad times and bad times.
HAPPY BECAUSE God loves me no matter what.
HAPPY BECAUSE He has a perfect and divine plan of happiness for all of his children, no matter their physical, emotional, mental or financial state.
HAPPY BECAUSE I have the privilege of sharing that knowledge with His children in Georgia every single day.

I know that this email is super cliche.

I don't know how to close it up so i'll leave it at that haha.
Love Sister Lawson

Songs of the week:
"Touchdown Jesus"--Tim McGraw
"That Old King James"--Scotty McCreary
(Sister Howell has converted me to Christian Country music. D*NG IT)

Some favorite quotes of the week from Sister Howell:
"TOTES DEF." x1000000 every day.... #whitegirlinATL
"I don't really like boxed nuggets so you can just make some dino nuggets for yourself, i just want some for the pictures i'm gonna take."
*reads Numbers 13:33 to me in comp study* "Moral of the story is we are not grasshoppers."
"I'm going to convert Scotty McCreary so we can get married."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mucho Miracles

Oh my heck, I'm still dying because my new companion is Sister Howell who was actually in my YSA ward at USU! SMALL WORLD! It's mostly hilarious because we talked on Facebook before coming out and joked around about us becoming companions and now here we are!

Fun facts about Sister Howell:
1. She LOVES the weirdest things: Vinegar, black licorice and chocolate covered raisins. She says she could drink vinegar, she loves it so much.
2. She has a beautiful singing voice! mostly she loves to sing Italian arias if that gives you a clue of her skill level. :)
3. She is basically a Disney princess I decided.
4. She's been out 8 months and served the entirety of that time in Tucker/Norcross area.

This week in Snellville was BUSY.
Most of the time was spent going to see members and getting Sister Howell introduced to everyone. We have been running around everywhere! But she's a champ and is handling it well. :) It's been fun to watch her get to know everyone and it's funny because i'm starting to realize how unique our ward actually is hahaha.
The amount of people we are teaching is really small. When i say really small, I mean it's about the size of 1. Being the one taking the lead in the area, I decided to completely scrap most of those we were teaching because there was very little progress being made and I couldn't figure out why we had held onto them for so long in the first place. So Sister Howell and I will be starting almost entirely from scratch which I am pumped about! It's good to get some new blood in the area... it was feeling pretty dry. But yeah, I've got this whole new fire for missionary work. I mean Ive always had "greenie fire" but this is something different. It's exciting to just get a change sometimes!

We've had a ton of success with seeing less actives in the ward lately... that has become one of my favorite things about missionary work. Getting to work with people who haven't been for a while and befriending them and helping them come back into activity. :) One person we've been working with hasn't come for almost 20 years, so he remembers very little about the doctrine. We pretty much just teach him like an investigator. But this week, he told us HE KNOWS THE CHURCH IS TRUE! this is a huge step for him so we were so excited! :)
We also have been working with an older woman in the ward who is like 78 and is still fostering children for a living. Right now, she has an 11 year old girl named Erica and a baby boy who are THE CUTEST. Sister Howell and I have really connected with her. Hanging out with her kind of reminds me of those Oakcrest days :) So this week, we were reading scriptures together and Erica wanted her own Book of Mormon because she gets bored sitting around the house and she also wanted to come to church this week! WHICH SHE DID! We had to do this mad-treasure hunt to find her a dress, but mission accomplished. She totally came to church! We really love Erica. Since she's a foster child, there are all these complications with actually being able to teach her, so right now we are just loving her and giving her some friendship and trying to plant some seeds for further down the road. 

The best part of the week by far was introducing Sister Howell to my FAVE sis C (the one with 12 hairless cats). Man, she's a trip! I'll attach a picture she was showing us this week that was the highlight of my life that i asked her to email me.

We were driving down the road, and all of a sudden BOOM! I got hit with the Spirit so hard that we needed to go see her and she was right down the road. So we go and SHE WAS HOME. Oh my heck, it was crazy. And such a happy reunion! I haven't seen her since my 2nd day out was nuts. But yeah, she's doing great and we are gonna try to see her again later this week. :) THE SPIRIT IS SO COOL.

There were so many other miracles this week that it's almost impossible to count them, and some of them are too sacred to share. One thing that was many very apparent to me as we went about working this week was that God truly is mindful of ALL of His children, no matter the circumstances. He cares about us individually and knows exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. If we are doing the work, God will put us into the paths of those who truly need to feel of His love. I have a strong testimony of the power of prayer, and following the promptings of the spirit and I know that He is ALWAYS there.

Welp, that's all folks.
Stay sassy.

Sister Lawson
1. The classiest and the sassiest District.
2. Us, Kate and Kangaroo scrotum coin pouch (don't ask)
(sorry no pics of me and Sis Howell because I stink)
3. The 12 hairless cats of Sister C