Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Blessings in Disguise...

Welp, all of our investigators decided to not contact us back this week sooooo it was a good one! :) but on the bright side...SO MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAPPENED THIS WEEK.

The first being this: FAITH WENT TO THE TEMPLE. AND I GOT TO SEE ALL MY SNELLVILLE FRIENDS AGAIN. Ah man, life is so good. Shenelle was going to come as well but sadly she got sick the day before and couldn't make it. But! Baptisms with Faith was a beautiful experience. :) As she was about to go down into the font, she had the biggest smile on her face that I've ever seen! Man, I love that girl. Proud of her!
The second beautiful thing: If i haven't mentioned Mr. EJ yet, i'm really sorry. He's a 95 year old WW2 veteran we've been visiting for a while. Originally, we would go visit him once in a while just to give him company because he's lonely and he's "been baptist for 45 years and they'd disown me if i ever went to your church!" so we've been seeing him for the last couple of months. In those few months, i've met a pretty large portion of his family members who are all the nicest people ever! This past week, we met his grandson's girlfriend Y. while they were down visiting Mr. EJ who was actually learning from the missionaries in Norcross before they moved! We saw her a couple of times this week and mostly just answered a lot of the questions she had about the church. When i say "a lot of questions", i really mean A LOT OF QUESTIONS. One after another after another after another....We probably could have stayed for hours if we could. it was actually pretty awesome, she just really wanted to know! We left her with a Book of Mormon and an assignment to read something from it, and each day we came back over and answered more questions she had and that she had written down since then. I've never seen anything like it! 

After each visit, she became more and more interested in coming to church, and she actually ended up coming! 

The most beautiful thing of the week: When Y. came to church, she had her paper and pen ready, and had it flying across the paper throughout all of sacrament meeting. Then we went to Gospel Principles class and the lesson was on "Family Responsibilities". Now in the days leading up to this, I had gotten the sense that Y. came from a difficult past with a lot of family troubles, but didn't know to what extent. During the class, there was a discussion about how we each would describe our families, and as we went along the line, people said really happy things about how much they love their families, and i got more and more nervous because i really didn't know what she was going to say. It came to me, and i said "My family is the best group of friends God ever gave me and the only ones i want to struggle and go through life with." and then it was Y.'s turn. She started by saying "My family situation is really different from the rest of yours..." and then she listed off some the really, really hard things she had experienced in her life in regards to her family and had tears falling from her eyes after each thing she said. The whole room was silent and in tears themselves, and when she finished, a less-active woman in the class said to her "Y., thank you for sharing. You are so strong, and I want to let you know right now that you are in the right place. God led you here to this church because he knows how much peace it can bring you in your life, and how much happiness it can give you and your future family. Your past was hard, but that doesn't mean the future has to be. Heavenly Father loves you and has not left you alone." It was the most powerful moment i've ever experienced on my mission, and after the class was over, we asked her "Do you feel different here?" and she said "Yes. i am so glad i came today."

I testify to each of you today that God loves all of His children so much. No matter what past you come from, what mistakes you've made, how torn up you are, how broken or how beaten down you might feel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing on earth that can take those broken pieces and put them back together. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church on the earth today with the power and authority given from God to bind families together forever on earth and in heaven, and to fulfill His glory purpose of "bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"! (or in other words, making us "eternally happy parents :)") 
Although a majority of this week was crappy, that one hour of church made it all (and the hard parts of the last 9 months) all so so worth it. I love my Savior, I love this work and I love this gospel.

"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." D&C 123:17

Til next time,
Sister Lawson :)

1. Faith (from Snellville) and Sister Howell at the temple.
2. Temple again :)
3. Snellville YW and a few distracted ones.
4. A scary sign i saw on the door this week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gator Updates. . .

It was a pretty decent week everyone!
met some nice people,
ate some nice food...
life is good.

Shout out to Bailey for meeting Zachary Levi in New York this week! WAY JEALOUS. I hope you kissed him for me because missionary.

Important updates:
Paulina: actually not getting baptized this weekend. Unfortunately she's a teenager and forgets that effort is required for a lot of things, so we had a chat about that and she's going to try harder! Her new date is July 9th. We'll see what happens! 

Amber: I don't know if i've ever actually talked about Amber. She's someone sisters have been teaching for about a year and a half...she loves the missionaries, and has been trying to figure out if this is the path she needs to take in her life. But Jesus Christ is hard for her to accept because she doesn't understand how one man could take upon Him everyone's sins...so we've been working on that through prayer. Also the past month has been really hard for amber with a lot of boyfriend drama and just way too much crap for one person to handle. But this week was awesome! She came to church last week with her daughter Sophie, and really loved it--especially one brother's talk about eternal families. We've been praying for the last few weeks to know how to help her get answers about if this is the right path, and it hit us like a ton of bricks that we really just needed to get her committed to quitting smoking--scary because she looooveeesss to smoke (weird, i know). But when we explained how we got our revelation, she said "you know, i've been feeling the same way. I think you're right, i can do that." MONEYYYY. So for the first time in my mission, i'm helping someone quit smoking and it's really scary and hard because i've never done it so prayers on Amber's behalf would be wonderful.

Jenneveen: Someone Sister Leyba had been "casually" teaching the transfer prior to this. I can't remember if i'd mentioned her before either, but yeah. She's come to church like 4-ish times and pays her tithing which rules haha. We had a solid lesson with her this week where we just let her know that we aren't messing around anymore and told her (nicely) she needs to do more if she wants to find out if this is the true church or not. We're pretty sure she already knows it is, but she's kind of stubborn and doesn't want to say it haha.

Skyler: I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT HER. We knocked on her door the other day and she just flat out was like "yeah, i'm really positive God doesn't exist so bye" but thankfully questions just started spewing out of my mouth about how she started to believe that and she ended up talking to us for a good 45 minutes on the doorstep telling us about how growing up, she was Baptist but had never gotten answers to prayers and felt like she was just talking in the dark whenever she did pray. She didn't understand how God could love every single person and thing that's ever lived or ever will live on the earth and logically, it just really didn't make sense. We got to go testimony-crazy and let her know how to pray, and how to know if she's gotten an answer, what the spirit feels like, the whole 9 yards. she also had a ton of super cool questions about the Plan of Salvation--she was interested in our beliefs about "heaven and hell". Then Sister Francom and I each got to share our own stories of how we came to know the Book of Mormon was true and it was SO COOL. We know she felt the spirit, and afterwards she was like "Well if you know it's true, then i would really like to know for myself because it's a terrible, empty feeling to feel like there's nothing more after this." So yeah, Skyler is the bomb and so ready for the gospel, it's unreal. We're seeing her next week so prayers for Skyler would also be awesome!

Ummm.... other awesome things:
-We went to this cool Muslim mosque interfaith-dinner thing the other day and ate some good middle-eastern food. My bucket list item of attending a Muslim activity was fulfilled. #ImWayCulture 
-A man at church on sunday literally imitated himself smacking his children on the bum for a solid 5 minutes during his talk over the pulpit. And our investigators were there. <3

Welp i think that's all for now.....LOVE YOU ALL BYE.

Also, I'm going to invite all of you right now to go read Moses 7:28-40 and think about how much God loves you. If you think He doesn't, read those verses and THINK AGAIN. then go pray about it. :) LOVE YOU ALL BYE

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Motherhood is Easy, HUMP DAY (9 Months to GO)

Motherhood is easy.
Yep, my new companion is Sister Francom from South Jordan, UT! We actually have a mutual friend named Brother Davis so that's really fun. Here are some of her many talents:
1. Bike repairs.
2. Mountain biking.
3. Computer fixing skills.
4. Family history skills.
5. Multiple other skills worthy of wife-hood. (Boys: SHE'LL BE AVAILABLE IN 18 MONTHS.)

So yeah! it's been a really good, fun, stress-filled week. I feel like I'm back at Oakcrest being a counselor all over again...someone following me around everywhere, asking lots of questions and constantly asking for a water break because "it's so hot!". Classic.
I know that everyone says this about their greenies most of the time, but i literally don't teach her anything...she already knows it all and came pre-trained out of the womb. She's a better teacher than me, more optimistic and happy than me, and definitely is way more of everything than me. i basically just teach her how to fill out teaching records and stuff, and she teaches me the rest of the basics that i forgot about how to be a missionary haha. Life is good.

Guys! I hit 9 MONTHS this past week! Unfortunately the day was so busy that i didn't even realize it...we didn't get to celebrate at all :(
The humidity is getting killer! I'm already dying and we're not even to August yet.... yikes. I never have to use the restroom throughout the day because I'm sweating out all the water i take in...graphic, sorry.

Paulina: not sure yet if she's getting baptized on June 25th anymore...She didn't come to church this Sunday and it's pretty crucial for her to be coming as close to her baptism as she is right now. I'm just stressed out about it because her whole family came in from out of town for the baptism and i don't want to cause problems! Stress levels are high right now but it's fine. Major prayers on her behalf would be great!

The majority of the work right now is being focused on repairing shattered relationships with ward members and the ward council from previous management (......) so that we can get something good rolling around when we've got more people to teach! We're cleaning out the ward roster because we literally know no one, and there are tons of less actives and stuff... and are getting to know as many members of the ward as possible because prior to this, I was introduced to maybe 5 solid families. So yep, that's another thing causing a lot of stress because it's A LOT of work. But it's good because we made a game out of it: "Ward Roster Hunting" feat. Lawson and Francom. Prizes include Watermelon Sour Patch Kids and firefly hunting when we find someone new, or discover a "Do Not Contact" member on the roster. Good times!

So yeah, that's where we are at right now, and I'm really excited about it all. :)

I'm going to invite everyone right now to go read a talk by Sheri Dew called "Will you engage in the wrestle?" because it's amazing. DO IT NOW.

Okay i love you all! BYE

1. District selfie feat. Sis Welch's cookies.
2. Mr. EJ being cute.
3. Sister Hines (I live with her) and we hit our HUMP DAY together.
4. Someone who loves Jesus and displays it on their roof.
5. Mother-Daughter: Our first bathroom selfie together.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Hey y'all!
So the transfer news is in........I'll be staying in Peachtree City one more transfer anddddd GETTING A GREENIE! So weird....I am so inadequate and unprepared but oh well haha.

Highlights of the week:
-Last Pday we went fishing. It was my first time since last year with my pal Kyler (shoutout to you in Ohio!) and we KILLED it. We caught 30+ fish, no lie. Also probably my favorite Pday of all time. We decided it would be really southern to buy some camo and wear it to go fishing so you know that's what we did. (pictures attached).

-Paulina is still doing awesome! she's away at a camp this week but we'll see her next week and continue to get everything ready for the baptism! Satan is throwing a lot of junk her way though, so we'll be praying hard for her.

-FUN STORY: This week on exchanges with the STL's, we were out tracting and there were probably 3 yard sales happening on one street (MONEYYY for finding). We got talking to the people at one--not interested at all. Then we saw their neighbors out at their car and talked to them really fast--not interested "already have a church home". Then we go to the next yard sale and he's all "I'm a pastor, and all these people on this street go to my church every Sunday. You've got no chance!" k. So i ended up just asking him stuff about his ministry like mad...his favorite things to talk about in his sermons, what this week's was going to be about...that kind of thing. He said this week they were going to talk about emotions, and specifically love! And i was like BINGO. So we were able to get him to accept a Book of Mormon and left him with a commitment to read Moroni 7 about charity to help him "study" for his sermon :) It was pretty fun! When we had first started talking to him, he was completely closed off to us and didn't want us to be at his house at all. But because we followed promptings and tried to just be a real person with him, he allowed us to leave a Book of Mormon with him and our testimonies of the love God has for all of His children! So anyway...the rest of the fun story is this: we went to the THIRD yard sale on the street, and i saw the cutest shoes of all time sitting in a pile for FIFTY CENTS. Butttt i only had 45. So we sprinted back to the car, dug around for a good 5 minutes and found one penny after another until we had the whole $0.50 we needed and I yelled out in excitement and got the shoes! Then she's all "hey, do you want this pair too? They're Italian. I'll give them to you for free." Um k. So basically i got 2 pairs of shoes for $0.50 and one of them is fancy and Italian. #PeachtreeCity, and contacted 2 solid people for the other sisters to follow up with! Success.

Overall this week, there was a lot of growth and tons more "drops of awesome" than i can even write about. this week it was just made so apparent to me that God loves us and just wants us to be happy! Being on the "path of discipleship" is meant to be hard, but simple. Just do what he asks of you and everything will always work out. :)

Sister Lawson

1. The picture of Faith I promised!
2-4. Last Pday's adventures fishing and feeding a DONKEY. cute.
5. The 3rd puzzle we've finished this transfer in the apartment..it's our stress reliever. This one was a BEAST.
6. Sister Kanongata'a on exchanges...the only pair of clothes I brought and she refused to change because she wanted to "match" me...it's fine. We look good.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


I'm sorry, I'm almost out of time!
I feel like I've been saying this a lot lately and I'm really sorry about it but this week was HARD. And it's becoming progressively harder and harder to find the energy to write a weekly email so again, I'm really sorry about that.
I had a lot of personal growth this week. We are going through a lot of trials here in PTC and I'm sorry to be so vague, but yep. it's a little rough.

The biggest "drop of awesome" this week by far was going to Snellville on Saturday for Faith's baptism! :) Walking back into that room for the baptism and seeing all my old friends felt a little like I'd imagine the reunion in Heaven to be like (ignore my bad grammar). I got teary eyed on multiple occasions and had a good cry when I had to say goodbye again! Gosh, Snellville is seriously going to have my heart for eternity.

Faith is amazing. I'm sad I wasn't there for the whole process of her preparing for baptism, but I'm honored i could be there for her semi-beginning! Although she's only 15, she carries herself with more class and maturity than anyone I've ever met. She truly does know who she is and how much her Heavenly Father loves her!
After she came up out of the water, she held her face in her hands and sobbed. Gah! The spirit is so good. :)

I'm sorry again there isn't much more detail in this, but i know that "all these things shall be for my benefit and for my gain." :)
Men are that they might have JOY!


Sister Lawson

Sister Howell and I reuniting. :)

I Love Fireflies

I really don't know what to say this week! I'm exhausted.

Paulina is still super excited about baptism, Molly has been dropped because it's just not going anywhere soooo....I dunno. But! we did steal one of the ladies the elders were teaching because we accidentally knocked into her and she liked us better so that was hilarious and awkward haha. Her name is Sue! She's older and has a dog that looks exactly like her...it's cute.

I mostly just have a lot of semi-funny stories and happy facts this week i guess....sorry, this is sort of lame today! I'm almost out of time!
1. FIREFLIES EXIST IN GEORGIA! It's so beautiful!
2. We recently learned that there was a Five Guys around here and we've been more times this week than I'd care to tell you because you'll all look down on me haha.
3. I finally got a pedigree chart to map all the families here in this ward. it's pretty crazy and elaborate, i forgot to take a picture of it haha.
4. *CREEPY STORY* (mom you probably should skip this next part if you're going to freak out):
The Spanish elders gave us this referral for a lady named L. We pull into the trailer park where she lives and find the house number, and as soon as we got out of the car, the most grotesque smell i've ever smelled came wafting out of the trailer and we said "crap". We see her neighbor outside and decide to talk to her before we went to L's and she's all "Yeah, L told me she was a demon and her mother was a witch. When she got baptized, she said 'it didn't take'...she gives me the creeps." UM K THANKS NEIGHBOR. So anyway...we didn't know what to do so all we did was pray with her and left. But yeah, she was pretty sketchy and i didn't even give you all the details because i love you too much haha.
5. In an effort to shake up our finding efforts, we did a ton of store-contacting this week which was incredibly awkward and unsuccessful! :) (store-contacting: walking up to random people in stores who really don't want to talk to you and avoid it at all costs).

Overall it was just a bit of a slower week...lots of effort put into it, but not many results. Pretty burnt out, I'll be honest.
But it's all good! The work goes on. :)

Love you all!

1. A cute manatee mailbox  
2. Post-correlation pillow fights
3. Lake Peach Tree and my pretty companion