Monday, February 20, 2017

Serving in Salem . . . & Woodburn

Week #49 

You know you're a missionary in the Oregon Salem Mission when you actually get to serve in Salem!

Just when you think that you will have a normal week . . . I was in a trio for the 5th time of my mission! Emergency transfers aren't my favorite, but this one was super fun actually. We have been with Hermana DeRobles in Salem. Well, we have been in both Woodburn and Salem which has been . . . Interesting. Having two huge Spanish areas 30 minutes away by freeway is stressful, but we have made it work. We had two correlation meetings and two district meetings and I feel like we need two Pdays to recover. We went to Sacrament meeting three times yesterday which turned out to be awesome. (An English ward where all the missionaries were asked to sing for a young man leaving on a mission, next the Salem Spanish Ward and then back to Woodburn to their home Spanish Branch). I received personal revelation that I wouldn't have without the emergency transfer. Heavenly Father really does know where we need to be. 

It's probably a good thing that this companionship has only lasted a week. We have way too much fun. Not many pictures to prove it, but my journal entries have been pages long this last week.

The week started out pretty normal. On Monday after Pday we went over and contacted one of our investigators that we haven't been able to find for a while which was good. Tuesday was Valentine's Day! We went and "heart attacked" the members' doors and it was a lot of fun. One of our members has a crazy rooster that can kill so we only put it on her fence and we only got caught roughly 6 times (out of 23) the whole day. For us, that's pretty good. I really wanted to wear something with hearts on it for Valentine's Day so guess what I wore. The only piece of clothing that I had with hearts was a nightgown I got at Walmart for fun. So I wore it. No one could even tell, though I do think my companion thinks I'm even more crazy now.

We met a man at Dutch Bros. He was so excited to see us. It was hilarious. He saw our tags and said "Sister missionaries! Have you been to the temple!?" I wish that I could imitate his voice through email, because it was so funny. He was so excited. He told us that he was pretty much Mormon and knew about all of the missions in Oregon. I really wondered if he was a member at first because he knew so much. He is friend with a member of one of the English wards and so he did come to church yesterday. We talked to him for a little bit and I've been thinking about him a lot this week. Maybe his friend's example of going on a mission will help him come even closer to the Gospel so that he can partake of the wonderful blessings.

Wednesday we got a call from Hermana DeRobles and got the news that we needed to be in Salem that night so from then on our streak of crazy weeks this transfer continued. We started off with a doctor appointment and didn't stop laughing from then on. It's like a week long exchange. There was a baptism in Salem on Saturday that we helped with. Of course we all know what bad luck I am with filling the fonts. The water would not heat up at first. It's the curse of Hermana Murphey!

This week we contacted some referrals. We have two new investigators that I am so excited to teach. We also contacted another one and the conversation went something like this:
Hermanas: We are looking for Acosta
Acosta: Oh I don't know who you are looking for. 
Hermanas: Oh, well what's your name.
Acosta: Acosta. . . but I don't know what other man you are looking for. . .

My mission (with all of it's hard and funny moments) has become such a blessing to me. This week in one of our district meetings we talked aobut why we decided to come on missions. We then talked about why we have decided to stay. Wehn I try to think back and remember deciding to come on a mission, I had a lot of reasons. Good reasons, but I've realized that though I had good intentions I really was thinking a lot about myself as I prepared. I thought about the experiences I would have, the friendships I would develop, the language I would learn. There are a lot of "I"s in there. It was not intentional at all, but it is easy to think that as you prepare to become a missionary. The reason I want to continue to be a missionary is much less about me. It's become about the people. My family here and my family at home. Most of all, my Heavenly Father. I'm very imperfect and I have to constantly remind myself that that is and should be the reason. If I keep it that way, then it truly is a blessing. And not just to me.

I'm staying in Woodburn with Hermana Jensen for another transfer woot woot! We have so much work to do and I am so excited to keep working here. Elders are taking over the Salem area that we are covering right now so we will only be in Woodburn again. Other news on Transfers is that I'm going to be an abuela! I found out that Hermana Hunt will be training! I'm so excited for her!

Les quiero,

La Hermana Lauren

Last pictures with Woodburn District before transfers

Elder Bankhead, Elder Beard, Elder Patterson, Elder Kehl
Hermana DeRobles, Hermana Jensen, Hermana Dickson

Hmas DeRobles, Jensen, Dickson & Elders Bankhead, Beard, Patterson, Kehl

Serving in Salem

Zone Meeting

Surprise photo from Alicia Marin (a member in their branch. Surprise photos are the best!)

Last night with Hermana DeRobles

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