Monday, October 27, 2014

Week #10 - Let it Rain!!!

Hello guys!!

This week has been AWESOME. I have finally experienced Florida! We had a ginormous rainstorm  that soaked us within minutes. We were walking to the car, opened the door, and just froze! It was pouring, so we grabbed our umbrellas and booked it to the car. We hoped that it would stop raining before we arrived to our area to Harvest, but no. I had been reading in the Book of Mormon that day about Samuel the Lamanite. He was perfectly obedient to the Lord when asked to return back to the city to proselyte even though he had to get creative in order to teach; he climbed up a wall!! We needed to do an hour of Harvesting; so we got creative. No one would open their door to us, so we offered our umbrellas to people, and stopped them in the street or just walked in the rain proudly showing our nametags and smiling - that shouts the gospel message right there. When people see us walking around in crazy rain and SMILING (the streets were so flooded that cars were dying in the puddles and you couldn't see the street), then people will KNOW that we have a good reason. So worth it :) I've never had so much fun on my mission than I did in that single one hour - even though it was miserable!
My feet are getting thrashed!

 My Spanish is getting better. I've been able to understand the people 10 times better, but I still can't speak as well as I would like. In a recent prayer I thanked the Lord for the grapes (uvas) falling from the heavens instead of rain (llueve) and blessed someone with congratulations (felicitaciones) instead of happiness (felices). It's bad!! Not to mention my dreaming. That's has gotten WAY worse. Now, Hna McAfee and I straight up team-teach in our sleep. We will have conversations and teach people - we literally have language study in our sleep :) !! 

We have been teaching a lot of less-actives who require some extra effort. During one of our most recent teaching appointments, we were talking about the Word of Wisdom with Pascual. Behind us was a carful who were VERY drunk. Ironic!! Anyway, all of a sudden one stumbles out of his car and walks around towards us. We were a little wary....he just pulled down his pants and started peeing. In public. Yep!! I had earlier turned away and was missing the whole thing, so when our investigator got a little wide-eyed I turned to see what was the deal.  Hna McAfee pounced on me to cover my eyes and yelled, "Don't look mi hija (my daughter)!" Don't worry Mom, I've got a real good mother here in Florida, too :) 

I've been learning a lot in the Book of Mormon about names and the significance they hold. If this gospel isn't true, someone has just pulled off the greatest sham known to MAN! EVERYTHING connects to everything and the symbolism is through the roof!! Now instead of just reading a scripture, I scavenge through verses trying to more fully understand exactly how things connect. I am so sad that I have spent 19 years of my life merely skimming the surface of the scriptures. I see all of the things that I've been missing and just want to beat my old self because it is all so RICH! The Lord promises us that if we put in our effort, He will give us blessings like crazy. That's how I feel right now. I was also reading in 3 Nephi 3:2-10 and couldn't help but notice the similiarities between the evil guy in this passage and Satan. Satan was literally using him as a mouth piece because he is still all upset about not being the chosen Messiah. Read it!! You will understand what I mean. It'll blow your mind! Everything that Satan does is because he is still stuck in the PAST. He can't move past his failures or not getting things his way - which makes me realize that if we are doing that, we are following Satan. Move on. Don't dwell in the past. Allow the Atonement to change you!


Miracle this week: Andrea is our 15 yr old and has been prepared by our Heavenly Father for 2 YEARS! Her cousin has been asking her for 2 years if she will get baptized but she just hasn't felt ready. We met her when we were harvesting and immediately she felt differently. She took us as a sign that she was supposed to get baptized. We had planned to teach the lesson about the 10 commandments, but instead talked only about Moroni 10:3-5 for an hour. We talked about her fears about baptism, why she didn't feel ready, and how she could know if she was ready. We asked her to kneel and to ask her Father in Heaven if she was ready right then. When she finished praying we asked her how she felt. She said her chest felt all warm and full. We testified this was the Spirit and asked her if she would be baptized. SHE SAID YES! When we continued talking with her about her baptism, she started saying "I think I'm ready", but then stopped herself and said, "I KNOW I'm ready". They are so loved by the Lord and we ADORE our investigators. We have 4 people set up to be baptized within the next 3 weeks :) 

Carving pumpkins at a Zone Activity
Our pumpkin was the Tree of Life!
I love you all, see you next week!

Hna Lake

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week #9 - Eat a gator before it eats you!!!

Hola Familia!
Quote of Florida: Eat gator before it eats you. Yeah, .....awesome!! 

So lets just have a small freak out moment with Hermana Lake. Guys, today is my TWO MONTH MARK. I only have 16 months left!! Nooooo!! I love you all so much but my mission is "manna to my taste."
This week was one of focus. We worked so hard! I've also been able to realize how much the Lord knows us and how much I have to learn. Hna McAfee and I  had a heart-to-heart this week and I was blown away with the woman that she is. The Lord knows how to make us the best missionaries possible if we will only ask Him to show us how. I hadn't realized the ways the Lord was trying to make me a better person, a better missionary, and a better daughter of God. Hna McAfee helped open my eyes this week. I understand my weaknesses even more clearly but I also better understand how the Lord is going to turn them into strengths and how I must do my part. Hna M. was extremely profound this week and said "The Gospel makes Boys into Men". It is so TRUE! Through the gospel of Jesus Christ we BECOME men and women of our Heavenly Father and GROW! I love this church to stinkin' much!! 

One of our investigators asked us this week if we were angels. We were in the middle of a lesson and we were reiterating that we were representatives of Jesus Christ and he goes, "You could be angels right?"...we were both a little shocked and said, "No." However, later that week I was reading in Alma 13 and in verses 22-27 it talks about angels. These people think we are angels because they have the Light of Christ which allows them to recognize the principles that they understood in the pre-mortal life. In lessons we present the truth and their spirits recognize that our message is of God. They recognize our purpose and the spirit we carry is of God. Of course they would think we are angels! We are doing the work of angels! Check out the verses, they are pretty cool.

One of our Less Actives name is Pedro. He is pretty cool guy from Guatemala who only comes up to my shoulder....or smaller. Not sure. Anyways, he lives in a very run down area and where many occupants cannot afford to live alone or with only their family. When we held a lesson about the Restoration with Pedro (HIS UNCLE LISTENED TO THE WHOLE THING!! MIRACLE!), we asked him to call us when he finished reading the assigned scriptures to tell us what he learned. We got home and Pedro called. But after talking to him for about 2 minutes he all the sudden starts speaking very rapidly in Spanish and hangs up. Later he calls us back and tells us that someone had broken into their house and stole a phone and Pedro's wallet. Pedro starts telling us how he is scared because the guy had a pistol. We told him to just run if someone chased him and that he could run fast. He just said, "They don't give me time to run!" Hna McAfee told him to just ask really nicely next time. He calmed down as we joked with him and he ended up laughing. 

Carolina is still being very stubborn about the priesthood authority. We've explained it multiple times but she refuses to listen to the promptings the Lord is giving her. Guys, pride is the downfall of all men and women. We were straight up honest with her and explained that Satan is going to do everything he can to keep her from being baptized, testified to her, and read super spiritual scriptures. We left that lesson so pumped because of how strong the spirit was....but she just ignored it. We continue to work with her and pray for her but we'll see. 

One miracle that we saw this week had to do with Olga and her family. We invited them to a party our ward had like two weeks ago and she just barely had time to meet with us. We went over to teach her and they were hanging on our every word. They accepted baptism and when we tried to leave, they kept asking us questions. I NOW UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ELECT! This family didn't want us to leave without knowing that we would come over again. They cherish the words of God and are open to how the Lord can change their lives through our message. I also got to see my purpose a little more fully. I loved them so immediately that I just couldn't imagine not working my hardest to see this sweet family sealed forever. I viewed them how the Savior did, and loved them as He does.  

This work is real. The gospel of Jesus Christ is TRUE. Don't ever turn your back on the things it can teach to you. I've been studying a lot on the ways that Satan works against us and have had my eyes OPENED. He is a sneaky and dangerous man. In Hel 3:23 it talks about how the people didn't know about the Gadianton Robbers so they couldn't get rid of it. If you don't know about the can't get rid of him! I don't ever want to be ignorant to the workings of one as dangerous as him. Gird up your LOINS!!!! :) :)  

Have a great week! Love you all!!

Hna Lake


Monday, October 13, 2014


Hello 'Erebody! 



Hna McAfee and I have started blasting hymns in the car and singing at the top of our lungs to pump ourselves up right before Harvesting. Apparently this last time, we just got way to pumped up. We were out harvesting and passed a man who was working on his car outside. We started talking to him about the light of Christ and gave him a pass along card. Sister McAfee said that if he needed anything to call us and if he needed help with the car, we could come back in jeans and help. I'm not quite sure why or if I really was aware of what I was doing but I looked at him, put my arms up and flexed my muscles and said, "Grrrr!!" He just gave me a funny look of surprise and started laughing. I think I could remember the Spanish word for strong or strength so I was trying to explain to him the universal language of signs that we really could help him with his car. Regardless....I hope I brightened his day because I surely brightened Hna McAfee's! I STILL have not lived it down. 

Another random during a lesson with some Cubanos. If you have ever heard a "Fresh of the Boat Cuban", you will understand that I understand almost nothing. They drop everything after the first syllable when speaking. Yikes!! During a lesson, we were talking about lizard's for some reason and I didn't know the word for lizard. I tried to demonstrate by putting my arms up like lizard's arms when they run and then I stuck my tongue out - AT THE INVESTIGATOR!! WHYYYY?!?! Who knows? She didn't laugh.....but we got a return date! Maybe the gift of tongues just works through different people.....I also try to channel it through sign language... 

Apparently, I am so eager to share the gospel all the time that I even share it in my sleep. The other night I was teaching discussions in my sleep, in SPANISH, and would sit up and wave my arms around to elaborate. When I couldn't understand how to say something in Spanish, I would say it a couple times and then look over at Hna McAfee for her to confirm I was saying it right (Just like I do in lessons). One time I apparently tried to say something but couldn't...  so I just said,  "I don't know how to say this but ARE YOU FEELING THE SPIRIT??" Another time I apparently got mad because the investigator wasn't listening to me or something and said,  "Listen, this is really important!!" Basically, when I woke up the next morning, I felt as if I hadn't slept at all. When I woke up to exercise, Sister McAfee asked, "So how many investigators did you teach last night?" I was SO confused, so she explained it all to me. I figured I could make your lives a little brighter with this story :)

Another funny is more Spanish mix ups. I said "Sacred Blood' when I was trying to say "sweet blood" while explaining about the mosquitoes. I then forgot that NO is all languages. An recent convert was texting us and just sent me a "NO" but was confused because he doesn't speak English.  I was VERY confused. Yikes guys..... Also my height freaks out the Latinos. When they talk to us, they will not look directly at me. They look at Sister McAfee just fine and then eventually make some comment about my height; I then make a joke about it and they can talk to me. Apparently 5'10.5 is just too much for them? 

I learned in the Book of Mormon more about Satan and the way that he works against us. I was reading in Alma about Amalickiah and I decided to focus upon the tactics that he uses because - man oh man, he is EVIL!! The more I read, the more I understood that Satan works differently with each of us. One way he really works against Sisters is to shoot down their self confidence. If a sister is eating unhealthy and not exercising well....Satan attacks. I've seen it with multiple Sisters here in my Zone. It makes me want to cry. I have also tried to find out exactly how Satan works against me. He focuses on our little nooks and crannies. If you study about it, you will learn how better to protect yourself. That's what I do!

A miracle was with a man named Servando. I was frustrated because I wanted to badly to speak the language so I could actually teach and talk to these amazing investigators, but the barrier was still there. I just don't know enough of the language to be as effective as I wish to. When I explained this to Hna McAfee, she pointed out a scripture. As I read in Alma 9:21 I remembered that I was a set apart missionary that had been given special gifts but that these gifts would not be mine if I didn't claim them. I then remembered the scripture that says "take no thought what ye should say beforehand.." I knelt down and prayed to my Heavenly Father asking Him to help me. I was so scared of speaking because of my own insecurity and doubts but when I put those aside....I knew that the Lord could do all. I asked that He would help me to focus and to allow me to drop all of these things. During the lesson, my fears were gone! I could almost completely understand our investigator and when I spoke to him, he understood me! The lesson went well and I know it was because of the Lord. This experience gave me the boost to have courage when talking to random people and to just let the Lord use me. He will if we let him. He will do all IF WE LET HIM. 

Another miracle: We went to the temple with Marco. It was such a good experience. He felt the spirit and wanted to go inside. Well we told him we could help him with that. Just one year! :) We weren't sure it would work out, but a member made it ALL work out at the last minute. He called us purely on a prompting. The Spirit works through the members, too. I couldn't do what I am called to do without people in the ward.
 Guys, the temple truly is a House of the Lord. It is our sanctuary. I want to go in SO BADLY but I know I will have to wait for 18 months. SO... I'm going to pull a missionary and commit all who CAN to go to the temple this week. I want my mom to receive texts that you went and she will forward them on to me! I cannot go but YOU CAN. The temple is waiting and is open for you. Go, partake of the blessings!! We went to teach one of our less actives the other day, but when we showed up...he was drunk. He had just been talking about getting his temple recommend renewed two days before and Satan ATTACKED him. His family, his girlfriend, his desires all went crazy. He just fell apart. Living worthily and attending the temple often protects us! That is the power of the temple! THAT is the power that you can have - Satan wants you as far away from it as possible. We may feel that we are too busy or other things are more important; however, guess what!?!. One of Satan's tactics is distraction. DO NOT GET DISTRACTED. Read Alma 43-52 - it talks a lot about the ways in which Satan works.  

I love you all. Be safe. Remember your goals. STUDY YOUR SCRIPTURES AND ACTUALLY SAY YOUR PRAYERS. These two things will make or break your LIFE!! 

Hna Lake

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week #7 - I love Florida!

HELLLOOooo family!

SO, let's get the obvious out of the way. The humidity in Florida is nasty, but wonderful! I love it here! I already have a dandy tan line on my feet from my shoes and expect that it will only get MORE dandy!
Flying to Florida was even more exciting than actually being in Florida. On the plane I sat next to a wonderful gentleman, Gerard. He is a very strong Catholic but loves to talk about Jesus Christ. We talked for 3 HOURS about the gospel. It was my first real life gospel lesson as a missionary. I taught about the Restoration, the godhead, a little of the Plan of Salvation and a LOT about the Book of Mormon. As soon as I explained what the Book of Mormon was, how it is another Testament of Jesus Christ and did not replace the Bible....he wanted one. I located an English Book of Mormon and began explaining parts of it. When I told of the account where Christ appeared to the Nephites as well as to those in Jerusalem, he wanted to start reading immediately. I showed him the related chapters in 3 Nephi and wrote down all of his information. My first referral :) He is for SURE going to be baptized. I think about him all the time and wonder if he has accepted the gospel. A term in this mission is "elect". People who are baptized are either elect when we find them or become elect through our teaching. Different way of using the term but it is SO true. Gerard was one of the most elect I have met since being here, besides Marco and Carolina.
Speaking of baptism...I HAD MY FIRST ONE! His name is Marco and he is amazing. He is from Panama. He believed that my companion was an angel because of the amazing ways the gospel had changed his life for the better. His sister, Carolina, has a LOT of fire and spunk. She is has had a hard life. The more we teach her, the more the gospel and the atonement chips away at that brick wall.
My companion/trainer is Hna McAfee. She is from Kearns, Utah and says she isn't a true Utahan because "Although I was in Utah, I was not of Utah". She loves all the people here (Blacks, Latins, Polynesians, Panamanians, Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, Jamaicans, etc....guys, I could easily speak/hear 4-5 different languages in a day.) She is very animated and gets very excited, has a TON of energy, and never really stops talking. She always has such a fire and enthusiasm for the work. Each time we go out, WE WORK HARD. I have no doubts that we will be able to live up to the President's expectations of us. Hna McAfee has had some REALLY hard companions. So when President assigned me to her, he said, "You are WELCOME, Hna McAfee; I expect big things of this companionship and for you to be the power couple of this mission!" Talk about PRESSURE?  I am so ready! I love this work and love these people!!
Our district - getting ready to head our separate ways!  Go forward with FAITH!
Our mission has a program called, Harvest Blessings.(kind of like tracting) We ask if you can pray with them and with permission, we their home and the people within. EVERYONE WANTS TO PRAY! I have been able to offer many Harvest Blessings in Spanish. I still don't understand ANY Cuban, but I can understand my companion and most others. Not bad for end of Week #1! Everyone says that my Spanish is surprisingly good but I know that it is only because I pray for the gift of tongues with every single prayer I can.

A very happy reunion!
Elder Morgan is my long-time friend from Spokane, who is also serving in Fort Lauderdale.   He asked for my trainer to take extra good care of me and to watch out for me.
He is a wonderful friend! What a gem!

One miracle that was WONDERFUL this week occurred last Thursday. I was exhausted from jet lag, change in area, and mostly just the stress of starting in a new place. I kept falling asleep during studies, zoning out when Hna M was speaking to me, and just being overall very distracted. I was trying very hard to be the joyful, focused missionary I wanted to be but...I just couldn't. My body would not let me. I was very frustrated and when we went out to go Harvest....I did NOT want to get out of that car. But I remembered that the times when we want the least to pray, that's when we need to the most. I turned to Hna McAfee and said, "Please pray that I will have the energy needed to speak with these people and that I can be joyful and able to share the true message of this gospel." We prayed before getting out of the car and I put all of my faith into those words. As we stepped out, it was like I had just gotten out of a refreshing shower. I was awake, alert, happy and EXCITED. I don't get excited super easily. We walked to the first door and I felt like with every step my feet were on top of my Savior's, every word I spoke was His. Each Harvest Blessing touched their hearts deeply; more importantly, it touched mine. I knew that the Lord was watching out for me and that I was not alone. The Savior is so real and He loves these people. I am recuperated...and ready to hit the ground SPRINTING.
Hna McAfee is gift from above. She is exactly what I needed in a trainer and we work extremely well together. She helps me overcome my fears regarding the language and pushes me to be better all the time. The Fort Lauderdale Mission has a saying. "If you aren't EXACTLY obedient, you are NOT a Fort Lauderdale missionary!" I am so excited guys. Exact obedience brings miracles; I will have many for you next week!!
Hna Lake