Monday, December 29, 2014

Week #19 - Sunburned in December?

Can we just all stop for a moment and talk about how hot it is outside in DECEMBER?! I got a sunburn the other day people. If this day could please get just a little weirder. Washingtonian for life! My companion and I were biking just the other day (because we are...*cough cough...out of miles. I promise that I'm still good at budgeting guys) and we came all the way home from the church. About 8 miles. As we are biking our skirts off we get sweaty. Surprise right? Anyways, we get home (hot and sweaty), walk in the door and are all the sudden FREEZING cold. It feels good for about 2 minutes and then we grab out sweatshirts, fuzzy socks and hot chocolate. Tender mercy of the Lord for a Washingtonian? Our apartment has such bad condensation everywhere that you can't hang things up with any sort of stickies. It just falls off. I come from the area of the world where humidity is talked of in fables and fairy tales.  

Never play chicken with a chain linked fence... while talking on the phone... scheduling appointments... you will lose!

We are those sisters you see biking the streets of Florida!
DAAAAANNNNGGG. Family, you guys are all looking just smoking hot. I loved getting to talk to you! Afterwards, I got the wonderful privilege of being told I look just like Hill bill. When I showed my friends the cute pictures of you all from email, they all said, "That is so definitely your family" :)

I have a quick little moment of pride for you Mom and Dad. I have been so very many times on my mission how polite and refined I am. Thank you for teaching me that potty jokes were bad, crass jokes are not to be said, and that I should always try to be kind. I'm still working on the always being kind thing....but hey, we should always be progressing right?
Christmas came twice this week guys! Normal Christmas was one and the other was Sunday. We had 8 NEW investigators. EIGHT! We had a miracle day. 

We had a new gator named Robert who was taught previously but had so much work that he couldn't come to church. Guess what? HE HAS SUNDAYS OFF NOW! He's getting baptized in a few weeks. Then we had 3 beautiful Hondurans come. They looked up the church, called the bishop and worked out everything so they could come to church. We have a lesson with them tonight, keep you posted :)

LIS HAS BEEN REDISCOVERED! Lis was a recent convert that disappeared off the face of the earth for a month. We honestly thought that she went back to Cuba. Jokes! She was just working. After a month of not answering doors, phone calls or texts we finally got a hold of her and she has basically already converted her aunt and uncle to the church. Yes true, she was totally smoking when we surprised her at her house but that is something we help her with :) Basically, we had a set appointment with them and they weren't there. We had prayed before coming out to the house because she wouldn't answer again and still felt like we should go. We ended up harvesting in the rain again around her home and finding no one. But then we felt like we should just check on the house one more time and BAM.... They came to church and loved it, started crying. I'm so pumped for this New Year! 

I have a new companion! Her name is Hna McGrath. And she is the best. I have become increasingly aware that my Father in Heaven knows exactly what I need when I need it. Hna McGrath has been a welcome change for me to see how I can become better, kinder and more obedient. As we have been trying so hard to be obedient this past week, miracles have EXPLODED.  

Our house is going to go a little crazy and we are going to go anti-unhealthy for the next 6 months. They have started coming to me for health advice. I LOVE IT! Makes me feel like my weird eating habits are really not that weird and useful. I've been told that I make vegetables taste good...maybe I can actually cook ;)  I have decided that I am going sugar free for one year. I don't really get to control everything I eat but sugar....sugar I can control.    
Elder Morgan, Elder Edwards, and Hermana Lake
All are missionaries from Spokane!
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!! Keep you posted on the rest of my awesome life. 

Hna Lago

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week # 17 - Love is a Circle!

Hello All!  

This week was fantastic. As I have been closing things off with Sis McAfee, she is transferring and I'm getting greenie broken, it was amazed me with how much I truly have come to just love her. She is such a different personality and has so much spunk and fire. It doesn't take much to get her going into "black mode" where she starts talking like some ghetto black person for Kearns, Utah (hometown) and this little 5'3 German girl starts seriously getting in your face with laughter and jokes about how she's gonna beat me's pretty comical. It always makes me laugh! She still treats me like her little girl and was straight up feeding me the other day at the Christmas mtg we had as a mission. Hahaha, she couldn't finish her food so she was shoving it down my throat! Oh the joys of being a greenie :)  I have never been more amazed with how much the Lord can open a person's eyes to see someone so amazing. She is strong, powerfully happy and has taught me so much. I've been trying hard to see why she was my trainer. Let's just say...she helped me to be so humble. Now the Lord can use me. I was told that pride would be the hardest thing for me to overcome on my mission and obviously...Heavenly Father is omnipotent. He knew. She also helped me to be happy. I took everything so seriously and was making it missionary WORK instead of missionary FUN. She helped me see past that. I'm now ready to take over the area and work my tail feathers off! 

Funny story #2: Sister Lake GOT FLEAS! We went over to our recent converts home to share a message with them and to hold their interview for their baptism. I was playing with their kitten when the daughter told me that she had fleas! Awesome. I had always played with the kitten whenever we went there and kept waking up with these little bites all over my body. Well SURPRISE! I had fleas. Awesome. We are getting everything worked out to de-flea me...I will never touch a cat again. I KNEW they were of the devil.

I have been studying a lot about Matt 22 in the Bible and in 3 Nephi, about how the 2 great commandments are to first love the Lord and then love your neighbor. My sister gave me this challenge to read it and discover why those are the first two great commandments. WOW. President! My eyes were completely opened. I realized that everything we do here on this earth should first guide us toward loving our Father in Heaven because through loving Him we will come to love ourselves. We will see ourselves how He sees us and be able to achieve our purpose on this earth , "to become perfect even as Christ!" We will then REALIZE our amazing potential and have no more desire to do evil. We will realize how debasing Satan is to us and what we can become. THEN we will have so many desires to reach out and to help another. The 2nd great commandment. We will want to help lift them and help them realize how to love the Lord as well so that they can receive all that we can. It's AMAZING! By our loving God and then loving our neighbor we will be able to love ourselves even more and become EVEN BETTER. IT'S A CIRCLE! Basically, Heavenly Father is a god of order. I like Him :)  

MIRACLE: Ashley and Angel got married and BAPTIZED! Everything went wrong on Sunday. EVERYTHING. They were almost an hour late. (No worries, been to church 6 + times) and were able to learn so much. Then the baptism happened and the room was PACKED. Our ward just loves them. They were both so emotional; now their other 2 kids wish to be baptized as well :)  



Thank you SO much for your sweet gift of the Holy Family. I love it. Truly. It sits on my desk and reminds me every single day the reason for why I'm out here on my mission. I may even have it out all year round :) It reminds me that my extended family is still real, it has become a little weird to talk about the family because I'm not there with you for Christmas. It's almost surreal! But your gift made Dec 25 a little bit more of Christmas for me, Thank you :) 


Hna Lake 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week #16 - Seeing Beyond the Mark

First of all, our investigators Ashley and Angel are GETTING MARRIED! They are getting their license today and then will be getting married on Saturday and then baptized right afterwards. Ashley often remarks that she is more excited for the baptism than the wedding! :) 

We also had a baptism this Sunday. Her name is Rosa. She is from Dominican Republic and was being taught there because her boyfriend, one of our members, referred her. She accepted the gospel with open arms. Her life has prepared her for this exact moment. We invited her to be baptized on the 24th in DR but she wanted to get baptized THIS Sunday. She truly has amazing spiritual gifts. She told me that she could read our hearts...and mine was tranquility. I have a peaceful heart. I needed it because we forgot to fill up the font! Let's just say that the Elders and members were filling up pitchers and coolers and dumping them in the font. It usually takes about 2 hours to fill....we finished in an hour. At the baptism, she was so excited. After the baptism she got up to bear her was so powerful. She just started crying. She mentioned how she was being prepared by her father in heaven for such a long time and how this has changed her life. I LOVE THIS MISSION!

 We had the coolest Harvest miracle too. We didn't have 8 by Wednesday which is a rule and so we were driving home and decided to stop at a trailer park down the street from us at 9:10 and get two more blessings. We got out, started knocking and FOUND! 2 in 15 minutes. That is basically unthinkable. Our Father in Heaven loves us!

We also had another cool miracle. One of our investigators that we had dropped a while ago because he was never home lived super close to a lady that had asked us to come pray with her that morning. We prayed beforehand to see if we were supposed to go because we weren't sure if she would even be there but felt that we should. We went on our way and passed by the house. SERVANDO WAS HOME but the lady was not. We went over to his house, he welcomed us in with a smile and we had a lesson that changed everything. He is going to get baptized before the end of the year. :) 

In the Book of Mormon this week I learned about the greatness of looking beyond the mark. In Jacob 4:14 it talks about all the things that happened to the people because they became blind and because they looked beyond Jesus Christ.  I have learned that when we do look beyond our Savior, all we see is unsuccessful days and really hard times. But when the Savior becomes a "filter" on our minds we are open to seeing all the miracles, blessings, and joy that the Lord is waiting for us and is truly putting in our lives. I love the talk by Neal A Maxwell  called Willing to Submit. It brings to light Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were cast into the fire right? While they are to be commended for trusting in the Lord, my favorite part is "But if not". So often we have plans for ourselves in our lives. But the Lord has a different plan. If we are looking beyond the mark, everything that we want for ourselves might seem to go wrong...but in's just "But if not" moment where the Lord is taking our lives onto the path that He wants for them, the BETTER path. It's the same way with our investigators. I just need to let the Lord guide them on the path He needs for them to be on and to stop being so beat up when they drop us. I take it REALLY hard when the investigators don't stick around but the Lord is showing us that sometimes...I need to let Him direct the decisions :)  

Miracle: My miracle this week is very individual. We were out Harvesting on Sunday and we met a lady named Desiree. She was telling us about her life and things that were going on that she wanted us to include in the prayer. I was struck with the realization that this woman...she was my "person". Everyone always says that there is someone waiting for you in your mission. I knew that this lady was one of mine. She was from Mexico, getting over an addiction, but wanted to be baptized. SHE IS AMAZING. In that moment, lines from a blessing I received came to mind. It says that I will bring hope to others and that will help them to see that this life isn't just made up with dark and hard times but there will always be sunshine. That despite my weaknesses, I will be able to help them overcome theirs. I had many doubt as to why I was here in this mission but now...I know I am supposed to be here! 

I love you all!! 

Hna Lake

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week #15 - Mucho Turkey!

Hello everyone!

We definitely did do something fun for Thanksgiving....if you are a sadist. We went and ate with three different families. Three different LATIN families. Needless to say, we ate until we were SO FULL and then went to another house and ate till we were SO FULL. I officially hate food - what a great predicament to have! I never want to see turkey again. BUT ugh. I said thank you many many times, no worries :)  

Spanish is going well actually. Many people have noticed improvements and commented upon it. I am getting to the point that when people learn that I have only been speaking for 3 months they go "WOW! Hermana, your Spanish is so good!" I am pretty hard on myself, so I only notice the fact that I still don't know a lot of vocab and that my verb tenses are often wrong but I am getting better, therefore....something I'm doing, I'm doing right. But to be honest, I rely so heavily on the Spirit. My trainer says that it is a mission rule that we do all Spanish days every other day....but that hasn't happened much since the 2nd day of the mission....because she forgets and I don't remind her....because I don't want to.....BUT I won't do that with my greenie breaker (2 more weeks of training!!) Hopefully I can start anew with a goal of speaking Spanish whenever I leave the house. I'm learning the names for the human body now and when we have a meal appointment with a certain family, the little girl there will give me a quick Spanish lesson. The little spit fire is awesome :)  Her name is Emil and she is awesome and I love her so much. She is very quick on her toes and every time I go to her house she picks on me :) It's hilarious. This last time we were talking about how tall I am. The conversation changed and I got the word wrong for "Liar". The mother started teasing me and telling me that my nose was going to start growing. I told her that instead of my nose growing, I get taller......then the Emily goes,  "Oh, then you must lie a lot, huh?" We all laughed :) Later I was playing with little kiddos (tender mercy-I was missing the cousins :D) and was getting quite the workout. I said as much and Emily goes, "Stop! You are too skinny as it is!" She has such a dry sense of humor and so sassy....reminds me of Ashley :) TENDER MERCIES EVERYWHERE! 

Miracles this week: Many of you might remember a girl named Carolina? So Carolina is the sister of Marco who was baptized about 1.5 months ago. She knew everything was true, went to church with us every week, shared the gospel with others, kept all the standards, CALLED the LDS church "her" church like she was a member, etc  but refused to get baptized saying that the baptism she had when she was 14 into another church with "proper authority", too. So frustrating. Anyway, we dropped her and started praying for her to be given trials to help humble her because she was being SUPER prideful. She told us that when she was supposed to be baptized God would give her a sign...she was expecting a vision or something! BUT the Lord always provides. We were weekly planning and Sis. McAfee felt super strongly that someone was to be baptized this week even though we had no one that was ready. We were talking to Marco, Carolina's brother, about what we could do to help her come to the church. The next day she texted us and just started to talking to us. We knew who was getting baptized that Sunday right then. We went over and she broke down. Apparently, she had been looking for a good guy that she could marry and settle down with but the world kept giving her men that only wanted to use her. She kept saying the world had nothing to give her! Then we talked about temple marriage, standards of the church etc. and she said she wanted that. She loves the church because she says that we are respectful and good people. We told her the only way she could have a temple marriage was if she was baptized. SHE ACCEPTED AND WAS BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!! YEHA!! 
Carolina's Baptism
BoM: Mormon 1:2. I can be me. I tend to be a little more quiet. A little more reserved. Not crazy and happy and loud. I can just have silent joy. Like Mary. She was silent but so joyful. I CAN BE ME! Sister McAfee is much more loud and crazy. I felt a little sad that everyone loved her so much but did not love me quite as I wished. I couldn't bring myself to act like that - I was like that in high school and it EXHAUSTED me. I couldn't do that. But I've been studying Mary and realized that I am similar in some ways. There is a poem that says, "I made you just a little different, a little more lonely, a little more quiet, a little more thoughtful so you could turn to me." That's definitely me. I have grown so much closer to my Savior and have relied on him. Now, the ward loves me, treats me the same and I am able to be myself. Amazing how the Lord works right?

I have many more miracles to share but just don't have time! I have been witnessed more times than I can count that the Lord loves me. He is aware of me. He wants me to be happy but won't let me live half a life. He gives me my "full potential" of trials! 

Love you all!

Hna Lake