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Monday, January 13, 2014

13 January 2014

Dear Readers of Lauren's Blog

She could use prayers for her foot.  She had a stress fracture a few years ago and wore a boot on it for almost a year.  She is concerned as her foot is giving her a lot of problems this week.  She is going to the doctor.

Additionally, there are some pictures on Facebook of her and a video from Christmas.  If you can not access it, ask to friend me.  Lisa Jane Walton

9 December 2013

This week we had transfers!  And ME FUI!  I left my darling little city of Junín in the care of my darling first daughter in the mission, Hermana Medeyro, packed my bags, and headed back to CASEROS.  If that sounds familiar, that´s because it was my first area here in Argentina, now with 4 sister missionaries, two of which are me and my second daughter of the mission, Hermana Arenas.  Yes, I´m training. 
It´s been a pretty crazy week, having to get to know the area again and learn how to ride the public transit system and figure out how to do ALL of the 12 week training program, but it´s been great.  After being in a tiny little branch for so long, we had stake conference, which was a little bit unbelievable, to see a church so full of people. 
We had a super incredible experience on our way to church on Sunday.  Hermana Arenas and I were walking to church and as we left that morning, we decided that we were going to find someone to bring with us to the conference.  As we walked through a plaza, we found a man that was sitting on a bench alone.  We stopped to talk to him and the other sisters had just invited him to the church.  He told us he was waiting to meet someone there in the park, so he couldn´t come, but he gave us his phone number and we told him we would call him in half an hour to see if he could come.  Half an hour later he was sitting next to us the the conference.  MIRACLES EVERYWHERE:
I thoroughly believe that I´ve returned to Caseros for a very important reason.  There are people here I can help and I look forward to seeing what I missed the first time around.
Hope everyone is well.

13 January 2014

So this week was a bit of a tough one.  My companion was sick for about three or four days and my foot has been bothering me, so we were moving a bit slower this week.
One of the highlights of my week was the opportunity I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting.  I was assigned the subject of testimonies, which was great.  More than anything it was about how we can become converted to the gospel and how that can be a great support for us during our trials.  I´m so grateful for the knowledge I have that this life isn´t all, that my Heavenly Father has a plan for us and that we can have so much more happiness in this life if we live in the way that God wants us to live.  My testimony really is my foundation and is what drives me and helps me have a desire to share that happiness with other people, even on the hardest days.
In our ward here, we have a woman who is just incredible, Hermana Patricia.  She is the type of person that never tires of giving.  Okay, she tires, because she spreads herself out too thin, but she is willing to give her all for someone to lift them up and help them.  We have an investigator right now that is in need of a lot of help for lots of reasons, and we felt like we needed to bring Hermana Patricia with us to visit her.  I think it´s very possible that this our investigator´s life is just about saved because of the help this woman is willing to give her.  She is such an example of Christ-like love for me.

This week we have transfers.  This transfer has gone by so quickly.  I can hardly believe that it´s ending.  We´ll see what happens next week.
Anyways, I think that´s all for this week.  Hope you´re all well!
Love,
Hermana Walton

6 January 2014

I can hardly  believe that it´s a new year and that in just 9 short months I will be back in Oregon.  How did I get to the middle of the mission already?
This week I think all I want to do is share two experiences... this week has definitely had it´s trials and difficulties, but I´ve seen great things happen.
The first was a very humbling experience, which took place yesterday.  My companion, Hermana Arenas, and I were working hard to finish up with our last few lessons on Sunday to reach our goals.  We had been a little bit contentious that day for no good reason.  When you spend a lot of time with someone, sometimes it just happens.  We were heading towards the house of a few of our investigators, when we started to get contentious again.  We got to the door and finished our disagreement, and, filled with contention, we waited silently for our investigators to come to the door.  I felt so bad, I had no idea how we were going to be able to help these people if we couldn´t get over our own problems.  I found myself praying silently for some sort of solution.  When they answered the door, we entered the house, and within seconds, the couple we had come to teach were yelling at each other, insulting each other about the silliest little things.  They had both been drinking and were not doing too well.  We explained talked to them about the importance of obedience of the word of wisdom,but more than anything that as they strive to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord, they will be happier and be able to have more peace in their home.  My companion and I explained that we, too, had contentions, and recognized that it came from our pride and disobedience.  It was a very humbling experience, in which we both felt very guilty and ridiculous for having fallen into the trap of pride, when we needed to be examples.  But the Lord knows better than us how to answer our prayers and the lessons we need to learn.
The other experience I want to share happened this morning.  As my companion and I went to buy groceries, we came across a man standing alone on a busy street corner.  He was asking desperately for someone who was willing to walk with him 3 blocks to the bank.  He was blind and needed someone to guide him.  My companion and I willingly offered our service and as we walked, he quickly noted that I wasn´t from Argentina.  Before we could tell him that we were missionaries, he told me, "Dios me ha enviado un angel de los Estados Unidos para ayudarme hoy."  (God sent me an angel from the United States to help me today.)  When we told him that we were missionaries, he repeated that.  His name is Francisco and he lost his eye sight a few years ago because of excessive depression after losing his job.  It was obvious that we were placed in his path today for a reason.  He really needed us and it was another evidence to me that the Lord is very aware of the needs of His children and provides a way for others to help them.
I know that the Lord is aware of us.  He loves each and every one of His children and there are things to learn in every experience that we have in this life.  I´m so grateful for the chance that I have to learn from the Master, as well as be the answer to other people´s prayers.
I love you all.
Sincerely,
Hermana Lauren Jane Walton

30 December 2013

So to be perfectly honest, I have five minutes left of email time and I forgot to send out a general email... sorry about that. 
But these last two weeks have been two weeks to remember.  Christmas was SPECTACULAR:  I loved seeing the family again!  So beautiful, those people.  Even if we got cut off a little bit there at the end, it was so much what I needed in that moment.
After skyping with the family, the other sisters of Caseros, my companion, and I went to the plaza in our area and sang Christmas carols.  It was a great contacting activity.
We also had our Christmas P-day, which was so great.  I loved being able to go to the temple again.  There´s such a peace there.
Other than that, we´ve been working hard.  It´s really hot here right now.  But really, really hot.  And humid.  But that´s alright.  We drink a lot of water.
Anyways, sorry this is short, but hope everyone is well!
Love,
Hermana Walton

30 December 2013

We got to go to the Buenos Aires Temple at Christmas time!  It was wonderful!



16 December 2013

Wow, I can hardly believe that Christmas is just around the corner. First things first:  I will NOT be writing next week on P-day, because we will be having a wonderful Navideño activity as an entire mission!  Woo hoo!  We´re going to be going to the temple, which I cannot tell you how excited I am for that.
This week was definitely the hottest week I´ve experienced yet on the mission.  Hermana Arenas and I felt sick to our stomachs from drinking too much water in an attempt to stay hydrated.  Weird how that works.  Even weirder is how everyone likes to sleep during the siesta in these days, so we spent a lot of time knocking doors in the heat.  Woo hoo!  But that´s alright.  It builds character.
Really not all that much really notable stuff happened this week... we´re still trying to get into the swing of things here, because the city is very different from the country and we´re learning how to work with the people here.  Luckily we have a great ward who is working hard to help us, so hopefully in these coming weeks we´ll see some good success.
Hope everyone is well and that you all enjoy your Christmas!  Remember the reason we are celebrating in this time of year.  The birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, is certainly a reason to celebrate.
Love,
Hermana Walton

9 December 2013 - no, she didn't include the pictures

I don´t have a lot this week, but here´s something:
 
A member bought my companions and I ice cream, so we all sat on the floor eating it straight from the container Sunday night.  Mission life.
 
One of the other sisters received this beautiful hat for her Birthday from a member in her area.  She let me wear it.