Monday, July 29, 2013

Serving in Las Vegas? ... Guess, Again

Ola Minha Familia!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my it's finally, Pday again!!! And boy, do I need some laundry!!! hehe jk. but forreals though..... WELL, I made it! I got your cards and things sent to LV. What a surprise!!! But it was a super nice surprise! :))) yay! I felt so speciallll heehhe. SO WOW so much to tell!!

First of all, my area is one of the few out of Valley---so I'M NOT EVEN IN NEVADA ANYMORE hahah! I'm in ARIZONAAAAA how exciin!!! I've never been in AZ before and now I'm in an area called Kingman, AZ.   I don't know exactly where that is but yeah. its cooool!  SO DIFFERENT.   Like a legit desert. ohh my GOSH! I SAW A TUMBLEWEED.   IT WAS SERIOUSLY THE COOLEST THING EVER!!   ... and there's cactus everywhere and there's rocks instead of lawns and there are JACKRABBITS!  I didn't even know those existed!  I thought those were some myth thing or something... Someone told me that... probably Travis -_____-  haa. jk but anywayyyy. It was pretty crazy.  Like it gets suuuuuper hot here! I thought UT was hot.   nope!   It's over 100 every day here!  But then the last couple of days it was BOOOM MONSOON!! AND THUNDER AND LIGHTENING.  It was sooooo literally monsoon.  Remember in those movies where people are outside for like 10 seconds and are SOAKED!   I was always like yah.... that doesn't happen. but no. it does.  We ran from the car to the house we were half drenced already. OMG. hahahaha and the streets are flooded and everything. So crazy.  Now its back to super hot. Bipolar. weather. but its so cool! i love it.  It's sooo pretty.  There isn't a lot of green, but the sky is HUGE.  It just goes forever.  If we had time to admire it, I would :)  haa

My companion/trainer is Sister Jensen-Coon from Montana. Small town. 12 people in her home branch. ahahaha.  But she's super nice and really cool.  She's only JUST finished her 12week training so she's been out about 3.5 months. So we're both pretty much newbies haha. but its fun.  We're learning together!  Since she is so new, too, I'm just learning by watching and asking questions a lot. which is fine! :)

Its only been a few days and I already feel like the MTC was a dream.  It was so weird cause when I got out here.  I was seriously homesick for home, but also mostly for the MTC and my district..... so weird haha. but I think I'm better now. as we say, the cure for homesickness is WORK! So we are gettin' to work!  It has been verrrrry busy lately!  It's definitely hard for me to get used to this change. teaching in English--who'da thought THAT would be hard.  I'm so used to explaining things in portuguese or whatever.   So basically I'm in this awkward stage between Portuguese and English where I'm losing my English because I'm thinking in Portuguese, but I can't speak Portuguese yet either.... so basically I can't speak. ): haha but I'm praying I'll be able to keep Portuguese up until I get my visa. 

Its been a suuuper hard adjustment just trying to get used to this new lifestyle. We get up at 6 here instead of 6:30  and dont usually get to sleep until like almost 11 cause we have to update the area book.   Since neither of us know what's really going on ... we are sometimes late for things but we're working on it! Hopefully we can sleep more soon ): haha but yeah its also kind of hard cause I feel like the sister who just left (my gramma I guess they call it here, haha my trainer's trainer) was really good and everyone loved her. So I'm basically coming and replacing the one they all loved ):  So hopefully I can gain their trust and be able to fill those shoes!  The ward here is really great though and super welcoming. So it should be okay. 

MAN WE GET FED EVERY NIGHT THOUGH!  WOW! I FEEL SO FAT!  So spoiled!!!  I am enjoying it now until I go to Brazil! haha. It's so crazy!!!!  It's so cute cause one of the recent converts met me and then the next day there was a ward bbq thing and he said he made sure to bring vegan burgers cause he (he was telling someone else about this who told me) knew I was Japanese and probably didn't eat meat.  haha!!! SO CUTE! and we're having dinner with him and some investigator and another member this Friday cause he wanted to make sushi for us! hahahahah sooooo cute. omg. But yeah its always fun to run into people like that! or those who speak Japanese to me.  Then I blame it on dad :)   JKKKK hahahaha. I'll learn it someday.. maybe. :)

So there are 2 extremes here in Kingman, Old Kingman--SUper old and ghetto and very poor and run down.  Many slightly disabled people live here and its very small and rundown and everyone's house smells like Jack the Crossing guard ... Which I now realize is just smoke haha. but yeah and then there's the areas of a lotta of the people in our ward--the doctors--the SUPER rich areas. and I mean SUPER rich. like insane. Pool. Waterslide in the front. LEGIT tree house.. not like a housesitting in a tree, like a mini HOME connected to a tree. its insane.  They have a fridge the size of my room. and acres of land.  I just can't explain it.  The door to their bathroom looks like a normal persons front door.... anyway. its crazy. but yeah we get fed real good here hahaha. OH AND EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG HAS A DOG! OMG! It's crazy!!  Even in old kingman they all have dogs. DogSSSS PLURAL!  Soooo cute but sometimes I don't feel like they should have so many when theres no room and its soooooooo hot with no AC! ): idk. But they are so fun and cute an there are a ton of cats tooo.  Oh my. I'm scared I'm gonna get fleas cause while we're talking to people on the street the darn things will just come and rub against you and like rub its head all over you and I'm like OMG what is touching me!  And it runs away and comes back a minute later. It's weird. haha but its cute. :) 

soooooo WOW the first few days of teaching. it was pretty tough. I don't know...   I think the first couple of days were super overwhelming.  Just like Travis said it would be like.  haha. But I really just felt SOOO inadequate. I would always talk and at least bare testimony or something, but I really had no idea who these people were or what their backstory was. Just a really brief sum up from Sister Jensen Coon. Plus I felt like they dont know me either. I was super overwhelmed. It's really tough out here, but it's really humbling me and teaching me to rely on the Lord more.  I pray sooo much more meaningfully.  I know it will take time and I gotta go easy on myself sometimes, but I JUST WANNA BE ABLE TO DO IT ALREADY  haha. I think it's gotten a litle better.  Yesterday was a little better, but hopefully I'll be able to really get to know those people.

One woman, a 93yr old has the mind of a 30yr old!!!! We got to teach her and it was amazing. when we listen to her and talk to her I can just FEEL how much I love her and how much God loves her. She's so scared of dying--not death, just how she'll die.  And she is so not trusting of others and she's scared. and I just want to make her see how much this gospel can help her!!!! She definitely felt something and understands sooo much but she 's just so scared and doesn't want strangers everywere.   So we're slowly going to build trust. She keeps wondering why she isn't dead yet and I KNOW its because God knows she needs this and wants her to have this before she leaves.  She was never married, never had kids. idk. It was a really good day.  It just really reminded me of WHY I'm out here walking in 100degree weather and being so tired all the time and being tried so much physically, spiritually, emotionally.  THIS is why!  Because people like Helen need this hope and this joy that only the restored Gospel can give.  It was a SERIOUS tender mercy, for which i am soooooo grateful! 

OH BTW! soooooooo basically at the Airport, the AP's came to pick us up with the President and his wife and GUESS WHAT!!  TWO of them were in my freshman ward!  One was a good friend! omg! Sooo random!  hahaa  It was awesome seeing them and seeing just how crazy much they changed and matured. ALREADY!  It was so amazing to me.  I was seriously so proud hahaha. They were teaching training stuff and it was so amazing to see them as such grown representatives of Christ.  You could just see they knew the importance of this work and they loved every minute of it.  Also, there's another guy from my freshman ward, another old friend in this area.  DL in Vegas and my other friend from freshman ward came here with me and is serving in Vegas area. SO RANDOM AND COOL! haha. But yeah so that was super fun. wow! 

Anyway I had a lot to write today. and now I'm out of time ):  I still gotta write to the President my weekly letter. Well I'll send letters to everyone! 
To sum it all up: I'm doing real well here!  I'm getting the hang of it, still figuring it out but it's coming. I'm loving the work even though its VERY hard.  The desert is hot. but beautiful.  Can't wait to get my visa and get to the REAL hot part hah. hah. hah... but yea I'm super excited to be here and learn so much already.  I love and miss you all sooo much!!  I pray for you always!  The church is SO true and this work is so important.  Its amazing the miracles we see here.  The big and the little.  LOve you all so much! 

Ate a proxima segundafeira!
Sister Yoshimoto!

Ps thanks for all the birthday wishes and Birthday stuff i got!!!!! LOVE YOU ALL
PPPS: I am sending a letter soooooo CHECK THE MAIL ON FRIDAY!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Letter from Nevada Las Vegas Mission President

I am happy to inform you that Sister Yoshimoto arrived in Las Vegas with a smile on her face and a wonderful spirit. Thank you for preparing her to serve the Lord. We will do our best to build on what you have taught her by incorporating the principles of missionary work found in Preach My Gospel. When her service is finished she will be a stronger person with a deep commitment to the Lord. 
 Sister Lauren Yoshimoto with Sister Kelcy Jensen-Coon

Sister Lauren Yoshimoto with Sister and President Neider

We hope as you write or email her weekly to express your love, that you will also encourage her to live up to the commitments she made when she accepted this call.  Missionary work is hard, and many times it is discouraging.  Your letters of encouragement and love will help her continue to work hard and be happy.  If problems arise at home we hope you will be thoughtful about what you share, so as not to distract her attention from the work.  If you detect any continuing problems through her letters, please write or email me if you feel we can help.

Phone calls to family members occur two times a year, on Mother’s day and on Christmas day.  As you can imagine, many people visit or pass through Las Vegas.  We follow the church guidelines that there be no visits from family or friends.  Visits are difficult for missionaries as their focus is interrupted.  Please do not ask your missionary to see you or friends while she is serving.  Please help your missionary live the mission rules including calling only on the designated days.

Finally, the missionaries are provided a monthly allowance that covers their needs.  This mission has some of the most generous members of the church.  In most areas the missionaries are scheduled in a member home for dinner every evening.  Please help your missionary learn to live on a budget.  Don’t supplement her with unnecessary funds.  If an unexpected expense or emergency comes up she will email you.

Your love and support are so important to her success.  She will be blessed as she is obedient and she will be happier.  Again we thank you for your faith in sending your sister out to serve the Lord.


Michael A. Neider, President

Letter from the Nevada Las Vegas Mission Secretary

Dear Family,

What a privilege it is to serve the Lord as a missionary in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission!   I believe that you will see many blessings in your own life as you support and sustain your missionary.   We want to work together with you to help make the mission a focused experience for your missionary.   Here are some reminders:

MAILMissionaries are lifted and inspired by encouraging emails and letters from home.   Your missionary counts on hearing from you each week.   Include any good news from home.  Avoid writing about family concerns or problems.   Missionaries love packages.   Address your items with both the first AND last name; we have missionaries with the same last name.   Send all letters and packages to the mission office not directly to the missionary.  We deliver to every zone weekly.

Sister Lauren Yoshimoto                                   
Nevada Las Vegas Mission                                        
9270 South Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV  89123

Please use US Postal Service for your mail.  We are not able to forward packages sent via FED EX or UPS.  We can however forward mail or packages that are sent by the United States Postal Service at no cost to your missionary if sent by Priority Mail or Flat rate boxes.  If sent Parcel Post there will be a small fee due upon pick up by your missionary, or they can be held with the FED EX and UPS boxes until the next round of Zone Conferences.

VISITS - “Visits from family members, friends and acquaintances are against church policy.  The impact of such visits may extend far beyond the visit itself, both before and after the visit and among other missionaries.  It can often take some time for missionaries to refocus on their callings and their work after such visits.”
Missionary Handbook, pg. 37.   Thank you for helping us live this rule.

Every year there are many people who visit Las Vegas.  Please respect this Church policy and consider the mission “off limits” while your missionary is here.  If you or friends and family come to Las Vegas for any reason, please do not try to arrange contact.

PHONE CALLS - Missionaries may call their parents on Christmas and Mother’s day.   Take care that these calls do not pull their thoughts away from their service.  Keep them short (preferably no longer than 30 or 40 minutes).  Other than these calls, missionaries are not to call family members or friends unless they have permission from their mission president.  Missionary Handbook, pg. 37

MONEY – A mission provides an opportunity to live on a budget.   Every missionary is given the same monthly allowance which will meet their normal daily needs.   Occasionally a missionary may need to make an unusual purchase (bike, helmet, medicine, replacement clothing)  in these cases they may email you with a request for additional funds.    To help missionaries learn to live on a budget we ask that you do not provide access to excessive personal funds.  Equality contributes to greater companionship unity.  Keep excess funds to a minimum. 

Thank you for all that you do to inspire and motivate your missionary and to help them be focused on the work.

Sister Royal
Mission Secretary

Last Day in the Missionary Training Center

July 23!  Last day in the Missionary Training Center
AHHHHHH so today is technically our Pday so we can do laundry and stuff before we leave!  We're taking a little break from packing just to say a quick hello!

I ALSO WANTED TO SAY IT IS  SOOOO COOOOOL TO ALL THOSE MISSION CALLS!!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!!! Germany, Florida, Colombia, and the Keely's Mystery site ... LOL ... Alum Rock Ward is covering all corners of the world--Literally!!!  Watch out world, here we come! I'm so excited for all of you! As I end my MTC experience, I honestly am torn! I loved it here so much and the connections and spiritual growth are unimaginable. The people you will meet, the teachers you will learn from, its unlike anything else! ... and I am soooo SOOOOOO excited for every single one of you to come and experience it for yourselves. I won't be getting dear elders anymore, but its okay cause i can just email now! :) so email me their entering dates!  I can't wait!!!

Last night we had our last class with Irmao Hodson, one of our teachers. It was the best class ever. I honestly love my teachers. especialy Irmao Hodson. He probably doesn't even know what a huge impact he's had on all of us. He just returned home from brazil about 6 months ago. I just loooooove him so much because you can literally just SEE how much he loved his mission and what an amaaazing missionary he was. He bore his testimony to us one last time and kinda did his goodbyes like that last night and we were all sniffling.... or crying... hahaha.but it was so amazing. just seeing him send off his missionaries out to do what he did. and you can tell he misses his mission so much. He told us a buncha stories and pics and stuff about his mission--for our practice investigators, he played the part of his actual investigators out in the field-- so we got to see those we were teaching all month and hear their stories and how they ended up. it was amazing. realizing that our role plays were actual people. and seeing the faces with the names and the stories. it was quite an experience. AHHH and now we'll be going out to the field to do this for REALS! It's so weird. but yeah the point of the story is the teachers here are amazing and I am so grateful for them and seriously all we learn from them and their testimony--even from what they don't teach, we learn just from their spirit and their strength in the gospel.

I don't have time to really go into it, but you shuld all definitely watch Recognizing the Spirit by David A. Bednar--------actually... sorry, I think its juts an MTC thing. LOL OOPS! but yeah. it was an amazing talk that basically answered the question of: How do I know if its the spirit prompting me or just my own thoughts?

The answer? DONT worry about it! Just get over yourself and do it! If its good, its from God. If you are following the Commandments, keeping your covenants, doing what's right, and just being a good boy or good girl, then it will all work out.  Sometimes God knows that if we're doing what's right, He won't NEED to prompt us. and if we are doing what is right, and keeping in mind what we should be doing, then the promptings will make sense and we'll just do it. then he quoted a scripture in D&C saying if we are doing what is right, and all that, then it doesn't matter if we go east, west, north or south, we cannot go amiss..... we CANNOT go amiss. because God will guide our footsteps through our righteous actions and we might not even know it. in fact, we won't know it most of the time until later. he shared a story of him giving Elder Packer a 20 mark note in Germany and how it saved his wife from the German police.  It's a cool story. See if you can find it. If not I'll write it out next p day. anyway..... the point of this was that this seriously gave me all the confidence I needed to leave the MTC and be ready to start in the real world. I wassooooo nervous! I did NOT/ still don't feel ready to be trusted with the souls of real people!!! Yet when I heard this talk I realized that it doesn't matter, my own ability is so limited, yet it doesnt matter. cause I can rely on the ability of God which is infinite. and a finite plus an infinite sum is always infinite.  I know that if I commit right now to be perfectly obedient and always do what I know is right.  It will all work out. God is aware of His missionaries and I cannot go amiss if I am doing what I know I should be.  And that gives me so much comfort and so much hope, because I know that THAT is something I CAN do.

I look at Travis and Keilyn and Irmao Hodson and Jeremy and even Mom and Dad, and I can see how much the mission has impacted your lives and how you all refer to it so often and I know theres not a day that goes by where you don't think about what you've learned and experienced.  I want to be like that tooo!!!   I want to be able to look back and say I did my best, and I did good. So I will definitely be thinking of you all as I start out this next step of my mission!!!! yayyyy!!!

I'M SO PUMPED THAT I AM GOING TO VEGAS!!!! AHHHH!!!! I got to see the boundaries!! So weird! hahhaha. but yeah,sooooooooo basicallyyyyyy if I dont get my visa--------I COULD END UP GOING TO THE FAMILY REUNION ANYWAYYY!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHA JK!!! but forreals........ I was thinking about that. what would I do if you were all there in Feb and Iwas like hiiiiiii dinner????? :D

hahahhaha jk. omgggg though I'm so excited to be going state side. I might actually be able to communicate what I want to say now that I'm not stumbling through 3rd grade portuguese haha. but yeahhhh...I'm excited! !!! ! !

Theres only 4 sisters and 3 elders left in the two districts leaving.. so sad!!! but im super excited! we are literally going our separate ways and covering the US --and one in brazil :)-- and will meet up in Brazil hopefully soon!! I cant wait to see them all again and see how we've all grown and changed even more than what we've witnessed in the MTC. i cant believe how close i've gotten to all of them. I'm so happy they will mostly all be in BYU when we're back :)))) yayyyy!!

Love you allllllll!!!! and I'll talk to you soon!!! BRIGHT AN EARLY TOMORROW!!!!! :DDDD

I'll call Trav too!! after! if I have time! :)

Love you!!
-Sister Yoshimoto

ps. I don't have time to email my friends): Please let them know what's up! and send them my looooove!!! thanks!!!!

PPSPSSSS:::: OMGGGG THE BERTAGNOLLI'S SENT ME A BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!! OMG SOOOCUTEEE! I got toys and candy and spiritual thougths and all these amazing cute fun things I was seriuosly soooooooo happpyyyyyyyyyyy omg!!!!! It was the cuuuutest thing I ever got! thank them sooooooo much for me!!! I will def be writing a letter to them soon!!! Once I get setttled in. They are amazing hahaha. I love their comic strips and uplifting, encouraging thoughts every now and then.
They always make my day--and my birthday too!! thanks!!!!! SO OOO MUCH!!! LOVE YOU ALL

Sister Lauren Yoshimoto called from the Salt Lake City Airport on Wednesday morning at about 6:30 am Pacific.  She had been up since before 4 am.  The security line at the airport was much longer than she had expected and she only had a short time to talk.  There were a lot of missionaries heading out to their missions, too, so the line for the phones was long.  Our next chance to actually speak to Lauren may be when she flies out to Brazil, possibly, and then on Christmas day.  She appreciates all the uplifting letters.  It helps her keep her focus on the important work she is doing.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Reassignment Call!!!!

GUESS WHERE?!?!??!?!?   AHHHHHH!!!!

I've been temporarily reassigned toooooo.... the NEVADA LAS VEGAS Mission!!!!!!  HOW EXCITINGG!!!    It will definitely be a little tougher mission than Teresina but I AM SO EXCITED!!!   I am going there on Wednesday the 24th!!!  My departure time is 8:30 am from Salt Lake City Airport and I arrive in Las vegas at 9 am. I think the time zone is the same in LV and SJ so we'll see, but talk about sweeeeeeeet!  Nice and hot hahahhaha. Ohhh man I'm gonna dieeee. Good prep for Brazil I guess hahaha. I CAN'T WAIT!!!   I'm going with Sis Nilsen, too!!  Except she has a foot thing and might be delayed, but either way, I guess I haven't learned all I can from her yet so we are GOING TO VEGAS!!!! teach the gospel !!!

ITs crazyyyyyy!!!!!  So the other missionaries are going to Washington DC North (6), a couple to Washington State, one to Nebraska, one to Montana, a few to Reno, and
 I am sooooo excited to be teaching in English and really getting the experience. I AM SO PUMPED!!   I love this!
I am going to miss my district here, soooooo much!!!  but I know there are so many greater things waiting for me out in Nevada and in Brazil. I can't wait.  I can't waiiiit!!!! Send my love to everyoneee!!! And send me any info you can on Las Vegas Nevada Mission plss!!!! :DDD THANKSSSS MUCH LOVE!
LOVE YOU!!<33333

Elder Marcus Olsen Arrived

Wellllllll guess what!!!!!!! SUPER COOL NEWS!!!!

I saw Elder Olsen and 2 other of my friends here who arrived this past Wednesday!!  I didn't get to see Elder Misa'alefua, yet but I'm keeping my eyes open!   But guess what?!?!    SO it turns out that Sunday, they asked me and Sister Merrill and Elder Ross to perform -- ON WEDNESDAY for the new missionaries!!   It was soooooo scary, because I KNEW there were people I knew there!!  AND THERE WAS A MIKE AND CAMERA ON MY FACEEEEE AKSFDLSAKJDFLKSAJDFL ... just kidding .....   I also saw my other friend from BYU working the cameras and mics there so he was like checking and moving and adjusting stuff while we practiced and I was like ahhh... heyyyy theree.... hahahha. but it was cool cause I got to see familiar faces!   :) always nice.  Yeah sooooo it was pretty awesome!  I saw 3 of 4 friends who entered Wednesday and I got to talk to them! Super fun!  And I think I did better than I expected in the performance.  The solo vocalist was AMAZING and the piano too!  Sooo good. and I had a solo in the beginning and I was so scared I'm pretty sure I didn't even vibrato, my hand was just shaking so much it sounded like it,   hahhaha.  Just kidding, but I was seriously shaking so bad haha.  What a memorable experience :P haha. but im definitely really glad I did it. 

During the devotional after this performance we got to hear the MTC President talk a little about missionary stuff to the newest missionaries.  It was really cool because he said something I never really thought about before.  He said that we are the 2nd most prayed for group in the church--obviously there isn't like some survey or something, but its true!!  We always pray for the general authorities/prophet and then the missionaries throughout the world!  This was a super cool thought for me--a comforting thought knowing that no matter what I'm going through or how alone I feel, I can take solace in the fact that there are thousands of members everywhere keeping me in their prayers because they know just how important this work is, as well.    Just a cool thought!

I was actually really sad about not having anyone at home to write to me this week, but I thought "ehh its no big deal. theyll come back."  But then I heard about your shoulder and I felt REALLY BADDDD hahhahaha I mean like I'm suuuuuper excited you can still write to me and send me uplifting thoguths, but I felt really bad you couldnt go with the young women to camp. )):   I sure hope Rusty and Maryann are keeping you busy!! Just know I am praying for your quick recovery every night!!!
And if it makes any difference, I think having you home and writing me letters helped me more this week than any other week.  It was a quick week, yet there were a few nights where I realllllyyyyyyyyy needed a letter from home.   Thank you so much for that :)

I'm keeping Keilyn in my prayers as well!!!!  I really hope she's doing well!

I learned a lot this week about faith.  I never thought there could be SO much more under that topic to learn! It seems SO simple yet its really deep!  I don't have a LOT of time but basically we all know that faith is a belief in something you can't see that is true.  We also know we have faith in Christ and in the guidance and love of God, yet what I hadn't really thought of before was that faith isn't just "belief," but its a motivating power.  Faith is action.  Those who don't believe, don't experience miracles, because of their unbelief (there is no action).  This doesn't mean we have to have absolutely no doubts and no fear at all, but just that we have to have enough to motivate us to act.  Unbelief is when there is not enough belief or faith to act.  If we can exercise enough faith to act, even if we can only hope things will work out, and when we take action, that's when the miracles happen.   I'm kinda forgetting English, and it was better put in the lessons taught this week, but you get the point.   Basically, God can't push the car to the destination for us, or rather, he won't--we have to turn the car key on and press on the gas, THEN He will tell us to go left or right. but not until we demonstrate our faith in him by moving, first.  SOOooooooo its starts with prayer and then we choose something, and listen for His guidance after that.  It definitely is easier said than done. but it/s the truth, and it/s what I need to do definitely so much while on my mission.

We didnt find out our reassignemnerts yet but we will today i THINK. and I will send another email quickly later.   ahhhhh.  I am so scared and stoked and afjsdsaljkdflksjdf idk!!!

One more thing before I go, I wanted to thank you all, again,  for the letters you wrote in my journal before I left home.  I was having a tough day today.  During personal study I decided to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon and then some old notes and then my journal.  I saw the letters in the front and decided to re-read them.  I don't know if it was inspiration, but as I read them I remembered all the amazing things you all said and the advice and everything. but most of all I remembered all the good things you all had to say about ME. you all mentioned how loving and compassionate and patient I was.   I was definitely not being that person today. It was a bit of a wake up call to me showing how selfish and self-pitying I was today.   I was so absorbed in my own problems that I stopped caring about everyone else's.  After personal study I just felt like a whole new person.  Thank you all for reminding me of who I am.  It's a good reminder that I should always be this way because I am now a representative of Jesus Christ, Himself.   I have to remember who I am NOW and that is someone representing what the Savior would do. and THAT alone should govern my actions. 

Just one more bit of enlightenment from this week :)
... or more of a kick in the bum. haha
LAST THING.  I/m almost out of time for now ):
Thank you, Sister King.  I got her Dearelder letter and it made me laugh!!! hahahhaha! I loooove stories of back home and how things are going so thank you so much. I miss your kids.  They are sooooo adorable!!! I love that!  I told my district and they all laughed. hehe.
Also, thank the Bertagnolli's as well!!  They are soooo sweeet!!!  I get letters from them periodically with comic strips in them and I always laugh and we pass them around,  because everyone loves comics! :)  The support from the ward is so amazingly helpful so thank you all so much!

I can't WAIT TO HEAR WHERE EVERYONE IS GOING!!!!!! AHHHHH!!! so excityinggglaksjdfljk!!! I'm dying to know here!! ... so tell me QUICK! hahaha. I can't wait for everyone to be out here like this! It's the most amazing thing ever! ... and as soon as you enter the MTC, just remmeber--MAKE IT TO SUNDAY!  ... and it'll all go by so quick! :)

Love you all!!!!
Sister Yoshimoto :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

My MTC Time is Quickly Growing Short

On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM, Lauren Yoshimoto <> wrote:

Oi Minha Familia!!!
Como Vao???????

Woooooh, Well I have some time, but my hands are already cramping from typing so much so fast today! ahhhh!! haha, and I have a lot to say today sooooo.... ready, Go!

First of all I got a box from Aunty Terri and Uncle Wallace! WOW!!!!  THANK THEM FOR ME, PLEASE!   I will try to write a letter and send it to them today!! omg! I keep telling the sisters in my district that My family's goal in life is to make me and all my friends fat and I think I was right!  They sent me two giant boxes of food!  Granola crunch things and baby donuts hahaha.  We added it to the district food storage we got building up from all our families hahahaha. It's an awesome sight.  I will take a pic and send it next week! hahaha. THANK YOU SO MUCH AUNTY AND UNCLE!  The note was very sweet and I'm so glad to hear from you!!!!   It's always nice getting letters of support and love from loved ones!!

 2nd of all I hope alll is going well with Cami and Jeremy and Keilyn!!!!  School and work going well???   I see Raphael Magre and Mckay Corbett here a lot!   haha.  So cool!  They're called Frere Corbett and Frere Magre.  Yeah it's nice to see them every once and a while! :)   I can speak Portuguese to them and THEY CANT UNDERSTAND IT!   I'm like "cmon man...."  It's like French and Spanish mixed and they should know both ish right?!??1 haha. but yeah. anywaayy

I'm  SOOO excited for Joey Morgan! That's so cool!!  I can just tell he will do amazing things in his life and when/if he goes on a mission, he will do so much good for the people just because of how spiritually mature he is/will be and just how much personal experience he has.  His testimony will be such a blessing to him and those around him.  and I can't wait for that!   How exciting!!

On that note!!  I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR WHERE EVERYONE IS GOING ON THEIR MISSIONS!!! I'm gonna try to be a host next week for the new missionaries so I can help the newbie missionaries find their way araound and stuff and I might see Dallas and Marcus!  How exciting!!! ahh! It'll be soooo fun!!  So keep me updated!!

I can't believe I've only got a little over a week left here at the MTC.   I feel like I've been dying to get out already, yet now that it's so close to happening, I'm freaking out a little, because I feel like I'm no where near ready..... yet I CANT WAIT to teach real people and help real people, yet it's so scary because I havent been here that long -- I dont know anything!!  How can I be trusted with such an important message.???  ... And that's the real miracle.  The fact that we know basically NOTHING and yet we don't  need to, because it's not US teaching.  It's the Spirit teaching THROUGH us.  Knowing that gives me so much comfort. It doesn't matter about my abilities and talents, just my ability to have and keep in tune with the Spirit all the time.  and pheww.  Thank goodness for that :)

So next week Thurs or Fri or Saturday ish, we will be getting our reassignments--we will get a whole other mission call that has been prayed about by prophets, again, as to where I am needed in the USA.  IT'S SO EXCITING!!!   I willl be getting another call and I get to open it again with my district and I can't wait!!!! ahhh!! It's gonna be so cool!!!   So i willl definitely let you all know next week what the big news is!!   I can't believe how close it is to me leaving~!!!

Today one elder from my district got his visa!! HOW RANDOM! ahhh!! SO CRAZY.  So he'll finish off his MTC time here, and then go to Brazil straight after--no reassignment!  Ahhh! So cool. I looooove my district!  Every one of them.  I can't believe how insanely close we've gotten in such a short time.  I'm gonna miss the elders and sisters going to Curitiba. At least, more than half of them will be with me in Teresina!  Yay!  And a couple others will be going to BYU after so I'll probably see them there.  I can't wait!  The bonds we make here are just so strong so quickly because of how much time we spend together, for one thing, and because we see each other in the most spiritual situations. we share such spiritual moments with each other and it's just amazing. I LOVE THIS WORK! haha.  It's just so exciting to think about.

SO QUICK before I forget:   Sister missionaries at SJ!! I'M SO SORRY I TOTALLY FORGOT about that!!!  So the pants I wore are from Amazon... Basicly, I just look up harem sweats on Amazon and search around there.  This one only came in one size, one color. but there are tons of other options. Also, I got most of my mission clothes from and Asos Marketplace.  Both are online stores. and then some at Forever21!  of course(;     I haven't seen any of the people they wanted me to look up here at the MTC.  I believe they're already gone.  ): Sorry!!   I haven't forgotten about you sisters! I miss you and hope the work is going well in SJ!  Much Success!!

I got the packages!!!  The duffel is aweeeesome and the other package with the tonnnnns of food!! OH MY! haha.  We. are. rolling. out of the MTC. haha. It's okay though.  We eat the food and made this joke where "We're doing it for the elders".   We're taking away all temptation hehehehehe.  By getting fat.  So we eat it and say I'M DOING THIS FOR YOU!!! hahahaha  Anywayyyyy. yeah.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the pics!!!! IM SO HAPPY! YAY!  I loooove them!! haha. awwwwww Rustyyyy  is sooo cuteeee Everyone here is lauhging at me because I got so happy when I saw his pawprints on the pic :))))))  They think I'm obsessed with my dog...... Maybe I am hehe.  Mom. The flowers are sooooo pretty!!! ahhh!!  I'm so glad theyre coming up!  I like the lattice ... so fancy! hehe  The menehune. but yeah thank you soooo much!!! And the toothbrush case! and the socks and stuff.  Thank you thank you thank you!!  Badly needed :)

I never got to talk to the ASL elders here, but one of the other sisters in the Portuguese district was studying to be an interpreter before the mission and We got to sign a bit.  She's really good and learning Utah signing so it was kinda hard but it was super fun, because we talked about how we translate songs and prayers in our heads and stuff.  Yeah it was really nice getting to sign again. I miss it a lotttt and stilll sign while trying to remmeber the Portuguese word for something haha. It's funny because I taught everyone how to sign "awkward" in ASL and "weird" and stuff like that.  hehe. Tell them all I said Hi and I miss singing with them!!!

Thanks for the other stories, too.  I loved the Temple story.  It reminded me of the scripture in Mosiah 27:13 where it says that basically nothing can destroy the church, except for the trangressions of the saints.  So basically, as long as we are faithful and strong in the gospel, nothing can stop the work and nothing can bring down the Church and the Gospel.  Its a good motivater and a good bit of hope. As long as we're doing what's right, God will protect us.

Dad, I'm so happy that you're bishop at this time, just cause it makes me appreciate so much more how much work you put into your calling and you really are an example to me of how I need to magnify my calling.   It's so amazing seeing how God can strengthen us beyond what we ever thought possible.  I pray for you every night!!!!

Anywayyy,  life here is awesome and the practice  investigators are going very well.  It was rough at first but once we really started to work together, we learned how to really bring the spirit into a lesson.  It really does make all the difference.  I'm so grateful for my companion and how much I can learn from this experience with her. It took me a  while but once I realized that it really is MY choice to love or not, whether or not I get frustrated and upset, or if I forgive and love. This made all the difference.   "Fake it 'til you make it really works," because it is really just an exercise in faith.  haha.  Now that I choose to show charity, it is often reciprocated and we are really getting along now.  I just had to let go of my pride ... which still spikes up every once in a while, but I am so grateful for this experience God gave me, because He knew exactly what I needed.  I never even knew how prideful I was until I came here.  He definitely humbles us when we need it and although it's definitely not what I wanted, it's what I needed.  For that I am grateful. I am sure I will learn this over and over again until it is a part of me.

ps.  I RAN OUT OF TIME BUT I FORGOT!  I auditioned on the cello, accompanying a sister in the district on the song "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul."   It was super scary, because I had to transpose everything into the BASS CLEF from a violin part.   It was super high and complicated and I was shaking so badly, but we got it and might play sooooon!!!   I'll update you next week.

Loooove you!
ate logo!!!!!

Lauren made reference to a story about the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I will try to briefly summarize the story.  Following the passage of California's Proposition 8 in 2008, angry mobs of protesters surrounded the temple while threatening to burn this majestic building to the ground.  While temple security closed and locked the outer gates, LAPD and the FBI responded to try to quell the uprising.  The patrons of the temple were effectively trapped on the grounds, but they felt a peaceful assurance as they made a conscious decision that if they would not be able to leave, they would spend their time doing temple work.  Those inside were otherwise unaffected by the scary events unfolding outside the gates.  That day a very significant amount of work completed by the few patrons inside equaling the work accomplished by many hundreds of people just the day before.  The patrons and the temple were spared and the patrons enjoyed the peaceful serenity of a sacred building dedicated to Jesus Christ to do His work.  The temple is  "the House of the Lord."

“The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah will say, ‘The work is done.'”