Monday, April 18, 2016

When you find out Elder Holland is coming to your SCREAM‏

Hello Everybody! This week was a pretty great week! I think that Sister Kent and I got more done this week than I have ever in this area. It was really great! I loved it! Sister Kent and I are pretty different but when it comes to missionary work she is a hard worker and I am really really grateful for that. Also e found out this week that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is coming to our mission! I AM SO STOKED! It am so grateful for the opportunity to hear from an apostle especially one of my favorite apostles. There was definitely a lot of miracles that we saw this week. I want to talk specifically about an awesome experience that we had both yesterday and today. Yesterday we were at the dreaded 8 o'clock hour. I wasn't really sure who we needed to see. But all through yesterday I kept getting this thought to visit this less active in the ward. Now we had visited her multiple times and she always refused to let us in. But I followed the prompting and we went to go see her. To my surprise she answered the door and she was in tears. She welcomed us in and told us everything that was going on and talked about she needs to come back to church and get her life back together. I feel so grateful for the spirit that directed me to where we needed to be. She received a priesthood blessing today. It was really powerful and she felt so at peace and ready to take on everything that is coming her way. It was really awesome and it was really a moment for me that helped my testimony grow so much because i know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and especially our diligence. Our area has been slow but I really needed yesterday and it was so great. Miracles really are happening all around us. I love it and this week has really shown me that. I really love this work and am so grateful to be able to be a missionary. I love you all. Always remember that God is always in the details!

He prepares a way!‏

Hello Everybody!
Today is transfer day! I will be staying in the Eldorado Highlands
Ward where I have been for the last two transfers and I will be
getting a new companion! Her name is Sister Kent! I don't know to much
about her other than she was Sister Hayes (current companion) Mtc
companion. They got along really well so I'm hoping that everything
will be good and we will be able to do a lot of work done this
transfer in our ward. Sister Hayes is getting transferred to another
area. The missionary work in the ward Has been a little slow but I'm
excited that I get to be here for at least another transfer because I
think I will finally be able to give it everything that I have. I
haven't been able to everything that I want to do in this area due
some health problems and other things going on but I feel like this
new transfer will bring a lot of miracles in our area as we work hard
and work diligently. God really does provide a way for us and I know
that if we do our part than he will do his! I'm excited and I'm ready
for this change!
This week was a pretty slow week. However this week we were going to
visit this part member family and we have been trying to get into
their house forever. Seriously I think we have knocked on their door
more times than I can count. (Exaggeration since I can count fairly
high) so one day we decided that we should go try them again and my
thought was like what is the point cause they are never home
anyway...but then a miracle happened. They were home. They let us in
and were really awesome people. Not only did we get into their house
and were able to meet them but it was also the only time that week
that they were both going to be home at the same time (crazy Vegas
work schedule). It was awesome and I am so grateful that Heavenly
Father blessed us with that awesome opportunity. They even signed up
to have us over for dinner! So cool.
We also spent Wednesday doing some service for a woman named Carol.
She has a hoarding problem. That was exciting. She also accused me of
stealing money and her rings. Lol. Anyway Carol holds a very special
place in my heart. She is such a sweet and kindhearted lately who is
struggling. I just want to help her so bad but man their are many
emotional issues that come with her hoarding. I've realized a lot
lately that I really enjoy working with people that are trying their
hardest to overcome their addictions. I'm not sure why but I love it
and it inspires me to gain greater strength. I just want them all to
know that the atonement of Jesus Christ can heal them. I just find it
completely and utterly miraculous for someone to overcome something so
huge and so hard. I love it.
Nothing else to exciting happened this week. We had a relief society
activity where a Brother in our ward who is from Hawaii sang a song
with the ukulele. There was a verse in the song that said "So pick up
your feet and walk to the beat because life is beautiful". I don't
know why that stood out to me so much but life really is beautiful. I
won't lie this last transfer has been so hard for me and a lot of the
time I have failed to take a step back and just be grateful but if
their is one thing that I have learned it would be that God always
prepares a way for things to be done and life really is a beautiful
experience. So put a smile on that face and enjoy it!


Sorry this email is coming a bit late! Our zone went bowling today and
then to lunch so we didn't have much time for anything this morning!
It was a good week! We again saw many small miracles! It was cool!
This week we went to go try and contact a potential investigator but
the one we were looking for was never home. Seriously like never.
However one day we just tried to visit him again and he wasn't home
again but his mom was! We talked to her for a little bit and she is
very open to learning about the Christ. We scheduled a time to meet
with her on Friday. That was an awesome lesson. I felt the spirit so
strong in this lesson. I had just gotten done talking about the great
apostasy and asked her if she had any questions. Then she goes on to
talk about how she has always wondered why there were so many churches
and that she has been looking for an answer for a long time. She just
doesn't get how if we all believe in one God and the same God then why
can't we all be a part of the same church. That led perfectly into us
talking about Joseph Smith and how he had the same question and that
God does answer prayers. It was really cool and then after I was done
talking she said "oh yes I'm going to do that" it was really cool!
That was probably a main highlight of the week.
Another awesome highlight of the week was the General Women's Session
of conference. It was so good! They talked all about serving one
another and recognizing the love that God has for us. They also talked
a lot about how this work and God needs strong valiant women who
aren't afraid to speak and stand up for the truth. I really loved it
and I'm so exited for General Conference next week! I cannot wait!
Easter was good too! Probably not the most productive day but I loved
the spirit of Easter. We also sang in our wards choir. That was
awesome. I have really come to enjoy singing in the choir with the
ward members. It's brings such a good spirit to the meeting! I did
really miss everybody though yesterday probably more than any other
day. Weird.
Anyway God is good! He loves us all! I love you!

Spirituality. Sometimes you got to change.‏

Hello everybody! Monday's come so fast. It's crazy. Time is flying! This week was a good week! So many little miracles this week! It was awesome! Not only miracles with the work but just miracles in every aspect of missionary life! It has been the best. This week we had a great district meeting where we talked about Christlike attributes and how we can develop those. Let's just say that I was completely right about me and the whole charity thing. That was my lowest score on the attribute test that we took. However it was actually a very inspiring meeting and made me want to change and be better! I've been trying my hardest to pray for charity and act on it and I will say that I believe I'm getting better! It is so cool what having a desire and praying can do. I've recognized that in everything that we do we have to have the greatest desire to do it or else we won't be able to achieve what we need to do. I think that desire is so important because often times it leads to action and action is where the growth and strength comes from. It's pretty legit. We've been working hard in our area and we have been able to teach so much more than we were. It might not be to the most interested or solid people but nonetheless we are teaching and showing our ward that we are willing and ready to work! I'm so grateful that the Lord has given me the opportunity to keep teaching and keep planting seeds. We had zone conference this week! It was AMAZING! Let's just say that the spirit was so strong and that their is power in enduring through our trials and praying our little hearts out and reading from the Book of Mormon. President Ahlander and Sister Ahlander are going home in June. It is so sad. They only have one more round of zone conference left. I have really grown to love and appreciate them and their support. President Ahlanders training was on prayer and how we need to be praying with our heart and not just our mouth. It was great and just goes to show that prayer should never be a routine or else we aren't using it the way that God wants us to use prayer. Sister Ahlander gave a training about conversion and how we need to be converted to Jesus Christ so that when life gets rough we have something to lean back on and find strength in. I loved that so much. I know that we are given hard things because Heavenly Father wants us to grow and wants us to be able to recognize that his plan is far greater than any of ours. It is so true. The assistants to President Ahlander gave a really good training on the Book of Mormon. They asked a lot of through provoking questions that really made me reflect on how much the Book of Mormon has changed my life. I've never been very good at understanding the Book of Mormon but I have recognized that on my mission when the work gets hard or when I'm going through some trial that the Book of Mormon coupled with prayer is the first thing that I turn to for strength and comfort. I'm really grateful that is something that I have been able to learn on my mission. I hope it will always stay that way. I feel so much comfort from reading the words of prophets. It truly is a beautiful thing. Saturday I was on exchanges with Sister Reed who is my sister training leader now. I love her. She has so much wisdom and strength. The lord has really blessed me with her. We had a really good and productive day. I loved it. It is through her that I know that I need to put myself out of my way and realize that if anybody is ever stopping me from being able to grow than it is myself. Yesterday was a great Sunday! Everything just worked out perfectly and we saw and met people just as they were walking out their door which are huge tender mercies because we were finally able to get into contact with a lot of those that we had been trying a while ago. We had a lesson with a man named Warren. Funny story. He was telling us how he came to Vegas and how he found God again. He said that he was living in a hotel where a bunch of strippers lived and one day they knocked on his door and asked him if he wanted to go to church with them. He thought that was a little weird since they were strippers but then he said that those women were some of the most godly women he has ever met and that it is because of those strippers that he was able to find God again. It was great. Welcome to Vegas where the strippers bring people to God and the work schedules are just about as crazy as seeing a pig fly. I love it here. I'm so grateful! Sister Lauren Camilleri

Compassion and Charity the two attributes I don't have yet......‏

Hello Everybody!
This week has been pretty good! We were able to get in a lot more
lessons then we have in the past couple of weeks. We don't have many
solid people, that we are teaching right now but nonetheless we are
teaching lessons and sometimes that is all that we can do! This week
we had sisters conference! All the sisters in the mission got together
for some training's and it was like the best thing ever. The spirit was
so strong their and there was some many revelatory experiences for me.
I loved it and we'll quite frankly I needed it really bad too. I was
so grateful for the people that were there and who gave training's. One
of the training's was about personal ministry and how we can personal
minister like Christ does. It was really good. Let's just say that I
don't really know how I personally minister yet but that I've realized
that I need to be a more compassionate and full of Charity. Those two
attributes became very clear to me this week. I need to work on those.
They really are so important. After sisters conference we got together
with our Sister Training Leader and her companion to hash some things
out since my companion and her companion got in a huge fight. We have
to go on exchanges this week so we decided to make them talk it out.
It went pretty well and surprisingly enough my companion apologized to
her which I thought she would never do. It reminded me of something
that I learned from Sister Ahlander. She always say that we should
never be afraid to say sorry first even when we don't feel like we did
anything wrong. I've really been taking that and applying it into my
life because we all know I mess up a lot. It has been so great and it
has really shown me the difference on how our relationships can be.
Just do it first.
Yesterday we finally got in touch with a referral that we got from a
member. We have been trying him for so long and magically his garage
was open! He is the nicest old black man. He is so great! That was
defiantly a miracle from Heavenly Father. I am so grateful! I love you
all! Have such an amazing week! Always remember that each and everyone
of you has a Heavenly Father and Savior that love the crap out of you!

please don't let my weaknesses overshadow my testimony‏

Hello Family and Friends!
My emails have been so bad lately. I am so sorry. I promise I will get
it together. Haha. This week was a pretty good week! Our area is a bit
slow right now so we have been trying to work with the members. That
has been slowly very very slowly working in our favor. Let's be real.
This ward isn't the most excited about missionary work. It is filled
with great members. Seriously they have some pretty awesome members
but there idea of missionary work is a little backwards. It's been
difficult to say the least but that's okay! The idea that majority of
them have is that missionary do all the work and they basically sit
back and watch it happen. No no no people we are full time teachers
and part time finders you are full time finders and part time
teachers. That is something I have developed a full testimony on.
Member missionary work is the absolute best way to go. We have been
spending a lot of time just trying to get our faces out there and make
a presence in the members lives.
In our mission we have been focusing on ch 9 of preach my gospel which
talks about finding people to teach. That has been really good for us.
We had a great district meeting on Tuesday talking all about how we
can better work with members that was fantastic. Our one and only
investigator right now has been slowly drifting away. Sad day. His
name is Dustin. His fiancée is a less active member. He has been
taking the lessons for like the last two months. He has a commitment
issue though. Seriously I have no idea how he has accepted the idea of
getting married. We've been teaching him and his fiancée every week
and he was progressing very slowly but nonetheless progressing. We
committed him with a baptismal date and everything was going good. He
even told his fiancée that he felt like the church was true. Green
lights people green lights. Now we have phased into a yellow light. We
haven't met with him in awhile and making contact has been hard. This
just goes to show that sometimes no matter how hard you try things
aren't always meant to work out the way that we plan them to. Ain't
that the truth. Can I get an Amen? Ha. No but really it has shown me
that having a real and true desire no matter what it is that we are
doing is everything. What is the point of doing something if we have
no desire in our hearts to do it?
There was a miracle of the week though! This week we contacted a
potential investigator named Deline. Her husband is a preacher for
another church (btw he is a funny funny man) and they are active in
that church. I've tried contacting her before with Sister Routt but I
didn't really see it going anywhere so when we contacted her again my
thought process was well this is a waste of time she isn't going to
listen to what we say. I WAS WRONG. We taught her the entire first
lesson and everything made sense to her. It even answered some of the
questions that she had. It was awesome. I felt like I was on fire. We
even made a return appointment to teach her about the Book of Mormon.
Who knows where it will go but I needed that little miracle! It was
Let's see. What else is there. Man writing emails on Monday is the
worst because I can never remember anything. Anyway I'm not sure if
anything else super outstanding happened. Wait. So on Friday our ward
had an auction for a young man in the ward that has cancer. IT WAS SO
COOL. I love the ward family that the church has no matter where you
go. It just testifies to me that this is where I should be. They all
came together and raised money for this guy and we got to be there.
Also did I ever mention that our church building is out of our
mission? I know so rebellious. But really it is and its weird. Usually
going out of mission on purpose will send you home but not us! Yay!
Also it's right by a pig farm and it smells RANCID.
Anyway I love you all. Thanks for your support! Vegas is so good!
Also real quick. Yesterday at church we had testimony meeting and
someone got up and said "Please don't let my weaknesses overshadow my
testimony" BAM I loved it. Ponder that thought. So long. Farewell.

7 months!‏

Hello Fam and Friends! How are you all?
It is a breezy 75 degrees today! The weather is the best right now.
Other than the fact that at night it gets cold but other than that I'm
loving this weather! This week has been a pretty good week. We had a
lot of meeting and stuff which are always just so fun (sarcasm).
Actually they were pretty good this week. I think probably the best
things that happened this week were on Saturday night. I had a baptism
from my last area that I was in for two weeks. It was awesome to see
Mike get baptized. After he went under he came up with the biggest
smile on his face and put his hands in the air. It was so great. I
feel so blessed to be able to bring people into this gospel. It truly
is the most rewarding work! Also at the baptism there was a woman
there named Jessica. She had been walking past the church building
when something just made her feel like she needed to come in. This
happened to be right at the time that the baptism was happening. I
talked to her the whole time and she cried saying that this was so
weird. It was super cool though because it really reminded me of why I
am here. It is so awesome to be able to help people recognize that
they need God in their lives. Other than that nothing to exciting
happened. We went on exchanges in the singles ward. Man I miss that
ward. It has probably been my favorite ward so far. Anyway sorry this
isn't to long but I love my mission! Today is 7 months out! So crazy!

One transfer, 4 Companions

Hello Family and Friends! It feels so good to be able to write to you!
This week was a long week. Like really long. Like really really really
long. There are many great things happening out here and of course
there are some hard things happening out here. First of all covering
three wards is exhausting and trying to meet the needs of every ward
is exhausting. Missionary Work is exhausting. The thing is though it
isn't just physically exhausting. It is mentally, spiritually and
emotionally exhausting as well. All four of them wrapped into one and
a two day nap with no worries in the world would be great. Let's be
real though that isn't how life works. So far this transfer has been
all about surviving for me. Surviving the three wards and the two
companions. My companions are great people they really are but let's
just say that walking outside by myself was really needed this week
and I don't regret the two minute break one bit. I'll be perfectly
honest this has been a hard week for me in the mission field. I've
been struggling to really put my everything into being a missionary
and I have kind of felt like I have been in a slump lately. The best
thing about slumps is that they teach you to rely on something
greater than yourself. For me that something was holding on to the
testimony that I have that church is a place where we can readjust our
will to Gods will and we can receive help in anything and everything.
This whole week I have been looking forward to attending church on
Sunday. It was a great sabbath day for me. I wish that every sabbath
was like this one. I think that the thing that really changed this
Sunday from another is the fact that I knew I needed it and I needed
to be strengthened and I was willing to do anything God wanted me to
in order to receive that strength that God had for me. There is
immense power in recognizing what you need and acting on it. I needed
church this week. I was spiritually ready to be 100% uplifted and
because I was ready I received the uplift that I needed. It is a
really testimony building experience for me. Sometimes church just
feels so routine but if we really prepare ourselves for it and look
forward to the revelation we can receive while we are there then we
can have a great experience and an uplifting sabbath day.
We had an experience on Wednesday that rattled us a little bit. We as
per usual decided to visit some less active members homes in one of
our wards and then we decided to tract that street. No one was
answering their doors. It was early afternoon so that makes sense but
we just wanted one door to open. We get to our last door and bam it
opens. This man turns out to be a huge anti-Mormon. He basically
started preaching to us about how we needed to study what our church
really believes in, how we were a cult and how he loved us and wanted
to help us understand what we believed in. He went on and on. I did
everything in my power to not let my big mouth get the best of me. It
could of been really contentious on my part but instead I calmly asked
him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon and asked if it were true.
He replied that he would never read the Book of Mormon but man I have
surely talked to God about the Mormons. Then he began stating that he
got all his information off the internet and a book called kingdom of
the cults. We ended up just telling him to have a nice day and left.
What a guy though. I have never faced anybody with that much hatred
towards the church. It was hard to hear someone completely destroy
everything that you have ever believed in and everything you are
dedicating your life to. That experience also made my testimony grow
ten fold. I'm grateful that we knocked on that door. It was hard but
it has led me to more fully understand the importance of the gospel in
my life and in the lives of those I am teaching. Everybody might not
fully understand why I'm doing what I'm doing. Probably because i
never took the opportunity to fully explain it or because they weren't
willing to listen. I'm in Las Vegas, Nevada serving a full time
mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because I
know with the entirety of my being that this is the only true church.
I know that the same church that Christ established while he was on
earth is here again today and I'm a member of it. I'm here because I
love God and I have seen his love and felt his love more times than I
can count. I'm here because everybody deserves the opportunity to hear
about this gospel and everything it can do for you. This gospel is the
thing that constantly keeps me going. it has helped me to realize and
understand that I can have a relationship with God. He isn't just some
being that is talked about He is real and he loves the crap out of his
children. This gospel has provided me with opportunities to grow and
to overcome everything that has been thrown my way. I'm not here
because I wanted to take a break from life or because I don't
understand my beliefs. I'm here because above all I'm willing to do
anything for the person that has done everything for me. It isn't
easy, actually it is really really hard but it is the most rewarding
thing that I have ever done. Sharing the gospel with those around me
and seeing people build their personal relationship with God and Jesus
Christ is worth the sacrifice. Not everybody will understand or accept
my message but everybody deserves the opportunity to accept it.
Without my relationship with God I would be nowhere. Many people ask
about what they can do to help me while I am here. There is only one
thing: find your relationship with God and act on it. The blessings
are real. God is real. Christ's atonement is for everyone. We need to
use it. Don't disregard the greatest gift that has ever been given.
I hope that you know just how much you are loved. I love you all so
much and I am so beyond grateful for everything you have all blessed
me with. Thank you for your support, it means the world to me.

Just super quickly. I received a call this morning from one of the
assistants to the president stating that I will be finishing training
another missionary who has been out for 3 weeks and I will be staying
in the Eldorado Highland ward. This has been a crazy transfer. On
Wednesday I will be getting my forth companion for this transfer. I'm
not sure how I feel about it yet but trust God and I'm ready for
whatever he needs from me.

Sister Lauren Camilleri