Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy One Month

Loved ones,
Happy one month!! I can't even believe it, it feels like it has gone by sooo fast but that i have been away from home for forever! The days are so filled that it makes everyday feel like one big long day aha its the best way i can think to describe it! We are now the oldest district in our zone and will be the ones to leave next its so crazy! And everyone says the next week weeks will go by even faster, then hopefully on April 8th i will get my visa and be able to go off to Argentina. Ill be able to call home I'm pretty sure, when i get my travel plans if not i will email you and tell you all about it. Lets see this week has been just as busy but full of blessings for all the hard work and long days finally! Jasmine got here yesterday and i was so anxious and annoying all day because thats all i would talk about to my teachers and to everyone in the district but i was soo excited! I was sad i wasn't able to be her host but i had told Rachel to tell her to meet me at the ice cream bar at 5 and i guess she waited for me but i think he dinner was before mine so i didn't see her then. But guess what!!?? so a couple weeks ago i saw the classroom down the hall from mine putting up all this Ukraine things so i was like oh that would been cool if Jasmines classroom was that one but my whole floor is Spanish speaking so i didn't think it was possible right. Well wrong sure enough i asked one of the teachers in the classroom if they had a sister Wallace in there class and he said Yes! So after gym yesterday i just waited outside that classroom till sure enough there came Jasmine(sister Wallace) walking up the stairs. I pulled a dramatic girl move and like fell against the wall and started to cry hahaha we hugged for a long time but we didn't get to talk for long because they took her away to get a tour and take her back to unpack but I am just so excited that she will just be right down the hall, literally two doors down from me for these last two weeks!!!!but My Spanish is no were near were it needs to be but i found myself learning new things this week that finally connected when i speak with people so that was cool and i can understand a lot of what my teacher says now so at least in class I am not constantly asking my companion anymore what they teacher just said!! One of the highlights of the week was last night in the TRC, i think i told you how they have volunteers come in who are members just to be taught by us. Well we taught 2 20 minute lessons then one forty minute one on revelations that comes through the book of Mormon. We shared stories of Christ since it is easter on Sunday, using the book of mormon and i could feel the spirt so strong!! At one point one of the ladies was bearing her testimony, and ps everything is in spanish, and usually i can pick out a few words and understand most of what these people are saying but with her it was like she was just speaking to me in english and i could undertstand everything she was saying. She was just saying simple things that she knew to be true but then she started to cry and you all know me, of coarse tears came running down my face. I know that that wasn't just my knowledge of spanish that was helping me understand her words! The rest of the lessons that day something like that happened with each one! We are teaching a new investigator named Tomas, he is a hard one. Usually our teachers make up these investigators that are pretty open to the gospel and what we have to say but not tomas he could care less haha so its been interesting but i think me and my companion are finally getting the point were he trusts us enough to share more doctrine things. It will be good practice i know that!! Im so excited for easter sunday, they are doing a mtc wide sacrament meeting and the elders in my district were chosen to pass the sacrament along with like 100 more elders haha! I'm pretty positive a general authority will be there so I'm sure it will be amazing! I'm sad though because i don't get to sing in the choir because there is so many sisters and we can never get a seat anymore but i just hope we can get a seat in the big gym instead of having to go to one of the over flows!! And since it is fast sunday i will have to enjoy all my easter candy after dinner or on Saturday! We are trying to get teachers to go buy us plastic eggs so that we can have a little easter egg hung with the elders on either Saturday or Sunday! Thank you for that great package and I'm gonna for sure wear those socks on Sunday!!! I think I'm finally getting over this sickness that has been going around so thats good and mom that medicine helped a lot so thanks!! And i would love it if you would send me that Maxi skirt, the black and blue one! And maybe a new pair of panty hoes plleeasse!! And if you know Haleigh's address at the spain MTC i would love that so i can write her soon!! Well i hope everyone is doing great and i love you all and im so happy that i get this opportunity to serve a mission right now, its amazing how many sisters have answered the call to serve i just love it how full this mtc is and just how many young adults are going to spread across this country and all be going for the same exact reason and that is to bring people to Jesus Christ and partake of all the things he can give us!! I love you all and i love this work! Nothing has made me Happier!!!
Love
Hermana Van Wagenen

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hermana Van Wagenen


 
 











I was so lucky to have my great friend Morgan take some picture of me for my mission! I debated whether or not to do this but I'm so happy I did. I wanted to be able to remember this time in my life and i feel like pictures are always a great way to do that. A big thank you to Morgan for this because usually I hate taking picture because I feel like I'm not very photogenic but she was great and all of these turned out great!!

Farewell


 
February 17, 2013
 
 My farewell day finally came and I think it went perfectly! I had so much anxiety over what I was going to say and if I was going to be able to even give my talk through all my emotions but after it was all over I new I shouldn't had been as worried as I was.
I decided to speak on the 4th article of faith and the idea just kinda popped into my mind one morning and I'm so happy it did because I was able to learn more about those principles and brush up on the subject, since I know they will be important for me to teach while I'm on my mission. I felt so much love as I just sat up there watching all these people walk in who I love and it was so great that they came to support me! Of coarse it didn't take me long to start crying I think it was only about 5 seconds from the time I stood up to speak but I was able to teach and talk about the things that I wanted to before I broke down again so that was good, and I was told I don't have an ugly cry so that was good too, to find out since I'm mostly crying whenever I talk about church things.
My good friend who lives in Colorado right now sent me a text message in the morning just telling me I was going to be great and she told me to just take in the moment and remember it. It was great advice and I'm glad she told me to do that because now I will always remember just the love I felt from family members and friends that day. It was an overall great day and I'm happy I got to express my love for the gospel and how blessed I am for everything in my life!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Temple Day


January 3rd 2013
 
This day is one i will never forget the rest of my life. I got to go through the Salt Lake Temple this day with my family and make promises and receive blessing beyond what I could ever imagine. My mom was with me every step and that made this even more special. I was so happy my sister Kristin and her husband Nate could be there with my dad and my mom and it made me realize that this is the reason I live my life the way I do, so I can be with them for eternity. I will forever be changed by that day and I feel a great responsibility to live up to the promises I made when I entered the Lords Holy House!
 


Friday, February 1, 2013

The Call


 
 
 November 14th 2012
 Argentina, Rosario Mission,  Feb.13-Aug.14
  
Well this is the day it all officially started! I decided the same day the announcement was made that I was going to serve a mission and it seemed like forever from that day that I finally received the big white envelope with Sister Laurel Ashleigh Van Wagenen printed right on the font.
I got the phone call from my mom that it came in the mail and my dad was out of town so I chose to wait till Thursday so I could open it with him there. It all worked out because my roommate and best friend Jasmine received her mission call on the same day so we were able to be at each others.
Both me and Jasmine had herd this theory that the amount the postage was could tell you whether you were going state side or out of the country. Jasmine received her call first and her dad told her it was 1.90 so we were pretty excited because since it was so expensive it was a good sign that it could be foreign  So when my mom called saying my letter had some I told her she could look at the postage but I didn't want to know because i didn't want to get my hopes up either way. I quickly caved though and let her tell me and it was 1.90 as well. Jasmine and I just sat on our tiny apartment couch screaming our lungs out!
The whole day went by so fast and before I knew it I was standing in front of all my family and friends ready to read my call. All I wanted was for the time to slow way down so I could remember everything. But before I knew it the tears were streaming down my face ( when i say streaming it that does not even begin to describe how much i was crying) as I was reading the words I never thought I would personally have come out of my mouth. Then the word Argentina came out of my mouth and before i could even be excited or look up my twin was yanking me down and hugging me. Hence the middle freak out picture. You can tell everyone was pretty excited and that includes me! My older sister even shouted out that Rosario would be a cute baby name ha so there ya go. I'm so excited to be able to preach the gospel in the Spanish language and it made it even more special that both of my brothers served their missions in South America as well. so i can now be apart of the Spanish club. It was great to have everyone there and uplifting to know that all these people supported me in my decision to serve a mission.

I can not imagine a more perfect mission call for me! Argentina is where I am suppose to serve and i know that there will be certain people there that I was meant to teach. I'm excited to be apart of a different culture and maybe learn some Argentine tango! But for real though I am just excited for the opportunity to serve as a missionary ultimately it didn't matter where I got called but I feel so blessed to be able to go to
Rosario, Argentina