Blessings and Trials

June 22, 2015

Well this week was pretty difficult at first but as we went on the week started to look better. At first we started with nothing really too special just a HOT HOT week in Leon, but for the week we had been helping teach two investigators Jasmina and Ana, whose families are all members but only they are not. Jasmina and Ana were taught by other missionaries but never baptized. We had the opportunity of picking up where they left off and this last Sunday Jasmina and Ana were confirmed!!! AWESOME!!! Apart from that looking around Leon we start to see more and more white people who speak English, which for me is super weird. A lot of them are from Europe or America but like none of them speak Spanish…NOOBS!!!! We ran into people from Australia, England, Scotland, and a ton of surfer people from the States…it made me pretty trunky ha-ha. But I know that carpet and cheeseburgers will be worth the wait!!!! Learning to pass through trials, with difficult, lonely, sometimes scary experiences brings us closer to our loving Heavenly Father more than ever before. In the moments that I have been sad, or lonely, or desperate even for help, I have found that the Lord is indeed very mindful of us and His help comes in many different ways. Maybe not the ways we expected or hope but they are all for the best. I just want you guys to know that Heavenly Father loves you. Jesus Christ loves you. There is nothing more worthwhile or anything that will bring more happiness to you or others than this Gospel. So take it seriously if you have not and share it if you have not. I love you guys too.

More Pics

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Cerro Negro. An active volcano just outside of Leon. Tourists come for the “volcano boarding”- 30 mph down volcanic gravel on a piece of plywood. As you can imagine, missionaries are not allowed to participate, haha.

Monsoon season in Leon.

Monsoon season in Leon.

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What’s Air Conditioning?

June 1, 2015

So this week passed by quick and really slow hahaha. After receiving transfers and literally flying from one end of the country to the other, and then missing the last pday I was both physically and mentally exhausted. BUT there is a but…. this week it turned out to be one of the hardest and interesting weeks of the mission. Me and my companion Elder Paniagua are reopening an area and it’s been kind of hard. No records of what has happened in the last six months in the area book, and meeting some of the weirdest and coolest members ever. This is the first time in my mission I have served in a ward. My area Subtiava is HUGE!!!! As in it was 3 other areas but now just one! We have some members that are very cool and really nice. In fact we got in invited 8 times to eat last week! That has never even come close to happening in any other zone of my mission. At the same time this ward is apparently notorious for criticizing each other and spreading gossip, even about the missionaries. But that’s not a huge concern of mine if we just work hard and do what we are supposed to do. It has been heaven and heck at the same time here with being able to eat Burger King for the first time in forever!!! And also being SUPER HOT!!! Leon is the name of the city and has lots of older buildings and is more developed than a lot of other places and has touristic attractions, in fact I saw like 50 American/European people here all going to the beach. There is also a nearby volcano called Momtombo and the missionaries sometimes hike up for activities. Today we just got to know the zone better but this I feel will be a challenging area but also rewarding in the sense that I feel I will learn a lot. Having been in what I think what must be one of the more disobedient missions in the world, I just want to testify of the power of obedience to Heavenly Fathers commandments. Great people are great because they love God and Christ first, and love their brother second. These two greatest commandments include all others especially being obedient. I know that this is the true Church and I know that we need to keep ourselves away in thought, word and deed from everything that even resembles sin and then we can have confidence before God. I love all of you guys and if any of you have recipes, workout suggestions or jokes…they would be appreciated ha-ha. Love Elder Braxton Lawrence

Busy week

May 18, 2015

Well this week was crazy and hectic. I don’t have a ton of time to write but I will say I learned a lot. I don’t have a ton of time to write but tomorrow Elder Duncan comes to talk to the missionaries and today we were able to perform some service while the US military and LDS services took videos ha-ha. Kinda weird but really cool. I learned that the Lord often rewards us in ways better than we first hoped for although sometimes they aren’t what we were looking for. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that we have a living prophet today and that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that this work is true, I know without a doubt that the Gospel is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true Church in the world. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love us and guide and bless us. I know Jesus Christ died for us so we can change. I love you guys! Be safe!

CHANGES!

April 13, 2015

So after spending nine months, 2 days 33 min and 16 sec in the same area I have finally been transferred!!!! Just kidding I didn’t know how many days but I did have nine months in one area and now I have been transferred to the area Loma Verde. Apparently the members here are super awesome and work a ton with the missionaries although there are some crazy people. I only had my last companion Elder Accordino a.k.a. Little Acorn for one change or transfer as some call it. This change I have Elder Monson…who is NOT related to President Monson. But he’s super cool and I am looking forward to this change. Other stuff that happened…we had success in bringing some people to Church this weekend but a lot of people, investigators and recent converts moved this week. Something weird in Puerto is that people feel the strange need to migrate. They just leave to go to “the communities” for like months or years at a time and then come back. It’s really weird. In fact, missionaries have been known to have pday, then come back to an investigator or member, only to have their entire house not be there. They literally un-nail all the wood and pack it up…. and take their house somewhere else. I didn’t believe it until it happened when we passed what used to be a small house/shop…that wasn’t there anymore. Other stuff…. the phrase #firstworldproblems gains a whole new meaning when you come here. I saw a little kid sitting on a 3 liter bottle on the concrete/dirt road, using it like a sled while his older brother pulled him with a string…all while wearing loincloths. Besides that still some trouble with Josue and Kati. It was a strange experience packing this morning. I felt sad and yet excited. Having known these people, especially the people in this area for so long, you really grow to love them. I love this people and everybody. I would challenge everybody this week to just be a little kinder, and a little more Christ like. Think of others as your family and friends…because that is who they are. Think of them as the family and friends of Almighty God, for that is who they are. I love you guys so much! Thanks for writing me! I hope you all are ok, and remember what is important in life. Remember why we are here and where we need and want to go. I just want to bare my testimony that I know God is our Heavenly Father who loves us eternally and perfectly and so does Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Savior and I know He loves us and that because of Him we can have peace in this life and eternal, wonderful joy with all of our loved ones in the life to come. I know that this Church is the ONE true Church. It is the ONLY Church headed and directed by Jesus the Christ. I want all of you to know that there in no other way, philosophy, church, religion or anything that will bring you true happiness. Or lasting joy and redemption and the opportunity to allow you to live with our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Eldest Brother Jesus Christ and loved ones. Only this Gospel and this Church. Be happy, stay determined and strong even if times are tough, or if times are good. Remember the needs of those around you! I love you all! -Elder Lawrence