Sunday, April 28, 2013

Training Trio numero dos.

I've decided that my favorite form of training is definitely in trios. The training trio I'm in right now reminds me so much of the trio I was trained in. Both of my trainees are 20. I'm training Hna Post from Liberty,UT and Hna Dedrick from Yorba Linda, CA. Looking at Hna Post and Hna Dedrick I can see so much of myself and Hna Canova. We're a little cramped in our Pecan Park apartment, but President Crawford's favorite phrase of the transfer has been, "we'll make it fit!" (quoting Cinderella's step sisters). 

Hna Post took Spanish at BYU from one of my friends actually, Debra Taylor. How about that for a random connection. Hna Post is Hna Canova's twin. She's quirky, and I told her in a very lovingly way that her voice reminds me of Elmo from sesame street. :) Hna Post is so sweet, she's a little bit of a perfectionist. She knows so much, but sometimes she psyches herself out, and freezes. We'll keep role-playing till she gets it down! One of Hna Post's favorite pastimes is twirling in circles in our living room so that her skirts flow out. She constantly asks questions, because she wants to make sure she's doing things the right way. Hna Post also has three of the exact same downeast shirts. Hna Dedrick and I laughed so hard because Hna Post's closet for that brief second looked like a cartoon character's you know when they open their closet and have the exact same outfits. Hna Post really is so great though, and I know that she'll grow so much in the two transfers that we'll be together. 

Hna Dedrick is silently bold. She's still trying to figure out the language, but she's really great and English contacts! Hna Dedrick also, surprise surprise is half brown. Her mom is Bolivian. Hna Dedrick is really good at asking those thought provoking questions, and I know once she has the language down, she's going to be such a powerhouse! Hna Dedrick owns so much Roxy, it's ridiculous, she went on some roxy shopping sprees before, it suits her though. We always give each other these, "knowing" looks sometimes when Hna Post does something funny. Kind of like Hna Maughan and I used to do when Hna Canova would do something funny. 

We had really great lessons this week! 
We've developed this system, we divided the points of the first three lessons, and we're taking turns every two weeks switching on who teaches what. It was a bit of a revelation I had in the shower. So grateful the idea came early on, because teaching in a trio is kind of nuts. We had really great lessons this week!

Carlos, Hna Arcila and I's somewhat miracle, accepted a baptismal date for May 4th, so we're going to be working with him on that one. Hna Post extended the baptismal date, and I was so proud of her for doing so. We mostly just need to teach Carlos the commandments, and make sure that he's reading and praying on a daily basis. 

We taught Pedro & Victoria, they're the couple Hna Fox and I taught on my 7 miracle day. Pedro is really struggling with prayer. He is so shy and refuses to say the closing prayer in lessons, saying that he doesn't know what to say, and that he simply needs more time. We also were able to deliver to him an audio CD version of the Libro De Mormon because he can't read. We committed them both to listen and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. The downside to Pedro y Victoria is that we can only meet with them once a week because of their hectic work schedules, so it's a little tough to help them progress, but I guess that's where the faith and prayers come in.

We also had a really great lesson with Mairena, a woman Hna Arcila and I found during Hour of Power. Mairena had all her children sit on the couch and pay attention to our lesson, and they are all so knowledgeable of religious things, and the bible. We are going to finish teaching Mairena about the restoration today. We left off on the Apostasy and gave her a kind of trailer preview of things to come this week. Mairena expressed to us how she felt that we really did need a restoration in these days. And when we asked if there was anything we could do to help her and her family she said, "Just please keep on visiting us." :)

I really am starting to love Pecan Park, and that's super great considering I'll be here for the next 3 months. :)

te amo times a millz.
Hna Flores

The Latina Companionship se acabo.

Positive Pastimes in Pecan Park. (Hna Arcila & Hna Flores)

1. "Vine de tourista!" -Oscar in Willowcreek, on why he came to the U.S.A from Mexico.
2. Happy face pancakes from E. Tuai y E. Gardner
3. Our black cat friend in Willow Creek
4. "The <3 wants what the <3 wants." - E. Davis
5. Weigh ins w/ Hna Maria Mercedes Garcia & Griselda
6. CiCis pizza post district meeting, "herry! The kids are coming"
7. Running to catch Hna Arcila's stamps to the Philippines.
8. "I only believe in having one wife!" knocking Stillwell.
9. Hermanas 1 Satan 0, talking through our thought process at Noemi's lesson.
10. Comp inventory & cupcakes in the car. AKA Hna Flores having Pasadena withdrawals.
11. Love prophecies.
12. Meeting Carlos Quintanilla. #milagrodedios
13. President Crawford: "So what? What did we learn today?" Hna Lisyanskaya: " Love your companion, don't love the elders."
14. The time we decided to not go to zone Pday and the world ended.
15. Getting yelled at by the woman across the street for using the Elder's washer/dryer.
16. Our creeper Indian neighbors.
17. "Oh no! Not the electronic owl" -Hna Fox on hearing Justin Beiber's "Boyfriend" at the thrift store outlet.
18. An easter to remember: walking in the pouring rain, having nothing to eat, no people to teach, but still finding the good in the day.
19. Temple square missionaries vs."real" missionaries
20. Hna Fox and I's bonding session over our pen fetishes.
21. 7 miracle exchange day on my 7 month mark.
22. 3 hour hour of power birthday intervention extravaganza with President Crawford. 
23. The best HTBT lesson of my mission.
24. Thursday Lunches with the ZLs. 
25. bathrooms closed on both days.
26. Elotes on Heavenly Father. (finding $6 on the ground, and getting elotes on a rainy day)
27. La Luz Del Mundo hermanos with a quad, a healthy discussion on religious beliefs. 
28. "DELIVER US" from the Prince of Egypt blasting in the car.
29. Finding a box of unopened bag of chips on the side of the road. 
30. The sweet woman who raises/sells illegal fighting roosters.(and the puppy who became our friend, followed us, and then attacked them)
31. black mutant chicken with 6 toes.
32. Our miracle-filled Hora de Poder.

   I am writing this as I listen to an indie mix of the hymns, basically, I'm in heaven. I am so happy report that I'll be staying in Pecan Park for the next 12 weeks, because I'm training. And, this time, I'm training two brand new misioneras. Brand new as in that as I write this, they are on an airplane somewhere in the patch of sky between Salt Lake City and Houston. I am training two, and I've also been asked to serve as a Sisters Training Leader, not even sure if that's the official name. President Crawford called to extend the double training call, and then as we were saying our goodbyes he said, "Oh! I almost forgot, Sister Flores, I'm also calling to ask if you'd serve as one of our first Sister Training Leaders." Hna Arcila was silently screaming/mouthing "I TOLD YOU! I KNEW IT!" She and a couple of the Hnas had apparently been discussing the matter in great detail during a Pday Michoacana Refresqueria run. I asked President what the calling even means and he said, "Hna, I'm not even sure, the Church hasn't given us too much detail, but you know what? We're going to climb to the top of the accountability ladder and get it done."
   Hna Arcila and I saw miracles from being e x a c t l y obedient. We decided to stop treating our phone as our own personal cell phone to text our mission friends, and it made the biggest difference. We also this week really pushed for making our conversations completely purpose driven, no more daydreaming or telling pre- or post-mission stories/make-believes. We had the best week numbers wise, happiness wise, work wise, miracles wise, finding families-wise. 
  Super great quick story, Tuesday night we tried visiting a couple of people, but without much success. We decided to try a referral from Ricky, one of our investigators--his neighbor who lives upstairs. Turns out, he wasn't home either, but his next door neighbors were, Habacuc (no jives) and his wife. Habacuc lived in Compton/East LA for a bit #besties he and his wife are members of La Luz Del Mundo. We shared a bit about what we do as misioneras, spoke about our wonderful message to the world, and heard a bit about their beliefs. It was great, but we thought nothing of it. Fast Forward to Thursday night. We got a text from an unknown number, and it turned out to be Habacuc who was inviting us over to meet his brother. To our huge surprise, Habacuc's brother owns a quad (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Convenants, Pearl of Great Price), except he didn't know what it was for or what everything meant, so we helped explain things for him.
  Time is super limited today because we have to make room for my trio, clean, help Hna Arcila pack, but next time, I'll be sure to give a detailed description of each of the investigators we're working with, and about how great my companions are. We have found some great families. Sister Arcila and I built the area from scratch, all of our current investigators were not on the board 6 weeks ago. We've been working so hard, finding like crazy, and we have some great potential baptism candidates. So I'm super excited to stay here in Pecan Park.
  I love you all! I love la obra misional.

Hna Flores

                                     The box of unopened chips we found at the side of the road. 

Elotes on Heavenly Father!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


7 Miracles on my 7th month mark

Sister Crawford has a selection of favorite lines, and recently she shared in a special interview with my companion and I, "No comfort in the growth zone, and no growth in the comfort zone." My mission has been nothing, but rapid bursts of growth. I always knew that I was going to serve a mission, but the "when" was always a little fuzzy. Would I take a year off of school or would I wait till after I graduated. I chose the latter, really depending on faith. It's a scary thought to think that when I go home, nothing waits for me, no school, no job, the unknown! But, I know that this time is the time that I was supposed to serve a mission. When President Monson announced the age change for sister missionaries, it was only a confirmation of my thoughts. Now was/is/and will forever be the time that I was supposed to serve a mission. 
   The concept of a "mission" is changing completely. I trained as soon as I was done training, I was extremely "young" in terms of time being out in the field, I was inexperienced, but I grew so much from the experience. In a recent sit down with President Crawford, he told me that he has been pondering on having me train two missionaries at once. Kind of unheard of, but if you recall, I was trained that way, by a super experienced missionary, who I will forever love and be grateful for. Nothing is set in stone, but the possibility has been expressed. 
   Over the weekend, the Church announced that missionary organization is being adjusted with sister leadership positions. It was a change that my companion and I had just days earlier been joking about, expressing our disbelief that it would ever happen. And yet, here we are just days later with this change staring at us in the face. The work is hastening, of that I'm sure, and I am so grateful that NOW amidst all the change is when I am on my mission. I was able to see the evolution from the very beginning, and I know without any doubt that at this point in my life, this is where I need to be, this is what I need to be doing. 
  On Friday, we had exchanges with the South Houston Hnas, it also happened to be my 7th mark on the mission! I was companions for the day with Hna Fox, who came out to the field with me at the same time. It was the first time that I was working with someone who had the same amount of time as I did out in the field, and we saw miracles! 7 of them to be exact. 

7 Miracles on my 7th Month Mark. 

1. The mail arrived before 10 a.m. The mail has arrived at our apartment everyday at around 6pm for the past 5 weeks. There was one letter, a letter for me from my beloved mother containing a Sailor Moon sticker which made me laugh, and a letter written on a paper, made to look like a book. The letter contained words of wisdom and grace that I needed exactly at that point in time. 

2. I received a letter containing copies of my grandparents patriarchal blessings. After zone meeting, Elder Jensen (ZL) told me, "Hna Flores somehow a letter of yours got left behind in the trunk of our car. It's from the Church History Library...?" The Zone Leaders had previously handed out all mail. The blessings were beautiful, the promises contained there helped me to feel an even stronger desire to uphold my family legacy.

3. A stranger gave us a $20 bill. We were at chick-fil-A post zone meeting, and a woman (mid 20s) dressed in black clothing with red hair, walked up to the table that we were sitting at, and said, "thank you for all that you do." Placed $20 on the table and walked away. 

4. I've been asked to help out with the creation of a blog for the mission. Hna Fox and I spent some time working on said blog that will help to connect President Crawford with ward and stake leaders in the boundary of our mission. I'm so happy that I still get to use and put into practice all the things that I learned at school even while being out here serving the lord. Above mentioned blog can be found at

5. Carlos understands that he has to pray to receive confirmation from the Holy Ghost that the LDM es verdadero! Hna Fox and I taught him that it's great that he knows the LDM is true because it contains things from the Bible, but that it will be even better if he receives confirmation from the spirit, undeniable confirmation that it is true. 

6. The most natural contact. We walked up to two women, two bffs, and had the most seamless contact ever. We talked about the importance of families, how the gospel blesses families, etc. Unfortunately, the woman we were really excited about lives in the Pasadena Zone Leader's area. Yes, I'm still giving investigators away to them. :]

7. I taught the BEST lesson of my mission.  Hna Fox and I were talking in the car about how we feel as though we haven't seen the success we thought we would. We talked about how we are working with the faith for 50 baptisms, we have changed our teaching, we are pushing ourselves to talk to everyone. We were talking about this as we pulled up to our final appointment for the day. We said a prayer, humbling ourselves before the Lord, telling him that we would continue to work hard till the end of our missions, that we knew 50 baptisms a month, a baptism a month for us was possible, but only with his help. That prayer proceeded the BEST lesson I have taught on my mission. It was a How To Begin Teaching lesson. This was the first time Hna Fox and I had met this sweet couple (Pedro & Victoria). On Pday Hna Fox and I had been talking about how we had yet to have a lesson like the lessons on the district videos. This experience was our lesson. We hit every HTBT point, we asked inspired question, and there was no denying the spirit was there, because we inspiredly asked our investigators to describe how they felt. We even remembered to leave them a trailer preview! It was WONDERFUL! and Heavenly Father knows I needed that. 

I know that our Father in Heaven is so mindful of everyone of his children, I know that my Redeemer lives, I know that I am where I am supposed to be. I love you all!

Te amo times a millz, 
Hna Flores

Sunday, April 7, 2013


My Easter feast literally consisted of jelly beans, cashews (which were sent to me by my parents) ,and a bottle of water. We don't get fed that much, and while any other day of the week is fine, on Sundays it's kind of a struggle #diadereposo. It wasn't my typical easter, wasn't my favorite easter, but it will probably be my most memorable. 
   Easter Sunday where to begin!? We carpooled with E. and Hna Ventura (our sweet senior missionaries) to church. We had a total of 7 miles left for the month and so we were on foot yesterday in the pouring rain. A member family honked at us and waved, and smiled, but still just drove on. We were hungry, we were tired, soaking wet, but I was still humming church hymns, and thinking, "Isn't this great! Only on the mission could something like this happen."  We also were creepily honked at by older men in mini vans and trucks, and our appointments all fell through. A missionary experience I had read from Elder Holland's life came to mind about his cold, wet, lonely, Christmas in England and thought, "aha! So this is what that feels like." I wasn't miserable yesterday, it was actually quite humorous, and although there was no grand feast, or no incredible Other Side of Heaven like miracle, I was happy. I survived Easter in Houston, TX!
   As a mission, we've been reading the Book of Mormon together, a little slower paced (President Crawford has us reading only 2 pages a day). Yesterday's reading of the Book of Mormon was just so appropriate for Easter, we read parts of Mosiah 14 and 15. Mosiah 14 contains the Isaiah 53 chapter and verse 5 summarized for me so beautifully what Easter is all about.
   "But he was wounded for our trangressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
   I thought that was so beautiful! So poetic.The chastisement of our peace. If anything reading the Book of Mormon at a slower pace has helped me to see what a beautiful piece of literature the Book of Mormon (& the bible, seeing as this verse is technically from Isaiah) really is. 
   There is beauty all around. Houston is not the prettiest city, there is so much wickedness here, and yet on my walk in the pouring rain yesterday I was still able to find little tidbits of the beauty that our Heavenly Father created for us.

1. Finally taught a lesson to Carlos the miracle man from two weeks ago. It went well, he was kind of in a hurry to talk about Joseph Smith, the lamanites, and the Nephites, but we had to help him back track and see that he first had to understand the bigger picture.
2. Ricky. We had a lesson with him yesterday! A lesson with a young woman from our ward. This young woman was a rockstar! Her testimony is so solid, and I almost thought that she was my companion for a split second.

Te amo times a millz.
Hna Flores

Monday, April 1, 2013

Musings on the Atonement

Two months ago, while I was going through a bump in the road on the mission, I received a blessing in which I was counseled to study more fully the atonement. As a missionary, most of my free time/study time is dedicated to helping our investigators, so the atonement had kind of been resting on the back burner. This week however, the thought to study the atonement made it's way to the forefront of my mind. While my companion was driving one day this week, I was flipping through this month's Ensign, and came across the article, "the Enabling Power of the Atonement." I read the article out loud to my companion, and the following quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland grabbed my attention. Elder Holland was commenting on the scripture, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you....Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 Elder Holland said, "[This] may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart. I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident it his care or secure in his hands." I had previously (before the mission) always thought of the atonement as this cleansing power, a purifying agent. I am not perfect, by any means, and I don't mean to share this to boast of myself, but I hadn't ever committed any serious sin. I'm pretty on point about obeying all of the commandments, and so at times it was difficult for me to understand how the atonement directly related to me, Lauren Marie Flores, personally. At the end of the article was a footnote reference to an article from the April 2012 Ensign, an article taken from a speech given by Elder Bednar. I recognized the talk as one Hna Maughan (my dear trainer) had read, loved, and cut out. Thankfully, Hna Arcila and I had chronologically ordered all the Ensigns in our apartment, and I found the Liahona the article was in. This little passage of truth changed my heart forever: "Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints--for good men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. We may mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves, through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities. The gospel of the Savior is not simply about avoiding bad in our lives; it also is essentially about doing and becoming good. And the Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. Help from the Savior is available for the entire journey of mortality--from bad to good to better and to change our very nature." Elder Bednar's words changed my perspective on the atonement in such a profound way. I can't begin to adequately describe the joy that poured into my soul as I read over Elder Bednar's words. It was as if warm rays of sunshine were penetrating my heart, and at the end of reading the article I said a prayer and right then and there put into practice the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. While in church yesterday, I realized, and had an epiphany that this week is the week before Easter! Hna Arcila and I have decided that this week, we want to start having D.E.A.R time (Drop Everything And Read) from 10:15-10:30 and to this week especially focus on reading about the Last week of our savior's life. I am so excited to see what I can learn from my reading, and I know Easter will have an even greater meaning. quickmissionNEWS: 1. Had Sisters training this week: Come July there will be 60 sisters/hermanas in our mission. When I came out there were only 23. translation:President has to open a ton of new areas, and have an army of trainers. 2. Graciela did not get baptized. :( She has decided to wait till she comes home from Honduras. 3. Remember Carlos? The miracle from last week? Well, still haven't had a lesson with him, BUT last night we met with him and he had us explain how missionary discussions go. He had studied with other groups in the past, and said he had had to pay for lessons. We cleared things up for him. :) 4. We have a great new investigator! We're teaching a young 16 year-old, Ricky. His cousin (Walter) is a member of our ward, RM, super great. Funny story, Walter is actually the first member of the church I met here in Texas. He drove me and my companions home to Pasadena when I got here. 5. My piano playing has gotten so great, granted I'm not all-the-way-there, but it's definitely improving. I love spending my Sundays jumping around and playing the piano for different classes and such. 6. We had an amazing lesson with a sweet woman named Zulema right after sister's training. We put into practice in that lesson all that we had learned at sisters training, and at the end Zulema said, "estuvo bien la platica verda?" She didn't want us to leave! Hopefully we can help her to progress! Sorry about the essay, If you read it all you're a trooper. 

Te amo Y'all! Hna Flores