Monday, February 27, 2017

Georgia Week 1

February 27, 2017

Hey y'all!

I finally made it to Georgia and it has been quite the adventure. I never expected it to be warm already, for one thing. It's February, but we already have 70 degree weather some days, like it's summer or something. My trainer, Sister Anderson, says that summer heat is about three times worse, so I'm not looking forward to that. And then on some days, the weather can be cold and windy, so I really don't know what to think or how to dress in the morning - it's just always a surprise! There are also lots of trees and green grass here, similar to Maine. But there are also lots of big bugs and different plants that I have never even seen before, so I guess that's the South!

I have been transferred to the little town of Braselton, and my trainer is Sister Anderson. She is really nice and caring towards everyone, so she is teaching me everything I need to know about the area and missionary work in the field. She is from Moroni, Utah, and has been here a little over a year, so she knows the ropes! We both have missionary work and our faith in this gospel in common, so I know we can be a good team. She has been introducing me to many of the members - active and less active - here in the area and they are all so caring and friendly! A lot of them struggle going to church all the time, because there are a lot of part member families, and also because I believe our ward building is in Commerce. But they are all good people and it's all about getting to know and love them. I think that's a lot of what I learned this week - just being a friend and understanding with love all of the people here, member and nonmember alike, because when it really comes down to it, that's what this gospel is all about - loving people the way Jesus Christ loves us.

I also got to teach the two progressing investigators we have this week - Avery and Bridget. Avery is a high school senior who was dating the branch president's son before he left on his mission to Africa and Bridget is from a returning less active family.They are both so excited to learn and earnestly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and that's what makes me really love missionary work - just seeing the changes people go through and making the gospel a part of their lives! Avery is reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day, and Bridget, even though she is only 9, really wanted to pay tithing right after we taught her about it! I know this gospel is such a joy and a blessing, and when we give our lives to the Lord, we can experience that joy and happiness and peace in our lives that can only come from Him! Even as a missionary, I have experienced that faith continuing to grow and develop. It's been a bit of a transition to the mission field, but I am loving it! (So far no weird food or unintelligible accents, so I think we're good, :))

Talk to you again next week,

Sister Yount
Georgia Peach 2

Hello from Lilburn Georgia! (The Mission Home)

February 20, 2017

Hi family!

Sister Bennion, Sister Yount, and President Bennion
Just letting you know I got to Georgia safely!  The land of peaches and cockroaches, apparently. Anyway, we got to the mission home and learned where we will be serving after dinner (Cafe Rio style tacos! Yum!)  I am so excited to serve here in Georgia - Braselton (I think that's the name) with my trainer - Sister Anderson.  It will be an adventure, and I know I will learn so much about loving people the way Christ does by inviting them to come unto Him.  But I am also very tired, since I have been up since 3am on Utah time, so I bid you all goodnight.


Sister Yount
Georgia Peach #2

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

One Week Down (Officially not the baby anymore!)

Thursday February 9, 2017

Georgia Atlanta North Mission!


Cool badge pic
Sister Hansen and I pointing to our mission in Georgia on the World Map!
I made it through one week here at the MTC! A lot has happened this week, so I will try to describe it as best I can. 

You already know about that cool role play with the investigators as all the new missionaries had a chance to rotate and switch through teaching three different people. It reminded me a lot of the Stake Missionary Conference back home! Apparently that's what it's really like. I was able to feel the Spirit so strongly and really testify that these people are children of God! Heavenly Father wants them to be happy and have the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ and His Gospel in their lives! Everyone also said "Welcome to the MTC" when us newbies walked by since they out an orange sticker on our badges. Also, I LOVE the new magnet badges! They are amazing!

Sister Hansen and I on our second day here
Sister Hansen and I

That same day,  I also met my companion and district! My companion's name is Sister Hansen and we hit it off right away! She is a huge Harry Potter geek like me (plus Doctor Who, Sherlock, Avatar, you name it). She told me she is from a tiny town called Joseph City in Northern Arizona, which is mostly made up of a huge extended family...kind of like how everyone is related in that show Once Upon A Time. We are both going to serve in the Georgia Atlanta North mission and we are so excited to share the gospel together despite being two introverts who don't normally talk to complete strangers. She and I have already taught some lessons this week, too. They get you started right away here at the MTC! They are mostly members role playing, but it is still good practice for me and I feel like I am learning so much every day that I spend to teach people, work in unison with my companion, and learning the gospel better and how to grow my faith in Jesus Christ and feel His Spirit. 
Our district in the classroom we spend most of our time here in studying

Our first lesson took place on the third day. We were able to teach our teacher, Brother Hooper as an investigator he taught (Wayne). Sister Hansen and I did our best to teach him about the restoration. We fumbled a bit in working together in unison, but I think we are figuring it out. Our class is composed of our entire district at the MTC, which consists of all three companionships of Sisters who bunk in our room and two companionships of Elders. The Sisters are: Sister Reynolds & Sister Gifford, and Sister Hurd & Sister Chappell. The Elders in our district are Elder Tolman & Elder Stokes, and Elder Reeves & Elder Miller. After sharing our testimonies with each other on our first day together, we are a pretty tightly-knit group now. We are also all going to Georgia. Some are going to Macon, (like you, Mama!) but we will all be pretty close to each other for the duration of our missions, which is pretty cool.

Basically, our schedule every day has become a pattern of studying (Book of Mormon study, personal study, companion study) for investigators, class time learning skills for teaching, eating, exercise time (which is so great to have as a break from sitting down all day!) TRC  teaching for investigators, and sleep. TRCs (I'm actually not sure what the real name is!) are basically teaching opportunities that are set up for one week. So this week we teach Marcus, who was raised Catholic, but is now going to BYU is taking the lessons very well! Sister Hansen and I like to call him our golden investigator because our other investigator, Leah, is very strong in her religion in which she believes that Christians simply have to accept that they are weak and Jesus is the only one that can save them - we only try to show compassion to others because of Jesus' perfect grace for us. Sometime I feel so frustrated that she is so CLOSE to the truth, but she will only listen to us when we agree with her (meaning not anything that requires us to do things). My companion and I have agreed that we simply have to love her and there is a reason that Heavenly Father wanted us to have that challenge this week. 

It's a pretty crazy schedule, and pretty busy, too, but I have been enjoying it so much! I have never felt the desire to serve or the Spirit stronger in my life, and even though it is hard to leave  for a year, I know that this is my calling in the Lord's work.

I love all of you and want to thank you so much for your love and support in my mission! I am so excited to serve, and even though I have a lot to learn, I know I can do it. I miss you all and would love to hear from you! Please feel free to respond any day of the week since I can read emails any day.


Our district in front of the Provo temple
P.S. went to the temple today to do endowments and Sister Hansen and I did some family names :) It was amazing to be there!

And so it begins...

February 1, 2017

Today was the big day.  Sister Lauralee Yount enters the MTC in Provo, Utah to serve as a missionary in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission.  She will be at the MTC for 20 days as she studies, learns, and grows.  We have been so blessed as a family to have her serve the Lord.  She will be missed so very much, but are so grateful for her dedication and service.  Her farewell was on Sunday January 29, 2017.  Her talk on agency was powerful, and fitting as she has chosen to serve the Lord for the next 18 months.  God be with you till we meet again, Sister Yount!

Sister Yount and all her luggage
Brittany already missing her sissy
She is all smiles now, but wait until she moves all that luggage around
Sad to see our daughter go, but what a great missionary she will be
When she returns there will be no snow!!!

Last family picture for 18 months

One last goodbye
How do I carry all of this?
See you in 18 months!

After dropping her off early in the day, she sent a quick email later that night.  It read"  I am so excited to be here.  We did an investigator teaching experience with three different people today and it was kind of similar to stake missionary activities in the way that the whole group got to respond to the investigator.  I was really able to feel the Spirit during the second one when he was unsure whether God loved him.  I know that God loves all of us!  I love and miss you all!"