Lauren has a talk (like a speech) at church tomorrow.  You are all welcome to attend.  Services start at 9:00 am Sunday.  She'd love it if you could make it.  Here are the details...

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
8140 Racine Trl
Austin, TX 78717
9:00 am

Here's what we know about Laurens trip home:

Yesterday was Laurens last day in her area in Joao Pessoa.  She probably said lots of goodbyes and then in the afternoon traveled across the city to the mission office with other missionaries to have an 'exit' dinner with President and Sister Hall.

This morning, very early, she got in a van and traveled south about 2 hours to the city of Recife.  There she attended the temple with other missionaries who are also going home.  Hopefully she also got to meet up with Waldemar y Herminia Arballo. An awesome couple from Brazil that we knew here in Round Rock.  They are serving as missionaries at the Recife temple.

TAM Linhas Aéreas
After attending the temple she was off to the airport to catch a 12:30 flight to Sao Paulo.  Sao Paulo will bring back lots of memories!  Being in the same place she started 18 months a go will probably make it sink in that she's really coming home.  She has a layover of 5+ hours in Sao Paulo then gets on a red-eye flight to Detroit.  She'll wake up landing in Detroit around 8 in the morning tomorrow.  Then wait another 5+ hours in the airport for her flight to Austin.

She should arrive at the Austin airport at 4:00 tomorrow.  That's a 31 hour trip!  We can't wait to see her!  She doesn't know but we're taking her to Rudy's after the airport. 

Remember the open house is Saturday from 6 to 9.

You waste time and happiness just wishing your time away for the next thing to come along. Be happy where you are at and be patient. One of my companions had a hard time and I explained to her that you have to choose to be happy now. Some people think I´ll be happy when, i go home or next transfer or next area. or whatever. That is a lie. You have to chose to be happy now. The people with the other attitude are never happy. Life is just an eternal journey. Being happy just at the end is choosing to never be happy at all.

This week sister carvalho was sick so we didn't get to work like we wanted too. I love missionary work and this week was awesome cuz it was wellingtons baptism! it was amazing! im sorry i forgot to bring the camera for pictures! but it was great! Damião baptized him and his mom came. she is blind so i described it to her as he was walking in the baptismal font. She was soo happy. she cried and really has a testimony too and during the hymn she told me she wanted to be baptized too, that she had already talked with her husband but needed permission. We are praying that he is ok with it and will accept it too! Valmir also went to the baptism. A family member had died and he had just been to the funeral, but he came. It was very faithful of him,this week we went and taught him and we helped him see that his faith is growing. a few weeks ago the first part we marked in the book of Mormon was Alma 32. then he went to church by himself and when i asked what part he liked the most he told me the exact verses. 26-28. he is very observant and quoted his favorite part of stake conference. He said he was just going to learn about the religion,but well we helped him see that his faith is growing and he can gain his own testimony and but he needs to be committed to do his part. we are super excited for him too. He has decided to look for his testimony sio its awesome. We also started teaching adeliane and her son. She is really excited to go to church and read and pray. She read the Restoration pamphlet and loved it and really wanted to know about Moroni

Oh! big news! so it rains like everyday the past 2 months maybe more. It rained so much yesterday that the machines that pump water to the town flooded. So they had to turn them off to prevent problems. That means that we are without water. For 5 days. This was normal in Tibiri, but we had a neighbor that had a well so we took showers from the bucket. now the 4 of us have 30 liters for the next 5 days! drinking water, toilets, dishes and shower-aka sponge bath... gross. Sister De Oliviera was joking saying the city Bayeux is literally turning french for the next 5 days hahah. yuck but nothing we can do. Oh man i remember laughing when i read that in the missionary handbook, missionaries should take a shower everyday when possible. well try to catch some rain water :) jk

I'm stoked for this weeks work and adventures of the french city of Bayeux! haha Beijos! Sister Richardson

Lauren has 2 weeks left on her mission. No, we cant believe it either!  Her last couple days she will travel from Joao Pessoa to Recife.  There she will go to the Recife Brazil temple with other missionaries who are also going home.  On Friday 8/5 she will fly from Recife to Sao Paulo to Detroit to Austin.  A 31 hour trip!  17 hours in the air, 14 hours waiting in airports. It will be a day full of mixed feelings; leaving the people she loves and served for a 18 months but also coming home to friends and family. 

If you live in or near Austin and you'd like to greet her with us at the airport you are welcome to come. She'd love it! Her flight should arrive at 4:00 pm on Friday August 5th. After the airport we are taking her directly to an undisclosed location - so no paparazzi please.

You are also welcome to come to an open house for Lauren the next day on Saturday 8/6 from 6 pm to 9 pm.  Please drop in and see Lauren. You can come anytime before 9 pm. Our new address: 510 King Eider Lane, Cedar Park. (map)

If you know Lauren but are not in the Austin area you can see and talk with her on Skype.  It's free.  She has an account and can see her and talk that way.  Email and I will pass your 'skype name' on to her so she can see you.  If you don't have Skype then now's your chance.

Recife Brazil Temple

Notice the soccer ball on the nose?  Yes, this is a Brazilian airline - TAM - her first flight is on one of these.

Yes, that's Lauren... No, that's not really the king of pop - but looks convincing!

Here she is presenting him with a free Book of Mormon.

Go For What You Want
And Don't Forget The Faith
Look At Yourself
And What You Doin' Right Now
Stand Back A Minute
Just To Check Yourself Out
Straighten Out Your Life
And How You're Livin' Each Day
Get Yourself Together
'Cause You Got To "Keep The Faith"

Sometimes when there is no water they wash clothes by hand. She seems to be having fun.

We think Lauren painted this - not sure. This keeps them cool at home.  Looks like it gets lots of attention. From her blog page, you can CLICK on the pink fan blade to see what it says.

Thought we better put these two pictures on her blog before it's too late.  This was in the very beginning of her mission.  A 'Greenie" is a new missionary.  She's not green now - but way back in the beginning it looks like she was.  Even the her shirt is green.  The flag of Brasil is on the table in front of her along with all kinds of green things.

Don't Mess with this Texan Sister!

Got TEXAS? Lauren does.

She loves Texas (and Brazil and Colombia too)