December 30, 2013 Happy New Year!

Hello errybody!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas with friends and family! Or investigators and less-actives for you cool missionaries. Our Christmas season was full of two things: illness and miracles. After being sick for about a week straight, I got pink eye for Christmas! Yeah, so that was pretty fun. I'm currently on antibiotics and all is well in building up the kingdom. (when I spell kingdom I always have to say "king" in my mind or else I get the g and the d mixed up.)

This is how my pink eye went down. I'm pretty sure I caught it somewhere on Christmas Eve because I woke up on Christmas with nasty crusty eyes. I'm sure you wanted to know that. But I pretty much brushed it off because my eyes weren't bothering me. But by the end of the day one of my eyes was swollen and goopy. I'm sure you wanted to know that, too. So we went to our bishop's on Christmas and when he saw me the first thing he said was, "your eye is booger-y." Yeah bishop. Thanks. So he's a PA and wrote me a prescription right there. Except I couldn't fill it until the next day. You know, everything's closed on Christmas and whatnot. So that's fine. But I woke up with my eye swollen shut the next day. I looked ridiculous. And probably a bit freaky. It's definitely for the best that I was home-bound because I would have scared so many children. 

So I was in quarantine a lot of this week, but it was all honky dory because Sister J got to go on splits a few times and rock the work. Miracle there! 

My highlight of the week was, of course, W!!! AHH I just love her!! If you met W you would love her too. She's just the bomb.com. So Sister J and I made gingerbread cookie dough for our investigators, less-actives we're working with, and some members that help us out a lot. Sister C (the member we live with) helped out a lot too because I was sick. Don't want to be spreading those germs with the Christmas spirit! We were told to make visits on Christmas by invitation only and we figured if we showed up with cookie dough they would invite us in. Makes sense, right? Yeah, it totally worked. So we showed up at W's house on Christmas with our goodies and being the rockstar she is, invited us right in. It was awesome because her husband was there in the living room watching tv. And he stayed, turned off the tv, and talked with us! He's a football coach at the high school, so he loves to talk sports. I really don't know that much about football, but I'm a good listener and in high school I just kind of soaked a lot of stuff in even though I don't know what it means. So I talked to him a little about football, basically name-dropping my way through it. It was awesome. We got to show him that we're normal people, not just random missionaries that are trying to "Mormon-ize" his wife. Because that's not true. Anyway, he invited us to come back and talk to him again (meaning about football), but we'll totally get him talking about the gospel soon. :) Bahhhh I just love W. And she didn't even care that I was there with pink eye! Don't worry, I hand sanitized. 

And then yesterday was... interesting. We're working with a recent-ish convert/somewhat less-active named J and his mom. So J got engaged a few weeks ago and shocked us all. Then he told us that he's removing his records of the Church because his fiance A wants to marry a Christian. (Uhh... J?) And then yesterday they show up together at church. He's just full of surprises. A is such a sweetheart and just seemed kind of overwhelmed being there. We were planning on giving her a church tour a few days before, but she was sick so we didn't think she would come. But A doesn't understand that we're Christians and even though we've explained it multiple times, it hasn't clicked yet. And then J explains everything to her as, "the Mormons do this..." Not "we" but "the Mormons." Hey J, you're a Mormon too. Just in case you forgot. Oh bless his heart. I need to be more patient. But A is willing to learn about the Church while J is ready to abandon ship. Like he's already got his floaties ready. It's rough. But it's gonna be awesome.

So those are some of the highlights of this week. 

OH! I almost forgot. So we've been seeing a less-active named C and his living partner named R. She's the one that has interesting beliefs. We dropped off some cookie dough and chatted for a bit. Chatting with them basically consists of listening to her share and then discuss where our doctrine differs. We're kind of reminding C while teaching R. But C always suggests he say a closing prayer (yeahhhh!) and he starts talking about me getting my visa. It went a little bit like this: "And please bless ....... Sister ...... Chreest-oh that she'll get her visa soon." Sister J had opened her eyes during the prayer to see C a few inches away from my name tag, squinting in the dim lights to read my name. Hahaha I just about died. Seriously. 

So I'm excited for the new year and to make resolutions and goals and what not. It's gonna rock. And we also activated Facebooks on Saturday! Boo yah. We're convinced it's pretty much for W so we can show her Mormon Messages. Every video we've tried to have her look up, she hasn't been able to find. So it's like manna from heaven to just link it to her page. The Lord provides! Hurrah!!

But I love you all! I'm so proud off all the work you are all doing! 

Keep on keeping on and remember who you are and what you stand for!!

Sister Baker

December 23, 2013 Merry Christmas!!

Hello Hello and Merry Christmas!

This week has kind of been all over the place. In both a good and bad way I guess. 

Last week we went to this thrift store called Trash to Treasure and I found the COOLEST sweatshirt. Emma will be jealous, I just know it. When I saw it, I started freaking out. You know how I do. I'll attach a picture. But it's all 80s and says "Jazzercise" and "Oregon" on it!!! How sweet is that! Merry early Christmas to me!

Tuesday we got stuck in the mud on the way to visit a less active couple. Luckily they knew we were coming and helped us out. It was pretty embarrassing. Not for us really. Mostly for the car. I even got out to push and it just made the car shake. The picture looks pretty pathetic, but it really was stuck! No traction at all. Anyway, we got out of it fine. And it makes for a good story. You've got to get stuck in the mud at least once on your mission, right?
Wednesday we had a Mission Conference up in Salem with the Samuelians. So. Much. Fun. It wasn't the entire mission, just a third. But we listened to President and Sister Samuelian talk about Christ and Christmas. It was awesome!! They're just amazing. After the devotional part we had dinner, then each district had about ten minutes to come up with a Christmas-y skit that would last a few minutes. A few elders had the idea to have a "silent night" and just stand there silently for a few minutes. Uhhh. No thanks. But we couldn't really think of anything else and everything kept coming back to the fact (sort of) that Sister Baker knows how to rap. So this is how our skit went down. It's a "new tracting techniques" video introduced by one of the elders wearing a santa beard and a hat. Four elders knock on a mans door and start singing Christmas carols. The guy is totally bored and uninterested, and this is where the sistas step in. We see this all from a few yards away and come in with a beat and rapping and pure awesomeness. The guy at the door starts doing a happy dance and takes a Book of Mormon. And the crowd goes wild.

Yeah. That's what's up. It was pretty fun. The other three sisters pulled off a good beat and I rapped it up. Even though I couldn't really be heard, it was fun. President Samuelian was super impressed. He said "You can take the girl out of Charlotte, but you can't take Charlotte out of the girl!" Haha. What a hoot. 

President and Sister Samuelian also made up a Oregon Salem Mission version of the 12 Days of Christmas. I was grateful for the personal shout-out as one of the "7 visa-waiters". Good times, good times.

And the elder in my district that's going to Brazil too got his visa! I'm super excited for him. He's been waiting a transfer longer than I have. 

So then after that the week has kind of spiraled downward. 

One of our less active members takes care of one of our investigators because she's homebound to a wheelchair. Well the LA member had a mental breakdown and didn't go help our gator all day. That's a long time to be stuck in a chair. So we called around and had a member who does hospice care come help us figure things out. The member couldn't actually do anything to help without consent from the doctor or she would lose her license, and our investigator just couldn't understand that for some reason. We think the lack of medical care was effecting her brain functions. Anyways. It was just a whole lot of mess with a whole lot more details. We were so lucky that our Bishop's wife told us to call this member to help because otherwise we could have been in legal trouble if we tried to help our gator ourselves. 

That was Friday. Then Saturday I woke up with a fever and some other junk. So we stayed home all day. And our Bishop (who is a PA) told us not to come to church yesterday, too. So we were in quarantine this weekend and I'm still not feeling so hot so we're going back home to sleep today. I don't think I've ever slept this much during the day because of a sickness. It's kind of a weird feeling. It also feels really weird just to be home all day. I get the urge to go out and do something, then I walk to the living room and I'm worn out. It's a pain. Hopefully we'll be better after today because we've got some big plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas! We've got things to do! People to see! I can't have some stinkin' virus holding me back!

Random side note: I got a new journal a while back. It's pretty big. And I had the thought, I wonder which will come first: the end of the journal or my visa? 

It's like the tootsie roll commercial. The world may never know...

So that's all for this week! This upcoming week is going to be awesome, I just know it! Sister J and I are planning on spreading love and happiness and peace and all sorts of other goodies. We're making stuff to take to less-actives, investigators, and members. I'm so excited! Feel the Spirit of Christ this Christmas!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!
Keep on keepin' on!

Love you all,
Sister Baker

December 16, 2013 Still in Sweet Home


Life's rocking over here in the OSM.
This is Olivia, a girl in our ward and she looks so much like Emma I think! We've had a few members in the ward tell us we look like sisters. And I figure Emma looks like me and she looks like Emma so it all makes sense.

Then there's the biggest Christmas tree I've ever seen in someone's house. They live in this huge workshop type deal and have a massive tree!

This is us with Sister C at the Christmas fireside at the stake center

Last p-day we decorated the C's Christmas tree. It was fun to do a bit of fun Christmas-y stuff. We talk about Christmas about twelve times a day, but never have time to do fun things (I mean, other than change people's lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ). But ya know, like baking cookies and whatnot. Oh, and we've gotten about 3 dozen cookies/brownies/brittle/whatever this past week from members and less actives. So. Much. Sugar. I feel bad regifting food, but I'd rather not have "diabeetus" in my 20's.

We tracted in the snow this past week. It was pretty sweet because:
1- We found a few solid potential investigators
2- I know my husband gets exponentially hotter the longer I tract in poopy weather. 

^ That's a fact, folks. 

We also helped put up Christmas lights for a less active! That was sah-weet. I guess we do more fun things that I realize. I'm just in an Oregon blah right now because the sky's always gray. Anywhoo. We helped Sister R with her lights while it was raining and there was snow on the ground. At one point Sister J was climbing a tree (not in a skirt. don't worry), but I'm sure from a neighbor's perspective it looked pretty funny. Sister R then proceeded to give us a plate piled full of goodies. We've learned to stop protesting because she just piles on more sweets.

Like I said, there are about 400-500 less-actives in Sweet Home (I feel like the number changes every time I talk to the Bishop). We've been seeing a less-active and his mom is an investigator. His stepdad just sits and listens. Oh and asks us to pray for him to win the lottery. J has some sort of learning disability and still lives with his parents. But they're all so great and I love them. We had the privilege of teaching them all how to make hot chocolate last week, too. (How they've managed to last this long without it blows my mind.) So we went over for our lesson and come to find out that J's engaged. Uhh... what??! He's been dating this girl he met at the mall and they've been on 3 dates. She already has a dress and they have a date set. I'm still a bit in shock and don't really know what to think. So we're trying to be supportive there.

Another interesting experience. There's a less active named C and his non-member living partner R that's we've been visiting pretty frequently. We never know what to expect when we walk in there. R has some very interesting beliefs and is interesting to talk to. She told us how Christ was beamed down to earth from a space station and all about conversations that humans have had with humanoids. She says that Christ has been reincarnated into other people because he had more to do. Or something like that. Honestly it just makes my heart ache to hear someone talk about the Savior like that. But we are respectful and share our beliefs. We're helping C remember what he used to know and we can tell he's progressing. I'm careful what I say around her because I offended her in October by inviting her to our ward Trunk-or-Treat twice. And she's brought it up every time since. So Sister J invited them to the Christmas activities. 

This week I've just felt kind of blah. Ya know? I feel like I'm working harder every week and at the same time it seems like we haven't gotten much accomplished these past three weeks. We're really trying to work with the ward and help them understand that we're here to help them with their missionary work. It's tough, but it's so worth it. I hope the members feel our excitement and our energy for the work, because we're doing all that we can. We're not perfect, but the Lord is on our side and makes up for our imperfections. He gives us weaknesses so through Him we can become strong. It's what He does. It's awesome. 

I also realized this week how important a solid foundation of faith is. We have a less-active family that we're working with. They're the ones that call us their "missionettes". Love them. Anyways, Brother and Sister T have both been members a long time and know a lot of church doctrine, but they didn't have a solid grasp of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It helped me understand that we must center our testimonies on Jesus Christ or the world will knock us down like it says in Helaman 5:12. 

Seeing people's lives change is amazing! 

Random story. We're teaching C, the woman that the Ts are caregivers for. We taught her about the Word of Wisdom and gave her a pamphlet. R was standing in the back and saw that she has a pamphlet that he doesn't have. So he came over and jokingly chastised us saying, "I might have to call the Bishop on you two...Hmm... I'll just pray for you." Ha! Love it! I'll take all the prayers I can get!

Christmas is next week?!!? Ahh! We're singing the song "Guard Him, Joseph" at our ward's Christmas devotional and it's gonna rock everyone's socks off. 

I love you all! 

Keep on keeping on! Remember who you are and what you stand for! Have the day you have!

Sister Baker OUT

Another thing I realized. People are always watching me. How creepy/flattering is that? I did my hair in an upside down french braid in the back to a bun (not gonna lie, it looked good) and at the stake Christmas fireside I saw one of the young women in the ward with her hair like that. She said she got the idea from me. I'm such a trendsetter! Jokes. That would be Pinterest. Can't even try to take credit there. But people are always watching. 

Name that movie!
"Always watching, Mike Wazowski." (awh man that one's not even hard!)
Name the person speaking!


December 9, 2013 It's Snowing!!! Brrr...

Thank goodness for coats, gloves and boots!
The family history center here is pretty chilly so I'm writing emails in gloves today. Call me a baby, I don't care. Time is bizarre. I think it's been about 6 months since last p-day but at the same time it could have been yesterday. The beginning of last week we drove out to Crawfordsville, a little town outside of this little town. It's the kind of tow

n where people live who don't want neighbors. So we drove out yonder to track down some less actives. That was pretty fun. We talked to a few and are planning on going back soon. We had a pretty sweet lesson with our investigators R and L. They haven't really been progressing because they won't pray about the Book of Mormon, but agree with most of it. They won't bring up their issues though because they don't want to hurt their feelings. Ray said he doesn't want me to beat him up. I'm like WHAT?! Ray, you're just ridiculous. But we left 3 Nephi chapter 12 with them last week and they just loved it. I mean it's probably because it's almost identical to the chapter in Matthew, but whatevs. It's amazing that Ray actually listens to what I say! He's said he always thinks of me now when he reads the scriptures and prays because I'm always asking if he prayed about it. Haha. He knows I'm persistent. And when he said that Christ could return at any moment I lovingly corrected him and he listened! That was nice that he didn't brush it all aside. Baby steps! And if you're wondering, L sits in the corner and listens while we talk with R. He's hard of hearing so it's always an adventure. We spoke at Young Women in excellence this week. That was pretty sweet. All the speakers were to pick their topics and almost all of us spoke about divine nature. The Spirit works! W! We had a lesson with our 'gator W and she is straight up golden. We weren't able to meet for the past few weeks and she told us that she missed us coming, but we were like, oh no Wendy. WE missed you. She's awesome!! BAHHH! According to the chiropractor, I'm a yellow on the color scale therapy thing. Not entirely sure what that means, but he said I'm motivated by fun. He sure hit the nail on the head. My motto is: "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." Gordon B. Hinckley. (can't take credit for that one!) We had a mission conference scheduled for Friday. Like the whole mission. Yeah. Big deal. So we drove to Lebanon (they pronounce in like lebanin here) just to be told that our zone wouldn't be going because of the snow. Then we turned around and drove home and didn't drive for the rest of the day. We ended up walking about halfway to one of our appointments in the snow until a member picked us up. I sure did feel like a pioneer. Except a super duper spoiled pioneer. One of our 75-year old investigators called Sister J and I foxy. Yeah. I don't like that. And he touched my hand! I don't like people touching my hands! Shaking hands is fine, but no lingering. Gives me the heebee geebees. But bless his heart he's just old. We've been visiting the P family about once a week for the past month or so. They're less active and the mom seems very interested in coming back to church as do the kiddos. At the beginning when we would come over, Brother Phister would pretty much ignore us the whole time. Slowly but surely he's started talking to us more. So his wife needed a priesthood blessing and we asked our assistant ward mission leader to do that. He suggested that we also ask him to participate (they were married in the temple, the works.) and J and I were really unsure how that would go over. But we all went over that night, chatted for a bit, then Brother X (assistant WML) asked if Brother P could help with the blessing. We were all praying that he would say yes, and he did! He looked pretty nervous, but anointed the oil for her blessing. Afterwards he said that it felt good to use the priesthood. Yeah buddy!!! I know Sister P really enjoyed seeing her husband do that for the first time in a long time. So that was awesome. Then on Sunday we were asked at the very end of Sunday School if we could teach Relief Society. I said we could before I even could think about it. So yeah. We had barely looked over the lesson before we taught. Thank goodness for the Spirit, otherwise that lesson would have been so rough. But it was really great! We had a lot of participation from the sisters and I think we were pretty funny. You've got to keep things lively, ya know? That's pretty much what's going on over here in Sweet Home. Oh and the First Presidency Christmas Devotional rocked my socks off. Keep it real. Remember who you are and what you stand for. I love you all! Sister Baker Once upon a time Sister J made a snow angel in the skirt and because I'm not crazy I just stole the credit for it by putting my name tag. :)
Sister Missionary Snow Angel

December 2, 2013. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Love this family--The Hansons

So this week has been the most bizarre week of my mission thus far. Not a bad bizarre. Just weird. And also awesome.
We were told that instead of Monday being our p-day, it would be on Thursday. That's why we told those members to tell you so you wouldn't be sad not getting an email for a few days. Then that night we were told we could still email and get food. After that mini-pday, we went to pick up our third sister, Sister M! Getting her took up about half of the day, then we continued on with our missionary-ness.

Tuesday. On Tuesday. It started off bright and early with a pumpin' up devotional at seminary. That was fun! (I've got some pictures of us and the dead seminary students. I remember those days...) For Tuesday we had planned to go on splits with a girl named H from our ward who's thinking about serving a mission. Clearly we would love for her to join the ranks. Anyway we got a phone call from the office about my visa and the extra papers i had to fill out. Ma and pa, you know all about that now! That was so funny to call the mission office about a question and hear him say that he had you on the other line. Hahah. So Sister M and I worked on those papers while Sister J and H went to see a less active. It was nice that we still got some work done amidst all that crazy paperwork.

Wednesday. I prefer to call it d-day. Or death-day. That is, death of the trio. That morning our beloved trio died because Sister M was being transferred up to Salem. That took most of the day and was pretty bummy.

Thursday. THANKSGIVINGGGGG! Num num num!! We got to have dinner with the C family, the awesome members that we live with. Sister C made all the Thanksgiving treats and it was wonderful. Since it was our p-day, both Sister J and I took naps! Mine ended up being two hours!!! Hurrah for Israel! We also turkey-attacked our bishop, some less-actives and some investigators. You know, like heart attacking, but with turkeys. We also made Christmas paper chains for decor for our room. The issue is that they won't stay up now. Bahhh.

Friday. Our investigator R got baptized!!!! We were calling to make sure members were coming, then found out that it was also the night of the Civil War game. That's the football game with OSU Beavers vs UO Ducks. It's a huge deal here. Like Carolina and Duke basketball time 5. I didn't think that could happen, but it does. I guess it's because they don't have as many big universities to rival each other. So it ended up that about half of the ward was at one house watching the game, so when that 
family remembered about the baptism everyone else came too. It 
was awesome. By far the most people I've ever seen at a convert baptism and R  felt so loved!
Saturday. We saw two less-actives- a mother and her daughter.

As we were leaving they gave us 5 HUGE slices of pie. I'm
talking massive. We're getting better at saying no to sweets, but not that much better. People give us food sooooo much and I can't even handle it. When I get to Brazil my mission weight loss plan A is to walk and sweat everything off. And my plan B is a tapeworm. Just kidding mom. I'll use that water filter thingy thing.

And Saturday we had dinner with the HANSON FAMILY!!!! The coolest family this side of the Mississsippi came down to have dinner with me and Sister J! It was totally wicked! (read that like the little boy at the end of the incredibles) AHH. I just love that family and they know it. (Hayyy Sister Hanson- I know you're reading this!) And Emma, the youngest daughter, made J and I these super cute bracelets. You had best believe I'm rocking it every day.
Sunday funday. R was confirmed at church then bore his testimony!! It was sah-weeeet. Then his wife D bore her testimony during Relief Society. She gets really bad stage fright so that was a huge deal for her. Now our goal for them is the temple!! That night we had a lesson at the Bishop's with a less
active family.  They're pretty funny and call us their "missionettes." According to them, the elders are called the missionaries and the sisters are called missionettes. I think it's pretty funny, so whatever floats their boat I guess.

That's the lowdown of Sweet Home. We've been working with a lot of less actives and it's been fun. I've been writing a tender
mercy in my journal every night and it's been amazing to look back on every day and see that hand of the Lord and see how much he's blessed me that day. For instance, when Sister M and I were working on paperwork and R's  baptismal program, there wasn't any paper in the printer and we don't have the keys to the library to get more (we're working on that). We also didn't have the phone- Sister J and H  did. I don't have our phone number memorized, but I found an extra program from Sunday with our phone number on it and also all the leaders in the ward's numbers. One of the sweetest women in the ward drove all the way to the church to give us the keys to the library and offered to give us a ride to the police station so I could get my fingerprints for my paperwork (we also didn't have the car). It was just a little thing that made a huge difference in how the day went and how we were able to get things done.

Mamma- I haven't gotten your package, but I'm super excited!!!

Oh. I had a dream the other night that I was getting transferred to the Ukraine and Evelina Moraru (from Chick-fil-A) was going to
be my companion. That would have been awesome. Except I don't speak Ukranian! Haha.
We went to the chiropracter last week and I found out my right side is shorter than me left. Who knew? My back's been kinda achy and poppy recently so we're going to get that checked out today. I'm pretty pshyched!
Yup. That's all. Keep it real. Remember who you are and what
you stand for.

Love, peace, and chicken grease,
Sister Baker

November 25, 2013 It's beginning to look a lot like a new transfer...

Sing that in your head like that Christmas song. Just do it.

So today starts transfer 3 out in the field for me! Weird, huh?! Sister J and I are picking up another sister today, so I'll be in a trio again! Whooohooo. Love me some trios. They're fun. We're a little cramped for space in our room, but it's gonna be awesome. I think President Samuelian wants us in a trio just in case my visa comes through. I mean it probably won't anytime soon, but just in case. I was hoping to spend both Natals in Natal, but I'm down for whatever happens. 

Last p-day after we emailed, we went to the stake center for a zone p-day. We just ended up playing volleyball for 3 hours, but I saw a friend from my BYU ward, Elder Lima. He kept calling me Katie and I'm like "homeboy you can't call me that!" Except I didn't say homeboy. It was kinda funny though. 

Then later that day a member called and asked what we would be doing that night. We told him that we were going to try to contact a referral he gave us. Then he was like well just be at my house at 7 and we'll have a lesson with him. It was pretty sweet. His name is R and he's really interested. He talked about busting out his blue pinstripe suit for church and how he's been missing something in his life and he wants to change. He was going to come to church yesterday, but Brother L (the member) was sick and I guess didn't give him a ride or something. I wish we would have known he was sick so we could have found a ride for R. But alas. C'est la vie. And we have a lesson with him tonight. It's gonna be awesome. 

We need to help our ward with fellowshipping. We had three investigators at church yesterday, and two of them were sitting by themselves! Not okay. We had already said we would sit by a less active family and tried to arrange for some friendshipping, but it just didn't happen. Our ward seems super excited about missionary work, so we've got to help them put that desire into action. It's a work in progress. As is everything else. 

We also had a lesson with our investigator D (the one that made the amazing pies). Yeah so he tried to drop us yesterday, saying that he isn't going to join the church and has a hard time with the Book of Mormon.  So we just talked it out and it seems like he understands the purpose of the Book of Mormon more, but still has concerns. The hard thing is that he has a hard time expressing what they are, so we're a bit stuck. Our ward mission leader lives down the street from him and went by to introduce himself. D told him basically what he told us. That he didn't want to disappoint us, yadda yadda yadda. So D didn't  think we would come back. Ha! I don't think he realizes how persistent we are. Maybe he does now. But we're going to still work with him, because he's awesome.

Let's see... What else is going on in Sweet Home? As a mission we've been reading through the four gospels and there's optional reading of Jesus the Christ. So I've been reading a chapter of Jesus the Christ a day, and Sister J and I have been reading through the corresponding verses in the scriptures. It's been awesome! I've always heard about and read some of the miracles Jesus performed, but it's different to actually read it yourself. We've been calling it "coming to know Christ for Christ-mas". Read it. Live it. Love it. 

That's pretty much all the exciting stuff that's been going on here. There are lots of leaves on the ground, but none of them are crunchy because of the humidity. That's pretty disappointing.

Aight. Sista B out. Keep it real kiddos. 

November 18, 2013 Aloha!


(You know, changing it up a bit. Keeping it interesting)

So this week has been awesome!! Like awesome possum awesome. 

I'll give you the lowdown.

So Tuesday we had our lesson with W, the golden investigator. Sister W(member) came with us and she didn't really understand why we looooove teaching Wso much until she came with us. W is SO prepared. AH! I love it! We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and she just gets it. It's like all the wheels are finally turning for her and it's all starting to make sense. She's really been praying to know the Book of Mormon is true, and I think she knows how big of a deal that will be when she knows. So as we walked out of the lesson Sister W was like, "wow. now I know why you love her so much." Haha. Yeah buddy! I'm not sure if I already said this, but W's inlaws are all anti and even though she knows a ton of people in the ward no one expected us to be teaching her. It's like jaws dropped when we mentioned her name in ward council. Just goes to show that you can't rule anyone out. Who are we to say that the Lord hasn't prepared someone to receive His gospel? And who are we to say that they can't change their lives? We're merely the instruments in the Lord's hands, and this is His work! Boom. 

Alright. Saddest moment of the week. Remember the investigator D from last week? Well she didn't answer the door for our appointment, didn't come to church, or the holiday dinner. Weird. So we went by to talk to her. Her fiance answered the door and told us that she had made a mistake. She didn't know we were Mormons and they're devout Catholics. Umm... Ok ... I call your bluff. She wasn't home to talk to, but we're going to try to talk to her face to face. She told us that they we're looking for a church, gave her a Book of Mormon, and told her that Mormons and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are the same thing. Yeah. Super fishy. 

We also had a lesson with R and L,  the cute old couple. Apparently I lost about 4 years within the period of a week because R told me that I'm 15. Bah humbug. 

On Thursday we had dinner with the B family.  Goodness gracious I love them! They're a retired couple and they recently got back from serving a mission in Canada. Sister B is the seminary teacher and knows SO MUCH about the second coming. I just like the sit there and have her teach me. They're awesome! Then that night we stopped by headquarters for a potty break before our last lesson. I looked at the phone and lo and behold, a missed call and text message from President Samuelian. WHAT?!! He said to call him back when we got his message and asked if I knew anything about my visa. I thought maybe he heard about the mini-prank I pulled on you from last week or something. So I call him and he asks about my visa, and I tell him that I haven't heard anything. He thinks I'll probably spend Christmas here in Oregon (one more transfer). Sounds good to me, I like it here! Then he started asking about where we live, the members we live with, etc. I told him it was all great, then he tells us it's a possibility that we could both be training a new missionary next transfer! It's still in the works and he's trying to figure out where everyone is going, but it's possible. I found out yesterday that there are a lot more missionaries coming in this transfer. Like our mission is going up to over 200 missionaries! As far as I know, we have about 140. So we'll see what happens!!
Friday was SUPERB! That morning we woke up at o dark thirty to issue a challenge to the seminary students. We challenged them all the pray from someone to give a Book of Mormon to, and a way to hang out a Mormon.org pass along card within the next two weeks. We want to get the youth excited and engaged in missionary work! They had just finished learning about the allegory in Jacob 5, so we talked about how we're the last laborers in the vineyard. Super powerful. After that we jetted off to Salem for ZONE CONFERENCEEEEE! It was basically a spiritual smackdown from 9-5. I loved it! President and Sister Samuelian spoke. Nuff said right there. 

So that night we had exchanges too. After Zone Conference, Sister J stayed in Salem with two other sisters (they were in a trio), and Sister S came with me here to Sweet Home. That was so fun. She's a great missionary and has been out as long as I have. We had a lot of fun together. \

Yesterday we feasted spiritually and temporally. Let me give you the breakdown. 

We were at church until about 1:45.
2:00 Lunch at the F house. Which included pie
3:30 Lesson with D  (which went very well! he's progressing!) He's been telling us about how he makes these awesome pies, so he worked off and on the past few days to make us a lemon meringue pie. Who could refuse that?! It was the best lemon meringue pie I've ever had. Definitely getting the recipe.
5:00 Dinner with Sister B. Which included brownies and ice cream.

With that being said, diet starts today! Haha not really. How can I tell members not to give me delicious food when they sacrificed their time and money to make it?! I'm just banking on a tapeworm in Brazil. (Just kidding mom.)

Well that's pretty much what's been happening in Sweet Home, Oregon! We have a zone p-day today at the stake center. Volleyball, capture the flag, the works. I'll try to take pictures :)

Have a great week! Share a Mormon Message on Facebook! Find the one! Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker

ps. I realized this week that I like to narrate what I'm doing in song form. That is all. 


November 11, 2013 I GOT MY VISA!!!

I'm going to Brazil!!!

Ha. Just kidding. Gotcha.  (I know, I got so excited when I read her Post Title before I opened her email.  I started yelling at everyone in the house that Katie had gotten her visa to Brazil...She got me good!  ~Mama Baker)

I'm still in Oregon. I actually like it here a lot! Sweet Home is pretty schweet. We've found more people that are interested in learning about the gospel! Woohoo! It's pretty great. 

Tuesday we helped a less active member move into town from Albany (a neighboring city). We got a call that morning from the sisters in that area that she was moving and needed help. So we made some phone calls to get some help and showed up to help about an hour later. She had this HUGE uhaul truck full of her stuff and about 3/4 of it was open boxes with stuff spilling out of it. It was a bit rough. I mean I loved helping her out and I wish we could have gotten more help there, but there's only so much you can do with an hour's notice. You know?

That day I kept getting the thought to go visit a potential investigator named V. She's pretty cool and seems interested, she just has crazy work hours and we've never been able to catch her at home. So we knocked on the door and waited. No one answered. V told us that her dad works a ton of crazy hours too and has a weird sleep schedule, so we weren't sure if we should knock again and make him angry from waking him up. So of course, we knock again. As we were about to walk away the dad opens the door and is rubbing his eyes like he just woke up. Yikes. So we start talking to him about how we're missionaries and we were trying to talk to V. Then he just starts talking about his family and pours his heart out to us about how his wife left him a year ago. That poor poor man. Like one day his wife completely out of the blue just up and left him. He told us how hard it's been on him and the kids, and how he works so many jobs to keep his mind off everything he's going through. If I've ever seen the face of a broken heart, it was this man's. We told him about the Book of Mormon and how it testifies and teaches of Christ. We told him how the Atonement is for not only our sins, but also for our sorrows. We read out of Mosiah 14 and the spirit was so strong! We invited him to read more and he said he would. We couldn't set up an appointment with him because of his changing schedule, but we're going to try again. The gospel will heal your heart!!! I just want his family to be happy!!!

We had a lesson with our investigator L (the one that already knows the Church is true). She got her new scriptures and we all got to marvel at them for a little bit. That was fun. Man the new edition is awesome! Can't wait for one of those! So we tried to teach the Plan of Salvation to her, but she was basically like "yeah, yeah I already know all of that." It was weird though because she kept asking questions about the rapture when we were talking about the second coming. Sister J and I don't really know what that is, so it's hard to address her concerns. Sister Parrish (the Bishop's wife) was there at the lesson, so she googled what that was and that helped a little bit. So if you want to do some research and send it over yonder that would be much appreciated. We tried looking it up in the scriptures, but the word rapture isn't even in there. It's just confusing. I think when people talk about it, they're referring to the second coming and the resurrection. But really everyone is getting hung up on those little details and is missing the bigger picture. The gospel. Boom. There ya go folks. 

We got a referral last Monday to go see our Ward Mission Leader's neighbor that just moved in. So we knocked on the door about 5 separate times. A few times the tv has even been on so we though they were trying to avoid us. The last time we knocked the tv was on and no one was home, so we got in the car to leave. As we got in the car, a different car pulled into the driveway and a lady walked into that house. So we knocked on the door for a sixth time. We thought she might have seen us sitting in the car and gotten creeped out but she didn't! She opened the door and before we really said anything she invited us in. Awesome. She and her fiance are looking for a church, so we taught her about the restoration and about the Book of Mormon. She was super open to talking with us so we set up a return appointment with her. It was a few days later so I think she forgot, so we're going to have to go back over there again. Sometimes I feel like a creeper missionary. That's ok though. Persistence! 

We have one investigator who was a member of the RLDS church and basically thinks Brigham Young was evil. We're trying to work with her on that one... 

Friday we had an awesome zone training meeting. Bishops were invited, but ours couldn't come so our ward mission leader came. It was awesome!!! Basically I need to be more patient. Things aren't going to happen in my time, but the Lord's time. And I need to have more faith. I don't need to know the end from the beginning. That's why I have to have faith. Oh and we talked a lot about helping members. That's a tough nut to crack, but we have to help members understand that missionary work is about love. We share the gospel because we love them and we want them to have the peace and happiness it brings. If we reach out to others in love, they won't be offended. So everyone go love some people today! Share the gospel! Be good examples! 

So that's what's up here in Sweet Home. Keep on keepin' on. Remember who you are and what you stand for. FIND THE ONE. 

Sister Baker
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Halloween Pics

November 4, 2013 Day by Day

So I'm just going to do an overview of the week. Like a day by day play by play of this week. You like what I did there?? 

Aiight. So Monday. After P-day lovely stuff we had a lesson with a new investigator named L. We taught her the first lesson which she already knew before because she took the discussions from Elders in Arizona. So we invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and she was just like, "why? I already know it's true!" And we're like "Ahh! Alright then.." Yep. Awesome. After we left she ordered a quad with her name on it in genuine leather!! 

Tuesday. Sister J was sick so we stayed in a lot of the day. That day was really nice outside so it was kind of sad. Meh.

Wednesday. We had a lesson with this guy named J. He had met with missionaries before and basically had us there to tell us he would talk to us more than once. He can't get past the whole grace and works thing. He can't see how it would be good news of the gospel if he actually had to do something to gain his salvation. Uhhh... Yeah. So he had us talking with him for about an hour just to say, "sorry, I'm already stuck in my ways." That was sad. He'll be taught the truth one day. I think that's one of the hardest parts of missionary work. People turn us down every day and I just want to open their door again and shout " DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE MISSING?!?!" Yeah. That wouldn't bring the spirit, it would bring the cops. Not good. But seriously. They don't know what they're missing! 

Moving on. We also had a lesson with R and L. They're in their 70s. Super cute couple. Well it's hard because R found out that I'm 19 and now dismisses a lot of what I say. Like he'll listen to me, then he'll chuckle to himself and say to everyone else "she's 19!". I'm like UGHH. Sister J is 24 so it seems like he thinks I don't know anything. And I'm like DUDE. I have to share the most important message you'll ever hear in your entire life! Bah humbug.

Thursday. Lesson with D. She's blind and super sweet. Raised RLDS, so she has a hard time with Brigham Young. Thursday was also Halloween. I dressed up as Sister J and she dressed up as me. Haha. We're so clever. We had to be home at 7 that night though, then we did our weekly planning. Sister J and I had to have a serious comp inventory. She finally realized that I get annoyed at her all the time and won't talk. Well, if she wouldn't interrupt me when I do say something then I would talk more. Yeah. So every time she drives me bonkers I try to be humble and think what would Jesus do? Jesus wouldn't say something rude, so I don't say anything. So that's that. 

Friday. Awesome district meeting. I'm trying to have better personal study in the mornings. I also read Elder Holland's talk, "The Ministry of Angels" That rocked my socks off. 

Saturday. Randomly stopped my R and D's house to see how they're doing. R is getting baptized November 30th and D is a less active. We're working with them on quitting smoking, so when we talked to them we found out that they were up to smoking 10-11 cigarettes a day whereas before they were at 2-3. We talked about their problem and I asked them if they love God or smoking more. We got them more motivated to quit and they have some people living with them that we thought were going to make it harder, but they're determined to help them quit. So I shared a spiritual lightning bolt of a message then we left. About 10 minutes later we got a call to come over because they were throwing all their cigarettes away! ( They had kept saying that after "this" pack, they would be done." So we saw them throw everything away and they're starting fresh. They seem more determined this time and we're trying to help them as much as we can by sending scriptures and uplifting quotes. But it really is up to them. If they have the faith and the determination to do it, it will be done. We were really trying to help them realize that. 

Sunday. R came to church! When we talked to him he told us he wasn't going to be there, but he came!! Fast and testimony meeting are always a little nerve-wracking because who knows what crazy things people might say. But apparently the sisters start off every testimony meeting. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I'm going with it. There was a sister in the ward that shared a really powerful testimony, so after the meeting I went over to thank her. She pulled me aside and said, "I don't want to say this in front of your companion because she's great too. But when you sat down from speaking last Sunday, A (her husband) looked at me and said, 'Now SHE is going to touch people's lives here.'" That was so sweet and made me feel really loved! It's been harder for me to get to know the members because I have to elbow my way in to get a word into the conversation sometimes. So it was nice to be recognized and appreciated. I know this work isn't about me. It's not even a smidgen about me, but it still feels good to have someone notice you, you know?

There are these kitties that we get to hold at this member's house and I actually like them. One, because they don't smell bad. And two, because I don't get to hold babies. I have to compensate somehow. 

It's way too cold in the morning to go running, so we try to work out inside. It doesn't really work. So we're looking into getting one of the Jillian Michaels dvds or something. (If you want to send that instead of the bread that would be pretty sweet. You don't have to though.) Oh and mom, don't send the tights without the feet on them. I don't have any boots, so I can't wear them anyway. 

Got my hair cut today. Feels good. Last time it was cut was when Trevor came home from his mish. 

I loved Trevor's costume. Haha. Awesome. 

Daylight savings time. AHHH. Blessings! An extra hour of sleep was great. When I have to give it back will be hard. Well... I don't know if they do that in Brazil. Eh, who knows, maybe I'll still be here. 

There's my Portuguese scripture case that Sister Orr from North Marion made me! Not sure if I sent that to you before. 

Well. Gotta go. Love ya! Stay in school kids.

Sister Baker

Oh, and my name was spelled Sister Backer in the program. Ha. Never had that happen before.


October 28, 2013 Another Week in home Sweet Home

 Happiness is Getting a Letter in the Snail Mail from Katie Baker with STICKERS!!!!!
Emma Hanson and me!

The Hanson family. I love them!

The Orr family. The bomb diggity! Sister Orr made me a cover for my Portuguese scriptures!!

The one and only Mama Chisolm!  I love her!
Jon and Leah!
The Martineau Family, Sister J, Sister B and Bishop Parrish and his son Austin
Well this week pretty much flew by! 

Mom, I appreciate that you worry about me because it means you love me, but I'm doing well here. The weather isn't that bad. It's just pretty gloomy all the time, but I kind of like it. Weird, huh?! I guess maybe that's not such a good thing because I look outside and it instantly gets me in the mood for hot chocolate and a book. Yeah. That's not happening anytime soon.

So we had interviews with President Samuelian on Tuesday. HE IS SO AWESOME! I seriously could just sit for hours and listen to him talk. I would just sit there like a sponge and soak up everything he says. His big push is "vision". Vision for our mission, for our areas, for our life. That's why he had us do the strengths assessment test, because it will help us understand ourselves better and help us fulfill our vision. So I've decided that my life vision is to be in the Celestial Kingdom with my familha. Yup. It's gonna happen. And so how I'm going to get there is by focusing my life and basically all my efforts in my family (3 Nephi 22:14) and in the service of others (Mosiah 2:17). 

Essentially I want my life to revolve around those two things. I've always talked about helping families in impoverished nations, so that just makes everything go together. Does that make sense? I've also decided that I want to study Mandarin when I get back to BYU. One day China will open for missionary work, and they're going to need missionaries! So when my husband and I are old and wrinkly we can help the Chinese. It's gonna ROCK!

President Samuelian gave me a blessing during the interview and one of the things he said was do not fear. I'm a worry wart and need to stop it. I just get all these ideas jumbled in my brain and I freak myself out. 
So yeah. President Samuelian is the best. I think one of the reasons I've been sent here is to have him as my mission president. He reminds me a bit of Art TerKeurst. He just cares about everyone so individually, and understands that developing individuals' talents and strengths will benefit everyone altogether. 

We had a member drive us to our interview at the stake center because we've been short on miles (Sister Basting is awesome!!). When President heard that, he really wanted to meet her and thank her for her service. We stood outside and talked a little bit about the hastening of the work. (By "we talked" I mean he talked and we listened in awe.) He talked about the destruction of Soddom and Gomorrah and how that's essentially how the destruction will be before the second coming. We're like the angels that came to Lot's family that took them by the hands and pulled them out of the city, into the plains, and eventually up into the mountain. We get people out of the wickedness of the world, into the covenant of baptism, and our ultimate goal is the temple. That is the only place that they will be safe from the destruction that will come! Sister J and I are working hard to find those people that have been prepared and get them out of the city. I wish we didn't have to do as much tracting as we do, but alas, such is missionary life. 

This Saturday I got a call from a member of the bishopric to give a talk on Sunday (yesterday). So guess what I talked about?!?! Missionary work!! I feel like I pretty much  quoted Elder Ballard's talk. And I'm ok with that. I talked about the hastening of the work and finding the person they know that has been prepared to receive the restored gospel. I hope it motivated someone. We had dinner with the Wolthius family, and after dinner Sis W told me that her daughter was telling her all about my talk. She was saying how funny I am, that I love being a missionary, and I bore my testimony. I thought that was so cute! Kids absorb a lot more than we give them credit. And it's nice that someone thinks I'm funny. 
So that's pretty much what's going on in Sweet Home. We're trying to find more people to teach!

1.        What is your mailing address there at the home you are staying at so I can send you a coat?  (I won’t put this address on the blog.)  

2.       Do you need anything else?  Tights, boots, mittens, scarf???? Maybe some black and brown tights.

3.       What size coat do you want me to get you?  I'm not sure. Coats are so finnicky. I heard yesterday that there's a huge bag of winter coats that a member brought in for people in need. Well I'm a person in need so I'm going to check that out. 

4.       So are you teaching anyone new? I feel like everyone we teach is new to me because I've barely met them. But we have this investigator named W who is golden. She's awesome. The only thing is that her in-laws are well known in the town as anti-mormon. But she just seems to brush it off her back.

5.       What was the best thing that happened this week? that blessing from President Samuelian. 

6.       Any funny stories? Remember that Elder from my MTC district that I read his DearElder letter? Maybe not. Anyway, his cousins/aunt and uncle are in the ward. Small world. 
7.       Favorite thing you read this week in the scriptures? I started reading the Old Testament, and I love it! I just remember seminary with Brother Moore(ski) and all that awesomeness. I read the chapter about Sodom and Gomorrah a few days before talking with President Samuelian and I definitely didn't get all that out of it. So I'm trying to make my personal studies better. I'm reading about Joseph of Egypt right now and I imagine how it all happened in my head. It's pretty fun to do.

8.       Any new pictures to send home? Nope, sorry! But I did find a picture of me with the Page family at my farewell so I'm going to print it out today.

9.       Any good advice from your mission president lately? OOhh he talked about a paradigm shift that's happening right now. It's not the members help missionaries with the work, rather the missionaries help members with their work. 

10.   How is it going with the members?  Are you learning everyone’s names?  Remember you are good at memorization!  It's a work in progress. I have to have some sort of association with everyone's names.

11.   How has your first week gone in Sweet Home? Swell!
12.   What is the ward like? They're fun. I haven't met everyone, but it seems like they're all excited about the hastening of the work. 
13.   Who is the family you live with?  What are they like? They're names are the C's. They have 3 daughters that are all grown. Sister C makes amazing food and gives it to us all the time.
14.   How is Sister J?  Tell her I said HI! Oh I did. She says hi back. She's doing pretty good.

15.   I will be sending you a care package soon.  Any requests for food, etc.?  That bread from Trader Joes! Haha that was the first thing that came to my mind. Just snack food. Healthy snack food! Yummmm.

Well I've got to go- almost out of time! But I love you! Find the one!

Sister Baker