August 20, 2013 Keep On Keepin' On

I can't believe it's already been three weeks! Crazy crazy. I got your box yesterday and it made me so so so happy! Thank you!!! Our room hasn't been getting as cold at night, so the Carolina pjs are perfect! Everyone in my district was like, "what's in the box?!?" because it was so big! Haha. I loved it. I was like ummm... hand sanitizer. When they asked if you would be sending any candy I was said they might send swedish fish. And you did! Oh happy day mama!

So I have to answer Grammie's questions before I forget. My district has 12 missionaries- 6 elders, 6 sisters. There were 8 elders, but 2 got their visas. We basically do everything together because us sisters are in the same room and we have classes together and the same schedule. It's a lot of fun. Let's see. I think I already described the sisters, but here are the elders. Elder W (PA), Elder B (AZ), Elder E (CA), Elder D (PA), Elder O (NC-Fayetteville), Elder G (TX). The elders are pretty cool, but it's easy to get distracted around them. Two of the sisters, and one of the elders are going to Natal with me, the rest are going to Riberao Preto.

We have two, three hour class blocks a day with a bunch of studying and eating in between. Our teachers, Irmao Taylor and Irmao Chamberlain are awesome! We try to speak mostly in Portuguese, but it's hard. Irmao Chamberlain is better at staying only in Portuguese, and Irmao Taylor kinda sprinkles English in there a lot of the time. 

So we now are teaching two different "investigators". They're really our teachers posing as people they taught on their missions. So far it's going pretty well. I think us sisters have the language down a bit better then the elders. But anyway, we taught our investigator for Irmao Taylor, then the next class period he took all of us sisters outside to talk to us. We had only taught this investigator one lesson, but he wanted to change who we teach. Now we're teaching people he actually knows that are struggling right now. He's still posing as these people, but it makes it a lot more interesting and real. Just the thought that we don't know how these people's lives will end up is kinda scary, whereas with the others we know that they will eventually be baptized. It's good to know that our prayers are going to someone that really needs it. 

With our investigator for Irmao Chamberlain, the last time we taught him he told us he only had a few minutes before he had to go to work, so we committed him to baptism within like 5 minutes on his doorstep. That was pretty cool.

Last Tuesday we had a devotional from Elder Richard G. Scott and it was so awesome! I sang in the choir, and he talked about prayer. We had about twenty different lessons this week about prayer. Clearly, it's pretty important! Haha.

I'm feeling a lot better, too. I just had a cold for a few days, but it feels like forever because our days are so long. I even took a nap during gym time once. I still have a cough and sound kind of like a man, but oh well. You win some, you lose some. I have to blow my nose a lot and my district found out very quickly that I hate it when people watch me blow my nose, so of course they stare at me. I always walk out of the room. Haha

When I was at the gym yesterday, they were playing a talk from Elder Holland that I loved. You should find it if you get the chance. It's from an April general conference, and he talks about the Book of Mormon and the need for continuing revelation. He addresses the logical and spiritual reasons, and it's seriously so awesome! If you happen to find it, could you share it on my facebook?

Sorry this is pretty scatterbrained, I'm just trying to get everything out in time! Haha.

Thanks for sending Abby's email and mail address.  And also if you could send me Trevor Jackson's email or address that would rock. I have some funny stories that reminded me of him. Irmao Taylor reminds me so much of him it's ridiculous. Oh, and what's Bishop Davis' email? I want to include him, too!

Funny story. When the elders asked me if I have a boyfriend, I told them I have seven. I showed them a picture of me with all my FHE brothers, and said I have one for every day of the week. I'm pretty sure they believed me. Ha! When I got my package yesterday I told them it was from one of my boyfriends and they were like, "wow! you're so lucky!". Haha silly elders. Sister L and I keep things pretty interesting around here, that's for sure. 

And I did see Alex Vincent a few times! He works in the TRC or something, so I've seen him maybe three times. Even though I don't really know him, it's cool.

I've gotten a dearelder from Mo & Sui and Nellie. So I'm going to write them back today. And Sister Davis sent me this adorable card from the nursery. I don't know if I told you about it, but it's each kid holding up a word that all together says "We are proud of you". Sister Davis is the best. Give her a huge hug for me. 

I love hearing everything from everyone. Colin's dearelder was precious. Mostly because Emma told me how he would say "stop" after every sentence. I hope he's liking his bed. He's got the best one in the house!

I didn't get the dearelder that you sent on Sunday. Just so you know. 

I still don't know anything about my visa. If/WHEN it comes, I'll just get a letter in the mail with my travel plans. ( I think) But until then, I await my reassignment. Most people get reassigned but there's still a chance! Still hope! 

Portuguese is getting better. I still have to work harder to understand what people are saying.  I think it's easier for Sister L because she has a strong Spanish background and the vocab is similar. In the lessons, if she doesn't know a word she just says it in Spanish and it's usually right. Yeah, that doesn't work for me. I have to catch myself saying French words and phrases like aussi, allons-y, and donc. You know, just those filler words. So I made my official language study plan at the beginning of this week and I included words and phrases for small talk. I decided one of my goals is that I want to be able to hold small talk with people I come across. I think it's really important because that's when you find out stuff about people's lives. People aren't just going to pour out their heart to you just because you ask, "what do you think about this scripture?" You know? You have to be their friend first and let them know that you care about them so they can trust you and open up. 

Sorry I don't really have any pictures for this week. We're only allowed to take pictures on P-day and our Sunday walk. So I don't really have any new pictures for you. Although I took a bunch of selfies on someone's camera. That was fun. (They're in my district. Don't worry). Hopefully I'll end up on a blog or something! Mwahaha. We also took some district pictures by the temple. I'll ask them to forward the email to me so I can send it to you. I bet you'd like that. 

Last night one of the elders in my district said the missionaries in his ward in Pennsylvania have iPads too. I'm still really confused as to how they have them, but it's still pretty cool. 

I wish we had more time in the day. Sometimes I think a block for nap time would be awesome. It's funny because at this meeting the leaders were telling us that we have 8 hours of sleep incorporated into our schedule, so there's no excuse not to get the right amount of sleep. My whole section was like Uhhh no,.. I don't think she knows that we're on a "visitor's schedule". Not sure what that exactly means, but we have to wake up earlier so we get like an hour less of sleep. It's pretty stinky sometimes. I just don't think they know that because we're all waiting for visas we have to wake up earlier than everyone else every day of the week. Some people have to get up earlier for service, but that's just one day. Anyway, I'm so excited to take a nap this afternoon!

So I learned that I can't wear some of my shirts and skirts. My shirts come down to low and I don't want to have to wear something underneath them because it will be super hot. And I can't wear those high-low skirts either. So I'll be sending those back along with my birdie shoes. They just aren't comfortable enough. Hey, that will just mean more room for souvenirs! Woot woot! 
Oh, I forgot about a cool story. 

So when Elder Bednar was a missionary, President Packer came to visit their mission. On their way out, Elder Bednar had the thought that they might get hungry and gave them the equivalent of 20 dollars. Apparently Sister Packer's passport didn't work or something, and wouldn't be able to leave the country, so President Packer put the 20 into her passport as he gave it to the person at the gate. (He called it a righteous transaction or something- not bribery. haha) That way they were able to continue on and whatnot. 

Anyway I really like that story, and what President Packer said, "Sometimes the Spirit is just a good thought."

Well I'm almost out of time, so I have to go. But I love you! Thanks for the package and the dear elders!

Keep on keepin' on!

Sister Baker

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