Missionaries singing the mission hymn in Natal, Brazil

 Natal Brazil Mission Hymn

September 29, 2014 I'm Almost as Tan as Sister Adriane

Yep. I´ve picked up a bit more color here in Caicó. 

But I´ve decided a few more things this week. 

Número um: Exchanges are pretty sweet. And by pretty sweet I mean I loooooove exchanges. I got to go to a little city in the ´intérior´called Currais Novas. I got there in Currais Wednesday morning and left Friday morning. It´s an hour and a half bus ride and is just plain awful. I guess it wasn´t too bad because the windows were open and there was a nice breeze. But I decided/discovered that my body doesn´t like buses because they´re so rackety and make me want to throw up. But it was all good and so worth it because I got to spend a few days with my homegirl Sister Porter. She´s from Morgan, Utah. Everyone here called Utah ´a fabrica.´ That means a factory. Haha. Utah is a factory of Mormons... Ok. This sister is like the definition of cutie patootie with a heart of gold. It was so fun to work with her! We were able to see lots of progress happen in the area and we were able to find quite a few families to teach. We started talking to two men in the street one day. You know, chit-chattin´it up. Inviting them to go to church with us. When one of the men starts explaining how he got out of a surgery a few days ago. Want to know why he had to have a surgery? Well he works for the government or something and somehow a gun exploded on him. I don´t even know. He didn´t explain how that happened. But it messed up his arm really bad and he had some bullets in his chest and back. So, naturally, he had to have a surgery to fix all sorts of things. And while he´s telling this story I´m just standing there like... ´Dude... This man´s life was preserved FOR A REASON. Whooooahhhh.´ Sister Porter is still a few months fresh in the mish so she didn´t completely get what he was saying. But he was super excited to go to church and visit with us! I talked to Sister Porter last night and she said that the family LOOOVED them. Whoohoo! Sister Porter and Sister Moraes helping one family at a time! Actually... they´re helping lots of families at the same time. So I guess that phrase doesn´t really count. BUT. Exchanges are awesome. I learned a lot of things with Sister Porter and we had a lot of fun.

Número dois: I´M SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!! I´ll keep you posted on all the awesomeness that comes from conference here in Caicó.

Número trés: Sometimes people just dissappear and I don´t know why. So this week we´ve been preparing a woman named Fernanda to be baptized on Sunday. Except that she dropped off the map and no one could find her. Like no one knew where she went for a few days and no one seemed really worried. Hmm. Ok. But Saturday night we were able to talk to her and she was still excited for her baptism on Sunday. Like super excited, inviting everyone to her baptism excited. Beleza. So we prepared everything for the baptism (I even made a cake) and then Sunday morning she disappeared AGAIN. Weird. I still have no idea what happened with her. But I brought the cake for the elders´ baptisms and it was a smash hit. 

Número quatro: When I get home, I´m going to bring investigators to church. You can hold me to that, too. (I´ve been having a lot more of these thoughts running through my noggin´lately. Bah! Trunkeza! Naoo!) I´m just going to be like, "yo. Elders and Sisters, who do I need to bring to church??????" And then everyone and their sister´s hairdresser will go to church and receive the blessings of the restored gospel!

Número cinco: Pretzels are a smash hit here in Caicó! Yesterday I taught a few members how to make pretzels and they looooved it! 

Número seis: Sunscreen is my best friend.

Número sete: I like to tell people I´m Brazillian and see if they believe me. You betcha I´m working on my accent!

Número oito: O Livro de Mórmon = pure amazingness. Just read it. Pleaaaaaaase. 

And that´s pretty much what´s new in this neck of the woods. Getting ready for a zone conference this week and also GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! Do I seem excited? It´s because I am. I mean it´s only twice a year that the Lord´s chosen servants speak to us what He wants us to know and do. Hurrah for revelação! I can´t believe it´s been two years since the age change for missionaries. Whoa. That one changed so much for so many people. Including me! I never would have thought that at 19 I would disembark to serve as a full-time missionary, but that was the Lord´s will for me and here I am living the good life. So now we have to continue to head the prophet´s counsel and we´ll be blessed! Get ready! Saturday and Sunday!!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!
Lots of love and cheiros,
Sister Baker


Dead Rat in the Street  #nbd

Happy Birthday to Edilima!

Murals of Jesus

Three Little Piggies

Sister Porter--love the polka dots!

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September 22, 2014 Caicó even smells like Arizona

It´s true. You know, that dirt smell with a hint of cow. And there are cactuses here. Or is it cacti? Psh... I don´t even know. But Caicó is alive and hopping!

My first week here has been pretty good. It´s hot, but I´m not dying like I thought I would be. I think it´s because it´s a dry heat. No humidity = less sweating. It´s true. But I´m using my sunscreen every day and proud of it! Just something that I´ve noticed - Brazillians are meticulous with their sunscreen use. Every Brazillian I know uses sunscreen on a daily basis, whereas Americans don´t. I think it´s because Americans want to be tanner. So that´s that. 

The past few days have just been running around taking care of baptisms left and right. We had two baptisms scheduled for this week, but Thursday they both moved to other houses in different wards. So we had to walk to those other areas to introduce our investigators to the sisters that would take care of them and their baptisms. A lot of hustling and bustling. Then one of those baptisms fell through. Sad day. BUT! Jorge, Sister Adriane´s investigator was baptized last night. SO AWESOME. I only talked to him a few times, but he´s the bee´s knees. Jorge was wheelchair-bound (I don´t know the story why), but the sisters hooked him up with a member that´s a physical therapist and he´s starting to stand and walk a little! There was an extra man in the baptismal font to help lower him into the water and raise him back up. Super spiritual baptism. But Jorge is also a funny, funny guy. I overheard the sisters from the other ward going over the commandment the Word of Wisdom with him. This is how that conversation went:

Sister Marcelino: ´Ok, so now we´re going to talk about the 5 things that we can´t put into our bodies because they´re harmful. There´s tobacco, coffee...´
Jorge: ´GASOLINE.`
everyone: ..... 
Jorge: ´Bahhahahaha. Just joking!`

Oh my lanta I just about died. He´s one funny dude. 

Ok, on another note. We had stake conference this weekend that was AWESOME. Do you want to know who was there? Well I´ll tell you. Stake president, President Soares (mission president), an area 70 that I forgot his name, and Presidente Costa. The area president for Brazil. Yeah buddy. You bet it was awesome! A few things that caught my attention: 

-President Soares talked about 50 years ago when he joined the church. His family lived in Recife, way way far from São Paulo. During that time, they were part of a branch of 12 people, and had to go to São Paulo to go to the temple. Now, 50 years later, there are thousands of members of the church in that same area, multiple missions, and even a temple. He left us thinking what kinds of changes we want to happen where we are in the next 50 years and what we are willing to do to make those aspirations a reality. Whoa. Let´s go Charlotte, NC Temple!

- President Costa talked about the awesomeness that is Preach My Gospel. How it is inspired, and how it gives all of us the abilities to preach the gospel like the missionaries in the time of the Book of Mormon. So, wanna be a modern day Ammon or Alma or even Paul? Getcha self a copy of PMG and get to work. Teaching by the Spirit is always the best way to go.

- He also talked about something simple, but oh-so-obvious. This is the gospel of happiness. Sooooo we should look happy! Boom. There ya go! Smile!! Tell a joke! We have access to the best message that anyone´s ever heard and we should show that we´re happy! Also, that pessimists will never have success in spreading the gospel because they´ve already decided in their brains that it´s not going to work out. Be happy people! It´s all gonna be ok. 

And that´s the way the cookie crumbled this week, folks. Sister Adriane and I are going to baptize all of Caicó this tranfer. Helping everyone come unto Christ, one at a time. 

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

I love you all!
Sister Baker

September 17, 2014 Who Woulda Thunk?

That Brazil could look like Arizona!

So... once upon a time... I got transferred! 

After almost an eternity in Ala Alecrim, Sister Baker got the boot and got shipped out to a city in the ´interior´ called Caicó. The Lord knew that I was dying over there in Alecrim. These past few weeks have just been rough. Just to explain, Sister Carroll and I have been out on the mish the same time. Yup, that´s more than a year. Yup, and that means that we´re tired. We worked really hard, and at the end of every day we would just come home exhausted. I´ve made a little comparison in my mind that maybe this is what it will feel like when I hit 65. (You know, because the mission is like a mini-lifetime) Who knows, I´ll keep you updated when I get there. But I´ve been needing a little spunky change in my life. Aaaaaaand here I am.

I´ll give you the update on Ala Alecrim first:

1. It´s normal in the culture here in the northeast to sniff people as a sign of affection. I´m not that Brazillian yet, so I´m still at the, ´uhh... ok.´ stage. But the 1st counselor in the bishopbric thinks it´s really funny, so he sends everyone and their brother to give me a ´xeiro´ because I was leaving the Ala. Thanks Irmão, thanks. But he´s still cool. And that´s your nordeste culture lesson for today!

2. Anne! My homegirl Anne! She´s taking the plunge this week (finally!) and getting baptized. It´s sad that I won´t be there, but all good because she´s still awesome. Sister C and I bought her a set of scriptures! Yeah buddy, we don´t do that with just anyone! Anne. I just love her! She´s going to help SO MANY people know the gospel. And she wants to serve a mission. Holla for sista missionaries!!

3, Jaqueline and Luiz are contemplating marriage. They´ve been living together/dating for about 4 months. Yup, that´s right. They started to date when he moved in. Yeah.. I don´t know about that one, but they´re awesome. And since they´ve been together such a short time, they´re pretty apprehensive about marriage. We taught about the Law of Chastity last week and the Spirit was really strong, so we´ll see where that goes. Now that I´ve been transferred I´ll have to wait for the post-action resumé of what happened. 

And that´s pretty much what´s up there.

So.... transfers. Last night (yes, last night) the zone leaders called to say that I would be transferred and Sister Acosta would come to my place (she´s an STL too. And this is her last transfer). So she´s really tired. You can probably see how that might be a little problem. So Sister C is a little worried, but it will all work out. Sister Acosta and I basically switched places. I´m with her old comp, Sister Adriane! She´s a blast! AND BRAZILLIAN! A BRAZILLIAN COMPANION ALL TO MYSELF! Mwahaha. I´m excited. She´s from Santa Catarina and an STL too. Oh, and is one transfer older than me. 

Here´s the deets on Caicó. It´s hot here. Not right now because the sun´s gone down, but tomorrow I´m probably going to use a lot of sunscreen and get a little sick because it´s so hot here. #sacrificesforsalvation But that also means that I´ll get more tan!! And there´s a lot of dirt roads here. Pretty cool stuff.

That´s pretty much all that I can think of right now. My brain is a wee bit fried. It was a 5 hour bus ride here. Oh! And guess who my companion was for that bus ride?! ... An elder. Ha! That was weird. But just to inform you, I also go bit by some random bug and my leg is really swollen. I went to the doctor this morning and got some medicine and whatnot.  It like a spider bite but apparently spiders aren´t native here.

Maybe next week I´ll prepare some super uplifting spiritual thought, but for now I´ll give you one to find! Mwahaha. Book of Mormon - 2 Nephi chapter 31. Know it. Live it. Love it. Bring people unto Christ. Hoo-rah!

The Church is true! Christ lives!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Love you all! 

Sister Baker

Girlie Isadora

Isadora's birthday

Isadora's Disney Princess cake

Mateus baptism

Sister Adriane

September 1, 2014 Mormon Energy!

Today we had zone luncheon. Mmmm nom nom nom. I think I´m getting converted to rice and beans. Sister Carroll is obsessed with beans. Haha everyday she´s like ´ohh. I really hope there´s beans for lunch!´ Haha. Except that the word for beans in Portugues is feijão. It´s a totally different connotation, if that makes sense. Sister Carroll doesn´t like beans,ela gosta de feijão. Saying ´I like beans´ sounds really wierd, but in Portugues it´s totally fine. Ok. Enough of bean talk.

 This week´s been pretty good. We´re trying really hard to work with our ward council. Ya know, bringing people into the gospel and then helping those that have already been baptized stay firm. It´s been pretty disappointing these past few transfers to ask for help from leadership, they say they´ll do something, and then not do anything. For example, after years and years the Dantas familia is starting to come back to church. Then they missed a couple of sundays and are starting to get weaker and less willing to come to church and stuff. So what do we do? Red flag! Bishop! Elder´s Quorum President! Relief Society President! Anyone! Please help! And weeks go by with nothing... Missions can be tough sometimes. So there´s a lot of room for improvement. It was soooooo awesome to see about 5 or 6 members going to visit the Dantas family yesterday. Hurrah!

And now I´m just going to list the awesome things that happened this week.

 1. We gave a devotional/spiritual thought (conference call) one night to 4 sisters that are having a tough time in their areas. It was about gratitude, specifically using some quotes from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf´s talk from General Conference. (BAH! GENERAL CONF IS ONLY A MONTH AWAY!)

2, These past few weeks I´ve tried quite the variety of food. Including jacaré (alligator), picado (basically lamb intestines. from what I understand. it was SO. GROSS. the office elders have a picture on their phone of me trying to eat it. I´ll have to get that pic somehow...) and tereré (a cold tea from states my south in brazil). Jacaré was really yummy and so was the tereré!

3, My homeboy Vagner. Remember, the young man that had been taught by the sisters a long time ago, but parents never let him be baptized. Then one Sunday he was like, ´yo mom, yo dad. I´m going to be baptized today.´Yeah. My homeboy Vagner. The other day we saw him on the street in front of the church and started fake running towards him. You know, like the fake running you do just to be funny when you see someone you know? Yeah we did that and then Vagner started really running to us! Bah! What a cool cat! Then he gave us açaí  :)))))

4, Ok. So people give excuses out the wazooo for why they can´t go to church. Want to hear the best one I´ve heard yet? ´I can´t go to church, I only have one nail painted!´ Ha. Ok.

5, We taught Anne this week about repentance. We did this really cool demonstration/object lesson with suger and cinammon. Cinnamon being sin, and sugar being clean and/or doing good things. We started out with the sugar in a little bowl and put in some cinnamon, then tried to get rid of the cinnamon by adding more sugar. It didn´t work because there was always some remnant of the cinnamon. So that´s a problem because the go back to live with Heavenly Father, we have to be clean from sin. Then Anne gave that bowl of cinnamon sugar to Sister Carroll and we went to their balcony. (Imagine: balcony, busy street in front of her house, lots of businesses and a bus stop. windy day. got the picture?) The Sister C just threw all the cinnamon sugar off the balcony. Boom. Powerful
spiritual moment! We explained that to be free and clean from sin, she has to repent and give everything to Christ, and he makes us clean again. Only He has the power to do that, and repentance culminates with baptism. Without baptism we can never be completely clean and return to live with Heavenly Father. Good thing Christ taught clearly that we all need to be repent and be baptized! Woohoo! Yay, gospel!

 So that´s what´s going on in this neck of the woods.

 Remember who you are and what you stand for! The Church is trueeeeee!

Sister Baker
My homeboy Vagnar!

FHE with Isabelle

New Nametags

August 18, 2014 Cray, Cray Week!

Airplanes in a museum--just for Dad!


Center of Natal

David Luiz-Soccer Player

Torres Couple

Cool church building

Outside a Cool Catholic Church
Ayooo. Or as Colin usually says to me, ´Ayo Katie-o´. Colin Baker. Such a cool cat.
So, folks. It´s been a pretty up and down week.
Started off the week with the mission leadership council. It´s pretty cool to see everyone. Almost all the sisters stay the night at our house, and we all get to catch up. Fun stuff. Basically conselho da missão was what I´ve been needed. Gave me just the right amount of pump-up juice to baptize the whole world.
Speaking of baptizing the whole world... We started off with my homegirl Éricka. She´s the bomb.com. She was baptized Sunday! Love her. We´ve been bringing her to church for the past two months, and the only hang-up on her baptism was mama bear wanting her to go to church for a longer period of time before she got baptized. So that´s that. She had to go under the water three times because the first two her hand was out of the water. The poor thing was so confused and didn´t know what was going on. Haha.
And this week we started teaching the most elect young woman I´ve ever met. Her name is Anne and she´s 16. Seems a lot more mature than 16. She´s dating a member that lives in Forteleza who is preparing to serve a mission. Last weekend, he was here in Natal visiting her and when Sunday rolled around she was like, ´hey boyfriend. I want to visit your church. I already googled it and it´s just around the riverbend. Let´s go!´ Pretty much that´s how it went. GOLDEN. She´s always been curious about the church and even almost went up to some missionaries on the street before they crossed to the other side. GOLDEN. She already has a Book of Mormon and loooooved church last week. We taught her the first lesson, invited her to read and pray about it. She did! She knows it´s true! She wants to be baptized! GOLDEN. We brought her to mutual and she´s already made plans with some other young women to start personal progess. And she REALLY wants to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. GOLDENNNNN! But... (there´s always a but) Boyfriend really wants to baptize her, but can´t come down until the next month because he´s getting his wisdom teeth taken out and it´s a huge mess. So boyfriend probably won´t get to see her be baptized. Anne is praying to know if she should be baptized this Saturday, and also that satan won´t interfere with her baptism because he´s a stinker. (Those are nice words to describe him.) And basically this girl is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Dad gave me a really awesome blessing before I left that said that I would make friendships that would last throughout the eternities. Well here´s one on a silver platter. Bahhh! I just love this girl so stinking much! After she gets baptized, she´s going to help soooo many people come to know the gospel.
Whew. That one really got me going. Yeah. So tonight we´re teaching Anne´s family the Restoration! Woohoo! Pray for us. The whole family is Catholic, and just don´t know where to find the whole truth. Love that family.

Ok. So the reason I´m emailing so late is because our bomb-diggity Stake President took us on a tourism adventure! A tour-venture if you will. We went to the center of Natal and took a looksie at all sorts of cool sites. There was this part in a museum that talked about Natal, airplanes, and World War 2. I was talking to the tour guide explaining that dad is nutzo in love with those last two things (only the last two because he hasn´t been here yet. YET.) But the man was kinda like ´.. uh. cool. yeah your dad...´ And I´m like ´no. You don´t understand. Just... No. Please take a picture of me with this mini airplane. It will make him happy.´ And that´s that. We´re going to plan another p-day adventure soon. It was really fun!
Aaaaand that´s the way the cookie crumbles! Everyone have a great week. Remember who you are and what you stand for! Be a missionary! All you returned missionaries - yeah, you know who you are- continue to be a missionary! Remember what Elder Neil L Anderson said - paint that nametag on your heart! Yeah that sounded much better when he said it.
Ok. Toodles! Tchau tchau!
Sister Baker

August 11, 2014 So...Once Upon a Time

Basically I don´t even know what to say about what happened this week.

It was a mess. Uma bagunça, if you will. The connotation of that word is more like ´hot mess´. I think that´s the best way to describe what happened this week. 

Pretty much everyone that we´ve been teaching fell through. Either they´ve fell off the face of the earth or we´ve dropped them because they´re not keeping commitments. And yet again we didn´t have a baptism this week. 

My homegirl Erika is still on date for next week. She´s super pumped, except that we´re praying that her mom won´t try to purposely hold up her baptism. But Erika´s awesome and is reading the Book of Mormon every day. 

We´re trying to work with a lot of families here. I´ve known the family of Cristiani and Tiago since forever (pretty much since I got here) and they never went to church with us. So we stopped teaching them. Makes sense, right. Then the Lord was like, ´oh wait, go back now.´ Ok. So we went back. Still no one is progressing.... THEN. We find the gem of the family. Mikael. The 13-year-old son that always ran away during our lessons. He read the Book of Mormon, loved it, prayed about it, and knows it´s true. He wants to be baptized next week. Except that Papa Bear isn´t helping in any way, shape, or form. Actually he´s causing a lot of trouble. So that´s that. Actually that´s kindof like what´s happening with everyone. Frustrating stuff.

So yeah. These past few weeks in Alecrim have been rough, but we´re pushing it through. We´ve got a good ward that wants to help a lot.

Last night our Zone Leaders called, trying to help some sistas out. (We´re the only sisters in the zone.) But they´re really great. Hurrah for liderança. I told Elder R. Oliveira that he should try calling our Sister Training Leaders and see if they can help us. Ahh ha. Ha. ha. ha. So funny. Because we are the sister training leaders here. He thought it was funny, but not nearly as funny as I did.

Buuuuut the highlight of the week was finding a pretty sweet family on Saturday, then bringing the dad and two of the daughters to church yesterday. Papa Bear reallllllly liked church. Yeah buddy! So we´re teaching them now. Next stop - marriage. They need to get married first. So we´re getting there with them.

And that´s the 411.

The Church is true! 
Follow the prophet! 
Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker

August 6, 2014

Yummy Acai

Little Blondie!

July 28, 2014

Noite Familiare

Irma Joanna

Irma Antonia

I cut my hurr!

July 21, 2014 Heyerryone!

Alice was baptised!

ZeZe, Isbel, and Lulu

Hope everyone´s been having a good week!

Life is just rocking and rolling here in Alecrim. It´s crazy that the week has passed by so fast. I´m actually emailing today, live from the mission office. Woohoo. So the computer is actually functioning! Hurrah for Israel!

Ok. Gotta talk about my homeboy Kyk. Pronunciation: kye-eek-ee. Not really sure how to write it. But for quite a while we were calling him kyak in Portuguese. Haha. Uhh.. Sorry. But here´s his story. Met him the first day Sister Carroll was here. AKA my birthday. We were walking down the street and he started talking to us, telling us that he went to church in a different part of the city and that he lives right next to the church now. Awesome, got his address and phone number, let´s go to his house tomorrow. But lo and behold Kyk wasn´t home. So sad. Called him up, and marked another time. Usually we only go back one or two times. Ya know, people can be kinda flakey sometimes and aren´t ready for commitment. So we basically dropped him. Buuuuuuut. Lo and behold. Some missionaries contacted him on the street and invited him to be baptized and he accepted! But of course when we went back he wasn´t home. Then I think it was last week we ran into him on the street and he asked us if his baptism still was going to happen. Uhhh! What?! Ok. At this point we haven´t even taught him the Restoration.  But then this week we were at the church waiting for someone to open the doors to what was our flop of a Book of Mormon fun time study. And whaddayaknow, Kyk passed in front of the church and Sister Carvalho and Sister Carroll started talking to him. He told us that he had just found out that his best friend had been diagnosed with lukemia. Whoa. So here we go plano de salvação. Spirit was strong, awesome discussion, marked a Livro de Mórmon for him. That was last week and we still haven´t talked to him since. The Lord is blatently telling us that we need to be helping him right now, the problem is that we can never get ahold of him. So we´re just waiting for him to come to us I guess. I´ll let you know when he gets baptized. Don´t you worry.

And then there´s Cristiani and family. Still golden. They´re practically begging us to let them pay tithing. They LOOOVE Isabelle. (I´ll send a picture of her to remind you) It´s like a match made in heaven. Except that they went to the stinkin´ beach yesterday instead of going to church. Gotta work on that. But I love this family. And we´re going to help them get married! Hurrah for weddings!

And nowwww... Mama Baker´s Q & A Time!

Next transfer: August 6th. I think I´m getting the boot once and for all. But who knows.

How´s my Portuguese? Well... It´s definitely getting better. I can communicate myself effectively and now I´m working on grammar. That´s rough. But I still have the goal in mind to forget English and to pick up a Brazillian accent. I definitely have a long way to go. You know, it´s not a really good sign when you start talking and people start laughing because of your accent. That was last week, I think. But I understand pretty much everything. 

Do people speak and understand English? Yeah some people. Pretty much every Brazillian knows the phrase in English, ´the book is on the table´. Yeah I don´t really know, it´s just a phrase that everyone knows. People like to practice English with us sometimes. Mostly drunks shout things like ´Hello!´and ´Thank you!`.

What do I write to President Soares? Pretty much all I write is how the work is going. How we´re working with the members, the difficulties we´re having, and our investigators.

STL stuff: I basically do the same thing that I did in Oregon. Except that President Soares like to send us on exchanges instead of us planning them. It´s all good in the hood. We get to call up the sisters and see how things are going. We have some companionships of sisters that are baptizing families on a weekly basis! Pretty awesome stuff!

And that´s what´s good in the hood. Lovin´ life in Alecrim! I LOVE the Book of Mormon. Oh my lanta. Please. Everyone. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON. Every day. It will change your life. Then spread it with everyone you know. Then read it with the Bible. That´s how you really know the will of the Lord. The mouth of two witnesses!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Do something nice for someone that they don´t expect!

Love you all!

Sister Baker

July 7, 2014 Back in Alecrim

I´m baaaaaaack! 

Yeah buddy. I came back this past Friday. But not before I was able to help dear sweet Katia prepare to be baptized! Ok. Katia is the bee´s knees. Referral from a member. Always wanted to go to church but never worked out. Already explained the sitch with her. So this past week we had a lesson with her and her son Arthur where we knelt and prayed with them to ask if everything we had taught was true. Katia said the prayer and she asked really sincerely about everything we taught her. And then after we all just stayed put for like 3 minutes straight. Then Katia opened her eyes and looked up just smiling. It was praying with her that helped her recognize the Spirit and the difference she felt with us. Oh my lanta she was so excited for her baptism! We taught all the other commandments to help her prepare then unfortunately I left Friday to go back to Alecrim. It´s really sad explaining that I can´t come to visit her and Arthur in their house. But I was able to watch her baptism! Bahh! So awesome! 

So when I returned to Alecrim there was a ton of stuff going on. Friday morning was Jorge and Cintia´s wedding! Weddings here are a bit different. We all went to some government building to watch about 50 couples get married. Pretty cool, but without all the fluffy wedding stuff. Just like documents, and stuff. But now they´re married! Woohoo! And then Cintia was baptized on Saturday! And there was a heap of people there to support her. The ward council even planned a mini-post-festa for their wedding. Unfortunately their little girl, Maria was sick and Jorge couldn´t go to the baptism or the mini-festa. But awesome possum nonetheless!

And thennnnn. During church our ward mission leader Frankley (the one that baptized Cintia) came up to us and told us that there was a young man there that wanted to be baptized. LIke... huh? What? Ok! Let´s go! He had already been taught by the sisters and had been going to church for quite a while. Like months. So we talked to his mom who was like Yeah I want him to be baptized! And then he was baptized yesterday. Pretty sweet stuff. Hurrah for covenants! Yay for those saving ordinances!

Annnnnd for just one more huge milagre. Once upon a time like the first week Sister Carroll was here we were doing some street contacts on the way back home. It was like 8:55 and we walked up to two young guys. Early twenties. Started talking about the church, inviting them, yadda yadda. Then it was like they didn´t even hear anything we said and just asked about where we´re from. You know, guessing countries. Germany, Spain, England, Russia. And that day it was like all anyone wanted to know is what it´s like in the US.Everyone we talked to just asked about where we´re from and didn´t want to hear anything about the church. So, being the end of the day, I was a bit sassy. Just a bit. So I told them no that I´m not from any of those countries and to guess again. Kinda sassy. Finally they guessed the US. (Woo!) We invited them to visit the church and went on our merry little way. That´s pretty much how it went. I even forgot about it until this Sunday. One of those guys actually went to church the next Sunday, the elders started teaching him, and he was baptized yesterday!!! And I didn´t even realize it until at church he asked if I remembered inviting him to church. Oh my lanta. So cool. The sassy invite that changed his life. (But still, I´m working to control my sassyness.)

Miracles happen people! Have faith! Read Moroni 7! If you don´t know what that means... Ask the missionaries! They can help you!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!
Go spread the gospel!

Love you all!
Sister Baker

In case you didn´t notice by all the exclamation points I´m pretty excited!!

June 23, 2014 Every Transfer Gets a Little Harder

Fact of life. It just does. So we had transfers this week and that´s why I´m emailing right now instead of Monday. 

As for guessing what was going to happen for transfers- I thought I would stay here in Alecrim and Sister Carroll would go to a new area. I also thought that I needed a kick in the booty and would be training this transfer. Greenies have that fire that push you to work harder, ya know?

And as for the results.....

Monday night our Zone Leader called to say that Sister Carroll will be training here in Alecrim. Woohoo! She asked if she needed to pack her bags and he said no, so naturally I knew I would be transfered. Pretty sad stuff. So yesterday I lived the trio life and packed my bags to head off to the unknown. But thennnnnnn. Yesterday at night our Zl called again delivering news for transfers. Because yesterday is when we´re really supposed to know. If that makes sense. (I´m at that awkward point in the mish where I can´t speak Portuguese well and I´m forgetting English at the same time. Bizarre) Ok. So Elder Da Mata called and said that I will be staying here in Alecrim and be a new Sister Lider Trainadora with Sister Carroll. Elder Da Mata thought my reaction was funny. Needless to say, surprise surprise I´m still here in Alecrim!! I like this area so I´m a happy camper. So Sister Carroll and I are training Sister Caravalho! She´s fresh out of the MTC in Sao Paulo. From Rio Grande do Sul and a little cutie pie. Goes to show the Lord answers prayers! I´ve been praying for a Brazilian companion and Sister Carroll has been praying for a not American companion! 

So things are pretty crazy at our house right now. But I love it. In the midst of madness!

And I´m excited to train again. I need a kick in the booty. 

So as for missionary stuff goodness- we´re teaching lots of families!! I LOOVE families! You know, helping unite families for eternity is a pretty satisfying job. The problem is that if one person in the family starts to get out of the boat, the whole family jumps ship without knowing it. So it´s a lot harder but basically amazin´. 

This week we´re going to the cartorio with Cintia e Jorge to help them get married! We´re going to be their testimonies!

Remember Glaydson? So he´s the bomb.com. We´re teaching his family and they´re pretty fantastic. The mom´s name is Cristina and she really wants her sons to be involved in the church and to be baptized and all that, but she didn´t want it for herself. We had a coming to Jesus/DTR lesson with her explaining that if she wants her kids to do something she thinks is important, then she has to set the example. So we´re trying to help her prepare for baptism too. It´s all about those covenants! 

And I´ve just gotta say I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. I seriously want to use up all my personal study time studying it. LOVE IT. This week I studied a little bit about Moroni. Not the boss Captain Moroni but the son of Mormon. It´s sad to read all the awful things that he witnessed. Namely, the destruction of his people because of their wickedness. I couldn´t imagine having to flee from home and hideout because someone wants to kill me because I believe in Christ. Hard to imagine. But he did. And he lugged around with him the record of his people because he knew we would need it. And we do. Those prophets saw us in our day and they knew what we would need to know to stay on the straight and narrow.
It´s so cool to think not only that Heavenly Father called prophets on this side of the world to teach his gospel, but that we have a living prophet to help us. Hurrah for Israel!!

As for world cup madness, it´s fun stuff. During Brasil´s games, everyone goes home to watch, all the shops and stuff close and everyones watching the game. And then after the game everyone drinks, so usually we hightail it to the not sketchy-sketch parts of our area. During other games some people watch, but it´s not like everything closes. The TVs in stores will be showing the game but not everyone watches, so we can still work. Not really any special rules. Basically don´t be stupid. On p-days we can´t wear any team´s jersey in public. I´m praying that Germany won´t win because I don´t want to know what would happen. It was funny the other day Germany was playing when we went to buy somehing from the store. Some guy was like, aww you´re team is losing. And we´re like... we´re not German... Yeah he didn´t believe us. Haha 

Kay. That´s pretty much what´s up. Tata for now!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!
Spread that gospel- it´s been restored!
Love you all!!

Sister Baker

June 16, 2014 I don't think I've ever seen so much rain in my life!

Seriously. The past 3 days --- the start of the rainy season, boys and girls. Buckle your seatbelts and get your guarda chuva ready. Let me just say, I am so thankful for Chacos! The streets and sidewalks were flooded, so we waded through the great lake that is the Alecrim Ward. Good times, good times.

I apologize that this email will be painfully short. This computer stops about every ten letters I type. Testing my patience, for sure.

World Cup: So much fun to watch! Although I wasn´t expecting the mountain of fireworks after every goal Brazil scored. That was a surprise. And it´s funny that literally everything closed for the game. Even Valentine´s Day switeched because of the game. Brazil plays again tomorrow, so that will be fun. I´ll try to take a picture or something.

Conference: was really good. Elder Leal´s wife is hilarious. We´re starting to use those family history booklets. Pretty cool stuff. Buuuuuut. Elder Leal didn´t look at our apartment! Bah! We spent all p-day beautifying and cleaning and he didn´t have time to look.

Funny story/miracle/no way that was a coincidence: We met the daughter of a less-active. She´s awesome. We´re teaching her. She told us about her boyfriend. Later on that day, doing some street contacts, guess who we talk to? THE BOYFRIEND. Of all the people that live in our area, we meet him. Boom. Celestial timing.

That´s what´s going on in my neck of the flood.

Remember who you are and what you stand for!
Share the gospel!

I love you all!

Sister Baker

June 7, 2014 The Start of a New Decade

Whoa. That sounds weird. 

But my first week of being twenty has been pretty sah-weeeeet!

And crazy unexpected.

Ok. So here´s what happened.

We went to family home evening at the bishop´s house and everyone was there. It was his birthday Monday so cake and singing was involved. I also got a little birthday shout-out.

Then Tuesday night the ex-visa-waiters arrived from the Sao Paulo MTC. I got to see Sister VanHoven from my MTC district in Provo! That was fun. So her and her new companion stayed the night with us. Buuuuuuut. Before the night was over we got a call from our Zone Leader saying that Sister Anderson is being trasferred tomorrow. TOMORROW. Yeah. Sad sad. 

So this was the lowdown of my birthday.

Tchau tchau Sister A. :(
About 6 hours in the mission office helping to do paperwork. 
Oh heyyy new companion! Sister Carroll. She looks just as Americana as I do.We get a lot more people yelling at us in English now. 
Irma Antonia (wife of the stake president) made me a birthday cake! Love her.
While walking on the street, I fell. Quite dramatically. The lady on the other side of the street even yelled to make sure I was ok. Somehow I managed to save the coconut tapioca I was munching on. (note: tapioca here is ot the same). I think that just goes to show: don´t walk and eat people. You will fall. So I´m pretty scratched up, but I consider it a souvenir for my only birthday in the mission.
Isabelle and the twins Lulu e Zeze made a makeshift birthday cake with chocolate cookies and sang happy birthday. 
And I almost forgot. Shoutout for Sister A for decorating our house the night she had to pck her bags. She also made breakfast in the morning. American pancakes and guava juice. I LOVE GUAVA. Just sayin´,

So now I´m here with Sister Carroll. She´s from New Hampshire and pretty funny.  So life is good.  

Our investigator Gleydson was baptized this week! He´s a champ. And now we´re teaching the rest of his family that aren´t members. Yayyy salvation!

Also, I´ve been thinking alot about Elder Holland´s talk from general conference about discipleship. I like how he said that to get to the promised land we have to go to Mount Sinai. To return to live with Heavenly Father, obedience is a must. God gives us commandments because He knows what´s best for us and He wants us to return too. Yayyyy obedience!

That´s all for this week folks!

Remember who you are ad what you stad for!

Share the gospel! It´s what the cool kids are doing. 
And, it´s like, a commadment. That´s a much, much better reason.

Love you! 

Sister Baker

PS. First game Brazil will play is this week. Stay tuned...
Birthday Pancakes!

Hey Antonia!