January 20, 2014 Awesome Week!!

Hey there hey!

Hope everyone's had a good week over yonder. It's been a pretty awesome week over here in Salem YSA. Ok, for one: I LOVE YSA! It's great. The bomb-diggity. Awesome possum. It will be weird to be in a family ward after this.

So street contacting is fun. You meet some interesting people. Sister A hadn't been tracting or street contacting or anything the first week, and she definitely needed that experience. So we decided to go down this busy street called Commercial. We prayed beforehand and all got different promptings. I felt like we should turn right out of this gas station, Sister P felt like we should turn down a street and stop, and Sister A felt like we needed to walk back to the busy intersection. So we did all three! We walked back on the street and started talking to people at a bus stop. The first person I talked to was on his way home from work and when he saw my nametag asked if I know the Templin family. Uhhhh... YEAH I DO! What?! Crazy crazy! We would go over to the T Family's house on a regular basis! I didn't get a chance to ask him if he was interested in learning about the church, but he told me to add him on facebook. You betcha I did. Then I sent Rachel (the daughter) a message about him. So we'll see where that goes. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. There are no coincidences, folks. 

The YSA branch presidency got all shaken up the week before I got here, and now the presidency member over missionary work is totally on the ball. This past week we had a correlation meeting (apparently the first one in a long time) with all the ward missionaries. It went so well. We have a big list of less-actives and so the ward missionaries have an assignment to go out in pairs and visit two people a week. Seems like a great idea to me. We'll see how it goes!

We helped out a less active in moving and that sure was an interesting experience. It was like half of the house was packed and the other half was just sitting out. So that was a little bit awkward. But we helped them out the best we could. I also may or may not have played a mini-prank on her boyfriend. I hid in our trunk and Sister P asked him to get something out of the car. And I freaked him out. Good times, good times. Who says you can't have fun on a mission? In a dignified way, of course. I also hit my shin on the trailer hitch and got scraped up pretty well. Battle wounds.

So we've been working with this less-active member. He's really good friends with a ward missionary named C who just got back from her mission in St. George. They're super opposite and it's funny to see them interact. But he is pretty reserved and quite sarcastic, so lessons are always interesting. This past week we had an amazing, totally Spirit-led lesson. We read through Alma 32 together and talked about it every few verses. It was the first time he really opened up and we got to understand his concerns. We were talking about having a particle of a desire to believe and C asked him if he had that desire. B just looks at her, blinks a few times, and says, "No... I just meet with missionaries for fun." I just about peed my pants! So funny!

We also went up to the Portland temple visitor's center!! It was so awesome! Let's just say we had a 12 passanger van full of ward missionaries, recent converts, less actives, and investigators. We even got a new gator out of it! Righteous! Righteous!

Also we went to visit a potential investigator and met his pretty cool roommates. And one of them looks like the lead singer from 1 Direction. It was weiiiiiiiird. Oh Lorenzo, I know your true identity... 

And Sister A committed one of our investigators to baptism!! YEAH BUDDY! Her name's E and she's a sweet heart. 

So that's what's going on over here in Salem. Never a dull moment!

Keep it real, folks!
Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker

Happy 1 week Sister A!!

Chick-fil-a sauce! LIKE MANNA FROM HEAVEN

And Sister L at the visitor's center! Yay from MTC comps

Yay temple!


January 13, 2014 Goodbye Sweet Home, Hello Salemmmm!

Sister Strickler. Our bomb-diggity ward missionary. She comes out with us a few times a week. Love her!!

Olsen family.
 And Olivia. She's like my little sis.

WENDY!!!!  I love her so much!!!!!
Ray & Lawanda. Love them! Ray serenaded me with a song about me leaving that he made up on the spot. So. Great.

BELOW:  Teaching yaks about the Book of Mormon. Ya know, just normal, everyday mission stuff.

Tolman family. The bomb diggity. They have the yaks!

BELOW:  Robert and Debbie!!! And their dog, Oti.

The final goodbye with Jonsie. And Sister Basting. Seriously, Sister Basting is amazing. Any questions about the second coming? Ask her. She knows. She's the seminary teacher and the bomb.com


Coming atcha live from Salem, Oregon!

Serving in YSA is stinking awesome. I love it. We get to teach our friends everyday. And it's not like friends that are 30 years older than us, it's friends that are our age. It's awesome. 

And I'm back in the trio liiiiiiife! Trios are the bomb.com. Seriously. 

Side note- didja know they added the definition "figuratively" to the word "literally". Like when people say, "I literally just died." Uh. No you didn't. You figuratively just died. 

But I love being in a trio with Sister A and Sister P. They're the bomb-diggity. 

Sister P is from Aiea, Hawaii and my kindred Hawaiian spirit. She's a legit islander and I'm just trying to get on her level. That will take a while. Ha! But she's a sister training leader and an amazing missionary. I've learned SO much from her this past week. She's almost like the head honcho sister training leader. If they had sisters as assistants to the president, she would be one. She's awesome. 

And Sister A is from Orem, Utah. She's already graduated from BYU with a degree in English Linguistics. So she's a smarty pants editor. And I love her a lot. Even though she's only been out a few days I'm amazed at how quickly she's caught on to everything. 

So we have a lot of fun together. I've figured out that my new motto is to play as hard as we work. And we work hard! So we've got to have fun!

I've realized that whenever I get comfortable somewhere, I always get moved! Pretty crazy, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. I was finally getting my footing in Sweet Home and now I'm here in YSA. Never a dull moment on the mission. I love it. So now I'm getting to know the ward and we've been working to find the Lord's vision for the area. President Samuelian talks about vision alot and it blows my mind every time. He talks about Proverbs 29:18 that says, "where there is no vision, the people perish". It's our job as missionaries to find and establish the Lord's vision for the work in this particular section of the world. And when we figure out what it is specifically that we're working towards we establish tactics that get us there. So a few nights ago. Actually it might have been last night. Everything runs together. But anyway, we were talking about the work and praying together for a vision. And nothing was coming. Nada. Everything we talked about didn't feel right. And then we got a phone call from a random number - it was our new branch president! He wanted us to go visit someone, so we said we would. Then we asked him about establishing a vision for the work here and he told us the vision he has and it was so perfect!!! Seriously an answer to prayer. Goes to show that when we try our best and do all that we can, the Lord's grace makes up the rest. It's amazing. So now we have a clear idea of what we're working towards. Hurrah for Israel!

Yeah so the week before I got here we got an all new branch presidency and they're on fire. Not literally, figuratively. Ha. Sister A is rubbing off on me. We've been asking her if our speech is grammatically correct. It's not. Anyways. The branch presidency is awesome. They've all either been bishops or stake presidents or high councilmen and I'm so excited to get to work with them. The leader that is over missionary work has already scheduled to have a meeting with us, the ward missionaries, and our ward mission leader. Oh, we also got a new ward mission leader this Sunday. Some would think that all these changes would be a hindrance, but I see it as great progress being made. This transfer is gonna rock! 

I've made a breakthrough with myself. I've been trying to focus outward, but it's been a struggle. We've changed how we do our planning and our studies. Rather than saying, "What should we teach them tomorrow?" we say, "What do they need?" Maybe I've been oblivious the past 5 months, but that's really helped me change my way of thinking. President Samuelian always says, "It's not......... about.......... you." So true!! Love that man!

Also, Sister A said she felt like I was going to be her companion when we all met at the new missionary transfer meeting. Crazy awesome! Revelation for sure!

Let's see... everyone thinks I'm older than I am. They guess that I'm anywhere from 21-25. Right now I don't really care that I look older, but when I hit 40 it had better have the reverse effect. 

That's pretty much it for this week! It's been awesome and this upcoming week is gonna rock the socks off of Salem YSA!

Peace & blessins
Sister Baker




January 6, 2014 New Year, New Area

Hello hello!

It feels like a year since the last time I emailed. Once again the Lord threw me for a loop and I've been transferred to Salem! I'm new serving in the Young Single Adult branch! Ahhh I'm so stoaked! And my new companion, Sister P, and I are training a new missionary! She gets in this Wednesday I think. Pretty crazy stuff. 

I think this computer is set in Spanish because about 75% of my words are underlined in red. It looks kind of weird. 

I'm going to be honest, I'm having a hard time remembering everything that happened this week... I usually bring my journal and share the highlights, but my journal is in on of my suitcases. 

But I'm really going to miss Sweet Home. It's a weird feeling leaving the people I love a whole bunch. 

All the red is tripping out my eyes. I'll be sending pictures and captions :)

Love you!
 Sister Baker
True story. This one never gets old! Ha!
Yayy!! Splits with the Young Women

Oh hayy Tuttle family. I'm gonna miss them!!