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



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