February 3, 2014 Another Cray Cray Week in the OSM (Oregon Salem Mission)

Oi todos! (translation: hey errrybody!)

^ That's probably the most Portuguese I've said in a while. #visawaiterstruggs

Oh wait. That's a lie. When we pray together as a companionship I say it in Portuguese. And we pray together A LOT. But that's still the extent of my language practice. It is what it is. 

Life in Oregon is sah-weet! 
And life with iPads is sah-weet!!

We got our fancy shmancy ipads this past Tuesday and they're awesome! We got together with another zone for a technology roll-out with President Samuelian and other leadership. Our planners, area books, scriptures, basically our lives are on these things now. I could tell a lot of missionaries have been feeling apprehensive about using technology, but this is the direction the Lord is taking His work. President asked us how hard the work would be if we didn't have a cell phone, then he asked how hard it would be if we didn't have texting. As a missionary working with the young single adults, I can tell you that it would be impossible. I send more text messages now as a missionary than I ever did before. If we didn't have texting we couldn't effectively do the work, if any work at all. He drew a parallel to this new technology. In a very short amount of time, taking away the technology we have would be detrimental to the work. And I can really see how that's true. We've already been able to use these new tools to hasten the work of salvation. It's amazing that I get to see this all unfold before me. What a tender mercy!

So even without rockin' iPads this week has been good! Let me tell you about one of my favorite people ever. B. Oh my lanta he's so great. I've told you about him before but every week he just grows and grows! He's gone from not wanting to even talk to us outside of a lesson to setting up his own appointments. That may not mean a lot to you, but WHOA. That's a big deal. So we were in a lesson this week talking about repentance and Sister A pulls out a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that talks about your confidence waxing strong in the presence of God. So we read the scripture, B blinks a few times, and bursts out, "How do you think of these scriptures off the top of your head?! And what does this even mean?!" He was just baffled how all that happens. What a hoot. 

Went on exchanges to Brownsville. Pretty fun stuff. Brownsville is right next to Sweet Home, so it was a bit nostalgic. Just a bit. 

Ok right now there are like 15 elders in the family history center that just got finished playing basketball. And they're arguing about iron man vs batman. Bless their hearts. 

But Brownsville was fun. I fed cows for the first time in my entire life! And I got to pet them. Good times, good times. That night at dinner I also heard a story about how this guy had to taze a moose to get him unstuck from wire fencing that was wrapped around a tree. It took like an hour and we were late to exchange back. But it makes for a good story! Ha.

Happy 6 months to meeeeee! 

Want to hear a awkward/sad story?

Don't worry, I'll tell you. 

Last night we were looking for a referral from another ward. So we were walking around this apartment complex and talking to people that were outside and whatnot. So this guy starts walking towards us from his car and we start up a conversation with him. He looks pretty uninterested and like he wants to run away. We get that a lot. But I don't understand why. We're awesome! And the message we have is even better!! Anyway Sister P just jumps to it and asks if he's ever met missionaries. And without missing a beat he says, "Yeah. I used to be one," then tries to walk away. Oh no no no buddy. Not happening. So we ask him about his mission and whatnot but he wouldn't really talk to us which I find pretty sketchy. The whole situation was just bizarre. Moral of the story: returned missionaries- stay active in the church!! 

Kay. Rant over.

Oh! So we had interviews with President Samuelian! I just love that man! So much! I also just so happened to be wearing the same shirt as Sister Samuelian. That's when you know you've got style! Anyways, we hit on a few things in the interview. He asked me about how I feel about my visa-waiter status. I told him that I'm all good in the hood (basically. didn't use that phraseology.) and that I'm happy to be serving here because it doesn't matter where you serve. We're called to serve the Lord. We're assigned to labor in a mission. The assignment isn't what matters most, it's how you serve. So I told him that in a little more detail and he just looks at me and says, "Sister Baker, there are challenges ahead for you. You know that, right?" I said that I figured things would get much harder pretty quickly because right now I feel like I've kind of got my footing even though I'm in a new area. Heavenly Father always changes things up on me when I start to get comfortable. So he told me that I'm going to be transferred to a new area. An area that has probably never seen sisters before and that I will be training a new missionary. Now I don't know how all of this will work with my visa paperwork apparently moving along, but I'll let him know. So the fantastic trio life is going to end in a few weeks. Then he also talked about how much Satan hates me. Typically it would hurt my feelings to hear about how much someone hates me, but it doesn't bother me a bit because I hate him just as much. Satan hates me and you and everyone else that is trying to do the Lord's will. And he always will hate us. #hatersgonnahate 

So then I told him about how my mind has been driving me crazy. The past month or so my mind has been slow. I don't really know how to describe it, but it just feels like it hasn't been working properly. And it's not like I think I have a tumor or anything, it's just that I can't pick up on things as fast as I normally do. For instance, we talk about the lessons we will teach in the morning during comp study, then right before we pray to go into the lesson we review it. It's like as soon as we step into their house I forget everything we talked about. And every time I pray so hard that I can remember what it is they need and the commitments we were going to extend and it just doesn't come. It's been so frustrating and I don't know why my brain can't handle mission life! It's been not good. So I told President about that and he was said that he can tell I'm really smart and I pick up on things very quickly (I'm not as smart as he described me though). And that I've been given this temporary mental block as a hurdle so I can understand and empathize with those that don't catch on as quickly or those that can't remember things well. That made a lot of sense to me and has been pretty comforting. It's nice to know that my brain isn't shutting down permanently, you know?

And that's life in this Salem neck of the woods!

Spread the gospel, follow Christ, remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker

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