March 10, 2014 A Week of Reprovement

Haystack Rock--the Mission Symbol for The Savior.  The rock is huuuuge! 100 feet from the beach.

Samuelians and haystack rock!
The Sisters at Haystack Rock
Howdy Errybody!
So this week has been crazy awesome! Like the epitome of a spiritual smackdown!

It started out on Tuesday with MLC. For one reason or another we arrived at the mission home late and started late. Not good. The Lord reproved us for that. Like a lot. You'll find that the lesson I learned this week is that I need to step up my game. Yeah so we started MLC with a little bit of training and whatnot then President Samuelian really laid the smackdown. And by President I mean the Lord. Really President was just His mouthpiece. It's great how that works through the priesthood authority. Basically we as a mission and especially as mission leadership need to step up and be better in every aspect of the work. So that was really eye-opening and humbling. I definitely see how there are so many things that I need to be better at in order to accomplish the Lord's purposes and to be an instrument in His hands.

Tuesday we actually got to go out to Haystack Rock!! It was an amazing experience. Very, very spiritual place. As a mission the Rock has become almost a sacred place. It's our mission symbol for the Savior. He is our Rock and everything we do is based upon faith in Him. We had time to go off by ourselves and think about the fears and the sins we hold onto, write them down, then symbolically bury them at the feet of the Savior. President even got down in the sand and dig a really deep hole in his suit.

That night was our counsel and it was ... rough. Everyone just started talking about different issues and it didn't seem to be going anywhere. I was confused as to the problem we were trying to solve. We counseled (I don't know if it's council or counsel...) for probably 3 hours and didn't get anywhere because it wasn't done by the Spirit. That was very apparent. So at about 9-something we decided that instead of playing dodgeball in the morning for exercise, we would use that time to work through the issues at hand. I still wasn't even sure what we were addressing. But the next morning we all came together, petitioned for the guidance of the Spirit, and worked in unity. We were able to lay out the problem (we called it our "opportunity" instead of "problem") and what exactly needs to be done in less than an hour. Definitely a tender mercy of the Lord and once again, I learned how we can't do ANYTHING without the Lord. Like nada. Tuesday night we tried to address the opportunity by the understanding of men, while on Wednesday morning we sought the Lord's will for His mission. That morning was nothing short of a miracle.

Thursday we had the Lebanon and Salem zones come together for zone conference! I loooooooove zone conference. A whole bunch. I got to see the sisters that Sister P and I serve. They sure do rock. So we got another spiritual smackdown / reproving from the Lord. Sister Samuelian was teaching us about the righteous desires of our hearts, then President commented (like he usually does), but then shifted into almost the same reproving we got at MLC. Well... not so much the same. It was all done by the Spirit, so I guess that's the same. But he quoted Bruce R. McKonkie (don't know how to spell that...) when he was talking about those that inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom. A part of that group is the lukewarm members of the church! Yikes! Lukewarm missionaries become lukewarm members. I don't know about you, but I want all the Heavenly Father wants me to have, and I know that I can't get it anywhere but the Celestial Kingdom. We all need to have more passion about the work and doing God's will. I definitely have a lot to work on. So when President was done he looks at Sister S, then she turns and says, "Ok, any questions?" Bah! I love them!! They crack me up. So then after lunch Sister P and I were supposed to do some training, but pretty much everything we were going to say was already covered. It's funny how the Spirit works. But repetition is important. We have to learn things 7 times in 7 different ways in order for something to stick. So it was all good. 

So Sister Palm-Palm and I got to spend a good chunk of the week with the Samuelians! What a tender mercy! They're the bomb.com. I told Prez that he has to stop talking about me leaving. But he's excited to talk to you on the phone, mom and dad! He's brought it up a few times. So I'm pretty stoked about that :)
Look what Sister B loved from her care package from home!!

We also went on an exchange with the Brownsville Sisters! So much fun! I got to be with Sister H again, who is such a champ. 
Look what Sister B took to share with Sister H!!!  Gotta share the  love of Chick-fil-A Sauce!!!

So I've got a lot of things to stew on from this super-intense week. I love it! I'm learning more about Paul the Apostle. I want to be like him. He's awesome. 

Ok, Mom, I looooove your long detailed emails! And dad's! Tell dad to keep up with his repenting! He's on the right path!
Yes I would love those Portuguese books. Also if you feel inclined to send some more CFA sauce I wouldn't object. I may or may not be through with the first one. Sister Palm-Palm had never had it, so naturally I had to share. I'm mailing home two boxes today with warm winter stuff. Do you want anything from here for me to send to you? What's your t-shirt size again? I want to get you an Oregon shirt!

I didn't feel an earthquake.

I don't have to pay baggage fees which is a tender mercy!

Our car, named Henry, won the clean car award at zone conference. It definitely wasn't because he's brand new or anything. We gave an impromptu acceptance speech at zc. Went a little somethin' like this: "we would like to thank Henry for his sleek lines, and also Elder Larson for providing us with this new car." Good times, good times.

Sorry I don't have time to specifically answer the rest of your questions because I'm going to try to send pictures.

At MLC we talked about 3 Nephi 3 and the awesome leadership of Lachoneus. I'll have to tell you about the amazing vision Pres. Sam had of the stripling warriors. And when I say vision I mean legit vision. It will make your knees buckle.

Alright kiddos - keep it real until next week.

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker over and out!
p.s. I told that to the Samuelians as we were leaving from Zone Conference and she said that's what Nicole Pikus Pace said when she won an Olympic medal! Ha!

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