January 21, 2015 Chegando a Morte

Ok. So I´m here in the mission office... Writing my last email... This is kinda surreal.

Actually it half feels like another transfer. Like I´m just getting transferred to a place that´s super cold and I´ll use cute scarves and they´ll speak my native tongue....

This is the lowdown on my last week:

We were in division with the sisters in Ala Seridó this week. We switched it up almost everyday, so some days I was with Sister Algayer (my favorite Gaucha), and other days I was with Sister Ríos ( my favorite Guatemalteca).

Not a whole lot of exciting stuff to report there, but we did walk in some super hot sun! Woohooo! Nothing too new.

On Sunday, Viviany´s daughter Marcinha (Viviany is a member) was baptized. Even though she´s the daughter of a member we taught her. Dear sweet Marcinha´s baptism was so great. She was so scared of the water. So so so scared. Like she wouldn´t enter in the water past the steps. And the old bishop, Bishop Mayilson (if that´s how you spell it) baptized her. Mayilson just so happens to be a jiu-jistso instructor and is massive. So there was little Marcinha trembling at the steps of the font, with water up to her knees and big ol´ Mayilson trying to baptize her. It sounded like he was shouting the words to the baptismal prayer, and when he went to baptize her Marcinha got freaked out and wouldn´t go under the water. Soooooo. Round two. Baptismal prayer and he went to put her under the water, Marcinha let out a little shout but Mayilson just went for it and dunked her anyway. It was like "Ahhh!" *splash!* Oh my. So funny! That was a fun last baptism on the mission. 

But it´s crazy that it´s all coming to a close. I can´t really believe that this part of my life went by so fast. I learned so much! It was so awesome! I´m just excited to start to be a member missionary and help everyone know about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It´s cool because I started my mission with a testimony and I´m on my way to conversion. That´s my goal from here on out. I want to be fully converted. I want to live true to what I know and do what´s right in any circumstance. I´ve worked really hard these past 18 months, but the work can´t stop here. I´m excited to start working in another realm of the Lord´s work!

Always remember who you are and what you stand for! 

Preach the gospel!

Love you all,
Sister Baker

January 12, 2015 One More Week!

Well, well, well. It sure has been an exciting week in this neck of the woods.
Let´s start it off with Mission Council. It was a really, really good council. President Soares focused on our relationship as missionaries with the bishops. We´ve gotta be bishop´s best friend. Luckilly here in Caicó I feel that way. Our bishop here is AWESOME. About every other training he gives in ward council is from Preach My Gospel.
So President Soares wants us all to have a meeting with bishop to resolve any problems that may exist and to help him out in what he wants to accomplish in the ward. The APs did a practice run, then President asked for volunteers. When he asked he looked directly and me and Sister Leonard for like 30 seconds straight, blinked a few times, then looked around. So we were like ... If no one volunteers he´s totally picking us. Then we just volunteered ourselves. Haha. But President really liked it apparently. So that was good. We got a shout-out from P. Soares!!
Backing up a bit, last p-day President called and asked us to do an exchange with the sisters in Ala Vila do Principe. So at MLC during lunch we picked his brain a bit, trying to figure out what exactly he wants done. Basically, he wanted us to do a mega-exchange there all week. There are two companionships, so we would be in trio the whole week working with them. When he finished explaining, he said something along the lines of, "then next week you´ll go to either Currais Novas or Seridó, depending on what they need." And I´m like, "... President, are you closing our area?" And he just looked at us and said, "Uh-huh. Basically." Well. There ya go! Our area has officially be closed. We worked in Vila do Principe last week, and this week we´re going to be with Ala Seridó. Luckilly that means we´ll be sleeping in our own house. But I´m excited!
In terms of how the exchange went, it went pretty great! I was with Sister J. Silva and Sister Carvalho (who I trained). So fun. So so fun. It´s been a while since they´ve had a baptism and this week they baptized a man named Maynard! It was awesome to see that and help a bit in the process! And this coming week they have two baptism marked! Whoohoo!
ALSO. Sunday was way cool. Like I said, we haven´t been working in our area, so we weren´t expecting anyone at church on Sunday. But when we got there, Maria Eduarda and Carlos Eduardo were there! Maria Eduarda wasn´t too much of a surprise because she gets herself to church every week, but I asked Carlos how he got to church and he said he walked alone. It´s been almost two weeks that I haven´t seen this boy and he walked to church alone! That was awesome!
So this week has been pretty great. Full of miracles and lots of progression.

I hope everyone else´s week will be just as great!
Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker

January 5, 2015 A Brand New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Hope this year will be great for all. Lots of happiness and joy and bubbles and sharing the gospel and happiness and cookies and family time and happiness.

Want to know how our New Year went?

I´m sure you do.

So on New Years Eve to celebrate, we got ice cream and Coke with the elders in the ward. Guava ice cream is some gooooooood stuff. #justsayin Then we got home at 9. As usual. Planned for the next day, then decided we would have a rede (hammock) New Year´s party. We´ve all got our own redes and put them in the biggest room in our house. It looked cool to see all the redes hanging off the walls. But I actually can´t sleep through the night in a rede, so I pulled in my mattress to the party. I´m not a party pooper, I promise. Then at like 10:15 I was out. SO TIRED. There I was, just sleeping there on the mattress in our living/study/exercise/rede room and I wake up to all these explosions and the sisters in the house running back and forth near my feet. But I was just like, #whatevs. Sooooo. What had happened was.... At midnight everyone and their hairdresser´s brother´s dog started shooting off fireworks. Well that woke everyone up (except me). And they looked outside to see them. Lo and behold there´s a family of members that live behind our apartment building who saw the sisters and were like "Happy New Year!! Are you guys hungry? Want barbecue? Want coke? We´ve got some salad too! Want that??" So I woke up to a New Year´s surprise of barbecue and coke. That was sweet.

Other than that, the assistants were in our zone for the week. Fun times were had all around. They even tried to help us out with a baptism. We have been teaching this girl named Maria Eduarda for a few weeks, but her mom didn´t want her to get baptized. We talked to her a bunch to try and let Maria Eduarda be baptized but she just wouldn´t let her. (I still don´t understand why... Her excuses didn´t make sense.) But when the assistants were here we asked them to talk to her. So they did and she decided to let her be baptized! We arranged everything to be on New Years Day at 4 o´clock. Then we got a phone call from Maria Eduarda that was like, "Hey sisters, my mom actually took me out to the family farm in the middle of nowhere that´s a few hours away. I don´t think the baptisms going to work for today." Uhhh.... So mama bear decided that she didn´t want to let her be baptized the next day. Yeah, that was a bummer, but I know it will all work out in the end. She´ll keep going to church and get baptized one of these days (or years).

In other news... LUNA HAD HER BABY!!! So we didn´t know what was happening with Luna until Friday. We had been going by there a few times a week to talk to her and see how she was doing, but never got a response. Then Friday we went by and knocked and she was like, "I have my phone in my hand because I was just about to call you to come over!" Yup. Divine timing, that´s for sure. So we got to talking with her, help bring up her spirits. Then Sister Leonard was like, "Do you want a massage? I hear there´s a way to start labor with a foot massage!" And Luna´s like, "Heck yes!!" So Sister L gave her a foot massage and I did a fancy braid in her hair. Then Saturday she had her baby! It was totally the foot massage that did it. But her baby´s name is Francielton and he is so stinkin´cute!! 

Even though we´re not baptizing as much as we were before, we´re working super hard and waiting for blessings from the Lord. It´s cool to see how the Lord works in the small and simple things and it always works out in the end.

Have a great week!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker

December 29, 2014 Where Are You Christmas?

Why can´t I find you?? Why have you gone awayyyy?

Cinco reais for the one that can guess that movie!

But that song from the classic Christmas tale has been Sister Leonard and my theme song for this year. Like I said before, it doesn´t feel too Christmas-y here because it´s super hot and because the people here use Christmas as an excuse to drink. Of course, that´s not everyone. Members of the church - not drinking. And also those elect ones that are waiting to find the truth - not drinking. So it´s kind of like a filter to help us find those people that really want to come closer to Christ. 

We did have quite a few festivities sprinkled throughout the week. A member of our ward wanted to pay for pizza for our entire district to have a little district Christmas party. (That´s because he loves us and is awesome!) So Tuesday we all got together to eat pizza and to exchange our secret santa gifts for each other. I really liked that. There was a whole lot of love that got put into those gifts. I drew Sister Carvalho, who just so happens to be my baby girl. (As in, I trained her.) Sister C is a hard-core caipira (which is like brazillian redneck), and I was sure that she was missing the cow she got for her 15th birthday. So I (with a lot of help from Sister Leonard) made her a paper mache cow with candy inside. It was a hit! She loved it! Then Sister Ríos (who lives with us) drew me. Ok. This girl totally rocked it. She made this coffin out of cardboard, and put a sister missionary baby doll inside that looks just like me. And on the outside it says, "RIP Sister Baby". Oh Edigar. His ways are infiltrating everyone! Yeah, now everyone jokingly calls me Sister Baby. But I love it. I´ll send pics, don´t worry. 

Ok. And I have to tell the story of what just happened in this exact moment. So Elder Padgett (the ZL that works in the same ward as us) just called and was like, "Sister! Transfer calls! So you have to go to the bus station as soon as possible to see when the bus goes to Natal!" And I´m thinking, "Bahhhh. I got transfered??!?! What?!?!" Because the other day we were notified that there would be an emergency transfer and the elders were joking that I would get transfered out of here. So naturally I was thinking that I got the boot and just went silent on the phone. I think Elder Padgett got a little freaked out and decided to explain exactly what happened. Elder Gibson (the other ZL in our ward) just got called to be an assistant to the president and has to travel to Natal today. So they were asking us to stop by there to find out the times for him, but didn´t specify and left me with a heart attack. They totally did in on purpose. But it´s all fine now.


I survived the last emergency transfer of my mission!!

So I´ve been studying a lot more of the new testament, and I`M LOOOOOVING IT! Read the new testament! It´s so good. 

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Love you all! 

Sister Baker

Merry Christmas

December 22, 2014 Christmas Time

It´s starting to feel like Christmas inside of this Lan House (internet café). Wanna know why? Because the ac feels like it should be popping out snow it´s so cold. But I came prepared ... with ... a .... CARDIGAN! Never thought I would have to use one of those here, but stranger things happen every day. So I´m here in the lan house huddling over my computer, probably looking like a crazy. Oh well.

We´re all getting ready for Natal here in Missão Brasil Natal. It´s a pretty exciting season, with everyone getting ready to celebrate the birth of the Savior. It´s been interesting for me this year trying to get in the Christmas spirit, because it´s not cold and people don´t really put up Christmas decorations. But I´ve been trying to reach out with Christ-like love and serve the people here, just like He did. I´ve learned that whether or not someone accepts or appreciates what you do for them, it doesn´t matter. The fact that you reached ourside of your bubble to help someone for the better is what counts in the eternal scheme of things. 

These past few weeks have been rough for me and Sister Leonard. I said it a few weeks back, but it´s kind of odd for people to flat our reject us. Ususally they´re softer than a floppy disk and say, "se Deus quiser" (if God want´s it) or "se der eu vou" (if it works out I´ll go). But recently they´ve been like, "no way josé I`m not going". But Heavenly Father was mindful of us and blessed us with 5 people at church on Sunday! Whoohoo! It was just awesome.

Update on our recent-converts: 
Edigar: still crazy as ever. he started bringing snacks to church
Cesar: bought a white button-down shirt and is rocking it!
Luna: STILL hasn´t had her baby. We´ve gone by there a few times to try and consol her, but she´s either been sleeping or ignoring us. It´s been over a month that the doctor said she would have her baby, but the doctor would do the c-section because Luna has high blood pressure and there´s a risk she could lose the baby and her life. So please pray for her.

We had our mission Christmas conference this week, which was a blast. We left Caicó at 2 in the morning to get to Natal on time. But it was a wonderful conference and great to see everyone in the mission. I was surprised that I know so many people here! I feel like I´m still a newbie in the field sometimes when it comes to knowing other missionaries, but it was cool to see some people I know and the sisters that I used to be over. 

BUT. The funniest/most tragic part of the Christmas Conference: the entire mission got diarreah the next day because of the food! Something was left out too long and went bad and next thing you know erryone´s got diarreah. One of the elders in the district was like, "Hey. You´re going to laugh at this question, but did everyone in your house have diarreah??" Oh, elders. Bless their hearts. 

And just as a news update for Mama Baker, I´m running a 102 fever with a sore throat. Sister Soares already has put me on bed rest, and we won´t be working today. But I had to send Mama Baker her letter!

So that´s the way the cookie crumbled this week!
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of Christ-like love! Because that´s what really matters!

And if you haven´t already, watch this video! It´s about how Christ Himself was actually the first Christmas present from a loving Father in Heaven.

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sister Baker