Monday, July 30, 2012

Hello familia :)
How are you all?

This week has been crazy. A lot has gone on! It's so crazy how fast weeks are over on a mission and then you can't even remember what happened in the week. haha. Wow. I can't believe I've been out for 4 months on Saturday. Can you believe that?! I'm almost a fourth done with my mission..... Crazy.

So Monday, we went to Garden of the Gods. It was fun! It's like zions national park. It's super pretty. We had a whole slew of us go up. We ended up only being able to walk around for like a half hour because we had to go pick Mack up and she was pretty far out of the way. Even though we weren't there long, it was a fun P day. :) It's fun to get out of Pueblo for a bit. Hahah.

Tuesday, I got surgery on my toes ): You know how I have always had ingrown toenails? Well, they got bad out here. My Bishop is a podiatrist or whatever and so he did the "surgery" for free. So nice of him. It was the most painful thing I have ever gone through. They had to put 2 needles each in my toes because the first needles didn't numb it enough. The needle felt like it was going all the way through my toe and I could feel the fluids going through my toe. My big toes were the size of a fist. So gross. Then he cut out both sides on each big toe. One side, the nail had grown like 1/4 an inch into the skin. SO NASTY. I've been in pain all week and been having to wear sandals. My toes got infected and I've been on medication. They seem to be getting better now. Hopefully they heal in the next few days. It was a rough surgery but I think once they heal it will be great!
Also on Tuesday, we had interviews. It was good to talk to President. He gave me soem great advice on how to make the transfer better. I cried to him a lot, because I've been struggling, but things this week were actually A LOT better.

Wednesday, we did lots of planning, some service, and then taught a less active sister and her boyfriend who isn't a member. The lesson was SUPER spiritual, but I failed on truly commiting him to baptism. There was a lot of people at the lesson, and for some reason it felt kind of uncomfortable asking him to be baptized.  We did a fast yesterday for his heart to be softened. Hopefully we can teach him again, and recommit him. I love teaching about the restoration. It's so amazing.

Thursday, we did some service for someone else in the ward. We did lots of painting. My toes were hurting a ton, and that is when I found out they were infected and had to go back to the doctors. So it wasn't that eventful of a day. We then went to Amandas and we watched the video, prophet of the restoration. That video is so amazing. Amanda really liked it! Her brothers girlfriend, who isn't a member, sat in. Hopefully she felt the spirit and will have a desire to learn.
Friday, we had district meeting. It was soooo good. I have my district leader the chapter that you gave me dad, the bold and testifying missionary. What book is that from? .. Anyways, the whole meeting was on how to be better testifying missionaries. He let me talk about the chapter since I was the one who gave it to him. It was awesome! My district leader, Elder Ellsworth says to thank you dad for the chapter, because he loves it so much! He copied it and everyone in our district got a copy and was challenged to read it to become better missionaries. Sister Brady and I were struggling this week finding people, but after the district meeting on being more bold, Sis Brady and I found 5 new investigators. 3 on friday and 2 on saturday! Amazing!! We have been taking a different approach when meeting people, and it's working. I love getting excited to go out and tract. That's what it's all about! I'm so excited to be a bold and testifying missionary this week and fulfill my purpose! Then on  

Friday night we went to the Hawkins for dinner. It was so fun. They have friday night pizza night and their WHOLE family comes. We ate, had smores, and played some games. It was fun to feel part of a family. We played a game with them and Sis Brady and I schooled everyone :)

Saturday, we attended a baptism and I gave the missionary moment again. I felt the spirit so strong during it. What was cool was, the girl who was getting baptized(her name is amber) she had heard me give the missionary moment before and she asked me specifically to do it because she said last time I was just a light when I gave it and she felt the spirit so strong. It was awesome to know I affected someone like that. There was a lot of non member at the baptism and it was cool to see so many of them pay attention to what I had to say and the spirit that comes with testifying of Joseph Smith. Man, I love being a missionary. It's so great to see myself grow!!!!

Sunday, we didn't do much. I rested for a bit cause I've been so tired walking around all week, and my feet have been killing me. We taught a couple lessons and that was about it. A former investigator that I told you about, he came to church yesterday!! SO cool. Hopefully he keeps coming.

Sis Brady adn I have been getting along a lot better this week.  I think we are really learning from each other. 

Love you ALL :) Hope your week went well! :)
-Sister Bake

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hi family! How are you? :)
Sooooo....... This week has been so hard. ): I'm trying to stay positive, but I just want to break down every two seconds. It has been super rough.
I got a new district leader, and he is so awesome. He has been in my district my whole mission thus far, and has become one of my best friends. He gave me a blessing on Thursday because I couldn't stop crying becasue of how hard this change has been on me. The blessing was truly amazing. I was given so much strength and courage from it. In the blessing he told me to study the scriptures tirelessly. I've been trying to do so, and been trying to take a lot from my studies. SOmething I've been sharing in homes lately is 3Nephi 17. It talks about Jesus Christ healing the multitude. In the verses it states that He WILL heal us, not might heal us. It talks about how the multitudes faith is sufficient and so he can heal them. I love that the multitude just needed faith and in return Christ promised he WOULD heal them, and not just some of them, all of them. Then a couple verses later it says how the mulititude is crying. I thought to myself that when we act upon our faith, Christ heals us, and in return we become more Christlike. The multitude now has compassion and comfort and so many things that each one of us needs to have. It was a great chapter. It taught me about the relationship I not only need to have with my Father but with my Savior, too. I love the scriptures.
It was cool to see how my blessing has really given me a lot more courage. 2 more sisters are coming into the mission next transfer and only 4 of us could train. So, maybe I'll train in pueblo. In my blessing it stated that these next 6 weeks will be the happiest 6 weeks ever according to my faith and that times are hard but they are unlocking potential that previously couldn't be accessed. What a great blessing. I keep trying to look at the positives, but it's hard. It's a big change from me and Mack who had SOOOO much fun together. We worked so well together. I miss her.
Today, we are going up to Springs to Garden of the Gods. Amanda, my convert is going with us and so are some elders and we are meeting up with Mack and S. folwell. SHould be fun.
Transfers meeting was fun, got to see a lot of missionaries that I already love so much!! It was hard to say goodbye to Mack. I just cried and cried. She was exaclty who I needed to be with and she taught me so much. I pray I can learn from S. Brady as well.
Not much happened this week considering all the changes and such. Friday though, we went to the Hawkins for Pizza friday and it was so fun! They have a big family and their home feels like home. They have so much love in the home and they remind me of all of you, so it's good to go there every once in awhile to hang out. Also, I had a cool experience firday. We got a referral and when we stopped by she wasn't home. I felt we should tract the street. We did a couple houses and I just felt like we needed to find someone of the street. The last house we knocked was a girl named Jessica. She was so cute and we just talked for a moment and she accepted to be baptized. We had an appointment with her yesterday and she wasn't home, which was a bummer. But I know that whatever the reason, she was the person we needed to talk to. I love experiences like that.
Saturday, we did service at this lady's house.  Then we were able to see a inactive family. They haven't been out in years, but they let us in and we talked with them for awhile. They said we could keep coming back. They have 4 kids I think that could be baptized. I think this might be the time to reactivate them and get their kids to become members. It woudl be awesome to see that happen!! I felt accomplished after being allowed in their home and welcomed to come back haha. yesterday was a rough day. We had church and then not much else to do.
That's my week. I hope this one is better. I love you all so much. I cried with all the letters this week that you guys sent because I'm just struggling and I love getting to hear from you. .
Hope you havea good week. Miss you!!!
-Sister Baker

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hi family :)

So, this infamous transfer happens tomorrow and I am no longer with Mack ): ): ): my heart is broken. Seriously. She is so great. We had a great companionship and I'm sad to see her leave me. I'm VERY happy to be staying in Pueblo though. My new companion is Sister Brady.  I'm nervous but the Lord knows what is right, right?! I have to keep telling myself that cause I am super scared. I can't believe I am done training and now getting a new comp and everything. I guess it's exciting to have changes, but scary as well.
We found out on Sunday morning that Mack and I were probably both getting transfered. Mack and I didn't really feel like we had done a whole lot of good here, but man, when we told people we were probably leaving.... people were devestated. Sister Mead (RS pres) started crying in sacrament and said we were the first missionaries she has loved in a long time. Her 9 year old niece, Savanah, is with her all the time and Savanah was soo sad. Less actives were so sad when we said goodbye. Sonja, a less active, started to just cry. So many people said how great mack and i are together and how dearly we would be missed. It felt good to know we made a difference, especially in the ward. Sister Mead had us over for dinner last nigth with the RS presidency and savanah was there as well. Savanah just bawled and hugged us goodbye. Sister mead started to cry and said, "that's when you know you've made a difference, when a nine year old is impacted" It felt so great to be loved!!!!!!!!!! I'm glad I'm staying because this ward needs some stability with the missionaries. I feel like we are starting to make progress with so many people and it feels wonderful. So many of these woman are my moms our here since I don't have you mom. It's just nice to have people to turn too. I can't wait to continue to see success here in Pueblo. I feel like I will serve in Pueblo for a lot of my mission.
Well, this week, not too much happened. The main events were the 4th of July, and Amandas Baptism!!!!!!!! AHHHH :)
Due to the fires, no one could do fireworks and just no one even celebrated! sad day. Hahah. Mack was sick for a whole day and I thought I was going to go INSANE. She slept or was in the bathroom all day and I HAD NOTHING TO DO. I did some crafts, organized things, called some people.... sat there.... sat there some more. Wow. I don't know how missionaries just sit around and do nothing... I was going insane.
Then Amanda Coatney's baptism was on Sunday. OH MY GOSH what a great experience. I've had 4 people I've taught here get baptized. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Amanda was so prepared for us. She seriously udnerstands the gospel so well. Her baptism was amazing .SO many non members came...and the spirit was so present. When she was baptized, it was so calm and peaceful in the room.. so amazing. She asked me to speak at her baptism and it was so great to speak at it! I love her so much. She loves the gospel. She recongizes the spirit, and see's the blessings already. After her baptism she thanked us and said she couldn't be there without us. We said it was all her who got her there and that she was so prepared. She said, you shared with the message that I love and needed.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Days are hard, but the feelings of success and love are insane. It's great :)
Also, we went as a district to Bishops castle.. you got the pic of me there. It was so fun. Brittany whatley drove us up and we had an absolute blast! Elder rios went home this week, so it was like our goodbye to him going there. It was fun to pass by the Hamlers. I of course couldn't stop and say hi, but it was cool to drive through Rye :)
The weather has been better here. Not so hot. It's been cloudy and rainy.
Well, that's about it for my week. I love you guys so much!! I miss you and pray for you everyday.
Thank you for everything you all do for me. You all mean the world to me. Seriously.
Have a great week. Pray that I don't kill sister brady :) hahaha.
-Sister Baker

Mack, Brittany Whatley, and me :)

Me with Elder Rios.

Mack and I with Amanda before she is baptized.

Amanda after her Baptism :) 

RS presidency and Savanah :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Well hello everyone :)
Hope you are all so good!

For starters, the fires are really bad in colorado springs, as you know. But they aren't really affecting us here in Pueblo, and hopefully it stays that way. I think some missionaries were evacuated in springs, but I'm not positive. I know that all the hotels and such are booked here in Pueblo because everyone has been coming here when they get evacuated. I can't believe the fire!! It's crazy. I hear there are fires in Utah. Is all well there? I hope you aren't close by. And yes, this sunday, we were asked to include in our fast prayers for the firefighters and for rain!

This week, we taught a girl. It was kind of a miracle how we met her, and then our lesson with her was so amazing. She is catholic and like 20 years old. She loved our message and said she felt the spirit, and when we invited her to baptism she declined. It was such a bummer. Hopefully we can continue to meet with her. It blows my mind how people recieve a confirmation that this is true, and then they choose not to act on it. It's so sad.
Also, another miracle happened this week. Sister Mackenzie and I do our laundry at the Elders becasue they have a washer and dryer, we dont. Well, she left her book of mormon there and Wednesday we had to go pick it up. We just walk to the Elders too, cause they are right up the street. When we were leaving their place a lady in her car came into their apartment area and yelled, are you the new missionaries?!... we hesitated and said yes. She said she knew elders lived in these apartments adn we told her that we weren't new, and that we just lived down the road. She continued to tell us how she was a member and was excommunicated and she wants the gospel back in her life so bad. She told us she had seen us the other day and wanted to yell out to us but didn't. She told us we were an answer to her prayers and that it was such a blessing that we walked into her path again. How cool is that? She wants us to meet with her daughters and her husband. She is really rough around the edges, but I'm excited to see her life change as we teach her. What a blessing to know that I was in the right place at the right time! I love it!!!!

This week we have been meeting with a lot of ward members to get to knwo them. We were able to have a lot of member present lessons this week, too. So that was cool. I just saw so many miracles this week. I didn't even really realize it till coming here and writing them out for you guys. Also, this week we pulled a prank on the zone leaders, and they took it way too serious. Basically I told them that Mack had gone crazy and needed to go to the psychiatric center at the hospital. They got the Assistants to the presidents involved and everything. It was pretty funny. But they were pretty mad for a day. hahahah. Oh the joys of pranks.

This week I've been struggling with getting up on time. The heat is killing me. And I'm constantly tired. But, I'm trying my hardest, and that's what matters, right? I so badly want to be the missionary I need to be.
Yesterday, I bore my testimony in sacrament and it was such a testimony builder for me. One thing I love is that if Joseph Smith wasn't so humble, and asked in prayer, he would of never recieved an answer. I bore my testimony of prayer and how we can truly recieve answers. How amazing is that. 
I love being a missionary. I know the Gospel is true. It's hard to be here, but worth it. Some days I feel like it's never going to end, but then a mircale happens and it pushes me forward again.
I love having fun while out here, too. Some missionaries don't know how to laugh while being faithful, too. It's like, how do you survive without having a good time doing this work that is so exhausting?! I don't understand. Hahah.
I love you all so much. I pray for you all every night. I miss you all so much. Thanks for everything :)

-Sister Baker
The coolest person, EVER ;)

Hello Fam:)

Hope your week was well! I enjoyed all of your letters and love coming and hearing from you every week! It's the best! I miss you all so very much and love you guys.
My week was a little bit crazy. It was so hot outside all week. It was about 106 most of the week which resulted in not much finding because the heat was so intense that we could hardly stand to be in it. I have been so tired from the heat. I'm kind of at a loss for what to do. President Anderson told us to not feel bad if we don't accomplish a ton every day because the he understands that the heat is so tiring. It's hard. Mack and I have been trying to find drinks with a lot of electrolytes to help us out!

So, not a whole lot happened this week. We did a lot of service for a couple in our ward. They have no AC and no swamp cooler so I was sweating up a storm pretty much all week. But it was fun to help them out. They are a struggling couple.. They are recent converts and have gone through a lot in life. I enjoy helping them because I know they truly need the help. Wednesday, we got to go to the TEMPLE!! :)  I needed the Temple. I love going to the Temple and I can't wait to go home and be able to go all the time and understand it better. 

Friday was the BBQ!!!!! It went so goood :) Better than I could of hoped for. We had about 90 people come. So that was amazing. We had some non members come and a few less active members show up. A few ladies in the ward really pulled through for us and helped with the food and helped keep things in order. So we had the bbq, and we have a lot of old ladies in our ward. Well, our bbq was outside and we had the tables and chairs in the grass... right where all the old people were, the sprinklers went off when we were eating. SO FUNNY!!!! They couldn't move fast and got wet. It made for a good time. After we ate, we had everyone come into the gym and we taught L1. We also showed a clip of the Restoration video when Joseph Smith offers up his prayer and has the first vision. It was SO spiritual. We were so nervous to teach everyone but it was so good. Mack and I were both crying as we bore testimony after the video clip was over. I love sharing the first vision. It's so spiritual. People in our ward were crying to and I know we were able to touch people who needed the spirit that day. After, we had a table full of Book of Mormons, pamphlets, and pass along cards. We challenged everyone to take a Book of Mormon, write their testimony in it, and hand it out to someone who needs the message and then to refer someone to us that we could teach. We didn't get many referrals yet, but we passed out a whole box of Book of Mormons and most of our pamphlets and pass along cards were taken. How amazing. I can't wait to see the results from people in our ward sharing the Gospel. We then had ice cream and mingled as a ward. It was awesome :) I'm really glad we did the activity. I'm glad it's over cause it was stressful.
Saturday, we went bowling with the YSA's in the area. It was so much fun. We did bowling backwards, blindfolded, laying down, wearing glasses with one eye blacked out, adn so on. It was good to get to know the people our age here, and to make friendships with them in hopes to get some referrals! The ward is really starting to appreciate us and trust us I think. Our activity really helped with that.
This week in district meeting we talked about the importance of the sacrament and preparing ourselves to partake of it. Sundays as a missionary are stressful, but yesterday I tried to prepare myself for the Sacrament and it meant so much more. I loved it.
So funny, this guy named Brother Blackhurst in our bishopric reminds me exactly of Dad. He is dad to a T. He is bald, acts 12, and has the best sense of humor. I love the guy. He is like 35 and was just put in the bishopric. Anyways, he loves missionaries. ( again, like dad)  I'm really starting to love the ward, and the people in it.
Yesterday, we went to Sister Meads, The Relief society president, for lunch adn to talk about the ward. She is so nice to us and treats us like her daughters. It's nice to have people take care of me out here!
Last night there was a baptism in the other ward and I had to give the missionary moment. An investigator came up to me afterwards and told me I was glowing up there when I spoke and that it was beautiful. How sweet of her. I love hearing compliments like that. I love being a missionary. Having the activity Friday really made me just love what I'm out here doing.
I love you all. thank you for your support. I miss you all so much and can't thank you all enough for being the loving family that you are.
I know the Gospel is true. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father so much. I love being here.
Miss you.
Love you.
-Sister Baker :)

Hello Fam, (June 18)

How are you all doing? I hope so good. :)

This week was one of the hardest weeks I have had yet. Seriously. A lot of emotions, a lot of break downs, super tired, and so on.
Tuesday we had a specialized training with my Zone and one other zone out here. It was amazing. I learned a lot!! It kind of kicked me in the butt, because I realize that I need to work on a lot, but at least I recognize where I can improve and I am trying to do so. We talked at the meeting about the Atonement and how it can change our lives and the lives of others. We talked of how we need to know a person, learn to love them, and then let them see that the Atonement is real and can change their lives. I love the Atonement. I have such a testimony of it.
Later on Tuesday, we met a guy named Jack. He was sitting on his porch and we proceeded to talk to him. He is awesome! A super chill guy. I don't exactly know what his desire level is yet, but it was a blessing to meet him because Mack and I have been struggling with finding people. People seem accepting of the message, but when you go back to their house, they shew you away. It's discouraging.
Then on Wednesday, a miracle happened. We tracted into this lady awhile ago. She is SOOO nice. But she told us at her doorstep that she had heard of us, but didn't want to hear our message. I have felt so strongly to go back to her place. Wednesday, we did so. When we got to her place she was outside with her 2yr old and newborn. She was very welcoming and just talked with us for awhile about normal every day things. I finally told her that she had been on our minds and that I knew this message could bless her and her family. She smiled and thanked me and said that she would like us to come back another day and share our message!! Her heart was softened. I'm excited to teach her. She is out of town the next week, but after that we have an appointment. I love receiving promptings and acting upon them to witness miracles. God truly is aware of every one of His children and their needs. I love it. I love witnessing it.

Friday, we had district meeting and I broke down in it. I just feel like I'm not doing any good here. I felt like I needed to be here, but I can't figure out why I am here. The work is hard. It's insanely hot, and I have no energy. I feel upset and like I should be doing more, but at the same time, I'm completely exhausted. I just want to make sure I am doing everything I can. President told Mack and I to pace ourselves. And that it's okay to rest when we need it. I appreciate him being so nice about it. He said he knows it is hot, and that we need to be careful of our bodies. 

We then visited some members and it was great. I love building relationships with members. The members are starting to love us more and more, and I'm starting to love the ward more. I'm really excited to have our BBQ this weekend that Mack and I have prepared. We feel like it will be a success and that we will get a lot of referrals from it. It's stressful planning it, but I know it will be worth it!!!
Saturday, I felt like we should go to these certain apartments. When we arrived, the first door we knocked on was a guy named manuel. He is awesome! We taught the first lesson, and he accepted a date. I know I was lead to him. The thing I've started to learn, is God doesn't always lead me to people because they are going to get baptized. Maybe it's to learn something else, or just to plant a seed.

I love you all. Thank you for your support. I have the greatest family, EVER :)

Have a great week!
Sister Baker

Hello Familia :)  (June 11, 2012)

This week was hard, not going to lie, but we also experienced some miracles.
So our district leader encouraged us to use other ways to find people. We decided to go through the area book and look at some potentials and previous investigators. We felt as though we should go stop by a girl named katherines' place. We found the address was wrong because the apartment number on the sheet wasn't even a real apartment number. We saw a lady standing outside and started to talk to her. She was so nice and got us some pop to drink. Well, we continued to talk and she told us her husband was a member but that he hadn't gone in like 20 years. She told us she would like to learn and invited us in. We taught her, her husband, their daughter, and grandson. The lesson was AMAZING!!!!!! The three all accepted to be baptized. She was crying to us and told us how life has been hard and that she is searching for something better. Her husband was testifying the WHOLE lesson. He talked about the Holy Ghost and how fun church is. So amazing. Truly a miracle. We were led there for a reason. The other miraculous part is that we make goals every day. Our goal that day was to have 2 member present lessons. We were trying so hard to reach our goals and we needed one more member present lesson. Before going I prayed with Mack and in the prayer I asked that we could meet our goals. I mentioned in the prayer that I knew we probably wouldn't reach our member present lessons but to help us meet the others. Well, since the husband is a member.. that was a member present lesson. We met that goal, and now have 3 of the 4 baptisms scheduled that we want for the transfer. The church is true!!!!! Heavenly Father truly is aware of us.

Also this week, we went to the Relief Society Presidents house for a BBQ with the presidency. It was so fun! We had a BBQ and discussed the ward for 4 hours. We were there long, but got so much work done. It was amazing to gain a relationship and trust with the ward relief society presidency and to feel like we were needed. The relief society president, Sister Mead, is a hoot. I love her. I wouldn't get by down here without her and the Smith family. Sister Mead takes care of us. She feeds us when we dont' have meals and yesterday at church she brought a 10lb bag of chocolate for us to make the hard days go by better. I don't need more chocolate but she is so nice and funny. I feel like I can vent to her about anything and she wants to listen and help. It's great. After the BBQ, I left feeling so happy, good, and accomplished. Mack and I have been trying to do a lot of member work, and it's showing results. Our ward BBQ/Potluck is next weekend and I'm really excited to show the ward how us missionaries are truly wanting to invite everyone to come unto Christ.

On friday, we had district meeting. It was awesome. Every morning, I take 5-10 minutes to try to say an out loud prayer to my Heavenly Father, and I then write my thoughts in a prayer journal. Friday morning all I could think to write was how happy I am, and how grateful I am for the opportunites and blessings I have. How grateful I am for family and a friend like Aubree who has been my missionary in re activating me. Then at district meeting was talked aobut the scripture matthew 10:39.. the one on my plaque. I've always loved that scripture but it all made better sense that morning. I am truly happy, and only because I lost myself in the work for my Savior. Nothing brings more happiness than this work does. It's hard, but more rewarding than I could of ever imagined. I wasn't happy when I tried to live iwthout the Savior, and no one finds happiness until they truly understand the Atonement and apply it EVERY DAY in their lives. Something I've tried to do lately is apply the atonement daily and pray to be better the next day. It's been a great help on my mission to use that amazing gift.

The ward is growing!!!!!!!! So exciting. We had a baptism this weekend.. it was the zone leaders converts. We then had a BBQ with the ward after at the park and it was fun to hang out with the new converts and the ward.

Days are hard, but I know this is where I need to be.
The work is true. I know my Savior lives. I love the Gospel.
Have a great week :)
-Sister Baker