Happy birthday to Lex and Land this week! I’m sad I am missing another one, but I hope you two have the best birthdays ever! Love you both.
Wasn’t the women’s session of conference just incredible? If you haven’t watched it yet I highly recommend it. My favorite speaker President Uchtdorf spoke, so that could be the reason why I enjoyed it so much. Some how he always says exactly what I need to hear. In our mission President Egbert has been pushing this thing called a designated area. We have divided all of our areas into about 8 subareas, and then we prayed to know which one we need to focus on. The goal is that we will knock on every door in the area so that we can reach as many people as possible. We have seen many miracles this way already. What President Uchtdorf said rung with our designated areas! He spoke of some elders who knocked every single door in a four story apartment until they reached the last one and that is where they found success. So many times we start things, but when trials come up we stop. We need to keep pushing forward and we will find success. I am excited for the day when I will be able to say that I knocked on every single door in our designated area.
This week we had a chance to get back in touch with our investigator Stephanie. It was amazing! We had basically given up on her since she was never home and never answered her phone. On Wednesday we had a little bit of time and we were in her area, so we decided to give her one last chance. She was home! We noticed now that we have been drawn back to that area time after time. Now we know the reason why. We needed to talk to Stephanie. We sat down with her, and she opened up immediately about how her brother had died a few years ago and that she felt that she would be able to live with him again. We had a great lesson about eternal families, and then we set up a return appointment for Friday. That lesson, boy I don’t know where to start with that lesson. We taught her about the restoration. It was one of those times where I remembered that we aren’t actually teaching. We are helping the spirit to remind her of things she already knew, and she did know them. I think that is one of the best lessons I have had my whole mission!
Other awesome news. Since I have entered Kwatta we have been teaching Ravi. He is an active member, but he was pretty dead spiritually. I don’t know what kept him coming to church. It has been fun to see him grow! When we first started teaching him he would not talk. Not one word. Those lessons were very difficult and awkward sometimes. Then little by little he started to have a few spiritual experiences. A couple of weeks ago we walked in to the chapel, and he was sitting behind the sacrament table! We talked to him this week, and his eyes were lit up like crazy. He is excited about the gospel again. It was the first time he had blessed the sacrament in over a year. He told us that he wants to be worthy to bless the sacrament every week, and that is what helps him to make important decisions. There is a completely new light in his eyes that was missing before. Only the gospel can do that.
Fun story about contacting in our contact area. We were going down this one street, and we were actually having some pretty good success. We got to this one house and the man inside goes “I’m a missionary too!” He then was like “Do you want to visit my church on Sunday?” We start talking and I was like “that is great that you are making sacrifices to show your faith in Jesus Christ.” We asked what church he is a missionary for, and then he asked us. The second that the name of the church came out of my mouth he runs off of the porch towards and and he is like “You are in the wrong church! You don’t have the holy ghost!” He then starts yelling at us as he is speaking in tongues, and he goes “If you can’t do that you are in the wrong church.” He stormed off, and Sister Ashcraft and I just sat there a little speechless for a bit. It was a good time. That man has it a bit turned around. If you can do that you are in the wrong church. God is not behind something that makes you feel so dark and empty inside. He is only behind happiness and peace!
We had a fun week. We are enjoying our little fling transfer together before we go train for our last two! It has been a blast to work with Sister Ashcraft. We are going to make this last week together one to remember. I wish our time was longer.
I love you all. It was sad to hear about Tara. I hope that she can recover quickly! Have a great week!
This week might be a pretty short one. I will tell the fun news though! Next transfer I will be staying in Kwatta, and I will be trainign Sister Baker. It will be a bunch of fun! I am guessing that I will spend a total of 8 transfers in Tammenga branch and 7 in Kwatta. Good thing I like it here!
This week was probably the closest thing we had to vacation as missionaries. On Friday we had zone meeting, and then conference the next two days. I think that is the least I have ridden my bike in a very long time.
Conference was incredible. I feel like every talk was written just for me, so sorry for the rest of you! The first talk was a sign to me of God’s love for me. In this hard time for our family with Grandpa’s passing God sent Dieter F. Uchtdorf to remind me of the Plan of Salvation. He knew exactly the message I needed to hear, and exactly I needed to hear it from. Gado Bigi! The whole conference I was amazed at the profound impact all of the talks gave me. They all hit right to the core.
President Egbert told me to write of two of my favorite memories of Grandpa, so here are two of the many!
I think first is Hissy cat. That cat was so mean, but somehow he loved that thing. As grandkids we would not go anywhere near him we were so scared. If we saw him in a hallway we needed to walk down, we would decide that whatever was at the end of the hall was not important enough. If Grandpa could love that cat, he could love anything. He had a real appreciation for God’s creations.
Another is when I lived in Cedar City, and Grams and Gramps were in St. George at their resort. I went down to visit one evening, and we went to Olive Garden with Reva and Keith. That was a blast. Gramps of course ordered something adventurous. I think it was squid, and passed it around for all of us to try. It was fun to have the chance to talk to everyone. That was a fun night!
I will tell one miracle. We have been teaching Donovon, Ivan, and some other kids for a while, and working on getting the parents to sit with us. We had some crazy last minute schedule changes because the Egberts were coming into town, and so we had a chance to go to their house that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. We got there and their dad was sitting on the porch! We taught him, and all the boys gathered around. He gave permission for his sons to get baptized, and he wants to follow the lessons and check out what his sons are so excited about. That was incredible. We would not have been able to meet with him if our whole day didn’t fall apart. God truly lets things fall apart so that He can put it back together the way He knows is right.
I love you all! I will talk to you next week!
Hey all, I would like to announce the birth of my daughter, Zuster Baker. She is awesome. She is from Arizona, and she went to Boise State for college. Sister Baker is such a fun person to be around. She is always happy. Also, if you would like to meet her she is on the TV show “Behind the Mask”. She was the mascot for Boise State and also her high school. I LOVE being her companion. She is catching on to things pretty fast.
This week we had some MIRACLES! Must have come from our fasting. We had an incredible lesson with Mike. We talked about how the only way that he will be able to find direction in life is through the gospel. Through Reading, Praying, and going to church. He has had it kind of crazy the last few months, so he has only been able to make it twice. The lesson hit home with him, and the next day he was at church with his two cute daughters. They had a blast in the nursery, and he was able to enjoy our gospel principles teacher tell us that we can get sealed to our non member family members in the temple while they are still living without them present. Gospel Principles is always a good time. They sure love to keep missionaries on their toes here!
It was a special moment for me yesterday at church. There is this active member Zr Yetty, and she is the most incredible member missionary ever. She breathes the gospel. The other day we went to her house, and she was having a hard time. She had been slapped in the face with a couple of her weaknesses, and she was feeling pretty down on herself. Sister Ashcraft and I then shared classic Ether 12:27, and talked about how weaknesses are opportunities for growth. That God gave them to us out of our love. Then we also expressed how many times our weaknesses seem to be linked to our strengths. Maybe someone is entertaining to listen to, but they aren’t the best listener. The spirit was amazing in that lesson, but I didn’t realize how much it actually effected Zr. Yetty. At the beginning of church she leaned over and asked for the scripture that we had shared with her. I then handed her the page from my scriptures since it is torn out from using so much, and we both had a good chuckle. She got up in testimony meeting and started bearing her testimony of how God sends people to us right when we need them. She then shared that story above. It felt nice to know that I could give back a little to the woman who helps missionaries so much.
I love this gospel. When I think of the way I used to be, and the people whom I teach used to be I am astounded. None of us are even close to the same people. This gospel really is the only way to find enduring peace. No matter what comes our way!
I love you all!
PS. Mom, do you think that it would be possible for me to get that Dutch book grandpa gave me when he found out that I would be Dutch speaking? It would mean a lot to me if you could save it in my preschool sweet. Love ya!
Well, it has been another fun week! I love my companion. Sister Baker is absolutely hilarious. We have eachother cracking up the entire day. When we go out teaching I will just be going along, and she will be sitting there clueless to what is happening in the lesson since it is in Dutch, and then I will just look at her and wait. She knows the look I give her when it is her turn to talk. Sometimes we sit in silence for a long time while she figures out what to say, but it is always worth it. She has an incredible testimony! I call her the little cherry on top to all the lessons.
We had some interesting experiences this week. So one of the members has been teaching me a bit of chinese the past couple of weeks. We were at a chinese winkel, and I decided to try it out! The man was very nice. Our whole conversation was going between chinese, sranung Tango, and Dutch. We did whatever we could to communicate. It was a good time. I made a new friend!
We also contacted this HUGE family. We were so excited to teach them, and then when we showed up we realized that only the kids knew Dutch, and that the parents only speak Sara Mcans. Goodness this country has a lot of language barriers. We had a very interesting lesson about the Book of Mormon. At least we all got along really well. Now whenever we bike past all the kids yell “Sister Baker!” They can’t figure my name out… They were such a cute family though!
We had some random miracles. We were contacting in our contact area, and we had biked past this one house we had contacted before, but there was a different man outside. We decided to turn around and talk to him. Problem is that when we got back he was gone! He had gone back inside. We klopt a couple times, and it seemed like no one was coming out. I started to count down from 5 to signal that we would leave at one, and right when I hit 1 he came out! He is super cool! He has great potential! I guess he met with the elders years ago, and they would come almost everyday to teach him, but they got transfered and no one ever came back. He since then had moved. We are excited to continue to work with him!
On Thursday our appointment fell through. We were at the church since that is where we were all going to meet, and there were some members, and they all wanted us to teach them! It was a fun lesson. There were about 5 active brothers that we were teaching. They are all also in either the district presidency or the branch presidency. It was nice to be teaching dedicated priesthood holders. Our area doesn’t have too many of them, and getting to teach a bunch together was great. We talked about Heavenly Father and who He is. It was an incredible lesson! It is nice to teach dedicated members. We motivate eachother. They motivate us to keep spreading the spirit that we felt, and we motivate them to keep going!
I love Suriname. This is definitely the place I am supposed to be right now in my life. I love you all! Have an incredible week.
Well, for me this week flew by! Saturday night when we were planning for the next day I was absolutely shocked that we had church the next day. I couldn’t believe it! It was a fun week though. Right now it is mango season, so everywhere we go we get handed about 10 mangoes. Somehow we are supposed to eat all those! Good thing I like mangoes a lot!
We had a really cool lesson with a less active member named Jaymian. It was about the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson he goes “You know what? In Koewarison (another area) the elders just leave a copy of the Book of Mormon on the fence, and no one touches it. No one is even curious to see what is inside. If there was a wallet sitting there it would be gone in 2 seconds! Little do they know the Book of Mormon can make them way richer than any wallet can. If only people would just open it and read the treasure inside.” He has such a good point. We all tend to chase after the money and the cars, the cool jobs, the fame, but we forget about the treasure we have such easy access to. The Book of Mormon is incredible!
I also realized that I have become such a typical missionary. Jaymian said something about getting home at 11:00pm on Saturday night, and I was like “Where do you go?!” I was completely shocked that someone would dare to be out at such an hour.
On Saturday night there was a fun little rainstorm. It was Sister Baker’s first rainstorm in Suriname. We were Sitting at Jenny Dinge’s house, and it was super loud, so we are yelling at each other to be able to hear. All the sudden a lightning bolt struck, and all the power everywhere was gone. It was completely dark. We all crowded around the little light Sister Dinge had on her phone, and we had an incredible lesson about Jesus Christ. That moment is a precious one for me. I will always remember it. Just the warmth of the spirit as we sat around and talked about so many miracles He did just for us. The zone leaders called and told us we weren’t allowed to leave, so we ate some hotdogs and watched “Finding Faith in Christ” to spend the time. It was fun!
It was a good week. I love it here in Suriname. There are so many special moments I do not want to forget. I wish I had a camera team following me around so that I could have every second on video.
I love you all!
Where to even begin with this insane week!? Holy cow. I thought that basically all the crazy memories I would make on my mission were already past, NO NO NO. This week was definitely one to remember. This is a direct quote from Sister Baker “I had to have on of these weeks sooner or later to see what missionary work is actually like.” We were biking around with our heads chopped off! Here are some of the things that happened. Maybe I will just start with Wednesday.
In 24 hours Sister Baker crashed 3 times. What happens is we will be biking, and somehow our tires will get intwined, and next thing I know I look back and she is trapped under her bike, or her bike is trapped under her. The last time. Oh man. I have tears in my eyes because it was so funny. She crashed and just yelled “Not again!”. I look back and she is just laying on the ground. I busted up laughing, and there was this nice Hindu man standing there in shock. His mouth was just hanging open the whole time. We dusted her off and we were on our way and he was completely confused and walked over to the spot she fell and inspected it. Poor man probably had a heart attack.
Sister Baker almost got eaten by a cow. I wish I had a photo of their staredown. Bahahaha!
We met a crazy man who told us that the people who killed Jesus are going to kill us because we are letting our testimonies shine. He then said that Jesus is going to send him to go and kill all the people who crucified him. The whole time he was talking he was spitting all over the place. It looked kind of like foam. It also got all over me. What a good soul.
Now we will move on to some other days. SO, Yesterday was Diwali. It is huge here. On Saturday night the Hindu people have this parade/ march thing around the whole city. They just so happened to have it the whole time we were biking home. Every road we needed was full of the parade. We had a curfew to make, so we decided to try and pass it. Did we end up accidentally being part of a Hindu parade. Yes. Was it fun? Yes. Did they give soda to us confused white girls with helmets while they were laughing? Yes. Did I spill that soda all over myself while I was biking and then go home to take a shower to find there was no water after I had already completely lathered myself on soap? Yes. That was a very memorable day. Good news is that we have water now and that I am clean from all the soda, and I can say that I was the special guest in a Hindu parade.
We also had a lesson with Donovon and Ivan/ the sannas. They all got in a huge fight and didn’t listen to a word we said. Then yesterday none of them came to church. I think Sister Baker and I accidentally started a riot. Oops.
Yesterday though. So much food. We just so happened to have appointments with ALL of the people who used to be Hindu, but still celebrate Diwali. I think I am still bursting at the seams. This skirt was a whole lot looser last time I wore it!
Today is halloween, so we decided to visit some Jewish ruins. It was a graveyard. Perfect way to celebrate. No one else here celebrates halloween though. It was fun. I drank some “mineral water” It was basically just water that was yellow coming from the ground. Tasted like water. Surprise surprise.
We did have some cool lessons though. For sure! We taught Wintano, and we asked if he would pray and ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet. Immediately he bows his head and starts praying, and then he opens his eyes and goes. “Yep!” He had such a big smile on his face. We were just asking him to do that before we saw him again, but hey, that works! He is on date for 26 November.
I love you all!