Monday, December 23, 2013

12.23.13

Hello!

It has been count down to Christmas here in the Idaho Nampa Mission this past week. Bah Humbug. Just kidding, I actually like Christmas this year. We had our Christmas zone conference on Wednesday, which was super fun! We had a white elephant gift exchange. I made out with some Richard Simmons work-out DVDs. Hello New-Year's resolution! We have been bringing Christmas cookies and messages about Jesus to EVERYONE. This is why I love it this year I guess. We found a new investigator named Ali who wants to be baptized. Best present ever! 
It snowed Friday. That was lovely. First white Christmas will be fun. Sunday's Christmas programs really made me miss Foothills ward, but they were still nice. 
Anyways, remember our Savior as you give and receive this week. Remember the ultimate gift that He gave to us. He loves us and the best gift that we can give others is that Christlike love. I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Love,

Sister Baker

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you the most exciting part of the week. Rex got baptized!!!!!! It was beautiful. He cried through the whole thing. He has gained such a sincere testimony and has made so many changes in his life. He will be a wonderful servant of the Lord and disciple of Christ. He is such a special, sweet man who has really taken the gospel into his whole heart and soul. Here are some cute pics from the special day!











Tuesday, December 17, 2013

12.16.13

Hello!

This week has been a happy week! We have both been on the upswing health-wise and have been able to do a whole lot more missionary work. We only took one sick day. Hooray! It is still really cold here but it should be up in the 30s this week. I never thought I would use the word "up" to describe 30 degree weather... But I guess I have to count my blessings when they appear :). 

We have taught some amazing lessons this week and have had some miracles occur. For some reason whenever I get sick as a missionary I get really scared that when I get better there will not be any work to do, but of course that is never the case. We hit the ground running this week finding 2 new investigators, 3 more potentials, and handing out 6 copies of the Book of Mormon. We made like a million cookies and have been bringing them to less-active and part member families which is super fun! We taught Mona and Cynthia an amazing lesson about prophets this week. They could use any extra prayers as they have a WHOLE  lot going against them right now. 

Anyways, we are loving the Christmas cheer and basking in the love everyone feels at this time of year. It is wonderful. As I attended the temple this week, I realized that sometimes Heavenly Father has to allow us to go through hard times so that his plan can be carried out. Just like Adam and Eve had to partake of the fruit. Sometimes when it seems like Heavenly Father has stepped out, he is just patiently watching and waiting to bring even greater blessings into our lives. I know that the Lord has a plan and that he loves us. 

I love you all! Merry Christmas (no more bah humbug from this sister missionary!)

Love,
Sister Baker





Wednesday, December 11, 2013

12.9.13

Hi!

I am really cold. Also I have a cold. I am pretty much dying and spent most of yesterday and the day before in bed. I really don't have much of anything exciting to report as we have both been misrably sick all week. Bah humbug. We did watch the Christmas devotional last night and it was really nice. I love hearing the prophet and apostles speak. I loved sister Wixom's talk about remembering to be like a little child. It was really touching. Well, the Packers have been taking really good care of us and keeping us warm in this 1 degree weather. I got my hair evened up this morning so no more long side. Virginia set a baptism date for dec. 28th and Rex had his baptismal interview. We taught Mona and Cynthia about having a loving Heavenly Father which really touched them as they have grown up in a home filled with drugs and alcohol and not very much love. They are very touched by the gospel and by the spirit that they can feel when they are at church and around good loving members of the church. I am very excited to keep teaching them. In other exciting news, I get to go to the temple on Wednesday! Yay! We are excited to get better so we can get back to work and keep being missionaries. Life is fun here in the tundra.

Love,


Sister Baker




Monday, December 2, 2013

12.2.13

Dear Everyone,

It has been a lovely week of new missionaries and Thanksgiving festivities! The week started with an all sisters slumber party at the mission home. That was hilarious and awesome.  Tuesday the new missionaries came in and I got Sister Breen as my new companion. She is from Hawaii and is amazing. I feel like she is not even a new missionary which is such a relief/blessing/sweet sweet tender mercy right now. I am still the STL and have 6 companionships to exchange with this transfer. Wahoo... She is so on top of things though. She is also really funny and is teaching me to speak like a Hawaiian. Word of the week: Dakine "We are going to see Dakine, yeah?". Yep. She is really really great. We have been hitting the ground running and are ready to rock the Weiser 1st and 3rd wards! 
For Thanksgiving we started out our day doing some service at the senior center. We helped prepare and serve meals to all  of the old folks of Weiser. It was great. I love doing service during the holidays, it brings back all of the good memories we have created doing service as a family. Afterwards we had dinner numero uno with the Real family in Weiser 2nd ward. It was a delicious and fun meal. Sister Real printed out a bunch of random fun facts and we all passed the jar around and read them as we ate. It was great. After we finished eating all four of us sisters headed down to Nampa for round two at the mission home. There we all shared what we are thankful for and talked about all of our blessings and then shared funny mission stories. It was great to spend the evening with other missionaries and President and Sister Cannon. Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever. SO, then after that we did more missionary work/stuff. That was really exciting. 
And then there was Sunday. Started out like any normal fast sunday would. Went to ward counsel and sacrament meetings and such. But then it was third ward sacrament meeting time. Hanna Packer excitedly announced that her two friends were coming (one of them had come last week to sing with a group). They both showed up and had tears in their eyes throughout all of the testimonies. One of them leaned over to Hannah and asked "Can I go up there and say something" Hannah told her that she could, so she did. And so did her sister. They both proceeded to bear the most sincere and heartfelt testimonies I have ever heard in my life. Both girls who had only ever set foot in an LDS church twice in their lives stood up and professed this to be the true church. That they knew it because there was a feeling there that they had never felt anywhere else. Let me tell you there was not a single dry eye in the entire chapel. They are starting the lessons on Tuesday. We can't wait!! It was a miracle. When people are ready for the gospel they are ready. There are no two ways about it and the Lord will plant them where they need to be to receive it. It is up to us to help them. To help them feel welcomed and loved. To bring the spirit into our homes and into meetings. To love and accept all of Heavenly Father's children so that when they are ready to receive what we have, we are ready to give it to them. God has a plan. This gospel is true and it is for EVERYONE. I love you all!!

Sister Baker

11.25.13

So... This week has been interesting. Well, it has been mostly normal with like one or two interesting happenings. I did normal things like break up a fight at P-day volley ball, go on exchanges, teach Rex about the law of chastity again, help Malinda move back in with her husband, speak at a Young Women in excellence about how much I "loved" personal progress, make really good soup, teach like 32 lessons, and have my purse stolen right out of my car. Yep. Pretty standard week.
Let me begin with Last Monday. We decided to travel to the far away land of Caldwell, Idaho for P-day activities because we were planning on exchanges with some sisters in the Caldwell zone. So why not mix it up? Ohhhhh I will tell you why. So what started out as a few lovely games of volleyball soon shifted into some really disorganized half court basket ball. Which seemed all good and fine albeit a bit chaotic. After a game or two I noticed one of the sisters had decided to sit out and was sitting on the stage writing letters. I jumped out of the game to make sure she was not hurt and before I could even ask another sister had come out of the game, screamed in this sister's face stormed off mad and the stage sitter ran off in tears. Whoa. At which point the Caldwell zone leader prompts me "I am pretty sure that is your job, not mine". Crap. So I start to go after the sweet little abused sister but another sister had already gone to console her, so in a split second decision I beckoned the yeller to come with me into the hall way to talk about what had happened. Very calmly I explained that there are better ways to resolve differences and that shouting at people out of the blue is not conducive to missionary work. She calmly agrees and then out of nowhere begins to verbally attack me. Luckily her companion showed up and was able to jump in front of her right as she was about to deck me. Lovely. By some miracle I stayed calm throughout this entire experience. I was able to talk her down and finally have a conversation and do some problem solving. Man, I was scared pantsless though! She eventually apologized to me and to the sister she was being unkind to on the basketball court and I am pretty sure President is helping them resolve differences. When I was called as the sister training leader, I had no idea what I was in for I guess, but President Cannon assured me that is exactly why I am in this calling. I have a testimony that the Lord qualifies those whom he calls. Sometimes even if we don't realize it until after a situation. Anyways, that was Monday. The rest of the week was pretty smooth sailing. We taught a lot and had a baptism on Saturday for a man who was taught in the Boise mission. It was a little weird, but nice to see someone receiving the ordinance of baptism. We also taught Virginia the plan of salvation, which she loved. Her friend/fellowshipper, Sister Olsen gave her a David Ridges "Book of Mormon Made Easier" which she is devouring. She is really progressing and we are hoping to extend a baptism date for her in our next lesson. We also found a new investigator in the 1st ward. She took the lessons about 20 years ago from some "cute" elders so naturally she remembers nothing. She is genuinely interested in learning though, which is exciting! 
So, to end our week after the baptism on Saturday night we stopped by one of our ward missionary's home to coordinate for the upcoming ward christmas party (I don't really know why we are the party planning committee, but we just are.) After about an hour of him showing us a bunch of old home movies form their wedding and stuff we decided to leave. Well, that didn't happen because as soon as we got in the car we noticed that our purses had been stolen. Lovely. So, we called the Cops and President Cannon and all that jazz. The cops found our purses dumped out on the lawn two doors down. The only thing gone was sister Ketring's camera. Some punk-A kid did a really poor job so they are pretty sure they will be able to recover the camera or at least catch him and collect restitution for it. Pretty lame. Guess I didn't have to go to a third-world country for the true missionary mugging experience. Wahoo. 
Anyways, that was less exciting that it seemed. Things really are good around here. Today is transfers. We are splitting the Weiser area and are both training new sisters. Wahoo. So yeah. Have a great week. The Gospel is true!
Love, 

Sister Baker

Monday, November 18, 2013

11.18.13

 Hi

 So it has been another fantastic week as a missionary! It started out with sister Ketring and I both being sick with the colds directly from Lucifer himself, which is always exciting. I prayed really really hard that I would be better by wednesday so I could make pies, and God worked things out. We spent Tuesday in bed recovering so by Wednesday we were ready to go. Wednesday was quite possibly the most fun day of my entire mission so far. We rode to Nampa with Sister Real (one of our favorite missionary moms) and got lunch at Jimmy Johns (hallelujah for a delicious sandwich!) she is hilarious so that was great. Then we went to the mission home and Sister Cannon took us to WinCo to shop for pie ingredients. WinCo is the best grocery store on the face of the planet. I have probably mentioned that before, but it is just really awesome. Can you say bulk bins of EVERYTHING? It is great. So after almost forgetting the Crisco and running back through the isles while Sis. Cannon waited at the register, we headed back to the mission home to get baking. Apples and pumpkin filling were coming out of our ears! Every once in a while President would pop in to tell us how good it smelled and tell us a story.  About 7 hours an 19 pies later we were all exhausted, covered in flour/shorting, and starving. President took the three of us baking queens out for dinner at Olive Garden, which was extremely nice and delicious. We went back to the mission home and crashed. I just have to tell you haw amazing President and Sister Cannon are. I love them SO much. They really are like replacement parents while I am here in Idaho, and they really would do anything for us. Also, they are hilarious. I feel like we are best friends with them. I guess pie wins over everyone (thanks for teaching me that, President Clason!). Anyways, our zone conference on Thursday was phenomenal. It was a fast and feast (hence all of the pies). The theme was recognizing and understanding the spirit. President told a story about "The Box and the Pearl" and understanding that what we think is importand may just be a decorative box, but the most treasured things are hidden inside. Ie. A fun zone conference would be the box and the spiritual knowledge to be gained would be the pearl. I loved that as I feel it applies to pretty much everything in life. We also played some really fun team building games and had a fantastic training on washing our hands. It was lovely. Afterwards we had a really nice testimony meeting and then broke our fast with a beautiful Thanksgiving feast! It was delicious and everyone loved our pies. That night I went home with Sister Robinson and got to spend the next in night in Emmett. It was really fun, I love exchanges! Saturday was an amazing day as well. Two of my favorite people were baptized! WE headed down to Nyssa first thing for Glen Hunt's baptism. Remember Glen? No? Look back a few months and read my entry about all of the chewing tobacco. He is awesome. He had such a neat spirit about him and was pretty excited to be "water boarded" as he calls it. It was beautiful! It was also fun to see some old familiar faces. It felt like coming home. We sped back to Weiser after his baptism to make it to Malinda's baptism. SHe was absolutely exuberant and filled with the spirit. President and Sister Cannon came to her service and said they have never seen anyone so prepared to enter the waters of baptism. She is amazing! It has truely been one of the most rewarding weeks of my whole mission. This is a great work and I am so privileged to be part of it. I feel like my family is just growing and growing. I love and miss you all  every day but I would die if I weren't here. 
>
> Love you!!
>
> Sister Baker

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

11.11.13

Hi all,

Things here in Weiser are going well. We had Jamie, Rex, and Malinda at church yesterday which was wonderful. We are so excited for Malinda to be baptized this coming Saturday. She is very strong and has a beautiful testimony of the gospel. Her husband left her this past weekend and she is going through some really rough things at the moment. She has not lost one ounce of her faith through this trial and is more ready than ever to enter the waters of baptism. It is crazy how hard the adversary works on people when they are trying to do whats right. I am always so proud to see investigators withstand his firey darts and continue to stand on the Lord's side of the line. 

In other news, we held a fireside for new members last night, to which only 4 recent converts showed up. Luckily we had representation from each of the bishoprics (except for 1) and all od our ward mission leaders present so it made things look a little more full. We were excited to have Bailey there though. She is a recent convert/recently less-active member whom we have been having a hard time catching up with. She really felt the spirit and was touched by the speakers. Therefore, it was a success!  We are doing our best to increase member involvement and ward activities. We are making progress slowly but surely. Just in time for me to most likely be transferred in two weeks... We will see what the Lord has in store. 

Before I close I would like to give a shoutout to some people who need to be thanked for some unsung good deeds. First I would like to thank the two Elders who served in Roseburg, Oregon around 2001. You left a lasting impression on one of our investigators which helped prepare her to receive the restored gospel. Really this thank you is to all of the missionaries out there who feel like they have not had success with a particular person, or in a particular area, or on their mission at all. Every little thing you do makes a difference. Every person you talk/talked to leaves an impression. You are/were/will be successful. This is the Lord's work and we are His instruments. It matters. You matter. So, THANK YOU! I would also like to thank my mother for teaching me how to keep a house. I know I was a total pill about it growing up, but now I am really glad that I know how to scrub a bathroom and do dishes and vacuum. It is important. So, THANK YOU!! I am so grateful for each of the people who have made even the smallest impact on me-who have helped me to become the person/missionary/child of God that I am trying to become. I love you!

Your Sister,


Madison Baker







Monday, November 4, 2013

11.4.13

Dear Everyone,

This week has been good but not extremely eventful. Everyone is doing well. Malinda and Rex are still progressing towards baptism but Jamie is having a harder time. She did not make it to church this week which made us really sad. We are struggling to find new people to teach right now and are trying to help the ward members get involved. One thing we are trying to get going is an adult institute class once a week. What kinds of things are going on in your stake to help the members get involved in missionary work? 

Sorry I don't have much of anything exciting to report on this week. Most weeks are pretty much the same with subtle changes. This coming week should be interesting though. I will be attending my first Mission Leadership Council meeting tomorrow. I am excited to be involved in this! It is always neat to be involved in those kinds of things. I really love President Cannon and the other Zone Leaders are great, so it should be really fun/productive. We also have a zone training meeting and will be going on exchanges with the Enterprise sisters. We have Zone Conference next week and will be doing a fast and feast for thanksgiving. 

The work continues to progress and we continue to diligently serve (even when things are a little slow). I love serving my Savior and learning more how to be like Him each day. This Gospel is TRUE. 

Love,


Sister Baker




10.28.13


Dear Everyone,

This week has been an extremely rewarding week as a missionary. Sometimes we just keep going and wonder if we are really doing any good and every once in a while we are blessed to see the fruits of our labor. Anyways, I am really grateful to be doing the Lord's work in this part of his vineyard.
Last week started out a bit rough, but by Tuesday or Wednesday things started to look up. We went on Exchanges Wednesday night to Thursday with the Parma sisters. I got to go home for a day :). I was able to see Viola and hear of her continuing conversion. She never ceases to amaze me. I was able to spend the day with sister Dijkwel from the Netherlands. She is amazing! She has been in the field for two weeks and has a beautiful testimony and ability to teach and share the gospel. She is also super positive, which I love since I have been trying to improve my ability to be optimistic. She taught me so much in just 24 hours! 
When I returned to Weiser on Thursday I found that Sister Ketring and Sister Poynter had been able to commit one of the less active sisters we have been working with, Lacy, to come to the Relief Society activity that night. Score! She came and loved it. On Friday we got to go on a fun adventure with President and Sister Cannon. We had a mission leadership training in Baker city (kinda weird that I go to those now) so President offered to pick us up to save on miles. The sunrise/fog that morning was gorgeous so he and sister Cannon kept stopping to take pictures which made me laugh but was pretty cool. We had the meeting on helping other missionaries cope with stress (I wish I had someone to help me with that sometimes...) It was great and I learned a lot. After the meeting, President had to go up to La Grande for an interview, so we got to join him for the beautiful drive. Fall is a magical season! He took us to lunch and told us all kinds of stories. We really got to know He and Sister Cannon on a more personal level. He even told a few off color jokes. It was awesome. When we finally returned form our journey, we met up with Malinda Turner for her baptismal interview. She rocked it. She came out of the room and declared "I am never drinking coffee again!" She updated us on Sunday and had said she forgot and accidentally drank some on Saturday and was absolutely sick the rest of the day and she was done for good. We are so immensely proud of her and how far she has come. 
This weekend we also discovered that Bob Green (See emails from July) one of my favorite recent converts is staying in the rehabilitation center/rest home here in Weiser. He is not very old but suffers from a rare form of gout (hey mom, remember when that nurse asked me if I had gout? Lol it is really no laughing matter). We went to go see him and as soon as we walked into his room he began to cry. He bore his testimony of the Gospel and told me how much I mean to him. He told me that I have no Idea how perfect our timing was when we came to his door and offered to weed his yard. He bore powerful testimony of the Lord's timing. I love him so much. He is frail in body but grows ever stronger in spirit. 
After visiting with Brother Green, we went to see Jamie. Jamie has been wanting to be baptized but has not been able to keep any commitments, including coming to church. When we saw her this weekend her countenance had completely changed. She told us how after praying to be able to feed her family, a ward member showed up at her door with food. She received the witness that she needed to start acting on her faith. She was in church yesterday with her husband and son in  toe. They stayed all three hours and absolutely loved it! Malinda and Rex were also at church yesterday. We are so proud of each of these people who are preparing themselves for baptism. 
A quick update on Ian and Virginia: We have transferred Ian to the YSA elders in Ontario and from what we here he is doing well. Virginia has been out of town for the past week and a half visiting her daughter in Mexico where it is warm. We miss her like crazy! Life is going well. The Lord is ever mindful. I love you.

Love,

Sister Baker

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10.14.13


Hi all!

Our investigators are all doing really well! We have been praying mightily for them to all start coming to church, and this week we had 4 of them there! It was wonderful! Virginia even came to Sacrament Meeting before attending to a family emergency. I was pretty jazzed, but sad she was having family troubles. Rex, Malinda, and Timmy came too.
 
We learned this week that Malinda is a recovering addict. She has been sober 7 years and has really turned her life around. She was telling us yesterday that she has stopped using swear words because she could feel that crude language and the spirit do not mix. It was a pretty tender experience. I want to write a book about her amazing conversion! 

Rex has also really been softening to the spirit and loved church! When the Stake President asked if he would be back next week he said "absolutely!". I am so thrilled for each of these sweet people. I am blessed beyond belief to be serving with and among them. 



Transfers happened today and I am thrilled to say that I get to spend another transfer here! Life is great!

Monday, October 7, 2013

10.7.13

This week has been good. Kinda crazy, but lots of fun! We had a sisters conference on Thursday which was interesting, but a good time. General Conference was awesome. I loved Elder Oaks' talk, and Elder Holland's talk, and President Monson's talks. And all of the talks. Conference is like Christmas for missionaries! Our investigators are all doing well and we even had two of them join us this weekend to watch conference! So, I thought this week I might just give you a run down/update of our current investigators. I am kinda wiped and can't really remember what all we did this week, so you will have to read this instead. Love you all!

Ian- 21 year old male, VERY Christian background. Showed up at church about a month ago wanting to know more about the Mormon church and has been meeting with us ever since. Ian is pretty skeptical, but also open to feeling the spirit. He puts on a tough front, but really knows that it is all true. He struggles coming to church because his family is super anti. But he always shows up to activities and we have lessons with him regularly. We are praying for his family to soften their hearts!

Virginia- 70 year old female, sweetest woman on the planet. Was searching for God in her life and was invited to meet with us by her LDS neighbor. She is sincerely seeking the truth and LOVES church. We ate dinner with her this week and she told us she is glad to have granddaughters in her house again. She loves the Book of Mormon and is working to rebuild a relationship with her Heavenly Father through prayer. I am so excited about her enthusiasm for the gospel.

Malinda- 40 year old Female, AMAZING. She and her husband, Bob (less-active member) were hit by a truck while on their motorcycle on the highway in June. In the hospital they both received priesthood blessings and have both miraculously reached almost complete recoveries. She says that after she received the blessing in the hospital that she knew that she was truly being blessed by the power of God and she knew that she had to have that in her life. She knows that The Father has kept her alive for a reason and is doing everything she can to fulfill that purpose. She is being baptized November 18th. I cannot wait!

Rex- 75 year old male, a little crazy/hilarious. Requested a copy of the Book of Mormon from mormon.org. He started to read it, but couldn't understand the language so he ordered the Living scripture DVDs online and is going to watch those instead. We have only had two lessons so far, but both have been filled with the spirit. He has committed to be baptized on October 26 and was very pleased that he would be invited to join the church and that God would want him to be part of his true church and that he could hold the priesthood. He is a big sweetheart. 

So, those are the main/ exciting ones. I am probably forgetting someone but will include them next week. I love this work and I love these people with all that I have. I guess I love all of you hooligans too.

Love,

Sister Baker




9.30.13

Hi!

We had a pretty good week this week. We did more missionary work. Surprise! We found 4 new investigators this week which was pretty cool. One in each ward. We have really been praying to build up the area and the Lord has been blessing us for our faith and hard work. I guess not blessing us as much as those people who have been searching for the gospel. One of the people we found this week is Virginia. She is an older lady and has spent much of her life believing in God but not being able to find a church that has felt comfortable to her. She has had a very interesting life and is very interested in the Book of Mormon and the gospel. She is really nice and cute, too! She came to church yesterday and loved it! She said that everything felt good and comfortable, which is what she has been searching for. We will begin the lessons with her this week. 

We also started visiting an older man named Rex. He requested a Book of Mormon from Mormon.org and hee is pretty interested in the gospel. He is a child of God, and I know that the gospel can help him to find the lasting happiness that he has not been able to find elsewhere. One of our favorite ward missionaries, Sister Milburn came with us to visit him and we have been laughing with her for days about some of his more colorful comments about having some nice looking young ladies in his home (for some reason old men seem to really like us...). Sister Milburn always seems to come with us on our more interesting visits and keeps us entertained. She is pretty awesome. 

 Well, besides the normal day to day, Sister Ketring ended up in the ER on Wednesday night for some abdominal pains...  That was fun. She is fine now. We also made some super cute conference notebooks with a member this week. We are having lots of fun in between lots of hard work! We stopped by the house one day to grab something we had forgotten and had a package with a "call me, maybe" note from the UPS guy. That was pretty funny. We are devising a plan to teach him the gospel. 

Our cute friend, Renee recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost at church yesterday. We weren't able to do it last week because of stake conference. It was a beautiful blessing. She doesn't have many church clothes and ha no modest skirts, so Sister Ketring and I each found something we could give her so that she could be comfortable and modest now that she is a member of the church. The joy in that girl's face was radiant and contagious. For as much opposition as she has, her commitment to be righteous and follow the example of our Savior is something special. In a lot of ways she reminds me of Jessi (I miss that girl!) in her determination and dedication to the gospel at such a young age. I know I say it every week, but I love seeing people change their lives to come closer to our Heavenly Father. 

We also attended a baptism for a man I helped teach in Parma on Saturday. He is so humble and converted. This is also where we were able to see Some Peterson folk... We had lunch and the official tour of Nyssa with Grandma and Grandpa Peterson before the baptism. It was so fun! Going back to Nyssa felt a little like going home and it was super fun getting to spend the day with (almost) family! All in all it was a pretty great week! Sorry this email was a little random, but hat is kinda how our week felt. 

To end on a spiritual note, Sister Ketring and I had a really great conversation in the car this morning about the worth of souls and what it means to be a daughter of God. It is a pretty spectacular thing, to have this divine birthright. I am so grateful to know who I am, to have a foundation in Christ that cannot be shaken, and to know that I can always be better through the Atonement of my Savior. I love this work and I love this gospel. Also, I love each of you! Have a blessed week!

Love,


Sister Baker  

Monday, September 23, 2013

9.23.13

Dear Everyone,

We had another fun week here in the fabulous Weiser, Idaho. Missionary work continues to be full of fun and interesting surprises. We had a baptism this week for our cute friend, Rene. It was really sweet but also kinda crazy. There was a funeral going on at the same time, so the building was a little busy. All in all, Rene was on cloud nine and didn't even notice all of the chaos. I have never seen a 12 year old girl so happy! She really is a neat person. In other interesting news, we visited an avid doll collector this week. Her tiny apartment was FULL of life sized dolls that she herself had made along with a collection of other dolls which just happened to be hanging by the neck from her walls. I have seen things I can never un-see. 

Want to hear another interesting story? Last night on our way home we passed a group of people in the park all dressed like pioneers. We decided to stop and talk to them. They turned out to be German Baptists having a church service in the park. We talked to a few of the women who were super nice and invited us to their next meeting. Then one of the men came over (he had a huge beard) and tried to bible bash us. I just bore my testimony and said that we didn't come over to argue religion, we just wanted to see what was going on. We will probably show up to their next meeting just to see what they are all about and try to make friends with the ladies. For some reason after encounters like that I always think of awesome things I could have said. Don't know why I can never think of them in the moment. 

We have had a really good week, though. We taught 34 lessons this week and have two investigators preparing for baptism. It is my favorite thing when people have soft hearts and are prepared to hear and accept the truthfulness of this gospel! I know that it is true. I love to declare it every day. I love the peace and joy it brings to my life and the peace and joy it brings to the lives of those who accept this glad message. What good news it is!! God lives and loves us. Jesus Christ died for me and you and lives again. He is at the head of this church. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We are led and guided by a living prophet. I am a child of a Heavenly Father who knows me. This is truth and I will never deny it. I am a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it. 

Your Sister,

Madison Baker

9.16.13

We had a zone conference on Friday with Elder and Sister Zwick of the 70. That was pretty amazing. We learned a lot about teaching and learning by the spirit as well as effective ways to teach. It was a really spiritual meeting. Sister Zwick talked about their oldest son, Scotty who is mentally and physically handicapped. She talked about his loving boldness and how we can all learn from him how to invite others to come unto Christ. I was really inspired. 
 
On Saturday we taught one of our investigators about the importance of baptism and she committed to a date. She said that after meeting with us last week she finally prayed sincerely to know if this was what was right. She said that she knows now that it is all true. She feels so strongly that this is what the Lord wants her to do and she cannot do anything else. She came to church for the first time yesterday and absolutely loved it. She is coming to FHE group tonight. We are so excited for her! She has really caught the power of the Holy Ghost. 

We are also teaching a 12 year old girl named Renee. She will be baptized on this coming Saturday. She told us this week that her family doesn't want her to get baptized, but she knows that it is right so she is going to do it. There are some pretty neat people around here! A lot of our week is spent contacting and organizing and trying to get our feet on the ground and build the trust of the members. It is pretty fun/hectic most of the time but the Lord is really blessing us here. Life is good.
Love,
Sister Baker

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9.9.13

So, my new companion is Sister Ketring. We have bucketloads of fun together! That is something that I have SERIOUSLY been missing. Just being silly and laughing! I am SO grateful to have sister Ketring as my companion!

Weiser is fun. It is a super cute town and everyone is THRILLED to have sisters after the last elders who served here. Our apartment is pretty nice now that we deep cleaned it ;) We even have a dishwasher!

Don't worry. I will not partake in the Chinese food. 

My experiment with the Spanish sisters was interesting. (Side note: last week Sister Baker tagged on with the Spanish Sisters in between transfers) They had quite a bit of contention in their companionship, so I spent the few days helping them to look past their differences and find confidence in one another and in themselves. It made me happy that I could be an encouraging influence to them. I think we all need a reminder sometimes to just love people and not try to change them all the time. Heavenly Father and our Savior love unconditional and that, to me at least, leaves us no excuse to do otherwise. I am amazed at how far we can go in life when we just love people no matter what. It is a hard lesson to learn, and I am definitely still learning it. But letting go of the way I tend to be so critical has brought me so much more happiness than judging others ever has. 

The town is great! We are working with some amazing people. It took a few days to get our feet on the ground with where the elders left off, but we are picking up steam. Weiser is about twice the size of Parma (still pretty small), but way cleaner and nicer. Everyone is pretty friendly so far and the members are amazing. Church yesterday felt a little like being a celebrity. We also cover the town of Cambridge. It is about 30 miles away and is about the size of Adrian. It is further up into the mountains and is really pretty. We went up there on Saturday and met up with Sister Leatherman who was previously living in the Nyssa Stake but is now living in Cambridge. She took us around to meet some of the ward members. It was awesome!     

I am loving it here! It is definitely a challenge (I feel a little bit like the clean-up crew) but I know that the Lord is guiding us every single step of the way. This gospel is amazing!

Love,

Sister Baker
 

 

Monday, August 26, 2013

8.26.13

My next transfer is in a week from today. We find out where we are going on Saturday though. I kinda really hope I get to go somewhere new. I am starting to feel a little burnt out on this area, although we are finding and teaching new people all the time. This week has been good, mostly really busy. We taught 31 lessons this week, it was insane. I am still pooped. Last Monday and Tuesday we went on exchanges with the sisters from Caldwell which was an adventure. I was in Caldwell with a new missionary. We did some good work in the area. I helped her find 3 new investigators and we taught lots of good lessons. It was fun to be out of my area for a while. Caldwell felt like the big city compared to Parma and Nyssa. I think I am going to freak out when I am back in Phoenix.

We had a really great teaching experience on Thursday with a man named Jesse. He is 25 and has grown up around LDS kids and now lives with some LDS roommates. He has always had a positive outlook towards the church and has even read the Book of Mormon. He read it cover to cover in 5 days!! He had never met with the missionaries before, however, but has finally decided that it is time. We taught him the first lesson and he had some amazing and searching questions. He is sincerely seeking the truth and is very willing to submit to the will of the Lord. Meeting and teaching him helps me to hope that one day some of our friends from high school will one day be ready to accept the restored gospel.

We also taught a girl who was just released from prison about a week ago. At first I was a bit nervous to meet her, but as soon as I saw her, I could feel God's love for her. She has come very far and is very humble and willing to change and accept the gospel. It is amazing how some of our greatest trials bring out our greatest strengths. I know that she will dedicate her life to the Lord and serve him with all of her heart. Her humility was palpable. It was really an amazing experience.

On Saturday we had our district meeting, for which our sweet friend Viola made a delicioso traditional Mexican meal. It was amazing! Since she is pretty physically handicapped, Sister Aamodt and I went to her house Friday night and did most of the prep/cooking. We made barbacoa and re-fried frijoles! It was soooooo good. Also, I learned how to make one amazing roast (with or without the mexican flare).  Needless to say, it was a great week.

I love you and pray for you constantly!

Sister Baker

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8.19.13

So. I did more missionary work this week. It was missionary work-y. Monday we celebrated preparation day by drinking milkshakes and doing absolutely nothing. It was heavenly. Today we are going to go bowling. Tuesday we did missionary work. It was great. We taught like a billion lessons and finished teaching the Day family and had their baptismal interview. It was pretty special. Wednesday we had district meeting in Ontario. We learned a lot! After DM we went to the institute and made breakfast for lunch. That was fun. Thursday we had zone conference! It was a really great meeting about applying the Christlike attributes and the Doctrine of Christ to our own hearts as well as in our teaching. I love learning from my mission leaders and the other missionaries that I serve with! At the end of zone conference, President Cannon told us that he had a surprise. The first surprise was that he called on me to say the closing prayer. The second/real surprise was that we were going to the movie theater to see Ephriam's Rescue.  It was an amazing movie!! We all had a hay-day going to the movies too! If you have not seen it, go see it! Friday was good, we did more work and didn't go to the movies. We met a Buddhist catholic though. That was an interesting conversation. Saturday was probably my favorite day of all the days this week, however. We started with having to run to the grocery store and we bumped into one of our investigators, Lupe, who offered to make us enchiladas for lunch. They were delicioso!! Later we had the baptism of the Day family. It was one of the most spiritual/happiest baptisms I have ever been to! The mom, Gina and the two oldest kids, Kaitlin and Joey were baptized. Joey went first and it all went smoothly. He had the biggest smile I have ever seen on a ten year-old boy's face! Next went Kaitlin and it took her two tries to make it under (which she said was her favorite part). Last was Gina. As soon as she got into the font, her little baby girl started screaming. Soaking wet Kaitlin was holding her right at the door to the font, but little Hazel wanted her mama. I have never heard a baby cry so loud. The first two times Brother Day tried to dunk his wife, she couldn't quite get under the water. On the third try, though, right as Brother Day began the prayer Hazel quieted. You could hear a pin drop in the silence. Gina was able to be baptized! As soon as she came up again the baby began to wail once again. It was pretty amazing. These moments are what I live for. Gina has been investigating the church since 1982. I know that her heart is prepared and that this work is all about the Lord's timing. It is pretty cool to know that I am but a mouthpiece and that when people are prepared, the spirit does the converting. I love this gospel!!

Love,

Sister Baker

Monday, August 12, 2013

8.12.13

Another week down in the Nyssa Oregon stake. It was an interesting one to be sure. It started out pretty great with finding a new investigator, Deborah, on Monday and helping her move on Tuesday and Wednesday. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and she was really excited to start reading it. We will be going back tonight to teach the Plan of Salvation. She is really interested in finding out what her purpose is here on earth and what happens after this life. She is pretty great. She is really kind and a little quirky. We had a ton of fun helping her move and are so thrilled to be sharing the gospel with our new friend! Thursday we had a lesson with one of our favorite investigators, Paul. He is an 80 year old Mexican man who is hilarious and smokes like a chimney. He just lost his wife in January is is feeling pretty lost. He is a little skeptical about the things we are teaching him, but he has been feeling the spirit, which is great. As we taught about eternal life, he asked us to do him a favor. So we told him we would do his favor if he would read a chapter in the Book of Mormon. He said he would, so we accepted his challenge. He asked us to go up to the cemetery (it is on the top of a hill just outside of town) and find his wife's grave and read the scripture on it, and come back and talk to him about that scripture next week. So we headed up to the grave yard and tried to follow his directions to where he said she would be... Of course we parked on the complete opposite side. We traversed the entire cemetery (remember, giant hill) until we finally found her stone. Literally the last one in the entire grave yard. It was quite the adventure. The scripture was 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Thoughts?  Anyways, we got a tan and a workout... 
And then there was Friday. We had an awesome zone training in the far off land of Weiser, Idaho. We talked about applying the doctrine of Christ in our lives and in our teaching. I learned a lot. Then we went to lunch. Remember when you all went to Canada and ate Chinese food there? Well, we went to a Chinese restaurant in Weiser. Same principle applies. It will be a LONG time until I can eat Chinese food again. And that was the end of Friday. We were both so sick that we barely made it home. It was rough. Saturday was a good day, though. We had Stake Conference in the evening and it was an awesome meeting! We had the temple president and his wife, President and sister Cannon, and Elder Paul B. Pyper of the 70 there to speak to us. Everyone gave really wonderful talks on ministering to others. Elder Pyper opened up the end of his talk to questions. This is where things get interesting/slightly sketchy. The first question goes something like this "Do you know when/how we will know where the final gathering place will be in Missouri before Christ comes?" Answer: "No... Don't ask Prophet questions to a 70." Next question: "What is the church's stance on teaching the gospel to Muslims?" Answer: "Teach them the gospel. It is true." Next question: "why can't I pull records from (some random country that sister Baker doesn't care)?" Answer: "I don't know". Welcome to the Jell-o Belt, my friends... This is where Sister Baker raises her hand and simply asks "How can we better serve and share the gospel with one another and the non-members around us?" To which we received a great answer. Elder Pyper talked about creating friendships and helping people feel loved. Members and non-members alike. Doing what your friends like to do and then inviting them to participate in things that you like to do (going to church, activities, FHE etc..) and then allowing them to make the choice to accept the invitation. Sharing the gospel with friends and neighbors is in love and actions, not in forcing something on someone. When people see and feel of the happiness that the gospel brings, they will naturally be drawn toward it. It was pretty cool to have a general authority instructing us to simply love one another. It helped me to realize how important it really is to just love people.  
On Sunday, the meeting was all about "The worth of souls" D&C 18:10. The best talks were all given by the youth, of course. One young man talked about being able to bear his testimony by the spirit. It was extremely tender and sincere. The spirit abounded in this meeting and the presence of the spirit and even angels could be felt. It was amazing. We had some more fun Sunday evening as we went to visit the Ford family. Their cat/the neighborhood stray cat that lives under their porch was having kittens. Kinda gross if you ask me, but Sis. Aamodt loved it. She even helped deliver one. It was weird but kinda awesome. Afterward we went to have dinner with the Wheeler family. They are great and a ton of fun. Brother Wheeler really likes to build things, so he is building a mini Disneyland in their yard, just for fun. It is pretty cool. He built the train and station in the pics that Sis. Wheeler sent (Note from Meredith: I can't figure out how to get the pictures from my phone to the computer...hopefully they will be up soon). Kinda crazy, but I guess when you live in the middle of nowhere you have to do something to keep yourself entertained. Anyways, it was really a wonderful week. The gospel is still true. I still love it and love teaching it. God Speed.
Sister Baker


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

8.5.13

This week the work has been just lovely. We found 6 new investigators on Tuesday!! It was pretty cool. We went over to Danielle's house (she hid her candy though) and a couple of her friends were over. One of them, Clay had a ton of questions about the church and we spent about two hours answering them. We invited him and his girlfriend to take the lessons. They were a bit hesitant as he is very active in his own church, but they did say that they would like to listen. We will meet with them again this week. Later the same evening, we went to contact a part member family that our ward mission leader told us about. We did not know much about them or what to expect and we had a really hard time finding their house, but once we were there we absolutely loved them. We knocked on the door and they were deep cleaning their house so we offered to help. We dusted and organized and got to know the family. It was really fun. June is the mom and she has 3 daughters, Becca, Riley, and Jessi. They are all really sweet girls. June's husband who is no longer in the picture is a member of the church which is how the ward got her name, but she and her daughters are all nonmembers. They have taken the discussions before but are eager to take them again with a new perspective. I am really excited to teach them! Becca who is 16 was really excited that I knew Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons (people only listen to country music here) and it was fun to talk about music with her. I know that the gospel can help these girls at such an impressionable age. I am so grateful that I had the gospel to help me through high school, and I hope I can be able to share that with this family. I love this gospel and I love this calling!

Monday, July 29, 2013

7.29.13

So this week in missionary work: Last Monday Sis. Aamodt and I took an adventure to Nampa for a change of P-day scenery. It was a lot of fun. We went to this grocery store called WinCo that is awesome and super cheap. They have all of these bulk bins like the ones at Sprouts but with like a million more options. So we had a blast in there. It is a good day when I get to play with food :). On Tuesday we taught the Day family about faith and repentance. They are an amazing family. They are planning to be baptized on August 17th. I am so excited because they each have such genuine faith in Christ and a desire to be an eternal family. We have also been visiting with/doing service for a woman in Parma named Jen. I think I have talked about her before, but I am not sure. She is having a really hard time with some serious challenges in her life. She is really a strong and amazing person but really needs prayers at this time. We are doing all we can to help her and to help her to rely on the Lord and the Gospel to help her through this. I know that we all face trials in this life and that everyone's trials are different, but whatever these challenges are the Savior and His gospel can help. It is truly an amazing thing.  Brandon is doing well, he is reading and praying and working on developing his faith. We are excited to continue teaching him and helping him to feel the spirit so that his little testimony can grow. I know that this gospel brings happiness, I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and yours. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. No matter what, trust in the Lord and serve him in all that you do and He will bring greater blessings than you ever imagined. I love you!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

7.22.13

So we received transfer calls on Saturday. I am staying in Parma with Sis Aamodt. Our area has split and we are losing the Vale wards as well as the Owyhee ward and they are placing elders in that area. This makes me pretty sad because I really have grown to love the people of those wards. Glen is a member of the Owyhee ward and I am really sad that I will not be able to see him through to baptism. Sister Aamodt and I were discussing Glen and his progress the other day, however, and were saying that we felt that we were not "his missionaries" and that it would take a different set to help him to finally be prepared for baptism. We visited with him for the last time yesterday and shared Matthew 16 with him. He is very inspired by the Apostle Peter. We also showed him the Bible Video that goes with that scripture. It was a really neat lesson. He is very in tune with the spirit and I know that he will be a wonderful member and participant in Christ's Gospel. 

This week we also visited with a 90 year-old gentleman who recently lost his wife. He is not a member (his wife is) and will not listen to the lessons but he enjoys the spirit that we bring. He loves his wife dearly and wants so badly to be with her, but he will not accept the gospel. He is very sweet though and my heart just hurts for him. He has told us countess stories of his life growing up during thee depression and serving in WWII and marrying his sweetheart and building her a house from scratch. I love little old men and I especially love Karl. 

Overall it has been a pretty good week. We also started teaching a 13 year-old boy named Brandon. Brandon decided a few months ago that he doesn't believe in God because there is no evidence. SO last night we began teaching him about our Heavenly Father and His love for us. we will be going back tonight to teach about faith. As we taught and shared our personal experiences, we could see his little heart softening and seeking the truth. This is the miracle of missionary work. It is amazing to see the spirit touch and change hearts and lives. 

I am so blessed to be serving the Lord and serving his wonderful children here. I know that hard times come. Believe me, I know. But I am learning to let go of my stubborn need to always be in control, and allow the Lord to take the lead in my life. I know that he is mindful and he is blessing each of us in ways that we do not even realize. This week at district meeting our zone leader shared a quote "there is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone" and that is the gospel truth! I know that the Lord is helping me to become who he wants me to be.


Monday, July 15, 2013

7.15.13

Sister Baker has not been feeling well this week, so she didn't have too much of an update. She would appreciate letters from all of you though! Her address is different than before because she is now in the Nampa mission instead of the Boise mission.

Sister Madison Baker
Idaho Nampa Mission
1008 W Sanetta St
Nampa Id 83651

madison.baker@myldsmail.net

Send her your love!

Monday, July 8, 2013

7.8.13

Hello friends and family!

So, this week was the 4 of July and the world famous Vale 4th of July Rodeo. We didn't get to go, but it was a big freaking deal. There was loads of drama about the rodeo queen who was not even from Malheur County... believe me, that is all I heard about at church yesterday. But because of the holiday and the rodeo, NO ONE was home this week. On the 4th we spent the great majority of our day visiting people at the old folks home (captive audience). It was great. Our curfew was at 7 so we cooked a good dinner for our selves. I made cilantro lime chicken tacos. They were pretty tasty. SO thats what sister missionaries do on 4th of july. Also I made an apple pie. It turned out great.

We are currently teaching this 16 year old girl named Kea. She is awesome. Last night we went to visit her and she asked us some amazing questions. She wanted to know how our religion was similar and different from the Jewish religion (she is not Jewish, just curious.) and also how the priesthood was established and restored, which brought up the topic of resurrected beings. It was a pretty cool lesson. She is so hungry for the gospel and for knowledge about the gospel. She wants to be baptized but her parents will not let her until she is 18. It amazes me that she is so convicted and becoming so converted with so much opposition. The Lord really does bless those who seek him. 

This past Saturday we had another baptism for a man named Bill Ussing. He has special needs so his parents did not have him baptized when he was 8. He asked to be baptized about a year ago and has been working with the bishop and stake president. We got to teach him the lessons and it was a really neat experience. He cannot speak well but as we taught we could see the understanding in his eyes. It was amazing to be allowed to work with one of the Lord's special spirits. The baptism was really sweet. It was more like a primary baptism which was just perfect. 

It is halfway through the transfer/there are two weeks left because it is a short one. I think I may be training another new sister next transfer because we are getting another big group of them and I am one of the oldest sisters (yeah, at 4 months out I am one of the old ones. It is like the blind leading the blind out here.) but I may end up staying together with Sister Aamodt for another transfer. Guess we will see what the Lord has in store.

Parma and the surrounding areas have been pretty warm and a little muggy because all of the crops hold the moisture. It is really beautiful here with all of the grain turning a golden color and the corn growing really tall. It is neat to experience rural life and appreciate a different type of beauty. We have AC in our house, but most people do not have central air or any AC at all. It is pretty uncomfortable. I have not been to the new mission home yet, but hope I will get to soon. We had a conference with about half the mission and got to learn all about the new President and Sister Cannon including his love for basketball! We had interviews with him last Wednesday where I learned that Stephen Hopper had been his MTC tutor and had told him all about me. He said that he had hoped and prayed that I would be in his mission and was so glad that I was. It is a small world and the Lord knows exactly who and what we need. We have become fast friends. He is not immediately related to the previous President Cannon but they both hail from George Q. 

It is so fun to hear all about the Tempe West sisters receiving mission calls! The work is hastening! 

The work continues to move forward here in the Nyssa Stake. I love this calling and am so privileged to be serving the Lord here in Oregon (and a little bit of Idaho). It is hard, but it is so worth it. Life is good. Blessings are abundant as long as I remember to trust in my Savior. 

I love you and pray for you daily. Have a wonderful week!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7.1.13

Brother Green's baptism was this week. It was awesome. He is such a changed man. We got to the church about 30 minutes early to find that the font filler had forgotten to fill the font. That was funny. We turned the water on and ushered the members into a different room for the opening and talks. It, by some miracle was full by the time we were ready for the actual baptism. It was a really special service despite the stress at the beginning though. Sister Dickey came to give a talk and we even happened to be matching. It was great to see her and hear about her experiences. I sang after he was dunked and the RSP gave a talk on the holy ghost. He bore a neat testimony at the end. It really has been a good week, albeit a long one! 
Love you! 

Sister Baker and her new mission presidents

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

6.17.13

Hello Family!

Today is transfer day. I am staying in the Nyssa area, therefore I am officially in the Idaho Nampa mission. I am excited to be training a new sister in Nyssa. I am pretty bummed for Sister Dickey to be leaving to Boise though. It feels a little like saying goodbye to a best friend. We are spending the next few days in Boise before our new missionaries arrive so it will be fun. We visited the state capitol today and toured around downtown Boise. It is a beautiful city and I am a bit sad that I will never have a chance to serve there. 

I am so blessed to continue the work in Nyssa. The area is really thriving! Viola was baptized on Saturday and it was beautiful. Two men had to help her down into the font but when she went down into the water to be baptized her body moved more freely than I have ever seen it. She came up sobbing tears of the spirit. She bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard. She is one of God's elect. She is a wonderful friend as well. We made tortillas with her after church yesterday. It was delicious and a blast! I am loving the work here and am so excited to continue it with a new missionary! The Lord is really blessing His children as this gathering of Israel continues. Continue to keep up the wonderful member missionary work!!

Your Sister,

Madison Baker

Monday, June 10, 2013

6.10.13

Here is the story of the week!

Over the last month or so, we have been attending the stake lds family services addiction recovery meetings. At these meetings we encountered a man named Glen who is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for 7 years. He had been previously attending regular AA meetings but was not feeling the support that he needed there. A friend introduced him to the addiction recovery program and he said that ever since the first meeting there it has felt like home for him. We invited him to take the discussions about three weeks ago and he agreed although he was somewhat hesitant. After a few lessons he attended church after which he declared he was "pleasantly impressed" and he has attended again since. In our lesson with him this past week, his change of heart was visible. We were greeted at the door by a clean shaven, humble man with a fresh hair cut and a clean shirt. It was a pretty drastic transformation from the scruffy guy we had been teaching. He shared experiences with us about prayers being answered over the previous week and spiritual experiences he had had. We extended a baptismal invitation and he readily accepted. The only road block was his chewing tobacco addiction. Good thing we met him in recovery class so we had some suggestions for him! We challenged him to stop chewing and although he knew it would be difficult, after receiving a priesthood blessing form our ward mission leader and a ward missionary, he sent all of his chew out the door with us. This was a pretty humbling moment for everyone involved. I have never had to face a situation like this before and I know that my faith was tested a bit in having to ask someone to give up their addiction right then and there. The atonement is a powerful thing. It is also pretty funny when two sister missionaries walk out of a house with about 20 cans of dip. I am daily amazed at how this gospel changes people! Miracles happen every day.

I love you and hope that life continues to be peaceful and happy! I have loved coming to know the Book of Mormon and knowing of its truth. I know that it really is the word of God and the most correct of any scripture. It is amazing to be able to say this now, as before my mission I did not have this firm testimony. I love this gospel! I also love you! Give everyone a hug for me! LOVE YOU

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

6.3.13

Thank you for the cake! Haha we couldn't figure out who it was from because it passed thru like 4 different members before it got to grandmas house. So that was a fun mystery! I got the package, it was really fun! I love the skirt and wore it yesterday, as well as the earrings and the necklace from marisa! It was so fun! I was so excited to see so many happy birthday emails today! 

It was a really good day yesterday. We had 5 investigators at church, one of which we have been having a bit of a hard time with but he really felt the spirit and said that a lot of his questions were answered. The best birthday present of all was Art's baptism on Saturday night. After he was baptized, he bore his testimony. His tears and accent were so thick that you could hardly understand him but the spirit spoke over it all and testified of the healing power of the atonement. He is truly a converted man. President Cannon was there as well as about half the ward. I was able to sing "Be Still My Soul" and afterwards the spirit was even stronger. Several members bore their own testimony of baptism and the atonement afterwards. It was a beautiful and life changing experience. I am feeling very humbled as I am able to teach so many wonderful people. I am so grateful to have been raised in this gospel. It is the way and Christ is the light. I love you and hope you had tons of fun at camp! Tell everyone I love them and pray for them always. 

I love you!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

5.28.13

Hello!

It sounds like life is pretty good at the home front lately! I love hearing the reports on all of the returning and departing missionaries from you each week. Things here have been pretty rad as well. We get to go to the temple tomorrow so that will be fun. Sister Dickey and I have taken to matching for district meetings and such, it annoys the elders so it is pretty funny. Last week we went on leadership exchanges (where you trade companions for 24 hours) and then we met back for a big meeting the next day. We wore pretty much the exact same outfit but convinced everyone that it was on accident because we spent the night apart. It is the little things that entertain as missionaries...

We are teaching a new investigator named Dotty. She is 79 and has lived all over the world. She is super funny and sweet. Yesterday in our first lesson she told us that the Mormon bible is the true one because people cant change it and make different religions like with the regular Bible. We taught her that she was right but that the Book of Mormon was another testament of Christ and did not replace the Bible. She liked that because she loves the Bible too. I am really excited to keep teaching her and to also learn more about her interesting life. In other news, Brother Green, Viola, and Art all have baptisimal dates! I don't know if I told you about Art, but he has been waiting for 15 months for 1st Presidency approval to be baptized. Sister Dickey and I were filled with joy when we recieved the call from President Cannon letting us know that he is now able to be baptized. His service will be held this Saturday and I know that it will be a wonderful occasion. This work is an amazing blessing in my life. I have finally found happiness and I know that I can never let this feeling go. 

I love you all!

Sister Baker
 

Monday, May 20, 2013

5.20.13

Hi Everyone!

Things here are pretty good. We had Brother Toombs and Frankie's baptism on Saturday. It was really beautiful. There were so many  people who came from the ward to support them. I sang Lead Kindly Light as a special musical number. It wasn't too bad I guess. Frankie and Bob were both so sweet and so excited. Bob had to take his hearing aids out for his baptism so he couldn't hear the prayer. He just stood in the font and plugged his nose the whole time so he would be ready to get dunked. It was pretty cute. When he came up he looked at the little kids sitting in front of the font and asked "did that make ya smile?" Frankie was so sweet too. He came with a fresh hair cut and the biggest smile i have ever seen on anyone's face. I love watching the joy that the gospel brings to people!
In other news, Viola has a baptismal date! She will be getting baptized on June 15th. She came to the baptism on Saturday to see how everything happens and she loved it. We have been helping her plant flowers in her yard over the past few weeks. We have been having the best conversations and are really getting to know her. She is truly an amazing person and is very in tune with the spirit. I really love her! She is going to teach us how to make tortillas. I am really excited! Life here is great! I love the gospel and I love this calling. I am learning and growing everyday. Love you and I am glad that everything at home is good!!

Have a happy summer!