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
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
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
I love you and pray for you constantly!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
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!!
Monday, August 12, 2013
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, and helping her move and . 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! 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 -17. Thoughts? Anyways, we got a tan and a workout...
And then there was . 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 . We were both so sick that we barely made it home. It was rough. 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.
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 , 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
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
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!