Monday, January 27, 2014

Well, I guess I am wearing pants today...

How do you start a post telling everyone that you are no longer a full time missionary? I guess just like that. It has not really been public information until recently that for the last several months of my mission I have been struggling with severe health issues. I will spare you all the ugly details, but it was determined by my doctor and my mission president that I would need to return home for a period of time on medical leave. I am home and I am ok with it. I know that I need to get healthy so that I can continue serving the Lord. Coming home was the most difficult thing that I have ever been asked to do but I know that it will effect the rest of my life in the best way. I know that I will receive the care that I need and that I will be able to make a complete recovery. I know that Heavenly Father knows and loves me and that He is with me every step of the way. This is not easy and I know that it will continue to be difficult but I am surrounded by love and support. I know that God has a plan for me and I know that this is part of it. I love each of you and am grateful for the love and prayers that I can feel on a daily basis. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. I will periodically update you all here on the progress of my health. I don't know how long this will take or if I will be able to return but I know that with faith all things are possible. 


(Sister) Madison Baker

Monday, January 20, 2014


"The Parable of the Cake"

Once upon a time it was the first birthday of lovely little Taylor Weir (Ali's daughter). This was a very exciting day for her as she got to hang out at day care all day while her mom worked. Since Ali had to work, Sister Breen and I volunteered to make little Taylor a cake. Sister Packer was even kind enough to volunteer a cake mix she had found in her pantry recently. We mixed up that little white cake mix and decided to make it tie dye. Wahoo! It turned out beautifully. I have never made a tie dye cake that looked so good. It was bright and pretty and swirled perfectly. I wish I had taken a picture of it. After it had cooled for a while, we decided to take it out of the pan to decorate it. Seemed like a good idea--we would cover it in icing so the pretty/colorful swirly cake would be a surprise. Well, as soon as we upturned the pan the cake began falling apart. Just a little at first. The corners did not want to come out of the pan which did not seem like too big of a problem. We figured we could just paste it back together with icing and it would all be fine. Not so much the case. As we started pasting our beautiful creation continued crumbling. This cake that we thought would be so great and looked so great had turned out to be not so great. We began brainstorming on how we could still make this work. Cake balls! Yeah, that did not work. We were left with a brownish green pile of cake mush. It was then discovered that the cake mix had expired over a year ago.  After a few minutes of discouragement we decided to start fresh. So, I grabbed the handy dandy Betty Crocker and started mixing.  With a bit of hesitation we slid the new and less colorful cake into the oven, turned the light on and watched it like the Justin Bieber movie. We pulled it out, let it cool, and iced it. No problems. Now just had to wait to slice into that baby and find out how it would taste. The time of the birthday party came and there was joy and relief as the first bite was taken and it was discovered that the cake was indeed delicious! The baby was happy and so was everyone else.

A lot of times life can be like the first cake. Things can be going just fine and even look to be really great. But one bad ingredient (sin,temptation, trials, discouragement, spiritual apathy etc...) is included in the mix and goes ignored, everything is bound to fall apart. But just as the cake falling apart turned out to be a blessing to everyone who would have eaten cake containing expired ingredients, sometimes our lives falling apart turn out to be a blessing as well.
The Savior doesn't just try to glue us back together or smoosh us into something we are not supposed to be. He helps us to identify that bad ingredient and start fresh through his atonement. It takes work, just like making a brand new cake from scratch,  but in the end we turn out to be just what he wants us to be.
I know that the atonement is very real and that our Savior can mend anything that we allow him to. I am learning this now more than ever, but I have hope that I will have a delicious cake in the end with no rotten ingredients. I know that Jesus Christ died for me specifically. He is my best friend. He can be yours too. Don't be afraid to throw that pretty but broken cake out the window and allow him to help you make a new one. I promise it will be the best decision you have ever made.

In other news, Ali was baptized on Saturday! It was beautiful. She had so many ward members there to support her and did not let her smile fade for one second. She is amazing and has been through so much and will continue to push through the refiner's fire, but she has her sights set on the temple and I know that she will not stray. We also began teaching a new investigator named Ashley this week. We are still getting to know her but she has a million and one questions and is excited and willing to learn and keep commitments. We are excited to see her progress towards baptism! I know that she will also be a wonderful kingdom builder!

This gospel is true. In the words of my dear brother, "You're not planting seeds anymore, you're there to harvest the fields." So that is what we will do. 

Love always,

Sister Baker

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


It has been another lovely week here in Weiser! We did LOTS of contacting and LOTS of being turned away. It was great. Luckily, Ali is still progressing towards baptism! She is currently our only progressing investigator. She is still living in a motel and being ignored by her family. She is amazing! Her baby got a staph infection from the carpet in the nasty motel, so she and her two cute kids will be moving into the Packers! It will be cozy for a while but fun to be living with our investigator will be a fun blessing! She will be baptized this Saturday.

 We had lots of other fun times this week as we traveled to and from Baker City, Oregon for zone meeting. We had a great meeting followed by pizza and shenanigans (see photo illustration). On the way home we may or may not have been pulled over. I may or may not have been driving 90 mph #streetcontacting. We, however, did not receive a ticket.

Sunday we had a great day at church. Church as a missionary is the best ever! Afterward we ate dinner with our ward mission leader and Rex. Sister Ketring set Rex up with the mother-in-law of a lady in 2nd ward and he is really excited to meet her. Guess we are now matchmakers too!

Sunday night we got a call from a brother in the third ward wondering if we could come by to meet his son's girlfriend. Because God is directing this work, the appointment that we were headed to when he called mysteriously ended up not being home. We zipped right over to the Loomis's house to meet Ashley. Da da da da da da... We have a new investigator! She is in her mid 20s and has always had friends who are LDS but her family is super anti. After getting reamed by her boss about having a Mormon (less-active) boyfriend and hearing all sorts of crazy accusations, she decided it was time to find out for her self what this is all about. She is really receptive and excited to learn. She is super funny and a hoot to be around. We are so excited to teach her!

This work never ceases to amaze me. The Lord is so quick to bless us when we are faithful. I love it! I love all of you! Have a fantastic week!
Your Sister,

Maddy Baker

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I suppose you all would like an update on this little town of Weiser, Idaho. Well, that is just what you are going to get. We did more missionary work this week. Wahoo. Ali has a baptism date for the 18th of January!!!!  Ali is really excited about the gospel. She is the prefect investigator and already knows so much. She is thrilled to learn and grow. Her family is having a hard time accepting it, but she told us that if she didn't know with her whole heart that it was true, she would just give up and go home. She is amazing. Her kids are 2 and 1. She is getting into some housing this week. Our teaching pool is a little slow right now. We are still teaching Mona, and Virginia. They are both progressing but slowly. Rex is doing great! He is the best new member ever! 

We spent new-year's eve playing prophet trivia and drinking Martineli's and jumping on our little trampoline. We spent new-year's day helping the Packers clean their house, it was a no-proselyting day (guess they didn't want us bothering all of the hungover people...)

 Friday we served at the funeral of Darrin Thomas and Christian Alder. It was a beautiful service and the whole town was there. SO many Weiser-ites felt the spirit as many speakers testified of the Plan of Salvation. Though many were mourning, it was really a happy day. We were able to stay to serve that family dinner and clean up. It was a great day of service. 

Friday night we went to see a true back-hills Idaho medicine man. It was awesome. Really he is a reflexologist, but he is still really cool. He was able to test the muscles in my feet and legs to diagnose some deeper issues. It was amazing. I know it seems weird, but it was totally legit. I am just going to move to Idaho and forget western culture and be all natural and such. I love Idaho!!  You can live in the city and come visit me on my ranch that has a nice little stream and is 50 miles away from other human civilization :)

Saturday we met some new people to teach, which is always exciting and by the end of the day I  had come down with the stomach flu... Awkward. So Sunday was pretty much shot.

So here we are today. It is transfer day here in the Idaho Nampa Mission. Ba ba da da Sister Breen and I are staying together here in Weiser! Well, that's all for now, folks. The church is true, the book is blue!
Sister Baker


This week has been nice and pretty relaxing. Christmas Eve and Christmas day were spent mostly with the Packers and with Rex and his girlfriend Susann. We had several delicious turkey dinners (never eating turkey again) and LOTS of desserts. We spent Christmas Eve evening with a family named the Kites and had lots of fun and read Christmas stories and opened Jammies. It was fun that they have that tradition too and they were super nice to get us some too! Sister Breen and I read Luke 2 before going to bed by the light of her glowing pillow pet. It was very nice. Christmas day was the best skyping with everyone! We also took a nap and cleaned our apartment. I am beginning to understand Dad's need to clean on holidays... It was great to just have some time where we didn't need to be anywhere or do anything. That was a great Christmas gift! The best gift of all was being able to celebrate the birth of our Savior as his dedicated servant. It really helped me to see the holiday and the season in a whole new light. I love this gospel and I am so grateful for the birth, life, and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Anyways, the rest of the week we spent contacting, teaching, and eating leftovers. We started teaching a girl named Ali who was introduced to the gospel through several (male) friends at the gym. Yes, Ali is very cute. Yes the theory of 'flirt to convert' apparently has worked in this situation because Ali came to us this week and asked to be baptized as soon as possible. She has already begun reading the Book of Mormon, prayed about it, and told her family she is Mormon! She is really excited about the gospel. Don't worry, we are not letting these 'gym friends' creep on her too much ;). We are really excited to keep teaching her and are planning her baptism for Jan. 18th. We also found a new investigator named Jim. He is like extra super old and is from Long Beach! I was excited that he knew where Los Al is and he thought it was pretty neat that I am a California girl. He smokes A LOT and chews tobacco, but many have overcome these addictions in the past. I am really excited to be teaching another old guy. I guess it is my M.O.... The work is going well and I am excited to get 2014 off to a good start. I cannot believe I have been serving almost 10 months. I love this work! 

Before I close, I would like to ask each of you to keep the Alder and Thomas families in your prayers. Saturday night Their sons were killed in a head-on collision heading back from the temple. They were both recently returned missionaries who were home for the holidays. These families as well as the entire town of Weiser are mourning their loss. It is a blessing and a comfort to the family to know that their sons are on to their next mission. Prayers would be much appreciated. 

I love you all and pray always for you. 


Sister Madison Baker