Monday, May 20, 2013

Houston Happenings - 5/13/13

Hello Family!!

Last Monday after P-day we went to see the family we have been teaching. The mom and son are SO ready to get baptized but the parents need to get married first. She doesn't have her birth certificate so she has been calling the Mexican consulate every single day. We left Monday telling her to keep praying for a miracle to happen.

Tuesday was super busy! We went to teach the seminary kids in the morning. We talked about the importance of scripture study and shared D&C 11:21 with them. It's something I've really come to learn here on the mission. You have to obtain the word, aka study, before you can declare the word, aka teach. AS we study each morning, we do our part and then when we are teaching we are given the words we need to say. If we didn't do our part in the morning by studying, we wouldn't be given that blessing of knowing exactly what to say. We were able to visit several less-active members of the ward Tuesday afternoon and help them to regain their faith and have a desire to come to church. That night we spent a lot of time finding. We were talking to everyone we saw and really focusing on finding new investigators. It was really successful and we made appointments with a couple of new people for this week.

Sister Baker and Companions
 at Zone Conference
On Wednesday we had a Zone Conference all day. It was absolutely incredible! President and Sister Ashton are such amazing people and I learned so much from them. We talked a lot about how we can increase our faith and reach our goals. THSM (Texas Houston South Mission) has a goal to baptize 1000 people this year. For the first couple of weeks that I was here we were encouraged to pray to be able to baptize monthly. Then President Ashton met with Elder Nelson and a couple of Seventies and they promised him that as we increase our faith and pray to see miracles that each companionship can baptize weekly. It's been a big change and requires us to exercise a lot of faith but we are seeing the Lord put people into our paths and we are beginning to see things happen. I know that it will take a little bit of time for this change to really take effect but I know that soon we will be baptizing every week. At Zone Conference we talked a lot about faith vs. doubt and about things we can do that will help us to baptize weekly. It was an incredible day and we were very spiritually fed.

Thursday morning we had our weekly planning session in the morning. Then we were able to go out and try to contact referrals. That night we met with Ronesha. We told her that we had really been praying about her baptismal date and we knew that she could be prepared to be baptized on May 18th. She quickly agreed and the spirit was really strong as we taught her The Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about the baptismal covenants with her.

Friday was a REALLY long day because my companion was sick so we were home basically all day. It was really hard. I didn't know what to do with myself. I hated not being out teaching. I spent a lot of time just studying the scriptures. I am really loving reading the Book of Mormon and I learn so much from it every day!

The car after the crash.
Saturday one of my companions went to another area on exchanges so it was just two of us. We were able to teach a lot in the afternoon and we met a new family that is interested in the gospel. We get to teach them this Wednesday and I am really excited about it. After dinner we were on our way to an appointment when a truck backed into our car and crunched in the front. So instead of going to our other two appointments that night we had to spend a couple of hours filling out forms and getting a police report. Fun, right? I'm just glad that no one got hurt. 

Just a peacock wandering around
the neighborhood
Sunday was Mother's Day and it was great! Church was really great. Unfortunately Ruth and Daniel were our only investigators that ended up coming. We don't know why Ronesha didn't come. A sister in the ward went to pick her up and she won't answer. We tried calling her and we tried stopping by last night but we never got a hold of her so I have no idea what happened. It's really frustrating to not be able to get her to come to church. We’re pushing her baptism back a few weeks now until she can come to church a couple more times and show that she really has a desire to be there. After we called home and had dinner we felt like we needed to go see the Ruth and her family. Saturday we had fasted for them and prayed that there would be a miracle. Well, Sunday night we found out that we did get a miracle. Ruth told us that someone from the consulate called her and said someone had canceled their appointment so she will be able to take her spot so now she only has to wait 3 months to get her papers instead of 12 months! And she found out Sunday that she got a job so now she will be able to pay for her papers! Miracles!! Heavenly Father really does answer our prayers!

So I'm pretty sure my visa came and that I'm flying out next Monday (the 20th). I'm kind of freaking out! When I got on the computer today I got on my missionary portal and my flag was changed back to Australia! Just yesterday it was still the Texas flag! Then I got an email from Elder Mitchell (one of the Elders from the MTC) and he said that all the visa waiters in Oklahoma got their visas and that they are flying out next Monday, the 20th. Then I just got an email from Sister Adams saying that her flag changed too! So yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm leaving soon! I'll let you know more as soon as I can! Ah! I'm really excited but at the same time I am sad to be leaving Houston! So yeah, that's that.

Thank you so much for your love and prayers. It means the world to me!

All my love, 
Sister Lauren Baker

P.S. So the lady that was driving the truck that ran into us on Saturday, guess what her t shirt said?  "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That." It was awesome. I loved it. :)

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