Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Houston Happenings - 5/6/13

Hello Family!!

Well, no visa yet. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE it here in Houston but I'm getting anxious to get to Australia, especially now that Annie and Lexie [Lauren’s cousins] are going. PRAY HARD that my visa comes soon. 

This week was busy, as usual. It's crazy how fast a week flies by when you're on a mission. To answer Dad's question, yes our area only covers one ward. Actually it only covers half of the ward. We have one half of the ward and the Elders have the other half. Last Monday night we had dinner with a part-member family. The dad and 8 year old daughter are both members but the mom isn't. She comes to church every Sunday but she has never been baptized and is still active in her Baptist church as well. We taught them the Restoration and challenged all of them to read the Book of Mormon daily and then to pray about it. We are praying that her heart will be softened and that she will have a desire to be baptized.

Sister Baker and Companions
Tuesday we had appointments all day and we were super busy. We got to visit a couple of the less-active members and encourage them to come back to church. We also saw our family and taught them again the importance of reading the Book of Mormon daily. The mom and son are so ready to get baptized. They come to church every week and they read and pray every day. The mom just needs to get the paper work so that she can get married. There's not much that we can do now except for encourage her to get the papers that she needs. 

On Wednesday we met a girl who is 23 and has 3 daughters (a 7-year old and 5 year-old twins). She is awesome! She is super friendly and nice and has a sincere desire to learn. We also met black lady that seriously reminds me of Whoopi Goldberg. She was raised in a Baptist church and is slightly crazy but she has a good heart and really has a love for the Savior. We were able to teach her on Thursday and Friday. She talks A LOT so it is hard to get through our planned lessons with her but that's okay. She is sincere in wanting to understand and it may take a little bit more time with her but I can picture her in white at baptism.

Every Thursday we spend the morning/early afternoon doing weekly planning. The rest of Thursday we taught some really good lessons and were able to spend a good amount of time finding people. We also had dinner with Ronesha at a ward member’s home. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and she was so willing to commit to live it. I love Ronesha. She is scheduled to get baptized on the 18th. Unfortunately she didn't make it to church this week because her car wouldn't work so we are praying really hard that she come this next week so that she can still be baptized on the 18th.

Friday morning I woke up with a bad cold and didn't feel great all day but you basically have no choice other than to keep working so I just took ibuprofen and faked a smile. Friday morning we had a Zone meeting. We talked about the importance of getting investigators to church and practiced inviting them to church. It was really good. Friday afternoon we went on splits. I went with one of the sisters in the ward and we were able to contact a lot of people and get a lot of referrals. Friday night we were able to see some former investigators who we have been trying to get a hold of since my first week here. We were able to read the Book of Mormon with them and set up a return appointment. Hopefully they will be ready to accept the gospel now since they weren't ready when they were taught before.

Saturday morning I felt better than I did on Friday but I had NO voice. Like, I literally could hardly talk. So needless to say, my companions had to do most of the teaching. We had our first lesson with with the 23-yr old mom. It went really well and the spirit was really strong. We taught the Plan of Salvation and it was exactly what she needed to hear. At the end of the lesson the spirit was right and we were about to commit her to a baptismal date. My companion literally had said, "As representatives of Jesus Christ, we have a special invitation for you..." But then one of her 5-year-olds ran into the room and said "Mom, Trinity (the 7-year-old daughter) just threw up all over her bed." Argh! So frustrating. That seriously happens all the time. We're about to commit them to baptism and something crazy happens. Alan [Lauren’s cousin and former MTC trainer] warned us in mission prep that it would happen and he wasn't kidding. It's so frustrating. Seriously, get out of the way Satan! Anyway, so we had to leave so she could take care of the mess but we have an appointment with her tomorrow and we are going to extend the baptismal invitation tomorrow.

Sunday morning my voice still sounded retarded but not as bad as Saturday. Church was great! We had 5 investigators come which was awesome! After church and our meetings we went back to the apartment to do our studying. We had dinner with the ward mission leader and his family. After dinner we went to see Akin. He didn't come to church even though we had talked to him on Saturday night and he said he was planning on it. He wasn't home Sunday night so we haven't been able to get a hold of him. We are hoping to be able to see him sometime tonight.

I was hoping my cold would be gone by this morning but unfortunately it's not. But that's okay. I think it's on its way out. Hopefully. So yeah, we've had a busy but really successful week.

Send me hand written letters! My comps get mail all the time but I never have anything in there. Hand written letters are the best!

Well I'm about out of time so I've got to go! I love you all! Can't wait to talk to you on Sunday!! I know that Heavenly Father is very aware of us and that He helps us through our trials. In Mosiah 24:14-15 it says,

 "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs; even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

We aren't promised that our trials will be taken away but that we will have strength to bear them.

I love you all so much!
Sister Baker

Everything here is so GREEN!

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