Monday, July 22, 2013

A Baptism and Kangaroos! - Melbourne Missionary Moments - 7/21/13

What a great week it has been!! 
Kangaroos Anyone?

Monday afternoon Sister Gonzales, Sister Trego, Sister Roberts and I went to see KANGAROOS! It was so fun! We went to a place called Cardinia Reservoir Park. About 4:00 pm heaps of kangaroos started coming out of the bush. They are such cool animals. I was able to get within about 10 feet of them and we took lots of pictures. We even saw one with a joey in its pouch!
Look at the cute joey

On Wednesday night we had another lesson with an investigator. He is slowly learning more and progressing but at the same time it's really hard. He can't accept the fact that he might be wrong about something so it's hard to know how to help him. He's been meeting with missionaries for almost a year now. We are really praying for him to know what the next step with him is. Yesterday in Ward Council they decided we will all have a fast for him next week that he will have a change of heart and a miracle will happen. 

On Thursday we had interviews with President and Sister Maxwell as well as some training from the APs. President and Sister Maxwell are so amazing. They care so much about all of us as missionaries. It's like having a set of foster parents out here. The APs did some awesome training about working more with the members. We are doing a lot more to get the members involved in the work, especially after the leadership broadcast. Our mission goal for this quarter is 163 baptisms. Our motto is "Members are the Key 163." Unless the members help the missionaries, our success is limited. As missionaries and members work together as a team the success doubles. Our ward is really doing a lot to step up and assist us more in the work. We went to Ward Council on Sunday morning and everyone was so helpful and encouraging. It is so wonderful to have support and help from the ward members. In Texas we didn't really have that and it made things really hard (especially since we weren't allowed to tract there).
This weekend we had four laurels from another stake staying with us for their mini-missionary weekend. Sister G and I had two other sisters with us. They were awesome. They had a go get 'em attitude and worked really hard. We were able to go on splits on Saturday all day with them and we got so much work done. It was great!
Yesterday was the best day of my mission so far because NAOMI GOT BAPTIZED!! Her baptism was last night and it was beautiful. She looked so happy. We had a lot of support from the ward at the baptism too which was so awesome. She is a completely different person than when I met her 16 days ago. The first night when we were in her home I saw a sadness and emptiness in her eyes that broke my heart. But now if you look into her eyes there is such a peace, hope and happiness there. She was truly prepared by the Lord. I never thought someone could be ready for baptism so quickly but she truly was. Every lesson, every commitment we gave her, she just drank everything in. She is amazing. It was such a wonderful night. Her sons came to her baptism and I know that they felt the spirit. I am praying that they will have their hearts softened and have a desire to know more of the gospel and follow their mom's example.
One thing I have been really working on this week is having patience, especially with myself. There's a quote by Sis. Holland that I have been really focusing on in which she said, "Have the courage to be imperfect while striving for perfection." I'm not perfect and I have been beating myself up lately for little mistakes. I think I expect more out of myself than anyone else does sometimes. So I have been focusing on having patience with myself and letting my imperfections become a catalyst for growth and change instead of becoming a roadblock.
It sounds like it's been Hotter than Hot there. Everyone keeps telling me summer here will be really hot but we will see.

Phillip [Lauren’s brother who just left for the Lima, Peru MTC on Wednesday] - Remember that serving others will help you in all aspects of the work. I know that even if you don't know completely what to say, rely on what you do know and the Holy Ghost will be able to speak through you and touch the hearts of the people. I hope you are loving being a missionary.
Well, I think that's about it for this week. I love you all and pray for you every day.
Love y'all HEAPS!
Sister Baker

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