Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh my goodness, so many blessings. - 10/14/13

14 October 2013
Talofa Family!
Well, I had another great week. I feel like so much happened this week that I don't even know where to start. 
On Monday we went to Bishop's house for dinner and FHE with their family. We have a really great Bishop here who is so encouraging of the work and who is definitely on our side. After that we went to see a girl that we had met tracting. She was there and waiting for us. We were able to talk with her and found out that she has had some really big trials and challenges in the past two years. You could just see the hurt in her eyes. We were able to teach her about prayer and about the atonement and the healing and hope that it brings. It was such a good lesson and the spirit was so strong. We are hoping to see her again soon.
On Tuesday we had interviews with President Maxwell. I love him so much. Seriously, he is such an incredible man. He has this humble dignity that he carries everywhere and truly just emanates love. Any time we get to meet with him is a blessing. He gave me some wonderful counsel and encouragement. We also had a meeting with the APs so they could find out about how our area was doing. We’ve had some disappointments lately, but I'm just praying really really hard and Heavenly Father has really helped me. I've been able to turn them over to him and my heart doesn't feel heavy. I feel hopeful and trust that Heavenly Father has a plan for everything/everyone. So now I just have to be patient. 
Tuesday night we taught a man who is amazing! We taught him the restoration and he absolutely loved it. He said if he got an answer that it was true that he would get baptized. We are teaching him again tonight and will hopefully set a solid baptismal date with him. 
Wednesday we went to see a woman who is 75 and lives in a nursing home. She was so happy to see us and we just sat and talked with her for a while. She was so excited when we told her that we could have them bring the sacrament to her every week. Before we left she said the sweetest prayer in which she said, "Thank you for bringing my people back to me." 
On Thursday we had Golden Review at the mission office which is another meeting for the Goldens and the Trainers where President and the APs just go over some things and then there are trainings given. My companion and I got to give a training on Lesson Planning. It went really well. Lesson planning is something that is so important. Like it says in D&C 11:21, we have to prepare before we can teach. Sometimes the Spirit tells you to take a completely different route than what you planned but as we make plans and study, that is showing Heavenly Father that we are willing to do our part so that we are worthy of having the spirit. I know that this is true with any teaching. I loved Elder McConkie's talk from conference about teaching. It was so good. 
A funny thing happened on Thursday. After we left our last appointment and got in the car to head home, we found out that not one but BOTH of our headlights had burned out. Haha, it was crazy. We had to drive the whole way home with our high-beams on. I felt bad for all of the cars that we were passing. We were laughing about it though. Also guess what, on Monday night while we were driving home from our Bishops, a kangaroo hoped across the road right in front of our car. It was crazy! 
On Friday we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. We had a really good day. Sister W was so fun and such a good example and I learned a lot from her. The highlight of the day was that evening when we visited a family in their ward. We had planned to teach their sons that just got baptized but when we got there it was clear that this dear sister needed us. She has been having some real struggles and challenges lately. I had studied about hope that morning and I was really grateful for that because it was exactly the message that she needed to hear. As we left, I felt so grateful that Heavenly Father trusts us enough to use us to answer someone’s prayers.

On Saturday and Sunday we got to watch General Conference! Oh my goodness, so many blessings. We are so blessed to have a living prophet and apostles on the earth today! They show General Conference at the chapel at 10:00 and 2:00. There were not many people there on Saturday or Sunday afternoon but Sunday morning had a really good turnout. Hopefully the members have been watching or listening or reading the talks at home. This conference was one of the best that I can remember. Ah, I don't even know where to begin. Every talk was so good. I loved the talks about missionary work and how the members and the missionaries HAVE to work together. I also really loved Elder Nelson's talk from Sunday afternoon. I loved how he talked about Self-mastery. That is something I have really been trying to work on. I also really felt like they talked a lot about the important role of women as mothers and the inherent traits that we have especially as women. I felt overwhelmingly that being on a mission is preparing me for my future responsibilities as a wife and a mother. I wish I had time to tell you all the things that I loved and learned. Also, guess what? When Elder Vinson spoke I didn't even notice the accent! It was crazy. I can't believe that I have become that accustomed to it. He didn't sound any different than anyone else to me. I guess that I am accustomed to both the American and Australian accent. Funny, huh?
Also, we aren't able to go to the gym every morning now. Everyone is really tight on Ks and we only have 1600 for the month so we don't have enough to drive there in the mornings. Sad, but it will be okay. We have feet and footpaths around our flat so that will have to be good enough. 
Some Aussies celebrate Halloween but it's not very big here. Our ward is having a trunk-or-treat that night which should be fun. Haha but it's funny because here in Australia they don't even call it a trunk. They call it a boot.
Phillip- sounds like your area just got huge. But that's a blessing. The bigger it is the more people there are. And the more people there are the more people you get to talk to. The more people you get to talk to the more you get to teach. So really it's a blessing. :) I'm glad your Spanish is getting better every day. I pray for you daily. And you're right. I don't believe that you have gained weight. 
Well, I love you all. I am so grateful to be a missionary at this specific time. I know the church is true and that the Lord truly is hastening his work.

Love y'all heaps!
Alofa atu!
Sister Baker xxx

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