Friday, October 11, 2013

"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." - 10/7/13

October 7, 2013
"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven."
This week has been so great! I have a wonderful companion! Seriously, she is so full of faith. We have really been working hard this week and praying for miracles to occur. We were talking the other morning about how badly we need the Lord to help us and we need miracles to occur. We decided that the only things that are holding us back from receiving those miracles is exact obedience. We are not disobedient missionaries but there are always little things that you can improve on. We had a list of all the things that we can sacrifice or do better and we are striving really hard to be EXACTLY obedient—little things like being ready for studies at 7:59 instead of 8:01 or other little things. We just want to do all that we can because we know that when we are obedient, the Lord has no choice other than to bless us. And it's paying off. It's amazing to see how Heavenly Father can bless you so quickly. We are also really focusing on getting the members to help us with the work. We have been praying almost constantly for the members of our ward and that they will be able to increase their faith and realize how important it is that they be involved in missionary work. It is direction we have received directly from the prophet which means it's extremely important. It sounds like from your letters that it was talked about a lot in General Conference which is great. I'm excited for the members here to hear it and hopefully have a greater desire to get involved in the work. The other night we were going in to visit a member and we prayed in the car before that they would be able to give us a referral and decided that we weren't going to leave without one. And guess what, they gave us 2 referrals! 
On Wednesday we got to go teach the Brazilian that I told you about. We taught him the restoration and it went so well. He just kept saying, "That's amazing" and "That's beautiful." And he said the most beautiful prayer at the end of the lesson. It was in Portuguese so I couldn't understand anything that he said but I know that he did say Joseph Smith and it was very heartfelt. We are going back this week to teach both him and his wife. And I can't wait! Any advice for teaching Brazilians? What does Grandpa think [Sis. Baker’s grandpa was a mission president in Brazil]?
Oh yeah, big blessing that happened this week. We went to visit some members in our ward on Tuesday night. They own a gym and they asked us if we wanted to use their gym to train. They gave us 24-Hours gym passes for absolutely no cost. Such a blessing! Since both Sister Stevenson and I like mornings, we've been getting up at 5:17 every day so that we can be to the gym by 5:30 and stay for an hour and 15 minutes. I love it! I have felt so much better all week getting a good work out every morning and we've also been eating pretty healthy too. It may seem a little silly but it was an answer to my prayers. On Monday during personal study I was setting some goals and I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me to have the dedication to be healthier this month, to more fully live the Word of Wisdom and take care of my body. So that was a blessing that they offered for us to use their gym at no cost. 
On Friday night we got to go to the RS broadcast. Can I just say, WOW! It was so good. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I loved how much they talked about covenant keeping. I have been so blessed to make covenants with my Heavenly Father and it was such a good reminder of the blessings that come as we keep our covenants. It also made me really think about recent converts and the baptismal covenant they have made. I am just praying really hard and trusting that Heavenly Father has a plan and He will help us to know how we can help some of them. Another thing that really stuck out to me in the RS broadcast was when President Monson said, "I never tire of reading the scriptures." That really struck me. I was thinking about how much my love for the scriptures has grown as a missionary. I feel like before the mission I read the scriptures because I knew that I was supposed to but I never really understood the power and spirit and learning that you can gain. Now I LOVE reading the scriptures, especially reading the Book of Mormon. My scriptures have become one of my most prized possessions. I have truly found answers to prayers as I read. Ah, I love it. I hope to someday have a testimony and love for the scriptures like President Monson. I also just can't wait for this weekend to be able to listen to General Conference! It is such a blessing to be able to listen to a living prophet. 
We have had some pretty crazy weather this past week. It has been super windy and rainy. The wind has blown over tons of trees. Some people have had their garages or cars smashed by trees. Two different mornings this week we went outside to find HUGE branches from the tree in front of our flat that had come down. Luckily they both missed the flat. 
Trees falling down everywhere

More of the trees down in front of our flat
Remember the little girl that was in the hospital with a brain tumor? She got to come home from the hospital this week! And she is starting to talk again! Miracles are happening every day.
Thank you for sending me the Standard of Truth! My companion and I were actually talking about that this week and saying that we wanted to find it and memorize it and now we can!
Phillip- I'm sorry to hear that it is so hot in Peru. It is not hot here yet but everyone keeps warning me, "Wait until this summer. You're going to be dying." It will be interesting to see how hot it gets. Keep working hard. I pray for you every day and that your Spanish will improve.

We were also able to teach an investigator again this week. During the lesson we found out that he doesn't believe that God is his father. He asked us, "What does it matter if he is my father?" I have been thinking about that ever since. I am SO grateful to know that I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me and wants me to return to him. That knowledge affects every little thing that I do. I truly know that Heavenly Father loves me and is watching over me. I know that He wants so badly for all of His children to return to him. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a part of this work and to help Heavenly Father's work to go forward. I love you all so much!
Love y'all heaps!

Sister Baker
P.S. remember how I told you that while I was in Texas I picked up the y'all? Well my companion says it all the time and it's rubbing off on me again. Pretty funny. 

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