Tuesday, January 21, 2014

This week was basically just HOT! Seriously. So stinking hot. - 1/20/14

Melbourne Mission Moments

Well this week was basically just HOT! Seriously. So stinking hot. I thought I was literally going to melt. But it was a really good week too!

Birthday cake at Bishop's
Monday, on my birthday we had our zone p-day. We went laser tagging which was so fun! And pretty cheap too. After that we came home to get changed and get ready to go to Bishop's for dinner. They made a delicious dinner including cauliflower because I told them that I love it. Then we had a chocolate ripple cake for dessert. They even did birthday candles which was so nice of them. After we got home we were sitting planning when there was a knock at the door. I opened the door to find a cake sitting on the door step with a lighted candle in it. The Elders had made it and dropped it off which was so nice. It was a really good birthday!

My birthday dinner
Birthday cake #2 from the Elders
 Tuesday morning we had district meeting. It was a really good meeting. At the end of the meeting the Zone Leaders were talking to us and Elder C shared an experience and then they gave promised blessings that each of us can call down miracles and we can baptize monthly. As they were talking, I started to cry. I didn't realize it but I was still feeling really overwhelmed. After the meeting Elder C gave us a really nice note saying that he had given that promised blessing specifically for me and Sister B and told us that D&C 111 was written for us. Our District Leader came up to me after the meeting and asked if I was okay. I told him that I was but got teared up as I said it and he could tell that I wasn't. I had him and the Zone Leaders give me a blessing and it was exactly what I needed. I instantly felt so much peace and felt Heavenly Father's love for me so strongly. Sister B and I were able to go back to the flat for lunch and we studied D&C 111 together. That section has changed my mission. There was literally something that stood out to me in every single verse. I don't have time to go into the details of what I learned and gained from it, but to summarize, I felt really strongly that there are treasures (people to teach) in this city for me and Sister B and as we rely on the Lord, He will help us to find those people. And I love the promise at the end. Heavenly Father basically promises to give us blessings as fast as we can receive them. I am so grateful for the amazing leaders I have, especially our inspired Zone Leaders who knew exactly how to help us, even when they didn't know I was struggling. The rest of the week I feel like I've been able to act with so much faith and confidence in knowing that Heavenly Father is going to bless us. I know He will.

Chalk Plan of Salvation
(haha ignore the ad on the wall behind it.
I didn't realize it was there)
Tuesday afternoon it was so HOT! 41 C which is like 105 F! We decided to get creative in our finding so we drew the Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk outside of the grocery store and talked to people about it as they walked by. It was so successful! It was awesome. After a few hours in the stinking hot sun, we were both out of water so we stopped by a member's home to get some. While we were there her foreign exchange student from China came home. She is 15 and is so cute! As we explained that we were missionaries, she asked us to teach her more about Jesus Christ. It was so awesome! That night we had dinner with an awesome couple in the ward. Since it was so hot, Sister A hadn't really felt like cooking so she made sushi. At first I was thinking, "Oh no. The last time I had sushi was in like 8th grade when J.J. Tsukamoto's mom made it for us." But I couldn't be rude so I ate it anyway and guess what... I liked it! It was so yummy. Granted, it was chicken and not fish, but still. I was so surprised that I liked it!

Wednesday it was super hot yet again. This time 43 C. That's 109! We didn't have appointments or anything in the morning/early afternoon so we had to go finding. It was so hot. We talked to people at the station for a few hours and then we tracted for about an hour or so. I like to think that we are going to get extra blessings because it was so hot ;) While we were tracting we wrote a song:

Australia Melbourne Mission
We're going to do some tracting
The sun is brightly shining at 43 degrees
And in the sun we're melting, melting, melting
In the sun we're melting but we'll get through with ease.
So hot!

I love my companion!

In the afternoon we went to visit the sweetest woman in the ward. He husband died about 15 years ago from cancer so she lives all by herself but she is so sweet. You could tell she was so happy to have us there. We had dinner with a family that night (wraps because yet again it was too hot to cook) and then we were able to teach our 9-year old again. He basically changes his mind every day as to whether he is going to get baptized, but I know as we teach him more he will be more confident in his decision.

Thursday morning we had Golden Review at the mission office for all of the Goldens and their trainers. It was a good meeting and they gave us lunch after which was so nice. I got to see Sister Stevenson there which was awesome. She told me that a young girl in my previous area is getting baptized on February 15th! Hopefully I get to go back for it! It's a good thing that we were inside for a lot of the morning because Thursday was the hottest day. At one point around 3:00 it was 47 C! That's 116 F!!! SO STINKING HOT! We saw our sisters that afternoon and they have no AC so it was so hot! We were able to teach them more about church and what goes on there. We weren't able to stay very long because they had family coming over so we set an appointment for Friday. When we got up to leave, literally all four of us had wet spots on our bums because it was so hot. Haha. The one girl was like, "It looks like I peed my pants!" That night we had Ward Council at Bishop's house. They had everyone's families there and did a barbeque and then people started getting in the pool and swimming. Ah man, I wanted to swim so badly. It looked so nice because we were melting.

Friday was still really hot, 43 C again. It's hard to be very successful when it is so hot because no one is home or out and about. Everyone is at the pool because that is the only possible way to stay cool. We went to our appointment with the sisters and they were gone at the pool. That evening we were able to have dinner at the H's house and then have a lesson with Brother and Sister H. Brother H is not a member. We were able to talk about Heavenly Father and how He is our literal Father and we talked a lot about prayer. Brother agreed to take baby steps in learning more about the gospel and actually asked us to give him a Book of Mormon reading assignment which was really cool. I really feel strongly that he is going to get baptized some day. I can picture him in white and serving a mission with his wife. Friday night it started to rain a little bit and there was a lot of thunder and lighting. The rain really cooled things off which was a welcome change! Apparently there's a bunch of fires because it's been so hot!

Saturday we had a meeting with the ward mission leader and the Elders which was really good. Our ward mission leader really wants to help us which is great. After that we did some finding and follow up in the afternoon. Then we were able to have another lesson with the young man from Burma. He asks really good questions and is really keen! We were able to teach him the first half of the Plan of Salvation and commit him to baptism on February 22. The main concern is getting him to come to church. He feels like it's too much of a commitment to come so this week we are going to explain to him better about church so that he feels more confident in coming. After our lesson with him we went to try to catch the sisters we are teaching but were unsuccessful. Hopefully we can still go back and have another lesson and help them to progress!

Sunday morning we had a meeting at 7:00 am which meant we had to get up quite early. Gotta love early mornings. Our 9-year old was our only investigator to come to church but we were happy to see him there. After church we went to ward choir practice. We had a little bit of time in the afternoon and we were doing a little bit of finding. We met this woman and her little girl. As we were talking to her she stopped us and explained that her daughter had recently started asking about God and about church. She said that she has never been to church except for a wedding and that she wants to go visit one. AH!!! So awesome. She is so prepared! We were able to get all of her details and we are seeing her later this week. After that we went to the chapel for a baptism of a little boy in the ward. They had a lot of non-member family there which was awesome! After the baptism we had plans to go try to meet a few of the less-active families in the ward but we felt like we should we go to the train station instead. So glad we followed that prompting because we met 6 people who we were able to set return appointments with! It was amazing!

I love being a missionary. I know I say it every week but I truly do. Heavenly Father is so good to us and we see miracles every day! I am so grateful for the people I get to meet and the things that I learn here. I know the church is true.

Love y'all heaps!

Sister Baker xxx

Also, everyone in Australia is obsessed with AFL (Australian Football League). The team I chose is the Hawks because their colors are Brown and Gold (go Davis High). Anyway, it seems like a really cool sport and I think you'd like learning about it. Go to YouTube and watch a video a member told me about. It's called something like AFL Explained or something.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Melbourne Mission Moments 

21! Woohoo! Can you believe it? I can't really. That's because it doesn't feel like my birthday at all. Usually it's snowy and freezing and yucky weather on my birthday-- well today the sun is shining and it is BEAUTIFUL! I think I like birthdays in Australia a lot better, except for the fact that I can't be with all of you.

This past week just flew by. Time goes so fast. I hate it. I wish I could just put the brakes on. I have been serving for nearly 10 months now which is just crazy.

Monday we got to go to the Melbourne Zoo which was so fun! It was a good zoo! We got to see a lot of animals and take lots of pictures and it was fun to spend time with the other sisters. The best part of the Zoo was the Australian animals. I have seen them before but not so up close. It was awesome. And, I GOT TO PET A KANGAROO! It was so cool! The Kangaroos are not fenced in so they can just roam and they are not afraid of people so they will just let you touch them. It was amazing. I feel like I've truly experienced Australia now! Haha.  And it turns out that kangaroos are super soft. After the zoo we had dinner with an awesome family that actually kind of remind me of home because they have a daughter and 2 sons living at home and the way they act with each other is a lot how my relationship with Phillip and McKay is. They are an awesome family who really make us feel loved. And mum, you will die at this--Sister D never makes a recipe more than once! For 6 years they have had something different for dinner every single night! She just buys cook books and cooking magazines and makes her way through them. Cool huh?! Way too much work though. Haha. I could never do that.

Tuesday morning in our district meeting our district leader gave training about why it is that we choose to serve missions. It got me thinking a lot about why it is that I am here. I think my reasons for serving have been added upon and grown as I have been here. There are so many reasons why I am here. Before I came I think my main motivation was because I knew that Heavenly Father wanted me to and I loved the gospel and wanted to share it with others. While those are still reasons that I am here, there are so many more. I am here to grow, to change, to become the person that I want to be and that I know my Heavenly Father wants me to be. I am here to prepare for my future responsibilities as a wife and a mother. Let's pause for a second on that. There have been so many times on the mission that I have felt that so overwhelmingly. I was reading my patriarchal blessing this week and it hit me stronger than ever that I am going to be blessed to be a mother and the way the world is, my children are going to need me to be strong. I feel like this time as a missionary has helped me strengthen and solidify my foundation so that I can be that strong mother that my children need. I am on a mission to experience the atonement in a way that I haven't before. I am so blessed to be able to see the atonement work every single day in my life here. I am on a mission to meet wonderful people who I can help and who can help me in return. I am on a mission because I love the Lord. I am so grateful for this opportunity. While there are hard times and times when it's not necessarily fun or enjoyable, I LOVE being a missionary. I love Australia and its people.

After our district meeting we went out to do some finding together as a district. It was really cool to all focus on finding for one hour, together. I think it really helped to build the unity in our district. And we saw miracles in that hour. We met 4 people who live in our area who were willing to have us come back! Tuesday night we had dinner with such a wonderful family! They haven't been in the ward for very long and Brother A was a bishop in the ward they came from. If anyone is clicked on about member missionary work, it's them. I am excited to work with them to bring others unto Christ. Working with members is the best!

Wednesday we spent a lot of the afternoon finding. While we were talking to people in the park we met a guy. We ended up being able to teach him a lesson right there in the park. It went perfectly and the spirit was so strong. I honestly haven't felt the spirit that strong in a lesson in a long time. The spirit definitely guided my words as we taught him and we were able to invite him to be baptized and he said yes! We asked him when we could meet again and he asked if we could meet Thursday. He is so prepared.

We had everything all worked out to meet with him on Thursday at Bishop's house but unfortunately he never showed up. :( We haven't been able to contact him at all which really stinks. But I know that we will be able to see him. He is so prepared. Heavenly Father will help us to be able to get in contact with him. Satan works hard on people who are so prepared so we just have to work harder.

Friday morning we had a lesson with a recent convert at another member's home which was really good. We were also able to drop off cupcakes to the Elders in our ward because it was Elder H's birthday. That afternoon we tracted for a couple of hours. It was a really warm day and I was LOVING it. I love the sun and it hasn't been overly warm yet so I was rejoicing in the sun! My companion however, thought she was going to die. She has never really been in hot weather so she didn't handle it too well. This week is supposed to be really hot, like 40̊ C+ (104-108̊ F), so we'll see how she goes with it. I will probably just love it.
Making cupcakes--just call me Sister BAKER!
 Saturday we had exchanges with the Sister Training leaders. I was with Sister F in their area which was fun because I was back at the flat that seems like home to me. She took me out to lunch for my birthday which was really awesome. We had some good lessons that day. Sister Foster and I were able to talk a lot and it was good to be able to just talk things out. I've been a little bit overwhelmed lately with feeling like I have to know exactly what is going on, where we are going, who we have/haven't met in the ward, etc., all while trying my best to train my companion and help her. It was nice to be able to just talk about it. Don’t read in to this too much and think that I'm struggling. I am doing great and I love my area. Just have felt a little stressed. But honestly, I have the best leaders ever so I don't even have to worry about it. Our district leader is the best ever. And our zone leaders and sister training leaders are great too!

Yesterday at church we had a miracle of a less active father coming to church with his family and we also had a woman's non-member husband come so he could sit with his wife! We had dinner last night a young couple in the ward who are so awesome! :)

This week I've been trying to remember to pray for opportunities to serve each morning and we have been blessed with many opportunities. On Thurday we were in a parking lot at the grocery store and we saw a lady with her arm in a brace struggling to get her groceries into the car and we were able to help her. Then on Saturday while I was with Sister F, a man's car broke down in middle of the road. We were able to get out and help him push it through the intersection over to the side of the road. Opportunities to serve are everywhere, we just have to look for them.

Thank you so much for the birthday package! It got here on Wednesday last week. I waited to open it until this morning. I LOVE everything. Thank you so much! My family is the best! I got Grandpa Baker's birthday card in the mail last week which was so sweet of him. This morning I got birthday cards from the Elders in our district, Lexie, and Sister Ricks. I am feeling loved today! We are having our zone p-day today so we are going to have a barbeque and then going laser-tagging! It should be a lot of fun! Tonight we are going to Bishop's house for dinner. Sister B told them that it's my birthday so they said they are going to do a birthday cake. :)

One thing that I've been working on this week is practicing smiling more. Haha, apparently sometimes I don't look very happy even though I am. So I'm strengthening my cheek muscles and smiling more! Haha
I love HP :)

I love you all so much! Celebrate for my birthday!

Love ya HEAPS!

Sister Baker xxx

Friday, January 10, 2014

...here I am experiencing true conversion. And I love it. - 01/06/14

Melbourne Mission Moments 01/06/14

Happy New Year!! I can't believe it's 2014! I'm pretty sure 2013 was the fastest year of my entire life. The fastest and one of the best. I am so looking forward to this year and the miracles that are going to happen! We had a really good week this past week.

At the state library in the city.
Monday we went in to the city with our district and did some sight seeing and shopping at souvenir shops. That night we had dinner with the Bell family in our ward. They are so fun and really make us feel loved when we are in their home.

Tuesday we spent a lot of the day finding because we are still trying to build a teaching pool. It's been kind of hard because everyone is so busy with Christmas and New Years but now that those are past it should start getting a bit better. That night we had dinner with ward members. The wife and kids have been members for 25 years and the husband knows basically everything there is to know about the church but for some reason he has yet to join. He is such a kind hearted man though! I really felt strongly while we were there that he is one of the reasons we are serving in this area right now. I pray we can really touch his heart and hopefully find that missing piece that he needs to finally decide to get baptized.
We love smoothies on hot days!
Wednesday morning we had a zone meeting which was a perfect way to start off the new year. Our zone leaders are really wonderful. We talked a lot about how we can be more obedient and how we can more fully submit our will to the Lord. I felt really motivated as we left to work harder and do more. Up until this point, I have always been looking forward to Christmas, knowing that was my half way mark. Now all of the sudden Christmas is gone and the next mark is when I go home. Not that I am looking forward to going home at all, it's just the way my mind works. I always have some sort of finish line in my head that I work towards. After our meeting Wednesday morning I feel so determined to make the next 9 months even better than the past 9 months and to really consecrate my efforts here in Australia.

Enjoying the beautiful sunset!
Thursday Sister Burton and I decided to fast. We were fasting specifically that we would be able to find people to teach. We did a lot of finding in the morning/early afternoon but didn't really find anyone which was kind of disappointing. That afternoon we got to go and teach S and D which was really good! We taught them The Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went really well and we were able to help solidify their baptismal date. After the lesson with them, we had a little bit of time before our dinner appointment so we decided to visit a few members, since we are still trying to meet everyone in the ward. We picked a name from the ward list of a single woman. We drove up to the house and there was a guy sitting on the porch smoking. At first I thought, "Let's just go to another house. I don't like approaching people when they are smoking and this is supposed to be a single woman's house. She has probably moved and that guy won't want to talk to us."  But then I had the strongest prompting that we needed to go and talk to him. Honestly, I was nervous as we walked up the driveway, which is weird because it usually doesn't make me nervous to talk to people. Well, I am so glad that we did go talk to him. He and his family have just moved up from Tasmania and moved in with his mom. Sister Hadfield and her companion have been working with them in Tasmania. Brother N is a member but his wife is not. But she is really open to the church and the sisters in Tassie have been helping her get ready for baptism. It was an answer to our prayers and fasting! I know it was no coincidence that we chose that house, of all the names on the ward list that we have yet to meet. Heavenly Father definitely was hearing our prayers!

Friday we had dinner with the Lloyd's. They are a cute couple in the ward who joined the church about 30 years ago. And they are such good member misisonaries! They literally have been talking with every single person in their court about the church. I wish all members of the church were like them. They are so awesome! We visited a less active woman right before we went home on Friday night. She opened the door and nearly started to cry. She told us that she had been having a really hard day and had prayed that someone would come by. I love being able to help Heavenly Father answer someone's prayers. It is the best feeling ever!

Saturday we headed out first thing and did some tracting. We met the sweetest lady who let us in. She is so cute! We showed her a Mormon message on her iphone and she was so amazed that we could pull up the video. She kept saying, "I can't believe I'm seeing this!" Haha it was so funny. Saturday afternoon we went to a baptism of a 12-year-old boy named that the Elders in our ward have been teaching. It was a really good baptism! After that we went to the library to have a lesson with a boy who was a referral from the sisters. C is from Burma. He has been here for 10 years so his English is really good! He was so receptive and loved learning about the Book of Mormon! We invited him to be baptized on January 25th and he said yes!

Yesterday S and D came to church! It is the most nerve wracking thing ever when you're waiting for church to start and it's getting closer and closer to starting and you are still waiting for your investigators to show up. But they came! And they really enjoyed it! The members were so awesome! They were all introducing themselves and doing exactly what you hope they will do.

I hate all the disgusting spiders here!
I've been studying a lot about Jesus Christ and Christ-like attributes. I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and the ability it gives us to CHANGE. I truly can change and be who I want to be and who Heavenly Father wants me to be. Another thing that I have really learned this week is about testimony and conversion. Before the mission I had a testimony. But here I am experiencing true conversion. And I love it. The gospel is becoming more and more a part of me. It affects who I am, the way I act, the way I think. I am so grateful for the gospel and to be a missionary. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and his atonement. I know that he can help us to CHANGE.

Love you all HEAPS!!

Sister Baker xxx

Friday, January 3, 2014

This has been the fastest year of my entire life! - 12/30/13

Melbourne Mission Moments 

I can't believe that it's nearly 2014! This has been the fastest year of my entire life.
Happy 9 months! - Can't believe I'm halfway done with my mission!
On Monday after our p-day we had dinner with a family in our ward. Four of their five married kids and their grandchildren are all in our ward so everyone was there. It was fun. They are a really fun family. After dinner they had a little Christmas Devotional that they do every year. It was reading the Christmas story from the scriptures and singing songs, a lot like we do on Christmas Eve, except they don't act it out. Some of my favourite Christmas memories come from getting dressed up to act out the nativity.

Tuesday morning we had our district meeting. I love our new district here. There are some really awesome missionaries. I am especially impressed with our District Leader. He is such an exemplary leader and you can feel his genuine love for every member of our district. He really cares about how we are doing and the work that is going on in our area. I love that he calls several times a week just to see how things are going and to ask about our investigators. Seriously, they could make a District Leader Training Video just by following him around. Anyway, after our district meeting we had a lunch together as a district which was fun. After that we went and did some finding and then visited members in the ward. We had dinner with another family in the ward. It was a big Christmas feast which was fun. They have 2 little boys who got to open their presents from their grandparents while we were there and oh my, it was so cute. The three year old just kept saying, "Wow! Cool!" Haha it reminded me exactly of Luke Tanner when he was playing with the marbles.

My Christmas tree with notes from family & friends from home!
Christmas Day. I still can hardly believe that it was Christmas. It really didn't feel like Christmas much at all because it was warm. So weird. Thank you again for the Christmas package. I love it! The best part of the day, and the week really, was getting to Skype home. I miss you guys so much and it was so good to see you and hear your voices. Best gift I could have asked for. After I finished skyping, we went to a family’s for breakfast. It was French Toast with Strawberries and melted Cadbury chocolate on top. So yummy!! After spending the morning with them we went over to Bishop's to spend the rest of the day. We really just relaxed, played games, etc. The members of the ward have been really great and have given us lots of gifts. We have been given fun Australian souvenir type things but other than that it is a lot of food. We seriously have so much chocolate and heaps of fruit mince pies. I don't know if they even have them at home. Also, everyone here eats fruit cake. Sounds like Peru and Australia are similar in that.
So much Christmas LOVE! :)
Thursday was relatively uneventful. The day after Christmas here is called Boxing Day (I have no idea where the name comes from). Nothing really happens here on Boxing Day except apparently everyone here goes crazy shopping. It sounds like it's their equivalent of Black Friday except on a smaller scale and not so crazy.

Friday morning we got to go to the temple which was such a blessing. I love the temple so much. As I was sitting in the Celestial room, I just felt so overwhelmingly loved by my Heavenly Father. It was so obvious that he is very aware of me. I just cried. Weird how that happens. I'm such a sook. It was a bit hard for Christmas to be in a brand new place and I needed to feel that love and I am so grateful for it.
With my companion from the MTC! Love her!
Saturday we were supposed to teach the three investigators we currently have, but they are with family in West Melbourne so that was a bummer. Hopefully we will be able to see them this week.

Sunday was really good. During the 3rd hour, they had a combined RS, priesthood and youth lesson. Bishop taught and he had the 4 missionaries sit at the front. He talked a lot about missionary work and about how it is not coincidence that we are serving in the ward. He explained that he actually called President Maxwell and asked for a set of sister missionaries. He got a little emotional as he testified that there are people prepared in this area, people the members know, who WE specifically need to teach. It was really good to feel so appreciated and needed and I am glad that Bishop is so interested in missionary work because I really think that the ward will follow. Miracles are going to start happening soon.

Sunday night we had dinner with a sister in the ward. Her oldest son is 9 and he wants to get baptized so we are going to start teaching him and help him get ready. His dad is not a member but is okay with him being baptized as long as he understands what he is doing. I think it's funny that I am going to be teaching yet another 9 year old boy. I love teaching kids. Seriously, there is such an innocence and love from them.

This week we are going to be really focusing on finding because WE NEED PEOPLE TO TEACH! I know that people are prepared and that Heavenly Father will help us find those people. I can't wait for miracles to start happening.

Phillip- I hope you had a good Christmas in Peru. I am sad that I didn't get to talk to you but next Christmas I will. Man you have so many baptisms. The people there must be wonderful and humble.

I love you all! Can't wait for 2014 and the miracles it is going to bring.

Love y'all heaps!

Sister Baker xxx