Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Oh it is wonderful to me" - 3/17/14

Melbourne Mission Moments

Heavenly Father knows me so well and loves me so much. This week I have felt Heavenly Father's love in such abundance. Last Monday, I was struggling. I was feeling so overwhelmed. I was pleading in prayer to be able to feel that love because I was struggling. And that love has come. All week I've just felt wrapped in the arms of His love, just like it says in 2 Nephi.

Tuesday morning I was praying so hard that Heavenly Father would give me the confirmation that I was where I needed to be, doing what I needed to be doing. After a few hours of unsuccessfully trying to follow up with some contacts, we went back to the flat to have lunch. I have been trying to use all my extra time to study and I sat down and started reading a general conference talk from October 1997 by Boyd K. Packer titled "Called to Serve." Sometimes the answers to our prayers come in ways that we don't expect them. I wasn't expecting to read that talk at lunch and receive personal revelation but I did. In the talk, Elder Packer quotes Elder J. Reuben Clark Jr. He said, "In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints one takes the place to which one is duly called, which place one neither seeks nor declines." That really stood out to me as well. It really doesn't matter where I serve but HOW I serve is what really matters. When we left the flat to go back to work, I felt so uplifted, and so determined to be a good missionary. I know I am where I am supposed to be right now!

Wednesday morning we had district meeting. We found out that Elder Hamula is coming to visit the mission in April and that he has asked that all of us read the Book of Mormon cover to cover before he comes looking specifically for The Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.) We have 47 days to read the Book of Mormon which is a bit overwhelming. I have never read it that fast before and I feel like we are already so busy. But I have made it a goal to read in any spare time that we have. I'm about 10 chapters into 2 Nephi now and I am loving it. I love specifically looking for principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is something on almost every page. I love the Book of Mormon. Before the mission I struggled just reading 10 minutes a day. Now I can sit and read for 45 minutes before we go to bed and I find myself wishing I had more time to read.

L and her kids are doing really well! On Tuesday night, the older kids both went to youth and they really enjoyed it! We had a lesson with them on Thursday and taught the Plan of Salvation which went really well. They are praying and reading every day and really progressing! We had a short lesson with them on Saturday and taught them I Am a Child of God which they loved. L especially—she kept saying how beautiful the words were. I guess I've kind of taken the words for granted because I've always known them but that song teaches such fundamental truths of the gospel! Also, we found out they all have CTR rings! I was so surprised. The member who referred us to them gave them all CTR rings for Christmas. Obviously he has been working on them for a while and the timing is just perfect right now! They couldn't come to church yesterday because they are involved and have responsibilities at their church (just like we get callings and assignments at church) that they had to do for one more week. But they told the people at their church they won't be able to do it anymore and they are excited to come to church next week! We have a lesson with them tonight so hopefully that goes well!

I was really happy to find out that Sister R and Sister H are my STLs this transfer. I love both of those sisters so much. There is no doubt in my mind that I needed to meet them. We are going to have a lifelong friendship. Ah, seriously, I love them so much!

Yesterday President and Sister Maxwell came and spoke in our ward. I love them so much. Sister Maxwell in her talk said how they have 8 children but now they have gained another 280 children and then talked about how much they love the missionaries. I cried (surprise, surprise) I am so grateful for the Maxwell’s. They have blessed my life so much!

In Relief Society yesterday the lesson was on the Atonement and the sacrament. The spirit was so strong and being the sook I am, I cried through the whole thing. I am so grateful for my Savior and His unconditional love for me. The mission is hard and there are times when I feel really alone. But two verses in the Book of Mormon really stuck out to me this week. 1 Nephi 20:10 talks about being refined in the furnace of affliction. That's exactly how I feel about the mission. Some times are really hard but I know everything is refining me, changing me, and helping to grow to be able to reach my full potential. Then in 1 Nephi 21:15-16 it talks about how we are graven upon the palms of His hands and that He will not forget us. I know that is true. My Heavenly Father and Savior both know me and love me so much. They will never leave me alone. They are my biggest fans and biggest supporters.

I love being a missionary. It's such a blessing. I can't believe it's almost been a whole year. I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had in the past year. I have changed so much. "Oh it is wonderful to me."

Love you all heaps!

Love, Sister Baker xxx

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