Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I have a feeling that some really good things are going to happen here in Tassie! - 04/28/14

Tassie Times

What a week it has been! I feel like it all went in the blink of an eye!
Saying goodbye to people from Mooroolbark
Monday after we emailed we were at the flat most of the day and I was trying to pack. I'm so grateful I was able to bring both of my big suitcases to Tas or I never would have fit everything. I have accumulated a lot of stuff during the mission and I ended up still having to leave some things on the mainland (mostly souvenir type things.) Monday night we went to see the M family so I could say goodbye to them. J was especially sad for me to have to leave. I am so so grateful for the opportunity I have had to know that family and to see them come into the gospel. After that we went to Bishop's to have him sign J's baptism record. He just kept saying how much he had appreciated having me serve in the ward. It made me feel really good.
Saying goodbye to Sister B

The Mooroolbark Sisters and Elders

Tuesday morning I finished packing up all of my things and then we went to the mission office for transfer meeting. The meeting was really good. President Maxwell talked a lot about obedience. He talked about how as missionaries we are always on stage, that there are always people noticing us, watching our every action. He also talked about Alma 39:11 and how it applies to missionaries: if people see missionaries being disobedient, then they will not believe our words when we teach. I am so grateful that I don't struggle with obedience. I WANT to be obedient. I know how much I need Heavenly Father's help and that makes me want to be obedient. I am so grateful for that. I was assigned to serve in Deloraine, Tasmania, with Sister R as my companion.

There were four of us missionaries who were assigned to fly down to Tassie, 2 Elders and 2 sisters. One of the Elders was flying to Hobart and the rest of us were flying to Launceston. Our flights didn't leave until 8 pm so we had a lot of waiting around at the office all day. One of the senior couples drove us out to the airport around 5:00 and we got there around 6:30. Airport security is so relaxed in Australia! We got through in no time at all so we had to wait for our flight about an hour. The flight to Tassie is only an hour and five minutes. It was so short. Sister S and I were sitting together on the flight. There was a guy sitting across the aisle from us who is from Deloraine. We started talking to him. He is part of the Plymouth Brethren church. I had never heard of it but he told us a bit about it. He also asked some questions about our church and we were able to share with him and we gave him a Book of Mormon.
My traveling companions to Tassie
Stepping straight off onto the runway!
When we arrived in Launceston, it was about 9:15 pm. As we walked to the front of the plane to get off I was surprised to see that we just walked down a set of stairs that they had pushed up to the plane and stepped straight off onto the runway. It was awesome! I felt like it was something from the movies or something. Sister R and Sister S were there to pick up me, S Stoker and Elder L. Five people, three people's luggage, and one little Toyota Corolla. Let's just say that we were playing tetris for a while and it was a miracle that everything fit! We drove ten minutes to the Launceston sister's flat and dropped them off and then had about a 45 minute drive to Deloraine where Elder L's companion met us. Sister R and I got to our flat about 11:15 pm. We unpacked some things for about 30 minutes and then finally got to bed around midnight.
Our flat is super nice because it used to be a Senior Missionary
Couple's flat.

Study area
Gum boots
Because Deloraine is a farming community
Our kitchen even has a crockpot!

I love Sister R. She is from Adelaide. She is fun and quirky and she really wants to work hard and see miracles. Deloraine is the smallest little place. It reminds me of a little Idaho farm town or something. The hills are beautiful and there are "mountains." There is only one grocery store in the whole place and everyone kind of knows everyone. I love it. The ward is really small, it's more like a branch. But the members are wonderful and I have a feeling that some really good things are going to happen here!
Beautiful Tasmania!

The Meander river flows through the town of Deloraine.

Wednesday night we had dinner with some investigators. They are really awesome. They have been Christodelphians for a long time. L is not overly interested, but G is. We taught G the plan of salvation and he really loved it! And L was definitely listening as she was acting busy making dinner. I have a feeling that we can help her to gain a testimony as well!

Thursday morning we were at the chapel for a couple of hours in the family history center. There are a lot of community members that come to the chapel to do family history so the missionaries are there to meet people every week. I am actually really excited about this. I am becoming more and more interested in family history so it's cool to actually be in the family history center and help people, or try to help them at least!

Thursday afternoon we saw a girl who got baptized last year. She never had the new member lessons so we are teaching those to her and helping her to solidify her testimony. Thursday night we had Ward Council which was good. The ward is small so everyone is really looked after. Hopefully we can add some numbers to the ward too!

Friday we had a mission fast. The focus of the fast was 1) to be able to find families in our areas to teach and 2) to be prepared to receive revelation from Elder Hamula as he comes to the mission this week. He is doing 2 zone conferences on the mainland and one down here in Tassie. I am excited to hear from him! Friday was Anzac day (which is basically the equivalent of our Veteran's day) They have a memorial service in town here in Deloraine so we went down to the city center and tried to do some contacting in the morning. That evening before our dinner appointment, we had about 20 extra minutes. We decided to visit a member. We went to this sweet widowed sister's home. I am so grateful the spirit prompted us to go and see her. She had been having a rough week because her dear friend passed away. We were able to go and uplift her a little bit and she seemed so grateful! After that we had dinner with this really sweet Filipino lady in the ward. She has kidney failure and is having to do dialysis all the time but she doesn't complain at all. Instead she says, "I am grateful for my trials." It was incredible to see her faith. It made me think about my own life and how often I complain about little things.
Memorial in the city center
Saturday we spent a lot of the day visiting and trying to meet members of the ward which was good. We had dinner with the cutest little family.  At one of the member's that we visited, they gave us chocolate chip cookies. They tasted exactly like the ones from home! I haven't had that in a year so that was really nice!

Sunday at church was interesting. I have never been in such a small ward. There were only 71 people there. This ward really needs to grow. I know that there are people living here that are prepared to hear the gospel, we just need to find them!

Sunday afternoon we went tracting and we had a miracle. In a little less than two hours we got return appointments with 6 different people--three potential families to teach! It was amazing. Apparently that's better than they've had in Deloraine for a couple of transfers so it was awesome!

Tasmania is so beautiful. I love it here. Except it's already so cold. Seriously today it's 9 degrees C (48 degrees F). Welcome to winter. I'm pretty sure I'm as close to Antarctica as I will ever be! But, that's okay. We are going to have success this transfer. I just know it. And guess what?! It talks about Tassie in the Book of Mormon! 2 Nephi 10:20-21:

20 And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been adriven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a bbetter  land, for the Lord has made the sea our cpath, and we are upon an disle of the sea.
 21 But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the aisles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren.

I love being a missionary. So much.

Love you all to Kolob and back!

Sister Baker

P.S. For mailing things, just send them to the mission office still. They just forward everything down here to us.

Monday, April 28, 2014

I'm going to the promised land... I'M GOING TO TASMANIA!!! - 4/21/14

Melbourne Mission Moments

What a crazy week it has been.

Monday for P-day we went bowling with our District which was really fun! Hahahaha, Asians are terrible at bowling. It was so hilarious. We have four Asians in our district and we were all just cracking up at them. We played two games. I didn't do so well the first one but the second game I bowled 131! Unfortunately Elder Brown beat me by 1 point. Bummer. Monday night we had FHE with L and her kids. We watched The Testaments with them. I had just finished reading 3 Nephi so it was cool to watch the movie and be able to visualize everything that I had just been reading about. They loved the movie!

Tuesday morning we had our district meeting. After district meeting we came back to the flat and Sister B was feeling really sick. For several days she had been getting these really bad optical headaches. She was in a lot of pain and couldn't even open her eyes because she is so sensitive to the light. She also felt really nauseous so she slept the rest of the day. It gave me a lot of time to read and I ended up finishing the Book of Mormon. I read it in 34 days and it was incredible. I learned so much and my love for the Book of Mormon has grown even more. As soon as I read Moroni 10, I knelt down next to the couch and prayed to know again of its truth. That assurance came once again. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true. I love it.

Wednesday morning Sister B was still feeling pretty bad so she slept in until we had to go to our appointments. We had a lesson with J and made plans for her baptism. She was so cute. She just kept saying how excited she was to get baptized. After that we had to go to the doctor. The doctor thought that Sister B had some sort of sinus problem going on so she gave her some antibiotics.

Sister C and Sister Baker
Thursday we went to the mission office to pick up Sister C. She has been serving in Tassie but she came up Wednesday night because the temple session for departing missionaries was Thursday morning (they can't go next week because the temple is closed). Instead of flying her back town to Tassie for just a couple of days, she has been spending a day in several areas. It was so fun to have her with us on Thursday. Sister B was still not feeling well so we left her at a member's house so she could rest and Sister C and I went out to work. We went to the train station to do some finding and it was really awesome! We met some really great people! We even found two potential families to teach! Sister C is such a good missionary! I am so grateful that I got to spend a day with her and learn from her! A cool experience we had, as we were leaving our dinner appointment that night, we had literally just started driving down the road when I saw a man walking his dog. It was dark so I couldn't see him very well but I felt a prompting that we needed to stop and talk to him. So I pulled the car to the side of the road and Sister C hopped out and started to talk to him. I turned off the car and joined her. As we talked to him we learned that he is from Italy. He hasn't been in Australia very long but he told us that he had met missionaries in Italy before. We were able to set up a return appointment to teach him and his girlfriend this week! I'm so glad that I followed the prompting to stop and talk to him!

Friday Sister B was still sick so we were inside most of the day.  Anyway, that night we went to see J to make final preparations for her baptism on Saturday. When we walked in, she was sitting with her foot propped up and crutches next to her. WHAT HAPPENED?! was the only thought I had. Haha she stepped into a pothole on Friday and had totally sprained her ankle. It looked the way that John Schouten's did the couple times that he has had bad sprains. But regardless she still wanted to get baptized.

J got baptized Saturday morning. Everything went perfectly. We had two priesthood holders in the water to help her get down the stairs and back up which was a little different but everything went perfectly. J was so happy. And so was L. It was so good to see their family completed--everyone baptized. Sunday J was confirmed and then D was given the priesthood which was awesome! I am so so grateful for this family. They have been a miracle for me. So grateful.

J's Baptism!
So grateful for this wonderful family!

So, Saturday night we got transfer news. They called and told us that Sister B would be staying and that I would be leaving. I wasn't too surprised. But then the Zone Leaders called and said, "Sister Baker, we have some more transfer news for you... You're going to the promised land!" I'M GOING TO TASMANIA!!! I'm so excited!! Ah! What an adventure it is going to be! I am so excited. I know that the coming transfer is going to be amazing. I will find out tomorrow who my companion is and then I fly down to Tas tomorrow night!
Tasmania  is an island state--part of the Commonwealth of Australia.
It is located 150 miles to the south of the Australian continent
directly below Melbourne. It is part of the Australian Melbourne Mission.
I love being a missionary. I love this work. I am so excited for Tassie!

Love y'all heaps!
Sister Baker xxx

P.S. - Easter in Australia is crazy. I feel like they do way less to celebrate than we do in America. People just give chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies. But, they have like 4 days of holiday. Friday was a public holiday for Good Friday and literally it seemed like a ghost town. Everything was closed. Then they have Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday today so another public holiday 

Phillip- I know what you mean about how terrible it is when you have to go and drop someone. Terrible. Crab Beach looks awesome. When do you have transfers again? Do you think you'll stay in your area much longer. If not, keeping working hard until the day you leave. Something I have tried to live by is "Leave your area better than you found it." I love you and pray for you! And yes, I would love to come to Peru so you can show me some dirt. Hahahaha or is it jajajajaja?

My knowledge of the gospel this week has truly lifted weight and given me wings. - 4/14/14

Melbourne Mission Moments 04/14/14

My heart is so full right now. Heavenly Father is so good to me. Prayers are heard and answered. The enabling power of the atonement is real. I have felt so lifted and enabled this past week. As you know, it's been rough for me lately. But as I have just completely turned everything over to my Heavenly Father, He has helped me. I've been able to turn to my Savior, knowing that He understands perfectly what I am experiencing and I've been enabled and strengthened. 

Monday night after our P-day we went to see L and the kids. We talked to J about how she was feeling about baptism. She told us that she was feeling better after seeing the rest of her family get baptized but still wasn't so sure. I left feeling so helpless. I didn't know what to tell her or how to help her resolve her concerns. Before bed that night, I just poured out my heart to Heavenly Father. I told him how I just wanted to help J to get baptized like the rest of her family did. I told him how I just want to be able to help my companion. I told him how I felt weak and that I needed His help. I felt such an overwhelming calm come over me at that moment. I didn't have all the answers but I just felt that everything was going to be okay.

Tuesday morning I received an answer to my prayers. We had just gotten back from our morning exercise and Sister B had gotten into the shower. I was in the other room but I heard the phone ringing. I ran to answer it and it was J. She said, "I've been thinking about baptism and I was wondering if it would be alright for me to get baptized on April 19th?" I could hardly believe my ears! I wanted to cry and jump up and down and everything at the same time. The Holy Ghost had worked on her and helped her to have the confidence she needed! We've been helping her this week to make plans for her baptism and she is really excited! I am so glad she is going to get baptized before the transfer is over in case one of us is transferred so that both Sis. B and I can be here to share the day with her.

Tuesday afternoon we had Zone Interviews with President Maxwell. I am so grateful for him. He said all the things that I needed to hear while I was in my interview with him. He is such a gentle giant. After interviews were over we had dinner with a Filipino family in our ward. Sis. G made me love Filipinos so much!

Wednesday morning we had district meeting and it was really good. We talked about how we can make our studies in the morning the most effective. I am so grateful for the time we have every morning to study. I especially love personal study. It's a one-hour appointment with the Lord every single day where I can receive knowledge and revelation.

Wednesday afternoon we had a lesson with L and the kids about missionary work. They are really excited about it, L especially! It was awesome to see them light up as we helped them realize how much they can do. Recent converts are some of the best missionaries!

Wednesday night we went to contact a referral from our district leader. It is this cute young couple. Neither of them is very religious but they seem really prepared! Amanda even told us that one of her New Year resolutions for this year was to start going to church. We have another appointment with them this week so it should be good!

Thursday we went tracting and unfortunately it didn't prove very successful; however, we met this really cute retired couple who were working in their yard. We got to talk with them for a little bit and at least bear our testimonies even though they weren't interested in having us come back. Also, they had a pomegranate tree growing in their yard and they gave us some! They are so yummy!

Friday we went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I got to spend the whole day in our area with Sister H! It was so fun to be with her again. We work well together! And she is so fun and happy. We started the day with L and the kids to teach them about General Conference. Then we contacted a couple of referrals. Then we went tracting. In the pouring rain. It was just like old times in Churchill Park. At one point we just got the giggles because it was raining so hard and we were so wet. Our last appointment before we switched back was with B. I miss teaching with Sister H. Even though we were only together for one transfer, we really teach in unity. We taught B the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went really well! At the end we were able to invite him to be baptized on May 17th and he accepted!

Friday night after I was back with Sister B we went with L to a ward RS dinner. The dinner was really fun. They had one table that was all decorated beautifully and then the other table was just bare, with a plastic bag full of paper plates and cups and plastic forks and spoons. As you arrived they assigned you to either one table or the other. At the end they explained that it was an analogy. The people on the nice table are those who had been visit taught and the ones on the other table were the ones who were forgotten. It was a good idea and a good night. L is loving making friends with people at church!

Saturday and Sunday we got to listen to General Conference! When we got to the chapel on Saturday, my package was there! Thank you so so much for the things you sent!! The shoes are perfect. I love the Easter countdown. We're going to use it with some members this week! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Ah, General Conference. I needed that. I feel like I have been spiritually feeding everyone else lately-- so it was so nice to just sit and be spiritually fed for the weekend. I felt like literally every talk had something just for me. Here's some of what I loved:

One thing I felt strongly through the whole conference was that things are just going to get worse. It's going to get harder and harder to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love Elder Holland's words about defending your faith. Elder Andersen said, "The world will not glide calmly toward the Second Coming." Elder Nelson talked of the need for us to let our faith show, and making sure that we are securely tied to God.

President Eyring- Righteousness cannot be forced, it must be chosen. If the blessings were immediate, choosing the right would not build faith. I also was touched by Elder Hales words about selective obedience.

Elder Scott's talk seemed to be just for me. One of the questions I had for Conference was how I can improve my teaching. His whole talk was perfect. One thing that I really felt strongly was the need to love those that I teach. I also liked that he talked about teaching with the vision of families being sealed in the temple. That is right in line with our mission focus right now.

Elder Cook's talk about family history and temple work. I have seen on the mission how I have changed and I am much more interested in this now. I can't wait to jump on the family history bandwagon when I get home!

The arrangement of "Let Us All Press On" that MoTab did on Sunday morning was beautiful!

President Uchtdorf! I needed this one. I need to focus on having an attitude of gratitude. I loved when he said, "Set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift the goblet of gratitude." Also about not forgetting to be grateful for the rain instead of just looking for the rainbow. I was also really struck when he said that gratitude is a catalyst to all of the Christ-like attributes.

I loved how Sister Stevens said "The Gospel is not weight, it is wings. It carries us." Also the quote from C.S. Lewis "I pray because I can't help it... it doesn't change God, it changes me." I have seen my prayers change so much since being a missionary. I literally can't help praying. I could never get in bed without praying first.

I think my favourite talk was Elder Bednar's. I've felt a real load lately and as I said earlier, the atonement has really blessed me to feel that load lightened this past week. I have taken the yoke of Christ upon me and things have been easier.

I could go on and on but I don't have time. Needless to say, I love General Conference! I can't wait to study the talks in the Ensign!

I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I couldn't do any of this without them. I love this gospel. I love being a missionary.

Love y'all heaps!

Sister Baker xxx

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Move into the realm of the miraculous"... Having four baptisms this week was so incredible! - 04/07/14

Melbourne Mission Moments

I love being a missionary. Seriously. I am so grateful to be here!

On Monday we went to the city with our Zone and went to the Eureka Sky Deck. It is so fun to be that high up and be able to see all of the city! I love the missionaries in our zone. We had a lot of fun. One fun thing we did was Sister Burton wrote down the name of the longest village in Wales and then we were recording everyone trying to say it. I learned how to say it! The village is called "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwch-llantysiliogogogoch" No joke. That's really how it's spelled. Crazy right?
Eureka Tower in Melbourne
Monday night we went to see L and the kids and we had FHE with them and another family in the ward. It was really good! L is so excited about doing it every week with her kids.

On Wednesday morning we had Zone Meeting. You know me, I love meetings. We have new zone leaders and they are so great! They gave some awesome training. The mission is going to be focusing a lot on finding families to teach. As we were being trained on this, I was thinking about how grateful I am to be able to teach L and her family. The other thing that I really loved was that they talked about faith and miracles. That is something I have actually been studying a lot lately. Over and over in the scriptures it tells us that miracles are a result of our faith. I am really trying to increase my faith so that I can continue to be blessed with miracles. They shared a quote by Elder Holland where he says to "." I have kind of adopted that as a motto for myself.

Wednesday night we had dinner with some members and had a typical Aussie dinner. They do a meat pie and then put mashed potatoes on top. Aussies are obsessed with their pies.

Thursday evening we had dinner with C's family and then went through the baptismal interview questions with C so he would be ready for his interview on Friday. He is such a smart boy. Basically everything we have taught him or told him, he remembers it. Not only does he remember it but he can repeat it back to you pretty much verbatim. He was so cute. He just kept saying how excited he was to get baptized.

Friday afternoon we went tracting for a few hours and it was terrible. Haha, not a single person gave us the time of day even to tell them who we are. I think normally I would have felt down and discouraged after it but this day I just found the whole thing kind of comical. The very last house that we knocked on the lady opened the door, took one look at us and just slammed the door. At this point I just lost it and could not stop laughing. I think it was one of those situations that you can either laugh or you can cry. Like Sister Hinckley, "I choose to laugh."

Saturday was the best day ever! In the morning L and two of her kids got baptized. Their baptism went perfectly! There were so many people from the ward who came and supported them. The chapel was full! As I watched them get baptized, I just felt overwhelmed with joy. I kept thinking of D&C 18:15-16. My joy was great.  Then as if three baptisms in the morning wasn't enough, in the afternoon C got baptized. His baptism was also wonderful. He was SO happy. And it was really awesome to see how much of their family who are either non-members or inactive came. Such a good day!

C was confirmed at his baptism on Saturday and then L and her kids got confirmed on Sunday in sacrament meeting. L was so happy after she was given the Holy Ghost. She leaned over and whispered to me, "You're right. You can't describe the way this feels. This is amazing." It was so sweet to hear her say that.

Last night we went to an Easter musical fireside which was really good. They sang some of my very favourite songs about the Savior. The song that touched me the most is one that I actually have never heard before called "Peace I Leave with You." It was so beautiful. I'll have to find out who it is by so you can hear it. It was so beautiful.

Having four baptisms this week was so incredible. I am so grateful to be able to assist Heavenly Father in this work. It is such a blessing. I love in Alma 43:45 where it talks about how they were successful because they were inspired by a better cause. What better cause could I be inspired by right now than to be able to bring people unto Christ? This morning I read in Alma 56 about how the stripling warriors talked about how their mothers had taught them. I am so grateful for parents who have taught me the right way and who so unfailingly support me.

Love y'all heaps!
Sister Baker

Yes, the member's house where we saw the kangaroos—they do live "out in the country." But in Australia they say, "out bush."

I am so excited to watch conference here next weekend! I love it!

Phillip- I love you. Keep working hard. I know that Heavenly Father has you in Patio for a reason. Haha I can never remember the name of your area so I just call it Patio. Oh cool story, we got off the train in the city and there was a man there who needed help getting directions. He spoke Spanish so the Elders called Sister B over. (She speaks Spanish because they lived in Spain for 18 months.) Well it turns out that the man was from Peru! He was in Australia dropping his daughter off who is going to University here. Sister B introduced us as missionaries and before she could even say the name of the church, he said it. He has met missionaries heaps of times in Peru. We didn't have too long to talk to him after we helped him figure out where he was going because he needed to catch his train but hopefully he remember the nice missionaries who helped him in Australia and he will listen to missionaries when he gets back to Peru! Keep working hard! I love you!

I too feel like I can raise my Ebenezer. . . - 03/31/14

Melbourne Mission Moments

I can't believe that I've been doing this for more than a year now! So crazy!

We had a really good week this week!

Monday after we finished our emails I was thinking about how badly I need a haircut. I've been putting it off and putting it off but I decided that enough was enough and I just needed to do it. And I'm so glad I did! She did a really good job and still left a lot of length but all of my ends are SO much healthier now!

After our p-day was over we had a lesson with L and her kids to teach them about Tithing. Again, I was a bit afraid that this might be the thing that presents a problem--but nope! They have paid tithing before and are more than happy to continue. It's awesome to see how much faith L has. They are saving as much as possible because they want to move to Tasmania but she still has the faith to know that if she pays tithing, the Lord will make everything work out.

Tuesday morning I was asked to give a training at district meeting on diligence. I was studying all morning and really praying to know what Heavenly Father wanted me to share with the other missionaries. I randomly remembered how mom had sent me a copy of Jordan Schouten's last letter from his mission in Paraguay. As I pulled it out and started re-reading it, I felt really impressed that I needed to share it. So I did. And everyone was really touched by it and asking me for copies. So, thanks to Jordan. I bet he didn't ever think that a bunch of missionaries in Australia would be touched and motivated by his words.
With my flat mates!
Tuesday evening we had dinner with some members. They have a beautiful house that is on quite a lot of property. We were in the middle of eating when Sister B freaked out. We looked out the big windows and there were at least 50 kangaroos hopping across their hill! It was so crazy! They got to a fence that they obviously wanted to get over and the fence was about 4 feet tall. Well, I found out that kangaroos can bounce really high! They all just bounced right over the fence. It was amazing! Only in Australia!

Beautiful Melbourne Skies
 After dinner we went to New Beginnings with L and her daughters. They LOVED it! J is especially excited to do personal progress. The ward is being so awesome about fellowshipping them!

Thursday was my one year mark! Sister H and Sister R surprised me by stopping by in the morning! It was so good to see them! Especially Sister H since I haven't seen her since she left for Tasmania!  It was Sister R's birthday as well so it was good to see her and give her a big birthday hug! I am seriously so grateful for those sisters. We've built friendships as missionaries that are going to last for a long time.
Love these sisters!
We had a lesson with C Thursday afternoon and taught him a lot of the commandments. C is so smart. We hardly have to teach him anything because he knows most everything just from going to Primary. After that we had dinner with a cute family in the ward. He is the YM president and I am really impressed by them. They are always asking what they can do to help us. They are really fellowshipping L and her kids which is awesome. They suggested we have a combined FHE tonight to show L and the kids what FHE is. It should be really good!

Friday afternoon we had another lesson with B. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he loved it! You could see how his eyes were lit up differently after the lesson. He asked so many good questions in the lesson. It was awesome!

Saturday morning L and her kids invited us over for breakfast which was really fun. We had delicious pancakes. Something I learned--apparently it's pretty common here and also in England. Most people in Australia don't put maple syrup on pancakes. They do fruit a lot but if not they do sugar and squeeze the juice from a lemon on it. It sounds so weird but it is so good! Seriously, try it. After breakfast we had a lesson about baptism and the baptismal covenants. The spirit was so strong and they all said they were excited to be baptized on April 5th. That afternoon they came to a baptism with us which was really good.

Saturday night we got a phone call from J. She said that she still wanted to be baptized, but not on the 5th. We went over to talk to her and find out what her concerns were. We just sat out on the porch with her and talked. She said she felt a little overwhelmed like she couldn't live up to expectations that people had. We were able to open up the scriptures with her and read and she felt the spirit. She still isn't sure about this weekend but I really just feel at peace like everything is going to work out fine.

Sunday at church we had a huge miracle and we had 8 investigators there! Seriously that is amazing! I've never had more than 4 and we doubled that! It brings me so much joy when people come to church. I love it!

After church we went and finished teaching the commandments to C and helped plan his baptismal program. He is ready to go and will be getting baptized on Saturday!

Then yesterday evening we went to see L and the kids. We took baptism clothes so we could figure out what fit them, we filled out all their baptismal records, and we planned their baptismal program. Everything is ready to go pretty much. L and two of her kids will all for sure be getting baptized on Saturday. It is such a miracle. I am so grateful to be able to teach this family! I love them so much!

Something that was said at church yesterday that really stuck me was a quote that said, "Never suppress a generous thought." I really loved it and I want to really apply it this week!

I'm continuing to read the Book of Mormon and learning so much. I loved Mosiah 23:10. I feel like it really applies to me right now. I have been working so hard and wanting to see people come unto Christ and be baptized and now this weekend I finally get to see the fruit of my labors. But really, I feel like Alma in Alma 26. I can't boast in myself because I know that if I was left to myself, I could not do anything as a missionary. It's because of the Lord that I can do these things. I love Mosiah 4:19 and the idea that we are all beggars--we are all so indebted to our Heavenly Father. He blesses us so much.

Along with that thought, another thing I learned this week is about the word Ebenezer. I have always loved the song "Come thou Fount," but I never knew exactly what the word Ebenezer means. To be honest, hearing the word Ebenezer just makes me think of Ebenezer Scrooge. Well, I learned this week that it comes from 1 Samuel 7:12 when they raise the Ebenezer stone saying "hitherto hath the Lord helped us." And in the footnotes it tells us that Ebenezer stone is the stone of help. Now the phrase, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I've come," means so much more to me. I too feel like I can raise my Ebenezer, this week especially. I have been a missionary for a year now and I know that it is with the Lord's help that I have been able to come this far. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows and loves me and is always there ready to help me.

Love you all heaps!

Sister Baker xxx