Tuesday, April 8, 2014

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

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