Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sisters Conference - I love the Sisters in this mission so much! - 05/19/14

Tassie Times

Where do I even start? I feel like I have so much to tell you since I didn't get to email last week.

I'll start with two weeks ago…

Hike to top of Allum Cliffs
Monday we had such a fun p-day! Some wonderful members in the ward paid for us to go and do some really fun things! First we went to the honey farm which was really cool. They have like 20 different honeys that you can taste and honey products galore. The best part is the honey ice cream. It was so delicious! After that we went on a hike up to a place called Allum Cliffs. The view was incredible. Tasmania is so beautiful! The view actually reminded me a lot of Mesa Falls, except without the falls part. You'll have to Google it so you can see what it looks like. After that we went to Trowunna Wildlife Park--my favourite part of the day! We got to see lots of Tassie Devils and then we got to be with tons of Wallabies that just eat right out of your hand! We also saw kookaburras, wombats, and echidnas. It was awesome. A real Aussie experience! Before we did all those things, we went grocery shopping. We didn't think we bought anything cold so we just left it all in the car all day. Well, later we remembered that we bought chicken... Oops! Oh well.
At Trowunna Wildlife Park - a real Aussie experience!
Love the wallabies!
Tasmanian Devils
Me and Sister R. feeding the wallabies
Tuesday we had district meeting. After district meeting we had the Launceston Sisters over for lunch. I made Bajio chicken in the crockpot and it was really good! That afternoon we visited several less actives. First we saw a lady who I have affectionately started calling Nana Trixie. She's like 85 years old and is so cute! She was 80 when she got baptized! You're never too old to accept the gospel! After that we saw the family whose son we are teaching to help him get ready for baptism. Then we had dinner with a sweet older lady in the ward. She's so cute. She's leaving soon to go visit her daughter in America and she is starting to get stressed but she is so excited to see her grandchildren. :)

Wednesday morning we did some tracting. While we were tracting we met a man outside his house. He started asking some really good questions and I really felt like we needed to tell him about the restoration. I started teaching and realized that I got through every point of the restoration in about 3 minutes. I remember in the MTC when they told us to do it in five minutes and I thought it was impossible--it's times like this that make me realize how much I've grown as a missionary! Wednesday afternoon we had plans to go and visit a less-active family on the list who we didn't know. We put their address into the GPS and started driving. Well, the GPS took us on a wild goose chase and we were driving like up a mountain. We ended up driving all the way to the great lakes that are like in the middle of Tasmania. I felt so stupid. You'd think that we would figure out that we were going the wrong way. But our area is huge and I didn't really think anything of it. When we realized how lost we were and how far we'd gone in the wrong direction, it was one of those moments that you can either cry or you can laugh. Well, I started laughing. Like crying, laughing. I felt so stupid and ridiculous. But, on the bright side, we now know that is not where they live, AND we got to see a beautiful view at the top of a mountain.  Wednesday night we had dinner with C and her children. They are the cutest family ever. We taught them about Heavenly Father and about prayer. We committed them to have family prayer every day. Before we left we knelt down to have a prayer and the 11 year old daughter said the prayer. As soon as she finished the 9 year old son asked if he could pray too. Well, absolutely! It was so cute. Unfortunately they are a super busy family so it's hard to be able to teach them but they have a lot of potential!

Thursday afternoon we had a lesson with a man in his 70s who is quite opinionated and we were having a hard time bringing the spirit into the lesson. But then we sang A Child's Prayer and the spirit came. I don't know how much he'll progress but we'll see this week when we teach him again.

Saturday morning we saw a part member family. The dad is less-active and the mum is not a member. But the dad's entire family are members of the ward and are active, his dad is the new bishop. We're really hoping to be able to build a good relationship with them and help him come back to church and hopefully we can build a good relationship with his wife too.

Sunday at church we got a new bishop which was crazy! But I think it is going to be so good. It was SO good to be able to Skype you guys on Sunday! I still can't believe how much McKay's voice has changed and how tall he is! CRAZY! Sunday night we had dinner with the new bishop and all his kids and grandkids. We shared a message about the stripling warriors and how their mother's taught them and then we had everyone share something that their mother had taught them. Ha, I realized that is a very Twitchell thing to do. Sunday night we had to get all packed to go to Melbourne.

And now for this past week…

Monday morning we left at 7:00 am to go to the Launceston airport. We met the Launceston sisters there and the four of us flew to Melbourne together. When we got to Melbourne we had to wait there for about an hour and a half for the sisters from Hobart to fly in. We were all starving so we ate at one of my favourite restaurants-- Nandos! It's so yummy. After the Hobart sisters got in, a senior couple picked us up in a mission van and took us to the office. We spent the p-day with the other sisters. We made a bunch of blankets for a women's shelter and played a bunch of games together and then we had a yummy soup and salad dinner. After that we went down to Narre Warren (Sister H and Sister R’s area). All of the Tassie sisters stayed there so there were 8 of us. We all split up and visited people in their area. I went with Sister H to teach a 17 year old boy. I love teaching with Sister H. Love her. Another funny story… that night I decided I'd shower at night because there were 8 of us and there would only be limited time in the morning. Well, it turns out that they have absolutely no hot water at night. Haha it was the coldest shower I have ever taken. I couldn't even breathe. We all just slept on the floor that night in blankets and sleeping bags which was fun.

Tuesday morning we got up and got ready then headed to Sister's conference. It was so good! I love the Sisters in this mission so much. It was so good to be with all of them and we had the best trainings! A few thoughts that I loved from the day:
  • When you forget yourself, God will send people to remember you for you.
  • Let your companion shine where she shines--even if you can shine there too. Let her shine.
  • Love is the greatest motivator.
  • Is this time to fill the tank or is it the time to lose ourselves and go to work? (taking time to take care of yourself)
  • At the end of your mission be able to count the memories and not the missed opportunities.
  • The difference between salvation and exaltation is a family.
  • Our purpose doesn't change much after the mission--eternal family needs to be our purpose.
  • When you have decisions to make, remember that you are affecting generations to come.
  • Use this opportunity as a missionary to prepare to be a mother who knows.
I could go on and on. It was so good. It was also so good to see Sister B. She is doing so well!
Sisters Conference!
Me and Sister R
All my daughters and granddaughters!
My MTC group

I love Sister S! 
After Sisters conference the Assistants were in the office. Feeling the stress of needing to decide things for school and stuff after the mission, I asked them to give me a blessing. The blessing was perfect. And it was a perfect lead in to going to the temple that night. I am so grateful that we got to go to the temple. I love the temple. I was really pondering and asking Heavenly Father about where I'm supposed to go to school, what I'm supposed to study, etc. The very clear answer came. I'm so grateful for answers from my Heavenly Father and for the knowledge that I gained. Besides schooling, I've felt so strongly throughout my whole mission that this is preparing me so much to be a wife and a mother.

Tuesday night we stayed at the mission home which is always a blessing. I love President and Sister Maxwell so much! Wednesday morning we were all just sitting and doing our personal study when President came in and asked if he could talk to me. We went in to his office and he said that the APs had told him that I had asked for a blessing and he was just checking to see what he could do to help me. I am so grateful for President and the time he takes to focus on the one.

Wednesday afternoon we flew back to Launceston and got in about 3:00. We had dinner with a wonderful family that night and then we met with our ward mission leader.

A huge miracle happened on Thursday! We were at the family history center and I had a bit of time to work on my own lines. I was working on that Lydia Twitchell (the one I told you about on Skype)... Well guess what! I was able to find her husband and her 10 children! And now I have it reserved to do all of their temple work! We can all go to the temple together after I am home and do the work for this entire family! I am so happy! I thought that too much of my family history work was done and that I would never be able to find names to take to the temple but I found 12!!

Friday we had a really good lesson with S. S was taught previously by the sisters but she has been but she's back. She has some health challenges but she is awesome! We were able to set a baptismal date with her for the 14th of June!
Gotta love farm towns!

Sunday was really good. Church was wonderful. I am so grateful to be able to take the sacrament every week. And we had 3 investigators there which was awesome! After church we did some tracting and we met a beautiful woman named H who we can go back and see this week. We also had some pretty interesting conversations with a Jehovah Witness lady.

I feel like so much has happened. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love it, love it, love it! I love you all!

Love you heaps!

Sister Baker xxx

Friday, May 23, 2014

Setting Goals is an Act of Faith - 05/05/14

Tassie Times

Where does the time go? We had a good week this week!

On Monday we got our emails and shopping done and then we spent the rest of the day cleaning the flat and writing letters and stuff. We had dinner that night with the stake president and his family. They have three little girls who are absolutely gorgeous!

Tuesday morning we had district meeting. After that we went tracting for a while. Then we had a lesson with a less-active family. Their son recently turned 8 but because they haven't been overly active lately they don't feel like he can be baptized until he is taught all of the lessons. So we are teaching him every week. Seems like all I do is teach 8-9 year old little boys. But I love it! After that we had dinner with the sweetest older couple in the ward. They are both so sweet. I don't remember how but somehow we got talking about L and her family and how they want to move down to Tasmania so badly. As soon as I said that he told me that the ward, especially the bishopric, has been praying for move-ins to the ward. He asked me to get in contact with L and see if she would let me give them her contact details so that they can communicate with her and help her to get her family moved down here. As he told me this, it felt so right. I felt like maybe that is the reason I needed to come to Tasmania. So that night I got permission from the assistants to call L. She was so surprised when I called. Oh I just love her. As soon as I started explaining the conversation that took place at dinner, she just started to cry. She told me she had been praying just that day that somehow she would have some help getting to Tassie because she didn't feel like she could do it on her own. I am so happy about this. She would love it here and their family would fit so well. And the members here would take good care of them.

Wednesday we had a lesson with an investigator. Basically the lesson was all over the place. He hardly listened to what we said and just kept talking about the things that other religions believe and stuff. We left and decided that we needed to have one more lesson with him and really be bold with him.

Thursday morning we were in the family history center again. I don't know if it's just because it's a small town and word gets around easier or what but the family history center is so busy! It's awesome! After that we had a lesson with an older couple. It was another train wreck. She has pretty bad dementia and she can't remember anything for more than about five minutes. So that makes teaching her pretty much impossible. He is Bahai (not sure how to spell it). I don't know much about it but it seems like a pretty different religion. He basically just argued the whole time. So needless to say, we won't be going back there.
Found this Mapleine in the flat... you better believe I made pancakes with maple syrup!

Me and Sister R after the drive to Hobart
By about 4:30 we had to run home and hurry and pack an overnight bag and then we hopped in the car to drive down to Hobart to stay the night before our Zone Conference with Elder Hamula. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive down to Hobart. Sister R and I and the Launceston Sisters stayed with a member down there. We had to get up really early on Friday morning and leave by 6:45 am to go to our conference with Elder Hamula. Ah, it was so good. He and Sister Hamula both spoke to us and it was so uplifting. I feel like I received so much revelation. Elder Hamula talked a lot about how the Book of Mormon provides a witness and how it increases faith. He also talked a lot about planning and goal setting. He said that our mission needs to improve on this to lift the mission. The things he said really impressed me and I have such a desire to improve. The thing that he said that I loved the most is that whether or not we reach our goals is not what is important--that setting goals is an act of faith and we are successful if we do everything in our power to achieve that goal, not that we actually achieve it. My mind flashed right back to last November-December when I was serving with Sister Stevenson. Every companionship was supposed to baptize before Christmas and Sister Stevenson and I were doing all in our power to be able to do so. And yet it didn't happen. I was devastated and felt like I had failed. But we didn't. We did all in our power and we worked hard. The Lord doesn't judge results, he judges efforts. Satan is the one who wants me to feel like a failure.

After the conference ended, the whole zone went to Pizza Hut for the buffet lunch which was really fun! On the drive down to Hobart our brakes had been acting a little funny so we had to get them checked before we could drive back. We ended up not being able to head back until 4:45. Then it was raining like crazy and everyone was driving slower because of it so it took us ages to finally get back. I have never wanted to be out of a car so badly in my life.

Saturday morning the ward had a Super Service Saturday where everyone goes and deep cleans the chapel which was really good. I love the members here. They are great!
Me and Sister R at the Super Service Saturday!

Church on Sunday was really good! We had 4 investigators come to sacrament meeting which was awesome! After church we grabbed one of the young women and did some tracting and then took her to a lesson with M. We really took control of this lesson and were bold and it went a lot better. We invited him to be baptized on May 24th and he accepted, conditional on his finding that the Book of Mormon was true. I was actually really surprised that he accepted. Unfortunately we got a message from him later last night and he dropped us. Bummer huh?

Overall it's been a good week! We are doing a lot of finding trying to build a solid teaching pool! Hopefully we find some golden investigators soon!

I love y'all heaps and heaps!

Sister Baker xxx

P.S. The ward boundaries are pretty big. We try to spread out but we've mostly been in Deloraine and Westbury thus far.