Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tasmania is SO PRETTY! - 06/10/14

Tassie Times

This week was crazy!

Monday morning after we emailed, Sister R wanted to go say goodbye to a few people. After that we ran home to get all of her stuff. I had to pack an overnight bag to take to Launceston to stay there for a few days. As we started driving to Launceston, all of a sudden our car was making a terrible noise. I thought it was a flat tire or something. All I was thinking about was how I have no idea how to fix anything if something goes wrong. Luckily there was a road work guy who saw us pull over and he fixed the problem in all of about two seconds. So grateful that he was there. Tender mercy for sure! We spent a few hours in Launceston with the sisters and then we drove out to the airport to drop off Sister R. Then Sister S and Sister K became my companions. :) We went to have dinner with two really sweet ladies in their ward who are both facing pretty big challenges-- one just lost her husband and the other is fighting breast cancer. The spirit was so strong and we had a wonderful lesson. After that we had FHE with some members and their investigator. She is 16 and so sweet. She's getting baptized in a couple of weeks. That night I had to make a bed for myself on the floor at their flat out of extra blankets. As I was snuggling down onto the not-so-comfortable floor, I couldn't help but feel so blessed. I'm serving in Australia where I have all the comforts of life. I was thinking about Phil in Peru and how he didn't even have water to shower one time. I am so so blessed to be in Australia!
Saying goodbyes to Sister R at the airport.

Tuesday morning we spent a lot of the time helping the RS president in Launceston get a flat ready for the Elders. There haven't been Elders in Launceston for about 10 months so we had to get the flat all cleaned out and furnished, etc. After that we saw a family in the ward and had a lesson and then we helped an old lady do some packing as she is getting ready to move next week. We had dinner with some really wonderful members who had also invited S and D over. S and D are in Tasmania for 4 months studying. They are from Kiribati (pronounced Kiribus) I want to visit Kiribati so badly now! They were such amazing people and have the strongest testimonies! When we finished dinner we went to see a woman and her non-member husband. She is American and grew up in Orem, Utah. Her husband apparently used to want nothing to do with the church but he's opened up a lot in the past few months and the Sisters are starting to teach him which is really cool. When we finished the lesson there, we had to drive out to the airport to pick up the Elders that were flying down from Melbourne. It was SUPER foggy as we drove down and I wondered if the flight might not be able to land. We waited at the airport for about 45 minutes and then they told us that the flight had been circling around Launceston but that they were going back to Melbourne because it was too foggy to land. Ha, so we went to the airport for nothing. The Elders from Devonport and Burnie were also there to pick up their new companions and it was too far of a drive for them to go all the way back that night just to come back to the airport in the morning so we made arrangements for them to stay with a member in Launceston.

Wednesday morning we had a lesson with a less-active member which went really well. I had never met her before but during the lesson I felt such an overwhelming love for her. I love moments like that. I feel like it is a bit of a glimpse of what Heavenly Father feels for each of us. After the lesson we drove out to pick up the Elders. Their flight got in without a problem but then they lost one of the Elders bags so we ended up there for almost an hour extra to try to find the bag. Don't ask me how a bag gets lost just going from Melbourne to Launceston but apparently it does. We finally left with the airline telling us that they would deliver the bag. We dropped off the Elders stuff to their flat and then drove them to the store so they could buy food. Then we had a lesson with a girl named H. She is so sweet. Her fiancĂ© G got home right before we left and he ended up really opening up about his concerns about coming to church but his desire to change and get rid of some of the guilt that he feels. Before we left, he asked if he could say the prayer and it was one of the most beautiful, heart-felt prayers I have ever heard. We had dinner that night with a wonderful couple. Crazy, but he told us that his brother lives in America and works at Mr. Mac! They showed me a picture of him and I am pretty sure I remember him from the store. If I remember right he's a kind of short guy with dark hair. Wednesday night President Maxwell called and did my Ecclesiastical Endorsement over the phone so that's all done and out of the way. I love President Maxwell so much. He always makes me feel so loved and appreciated.

Thursday morning the Launceston sisters did their weekly planning so I had a couple of hours to just do some extra studying. I love the scriptures so much! I am always so grateful when I have some extra time to study them. If there is one thing I have learned on the mission, I have learned to love the scriptures. About noon we left to drive out to the airport to pick up my golden. Her name is Sister H! She's from Arizona and has the same birthday as Phil). After we picked her up we dropped off the Launceston sisters at their flat and we drove back to Deloraine. It's such a beautiful drive. Tasmania is SO PRETTY! When we got back to Deloraine, Sister H unpacked a bit and then we had to go to the store to get groceries since Sister R and I didn't buy anything Monday because we knew we'd be gone most of the week. That night we had dinner with a family in the ward. They are what an Australian would call bogan or as we would say redneck. Seriously, they live on a farm and are just farm people. They have about a billion animals. They have a cockatoo that dances to music which is pretty funny.
Me and my new companion, Sister H!
Friday morning we got up stinking early to go on a quick walk then hurry and get ready to go to Seminary at 6:30. The Bishop has asked us to teach seminary for the next few weeks until they can get a new teacher called. There are only two people that come to seminary but I think it will be good, even if it does mean getting up early every day. Blessings will come for sure. We had morning tea with some members from my last area who were visiting Tasmania! It was so fun to see them! Sister H got to try her first Aussie meat-pie and she loved it! We had a lesson with S that afternoon which went really well. We were able to set a baptismal date with her for June 28th. Sarah is hard though. She has real health issues and we're not sure how to help her. Some days she seems to understand everything and then the next time we go back, she doesn't remember any of it. But we'll just keep working with her and see how things go. After the lesson with S, I took Sister H tracting for her first time. The very first house we knocked on was a woman who said she was a witch and wiggled her fingers at us. Haha it was crazy! We also met a JW man who was 87 years old and tried to tell us we didn't know what we were talking about. I felt bad that he wouldn't listen at all. Friday night we went to the RS activity and brought S. It was a pamper night which was really fun. They had stuff to do facials and pedicures and stuff. It was a really good activity and everyone loved it, especially S.
Meeting for morning tea with members from Mooroolbark (my previous area)
 Saturday afternoon the STLs (Sister Training Leaders) came to visit us quickly before driving back down to Glen Huon (they had been in Launceston doing exchanges with the sisters there). Sister R is a STL down here now which I am so happy about. Seeing her brings me such absolute joy. It was so good to have a little visit from her and Sis. S. The Sisters in this mission are so amazing! After that we went to the Stake President's house and had a lesson with their family. Then we had dinner with J W and her family. J is really my second mum here. I love her so much. And she is an amazing cook!
Me and Sister H
Visit from the STLs
Me and Sister R!
Sunday was really good. S came to church and really enjoyed it! Sunday afternoon we did a bit of finding and then went out to Westbury to visit some members and have dinner there. We had dinner with a wonderful family! We visited another family before going home. When we got home, we realized that the phone was gone! We really needed to call in our stats for the week so we went to a member's house that lives just around the corner. We called our district leader from there and then called the houses we had been at to try to find our phone. No luck. We still haven't found it. If we don't find it today, we're going to have to get a new one. It's the craziest thing. Neither one of us can figure out what the heck happened to it.
The church in Deloraine
View of the mountains from the church
Yesterday we had district p-day. We all went to Liffey Falls. It was beautiful and a lot of fun! I'll send pictures of it!

District P-Day at Liffey Falls

I am so grateful to be a missionary. Every day I count my blessings to be living here in Tasmania being able to share the gospel that I love so much with those around me. It's amazing.

I love you all heaps!

Sister Baker xxx

P.S. Sounds like the weather at home is perfect. I'm jealous. It's cold here. 

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