Monday, July 14, 2014

I felt His love in such an overwhelming way that I couldn't help but cry. - 6/30/14

Tassie Times 06/30/14

Cutest puppy ever!
Awesome house here in Deloraine!
The biggest pear I've ever seen!
I can't believe it's almost July! So crazy! I wish it was as warm here as you all are having. We had cold, wet, rainy weather most of the week this week. But other than that, it was a really good week!

Monday afternoon we got a message from E (one of the best members in our ward!) asking us if we wanted to go to lunch at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm with her and her friend named Lel who we are hoping to start teaching soon. Obviously, we agreed. Everyone talks about how yummy the Raspberry Farm is and I've wanted to go since we got here. It was as good as everyone said. Waffles with raspberries and raspberry ice cream... YUM! After that we came back to Deloraine and wanted to go inside some of the little shops that they have on the main road. Unfortunately, most of them weren't open. In Australia a lot of stores aren't open on Monday. Also, most stores close by 5 pm every day. It's so different than America where almost everything is open until at least 9 pm. That night we had dinner with one of the T families. (There are 5 families of Ts in our ward, all related.) After that we went to see S. She didn't remember much that we've taught her. I left feeling totally confused and not knowing at all what to do.

Tuesday morning we had district meeting and we were talking to the other missionaries for advice on what to do with S. There was a lot of good discussion and ideas given but most of them are things that we had already tried. Then Elder Pain raised his hand and talked about sometimes we don't see the results we want (aka baptisms) on our missions but that we still have the opportunity to impact people's lives in a big way so that later down the track, they will remember the love that they received from the missionaries and it will make them that much more ready to accept the gospel. It was exactly what I needed to hear. It reminded me of C and A in Churchill Park. They may not have gotten baptized but I know that we left a lasting impact with them. We have talked with our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader and have decided to scale things back. We will still go around and be friends with her and read the Book of Mormon with her but we're not going to stress teaching the gospel right now because, she's not prepared to understand it.

Tuesday afternoon Sister R and Sister S came up from Glen Huon. The four of us went to a couple of lessons together. We went and saw B. She's so cute. Haha funny story. Before we left, we asked if there was anything that we could do for her. She said,"Well, you can make a cup of tea for me." Figuring that she'd have some sort of herbal tea, I told her I'd love to. Sister R and I went into the kitchen and I realized that she only had black tea--aka against the word of wisdom tea. I was like, oh shoot. I can't make tea for a less active member. Thankfully, Sister R was thinking on her toes. "B, how would you like a Milo?" She said that would be great. Thank goodness. I wouldn't feel right if I helped someone break the word of wisdom! After that we had a lesson with G. We were trying to teach about tithing but man was it hard! I swear his attention span that day was smaller than an ant. But we got through the lesson and I think he understood. The four of us had dinner with E and A that night. They are seriously the best. They are a young couple who are so in love and have the most adorable 2 year old named S. They got us Pizza Hut for dinner as a treat because there are absolutely NO pizza places in Deloraine. After that we went to the chapel because the Primary had asked us to come to their Faith in God activity. They had been making care packages for the missionaries that are serving from this ward. They had also made packages for Sister H and me. It was so cute. They gave us a basket full of stuff: chocolate, hand sanitizer, post-it notes, pens, tights, etc. While we were at the chapel, we popped in to say hi to the Young Women. J was there with them. They were working on a personal progress thing where they had to draw the plan of salvation. J was really excited because we had just taught it to her the week before.

Wednesday I was on exchanges most of the day with Sister S. Love her! We had a really good day. We did some finding and met a few really solid people that we have return appointments with this week. It's always great to go on exchanges and see how another sister does things. I always feel like I learn so much. The STLs left about 5 pm and then I was back with Sister H. It's funny, even though exchanges are fun and great, it is always so good to get back to your companion. We went to C's that night and had a short lesson with them. They all have been using their prayer rocks and loving them. J even wanted to take his to school for show-and-tell. C said that she wouldn't be able to come to church on Sunday because it was the twins birthday party that day but J wanted to come before the party so we arranged a ride for her.

Thursday morning we were in the family history center again. Man, family history is so cool. There is one guy who comes every single week named D. He loves finding out about his ancestors and putting all the pieces together. It's cool to see the spirit of Elijah working in people, even if they don't know that is what is happening. We were running low on Ks for the month so we decided that we would walk. After visiting some people, we stopped by a member’s home to borrow their bikes for a few days. It seemed like a great idea! Well, it wasn't that great. Haha the ride back up to our flat from their house it uphill the entire way! Man it was hard! It got to a point that we both just gave up and walked our stinking bikes. By the time we got back to the flat, we had to just stick them in the garage and jump in the car to go to our dinner appointment. We had dinner with the cutest older couple! G is 88 but you would never notice! Such a spry guy! After dinner with them we had Ward Council which was really good.
Gotta love bike helmets!
We love bikes!
Since the whole zone was running low on Ks, every companionship had to pick a day to have a car fast. We decided that we would do Friday and Saturday. We had it all worked out. We had the bikes to use and everything. Well, the weather decided to be horrible and it rained all day both days. So we didn't end up using the bikes. Instead we walked everywhere with boots, raincoats and umbrellas. And it wasn't even bad. It was actually kind of fun.
Smiling even though it's raining. :)

So sad my umbrella broke :(

Friday afternoon we went to S's to see how she was doing. Sister H was sitting on one of her chairs and kind of leaned on it and the leg kind of cracked and was bending the wrong way. She went to pull the leg out where it was supposed to be and the leg completely snapped off! I'm not sure why, but both of us found it hilarious and could not stop laughing! We felt so bad but I think it was another one of those moments that you can either laugh or cry. We promised her that we would fix it and took it with us to A and E's. A is great and it is completely fixed now! Thank goodness! 
Laughing about the broken chair
Saturday we had lunch with a sweet Filipina in our ward. She is so sweet and makes really good food! The best is the fried bananas! So yummy! After that we went to an aged care facility here in Deloraine to give service by visiting with the residents. As we went in, there was a woman that was leaving. She LOVED our American accents and ended up inviting us to her house! We didn't even have to ask. She seems awesome, I can't wait to go see her this week and start teaching her! As we were visiting the residents, I had so many memories of Country Care. I miss the job, but at the same time I really don't. I miss the residents, but I don't miss the night shifts. Haha one of the residents that we were talking to was so funny! She had really bad dementia and was kind of rude and it reminded me so much of one of the residents at Country Care. After we finished there, we went home to change and then we rode in to Launceston with some members for a stake volleyball tournament. It was really fun and there was a huge turnout!

Church on Sunday was really good! J came and she really enjoyed it! I had to give a talk in Sacrament meeting. I was stressing about it all week because they told me 20 minutes and that I would be the final speaker. Final speaker?! Stressful. Anyway, my topic was "Recognizing the Spirit--Personal Revelation." It went really well. I usually get nervous when I actually stand up there but I didn't feel nervous at all. And the 20 minutes went really quickly. It's times like that that I get a small glimpse of how much I have changed on the mission. I would never have been able to do that before the mission. I always had to have everything I was going to say typed out. Now I can just get up with a few notes. After church we went to try to have a lesson. I say tried because she talked so much that we could hardly get a word in. I feel like that happens a lot on a mission. How do you get people to stop talking so that they can actually listen to our message? Before we went to dinner, we stopped by to talk to our neighbor. He has had the discussions before and knows most of the members. He is the nicest man. He's always bringing our bins back in from the road for us or closing our garage when we forget to--such a great guy. Anyway, we stopped by to talk to him yesterday and asked him when we could have a lesson.  It was like he was just waiting for us to ask! We'll have a lesson with him later this week! We had dinner with Bishop and D and it was so yummy! She made spaghetti Bolognese. The Bolognese had so many vegetables in it--capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli. So good! They are such good missionaries. They literally seek for missionary opportunities every day, wherever they go. And since they seek them so earnestly, they have them!

We're still teaching seminary every morning, not sure when they will be calling a new teacher.

One experience I'll share-- on Saturday night as we were planning, it took us forever. We were trying to plan what we'd teach people and I just felt like I was getting absolutely nothing and it was quite frustrating. We finally finished and had to quickly get ready for bed. I was feeling a bit down and discouraged as I knelt by my bed to pray. I prayed telling Heavenly Father that I was feeling like I couldn't receive the revelation I needed for people, feeling like I was doing something wrong. I needed to feel His love and His approval. And it came. I felt His love in such an overwhelming way that I couldn't help but cry. I knew so strongly then that He was proud of me and that I was doing the things that I needed to. I am so grateful for the answers to prayer that come right when we need them.

Love you all heaps and heaps!
Sister Baker xxx

P.S. Another thing. This week in PMG I was reading about helping people overcome addictions. It talks about giving up some habit or something that you love so that you can better relate with people when you ask them to give up smoking or alcohol. I decided to give up treats and desserts. I started on Wednesday and have been perfect for 5 days. And it's cool because when members make dessert, I don't have to feel bad for saying no. I just explain to them why I'm not eating it. It's been great! 

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