Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dont Go Breaking My Heart

Well this week has probably been one of the hardest weeks of my mission...but I've never learned so much so fast. Last week while we were weekly planning, I felt really inspired to set a goal of having 3 baptisms with Adriana, Melanoa and Heppy. BACKGROUND: Adriana is the 13 yr old girl who the missionaries have been teaching since April or May and who's dad finally gave her permission to be baptized a few weeks ago. Adriana has the purest desire to be baptized...she truly just wants to be forgiven of the things she's done in the past and be perfectly clean. She wants to do what she knows will make Heavenly Father happy. Melanoa and Heppy are sisters and are 12 and 9. They are members of a less active Tongan family in the English Ward who wanted sisters to teach them. They were supposed to be baptized about a month ago but every weekend something has come up...they've moved, were out of town, their brother had a football game, so on and so forth. At the beginning of the week, We promised Heavenly Father that we would do everything we possibly could in our power to make these baptisms happen. I have never worked so hard or desired to reach a goal so bad in my life as I did this week. With Melanoa and Heppy it was really hard because they live farther away and their parents are never home for us to talk to and their mom works nights. But we tried every single day...several times a day, to contact their parents. With their moms difficult schedule we had to find out from her kids what times she was awake and set alarms sporadically throughout the day for us to call her. But when We'd finally talk to their mom and she would tell us that she would get back to us after she talked to her husband and then never would. It was so frustrating. We kept planning the baptism like it was going to happen though and had everything set up but when it came down to it...it wasn't able to happen. But, because we worked as hard as we did to teach them and plan their baptism, we were able to find out the real reason why their parents kept pushing their baptism back and are able to help them and their family so much better now. Ok now Adriana.  Where do I begin. Well we have taught Adriana pretty much every single day for the past 2 weeks. We have talked to her dad whenever we saw him and reminded him about her baptism. We told him that he could choose whatever hour he wanted on Saturday from 10am to 9pm to have her baptism and we scheduled it for 4pm on Sat. So on Saturday morning, as soon as we got back from Tampa we went and visited Adriana and made sure everything was all set for her baptism. It was 11am and she was already getting herself ready for it haha. We made sure everything was all good with her mother in law to take her and she was like yup! 4pm we will all be there! 4 pm came around and we were waiting at the church, font filled, hno chacon dressed in white ready to baptize her, president and his wife there and no Adriana. We waited anxiously in the parking lot for 15 minutes until I just decided to go with president and his wife to Adriana's house to see what was going on. When we got to her house Hermana Gonzalez ( pres wife) and I walked up and Adriana's whole family is just running around outside, Adriana is sitting solemnly inside and her dad is outside working on his car. When we came up he acted like nothing even happened he just basically said oh sorry I got busy, I have to fix this right now she can't get baptized. I said it will only take 20 minutes and I can promise you this 20 minutes will change her life. He wouldn't budge. We ended up agreeing on her to be baptized at 830 am the next day on Sunday (again he chose the time) and when the next morning came around, we filled up the font, went over to Adriana's house and no one was even making an effort to go. I guess between the time when I'd talked to her dad and then, he had made the decision that Adriana was not ready to be baptized. I felt like someone had stabbed my heart when they opened the door and said she wasn't going To be baptized. We ended up talking to her mother in law for a while though and really got to understand what their concerns were and why they didn't think she is ready to be baptized. Now we know how to help Adriana better, even though I'm not really sure how much longer we will be able to teach her because they are moving. But through all these experiences I learned that I need to work as if every investigator was going to be baptized that week. I've
never worked so hard as I did this week to help bring others to christ, and in doing so my love for these girls grew so much. I can only imagine the love that our Savior has for them. And because we set and truly believed in that goal, I feel like we were able to
accomplish what Heavenly Father wanted us to. Because of our fasting and prayers and hard work we were able to discover what these girls and families really need. I also learned a lot about agency. All that Heavenly Father has asked us to do is to use our own personal agency wisely. It's all we can do. I cannot make other people's decisions for them I can only control my own and my own effort. Even if things don'thappen the way I want them to, I know that if I can say I did everything I possibly could, then everything happened the way Heavenly Father wanted them to and His way and His will and His timing are always perfect. I was having a hard time after Adriana didn't end up getting baptized, because I just love her so much and I know this is what she wants to do and what Heavenly Father wants her to do. But I just had to come to the realization that God has a plan and it's perfect. I trust in His wisdom more than my own and know that everything that happened this weekend is for as Nephi puts it "a wise purpose that I know not". But even though we didn't not hit that goal this week, in reality I know that we did because we learned the things that Heavenly Father wanted us to learn.

- Also The metro training we had this week in Tampa changed my mission. It was just 2 days of training from a set of sisters and a set of elders (elder knowlton was one of them) and maybe 5 or 6 other sets of missionaries but I learned so so much. We talked a lot about
how to more effectively study, work with members, teach by the spirit, and so many other things. I think the power of learning by the spirit was the most important thing I learned. The Spirit really is how Heavenly Father communicates with us and teaches us the things we need to learn, to become who He wants us to be. I have such a strong testimony of that.

- Today was the end of my 3rd transfer in the Mission and with that, I had to say goodbye to one of my very best friends Hermana Newbill this morning. She is finishing her mission and will be flying back home tomorrow. I have been regretting this day pretty much since the day we got put together. Hermana Newbill is one of the best people, and best missionaries I will probably ever meet. Words cannot describe all the things that I learned from her and her example to me. I know that we were put together for a reason. I wish everybody had the opportunity to become as good of friends as I have with Hermana Newbill...everyone's lives would probably be 10 times better. Man I love that girl so much. My heart is hurting just writing this so I'm going to stop before I start sweating out of my eyes again. But yes Hermana Gibson and I will be staying here in Bradenton for another transfer and I will be finishing training her. I am so excited to see what this next transfer holds. I love you all and hope everyone has agreat week, merry almost Christmas!

Love Hermana Baugh

Enviado desde mi iPad

Don't Drink Drugs

WOOH! First off happy five mesaversay! I can't believe I left in July and now it's December.....ees craysee. Oh yeah by the way thought you should know that I have officially adopted espeaking in a nacho librean accent and I can only see it getting even theecker as the months go on sooo family you can prepare yourselves for that when I talk to you guys on Christmas! Oh yeah speaking of Christmas....I hope everyone has seen the He is the Gift video that the church published at the beginning of December! They are making a big push to get everyone possible to see it. We got special pass along cards and we have to hand out a certain number every day and we pretty much show it on our iPads to anyone who lets us! Haha except there's one tiny problem. So in Spanish it's called "El es la Dádiva" and turns out that no one even knows what the word Dádiva means....wouldn't be so bad if that wasn't like the entire focus of the 3 minute movie. We think it's the word for gift from Spain...Spanish Spanish is pretty weird. You'd think they would have studied up how to speak the language before they named their entire country after it. Just keeding. I love it so much though. It's so short and to the point, Christ is the gift of Christmas. And Christ is everything good in the world, He is hope, he is faith, he is light. At the end it says to Discover the gift, Embrace the Gift, and share the Gift. If you don't feel like you have a personal relationship with our Savior- Discover the gift. If you know about Jesus Christ but haven't felt his light and love in your life- Embrace the Gift. If you do have a personal relationship with Him, and know for yourself of the peace and happiness He can bring- Share the gift. Whether you are discovering, embracing or sharing, do something this Christmas to remember the Gift that our father in heaven gave to us. I also got to watch the Christmas devotional last night! If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. I loved elder christophersons talk. He talked a lot about the condescension of Christ and how he had to submit below all things so that He could rise above all things. It's because of this that he knows us perfectly, has perfect mercy and knows how to comfort us perfectly. He compared this to us and how we too are spirit children of God, and how we have to descend below all things sometimes to be able to rise above them, gain understanding, rely on our savior and learn how to comfort others.

- okay so for this week I thought I'd just share some quick funny little stories..

- We went over to teach our recent convert Emely ( one of the little girls that got baptized) and got there a little early and her mom and grandma were in the kitchen cooking so we decided to help them! I got to learn how to make Sopes which are my favorite food I've eaten here...they are like thick fried corn tortillas with frijoles, queso fresco, crema, and salsa verde on them. Lots of salsa verde. I love spicy stuff now! Its funny how you really do have to get used to it. Gibson is still in the getting used to it stage...she took some bites with the salsa verde and she started sweating and her face turned red and she couldn't stop coughing haha it was actually pretty funny. But anyways so when Emely finally got there we taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ again and i was talking about having faith in Jesus Christ and God and I said " we can have faith in God because he can do anything"  and she goes " yeah like speak Chinese!" Yes Emely. Of all the great things He can do, speaking Chinese is at the top of the list. Then we asked her, do you remember what you promised Heavenly Father when you were baptized? " Yeah, DONT DRINK DRUGS" amen Emely, amen. We taught her well.

- We met this girl named Maria ( SURPRISE) at Acapulco( the Mexican tienda we have here) a few weeks ago and she's awesome! She's 22 and from Cuba and we're all like friends now since we go there so often. She loves seeing us. We were able to go over to her house the other night and turns out she has the cutest 4 yr old boy ever! And he speaks Spanish! It's so cute to me because I'm so used to the kids not really speaking Spanish here because they've all learned English in school and can really only understand the Spanish their parents speak to them (which is really sad to me). And they just recently moved from Cuba so he hasn't learned very much English yet. But he's so smart. Like while he was talking to me Hna gibson whispered "what did he say?" To me and Ichigo (the little boy) turned to her and just whipped out "You speak English?!" It was pretty funny since he hadn't said any English before then. I'm not used to speaking to kids in Spanish though and it was hard for me because you use a different form when you talk to children and I kept switching back to the formal Spanish every time I'd start talking to him. I'm excited to go back and visit them again though!

- Adriana is doing really well! We are still planning on having her baptism this Saturday and she has been practicing for the interview questions every day. She's probably the most prepared person I've ever taught she knows this stuff so well. I'm so excited for her...pray
that everything will go as planned for her baptism!

Everything is going well here in Bradenton! I love my Savior, I love this work, I love these people. I'm so greatful that I have this opportunity to be a missionary, to learn and to grow more in this gospel every day. I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week, WATCH HE IS THE GIFT AND SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW. that is all. Love you!

Hermana Baugh

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Uno, Dos, Tres---Cenas!!

Hey everyone! Well I only have like less than 30 min to write this since we had Pday on thanksgiving so this is gonna be short and sweet. Thanksgiving was awesome!  We exercised in the morning, then rode our bikes like 8 miles to this turkey trot race in Bradenton but we got there after it started so we just passed out cards to everyone. Then we had to hurry back and go to district meeting. After district meeting we did stuff around the apartment until 2 when we went to our first thanksgiving! We ate with the Sedillos...I tried to pace myself because I knew we had 2 more dinners to eat but there was just so much food I didn't know what to do with myself. There was turkey and corn tortillas and pápas and tortas and everything in between. Then we went over to Cleopatras at 4 and had like pretty much the same thing all over again. They are from Ecuador so there was a little variation. For desert we had this flan and cake thing ( I call it flake) and it's pretty much my favorite dessert now. Then we went home and I took a 30 minute nap which just felt really weird and like I wasn't on a mission and just made me 10 times more tired so no more naps for me haha. Then at 8 we left to go eat at the Partidas even though I really didn't want to since I already felt like I was gonna die I was so full hahaha but I endured to the end and managed to eat just a little bit more to satisfy the Partidas. Roberto came to the Partidas too! Something I started doing 2 weeks ago is taking some time to say one prayer every day and only say things I'm thankful for. It has really helped me recognize the blessings I have and the hands of the Lord in my life so much more. I studied the talk by Elder Uchtdorf last week " grateful in any circumstance" and everyone should read over that talk again it's amazing. Something that stood out to me at the end was that he said "gratitude is a catalyst to all other Christlike attributes." And it really is when you think about it, when we are grateful and actively searching for and recognizing the blessings in our life we will have more charity, humility, knowledge, patience, faith, hope and every other good thing that Christ is. Take some time to offer a prayer of gratitude every now and then and I can promise you la bendecirá su vida!

- Big miracle of the week. We have been teaching a 13 yr old girl named Adriana since before I got here and she hasn't been able to get baptized because her dad didn't give her permission. We've been praying a lot for her and that her dads heart would be softened because she wants to be baptized so bad and I now how much this decision can bless her life. On Friday we taught her about Ester and Abish and about courage and relying on the Lord. After the lesson she decided to go talk to her dad again and we were able to talk to him. She told her dad that she wanted to get baptized so that she could be forgiven of the things she has done and have a new start. She said she knows this will help her make better decisions in her life and will make Heavenly Father happy. Adriana is only 13 but it was amazing to me how much she knows. Her dads heart was touched by this and he said that if this is truly what she wants and believes in, she can be baptized!! I felt like running and skipping around but I kept my cool haha. Barely. We are planning on having her baptism the 13 of December so keep her in your prayers:) well I don't have any more time today but I will talk to y'all's next week! I love you so much! Que les vaya bien!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hispanics + turkey = fat Missionaries

Happy almost día de acción de gracias! (Personally I think taking words to name a holiday is overdoing it a little bit). We had a ward thanksgiving party on Friday and we were so excited for it...we got there right on time but there was absolutely no one there yet. If you think Mormons are really bad about being on time to things, try serving in a ward of a bunch of Hispanic Mormons. It's like 10 times worse. The party was so fun though! They had soo much turkey. And to be honest, Hispanics don't really like turkey. They said it over and over again at the party haha I think they just had it just because it's our tradition. But because no one really liked it they were just like oh left over food...let's see who likes food...oh the missionaries!! So we got an entire cooked and stuffed turkey delivered to us the next day bc no one ate it. I'm already so sick of turkey and it's not even thanksgiving yet! Also Hispanics really know how to dance.  We also had a lot of investigators come too and it was a really great way for them to meet more members of the ward. We were actually out inviting people to the party the day before and we met this guy from El Salvador ( first person I've met from there) named Roberto (English translation: Robert. You're welcome everyone, yes I know I've learned a lot of spanish on my mission). He got super excited to see us and said that he had talked to some boy missionaries on bikes like us before when he lived in New Jersey and he really wanted to learn more. We taught him about the restoration and he was like you know this whole apostasy restoration thing really makes sense - yeah man that's exactly what I've been saying!!! We also taught him about prayer and testified that if he would pray and ask God if Joseph Smith really was a prophet, He would answer him. And when he prayed to close the lesson, Roberto actually asked in his prayer to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet....that was a big deal since it's only happened a few times so far on my mission where the person will actually ask that in their first prayer with us. We came back the next day and taught Roberto about the Book of Mormon and when he read Moroni's promise he got super excited and was like " I love that! That God will reveal to me the answer!" Hes since read like 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon so he's doing really well! And he came to the thanksgiving party too and was able to meet a lot of the members. Robertos really prepared and I'm so excited to teach him more! Haha he's kind of a spaz though and never stops talking and has so many questions. Sometimes I just want to be like woah man calm down haha but questions are what lead to answers and revelation so I guess keep em coming!

- other items of business this week...oh yeah so last week I told you about Marta and Luis and how Hna Gibson invited them to be baptized in like the first 2 minutes. Well I was super excited about them and we went over to teach them last night and knocked on the door and Luis opened it like a crack and peeked out at us and was like " no! No! The Mormons aren't for us I'm not interested!" Then slammed the door in our face. It hurt. Haha not my face luckily but my heart. I'm not quite sure what happened in the span of a week to harden his heart so fast but it's just makes me so sad to think he just slammed the door on something that could bless his and his family's life so much. He probably heard something from one of his friends or read something on the Internet though.

So we live right by this vet clinic and we always finish up our exercise in the parking lot of it and this morning we actually talked to one of the lady's that works there that always gets to work when we are there. She started talking to us and was like oh you're missionaries right! That's so cool I admire you guys for that. She then went on to ask what church we were a part of and we told her and she was like "oh.....you're Mormons" and then gave us that "what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-you-why- are-you-part-of-that-religion" look that I've come to grow so fond of. She was like " how do you deal with them...the men" and then gave us this really disgusted look " they just beat you all the time and they won't let you show your faces". Uhmm hi mam, pretty sure you're looking at my face right now. I think you might have us confused with maybe some far middle eastern country? I don't know it just amazes me sometimes the things that people believe. I don't understand why people believe everything they read on the Internet...why don't they just come to us and ask us themselves? I was reading something the other day and it said that you couldn't ever expect to know who Jesus really was by interviewing Judas. It's the same with the church. People will never know who we really are and what we represent if they only look at us from the perspective of its accusers. Hopefully we were able to help clarify at least  one persons misconceptions about the church today. - well nothing much else really happened this week. It was "cold" for like two days - meaning I had to wear a jacket as we rode our bikes around- and I almost died. I realized that there was definitely a reason I got sent here to Florida because I'm pretty sure I would literally have no desire to do anything if it were cold outside. Come check back with me about how I feel when the summertime rolls around though haha hopefully I'll still have this mindset. 

Well to close I thought I'd just write about this lil metaphor I thought of a few weeks ago about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So the gospel of Jesus Christ has five components - faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I like to think of it like running a race. Faith and repentance are like your training. It's the things you do to prepare to start the race, and what you're going to have to rely on during the race to finish it. Baptism is like the start of the race- it's when you show that you really are committed to Jesus Christ and following his commandments, it's how you witness your faith in Him. The Holy Ghost is kind of like your coach and teammates on the side lines cheering you on. When you are staying on course they're right there, telling you where to go, where you need to improve, and to just keep pushing on. But if you get lost, make a wrong turn, and find yourself off the course- there's not going to be anyone there. The Holy Ghost, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ never leave us- we leave them. But with faith and repentance (out training) we can ALWAYS make it back on the course. And enduring to the end. That's the most important part. It doesn't matter where you start it only matters where you finish. You could run the fastest 26.1 miles but if you don't finish that last .1 of the marathon, it's kind of like you didn't even start. And also, just because someone trains really super hard, it doesn't mean that the race gets easier. You are just more capable to run it and you are able to finish further and faster than you would have if you hadn't trained. That's kind of how it is when you are keeping the commandments and reading your scriptures, praying and going to church. Life doesn't get easier because you are doing these things, you are just more equipped to handle the challenges that life brings and are able to finish betterthan you would have if you didn't do those things. Me entienden? I could probably go on forever about the metaphors between running. And life but I've got to go so I'll stop there. But I know and can testify that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way we can have
true and everlasting happiness, and it's how we can be able to not only endure our challenges, but to live joyfully always. Hope everyone has a great thanksgiving and remembers the things that we should truly be grateful for! WHAT THERES NOT A TURKEY EMOJI??  Oh well guess this chick and rooster will have to do, you can pretend����. Love you all!!

Hermana Baugh

Monday, November 17, 2014

You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important

Buenos días everyone! Shout out to anyone who still actually reads these and cares that I'm alive!! Well beginning of the week we got a surprise phone call telling us that president had gotten it approved and we would be going to the Orlando temple on Thursday! I was soooo excited....I miss the temple so so much. I miss being able to go every week, I didn't realize how spoiled I was with that until now. So Thursday morning we got up dark and early, did our exercise then left at 715 to drive to Tampa to meet the van that was taking us. It was probably the most stressful drive of my life....I've decided that Satan has control over stop lights and traffic. Because we literally got stopped at every single light and there was so much traffic, I thought I was in California again. Then at one point we were at a railroad crossing and a train came and seriously waited on the tracks for 15 minutes. We were freaking out because we were already so late we were sure they were going to have to leave us. They actually had started to leave so we ended up meeting them at a Wendy's somewhere. When we finally met up I was so relieved and back to being all happy again because TEMPLE and opened the van door and started climbing in when I realized there was only one seat...the senior couple who was taking us looked at us and was like " wait...did you guys not know that only sister Newbill gets to go?" NO THEY MISSED THAT TINY LITTLE DETAIL !! So after getting my heart ripped out Hna gibson and I watched the van slowly drive off into the distance. It's ok though, we will get to go soon. The mission just wanted to make sure that everyone who was going home this transfer got the opportunity to go first. So yeah I got to spend the rest of the day being Senior companion. Muahaha so much power. I made Gibson give me massages and make me food all day. Just kidding. But I did make her walk all around Tampa finding people for the missionaries there to teach and looking for a place to eat lunch and she got like 5 blisters so I felt a little bad about that.

Hna gibson is great though haha so as part of her first week of training we gave her the responsibility of inviting any new investigator we taught to be baptized at the end of the lesson. So we contacted a member referral this week named Marta and were able to have a lesson with her and her husband Luis ( HUSBAND AS IN ACTUALLY MARRIED BY THE LAW= SCORE!!) Newbill and I started with "How to begin teaching" ( basically kind of just explaining to them what our purpose is as missionaries, what we expect them to do, and how much this message can bless their lives) and I paused and looked at Gibson to kind of give her an opportunity to say something and I think she took that as the " ok now it's time to ask them to be baptized look" and just straight up asked them to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority in like the first 2 minutes of the lesson hahah I was like oh great....it was a little awkwardly quiet for a minute but them Luis said ¡sí! It was awesome! We then went on to teach them about the restoration. But they really showed a lot of great potential and I just want to teach them so bad because I know how much this gospel can bless their life, and I know that through the priesthood authority they can be sealed and married for time and all eternity.

This week was really cool because we've already started to see the effects that the decision of those four little girls (Sheyla, Jocelyn, Itzel and Emely) to be baptized has had on their families. So Itzel and Emely are cousins. Kind of in some weird Mexican way. They are also kind of cousins with Jocelyn. But anyways, Itzel's mom isn't a member but she has been coming to church for over a year and a half. A lot of missionaries have tried to teach her ( her name is Mireya...throws me off since every other Hispanic woman and their mothers name is Maria) but she always avoided them. Ever since Itzel got baptized though I've been asking Mireya every time I see her..."So Mireya, when are you going to get baptized?" She always says oh no, I'm too rebellious I can't be baptized. But I told you guys last week that on Sunday we were able to pull her aside with our WML and help her realize that she really was ready to make this change in her life. We were able to have a lesson on Friday with her and her daughter Itzel and also Emely and her family were there too. It made me so happy because everytime we would ask a question Itzel amd Emely would excitedly raise their hands and tell Mireya the answer and I think it really touched Mireya how much her daughter had learned.

We went over to Sheylas house on Saturday to teach her. Her cousin, who wanted to be baptized but who's mom wouldn't let her, was there and we were able to teach her too. Even though Sheylas only 8 she knows a lot about prayer and why it's so important. Together we were able to teach her cousin Brandy about it. Hopefully her moms heart will soften and she will be able to come to church and be baptized soon.

So Jocelyns turn. Jocelyn is Magalis daughter. Magali got baptized like a month after I got here and then Jocelyn got baptized a month and a half after that. Her dad Juan has been wanting to get baptized too but has never been able to take the missionary lessons because he works so much. We have been praying and fasting a lot for him, that he would be able to find time to meet with us and we were FINALLY able to have a lesson with them on Sunday night. Their whole family was there: Magali, Juan, yayir and Joclyn ( their two kids), Juans brother Ivan ( who is wants to get baptized but is in YSA Ward) and Juans mom Isabelle who first introduced all of them to the gospel. After they fed us about a pound of flan ( which by the way I love now) we started the lesson. We were handing out restoration pamphlets and actually didn't have enough and Magali went back into her room and came back out with a stack of them and started handing them out since she's had the lessons a million times hahah it was awesome I love her. Then when we got to Jose Smiths first vision Joclyn pretty much told her dad the entire story.  I felt the spirit so strong while she was talking. I know that Joseph Smith really did see our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and that they called him to be the prophet to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. My testimony of this grows every single time we teach about the restoration. The most important part about this lesson though is the power of prayer. That through prayer we can talk to God, that he listens to us, and that He answers us. That we can know the truth of all things if we ask, with faith and real intent, through prayer and through the power of the Holy Ghost. We invited Juan to offer the closing prayer and to pray about being baptized on the 13 of December. We also invited them to pray and read the scriptures every day as a family. Yayir was like " now I have two homeworks. One homework from school and one homework from Jesus!" Hahah I love that kid. I love that family. I know that one day very soon they will be able to be sealed in the temple as a family. That they will be able to be together forever. I always picture everyone we teach in white. Everyone. Even the people that I don't especially like....I imagine them in even more white. And when necessary a little angelic glow around them. It helps me love everyone more. It helps me see them how I know Heavenly Father sees us; He doesn't see us as who we are, but who we can become. He sees us as children with an infinite potential. All of you is kind, you is smart, you is important... and you is children of God!! Don't ever forget that! I love you all and hope everyone has a maravillosa week. I love you and miss you but there is really no place I'd rather be than right here in the Tampa Florida mission:)

Con Amor
Hermana Baugh

Friday, November 14, 2014

Drop It Like It's Hot

Bringing home "baby"

Well another week has come and gone! We went up to Tampa on Thursda to pick up our baby ( by the way saying "I can't wait till we get our baby" to your companion as a sister missionary in public probably isn't a smart thing to say...got a few judgemental looks from some people). But anyways our new companion fresh from the Provo MTC is Hermana Gibson! She's not a Guatemalan health nut philanthropist but instead she's white and from Oregon so I mean I was close. Haha she's a bit on the flaco side but I'm starting to think that president put her with us so we could fatten her up. Challenge accepted. And since she's from Oregon we can still proudly introduce ourselves to people as the "Missionaries that aren't from Utah." 

It's kind of hard having a new companion because Hermana Newbill and I are really close, but she's a hard worker and wants to be a good missionary and is willing to do all she can to get better which is what we were praying for. She's awesome though. Haha I feel like we kind of scare her sometimes though because Hna Newbill and I have been having an ongoing rubberband war....we found one rubberband in the house and ever since then one of us keeps it on our wrist and will randomly attack the other with it and we usually end up in a ball on the ground tackling each other trying to get the rubber band back and when this happens Hna Gibson just kind of gives us this blank stare and doesn't really know what to do haha. But already I feel like I've learned a lot from her and her desire to improve just makes me want to improve even more. And being with her has reminded me how I was when I first entered the mission field and now looking back I've realized how much I've changed. How much I've grown (spiritually...not physically let's hope).  I feel like I've become a lot more like the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. I think the biggest change that I've seen in myself since I've got here is that I'm not afraid anymore. When I first got here I'll admit...I was kind of afraid to just walk up to people on the street and invite them to be baptized. I was kind of afraid to speak up during lessons because I didn't want to mess up or say the wrong thing. I was kind of afraid to talk to members and ask them which of their friends or family members we could teach the gospel to and baptize.  But now I'm not. I'm not sure when I changed but I know how. It's because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It's because I've learned and am still learning what it really means to have faith in God and how powerful faith in God can be.  Missionary work isn't scary because missionary work is just telling people the truth. And even with my Spanish too...the first week I got here I fasted asking that if I worker hard, after 3 months of being in the mission field I would feel comfortable with my Spanish and wouldn't be afraid to talk to people in Spanish. And 2 weeks ago I didn't really feel like I was going to feel that way by the time "three months in the mission field" rolled around. But I worked really hard and prayed really hard ( WORK HARD PRAY HARD...pretty much the motto of my life these days) and it's kind of amazing...this whole week I've felt like my Spanish has improved so much. Like I'm telling you it's weird...I honestly suddenly feel so much more confident in it. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers and that He's helping me everyday.

Well the reason that this email is titled this is because we have been praying a lot and have decided that we needed to drop a lot of people this week. And not just people...friends that I've been teaching since I've gotten here and have come to care a lot about. But we have been spending too much of the Lords time on those who aren't really willing to do their part...or at least for right now. So we are leaving Gino, Alfredo, Marcela, Rogelio, like 50 Maria's and a few others. This was really hard for me at first. Especially with Gino, Alfredo and Marcela. Both Gino and Marcela were miracles the way we found them. Both of them received witnesses that Joseph Smith was a prophet the during our first lesson with them after they prayed about it with us. Gino prayed and asked if he was a prophet and got chills all over and a warm feeling in his heart as soon as he finished praying. Marcela was the 13 minute silent prayer and afterwards she just couldn't stop crying because she felt so peaceful. And Alfredo...man I have never fasted and prayed so much for someone in my entire life. I put literally every ounce of wisdom and life experience and effort into trying to help him recognize and receive answers to his prayers. But we feel inspired to leave all of them for a time and if learning more about the church's and progressing towards baptism is really something that these people want...they will let know. But I truly believe that missionary work is never wasted. Maybe we weren't able to help them accept the gospel completely right now but maybe we prepared them just enough to accept it the next time around. And no matter what learning more about God and Jesus Christ and the power of scripture study and prayer will help anybody. And if they didn't learn anything, I for sure did. I learned so much from these people every time I studied for, taught, thought, fasted and prayed about them. 

Something that I've learned even more this week that when you drop someone, God will always place someone new in your path. And this past week we had a lot of miracles!! We are now teaching the spouses of four part member families which is huge. Ward council was so happy to hear that we were actually able to have lessons with the people we did. And on Sunday we got 9 referrals from members when in the past we will get like one. And also we were able to have a lesson with a lady named mirea (she's related to magali in some way and is the mom of Itzel, who got baptized last Sunday) and has been coming to church for over a year but has always avoided the missionaries and didn't want to be baptized. But we had a lesson with her during church with our Ward mission leader and she left with a baptismal date in 3 weeks and she said we could start actually teaching her! It was really hard to leave those people this week and there was a lot of time where we didn't
really have anyone to teach but I know it was just because we needed to find these new people.  Hopefully we are able to make some great progress with them this week! Love you all!

Paz y bendiciones
Hermana Baugh

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Im Going to be a BIG Sister!!

Alright well ready for the big news? Just finished my 2nd transfer of the mission and  ready for it....I'm staying here!! Haha wasn't surprised about that though. Newbill is staying too! I probs would have vetoed president though if he moved her because she only has 1 more transfer left (6weeks) before I kill her off and she dies (translation- "ends her mission"). But here's the twist...we are getting a baby and are going to be training! Well Newbills the trainer so naturally I'm the assistant trainer. So yeah I'm going to be in a tripanionship this next transfer...Newbill and I were not excited about this when we found out. We had literally just been talking about how much we would hate to be in a tripanionship a few days before. Just goes to show you that Gods going to give you exactly what you need. I think we are going to learn a lot this transfer. We have been making guesses about what the baby's going to be like...I've settled on a native Guatemalan health nut philanthropist because we've each been praying and trying to speak more Spanish to each other, eat healthier and be more charitable. So knowing HF hes probably going to give us someone that's going to force me to learn these things. I'm excited though. Part of getting a trainee right now though means that I will probs finish training her after Newbill leaves since she is going home half way through baby's training. So basically here's how it's going to go down...6 weeks from now my I'm going to kill off my mom and then will be taking custody of my little sister. The mission field is a pretty messed up place. We will be going to transfer meeting up in Tampa to pick up our child on Thursday... So stay tuned to meet our newest member of the family.

- This week was kind of slow buuut we had 4 baptisms on Sunday so I guess you could say that made up for it haha. It was the baptism of the 4 little girls from part member families! The baptism was so good! It was kind of crazy getting everything ready for it since we had it
right after church and pretty much the entire Ward stayed for it but it was a big success. I love these 4 girls so much...they were so excited to be baptized. I loved waiting with them in the back as they all waited anxiously in line for their turn to go down into the water. One of the little girls who was baptized is the daughter of Magaly, the woman who got baptized a few weeks ago who had been investigating for over a year. When Jocelyn (her daughter) was confirmed president blessed her  during the confirmation that she would one day be married and sealed in the temple and I just got chills right then the spirit was so strong. I just felt so strongly that we really can be with our family and loved ones forever. That the priesthood and the covenants we make during baptism and in the temple are real and that the bonds we share with each other don't end at death but can strengthen eternally. After the baptism we had a huge party because it was fast Sunday and we had four baptisms and a branch full of hungry Hispanics so naturally that means tons of meat and rice and tortillas and bread. It was so much fun to just spend time all together celebrating as a Ward. They are starting to feel like my family I love them.

- okay going back in time! On Tuesday we had the sisters conference at St Petersburg which was awesome. We talked a lot about the talk from conference "approaching the throne of God with confidence" which was my favorite talk this session. I love how simple and direct it is...it really just outlines to the point how we need to be applying the gospel in our lives. I know the atonement is real and that we need to use it daily. Repentance isn't a bad thing. In fact it's the opposite. And it's not just something we do for our big mistakes. Repentance is something we should do joyfully and constantly. It's an opportunity to try a little harder to be a little better and to be a little happier every day. Im So grateful that we have a never ending potential, that we can never reach a point in our lives where we can say alright I'mgood enough. Because of the atonement and Gods plan for us, we can always progress. There really is no limit.

- Halloween was pureety crazy this year. We went to a raging Ward trunk or treat, got like a mini sand wich bag full of candy and dressed up like missionaries. And wait for it....wait for it......we even switched name tags. I know I know we probably went a little too far but I couldn't help myself. Haha but yeah we didn't really do much for Halloween. Apparently people don't really want to hear about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ when they can walk around in costumes and get free candy. Who knew.  The trunk or treat was the night before and the night of Halloween we went to a members house for a little bit and ate hotdogs and talked to their nonmember friends there and that was about it. But we actually got some pretty solid referencias from them!

-  One cool thing that happened was on Wednesday! we have been teaching a less active who's husband is not a member and a few weeks ago we had a really awesome lesson and asked if we could have a lesson with both her and her husband and she said yes. We have been trying to set up the lesson since then and we're finally able to have it this week. Of course the only time they could meet was during the English Ward trunk or treat so we weren't able to go to that but we were like yeah this is definitely way more important than any piece of candy we could get haha. At first her husband seemed a little hesitant to be there and seemed like he was just there to make his wife happy. But as we started teaching him he got more comfortable, started asking questions and opening up more. I know it was because the spirit was there and he was feeling it! We got him to offer a kneeling prayer at the end and he said he would be baptized when he knew our message was true! He said we could come back next week to teach him again and then he came to the baptism we had on Sunday with his wife!

- We weren't able to see Gino this week again...I'm kind of worried about him. He's putting work and other things before God again and wasn't able to go to church either. We are still working with him though and he knows the church is true so it's only a matter of time
until he gets baptized.

- We weren't able to see marcela or Maria this week either...everyone just needs to stop working and having lives. We are staying positive though and are just praying that God will continue to put those who are prepared in our path!

- It's getting cold here! Either that or I'm becoming a whimp...Newbill told me that it gets kind of cold here and I didn't believe her but saturday and Sunday it was like 65 degrees! Haha ok that sounds bad I guess I am a whimp but it really was pretty cold. It's getting me excited for the holidays though. Hope everyone has a great week! Love you!

Hermana Baugh

Monday, October 27, 2014

Miracles Frosties, and a Baja Freeze


- we had exchanges with our sister training leaders this week! I was expecting to be the one leaving our area this time since I stayed last transfer but NOOPEE God has other plans and once again I was told I would be staying in our area and Newbill would leave for the day. Oh and also tiny detail I should mention...our STLs are English speaking missionaries now so I didn't get to enjoy the conveniency of having a leader that spoke Spanish and could actually help me with the lessons. So I was kind of scared the day of exchanges because I'm not too confident in my Spanish yet and we had mostly Spanish lessons planned for the day which basically means me teaching by myself. But then I just needed to remember that I don't need to be confident in myself, I just need to have confidence in the Lord. I don't know, I kind of just look at things like ok God loves his children too much-these people that we are teaching- to let ME mess up THEIR eternal progression. He's not going to leave me alone to teach them about this really important stuff because He'd knows I'd fail without his help. So He's going to help me by letting me teach by the spirit. Because that's all we really are as missionaries is tools. Yup I said it I'm a tool. And I'm proud of it. I'm just the tool that the spirit can work through to touch the hearts of these people we are teaching. So reminding myself of that really helped as we went through the day and you know what? Everything actually went really well. I was able to understand the majority of what others were saying to me and it seemed like everyone I taught understood the things I (the spirit) was teaching them. It was really cool. I know God was with me this day helping me constantly and I know I wouldn't have been able to do it without him.

- another "gift of tongues" experience happened this week. So approximately 7 minutes before church president Gonzalez told us that our sacrament meeting speakers hadn't showed up and Newbill immediately said " it's ok we can speak!" *meanwhile I'm  nonchalantly bracing myself against the wall to keep myself from passing out* presidente said great! The topic is home teaching and visiting teaching! *i grasp the wall a little tighter as my face goes white* So yeah we walked up to the stand and sat up there and I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say..,let alone in Spanish. I prayed so hard up there hahah you have no idea. I just had faith though that somehow God was going to let me know what to say! I'm not even quite sure what I ended up really saying but I spoke for ten minutes on something about Moroni 7 and trying to become more like our savior and charity and missionary work and then I bore my testimony and was done! Ah probably the scariest thing of my life but I did it! And I defs know that it was the spirit helping me know what to say because I still have no idea what I said!

-well here's another pretty cool thing that happened. And it's about food. And missionary work. So doubly as cool. So there's this potential investigator named Cecilia that we have been trying to contact for a few months but haven't been able to really get a hold of because she's always working. But the other day we had been planning on getting dinner from a member and when it didn't end up working out we were on our own-- which meant fast food. We had a free frosty coupon so were going to go to Wendy's but were slightly ( ok extremely) disappointed to find out we couldn't use it for another week. So we decided to go to Taco Bell instead! And while we were eating one of the workers comes up to us and says "hey you're the church girls! I've been feeling so bad that I can never call you guys back! This is such a coincidence that I finally get to meet you guys!" It was her! Cecelia! The lady we'd been trying to contact since I got here! She said " let me go get you some Baja freezes and we can talk!" Haha I was like ah yes! Caffeine and the spirit this is gonna be one powerful lesson! So we were able to teach her a lesson about the restoration right then and there in Taco Bell and were able to get more info from her to set up our next appointment. During the lesson when she read the part about Joseph smiths first vision she finished and she was like" wooaah...I felt that, I've got chills all over". Then a little after that I may or may not have knocked over a cup of water all over the table possibly killing the mood a little bit haha but Gods pretty amazing sometimes. Ok No all the time. ..and inspired eating is a real thing!

-well We were supposed to have a baptism this Sunday with Gino, he had been interviewed and everything.  Everything had gone according to plan except right last minute he didn't show up to church, even though we had called 20 minutes before and he said he was on his way. Turns out he had a huge family emergency and his cousin had been shot and killed here in Bradenton right before church so instead of being baptized he was trying to sort all that out and even had a relapse and drank again after not drinking for a month. So that was our hardest thing to have to go through during the week. And obviously for Gino too. It was weird though, we both felt inspired to set a goal of 0 baptisms for this week and something felt kind of off the whole time we were preparing Gino for baptism this week. I just know God really does have a plan and that if he wasn't baptized this weekend it was for a reason and because we need to help him prepare a little more.

- well those were some of the highlights this week. We're getting ready to go on a bike ride to Anna Marie island which is kind of like a touristy place around here right now for our pday so I'm excited for that and will send pictures tomorrow! And we have a sisters conference tomorrow in St Petersburg AT THE BEACH!!!! I REPEAT IM GOING TO THE BEACH AND IM GONNA BE ABLE TO TOUCH SOME SAND. I've never been more excited to touch a bunch of microscopic rocks in my life. Hope everyone has a great week! Love you!
Paz y bendiciones
Hermana Baugh

Daily Life As a Missionary

The Branch children passing out pass a long cards.

-Well first item of business is that Gino's baptism didn't work out for this weekend:( We told him at the beginning of the week that Satan was going to work extra hard on him this week to try and keep him from getting baptized and to remember to put God first. We tried to meet with him almost every day but last minute he would call us and say I'm so sorry I'm still at work I have to finish this job! ( he works on cars) he's like I don't know where all these jobs have been coming from but I need to do them so that I can make the money to pay my rent and help my family. Meanwhile I'm like �� I know where they're coming from! This is the adversary at work here! Ah that sly dog. He kept Gino so busy doing something "good" this week to prevent him from doing something way better. And the day that we had planned for him to get his baptismal interview of course his phone wasn't working so we couldn't get a hold of him. So we just had to hope and pray that he would show up that night. We felt so bad though because the elders had to meet us at his house and had gotten a ride from one of their investigators since they don't have a car. We waited out by our car for a while and when he wasn't showing up the elders went over and knocked on his door but they did this before we could warn them about Gino's evil roommate/landlord who threatened to call the cops on us one time while we were waiting for Gino to come home. They actually didn't even make it to the door...they just walked past this guys window but it was enough to wake the beast and he came storming out and started yelling at them in angry Cuban Spanish saying "get off my property! Get off! Who do you church people think you are! This is not a public place get out! Who is your pastor?! Who is your pastor?! Give me his number I'm calling him after I call the cops!" Yeah it got pretty heated. And the poor elders and their investigator are just standing in the middle of this like what the heck is going on?? So yeah that was a fun night! Hopefully this week will go better though and Gino will be able to finish work so we can meet with him and can be baptized this next weekend!

- Marcela is doing good! She actually hated her new job! She said they made her work 14 hours straight with no break for her first day last weekend and she was like Ya no that's not going to happen again she is trying to get out of that now and will hopefully be able to go to church soon. Man I love Marcela. She's kind of like our grandma. She's pretty young but she actually is a grandma and is pretty much raising two of her grand babies right now. They are so cute! The whole not being allowed to hold babies and kids rule is probably one of the hardest rules for me,especially with Marcela. There have been a few times when Marcela will just hand me a crying baby and will be like here take him for a second and I'm like ahh what do I do I just want to comfort you but I can't ...I feel like I'm holding a bomb because Hermana Newbill gives me a look like "put it down! Put it down!" And I'm like "ahh I don't know what to do with it" hahah it's actually pretty funny.

- A cool thing that happened this week was that one of the members came and told us that she wants her granddaughter  to be baptized the same day that we are preparing 3 other 9yr olds to be baptized which is in 2 weeks! We were like yes! Baptism! Our favorite word! Our favorite color! Our favorite food! Our favorite pastime activity! We went to her house this week to teach her granddaughter Sheila and her cousin was there too. I asked her if she had been baptized and she said no but I really really want to! And I want to be baptized on the same day as my cousin! So now we are teaching her too and are preparing FIVE 9/10yr olds to be baptized on the same day in 2 weeks. The Ward is so excited...it's gonna be a fiesta!

- speaking of the Ward, we had our primary program this week and oh my goshhh little kids singing primary songs in Spanish is pretty much the cutest thing ever I was dying. There was one song I've never heard before called "la familia es de dios" that I've been trying to find but its not in the primary book but I love it! I make the primary kids sing it to me every time I see some of them haha

- Everyday is full of different people and different experiences that I learn different things every day. And I love it. I love being a missionary...it's something I can't really describe. Before I left I thought I'd have a problem with being home sick or something but I don't. When you are just so involved in doing missionary work and putting everything you have into it you don't really have time to think about anything else. And I'm not just forcing myself to only think about missionary work- it's all I want to do! It literally makes me so happy! Yeah it's hard sometimes and I'm awkward and mess things up and don't know what to say a lot of the time but I know it's okay because I know Heavenly Father knows I'm trying my best! And I'm just happy because I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing! I've got to go but I'll share more about the area I'm in next week. Love you all!!

Love Hermana baugh 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trying to See the Sunshine Through the Clouds

Well not gonna lie this week was pretty hard. It started off pretty good though. We had a mini zone conference in port Charlotte and got some training, were told flu shots were mandatory for us (bad thing number uno) and we got to watch Meet the Mormons....with a bunch of
Mormons. Haha all the missionaries looked like they were about to cry when the movie started since a lot of them haven't seen a movie in almost a yr and a half or two years. But I thought it was really good and they did a good job with it! I saw Andrew knowlton there...he's
alive and doing well! Haha president actually told him to stand up during the meeting and was like "alright, raise your hand if you have ever seen this elder not smiling" and everyone was quiet and he's like "everyone needs to be a little happier..people don't want to talk to you if you don't at least look happy!". 

- we had a lot of lessons fall through this week...I guess people have work and family and lives and other things to do besides learn about the gospel or something? One interesting lesson we had was with an old lady named Sandra from Puerto Rico who was a member referral. She is probably the most stubborn, prideful, loud person I've ever met. She let us in to give her a lesson but she probably talked for 95% of it...and not because we didn't know what to say, because every single time we started to say something she would butt in in her loud Puerto Rican Spanish voice and not let us finish our sentence. I was getting so frustrated because if I even paused for half a second for my slow little brain to catch up and try to put my thoughts into semi-comprehensible Spanish she would seize the opportunity and go off again about how there is no way that any church could help her strengthen her relation ship with God because "tengo una fe taaaangrande". Yup not going back there - 

Alright so the two of our new investigators that I have been talking about, Marcela and her sister Maria. We had a really great lesson with Marcela about the law of chastity early in the week because Marcela is living with her boyfriend so in other words no baptism until we can fix that no no. But we had been praying so hard all week that she would have the faith and desire to keep the commandments, specifically this one and she took the lesson really well and said that she and Grant want to get married soon!! We were like yes yes yes marriage baptism combo for the win! Then the next day we found out that both Marcela and Maria both finally the jobs they've been looking for! They kept saying oh it's because of you guys and God that my prayers have finally been answered and we both found jobs the same day that you visited us. And we're like yeah it's because you're doing the things that God wants you to do that he's blessing you so much! So we were on a pretty high high because we're like yeah this is so good, they're getting answers to their prayers, they're recognizing these blessings are from God, we're on a roll  , hallelujah hurrah for Israel. Then of course we find out that BOTH of them have to work Sunday's and aren't able to come to church and all of our hopes and dreams came crashing down. They need to come to church!! Ahhh Newbill and I were so sad because now we're gonna have to tell them that "hey actually remember how we were talking about those miracle jobs you guys finally got after not having work since you left Mexico...yeahh those might have to go...". Man so pray for us and pray for them this week that they will be able to work something out so that they will be able to come to church!

- Gino got a new job this week too so it's been pretty hard to see him. I guess Satans new thing is giving these poor jobless Mexicans who just want to work jobs that don't let them meet with the missionaries or go to church. Because Gino is ready and wants to get baptized this next weekend but he wasn't able to cometo church to get his interview this Sunday and we have only been able to see him like once or twice this week so pray for him too that we will be able to work everything out for his baptism this weekend!!
- One of our investigators named Joe was supposed to get baptized this weekend but that fell through since he doesn't feel he's quite ready to make that commitment yet...we are really trying to help him though to gain his own testimony but he needs to do his part and actually read the Book of Mormon and pray and come to church so we are hoping this time it will finally click and he will realize that he needs to act to build his faith and can't just wait around for God to answer him.

- NONE of our investigators were able to come to church this Sunday. So my heart kinda broke but then it was put back together a little bit because all of our recent converts were there and going strong and Hilario got the priesthood so that made things a little better.

- but to put the cherry on top of this week...we had one of our English investigators pass away on Thursday. And it was a really horrible experience that I've been struggling with this week and am not going to talk about very much but yeah so that may have put a little bit of a damper on this week. - but we are just praying that these things happened this week because that just means something really good is going to happen this week. We're GOING to have at least one baptism this week. Gino is ready and also Alfredo is ready....he is still just trying to receive a confirmation for himself that this church is true. It's kind of killing me because he just wants to know the truth soooo sooo bad but I know that God answers prayers in his own way and his own time but I'm hoping that His own way and His own time will be this week so that Alfredo will feel ready to be baptized this weekend. -Spanish update. Score is still currently me:�� Spanish language:��. It's kind of frustrating I thought I'd be way better by now at it than I actually am but guess God is trying to teach me patience and humility. Wish he was trying to teach me intelligence and bilingualism pero, así es. - please pray for the people I mentioned in my letter today...for Marcela and Maria and Gino and Joe and Alfredo. They need the prayers more than I do! Love you guys and hope everyone has a great week! ������ -boo yah thought I'd have to leave these bad boys behind but guess who's got emojis on her iPad ����

Hermana Baugh

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Almost got arrested...for being "white" girls.

Well for starters one day we almost got arrested! For being white! We were walking around a neighborhood that I'm just gonna say is prime for contacting Spanish speakers and this cop pulls up to us and gets out and is like "excuse me ladies do you know where you are? What are you guys doing here?" and we're like you know bringing people eternal salvation and never ending happiness so nothing too important ( visiting someone we met here last week)  He says well we have been having a lot of break ins around here and you two match the suspects' descriptions of being "two white females", so I'm going to have to run your IDs. And we're like, yes of course the two white Mormon missionaries walking around THIS neighborhood are the two most likely suspects. I mean it only makes sense. Because I'm gonna rob someone when I have pamphlets and cards about Christ and our church spilling out of my bag as I hand him my ID.  But anyways after about 5 more minutes he finally let us go after feeling convinced we were innocent even though he still insisted on writing down all our information. We invited him to church though so idk maybe we'll see him again haha. 

Marcela, the referral we contacted last week and had the 13 minute silent prayer experience with is doing so well. We saw her a few times this week and she's been reading in the BOM, and praying out loud and a lot shorter *fistpump. She shared what she is learning with her sister who lives in her apt complex and we are actually teaching her too now! They're awesome! -

General conference was this week and I've never been more excited for it in my life. It's like the Super Bowl for missionaries. We went around telling everyone about it this week, inviting everyone to our "super bowl party" at the church. We're like yeah we're gonna have this big screen TV and air conditioning and long cushioned chairs and maybe some old stale sacrament bread it's going to be great you've gotta be there. But really though that's all I could think about this week was how excited I was for conference. Every morning Newbill and I would wake up and say "ONLY 96 HOURS TILL CONFERENCE" "ONLY 37 HOURS TILL CONFERENCE" "ONLY 3 HOURS TILL CONFERENCE" . I remember always thinking that conference was the longest and most boring thing ever and would keep checking the time hoping it was almost over so I could go back to doing what ever unimportant thing I was doing before. Now I kept checking my watch dreading the time when it would be over and wishing it would go on forever. I'm not sure when or how my attitude about conference changed but it's definitely done a 180.Conference is so so much more than a Sunday where we get to stay home from church and eat cinnamon rolls and watch BYU TV in our pajamas instead. It's the time when we get to hear direct revelation from God through his living prophets and apostles that is specifically for us. Its amazing. I think what really was making me so excited for conference this time though was because I knew how many people we are teaching have been praying and trying to know for themselves that this really is Christ's restored church. I feel like we've been doing everything we can to try and help them to receive and recognize their answer but we kind of came to the point this week and we're like ok we've done all we can do it's the prophets turn now. 

I find it really hard to believe that if someone watches conference with an open heart, real intent and sincere desire to know truth that you can't watch the prophet speak and not know that he is a true prophet of God. -Our turnout for conference wasn't as great as we wanted it to be but we did have a few investigators who came. Justin came for the Sunday morning session ( was baptized last week) and it was hilarious sitting next to him. He thinks he knows like everything there is to know about the church now that he's baptized and has been reading and studying his scriptures more. During the talks he'd be like " oh that scriptures in 1 Nephi chapter 10 I know that one" or " psh all this stuff is in The gospel principles". Wish I knew as much as Justin does.- there were so many good talks that I can't even decide which was my favorite. The one that Uchtdorf gave though about gaining a testimony and recognizing spiritual truth was really powerful though. There are so many people I can't wait to show that talk to this week. But my overall testimony was strengthened so much this weekend. I feel like I just got recharged and am ready to go teach every single person in Bradenton that I can. I know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves and knows us individually. I know that he sent his son Jesus Christ so that we would be able to overcome our shortcomings, our trials, our sorrows and our weaknesses so that we can make it back to live with Him again. He wants us to live with him again. but we need to do our part with our time we have right now. I know that He has given us a living prophet to lead and guide us to know those things we need to do to live with Him again.- overall I'm just so thankful to be a missionary. I'm so thankful that I have the opportunity to help God with his work and his glory " to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man". I know that's what he wants for each and every one of His children! I hope everyone has a great week this week and doesn't forget the things we learned this weekend! I'm praying that I don't!

I find it really hard to believe that if someone watches conference with an open heart, real intent and sincere desire to know truth that you can't watch the prophet speak and not know that he is a true prophet of God. -Our turnout for conference wasn't as great as we wanted it to be but we did have a few investigators who came. Justin came for the Sunday morning session ( was baptized last week) and it was hilarious sitting next to him. He thinks he knows like everything there is to know about the church now that he's baptized and has been reading and studying his scriptures more. During the talks he'd be like " oh that scriptures in 1 Nephi chapter 10 I know that one" or " psh all this stuff is in The gospel principles". Wish I knew as much as Justin does.- there were so many good talks that I can't even decide which was my favorite. The one that Uchtdorf gave though about gaining a testimony and recognizing spiritual truth was really powerful though. There are so many people I can't wait to show that talk to this week. But my overall testimony was strengthened so much this weekend. I feel like I just got recharged and am ready to go teach every single person in Bradenton that I can. I know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves and knows us individually. I know that he sent his son Jesus Christ so that we would be able to overcome our shortcomings, our trials, our sorrows and our weaknesses so that we can make it back to live with Him again. He wants us to live with him again. but we need to do our part with our time we have right now. I know that He has given us a living prophet to lead and guide us to know those things we need to do to live with Him again.- overall I'm just so thankful to be a missionary. I'm so thankful that I have the opportunity to help God with his work and his glory " to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man". I know that's what he wants for each and every one of His children! I hope everyone has a great week this week and doesn't forget the things we learned this weekend! I'm praying that I don't! Love you!

Hermana Baugh

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bring a raincoat!!

One thing I've learned in Florida this week. If it looks like it's
going to rain- bring a rain coat. If it doesn't look like it's going
to rain- bring a raincoat. Flash floods on bikes are pretty fun haha.
While riding along the side of the road it was fun waiting for the
wave of water to hit us as each car passed by- I felt like we were in
the splash zone at sea world world waiting for shamu as it goes around the tank splashing everyone.

Alright....drumroll please.....this week we had....TWO BAPTISMS AND CONFIRMATIONS!! Sooo pretty much this week was amazing but also super hard haha it was not easy getting these baptisms!

We felt inspired to set a goal of one baptism and confirmation and put all of our missionary superpowers into getting at least one of our investigators ready for baptism, either Alfredo or Magaly. It was weird going into the week just knowing that somehow we were going to have a baptism but not being sure who it was going to be. But it was because we had set that goal and prayed about it that we knew that we had to work as hard as we possibly could to get it. And let me tell you we did. it took a long hard week of lessons and preparing and working and praying and more praying with a little prayer in between but we did it with a ton of help from The Lord and the good old Espiritu Santo!! Magaly was baptized on Sunday and Justin (yeah Justin who kind of came up from behind and surprised us all because we didn't even have a reset date with him) was baptized on Saturday! Because getting that baptism was our entire focus of this week we were helped in so many ways to not only reach our goal but to go beyond it.

We also had intercambios or exchanges this week for a day and I was kind of looking forward to going to a different area, meeting the other sisters investigators and not really having to plan anything buuuut apparently Heavenly Father had other plans because instead of the trainee leaving their area to go do exchanges with the sister training leader In their area like they usually do they told us that I would be staying in our area amd Newbill would be leaving. Hahahaha I was like yaaaayyy I get to take care of our area all by myself for a day this should be great. I was nervous but  I'd like to let you all know that I survived, Bradenton didn't burn down, our investigators didn't dump us, I'm not being transferred, and that I haven't been fired as a missionary so i guess it was pretty successful. I have like a phobia of talking to people on the phone in Spanish though so that was probably the worst part of it all was having to be in charge of doing that all day. Usually Hna Newbill will force me to do it sometimes and I'll call them...start asking them a question then they will answer and I won't know what they're saying panic and throw the phone back at Newbill and not having her there for me to do that was hard but I learned that I can manage if I pretty much just say what I called to say then hang up haha.

One other thing that happened this week was that we had a lesson with a referral from the missionaries in another area with a lady named Marcella. So we go to her house and we taught her about the restoration and she loved it and the spirit was so strong that we even
got her to cry like 3 times during the lesson. Then we asked her if she would end the lesson with a prayer and if in it she would ask to know that Joseph smith really was a prophet for her self and she was like oh yeah of course I'll do it! Then she right away just bows her head and closed her eyes and we were like oh wow ok she's starting guess she doesn't want to be taught how to pray so we closed our eyes and waited for her to start....and then she didn't and we were sitting there like ok is she confused about how to pray? is she just feeling the spirit? did she pass out? Should we check for a pulse? So we look up and she's like whispering to herself so we're like ok ok she's alive she's just praying to herself this is cool we can go with this so we kind of just sit there to wait till she finishes. A minute goes by...then another...then five...and she's STILL PRAYING. At this point it's been like 10 minutes of us sitting in silence with me and Hna Newbill passing looks at each other like what the heck are we supposed to do how long is this gonna last while trying not to laugh in case she suddenly stopped praying and saw us. I felt like Ammon when he went to the King Lamont and it says "14 Therefore Ammon turned himself unto the king, and said unto him: What wilt thou that I should do for thee, O king? And the king answered him not for the space of AN HOUR, according to their time, for he knew not what he should say unto him." I've always wondered how that went down...Ammon and the King just sitting in silence for am hour and now more than ever I wonder how they did it because we were dying after like 10 minutes. After moving around and coughing didn't stop her, at about minute 13 I was just like ok this needs to end and was like Hermana...como se siente? And she stopped and was like I feel so peaceful  and calm right now...it's beautiful. Thank you so much for this. Then we invited her to be baptized and she didn't even hesitate before answering "Ok WHEN??" we were like woah there now that's the kind of answer we've been looking for. I was like how about October 25? She said What time?? Hahaha she's awesome! Definitely worth the 13 minutes of awkward silence!!

Well that's about all for this week and officially the end of my first transfer out in the mission field and the baptism yesterday was a great way to end it. , I'll talk about the investigators who were baptized more when I send pics of it later! Love you all amd hope youhave a great week!

Hermana Baugh

This is Magaly! She's been investigating the church for like a yr and a half and has gone through probably 20 missionaries but has come to church like every Sunday so everyone thinks that her and her kids are members so they were kind of like undercover investigators. But she had to get married before she could get baptized so that's what took her awhile but her and her husband got married a few weeks before I got here. Then she still wasn't sure if she wanted to get baptized because she was scared because she would be breaking the traditions of all her family which are super catholic. But she knows this church is true she has such a strong testimony of it. So after our discussion with her on Sunday we asked her to pray about being baptized this weekend and she said she'd tell us her decision on Tuesday. We went over to her house on tues and read 3 ne 27 together and talked about why baptism is so important and how it's the gate we need to enter through to the path that leads to eternal life and she was like Hermanas I'm ready to enter that gate and inside we were screaming and jumping and crying tears of joy and fist pumping and shouting hurrah for Israel but we kept our cool on the outside  but ah man we were just soo happy for her to finally realize that she was ready for herself. We had the baptism after church on Sunday and the branch pretty much made it like a party because they've been waiting for this day for so long. There was so much love in that room! Haha And also food so that was good too! The other picture is of her family and we are teaching her daughter who will be baptized soon. And her husband I'm sure will too all in due time haha.

So this is Justin. The missionaries found Justin like 2 weeks before I got here. They had been trying walking up to people and asking them the question "have you been baptized?" And had been getting a lot of blank stares until they met Justin who was taking out the trash and said " hey you know that's funny you ask that because I just baptized myself in my hottub last night" in all seriousness haha. So they offered to teach him how there was a proper way through proper authority that we needed to be baptized...bc I've got a feeling baptism by hottub doesn't quite cut it. But anyways Justin was supposed to get baptized 2 or 3 weeks ago but wasn't ready bc he said he didn't have a testimony about prophets or Joseph Smith yet. So we taught him more about that and gave him lots of stuff to read and watch and then this week we went by to teach him on Wednesday and he was super happy to see us and in a super good mood and he proudly showed us a stack of all the pamphlets we'd given him and the restoration movie saying he'd watched it twice and read everything and he understood and knew it was true now! He was like alright I'm ready now when can I get baptized?? 3 days lata....waabaam baptism! There was a lot of ward members there at the baptism bc there had been a wedding at the church right before for one of the English elders investigators (it was so weird it was like 10 minutes long we got to see it) so everyone just stayed for Justin's baptism after. Then one of the members took everyone out to dinner but we couldn't go because we had a teaching appt so we were like "fly little bird fly" and Justin went out with his new ward family and will hopefully live happily ever after. He's so great though and it's amazing to see how much his faith and testimony has grown these past 6 weeks. That's our district leader who baptized him.