Tuesday, May 5, 2015

La fe

This week was pureetyyy amazin if I do say so myself. So I learned so much about faith this week so naturally thus came to pass the title of this email. There's a lot of things this week that happened that helped me to build it. One of which was our experience with Adam. We found Adam when we prayed about where to go finding, were led to this little string of apartments, and Adam opened the door and was really receptive to our message. He is a single dad with 3 younger boys. We taught him 3 times this week and his lessons were a definite answer to prayer for me because I felt like I hadn't been able to teach that strongly and simply with the spirit as I did with him in a while. But Adam recognized that spirit so easily, accepted the baptismal invitation and we were able to set a baptismal date with him. But, both hermana phillips and I for some reason didn't feel right about it and about continuing teaching him and after praying about it we knew it was because it would probably be best for Adam and his progression if the english elders in the ward he would be attending taught him. We are allowed to teach whoever we find in our mission, but we knew that Adam would have the best experience and have the most ward support if he was taught by the missionaries in that ward. So that was a really hard thing to do this week and it took some faith but we handed over our date set (that we have been working sooo hard to get for soo long) to the english elders. Probably the best gift they're ever going to get haha so I hope they are grateful.
- Ok so remember how I asked all y'all to pray for that family of 5 with 3 girls from mexico? Well now Im about to tell you what that was all about. Hermana Phillips and I had been praying for a few days and asking heavenly father for a specific family to find and share the gospel with in the coming week. We both, and Im not kidding, felt inspired after praying both individually and together that this was a family of 5 with 3 girls from either mexico or guatemala. And then I told hermana phillips somewhat hesitantly "for some reason though, Im only feeling the mom and the girls as being strong, that 5th person isn't super solid for some reason but I know the number is 5" SHE HAD FELT THE SAME WAY TOO. Then we made a lot of plans to actually find this family... we fasted, we made lists of places we could go to find, we studied about the family all week, we prayed about members and people we needed to call and ask about this family, and we told our whole branch council about this family during church and challenged them to help us find them and pray for them. That probably took the most faith, telling our branch that we were going to find them but I knew that by doing all of these things that Heavenly Father would somehow put this family in our path. One evening we were doing some finding and hna phillips was like we need to make sure we go back and knock that door. We ended up talking to a bunch of other people and it got to be pretty late and we ran out of time. But as we were leaving I saw the door that hna phillips had talked about and was like waiitt no we can't go till we knock it. So we did and a lady opened it and invited us back the next day to share a message with her (from mexico, family of 5 with 3 kids....but it was 2 girls and a boy). I was like man it's so close... but it's not exactly what we asked for! So I was kind of like did we get our family wrong? is this the one we are looking for? But anyways, we went back the next day and as we were leaving the appt with her, I saw three little girls run back inside their apartment. I knew instantly we needed to go knock their door. So we did and Ruby, thier mom opened the door and was totally receptive to us! And GUESS WHAT. She is from mexico, has 3 little girls and a boyfriend!
(remeber how we felt like that 5th person was there but not really?)  She is now a new investigator and we are going to go see her again today. It was really neat for me to see how heavenly father really does answer specific prayers if we do our part and show our faith. That is the key, that we show our faith and then the miracles come. Maybe we didn't find the family through the branch and through all of our finding and asking people and all of that, but all of those things showed our faith and ultimately blessed us with this miracle. 
- I have been studying the story of Alma and Amulek a lot in the Book of mormon this week and it has never stood out to me so much as it does to me now. It is crazy...there are all of these amazing stories in the book of mormon that I feel like I never appreciated because I never really took the time to truly read the scriptures as much as I do now. But what was amazing to me is that Alma and Amulek preached the gospel day and night, completely submitting them selves to the will of the Father and to trying to help their hermanos but they just kept getting slammed. Thrown in jail. Beat up. Forced to watch their friends be thrown in the fire and die. Questioned, tied up, everything. And they just took it all and had faith the entire time, never doubting that what they were doing was right even though all of these horrible things were happening to them. Then in Alma 14:26 Alma finally pleads with the lord and asks to be given the "strength according to our faith which is in christ even unto our deliverance... and they broke the cords with which they were bound." Ever miracle that happens is directly proportional, or according, to our faith. And it can't just be any faith, it has to be faith that is centered in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the kind of faith that is enabling. And he doesn't just ask for the the chords by which they were bound to just fall off...he asks for the strength to do it themselves. That is the attitude we need to have if we expect miralces and answers to our own prayers. We need to first have faith centered in Christ, act and do everything we possible can in our power, then the Lord's hand will be revealed. Basically, faith is pretty awesome. I am so grateful for the experiences I am having every day that help my faith in my savior to grow. I hope everyone has a great week, and to my family- nos vemos pronto!
Con amor
Hermana Baugh

We can't all be awkward

Well me and Hermana Phillips have officially been together for a whole transfer now! Good news, both of us are staying in Sarasota but that wasn't too surprising. We found out though that Hermana Paulsen is getting transferred  and Hermana Gibson will be training a new Hermana in Cortez! We are pretty sad that our club of Hermanas is going to be broken up since Hermana Paulsen is probably going English speaking...but excited because we will be getting a new Hermana! haha i feel like the Hermanas are just like one big family, or I guess not really a big family because there are only four, soon to be five of us. More of like our own species I guess. We are no longer on mandatory bike though! But we still have been using our bikes as much as possible. the only time we used it this week was to go to district meeting in Bradenton and to church on Sunday. Man I can't tell you how nice it was to not have to ride 8 miles to make it to 9 am church. But we were able to meet so many cool people this week while we've been out and about! We found 12 new investigators!!! It was incredible! This week in district meeting we did a training on praying to recognize our spiritual talents that God has given us, and then using and relying on those when we contact people.We also did more training on how to contact people in a more casual and less demanding way. Haha me and hermana phillips have had a lot of practice contacting people this week. I discovered that one of my gifts is the gift of awkwardness. Man I try so hard to just make natural conversation with people on the street.....
--two ladies are walking toward us, one is wearing exercise clothes and the other was totally wearing scrubs. Me:" Oh...hi...is there a hospital around here?" Lady gives me a concerned look..."Oh sorry I mean... youre wearing scrubs right?... So do you work at a hospital?" she was like no? What do you want from me? There is no hospital around here...bah bah now. haha they were like her pajamas or something.
-So I have this list of all the countries that speak Spanish and it is my goal to meet someone from everyone of them. The only ones I had left were Bolivia and Uruguay. I met someone in the street this week and about flipped out when she said she was from Bolivia haha I think she thought I was crazy because she didn't really want to talk to us after that. But anyways...I'm searching for my Uruguayan now so wish me luck that I won't scare them away so bad.
- We were blessed with a lot of success this week though so don't worry they weren't all awkward contacts. One really cool miracle we had was how we found William. So william lives in Celfia's street that I've told you about. We have taught so many people in that little circle and everyone knows who the hermanas are. When we go there, I have a little fan club of girls that run up to me and beg me for stickers in spanish and it's adorable haha I love it. But anyways, so we had just finished teaching our 16 year old investigator Axel from honduras there (I'll tell you more about him in a minute) and this guy named william (from Guatemala) comes up to us and says hey you know I always see you over here, first at that lady's house  (celfias) and now at his (Axels)... I just felt like I finally needed to talk to you. I want to learn more about God and the Bible too. He is pretty golden! We taught him once and he came to church on sunday with Axel and loved it! We haven't been able to teach him very much though but we are excited to see if this goes anywhere.
-Axel is an incredible kid though. He is living here with his little sister and step dad, but his mom was deported back to honduras and he doesn't really get to talk to or see her right now. He has an incredible testimony and desire to learn and loves the book of mormon. He has come to church the last 2 weeks and everytime we teach him he is just so amazed about what he is learning. it is really neat to see how things that I have just known and taken for granted my whole life can mean so much to someone who has been missing that. We have started teaching him about the commandments and he has said so many times...wow I can't wait to be baptized. He didn't know anything about how repentance works and I felt inspired to show him this video on gospel library called a change of heart. It is about a kid in honduras that used to be in gangs and do drugs but found the church and was totally abel to change. When it started, Axel suddenly was like no way... I know him. I know him. He lived in my city and I knew what gang he was in and everything. It was a super cool experience and know that was the spirit that prompted me to share that.
- Other quick random thing....please everyone pray that we will find a family of 5  from mexico or guatemala that has 3 girls this week. I tell you more next week! Love you! Have a great week!!!

love Hermana Baugh

One year older and wiser too

Hey everyone! So this week was pretty stellar. Started out with Zone conference in Tampa on Tuesday. It was really fun our President put up a bunch of pictures on the screen and we went around and he would pop a picture up and we would have to practice introducing ourselves and using our social skills because apparently we are pretty awkward. Who knew. He is placing a bigger emphasis on us doing more personal contacting, especially now that he said we are allowed to knock doors now! Which is still really weird to me.. I haven't done any tracting on my mission and I haven't quite gotten myself to make the switch to it yet. I would just rather go and talk to people on the street that are already out.  But stay tune for some great stories about that to come! We also had exchanges this week with our STLs. They both came to our area so me and Hermana Phillips just did a divide and conquer and were able to teach everyone over the face of Sarasota that day so that was pretty great. We are meeting some pretty interesting people though...I talked to this old crossing guard guy yesterday who started yelling at me then spoke to me in "the holy ghost" language which sounded like it was this weird tribal thing haha I should have recorded it it was hilarious. I can't tell you how many times this week I have had this conversation "Are you amish?" " No...we have one wheel less and dont get to wear those cool bonnets. So not quite at their level." By they way? I invited a few amish to church this week. Hahah they aren't interested. Not giving up though.
Sunday was my birthday and it was really fun because the whole branch got together at the church and had a big party where we had little pieces of bread and water, sang some songs and listened to a few speakers give gospel themed talks. It was the bomb. It really was a great day though, some of our recent converts, Luz and Eladio, invited us over for dinner. They are from Cuba and are the most adorable people you will ever meet. Luz turns 79 tomorrow so we were able to celebrate together. Their family made a big meal and a birthday cake and Luz had even gone out and bought me a dress for my birthday! She said "Lo vi y pense en ti!" I saw it and thought of you! It really turned out to be one of the best birthdays because of the love this family showed me. I feel like my family here is so big. I have brothers from Honduras and sisters from El Salvador and parents from Argentina and cuban grandparents...And then there's me the white cali girl trying to speak spanish. And it's the best. I hope everyone has a great week! I love you!
Hermana Baugh