Monday, June 8, 2015

Faith to bring the brownies

So this week was like a roller coaster. Started out with the Christmas party which was super fun. it started at 2 and went until 8 and I pretty much played soccer and ultimate frisbee from when I got there until when I left ahhhh man I can't tell you how much I miss playing sports. Not gonna lie I owned ultimate frizbee though...all the elders want me on their intramural ultimate frisbee teams at byu after the mission. YES MADE THE CUT. I realized what a weird bunch of people we are though. about 100 20 year olds hanging out on the beach, playing sports in jeans in the heat of summer and not even touching the water. President had rented out like the entire area-- i think he did it so that we wouldn't get as many stares and have people start making tours to see us like a zoo. I felt so horrible at the end of the day though...pretty sure I got like heat exhaustion or something I felt like I was going to die that night. What can you do though.

- So we have cars in our mission but these aren't just any ordinary car... these are cars equipped with a little computer called tiwi that yells at you every time you speed (it lets you go exactly 7 over) or go over a speed bump to fast and turn up the mo tab too loud. ok not the last one but actually now that i think of it i wonder if it would if we put it on full blast. But anyways... I got a call from the office elders this week saying that tiwi reported me as speeding way too much this month and that if I didn't cool it I'd be in trouble hahaha man I felt so bad but at the same time I was like seriously? Tiwi is on to me! I can't help being from california. I was studying mosiah 3:19 though and it took on a whole different meaning to me. So now to me it means "for the natural californian is an enemy to God...unless he yields to the enticings of Tiwi.." Never thought the atonement would apply to me this way.

- SoSo this week was probably one of the most stressful of my life. So remember how I said that Anthony was supposed to be baptized on tuesday? well we got a call on monday and he said that he was so sorry but his new job was sending him to orlando for two days and he couldn't say no because he is new. He was like I want to do it friday at 7 though for sure! So we were like alright thats cool we can do that. Then the next few days go by and we try calling anthony and of course his phone bill hadn't been paid so we didn't have any contact with him, the only person we were able to talk with was Julio, his member friend that lives in Bradenton. So friday comes around and we weren't sure what to do since we still hadn't heard directly from Anthony. To plan the baptism or not? We prayed about it and we both felt really good so we were like alright, quess that means we are planning it and are just having faith that we hear from anthony before 530. It was the most suspenseful day of my life. We were literally able to talk to everyone besides anthony...we contacted his roommate who said anthony would be off work at 5, julio who said he could pick him up from work and take him to the baptism..everyone. I can't imagine having to serve a mission in a country where people don't have phones...hahaha anthony didn't have one for like 3 days and we were dying! We prayed so much though, but 530 came around and we hadn't gotten the call yet so we had to cancel the baptism again. It was a super hard day. I had never prayed so much in my life as I did that day. Anthony ended up calling us at 645, saying he was finally able to pay his phone bill and had gotten off work late and was like Cuando me voy a bautizar? cuando me voy a bautizar? when am I getting baptized?? It was pretty frustrating. So that was friday, we weren't able to see him saturday and sunday was stake conference. We told him about the meeting and he said he would go. I was a little doubtful at this point though but in the morning as I was gettting ready the though came to me, you should bring the brownies that you made for anthony's baptism to church today. He could get baptized right after the meeting. I was like no there's no way...we haven't told anyone and we haven't even been able to physically see anthony in like a week. I don't even think he's going to come to this meeting today anyways I mean it's in english. But I was like fine, I will bring the brownies. So we get to stake conference and we are sitting with julio, his member friend and Anthony doesn't show up. I was pretty disappointed but tried to stay positive. 30 minutes later though, Anthony comes in and sits in the back and he had brought a friend! We got up with Julio to got talk to him in the back and he was so happy to be there! Then the spirit just told me, Ask him if he wants to get baptized today after the I did and he was like heck yes! lets do it! So we went back to our seats, I snuck up to our branch mission leader during the standing up hymn he was like heck yes lets do it! then we saw our branch president leave the meeting to go to the foyer and went out and told him what was happening and he was totally down for it too. So he finds a priest from our branch there, they fill up the font during the conference, get the message to the members we had there, then right after we all met in the primary and Anthony was baptized. It was such a great service and everything was put together while the stake conference was going on which is crazy thing. It all just fell together so perfectly though that I know that's the way it was supposed to be. All the members were so supportive of him and anthony was so happy to finally be able to make this promise with God. It was such a great day. And we had that plate of brownies to celebrate. I learned a lot this week. I was still kind of confused about why phillips and I had gotten that prompting to plan the baptism on friday and had to go through all that and end up having nothing happen, but I was reminded of the story of Nephi for some reason. How they had to go back to jerusalem to go get the plates, try to get them 3 times before God made everything work together and delivered laban to nephi, then they went out and ended up having to go back again to get their wives. Why didn't god just tell them to do all those things in the first place? why didn't it all work out in the beginning? it's because we are here to be tested, so God is going to test us. He's going to see if we have the faith to follow our spiritual promptings, even when we can't see direct results of them right away. We are rewarded for our faith by developing more christlike attributes, like it says in mosiah 3:19, and when it finally all does work out it is so much sweeter and we are able to recognize it as a miracle. if it weren't hard in the process to get the result, it woulnd't be special. it wouldn't be a miracle. Hope that all made sense, i kind of just went on a typing spree today. love you so much, Im so grateful to be here and experiencing the things i am, even when they are hard. it's so worth it when you see the smile on someone's face the gospel has made a difference in.

love hermana baugh

Feliz dia de los caidos... I mean...not happy... you know what I mean.

This week we started out with zone conference in Tampa. As usual it was really good and I left with a lot of things to take back and apply in our area. One of the things that president has really been stressing and training on is how to become better planners. He sent us each a strict schedule depending on the type of missionary we were (us, new language missionary) that told us exactly when we were allowed to study, proselyte, eat, cosas asi. It was set up so as to give us the max possible proselyting time and as a result, it gave us like less than half of the normal time we usually would have had to study the language. Which we were a little worried about because hermana is still pretty new but we made the decision to follow the schedule exactly and we saw so many miracles this week as a result of our faith in God's leaders! One of which was that we more than doubled the amount of lessons that we taught to investigators from the week before! We did a ton of finding this week and something that we did differently that I really liked was that we walked and knocked and talked with the bible in the hand of hermana phillips and the book of mormon in my hand and just having both of those books out and visible really helped us to testify of our purpose and how we teach people how they can come unto Christ by teaching from the bible and another testament of christ called the book of mormon. Hahah there was one door though that for some reason instead of going up to knock it, I accidentally just went up and opened the front door without even thinking and this persons dogs started barking and going all crazy trying to get out at us and I realized the horrible thing I'd just done and we just got out of there before the person came out. I think the florida heat had gotten to me a little bit.

- So we have this investigator named axel that I have been talking about but I will just give a quick little background on him again to catch all you up. and by all of you... that is probably just my family if that that reads these haha. But Im going to pretend I have a big audience. anyways, Axel is 17 and moved here from honduras not too long ago. His mom was deported back to honduras though and the missionaries started teaching axel late last year as a referral. but his mom didn't want him to get baptized until she got back to the states, which could be in like two years. So they dropped him and since then we have just been keeping in contact with him, teaching him every so often and we would actually see him a lot because he is one of Celfia's neighbors. But we decided to just start teaching him again a few weeks ago because we felt like he had too much potential and desire to learn to just forget about. So we have been visiting him every week or so since about when Hermana Phillips got here and I have seen his faith grow so much, especially as he has been reading the book of mormon, learning about the commandments and about repentance. We invited him to talk with his mom about baptism again a few weeks ago, and the answer was the same. Wait till I get there. So we didn't want to push it too much but we have kept teaching him and trying to get him to church and this week a miracle happened! We were actually outside in a lesson with a different investigator that lives in Axel's neighborhood when he came up to me with a phone and said that his mom wanted to talk to me. So I talked with his mom, all the way in Honduras and she said that today Axel had asked her again about baptism. She said that from talking to him, she could tell that he has matured and really has a desire to follow Christ. She expressed to me how thankful she was for us and for all the things we were teaching him and that she really appreciated it so much, especially because she couldn't be there herself to teach him. She told me then that she had decided that Axel was old enough to make his own decisions, and that if he wanted to be baptized that he had her permission now. Ah man I was trying to hide how suprised and excited I was over the phone! Hermana Phillips was freaking out having to wait to see what was being said. I am so excited for this kid to be baptized soon!! I know that heavenly father blessed him and his mom for his constant efforts to keep learning. Pray that we can keep having contact with axel this week so we can get him ready for baptism possibly the next, it is always really hard to contact him because he doesn't have a phone and is a 17 year old boy and has never planned for anything or had a schedule in his life.

- Another little miracle this week that was almost not a miracle but then came back to be a miracle is Anthony Garcia. This guy just moved here from Chicago and started working with a member in the Cortez Branch. Apparently he was about to get baptized in the church in Chicago but suddenly moved right before he could. So this member calls the cortez sisters, they meet with him, go over the baptismal questions, set a date, and he is all set and ready to go for baptism. But, here's the catch...HE LIVES IN SARASOTA... swipe! They called us and told us this and we were so stoked! And this was the same night we got the call from Axel's mom so I guess you could say we were excited. We get in contact with him though and he is excited to meet with us, and then the next day we get a message and he says sorry, Im actually moving back to Chicago this weekend so I wont be living here. Fail. We were like well I mean that was almost really cool right? Fast forward to sunday and we get another text from him saying that moving back to Chicago was actually a false alarm and he would be staying here in Sarasota and was excited to meet us and be part of the church here! WOOH YAY FOR RESURRECTED MIRACLES.  So we are meeting with him tonight with some members and if it goes well we should be able to set a goal with him for getting baptized next week too.
- Sometimes I wonder why do I even care what time I leave and get back to the apartment? Or eat my dinner? Or go to bed? Or how hard I work out, how focused my studies are, how long I email? And it all goes back to my love for my Savior and my testimony that obedience brings miracles. It through our obedience that we can show our faith in our Lord and in the leaders through which He works with, it shows our love for Him and our desire to live with him again one day, it shows that we trust in his wisdom more than our own.
-Hope everyone has the best week ever, Im praying for you!
Hermana Baugh


So last night we had that portuguese family home evening, I tried speaking my spatuguese haha but I have a lot of improvement to do. Sitting in that lesson I felt like I was starting my mission over again, desperately trying to put together the little words and phrases I understand into something that makes logical sense haha. It went really well though and Im excited to see if we can help this brazilian family's friends progress with the help of the portuguese returned missionaries here.

-So I will just share a few experiences from this week. One testimony builder for me was our lesson we had with Joy. Joy is 25 and from Honduras and is the friend of the President Gazziro and his wife. We have taught her during their family home evenings for the past 3 weeks and man she is awesome I love her. It's a little intimidating though teaching with president gazziro and hermana phillips suddenly got super nervous right before we went into the lesson because of her spanish. I had been studying alma 31 that morning and there are some verses at the end when it talks about alma with his sons and his brothers getting ready to go down to teach the Zoramites who had fallen into apostasy. In these verses, he prays and pleads with heavenly father to fill them with the spirit, and to give them success in bringing these people who they love, their brothers, back to Christ. After his prayers, him and his brothers were immediately filled with the spirit and didn't worry any more about what they would eat or drink or wear,  because they were consumed in the joy of Christ. And it says in verse 37 that all of this happened because Alma prayed with faith. And the very next chapter is alma 32, where alma goes down and teaches which we know is one of the most beautiful sermons ever given on faith. These scriptures really touched me a lot and I knew we needed to do the same thing as Alma. So we said a prayer of faith, and plead to be filled with the joy of christ to the point where we didn't worry about or weaknesses or things we needed, so that we would be able to help our friend Joy. We ended up having the best lesson on the plan of salvation that I have ever had. The spirit was there so strong and Hermana Phillips bore a great testimony.  We taught purely from the book of mormon, and were able to teach her how the book of mormon can answer our deepest questions. In the previous lesson, Joy had told us how she had always wondered what her purpose in life is. As we read different scriptures in the book of mormon, her face would suddenly light up with realization, with knowledge. She said that because of the book of mormon and what we shared with her that night, she was finally able to understand the fall of adam and eve, the atonement of Jesus Christ and what she really is here to do. I am so grateful for the answers that we can find in the scriptures. That is probably one of my favorite parts of being a missionary, is that moment when the spirit guides you to a scripture that answers the question of an investigator and seeing that light and realization in their eyes as the spirit confims that it's true. Ready for the storykiller though? We found out that Joy is moving back to Honduras for a few months in a week so tonight will be our last lesson with her:( that's the sad part about serving stateside is that this happens a lot. You get really close to someone, see them going so far and then they move! It's ok though, Joy wants to keep learning and meeting with the missionaries in Honduras and will be in contact with the Gazziros. She said she wants to move back here in december and keep going to church too.

- We have been doing some more tracting and every time before we do, we pick a number of doors we want to knock and ask to be led to which ones we should knock on. Haha at one point I said you know, Im not sure if it is the spirit leading me to this door, or just the fact that I am attracted to their doormat. But then I realized, hey I bet you God knew the missionaries would be attracted to that specific doormat, so influenced that person into buying it so we would be led to their door haha. No joke though I feel like this is actually true...we were walking through a neighborhood before an appointment and I saw this cool mail box and was like you know I really think we need to knock this door because it has a nice mail box. So we did and it was this cute old lady who was a long lost member of the church and we were able to teach her! Haha I told her that we didn't knock on anyone elses door in the whole street, but knew we had to knock hers because she had a cool mail box and she was like wow I built that thing years ago! who would have thought...

- So we have the goal of trying to set a baptismal date with an investigator every single week...but this week me and hermana phillips were just like alright. This is REALLY going to happen this week- we got to amp up our faith somehow. So we put up sticky notes with the words fecha bautismal all over the house to always remember our goal and prayed for divine help together at every single opportunity- and you pray a lot as a missionary so we did this a lot haha. And guess what happened? We were able to set a baptismal date with Ruby in June! Ruby is the mom of the miracle family that we found with the 3 little girls. We have been able to meet with here 3 or 4 times and already we can see the effect that learning more about the gospel is having on her. She stopped using the Lord's name in vain, even when we didn't directly ask her too and she has gone from never praying to saying nightly kneeling prayers. It is really neat to see these little things she is doing and it makes me super excited to see her willing to work towards baptism as a goal. We have a few things we need to work with her with though....hahah when we extended the baptismal date to her she was like "Wow! I feel like Im getting marrried or something!"....uhmm yeah...about're going to have to do that too haha. We are excited to keep helping her progress though and I know that we were definitely blessed for our faith this week by that experience.

- ah man, se esta acabando el tiempo. Basically God's good and so is the mission life. Hope y'all have a great week!
Hermana Baugh

MIssions are preparing usfor eternity

First off, so glad I got to talk to and see you all yesterday. Even though it was a little hectic and loud hahah but Im glad that you were able to meet my cuban family the perez here, I know it made them super happy to be able to meet you! *Sidenote and highlight of the week, some guy from the Dominican Republic thought I was from Cuba when I met him (SUCCESS) because cubans are pretty light. Anyways, Glad you got a little taste of "trying to understand spanish coming from 80 yr old cubans" though :) Hopefully you got a little bit of it. Now that Ive finally got that down though, I'm actually trying to learn a little bit of portuguese! There is a family from brazil in our branch who has a lot of friends they are trying to share the gospel with, but they feel like they havent been able to because there haven't been any portuguese speaking missionareis. But this sunday we have a family home evening (noite familiar in portuguese) and they are inviting over 8 friends. We are going to go and teach them with an ex missionary that just got back from serving in Brazil so Im super excited to start cramming in some portuguese this next week haha. Portuguese is really is like really ugly spanish mixed with french and who knows what else. I've got this theory that if I can just learn to speak spanish with portuguese pronunciation then that will be enough to get me by. A ver.

-This week was pretty uneventful...lets see.. we taught Axel (16 yr old from Honduras) and William (his guatemalan neighbor) a few times. Axel is doing really well. He is pretty much a future missionary...he just needs to get baptized is all. He asks really good questions about what he learns in church or is reading in the book of mormon and his faith is growing a lot. He asked us a question this week about why girls don't have the priesthood, and we explained to him the different divine roles that men and women have, and how together, we are able to enjoy all the blessings God has for us. A few days later, we were having a lesson with william outside and Axel saw us and came out and joined (which usually ends up happening) and William asked us that same question about priesthood and women that axel had a few days before. Axel just looked at william and answered his question perfectly, and taught exactly what we had taught him days before. William had more questions about the apostasy and the book of mormon and axel (I actually handed my missionary tag over to him for a little bit of this) explained it all and the taught about how the bible and book of mormon work together and how god resotred the gospel through joseph smith in the year 1820 (he actually said the year). It was awesome. This kid's family situation is seriously killing me though, he just needs to get baptized already he is so ready!

- This week we also went to Tampa pretty much all of friday for a specialized training for sisters. We learned a lot about how much the mission is preparing us for the rest of our lives. It is really neat to see that we really are developing the skills and habits here  that we are going to rely on when we become parents, employees and leaders later on. Missions are preparing us for eternity! President also reminded us a lot about what success is. It isn't the amount of people we contacted, lessons we taught, referrals received... It is about whether we are being led by the spirit, being diligent, changing, progressing, serving the lord with our whole hearts, developing Christlike attributes, and striving to become the individuals god wants us to be through serving others. I've come to truly live by page 10 of preach my gospel, which teaches you what it means to be a successful servant of the Lord. There will never really be another time in my life when I can look at a list of points, written by the prophet, telling me exactly what I need to do and feel to feel successful.
- I realized that saturday was not just my 10 month mark, but it had been exactly a year since I went through the temple. I feel like I have learned and grown so much in just this short year, and that my relationship with my Heavenly Father, my recognition of my dependency on the Savior, and my desire to have and follow the Holy Ghost have multiplied so much. Los quiero mucho,
con amor

Hermana Baugh