Monday, December 29, 2014

The Church is True!

We got to visit with Joci through Skype on Christmas!  It was so great to see her!  She looked wonderful and happy.  She wanted to hear all about the family and we all wanted to hear about her!  We all laughed a lot.  When asked what she loves she said that she loves the people.  She loves the way that they sit out every evening on their (kind of like a porch)  She loves to visit with them during that time.  She also LOVES hammocks and says that they are essential to life!  She said some things in Portuguese and asked us to figure out what she said.  As she said it the spirit came so strong and we recognized some words, it was the first vision.  It was a sweet experience.  She was skyping from Barbara's house (the person who posts of Joci on instagram)  Barbara sat right next to Joci during the call.  It was fun to see their relationship and hear them talk back and forth in Portuguese.  When the conversation was over it was hard to say goodbye.  We all cried and wanted more but we were so grateful for the opportunity to get to talk to her, hear her voice and the sound of her laughter and see the sparkle in her eyes.  It was a very special Christmas for our family.


Well it was freaking awesome to see you guys! Man I miss you!   Daddy I knew you were going to cry. I knew I would too. It’s weird when the hardest times come i cant cry.   All i can do is push through, but then when comfort comes, when i get to see my family or when the lord calms my heart i cry like a little baby. Man. I sure love all of you!  It was wonderful to see you.  I can’t wait to talk to you again in 6 months. It’ll go by fast i promise.   My Christmas was different.   It didn’t have the Christmas sparkle like at home, but it did have the warmness. It was a wonderful Christmas gift to talk to you all. But i guess it feels like Christmas a little bit everyday. I am trying really hard to focus on Christ. I am also trying to do what Christ would do. Many times it is a lot easier to go through the motions without emotions. Do contacts on the street and if they don’t accept your message think oh well they were invited but it is a lot harder to look at every single person how Christ would look at them.  I want to love every single person. As for Eljoao with the drinking problem he stopped drinking and Mario started.

So i have another kind of funny story.  I forgot to tell you guys on Christmas. So we were sitting on the porch of a members house on Christmas waiting to go home so we could talk to our families and the one member leaves for a second and comes back holding a live chicken by the wings. He casually walks through the house out to the back and then about 3 minutes later calls the elders from the back of the house. So we all go back there and he gives us the chicken, now dead, in a box. and says "be careful, it might still be alive" Well thats my story. I thought it was super funny. Here is this dead chicken in a box. Merry Christmas! Funny. 
So other than that we met a guy who is possessed with the spirit of the world. That’s how it exactly translates in english. So i don’t know what that means but apparently he has never learned spanish but he can speak it and he’s really creepy. I try and stay away from that one. Maybe he was just drunk. I don’t know, i don’t speak spanish. 
  The baptism fell through. I was super upset about it. He was excited about it until Friday. We went and talked to him, Fransisco on Friday with the LD for and interview for baptism. We left them to talk for a bit and then came back and he didn’t want to get baptized. The elders didn’t say anything out of the ordinary to him. They just asked him the interview questions and now he doesn’t want to be baptized. He understood everything before and now he just doesn’t want to. We tried to answer his questions and every time we would answer them he would just say "hey i’m sorry i just don’t want to be baptized".   Anyway that’s frustrating. He has a problem with paying tithing. He doesn’t have much money so we tried to explain that the blessings out weigh the sacrifice but he just said "sorry i don’t want to be baptized" then he said that he is scared that he wouldn’t be able to walk around at church and that he would fall because he has a problem with his legs and that its super hard to get around. So we tried to explain that he has a bunch of people at church that would help him and that someone would pass by and bring him to church in a car every week and that if he would make the sacrifice every week to go to church his legs would get a little bit better and that he wouldn’t fall but he just said "i don’t want to get baptized sorry." That’s really rough.
  We have 4 people with baptism dates for next sunday. Pray that they will be protected from the influence of the devil. He sure works hard on investigators. Man. But we are working really hard. 
  Any way, you know Mario? He started drinking again. I almost cried.  He is really struggling. I fasted for him on Saturday. That just breaks my heart. He was doing so good! but now he is going downhill fast. I am super worried about him. My companion is mad at him and doesn’t like to be charitable towards him because she thinks he is just being dumb because he keeps saying its hard but doesn’t tell us why. So i decided to take control of the situation. He responds to me. We told him that if he feels like he wants to drink he can call us. So he called us on Sunday right before church and Sister Lencini wasn’t very nice on the phone and was super annoyed with him and just told him to come to church. He asked her if she could pass by his house but she said just come to church we will talk to you there.  But i decided to pass by his house and we passed by and i said "Hey Mario! Hows it going? You doing ok?" and he said "No life is really hard" and i said "Put a shirt on and come to church with us! You’ll feel better in church!" and he said ok and came. 
   We also have another investigator who she wants to drop but i don’t because all he wants is a friend. If we are nice and friendly to him he will come to church and get a testimony. She hasn’t even tried and she says its his fault. Any way... Im not having difficulties with my companion, but i wish that she would love all of the investigators, not just the ones she wants. 
Thank you for your prayers. I don’t know where i would be without them. Honestly. It helps so much. I have had some hard days but the cool thing is, when something hard happens Heavenly Father always sends something to cheer me up.  Anyway. Yesterday was awesome! I felt really good about my work. I worked hard, I helped people and i was able to talk to Preta (a sister in the church i love love love love her) like a best friend. She gave me a sweet bracelet she made and i’m going to teach her daughter piano lessons a couple times. 
Life’s good. I love the work and i love you all! 

The church is true! 
Love you miss you!

love, Sister J. Baker

Monday, December 22, 2014

Give me a Kiss Like This!

Sebastio  got baptized!

Well, Oh boy do i have a story for you!! Get ready! So we had a baptism this past week. You know Sebastião who says Amen Jesus? Well he got baptized. It was wonderful! I am so happy about it. But oh my gosh it was probably the craziest baptism ever. First during sacrament he answers his phone. During the sacrament prayer we heard this loud disruptive ringtone and we all turned to see who it was and it was Sebastiao. He looks down at his phone and then answers it! i was on the other side of the chapel and couldn’t do anything about it. Oh how embarassing. After he finished the phone call the sacrament meeting was normal again. Here is where it gets good. We go take pictures outside of the building before the baptism and after the pictures Sebastiao just got super excited and grabbed my face and gave me a big long juicy kiss on the cheek. I tried to stop him but he has a really strong arm.. Then we all went into the building to the baptismal font. We sat down and heard a few short little talks and we went into the baptismal font where Elder Harris would baptize him. Before he said the prayer he kinda went over what would happen and then he asked Sebastiao if he was ready. He said yes and we all closed our eyes for the prayer. Elder Harris said the baptismal prayer and we all opened our eyes in time to see Sebastiao cross himself and kiss his hand and point to the heavens. Oh my gosh. Of all the things could have done. Crossing himself. Elder Harris dunked him and when he came out of the water he said "phew i was dying of heat, it felt good to take a bath!" oh dear. What do you do? Laugh and laugh. Craziest baptism ever. 
Well the last week was the conference of Christmas in Natal. We had a great time. Learned a lot and I met all of the missionaries in Natal. We got a picture with all of the sister Bakers. They are the sweetest things. Love them. 
We have 7 investigators with the name of Fransisca and one Fransisco. Mixen things up over here in Currais Novos. 
I Said a prayer in English this week and lemme tell ya, that was one of the hardest things of my life. I literally couldn’t do it. I said portuguese words like 4 or 5 times. It was so rough. 
There is this thing that is my new favorite thing. I don’t know the name of it in English but it called a feira in portuguese. Its a fruit market i guess. It’s a lot like swiss days except for that everyone is yelling and its super ghetto and the booths are falling apart and are made of wood and they sell fruit. Its awesome though. If you go to the right places at the right time you can get tons of fruit for super cheap. I went again today and got a watermelon, 4 giant mangos, a thing of bananas, tapioca powder, 10 apples, pineapple, all for 10 reis. which is roughly 5 dollars. its a wonderful thing. 
Well i’m dreaming of a white christmas. White with baptism of course!! We have 2 investigators with a baptism date on christmas. I hope they don’t fall through! 
Our mission is the 2nd highest baptizing mission in the world! last month we baptized 245 people. ONE MONTH! thats crazy!!
Well thats all for now! i love you all!!
Love, Sister Baker
p.s. i cant wait to talk to you on christmas!!
I love you i love you i love you!
i cant hardly wait to talk to you on Christmas!! It will be at roughly 4:00 our time. So 1:00 your time i think. not 100% sure youre tme. But either an hour before or after. Yeah. There you go. 
your life is running! fast! I love to hear about your life and everything that you are doing. I love you!
Cya on Quinta-fiera!! literally i will see you! 
i love you!

Sister Baker

The 3 Sister Bakers!  Sister Joci, Sister Megan and Sister Katie

Sister Baker Elder Albee, Elder Harriss, and Elder
all flew into Brazil together and were in the
same district at the MTC!

The 3 Sister Bakers!

More Instagram posts from Barbara

Monday, December 15, 2014

Singing?? in Brazil

Well this week was the week of brazilians that can't sing. They really really cant. Like at all. I am in charge of the ward choir because im the only one who has ever been taught anything about music ever in my life and so i was kind of designated as that. We will have a festa de Natal the day before christmas and we will sing there so they asked me to pick 2 or 3 songs and teach them to everyone. So here i am sitting at the piano trying to teach everyone and at first we start out on the melody. Easy right? I decided i would play the single one handed melody on the piano and they could sing along to the christmas song the first noel. Well i started out and almost stopped because it was soooo aweful. I tried with all my might not to laugh. Apparently the note i was playing wasn't the melody because no one was on it. So i told them to start over and i played the note and told everyone to repeat after they heard the note kind of like match the pitch. Well turns out they dont even know how to do that. Then there was this lady who was like 'its perfect, beautiful! Now lets add an alto part!' I almost lost it. I told her 'maybe it would be easier to just have one melody that everyone sang together' and she was like 'no i already know the alto part.' So she made one of the girls sing the melody while she sang the harmony. ..... I dont have words to describe it. I gently said that 'it was good but that it would be easier for everyone to just sing the melody.' She then said 'no its fine we will have half sing the harmony with me and half sing the melody now i want you to play the harmony part on the piano.' Then i had to kindly tell her that the harmony she was singing doesnt exsist... IT went like this for a while and she would try to teach people her part and i would just try soo hard not to laugh then finally i was like 'i have an idea, there is a part in the music already written in, how about if we all sing this?' And they were all like ok! So we sang the easiest harmony that i could think of and the "melody" and called it good. I can hardly wait for the party. The primary program was also this week. It was nuts!! You think ours is crazy! It is impossible to keep all these kids in one place, they kind of stopped trying. We had kids running up and down the isles with juice boxes and apples and cookies and blankets and babydolls and screaming and running away from parents and the singing, oh the singing... Its really hard to learn how to sing right when the music leader doesn't even know. But they sang with their whole hearts. As loud as they could! It was sooo cute! I love these kids. Some of them would look at me and blow a kiss or smile. Made my whole day!! We had 4 investigators at church too! That was awesome! I haven't told you all much about my investigators huh?! Well here we go! We have a married couple they live alone because their children have all grown up. They are about 60 years old. So cute. Their names are Sebastião and Lucrecia. Man i want them to get baptised. But they are having some serious problems. First of all when we went to invited them to baptism and Sebastião was all for it and Lucrecia said that she would pray and think about it. So we said that was great and that we would continue coming and teaching them the lessons. So we would teach and Lucrecia would understand and accept everything and i thought Sebastião was accepting everything he would nod his head and say "exactly, exactly amen!" And "amen Jesus!" and "oh God, God is good" over and over again, but then come to find out at about our 2 or 3 visit he wasnt understanding or even paying attention to a single thing we were saying! He wouldnt ask questions he would just nod his head and say amen. So we decided we needed to ask him more questions so we started over with the 3rd lesson. IT went like this:
'Sebastion, the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ is faith. Do you have faith?"
"Yes I have faith. God is good. Amen Jesus!"
"So to review, what is the first principle of the Gosple?"
"Jesus! Amen Jesus!" 
"Jesus is very important because he atoned for our sins. But the first principle of the gospel, the first point, is faith."
"So what is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ?"
"Jesus Christ, Amen Jesus!"
"The first principle is FAITH"
"What is the first Principle?"
"God is good."
"YEst sebastion, God is good but the first principle is FAITH!"
"What is the first principle? Ill give you a hint, its faith."
Im not exaggerating. Im being very serious this is really and truely how one of our lessons went. Im serious. Another problem that we have with him is... You guessed it SOCCER! He watches soccer all the time and when someone in brazil is watching a soccer game you dont interupt them. So many times we havent been able to teach him a lesson because he is too involved in soccer. And Lucrecia has a very closed heart. She knows that the church is true. She started talking one time about how she has always been in the same religion and been happy about it until we came knocking on her door and started talking about her Savior. Then she started to cry and i was like yes! Shes going to be baptised! She is feeling the spirit! But then she got all weird and started cleaning stuff and was like "i like your message and i like you guys but i will not be baptised. You can continue to come and teach my husband and i but i will not be baptised." broke my heart. Missionary work is a work of heartbreak. Every day my heart breaks over and over again for the one time that someone accepts your message and is baptized. But when someone does! Man! That is happiness!!! 
Well i ate 2 weird things this week. i ate blood. I didnt know it was blood until after i ate it. It had been cooked so it was hard. They just watched me and i was thinking why are they watching me? and then they were like oh thats blood. It wasnt bad. It wasnt great and i dont want to eat it again because its blood! but it wasnt bad. The second thing is that certain types of Tea here arent against the word of wisdom and the brazilians are super into their tea. So i tried some the other day and you know after a really really long time i could grow to like some types but the first time drinking it is gross. really gross, but i could see myself liking it someday. 
In the pictures, we woke up early on pday and hiked to this giant cross thing. It was a couple miles on foot but hey we walk a good 10 miles a day so the 3 miles there and back wasnt much. Ha ha. It was cool! 
Also work is picking up. My companion and i are a good match. She is nice and loves to work hard which is a good thing. I am working my tail off lately! We have 3 families with baptism dates and 2 others with baptism dates. Super pumped!!! 
Well thats all for right now!! 
I love you guys!! im doing great and i cant wait for christmas!!
i pray for you everyday! i love you all!
Love, Sister Baker