Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beans and Rice WITH a side of Beans and Rice! MMMMM! Good!

Week 1

Jocelyn only had a few minutes on the computer today.  I'm not sure if she even had enough time to read all of our letters.  We are grateful for her email, and grateful that she is always Jocelyn and says it like it is!  We are grateful for the spirit, and for a loving Heavenly Father.  We are even grateful for the hard times and the growth that comes when we go to our Heavenly Father for help.  Here is Joci's letter for this week!  ~Momma Baker

I love my family. I want you to share this email with the whole family. I don't have too much time, but I will try to answer questions and stuff for each kid. I will write personal notes to each kid. So Zac and Al. I don't know if you will be 230 pounds when I get back but i sure will! The food here is delicious. Soo good. Yesterday for lunch we literally had rice and beans with a side of ... rice and beans. literally. NO JOKE! The one beans had meat in it. Some people said it was pigs hoof but idk. And i liked it so i don't really care. They make everything into a pudding for dessert which isn't too good. Like you could originally have a cake, but then they make it into a pudding. Gross. They have this stuff called guatenara. The boys would like it. Its the famous brazilian pop. So I am completely better now. so good.
So the other day I was having such a hard time with the language. everyone in my district took spanish previously so they were forming sentences and stuff and I was not doing nearly as good. so of course i got down on myself and I started to cry just a baby bit and before i knew it i was full out bawling. I missed you guys and i wasn't fluent and i was supposed to teach a fake invesitgator in pork and cheese(portuguese) and i couldn't it was overwhelming!  Well i tried to get it together but then the elders from our district walked in to the class room and i was crying and they were all like are you ok and i was all like no!! and started bawling ( love our district btw) but they consoled me and my sisters are great i have 2 companions and i just couldnt get it together so finally they asked if i wanted a blessing. the spirit was soo strong. Those young 18 year old elders gathered around and placed their hands on my head and blessed me with the spirit and that i would learn the language and realize that if i work hard and do my best the Lord would do the rest. I am so grateful for that. I felt you praying for me and i just cried and cried because i knew it was going to be ok. Afterwards i said thankyou to the elders and the one giving the blessing ( the one you met at the airport) Elder Albee was having a hard time to so i went to shake his hand really firmly since i couldnt give a hug and we both burst out crying and it was so spiritual and such a sweet loving moment from our father in heaven that as we shook hands embraced for a quick second. It was appropriate and sweet and everyone started bawling. Then we had a testimony meeting as a district and everyone cried. Anyway. I have felt peace and love ever since. I forget home during the day. Its not that i don't miss you but if i focus on you then i wont ever get anything done. And i can feel your prayers and it makes it easier to forget home and go to work.  
The toilet paper here comes out in 3 by 5 rectangles and it comes out of an upside down tissue box looking thing. Sups weird. and I went to the temple today and it was the most beautiful celestial room i have ever seen. 
I don't have too much more time but I will say my portuguese is improving so much. I can have a mini conversation and bear my testimony and say a prayer. They are simple phrases but they are strong. I am so grateful for my family. So my challenge for you guys this week is to obey with exactness. We make sure we are in bed with the lights out at exactly 10:30. The Lord doesnt care about 5 minutes but he does care about your willingness to be exactly obedient. Do that. Thats my challenge. They are kicking me off now.  

Eu ti amo e eu sintos sandades
I love you and miss you.
Your favorite sister missionary
Sister Baker

After much thought I decided I would like to add my experience of Jocelyn's experience.  It was such a sweet experience to me and a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father.  A day last week as I was working on Jocelyn's blog I was thinking about her.   I had been pleasantly surprised that I wasn't worrying about her constantly and felt peace about her.  However that day I was feeling some concerns about her.  I felt like she might be a little homesick and was concerned about how she was doing with the language.   Since I was working on the blog for her I thought it was probably because I was thinking so much about her right then.  Then as I was sitting there a conversation that Joci and I had was "brought to my remembrance."  We were on a walk together and she said, "Mom what if I'm having a hard time and you won't be there to help me?"  I said, "Somehow I will know and I will pray for you and I will tell our family to pray for you, and you will pray and you will be okay."  Right after that conversation played through my mind the spirit told me to "get up and pray for Joci"  I did pray for Joci that she would feel our love and have courage and be comforted.  I prayed for her to be able to learn the portuguese language.  Later that day I told our family to pray for her with the language and we have every prayer since that time.  When I read Joci's email it was a sweet experience to know that our Heavenly Father loves His children and sometimes answers the desires of our hearts before we even think to ask.  It was a testimony to me of our Father's love for each of us and that we can be close, though miles a part, and truly be united spiritually through prayer.  How grateful I am for a daughter that turns to our Father in Heaven each day in prayer.  How grateful I am for the power of the Priesthood and for worthy Young Elders who were willing to use that Priesthood to bless my daughter.  How grateful I am for the gospel and for a loving Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ and for the blessing of the Holy Ghost to prompt, inspire, testify and give comfort.   We have been so blessed by this experience this week.
~Momma Baker

Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm official~name tag and all!

September 17, 2014
When we got home from the airport on Tuesday, on the magnet board that she's been counting down for the last 30 days we found this:

What a sweetheart!
Tuesday afternoon (9-16) Joci was able to call from Atlanta.  There was a complimentary 5 minute payphone, YAY!  She said she was traveling with 7 other missionaries plus a Senior couple.  She said the Senior missionary couple helped them through the Atlanta airport, and that she was being taken care of!  What good that did this mother's heart!  Kaiti was with me and was able to hear the conversation and squeeze in one more "I love you Joc" which helped Kaiti smile.  A little later that day I got a text from a random number with this picture and the caption "They look good!"  What tender mercies today!

Missionaries leaving with Joci from the SLC airport.

Tuesday at the end of the day I decided to send Joci an email in case she was able to email us when she got to Brazil.  I was so glad I did.  The jokester sent me this in response to my email:

ERROR CODE 246-980973-396
Email Address not found.

I was confused and rechecked her email address but the "ERROR" message was followed right after with this:     

Just kidding! I wanted to throw you for a loop! i did it huh!!!! yeah man! I am so funny!
    I am never coming back! You are going to have to come down here with me! Brasil is the most beautiful place. The flight was great and I met two sister missionaries on my flight who are now my companions. Sister Anderson and Sister Clement are wonderful. Sister Anderson and I clicked right away. She is a hoot and a half. Sister Clement has the funnest smile and a catchy laugh. We get along just great. There was supposed to be another sister that was going to be my companion but she had health problems and couldn't come so they moved me in with the other two sisters. I love them.
    It is not nearly as hot as I expected! At least not right now. It is the perfect weather! About 70 degrees! Amazing!
    When we got to the Terminal of the Airport we all got on this bus thing and headed out through traffic and let me tell you! Traffic here is the craziest thing. If someone wants to merge they just merge! It doesn't matter if there is a car already there or not they just merge!! Cars all over honking and honking and motorcylces that ride down the dotted white lines in the middle of the road. Right in between cars! They just lay on their horn all the way down the street so you don't merge into them. And they book it! They go so fast! Boys don't do that on your motorcycle!! BE CAREFUL! Wear a helmet! I am so jealous that you got that literally as soon as I left! I have always wanted a motorcycle!
    Yeah kindermusic! Mama you do such a good job with those kids! I don't even need to wish you luck! But good luck anyway!
    Kaiti, I hung up the picture you drew me in my room. I love it. And so do my comps. It brightens up the room.
I don't know when my p-day is but i'll let you know for sure! I haven't even eaten a meal yet but we were all so excited to write our families it didn't really matter.
   I sure love you guys. Don't you dare worry about me because I am having the best time hear serving the Lord. I'm 78% sure that the hard part is about to come but I am already so in love with being a missionary it doesn't matter! I got my name tag! It's on me!!!!! wahoo! I'm official!
   Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for your prayers. Tell everyone how much I appreciate it because it really does matter and I really can feel their love and support and prayers coming my way. I am so lucky to have you guys. Thank you Thank you!!!
I kinda need some people's emails... I only have yours so if you could give me Jake's and Dad's and the Kids. I have an hour to email I think so thats sweet! wahoo!
I'lll send pictures when I can. LOVE and KISSES!!!
Sister Baker

What a character!  It made us all laugh though!  It was evidence that she was doing great and being herself!  Happy day!

A little later in the day we recieved this email from the MTC Mission President in Sao Paolo Brazil:
Dear Parents,
Sister Swensen and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us. We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                     
The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives, will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.
The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the cafeteria food is plentiful, healthy and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.
We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.
President Robert Swensen and Sister Julie Swensen
PLEASE DO NOT SEND PACKAGES to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, pleaseDO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to process this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I want to be a Missionary!

September 16, 2014

The day has arrived!  Our family woke up and ate breakfast together, then loaded all of Joci's luggage!  Mark gave Joci a father's blessing and we said a Family Prayer (preceeded by the Baker Family Prayer song! Moaning included!)  The airport was a joyous, peaceful and happy time that left a hole in all of our hearts!  It was one of the best and hardest things our family has done.  We know that Joci will bless the people's lives in Brazil with the message of the gospel.

We met this Elder as we were saying our Goodbyes.  Joci said "Where are you going on your mission?"  His response was "BRAZIL!"  Joci "No way, me too!  What mission?"  He said,"Natal!"  Joci yelled "ME TOO!"  Then she gave him a big high 5!  I think his name is Elder Allbee?  His parents grew up in Salem/Spanish Fork and they live in Manti now.  Just opposite of Mark growing up in Ephraim and living in Salem!  It was a good connection to make and the Mom's felt better that the missionaries were not alone!

After the hugs and goodbyes the next part was the part that left the holes, seeing her walk away!  Just when we thought she was going, she came back a little ways gave us a big teary smile, yelled "I love you!" and gave us a wave then the brave girl was off on her mission! 

One last wave and I love you!

and she's gone...on her way to Brazil!

...A Sister Missionary!

September 15, 2014

Jocelyn was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 6:00 pm on September 15.  Our Stake President, President Quesenbury, his counselor President Dunn, her father and Grandfather Stilson set her apart.  President Quesenbury gave her a beautiful blessing.  She will be a wonderful missionary.  After she was set apart, we took time for some precious family time. Happy moments in our lives.
Kaiti, Alex, Joci, Zac, Dad(Mark) Mom(Jen) Grandpa(Richard) and Grandma (Carol)

Sweet times

August 24, 2014

We tried to get some pictures of Joci before she left on her mission.  She was so excited that we had a hard time catching her serious!  What a crazy sunshine she is!

Jocelyn and each of her siblings wanted some one on one time together before she left so they each took a turn just being together.   Mark and I loved go to the Temple with her.  I also enjoyed the one on one time helping her get ready to go on her mission.  Sweet times!

Joci and Alex

Joci and Zaccur
Joci with Dad and Mom going through the Temple
for the first time.   We went to the Timpanogas Temple.  

Joci and Kaiti
Kaiti and Joci had a fun date. Kaiti planned and payed for the date!
The day included lunch,  long boarding, making carmel apples and
getting pedicures!

Good luck Sister Baker!

August 31, 2014
Jocelyn spoke in church before she left for her mission.  Many friends and family gathered at our home throughout the day and following weeks to wish her well.

"I'm going to Brazil!"

Jay, Michelle, Aiden, Gabby, Emma and Jocelyn

Grandpa and Grandma Stilson

A quick family photo 

Taylor Family~Nate, Julie, Mattie, Ethan, Evan, Lottie and Joci

Jake and Joci

The Baird Family~Craig, Jill, Jordan, Braden, Leisel, Brielle, Megan, Tanner  and Joci

Brother Alex and Jackson

Tessa, Alyssa, Sophie, Joci, Jessica, Breanna

Andrew, Elise and Keith Willmore and Joci

Kaiti made this "Sister Missionary" cake for Joci!

Amy, Chris, Millie and Mari Mason and Joci

Where in the World will SISTER BAKER go?

May 22, 2014  6:00pm
 Where will she go?  Any guesses?  We collected guesses from family and friends when she turned in her call.  The guesses ranged from New Zealand, to Europe and Africa to anywhere in the USA!

Joci wanted friends and family with her as she opened her call
so we waited until 6:00 in the evening so everyone could be there.
Grandpa and Grandma Stilson even came 2 hours just for the occasion then
turned around and went back home when it was over!  The love and support
of Joci is amazing!  We are so blessed.

Dear Sister Baker...
You are hereby called to serve...Brazil Natal Mission.  You will report
to the Brazil Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.
You will preach the gospel in the Portuguese language.


Lafe, Zac, Tim, Trevor, Kaiti, Sophie, Jessica, Joci, Jake, Elder Griffin,
Elder Ramos, Alex, Malena, Breanna, Josh, Andy

Best friends Jake and Joci

Grandpa and Grandma Stilson's gift for her mission from the
Prairie Diamond Mission Fund.   Thanks Grandpa!

Not one person thought of Brazil but the minute she
read her call it felt so right!

Zac and Joci