Thursday, October 30, 2014


Week 6

Well, I’m here, and let me tell ya, if you compare Sao Paolo to Natal,  minha nossa, this place is perfect! It is hotter than hates aqui, but in my honest opinion i like it like this. I am in another trio, but i don’t know for how long because i don’t speak enough portuguese to understand what they are saying. But both of them are angels. I love them both and they are so patient with my portuguese. You call your first companion when you’re a verde (greenie) out in the field your mae, or mom. So i have 2 moms here that are taking very good care of me. We laugh and laugh and it turns out that i know more portuguese than the other american missionaries that come out here the first week because i can actually have a conversation and i can ask questions and get my point across more or less.

My one companion wants to marry Zac. She thinks he is muito lindo! very handsome and wants me to tell you Zac that she is going to come to America with me and marry you and I said that was fine i would love to have her as my sister. My other comp is my favorite though. Sister Moreas. She is an angel. She has been a trainer for missionaries several time before and she is very good at it. She will have me speaking portuguese in no time! They say that it takes about a month to speak almost fluently in the field and since i have more portuguese under my belt than most missionaries(from what they say) i think it will take less if i work hard enough.

Well, let me start from the beginning and tell you some fun stuff that happened to me the first day here. I flew out and slept almost the whole flight except for i wrote the fam a letter about my district who i love and who it was very hard to say goodbye to. Those kids got me through one of the hardest months of my life although i have a feeling the next month will be harder.   And then i hopped on the plane. I arrived early in the morning and went through orientation with the president and his wife. They are very sweet and kind and i love them a lot. So sweet and so kind. I instantly loved them. They met us at the airport. Very chill too. Not like the CTM president and his wife. They were strict to the t although i really loved them as well. The president and his wife here know everyone very well. There are only about 150 missionaries in Natal and 3 of them are Sister Bakers and i will be is j baker now.  They pronouce that jota-bacon, sweet. Anyway after orientation we went to the presidents house which was on the beach. So pretty!!  I have pictures of it. Muito linda. We ate some more acai. which is very much my favorite food here and i dont think you guys will ever be able to taste it unless you come to Brazil.  So i think we should go on a family vacation here when i get back.   Oh wait I’m never leaving!!!  and after the presidents house we went to whats called a sisters home which is just a house that the sisters go to when they are transitioning from one place to another or when they need to stay there for a zone conference or something. Well that place was a very scary place. The door was a gate. and then there was a dirt floor until the beds and then there was a grimmy tile floor. Not pretty.  There were bunk beds for about 20 feet and then there was a tiny bathroom (dont flush your toilet paper) and a kitchen and a cement room. It was scary and i have a feeling it was pretty nice.  We had a little rat friend visit us last night. He was fairly nice though. So its fine. At least it wasn’t a cockroach like in the CTM. You think i hate grasshoppers? Well i hate cockroaches more. I went right to bed last night. Because it was very hard. I was sitting on my bed ready to cry because i couldn’t speak to anyone really, i was sleeping in a groady house on a groady bed and i hadn’t showered and i missed you guys and the CTM and i had gone through a lot that day like a flight in a foreign country and stuff so i almost cried but then i just shook it off, brushed my teeth with contaminated water that i will never drink and prayed that God would help me live through the night and have a better attitude tomorrow and i was out! Heavenly Father must love me or something because that was the best sleep i have ever had on my mission. And today is a new day and i am in love with serving a mission.   Now the CTM was fun, but i am so ready for Natal and actually teaching people.   Im so ready!!!!   Well here i go i guess.  I cant really hesitate or stay inside or any comfort bubble i just have to forge head first into the dark and have a heck a lot of faith, but i guess thats what life is all about and i really wouldn’t have fun if it wasn’t.  Well I do have one super fun thing to tell you about, Natal is the 2nd most baptising mission in Brazil!  So get ready!!!  I am very excited!!  Our mission goal is 300 baptisms.  The missionaries here are obsessed with it! Its awesome.  They greet everyone with Batismo instead of oi or olah, its batismo! when they answer the phone or anything and so when i went up to bear my testimony yesterday at orientation i started with batismo elders and sisters and well i am an instant favorite. gee im going to try my best here. Its going to be so worth it.   Im sure that i will have some very interesting stories next week but for now thats all i got! i love you all! pray like your life depends on it because i sure do!! i love love love you!!!
love sister baker

Mama, good job at subbing, i knew you could do it! you are a natural and i think you are going to be that sub that all the kids are like "can we get mrs baker when you leave teacher" you are fabulous para beans! Congrats. I think i do need a new note book for paper work but i can get it somewhere here. If not i will tell you and you can send me one. And thats about it. I can get a journal here if i need one. Here is my address idk if it is different then the one you have: Av interventor mario camara, 2066 Dix-sept Rosado- Natal - RN 59062-600 
what is my blog website again?
i love you 10 much!!! pictures will be coming!
yeah well it takes 17 hours to download pictures so next time i will download the pictures while i am writing because we have to pay by the hour here at this internet cafe. so anyway.... i love you tonz!!!
Sister Baker

Note from Momma Baker:  I came home and saw that she had emailed me about 20 minutes before.  Instead of reading the letter I checked to see if she was still there cause I had a couple of questions.  Here’s our email conversation.

Mom: Joc Are you there still?   
 I love you! I love you!
Joci:  Yes i am!!! Hi mama!!!!

Joci:   I love you too! How was your day today?

Mom:  My day was great today! Kindermusik and then Visting teaching lunch.  :)  It sounds like you love Natal!  How fun that we are on at the same time.  

Joci:  I am at peace with everything. Yesterday i was not myself. I was so quiet and shy, but today i am myself again. Laughing and talking with my comps. Its fun. I will learn the language fast and that brings me peace. I know right! Its like im texting you! Our companionship has a phone! I talked to some elder in portuguese on it yesterday. and tonight we have an apt. so that should be fun. Its pday today. What a great way to start my time in the field with a little rest!

Joci:  That sounds fun! you are so good with kids.   I bet you have never seen cuter kids in your life than here in brazil. They are adorable.  I love Natal. I think that humidity helps the heat a bit. I like how it feels.

Mom:  I am so proud of you.  I love your attitude.  We all love getting your letters.  You always make us smile.  Are you downloading pictures on Dropbox?  Sorry if you said this in your letter but where are you serving?  You said one comp name but not the other. 

Joci:  I sure hope i make you smile. I sure am smiling! I will download them next week because i need to do it while i am writing and i am at the end of writing right now and so it takes a while to download. Sorry! i did 2 pictures and then i had to quit. I should be getting off pretty soon. my comps name is Sister Do Vale and the other is pronounced like More rice. My area is Currais Novos. I think that it is as far into land as you can get but im not sure. It took us 4  hours to get here this morning by bus. 

Mom:  Okay, so good to know!  Have you been to "your house" where you will be staying yet?  How is that?  I love you sweetie.  I've been praying so much yesterday for you to have strength and courage.  You can  do this!  You betcha Heavenly Father loves you.  If you think I'm on your side, He's on your side like no one else!  Keep your chin up and your smile on!  It's ok to cry sometimes too and get a hug from us and Heavenly Father and then get up with a smile on your face.  You're amazing!  I wish words could express my love for you.  You are wonderful!

Joci:  Thanks mama! I love you so much and i feel your love and hugs all the time! youre wonderful!!! I just stopped by the casa and dropped all my stuff off and put it where it goes and stuff. I like it a lot! its small but its clean and it is really cool.  I cant really explain, it is on the second story and it has an over look into the whole valley.   Muita bonita! It is kinda cool. I feel like the whole house is a deck. I will probably buy a hammock sooner than later a lot of people here sleep in hammocks. I love it. Thanks for the encouragement! I am ready for this. No tears are coming out of me. I am very brave. 

Mom:  Yes you are very brave!  The bravest girl I know! I'm glad you like where you live.  That gives me peace.  A hammock sounds great and fun!  Way to go about the language.   You've so got this!  You're shining I can see you from here!  What scripture do you want on the mission plaque?  Sorry to bug you  but the Bishopric wants to get your plaque up!

Joci:  I need to look in my scriptures i keep meaning to tell you but i keep forgetting the scripture. I will give it to you on monday!!! i love you!! i love you mama!! i have to go now sorry! so much love! i will write you next week on Monday! I love you!!!!

Mom:  I love you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tell me stuff! Snail mail letter=1 month

October 25~written the week of September 24 (Was week 2)

We got a fun surprise on Saturday, October 25, a letter in the mail from Joci!  She sent them on September 24 so a lot had happened since she wrote them but it was so much fun to get a letter in the mail and on a day that we didn't expect it.  Every day is like Christmas when we get a letter!  Here's excerpts from each of our letters.  It's interesting to see her perspective now and when she wrote the letter.  I see so much growth in so many areas!  So much fun to get a letter.

There are so many people here that I love.  I took your advice and I forget home during the day.  I just focus exactly on the gospel and the people and the language and everything seems to fall into place.  It's when I am not that I just want to hug you and mom.  But I try not to think about it and it works.  The music here is minimal and I'm going crazy!  No music!  When we do sing hymns we sing them in Portuguese and with so much gusto that I'm 72% sure you can hear it at home.  No one can sing worth a lick and so off key but so much wanting to sing.  I love it so so much.  And I love that everyone here has the spirit.  So many answered prayers and so many prayers happening all the time.  So something that we are working on right now is following the promptings of the spirit.  The promptings will come more frequent the more often that you listen and obey.  So that's my challenge for you.  Try to obey the promptings of the spirit.  And also I love you.  Be good.
Eu ti amo e Eu sinto sandades
I love you and I miss you
Your favorite sister missionary
Sister Baker
PS Tell me stuff.  I wanna know stuff and I love you.

I know you will be so jealous when I tell you what I wake up to every morning.  Not only my alarm and a jackhammer outside my window at 6:00, but Macaws and all sorts of tropical birds right outside my window!  Outimo! Macaws!  So fun.  So so fun such fun much birds.  Amora.  You also would just fit right in with the sisters here.  I know how much you love to hug people and everyone here just hugs everytime you see someone you know or don't know you hug them and kiss their cheek.  It's adorable.  I love all the sisters here.  There's also so much color.  The houses aren't even brown.  There's a lot of reds and yellows and blues and greys.  And the houses are like on top of each other!  Crazy man!  I think you should come or something.  We will come back when I get home.  It's worth it, even just the small amount I've seen, I'm in love.  So something we are working on now is not getting discouraged.  There are so many things that will tell you that you could do better and that you aren't good enough and there are people doing better than you, but see the thing is, as long as you are doing your best, the Lord recognizes that and you will always be good enough for him.  I haven't learned the language yet, but I am trying but I am not nearly as good as the rest of the people here but as long as my intentions are good the Lord will do the rest.

Eu ti amo e Eu sinto sandades
I love you and I miss you
Sister Jocelyn Baker
(your favorite sister missionary)
PS Tell me stuff please about you and everything you do.

I'm writing this on a bumpy bus on the way back form the temple so if you can't read it, I'm sorry (Mom note these letters were handwritten and I'm typing it in the computer for the blog)  I think you would love this place.  And you would fit right in cuz you're brown (mom note: Kaiti has beautiful olive skin and brown hair)  So much brown here.  So much there  are 3 blonde girls in the whole CTM and I'm one of them.  Everyone here hugs so much.  When you see someone you know you hug them and kiss their cheek, as long as they're sisters of course.  NO kissing boys!  Ha Ha. You would love all the colors here.  There are a couple grey houses, but all the rest are green and a lot of reds and pinks and blue.  So much yellow.  All the houses look happy.   My companions are fabulous.  So fun.   I feel like you would like them.  So right now we as a district are working on doing our best and letting Christ do the rest.  He already has suffered everything that we have to suffer, so the moral of the story is give it all to him.  Turn it over to him.  So when you are going through a hard time, whether it is a hard time with friends, or missing me, or anything else in life, try your best and put your whole faith in Christ and He will be walking beside you and suffer with you the whole time.  You are NEVER alone.  I love you so much.  That is my challenge for you.  Just put your faith in him.

Eu ti amo e Eu sinto sandades
I love you and I miss you

Your favorite Sister Missionary
Sister Baker

PS If you need advice or have a question or a problem or anything of the sort let me know.  Plus tell me stuff!  I want to hear about your life baby!

I think you would like this place.  It is perfect weather everyday.  Everyone is super chill and I am 84% sure you would stick out like a soar thumb.  Everyone here is short and brown.  And well lets be honest here, you are neither short, nor brown.  You would like the sports here.  We play volleyball every during actividade fisica.  We play  mostly with Brazilian natives.  They don't  use their hands!  They always head it over the net or stall it on their chest then pass it and someone else would donkey kick it over the net.  It's crazy.  We don't really know much of what they say, but as long as you just yell "Outimo!" or "tudobem" they think you're cool.  Everyone in my district is OBSESSED with Namar.  Whenever they talk to a Brazilian they say "voce gustar Namar?"  and the Brazilians laugh like they have been stereotyped.  I think he might be overrated or something.  I can hardly  wait to send you all pictures of the sweet Brazilians I have met.  I miss you a lot.   All of the Elders in my district get mad at me when I punch them,  but I love them.    Something that we have been working on is having the light of Christ.  This means that whatever is happening around us, whether it is your companions, other missionaries or people on the street we are making sure we are doing what's right no matter what.  I want you to do the same.  That's my challenge for you.   I love you so much.  Make sure you always have the light of Christ in you.

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

Zac got a letter too but it was personal.  He did say that she talked about volleyball and Namar.  She also asked him to tell her everything about his life.  He also said that she misses him, and their talks and his hugs.

No one here loves it when I punch them.  In fact several elders from my district get mad at me but I can't help it!  If they flinch, they flinch!  Not my fault!  And my companions don't care too much for it either.  Other than not being able to wrestle and punch, I am very content.  In fact, I'm probably happier than I have been in a long time.  Feeling the spirit and teaching and learning the gospel just makes me so happy.
Our district is learning a lot about strict and exact obedience.  Each day I think of one thing I could be a little more exact about.  Ponder on that and choose one thing that you be more obedient about.  That's my challenge to you.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Faith is like a little seed...

Week 5

Fam bam!!
First i would like to apologize for being negative last week. It was just the day. I lost my journal and my food card and my companions were getting on my nerves and the district people were and i had sat in a police station for 6 hours. It was just rough. but it was still good. This week was a whole lot better! so good news is i have 4 more days and the bad news is i have 4 more days!!! so crazy!!! as for the questions i ham doing fantastic. There are 3 Elders in my district going to Natal with me. Elder Albee, Elder Harris and Elder Cragun. They are all upstanding missionaries and i am so glad I’m going to see them throughout the mission and i wont have to fly to Natal alone! Last week 2 sisters came to the MTC that are going to Natal. I was so excited! They are both Brazilian and they came over and started talking to me in portuguese and told me they were going to the same mission and since i hadn’t met anyone who was going to my same mission that was a sister i started jumping up and down and getting so excited and started talking super fast in portuguese to them!! It was incredible! I don’t know where half of the words came from and they were talking back and were all excited! Good time for me! Until i was told to calm down and go back to my sala. Oh well. My favorite scripture this week is probably Alma 32: 26 through34. Its about faith is like a little seed. And lemme tell you why. My companion has been having a really hard time these last fews weeks. This is Sister Clement i’m talking about. She didn't know if God existed and if he did if he even loved her and such. It has been going on since before the mission and before conference she almost went home but she spoke with the president and renewed her faith and she was good again and then she got worse and wouldn’t even talk to any one then an elder went home because he has some problems (not in our district) and she thought oh its so easy to go home so she went to the president again and was like thats it i’m going home! And he talked her out of it again and told her that she could even rely on his testimony if she wanted and just helped her out. Me and Sister Anderson helped her out the time before but she wouldn’t even talk to us this time so we didn’t know what to do. Any way so we were practicing teaching during Additional study time and the elders were teaching us and we were pretending to be investigators and she was just sassing them so bad. They asked her if she had read the book of mormon this week and she was like yeah sure and they were like sweet where? And she just flipped open the book of mormon to something about faith then we started talking about faith and we brought up that scripture and in this moment this was the first time she had ever talked and she was being her self as an investigator. so they were talking to her about that and then they gave her the scripture about faith is like a little seed. She kinda brushed it off and later on that day we went to teach the other investigator during the investigator time and all of the sudden the investigator asked about faith. Instantly she started searching through her scriptures and she prayed in her head for the first time in weeks that she would find the scripture about faith is like a seed she flipped right to it, understood the whole thing in portuguese and started teaching the lesson. She had faith all along and her prayers were being answered all along and she just needed to have an open mind and be willing to receive revelation and she would receive it. Thats why its my favorite this week. I hope you understood that whole thing. It jumped around a lot. 
So a lot of fasting goes on over here. Two days ago i fasted for Sister C. It was the same day that she regained her faith. Man the Lord is great! And today we are fasting from English. I haven’t said an English word since 2 o’clock yesterday. And lemme tell ya, i know more than i think but i have the hugest headache! Geez! speaking portuguese is hard! 
So there are so many words in portuguese that are very similar and mean totally different things. For example melhor and mulher. Melhor means better or best and mulher means women ( women are the best just saying) so if you were to be teaching a lesson on the plan of salvation and you were describing the celestial kingdom as the highest or the best degree of glory you probably shouldn’t use mulher, because that would mean the celestial kingdom is a women. Not saying i did that or anything... k maybe i did. Also another close one is Corpo and Campo. Corpo means body and campo means field. So when saying i cant wait to go explore the places on in the field you definitely should use campo and NOT corpo. Nuf said. Even though i mess up the language a lot its ok because no matter what i say, at least i am trying and i have the spirit. 
I am using music a lot. I have played the piano for church and devos which is good. and yesterday in a lesson ( my last TRC) we were talking about how you can receive revelation when you go to church and i said i like to listen to the lyrics of the hymns especially the sacrament hymns and i sang I know that my Redeemer lives in portuguese and the spirit was there so strong then we read the sacrament prayers. So much spirit. The member at the trc started crying and i teared up a bit it was by far the best lesson i have taught. Man Heavenly Father is so good to me! Yesterday was just the best day!!! 
I got your pictures! Thanks so much! Send more!!!
Well i got to go get an asai bowl which is soooooo good. Its this ice cream kind of stuff not really ice cream but thats all i can think of thats like it and it is made out of an asai berry and you put sweetened condensed milk and granola and bananas on top. Its my favorite thing here so far. Pray for me this next week going into the corpo! I love you all!!! And i am praying for you as well every single day! And if you don’t get a letter this week i am still thinking about you i just have a lot on my plate rn.
I 10 love you all and i miss you ! may the lord be with you! Pray hard, work hard!!
love, sister baker 

BTW i am so excited about the couch!!! that is so fun! It will be adorable!! Good job with the grades kids! you are doing better in school than i did!! woo! Especially nice job in AP calc! i hear thats super hard!! Kaiti would be popular she is gorgeous and nice and funny and sweet!! Nice job at football al!!! You are such an athelete!!! Zac good job at your last soccer game you are such a stud!
I can picture fall at our house and it is perfect and homey! Love! That is something i really miss. I bet it smells a whole lot better there than it does in Sao paulo! The hotter it gets, the more it stinks. It definitely doesn’t smell like your bread mama which is what i want to be smelling. I am so proud of you for doing your substituting stuff! Way to go! You will do great! The kids will love you! Dad is such a hard worker! Good work for getting everything ready for winter! I love you all!! kisses!

love sister baker

Friday, October 17, 2014

Just Joci!

Week 4

Anyone who knows and LOVES Joci will get a chuckle from this letter.  She definitely isn't your average Sister Missionary!  I think and hope that her fun personality will reach out to many people in Brazil!~Momma Baker

Hey punknuggets!!!
Its crazy to think i have been out for a whole month! the days just fly on by! Each week i write down the stuff that i want to say but this week i lost it on the onibus so i guess ill just have to go from memory.
Now i know that missionaries might seem to be perfect because they are represenatives of Jesus Christ but I would like to let you know that they are not. There are sometimes i have to stop myself and think if Christ were here right now what would he think. Now they arent the same kind of things you would think back when i was home. It is something as simple as dancing. I guess that sister missionaries arent allowed to dance at all. Like even move side to side and snap your fingers. Not even that. And to be honest with you that kills me but i also have to remember whose name is on my chest and who i am representing. Then apparently I'm not supposed to do parkor (mom note-jump over stuff) in a dress. Who knew. NOT ME! I am not trying to impress upon any of you that i am the missionary always getting in trouble but lets be honest here i'm not your average sister missionary. I have a lot of energy. Especially when your trapped in a white room for 8 hours a day. I am just known as the 12 year old boy sister missionary. Only by my district. At Jantar we were eating hamburgers and one of the Elders goes hey Baker I bet you can't fit that whole burger in your mouth! Guess who proved him wrong!!!! Lets just say im ready to not be in the CTM any more. Thank goodness I only have a week and a half left. Now dont get me wrong i still have so much to learn, but lets be honest i was not meant for the small confined spaces of a 10 by 10 room.
  This week we had to go to the police station to make sure we werent going to get deported or anything and do passport stuff and fingerprinting and let me tell you it was an experience. First of all idecided that i am going to adopt a baby from brazil. They are adorable and i want one. Second i have never seen so many starers in my life! I dont know if it is the blonde hair and blue eyes or the name tag or my dashing goodlooks but soooo many stareres!!! One guy imparticular kept on staring non stop, no shame! We made eye contact a few times because i felt eyes on the back of my head for several minutes and so i would look around and see him staring. So anyways i sat down and started talking with my companion and he starts making his way over and im like oh darn. He is going to try to talk to me and i dont speak non portuguese I can only speak gospel portuguese and he is going to hit on me and i don't know what to do. Any way he gets over to where i'm standing and hands me a paper with Jorge and a number on it and walks away. The teacher comes over after and was like whats that Sister Baker? And i started laughing and i told him the story and he started laughing so hard and he was like can i see it? and i was like yeah go for it. So he took it from me and called the number!!! I was like AH! Poor jorge! Well Jorge answers probably thinking it was me and gets this man on the other line and he was all `Hi you know that girl that you gave your number to? well she can't call you because she is a missionary im sorry` and the other guy was like`i just want to meet her` and the teacher was like `you cant do that shes a missionary` and he was like `no really i just want to meet her` and my teacher was like `im really sorry you can't do that bye` we all laughed so hard and he gave me the number back and said hey maybe you should keep this as a reference. So funny. Well that was an adventure. Then we stayed at the police station for 5 more hours and went home and studied for 5 hours and then ate and did service and played volley ball.
Well thats all i got for today. I love you all! Have a fabulous day! and i will write you all letters when i have time!!
the church is true, the book is blue, cya in a little less than 2.
 And i have a challenge! So while i was in the temple today (i can do the whole session in Portuguese now! God has blessed me so much) I thought about how i couldn't call you guys and i how i couldn't speak with you and i got this cool revelation that We can talk to God our Heavenly Father like i could talk to you guys on the phone! Its so incredible! What a great blessing though right!! We can talk to him like a man talks to a man!!
Also read Alma 29. Best chapter ever and also the last 3 chapters of 2 nephi. Book of mormon is neater than neat.
My Portuguese is getting better and better. I can understand sooooo much and it takes me a while to speak but i can always get my point across and we teach 45 minute lessons with just our portuguese scriptures. No notes no dictionaries. We just go and teach. So great!!
Sorry this ltter bounced around a lot.
eu ti amo!

Sister Baker

Friday, October 10, 2014

Onward Ever Onward Ever Onward!


My grandfather passed away this week.   My Grandfather, Faf as our family called him, is an amazing man.  He was the pillar of our family.  He and Mum were so involved in all of our lives.  Faf encouraged Joci to play the violin and was so supportive of her singing.  Mum and Faf always treated everyone like they were their favorite person.  I know that Joci felt that.  There are no in-laws in our family,  just family.   The moment Mark married me he was one of their grandkids.  Faf was important to all of us, he was more than a grandfather or great-grandfather, He was Faf! I sent Joci a letter through missionties so she could get the news as soon as possible.  My heart was longing to give her a hug because she would have to face this without family by her side.   We did the only thing that we could do and the best thing we could do.   We prayed for her to feel peace and our love and our Heavenly Father's love, I also asked for her to be able to have a hug and comfort.  Heavenly Father heard and answered our prayers.  I am so grateful for prayer.  I am so grateful for the knowledge that Families are Eternal.   I included the letter I sent to Joci about Faf because she references some things in her letter and because of an experience I had. ~Momma Baker

Dear Jocelyn,
I'm sorry to tell you this in a letter.  Faf passed away this morning at around 5.  Grandma called me about 6:15 this morning on her way up to SLC.  It is a sad thing for us cause we will all miss him so much.  It is a blessing for him to not have to suffer anymore.  He is with his family.  His Dad, who he hasn't seen for over 40 years, his mom who he hasn't seen for over 22 years and his brother who passed away a few years a go.  What a sweet reunion!  What a blessing to know that Families Can be together forever!  That knowledge and the comfort of the Holy Ghost will sustain those of us who are left behind.  I want to share an experience with you.  Just before you left when Faf was not doing well, I was on  a bike ride.  I had this feeling that Faf was going to pass away soon but as I was riding I had this sweet feeling come over me that somehow he will be able to help you.  The feeling was so sweet and comforting that it made me cry.  There have been a few times in my life when I know that one of my grandparents or great-grandparents who have already passed on, have been there to help me.  It makes sense doesn't it?  The love that we share on earth is only greater in Heaven and of course our loved ones will still care for us and want to do things to help us.  I'm sure that Faf will be there to help you a few times on your mission and probably throughout your life.
I just thought of the opening prayer of conference.  The person saying the prayer had a slip of the tongue and wanted to say, "may our faith be strengthened" but instead said "may our strength be faithened" (that's something I would do ha ha)  He quickly corrected it but it had an impact on me.   To have "our strength be faithened" has a good meaning.  Idk if I can explain it right.  We all have strength inside us and that is a good thing.  Heavenly  Father wants us to be strong and use that strength in our lives.  But to have our strength be faithened, we would use our strength that Heavenly Father gave us and we would include God in our lives and put off the natural man and recieve strength through him.  The verbs are mixed up in the sentence but somehow it brought more meaning to me to have my strength faithenend.  I love you darlin girl.  You are such a joy to me.  I hope that you have a wonderful day.  May your faith be strengthed, and your strength faithened, and may you strengthen and bless others today.  I love you with all of my heart and a lot more! 

Shine my sunshine~ Shine!

Love ya,

Fam bam!! and everyone else who reads this...
Gee i love recieving letters. the other people in my district are so jealous because they only get like one a week and i get several. I am so blessed to have a family who loves me. From now on I will only be writing handwritten letters through snail mail and missionties so that i have time to actually write a real letter.
   So when i heard Faf died it was pretty rough. I went into the bathroom and cried for a bit then I got a blessing and the blessing said that Heavenly Father is proud of me and my work and that my family feels my love and then blessed me with peace like 4 times. I have been at peace ever since. (Mom note -Elder Albee gave her the blessing and wrote this in his letter: I also got the chance to give another blessing to Sister Baker this week. It was such a great experience...It was so crazy to hear the spirit so strong and to say the words of the Lord) I love the priesthood. and I love prayers. So thank you all for your prayers. Its helping so much. Sometimes i get hugs from you late at night too when i feel a little home sick i wrap up in my blanket and i literally feel like i am getting a hug. So many blessings. I'm glad to have a guardian angel on my mission.
   Well i actually use verbs now. A lot! and i dont always use them corrrectly but i use them and i am starting to get the whole conjugating thing. We went proselitismo the other day. Boom im a missionary in the real world all of the sudden. ANd if i didn't tell you before there are 15 american sisters in the CTM and guess how many are blonde like real blonde. Me is how many! So not very many blonde people in brazil. And i thought i got stares in the CTM well in the real world is worse!! ha ha! Everyones eyes on me! Anyways so we rode the bus while i was being stared at into the middle of the city and we had 2 LOM(mom note Book of Mormon) to give out. So we started as soon as we got on the bus. I started talking to this lady who sat next to me and told her a little bit about the book in 5 year old portuguese and she was just kind of staring and this lady behind her was staring at me and when i started to talk about how Jesus came to america she was like hey! a livro de mormon!! I want one! and i was like sweet! here you can have it and i stood up and talked to her and my comp sister clement talked to the other lady and so i went back and started asking her about her religious background and she loves Jesus and talks to God daily and i was like great youll love this book and if you have any questions then call this number or visit this website and boom first baptism im pretty sure. So i gave my other lom to the other lady and when i got off i had no lom! So someone gave me an extra and i placed it with this sweet teenager who doesn't believe in God or Jesus and i was like this book will give you hope in your life and i love this book and you should read it. and i gave it to her. I hope she read it too.
   There are these workers here who are incredible. I love them. I have no idea if they are mormon or not but i love them. They are the sweetest people. There is one who we always say hi to and she stopped us in the hall the other day and she said in portuguese you all are so beautiful! i love american sisters. When people told me that american sisters were coming here i said i love american sisters here they are so beautiful and their mothers are going to miss them so i will take care of them like my own children. I just want to kiss and hug you so that your moms dont worry. There is someone here taking care of you. And she gave us big hugs and kisses. She is all of about 4 foot 9 and she doesn't have any top teeth but she is adorable. We call her Minha Mai! which means my mom! And this other worker who doesnt' look like she likes us when we say hi but them every once in a while She tells us that she love us and how pretty we are or something. and then the other day i had a braid in the front of my hair and she rushs into the bathroom after me and in rapid portuguese she tells me how much she loves my hair and asks me to do a braid in her hair so i did and her hair was so greasy and she doesn't take very good care of her self but she had the biggest smile on her face when i did a braid in her hair. I love her.
   General conference was spectacular. It was the best general conference i have ever been to. We all met in the autotorium and listened to it in our respective languages. It was broadcast in english and then the spanish and the portugugese listened to it on head phones. It was great. Talk about personal revelation!! so good. I went in to each session with a question and came out with the spirit and so many anwers. It was cool to go in with a perpos. love.
   Please send pictures!! like 3 by 5s in the mail. I want more pictures.
   So right now i have gotten to the point where sometimes i can't speak english or portuguese. There are two different brain waves. One is english and the other is portuguese and sometimes neither one works! So its like half and half and you cant think of words. Rough but funny.
   So the other day i as teaching an investigator at the CTM it wasn't a real investigator it was my teacher as an investigator. Its neat they have a whole story and they follow the story and have questions and we teach them each week like real investigators. Anyway so i was teaching about the palavra de sabedoria ( mom note: Word of Wisdom) I cant think of the name in english rn. And we were teaching how some foods are good and some foods are bad and not to do drugs etc and he asked about cookies and i got the word for cookies and stomach messed up and i started saying a little bit of stomach is good. But if you have a lot of stomach its not that good. You need to eat all things in moderation. and he stopped for a second and like had a look on his face and he started laughing so hard!! and he was like no thats stomach not cookies. and i thought it was the funniest thing.
   There are two people here from south africa and they are going on a mission to some place in africa speaking portuguese and get this. They know african click!!! What!? So cool! They sang me a song and it was sweet. I am good friends with them. I love everyone here honestly. The sweetest nicest people. I get so many kisses and hugs a day. I love this place
Well they are kicking me out pretty soon. I love you all. I feel your faith and your hugs and your love every day. Thank you for your prayers. They make a difference. I have another challenge that im doing right now. Each day in the morning i think of one thing i am going to do each day. today and yesterday it was pray immediately when things get hard and if i do that i know i did something good each day.
I love you all so much!! youre all blessings in my life. Keep praying!! i am praying for you!! i love love love love you!!!!!
Sister Baker

We also got some letters through mission ties.  We've asked her some questions about what it is like and asked for some details about the culture in Brazil.  In these letters she answers some of our questions.  Here are some excerpts from them:

The food here goes something like this:  
Breakfast - Panini with surprise lunch meat, cheese, creamy butter, with a side of a really small apple, a banana and fruit juice.  It's real fruit juice, so good you'd love it!
Lunch - Surprise meat with a side of surprise meat and rice and beans.  Lots of questionable vegetables always served cold and rolls.
Dinner - Surprise meat with a side of surprise meat, beans, rice, 17 rolls, cold vegetables and a dessert made into a pudding.  All their desserts are made into a pudding.  Used to be a really good cake? Not now it's a pudding!  Jello! Yay!
Wednesday is what we call mystery Wednesday because you never know what you're going to find on your sheets or on your pizza.  We get new sheets on Wednesdays and i may or may not have a stain on my sheets.  We find hair balls in our pillowcases, and on our pizza, you never know!  Bananas, corn, or inch thick cheese.  When I say surprise meat it's really good we just have no idea what it is, and sometimes we can't cut it.  I'm not complaining mind you, I enjoy it here! 

The Brazilians though.  I love Brazilians.  They are all so nice!  So I have started new phrase that I say often, "It's cuz I'm white and blonde isn't it."  there are a total of 15ish sisters here.  15 of them are American and 2 of them are blonde and one has blue eyes.  So many people stare.  

The city is different than anything I have ever experienced.  A lot dirtier that I thought.  When I come back to the CTM  I feel like I need to shower.  There are street vendors all over.  There's this place that you get chocolate and caramel filled churros.  They are questionable and the one I got was a little burnt I think.

It is custom for women to hug each other here so everyone hugs when they meet which is nice.  And they give you kisses on the cheek.  They say in Natal it's both cheeks.

The styles here are interesting.  They love hair barrettes and use them a lot.  They wear dresses with some aztecy stuff but they are mostly from Mexico and America.  Other than that they dress normally.

Their houses are colorful like red, blue, bright green, pink and gray,  and they are stacked on top of each other all crooked.  Just like in pictures.  

Honestly I love it here!  Perfect weather, the sunset is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  Everyone is friendly and smiling.  Some comment on how blonde my hair is and some comment on how I have blue eyes.  Most just hug you and say tude bem!  This is such an adventure!

This is a portion to Kaiti
I enjoyed your last letter.    It sounds like you are being the best person you can possibly be.  You are sure trying hard.  I'm 100% sure Heavenly Father sees your efforts and is very pleased with you!  Thanks for being a missionary at home.  You're definitely the best sister.  No competition!
Portion to Al:
Al you are a beast!  I wish I could see you playing soccer and football!  I tell my companions how good at soccer and football you are and that you're 6'2'' and ripped and 15 and they don't believe me!  I sang "Africa" the other  during prep and people sang with me but they didn't know all the words and they didn't go all out so it wasn't as fun as singing it with you.  Keep being a missionary at home!
Portion to Zac:
I miss my best buddie!  I'm super proud of you.  When I tell people that my little brothers are like my big brothers they laugh.  I think it's great how good you're doing in soccer!  I hope you get called to Brazil!   There's a meat place up the street that is like Tuchanoes where there is just endless meat over and over and over again.  I didn't go but the Elders did and they let me try a bite.  You would like it!  I think you're pretty great.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.

She also wrote both Mark and I separate personal letters telling us thank you for teaching her the gospel and not making her do things but teaching her and allowing her to make her decisions. She referenced Tad R. Callister's talk from Conference.  They are definitely letters we both cherish.

This is a portion of a letter she wrote to Mum:

Not every great-grandchild gets to gave great-grandparents who are wonderful and spunky and involved in their life.  I have been lucky enough to have you and Faf in my life and I consider myself so blessed.  Yesterday I was informed of Faf's passing.  After I found out I was quite overcome with emotion and I left the MTC class  and went into the bathroom and cried.  I cried because I was feeling the pain of my family and I knew they were having a hard time.  I knew you and Grandma and Grandpa were having a hard time.  And I cried because I will miss Faf a lot.  I went into a stall and knelt down and said a prayer.  I prayed that you would all feel my love.  And I prayed that I would feel peace.  When I came out of the stall a sweet Brazilian Sister was waiting and saw my tears and came over and embraced me.  I told her in broken Portugues what was wrong and assured her I was fine and that I would be ok.  Then this morning she delivered a sweet note to me written in English it said:  I love you, God loves you and the scripture Moroni 7:17 (But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever/ and he whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.)  I loved reading that.   It brought so much peace into my heart.  Because Christ loves us so much he died for us so that we can return to Heaven someday and we will be together as a family.  Some people don't know that and I have the sacred responsibility to spread the word of God.  I am so grateful for this.  I know this is true and I am grateful that  I get a guardian angel throughout my mission. 

I love you!
Love, Sister Jocelyn Baker

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Imagine me for a second!"

October 3, 2014  Week 3
We got this letter from later Friday afternoon!   We weren't expecting it so it was a sweet surprise!   We also sent her a letter last night and she got it today!  We love Missionties!  ~Momma Baker

Hello Family!

Well this week has been an adventure to say the least!  We didn’t have a P-day for a while so I was at the end of my rope yesterday.  But hey, I’m not here for Pday (although there is a reason we have them just saying) So lemme tell ya I want to receive letters man!   So maybe send several k?  If you don’t i’ll forgive you and I can’t write back as much as I’d like, I’m only allowed to write on pday right now, but receiving letters is like off of a movie.   I want you to imagine me for a second.  I am in a bus sort of thing driving down the crazy roads of Brazil with motorcycles with coolers strapped to the back of them passing on the dotted yellow lines and then the sidewalk!  I’m not kidding!  In the exact middle of the road with indian graffiti all over the buildings and cement walls on the side.  The houses are piled on top of eachother and are all sorts of colors, and theres mini shops full of food and tons of brown people.  I feel like I’m on a mission or something.  Especially as this bus quickly accelerates  and quickly stops.  I think I’m in love with this place!  I’ll be emailing you so many fun stories today.  I can hardly wait!  I just got back from the temple and now I’m going to get a churro.  What more could I possibly want?  Serving the Lord and eating good food.  I recommend a mission to everyone.

Eu amou voces!


   Sister Baker

Friday, October 3, 2014

I sometimes forget what language I speak

Week 2-Friday October 3, 2014

Wednesday came and went with me refreshing my email every minute whether it needed it or not!  I got absolutely nothing done other than teach Kindermusik, mop my floor and stare at the computer!  Pathetic!   We knew that the Albee family didn't get a letter either so we figured it was something with their district.  On Friday morning around 11 I got this email!  It was written so quickly there isn't a lot of punctuation and there's lots of typing errors but rather than fix it I decided that I wanted to leave it cause it is fitting for the time that she's in right now!  We enjoyed this letter! ~Momma Baker

My favorite family in the whole world!!
I am so sorry i wasn't able to write to you on Wednesday. boy this has been a long week but it has been fun to. Thank you for your prayers. I did get your dear elder letters but it is really hard to write back so i use snail mail and email and mr cheneys to right back. I  love love love to get letters so please send as many as you can. im so happy for you alex that you played good at soccer and football. you go kid! i wrote al and  zac a letter about the natives playing volley ball here and i think you both will get a kick out of it. kaiti you are adorable and i am so proud of everything you are doing with dance and guitar. i bet you will be better than me at guitar when i come home because i haven't been able to play for so long it feels like!!! zac you better be paitient with the motorcycle and work hard. i want to ride it when i gethome. Dad i always feel so much peace when i read yojur letters and mom. You are in my heart always. I apprecitate how you get promptings and folloow through because no doubt that all your prayers helped me through this week. i am excited to see the new couches. get a sectional i like those. my box in the ctm is 8 i think. and my clothes and shoes work perfect thatnkyou so much for being on the ball withme. i can't send pics in the ctm but i will as ssoon as i get out.
so i have some great stories today.
during the week i sometimes forget what language i speak. I find that there are different pathways in my brain for each language and i forget which one im supposed to use. its rough so sometimes people ask me things in english and i just smile and nod because i honestly dont know what they are saying and then sometimes its porkand cheese. so the other day im walking donwn the hall and these elders are like oy! sister!!! como vai! and im like tudo bem! and then in portuguese they ask where areyou from. This is litterally one of the first sentences we have ever learned but my brain was turned off at the time so i just smiled really big and said mith much gusto tudo bem!!! which mean all is well! idiot. idiot. they laughed i laughed and then i gently ran away. oh justso marci knows every morning i eat a panini and a glass of orange juice. they suerve it every morning and i love it. it feels like home when i eat a panini.
I have another story. well maybe just another idiot joci moment. I dont use verbs. maybe pray for me. I honestly dont use them. I am getting better but my sententes sometimes sound like this `i to feel spirit my heart and peace.` and the investigators just look at me like what the crap. its so embaressing! i know i have to conjugate the verbs so i just dont use them. what an idiot. im praying for that and you should to. the language is coming along great though. i understand what most people say to me i just havve to respond with no verbs. or now it has gotten to when i use them i just dont conjugate them. Alex wondered about my spare time? what spare time>? it doesn't exist! althoughyesterday when we were at our wits end and our brains were litterally fried and we couldn't form sentences in either language we know and we had gone 10 days in a row working for 16 hours a day we played some harmless pranks. there are tons of rows of classrooms in one hall and therre are windows that open across one side of that classroom that lets you have a glimps of the real world and sometimes this guy next door flexing his back muscles in his mirror (that is awkward) and from the window you can see into the next class room if you hang out the window a little bit. So the new kids this week got the class rooom next to ours and they were all sitting in the class room kindo fo stressing out a little baby bit and so we pulled a baby prank. We wrote on my hand HELP ME! and then i slowly snuck my hand over to their window and waved it. they all freaked out for a second and then laughed and laughed and laughed and we werer laughing so hard. and they threw a note into our window and so we spent the next half hour that way. that was fun!!!
so for my challenge this week i want you all to read hebrews 11 and ponder about it and then see what you can do in your life to increase your faith. I love you to the moon and back
eu amou voces!!
tchou tchou!!
 love, your favorite sister missionary sister baker!!!!
i don't want to sign off.
i love you guys 10 much
like a lot
like so much!!!!

This came a few minutes later.  I was on the computer so I asked her a few things but they were lost between messages.  Never enough time with emails!

no really thank you for your prayers. i felt your prayers in the temple today. i know you pray for me every day and i know that heavenly father is watching over me. I prayed so hard in the temple today. and please pray that i will use verbs.  oh and i don't have hardly any time to email so i will write personal letters from now on and just one big email. it doesn't mean that everyone cant email me i just wont respond to each individual email with an email it will just be with a letter. i love you!  im very happy and i dont need anything i am buying candy and a churro today!! i love love love love you!!!! gah!!!! they are kicking me off!!!!!! i love you so so soso much! hug and kiss the family for me and here is a hug and a kis for you!