Monday, February 23, 2015

The blessings of Language Barrier

So i am speaking the language pretty well now. I still have troubles of course but i am speaking enough to get by. But every now and then i think i know whats going on but then i actually dont... so i may or may not have agreed to something that i shouldn’t have.  Don’t get your undies in a bunch it wasn’t anything too bad. In all honesty you will see the hand of God sooo much in this story.  No matter how crazy it is. 
Firstly, this week i fasted that we would have a baptism every week this month. We didn’t have a baptism. I think that it wasn’t Heavenly Fathers will that we had a baptism every week. He always has something better in mind.... 
So duiji (less active served mission in colorada awesome duiji that i talked about last week) came to church last week. A real miracle!!!! and he brought a friend Cybelle. When Cybelle recieved the invitation to go to church she felt like it was really the hand of God in her life because she was feeling alone in the world because she just moved here from Peru. so of course as missionaries we all wanted to teach her but we all thought that she was in the area of someone else and so not one of us picked up her address and phone number. So after she left we all asked on another and no one picked it up. So i took it upon myself to get it. so we went to duijis and he didn’t have her address but had her phone number so we got her phone #. When we tried to call it turns out that we didn’t have any minutes left on our phone so we asked the elders if we could borrow their phone and they didn’t have any minutes so a couple days later we went to Mariquinhas house (remember mariquinha the mother of all missionaries) and used her phone to call her. She was super excited that we had called and told us that she liked us the first minute that she saw us and i told her that we really liked her too and wondered if we could set up a time to go and visit her. The only time that she could was on saturday. a bit of a downer that it wasn’t sooner but we were just happy to be able to meet with her. On saturday when we went to her apartment we realized that the address she had given us was the same address that someone else had given us that we met on the street. We had planned to meet with the other guy right after Cybelle. But he had moved and Cybelle was now living in that apartment. (coincidence i think not!!!) so we went up to her apartment but her sons were playing a game super loud and so we decided to meet out in the hall. we almost started when her friend next door came out and asked us if we wanted to meet inside their house. Of course we said yes and we all went in to their house. we talked and talked for 3 hours. It was such a good lessons. Cybelle is a teacher and really likes to study, Graça is a teacher as well and she says that she is very curious and loves to find out answers. Ailson almost was a father (you know the fathers in the catholic church when they sit in that little box and the people confess their sins to him and say "forgive me father for i have sinned") so he has a lot of questions so we just sat there and answered a lot of questions and discussed gospel topics is was really good. They were all super interested in the Book of Mormon and that Jesus Christ came to the americas. They didn’t know that and it was great to see their faces light up when they heard that he visited the people here in the americas. at the end we invited them to church and they of course said yes. Everyone except for Ailson we talked a little bit more and then he said 'alright lets all go to church!' and i got super excited and said "yes! lets all go!" but i have a little bit of a language barrier... he was meaning lets go to the catholic church... and i agreed. so Sister Lencini saved my skin and said that we would go to both churches. So thats what we did. We all went to the catholic church at 7 in the morning and then went to the real church of Jesus Christ established on the earth a Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos últimos dias. We brought 6 people to church. A new record for me i think. It was awesome. That night we marked a baptism for Graça and today we will mark the baptism for Cybelle. I definately saw the hand of God in my life this week. i am amazed at how much God is in the lives of every single one of his children. He is so mindful of them. He wanted us so much to teach that family that he gave us the address 2 times, he brought a less active member to church and worked through the hands of him. Graça is rarely home on the weekends and she just happened to be home that weekend. Everything just worked out. I am so happy about that. 
Well thats my crazy story. Its not that crazy but it sure helped me to know that really there are people in this world being prepared for the gospel. 
I had a really great week this week. I was able to do some really good work and study really hard. It rained 3 times this week and i got a little sick because i stayed out in the rain too much and took a freezing cold shower but i am better now. Next week is transfers but i will have pday on Monday still. The president changed it. So i will be getting on the internet like regular monday. 
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers! thanks for your support. i pray for you all! 
love, Sister J. Baker

Mom Note:  In Joci's letter to me she expressed her gratitude for all of the support from family and friends.  She feels so blessed.  She is concerned about having enough time to write to everyone.  She said she should only be on the computer for about an hour and with all of the emails that she is getting (which she loves) she just does't have enough time to answer everyone back.  Starting next week she will be writing one big email to all of us.  She feels bad that she won't be able to answer everyone but wants to be obedient and knows she will be blessed if she obeys.  She also asked me to thank you again for all of the support and prayers.  She feels the prayers and is so grateful.  She would also love some snail mail letters because she can keep those and read them again.  She loves everyone so much and just can't express her gratitude enough.  Thank you so much!  We appreciate everyone's love and support! ~Momma Baker

Monday, February 16, 2015

Carnival is over! You can all go to church now!

This is the Bishop's Dad, Joao.

So this week is carnival. Lemme tell ya, the brazilians know how to throw a party. If it wasn't for all the gross stuff that goes on at carnival, all the naked people and all the drunk people and all the other stuff... it would be super cool. But it is really hard to get people to go to church when they are all out of town for carnival.  We had really full church of a mind blowing 50 people in attendance for sacrament meeting. Thats a downer.
      We had a baptism this week. His name is João. he is the bishops dad. He was a really miracle. really and truly. everyone had been working on him for years and years and no one even believed that he was really getting baptized but he did and he is really changing his life. i am really happy about that.  
    My week was really really hard this week. I was really homesick. all i could think about was everyone at home and how much easier it would be to just go home and i was literally counting down the days and hours until i would be home. It was really rough. i am not proud of that fact. So thats sad. Near the end of the week it got better though. i just really need to focus on the work. Thats really hard sometimes. I love you all sooooo much. Its just hard sometimes to not think about all of you, but hey thats what happens i will have bad weeks and i will have good weeks. When my week started to get better is when i realized all of the people i am loving here and how much i will miss them when i am transferred. So i thought that i could talk a bit about a couple of people i really love here.
    I think my mom and the rest of my fam must be really righteous and really praying for me because everyone one has taken such good care of me. 
First is Mariquinha. She is the mama of all missionaries. She is the kind of person that never ever gets done serving. Her house is always full of people. of family of non members of missionaries of people that she just found on the corner of the street, of friends of family of members of the ward. We had just about as many people at the house of mariquinha for dinner as were in attendance for sacrament meeting. Mariquinha looks like she could beat anyone up. She's the kind of person that if you don't know what she is saying you think that she doesnt like you. but she loves everyone. I really love her. 
 next is Preta. She is like my mama on the missh as well. She is great. She is super hippy. She is a member. I really love preta. every sunday at 7 we all go to her house for tapioca and eggs. everyone says that i am like her little child that she likes to dote on. I really love her and her cute daughter luna. Luna is the cutest spunkiest child. She is the one that i have the most pictures with. I am teaching her piano. I love that little girl and i want to take her home with me. ha ha.
  Next is Duiji. He is a less active member who served a mission in Colorado. I love duiji. He is only less active because he was really offended by a couple members. HE loves to hang out with the missionaries. He likes to talk about american stuff with me and he always makes american meals for the missionaries. He gave me some mac and cheese! wahoo! i love that guy. He is super funny and likes to teach us how to outsmart catholics and evangelicos. We have had a couple people try and bible bash with us. Its good to defend our religion because here a lot of churchs teach against our church. Thats rough so i guess he is just getting us ready. 
And you all know Barbara. She is saving up monies right now to come to the USA! Wahoo!! i really want her to come visit. She moved to Natal so i don't see her very much only like once every month when she comes to visit her mom in Currais. I really love barbara. She is one of my best friends on the missh. 
Well there are a lot more people like recent converts but that's all i have time for this week! i sure love you all!!! Pray that we can baptize 2 families next week. We have 2 fams lined up. I am super excited.   I hope all goes well. I love you guys!!   i am praying for you.   Thanks for your prayers. 
love, Sister Baker

Mom note:  There are 2 different hikes from 2 different pdays. Joci says that they got up early to go on this hike.  She loved it.  She saw a  Coral snake that was really cool~don't worry it wasn't poisonous we checked!  "Red on Black a friend to Jack,   Red next to yellow is a deadly fellow!"  She thought it was pretty cool to see.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

It RAINED in Currais!

 So a miracle happened and it rained in Currais Novos. A real live miracle. This has really really strengthened my testimony in the power of fasting. you know how they say that faith is nothing until it has been tried, well i tried my faith 2 times fasting for rain. The whole congregation of the Currais Novos ward fasted for rain and 3 days after it rained cats and dogs. So good. We were so happy about it that we took a shower in it. It wasn’t just a little baby rain too, it was a pour. So sweet. I almost cried i was so happy! Barbara was with us and so we all held hands and ran down the street jumping in puddles and screaming and laughing. It was wonderful. Then we went up the street a bit and found Sebastion (our recent convert who did the sign of the cross before he got baptized) he was watching us and laughing as we ran up and down the street. So naturally we asked him to take a picture of all of us in the rain. Now lemme tell ya. That was a sight to see. ya just have to know Sebastion for this to be funny. He is just a hoot. i think we laughed more at him trying to figure out Barbaras iphone then i have in weeks. He would take one picture and then laugh for a couple minutes and then take another and bobble his head and laugh. Lucrecia, his wife, just watched us laughing. it was such a good moment. Well we couldn’t really go visit anyone soaking wet so we returned to our house to wait out the pouring rain, and we ate pop corn and Chi marrom (a warm herbal tea that is not contrary to the word of wisdom) and talked and laughed. That was really heaven. I love that. 
So one thing that i have learned lately is with good things comes bad things. With hard things come good times. The hard thing for this week was that everyone decided to tell us missionaries that our church wasn’t true and that we were doing everything wrong. That was a downer. Last week we had a really good investigator. When we went to his house to pick him up for church he wasn’t there. His mom said that he went to the Feira and so we were pretty discouraged because nobody was going to come to church with us so we went to the Feira because thats where everyone is on a Sunday morning and there was our investigator sitting on top of a wall. I called to him and told him to come to church with us and he was like "yeah lets go! sorry i forgot church was in the morning" and so we went to church. After church we went to go meet him at his house. His mom was there again and she chewed us out. Yelling at us that she didn’t like what we were doing and how dare we take her son to church with us with out her permission (he is 32) and just chewing us out. So we left feeling pretty discouraged. The next thing is that a pastor from another church tried to tell us that we were doing everything wrong too. Anything that we said he would disagree with. We left with saying that "everyone was invited to church because our church is open to all children of God and you are all children of God so you are all welcome there" and he yelled at our backs that "no not everyone is children of God! Rats aren’t children of God!" There were several investigators we lost because they "didn’t agree with all of the things in our church"   We tried really hard with them but there are just some people who don’t get it and who just don’t want to open their minds. Its really hard when we just invite them to pray and ask God if what we taught is true and they won’t even do that. That’s really hard. But with hard things come good times like the rain and now we have several investigators that are really ready for the gospel. We brought the bishops dad to church and the bishop cried and the kids were on the verge of tears. That was a really good moment for me. He will be baptized on Saturday. And we went to the wrong house when we were looking for the house of a referral and we ran into a family that is interested in the gospel. That’s so good. 
Anyway the moral of the story is, God will send you the good if you can have patience through the bad. 
I love you all! I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Thank you for your prayers and support. I pray for each one of you. 
love, Sister Baker