Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Llamas in Bonnyville ... or Is That Narnia?

Hello friends and family!

Man what a crazy week! A whole lot of driving!

 I'll start at the beginning, so last p-day we went on an adventure, we took some pictures and walked down this little Narnia path, it was great!

Then on Wednesday we drove down the Edmonton temple, three hours away! When we got there we were able to go and do a session at the temple. It seriously brings such peace and serenity and everything else. I love the temple and everything it stands for. It helped me to just relax and breathe and feel renewed for this week. Then we got to stay in the mission home for the night with the president and his wife. We had interviews and honestly President Manion and his wife are so amazing! I can talk to him about anything. He is such an incredible person. They've really helped me a lot! The next morning we got to go on a run since the weather was so much nicer in the city! It was so energizing. I haven't been on a run in a long time! Then we had a really great zone conference that day. We talked about how important church is and how to help those we are teaching realize that! We talked about studying effectively and how it'll help prepare us from any other things we do in this life. We took zone pictures but I don't have any yet.

We volunteered at a church on Friday and helped serve a community dinner they had there.  That was really fun! Hmmm... At church on Sunday, a lot of people we're teaching came and that was really neat! People really just need invitations and to feel welcome and they will come. In sacrament, one of the brethren was talking and he said "Never be impulsive or angry when attempting to talk to Heavenly Father" which really reminded me of a video called the will of God. Heavenly Father truly does know what's best for us. We need to be willing to listen to Him and go through trials to help us grow.

The Will of God

Then during studies, we played something called object principles, a game where we name an object and then try to tie it back to the gospel. So we came up with one for a pen. You can give the same pen to a million people and get a million different penmanships. You can give the same gospel to a million people and get a million different testimonies. It's all relative, I love it!

Monday was fun! We met with some older folks and I learned a lot about the families up here, most of them are related. It's just complicated to find out how.  Haha! But we went to this one couple's farm and they had lots of cool instruments and animals! They had a didgeridoo and a music box, which was really cool. And then they had Charlie... We got to feed Charlie a carrot! Charlie the chocolate llama. He's funny! Then we had a lesson in Bonnyville (it's multi-natural... Hahaha!) with a sweet couple. She's Filipino. I have come to love and appreciate different cultures so much out here! It's awesome!

That's about it for my week...

Thanks for all the love!

Love always,

Sister Baker

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A New Companion, New Car and a New Oven!

Woah. It's been almost a week in Cherry Grove! How crazy! But it's been a blast!

My new companion is sister To. She's a convert too and I love her. She's awesome! There is so much work in Cherry Grove! Teaching older people and children is so different, but I'm having fun. I got to say goodbye to sister Gambler last week and then headed out to the companion swap where I got to say goodbye to Sister Rush before she headed home. So crazy how fast missions go!

 So at the meeting I found out we were trading in our truck :( It was so sad! But we did get a brand new 2016 Nissan Rogue... so that was nice. It has four wheel drive, which is good considering how much snow it gets here. Last week it was +12 and this week it's -12. Big difference! But I don't mind too much. It looks beautiful.

Everyone has a farm and a giant dog out here. It's awesome! This one was huge, but so sweet.

 The ward is so nice out here. It's nice to see so many members, but it's a little strange. They asked me to introduce myself/bear my testimony in sacrament meeting out of the blue because the youth speaker wasn't there. Good thing I'm not shy! Then sister To gave a talk and a member of the bishopric. It was really great! Then we got to teach the laurels (16-18 years old) in YW about adversity and we read "I Will Not Fail Thee, Nor Forsake Thee" by Pres. Thomas S. Monson, and "Claim the Blessing of Your Covenants," two really good talks. Then we ate cupcakes. :) that I made in our new oven! When I got here the oven didn't work and someone gave us a ton of bananas and I was wondering how we could make banana bread, but then we had an inspection and two days later, a new oven. Woo! It's so cool working here.

I can now say I've been to 4 provinces, because our bishop lives in Saskatchewan, 5 minutes from the chapel! Hahaha! It's been neat. I've seen lots of deer, and dogs.....and cows, and horses. I love it. :)

Have a great week!

Sister Baker <3

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Saying Good-bye to Kingsway

Well, we just got transfer calls yesterday morning and I'll be heading over to Cherry Grove on Wednesday morning! Cherry Grove is about 3 hours north east of the city, right by Saskatchewan. It's a pretty Mormon populated town. Good new, I get to drive a truck! Bad news, I leave Kingsway, literally my home...  :(  A big piece of my heart will stay here. But I convinced the ward to take pictures at FHE last night. I've taken lots of farewell pictures. I'll send them all, just don't get bored of my face... :P

The crazy thing is, I knew I was going to Cherry Grove. It's exactly where I've been speculating I'll go for the past week.  I just laughed when President called and told me that's where I'll go. It's crazy how the Spirit prepares us for change. I knew I was training last time too!

This weekend was incredible! It started off with breakfast with Kayla, our investigator, who's a chef. That was delicious. We got to meet her mom, step dad, and former AFY councillor who came up for her BAPTISM that night. PS... don't mind my crazy fave in those pictures, I was really excited! I relate to Kayla so much and she is such an amazing kid. I'll miss her for sure!

Before her baptism we had the mini mission, where a bunch of YSA and youth went out with missionaries to experience missionary life. I went with the Mandarin elders recent convert, Bai Quan, it was so great! But so windy that day! Then we went out to an awesome build your own burger place in town, and then headed back to the stake centre for the baptism. It's a good thing we were early because the font wasn't even started! We called so many people and then we started filling it with pots from the custodial closet because it takes an hour to fill, and we were 15 minutes before the baptism! It was crazy and such an adventure but we wouldn't have had it any other way!

Kayla has a beautiful testimony and she's so amazing, and her baptism was so refreshing. The Spirit could be felt so strongly, her mom and step father and sister all attended and they were all so supportive and sweet. Her confirmation on Sunday was just as beautiful. It was so great. I know that there was purpose in meeting and teaching such a beautiful person. I wouldn't trade it ever.

Fast and testimony Sunday, I wasn't even positive I was leaving at that point but I had a hunch. I felt really prompted to bear my testimony... bad game plan, kind of. I was pretty teary eyed. I love and know everyone in my ward. And I know Christ does too. It'll be sad to leave, but I know that Sister Gambler will take care of them all for me. :)

Sunday night we had a "Why I Believe" fireside, that was awesome.  I got to give a talk on my conversion story. Then yesterday we stopped by a lot of families to say goodbye. There are pictures of us with Sister Fregene, the Svenson family and I, and the Demetrioffs and I. I love them all so much. At FHE we got sticky notes on our back and everyone wrote compliments on them. I had a lot of heartfelt goodbyes.  Lots of people were hugged in heart, and I had a few thank me for helping them with this or that. I love them all so much, and I hope they realize how much they all impacted me.

Well, I need to pack... a lot! So adios!

Love you all!

Love from Sister Baker

PS. I've accumulated so much stuff, but thanks for all the packages.  :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I've Grown So Much Here - 6 Months Out!

I'm rounding down to the end of my time as a trainer, and near the end of my time here in Kingsway YSA ward.  I've been here my entire mission, nearly 6 months now!  I've learned to love everyone I serve around and I wouldn't trade my time here for the world! 

This week is bound to be a busy one... the mini mission and "Why I Believe" fireside are both this weekend! Hopefully we have a good turn out!  They asked me to speak at the fireside, so that'll be a nice way to end my service in the ward.  Transfer calls are next Monday.  That's when I'll most likely be moving to a different area and leaving my little trainee. :(  It'll be tough to go... really tough, like probably as hard as leaving home was or harder!  
I've come to love these people so much as I taught and served them!  We have a baptism this Saturday night too though, with someone I've been working with for the entire past 6 months I've been here! Watching people grow closer to Christ is an amazingly spiritual experience.  I've learned so much just by testifying to others about what I know is true.

At the food bank this week, they taught me how to use the lift to transport pallets.  I didn't break anything or kill anyone, so I'd call it a success! :)  We had La Poutine and Mucho Burrito all in one day this week, so I guess I'm basically on an international mission... Haha!
Well, that's about all I have for the week.  Thanks so much once again for all your love and support! Next week I'll tell you where I'm going next! :)
There are so many amazing articles in this month's Ensign.  Some favourites are, "What Can the Book of Mormon Teach Us About Happiness," "The New Testament's Message of Repentance" and "True Greatness" ...oh! and "When Others Prayed for Me" Praying for people earnestly and by name blesses them and us as we learn to be selfless and loving to everyone around us.
Love always!
Sister Baker

I've grown up so much here!  Haha!

Some of the winter landscape here...

Why yes, that is a giant baseball bat!