Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Llamas Don't Like Horses!

Hello friends and family!

I've had a crazy fantastic week! As per usual on the mission!

Last week on Tuesday we did WORK! We helped out a less active member by moving truck loads of sand and rocks to his grandma's front yard. We created a little rock garden thingy in a corner of the yard to even out the ground because it had been collecting water. It was tough work, but way fun! Then we went to a dance restraint with some potential investigators. We had fancy food and drinks, we sat outside because it was so nice out, but as it got darker, the icy wind from off the frozen lake was strong, so we went inside to eat dessert. :)

Panoramic Lake shot

On Wednesday we volunteered at the food bank after teaching seminary. Then we went with a senior couple out to Loon Lake, a Native American reserve in Saskatchewan. It felt like a whole different country. The culture there is just so different from what I'm used to in Canada. These people were living in poverty, many had addictions. It was such a culture shock, but we had a great lesson with a lady there, hopefully she remembers it.... I'm very excited to see the Lamanites "blossom as a rose" as promised in the Book of Mormon.

On Thursday we volunteered at the second hand store. Then we had lunch with a non member at Tim Hortons. She is a great story teller, so we enjoyed it. We visited a man in the hospital from the Philippines who had been in a bad car crash. When he was in Edmonton we found some elders to give him a blessing and now that he's up here we are trying to visit him and his wife more! He's missing part of his skull right now, so he needs to wear a bike helmet like an exoskeleton to protect his brain. It looks pretty sweet.  He took off his helmet and showed us. We'd all look a little strange without pieces of our skull...!

We got to chase horses around today who got out of their pen when they added in llamas. Who woulda thought that horses don't like llamas?

Saw my first real live moose in Alberta!

On Friday we got to go and organize some shelving at the parent link centre. Service has really helped out so much in this area. We get ourselves out in the community and even if people aren't interested, they're feeling the Spirit.

On Saturday we helped prepare a daycare for inspection, scrubbing cupboards and walls from kiddie goop. Then we went to clean someone's house in Saskatchewan... preteen boys are MESSY! But we brought the relief society president and she had fun with us. We've really been trying to help out the auxiliaries as much as possible. When we work in unity with the wards we serve in, we get infinitely more accomplished, and we see lasting results. :) Then we watched a new Mormon Message with a
family, "Life's Drama." I found it pretty entertaining.

Mormon Message - Life's Drama

Also you know you're out there in the boonies when the solution for an overpopulation of cats is kitty hunting. Not that we participated..... But it was interesting to hear about.

On Sunday we had stake conference. It was powerfully spiritual. So many big men cried at the pulpit. Elder Allan Packer was the visiting member of the Seventy and as prompted, he pulled up members at random to bear their testimonies. The temple president also spoke. He said that despite the beauty of the temple structure, it's the people who come through the doors who truly make it beautiful. The patriarch was asked to share his testimony. Aside from talking about patriarchal blessings he said (something like), "we're not as worthless as we think. There is not one of us whom He doesn't desire to save. We may seem insignificant in our own eyes but the truth of the matter is, Heavenly Father loves us. Angels are watching over us."

We also met with a man who was once Islamic but is now Atheist. It was difficult to teach him because he didn't trust in any form of Higher Power, so telling him that we had a loving Father in Heaven was very hard for him to accept. He was quite the challenge, but he agreed to read the Book of Mormon and you could see by the end that he started to doubt his unbelief. I really hope that the Spirit touches him as he reads!

Yesterday we cleaned a little girls room. It was a blast and not nearly as bad as the boys from last week! We left a note from the cleaning fairy. It was pretty fun! We also had a very spiritual lesson
with an investigator and two members. I was so moved by the Spirit as I shared my testimony of the love of God that I don't even remember what I said! But testimony is such a powerful tool. I invite you to reflect on your own and to share that knowledge with someone.

I wish you all a wonderful week!

Love always,

Sister Baker

Yummy fruit drinks!

Butter chicken!

Kit Kat bars in Cookie and Cream and Mint

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Muddy Cars, Giant Mushrooms and Office Chairs

Wow! What an incredible week! We did sooo much!

First off, on Tuesday we got a car wash! And then we nearly got stuck in the mud at an investigator's house! It was insane! But we made it out although we and the car were all muddy! It was a bit of a wasted car wash!

On Wednesday we volunteered at the food bank and then ate dinner at the Hatch's. It was a blast! Jamie made banana cake for an Elder that we saw in Edmonton the next day and he packed us an entire lunch for Edmonton. It was nothing short of a feast! He's a blast and we really want to help him and his family work towards the temple someday soon!

On Thursday we woke up super early to go to Edmonton for a meeting! We took the scenic route through a wildlife reserve and we saw tons of wild bison, and some geese. Nothing too extraordinary though. We had a great meeting where the mission president stood right beside me and my companion during a role play.   It was a tad hard to focus on the role play... but he's awesome and he role played with us afterward while everyone else resumed the meeting. We learned about relating scriptures to people as soon as you see them. Then we had exchanges, where you switch companions for 24 hours, although ours consists mostly of driving a lot!

On Friday we saw some miracles! So Sister Bramwell came to Cherry Grove with me and we went and volunteered at a big volunteer appreciation event. We got to do floral arrangements and a young girl helped us by running them to tables. Then we switched back in little Vilna, where the worlds largest mushrooms are, see pictures.... and then we went back to volunteer for the actual event. While we were there, an usher came and told us there were two young girls outside who wanted to talk to us! When we went out we discovered that one was that girl who had helped us earlier with the flowers! And they invited us to go to Bullerama with them the next night! It was so cool! The Spirit definitely prompted her to come back and talk to us again!

Saturday was insane! Jamie's wife got baptized! She has been investigating for 8 years on and off! Sooo many missionaries have been a part of her conversion and we got to be part of her baptism! It was SUCH a privilege! I was super sick in the morning... well all that day, with a nasty cold, but somehow I managed to give a decent talk at her baptism! Her whole family was able to come and it was awesome! Then we helped someone out with yard work. The weather has finally started to warm up and it's beautiful! Then we went to the rodeo with those two girls and we had a blast! There are some crazy videos, but the bulls mostly won. We're having dinner with those girls again tonight!

On Sunday there was a really great speaker who said some pretty awesome things! He said "If you drift away, it's not because Heavenly Father forgets who you are, but because you forget who you are."  He also said "Learn to solve problems yourself, but not necessarily on your own,"  and he told us that "We can disagree, but don't be disagreeable,"  "Be humbly righteous" and "Obedience is not an option." He just had so many awesome one liners. He's a convert and his son is heading out to his mission soon. Plus he straight up complimented us in the middle of his talk! It was sweet! Delaney also got confirmed this day so that was pretty sweet! The Holy Ghost is so cool!

Yesterday, Monday, we helped out with more yard work and had dinner with the Relief Society president. Working with the auxiliaries is so essential! They are the ones staying in this ward for a long time, not us! We also hauled a chair up our three flights of stairs, but yay to a not broken study chair! Well, that's about it for my week!

I hope that you all have a great week and that you guys tell me how your life has been! Miss you all!

Something I studied this week was Elder Holland's final talk from conference... so remember tomorrow what you learned today!

Love from,

Sister Baker 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Push Ups For Donuts and Cake Pops

Well this week we have seen Delaney a lot! She is the one preparing for baptism and we're trying to support her as much as possible. The adversary can make things hard on those who are sincerely trying to be better.... We saw her a lot this week!

Wednesday is always a lot of volunteering. We went to the food bank and they all know us there now. One man even expressed more interest in talking to us about the church! Then we helped a couple peel wallpaper. That took a while!

On Thursday we had a district meeting where we talked a lot about the way we present our message. That subject is always fun. We need to be excited and positive about missionary work if we want people to be interested! Then we did some service at a farm where we built a barbed wire gate with the elders while they were out here. The less active members we were with decided to motivate us by throwing horse poop at us. It was all fun and games though! Then we went back to the church for Delaney's baptismal interview... which she passed! Yay! She asked me give a talk on baptism at her baptism, so that's an incredible privilege! In ward council we talked about less active members who need more support from the ward. It was great to see them all so excited to help these families. Hopefully they can accept the outreached hands. Look around and see if there's someone struggling who you can help. There's a great video I love called "Reach Out With Love" that I've probably already mentioned before.  Kind of humorous too!

MORMON MESSAGE - Reach Out With Love

On Friday we ate dinner at a couple's house. Their name was on our fridge, it said "Call when you need a dinner," so we called and they invited us over and even sent us home with leftovers! Turns out they lived in southern Alberta and always grew up around Mormons, although they aren't interested in joining themselves! They bought a little cake from the store and we were all trying to guess what it was. We think it's Mr. Potato head... let me know if you have any other ideas!  Haha!

We got a nail in our tire and had a slow leak that we had to get fixed on Saturday. So we drove out to Bonnyville and went to Kal Tire to get it replaced. We had a spare tire on there so it took us a while. We stopped at a really cute diner on the way home. They had delicious cake balls and cupcakes. It was a super cute place. I loved the jukeboxes.

Then on Saturday night we had the opportunity to go to a Filipino house warming party. The family are great missionaries so it was a really neat opportunity to talk to some less active members, non members, and advertise for our English class! They really want to help! We did get roped into karaoke though. We sang "Wannabe" from the Spice Girls which was sooo weird as a missionary. And then "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood. We listen to that one all the time so that was fun!

On Sunday we ate redneck tacos which were super delicious. Then we shared a message about tithing for all the kids and we used candy to help. That day in sacrament meeting we had some great speakers. One of them said that our greatest possession is our testimony and someone is trying to take it from us. And that is so true. We need to fit for our testimonies but it is sooo worth it! She also said that faith is knowing that there is an answer and that we'll get it in due time. They also talked about how the Lord is looking down and saying "I'll explain it later" to us every time we get stumped.

That night we put the hot water from the shower on to get some humidity in the air while my humidifier gets fixed! It made the apartment sticky and hot! It didn't stay on for very long though!

Yesterday we had a meeting on the army base where we talked to a lady about a space for English class. She really wanted to help and even offered free advertising! We're really hoping everything goes through for the English class so that we can help the community as much as possible.

Sister Christensen and I both have a pretty bad cold/ flu thing so we've been resting a lot the past two days. You don't really get a day off as a missionary but it's amazing how you're strengthened. We had a great lesson with Will, our loud army guy, who didn't even hesitate when we invited him to be baptized. So that was pretty promising. :) We had awesome dinner with a bunch of gingers! There's a family that has 5 boys and 3 are ginger. They all have the best stories and hurt themselves a lot! They're a lot of fun!

This morning we taught seminary. It was our first time with the Cherry Grove class.  Apparently they were jealous that the Cold Lake kids get us once a week! I guess you could say we're the cool missionaries. ;) Then we ate lunch with some members. It was good!

Well, lots of early mornings this week... wish us luck! At least it's warming up!

Something I've loved this week is a story called "Push-ups for donuts." It's such a powerful lesson. I invite you all to read it!

 Have a great week,

Love always,

Sister Baker

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April Fools With a New Companion

Hello friends and family!

Wow what a crazy week! I had to say goodbye to Sister To on Wednesday, which was really sad! I am going to miss her a lot but she'll make such a difference in St. Albert too!

My new companion is sister Christensen! She is a powerhouse! She is so bold and talks to everyone! She came out with Sister To, so that's cool too! We're both excited for a busy transfer! Sister Christensen is 22, from Soda Springs, Idaho and a business graduate from LDSBC (LDS Business College), and a twin! She has another set of twins in her family too, so that's pretty cool! We got to know each other lots on the three hour drive back to Cherry Grove.

We've been sooo busy the past few weeks, and this week has no different. We've had a bunch of lessons and sooo may service opportunities! On Thursday, we were given a ton of really expensive
designer clothes from an investigator who owns her own store! She told us to go through them ourselves and then donate the rest when we volunteered at No Orbiting Trends, so that was pretty sweet!

On Friday, we collected a ton of info for a bunch of service opportunities and for a place to hold English classes, so hopefully we get responses soon! It was also April Fools this week, so I half-heartedly attempted a prank by smearing ketchup all over my hand while she was in the shower. When she got out I yelled "Oooowww!" and said I think I got a paper cut, opening my hand to reveal a bunch of red. She seemed pretty concerned and I had her for a second, but ketchup stinks and I was laughing way too hard!

On Saturday, we got to watch General Conference! It's so nice to hear the prophets and apostles speaking to us directly, the words that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would want to tell us! I went to conference with 5 questions and most of them were answered! It's amazing how the Spirit tells us exactly how we can improve our lives. I hope you all had a chance to watch the conference! I think this was the day it was 20 degrees! It was beautiful!

Yesterday, we volunteered everywhere! We went to the family centre where we were invited to a volunteer night, and then the Humane Society where we got to see Kiki (which is what they named the cat we brought in a few weeks ago!).

We've been working with an older man who used to be in the army and studied a ton of subjects. He's been coming out to church lately and he knows most of the members.   He even came to General Conference! He has such great questions and I always love lessons with him! The member we brought to help with his lesson said something so great! She said that aging is like a toilet paper roll; the closer we get to the end, the faster it goes! It was funny!

Well that's about it for our week! Right now it is not 20 degrees... it is snowing, and the snow is sticking! :( We'll get spring one day I'm sure! But for now, I hope the weather's nicer wherever you are!

Have a good week! Love you all!

Sister Baker ❤️