week 2 . Ain't nothin' but Elder "HOLLA"nd

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Hey hey everybody

This week was pretty chill, pretty normal until. . .ELDER HOLLAND SPOKE TO US YESTERDAY! 

That's right, an APOSTLE was here, speaking to our little 200 something people CTM and I was in the SECOND row and I got to shake his hand and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. No joke. His talk was honestly amazing and just what I needed to hear. It was wonderful to hear from an apostle of God that I am right where I need to be and how blessed I will be from serving this mission. I wish I had brought my notes so I could tell you all the things that he said, but you guys can definitely read them in a year and a half. Something that really stood out to me was when he talked about how by serving this mission I am trying to give my life over to the Lord for the next year and a half. I'm trying to make a sacrifice for Him, right? But that it doesn't really end up working out like that because I am going to get one hundredfold of what I gave to Him, back to me in blessings. This next 18 months is going to change the rest of my life for the better. I am so blessed and so lucky to be here in Brazil serving a mission. He was also talking about how this place, Brazil, will be the place of our "spiritual birth" that we will love it so much here. And he said that Elder Faust would be on a plane with his wife and he would be totally calm and collected and apostle-like the entire flight...until they crossed the Brazilian border (thousands of feet in the air). And then he would just stand up and start dancing and kiss the stewardess and ask for a guarana! Hahahaha and Elder Holland was acting out the dance moves from the pulpit and I about died. So funny. He was just the most amazing speaker, and it was wonderful to have it be so personal. He was talking to a couple hundred missionaries serving in Brazil right now. It was such a specific group that he was addressing and I was part of that! Ah I wish I could tell you guys everything that he said, but I don't have time or the ability to remember it all without my notes. Just know that it was such an amazing spiritual experience and I am overflowing with gratitude that I got to hear from him.  Irma Mendes said that she doesn't think that an apostle has spoken here in over 4 years! If I had come on my mission at any other time other than right now I wouldn't have been able to hear from Elder Holland. And hearing him talk, especially watching him talk about our Savior and missionary work was an experience that has changed my testimony. Changed my life. And Heavenly Father knows me so well and knows that I needed that. Heavenly Father is so aware of us it's crazy!

This week in the CTM has been so amazing. It's still hard, don't get me wrong, but it is so so wonderful too. I am so blessed in my district. (Mom, I love that you and Sister Hartvigsen's mom are texting. Sis. H and I love it. To Sister H's mom: you're daughter is THE BEST. I love her to pieces and I am so so so grateful she is in my district, she's helped me make it through some rough times and during the good times she's always there making me laugh) 

The Portuguese is... well it's coming along, but it's definitely frustrating. This week though, I realized that I can hold a conversation in a language that I did not know anything about just a few weeks ago. Like that's actually crazy. I need to be less hard on myself about the language I think. The main thing is that our district always gets caught up in speaking English together, and we really need to be speaking more Portuguese to learn this language. So we decided to do a "challenge" where we were trying to see who could go the longest without speaking English hahahaha. It was so funny. The poor Elders were miserable the whole time, and when we were all sitting at breakfast nobody said a single word. We just sat there eating our food in silence. And then I just could not stop giggling because it was the most awkward thing I've ever seen, and I'm pretty sure I slopped my breakfast soup all over myself from laughing. (sidenote: breakfast soup is something we get every morning for breakfast, and it's not actually called breakfast soup but we don't know what it is exactly. Sometimes it is kinda of like oatmeal with a lot of oatmeal juice? and other times it's more like someone made vanilla pudding mix but heated it up instead of putting it in the fridge. It's actually kind of grown on me, so Shannon we might be eating breakfast soup in our apt when we're back at school.)

Oh! At the temple today there was a man working there from America and he is Sister Herrington's dad!! Small world! And I've met a couple of Elders who know Hannah and Brooke from BYUH and Elder Fallon in my district had Cassidy as a teacher at Timp. Also the Hartvigsens know the Saylins! Seriously there are so many random connections here.

Also I know I've only been here for a couple weeks, but it feels like I've known these people for ages. Like you know how everyone in our family and usually my friends make fun of me the most (out of love and also because my life is kind of like a ridiculous sitcom) well that's already who I am in the district. If someone spills something, or trips, or says something awkward. It's a "classic Sister Baker" move. I love it though because it feels like home haha. And I've pulled out the good ol' embarrassing story repertoire that I've built up over the years to entertain my district and other random missionaries that I meet. What can I say haha 

Pday last week was an actual dream. We got to go to the temple, email family, and then hit the town. We got Mr. Cheney's cookies and I GOT MY MILKSHAKE so pumped, and we got burgers and went to the supermercado and I'm so excited to get out there again! It's way fun being out in the city, it will be cool to be in Natal and not trapped in the same classroom for 16 hours. Haha but also it will be scary because I definitely won't have any idea what anyone is saying. #giftoftongues 

I've got a little card to send home but I didn't make it to the post office last week so I'll try to send it today, and I've got a longer letter for the fam to send through missionties. So you guys should get that soon. Thank you thank you fam & Shan for the missionties letters this week. You don't even know how amazing it is to open our little #18 box and see letters for me. It is a dream come true and I love you all for it!

I hope you guys have the best week ever! I miss you guys, but I wouldn't trade this for the world. I am so so blessed to be here in Brazil sharing this AMAZING gospel with people and helping them grow closer to their Heavenly Father who loves them so much!

Sister Baker

PS everyone should go read "Our Heritage" right this second because it might be my favorite thing in the world right now


  1. She might be eating "mingau" (pronounced ming-GOW), which is usually something that moms make for little kids. It's like a Cream of Wheat or porridge. I only had it once or twice on my mission, but I went to the MTC here, in Provo. She sounds like she's doing well!

    1. Thanks for sharing that Jane. Its fun for us to learn more about where she is, what she's eating, etc. Remind me where you were on your mission in Brazil.