week 9 . General TOM(Monson)ference

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So I'm just DYING of happiness because General Conference was PERFECT.

Seriously, I've never been so grateful for a General Conference weekend in my life. I really realize now how very very blessed we are to know that there is a living prophet of God on the earth. And I couldn't help but think how worldwide this church truly is. The members of the seventy speaking in their native languages (portuguese holla!) and the fact that I was sitting in a little room in a church building in Brazil hearing the same things as members of the church around the world really hit me. This gospel is spreading like wildfire and I'm so grateful that I get to be a part of that growth here in Brazil. And wow did everyone talk about prophets??? All the missionaries were saying that it sounded like President Monson was going to pass away soon because of what all the speakers were saying (here's how we get a new prophet, thanks to Pres. Monson for his service, etc) And I was thinking the whole time of this dream that I had last week... I was in the celestial room of the temple and I saw President Monson and he gave me a hug and it was perfect. But then he said that he was sick and didn't have much time left on this earth. What. So during conference that was just going through my mind the entire time. 

But really I just want to watch conference again and again and again. I could talk for ages about each and every speaker, but I'm assuming you all watched it so you don't need a play by play from me. If you didn't watch it, GO WATCH IT. [mom note: not all talks are available yet, it takes about a week to get them all posted. The GO WATCH IT link will direct you where to watch or read the talks as they become available. Be sure to check back during the week for updates if your're interested] There is no better way to feel the love of our Heavenly Father than by listening to His words through the mouths of his servants. 

This week we also had a big Zone Conference in Caico. So we woke up at 2:30 am to get on a bus and go there for the day. Well my body wasn't liking that too much. We got into a member's car (Tammy!) [mom note: Tammy is the sweet member who often posts pictures of Megan on Facebook. We love her for that.] so she could take us to the church to meet the Elders and get on the bus, and right before she started driving, I open the door and. . . throw up all over the ground. #minhavida So gross haha. But after that I ate some food and got some sleep on the bus and everything was totally fine. (so don't worry momma I'm not sick!) But the conference was all about the Book of Mormon and I loved it!!!! This book is vital in our work, because people can choose not to believe every word that I say, but if they read the Book of Mormon, sincerely desiring to know if it's true the spirit will testify to them. 

Mom, if you could send me a couple basic recipes: cookies, and maybe a couple meal type recipes too that would be great. Sister Garcia and Sister Cieslak (the sister with the short hair in the pic I sent) both cook all the time, and Sister Olla (the other sister in that picture) and I never know what to do because they have different things at the grocery stores here so it's harder to improvise. One example of different food. . . at a member's house the other day they pour some pink stuff into my cup. At first I thought it was like strawberry milk, because people love that here. And I thought of Dad's love for strawberry/banana milk haha. But then I took a sip and realized it was actually exactly like drinking gogurt. Exactly. haha. 

Nate, I'm so PROUD of you for all the family history work you're doing! I was thinking of you during that entire general conference talk about family history work. I have a little homework assignment for you (and the rest of the fam). If you guys could track down the conversion stories of our ancestors and send them to me, that would be amazing! I want to be able to explain to people here how my family found this gospel that has changed all of our lives! How one person can change the lives of generations to come. 

Tanielieson wasn't baptized on Sunday. . . BUT it's okay because he's going to be baptized on quarta feira (which I think is Wednesday haha, I've lost track of how the days of the week translate). He went to the last session of General Conference which was great! (THANK YOU Elder Bednar!!!!) [mom note: she is thanking Elder Bednar for his talk that was given specifically to those who aren't members of our church] This kid is seriously awesome, and I truly believe that he is going to be an amazing, firm member of the church. So excited for him!! 

I am truly loving the work here! What I don't love is when people don't progress, when they listen to their neighbors or their friends rather than the truth from God. But when people really get what we're saying, when I watch them change through the power of this message and the spirit. . . there's nothing better!

My biggest hardship right now is still the language. I hate that I can't communicate with people, because I have a testimony of this gospel and I just want to share it! And it's not just the language, the culture here is really different, and I don't understand it quite yet. Sister Garcia can talk to people about things that are common to Brazil or the Nordeste, but I just say things like "We're missionaries. Do you want to go to church?" hahaha. It's kind of like when you go to a friends house to eat dinner and you want to help clean up but you have no idea where the plates, forks, cups go in the kitchen. Or even where the sponge is to wash them. And then you can't ask your friend where everything goes because they speak portuguese hahaha. 

But despite the little frustrations, being here is the biggest blessing of my life. I have learned more about the scriptures, the Gospel, and my Savior Jesus Christ in my short time here than ever before. I LOVE the Book of Mormon with my whole heart. I just finished Alma this week, and I am constantly inspired by the examples of the heroes of the Book of Mormon. Alma 48. Captain Moroni. I die. I want to be a person with perfect understanding whose heart swells with thanksgiving to God! A person firm in the faith of Christ! So grateful for the examples we have in the Book of Mormon. Also when I was reading the story of the 2000 stripling warriors this week I was crying crying crying, they are perfect examples of faith despite serious adversity. 

I KNOW that this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. It is not led by men, it is led by Christ through men. We have the fullness of the gospel of Christ, and I am immensely grateful for that. Thomas S. Monson is a PROPHET of God. He was called of God. And he called me to serve a mission here in Brazil. This gospel is perfect. I thank my Heavenly Father daily that I have a testimony of this gospel and that I was raised by "goodly parents" who taught me the importance of the things that I am teaching the people here. Mom, Dad, you are the best examples of disciples of Christ that I know. I am so grateful for you, for the things you did everyday to not only tell me but to show me how to live a life dedicated to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like the stripling warriors, like Enos, like Nephi, I learned about this church first and foremost from my parents. I want to teach people here about the joy of this gospel so they can share it with their families. I love this gospel and I love my family. I love that through this gospel I can be with my family for ETERNITY. (so you guys better get ready for lots of puns).

Sister Baker
Sister Olla, Megan, Sister Garcia and Sister Cieslak 

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