week 21 . christmas in brazil

Links in red (click for info)

[mom note: a day or two after Megan's last letter we received pictures! Those pictures have been added to letters here and here. There is also a short video clip from our Skype session with Megan on Christmas that can be found here

Hello again!!! (I feel like I just talked to you guys. . . oh wait I did on Christmas!) It was seriously so fun to see your faces fam and hear news about extended family and friends. Sorry though for the really horrible English hahahaha. And I feel like I should have had a million things to say but I was having a really hard time thinking in english. #becauseportuguese. But I loved talking to you guys so much and rather than leave me homesick, it got me even more excited about being here (but I do love and miss you guys don't get me wrong).
Sister Marcelino and the ward mission leader that helped set up the Skype call
Getting our first glimpse at that smile we've missed

Best part of Christmas was having these four together
Jordania and Thiago were baptized this week!!!!! It was so great. They both are so amazing and truly have testimonies that the church is true. Jordania kept saying how special this day was for her, to be baptized in the true church. She also said that Sister Marcelino and I are like sisters (ha) to her. It was so sweet. She is going to be such an amazing member of the church (future General Young Women's president or something for sure). And Thiago was excited beyond belief of course. The kid never runs out of energy, and I think he already knows everything about the church. The day after his baptism he was already asking bishop for the priesthood and a calling haha. Also he really wants to skype you guys hahaha.

Jordania and Thiago

Leonardo and Jordania

Megan, Jordania and Sister Marcelino
Sister Dyer, Thiago and Sister Francis

#minhavida // Sister Marcelino and I were teaching a lesson to our investigator, Felipe (17 yrs old, he's great! so excited to go to church!) And we had left Moroni 10 with him, especially 3-5. But when we asked him if he had read he said yes and pointed at the end of chapter 9 to show where he read. He went to another room to go grab something and Sister Marcelino and I looked at chapter 9 verses 7-10. . . yikes. It's all about people getting killed and cannibalism and all that crazy stuff that happens in the wars at the end of the Book of Mormon. Sister Marcelino and I were DYING. But when he came back we asked him what he remembered about what he read. . "I think it was about. . prayer." Phew. We were so relieved we just started laughing our heads off. Total laughing attack. But eventually we calmed down and I don't think Felipe thinks we're completely nuts. haha 

Mom you asked about my Christmas. . . well Christmas Eve we went to the stake president's house with 28 missionaries. Lots and lots of people in a small space haha. And we ate more food than I think I've ever eaten in my life. So much delicious dessert I was in heaven. And the chicken named Chester that I talked about in the skype. I'm obsessed. We did a secret santa exchange with the missionaries, except they call it secret friend here haha. And I got a little toy bow with suction arrows woot woot. And chocolate. And on Christmas we ate a ton again at lunch with a family from the ward. They also fed us some heavenly chicken, but this one is called Capon. Don't know why all the fancy chickens have names but I'm not complaning. Other than the perfect food, Christmas here was such a special experience. I got to spend my Christmas season truly walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, teaching people about His gospel. I don't think there exists a better way to commemorate His birth. I am more grateful every day to be here on the mission and to have this opportunity to devote all my time to the Savior. There's no time like the mission.

Christmas Eve with the Stake President's family

Sister Dyer, Megan, Sister Marcelino and Sister Francis

Elders in Megan's district
Christmas morning. Matching Christmas jammies are a must.

Sister Francis, Sister Marcelino and Sister Dyer
"A different Christmas"
Sister Marcelino
Wearing her Christmas present...a dress Emily and I got her while in New York
and now Meg and Emily can match 
Sister Francis
Sister Marcelino and a sleepy Sister Dyer
Also skyping was so fun! I loved talking to you guys and also getting to know the families of the other sisters. I got to spend my Christmas with so many different families from different places. Such a unique Christmas and truly one of the best I've ever had. 

scripture (sort of) // This morning I was reading in the Bible and it was talking about the scattering of Israel when they were taken captive by the Assyrians. The second I read Assyrians my brain went on a major tangent remembering art history and an Assyrian king named Assurbanipal that had a bunch of stone engravings in his palace of him killing lions (mom, we saw them in the British Museum!). And the Assyrians also had these giant stone guard animals called lamassu (I think) [mom note: just a couple pictures from our two trips (in the same week) to the British Museum...this girl LOVES her museums. I even managed to find some lamassu pictures]

But anyways my mind did exactly what I did just now and went on an art history tangent and then I looked in the bible dictionary at Assyrians and it talks about this king! [mom note: 5th paragraph] And a bunch of other stuff that was really interesting. Basically what I'm getting at is that studying, truly studying not just reading, the scriptures is the coolest! I learn so much everyday and I get so excited to have more time and resources to study at home. Here in the mission we can't use the fancy internet things the church has (take advantage of the apps and sites!) and I am usually studying more for my investigators than for me. But I LOVE scripture study. Love love love it. Sorry for the nerd tangent. 

Thank you to everyone who helped my Christmas to be so special, with cards and emails and thoughts and prayers. I am so grateful for all of you. I hope all of you have a fabulous New Year! I know that 2015 is going to be one of the best years of my life because the entire year will be dedicated to serving the Lord. I'm more excited than I have words to explain (especially English words because it's a struggle).

Eu amo vocês! Eu sei que O Livro de Mórmon é verdadeiro, e por isso eu também sei que Joseph Smith foi um profeta de Deus, e que essa igreja é a igreja verdadeira de Jesus Cristo. Eu amo meu Salvador e eu sou grata por poder servir essa missão para ajudar meus irmãos na terra a conhecer essas coisas. [mom note: from Google translate...I love you! I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I also know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and I am grateful to serve this mission to help my brothers on earth to know these things.]

tchau tchau!
Sister M Baker

Jordania, Sister Marcelino and Janaina 
Jordania, Megan and Janaina
Megan and Sister Marcelino

Sister Marcelino


feliz natal from brazil

We enjoyed every minute of our Christmas skype conversation with Megan. She is doing well and loving missionary life in Brazil. We asked her to share her testimony in Portuguese which you can see below (the video is frozen for a few seconds in the beginning) We don't understand most of what she is saying but we treasure the video clip anyway.

I've also included a Brazilian version of Jingle Bells to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and to thank you for sending emails, letters, cards and packages to her for Christmas. She felt so loved even though she is in Brazil and far from home.


Week 20 . Dear Diar(rhea)

Links in red (click for info)


I can't believe Christmas is this week! This month passed by so fast. I'm super excited for Christmas, but also so sad that this season will be over. It is the most amazing time to share the gospel and the message of the Savior's love for everyone on the earth. I can't believe how blessed I am to be here in Brasil sharing this message. Even though it's not always easy to be away from family, especially on Christmas, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. I am seeing miracles and the love of God for his children more than I have ever seen before. 

Remember how I wrote a while back about the hilarious 12 year old Thiago who loves loves loves the USA. [mom note: she talked about Thiago here and here] Well he is going to be baptized this week! And he gets funnier every day. I don't have time to tell you all the stories of the things he has said and done because it would be a novel haha. But it's not actually Sister Marcelino and I teaching him, it's Sister Francis and Sister Dyer. But I don't care who's teaching him, I'm just over the moon excited for him. And my excitement is nothing compared to his. He went to church for the first time this week, but before ever stepping foot inside the church he: has every single pamphlet about the missionary discussions, has the Gospel Principles book, has a Book of Mormon, has multiple pass along card's and best of all. . . there's a YW [mom note: young woman, term we use at church for those girls that are 12-18 yrs old. We say they are part of our Young Women's group] in our ward who spends most of her day every day walking around with a Book of Mormon in hand doing "visits" and "contacts." Taking member missionary to the next level. Well she met Thiago and the other day they went to Augusto's house (our recent convert) and taught him the entire Plan of Salvation. hahahahahah. I was dying. 

Sister Marcelino and I are teaching Thiago's cousin, Jordania! My goodness, was she prepared by the spirit or what. She is going to be baptized this week with Thiago!!! She's been searching a long time for the right church and when she read the Book of Mormon she felt that this church is true. And she's not looking back! She loves coffee, but when we taught her the Word of Wisdom (which she had already heard a lot about from Thiago haha) she told us that she hadn't drunk coffee for three days! She said "It's worth it to just leave the things of the world behind and follow God." Perfect. And the best with her was when she read John 3:5 (that says if someone isn't baptized they can't enter into the kingdom of God). Her eyes went super wide, and she covered her face with the pamphlet,  and after a couple seconds she says "I'm going to get baptized." haha dream reaction to that scripture. 

Augusto FINISHED the Book of Mormon! In about a month! He's amazing!

#minhavida [mom note: just tuning in? Here is where she introduces us/explains #minhavida]
We had the mission Christmas conference this week, and it was wonderful! During the conference. Afterwards, not so much. Something in the lunch we all ate was...well problematic. And the ENTIRE mission (including Pres. and Sis. Soares) had diarrhea. hahaha EVERYONE was up the whole night after going to the bathroom. Sorry if it's TMI but it's just too funny. [mom note:  TMI = Too Much Information because I know my mom (Megan's grandma) will ask what that means]  Also sorry for the gross pun as the subject line but I couldn't resist, feel free to change it mom hahaha.

Sister Marcelino, Megan, Sister Francis and Sister Dyer (the sisters she lives with)
Megan and her companion Sister Marcelino
Megan and her trainer or mão/mom Sister Garcia
Sister Garcia, Elder Collier (from Megan's MTC district) and Megan

Sister Pace
Elder Zundel and Megan Elder Zundel is from our Stake at home) 
Elder Giles (from her MTC district) and another Elder that was in the MTC with her but not in the same district)

Sister Olla
Sister Porter
The Baker Sisters! Sister J. Baker (Jocelyn), Sister M. Baker (Megan) and Sister Baker (Katie) 
2 Kings 14-16 [mom note: we think she forgot to put a chapter number]

Hahaha I almost had a heart attack when Pres Soares called. He said, I received an email from your dad. . . and I was positive someone had died so the skype thing was a huge relief hahaha. 

The timing of the skype call isn't set but it should be sometime after 1:00 here, probably later in the afternoon/early evening. Sorry for not filling you guys in more before but I really didn't have any idea how it was going to go down. [mom note: there were some minor issues relaying info regarding our Christmas skype call...that's what this exchange is about]


<3 <3 <3
com amor

Sister Baker

Sister Francis and Sister Dyer
Sister Marcelino 

Megan's district in Mossoró