week 28 . straight [trippin']

Links in red (click for info)

[mom note: UPDATE to Megan's address...new zip code

Sister Megan Baker
Brazil Natal Mission
Av Interventor Mario Camara, 2066
Dix-Sept Rosado
59054-600 Natal - RN

Any mail that has already been sent to the old address will still get there but moving forward please use this updated address. The new address will be posted on the "write" page (located at the top of this blog) for easy reference.]

Well I've got some news. . . Sister Keese and Sister de Paula will both have to go home this Wednesday. And we found this out right now while we're writing emails. We're all freaking out a little bit. The problems that they have in their knees is making it impossible to work so President Soares and the mission doctor said it's better for them to go home right now. So it will just be Sister Carvalho and I here, at least until the transfer. I think I'm in shock a little bit. It will be so hard to say goodbye to these sisters, I love them so much. But I'm glad that they'll be able to get their health back up at home and hopefully get rid of this knee-problem. (Which it looks like half of our mission has, everyone's got destroyed knees in this mission. Sister Carvalho and I are always asking one another if the other is feeling pain in the knee because apparently it's just a matter of time before my knee starts falling apart. Doing lots of exercises to strengthen the little guy up haha). But really this is all so surreal. I can't believe they're going home. 

Despite all the drama with health problems, this week was better than the last. Sister Carvalho and I are teaching a man named Daniel (accent on the E in portuguese, dan-i-EL). When we met him, and next time we saw him, and the next, he was drunk. But he kept wanting us to teach him! So we went to his house and taught him, and he was super interested. He cried talking about God. And he accepted baptism without batting an eye. He made us write down his baptismal date and he was just pumped beyond belief. This was all last week. This week, we continued teaching him. Including the Word of Wisdom. And he told us that he hasn't touched alcohol since that first lesson!!! He drinks coffee and smokes, but he's been decreasing every day! And yesterday we went to his house to pick him up for church and his brother said that he had already gone to church by himself!! When we showed up he was waiting there in the front! He understood the Restoration perfectly and feels that it is all true. I love teaching him. When Sister Carvalho and I are feeling frustrated all we have to do is teach Daniel and we feel better. The spirit is always so strong as we teach him and it reminds me exactly why I'm here on the mission. Here's to hoping we find more people like him to teach.

I'm sure you're all wondering what Carnaval is like here in Brasil. And I can't really tell you haha. I haven't seen anything Carnaval-y in person. The only difference I've noticed is that there is nobody in the street. Everyone went to the beach or some other place. Nobody here. Which is doing wonders for the missionary work! Not. haha. And we have to be in our house at 7:30 instead of 9:00. Other than that it's business as usual. Well, actually Sister Carvalho and I did see an older man in the street just in a speedo. But sadly, I don't think it was related to Carnaval, looks like it was just his regular car-washing routine. Probably avoiding that street forever now so I don't have to burn by eyes out haha. #minhavida. 

Another #minhavida happening...Sister Carvalho and I are both tripping in the street everyday like it's our job. So we decided we would start keeping score to see who trips more everyday. You guys want to guess who's lost every single day except one...me. Surprised? But I want it noted that one day I only tripped ONCE and Sister Carvalho tripped 4 times! So there's still hope for me. 

Oh also it looks like leading the music has become my calling because they asked me again this week! [mom note: here is her first experience with leading the music] But I checked on all the hymns before the meeting started to make sure I knew them haha. But this Sunday I felt like it was the Sister Baker show because I was up there leading the music and then I was the last speaker! The bishop called this week and asked me to speak on the sacrament and the atonement. Giving a talk is already nerve-wracking, but in PORTUGUESE. I feel like I've got a pretty good grasp on the language, but it's one thing talking to people in the street and another speaking in front of the entire ward (about the Atonement! ah). And also everyone in the Mormon world knows that "last speaker" means you better have a lot of material prepared because you'll probably have 40 minutes to speak. But it went better than I could have hoped. I wrote my talk all out word for word, but I barely looked at my paper when I spoke. I said all the things I had planned, and then some! And I truly didn't feel that nervous up there. Just a couple times when I stumbled over a Portuguese word I'm not used to. But I know God helped me to give that talk. Afterwards a woman from the ward told me how much she enjoyed my talk and asked where I'm from and then complimented my Portuguese. It made my day. 

But I loved studying so much about the sacrament and the atonement this week. They are two topics very dear to my heart, very sacred to me and I learned a lot preparing this talk. In the talk I shared the story of when we were in Texas and we drove to I don't even know how many chapels to take the sacrament but we kept getting there too late. But I talked about how the example that my parents set of their determination to take the sacrament made me really think about why the sacrament is important, why we should partake of it every single Sunday. Here on the mission the sacrament is 100% the most important part of me week. I wouldn't be able to do this work without the spirit that I receive as I take the sacrament. Those few minutes in church give me comfort and strength and motivation for the rest of the week. This is something that I will take home with me from the mission, that I will continue to make the sacrament a sacred experience every week. 

I'm so grateful to be here on the mission, and feeling more grateful that I am physically able to be here as Sister Keese and Sister de Paula go home. It's passing me by so fast, I can't believe it sometimes. I am trying to embrace every moment, even the hard ones because I know the Lord has something for me to learn in every moment. I love you all so much and am grateful for your support (Emails and letters! I got 30+ letters last week. I'm the envy of the mission haha A giant giant thank you to anyone who sent me mail! I love you all!) Mom, I haven't gotten packages other than Christmas and one from Grammy but if you know it was delivered to the mission office last week I will probably get it at the next zone conference or maybe tomorrow if the sisters from Alecrim bring it. I'll try to talk to them today.

Boa semana pra todos! [mom note: "good week for everyone"]

Sister Baker

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