week 31 . from natal to [CRY]có (jk i'm fine now)

Links in red (click for info)

[mom note: picture's of Daniel's baptism were added to last weeks email. To view click on link in red]

Well I've learned a lesson with the last two emails I've sent. EVERYTIME that I say that I'm super excited for something (the week with my companion in my area, or the transfer with my companion in my area) it never happens. First the division, and now transfers. Sister Carvalho and I were sitting together when the Elders called and we were all excited to hear about where everyone else was going because we were POSITIVE we would stay together, and then we heard. . . 

"Sister M. Baker was transferred to Seridó in CAICÓ"


"And Sister Carvalho is going to TRAIN a new sister." 

And we looked at each other and burst into tears. I was so mad. I finally got the hang of things in Natal and I was being transferred. And there won't be new sisters in the area where we were so Sister Carvalho and the greenie are going to continue covering the two areas! We both lost it. But we got açaí together for the last time, and talked and calmed ourselves down. Then I spent the whole night packing because everything I own was spread around that house (but not in a messy way mom just that nothing was in my suitcases).

Sister Baker and Sister Carvalho

Sister Gonzales and Sister Cieslak

The next morning we woke up bright and early and went to the mission office so that Sister Carvalho could meet her "daughter." It was nice because I got to see all the sisters who were going home. . . Gonzales, Dyer, and Marcelino! So so so good to see all of them especially Sister Marcelino. Love her to pieces. And I saw pictures of the wedding and baptism of a family we taught together in Mossoró. So perfect.

And I saw Sister Brown!! She looked a little nervous (how can you not be when everyone is yelling and hugging and crying in Portuguese) but she seems like she's already handling the transition well. And guess who is her "mom". . . SISTER CARVALHO. I don't know if i'm excited beyond belief for them or super jealous. Both. But they'll be awesome companions, so excited for both of them and the Natal ward.

Then after a very long bus ride. I made it to Caicó. It's in "interior" which I think is Portuguese for the country. [mom note: I think it just so happens that the interior of Brazil is where the more rural areas are] Same as Mossoró. And Caicó and Mossoró are about the same level of crazy sun burning you to death. But I was happy to go back to interior because I think the people are more open to hear about the gospel. I met my companion, Sister Ríos at the bus station. 

about Sister Ríos 
+ from Guatemala!
+ lived in the USA for 1 year and a half being a nanny and speaks fluent English!
+ is a crack-up and also understands when I crack stupid jokes, including puns hallelujah!
+ is a really hard worker and gets me so excited to do the work here, even when the sun has other ideas
+ is super service minded, always offering to make me tea or who knows what else. sweetest. 
+ we laugh a lot.
+ we also have a lot of spiritual discussions
+ i love her!

I'm also living with Sister Moraes (from Mato Grosso in Brasil) and Sister Hernandez (from Provo Utah). I got to know the two of them a little bit during the exchange with Sister Gonzales because they were in Natal for a few days and I already liked them both so much. So excited to live with them! Sister Hernandez is a major kindred spirit, and I feel like I'm talking to myself in the beginning of the mission. She still is struggling with the language a bit, but she's learning so fast. I'm already loving living here and serving here. 

We don't eat lunch with the Sisters though which is weird, because they're in a different ward. We're in a ward with our Zone Leaders, Elder Clark and Elder W. Silva. Elder Clark is like a missionary version of Brian Regan and I get excited to go to lunch just to hear him tell stories. And Elder W. Silva has a ton of great ideas for the Zone and the ward. It's been great working with them this week.

Elder Clark and Elder W. Silva

The ward here is struggling a lot. It looks like a lot of the missionaries who passed by here baptized a lot of little kids or youth. Which isn't necessarily the problem, but there are almost no adults to be leaders in the ward. None of the organizations have all of the presidency and teachers. And Sunday during Sacrament Meeting Elder W. Silva and I had to give talks (which we found out the night before lol) and we were up there in the front watching everyone walking in and out of the meeting and it was all just kind of a mess. I got so sad seeing that, but I think it gave us and the Elders a huge push to truly help change things here in the Seridó Ward. The ward still meets in a little house, but with 15 more people every week (5 of them being priesthood holders) they can have a chapel! We want that chapel! So we're going to work like crazy to reach this goal, reactivating members and finding and teaching adults and families!

We're off to a good start because Sister Ríos and I had a baptism this week!!! His name is Francisco and he's great. He is a single dad with two kids (Kessia who is 12 and Kelison who is 10 or 11). Sister Ríos said that the sisters had already taught him for a while and had decided to not teach him anymore because he wasn't progressing, but we went there and I was talking to him and getting to know him and I asked him if he has prayed about baptism. And then he said that he had prayed. That one night he knelt down and prayed about what path he should take in his life. And that night he dreamt about his baptism. The spirit was so strong as he told us this. And we explained that this was an answer from God and he said "I know." So the next day we went back with the Elders so that he could be interviewed and when he came out Elder W. Silva said that Fransico would be baptized on Sunday! And Fransico said that he had prayed again after we left the night before and had another dream about his baptism. I am already seeing miracles here in Caicó.

Elder Clark, Elder W. Silva, Sister Baker, Francisco and Sister Rios

Sister Baker, Francisco, and Sister Rios


What would a week in a new area be without embarassing things happening to me. . . Well the four of us sisters were eating açaí to celebrate hitting the standard of excellence and Sister Ríos looks at a car pulling up and says "Hey look it's a missionary" joking around because there was someone with a white shirt and tie in the car. And then Sister Hernandez says "He looks american." And Sister Moraes says, "It's Elder Warth!" (an elder from our mission who just finished his mission). And he got out of the car with his parents! Haha so we're already laughing and then his parents come up and are talking to us in English. Sister Hernandez said I looked like I thought they were speaking some alien language. It was so weird. Sister Hernandez was so excited to hear someone speaking English I thought she was going to hug them. And Sister Ríos was calm and collected and chatted with them a little bit. And when they asked me where I'm from I almost couldn't say "I'm from California" in English. And then the mom said something about her son and said his first name and I gasped and was all weird because he was my zone leader in Mossoró and it was so weird that she didn't call him Elder. And then she apologized and I was like no don't worry it's all good. Ah so embarrassing. And then when they walked away I started laughing / crying because it was funny but also I don't speak English. 

Well that was my week. A little bit crazy, and a complete roller coaster. But after all the tears and everything I am happy to be here. I know this area won't be easy but I'm excited to make a difference here. I love being a missionary. 

Have a wonderful week everyone.
Love you all

Sister Baker

[mom note: I like learning about the areas Megan is serving in. I recognize this info will not interest most people but its fun for our family and perhaps other missionaries with calls to serve in the Brazil Natal Mission. Plus the info will all be here for Megan to enjoy when she gets home. Here's some things I found while researching her new area in Seridó, Caicó...

:: Radio Seridó (hear whats playing on the radio in Megan's area)
:: Blog Seridó

Also, we got a voice recording from Megan this week with her and the sisters she lives with singing a Brazilian version of happy birthday to Megan's dad. If anyone knows how I can get that on the blog please send me an email (check the sidebar) You will showered with praise and other goodies for your help.]

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