week 38 . sometimes you just want to eat your feelings with cake

Olá querida família e amigos!

This week we got to the internet cafe a little bit later than normal because Sister Porter gave all the sisters in our house pedicures. Like hot water and eight different kinds of Burt's Bees creams and basically saving my poor mission destroyed feet. Sister Hernandez and Sister Morais have like 4-5 months on the mission so their feet are still normal. But the fact that Sister Porter gave me a pedicure...true Christlike service. I LOVE HER. (and so do my feet). I'm so lucky to live with people who are so service-minded. 

This week was a roller coaster. One day would be perfect and then the next. . .well not so good. But we worked our Chacos off this week and even though we didn't have all the success that we would have liked, we saw some miracles

BRUNO :: We did a contact with him and went back to teach him a different day and he listened to the message but straight up rejected us. Like asked us not to ever come back to his house rejected us. But this lesson was one of the more spiritual experiences that I've had in this area. It was powerful. And it was clear he felt it too. We left a pamphlet and a Book of Mormon with him and an open invitation to visit the church. But then the other day Sister Morais mentioned that she felt like we should pass by. And normal Sister Baker would want to avoid confrontation and not go back to a house where someone said never to come back, but I felt that we should go too. As we were walking we decided to do a low-key pass by and leave the Plan of Salvation pamphlet with him and peace out. We showed up and he opened the door and I said that we had thought of him and wanted to leave a pamphlet with him. He thanked us (what) and then apologized for not being able to receive us (double what) because his grandfather was sick and dying (triple what). All of this with the Plan of Salvation pamphlet in his hand. The spirit put words of comfort into my mouth to say to him that I never could've thought of alone and we told him that knowing about this plan would bring comfort to him in this difficult moment. He thanked us again and said he would read. We said a prayer with him for his grandfather and the spirit was so strong. It was truly a miraculous experience. 

We also have a new investigator named MARIA who we met this week who is an actual angel. She lives alone, and I think because of this she is really connected with Heavenly Father. Everything we teach her she says that she knows it's all true! She says she can't stop thinking about us and the church. She is such a blessing in this area for my companion and I. 

We had a FHE [mom note: Family Home Evening] planned with Francisco and his daughter Kecia and we bought cake and soda and went over there with the Elders and two YW and a YM from the ward.  [mom note: Young Women and Young Men] And Francisco and Kecia stood us up. They were at the Catholic church (#minhavida). I was pretty much done when we found out what had happened. This day had been absolutely exhausting and I was about ready to sit on the curb, cry, and eat my feelings with our cake. But Sister Morais is AWESOME and stopped in front of a random house that had a family sitting outside and asked them if we could do an FHE with them! They accepted and we had a wonderful night and have some new investigators that are great. So grateful for Sister Morais!

When we were walking to Fransisco's house with the Elders I fell. Not like low key tripped, but fell fell. On the ground. On a rock. hahaha. I didn't get (seriously) hurt, just a little bit scraped up. But we all got some laughs and I'm walking a little slower and being more careful haha. 

Some scriptures that helped me this week when the going got rough . . . 
D&C 90:24 (perfection)

I love all of you so much and hope you have a great week!

com amor

Sister Baker


week 37 . transfer week

Links in red (click for info)

TRANSFERS. Sister Ríos got transferred. tears. As did our ZL [mom note: ZL = Zone Leader, a missionary assigned to oversee and work with a group of missionaries in a geographical area] Elder Clark. more tears. [mom note: and Sister Moraes went home as was mentioned in last weeks letter]

Elder Sousa, Elder W. Silva, Elder Clark, Sister Hernandez, Sister Moraes, Sister Baker, Sister Rios, Elder Evans
Sister Rios, Sister Moraes, Sister Baker and Sister Hernandez
But Elder W. Silva and I stayed and we got two new missionaries in our ward. Our new ZL, Elder Monteza (from Lima Peru!). He was Elder Zundel's trainer! [mom note: Elder Zundel is from our home Stake in Mission Viejo] Small world. He's great and super funny. And Sister Hernandez' new companion is Sister Porter!!! We're living together again and I'm pumped beyond belief. And I'm still living with Sister Herndandez so I'm even more pumped. And my new companion: 

Drumroll please . . .
Sister Morais!

about Sister Morais ::
+ from São Paulo (no surprise there, like all of my comps are Paulistas)
+ has 4 months on the mission! So she's super excited about this work and is basically on fire. I love it! 
+ was baptized at age 15! and now she's 22 and on a mission. I have so much respect for her for making the decision to serve a mission as a convert. I think it'd be a hard decision, but she rocks it. 
+ is so sweet. And serves others with all her heart. I have never seen our house so clean, ever. And one day without me knowing she washed all my clothes and then hung them up on the line to dry. What? Am I living with an actual angel? I think so. 
+ teaches with the spirit! We're going to see (and already are seeing) miracles this transfer!

Transfer week is always insane. And it is rough going to hit the standard of excellence [mom note: goals that the missionaries try to meet each week], but we did it! And it was a straight up miracle because it just happened. We did everything we could but not once did I have to over-stress about the standard. Heavenly Father just blessed us so much for putting in our all this week. Which we did. Sister Morais and I are exhausted. I don't know that I've ever been so physically (and emotionally) tired on my mission. But I feel so satisfied and happy and like I am doing what Heavenly Father wants me to and there's not a better feeling in the world. 

Also all of our hard work is paying off! MIRACLES THIS WEEK.

(1) Rosa read the Book of Mormon, prayed, and had a dream as an answer to her prayer. She knows what she needs to do to help herself and her family! It was such an amazing experience to help her understand her dream and how God is answering her prayers! (And to make it even more amazing: I have been praying like crazy this week that God could give her an extremely clear answer! One that she couldn't ignore. God answered my prayers)

(2) Rosa went to church for the first time yesterday! We got there just in time for the sacrament. But she loved it! When it ended she was like, "already?" And her 10 year old niece went with her and said she wants to go next week too! So happy for her!

(3) We were trying to contact a less-active member and we ran into a dream investigator, Pedro. He and his daughter were so receptive and gave us popcorn and loved learning more about Jesus Christ and accepted baptism! All within the first lesson! We just have to work out a way for him to go to church because he's usually at a farm on Sundays. But more miracles will happen!

(4) Another prayer answered yesterday. Yesterday night we were all exhausted and HUNGRY. I might have been praying to have dinner at a members house (because dinner is more like a snack here) and out of nowhere a woman, Franscisca, in our ward called us and the elders and invited us over for cous cous and lasagna. YES. It was perfect. [mom note: I was curious about lasagna in Brazil so I googled it and included a link to a recipe for Brazilian lasagna]

I'm super pumped for this next week now that Sister Morais and I are getting into the groove of things. It's going to be another week of miracles, I have no doubt about it. 

Heavenly Father loves us and knows us and He hears our prayers!

Sister Baker

Sister Baker, Sister Rios, Sister Moraes, Sister Hernandez
Sister Baker, Sister Rios, Sister Moraes, Sister Hernandez 
The sister missionary standard for shoes in the northeast of Brazil...Chacos
Sister Baker and Sister Rios
Sister Baker and Sister Rios

Elder Clark and Elder W. Silva


week 36 . "sometimes it sucks to love people so much"

Links in red (click for info)

WHAT???????????? We're all freaking out here! This is the best/funniest thing that's ever happened. How did it go? Did everyone get along? Why do I LOVE this so much?? [mom note: while our family was in Utah for Spring Break we got together with some families that have missionaries serving in Natal, Sister J Baker and Sister Hernandez. Sister Hernandez and Megan are currently living together. The reaction above is from pictures we sent her.]

Last Pday I hit my 8 MONTH mark. What??? How is this going by so fast? Almost halfway done, but I honestly feel like I just got here. But sweet Sister Ríos took me on a companionship date to celebrate and we got a giant pizza and a liter of coke for just us two. One of the best-worst ideas ever. I ate soooo much and was dying afterwards. But I've been doing T25 every day (thanks mom), and I hadn't that morning so in a moment that would make Shannon McCormick proud, I did T25 afterwards. Wanted to die, but it made me feel slightly less guilty. (slightly).

This week Sister Ríos was not feeling too hot. Her body was sooo tired she was not functioning, we thought she might have had dengue or anemia or mono or something, but it's looking like she's a lot better now. But since she was sick I did exchanges with Sister Hernandez two days this week. I hated knowing that my companion was sick and not being able to work with her (especially because it's likely that she could be transferred this week. tears.) But it was so fun to work with Sister Hernandez. She is a rockstar missionary and so outgoing despite the fact that she's still learning the language. So jealous because I know that I was not like that at all when I was struggling with Portuguese. And her testimony is amazing. Made me cry (no surprise there). We also got to teach some really powerful lessons and mark FOUR baptisms together. Three in my area and one in hers. Two juniors taking the world by storm. Straight up miracles. 

Sister Baker & Sister Hernandez
Sister Moraes, Sister Hernandez and Sister Baker
Rosa and her twin sons are loving the lessons. They eat up everything we say and have so many questions. I love this family sooo much. Rosa and one of the twins already have an answer about the Book of Mormon and the Church, but the other twin feels like he would betray his current church if he asks about the Book of Mormon. But I have seen him feel the spirit and I'm sure as we continue to work with this family we will be able to help them to come unto Christ and be baptized and be strong members of the church. They didn't go to church on Sunday which was a huge bummer for us, but we're going to help them understand how important it is and do everything in our power to get them there. 

Funny story about the twins. They are trying to learn English so they always say random phrases to us in English and one of them just kept calling us "big beautiful babies" and all four sisters were dying laughing. This family is the best. 

Fransico II (that disappeared out of nowhere awhile back and went to a different state) was back home this weekend. Sister Ríos and I were SO excited to talk to him and teach him again, but when we showed up he was sitting outside with a giant bottle of alcohol and a cigarette in his mouth. My heart dropped. He basically told us that he's changed his mind and doesn't want anything more to do with this "church" stuff. And yesterday he went out of town again, possibly for months. It was a real heartbreak. I felt so sad thinking about how much this man was losing for something as stupid as alcohol. I wanted to break that bottle on the ground and make him understand what he was throwing away. True and lasting happiness!!! A more united family! A ward family! Comfort in every difficulty! And most importantly, eternal life. The opportunity to live with God and Jesus Christ after this life. He threw it all away without thinking twice, and it killed me. I had truly grown to love this man and wanted nothing more than to see him continue to change his life for the better. So Saturday was pretty hard for me. As one of the Elders put it this week, "Sometimes it sucks to love people so much."

Sunday was honestly not much better. We didn't have anyone at church and I was a little bit sick and a lot tired and just feeling done. BUT I realized at the end of the day that because these last two days had been so hard I had: (1) really truly appreciated the blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and (2) felt Heavenly Father's love for me so powerfully. Sister Ríos and I had a minor (major) breakdown together and cried a lot, but right after we stopped crying we looked up and saw the most gorgeous sunset. I know Heavenly Father was sending it as a hug for his two daughters who were tired and heartbroken. I have no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father loves each of us so much, and that the Savior understands each and every heartbreak. I am infinitely grateful for the Atonement and for Heavenly Father pushing me through these last two days. 

This week is transfers and I am nervous and excited. (and not saying anything about what I think will happen since that did not work out last time). Sister Moraes is leaving to go home tomorrow and we will all miss her so much here. She has become a great friend and is a wonderful missionary. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember that


Sister Baker


week 35 . an [EGG]sellent conference weekend

Links in red (click for info)

[mom note: Megan's sister Emily reached out on social media asking people to join us in wishing Megan a happy 21st birthday. Her birthday is not 'til May 27th but mail to Brazil is slow so if you'd like to send her a birthday card now would be the time to do it. Missionaries LOVE mail so regardless of what category you fall into...family, personal friend, friend of a friend, future missionary, blog stalker, future spouse, whatever...send a letter. She'll sing your praises!

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

[Postage is $1.15 (or a global forever stamp) for a normal sized letter 1 ounce or less. Add .80 cents for each additional ounce]

Wow this week seems like it was sooo long but at the same time went by so fast. Time is getting weird, I think because this transfer is almost over. (Can't believe it!)

I'm going to go in order (sort of) of the days of the week so I don't just ramble and lose myself. . .

Last pday we went to a members house and played games and ate s'mores and Cadbury mini eggs and Oreos with milk that Elder Clark's mom had sent in a package. If you know how I feel about Cadbury mini eggs you can imagine my pure joy.

FHE [mom note: Family Home Evening] at the Bishop's house. We read the story of the resurrection in the Bible and 3 Nephi 11 and the spirit was so incredibly strong. I felt the Savior's presence there.

District meeting. This was probably the best district meeting that I have ever been to. Elders Clark and W. Silva talked to us (it was just sisters because the other two elders were in Natal.) Elder W. Silva shared part of a talk that Pres. Monson gave that talked about a young man who got his mission call right at the time that his little brother passed away. He posted a photo with his brother saying something along the lines of "we both received mission calls, just on different sides of the veil." And then the talk talked about the hope of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was crying (along with every other sister in that room). Then Elder Clark talked about the Atonement. How God sent an angel to not only comfort Jesus Christ in his suffering, but to remind Him who He was. That there wasn't anyone else who could fulfill His purpose. And how here in Caicó it's the same situation. There aren't other servants of the Lord in our area other than Sister Ríos and I. This is on us. It won't be easy, but if we don't give it our all there is nobody else to make up lost ground. It was inspiring and spiritual (and of course tear-jerking).

Wednesday was April Fool's day and we played a prank on the Elders. Lunch was at a members house behind our house. We told the Elders that we were going to be late to lunch and to go ahead without us. We live on the third floor with a balcony so when the Elders passed by below us to go to lunch we chucked a bunch of water balloons. Hahaha don't worry I recorded it and it's a riot and a half. But it's too big to send so you can watch it in ten months.

The balcony of Sister Baker's apartment. Picture is not from April Fool's but from a day a big storm came through the town
And then at night Sister Ríos and I decided to prank the sisters by putting juice powder in the shower faucet. But the next morning NOBODY wanted to take a shower after T25 [mom note: a workout they do]. Which was weird because we were all so gross. I actually wanted to take a shower, but preferably not with juice so I just waited it out. Finally Sister Hernandez went to take a shower and we heard "AI!" from the bathroom haha. But the juice didn't even touch her, she just saw the water coming out all red and it freaked her out. But it turns out that she was the only one who didn't know about the prank because the night before Sister Moraes thought about doing the same thing but when she went to put juice in the shower thing there was already powder in there hahaha. 

This week was full of miracles. There were so many people in our area who really wanted to find the truth. They were lost and confused and we are helping them to find answers for themselves. We are teaching a wonderful family, and the mom, Rosa, is so amazing. She has doubts still but I love this family so much and want nothing more than to help them obtain an answer from God about what is right. 

We also had a man stop us in the street and ask if we had a few minutes to teach him. What?? That doesn't normally happen, not even in Brasil. It was such an amazing experience to see that there are people who need and want our message! 

Everyday this week I studied in Jesus the Christ about Passion Week and what Christ did each day. It was some of the most fulfilling personal study that I have had on my mission. It made me really focus on the true meaning of Easter. This is the first time that I have realized how big of a deal Easter is. I am realizing that Christ was just like us in the fact that He was here without a perfect knowledge of the eternal plan. He knew what He knew about His role as Savior through scripture study and prayer. He did everything that He did because He trusted in the plan and will of the Father. Just like Him we have to search the scriptures and pray to know our personal plan, and then trust in the Father that it is for our good even when it seems difficult. I have never felt so much love, or so close to my Savior as I did this week. 

The #BecauseHeLives campaign added to my appreciation for Easter and the Resurrection of our Lord. This video is absolutely perfect and gives me goosebumps every time I watch it. 

I also had a chance to watch some of the BibleVideos that the church made about the life of Jesus Christ which helped me to understand even more the events of this holy week. (also: shout out to Sam for how many times I saw his face this week in church videos. It was so weird haha.) [mom note: Sam is Megan's cousin. He plays the apostle James in the Bible videos linked above. Sam is in the photo below on the far left]

Happy birthday Mom!!!! And GENERAL CONFERENCE.

General Conference weekend was perfect. I had some questions that I had written down and prayed about and conference answered every. single. one. The Lord hears our prayers and answers us, I have no doubt about it. 

Elder Holland's talk was absolutely amazing. This man knows who the Savior is. He has a relationship with Him. It is plain to see. I hope that I can continue developing my knowledge and understanding of the Savior here on my mission and at home so that I can testify of Him with as much spiritual power as Elder Holland. But it really seemed like the perfect talk to add on to my personal study about Jesus Christ this week. It was a huge testimony builder. 

I also loved Wilford Anderson's talk about the gospel as a dance. It was a little different than what we're used to hearing at Conference, but I felt the Spirit so powerfully and it answered lots of my questions. 

I love Conference because I think of all the Latter Day Saints united around the world in prayer and learning and music. All of the members of Christ's true church worshipping together. God was certainly present this weekend. 

We didn't see that people opposed the prophet from where we were watching, but a few people have mentioned it to me. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. That he receives direct revelation from our Heavenly Father and our Savior to guide us in these Latter Days. I don't understand how anyone can doubt that as they listen to him speak. God would never let His church be led astray by a false prophet. He calls men whom He trusts. I trust and love Thomas S. Monson and all of the apostles and other general authorities. I am so grateful for a church that is led by a living prophet who tells us God's will for us. I know this church is true

[mom note: Our family was in attendance at the Conference Center when the sustaining of the church leaders took place. May I share with you something I shared with a friend..."We were there and for a brief moment we all felt our hearts hurt. But the "opposed" heard vocally from a few individuals, very few I might add, was nothing compared to the multitude of hands that went up (to sustain our church leaders). I think we all raised our hands a little higher yesterday in that Conference Center and although that action was silent the spirit and love that was felt was much louder than the voices of opposition. It was a wonderful experience." Let me add, it was a wonderful experience because it cemented my testimony. I add my testimony to Megan's, that I know that God does not leave us here to move blindly through life. He gives us a prophet and apostles to guide us and teach us just as He did in ancient times. I know we have a prophet on the earth today. I love and sustain President Thomas S. Monson as God's prophet.]

Last but not least. . .

+ every missionary watching Conference this weekend was like cracking up/crying because I swear every talk mentioned marriage. Missionary probz.

+ a drunk man was talking to my companion and I this week and told me that I was a "family girl." aka honest, trustworthy, religious, etc. I agreed. (adding humble to my list of qualities). But then he kept calling me California baby which was uncomfortable. And kissed my hand which was gross. And then tried to kiss my hand again a few minutes later and I was like, "Thanks, but you already did. So don't worry about it, I'm good." And then he was like okay fine and started to drop my hand, but then pulled a ninja move and kissed it super quick. Good times. 

I love the gospel. 
I love the prophet.
I love my mission. 
I love Jesus Christ. 
"He is not here for He is Risen."

Happy belated Easter everyone.
Love you.
Sister Baker