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

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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

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