week 40 . those [DENG]ue mosquitos

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HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY PEOPLE! Yesterday was  perfect. We had a good day at church then a baptism!!! 

Maria got baptized! (and the Elders had a baptism too! So it was double the joy!) She was so beautiful and happy and I almost couldn't believe it was happening. This week she almost gave up. Her neighbors were all telling her that she wasn't going to be able to be a member of the church because of health problems or money problems and a million other things. They were basically telling her that she wasn't worth it. When she told us I was SO mad. I love this woman and she has had such a hard life and deserves the best and these "friends" of hers are trying to take it away. One of the women from the street told us she would call the police if we came back to see Maria again and I went off on an "i-love-this-woman-more-than-you-do-leave-her-the-heck-alone" rant (with tears. duh.) and I guess it worked because she didn't call the police when we went back. Just shot us some nasty looks. 

BUT miracles happened with Maria that saved the day. First we went there with a member of the ward, Santana. She helped so much. It all turned around. I have a huge testimony of lessons with members. If you are a member of the church, teach with the missionaries. They need you. Their investigators need you. This lesson was what I think made our baptism possible this week. I'm so grateful. 

Then Saturday morning we did a deep cleaning in Maria's house with the Elders because she has a hard time cleaning with her back problems and she lives alone. It was so perfect. We cleaned from top to bottom, listened to hymns, the Elders got to know Maria better, and we all felt amazing afterwards. Then Elder W. Silva did Maria's baptismal interview and she was SO excited afterwards. Grateful for priesthood leaders and their willingness to help with our investigators. 

And Sunday was the baptism. She was truly so happy afterwards and I love her so much. She can't eat cake because of a different health problem so Elder W. Silva made pudim for her baptism and Sister Morais made a cake for the elders' baptism. So much serving going on in this ward, I love it!

Maria and Elder W Silva 
those smiles
And of course it was AMAZING talking on skype yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!! Made my life. Sorry for being crazy and awkward and miming everything instead of being a normal human. I can't believe how grown up and beautiful everyone is. I am so proud of my family and SO grateful for you guys. Thanks for being the best.

her reaction to seeing Cambridge, the family cat.
Introducing us to Sister Hernandez
Introductions also happened during Sister Hernandez's skype with her family. We loved getting this photo texted to us while we were patiently waiting to skype with Megan. Thank you Hernandez family.
Kisses being exchanged between sisters since this call was the last time Megan and Emily will see each other for awhile. Emily is preparing to submit her mission papers this month.
Screen shot from Emily's snapchat. Best capture of Meg from the whole call. 
Megan and her siblings...Emily, Nathan and Luke
+ This week I got sick with some mystery Brasil disease that's sweeping the country. I started getting little red dots over my entire body that was itching like crazy. But I was like, whatevs it's probably an allergy to my soap. I'll just use a different one. But then I talked to Sister Soares [mom note: mission president's wife] and it turns out this is happening to a ton of people so she sent me to the doctor. So the next morning Sister Morais and I start our trek (literally) to the hospital. It's way way way out in the very end of our area. We got there and entered. . .this place is not a hospital. It's like an insane asylum meets ski lodge. Sketch. We waited for forever but finally we got in and the doctor gave me (actually my companion because he didn't believe that I speak Portuguese) a prescription for anti-itch medicine. Then the day after our "Hotel California" visit the rash-y thing went away but the joints of my body hurt so bad I was like an old lady hobbling everywhere. (but it's NOT dengue mom I promise! It's like dengue's cousin.) But now I'm feeling a lot better and promising myself to never have a reason to visit the doctor here again. (example of more doctor sketchiness: a doctor left his shift and got into his car, smoking a cigarette. what.)

This week was a bit of a rough one with Maria's neighbors and being sick and all, but we watched "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Holland at the beginning of the week and it helped me remember that in the most difficult moments I am standing shoulder to shoulder with the greatest man that ever lived and it's an honor to do so. I am so proud to wear His name on my chest and to do His work. And I am so grateful for His comforting arms in my difficulties. I love me Saviour. 

I am so genuinely happy. Only in the Lord's work could one moment of happiness cancel out everything else. This is the true church. I love it. 

I love you guys.
Have a great week. 

Sister Baker

[mom note: it has been awhile since we got pictures so some of these that we just got are from some weeks back]

Sister Rios
Elder Clark
Megan, Sister Rios, Elder Clark, Elder W Silva
Megan and Sister Rios
I think these pics may be from a ward activity

Caico Zone Conference 

Megan and Sister Porter

Sister Porter
Megan and Sister Porter