week 50 . a land of miracles

Links in red (click for more info)

[mom note: after posting last weeks letter Megan sent a ton of photos. You can find some of the pictures HERE as well as links to more new pictures]

So Mossoró is officially the land of miracles

This week we had . . . FIVE BAPTISMS.

Roberto, Joao, José Luiz, Paulo, Jailton, José
I don't believe it either. I am sort of still in shock. We are having so much success in this area, but I know it is not the natural charm of my companion and I bringing this success (although it probably helps ;) ), but it is truly the Lord's hand in our work here. Sister Trage and I are working hard to be 100% diligent and obedient and really follow the spirit, and even though we're not perfect, God has blessed our area so much.

A quick "getting to know you" about the people who were baptized:

José :: He's 21 years old and a reference from Jailton (my old ward mission leader in Urick Graff who lives in Abolição now) for some sisters that were here before me. José is literally a perfect investigator. Zero, zero problems with word of wisdom (not even coffee!) or any other commandments. Already has a bunch of friends who are members of the church. Already has a ride to church every Sunday. He's perfect. He was just really hesitant to get baptized. But last week Sister Savage (the American who lives with me) was sitting next to him at church and talked about baptism and he accepted for this week! And he was so excited on the day of the baptism. He said he woke up at 4 am and couldn't get back to sleep because he was so excited. He's awesome. And he loves Harry Potter, London, and the Hunger Games etc. so we're already besties.

José Luiz :: He's 11 going on 12 this month. He is an actual angel and I sort of want him to be my child. He is so well behaved and sweet and loves going to church. We watched a super cheesy church movie with his family and afterwards he told us how much he liked it, especially when it talked about God and showed the passing of the sacrament. He's a sweetheart. His dad, Solon, is dying to get baptized but he has to get married first but he goes to church every Sunday with José Luiz and they are like perfect members of the church (even though Solon isn't a member and José Luiz just got baptized yesterday). Also fun(ny) fact: José Luiz has two brothers: Luiz José and Luiz Antonio. I think their parents liked the name Luiz hahaha.

Paulo :: He's a recent-convert's older brother. He's 14 and a riot and a half. He really wants to be cool so he talks a big talk about all the stuff he's going to do "wrong" to get us worked up, but when it comes to going to church he's always up and ready at like 6 am and then goes and checks to see if everyone else is ready and waits for us in the street to tell us what the deal is with everyone else. He's secretly a total softie. Love him haha. 

João :: He's 12 and he always follows us around all over the place. He's friends with Paulo and Bia (the recent-convert) and that whole gang. He told us that he was going to be baptized haha. He's got a lot of energy, but he's a great kid. And he's already best buds with Jailton (young mens president) to the point of him and Paulo playing video games at his house the night before their baptism haha. 

Roberto :: Also 12 years old. Also friends with Paulo and João etc. He comes from a family situation that is more than a little bit difficult. His life hasn't been easy and he's a little rough around the edges because of that. This week he almost gave up on his baptism, on the church, everything. I talked to him for a long time and nothing. But after we said a prayer together I looked over at him and there were tears running down his face. He said that he had really wanted to get baptized. I asked what had changed. He said that there were people making fun of him for going to church. It broke my heart. But after talking a little bit more he decided to go through with his baptism, that God was more important than the others. I invited him to pray about the church and his baptism that night and the next day before his baptismal interview he told me that he had prayed and that he "felt something inside of him." and that he got goosebumps and felt light and happy. So sweet. On Sunday he almost gave up again because of a misunderstanding with a Sunday School teacher at church. When he walked away I started to cry so much. I just wanted him to be able to have a different life than what he has and I know the gospel will help him. I cried and cried and felt dumb because we had other baptisms and other people at church and I felt ungrateful, but then I realized what Christ was talking about in the parable of the lost sheep. Leave the 99 and go after the 1. It was the first time I had really understood what that feeling was like. But when we got to the baptism he was there waiting in front of the church, he had walked there all by himself. 

The baptisms were beautiful and spiritual and perfect. It was a long and hard and exhausting week but it was all so worth it in the end. I am feeling so incredibly blessed.

And now to close this email in typical Sister Baker fashion...

#minhavida ::
+ Sister Trage and I were in a lesson with a recent convert and his mom in front of their house. We were sitting on some wooden chairs, the kind that have a bunch of slats where you sit. And as I'm inviting the two of them to keep a commandment and make a change in their life to follow Christ and all that spiritual stuff, I feel something jab through the wooden slats and touch my butt. I gave a little jump and let out the weirdest squeal and Sister Trage looks at me like "what the heck are you doing?" and then I felt the jab again and I'm freaking out. And the mom walks over to my chair and grabs a cat from underneath. There was a cat under my chair attacking my butt. There's a first for everything. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week (free of sketchy cats under your chairs).
I love my mission so much. 

And I love all of you.

Sister M. Baker

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