week 69 . the potengi ap[ROACH]

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// investigators //

Basílio :: We went and taught him first thing this week. He's amazing! He's gone to a lot of churches in the past, but never felt like they were right. But he said that he loved church on Sunday, that he felt different there. We spent this week teaching all the missionary lessons. He accepted everything. He is reading the Book of Mormon daily! And he told us that he never had the opportunity to study (he lived in the country before there was access to schools there, he's about 73!). But he wanted to learn to read so he taught himself reading Psalms. wow! He was excited to get baptized yesterday, but some people from other churches showed up and made him feel unworthy to be baptized right now, which is completely untrue. But he went to church and we're going to work with him this week and prepare him to get baptized next Sunday. 

Paulo :: Another one who was confused by what others are saying to him about the church and baptism. But he loved loved loved church yesterday and last night we went over to his house and had a wonderful lesson. It was truly guided by the spirit. We explained to him that all that truly mattered was if he knew that the church was true. We asked him about his testimony of the church, the Book of Mormon, the prophet Joseph Smith, and he said he knows that it's all true. So he's ready now to be baptized on Sunday. And Paulino is helping a ton, constantly bearing his testimony and making a difference in his brother's heart that we wouldn't be able to alone. Side note : Paulo and Paulino apparently think that we starve to death as missionaries and no matter how much we insist that it's not necessary they give us soda and cake every time we go over there (aka almost every day). If I'm not transferred I'm going to have to step up my exercise routine haha. 

Jatobar :: He was way excited to go to church yesterday, but sadly we think that he drank and avoided our phone calls. But we're not going to give up that easily! We know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is what will make a lasting difference in his life and we're going to help him. We also met his twin sons this week, super well-behaved and polite young men. They said they want to visit the church too! 

Louis Carlos :: We were walking to a commitment and we passed a man in the street. I felt the most subtle prompting that I should talk to him, but in the time that I wasted to think about whether I would talk to him or not he had already walked by. But God is so good to us, and didn't let my weaknesses take away the opportunity we had to know this man. The man stopped in his tracks and called us over! He asked what church we were from and said that awhile back two sisters had marked a visit in his house but never showed up. Then he asked us to visit him. Talk about a dream come true. He couldn't go to church yesterday because he was working, but he said he'll go next Sunday!!

Jeronimo :: Another miracle investigator who did a contact with us instead of the other way around. He works at a shoe store that Sister Castilho bought some flats at and asked if we were from the Mormon church. Then he said that he always sees missionaries walking by and had always been curious to know more about the church and wanted to visit it. He asked what time the meetings are at and said he's going to visit with his wife. And then when we left he said that he wanted to give us something to "make our lives sweeter" and gave us lollipops!!! Da best. 

// thanksgiving //

So my Thanksgiving was turkey-less, but it was a good one. It started out slightly chaotic with a cockroach falling from who-knows-where and landing on my foot, and then Sister Castilho and I spent a good 40 minutes trying to kill it (I succeeded after a lot of screaming and smacking the ground with a broom). (#minhavida). But from then on it was a good day. And it was Elder W. Silva's birthday so we planned a party at Irmã Isabel's (from the Elder's ward) house. Isabel and her family are the best. They have 6 kids and all have either served missions, are on a misison, or have a mission call. I met their daughter Raquel when I was in Caicó because she was there visiting a friend and I love her. She reminds me a lot of Cassidy for some reason. [mom note: Megan's cousin] And it was their daughter who's on a mission's birthday too so we had twice the amount of cake (fine by me). It was way fun. 

// #minhavida //

+ We had a few more cockroach mishaps this week. . .we were opening up the gate/door at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to our apartment and there was a cockroach in the road. Sister Castilho is deathly afraid of cockroaches and she kicked sand on it to scare it away. But instead of running away, it headed right towards me. I was in the doorway with nowhere to run and I'm now positive that cockroaches can smell fear. I was panicking haha. And Sister Castilho (who was very far away from the cockroach. Very far away) told me to suck it up and kill it because I was wearing Chacos haha. I managed to kill it and then my oh-so-brave companion wouldn't walk through the doorway until I had kicked the body away haha. In all the cockroach confusion, I lost a chocolate that Paulino had given us. I spent the whole night moping about my lost chocolate, and then the next day when we opened the door it was there on our doormat (where it had certainly not been before). God loves me and understands my chocolate cravings. Got to love the little miracles. 

+ I managed to burn my finger on our iron (but at least my dress was ironed on Sunday! That was for you momma ;) ) I ran around the house tying to remember the dos and don't's of burns. Is ice bad for burns? Should I keep my finger in a bowl of water? How would I carry a bowl of water to church?? Then my comp saved my life with some mystery cream she pulled out of her first aid kit and my finger is healing at the speed of light...love her. 

+ Basílio had his baptismal interview this week the the district leader and then the next day that we went over to his house he saw my CTR ring that I  use on my right hand. (fun fact: when Brazilians are engaged they put the ring on the right hand, and on the left for married). And he asked me if I was engaged to one of those "professors" aka missionaries that he had met the day before. I died. And then he started going on about how pretty Sister Castilho is, and at the end threw in a  pity "you're pretty too." (with unsaid "I guess"). Sister Castilho is a hot ticket item out here in our area haha. 

[mom note: the next bit of her letter is responses to pictures we sent her]

The picture of dad on Thanksgiving killed me...Chloe and Dayton are cuties.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Elf movie night pics. Looks like movie night has stepped up a notch...food, santa mustaches (so adorable). 5 stars. [mom note: family tradition dictates that we show Elf in our backyard every Thanksgiving night. Friends and family that are in town and aren't in a turkey coma are all invited to brave the cold (wimpy Californians) and come watch the movie]

How fun that you got to see the Bakers. They seem like a great family. [mom note: we had dinner this week with the family of the other Sister Baker serving in Megan's mission]

Nate's basically famous now. [mom note: We got a Cotopaxi catalog in the mail and caught a glimpse of Megan's brother in it. Basically the top of his head and his hands are famous]

About your ding dong ditch...do you believe that I was thinking about those horrible flowers the other day and wondering if the war was still going on? Good to know that our family is in the lead. BEST ding dong ditch ever. I'm so proud to be a Baker right now. [mom note: we have a basket of fake flowers that get passed between us and some family friends. We had a 7 foot fake Christmas tree that the lights didn't work anymore so we decided to leave it on our friends porch along with a giant box full of packing peanuts and the basket of flowers]

Where did you guys go hiking? Its so pretty.

So FUN that you got to see Greg and Kate. Kate is so pretty...holy crap. And you had guac and salsa together. Salsa Sunday. I miss it so. [mom note: another family tradition...we have homemade guacamole and/or salsa every Sunday after church. Yesterday we had Greg (Derek's friend from growing up) and His daughter Kate (Megan's life long friend and freshman year roommate) visit it us at church and then join us for guac and salsa.

She's a beautiful baby girl (I still want to be the royal nanny) [mom note: commenting on new pictures of Princess Charlotte]

Will you please post on Facebook/Instagram/my blog the video and everything else from the Christmas site. It has so many wonderful things. Merry Christmas!

Well I hope you all have a wonderful cockroach-free week. (and pray that I do too haha).

Amo vocês!
Sister Baker

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