Monday, December 29, 2014

What better way to start off the new year than being baptized! - 12/29/14

Happy New Year! - 29 de Diciembre 2014

I hope you all had a great Christmas! I sure had a great one here in Peru! It was great talking to you guys! It was the best present I could have asked for. The chocolate you sent me is very appreciated, but I would choose the phone call any day over the chocolate!

This last week went by super fast. And my mind is super blank. So I'll just fill you guys in on a few things I remember!

Well anyways, Tuesday we had our district meeting. It was pretty sweet. We celebrated Christmas. We ate Paneton, and we watched a little movie-- Nora's Christmas! No joke! There was a VHS in the chapel with that movie on it. So we decided to watch it and then talk about what Christmas really means to us! It was super great. A super memorable Christmas district meeting! 

Another great highlight this last week was Christmas Eve! Christmas in Peru is pretty different because all the celebration is on the 24th and not the 25th. So anyway, on the 24th our whole zone went caroling in the park in El Centro. That was super fun! I love Christmas music! And we were able to get lots of references of people to visit! So it was a super great activity! And then at 8 pm we headed over to a member's house to eat our Christmas dinner. Normally they eat at midnight Christmas Eve, but since we couldn't be out that late, we ate early! TURKEY! That was super cool. It had been a while since I had eaten turkey. It was pretty fun though. But the coolest part of dinner was that the member that invited us over, also invited her cousin and this cousin has a pet monkey! So we got to eat dinner with a monkey! And afterwards we played with the monkey for a bit. It's the cutest thing ever! jaja. It gave me a kiss! Pretty cool, no??? I was pretty happy! Highlight of Christmas Eve for me. And then at midnight from our room we could hear all the firecrackers and fireworks. It's like they were celebrating the New Year. Except for that it was Christmas! And I'm sure this week for the New Year there are going to be even more fireworks! It should be pretty fun!

Our turkey for dinner

As for how the missionary work goes! We have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday!!!!!!! I'm so excited! T L is going to be getting baptized if everything works out! He has come to church every week for over a month, he has almost all the lessons, and he is super excited for January 3rd! He says he wants 2015 to be special. What better way to start off the new year than being baptized! Pray for him lots so that everything works out!

And more great news is that another investigator that I talked about a while ago, R R is going to be getting baptized on the 10th of January! He has been coming to church a lot lately and yesterday he told us that the 10th is when he wants to be baptized! We are going to be meeting with him almost every single day before his baptism so that he will be ready, but I'm sure he will! The Bishop is super happy as well because R is his nephew. And he says he has been praying for R for years so that he will be baptized! R is 17 years old and is a super sweet kid!

I can hardly believe that 2014 has come and gone. It has been probably the fastest year of my life. It seems like just yesterday that I was in Paita with Elder G on the roof of our 6 story apartment building watching all the fireworks in Paita. How the time has flown! I am loving the mission though! I love being here! The mission really is the best decision of my life!

Love you guys tons! Sorry the letter is kind of short! But there are 6 pictures this week! The Church is true! No Doubts! Talk to you all next year!

Elder Baker


So you got a foot of snow… I would love a foot of snow right now... I've just got a gallon of sweat... 

Paneton is fruitcake. Fruitcake here is a big deal. Every Christmas they eat a ton of Paneton. - 12/22/14

Merry Christmas! - 22 de Diciembre 2014

Holy Moly! Can you guys believe we are here already? Because I sure can't! I'm super excited for this week that is coming. Wanna know why? Because it's Christmas! I love Christmas! I'm so excited to talk with you guys on Christmas! The plan for now is for me to skype from my pensionista's house. It's going to be so great!

This last week went by sooooo dang fast! Monday night, we went over to tell goodbye to C C who is going on his mission! He left on Tuesday morning to the CCM in Lima. I'm so grateful to have been able to get to know him. He has helped us out so much in my time here in Sullana. He is going to be missed in this ward, that's for sure. But he is going to be an amazing missionary!

One of the highlights of this last week was on Wednesday! Because we had our multi-zone Christmas conference in Piura! It was a little bit different than last year but it was good. It was our zone and the zone from Talara together for the conference. We started off by watching the video by Piano Guys of Angels We Have Heard on High. That video is super, super, super, super, super, super sweet! I could feel the spirit so strongly watching that! I love Christmas time! Especially Christmas music. This year the church is using the "He is the Gift" thing all over the world to help with missionary work. In Spanish, it's El es la Dadiva. It's pretty cool. President talked a lot to us about how Christ is the real gift this Christmas. And then he asked us what we are willing to give to Him this Christmas. That made me think a lot. What am I willing to give to the Savior this Christmas season... I like deep thinking questions! After that we had the party part. We went and ate Pollo a la Brasa and Inca Kola, which I absolutely love. I'm gonna miss it lots after the mission. And then we played some games and took some pictures. Three of President Rowley's daughters were there and one of his little grandbabies. They seemed a little lost though because I don't think they know any Spanish at all. jaja It was cool though! I loved the conference! Also that day I hit 17 months in the mission. That's CRAZY!

Our zone with President and Hermana Rowley

Thursday was a pretty good day! We had a visita de trabajo. I got to work with Elder G in my area and Elder C went with Elder P. At lunchtime, my pensionista and her husband gave me a hat from Catacaos. It's a super cool hat. Actually it's more of a sombrero than a hat... I'll try to send pictures!

The funny part of that day was that night at 8 in the chapel when we had a choir practice because ward conference is coming up and they asked us to participate in the choir. Peruvian choirs are great! Some people sing well and others not so much. But they all sing really loud. Without any shame at all! I miss the Tabernacle Choir...jaja.

Friday was the ward Christmas party in the church. That was pretty cool. There were actually tons of people that showed up! And 3 of our investigators went! So that was sweet! The party was actually super funny because they hired this Christmas show to come where they had elves and Santa Claus and reindeer and tons of other dancing things. It was actually super funny. And they had pollo a la brasa and Paneton afterward! Each one costs like 7 dollars. And they eat tons of them! Last year I didn't think much of it. But this year it's kind of grown on me. I actually like it a lot!

T L is progressing a ton for his baptism on January 3rd! He's super excited! We had like 3 appointments with him this last week and he came to church yesterday and stayed for all 3 hours! He just needs a few more lessons, and he will be ready! Keep praying for him and for all the rest of the people we are teaching!

I'm super excited for this week. This Christmas is going to be one that I remember for the rest of my life. I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time of my life. I'm so excited for the chance that I have to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ! This Christmas season I have been thinking a lot of all the many blessings I have in my life. I am so thankful for everything I have in my life! I'm especially grateful for my Savior and Redeemer. I'm so grateful for this Christmas season and the opportunity we have to celebrate His birth.

Love you all tons! Have a very Merry Christmas! I hope it's white! I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!

Elder Baker

Feliz Navidad!

I'm forgetting English. I sound like someone who just recently started learning English as a second language. - 12/15/14

15 de Diciembre, 2014

Well hello again there folks! How goes it? I'm forgetting English. I tried talking with Elder P today in English.... I can't do it. I sound like someone who just recently started learning English as a second language. But whatever! Things happen! This last week was super great! We had some success in our area, we traveled to Piura 3 times, and we got to have stake conference with a member of the first quorum of the seventy! It was a crazy week! But great! 

On Tuesday we had a training for all of the district leaders in the mission home. That was super fun! I love trainings with President Rowley! He is a great speaker. And I always leave those meetings feeling super excited and ready for all the work ahead of me! One thing I loved was that they talked about Christmas. This Christmas is going to be super memorable. It may not be full of tons of turkey or presents or even family, but it is going to be one of the best Christmases of my life!  We ate lasagna for lunch. That was amazing. I love when Hermana Rowley cooks Utah food... In the mission home we never, ever, ever, eat rice. And I love that! ;)

Wednesday was a good day! We actually had a service project! For a family that isn't members of the church! It was actually a reference of members. The family needed help painting their house so they volunteered us to help them so that we could get to know the family and visit them! It's a super amazing family! They have a beautiful home. And it's all decorated for Christmas. It reminded me of my house in Kaysville! So we have an appointment to go and visit them this week! So pray for us that it all works out! 

Thursday was good. In the morning we had our district meeting. That was sweet! I love district meetings. Our district is super cool. It's like we are all best friends. And we are all super happy to be here in the mission. I love districts with cool people that work hard! They are great! 

And then in the afternoon we had to go to Piura to go to the clinic. It had been a month since my companion had gone, so he had to go back for his checkup. It was the 6th time that we have traveled to Piura to go to the clinic in our 2 transfers together. At first it was kind of fun, but I'm so sick of that place. But you got to do what you got to do! no?? He's doing lots better though! So that's good! And when we got back that night, we bought pollo a la brasa. It's probably the most unhealthy food in Peru. But it's so good. It's roasted chicken with french fries and Inca Kola. It's so amazing. There is so much oil and fat dripping off of it. But I love it! Una vez al año no hace daño!

Friday was pretty much our only day of the week that we had the entire day to work in our area. So that was good. It was a great day! Probably the best part was that we were able to teach F and L about the Word of Wisdom. And with F we set some goals so that he can stop drinking! Pray for him lots! He needs it! Especially this holiday season! Because everyone and their dog and their cat and their baby are going to be drinking! jaja. But mainly just the men. Why do they do that??? I don't understand it. I am not a fan of alcohol...

Saturday we had a lesson with T and C! They both have baptism dates! They are progressing! Little by little! Their main problem is that they have super crazy schedules so sometimes it's hard to teach them. They are progressing though! If they don't have all the lessons by the time of their baptism though, we are going to have to change their dates. But right now we are still on track for their scheduled dates! 

This weekend in Sullana was special because it was stake conference. And it wasn't an ordinary stake conference because Elder Uceda, a seventy, came to the conference because they reorganized the stake presidency! It was a super special conference! Saturday night and Sunday morning were super great! Elder Uceda is such an amazing speaker! He looks like this old sweet grandpa, but he starts speaking and he speaks with power! I loved how he teaches! He taught about so many things. My mind is kind of blank right now. But I wrote about them in my spiritual journal! So that's good! He talked a lot about the importance of a strong church. Up until this point the church here in this area has focused on opening up new areas and splitting wards and reaching new areas. But now is the time that the church needs to be strengthened where it is. He talked about how now isn't the time to open up new areas. Now is the time to strengthen the small wards that we have to be strong wards of strength. Wards with 400 people that attend church, not 120-150. It was a huge blessing to be here in Sullana. I feel bad for all the rest of the mission that wasn't here in Sullana! 

Sunday after the conference we had to travel to Piura because Elder Uceda gave a training for all of Piura, Paita and Sullana about ward council. So that was super great as well! I was able to see missionaries that I hadn't seen for a long time. And I got to see a bunch of members from my first 3 areas! I saw A C! He was looking so sharp in his suit. He's going to be turning in his mission papers this next week! I'm so excited for him! He has seen a huge change in his life. When I first met him, he was laying on a couch without a shirt and with a beard watching TV. But he is now a clean cut kid getting ready to go on a mission! The gospel changes people! I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I talked with K P as well, the daughter of E N from La Union! Her mom is active in the church and has a calling in the presidency of the young women and next year is going to teach seminary!!!!! That was probably the best part of the day! I love seeing peoples' lives changed! I'm a tool in God's hands to help others come unto Christ! What a blessing! I love being a missionary! 
Me and A C in Piura! - I love seeing people's lives changed!
A C was my first baptism in the mission in October 2013, now he's ready to go on a mission!
I'm about out of time! But I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support that you give me! Have a great Christmas! 

Elder Baker


What better way could I spend this Christmas than spreading the joy of His Gospel! - 12/08/14

8 de Diciembre 2014

Well, here I am. Another week has come and gone. And I'm still having trouble that time is passing by this fast!

This last week has been full of lots of stuff. Like always. Missionary work is not boring, that's for sure. There is always something to do or something to learn or a crazy thing to experience! 

We're getting close to Christmas! That's pretty crazy! I'm pretty excited! It's going to be so sweet getting to skype you guys on Christmas! We need to start making plans now to skype. When would be best for you guys??? I'M SO EXCITED!!!!
My room here in Sullana

My Christmas Countdown calendar!
 You guys said that you feel like it's kind of hot for December in Kaysville. Let me tell you. I have never felt so hot in my entire life before. This place is an oven. You should see my shirt at night. At the beginning of the day it starts white, but in the collar when I take it off, it's super brown. Nasty, I know. But what can I do??? People look at me like I'm crazy because there is always sweat dripping off my face.... jaja. It's kind of funny. I'm just taking in one day at a time. I love night time when it's only kind of hot and not super, super hot! But it's okay. They say that it's only going to last until April..... jajaja. That's forever! I don't know how these people live here!

We had a zone conference this last week! And it was super great! One thing that I loved was that there are TONS of new missionaries in the zone because there were tons of people transferred! And I like the zone a lot now! Unfortunately there were some kind of clownish missionaries last transfer, and when they are goofing around during the meetings it's kind of hard to feel the spirit. But this time there are tons of great missionaries here! I loved the meeting! We talked about the importance of Christmas. Christmas really is one of my favorite times of the year. Being away from home at this time of the year isn't the easiest thing ever, but honestly, I wouldn't want to change anything because I know it's going to help me feel really why we celebrate Christmas! I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ! What better way could I spend this Christmas than spreading the joy of His Gospel! I'm so blessed! 
Reunion de Zone - Elder Baker back row, far left.
The Christmas Devotional last night was sweet! I was sitting with Elder P which was pretty cool. He's a pretty good buddy here in the mission! It was sweet hearing the Christmas music! Here they really don't do much with music to celebrate Christmas which is kind of sad! Because Christmas wouldn't be the same without music! The bummer was that right when we were watching the part about the little boy with cancer, the connection broke up and we missed like 3 minutes. That was a bummer! But it was still great! 

This last week I was reading in the Book of Mormon when it talks a lot about how everyone kept records of everything that was happening. And I started thinking about how grateful I am for their records because I don't know where I would be without the Book of Mormon! And then I started thinking about how we should all keep our own records. And I started thinking about my journal. I'm proud to say that I have written in my journal every day of the mission so far. And I'm so grateful! Because if I hadn't done that, I'm sure that I would have forgotten about so many amazing experiences that have happened on the mission! And I'm not going to stop when I get home from the mission! If you're not writing in a journal, start! 

Friday night I had a pretty funny experience. We went over to visit E G who is a super amazing member. But her husband isn't a member of the church. And he likes to drink. And while we were talking with her and her 28 year old son, her husband walks in super drunk and sits down and wants to talk with us. And then he brings this 2.5 liter Inca Kola to drink and starts inviting us to drink. After drinking like 2 cups he starts to offer us more. And we tried to say no thanks but he started to get mad (jajaja) so we kept on drinking soda until we had drunk the entire thing! jaja. I had to go to the bathroom so bad leaving that house. When we got back to the apartment I ran up the stairs with tears on my face because I needed to use the bathroom. It was nice after I got my waters relieved though! jaja. Gotta love being in Peru! 

Well I'm about out of time! Thanks for your emails and your support! Love you all! The Church is true! No doubts!!

Elder Baker

...We ate pollo a la brasa... not gonna lie, it's a whole lot better than turkey! - 12/01/14

1 de Diciembre, 2014

Did you guys read that right?? Because I sure did. We are already in December. I'm having trouble believing it. But it's true. We're already here. Finishing up 2014. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was in Paita getting ready for my first Christmas in the mission. How things have changed! But I'm glad to still be here! Christmas in Peru as a missionary is different. But it's good. I can't say that I'm not going to be missing home a little bit this month, but I can say that I would rather be here than there. Want to know why? Because I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. And you really don't need much more reason than that! 

So anyways. I don't really know what to write. Every week when I get here my mind goes blank and my heart starts beating fast and I have no clue what to say... jaja... missionary problems. But this week was a great week! Today is transfer day here in the mission, but my companion and I don't have transfers so we're staying another transfer together. And honestly I'm super glad that I am not leaving because I'm not ready to leave this area because we are starting to see success! 

So first off! T L and C C are going great! We had a super sweet lesson with the 2 of them this last week! C is W L's friend and T L is W´s sister. So we are teaching them together! We taught them about the Book of Mormon and honestly it was probably the coolest lesson that we taught this last week! The spirit was so strong! It was one of those moments that make me love being a missionary! It was super cool! 

Another great Investigator that we have right now is J S. He is an 18 year old college student. His dad is a returned missionary but is less active. His grandma is super active though and goes to church each week with her grandchildren. J didn't want anything to do with the church when we started teaching him. He just told us, "Hey, I'm Catholic and my church is the true church." But we just kept loving him and we started to gain his confidence. And now he has opened up to us and shared with us his doubts and he is starting to investigate the church! He came to church on Sunday and stayed for 3 hours for the first time in 10 years. His grandma is super excited. He is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and doing everything he needs to do! Hopefully this week we will be able to set a baptismal date with him! Pray for him! Lots!

When Elder Evans visited our mission a couple of weeks ago he taught us about the importance of asking for referrals. So this week we have been asking TONS! From everyone. Multiple times! And it's working! We are finding lots of new people to teach! This week we were able to teach M O and her son G. She is a physical therapist and her son is 16 years old. She is a friend of M H who is a less active member that we have activated. But anyway, we taught them for the first time this week and they committed to come to church on Sunday. That's not super crazy because lots of people commit to coming to church. The crazy part is that they actually came! And they stayed for all 3 hours! And afterwards they talked to us about how much they enjoyed it and can't wait for us to visit them more! I'm so excited! Being a missionary is the best! 

Crazy part about this last week was probably our service project on Saturday. The 6 missionaries here in our ward and our ward mission leader were trying to think of activities to find new investigators. So we decided to have a free moto taxi car wash at the church! It was super sweet! Saturday morning we ended up washing like 25 moto taxis for free. And everyone that came gave us their name and directions to go and visit them one day and teach them more about the church! It was a pretty cool activity! I never would have thought of it!

Thanksgiving was pretty great! Even though no one here does anything to celebrate it. The reason it was great though is because the Stake President and his wife invited us over to have Thanksgiving dinner with them! We didn't eat turkey, we ate pollo a la brasa. But not gonna lie, it's a whole lot better than turkey! jaja. But anyway, it makes me thankful for all the blessings I have. I may not have spent it with you guys, but I sure was thinking of y'all. We’re lots of miles away, but in my heart, you're never too far away! I really have been so blessed in my life!

I'm about out of time. I love you guys! Hope you have a great week! 

Elder Baker

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's so hot here... I would love some snow. - 11/24/14

24 de Noviembre 2014

Hey guys. We're to November 24th already. That means that in just one month it will be Christmas Eve! Pretty crazy, wouldn't you say? I'm having trouble believing that it's already so close!

This last week was a pretty good week! Not tons of things super exciting happened, but lots of good things are happening here in my area!

On Tuesday I had a Visita de Trabajo with Elder P. That was pretty cool. This time it was my turn to go to his area. It was the first time that I have ever been able to work in that half of the ward. It was pretty cool though! His area is really humble. Where they work is called an "invasion." It's where there is land that doesn't really have an owner, so people just go and stake out their territory and start building their houses there. They go in giant groups so that there really isn't anything that police can do about it because you can't really kick out 200 families from their houses. But anyway, it's pretty normal here. The people that live in these areas usually start with a house built of sticks and posts and palm tree leaves and plywood. And then as the time goes by they start improving their houses little by little. The area is about 15 years old now and it's starting to get developed. There still isn't any water though. Can you imagine that? Living 15 years without water in your house? They have to bring water from other parts. Pretty crazy, no??? It was a pretty sweet day though. I love working in those areas because the people are humble and humble people are willing to listen! Sometimes it can be so frustrating when no one will even give you the time of day. I can just imagine how it would be serving somewhere like New York. 

Wednesday we had a zone meeting. That was pretty fun. I love zone meetings. This time we talked about all of the stuff that Elder Evans had taught us in the conference on Saturday. And at the end, all of the missionaries that are finishing their missions this transfer bore their testimonies. There are 5 of them here in this zone. Honestly, listening to them made me sad because I started thinking about how I'm going to feel when it's my turn to bear my testimony. I don't want that day to come. I want to just be able to keep working here!

Friday was a fun day because in the morning we had weekly planning! Actually, that's not why it was a good day because that can be kind of boring sometimes. It was a great day because we had interviews with President Rowley! I love interviews with President Rowley! The interviews were supposed to start at like 2:45 pm in the stake center. And we live like 15 minutes from the stake center in a mototaxi. So we left at like 2:10 to be able to arrive a little bit early. But when we showed up to the stake center we realized that we had forgotten our area book and we had to have it so that the zone leaders could review it. So we had to hurry and fly back to our apartment and get the area book and fly back to the stake center! And we ended up getting there a little bit late at 2:50. But the good news is that President was running a little bit late so we still made it on time for our interviews! jaja. Sometimes I wish I could remember things a little bit better.... jaja. But anyway, President is great. After the interviews you always feel super great about yourself and super excited to work! I have no doubt that President Rowley is the perfect mission president for me and for this mission! 

Saturday was sweet. Probably the best part of it was Saturday night with E P. He is a super sweet investigator. He really does want to learn about the gospel. He wants to change his life. He wants his family to be happy. And he knows that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that it is going to help him achieve that goal! The only problem is that he has a super hard job. He has to work over 12 hours a day and really isn't earning that much. He's a great person though! At the end of the lesson he offered a prayer. And to tell you the truth it was probably the most sincere prayer that I have heard during the entire mission. If everyone knew how to pray like he does, there would be soooo many more converts in this church. There are tons of people that never receive answers, just because they won't ask! He is super great though! I'm super excited to keep working with him!
We have another investigator with a baptismal date! His name is T L. He is like 28 years old and his sister is a member of the church. He has been attending church for a while now but never listened to the missionaries because he said he didn't have time with his work and schooling. But on Sunday he came up to us and said. "Can you guys visit me? I know this church is true. And I want to come closer to God. Can you guys help me be baptized?" SWEET! The Lord really is preparing people to be baptized, but in His own time. Sometimes we have to wait until they are fully prepared. But Thomas is prepared. He wants to be baptized the first Saturday in January! So I'm super excited!

The work here in this area is progressing! Slowly but surely! I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary here in Sullana right now. I am here for a reason. This church is true. No doubt about it. There are 2 things that make me really happy in my life. Those things are (1) The gospel of Jesus Christ and (2) my family. I don't know where I would be without those things! 

Love you all! Thanks for the love and support!

Elder Baker

P.S. -  I would love some snow. I want to make a snow angel--but in my short running shorts. jaja. It's so hot here. I swear if I make it through this summer here in Sullana it will be a miracle!
Are you excited for Christmas! Cause I sure am! I'm excited to talk to all of you guys! Christmas in the mission is hard, but it's great. Have a great week! Love ya!

I'm sure I've eaten over 100 pounds of rice here on the mission. - 11/17/14

17 de Noviembre 2014

Hey guys! First off, today I have 16 months in the mission! That's super crazy! The sister missionaries that came in my group are down to just 8 weeks in the mission. This time is passing by way too fast. But this week was great! 

1. Piura again..... twice
2. C C has a baptismal date
3. Building a house in Nuevo Sullana
4. Visita de Trabajo with Elder G
5. Elder C and Elder D. Pollo a la Brasa
6. Conference in Piura with Elder David F. Evans
7. P-day at the Casa Club Sullana!

That's pretty much my entire week! Is there anything else that you would like to know??

1. Unfortunately we had to go to Piura 2 more times to go to the dermatologist for tests and stuff. They were going to give my companion a medicine to take, but they called Lima to ask the area doctor and he told us that he shouldn't take that as a missionary. So we had to go again, but everything is good now. They have everything just about figured out and, he's taking medicine and everything seems to be going great with that!

2. C C is an investigator that we are teaching. She is 24 years old and lives with members. She is super smart and has been investigating the church forever. So, this week we were able to go and visit her after she returned from Lima and we decided to talk about baptism because she really is ready to be baptized. She has been ready for a while but there was something that was holding her back. But anyway, we taught about the importance of baptism and guess what? She set her own baptismal date! She looks at us and says, "I think I'm ready to be baptized. I would like to be baptized on my birthday." So that was pretty exciting. We asked her when her birthday was and we were hoping that it was in this next month but she told us that it is in January—January 9th. So it's a little bit far away. But the good thing is that she finally wants to be baptized! So pray for her please!

3. Wednesday we had a service activity. We built a house in one day—jaja, for real. We had to dig a bunch of holes and put posts in the ground. And then we put the walls up. Walls were just palm tree leaves woven together. And then we put a little metal sheet roof on it. It took about 8 hours out in the sun, and so I was so burned that I could barely even move my neck the next day. But it was fun! And we were able to do it for a member that really needed some help. The people here are so humble. They really don't have much. But they know that that's not what's really important in our lives! I love the people here! Peruvians are the sweetest, nicest people ever! Especially the Piuranos. 
After building a house in Nuevo Sullana

4. This week I had a visita de trabajo with Elder G who is a convert from Bolivia. He is a super great elder. He is one of the most kind and loving elders that I have ever met, but not overbearing at all. He has seen a huge change in his life from when he was still not baptized. I love his example to me. The gospel really does change us! He is a great kid! 

5. Friday night Elder C and Elder D had to come and stay in our apartment because Saturday morning we had to leave Sullana super early to head to Piura for the conference and Elder C and Elder D live in a super small town like 45 minutes from Sullana. That was pretty fun! That night we went out and ate Pollo a la Brasa. Pollo a la Brasa is my favorite food here. The only problem is that it's kind of expensive. Well, here it's expensive—it’s really not that expensive if you think about how much food costs in the United States. It's like roasted chicken and french fries. The thing that I like about it most is that there is no rice. I'm so sick of eating rice. I'm sure I've eaten over 100 pounds of rice here on the mission. Every day it's a giant plate of rice with some type of meat and sometimes some beans or something. Plates on plates of rice!

 6. Saturday we had a conference in Piura for the entire mission! It was so cool seeing the entire mission gathered together. That was the first time in pretty much forever that I have seen everyone together! And it's because Elder David F. Evans came and visited our mission! He gave a prayer in General Conference. Don't know if y'all remember or not. But anyway, he is a super great speaker! He only knows English and Japanese though so there was someone translating. He spoke about a ton of sweet things. One of the things that I liked most was when he talked about how beautiful Piura is to us, which is so true. This desert may be one of the ugliest places to lots of people. But to me, it's beautiful. There is nowhere else that I would rather be on my mission!

7. Today was a pretty sweet P-day. We went to this super pretty park for a while and talked with a bunch of missionaries. And then we went and ate at a restaurant called La Rustica, which is a super sweet restaurant, and we ate pizza. That was so good. Sometimes it's just nice to not eat rice. 

But yeah, it was a pretty great week! I'm excited for this next week! The mission is great! Every week here is amazing. I learn new things every day! The mission really is changing me! I will never regret this choice that I made to come here! Love you guys a ton! 

Elder Baker

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fasting is a way to forget yourself physically and be able to strengthen yourself spiritually.

10 de Noviembre 2014

Looking at that date, and feeling how hot it is is kind of weird. Don’t complain about how it's getting cold in Utah. Just one day of cold would be like dying and going to heaven. But for real. This heat is unbearable. I don't know how the people do it year after year. Well actually one thing that they do is clothing. Everyone and their dog here are wearing tank tops and shorts because it's the only thing that they can do to survive the heat. But as a missionary, a tank top and shorts wouldn't be the most practical thing ever. So we just continue sweating and teaching the gospel, in our long pants, socks, and a shirt with a closed collar and a suffocating tie. Gotta love being a missionary! But you really actually do have to love it because it's the best! 

This last week wasn't the most exciting week ever in the mission. Want to know why? Because we had to spend 3 days in Piura in the hospital. Don't worry though. No one is dying. It's just that my companion had to go to a dermatologist. For a few reasons. One of them is his acne. He has tons of acne and the sun pretty much kills his face and he can't even touch it because it hurts so bad. So Hermana Rowley told us this week that we needed to go to the dermatologist to see if there is anything that they could do about it. 

Medical care here in Piura--I'm still counting my many blessings that I still haven't had to go see a doctor here in Peru. But the hospital that we go to in Piura is actually pretty cool. And it seems to be almost like a hospital in the states. Except for a few things. One of them being how long you have to wait. So anyway, Tuesday was the first day that we went. We got to the clinic at like 3:00 in the afternoon and checked in at the main office. We had an appointment and everything for 4:30. But the doctor didn't get there until 4:00 in the afternoon and that's when he started visiting with patients and we were the 10th people on the list. (Does that make sense? 10th people?) So we got to sit there in that waiting room forever. We were honestly waiting in the clinic from 3:00 in the afternoon until 9:00 that night before the doctor finally could see us! I tried everything I could in that time to stay busy and not be bored. But it was so hard. I read the Book of Mormon for like 3 hours. I read pretty much half of Alma. After that I read the Liahona from October. And then after that I couldn't read anymore because I had such a bad headache and just decided to watch people for 2 hours. People watching is pretty fun. Especially watching bored people. That day I found out that people have super funny faces while they are bored. And they sit in very awkward positions in chairs. jaja. But anyway! At 9:00 it was super nice when they doctor finally saw my companion and by 9:30 we were done but it was too late to go back to Sullana so we had to go over to the mission office to sleep for the night. That was something that we hadn't planned on. So we weren't really prepared. I brushed my teeth that night with toothpaste and my finger. That was kind of fun. And then Wednesday morning we traveled back to Sullana at like 7:00 in the morning.

Wednesday I had a visita de trabajo with Elder P. Elder P is a super cool Elder. I would love to have him as a companion. Because he's a super chill elder, but he loves to work hard. He's super smart too. And he loves to read. He has read pretty much every book that the church has. If you have a question about church doctrine you could ask him and he could refer you to like 50 talks by general authorities to help find the answers. jaja. But it was pretty fun working with him. We went to Marcavelica. Marcavelica is super sweet. Except for the fact that there are tons of mosquitos. That's one thing that I'm glad Sullana doesn't have tons of!

Thursday after the visita de trabajo we had to go back to Piura to do a blood test. We showed up at the hospital and they told us that the doctor that does the blood testing didn't show up that day and they told us to return Friday in the morning at 7:00 to do the blood test. So then we had to go all the way back to Sullana. So that was pretty much a waste of 4 hours and 25 soles. But whatevs! The good thing about that though is that Thursday night we got to have 2 super duper great lessons! The first was with P G! He is super great! And his parents are deciding when he will be baptized! We're hoping that everything will work out so that he will be able to get baptized on the 29th of this month! 

After that lesson we went and taught F R and L, his wife. They are super great! L isn't a member, and F is a less active. L is super receptive to the gospel though! And she wants to learn more! F is going to be the problem with this family though because he likes to drink. He really does want to change his life and stop drinking and come back to the church. But it's going to be hard for him! Good thing we're here to help him though! His wife came to church on Sunday! And she stayed for all 3 hours! It was her first time at church and she liked it a lot! F didn't come though, because he woke up hungover--ugh! Pray lots for him! We need to help his family a lot! 

Friday in the morning we went to have the blood test done. We were done with that by 8:00 in the morning. The only problem was that we had to take the results to the doctor, but the doctor didn't arrive until 4:00 in the afternoon. So that means that we had to go and spend pretty much the entire morning in the mission office. We had our studies, and then weekly planning. And after that we went and ate lunch with the pensionista of the elders in the office .That was pretty fun. And then at 4:00 we went back over to the clinica and gave the results to the doctor and headed back to Sullana. It was such a relief to get back here. Traveling is kind of boring. And we had to do it 3 times this week! Hopefully that will be it for a while! 

This last week was kind of rough. Because it wasn't too exciting and we didn't have much time to work in our area. We were able to get a little bit done, but I didn't feel good with myself. It was like I had feelings that I wish I could have been able to do more. And when I started feeling like that I realized, that if I don't try my very best and give everything that I have while I'm here, that's exactly how I'm going to feel when I go home after the mission. Which is something that I really, really, really don't want. So, Saturday after lunch I decided to start fasting. And I probably had one of the most spiritual fasts of my life. Some people say that fasting is easy. But for me it's not. It's hard. Especially on days like that Saturday. Because that day we had to go out and work in the hot sun all day when no one was home and we had to knock on tons of doors and make tons of contacts. And that night I came back to the apartment thirstier than you could imagine. And I was honestly contemplating breaking the fast because I felt like I couldn't do it. But I didn't do it. I decided to get down on my knees and plead for the help that I needed to be able to fast. And once again, my loving Heavenly Father answered my prayer. After saying that prayer, I honestly didn't even think again about how thirsty I was or how bad I wanted to drink something. That was honestly in the back of my mind. I was able to receive the blessings that I was needing. Fasting isn't easy. But it's so important. I know it's real. It's more than starving. It really is a way to forget yourself physically and be able to strengthen yourself spiritually. That was probably the spiritual high for the week. It was the spiritual experience that I needed. 

I don't have much else to write you guys. I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys more than you can imagine! 

Elder Baker

P.S. You may not be looking forward to the first snowstorm, but I sure am. It would be the BEST DAY EVER if after writing you guys I walk outside and it starts snowing. I don't think it's going to happen though. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to wait until about this time next year!

All of us have a gift ... and we can develop others! 11/3/14

3 de Noviembre 2014

Hey guys! How goes it. Things are going pretty well here in Sullana. And do you guys have any ideas how I can start emails so that they are a little different each week? Because I swear I start with the same thing every single time. I have that problem writing in my journal too..... jaja. Life can be hard sometimes...

Sanchez Cerro is great! But for real, I love being here in this area. For sure one of my favorite areas so far of the mission! 

This week started off pretty exciting. On Tuesday morning I had to travel to Piura for the district leader training meeting with Elder P and Elder T, two elders from my group. Honestly I'm so glad that I'm here in their district. Because they are both super sweet people! It was super fun traveling to Piura with them. Even though we're not supposed to speak English, we did, and it was soooooo nice! Not gonna lie, laughing is good in Spanish, but it's so much better in English!
Our group at the training meeting!
 The training was super sweet! We talked a ton about spiritual gifts that we have and that we can receive if we live worthy of and seek after them. It was kind of cool. I have always heard a lot about them, but to tell you the truth, that was a topic that I had never really studied in depth. But since that day, I have been studying it a lot. Moroni 10 has new meaning. Do you know how cool it would be to have every spiritual gift that it mentions in that chapter? I would be a superman missionary! But the good news is that I have some of them! All of us have a gift that we have been given. And we can develop others! 

We ate at Papa Johns for lunch. That was super good. And then after it was all over we had to travel back to Sullana! And wanna know something cool! We came back in Eppo which is a bus company and there were some Australians on the bus! No joke! We went up and started to talk to them and they talked to us for about 15 minutes while we were waiting for the bus. They are from Perth. And they are here to visit Mancora which is a super famous beach here in Peru, but supposedly it's a wicked beach with lots of iniquidad, so we don't visit it here. But anyway, wanna know something funny?? While I was talking to them, I started to speak in Spanish without realizing it and then after a few seconds I realized that they had no clue what I was saying and they were looking at me like I was stupid. jajaja. Going back to the states is going to be rough! 

So right now we have been teaching a kid named P G (who is 13 years old) for about 2 months. His mom is a less active member and his dad is super Catholic. We are working with P and his mom though. He is super sweet. He is reading the Book of Mormon every day, he goes to church for all three hours every single week, he participates in all the activities of the young men, he has completed his book about his family history, and he has plans to serve a mission! The only problem is that his dad is Catholic and didn't want to give him permission to be baptized! But we have all been praying tons for him in the ward and the young men had a special fast for him, and guess what? Our loving Heavenly Father always answers our prayers! We had a super sweet lesson with the family and his dad told him that he can be baptized within this next month! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's super sweet. And we are going to continue working with the family. Because we want his father to be a member too!

This weekend we had exchanges with the zone leaders! Which was super fun! Elder A came to my area with my companion and I went to their area with Elder B. Being with Latinos is good, but being with a gringo (Elder Bradley) was nice for a change too. That was probably one of the funnest exchanges of my entire mission. And we worked like crazy! I can't tell you how many heads we turned in the street and how many people said things to us like "Heylow watt ees yo neym". I'm pretty sure it was the first time that they have seen two white people together in their entire life! But it was great. We walked around all day and when we were walking in the street we would talk about how cool it is living here in South America. I really actually like some things about living here, but there are also tons of things that are hard too. They work a ton, but many spend money that they don't have on beer. So many of these people really hardly have anything, but they still spend tons of money each weekend drinking with their friends. 

This week was fast and testimony meeting. I love fast and testimony meeting here in Peru. There is never time for everyone to bear their testimony that wants to. And it's not like they give long stories in their testimonies, their testimonies are short and powerful. It's super great to have investigators present in those meetings, because the spirit is so strong! 

This last week I have been thinking a lot. Especially because we're now into November. I don't want the mission to end. Every day it feels like it's getting closer and closer. And I don't want it to come. I love being a missionary! There is nowhere else I would rather be. And nothing else that I would rather be doing. I'm so grateful for this opportunity! Thanks a ton for always supporting me! I couldn't do it without you guys! Being a missionary isn't easy, but it's the best decision that I have ever made!

Love you guys to the moon and back! 

Elder Baker

Halloween pretty much doesn't exist here. On Halloween everyone says, "Hoy es Halloween!" But that's it. They don't dress up, they don't have parties, there is no candy. It's pretty lame..... 

And, don't complain about the cold. I would easily pay 10 bucks to feel cold for 5 minutes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

THINKING TIME! My favorite! I love questions that make you think. - 10/27/14

27 de Octubre 2014

Hey guys. What's happening in K town?? Things are going great here in Sullana! But for real. I really do love this area. The people are cool. And it's super pretty. The only problem is that Sullana is probably one of the hottest cities here in the mission. It's hotter than Piura, that's for sure. And to think that we're still not even to summer. I don't know how I'm going to survive. But I guess whatever comes, I'll have to make the best of it!

Working this last week with Elder C has been good. He's a pretty funny kid. He has a super dry sense of humor. But when he tells a joke, it's super funny. I die laughing! jaja But it's been good! I like working with him a lot!

Well anyway. We have a new family that we are teaching! I might have mentioned them last week or the week before, but I can't remember. A couple of weeks ago we found a less active member named F R. He was baptized a long time ago when he was part of the young men's program. But when he was like 16 his mom died, and he moved to another place where there wasn't the church and started to make some not-so-great decisions in his life which have led him to where he is now. A few years ago he was super alcoholic. And so anyway, he realized that he really isn't going anywhere with his life and so he wants to change. He has been trying to give up alcohol for a while. And he has changed a lot. Now he only drinks every once and a while on the weekends. But he wants to leave that entirely behind! So were helping him! And the good news is that his wife isn't a member! So we're teaching the two of them! They have a little girl that is like 5 years old and they say that they want to change their lives to give the best of what they have to their daughter who means everything to them! But anyway, they're super cool! And we've been teaching them for a few weeks and they are finally starting to progress and keep their commitments that we leave with them! So I'm super excited to keep working with them! Honestly I want to help them! It's kind of weird. When I met them for the first time it was like I had a ton of love towards that family. Like knew them before! Pretty cool! Kind of hard to explain though! But anyway, they're super great!

Wednesday was fun! Taking Elder C to Marcavelica so that he could get to know it. Marcavelica is super sweet! And there are some super cool members in Marcavelica! The two days a week that we get to go to Marcavelica are the best! For real! But anyway, one of the super cool people in Marcavelica is M N (a recent convert). She is the one that has the parrot that tells people to shut up. jaja. But anyway, right now the two of us are trying to see who can finish the Book of Mormon faster. I was almost sure that I was going to win. But Wednesday we went and visited them and she had read like 100 pages in like 4 days. She is reading a ton! So that means that I have to pick up my reading! The only problem is that as a missionary it's sometimes a little bit hard to find extra time to read! So that means that in every spare minute I have, I'm reading the Book of Mormon! It's worth it though because the Book of Mormon is amazing!

And a cool thing happened with her parrot this week. So that bird pretty much hates the missionaries because they always bug it and do things like poke it with their pens and stuff. So he pretty much hates anyone in a white shirt and tie. But I've been trying to gain his confidence. I feed it things that it wants. It loves to eat chocolate crackers and stuff like that. So anyway, after feeding him a cookie, he bit my finger super hard and it started bleeding. But Elder Baker never gives up. I'm going to fight until the last day of the mission! jaja. But anyway. I kept going. And I guess that now that we're blood brothers he likes me. So he actually climbed up onto my arm and onto my shoulder. We're the first missionaries that it has ever liked! Pretty cool, no? But anyway, as soon as it got up onto my shoulder it pooped on my shirt. And the funny thing is that I wasn't even upset at all. Because I was so happy that it had finally climbed up onto my arm!

Hmmm... should I bite his ear?

Thursday went well for us. We had a zone meeting! Which was super great. Probably my favorite part of it was when we talked about the difference between a testimony and conversion. A testimony is when you know that the church is true. But being converted means that you have a testimony and that you act upon it and obey the commandments and do what you should do. And then the zone leaders asked us a super sweet question. They said, "Is the way that you act as a missionary showing that you have a testimony or that you are really converted?" THINKING TIME! My favorite! I love questions that make you think. And then they asked us another super sweet question. They talked about before the mission when we were preparing to come and they asked us, "What did you want to achieve as a missionary? Are you doing it??" BOOM! Another great thinking time! The thing that I love about questions like that is that it helps you realize where you weaknesses are and where the areas are that you can improve. Because we all have weaknesses. We have to make those weaknesses strong though!

Sunday was super sweet! TONS of people came to church! The chapel was completely full! We ended up having to give up our seats so that others could come in! I love it when tons of people come to church. It makes me happy to see so many people taking part of all of the wonderful blessings that our loving Heavenly Father is offering unto us! I love the church! I'm so grateful to be a member! I love being able to partake of the sacrament every single week. During the mission I have been able to change the way that I look at the sacrament from being a repeated thing that we do every week, to a way to really apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life! And now with this different perspective, going to church has such a different meaning to me! It is SO important in our lives!

Well, sorry that I don't have much time to write about more. The P family is still progressing! So that's great! And we are finding more and more people to teach every day! Thanks for all the love and support! You guys are the best!

Love, Elder Baker

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Lord really is hastening the work. And I'm so grateful to be a part of it! - 10/20/14

20 de Octubre, 2013

Well hello there family! Another week has come and gone.

Well the big news for this week...... my companion was transferred to Piura. So that means that I have a new companion here in Sullana which I'm super excited about! Today is his first day here with me. He seems pretty cool. But then again, I only met him like 4 hours ago. But anyway, his name is Elder C. And he is from Cusco, Peru. Want to know something crazy?? He lives like 3 hours from Machu Picchu. But that's not the crazy part--the crazy part is that he has never ever gone to visit Machu Picchu. Are you kidding me???????? People come from all over the world and pay tons of money just to do that. And he could do it for like 10 dollars. And he's never done it..... jajaja. Supposedly that is pretty common in Cusco though. Supposedly there isn't a ton of hype to visit it. I don't know if I'll ever understand, but whatever though....
Missionaries from my District
My last week here with Elder E went pretty well! I learned a lot from him. Lots of Christ-like attributes that I was able to work on. It was good working with him. He really is a good missionary. He is here to invite people to come unto Christ. And he is able to do that. I hope that he was able to learn a little from me. Because I sure learned from him. With every companion you learn new things that help you improve. The mission life is great!

So, the P family is doing well! They came to church on Sunday, but only for sacrament meeting. We taught them the Word of Wisdom this week. And it went really well. They aren't alcoholics, but they do drink beer at fiestas and other events, just like every other Peruano. But when we taught them the commandment, they committed to abandon those things in their lives! Pretty cool! I love when you teach something and the spirit testifies that it's true. The Word of Wisdom is legit. I'm honestly so grateful for it. I will never ever ever try alcohol. I'm so sick of seeing drunk people in the streets. I have seen so many broken families because of alcohol. Honestly there is nothing about it that is even appealing at all!

The sister missionaries in our district got sick this last week after eating seafood in a restaurant with some investigators. So they were sick in their apartment for like 2 days. Even though they were sick, they still had to go and teach some last minute things to their investigator that got baptized on Sunday! I got to do the baptismal interview on Thursday which was cool. I love baptismal interviews! One of the best parts about being a district leader.

Yesterday was pretty cool! There was a massive baptismal service in the stake center for all of our zone. Like 4 companionships of missionaries had baptisms yesterday, so they decided to do them all together. In all, there were 11 people that were baptized. Which was super cool. We were able to take some investigators to it, which was great. But for real it was so cool seeing like 20 people dressed in white. All those who were baptized and all of the people that would do the ordinance. SUPER SWEET! President Rowley came and spoke which was good. But my favorite part was when all of the people got to bear their testimonies afterwards. Especially the little kids. jaja. They are so funny sometimes. Baptisms are the best. Hopefully real soon we will be having some here in my area! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. But more than that, I'm going to work harder than ever before. I'm going to work until I can't do anything more! The Lord really is hastening the work. And I'm so grateful to be a part of it! 

I love being a missionary!

Elder Baker

I love General Conference... - 10/13/14

13 de Octubre 2014
Well hello there family, including Lauren...... How are y'all. I'm not going to lie. It's pretty crazy to think that Lauren is home from the mission. Seems like just yesterday she left. But time has passed by.  
Well as for me, I'm doing well. Things here in Sullana are good. I don't have much time today. And I was kind of excited about reading all your emails, hearing about Lauren and seeing all the pics. But anyway, I'll still try to write a little bit for you guys about what has happened! Next week the letter might be a little bit longer...
A river in Sullana
This last week passed by slowly but surely. I’ve found something out on my mission as I have worked with many different companions. I have to focus on the good things that they each add to the companionship. No matter our differences, we have the same purpose, which is to invite people to come unto Christ. And we have to forget the differences and focus on what we have in common and work towards that goal we have and then it’s all good.
My district in Sullana
Well anyways. For sure the highlight of this last week was Saturday and Sunday. You guys got to watch General Conference one week before us. But we couldn't because it was elections week. But this last week we got to watch it! And it was sooooooooooooo good. I love General Conference. I watched it in Spanish again. And want to know something cool? After it was over I realized that I was able to understand everything the entire conference. Which is pretty crazy because last year in October I wouldn't have gotten hardly anything out of conference. Maybe a little bit of the songs that the choir sings (because those are in English). But this time it was great! And it was super cool that they let some people give their talks in their native language! There were two in Spanish which was super cool! It meant a lot to the people here in South America. Lots of people have said things like they wish they could hear the apostles and prophet speak with their own voices and not with a translator. So this conference there were two people that gave their talks in Spanish. And Richard G. Scott always gives his talk in Spanish because he records it in Spanish before the conference. Looking back on it, I really don't know if I had a favorite talk or anything. My favorite part was everything! The part that I could feel the spirit strongest though was when El Coro Tabernaculo Mormón sang How Firm a Foundation. I could feel the spirit so strong. I love moments like that! Moments like that make me completely sure that this isn't a joke. It's the real deal. I'm so grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
In the park after General Conference with Elder T--oh yeah, and Barney!

As for how the P family is going... We were able to teach them once this last week and the lesson went super sweet! They are progressing a ton! And on Sunday they came to the conference to hear the prophet speak to us! And they liked it a lot! So keep on praying for them! This week we are going to visit them 2 times! They are super sweet!

We were able to teach R R this week for the first time in almost 3 weeks! (Because he got a new job.) Which is good, but it also presents a challenge because he works from 7 in the morning until 8 at night 7 days a week. But we had a great lesson with him! And he is super excited to learn more about the church. He is looking up a lot to his cousin that just got his mission call to Uruguay Montevideo. So that's sweet! 

We were able to teach F B again yesterday! And she is super sweet! There are members visiting her! And she is super excited to attend church with us for the first time this next Sunday! She is one of the most intelligent people that I've met on the mission. And she is progressing a ton! She has super great questions. My companion is kind of scared of her questions though because he says that lots of times he doesn't know how to respond. But I'm not scared because I know that if I don't know how to respond to something she asks then I can just bear testimony of what I do know and let the spirit testify and give second witness! She's super sweet! 

Well anway, those are our 3 investigators that are progressing  for now. Keep praying for them please! I'm super excited to be here in this area. Even though there have been lots and lots and lots of challenges, I'm learning a ton! And I love being a missionary! 

This next week is the last of the transfer. Saturday night we'll be finding out about transfers. Elder E and I are anxiously waiting for Saturday! He has 3 transfers here in this area and he could be leaving, but it is also possible that he will be staying one transfer more. Who knows. But whatever happens, I know I'll be okay because I know our Heavenly Father directs this work! Everything happens for a reason!

Love you guys tons! Sorry for the short letter! Have a great week!

Elder Baker

Monday, October 6, 2014

Feel happy for the chance ... to share the gospel with others! It is such a great blessing! - 10/6/14

6 de Octubre 2014
Hey guys. How are ya? Crazy to think that Lauren will be leaving Australia in a little more than 24 hours. Are you guys ready? That's absolutely crazy thinking about! How time passes. I remember like it was yesterday when we were sitting at In n Out in Provo before heading over to the MTC to drop her off. Time has passed by fast, that's for sure! I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve at the same time as her. It's going to be kind of sad not being able to say that I have a sister that is a missionary just like me on the other side of the world. But whatever. Everything happens for a reason! That's one thing that I'm 100% sure of. She has been able to do some amazing things over this past year and a half, and now she's got something new in front of her! Love you Lauren! Don't feel sad. Feel happy for the chance that you had to be in Australia! And for the opportunity to share the gospel with others! It is such a great blessing!

So this last week went super fast. But then again, which week doesn't feel like it goes by quickly! 

Last Monday night we had a visita de trabajo. This time I was with Elder A who is from Cochabamba, Bolivia. He is a super cool kid! He is 25 years old. And it was great working with him! Tuesday went pretty well for us. District meeting in the morning. The zone leaders decided to attend our meeting. But that's okay because our zone leaders are sweet! And anyway, that afternoon went well. Except that it was super hot. And that I got sick. jajaja. Just my luck, no? But it went well. Even though I was getting sick we still decided to go and eat hamburgers in a restaurant called Queen Burger. jaja. Burgers and Inca Kola. There isn't much better. But for real! I have no clue what I'm going to do after the mission without Inca Kola! Why doesn't everyone drink it in the states? It's so good!

Wednesday kind of stunk. Because I had a headache, my throat hurt, and the water spout of my nose was turned on and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off! But anyway, I'm not going to write much about that day. Because it wasn't too fun.

Thursday was a lot better! In the morning we had a service project! We painted an apartment on the second floor of our apartment building. C C from the ward helped us with it! It was super fun! And after we finished, Hermana M gave us a 3 liter bottle of Inca Kola. That was nice. 3 liters. Inca Kola. That is a GREAT combination! jajajajaja. Why aren't there 3 liter bottles of soda in the states?? Peru has got a few things on the states..... But anyway. 

Beker Paint

One of the best days of the week was Saturday when we went to Marcavelica. Marcavelica is super pretty! And we are teaching the P family! Which is going super well! Luckily this time E's mom didn't come and ruin the lesson again. We had the lesson with E and his wife, D. It was a super spiritual lesson. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and then at the end of the lesson we invited them to be baptized on November 15th! I'm super excited because they accepted! That date is a little far away. And I wanted to set a date for the end of October, but something inside me said that that wasn't right. So I figured that it was a prompting from the spirit so I did what felt right even though it wasn't what I really wanted to do. But now I know that the 15th of November is perfect for them! Because they still have a little bit to go before they have super firm testimonies, but they are going to get there! And we're going to be here the whole time to help them! 

So anyway, while all of you guys were enjoying General Conference this weekend, I was walking in the streets not watching it. What a bummer, no??  Because this weekend was elections weekend in all of Peru. So on Saturday and Sunday it was illegal to have any kind of meetings in public places (Church buildings). And it was illegal to sell alcohol (which I wish they did every weekend!). And yeah, so anyway, they are going to rebroadcast it next weekend here to Peru for all of us that weren't able to watch it this last weekend!  

Sunday was the day that everyone had to vote so that was kind of a boring day. But there was one great thing about Sunday! We found a super sweet new investigator! Her name is F B! I would say that she is like 35 years old and is pregnant with her first kid! We actually contacted her in a park a couple of weeks ago with her husband and she gave us her directions, but Sunday was the first time that we have been able to get a hold of her and teach her! But she is honestly one of the most prepared people that I have ever taught! She is super intelligent. And understands what she reads. Which is always nice, because lots of people don't understand almost anything that they read. But anyway. We had a super sweet first lesson with her! And we have an appointment to go back and teach a second lesson when she and her husband will be there! I got back to the apartment super happy that night! I wish every day we were able to find investigators that sweet! 

But anyways. I'm super grateful to be here on the mission. It really is the best 2 years. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything! I have honestly learned so much in these last 14 months! I know the church is true! And every single day my testimony gets stronger and stronger! I know it's true! NO DOUBTS!

Love you guys tons!

Elder Baker