Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I know that this is the Lord's work. And it is super duper important! - 01/27/14

This last week was actually a pretty good week here in Puerto Paita. I feel like I learned a lot. I feel like I have really experienced things that have helped me improve as a missionary and have strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
My companion goes home in only 2 weeks. I have been doing my best to do my part to keep him motivated to work until the last day of his mission. He's not super duper trunky, which is good. I wasn't really sure how else I can help him. So I decided to pray. Prayer is soooooooooo great. It's so nice to know that I can pray anytime, anywhere, for anything. I have a Heavenly Father who is always listening to me. After praying, I decided that the best way that I can help my companion is through my example. If I am EXACTLY obedient, I know it is going to make him want to be obedient as well. Examples are huge. And I want to be an example to others for good!

Tuesday we had our district meeting which was really good. We talked about lesson 5, which is definitely the least taught lesson for us in Preach My Gospel. We talked about how all the laws and ordinances of the gospel are so important. They are all fundamentals of the gospel that people need to know! I really enjoyed it. I always love district meetings. I always learn a ton! No matter what!

Wednesday afternoon, we had a companion exchange for the day with the district leader. My companion went to the upper part with the district leader, and Elder B came to my area. He is a super animated kid from Tacna. I really learned a lot from him. He only has 10 weeks in the mission field, but he is already a great missionary! I love how when he teaches, you can feel of the love that he has for the investigators. I love my investigators. I decided that I am going to try to help them feel of the love that we as missionaries have for them like Elder B does. It was super great working with Elder B. 

Friday we went and visited a man. He is 30 years old and he is super PaiteƱo. In the 30 years of his life, he has only spent one night out of Paita, when he had to go to Sullana. I was thinking about how many nights I have spent outside of my house. On family vacations, camping, everything. And he has only spent 1 night of his entire life outside of his house! How crazy is that! He is a great guy. He has a super strong testimony! And he has been attending church again for the past 3 weeks! It was amazing on Sunday when he showed up to church with his whole family! His wife and his 3 kids! The first time they had been to church in a long time! It was so cool to see them there!

Saturday was super hot. One of the crazy things we saw this week was on Saturday. For Carnavales here, they put these giant trees in the middle of the street and put tons of things up in the trees. Chairs, money, notebooks, clothes, candy, toys. Tons of stuff. It's like Christmas. They put these trees up and then they celebrate for a few days and then they cut it down and everyone runs to grab all of the stuff that was in the tree. They had just put the tree up that morning and everyone was starting to celebrate. One of the things that they do to celebrate is that they throw water balloons at all the people passing by. We talked to members that live on that street for a few minutes and we watched as these little kids absolutely drenched all these people passing by in moto taxis. Honestly it's kind of funny! It's so cool being able to experience a new culture though!

Sunday was a great day! Sacrament meeting is always great. But the highlight of the day happened after church. We went to visit this recent convert because he didn't show up to church. When we got to his house he was super duper sick. He then asked if my companion and I could give him a blessing. He then indicated that he would like me to give the blessing. Honestly I was a little bit scared. I hadn't ever given a blessing before, let alone in Spanish. My companion anointed and I was able to seal the anointing. It was so cool to see how the words I needed to use just came to me. That was a super strong testimony builder for me. I could feel the spirit so strong! After we left his house I was just thinking and reflecting on how grateful I am to be a member of this church and to have the power of the priesthood so readily available when we are in times of need! Being a missionary is so cool!
Today for P-day we went with these members to this really cool spot on the ocean for the day. We went to fish and to take some pictures. It was super duper cool! The only bad thing is that I forgot to use sunscreen. I had a pretty good watch tan line already, but with being in the sun for 4 hours this morning it's really burned! Pretty cool though! Luckily I had my goofy hat to protect my face and neck from the sun!!

I forgot my sunscreen!

I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I know that this church is true. No doubt about it. I am so grateful for all of the things I have learned so far on my mission. And I can't wait for what the next 18 months in Peru have in store for me. I know that this is the Lord's work. And it is super duper important! How grateful I am to be a part of it!  Thanks for all the love and support! Love you guys!

Elder Baker

Lauren, Sounds like you had a good week in Australia. It's pretty cool when it's a million degrees in January right!? jaja.  And trust me! I love to PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens). And I'm going to continue to PUSH! Love you! Keep working hard! 

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