Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I'm so grateful for everything that I have learned about myself, spiritually and intellectually from learning a language. - 02/03/14

3 de febrero 2014

It keeps getting hotter and hotter every single day here in Peru. As you guys are dying for it to warm up, I'm sitting here dying for it to cool down! Only 2 more months of summer though! I CAN DO THIS!

This last week was super good. On Tuesday morning we had our district meeting. The theme of the district meeting was about how to find people to teach. We talked a lot about how we always should strive to leave our areas better than we found them. We should try to fill our area binder with names of people to teach, and notes about these people, so that they are more than just names. It could be super frustrating to arrive at a new area, if the previous missionaries hadn't done anything and updated the binder, and you have no where to start from.

Honestly, our district has been struggling with finding people to teach. It is super rough here in Paita. We are praying as a district, that we will be able to find these people to teach. It can be super hard and sometimes, pretty discouraging. This last week, we talked to SO many people. One morning we spent 2 hours knocking on doors and we didn't even get into a single one of them. There was a point this last week, where I wanted to give up. I was wanting to say that there is no one in this area who is ready to accept the gospel. And honestly, we didn't find any new investigators this past week, but I know that there are people here who are ready to hear the message that we have. I just have to keep on looking for them. The adversary wants me to get discouraged and give up, but that's not what I am going to do. I am going to keep pressing forward. I know there are people ready. And I know that with a lot of prayers, and hard work, we are going to be able to find them. I was thinking about the scripture in Alma 26. I don´t know for sure what it says in English. I have it memorized in Spanish though. It says something like, "And when our hearts were discouraged and we were about to turn back, but the Lord said unto us, go forth and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give you success." I have to keep working, eventually I will have success.

I am grateful for the two families of investigators that we have though. It is so cool to see the changes that are taking place in their lives. Hermana G is reading the Book of Mormon. She is attending church. She is praying every day. And she has a testimony of the gospel. She tells us that she cannot wait for March, when she will be able to get married and be baptized with her children! It is so cool to see these people gain testimonies of the gospel. I am so grateful to be a missionary. We get to see miracles in peoples' lives.

The other family that we are teaching is super great! It is so cool to see the change that is taking place in their son. He is 24 years old and his father initially came to us, to see if we could help his son with his addiction to alcohol. We taught the Word of Wisdom a few weeks ago and this last week, we went and checked up on how the son is doing. He told us that it has been 3 weeks and he hasn't had any alcohol. He says that when he prays, the urge to drink goes away. He always talks about how he knows that God is listening to his prayers! How Cool! I know that God is listening to his prayers too. Prayer is such a blessing in our lives. How cool is it that we can literally communicate with our Father in Heaven whenever, and wherever we are. He is always listening! And he is willing to help us, and give us what we need if we ask in prayer! 

Best part of the week. By far. Saturday morning. Saturday was the 200th day of my mission. And it turns out that that is the day that I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time in Spanish! Pretty cool huh? Ever since I got into the mission field, I have been reading the Book of Mormon in English and Spanish. I would read one chapter in English, and then the exact same chapter in Spanish. Reading it that way made the progress a little bit slow. But it was super good. It helped me understand more of it. When I first started reading it in Spanish, back in August, I honestly couldn't understand very much of it. I recognized names and a few words. But as I finished reading it in Spanish, I reflected a lot on that. Honestly I can pretty much understand any verse in the Book of Mormon now in Spanish. How cool is the gift of tongues. I know that it is the gift of tongues, and not my natural intelligence (of which, I don't have much). It is super cool to think about how the Lord has helped me learn this language. I'm to the point where I can pretty much understand anything that people are saying. And I can get my point across to anyone in understandable Spanish. It's not perfect. It's far from perfect. But it's coming! Early on in my mission, I got a little bit discouraged about how slow it was coming. I learned a lot about patience. It hasn't been easy getting to this point. I'm not able to say, like some people, that one morning I just woke up and could understand everything. For me it has come little by little. Studying day after day. And I'm so grateful for everything that I have learned about myself, spiritually and intellectually from learning a language.
My study area in our apartment.
 After finishing the Book of Mormon, I knelt down and prayed like Moroni says to do. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. There is no doubt in my mind. The book was written by inspired prophets, for us. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon in my life and the opportunity to read it every day! Yo he leido el libro de mormon. Y sè que es verdadero.

Thanks for all of the love and support! I Love you guys!

Elder Baker 


This morning for P day we spent a few hours playing Peruvian Monopoly! IT was so nice to be able to relax and play Monopoly! jaja. I love that game. So many people hate it though. Just because it drags on forever!  

Lauren, Sounds like it's super hot in Australia too. It's kind of weird having summer in January and February, no? Keep working hard! Thanks for being a great example. And I could relate to the story of your comps mosquito bites. That's how I am in Piura. They always attack me! Luckily I'm living in Paita right now without them! Love you! 

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