Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My companion and I worked harder than we probably ever had before. But the blessings are flowing! - 4/20/15

20 de Abril 2015

Hey guys! What a week it has been for my companion and me! Thanks for all the love and support! 

First off, the report about my sickness! Well the good news is that I was feeling a whole lot better this last week! I went to the doctor on Monday to do more stool samples. And Tuesday morning I got the results back. This time it didn't say anything about Giardia. So that's good! Hopefully that means that it's gone. But it did say that I have Entamoeba Coli. Supposedly it's not too bad. But I changed my diet. I'm only eating things like wheat bread. No milk products and other things. And this week I was feeling a whole lot better! I was able to go out and work pretty much the entire week with my companion! So I'm super happy about that! Yesterday I woke up with the runs and felt pretty crappy but I'm pretty sure that it's because of something that I ate on Saturday because today I still have the runs but not as bad. So I'm pretty sure that if I just take special care of what I eat, I should be pretty okay!  I'm happy that in only a few months I will be getting home and will be able to see a doctor and really find out what's happening. It's just one of the trials that have been placed in my path! I'm just going to have to endure through it with a smile on my face! 

A beach resort of a member (or investigator) - I don't remember - that he let us use for P-day today!
It was super pretty!

Honestly, this last week was one of the best weeks of the mission. I'm so happy for this last week! My companion and I worked harder than we probably ever had before. But the blessings are flowing! After a long time struggling in my area, we are finally seeing success! First off, my companion and I talked with over 100 new people this last week which was a goal that we had. And we were able to find some new investigators from it! It's not easy talking to people, but it's worth it! And it does get easier with time. I remember the first time I tried to talk with someone here in the mission and I was so scared. But it's actually kind of fun to talk to people! You never know what kind of people you are going to find. You find super nice people, super rude people, people of all kinds of different religions, and the best part, is that you are able to find a few people that are prepared for the gospel in their lives! So my companion and I are going to keep doing that this next week! 

We have 2 investigators with baptismal dates! The first is Junior C. He is J C’s son. He is 21 years old and is super cool! The only problem that we had was that he works Monday through Saturday from 8am until 6pm and he is going to school Monday through Friday from 7pm until 11pm. So he really doesn't have much free time. But we taught him this last week and he is doing super well! He has read until 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and we had a super special lesson with him! We invited him to be baptized and he said that he would like to be baptized on May 18th, which is his birthday! So I'm super excited about that! 

The other investigator that we have with a baptismal date is C S. C is a reference from H who is a returned missionary. H invited his friend C to come to church a couple months ago and he has come a couple of times and this week we were finally able to teach him! It's kind of hard to teach C as well, because he has a super hard schedule because he is a doctor. He finished high school when he was 14. He started medical school when he was 15 and now he is 25 years old and works in the hospital and a clinic here in Tumbes! So we were able to teach him! He is super smart! And he understands everything that we teach! And, at the end of our first lesson with him we invited him to be baptized and he accepted! So for right now we are planning his baptism for the 9th of May. So we are super excited about them! It was also kind of nice that he is a doctor. And so I asked him about my sickness and he said, "Yeah, there really isn't much that you can do about it for now, but pretty soon you'll be going home and will adjust quickly to your normal diet at home." jaja. So that's what I'm gonna have to do I guess! 

We got a super sweet reference this week from President Rowley! President Rowley was here last week for stake conference. And I guess as they were leaving Monday morning to go back to Piura they went to a gas station to fill up their car with gas. And supposedly he talked to the lady that was filling up his car and he invited her to listen to the missionaries! So he got her name and number written down and then on Tuesday morning he called us with the reference. So one day this week we really didn't know what to do because we had a couple appointments fall through and so we decided to pull out the cell phone and call this reference to see if we could go and visit her. So we called her and said that we could pass by. She has only been in Tumbes for 3 months and really doesn't know her directions but was able to kind of guide us to her house. So after about 20 minutes we finally found her house and she invited us to come in and share something with her and her son! Her name is J and her son is G M and he is 16 years old. They are both super cool though, and they are super prepared for the gospel! That was a huge testimony builder for me that there really are people here in my area that are prepared for the gospel! I've just got to go out and find them! On Wednesday we have an appointment to go back and teach them! I can't wait! I'm super excited for this next week! My companion only has 4 weeks left in the mission but we are going to make the most of the little time that there is!  

Thanks for all the love, prayers, and support! I love you guys! I love being a missionary! I have no doubt that the Church is true! I love my Savior. I know He lives! 

Elder Baker

I know what it's like without power. It happens quite frequently here--and living without water. Count your many blessings! Utah weather sure is crazy! You never know what you're gonna get!

I do think I will run some races after the mission. I'm thinking about doing triathlons. They sound kind of fun! I'm so excited to go and visit the Sacred Grove this summer! It's going to be super cool after having been a missionary for 2 years testifying of the sacred event that happened in that place! I can't wait to walk there! Thanks for the prayers! 

In Piura, the people used to have to travel 18 hours by bus to Lima to be able to go to the temple! But now they are going to have a temple just 6 hours away! - 04/13/15

13 de Abril 2015

Hey guys! 

Well here I am again! Time is passing by super quickly!

First off, last week I told you guys that I'm dealing with a parasite. Giardia. It kind of stinks. I took some medications that were supposed to take care of it, but they didn't help me all that much. So I'm still kind of sick. So that's kind of a bummer. I'm doing okay though! I'm going to do more tests today. And we'll see what happens with that. I'm praying a lot. Because I'm super sick of it! But to tell you the truth, the absolute worst part is that it makes it kind of hard to go out and work because I feel sick a lot and if I don't feel sick, it comes and hits me like a ton of bricks and I'm desperately searching for a bathroom. It's kind of complicated. But I'm doing fine! Don't worry too much! Just another one of the tests that our loving Heavenly Father puts in our lives. It's not because He wants to punish us. It's because He loves us and He wants us to get better! And believe it or not, there are lots of positive things that I have learned from this! 

This last week went by super fast. Tuesday we were in the apartment pretty much all day because I wasn't feeling too swell. And then on Wednesday morning we had to travel to Piura because Thursday was our Leaders Conference in the mission home! We got to Piura at about 12:30 and went and ate lunch with the office elders and their pensionista. And then for the afternoon we got to go out and work with the zone leaders in Miraflores. That afternoon was super fun! It made me miss Piura though. I have only been in Piura, Piura for like 3 months of the mission. All the rest of it has been outside of Piura. But there is something special about being in Piura! It feels like coming home every time you enter! It was super fun working that day in Piura! 

Thursday morning at 9:00 our Leaders Conference started. That was super great! I always do love those training meetings with President Rowley! He teaches in such a cool way. You are always able to feel the spirit super strongly in those meetings and always leave feeling uplifted! One of the things we talked about was what having faith in Jesus Christ really means. If you ask yourself "Do I have faith in Jesus Christ?" it's pretty easy to say yes, right??  But then if you read what Preach my Gospel says about faith, it helps you realize that there are lots of ways that our faith can improve. Maybe we really do have faith! But that faith can always be stronger. So my goal right now is to strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ. There are lots of little things that I can be doing to strengthen my faith! And now in this little time that I have left as a missionary, it's time to get to work! I have to take advantage of every moment I have here as a missionary! 

After the meeting we had to travel to the mission office to pick up some stuff for the zone here in Tumbes. And then we had to travel to the bus station to travel back to Tumbes. Our bus left Piura at about 5:30 and didn't get to Tumbes until about 11:00 that night. I was so excited when it was finally time to go to sleep! It honestly felt like that bus ride lasted forever! But we finally made it! 

Friday we had our zone meeting with our entire zone. We didn't have much time to plan the meeting because we got back so late on Thursday, but it turned out super well! It was really guided by the spirit! It's kind of fun being able to teach the zone meetings with your companion! We taught the zone about everything that we had learned in the leaders’ meeting. It was a pretty fun morning! 

Friday afternoon and pretty much all of Saturday I was feeling pretty crappy. That was kind of a bummer. But Saturday night we had to go over to the stake center for the Saturday night session of Stake conference! President Rowley and Hermana Rowley came, as well as the Guayaquil Temple President and his wife. The conference on Saturday night and on Sunday morning was super good! I liked it a lot. They talked a lot about the Temple. It made me miss the temple so much! It really is such a blessing living so close to so many temples. I haven't been to the temple since August 2013. That's one of the things that I'm super excited about once I finish the mission! Being able to go to the temple again! I'm super happy for the people here in this mission though because in June they are going to be dedicating the Trujillo, Peru temple which will be a huge blessing for the people! In Piura, the people used to have to travel 18 hours by bus to Lima to be able to go to the temple! But now they are going to have a temple just 6 hours away! It's going to be such a huge blessing for the people here in Peru!

Sunday afternoon I was feeling pretty good so we got to go out and work the entire afternoon! Even though it sounds like something super small, it was such a blessing. I miss being able to feel good and just be able to go out and work! I hope this next week I will be feeling a whole lot better! Because I want to go and teach people about the gospel! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary!

Thanks for all the love and support! 

Elder Baker

...turns out that I have Giardia...being sick like this is the worst! - 04/06/15

6 de Abril 2015

Well we are already into April and time is flying by like always! Transfers were today. My companion and I are both staying here in this area. And it is the last transfer of the mission for my companion. So that means that I am going to be his last companion. I'm pretty excited about that! But since we are zone leaders we had to spend pretty much all of today taking care of transfer things because tons of missionaries in the zone had to travel so we had to make sure they left on time and we had to go pick up all of the new missionaries that got here! It was a fun day though! 

Well this last week wasn't the best week of the mission. Want to know why? Because this last week my companion and I were sick. Well first it was my companion. On Tuesday he said that he wasn't feeling too well. So we headed back to the apartment and he spent most of the afternoon sleeping. And at about 9:30 that night he woke up to go to the bathroom to throw up. So I'm sure that wasn't the most fun thing. Wednesday he still wasn't feeling too well. But by the end of the day he was feeling a lot better and so we were able to go and work a little bit. 

That night we started exchanges with Elder C and Elder R who are in Corrales. So, Elder M went to their apartment and I stayed in my area with Elder C. That night though, I couldn't sleep. No matter what position I was in I couldn't fall asleep. And then at about midnight I finally got up from my bed and went into the bathroom and had horrible diarrhea. It was horrible. And in the morning I woke up still with diarrhea. It was horrible. Honestly to tell you the truth, for the last 2-3 months I have been sick almost every single week like that. So I decided that something wasn't right so I decided to call Hermana Rowley. She told me that it was likely that I had a parasite in my stomach. So that means that I had to take stool samples to a laboratory and have them test them for a parasite. That kind of stunk! But what are you gonna do!?!? jaja. And it turns out that I have Giardia. I have no clue how I got it or when, but it's what I have. Hermana Rowley said that it's not uncommon and that there have been several other cases in the mission with it right now. But I took some pills that supposedly help with it. I sure hope so! Because being sick like this is the worst! 
Exchanges with Elder C
So that pretty much took up our whole week until the conference. We were able to do a little, but not much. Conference was the best though!!

I can hardly believe that that was my last general conference of the mission. It is such a blessing to be able to listen to the prophets every 6 months! And luckily my companion and I were both feeling better by Saturday to watch the conference peacefully! I honestly loved conference so much! Elder Ballard's talk in Priesthood session was the best! But the whole thing was great! I am so excited to get the Liahona to be able to read all of the talks again! It was exactly what I was needing! It was super motivational for me! It was the spiritual highlight to a super stressful, crappy week! 
With Elder R following General Conference
I'm super excited for this next transfer though! I'm sure that it's going to be great! I love being a missionary. Even though it's not always easy, it's super great. There is never going to be another opportunity like this in my life! I have to make the most of it! 

Thanks for all the love and support! Love you tons! The church is true! No doubt about it! 

Elder Baker!