Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Peru will always hold a special place in my heart. I love these people. - 6/21/15

22 de Junio, 2015

"Peru will always hold a special place in my heart. I love these people."

Hey guys. Well..... this is probably my last email home because next week I will be in Piura all day on Monday and I don't think I'll have time to write home or anything like that. So here it is!

First off, this last week was great. It was a hard week, but it was great. As far as the work goes in my area, it was a little slow week. We had tons of a appointments fall through and things happen. But we aren't going to get down on that! We just got to keep going. That's really something that I have learned on my mission. You won't ever be able to control the things that happen. There are going to be hard things. And there isn't a thing you can do to change them. But the thing that I can always change is my attitude. And let me tell you.... Life is so much better with a smile on your face!

Last Monday we had an appointment with C Z. We went to his grandpa´s house where he was living and his grandpa told us that he had moved to Piura to start working. UGH! jajaja. But we are going to get a hold of his number and directions in Piura so that the elders there can keep on visiting him! Because he really is a great investigator! So that was kind of a bummer for us though! And then that night we had to go and pick up the Assistants that had just arrived from Piura and were with us for the multi-zone conference on Tuesday!

Tuesday was great! The multi-zone conference was amazing! It was kind of a bittersweet moment for all of us though. It was the last conference with President Rowley because in just a little over a week he will be leaving and President Rasmussen will be arriving. And so for most of the missionaries it was the last time that they will see President Rowley! The conference was amazing though! President Rowley is the best. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to work with him over these past 2 years! He has been the perfect mission president for me! He has helped me so much! In the conference he taught about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the way he teaches is amazing! He helps you really ponder on what everything means and look beyond the small things that we usually always get caught up in. And then at the end of the conference we got to hear their last testimonies which were super cool. Full of love. I'm so grateful for President Rowley!

That night we had an activity in the stake center for the entire stake. The focus of it was to invite less active members, new converts, and investigators. And there was a super great turnout! The church was super full. We watched part of Meet the Mormons, played games, and listened to the Stake President speak to us! It was super cool!

But the best part of this last week was definitely the temple dedication. On Saturday night we had the opportunity to go and watch the cultural celebration performed in the stake center that was in Trujillo. It was super cool to see different kids from all over the temple district dance and share their cultures. It was super cool seeing the first 2 dances from Piura and it was cool that I was able to recognize some of the youth that I had met over the 2 years here! There really are so many areas here in the north of Peru that are going to be so blessed by this next temple! There are over 100 stakes in Peru, but there was only one temple. This new temple in Trujillo is going to be able to help so many people be able to go to the temple!

Sunday was super amazing. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure that it marked exactly 2 years since I had gone through the temple for the first time with David and Austin. That night was special. And it was cool that 2 years later I got to have another cool experience with a different temple thousands of miles away from Bountiful, Utah. President Uchtdorf was the one that came and dedicated the temple. And Elder Bednar was there as well. The spirit was super strong throughout the entire thing. But one of the coolest things was when President Uchtdorf bore his testimony and expressed his love for the people here in Spanish. There were many people with tears in their eyes as they were listening! I'm so happy for the members here in the north of Peru! The new temple is beautiful! One day I would love to be able to go and get to know that temple!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about these two last years. So much has happened. It seems like so long, yet it has passed by so quickly. So much sweat. So many tears. So many smiles. So many experiences that I will never forget. It's hard believing that it's coming to an end. I'm so grateful for all that has happened. When I think back on it I realize that without a doubt these have been the 2 hardest years of my entire life. And sometimes I think, "If it has been so hard, why is it that they have also been the happiest 2 years of my life?" Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the biggest blessings that I have ever received in my entire life! I realize that this time I have as a missionary will come to an end. But that doesn't mean that I have to stop sharing the gospel. There are so many ways to share the gospel with others. And it honestly brings so much happiness in our lives. I know this church is true. I know God lives and loves each and every one of us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know He died for me and for every single one of us! He has shown us the path which we should follow. This is the Lord's work. These past 2 years I have just been able to be an instrument in His hands. And I will forever be grateful for this opportunity! Peru will always hold a special place in my heart. I love these people.

Thanks to all you who have supported me throughout my entire mission. Thanks for the love, the letters, and the prayers! I love all of you guys!

√Člder Baker

¡Nos vemos pronto!

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