Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 3rd, 2013 " I ran by the ocean Friday morning...no big deal."

Ello poppets' :)
This week was great! Hot...but great! I can't believe it hasn't technically been a full week since exchanges...but we had our first exchange on Friday and so the craziness has officially begun! I went to The Banks for the day with Sister Foster and the next morning for morning exercises we ran near the ocean and it was so beautiful! Man...I love my misison.
Apparently we had Mark Lusvardi come to the VC again (he's like...THE VC director of all VC's so...he's the man) which meant all the VC full field sisters had to attend the meetings both Thursday and Friday...which meant that I got to see my VC sisters!!! :) It was a tender mercy because my mom (sister cole) is dying this transfer!!! I'm soooo sad that I don't get to serve with her during her last transfer...like, I'm really sad over here haha. But! I know she'll do great! She is already claiming dibs on my journal for two full weeks because she needs time to think about what she's going to write. Ahhhh I just love her to death. One thing that I learned from VC training was, "Use your own personality traits to emulate the Savior's attributes." We were talking about how we need to be more "normal" and then Brother Lusvardi freaked out on us by telling us how we should already be normal. But it's true, the Lord calls us as we are to go out on our missions. Yes, we need to change and be more consecrated but that doesn't mean we have to change who we are. It was a good training. The whole time I felt like I didn't belong there haha and that I wasn't going to go back next transfer...we'll see...we shall see.
OH MY GOSH! Okay, so get this. My VERY first investigator on my mission, the FIRST person I ever taught...is getting married June 22nd and baptized June 23rd :) BAHHHHHHHH! Sister Cole told me about it during VC training and I yelled "shut up!" while Brother Lusvardi was talking (not smart) but ahhhhhh! I am SO pumped! Oh yeah, it's Edvin whose getting baptized :) Edvin was my first lesson and I taught him after I had been out for just a week. I remember that day so vividly. We were role playing and I was on the ground with the little Plan of Savlation map thingy, trying to figure out how to explain all of it in Spanish and haha that's when I had my very first breakdown on the mission. Oh man, I just remember crying on the ground and Sister Cole sitting in her chair just staring at me not knowing what to do hahahaha. Good times. But I remember when we finally got to teach him that night, I was able to say my part and it was just such a great lesson. He was also the last person I taught in the area and I remember my last lesson with him I just cried and told him how I wanted him to be baptized so badly. I've been able to see him here and there at the VC because he still goes there for lessons and everytime I saw him, I would remind him of how much time I have on my mission and that he HAD to get baptized before I left. Welp, it's all coming true! I hope he sticks with it...it sounded pretty legit from Sister Cole and some of the other missionaries. Ahhhhh!!! I'm so happy for him!
Yesterday was amazing! Seriously, Heavenly Father blesses Sister Mellor and I SO much once we start our exchanges. We had our first ones on Friday and apparently they had an amazing day in our area. Us on the other hand, the sisters only had 10 miles left on their car and it was the last day of the month haha so we walked....all...day...long....and it was stinkin hot! But, we contacted 28 people so it was way good. But yesterday we were able to set two baptismal dates for the 23rd!! I know, same day as Edvin but we are planning on having ours at 3pm so that we have time to get to Edvin's. The other elders in our ward are also having one on the 23rd as well. Woohoo! Lots of baptisms that day. Her name is Carmen and her daughter is Cynthia. She turns 9 on June 18th so it works out perfectly. Carmen was a referral from the english elders and our first lesson with her was when Sister Rico was with us and where she just bore her testimony the entire time and invited her to church haha. It was so good. She's come to church two times in a row and has loved it both times. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and she had a 2 year old daughter that died drowning. When we were talking about the spirit world, she told us how after her daughter died, she had a dream where she told her that she was okay and in a safe place and was happy. We told her that it's because she was perfect! That although she wasn't baptized yet, that she was under the age of accountability and that she would be able to live with God in the Celesital Kingdom one day. We invited them both for the 23rd and they both said yes instantly. She asked that since she's already been baptized in the Catholic church if she can be baptized again. I then told her that I too was baptized when I was a baby but that because it wasn't done by someone holding the proper authority of God, that it wasn't valid in God's eyes and it wouldn't help me return back to him. I told her that my parents did it out of their best intentions, because they knew baptism was important but God needs us to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood, just like Jesus Christ was baptized by only John the Baptist, not by some random guy. She completely understood and was so happy that she was finally going to be baptized the right way, the way that God wants us to be baptized! She has a son named Jose who is 7 and turns 8 in December. He is such a charmer haha! We came in and he brought each of us a plate of cut up carrots. We were confused, until he came back and brought us each a cup of water haha! When we did the kneeling prayer, he gave each of us a pillow so we could kneel on it. Oh my gosh, such a heartbreaker haha! I love this family!
I hit my 5 year mark on Saturday and the whole day I just thought about all of the blessings I've been able to receive in my life. As missionaries, we testify to people that the gospel will change their life forever, that it will help them to make changes in their lives to bring themselves closer to the Savior's teaching. It's something I promise often because I know it to be true but on Saturday, as I was able to think about that day, June 1st 2008, never would I thought that 5 years from then I would be HERE! In LA! On a MISSION! Never! It was something I always wanted to do but...I wouldn't believe it if someone would of told me where I would be in 5 years. I thought about the trials and challenges that I've had in those 5 years as well. I thought about how grateful I am for the missionaries who never gave up on my family and I. I thought about my Young Women leaders, members in my home ward and stake, my bishops I've had at home and at school, and I am so, so grateful for all of you. You have all each played a significant role in my conversion, whether you realize it or not. The gospel truly changes lives, and mine is one of them! My baptism was just one of the most perfect days of my life and I know that it was also the best decision I could of ever made. People, the church is true! God still talks to us today, one being through a prophet of God named Thomas S. Monson. We have the Book of Mormon which is another testament of Jesus Christ that helps us to know about the perfect plan that God has for us. Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ. If you don't believe me, go pray about it. My words can't convince you, only the feelings of the Holy Ghost can do the converting part. I can promise each and every single one of you that our Heavenly Father knows and love each of you so much! I know that because there have been times on my mission where I would doubt Him. I would doubt that He even knew me. But time after time I am always reminded, in a loving way, that I am His daughter. That He loves me so much. That He sent me down to Earth because He loves me and He wants me to gain my own experiences in life. He wants me to use my agency and choose whether or not I want to go back home to Him. He has restored the true church of Jesus Christ once again on the Earth through the prophet Joseph Smith to provide the way for me to gain eternal life with Him.
I want to invite each of you, who may be struggling with a challenge in your life, to actually get on your knees and pray to your Heavenly Father. Tell Him how you feel! He already knows, but He is waiting for YOU to use your faith to turn to Him and know that He can help you. The way He is able to do that is through our savior, Jesus Christ. I love you all so much! I love my mission more then anything. I know I say it every time but I literally CANNOT imagine my life without my mission. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have the opportunity to not only serve the Lord, but to be able to wear His name on my badge every single day. Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Baeza

1. oceannnnnnnnnn!
2. me and diana! love my biebs!!!

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