Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Faithful instead of fearful


Oh man. What a week.

First of all...yesterday Taylor was....BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhh!! Haha I was laughing reading mom's email about not rushing Taylor into anything and that conversion takes time.  Not that that is a laughable matter, because it's not, but it was funny or I guess more ironic that when I was reading that paragraph he has already been a confirmed member of the church for almost 24 hours.  Just FYI...in the WA-TAC we invite people to be baptized after the first lesson.  Hard and fast rule.  We invite people to be baptized on every church tour.  We even invite people to be baptized at the door.  We are baptism focused missionaries.  Not baptism number hungry missionaries.  But ones that understand our roles and do everything we can to bring people to the Gospel.

So rewind the clock to yesterday morning.  We had a mission wide fast for our 200 baptisms for the month of October goal.  I fasted for that and I also fasted for Taylor.  The adversary as you all know works so hard the last days, hours, minutes, and seconds to keep people from going through with their baptisms.  Taylor had shown up to church yesterday and seemed fine.  There were a few minutes between the time he arrived and the time that sac mtg started so we took him around and introduced him to people.  I later found out during the meeting that it really freaked him out that people I introduced him to that morning already knew his name before he even met him.  I told him that they were just excited and happy for his baptism.  He felt a lot of eyes on him even though there really weren't.  He has ADHD so he is kind of anxious/nervous in general.  He sat sandwiched between Sis Holman and I on the pew along with the senior couple missionaries and Brandon, our other investigator.  It was ward conference and the entire stake presidency was there along with several stake leadership people.  He couldn't figure out why everyone was "voting." I told him that the members of the ward were sustaining people to their callings in the church or basically showing their support of them and their callings.  Babies seemed to have been particularly noisy that day.  Lots of kids fussing.  I looked down to see Taylor's leg bouncing up and down.  His face looked drained of color and I thought I saw him wipe some tears from his eyes.  I passed him a note asking him if he was ok.  He said that he just felt really nervous.  I told him that it was ok to feel a little nervous, but that he shouldn't feel fearful because everyone is in support of him no matter what.  5 minutes later he jumps up and climbs over 4 people in our row to literally run to the bathroom with his hands over his mouth.  I asked Elder Finnegan to go in the bathroom and check on him if he didn't come back in a few minutes.  A few minutes went by so Elder Finnegan went to check on him.  Taylor came back about 5 minutes after that and said that he had thrown up and is going home.  Oh my goodness...

When you have an investigator go running out of sac mtg to go throw up because he is so nervous, you become nervous.  Elder Finnegan took him home even before the meeting was over.  Worry struck my mind.  I became filled with doubt.  I doubted my ability to calm his nerves.  I doubted my teaching.  I doubted that I had prepared him enough.  I doubted myself.  I doubted and became discouraged.  It seemed like Satan was working on me as much if not more than he was working on Taylor.  A rain cloud accumulated over my head and followed me around the rest of church.  I didn't even rejoice in the fact that our other investigator, Brandon, had come to church.  I was so distracted and distraught over Taylor.  Was this baptism going to happen?  Just as I thought "Well at least it hasn't been announced over the pulpit" the counselor conducting sac mtg announced the baptism over the pulpit.  Hm.  The look on my face as I discussed what had happened out in the halls after the meeting made it apparent that I was worried because a lady in the ward thought that maybe the baptism wasn't going to happen. 

I realized though as I was continuing my fast that day was that I was fearful instead of FAITH-FUL.  I was doubting not only in myself but I was doubting in God and what He could make happen.  We left the second ward we attend during the second hour so that we could check on Taylor.  Brother Hew-Len had noticed Taylor had run out and looked sick so he offered to come over and give him a blessing.  Taylor declined the blessing because he said that he was feeling a lot better.  I felt such a sense of relief.  I decided that right then and there the Lord was looking out for Taylor and for me as well.  So I decided that I needed to show my faith.  So we did our 5-7 at 3pm that day.  We did our full-time finding like we are asked to do when originally I thought that we should just skip it because we didn't have the time.  We faithfully went out finding, knowing that if we did all that we are asked we would be blessed.  And we were.  Not only did we find a potential investigator that agreed to come on a church tour, Taylor was ready and excited to be baptized.

The baptism couldn't have gone better.  Guess what?  I was the chorister.  Hahaha it was so scary!  I have never lead music IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.  But I practiced with the pianist like 5 min before everyone started arriving and it worked out ok.  We had such a good turn out.  About 30-40 members from the ward came out to support Taylor and be there to witness his baptism.  Sis Holman gave the 10min Restoration talk and our ward mission leader conducted the meeting.  The YM president and one of the YM gave the talks on Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  Elder Jenkins, our district leader, baptized him.  Taylor asked for him to baptize him because Elder Jenkins is from HI and Taylor felt connected to him in that way.  Even more so than the other boys that were his fellowship throughout the lessons.  It was the neatest thing to witness.  This was the first baptism that I saw from start to finish.  Meaning that I was there when we found him at the door, when we took him on a church tour, when we invited him to be baptized, when we taught him the lessons, when we reinvited him to be baptized, when we dropped by his door at night to just say a prayer with him or read a scripture with him if he had a bad day, to the time that he entered the waters of baptism to follow his Savior Jesus Christ, and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and receive gift of the Holy Ghost.  What an honor and a privilege.  A humbling and gratifying experience to be apart of the very start of someone's journey back to Heavenly Father. After the baptism there was awesome fellowshipping going on.  Sister Hew-Len and Sis Finnegan stepped up and made refreshments to encourage lingering and conversation after the service.  Worked like a charm.  Taylor's parents got to know so many people from the ward, many of which were in attendance at the baptism are also in their neighborhood.  Addison, Taylor's 13 yr old sister who usually never talks, surprisingly came and in a dress for that matter.  I asked two of the YW there to introduce themselves to her and they totally hit it off.  Instant BFF's.  Hahaha.  Now she is gonna start coming to mutual.  Score.  Basically we are hoping to bring his Dad and his girlfriend Christy and her two kids into the church so that this can be a family unit.  If they are baptized by December I could possibly see them sealed by the time I end my mission. 

The day started as a lowest low so that when it ended it ended on the highest high.  It was such a joyous experience.  I love bringing souls unto Christ.  Brandon, our other investigator is getting baptized on the 9th. Wahooo!!!

We met this guy named Tim when we were out finding this week.  I felt impressed to use the picture of Christ being baptized by John the Baptist at the door with him.  Did I ever tell you about how our zone started doing that?  It is an excellent, I think genius, finding tool that our own Silverdale zone started.  We basically bring a part of the church tour right to their door.  We asked Tim, a 41 yr old single navy man, if he had ever seen that picture before.  He said no. We taught him what was going on and the doctrine of baptism.  that Christ was baptized to "fulfill all righteousness" or to fulfill all of God's commandments and to set the perfect example for us to follow him.  He said that he had already been baptized in the Baptist church.  We taught him that Christ taught of two baptisms.  Baptism by water and baptism by fire.  We explained the Gift of the Holy Ghost and what it meant to receive it after baptism.  We told him that it sanctifies us.  Cleanses us.  It acts as a guide, comforter, protector, testifier of truth.  We asked him if that was something that he wanted.  He said he was at a loss for wards.  To make a sweet story even sweeter we invited him on a church tour to hear more about the message that we shared with him and he accepted.  It was scheduled for two days later and he was going to follow us down to the church after we met him at his apt.  Sure enough he was ready to go with jeys in hand when we knocked on his door first thing Saturday morning.  Ok....THIS NEVER HAPPENS.  But that day it did.  It was a miracle.  Mac, remember him?  My first baptism in the mission.  He came and was the fellowship on the tour.  Next thing you know it we invite him to baptism and he accepts instantly.  We ask him why and he said because I want the peace that you told me about at my door two days ago.  I suddenly felt prompted to relate an analogy of the baptism by fire through the Holy Ghost again to him.  Even though we had already told him and even though he had already accepted a baptismal date.  I said, Tim, I don't know anything about welding but I would imagine that the baptism by fire works like a welder.  It puts the once hard, firm, immovable metal through an intense heat.  Making it pliable.  The heat causes there to be a glow, a sheen to the metal.  It becomes pure.  New almost.  That is what the Holy Ghost does to us.  It helps shape our lives for the better.  Makes us glow.  Shine.  And feel new.  He stared at me.  "Why did you give that explanation?" he asked.  "I don't know," I said.  It just seemed to make sense that way in my head as something you would relate to.  Turns out he is a welder in teh navy.  WOW.  Talk about inspiration from the Holy Ghost.  That totally helped seal the deal and he is getting baptized on Oct 16th!!  Miracles in Silverdale.

Welll on a different note my companion is the BEST.  I love her.  We get along so well!!! Not even get along but we genuinely have so much fun together.  We laugh all day everyday.  When you can have fun with your comp, the work doesn't feel like work.  It is so awesome.  I am giving her more opportunity to take the lead in teaching situations of not spoon-feeding her as much with things but really helping her gain her footing and style as a missionary.  She is reserved but not.  She has opened up a lot more because she has become totally comfortable with me now.  She just needs to get to know the ward a little more and we will be golden.  She is doing great!! Couldn't ask for a better greenie.  I love it.

The luau was a success by the way.  We had abou 350 people there!!! Lots of nonmembers and less actives came out for it.  Sadly I didn't dance the hukilau.  My comp never learned it and I didn't want to do it without her.  I regret it though.  Oh well.  I recorded it though.

Well we are working hard and seeing miracles.  I have the life.  Being a missionary is the best.

Love you,
Sis Baylon

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work!

Hello everyone!

This was a stellar week.  And a wet and cold one at that.  But as far as missionary work it was a great week.  My greenie, Sis Holman, and I worked really hard and our efforts paid off.  She is a trooper.  We were asked by Pres Weaver to do seven 5to7's a week when he got to the mission.  Tracting seven days a week is tough stuff.  Even just logistically and schedule wise.  We have two wards we attend on Sundays so we are in church and meetings from 8am to 4-4:30 pm every sunday.  So to tract directly after church takes a lot out of us.  We are tired and starving.  But I knew that whatever we did our first week of the transfer, her first week of her mission, would set the precedent for all of the folowing weeks and transfers for the rest of both mine and her missions.  Yes, its hard.  But just like a lot of other things I am asked to do are hard, I am obedient anyway.  So the same applied to seven 5-7's.  I never accomplished that with Sis Mills.  I guess we didn't have enough faith to.  In a talk titled "Desire" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in this last General Conference he said the following: "Our desires dictate our thoughts and our thoughts dictate our actions."  And then from that point on I believe that our actions shape our habits and our habits shape our character.  Desire is relative to our faith.  Bottom line: Greenie Faith is a force to be reckoned with.

So we didn't have any nasty meals this week.  The Hew-lens, the ones from HI, are our new best friends. I called them up and asked if they could feed us when a dinner appt fell through.  Brother Hew-len in his best pigeon english said, "Shuuuurre, come ova!!"  We had stew, rice, some macaroni type salad in it with Krab, cantelope and Tillamook ice cream.  They sent us home with a container of Butter Mochi or as they call it "Buttamochee."  We go over there for shave ice too.  They are the best family!  Our whole meal calendar is booked for September.  The members love feeding us. 

Sis Holman and I set up 6 church tours this week!!! Well, 3 for this past week and 3 for this next week.  This past week only one of them went through and that was Taylor's parents.  Oh my goodness. Talk about a spiritual experience.  First of all, they both showed up.  Showing up is a feat in and of itself.  I don't know how many times I've waited by the church doors like a puppy at a window waiting for people to arrive for a church tour.  Only to get dogged.  Pun intended.  But anyway, they came!  So in everything we do and everytime we teach in the WA-TAC we make sure there is fellowship there.  Someone from the ward that is an instant friend or connection in their newly forming gospel network.  We were needing fellowship for this church tour and we thought of Sis Thompson who happens to live on the next street over from them.  We called her an hour before the tour and asked her to come.  She said she picks her kids up from the bus at 3:45 so 4:00 would be cutting it close.  Then she was like "You know what...I'll just pick them up and we can go to the church straight from the bus stop."  AMAZINGGG!!! Member missionary in action!!  So she was great fellowship on the tour.  Christy knew her already from a lesson that she had come for and the Spirit was just there.  We taught and discussed a lot about the Savior and his Atonement when we were all sitting in the chapel.  The chapel, I'm telling you is the conduit for the Spirit to just illuminate a person.  Christy at one point started crying.  Long story short not only are they both allowing Taylor to get baptized but Christy is planning on bringing the entire family to church.  MIRACLE.

So two days later on Thursday we go over to Taylor's house to teach Lesson 3: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We brought the Finnegans as fellowship because Elder Finnegan is retired Air Force and Taylor eventually wants to join the airforce.  The lesson went great.  Spirit was there.  Christy was sitting in and totally getting in to it.  Dang it, we should have put her on date to be baptized!! Still kicking myself about not.  Sister Finnegan bore great testimony about her conversion story in Scotland.  I asked Sis Holman before we went in to teach the lesson if she would be the one to recommit Taylor to Baptism.  She said that she would and she did!!  OH man the greatest feeling ever.  So much joy to see someone that you found at the door learn the Gospel one step at a time and to make a decision to follow the Savior's example and to be baptized.  So he is getting baptized on Sunday!!  So when Taylor didn't show up to church, nor did his family, yesterday we got a little worried.  We went over there yesterday evening after our dinner appt to see how he was doing.  There was a great deal of heaviness about him and his head was hanging low.  Its a long story but I got down to the root of it all and asked Taylor if he believed the Book of Mormon was true.  He said that he didn't know (AHHHHHH that is devasting to hear).  I asked him if he has been reading it everyday and if he has prayed about whether or not it is true.  He said that he hasn't been reading it lately and that he has not prayed about it being true.  So we had him read with us the challenge in Moroni 10:3-5 and extended the invitation to read about the BOM and then to ask God for himself if it was true and that if he did that, sincerely wanting to know, that God would reveal the truth to him by the power of the Holy Ghost.  So yeah...I have to have faith that this baptism will go through on Sunday.  We set up his appointment to get interviewed for baptism this Wednesday.  We are going to DPC. (Daily Positive Contact) Every day this week.

Oh man...ok. So this is crazy, awesome, stinky miracle.  Yes, a stinky miracle.  Like it literally stinks.  So we had an appt fall through, a church tour actually, and we went to the person's apt after they didn't show up.  They forgot and invited company over so we rescheduled for a different time.  So I decide that we should spend an hour tracting the rest of the apt complex.  Boom, the first door we knock.  So we are walking up to this door and on the side of the apt building we see a bunch of stuffed animals and toys in the window.  Perfect they have kids.  Families = the dream of every missionary.  Knock on the door.  We hear screaming of small children inside.  The door flies open.  "Seriously?  Seriously right now?  Mormon missionaries.  You have got to be kidding me right now."  That was the comment that we were greeted with at the door by a woman named Maggie.  We hadn't even said a word at that point.  She is standing there hair a mess.  Bra straps hanging out.  Baby slung on her hip with its mouth covered in dried spaghetti-O's.  Bags under her eyes.  She just looked like....a hot mess.  No sooner than we could say another word were we greeted by three other children.  All 5 yrs old and under.  Two of which have severe autism.  Wow.  She has a lot on her plate.  She said that everytime she is right on the verge of a breakdown.....she runs into missionaries.  Rather, missionaries run into her.  She said that she usually sends the missionaries away but today she wasn't going to.  A good 5 minutes had gone by of her telling us how "creepy" missionaries are for always popping up in her life ever since she was 16yrs old.  We didn't even give her our names, we just asked her if she needed any service.  She lets us in.  Oh myyy goodness.  Someone call the CPS.  No joke, she was like "I hesitated letting you in because you'll probably go call CPS on me."  Um...the smell of urine and fecal matter was ripe.  Yeah....at first I thought that it was just from the large floppy eared bunny that was hopping around on and off his "pee pad" that is typically found under elderly patients at hospitals.  The kitchen was an explosion of old food and dirty dishes.  It was disturbing.  But! We are missionaries.  We don't get grossed out by anything right! Wrong.  It was hard to stomach it.  She goes on to tell us the craziest stories and experiences she had throughout her life with the Mormon church and particularly the missionaries.  She said she typically really likes missionaries but some of them have been "crap-tastic."  By the way....she is EXTREMELY sarcastic, roots for team pessimism, is a convert to Judaism who attends Silverdale Baptist church where she likes to go "muffin muggin'" as she likes to call it.  Basically show up to their events, hear a little sermon, and get a free muffin or two afterward. HAHAHAHA my email will never quite capture the extent of crazy this lady is.  Crazy cool though.  Speaking of capture...when we went back the next day to give service in the form of helping her clean her apt I may or may not have scooped up a human turd ball.  Sorry for those of you with weak stomachs.  I had asked if she had a broom.  Nope.  Dustpan.  Nope.  She hands me a stack of papers.  A cell phone bill and a parent newsletter from her kids school to sweep in the kitchen.  Soon after I am handed my cleaning device I sweep a pile of junk from under the dishwasher.  Lo and behold I won the contest for whoever could get grossed out the fastest.  She basically asked us to take them on a church tour.  We scheduled it.  We waited.  They never came.  LAME!  Hopefully it was only because the brakes on their van went out.  Seriously though.  Their breaks were busted so we got them some C-Clamps from our ward mission leader so that they could fix it up and come on a church tour.  In the mission its called WEIT-ing.  Whatever It Takes.

I found this quote while studying in the chapter about Christlike Attributes in Preach My Gospel about Dilligence:

"I have often said that one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work!  If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit, if he gets the spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy.  There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry.  Work, work, work- there is no satisfactory substitute. " President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Rest assured we are working hard in Silverdale.  I am trying to be the best missionary and the best trainer for my Greenie.  We are just loving the work and loving the people we are serving and that is why we are continuing to see miracles!

Love you all,

Sis Baylon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

''i am training!!!!!!"

Hi everyone,

So good to hear from you all this week.  Was that kind of read to open up the email I sent last week and read that I had a hard time coming up with things to say?  For some reason the spirit was confounding my mind.  My tongue was tied and I had no idea why.  We got back in to the car after I sent off my extremely brief email and I started crying.  I told my companion what happened and how confused and frustrated I was.  She said that the same exact thing happened to her!  We both felt like everything we were typing in our emails were pretty superficial just "we did this..and we did that..." kind of accounts of what happened in the week.  I told her that the last week of the transfer was proving really hard for me.  I was feeling like there was something big looming above me in the air.  An unseen pressure that was becoming increasingly heavier.  I felt really overwhelmed, but I didn't know why.  All of a sudden there were thoughts that filled my mind that I wasn't that great of a missionary.  That I didn't know enough.  That I didn't have the faith that I felt like I had.  It was the strangest experience.  All of these random thoughts just came pouring in my head at once.  It became too much.  Sister Mills suggested that I get a Priesthood blessing, but I said that I needed to go be by myself for a few minutes and offer up a prayer to my Heavenly Father for some much needed comfort and guidance.  We were in the church parking lot.  I walked to a patch of shaded grass and sister Mills waited for me in the car.  I offered a vocal prayer and poured out my heart.  Big, heavy tears fell down my cheeks and dotted my shirt.  After I had divulged my thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, and expressed my gratitude to Heavenly Father I felt an immediate sense of relief.  I felt excited again.  Hopeful.  Positive. Happy. Ready to get back out there and do the work.

So it did but at the same time didn't surprise me when President called later that week to tell me that I was going to be made a trainer.  Can you believe it?  I am TRAINING!!!!!! Hahah this greenie is training a greenie!  I am sitting next to her right now at the library here is Silverdale.  So transfers were yesterday (Monday) which is why I didn't email yesterday.  So for the next 6 weeks, my third transfer in the mission, I am still in Silverdale!! It is crazy that I have only been out for 2 transfers and I am already training.  There was a legendary sister in the Mission that a while back had trained her second transfer, so she was training when she should have been getting follow up trained.  So for me to be training during my third transfer is right up there with her in craziness. I did not expect or anticipate training this soon in my mission at all.  So much pressure. So much responsibility.  So  much expectation.  So much patience.  And that is all just for trainers in general, let alone a greenie trainer!! When President called to tell me that I was training I felt instantly so nervous.  Sister Mills in Silverdale was all I had ever known.  We worked so well together and worked so hard to build the area.  We had been through a lot together and we were seeing the fruits of our labors this past transfer and couldn't wait to experience more miracles in this next transfer.  Sadly, they transferred her up to fix up an area in Port Angeles.  We had gone on Labor Day up to Forks, WA to do the Twilight tour (I know....we are embarassing.) But it was so fun.  You all are jealous.  Anyway, you have to drive through Port Angeles on the way up.  Sister Mills was like "Man, this place is a hole!"  Haha be careful what you wish for. Boom. You'll get transferred there.

So yesterday when we were at the transfer meeting, they gathered all the trainers together in the hallway for the traditional "run in when your name is called to get your son or daughter (elder/sister greenie)."  So much excitement.  So much buzz.  I walk into the hallway and everyone was like "What??? you are training??? you just got here."  I seriously felt like I was in the locker room of a championship team.  People that had seen victory and loss together and were seasoned players.  Now they were gearing up for the fight of their lives and getting pumped before running out into the stadium.  And then the camera pans over to me.  The waterboy.  Who looks and feels a little (and by little I mean a lot) out of place.  Haha.  But it was cool though.  Everyone said I can do it.  President obviouslt thinks that I can.  And my Heavenly Father and Savior know that I can do it, too.  I was so nervous but when my name was called I ran in to get my greenie and was met by a 5'9 lanky hipster from Mesa, AZ.  Her name is Sister Taylor Holman.  Hahah she waaaaaay chill.  She wears bracelets and rings and feathers.  We like all the same music.  And she likes to shop!! Score.  Sister hated shopping.  It killed me that she would even put a 10 min cap on the time we spent in Target.  So it's great to know that now I could browse if I wanted to.  But training has been awesome so far.  It definitely puts you on the fast track to growing, stretching, and learning.  It runs on humility, diligence, and obedience.  Basically, if you are obedient and follow the Spirit at all times, it is the fool proof method for becoming my best self.  My best missionary self.  Best companion self.  Best disciple.  Best self all around.  I feel like I can see my area with all new eyes again.  The eyes that I came out into the field with.  That everyone is a possibility for a baptism and that miracles will happen.

The Sleeping Giant, that was Silverdale has been stirring and now I know it will stand on its feet this next transfer.  We have been working pretty regularly with Taylor, the 16 yr old boy from HI.  He was on-date to be baptized but because he is a minor he needs parental consent.  That is where the plot thickens.  His parents are supportive in the sense of giving him rides to church and allowing us to come over and teach him, but they are not too keen on the idea of him actually changing his lifestyle and making long-term commitments.  The progress that Taylor has made so quickly and his love for the Gospel was not anticipated on their end so I think it has definitely taken them by surprise.  It's frustrating to hear that they want him to "shop around" for other churches but I can see where they are coming from as parents.  So to help them better understand where we and Taylor is coming from, we are taking both of his parents on a church tour today later this afternoon.  To let them see where Taylor goes on Sundays and hear more about what he learns.  My companion  hasn't even been to our church building before, let alone given a church tour and we have appts until our appt with them.  So.....I have a large responsiblity in the success of the church tour.  It will be a make or break moment for Taylor.  No pressure...

Grody food story.  So....I have come to the conclusion that I do not really have a liking for Samoan food.  At least the food that I have tried.  I always feel awful when I am offered food of this time drinks that I just have a hard time swallowing.  We were at our recent converts house the other day.  The mom offers us something to drink.  Our options are water and pineapple juice.  I never have been a fan of liquid  calories so I just ask for water.  But she gives me pineapple just anyway cause my comp asked for it. Big mistake.  Umm it was thick and white and creamy with chunks of pineapple in it. Hmmm.  Not exactly sure what "carnation" is but I think it is sweetened condensed milk or something of the sort, because that is what the mom said was in the drink when I had asked.  Yeah I took like 2 maybe 3 sips at the max and the only liquid that was swallowed was whatever fit through the cracks of my teeth.  But a good food story....shave ice!!! Remember the Hew-lens?? The family that has been in HI almost my whole time in the mission?  Well they are back and we became instant friends.  They invited us over for dinner once but we already had an appt but they dropped off food at our house anyway.  Lau lau, Kalua pork, rice, poi, and guava cake.  Tasty.  Speaking of tasty our long anticipated ward luau is finally approaching.  Our ward council has been planning this for months and we have been inviting our investigators, less actives, and recent converts out to it.  We were even raising a pig just for roasting that Bro Elkington and Bro Hew-len were going to do.  But the pig must have heard the plan and started skipping meals or something cause its only 100 lbs and it needed to be 200lbs to feed all the people that will be attending.  But this is the best part: a professional hula group is coming and performing at it and guess what.....so are me and my comp!! Hahah sis Hew-len is part of the dance group and she is also in the Young Women presidency so she asked all the YW to participate and she got permission to teach us the Hukilau!!! Haha so I learned it the other day with Sis Mills and now Sis Holman will have to learn it.  Its way easy and fun so it should be way fun to perform it.

Have I told you much about my favorite companionship ever, the Finnegans?  They are the military relations senior couple missionaries for our stake and the Bremerton stake and truly have been a God send.  My first transfer in the area it was so hard to be able to get on base to reach all of our member, part member, and less active families on the base because we didn't have people that could take us.  They help us out so much and it has been the biggest joy to serve with them.  Sister Finnegan is a convert to the church.  She joined the church in the "old country" as she calls it.  In other words, her homeland of Scotland.  Elder Finnegan just retired as the MTC bookstore manager.  They are from Orem, UT and are my grandparents away from home out here in the mission.  Whenever we have a really rough or hard day we go over for a cookie or just to talk for a bit.  They are the greatest.  They have all married kids, grandchildren, and even some great grandchildren.    We had a satellite broadcast from SLC for our stake conference this past weekend with Elder Packer, Elder Holland, Elder Snow of the Seventy, and Sis Dalton from the General YW Presidency.  One interesting message that was shared in the adult session on Saturday night (which was not broadcasted) was how much the church needs senior couple missionaries.  We need you and we need you now.  You know who you are that I am talking about.  Just plan on going and everything will work out for your good so that you will be able to go.

Well, my time on the computer is running out.  As always there is always so much to say and not enough time to say it.  I am working hard and praying for miracles.  I have come to realize the power and importance of having the Spirit with you at all times and in all things and in all places.  If there is anything in your life that is keeping the spirit from dwelling within you, change it.  And change it now.  It is precious gift to be given the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  Let it be your guide.  Your comforter.  You protector.  Your friend.  There is a scripture my comp shared with me in John 14:16-18 about the Holy Ghost.  Look it up!

Love you all,
Sis Baylon

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

i know that my Redeemer lives

I don't know why, but this is the ONLY thing I could think of to write this week.  I have sat hear for nearly an hour and have deleted everything I have typed or not been able to type anything that felt right to say.  Except the words to this beautiful hymn. Play the song as you study the lyrics.

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

I know that my Redeemer lives. The question is...do YOU?

Sister Baylon