Saturday, March 17, 2012

So sisters are staying in Steilacoom after all!  So my address is
135 View Rd. Apt A
Steilacoom, WA 98388
Auntie Val, so I lived on Magnuson CT. in Bremerton which is right off of Magnuson Way.  Haha that is so crazy that I would end up living right where you did just like 30 yrs later.
Another hard, hard week.  In any and every way that a week in the life of a missionary could be hard.  I got sick again.  Yep, no fun.  At about 2:30am this past Wednesday morning I woke up and just felt really naseaus.  I laid in bed feeling so so sick.  Finally about 40 min later I ran to the bathroom and threw up.  Ugh. It is the worst feeling ever.  I woke up when the alarm went off at 6:30 and drank some water.  Threw up again.  Went back to bed.  Woke up at 10:30am to throw some clothes on and drag myself to district meeting, thinking I could make it.  The entire meeting I wanted to just lay down and die.  The chills, I was sweating, my head was spinning, just nasty feeling.  I went home at 1pm and slept until 6pm. Woke up, drank ginger ale and ate a popsicle that our WML was nice enough to drop off for me and then went back to sleep until 9:30pm.  Woke up took a shower and then passed out till 10am the next day.  So that was what my week looked like.  A nasty, sick mess.  Friday morning, my comp woke up to the same thing.  Won't go into details with hers or I'll get sick just thinking about it.  We went over to the Agor family's house so that I could get a blessing.  It was such a neat experience.  One of the newest converts in the family, Uncle Joe, was just recently ordained to the office of an Elder so he got to give me the first blessing he has ever given in his life.  So special!  They are just the greatest family.  I think just spending time and seeing their cute smiling faces healed my aching body and heavy heart.
I don't want to dive too deep in the details, but I have a tough companion.  I had a heard about her from Sister Holman, my favorite companion, that my companion was her least favorite companion.  I didn't want to prejudge or make unfair assumptions that she was one way or not this way but to find out for myself.  Well, it didn't take long for me to realize that the Lord had presented me with a 6 week opportunity to learn the art of patience, seek to develop more humility, speak kinder words, and pray and fast for more charity.  The pure love of Christ.  To really see my companion and others the way that Christ sees them.  I really believe that the way we treat others, the level of love we can show to them, is a direction reflection of our conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The scriptures teach us that without charity we are nothing.  I am working on it.
So needless to say, everything seemed to be be magnified to be 10,000 times harder than it probably was or at least that much harder than I ever wanted it to be.  But missions are not for the comfortable.  The gospel is not for the comfortable.  Life is not for the comfortable.  It is through the uncomfortable, stretching, trying times that we can become more like the Savior.  To look for the lessons to be learned, the blessings to be earned, and the faith to be built when presented with trials or adverse times.  Try to make stumbling blocks into stepping stones.  There is a great quote by Elder Marvin J. Ashton that says:
"Adaptibility cushions the impact of change or disappointment.  Love can be a great shock absorber as we adjust in trials and tragedy."
So I have to keep going.  No sense in turning back or standing still.  If I quit now, I honestly believe I would quit anything else that became difficult or overwhelming for the rest of my life.  Yes, I would be denying so many people the opportunity to be served and taught the gospel, but ultimately I am robbing myself and God of the opportunity and time to become what He has always envisioned me to become.  Elder Rex D. Pinegar said that " To continue means more than to endure or to tolerate something.  It means to maintain a steady course of action with unshaken faith in Christ.  It means to be a true follower of Christ."
We did have a couple of great miracles this week though.  We had a baptism!  It truly was a MIRACLE.  So it was for a 15yr old girl named, Quinn. The sisters had tracted into her around Christmas time.  Quinn lives with her aunt and grandma and both are very opposed to the church.  Somehow before the door was shut on them they were able to give her grandma a pass along card.  Quinn found the card and went to the website.  She ended up just pouring over every webpage, paragraph and video on the site, basically teaching herself about everything about the church that she could find.  Then she referred herself back to the missionaries!  Most kids her age just use the internet to watch stupid YouTube videos or order things online but she felt the spirit and called the number to get in touch with the missionaries.  Her grandma and Aunt are not supportive.  They refuse to even step foot into the church.  It's a miracle that her aunt will even drop her off sometimes for lessons at the church after school, otherwise she just walks. They wouldn't even come to her baptism yesterday.  Quinn is such an example of Zion's youth in the latter-days arising to the occassion.  Wow.  She is amazing!  We had a really great turn out to her baptism.  Turns out she has a family friend that is a member of the church and they drove up like 3 hrs from Vancouver, WA to baptize her.  And...we even got to confirm her fontside.  So cool. 
Another miracle/food story is that I ate a fish eye ball and lived to tell about it.  Yes, I ate the once working eye ball of a fish.  Disgusting.  So we went over to FHE jam with with Stowers family on Monday night and Bro. Stowers was cooking up all this Samoan food.  And you all know how I feel about Samoan food.  He said that I was going to be initiated that night into the Stowers family by eating something. I was like "Wait, I'm already in.  My Grandpa is Bishop Hino!"  Hahah he laughed but then said that all the sisters before me have done it and that I am no exception. Dang it.  Sister Mills (my trainer) ate an oyster and then barfed it up in the sink.  Sis Welch (my last comp) ate raw fish.  So of course, I would get the nastiest thing of them all.  When I got there I saw this giant fish head in plastic wrap sitting on the table.  Nastyyyy.  So it shouldn't have suprised me that they were going to cook that thing up and that I would be taking part in it.  He stabbed the eye with a fork and gauged it out. (Hahah I realized how nasty of an email this probably has been to read!) and handed it to me.  His girls videoed it so they are going to try to send it to you, Mom.  I figured, I refused to eat all the rest of that food that they offered me so I might as well eat an eye ball.  Plus, it's tradition.  And when else am I going to do that.  Never.  So what the heck.  Bottoms up.  I stuck a greyish/purplish/brownish eye the size of a gumball into my mouth and chewed it up as fast as i could.  Plugged my nose of course.  All the little stringy bits that attached it to the socket wouldn't go down so I spit them out on a paper towel.  Hahah SO NASTY.  But now I am their hero and they said no sister has ever done it that willingly and that fast and NOT thrown up.  So I am the champion of the nasty food. 
One last quick story.  So my investigator Mark from Btown had a small dish of coins that he had been collecting for the longest time to save up to buy a bus ticket to visit his elderly mom in Seattle.  We're talking months to scrounge up 8 bucks.  Well, he lives in a halfway home and one of his roommates was nice enough to break into his room and literally steal every last penny.  Right before I left Btown and was packing up, I was about to pack my little drawstring pouch of quarters that I have to print out my emails I get each week.  The spirit told me to give them to Mark.  ugh, but I wanted them!  And it was going to be inconvenient the next time I wanted to print something...blah,blah, blah.  The natural man.  But I gave them to Mark and he was so happy!  It would have taken him like 6 more months to save up what I gave him in 6 seconds. So, Mom...send me more quarters.  I'll be sure to share them when needed.
Hope this week has been a good one for everybody.  One more quote to top us off: "We will end up either choosing Christ's manner of living or His manner of suffering."  So true.  Love you guys.
Sis Baylon

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