Tuesday, April 17, 2012

because it is His work

Hi Guys!

Man. Steila-awesome. I love my new comp, Sister Chronister aka "Chronic."  So nice to actually laugh again!  She is from Tuscon, AZ and his been out for 4.5 months.  We were both Silverdale born and bred both spending our first 3 transfers in the mission in Silverdale.  I am her first companion and first new area since her trainer.  And they were best buds so tough shoes to fill.  But we get along great.  She loves Nacho and we have the same taste in music and humor so I'm set.  Plus, she is ready to work hard and willing to sacrifice.  Our 4.5 months that we each spent in Silverdale were really different.  We both worked really hard, were exactly obedient, sacrificed a lot yet saw very different outcomes in measurable success. We're talking baptisms.  She went 15 weeks before she saw a baptism and I had a baptism my very first weekend in the mission.  Such stark differences.  It's not at all a reflection of their lack of trying, if anything, I'm sure they worked even harder than we did.  She is so humble and teachable and willing which is why I am sure Heavenly Father blessed her with such a miracle baptism her last transfer in the area. She is very wise and a good listener.  I respect her a lot. Her companion is dying at the end of this transfer, so my last comp, Jensen will kill her off.

Little triumphs this week:
We went running and worked out with the workout group this morning.
I successfully sewed my first skirt!
It was sunny and beautiful.
I got slurpee with my cool comp and took a nap during lunch on the grass at the park
I made oreo truffles for the Stowers and they ate them like grapes
A lessactive man that we invited to church actually came!  AND...in a suit on his power scooter!

This week was jampacked with miracles.  We had a baptism yesterday!  A 13 yr old boy named Perry entered the waters of baptism.  I was just thrilled.  I don't think I have mentioned him or his older brother Phillip, 17, too much.  These boys are ridiculously smart.  Like freak genius.  The very first time I met them was at their house for dinner and the topic of conversation (that they instigated) was metaphysics, protons, neutrons, and nuclear reactors.  Hmm. Ok. Not sure if I have ever facebook chatted about that with my friends at that age but they do.  At one point, they both were just looking beyond the mark when we were teaching them.  Their intellect was getting in the way of their willingness to recognize and accept the Spirit prompting them to accept our invitation to be baptized.  They felt like they needed to know more, know everything.  That they would have to be perfect after they were baptized and that they were going to be making a huge commitment and wanted to be more ready to be this entirely different person.  They said that their dad, who lives in another city, wasn't always on the baptism bandwagon so that was another hurdle that we had to clear.  But patience, help from on high, and a conference talk from Elder Russell M. Nelson helped us slam dunk a baptismal commitment from the younger brother, Perry and he was baptized yesterday afternoon.  Such an amazing change to watch his secular knowledge lead him to have a desire and increase in spiritual knowledge.  He realized that they both coincide and that they don't have to be conflicting but rather complimentary.  I didn't get a chance to talk to Phillip after the baptism was over but we are hoping that his heart was pricked by the Holy Ghost and that he will follow suit and be baptized.  Their dad even came to their baptism.  MIRACLE. That was really neat and amazing to see him come out and support his son.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families.

Tracting miracles.  This week has been really awesome weather wise.  Except today its raining.  Of course.  But just about every other day this week was really nice.  So for tracting we were so excited to just head out and walk the streets of Downtownn Old Steilacoom.  It was 6:55.  We were heading back towards our car and we shouted to a lady from across the street telling her who we were and what we do.  Her name is Teresa (not the gringo Ta-ree-sa but with a spanish pronunciation Teresa) and she is from El Salvador.  Probably in her 50's.  She is a nanny for a family that lives in a really nice part of town.  She normally doesn't get off work till later in the evening but that particular night she got off early.  I bet, just so that we could meet with her.  She spoke pretty good english but it was apparent she preferred to speak in Spanish when she realized that both Chronister and I could understand and communicate with her in her native tongue.  We talked with her about the Book of Mormon and she told us that she used to nanny in NY and that she had met with some missionaries there but it was a long time ago.  But she was interested and willing to meet with us so we set up an appointment to go back and teach her.  She actually gave us a working phone number and correct home address so we were thrilled to come back and give her un Libro de Mormon.  After teaching her in her apt, the spirit confirmed to us that even though we could understand her and speak with her, we needed to hand her off to the Lakewood spanish elders so that they could teach her more fluently and that she could become part of a spanish ward. 

Saturday evening we were out tracting and not finding much success.  People weren't that mean but they weren't that nice either.  Last door of the night we knock into a guy named Rudy.  Filipino.  Widower.  Depressed.  Lonely.  Hopeless.  And drunk as a sailor.  Well, he was pretty buzzed.  We didn't know that until we were in his house and he straight up told us.  When he opened the door he immediately asked us to come in.  I looked around to see if there was a lady in the house, as it is a mission rule for there always to be another person of the same gender if we are to enter a home.  I didn't see anyone but I felt like there was the presence of a woman so I boldly walked inside.  I could feel my companion hestiate behind me but followed me in.  Right away he wasted no time in telling us that his wife had passed away 2 years prior and that he lived alone and was very depressed.  Uh oh. My gut reaction was to leave as per the mission rule but for some reason the Spirit prompted me to stay and hear him out.  He offered us a seat and something to drink.  We sat down and he left the rooma and came back with the biggest bottle of whiskey I've ever seen.  He asked us to excuse him because he was going to pour himself another glass, as he had been drinking all day.  It was a miracle.  Everytime he would reach for the bottle, we would teach, testify, or ask him a question and he would forget all about the alcohol and be completely engrossed in what we were saying.  Whenever we would pause or there would be a break in the conversation he would go to reach for the drink and then one of us would say something that would bring him back. I honestly didn't realize this until my comp pointed it out after we had left.  Seeing how depressed he was I got kind of nervous that he might be a little crazy or be someone to do something crazy.  Like kill himself...or us.  I was scanning the room for a gun or something that would pose a threat to someone's life.  At one point I got really freaked out because he reached for something on his back hip like someone would a gun.  I had noticed it was a leather holster looking thing but it turned out it was just a carrier for his phone.  Phew...I should have laid off the cop shows before the mish.  As soon as we wrapped up our brief discussion with him a scheduled a return appointment and we realized that our time with him that night was over, the trance was broken so to speak and he poured himself the biggest glass and drank it down like it was apple juice.  Sad, sad, guy.

The elders quorum in the ward got us a sweet miracle referral.  So they did a less-active blitz a couple weeks ago and went to follow up with this huge list of people or families in the ward that no one had either met or seen before in hopes of meeting them and inviting them back out to church.  Well one of the people that they tried to meet no longer lived at the apt that they had listed for him, but the family that had moved in invited the brothers in for a quick message.  It was a single mom and her two kids.  Apparently we had tracted into them about a week or two before the ward members did and just the kids answered the door.  They said their mom was looking for a church for them to go to and were currently settling with a baptist church.  Mmmm hmmm child.  Baptist churches in Lakewood are bad news bears.  Not exactly on team Mormon missionary.  Their mom wasn't home but they said to come back.  We kind of forgot about them.  Welll....the mom ended up finding a random Book of Mormon in their apt laundry room (probably one that we had planted with one of their neighbors and they dumped it in there) and she snatched it up real quick.  Started leafing through it and was waiting to find someone that would come talk to her about it.  So COOL, eh??? So we are going to go back and follow up with them.  So rad.  Blacktism.....

"When you work for the Lord- the obstacles before you are never as great as the power behind you."  So true.  I cannot believe that my year mark is coming up on June 1, 2012.  Including this transfer, I only have 5 transfers left in the mission.  Ah! What is that even about.  I can't really imagine life outside the mission.  I find joy in fulfilling my purpose as a missionary and serving.  Some of my good, good mission friends are going home this transfer.  Sad day.  All the more reason to squeeze every last drop of every day I have left on my mission.  I have a testimony of this work that I am a part of.  It's the best work that there is.  Because it is His work.

Love you guys,
Sister Baylon

Scott- girls from the ward here are gonna scope your FB
Congrats to all the encinitas kids that are getting/just got married!!

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