Monday, June 18, 2012


Alright fun facts as of late:

- i forgot to mention that last PDay our car got broken in to.  Yeah...i knoww...LAME.  We went out to leave for the day and were greeted by our entire driver side window shattered with glass everywhere.  All they took was the GPS we were borrowing from the bike elders.  It was hidden under the seat, too. 
- we went to the Pt. Defiance Zoo in Tacoma.  Super swanky zoo, but real little.  It's got nothing on the SD Zoo.
-the bishop for one of the wards i cover looks and talks like Ben from LOST. yikes!
- I finished the Book of Mormon this week making it the 4th time I've completed it on the mission.
- I saw this girl from one of my wards from BYUI at a stake RS activity/
- I met a kid from our ward that served around John Gove in Jersey.
- I found out there is a place called Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
- there is a large population of bearded ladies in WA state.  Lack of sunshine, perhaps?
- Shauna!! my new mission buddy Elder Trevin Keeney knows your fam!  haha he is in your home ward and collected fast offering from you guys as a deacon.  Small world.

- intro to dinner conversation we had this week:
Lady: "So where are you from?"
me: California
Lady: So where you born here?
me: am from California.
Lady: No, where you born in the states?
me: as in the...United...states....question mark.....
Lady: Yeah.
me: did my accent give it away?
Lady: I don't do well with accents
me: good thing I don't have one.
Lady:...I'm confused.....
me: yeah.......

Haha man how are you guys?? Things are great here in Laceytown.  So much going on!  We had a baptism on FRiday for a 16 yr old boy named Dayton.  He is way cool. Has long shaggy hair and is way tall.  It was an amazing race worthy task to try to find a baptismal jumpsuit that fit someone that wears a 28x34 pant.  But we found one!  His parents didn't come and support him, but they at least let him get baptized.  His best friend, Gabe, got to baptize him and it was soooo neat.  Dayton told us that he always loved being at Gabe's house and loved the way that he always feels when he goes there.  It was a refuge for him and his kind of tense family life at his house.  He was confirmed yesterday during Sacrament meeting and showed up looking sharp in his white shirt and tie.  He was interviewed for the priesthood yesterday after church and a few hours later that evening he texted us and said that words cannot describe the feelings of happiness that he feels and that he owes us big time.  I bet he'll serve a mission one day.

I hestitate including this into his story.  But...I feel like I should. So Dayton's baptism like I said was on a Friday.  The following day was this giant stake-wide Relief Society activity that has been publicized forever.  So when we were planning to have the baptism about a week before it actually happened we ran into some conflict with the stake RS president.  Long story short:  She did not want missionaries in the building. On the premises.  Basically in the city limits.  She didn't want anything impeding the setup of her activity and that a baptism would completely get in the way.  We explained to her that baptisms and funerals trump all other uses of the building regardless if the rooms where already scheduled to be used for something else.  She wasn't having it.  We had already announced it in church and people were going to be coming from all over town to come to this.  She tried to make us move it to Olympia's bldg which is like 25 min away downtown.  Nope, not happening.  We told her to talk to the stake president and the story continues on to the most heated battle and war of words I have ever been involved with.  We were literally fighting tooth and nail up until 6:45 over this baptism that was happening at 7pm.  It made me realize that some people don't see us for who we really are.  Representatives of Jesus Christ.  Called on the earth to perform His work and labors by His authority.  No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.  But conversely speaking, hallowed hands can.  Luckily, at the last minute we were still able to have our baptism, Dayton had no idea it almost wasn't going to happen and I gained a further witness that the Devil will stop at nothing to stand in the way of righteousness.  I am not just some silly girl in a skirt like this lady was talking to us like, but "I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ the Son of God.  I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life." (3 Nephi 5:13) MIRACLE.

Another miracle was the baptism of Marco!!!! Marco is the most special guy.  We met him tracting in Lakewood and referred him to the spanish elders and he got baptized this past week.  Can you believe that?? I looked back on the last planner and the amount of time since we first met him to his baptism was almost 1 month to the day.  The story goes like this.  We were running late to go knocking. Our dinner appmt had run long and we hadn't planned a place to go finding.  We were driving around heading towards this one part of town and I immediately felt like we needed to stop at this one apt complex at this particular bldg.  We had just knocked it the week before so Chronister was a little hestitant but humored my prompting and we proceeded to knock it.  It was a 3 story building and I remember that we knocked all but the last door on the last floor because we had to leave the first time we were there to go to an appmt or something.  So I just had this feeling like we needed to go back and knock just that one door.  We marched straight to the top and knocked.  Marco opened the door and greeted us a little hesitantly but very polite and nice.  We talked to him very briefly and I shared a scripture with him.  He speaks very good english but with a pretty thick spanish accent.  He is really fair skinned which kinda threw me off when that thick spanish accent came out.  We called the spanish elders right then and there and had them talk to him.  They ended up setting up a time and I never really heard much more than that.

So when I got the text from Lakewood that Marco was getting baptized I was thrilled!!! I called President and he let me go!  The entire service was in Spanish and was one of the coolest baptisms and experiences I have ever experienced and witnessed on my mission.  I talked to Marco after the baptism and with tears in his big brown eyes he thanked me for knocking on his door.  He told me that he was taking a nap after a long day at work.  He lives alone and is enlisted in the ARMY, far away from his family in Mexico.  He heard the knock on the door and figured it was a salesman and that he wasn't interested in buying in whatever this person was probably selling.  He tried to go back to sleep but something told him to get up. So he went to the door and looked through the peep hole.  He saw our name tags and wanted to know who we were.  Looking back from that moment to his baptism he said the feeling that he got to get out of bed and talk to us was the whisperings of the Holy Ghost guiding him to happiness and peace that he was looking for.  I asked him if he ever thought he would be baptized into the church when we first met him and he said he hadn't ever let the thought cross his mind.  He was confirmed fontside at his baptism as he was leaving for an assignment the next day.  Armed with the companionship of the Spirit, he said he is ready to take on whatever battle, whether physical or spiritual that he will face in life. 

This is His work.  This is the business of saving souls.  This is the way to eternal life.

Love y'all,
Sister Baylon

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Man I have gotten outta shape typing on the computer.  Luckily, I have gotten more in shape physically thanks to insanity.  This month on the 21st will be the first mission "Park Day" where everyone will park their cars and not drive.  The mission needs to really cut back on miles.  So that means either walk, ride your bike, or get rides from members.  I'm saving up to get a skateboard.  It's gonna be the new way I get around on park days.

fun facts as of late:

- I realized that it's never too late to try something new or develop talents you've always wanted.  Hence, I am planning on getting a skateboard.
- we live downwind of a mushroom factory.  Smells like dung and shrooms and nasty butt.
- despite our really plush apartment, our shower head is the worst in the mission, I swear. There is honestly more water pressure in a squirt gun. So it takes us like 30 min to shower.  It's a joke.
- I learned how to properly sew a button and hem stuff  from at this Relief Society activity
- At that same activity I also learned some self-defense skills.  The guy that taught the class is a "green beret" which I found out is pretty legit.  He told me I have good kicks. Years and years of soccer, baby.
- my college mentor, Brother Hochstrasser aka Bro H is from Tacoma and has family all over the mission.  His nephew and his family are in one of our wards here in Lacey
- I received a stellar package in the mail from the one and only Brianne Flint Semons.  I wrote you a letter and mailed it today!

Can I just tell you guys that I am the happiest person on planet earth??!!???!! I am seriously the happiest I have ever been in my life.  I just don't know how to put words to how I feel.  I feel like things are so simple and nothing can get me down because of my knowledge and testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I find joy in just about everything, even the bad stuff.  I feel hopeful and positive about the future.  I have real self-confidence.  I have real love for other people.  I feel like I have sluffed off an exterior shell bit by bit over the past couple months and now I am the person I have always wanted to be.  Still the same me in some ways just a lot better version.  And somethings about me are totally different.  When you learn and apply the basic priniciples of the gospel, i feel like the fog and confusion that can cloud your heart and your mind just kinds of disappates.  There are some scriptures I believe in 3 Nephi that talks about Nephi and Lehi shining with brilliant countenances like angels from heaven despite them standing in the midst of this fire that their enemies are trying to burn them with.  Not only were they not burned, but they stood as a literal glowing example to the opposers of righteousness. 

I thought of that story and likened it to myself and the work that I do.  The fires of life that try to burn us only can if we allow them to.  The safety and protection from these figurative flames comes from putting our faith, trust, and confidence in Jesus Christ.  The joy and fulfillment that comes from doing so, from knowing who you are, from knowing what your purpose is, and knowing that things will always work out if you rely on the Lord, is what allows your countenance to shine.  People can feel the love of the Savior when we love them first.  The feelings that come just fill you up from the inside out until you are just overflowing.  That's how I feel right now.  I know that the remainder of my mission won't always be cloud 9 but they can atleast be cloud 8.97 if I face the future with faith and hope in Christ's charity.  His selfless sacrifice for my sins.  For yours.

Yesterday before I left the apt for church, I knelt and offered a quick prayer petitioning the Lord to help me try a little harder to be a little better.  My prayer was answered verbatum when the high council speaker used those exact words as he began his talk.  Here are some notes from his talk that I jotted down:

- go out and TRY.
- A higher calling takes higher effort.
- resistance is good for defense, essential for growth.
- it takes 10,000 hrs to become an expert at something (I did the math and my mission is approx 13,140 hrs.)
- our thoughts are the blueprint of what we'll become.
- If we are comfortable, we are not progressing.
- constantly challenge ourselves.
- to change yourself, change your routine.
- think, speak, act spiritually.
-become more than we are.
- To trust HIM, we must know HIM.
- there must always be opposition.
-It is NEVER too late to change.

I can testify to the truth to all these little snippets.  To these flecks of gold that this man spoke of.  We will become better and be changed like a sunrise and not a flicker of a light switch.  Embrace and cherish the trials and hardships.  God must want to make you that much more polished.

"My strength is od the strength of ten, because my heart is pure."

Love you guys,
Sister Baylon

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cool things that happened this week:
-went to the temple.  This could be its own email in and of itself.  So I will just say that it was incredible.  The answers and revelation and peace that I felt at the temple have propelled me to be the most happy and excited and hopeful about my mission and life in general than I have ever felt..ever.
- I ate dinner at Celeste Kennard's sisters house!  When we realized that connection her husband called Celeste on the phone while we were at the table eating and I got to talk to her for a couple minutes
- found 3 secret trailer parks.  Tracting treasures lie in waiting for us.
- we have 3 investigators on date ofr baptism
-i chopped wood for the first time in my life.  The axe was kinda scary so I resorted to just stacking the wood that the elders chopped.  Following the wood chopping in the pouring rain, we got to hold cute bunnies at the bunny farm that we chopped the wood at.
- hit my year mark and burned a sign that said "TRUNKYYYY"
- a girl that was in one of my ward's up at BYUI had us over for dinner.  She is married with two kids.  Man. Weird.
I testify that God is in the details of our lives.  When I was sitting in the celestial room in the temple among all of my mission friends that I love, I looked down and stared at the upholstery on the chair I was sitting in.  From far away the chair seemed to glimmer subtly.  This is because there were little flecks of gold that were in the thread of the fabric.  The thoughts came to my mind as I sat in that Holy Place that my mission has had countless flecks of gold.  Lessons learned, experiences had, trials endured, heartaches felt, miracles witnessed, prayers answered, lives changed.  I had this fear going into the temple that my life hadn't really changed and was nervous that the Lord would be displeased with my mission.  As I traced the thread with my finger the Spirit whispered to me that maybe all of these things that have happened to me or that I have gone through have on their own seemed insignificant at the time or if they were significant I had forgotten about them.  But collectively looking back, they all add up together to make for a glorious gold nugget.  That I hadn't realized the changes that I have experienced, because I have been well...experiencing them.  To others maybe they will seem more obvious but for me they have come gradually over time and often at a hefty price.  But I feel relief, comfort, hope, and straight up joy knowing that the Lord is proud of me and the mission that I have served thus far.  And that He is willing to support me and endow me with power for the remainder of my mission so long as I am worthy of it.  If God be for us, who can be against us?
I feel like I am in the prime of my life.  So much joy to be had.  I don't know how I will fare when I am home and not surrounded with my mission peers.  I have a slight fear that no one will be able to relate to me and share the joy that I feel, because they won't know what it was like to get to this point. I love my mission so much and want to squeeze every possible ounce of what it has to offer before I come home. Missions are real life.  I'm grateful for the time that I have had to walk through fire because  now I feel like I am stronger and more refined.  I have become a northwesterner. Remember to always find the silver lining.  This is a beautiful life.
Sister Baylon