Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jun 2
Before my mission I had read multiple times in the scriptures when it says ¨Feast upon the words of Christ¨. I always thought that meant to read your scriptures A LOT. Now I´m learning that it´s more than that. To feast is to keep eating until you just can´t get enough because it´s so good. I am now learning that it´s not just reading, but also having the hunger to keep reading until you can´t get enough.
I have to divide my study time each day so I don´t just read, and read, and read. Then when it is time to end, I don´t want to. I am ¨feasting upon the words of Christ¨ and I can´t get enough. I am learning so much more about Christ and it´s helping me become more like him.
One thing that I learned this past week is to have more confianza in the atonement. When I think of the atonement I think of how Christ suffered and paid for our afflictions and sins. Although, when I think of this I think of BIG trials of afflictions or GREAT sins. I don´t think of all the other little pains he suffered. I know though that when he suffered it was for ALL afflictions. Big or small.( Alma 7. 11-13)
He did this to help us in every affliction. Even the small little pains. He did it so that when we are suffering, he can have the experience and knowledge to relive us from these pains.
I am trying to put this in to practice everyday. For example, the other day it was pouring rain non-stop. I don´t do well when it´s cold, wet, and rainy outside. It´s a little affliction that I am trying to overcome every time I go out in the rain. Before I went out I prayed that I could have the strength not to let it effect me.
When I went out it was still cold, wet, and rainy. The weather didn´t stop for my prayer, but I know that my Savior felt the same pain once. I know that I wasn´t suffering that day, because I put my faith and trust in the atonement.
I know that he suffered for me. I know that the atonement is hard to understand, but with the scriptures, prayer, and applying it more in our lives it´s possible to understand. I don´t know the limit of pain Jesus Christ suffered in the garden of Gethsemane and I will probably never know. What I do know is that it´s REAL.
There are so many people who need the never ending power of the atonement in their lives. The more I understand the atonement and the price the savior paid because of the love he has for each and every one of us, the more love I have for others. I have a bigger desire to serve those around me and help them come unto Christ.
Love, Hermana Baca
This past week went by so fast! We have changes next week so I´ll see what happens. I´ve been in Artigas for 3 months now with Hermana Jordan. We also have a BIG conference this week. It will be with ALL the missionaries in Uruguay and we will have the chance to listen to Elder Robbins! I´m very excited!
This week we had divisions with Hermana Olson & Petein. I had one of the best experiences of my whole mission.
Hermana Olson and I were walking from lesson to lesson one night, but when it hit 7:00 there was no one in the streets, and no one was answering. I had the idea to try to contact one of the references we had, but as we stood at the door with no luck I started looking around at the street. One house I knew had all the lights on. It was the house of an ex bishop of the ward. I began telling Hermana Olson about him. I didn´t have a lot the desire to visit though, because I knew many others had tried before and this was someone who knows the gospel in and out.
As I went on Hermana Olson stopped me and asked ¨do you want to visit him?¨. I replied with ¨Ummmm.... the only thing is I don´t know what I can teach him to help¨ She replied to me ¨ Hermana maybe it´s the spirit that brought him to your mind¨ We then started for the house! It was clear to me that with all the lessons falling through that´s what where we needed to be. Hermana Olson then asked me as I nervously got closer to the house ¨What lesson?¨ I then replied, looking for assurance from her ¨ 1.1???¨ Prepared to teach lesson 1.1, a little nervous, and with the confidence that we had the spirit, we entered the house.
The Hermano was very nice! Both him and his wife were grateful that they were able to sing a hymn with us. With the presence of the spirit strong we started the lesson and right off the bat, he told us exactly what his fear was. What struck me most though was his testimony of eternal families. He opened up quickly and began talking about how special it was to be sealed in the temple with his family forever! And as I sat there listening and praying to know what HE needed in that moment everything I had studied THAT morning came to my mind.
I had him pull out his scriptures, wipe the dust off of them, and we turned to Alma 22. In the chapter the missionary, Aaron is guided by the spirit to go and teach a king. I explained to the Hermano that I KNEW that the spirit guided us to his house. I also told him that I´m sure Aaron had a little bit of fear to go and teach a king and just as Aaron had fear, I had fear to come to his house. I went on to explain that in the story the king started talking about what he desired most just as the Hermano talked about his desires to have an eternal family. As the spirit guided me, we went on to read the story.
We started in 16 and read the first part and just as Aaron said the king ¨ if you desire...¨ I asked the Hermano ¨ Hermano, what do you desire?¨ It took a while to get it out of him, but he finally said that more than anything he wanted an eternal family. After responding we followed in 16 and it says¨ if thou wiltbow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.¨
Then with the spirit pounding inside me I said ¨ Hermano if you desire to have an eternal family, what do you need to do?¨
He knew exactly what he needed to do. I was so nervous to go to his house, but I know every step was guided by the spirit. It´s INCREDIBLE how the spirit can lead and guide. I have an overwhelming amount of love for this family, because the spirit testified to me of the love our Heavenly Father has for them. I think the key to being a successful missionary or even being successful in life is listening to the spirit. And because it is the ¨key¨, it is ever so hard to do. The adversary will attack so we don´t listen. I know when this family came to my mind, it was the spirit. I also know when I thought ¨ No, I don´t know what to teach them¨ It was the adversary. I am so grateful that Hermana Olson helped me listen better.
The gospel is so true. I know there is POWER in the scriptures when we study them daily, I know that in them there are DAILY answers. I know that this IS the work of the Lord. I am so grateful that he has the confidence in me to do this work and help those around me come to know him better. I know that this gospel is true and I love it with all my heart.
Love, Hermana Baca

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May 6th

   We have changes this week! Hermana Jordan and I will be together again for another change! We will also have 8 missionaries in the ward for the first time in the history of Uruguay!!!! AND Hermana Jordan and I will be able to work all this time in one part of our area called Cerro. We get to walk this big giant hill everyday and I´m ok with that, because I am so excited to work up there! 

   We also had a baptism this weekend of one of our investigators we have been teaching this whole change. His name is Jose and it was amazing to see the Lords hand in the work as we prepared him for baptism.
   We found him one day when we were walking and started to talk to him in front of his house. From the first visit we learned that he was very poor, but probably the most humble person I have ever met in my life. He doesn´t have food, but he always says how grateful he is for his garden. He doesn´t have water, but he dug a hole to get some and is grateful when it rains. He doesn´t have power, but he is grateful for the street lights at night. 
   During the first lesson he told us that he couldn´t retain information very well due to a past accident. In fact, one time we picked him up to walk to the church and when we got to the corner he he said he forgot something and went back to get it. We waited for him at the corner for about 15 minuted and then we went and looked for him. When  we found him he was cleaning his house and had forgotten that we had came.
   Despite his problem, he was progressing! I worried about baptizing him though. Everyone needs the covenant of baptism ( Juan 1:5), but he would have to remember things more, which included coming to church. After praying and speaking with leaders we decided to test simple things to see what more we needed to teach him to be baptized. The first thing was to see if he could make it to church on his own. 
   The first Sunday came after telling him that we would wait for him in front of the church at 9:00 instead of bringing him. I was as happy as a mom when she sees her child take their first steps when I saw him walk up the pathway at 9:15! From there on, we started to see even more progress! His prayers went from him speaking, nervously out loud to some of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard. He went from not remembering charlas to reviewing them with us. His progress was remarkable!
   Due to his desires to follow his savior he was progressing so much! One thing that was hard for him to change, though was smoking. He didn´t know how to stop. He once told us that ¨ I keep fighting with my brain to stop. I tell myself not to smoke!¨ Although, as soon as he stopped that´s when I really saw the blessings of the word of wisdom we had promised him. The blessing he received of health was so real. I know this helped him to understand information to be baptized
   Even more blessings came when we found out that he had active family members in the stake. ( something he didn´t remember or know) Not only were they there to see him get baptized, but his nephew was able to baptize him too! 
   I learned just how much love the Lord had for him. I know the lord was helping along the way and all we had to do is be patient. I also learned that I have to trust the Lord when I´m doing his work. I questioned if he was ready,  but I quickly had to repent as I saw how much he progressed. I know it was only through his faith. I also needed to have faith in him and the Lord. 
   I love this gospel. I know there are so many people who need this ordinance too and I know we have a great work to do to look for those who have been prepared to listen.
Love, Hermana Baca
 The temple that took me 6 weeks to make!


The dog bite....

 Mis hijas!
 8 missionaries!!!!!!!

"Elder" This is NOT the dog that took a bite out of Kaylee's leg....

 De mí primer districto!

 ¡mí madre!

 So this Elder and I were apparently in the same ward in Nampa, Idaho. I don´t remember him, but it´s true because it was with bishop Timmons. Weird. Do you guys remember his family? It´s Elder Hansen


The things I go through to get rocks.
Battle wounds


Vegas Girls!!!

 Mís Abuelos in Uruguay! 

We did service at an open clinic place where there was a dental office. #trunky

 This little girl tells me every time she sees me ¨ITS MY BADGE!¨

 8 missionaries over for lunch!

 Mí compañera for a day! 

En Montevideo por un día.

May 26th letter....

In the mission some days are short and then there are days when you think ¨wow it´s been a long day!¨ and you´re only half way through the day. We had one of those this week.

The day started with lots of rain and cold. We had planned to go out with a member, Carlos, who showed up at the church ready to go an hour late. When he arrived he said that he thought that we weren´t going to go out, because there was rain. ( que en el mundo???) Luckily, we had bikes this day and we were able to arrive in our area faster.
This had been the 2nd and last day of using bikes. We had lunch far away and we had discovered a short cut of how to get there faster earlier in the week. Luckily, by this time the rain had stopped and we were ready to let Carlitos go and head to lunch. The short cut we used was very ¨rocky¨, as in a little sketchy and literally rocky. We started to head down the rock covered hill on our bikes. Keep in mind these aren´t mountain bikes. These bikes were the kind of bikes you see people riding down the beach with, you know with the cute little baskets in front....... I fell twice. The second time I was bloody, scraped up, and the bike no longer worked.
I got a sick cut on my hand and the front tire of the bike was no longer functioning. We continued walking using the back tire of the bike and controlling it with the handle bars up in the air. We started to walk when we discovered ROCKS! Not just any rocks, but rocks that shined. Artigas is known for having amesty rocks in the streets and every once in a while we find one or two small ones, but these ones were BIG and this pathway was FULL of them. We started to gather the rocks in our backpacks and couldn´t walk 5 steps without stopping to grab more. This ¨shortcut¨ was taking a lot more time than we had planned.
The family we had lunch with called and asked where we were at and we told them about our problems. The next thing we knew he showed up with tools to fix the bike. :) ( what a guy) After lunch we headed home with the bike half fixed. This time I had no brakes and it was mostly downhill. We were also very worn out and our backs were hurting because of all the rocks we had gathered. We were almost home when the phone rang so we got off our bikes and walked.
We were only two minutes away from the house, but when we got there Hermana Jordan realized that she didn´t have her helmet. I thought to myself ¨ It was a two minute walk, we´ll find it¨ WRONG. Til´ this day we still have no idea how it got lost and went away that fast. The deal with bikes too is if you don´t have helmets, you don´t have bikes. Entonces, so long bikes. It was a fun time.
This was a day when arrived out the house worn out and said ¨wow it´s been a long day!¨ and it was only 2:00. I love where I get to work and I love making these memories. ( even if I get bite by dogs) I have this fire burning with happiness in me every day. I think everyone should have the opportunity to experience a day of being a missionary.
Some parts of your day aren´t the ideal experience, but then there are times during the day when I am just full of excitement. The experiences that give me this fire are what make it all worth it. Like when you find a mountain of shiny rocks! Hermana Jordan and I have a big pile of shiny rocks in the house and we will never forget that day. I wish I could share all my ¨shiny rocks¨ moments of the mission. The experiences I have had have changed my life in so many ways and have left me with a pile of ¨shiny rocks¨ in my heart.
I know I am doing the work of the Lord. One of the miracles of missionary work is how it´s able to transform young adults into disciples of Christ. I know my Savior and I am learning how to follow him everyday. I know that he is my Redeemer and that his atonement is what can change peoples lives.
I love you and miss you all!
Hermana Baca

May 19th letter
I know I´m going to come home with lots of stories to tell my kids, but for some reason this week was FULL of stories.

One morning, as we were walking to our area a dog started following us. There are dogs everywhere in the streets here, but this one didn´t leave us alone like the rest so, we named it. ¨Elder¨ followed us everywhere that morning. We would go into a house for a lesson and then elder would patiently wait for us outside.

Every time there were lots of dogs all the other dogs would come running and barking, because Elder was in there territory. Every time this happened we just kept moving along, because it was the usual. Although, when we were leaving the area one dog was VERY unhappy. We kept walking like before, but he came up and bit me on the leg!
I was so surprised! Hermana Jordan and I only talk in Spanish, but when this happened I didn´t have time to think in Spanish. I yelled ¨It bit me!¨ in English. I looked down at my tights and could see blood and a little rip. I know if I didn´t have thick tights on it would have been a lot worse, so I am so grateful for those tights!
We went down to a members house and fixed up my leg. ALL of the members have been concerned. We´ve had calls asking about my leg. haha I think it´s hilarious though!
And that´s my story of when I got bit by a dog.
Love, Hermana Baca