Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018 - "Today is a great day to be a missionary!"

Last week on Pday I went to my first castle of the mission!  7 months, 1 castle.  How pathetic!  This wasn't just any castle.  This was a proper castle.  Inverary Castle.  Worth every pound.  People lived in it until 2001 or something crazy like that!  Also if anyone has seen Downton Abbey it was filmed there!  We had fun exploring the castle and the gardens.

15 MIRACLES:  Okay so 14 of the these miracles was the temperature.  It was 14 degrees this week in Oban and SUNNY.  We were walking around with no coats on, rolling up our sleeves, no scarves, praying to get a sunburn (we didn't), but it was soooooo nice!  The biggest blessing.  The 15th miracle is in progress.  We got a call from the recent convert in Oban named Donny.  He told us that a young man just moved in and they started talking about the Gospel.  Donny invited him to church and HE WENT WITH HIM YESTERDAY.  He also said that he wanted to learn more and would go to the scripture study this week that the senior couple puts on!  Yay for member missionaries!  We are so grateful for them, especially in an area where only 10 people attend church regularly.

Sad thing of the week:  So President Nelson and Elder Holland are on a world wide tour with their wives.  Their first stop was to the British Isles and they were going to do two broadcasts.  One for missionaries and one for the general public.  All the missionaries in the Glasgow area went to the stake centre to watch together.  Only one problem.  The internet wasn't working for the live stream and it wasn't recorded.  We found out about 45 minutes in that the construction workers at the church accidentally sawed through the internet cable and that there was no hope of getting the internet to work at the church.  We were all scrambling to see what we could do to at least watch some of it.  The Glasgow Sisters called a member (as we were driving to her flat) to see if we could watch it there.  Luckily we could and we caught the last 10 minutes or so of the stream.  We were glad we at least got to watch some of it!

One thing I took from the broadcast in the short amount of time we had to watch it was how President Nelson said he bounces out of bed every morning in excitement to see what that day has in store.  In our attempt to best follow the Prophet, Sister Anderson and I have started "bouncing" out of bed in the morning and saying, "Woohoo!  Today is a great day to be a missionary!"  I have noticed that little change to my morning routine effects the rest of my day and my attitude throughout the day.

Scare of the week:  I almost had to play the ORGAN.  It was 9:55 and there was no organist to play.  As soon as I sat down at the organ the lady who normally does it walked in.  Phew!  I was then told that everyone who could play would be going on holiday next week, so I get to play the organ next week!  YIKES.

One of the many highlights:  Scottish scenery!  The drive we get to do each week is seriously so beautiful.  We always see sheep and highland "coos."  We have been dying to get a picture with some coos and it was perfect.  We saw them on the drive and there was a little pull out.  We stopped for a few minutes to get some pictures with them.  We were so excited.  3 big ones and 4 wee ones.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018 - The Miracle Story of Mark

This week was kinda crazy.  On Monday SISTER EGGETT, now Ariel, took us to lunch.  It was crazy to see her visiting the mission with her family and weird to hear her called her first name.  I loved seeing her.

Tuesday we spent in Edinburgh at All Scotland Conference.  It was great to be surrounded by so many missionaries, see old friends, and be uplifted by the council from our leaders.

But the best part of the week... Mark's baptism!  It is so amazing to see your friends take the step of baptism.  Mark was prepared by God to hear the message of the Restored Gospel.  I'm just grateful that I got to be apart of it.

The Miracle Story of Mark!

Mark's door was chapped in mid December.  At the time he was busy, but scheduled an appointment to meet with the missionaries for the following week.  He then rescheduled FIVE different times before finally meeting with the missionaries.

Mark has a Master's Degree in Theology and has an extensive knowledge of the Bible.  He had read many other religious books before and had even read the Book of Mormon!  After being taught about the Holy Ghost he was able to recognize the importance of praying to understand the truth.

One week later when the missionaries met with him he had read through the entire Book of Mormon again, received an answer of its truthfulness, and had strengthened his desire to be baptised.  We were so blessed to be involved in teaching Mark and are grateful for the other missionaries and ward members involved in the teaching as well!  He was so prepared.  Every lesson leading up to baptism he expressed his desire to help others to learn and grow in the church and teach the Restored Gospel.  Following his confirmation he also received the Aaronic Priesthood in the same day.  He can't wait to be a part of Ministering and teach what he knows to be true for the next two years as he will be a minister on a submarine.  God truly prepares His children and His work is hastening!

The Pre-Miracle (behind closed doors of actually setting up a baptism) Story!

So we got to the church in plenty of time to set up and make sure everything worked with the font, etc, etc.  We had to prime the water heater for an hour and a half, but that's no problem we had loads to do.  We went to check out the font.  We were told the font was clean..........it wasn't.  It hadn't been used for 6 months, but it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in about 6 years.  So what do the problem solving, go get em, sister missionaries do?!?!  They make it work.  You can't exactly clean a baptismal font in a dress, wearing boots, and tights.  So what did I do?  Grabbed the basketball shorts that I had left in the car, went barefoot, and wore a shirt that came from the baptismal clothing.  We found some chemicals and got to work.  WHEN I SAY THE FONT WAS NASTY IT WAS NASTY.  We're talking spider guts and LIVE SPIDERS and I just had to deal with it and clean them up.  I kid you not I had to pray for strength.

I'm just grateful that Sister Anderson and I were the only ones at the church and no one saw me in the outfit I was wearing.  After that almost everything ran smoothly, but they say there's no such thing as a baptism that runs perfectly.

I also tried to hug a sheep this week in Oban, but they ran away from me.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018 - Conference was amazing!

APPARENTLY WE MISSED SO MUCH IN CONFERENCE!!!!!!  We were able to watch Saturday AM/PM and Sunday AM.  We didn't watch Priesthood (for obvious reasons) or Sunday PM (because it's from 9-11 pm here) and WE MISSED SO MUCH. THE TEMPLES, NO MORE HIGH PRIEST GROUP, NO MORE HOME/VISITING TEACHING, ELDER HOLLAND, ELDER UCHTDORF, THE TWO NEW APOSTLES.  Crazy.  This morning checking lds.org was crazy.  The four sisters here were freaking out about everything hahahah.  

General Conference was amazing.  As I stood to sustain President Nelson in Solemn Assembly I couldn't fight back the tears that came.  I had an overwhelming confirmation from the Spirit that President Russell M. Nelson is a Prophet of God!  I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to testify of that each day.  It was also amazing because we went over to a recent convert's house and we watched a few talks with her.  She said she felt the Spirit really strong as we were watching and her non-member husband was paying attention as we were watching.  Normally he is on his phone or playing video games, but he was paying attention.  One day we will crack his shell and soften his heart.  One step at a time.   

This week has been absolutely crazy.  On Monday we came to Glasgow to play sport with some of the Elders and had to leave at about 3 so we could make it to Oban on time.  We got about 2/3 of the way there when we got a call from our Zone Leader (who we were with earlier) and he said, "Are you far?  Tell me you're not far.  The APs just texted us telling us to have a zone instruction tomorrow."  So we had to turn around and head back to Dumbarton.  We kinda felt like a ping pong ball and this week will be even more hectic.  Monday we are spending in Glasgow again. Tuesday we will be in Edinburgh for conference. Wednesday Oban.  Thursday Oban/Dumbarton. Friday Glasgow for exchange. Saturday Dumbarton, Sunday Dumbarton.  It will be very hectic, but basically Sister Anderson and I will just call 1/2 of Scotland our area next week.  

This was an AMAZING week in Oban.  We were able to meet a lady named ____.  She is from the Philippines and moved to Scotland to be with her husband.  She told us how she decided to be Christian 8 years ago in DUBAI of all places.  She talked about how much she loves Jesus Christ and talking with other about Him.  We were able to introduce and give her a Book of Mormon and she was so excited to read it.  We can't wait to meet with her this week!

On Saturday we were driving to the Stake Centre for conference and we got a call.  I was driving, so Sister Anderson answered and I overheard, "Is Kristina Baker there?"  She explained that I was driving and we were headed to Glasgow and BAM 15 MINUTES LATER THE CAMERON'S [our stake president and his wife] WERE AT THE STAKE CENTRE.  They dropped off a package (added to it), took some pictures, and we parted ways!  What a great surprise!  Also two new dresses woohoo.  I'm wearing the Easter dress from you right now!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Monday, March 26, 2018 - Are you Sisters? Why, yes.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018 - This week was good!

MOVES CALL:  Saturday night rolls around and we get a call from the AP's at about 9:30.  "Alright Sisters, are you ready for your moves call?.....Oh hold on your zone leader is calling me."  *hangs up*  WHAT  He called back about 5 minutes later THE SUSPENSE WAS KILLER.  Sister Davis and I were literally screaming at the phone.  We were told that Sister Davis would be leaving and I would be staying in Dumbarton!  Sis Davis is whitewashing into Montrose, Scotland with SIS SCHEIB.  Love her.  I get to be with Sister Anderson.  She has been out 9 months and is from just outside San Diego, California.  She is so fun and I'm super excited for this transfer.  It will be a quick one though, only 4 weeks!

Miracles from this week:  
____, our friend that should've been baptised last transfer is amazing.  He loves studying the Book of Mormon and has read it two and a half times already.  He already knows it so well and makes all of these amazing connections with the Bible.  It's insane how much he knows.  He will be baptised on the 7th of April and his family will be there!

Our friend _____, who was previously taught by missionaries came to church yesterday.  She loved it so much and brought her 7 year old daughter with her and she loved it too!  She made all these amazing comments in gospel principles and relief society too!  ALSO EVEN MORE OF A MIRACLE:  When they walked in our bishop's 7 year old daughter said hi to ____ and _____.  THEY DO A THING CALLED BEAVERS TOGETHER (I think it's like girl scouts?)  They already knew each other and BOOM instant friends and fellowshippers.  SO COOL.  

In Oban, a man who got baptized took us to lunch and we had fish n chips for the first time my whole mission!  It was really sweet of him.  After that Sister Davis was feeling sick again, so we went back to the house for the rest of the day.  I did a lot of studying and we were able to watch Mormon Messages on the senior couple's laptop.  One, was so crazy!  It was on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and we watched it and it showed a family walking into church together.  We watched it and then in unison we yelled, "IS THAT THE GALLACHERS?!?!?!?"  We went back and it was a family in our ward walking into our chapel!!!  It was so strange to see people we knew IN OUR AREA in a Mormon Message!  

Our St. Paddy's day was spent visiting some people, teaching, finding, etc.  We had no celebrations.  The country didn't really celebrate either.  The missionaries in Ireland had to be in before 6.  The best part of St. Paddy's day was definitely our DA.  It was with a Sister in our ward from America and she got your recipe for chicken noodle soup!  It was GOOD.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

SO MANY GOOD THINGS HAPPENED THIS WEEK.

We were able to meet with a man that we taught for about 10 minutes on the spot.  When we met him he said he didn't believe in God, but we've been in touch with him and he said that a few times this week he has been prompted to pray and he has received some answers!   

We were also able to FINALLY meet with a woman that we have been contacting for about 4 weeks.  I was going through our Area Book and found her name and information.  I called her and we were able to set up an appointment with her.  Yesterday she told us about how she felt there was a hole in her life and how she thinks that can be filled with religion.  She also expressed her desire to raise her 7 year old with faith in God.  She said they will definitely be coming to church next Sunday and her daughter was really excited about it!  

ALSO got to celebrate Sister Davis' 20th birthday!  We had a dinner appointment with an American and she made her a cake.  We also had a lesson with a recent convert and the whole time no one mentioned anything about her birthday, but as we were leaving she brought out a cake and we all sang happy birthday to her!  It was a really sweet moment!

Recently I have been studying in 3 Nephi when Jesus Christ comes to the Americas.  This is what He says.

3 Nephi 17:7 
Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

I love how much compassion He has for each person individually.  I testify that the offer He gives in that scripture still stands.  He is waiting for us to come to Him and HE WILL HEAL US.  He loves each of us so much!  I am so grateful for my Savior.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018 - "Are you the angels of mercy?"

SCOTLAND IS SHUT DOWN.  The world seemed to be in a panic.  No one drove for a few days.  Everyone was walking to the store and buying all their food.  There was actually a "bread crisis" here a few days ago.  It did snow quite a lot though.  All the way up to our knees, so I'll give them a little break.  Scotland is definitely not equipped to handle the snow.  There were a couple plows out, but no one did anything about their own snow.  Most people don't even have a shovel!  If they do, it was a garden shovel.  We saw a lot of people that were shoveling with dust pans.  It was so sad to watch. I think Dumbarton go the worst of it.  Our district leader, in Motherwell, said they only had about 4 inches.   

Church was cancelled...kinda... so across the whole stake church was cancelled because all the reports still said not to drive.  Part of our ward (the part within walking distance) was given permission to gather at someone's home.  We went there and had the sacrament and a little testimony meeting.  It was nice.  

We did not go up to Oban this week.  Monday we just ran a bunch of errands.  Tuesday we had Scotland South Conference in Edinburgh.  The snow was starting on the way back from Edinburgh and we (the two of us and President) decided it would be best if we didn't go to Oban this week.  GOOD CALL.  On Wednesday the country was on red alert and all mission vehicles were grounded.  We would've been stuck in Oban for days, not being able to do ANYTHING!  

It snowed Tuesday night, all of Wednesday, most of Thursday and then decided to quit.  It was pretty crazy.  Sister Davis was sick all week.  We didn't work a full day until yesterday.  It was good timing to get sick though because there were no people out and about and it made missionary work kinda difficult.

Yesterday we decided that our time would best be used shoveling drives.  After our little church service we borrowed "good snow shovels" from one of the members.  Tiny, little things, but they were sturdy.  We walked around and if we saw someone shoveling or if we saw a driveway that hadn't been done we did it.  We ended up shoveling for about 5 hours and lets just say my shoulder feels like I just threw 7 innings after a long winter season......

It was so wonderful to be able to serve though!  We tried to help one man and he said, "No, go do that house over there.  They need their car dug out."  So we went and started doing it.  We were working for a while when an elderly man came out and said, "Are you the angels of mercy?"  He explained that he was too old to shovel and his wife had a heart attack last year and they couldn't do it.  They were also saying how worried they were about how they were going to get their car out of the snow because she had a doctor's appointment the next day!  It was so nice to be able to help them and be an answer to prayer.  We also helped another man who had Parkinson's.  He was shoveling (with the help of two neighbors with their dust pans).  We walked up and started helping.  They said, "Are you good Samaritans?"  It was so wonderful to be able to help these people this past week!

A NOTE TO FRIENDS/RECENT CONVERTS IN IRELAND:  Sister missionaries are not allowed to e-mail with members of the opposite sex during their missions.  You can be sure Sister Baker will keep up with you and follow your progress through sister members and other missionaries for the next year.  ☘