Missouri, Independence Mission

Missouri, Independence Mission

Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 7-Landed in Missour

You may think that I forgot the "I" on accident in the title, but it wasn't just a typo. More than not, the people who live here refer to the state as "Missour" and a lot of the missionaries refer to it at "misery".  When my companion says it with her accent it sounds like misery too, which in some definitions of the word could be true, but I love it here!!
After waking up at 3:30 in the morning to check in at the travel office they bused all 27 people in our travel group to the front runner.  We loaded 27 people, and around 70 pieces of luggage into the train and road off to the airport.  We were quite a sight to see if I do say so myself; 27 giddy missionaries excited to be in the real world again running on only a couple hours of sleep does make for an interesting bunch, but we made it safe and sound and landed in Missouri!  
Our mission president and his wife met us at the airport and took us to the Kansas City temple, then to Liberty Jail.  We were able to see the amazing exhibit they have and the spirit was incredible and I am so blessed to be able to serve in centers where the sprit is so strong all the time.  We spent the rest of the night at the mission home getting a lot of information and then meeting with the president.  My mission president and his wife are incredible!  I know already that I will be able to learn so much from them.
The next morning we got our new companions and trainers!  My companion is Hermana Cuevas and she is from Mexico, that's why she has an accent!  She has been here for about 8 months and her English is fantastic.  So we usually spend every other day, one on Spanish one on English, so we can both study our foreign languages.  Another opportunity I get because my companion is foreign is I get to drive for our companionship...for all of my friends at home who know how bad my sense of direction is, you'll probably get a good laugh thinking about me trying to drive in Missouri...  I almost never know which direction I'm driving because there aren't any mountains, and even with our GPS I still manage to take wrong turns at least twice every time we go somewhere.  But I know though God, weak things can be made strong, so I pray that he will help me to understand directions better!
After I met my companion we picked up my luggage, and she says, "are you excited to work in the Visitors Center?"  And I was like "Yeah of course I am!"  And she starts laughing, "That's good then, cause we're going up there right now and you're teaching!"  WHAT?  SO the first day on presentations I bore my testimony and smiled because I knew none of the history.  
Usually, if you come in the winter when there aren't as many people coming though, you'll teach with your companion for 2 weeks before you take presentations on your own.  In the summer when we have tons of visitors, you have no other choice but to learn fast.  The other new sisters and I learned as fast as we could and have already been giving presentations by ourselves!  It's a good thing this is the Lord's work and he helps us, because there is no way that I would be able to do this without a ton of divine help!
The schedules for our days depends on the day, but for 4 days a week we spend 6 hours in the Visitors Center, 4 hours studying and then whatever time we have left in our area.  Then we have one full proselyting day that we don't work in the visitors center.  I LOVE working in the Visitors Center.  We get to talk to so many people every day and help them to feel the spirit and come closer to Christ.  I love being able to take the stories from history and apply them to the lives of the people I teach.  I Iove teaching families the most because I love working with the little kids and learning from them.
We don't have much time in our area's right now due to the fact that new missionaries have an extra hour of study every day, but we work hard with the time that we have!  We don't have any investigators right now, but we know that there are people being prepared to hear the gospel somewhere in our area, we just need to find them!  If we are obedient and work hard, the Lord will help us to find the people He has prepared.
Just a couple random things about Missouri before I sign out for the week:

1. People don't wear clothes in the summer, it's totally normal to see old men, or anyone for that matter, driving around wearing the least amount of clothing possible.

2. The lightning bugs, or fireflies, are so fun!!  I hate all bugs always, but I like the lightning bugs when they're far away cause they're so pretty!

3.  The storms here are wicked cool!  My first night here there was a massive thunder storm.  No one could sleep because when the lightning would flash, it would light up the whole room.  Some houses are still without power, and the 70 to 80 mile an hour winds blew down massive trees, but everyone was safe so it was pretty cool!!

4. There are a surprising amount of Spanish speakers here.  Victory for me so I can speak!  A little less than half my ward are Spanish speakers so I'm so excited to learn more Spanish!
I love the mission so far and I'm so excited to be here!  Sorry this letter was longer than I planned...But I hope all is well for everyone at home!  

All is well, and God is good.
Love Hermana Baggett

Hermana Cuevas and I.  (She is from Mexico)

Right across the street from the VC is the temple for the Community of Christ or Reformed LDS Church.  It's a pretty cool building but a lot of people get us confused with them and we are very different!  HAHA...keeps it interesting!
Sister Jones and I sporting our mission t-shirts.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Week 6- VC training isn't for sissies

Before I left for my mission, I got a couple comments from people that said my mission would be easy because I didn't have to proselyte...but boy I learned this week that they are very wrong!  There is so much more to being a visitors' center sister than I ever imagined and I am so blessed to have been called to serve in a visitors' center!  

The beginning of the week I sent off my district to places all over the world.  All those fantastic missionaries are now serving in Argentina, California, Tennessee and Salt Lake. I'm so proud of them but miss them a lot!  Then starting they threw us right into our new training.  Monday morning we took trax up to salt lake where some of the sisters took us on a tour and told us a little bit of what it means to be a visitors' center sister and we also talked with a man who works to help manage all the visitors' centers for the church so we learned a lot from them!  

After we returned to the MTC they've been teaching us many of the different things that VC sisters do.  One thing we've been practicing the most is online proselyting.  If you go on LDS.org there is a place where if you have questions or anything you can chat with a representative of the church.  It's the VC sisters that answer those chats and phone calls and answer questions that people may have about the church.  I didn't even know that this was a thing before we got here, but they have told us stories about how a sister serving in Salt Lake helped investigators prepare for baptism from Germany, Chile, Canada and all over the world!!  How incredible is that?  

We have chatted and answered phone calls a couple times now and it's really fun!  Our first experience with a phone called came when a sister in my district answered the phone, asked what they could do to help and the man said, I read the book of Mormon and I want to be baptized, can you send the missionaries over before 2 today?  They were like, umm yeah we can definitely do that!! As you can guess, we all went a little bit nuts haha but it was incredible!!  Another of the phone calls the sisters answered and the man only spoke Spanish and my companion and I are the only ones who speak (speak for her, attempt to speak for me) Spanish!  So they handed off the phones and we were able to help a man in Spanish!  I didn't get all of it, he was speaking mighty fast, but my comp had my back and we were able to help him!  There are people out there who are so prepared and we see a lot of that here which is incredible, I can't wait to do more of it!

So I learned in my mission, I will be serving in the visitors center half of the day, giving tours, bearing testimony and online proselyting.  Then the other half of the day we will be out proselyting just like normal missionaries.  Our days will be busy, but I'm so excited for the chance that I have to have so many different opportunities to reach out to so many of God's children in different ways.  I've been here for only 6 weeks, but I feel like I'm a totally different person.  I have learned so much and can't wait to share what I have learned and the love of God with anyone who will listen.

I hope everyone is good at home and having a fun safe summer!  Thank you again for all your support and love.  Don't forget to keep the Lord in your mind this week, find ways to serve him and everyone around you.  "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." -Mosiah 2:17

All is well, and God is good!
Sister/Hermana Baggett
All of these wonderful sisters will be serving in a Visitors' Center.  This was our first training together.  It was also my first time out of the MTC in 6 weeks!

All of these missionaries are heading off to various places in the world and I am the only one left.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 5 - Not much new at the MTC

This week has been mostly the same, no super out of the ordinary things to report, but it's all been really good!  We have mostly just been doing the normal things of studying lots of Spanish, teaching a lot of lessons and eating a lot, I feel like we eat all the time haha.  I have been taking our extra study time to practice the piano and I play in sacrament meeting for my branch.  That should make my mom happy considering all the money and time she spent trying to get me to practice haha:)

One of the sisters in the other district in my zone and I have a little bit of a war going on, we keep playing little pranks on each other to keep things exciting here.  The latest one was I hid under her bed when she was getting ready for bed, planning to grab her ankles when she walked by the bed to scare her but I kept missing my chance!!  About 15- 20 minutes later, she found me under there because my hair got stuck and I couldn't hold still anymore...hahaha it's always an adventure and she's super fun so it's all good!

This week I know will probably be the hardest of my mission so far because my whole district is leaving starting Monday,and will all be gone and out into their missions by Wednesday.  I will be staying an extra week because I have a extra week of visitors center training.  I'm really excited for the new training and to meet more sisters who will be going to my mission, but it will be so hard to say goodbye to all these people I have come to be so close with.  It has been a blessing to know them, and to learn so much from them. They'll be great missionaries!

I hope everyone has a great week, God is good and all is well!
Con Amor, Hermana Baggett

Friday, June 5, 2015

Week 4- Success!

My Zone
This week we were so blessed to hear from another apostle at devotional! This week was Elder Christofferson and he brought out a list of frequently asked questions from missionaries and answered all of them for us! We talked about it after in my district and he answered a lot of questions we had all already been thinking about and praying for answers, so I know that God really does hear our prayers and works through his servants and though the scriptures to answer our questions.

The thing he said that stuck out to me the most was someone asked how we could feel the spirit more in our lives all the time and all he said was, PAY ATTENTION. He came to the conclusion of, the Lord's hand is always in your life, he is so much more involved than you realize. When we have a hard time feeling the spirit and seeing his hand in our lives, it's usually because we're not looking for it. This was a huge eye opener to me, and a reminder and I need to look for God's hand and I will feel his divine love more. So this week, I challenge all of you to look, with a sincere heart, for God's hand. A lot of the time it will be really small, but look for Him really wanting to know if He is there and I know He will show you that He is and that He loves you.

This week has been much like all the others when it comes to all the normal daily routines, lots of Spanish and lots of teaching! But some funny things did happen! My personal favorite is my companions and I were leaving for breakfast and forgot that the other 2 sisters that share a room with us were in the showers...and the door locked... So we sat enjoying our breakfast for a good 20 minutes when a sister in our zone came and was like Hermana Baggett I need you key right now! And I was like, umm why? And then it hit me...Hermana Craig and Jamison had no way to get in our room and had been sitting outside in their towels for a least 20 minutes...hahaha whoops, sorry sisters!! We got a tongue lashing for that one but we all laugh about it now! 

Another thing I loved from this week was my zone got to host the new missionaries coming in! Basically we pick them up at their cars, help them get checked in, take them to their rooms to drop off their stuff and then drop them off in their classrooms! It was really fun to see all the new faces and see where all these people are going! 5 sisters that are going to my mission, but English speaking came in that day and it made me so happy to meet all of them! I will do my visitors center training with them in 2 weeks! 

I forgot one of my favorite part of this week! Our other devotional was from Janice Kapp Perry. She has written some of the most popular children's primary songs like "army of helaman" "a child's prayer" "love at home" and more! She talked about the importance of music and how when you don't know what else to do when you need the spirit, SING. Music affects us more than we realize, so If we choose to listen to good, uplifting music, it can be a wonderful blessing in our lives.

I love it here and I love the work! I hope all is well, I send my prayer of health, safety and love for all of you! All is well and God is good, always.

Love Hermana Baggett
I ran into Sister Clark.  We were friends in middle school and high school.  She is serving in Los Angeles.

Hermana Jamison, Hermana Parris, ME, Hermana Craig and Hermana Bassett

My bookstore purchase!

This is Sister Kraig who is also serving in Independence speaking Spanish but not in the Visitor Center.  I was excited to meet her.  We will fly out together to Missouri.