Missouri, Independence Mission

Missouri, Independence Mission

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week 36 - Heavenly Father knows best

Temple trip with Mama Lyons, Sister Taylor, Hermana Cuevas and I!
Well after this transfer I am still in Kansas but I have a new
companion!:)  Her name is Sister Krage (Pronounced like Craig but personally I like K-Rage better:) )  She's from San Diego California so I'm helping her break into the cold!  She's also a Spanish Speaking missionary so we've been practicing a lot together and we've had quite the week!:)

Because you can't plan for 4 hours without peanut butter ! :) Sister Krage and I

Just an update on the baptisms I was talking about last week.  The one that was supposed to happen this last weekend didn't happen because our investigator has kind of disappeared.  He missed his 2 appointments he was supposed to have with us this week and he's never home when he used to be.  he never answers his phone or texts us back and we're doing what we can to find him. Satan works really hard the
week before baptism so we don't know what happened, but we are hard at work trying to find him so we can help him to progress.

The baptism for the family that was supposed to be this weekend will be moved one more week over because they had some family problems and couldn't get to church yesterday.  They really do want to be baptized though, so any prayers would be so helpful to help them to get to church this Sunday!

Although it was disappointing to not have things go as planned my testimony has really grown this week of things happening in God's timing.  Things don't always happen right when we want them to, and it's hard not to be frustrated, but I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and His plan is better than our own!  I am learning to trust in his plan more and I'm grateful for the knowledge that I have of the simple fact that he truly does have a plan for you and for me:)

A miracle we had this week though was we found 2 new investigators! We were contacting a referral from a member of the ward and I don't know what it is, but there are so many people out here who think if they turn the lights off when we knock on the door then we don't think they're there...sorry people, we're a little smarter than that!:) hahaha so this woman did that at first, and we always knock twice, so we decided to try one more time and this time she turned the lights back on and opened the door!  We introduced ourselves and she let us come and where we taught her and her daughter.  She has a great desire to learn more and we are so excited to teach her and her daughter!

I'd just like to tell you all how much I love being a missionary.
Although it's the hardest thing I've ever done, I feel it making me
into a better person.  I wish I could explain how it feels to be
guided by the spirit to answer a question someone has had for forever, or to be there when they start to feel the spirit changing their lives.  I'm humbled to be a part of this work and know that this that we teach is the truth; Jesus Christ's gospel has truly been restored:)

I love you all!  Hope you all are doing well too:) thanks for all
your love and support!  All is well and God is good:)

Love Hermana/Sister Baggett
Hermana Krage, me, Sister Rowley and Hermana Cuevas

Two of my companions Hermana Krage and Sister Hunt at transfers

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 35 - Today you speak Portuguese

Hermana Cuevas and myself.  -1 in Kansas today!!

Hey family and friends!  Another great week in the mission field, as always! We had some pretty exciting adventures this week though!  One of the most interesting was we had a lesson in Portuguese...in case any one forgot I'm actually called Spanish speaking but something I've learned on my mission is you learn to be versatile and do anything you're asked to do!  So he speaks a little bit of English and can understand Spanish because Spanish and Portuguese are super similar and then we took a member from the ward who went to Brazil on his mission...20 years ago...haha so he said it was pretty rough bringing it back!  But I can say it was probably the most interesting lessonI've ever taught!Sister Cuevas spoke Spanish to him, Brother Giles spoke Portuguese, I spoke Spanish and English and he spoke Portuguese to us.  I can testify that the gift of tongues is so real because I've never spokePortuguese in my life and have only heard it a couple times but I could understand the jest of what he was saying.  Of course it wasn't perfect, but the fact that I could follow the conversation and be apart of the lesson is a miracle of it's own!  Unfortunately he isn't willing to accept the Book of Mormon as scripture:(  so we left him with our testimonies of the restored gospel and we aren't going to continue teaching him.  But we used the gifts that God has given us to give him the opportunity to accept the gospel and that's the best we could do!Another miracle that has been over the span of a couple weeks!  One of the first days I was in this area we were trying to contact a less active member to see if we could help her come back to church. We knocked on the door of the house of the address that we have on our records and a man opened the door.  We introduced ourselves and said that we were trying to get to know all the members in the area so we were wondering if we could talk to him and his family.  He look kind of confused but let us in so we assumed he was a less active too because he didn't ask questions, just let us in!  Come to find out the member we were looking for doesn't actually live there, and we're still not quite sure why he let us in that first day, but he said that we could come back and teach him.  We've been teaching him for about 5weeks now and he is going to get baptized on Saturday!:)Out of finding him in a way that sounded like a mistake, we know what we were being guided by the Spirit to find him because he was so ready to accept the gospel into his life! What if we had decided to not listen to the prompting we got to visit that one less active and went to visit someone else?  We may have never found him.  But because of one simple thing, this man is changing his life and loves it! I am so excited for his baptism this weekend and am so grateful to be a part of this work!  Amazing things happen like this all the time because people truly are being prepared to accept the gospel:)The family of 3 that was supposed to get baptized on that same day weren't able to come to church because someone in their family was really sick so they went to be with them so they won't be able to get baptized this weekend.  Investigators need to go to church at least twice before baptism, so we're just going to move it to next week.They are still excited to be baptized though!:)These are just two of the examples of miracles that we saw this week but there are always little ones along the way too!  As I've been on my mission I have become so much more aware of the Lord's hand in my life.  I know he was always there helping me along the way, but I always looked at it as chance, luck or coincidence.  I am here to testify today that there are no coincidences.  Our Heavenly Father has a perfect plan personalized for each of us, and if we are willing to follow his commandments and listen to the spirit, he will guide us to being more that we ever imagined we could become.A challenge for all of you this week is to be more aware of the Lord's hand in your life.  I know that he's helping us, we just need to be looking for Him!  And then when you see his hand, tell someone else about it!  We can gain a stronger testimony of Christ being in our lives and spread the message the message to make the world a brighter place!I love you all as always and hope you all have a great week:)  All is well and God is good!Love Hermana/Sister Courtney Baggett

From a couple of weeks ago when we went to a devotional at the Visitors' Center with our recent convert and I got to see some of my favorite sisters.

And some cute kiddos from the Ramirez family (the family with the huge baptism a few weeks ago).  I talk about them all the time because they're the best!

This was Courtney's Christmas Tree Countdown.

This was a darling Christmas Countdown from the young women in our ward at home.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 34 -Winter came to Kansas!

Winter decided to come to Kansas! I've heard at home it's been pretty cold for past couple months already, but we had a 60-degree Christmas! It was pretty weird, but now the temperatures are really dropping! We wear 2 pairs of tights or leggings to fight the 10-degree weather hahaha but luckily we're blessed with a car so we don't have any reason to complain!
We had an amazing miracle at church yesterday when we had 5 investigators come!:) Church is the hardest commitment to help people keep and often we had tons of people who say they're coming and then none of them show up. Heart breaker every Sunday! But this week was awesome!:) A family of 3 came and they're on date to be baptized next Saturday! Also a mom and her daughter were there!
It was a miracle by itself that the mom came with her daughter because missionaries have been teaching her for over a year and this was the first time she actually came to church! But we know the spirit has been softening her heart this whole time and now she's ready:) I was most grateful for the members who introduced themselves to the investigators and made them feel so welcome! That welcoming combined with the spirit is what made them want to come back next week.
So if you ever see anyone you don't recognize at church, introduce yourself! They may just be visiting for a speaker or they're on vacation or recently moved into the ward but it doesn't matter who they are, make them feel welcome to come to your ward! That's whatChrist would be doing if he were here:)
I don't have many other stories from this week but it was a great one:) the work continues to more forward and I can't express how blessed I feel to be a part of it. I learn so much from the people I'm surrounded by. Whether they're members, less actives, investigators,other missionaries or even just people I meet on the street, there is something to learn from them. A little challenge for everyone this week is to open your eyes and realize all of the people that are around you, learn something from them!
I love you all and like always am so grateful for all the support I have. Although the world may seem like a dark and awful place sometimes, when I remember my family and friends and the gospel it just feels like love and hope. Remember that when things get hard!Love you all, all is well and God is good:)Love Hermana/Sister Baggett

Teaching Hermana Cuevas how to eat Oreos like an American...with a fork. Ha-ha

And this is a jeopardy game we made to help our investigators prepare for baptism! We're teaching a lot of kids and it's hard for them to focus during lessons some times, so after we teach them all the lessons we can see how much they remember while we play! Mom will be proud of how creative I got with this one;)
So in Mexico there's a tradition that on January 6th, everyone gets together and eats this bread called "Rosca de Reyes", which is this big circle bread with like cinnamon and fruit stuff on it and then inside the bread there are little baby Jesus's in it. Everyone eats some and if you get one of the babies then you're in charge of making the tamales for another party that's on February 2nd! Basically to me it sounds like excuses to have parties..hahaha Mexicans love their parties!:) but we had some of the bread with our recent converts and Sister Cuevas and I both ended up with the babies...awkward...hahaha we don't know how to make tamales...so they're going to make them for us anyway! Blessings of being a missionary!:)