Missouri, Independence Mission

Missouri, Independence Mission

Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 54 - We are never alone!

Sister Flake and I.

I don't have much to say from this week, it was a pretty normal week for us! We went on another exchange and it was fun to go to the boonies for the day with one of my favorite sisters in the missionSister Reeves! We also taught a lot of lessons, helped a member paint their new house and helped the young women set up for girl’s camp! So not much that's new but there is one thing I felt really prompted to share today.
The main thing that I wanted to share with you all this week is something that the spirit told me yesterday during sacrament meeting.The sister that was speaking was talking about family history and shared a personal story about her grandma. As she was speaking I got avery distinct impression that I was not sitting alone on the pew. To the view of everyone else I know it seemed that on my left, I had my companion and investigator, but to my right the pew was empty. I know that in that moment the pew was full.
Many people say that a mission must be hard because you're so far from your family, but I have to say I don't agree. Although I miss my immediate family who are far, I know I am not alone. It's not just me that wakes up every morning, thinking about how to help these people.It's not just me who walks down the streets and knocks on doors and talks to random people. It's not just me who cries when people choose not to follow Christ. I could tell you specific names of people who were sitting with me on that church pew and I know there were many more. I have more help from the other side than I could ever imagine.There are guardian angels all around!
So with this, for all of your who have a child on a mission, or a grandchild, a sibling, niece, nephew or friend, know this; we are surrounded by angels. Sometimes we struggle when we hit rough patches,sometimes we are confused and feel overwhelmed, because missionary work is hard. But we are the safest we could ever be. We are in the safest hands there are. So we know you worry, but we are in the Lords work and he never leaves us alone, he sends us guardian angels to bear us up.
I'm so grateful for the gospel and for the impact that my mission has had thus far on my life. I'm excited to see how much it will continue to change me. I love you all!All is well and God is good:)
Love Hermana/Sister Baggett

Out to dinner with Sister Flake, Rollins and Jackson.
Sister Flake, Elder Bagley and Elder Roberts after Spanish class.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 53 - Things I didn't think I would learn to do on my mission

Seeing some of my favorite people at the temple. Bishop and Sister Christensen from my first area!
When I decided to come on a mission, I thought that my life for the
next 18 months would consist of talking with people about the gospel,
going to church, teaching lessons, visiting members, those kind of
normal missionary things....yeah, as a missionary you do a whole lot
more than that!:) Missionaries turn into counselors, landscapers,
painters, dog chasers, mediators, expert hoarder organizers, teachers,
chicken catchers, mechanics just to name a few! And after this week we
can add to the list, funeral planners!:)

That's right ladies and gentleman, we are planning a funeral!
Hopefully this next part makes sense because it's kind of
confusing...Our investigator Sandra found out that her friend passed
away and that his mom would be planning the whole funeral. It was
really unexpected and they had no plans so she knew this would be
really hard and the first thing she thinks it, "my sisters at the
church can help!" (Super glad our investigators think that but they
have pretty high expectations for us!) So Sandra calls us up and after
talking with the bishop to get permission we told her that we could do
it, so she ran over to Kaylen's house (the mom of the man who passed
away) to get the planning started!

We took Sandra and Kaylen on a church tour to let her know how the
service would go and everything and as we were standing in the chapel
everyone was very emotional. She was grateful for what we were doing
and we were glad to be able to do it but Sister Flake felt prompted if
there was anything else she was thinking of. She said she had just
been feeling really guilty because she's always been Christian but
they never had a church. Her and her son Stephen had always talked
about getting baptized but never did it and now it was too late for
Stephen so she asked if we were a church that would be able to do a
baptism for her. Only the golden question!!! The spirit rushed into
the room as we explained our purpose, to help people to come closer to
church though things like baptism and then said, but we had more. We
explained that it wasn't too late for Stephen, but after she was
baptized herself, she could prepare his name and take him to the
temple to be baptized and receive the same blessings she would. She
was completely overcome with the idea that he could be baptized as
well and said I know this is what I want to do. Even though this is
such a hard time in her life, this trial is bringing her closer to God
and I know she is more ready now that ever to apply the gospel in her
life and receive these blessings.

So although planning this funeral has been stressful, we know there
are going to be many people like Kaylen at this funeral who don't know
where Stephen is, or what is going to happen to him. They are feeling
lost, confused and are grieving. But as they come to this service,
they will be able to feel the spirit and love of our Heavenly Father,
they will feel peace and understand and they will be able to come
closer to Jesus Christ just like Kaylen. We just pray all goes well
and the Lord will make up for our lack of experience!:)

A couple other little highlights for the week: in planning for the
funeral, we needed to ask the church across the street if we could use
some of their parking lot because ours is being redone. The priests
weren't at the Christ’s Church when we went so they sent us over to the priests
home. I didn't know they all lived at the same house, but we met a
whole bunch of the priests who were super nice and let us use the
parking lot! But the funniest part, we were able to meet Father Adam
who had a dog named Eve...real creative buddy!
These little dogs are EVERYWHERE in Kansas City, Kansas where I was on exchanges!  Luckily this one was actually someone's but usually they're just walking up and down the streets!

We also had a Ward party, had Sister Flake's birthday and got to go to
the temple!!!:) a pretty jam-packed week but a wonderful week as well!
I hope all is well with everyone at home and hope you've been able to
see some miracles this week too:)

Love you all, All is well and God is good!:)
Love Hermana/Sister Courtney Baggett
Sister Flake and I at the ward party. Below: Sister Flake in her birthday glasses!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 52 - The Lord's Hand Is In Every Detail!

My favorite kind of people!  The little ones! This is Jackie and Dana, some of the sisters of a member family.

Hey all!:)
Are you ready for some Kansas miracles??:) We got a call earlier this week from a recent convert saying she had a friend from the church she used to attend that she wanted into invite to meet with missionaries because she was really interested in blessings. We let this recent convert know that we would love to teach her friend! So she set up a time for us to go see her on Saturday. We had a great lesson just getting to know her a little bit and then teaching her about the restoration of the priesthood and Joseph smith's experience. We told her that she would be able to know if this were really true as she read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true. She said she would! But it doesn't end there!
About 45 minutes after our appointment we get a text from Annie, the investigator. She said she was so glad we came and that she had many questions for us. The first was "when can I attend service?" We were like, "TOMORROW!" Ha-ha she continued on with her questions and then began commenting on verses that she liked as she was already reading from the Book of Mormon.
We stopped by her house one more time because she asked for a larger print Book of Mormon and answered some of her questions. We drove away to see her sitting in a lawn chair on her porch reading the Book of Mormon! It was so amazing and we know that she will receive an answer because she is putting in the effort and truly wants to know.
And the other story I have for today is another huge answer to prayer. In this area, we find new investigators and have people to teach, our members come out to teach with us and everything is great! The part we are missing though is helping people get to church. Who knew it would be so hard to go to church?! So we have been praying to know how we can help our investigators come to sacrament meeting. As we planned for the week we felt like we could get 3 people at sacrament. We knew if we did our best in inviting and teaching that the lord would help us reach this goal. When Sunday morning came, we had 3 investigators who were solid to come and 2 maybe's, but as the prelude music played we had no one come. As we began the opening song we were sitting wondering what we could have done better when one of the Ward missionaries walks into the chapel and comes to sit with us with 3 people I have never seen before.
I leaned over to her and was like "who are these people!?" She said, "I met them in the parking lot, they had heard that we taught an English class here and they came to get information because they want to come. I told them the missionaries taught the class and they would love to give you more information but we're actually in our meetings right now. So I asked, would you like to join us and then the missionaries can talk with you after?" They agreed!:) so this family from China will be joining us for our English classes!:) the dad has been here for a couple years and his English is better, but the mom has been here for 2 years and the daughter only 2 months so they speak very little.
I know this was an answer to our prayers! We did our best and even though our investigators chose not to attend, Heavenly Father still blessed us to be able to accomplish the goal we had set. I know he knows what is important to us and he will help us to accomplish our good desires:)
I'm grateful for this week and that I get to be a missionary for this time in my life:) where else could I be a part of these amazing miracles!:) I know our Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives and if we look for his hand we will see it each step of the way:) 

All is well and God is good!! Love Hermana/Sister Courtney Baggett

I know there are a lot of graduations going on right now.  So, take the advice of our Catholic neighbors from the            Prince of Peace!
A bunch of our fellow missionaries on PDay!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 51 - Happy Mother's Day!

Getting donuts on exchanges with Sister Reeves!
Family and friends!:)
I hope every one had a great week because we sure did here! We had a
relief society party and the Ward wanted to do something fun for cinco
de mayo so we had a salsa party! Some of the Hispanic sisters
volunteered to teach all the American sisters how they make different
kind of salsas and it was so fun! Some of the salsas are so hot you
don't even want to breathe by them...haha but it was fun to see
everyone come together! We had Salsas from Mexico, Peru, El Salvador
and chile! We were able to bring some of our investigators come too and
they got to know some of the relief society members. That will help
them to get to church, because they know they have friends there!

We also did some service with the young women in the stake to get
ready for girls camp. It was so great to be around the young women and
to remember how much going to girls camp and being in young women
really helped me to become the person that I am today. I'm so grateful
for all the amazing leaders I had and I know it true is inspired to
have specific people in our lives at specific times.
Playing with the chickens!

Some other random things we did this week, we got ice cream because I
have officially been a missionary for a year! Crazy! Also played with
chicks with our recent converts! And of course it was Mother's Day so
I got to chat with my family yesterday! I'm so grateful for my family
and for all of you who are so supportive of me in my mission and my
life in general. I can't even explain how blessed I am to have the
people in my life that I do. I'm so grateful for all of you:)
All is well and God is good!:)
Hermana/Sister Courtney Baggett

Service with the young women.