Missouri, Independence Mission

Missouri, Independence Mission

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Week 62 - It's a great day to be a missionary!

Bishop Soutas and Sister Soutas visiting the Liberty Jail!  Jenessa will be coming to this mission in a few months and I am so excited! :) I can't wait to serve with a childhood friend!

Hey y'all! Being a missionary is the greatest!! I heard my little bro put in his papers this week and I couldn't be more excited!!! A little thought for him and all the other soon to be missionaries out there,it feels like a sacrifice now, and it will be a sacrifice. But something that has really sunk in for me, especially this week, is how much we receive in return. Your mission will help you to change in ways you never imagined, it will make you in to a person you never thought you would be. But it also gives you this opportunity to be apart of miracles that you couldn't be a part of anywhere else. Everyday you get to be with people who are changing their lives. Every day you are guided by the spirit to change someone's life. I just can't explain how much I feel blessed to be a missionary. It is worth more than you could even imagine to sacrifice. I wish I could explain it but it's not explainable, so just get ready for the ride of your life:)
A little about my week! It was great! A huge miracle too!!:) so backstory, there is a family in the Ward that the husband is a member but his wife and none of his kids are. He doesn't come to church often because he doesn't want to ruin his marriage, which we agree with completely! But there has always been a prayer from the Ward that his wife's heart will soften so they can all come together and become an eternal family. Just a couple weeks ago, they all came to church because they were blessing their 5th daughter, and it was the first time his wife had ever been excited about something to do with church!The ward has been involved and actually did a service project for themtoo which was super awesome but the Ward didn't feel they were missionary ready yet so we hadn't gone over.
At ward council last week we discussed their family and talked about what we could do next to help them and couldn't come up with much of anything, so we decided to discuss it next week. But yesterday, we were on exchanges so I wasn't there but Sister Schiess felt they should go visit her and she is SO INSPIRED. She let them in and talked with them for like 30 minutes! She let us know something we could do for their family and she said we could come back!! She isn't investigating the church yet, but has shown so much progress it's incredible! It also shows how the combined effort of all these Ward members can change people's perspectives and lives:)
I was able to take some amazing groups thou the jail! 2 people actually knew my sister this week too so that was pretty crazy! One of the groups that touched me the most this week was a group of BYU Idaho dancers that have been on tour. As I began the tour the spirit was so strong right off the bat I knew they came ready to learn. It was such a powerful presentation to be a part of and one of the girls shared a thought that has stuck with me. I had asked, what are some things you do to find the light when you are struggling though a trial that feels dark. She explained that sometimes the light doesn't come immediately;sometimes it takes quite a bit of time. Like take Joseph for example,he was in the liberty jail for 4 and a-half months! The light didn't come immediately, but it came. Sometimes in those dark moments we need to have faith that the light will come, but patience if it doesn't come immediately. This was a perspective I needed to hear, it truly is amazing to see that even though sometimes trials are necessary, the light will come, and it's always more than worth it.
And I know I'm not serving in Olathe anymore but I have an amazing report on one of my favorite families:) I said a couple of weeks ago that Royce was baptized, which was amazing!:) their son wasn't very interested in the church but knew it was good for them. While we were teaching Royce months ago my companion and I felt like their son,Giuliano, would come around after his dad made the choice to be baptized. And it was so true!! Just a week after Royce's baptism,Giuliano made the decision to be baptized and Royce was able to baptize him after he received the priesthood:) they are planning to goto the temple to be sealed as a family next year! The miracles just never end:)
And one more random thought, on exchanges with Sister Durrans I plucked an old lady's chin hairs...add that to the things I never thought I would learn on my mission!

I hope everyone has a great week with miracles! I know we'll see miracles here!:) all is well and God is good:)
Love Hermana/Sister Courtney Baggett

Making a cookie log with our sisters!
This is a "Mancake"!  There is a challenge at one of the members houses to eat a whole "Mancake" that is bigger than a cookie sheet...Sister Schiess and I definitely failed!  But the elders won, so that's pretty sweet!
A giant goldfish!
Making homemade ice cream on pday! I'm glad most of these pictures are of us eating this week...haha it was a good week!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

More visitors to the Jail!

The Soutas' were able to visit Liberty Jail and have Sister Baggett give the tour.  We were the lucky recipients of pictures and a video!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 61 - I Love Liberty!

Sister Schiss and I at HLJ!

We survived transfers!:) Sister Schiess and I get to stay together in our area and we are super excited because miracles are coming like crazy! This week we had the amazing experience to have a ElderAndersen of the quorum of the twelve visit our mission. It was amazing to hear his witness of the savior and it helped to me continue to strengthen my faith of the Savior. I know He lives.

Elder Neil A. Andersen

Church this week was also amazing!! We had a whole family come that hasn't been coming for a long time, and also a woman who has been wanting to come back to church came as well. And they all stayed for all 3 hours!! We talked about the temple in relief society and that was exactly what both of them needed to hear:) the Lord truly knows all that we need.
Also the jail was wonderful this week, nice and busy just the way we like it! But I had a really special experience this week. I had the opportunity to take a set of sisters though with their investigator and a member family. This investigator's husband is a member and she has been learning about the church. She loves church and everything the sisters teach, she just was having a hard time trusting the Joseph smith was a prophet. So when someone needs to strengthen their testimony that Joseph smith was a prophet, bring them into the liberty jail!:) she was listening intently during the history and also during the narrations in the rotunda where the jail is. But after our last narration, I had a couple of people bear their testimonies about what they had learned and then closed with my own, and as I was walking away to go turn the lights up, I heard her sobbing behind me. I was a little worried at first but the spirit told me the sisters would takeover.
The other people who had joined our groups left and the sisters with the investigator and members sat by the jail and talked about how overwhelmed by the spirit she was. She said she knew he truly was a prophet and this was where Heavenly Father needed her to be right now,that she was on the right path with the church. It was amazing to hear the conversation that came after we felt the spirit together and the sisters said they are planning on setting a baptism date with next when they go to see her on Wednesday:) I just feel so blessed to be able to witness so many miracles!
And just to end with a little something that I learning this week. I was reminded this week about the power of prayer. I've probably said this more than once, but what an amazing truth to say that God, theGod of the entire universe, listens to our words and has a plan for every one of us. We are important to him.  I worry that is something that we say so often in the church that we forget what it actually means. But I know that it's true. I have felt his gentle touch and seen him answer my prayers countless times. I'm more grateful than I can explain for the blessing of prayer and communication with our loving Heavenly Father.
I hope everyone has a fabulous week!! All is well and God is good:)Love Hermana/Sister Courtney Baggett

A visual that I love that helps me to visualize what prayer really is.

At the grave of Alexander Doniphan!  He was a good friend to the members of the church while they were here and he is the person that the Ward I'm serving in is named after.

Just saying "HI" to my little friend on the side of the road!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Week 60 - Use your talents!

All the sisters serving at the Independence Visitor's Center and Liberty Jail.

Another fabulous week here in the MIM and the liberty jail! SomethingI really loved about this week was how many times I was able to seeHeavenly Father use specific talents to bless people. 

We are all blessed with different talents, and at different times in our lives we need different things. Here are a couple examples I was able to see this week:)We were eating dinner with a family who hasn't been coming to church,and they have a couple family members who are not members of the church and they were all there for this big dinner. At the end of every dinner we share a message, but we were a little worried because we wanted to share a message to bring the spirit into their home but we also didn't want them to be pushed away, so we were looking for the happy medium! We had planned to share a scripture, but we praying the whole dinner to know if that was the right thing to share. About halfway though the dinner we started talking about their granddaughter whois on a mission. They had a video of her bearing her testimony fromMother's Day, but they didn't speak Spanish so they didn't know what she was saying. They asked me to translate for them and right then the spirit was like "this is your message! The message can come from their granddaughter!" As I translated I could see tears fill their eyes as the spirit and love from their granddaughter and our Heavenly Father touched their hearts. I was so grateful Heavenly Father let me use one of my talents to bless their lives!

Just yesterday I was able to see Heavenly Father using my companion's gifts to connect with a member we were visiting. She hasn't been in church for a long time because she struggles with anxiety, but Sister Schiess has this incredible talent of helping people feel comfortable enough to share their concerns even when they just met her. After just a couple of minutes, Sister Schiess was able to ask her questions and make comments that broke down so many walls. We are now going to be visiting this member often and she wants to make a plan of how she can come back to church and overcome that anxiety. It was so awesome to be a part of that!These are just 2 of the many examples I saw this week, but I know we all have different talents because we have different roles. Separately we have strengths and weaknesses. But just think, when we all come together, we start to fill in each other's holes and gaps and weakness. Alone, we are far from being like Christ, but together we can make up the body of Christ:)This week look for those times that Heavenly Father can use your talents to bless the lives of others! Even if we feel like our talents are few, Heavenly Father has a work for each of us to do:) 

love you all and have a great week! All is well and God is good:)                 Love Hermana/Sister Courtney Baggett
Out walking in our area in the nasty humidity!  It's like walking in a sauna, but the deer liked it to so we had to take a selfie.

We had a break the fast last week with a Muslim community in the area and here is the crew!

Missing one of the 8 (she had to  be at a meeting to train a new missionary).  But here we are, 8 sisters from Liberty Jail at the 8 Witness'  Monument.

A surprise visit from my cousin Lexie and her husband Scott!