Monday, August 29, 2016

Spanish, Spanish, Spanish (August 29, 2016)

I can't believe how fast time goes! It's weird to tell people I've been out for coming on 6 months when to other missionaries that is still so young. This week has been rough in terms of work, but so much fun. I love my greenie so much! She reminds me a lot of me. Some of my favorite quotes by her:
me - "I think my nose is trying to tell me something" (after sneezing 7 times in a row)
her - "It's just excited to be on your face"

"Maria? Is she the one who brought us food? I love her!"

"Well this is awkward" (this one gets said a lot, probably because I'm her companion.)

She also casually brings up how I wake her up most nights, talking to her in Spanish. Am I fluent yet? Just this morning she asked me, "Hey so I couldn't tell if I was dreaming or if this really happened but you kept talking to me last night in Spanish." This time I actually remembered doing that. It's super funny to realize all of the weird things that you do when you live with someone 24/7.

She makes me laugh and is super chill. I love throwing her under the bus, I made her get us home the other night, we were in a sketchier part of our area and we had about 15 minutes to get home and I was like k go. It's cute cuz she gets mad at me but she's also like "I mean I see why you do this, I just wish you would time it better!" Personally, I think the best time is when you have a time limit, throw some anxiety in there. Anyway, she navigated like a boss and got us home exactly on time. She is doing so awesome. I've learned how to just tell it like it is. I have had to tiptoe so much I feel in the past and now we can just be honest with each other. We have a mini comp inventory every night, we have been diving into PMG like I never have before and we play Spanish games as we walk from place to place. She is helping me become the missionary that I have wanted to be my whole mission.

I love it here so much! Wenatchee is seriously my home. It's been my only area so far and now that I'm training, I could very well be here until almost halfway through my mission. Not even complaining though :) This week, fun sketch story, haha we were talking to a guy on one of the rougher streets and found out he was almost baptized! We set up an appointment and exchanged information and then as we were walking away someone whistled and then yelled after us, "Hey girls!" We turned to see this suuuuuuuuper tall guy swag his way over (I did say swag, mostly because I don't know how else to describe it). He had multiple piercings, a rat tail, chains.. he's like, "Whatcha doin" in a pretty thick accent so we tell him we're missionaries and he's like "Me too!" I switched to Spanish and straight told him, "No es cierto". He was a little taken aback that we spoke Spanish, (but not that we called him a liar), and then asked when we could meet up. He was so tall, it was honestly really intimidating but I got out a pamphlet and told him Friday at 6. He was a straight gang member. I'm not exaggerating, there are gangs all over this little town and he was totally a part of them. And he lives in the house where a member has seen major police activity pretty regularly. It was awesome. So then we brought an RM, and asked the member across the street to watch the house in case anything happened. Turns out he wasn't there, so we left our number and got out of there. I won't lie to you, I'm a little bit bummed out that he didn't show but my companion had been praying pretty fervently that if he was going to do something bad to please just let him forget about the appointment. So hey, we probably dodged a bullet. (only slightly figuratively).

We haven;t had much else happen this week, we've been trying to talk to absolutely everyone and we've begun to see the blessings of it as we have been able to find a couple of people that seem really solid. We've had some really neat experiences with some neat people. It's neat to see how even when people aren't interested, we can bring a little bit more light into their lives.

Les quiero!

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

​Tried to do service for this guy that had a broken leg and arm and he gave us giant flowers. 

Painted a house! With oil based paint, it was super not easy to get off. It went all the way up our arms, in  our hair, on our faces, although when we offered to help other people that day they were more inclined to believe that we aren't afraid to get dirty while doing service.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I love being a missionary! (August 22, 2016)

This week has been crazy! After sending home my companion, I was in a tripan with the STLs and for the most part we didn't get to work in Wenatchee, just in East Wenatchee which is their area for the first three days of the week.

Wednesday is when I got my greenie! Her name is Hermana Lindsay and she is a hoot. She's from Bluffdale, Salt Lake area and is super awesome. We've had some interesting things happen, these last couple of days and she is doing amazing, just truckin along, allowing me to drag her here and there.

Where to begin..
First night out. It's a nice night, finally cooling down at nearly 7:45. I decided to take her around the neighborhood, that way nothing too crazy would happen and we could still talk to a lot of people. First guy we talk to is awesome. Absolutely golden. We spend a lot of time talking about church and the Sacrament, I even give him a Gospel of Christ pamphlet (which we typically don't do as I had just finished explaining to Hna Lindsay) and asked if we could pray with him. He said, "Claro!! " He invites us inside where there are like 12 more people. He tells them, "They want us to pray for them!" I thought that was kind of a weird way to put it but I was happy that he was so willing to pray and now is inviting his whole family to pray with us, I was so excited. And then. Four of the adults join us in the room and Jose begins to pray. And then the rest of them begin to pray at the same time. This happens a lot with Catholics in particular, one leads the prayer and then they all repeat it but this was different. They were all saying DIFFERENT prayers, at the same time, mostly praying for us. And they keep praying. And keep praying and there comes a point where I begin to wonder if they are going to stop or if I'm supposed to say amen, and the whole time I'm trying not to break into laughter due to the fact that I have no idea what Hna Lindsay must be thinking. So I start praying (silently) and about 10 minutes later Jose says "Espiritu Santo, Espiritu Santo, Espiritu Santo,amen, amen, amen." and the rest follow in suit. We thank them and give them handshakes/hugs. As we walk away from the house, I turned to Hna Lindsay to try and judge her reaction, laughing because I have never experienced something like that and she was like, "But he was golden!" Welcome to missionary life :)

In other news, we don't have any progressing investigators but we have been seeing miracles. We ran into a ton of people yesterday and they all asked if we could come back "tomorrow". No one does that! We have lessons set up all night as well as all of tomorrow and we're really excited to see how the work is picking up.

We had a rather sobering experience the other night. Our dear friend M, a less active that we have been working with for quite some time, we found very very drunk. We mostly just listened to him ramble about how he wants to change, he doesn't want to be like this anymore. It hurt so badly to see this person, this friend, surrounded by cans of beer, fiddling with a cigarette, testifying of Christ and the Atonement. He loves the church and the Book of Mormon but he lets his natural man get in the way. At one point I told him that we were going to throw the beer away and he waved at us to go ahead. So, faithfully followed by my brave little greenie, we threw away all of the beer, half of which were still pretty full. Then we took his cigarette. Agency is one of the most important things that we have in this life. And it's also the one that causes the most pain.

On the upswing, Xavier and Jessica are this adorable little couple in our ward. She's 6 months pregnant I believe and they have been looking for a name for a while. They asked all of the missionaries for help, as well as for their first names and long story short they are 99.99% sure they will be naming their little boy Jayce. 😊

I love being a missionary. I love being a part of this work, bringing others to Christ. I was studying a lot about faith this week, it's one of those things that seems very simple, it's the foundation of all that we have. And yet, there is so much more that I am just beginning to comprehend. I reflected a lot on my experience with being sick. I was confused as to why I still felt so bad when I thought that I had the faith to be healed. I forgot though, that we are often used as examples. Our faith is something that doesn't mean we will be able to overcome everything without pain, without bumps. It's trusting the Lord, our Savior, who knows us better than anyone ever can, to heal us or to not heal us. He knows what we need a lot more than we do. He also knows what others around us need. And so faith is not to have a perfect knowledge, it's not to be perfectly healed. Faith is to trust that whether He heals us, or He allows us to go through hard things, it is His will and we will be blessed for it.

Ether 12:4

Les quiero!

Hermana Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

​So I only have one picture this week of both my greenie and our magical adventure that we embarked upon. The car that we shared with the other sisters was taken away and so we begged for bikes. They are hard to ride in a skirt, but we managed! Shoutout to Hna Holmes (my mtc companion in Texas who is in a bike area) - teach me how!!


The Hikeeee (August 15, 2016)

The Hikeeee

how many missionaries can you see? hopefully an even number.

​it rained. a lot. 

  ​Spanish missionaries: the rap album cover. 
because we're all super white and can hardly even speak Spanish.

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Cop Cars and the Spirit (August 15, 2016)

This week was a little bit nuts.

Tuesday was probably one of the craziest experiences I have ever had yet. We were walking toward one of the rougher streets, Hna Marble calls it a mini Mexico, to contact a referral we were given a while ago. As we turned onto the street however, we run smack into about 5 cop cars, scattered all over. We decide to stop and wait a little while, to see if the cops would tell us if it was safe or not and sure enough the first one that drove by told us, "It's nothin too serious, you're good!" So we head down the street as the cops drive away. About halfway down, there were a couple of guys standing in front of a white truck. We hadn't been sure where the cops ended up being and so we had no reason to think that we just walked into the reason why they were there. Long story short, one of the guys, Scott, just had a really really horrible messy break-up. That was not quite finished when we happened to walk by. The pain that he was in was tangible, there was a horrible spirit there and we basically stood and watched her move out with not a few swear words. It's rather difficult to describe exactly everything that was happening but eventually Tim asked if we could still say the prayer that had gotten interrupted with Scott chucking her stuff into the back of Tim's truck. We got into a prayer circle as Scott continued to storm back and forth, still swearing up and down at everything and everyone. Finally I just started praying. And I kept praying until Scott eventually went inside and everything on the street went quiet. A calm settled over the street and the Spirit replaced the harsh feelings that had just moments before covered the entire street. It was hard, so hard to see how much pain that is in the world. Sometimes, as a missionary, you forget how many horrible things happen in the world day to day. And how grateful I am to have the gospel and the spirit with us as a constant companion, to bring us the peace that seems to be becoming smaller and smaller every day.

I don't have time to talk about the rest of the crazy things that happened but in other news I will be training a new missionary!

Les quiero!
Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Gonna be a trainer!!

We look like the sisters off of the district X)

​our rockin awesome tan-lines

trying to figure out the new way to plan with PMG (Preach my gospel) - we dissected the area book... 

top view

​she packed, I planned. Sad day :(

The beautiful thing about Washington is that everyone has some seriously intense gardens and they like to give us fresh fruits and vegetables :) these are plum thingies? I dunno

​They're redder than cherries on the inside, super sweet with a tart skin

​​I have accidentally cultivated a fruit fly farm. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of larvaaaaaaaaae.  It was initially a trap, but they multiplied.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Satan Can't Get the Last Laugh (August 8, 2016)

I pretty much just love being a missionary.

I love the people here so much. Wenatchee is like my home! We had some really interesting lessons this past week, very few that were actually planned but they were all really neat. This week we have finally been getting set appointments. Unfortunately, the majority of them fell through but we were still able to meet some neat people.

I got food poisoning on Friday, but that particular day we had offered to take the other Spanish sister's mini missionary because they had a meeting all day. I didn't want her to stay in with us all day, I wanted to be able to take her out so that she could experience missionary work and so I got a blessing a couple hours before she came over. I remember reading in Alma recently about Zeezrom. He's a pretty rotten guy, until he comes to the knowledge of the Savior and becomes converted. At one point, he gets really really sick, and he asks Alma and Amuleck to come to him and bless him. I love this passage because in the blessing Alma says, "May he be healed according to his faith." and in the next verse, Zeezrom LEAPS to his feet. I can't say that i was able to leap to my feet after the blessing that I received, but I was able to go out and work the rest of the night. I got reprimanded for not staying in at least for a little while longer but I honestly felt worse to stay in then I did to get out and work. I wasn't the best missionary that day, but I know that the Lord consecrates our actions for our good.


Maxine - darling older lady on the bench waiting for the bus. We almost didn't stop but then figured we had nothing to lose and started talking to her. She had the sweetest testimony of Christ. We gave her a plan of Salvation pamphlet, as well as a Book of Mormon and she got so excited to have more little books to read! It was eye opening for me at the very end. We were talking about how when two or three are gathered in His name, He is in the midst of us and she got so excited and she said, "Oh oh!! He's right here with us!! You know, I bet Satan didn't want you to stop and talk to me but guess who got the last laugh? Ha ha ha!" She was so sweet! Unfortunately her bus came right then and cut our lesson short but it was such a neat interaction, one that reminded me how important it is to talk to EVERYONE. Because when we don't, Satan is getting that last laugh, as silly as it sounds, that is what he wants! He wants us to walk past those on either side of us, those that we judge may not need it but in reality are our brothers and sisters. And who are we to judge that they won't want what we have?

Millie - sweet older lady who was sitting outside smoking. we began talking about Jesus and she has such an incredibly strong testimony, she is just the sweetest thing! We talked to her for a while honestly, before she had to go cook dinner for her husband but before she went in I pulled out the "Because He Lives" video pass along card. "Can we leave you with a card? It has our number and a picture of Jesus!" Her eyebrows raised and she gave us a look that said, "A picture of Jesus? Why did you even ask!" We talked a little bit about the picture, where Christ is holding little kids and she is just the sweetest, so excited about Jesus. Finally, she shooed us away but just before, she gave each of us a big hug and said, "You girls are just so beautiful. I love you!" It made our day!

Elisar - He is honestly my favorite. He was passed from the elders to us because he's right inside of our border and he is awesome. He loves loves loves the Bible. We've tried to teach the Restoration the last couple of times but he's fixated on the Book of Mormon and has been struggling with the validity of it. We'll be teaching and he raises his hand and says, "Tengo una pregunta. En la Biblia..." and then we all turn to the Bible or scramble to find a scripture in the Book of Mormon. He talks crazy fast as well, but I am so grateful that I have studied so much in the Book of Mormon because there are always answers to his questions IN that book. We've gone by twice this week, with two different return missionaries, Jordan and Stefano. Jordan just got back two or three weeks ago from El Salvador and he is loving coming out with us. There came a point in the lesson where Elisar wanted proof of Joseph Smith in the Bible. I had no idea, but Jordan turned to us where we were sitting, looking at each other like - i have no idea, and said "Reaffirm why we have the Book of Mormon!" After a couple of minutes, we turned to 2 Nephi where it prophecies about the Restoration. That night, we assigned him 2 Nephi 28 and 29. I knew that it was pretty much laying it down, those are the chapters that discuss the Apostasy and Restoration and then the Lord speaks about why we have a Book of Mormon. It was really funny, because that next lesson he wanted to read those chapters, (well parts of them) out loud. When he got to chapter 29 he gets to the verse where it says, "y ellos dicen: ¡Una Biblia! ¡Una Biblia! ¡Tenemos una Biblia, y no puede haber más Biblia!" (A Bible, a Bible, we have a Bible and we have no need for anything more.) He reads it, in a very theatrical way I may add, and then at this point he stops, takes off his glasses and looks at us down his nose. "Who gave me this chapter?" Grinning, I raise my hand and he laughs because this chapter perfectly addresses his concerns. He's definitely an odd one to teach because he thinks in ways that cause us to address things we usually wouldn't immediately. For example, typically we don't use chapter 29 right off the bat to give a solid lashing to concerning those that struggle with the existence of a second book. But with him it was exactly what was needed. At the end of that lesson, we told him that we have certain lessons that we teach, it's a program and that most of his questions will be answered, IF he lets us teach the lessons! We've decided to meet with them every day this week, and Tuesday and Thursday Elisar gets to have a study of the Book of Mormon and the Bible with us, along with all of his crazy questions.

All in all, this week was awesome. There are bumps, sicknesses, rejections, heat, so many things that Satan may knock into our paths to make us lose, but we have to remember that Satan cannot get the last laugh! During Zone Training Meeting we had a discussion on the importance of being bold. We have to be willing to get out of our comfort zone so that our Heavenly Father can trust us with things that others are not willing to do, and in doing so we become His instruments, working miracles for others. How often have we heard stories of someone bringing to pass a miracle for someone else? They were only able to do so because of their willingness to get out and work, to do the things that others wont do, to be what others aren't willing to become. I encourage each of you this week to be aware of ways that you can be a miracle or a Godsend to others around you.

Alma 37:6-7
" small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
 7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls."

Les quiero!

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Member Work, Member Work, and Some More Member Work (August 1, 2016)

This week was in complete honesty one of the best weeks I have ever had on my mission so far. It was amazing!

We've been struggling lately with finding people in our area and so we decided to put a huge focus on the members this week. As the Spanish sister missionaries in Wenatchee, we cover the Sage Hills and the CastleRock wards, searching for all of those that speak Spanish in that area. I have been in Wenatchee for nearly 5 months and I knew about 4 families from Castle Rock and one from Sage Hills. So we decided to go through the ward mission leaders and the bishops to begin to break down each ward and activate the members from the English ward, gathering referrals along the way. It began on Wednesday, when we met with Brother Shepherd, the ward mission leader of the Sage Hills ward. We sat out back and went through the roster, going over all of the members that could use some extra help, those that would appreciate sisters stopping by, those who speak Spanish and those that were really awesome, strong members that might be willing to come out with us.. We all left in high spirits, excited to begin to work as a newly formed team to strengthen the church as a whole. On Thursday we went and helped Hermana W get ready for seminary after District Council and when she drove us home she gave us a referral! Friday after planning we were walking to contact one of the referrals we had received from the elders and these two darling older ladies pulled over and asked if we needed a ride. We gladly accepted and as she drove us to the address, she asked what set of missionaries were the Spanish Sage Hills. We were pretty much thrilled beyond belief to tell her that we were and she gave us another referral, one that she wanted to introduce us to herself. On Saturday we met the standard of excellence where OYM's are concerned with 10 OYMs. It was an awesome day. We had had a set appointment for almost every hour of the day and just about every single one of them fell through. But the Lord placed in our path others to teach and we got some really awesome potentials in place of all of those that dropped us. That night we met up with Brother Shepherd to visit a member who ended up being one of the little ladies that had picked us up just the day before! She was so excited to get to know us because sisters were the ones that had found her and baptized her. It has been such a blessing to me to be able to see how many people love us sisters. The elders do an amazing work, but as a sister I have never felt more loved than this week as we began to meet with the members of the Sage Hills ward. That Sunday we attended the Sage Hills ward and introduced ourselves to the third hour class. We got signed up on their dinner calendar and will now be eating two nights every week with every ward, allowing us to better get to know all the wards and involve not only the Spanish members, but the English members as well. We went to our ward immediately after, where unfortunately none of our investigators were able to make it but I had the opportunity to accompany a special musical number that Elder Adams played on the cello, Come Come Ye Saints. Our little Spanish ward has been growing so much and it has been so wonderful to work with all of the members. Thankfully cherry season is almost over and there are members begging to go out with us. Shortly after church, we met with Bishop B's family from the Castle Rock ward. We were able to get to know all of the members of their family, Emma who has gone out with us often, as well as Jordan who just got back from his mission and begged us to let him come with us sometime. Not only that but he told us that he has some referrals that he is preparing for us, and we are so excited to get to work with them. We found out some incredibly helpful information about different members to visit, as well as some crucial information on one of the part member families we are currently trying to reactivate that Sister B has helped a lot with in the past. Finally, that night we went to the Sage Hills ward missionary coordination where we  were able to coordinate with the other ward missionaries and get a list of members who can speak Spanish, as well as those who can help. One of the ward missionaries is a darling mom of 4 boys and has felt as though she hasn't been used enough, so we asked her to come out with us to a lesson we had just earlier scheduled that night. I have felt so incredibly blessed to be a part of this work. Not only have we been able to make so many new friends, but we have also been blessed with a flood of referrals, member support, new investigators, and all of our numbers have been up as well. I have gained such a testimony of member work even with just this past week. I know that the Lord is watching over us and will bless us with that sure testimony after the trial of our faith.

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Just another beautiful day in Wenatchee. And this was just Tuesday. Thursday it got up to 110. There comes a point where you've been walking in the heat for like 3 hours and you get to a door and just begin to laugh hysterically because this is your life. It was awesome :) I never knew I could sweat so much.

I think we have like 30 waterbottles between the two of us. We gotta stay hydrated.

​Yay the one picture we took all week ^.^

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Street Smarts (July 25, 2016)

This week was in complete honesty one of the worst weeks I have ever had on my mission so far. And I couldn't be more grateful.

We have hit a drought in our area. We have one investigator who we have on date but that about sums up our teaching pool. We have a total of 2 potentials, half of which have cancelled on us already and have been hitting wall after wall after wall. By the end of the week I was feeling a little bit drained and began to feel stuck. And then I was asked to prepare the lesson for Relief Society on Saturday night at 10pm. The lesson was centered around the talk given by Dallin H. Oaks this past General Conference called "Opposition in All Things." I was more than happy to help Eva out and studied for it the next morning, in Spanish because that was the only copy I ended up having. As I began to study, I realized how incredibly fitting this subject went along with our week.

As I read the talk, the scripture Moses 1:39 came to my mind.
"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." The more I read of the talk, the more that i realized that in order for God to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life, we must have opposition. 2 Nephi 2:11  says that,
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so... righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."
12 "Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God."

Elder Oaks explains:
"The purpose of mortal life for the children of God is to provide the experiences needed “to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.” We progress by making choices, by which we are tested to show that we will keep God’s commandments. To be tested, we must have the agency to choose between alternatives. To provide alternatives on which to exercise our agency, we must have opposition."

Okay so I knew all of this. I know, I teach the Plan of Salvation, I've studied it, I understand that we must have opposition. We have to. So how on earth do we apply it to us now, in our lives where we hit droughts, when we run into walls, when we want to just sit down and give up?

There's a letter called the Ricciardi letter that my companion gave to me. In the letter, there is a missionary who hits a drought. He is in London where no one is kind, no one cares, he hits wall after wall after wall. He goes to the room he calls the "Prayer Room" and pleads, cries, begs, demands to understand why it is so hard, why there is no success, why on earth they couldn't find ANYONE. And he received a very distinct response. Heavenly Father knows exactly where those people live that are prepared to accept the gospel. He purposely was sending that missionary to areas that were even harder, areas that were even less receptive than all the others. Why? Because what would we learn if we were sent to find all of those "golden investigators"? Nothing.

Over and over we are told that the greatest convert you will ever have on your mission is you. It doesn't matter if you have a single baptism, because you will have brought a single soul to Christ - yours. "It must needs be, that there is opposition in all things. IF NOT SO righteousness could not be brought to pass..."

And so, this week I have learned "Street Smarts." I now know exactly what does not work as we are tracting. This next week will be much of the same. It will be a whole lot of tracting. But we know now not what to do. And this next week is going to be the best week that we will ever have.

Ether 12:6 - " is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

Les quiero!
Hermana baird

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Comp unity goals!!

So the Elders asked us if we wanted to service on Friday (during our planning time) and we said "sure why not". They said, and i quote, "It's just a little yard work, nothing sisters like yourselves can't handle!" We ended up cutting down trees and going to battle against a grapevine that was killing the pine tree that we swam in. Because we're real hermanas.

Hermana Hansen and I swimming in a pine tree

Hermana Hansen and I with the hack saw that we used to go to war.

Hna Tecuatl selfying while in the background I'm trying not to die as I balance on two pieces of wood held up by the branches of the trees hanging onto a grapevine. It was awesome.

Pine grapes. Or something.

My train made from the trees that we cut down.

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission