Friday, December 23, 2016

Is Christ a Stranger to You? (December 19, 2016)

This week, like every other week, was pretty intense. You never have time to breathe!

Monday - beautiful P-Day where we had a lesson with a new investigator and his friend, Joel and Megan and put Rey and Elver on date! It was so awesome, he had called earlier that morning and asked us to bring Joel who is our returned less active. So Joel came and before we had even gotten there, Joel had taught Rey the Restoration! So when we got there, we just went over more in depth, Megan even read some of the scriptures in Spanish (she doesn't speak it at all, but can understand a little bit), and it was such an awesome experience!
We had Megan drop us off at the trailer park where Joel lives and we ended up talking for the next hour about all of missionary stuff because she's leaving on the 28th for the MTC!!! It was a lot of fun to see her, trying to get all ready to leave, and remember that one day a long long long time ago it seems that was me. I'm not sure what we're going to do once she leaves! She is the most willing person in the entire world to come out with us at a moments notice!

Tuesday - Volunteered at the 7th day Goodwill of sorts except it's all free. I like to go through the ties and find ones for the elders. It's easier than trying to come up with transfer journal entries and I've never seen a guy so happy to receive a piece of cloth in my life. They LOVE ties. Hna Hernandez and I have been trying to get enough for them for Christmas. I think the ladies at the 7th Day church think we're boy crazy and don't quite understand that we're essentially getting the ties for our brothers but we find some pretty awesome ties and so we call it good. We talked to a lot of people today. I have a confession - I really struggle talking to Americans. So I have decided. There are two reasons I can think of as to why Lord sent me to an area where I have to do both English and Spanish work.
1.) Because I need to learn how to share the gospel in English.
2.) He's using my fear of English to start a Spanish group here. The first day I got to the area I was told that Spanish work is pretty dead. Over the course of the 4 months I've been here, we've found more that 50 people willing to at least let us in and talk to us that SPEAKA DA SPANISH.
Personally, I think it's #2.
That being said we had a lesson with an English investigator and realized quickly that nothing we said would change what he thought, mostly because he was drunk beyond reasoning.

Wednesday was transfers and we thought that we weren't going to be affected. Then we were told that we were needed as Hna Shewell's companions for the day because she wouldn't be getting her real companion until nearly 4 o'clock. So we headed over to Hood River at 6:45 where we helped load up the missionaries that were leaving. The rest of the day we were in a tripan! We stopped by Megan to inspect her wardrobe (she managed to be stuck with three of the most un-fashion-savvy missionaries there are) before visiting some less actives and investigators. Close to 4 we felt like we should go visit Estrella and on the way there we saw that Darlisa had gotten home and was shoveling the driveway! We stopped (of course) and helped her. She then invited us in and we talked for a little while. As we did so, we got updates on the caravan of new missionaries and realized that we weren't going to be able to make it to our dinner appointment at 5 because that was when we were supposed to be in Hood River to make the switch. So Darlisa whipped up some tamales (I mean microwaved) and sent us out the door. It was neat to see how the Lord knew what was coming and set it up so that we not only got to spend some time with Darlisa whose sister just died but get fed and to Hood River on time!
We had another lesson and Elver wasn't there so after going in, we decided to go knock on his door because he was their neighbor. As we left, Rey told us, "No se vayan a caer!" or in other words don't fall! Well, Hna Hernandez almost immediately steps onto a frozen step and lands on her tail and we die laughing. I turn around and realize that Rey was watching and he was cracking up along with Joel. It was awesome. We had a really cool lesson with him about the Book of Mormon that night and promised him that as he does his best to read the Book of Mormon, he will learn how to read little bit by little bit.

Thursday - We decided to tract Lyle because I don't think missionaries ever have! We quickly found out why though.
After knocking on one trailer (with Simon in tow), we had spent about 5 minutes talking to this really sweet girl with a son with Down Syndrome. They were darling and weren't shutting the door on us as we continued to talk to them. We hear a yell in Spanish shortly thereafter, "What do they want? No! Ask them what on earth they want!!" Then this small hispanic lady comes to the door. "Who are you and what do you want? Don't you know you aren't supposed to talk to strangers? And you are STRANGERS."
"We're missionaries and that's actually what we do all day. We just wanted to share a neat Christmas video about Christ and service."
"Yeah well I am 100% Catholic. My dad is Jesus and Mary is my mom and I will never change!! What, are you embarrassed? (directed at the grandson) Well I'm not."
We bid farewell and left pretty quick.
We have dinner in Lyle this week. And this time we won't be strangers :)

It's actually something to think about. When Christ comes knocking on our door, is He a stranger? Or do we recognize Him and let Him in? Especially this Christmas season, I hope we all take a little more time to recognize His hand when it is knocking on the door to our hearts.

Lots of other stuff happened including church in Hood River but there isn't time for all of that.
Love you all and strive to share the gospel whenever you can!
Luke 6:20-23

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Transfers! and Deer (December 19, 2016)


Actual personalities. Mexican, Cash City gangster, blonde.


 ​VENADO. We decided that it would be really cold and miserable to be a deer. They have hard lives. It's 16 degrees out there and she's just sitting in the snow. Where is the food? The comfy bed? A blanket? All in all, I'm glad to be a human.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Fotos (December 12, 2016)

My boots aren't really a match for the weather we get here

It's snowing!


Christmas gathering :) Sis Miller, me, Sis Fabiano and Hna Hernanandez

 Our Christmas shrine with our tiny tree and borrowed nativity set.

 Actual snow. We got about 18 inches and it has wrecked havoc. I'm actually a huge fan though because we get to serve people right and left (pushing cars onto the road, shoveling, walking across ice), and everyone is home! It's lighter outside and everyone is walking because they don't want to drive. Snow is the BEYST.

Thursday it really snowed. We would go into lessons and we walked out 30 minutes later to another 3 inches burying our car. Actually epic. I think we cleaned off the car 7 or 8 times that day.

Our almost crash that wasn't almost at all. I'm relearning how to drive in the snow and after a few mishaps I think I've got it figured out again ;D

 ​Tyler, Ryan and Tristan cleaned off our car for us :) And then pushed us out too because we actually ended up getting stuck.

The God Named "Self" (December 12, 2016)

We had some fun this week. :)

Tuesday we were up in Appleton where there was some black ice. On the way back down we parked on this old Hwy where there are houses maybe every quarter mile and walked in the pitch black darkness in 27 degree weather from house to house. That was the day we learned that people get really weirded out when they see a couple of girls in skirts walking down a road in the dark :)

Wednesday we had the Christmas gathering up in Yakima! It was a lot of fun and it was great to see all of the friends I have made across the mission :) We got back at 8 that night where we met with the Bishop. It was kind of cool because we've been working really hard with the ward and have been doing a lot of finding and at the end of our report he sat there for a moment before saying, "Thank you for your hard work. It's inspiring." It reminded me that sometimes we have blinders on and don't notice the impact we really have where we are working because we don't see immediate results. But holy cow I love this work and am so grateful to be a part of it.

Thursday was the day the heavens opened and the angels had a massive pillow fight. According to Mary anyway. We stopped by a handful of our RCLA's and over the course of three hours where we didn't drive, just walked and taught, our car got 5 1/2 inches piled on it. WE also are now the proud parents of 20 little plants. Our dear friend Amber has been trying to let go slowly of all of her plants. So we offered to take some, figuring we could use them to fellowship some of the inactive sisters that I have never met. I hope they don't die. I'm not very good at keeping plants alive. That night we accidentally triple booked and had a couple people wondering if we had died. Good to know that we are loved :)

Friday was actually the best. Nimmas - we taught the 10 commandments! We are working on helping Tyler become a priest and get his patriarchal blessing and we helped them learn them with the handsigns. Then I confronted Bro Nimma about getting his patriarchal blessing and finally he said,
"I'll think about it."
*approximately 2 minutes later*
"I thought about it. No."

Later that night we took Tyler with us to the Brandts and faced down a room of about 7 men, ranging from inactive to non member to maybe a little anti, more than half of them being "Heathens" as they call themselves. We rounded them up and cornered them into the dining room with Sis Brandt watching with amusement from the living room. Then Skip walks in and we rope him in. The beautiful thing about it was once we got one, none of them wanted to be chastised alone, if one of them was going down, they were ALL going down. He asks,
"What is this all about?"
"The Church!"
"The Church? I know everything there is to know about the church! What do you want to know?"
"I wanna know why you don't go to Church."
I know the Spirit isn't sassy, but I swear there was a split second where I had to decide how to answer and that is what came to mind. It had the desired effect, they all flipped out and threw him under the bus as he fumbled for an answer. He regained his composure after a couple of seconds and actually bore an incredibly powerful testimony of how he knew the importance of going to church and how he had seen it bless his life. Then Tyler challenged them all to come to church, Tristan gave Alex a Book of Mormon and we committed Devin to taking the missionary lessons again since he works on Sundays. Then, as we walked back to our car, Tyler taught Ryan and Tristan the 10 commandments using the hand signs. The little missionary mom inside of me was beaming.
That night we had a lesson with Dakota and John (codenames) and she is finally beginning to accept the Book of Mormon!

Saturday we walked pretty much all day, helped a former investigator get back onto the road, and got majorly bashed twice, once in Spanish, once in English.
The first one was interesting because he prefaced it with (translation)
"Now let's not invite our enemy Satan into the conversation okay?"
Almost immediately thereafter he slandered Joseph Smith and called us fools for believing. It was not my favorite experience but also I am incredibly grateful for it because I eventually just shut it down, after testifying that I had received my own personal witness. We told him that there were others waiting for us and that he wasn't going to change our mind or "enlighten" us to the truth. We told him that unless he had read the Book of Mormon for himself and asked God with a pure heart, he cannot slander it and tell us that it is from the devil and not of God. He simply couldn't. Finally I asked him to pray right then and there to know if this was truth, what he was saying and he said "Of course!"
He then prayed and asked God to please enlighten us and help us find the right path so that we could be saved. Afterwards, I thanked him and told him, "No hizo lo que pregunte pero esta bien." We promised we would pray for him and he promised the same.

The second was by a "black sheep" Jehovah Witness who was drunk. He was 24 and essentially told us to get out of religion while we could and be free. Besides the fact that he wasn't listening, he was just plain drunk and refused to actually "hear" anything we said. We parted with friendly feelings, him telling us to be ready for more questions next time we met and us letting him know that we would have a Book of Mormon with his name on it. He laughed and ran.

During Stake Conference, Elder Cornish said two things that impressed me greatly.
1. Sometimes we get so caught up in the things that imperfect people have done imperfectly, particularly with the Church history and background. He said, "I'll try to put it delicately, but the Lord simply doesn't care. He has never been one to care what the world or anyone thinks of Him." Although at first I was a little taken aback, I realized it was true. After all was said and done, the gospel is still true and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or says.
2. The reason we do not keep the 4th commandment (keep the Sabbath day holy) is because we do not keep the first: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Well the god we put above God is named "Self".

I realized that I get caught up in those two things a lot. Sometimes I worry too much about what others think and focus to much on Self. Fortunately, this Christmas season we get a little extra help in turning us away from ourselves and more to others, aka God.
"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God."
Mosiah 2:17

So don't give into Self! I challenge you all to really focus on everyone and everything other than Self because when we do that I promise that is where we truly find happiness - knee deep in a snowy ditch helping someone else push their car out.
Love you all! :)
Hna Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I'm Actually the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland (December 5, 2016)

   Dec1 - We helped Matt clean his house and get it ready to be moved out of so that he can add it to the family hotel business. His mother was there who wasn't a member and she doesn't ever want to be one but we helped them a lot and got a lot of work done. It appeared as though his mom had a little bit of a changed idea of us and they were grateful we had stopped by to help.
       Later that day we got lost driving down a really random road and found a house a mile or so in in the middle of nowhere. We had had little success among people that day and I said "Let's just go knock it, what's the worst that will happen? They'll chase us off. Big deal." So we park a little ways down the road and walk up to the house and proceed to engage in a standoff with this gorgeous, and yet unhappy dog. We got to the property line before the dog wouldn't let us get any closer and I didn't really want to be attacked so we just kind of stood there for a couple minutes that someone would come out and save us. Soon a girl with super curly hair comes out and pulls the dog away. Long story short they aren't interested in religion but she invited us in and asked a ton of questions about the mission and what we do. We slyly threw in family history hoping that it would go somewhere but didn't and eventually she had to go. It was funny because she wanted to hear stories of people who weren't very nice or interested and after telling a couple, she said, "You know, that's actually my parents. If they were here my mom probably would have told you we weren't interested and sent you away." Talk about a celestial moment. As she was walking us to the door she said, "I'm really sorry, I have to finish that essay, but you had mentioned something about family history work and actually that's something that I'm really interested in and I would love to know more." We left her our number and left walking on clouds. Well, running because we were late for dinner. Again. But, the neat thing is that we found someone in the middle of nowhere at a time that was the only time we probably ever would have found only Leaf and Emerald (codenames) home alone.
        There's this thing called Tiwi in our car that monitors speed and aggressive driving. There are a couple of different ways to get an aggressive driving - speeding, gunning/revving the car, hitting a curb, and POTHOLES. I have never gotten an aggressive driving for anything EXCEPT for potholes. I shall now describe what the majority of our area is. Gravel roads. Dirt roads. The occasional paved road that has giant holes and pieces missing. And yet they wonder why I have upwards of 11 aggressive drivings. *sigh* But it's okay.

          Dec2 - I may not have had the opportunity to honor my parents but I was able to honor my elders by listening to their stories. I kind of failed that one.
          BUT we had an awesome experience knocking. So we recently found a new apartment complex and decided to knock it. First door we knock on is this really pretty woman from Colima MX answers the door. When she sees me she spoke English but as soon as she saw Hna Hernandez she switched to Spanish and said, "Pasense." We sat down and found out we had interrupted a call to her family in Mexico but she was totally fine with it. We shared the Light the World video with her and then tied it into the Restoration. She mentioned that by tradition she was Catholic but really never went. It was really cool and we set up a return appointment on Sunday. We knocked on another door or two and then we head upstairs. She had mentioned a sister that was living somewhere in the apartments and we were on a mission to find her. Guided by the Spirit we knocked on a door but almost immediately heard "Quien?" yelled from the other side. I was like "Dangit we picked the wrong door" but responded "Las misioneras!" "Oh, esperame." So we waited a moment or two before she opened the door and invited us in. Her name was (codenames) Luna and she was Sola's sister! We talk to her for a little bit before suddenly we hear a knock on the door and in walks a family of 5. They walk by and we keep talking to Luna who then gets up to make some sweet enchiladas from Colima for us and the family that walked in. As we talked she told us that Sola had just told her about us and that's why she let us in! The enchiladas were made with potatoes and meat and carrots on the inside and then mole sauce with lettuce and radish. It was really really good. Soon Estrella comes over (the mother of the family) and starts eating with us right about the time that Sola walks in. It was crazy awesome. So then we start talking to Estrella about the video and set up an appointment with her as well! It was honestly amazing. They were all best friends and an answer to our prayers. They were all "Catholic" but laughed when they said it because it was only by tradition. They were all so awesome and receptive to the gospel!

       Dec3 - We helped others to see ways that they could reach out to others and share the gospel with them. As a missionary this is obviously something that we do everyday but we had the opportunity to talk with a returning less active couple and show them how they can share the gospel with others through the Light the World movement. She was so excited about it :)
       Also that day we ran into Kiko, yet another extension of the group with Estrella, Luna and Sola. It was really funny because the news had spread that a white girl and a Mexican girl had been over there eating enchiladas with them and he seemed a little bit more open to listening because of them. Essentially, if we can get Sola and Luna to church, Kiko will fall in line with the rest of them. They are all each other's fellowship!! :D

       Dec4 - Today was the day that so many wonderful things happened. There was a little bit less stress because we didn't have any investigators to get to church unfortunately (we're still working on it) but we Tyler came with Curly and Traci and Dottie and all the Nimmas! AND Tyler brought his friend Griffin! My heart was full to bursting when I saw them, and afterwards he asked Bishop about how he could get his Patriarchal blessing. I love being a missionary and I love Sundays because that is the day where everything else is made okay. I was able to worship the Father through fasting and grateful prayer as well as helping other families have kneeling prayers.         I love these themes because there is so much that we can learn as we strive to do them in our everyday life.

       Dec5 - Although I have not yet had the opportunity to heal the sick or do one of the things on the calendar, I had a PT appointment and was able to talk a little about the gospel with my doctor. We also had the opportunity to go and do felting and begin to make a hummingbird out of beads with a member in our ward :) Which was AWESOME. She fed us grilled cheese and tomato soup which healed all of our souls I think.
       Also, as we began to go to our appointments, only Luna ended up being there. But as we were there, Sola, Estrella and then Kiko all walked in and we got to talk to them about fasting and why we do it, fast offerings and serving others. It was awesommmeeeeeeeee!!!

To explain the title - we are always late to everything. Literally everything. It's really frustrating but slowly we have been working on getting places on time! We do that by setting alarms, letting people know we have appointments and not lingering :) Slowly but surely I am leaving the White Rabbit life behind. Just kidding. It's getting worse. But we are battling it with everything we've got and it's sure to work out!  :)

Love you all!
Hna Baird

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission