August 2015-February 2017 Return With Honor

Monday, February 29, 2016

Heerree'ss Shorty!!!!!

Good day to you all!
This week has been a lot like the other weeks... but it has also been different because we found an awesome guy named Luis! Our Relief Society president had given us a list of all the sisters in the ward so we could visit them and find the ones who aren't going to church. So we went to this one house of less actives that live in a small house on the side of the highway to see if we could visit with them. It was later in the evening so they said they would call us when there was a better time because they were going to bed early (typical). There were a couple other small buildings that looked like they had people living in them next door though, so we decided to knock them too before we left. We knocked the first one. No answer. We knocked the second one and Luis answered! He is a young dad with a three-year old son, and said that he doesn't usually get visitors since he lives on the side of the highway. We introduced ourselves and talked with him a little about his relationship with Heavenly Father, and left him with a Book of Mormon. We went back a couple days later with a team up, and he had read the introduction and some other stuff, and wrote down notes and questions to discuss with us! At the end of the lesson, we asked him to say the closing prayer, and after he did, he just sat there looking at the ground and smiling. We sat there for a minute, and asked him how he felt, and he said he felt really good! He said that he wants to make this a priority in his life, and that we can come over any time and teach him! THIS IS SUCH A BLESSING!!!! I have an increasing testimony that finding and appreciating the little, buoyant miracles in this crazy sea of life will keep our hope afloat and our spirits lifted. 😊



Another miracle that I have to call attention to is that our friend Christine finally came to the church! She didn't come for the service on Sunday, but she brought her family to a ward Chili Cook Off on Saturday night, and they seemed to really enjoy themselves. That was a big step for her because she is soooo sweet, but also very shy, and coming and meeting ward members was a miracle alone, and the fact that she brought her husband and two of her sons was even better!

We have also been having some movie night activities the past couple of Friday nights, where we play a Gospel movie and have snacks etc. We have been using it as a missionary tool to get our investigators and less actives to the church and to allow other members to invite their friends to come. This last week was great because we showed The Testaments movie, and a lot of our less actives came and one of the young women in the ward invited her friend too. The spirit was really strong at the end of the movie, even though it is kind of cheesy haha.

Sometimes I forget that people have hard lives. A lot of times when we find people and start teaching them I forget that I am only seeing one pretty side of them, and that the other side of their life may be filled with trials and pain and sin. Heavenly Father has been blessing us with a LOT of people to comfort and help lately. It seems like everyone we have been teaching is hurting in serious ways. I am really learning how to comfort and mourn and show love to others even when there isn't always a lot that I can do to physically solve their problems. I can't give everyone a thousand dollars or heal their loved one or give them a better job. But the Lord has called me to bring them closer to Him, and He CAN heal whatever ails them from the inside out. He can heal their hearts and comfort them in their time of suffering when no one else can be there. I am realizing that this calling is SO much more that getting a bunch of baptisms or racking up a bunch of good-looking numbers and statistics. It is about representing the Lord, Jesus Christ, and He doesn't care one bit about our numbers. He cares about the condition of people's hearts, and the QUALITY of our service, not just the quantity. Christ ministers and heals and cares and loves, and I am eternally grateful that I have this time to become more like Him. THIS is why I am on a mission, and it is the part that I love the most! 

I love you all an incredible amount, and I promise you that your Savior can heal WHATEVER may ail you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 😁

Sister Baine :)

So this license plate is from my recent convert, Chris Harris. He wrecked his car a couple months ago and got a new one with new plates, but earlier Sister Roundy and i told him that he had the coolest license plate because it said CTR on it, and explained what that meant. Well a couple weeks ago he came down to Plainfield to give me one of the CTR license plates so that i could always have a priceless souvenir from NJ, given to me from my recent convert, and remember to choose the right!! Best gift EVER!!!

I wanted to show you the awesome bracelets our mission president gave us! Our mission these is BECOME an instrument in the Lords Hands, so he put BECOME on one side, and hashtag on the other haha which is so cool. I love being a missionary here. 😁


















ALSO!!!!!! This is a lady that Sister Roundy and i were teaching
before i left, and now she got baptized!!!! My mama and Sister Hales
mama baptized my former investigator!!! Her name is Ann. Such
miracles!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

SUNSHINNNE!

Hello! Well this week was really busy, but this is probably going to
be shorter because I have a lot of other people to email this week! I
feel so popular!

Well we have met a TON of new people this week, and gotten a lot of
new investigators. The beginning of this week was kind of chilly, so
we went mall contacting, and asked a bunch of people if we could ask
them a couple of "survey" questions, and it turned out to be really
effective! We found a really cool guy named Herman, and met with him
again on Friday with one of our members, and it was so great!





However, I have to warn you of the slippery traps of Satan. Hopefully
you don't judge me too badly... I am almost too ashamed to say... So
we were in the mall right? We were talking to a ton of people, handing
out copies of the Book of Mormon all over the place... And THEN! We
were stopped by this salesman. He said he had seen us walking earlier,
and blah blah whatever... And we were like oh cool, we get to have a
lesson with this guy. So we do a spiel and give him a BoM and and
explain it, promise blessings and tell him to read it and all of that.
BUT then as we were about to walk away, he started talking to us about
whatever I don't even remember, and we took one glance at his
cosmetics products and he was OFF on his performance! We don't even
know how it happened, but he did his demonstrations and was sweet
talking us and being so smooth and everything that 20mins later we
were walking away in a daze with his product.... It was a horrible
experience... And I don't even CARE about cosmetics!!! Satan is SO
tricky and if you think you are safe, THINK AGAIN!!! We asked him if
he could give us some tips about how to share the Book of Mormon like
he shares his cosmetics, and he said that its because he is so
charming and good looking... Darn it... Don't fall for Satan! DONT
FOLLOW MY EXAMPLE AND TAKE WOODEN NICKELS!!! Learn from my mistakes...



Also, I have a wonderful companion who loves me and gives me adorable
Valentines day surprises... I love her haha.



Anyways.... It is a beautiful day outside and we are going to go play
some ultimate frisbee, so I will talk to y'all LATERRRR!!!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ohana Means Family!

Wow this week has been so long!! Sister Hale and I decided that it is
a good thing when our weeks seem really long, because that means we
have been working hard and have a lot to remember from the week. It is
so frustrating when weeks fly by and we don't feel like we did
anything. So I am happy because we have been really productive!

So we went to Ellis Island again on Friday which was fun. They have
been sending a lot lately because we need to have our pictures taken
so we can get badges instead of the stickers they give us every
time..BUT every time we go, the lady is always gone, so we never can
get our badges... But that was useless and uninteresting information
that I have no idea why I included... But yes, Ellis Island was really
fun.

We have been working with a couple new Less Actives this week. One of
them is a guy that the other sister missionaries in our ward found...
They called us one day and said they had found a long lost member for
us to teach haha. Apparently his records didn't ever get moved over,
so when they found him and started talking to him, he said he had
already been baptized. They were like WHAAAT? But yes haha he is a
crazy funny old guy that we have been teaching.

We have also been teaching our police officer friend... But he is
being kind of a stink pot, because he keeps looking things up online
about Mormons, and then asking us crazy random questions on things
that he has found... We told him that he can find anything he wants to
find online, but that the only way to know if this Gospel is true, is
to go straight to the source and pray about it. We said he needs to
question to believe and not to doubt.

The highlight of this week though, has to be that Elder Clayton
Christensen  came to our mission on Saturday and gave us a WONDERFUL
training on how to work with members better. Elder Christensen is
world renowned for his methods in disruptive thinking in business
tactics, and teaches business at Harvard University. Yet when he
spoke, he was so soft spoken and humble and you could feel the love
and spirit oozing out of him as he taught us. It was so amazing!! I
wish I could have recorded it all for you! Maybe I will send you some
of my notes...

Ummm let me think of anything funny that happened this weeeeeekkkk....
See this is the problem, is that what I think is funny, and what
everyone else thinks is funny are two different things... I think the
clever things I say are absolutely hilarious, but whatever I say that
makes me look like a fool is what everyone else dies laughing at...
The funniest thing is when we go up to someone or knock a door and we
are all nice and start talking to them about Jesus Christ and they
smile and nod, but when we ask them a question they are like "I no
speak English" or "No habla Ingles" or something like that... Then it
is awkward and we are just like "oh.. Ok well have a great day!" But
then they are still just smiling and nodding... So we just awkwardly
wave and walk away.... This happens at least once a day...

ANYWAYS!!! You are all wonderful people, and I am so thankful to be
here IN New Jersey. I am a missionary, and I LOVE IT!!! Have a
fabulous week! MUAH!

Sister Baine :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

So it comes to this....

Wweellllllllllllll............
.

So this week was pretty awesome. All weeks are pretty awesome. But this is another week that is... pretty awesome. So last week (which was also pretty awesome) I think I told you that our entire district survived transfers, and we are all staying together in this ward right? Well, they did switch our district leader, so instead of reporting to a 21 year old, seasoned Elder who is about to finish his mission, we now report to an 18 year old boy who is younger than I am in the mission hahaha. Elder Anderson is awesome though. He is whipping us into shape, and crackin' down on all the horrible things that may be against our missionary purpose. Bringin' down hell fire and brimstone!!! But its great. 

You know when someone tells you that you aren't doing something right, and you aren't working hard enough and you need to be better? You know how you kind of get all bristly and defensive and miffed? Well thats how we were for like the first two seconds when Elder Anderson started giving us criticism. But I can testify to you that I have learned that Heavenly Father inspires the leaders he calls. We were duly humbled, and the second we truly accepted the counsel, and started changing and applying the things he said, we doubled the success that we were finding that week in two days! I don't know if that sentence made sense, but the point is that if we are always right, God will never have enough room to help us grow. Sister Hale and I were doing good things that we thought were great, but I am so thankful for inspired leaders who give us a wake up call when needed. 

Also, here is a miracle for you. We have a few investigators that we are really going to focus on this week, and we have been praying for them to progress. A couple nights ago we get a call right before bed from one of our investigators. Let me back up for a minute. Last week we were at WalMart, and on our way out we recognized a Less Active. She said that she was going to be out of town for a while, and couldn't meet with us, but that she had a friend who had been asking her about the gospel, and wanted her to have us call her because she needed help in her life. Sweet! So we called her friend, and she was so happy to hear from us, and said she would meet us at church on Sunday. And she CAME!! She actually showed up even though she wasn't feeling very good, and stayed the whole time! One of the members came up to meet her and asked if she was visiting. Our investigator looked kind of confused and said, "No, I'm going to be a member..." WHAT?! We hadn't even met with her yet! Then a couple nights ago she called us right before bed crying and crying because of a huge trial that came up in her family that live in a different country. She said she knew she could talk to us, and didn't have anyone else to go to. Then that night at 1:30, we found out that another one of our investigators was going through a hard family trial too. And THEN we get a huge text from ANOTHER investigator that is going through terrible things too!!! And THEN when we were at church, we discovered that ANOTHER one of our investigators is struggling as well with trials. This is all within 24 hours!!!! I am so thankful that we are blessed to be here to help all these people who are going through so much. Even though it is hard, and I am sad for them, it also gives me so much joy to see it, because I know that Heavenly Father is humbling them, and giving an opportunity to understand Jesus Christ and His Atonement. 

WHEUF!!! This is so intense... Anyways... what is something funny that happened this week... We played Quidditch as a zone last Monday. We got the rollie office chairs from the Family History Center and moved them into the gym. Then we laid on our stomachs and "flew" around attempting to throw a soccer ball at the "goals." Then someone brought out a few wooden bats "to beat the bludgers with," and thats when we decided it would be wiser to play soccer instead... It was fun up until that point though haha. We probably all looked so weird...

I also got a super creepy letter this week... Apparently someone thinks that it is super funny in their free time to send all the sister missionaries throughout the mission strange Dear John letters... but with creepy drawings.... I'll send you a picture... but anyways haha its actually not that bad... My only hope is that I never see a creature like the one they drew.... Its like Dr. Who meets My Little Pony... 

You are all so wonderful, and Heavenly Father loves you so much! I hope He is answering my prayers, and that you are all feeling blessed! (But no Dad, I am not going to pray for you to be blessed with $10000.) Love you all!!! 

Sister Baine :) 😘

Lets Bring Some INTENSITY to this Workout!!!


Wow.... Where do I even begin.... This week has been CRAZY!!!!!
Completely loco...

So our area is SO HUGE with SO many people that I could literally
spend my entire mission here and not get to a hundredth of the people
in our area... You think I am joking but I am sweaty and I'm
serious... Now I know why New Jersey is the most populated state...
Anyways! Well on Tuesday we went to a part of our area that doesn't
get worked very much and we were going to knock doors... but it was
late afternoon and not many people were home and we felt like that
wouldn't be very effective. So we knocked this door and asked a guy if
there was any big mall or shopping center around where we were, and he
directed us to a mall not far away. And HOLY TOLITO we had SO much
success there! We talked to so many people who were just RIPE and
prepared, and ready to be harvested! It is days like that when I know
we are where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there...
I have this theory see, that since God is the Master Planner, and we
are all here on His time, that He already has all of our days and all
of our lessons planned out perfectly the way that He knows will bring
us the most success. It is only when we follow the promptings of the
Spirit and do His will, that we find the blessings we are searching
for.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with our cop friend, Officer Nick, again.
Haha he is so funny, because he has so many questions, and wants to
know so much, that we have such random and sporadic lessons with
him.... But he is cool, and I have a goal to baptize a popo on my
mission anyways, so here we go.

Thursday we walk into the library to teach English classes, and
whereas before we only had like one or two students, this time we had
6!!!!! It was so much fun!!! I have never before considered becoming a
teacher, but teaching English to people from Honduras, Guatemala,
Mexico, and other places that I don't remember is SO FUN!!!! We are
teaching them how to read and write checks and speak and they ask such
funny questions! There are a couple of them that are getting really
good, and then some of the other ones don't even understand anything
we say at all haha. We attempt to teach them things like "The book is
on the table, " and "The dog is behind the cat," and they just smile
and nod hahaha. I am learning so much about how to communicate with
people better though.

video


So every Saturday we go and see this sweet lady named Donnie who is
confined to a care center, and teach her. Well this Saturday when we
went, we ran into the activities director before we left, and asked
her if we could bring maybe a group of youth and come sing to the
tenants there for Valentines Day. We had talked to her before, and ran
into her in random places, but we had never had a long conversation
with her. (Her name is Jewel.) Well we started talking to her, and
holy tolito, Heavenly Father blessed us, because she found out that we
were Mormons and just got so excited! She also loved that Sister Hale
is from Idaho and that I have family there. She thought that as long
as she lived she would never meet someone from Idaho hahaha. But we
talked to her for a long time, and she invited us to come to her
Baptist Church on Sunday evening. So guess what? We went to a Baptist
Church on Sunday evening!!! We had some soul food to say the least!!!
They were having a special service to honor one of their pastors that
died, and there were SO many people there! We walked in late and
started to sneak in the back, but then one of the ushers moved us to a
place closer to the front, and holy tolito... I swear out of maybe 250
people, there were probably only 2 other white people there... It was
definitely a new experience... but it was so much fun! We had a
blast... We didn't know what would be appropriate for us to
participate in, so we basically sat and clapped our hands a bunch. But
everyone was FEELIN IT and GETTIN DOWN!!!


And guess what??? Sister Hale and I are staying together here in
Scotch Plains for another transfer!!! This is going to be a blast! In
fact, if you want to know some crazy transfer gossip, no one in our
entire district is getting switched out!!! And Sister Roundy (my
mission mama) is going to be a Sister Training Leader in Morristown
with Sister Rogers (Sister Hale's mission mama)!!!!! I am going to
explode.... Heavenly Father is having so much fun with us haha. We are
excited though, because we have some goals that we haven't
accomplished yet that we have plans to!

Also....... I may have caused another minor car incident... I was
backing Sister Hale up, and then I didn't tell her to stop in time
before she may or may not have backed up into another elders bumper...
but its not bad... just a flesh wound... We got hit on Thursday though
when we were teaching English... Actually one of our students that
came late took out our back tail light.... yes... so I am so sorry
that I bring bad car luck everywhere I go, and that your precious
tithing dollars are being used to fix my problems.. But I am thankful
that we are SO blessed in this mission. We are literally spoiled, and
have nothing to want for or worry about except preaching the Gospel.

Well I guess I should go now... But I love you all, and I pray for you
always! You are such blessings in my life that Heavenly Father knew I
would need to shape me and prepare me for what He needs me to do.
Thank you for your support and love!!!!! Many hugs and kisses!!!!
MUAH!

Sister Baine :)