Date

March 7, 2017

Area

Hondo, TX

Companion

Elder Gale

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday! It has been a while since I have sent out an email. I apologize.

Since I last wrote I have been transferred to the Hondo area. I am
kind of out here in the middle of nowhere. To preface this area, we
live in a trailer in the middle of an oat field. The demographics of
this area are about just the opposite of my last. It has been an
interesting transition.

I want to share a couple of experiences where the Lord's hand has been
unquestionably prominent in His work.

The week before I was transferred we had one of the young men come out
with us. We were going to be picking him up so we planned around where
he lived. I put in the plans a woman who had been on my mind a lot.
Throughout my mission there have been names in every area that have
stood out to me from the very beginning with no reasoning. And when
those names stand out I am anxious to meet these people. This name,
Alisa Severson, stood out to me. All our area book tells us is she is
18-30 and she is less active. I guess I just always assumed in my head
she was a young mother who's husband wasn't a member but we weren't
sure of that. Well Elder Dunford and I had tried to visit her,
previous missionaries had notes going way back saying they could never
contact her and Elder Ridenour and I had gone once or twice but there
was never anything indicating they were home so when there was no
answer it wasn't too surprising. This particular night we went and
there were multiple cars! We were very excited. We got out and knocked
on the door and waited. We heard some people inside and then some lady
opened the door and started freaking out!!! She was almost squealing
and Elder Ridenour started freaking out right back. We recognized this
was some sort of electrifying reunion. I looked at Isaac, the young
man that was with us and told him "I am just as lost as you are." What
we came to found out was the woman who answered the door is Alisa's
mother and she lives in Round Rock. When Elder Ridenour was in Round
Rock the transfer before he was helping her come back to church.
Because she was down from Round Rock for the night we were invited in.
It was made clear that was the only reason we were being invited in
and normally we aren't welcome. By the end of the visit something
changed. We were invited to come back and meet with Alisa and her
young family again.

Experience number two happened the day before I was transferred. Two
nights before I was transferred we got a call from some of the Elders
in our zone and they said that a less active man in their ward was
asking to meet me. What? Who in the world is asking to meet Elder
Baker? I'm not going to know any less active members in Texas unless I
have worked with them. Apparently he somehow found out I am from
Arizona. The Elders don't know how. This man had a similar story to
Alisa. The missionaries have been trying to get in his home for a long
time but have only had conversations with him on the doorstep. Since I
was being transferred we went and picked up the Elders to go visit him
before I was. When we got there he let us right in and asked which one
of us was from Arizona. Then he was asking me who I knew from Safford
and we had a good conversation. He is from Pima himself and moved out
here about a year ago. He completely opened up while we were there and
told us that he wants to serve a couples mission and wants to get back
to the temple. By the time we left we had a dinner set up with him
that the rest of his family would be at. We are still unsure of how he
found out where I was from. But that simple fact got us in the door
and opened up a heart. We are simply instruments here. It is
incredible to see the promises the Lord has given truly come to pass
more and more all of the time.

In Jacob 5 one of these promises is indirectly given. In verse 71 the
servants of the vineyard are told to go and labor in the vineyard once
more. Later in the verse the Lord says "if ye labor with your might
with me" and then verse 72 "And it came to pass that the servants did
go forth and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard
labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord
of the vineyard in all things." As we labor in the vineyard in these
last days not only as full time missionaries but each of us as members
of the Church of Jesus Christ and we obey the commandments of the
Lord, He is there laboring along side us in a manor that is visible
when we give way to recognize it.

Not only are we promised this in missionary work but in our everyday
lives. While we are working, when we are going through trials, as we
are enjoying our hobbies, in everything we do the Lord can be with us
if we are obeying the commandments. The Lord promised Joshua "I will
not.. forsake thee." He also promises in the Doctrine & Covenants "I
will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in
your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." That
promise is given to each of us. He does not forsake us. He does and
will send angels to bear us up. I testify to that.

Elder Baker




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