July 30, 2017




Elder Strong

Happy Monday Family,

Happy Monday Family,

I shared with only a couple of you last week that I was transfered this last week. I am now back in San Antonio in the WIndcrest ward. I was sad to be transferred though I am also happy to go where I'm needed.

I have quickly come to realize I am no longer in the hill country of Texas where I have spent about 23 months of my mission. I am in the city now which brings a few changes. It has been almost like a whole new world. My companion Elder Strong has only been out for two transfers and already has more crazy stories than I do. People in these parts are.. Well let's just say by the end of it I think I may have some more crazy stories! I mean I was asked to speak in tongues this week.

I can't think of anyting incredibly exciting to share so i'll share a some of my recent pondering thoughts. My mission will be ending very soon. I am now in my last transfer, my last area, my last companion and so forth. My father said something in an email to me recently that I revere. He told me "constant change is precipitous of growth." That my friends, is doctrine. As I approach the end ironcially enough I feel like there is more and more I need to change. One might think 'you are at the end, wouldn't you have chagned all that you've needed to already? Haven't you already mastered all that you can?' Elder Villareal, an area seventy, once visited us in an MLC. He was a mission president in Mexico and he told us "I used to tell my missionaries not to worry about or think about the time they have left in thier missions. I told them that they should always serve as if they have a year left and that's what they should tell people when they asked. I have since repented of that." He went on to compare our time in the mission to a 1600 meter race. In this kind of race the athlete normally has a pace as they start. But the last lap is ran a bit differnt. More effort is exerted and they run harder and harder and as the are rounding the last corner they are giving it everyting they have! I am striving to be a spiritual athlete in that way. What's great is this doesn't have to stop. It actually shouldn't. I won't be able to be as consecrated as I am now but I should still be doing a little more everyday. Imagine if I started, lets say squating one pound tomorrow adding a pound every single day. A seemingly simple task that may seem negligible with the finite vision given of the natural man. But with a perspecitve looking out upon only 4 years and lets say I am only lifting about half a pound. By the end of those four years I'd be squating 730 pounds! Now imagine an eternal perspective. Of course we won't be squating through the eternites and probably not even through the end of this life as our bodies are mortal and will fail. But we can spiritually progress throughout this life and we must "For behold, this life is the time for men [and women] to prepare to meet God;" (Alma 34:32) As we get closer and closer to the end of our lives each day we must prepare more and more to meet our maker. As we do this repenting daily our spiritual capacity to change becomes more. We become more like our Savior half a pound at a time. "By small and simple things are great things come to pass" (Alma 37:6)

Have a happy Independence Day! I love you all.

Elder Baker


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