Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Atonement is amazing and I love it. I also saw a raccoon.

E-mail last week didn't treat me well. Let's hope it goes better this week. MY p-days have officially moved to Tuesdays for the rest of the transfer.One thing that is really unimportant, but that I was really excited to tell everyone was that I saw a raccoon! In a tree! He is one of the locals here in Nauvoo. We are friends. A new kind of wild life has sparked my interest since then so I guess it's good to get all my wild life mumbo jumbo over with in one e-mail rather than two. The earth worms here are the size of small snakes! They are Huge! and SO cool. Sister Stagg is afraid of them which makes it all the more fun to save them on our runs. I don't know what inside of me finds her high pitched noises coupled with her high-step dance so amusing, but it always makes for a good morning.
I am serving in Carthage for at least this transfer. I love it! I love it more than I ever thought I could! Every time a visitor leaves I feel apart of my heart leave with them! At first I thought That this might pose a problem in the future. It seemed as though in a very short time there would be nothing left of my little heart to give! But oh how the Lord helps your heart grow as you serve him. It's like the loaves and fishes! The more you give your heart away the more the Lord replaces it with his. When we keep our hearts to ourselves they will dwindle and shrink. It is quite possibly the only thing that multiplies faster and faster the more we try get rid of it.
One funny story from this week was when Sister Stagg was trying to learn the notes on the key board. Sister Reece was just about to explain "Every good boy does fine" when Sister Stagg beat her to the punch. "Roy G. Biv!", she exclaimed, followed by an ever apprehensive "wait. Is that the rainbow?". It was funny.
I have two companions. Sister Thomas and Sister Goodrich. Both from Utah. Sister Thomas is my trainer and served her outbound in New Jersey with one of my friends, Hermana Stead! Small world! and the Church makes it smaller!
This mission is a very unique one. I am so blessed to be here. We get opportunities here that no other missionaries in the world get. For one we see our mission President almost EVERYDAY. And he is so cool! We eat a meal at his house every other Sunday. The Seniors are so funny, so nice and really become close friends. I love the people here. And I love the Spirit here. It is so strong and so constant! When I left I really didn't care if anyone came to see me on my mission. In fact, I kind of preferred they didn't. I am on a mission after all! However, I think I underestimated how much I was going to Love Nauvoo. What kind of place it is. I have since had a change of heart and would encourage everyone to come here and see it! I want everyone to see hear and FEEL my mission. I hope that all who can get a chance to come. There's a pageant in July and I hear that it's spectacular! Anyway, I don't want to make it sound as if you have to come. You don't. But by all means feel free to.
Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is Christ and His Atonement for us. How complex it is. This topic has occupied my mind many times before but as a missionary it has been one of the most popular topics of both my day dreams and directed study time. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the importance of utilizing the atonement in our lives everyday! This world is dirty. We are Sons and Daughters of God! we are not meant to be dirty. The weight of the world can bring us so low, drag us so far out of the light. The only way to be clean again, walk in the light, rise above it all and have the weight lifted is to LET him take it. To use this infinite atonement in the way he always intended us too.(Matthew 11:28-30) We have been promised peace and rest when we do. We need to stop trying to find a place for Christ and his atonement in our lives and start to find our place in his atonement. We should not live in this world with a piece of his atonement in our pockets we need to live in His Atonement and leave the world behind completely! We were never meant to set up our permanent residence here anyhow. If it feels at times that we don't belong here it is because we don't. We are strangers here, visitors from "holier spheres". That is why things feel so empty when we are estranged from God. He is our literal Father in Heaven and we were with him once. That is our
home! We were always intended to return. He awaits our return! And although we get to be and are expected to be happy here (2Nephi 2:25) our true joy lies elsewhere. Our true Joy lies with him. And it is made possible to get there through His Atonement. He died for us. He conquered death both spiritually and physical that we may live again! He made the way. He is the way. Let us not waste it.
I have a deep and abiding Love for each and everyone of you. You are in my thoughts and Prayers through out the day. <3333333

2Nephi 25:26!!! And remember! "Joy is a very serious business of Heaven." C.S. Lewis

Sister Bailey

P.S. 3Nephi 4:10 (add 8 and 9 too it still works beautifully!) change "Nephites" to "Missionaries" and "Giddianhi" to "The Advisary" It's kind of funny and Kind of cool. Something I did this week in my studies.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wahoo Nauvoo

Apr 15 (1 day ago)

We arrived in St. Louis around 1:15 pm central time. When we first got here the whole Mission Presidency was there to meet us and they took us all out to dinner before making the 3 hour drive back to Nauvoo. We ate at a Homestyle Buffet that was actually pretty good. On the drive to Nauvoo we all got to know each other. There were three different vans with 6 Sisters each, so there are 18 Sisters total. 11 of us are straight from the MTC and 7 of us are coming home from their outbounds. Some of the places they served were, Georgia, New Jersey, Chicago, Montana, Colorado...and other places i can't remember. Nauvoo lives up to it's name (beautiful in Hebrew) and it's actually kind of nice to get out of the mountains again (no offense to any Utah readers). I missed the green. We got a quick look at the Visitor Center before being herded into one of the theaters to have a meeting about some of the mission specifics. President Ludwig handled first things first and gave us our area assignments. It was really weird. As he pulled out the list I already knew where I was going. I was absolutely positive. I also knew that Sister Parker would not be coming with me. It was weird not to be with her last night, but the callings we received are divinely inspired and I'm so thankful that the Lord is leading this work and that I have him to follow, him to lean on and him to build on. Helaman 5:12!!!(Book Of Mormon). Always remember that. There is so much comfort in that knowledge and that promise. I will be stationed in Carthage for at least my first transfer. There are 5 other sisters stationed there and four sets of Senior missionaries that had little goody bags waiting for us. Above all else you can be assured that I am VERY well taken care of. We live in an old Victorian house that has been refurnished and cut up into 5 different apartments. 5? 6? I can't remember. I have already fallen in love with the Mississippi River. I'm not quite sure why really, but I think it may be because it perfectly reflects what ever sky God has picked out for me that day. The sunsets are breath taking and the air is so much cleaner than anywhere else I have ever been. Everything is cleaner, clearer, crisper. I am so excited to finally be here and can't wait to finally start. These next couple days will be spent doing interviews, touring, trekking, going to meetings and other little things. Today we got our pioneer dresses (which I won't be wearing at Carthage) and got our grocery shopping done in Keokuk Iowa. Yes, we have to leave the state in order to find a Wal-mart. This morning before coming back to Nauvoo three other Sisters (Sister Paterson, Sister Stagg, and Sister Picard) all went for a run. A RUN!!! OUTSIDE! It felt so good. We get assigned our companions during our interviews with President Ludwig today and I have yet to go in, so I can't tell you anything about that.
OH YEAH!!!!! The Temple is GORGEOUS and we get to go tomorrow. The Saints were so dedicated to this place. It meant so much to them and the Temple was a huge part of that. The hope they received from the temple was both the thing that made it so hard to walk away and the thing that helped them face the trial they faced on the long road ahead of them after the Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered. The knowledge that they would be together with their loved one for time and all eternity helped them press on. I am so grateful that I have this blessing in my life. That I have access to those blessings that come from the temple. That I will be with them in this life and see and hear and laugh with them in the life to come. I love all of you.
Tonight we are having dinner at the Ludwig's house. I expect it to be wonderful time. I hope all is well back home. I want to thank you all for your prayers. They are felt here and goodness knows that if there be any time in my life when I need your prayers it would be now. And thank you for your letters! We haven't gotten the mail yet today but I look forward to reading your letters!!!! I love you I love you. I love you.

Sister Bailey

2Nephi1:9 &15. These are some verses I have been pondering. Verse 9 holds the instructions and verse 15 holds the promise

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Anne's Mom is senile or Time to play catch up
(You choose the most appropriate title!)

Okay, so this is Anne's mom. I talked with Anne today! She got to call me while she was at the Salt Lake City airport waiting for her flight to Nauvoo. She sounded great. I asked her if she would be sending any emails and she sounded surprised and said she had already sent three. I told her I hadn't received any. She then told me she was sending them to my gmail account. Well.....I forgot I had a gmail account! We set it up just before she left and I forgot...what can I say? I am old and forgetful! I have been looking for email on my aol account and just figured she was only sending letters through the mail. bad. So below are the three emails that I should have been posting weekly. Hope you have a little time to read. Now that I remember I have a gmail account I'll be sure and check it. Here are emails from Anne's past three weeks in the MTC...

March 25th
Week 1

It has been one week since I left and things are great! I hope things are going great at home. The MTC is wonderful, alot of work, but so worth it. I am so blessed to have this time to learn all that I can before I go out into the world. The Lord really does look after us in ways we cannot comprehend. My companion's name is Sister Parker. She is heaven sent. She is so strong where I am so weak. She is from bountiful Utah. Our love for this gospel and our teestimonies of God and his plan of happiness for us build off one another. There are six Sisters to a room but for the past week we've only had four. It's been nice to have the space, but that ends today! Two new Sisters who are going to be learning spainish are moving in today and we are excited to meet them. Sister Parker and I's roommates names are Sister Hudson (Washington State, serving in Pheonix AZ!) and Sister Urquijo (You're-Key-Ho)(orrigionally from Columbia, baptized into the Church at ten years old and immigrated to canada serving in Toronto canada). They are great! we are all really close. Us and the Elders in our District!!! They are so funny and really can bring the spirit into the room when they sing! we got two of them to do a solo for us of the first verse of a hymn and they we joined,. The spirit is always there to testify of the truth in those hymns, but my goodness the feeling in the room after those two sang!! There is Elder Van Bruggen and Elder Baker(one of the singers). They're the canadians. And they are so funny!Then there is Elder Beard (Idaho, serving in Pheonix AZ and our inspired Dirsrict leader!probably the funniest too) and Elder Mijares (Me-har-es) (The example of the bunch. kindo of shy, but so cute when he comes out of his shell, also serving in pheonix AZ). The Branch presidency is amazing. Basically everything is amazing! I did get my journal and pen Mom! Thanks for leaving it for me!and clip. I got that too. I do my laundry in a dungeon and we get 50 minutes of work out time four times a week!!!!!!! I LOVE IT! We are suppose to get up by 6:30 at the latest, my companion and I get up and 5:25 to study and I generally find my self fully conscious around 3:30 AM! sometimes I canfall back asleep and sometimes I can't. When I can't I just study. Lights out is at 10:30 and my room is Stellar wehn is come to abiding by the rule for our mission!!! The Lord blesses you when you do as he asks and we are allllll about blessings. The only other person beside Sister Morgan that I've seen Is Elder Head. It was crazy!!!! He is the old roommate of Emily Gray's Friend (and mine) named Dustin!!! And right before I left Rexburg I got a priesthood blessing from him and Dustin for my shoulder and my confidence!!!! It was so good to see him and so unexpected! He is serving in California, spainish speaking and got here one week before i did. WoW! time goes by so fast. I wont beable to write much more but I want To! Mom, in the letter to Dad I wrote of some really cool experiences, could you put them on the blog too? Thanks! I love you all!!! your are the besty! you are always in my thoughts and prayers!! Moroni 8:3!! (This reference is in the Book of Mormon. If you are reading this and don't have a copy, get one from the Elders in your area!!! there will be many more!!!) I feel like this letter is such a shell of what I wanted it to be.God be with all of you until we meet again!!!I love you all

Sister Bailey

April 1, 2009
Week 2

Thanks for all the letters to all who wrote me!!! Famjam, You are great. I always enjoy reading what you have to say and I hope you enjoy the pictures!!! LINDSEY!!! write me I love you.
This week was really good, really funny. Productivity will hopefull go up this week.We worked hard this week but there was ALOT of fun. I think the long hours in the same 15 by 15 white washed walls is starting to get to everyone a little bit. The really sad thing is that Sister Parker and I are going to be left by our lonesome next week. Our distrct is leaving for the field and we have a week of visitor center stuff to do. Boo. It wouldn't be half as bad if they weren't leaving. We've grown so close. We're going to miss them. Thank goodness for letters.
SO some funny things from this week:
We were doing a mock lesson, the Canadian Elders were the missionaries and the American Elders were the investigators. Elder Beard pronounced Elder Van Bruggen's name correctly and Elder Van Bruggen said, "Thats very good! Are you Dutch?" Elder Beard, "No, but I've been to Dutch before."
That was the end of the lesson. It was hilarious.
Elder Bailey and I ate bananas at breakfast by breaking them in half and shoving the whole thing in our mouths. The Elders were all incredable impressed, which was confusing, but flattering none the less. I was actually embarrassed at how much I enjoyed the cheering and aplause.
Elder Beard and Elder Baker were having a starring contest and Elder Van Bruggen didn't know. He was trying to talk to them and got pretty frustrated finally exclaiming "Why aren't you talking to me?!?!?!" and smacked Elder Bread across the face. Also hilarious. Elder Bread got him back later that day though. He was listening to the bookshelf and told Elder Van Bruggen that you could "hear people talking" in there. When Elder Van Bruggen put his ear on the bookshelf to hear, Elder Beard gave the other side of the Bookself a good smack. Elder Van Bruggen's face was priceless. he then said, "Hey! Why does Sister Parker only laugh when people get hurt?" We have the best District ever. Oh! and we found out that our teacher Brother Neary can fit his ear through a ring. That you put on your finger. It was really weird. Then I found out I could do it too and it was even weirder. I sent a picture home about it. (to the family). You should all try it.
Sister Parker and I were able to make it to the temple today and it was wonderful. The Elders finished before us and then waited for us outside. We really do have the best Elders. They might be nuts but they are so focused on this work and they love the gospel so much. I love it. They are wonderful.
My all time favorite thing about this week was on Tuesday at devotional. Elder Brewerton from the quorm of the Seventy spoke. He said this, "You cannot exagerate how important you are in the Lord's eyes". He was saying it referring to the missionaries in the audience but I couldn't help but think of how it applied to all of us. You CANNOT exaggerate how important you are in the eyes of the Lord. Or your nieghbor. Or the members of your family. Or the people you care about the most. In D&C 18 the Lord talks about this too; that "the worth af a soul is great in the sight of God", but I liked the way he put it. Are we thinking of ourselves and the people around us in this manner? Are we treating them the way God would expect us to treat them? Are we treating ourselves the way he would expect us to treat ourselves? Are we keeping that in mind when we fight and argue? And are we finding comfort in this when trials come our way or to our loved ones? Because we should. I am so glad to have testimony of that, particularly now as I am away from you all. I could never exaggerate how important you are in the Lord's eyes and in mine. Remember that. I know that The Lord is with you. I know this because I know how important you all are to him and because you are all in my prayers. My prayers have become a very lengthy part of my day and I am so greatful for it. I love you all. God be with you.

Sister Bailey

April 10, 2009

HAPPY EASTER! OUR LORD IS RISEN! HE LIVES! HE LIVES! I know that He Lives! And because He does we can too! Moses 1:39 " For this is my work and my glory. To bring to pass the immortallity and eternal life of man!" Easter is not given the credit and focus it deserves. It is about so much more than bunnies and pastel colors. It is His birth day!His resurrection! The day that death was conquered and the way was made, the gate unlocked! D&C128: 22 Shall we not go on in so great a cause? go forward! not backward! onward onward to victory!!!
We already know who wins this war. We just have to decide which side we want to be standing with in the last day. I know where I am. I know where I will be. Always and forever.
Ok, so this week hasn't been anything earth shattering. Kind of sad actually. Our whole disrict left on Tuesday so Sister Parker and I have been a little meloncholy(SP?). We leave on Tuesday (the 14th). We are so ready to leave. All the V.C. sister's are. The MTC is still amazing, it's just a little lonely. Tomorrow we go to temple square then it's Sunday, then we pack, then we leave. The count down is on! Thanks to all who wrote! The letters mean so much and I love hearing about you. There's not much to write about this week. General Conference was AWSOME and there couldn't be a better way to send off our disrict. We got to spend so much time with them! My favorite quote from this week comes from one of my teachers. "You will feel more than you are when you are standing next to the Savior". I know this to be true. I have felt how that feels. I am feeling that right now. This whole time. The kind of progression that happens in the Gospel is like progress on steriods and I know that it is because God can throw you farther than any of us can jump. I absolutely love this work. I absolutely Love this gospel. I absolutely Love you.

Sister Bailey.

Moroni 7:29 and 27!!!!!! These are both from the Book of Mormon again. If you're reading this and don't have one yet I'm serious when I say *get one. The references are not going to stop.

*if you want one and are in the NO. VA area Anne's mom can get one for you...just call her!