Thursday, December 31, 2009

If ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, can ye feel so now?

My family is Awesome.
There is also someone else who is awesome. They have earned the nick name “Journal Phantom” from Sister Bruner and I. It all started when I received a package from Staples shortly before Christmas. I figured it was from my family and saved it until Christmas. It was from someone who knows me well because there was a very nice leather bound journal inside. It was not from my family. Since I won't be able to send them a thank you card for it I have decided to thank them here in my weekly e-mail, since it will be posted for the public. Thank you so much. It meant a lot to me.
       Eric was able to go on the youth temple trip. He loved it and is trying to find a way to go again as soon as he can! I can’t blame him. I miss being able to go to the temple when ever I want. I’d live there if I could! The spirit is so strong within those walls. He also helped prepare the sacrament on Sunday for the first time. I love it. He loves it! He really is one of those one-in-a-million people who has gained a testimony and never looked back. There is nothing stopping him. He is how every baptism should be. He is so stellar. We taught him about priesthood and gave him a True to the Faith book so that he can continue reading and studying on his own when the recent convert lessons are over. He loved it. He absolutely loves the gospel.
Sam is heading to Louisiana to go to school. He has a testimony. He knows Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and he knows that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. He doesn’t want to be baptized right now. It was hard. I think he will make it though. God willing he will make it. He has promised to write and to find LDS services to attend while at school as well as meet the elders there. He is a great kid.
The investigator that we gave to the elders still comes to our ward and from what she says and the elders say she is doing GREAT!!! She is amazing. She’s reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover as well as all her assignments that she’s given by the missionaries and then after reading she goes back and marks all the verses she like and writes what she’s thinking.
We finally got in to teach a family that we’ve been trying to teach since we got here. They love the missionaries. They are feeding us on Wednesday and are already familiar with the spirit. They are newly weds and are excited to learn more about the gospel. We are excited to teach them.
Things are wonderful and Christmas was great. I absolutely LOVED talking to my family on Christmas and was ecstatic that they were all together when I called. We were also able to go visit people in the area that were having a hard time or were spending Christmas alone and share little thoughts with them. We loved it. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day.
We love it here.
       Prayer is the best. I know that God answers prayers. In his own way and in His own time, but he answers. It is one of the greatest expressions of love I know of. I love Him. He loves me. He loves each of you. I hope all your Christmases were wonderful. There is much in the world to be rejoicing about.
Luke 2:13-14.

Sister Bailey

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

It is almost Christmas time and Liberty Lake is warm. Very warm. The mid to upper forties! Sister Bruner and I still find ourselves bundling up though because layers mean that we stay dryer longer. And dryer equals warmer. We are both VERY grateful for the packages we’ve received from our families. Christmas time is a wonderful time of year. Everyone wants to give. I hope that in all our giving we can remember what the birth of that little babe in those humble beginnings meant for each of us. It was the first day of the rest of eternity. He truly lived up to His potential so that we could live up to ours. Let it not go to waste.
Eric is still amazing but no longer can be considered an investigator. He is now a full-blown member and is attending some of our lessons with other investigators to help us teach! And he is absolutely elated about it! Sam is struggling a bit as his baptismal date approaches. We don’t want to rush it. If he doesn’t get baptized here I believe he will in Louisiana. He just needs more time. I have had a lot of peace about it. I don’t know what will happen, but we’ve been fasting and praying about him and with him and I have peace about the situation. That so typifies of the gospel in general. It doesn’t fix problems, it doesn’t promise that things will turn out the way them seem they should, but there is peace. A peace you can find nowhere else and a peace that lingers. It will stay with you as long as you let it.
We gave up one of our investigators to the Elders in the other ward because that’s where she lives. She’s amazing. It was very hard. I hope to see her all in white before I leave. The members are still amazing and Sister Bruner and I are on the edge of a lot of stellar investigators. We just have to get in and teach! We love it here. A member brought us a fruit basket the other night and it was a total Godsend!!! We almost never get fresh fruits and veggies.
Things are continually looking up for Sister Bruner and I.
OH yeah! Something really exciting happened and I totally forgot to write about it last preparation day! I don’t remember it all that well so it wont be as good, but it will still be worth it. Basically, wolves almost ate my district leader. It was dark (which means it could have been anywhere from 4:00pm to 9:00pm because it gets dark that early here) and Elder Bertoch and Elder Howell had to walk to a member’s home for an appointment…or to drop something off I can’t remember. They don’t have a car so they decided to take the short cut and walk through the wheat field by their house to get to the development on the other side. They kept hearing noises and the noises kept getting closer, but they had no lights so all they could see was the wheat in front of their faces. They said the noises sounded like a hurt animal. This gave them the willies and they stopped to look around. Elder Bertoch said he saw three sets of glowing amber eyes not too far off in the distance, kind of up on a hill. When he asked Elder Howell if he saw them he said no and they kept walking. As they reached the end of the field Elder Bertoch said he got the distinct impression that something was watching them and looked over his shoulder just to calm his nerves. This time, “about a stone’s throw away”, He saw those Amber eyes moving through the wheat but this time the eyes were connected to big black figures in the wheat. He told Elder Howell to turn around and whispered, “You see those right?” Elder Howell responded quickly with, “of course I do!” and at the same time the figures stopped moving. The elders than made a plan. One faced the fence and one faced the creatures in the dark and they shuffled back to back over to the fence. Once they had it unlocked and opened they took off for the road. They re-told this story to the member once arriving safely at their house and she and her husband just said “Yeah, they were probably wolves”.
So there you have it. My District leader and his companion were almost eaten by wolves in a wheat field in the middle of the dark. It was pretty exciting. He told us on my birthday and it was awesome! He called us later that week to tell us that on the way home one night they decided to avoid the field due to their previous experience and take the (still dark) service road. As they approached it they heard the distinct call of a wolf coming from somewhere up the road. They prayed and one of the members randomly drove by and picked them up. God loves His missionaries.
I love all of you. I will be thinking of you a lot as Sister Bruner and I visit families on Christmas and share the Christmas story with them. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Thank you for your love and support. If I haven’t written you back yet know that I will. Things are just crazy.
Sister Bailey

Mormon 9:27
Give Him your whole heart this year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let it snow

December 14, 2009

It snowed last night. Not very much, but it snowed. I don’t know if it’s ever going to leave this time either because of the cold. It had to warm up in order to snow. Eric was baptized this past Friday!!! The baptism was PACKED. His parents were there, His good friend was there. She wants to be baptized as soon as possible and has wanted it for years, but her parents wont let her so she has to wait until March. She is a stellar young woman and plans to attend BYU-I for school. We’ve already made plans to hang out when I get back. Yesterday Eric was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. His parents were there along with his friend. It was a good meeting. The blessing even mentioned his parents.
Sam, another one of our investigators has decide to be baptized on the 29th of December. He wants to be baptized on his birthday, which Sister Bruner and I think is just perfect. We’re hoping to hold that date. He struggles to get off work and come to church, but he was there this past Sunday and has been putting forth effort to make it. He’s a good kid. We love him.
We have found some really neat people to start teaching this Christmas season. We’re excited for it.
This past weekend we were able to bear our testimonies about Christ to the Micah Peak Ward Christmas party. It gave us time to reflect on the things that are really important. Our message began with Enos 1:8. This verse is the Lord teaching Enos about the miracle of the atonement and the grace and peace that it brings us. Sister Bruner then shared 2 Nephi 25:26, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ and we prophesy of Christ and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for the remission of their sins”. The people in the Book of Mormon were a people that loved Jesus Christ. They loved Him, they loved His message and they loved to learn about Him and to teach about Him. We asked everyone to focus on what this holiday really means, that because Jesus Christ entered this world, we may exit safely. I love what Howard W. Hunter said about Christmas. I don’t have the quote with me and I don’t know it by heart, but he talks about how we give in remembrance of how he gave, about how a gift of oneself is a holy gift and that during the Christmas season we should strive to give as he gave. To let go of grudges, to reconnect with an old friend, to forgive, to apologize, to think first of someone else, to examine our demands on another and to gladden the heart of a child.
I love this Gospel. I love this work! I love you all and think of you often. Thank you for all that you do.

Sister Bailey
JOHN 3:16


December 7, 2009
My family spoils me on my mission. They have written me EVERY week. Have not missed one. And on top of that they send me packages, more than one letter a week and give me more support than I ever dreamed of having. I am VERY blessed with a family that has given me all support that I need if not more, temporally, spiritually and emotionally. I know that not every missionary has that. I try not to take it for granted. Thank you so much.
Liberty Lake has gone from a bit chilly to down right cold and the locals say that this is the best of it. The work is moving forward. Sunday morning started off with one of the most heart-warming scenes of my mission. Sister
Bruner and I looked down the hall to see Eric Sande vacuuming up a mess that wasn’t his. He is 17.  Eric is going to be baptized this Friday!!! We are all excited, Sister Bruner and I, Eric, and the ward members. This past Sunday they announced it over the pulpit: Friday, December 11 at 7:00 pm. I don’t know what that translates into Eastern Standard Time, but that is what I’ll be doing. They asked Eric and Makade to bear their testimonies at the end of sacrament. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong and I loved it. I was sitting in my little bench with the biggest smile on my face. We had a teaching appointment with an investigator right after church in a member’s home. She had been in sacrament meeting and when asked about all the testimonies Eric and Makade were the ones she brought up. She loved them! We taught Eric later that night and he mentioned that through the whole meeting he felt like they were going to call him up.  Makade said that he felt like he needed to get up and bear his testimony, but that he should hold off. The spirit was so involved in the bearing of that testimony. Divinely inspired. Our week is chuck full of teaching appointments. It’s going to be awesome. We have a lot of investigators who said tentatively that they would come to Eric's baptism. We’re hoping for a big turn out.

Alma 36:17-21  ----The importance of bearing our testimonies!
Sister Bailey

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shhhhhh! Someone's got a birthday coming!

This post is from Sister Bailey's Mom.  Sister Bailey has a birthday coming up on December 10th.  If you are so inclined, I am sure it would make her day to receive some birthday wishes from some of her favorite people.  Her current address is:

Sister Anne Bailey
Washington Spokane Mission
820 S. Pines Rd Ste 101
Spokane Valley, WA 99206-5420

December 11th. Get. Ready.

We got our transfer calls last night. Sister Bruner and I are glad to be staying in Liberty Lake! This is an incredible area and we still have SO much to do here. The whole District came in on Saturday to help us contact people and we have a lot of return appointments with people who want to know more! I think it has really set us up for a good transfer. Our District is wonderful. They’re a good group of elders and we are even more  blessed because there were actually no changes made to our District. The only thing that changed was the AP’s are not in our District anymore. They will be missed.
We got to help Eric plan the program for his baptism. It was so fun. It let me think back on my baptism: how it felt, what I thought, what made me decide to make those promises with God, the blessing it’s been in my life etc. He is such a stellar young man. He keeps telling us that he’s been “trying to slowly make the thing [we] are teaching a part of his life”. His biggest fear about baptism is having a desire to share the Gospel with his family and jumping the gun, introducing them too quickly. I think that’s a fear that a lot of us have as members of the church. Loving two things so much, wanting them so much to be together and then messing it up by moving too fast and making them resent it. He answers his parents’ questions with the scriptures and has decided to start the daunting process of cleaning out his music collection. What feels best about being able to see my first baptism is knowing that I don’t have to worry about him at all. When I leave, it won’t matter, because it has nothing to do with me. He is rock solid and completely self sufficient in his testimony. (Helaman 5)
Another one of our investigators wants to hear EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING before settling on an answer. But, he is keeping commitments and recognizes that there is truth in what we are sharing with him, so we are going to continue teaching him the lessons and hope that our time together will stick out in his mind as he attempts to look for truth elsewhere. Sister Bruner and I often feel that teaching him is more for those that attend the lessons than it is for him. We’ve been bringing a good friend of his, who is going into the MTC on the 9th of December. It has been very cool to have him teach his friend and then we also have a young girl come with us. She is soft spoken and unenthusiastic about church and the R.S. president has been worried about her. As she has come to the lessons she has opened up more, to everything: to us, to the gospel, to bearing her testimony. It has been really cool to see her gain more confidence in the things she has been taught all her life.
Sister Bruner and I have high hopes to this next coming transfer.
       Today we are field tripping out to target with a member to get some sweaters and other needed items. It’s going to be so fun. The members here are so great. They feed us food, get our hair done, drive us places and give us free make up. They are all getting excited about missionary work too. We could not ask for better Wards.

 I still love this Gospel and I still Love this work!
Sister Bailey

A thought from the Bible Dictionary: Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith. (Romans 10:14-17)