Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The big day is here

Sister Bailey returns from her mission tonight!  We are so excited to have her home and so proud of her service this past 18 months.  She will be speaking in church this Sunday, September 26th, at 1:00 p.m.  All are welcome!

This is the testimony last of all

September 20, 2010
 This week has been the last of a lot of things, but Sunday felt like it. The last time I usher people into the west theatre, the last sacrament meeting in Nauvoo, the last district meeting, the last time listening to a general authority speak to me as a missionary (I don’t care what anyone says, its different as a missionary), the last dinner at the Ludwigs with all the sisters (I went back for seconds), the last drive down the river road, the last time I’ll watch the lilies on the Mississippi turn from white to a hazelnut-mud brown, one last time serving in Carthage, the last time testifying of the story there, the last district discussion with the senior couples…Today hasn’t been much different. Last load of laundry, last walk down Muholland Street, last e-mail etc.. I am acutely aware that I am leaving. The closer and closer it gets the more peaceful I’ve felt about the timing, the past and the future. Peace eases our burdens, but it doesn’t take them away. We still bare them, but we “cannot feel them upon our backs”.  I guess what I’m saying is that I wouldn't have it any other way, but I still have a fog of sadness about me. Maybe not even sadness, just somber...ness. I feel very sober about pretty much everything. My sense of humor is all but gone. Sister Schetselaar was such a great last companion. She helped keep me healthily focused. We set goals, we reached them, we conquered lessons. We speak only in British accents after nine. She acted as if I wasn’t going home even when I’ve felt completely overwhelmed and surrounded by it all. It’s exactly what I needed.

     Sister Aston is writing her family next to me. We’ve spent most the day packing and shopping and getting things done. Tomorrow we’ll serve in the visitors center, I’ll have my exit interview, and then we’ll be busy for the rest of the night with the temple, dinner at the Ludwigs for all the sister leaving, and one last show of Rendezvous.  I would imagine that even in the midst of it all it won't really feel like it’s happening to me. Watching Rendezvous will be the last thing we do here in Nauvoo.

     As I’ve been writing this I had a very odd thought come to my head. I wondered if this was how the Savoir felt in His last days. He knew He had to finish His course and do what His Father had asked of Him, but He too had served, lived, laughed, loved, and now it was nearly finished. I see that as an odd thought because what the Savor went through is completely different, much more sacred, much more intense and something that I will never have to face in my life. I am grateful for that. I won't have to face a lot of things because of what He went through.  Some of the things I will never have to face are purely because He faced them for me. But I do know that regardless of how separated I may be from the things He felt in those last days He is not separated from what I am feeling in mine as a missionary. He did feel this way. He felt and knows how every missionary feels when they are torn from a world they love and are thrust back into one they’ve grown estranged from. He felt and knows exactly how it feels for a parent to lose a child and vice aversa. Not only that, but He knows how a specific parent feels to lose a specific child. He knows how a patient feels when they are told they have cancer, incurable or otherwise, and how it feels to be the doctor who breaks the news. He knows how it feels at the point of recognition when we finally see the error in our ways. He knows how it feels to have to correct it and how hard it is to find peace again.

     There are so many more things I have gained on my mission than given. Eternal friendships, a greater understanding of His love for me and for all people, a firmer knowledge of His plan for us, where we came from, why we’re here and where we’re going, and most importantly how we get there. A closer relationship with the spirit, softer heart, a better view of myself.  18 months has felt like 18 seconds, but it’s time now. In those short 18 seconds my entire eternity has been altered. I love Jesus Christ. I know Him. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. As we come to better know Him we better know our way. He is our way. He is the light and the life of the world. He has drawn a clear line and I will be found on His side. The Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can and are more than willing to help anyone come to know Him better. They are His representatives and are commissioned by the only true and living church on the Earth. This is His Church. The Savior’s Church. After centuries of being lost, it’s here. I'm humbled to be a part of it.


Sister Bailey 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Redifining Lines

September 13, 2010
This morning we went to the temple. It was a wonderful start to the day and a wonderful start to the transfer. I received a wonderful confirmation about my travel plans, which sounds funny, but I did. I wanted to know that it was the right thing to do, not that I was making an effort to run from everything that makes me nervous about going home. It's not. It's the right thing to do. I don't know why and maybe I never will, but I need to travel. It will all work out. It already is. I know that sometimes when we do the right thing, things are hard, it feels like hell itself is rising up to meet us, but this time it's not. Everything is falling into place.
I had a rather direct answer to my prayers the other day in the visitor's center. When Sister Hamano and I left the call center to go down to the floor I , for some reason had a sadness come over me. I was sad about a lot of things. I was having a hard time concentrating. While on the floor I became very easily frustrated and was caused to go the the Christus, listen and then head for a bathroom stall to be alone. I prayed. I called for my Father in Heaven and felt Him around me. It felt so natural to speak to Him in that moment. I expressed what was going on and then remembered then endless admonitions that we have received from Prophets and apostles, both living and dead, to look outside ourselves and serve. I then expressed my desire to serve, that I wanted to just help someone. Give me peace and help me help someone, lift someone. So then I went to the floor again to stand and wait for visitors. It didn't take long before and visitor found me, walking up to me as I approached him. He was a young man named David, just graduated from BYU and on his way back to Gaithersburg Maryland, not far from my house. The first thing he said to me was, "Hey! can you help me..." I was shocked at how direct Heavenly Father had decided to bless me with an opportunity of service. with a smile I couldn't hide I said, "Yes! what can I help you with?" He was lost, actually stranded. He had been stranded by the storm the night before and now had to wait for his engine to get fixed. He had never been to Nauvoo and was having a hard time "wrapping his brain around this place". We talked about the map and briefly about how God brings people here for a purpose and how excited he should be to be here. He wanted a tour so I grabbed a Sister and we went along. The spirit was very sweet. At the end of the tour we talked a little about youth programs and his plans for home and then got him settled into some plans for the rest of his day, Sunday and Monday. Then he was happily off to the temple. My heart was full as I watched him leave. I always knew God answered prayer, but my testimony has grown so much about how quickly and directly he answers them. He is so mindful of us. I love Him. I love God and I love Jesus Christ.
Yes, we had transfers on Sunday. I am still in Nauvoo. My new companion is Sister Schetelaar. I am thrilled. She's an awesome missionary and incredibly easy to love. I want to be easy to love. That's something I'm working on. Softer though I may be than before my mission I can still be kind of prickly when I want to be. Thank goodness we always have more to work on. Life would get boring if we ever stagnated. Sister Schetelaar and I have set some good goals. We're gathering scriptures this week to help us better teach about Heavenly Father's Plan for us and it is going to be so fun. I love that lesson! It is so full of God's love!
The last day Sister Hamano and I were together was wonderful. We served at the Brigham Young home and told stories as we studied. I was reminded very clearly about certain things that happened right before I left on my mission, things I need to follow up on. I have a goal to write back ten letters today. It should be good. After that happens I will be all caught up and ready to go.
I am excited for this week. Sister Schetselaar and I are going to plow through it. I can't wait to learn as much as possible from her and I hope to be some benefit to her as well. I know that it's all going to go to fast and that, I guess, is my constant for the transfer. It all feels very strange to be at this point.
We were blessed to be able to listen to Elder Hallstrom this week. I learned so much while he was here. I guess the most important thing is that I have learned so much while I've been here. He spoke about "The name of Jesus Christ". Specifically, "In the name of Jesus Christ", which is a phrase used quite often among the Latter- day Saints. He spoke about it's true meaning how special and sacred it really is when we do use it. And how much it can teach us as we think about it's use. It most often refers to " The authority of Christ", "The mission of Christ and "The essence of Christ". I'm excited to go through to Book of Mormon and figure out which way it's being used.
We watched a movie for sociable, which was strange but approved by president. It was a good movie: "The Christmas Wish". It made me think hard about my Savior and my interactions with others. Justice is never ours to administer..... it is God's. We are to become like the Savior and, as such, should learn mercy and love before ever paying a mind to justice.
Eric Sande and also Sister Morgan both said something about missions along the same lines as one another. Eric was referring to his future mission and said, "I know my mission will eternally change me, but I am not scared". Sister Morgan said, "The things here in Nauvoo have changed us for eternity". Eric's comment was the first to bring the concept to my attention. Missions really do change eternities, for everyone involved..... missionary, investigators, contenders and members. Missions draw lines. It redefines lines and continually invites all people to pick a side. It alters eternities. It has altered mine anyway. I know I have said it before, but there really is no going back. We only go forward. "My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is bright", not to mention in the hands of someone who loves me more than I can comprehend. Sometimes, when I listen to myself, a lot of my fears and trepidations feel silly.

Sister Bailey

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

almost no post this week

September 7, 2010

I have spent most of my e-mail time e-mailing my Mission President today. I have a lot of things on my mind. The more time goes by the heavier and heavier my mind becomes and the harder and harder it becomes to lighten it.
Saturday was one of the most spiritual days I have had on my mission. Ever really. I felt so close to God the entire day. I was receiving so much important revelation. We ran the grape stomp and I didn't walk once, which was my goal. I got home and got ready for the day but wasn't in any hurry. In fact, by the time I got in the shower I'm pretty sure I was late. So, when Sister Hamano said from downstairs, "Sister Bailey we've got to go NOW!" I was just happy I was ready on time. When I looked at my watch after I had said , "OK I'm ready", I realized that we were way early for service. I paused just long enough to ask, "So, why are we leaving now"? Sister Hamano then explained that she had to go to the temple and interpret a wedding of a deaf man and his wife. I grabbed my temple bag and we were off. In the car I did the math and there was no way I could have gotten ready that fast even if I had been hurrying, and at the pace I had been moving at there was NO way. I knew that angels had moved me and quite possibly stopped time for a while in order to get us out the door when we needed to be. The Sister dropped us off at the temple and we ran inside. It was wonderful. It was the first temple marriage I've witnessed. I was filled with the spirit and kept thinking to myself, don't settle for less than this, don't settle for less. I felt so humble to be there. When it ended I wanted to tell them how much it meant to me. I have promised God I would be married in the temple on a number of occasions and felt redundant to be doing it again in the recesses of my heart. I said a heart filled prayer afterwards. The rest of the day was spent half on earth and half in heaven. I could hear the spirit so clearly. I could feel it's presence. I received promptings quickly and received much personal revelation in between. Tami and Nick walked in around 5. It was wonderful to see them. They are not members of the church and are concerned about their son who has been asking a lot of questions about life that they don't know the answers to. They had so many questions. I loved them so much. They were two of the most honest hearted, humble people I have ever met. They asked simple questions and they asked hard questions, but because of their hearts, because of their spirits, all of their questions were so easy to answer. The spirit gave me exactly what I needed to say. They wanted so much to learn more. They said they needed to ponder a little before they had missionaries come to their house, but they took the restoration pamphlet (about the bringing back of the authority to act in God's name and the things Jesus taught) and the plan of salvation pamphlet (about Heavenly Father's plan for each of us to return to Him) and the gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet. I had been carrying it around while I talked with them and referenced them once or twice. At the end of the tour Tami pointed to the pamphlets and said, "I want to read those books. May I have them?" There was no question. The Spirit said "Give her the books". I did. They are going to visit and look at temples and listen to members testimonies. I know they are headed for good things. Great things, if they let God guide them. I was so grateful to be blessed enough to meet them. They were so honest. So humble. So easy to love. I haven't met very many people like them and it was one of the most spiritual experiences I've had. The day just continued. No matter what happened I felt the spirit there. It never left me. Everything that happened was like a lighting bolt from heaven. It was a very good day for me.

Time is flying by. Things sometimes don't feel like they happen. There is never enough time.

Sister Bailey
Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Little Behind....

This is Anne's mom....
Below are four posts dating from August 12-August 31st. I am a little behind as I have been out of town and was unable to post while gone. Lots of reading, I know, but some good stuff.                                                                   Sister Bailey is scheduled to return home on September 22nd!  We can hardly wait!

I know

August 31, 2010

This p-day is not going exactly as planned, but it will be good. All of my companions, this summer and last, have been exactly what I needed when I had them. Sister Hamano is no different. I have learned so much from her just by her sheer example and she is EXACTLY who I needed the transfer before I leave. She is the best listener I've ever met and is going to do incredible things where ever the Lord calls her. She has been such a healing balm in for me. I love her.

At the last ice cream social we had as Sisters, Sister Johnson and I just sat on the couch and talked about missionary work and how fantastic it all is. We also talked about the love that Heavenly Father has for His children and all the care that goes into bringing us home, back to Him. I love Him! I love His purposes and His ways! I love that He lets us help Him bring His work forward, I know that He could very well do it by Himself, but He lets us be a part of it. I love this work. I am so grateful for the diligence the Lord exercises in each of our lives, for our happiness, for our well being. Sometimes I wonder if He ever gets giddy as He plans " She (or he) is going to LOVE this" and I wonder how He feels when we don't recognize those blessings. In all His perfect love for us I would imagine He just feels a greater resolve to help us feel His love for us. I love His Love. I love how we have more of it the more we share it. I love how we can struggle with the same problems over and over and over again and how patiently He waits to help us. I am grateful.
We went out into Quincy and went tracting as Sisters, at least half of us did. We're going again on Thursday. It felt so good to be out on the street again just talking to people and sharing the gospel. People are so prepared. Just through short conversations they ask questions I've been able to know the answer to my whole life. Questions that are answered by the Book of Mormon and the temple and the Prophets on the earth. We met so many wonderful people. It actually made my love for Nauvoo grow, to understand and talk with and love the people in the surrounding communities. I am so excited to go again. It feels so good. I know that there is a Prophet on the earth named Thomas S. Monson. God speaks through Him the same way He did through Moses and Abraham and Issac. The authority to act in God's name is on the earth and the work of God is going forward. Families are forever. Jesus is the Christ.

We went to the temple today. It was wonderful and I, as I usually do, received some much needed comfort and clarity not to mention revelation while in that Holy House.

You will have to forgive me. I know this letter is short, but I find myself becoming shorter and shorter in words and longer and longer in thought. If that makes any sense.

I love you all.
Helaman 5:12

Sister Bailey


August 24, 2010

It was hard for all the Sisters to say goodbye to Sister Quick, Sister Westwood, Sister Barry and Sister Picard. They left on
Friday morning. It was a weird day. Every time someone leaves it changes things. Their presence is missed and we're working twice as hard to live up to what they were putting in. I love those sisters. I am so grateful for the friendships I have made. They will last for eternity. I will never be the same.
I am so different than I was 18 months ago. Completely different. I have changed so much. I don't feel like I even know that Sister Bailey of last April 2009. It feels good to be a new person and I wonder what she might think if we were to meet. I am in a different place, a different mind set, a different light, and I have a different heart. No matter our differences I know I'd thank her. I am grateful for her willing heart and I am grateful for her efforts, because no matter how non-existent she is right now and how much I would never want to go back, the present Sister Bailey owes her existence to the Sister Bailey of last April, and October and so on. I love the Atonement. I want the Sister Bailey of five years from now to be thankful for me, and happy for the distance between us. It's not that I was a bad person before the mission, I am just so different. I feel like I'm traveling lighter now. I wonder what else I have to sluff off and leave behind. I am grateful for old Sister Bailey's sacrifices and determination. As a missionary something that I've noticed is that we are blessed, but blessed for other's work. As we work hard we are led to people who have been being prepared for years. The real fruits of our labor are ones that future missionaries will see, not us. In that same respect the product of all the work we put into ourselves is never actually seen by that version of ourselves that put in that effort. Blessings and work are seen best in retrospect and cannot be predicted except by One who can see and know everything. And they seem to grow with time. At times the law of sacrifice seems much like a bank account. We pay once and are forever blessed, not with one blessing that lasts forever, but with blessings that flow down forever, to us, and to our posterity.

Well, as it is considered the above thoughts expressed were nothing close to what I had originally intended. But the principle is the same. I am different. I am grateful for it and in the coming years I plan to be even more different. I'm so grateful to be able to part of this work both now and forever, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man", as His missionary, as His daughter, and as a trusted guardian to His children.

This work truly never ends.
We've made some insane changes to the call center. So much faith and trust have been put into those changes. Miracles are happening. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Sister Bailey


August 17, 2010

Nauvoo is insanely quiet. I say insanely because insanity is a good description of what it does to Sister missionaries. Like last year the call center is where I prefer to spend most of my time. There I can be productive and bear my testimony over and over and over again. I love it in the call center. The time I do spend on the floor is time well spent. The annual exodus of Navuoo is in full swing. Seniors are dropping like flies, or rather taking off like them. A happier thought I guess as they are going 30,000 feet up instead of six feet under. The young preforming missionaries are gone, as are the band. They left this morning. Sister Barry, Sister Quick, Sister Picard and Sister Westwood are all leaving on Friday. It's weird because I went into the MTC with all of them. I will miss them so much.

Transfers were on Sunday. Sister Bitter is now in Carthage and so is Sister Johnson. They are companions now actually. Sister Parker and Sister Morgan are the new AP's and are doing a fantastic job. Sister Hamano is now my companion and we are in Nauvoo. This really funny because Sister Parker asked me what I thought was going to happen at transfers and I said, "I'm not sure but Sister Hamano and I are going to be companions and we're staying in Nauvoo". She laughed and we moved on, but that is what happened. I love Sister Hamano. She is of Japanese descent and lives in Hawaii. Well actually right now she lives in Nauvoo but she is from Hawaii. She is a signing Sister. We run together and are a more quiet companionship than most, but we get along swimmingly. She was Sister Quick's companion last and so we spent all our preparation days last transfer together. I'm excited to get to know her better.

Today has been a good one. I did the only thing I cared to do which was to go on an oxen ride. It was so fun! I loved it. Hank and Homer (the oxen's names) took us on a little wagon ride through the trees. After that it didn't really matter to me what we did. We went to the temple and did our laundry and ate food and washed the car and now we're e-mailing. Yes. It's been a good day.

Sorry this week is so short. It felt that way. I have a feeling the weeks will only get shorter from here on out. A strange and depressing thought, one not thought about on a regular basis. Not here in Nauvoo anyway.

Burning myself out

Sister Bailey

D&C 123:13

The sun is up and so is the internet.

August 12, 2010

The most exciting news I received this week is that my Sister-in-law is having a baby in February.

I'm a little at a loss of what to write this week. Not only have I just barely written on Saturday but I also just spent the past half an hour pouring my heart and soul into a computer with the intention of sending it to my mission president. The Internet crashed and it has now been deleted. This is probably the worst p-day ever for this to happen because we're suppose to be running on a schedule.

On a happier note, Nauvoo is still a spiritual powerhouse to all that come. Just yesterday Sister Bitter and I met a man named Lou. Lou grew up Catholic. He is not Catholic anymore. In fact, he seems to be stuck between not being able to deny the existence of a God and the temptation to demand tangible evidence of that existence. We took him on one of the most powerful and short tours that I or Sister Bitter have ever taken. We shared with him Joseph's Smith's experience. We began from the very beginning at Joseph's confusion over what God wanted Him to do, what the scriptures meant and more importantly what it all meant for him. To this Lou said, with exasperation, "Well, I think I can connect with that". As we moved on he talked about the doubts he's had with the rest of Joseph's experience, the confusion lifting and his prayers being answered, his mind enlighten and as a result the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. He wants to hold it in his hand. Part of me wants to say that holding the restoration in your hand is like trying to hold a sunrise in your hand. It's an event, not a something. When we watch the sun rise into our view we do not say, "Did the sun come up? I'm not sure, I need to touch it". We know the sun has risen because of the light that fills our world and the warmth that creeps into our skin the longer we find ourselves in it. In the same way, we know the restoration has happened..... not because we can touch it, but because of the light that fills our life as we abide by and believe in the truth that has been revealed to us through the Prophets and the warmth that rises in us the longer and longer the spirit has opportunity to testify to us of this truth. We don't touch it. We see it and we feel it. But, for Lou, and anyone else who does wish to hold it in their hands, Joseph Smith was asked to translate The Book of Mormon by the power of the Holy Ghost. The same power that brought about the restoration and has built up the Kingdom of God on the earth in our day. One can hold the Book of Mormon and in a sense hold the restoration, and even better, one can read the Book of Mormon and feel Heavenly Father's love for them and know that it is true. The same way one touches a hot stove and feels that it is on. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It testifies of Christ and stands as a beacon to all who seek His face. I echo men of God when I say that I invite all people everywhere to read it and feel of it's power. I Promise you can know it's true. I promise God will bear witness of it in a way that you will recognize.

If anyone is wondering what happened to Lou, he felt the spirit. He filled out a referral card and requested the missionaries to bring the Book of Mormon by. As he reads he plans to call the missionaries in order to get any of his questions answered, and more importantly to call upon His Father in Heaven to recognize the spirit clearly.

These are the things that happen in Nauvoo. These are the things that I plead will follow me for the rest of my life. I will open my mouth. I will speak on His behalf.

I love this place. I love this work. I love the Book of Mormon and I love my Savior Jesus Christ.

I love each of you.

Sister Bailey

2Nephi 33:10-11 "...All ye end of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye shall believe these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto to me; and they teach all men to do good. And if they are not the words of Christ judge ye--for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory that they are His words at the last day...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Onward, Ever Onward.

August 7, 2010

Sorry this is so late. I haven't had any time. On p-day we went to Springfield Illinois with the Ludwigs (my mission president and his wife). We saw the old city court house that Lincoln worked in, went to the Lincoln museum, and to a chocolate shop. It was such a good day, but no time for e-mail. I don't really even have much time to e-mail now, so this will have to be really short. I would have to say that my favorite part of Tuesday was being with all the Sisters I've served with the past 18 months in a completely stress free environment. That has NEVER happened before. Ever. We met in the MTC, one of the most stressful places ever known to man and then continued onward. The stress has never ended. For a short few hours we were just us. Nothing to worry about but keeping up with the group. It was wonderful.
Things have slowed down. All I want to do is be in the call center calling and entering cards. I feel productive. There's no lag time. I love it. I will miss it. I will miss most things about this place. Even the hardness. The Lord knows us. He will help us. Even when it's slow.
I will write more on Tuesday.

Love you all. God be with you.

Sister Bailey
Isaiah 41:13

Thursday, July 29, 2010


July 27, 2010

Pageant has been long and hard and everyone is feeling it. We're all exhausted. We have one more week. One more fantastic week. I want to work my hardest. This is the last week I will ever be able to help Heavenly Father during pageant. I want to be led by the Spirit and to be bold in my testimony. This week is going to be the best week ever. I know it.

For a change, I really don't have very much to write about.  I would like to say though, that I know this Gospel is true and I know that the priesthood is on the earth and I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me and everyone else on this earth more than anyone could ever comprehend. I have been doing a lot of pondering about the atonement recently and at the risk of sounding less that professional, it blows my mind. I do not understand it, but I cannot deny it. It is real. I feel it everyday.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's mouth piece on the earth today as was Moses in his time. I know that Jesus Christ is the head of this Church and that President Monson is under his direction.  It fills me with joy to know.

3Nephi 11:1-15

Sister Bailey


July 20, 2010

     Bishop McMullin is in town and has been speaking with the missionaries periodically. It’s been wonderful to have him here. Today was the last time he’ll speak to us while he stays here. I forget what circumstances led him to say this, but he said, “There the two met, those who had no faith and those who were endowed with Faith”. It stuck out to me. It made me reflect on the different people in my life who I have learned the most from. They have generally been people who have walked very different paths than I have, including, but not limited to, my parents and siblings. Just because we spend most of our time under the same roof doesn’t mean we haven’t walked down different paths in life. The lessons I’ve learned from them are absolutely priceless. I hope they’ve learn from me also. It also has made me think about bridge building. Bishop McMullin had mentioned something about bridge building in his devotional today and again, I forget why, but it sparked a chain of thoughts about the Savior for me and what role he has played in each of those special relationships I’ve had in my life. He is the only one who understands us each perfectly. The only one who could ever help us understand each other and learn the lessons we have to teach each other. He commands that we love one another, and he helps our hearts touch. He commands that we lift one another and he holds us steady as we do. Every commandment He gives is made possible through the aid we receive from Him: “For I the Lord God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” –Isaiah 41:13.

     Nauvoo is an incredible place. For all those who I’ve seen this summer, I’m so glad you came. To all those I haven’t I hope you come here one day. It will be so worth your time and energy and effort to make it here. The world falls away and nothing is more important than how you feel and what you can do to keep that feeling with you when you leave. God’s love is here. It is felt around every turn and I am so humbled to be so immersed in it. It has healing powers and it has changing powers. It will change you if you let it. It has changed me. He has changed me.

Sister Bailey

Monday, July 19, 2010

Holiness to the Lord.

July 13, 2010

     Transfers. I am still in Nauvoo and I am now companions with Sister Bitter. She was Sister Cordoba's MTC companion. Pageant has been fantastic. I knew it would be. It has also had it's struggles, and I knew it would. That's one perk on your second summer, you know what's coming.

     There is a family here on the family cast from the Mica Peak ward! The Lake family! I love seeing them light up as they tell me the different miracles they've seen each day. It been so good to serve with them. They are a fantastic family.

     I'm excited for this next transfer. I feel like I have so many blatant growing opportunities in front of me. The theme of my summer this year is "what happened next". The Lord has blessed me with "what happened next" glimpses into the lives of those I see here in Nauvoo. Somehow, word gets back to me of something that happened next, they turned in referrals, they bore a testimony they didn't think they had, they resolved to read the Book of Mormon, they made it to the person they needed to see. One instance happened just yesterday. I had met a couple early in the morning and took them on a very short tour due to time. They didn't have very much time at all. They were non-members and had a lot of questions. I did my best to answer and then sent them on there way. They had asked me what they should see before they leave. I said a quick prayer in my heart and sent them to the Heber C. Kimball house after bearing a short testimony. The thought crossed my mind to tell them about the referral card and then came an assurance that doesn't come very often, "the person they need to see is at the Heber C. Kimball home. They will take care of them". They left, I prayed and then went on with my day. I was grabbing some lunch in the basement and trying to eat around the Young Performing Missionaries so I didn't get in any one's way when Sister Murdock came up and asked me if I had been serving in the morning. I said that I had and she asked me who had sent "Tim and Evett" to the Heber C. Kimball home. I said that I had. She burst into a recounting of what had happened. She said they walked in and told them that a sister at the visitor's center had told them to see that home before they left Nauvoo. Sister Chambers took them on a tour and ended up stringing the Joseph Smith story through out the tour. They took a Book of Mormon, said that they had "felt good" while they were here, and filled out a referral card. Sister Chambers had told Sister Murdock that she "needed that". I was able to see Sister Chambers later and thank her for taking care of them. We were able to rejoice in the miracle we were both blessed to be apart of. It was so wonderful. If Sister Murdock hadn't shared I never would have known. I would have known that I had been prompted to send them there, but I would not have been able to know what happened next. It was fantastic. Things like that have been happening all summer for me. Little "By the way" tender mercies that could only be arranged by God Himself. I have been so grateful for every single one. They are miracles, but only to me. Heavenly Father really does express His love and answer prayers the way each of His children will receive them and can recognized them.   

     Zone conference was fantastic. I am so grateful to to President and Sister Ludwig for all the hard work that they do. I remembered each talk from last year, but received such different revelation. I love how the scriptures and the spirit work like that, molding to you and He molds you. They give you what you need to keep going and moving forward. During companionship study Sister Bitter read a scripture. I can't remember the reference, but it talked about moving mountains and being supported by Him. The last line says, "Therefore, walk with Me". Sister Bitter shared it because she felt power as she read it, and she was right. It was a powerful scripture. It reminded me how powerful each of us becomes when we "walk with Him". We must be moving, and we must be moving forward, because that is the direction He is heading in. When we "walk with Him" we become powerful.

     Anyway, during Zone conference, I received two main treasures of revelation.  The first came from the movie about John Rowe Moyle, a man who was a Stone mason on the SLC temple and had His leg removed just bellow the knee. He made a wooden leg and continued to walk the 20 or so miles to Salt Lake in order to fulfill his calling. He is the one who chiseled out "Holiness to the Lord" over the door to the Temple.   As I watched I resolved to spend a life time in His service. And I will.

I love you all I love this work. I love Nauvoo.  

Sister Bailey

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bring on the Rain

July 6, 2010

All the second summer sisters came down with a bad case of deja vu (sp). It rained on dress rehearsal night just as it had last year. It was so weird to be standing there, to be doing it all over again. Sister Parker remarked, “its not real sisters, we’re not standing here”. But we were: pageant cards and pencils in hand, visitors, though sparse, in their seats and Peoria/Des Moines Elders by our side. We all headed out to speak to those waiting for the performance and as we did the skies started leaking, just as it had the summer before. And then it poured sending the visitors and family casts running for cover under the gazebos and tents that had been set up, just as they had the summer before. I approached a couple seated on the rows towards the back who looked determined to make it through the storm. They were Brother and Sister Bell from Provo Utah and as it turns out they had my sister in law in their graduate program! It really is a smaller world than we make it out to be. We talked about how all the sisters were being reminded of last summer and joked about how Satan seems to be pretty consistent in his efforts to bring us down. He doesn’t even seem to change his tactics very often! It made me think of endurance and how, if we can just endure until he’s run out of ideas, the rest will all just be repetitive. We will know how to handle the things that come our way. I spoke with them one more time before the night was over, and it was over sooner than we had anticipated. After the first down pour another came, this time with thunder and lighting ripping across the sky. The rehearsal was canceled. As we drove home, sopping wet, I thought a lot about the conversation I had had with the Bells. We were right I think, Satan doesn’t seem to change his tactics very much, but we underestimated his efforts. He may bring rain, but sometimes, he brings it harder. Last year we had rain, but the show was able to go forward. This year one could barely see through the down pour. I also reflected on how the cancellation had gone. Most of the Sisters knew we were leaving; Sister Pulleyn and I seemed to have missed the word. The other Sisters even grabbed our stuff for us. We saw them heading, running rather, out to the parking lot and decided we better follow. President Ludwig had told all the sisters to go home. We hadn’t heard. If we hadn’t been paying attention enough to see then we would have been left. It made me very grateful for the Prophet and the direction we receive from him and had me reflecting on the importance of listening to his voice and heeding his word as I sipped hot chocolate at the kitchen table after a hot shower. Satan sends rain storms throughout our lives, and some hit harder than others. And if we listen to the prophets, the one we have today and the ones who have been here in the past, we will know what to do. We will be able to act rather than be left behind in the confusion of it all.

I also saw the Lakes!!! I love the Lake family! They are here on one of the family casts for the pageant from the mica peak ward in Spokane!!!!! It was such a treat to see them! It only reiterated my thoughts about heaven and eternal families in the world to come.

Speaking of family, it has been fantastic having my mother and father here this past week. I’ve seen them more than I had expected and was able to take them through Carthage this past Sunday along with 51 other people. It was a very special experience for me and one I won’t soon forget. I know that I am very lucky being in one of the few missions in the world in which they encourage your family to come and see your mission while you are serving. The strangest part about it all is to think how soon I will see them. Life will be much different then and I have been so grateful to know that I will be doing it with Sister Morgan. I am so glad I will not be alone in the last moments of my mission. I love her.

Sister Pulleyn and I went through the temple this morning in the session before my parents did. It was fun to know that they were somewhere in the same building as I was. I felt close to them.

I love this gospel. I love this work. The summer is flying by.

I love you all. Keep close to God and know that even if you can’t see Him, He is somewhere in the same building, a face amongst the 53 ‘strangers’, and just a prayer away. Time is shorter than it seems.

Sister Bailey

“Be still my soul, the time is hastening on, when we shall be forever with the Lord”

This is the Christ

June 29,2010

I love all of you with all of my heart and soul. I do.
We just barely came from the temple. It is always incredible to go to the temple, but this time seemed more spiritual than others. I love the temple. Today I was thinking about the scripture that teaches us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As I have served, this scripture has come up a lot on my mission. I love this scripture, it teaches us more about God and His expectations for us in this life. It can be a real strength in trying to understand the true nature of God. As I sat in the temple and thought about these things, how much sense that scripture sometimes makes and how misunderstood it can be at other times, an analogy came to me in the form of a soccer game. Strange sounding I know, but bear with me. So in this analogy God is a soccer player. He is the best soccer player around. On the best team. And the best in all things including sportsmanship. So, He follows all the rules. These are the results of two of His team’s games:


God’s team: winner

Satan’s team: not winner


God’s team: winner

Other team: not winner

God’s team won in both cases. In fact, the score might have even been the exact same in both games! The rules were the exact same in each game. When ever soccer is played, it’s played by the same rules; there is always a winner and a not winner, but the means by which those rules are followed are different. Even so, God uses different means to comply to the same rules in order to come off victor (because good always triumphs over evil.) There fore, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever just as any soccer game would be played under the same regulations, but a goal made using your feet is just as valid as one using your head.

Thank you for letting me express the things that have crept into my heart as I have studied and pondered. IT may seem like a silly analogy to think of in the temple, but it helped me and further concreted my understanding.

Sunday was a fantastic day. My uncle and aunt, Brent and Janet, showed up in the Lyon Drug store (a restored historic site I was serving at that day) and it was like a piece of heaven. I think that’s how dying is going to feel like. One moment we will be here and then we will come around the corner and see a family member or friend that we haven’t seen in years and we will first think, “oh look, It’s Brent and Janet” (or mom and dad, or grams and gramps, or our spouse) and think nothing of it and then all of the sudden we will think again and shout with joy! Brent! Janet! Mom! Dad! Mi amour! And we will realized that we have made it. That, just as we always knew He would, all His promises have been made and kept, that families are eternal and the we have come home. He has lead us safely there and all is well. I was in an incredible mood for the rest of the day and then went down to Carthage for the 166th commemoration of Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s Martyrdom. The spirit was great and the weather impeccable. The morning had even “dawned cloudy and wet”. The song we sang was one from the very first hymn book and it went better than expected. I’m pretty sure angels stood behind me to whisper the notes in my ear. I think there has been a group of angels called to serve an 18 month mission in heaven just to help me with the songs I’ve sung on my mission. And another concourse assigned for the same duration to help with everything else. If they are suppose to be secret, they have some improving to do, because I can feel them.

After the “official” commemoration we all prepared to take part in what each of us looked forward to most on the commemoration. We went into the jail by ourselves. We listened to a program that the Carthage sisters had put together. They had pulled out different quotes and testimonials of that day and of those men and applied each accordingly to the rooms in that place. IT was amazing. As we went through and paid our tributes and listened with our hearts to the things that the spirit shared with us I was acutely aware that I was one of few who was privileged to have such an experience on that day. When we got to the martyrdom room three testimonies were shared of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s divine calling. We sang “Joseph Smith’s first prayer”. The song took on completely new meaning for me as I sang the song and then listened to the tape. I felt like him. As those men came marching up those stairs and he heard them, I felt his calmness. The first two verses of “Joseph Smith’s first prayer” became his thoughts as he reflected back on what now seemed like a simpler time, when he asked his question, and “saw a pillar of light exactly over his head, above the brightness of the sun, and as the light rested upon him he saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description standing above him in the air. One of them spake unto him, calling him by name, and said pointing to the other, 'This is My Beloved Son, hear Him!' ”. I felt his heart wrench as his brother Hyrum fell to the floor and I felt the peace as he walked to the window and the second two verses of that song began to happen. He was no longer remembering. A light descended and He heard a familiar voice, “Joseph, this is my beloved, hear Him” He had made it home.

I Cannot say that this is how that day happened, that this was Joseph Smith’s experience, but that is how it played out in my mind. June 27th 1844 is one of those “great and terrible” days on the earth. We then sang “Praise to the man” as the spirit bore witness of who that man was. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives! And I know that He will answer all and any of our questions in humble prayer before Him. He loves us.

Sister Bailey


June 22, 2010

"If These Rooms Could Speak"

If these rooms could speak,
What would they chose to say?
Which one would cry the loudest
Of the injustice done that day?
Would there be any shaky sighs,
Or mournful groans of pain?
Would there be anger in their sermons
From when a prophet here was slain?
Or would joy run through their timbers
To stand and testify!
Of the Lord's anointed servant,
Who had come here that day to die?
Would the dining room and parlor
Sing praises to the family
That gave and loved and served the man
In whom a goodness they could see?
Would the first floor cell tell
Of the songs they sang
And of the testimony borne
Of the book that bears the Savior's name?
Would the staircase raise a guilt filled cry
For carrying those feet?
For helplessly supporting those
Who sought for God's defeat?
And would the dungeon awesomely explain
The miracle it knows it saw:
Death conquered by charity
The weight of a mattress and some straw?
And that room that saw the bullets fly,
Would it declare with thunder,
The evil that stood outside it's door
The men determined to put him under?
Would they whisper the solace of forgiveness,
And beckon towards the Christ,
For whom his blood was spilt,
To whom he gave his life?
I think they'd stand in silence
Much like they do now,
Fostering the spirit,
To pierce as deep as each heart will allow.
So the spirit can be the teacher,
And the room provide a place
For the holy ghost to heal men's hearts
Each according to it's case

Written by: Sister Anne Bailey

Monday, June 28, 2010

I love growing in His fields

June 22, 2010

Today has been the best preparation day ever thus far. We decided to plan only the things we wanted to do and the most logical order to do them in. This has truly been a day of rest! Sister Pulleyn and I got up and went running. We didn't worry about what time we got home we just ran until we felt like going home. It was beautiful. I felt like I was running off the stress and worry and fatigue of 15 months. It was just before a storm came in so the sky was fantastic and the air light and cool. We ran to inspiration point, a place where Joseph Smith went to think, and looked out across the Mississippi. As we headed home it started to rain. Just enough to cool us off and re-energize us. Up past the temple, down past the shops on Muholland Street until we turned onto our road. We sprinted the last bit. We started laundry and made the best breakfast I've eaten in a long time.(sweet potato hash browns, strawberry pancakes, an omelet, poached eggs, and french toast) It was so good. I wont be eating lunch today. Then we did all our cleaning and showered and then tried to nap. It actually didn't go all that well, but I think that is part of why I liked it. I was looking forward to the nap more than probably anything today because I have felt incredibly exhausted as of late. It drove me through my run and made me cheerful through cleaning, laundry, shower, and breakfast. I didn't end up getting down until 10:15 and then I laid there for 15 minutes. I just barely started to slip into sleep around 10:45 when Sister Pulleyn came in to say it was time to get ready to e-mail. I asked for 15 more minutes and then laid there some more. The thought that came to my head was, "this is useless".   I got up and read and we are now e-mailing and plan on writing letters for the rest of the day. (We have moved our temple day to Friday). I am perfectly content. It really struck me to know that I couldn't really scoot into the nap I expected to have. After all it is what drove me through this morning!!! As I have thought about it more it makes me think about how there is no rest after this life and how the work just continues. The thought of "rest" sometimes seems to drive us in this life and when I have thought about "no rest" in the world to come I have felt, at times, my eternal perspective shudder a little, but I think it will be much like today was. The thought of rest will drive us through this life and then when we arrive that initial thought of resting will seem useless.  Who can sleep when there is so much work to be done? I think that by the time this life is over, after we have run our course, supped our fill and tied up loose ends we will be so pumped and intent on moving on that rest will seem useless.  The best rest we will be able to think of would be to help our family members still running around, to feed those still hungering, and to bear up missionaries on door steps so that the work can be finished. Then maybe we will rest...or maybe we will be too anxious to move on to the next task. Rest does have it's purpose, but it also has it's place.

The sociable is over. Pageant is on it's way. The summer is, as usual, moving quicker than it sometimes feels like I can move my feet. But the Lord will attend.

The sociable was different than last year. It was fantastic and wonderful but it still feels good that it's over.   I feel like I learned more, partly because I trusted more. Last year I struggled because I can't sing, I didn't know how to act or look, I couldn't remember the steps, my lines, etc.   I was so stressed. This year I felt I was able to learn more because, since I had hurtled sociable before, with the Lord's help, I knew he would help me again. I learned more because I worried less. The things that stood as obstacles last year were non issues this year. I moved forward with faith. I took note this year that most in attendance were members and missionaries, but I felt the spirit so strongly and I was filled with love and happiness to be able to spiritually feed them on their sabbath.  All in attendance came to our sociable on their sabbath.  They had deemed it worthy as a sabbath day activity and I walked away knowing that it was. I had hoped to see a non-member named Brenda there but she didn't make it.  I thought that her absence would take away some of the sweetness I felt, but it didn't. I was so glad to serve who ever came, no matter what walk in life they traveled. I also took note that there was at least one non-member man who was very touched. Sister Pulleyn talked to him in the visitor's center yesterday before he headed out on the rest of the Mormon trail, in part because of the spirit he felt here. He mentioned the spirit he had felt and how he was praying that the Lord would guide his feet. President Ludwig once said that we "should never give unconditional service". I agreed, but I feel like I have learned more about that this sociable. Unconditional not only in not expecting something in return, but with out respecting the person. Member or non-member, Missionary or visitor, King or peddler. He would serve them all, unconditionally and just as happily as the other, so will I. I have not learned to value non-member tours or moments to testify to them any less, but I have learn to value member tours and moments to testify to them, more.

For sociable we sang "The Lilies of the Field". It talks about how Heavenly Father provides us with what we need, and how "He clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds in the sky". The point is that we are His children and He will care for us just as well and more than he does for the lilies and the birds. "He will heal those who trust Him and guide them with His eye". The difference between us and the lilies is that He lets us chose to accept or reject His care. He will never take away our agency to chose.

I like growing in His fields. 3 Nephi 12:28-34 & Matt. 6:25-34

Sister Bailey

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nothing but Christ

June 15, 2010

We just came from the temple. The spirit there was very sweet, very quiet. I loved it. I love the temple.

Transfers were on Sunday, New companion: SIster Pulleyn! I am so excited for this up coming transfer. If there is only one sister in Nauvoo that I could learn something from (which there isn't, there are 21) it would be Sister Pulleyn. She is one of the happiest people I have ever met. She is from Reno Nevada. She has walked a different side of life than I have and she wears the Savior on her face. I want to do that always! I cannot wait to get to know her better and to share insights with her and to love her and to serve with her. She is amazing. She made up of nothing but silver linings and those warm spots in front of the window when the sun is shining. I served with her in Carthage our first transfer, so I know her a little bit, but I cant wait to get to know her more.

I have noticed something over the past couple weeks since we have been back from our winter assignment. A change that has taken place, one that I am very happy about. Last year I would, along with everyone else, guess what would happen at transfers. As I settled on the thing I wanted least, the thing that scared me most, that would be the result. If the thought of something made me particularly uncomfortable, that would be the thing that Lord had in mind. I began this summer by guessing what would happen at transfers by how uncomfortable I felt. When I spent my first night in Carthage my first thought was "don't get too comfortable". I was sure I was leaving because it made me uncomfortable. But then I stayed. As time has gone on I have realized that I am much more comfortable and sensitive to the confirmations of the spirit. It has helped me in my service here also. I have more confidence and I feel more directed. When transfers came the first time I felt most at peace with moving to Nauvoo, but the thought of being split from Sister Cordoba made me uncomfortable. We both moved to Nauvoo together! This transfer, although leaving Sister Cordoba made me sad, I felt so peaceful about receiving a new companion. I also felt peace about staying in Nauvoo. It leads me to believe that over the past 15 months I have been better able to align my will with Gods. Which fills me with a great amount of peace and happiness. I have felt my relationship with my Heavenly Father grow ever stronger over time. I love His counsel. I love to be taught by Him. He is probably the only one I do enjoy being "taught" by.

I have been reading Jesus the Christ (by James Talmage) lately. I want to finish before I go home, but I don't know if that will happen because I pick everything apart as I go, so I end up moving slowly. But I love it. This week I studied both the parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price. Both talk about the kingdom of God. In the hidden treasure a man finds his treasure in a field. He then sells everything he has and buys the field so that the treasure can be his. In the pearl of great price the man's life is centered on finding pearls and gems. When he does find the "pearl of great price" after so long and so hard of searching he sells every gem and pearl he has ever collected over the years and buys that one great pearl to have and to keep.

The man in the hidden treasure parable reminded me of people who happen to stumble on the gospel or are born into member homes, the search is almost non-existent, but the price is still his all.

The man in the pearl of great price reminds me of those whom I have met who have been searching all their lives for the gospel. I have known some of them in my life time. I could picture their faces in my minds eye as I read, some of them are still searching. They pick up many good and lovely things, but when they find the whole truth, the truth that will save them, there is still much to be sacrificed. All other gems and pearls must be given up.  Those lovely and choice things, they must be willing to give them up to have a place in the kingdom.

I have also met and sometimes known those who will search and search and acquire and acquire and then when the truth that will save them is in front of them they choose to trade salvation for their good and lovely things. Those things may not even be inherently bad, but the cost is still the same.... everything they have. It doesn't matter how you gain a testimony, or even if you do gain a testimony, what matters is what you are willing to do to keep it and to progress. It cost your all. It is worth every penny, every tradition, every ounce of pride in you. Nothing is so worth it's cost.


Nothing but Christ.

Sister Bailey

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Something New to Learn and Something Old to Change

June 8, 2010

Nauvoo always takes some wiggling into before things settle, especially when all the missionaries are moving in and there really is not a schedule or routine to settle into. But most of the hubbub is over and we're getting closer and closer to putting on our Sunday night sociable for all of Nauvoo (June 20th ) and then Pageant. Sister Ludwig and President Ludwig are amazing. The Seniors are outstanding and each Sister here (and each missionary) is here for a reason. There is always something new to learn and something old to change. Such is life. Speaking of changes, this is the last week of this transfer. I can't believe transfers are already here. Chances are that the Lord will be splitting up Sister Cordoba and I. I love her. We may not be companions through all this but we will be dear friends for the rest of our lives. Maybe I can convince her to teach my children Spanish.

I have been very specific in my prayers lately, and very candid also. It has been a very sacred experience. I feel like my relationship with Him is more defined and that I have moved closer to Him in my life. My testimony of prayer has grown immensely.

This week has been an incredible week, but I am at a loss as to what exactly I could share with you.

The interview that I had with President Ludwig was a very interesting one. I didn't have much to talk to him about, but he had thought of some things he wanted to talk to me about. He asked me questions that required me to look back on my entire mission and it was quite the experience. I appreciated the opportunity. He asked me about the ways in which I had changed. There are so many. He had me pick three. Then he listed some things that he had observed. It was an incredible experience to have and I am so grateful for priesthood leaders. I am so grateful and blessed to be born at a time period on which the priesthood, the authority to act in God's name, is on the earth today and causing truth to go forward at an unreal pace. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, that we have a prophet today, and that God is in the details of our lives. He loves us so much. He will provide the way, but we need to take it.

I love you all. I know that this letter is short, but it is how I am feeling at the moment. Thank you for your prayers. I feel them everyday. I feel and see them answered.

Mosiah 2:41

Sister Bailey

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lead me, Guide me, Walk be side me, Help me find the way...

June 1, 2010

We went to the temple today. We didn’t go last week because on p-day it looked as though we would be able to attend on Thursday. As the week played out however, it didn’t work out that way. We were able to at least go and stay for a very short time, but we didn’t have time for a whole session. I was so thankful to even be there, but I had planned out a whole study that was going to be awesome. I was SO thankful to be back in the temple today, doing a session. I did do my study. It was very insightful, but the best thing about the temple today was seeing Bonnie. I met Bonnie this week in the Visitor’s Center before a showing of “High Hopes”. I noticed her over many of the other visitors, which is what caused me to go strike up a conversation. She had told me that she liked the history here and that it was all “very interesting”, but that she had no expectations for her stay here. I felt very impressed to change her view, which was weird to feel because I didn’t think she had a horrible view by any means, but I heeded the prompting and told her that it was not adequate to simply expect to hear interesting things. She should be expecting a spiritual experience here. She was entitled to it! What’s more, Heavenly Father wanted her to have one here. I committed her to pray for one, to pray to have her heart open and to pray to recognize the spirit more acutely in Nauvoo. I walked away feeling a little bold, especially to be demanding such behavior from someone so my senior, but I ultimately felt content about what had been said. Every person in Nauvoo SHOULD expect something great, even life changing from their visit here, no matter the duration. Two hours later the next “High Hopes” was going to start and I was seating for it. She walked by me and her name tumbled out of my mouth, “Hi Bonnie!”. Her face lit up and she waved as she was ushered around the corner. I was surprised how quickly I had remembered her name. It hadn’t really even felt like me saying it. It was confirmed to me later, when she found me after the play to thank me for remembering her name, that it was not I who had drawn it from my lips. It had meant a lot to her, or at least it seemed like it had. I momentarily reflected on how mindful God is of his children and their needs and how wonderful it is to be able to help Him in reminding them of that. I never would have known, when I asked for her name, that it would later be something of worth to her. But God did. Anyway, getting back to this morning... I saw her at the temple! She was in my session and I made a point to say hello and ask how she was doing as we left, “Hello Bonnie! How are you?”. We ended up walking out of the building together. Sister Cordoba and I stopped to talk with her for a little bit and she welled up with tears. She went on to explain what a wonderful session it was for her. She had had a very powerful spiritual experience towards the end. She mentioned her and her husband’s recent call as ward temple missionaries and that her father had passed away recently. I couldn’t exactly understand what in prayers had been answered, but she hugged me and thanked me for asking her to pray for a spiritual experience while she was here. She said she never would have asked for one had I not taken the time to tell her to do so. It was a very humbling experience. I think that as missionaries, especially as Nauvoo missionaries, we forget, or fail to realize, the power of our influence. I felt so blessed to first, be able to be an instrument in His hands and second, to be shown a bit of the results of being bold, and heeding the promptings of the spirit.

Another wonderful experience that I had in the Visitor’s Center was with a man named Jason. He is the only member of his family who is not a member. He was very candid about it. As we got to talking I was able to testify of so many truths to him, particularly of the Book of Mormon and eternal families. His wife has taken him to many of the Church history sites, but he has never been to the sacred grove - Where Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I told him that I wanted to go there someday. He mentioned that it might be cool and we talked about how strong the spirit must be there. I told him that I wanted him to e-mail me when he went to tell me how it was. He then told me that he probably wouldn’t make it before I did, so instead we exchanged e-mails and made a pact, who ever makes it there first has to e-mail the other one and tell them how it was. He also had mentioned that he had started the Book of Mormon what felt like hundreds of times. I told him to read 3Nephi 11 and to pay attention to how he felt as he read. Sister Cordoba and I were both able to have a wonderful conversation with him about the Gospel and how it blesses families and double testify of every principle we taught. It was fantastic! And, I have even more incentive to go to the Sacred Grove after my mission now. I am praying that he reads and follows the spirit in what to do next. We told him to contact the missionaries when he feels he is ready. He kept saying that he didn’t feel ready.

Sister Cordoba had an very inactive former missionary make a rather contentious comment to her in the Visitor’s Center about our mission. Sister Cordoba followed the spirit instead of her pride and was able to minister to her the way the Savior would have had He been there. She was broken and down trodden and Sister Cordoba lifted her up instead of kicking her back. She is such an example to me. She is fantastic. All of the new Sisters are. I sometimes feel as though they are training us. I am so excited for the next 18 months of their lives. It so strange to be on this end of it.

I am in continual awe of all President and Sister Ludwig do for us every day. They stand in the Savior’s stead for us. I am so grateful that I have been able to serve under their direction and love.

Sister Bailey