Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow, Rain, and falling leaves...‏

Monica Baer blog posting by her family from 11/18/13 email.

This week has been kind of crazy. We had an interesting time walking around in the snow storm. Yikes! I really don't like snow. Luckily I had a warm coat, tights, socks, boots, and sweater on.

November 11, 2013

Monday we helped out at the Food Pantry which is always really fun. It was a long, tiring, but good Preparation day.

November 12, 2013

Tuesday we had a COLD COLD day. Yes it was the HUGE snow storm. We met an older lady named Mina who is such a cutie and invited us to come over whenever and to come have icecream on Christmas with her. Then we visited Millie another older lady in "The Home" which is a elderly care center. We also met Melissa Norton who is the sweetest woman I've ever met, we are going to go see her a lot more. We had the most delicious "lime" enchiladas, I'll have to send home the recipe. Sister Evans is an amazing cook!

November 13, 2013

Wednesday we had District Meeting and I got a lot of questions answered. OH! And we met with our new investigator Jason. He is so prepared, he is excited about learning which is so great. Then we had our Fireside, and Harley came. We read a Talk from Conference and it was SOO good. I really learned a lot.

November 14, 2013

Thursday we saw Sister Crawford with Sister Nickerson. Sister Crawford had knee surgery so she is on the mend. The we had lunch with Sister Nickerson, she is such a sweetheart. We then had our lesson with Mike and Bonnie. We talked about the Holy Ghost and Bonnie bore sweet short beautiful testimony of it in her life. Then we saw Sister Wilmarth and played the Holy Ghost game. Finally we ended meeting with Jason, we were SHOCKED when he said he read the ENTIRE introduction and the testimonies of 3 and 8, and 1 Nephi 1. He told us he wanted to cry because he felt something when we read it.

November 16, 2013

Saturday we ended up helping Elder Pettet get stuff to take care of sick Elder Call. We then saw Jen's mom and chatted for about an hour. Then we had the SCARIEST spiritually terrifying experience of my life.

" We're walking to see Joseph and we see this lady and 2 boys walking toward us, and I get this nasty, creepy, unsafe feeling before they're even close.

They stop us and talk to us asking, "Does God talk to you? How does he talk to you? Would you like to have him talk to you in dreams?" She grabbed my arm and started praying that I would receive dreams, and her youngest boy is whispering under his breath.

The feeling got even worse. I was praying the entire time to get out of there and to feel safe. I just knew that what as going on was not from the Holy Ghost. And I was frozen with terror. My companion noticed that and got us out of there. I don't think I've ever felt such darkness before. I don't know why I felt like that or why my companion noticed my fear, but I know that we were protected and kept from danger today. I know that the Holy Ghost does not strike with fear.

Sunday we had Stake Conference and it was AMAZING!! the Lopez Family came! All of them! They drove 1 hour to come, and it was amazing.

It was so fun to see the Pulaski ward. I sure do miss them. And The Kerr Girls, Addy and Macy, and the Merrill Girls, Megan and Kim, where there and we were talking and Megan said, "look its like a little family reunion."

Then we came back and had lunch and I finished 2 Nephi and Jacob 1!! Then we did Mormon.org time and headed out to dinner at the Ferris House. It was so yummy, and it was so good to get to know them better. They are such sweethearts.

We find out Transfers this saturday so in a week I will let you know if I'm staying or going.

I've been studying the Atonement this week and it is amazing. I read President Uchtdorf's talk, "Point of Safe Return" It is a wonderful talk and I suggest you all read it. It brings comfort, peace, and hope. Well, I must be off. I love you all and hope you have a good week. Love you!!

Love always, Sister Baer

Thanksgiving in two weeks??‏

Monica Baer blog posting by her family from 11/11/13 email.

So sorry I didn't email you all last week. Things have been hectic beyond belief here. So an update on Auburn. We have 8 investigators on date. We have the whole Lopez family, Mike, and Sister Graves sons Ben, James and Zach. So, December is going to be full of baptisms as of right now.

We met with The lopez family on Monday and Marisa was a little hesitant about baptism, but Alicia bore testimony of baptism and Tuesday, ONE DAY LATER, we get a text from Marisa telling us she wants to be baptized Dec. 7th. Prayer works! She prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if she should be baptized and ONE day later she bears testimony and confirms her baptism date. Yeah, she's amazing and has amazing faith.

We watched the Joseph smith movie like 4 times this week. It brings me to tears each time I watch it. So that was great. I don't think its ever been so real to me as it is now in Upstate New York.

So, I am pretty sure I have never experienced the strength and also weaknesses I have out here until now. People can tell you all about serving a mission, but until you're here you'll never know.

Well, I must run, sorry this is so short. I'll do better next week. Love you all!!

Love, Sister Baer

Almost November??‏

Monica Baer blog posting by her family from 10/28/13 email.

Hello family and friends,

Can you believe its nearly Halloween and then November? Its hard to remember what day it is when they pass so fast. 

We had Zone Conference yesterday which is why I didn't email you all. Sorry. 

Here's the weekly rundown:

Oct. 21, 2013

Today was p-day. It was not very productive for letter writing or cleaning. BUT, we had a great lesson with the Lopez Family. I was able to invite them to baptism for Dec. 7th....and.....all three of the children accepted. We are still going to work on their dad. He was sick, so next time we'll extend the date to him as well. The Gospel is true, the book is blue, and our Heavenly Father works in mysterious but plain ways. 

Oct. 22, 2013

Today was a good day. we saw Mike with Bonnie. He didn't drop us, YAY! Then we went with Bonnie to see Sister Hazard. Poor woman is going through a lot. District meeting is tomorrow and we have to leave bright and early. So, sorry this is so short. But it was good and spirit filled day.

Oct. 23, 2013

Today was an interesting day. Most of our appointments canceled and we both felt really kind of sick. So, it was a mediocre day. Elder Hatanaka suggested we pray for the members of our district as well as their investigators. I think it will help make my prayers more meaningful.

Oct. 25, 2013

Today I really felt the Lord's hand. It started when we had comp study. We opened up a lot and just talked. Then we went to get Stephanie and we saw Brother and Sister Adsitt and Sister Obrien'. It was good to see them. Then we saw Lynn and Harley Seamens and read "Not Withstanding My Weaknesses by Neil A Maxwell" I realized that a lot of the people we are teaching are like me or like I once was. Then we saw Jen and she really is like a little sister to me. I hope we get to teach her mom and older sister.

Oct. 26, 2013

Today was a hard day. But I guess those have to come to every once and a while. I realized I have a really easy time talking to kids, but a harder time when its to adults. I think I just like how simple kids make things.

Oct. 27, 2013

Today was a good day. First off it was Sunday. I love Sundays. We went to church and got a lot done. The ward is starting to get really interested in our missionary work and its nice to see. We stopped by Sister Gahn's which was good. I love that lady. She seem a little out of it, but it was so good to see her. Then we went to see Stephanie's mom. It was all in all a good day. I just hope all of the Less-actives remember why they first joined the church and know they can feel that again.

Oct. 28, 2013

So, today was Zone conference. It was amazing. Elder Bruce D. Porter of the 1st Quorum of the 70 came and talked to us. It was so cool. I wrote down questions before hand and either every question was answered or I was given how to find the answers to them. So we got majorly spiritually fed. Then I along with 3 other missionaries got to be interviewed by him. Man, that was a cool experience. Not many people can say they've been interviewed by a 70. Then we had dinner with Brother and Sister Powers for Brother Powers birthday. That was really yummy. Then Sister Powers came with us to teach Sister Graves, Ben, James, and Zack. That went really well.

So yeah, thats this week. I am running late so be happy, read the scriptures, pray, and you will find happiness.

Love you all!

Love always, Sister Baer

It's Getting Cold Outside...


‏ Monica Baer blog posting by her family from 10/21/13 email.

Well hello my dear family. How are you doing this week? I am so glad to have heard from some of you. This week has been an interesting one. First off, Mom and Dad, yes I received the package Saturday night sopping wet from the rain. So, things are hanging up to dry. Also, the pages you sent got wet but they also dried and didn't run very much. But our apartment looked lovely with papers and clothes hanging up everywhere. Oh how I love the constant rain. I think its going to be a colder winter than I may be prepared mentally for. However now that I have a coat, boots, scarves, tights, and sweaters and socks I should be ok physically. 

So a rundown of this week:

Oct. 14, 2013

So, today was P-day. We played dodgeball with the youth. Man I don't like that game. For a girl who can't catch, throw or dodge, its always interesting. Then we got everything ready for the week. Oh we also did service at the Food Pantry. It is quite the experience when old men ask if you're married and try to set you up with a worker. haha, experiences that make ya laugh. Then we also did service helping the Hirsch's move. It was so sad to see them go, but their family in Kansas will be glad to have them. I found out Hope is getting baptized on Sunday October 27th. I am soo happy for her. I just can't wait hear about her experience and how wonderful she feels. The gospel is great.

Oct. 15, 2013

Well today was hard. I realized that we are teaching someone who is a lot like me when I didn't really care about school or other parts of life. It makes me really sad to see someone struggle with the same things I did. It also helps me to know that I was never alone.I hope that he listens with his heart and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be let in. Anyway, I am going to try to be in-tune with the spirit so I can know how to help him. 

Oct. 16, 2013

Today was an interesting day. We discovered that Cassie lost her car. We visited Sister Hazzard and Emma Bella (her 2 yr old granddaughter). She seemed to really enjoy reading out of Preach My Gospel and the Scriptures about following the Spiritual promptings we receive. Then we had dinner with the Kishpaughs and their 2 sons and 3 cats. Their cats are soo cute. Especially the kitten. But not as cute as my tommy cat. Then we went to the Fireside and no one came so we printed talks and decided to give Mike to the Elders to teach. 

Oct. 17, 2013

Today was weekly planning. It was good. We talked a lot and got some stuff taken care of with our area book and planning our week. I have been studying Godly Sorrow and what it really means.But careful what you wish for because if you pray to have Godly Sorrow for the things you've done wrong, you will feel it and it will hurt, but it will also help you change. After all, "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." - Anne of Green Gables.

Oct. 18, 2013
Well today was exciting. We visited Robin Meade in the hospital. Poor woman has blood poisoning. We also saw that Millie Egan was there so we stopped to chat with her. She is getting older and not doing very well. I pray for these two women and hope they get better soon. Then we visited Joanne tonight. The are sweet spirits and I know the Gospel would help them so much. She let us try her fried chicken. I don't usually like fried chicken but it was good. Then we walked to Cassie's and heard a very scary sound so we got a ride home from the Elders. It was an interesting night...

Oct. 19, 2013
Today was a good day until about 20 minutes ago when our Zone Leaders called to tell us that their car was broken into, their GPS and keys stolen and a key to our apartment was in their car. So, that was real interesting. But we're more worried about the ZL's. So we are praying for them and the Syracuse sisters tonight. On the plus side we visited 3 less-actives today. Sis. Graves and her boys, Sister Toro, and Sister Newenshwander and her daughter Anna and granddaughter Kathryn. So all in all it was a good day. 
Oct. 20, 2013

Today we went to church. Sacrament meeting was good. Emma Bella was running a muck but what else is new. Sunday School was a good lesson taught by the Elders. It was on Priesthood Organization. Then we went to Relief Society. Sister Smiglioni gave a wonderful lesson on Missionary work. It was really touching to see and hear this woman bare testimony of Missionary work in her life. I seriously love the women in this ward. Then Stephanie came out with us and we gave service cleaning out the apartment of this woman who recently died. We then went to see Harley and Lynn Seamens. It was great. We got to talk about President Monson's talk in the Relief Society General Broadcast. They seemed really touched.

So yeah that was this week. I hope you all enjoy this next one and for everyone's knowledge, my mission address will not change for the entire mission. It is still:

Sister Monica Lillian Baer
New York Utica Mission
P.O Box 149
Whitesboro, New York.

Thanks, hope to hear from you soon!

Love always, Sister Baer


Sisters Baer and Parsons - Companions :D

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today is the day.‏

Monica Baer blog posting by her family from 10/14/13 email.

Well, family. This week has been a great one. We were able to teach all of our investigators for the most part. And we were able to ask the girls in the Lopez family if they knew this Gospel was true. When Marisa said with conviction that she felt like she was doing something right, I couldn't contain my excitement. I am pretty sure that they all thought we were crazy because of my really excited facial expressions. 

So...we might be able to get them on date this week for baptism. They are moving along so fast. They read everything, pray all the time, the only thing that they need to do more is come to church and walk into the waters of baptism. It is the best feeling in the world when you find people clearly prepared for you. They know that this gospel has something that they don't yet. 

The colors are changing more and more and the time is passing faster and faster. I feel like I never left Utah, but then again I am beginning to get used to not seeing mountains. Though I do miss them and each of you. New York is beginning to feel like home which is a very strange feeling. I feel like when I look at pictures from home I am looking at a past life. I am so happy to see that I can become and am becoming a new person and living a new and better life. 

A run down of this week:

Oct. 7, 2013 - Today was P-day and it was a lot of fun. But, Sister Parsons got a sad phonecall telling her she had travel plans for going home. It made me realize how fast time passes and this time next year I will have my travel plans. It made me realy want to put all I have into doing the Lord's will. We taught the Lopez family tonight. Man I just love being a missionary. These people are some of the greatest I have ever met. 

Oct. 8, 2013 - Today was a good day. We visited with Joanne and Krystal and were able to pick up Krystal as a new investigator. Yay! Then we went to the podiatrist and that was great fun. Yuck. Why would anyone want to look at feet for a living? 

Then we OYM'ed (street contacted) tons of people on our way to dinner at Sister Nickerson's. Dinner was delicious but she gave me a HUGE potato. I was looking at it with big eyes and thinking, "please help me to be able to eat all of this so I don't offend her." And ya know what, somehow I did eat that huge ole' potato, ham, and broccoli. 

Then Sister Nickerson cut an inch-ish off my hair to help even it out. We shared Luke 15:4-6 with her and talked about how she can be the example in her family to bring back the lost sheep. We are also memorizing 3 Nephi 14:10 with her. 

Oct. 9, 2013 - Today was a good day. We went to District meeting and learned about "Asking Inspired Questions." It is awesome. Because you really know when you ask inspired questions. It causes people to stop, think, and commit. Then we role played and I don't remember a single word either of us said, but I know that what we asked was inspired.

Then we went to see Mike with Bonnie Bailey. I truly love Bonnie, her testimony is so simple and beyond powerful. She is a convert of 3 months and loves coming out with us. She volunteers for everything and has this excitement which really helps others gain it too. Then we went to the Fireside and learned about Repentance. 

I was led to 3 steps:

1. Recognize Wrong

2. Return to Christ by choice

3. Rebuild relationships by NOT doing it again.

Anyway, HUGE testimony of the Atonement, both in my life and in others

Oct. 10, 2013 - Today was a day of realizations and faith testing. I studied "Sacraments," no not Sacrament, but S-A-C-R-A-M-E-N-T-S. It was amazing. I learned that to give sacraments to God literally means giving your thoughts and words and deeds to God. In a way, Virtue is giving sacraments to God.

Then I learned that faith has always been tested. Satan attacks right before and/or after a spiritual experience. He does NOT want us to progress, therefore he seeks to destroy all that is good and he starts with faith.

Then we went to Brother and Sister Trapp's for dinner and had a lot of fun. Then we were off to visit the Mcmanus family. I really think that the oldest son wants to learn and that Amy(the mother) would be open to it. So hopefully we can pick them up soon.

But as always,after a spiritual experience Satan strikes. Sheila called us to tell us she doesn't want to meet with us again. So we are hoping to discuss things further. 

October 11,2013 - Today was a great day. We were able to meet with Sheila and Sister Nickerson came with us. She told us that she was worried because she doesn't have friends. So, Sister Nickerson pipes in, well I'll be your friend. The rest of the lesson went great and I think Sheila just wants to belong.

Then we visited Less-actives and answered concerns. To end the night we visited Jen our Recent convert and her friend Exavia. We were able to picke up Exavia as an investigator. She is 8 and loves Jesus. Her mom gave us permission to teach her. 

October 12, 2013 - Today was a wonderful day. We only visited one family. But we got to see Stephanie act as a witness and testify with courage of what she knows to be true. 

She asked me earlier if I thought she would be a good missionary. Then tonight she answered her own question when she did what so many of us fail to do. She let the spirit speak to them through her and she didn't restrain it. She truly is an amazing Young Woman and she is moving mountains with her faith.

I am so glad to know her and be able to go on this Journey by her side. She is going to ask her mom if she would like to meet with us. I am seriously so proud of Stephanie. She is asking for help and acting on faith. She is and always will be a great missionary.

October 13, 2013 - Today was fast and testimony meeting. It was a really good Sunday. I don't remember what was said but it was a strong spirit that was felt. It was the Hirsh's last day as well as the Hasko's. It was so sad to say goodbye to our ward members and senior missionaries. Then we sat with Stephanie and went over Elder Christofferson's talk from this General Conference. It is such a good one. Then we visited Sister Gahn after trying a bunch of people to no avail.

So, needless to say, this week has been a great one. I love being here even when times get tough. There isn't anything else I would rather be doing and I know with all my heart and soul that this Gospel is true, this work is God's work, and our Savior does live.

Now, this is not to say that things will be easy. Anything worth having is worth putting effort in for. And we may run into difficulties, we may face disease, destruction, distress, and maybe even death. But, the open arms of our Father in Heaven are there for each of us. He honestly does what President Monson states, "Our Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His commandments. He is concerned also for the lost child, the tardy teenager, the wayward youth, the delinquent parent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these and indeed to all: “Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me.”

I love this talk and if you would like to read it the URL is as below:
http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/the-race-of-life?lang=eng

Well, I must be off. Its time to go do some work. I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week. I thank you for your support and prayers. I feel of them and appreciate them. You are all amazing and I know that you are also doing the Lord's work. He will use each of us to do so if we will let him.

Love always,

Sister Baer

Almost Transfer time again...

Posted to Monica's Blog by her family from her 10-7-13 email.

Hello all! This week has been magnificent hasn't it? The colors are changing faster than I can capture on camera. The rain is intense here and I am sure this means we are in for an equally intense winter. Lessons have been spirit filled to the point of baptismal dates. Faith has increased, and finding has exploded. It is almost that time again, transfers are coming next week so in a week I will email you whether or not I have departed from Auburn or remain for the winter. I will love it either way.

First off, thank you thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts in our behalf here in Auburn. They have truly been felt and answered this week. We had the great fortune to find 6 new investigators. It has been a great week for finding. 

First came the Lopez family. They are some of the most humble and willing people I have ever met. Byron, the father grew up in Guatemala and came here to find a better life. With him came his 3 children. Marisa (14), Alex or Byron Jr. (13), and Victoria(12). They are so prepared for this Gospel and we get to go teach them again tonight. The light of Christ is truly alive in their souls, you can see it in their eyes. No baptismal date yet, but we are praying for them to accept one for November. 

Then Came Marty and Marla, a middle-aged couple who have been taught for 5 years and Marla investigated for 10 before that in Montana. They are prepared but tend to push away the spirit. So we are working on helping them accept, recognize, and seek the spirit. Again no date, but we are praying for December or sooner.

Conference was amazing. I loved each talk and was blessed to be able to watch it broadcast at our building. I never realized that it truly holds another meaning when you are out here. I can't believe it has been 1 year since the announcement that changed my life and outlook. 

The talks were wonderful, I loved them all. Every talk held deep importance for both the people I meet and for my own life. I loved Jeffrey R. Holland's talk on Saturday. It was so good because it brought me greater love and understanding for the people here that go through those hard things. And like he said, "discouragement comes to us all."
But, there is hope. Hope through and by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Hope that we can and will become better than we are presently. Hope that we will one day have a better world than we do right now. Hope is what anchors the soul and carries us through life's darkest of days.

Though we stand with the Armor of God on, it sometimes seems to be too heavy to carry. This is when we must turn to God and plead with him for the strength to carry on. Like the stripling warriors, we may each get nicked and scarred, but we can persevere and get past the enemy that marches toward us. If we do all that we can and then ask for the help of the Lord, he will NOT let us fail.  

That is his promise to us. If we seek his help for righteous causes and put for our effort, we cannot fail. If he allowed that, he would cease to be God. Whether we succeed how we want and when we want does not determine whether or not God helps us to succeed. He knows you and I better than we know ourselves and because of that, he knows 

1. How much we can handle. And

2. What way learning and success will benefit us best in the long run.

Life is not meant to be easy, that is what Conference taught me this year, but it is meant to help us learn to lean on the lord. If we do so, there is no point where our potential is stopped. I love potential. This word is highly used and very rarely considered in meaning. Potential is how the Lord sees. Reality is how we see, but potential sees our past, present, and future possibilities. Potential sees through Heaven's eyes. So, I am going to pray to see potential both in others and in my self. As we seek to see through Heaven's eyes we will be able to feel and further comprehend the Atonement.

Well,now that I have spouted on and on about how much I love Conference, anyone have a favorite talk? I would love to hear it if you do. You are all amazing and deserve so much. I am eternally grateful to you for your kindness, prayers, generosity, and Christlike love you have shown me and others. I love you and look up to you all. Have a wonderful week.

Love always, Sister Baer

October tomorrow??!!

Posted by Monica's family from her 9-30-13 email.

Hello-

Where does the time go? It seems its been 4 months already. The colors are changing so fast that its hard to capture its beauty. However I did as promised and remembered my camera so after this email I will attach and send pictures.

So, this week has been crazy!

September 23, 2013 - Today was P-day, crazy crazy stuff! I feel like the weeks fly by and so I never remember what I did each day. Good thing I have a journal. We emailed and worked out really hard doing some kickboxing and Pilates. So today was a pretty chill day. I wrote 10 letters! Geez, time flies so fast. It is crazy to think I have been out for 4 months already this week! It doesn't even seem like its been a month yet, but also seems like I have been here my whole life. I have actually forgotten how it is to see mountains everyday. Here they are just hills. 

September 26th, 2013 - Sorry I lost my journal for a couple days and haven't copied my entries yet. Oops. We had a GREAT lesson today with Mike and Sister Knapp. The spirit was so strong and you could tell he was feeling it. We commited him to be baptized November 16th. Man I am excited for him, this gospel will truly change his life! Then we went to see a less-active Sister Wilmarth. She is a hoot and a half and made me laugh SO much. She is such a sweetheart and wants to study the Holy Ghost, so we read scriptures about that with her. Ah I love the gospel! Then we visited Christine, a former investigator and guaged where she is at. She is so sweet and has the chunkiest and happiest baby ever. 

September 28, 2013 - Its my Momma's Birthday!! Happy Birthday Momma!

We went and saw Jennifer, with Stephanie. It was awesome! I love those girls and Jennifer looks A LOT like Jessica. Weird! So, steph talked with her about seminary which was so great. We requested her records so she can now take it. Woohoo! :D  

We ate some questionable food for lunch, but as a missionary you can't really say no thanks to an elderly member. Anyway, good thing tonight we had the Bread Spread. I got to see....Sister Resare and all my Pulaski women. I seriously love them. I miss those ladies, they really were like family to me. 

So I got a picture with all of them and right after that my camera died. Ha, good timing right. So we ate yummy bread, talked with Sister Resare and Sister Morrill. And ended with listening to the General Relief Society Presidency and our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. Man I love that man. He is a spiritual giant and he and those women are called of God.

September 29, 2013 - My little sister turns 15 tomorrow!! I feel so OLD! Geez, by the time I go home we will all be driving and dating. AHH! Where does time go?? Today is 4 months out! To celebrate we had a foot zoning party. Don't ask me to explain what that is, if you want to know then look it up because I can't explain. Its basically energy work, a lot like the stuff you do dad. It really helped me work through some of the hard emotions, and struggles a mission can bring. I am studying the atonement and its been really eye opening Here's to hoping I continue to learn more and more about how to apply the atonement. 

As promised, here is a picture of Fall in New York. I will try to get better pictures, but here's some for now.

Love you and hope you have a great week!
Thanks for your prayers and support.
Love always, Sister Baer

 
 Sister Morrill and I at ZTM.
 
 Countryside.
 
Helping Steph get ready for homecoming Love this girl.
 
Look at that Red. GORGEOUS!
 
I love fall. Its beautiful.
 
 Love these sisters. Best buds.

 Reunited.

 Pulaski Ladies a month later.
 
 Lovely lovely colors breaking through.
 
 Auburn in the Fall. Beautiful aint she.
 
 The Pulaski crew at ZTM.