Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Week Two in MTC

This is from Andrew's email received today, 15 August 2012

"My address will be changing soon, so I don't know how I'm going to get any letters for a while. You might have to update my facebook or something soon, and tell people to write to my address in New mexico. I'm leaving on Monday at 3:00 AM. they said I can make some phone calls, so I'll probably call you guys. Sorry if it will be so early. I bought a cheap calling card, so I'm good.

  I'm the travel advisor for about 20 people, so i have quite a few responsibilities. Especially since I've never flown before. Oh well, I'm sure things will all work out.

I've met a ton of people here that I knew from college. It's been so cool. I've made a ton of friends, and I love it.
Lately, I've been practicing teaching. Our teacher really emphasizes that we need to teach specific to the PERSON. I've started to develop a great habit of asking "why" questions to the investigator, and helping them connect the dots. My job is to help the investigator think out questions, and I (the spirit) guides them to the right answer. It's such a different way of teaching, but it has been so effective. I cant even describe how beneficial it is. When I quiet down, and ask the questions that the spirit wants me to, it allows the spirit to work in the minds of the investigator, and speak to them the truth.

   There was one case when I was talking to a real less-active. She felt overwhelmed with the gospel, and raising some handicapped kids, so she quit the church. After reading "believing christ", i felt impressed to ask her to bear her testimony. After she did, I felt that I should tell her about the atonement, and that god doesn't demand perfection from us. Only our best effort. Afterwards, tears came to her eyes, the spirit was full in the room, and I could tell that she believed in the atonement again. It was a great experience for me. I learned that the spirit rarely TELLS me what to do. He simply puts thoughts in my head that feel like good ideas or questions to ask. Nothing miraculous. Just simple thoughts that feel like good ideas.
Anyways, love you all,
Elder Baker"

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Letters from Elder Andrew Baker

Week One in MTC

Here are some excerpts from Andrew's emails to his family.

 I'm having so much fun here. they really got us going into things from day one! It was a lot to take in at once. We had a lot of responsibilities. everyone complains about the food here, but i think it is delicious! It is safe to say, that after a week, I am completely lost in the work. It's all i think about, talk about, dream about. We've been teaching lessons to investigatos (actors), and it has been really fun to learn how to do that. yesterday we actually taught a real non member investigator! He is from kenya! We didn't teach him any lessons, because we only had 15 minutes, but we made really good friends with him. We really got him to open up. we let him know that we love him. I have great companions and roommates. 

My teacher is the single best teacher i have ever had. He challenges us soooo much. the other day he bore his testimony, and said that he wishes HE had a teacher that didn't settle for mediocrity, that really pushed him. Maybe it would have made him a better missionary. He really pushes us to search for the answers ourselves. Then finally, when we have become exhausted from searching and praying, he enlightens us. He is from south africa and has an english accent. right now, I'm trying to focus on loving others. I was made district president, and that comes with some major responsibilities.

 I miss home a little bit, but not too much. It would be nice if you guys wrote often. please use to send your letters to me. what happens is, you type me a letter, email it to the website, (or something like that) and then they print it off and put it in my mailbox the same day. Its really cool. 

 During Andrew's being set apart as a missionary his grandmother felt the presence of others in the room.  Andrew wrote this about that experience;  "I felt the exact same way about when I was set apart. I knew that there were a lot of people in there that weren't from our side. In fact, i wrote that in my journal the other day. I said "when i looked at grandma crying, i knew that grampa, and many other relatives were in the room, and that they will be with me regularly throughout my mission." I felt amazing when i wrote that, like a reassurance that even though there is a lot expected of me, I will be helped. I felt like the reason the lord gave me all these responsibilities right away, was because he wants me to learn to work hard, and to work with others. I feel that there is a great work out there for me, and that He expects a lot from me."

   I have a great connection with our teacher, brother roberts. I feel like whenever we look at each other or talk, we connect. He helps me out so much. He and I really have great communication between us. I have a lot of questions for him, and he loves to answer them. 

Tell everyone to write me, not email me! I don't have time! but i have more time to write letters! 

Andrew will be in the MTC until 20 Aug 2012. Write him letters or use the site.  
His mailbox is #116, mission code is NM-Farm, and departure date is 0820.
 It's totally free and he gets a physical letter in his mailbox everyday someone writes. 

He would really like to hear from family and friends.  Thanks  :)

His address for the New Mexico-Farmington mission is:

   Elder Andrew Baker
   New Mexico Famington Mission
  500 West Apache St.
   Farmington, NM  87401-5819