Friday, September 7, 2012

First Area of Service - Crystal, New Mexico

This is a picture of President and Sister Batt, Elder Andrew Baker and Elder Porter Jones

Andrew arrived in his mission on 20 August 2012.  He flew into Farmington, NM and spent the night there. On Tuesday is new mission companion, Elder Porter Jones, picked him up in a 4-door Chevy pickup and they drove to Crystal, New Mexico. It is on the Navajo Reservation in the mountains near the Arizona border. In fact, part of their area is in Arizona, the town of Lukachukai, AZ. Andrew said that the area is just beautiful at an elevation of about 7,000 feet with trees and deer. He's a happy camper.  They live in a camp trailer parked on the church lot in Crystal. He said that he hits his head on the lights and door frames but he has a thick skull so it is okay. Haha!  The following are some excerpts from his letters.

"It's monsoon season here, so it's cold and wet. Very cold and very wet. So far, we've met a couple people that seem genuinely interested. They invited us back to teach their whole family! We do a lot of tracting because both Elder Jones and I are new to the area and we don't know ANYONE.  I actually kind of like tracting, although I need to get better.  The culture is very different.  Our mission president said we have the most unique mission in the USA. We get to experience a 3rd world country, while still living in America. The housing is not good and we have to knock on every building, even if it's made out of plastic tarps because there could be people inside. I swear everyone has about 20 dogs. It's weird. And the dogs are ugly and nasty! Still, the people are humble for the most part. The missionaries are the only white people the Navajos like. We open the gym every Tuesday night for basketball and we get people from all different churches. It's fun."

"The Lord has really prepared the people for us. I'm excited to meet more people. I've found that doing service for the Navajos really opens up their heart, and helps them Want to hear what we have to say. Lately I've been using a lot of family stories. Some about Grandpa Baker have really helped. We were teaching a medicine man about the Book of Mormon, he doesn't believe in going to church and he doesn't like the idea that white men force their religion on them. I felt impressed to tell him about my grandpa. So I did. I told him how grandpa didn't like the idea of going to church and that he could worship God any way, any where. Then I told him a little about how grandpa was converted. After I told him all that, his countenance changed, and he wasn't on the attack anymore. He promised he would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. I knew that grandpa was in the room with me then, and that he touched this man's heart. Lately I've been feeling by ancestors with me a lot."

"At' Ah' de'nade' shawl" (I'll see you soon in Navajo)

"Gamale chk' ai' enay" (Elder Baker in Navajo)

Send packages through the USPS only and Priority mail. 
No UPS or FedEx.
Send packages and mail to: 

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

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