Love you all!
Sister Makena Bauss
Just as a heads up, I'm not allowed to receive guests or visitors while here in Canada. I know that before I left, a lot of people were thinking about stopping by and visiting at some point, and I know that since it's now summer the possibility of that increases. However, I've been asked by my Mission President to refrain from these meetings. While I would LOVE to see you, it can distract me from the work (I just love you guys too much!) and can distract my companions as well. If you would like to show your love (pretty please?!) send me emails and letters. Just as a friendly reminder, my email and an address you can write to can be found on the banner of my FB page, which there is a link to on the top of this site. (Google: Maple and Mandarin Blog)
Love you all!
Sister Makena Bauss
Couldn't think of a good title to put for this weeks post, but not for a lack of interesting developments!
I had an amazing time last week at Niagara Falls, but unfortunately you'll all have to wait for photos since I forgot my camera cord at the apartment. My sincerest apologies.
My companion was sick for a lot of the week (fever, bad cough and sore throat, bruise-like rash on her neck) and we went to visit the doctor, and they got her some medicine, so she's on the mend! The mission nurse was pretty worried about her and has been keeping tabs on us to make sure she's okay, and I think she finally decided today that she is. I'm glad she's feeling better! :)
We dropped one of our investigators this week who had stopped progressing. It was hard, since she believed that the Church was true and she had a testimony of so many things, but she wasn't willing to keep some of the commandments that are required for baptism. It's so important to remember that everyone has their own agency and that God has a specific plan for each of His children in this life. Perhaps now just isn't the time. I'll miss meeting with her, but hopefully she'll attend church and I will be able to see her there.
On another note, we are teaching a girl right now who is super prepared! Her name is Joanna, and when her friend told her about the commandments, she said she had no problem following any of them and then asked us if there were any more she needed to follow as well! She's set to be baptized on July 7th and we are so excited for her! We found her through a member who she is good friends with, which just goes to show how important it is to share the Gospel with your friends. I've seen how much the Gospel blesses my life, and there is no way I would want to keep that happiness from my friends. We share the Gospel because we love those we share it with. This past Sunday, there was a broadcast from Provo about how members can be involved in missionary work. The program was titled "The Work of Salvation" and I encourage all of you, members and non-members alike, to go and take a look at it on LDS.org. Members, it will help you understand your role in sharing the Gospel. For those of you of other faiths, it will help you understand why we share the Gospel.
I love you all and hope you have fantastic weeks!
Sister Makena Bauss
Fun quotes from people we contacted at Brock University here. There really is such a different concept of religion among the Chinese people because of the way their government and culture has mixed over time. But it leaves a lot of them really interested in learning more, even if it's not for reasons more than curiosity. We have four Chinese speaking investigators that we found this week alone, along with other Chinese speakers and English speakers that we had been teaching previously. I'm so excited to continue teaching them! We have another investigator, Summer, who has a baptismal date scheduled for June 30th. We're working with her to help her reach that goal, but we'll have to wait and see. Sister Meng and I pray for her every day and are really focusing in on helping her every way that we can this week. It's amazing how quickly you come to love the people that you teach while you are on a mission. I know that the Lord truly blesses us with charity when we ask for it. I'm continuing to love Canada. I've had my first Butter Tarts and Crunchie bar of the mission and now fully feel as if I am here in Ontario. I'll be taking a trip down to Niagara this afternoon for P-day and I'm excited to go, since it's been quite awhile since I last visited. The members here are great and really take care of us. The ward isn't very big, and we do a lot of work with less-active members, but they have really taken the missionaries under their wing. I even met a member who goes to Novi for work a lot, which just reminded me of how strangely close to home I am right now. Crazy, huh! This week we had Zone Conference and we learned about how central the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to everything we teach. Christ really is the most important thing in our lives. I also went on exchanges for the first time with the Sister Training Leaders in Brampton. It was a really cool experience to see another area and how the work is done there. I was paired with Sister Tofa, who's from Australia and had met my family a few weeks before. She's awesome and I can tell we're going to be great friends. Wish I could see more of her! Hope all is well and all of my love! Sister Makena Bauss
Hey everyone! Sorry for the long break there without a post, last P-day I was busy flying across the country and moving into my new home here in CANADA! So it was a little difficult to get to a computer. But, I'm back. I'm alive. And I am a full-fledged, official Mormon Missionary! Travel was fun, if not cumbersome with my really heavy suitcases and carry-on that weighed nearly 45lbs thanks to all the books they gave us in the MTC. I, with the help of my wonderful travel companions, Sisters Willoughby and Hsiung, gave out my first pass-along card, and got through customs. Yes, I am now the possesser of my very own temporary residence-not quite a visa-thing. Yay! I got my new companion last Monday evening. Her name is Sister Meng and she's from Mainland China, near Beijing. However, she was called here English speaking. It was much to my surprise that I found out that Sisters Willoughby, Hsiung, and I are in fact, the very first sisters, regardless of nationality or native language, called to speak Mandarin Chinese in the Canada Toronto Mission. A lot of pressure, no big, but still really cool. We live in the basement of a member's house, which is fun. I'm used to "basement living", since my room back in Michigan is also in the basement, so I suppose it feels rather homey. Our area is so big, and really only has very slow busses for public transit, so we have been blessed with our very own Chevy Cruze! Usually, the senior companion is in charge of driving, but since I'm the only one of us with a license, I've been behind the wheel since my first day in the field. Watch out, Canada! We've taught a lot of lessons to less-active members of our wards and recent converts. It's wonderful to watch their faith in Christ grow. We've also got two other investigators with baptismal dates set for the end of the month. I pray for them every day because I just know how much this Gospel can bless their lives. We had Zone Training this past Thursday, which was fun as I got to meet some of the other missionaries in the area. There is one set of Chinese speaking Elders in our Zone and it was fun to talk with them and, to my surprise, learn that one of them had the same MTC teachers as I did AND knew one of my best friends. I will forever stick by my belief that the world is small, when you're a member of the Church it's smaller, and when you're a member of the Church who speaks Chinese, it's a kiddy pool. Hope you all have a great week! Love ya! Sister Bauss
One week left, people! That's right, you read correctly folks. Sister Bauss here will only be in the MTC for another week! Which is why I thought the above reference was so fitting. I have so many mixed emotions about leaving the MTC. It's really going to be bittersweet. Exciting to go out and teach, sad to leave people behind, but it's only for 1.5/2 years, which really isn't as long as it sounds. I can't believe that some of my best friends have already been gone a year at this point. So much has happened in the past year, and still I swear it was only yesterday. Since I finished my freshman year at BYU I've traveled to China, Taiwan, and back, I've worked my first full-time job, I've performed on Chinese national television, I've lived in four different places with 17 different roommates, I've hiked mountains, I've learned how to maintain solid conversations in Chinese, and most of all, I've become a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Now, my training time here in the MTC is almost up! This next week will be a lot of prepping for the trip out to Toronto. We've got special classes to head to, packing to be done, and goodbyes to be said. It'll be interesting this week to host and welcome the new missionaries like we did this past week as I look back at where I was two months ago. Watching them say their goodbyes and put their nametag on for the first time...it's amazing watching that change take place as they put aside their life for one and a half to two years. My goodbyes and first day here at the MTC are such a blur, it's interesting to look back and see how much of a sacrifice that is for them and to be able to say without a doubt that the sacrifice is worth it. There is nowhere else I'd rather be and nothing else I'd rather be doing.
With all of the crazy that the past year of my life has been, I know more than ever that my Heavenly Father has a plan for me and has a plan for each of His children.
I've grown so much in the past week alone. And I hope to be able to continue that growth throughout my mission. I have no idea where I'll be in 16 months, but I'm excited to find out. I'll miss running out on the field and looking at the mountains and I'll miss the amazing people I've met here. But I know that the next part of my life will be in Toronto and I am so pumped for what it has in store!
All of my love and don't forget to write!
Sister Makena Bauss