Monday, December 16, 2013

The Gospel Changes Lives!

Hello family! 

Well it has been a great week this week! I have had amazing experiences this past week! 

So on Friday had the great opportunity to go and baptize Angela's daughter Jaleya in Xenia! It was amazing!! The ordinance of baptism is so amazing and the Spirit is so strong at the ordinance of baptism. It was great to perform a baptism to a close friend. But what was also as an amazing spiritual experience for me was seeing Angela, Sierra, and Olivia. The only words I can use to describe them is pure happiness. There was a physical change in their happiness from 5 months ago when I left Xenia. That is what the gospel does! It changes people, if they will let it! I was honestly surprised how much the gospel had changed Angela and her daughters. I knew it would but not the extent it did in so short amount of time. 

Also this past week an investigator accepted to be baptized on the 28th!! Her name is Chelsea! We have been working with her for quite sometime. Her and her brother, Cody, are like family to me now. But the to have been changed by the gospel! They have said that they are happier because of the gospel. I am so excited for Chelsea to get baptized!! 

The gospel is what will, can, and does change lives. It reminds me of a scripture in 2 Nephi 9 verse 39. The last bit says, "and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal." Or as the bolded letters spell... SMILE! As we obey and follow the commandments set forth, we will be happier. If we are not happy now, we can become happy if we put the gospel first. There is no other way to pure, eternal, happiness except through the gospel!

Well I hope all is well and you are having a wonderful Christmas holiday. It is snowy and like 25 degrees here and I am loving it! 

Elder Baird 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Lord Wants Elder Baird in Ohio

Hello Family,

It is a beautiful snowy day here in Ohio! 

So if you have not already heard, I am staying in Ohio. Now I am guessing some of you want to know my thoughts on the subject. And if you don't oh well! So Thursday after our Mission Christmas Devotional (where Elder Tolley, one of my past companions, and I performed Silent Night. I was singing and he was playing the guitar) I called President to get permission to go and baptize Jalea (the last daughter of the family of 5 Elder Prettyman, Beutler, and I baptized in July). Well He called me back and said he has an email he wants to read to me. The email said something along the lines of, "Concerning the permanent reassignment of Elder Zachary Baird. The case has been reviewed by one of the Apostles of the Lord and Elder Baird is to stay in the Columbus Ohio mission. [Great news!]" It apparently really did say great news. I was so excited honestly! Now I would be lying to you if there was not an ounce of me that was a little disappointed. But that very small sadness has been overwhelmed by the joy. The Lord has asked of me to stay here and this is where I am to be. So why was I originally called to Brazil then why was I not called to Ohio? Here are a few thoughts on the matter. First, the time I had at the MTC was unforgettable and priceless to me as a missionary. I was able to have amazing experiences that I would not trade for in the world. If I was called to Ohio originally I might not have had all those grand experiences and met all the amazing life changing people I did. Second, it was/is amazing to me how well I have picked up Portuguese and still remember a lot that I have learned. I believe that it will need those languages skills still. Part of me believes/hopes that there will be a big Brazilian immigration to Ohio, therefore there will be many to teach the gospel too. Lastly this could be a trial of faith for me and for my family. This was pointed out by Bishop Johnson on Thursday. It is sometimes hard to accept the will of the Lord. We desire something yet the Lord has another plan in store. We must never let our faith, desire, and trust falter when the will of the Lord is knocking at the door. I feel and believe that this is the will of Lord playing a part in my ever changing life. I am so excited to be in Ohio!

So the week has gone by pretty well! We have been able to teach many lessons. This week was a long jam packed week. Tuesday we had Leadership council. At leadership council we as leaders of the mission discussed and deliberated and created the Great Columbus Ohio Mission Title of Liberty. Then on Wednesday we had Zone meeting where we brought the mission Title of Liberty to the Zone. It was a great Zone meeting. Then on Thursday we had the mission Christmas Devotional where we listened to musical numbers and messages given from President and Sister Nilsen. Then Friday we had weekly planning and 24 hour exchanges with the Lewis Center Elders. On Friday we had a snow storm come through Delaware. Elder Twogood and I were able to help push some people out of ditches that do not know how to drive in the snow. 

It was a great week. Now I told mom some exciting news. And I will just share with you all a few tid bits of that exciting news. So there is a family in a small town outside of Delaware that knows the church is true. President and Sister Nilsen have been working with them lately. But they are a part of a small Christian Church of 22 people, and the church is basically family and they can not leave them. Well there small church does not have a pastor in January and February, they are planning on paying someone. Well Sister Nilsen offered that President and Sister Nilsen along with Elder Hayes and I go and teach them on Sundays without pay. From what I know we will for sure be teaching he congregation at least once both months. And for them it is not a matter of if the family gets baptized it is just when.

This truly is the Lord's work as I have seen miracles happen and miracles unfolding! Hope yall have a great week! 

Elder Baird 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving with a goal! - Dec 2

Hello beautiful family!

So this week was another great week, full of transfers, Thanksgiving, and working towards goals.

So this week was transfers and I got a new companion! Luckily I am still in Delaware which is great! I absolutely love Delaware! So my new companion is Elder Hayes. He is from Florida and he is pretty cool. He was actually in our Zone the past few transfers so he did not move to far. So we are having lots of fun!

So Thanksgiving was lots of fun! We went and ate at some members named the Fowlers. They invited 2 other families in the ward and also Brother Fowlers boss. It was lots of fun and really good! Thanksgiving is a great holiday except when it comes to missionary work! No one wants to talk to us. Oh well I guess we will get them next time! 

So another exciting thing is about the Amish. So on Saturday was a big OSU game therefore missionary work died again for about 4 hours. Well a member invited us over because he was having some Amish friends over. Well they are really shy and kept to themselves. But the member told us that he had talked to them many times about the Book of Mormon. Well I gave them a Book of Mormon and they accepted it. I can now say I gave a Book of Mormon to an Amish family! Hopefully they get baptized! 

Well as a mission we have a year goal. That year goal is 500+ baptisms! We know we can do it. Last year they hit 500 baptism and we have split in half since then and we are at 445 so far this year! We can totally do it but to make sure we fasted as a zone on Sunday for investigators that could be baptized by the end of the year. Well miracles were happening all over the Zone. One area put an investigator on date for baptism, a part member family that is interested just moved into our ward, another part member family in an area became interested, and many other miracles. But the miracle happened to us so far because of the fast was from a member. So one of our investigators is really close to baptism but she can not pay tithing (or so she says). Well we have been trying to help her know that she will be blessed from tithing. It is been full of stories about people we know from back home or stories we have heard. Well this morning we got a call from one of my favorite members Sister McClister (we planned the baptism for her daughter who was deaf and hit by the car) Well she called us and said that yesterday she paid her tithing. She said when doing the math multiple times with bills and all they were -60 in their bank account. Well she went to the bank today and the teller said that she had 30 dollars in her bank account. She made the teller do it again to make sure. But miraculously there was an extra 30 dollars for Christmas and Birthdays this month. Tithing really does work! So we are going to take Sister McClister over to a lesson so she can share her personal experience! Then hopefully our investigator can get baptized in December! Also please pray for the mission that we can obtain our goal of 500 baptisms!! 

Well I love you and hope that all is well! 

Elder Baird 

An over all average missionary week! Which is always awesome! - Nov 25

Hello beloved family!

I am doing great again! I am so excited for Christmas! I put our Christmas tree, it has snowed twice this week, and I will be in Delaware for Christmas! Yay! I love Delaware and I will be here for another transfer! Which I am totally excited for and okay with! 

Monday's have been full of disc golf with my old man friends named Jack and Don. They are some of the coolest old men I have met. I desire to be a combination of Grandpa Sam, Grandpa Jim, and Don and Jack when I am an old man. If I can do that I will be set! 

On Tuesday we had basically a stake blitz with President Nilsen, President Welch (the stake president) and us missionaries with another companionship in our zone, along with the high councilmen over missionary work, and the ward mission leader and bishop. It was loads of fun! We got to see 2 of our investigators. 

Wednesday we had district meeting which was fun. Then I called Sister Nilsen to talk about my insurance card and what I need. Well I talked to her for about 30ish minutes. We tlaked about the amazing things happening in Delaware. One thing I just found out is there is a family that lives in a small town outside of Delaware. Well long story short. They are good friends with a senior couple that served here. Then told them the know the Book of Mormon is true and that they need to convert they just can't leave there small congregation at the church they go to. They basically said we will have to covert the whole congregation. President and Sister Nilsen have been over there. And soon they want to be teaching them with us. That would be so cool! 

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were just all normal days with nothing to exciting. We had some teaching appointments, and talk to some cool people! I got to randomly teach gospel principles which was really fun! There is some amazing things happening in Delaware Ohio and I feel so blessed to be a part of it. 

It is been amazing to read the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time on my mission. It seems like it changes every time I read it. New stories pop out and new insights are given through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. It is truly amazing! Everyone should read the Book of Mormon daily! "Feast upon the words of Christ, for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" 

Well I love you family and hope you are doing well! 

Elder Baird  

Monday, November 18, 2013

If You Are Tired About Hearing About Your Missionary Work- Nov 18

Hey family!

First of all I just love you guys! You guys rock at missionary work!

So this week our stake here had stake conference. It was so good!! I love stake conference! We were invited to the Saturday night adult session. It consisted of an amazing representation from the awesome Delaware ward! We had the father of one of the families in my ward speak. He just recently came back to activity and his son, daughter, and wife were just baptized within the last 6-7 months. He did amazing! There was not a dry eye in the chapel. Then a sister missionary in our ward named Sister Bettridge spoke. She did amazing! Then we heard from a branch presidnet who committed to Elder L Tom Perry that he was going to make the Marion Branch (One of the oldest branches into the church and a branch Elder Perry served in while on his mission) a ward in 1 years time. After him we got to be instructed by no other that President and Sister Nilsen. By the way they are the most amazing people ever. Then we heard from President Welch (the stake president). Then the Sunday morning session also conisted of recent converts my age to the church, a future missionary, the temple president and his wife, and the stake presidency. It was a wonderful meeting.

These have been my thoughts this past weekend. When it comes to missionary work we need to first understand the Atonement. Has the Atonement blessed your life? Has the Atonement changed you? The Atonement of Christ can change all people! Never judge people when it comes to accepting the gospel and letting the Atonement of Christ change them. As we pass judgements upon who we believe is ready or not, the Lord is preparing them. If you have been changed, blessed, touched, and cleasned through the power of the Atonement, why are you not sharing that power? We need to do as Peter directs and share the hope that is in us! Do not fear that which the Lord has asked you to do. Yes it can be scary to share the gospel, and it can definitley it can be awkward (ask the guy that answered the door with no clothes if that was awkward).But our fears can be swept away by the very message we share. If you believe in the Atonement, then put it to the test, and share it. You do no one a favor by not sharing with them your beliefs. Last conference the hastening of the work was compared to in importance and magnitude to the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do we understand that fully? I can not say I do but I am tryin to. The Lord is hastening His work with or without you. "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people and bring save it be ONE soul unto me how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father." You can find one! I know that there is one person for every single person that reads this that is being prepared just for you! I can promise you that. Find that person and invite, teach, and testify the doctrines and principles of the gospel that you know to be true by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Well family concerning our missionary work, we have had great things happen. As a mission we are shooting for 500+ baptisms this year. Pray for us that we may obtain our goal. We were able to teach and meet some new people this week which is always fun. We have a few people close to baptism and I hope that they enter into that convenant soon, but first off prepared.

Love you all!! Have a good week!

Elder Baird

Baptisms This Week- Nov 11

Hey family!

So it was another crazy week! Honestly not to much to report.

So we had Lucinda's baptism this week which was amazing! She was baptized on Sunday by Bro Bowman and I was able to confirm her on Sunday. It was so cool! Pictures will be coming next week. I promise! I was also able to play a special musical number that was a combination of Sweet Hour of Prayer and When Faith Endures. It was really fun to do! There were definitley some last minute things we forgot but since this is the Lord's work it all worked out!

Also on Sunday we had the Primary program which was awesome! We actually had 4 investigators at church. The primary program was so awesome! It made me laugh and cry. It also made our investigators laugh and cry.

We have also been doing a lot of exchanges this past week. We had exchanges back to back which was crazy. The missionary life is always crazy though. I feel far behind yet I know with the Lord's help all will go well!

I hope all of you are doing well on the Book of Mormon challenge! I am learning so much by going through it again. Everytime I read it again I feel as if I am reading a different book! I can tell you it is truly the  word of God given to us as anothe witness of the reality and divinity of Christ.

Well sorry for the shortness of email it was just another normal week (besides the baptism). Nothing too exciting but I promise something will happen this week that I will tell you about!
Hope yall have a good wek and I will be sending some letters your way this week!

Elder Baird