Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Hey family!
Well it was another stupendous week here in Ohio! It is so beautiful here I think my favorite color of leaves is golden, especially when the setting sun hits them just right it looks like the trees are on fire. Yes my friends it did snow this past week in certain parts of the mission. Maybe a few centimeters but still it snowed! I love the cold! A few nights this week we have made some hot chocolate after coming in from tracking in the cold. Tracking in the cold is a lot more fun because if you get the door to open you get blessed with the feeling of warm air coming from the house. It makes pray even harder at every door that they will answer. It is lots of fun!
Here is a nice run down of the week:
So first off we have been trying to find out ways we can get the ward involved in missionary work. Unless you are like my mom and you take the opportunity to do missionary work, most member wont just go out and do it for whatever reason. So a few things we are doing is setting up members for success. First we have 100% member presents and make sure a member is with us at every lesson no matter what! Next we go to members and ask them if they would be willing to take over copies of the Book of Mormon to people that are interested. Almost every member says yes, so we give them 2-4 copies of the Book of Mormon, then we hit the pavement and go knocking in their neighborhood and we don't quite knocking in their area till we find the same amount of people interested in the Book of Mormon as the amount we gave the member. Next we were trying to figure out how do we get the youth involved. Well we thought and there are a few areas in the mission that have done competitions between the young men and young women. Basically certain points go to certain missionary efforts i.e. pass along cards, pamphlets, Book of Mormon, teaching with the missionaries, having a friend at any church activity, etc. So I was trying to think of a name for this competition. Well It dawned on me that it is November next month so we are calling it No Shame November based of Romans 1:16. Then we decided to have a massive fireside on November 24th where members can invite their friends to learn more about the church. We are going to count this as the hail mary play for the competition and if they get someone there they get lots of points. We talked to our Bishop yesterday and he is all for the idea!  We are also going to put an article in the Delaware Gazette and Post stuff around the small college campus in town. We also might start a Bible Study class! Which I would love to do. But we will see how this all plays out.  

So here is an awesome update on an investigator. Her name is Lucinda and she is just awesome! So when it comes to teaching people, if they actually hear the 2nd lesson, the biggest worry is what I call the 3 stumbling blocks. Those three points are Tithing, Word of Wisdom, and Law of Chastity. So before I teach these I heavily teach the importance of a testimony and the blessings of obedience to God's laws. Well we taught tithing and she accepted it and is paying it. Then we taught word of wisdom this week and she accepted it. When we taught word of wisdom we were just planning on teaching that and nothing else but I felt impressed that we also needed to teach Law of Chastity so we did. And she accepted it. She knows that they will be hard but she knows the Book of Mormon is true (she is in 2 Nephi 3 now). So she accepted a baptismal date of November 9th! 

Well I finished the Book of Mormon again! I love the Book of Mormon and it is still true! I don't remember if I told you I read the whole Book of Mormon in the MTC and marked everything to deal with the Atonement which was just awesome! Well I read this Book of Mormon to understand faith. I learned a lot about different kinds of faith and gospel principles (such as diligence and humility) that are complementary doctrines to faith. Now I reading it again to understand the Spirit.

Well I am doing awesome! I hope you are all doing well! Go do some missionary work and read Preach My Gospel and do the activity on page 126! Did it yesterday and it was an eye opener!
Elder Baird 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Some of Elder Baird's Work!

A Baptism and General Authority in One Weekend!

Hello family!

Well it is getting so beautiful here in Ohio! Leaves are changing and the temperature is dropping fast! I love the fall!
So here are the awesome highlights for the week. So Tuesday was transfers and we lost Elder Tolley which was really sad but now it is just Elder Peters and I. After transfers on Tuesday we had two elders spend the night with us because their apartment was not ready quite yet. Well we had an amazing night with them. The 2 missionaries that were with us were Elder Patch and Elder Marler. Elder Patch went to Timpview (He actually knew a few people I did like the Naylors) Well Elder Patch played volleyball for BYU. He is 6'8". He was so awesome! He is one of the nicest, most genuine people I have met. He went with me that night. We were able to see some investigators. One was Lucinda and Tabby. Tabby had an amazing experience with prayer the past week. She now knows that God is really there and listening. We met with her on Tuesday and she was at 1 Nephi 16 and by the time we talked to her on Sunday when she came to church she had read all the way to 2 Nephi 5. We were so proud of her because reading and coming to church has been a struggle for her but now she is doing both very well!
Well the rest of the week was pretty much normal awesome missionary work. Did some finding and taught some investigators, served some ward members, but majority of the week was spent preparing for the baptism of Breinna which was absolutely amazing.
Breinna is the deaf girl that got hit by the car last Saturday! She has the strongest testimony of anyone I have seen. Her mom said the first worry when she got hit by the car was we would have to reschedule to baptism. Then she kept telling us that not even a car can stop her from getting baptized! Her faith compares to no other person I have met on my mission.  A small 9 year old girl understood the priesthood when we gave her a blessing. She said she could feel the power of the priesthood help her be healed. It was a beautiful baptism on Saturday as her father was able to baptize her. She shared her testimony with all of the people there. Needless to say I don't think there was a dry eye in there. Her mom could barely interpret between the tears. The spirit was so strong as she gave a powerful witness of the divinity of Christ, the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, the power of the priesthood, and the reality of our Father in Heaven. She was also confirmed Sunday morning in Sacrament.
Then Sunday we had a random Leadership council with all the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and Sister Training leaders. Well it was a total surprise but Elder Lynn G. Robins of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy. He taught us for 3 hours on agency and responsiblity. Life lessons were definitely learned as he taught us the principles and the doctrine surrounding these 2 complementary gospel doctrines.
Well I got my package this week so thank you so much! I am doing very well! I have heard nothing concerning the visa this week. Oh well! I am loving it here to much to be worried about where I am serving the Lord, as long as I am worthily serving Him that is all that matters!

Elder Baird 

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Week of Highs and Lows

Hey Family!

So don't be to worried about the subject line. I am now basically back to my usual happy, healthy self aka back to a high.

So this week was by far a role coaster. So here is a quick run down then I will explain
Monday- Pday so always good
Tuesday- One of the most amazing days of my mission
Wednesday- Pretty good
Thursday- Stomach flu
Friday-Stomach Flu
Saturday- Investigator got hit by a car so that was a low but we gave her a blessing.
Sunday- Pretty Good.
So we will start with the lows. Well Elder Tolley and I had the stomach flue for like 2 days straight and then had awesome effects from it on Saturday. But we are all better now and happy. I don't think I have been that sick for years (This did not even compare to last Christmas) Thursday I slept all day so I slept probably for 36 to 40 hours from Wednesday night to Friday morning. You think being sick is not fun at home. But believe you me being sick at home is fun compared to being sick on a mission for a few reasons. One reason is that on a mission you know you are on the Lord's time and you feel like you are wasting it by being sick. Therefore you try to push through it when sometimes you just can't and your body needs a break. The other reason is when you are sick at home you all the Lost, Chuck, movies, and Netflix you want to watch. The only thing you have to comfort you while you are sick on a mission is James E Talmage's Jesus the Christ. Which is a great book. On Saturday our investigator who is a little 9 year old deaf girl was hit by a car on Saturday. But we were able to run over to the hospital and give her a blessing. As of now she is all fine just some bumps and bruise and a lot of road rash. She was scheduled to be baptized on Saturday and her dad sounded like it was still happening as of yesterday. I have never seen someone so excited for baptism like her! She starts jumping and screaming and she gets a big smile on her face at even the mention of her baptism.
Now the good days. Were were able to meet with many of our investigators. We have 2 investigators that are very close to being on date! We invite them to be baptized every lesson and every lesson they say they are willing. We have been heavily stressing the importance of church, praying and reading or what we call the spiritual CPR. Well finally they are grasping on to reading. One of them said as I read I can actually feel and change within me. This past week we discussed the tree of life. The Book of Mormon truly does change lives! I have seen it on my mission. I absolutely love teaching! It brings me so much joy and happiness when I see others feeling the Spirit. As a missionary I try to truly make sure those I am having enter into a covenant with the Lord  through baptism understand the covenant and are at some point of conversion. For me I want my investigators to know the Book of Mormon is true. There are many missionaries that just baptize for numbers and frankly that is so easy! Just by the way you word and talk to people you can get them to want to be baptized BUT are they converted? Do they have a testimony? Are they ready? If not, then why would I want to allow them to enter into a promise with God I know that they will break because they don't understand it?
Now for one of the most amazing days of my mission and my life. I absolutely love being a Zone Leader. Just one of the many reasons is the opportunity to go to Leadership Council (when all the Assistants, Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and President and Sister Nilsen get together and discuss the mission and we are trained). Well this past Tuesday was Leadership Council and it was being held a secret on where we were going. So we showed up at the church near the temple at 6:30am and took an hour or so car ride to Amish Country! We went to the homes of 3 Amish families that joined the church around a year and half ago. All of the families have now been sealed in the temple. Now these 3 families are your modern-day pioneer saints. I could not help but cry (as did many missionaries) as they shared their stories. The first one to join the church was Raymond. He came in contact with the church through a member who bought from the two businesses he owned. He read the Book of Mormon in 3 weeks and about 100 sections of the Doctrine and Covenants in 3 weeks. But it was not till the member felt inspired to share with him that one day he will need to preach the gospel to his family just like Paul did. That hit him hard. He had many different spiritual experiences following that. But in the Amish country they do not share those types of experiences. At the time he was running 2 businesses so he would do all the work he needed to then meet with the missionaries till 12 30 or 1 in the morning then do it all over again. He soon did some missionary work of his own and invited his friends and neighbors to hear. Well Levi and Paul (his friends) were at first very hesitant but they listened and become converted as well as majority of there children. All of them KNEW that the gospel was true and that is all that mattered to them. All 3 families have been shunned by the whole Amish nation. This includes there families. Levi has not seen nor heard from his mother in over a year and he has only seen his dad on buggy passing by. Paul has been shunned by some of his older children. Why would someone go through all of this? There businesses have been hurt, threats have been made, and lives have been unchangeably altered. Yet they know the gospel is true and that is what matters. All of them had all sorts of stories concerning the powers of heaven helping and lifting them in their times of need. They are a fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the spreading of the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Their sacrifice amazed me! Their were some of the most amazing people I have ever met on my mission.

Well that is my week in a nut shell. Hope you all had a consist good week!
Love you!

Elder Baird
PS We just got transfer calls and for the first time ever I am actually staying.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference Thoughts

Hello Family!
Well it was another amazing week in Ohio!

Conference was absolutely amazing! The simple truth and testimony that we know there is a prophet on the earth and that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also exists is so amazing! As usual I like to decide or look for themes found within conference. The themes I found were these: 1. Repentance. I feel that the Doctrine and Covenants 58:42 was quote many times this conference. It states, " Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more." The Lord is letting us know that we can repent and that afterward we are clean. Many times through my notes over this conference I wrote thoughts such as, "Repentance is not a punishment." and "Repentance is about transformation, not torture" What we need to realize is that repentance is the opportunity that we have to utilize the Atonement and time to be polished for eternal life. One thing I learned from this conference from Elder Randy D. Funk is to be whole we must be broken in heart. That which is broken is what makes us whole. In the words of grandson of President Uchtdorf, "You can do it now!"  
2. The love of God. This theme went hand and hand with the theme and topic of repentance. We see that also with in Doctrine and Covenants 58:4. Also within many impressions I wrote down this week consisted of things like, "The love of God is ALWAYS there" or "Dawn will always come" and "He is ALWAYS with us." We can never forget the simple truth "I am a Child of God" This small gospel principle is the foundation for testimony in all other gospel principles and doctrines. We cannot forget the unfailing love that our Father in Heaven has for us. We only need to pray to feel the love over our Father in Heaven touch our hearts no matter how broken, bruised, or torn it may be. Because what we need to come to know and find strength in  is that Christ himself was broken, bruised and torn for us.
3. Compassion. The speakers  through out general conference let us know that we as Latter Day Saints do not practice acceptance but we do practice love and tolerance. Or in another cliche saying, we hate the sin but love the sinner. We need to love all men no matter the sin they committed or are committing. We need to forgive ALL men. "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." Also along with compassion is loving those that are in trials. We can't change the tragedy they are in, but we can make sure that they feel the love of God. 
Of course the other great message found within conference was the topic of missionary work. We can find this especially in Elder Ballard's and Elder Nielson's talks. The thought and impression that came to me after Elder Ballard's talk was this. "You want more love within your home? Do missionary work! We as the youth have answered the call of the Lord to serve. Are you, the mature members of the church, going to answer the same call with the same enthusiasm and energy? Don't let us fail! We can not do missionary work without you! Don't be like those of Jerusalem who ignored Lehi and Jeremiah who prophesied of their destruction. Do not ignore the call of the Lord from his servant President Monson to preach the gospel." One thing that we are going to do with all the members we eat with is invite members to complete the same commitment that Elder Ballard gave us. We are going to ask every family in the ward to find 1 friend and have them be learning from the missionaries. The time frame is  now till Christmas. I would invite you to do the same. By the way mom, you ROCK!! Your missionary work is stellar! I do not know many members that would call out a less active and lovingly invite them back into the fold. I do not know many members that would ask a non member if they would like to receive a priesthood blessing. You are a fantastic member missionary! Take the things you learned from conference and change. Frankly if you don't change at least one thing in your life from the messages in general conference then you wasted time watching it.  

So this week we had 7 investigators watch all or at least one session of conference. Here is a miracle that occurred this conference for me. We have 2 investigators that struggles with the law of tithing. We also knew that she would be with us the last session of conference. One thing I have learned while on my mission is what president calls "razor sharp prayers". We need to be extremely specific with our Father in Heaven when it comes to our prayers. So instead of praying for them to learn something in conference, I specifically prayed, at the beginning of the week, for a talk on tithing at around 5 o'clock during the second session of general conference. Then about the middle of the week I felt impressed to pray not for a talk on tithing but I prayed that there would be a talk that would touch there hearts around 5 o'clock during the second session of general conference. Well at around 5 o'clock (it was I believe about 5:10ish) Elder Vinson spoke to us. Well guess what talk was there favorite? Elder Vinsons! The Lord will answer our prayers if we know how and what to prayer for. 
Also within our week we got to take a chapel tour of a Presbyterian church. We tracted into a Presbyterian minister name Pastor Deborah Patterson. She is so awesome! We went on Tuesday and took a chapel tour of her church and we discussed similarities and differences between our 2 churches. We were able to teach her and 2 of her assitants about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We have a chapel tour scheduled for her to tour our chapel on Thursday this week. But even better we are getting started with her and our ward on a combined out reach program for the community. Yes we are from different churches, but we all are trying to follow Jesus Christ. So we are working on a project to do with them.
Well family sorry for the lots of gospel insights and preaching. Know that I love you all!
Love Elder Baird