Thursday, December 4, 2014

#ShareTheGift

Hello Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a great one! We went the Welker's for Thanksgiving lunner. It was wonderful! Sister Welker deep fried 4 turkeys. We also had loads of homemade bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie. Lots of pie! 

This week has been pretty good! Not much exciting news though except for I had lots of pie this week! I had the opportunity to do some exchanges with some elders in the district. I went over to Cambridge Ohio. It is a fun small place like Coshocton. 

The most exciting news of the week is the new video the church put out. If you have not seen it you should go watch it. It is called He is the Gift. It is absolutely incredible. So on Wednesday we made a wonderful trek down to Columbus for a special meeting. The meeting was all about the new movie. We have been asked to help all the members discover, embrace, and share the Gift of Christ. I am so excited for it. We have been using it everywhere we can. And you should too! I was able to even teach a 5th Sunday lesson about it yesterday. The Lord is truly hastening His work in all fashion. So write now the moment you are reading this, go to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other new fan-dangled social media sites that might have been created in the past 20 months, and post it on there! We need to flood the world with this! Every companionship gets 10 cards to pass out a day. We did the math. If every companionship in the world gets to pass out 10 cards that means roughly 400,000 cards will be passed out in one day! So we need to let everyone now about this! At the end of the video we are invited to do 3 things: Discover the Gift, Embrace the Gift, and Share the Gift. But I can tell you one thing you can not nor will you fully discover and embrace the Gift of Christ without sharing the gospel. The only way to fulfill the first two invitations is to complete the third. So go out there and share the Gift! Alright I am off my soap box but seriously just do it! 

Well I hope you are all doing well! Just so you know I won't be on next Monday cause of transfers! I will be on next Wednesday! Also we had a fun zone activity today so there is Mr. and Mrs. Clause and I together. By the way he is my first counselor! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

CRAZY WEEK!!!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Walking in a Winter Wonderland


Monday, November 3, 2014

Balm of Gilead

Hello Family,

I hope this email is finding you well. It has been a pretty great week! Lots of branch business with missionary work thrown in between. The sad part is many of our investigators were out of town this week. That is never fun as a missionary when multiple of your investigators leave town. But it has been good. Winter is definitely on its way! We have had some snow flurries and it was super cold this morning.  I can not wait for Christmas!

We had the opportunity to go to transfers this week to pick up a new companion! His name is Elder Johnson and he's from Rexburg. He is a great kid! We are excited to have a trio for this transfer. I have the great opportunity to do Tithing Settlement for part of November and all of December. Luckily I can go on splits with my counselors and Elder Blanch and Elder Johnson can go do work. This month is going to be super fun! 

I just realized that as of this next Friday I will only have like 4 months left. I am trying my best not be trunky! But the thing that has already started is the trunky dreams. But the good news is  they usually don't end happy. They always end with me crying. At the end I always am ridiculously sad that I am no longer a missionary Ohio. I definitely looking forward to being home for certain reasons but for the most part going home scares me. I think I will be an emotional wreck for a week or so. 

The highlight of the week was definitely the branch chili cook off and trunk or treat. It was so much fun! My favorite part of being in a branch is how close you are. You feel part of a family! 

I have the interesting and privileged opportunity to a representative of Christ and assist people in their struggles. These struggles have ranged from financial stress, martial issues, feelings of rejection, family members in terrible health, and many other issues. Yesterdays fast and testimony meeting was focused on overcoming trails. The words of a favorite hymn came to my mind. "When sore trials came upon you, did you think to pray? When your soul was full of sorrow, Balm of Gilead did you borrow at the gates of day?" Balm was a spice or gum used in the Old Testament to heal wounds. Gilead was the place where there was an abundance of a bush. This bush's resin was used for the balm. I sat and pondered this phrase for a long time. We no longer use balm of Gilead. But we have a spiritual balm for the wounds and desires of our hearts. "Oh, how praying rest the weary! Pray can change the night to day. So, when life gets dark and dreary, Don't forget to pray." The balm of Gilead of our day is the balm of Gethsemane. The balm of Gethsemane is the Atonement of Christ. We can not forget to pray! It is through pray that we gain access to the balm of Gethsemane and hope is found. Our wounds and pains of this life can be healed through the Atonement. It is the enabling power of the Atonement where we will find peace and hope for this life! 

I hope you all had a great week! I love you all! 

Love,
Elder Baird 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Temple is Great! October 27

Hello family!

I has been another great week! Full of all sorts of adventures! 

I think for sure the highlight of the week (as you can probably can tell in the subject line) was the temple! We had the opportunity to go with the stake on Saturday. It was spectacular to be in the temple with the members of the stake. There is some great sacrifice from the members here that no one from Utah could comprehend unless they have lived somewhere else. It was a nice 2 hour drive to the temple on Saturday night. It was an amazing experience though. I was able to see some friends from other wards I have served and been around in. My favorite part was I was able to do work for my own ancestor! I love the temple! 

Other then that it was a pretty normal week! We had some great lessons we had some more lessons cancel. That is the most frustrating part about being a missionary. The thought that you have a solid appointment set and then they cancel on you. But it is all good! The Lord has and will continue to bless us with miracles. 

The one thing that has been heavily on my mind is the right of revelation in the stewardship you have. The more I study and ponder I realize that exaltation is not possible without personal revelation. Revelation is so important to go through this life. But the thing that has astounded me is the concept of revelation as a missionary and revelation as a branch president. I can think of many times before, during, and after lessons where I have been able to be like Ammon and utilized the Spirit to understand those I am teaching. The one that has been more wonderful and enlightening for me is the revelation I have received and receiving for those under my stewardship. I think many times people think that we will always or that we should receive answers either right after our prayers or during our prayers. What I have found is that the answer comes in many ways. But the way that we see in the scriptures and from my experience is it comes when we ponder. Just this week I have been praying and pondering about how to help a certain member I have been meeting with for sometime. They have been struggling with anything and everything Well while driving one random afternoon this week. I was pondering on what the member need. Then it hit me as if I was having a conversation face to face with someone. The thought came as clear as day. She needs her patriarchal blessing. I was not quite sure if the member had one or if they even knew what it was. So I called the member and they told they did not have one nor knew much about them. We met yesterday to prepare them to receive their patriarchal blessing. It was amazing to me how the answer did not come in the prayer but during the pondering. 


Well I hope you all have a great week! 

Love,

Elder Baird 

Family History... Do It! October 20

Hey family,

It has been a great week! It is has been full of gospel insight to me personally. It has all come from reading 10 pages of the Book of Mormon every day! It has been the greatest blessing in my life! I have now read the Book of Mormon more than I can count but each time I read a new insight is found. Reading the scriptures daily is so important!

We have had some great interesting lessons this past week. One with a man that walked into church last Sunday. It a weird scenario that I quite don't understand but the good new is we are going down there tonight!

The thing that has been on my mind more than anything is family history. I finally understand why my grandparents do it so much. It is a necessary doctrine of salvation. Family history is the way we personally fulfill prophecy and become saviors on mount Zion.  In Malachi 4: 5-6 we read  

"¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

The similar thing is said in Doctrine and Covenants 2. Moroni tells Joseph Smith,
 "1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 2 And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. 3 If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming."
We see in verse 1 he mentions the priesthood. We know that before receiving the higher priesthood and all the keys associated with that (the Priesthood that Elijah had) one must first have the lesser priesthood or the Aaronic Priesthood. The Aaronic priesthood was restored on May 15, 1829 by John the Baptist to Joseph Smith. It is found in D&C 13. An important part in the prayer is this, "until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." What is that offering?
Well we know that Elijah did come. (Sad for the Jews that keep an empty chair for him at the Passover.) We find the fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi in D&C 110:13-16. It says, "13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: 14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors." I know that Elijah did come and restore the keys of the work for our dead to Joseph Smith.
Now back to the offering in D&C 13. The Lord reveals to Joseph Smith what the offering is in D&C 128:24, "he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation."
Therefore the offering that will be given is a book of the temple work that has been done. If that book is not finished or at least close to the words of Malachi and Moroni will ring in our ears, "lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." or " If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming". If we do not do the temple work for our ancestors then we will be prepared for the Messiah's second coming as much as the people were not prepared for his first coming. Do you want to take part in the offering that will be given to the Lord? Those on the other side of the veil need us! In the words of the Apostle Paul, "that they without us should not be made perfect." Might I add that us without them will not be exalted. The Lord is hastening his work more than ever! We as members of the Church have free access to the tope websites and records for ancestry. Have you even taken the time to sign up? Part of family history work is taking those names to the temple. It is really not that hard to find a name. Last month President Birch challenged us to take a family name to the temple. I thought that would be impossible. My grandmas are family history champs! If they have not done the work then they cannot exist. Well luckily grandma Roberts missed one on her side. Between the meetings I grabbed a members tablet, logged into Family search and within 15 minutes found a name that I will be taking to the temple on Saturday. It is my great-great-great grandmothers brother Henry J. Vivian. We need to do family history. I invite you to take a family name to the temple before the end of the year. Even if you think it has all been done it probably has not. You can be a saviours on mount Zion for those who have gone before. You can bring the blessings of the Atonement into the life of another who has passed on. How great will be your joy!
Love,

President Baird

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Elder Decker is gone! Sad day!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Importance of a Prophet

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

9/22 - Busy Week of the Work

Hello wonderful family! 

This week continued to be busy from Tuesday night! 

Wednesday: I drove to Mount Vernon with the Zone Leaders to have my monthly stewardship interview with President Birch. I love that man! He is amazing!

Thursday: I going to be honest. I don't remember what happened Thursday haha I know we saw a few people but that is all I know.

Friday: We did farm day at the Welkers. Elder Decker broke one of their truck back windows when we were throwing wood  in the back. It was super bad but funny! It got fixed that night so that was good! We stacked wood! I feel like a red neck now stackin wood! Then we say a few families.

Saturday: Saturday was long but wonderful! Saturday afternoon I had a Bishops Welfare Meeting. I learned a lot. Also I am not the only new bishop/branch president which was nice. A bishop was just called last week so I actually was able to answer some of his questions! It was a great meeting where we got training on how to minister the Lord's consecrated funds. Then we had the Priesthood Leadership meeting. It was wonderful! I got even more excited about family history! I learned something this past weekend in that meeting. What is the work of the Lord the Lord is referring to when he says I will hasten my work (D&C 88:73)? Many members would say missionary work. Temple workers and family history addicts (my grandparents on both sides) would say temple and family history work. Well it is more than all three of those. We find the answer in Handbook 2 in the beginning paragraphs of chapter 5. It is the work of salvation. The work of salvation has 5 parts according to the handbook. They are 1. missionary work 2.convert retention 3. activation of less-active members 4. temple and family history work and 5. teaching the gospel. This helped me a lot this week. Lately I have had the internal struggle between doing branch president work and doing missionary work. But it should be the same work! It is all the work of salvation.Then we had the adult session. President Birch is amazing! He talked about how easy it is to invite. Inviting is all we are asked to do as being missionaries. Well in the middle of his talk he told of how he invited a co-worker to go with he and his wife to the YSA ward in Columbus last Sunday. She went. Then he told of how he invited her to the meeting tonight. And she was there. Then he invited her to the pulpit with him! There was a good 500 people there. He asked her questions that she already knew he was going to ask. They were questions about how she felt about the invitations and how she felt during and after church. She knew the questions but he did not know how she was going to answer! That is crazy! Then he invited her to read the Book of Mormon in front of everyone! She accepted and stayed for the rest of the meeting. If President Birch can do it so can you! We got home at 11:15ish that night so that was fun

Sunday: We had the Sunday meeting! It much like the Saturday sessions were spirit filled! How can you not love stake conference! The work of the Lord is hastening! 

Here is the gospel insight for the day that I sent to my dad. It is a little scatter brained. In Ephesians 5:8 it says, "Walk as children of light" What I love is that light is a word that can be interchanged for many words. If Christ is the light we can say "Walk as children of Christ". That phrase is difficult for some people to understand , Children of Christ I thought we were children of God? Well we are and we learn about this in the Book of Mormon, "And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters" (Mosiah 5:7) Another reference to it is Mormon 7:19, "Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethern, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ." There are other references to Child or children of Christ but these are the useful ones. We see in King Benjamin's sermon that to become children of Christ we must take on a covenant to change and repent. That covenant is the baptismal covenant. We become children of Christ or Children of light according to Ephesians by being baptized by the proper priesthood power. Therefore light is change. Light represents repentance. The footnote under light in Ephesians 5:8 is Romans 12: 2 that says," be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind". The foot note under transformed is coincidentally Ephesians 5:8. It is amazing! If light is change we could say we are children of change or children of repentance. We could even say that we are children of the Atonement. Because as King Benjamin taught "becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and become a child" The only way we can change and become a child in the spiritual term is to utilize the Atonement. Therefore the Atonement is also light. 

Hope you all have a great week! 

Love,
Elder Baird 

9/16 - Life in Coshocton

Hello Beautiful Family! 

I am doing pretty good! It has been a long week! But who needs sleep anyways. My head is full of thoughts and things so I will just share with you whatever comes to mind. So prepare for it to be pretty scattered. I usually would be emailing tomorrow but I have a meeting in Columbus that will take a decent portion of my p-day so I got permission to email today. 


It has been a great week! We got another companion. It is kind of fun being out here in Coshocton. With the responsibilities we have being in a tripanionship helps a lot. While I am in meetings I am on splits with a counselor while the other two can do work within the area. It is great. So we got Elder Blanch. He is from Alaska. He is a great kid! We have been having all sorts of fun together. I think counting the MTC he makes 21 companions so far. At this rate I will have more companions there are are months in my mission. So transfers are this week and we are hoping to keep Elder Blanch. 

Being a Branch President has had its ups and downs. It is amazing to me how someone can be a bishop and have a full time job. Right now I feel like there is no way to do that. We plan our day out the night before and then the calls roll in the morning and our plans change. It has been anywhere from helping a member with trees that fell down in his yard, meeting with people for callings, helping members with food orders, to ministering to others through the priesthood. But ALL of it are grateful opportunities the Lord has given me. I have been really reflecting this past week on the grand opportunities the Lord has given. How many missionaries can say that they were assigned one place and among a crazy turn of events, the Lord touches the heart of the missionary and his mission president concerning reassignment. And among many attempts it finally is given to the Apostles for a decision. I have been blessed with the opportunities of leadership in some many ways. I have sat and talked with the Amish Saints that were discussed in Sunday nights CES fireside. Boy is there faith strong! I have heard their testimonies many times in the past 18 months. One monumental, life changing experience for me was about a year ago. We were in the room where they have church. As I sat with 30 other missionaries in a leadership council. At the very end the 3 couples came to the front and each bore a solemn, strong witness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As I sat  with tears running down my face I realized that the sacrifices the Lord has asked me to make is no where compared to the sacrifices they made. But even more important to me was the added strength their testimonies of the Restored Church of Christ added to my testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. I have taught with my mission President on many occasions. One time I was teaching by music the restoration and atonement of Jesus Christ while President Nilsen taught by words to a congregation of a small church  in a small town of Ohio.  I have had the opportunity of ministering to the saints in Ohio with my mission president and 2 stake presidents. I have seen the gift of healing, the gift of tongues, the gift of faith, and many other gifts of the Spirit. Now the Lord has given me the grand opportunity of being a Branch President in a branch in red neck Ohio. Daily I learn of the doctrine of Christ. My heart is full of gratitude for the strange, exciting, different, life changing mission I have had and the opportunities that have been given to me. Life is a result of the choices we have made in the many opportunities given to us. I know that everything that we have and will ever have is truly the Lord's. They only thing that is uniquely ours is our choice. Our will. Our will is what the Father asks. The sacrifice necessary for exaltation is giving up our desires, our choices, our will for the desires and will of our God. Daily is the task to give up the desires of ourselves so that we can become  new creatures in Christ. This life is about changing ourselves so that we are worthy for exaltation in the highest glories of heaven. The only way we can give up our will is through change. The only way true, solid, change that results in exaltation  happens is through the Atonement of Christ. King Benjamin taught that we should put off "the natural man and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord". A modern day apostle Elder David A Bednar said "One of the principle purposes of our mortal existence is to be spiritually changed and transformed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." It is our decision and responsibility to change so that we can receive the fullness of the blessings the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week! I love each and everyone of you! And more importantly the Lord loves you! 


Love,
Elder Baird 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pictures of Elder Baird







Such a Great Week!