Friday, February 28, 2014

Not Much in Just a Few Short Days (Feb 24)

Hey family!

Not much has happened in the past 4 days! 

Thursdays was transfers. I am staying here in Delaware which I was really excited about. I got two new companions which makes companions 12 and 13 along with this being my 5th tripanionship.
Elder Motes is from Thatcher Arizona. He was down at OSU in the Zone for the past 6 months so I know him very well! He is awesome! He was one person I was hoping I would get to serve with. Elder Jensen is a greenie. He is from Provo. Elder Motes is training him, so in missionary terms that means I am a mom! 

Saturday was a really fun day. We went on a day exchange with the assistants. Mike Thomas (the coolest guy ever) went down with us. He took us out to lunch then was with Elder Nygren and I the rest of the day. We got to go a baptism where I sung with Elder Campbell and Elder Calderwood. It was a lot of fun. Funny story. So Elder Campbell got transferred to a new zone. That made me really sad because he is like a brother to me. But he came back to baptize the guy. Well Elder Campbell forgot to bring another shirt. So he came out of the bathroom with his suit on over his wet shirt. I could not let him go to a dinner with an investigator and two more appointments with a wet shirt. By parents and grandparents raised me better then that. So we switched shirts and I go to go home with a wet shirt. Luckily we ended the exchange after the baptism and we went straight home so I could switch my shirt. 

Sunday was pretty sweet as well. I realized how much I am going to miss this ward once I leave. Many of the ward members have become like family now. Sunday night there was a mission home open house where you could bring investigators and recent converts. Well we went with Chelsea. It was loads of fun for me because all I did was play the piano. But even better was Elder Kujanpaa played the violin with me. We played for about an hour and half straight. Then President Nilsen came up to us and said, "Elders I need 2 musical numbers." I said "give us 4 minutes" He said, "I will give you 3" Then he walked away with a smile. So Elder Kujanpaa and I created a version of "If you could hie to Kolob" and played for like 50 people! It was so fun! I could have played all night with Elder Kujanpaa! 

So my gospel insight for the week was today. So today and tomorrow I am studying the temple since we are going tomorrow. And it never dawned on me that temple work for the dead was done till after Christ's resurrection. He had not yet opened the way as it talks in 1 Peter 3. Prior to Christ, the temple was used for just receiving personal ordinances.  

Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Elder Baird 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Just Another Week!

Hey family!

So it has been another amazing week! Like always. I don't even know where to begin with my tale of a great week. So first of all we have got transfers calls any moment so.... you might hear if I stay or not. A few ward members think I am leaving and some think I am staying. One of the members said,"If you leave all heck will break loose" I just laughed. I have been in Delaware for 6 months which is decently long time so we shall see. So I shall give you some highlights and insights of the week.

So the first highlight is one of my goals for the Delaware ward was to have an MTC (Member Training Center). So we had one on Sunday night. It was so fun! I got President and Sister Nilsen to come a speak. Then we did rotations on "How to teach with the missionaries.", "How to be an everyday missionary" and "How to prepare yourself and your children to serve missions" It was so fun! Each family got a folder of things we put together. The packets had the Restoration Pamphlet, the Plan of Salvation Pamphlet, a few pass along cards, and a Book of Mormon for them to hand out. Along with those items there was a Family Mission Plan for them to fill out, the ward mission plan, a commitment checklist (things they had to do since they showed up), the lesson outlines in Preach My Gospel, and some tools on how to be a missionary. It was so fun! It was such a success! 

One of the insights I learned was from Elder Niu one of the office senior couple. He taught me something that put being a missionary into a greater perspective. It added a heavier mantle of who I am suppose to be as a missionary. Elder Niu asked me who did Christ say to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."? Many member would say well we have all been asked to do that. But who did he specifically say this to, the Apostles. The calling, duty, and over arching mantle of sharing the gospel is upon the Apostles. Yes members have that same duty but no where near the same magnitude. Then it dawned on me. As a missionary we are an appendage of the Apostles. It made more sense to me now why male missionaries and the general authorities share the same title of Elder. No where else is that title used within the church. If you think about it when the apostles go across the world, who do they usually call a special meeting for to see? The missionaries. It made sense to me why the Apostles are the ones to receive the revelation for missionary calls. That is because they are calling men and women to stand in their place literally.  It became more clear to me that although the Apostles are special witnesses of Jesus Christ, we as missionaries are different witnesses of Jesus Christ. Just like the Apostles, to a much lesser degree, we as missionaries have a different spirit about us. We heard from about 8 different members just this week. They said they love having the missionaries over because of the different, powerful spirit we bring. Never before has the calling of being a missionary meant so much to me and yet weighed so heavy upon my minded. We as missionaries are truly disciples of Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 5:13) in a more literal way then I had ever thought. 

Another cool thing is we went over to the Dubanowich's a few days ago. They are the ones who we taught at their church. Well we received approval from them to teach the boys the lessons. Well when we went to dinner a few days ago we were planning on teaching lesson two, but they invited a friend. We felt that the whole 3 degrees of glory and the spirit world would scare this old lady that was there. We did not feel like that is what we should have taught. So instead we decided to put the talents God gave us to use. We grabbed an LDS hymnbook. And taught a lesson on church history concerning the pioneers and the Savior through music. We had a member with us as well that can sing. So we would say a few things, testify, then sing a song. It was one of the most Spiritual, fun lesson I have taught on my mission.

It has been a great week! Many people are progressing and some are not. The agency of man is of the greatest gifts of God but the hardest thing for missionaries to deal with. But it is amazing to me as a missionaries the discernment we are given by the Spirit. There are lessons where I truly feel like Ammon when discerning the thoughts and concerns of those I am teaching. The Spirit is an amazing, distinct thing. One that truly make us as missionaries successful. 

Hope you all had a wonderful week! 

Love you! 
Elder Baird

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Best Week Ever!!!!!!!

I am loving life! I don't understand how the Lord can be this great to me! I feel as Ammon did, not boasting in myself but boasting in my God!
So this past week I have had the opportunity to be with a few elders in the zone for more than a 24 exchange due to certain situations. It has been a blast to learn from and teach those within the zone.
On Tuesday we had leadership council. Now almost all the leadership councils I have been to since I have been a zone leader have all been how can we get the work moving concerning the key indicators.(i.e. member presents, new investigators, church attendance, etc.) Well this Leadership council was very different. For about 7 hours we talked, dicussed, testified, and taught the doctrine of Charity. It was a blast! Then on Wednesday we had zone meeting where as a zone we discussed Charity. I have truly learned how to love on a deeper level as a missionary. As Victor Hugo put it, "To love another person is to see the face of God."
Then from Thursday to Saturday we were doing all the fun missionary work stuff. Finding new investigators and teaching lessons. Then Saturday afternoon we had the pleasure of seeing Linda Thomas get baptized. It was incredible! As Sister Nilsen put it, "it was definitely a team effort across the ages!" It always joyous to me to see the ordinance of baptism performed. The Lord loves his children! He wants the best for them no matter how long it takes.
Lastly on Sunday Linda was confirmed. Right after the confirmation we along with President and his family left sacrament and made the snowy drive to Radnor. We finally were able to teach the congergation. Sadly because of the snow many people were not there. It was the Dubanowich family and about 5 others I will forever remember the small moment where President and I were sitting on the stage in the small 1800's church. We talked about the amazing opportunity we were having at that moment. Presidnet and Sister Nilsen tactfully and lovingly shared the message of the Restoration. I was able to bear testimony in the best way I know how to which is through music. I was able to play piano reditions of Sweet Hour of Prayer, Oh How Lovely was the Morning, and I Know that My Redeemer Lives. After President spoke I was suppose to play I Know That My Redeemer Lives and then at the end of the service I was going to play I Believe in Christ. But as I got up to the piano after President sat down, the Spirit whispered to me that I needed to play Joseph Smith's First Prayer, so I did. What an amazing spirit filled that small chapel! It was amazing for me to see the blessing and goodness of our Father in Heaven. The thought that entered my mind was, "If someone can be so happy with only parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ, can you imagine the happiness when they recieve the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ." It was a amazing Sunday. One I will forever cherish.
Hope all you have a wonderful week!
Elder Baird  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Baptism Saturday

Hello Wonderful family! 

This week has been another amazing week! This week was pretty interesting. Elder Hayes has been sick. So in the beginning of the week I was jumping around between members for lessons and finding, while for the most part Elder Mallory stayed with him. Then another elder in the zone was sick so Sister Nilsen had us put them together. 

So this up and coming Saturday Linda is getting baptized! I am so excited! This baptism taught me one thing, revelation in the portion of the vineyard that you are over. I have only taught Linda maybe 3 times the whole 5 months I have been here. But without fail I would pray for her every night almost. With only teaching her one time back in December I had received distinct feelings that Linda need to meet with President Nilsen. So finally after many attempts because of schedules, we were able to have her meet with President a few weeks ago. Then she backed out. President truly got the ball moving on her getting baptized. I don't know exactly what he talked with her about, but I believe he addressed and destroyed many of the concerns she had. Then last Tuesday she backed out. Again with prayer I had the distinct impression that President Welch (the stake president) needs to come with us to teach her. Well on Wednesday President Welch and I went and taught Linda. There we bore our testimonies, addressed and resolved her concerns, and let her know she is ready! Well she accepted baptism for the 8th. Now I know that this time it is different because she has never planned the program! Well we have it all set in stone! 

Well right after Linda gets confirmed on Sunday, we will be traveling up to the small city of Radnor. The reason being is we will be teaching the congregation with President Nilsen! Also I will be playing the organ for the service! I know what you are thinking mom, "does he even know how to the play the organ?" The answer is not really but oh well! I will learn by Sunday! You have no idea how many times the small miracle has occurred where people have asked me to play songs I have never played and I do it almost perfectly. So I have faith the Lord can help me with this one! 

Also last night we went to a youth group and a Methodist church. They actually were okay with us being there. Grayson and Griffin are the ones who wanted us to go (there family is the one who runs the church in Radnor). The kids were so excited that we were there is was kind of cool! 

Another cool thing that happened this week was a missionary came home 2 weeks ago and he came out with me on Tuesday! So we decided to teach his neighbor and we did. He was a really cool guy and wants to know more! So we are really excited about that! 

So it has been a really awesome week and this week is even going to be better! It is amazing for me to see the enabling power of the Atonement work in me as a missionary. I don't think I would be able to do all that is required of me without the uplifting power of the Atonement. I go to bed exhausted and usually wake up thinking already 630 but have no problem during the day. I truly feel the Spirit uplifting me, guiding me, and helping me. That is the only way the work can be done with 100% success. But we have to give it our all! It is amazing for me to see the missionaries that give it their all and those who do not. The missionaries who work non stop are the ones that are happier. They are ones with the most success. My new favorite scripture is, "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us acheerfully bdo all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the csalvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." 
We must do all that lies in our power throughout, our lives. This is enduring to the end.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all!

Elder Baird