Sunday, May 25, 2014

Some Pictures of Elder Baird

May 16

Hey Family! 

So I forgot my planner at home so I am going to try to give you a run down of the week by memory so we will see how this goes! 

Wednesday: I got to see some past companions at lunch so that was super cool! I saw Toby Prettyman, Phillip Hayes, and JP Nielsen. It was awesome to see them! The rest of the day we just did the normal missionary thing. 

Thursday: So Thursday we help build parts of a  bike path at a local elementary school. Elder Nygren and I built a balance beam which was so cool to see after we were done. After that we again went out proselyting. 

Friday: So Friday is known as the "Dog Miracle Day" So Elder Pike and I were knocking on some doors. At this one door the lady answered. She was super frustrated and said, "I am not interested right now it is been a bad day. I have lost my dog" Well we offered to help find it. Her response was, "I don't need to your help but if you are working the area and see a dog that is a gray terrier then that is our dog" Elder Pike and I walked off the door step both knowing we needed to find this dog. So as we are walking down their driveway elder pike and I pray that we can find this dog. Well we hop in the car and I just start driving around in the neighborhood wherever I feel like we need to go. After about 10 minutes we see this dog that matches the description. We decided to just not steal a dog that is outside of a house. So we run up and knocked on the door of the house that the dog was in front of. We asked the lady if that dog was hers. She said it was. So we said we were looking for a dog and wondered if she had seen one. She said she had not but that her neighbor had found a dog early that day. We got super excited and ran over the neighbors but they were not home. So we ran back to the lady that told us to go there. We asked her to call her neighbor to see if she was home. She called and found out that her neighbor had actual given the dog to a lady down the street name Mary. So we were directed to Mary's house. We went to Mary's house and asked if she had a dog that was found this morning. She did and she reluctantly gave it to us. So we jump in the van with this dog on the floor of the passenger side licking Elder Pike's fingers and feet while we are laughing. We are laughing at the possibility that this might not be their dog. In all the excitement of finding a  lost dog we failed to truly analyze  to see if the dog fit the description we were given. Well it did not. The dog we had was more brown then gray but it did have some gray. We were laughing at what we would do if this was not their dog. Well we showed up to the house and we jumped out. The father was outside and yelled, "You found Buddy!!" The family was so happy! We relayed to the family the story of us praying and finding their dog. The mom's answer was, "Usually when I see people like you I don't listen and just try to get them off my porch as fast as I can. But you found our dog so I will listen to whatever you want to tell me!" Well we taught her and the daughter about the Book of Mormon and got a return appointment for this week. Looking back at it I felt kind of like Ammon. Ammon rejoiced in the scattering of the flocks and honestly as we were walking down the driveway to find the dog I was glad. I was not glad that they had lost their dog, but I was glad that the opportunity came for us to be instruments in the Lord's hands in helping someone in need. The Lord does answer prayers! 

Saturday: So on Saturday as some of you saw we did what was called the social media split day throughout the mission. In a nutshell this means the whole day we were to have a member who was tech savy and is on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. We had like 4-5 members for the whole day. The member takes pictures and posts between 4-2 every hour. The goal is for the members friends in the ward to repost it. It was so fun. We had 2 chapel doors and some studies in which awesome members were with his. Plus we were to topped liked picture on the mission Facebook page and one of the top liked on Instragram under #socialmediasplit. You should look #socialmediasplit on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It was super cool! 

Sunday: Mother's Day was pretty awesome! Mainly cause I got to talk to y'all. But it was fun for other reasons. We got to take over in Senior Primary which was fun. All the women of the ward had a huge combined relief society so they asked the men to help in Primary. In which we volunteered to do music and sharing time. It was pretty fun! We also went over to the Nilsen's for a BBQ which was super tight. All the past missionaries that are working for the pest control company Greenix were there. After the dinner we had a lesson. After the lesson we returned to the Nilsen's. For mother's day for Sister Nilsen we wrote her a song. So we all performed it that night for her. She said it was the best mother's day present any of her children have given her. 

Monday: This day we had to do alot of stuff to prepare for transfers. Make sure all the cars were ready for new areas. It was a busy morning preparing for transfers. Then we rest of the day we proselyted. 

Tuesday: Most of the day was spent in the office. Early that day we got a call from President that the transfer board was done. So we started on working on all the things required for transfers. Which I found out is a lot! 

Wednesday: It was preparation day so in the morning we cleaned the apartment while Elder Kujanpaa and Nygren packed to leave. That afternoon we went over to Presidents and finalized the transfer board. We then helped make leadership and training calls. After that we went to the airport to pick up new missionaries. That was super cool! I love picking up new missionaries! We then all went to President's home and did a bunch of training and welcome stuff for them. It was super cool. Also during this whole training there was a massive tornado watch for most of Ohio. So during the whole training we are also communicating to all the Zone Leaders that all missionaries need to be in their apartments asap! So that was super fun to do as well! 

Thursday: This was the day I was dreading all transfer. It is a great meeting. There were so many extra members there because it is that awesome of a meeting. If the mission you live has a transfer meeting totally go to it! But I was dreading this because this means that Elder K and Elder Nygren leave. I love those two! They did the most evil thing in the transfer meeting. In whihc all the departing missionaries come on the stand with us and every stands and sings "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". It is liking slowly ripping off a band-aid. It is set in for me how long I have been on my mission when missionaries I have known for almost 10 months to a year that are best friends and past companions are going home. It is super weird. After transfers we did post transfer damage control. 

Friday: We took the departing missionaries to the airport in the morning to go home. The rest of the day was again doing post transfer damage control and just finalizing everything after transfers. After that we were able to do some proselyting.

Hope you all had a great week! Love you!! 

Elder Baird 

May 7

Hey family! 

It has been a great week! I will give you a nice recap in the provided essay below. Hope you enjoy since I am taking time to write this.

Monday: We had preparation day. We went to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my birthday! That was super fun! Then that night we went to the Carsons (a family that was baptized in November) for dinner. They made a super good salad! I ate like 5 plates of it! It was super good! 

Tuesday: We had interviews in the Columbus South zones. So Elder K and I went down to the good ol'e Reynoldsburg for interviews. It was a pretty awesome time! Interviews are super fun because you get to see all the missionaries and get to know them better when you do small group trainings. Then later that night did some proselyting in our area. We also had to figure out district meeting topics for the next day. Then that night we had to make an hour and a half drive out to  Dayton to a place called Piqua to drop off a car to some missionaries. 

Wednesday: Was just kind of a normal day. We had office work in the morning and proselyting in the evening. Nothing to great! Then that night we had to again drive out to Dayton to set up for interviews on Thursday. We stayed the night at some elder's apartment in the area. 

Thursday: We had interviews in the Dayton East Zones. This was super fun again. I loved getting to see and talk with a lot of old companions. It is amazing to talk with old companions and see how they have grown from when you served with them. I cool quote that I got out a Thursday was, "Life is short but it will define all eternity" Not sure where it came from it is just written in my planner. I thought it was pretty sweet though! So later that night we had a few lessons. Then we drove down to OSU to set up for new missionary training down at OSU campus. So we set it up and then again slept on the floor of another elder's apartment.

Friday: This was the day of New missionary training. New missionary training is where we have all the new missionaries from the past transfer and their trainers come down to OSU and we training them on different things. The thing I was in charge of was running the contacting rotation. Basically missionaries would go out and contact on campus. Contacting on campus is super fun! You meet some pretty interesting people doing it. After new missionary training we went out to lunch with President and Sister Nilsen. We went to this Thai Bistro. It was so good! Then we did some more awesome proselyting in our area. 

Saturday: Most of the day was spent doing service. A member in Delaware called me and said a friend in Powell was moving and needed help. So we went and helped them. They were so appreciative it was ridiculous. They literal could not believe that we were there to help them. It was so fun and see how service touches the hearts of others.  Later that night we ran down to a Stake Conference. We were there to assist President and Sister Nilsen with some media they wanted to show during their talks. After the conference we had an emergency transfer that we had to aid in. So again we made a trip out to Dayton. 

Sunday: It was pretty crazy! Everyone that we had lined up for church that morning fell through. So we were able to get someone to come to church at the other ward. The rest of the day was spent proselyting and such. Just doing the grand missionary thing. 

Monday: This also was a pretty crazy day. So in the morning we made again and the final time for the week, another drive to Dayton because an elder was going home. So we picked up the elders and drove back to the office. Then we played some basketball and soccer between the four of us. Then that night we got a call from president letting us know that mission leadership council was going to be somewhere different. So the rest of the night was planning mlc. 

Tuesday: This was a highlight of my week and a highlight of my mission. So for mission leadership council we went to the mounds! These are places that are highly speculated to be the ancient civilizations of the people in the Book of Mormon. We talked all about the physical proof of the Book of Mormon. For example: The Hebrew syntax/culture/war strategies found within the Book. The fact that they have found other plates of metal that were engraven into in a place called Coshocton, Ohio. The fact that the mounds throughout Ohio match the description of Moroni building up mounds of earth round about the cities for protection. The fact that 2 tribes of Hopewells existed (the north and the south) and then they came together (Mulekites and the Nephites). Then there is the mystic symbol and  I could go on about all the physical evidences that PROVE the Book of Mormon to be true and correct. But that does not matter. Never has nor will a miracle or physical proof create faith or a testimony. Yes miracles and physical proof can strengthen our faith and testimony. But our faith and testimony has to come from a manifestation of the Spirit. Being there at the mounds was amazing but more amazing then that was that same night elder Pike and I finished the Book of Mormon. The spirit found within the Book of Mormon is unlike any other. Alma says, "Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety? Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me." It is amazing to me that a man like Alma that had seen many miracles says the way he knows of truth is by the spirit of revelation. I can tell you the same thing as Alma did that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel of Christ was made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God.  The Book of Mormon is true and it is the evidence that the Church of Christ need to be and was restored back upon the face of the earth. 

I love you family! Have a great week!

Elder Baird 

April 28

Hey family! 

So it was another great week! I wanted to make sure this was a great email since last weeks was pretty wimpy

Monday: Elder K and I prepared to travel part of the mission. So we set sail towards the most Eastern part of the mission (like 20ish minutes away from West Virginia). So Monday night we packed and made the 2 hour drive to Cambridge Ohio. All week we just would show up to a companionship's apartment to surprise them.

Tuesday: We spent most the day in Cambridge. So super cool experience: Elder Hogan and I were knocking in a small town outside Cambridge called New Concord! We knocked on the last door (by the way it is always the last door no matter which way you knock). This lady answers the door and we start to talk about who we are. She mentions that her husband is a Presbyterian Pastor. Then mid sentence she says would you like to come in and have dinner. Elder Hogan and I looked at each other and in my head I am thinking "Did she really just ask that? No one ever asks that!" We say yes of course! We go in and have an amazing dinner. We are having small talk during dinner and afterward about our families and such. Then again mid sentence the lady says "Alright boys lets get down to brass tax and talk about the word." So then we share with them the restoration and show the video Because He lives. We get a return appointment for tomorrow! It was amazing! After that I went down to Zanesville.

Wednesday: I was in Zanesville (my 3rd area)! It was super weird to be back in an old area. It was a super fun day. As a missionary in the USA for the most part you know it is hard to find people to talk to between the hours of 1-3. Well while we were there I felt impressed to go visit a part-member family and it was at like 2 in the afternoon. I had never met the non member of the family. Well we went there and the non member was home. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and got a return appointment! It was super cool! 

Thursday: It was my Birthday! Nothing to exciting just some awesome texts and calls from Sister and President Nilsen. That day I was in Moundbuilders area for the day. I met a cool guy named Jacob. After Moundbuilders we actually drove home and surprised our companions! I then opened my presents that were sent! Thank you to everyone that sent presents! It was a great Birthday! It is weird to think I am now 20! 

Friday: Friday morning Elder K and I took out our dirty laundry from our bags, packed fresh clothes, then head off to Marion. This was the funniest experience of the week. So surprised Elder Woodland and Elder Afalava. Elder Woodland and I went out knocking. This lady starts to talk to us. We find out that she believes God has called her to be a pastor. We start to talk about the Book of Mormon. She then told me that she had to go check on dinner so she had to go. Well I told her to go check and dinner and come back cause there was one thing I had to tell her!  So she went to check on dinner. She came back and I told her about the concept of divine positioning (meaning God places certain people to cross paths with certain people so they can learn from each other). Well after I told this too her she started to wail and cray. Not only that she was jumping up and down all over her house making weird noises as well. The whole time "praising" God. It was super weird yet kinda funny. Not gonna lie I was not quite sure what to do so I just sat their and watched her. This went on for about 10 minutes then she came back to the door huffing and puffing. After she got a hold of herself we exchanged numbers and we left. 

Saturday: So Elder K and I went back to Powell Saturday afternoon. Elder K, Elder Pike and I were asked to do a special musical number for a baptism in the ward (it was a baptism for the sisters) So we came up with a rendition of Sweet Hour of Prayer. Elder K was on the Violin, I was on the piano, and Elder Pike was singing. It was so awesome!!! Then later that night our bishop and his wife took us out to Ruth's Christ for dinner! It was so good!

Sunday: Sunday was a pretty good day as well! We again did a special musical number but this time it was a combination of Joseph Smith's First Prayer and Come thou Fount. It was super cool! One of the best parts about it was Sally Dubanowich came down from Radnor to come listen to me! I was so happy to see her! Then that night there was a mission home open house. Again Elder K, Elder Pike and I performed a few numbers. Once president found out we had a small band he has used us a lot. It makes me super happy! 

That is my week in a nutshell! This week should be fun with 4 zones being interviewed and new missionary training down at OSU campus. Hope you all had a great week! 

Elder Baird