Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Normal Misson Week - July 14

Hey family!

It has been a pretty normal missionary week. Its been full of Methodists and Baptists not excited too see us. It has had some teaching as well as no show appointments. It was full of doors opened, remained closed, and slammed. We did some service for a few people. While doing that we had meetings to go to on both the missionary and stake level. But here is a nice synopsis on the week;

Monday: It was P-day so I emailed all of you! It was also Elder Decker's birthday so we went to a cheese factory. We bought a lot of cheese!

Tuesday: It was another normal day full of knocking and teaching. The highlight of the week was finding whole year worth of Ensigns from 1982 and 1984. It is pretty interesting to read those Ensigns. The brethren were a lot more open and opinionated back then. Also it is weird to see all the past prophets as just Apostles.

Wednesday: We had zone meeting which was super fun! But it was super long! It was too long! Lost my attention at about an hour and 15 minutes. Then we got home did some finding then we had dinner and were at the church from 6 till the end of the night. I had some interviews and we were there from mutual and institute.

Thursday: We did some service for the coolest recent converts. Their names are the Darin and Shirley Welker. They joined the church in January. He is my 2nd counselor. They are amazing! They feed us like every night! There are the most dedicated members I have met. Then later that night we made the hour and a half trek to New Albany for Stake Priesthood. It was really good. The Stake president talked about the importance of why. The true gospel restored upon this earth teaches the why while all the other churches teach the how.

Friday: We did some tracking and then did some weekly planning. We did some more missionary work and end the night with a dinner and birthday party. In the month of June Elder Decker, Elder Pierce (Senior Couple), and Brother Welker all have a birthday. So we did a small dinner and birthday party. It was super fun!

Saturday: We did some service for a lady in the ward. After that we did more teaching and testifying.

Sunday: Sunday was a pretty good day. I only had 1 interview so that was good. After that we did some home teaching with Darin. Then we taught a lesson to Ray and Tia. The thing that Tia is struggling with the most is the need for the Book of Mormon and the apostasy. I have never had a strong testimony of the apostasy till I have ben a missionary. It was prophesied in many places in the Bible(Amos 8:11-12, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) and it did happen. Lets be honest anyone that is not apart of the Catholic church HAS to believe in the apostasy. They are bound by the principles on which their church was founded. The early protestant church leaders believed in the fact that the early church had false doctrine being taught or in other words they believed in a apostate church. Which it was. This can be found in many facts. First that the Bishop that the catholic church originates from, Bishop Linus, was excommunicated upon the fact that the church in Rome was in apostasy. We see evidence of this because the Book of Romans exists. Then a Deacon named, Linus also, was made leader of the church in Rome. But he was killed and did not pass on the authority to the true church. But to continue to follow the line of Bishop Linus, we see the creation of the position of Pope. There many issues that arise within the papacy of the early church. One of these issues included the reigned of 2 popes. They excommunicated each other and then went to war. Who was the real pope? Then there is the talk of a woman Pope. Her name was Pope Joan. The church says that she does not exist while others say she does by research. Then you have the Nicene Creed where the trinity and other parts of the gospel were defined. Other things that were added or changed were indulgences, mode of baptism, and many others. These early changes and apostate church caused many people to seek for the truth. You have people such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and many others. So they sought for a reformation. They decided they need to change what they believed was false.  Little do they know that the Lord did not need a reformation but a restoration. You can see prophesies of this in Acts 3: 21 (Restitution of all things) and Ephesians 1:10 (dispensations of the fullness of times). The Lord also prophesied of the Book of Mormon, the evidence of the truthfulness of the restoration. These prophecies are found in Ezekiel 37: 16-40 and Isaiah 29. There is so much more that I can show, discuss and testify about for this principle of the gospel. But I do know that an apostasy from Christ's original church did occur. I know this but the Spirit not by the secular evidence of the world. I know that there was a need for a restoration and that a restoration did occur. I know this as well by the Spirit and no amount of secular evidence can convince me otherwise. And I know that Christ church has been restored. I know this by the way that living His gospel properly has changed me.

President Baird.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hard Times Means Good Things Ahead - July 7

Hey Family!

It has been another great week! Here are a few highlights!

We found some awesome people to teach this week! A few families and a few cool individuals! Elder Decker and I have one huge goal while we are companions here in Coshocton. That goal is to find 2 solid families that 1) are financially stable and have the means to assist 2)that do not struggle with any addictions specifically the word of wisdom. This is our goal because many of the past recent converts have had struggles in these areas and still struggle with them. We want to find people that can replace us when we leave. We want to find families that can uplift, support, and aid the branch.

We had specialized training on Wednesday which was pretty cool. We had the opportunity to meet President Daines and to get to know him and his family. He seems like a stellar man! I am excited to work with him. He does have some different directives and goals then President Nilsen did but that is wonderful. Change is good and without change life would be boring.

One thing that has been on my minded and something that I have been pondering a lot lately is the hard times come into our life. I think a lot of the time people think that missionaries never get super discouraged or that when hard times come they just brush them off. Well I am here to tell you that that is not true. I can vividly remember in Delaware at about my year mark I woke up in not so good of moods. We were not having much success and it was in the dead of winter. I woke up and said to myself "yup I am done. I think it is time to go home. I have been out for about a year and that sounds like a good enough time to me." I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted and at that time I was done with everything. But I pushed through it. I felt much like Ammon when he said, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give you success." The Lord truly did comfort me in my afflictions as my heart was depressed. It is in the moments of despair and trial that we learn and grow the most. In all hard times we need to push on because after the hard time there is always the miracle if we faithfully endure. Don't let doubt and fear disrupt your faith."For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."(2 Timothy 1:7)

Yesterday during testimony meeting I felt very impressed I needed to visit with a man in the branch. We will call this man George. George is 82 years old. His health is declining quite rapidly. He can barely walk and is always falling over. Along with all that his handicapped daughter died 2 months ago. As I met with this man I could  not help but be astounded at this man's faith and dedication in the midst of great adversity. He and his wife drive an hour to church and they are there early every Sunday. While we talked he said this to me, "President, there is not much I can do anymore. I try to help my wife out as much as possible by doing dishes and the laundry. And there is not much of a use for me in church service. But there is one thing I can do, and that is set up the sacrament. So that is what I do." He does it every Sunday. George arrives early to church. He places his cane down on a chair. Then he slowly walks  between the kitchen and the sacrament table setting up the two bread trays and 2 water trays. What I reassured this humble faithful man, is that the small humble service he provide is the biggest most necessary thing anyone in the branch could do. His preparation of the Sacrament is the the most needed service because the sacrament is the most important part and the reason we go to church.

Let us all learn from George, that as adversity, trials, and hard times come into our life that we still remain faithful in the service of the Lord. And remember hard times mean good things ahead.

Hope you all have a great week!

President Baird

Sad Day – June 30

Hey family! 

So I will address the subject line right now. It is a sad day because the NIlsens leave today. I have learned so much from them! They were the reason I needed to be here in Ohio. They have been the closest people to a mom and dad I have had out here for 16 months. I have had the opportunity to fast and pray with them concerning my visa. I have had the opportunity to teach many people (Linda Thomas, Dubanowiches, and Pohmers) in their home. I had the experience to sit side by side with my Mission President on the stage in a Church of Christ building as he testified in words and I through music the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been able to laugh and cry together as we have brought many of God's Children to the fold. 

BUT I am very excited for President and Sister Daines! They sound absolutely amazing! 

So transfers were on Thursday and both companions I had were transferred and now I have Elder Decker! We were at BYU together in the same ward. Nick roommed with Elder's Decker's fall roommates winter semester. So we are just having the time of our lives here in little Coshocton. 

Friday we did some weekly planning and did some normal missionary work. We had some funny experiences with random people. 

Saturday we did more missionary work! We helped this family we met tracking few weeks ago tear down their ceiling. Now the problem was that it was a house built in the 1920 so it used to have a coal furnace. Therefore there was a bunch of coal soot as we pulled it down. We were covered head to toe in it. I can officially say I never want to be a chimney sweeper or work in coal mines. Hopefully I don't have the black lung. It took us forever to shower! We were finding coal soot in the corner of our eyes, in our ears, up our nose, and all over. 

Sunday was my first day as Branch President. That was pretty weird! My counselors and I were the ones that talked yesterday. We talked on Charity and love. I thought it went very well. After church I had a few interviews. President would always tell us at interview time how in the very beginning of their mission after 10 interviews he was exhausted. Now he can do 40 and be fine. Well I kind of figured that out on Sunday. After the interviews I had I was pretty tired. So I ate lunch and passed out on my office floor for 30 minutes while Elder Decker read some pamphlets. Also Elder Decker was called and set apart as my Executive Secretary.

Well it has been a great few days! I hope you are all well! I love you all! 

Elder Baird (according to President Nilsen I should sign it President Baird but I am not comfortable with that yet) 

Why I Got Emergency Transferred – June 25

 Dear Family,

Well I am sure all of you are just dying to know why I got emergency transferred. Well the reason is I am the Branch President in the Coshocton Branch. Yes I am very surprised.

So here are 2 highlights from the week:

Saturday: Saturday I got to go back down to Powell! The Pohmers got baptized! It was so cool to see them finally enter into covenants with there Father in Heaven. It was an amazing day! I spent basically all day down in Powell. We went ot the baptism then went over to the Pohmers with President and Sister Nilsen for dinner.

Sunday: I was sustained and Set apart as the Branch President. I guess that is a highlight. It was a crazy day.

Hope all of you had a great week. Sorry for the short email. It has been a CRAZY day!! 

Elder Baird

Run Down on Me being Transferred – June 16

Hey mom and dad here is a little play by play of how it all came to be. 

So Wednesday President Nilsen called us and said I need you here as soon as you can. So we were at a zone meeting 50 minutes away so we started the trek back to Powell. We went into the house and sat down. President came in and said Elder Baird I need to meet with you. I will be honest in my head I was trying the think if I did anything wrong. But I could not think of anything. We sat down and he told me that he was just going to cut straight to the point. He told me I was needed as a special assignment and will need to be in my new area by Saturday night. He told me this is an assignment he has never given or seen around the area the whole three years he has been a Mission President. Then he told me I needed to call President Birch the stake president in the Columbus East Stake.

Thursday: I called President Birch and he asked for me to meet him at 9 am on Sunday. 

Saturday: I packed up and then head off for Coshocton, Ohio (my new area). 

Sunday Morning. I sat down and met with President Birch. Long story short he called me to be the Branch President of the Coshocton Branch. I of course accepted. 

Hope that clarifies things! 

Elder Baird