Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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! 

Elder Baird 

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