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! 

Elder Baird 

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