Monday, January 18, 2016
Familia Y Amigos
This week has been Great! Time is flying by out here in the boonies of Guate and I love it! The people here are humble and loving.Really its easy to take washing machines and microwaves for granted when until you live in a place where the norm is door less bamboo huts with dirt floors.I have come to realize how blessed I truly am. I am so grateful that my friends and family have the opportunities and comfort that much of the world lacks but also I have realized that materiel possessions to not produce happiness.
My companion and I have been bearing down and working hard. Its so rewarding and easy to enjoy life when we are searching the will of the Father before our own. This week we were truly blessed and we found several new investigators that are ready to review the gospel. On Wednesday we were walking in the dark and we found a young mom outside her house with 3 young children. We stopped to talk with her and she invited us in to meet visit her family. We ended up teaching her while she was making tortillas in a makeshift stove around the back of her home. Her name is Michelle and she is awesome. Sharing with her family is interesting because the kids are a tad wild and climb over everything( including the missionaries) as if it were a jungle gym. also they all drink coffee here from starting from the bottle when they are young guns. Michelle wants to progress and is overcoming some huge challenges in her life right now. I am so grateful for the confidence and assurance that that gospel brings to my life. That i can promise others like Michelle that the gospel WILL bring peace and solutions to their lives. Neal A Maxwell once said "I believe with all my heart that because God loves us there are some particularized challenges that he will deliver to each of us. He will customize the curriculum for each of us in order to teach us the things we most need to know. He will set before us in life what we need, not always what we like." I know that God Allows us to pass for challenges and gives us weakness for our benefit and happiness and I am grateful to share it with others. I invite all of you this week to share the gospel with somebody new, whether it be a family member or friend. They deserve the blessings of the gospel and I know it will bring happiness and joy to you.
Hello son! 1/17/2016
Well, another week has gone by. It's been an interesting one, but in the middle of the winter things don't get too exciting. I've got the mid winter boggy feeling. Snow has been on the ground for a long time. Last week I spent 2 days being instructed on the 26th floor of the church office building. We were taught about the church welfare department's major initiatives for the coming years. I was called up in front of over 100 people to tell about the successes we are having in the St. George store. It was a great experience. There are only a handful of people that have been around longer than me.
One of the things that we were told about is how the DI is partnering with a second hand store chain in Guatemala called Mega Paca. We are providing clothing for their stores and they are employing and training many members of the church there. They have 52 stores and do similar things by training people in their stores. It was neat to hear of how the church is responding to needs around the world. Great to be a part of something like building the kingdom of God and preparing the people for the second coming. Our ward missionary program is getting more organized. Lots of new people moving in the ward. Seems like 1-2 new families a week any more. Only sad thing is that they are all retired. No kids. Rick Johnson had his foot amputated. He is about to go on a mission with his wife when it all heals.
I talked to Jim for 45 minutes the other night. He wants me to come up and help him build his porch. He's doing well. Been sik with a cold for a couple of weeks. But he sure enjoys getting your letters. You are more of a grandchild than any he has with his kids. If you get time, send him a quick note...firstname.lastname@example.org. He would love to hear from you. I went driving around behind Baker yesterday by myself just to get out. I have been cramped up inside for quite a while with work and due to the weather. It was great just to get out and get some sunshine. Then I went down to Dixie Gun and fish and spent about an hour there. I'm finally going to get my permit to carry back next week. I'm excited for that. This week I'm gonna get going on the reloading learning process. It's kind of overwhelming in a way, but I really need to get going. Don Stingley came over and we are gonna do some together.
We love hearing about the amazing people there where you are. I know the Lord is blessing you because of your love for the people. I had the opportunity to work in the absolute poorest areas and the richest. I would much rather spend time with humble people because I grew up with them. I felt at home in those areas even though, to them, I lived like a king. I hope they allow you to be in that area for a while so you can see the fruits of your labors. Even when baptisms may be slow, the work that you do, the time that you spend with the people will yield great results in terms of memories with them. Plus, they will remember the important gospel principles you share with them.
You have been out 6 months now. You are feeling much more confident with the language and the culture. This is where it gets fun! This is also where time starts to really fly. So make the very best of it. Make sure there are no regrets. But also cherish this time when you dont have to worry about rent, bills, school, and etc. That will come in due time. Focus on being a tool in the hands of our father to prepare the way for his children to return to him. Mom and I have been going to the temple more often together. It is wonderful. Each time, I put your name in the box. Know that we love you, we miss you, and we are very proud of you. We pray for you avery day. Have a great week! Love Dad.
Today was a great day! Sunny and in the high 40's, I went on a walk today, it was very wonderful. I love the time change. 11:00 is much better than 1:00 when is your church? I know we sound and are spoiled when I talk about which time I prefer etc.
Today in sacrament meeting and in gospel principles, and young women the topic was the Godhead. 2 returned missionaries and a high council man spoke on Heavenly Father and his attributes. One of the scriptures mentioned that I really like when clarifying the separate personages is the Baptism of Jesus. It is crystal clear that our Father spoke to the people of His Son Jesus and how the Holy Ghost's influence was felt.
In Young Women's we testified of Jesus Christ and his role and reread the Living Christ feeling of the power of and the testimony of the document. We had a LIving Christ challenge and to have it memorized by Nov. 2015, some of the young women completed the challenge.
Tomorrow Erin and I are taking some of her friends going to do some extreme sports: we are heading up to Pine valley to slide down the side of the reservoir. We have the day off of school due to the Human rights/Martin Luther king Holiday.
I am attaching an awesome talk that really clarifies repentance. I am also mailing it to you in a letter. It is great and really defines what repentance is: 1) Saying sorry-with real intent not making excuses-owning our behavior 2) restitution 3) foresaking.
Love you! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
This week I just want to tell you a quick story about a group of young men that are changing the pueblocito where they live and progressing the work of the lord through small and simple acts of Service. In the area where I serving my mission there is no church building,It doesnt even classify as a Branch. right now were are classified as an extension of a branch. There are about 30 members that are acitve and that attend church with us everyin the upper room of a house that is in the middle of our little town. and so as you can imagine there are not many youth in this area. In fact at this moment there are no official programs that are are functioning that they can particpate in every week due to a lack of members and other basic structure of the church. I would be easy for these you to brush aside the responsiblities that they have being that there are no expectations for them but 5 of them have taken their own initiative to fulfill their duties to God. Every week they are in the church....well house early to prepare the sacrament and to bless it. Every week they also search out opportunities to serve others. They all share the gospel with their friends, family, and all the other people that they might meet. They visit daily with us as missionaries and are anxious to help the investigators improve. Really they are making all of the difference in the progression of the area that we are in. The gente really notice their example and they want the happiness that these young men have. It has really strengthened my testimony of the importance of magnifying preisthood responsibility and serving others. I know and testify that by small and simple things, or actions, The Lord progresses his work and brings great things to past. I would like to invite each of you to think of one thing that you can do this week to magnify your calling or to serve others this week. I know I will bless you.
I am sending a years subscription for the Liahona----let me know when you get your first copy. I set it up today 1/1/2016. It will be delivered to by the distribution center monthly to the mission home- your name-Elder Grant Spencer Baldwin is on the magazine----Happy New Year!