This week was a great week for us in I XHU a T AN! This week started off wild! On our PD a Y we decided to take a lazy day and stay in around our house to clean and wash clothes, we washed our clothes in a cement thing called a pila. All was well until some local kids led by a recent convert showed up at our door and challenged us to a soccer game match. Of course as missionaries we couldn't turn it down… So we hiked up onto a mountaintop where there is a clearing in the trees were they had to created a small, makeshift field. We played with them for a while and lost repeatedly, It was awesome! The best part about the whole day is that while we were playing, a man showed up with two of his sons to play a little ball with them. I had the opportunity to speak with them about the church! The dad's name is Walter, he is awesome! He had seen us walking through his village before and had some amazing questions that we were able to answer. His desire is to have a more united family and to be a better example for his children, his potential is huge and I am excited to see the gospel of his life! I'll keep you posted.
This week we were also able to meet with a single mom named Edna and her daughters. They are planning to be baptized the first week of April, but they have been faced with huge challenges and doubts. We were able to finally have a breakthrough lesson with her and her daughter that was super spiritual! We plan to share the palm salvation with them but when we actually arrived, my companion and I both felt that we needed to share a different message focused only on eternal families. At the end of our Charla we saying families can be together forever. The spirit was strong and almost without invitations on our part Edna and her daughter Diana set their own baptismal date and they literally said that it was the desire of their hearts to be baptized! Amazing!
As missionaries in my current area it is really interesting and humbling to serve. The church here it is not as established as in other parts of the world. As far as having leadership, callings, or even a church building with separate rooms. So we get to know the church members very well and help many people to stay strong in the Gospel. Sometimes it is hard for them and the temptations are huge! I have really come to appreciate more and strengthen my testimony in the role and power of the Book of Mormon. having a firm testimony and faith that it can safely guide us through times of temporal and spiritual danger. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is that evidence of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It contains the fullness of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and testifies of him! It answers the doubts, questions, and concerns that we often have. It gives us examples, direction and guidance. I live literally in the middle of nowhere right now and I can see the power of the Book of Mormon. There are some members here that have been enduring without the convenience of a church building, leaders that live close by, or activities, but have actively been fighting to remain strong in the church. Almost every one of them that I have had the opportunity to speak with has shared strong testimonies and experiences with the Book of Mormon. That is what helps them continue to be faithful and has been their support!
I am so grateful for the Book Mormon. I testify that is true! I know that it is the most correct book on the earth and that we have it in these last days for a purpose! In Moroni's promise, in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, and in the introduction, we are invited to read, meditate, and pray about it with a sincere heart and real intent to gain a testimony. In preach my gospel it also says "you too should apply this promise regularly to strengthen and review your own testimony in the book of Mormon" I love that it says "regularly" and not "casually". I would like to invite each of you to read the book of Mormon this week or continue reading it and to take Moroni's promise to heart. Apply prayer to your reading! I also would like to invite you to share the Book of Mormon with someone that does not know it. I promise that this will strengthen your testimony and help others have everlasting joy!
I hope you all have an awesome week! Love elder Baldwin
We can't believe it is the middle of March, Erin and just came home delivering invitations to Sunday Easter Sacrament meeting. We have the same route we always do with one new addition. The one I always hated going to because they never came out and I wanted to huck the bread over the fence. Well today we actually met Bill, the owner face-to-face and he was really friendly and warm. They are in Maine half the year and the other half here in Dammeron. But they are leaving tomorrow to Maine and are going to sell their house in Maine. It is a farm actually, sad I would hate to have to down size and leave a farm in Maine. So that was good we finally were able to talk to the people after 4 years.
The other house we visited was up behind on the east side of Dammeron way up behind the big house. It is hidden and secluded, with pine trees, trees and a huge garage with a fish pond and cool rustic looking cabin. We left an invitation in the door, no one answered. There was a "beware of dog" sign. I made Erin say a prayer with me before we got out of the car. She said I must have been a wimpy missionary, I told her that no I was bold, but it was because I was a missionary, that I wanted protection from dogs. Do you run into trouble with dogs?
We had the Provo City temple dedication today so we didn't have regular services. We went to the 9:00am session. I loved it. I loved saying the "Hosanna Shout" with everyone in the congregation. We were encouraged again to have temples in our homes so we can always have that as a goal and a visual. We have some little ones in the bath room, but tomorrow dad and I are going to buy two paintings to put in living room---The Salt Lake temple on one side of the TV and the St. George on the other. We were also encouraged to have family names every time we go to the temple. I have been using Hope Chest along in Family Search which has helped me find 20+ names to take to the temple.
The scripture I am ponderizing this week is John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Love you!!!!! pray and fasted for you today,
Well, another week has flown by. Today was great because we had the new Provo city center temple dedication where we got to go wave our hanky's and yell hosanna. It was very spiritual and Elder oaks was amazing as he conducted the dedication. It was a nice day because I had no other church meetings. Got to spend the day at home.
Well I dropped my phone last week so I wasn't sure if you got any pics I sent of me and Jim. It still is broken this week. Not much news for this week. Things continue to go well. I received a 4.5% raise this year. We are finally getting to start a good savings account. I am planning on painting the exterior of the house and doing some home improvement this spring. Want to have the house ready in case anything happens with a promotion.
I am going up to Bretts cabin again this week. You probably don't know about the trail cam we set up. After the huge Sasquatch tracks on his property in the snow a few weeks ago, he sent the pics in to a professor at the University of Idaho. Then a week later a guy from the history channel called him. Wanted to send out a research team. We have set a trail cam but had it too high last time. We are going back to set it lower. I have prints of the tracks that went out behind the cabins and circled the tree that we hung 2 elk carcasses in last fall and are still there. I have to say its pretty freaky.
Other than those exciting things, we are all doing great and we are seeing the wonderful blessings coming to our family from your service. The hand of the lord is in the details. That reminds me of my Grandma. She is going downhill fast. She couldn't remember me last time. Its really sad. But I showed her your pictures of your baptisms and she remembers you. Guadalajara! Guadalajara! She's funny. She said to tell you she is proud and loves you.
Well, have a great week elder. Be strong, be diligent, be obedient. As you do so you will be rewarded with blessings beyond your capacity to understand. I love you and hope you and your comp have success this week.