Tuesday, March 22, 2016

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. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Greetings young elder. I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits there in Guatemala. Thanks for the birthday wish. We had a great birthday this year. Last week I went to a show at the Dixie center to see about getting Cole una pistola. I got there in the afternoon so there wasn't a good selection. I saw a new company selling scopes and flashlights though. Stopped and talked to the guy and ended up buying a little flashlight kinda like yours. I overheard them talking to a guy about scopes. He was saying that they had been buying their lenses from Niikon but their new ones are from Zeiss. But he had some scopes left that were equal to Vortex. He was selling them for $199 at the show, but he said if he had a store they would sell them for $489. I came home and told mom that they had a great deal. She said, Why didn't you get it for your birthday? 20 minutes later I was back at the dixie center. They only had 3 left. A gun store owner bought up 30 of them right before. It is very similar to your vortex on your AH ERI. I'm stoked. Erin got a new pink dyed 10/22 with a Barska red dot for her birthday.

We went to Preston this weekend. I hung out with Jim for 2 days. He traded 2 22's and his Jeep with a frozen motor for 4 1947 ford trucks. They are even cooler than the Studebaker. We had fun getting one of them running yesterday. I felt like I was home for those 2 days. my heart is there again just as strong as when I first moved there. We also had dinner with Mike and Karalee. They say hi and keep up the great work you are doing. 

So last week I had a great week at work. All of the region managers spent the day at my store. Plus their boss was there. They invited me to do a 2 hour walk thru and case study of my store. It was a lot of fun and it felt natural. In the end, they had high praises and could not find any faults. It was a great day. The Idaho region manager now has Logan, Preston, Pocatello, Blackfoot, Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Burley, Twin Falls, Nampa, and Boise. He is retiring soon and said he will recommend that his replacement live around Logan or Preston to be right in the middle and close enough to attend mtgs in SLC 3 times a month. Keep me in your prayers. I would love that opportunity. Finally, Grayson told me I was ranked #1 of all people in his region of 9 stores for last year. Mitch was #2. Was a great year and I know it is all blessings poured upon our family from a loving heavenly Father. Much of it is blessings from your service. 

Sometimes when you are that far away you wish you could just have a few of the modern conveniences and it sometimes gets difficult to keep up the positive attitude. It is natural. You have been very blessed in your life with many conveniences. Even though many people might have more in terms of wealth and worldly stuff, we have been so very blessed. However, we do not aspire to wealth. We aspire to a good life where we can find peace and safety for our family. I grew up in a humble place where people are a lot like Jim Walton. That is why my heart is drawn back to Idaho. 
In those moments when you wish you had running water or light, or a hot meal of no beans, just remember that this time in your life is a time that you will draw strength from. Sacrificing many things for 2 years will provide a lifetime of lessons. Ultimately there will be times when you are bogged down with school or career when you will long for the simple life in Guatemala. One thing is for sure, those people who now have the gospel because of your service, are thankful you decided to serve. I enlarge the baptismal pictures and see it in their eyes. You are doing wonderful things in the name of our Savior. nothing else is more important right now. We pray every night for guardian angels to be around you to keep you safe and energized. We also pray for your health and success. Know that we love you and are proud of your service. Have a great week! 
Love Dad. I think I may have sent a couple of pictures before I dropped my phone and cracked the screen again:) 

We are up Idaho right now, Erin dad I and took off Thursday at 9:00am. We took the Honda to Cedar City with the intent of getting a rental car there, all of the rental cars were booked because of spring break, we could only rent from Enterprise.(I forgot to mention, I was in an accident Friday, March 5th, on my way home passing Diamond church on highway 18.I was following a truck and near Stahilie farms, the transmission part fell out from under the truck and I ran over it---fluid sprayed all over the front of the KIA. I was freaking out. This was a chunk of metal, luckily I didn't blow up, the obviously pulled over and I pulled over behind it. 2 hispanic gentlemen get out of the car and we get on our stomachs to look under the car. I couldn't see any of the damage, one of the hispanic men kept said, "it is ok, nothing is wrong. I Kept repeating, I hit that chunk of metal and I hit it hard, I think it did something. I got the insurance information and name of the owner of the Truck and drove the KIA home. I should have called the police and waited for them to fill out an accident report. When I got home I called the owner of the truck and he told me to call him if there was any further problems. I was able to drive home, but I knew something was up, it felt wrong when I turned. I took it to the KIA dealership next morning and sure enough, the transmission is cracked. and the left wheel is warped, so dad called up the owner of the truck, got his insurance info(liberty mutual) and liberty mutual is paying for damages and a car rental, and they only deal with Enterprise.) So when we get to enterprise there is no rental car!!!! Dad is so mad, the national number did not confirm the reservation with Cedar. So no car, so we drive the Honda up to Provo (dad hates Provo) and we get a rental there. Fun story hugh?
   Dad has been working with Jim on an old antique truck that they went and got from Coleville yesterday, March 11th. We are going to stay over at Emily and Cole's tonight, go to their church tomorrow and then head on back down.
   Erin and I were able to visit Arda Fern Smith today. It was so good to talk with her. She is so great and such an inspiration of enduring to the end and being happy. She wrote us on our birthdays, wanted to give her a hug.
    Erin and I stayed at Jody's last night, no one was home, they were in Yellow Stone. That is what I call a true friend, someone who offers you their house when they are gone. She left me a thoughtful birthday gift for me as a welcoming present. Dad of course stayed at Jims.
    Erin suggests that I ponderize Doctrine and Covenants 81:6,7 So I will  And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father.
 Behold, and lo, these are the words of Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
So I will:) 

Grant Baldwin 3/14/201

11:55 AM (7 hours ago)
to me

This week my companion and I have been richly blessed. We get to see miracles every day and I feel so blessed to be able to see and testify that the Lord's hand is in every detail of our lives this week was weak one of the new transfer cycle in our mission! Fortunately my companion and I did not have any changes and we will both be in I XHU a T AN for one more transfer at least! We truly feel blessed. The work in our area is progressing and we feel that there is a great enthusiasm here.

This week we had the opportunity to travel to the capital several times. It was awesome to get out and about and see civilization again. We even try had the opportunity to go to Walmart. I have never felt so excited to go to Walmart in my entire life! But I will say that as soon as I had to wait in lines again the excitement was much longer than it was to begin with what a blessing.

This week we had the chance to return to an area called San Antonio and meet with one of our investigators named Marlon. Marlon  is a stud! He keeps surprising me every time. I have the opportunity to speak with him. He is truly to change you because he is immersing himself in the gospel of Jesus Christ and because he has a lot of desire to live by is concepts. After church yesterday, My companion and I joined up with members and did splits. We were able to cover almost all the parts at in our area. We had an amazing opportunity to meet in the house of another member that lives close to him. We spoke about the priesthood. Marlon and was very interested and became more excited about this next weekend and his baptismal service. We read section 121 of the D & C together at the end of the lesson. It was so amazing to see his reason to the scripture that talks about the reasons that how many are called but few are chosen. And that it really comes from what we desire in our hearts. Elder Dallin H Oaks said, "Our desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions",.and Marlon is preparing to receive the priesthood now because that is his desire.

Elder Baldwin

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

BALDWIN FAM ONLY POR FAVOR.-hey mom! today is a day of Cambios in our misión! or transfers. We have been doing great but we have been super busy! I do not have changes but we have been helping prepare for the transfers. also today we went to the capital early in the morning for a district p-day and we were left without much time. I am sorry that i cannot write much today. The good news is that we were able to go to walmart and stock up on some goods.
This week we held the first fast and testimony meeting ever in ixhuatan and had the amazing opportunity to confirm all 6 of the poepled that were baptised last week. We are loving our área and have been super blessed this past week. I am doing well. Thank you for your emails. I read and ponder them throughout the week! I hope that all is well at home. I also spoke with the misión offices this week and they informed me that your package had arrived with them. Thank you for that!

Happy Birthday MOM and DAD! I love you both! I am so grateful for all that you do for me and that You are both faithful to the covenants that you have made with God. I hope that you can celebrate as a family and make a home video of you all singing happy birthday! I miss that! Your gifts should be arriving next week. i will also be writing next week at 11 in the morning Guatemala time. just a heads up! Tell erin that i love her. does she have a drivers lisence?
love Elder baldwin

 Today it rained today, but I had the great big blue parka on and took a walk anyway. It was great to get out and walk.
     I gave the lesson today with the combined young women on Days for girls .org and the Hosanna shout.
     Days for girls is a nonprofit organization which empowers girls and is a tool for them to make their own feminine hygiene kits which they can wash and reuse. This keeps them in school which keeps them out of the poverty cycle. Our young women are going to cut out material for the kits. Then we will sew the kits in May which we will put together with the relief society and send off to women around the world.
      We are having a temple dedication on March 20th. We will repeat the Hosanna Shout together. I went over the history of the Hosanna Shout and what it means and when we use it today. 
Dad's birthday is tomorrow, (today Monday) you can wish him Happy birthday, he is 21, I mean 51! I know he is old.
       The Martinez family came and spent the night Saturday. They are in San Diego renting a beach house for the week. All of them were able to go, Jackson is on spring break. It was fun having them here. They will probably stay on the way back next Saturday. Speaking of Jackson, he is liking a girl who recently came home from a mission. Her last name is Tidwell, I knew her dad in high school, weird. They have been seeing each other every other day for the last 2 weeks....... 
       It was great to see Angela and friends baptism picture! Love it! You said you were going to write more about the other 2 families.......
    The scripture I ponderized this last week was Genisis 18:19 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
    The Lord knew Abraham and trusted him, that is what kind of missionary you are Grant, he trusts you.
 The scripture I have will be ponderizing this week is found in the lesson I am studying in Gospel principals: Lesson 9:Prophets of God  Doctine and Covents: 21:6, when we obey and are obedient, blessings poor down from heaven: For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.

Love you!Xxoxoxoxo💟