Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hey Baldwin Family!

So this week has been Awesome! We have been working really hard and the Lord has been Blessing us in so many ways! When I Got here in the Villa last week we went to go visit an investigator named Erica! She is an older contact that had come to a General conference session back in October and whose mom was baptized about 20 years ago, but has since fallen away from activity in the Church. She has been progressing super quickly and keeping all of the commitments that we have been leaving with her. She is a young single mom and the gospel has truly been blessing her life and picking her up out of tough situations.When we first visited her we taught the importance of sincere prayer and challenged her to pray. When we visited 2 days later she told us that she had received and answer to her prayers! It was a miracle and since then she and her two sisters have been progressing towards baptism and her mother is starting to become active again in the gospel. Erica is going to be baptized tomorrow evening!  

Working in the office is actually pretty strange adjustment but everything has been working out great! I love It! I know all of the missionaries ( their are 4) and is humbling to see all that goes into seeing how a mission runs. Thanksgiving this week was just another normal day! We didn't have much time to celebrate, but My companion elder Burns and I ordered KFC mashed potatoes in an attempt to celebrate a little! 

Elder Baldwin
🍁Thanks giving was great! We had Cole and Emily here at our house. They came Thursday morning, we baked all day ----I brined the turkey, soaking it overnight in spices and salt and then roasted it for 3 1/2 hours, perfect! We have left over for days. During dinner we toasted to things we were thankful for, it was quite comical, we laughed through most of it. The next day Cole, Erin and dad went Elk hunting in Hamblin valley waking up at 3:00am. Emily was going to go, I know crazy/surprisingly but, she has stitches/minor surgery and would not be able to walk around much. The surgery was taking out growths on from her backside to make sure they are benign. Speaking of benign growths, I am scheduled for another biopsy on Dec. 6th for my thyroid, I have more growth on it and the doctor just wants to make sure there is no cancer.

Yesterday, Friday evening all of us went as a family to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! Yeah we went as a family as you commended us to do😉.  We were able to take some family names from our fan on Grandma Barlow's line. Later we watched 13 hours, the movie on Benghazi with a cool new app called Vid angel--that filters anything you want to filter and for 2.00 and we watch it on apple T.V. We buy the movie through Itunes for 20.00 and then sell it back for 18.00 if we do this within 24 hours, it is only 2.00, cool Hugh?

Were you able to have a Thanksgiving dinner at the mission home on Thursday?

Grant, your letter writing has been great, do not feel pressure about writing or writing longer letters, you are busy, no worries. A paragraph or 2 is great. I love your voice messages, so relax---relajahte! I signed up for dual lingo, and started practicing Spanish. I have students whose parents only speak Spanish, I am so frustrated that I have to have a translator when I have meetings with them or when I want to call them. My goal is to be able to speak basic Spanish with them. You are so blessed to be able to speak fluently on your mission!!!!! what a great life long gift!!!!!

Cara, Erin the missionaries and others went to the visitors center last night also. The missionaries are planning on going to Cara's house on Sunday, tomorrow,  in order to resolve/soften hearts of Jennifer, Cara's mom. Cara is still needing permission to be baptized. Erin and I are going to fast tomorrow that the Persson's hearts will be softened.

Love you!!!!!! It was so great that you were able to talk to dad this week!!!! I am jealous!!! He says you sound great! We will send the drivers info as soon as we receive it.

Love, you! xxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoo

Saturday, November 19, 2016

This week has been really good! we have been working really hard. This week we had transfers and so I woke up very early and left Jutiapa around 3 in the morning on Monday! After a few hour bus ride and a taxi ride we got to the chapel in Montufer in Guatemala. After that I got a clip board (which is pretty official) and we organized all the taxis for Our mission for the next day! My new companions name is Elder Burns. He is from Highland Utah and he is A stud! He is my first Companion from the United States and we are really hitting it off! My new area is called the Villa. Its very modern and has a lot of commercial businesses. This week I have been getting to know our area and we have be working hard. We are teaching a young family right now who are doing great! The kids names are Erica, Stella, and Jasmine. They are doing good! We challenged them to be baptized this next week! Things are busy and we are doing great! I love you guys and I hope that you have a great week!


This was sent to us last week:) you are official now. I hope hope you are enjoying your transfer. You sounded a little melancholy; it would be hard to leave your people. Many are close to baptism and you have developed ties with such great people, but you mentioned you might be able to attend their baptisms right?

I am excited to have you in the mission home! From a mother;s perspective, I see my son under the care of many mothers at the mission home, especially around the holidays 😉.
As you mentioned, you will also have access to more advanced computers in order to work on school stuff if time permits. Writing essays down, taking a picture, us editing and pasting and then sending off; I still think will be the best bet for you though.

We have only 2 days of school left and then we have Thanksgiving break. 🦃! We are staying at home for Thanksgiving. I have pre-ordered a 16 pound turkey and I have purchased some secret brine recipe from Cracker Barrell. I even have some pumpkin salt and pepper shakers and a turkey platter, all ordered from of course, (not the Turkey-but it could be....) Cole and Emily are coming down. Erin and dad will probably go Elk hunting Wednesday. Possibly Cole, dad, Erin and Emily might go Friday! if Emily goes, I might go, we will see. I really want us to go to the temple and do baptisms like you have suggested we do. We still have not gone as a family; it is one of my goals. I went to the temple twice this week. On Wednesday, I met Madlyn Haws. Her and I are achievement day leaders for the 8-11 year old girls.

Love you!!!!!xxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo💟💟💟💟

Dear Baldwin Family,

It is with pleasure that we inform you that your son, Elder Baldwin, has accepted a call to serve as a Financial Secretary here in the Guatemala City South Mission. We have implicit confidence in him and trust the Lord will bless and sustain him in his new assignment.
As you are well aware, proselyting is the main focus of our work here, but for the work to progress well, there is a great need for a support team so that the missionaries can focus on their assignments in their areas.  Therefore, your son will work closely with me in coordinating the affairs of the mission.  I place great confidence in your son by extending this call from the Lord.  He will continue to proselyte in the evenings in his assigned area, however the great work he will perform in the office will bring countless blessings to the people of Guatemala.  He will come to realize that all things are spiritual before the Lord, that he will have the same spiritual experiences here in the office as he has had in the field.  Through his example, he will lead and motivate others to ''serve with all their heart, might, mind, and strength''  (D&C 4:2)."
You have raised an obedient young man.  No doubt he will represent the Lord with dignity, love, and devotion as an Executive Secretary in this marvelous work.
 Sincerely yours,
 E.J. Caffaro
Mission President

Monday, November 14, 2016

When I listened to your voicemail (over and over) I am so warmed by your conversion and I am grateful that you asked us to write about our conversion because I have been pondering over it all week. My testimony, my conversion, when did it happen. We sent our testimonies to you at the beginning of your mission, specifically our feelings of the Book of Mormon with our picture of our family. By the way do you still have them? you can put them in your book of Mormon's.

When did I first have a testimony? I really cannot pinpoint it. I feel as President Hunter did when he told of the beginnings of his testimony happened at his mother's knee learning to pray. I started writing in a journal at age 10. I wrote down my feelings about Heavenly Father and Jesus. At age 12 I read the Book of Mormon and felt that it was true. As I went to church, I felt the spirit especially when we sang the hymns, the feelings of the spirit were and are especially strong when I sing hymns. So my simple testimony-trusting faith​​​​​/conviction grew as I struggled through some doubt and conflict into my conversion where I believe I have a now have a solid conviction that Heavenly father lives, I am his daughter, I have a faith in the eternal plan of happiness and that this life is temporary and we can live together with Heavenly father again. This conversion began when I struggled before my mission, on my mission, after my mission, as I went to the temple, as I had you, Cole, and Erin. So it began when I was 18, before then I had a simple testimony.

I loved what President Hunter(this is in the priesthood and relief society manual for this year "Teaching of the Presidents of the church" chapter 21) said about testimony: Thomas was not willing to stand on faith."He wanted positive evidence of the facts. He wanted knowledge, not faith. Knowledge is related to the past because our experiences of the past are those things which give us knowledge, but faith is related to the future-the unknown where we have not yet walked. Thomas had lost his confidence in the future. He looked to the past. He wanted proof of that which was not then visible. Those who lack faith, live in the past-there is loss of hope for the future. To believe is to see." I have faith that there will be a second coming, that the New Jerusalem will be built--I want to be apart of it so I am acting- going to the temple weekly, saying my prayers daily, trying to serve people every day-not complain/murmuring, reading the scriptures,--so my conversion is on going. I do have an abiding faith that I try to put to action.

As I read what Elder Bednar says about testimony and conversion.

Testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation. A testimony is a gift from God and is available to all of His children. Any honest seeker of truth can obtain a testimony by exercising the necessary “particle of faith” in Jesus Christ to “experiment upon” (Alma 32:27) and “try the virtue of the word” (Alma 31:5), to yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” (Mosiah 3:19), and to awaken unto God (see Alma 5:7). Testimony brings increased personal accountability and is a source of purpose, assurance, and joy.
Fundamental components of a testimony are knowing that Heavenly Father lives and loves us, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that the fullness of the gospel has been restored to the earth in these latter days. 
 converting and sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost and his obligation to serve faithfully.
       The essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through the Savior’s Atonement. True conversion brings a change in one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God (see Acts 3:193 Nephi 9:20) and includes a conscious commitment to become a disciple of Christ.  I do not think I am converted yet--I am on the path, but I do not have a permanent change and I am still trying to conform to his will.
Conversion is an enlarging, a deepening, and a broadening of the undergoing base of testimony. It is the result of revelation from God, accompanied by individual repentance, obedience, and diligence. Any honest seeker of truth can become converted by experiencing the mighty change of heart and being spiritually born of God (see Alma 5:12–14). As we honor the ordinances and covenants of salvation and exaltation (see D&C 20:25), “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ” (2 Nephi 31:20), and endure in faith to the end (see D&C 14:7), we become new creatures in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Conversion is an offering of self, of love, and of loyalty we give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony.  I am trying to do this. I do not feel I am a new creature, trying to be but not there.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Baldwin Family,

This week has been a great week! We have been very blessed. My companion and I have have been very amazed and all the blessings that we have been receiving and the miracles that we have seen. This week we decided to follow a special initiative in our missio: to focus on finding families to teach. This week we made plans  with some of the members in our ward including the stake president, bishopric and other ward leaders to share a program called nunca voy solo or never go alone. In nunca voy solo we give a list to each family that has room to write 36 names. We ask them to fill the 36 lugares with names of any family member, friend, or acquaintance. We then invite them to put the list on their fridge or in a visible place so that they can see it often. We leave with an invitation to the family that they pray each day to determine whom on the list that the would like to rescue. Once they have received that revelation, we invite them to pass by, present themselves, and to preach the gospel by giving them an invitation to the gospel. This week we found the Famila ramos, the Familia Lopez, the Familia Chacon and several others that are progressing amazingly! They were all able to come to the church this week and we are excited for each of them! This coming week we are working hard to help them become committed to their baptismal dates later in this month. I am doing well and we are so very blessed! Thank you so much for each of you prayers and all that you do for me. Please apply nunca voy solo in our family. Make a list and pray for the people on that list. The lord will reveal those who are prepared and you along with the missionaries can help them! 

I love you all! have a great week!
Elder Baldwin
Dear Grant,🍁🍁🏵🍁🏵🍁🍁

We had a great Fast and testimony today, there were people lined up on the stands until the very end to bear their testimonies. I especially enjoyed the 2 children--one was under eight and the other around 8. Their testimonies are so pure. I was going to get up and specifically express my gratitude for the blessing of the commandments and how I know the word of wisdom is from Heavenly Father. Yesterday I took a supplement that was antioxidant, fat burning, and had 180mg of caffeine. When I saw how much daffiness, I knew that I shouldn't have taken it, but did anyway, wanting the benefits of the other ingredients. I paid for it, it made me sick and dizzy the whole day. 

I love the month of November! It is so cozy and peaceful to me. 

I also loved reading a conference talk by Elder Oaks on the 3 simple things all members can do to spread the good news of the gospel. I love this talk and his style of writing. 1 was pray for desire, 2 was keep the commandments and 3 was pray for ways that I can invite others to hear the message of the gospel. I love this; inviting is something I have total control over, it is all up to me, I either do it or not. I can set goals that I can solely achieve independent of anyone else.

I love hearing your voice every week. It is great that you were so tired last week, it is rewarding and it makes the time march along that much more. Hope you enjoy our voice message. We have the missionaries tonight. I thought we all would say-"hi" I especially like our Elder from North Carolina--when he speaks, he reminds me of you in some ways; in the past I would start to get emotional and start to cry, but lately I am holding it together.

Know we pray for you daily and our thoughts and hearts are with you always. Also we can have the ministering of angels, the people that we do work for in the temple, especially our ancestors, they will assist us and you. This is very comforting as I go through and do their work for them.

Did you get to eat some bread from the dead on Halloween last Monday? where in Jutiapia are you exactly near what city? are you on the border of  El Salvador, near the sea, or at the top.

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