Monday, July 25, 2016

What Makes Missions Fun

This past week was a fairly normal week as far as how the missionary work went.  For the most part, the days were spent tracting and contacting people in the homes near our apartment.  There are a lot of people that are fairly difficult to reach without a car, but so far we are managing.  While tracting, we met a truck driver and a home full of people who are attempting to recover from addictions who wouldn't mind talking with the missionaries in the future.

One of the most interesting things that I have learned in Oregon is that people act however they want to here.  Due to the liberal nature of the state, we will see a lot of people who are obviously high doing funny things like taking pictures of the sky all day or screaming gibberish from car.  But that is what makes the mission fun, there is always some new adventure that we will inevitably run into.  The people who do listen to the missionary messages are very awesome though, and those who don't listen usually have a high opinion of missionaries and what we are trying to do.

The largest events this past week were more lessons with Chris, where we committed him to live the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chasity, along with attempting to teach about the Plan of Salvation to him, though we will probably need to go over a lot of stuff to better help him understand what we believe.  I also got to go on an exchange with another missionary named Elder Garrard.  It was a fun time.

Beyond that, the other highlights was the Spanish Elders, Elder Ellis and Greer, taking us to a driving range earlier today for P-day, and a lot of bike repairs.  Overall, the work is going fairly well and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here!

Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

An old fashioned plane the stake patriarch is building that he showed us when we ate at his house.

So I did get the bike fixed, we just patched the tube and everything was fine.  The funny part is that I went on exchanges with another elder this past week and I popped his companion's bike tire, ha ha.  I think I just have horrible bike luck, though we got it fixed before the other elder came back. 


The Medford Temple which is located next door to the Stake center.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Meeting People

This was an interesting week where a lot of things occurred.  The first few days consisted of a lot of tracting and trying our best to find new people to teach, as well as meeting and building bonds with the members.  That Wednesday though, my companion, Elder Borden (who is the new district leader), had to go to a district leader training, meaning that I got to be with two other elders for most of the day.  During that time, I got to see them go to a non members house and commit someone to baptism which was awesome, and do service by attempting to move a 600 - 1000 pound rock.

The next day was a mission wide training, which once again meant that I was left with another companion in a different area.  We did tracting and service for an old woman who was married to a famous baseball player.  She showed us her husband's wall of fame so to speak.  We also talked with one of our investigators who came and told us he wants to be baptized.  His name is Chris and he is a nice guy.

Beyond that, the week was spent trying our best to figure out how we could try to find more people who would be willing to listen to the Lord's message.  We also went biking out to the furthest edges of our area where my bike tire went completely flat.

Overall, it was a good, interesting week where I got to see how other missionaries operate and try to better understand the kind of missionary I want to be.

Thanks for reading,
Elder Baxter

Monday, July 11, 2016

A lot has happened!

A lot has happened since I last got to write one of these letters.

Starting off, the end of the MTC came with around four devotionals, with in two days, which were nice but also fairly long and tiring.  Beyond that, the days consisted of saying several good byes to the other elders and sisters in my district.  We celebrated International Freedom Day at the MTC on July 2nd, which is a politically correct way of saying we celebrated the 4th of July.  That consisted of a devotional and watching stadium of fire fireworks that were mostly covered by a building.

The day we left consisted of a bus to the frontrunner, followed by trax and the airplane ride to Eugene Oregon.  We then did training with the president, had a nice dinner, and then did some tracting with other elders.  The following day we were given further training, and were split up into our companionships and zones.  I am with Elder Borden who is from Hawaii and we are in the Central Point area, which is near Medford.

The next several days consisted of preparing for average days in the mission and saying hi to the ward mission leader, bishop, elders quorum president, and many other elders and people.  We also spent a large amount of time putting our bikes together due to our car in the zone being taken away this transfer.  Beyond that, this P-day consisted of a service project of helping a member move, followed by lunch and writing this email.

A lot has happened and I don't have a lot of time to write, so if any of  you have questions, please feel free to ask!

Thanks for all of the support and love,

Elder Baxter


Provo Temple

Provo Temple

Last Picture in Utah

Elder Borden and Baxter

With President and Sister Russell


His new room

and desk

Elder Borden and Baxter

[Editor note:  I don't know how to make the vertical pictures go the right way.  Sorry]

Friday, July 1, 2016

Average Week at the MTC

So this week was my last average week at the MTC.  For the most part, it consisted of a lot of class time where we talked about how to teach the plan of salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Commandments, and a couple of other more minor things.  We also got to teach a couple of new TRC investigators named Sydney and Geoffrey.  Sydney actually committed to baptism and Geoffrey said he would do so once he talked to his wife.  The spirit has been really strong in their lessons and it has been really good.

Beyond teaching, we also got to go to two devotionals the past week which discussed mission stress each time.  They were pretty good and it was fun to hear the speakers stories.  The major event this past week was when we got to do in field orientation which consisted of nine hours of presentations and role plays.  It didn't teach too much we didn't already know, but it helped us feel a bit better about how we will do when we get into the mission field.

Overall, not to much out of the ordinary happened this week, though next week I will finally be able to go to the mission field and start having real stories to tell everyone reading this.  The MTC has been a great experience and I have learned a lot from the spirit about how to become the kind of missionary the Lord wants me to be.

Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

P.S.   I didn't get a computer that sends pictures this week, but I will make sure to send a lot more when I can.  The MTC is really crowded and the good computers are always being used by others.

Yes, I am taking pictures.  Its just there wasn't a whole lot I could take pictures of this week.