Monday, September 26, 2016

Crazy Week

So this was a crazy week that put an interesting end to the transfer.  After P day was finished last Monday Elder Borden and I went on a chapel and temple grounds tour with Taylor, and in the middle of the tour the church fire alarm went off.  Some other missionaries left something they were heating up on the stove and it started to smoke, setting it off.  It worked out though because it led us to the temple where Taylor told us that she wants to go inside someday and become sealed to her daughter.

Tuesday was the most normal day.  We did our normal service at Saint Vincet DePaul's and followed up with some contacting of people.  We got to talk to the excommunicated member again and her family.  They all seemed fairly receptive to what was said, and want to talk to us again, which is awesome for the family.  The next major events happened on Wednesday, where we spent a large chunk of time helping out a homeless man who was part of a church who had stolen everything from him, and a fun lesson with Taylor again.  We had our ward mission leader over, Brother Dyer, and watched the Testaments with the family.  Their dog ended up being in labor and started to give birth half way through the movie, which derailed the rest of the night.  It was fun to see, and somehow by the end of the night Taylor said that she wanted to be baptized on November 19, despite all of the craziness going on.

On Thursday we did a lot of service for a bunch of different people, including feeding pigs on a pig farm and tearing out carpet for a recent convert.  On Friday we had a district meeting where the zone had fun "killing" one of the zone leaders who goes home tomorrow, and Saturday we went to a train park for a ward activity.  Several investigators came and it was fun.  We had a train ride, as well as a showing of a giant model of different scenes with trains.  We then showed up to a little boy's birthday party who asked us to shortly visit at the train park, and then we had dinner at a member's home who geeked out with me about vintage Star Wars action figures he collects.

Sunday was pretty normal outside of packing up for the coming transfer.  Elder Borden is going to an area called Bandon on the coast and I got a new companion named Elder Hoskins who is from California and is pretty laid back.  Overall it was a pretty crazy week and hopefully the coming week goes really well as well!

Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

With the Bakers and Taylor


Train model

With Stefano

With the ward mission leader
Brother Dyer


Monday, September 19, 2016

Teaching Opportunities

This week was characterized by several good teaching opportunities.  To start, this past Tuesday we got to teach a Filipino woman named Flor, who has a religion very similar to ours, and had a great discussion about the Gospel of Christ.  Following that, we came across a Jewish man who had talked to missionaries in the past and wanted to talk to us.  He has many different editions of the bible, has the Book of Mormon, reads Jesus the Christ, and is very knowledgeable about various religions.  We hope to talk to him further and see him progress in future meetings!  We also got to have dinner with the excommunicated member we have been meeting with and her family, and we were told this past Sunday that they want to see us again and return back to church.

On Wednesday we got to teach the Baker family with their girlfriend Taylor again and see Taylor say that she wants to be baptized.  The lesson was great and they were even discussing eternal marriage and going to the temple in the end, which was awesome.  We are going to get to go on a church and temple grounds tour with Taylor later today.  On Thursday we also had another lesson with the Lowder family and their daughter Taylie and got to teach the third lesson to their family. They are receptive and are asking questions and feeling the spirit come back into their lives.

On Friday we had a zone conference that more or less lasted the majority of the day.  The theme was the Holy Ghost and in the end I was asked to give a talk about it by the mission president.  I think that it went well.  Following that on Saturday we ran into a guy who was working in his yard.  His family came out and they wouldn't mind if we came back.  It has been a good week for finding. To cap off the email, we ended the week with dehorning a cow for a little bit of service as a zone for a member who was serving us breakfast on the farm.  There was a lot of chasing running away cows and trying to cover squirting blood from the removed horns.  Luckily I managed to stay out of the way of the blood.

It has been a busy week and we hope to end the last week of the transfer with a bang.  Thank you for reading,

Elder Baxter

Carlton with the Lowder Family

On the farm

Night in Oregon

Monday, September 12, 2016


Hey everyone, I hope that you are doing well.  Overall, this week had a lot of service and contacting.  The first three days were pretty normal, with us doing service at Saint Vincet Depaul's, helping serve homeless people.  We then got to talk to several less active members, help an investigator from another ward move, and talk to the excommunicated member again. We also got to teach Taylie, the girl who is currently on a baptismal date.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and got to make a fun puzzle of the plan as a teaching aid.   Beyond that, honestly, these three days were pretty hard to remember and blurred together.

On Friday we got to do a zone training meeting.  The meeting was good, we learned new pointers in how to effectively plan, and several other good things.  On Saturday we got to talk to a bible basher who was definitely not ready to hear the Gospel at this time, and do Stake Conference.  We were invited to attend the leadership session about missionary work, adult session, and the main session in the morning.  They were good meetings and we were able to feel the Spirit strongly.  Finally, we also spent a bit of time helping an investigator out with some personal challenges he has, which resulted in him taking us out to an all you can eat Chinese buffet today.

Overall, the past week blurred by and the time has been going fast.  Hopefully the next week we will be able to meet with more people and teach more lessons.

Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

One thing I forgot to mention is that we got to talk to people at a city wide garage sell on Friday.  There were hundreds of people, but no one was interested in listening to us.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Peace of Knowing

This week was characterized by working with members, service, and disappointing things happening to our investigators.  The stomach flu has been going around Medford, so all of our main teaching appointments fell through because of it.  None of the missionaries have gotten sick yet, but it has made coming in contact with the people we are trying to work with tough.

The first few days mainly consisted of trying to find indoor service and cleaning out the apartment because of smoke that got trapped in the valley from a nearby fire.  My companion suffered from a fairly bad headache on Monday because of the smoke, so we took it easy and talked to an investigator named Steffano for the evening.  The next day we did our usual morning service and then had a good talk with an excommunicated member.  She is very nice and has an extremely strong testimony, and should hopefully be coming back to the church soon.

On Wednesday we had an apartment inspection that went well, and on Thursday we removed four tree stumps for an investigator of nearby Sister missionaries.  We also had to wait through a car transfer the mission is doing.  We also got to talk to Taylor, an investigator we found from a less active family named the Bakers.  She went above and beyond the reading commitment we left her, was marking her Book of Mormon, and was even considering baptism at some point.

Saturday was characterized by meeting with several investigators that went missing for a while, less active families, and encouraging members to become involved in the missionary work.  We had a lot of good meetings and were able to find several families who want to return back to church in the near future.  We had lessons and meetings all day and things were going very well.

Unfortunately, on Sunday we found out that one investigator named Bonnie had passed away due to a blood clot that came from a broken leg.  She was very sweet and we know that she is accepting the Gospel in the Spirit World.  The Spirit was fairly strong the rest of that day.  It is wonderful to know the peace of knowing the plan of salvation.  Finally, today we had a zone barbecue to celebrate Labor Day.

It has been a crazy week and a lot has happened, but the work will continue to push along.  Thank you for reading, and sorry for the lack of pictures, more will come next week.

Elder Baxter