Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Fun

This week was really defined by preparing a couple of different investigators for their upcoming baptisms.  To start, Henry was interviewed a second time and was told that he can be baptized in three weeks which is following transfers.  There is a high chance that they will move me out and I won't get to see the baptism, but at least it is still going through.  We also got to do an interview for Taylie, and she is set to do her baptism in Saint George this coming weekend which is also awesome.  It has been fun to learn and grow with them and watch the Gospel come into their lives.

Along with teaching those two, we also taught several other people as well.  We got to teach a couple who had their records removed from the church who want to return.  During the lesson their mother who they were staying with told us she was listening and that she wants to join in on the discussions as well and that she has been searching for the truth.  It was definitely a miracle to see.  We also did a lot of contacting and trying to set up future lessons, as well as service at Saint Vinnies and the pig farm again where we had to herd a bunch of escaped pigs into their fenced off area due to a whole bunch of rain the day before that brought down one of the fences.

This week has also been fairly Halloween heavy as well as far as ward activities.  The first one happened on Thursday where the Elders quorum president tricked us into thinking we were coming for dinner but was instead a Halloween party where the entire quorum was present.  There were quite a few costumes and we got to stay for a little bit.  It was fun.  The next day was a ward trunk or treat where we got to say hi to a bunch of the members and have several non members that were at a nearby trunk or treat for another church think that we were dressing up as missionaries rather than actually being missionaries, which was funny.

Overall, that has been the week.  Due to transfers occurring next p day, there is a chance that I will not be able to write next week, but time will tell.  Until then, thank you for reading and for all of the support you all give!

Elder Baxter

Carlton and Elder Opper writing e-mails and goofing around.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Birthday on a Mission

This week has been an interesting week.  To start, my birthday was on Tuesday which meant that I got to open my birthday package from home and receive random calls from the mission presidency and mission office singing the happy birthday song. Most of the day was taken up by a lot of service at Saint Vincet's food kitchen, as well as working on a pig farm.  We also tracted after that and found a couple of potential investigators we will try to follow up on.  Finally, I also got a free dinner to Panda Express from the zone leaders.

On Wednesday Elder Borden and several other Elders came down for their temple trip and we got to catch up with them as well as have lunch with them.  It was a fun time.

The rest of the week was pretty regular, with us following up on appointments with people who didn't believe that we would come back.  We gave out a bunch of Book of Mormon's due to a mission wide challenge, and we met several more people through that.  We also got to start a steady string of lessons with Henry through the week that have gone very well, and give him the baptismal interview that he passed on Sunday.  Now the trick is just making sure everything continues to go smoothly.

There has been some tough things that happened.  We got dropped (over text) by Taylor, though we are hoping to try to get to talk to her one last time before she closes herself off.  We also had to drop several more people as well.  We also had to deal with some drama in setting up the baptisms for Taylie and Henry, though hopefully everything is good to go now.

Overall it was a pretty average week and there isn't anything to exciting to say, but as always, thanks for reading and for all of the support that you all give!

Elder Baxter

At the Medford Temple

Birthday Dinner

Stormtroopers and Sherlock

Carlton having fun

Even a 20 year old needs toys

The big 2-0!

Package from home!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Work Is Moving Forward

A couple weeks ago started with us baking chocolate cookies for our neighbors in our apartment complex.  We used it as a way to tract them and to just try to be good neighbors.  Overall it was fairly successful, where even if they didn't want to hear our message they still seemed to trust us and wouldn't mind asking us for help.  Beyond that the week got fairly messed up by major mission meetings that my companion had to go to due to him being a district leader.  I ended up being in a trio of other Elders whose companions also left for the meeting in Eugene.  We did a lot of service and tried to see some people, and had a fun time together.  Beyond that, I was also made the designated driver in a car share that we are in, which has been a good crash course for finding out how well I really know my area.

That week we also had a good ZTM that discussed how to improve our teaching, which was followed up with a lot of contacting of investigators who cancelled their lessons on us, which has been sort of frustrating.  The large event happened that Sunday though, when a former investigator named Henry called us and said he would be coming to church and wanted to meet with us to answer questions he had.  He did come to church and we committed him to pray about Joseph Smith in our first lesson, and he said he did so and felt the Spirit!  He wants to be baptized and we all felt like October 29th is the date to shoot for.  We meet with him often and he is very receptive and keeps and goes above all of the commitments we leave him.  He has a testimony of this church.

The past week has been a fairly regular week with a lot of contacting, tracting, and getting to lessons.  An obstacle we came across is a fellow missionary borrowing Elder Hoskins bike and breaking it by accident, which has forced us to walk everywhere when we do not have the car.  The other thing that has characterized the week has been a large increase in rain.  It has been raining constantly for three days straight,

Last Saturday was really good as well due to our temple trip.  We went to the nearby Medford temple and got to an endowment session which was good and uplifting.  It is probably the smallest temple I have been in, but it was still a very spiritual experience.  We then had our p day and then went to a special stake conference where Elder Christoffersen was speaking.  We got to bring Henry and sit right up front in a few reserved rows for investigators.  He discussed the importance of scripture study, and we got to shake his hand following the meeting.  Henry seemed to really like it and it was fun seeing just how happy he was to meet with all of us.  We then ran into him a second time in the hall by accident and got to shake his hand again.  Then on Sunday we got to see Elder Bennet of the Seventy speak.

Overall, the past couple weeks have been good and busy.  They have their ups and downs but the work is moving forward and it is fun to be apart of.

Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

Rain Is Falling All Around...

Medford Temple

How about a game?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Quick Note

So the email I am sending is going to be rather short.  We are going to the temple this coming Saturday as a zone, but because of that the mission president has decreed that our p day will be on Saturday as well so that the temple doesn't "interfere with proselyting time".  He only gave us permission to write one small email to explain this.  I will write this Saturday following the temple, but some highlights of the past week consisted of finding a lot more people, one of who might be baptized really really soon, and making chocolate rolo cookies as a tracting approach for our neighbors in our apartment complex.

Thanks for reading,
Elder Baxter

Man, I hate looking at pictures of myself.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Following the Spirit

This week has been the start of a new transfer and a new companionship with Elder Hoskins.  We are both fairly new missionaries trying to figure out how to best accomplish the work, and so far we have had a lot of fun together and work really well together.  The biggest difference between this week and the past two transfers has been a large increase in tracting, where we found five new investigators, but I will say more about that soon.

So the majority of this week has been characterized by introducing Elder Hoskins to the ward and showing him the area and the main families we work with.  During all of this we have done a lot more service, where we helped at the food kitchen in Saint Vincet DePaul's, fed pigs in a pig farm, and pulled weeds at a pear farm.  Following those service projects, as said, the main thing has been contacting and tracting.  Elder Hoskins loves to tract and he knows how to push to the very end, where the last door is the door that will answer and have an interest in us returning.  It has been good for me and it is nice to see how other missionaries do the work.

The big thing this past week has been General Conference.  We ended up watching General Conference at the Elders Quorum president's home (there name are the Foutz).  It was fun and I got a lot more out of conference this time than I have in the past.  One miracle that occurred during conference was in between the Saturday sessions, where we felt prompted to visit a less active family who lived really out of the way of where we were going.  We knocked on their door and nothing major happened, but as we knocked on the doors around the home we came across an older person who was very interested in asking us questions and wants us to come back.  It was an awesome experience that came from following the Spirit.

Following the Priesthood session we were able to attend an Elders Quorum activity where pizza was served, and then Sunday went fairly normally outside of watching the Conference sessions. Overall, it was a good week for seeing the area grow and I am excited to see what the coming transfer brings.

Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

 Introducing Elder Hoskins and Elder Baxter