Monday, November 28, 2016


To start off, the beginning of the past week was fairly standard.  We did a lot of service for our investigator named Poppy, as well as trying to give her lessons.  We invited her to baptism, and she said she might when she has learned more, and we are very hopeful that she will say yes soon.  We also talked to another investigator named Chuck and helped him out from a really bad day. Plus we taught the final lesson to Dan, an investigator who is on date right now.  We managed to have a lot of lessons this past week which has been really nice and outside of the norm for Oakridge in the past, meaning the area has been improving lately.

The big event was on Thanksgiving though.  The day began with helping Poppy out and giving her a spiritual thought about being thankful to God.  We then had a dinner at two o'clock with a member's family named Jackson, which was very good.  We ate too much and got to talk to them for a while.  We then were told by them that another older lady wanted us to come by and have Thanksgiving dinner with her family as well.  We went on over and found out that the real reason they wanted us over was to reduce the leftovers they had, and neither of us were able to help out much on that problem.  We had a fun dinner with them, and then went home and did our weekly planning.

That following Friday we were told about the new Christmas initiative, Light the World, in district meeting, and then I got to go on exchange with a new missionary in Springfield named Elder Anderil. We rode the bus to a bunch of various places and got lost in the area because neither of us knew it that well.  We talked to a couple of Jehovah Witness missionaries and several of Elder Anderil's investigators over there.  We then switched back the following Saturday at noon.  Beyond that, there isn't too much more to say other than the holidays are coming up and our mission president is going to have us heavily use the Christmas initiative made by the church for tracting and contacting.

Thank you for all of the support and help.  I hope you all have a great holiday season,

Elder Baxter

On splits with Elder Anderil

Out and about

Now that is some cool woodworking

Monday, November 21, 2016

Seeing It All Come Together

Another P day has arrived which means we are now in the week of Thanksgiving.  Following the Specialized training and P day of last week, we did a lot of the same kind of things we were doing the week before.  We helped out an investigator named Poppy place insulation on her roof due to an emergency condensation problem she had from her heater.  We also helped another investigator dissemble a large table and other various things for a move coming up for her as well.  Poppy ultimately came to church on Sunday and said that sacrament meeting answered many of the problems she was having and had a great experience.

The rest of the week was a lot of contacting.  We tried visiting a whole bunch of less active families and got different degrees of success.  Every other day we would get into several homes and have great discussions with them, while on the other days every door would reject us and lessons would fall through.  We also caught a slight cold which made working fairly difficult, but we kept on going.  One big event that occurred though happened on Saturday.  Henry from my previous area got baptized and I was allowed to make one short Skype call to him and my previous companion who was still there.  In the call I saw our recent convert Taylie and her family, as well as Henry talking about how he felt different and happier.  It was a nice way to see all the work that I and other Elders did in Medford come together.  We then visited an investigator named Chuck who has been going through an incredibly tough time lately and help him out and share hope through the plan of salvation.  It was a solemn, but strong spiritual experience.

The work in Oakridge is starting to pick up and things are moving forward.  With Thanksgiving this week, it will be interesting to see how the week pans out.  Thanks for reading and all the support,

Elder Baxter

Inside the apartment

Outside the apartment

Rainy Day

Waiting on laundry

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Welcome To Oakridge

This was my first week officially outside of Medford, and it has been a large change from what I was doing before.  All day Monday was spent riding the transfer van up to Eugene where I met my new companion, Elder Briceno, and then we took another hour long ride to our area, Oakridge.  Oakridge is a small town of three thousand people, along with an even smaller town near that called Westfur.  It is located in the middle of the mountains in a forest next to a river.  The area is very beautiful and is what I imagined Oregon to be like when I entered the mission.  The branch has about twenty to thirty active members, with a huge amount of less active members.

My first real day in Oakridge was spent meeting several of our investigators and helping them out.  We first met a woman named Poppy who we did service for by preparing her home against all of the rain that started this weekend.  We then had lunch with another investigator named Mitzi who has traveled the world, and then met several other people.  On Wednesday and Thursday, we had a bunch of miscellaneous meetings and lessons with people, as well as trying to visit some of the less active members and see how we could help them come to church.  On Friday we had our district meeting where we got to travel a hour down to Springfield.  We also continued to meet with several people that night.

On Saturday we had personal interviews with President Russell that went well, and were then followed up with helping Poppy prepare a little bit further, and struggling to find people to visit in the dark.  On Sunday we had church where we got to participate in the primary program by giving short two minute talks as well as singing with the kids "I hope they call me on a mission".  Finally, yesterday we had a mission meeting called specialized training.  We met with another zone and I got to see several of the other Elders I came out with, and then had a large meeting about finding and other various subjects.  Following the meeting, we came back and tried contacting in heavy rain while it was dark.  Not many people wanted to meet with us, but we did have one miracle happen.  As we were contacting, we had a good feeling about one house where a young man named Cash let us straight in and teach him about the Book of Mormon.  He is an inactive member who has gone off the radar for years, but now he wants to learn more about the church again which is awesome.

Overall it has been a pretty busy week with a lot of introductions and trying to learn the new area, but I am excited for the potential that is here.

Until then, thanks for reading!
Elder Baxter

Carlton with Elder Briceno

At the Branch Meeting House

Monday, November 7, 2016

Goodbye to Medford

This past week was my final week in the Medford third ward.  To start this past week for Halloween we had to go to the apartment early where Elder Hoskins and I spent time playing card games among other things.  On Tuesday we got to serve at the Saint Vincet food kitchen and pig farm again. During all of this we got to witness one of the Spanish elders burn his suit in celebration of completing his mission.  I have seen him several times every week and it is a bit strange to see someone I know fairly well already leaving.  We then had a lesson with the Devenport Family and that was the day.

The following few days were pretty regular and there is not too much to say.  We did have another lesson with the Blankswade's which went well and we got to try to contact quite a few people.  This Saturday we did have a baptism where Taylie got baptized in Utah.  While we didn't get to see it, Taylie marks the first baptism I will have had while on the mission, with Henry being currently scheduled for baptism on the 19th of November.

Saturday was mainly dominated by the transfer news.  Elder Hoskins will stay here while I will go up to the Springfield stake by Eugene and go to the Oakridge branch with Elder Briceno.  I am sad to be leaving all the people I met here, but the future is also exciting as well.  The rest of Saturday and Sunday were then filled with saying good byes as well as packing.  On Sunday I also had the chance to bear one last testimony to the ward and teach the Gospel Principles class about the Spirit World. Whatever the future holds, I look forward to taking it head on and to continue to learn and grow in the Gospel and to help others do the same.

Thank you for reading,
Elder Baxter

Saying Goodbye...


So Long...

Take Care...


Until We Meet Again!

Halloween Fun

What happens when you have to be in early.

Happy Halloween

Don't move or the pumpkin gets it!