Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas on a Mission

This week was my first Christmas on the mission!  It began pretty normally with trying to meet and contact various people.  Early in the week we managed to have a great lesson with Poppy where we talked about several of her concerns and how to help her move past them.  We also got to talk to a lot of less active families, as well as bake chocolate rolo cookies that we delivered to the people we met with on Christmas Eve.  The work itself was a bit more slow this week, but that was because of several reasons including a zone conference and Christmas.

On Thursday we had to wake up early and drive about one hundred miles down to Roseburg for a zone conference.  The meeting talked about subjects like the Priesthood, temple marriage, and several other things.  We then got to come back around seven pm, and the day was already done, which threw a dent into our plans.  On Christmas Eve we delivered all of the cookies that we baked as well as had a nice dinner with a family whose son is also on a mission.  We then went to the church and participated in a zone testimony meeting through Skype.

Christmas itself was awesome.  We woke up, opened up our packages and got to read all of the various letters we had.  We then went to church where the branch presidency forgot their program so they improvised the meeting for awhile.  The branch had fun with it, and it was a good meeting in the end.  We then got to Skype our families, have dinner with the branch president, named President Allen, and that was the end of the day.  Then this morning we got to watch Finding Dory for an approved Christmas movie.  It was fun to see and a nice change of pace.

It has been a good week and hopefully we can help make 2016 end in a bang.  Next year is the year that I will spend completely on a mission.  Thank you for all of the support and merry Christmas and have a happy new year!

Elder Baxter

Christmas Eve present

Carlton with his companion 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Six Month Mark

This week was the start of a new transfer, my six month mark, as well as my first week as a district leader in the OEM.  It began with a long ride back to Oakridge with Elder Cluff who is from Arizona.  When we arrived we spent some time talking, unpacking, and getting ready for the upcoming week.  The following Tuesday we helped Poppy put up some emergency insulation into her home.  Condensation had been forming inside her mobile home as well as cold, so she called us in to help put in insulation to prevent it.  It was itchy and took awhile, but it payed off and she was very happy at the end.  Then the following Wednesday we did some contacting and tracting, as well as help an investigator make the final move over to the Philippians.  We moved a whole bunch of boxes through slush, mud, snow, and rain, but she was also very happy at the end and said she would try to come into contact with the missionaries in the Philippians.

Thursday we did our weekly planning and had a pretty normal day.  The big day was on Friday where I got to conduct my first district meeting as district leader.  The district said that it went very well in the end, and the meeting was about how to best help resolve the concerns of investigators as well as having charity for everyone we meet.  We then came back to Oakridge following a zone lunch, did some work, and that was the day.  Saturday was an interesting day.  It began with a new district leader training where we had to Skype into the mission home with several other Elders.  We got to see the first twenty minutes, but then the spotty connection gave up and I was booted from the meeting.  The AP's then told me to have my zone leaders train me, one of them is a former AP.  We then gave random service to members who kept calling us up, tracted, and contacted. We also had our branch Christmas party, which was a lot smaller and simpler than what is done at home.  We got a small dinner of subway sandwiches and other various things and watched a movie named the Nativity.  It was a nice break from the usual. The following Sunday was pretty normal and not too much out of the normal happened.

The time is going fast and I am already a quarter finished with the mission.  Thank you for everything that you all have done and have a merry Christmas!

Elder Baxter

Along the river

Feeling Boxed In

Oh Christmas Tree


Monday, December 12, 2016


This week was the final week of the transfer.  The first part of the week was fairly uneventful, with a lot of lessons that fell through.  The biggest thing that happened is we helped an investigator prepare to move out to the Philippines, with the rest of the move happening the next week.  We also gave a priesthood blessing to Poppy following some trouble she has had recently.

The other large thing is that it snowed pretty hard the past week in Oakridge.  In the valley we got about two inches that melted fairly quickly, but in the outlying parts of the area there was about two feet of snow.  It has been nice seeing it again.  The large event that happened this week has been transfers though.  I will be staying in Oakridge as a district leader with Elder Cluff, while Elder Briceno will be going to an area named Florence on the coast.

The next few days have been spent trying to visit everyone we could so Elder Briceno could say goodbye, as well as packing.  Many of the people we have been teaching have been getting sick lately which made it fairly difficult, but it went well.  Then today we drove down to Eugene and went to the transfer spot.  I am currently stranded at a church building while I wait for the transfer van to drop off my next companion.  This Thursday will mark me being on the mission for six months, with Christmas being soon after.  Time is going fast but it has been fun.

Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

River by our apartment

Carlton and the River


Monday, December 5, 2016

A Lot of Teaching

The past week had a lot of teaching as well as two exchanges.  To start off, on Tuesday we got to help Poppy work on her home again by putting up tarps to shield her home from the rain, and then we got to see an new investigator we found last week.  We found that her husband had died earlier in the day, but she was completely at peace with it.  Not only that, she told us that she had read from the Book of Mormon and wanted us to come back to teach her more.  The peace that she had, because of the plan of salvation, was awesome.

On Wednesday, we did more contacting, and then on Thursday we got to go on exchange.  I went with Elder Baker who is one of the zone leaders. We went tracting and managed to find a new investigator, some potentials, as well as accidentally running into several less actives that were not on our area book.  The day was very busy, but we got to teach a lot and share the Light the World video with a bunch of people.  The following day we then had district meeting which was followed up with a second exchange with one of the Spanish Elders who just recently entered the mission.  We once again got to teach a bunch of people and found an investigator who dropped off the radar for a long time.

Finally on Saturday we had a simple lesson about faith with a thirteen year old and his mom, and then ended the exchanges.  We then tried to find some more people and then celebrated the end of the week at a local pizza place.  Then on Sunday we had a good church meeting which was followed up with a very unsuccessful tracting session and then getting to give a priesthood blessing to an investigator who has been going through very rough times.

It has been a very busy week but we have been blessed for it.  I look forward to entering the final week of the transfer and to see what will happen next.  Thanks for reading,

Elder Baxter

A pretty spot to take a picture for Mom

Rainy Days

Christmas time is here