Monday, August 14, 2017

Port Orford

Hello Everyone,

This past week was unique in the aspect that we finally found a way to make it to the second half of our area in Port Orford.  Port Orford is a small town of one and a half thousand who live about thirty miles south of Bandon, and it is surrounded by beautiful beaches, as well as Cape Blanco, which is the furthest traversable point on the American west coast.  We saw that we were going to land far under miles this month for our Chevy Cruz, so we went on down Friday and Saturday starting with the Branch President.  He was very nice and he gave us a few names to other members,who gave us further referrals until we ended up more or less visiting the entire active branch.  It was neat to see how that tiny branch operates as well as see an intense missionary spirit that was had among the members.

Teaching wise, we had several great experiences.  To start, while down in Port Orford we got to visit a man who has fallen into inactivity.  At first he was angry, but as we talked to him the anger quickly left, which led to a discussion where he admitted that he still believes in the Gospel.  It was great to see the Spirit work on him in a way that made him go from anger to wanting us to come back and teach his whole family, some of whom are not members.  The branch mission leader down there also helped out.  While trying to correlate with him, he decided the best thing he could do was take us straight to those he was going to refer.  This led to him introducing us to several people who are interested as well as giving me a great example of the kind of member missionary I hope to be.

We also met with Nancy again this week.  She had her grandchildren over as well as her daughter.  It was a chaotic lesson, but great to see how her entire family is supporting her in this change.  Every time we talk she points out the increased miracles she sees in her life and it has been awesome.  Then on Sunday we got to meet another investigator named David in a cranberry bog farm.  We got talking and he was super sincere and had true intent in the questions he was asking us.  In the end  he told us that he had learned a lot and it was a great lesson about enduring to the end.

Overall it has been a great week and will be awesome to see what follows.  Thanks for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

Lighthouse 

Name Tags


Monday, August 7, 2017

Be Well Prepared

Hello Everyone,

This past week we have had a couple miracles.  To start, this past Thursday we had two great lessons.  One was with a Jehovah Witness who ended up asking us a lot of questions.  The great part is that she really is interested in learning about our church.  While talking we had the chance to really show the extreme importance of the Book of Mormon and explain the importance of temples.  She seems to understand, and while we have a lot to work through going into the future, it will be a worthwhile ride.  One thing is for sure, she definitely has the ability to make sure that I know my scriptures well and that we need to be well prepared.

We also got to teach Nancy again.  All day she kept texting us asking interesting questions and telling us that she had a story she wanted to tell us.  As we went over she explained that the previous Sunday during the sacrament she prayed and asked if the Book of Mormon was true.  As she did that, she went to open the book and it fell straight to a verse in 2 Nephi 30: 6 that the Spirit was able to testify strongly of to her.  She is now learning so much so fast.  We put her on date, but if I had to guess she will be baptized long before that date with how well she is doing.  It is these kind of moments that really define a mission.

We also had exchanges with the zone leaders.  It was a good time and we had a knack to keep running into people who were willing to talk too us.  One thing I have learned is that if we get into a home of an older person is to be prepared to hear a life story, but it has been fun getting to learn from and see the Spirit work on these people before we even first meet them.  At the end of the exchange we had interviews with President Orton that went well.

It has been a great, Spirit led time out here.  Miracles are happening and I look forward to continuing to see how the work of the Lord moves forward.  Thank you for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

On splits with Elder Terry

Monday, July 31, 2017

Doing The Small Things

Hello everyone,

This week was another good week of missionary work out here in Bandon.  Overall, a lot has been the same kind of thing, as we go out and try to contact various people, as well as tract.  To start, on Wednesday evening, we were going out trying to have lessons and visit a few people, but over the course of the evening every door closed literally and figuratively until all we had left was a small street we thought we would try to tract.  As we drove down the street I felt prompted to start on a specific side, and it turned out that the very first door opened and was willing to talk.  We met a man who was sincerely looking for a religion that would fulfill his spiritual needs better than the one he was attending, and as we talked we gave him an interest and hope in ours, saying that he didn't believe it was a coincidence that we came when we did.  He still needs to get a go ahead with his wife before he lets us come over, but if all works this man will be taught very soon.  It was an amazing experience.

We also met with various less active members this week that Elder Pierce was able to connect with very well due to his military background.  We have met several Vietnam veterans, including a guy from the 101st Airborne Division for those history buffs out there.  Not all of them accepted, but there are now several families that want us to come by, have dinner, and teach them when they can make their schedules align.  It should be a good when the time comes.  We are trying hard to do this in order to help our branch president in his goal to get ten Melchizedek Priesthood holders reactivated in order to get closer to having this branch become a ward.  Our approach has been mainly focused on showing how doing the small things allows us to truly live the two great commandments, thus making God a larger role in their life.

It has been a good week and the coming week is looking promising as well.  Interviews with President Orton are coming, as well as an exchange with the Zone Leaders on Friday.  Miracles are happening and the work is moving forward.  Thank you for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

At the Beach

With the Bandon Lighthouse

Monday, July 24, 2017

Miracle

Hello everyone,

I would describe this past week with the word "miracle".  With all that has been happening at home which I am sure many of you have heard about, it has been amazing to see the Lord's tender mercies come in many various forms.  I am also now with Elder Pierce who is a great missionary and we have been having a great time so far.  Rather than go through the whole week I will describe just a couple of experiences.

On Thursday following dinner I felt impressed to go down a specific road to visit a potential investigator family.  On the way a man in a truck stopped and asked if we wanted a ride.  We didn't but we did get to talk.  The Spirit worked on him to tell us that he was actually an inactive member and explained his whole story about how he felt forced into the church.  This led to us being able to share a powerful testimony about how now he has the chance to choose for himself to join the church, and he can do that by reading the Book of Mormon.  In the end he said that he didn't know why he felt prompted to stop, but that we gave him the best reason he has yet been offered to read the Book of Mormon.  He then accepted a copy, had us sign and put our emails into it, and then promised in a sincere way that he will read it.  He is a tourist and we won't see him again in all probability, but it was an amazing experience.

Another experience like this happened again on Sunday.  It was very windy and our moral was fairly low, but we went out anyway not knowing quite sure of what we were going to do.  We ran into a couple near the church whose car had died on them. At first they acted weird towards us, but over time they softened up, talked about how they always loved the people they see in our church, found ways we connected to them personally, and said that they want a church that expects people to actually change and repent.  I think that we can answer that request. In the end they made us promise to drop by their home this upcoming week and we are super excited to go on over.

These kind of experiences are just a taste of what true missionary work is like.  Often times the Lord will put people in our way who are ready, we just need the faith to go out and work.  As long as we rely on the Lord and not our own wisdom, new paths open up and the work of the Lord progresses, not just for others but for ourselves as well. This is why it is important to always fulfill your callings,
especially home teaching.  In the end it all leads to the same source and that source is what grants to us Salvation.  Thank you for all of the support and love,

Elder Baxter

With Elder Pierce

Circles in the Sand

Monday, July 17, 2017

Simple Teaching Moments

Hello everyone,

This email will be a little shorter due to how transfers went today, but the past week has been good. The real highlights of the week came from simple teaching moments.  To start, on Wednesday we taught a young mom with her kids listening in from a different room.  When we first entered the house, our initial thoughts were that this wasn't going to go well, but over the course of teaching the Spirit really worked on her.  It was amazing to us to as the Spirit also showed us what Heavenly Father thought of them as well.  By the end they accepted a soft baptism invite and it was awesome to see.

We also taught several other people as well.  The focus ended up being the Restoration as well as baptism.  It is truly a blessing to see how the Gospel can influence everyone for good, regardless of who they are.  I will go into a little more detail next week.

Today was transfers and I am staying in Bandon.  My new companion is Elder Pierce and I had to go on into Roseburg to pick him up which is why I am out of time.  It should be a good week and thank you for all for the support!

Elder Baxter

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mission Adventures

Hello everyone,

It was a busy week the past week.  To start, Tuesday was chaotic across the city of Bandon for the Fourth of July.  Everyone who lives here left, and everyone else from Oregon came here, making for large crowds of tourists passing through the town.  The morning started with attempting to talk to people at a parade, but we came twenty minutes late and it lasted for only fifteen minutes, so we completely missed it.  While we were there though, we came across the bishop of one of Elder Bushman's old wards.  He invited us over for dinner and gave a couple referrals which was awesome. Continuing through the day we ended up walking through most of the city of Bandon meeting various members from around the state as well as from Utah.  We then had two lessons with recent converts, and then ended up having two BBQ dinners.  Life is very interesting food wise as a missionary I have to say!  That night we then watched the fireworks from our apartment.

On Wednesday we had an exchange with the zone leaders.  I was with Elder Terry who has been in my previous zones, and we had an interesting experience.  We decided to go tracting, and the very first door we knocked on we talked to a guy who went from "not interested" to "I guess I would have to read that book of yours," while talking to him.  He then asked us to help him with a project where we would help him put up a fence.  We said yes, but did not realize how big the project was.  We came to the spot and it turned out he was splitting apart full tree trunks for the posts, and was using hydraulic machinery to dig holes and move the trunks around.  We helped out the best we could and in the end he said that he had massive respect for us.  It was a cool, but unusual door we knocked on for sure.  After that we switched back to our normal companions again for a hour.  While the zone leaders were doing their thing, my companion was driving and ended up accidentally cutting someone off.  That resulted into a chase where the guy pursued us for a couple miles around empty city streets until we finally lost him.  Wednesday definitely had a few adventures.

Thursday we got to meet President Orton.  We ended up doing a question and answer kind of meeting just getting to know him, and then had mini interviews following that.  He is a very nice man who is pretty calm. I support him as my mission president and I look forward to seeing what happens.  The rest of the day was pretty normal.  On Friday though we got to go out and do an emergency service project for a widow in the branch.  She was moving next door and the branch desperately needed more help.  Over the course of the next few days up until this morning we went on over and helped bring over her stuff, and she had a lot of it.

Finally on Sunday I got to give a talk in church about John 11-15.  Nancy, our main investigator, came.  At the end of sacrament she said that she was going to make sure that she comes to every church meeting on Sunday from this point forth.  That was a pretty cool experience to see the Spirit work on her like that.  She mentioned hard things have been happening ever since she started to talk to us which means that this must be one powerful church to get the devil that angry.  Finally, he rest of the day we went out and found a couple new people to teach and finished the day strong until Elder Bushman accidentally broke his iPad screen at a dinner appointment.

Thanks for all the support everyone and know that the work is moving out here!  I know that as we open our mouths we will be able to say the things that will help others come to Christ and that is our biggest duty as members.

Elder Baxter

Tag Sandcastle 

Fun in the sand

Monday, July 3, 2017

Small and Simple Things

Hello everyone,

This week was another average week of missionary work.  The main highlights included a lot of service in various places, as well as a few great lessons and an exchange.  To start on the service side of things, the senior couple, the Woolley's, were gone for a funeral most of the week, so us missionaries got drafted into all of the projects they signed up for.  This included packaging frozen dinners at a local food place in the community center, digging large holes and transporting plants for an older lady moving next door, and serving people lunch.  The service took a while, but people definitely are seeing the missionaries helping the community which will ultimately cause them to trust us more.  The work should go back to normal next week, and we did still have plenty of time to knock doors this last week as well.

The exchange that happened took place in a nearby town called Coquille, with my district leader Elder Finlinson as well as his companion Elder Wikan.  It was a fun time and we contacted quite a few people and invited several less active members to come back to church. Coquille is a very hilly town that involved a lot of tiring walking. Towards the end of the exchange we then ran into some members who we knew from Medford that were coming through.  On the note of random people stopping by, since Bandon is such a huge tourist town we have come across many members from Utah stopping by, as well as a member of the mission presidency, President Cropper, coming to church while at a family reunion.  Bandon is the place Oregon comes to for vacations.

Finally we had a couple great lessons.  One was with a woman named Nancy where we talked about the Restoration.  The discussion turned to her talking about how she sees a light and difference between members of our church and others, and how she wants that for herself and her family.  She hasn't committed to baptism yet, but as time goes on and she learns more I believe she will definitely make it.  We also talked to several less active members, and taught about the importance of faith to others.  It has been great seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ bless others, even if it is only in small ways at first.  Through small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Thank you for all of the support and have a great Fourth of July!

Elder Baxter

From last week's zone activity

Monday, June 26, 2017

Out of the Norm

Hello everyone,

This week was a pretty average week for me.  Throughout the week we did our usual service projects along with a lot of contacting and tracting.  Due to it being summer, there are a lot of tourists here and a lot of the people who normally live here are gone on summer break, making it tougher to find new people to teach.  We did find a couple new people though, and I know that as we continue to work the Lord will bless us as we keep moving forward in faith.

There were a couple things that happened though that were out of the norm.  To start, on Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening, my companion Elder Bushman went to his end of mission temple trip in Portland.  While he was gone I was with another Chinese missionary named Elder Huang.  He is from Taiwan, and while talking we found that we both came from similar families which was fun.  Chinese speaking missionaries usually work in the YSA wards in Eugene and Corvallis, but President placed him on the coast to have an English transfer or two.  It was a fun time.

After that, on Thursday we learned that one of our investigators had someone close to them pass away, so the Woolley's, our senior missionary companionship, bought us a rose to drop off for her.  It helped a lot, and now she is calling us her "favorite people".  On Friday night another interesting event happened.  We went over to another investigator's home to drop him for never letting us teach him, but this time he let us in.  One thing led to another and at the end he was on date for baptism!  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

One final story that happened occurred on Saturday.  As we were walking around town a car pulled up next to us.  Inside was President and Sister Russell on their final p day of the mission for them.  They took us to have ice cream and have small talk with them.  It was a fun, extremely random experience we had, but it was good.  On that day I was also able to Skype in and see three of the people I got to help teach in the past be baptized.  There were some technical difficulties in the wifi and all the calls were at the exact same time which created some confusion, but it was a good experience and amazing to see these people continue on their spiritual journey.

I hope that everyone is doing well and remember to always trust in the Lord and pray for strength to face your day to day trials, and as you do so you will be able to truly go out in the strength of the Lord.  Thank you for all of your support,

Elder Baxter

Tag picture

Sunset on the ocean

Temp companion

Back with his companion

Ocean breeze messing his hair up

Monday, June 19, 2017

One Year Mark

Hello everyone,

This past week has involved me learning the area quite a bit more. Work wise, many of our appointments have fallen through and it was tougher to get the people here to commit to a real time they will meet with us.  We keep pressing forward though, and part of the problem comes from various meetings changing the schedule we set up with the people here.  Some things we did manage to do though was help several people move in to new homes.  The branch here has quite a few older people, so they called in us Elders to move all of the heavy objects for them.  We also had a great lesson with another family we helped move in the past week.  I get the feeling that the upcoming summer is going to be a popular time for moving.

The first of the big meetings that occurred was on Thursday with Zone Conference.  It took place up in Eugene which meant we had to wake up early to get there, and more or less used up the whole day.  Half the mission was there, and I got to see many of my past companions.  This Zone Conference was different due to this being the final meeting with President Russell.  He taught us about setting good habits as well as the importance of having a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.  It was a great spirit filled meeting.  That night I then spent celebrating my one year mark by going to a burger place in Coos Bay on the way back with the district, and opening a package from home.

Sunday was also a major day for meetings.  On Sunday we had stake conference where a seventy came, as well as President Russell.  They both spoke, and after the meeting we did our final interviews with President Russell.  The interview was great and was my official goodbye to the Russell's.  in two weeks the Orton's will come in to replace them.  It has been a crazy but great past year and I know that my testimony has grown so much in the past year.  I don't know what will happen in the coming year, but one thing I can say is that regardless of what happens the work is in the Lord's hands and it will be an amazing time.  Thank you for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

Last time with President Russell

With past companions 

Hump Day/Fourth of July package

Foggy Beach Morning

A maze event called "Circle in the Sand"

Monday, June 12, 2017

Beautiful Bandon

Hello Everyone!

This past week was my first full week out on the coast in Bandon. Following P Day, we went out to the beach and got to see how beautiful the Oregon coast is.  Our apartment is only two or three miles away, so going there is a pretty common for trying to talk to tourists and other people on the beach. Other nice parts of this area include a branch that seems missionary minded, as well as getting to work with the senior missionary couple named the Woolley's.

Through out the week we have done quite a bit of service, ranging from packaging frozen dinners for people in need, serving dinner to older people, helping someone move in, and putting a huge amount of movies on shelves in alphabetical order in a library.  Most of these happened at a local community center not too far from the apartment.

Teaching wise, the past week has mostly consisted of coming in contact with people and setting up future appointments.  Many of the people we teach live far out of Bandon in the middle of a forest, so driving out to them has been interesting.  We taught one woman though this past week who was super nice and came to church this past week.  She has a lot going for her and I look forward to seeing how it all goes down in the future.

Overall, the week has gone very fast and Bandon is looking to be a fun place.  Next week I have my final Zone Conference with President Russell, as well as stake conference and final interview with President Russell.  Time is flying when we are engaged in the Lord's work and the Spirit is the true teacher.  Thanks for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

Carlton with his new companion, Elder Bushman

The name tag shot

Beautiful!!!

A bit windy but so worthwhile

Ocean sun

 
Seals on the rocks

Another name tag picture

Cool rock formations

Monday, June 5, 2017

Off to Serve in Bandon

Hello everyone!  This week marked off my last week of being in the Winston ward in the Roseburg stake.  I am currently off to serve in Bandon, which is a small costal town in the Coos Bay stake, and my companion is Elder Bushman.  Due to Bandon being on the coast, I am excited to get to see the ocean for the second time in my life, as well as enjoy cooler temperatures than what I was experiencing in Winston.  Elder Bushman is also the first zone leader I had when I entered the mission, and is a missionary I seem to keep running into each time I transfer.  This will be his final transfer before going home, and it should be fun seeing how the upcoming weeks unfold!

To start off with this past week though, on Tuesday we had a great lesson with Philip, where we taught the word of wisdom.  He readily accepted it and got rid of his coffee pot after we left.  He is doing awesome and should make it to his baptism this upcoming transfer.  When he does, I will have the privilege of getting to Skype in.  The rest of the day was spent contacting, teaching a lesson to an investigator who is moving out, and watching "Seventeen Miracles" for a special event in our Book of Mormon class.  In the middle of it all, our Chevy Cruz's battery died due to a Tiwi malfunction, and we had to jump start our car with the help of a member.

On Wednesday, the biggest event was the ward inviting us missionaries to help teach in a mutual mission night, where the youth went from one room to another hearing mission stories and learning what it meant to be a missionary.  In our station we decided to get the youth teaching, so we taught them our missionary purpose and had them role playing giving us a Book of Mormon from Tracting or street contacting.  It was fun to watch them honestly struggle, but have a good time doing it, and in the end, our room was the only one we heard the youth talking about when we finished up.  Score one for the missionaries!

The rest of the week was spent doing average missionary work, including a lot of walking.  Friday morning was when we got our transfer calls, which was followed up with me giving my final district meeting for a little while.  The rest of the week was spent saying good byes, dealing with car troubles (the battery died a second time Sunday morning and we had to get the tires switched), and more teaching and walking.  It has been an honor to serve in Winston, and while here I have learned so much about conversion, how wards and stakes operate, charity for all those we have been blessed to teach, and a deeper testimony.  The people here are amazing, and I hope to be able to continue to grow as a missionary in Bandon.  Until then, thank you for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

Loving the river.  Now onto the ocean!

Saying Goodbye


Monday, May 29, 2017

Great Things Are Happening

Hello Everyone,

This past week was a really great week work wise.  To start, on Tuesday morning we had a lesson with Philip where we discussed the importance of confirmation and how it completes baptism.  Philip then agreed to baptism this coming June!  The Spirit was felt and it was a good lesson.  As we continued on into the day, we were able to then contact other various people and have a Book of Mormon class in the evening.

Wednesday was spent doing long drives to a coastal town named Coos Bay for Zone Conference.  It was a great meeting and it definitely felt cooler on the coast than the hot weather we have been experiencing in the Roseburg zone.  Following the conference, my district got to do dinner at a nearby truck stop which capped off the day.

The rest of the week was a blur.  I got to go on down to Myrtle Creek for a district blitz in their area.  I got to meet some of their investigators, as well as get to know Elder Hallam more, which was nice. The rest of the week was then spent doing a lot more of our normal missionary work, as well as having four investigators come to church, which was a miracle.

Great things are happening, and as I enter the last week of the transfer and will probably get transferred out, I can say it has been a great time in Winston, and despite what happens for transfers, I have seen the Lord's hand here.  Thanks for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

Roseburg Zone

Lunch aka picture taking time at Zone Conference

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Great Time

Hello Everyone,

Following the p day at the end of last Tuesday, the week really flew by with a bunch of random events that occurred, that made the week feel a bit different.  To start, on Tuesday night we watched the Restoration movie at the church.  Unfortunately none of our investigators came, but we did get to show it to a couple of recent converts which was fun.  On Wednesday morning we had a special service at the veteran affairs in Roseburg.  It was a 2k race where we pushed old vets in wheelchairs for the two miles.  It was fun to listen to their stories of serving in various wars like World War Two and the Korean War.  Other things that happened service wise included helping an old couple recovering from back surgery wash their car and plant various plants in their garden.

We also had some good lessons as well.  We met with an investigator named Bradly and discussed the first half of the Plan of Salvation with him.  Every time we meet with him we can see the Spirit working on him, and more and more clicking with him.  We also got to meet Philip again and have a great lesson about prayer, and see both Bradly and Philip come to church.  Beyond that we met with many various people and got to set up some good lessons for this week.  We also hope to meet with Mario again in the near future as well and officially put him on date for baptism.

Transfers are coming in two weeks and I get the feeling I will leave Winston.  If I do or not though, I can say I feel like I really was able to invite people to come to Christ through the Gospel.  It is amazing to get to be apart of this great work and to really serve people in the best way possible through sharing that Gospel.  There are very solid people we are teaching now, and more are on the way.  It has been a great time out here.

Thanks for all of the support!
Elder Baxter

With Elder Kellerstrauss

A picture that was sent to Mom's phone by a member.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

True Help

Hello Everyone,

This past week was Mother's Day as well as had plenty of teaching opportunities.  To start, the past week we managed to find a few more solid people we can teach, including an older couples as well as various people a little older than us.  We got to introduce the Book of Mormon to them and teach the importance of the first vision in various lessons that the Spirit was definitely present.  Among those, we also got to teach an older Catholic lady following doing service for her, and then got to commit someone named Mario to baptism.  He was having a rough time with a move and asked us for help.  We were able to then really help him by teaching him the Gospel and how he can be truly helped.  While he is moving outside the area though, it was a privilege to get to be the one to teach him that day.

Outside of that, we also did quite a bit of service this past week from helping the Catholic lady, to a move, to service at a food bank. We also had interviews with our mission president on Monday which were nice, and then of course had the Skype call on Sunday.  Overall, it was a humbling week from getting to see the various situations so many people are in as well as how the Gospel helps them all.

Thanks for all of the support!
Elder Baxter

Sunny Days

Mother's Day Skyping

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mission Life

Hello Everyone,

This past week was a little bit of a tougher week.  Due to an upcoming Zone Conference in Coos Bay, we have to save up our miles for the car, which has meant a lot of walking.  Our feet hurt a little bit, but that is mission life.  To start off, we had three great lessons with Philip, Jackie, and a new investigator named Bradly, who came to church on his own after a member invited him.  They are all very different people, and in the end it is amazing how the same Gospel promises to bless everyone's life.  It is awesome to see, and as we continue to meet with them I look forward to seeing how they progress.

Finding this week has been tougher.  None of our Tracting has gone well, and the formers we have visited have not been all that interested.  We will keep on going though, and I am sure that blessings are coming for enduring to the end.  One fun thing that happened though was an exchange where the South Umpqua Elder's came on up to Winston.  It was a fun day to continue to get to know other missionaries and to be able to share my testimony with them.

This upcoming week is looking to be another average week in missionary work with the exception that it will end with Mother's Day.  Thank you for all the support!

Elder Baxter

Carlton with the river behind him

Monday, May 1, 2017

Part of the Work

Hello Everyone,

This past week has been a great week for teaching lessons and helping the people we teach feel the Spirit.  To start off on the finding front, this week we have had several miracles.  We got into a couple of part member homes from randomly knocking on their doors and they let us in.  Each time only the member was there, but we managed to set up future lessons where the whole family could come and listen.  Beyond that, there was also a young man who came to church that invited himself over and has several friends in the ward that we are now teaching.  The miracles have been coming as we have put in the faith and it is great to see.

Another fun event that occurred was a movie night our ward put on which all the missionaries in the zone helped out with.  The ward put on Meet the Mormons, and the missionaries were able to blitz Winston as well as invite our investigators on over to see.  In the end we had several investigators attend as well as several less active ward members.  It was a fun event that really allowed the ward to work with the missionaries and it was a nice change of pace.

On the teaching front we also had several great lessons.  First of all, we got to teach a man named Philip.  The Spirit was very strong and we were able to really discuss the importance of baptism among a series of other subjects.  In the end he said that he will pray to find out if he should be baptized and he came to church this past Sunday.  We also got to teach several other lessons to various people from all walks of life.  It was a great week as far as teaching goes and in each lesson the Spirit was definitely felt and was the true teacher.

The work promises to move on here in Winston, and despite whatever may happen, God's hand leads the way.  It is amazing to get to be part of this work and I look forward to seeing further miracles happen in the upcoming week.  Thanks for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

Looking Ahead

Monday, April 24, 2017

About to Take Off

Hello everyone, this past week was a busy week.  We have been mostly focusing on doing less active work, which led to a bunch of lessons with various members of the ward.  Many of the families were nice and want to come back, but have trouble keeping commitments, so that is where we are starting as far as teaching goes.  This was also my first week with Elder Kellerstrass again.  We have been doing a lot of catch up since we last saw each other in the MTC.

We had our second real lesson with the youth pastor as well.  This time we got to go completely through the Restoration with him, and he seemed to be at least accepting of what we believe, even with our claim to be the one and only true church.  It was a great lesson, but we are not too sure where he will go from here.  We also got to do missionary work in the outskirts of our area.  We didn't see a whole lot of success, but we did see a lot of trees and no trespassing signs.  I guess the people out there don't think that the missionaries will ever visit them, but the ones we could, we did.

Outside of those, we also had stake conference this week as well.  It was fun to get together with the stake and zone in Roseburg and watch an adult session and general session that was basically centered around the stake presidency trying to simply teach the Plan of Salvation on a very basic level, so that new members as well as investigators could understand.  Finally, we as a zone got to take a hike to a nearby waterfall.  It was a fun time and the waterfall was pretty great.  That was my week in a nutshell!  Overall, it feels like work in the Winston area is about to take off and as we rely on the Lord all things will be possible.

Thanks for all of the support,
Elder Baxter

Carlton at the Waterfall

Zone Picture

Wet Elders

Elder Baxter was here

Worth the hike

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Message Worth Sharing

Hello Everyone,

This week was a really good week to end off the transfer and my time with Elder Ellinghaus.  To start, on Tuesday we got to teach a couple of great lessons to an investigator named Philip as well as a less active family named the Cahoon's.  We taught about how the Book of Mormon can answer any of the questions we may have, as well as about the commandments.  We also had the chance to lead a Book of Mormon class the ward holds every Tuesday, which was a fun time.

Wednesday was mainly focused on Zone Conference where we learned about various topics ranging from chastity to our missionary purpose.  It was a great meeting where the Spirit was definitely present and we got to continue to learn about the Gospel and the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which is the greatest motivator I have found in participating in this work.  We then got to find another less active family following the meeting who would love to have us over again.

Thursday and Friday were spent doing Tracting, and a lot of it.  The zone was doing a competition to find out what companionship could show the Prince of Peace initiative the most, so Elder Terry, our district leader, had us spend a day doing pure Tracting in Myrtle Creek, and another in Winston.  Ultimately we gave all our points to the other Elders and allowed them to beat out the zone, as well as find many new people to teach for everyone.  We then got to go and teach a great lesson about repentance to another investigator named Nora.

Finally transfer calls came and I am staying in Winston while Elder Ellinghaus is going on down to work in Spanish again in Central Point.  My new companion is Elder Kellerstrauss who was actually my MTC companion.  It should be a fun upcoming transfer and miracles are starting to come into place, and my time with Elder Ellinghaus has been great for learning how to work with members.  Most of all, however, learning further about Jesus Christ and his Atonement has been great.  Because of what he did, not only do we have the chance to repent, but we have the ability to be strengthened past any mortal challenge because of the grace of Christ.  That is a message worth sharing.  Thanks for all of the support!

Elder Baxter

Beautiful Oregon

Zone Conference

Easter Box

Working Together

New Companion 




Monday, April 10, 2017

He Is The Light Of The World

Hello Everyone,

This week was another fairly normal week with a few great things that occurred.  To start off, I got to go on exchange with the other Elders in my district down to an outlying area named South Umpqua on Friday.  While there, we had a fun time as well as getting to teach several people, including a less active member who committed to come to church this coming Sunday.  Here's hoping that he follows through!  We also had a great zone training meeting about how to do effective studies that helped us gain a prompting of how to teach the next lesson with our preacher investigator, and see a mission farewell talk for a member in our ward.

On the teaching front, we also had a miracle occur with one of our investigators named Nora.  A while back she was on date for baptism, but due to various scenarios we were unable to physically meet with for about a month.  On Sunday we randomly dropped by and managed to teach a great lesson about the importance of the Book of Mormon, as well as get two more solid return appointments.  It has taken a lot of work and patience, but we are excited to see her progress in the Gospel again.

I would like to end this post by bearing my testimony on Jesus Christ and his Atonement.  Because of what He did for us all those years ago, we have the ability to repent and have a hope of an amazing future.  He has the ability to comfort us when we stand in need of comfort, and be the friend we need when we are lonely.  He is the light of the world and it is our duty to share the light we have seen with others.  To truly love Christ is to truly love and serve our neighbors, as well as follow His commandments.  Jesus is the Christ, and this church is His church with restored Priesthood authority.  And if all the world were to revile against it, if we build on His rock we can never fall.

Thank you for all of the support,
Elder Baxter

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hello Everyone,

This letter will be a little shorter, but in short it has been a good week, and especially a good weekend with conference.  On Thursday and Friday we had the chance to go and help out various home teachers with teaching less active families as well as part member families.  It has been good, and the more visits we do, the more I have seen the excitement for missionary work increase.  It has been good seeing people realize that home teaching, in its basic form, is missionary work.

General Conference has also been really good.  We had various technical difficulties that caused us to come on a couple of the sessions a little late, but the talks were great.  Unfortunately none of our investigators showed up for conference, but I know that I learned a lot and loved the talk about walking with God from President Eyring in the Priesthood session.  It was a great time and I learned a lot from the Spirit.

Teaching wise we got to set up a couple lessons, including one with a youth preacher.  It should be an interesting time, but for the most part all of the investigators seem really interested in just learning what we believe, including the preacher.

I hope that everyone reading this learned a lot from conference as well and thank you for all of the support!

Elder Baxter


Up close with a cheetah 

He got to go to the Wildlife Safari again.