Sunday, May 5, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hey Mom and Dad!
   I'll try and get to all of your question lol. This week you had a lot. Alright, so just to let you know this week was transfers and there were no changes made in my area. In fact, there were hardly any changes made in the zone. Just one missionary was transferred. This is good because we finally got into a rhythm with results! This week every single area baptized except for one. That means we baptized as well! We have to be the example for the Zone lol. Her name is Aparecida de Lourdes. She waited over a year to be baptized. The service was really beautiful, with her cousin’s husband baptizing her. After the baptism she started crying and said "why did I wait so long to be baptized?" She felt the Spirit really strong testify to her that what she did was right. I am very happy that I was able to help her overcome what has kept her from being baptized for this past year and help her realize this desire so strong that she had.

   We also had a family in church! A couple weeks ago just the husband went to church and this Sunday the rest of the family went. They absolutely loved the church, each one saying they wanted to start frequenting this church. The daughter, who is ten years old, asked us how old you have to be to be baptized. When we told her she became very happy and said she wanted to be baptized next week!  So we are working with the family and planning her baptism for next week. The parents want to as well, but we need to marry them first. We found a small city here close that marries people in less than 30 days, much better than the 90 days here in Juiz de Fora. We are going to try and get their process started this week to baptize them this transfer still. Their names are André and Regina, and their daughters name is Maisa. So yes, lots of good stuff this week. We also found another family that is legally married already and this week we will start working with them to progress. They are an older couple but that are really receptive and nice. They are non-practicing Catholics, like almost everyone else in this country. I'll keep you updated on them. Their names are Jose and Angela.

   Yes there are spiritual ups and downs here on the mission, and I have experienced a lot. Right now we are on a spiritual high for sure. This zone, before I came, was one of the worst in the mission. Last month, in February, it was the third most baptizing zone. Our goal this month is to beat even that. We are going to be real busy these next couple of weeks. It will be tough, but really worth it. This last week the zone baptized four people, with six more projected for next week. We are hoping that at least four make it through. It would incredible if it works out like that. Like I said, lots of work to do. But yes, spiritual upswings. I don't know if I shared this with you already, but this last woman who baptized, Lourdes, has been going to church for a year without being baptized. The first time we went and taught her, we knew there was something keeping her from being baptized, but we didn't know what. In the lesson, I listened attentively to what she said, and suddenly the Spirit told me a question to ask her. I thought to myself, no this question is obvious and has nothing to do with anything right now. It was about a commandment and if she was living it. The Spirit said again, ask the question. I decided not to test the Spirit and asked the question. Turns out, it was exactly what was keeping her from being baptized. She told us her doubts about the commandment and we were able to explain it to her. After we committed her to live the commandment, she agreed to be baptized. I was so grateful at that moment for having listened to the Spirit. My companion said the same question went through his head as well, but he had ignored it, cuz it was something that we thought was obvious she was living.

   Lately, as I said before, the president has been focusing a lot in the doctrine of Christ. He had a training meeting for all the presidents of missions, and this is actually what the prophets are telling the mission presidents to focus on teaching now in all the lessons, so we are already ahead of the game. I have been studying a lot about how to teach this in the lessons, and I have noticed a huge difference in the comprehension of the investigators as they hear the new style of message. I would love to teach it to you dad, or show you how I teach. It's really clear and follows Preach My Gospel to the "t". I really feel blessed to have had President Lima as my mission president, because he really understands Preach My Gospel and how to teach it. In terms of which area I like the best, I really like this area cuz it's got so many families and so much potential. I feel like we will have lots of success here.

  The other day I was walking on the street and the city I’m in is a really big university city like Provo, so there are lots of 19-25 year old girls. It makes being a missionary suck lol. But I was walking on the street and totally did a dad trip (you know, trip on nothing on the street lol) in front of a huge group of girls! I turned bright red lol.

 haha, no mom I did not burn a tie. Technically, I should burn some pants now, but I didn't. Honestly I passed my 18 month mark working and not even thinking about it. Alright my time is up but I love you guys and I will talk to you later! Sorry I'm ending so suddenly.
Elder Baldwin

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