Sunday, May 5, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hey Mom and Dad!
   This week was a really good week for us. We reactivated two families in the ward and had a ward frequency of 108. That's the highest it's been since my companion got here 4 months ago. So we are really happy for that. We did not baptize again this week but we had a woman come to church who is firm to be baptized next week. She was actually going to a different ward for more than a year but did not get baptized cuz she wasn't married. We visited her cuz she moved to our area, and we were able to clear up some serious doubts and points of doctrine that she didn't know. We challenged her to live the commandments and be baptized on the 10th and she accepted! She was so excited that yesterday in church she was telling everyone already that she would be baptized this next Sunday. It was really cool.

   Tomorrow, we have the mission council for zone leaders so we are going to Rio to unite everyone and get trained by President. He has been teaching new ways to teach the Restoration, focusing a lot on the doctrine of Christ. It's really cool, I want to show you how we teach it when I come home. It's so clear. Its necessary here because everyone in Brazil believes that whatever church you go to will save you. We teach them about the gospel or doctrine of Christ and show how the prophets have always taught this gospel, and how this doctrine was changed by the false prophets. Its super clear and I have seen a huge difference in the way our investigators react when we teach it. Then it's just a simple matter to teach that Joseph Smith restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's interesting, because I always taught that he restored the True church of Christ, but if you look at the title of the lesson it says the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So I have begun studying a lot about Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. It has been a really neat experience studying this and I have learned so much about these topics and also about how the Lord works with us, and what we have to do to be saved, and see exactly what it was that Joseph Restored. If you look at the doctrine of these other churches, they have distorted all the topics of these 5 simple doctrines. Anyways, my Bishop asked me to give a talk this next Sunday. I am the last to give a talk, so at least 15 minutes. I'm nervous. It's a topic about Testimony of Jesus Christ or something like that. I'm sure I'll do good, but it is still nerve racking.

   So we got an update from our mission president that for the time being we will not be using this new marriage thing to marry them quickly. I think the presidency of Brazil will research it more and see what the church decides about it. So for now the whole mission can't do it.

   Yeah Dad so the division last week, I stayed three days at their house while a new missionary stayed with my companion. I was able to work with each Elder in that District and help them better their teaching and stuff. But I think I will do it again because we mainly just focused on marrying that family and didn't have time to teach other people. Thankfully no one in the zone is breaking rules in a blatant or bad way. Just the normal late to studies or something that everyone does. I found some Elders would play card games at night, but I asked them to do it only on P-Day. When I correct I just try to be really loving and not like Iron-Fisted. So far it's worked. They all seem to like me and respect me. The only real problem we have is with a couple of elders that prefer to remark baptismal dates rather than try and help the investigator see the need to be baptized. Ugh. It's like they don't like to baptize. But we will talk with them and help them understand the doctrine of Christ, that in doing this they are showing that they do not love the investigator because they are taking away blessings that would otherwise have been theirs, and taking away their chance for salvation by not being baptized. But yeah so we will try and motivate them to teach better and desire baptisms. But in general the zone is really excited and a few missionaries have lots of faith. Oh! And there is even a missionary here from the Irvine Stake. Isn't that Bekka's stake? He is really cool, we quickly became friends.

   Anyways, that's cool about the new fruit tree. I hope it gives fruit by the time I get home. Oh, and you found my house. That apartment building with the pizzeria beneath? I live on the third floor of that building. That dvd shop? Yeah, it sucks passing by everyday seeing all the new movies. What's worse is that they play the movies inside the store, and the other day they were playing the new batman movie lol. That was hard to walk away from. I've also had to walk away from the Avengers movie playing in a store. So much suffering!!! So anyways our church is on the street directly in front of that apartment building.

   My companion is actually newer than me on the mission. It's weird cuz he is newer and has fewer baptisms, but he is a really great Elder and has lots of Focus. We have a great relationship. And he never treats me like a junior. He just passed one year on the mission last week. We still haven't done anything because we were on a division and I wasn't with him, but we will. Alright I love you guys and hope you have another good week.
Elder Baldwin

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