Saturday, December 24, 2016

Dec 19

Well before I start my normal blog, I just want to say thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, it was one of the greatest I have had yet! 

When I got up in the morning my comp and I went to drop something off at a members house and bought stuff to make french toast. She made me french toast with chocobanano liquados, my favorite. :) We then went and worked until lunch. My comp had set up this surprise lunch for me with some of the members. They made me a cake and a delicious lunch! Then some other members invited us over for a special dinner. The tradition here is to get your face shoved in the cake, but luckily my comp had a little bit of mercy on me since we had appointments right afterwards haha. 

So the best part about this week was today. Every transfer we have a zone activity. We usually play sports or something and then go out to lunch. Well for the month of December, instead of doing this, we did a service project. We decided that we were going to go to the Central Park where there is always a ton of people, and act out the Christmas story which is found in Luke 2. We dressed up, sung, and read from the Bible the Christmas story. Then we also brought a table to hand out Christmas cards from the church, Books of Mormon, and DVDs of Joy to the World. It was amazing! Everyone was so interested and came and watched. The news came and the newspaper!!! They recorded our presentation and interviewed some of us, and said that they would give us a recording of what they were going to put. It was the coolest thing ever. We were able to give away a tonnnn of things to people and are going to be able to visit them very soon. It was such a success, and the most important was that we could truly feel the spirit so strongly. The spirit of Christmas is something so special. Especially when we think about serving others during this time of year. Many times people say to us that it must be hard to be away from home this time of year, but I think that this time of year as a missionary is the easiest and the best because we can truly focus on the true purpose of Christmas and on serving others. That is how we can truly feel the spirit of Christmas. 

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas! My only advice is that if you are feeling stressed during this time, say a prayer and ask the Lord what you could do for somebody today. I promise he will respond and whatever act of kindness or service that you do, you will feel better and the person you serve will feel your love for them and also the love of Christ. 

FELIZ NAVIDAD de Guatemala!
Hermana Baird

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dec 12

Hola! This week has flown by, I cannot believe it is already Monday again. We were super busy this week. On Tuesday we had Missionary Leadership Training so we had to travel to Xela. As always we learned a ton, but this time it was even better than usual because an area 70 came an talked to us! We learned a lot about desire, and how if we truly have desires to help families come unto Christ, we can do it! We just have to desire it, and believe we can do it, and we can! It was super motivating for us, and we left ready to work in our area.

On Friday we did divisions. I stayed in our area, and one of the sisters came with me there. The night before my comp and I planned to go to an area to contact that we never had gone to before. As we were on the bus back to our area, I told the sister who was coming with me that I had this strong feeling that we should go to a different place than Hna Higgins and I had planned for the night before. I told her that when we got back to the house I was going to write down three places on a piece of paper and that we would both pray about where we should go. I felt very strongly that we should go to a place called Tierra Colorado, and as the sister finished her prayer, she too had felt that we should go there. We traveled by bus to the area and then began walking and searching for houses. Its a very rural place with very humble houses in the middle of the mountains. As we began contacting we found SO many families! We we able to set up many return appointments for the following day. It was truly a miracle and we were able to have such a successful day together because we followed the Spirit and followed where the Lord wanted us to go. The next day my comp and I were back together and we returned to Tierra Colorado. We also found many new people to teach. This place is kind of far from the center of our area, like 25 minutes by bus. We decided  we would wait to eat lunch until like 2:30 or so. So around 2 we started walking in the direction we thought we would reach the main road. We walked the mountain trails for like 10 minutes and didn't see anyone! Finally we came upon a guy who was building a house. We asked him how much longer it was until we reached the main road, he said 45 minutes more up the mountain.. We were in a bit of shock but said thanks and kept walking. As we left him, I stopped and turned around and started to talk to him. As we presented ourselves he told us that he and his family wanted to start looking for a church. That he had a lot of problems with alcohol but he wanted to stop drinking for his children and family. That day was the first day in 36 days that he hadnt drank. We were able to teach him right then and there, and this Saturday we will be going to visit all of his family. It was such a miracle!

I am so grateful for this gospel. For all of the many blessings that it brings to my life, and for the happiness and joy that I am able to feel even in the hard and difficult times. Whenever we pass through the hard times we just need to think about the scripture in Alma 7:11-12 "11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

I hope everyone has an amazing week!
Hermana Baird

Consejo de Lideres! This Elder was my zone leader a while ago and is always messing with me about how BYU is the best and that Utah is horrible. Well, this day he was supporting the Utes so I just had to take advantage of it!
The assistants, my companion and I!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dec 5

My new comp and I Hermana Higgins!

Hermana Hernandez and I in divisions!

Doing the nails of some of my favorite members here in San Franscisco! 

Nov 28

Happy late Thanksgiving to everyone! Here in Guatemala we don't celebrate thanksgiving, but our Bishop and his wife were so kind to invite us over for a thanksgiving dinner! Turkeys are hard to find here in my new area, you have to travel like 45 minutes to find one, so they bought a chicken instead, and then made mashed potatoes and gravy! I think I forgot what Thanksgiving dinner actually tastes like cuz this tasted pretty exact to me! It was really fun to share the traditions that we have with them. 

Anyways, I am in a new area! I am in a place called San Francisco el Alto. If you translate that it means, "the high San Francisco." Its cuz its soooo high up! The elevation is over 8000 feet! And everywhere you walk is just pure mountain. Lets just say my first few days here I was really tired and really out of breath haha. Its like always being on a hike. Its also freeeeezing cold here. I never thought I would be so freezing cold in Guatemala but every morning we are sitting really close to the heater during our studies cuz its just so dang cold! This area is super cool. Its pretty crazy because there isn't even a grocery store here. Just an outside market. Its crazy how accustomed to the life here I have gotten. This last week I went to Xela (a pretty big city) for divisions and I literally went into shock when I saw American products. Here I can barely even find hair conditioner! It is going to be a big shock for me when I return to the states haha. 

Last night we did a Family Home Evening with a family who are all members because their daughter is about to leave on a mission. They asked us to share our testimonies about the mission, and also 3 pieces of advice that we could give to her. It was a really spiritual experience and it helped me to reflect on my mission up to this point. Three things that I have learned that for me are most important on my mission are the following. 1) LOVE EVERYONE!!! We have to love the people we are serving and we also need to love and serve our companion. If we don't, we aren't going to see any success. 2) BE OBEDIENT! When we are obedient we are showing our love for the Lord. We also are able to receive many many blessings. We show our faith, and faith always produces miracles. 3) BE ENTHUSIASTIC! We must be enthusiastic about the work we do. Yes, we are going to find some people who don't want to even hear a word out of us, but we have to show them how great this gospel is and how happy it makes us. If they can see our happiness and our enthusiasm, they too will want it. I am so grateful for my mission and all that I have been able to learn up to this point. These principles are things that I will be able to apply in my entire life. I know that this church is true, that Christ restored it through the prophet Joseph Smith, and with whatever doubt or question we have we can read in the Book of Mormon to find the answers. I invite anyone and everyone, if you are a member of the church or not, to find a copy of the Book of Mormon and begin reading it. Pray and ask the Lord if it is true. He hears every prayer, and will answer you if you ask with a sincere heart. Love you all so much! 
It is a beautiful new video about Christmas and also Christ! Enjoy! 

Con mucho amor de Guatemala,
Hermana Baird 
FREEZING in Guatemala! 

A nice guy offering to shine my shoes while waiting for the bus.. Don't mind the drunk guy in the back. Like I said I think I have gotten way to used to this place, because now that is just something normal for me to see. The good news is we are here to help them get out of those bad situations and find our what true happiness is!

Hermana Higgins and I! We went up to this aldea (little village up in the mountains) and my comp wasn't that familiar with it either. We were trying to find a house in the mountains and after about 20 minutes of following the trail, we couldn't find a single house! We got a little lost, but ended up finding a family who led us back to the main road. And the plus is that we are going to be able to go and visit that family and teach them. The Lord really does guide us even when we think we are lost!