Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jan 16

Well, Today feels a little bittersweet. Today is my 16 month mark in the mission. I cannot believe how fast the time is going by, and I really don't want to believe it. The mission is such an amazing time in life. We are able to testify of Christ every single day, multiple times a day, we are able to feel the Spirit always, and we are able to meet and help so many of God´s children come unto Christ. I have learned so so much during these months. It is actually kind of funny because I have been a member of the church for more time on the mission than in my house. People always ask me about how I speak English, but I always tell them that I know a lot more about the gospel in Spanish than in English. When people ask me to pray in English I always am thankful that they cant understand me because my prayers sound like a 3 year old is saying them. Also sharing my testimony in English is a huge struggle. I think I will be looking into going to a Spanish ward when I get home! Hahaha. 

Anyways, this week it was proven to me that we won't always see fruits from our work right away, but we will eventually see them. On Wednesday we were walking and I saw Eliza Gutierrez. She was someone that I was teaching when I was in my last area. She got baptized the week after I had transfers! She is 20 years old and such a strong strong girl. Her family is so against her joining the church and so she moved to San Francisco with her sister! So now she is attending our ward. :) It is so great to see what a strong testimony she has and the sacrifices that she is willing to make to follow the Lord!

Next, on Friday we were in a lesson and this number that wasnt familar called us like 4 times in a row. We didnt answer since we were in the lesson, but after I called back. When someone answered they said, Hermana Baird? And it was Nestor Lopez! He was someone that Hermana Morisette and I contacted about 8 months ago when I was in Xela. He was such a special person to me and I felt so strongly that one day he would get baptized! He had a lot of baptism dates, but there were some things that caused him to not feel ready to make the decision. Well when he called he told me that he was calling me to let me know that Sunday (yesterday) he was going to get baptized! He said that he wished that Hermana Morisette and I could be there with him, but that he was so greatful that we found him and helped him learn about the gospel. 

I know that every single effort that is put towards the Lord's work has its fruits. Whether it is visiting teaching, or missionary work, every effort counts! The Lord just wants us to do our very best and he will bless us with the rest. Amo este evangelio, y amo esta obra. Y sobre todo, amo a mi Salvador, Jesucristo. Yo sé que esta iglesia es de Él, y es el unico camino para regresar con nuestor Padre Celestial. Que tengan una muy muy feliz semana.

Les quiero muchísimo!
Hermana Baird

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jan 9

Wow, another whole week has past by. Everyday of this new transfer has been such an adventure with Hermana Moruna! Yesterday we had a hugeee adventure and we learned a lot about the importance of being obedient. So, we went to a place in our area called Tierra Colorada. Its a little village about 30 minutes in bus from our house. The transportation to get back to San Francisco stops at about 5:30. So we got to Tierra, went to our appointment, and when we were finished we were making good time to get back to where the bus passes. We were about 25 minutes walking from that point. So we made it up there and there were a couple of people waiting for the bus and they told us that they had been there waiting for 45 minutes, but they said that for sure the last bus would pass at 5:30. So we waited and waited and finally at 5:30 the bus passed... But they didn't stop for us because it was packed full!! Ahh we didn't know what to do because a couple of weeks ago we had to call someone to come and pick us up because our appointment went late... and we did not want to have to do that again. Every once in awhile little pickups pass by to give people rides, but we are only allowed to ride in the types that have bars surrounding them. So, we decided to start walking. We had about a half an hour until it was dark, and we figured it would probably take us, at the least 2 hours to make it back to San Francisco. As we started walking, we talked to many people who we passed, presenting ourselves and asking how long we had til we get to "la cumbre" its a point in the road where it comes to a "T" and the other road has a lot more buses and transportation, so we figured if we just got to there we would be good! Well, some people told us ahhhh hermanas you have at least another 2 hours if you walk. So we continued walking. As we stopped to talk to a family they told us that we would probably be able to take a ´pickup back to San Francisco because they pass until pretty late. As we started walking away from them a pickup with the bars on it passed! We stopped it, but they said they weren't going to be going to San Fran or to the cumbre.. Right behind it was another pickup, but this one didn't have bars, the kind we aren't allowed to take. It stopped and I asked if it was going to the cumbre. They said yes, that they were going to San Francisco! My comp and I looked at each other, like what do we do? For this half of a second when I thought what should we do, I felt super strongly that Satan was putting this temptation in our path and that we needed to keep walking. We told them no we weren't going to take it. The family who had literally just told us that we would be able to take a pickup back probably thought we were completely crazy, and my comp and I thought for a second, what are we thinking?! Why didn't we take that pickup.. Then I just remembered, that all blessings we receive comes from obedience. So we continued walking, oh and did I mention that we weren't just walking, we were walking up a huge mountain.. About 15 minutes later, another pickup passed and it had bars! It was going to the cumbre so we took it. In the back of the pickup with us was a family of 5 who we were able to talk with and who lives in our area, near to where we had been visiting that same day! We were able to get there number and are going to be able to visit them this next week. As we got to the cumbre, it was freezing cold! "La cumbre" means the highest point, so we were literally up in the clouds with a tonnn of wind. We began to walk again and at that point we only had about 40 more minutes of walking. Well, a mini bus passed, and we flagged it down to stop. It wasn't a bus that usually takes people, it was a bus that this family usually fills up with fruit to sell in the market. But it was empty and they told us that they would take us back to Centro. As we began talking to this family of 5 we learned that they are good friends with our Bishop and also with the Consilor of the Stake Presidency. We were able to talk with them a little about how we would like to visit them to share with them how the Lord can bless there family and how they can become an Eternal Family. They told us where they lived and we also will be visiting them next week. We were able to find 2 whole families this day because we chose to be obedient. I am so grateful for each and every blessing the Lord has given me in the mission, and am so grateful for the experiences that I am having that teach me every day how I can be a better person and a better daughter of God. 

Love you all!
Hermana Baird

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Jan 2

Feliz Año Nuevo de Guatemala!

I hope everyone had a great new year! Here in San Francisco el Alto we had an amazing New Year. So during the day it was normal, we had our appointments and then we went to a members house. They gave us dinner, and well, the dinner was of fried cow tongue!! And it was SO good haha. After that a member from my old area called us and asked if they could come up to San Francisco because they wanted to wish me a Happy New Year and give me a gift they had for me. It made my day! I was so happy to see them and to be able to spend a few minutes with them. So then we had to enter the house at 6pm unless we were at a members house, because here in San Francisco it is just a HUGE party for new years eve. I knew here that at midnight everyone did a tonnnn of fireworks, but I never would have imagined the amount that they did. There is no such thing as illegal fireworks here so everyone, literally everyone, is setting off fireworks at midnight. We have to go to bed at 10:30 but we set an alarm to get up at 11:45 and go up on our roof to watch them all. It was amazing!! They were going on for literally 45 minutes. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I have now set the goal for the year that I will be here in Guatemala next year for New Years Eve again! 

Well, apart from that, the week was full of miracles. We were able to find 3 families this week who are very interested in learning about the gospel. We can see their desire to follow the Lord and do what he wants them to do. It is always very exciting to find people like them, and we should be having a baptism in the beginning of February. It will be the first baptism in the ward for a year and a half! 

So also, I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Moruna and she is from Chile. She is so so awesome and I am so grateful to have her as my comp. She and I came to the mission together, but she will be here for 6 more weeks than me because the Latinas have less time in the MTC. I think I have spent most of this first week that we have had together just laughing and working hard so I think that we are going to have a great transfer together.

Love you all!
Hermana Baird 

My new companion and I! Hermana Moruna de Chile :)

FELIZ AÑO NUEVO! Una familia bought some fireworks that shoot up in the air to do after dinner so that we could have an area new year with them. Also some sparklers since all the others fireworks are prohibited for us to do haha. This is the familia Alvarez, they are the best!

Midnight fireworks! Some of these were literally directly over our heads and we thought they were going to fall on us haha. It was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had, and definitely by far the best New Years yet!

Dec 26

This Christmas week has been amazing! On Tuesday we went to Xela because we had a Christmas Devotional with our Mission President. It was super great, we got to sing, listen to some really talented people play their instruments, and then we were able to watch the movie The Testaments. Then we had a special Christmas dinner with ham, mashed potatoes, a marshmallow salad, and pumpkin pie! It was greatttt. Later that day we went with some of the members from our ward to deliver some rice crispy treats that we made, and to sing Christmas songs to less active and inactive members.

Here everyone celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. They wait until midnight and at midnight the entire city is putting off fireworks. So on Xmas eve literally everyone is inviting us over to eat paches. I will send a picture because I am not really sure how to describe them. Its like a tamale, but it is made of potatoes or rice. They are sooo good but after one you are stuffed, well within one hour, they had given us 3! I was dying. Last year at midnight we woke up to look out and see the fireworks, we didn't need an alarm because of all the noise. This year we thought we wouldn't need an alarm either because the city we are in celebrates a TONN. Well, we had worked really hard during that day because my comp and I woke up in the morning really sad because neither of us had heard a single thing the night before. We missed the firework show! But the good news is I will be able to see them on New Years because they set off even more that night. Christmas day was great. We went to church, and then had 2 Christmas lunches scheduled that day.. I was dying.. They give missionaries wayyyy to much food here haha. In the afternoon we went to an appointment with a family that we had never taught before. When we went, they had many questions about baptism and they accepted baptism dates for the 1 of February!! It was a Christmas miracle.

Tomorrow are changes and Hermana Higgins will be transferred to a new area. I will miss her a ton! I am not sure who my new comp will be, but I just know that she will be a Latina! I am so happy, my Spanish can finally get better after having a north american companion for the last 8 months haha.

I hope everyone has a happy new year!!!!
Hermana Baird

Christmas caroling and delivering Rice Crispys! 

Eating pache after pache... It doesn't look that appetizing in the picture, but it is so so delicious! 

Christmas Lunch with some of our investigators! Cami, the little girl, did not want us to leave.. So she went and blocked the door so that we couldn't get out. :)