Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 20

Well, my 18 months of serving the Lord has come to an end. I am so so so grateful for this time I have had in Guatemala. I have learned so much from so many different people. From members, from my companions, from people I have taught, and from the Lord. I would just like to mention a few of the things that I have learned in the last year and a half.

1. The Gospel is all about and centered in LOVE.
2. Obedience brings an uncountable amount of blessings.
3. When we serve others we automatically love them.
4. With a positive attitude and faith in the Lord, ANYTHING is possible.
And the last, most important, and most valuable for me,
5. God is our loving Heavenly Father and he lives. Jesus Christ is his Son, who was sent to this earth to perform the Atonement. And that through the Atonement of Christ we can change, we can become better people, and we can become more like Christ. We can be molded into the people that the Lord wants us to be. I know that Christ lives. That he loves us, and that if we put him as the first priority in our lives, everything else will just fall into place perfectly.

There is so much more that I have learned, but I think these are the most important. I am so grateful for each one of you who has taken the time to write me, to inspire me, to motivate me, and to support me during the mission. I am so excited to be able to start the next chapter in my life and to be able to apply everything that I have learned in the mission. These days of my life have been the most valuable and I will treasure them forever.

Con mucho, mucho amor de Guatemala,
Hermana Baird

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March 6 Enduring to the end

Title: Enduring to the End

"And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say  unto you, Nay; for  ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and all men. Wherefore,  if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the father: Ye shall have eternal life." 
-2 Nephi 31:19-20-

Something that I love so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can apply it to every single aspect of our lives. One of the five principles of the Gospel, as many of you already know, is Enduring to the End. I think that right now is one of the times where I have really been able to apply this principle. After almost 18 months here in Guatemala, many many things have happened! Many moments of laughter, moments of sadness, moments of many tears, moments of miracles, moments of improvement, moments of discouragement, moments of tiredness, moments of success--many more to mention. And these moments should last and keep happening until the day that we are released as missionaries. Those who have served missions very well know that when you get to have 3 or so weeks left in the field many people start asking about home, when  you leave, what you will do, etc. Sometimes it can be distracting! But I have not been called to serve for 17 months, but for 18. And I will serve with all my might, mind, strength, and heart until the very last day. 

This week we had interviews with our mission president. I had one of the most spiritual interview yet with him. An interview that usually and is programmed for 20 minutes, lasted 40 minutes. I learned so much and was edified by the Spirit. At the end of the interview he said he wanted to give me an example of something. He said, "Hermana Baird, do you like Disneyland?" I responded that yes, I like Disneyland. He then said, "Okay Hermana, tomorrow there is an activity that is going to be so great in the park, and you have tickets! The park will open exactly at 10, and close at 7 pm. What time are you going to arrive?" I responded at 10. "And at what time will you leave?" I responded at 7. He then continued, "Okay, now you get to the park and ride the rides the entire day, you have had a lot of fun and it is now 6 o'clock. Many people are very tired, its been a long hot day in California. What are you going to do?" I said I would probably eat some dinner haha. "Okay," he said, "and then we will get back in line and ride our favorite rides until they throw us out of the park at 7." President Smith then paused for a second and looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "Hermana Baird, it is 6:45 in your mission and the park closes at 7. Go out and ride your favorite rides until the very last minute. Don't stop working. Keep giving your all." He then promised me that if I kept working as I have during my mission these last 2 weeks, I will go home feeling pleased, content, and grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve the Lord. 

I love this gospel, and I love the Lord. I am so greatful for every moment that I have had up to this point of my journey here in Guatemala. Every moment has molded me more and more into the person that I need to become. It has been the best life training that I could ask for. Thank you for all of you who have been supports to me, and have been part of this journey since the day of my baptism. Love you all, and have a great week! 
Hermana Baird

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Feb 24

The last week, has truly been the best week of my life. Last Saturday we had the opportunity to go to Retaleau (a part of Guatemala outside of our mission) and listen to one of the 12 apostles, Elder Rasband, and 4 other general authorities. I could write for hours about all of the things I learned, but I would only like to mention two of them. The first thing that Elder Rasband mentioned that I would like to talk about is that the gospel we preach and teach is all about LOVE. The only reason we do it is because we LOVE the Lord, and we LOVE our Heavenly Father. He told us a story about how he was with a leader of the Advent church, and they asked Elder Rasband how is it that the church has so many missionaries that are at such a young age. He asked him if the church paid us, or if there was some sort of economic benefit of doing it. Elder Rasband responded, "There is no salary, and there is no economic benefit, they choose to serve missions because the LOVE Jesus Christ." I can truly say that what he said is true. I love Christ, and for that reason, I have loved my mission and love missionary work. I love that we can help people change there lives, through the Atonement of Christ. It is something so special, and I am so grateful for the time I have had to have my calling as a missionary here in the mission Guatemala Quetzaltenango.

The next thing I would like to mention that I learned and felt during this conference with these General Authorities, was the reality of their callings. These men are truly servants of the Lord. The Spirit that I could feel as I shook their hands, and listened to there messages was something that I can't explain, I know without a single doubt in my heart, that today we have a living prophet Thomas S. Monson, and that Jesus Christ has called him. He isn't a prophet because he studied to be, or because he worked to be one, he is a prophet because God has called him to be. And it is exactly the same with his 12 apostles and the other authorities in the Church.

To finish up my blog, another reason this week has been so great is because today we were able to go to the temple. It was such a great experience, as it always is! The temple is truly the House of the Lord, and a little piece of Heaven on Earth. I had maybe one of the most spiritual moments that I have had before, today in the temple. I felt the Christ was right by my side encouraging me and animating me to keep working hard until the last day of my mission. As I left the temple I felt an excitement to give it my all these last few weeks and to leave nothing behind. To keep planting seeds in the hearts of everyone in San Francisco so that one day, they too, can enter into the temple to make convents with the Lord.

I love you all and am so greatful for the support you have given me these last 17 months. Have an amazing week!
Hermana Baird