Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pictures and Sick Companion

So this week was a good one for sure! Elder Miller got super sick so Inbody and I went out and dropped him off at a members house! I had my first encounter on a basher! This dude came up to me in a restaurant and gave me a paper and said have a nice day! Right away I knew what it was. I opened up the paper and it had all these bible scriptures and then he told us to rethink what we believe... It was really funny actually.

I want everyone to read Ether 12:4-12!! It is so good!! I gave like 4 or 5 priesthood blessings this week! SO wild! I love giving those!! So Elder Erquiaga, our zone leader, came and did trade offs with Inbody and I. We did work!! We seriously talked to everybody on the street! Even the Homeless!! One was like "YEAH IVE SEEN YALL AROUND THINKING YOU ARE ALL IT! hahaha I was laughing so hard I couldn't contain myself... I probably shouldn't have been laughing but it was oh too good. Elder Inbody straight got hit by a car!! BAHAHAHAHA! Funniest day ever!!!! He is okay though.

So one our investigator is getting a divorce with his wife... It is so sad. I hate to see a family break up. Hearing everything that he told us, my motivation to have a strong, eternal relationship with my wife has grown so much. The temple is definitely the place to be!! We had Stake Conference yesterday and it was so good! "We can't walk horizontally with Heavenly father... We HAVE to go Vertical with him" Such powerful words right there. Heavenly Faher doesn't bend the rules... AT ALL... there's no getting around them. The Spanish elders had a baptism! Jesus and Julia! Super cool people and they are so solid in the gospel! Perfect definition of finding the elect!!

Okay so I have seriously gained weight since I have been out here.... I came out to Florida weighing 165... I now weigh 175... I am in some serious trouble haha! The food is just toooooo good!!! I can't help it!! I thought gaining weight was impossible for me!!

Well, that's all for this week!! Happy 4th of July!!
Love you all!
Elder Baldwin

Stevens' Family Dock.  We will be BBQing with them on July 4th

Elder Inbody and I before going to do some work!

Elder Erquiaga and I being cool!  Hahaha!

Me, Elder Erquiaga, Elder Inbody

Elders at District Meeting with matching ties.  LtoR
Elders Black, Kalama, Baldwin, Inbody, Miller

Jose took us out to dinner for Elder Black's birthday!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Baptism Week

Hello everyone!! This week was super good which made it go by so fast!! Crazy stuff. So on Tuesday we had our weekly district meeting and after we went to Chic Fil A for lunch. I guess on the way the sisters ran out of gas and they literally had to push the car to the gas station bahahah! They showed up to Chic Fil A so mad because we had the car the day before and forgot to fill it up hahah whoops. We had two dinner appointments that night which was so overwhelming... Might be gaining weight. 
    Wednesday was a day of straight service. This old man in our ward, Brother Webber, asked if we can hang dry wall for him in this add on to his house, so being good missionaries we did. It took us forevveerrr! We spent the whole day on it and we didn't even finish haha! I am very thankful for Dad teaching me my ways around housing construction! We had a dinner appointment at the Edmunds families house. They also live on the Bayou and its sick because the way their house is set up, they get a sick sunset every single night. READ D&C 68:2-6
    On Thursday we woke up at 5:45 to go to the church to play basketball with the spanish elders. Always a good time with the brothas. Brother Webber picked us up again around 10 or so to go work on his house more. He took us to Golden Corral for lunch. I swear that place is the place to be in the South. people are religious about their Golden Corral... Its hilarious. We had Ward Coordination later that night with 1st ward mission leader Trenidy. Super cool guy. After Coordination we stopped by the Relief Society's ice cream social and grubbed on som,e ice cream... they love us. So I have been taking some SAWWWEETTT Gopro videos so once I get them on a flash drive I will send them home!! 
    Friday was a rollercoaster day for sure. We helped move this single lady that is one of our wards from her storage unit to a new house.  Yogi Nystrom's baptism was at 5pm and it was so sick!!! He was so pumped!! First baptism and one never to forget! I am so proud of him and his decision to follow Christ. Big step for him in his life. After the baptism Elder Inbody and I went to the Alba's house on the military base for dinner. Their nonmember friend Nicole Bennet was there. She is in her early 20s, pregnant, and her husband is currently over seas in Jordan. She was born and raised Catholic but is so curious about our church and loves to learn. The spirit was so strong during our lesson with her. It is always so peaceful when I recognize it coming into the lesson. 
    Saturday Io noticed my back starting to act up again. I am kind of scared... I could hardly move and it was so painful. Just a little praying and Faith and Ill be good. One thing that is wild about being a missionary is that people will absolutely tell you EVERYTHING!! No matter what has happened in their life... they will tell you. 
    Last night we spent the night at the Spanish elders and Elder kalama cut our "wigs" as he says. Nothing like a nice fresh haircut with a part cut in. YEEEWWWWW! this morning we went to the beach and played sand volleyball!! BEaches are dope here! Only bummer is that there are no waves... but that is probably a good thing for me :)
    Well I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!
    Love, Elder Baldwin

 Back porch at the Edmunds house looking over the Bayou

 Tracting Selfie

 Chilling at the Beach

White Sandy Beaches 

Sand  Volleyball

 Yogi's Baptism

Me and Elder Inbody

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

First week iin Florida

First off... Florida is absolutely beautiful!!! On Wednesday I arrived in Florida at about 2:30pm and right away President Smith made us get to work. He gave all the missionaries that flew in a pass along card and told us that we cant leave the airport until we hand one out hahah! First person that I saw I attacked and BAM first pass along card handed out. It was funny. Presid3ent Smith is an absolute stud. I already feel like one of his kids and it is the most comforting thing ever. That night we slept at the mission home and in the middle of the night there was the worst thunder storm ever. the house was literally shaking hahah it was so wild!!
    So I am in a trio companionship right now with Elder Inbody and Elder Miller. Elder Miller is my trainer and he is from Tennessee and he has an amazing story behind him. Elder Inbody is from Cypress CA and we figured out that we have multiple mutual friends! They are two legit and awesome missionaries so I am pumped. Our apartment is the smallest thing I have ever seen. It is a kitchen/living room, a tiny bathroom, and a tiny bedroom hahahah! But who cares at this point. My area is amazing! Its called Fort Walton Beach (Zion). Its this small beach city and the people here are legit.
    On Thursday we did some tracting and got some doors slammed on our face haha! It was great! I was actually laughing a little bit because of the look people had on their faces when we said who we were hahaha! We stopped by the Tess and Yogi's house that night. Tess got baptized a few weeks ago and Yogi is getting baptized this Friday!! He asked me to say the closing prayer so that's cool that I get to be a part of it!! They are such great people. Yogi tells us all the time that if we need a ride or anything to call him because since he retired he has been so bored! hahaha!
    Friday was a bomb day for sure! At 10am we went to the old peoples home with our district and sang them hymns.. The Spanish elders in my district are studs. Elder Kalama is from Hawaii and is the funniest dude ever and Elder Black is a big goof. Those two make it funny and interesting for sure. We went to this  man's house later that night. His name is Alfred and he legitly looks like Yoda hahaha! He is the nicest, most innocent man ever. I call him Bossman cuz he just is. He is also so obsessed with David Bowie hahaha, pictures everywhere in his tiny little house. We all bore our testimony to him about the Holy Ghost and the BOM because he was having struggles with studying and stuff like that. He said that he is super thankful for us. We also met with a dude name John ....  He  and his partner are trying to adopt a little boy from Afghanistan... .
     Sunday was awesome. A couple of our investigaors showed up to church and it was so sick to see them walk in. We got pumped when we saw them because they told us that they didn't think  that they were going to make it. We are over two wards... 2nd and 1st wards. Great wards with great families. One investigator, Jay is awesome. He used to be an alcoholic and he has some  moments that are sketchy. He is married to a woman from Mexico. At dinner one night he told me that I was a very good looking guy and asked if I was a model bahahaha... Great guy though. Sunday night we had dinner at the Stevens house and they have the sickest house on the Bayou which is like a bigger version of a canal... Sickest set up ever.. Super good family that made us feel right at home. I Love them and will spend a lot of time there. I call sister stevens Mamma Stevens cuz she is. Well I think I said everything hahaha!
Love always,
Elder Baldweezy

Elders Miller and Inbody

Me, Elder Miller (front) and Elder Inbody (back)  Love being in a trio!

Our little apartment

 Elder Inbody thinks we are buds!!  hahaha!!!

Elder Miller shreds!!!

A little legless lizard I found!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tallahassee Mission Home-First Day

Ian arrived safe in Tallahassee, Florida.  He met his mission President and his wife. (Bro/ Sis Smith).  He also met his first companion/trainer, Elder Miller.  He looks happy.  I believe his P-day will be this coming Monday, so we look forward to hearing from him.  I posted his new address to the right.  We looked up Fort Walton Beach, and man is it beautiful!  If you get a chance, look it up.  It is just East of Pensacola, on a Bay. It has white sandy beaches, and ice blue water. What a great first area!!
 He is going to have a hard time leaving!

President and Sister Smith and I

We arrived!!!  These are the 13 of us that traveled together from the MTC to Florida

Elder Miller (trainer) and I

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Last Day in the MTC!!! June 8, 2015

Last day in the MTC!! YEAHHH!!! It has been such a great experience here and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with the people here. Even though I would like to deck most of them... they are still good people haha. 
    Last Wednesday was a rough day. Elder Merrill and I just felt like nothing was working at all... we didn't feel like we were getting the message we wanted to. It turned right around though when I got packages from Zac, Chelsea and then cupcakes from Cassie!! We had our first zone conference with the 20 new missionaries that night and it took forever. Too many new missionaries haha! I have grown very close to them just in these short few days! 
    Thursday night at gym i messed up my ankle so bad... It has always been bad but I really tweaked it this time! I guess I got to take it easy which is very hard to do! 
     Friday the whole MTC went into the gym to watch the broadcast of Elder L. Tom Perrys funeral. It was such a powerful meeting which was odd to me because funerals are usually depressing ha. He was such a great man. Always serving others before himself. The perfect example of a missionary.
 Later that day Elder Merrill and I got word that one of the new missionaries had a break down. After about 40 minutes of running around the MTC looking for him we finally found him. We sat down with him for about an hour and just talked to him. It is crazy how much of a teacher and a friend you can be with the spirit. The rest of the day he came up to me multiple times and gave me a hug to tell me thanks! It was a great experience! Brother Collinsworth (in Branch Presidency) told me that I literally saved a missionary. 
    Saturday was a rough day. It went south so fast. Probably the roughest day since i have been here. It got bad after lunch when Elder Merrill and I went to class. Our teacher told us that we had many weaknesses and that was a slap to the face. Ether12:27. That scripture really comforted me. But the day got good. We got our 2 investigators  to commit to baptism!! Their names are Trinity and Ashton!! It got us pumped. Those hard days are what I am really thankful for. 
    Yesterday was such a nice fast sunday. It wasn't hard at all and i really wasn't hungry until dinner time.. (blessings). Elder Merrill and I taught elders qorum. Mom can you send BYU vocal point cd's to the mission home in Florida? I gave my first Preisthood blessing last night. I gave it to Sister Maiden. She came up to me because she needed comfort. The spirit really does direct those blessings!! All I did was spit out the words that needed to be said!! 
Well I am sure I will have plenty to say next week in Florida!! Love you all!
Elder Baldwin

                                    Elder Merrill and I.  Last day in the MTC!!!  FLORIDA HERE WE COME!!!  
                                                                       Can't wait to get there and work!

 Elder Collinsworth (in my Branch Presidency) I LOVE this man! 

Me and the Elders in my District.  "When we hear someone wants to get baptized"!!!!

Elders in my Zone (I got them to do the nose scratch)

My Whole Zone (I was able to be the Zone leader)  A childhood friend Brooklen Bell ended up being in my Zone, fun to see her (back left Sister)

Elder Wade.  He has a full ride scholarship to Gonzaga for Basketball)  We have been balling it up!!

The "Tongan" Elders.  Love these guys!!!

 Elder Tahuri's (Gilbert, AZ Mission) best friends.  They are from New Zealand.  Fun to talk surfing with them!  Elder Peeti on the left is going to the Martial Islands.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

MTC Life May 27-June 9, 2015

Well i guess you can officially say that I survived my first week here at the M^TC! I have so much to tell you guys!!! First, the spirit is so strong here!! My companions name is Elder Merrill and he is a kook!!! I love him!! Elder Hostetter (nick, my college roommate) was my host when I first got here!! I freaked out when I saw him!!! Everyone was looking at us weird but i don't care haha. I want everyone to read D&C 68:4-6!!! Its so good.
                Ive been called to be the Zone Leader and there are about 20 missionaries that are coming in tomorrow that I have to watch over... It should be an interesting experience haha! My district is absolutely amazing. We bond so good and we have just the best experiences with each other. 
                So i showed my old zone pictures of Me and Cassie and everyone freaked out!!! They were like deng elder baldwin... how did you score her?? hahah! The other elders were trying to get me to give them her email!! Love those guys!! The sisters here at the MTC can be so weird... Just walking arpound campus ive gottten like 50 winks... ughhh sisters we arent here to flirt.
                 Elder Merrill and I had a great day on the 29th. During our companiuonship study we walked peacfully around campus while readuing out of the preach my gospel. It was a major stress reliever for the both of us. We were both so in tune with the spirit. It was great. There are so many experiences like that. 
                  Elder Hostetter and I had a great talk the other night and it helped me so much. It was the hardest day for me by far and talking to him made it so much better. I am so thankfull for him and that he is here to give me comfort in time of need. I love this gospel and I know at times it can be really tough to be out here but I know for a fact that The Lord is on my side in everythijng. 
                   Ryan, Tenneal, Steve and becki sent me packages and those are so fun to get in the maiL!! its like christmas!!

                    Sundays are absolutley the best here at the MTC. It ios a special day for sure. I had my first zone leader meetings and I am so excited for the new missionaries to come in!! We also had our first temple walk that day and let me tell you, Ive never felt so free... hahah. That night we heard Sister Perry talk, she wrote like all of the primary hymnes. It was awesome because in the middle of her talk her 80 year old husband gets up and kisses her right in front of all of us missionaires!!! We gave him a standing ovation!! hahah. 

                     So yesterday Elder Merrill and I were in a trio companionship with Elder Alvey because his district left the day before he did and he needed a companion. We taught five people yesterday.... Not going to lie, we didnt plan a lesson for a single one of them. Those are always the best lessons though right?? We taught a lady that is from the south and oh boy.... I have some studying to do. Last night during gym i played basketball with this kid who has a full ride to gonzaga.... this dude was just lights out.. it wasnt even fun to play hahah. The Tongan elders that live on my floor gave me the cleanest haircut last night!! It was so sick because there were like four of them working on my hair at one time hahah! It looks so clean though. Definitely the best haircut ive ever gotten!!
                   i AM SO READY TO GO TO FLORIDA! I mean I love the MTC but i just want to work!!!

I love you all and I miss you all so much!
Love always, Elder Baldwin

Elder Hostetter (my roommate at BYU-I) was my Host the first day I arrived at the MTC

Elder Hostetter and I at the Provo Temple

                    Getting a haircut by some Tongan Elders. They give the best haircuts!

My companion Elder Merrill and I sporting our new haircuts!

My District

"Matrix" photo

Elder Peeti (best friends with Elder Tahuri in the Gilbert, Az mission)

Elder Peeti and I