Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Douglas Week 1: Elder Penrod, the Golden Investigator, and Seasons

Hey guys! So I am in Douglas now! It is pretty awesome! It is right on
the border. Lots of Border Patrol. I am in probably the nicest
apartment in the mission! It is like a condo. We both have our own
bathrooms, a large main room, nice kitchen with a gas stovetop,
washer, dryer, and dishwasher! It is amazing!

SEASONS!!! So it is a little colder down her in Douglas but the most
amazing thing is that there are trees here! Trees that have leaves!
Leaves that change color!!!! I haven't seen leaves change color since
Fall of 2013!

Monday: Last day in Los Reales. So we got up way early this morning
and taught seminary to 6 kids at the church building. It went pretty
well. It is tough though! Sometimes they answer while other times they
look at you like zombies wanting your brains. Later we did our laundry
and emailed. We went to Target and I got a new tie from birthday
money. We then went to sports and had a good time. After we had dinner
then visited a few people to say goodbye.

Tuesday: Up early! Transfer meeting then I got on the van to go to
Benson. Got off, loaded my stuff into the Toyota Corolla, then drove
about an hour down to Douglas. We dropped off my stuff. Went through
trouble with the gas card. Apparently someone stole the info, tried to
buy $850 worth of stuff, Missionary Department put a fraud hold on it,
and didn't tell us until we asked why we could buy gas. So that was
fun. Then we did some shopping because I had very little food and then
we had to clean the apartment to make it habitable. Later, we made a
visit so that I could meet the Bishop. So Douglas has a ward and it is
a little on the smaller side but it is a bilingual ward with English
and Spanish.

Wednesday: District meeting went super well! There is a companionship
of hermanas here too. Hna Gregory, Hna Munk, and Sister Quiñonez.They
are in a trio because Hna Gregory is going home mid-transfer for
school. So 5 Spanish missionaries right now. Well, Sister Q is an
English missionary but she is a native Spanish speaker and we needed
her for the trio. After the meeting, Elder Penrod and I gave a member
a blessing then went knocking. Later, we had an appointment with
Eugenio. It was a great lesson and we taught about the Plan of
Salvation. After, we had an awesome dinner with the Barallardos
family. They are super cool and super funny! The mom is the cheer
coach and she let me put on the mascot suit!

Thursday: So just some little highlights. We were invited over for a
thanksgiving meal at lunch and dinner. We also went knocking during
the day and were able to find a few new investigators! They let us
share a message then we set an appointment to come back.

Gratitude: So I am very grateful for a lot of things! I am grateful
for my family and their love and support, my mission, my Savior Jesus
Christ, His gospel, living prophets, the priesthood, and for hard
things. I am grateful for hard things because that is really the only
way we learn. At a stake fireside at home a few years ago a motto was
shared that stuck with me, "I like to do hard things, I do hard things
first, I am the first to do hard things, I can do hard things." I like
that because it is true. Christ did the hardest thing, He paid for our
sins. We have hard things in life, not as hard, but we all have our
own cross to bear. So let us throw it up on our shoulders, throw on a
nice smile, and march forward with joy in our hearts because "men are,
that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25).

Friday: Service at the food bank. Missionaries here do service at a
food bank too. It is VERY different from the last one I went to. The
last one gave you tons of stuff for helping out, like we hardly had to
buy groceries. This one, they feed you a breakfast afterwards. We then
did our studies then gave Hna Gregory a blessing. Going home is a
little stressful. Later we had a basketball activity with some of the
guys in town. I didn't realize I was so out of shape.

Saturday: We had some great lessons with Mario, a less active, Albert,
a guy we found thanksgiving day, and Bro Allen, a member. Brother
Allen has a golden investigator. It is a small gold statue of a boy.
Later we did our weekly planning and didn't finish.

Sunday: Church was great! It was very different to be in a ward rather
than a branch. It is a totally different dynamic. The meetings were
great then there was choir practice. We did some more weekly planning
then had dinner with Ben and Tiff Last. They have a son named Damian.
He is almost 4 and he is my best friend. After dinner, we went and
visited Brother Cluff, a less active member wanting to return. He is a
little shy but is progressing.

Elder Penrod is my companion. He is from Nephi, Utah. He graduated in
2015 and this is his 3rd transfer in the field. He is really cool,
funny, and is a hard worker! We get along great!

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Dallin Baker

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