Monday, December 15, 2014

First week in the field! Crazy how MTC time flew bye. The field is awesome out here in Nicaragua! I’m in Managua and I’m in Beo Horizonte Zone, in the Ruben Dario 1 area. I love it and the people in it! I have an awesome trainer named Elder Le Seur! He’s been here for about 6 months and already training! But he’s an awesome trainer! He’s from Arizona. Anyway though it’s Hot here! Always sweating, and if you’re not sweating, you better drink water cause something’s wrong, jk but forreal it’s pretty hot here. I’m the only newbie in my Zone so it’s a little weird not knowing anyone. Our area consists of a few houses and tons of metal hut houses. It’s pretty sad. Makes me remember how good we had it in America and to not take it for granted. Things here are reallllly cheap too. Which is kinda good cause were living on a missionary budget right haha? We’re always busy either at appointments or walking to appointments. Alot of people aren’t at their house too when were supposed to meet too, so we do a lot of contacting and tracting. They don’t have addressed here so we go off of landmarks haha. I tried to take a few pictures this week but it wasn’t much! In our area there are not many roads... but a lot of dirt roads willed with waste and other weird smelling things. So I have one set of shoes set aside for walking and the other pair for when I meet with the president. So my shoes are really brown and don’t look black haha. But living conditions are pretty tough but apparently I have one of the best houses in the mission. Food is pretty good here from members. Rice and beans at all meals and a lot of it and a lot of rçfresco too which is like natural fruit juices which is pretty good too! Well I have to go! Don’t have long, but I hope everyone has a great week! Love yall! Nicaragua is an awesome place to be, as dad would say, "It builds Character" haha. I’ll try to write more next week! Oh and we have 2 baptisms this Saturday! And a wedding, and also a baptism next week! The Lords work is rapidly hastening here in Nicaragua!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Well this week has been intense because they're making sure were all prepared to depart! 6 weeks has sure gone by fast here, it’s ridiculous... So we lost a district this week, but Wednesday we gained a district too, feels good to finally not be the newbies in our zone ( after 6 weeks of being the newbies). I got to stay with 2 Elders and miss class with them because they were departing that day and they left at different times so I had to be the companion for the other when the first one left. They were some awesome elders! They went to Ecuador and the other to Paraguay! I really miss the other district cause we were all so close to them! They are awesome missionaries and I know will bring many unto Christ with their love. Nothing much really happened the rest of the week, same old class class class and a little sleep and food in between! So Wednesday night I had one of my friends here from Haiti who’s learning English (he speaks 5 languages) teach me the 1st lesson in English. I think that was one of the most spiritual experiences I’ve had. It’s amazing how much language is learned here and how much the spirit is actually involved in lessons. He speaks Spanish and so he always helps me with my Spanish and I help him with his English, has an awesome elder, my district and I bring him a lot of foods that we get from care packages because he hasn't received anything from his family and it’s pretty sad, so we made him into our family here along with the other elders in his room, one is a Spaniard whose pretty awesome too who helps me with my Spanish and I help his English! It’s a brotherhood here and an amazing environment. also that night I went to go brush my teeth in the bathroom (big bathroom for half the whole floor) and there was one of the elders from a Micronesian Island who was washing his socks in the bathroom sink and I asked him if he didn't like washing them in the washing machine, I couldn't understand him much cause he was just starting to learn English, and he said he only had 6 pairs of socks and I just felt really down about that cause on a good day here you go through 1 pair of socks and he didn’t even have enough to last him from P-day to P-day. At the MTC we learn how to teach people, and serve people. I saw this Elder needed help, so I couldn't resist. I go into my room and talk to my elders for a minute, and come went back to the bathroom with another elder in my room, with 4 new pairs of nice socks to give to the elder. He wouldn't accept them at first but after we kept insisting, he accepted them and gave us a big hug. I love finding ways to help those who need help, even if they're too prideful to accept at first, we should try to help. I challenge everyone this week to find at least 1 person to randomly help. If you do that, you’ll feel that amazing feeling I felt when I saw the smile on his face from something so small, socks. We are here to help others. As a missionary, we are 24/7 servants of the Lord, constantly finding ways to bring his love to everyone. I can’t wait for Tuesday to get to NICARAGUAAAAAA! I fly out from Salt Lake City at 11:18 AM local time, arrive in Atlanta at 4:50 pm, Fly out of ATL at 5:55pm  and Get to Managua, Nicaragua at 8:43pm! The journey is beginning! I can’t wait to begin bringing others unto Christ and allowing them to fell the happiness that God and Christ have for us. Yesterday we had In-Field orientation which is an all day class to prepare us for the Field! Well my time is running out so I gotta go! I love you all! Also if you send any more letters make sure it’s to my Nicaragua address! Sorry if you have to pay for customs or postage, but I love to hear from yall! If you send dear elders to me just click the NICARAGUA MANAGUA NORTH MISSION this time instead of Provo MTC!!! I love yall! The Nicaraguans will definitely hear of my amazing family and friends! Also check out this awesome video about Christ, “He is the Gift", I love it and hope you do too! Hasta luego!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Well this time I brought my journal with me so I can actually remember what happened this week haha, all the days tend to mesh together at the MTC. BUT this week I got to hear from some awesome people! So I’ll start off from Saturday. Saturday: Nothing really happened Saturdays, but we were teaching one of my teachers and I had a really spiritual connection and talked for a while with him about things and it was just an awesome experience cause I was talking about things I hadn’t prepared at all to talk about in Spanish. Sunday: Sundays are always peaceful here. During sacrament meeting though they pick 2-3 of us in the Branch to stand up and give a it’s always nerve-wracking during the meeting because we don’t know who'll be talking haha. But it was also a district's last Sunday here which always bites to see districts leave but it’s also good to know that they’re all going to their respective fields. They all went to the Mexico Saltio Mission except for one elder who went to Chicago, Spanish speaking. This week another district will be leaving too, which means it’ll only be my little district here for about a day and a half cause next Wednesday we get 2 new districts!!!! So excited! were still the newest district in my zone because no one new has come in. (One of the cool things about being a Zone Leader too, is that we get to welcome them their first night here and get to know them and give them a tour!). Monday: Taught another of our teachers about how she can be forgiven and become closer to God. Then we taught our last TRC with Alan! Imma miss him, I took a picture with him and my companion that ill either send on here, or have it posted on the blog. Tuesday: We taught one of our teachers about the Apostasy & restoration of the gospel by Joseph Smith. For our Tuesday night Devotional We had Elder Dallin H. Oaks (Quorum of the 12 Apostles) come and speak with us along with his wife. They gave us advice on how to be better missionaries and the importance of focusing on others. After the devotional my companion and I took the Sister Training leader with us to a training meeting to get ready for our Thanksgiving activities on Thursday! But it was so cool to hear from an apostle and to be about 20 feet from him! Wednesday: Us zone leaders had more training meetings to prepare for Thanksgiving Day! Funny story there though. So our project for Thanksgiving was we were making these soup kits for those in need here in Utah. And they were teaching us how to man a team to prepare the packets. Each team had 12 people all with vital parts. So the instructor was explaining all the roles of the different positions and I kinda zoned out, and she asked me to explain all the different positions in front of everyone, and the MTC Presidency's first counselor’s wife was right behind me, I kinda messed up the positions at first but then I smooth sailed the rest! I guess I can’t zone out anywhere here haha. I also got another nice package from home!! In it were my camera batteries so guess what?? I can take pictures now!! So be prepared! I also got my Race For Lace T-shirt!! Woohooo! I repped it today around campus since its pday and everyone was asking about it, so there’s a ton of people here that know about Race for Lace and its Cause (Thanks Jeri!) and lots of letters from the Fam! Thursday: THANKSGIVINGGG= NO CLASSSS woot woot. Started the day off with a Devotional and guess who was the guest speaker... Elder David Bednar, also of the quorum of the 12! (and one of my personal favorites). He came with a lot of cell phones which he passed around and had us text questions to his iPad and it was pretty much a Q&A session which was really neat and fun! my questions didn’t get answered by him however but he said those whose questions didn’t get answered that we need to pray about it and search the Book of Mormon (I agree with him cause that’s where all answers are I believe) a key note I took from him was this " We have 2 years to serve the Lord, and the rest of our lives to ponder on how we served" also " We will go from being full time missionaries, to being lifelong missionaries after. Then we had an unusual devotional and after that an awesome Thanksgiving lunch (dinner stunk because it was a brown bag meal with not so good sandwiches) and then our service project!! My table boxed up 17 .5 boxes! With 48 bags of meals in each! And then after that we watched Meet the Mormons!!! AWESOME movie!! Go see it! I can’t wait to talk to yall next week! Don’t forget to email/ write me! I’ve got just over a week left in the US!! Also I got my travel itinerary!! I leave Provo at 6am, Fly from Salt Lake City to ATL, From ATL to Managua Nicaragua and arrive at 9pm!!! The journey will begin December 9th!!! I love yalll!! Talk to you in a week!! Oh and check out my blog!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Well this week has been yet another interesting week! But like always, lots of spanish and little sleep. Im starting to get used to not much sleep now haha. But my spanish is getting pretty awesome now and gets better every day! Miracles happen here at the MTC. On Tuesday we were teaching in TRC and i felt prompted to invite Alan to be baptized and he said YES! But like i said a few weeks ago, im pretty sure hes an actual member. And so later in the seek we talked to him about obedience and all of that good stuff and next lesson were going to talk about a commandment or 2 with him. Other than that we've been teaching more lessons and learning mas espanol. I got my 1st package this past saturday too! talk about a bittersweet moment. the little ones all made special letters and christian made a little "envelope" for his letter and i also got little goodies from the family. Wednesday was a tough day for everyone here and after class i just went to the room, went through all the letters and felt a little homesick, but extremely comforted at the same time. This week weve focused alot on "How does Christ help me & see me?" & "How can I speak, think and act more like the savior?"  Christ has done more for us than we can imagine. Because of Christ, I can return to live with my Father in Heaven, You can live to return with our Father in Heaven, We ALL have the opportunity to return to live with our father in Heaven. As a missionary, we stand right beside Jesus Christ, and we stand here proudly and honorably. I love this opportunity i have to stand beside my Savior. To help ease his burdens. I cant wait to get out in the field in Nicaragua and find that person who God has been preparing to hear this message of the Gospel from me. I heard someone say to us this week say that we were called to speak spanish for our mission because thats the language we teach the gospel best in. Its hard to believe that now, but maybe ill look back soon and realize what he said was right. My district has made considerable progress in our langauge here. With faith in Heavenly Father, he will help us have the Gift of tongues by the Holy Ghost. I love it here, minus some issues with the food... Wednesday i got to be a Host for new missionaries and it was an amazing experience! to be that first person to welcome someone to the MTC after they leave out from under Mommas wings lol. I hosted 4 Elders and gave them individually a little tour and then dropped them off at class. Neat Experience! Well time to go! keep up the letters! i love them and all of you all! I cant think of much to say else, I got a really nice journal though that ive been using but i forgot it in my room, ill bring it next week so this email will be more detailed haha. Also on thanksgiving its a day of service here and a higher General Authority in the church will be here! this past week we had Sister Burton ( General Relief Society President) and someone else come for our devotionals! Love you guys! cant wait for next week! also no pics this week :/ Amanda will update my blog with some pictures she got from me this week so check it out!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Well this week has been alot like the rest. Tired, mind blown by all the Spanish, and always spiritual. Nothing really happened Saturday cause i was in class for 10 hours. Sunday was bittersweet, It was one of the Zones last sunday because they were leaving to start their missions in Mexico! But my companion and i took the new assignment of becoming Zone Leaders. Lots more responsibilities but we also have a cell phone now! Even though it can only call security and the front desk and our Branch Presidents home/cell, but i have technology again!!!! Every Sunday we take a walk to temple as a zone and its so peaceful. We also had a Devotional where Bishop Davies spoke at ( 2nd Counselor in Presiding Bishopric) But i forgot my notes in my room about his talk. Lo siento. Monday we were supposed to teach one of our Teacher (she role plays as a lady named Areli) but right after we were about to, she got a call saying her grandfather had passed so we didnt end up teaching her. But later in the afternoon we taught our TRC investigator Alan another lesson. I always love teaching Alan ( weve heard hes an actual member of the Church) He now offers prayers in our lessons which is awesome! Also monday there was a Hermana in our District, Hermana O'Neill that finally got her Visa and headed out to the Spain MTC and so her companion, Hermana Sagapulo. Its very different being in a trio. Tuesday we had service at 6:15 again and later that day we had something called Member TRC where we pretty much teach a mini lesson/ spiritual though with a member and leave them with a commitment and we did that twice. The first guy reminded me of my granpa so it was really awesome, Love you Grandpa! and the 2nd guy seemed a little more hardcore though. but after our lesson we had a converstaion with us and the said " You guys got here 2 weeks ago, and you just held a 30 minute conversation with me in Spanish, Im so proud of you guys" So that was a really uplifting lesson. The we had a Devotional Where President Condie spoke at. Wednesday and thursday were basically Class, Class, and more class. I can Teach in spanish now without notes and its an amazing feeling.And it SNOWED YESTERDAY  Today we went to the temple, came back and did laundry... and someone stole my laundry bag which really irritated me because now i have no place to put clothes and also i had to walk all the way from the laudry room to the bedroom with a heaping pile of dirty clothes and people looking weird at me. and here i am writing this letter on the computer! I love you guys and miss you all so much! Things can be tough sometimes but i know ill always have Heavenly Fathers support and yalls support! I know that the Holy ghost and Faith can work miricales in life, especially here at the MTC. I came here a little over 2 weeks ago and was struggling with spanish. Now im able to teach a 30 minute lesson, without notes, a lesson that actually makes sense, and a lesson guided by the spirit in Spanish. The gift of tongues is real, but you have to work for it and put forth faith. At times its frustrating here, But i always get a reminder that im preparing myself for that 1 person or multiple persons waiting for me in Nicaragua to hear about this Gospel and to help them come unto Christ.  I love you all and im loving the Dear Elders & also the letters taht you guys are sending! it makes every day easier! LOve Y'all :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

 Fri, Nov 7, 2014
So this week has been alot more studying and lessons as usual. Ive probably taught at least 1 lesson a day minus sunday to investigators but im not complaining because its very beneficial and it teaches us to connnect with others and follow the spirit. Sunday night we had a nice devotional by a member of the 1st seventy which was pretty cool, Elder Goldan. Hes south african and pretty cool, he had an important message also! Sorry again for all the typos/grammer problems but in 2 years ill have spell check again :P. Monday was basically a normal day (8-10 hours in the class room) But my spanish understanding is ALOT better. El Don de Lenguas es reál. Teaching is still a little difficult, still using a smnall script but making myself and my companion rely on the spirit more. Tuesday morning we walked to the Marriot center and joined some BYU students for a special devotional by another member of the 1st quorum of the 70 David F. Evans, which was pretty sweet! then after that we went back to the  normal 3-4 hour long sessions in class.. which isnt as bad as it seems because alot of learning is done. Tuesday Night Sister Nelson ( wife of Elder Nelson of quorum of the 12) talked to us and it was really neat. Everyone tends to hit on the importance of missionaries and our purpose and it just reiterates our importance of inviting others to come unto Christ. Food is great here. People are great here. Just about everything is great here. Alot of opportunities to be selfless. My Branch Presidency is pretty much our adopted parents, they all give us elders hugs when they see us and their wives give the sisters hugs whenever they see them too! And I learned ill be having more responsibilities which ill tell yall about next friday!Tuesday we also had to wake up early and be in service clothes at one of the buildings on campus at 6:15 to clean it for 75 minutes. Wednesday we had 11 hours in class and taught our "investigator"(our new 2nd teacher). Missionaries Eat, Sleep, Study in spanish, Teach in Spanish, and somewhere in between there we have 50 minutes to workout( I usually go out to play volleyball with poeple)  Yesterday my companion and i taught our TRC investigator ( 60% chance theyre an actual investigator). His name is Alan and hes awesome! hes a student at BYU studying IT. But we read him the last 2 paragraphs in the introduction for the book of mormon and briefly talked about it and the restoration. we also had early morning service also! Today is the day that everyone in my zone looks forward to because its PDAYYYYYY. Started off my day by going to the temple and after that was able to grab some food in the basement caferteria. TEMPLE FOOD IS AMAZING fyi.. then we did laundry. I had to teach all the elders how to do laundry. Man if only they had a mom like mine that taught/made me do laundry haha. then we went to the outdoor sand volleyball field and played some volleyball, and HERE I AM! I love and miss you all! But i just wanted to bear my testimony before i leave! Yo se que la iglesia esmuy veredaro, yo se que el evangelio de jesucristo bencides nuestro vivas. The spirit is very strong here at the MTC. Every day i learn more and i feel more of the spirit. This church is true. This is Christs Church. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Oh boy where do i start. the first day was SOO chaotic and so much information to take in. our instructors speak 0 english to us. Ive been so lost and confused O.O  tonight we teach our first "investigator" in spanish! crazyy. So fridays are my P-day so be prepared for my emails then! i can write and send letters throughout the week though! im the only person in my district who hasnt gotten any mail... so show me some lovee :( Mi district is awesome! and mi companero is pretty sweet! We consist of 3 elder companionships y uno hermana companionship! ill have to send a picture next week though. we meet the branch president last night and after interviewing everyone he called me back to meet with him and his counselor and guess what?! im the District Leader! alot more i have to do though to go along with studying spanish so yeah. lots of studying to do! Things are going good though, so much food its awesome. Everyone here is so awesome, its awesome! Language study is super hard. Youre immersed into it and theres nothing you can do about it. But its good that way because it makes you rely on faith and the Holy ghost to get through everything. I cant wait to be fluent its not even funny haha. I wish they had nap times too haha. were up and busy from 6:15 till about 11 at night. Mi companero Elder Robinson and another set of elders is going to the same mission as I so were the "Managua Crew"! I feel like this letters rambling all over the place but thats just how a missionarys mind is! we went to the temple today which was really awesome. I love the temple and the blessings it brings to out lives. Ill have to take more pictures this coming week if my camera battery comes in! I hope everyone is doing great! I hope yall love the pictures! Times Up! if you need info im in District 41 and mailbox #25! Hope yall like the pictures!

Despite all of the Chaos in the language here. I know that this is what im supposed to teach in. Its a challenge but its not a challenge i cant handle. I love you all and i love my savior and this Gospel. Yo se que Jesucristo es el salvador, que la iglesia y el Evangelio de Cristo es verdadero y amorso. Este testimonio ayuda me superar desafios y ayuda me tener esperanza y ser una buena persona. Te amo! -Elder Baltimore 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My last night of watching TV and staying up late...

Well tomorrow I will be set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints! 132 days ago I received my mission call to serve in the Nicaragua Managua North Mission and I am anxious more and more every day to go out into the mission field and serve the Lord. I leave to the Provo MTC this Wednesday for 6 weeks. As I look back in my life there have been periods of time where I have, and have not wanted to go on a mission. But I guess I matured a lot at the end of last year/beginning of this year. I realized how grateful I am for all that I have in my life. I realized that all I have is because of the love of my Heavenly Father. I wanted to find someway to give back to Him for all that he has given me. As many of you know, I like to work and serve others. I realized the best way to serve Him, was to go on a mission. I looked around and saw many good friends going on missions and what great examples they are in my life and how grateful I am that Heavenly Father put these people in my life to help provide that great example for me. I started my papers as soon as I could and ever since have felt the spirit assuring me that this is what I need to do in this time of my life. And so here I am right now, T-minus 3 days till starting the greatest journey of my life! I am grateful for this opportunity and for all who've helped me along the way. I'm not the best writer nor do I like to write but I will try my best to write something for my amazing mom to post on here so you guys can know how the mission is going! I love you all and hope that you enjoy reading about my life as a missionary, un misionero de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. Oh and my mission is in spanish so be prepared for some spanish! ;P

As I was preparing my "farewell" talk last night I found an awesome scripture that I'd like to share with y'all. In Galatians 5:13, the apostle Paul is talking and says "But by love serve one another". In order to serve one another, we must love one another. Its not always easy but hey, we CAN do it. We can love one another and happily serve. As we serve, we must have love in our heart. If we don't have love in our heart, are we purely serving?