Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When Ephrata Makes National News (February 20, 2017)

Monday was great. P-days are fun because they hardly end all day. We have a P-Day and then that night we have Family Home Evening with the group and get to play with the kids, talk to investigators and play soccer all at the church. I'm getting a lot better at soccer, my bruise on the other hand is not. It's favorite pastime is to kick the bed. :)

Tuesday was uneventful, we had District Council where I made Cincinnati Chili for everyone (first time I didn't mess something up = success). We did service at Dog-Eared Books where we sort books. That service has taught me that Satan is very real. I used to be a huge book fanatic before my mission, but after sorting through these books and after understanding the big picture, I am ashamed to admit that my dad was right and I wasted so much time on trivial things. Missions are good things.

Wednesday was relatively uneventful, it was a really awesome day where we did lots of really good things, I bought some overalls at the thrift store for $1.50. We also tracted in the rain and talked to a guy who told us that when he meets missionaries, he usually just tells him he isn't interested. Fun fact - Hermana Baird has developed a gift where if someone will humor her for 2 minutes and answer a couple of her questions, people who would usually slam the door before we could share anything usually walk away with at least a Family History or pass-along card. That being said, he had clearly come out with the purpose of telling us "no thanks" and going back inside in probably less than 2 minutes. 10 minutes later we parted with a promise that he will receive answers to his prayers if he reads the Book of Mormon at least 5-10 minutes each day and gave him one of his very own. He turned down having other missionaries come by, but told us that he would read it. And like Karla said - "The only reason we have missionaries is because the Book of Mormon doesn't have legs." We got the Book of Mormon there. It will do the rest :)
I suppose that night was a little more exciting. Today was the day that we evacuated our apartment in the dark using flashlights while a cop stood outside with lights flashing, 3 hours after the entire sky lit up white, blue, green and then orange as smoke billowed into the air and a Telsa coil noise permeated the town not just once but two times within 3 minutes of each other. And then everything went dark, from Quincy to Ephrata. If you want more details we made ABC National News. I think you can find it on the Thursday morning reports. Long story short, we spent the night at a member's house because the power lines around our house went ka-boom and was on the verge of falling over and destroying things. Just another day in the life of a missionary. :)

Thursday we went to contact a referral and got Bible-bashed in Spanish by a man holding a steak knife. I'm relatively certain he wasn't going to do anything with it but all the same. It was interesting. We did service at the food bank and I wore my overalls :D There is a member named Brother Bair - we're friends because our names are super similar. And now we're best friends because he always wears overalls and when I wore mine I got a literal Bair hug. He was beaming. Then our District Leader got a call that he was being emergency transferred to Zillah with a missionary who just broke his leg really badly and needed to leave tomorrow. Needless to say, it was a sad day for everyone. But being a missionary is like my favorite thing ever. Because that night we walked one of our recent converts aunts home in the cold darkness. It's the little things that make you feel like you are becoming something more.

We washed dishes and checked up on a man named Jack who is this darling old man who has a ton of guns and swords and old artifacts and is seriously hilarious. Also, he has lots of art and so I was geeking out a little bit.

Friday was crazy. That night was a party for our investigators daughter and so we were on the phone with like 12 people at the same time to find rides for everyone on time. It was good :)

Saturday the Zone Leaders had a baptism and we were asked to do the interlude where we bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Sunday we did lots of awesome stuff. I got to play the violin!! :DDDD

I love you all and hope you have a stellar week! :)
Hna Baird

Happy Valentine's Day!

Time Out with the squad - Sis Hopkins, Sis Harty, me, Hna Buss

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Magical Mission Time (February 13, 2017)

I can't believe I've only been in Ephrata for 10 days. It feels like it's already been a lifetime.
I'm going to tell you all a story about Mission Time.
It's this magical thing that allows 18 months to 2 years have 10 years worth of experience into it.
For example:
Two Wednesday's ago I arrived in Ephrata. Since that time we have found, taught, and dropped 3 investigators, found another 5 or 6 that we are teaching, put three on date for baptism, taken one back off date for baptism, given a talk in church, taught Primary, had ZTM, helped in food banks, shelved books, attempted to plan two separate weddings, built member trust, volunteered to do a musical number, found a violin and a pianist, changed our entire schedule as a mission, lots of pretty normal stuff. From time to time I look back at what time even means and realize we have so little of it.

Barely 5 months ago I had just arrived in White Salmon where over the course of 4.5 months, found over 100 hispanics and turned the area into a Spanish speaking area, had 2 interviews, 2 zone conferences, 3 transfers, 3 different companions, accidentally acquired a fish, got a total of 6 feet of snow, built member trust, attempted to start a Spanish group, got stuck 4,000 times, planned a baptism, moved twice, tracted for 7 hours in one day, gave trainings in church and at meetings, relearned the Spanish language, all in a day in the life of a missionary.

Just under 14 months ago I received the mission call that has completely changed my life.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to be a missionary. Never before have I been so happy, have I felt so fulfilled. The past couple of months have been not only life-changing but self-changing (if that's even a word) and I am excited to see where the rest of my mission takes me.

Some of the highlights:
We found two of the most prepared people I have ever met in my entire life. We had found some men working on a car outside and started talking to them about why the heck there are so many churches. We had a neat conversation and were just beginning to get into the Restoration when the man who owned the house came outside. Almost immediately after introducing ourselves, not as missionaries, just our names, he invited us inside. Once there I casually brought up what we had been talking to the men outside about. Suddenly there was a flood of questions and we taught a good chunk of the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, gave them both of the pamphlets, talked about living prophets and gave them the website where they could look up talks, and committed them to coming to church.
Unfortunately they weren't able to make it to church or our return appointment. But all day I kept thinking about them. Finally at 8:20 at night we had a lull and we texted them, asking if we could stop by for just a minute. Jaime was asleep but Monica told us we could come over and we had an amazing lesson on the Plan of Salvation with them. Never before have I met people so prepared and anxious for this gospel. It was amazing!!

We helped an investigating family come one step closer to baptism with a really stellar lesson on the importance of baptism, goals, eternal life, and eternal families.

The Hernandez family is a part member family with only a couple that haven't quite accepted baptism. On short notice we invited ourselves over and sat down to hear that Ivan and Jeremy (the only two of age that haven't been baptized) want to be baptized! It was incredibly humbling.

I like to joke that I am a Finding Missionary. There are lots of Baptizing Missionaries, Teaching Missionaries, etc. But I'm kind of a Finding Missionary. The irony is that there shouldn't be a division in any of these, there shouldn't be different types. That being said, my whole mission, I've gotten really really good at finding but rarely see the BIG fruits from my efforts. I love it. I love to find, I love to knock doors, I love to get to know people and their lives. I love to share the gospel and invite them to have all of the blessings that come from it. I love finding.
So suddenly, I am in an area where there are people prepared. And I've learned a valuable concept that I've always kind of felt but never experienced like I have here.

"Some might say that baptisms are not determined by the missionary because it is a moral choice that every investigator must make. There is truth in that statement, but there is also truth in this one: There is a power that can cause things to happen that need to happen. There is a spiritual force that can stir a mortal soul toward the spiritual, motivating deeper study into the Book of Mormon and more prayer with real intent. Faith is a power, and it can cause things to happen that need to happen. It can cause a soul who is good but dormant to awaken to God."

Throughout my mission I have been learning and growing. But recently there was a switch that I can't really explain and since that switch, I have seen miracles that I haven't seen before. There are those that are dormant and need awaking, and then there are those that are ready and that you know God allowed you to be a part of their life because it's something that is going to change YOU and shape YOU more than you are needed to shape that person.

Missions are just actually the best thing in the entire world. I love it.

If you are even kind of sort of thinking about going on a mission - PRAY ABOUT IT. And then study the scriptures a lot. The trick to it all is that is has got to be with true intent. If you go into it like I did, praying with an answer already in mind, with the idea that you are going to do what you want to do regardless, you're not going to get an answer! Prayer works through faith and humility. Our humility allows us to ask with a sincere heart, bending our will to the Father's. Our faith is where our confidence in the answer that we receive lies. We trust that the Lord is going to give us the answer that is the best for us, that we need, not just what we think we'd really like to happen.
This applies to everything. EVERYTHING. Literally. That's why it's a thing.

Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week :)
Hna Baird

Fotos (February 13, 2017)


Hey look! ME!

​I got some really cute boots. But they aren't very warm. There was an intervention that occurred so that I didn't lose my toes.

I got stickered.

 ​She insisted upon taking a picture with me.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Llavar a Cabo Su Obra (February 6, 2017)

So I've been transferred to Ephrata and all I have to say is that this transfer is going to be one of the most interesting I have had yet. I'm living with the two other sisters that cover English which is fun because I already know both of them, my ZL's I've already served around as well, Elder Roe and Elder Burbank and I've met two of the other 3 missionaries in our district.

Only Spanish work! Wow, it feels like it's been forever. I've already had a blast. We volunteer at food banks, thrift shops, we have multiple on-dates, we almost have a Spanish branch, the people here are so prepared, and there at FHE we are allowed to play soccer because it is anywhere from 20-60 hispanics where more than half are non-members. It's a fantastic finding tool and they get a kick out of us white kids. They always yell "Seesters! Run Seester run! GO GO GO!"

I love this area. When I got transferred I was a little bit sad at first but then I felt that it was so right. At the transfer site, President approached me and told me "Ephrata right now is on fire! The Zone Leaders called me and asked to send a missionary that could really get the ball rolling, and Sister Baird, I think you are going to do amazing there." It definitely made me step back and realize that after all of the work that I have put in with few immediate results, I was being blessed to be able to bring to pass His work in an area that would bring immediate results. I am so excited!

It already feels like I've been here forever, even though I just barely got here. I am so excited to see what lies in store for our companionship :)

Sorry it's so short, little time there is!
Love you all!
Hna Baird

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Favorite pics of Mission yet (February 6, 2017)

Red and Gingy - a couple of less active gents that despite my small size, I have wrangled to church and missionary discussions. (If you look close enough I got some bunny ears)

​​Martha Lujano and the two dogs that are less likely to eat your face off, Oprah and Abby. Actually one of my most favorite people.


Vans kids. Ian, Amber and Blake. They are also my favorite.




Bishop and Sister Goodrich


​Attempting to dab with Japhia and failing miserably. He went to give me a high-five and totally tricked me because he dabbed instead. Kids.

​She really does love me I promise

See? Friends

​Me and Sister Harty - not my companion but one of the English sisters I live with. (while wearing Hna Buss's coat. She's SUPER tall)

Lots of Fotos! (February 6, 2017)


Hna Aldrich y yo :)

Wild Horse Monument as we head back up North

Elder Favila - an elder coming home the same time as I am

​Me, Hna Tecuatl, Elder Favila and Elder Wunderlich (also coming home with me.) #squad

Vans family :) Still favorite




​And their super adorable dog

Mary and Shelley.

Honeyfox and Amber :)


​Evelyn - fantastic artist. "You girls are worth your weight in gold for coming over here and making me laugh." I love her lots.



 Hna Hernandez's hair.  : )