Friday, November 3, 2017

Keepin it real (Nov 1)










Hello Everyone!!!!

Tomorrow marks the first day of my last transfer. It will also be my first day in a new area. I'm being six week shafted for the final weeks of my mission! I can't believe it, I'm going to miss campus so much.

The past week and a half have been incredible. There were like 100000000 highlights so I'll share short bits of just a few of them.

We had MLC and learned more about the sacrament. We also all got President Stratford tshirts. It was fun to see lots of my good pals :)

I took Sister Skeen on an exchange. This is her first transfer and she is amazing. We gave a guy a card and were explaining what was on it. He was looking at the card, not where he was going, and got like 4 inches away from ramming his face into a giant screw on a pole. Haha it was funny.

We met lots of athletes this week. A football player is a new investigator. A soccer player stayed close while a creepy man was talking to us. The soccer player is a freshman and is going to come to church whenever he doesn't have an away game.

OSU played Penn state and had a major comeback and won by one. We didn't watch of course but just imagine how crazy the whole campus was. Before he game started we helped this guy carry a bunch of stuff. We got to walk right by the stadium through all the tailgating. It was incredible.

It snowed. I almost cried.

We met a crazy man named ice cream on the bus. He said his name was ice cream, different flavors for different neighbors. All eyes on cream! He gave us folded up papers and said he wanted us to have them. They're pictures of himself haha.

J. agreed to read the Book of Mormon every day for a month. As incentive, a recent convert promised to ask a girl out from the ward if she does it. I love YSA wards.
 
Our friendly bus driver took us to dinner again. He was asking about his cousin who is now a member. He asked if we have the wear the "keep it real" rings. We were like huh?? He meant CTR rings. I like the idea of a  KIR ring lol.

L. has been progressing amazingly well. I am going to miss her so much! She has quickly become one of my best friends. She came to church and loved it. We've been teaching her at least twice a week since we met.

K. is great. She has had questions her whole life about random stuff. She never has had them answered. She brought them to us and we've been able to answer some! I just love her! She's planning a trip for Summer 2019 when Sister Edmunds and I will be in Utah.

P. kinda tried to drop us. We invited him to dinners and church and everything and he still came. He loves the church. He can't get away!

Short and sweet but it's all I have time for. I'll know where I'm going tomorrow and I'll email next week! Remember, pday is always on Wednesday now! Cheers to my last transfer!

Remember God loves you!

Love, Sister Barnes

Pics
MLC
The final district pic
It's cold out. We use foot warmers for our hands
Brutus
When we got to go by the stadium on game day

ROTC Brutus

Hello everyone! (Oct 23)








We put L. on date! We extended baptism and she said yes so we extended a date for Nov 18th and she said yes! Yay! She always texts her member friend after lessons and tells him how it went. He always tells us what she says and she LOVES THE GOSPEL! This week she was asking why other religions don't use the Book of Mormon. Good question!!!

Our bus driver is doing awesome. He talked to his aunt and uncle to comfort them with their son converting to be a member. He has been talking to us a lot and has been finding lots of cool answers to questions he has. He's still Jewish but loves hearing more about the church. We go so in depth in our Facebook messenger lessons that we're still not done with the restoration. But he's already through Jacob in the Book of Mormon and stopped drinking coffee. I've been praying a lot about knowing when he'll be ready for missionaries in his area to reach out to him, but I feel like he's not quite ready yet. Still working on getting him there though! He took all the OSU Sisters to 5 guys and says he's working on getting me a Torah, cool! 

K. is no longer on date for the 28th of this month. She's working towards Nov 18th instead! She just hasn't felt like she got her strong answer yet. She said that the things we teach her make more sense than the things she was raised with and she's trying to grasp that. We shared Alma 32:28 and explained that "enlightening her understanding" is a way God reveals truth. She really liked that. 

M. is so great. We finished the plan of salvation with him and he absolutely loved it. He made some cool connections on his own. He asks many questions and will be ready before he knows it! His friend just left on a mission and he was so excited to tell us about his first weekly email from the MTC. He is definitely prepared for this time!

I took Sister Ballard on an exchange! She's on week 11 in the field and is training a missionary who's on week 5. She's a super star. We had a ton of fun and laughed all day. It started with the first contact of the day. We were waiting at a cross walk to cross the street. This guy starts walking close by and I go up and introduce myself. I say my name and hold my hand out to shake his. He looks at me, looks at my hand, crosses his arms across his chest, and bows. He straight up bowed to me and didn't even say anything. Then the rest was just a train wreck but it was hilarious. The guy was from Pakistan so I think it was a cultural thing?

Our trio is still a trio! Longest sister one in mission history I think. We'll probably make it all transfer, since transfers are next week! We're not sure what's going to happen. I'm praying I stay on campus for my last transfer! Today is our last Monday pday. Next week starts Wednesday pdays! Some people have asked why we're changing them to Wednesdays, here's what President Stratford said:

As your Mission President I am constantly praying & pondering with the Lord to enlighten me with ideas that will give our missionaries the best opportunity to succeed. Since arriving, I have felt that with P-day on Monday we are not properly leveraging the benefit gained by worshipping on the sabbath. Sunday is the most important day to a missionary. It is the day we renew our covenants made at baptism, along with those made when we accepted a call to serve. We get spiritual & physical energy from this experience and then seem to toss it all away on Monday. After much consideration, I have decided to change P-day in our mission to Wednesday effective November 1st.  Hopefully, this change will allow us to take the Spirit we feel on Sunday and apply it in the work on Monday & Tuesday. Wednesday will be P-day ,then Thursday will be District meetings where we can re-energize for Friday & Saturday

I'm excited, it's going to be awesome! I love being a missionary!!! 

Sister Barnes


Pics
The van
Awful pic but awesome Krystalyn! See, told ya she was tall. 
Mason and Bianca got us Mochi ice cream
Barnes and Noble! Maureen got this tag because she's funny :) I love her!
The trio
We went to the zoo today! Thanks to Sister Moran, Sister Cottle, Sister Rutter, and Krystle Proper from Powell, Marysville, and home for getting us all in!

OSU is the best district (Oct 16)












Hello everyone!!

A few things first:
Starting November 1st, our mission will be having pdays on Wednesday! This will be a cool way to use the sacrament and the Sabbath to propel us in the work. Our email time has been cut from unlimited to 1.5 hours. That's all the time I have to send a group email and email people back. Even though only like 2 people email me, I may not have a ton of time to email everyone lol. We also were instructed to be careful about emailing back and forth with people. This will help us stay focused on our missions!

Big changes, but change is good!

Speaking of change, there was a lot that happened in our district. A few hurt ankles later, we lost 2 Sisters. One had to go home for surgery and the other got transferred to an area with a car. So, Sister Zaugg is home, Sister Empey is in Fairborn, Sister Ballard is now training Sister Skeen (even though Sister Ballard's not even done with her training!) So OSU is down to 11 missionaries, no clue how but our trio stayed put!

Most of this email is going to be videos and pictures of our fun district. I love them all!

This week was fall break for OSU so it was a little slower than normal. We still found some cool new people and were able to meet with a bunch of old ones. Basically everyone is doing great!

So Brinlee, my high school friend, moved to Columbus! We went to the Franklin Conservatory today with her and her new husband. It was so fun :)

Billions of pictures.
Our district last pday. Pumpkin carving!
Knickknack Patty wack! Our whole district calls him that now haha
The trio on the roof of the architecture building
Miles is our bff at Buckeye Donut
Last sisters pic
Saying bye to sister Empey and the elders had to photo bomb haha
Shimon drove the remaining 5 sisters home!
Our dead neighbor saw us on the bus with a pumpkin and told us to
carve something scary. We just got the pumpkin for the seeds so we
decided to carve it and give it to him.
Downtown view from the library

The conservatory.. where real life meets mission life.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I am not ashamed (Oct 9)










Everyone!

I'll share about one of the coolest things from this week!

Thursday I took Sister Empey on an exchange. At the end of the day, we
had a cool opportunity to participate in something unique. Sister
Empey and Sister Ballard were contacted a few days ago by someone who
was part of a Christian group on campus. In this group, they come from
different religions and discuss different views on topics and
doctrines. There are usually about 30 people there. We went and it was
interesting!

They started talking about miracles and we had some stuff prepared
from the recent conference talk about miracles. We didn't get to share
any of that because the topic quickly changed to prophets. They were
discussing some of the qualifications for someone to be a prophet and
they were saying some not true things. The director guy said that
there was no such thing as a true prophet any more. I'm sure he wasn't
meaning to, but he was being pretty rude about there not being a
prophet in these days. He asked a quick question if there even were
any churches who believe in prophets now. I was scared and didn't act
quick enough to stand up for our beliefs. Then they moved on.

The guilt that I felt for not speaking up wrenched my soul. It was so
bad that I was literally shaking. I pictured a few things. First, I
saw the judgment bar and Thomas S Monson sitting next to Jesus Christ.
He asked, "why didn't you stand up for me?" And I felt SO BAD. I also
thought of the scripture about being not ashamed, and I wasn't that. I
was ashamed! And I was ashamed that I was ashamed. So I decided to
repent and pray for a lot of courage to raise my hand. I had no idea
what I would say so I prayed for the spirit to help. The conversation
turned more into an argument which made it even more scary.

Right before we had to leave to be home on time, I rose my hand and
they called on me. I don't remember exactly what I said because the
spirit did most of it, but it was something like, "in The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we know that there is a prophet on
the earth today..." and went on talking about dispensations and Joseph
Smith and the Book of Mormon. I bore my testimony a ton and I really
just mostly remember that I felt the spirit SO STRONG and the whole
room was silent. Then Sister Empey jumped in and bore witness to what
I shared. It was so cool! The director guy didn't know what to say for
a sec then asked how we knew the Book of Mormon was true. I said, "I
prayed about it." Then he said something about evidence blah blah blah
and I said, "I base my faith on faith, not evidence." And that
definitely resonated with him and he didn't know what to say. He asked
if there were things in the Bible to back it up and we said yes but we
really needed to leave to be home on time. We offered to send the info
or come back another time to present it. They agreed to let us do so!

Afterwards, I felt so good. I felt like I did not have to worry about
standing before God and trying to explain that the only reason I
didn't defend my beliefs or our beloved prophet was because of fear. I
know that I got the courage from God, and I'm thankful that I did. I
will never be timid about my beliefs again. I'm thankful I could stand
up for the prophet just a few days after I sustained him.

The church is true.

Then lots of other random things happened. I have been struggling with
some things this transfer and asked for a priesthood blessing. I was
told exactly what I needed to hear and was promised patience and love
which I had been lacking. I felt a renewal of the spirit and know that
I'll be able to make it through.

This will take a second to explain the back story. So back in 2013 my
family went to Nauvoo to be part of the Nauvoo Pageant. While there, I
became pretty good friends with a Sister Missionary named Sister
Newell. She helped inspire me and helped me see that missionaries
don't have to be weirdos. Then in 2014 my family went again. And she
was there, again! I was still pretty good friends with her and would
chat every time I saw her. Then go to 2015-2016 when I was at BYU. She
was home from her mission and going to school. It was before my
mission when I was going to school! Whenever we'd see each other on
campus we would talk for a long time and always be late to class. I
went to her wedding reception! Then last week I found out that last
summer, she and her husband had moved for her husband to start
optometry school. And guess where? OSU!!! They live in the family ward
that covers the campus area!! Through some other missionaries I got
her phone number and we were able to have lunch together this week. It
was SO FUN!! God knew that we needed each other on our missions :').

This week we witnessed a lot of repentance from our investigators!

P: we've been worried about his lack of desire and excitement
for the gospel. We had an awesome lesson this week with a member who
just got home from his mission. We were able to help him see that
he needs a greater desire to follow Jesus Christ. The other sisters
told us he walked out the institute door smiling ear to ear!

K: we have been talking with her a lot about how to receive
answers to her prayers. This week she realized on her own that she
needs to read and pray more. She committed herself to do it daily and
set a reminder on her phone.

J: she's been a not progressing investigator for a while. We
regained consistent contact when we started using Facebook! We finally
had a lesson this week and she recognized at she hadn't been doing the
things she committed to do (read and pray daily). She committed
herself to do it and had the idea herself to set a reminder around the
time she went to bed. She's been reading and is super excited to
always tell us about what she's reading.

M: he was taught like everything last year by the sisters. We were
able to start teaching him again this week. we had a really cool
lesson on the restoration and focused on the priesthood. He made some
cool realizations and is going to read and pray everyday! He has a
sincere desire, real intent, and faith in Christ! I'm so excited about
him.

N: a member friend brought him to church. He said its been
several years since he's been and wants to start getting back into it.
Somehow he managed going all of church without talking to any
missionaries. We were sitting outside breaking our fast when he left.
We introduced ourselves and thought he was a member or something. We
found out that he wasn't, that he loved church, that he's already
working on getting Sundays off every week so he can come again, and he
really wants to meet with us! Tender mercy.

S: bus driver guy we teach on FB. He's Jewish and is very strong
in his faith. He has been reading the Book of Mormon every day and is
soaking it in. He told us that he really believes the Book of Mormon
could be divinely inspired. He always "jokes" about getting baptized
and being converted. This week he told me if he does convert that I
can baptize him. Haha we explained the whole priesthood thing and I
said I knew some people who would gladly do it. His heart is
softening! He had an incident on his bus the other night. Some guy was
using illegal substances and was getting sent to a rehab place. Shimon
had to make him not use the bad stuff. The kid was scared to go to
rehab and asked for something that could comfort him. Shimon gave him
his Book of Mormon and knew it would bring him peace. He asked for
another copy for himself asap. I love it!!!

I know the gospel is true! I love that I am on a mission and that I
have the opportunity to defend my beliefs and things I know to be
true. I love my Savior and the truth of His restored gospel.

Love you all!!

Pics
German Village last week!
Sister Newell! Now Hayley and no longer Newell haha
Brutus the buckeye
On Wednesdays we wear pink
💕OSU district
Bus driver friend took us to lunch and got the pink memo without us telling him!
Exchanges and Corrin (recent convert)
Found the roof garden
I love Corrin!!!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Got Jesus on My Mind (Oct 2)










Hello Everyone!

This week was GREAT! I'll start by telling you about the awesome people who watched a session conference with us.

K: she's still on date! We meet with her a few times each week and she's still doing great. She recognizes that her answer won't come like a light switch but will be more like a sunrise. She loved Conference and said it was very unique. The gospel and everything about it just click in her mind. YAY!

M: he was the former we reached out to a while ago. His member friend was visiting and he brought him to conference! And we were able to set up a time this week to meet. His friend is leaving on a mission soon!

J: I met Jason on exchanges on Friday. He was walking near us and I noticed his Ohio University sweater. I always get super excited when I see OU stuff because I can talk with people about my time in Athens last summer. So we got talking and before we even brought up the gospel he asked where he church was. We were pretty close and offered to show him. He said sure! So we gave him a church tour and taught him a bit. He came for a lesson before conference and just soaked it all in. He was super engaged and was laughing and feeling the spirit and it was just perfect. We are meeting with him again this week :)

C: he's an adorable Chinese guy we met like a month ago. He came to church a few weeks ago and it's been hard to get ahold of him. Finally we did and he came to conference. Some member was asking why he agreed to meet with us and he said lots of his family are christians and he wants to be too. They told him to come to church and lessons with us! Supportive family! Yes! He has a lesson this week too.

P: he's still on date as well! We taught him about prophets this week. He was a little weary about them but agreed to pray about and ponder it. He came to conference and really seemed to enjoy it. We've been helping him loosen up and open up a lot more. He's pretty quiet and shy. We gave him a fun nickname that he loves, it's knickknack patty wack 😂😂

There were also a lot of fun meetings to attend!
MLC: we got a refresher on the safeguards for using technology. It was cool. I love the spiritual reboost that comes from MLC.
Interviews: it's always so nice to get direct counsel from Heavenly Father through the mission president! He's such a loving inspired man.
Exchanges: I took Sister Zaugg! We had so much fun. We met Jason (mentioned earlier), walked Maureen home and contacted with her (she prayed that I would find a husband as we're out contacting.. haha it was thankfully unsuccessful), and got the Friday tradition of Buckeye donuts. General Conference: We watched 2 of the sessions at the institute. We pulled the couches into the gym and projected it on the wall. It was so fun! One of the sessions all the STLs went to the mission home. It was nice. We also went to the mission home with the OSU district. Yay! During all the sessions, so many questions were answered. For me, I realized that I need to open my eyes and see the full perspective of people who are struggling. It was Craig W Zwick's talk that hit me. So many questions and concerns from investigators were answered too!! If you haven't watched all the sessions.. do it! You'll be able to find them on lds.org.

I love the gospel and I love sharing it all the time! Everything is worth it. I wouldn't trade my mission for the world! I have loved focusing on the Savior and always trying to have him on my mind. I said something like the subject line a few days ago and now it's just a running joke. I really do got Jesus on my mind. I love Him! I love you all!

Love, Sister Barnes

Pics
High st
The dabbs and the district
Buckeye donut Friday with Sister Zaugg
Maureen and her bunny
🐰
STLs and my comps
Conference ft the Stratford's
OSU district ft the Stratford's
OSU Sisters eating dinner on a member's porch

STLT Trio on Campus (Sep 25)






Helllooooo!

Let me explain the subject. So, as you know, I stayed on campus! I am still the sister training leader for the sisters on campus. I am also follow up training Sister Edmunds! (btw.. I WAS RIGHT! I knew she was going to be my companion
😊) I took her on an exchange last transfer and we basically had the time of our lives. Pumped to be with her again! Now for the biggest surprise to everyone (especially me). We are in a trio! We also have Sister Harisay who came out the same time as like half of my companions (Sister Flora, Sister Hall, and Sister Andersen). It's a weird situation and probably first time ever trio on campus. It's a tough adjustment but we are figuring it out!

The past few days have been awesome. I said bye to Sister Johnson which was sad
😭. She is back home in Oregon living life! I learned so much from her.

P is still awesome!! He is on date for October 28th. He is just soaking in everything we teach. We taught about praying and reading the scriptures and at the end of the lesson he said he was thinking about how he doesn't have time for all that, then realized that it was Satan telling him that and that he needed to figure out how to prioritize his life! He's the best.

We also met K. She is so cool. We met her while we were waiting for the next bus (we missed the first one because we were talking to someone as it drove by). She is 6'3" and a new freshman. She square dances and is on the rowing team. She has questions that Joseph Smith had about which of the many churches is right. She has been reading and praying and is anxiously searching for an answer. The members who have met her absolutely love her, and we do too! If all goes well, we will put her on date this week!!

We did service with the ward and invited our friend. He's the guy who came up to me and Sister Johnson as we were picking up trash. He asked if he could help and we said sure! So he gave us a his number and asked us to text him about service things he can do. Then he sent us a text a week or two ago asking if we had any service. We didn't then, but we did this week! So he came with us and he is super cool. One day we will start teaching him.
 
The Women's session of general conference was SO GOOD! I had some random inspired goals for this transfer that were very in line with the theme of the conference. I felt like they were all speaking directly to me. I need to repent and be better.

That's about all! We just had a district activity and it was a blast.
I love campus!!!

Love, Sister Barnes

Pics
The last van ride with the twelve
The trio
We wore our pday clothes under our dresses so we could ride the bus
😂
The new district!

Transfer Week (Sep 20)










This week and a half was great! S. didn't drop us completely! We talked to him more and found out he's mostly just afraid of what his mom might say when he tells her he's getting baptized. He's also afraid of letting us and others down if he doesn't endure to the end. We're going to have a good chat about fearing God more than man soon. He us very busy with classes picking up so it may not be until next week :( P. is new on the radar! It was Day 444 of my mission so we went to Wendy's for dinner and got the 4 for 4$. Haha. But it was an inspired thing because at the bus stop after Wendy's, he ran up to catch a bus. It ended up not being the one he was catching and we were able to talk to him! Then when our bus came he ended up getting on the same bus. He missed his stop because he was talking to us, but he didn't even care! He became a new investigator. We taught him a few days ago and he came to a special investigator meeting and stake conference! He said it was different and a lot to take in, but he's still met with us the next day! He is just soaking everything in. I'm really really excited about him. We also met K. She is 6'3" and awesome. She has actually been looking for a church and felt the spirit so strong when we taught her. She just gets it! Our bus driver investigator is doing awesome. He took us out to lunch the other day! He told us about a dream he had 3 nights in a row. He told us that he was in a Mormon temple. He described some things on the inside and some of the things that happen in there. He said the first 2 nights he didn't really remember the dream, but he woke up feeling more peaceful than he ever has in his life. The third night he remembered it and felt so much peace. For three days! It was so cool. His cousin is engaged to a member and he's converting. He loved coffee and stuff but he just messaged us saying that this is day 10 without coffee. We haven't even taught the word of wisdom yet! He's so cool.

Funny answer to a prayer. So Sister Johnson was on a phone call and I was just writing on cards and kinda feeling like I was wasting time. So I prayed that someone would come up to me that I'd be able to share the gospel with. Then like 5 minutes later some girls come up and say they're from the Church of God! Not exactly what I was thinking when I prayed for it, but hey! Answer! They basically contacted me really bad and told me all about "God the Mother" and showed me some misinterpreted scriptures about how God the Mother exists. I didn't want to get into deep doctrine on Heavenly Mother so I just testified of Christ and the Book of Mormon. They wouldn't let me share a verse but I testified the heck out of it and invited them all to learn more. One of the girls seemed like she may be interested one day when her other friends aren't around. She knows where the church is and when services are. So, we will see! But this was a cool answer to a prayer. It was also funny to see their faces when they saw my name tag haha

Tender mercy. The institute got hit by a car this week! It broke some water pipe somewhere and the whole back wall and front restrooms have to be replaced. Elder Dabb told us to move our lesson locations because there was standing water in the gym. Our supply closet in the gym had our Book of Mormons, box of pamphlets, and Sister Empey's borrowed violin all on the floor. We asked Elder Dabb to check it and he said he was certain that if anything was on the floor, it would be wet. So he checked and called back and said that it was an absolute miracle but the closet was dry. No material or violins were even touched! Elder Watkins said he can picture the guardian angels just mopping all the water away to keep the closet dry. It was a funny comment but it's so true. Hallelujah!

Transfer calls will come later today. There's a 99.99% chance I'm staying. I'll email later to confirm :)

Love you all!
Sister Barnes

Pics
4 for $4 on day 444
Sister Johnson is dying (going home) this week :(
The crash
Sister Johnson went to the temple for her departing trip this week. I
got to be with Sister Jackson! Corrin, a recent convert, came
contacting with us. It was so fun :)
September birthday party
Sister Ballard tripped on her run and got a concussion. We did stuff
with Sister Empey while she took a nap.
GAME DAY! I finally got a buckeye necklace from some guy on the street.
I posted this on Facebook. Everyone needs the Book of Mormon!