Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dreams Come True (June 26)

Area #4, with Sis Andersen

Hello family and friends!

I am going to start with a scripture. 

3 Nephi 10:11
And thus far were the scriptures fulfilled which had been spoken by the prophets.

But I'm going to modify it to apply to my mission.

And thus far were the [promises] fulfilled which had been spoken by [President Daines].

Now let me explain by going back to October when I was being trained by Sister Blaser. We had our regular interviews and I had an awesome experience with President Daines. President promised that me and Sister Blaser would baptize together. We thought it would be that transfer but our guy on date dropped us. Then we got doubled out. So before every transfer we'd email each other and wonder if this would be the transfer that we got put together again to baptize together. Last transfer was her final transfer and we weren't made companions. She was teaching this guy named Seth and she told me all about him. He was getting baptized the day after she was supposed to leave so she got special permission to extend a day to be there for his baptism. So. Thursday morning I got the news that I'd be transferred to OSU (I'll talk more about that later.) I went into Sister Blaser's old area where Seth would be getting baptized. Friday morning after the departing missionaries were dropped off at the airport we got a call from President Daines. He asked if we'd be okay with having a third companion for a little while. We said yeah! Then Sister Blaser came. We got to be in a trio for a day and a half and we got to... BAPTIZE TOGETHER! It was so special. 

Okay there is so much to talk about. I'll start with transfer news. So I'm serving on OSU campus in the YSA Ward. It's a ton of fun and just super awkward all the time. I'll be here all summer at least and maybe even through the end of my mission. My companion is Sister Andersen. She's from Idaho! She came out the same time as Sister Hall and Sister Flora. We are already having a blast and finding a ton of people! So basically we just have quick lessons with people at the institute and walk around campus trying to talk to everyone we can. It's fun and fast paced. We ride the bus from our apartment every morning and meet some odd people on it.

Seth just got baptized! Sister Blaser and Sister Andersen have been working with him for about a month and a half. He was just golden and loves the gospel. His testimony is so simple and strong. It was a super cool baptismal service. It took like 6 tries to get it right, but it was awesome. 

That's about all. This is the last week with President and Sister Daines. I'm excited to meet the Stratfords this week! We've got a bunch of lessons and things lined up. It should be a great week. 

Love you all!

Sister Barnes

Just Listen to the Spirit (June 22)

This week was awesome! No surprise baptisms or anything, but we had a good time.

Zone conference was Tuesday. It was our last one with the Daines. I love them so much and they will be dearly missed. I wrote a long thing in my journal about how much I love them, but I think I'll spare you from that. Just know that they've had the biggest influence on me and what I want for the future. President Stratford and his wife will arrive in a week! I'm beyond excited to meet them and see what they bring to the mission! We got to go to the temple and it was wonderful as always. I got some answers to questions and just felt really good about everything. We got a new car which is worthy to mention. It's a brand new 2017 Chevy Malibu. It had 51 miles on it when we got it. Haha probably the newest car I'll ever drive.

We had exchanges on Thursday and I was with Sister Monroe. She's in Powell and is doing awesome things there. We met some cool people! One was Jack. Jack helped design the San Diego temple. He had to take “Mormon classes" in SLC to learn about some of the architectural significances of the temple. Super cool. We're teaching him soon. He lives right by the church but never made the connection that it's a Mormon church.

Evidence of 2 Nephi 27:20 "I am able to do mine own work." Saturday we both got this prompting to text this lady who we've stopped by a few times to see. All the times have been bad times and we haven't been able to schedule a good one. So we thought of her and said we need to text her, but never did. it just slipped our minds right after it came. Sunday morning we walk into church and there she was and her son! She said the church had been on the back of her mind the past few months. She's been reading the Book of Mormon and wants to learn a lot more. So even though we were bums and didn't text her, she came to church!

Then Monday we decided to be way better about following promptings. It was dumping rain and we hadn't been to our apartment all day. We didn't have any rain gear and we felt like somebody needed us and would let us in. So we prayed and headed to see this one lady. On the way, we passed this street that another lady lives on. We had never met her, but we tried a lot of times. We thought it might've been a promoting so we decided to see her. We knocked a few times but nobody answered. We had her number so we called her. We left a voicemail saying who we were and that we wanted to meet her. We told her we stopped by but she wasn't home and we let her know a window was open so she could close it and protect her house from water damage. We hung up and went on to another person close by. On our way out of the neighborhood there was a cop in her driveway. We drive past and he followed us for a loooooooooong time. He didn't end up stopping us but we think we creeped this lady out and she called the cops on us haha oops. Maybe that wasn't a prompting. Maybe it was. Who knows!

Everyone is progressing well! Just know that everyone is awesome and the spirit is definitely touching hearts here.

I am happy. I love being a missionary. Heavenly Father is the best! Transfer calls will come sometime today. I'll email again when they do!

Love from Marysville,
Sister Barnes

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Surprise Baptism

Brooklyn's Baptism

Let me start with a story.

Once upon a time last week it was fast Sunday. Two Sister Missionaries we were fasting to be able to baptize in June. Right when they got to church, bishop pulled them to the side and said he had a favor. He told them there was a less active family who had a 9 year old daughter who wanted to be baptized. Because she's 9, she would be a convert baptism and the missionaries would need to teach her. They said cool and asked when the baptism would be. He said next Sunday with her active 8 year old cousin. They got special permission and made arrangements to teach her. Then they found out they would have to do it in one lesson. So Monday night, they met Brooklyn and taught her everything. Everything was taught very simply. It took 2 hours but Brooklyn was a trooper and made it through.  She had her interview on Saturday. She got baptized and confirmed on Sunday with her cousin. She was super happy and it was really cool for the missionaries to see the miracles that come from fasting. They're excited to see her family start to come back to church. The less active family will be more active, Brooklyn got baptized, the missionary's fast to baptize in June came to pass! And they all lived happily ever after 

Cool story huh? Want to know something cool? IT'S A TRUE STORY. And I was blessed to be one of the missionaries. God is good. 

Yesterday was a really cool day. Brooklyn's baptism was awesome. A less active couple we've been working with showed up to church! We've been working with them for the last little while and they haven't been to church in 11 months. When they walked in the door our jaws dropped. They were talking to each other last night and were talking about church. They said, "well, want to shock them tomorrow?" Then they came! That was cool. Then there's this less active lady we've been working with since the area boundary changes. She's been less active for years. We teach her once a week so we've gotten pretty close with her. We finally helped her overcome her concerns and come to church. We showed up before church to make sure she was ready and she opened the door with her dress on and ready to go! It was her first time going in 11 years. Watching her take the sacrament was one of the happiest things ever. 

There were too many other good things. I'll just list them out.
We had exchanges with the Dublin Sisters, I was with Sister Hansen. She's been out almost 5 months and is awesome.  We got a Chinese Book of Mormon for our investigator. He's awesome. We taught the plan of salvation using the BoM. He would read a verse out loud in Chinese then interpret it to English. He really understood the plan and loves it. He's getting baptized in August.  Anna is doing good. Her son is not. He had another heart attack and is still in the hospital.  M. wants to get baptized into our church! But the Bible baptist preacher is still a bum and just asked them to be Sunday School teachers. Of course they're awesome so they said yes. But it interferes with our sacrament meeting. They'll still come to our Sunday School class, but they have over commitments that they're stuck with.  Marsha got her patriarchal blessing! It was from Brother Mitchell from the Powell Ward. He just got called as the stake patriarch! It was crazy to see a picture of them both, 2 areas colliding!  I made Sister Hall bike on Saturday. It was just going to be for 2 hours in the morning, but it ended up being from 10 am-7 pm. Haha oops. We had our last interviews with President Daines. I'm so thankful for his service and example he's been to me and so many others. His insights are always inspiring. After the interview he gave me and Sister Hall blessings. It was super duper cool. I love the priesthood.  And there was so much more.

That's all for this week. Upcoming events: temple tomorrow for zone conference, exchanges Thursday, Father's Day Sunday, NO PDAY MONDAY because it's already transfer week. I'll email next Wednesday with transfer news.

Shoutout to my dad for being the best dad ever. I love you! 
Everyone go to this link and watch this cute video about fatherhood. 

Love you all, 
Sister Barnes

Monday, June 5, 2017

I love to see the temple

Sis Holbrook
It's getting hot and we did yardwork so we felt like we earned ice
cream. A yummy place called Rollies just opened in Marysville.
Hello everybody!

This week was another great one!

So I've been looking forward to this day since we heard we would be able to go. Waking up Tuesday morning was even more exciting than Christmas morning! We had a great MLC and I learned a lot about how to be a better teacher and how I make my studies more meaningful. Then we went to the temple for a session. President Daines was able to take a bunch of us through the veil and it was a super special experience. Something really cool. We went in fasting and I fasted to know what to do to help someone get baptized before President leaves at the end of the month. I was praying a lot to try to know what to do. I had a prompting to look at the name I was doing work for. Her name was "Anna." I felt a ton of peace and got some good ideas about how to help our investigator Anna keep progressing!

Speaking of Anna. We taught her on exchanges!. We taught the word of wisdom to be sure she will be ready to be baptized in a few weeks. She said the only thing she had issues with was tobacco, which we suspected. She said that she's been working on quitting and actually completely stopped LAST WEEK! She's still getting treatments and help and stuff, but she was excited to see that she was living God's commandment before she knew it was a commandment. Sadly her 19 year old son had 2 heart attacks and she has been in the ICU with him and hasn't felt comfortable leaving his side. We haven't heard from her since Saturday so we hope she's okay. We will have to move her baptism but it's okay, we will give her some time to be ready.

Everyone else is doing pretty good! Lots of people flaked out for church but it's okay, we will work even harder to get everyone there next week!

We had exchanges! I got to go with Sister Holbrook who only has one transfer left. She's an awesome missionary and I was able to learn a lot from her!

That's about all that's super worth sharing. This week we behave interviews and more exchanges! I love the gospel.

Sister Barnes

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Blessings on miracles on blessings

OHIO with Sister Wakley and Horne
The District or The Beatles? Can't tell!
Some members have a ceramic shop - I picked Columbus and Nauvoo!

Hello! We had a super duper busy week. We had back to back lessons almost every day. We had 2 exchanges and a lot of awesome miracles. We have been praying, and praying, and praying some more to come in contact with those who are prepared to receive AND act upon our message. And we have been working like crazy to help us find them, and help them find us. And here we are a transfer and a half later, and the miracles came raining down from Heaven all at once! From all sorts of sources.. self referral, sketchy sounding former, street contact, and a part member family! Here we go!

She found us: We were teaching a lesson at the church and we kept getting calls and texts...but we were in a lesson so we couldn't look. After the lesson we find out there is a lady at the church looking for the Sister Missionaries! It was mutual night, so there were actually people at the church, and they helped her out! We called her, and found her at the church after our lesson. SHE'S SO PREPARED!!!! We had our first lesson with her on Saturday and about half way through she says, " I hope this doesn't make me sound crazy, but this just all feels so familiar. I feel like I've been here, with you, before. This church is where I belong." WHAT???? So cool!!! We told her we would be holding a baptismal service on June 17th, and she almost lost her breath. We asked her if she would prepare to be baptized on that day, and she said, "yes! Um, yeah!! Yes! Yes! Oh my yes!! Yes!" So she's planning on getting baptized on June 17th! Oh also, she's been slipping in and out of sacrament meeting the past couple weeks, just because! I just love her!

The man who called the Cops: Sister Hall met a guy on exchanges about a month ago. About 1 ½ years ago he felt like the Elders were pushing him too hard and he threatened to call the cops if they came back. She saw that, but thought, "well, we're Sisters, not Elders. Maybe he won't call the cops." We taught him the restoration and he loved it!! He said he'd come to church, but he didn't, and he missed his return appointment... so we lost contact for a while. She really felt like he was ready though so we kept trying him. We found him again, and taught him twice this week, and he came to church. He was GLOWING! He said he loved it so much!! He's getting baptized on June 17th as well. He's so perfect, and so ready!!! Yay!!

Last stop of the night: I met this guy on exchanges on Tuesday! I was kinda pooooped from the day and was about ready to head home and finish updating for the last few minutes of the night. He was standing in his garage and we walked by. I didn't feel like talking so I ignored the prompting to stop. I justified that as along as he doesn't see us we can pretend that we didn't see him.. right? Wrong. I looked up and he was watching us. So we stopped and talked. Wow, glad we did! We taught him the Restoration and he loved it! He didn't believe in God four years ago. Then he got a divorce and started reading the Bible because his grandpa told him there was a prophet in the Bible with the same name as his. He hadn't found a church he wanted to join, until now!! He's on date to be baptized as well! We taught him the Plan of Salvation on Saturday and he loved it. He had a date to be baptized on June 17th as well, but he missed church yesterday :( so we are going to have to bump it back.

If we all had faith like children: Oh my goodness, E. is a dream! She's a daughter of a less active lady, and she really wants to be baptized!!! She's 10 years old. Her birthday is 2 days before mine. She knows a lot about God because her grandma takes her to her church. She wants to be a Mormon though! Wahoo!! We taught her and her little friend. They were having a sleepover. The lesson went great. During the lesson we really emphasized that everything GOOD comes from God. At the end of the lesson, we asked them to pray to know if what we taught was true and if the church is true. They got on their knees right then, and prayed about it, individually. They both opened their eyes when they were done, and they said they know the church is true. We asked why, and they said "they felt good, so they knew it was true!" We couldn't ask her friend to be baptized, because we don't know her parents, but E. is getting baptized on July 22nd!!! Yay yay yay!!!

So yeah! Those are the highlight experiences. On Tuesday I got to be with the lovely Sister Wakley from Idaho. She is an angel and an incredible teacher! The spirit is so strong whenever she opens her mouth. Thursday I was with Sister Mock! This was our second exchange together. Our first one was about 3 months ago, wow how time flies! We also had a ton of fun and she is an amazing missionary. She has such genuine love for all who we meet! I love being able to go on exchanges and learn from these awesome Sisters.

Life is good. I am happy! I am looking forward to this week. We have MLC tomorrow and for part of it we get to go to the TEMPLE! I am literally more excited than anything. We have another exchange on Thursday! I love being busy and doing the Lord's work.

Love, Sister Barnes

Sunday, May 28, 2017

"Live How You Want Others to Live"

The note we sent to the sisters in our zone!
Rain and humidity ... love my hair?!
Read the story below about the gum...


Today we are going to the zoo. I am very excited! This week was great. We have been busy with more lessons...what a good problem to have! We also got our area books fixed and have spent some time re entering everything. We are almost caught up which is a giant relief!

J&M are finally working towards being baptized on July 1st. We are excited! We had some good lessons with them this week. He asks a lot of really deep questions like, "where did the horses come from that were on the promised land when Lehi's family arrived?" We have been able to simply answer some and direct him to articles and things on One time we tried to answer a question that we didn't know much about. Let's just say we have decided to only teach what we know... preach my gospel!

My favorite moment of the week was when we were teaching C&C. We were going through the plan of salvation and had the 7 years old read the words to "I am a Child of God." The Spirit filled my heart and gave me a glimpse of how much better their lives are getting because of the gospel. Although they've been kind of flakey lately and haven't been to church the past few weeks, we can really see the light of Christ entering their eyes.

One funny thing. We wave at everyone we drive by, walk by, bike by, or anything. We drove past this little girl who was walking down the road eating some pizza. She waved back and something flew out of her hand and hit our car. We thought it was just a pizza crust or something. We forgot about it and later Sister Hall said "she didn't throw pizza" and we found a glob of gum on our car. Sister Hall started to pull it off but it just kept going and going and it is still on the car. Ew. We will scrub it today.

Oh yeah, the subject line. There is a funny funny guy who we are teaching. He said "live how you want others to live" and I really liked that. It's like the golden rule but just for life in general.

That's all for this week, love you all!

Sister Barnes

Thursday, May 18, 2017

God is Good, Life is Good

Mother's Day facetime is the BEST!!
This week and a half was incredible and very exhausting!

Because of how tired we are, we are taking lots of this day to rest. So, this email may be kinda short and lame, I apologize.

Our area book apps broke almost 2 weeks ago and finally Monday they got fixed. The high up guy in the IT office in salt lake says it best, "sorry you are experiencing every known issue on the books right now." Basically we couldn't sync and 2 weeks worth of stuff got erased but we took screenshots before so it's not a huge deal.. just taking ages to put back together. At one point we had 38 unreported lessons

Busy. We have been booked back to back almost all day every day. So many awesome people have been willing to visit with us and make and keep commitments. It's wonderful. Highlight story... Sister Hall was backing the car and this dad was just watching. He calls his 15 yr old son and 7 yr old daughter over to watch. So they stared at her for a while. She got in and said "um, I think they want to talk to us" so we pulled up and talked. They want to come to church and are so prepared for the gospel. We are teaching them again on Friday!

God's timing this week has been amazing. One example: we called this guy that I met on exchanges a few weeks ago. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he gave us his number. We called a few days ago and asked if he's read from it yet. He said something like, "wow, that's crazy! I just opened it right before you called!" Tender mercies.

Interviews with President Daines. Let's just say President loves us. When I sat down he was commenting about how long I've been in the North 1 Zone (Over 7 months). He said that he really wants to put either me or Sister Hall on OSU campus because we have the perfect personalities and it would be natural for us. Then he said "but, it's not worth it to separate you two." YES! So we think we are staying together another transfer. A few weeks ago we asked him if he would give us blessings before he leaves. He said he promises to do it after the next interviews if I promised to do something. What? Visit them when I get home! I said it's a done deal. I love the Daines.

Mother's Day was fun! Sister Hall and I went over to Marsha's and all 3 of us were together for the call to Sister Hall's family and my family. I love my mom! She's the best mom ever and I hope to be even half as great as she is some day.

Hm, that's enough for this week. Just know it was really really good. Transfer calls will come probably in a few hours so I'll email again when they come.

Lots of love!
Sister Barnes

Transfer news.. we are BOTH STAYING!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!! also I FORGOT THE BEST PART OF THE WEEK! So PMG says that we are supposed to ask for referrals from everyone. We both were pretty bad at this. Until... we came up with a solution. A referral asking "incentive." It's between me and Sister Hall. Here are the rules. First person that asks 100 people for referrals wins. You have to win by 5. Loser has to buy the other frozen custard from Whit's. It doesn't seem like that much fun but oh man it is. I don't think we've let a single person slip by without asking them! The current score is 29-23. I'm up 😏 So this was a very inspired incentive because a majority of the people we ask give us at least 1 or 2! And, when we go to contact the referrals they usually give us another. It's a big chain that I think will go on forever. It's great and it's how we are finding the elect.