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!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

OSU (Sep 11)






Hi! Not a whole ton has happened since Wednesday. We have a district activity later so I'm just going to send pictures this week.

-I got to go to the temple for a late year mark! It was awesome. I love the spirit I am able to feel in  the house of the Lord. -the leaves are starting to change and I had to get out my warm clothes :(

-I took Sister Edmunds on an exchange. We peaked in the stadium! We had so much fun! She was a blast to be with. When I get home, ask me about a lady we met named Tiphani. It's a story for later
😅
-S. had a tough week. He probably won't be getting baptized anytime super soon. He almost dropped us for a few weeks but we have one more lesson before that. The video calls have really helped him be more comfortable and open up and share some small concerns he has. Everyone pray for him!

-the Stratford's drove us to a baptism in Beavercreek. It was a fun drive to chat with them! They gave some life advise and I was able to give President some transfer ideas ;) 

-Saturday was the first home football game here. If you want to see the aftermath of the partying, this was our walk to the church Sunday morning.

Love you all! Next week are transfers. Sister Johnson will be going home so I'll likely be staying here another one! I'll email next Wednesday.

Sister Barnes

Facebook and Stuff (Sep 6)







Hello everyone!
This week and a half was incredible! So lots of you at home probably figured it out, but our mission is now approved to use Facebook. When I first heard the news I was not excited at all. After trainings at MLC last week and zone conference yesterday I can now say that I am SO excited to be a Facebook mission. We have been using it for about a week and it's been enhancing our efforts like crazy. We still preach the same gospel. Just in more ways! We've already have a lot of experiences that show how great it is:

We had a miracle Saturday. We had a few potential people lined up to be able to go to the Elders investigator's baptism. But the night before or even that morning, they all fell through. We had Facebook messaged an investigator a little bit earlier that morning. We haven't been able to meet with her for a few weeks. She woke up and saw the message 15 minutes before she had to go. She is really bad at texting, but messenger seems to work great! We communicated quickly and she was able to pull herself together and made it to the church right on time! It was a miracle. She loved the baptism and we finally will be teaching her again next week.

Another was on Sunday. We met these friends who are super super busy but wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon. We were able to get Facebook messenger set up and we'll be having a lesson over that soon.

One of the ones I'm most excited about has been in the works for a while. We have a favorite bus driver named. Last transfer I made the goal to become friends with all our bus drivers. I asked him what his name was and he seemed confused and said, um, Bobby? Then I said nice to meet you Bobby! Then we sat down and contacted until we got to campus. Then when we got off he was like "hey sorry I was confused, nobody has ever asked me what my name is! My given name is Bobby but my friends and family call me Simon. It's my Jewish name. You can call me Simon!" Instant friends. So fast forward a few weeks after just chatting. He asks if he can ask us a question about the Book of Mormon. We say of course! He said his Mormon friend told him it's about people who lived in Ancient America and asked us if that was true. We said yeah and he was surprised because he's very interested in those people and thought his friend was tricking him into reading it. So he got a copy and we followed up on his reading every time. Then last week he told us he had bad news. This was that the bus driver routes were changing and he likely would never see us again. This was right after we got signed in to Facebook and the prompting came to add him! So we asked if we could and he said yes. He started messaging us more questions about the church. His Jewish cousin is dating an LDS girl in Utah and she wants him to convert. Simon asked if conversion was necessary for them to get married. We got permission from President to teach him over messenger because he's not YSA age. So we sent a link about temples and taught him about it. He was asking more about the Book of Mormon so we sent him a pamphlet and set up a time to all be online to teach the first lesson.

SEE WHY BEING A FACEBOOK MISSION IS AWESOME?!

Also. Formers are gold mines. Last transfer I had a weird prompting to clean off some random shelves in the study room. So I did. And I found an incomplete baptismal record for a girl. We didn't have her records so we asked around. We were able to find them and give her a call. She wasn't baptized because she got too busy with school. She said she wanted to meet in a few weeks when she's back in Columbus. Now fast forward a few weeks and we called and have a time set up for this week! I am so excited!!! We also found this guy in our former list. He had also got too busy. We had called him and asked if he wanted to meet again. He said yes after the semester starts. Then the next day a member sent us a text and told us that her member boyfriend is best friends with this guy and wanted us to reach out. We told her we just did and she said that she got some more info on him. Apparently the biggest reason why he didn't get baptized was because he couldn't relate to the sisters because they were raised in the church. The member said she wanted to be there for his lessons. She's a convert of a few years! So we had a super awesome lesson where we just talked about how important the gospel is and how much he needs it. He agreed to make the sacrifice to meet again. Yay!

Friday I got to take Sister Ballard on an exchange! This is her first transfer but you wouldn't be able to tell if you didn't know. She's an incredible missionary. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I'll share a few of the coolest experiences. So there was lots of partying going on (typical Friday) and you could smell the alcohol in the air. Sister Ballard didn't know what alcohol smelt like and I had the weirdest prompting to take her by a place with lots of beer so she can know the smell. So we went. We walked past and she now knows what beer smells like. Shortly after, we figured out why I had the prompting. We usually don't go to that area on high street and so we wouldn't have been there for another reason. We walked back out to the Main Street and met a lady. We talked with her for a while and started walking with her. We found out that she's dating a less active member and has recently been searching for a church. She grew up pretty religious but fell away. Recently everything in her life has lined her up to turn to God. She decided to do it right before we met her. We walked with her to Kroger but we didn't want it to end there. We asked if we could walk around inside with her and she said yes! So we grocery shopped with her while we taught more about the gospel. She was out of town for the weekend but she wants to come to church and meet with us soon!

S. is doing great!! We only have one or two more lessons with him before his baptism. Because he's only made it to church once, we had to move is date to September 21st. That's transfer day and it will be at like 8 pm. We talked with President and he said we can do whatever we need to to make it happen before Sister Johnson goes home (this is her last night in the mission). I just love hearing his testimony and seeing him grow and progress in the gospel.

That's enough for this week. I'm going to the temple in a few hours! That's why my pday was today. I probably won't have a ton of time to email people today. Sorry! I'll share about my experience at the temple next week.

I love you all!
Sister Barnes



-I got to hang out with Sister Hall at MLC
-MLC
-So Elder Adsit assigned everyone an apostle who they teach/act like. We tried duplicating the picture. You can call us The Twelve Exchanges!
-Joanne, Sister Johnson, Corrin, me! Corrin is the Elders investigator who got baptized. I love her! She asked me to be up the stairs of the font for when she comes out. It was awesome :)
-We walked 3 miles to find a less active and the address was a giant apartment building with locked doors. We tried dialing in all the people to see if anyone would ring us in. Then someone did. Then wedidn't know which one was hers.. it was a mess

Sunday, September 10, 2017

School is Back! (Aug 28)








Hello Everyone!

This was another good week! SCHOOL IS BACK! It is so so so fun to have SO many students around ALL THE TIME!!!

The mission activity was so fun. We played tug-of-war and lots of frisbee and sports and relay races and stuff. The sisters in our zone won the tug of war so I'm super pumped about that. I couldn't lift my arms for like 3 days but it was totally worth it. One of the things that made me happy is that S. is doing great! He had a super crazy first week of classes, but he was about to make to one of the Sisters' investigators baptism! After the baptism everyone was writing notes to the new member to congratulate her and bear their testimonies. The Sisters showed us what he wrote, "Hi M., congratulations on being baptized. I am a convert who is looking to be baptized and if yours is anything like mine, I will be very happy. I am so proud of you and I hope to become your brother in Christ soon enough!" AHH! That says it good enough! Sadly he wasn't able to make it to church because of some family things. The earliest he can be baptized is the 16th. Buuut that's the day of stake conference. So it may have to be the first week of next transfer. Or maybe during the week before transfers so it can happen before Sister Johnson leaves. We will see! He's great and I adore him.

God prompts us in weird ways. One day we were walking down 12th (the street the institute is on) and all the beer cans and red solo cup garbage stood out to me a lot more than normal. I had a small prompting to get some trash bags and pick it up. So we did. About 2 minutes into picking stuff up, a guy walked up and asked if he could help. We said sure! So he grabbed some supplies and we had a good time cleaning up the street and talking about religion. We were able to get his contact info and he wants to get involved with service projects associated with the church. He has a whole fraternity of friends who want to help with service! We're now working with the ward to get a service project set up. So we spent a while picking up trash but it found us someone cool.

Thursday I got to go on my fourth exchange with Sister Hansen. I've been her STL for 4 of her 5 transfers. It's the best. On the exchange, we experienced a lot of miracles. One of the biggest miracles was with a girl named T. She is a student and is so prepared. She said that her front door's open to religion and is just waiting for something to walk in. She doesn't know what it is that she's waiting for, but she knows that she's waiting for something. She has looked around at a lot of different churches and has not found one that she is able to feel is right. We were able to sit down with her on campus for a few minutes and talk with her. She is awesome!

President Stratford and the assistants FaceTimed the MLC to tell some exciting news. We have MLC this week and we're getting more info then so I'll tell you next week. Also we will be going to the temple next week for a (very belated) year mark trip for me. Pday will be on Wednesday.

Until then,
Sister Barnes





Pics
OSU district at the mission activity
The Elders' investigator Corrin came chalking with us
The District
Gretchen bought us ice cream
Exchanges and my fave bus driver Simon (pronounced sha-moan)
Hilary Hodson! Family friend from Nauvoo. I found out she moved here
and was working on campus so we tracked her down
😊
Dada Empanada with Carey