Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Selfie with President and Sister Daines
Some of the sisters in our zone acting out the nativity
Mass production of cookies to deliver to people for Christmas

Hi! Yeah another speedy week. Christmas was awesome! It was fun to facetime the family for a bit. I'll tell you about some highlights from the week:

We have two on date for baptism! We had our lesson at the church as planned. It went really well. The spirit was so strong and they accepted the 21st of January. We have their lessons mapped out and will be teaching 2/week to cover everything. Sadly they didn't make it to church on Sunday. They had a lot of family over. I'm not too worried about it because they both were super excited to come. We will be sure to get them there next week. I'm so excited!!!!!!

K who remembers the referral guy who wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon because he was looking for different churches online. We had a super awesome lesson and he accepted baptism, but unfortunately he cancelled his return appointment because something came up. We tried calling, texting, and stopping by to get ahold of him but he never responded. Yesterday morning, his name popped into my head. We sent him a text wishing him a Merry Christmas. Guess what.... he responded and wished us a Merry Christmas too!!!!!! We asked if we could bring cookies by for the holiday and he said we could tonight! YES!! I was definitely screaming a little each time he responded. So pumped to talk to him again and get him in the water.

We had our missionary Christmas devotional. This is the one time during the year that all 186 of the missionaries are at the same place. Oh man it was so fun to see so many good friends! We had a ton of fun doing a service project, acting out the nativity in our zones, having a mini devotional with just missionaries, and singing in the devotional for members and investigators! It was awesome. While we were acting out the nativity we were asked to take off our shoes and put them in a box. The senior couples washed and shined everyone's shoes as an example of what Christ did for others. They're the sweetest and it was really touching!

We had a billion Christmas breakfasts, lunches, and dinners all throughout the week it was grand. Lots of fun family traditions we were able to be a part of. I love the Powell Ward. 

We met a ton of awesome people this week. Lots of cool families with a lot of potential! Hopefully they end up being super interested. Get ready for lots of baptisms.

Funny things: 
An old guy who was definitely not obeying the word of wisdom opened his door and was so pumped to see us. We introduced ourselves and he said he was "Brother Tom" he laughed for a minute then locked his obnoxious dog outside. The dog barked like crazy the rest of the time we were on the street. 

We chased a mailman down the whole street to give him some hand warmers. As soon as we'd almost get to his car he'd drive off to the next house. It was probably funny to watch.

Love you all! Happy New Year!!
Sister Barnes

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ice skating to lessons?

A normal picture in the snow...
Our awesome district!
Sister Cook is my nickname, found this in the apartment haha

It's coooooooold!! Look at the temperature!
Ward Christmas Party
Hey friends and family!

This week seriously went by in 2 seconds. It was so good, but I can't remember a ton of what happened.. haha I'll do my best. 

Tuesday we had zone conference! HOLY MOLY I love zone conferences so much. We learned about ways we can be more genuine and find new investigators. It was awesome. Half way through one of Sister Daines' trainings in the chapel, the lights shut off. We all got our iPads out and it looked like a freaky candle light ceremony or something haha. A little after we got the power on, we found it it was snowing BUCKETS outside. So President Daines says he wants a picture of missionaries in the snow and asked us to go outside. This of course led to a snowball fight with everyone (3 zones). It was a blast. The picture was probably really cool. If anyone sees it on Facebook send it to me so I can see. President is so fun. During our lunch break we had cream puffs for dessert. President threw them to an elder who caught it in his mouth. They kept getting further and further and eventually it was all the way across the gym. So fun!

So along with the crazy snow storm, we had "freezing rain". We had no idea what this meant, we thought it was just hail or something. But no! We woke up Friday morning and literally everything was coated in ice. I guess it rains a ton and freezes really quick so everything is icy. We weren't allowed to drive so we ice skated everywhere. It made the work kinda slow, but we were able to reach out to a lot of members to get rides and stuff. Fun!

So remember that awesome miracle family last week? Well we went back and they said they weren't interested. Bummer cause we told basically everyone in the ward about them. Oh well, we'll find another. 

Enough sad stuff, I'll tell you about a few of our many (yes we actually have quite a few!!) progressing investigators. 

There are a mother and daughter who had been taught a little by previous missionaries. They were dropped because the missionaries couldn't get ahold of them. Sister Bohner and I met them and they were very excited to see us again. We've had a few lessons with them and they have accepted baptism!!. The members of the ward are reaching out so much. A member came to one of our lessons and told Madison, the daughter, all about some of the young women. The next day she brought a few of the young women over to meet her and they had a great time. We have a lesson at the church with them tonight! We'll be teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the form of a chapel tour. We're excited to put them on date and have them commit to coming to church this Sunday, for Christmas!! (That's really all I want for Christmas... PEOPLE AT CHURCH!!)

Remember the man I told you about last week, the fermenting beer guy lol? He was actually home for his return appointment and was anxious to receive his copy of the Book of Mormon (he remembered us, so I guess he really wasn't too drunk!!). We taught him the restoration and it was a powerful lesson. He didn't accept baptism yet, but he knows it's a goal to work toward. He will be out of town for 2 weeks but we have his phone number and are staying in contact. He committed to come to church as soon as he's back in January. We're very excited!! 

Umm yeah that's about it. Really quick funny missionary story. A few nights ago I had this nightmare that we slept a few minutes past 6:30. It was so scary that it woke me up. I looked at the clock and saw :33. I was mortified. I jumped out of bed and woke up sister Flora. We both said our prayers and made our beds. I looked at my clock and thought it was probably wrong because it said 2:33. I asked sister Flora to look at her iPad and check the time... turns out it was actually 2:33. Haha, oops. We had a good laugh and went back to bed. Haha the things that scare a missionary...

I am super excited for Christmas! We had our ward party this week and everyone's giving us treats to get us in the spirit. It's so fun! Looking forward to face timing home for a bit later this week. Merry Christmas to all!! #LIGHTtheWORLD

Love, Sister Barnes

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Snow = bikes + ice cream?

This week was FULL of miracles and funny and cold things haha.

One miracle that stands out happened last night after we swung by the mission home (hehe still love that we are so close that we can just do that). We were going to find a referral that we haven't been able to contact for a few weeks. Our plans were not the most effective with our miles, so we were considering adjusting them. We have 2 addresses for her and we went to the first. The light was on inside so we got PUMPED that she was home. After knocking twice and almost giving up, some lady yelled "WHO IS IT" we said "the missionaries!" She opened the door holding a GUN in the air!! Hahahaa she hid it quick enough and sister Flora was on the side that she couldn't see it, but I saw and got so pumped. I've been waiting for a story like this my whole mission!! We asked for the referral but she said she wasn't there... and that she was at the other address! We hurried over with high hopes to find her there. When we got there, we were told she wasn't there either. Nobody knew where she was. When we got in the car to see where we were headed next, we looked on the map to see that we were super close to the original plans we set the night before. We trusted our plans and went out tracting in the cold COLD rain. Almost everyone was grumpy at us for knocking on their doors late at night (like 7:30 haha, oh Ohio.) We had the same answer door after door until we got close to the end of the street with not a lot of time left in the night. We met a lady, Heather, who moved here with her family not long ago. We talked about service and the Christmas initiative. Without asking, they invited us in to show the video!!! The family gathered around and watched the video. They were all so happy and the kids shared experiences they've had with service. We testified of our message and they invited us back. They told us how they're still searching for a church they want to attend with their family!! They are very very busy but worked us into their schedule next weekend. We left them with a pamphlet and have plans to set up a chapel tour and get them to church soon. I'm so thankful the search for our referral led us to feel more confident in trusting our plans. I'm thankful we were diligent in the cold and just kept knocking. I'm thankful that Heavenly Father is preparing so many people in Powell to receive the gospel! 

One more miracle brings me so much joy. We were tracting again, not having luck even catching people at home. Hahaha so actually funny story from before the miracle.. this grumpy lady answered the door and as soon as she saw us she was like ahh nah go away not interested. As she was closing the door, she said "good luck with converting the heathens or whatever..." HAHAHA I died. She was one of the few people that even opened their door... we got a little annoyed for a second..  THEN the house we were walking up to opened up their garage. This means someone is there and we don't even have to knock!!!!! Craig was getting ready to go to his friend's house to have him taste this beer he's been fermenting in his basement.. HAHAHAHAHA YES BEER HE HAS BEEN FERMENTING IN HIS BASEMENT FOR THREE YEARS. He told us all about it and how GOOD it was.. haha when we said we were missionaries he just annoyed it a little more. I didn't know what to say.. so I was like, want to watch a video about Jesus?! We told him about the #LIGHTtheWORLD initiative and he agreed to watch the video. Wow, that video is so powerful and he felt the spirit!! He went on to tell us about his wife who recently died and some special experiences he's had since. He seemed to be in a phase of life where he was questioning God's existence...We testified of the restoration and the Book of Mormon and he said he wants a copy of it. We have a return appointment next week to bring it to him. Again, diligence during the cold and kind of unsuccessful times really does pay off. So pumped for his return appointment.. I feel like I'm in Athens again praying that they were sober enough to remember us when we come back.. LOVE HIM!!

We've been following up with lots of potentials and have had a few lessons with new investigators as well. The work is definitely progressing and we are finding people with lots of potential everywhere we go. I love the Savior and I am so humbled to be his instrument to do his work. I love the gospel!! We finally have progressing investigators that actually want to learn about the gospel. There are too many miracle people to even write about... I LOVE POWELL!

Oh so we mapped out our miles this month and they're going to be a little tight with the meetings and stuff we have.... so what is Sister Barnes awesome idea?! BIKING!! Hahaha we have been biking in the SNOW and enjoying every second of it. Haha well, I have. I love biking so much. I made a mistake yesterday and told President Daines that I love biking and think it would be fun to serve in an all biking area.... haha wish me luck. We have been saving miles and finding people to talk to outside (like 2 people in our whole time but STILL). We biked 14 miles in a day.. 10 of those were to change a lightbulb for a member who couldn't reach the ceiling. Haha what do you do? Call the tall sister missionaries! We got there to help and she pulled out the light and realized it was the wrong kind... but she gave us hot chocolate and we biked like mad men to get to our dinner appointment wayyy down in the elders area. Hahaha fun times. We also got ice cream one of the days we went biking. Haha ice cream and biking in the snow? Why not!! A member works at Jeni's ice cream and he gave it to us for free :'). 

Oh another funny thing that has to do with mileage conservation... we were way up at the top of our area and it was dinner time. We were planning on coming back up after. So, to save a few miles we decided to get some food between our current location and our future destination. We prayed that there would be something... and wahoo! Ghetto gas station (ghetto for Powell at least haha). We bought that instant ramen stuff and used the coffee maker water to make it. Hahaha pics included. 

Funny thing, we were tracting these condo things on Saturday night (k yeah everything is from tracting... let's just say we tract A LOT but hey it's working so whatever). Everyone here has huge Christmas wreaths on their front doors. It was pretty dark at this time and we couldn't see some of the doors suuuuper well. I knock on his door and bam. OUT FLIES THIS BAT THAT WAS IN THE WREATH! I don't think it hit me, but it got very close and body slammed the overhang of the condo before it flew off. Haha gave me a heart attack. Good thing those people weren't home cause we were laughing too hard to even talk. 

We met this one old guy who was kinda grumpy when we knocked on his door (haha typical). He was like "who are you" we said we were missionaries blah blah and he said "show me some ID" and we were like haha okay here look at our name tags! And he got up real close and held my name tag and put it like 2 inches away from his face. Then he walks like okay hang on, I need to grab something. We were like k cool. He came back out with $10 and tried to give it to us and we said we don't accept donations. He saw "wow, you're different than I thought!" Then he went on to tell us all about these cool things he has done in his life. One of them was he performed heart surgery on mother Theresa! Someone look that up and see if it's legit please. That would be cool to say I met him! Based on his house and the cars in the driveway, he very well could've done it. 

WELL it was a wonderful week and sorry that was so long but wow it was just awesome. I hope everything is going well for everyone! I love Powell!

Lots of love!
Sister Barnes

Monday, December 5, 2016


Sister Barnes training Sister Flora
 Hey friends and fam!

The last few days have been awesome!! I said bye to Sister Bohner which was sad, but I'm excited for her to be home and with her family for Christmas!

Let me tell you about my new companion :) Sister Abbey Flora is from Eagle Mountain, Utah and is just super great. She graduated this last year and has been working since to save money for her mission. She is super funny and is a really really hard worker. We are already having a blast and working super hard. I'm humbled to be her trainer, even though I think she's the one who's training me! I've already learned so much from her. I'm excited to see the miracles that we'll experience this transfer from our uncompromising obedience and diligence!! 

So since it's just been a few days, not a ton has happened. I'll share a tender mercy of the week. We were tracting last night in the cold dark rain. COLD. DARK. RAIN. Haha you get the point, it was rainy and dark and COLD. (K it probs wasn't thaaat cold but let's just say I'm going to die this winter haha). We caught a ton of people home but not many of them were super interested in our message. We used the light the world video to soften hearts and help others see the need to serve. One family we met said they were in the middle of dinner so they couldn't talk. We thought it was just another rejection.... We moved on. When we were down the street a few houses over, a lady runs out from the dinner family's house into the cold rain. She comes up to us and gives us an umbrella and told us they wanted to give it to us. We were so touched and thankful. We asked if we could come back next week to meet with her and her family and she said yes!!!! The joy that I still have from this small act of service is such a testimony to me! The past few months have been me serving everyone I can. Having someone take a moment to serve us made me see the joy that we are bringing people in their lives. I'm thankful for my Savior and all he does for me. I'm thankful for His example of selfless service. I love the Light the World video and the 25 days of service. 

We're excited for this transfer and the blessings that we're going to see!! We're willing to do whatever it takes to find the people ready to accept and act upon the gospel. I love Powell and Sister Flora! 

Love you all!


Sister Barnes

Out with the old, in with the new (brand new)

How we feel about life!
WOWOWOWOW this week and a half went by in 2 seconds. So many crazy things happened that I don't even know where to start....

So Monday night shortly after emailing last week, we were tracting this one slightly sketchy street. (Slightly sketchy for Powell... it's like the rich neighborhood in Athens lol). We walk up the driveway of this one house and both stop at the same time. I have never smelt weed so strongly in my life. Hahaha we were convinced that this house was the dealer for all of Powell. We got a terrible feeling about knocking on it so we left and kinda ran haha. We didn't know what to do but a part of a lesson came to my mind. The part about obeying and honoring the law. So, if we were to know about this weed house and we didn't tell anyone, we were kinda disobeying the law, right? Knowingly allowing others to disobey the law? We weren't going to have it. So we called 911. We told them we wanted to give an anonymous tip that a certain house at this address smelt profusely of marijuana. They said thanks and that they'd send people over soon. We walked near and drove around the area a bit to see the big bust. But... nothing happened. The cops came and parked their cars and we must've missed the exciting thing cause next thing we know they're gone. We are in this neighborhood pretty often because we have a few less actives and investigators there and every time we're near it we joke about knocking on it. Yesterday we finally sucked it up and knocked it. Guess what?! Nobody answered. But when we opened the screen to knock on the door, we could smell the strong strong smell of weed. So the problem was not resolved and we decided to never go back haha. (K I know that was super lame but in rich neighborhoods like Powell this amount of excitement gets me going.)

More exciting happenings on Tuesday. So our cars have these things called a "tiwi." It basically yells "CHECK YOUR SPEED" if you ever go more than like 5 mph over. The vehicle coordinator gets a report of these and you are only allowed a certain amount before you risk losing your driving privileges. So tiwis are not a mission fave. After dinner at a member's house we got in the car to go to the next thing and the car wouldn't move and the dash lights wouldn't turn on. We had to call the tiwi people and we had to unplug it for the night. So we were off the charts for a night woot woot!! Haha okay I'm making missions sound so lame but trust me this was exciting.

Thanksgiving was so awesome! I ate more pie than I've probably had in my whole life combined. We had a ton of invites and we went to probably 6 members houses. Only ate the real meal at one but we had all sorts of pies at the rest... yum. I'm thankful for the many awesome member families who fed us and support us in the work. The day after thanksgiving was so exciting. The light the world video came out and I watched it about 5 times before we even left the apartment for the day. We have been telling everyone about it and showing it to everyone. (Haha even if they say they don't want to watch sometimes we just play it anyway). 

Oh yeah funny quote of the week. A lady we tracted into who was not interested at all told us "be careful of the bucks, It's mating season and you don't want them thinking you're a doe."

Sunday was also funny. So first place we go is to visit this potential. He opened the door and his dog instantly ran out. It ran and ran and ran and we could not get it. His whole family was running around like crazy people trying to get the dang thing. We didn't know what to do so we started chasing it too. Basically the whole neighborhood was helping and we had to go in people's backyards and stuff to get the stupid thing. The dad thought the dog ran off somewhere at one point and he drove to where the thought it was. After over a half hour of chasing the thing we finally got it and took it home to his family. Hopefully he wasn't too angry when he got home. And hopefully it left a good impression in the neighbors that we want to help? Haha we then went to ward council a few minutes late and were out of breath and a little sweaty. Good times.

Monday night we received a kinda scary call. President Daines called and told me that I have been assigned to be a trainer. My next companion is going to be a brand new missionary and I get to show her the ropes! It'll be quite the experience ha.. #prayforsisterbarnes. She is arriving today and I'll meet her tomorrow at transfers! President will decide who gets assigned to who tomorrow after he meets them and sees how we all interact. I was in her shoes only a few short months ago. I hope to be the best trainer and companion I can be. We had a meeting during the day yesterday to "train the trainer" haha let's just say I'll be on my knees a lot.

Okay now for actual investigators and such. Well since it was thanksgiving everyone was out of town or had family in town and didn't want to talk to us. They all decided they're too busy to meet right now and we can try back next year sometime. So we don't have anyone super solid that we're working with, but we received a referral from the APs that they found out is in our area. Apparently she wants to get baptized. She has been gone but will get back later this week. I'm excited to meet her!!

I'm sure lots of people have heard about the OSU incident. We heard about it and it's super sad, but I guess most the people that were affected are okay. All the missionaries were close to their apartments when they heard and are all safe too. Thanks for the prayers!!

I'm excited for the rest of the week and the exciting changes coming. I am going to miss Sister Bohner so much! She heads home this week after the completion of her mission. She's such an inspiration to me and I love her to death!! I love you all and am thankful for your prayers and support.

Love, Sister Barnes

Monday, November 21, 2016

Funny. Miracle. Spiritual.

Helping a member setup for Christmas...
 Hi family and friends!

This week went by in 2 seconds but also so much happened. I think I'll just make a list of stories cause that's the only way to share everything. 

Funny things
-So we started this new finding idea to ask people what they're thankful for as we're tracting. We have a chalkboard that says "I am thankful for..." and we have them write something. We usually introduce ourselves and they're about to say nah not interested but we explain what we're doing. We have them write something then we take a picture of the board (with them too if they're down) and will put it together to show at the church sometime next weekend. The goal is to get people to talk to us a little more and eventually get them into the church building for a casual thing! Okay enough background. So this lady was not happy to see us. She was about to close the door until we asked what she's thankful for. She said the Catholic Church. We asked if she wanted to write it down and she said sure. She wrote "being in the church that Jesus himself established-the Catholic Church! Know your bible" haha I had to hold back my laughter. We asked if she wanted to be in the picture and she said no. Then slammed the door, haha I love people.
-another funny one was actually a cool experience. He opened the door with crutches and a huge cast on his ankle. We asked what he's thankful for and he said health insurance. He wrote it down and it made for a hilarious picture. We talked to him for a minute and he said he would want to come to the church to see it. Yay!

-So with this thanksgiving board we have found a number of new investigators. For many of them I think it just took hem a second to see that we were normal people and want to do good for the community. This opened them up to listen to part of our message and invite us back to share more. One lady wanted us to come back when her family was there! Another couple that just moved here wants a copy of the Book of Mormon. A sweet college aged girl has been looking for a church close by to attend. We met a father who realized he has met members of our church before who shared part of the message. He wants to learn more. We are so excited to see the blessings that are coming from this idea!!!
-We also had a cool experience with this older guy. This was on Wednesday and the focus we had for the day was talking to people about family history. He would hardly talk to us at first, but we ended up having a long conversation about temples and family history work. He invited us back for after thanksgiving. SO PUMPED
-So a few weeks ago I was studying in preach my gospel and did a personal activity in the Finding section. It was talking all about former investigators. Later that day was our weekly planning session! I felt so strongly that someone that was dropped in the "not keeping commitments" section was ready to act on the message. We put some people in and didn't have a ton of luck.. until a few days ago! We were in the neighborhood of one who we didn't get to earlier that day. We had a few extra minutes so we looked at our map to find someone to see. Two of them were met fairly recently but claimed to be too busy to even read the restoration pamphlet. We went by and caught them home! The guy told us they had read the pamphlet and wanted to learn more. They are looking for truth right now. We extended baptism and he accepted! So excited to teach them this week. 
-Our zone has had a focus of extending baptism this transfer. I want to be humble about it, but sister Bohner and I have been on fire basically. I've realized that extending baptism-even at the first contact- is the best and easiest way to establish our purpose and find people prepared for the gospel! We've seen lots of miracles and are looking forward to see where these miracles will go.
-Basically my whole mission (and probably every other missionary) I've had the goal to really rely on the spirit in all things. We had a lesson on Monday with a less active member who is coming back to the church. Let me just say she is the most inspiring and amazing person ever. So we were teaching her about eternal marriage or something and I kept getting the prompting to ask if she's had cool experiences with the priesthood. Finally I followed the spirit and she told us about a promise in her patriarchal blessing that she would be able to recognize some people she knew from the pre earth life. She told us how she had an experience last time we were teaching her that she knew she recognized Sister Bohner from that. It was a very touching thing and it was so cool. Thankful the spirit was able to work through me to help them bond even more! Yay the spirit!
-We have this investigator who has like 14 cats. We had a lesson with him on Saturday and he felt the spirit so strong. We taught the restoration and shared the first vision. After the first vision was quoted, he said it made him feel HAPPY! Wahoo! Boom. That's the spirit. We helped him see that and he is excited to continue to learn and grow!!!

Spiritual things (don't skip over these cause they sound boring.. they're cool k)
-We had zone conference this week! WOWOW I am so stoked we get to have them each transfer. We talked a lot about a lot of super helpful things to apply to the area. This is what got us thinking for the new and creative finding ideas!! I got picked on to give a talk, answer questions, and participate in roll plays. Haha learning experiences?
-We were so privileged to see the Light The World video... OH MY GOODNESS it is so so so good. Everyone go set a reminder on your phone to look it up first thing on the 25th when it comes out. Wow. If you haven't heard much about it look it up. It will be on on Friday. There's super awesome service ideas to do each day that are so simple. I already have my 25 ways over 25 days mapped out! Do it.
-We were also so blessed to have interviews this week! Wow, President Daines just knows exactly what to say to help you learn from him and the spirit. I learned so much I'm going to apply to the area and to myself personally. So excited to see things continue to progress. Both him and Sister Daines told me that I adjust to things super easily and they're glad I haven't had major challenges yet. But they both said that bigger challenges are ahead... AH I guess it's a growing opportunity right?! Lol pray for me.
-Since it's thanksgiving here's a thanksgiving scripture! D&C 78:19 "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."


Sister Barnes

PS transfers are next week (I KNOW, HOW IS IT ALREADY TRANSFERS?!???) so pday will be Wednesday. Sister Bohner is done with her mission and peacing out so I'll get a new companion. Probably will stay here in Powell!  News to come next week.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Powell is Cool

Hey everyone!

This week was great! It seriously flew by. 

I will highlight one of the many miracles we saw this week. So our ward has been fasting for growth. This includes reactivating less actives, finding new converts, and more member families moving in. We had a lesson with a returning member on Monday night following the ward fast. She simply prayed for us to find people who are ready for the gospel. During that prayer, our phone vibrated! We checked it after the lesson and it was a media referral. A guy named Leonard wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon! We were so excited. We felt like we should contact him the next evening. We stopped by his house Tuesday night and it was very dark. We thought nobody was home, but we tried anyway. We waited a little bit after the first knock then tried again. A little bit later some lights flipped on and he answered the door! He couldn't talk a lot then, but we were able to briefly explain the Book of Mormon and extend baptism. He said he would be baptized when he felt the Book of Mormon was true! Sadly his return appointment for the next day got cancelled because of something that came up for him. We also haven't been able to get in contact with him since. We have been praying so intently that he will get back in contact with us so we can follow up. He is way too prepared to just be dropped. I'm so thankful for the faith of ward members and others. We know this miracle is because of them!

Scripture of the week thanks to a member....
Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
She thinks the Bible was miswritten. It should say "Blow ye the [Trump Pence] in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 
Hahaha yes, we've heard all about the elections. Almost everyone we talk to brings it up.

Another funny story this week. We volunteer at this nursing home almost every week. We've been playing games with them like wheel of fortune and hangman and stuff. We were trying to get this one lady to guess the word "water". We gave her some hints. We said "what's something that you drink?" She said "well, not alcohol!!" We laughed and asked "what do you shower with?" And she said "well, not people! ....usually." Ah hahaha it was so funny. Finally another person guessed it. 

This week I finished the Book of Mormon again! I've got a good system down where I finish it every 12 weeks. I decided I wanted to read it one more time before the end of the year. This time through I'm focusing on the things people do that bring them closer to Christ. I've seen a lot of patterns. I'm excited to follow their example by keeping the commandments, praying often, humbling myself, etc. I love the Book of Mormon!

Today was nuts!! District activity was fun. We played sports and stuff all together. Then we deeeep cleaned the car in preparation for car checks at zone conference! Then we went to the ZOO!!!!!! A member had a pass and got us in for free. There were about 2 other people in the whole place and the weather was perfect. Then we got some ice cream. They have graham canyon here but it's called graham central station. So good. Now we only have a few minutes to email so this will be short and I probably won't be able to email anyone back.. sorry! Maybe next week.

But.. I love you all. Thanks for the support and love.  
Sister Barnes

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November in Powell

Fall leaves in Powell

Cool rock that looks like cheese!
Hey guys!

How is it already Monday again?? Time flies. I'll share a few highlights. 

So there's this guy. He pulled into his driveway when we are walking by. The street was really dark but we decided we need to talk with everyone. We went up and introduced ourselves without really thinking. He kind of stumbled towards us and I didn't think much of it. We introduced ourselves and he got excited and said, super creepily, "can I show you something?" He dug around his jacket pocket and I thought he was pulling out a gun or something. As soon as I realize this my heart dropped to the floor. We both started to run away. We were ready to book it. Turns out it was just his phone. He kinda laughed and we tried to not make it seem like we thought he was going to hurt us ha... He just wanted to show a video about why he believes the earth is flat. After he talked for a really long time about some crazy believes he has we gave him our card and told him to watch a video about Jesus. It was quite the experience. 

On Thursday we went to Marysville for exchanges. We were meeting with one of their kind of progressing investigators. We had a super awesome lesson with her! Long story short, the lesson was full of so many inspired questions that got her to realize the importance of the commandments and keeping them now. I have never been able to recognize the spirit so strongly as I did in that lesson. I had distinct thoughts come to my mind that we're not mine. When I opened my mouth, it was filled. It was absolutely amazing how much of that lesson was simply God using us as his mouthpiece on earth. The member and the investigator were both bawling by the end of the lesson because he spirit was so strong. By the end we basically called her to repentance and asked her to repent right then and there. She gave the most sincere prayer I've heard in a while. It was miraculous!!

R. hasn't been progressing at all. We talked with her for a while last night and decided to drop her. She is no longer making progress and seems to be getting further from the message than closer to it. We've tried all we can do. The rest is up to her and the Lord. It was sad to tell her that we won't be seeing her, but we have hope that she will some day realize she needs the gospel. 

That's about it! We had a zone training meeting this week and found out we will be having some conference AND interviews EACH TRANSFER!! Usually they're every 3 months or so. YAY!!

I can't believe it's November and that I've been a missionary for 4 months. It still feels like it's July to me! I'm just having the best time ever and have found so much joy in my service. I know we find blessings and HAPPINESS as we do what God asks.

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." (Mosiah 2:41)

God bless!!

Sister Barnes

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Everyone and their dogs use DoTerra. Literally!

This is basically what every street looks like in Powell.
I'm starting a Powell big house of the week award... This one wins.
House or temple? (Yes we pressed the thing and the gate opened... We
hiked up the driveway but nobody opened when we knocked)
It was cold one night...
Everyone gives us pie and cobber and other things, so we wore ankle weights tracting one day!

Hey family and friends!

First of all... HAPPY HALLOWEEN 🕸
🎃🕷🍭🔪🎉👻💀👹 wow I love Halloween. Please watch some scary movies for me :').

Wow, this week was great.

It started off shortly after I sent my last email. We were able to have a super awesome lesson with the brother who used to be a bishop and fell away from the church. We shared the talk by Elder Cornish from general conference called "am I good enough? Will I make it?" It was a very inspiring lesson. We were able to help him feel of the spirit and the need of the Gospel. He sent us home with a book full of coloring pages that he has filled out. He is very into them and it is an honor that he would send us home with them. We even drew some pages for him to color lol.

There's a lot of less active work in Powell. One member we have been working with is a returning member who is retaking the lessons to learn more. His parents are super awesome. They are great examples of missionaries and covenant keepers. We had super awesome lesson with them earlier this week, and dinner with them on Sunday. We have also been meeting with this "frail old lady". She is the sweetest lady in the world. She lives with her son in law and daughter. She loves writing poetry and talking about her awesome life experiences and lessons she's learned. She even wrote us a poem. Her testimony is so strong, but her body is not. She's not able to come to church most of the time because she does not have enough energy to get there. But she so badly wants to be able to come regularly. I love old people.

So apparently Powell has been tracted over and over and over again. We decided we need to find a new way to get people to talk. Some other missionaries from our mission put together a survey about the family proclamation. They used it at Astaire and had a booth set up for people to come answer the questions. The questions are: do you believe that family values are declining in the world today? Do you believe this family relationships continue after death? Do you believe in abstinence before marriage? Do you believe in complete fidelity to your spouse? Do you believe that parents are equal partners? Do you believe that you will be accountable to God for how you raise your children?.... We have been able to approach people on their doorsteps and say we have been meeting families in the neighborhood and asking questions about their beliefs on family values. Most of the people in Powell have families so many are willing to answer a few questions. We have been surprised by the results! Lots of people have opened up and shared a lot about what they believe. It's been interesting to see how people respond to the questions. We have explained the proclamation to people and how it was revealed by a prophet in 1995. We ask if we could bring a copy of it to all the people we gave a survey to. Many of them are willing to get and read it! We were able to deliver some of these and it was awesome. We are excited to follow up on their reading of it and things they can apply to their own families. I have been thankful for this experience because it has helped me see the importance of having a family that is centered on Jesus Christ. I know I have seen this in my family(shoutout to mom and dad) and I want it for my future family (like way future don't worry).

Another investigator R. hasn't been doing well. She has had a migraine all week. Our lessons have been kind of dull as well. We feel that she is not fully comprehending everything us and the other sisters have talked about. We know that she is no longer progressing and are being prayerful about what actions to take from here. Pray for her!

There have been some funny things happen this week. One night we were tracting these condos and nobody wanted to talk to us. We were talking to this one guy and he must've not been able to hear us very well. Sister Bohner was talking and he stepped out of his door and got his face probably 2 inches from hers so he could hear. Somehow she was able to keep her cool but I kind of lost it quietly. It was so funny. Another day, we brought a member to deliver some family proclamations with us. We were knocking on this one door and a dog came running up to the window on the side of the door. It just kept running. It did not stop. The window stopped it. It banged it's face against the window. We all just laughed. Poor dog.

So day times here in Powell are not very productive. In order for people to afford these houses, both parents have to work. We usually do something service related. There's a food pantry and a nursing home near by that we volunteer at. We also do lots of service for members and our blind investigator R. We helped sand a porch, fold socks, and clean a kitchen this week! Since the mission office is like 2 seconds away (it's across from the church haha) we get to help out there sometimes too. This week we helped sort extra clothes that departing missionaries left behind. Perks of this? We get to keep what we want
😍😍. Also pretty cool thing, the senior couples that work in the office have us over for dinner sometimes. Haha what is Powell?? We were also meeting with some members and were right by the mission home. President Daines told us to come by whenever we're in the neighborhood. So we did! So strange we can just swing by the mission home and mission office whenever we want or need to.

Yesterday we saw the Daines a few times. First was at church like usual (still weird). President asks us about different things each time, like numbers of lessons, people at church, and all sorts of different things. This week he asked about our finding efforts! We told him about the survey and him and sister Daines were pumped we used it in a tracting setting. Phew glad we had something we could report on. Later last night we stopped by the mission home! President Daines was asking how I liked Powell and stuff. I said I miss Athens but I love Powell. We were talking about the whole trailer homes vs mansions and he was asking why missionaries are fine to knock on a shack but are so afraid of mansions? He talked about Ammon teaching Limhi. So Ammon didn't just start with the servants and their "shacks" and work his way up to the king in his "mansion." His main goal was to teach the king! Sure, he lived with the servants and probably taught them a bit too, but he went to the "biggest house" in town! I told you that that was a cool scriptural story about how we shouldn't be afraid of people with money!

Sister Bohner is still awesome. We are continuing to get along super well! We're not just companions, we're friends! I'm excited I get to be her last companion. I learn so much from her every day!

I'm so thankful I get to be here in Powell serving God's children. I'm thankful for the Savior and the marvelous example he is. D&C 128:22 "Brethren (and sisters), shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!"

Hope everyone has a great week!!

Sister Barnes

Oh, and the subject line. DoTerra is an expensive brand of different kinds of oils that people use for everything. There's probably one that raises the dead haha. People here use it on their dogs, cause they can?