Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sister Barnes is in Ohio!

Sister Barnes arrived in Columbus, Ohio today!!

Second week in the MTC


(July 20 Letter) Yay so this week was great! It went by quicker than last week and we did lots of cool things. I'll start with the highlight. Sunday for devotional they said we were going to watch the Character of Christ video by Elder Bednar. We watched it last week for the Sunday night movie thing but I was still pumped to watch it again. We watched it and it was just as good, if not better, than the first time! I learned so much. Then after the video, IN WALKS ELDER BEDNAR! WHAAAAAAT it was so so so so cool. The whole room stood up and got silent and my face was like :O. Actually everyone's face was like that. My notes say "ELDER BEDNAR IS *HERE*!!"We had a Q&A session with him about the Character of Christ and basically anything else we wanted. It was so so so so cool. Felt the spirit so strong and I was so excited to change some things to become a more successful missionary. The coolest thing I learned that I'm most excited to try to apply is to acknowledge that we need complete dependence on the Lord to do basically everything. I've been trying to work on not having judgemental thoughts toward people and I haven't found a way to do it.. until this week! I've been praying and putting all my faith toward Christ and I'm actually seeing success. I'm excited to keep relying on the Lord!

So more about the MTC. It's pretty cool I guess, I'm not even too sick of it but I'm excited to go to Ohio IN ONE WEEK! My least favorite thing is how much time we spend in the classroom. Literally spend more time in there than in my bed :'(. There's a cool spirit here and everyone is so nice and friendly. I love my goofy district so much! Hopefully pictures will work this week so you can see. 

Sister Laidlaw and I are still having a blast! The smallpox didn't give us smallpox... just a nasty cold. I'm not sure it's from that because basically everyone in the whole MTC is sick, but I'm blaming it on the used blanket. Definitely washing them all today. I was sitting on my bed last week and my nose just started to run. It felt like a bloody nose but it was just snot, gross huh? I got a blessing the next night and was SO DEAD the next day. Like I had -4 energy but it was okay. The next day I woke up feeling great! My nose is just a little congested now but I'm taking drugs for it no worries. The priesthood is pretty cool! I took nyquil one night at like 11 (bad idea) and was kinda knocked out the next day.. haha oh well, people said I was hilarious.

Oh I remembered something! So you know how in the MTC, everyone is supposed to prepare a talk? Well I figured it wouldn't be me because what are the odds? Turns out they called on me. As the first speaker! I had thought about the subject a little bit (obedience) but that's about it. Good thing I could kind of relate it to my farewell talk on choices. I just kinda came up with it on the spot and it was great. Went by the spirit, the best way to do it! People say it was good though.

Sunday before the huge Bednar surprise, we went to choir practice! (Oh cool story we were there like super early and were on the second row of choir seats.... good thing because we got to keep those seats for when Elder Bednar came! So cool.) But we were practicing a bunch of the Nashville Tribute band's songs. I guess they're coming on Sunday to celebrate the 24th with us. We're going to be the background singers for them! Watch for videos, they maybe will post them if they're decent. So yeah, that'll be a pretty neat last Sunday in the MTC!

Hmm hmm hmmm.. investigators! We had a COOl one last week and a kinda lame one. The cool one was so open to us and had so many questions and we just had awesome experiences and discussions with her. The other just sat on her phone and was only taking the lessons becuase she lives in Provo and is surrounded by members, and because her BF is a member (idk why he didn't just teach her.. probs because she's not that interested but kinda just pretends to care. This week our investigators are awesome. Jen is a recovering drug addict who's divorsed to her psycho drug dealer abusive husband. She's only 22 and she really just needs to be able to see God's love in her life. She also lived in Columbus for a while and told us all about it! Especially the druggy cities to stay away from haha bless her soul. Pray for her and our ability to invite the spirit to teach her. Sydney is an older lady who's awesome and is kind of like Joseph Smith searching for truth. We teach her again tonight! 

Our teachers are still great. Sister Martin went home to...somewhere... I forgot. But we got a new teacher! Brother Mazankowski. He's awesome. I still love Sister Linford! They're so patient with our kinda rowdy district, and they're so in tune and teach us so much. Oh also another teacher who kinda goes around to different classes comes in to ours a bunch. Her name is Sister Killpack... as in Alli's mission presidents! Her husband's aunt and uncle were the Killpacks Allison knows. Small world!

I'm glad to hear things are going well back home! Thanks for the letters and packages, I love them all! I can't believe I'll be on a flight to Ohio this time next week. Because of that, I'll miss P-day. So you'll hear from me in August! (acutally I'll call from an airport somewhere..potentially SLC at like 6:30 am. get ready for that ;).) I love you all and pray for you often!! Thanks for being the best support ever.

Love, Sister Barnes

Thursday, July 14, 2016

First week in the MTC


The MTC is a super cool place. Pretty magical actually, time goes by SO slow it's basically like magic! Haha.... I feel like I've been here for a year.. not a week! But it's great. The LONG days are actually really really good days. Every day in my journal it says something like "today was a looooong but good day." But yeah, I've already learned so much!

Ahh where do I even start?? My companion is the bomb. Her name is Sister Tara Laidlaw (like laid down the law). She was born in China and was adopted into an LDS family in Murray at age 1. She was pretty shy at first but she is the COOLEST person. We get along super well and have a great time. We're always either laughing, feeling the spirit, or BOTH!. Our district is AWESOME! There are 12 of us. 4 sisters, 8 elders. We're the only sisters going to Ohio, the others are going to New Mexico. There are 3 elders going to Ohio and the rest to new mexico. After about 10 minutes of talking we were automatically all best buddies. We have so much fun and have super awesome talks about church stuff too. I love my district!!

I have seen so many people I know. Like literally everywhere we go I see someone I know. I'd list them out but I can't even rememeber... lots of people from our ward/stake, PHS, BYU, Nauvoo, and I don't even know what else. It's cool. Remember the guy I talked to on the phone at work that's going to my mission? Met him! He's in my zone. I've run into Chris Higgins a few times and he says thanks for the cookies mom. Oh speaking of, thanks for the packages you sent me mom! We're gonna eat the cookies as a district tonight. Everyone is way excited. And thanks for the blankets! We're not freezing anymore, hallelujah. Thank you! And thanks for all the letters you've sent! If you want to send some dear elders that'd be cool ;).

Okay I think it would be most fun to share funny things that have happened because there have been a ton. I decided to dedicate part of my nightly journal entry to funny things that have happened. So first day, my host got us SO lost and I'm still confused at where things are because of it. After us and the roommates (all companionships are going to different missions. The other 4 girls are in the same zone but S Laidlaw and I just kinda chill there) got in and settled we decided to shower. But nobody remembered to bring a key... so we were locked out and had to get help from our STL's (S Doty and Hickenlooper- Alli served with E Hickenlooper in her mission.) They got us a spare key and we got back in. THEYRE THE COOLEST I LOVE THEM. Next thing.... We all realized that we were assuming someone else would bring an alarm clock but nobody did... you were right mom. So we had to borrow one and buy it the next day. (The one we borrowed didn't go off but luckily one of the girls in our room woke up in time). So day 2, first full day in the MTC, we meet with an investigator. We were tlaking to her as comps and I noticed she had garment lines... people in the district were trying to figure out if she was a member or not and I told them that she has garments. They call me sister batman now because apparently I notice little things really well. The next morning we were all blow drying our hair in the room and the curcuit blew out... we had to get help from the MTC housing people later that day. Haha oops. One day I ran into a door and got a huge bump on my arm. Before we got the blankets from mom I was too cold to sleep so I got one from the dirty bin in the hall... S Laidlaw says those blankets remind her of when the colonial people gave native americans blankets and gave them smallpox too... she calls that blanket the smallpox blanket. I'm not dead yet though so it's fine. Plus one of the custodial ladies told us the blankets only get washed every 3 months anyway... ew. So next funny thing kinda happens a lot.. I'm taking after mom! I fall asleep sometimes... in lessons... in devotionals.. in church... people call me out sometimes. Worst one was a member of the branch presidency who talked to me after and said "when you kept falling alseep it made ME tired! And he was all worried about my sleeping habits.. Itold him I'm just not a morning person (we had 8 am sacrament.. after we'd been up for an hour and a half. barf). 

SO YEAH the mtc is great. food isn't that bad (E Fowers in my district loves it I think... he's gained 10 lbs in a week HAHA) my teachers (S Martin and S Linford) are the coolest. So in tune and they're fun and just great. Love my district. LOVE my companion. Love the work! We have 2 investigators we're teaching this week. Vanessa and Katie, pray for them please! (Even though I saw their garment lines and know they're LDS lol). Thanks for all your love and prayers and support! I hope all is well back home. I'm learning a TON. I don't think I've ever been able to recognize the spirit so well, I've felt it all time and have had a lot of cool experiences. Watched the character of Christ devo video thing and loved it. I'm hoping to figure out the whole picture thing... wish me luck!

Sister Barnes
Oh one last funny thing. S Laidlaw and I were walking back from a lesson and 2 elders walked passed. They were foreign and one said "heeeyyy seesters" and when they passed us his comp said "seriously???" and it was funny.