Friday, September 9, 2016

The Adventures of Paul and Silas

Hello everyone!
It's been quite the week and a half. Haha so many ups and things that should be downs, but we make them ups! Thankfully no sides.... You'll understand soon. 

I'll start with transfer news. Sister Blaser and I are both staying in Athens! We are so excited. Haha not surprised though. Everyone we asked before we knew agreed that we'd be here at least another transfer... Our whole district, the ward mission leader, our sister training leaders, our bishop, even some random members and investigators we visit. Yay!

So, last week on Wednesday we were on our way to the zone training meeting in Lancaster, about 40 miles away. About 10 miles into the trip we were going around a corner on the 2 lane highway and BAM in the middle of the road was a huge chunk of tire. There was somebody to our right so we couldn't go right. Sister Blaser's instincts kicked in and she swerved to the left right before we hit the tire. Our car lost control and swerved all over the place. We eventually hit the middle railing on the highway. It was scary but everyone was fine! We got out of the car to see the damage. Barely even a dent... What!? We pulled out our "what to do if you have an accident" envelope and followed the steps. A highway patrol guy was there to move the tire and came and checked on us. He didn't believe us when we said we hit the middle railing. He said if we "actually" hit the railing the whole side of the car should've been ripped off. We told him about our missionary service and informed him that Angels were watching out for us. You better believe we made it into a quick lesson!! Once we got everything figured out we left for the meeting and were only 20 minutes late! We have to go to an auto body shop to get it fixed but it's not a huge problem at all. Thanks for everyone who's praying for our safety and protection! There's proof that we're being watched over. (Haha that was the part where "thankfully no sides" fits in because he said we also could've easily rolled the car.. Ah)

Okay now for another story. Hahahaaa this one still makes me laugh. So we were in this neighborhood talking to a (now progressing) investigator (I'll talk about him later). When we decided to stop by another investigator's house to see how his scripture reading is going. It was like 8 pm so it was dark. We didn't know if he'd be home so we parked outside and started updating our iPad area books. All the lights in his house were out so we figured nobody was home. Sister Blaser kept the car running and I suggested to turn off the lights so we don't look creepy. She said it would be fine. A little later I suggested it again, or to turn the car off so we don't waste gas and stuff, but mostly not to be creepy. She said it was fine again. Then a little while later I said we should just go somewhere else, this is really creepy!! She said nah and we stayed there. Car running and lights on outside his house. Next thing we know we see 3 people walking toward us... Guess who? Our investigator and his parents. Sister Blaser said "quick, duck" thinking we wouldn't be seen. So we did but I think it made it even worse.  His dad came up to the car... She told me to stay ducked so I did. He came up to the window and asked if he could help us. She said no, it's okay. We know the people across the street and are just updating our iPads! (No lie.) He was confused but was like oh okay whatever. (Side note:we've never actually met his parents. They've either been in a different room or we've been on campus or somewhere else.) As soon as he left we drove away. Haha so creepy huh? We were dying because we went to the library to get wifi to sync our iPads and we noticed an email from the guy from earlier that day... He said he didn't want to become a Mormon and basically email dumped us. Haha so imagine how bad and creepy that would've been if he saw us!! Ahhh hahaha reminds me of things that probably happened to me at home. Moral of the story: listen to your companion

Miracles are everywhere! As we plan or glance through the area book, sometimes people's names stick out or a random name comes to mind. We always call them and time after time they're always in need of us at THAT moment. Gods timing is pretty cool. 

Okay time for people!
He's funny, he said the only thing between him and becoming a member is the fact that we worship on Sunday's, not Saturday's. He says that Saturday's are the 7th day and everyone should worship on that day. He wanted us to find evidence that we should worship on Sunday. Not Saturday. So we did! In the gospel principles handbook there is a great section on sabbath day stuff. It answers perfectly! Go Acts 20. He didn't come to church like he said he would, but we're going to see him hopefully tonight to help him understand the sabbath day on Sunday thing. 

We have an investigator with a baptismal date! October 8th. He was a former investigator but was dropped because his family was giving him too much negative pressure and he didn't want to disobey. This time around though he's super excited and knows that this is true. We took him on a chapel tour with a family and taught a lesson all together. The spirit was so strong and he realized this is where he needs to be! Hopefully his family and Satan can get off his back. We have faith!

Another investigator has a wife that is a less active member but he's not a member at all. They're in their like 60s probably and are some of the funniest people. They live way out in the woods and he loves wood working. Like he built his whole house and almost every piece of furniture in it. He made us cool bookmarks and hair bows out of wood. And wants us to come back sometime to learn how and help him finish some projects! He has had missionaries over for like 30 years and he knows everything about the gospel. He even knows that he needs to be baptized but he just won't do it. We think there's some issues with his faith, but we're going to work on figuring out his real concerns and why he won't do it. We've been there 3 times in the last week and a half and oh man, they love us. Mountain Man (that's what he calls himself) has a bad reputation for getting angry at missionaries whenever they try to get him to do things, especially get baptized or come to church. I didn't know this. Until after I invited him to church and talked about baptism with him. Amazing news... He didn't get mad, not at all! He asked that I come back for his baptism if he ever get baptized. I told him I'd be there WHEN it happens because it's happening before I leave this area. He didn't deny it and just kept talking about a different subject... I am going to get him baptized, be ready. We told the elders about that and they were in shock. His history doesn't contain anything like that. Yay! I know I was sent here for certain people. Maybe this is one

Another investigator - suuuper cool guy that used to be in prison but has turned to God and completely changed his life around. He has a cute wife and cute kids in this cute house in Nelsonville. He was a referral from some elders in our district! He rear ended them and they sent his info our way. We've taught him a few times and he is so cool. He is very knowledgeable of the bible and God and now loves the Book of Mormon and is truly trying to find out if this is true. He wants it to be! He reads way more than we ask and does research things he read to make sure he understands it right. He's great. He told Sister Blaser and I that we are basically Paul and Silas from the bible. He is stoked out of his mind that 2 young people, especially females, would devote time from their lives to give back to the Lord to help others gain the knowledge of the gospel. Woot woot! Plus he always texts back so that's like a big blessing!!

Okay that's about it for people and this week! We super deep cleaned our apartment for the end of transfers and it's beautiful. I'm so excited to be staying here in Athens at least 6 more weeks! Oh also I hit my 2 month mark yesterday. Time's flying by!!

Love from Ohio,
Sister Barnes

PS send letters right to my apartment until close to Oct 20th(next transfers)
36 Poston Road
Apartment 49
The Plains, OH 45780

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