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?