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