Monday, February 27, 2017

Everyone Knew It! Marysville and STL!

Sister Training Leaders - Sis Barnes and Sis Hansen
Chili cook-off
Balcony in the rain
Dowtown Marysville
Haha!! This half of a week has been awesome. So people in the mission love to make guesses on where everyone will be.. let's just say everyone was right and I'm pumped about it! I got transferred to Marysville to be with my good pal Sister Stuaney Hansen, from Clearfield, UT. This area is the STL area of my old zone, the north 1 zone, so I've been here on exchanges a few times! It's super fun because I know a bunch of the people and I've already been on an exchange with her. I will be serving as a Sister Training Leader for our zone and the other north zone. Basically we just do normal missionary stuff, plus exchanges with each set of sisters in the zones once a transfer, going to MLC (mission leadership council) and helping with zone training meetings. I don't really know what's going on yet so I'm not stressed at all. 

The transfer started out awesome. Right when we got to the church we rushed across the parking lot to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with a lady who was just baptized on Saturday! I actually helped teach her on exchanges a few times. It was so cool to see her there and doing her mom's work. She is the best. 

So our apartment was kinda messy and gross. We've been spending our night times and meal breaks cleaning out a ton ton ton of stuff and reorganizing a bit. It's looking nice already. Wish I would've taken a before and after pic! Oh well. I like clean things (yeah yeah mom I know...) fave scripture right now is D&C 88:119 Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;

Marysville is great. Everyone that lives here works for Honda. I guess there's a huge place or something out here that they all work at. There are a few newer communities with pretty nice houses (really little compared to Powell haha). Downtown Marysville is kinda ghetto but I love it. It's basically a small town that got changed into a busier bigger town. It's awesome. A lot more poor than Powell but not as low as Athens. It's a good mix. Also lots of country and redneck places. It's probably just what you think of then you think of Ohio. Lots of random corn fields, some trailer homes, also so pretty nice neighborhoods, a little downtown, etc.

We're working with quite a few awesome people! I'll go through the ones I've met:
-M.- just got baptized. Going through the lessons with her. She was super into her church but the sisters met her and she knows this is true. She's still getting super antied by her old pastor but she's staying strong. She's so cool.
-V&O- old couple (we found out he is 91!) they were baptized in the Jordan river together and they promised not to do it again. V. comes to church every week and O. is having her heart softened for our visits. They've been meeting with missionaries foreverrrr and he is basically just a dry Mormon haha.
-J&M- super awesome couple. The ward had a chili cook off and they came. We gave them a chapel tour and they came to church yesterday! They have kinda been moving around churches searching for truth so they're golden. They have gone on "mission trips" and love God and the Bible. They're pumped about the Book of Mormon. Michelle said we both had "an aura of joy" around us. We said it was the gospel.
-D.- super funny guy that's working on quitting smoking so he can live the WoW. He may have some memory issues but we're trying to see what we can do. He's so sweet and also loves coming to church. 
That's about all I have met. More to come. 

Fun things!
The chili cook off was awesome. They had a bunch of different kinds of chili and we got to have little bits of all of them and vote. Then they had chocolate desserts that we did the same thing for. It was great.
When we got home that night it was POURING rain. We have a balcony so we went outside in nightgowns and chilled in the rain. It was great. 
Okay I can't really think of anything specific but basically everything is funny and we're laughing ALL THE TIME. 

We're going to get to cleaning now. Love you all! Life is good!
Sister Barnes

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bye Powell

Holy moly a lot has happened this past week and a half.

-transfer news: Sister Flora is done with her training and will be training a new missionary! Yay! In mission terms I'm a grandma. Because of this I'm leaving Powell and will find out where I'm going tomorrow. Super sad that I'm leaving my lovely area of Powell and my wonderful companion Sis Flora. She'll do great things here. 

-J&C-awesome young couple that got married a few months ago. They were taught a bit by previous missionaries but got busy with wedding stuff and kinda fell off the face of the earth. J. is very very smart and has a hard time with faith vs science. In the 2 visits we've had he's already showing a ton of progress and his heart is softening lots. Now get this. He is afraid to read the Book of Mormon because he's afraid that Joseph Smith was a boy genius that "programmed" some weird "virus" in the Book of Mormon that will basically brainwash him and make him become a Mormon. He knows if he reads it he'll convert. He sees both sides, if it's true then that's awesome. If it's not then it's changing his brain in a bad way. Haha not sure if he's super smart or just crazy. They're willing to have discussions and are going to come to church soon. We have a lesson tonight!

-We met some other cool people. I'll share a cool experience. We were tracting this one street pretty late at night and knocked into this guy. We had a good conversation and taught about the restoration. The spirit was so strong. We gave him a BoM and he said that we didn't have any idea how much he needed this in his life right now. Sadly he's out of town for a bit but he'll be taught again I'm sure.

-we had exchanges last week. I was with Sister Ali in Marysville. She's from the Trinidad and is basically the best missionary ever. We had a blast on her last exchange before she goes home this week! I also got to go on a mini exchange with Sister Myers and Sister Harris while our companions were in the meeting for new trainers. We had wayyyy too much fun. Also one day Sister Clark came out with us for a few hours. Her companion is done with her mission and had her departing interview and stuff at the mission home so we took her with us. 

-Valentine's Day was fun. We were tracting a lot because not a ton of people wanted us over haha. We shared a lot of scriptures about God's love! We met a bunch of people that liked the Book of Mormon and want us to come back and share more. Yay! After we got home we ordered a pizza and watched Meet the Mormons. Pizza and movie night ❤

-We did some fun service this week! We shredded papers in the mission home for President Daines, helped prune trees in Sister Goodson's apple orchard, did some cleaning, sang with old people, and helped sort (and get 😄) clothes. 

-the weather has been beautiful. It's basically spring right now. Lots of people think it'll get cold again though. It's been in the 50s or 60s almost all week. It's been great because people have been outside and are actually happy haha

That's all for this week. Until Monday ❤
Sister Barnes

Thursday, February 16, 2017

YOGOMO - "You Only Go On a Mission Once"

Concrete corn field in Dublin
Jumping the "zanja"

Hello everyone!
This week was kinda tough haha. Opposition in all things! Breakdown of the week: everyone is too busy, accidental donations, skunk chasings, concrete corn visits, interviews!

M&S- rumor has it her husband is not a fan of the church. At all. We saw them briefly this week just in a quick stop by visit. They said they're super busy now with a few upcoming trips and want to have another lesson when they're back towards the end of the month. So I guess we'll just be patient until we can talk to them about their concerns. 

S&R- we got there for the lesson this week and she wasn't home. She's "super busy with work until June." And said she'll come to church if she can. So we're still figuring out what to do with them.. we think something must've happened because they were on fire. Working with the ward on keeping them involved and keeping contact. We will continue to try to meet with them and see what's up without being too pushy. Sigh. 

R.- service again! She's doing well. Says she'll want to start taking the lessons again in a few weeks. She said she recognizes that she will have reading assignments and will be expected to do stuff. Yay slow progression! She was at church on Sunday and loved it. People acted like she was a less active that came back to church, which basically is what she is haha. 

Basically the only sit down lessons were people who seemed nice but just sat us down to tell us that our church is actually a cult... So that's always fun? Lots of tracting and grumpy people.

With all the downer stuff aside, we still had fun! With transfers coming up we decided to make the last week and a half of the transfer the best of our missions. Our goal is to just go crazy missionary mode and not be afraid of anything. Our motto is "YOGOMO" You Only Go On a Mission Once. If there's someone way down the street and we're about to get in the car we look at each other and say "yogomo?" then chase them down. It's been pretty fun and we haven't freaked too many people out. I'll share some of the fun and funny and happy things. 

We were knocking doors on Thursday and had just a few minutes before we needed to head out. We knocked on this weeeeird looking house. The door didn't have a doorknob so we were like what the heck?? We left but as we were walking down the driveway a guy opened the garage and talked to us. We talked for a minute and I was super confused about what he was saying. I didn't know what to do so I asked if we could say a prayer with him before we go (as a hint that we're leaving now haha). He said please so we did. After we said Amen he asked, "can I say a prayer for you?" We were like "sure!!" Then next thing we know he SHOOTS his hands out and puts one on each of our heads and basically gives us a blessing? Idk it was weird. Then he asked if we would accept a gift and we said um maybe? He went in and got us each a silver dollar and said "it's free, just like God's love!" So he was cool I guess?!

Last week we called this former in the area book. We called said we want to meet her, blah, blah and she said she was moving. We asked if we could help and she said yes! We showed up Friday to help and 20ish year old her son said she wanted us to start in the basement. We were like uh okay! So we went down and asked okay now what? He said one sec and ran upstairs to ask his mom. He played middle man for a bit while we figured out what to do. We did exactly what he said she asked us to do and took a car load of stuff to goodwill. He said that was all they needed help with. About 5 mins after we drop it off she calls us and says we brought the wrong stuff.. she went and found some of it she needed but seemed pretty annoyed that we took the wrong stuff. We apologized (even though we felt like she should've been down there telling us what to do??) and texted her again later that night to see if everything was good. She said yeah and we said if she needs any more help to let her know. She responded that we could go back again the next morning and help more. So we did and we actually met her! And she actually told us exactly what to do haha. And she appreciated us so that's good. 

Saturday mid day our area book planner app broke. No missionaries in the whole world could even open the app. So we were stuck plan-less (basically a nightmare come true hah). We had a bunch of names in but couldn't remember who and didn't know much about them. So we decided to pray and follow the spirit for a street to knock. We picked a few places but when we got there we felt like it was not the right place. Long story short, following the spirit takes a lot of miles . We ended up knocking this street we've been working on. We were about to walk down a kinda lit suuuper long driveway when we saw something move. Thought it was a cat or squirrel or something. Then we saw another.. it was black and white.. a skunk! There were at least 2. When we saw the second one it starting running toward us. You better believe we booked it out of there REAL QUICK. This was the night we got chased by a skunk. I guess the spirit wanted us to have a fun experience?

We had interviews this week! I told President about the cycle I feel like I've been stuck in for my whole mission. It begins with having no people you're working with. Then you work really hard and find new people. Then those people start to progress. Then they drop you. Then you're back at the beginning. This has happened SO MANY times to me and I needed suggestions to get out of it. He said that it's not me that will get me out of it. It's the Lord! I need to do things that will allow Him to let me out of the cycle. But until then, patience! And enduring! Yay my favorite things. But really interviews were awesome I love President. 

There's an awesome family in the ward that had us over for dinner and told us about some random places in Ohio. One was close by! So we got permission and went to the concrete corn field (see picture). Some farmer guy had farmed a ton of corn there and donated the land or something to the city? Not sure. But this is his memorial. 

Transfer next is NEXT WEEK! How? Not sure. This transfer went by in a jiffy. Let's be real, my whole mission has gone by way too fast. We're really scared about what's going to happen. When we were at the mission home waiting for interviews President made a few comments. When I went in for my interview I told sister Flora that I'd miss her. When we were in his office he said "get used to it." How awful is that!? I won't be emailing until Wednesday next week when I have the news so wish us luck!! We both want to stay here in Powell for at least another transfer :( 
Hope everyone had a good week! Talk to you in a while.

Love, Sister Barnes

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What do you call an alligator in a vest?

Tracting on Concord Road ... turns out it was an abandoned house.
We've been able to see the sky this week, this is my favorite bridge in Powell and probably the world!
We give our Chinese investigator the pamphlets in English and Chinese.
Fur wreath?
Weather was so good yesterday, 40 degrees and no coat!!
The sky is on fire - beautiful!

Q: what do you call and alligator in a vest? 
A: an investigator! Hahahahahahahahahhaa missionary jokes

Hi everyone!

Some quick updates:

-S&M: no lesson again this week. "Too busy". We think they're afraid of their date coming up and are hiding from it haha. Little do they know that next lesson they'll be picking their own.. ah patience. We had dinner with the Seversons, a senior couple that helps in the office, and they gave us a pie to bring to some investigators. We took it to them and good news, they don't hate us! Hopefully we'll be able to get that lesson in this week.

-S&R: awesome lessons this week. The mom likes tea but we told her basically to choose to follow man or God. Love that we're friends enough that we can be bold. They came to church and she signed permission slips for her daughter to go to girls camp so that's cool! They're reading and praying almost every day and they're coming so close to God. The mom said the closing prayer at the end of the lesson and it almost made me cry. It was so specific and she asked God to confirm the things we taught and for strength to overcome her challenges. It was seriously awesome. They're on track for the 18th :)

-R: did service for her for this week. Still having awesome discussions on the spirit. We're going in pretty slow with her to make sure she's ready now. She didn't make it to church because of a miscommunication between her and her ride, but she will be there next week. 

Oh and of course some fun and funny things too:

-we went to the way top corner of our area and tracted on Concord road. When we finish it we'll say we conquered Concord. There were farms up there and small houses and it's like the stereotypical Ohio. Love it.

-were tracting during the super bowl (nobody wanted to have a lesson with us then lol) and met this guy who was kinda grumpy. We introduced ourselves as the missionaries and he said "you can't be for real, the super bowl's on!" Then slammed the door. Haha

Hm yeah that's about it! We're going to bake with a member and have a fun pday. Love you all!

Sister Barnes

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

It Got Cold Again

NEW daily missionary schedules worldwide!
Here's a picture of just the porch, let your ind fill in the rest of the house...
People are serious about hockey...these are in people's backyards.
Look how many people were at the zoo with us last week.

Hi Everyone! Another great week that flew by! Like my subject line said, it's starting to get cold again :(

I'll start with the big news.. we had a worldwide missionary broadcast which adjusted the daily schedule and indicators that we report on! Holy cow it's awesome. I'll attach a picture of the new schedule specifically for our mission but basically we plan in the mornings so we can go straight to bed when we get home. We have an extra half hour to get ready in the mornings and our companion Study is shortened and we do it during the day sometime. A big focus is being out the door at 10 am. It's super awesome because everything is so flexible and we choose the order. We're given a chunk of time and a list of things to do during that time. I still haven't had a morning where I've done the same thing, yay agency! We also have 2 extra hours on pday. We now only report how many people were baptized, are on date for baptism, came to church, and are new investigators. We still plan for all the other indicators (people progressing, lessons taught, referrals, recent converts, less actives, etc). It's cool to switch the main focus a bit. It was fun to see all my mission buddies there :)

M&S - we had bishop and his wife come to our tithing lesson. The lesson went great, except that S. may not be all for the law of tithing... She understands it and sees the need for it, but she said this needs to be a family decision and she'll need to talk to her husband about it. We're praying and praying that his heart will be softened. Her testimony is so strong and we know things will all work out. They weren't able to make it to church this week because of family things. We'll need to push back the baptism a little more to make sure they're really ready. During the lesson, M. said that she felt the date (Feb 11) was very soon. She said she wants to feel like she's fully committed and all in before she's baptized. We've decided that we'll let them pray about and pick their own date that they want to work toward. Patience is a virtue.

The lesson Monday night at the church went well! Her parents came too. They don't speak any English but I know they could feel the spirit. When we taught about the Holy Ghost, S. asked if we can still get angry. Haha she thought that the Holy Ghost just makes us perfect. We assured her that that was a misconception hah. We also saw them Saturday night before church. We taught the plan of salvation and they loved it. It hit home for S. because she lost her grandmother about a month ago. The spirit was so strong and they're comprehending very well. They came to church on Sunday and loved it. Rena's 11 so she was in primary, and S. loved the opportunity to see what it's like. They loved singing the songs and feeling the spirit. S. wants to bring her 3 year old daughter, too. She was talking with us a little bit and said she wants R. to serve a mission!!!!! We told her she definitely could work toward it and we'd help with the whole process. All the lessons in church were so inspired and it was a glorious day!

R.- doing well. We did a little service for her this week and had a nice discussion about the spirit. I feel like she's comprehending and understanding a ton more just in this one lesson than the whole time we were working with her before. She couldn't make it to church because of family things but she said she'll definitely be there next Sunday. The thing that made me most happy was her closing prayer at the end of the lesson. Sister Bohner and I spent so much time trying to help her see that her prayers need to be specific. She wouldn't ever do it because she said God knows her thoughts and she doesn't need to pray about them.. Finally this week her prayer was SO specific and it was awesome. So excited about the little bits of things she's progressing in. We're still deciding if we're going to start teaching her the lessons again.

Last night we tracted a bit on Wingate Dr. And Woodland Hall Dr. If you can see the houses on google earth I recommend it. They're technically in Delaware, OH so check it out. Holy smokes some of the BIGGEST houses I've seen in my life. The first door we knocked on this young adult girl opened the door and invited us in. She said they were having a dinner party downstairs but we could visit for a bit. We were so awkward and shocked at the size of the house and her willingness to just let us in haha. We talked with all the "guests" for a little while and it was cool. The owner was a race car driver and I'm guessing (by the size of his house haha) that he was really good. The whole thing was like a movie it was awesome. They weren't super interested but we gave them a pamphlet and said we'd come back. 

Lots of tracting and service this week :) excited for another week! Love you all!

Love, Sister Barnes