Sunday, April 30, 2017

I am Happy!

The district. Don't worry, we didn't swim...
Columbus North 1 and 2 zones
On exchanges, "My Girls!"
Earth day - planted 50 trees

Hello!! This week was wonderful. I'll share just a few of the coolest things. 

We had zone conference and it was super awesome. Lots of focus on the simplicity of the gospel and how we can teach more simply. President gave an awesome training on using pamphlets in our teaching and we've been applying it. We also talked about faith in Jesus Christ and how simple but necessary it is. I love Christ!

We were doing some finding in an apartment complex on Wednesday. Our primary fell through and we were walking to our backup when a 14 year old girl sees us and says, "Hi! Can I talk to you?" We say "uh..yes!!!" and introduce ourselves. When she realized we were from a church she asks if we had a paper or pamphlet she could have to give to her parents who are looking for a church. We say "uh..yes!!!!" and give her a pamphlet. We talked to her about the front cover and asked how it made her feel. She said, "happy, just happy!" We talked about the joy that comes from Christ. We asked if she would show us where her family lives and she took us to meet her parents. As soon as the mom recognized our name tags she tells us about an experience she had when she was 5 years old. Her best friend was a member of the church, and when she got deathly ill she was in the hospital and two Elders came and gave her a blessing with oil. She perfectly describes a priesthood blessing and explained how she woke up the next morning and was healed. She remembered that experience vividly. We begin talking about Christ. We showed them the pamphlet and talked about the Savior and the feelings they had as they looked at the picture. They said "safe," "happy," and "warm." We taught the restoration as we practiced in Zone Conference. It was so powerful and they were able to make the connection of authority the Elders had to the authority that Christ had. When we got to the Book of Mormon, she said she used to study it with her LDS friend but sadly didn't have a copy anymore. We gave them one and they were SO thankful and excited. The spirit was so strong as we taught simply using the pictures in the pamphlet. We extended baptism and they agreed to pray about it and the Book of Mormon. Go!!!!

Some Sisters in our zone got information for a community service project that we were able to participate in. We were planting trees at a local park and were asked to pair up with other people. We met a lady named Val who gladly helped us. We spent a good three hours with her and got to know her pretty well. We talked about our missions and what we do. At one point, she said "I love that your name tags say Jesus Christ." Her friend in college was a member and set a really good example for her by keeping the Sabbath day holy. She let us know that this past Sunday she remembered her friend and decided to keep her Sabbath day holy. She loved the peace that she felt. She began asking us a lot of questions and we were able to answer. We invited her to church and she said that she has actually been looking for a church to attend. We introduced her to the missionaries serving in her area and they were able to exchange contact info. We're excited to hear about her progression in the gospel! We are grateful for this service activity where we were able to see promises from preach my gospel fulfilled: Through service, you and those who are prepared for the restored gospel come together in a powerful, inspiring way. Your good works will help people recognize you as a servant of God and will lead to opportunities to teach the restored gospel.

Thursday we had exchanges! I was with Sister Vickery from Idaho. She's an incredible missionary and we had a ton of fun. We met some cool people and had lots of opportunities to teach. We met P. and had a good time with her. She's an older black lady who wasn't super interested at first but let us in anyway. We taught the restoration using the pamphlet like we learned in zone conference. This time wasn't as successful at first. We showed her the restoration pamphlet and asked how the front cover made her feel. She said "nothing." We asked if she know who it was and she said, "Jesus is supposed to be black." I couldn't control it and laughed for a sec but then we talked about the artists rendition and began flipping through the pamphlet and teaching the restoration. It got better when we talked about the Priesthood and explained the restoration of it. We got to Joseph Smith and she asked where he got the last name Smith. I said with a straight face "from his dad." She laughed but kept asking. So I asked what her last name was. Then asked where she got it. She said "my husband" then I said "right, and Joseph Smith got his name from his dad." Hahahahahaha it was so funny. Her heart opened a lot and she's now a new investigator and is coming to church next week. She also is having us over for dinner so lots of wins. 

Marsha is on fire as usual. On Friday night we brought up patriarchal blessings and invited her to do some research on When we asked about it on Sunday she told us she's already set up a time to meet with bishop to get an interview for a recommend. She is so awesome and asked us to bring her out with us even more. Her testimony is continuing to grow and she inspires me. I love Marsha. 

C is a cool guy who's looking for structure in his life. He was in the Elders old area and is now in ours. We almost dropped him because he was being weird and we could never get ahold of him. Our "last try" visit he was there and were now teaching him and his niece. He came to stake conference yesterday and we're teaching them both tonight. They both want to get baptized!

We're working on finding a lot of new people! We've been having really good first contacts and getting return appointments but somewhere between our first visit and the follow up lesson Satan attacks them. It's really sad but we've been working harder to make sure they have a spiritual experience and a trusting relationship with us so we can address the concerns. We had ward Coordination yesterday and our ward mission leader proposed a special fast for the ward. We will be fasting to find those prepared to receive and act upon our message. It was a really spiritual experience deciding what specific thing we needed to fast for. We're looking forward to seeing the ward come together with faith to find these people. 

A lot more happened but that's all I can remember. We just had a district activity and we went ice blocking at this reservoir place. It was cool 😎 

Love you all!!
Sister Barnes

Monday, April 17, 2017


Our friend the judge and drug court

This week was one for the books!!!!! Old man played the guitar, drug court with our friend the judge, chapel tour with 5 old ladies, went to church at the Bible baptist church.

Where do I begin?

Monday night we met with an investigator. Beginning of the lesson she was like I'm agnostic don't really want change. By the end she prayed and told Heavenly Father she knows he wants her to be baptized. Woot woot! She's 21 and awesome. Lives in Milford Center, part of our new area. Phones don't really work there and it's hard to get a hold of her, but she is cool.

Tuesday we were challenged by our district leader to extend baptism before district meeting the next morning. Last contact at 8:30 pm was pretty kind and we extend and he began to bash hard listing off all these bible references and asked us if we even knew what they said. A goal we had this week was to diffuse angry people by being nice. Sister Hall said, "thanks so much for caring about us." It was hard not to laugh. We also had to run through some streets and backyards to make it to our car so we could get home on time. Oh also we met this cool guy who played the guitar for us. He played us some gospel music and one of his originals.

Wednesday was incredible. Rewind to last Sunday night. We met a potential that is super cool. We talked to him a bit about his life and his career. He is a judge for the county drug court. After talking a bit, he told us he would love to have us come to a session of drug court to meet some people who are working on making changes in their lives. We felt strongly that we should go and were confirmed by Preach My Gospel, "be creative in your finding." So we went. He introduced us as the Sisters all the way from Utah. During drug court, people stand before the Judge and tell him about their week and how the progress of overcoming their addiction is coming along. One guy was up there and everyone was impressed with his progress. He had just gotten his own place and is providing for his needs. He told the judge where his place was and the Judge says, "if the Sisters knock on your door, listen to them." And he said okay. So, we only had the street name and had to leave before it was over. Fast forward to the next day. We put some potentials and formers in that live on his street. We get to the street and there are lots of people outside because it's finally getting warm. We talk to the first guy and he wasn't interested and was from out of town but points us toward a house. We meet a lady in this house! She let us in to show the Prince of Peace video. We tie it into the restoration and teach her a lot about the Book of Mormon. Our zone focus this month is baptismal extensions and the spirit prompted me strongly to extend. So I did. Then she says that this is something her and her daughter have been wanting to do together. She explained that she has been waiting until her daughter is old enough to choose for herself and she feels like she's ready now. (She's 8
😊). We set up a time to come back to teach them more. Oh, and we asked if she knew the guy we met at drug court and she totally does, he asked her out a few weeks ago and she pointed us in a closer direction toward his house. We still haven't found him but we will keep searching. #FINDMILES.

Thursday was exchange day! I was with Sister Kraus. She went to Davis High School! This is her second transfer and she's hilarious. We had lots of fun! We met some really cool people, including the lady I mentioned earlier. Highlight. So a little while back we met this older lady. We met her and talked to her about the church. She was very comfortable with her faith. We kept talking. We offered a simple chapel tour and told her she could invite her friends! So she did! 5 ladies rolled up to the church for a chapel tour. They all came as part of her birthday celebration, she just turned 80 and she's the youngest one out of the 5!! The tour lasted longer than planned because of all the questions they had! We gave them each a Book of Mormon and got contact info for them all. We have started meeting with two of them and are still working on getting a time set up with the other 3. The spirit is present in the church building :)

Friday was weekly planning day.  We went to the library so we could focus. It was exhausting but we cranked it out. We saw a lady who came to church last week. She opened up a lot and expressed some of her concerns. We will adjust teaching and help her continue to progress. She quit the job that she had that disabled her to come to church and is planning on coming more regularly!

Saturday I convinced Sister Hall to bike. We met some really cool people outside. Highlight people were a cute young couple who recently got married. We showed the Prince of Peace video and they told us we could share more right then. We taught the whole restoration and they were super excited about the Book of Mormon. We're going back this week! We've finally been having more success in our finding! So many cool people I can't even tell about them all. We took a bathroom break at Kroger and there were free sushi samples on our way out. We got some and realized neither of us had ever had sushi and neither of us liked sea food. But we tried it anyway. It was gross.

EASTER SUNDAY! We invited J&M to join us next week and they invited us to go with them this week. So we went to the Baptist service. It was really weird. Lots of music and it felt more like a concert than church. 45 minutes of this band called "Sold Out" from Illinois. They were actually really good, just not for a church service haha. Preacher started his sermon but we had to leave part way through to make it to our church. Apparently after we left he explained that two Mormon missionaries were led to his house last night (we definitely got his address on white pages and referred him hahaha). He shared that they were led to him so he could try to convert them. He went on bashing the church and the truths of the gospel. We heard people were pretty upset and it ruined the Easter service. We felt bad, but one of our investigators said it's pushing her further away from that church and closer to ours. So that's good! And J&M are still planning on coming with us next week. I'm thankful for the true church, Christ's church, and the reverence and spirit you can feel there. Wow, you could FEEL the difference. (A little more about the preacher. He's a really nice guy. The elders went by last night, as he mentioned in his sermon, and got bashed a little. They set up a time to go back and share more. We warned them of the bashing and deep doctrine questions he'll bring up. Poor guy.) Our church was amazing, awesome focus on the Atonement. Sunday night we had a lesson with Marsha, her son, and her grandson, around a fire. It was a fun and memorable Easter

Life is good. I love Marysville. I love Sister Hall. Hahaha oh man we get along so well and have SO much fun. This week we have some conference, more exchanges, lots of service, and lots of lessons. Yay!

Until next week,

Sister Barnes

Thursday, April 13, 2017


New companion in Marysville, Sister Hall

Hey everyone!

It's been a quick few days! My new companion is Sister Morgan Hall. She's from Alpine, UT and is awesome. This is her 4th transfer, she came out the same time as Sister Flora! She was serving in Hilliard where she was trained then trained a new missionary for a transfer. Now, she's here with me! She graduated 2016 and lived in Provo for a few months before her mission. She's going to play tennis at BYU and we've already decided to be pals. She's a super hard worker and is super real with everyone. We're going to have a good transfer! Or maybe 2? Or maybe 3?! We're thinking we'll be together a while. We had a new leader training at the mission home and President Daines looked at us and said, "this is a good companionship." He is correct!

I'll start with the craziest thing. So there is a senior in high school that got baptized a little over a year ago. He's waiting on his mission call! He goes to this bible study thing every Monday at his school. The facilitator guy goes to the bible Baptist church, which just happens to be the church that one of our members came from, that another investigator is fighting between, that others we teach often attend, and that most of ours and the Elder's investigators are coming from. So one day C. asked the youth pastor, if he could bring a few friends and discuss beliefs. He said yes. C. called up the missionaries. So Saturday at 10 am us and the Elders and C. meet at the Bible baptist church for a discussion on beliefs. We didn't have a clue what to expect. We all go in and meet the youth pastor. We sit down and list out a few subjects that we want to discuss including the godhead, priesthood, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc. The discussions begin. Here are a few funny highlights: So we were talking about baptism and how the Bible says we all need to be born of water. He said that was true, and said baptism by water could mean when you're born. He mentioned that there is water involved, because the water breaks when you're giving birth! Haha not quite, sir. Later on we were talking about the spirit and how we feel it. We read in Galatians 5 about the fruits of the spirit. He was saying that all those things were just choices, not feelings. He expounded and said that love is not a feeling it's a choice. We then were talking about things that were feelings. He gave an example and said that lust is a feeling and we shouldn't trust it. He went off about how all teenagers do is lust and Sister Hall said "well, I don't lust my parents." And we all laughed and he didn't know what to say. He talked about only trusting God's word, which he believes is ONLY the Bible. We asked how he knew it was God's word and he said because it says it in the Bible. Then Elder Vance with the straightest face ever says "I'm the president of the United States" then pastor will says what then he says it again. Hahahahahaha it was so funny. This showed that we can't just trust something that says they're something...We taught that God is the only source for truth and we need to turn to him for the truth of all things! One of the last things we were talking about was the Godhead. He tried to explain why the trinity should make sense. He said that he's a father and he's a son and he's a pastor.. three in one. We turned to Genesis 1:26 where it says "we" and "our" (referring to Christ and Heavenly Father) and I asked if he says "we're going to go store" when he's going alone. Haha we had a good chuckle and he changed the topic so he wouldn't have to answer. By the end we were all having a good time and we invited him to read the Book of Mormon to see for himself what it's all about. Haha that whole situation was a first and probably last. It wasn't bashy but the elders gave it a funny name: #BibleBrawl2k17.

Here's another funny thing that happened on Sister Hansen's last night. We set up a time to meet with a part member family in the new area. We showed up at the designated time and the wife, who's the less active member, invited us in and told us to sit down and talk to her father in law while she finished stuff up. We chatted for a little while. Then he told us to move the car off the road because he didn't want it to get hit. So we did. Then when we come back, the whole dinner table is set with 2 open spots for us. We're invited to sit down and we start to eat. Haha we're still not sure what previous elders did when they asked if they could come over for a visit, but we got a nice meal out of it. We shared a quick impromptu dinner message using the Prince of Peace video. Haha super awkward situation and now we're worried that when we ask to come over they assume we're asking for them to make us food

M. is awesome. We had a few lessons this week and she came down to Milford Center with us to see a few people. Turns out she knew almost everyone we were trying! She grew up in Milford Center and showed us her old house and told us about some people and relatives that still live there. She's the best! She got set apart as a ward missionary yesterday!

J&M are still dying. Just kidding not dying but basically. Michelle is finally on antibiotics and is on the road to recovery but still can't meet. They're anxious to have us over again soon!

We met a sister who is a less active in our new area boundaries. She has some crazy health issues which supposedly prevent her from being active. We went over and decided to start teaching her. We taught the restoration and asked why she doesn't come to church. She told us that it's because he piano is too loud and it gives her really bad headaches (she has chronic headaches of some sort and they get really bad.) So we decided to help her come to church!. We bought some earplugs that she can put in during the hymns and take out during the talks. She was super excited. We called her Sunday morning but she didn't pick up. We tried stopping by after church to see why she wasn't at church but we think she had one of her bad headaches because she didn't even open up. We'll keep working with her to help her receive the blessings of coming to church.

Yeah this week was a good one. Lots of people tried to convince us our church was not true but it just made our testimonies even stronger. I love the church and know it's true!

That's all!
Love, Sister Barnes

Want some honey?

Add caption

Honda shirts
Der Dutchman donuts ... the best Amish food

This is where the honeycomb was
This is the honeycomb
This is the stuff we ate
Wow this email is going to be long. Buckle your seat belts to hear about an awesome week!

I'll begin with Monday night, shortly after pday ended. We were going to an appointment in a less desirable part of our area. We got there and were walking to the condo when we realized we didn't have a copy of the Book of Mormon in our bags. We hurried back to the car and got it. On the way back to the condo for the second time, a lady passed by. Shortly after, she turned around and asked, "Do you two come here very often?" We said that we weren't there super often. She asked what we thought of the area. We weren't sure why she was asking, but the spirit prompted us to let her know that it was a less desirable part of town, haha. We talked for a little while about better places to live. She then asked where our church was located. She said, "oh, after we move here we are planning on going there!" Turns out she has a coworker who's a member in the ward who has been inviting her for years. Her daughter is a member but sounds like she's less active. She wants her son to have good friends and get involved in the church! We got her contact info and she promised to see us at church and let us teach her as soon as she moves here. Tender mercy that we "forgot" a Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, MLC day, was wonderful. This was trip #1 of the week to the mission home. We watched the Prince of Peace video in preparation for presenting it to our zones on Wednesday! I could go on for hours but I'll share one cool insight from the meeting: "God's promises to his children are most often fulfilled by his children." How cool! The way that god fulfills his promises is through others. This means it's super important to follow our promptings! Oh also...President Daines pulled us aside and told us he got a call from the Marysville police saying that fires weren't allowed in city limits. Haha my mission goal was to having cops called on us for something. This wasn't the kind of thing I was thinking but I guess it'll do
👮🚓 haha 😂

Wednesday, Zone Training Meeting and Interview day, was wonderful as well. One cool insight I'll share: faith without works is dead, and works without faith is also dead. This applies to missionary work in a lot of different aspects. Interviews were awesome! This was trip #2 to the mission home. I'm always able to see how much President Daines cares about his missionaries. So the past few weeks we've been working with the Marysville Elders, our ward mission leader, our bishop, the assistants, and President Daines on getting our area boundaries redone. The sisters used to have the north 2/3 of the ward boundaries and the Elders had the south 1/3. We came up with a proposal for the boundaries to be split half way, this time east and west. After lots of prayer and planning we were able to put the new area boundaries into play. We reassigned investigators and had a coordination meeting to decide how to best help the people we're working with. It was cool to see both us and the Elders forget ourselves and get out of the way of the work. The spirit helped us decide how to help people best. Now we basically got doubled in to half of an area! We spent some time going through some people and meeting lots of the people we'll be working with.

Thursday we went to try to met a lot of the new investigators in our new area. We didn't meet a whole lot of them, so hopefully I'll be able to share more next week. We were able to contact a referral from a member who moved out. We pull up to the house and the teenage daughter is outside washing her car. We talk for a bit and eventually go inside and teach the restoration. She loved the whole thing. There's a member who works at the school and put a Book of Mormon in the school library. S. has talked to the member about it a lot and was excited to receive her own copy. We got her number and she was planning on joining us for conference. ...until something in the area book went weird and deleted her info. So we didn't have her number. We stopped by again and talked to some members who may know her but sadly weren't able to get in contact with her before Conference. We will try by again this week and teach her and her mom.

Friday the Prince of Peace video came out! We've been using it all the time in contacts, lesson, dinner appointments, etc.

Saturday, conference day! We began the morning by teaching a new convert's mom. He joined the church a few years ago despite the awful persecution he received from his mother. She's very against the church and described herself as "hostile" toward missionaries and most members. He and the spirit finally convinced her to take one lesson. It was a good lesson. We used the Prince of Peace video to bring the spirit and start the discussion. We got through part of the restoration lesson and she committed to watch one talk from conference. This was big! She didn't agree to a return appointment yet, but she will. We know she will. Then conference time. We met a member at an investigator's home and had a great time there. They all enjoyed Conference. The husband had many questions about the pre earth life and they were all answered right as he asked them. Perfect session for them. We got to explain the role of prophets and apostles and got him asking even more questions! The Lord has been softening his heart. After this, we went to the mission home! Trip to the mission home #3. All the zone leaders were there for the first session of conference and the Sister Training Leaders came for Between conferences we planned a surprise for President. We worked with Sister Daines and their son Jake to make it all work. We all got President Daines shirts!! After President thought the Elders left and before he knew we would be there, we all gathered in the backyard and got our shirts on. We walked in and it was so funny to see President's face. Haha happy April fools day! The Elders left and the Sisters stayed and ate lunch, watched Conference, and had a nice discussion after.. all in our President Daines shirts!

Sunday was more of a calm spiritual day. Everyone who planned on joining us for conference bailed. We watched at some awesome members houses. I went into conference with many questions about random things. As I was watching, I'd often refer to the questions I had previously recorded. I would put a mark in the margin for every phrase or thought that answered one of these questions. By the end, every question has been answered multiple times.  I feel like the speakers all got ahold of my questions and wrote their talks accordingly. I know it was actually the spirit and I'm so thankful for it. I'm excited to apply what I've learned! I can't think of a favorite talk, I just loved them all!

We're excited about the new area. So we lost a few sketchy run down towns and a bunch of country and inherited a few cute small towns and some developing areas! It's super awesome and we've already met a lot of cool people. A less active that's now in our area described the change of Sisters being there perfectly..."it's about time!" Haha us and a lot of people are super excited :)

Okay let me tell you a little more about Marysville. There's like a giant Honda plant and almost everyone that lives here works for Honda. A member got us Honda shirts so we can be true Marysville Sisters. We wonder how much success we'd get if we were to wear these around. We'd probably get in more doors!

Coolest not super spiritual thing of my mission. So we were going to contact a potential in the new area as a back up for a less active that bailed. When we got to the apartments there were a few people and a bunch of equipment outside of her place. We walk up to see what's up and see a piece of the front siding off of the building and lots of little black things crawling around. Then we see them flying. They were bees. Then we see a pan full of honeycomb. Turns out they've been having a bee problem for years and they were making lots of honey. We got educated on honey bees by the bee farmer dude that got called in and he even gave us some honeycomb. We got home and ate it! So you just have to chew on it until all the honey's out then you spit out the bees wax. Haha! Can't get more fresh than this. So good and I'm not even dead 
🐝 🍯

It's been a good week. We just got the transfer news, Sister Hansen is getting transferred and I'm staying here! This transfer flew by faster than anything. I'll miss Sister Hansen but I'm glad we get to be friends forever
😄. I'll find out who my new companion is tomorrow and will have a regular pday next Monday.

Lots of love,
Sister Barnes