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 LDS.org. 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

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