Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Email #8

Email #8

Hello all!!

well for the record, i still hate bugs! just in case anyone was wondering. This week has been a busy and exhausting week. I do have proof of Heavenly Fathers love for me, and that he is aware of me....i have been in the field for almost 5 weeks and i have NOT had spaghetti yet!!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!!??? for those who don't know me, just know i HATE SPAGHETTI!!! so i feel very happy that i have not had it, and i have only told a few people that i hate spaghetti.....i leave it up to them to cook whatever. Anyways, just thought i would share that.

So this week i went on exchanges to Lawrence, they are part time car, and when i was there was the week they didn't have a car so we walked everywhere!!! i must say i have found respect for missionaries who do that every day. I was SOOO EXHAUSTED and not to mention i have NEVER had my body covered in sweat as much as i did that day! I WAS SOAKED and it was DISGUSTING!! But i survived, and i was sore for a couple days, but I'm good to go, i made it! The work here in junction has been good. Sister Dent and i are working hard, we are knockings lots of doors of part member families and so forth. We make a huge list everyday, and unfortunately we only find a couple home out of the big list. So that's kinda lame, but we are working hard. We have found some new investigators that we are happy about, we just pray that they can progress, i ask for your prayers in that too. We are able to find people who are interested pretty easy, but getting them to progress just has not happened at all since I've been here. So it can get frustrating at times, but we just keep praying and doing our best!! We did the other day meet this lady who no longer goes to the latter day saint church. Sister dent and i kinda giggled when she told us she tried to give the bishop a letter of resignation and he wouldn't accept it. I have never heard that before, but it was pretty funny! The heat has been pretty crazy out here. We had a couple people tell us that it hasn't been this hot since 1980--something.....so that always nice to hear as a missionary. I just become more and more thankful for having a car each day. I know we only have about a month before things start cooling down....hopefully?!?.....and so i know i can survive.

This email is shorter than usual, I'm not sure why. But i hope everyone is doing well.....all those reading this out here i would like your extra prayers on Thursday....my amazing aunt is having heart surgery, and prayers make everything better! so please say extra prayers.....thanks so much!!

Love you all!!!!

Sister Barnum.

The pictures: One of them is of me and sister Dent with the Hummbard family, they are such a funny family. Every time we eat there brother Hummbard yells at me, and it cracks me up. The first time he yelled at me for how i was eating my cantaloupe....and i cant remember what he yelled at me about the other day, but usually its about how I'm eating. He cracks me up!!!

The one is of my street here in junction!! i haven't had time to get one of Wilma way, and Hurricane lane.

And the one is of all of us sisters with sister Keyes at zone conference!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Email #7

E-mail #7

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is doing good. First off i must wish a happy birthday to my FOREVER FRIEND DANIELLE!!!! HAPPY 23 GIRL!!!!! (we're so old) ;)

Well everyone, today's theme is I HATE BUGS!!! I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE BUGS!!!! I just want you all to know that. And i am super sick of my legs looking like i am a diseased gross person, so many bug bites it is DISGUSTING!!! They have super ugly gross bugs out here, I'm just saying.....THEY ARE GROSS and LOUD...AND UGLY!!!

Now onto some spiritual things! This week was my first zone conference. It was WAY AWESOME!! we had to travel over 2 hours to get to our zone conference. We stayed the nigh at a members home, which was way awesome, they were super welcoming, and she made us this DELICIOUS breakfast before we left for zone conference. It was way good. And it was way fun to spend time with other sisters, we are all so spread out across the area that we don't see each other. So it was fun. I met our new mission president. They are an awesome couple. I really enjoyed meeting them, super friendly and i think he will be a great president. They had many words of wisdom during zone conference it was great. We also heard from our stake president in our zone, his name is President Knapp, and he is SO AWESOME!!! He went like 20 minutes over the time he had, and no one noticed because we loved everything he had to say, and even when he noticed we wanted him to keep going! Such an inspiring and strong member of the church. One thing I've come to realize this week is how many strong members there are of the church! I mean its so cool! i have never met so many people soooo passionate for missionary work that are not even missionaries. Its just so inspiring and makes me want to be like that when i go home, just so dedicated to the gospel!!! Its super cool. During zone conference the assistants to the president gave little talks also, and it was so good. I really realized that as long as i LOVE MY MISSION....everything else will be fine. If i wake up and just love what I'm doing, then it will all be okay. Finding people will be fine, deciding what to say to them will be fine, being home sick will be fine, EVERYTHING!! I love that!!!

Also this week we had our first exchanges since I've been out here. Sister Glade came to junction city with me. It was fun to work with someone else for a day. It really pushed me to step up to the plate and take charge a little. So that was fun! We went to a less active members home, and i just pulled out my scriptures and shared a awesome scripture i found that week and talked about it with them, and that was my first time doing that, so i was WAY PROUD of myself. I can just tell i am growing and becoming more comfortable with what i am doing, so its is way EXCITING!! I still have moments that i know i can do better, but this is a growing experience so i know that I'll feel that way the next 18 months! lol.

We are also teaching this Spanish speaking family(i don't know if i already told you about them) but they are amazing!! AMAZING!!! i love how great of standards they already have, so its fun to build off of that and teach them the gospel. I am not as involved in the lessons because i don't speak Spanish, but its just fun to be in their home and share the gospel with them.

Today we were washing our car, and there was a guy in the wash next to ours, sister dent and i both felt like we needed to talk to him. We didn't realize either of us felt this way. So before we left i got out a pass along card with our number on it and said lets go give this to him, and sister dent said she was thinking the same thing. I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!!! because you just KNOW that's what heavenly father wants you to do! I was also helping this cute older man at the photo place while sister dent was waiting for her photos. He was super friendly and cute, so we gave him a pass along card also!!! I LOVE sharing the gospel with people. This week we have a zone challenge called the baptismal invite-a-thon.....we are competing to get the most baptismal invites. Inviting people to be baptized scares me for some reason, but i love this challenge because i need to get comfortable with it!

I also had this really awesome experience Saturday night. We were teaching a recent convert, and he was struggling we were talking it out with him....so on....but the cool experience was as i was sitting there i was realizing my relationship with my HF wasn't what it used to be, and i was thinking what has changed.....and i had this really awesome spiritual impression and i just felt my heavenly father telling me how i wasn't talking to him like i use to, during prayers. and i wasn't putting my burdens on him....anyways. So that night i prayed my heart out, just really talked to my HF....and it felt SO GREAT!!!! I immediately felt that impression that HF wanted me to put my pictures away of my family that i had put out. Without hesitation i did what he wanted me to do and i can just feel the blessings surrounding me because i did that! I just felt so good, and i woke up Sunday feeling so good. It was just awesome!

Little background on the family pictures. When i was really struggling about 2 weeks ago, sister Vankomen (mission presidents wife) called me......and she talked with me while i cried and cried....and she told me to put my pictures away of my family that i had sitting out.....so i did. After my blessing i felt like things were good and i was fine....which is true....but i let those pictures come back out and put them where i could see them everyday. And heavenly father just reminded me....that while I'm out here, its about him and me.....and his work. So i need to focus on his pictures and his work, not my family. Which i am totally fine with because its true!

Well this email is super long, i hope you all lasted while you were reading it! This week we have exchanges again, i am going to Lawrence and they don't have a car, so it will be a super long day in the heat, but I'm sharing the gospel so IT WILL BE FINE!!!


and if charity is out there reading this.....are you still alive?! I hope work is going good! I miss your face!

Thanks everyone for the letters i keep getting i LOVE THEM!!! oh and tell Maddison her talk was AWESOME!!!! i loved it TONS!!!


Sister Barnum!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Photos she sent in a separate e-mail on
July 5th, 2011
(mainly from the MTC days)


Monday, July 11, 2011

E-mail #6

 E-mail #6

July 11th, 2011

Well first off


I wrote a list of things i wanted to tell everyone, so off i go. :)

Tell grandma that i got the jewelry she sent, and i LOVE it, and thanks so much! I hope she is enjoying being on the mountain. She probably didn't get the picture i mailed her, but that's okay, it will be waiting for them when they get home. This last Saturday was our first baptism!! WOHOOO!!! The boys name is Noah, him and his sister got baptized and it was great! They are 9 and 8. The husband was home from Iraq for his 2 weeks and was able to perform the baptism so it made that much more special!! I will attach a picture! We also met this guy named Ivan.....and oh man, great moments. We finally got an appointment with him after several fell through and soon after we started talking we realized he was trying to convert us!! HAHA!!! got--to--love--it!! He said we should come to his church, so we made a deal we would go to his if he would go to ours! but he didn't show up to our yesterday....what a shocker. lol. Oh and when we said an opening prayer for the lesson we taught him, he TOTALLY prayed over my companion! how weird huh!.....oh man, gotta love it. Oh and since you know, its my birthday and all coming up, let me make myself clear, I LOVE LETTERS!!! and we can listen to EFY and CES and Mormon Tab. choir music....so feel free to send some tunes. This week, tomorrow is my first Zone Conference, i am super excited to see elder hall who i went through the MTC with. I will also be meeting our new mission pres. so that is pretty exciting. Mom those bubble gum jar thingy's you sent me, i take them to primary on Sundays and give the kids treats for when they listen. Lol. i figure that works best, i wont really use it, and they will LOVE it. We go to the English and the Spanish church on Sundays. First is English, so we got to Sunday school and relief society and all that, but then after that is over, we have like 10 minutes to eat our packed lunch and we go to the Spanish branch, which is SUPER TINY.....so because its tiny we teach in primary. I adore those kids, they are super cute!!!! I don't ever know whats being said during sacrament, but its still fun! We teach the kids in English....because most of them only speak English.

We were sent by our bishop to find this elderly man, Hal Fuller.....and WHAT A CUTE OLD MAN!!!! since his wife died he has stopped going to church, which is way sad. But he is just so cute. So we are trying to get him to come to church to he can be sealed to his wife before he dies. He always says he doesn't have an excuse....and somehow that is his excuse, but he is super cute! Also, while we were trying to find places to go i discovered on the map, there are 3 pretty awesome streets here in junction city that i need to get a picture with before i possibly leave. they are......Wilma st....Brooke Bend....and Hurricane....HAHA!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!??!

Anyways, things have been going good. We have a busy week ahead of us, tonight we make the 2 and a half hour drive to our zone conference for the morning, then we come back Tuesday afternoon, then Wednesday night we are doing (my first) exchanges, sister dent is leaving me, which makes me super nervous because i don't know this area well enough to find the houses, but i guess that's why they make maps. And then sister Dent will come back Thursday night. So we have a SUPER busy week. Hopefully we find new investigators and just work well!

Well i don't really have any funny stories for you this week. I'm sure if i really thought about it i could come up with some......but i don't really want to. So yea.

I hope everyone is doing good. Love you all

Sister Brookie Barnum.

Friday, July 8, 2011


E-mail #5

Email #5

July 5th, 2011

Well hello everyone.

Today's email might be a tad bit short. But that's okay. There are a few things, i made a list that i want to tell you all about.

First off!!! JUNCTION CITY DOES NOT HAVE STOP SIGNS!!! okay, well they do, but LITERALLY there are some places that just DON'T have stop signs, like you have to look at the intersection and see if any of them have stop signs so you don't get hit. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!!? is that even LEGAL!?? yea.....crazy.

second! FIREFLIES ARE THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!! I MEAN EVER!!!! southern Utah is pretty great, but it could SERIOUSLY use some fireflies. I am telling you, THEY ARE AWESOME!!!

Third! I must brag, because i know those out there wont believe me, but i have been able to eat every meal at the members home, COMPLETELY! Who knew a picky eater like me could pull it off, but i have!

that's basically it on my list. So onto the missionary stuff. Things have gotten better the last couple days. I got a blessing on Sunday evening and things have gone WAY up from there! I know that i can make it the next 18 months! So that has been good. We met a new investigator this week, and on Friday i did my FIRST EVER BAPTISM COMMITMENT!!! WAHOOOO!!! it was awesome!! Oh and when we committed him to baptism, that was before we even gave him the first lesson, we were just doing a church tour. But it was pretty awesome! definitely spirit inspired. I am getting to know the members better, so that has been nice, its good to know who I'm meeting and who I'm talking to.

Oh i wanted to clarify the mail situation. Not ALL packages have to be sent USPS priority, if your sending them straight to my address in junction city, i don't think priority or not matters. But if you are sending it to the mission office address, they need it to be priority so they can forward it to me wherever I'm at in the mission. And then as far as the address. Transfers will happen the first week in august, and i will know if I'm staying or going somewhere else then. So don't send mail past the last week in July to this address until you know if I'm staying or not.....i hope that makes sense. I also want to thank Hopie for the pictures, they are AMAZING!!! OH MAN AMAZING!! i cant wait to show some of the army wives we work with. The ones of the airport i just cried looking at, then hid them after, cause they make me sad. Brittney and mom thanks for the package.....mom thanks for putting a letter in yours....Brittney, i want you to know packages SUCK without a letter. :) Its okay, i forgive you, your my sister and you have 3 boys, you could have easily forgotten.

So this last week, we were trying to decide if we were going to visit a family or not. We prayed and felt inspired to go visit them, but were super nervous because this family has had a lot of drama going on lately. Well so then the time came to go visit them. We knocked they weren't home. We weren't sure what to do because we knew we needed to be there. So we got in our car, drove around the corner and prayed about it, both of us felt we needed to wait for them to come home. So instead of waiting outside their house, we parked up the street so we could see their house. creepy right. lol, but it was HF inspired. So we waited for them to come home, and THEY DID.....so we waited for them to get in their house, then drove up and knocked, we knocked 3 times and they didn't answer! It was the weirdest things. So we left, we both were very confused and wondering what all that was about. But both of us felt like we did whatever HF wanted us to do. It was so cool to follow those promptings, even if that meant we didn't even talk to them. We knew we were where our heavenly father wanted us at that time.

So there is this sister, sister Vega in the Spanish branch, she is possibly the funniest person ever, i love being around her!!! She is super spicy and way tiny and just funny! We were talking to her on Sunday and she was wondering when her dinner was with us, because it had been a while, and sister dent told her because she canceled on them last time, and this was sister Vega's response.....'that's messed up' HAHA....who says that about themselves. I was laughing SO HARD! I know reading this it probably doesn't sound that funny, but it was HYSTERICAL!! So now i will always think of sister Vega when i hear, that's messed up!

Anyways. I love you all and i hope things are going well at home!!!
don't forget my birthday is at the end of the month. I WOULD LOVE TO GET MAIL. :)

Love you lots!
Sister Barnum

Friday, July 1, 2011

E-Mail #4

Sorry guys it has been a little while since we got this e-mail and life got crazy for all of us and didn't get it posted right away but here it is and also different family members got some fun pictures from her so we will scan those in next week for everyone to see...Enjoy!!!!
June 27th, 2011
Hi Family!!!
I don't even know where to start. I swear the first week is the LONGEST!! It was SOO long at the MTC, and SOO long here. I am not a fan of it!! Well i guess we'll start with my flight out here. I woke up at 335 Wednesday morning to say goodbye to my companions who left at 4 that morning. So it was a long day. The plane we rode was not very big at all, which kinda freaked me out. We also met on the plane Elder Hollands son, which was pretty cool. A sister on the plane passed a book of Mormon and gave the first lesson to the person she was sitting next to, that was pretty cool! I was fine on the flight until the landing, then i got really sick, basically the same way i feel when I'm car sick, and i HATED IT!!! We were greeted by our President VanKomen and his wife. Loaded our bags and off we went, which i hated because i was still sick, and the van we were in was making it WORSE!! i almost started bawling right there and then, but i had to suck it up because i was around a bunch of people i didn't know and i didn't want to be the baby. We stopped by the temple they are building in Kansas City? its way pretty, we got a few pictures. Then we went off to the mission presidents home. Super nice house. The sisters got to pick what rooms they were going to stay in, i got to stay in the 'general authority room' which was nice because i was by myself and had a big bed all to myself. HAPPY DAY!!! They gave us about 20-30 minutes down time to take a nap or whatever, and i was still feeling super sick and WAY overwhelmed with emotions, so i went and i prayed and prayed and prayed and then i slept for like 20 minutes. (at this point i will insert the funny story at the bottom of my email) We then went to meet with all the people who are in charge, i cant even remember their names. But they gave us this orientation and all that jazz. Oh, i also met sister and brother Hansen? they came to the mission home just to meet me, which i thought was nice, even though I'm not sure i remember them! lol. but they were super friendly so that made me feel better. So we also had our interview and got assigned where we would be for our first transfer.....and I'm in.....da da da da......JUNCTION CITY KANSAS!!! surprisingly its very pretty here. Its a town that has a TON of army in it because the base Fort Riley is right in town. So i'm working with a LOT of women who's husbands are deployed and so on. Which i love because if i cant help brittney, then I'm going to help these people. So the next morning we woke up bright and early, and were off to get on the bus to go to our destinations. We (as in ALL of the missionaries in this area) met at the stake center, and holy macarolie there were a lot of missionaries, people just kept hugging us and asking us the same questions, i just wanted to cry. I didn't want to leave elder Hall because he was the only thing that was familiar, i wanted to hug him and cling to him for dear life. lol. But....i couldn't, so off to Junction City....It was 1 1/2 hour bus drive, i slept the entire TIME, and then i met my companion Sister Dent, and we drove another 50 minutes to Junction City. Sister Dent is pretty cool, she again is super quiet and has a way quiet voice so I'm always saying 'HUH' She said she didn't want to be a trainer because she feels like she is always learning, and at times i don't feel like I'm being trained at all, which gets way overwhelming cause i just feel super emotional and confused a lot of the time. I want to be rude and snappy because i have so many pent up emotions but I'm trying to keep that under control. I would give anything to call you(mom) right now and just let it out. Sister Dent is a great person though, and i know i have a lot to learn from her. I just am struggling being away from home. Anyways, I'm going to stop being a baby because I'm totally crying in the library right now and that's just down right embarrassing.
So when i got to the area, right off to work we went. We met Sister Vega who is relief society president of the Spanish branch and she and sister dent and me were off to find some Spanish investigators. Its kinda fun to watch them do Spanish stuff and stand there confused. I feel like the days blurred since then. I have been trying to figure things out, get in the groove of how to be a missionary. I keep falling asleep during personal study time and then i get mad at myself because I'm just disappointing my Heavenly Father, i need to figure out what to do so i can stay awake. Studying that early in the morning just is not helpful. The bed i sleep on, ooohh it hurt my body so much, i feel like an 80 year old woman every time i get up.
On a spiritual side of things, i have felt myself continue to change in ways that i have never thought possible. It just amazes me how much my Heavenly Father is carrying me. I have never felt so weak and yet so strong at the same time. When I'm feeling down and like things are impossible i just pray and pray and pray and plead, and promise that if he helps me i will work my hardest, and I've felt that, I've felt him help me. And i have done my best to work my hardest (except the falling asleep during pst) I just know that I'm not going to make it these 18 months without his help. Which part of me struggles because i think i came here to give my Heavenly Father 18 months of me, and he's just carrying me non-stop, I'm never going to be able to re-pay him for all he's done in my life. I have felt my most home sick since being here, but i know i can push through. We have been teaching a few people and its just been great. I want to share a couple experiences to end.
1st, we were driving around, we stopped at someone we've been teaching and she wasn't' home. I felt prompted to go talk to this guy mowing his lawn. I wasn't sure what to do with it, so i told my companion and we decided to go talk to him. It ended up being a boy, not a guy mowing the lawn. Then his dad showed up.....we gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet. afterward i felt SO AMAZING i knew that what happened was guided by heavenly father!! It was great!! we haven't heard from this guy since, but it was so awesome to do that, maybe we planted the seed, maybe he'll call tomorrow.....you just never know, either way, it was awesome!
2nd, last night was the first commitment to baptism!! AHHH!! it was the BEST ENERGY RUSH EVER!!! I loved it, he didn't commit fully, but he didn't say know, he needs to keep learning for himself, but i KNOW he is going to be baptized!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited for him!!!!
So also, this is my address for this transfer. Now when i give you this address it is only temporary for about 5 weeks until i find out if I'm getting transferred or staying. So if you send mail here, keep in mind this is not the address for the entire 18 months, just for the next 5 weeks.
104 W 4th St #207
Junction City KS 66441
If your not sure where to send the mail, just send it to the mission office address. It will eventually get to me
~~Another mail note: If you send a package it needs to be sent Priority USPS, that is the only way they can forward it to me wherever i am located.
Next week Monday is the 4th, so we wont get to email until Tuesday. So I'll talk to you all again then. I found out i have an hour on the computer. so if i get emails, i might have enough time to read them, but i still prefer letters. (mom, please email me every week, your the only exception, i cant handle not hearing from you every week/day)
I miss everyone so much, and i cant wait until i get letters and so forth. Sending great big heartfelt missing home hugs to all of you!!!
Love you all
Sister Brookie Barnum
Funny story:
So i took that nap at the mission home and guess what?!!?? MY DOOR WOULDN'T OPEN!!! YES I WAS STUCK IN MY ROOM AT THE MISSION HOME!!!! I was starting to freak out because how embarrassing will it be when they discover I'm not downstairs and they come to find me and I'm STUCK!! Well thankfully i heard the sister in the room next to me come out, so i knocked and told her i was stuck, she tried getting me out but the door wouldn't open!!! I was seriously freaking out. Then all the sudden it just opened without a problem. I was so relieved, none of the elders, or the mission president, or even the other sisters knew about it. But now all of you do. We laughed about it the rest of the night!
PS: tell Nola thanks for the 'greenie' package!!! IT WAS SO GREAT!!!! it made me feel better to have something like that from her on such a high emotions day!!!!