Thursday, May 31, 2012

E-Mail #51 Here it Comes

E-Mail #51
May 30th, 2012
Hello everyone!!
My email is coming to you a little late this week because Monday was a holiday so the library was closed and yesterday we had zone conference in Liberty. So we were there almost all day. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I am so happy to know my family had a fun weekend with my nephews 5th birthday!! Congrats Odin and Leland for turning 5!! I LOVE YOU BOYS!!!
Well i survived transfers, and Sister Larson and i are setting a record.....we are together for another transfer, which equals 4 together, which is very unheard of! But we are both in Chilli for another 6 weeks and we are SO HAPPY about it!!! We love this area and this town. The downer.....pres Keyes has gave us a clear warning not to be too comfortable!!! One or both of us is leaving the end of this transfer. He sent that message loud and clear through an email to sister Larson, and yesterday when he saw us at zone conference the first thing he said was don't get to comfortable, your not going to be there forever. haha. soooo now we are both not very excited to see what comes, but we do know to get LOTS of pictures with members because we haven't done very well at that, and to do as much work as we can!!!
Last week on Monday for PDAY we went to Jamesport the Amish community, well we have some members that live up there and one of them hooked us up with a ride in the Amish buggie with one of her neighbors!! So us and 2 elders went on a buggie ride, it was SUPER FUN!!!! Then we went to all sorts of shops in jamesport. We went to their quilt shop, which is AMAZING!! i am going to try and save up money before i come back to buy me a Amish quilt, they are very expensive, but soooo beautiful!!! They have so many skills, it was fun to look at all the stuff they make out there! It was such a fun day! I'll attach some pictures! Last week after pday was a bit hard because of transfers, we were both full of anxiety and really struggling. It has for sure been one of those weeks of ups and downs. I really hate weeks like that. I hate struggling so much and affecting my companion, and things just getting worse before they get better. Its very interesting because you think I'd get to my year mark and think its going to fast, or i am not ready, but all I've been thinking is how long a year has been and how much i just want to be home already. Its been a real emotional fight. To not just want to give up and be proud of how far i made it but just go home! Thankfully i don't feel that way anymore. But i have quite a bit this last week. I continue to realize that my entire mission is full of struggling. I know missions are not easy, and that everyone struggles. I honestly feel like my struggles have been more than i expected, and its very overwhelming. Its hard not to get down on myself sometimes, i think i should stop struggling at this point, i have been out almost a year, i should be good to go. But that's just not the case. There is ALWAYS ups and downs. Sometimes i just am frustrated by that, which makes the downs harder because i am frustrated that I'm even having down moments. I am so thankful for Sister Larson, she deals with my struggles with so much love and care. I am thankful for her support for me. I hope i can continue to gain better control over my emotions so i can help her more as she gets closer to going home!
Yesterday at zone conference was just amazing!!! It was such an uplifting zone conference. I am so very very thankful for President Keyes he is such an inspired speaker. He shares so much good stuff with us. The theme of conference was obedience. Which was something i for sure needed a reminder about!!! It was such a good way to talk about obedience. President Keyes helped us understand that when we are not obedient, we are breaking covenants. Which is had NEVER looked at it like that. We made promises in the temple, and when we are not obedient we are breaking those promises and because of that we are not staying strong spiritually. It was such a uplifting talk from him. He also talked about how to stay spiritually strong through the mission and gave us four cornerstones for that. 1: Obedience 2: Prayers 3: Scripture Study 4: Sacrament. I had such a strong realization that if i am using those 4 things the way they are meant to support us spiritually that being tired and worn out as a missionary disappears....that strength that you need will be there! it was such a great zone conference! A miracle that happened in our mission that last week president Keyes shared with us to help us understand obedience. A little over a week ago Pres Keyes got a phone call from missionaries who had been in a car accident, one was getting life flighted to a hospital and the other was going by ambulance. They were going to 2 different hospitals. President Keyes told us how he started to pray that somehow they would make it to the same hospital, because if they were at 2 different ones he wouldn't be able to be in both places at once and they both needed a blessing!!! We were all very sad to hear this news. But he told us that somehow as the helicopter was in flight that it got sent to the hospital that the ambulance was going too. President Keyes, the Ambulance, and Helicopter showed up at the same time. He was able to give those elders a blessing immediately. He told us that they were fine, and BOTH elders WALKED out of the hospital the VERY next day!!! They are both still out in the mission, recovering, and still working. The nurse said that she has NEVER seen someone who came in by life flight walk out of the hospital the next day. It was such a confirmation to the blessings of the priesthood. The fact that we are all as missionaries protected and watched over. And that we need to be more obedient!! I am so thankful for zone conference's to help us remember things that we are slacking in, and to continue to improve! President Keyes also gave us the temple standard for the mission!! We get to go 2 times a year. And we are always able to go to a sealing of someone that we taught without it counting toward our 2 visits. So we are way excited to be able to go, hopefully we can go sometime soon. Also we go do a session at the temple the last day in the mission, the morning before we fly home!! WAY EXCITING!!!
Well i that's all i got for this email, mainly because for forgot that it was a new transfer and so half my week is in another planner, that is at home. So i cant remember what to write about. I hope you all know that i love you sooo much! i am so thankful that i have been able to serve for a year(on Friday) It has been THE HARDEST THING, i have EVER DONE!!! I struggled, i struggle....its not easy. Sometimes its not fun! But i am so very thankful for the time i have to serve. Being a missionary has changed my perspective on life. It has helped me to understand where i want to be, and what i need to do to be there. How i want my future family to be, and how i can help them be there. I love you all so much!!
Sister Barnum


E-Mail #50 Time Flies

E-Mail #50
May 21st, 2012
Helllloooo all!!
Man, i cant believe its already getting to the end of MAY!!! Craziness!!! My wonderful nephews turn 5 this week! i am so excited for them, they are getting SO BIG!!! I cant wait to play with those adorable boys when i go home! They are so wonderful, and 5 years old is such a fun age! It will be fun to play with them! I hope their birthday party is a blast!
This week hasn't been as much of a adventure as last week, but that is okay! Last week on pday we went bowling with Nate. It was so fun, he squeals and scream and laughs the ENTIRE TIME!!! Its just so fun! he is down right just the cutest guy ever. I can not wait to see him after this life, fully functioning, i cant imagine the things he will say, and it will be fun to meet who he will marry one day! He is just so cute! I'll attach a picture of us all at the bowling ally. This week we found out that someone we are teaching. Who we prayed to find and ended up finding her. Well we found out she is moving, about a half hour away, and of course in that tiny little half hour drive she is out of our mission!!! so now we cant teach her! But she still works here in Chilli so we are hoping that we can keep seeing her and teaching her, to help it be easy to turn it over to missionaries in the other mission. Maybe if we are lucky we can just get permission to just teach her anyways because i don't think there are missionaries where she lives. Totally lame. haha.
We went to visit a couple that is less-active but has been coming back to church, and her husband got baptized last year. They are just the most humble and wonderful couple ever! I love being at their house, we visit them every week and are helping Mike prepare to get the priesthood, he is super nervous about it, but we are helping him understand what it is, and what it means. We had a relief society night planned this week, but it got canceled, well as we were talking with Mary Lou she found out it was canceled and was sooo bummed. She was looking forward to a girls night. So we all talked and decided we could still have a girls night, there are some other people in the branch struggling that could really use it! So we decided to have an ice cream social. So we made a gazillion phone calls and texts and invited a ton of the ladies to the night. It turned out pretty good! I was so thankful that Mary Lou had that idea to still have a girls night. We decided that Mary Lou needs to continue to have the oportunity to grow and arise to the occasion, so we asked her to be responsible for conducting the girls night. She did so well, she was nervous, but did so well. My heart just grows beyond belief when i am around this wonderful couple. Just talking about them right now makes my heart swell. They have such a simple but POWERFUL testimony. They just want to do good, and make good choices and live right, because they know when you don't, you are not as blessed and they feel the blessings in their life now because of how they are living. Oh, i just love them! We are going to have to get a picture with them at our appointment with them tomorrow, so you all can see what a wonderful couple they are!
We also had another appointment with Maddison and Kendall who are the little 9 and 8 year old girls we are teaching. They are just so cute and so badly want to find something spiritual. I love teaching them! The girl who i talked about earlier who is moving, we finally were able to get her the Book of Mormon to have, that's such a big step because we haven't been able to really teach her because of the chaos. I am sure she has not had time to look at it, with her work schedule and moving and all that. But i hope she has!
Our Wonderful Tuesday night family the Hamiltons, dinner went so good! We talked some more about the restoration, and about the priesthood and that authority. It was such a good appointment. Even the two teenagers, Their daughter and her boyfriend stayed at the table when we taught the family. Last week they got up and left, but this week they stayed! They all committed to reading about the plan of salvation so we will talk to them about that tomorrow! I am so excited to see the small but GREAT steps that family is making. I know they will feel a difference if they don't already as they learn more! AND THE BEST PART, the dad, Neal he PRAYED!!!! He has not been willing to pray at ALL since we have been over there. But we did a little drawing of how to pray and dropped it off to him last week, so he used the paper and prayed and it was just so AWESOME!
This week we got to teach October 2 more times. That went so good. She is so close to knowing the truth, she is a spiritual person, and was raised to be, but not raised in a religion. So she kinda just filled in what she believes with a few different religions beliefs. But what is really cool is that he beliefs are just so close to what we believe. So i know that her finding the truth within the church is not going to be hard at all. She really struggles with finding that personal relationship with her Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. But as we were teaching her and talking with her about that relationship i total had such a great spiritual prompting that told me to tell her not to worry about building that relationship, but just to worry about finding if it is true, and when she finds it true, and puts that to the test, that relationship will come. So i told her that, and you could just see the peace she felt as i said that. It was truly inspired words that came from above....not from me!
We also went to go visit Jessica who we met through Justin and ended up meeting her future roommate Cassie, and she is totally willing to have us come over and talk with her too. We are finding this domino affect everywhere we go lately. Its so fun to see how many people we are coming in contact with that have potential to be taught! we also saw Jessica yesterday, and we were talking about our services at church and how it was such a great Sunday. We told her about how we don't have one preacher, but we all teach each other, and are assigned to speak on different subject. and that no one is payed. She was so excited, she said she wanted to come check out our church. That was WAY EXCITING!!! so we really hope she comes on Sunday! with her friend Cassie it would be even better!
This week we also had a really great spiritual experience with a less active family. They want so much to make the changes they need to, but Satan is doing pretty good at stopping them. Its really sad, but i hope that our experience with them this week helped them to have a desire to really fight that much harder to come back!
Friday was a day of service, literally, i think we only taught one lesson. We had service at the salvation army that morning, and then went to lunch at our members house, and his yard was one big MOUND of tree limbs. He had 2 big trees cut down and was clearing out the yard by himself. Se we decided to help him. So we did that for a couple hours, and then later that night we helped Jennifer's boyfriend and his buddies pack up and move the stuff in her house. So we were all sorts of tired by the end of the day! it was crazy! but a way fun day to spend so much time helping others.
I cant really think of many funny stories from this week. But I'm sure there are a ton!!! i just am not sure what they are. This week is transfers, and i am sure either me or sister Larson is leaving. We have been together for 3 transfers now, and sister Larson has 2 left. So we both think she will be leaving to go to the Visitors Center because she has never served there. But the unpredictable always happens, so we really don't know what will happen. I hope i stay here, this week my love for Chilli has grown a ton, and my love for the people here! This area is just so great. Humble wonderful members and non-members are here! So next week we will see if I'm still emailing from the good ol' ChilliMo, or not. I love you all and hope you have a great week! Thanks for all your love and support for me all the time!
Sister Barnum


Dare to Stand Alone

A Video I would like to show to others.
Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Monday, May 14, 2012

E-Mail #49 Happy Mothers Day!!!

E-Mail #49
May 15th, 2012
Hello everyone!
It was soooo great to talk to you all yesterday! Oh man, the light of my year so far! haha. I love you all so much and love seeing that you are all the same and make me laugh just as much as i did when i was home.
This last week has just been a WEEK OF MIRACLES!!! I am not even kidding, miracles everywhere! Especially for Chillicothe! Monday we went to go visit a guy we were teaching at one point, and then things fell through, and we kept trying to teach him, but we hadn't for over a month and a half. He didn't really seem interested. But on Monday we saw him and set another appointment and he told us to come back on Thursday and he knew he would be home at that certain time because his daughter will be coming home around then. So we were way shocked to see his commitment. It made us way excited  to visit him on Thursday. Well then Thursday came and we were on our way and text our member who was joining us to teach him. The member text us back and told us that he doesn't think that this guy is ready to change. We just told him that he cant really say that because he hasn't been given the chance to change yet, we have not been able to teach him consistently. Well then we go to our appointment and it was AMAZING!!! We start off not really sure if he knows what our expectations are, so we are talking to him about that kind of stuff, and didn't really feel right about it. Then he interjects and tells us that he got into it with his pastor at his church a couple weeks ago and he hasn't gone to church since. We were all like....well what happened. He then told us about how his pastor was talking about how he was looking for something else to read, and rusty suggested the book of Mormon. The pastor got all upset at him and started quoting scriptures telling him not to add or take away from the bible. Rusty told the guy that that's how the bible came about, people added and took away from it. Then he said, I'm not saying stop reading the bible, its good, but so is the book of Mormon. Then he told us things got really ugly from there....haha! We were in total shock. So then he said that he just is ready for a change and something different! We were like....WHOOOAAA!! so we of course invited him to church and he was allllll over that. (although he didn't come :( ) but either way, still a super good appointment. It was sooo excited to see that even though we hadn't been able to talk with him, or visit him consistently for such a long time, that the Lord was still preparing him. The whole time he was gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon!!! We are just beyond excited to see where this goes for him and his family! WOOHOO! So that was MIRACLE ONE!
Second MIRACLE, there is a single mom of three kids, that we had prayed to find someone we could teach like about 2 months ago, and we tracted into her. We have tried teaching her forever, but it just NEVER HAPPENS! But we didn't give up, and she still liked us coming by. Well FINALLY we got to go see her again. Things were crazy and we were not able to teach her. But it was still a MIRACLE. Her 12 year old son was there while we were talking with her. He talked about how he doesn't go to his church anymore because the leaders treat him bad and make him do push-ups when he gets mouthy.....because all 12 year olds get mouthy.....but you don't make a kid do push-ups for it. Anyways, so we told him about our activity nights on Wednesday and that he could come, and he was GAME!!! We were soooo excited. And his mom Jennifer was so excited for him to go. And now she is excited for us to continue to come over and hopefully teach her finally! Which we actually are going to see her today! It was just so cool, because we were finally able to count her as an investigator, and her son! MIRACLE!!
Third MIRACLE!!! The two girls that are friends with Mayanna who just got baptized. Well the Grandma gave us permission to teach the girls, so we went back on Wednesday to teach them. unfortunately one of the girls had fallen asleep. But the other did not. AND a friend of hers was there. So we ended up teaching Kendall, and her friend Abby, with Mayanna there to help us teach them. It was such a cute appointment. Mayanna is such a strong spirit, she just immediately testifies to her friends, without being told to, or anything. She just goes off on telling them how great the church is! I love it! We talked to the girls about faith and did the faith rocket with them! It was so fun. The grandma then told us about the girls parents and what happened. Which then made sense as to why they are seeking some kind of spiritual understanding! The girls mother was murdered and their dad committed suicide. They believe that their fathers brother was involved in it. It just was one tragic day where they lost both of their parents. Very heart breaking. But at the same time SOO GREAT, because now is the best time in their life to have the full truth that there is on the earth today! Such a great appointment! MIRACLE!!!
Fourth MIRACLE!!! There is a member here who has THE STRONGEST TESTIMONY EVER!!! But she has been struggling so much lately, we found out she had stopped praying and just all sorts of things. We felt we needed to go visit her, so we did. She is deaf so we had to knock forever before she heard us. But she did and we were able to talk with her. She was crying so much, but i could just feel so deep in my heart that Heavenly Father needed us there at that moment to tell her that she wasn't carrying this burden she is alone. That he is there to lift her and carry her, but she just has to LET HIM! It was such a spiritual conversation, we were all crying by the end of it. Telling this wonderful daughter of God to turn to him and let him carry her burden that is weighing he down SOOO MUCH! Oh was again another MIRACLE!!
Fifth MIRACLE!!! We have been trying to get in contact with a members girlfriend for so long. She said she wanted to learn from the missionaries but we just had never been able to get connected so we could talk. Well we were randomly at a gas station and saw her and him there. So i talked to her about how we want to visit her, and she said she has a new sushi making kit and she wants to use it, so we could get together and make sushi and talk. So we did!!! It went so great! This girl is such a spiritual girl, was raised in listening and following the spirit. But never really learned about Jesus Christ, and talked about how she doesn't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and just doesn't understand him. We are sooo extremely excited to help her find that relationship with her Savior! It is going to be down right AMAZING!! I straight forward asked her if she would let us teach her and she agreed immediately! It was so great! I am so excited to help someone learn of why our Savior Jesus Christ is the most important ever! Its going to be so cool to see that grow inside her! MIRACLE!!!!
Sixth MIRACLE!!! A couple weeks ago we got a referral from church headquarters. There is a lady in Braymer which is about a half hour away who a friend of hers asked if she could send us missionaries, she agreed. Well tried to visit her a while ago, and she wasn't home. We called her and she wasn't very committed to have us come over. We decided we had a completely open day so we were going to go to Braymer and try and visit her. So we did, and we caught her home! It was such a cool conversation. We found out that when she lived in Liberty she was taught by the missionaries there and has read some of the book of Mormon, and she went to church a few times! we just straight forward asked her too if we could teach her again and she was completely okay with it!!! We were soooo shocked! We did not expect her to be SOO okay with it. But she was! I cant wait to see where this goes also! MIRACLE!!!
So all in all this week we found 6 new people to teach! We taught 25 lessons in one week! That is just amazing numbers. I know you haven't heard any other numbers to really be able to compare it and know. But trust was AMAZING!!! Then i got to top it all off with talking to my wonderful family! I am so thankful you called in Brandon! It was such a great surprise to see you! And to see your wonderful kids! I love you all so much. Every day i am so thankful that i get to be with you all for eternity! The best family a girl could ever have! I love you all so much with all my heart. I miss you dearly everyday, but i am so thankful for this time i get to serve my Father in Heaven, to represent our family. I am thankful i can feel his love for others as i talk with them, and help them understand that he is THERE FOR THEM!!! HE SENT US FOR THEM!!! Its soooo cool. Never in a person's life can you see his work sooo clearly! Its just down right amazing! I love you all!! Thanks for being a support to me always!!!
Sister Barnum

Okay okay, it wouldn't be me to not include a funny story in my email. So the picture of me with the broom, in my HUGE shorts....and ugg boots....haha. Well let me explain. Here in Missouri they have some VERY VERY VERY ANNOYING birds. That are super loud and just make the same noise over....and over....and over...and OVER AGAIN!!! So there was one outside our window one night. Well let me also tell you we both had come home early because we had some crazy tummy ache going on, and there was this stupid bird outside driving me crazy! Well brother Sperry usually shoots the birds if they don't go away, he wasn't home so i couldn't ask him to shoot it. So i go outside and throw a rock at it, it flys away and comes right back. I walk toward it and scream at it, it does the same thing, flys away and comes right back. I was sick of this stupid bird. So i went and got some boots on....and a broom to hit the bird with. I go outside in my bird killing outfit. Unfortunately i never actually killed it, but i got really close and scared it enough to make it go away!! So there you go, that picture shows my bird killing outfit! STUPID BIRDS!!
Okay, okay. If i am going to tell one funny story, i should tell the other one of this week also. Soooo we had an appointment with a guy we had previously taught, that broke up with his girlfriend that he was with when we taught him, and was now living with another girl. Well we go to see him. His new girlfriend answers the door, and tells us today's not a good day, and yells for the guy. He comes up the stairs and tells us today is not good and walks away. Well the girl felt bad so she invited us in and proceeded to tell us about what the problem was. That they were fighting because there were some issues that went down because of things that happen behind closed doors.....if you catch my hint! Well, i will spare YOU all the details we heard because it should never be repeated. But let me tell you what, i don't think any missionary out there has heard a conversation like we did that day! Meanwhile amidst all this drama, the 2 year old son that is ALL over the place suddenly comes out with a magazine....yep, I'm sure you can imagine what kind. I saw what it was and the boy went to give it to sister Larson. So i told her what it was, and she was like AHHH!! and tried putting it under the couch, well then the little boy thought THAT was a game and kept trying to pull it out. YEA!!! IT WAS CRAZINESS!!!! Oh man, a night that will NEVER be forgotten for me and sister Larson! :) HAHAH!!!
Sister Barnum


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

E-Mail #48

E-Mail #48
May 7th, 2012
Man, i just don't even know where to begin.
This week has been just off the charts amazing. Mainly this weekend....but man, i just don't know where to start!
I think I'll just start with the beginning of the week and leave the BIG WEEKEND for the end. Last Tuesday was pretty awesome. Our Tuesday dinner family the Hamilton's, things always go good, but this week was even better. One of them decided she was going to start working her way to baptism. And the daughters boyfriend came back for dinner, which means he LIKES US!!! and we got to talk about some churchy stuff with him too! it was really great! This week we are finally going to start into the lessons and we are way excited! On Tuesday we also went and painted this old ladies nails that live in a retirement home, she is hysterical, we painted them bright purple. I am sure she is just rocking those nails! Wednesday we went out to the Deardeuffs and helped sister deardeuff garden for a little over an hour. It was super fun. I found the biggest worm i have ever seen, i think it was 6 inches. It was crazy! i was very grossed out by it!
Okay lets just face it, all i want to talk about is this weekend, so forget everything else that happened this week, lets talk about the most amazing thing that can ever happen to a missionary in one weekend!!!
So Saturday was the BIG CULTURAL EVENT for the Kansas City Temple! We got a ride with the deardeuffs. They took us to the Marriott where we as missionaries are supposed to meet and practice and get the run down on what we will be doing. We get dropped off and run across the street in front of a few cars before the light changes. As we are walking to the Marriott sister Larson is in front of me and i am looking around at all the security and thinking to myself DANG this place is hopping right now. (we were told there were SEVERAL events going on in the city that night, and ours of 10,000 people event was the smallest) so i was just thinking wow, lots of people are here for the weekend. Well i see this security guard from the church that i knew from the temple open house go up to sister Larson and say 'dont make a scene' and then he says the same thing to me. I look around and see Elder Walker, who is the BIG guy in charge of all the temples, and realize it has to be either elder Holland, Scott, or the prophet!! I look in the car and see PRESIDENT THOMAS S MONSON sitting right there, like 2 feet from me. So i am not making a scene and go after sister Larson and tap her and under my breath tell her, its the PROPHET, he is HERE! right there! so we keep walking and slyly turn around and watch him get out of the car. We go into the lobby where sister Jensen, a senior missionary who is directing us where to go and tell her the prophet just got out of the car! So we all sit there and wait for him to come in! He comes in with this big smile and stops and waves at everyone and says 'howdy howdy' Oh man, i wanted to just freak out, but all i could do is just stand there smiling!! We then stood there for like 10 more minutes just in shock of what just happened and replaying it over and over and over again! SOO COOL!!! it was just a beginning to the most amazing night. Then all 200 missionaries are upstairs practicing our song, and the sound of 200 missionaries singing is possibly the most amazing thing ever. Sister Keyes and President Keyes just cried the entire time we were singing. It was so touching. And then president keyes told us that as he was doing the run through with all the youth that they did something he didn't know they were going to do. And as all of us missionaries walk into the stadium singing, the youth all kneel for us!! He was crying, everyone was crying. He talked about how much we are a light to the youth and how they look up to us so much! It was just the best thing EVER! We were all so excited to see it all happen. We also were originally told that we would be standing the entire time watching the event from the very top. But elder deshler an area 70 made it possible for all of us to be seated watching it! It was just the most amazing cultural event i have ever seen....yes, its the only one...but it is AWESOME! The performances were amazing. The youth are so talented and just had such a fun time.
My favorite, and the tear jerker one was the joplin stake put together a dance in memory of the tornado that hit them a year ago this month. They had wood house frames laying on the ground, and trash, dolls, blankets just scattered to represent the mess of the tornado. They had this video play of youth talking about that day, and then showing picture of the mess. Then as the youth started their dance it was so emotional, at one point there came families running from different directions searching for each other and then found each other and hugged each other and held on, representing them being lost and confused after the tornado hit. I started bawling at that part. And then the helping hands of the church came in, youth wearing those t-shirts. They gave all the other kids blankets to warm and comfort them. Then more came in to help put the houses back together. At the end all the houses were standing on the floor, and families came back out and were just hugging and standing there. Oh man, seriously SO EMOTIONAL!!! After that was a few more performances that we had to miss because we had to run from the VERY top of the stadium to the bottom where we would be at singing. So we all book it down the ramps and go and go and go. Well among the running and going quickly my cardigan got stuck, and i got stuck, and had to get unstuck and catch up. It was just craziness. Well then as we are standing prepared to walk out on the floor i realized that my badge was gone. It got thrown off while i was stuck. I started crying of course because i felt like the worst missionary ever, who is about to sing in front of the prophet without my badge!!! Oh man! i felt so awful inside. But i had to suck it up. Then it was time for us to walk out and sing! It went by so fast, but it was so amazing. You could just feel the spirit booming out of that place!!!!! It was down right the best experience ever. As we left we heard the crowd cheering i think for at least 5 minutes. They whole stadium was standing and screaming and clapping. It was just the coolest thing. Even the prophet stood up and was cheering. It wast just awesome. I can not wait to see the video of the whole thing, so we can see how it all happened from the camera's view. I bet it was just so neat to see all the youth kneel as we walked in. As we were walking in, i was looking at the youth, and one girl turned around and was so excited as we were walking in, she hit her friend and was bouncing and was saying its the missionaries, its the missionaries, and she started crying. I think that was just a tiny taste of how the whole place felt. I mean, its really true that missionaries carry and amazing spirit, and when you have 200 singing about serving our father in heaven, it just gets 200 times better! After the whole event we went to look for my name tag. couldn't find it. So we went to find our ride. I knew that junction city was there and particularly the caprons were there. Who i just LOVE from junction city. So i went on the hunt for them. Of course i found them and just gave them all hugs for like EVER! i didn't want them to leave, i love that family so much! But it was so great to see them again! Man, overall it was the most amazing night EVER!!! EVERR!!! EVERRRRR!!!!!! WE didn't get home until like 1130 that night and had to get up way early to head to the temple dedication. Which i wasn't completely alert for, but even that was amazing. President Monson was just GLOWING in the temple. It was down right amazing to see that glow around him.
It was the most spiritual and exciting weekend of my mission, hands down. I am so thankful for the blessing to be a part of this mission at this time. I know it was a divine blessing from my heavenly father to have me be a part of this! I am so thankful for this church. I am so thankful for the knowledge of this gospel, of eternity, of temples and what a blessing they are. I can not wait to go to the temple, its been a year, and i just cant wait to feel that spirit and peace that is in the temple. I know this church is true, i know that the best things come to those that live it valiantly, and obediently. I know our father has blessings upon blessing to hand out to us, we just have to do our part. I am thankful every time i do my part, and thankful for the lesson i learn each time i don't do my part. I could do this the rest of my life, even though i miss my family terribly, and would give ANYTHING to hug my nephews and my mom and everyone....i wouldn't give this up. Thank you everyone who has kept me in their prayers and in their heart, who has helped me out financially so much! i know it is a burden, but i also know you will be blessed because your helping me! I love you all!!!!
I guess before i end the update i should tell you, we went and checked on barson, and his owners came and found him, so he is home safely. Which is very good! Oh and i didn't even finish the lost badge story. I just got an email from the elder in my mtc district who just so happened to be the one to find my badge!! he sent me a picture of him with it, and said he found it and will make sure it gets to me!! Which is really good news because that was my favorite badge, it glows in the dark, and it has the best stickers on the back!
I love you all so much!
Sister Barnum :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

E-Mail #47

E-Mail #47
April 30th, 2012
Hello to my fan club....haha....jk.
Hey everyone! i hope you all have had another great week. This week has been full of all sorts of surprises. This week i found out that my family is MOVING!!! CRAZY!!! I am actually very excited. I got a letter from my mom telling me all the spiritual experiences that led up to them making that choice to move. i also felt the spirit as i read her letter and i know this is what heavenly father has in plan for my whole family! It will be fun to see the blessings that come from listening to our heavenly father! I love following the spirit, you always know only good things are going to come from that! :) So that is one of the big adventures of the week. Another one was on friday my Kansas Barnum family came to the temple....and then they took us to a casino....haha...i dont know if that is against mission rules or not. But we were not gambling, we were just eating! haha. The food was pretty amazing too! A winner of a buffett. The best part was i got to spend all that time with my family!!! I loved being around them, they are such a blast to be with! My uncle made me feel like i was with my dad. My cousins just made me laugh a ton, i just wanted to hug them non-stop. I got to flirt with my future cousin-husband (which is a total joke, i just love messing with my cousin he is pretty adorable!) It was just a blast. It was also kinda weird i have not heard my first name that much in my entire mission. It really freaked me out, everyone kept saying brooke....brooke....brookie....brookie....i was like, oh whoa...this is weird. haha. I guess thats normal to feel after being on a mission for 11 months. yep....11 months. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!!? because i cant! In a month is my year mark! SO WEIRD!!!!!! I just cant believe it is hear, it just weirds me out completely! I feel like i just had my half way mark, how is it possible to be at a year mark already!?! But its right around the corner.
On wednesday last week we went through the temple with Teresa, she works for the sperrys and helps with thier son, we see her every morning. We got to go through with her and her sister. It was such a fun experience for her to see the temple and know what they are, and why we have them! She is also the most hysterical person ever, so it was a fun night with her in general! On thursday, there was some seriously fun adventures that happened that day, none were planned, and yet it just all happened!!! I'll give you a little skim of what happened that day. We had our district meeting in Cameron....that was supposed to be at 1030, but got switched to 1145, we couldnt get ahold of our ride to tell her the time switched. We hunted her down and talked to her about the ride, and other things that was an interesting....unexpected conversation. So we head to district meeting, driving ourselves, are early so we decide to head out the Far West, because i have never been there. We run around far west getting pictures! and are now late for district meeting. We GPS our way to district meeting to get a back road. On the back road some very interesting things happen as we were passing a truck and trailer that was going super slow, and we for sure put our gardian angles to work!! They did a great job! We made it to district meeting...magically only 10 minutes late! I couldn't stop giggling during the opening song because i was reflecting on the crazy events that had all happened by noon! District meeting goes on, after the meeting we decide to head out to a small town we have never been to, to contact someone. Again we used our GPS and choose shortest distance to save miles, which of course puts you on ROADS LESS TRAVELED!!! haha, we only had to turn around once and find another way to get there. But we had some good adventures during that ride. The best part is if you remember the hay barrell story about me getting stuck and the school bus driving by?!?..........yea, well we were driving a saw a BIG hay barrell, next to a really small one, so we thought it would be funny to get a picture on it, just to go with the other one. Sister larson's legs broke out again, and i had a spider on me. It was a fun adventure. All in all that day i believe we were in the car for 4 hours. so we did not accomplish much missionary work, but its a day never to be forgotten!
Saturday was nice because we actually got to do some work. Unfortunatly everyone we talked to had no interest in us coming back, but at least we got some work done. Saturday night we were feeling pretty discouraged.Just feeling like nothing is happening we are teaching 3 people, one is getting baptized on sunday. So forth, just feeling lame. So sunday was fast sunday, because of the temple dedication next sunday. We decide to fast for a miracle, as well as to have our usual tuesday night family come back to church for the baptism, and to somehow find 3 new investigators! And let me tell you what....all of that came true!! ALL OF IT!!! We saw a miracle in our branch president, we saw our tuesday night family return for the baptism....making it that we had 2 new investigators. and we went to see someone we had taught previously that starting to be kinda cold to us, and ditch our appointments and he was super friendly and wanted to meet with us again. IT WAS A MIRACLE DAY!!! I was so excited to see it all go down, and to gain that added testimony of fasting and that it does work! it does bring miracles! That was a testimony that wasn't the strongest before i left, but it has just grown and grown on my mission. I am so thankful for fasting and knowing that when we make a small sacrafice of 2 meals, that heavenly father POURS BLESSINGS OUT!!! I love it!!! Mayanna was also baptized after church and it was so great to see her baptized. I know she was prepared and ready for that step! i am so excited that she has the gift of the holy ghost and that she is growing SO MUCH! She is just so great. The whole branch stayed after church for her baptism. Lots of love and support. It was great! I am so thankful for the time we were able to help her prepare for that step, and to feel her fathers love as she took that step! WOOHOO!
Even as sunday was full of spiritual was a day never to be forgotten in another way as well! After church, the baptism, the whole bit. There was this super friendly golden lab outside the church building. Without a collar on. He is a super nice dog, very obedient. We would tell him to sit and he would, he would walk next to us as we walked. Very good dog. Well we felt bad that he was wondering and lost, so we went to take him home. Assuming that his home was the neighbors. So we take him over to the neighbors....several of them, and none of them claim him, they all say he has been wandering around since this morning and they dont know where he belongs. So we go to take him back to the church. Well the house next to our church always has chickens and roosters that just wander around. Well the dog saw the chickens and took off after them. Thankfully they were all in the cage at this time. So he just ran back and forth by the fence barking at them. We just called him back and went to continue on to the church. Well he TAKES OFF, and there was a rooster that was not in the cage and he was going in for the kill. I see him grab the rooster and just know he is going to kill it so i turn around because i couldn't watch it happen. When my companion....being the smarter one takes off after the dog. She tries to seperate them. I see her take off and figure, well the least i can do is help, so i run after the dog and the rooster too. Sister Larson gets a hold of the dog, i keep the rooster pinned in a corner so it doesn't get hurt any more. The dog has all sorts of bird feathers in its mouth, the poor rooster lost a TON of feathers, but was totally fine. It was just a CRAZY SITUATION. So then we didn't know what to do. Well a member was watching this whole thing, and then just suggest we call the pound and just have him taken, so he doesnt kill the rooster and the owners can find him. The lady at the pound was super grumpy to us, and just wasn't listening. So we told her we would bring the dog in. Take the dog back to our truck, and get him to hop in the back. He hops in and hops back we tell him to get in again and go to shut it before he can get out. Well while that happened we get his foot stuck in the bend of the tailgate, somehow the tailgate comes off its bottom hinges. and then it just FELL!!! hanging there just by the wires that come down when you put the tailgate down. So we FREAK OUT!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!! that kind of thing. We put the tailgate back on its hinges and try and get to dog in....and he just WONT GET IN!!! So we call the pound back and tell them he wont get in and to come get him. So we wait for a WHILE for her. Mind you the dog is just hanging out with us, doesn't head back for the rooster, is being very obedient. Just an adorable loving dog, that wanted to eat a rooster, i kept telling him i love him and hate him and love him! Cause he is so cute! The lady comes and gets the dog and we just had this horrible feeling the second she got him. We just felt super bad inside. we go to get ourselves cleaned up in the church, and i just feel like crying because of this dog. Well we go and visit a family later that night and tell them what happened, as we asked them if they wanted a dog, so we could get that dog out of the shelter. and they tell us that they KILL dogs who have been there 2 weeks and have not been claimed! SO WE FELT EVEN WORSE!!!! The poor dog doesn't deserve to DIE! So we ask our dinner people if they would take him, they couldn't because of where they live. So forth. We just feel awful! We asked the sperrys that we live with if they want him. they said they would think about it. We even named him............barson.....barnum and larson put together. We told them we would take care of him, and train him, and even come back and get him after our mission if they didn't want him. They are still thinking about it. So in a few days we are going to go to the pound and see if the owners came and got him. We pray that someone gets him and he doesn't get killed!!! he is such a great dog!!! Anyways that was our drama of sunday. So all of you need to keep barson in your prayers that he doesn't get killed! Good friendly well trained dogs do not deserve to die, they deserve to be in a home! :)
So that is another great adventure of the week. I hope barson finds a home. I'll attach a picture of the cute guy!
I love you all!!
hope to get letters this week.......(wink wink, nod nod!!)
OH MY GOODNESS, i just realized i left out the best things!!! Saturday is the big culteral event for the temple dedication. The one that all 200+ of us missionaries will be singing army of helaman in!!! YEA!!! ITS GOING TO BE SOOO COOL!!! OH I CANT WAIT!!! I heard a rumor that it wont hit BYU tv, but i say check byu tv anyways just in case. Also, if it doesnt i guess every youth that participates in it gets a dvd of it, and its okay to make copies of the DVD, so i'll just have to have a copy made of it to send home! Then sunday is the dedication!! ITS GOING TO BE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!
Sister Barnum.


E-Mail #46

E-Mail #46
April 24th, 2012
Hello all!!!
I hope you have all had a great week. Mine has been not to bad. Update on the tooth pain that caused my email last week to be horrible. I went to the dentist and ended up having a root canal. No shocker there!! i hate having bad teeth, but its just become a part of life....i figure give it another year or two and almost all teeth will have a root canal in them and then i dont have to worry as much! haha.
This last week was possibly THE BEST EVER working at the temple. My wonderful family the Flippo's surprised me and showed up to the temple on wednesday! It was the best surprise EVER!!! I was walking out to go get some more medicine for my tooth ache and i heard this HEY, so i turned around and i saw bill and shawn and nathan standing there. I of course ran to them and gave them a huge HUG....even bill, i didnt care i figure there were enough people around to know it was not an inapropriate hug! I got all teary-eyed as i was giving them hugs, and i had to wait for char to come, she took hunter to the bathroom. Well then they got put onto their tour and i had to go back to work. But my awesome companion suggested to me that i ask if i can go on the tour with them. So i asked elder and sister Jensen, who are in charge of us missionaries at the open house, and they gave me permission!!! i was SO EXCITED!! of course i ran right off and joined them! It was so special to be with them in the temple, i am so excited for a year from now to be in the temple with them again and see them become an eternal family!! ahhhh, I LOVE THE FLIPPOS!!! One of my favorite parts about being with them, as we were walking to the temple shawn came up to me and was walking next me and all the sudden he was just like....'man, i miss you'.......isn't that THE BEST?! awww, he is such a cutie, so i gave all of them big big hugs. They are going to be moving to south carloina in about a month. So i probably wont be seeing them until i can head out there.....but i figure when i get off my mission i get a free for all on phone calls, so i'll be staying in touch no matter what!
This week we have spend a lot of time with the weed family, helping Mayanna prepare for baptism and helping her feel ready to be baptized. I am so excited we have a baptism this week! Mayanna will be getting baptized on sunday and it is going to be such a special day. She is such a special girl. Everytime we teach her i can just feel the spirit so strong. I really know she has a big purpose in this life and she is a special daughter of our Heavenly Father. She is so great. I dont know if i told you this already but she is 9, and she has been reading the for stregnth of youth pamphlet....that is for teenagers. She just loves reading and learning. I am so excited to help her make this step closer to hear Father in Heaven....then she can contiue to grow so much spiritually it will be SO GREAT!
Friday was fun last week. We went through the temple with our regular tuesday night family! The Hamiltons! It was so fun to go through the temple with them. Its the first temple for mostly all of them to go inside and it was such a great experience. I am so thankful that we get to spend so much time with that family and see them continue to grow spiritually. They may not be preparing for baptism or anything like that, but they really are growing closer to their father in heaven and really feeling the spirit as they make choices to go to the temple and come to church. It was way fun to see all of their reactions as they went into the celestial room. I am telling you it is by far the best celestial room i have been in. It literally took my breath away the first time i walked in there. It is so amazing in there, so peaceful and just beautiful. I am thankful that so many people get to have that same feeling as they go through the temple!
On sunday this week we finally got to see someone we are teaching, michelle. She shared her testimony about a month ago in church and we have seen her off and on, but haven't been able to sit down with her for some time. We finally got that chance on sunday. It was so nice to spend time with her. She opened up SO MUCH about her past, and really let us see her emotions and her struggles. She was pregant with twins and lost them at 6 months due to some tragic things that happened to her. She has a very nice suit case type thing that she keeps their things in, pictures from when they were born and so forth. She brought that out and shared with us the things that happened when she lost the twins and showed us their pictures and their outfits and other things that had been given to her. It was such a emotional experience for her to go through those things. But it was so nice to talk with her and help her to see the eternal persepective of things. The only down part of her being so open to this very huge wound in her heart is that it led her to some extreme emotional distress. At the end of us being there she was kinda going in and out of being aware of where she was. We could tell it had been a lot for her to handle emotionally to talk about those things, and that she needed to get some rest and relax. So we left her to be with her sister, and talk with her sister and go to sleep. It was such a great experience with her, but very tough for her to handle mentally/emotionally to talk about it. But she made some really big steps by talking about it, that will help her continue to heal!
Yesterday at the temple was also a neat experience. I spent like 1 hour each with 2 different tables. The first table i was just stopping by to ask them how it went and they had a TON of questions. It was a table of 5 people. So everytime i answered someones question, another person had a question. They were all really good questions and they were all so friendly and sweet and loved the temple, but MAN was it intense. I mean i was getting all hot and sweaty because there was never a lull in the conversation, as soon as i answered one question another person had a question. It was way fun though because i knew all the answers. I always love surprising myself with my knowledge of the gospel, its quite fun! They were all so nice and funny to talk with. And then i spend another hour with a different table of all ladies who had just as many questions. They came to the temple last week, and then a member in the town they live in came to their church or something and gave a presentation on the temple, so they decided they wanted to come back and learn more and understand the things he was talking about. So they came back and they all said they have learned so much and they really like our temples. So forth. It was a really cool experience to talk with those two groups for so long and just have questions thrown non-stop at ya. I am really looking forward to tomorrow at the temple. A lady that comes to the sperry's house to help take care of their son in the wheel chair is going to come through the temple and we will go with her! we are way excited, because she has always watched nate for the sperry's when they would go to nauvoo to go to the temple and so forth, and so now she gets to go inside and see what it is all about. Keep her in your prayers we hope she really feels the spirit when she goes through it!
Man i feel better this week with giving you all a REAL EMAIL update on how things are gonig. I am doing good and things really are going good. We are not spending as much time in our area's as we wish we were but thats okay. The temple will be such a great thing for us to work off of after it is done. oh and sister larson got a fun package from her family...i'll attach a picture, the package had some good photo prop stuff to use!
Well i hope you all have a great week! Maybe some of you will send me mail, i haven't gotten any in like a week and a half.....that kinda stinks. But i also know its mainly because of my grandma's funeral and all that craziness. But feel free to write me, i miss getting letters!
Sister Barnum


E-Mail #45

E-Mail #45
April 17, 2012
Hello everyone!
I hope you all have had a good week. Mine for sure has been one i will never forget. First off, i didn't tell anyone but it was transfer week this last week. I didn't get transfered.....which i had guessed anyways so thats why i didn't tell anyone. So i am still here in the good old CHILLIMO. I am so glad, i get to spend another transfer with one of my favorite companions yet....Sister Larson, and we get to contiue to work at the temple open house! Last week was our first full week working at the temple open house, i worked Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And man oh man, it has been such an amazing experience. Last wednesday it was such a huge turnout and most of the people that came through were not members of the church. It was so special to see the spirit in so many peoples eyes as they came out of the temple. You could just feel that they had a great experience. I am so thankful every day after these amazing experiences to be a part of this, to know that i am so blessed to help out in this at this time. I have had such wonderful experiences each time i've worked there, but i cant remember last weeks, but i do remember yesterdays so i will have to tell you all about those. But first off, last week on friday the group of members that volunteered to help with the tours and all other things were from the salina stake.....which includes JUNCTION CITY!!! that day i saw 20 people from Junction City. It was possibly the best day EVER!!! I cried a few times, one time i was in the gym and i looked up and saw Bishop Shurtleff making a straight line for me with this HUGE SMILE! i jumped right up and went over to him, and shook his had....although i wanted to give him a big hug, i probably would have if his wife wasn't three steps behind him to give me a big hug. I teared up and so did they, i just was so happy to see them. It felt like i was seeing my family again. Oh man, it just re-affirmed my love for those members in junction city. Such amazing people i got to serve with for such a long time! I really was so blessed to see so many of them that day! I felt like i was at home again with seeing so many of them all over. I just loved every minute of it! This weekend things got a little crazy, i got a phone call early saturday morning as we were at Sister Deardeuff's helping her, i got a phone call from home. I found out the sad news that my Grandma Barnum was not gone yet, but was going to pass away soon. It was a tough phone call to get, but i was so thankful to be with such a great companion and the wonderful loving sister Deardeuff. It was a tough emotional day. But it was okay at the same time, i as a missionary teach people about gods plan for us all the time, so i know the truth of where my grandma is. I imagine it was a wonderful greeting for her to see her parents again. Anyways, i am sorry this weeks email is probably totally weird and scattered all over the place. I currently for the last two days have had a very bad tooth ache. And as i am writting this email my mouth is throbbing so much i am trying not to cry....which i am failing at. And it hurts so much that i have no desire to focus on this email. So i'm sorry that it is weird and probably doesn't make sense!
Well to shortly sum up some of the great experiences yesterday at the temple. I had 2 ladies come up to me and ask me for a Book of Mormon. I went and got them each one and gave it to them and they were so happy, both of them were, yes, we are going to start reading this! they were so excited.
Also yesterday, i was questioned by a pastor from another church for about 20 minutes, him and his wife, they were friendly, and really nice. I answered all their questions, and later found out they were talking to another missionary, and he told me that his wife said to him 'why does this stuff make more sense than what we teach?' CRAZY I KNOW!!
I also spoke with a lady for like 20 minutes about our church and the way that we support one another and how we are all helping each other spiritually progress. She is the one i will never forget, she had tears in hear eyes a few different times as i spoke with her. You could see the spirit's light in her eyes. It was such a touching conversation with her. She really does love what we believe, i am excited for the day a missionary knocks on her door and she is ready to learn more and more!
I'm sorry this email stinks so much guys. I hate having tooth aches.....they affect me a lot. I hope you all have a good week.
Love Sister Barnum


E-Mail #44

E-Mail #44
April 10, 2012
Helllooo everyone!
I hope you all have had a good week! I know i have had a interesting week. It has been a week of RELAXING. Because my companion has been super super sick! :( Last Thursday she had really really bad allergies that turned into a cold. I think it was a cold all along, but who knows with all the things blooming out here. So we went out to two different appointments and then came back home because she was just so worn out. Poor girl. Nice thing was that i was not feeling to great either, so we both got to rest. Well Friday came along and she was so sick she didn't even get out of bed until like 8. Poor girl, and then she just looked like she wanted to die because she was so sick. So we stayed home all day friday. But it was another blessing in disguise. Because sister Larson needed to rest in order for us to start our shifts at the temple open house (monday) But it was fun for me while she rested. Because Momma Sperry was preparing for her family coming in for Easter dinner, she had me help her bake. Which i have missed doing sooooo much! i got to cook 3 different cakes! it was super fun! and then because they have a HUGE back yard. Which i before thought they owned 40 acres...i stand is 80 acres. So they have lots of trees and stuff that need burning, and i've been wanting to set stuff on fire for the longest time. I know that sounds totally weird. But i've seen everyone burning in their yard all over the place lately, and i have wanted to do it SO BAD! So friday, i got my chance. The sperry's had 2 huge piles of sticks and trees and stuff and i got to set them on fire! the old school way too! With a box of matches.....and some news paper! and i did it, and it was a BLAST!!! I was thankful that the sperry's let me get out and play with fire. And best part, i didn't even get a tick. I saw one on my clothing, so i was super nervous. but i check it out, and there were not any!!! woohoo! can you imagine me.....with a tick?! ohhh no....not pretty! Saturday we went out but sister larson still wasn't a hundred precent. We had an appointment with our wonderful mayanna who is getting baptized this month. This girl continues to AMAZE me every time we teach her. She just knows so much about the gospel and soaks it all in! its just way fun to teach her and help her continue to grow. We also went to a birthday party with our tuesday night dinner family the hamiltons. It was lots of fun to spend time with thier family and enjoy some AMAZING food because sister hamilton KNOWS HOW TO COOK!!! and she is good at it! After that we went to go visit another person we have taught that we haven't seen in a while, as we were walking to the door sister larsonw as behind me and said oh, i think i'm going to pass out. I turned around as she was loosing her balance and grabbed her to keep her on her feet. I was seriously nervous after that happened and said we were going home. So we went home. We watched the joseph smith movie and then sister larson got some egg coloring stuff in a package so we colored eggs! it was lots of fun, and she didn't pass out at all through the night, so that was good. Then it was sunday and EASTER!!!!! We only had one family we are teaching come to church. But it was awesome because the husband came, and he hasn't come to church in a long time! so that was super exciting to see him there. And sister larson could barely stand up at the end of church so we went home so she could have a nap before our sunday easter dinner with the sperry family. I got to finish decorating the cakes that i made, and help set up for easter dinner. It was such a fun easter. 2 of the sperrys kids and family came to dinner and a family friend. So it was a big group of them. And in the sperrys back yard they have targets set out in the middle or no-where for them to shoot at when they are shooting. So after dinner we all went outside while they all shot. It was so fun. It reminded me of being with my family, except we dont get to do it in our back yard. They shot some hand guns, and assault riffle, and a sniper type gun. They were AWESOME. I wanted so bad to shoot one.....but they all knew the rules so they wouldn't let me. Which is good, they were holding me accountable, because i would have done it if they offered. hahaha. And then YESTERDAY HAPPENED.....we had our first shift at the temple open house!! WOOHOO!! Sister sperry took us down there and came along just to see if she could help out. We get to do 2 different things at the temple open house. First we get to be in the culteral hall where the refreshments are, and where the tour ends and talk to people, offer then comment cards, answer questions. So forth. It was super fun to get to talk to so many people and help them learn more. It was such a fun experience, i felt the spirit many times as i was talking to people. And the other part we get to do is the beginning. People get put into a room where they will watch the video before they go on the tour, and we go in and welcome them to the tour, and tell them a little bit about it and play the video for them. So both jobs are a lot of fun. I got to see 3 different families from Junction City, i was so happy to see them. I also got to meet a lady right off the bat that had a ton of questions about how we dress in temple, it was so fun to explain more to her. At the end there were 3 ladies from chillicothe who showed up that we were not expecting, that our member knows. They seemed to have such a good experience, we talked with them for a while and got to answer lots of their questions. I am excited to see what happens there. So overall its been a different but AWESOME week. I am way excited to continue to work at the temple and meet more people and answer more questions. Its just such an awesome experience that i will never regret!
I hope you all have such a great week. Thank so much for always supporting me in all i do as a missionary and for your letters of support and love that always come right when i need it! I know that this church is special. I know that its within the temple walls that we can become eternal families. I am so excited for the day that i get to be sealed for time and all eternity to that someone special. I am excited to be the first in my family to go straight to the temple for marriage. I am so thankful for this gospel and the fact that we can be together for eternity. My family is my life and my world.....and i am so thankful that i get them forever! I love you all so much!
Sister Barnum.


E-Mail #43

E-Mail #43
April 4th, 2012

Hello to my friends and family for ETERNITY!!
Hey everyone! sorry my email is coming late this week. (not that you know, because i KNOW my sister hasn't been updating my blog. yes i know you Brittney) :)
Well its finally begun, the busy busy month of APRIL....and i just CANT WAIT!!! Today we head down to the temple to get our 'training' as all the sister missionaries in the mission. This is the first time that ALL the sisters will be together, its going to be SO FUN!!! I am way excited to hear all about what we will be doing at the temple open house, and to finally get to see the INSIDE of it!! woohoo! Our shifts start on Friday, and we will be down there 3 times week for the whole month of April. YEP they extended the open house because it has had so many tickets sale out so fast, they extended it!!! so i will get to work 10 total shifts at the temple. MAN it will be so cool, such a once in a lifetime experience. I don't know any missionaries who have had a temple open in their mission while they were out there. I know there have been some, but not any that i know!
Now time to get down to business on updating you from the last week and a half. Well lets just say Monday night last week was a first in my mission. It was a really hard night. There were some not so nice things said to me by a member, and it was a struggle. BUT things by the end of the week worked out just fine. Its was a very good learning experience i had on my mission, and something that i know will help me through my life. President Uchtdorfs talk in general conference was just what i needed to hear to really fully forgive our member and heal things. Which i am so glad i did. Its helped me realize what my weakness' are and how to improve so situations like that when they arise are handled the best way possible. This week we also got to see one of our investigators who we have not seen in a WHILE. It was nice to finally run into her again and get to talk with her. We invited her to come and listen to the prophet on Sunday. Unfortunately she didn't come. But i am not loosing hope for her yet. Its all about her timing. We also went over to the GREAT Jones family, which i have mentioned in previous emails. They are such a great family. We did the rocket on the book of Mormon trick. It was so fun, then after we took some fun pictures with them. They are such adorable kids! we love them, they steal our heart every time we are around them. One of the little boys decided he wanted to be a dinosaur in the pictures. They whole time we were taking pictures he kept growling like a dinosaur....its was HYSTERICAL. we were laughing so hard! oh and the BIG NEWS.....this week we got someone with a BAPTISM DATE!!! woohooo! the little girl of the part member family, that got up and shared her testimony that i talked about. She wants to get baptized, so we are shooting for the end of April. She is so excited. She is so smart about the things we teach her, and remembers it all so well! i am just so happy we have someone to help work toward a baptism date!
So last week also we have a less active family in our branch that we stop and see every now and then. Well he offered to wash our truck for free with his power washer. So last week we asked him if we could come over and have him wash it. Thinking he will give it a good spray down and it will be good. NOPE not at all what happened. First off, they go get us some lawn chairs to sit in. His wife give us this spa fruit water that she made. and we sit on the porch as they ALL....the entire family WASH our truck. I mean, not just spray it down, but all the little details, scrub it, scrub it, scrub it, until all the bugs are off it. Scrub the tires, everything. Then they wash all our windows inside and out. All this stuff. We felt so we were abusing them as we sit on the porch watching all of them go to town on our truck! It was so funny and awesome and weird at the same time. I wish i had gotten my camera out of the truck so you all could see it. But it was just crazy, but man oh man our truck looked NICE after! although it was a total bummer because the next day it RAINED i mean it POURED....oh man it LET LOOSE....we were actually stuck at our house because of how much rain came down. Because of where we live, the drain from the surrounding hills all comes down by our road, so when it rains it floods the bridge and it was too deep for us to drive over. So we had to wait until like 330 before we left for the day because of the rain. but it was lots of fun to watch the lightening, see the hail, and the thunder. It was super fun. I like the rain storms here. They are CRAZY....but awesome. And guess what time of year it almost is....LIGHTENING BUG SEASON!!! WOHOOO!!! I'm going to try and catch one! It will be fun!
This weekend was special in many ways!!!! first off it was General conference, and who doesn't love that?! i mean really....AWESOME!! and then the best best best news ever!!! EVER...EVVEERRR!!! BILL FLIPPO GOT BAPTIZED...CONFIRMED....AND THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD! YEP....ISN'T THAT AWESOME!!! Our mission president rocks, he let me call them and talk for a few minutes and wish the wonderful flippo family congrats! So it was an all around great weekend! I am going to put some of my favorite conference quotes at the end of this. I loved conference so much. My FAVORITE session was the last one, Sunday afternoon, then of course the Saturday morning which was great!!! but i absolutely LOVED Sunday afternoons. SO GOOD!!! I love general conference, such a great time to evaluate ourselves, and see what it is that our father in heaven wants us to improve on....where we need to work harder to prepare ourselves and our families for the trials and tests that happen in this life. How to stay strong so that way we receive that promise of being eternal families!
well on that spiritual note, i have a funny story to tell you.....hahaha. the last week....or two weeks we have killed a spider EVERY DAY!!! EVERY DAY!!! i don't know if you know, but i HATE spiders....i hate insects....i hate ALL creepy crawling things!! So when i say we killed a spider every day...i mean sister Larson did, as i watched and scream or did other girlie like things. Well, so with all the spider craziness i have been afraid to kneel and pray on the ground, so i have been kneeling on my bed and praying....i also have not gotten up early to work out because i cant see the ground to know if there is a spider on it. well Monday night, that's right 2 days ago.....i was trying on my new clothes i bought, and putting all the stuff away. Well i turn around as I'm putting stuff away and see this spider, all shriveling up and dying, and freaking out as it is dying. and i REALIZED..............I STEPPED ON IT..........THAT'S WHAT KILLED IT...............MY BARE FEET............I STEPPED ON THE SPIDER AND KILLED IT!!! I WAS FREAKING OUT, momma and papa Sperry were just laughing because they were downstairs when this happened. and sister Larson was laughing at me. I'm not kidding you, this spider all shriveled up, was STILL the size of a nickle! AND I STEPPED ON IT WITH MY BARE FEET!!! NASTY!!!! ....................................................................oh man, i hate bugs!
Well now i should go back to spiritual are some of my FAVORITE things said in conference!
**Our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us, and each of our needs! ~Thomas S Monson
**The Lord wants all the members of his church to be fully converted to his gospel! ~Donald Hallstrom
**You can do it no matter where you are, or how alone you feel. Seek to LIFT others! ~Henry B Eyring
**God wanted you to be polished a little more! ~Henry B Eyring
**The savior promised there will be Angels on our left and right to bear us up, and he ALWAYS keeps his promises ~Henry B Eyring
**Hold on, Work on, SEE IT THROUGH ~Jeffrey R Holland
**His concern is the amount of FAITH you arrive with, not with the hour which you come! ~Jeffrey R Holland
**The moment we judge someone else, is the moment we condemn ourselves! ~Dieter F Uchtdorf
**Don't judge me because i sin differently than you. ~Dieter F Uchtdorf
**Remove any of your fear with FAITH. ~M. Russell Ballard
**None of us will ever be so lost that we cant find our way through Jesus and His teachings. ~M. Russell Ballard
**Be not afraid only BELIEVE. ~Neil L Anderson.
Well i want you all to know how much i love you. I am so thankful for all your love and support through my mission. You are all so great. I am so thankful for the experiences i have had that have really helped me to learn and understand the gospel more and more daily. To really apply the opportunity teaching of the savior into my life and to see what a difference it makes. I am so thankful for the y i have to serve him and to see his love for all of us daily as he sends us to the right people at and the right time, just because he wanted them to know he loves them and is aware of them. I know he is aware of us. I know he is, we can turn to him always!!! I am thankful for that. I am thankful to be a member of this church, i know it is true. I am so thankful to be a part of my family, who i will have for ETERNITY.....such a great family, and i am so thankful they are mine forever. I love you all so much!

Sister Barnum