Wednesday, June 27, 2012

E-Mail #54 June is Coming to an End

E-Mail #54
June 25th, 2012
Hello all!!
Can you believe its the last week of june?! i cant! Time just keeps flying....and yet sometimes i dont think it moves at all. haha! Its been a good week. We had an appointment last week with Shawna who came to church with her two daughters last week. It was such a great appointment. The spirit was so strong, and it was so nice to see that spirit in shawna's eyes!!! I know she can feel it, and that just the most exciting thing to see someone feel that feeling and know how special it is! We are seeing her again tonight. Unfortuantly she couldn't come to church this weekend because she had to work night shifts friday and saturday night. So she had to sleep during the day. But that okay, i know she liked it, so she will come again soon. Our Tuesday dinner with the Hamiltons was way different then usual. It was so sad/weird it was like awkward silence most of dinner, you could just feel the tension, it was no fun! So we had to have a little talk with them about the fact that we are not here to cause tension or problems, we want them to feel good, and feel the spirit when we come over here. We are not forcing them to do anything, but just trying to help them, and shared our testimonies with them. Which we didn't plan on doing at all, so it was totally the spirit. The best part is when we went to see neal(the dad) on wednesday there was already a change in him, small but GREAT change. He was less defensive, and more open. He did his reading assignment, and extra on top of that! So it was way exciting to see it made a difference to all of them. Its going to be sad the day we have to leave many people we want to see and help continue to grow!
Something way cool happened earlier this week also. We were driving on a road and saw the son of a person we were teaching sitting in a driveway. So we turn around to make sure its him, because his family had moved like 20 minutes away. We text his mom (who we used to teach) and found out they moved back to town!! so we were just super excited!!! So now we get to resume teaching her and she told us that he fiance wants to get baptized before they get married, she didn't say in our church, just in general. But sooo exciting so we told her how we help people come closer to christ to prepare for baptism! Soooo we set an appointment to come back and talk with them, we went back yesterday, we didn't get to teach much. BUT we met Jennifer's sister, and her brother, her brothers fiance and then jennifers fiance who we already kinda knew! Welllll, we talked just a little bit, but they were in the middle of moving things around and getting the house set up. So we set an appointment to come back this week and actually get to talk, and invited all the family that was there to come back and i think they are going too!!! soooo exciting. So for sure keep that in your prayers, because i know they are willing to listen, we just have to get to talk with them!
We also got to see the cute little 9 and 8 year old girls we are teaching. They are just so fun. We also got to talk to their grandma about if she wants to learn, and pray about the things we are asking the girls to pray about and she said she would be willing to. And that she would be willing to go to church, she just is nervous to go to new places. Which is totally okay, i know they are shy people, but they will LOVE the church!
Friday poor sister larson was so sick. She even was pale in the face for a couple hours so we finally went home so she could rest! Its so sad to see her so sick so much. But she is doing great at keeping her head up and working, i think i would just be the biggest baby ever if i was in her shoes. So i am thankful that she is so strong. The bonus to her having to take so many breaks is we always go to the church so she can lay down and i have been learning to play the piano!! wayyy coool!! I want to take piano lessons when i go home, because i really want to be able to play the piano for real!
There really isn't that much of an update this week. Sorry. But it has been a good week! Its also way awesome because my family got a house in northern utah!! Which is even more cool because last weekend i fasted that they would find a house and they did! Fasting seriously bring about so many awesome blessings, and just makes a testimony so strong! I love it! Well next week is transfer week and both sister larson and i have been warned that we will most likely both be leaving. I dont know if they will put elders in our place, or just close the area. But its possibly going to happen. We will see. So SEND MAIL THIS WEEK!! but dont send any next week. :) but please..........go can send mail THIS WEEK!!! i wont mind AT ALL!! :)
Love you!
Sister Barnum

E-Mail #53 Happy Fathers Day!!!!

E-Mail #53
June 18th, 2012
Hello everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Fathers day! I hope brandon, chuck, and gpa got my fathers day card and loved them!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Well lets just say this week has had a CRAZY amount of random twists and turns in our lives out here in chillicothe!! First off with one of the biggest news, Sister Larson has had some stomach problems for a while. So we have had a few doctors appointments and last week she had an ultrasound on her stomach and the tech found gallstones in her gallbladder!! He wasn't supposed to say anything, but he did. So the choas happened from there. Phone calls were made the nurse is all over it. So forth....well then randomly we get a call from President Keyes who tells sister larson that he wants her to pray about going home on July 19. Our mission had a mission fast on saturday-sunday. He told her he would be fasting to know what to do about if she should go home and she should fast for that also. Well after the fast it was apparent to me and sister larson that she needs to go home in July. :(((( We both cried a little and she talked with President Keyes. The nice this is that she was done with her mission in August, so she is not going home that much early and it will totally be noted as a full mission not a medical release, because she did serve a full mission!! So we have all that going on, its not easy, and its sad to see her in so much pain from food and the gallstones, but its for sure meant to happen for her to go home in july so she can get medical help sooner. So there is that crazy twist in things!! Then we get a call from President this morning telling us....because we asked him to warn us....but telling us that the likelyhood of him closing chillicothe is pretty high. So we might only have 2 weeks left in Chilli!! :(((

So it will be an interesting couple weeks to say the least. I just cant believe sister larson is leaving and i was hoping to be with her until she went home but if he is closing the area then we will both be leaving and we wont be together when she goes home. :( I know it is best for her, but still stinks she's the closest companion i have had on my mission and just love her soooo much!!

Soooo now to get to our other events of this crazy week. Well on monday we were at the church picking up our groceries....because we leave them there until we go home so they stay cold. Well Sister Larson is opening the church door and i see this weeeird looking bug flying around, i was looking at it like what the HECK is THAT?!!? and she see's my face and see's it is flying at her and moves quickly to get away from it, not realizing that she was right next to the corner of the building and WHACKS he head on the corner of the brick building. and starts to go down so i catch her. I'm standing there keeping here balanced while she gets her grounding because she hit her head pretty hard. Mind you while we are standing in front of the building me holding onto her....3 or 4 cars drive by!! yep.....we started laughing just thinking oh man, i wonder what THEY are thinking!?!? ohhh those mormon multiple wives get along....i thought mormons dont believe in same sex relationships....hahaha.....oh we were laughing. But we get in the car and i take sister larson home. Have the sperrys check on her and unload the groceries. We call the mission nurse, and she calls the other people and they decide that because she didn't lose conciousness that she is fine. So we go to bed and basically ALL day tuesday sister larson slept because of the bad headache she had from it! It was sooo sad! I felt so bad, all over this freaky looking bug that neither of us have EVER SEEN.....DUMB BUGS!!! Totally lame! Wednesday went by pretty fast because we had our district meeting and then went to the doctor for sister larson down in Liberty. But we were able to see our usual tuesday night family on tuesday and wednesday the dad/husband neal aggree'd for us to come over and just talk with him, so we did. It was good, but not at the same time, that family has some serious stubbornness in their blood. So that makes it hard to help anyone make changes! We pray that he will give in, and see that we are just trying to help him learn and understand more. Then thursday we spent most of the day in the house again. Sister Larson was not feeling well and then randomly i was not feeling well. It was just one of those days that all you could do was lay there and moan because you feel icky. Gotta love that!! But we did get to go visit some people later that night and talk with them and teach people. OH and we had the MOST AMAZING appointment with Shawna, whose husband we were teaching, but then haven't been able to for a while, and now we are teaching her. YEA!! the spirit was just amazing, we taught her the restoration, and talked a lot about how there are different churchs and how we can know which one is Christ church, just like Joseph Smith did! Oh, it was just soooo awesome!! Love teaching her, she is just such a strong spirit. AS we talked about going to church and if rusty would come it was very funny, she said well her better, i mean he brought you guys into our home its only fair for him to give it a try and come to church! haha, LOVE IT!! sadly he didn't come to church, but shawna and her two girls did and i think they had a great time!!! LOVE IT!!!! So saturday started our mission fast....which turned out way awesome! but saturday evening we saw miracles already from the fast and it was just soooo great!! First off we went to go see shawna and rusty, and rusty was there and he joined us while we talked about church things. WAY COOL!!! Then later we went to go contact a potential investigator, someone who had met missionaries before. Well the person didnt live there but another person did and we ended up talking with her for about 20 minutes. She told us how she has been trying to find a church she feels comfortable at, her church she grew up in just isnt the same and she wants her children to be raised believing in God. Just all this great stuff. Oh man, it was way awesome because now we get to teach her and help her find the truth for herself!! way exciting!! Then we decided to go talk with a person we tracted into a LONG time ago. So we stop by and are talking with her at her door. She is super friendly but just kinda giving us the brush off. Just like, yea sure you can come back. Kinda like whatever. Well sister larson gives her a pamphlet and in the pamphlet it talks about the sacrament and it just so happened that this lady flipped open to that page. She suddenly stood up straight and had complete attention. She asked how often do we take the sacrament? i told her every week. the sacrament is there to renew our baptismal covenants and we make misatakes weekly, so we need to have that oportunity to repent and do better each week. She then asked, so do i need to bring my proof of baptism to be able to take this or what?! we were like OH NO.... you can just come and take it. It was wayyy cool!! I have NEVER seen someones whole deamenor change so quickly like it did with her. Then as we were leaving she said to us, so wednesday at 2 right?! even more of a shocker becasue she was confirming with US!! Went from being nice, but not willing, to willing and confirming when we will come back!!! YAYYY!!! I love doing missionary work and seeing cool things like that happen!

Sunday during the fast was just awesome! i just felt the spirit sooo strong all day sunday. During relief society i just went on a craze...i was just writing all these thoughts and feelings i was having. Here are some of the things i wrote down. Sacrifice is not just giving up something for a blessing, but its being obedient! i sacrificed to serve a mission, the only one in my family, its not easy, no one to know what its like, the only one to leave home that same way. I was obedient to gods will...............I know my Father is aware of me, He knows me soo prefectly. I know he is always watching over me and willing to direct me the best way he can as i am willing to listen and TRUST HIM. ..............He is willing to carry me in my weaknesses and stregthn me in down moments. I take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, but i continue to take steps forward, i am making changes and improvments slowly................How i have made it this far is not by my hand, but by HIS!.............Thank you for helping me serve! i will always be in debt to you! I love you so much father! Happy Fathers Day! In the midst of all that i also realized how thankful i am for sister larson, she has had the most christlike love ever! She doesn't hate me for my emotional struggles and weakness' and she tried her best to just help me along, and ALWAYS shows love and care for me! I am sooo incredibly thankful for her being in my life! Such a wonderful companion!!

Considering the crazy week it has been, it has been such a great week at the same time! I am so thankful for continued learning and growing. This week marks 6 months left before i go home. I cant believe that. Time just goes and goes. But i am so thankful for the time i have had, and the time i will have to find those i need to talk and help those i need to!! Like i said earlier, i have no idea how i have made it this far, i know it is NOT BY MY HAND..........but by HIS!!! Because i would have given up a LONG time ago if he didn't love me enough to carry me so far! I will forever be in debt to my Father who does so much for me!

I love you all so much, and am so thankful for all your support you show me as a missionary. Its not easy, like i say a million times every week in my email. But i am so thankful that i have so many people to back me up and cheer me on! Thank you for that!!
Now i have to tell a funny story. I honestly cant remember if i email you all about the bird sister larson hit a couple weeks ago. We were driving and a bird hit our windshield, it was super gross its guts were on our window. nasty. Well since then we have been a little nervous about hitting birds. Well we were coming home from dinner last sunday and week ago, and as we were going around a curve this bird was flying in to land on the road, had no idea we were there, and then we just hear a THUMP....i look in the mirror and dont see the bird on the road. So i thought, i need to remember to check the car when we get out to see if its stuck. Well i forget...and forget. So monday we are grocery shopping and we come out walking toward our truck and sister larson GASPS and points at the truck. well as you can see in the picture....the bird was stuck to the front of the truck! HAHA. We both stood there staring at it for so long. super grossed out. Neither of us took it out, we made papa sperry take it out, but he forgot so momma sperry took it out for us! haha. It was so dang funny. We both were just super shocked it was stuck on the front of the truck, poor bird was not expecting it at all, just coming in for a landing and THUD!! bye bye birdie! haha, classic moments.

One of the other pictures is of this amazing fog that was settled on the ground as we drove home. It was soooo pretty! We had a pretty crazy thunder storm and after that, the fog just hung around for the whole night through the next morning. Makes for a gorgeous picture!! Oh and one last funny story. This morning i was laying in my bed half asleep. Sister Larson got up to get her stuff to go shower and as she was walking past my bed....thinking i was asleep.......i smacked her leg, she scream and fell in her bed! I started laughing SOOO HARD!!! It was the funniest thing ever because she didn't expect it at all! She got back up and beat me up a little but it was super funny! Sister Sperry heard the whole thing happen, she thought it was funny too. She always says 'oh you girls, i wish you'd just get along' hahaha. super funny.....because we do get along we just like to pick on each other. haha.

good times in Chilli!! It will end eventually. Probably on July 4th when we get TRANSFERED! :( I'm hoping for my next area to be OVERLAND PARK....i want to be my aunt/uncle/cousins missionary in their ward! that would be pretty awesome!

I love you all!! hope you have a great week! Keep Sister Larson in your prayers, he stomach hurts A LOT!!!

Sister Brookie Barnum. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

E-Mail #52 Time Flies

E-Mail #52
June 11th, 2012

Hello everyone!!!
I hope you all have had a good week! I know its been a good week out here in Missouri. Its starting to get warmer and warmer every day! i think summer is officially here! Not sure how i feel about it, but i'm drinking lots of water, and it hasn't been too bad!
This week we ate at a families house and they made authentic german food! man oh man, it was something new thats for sure! It was mashed potatoes, with sourkraut?!(however you spell that) and pinapple bratwost(however you spell that too!!) and then a side was some bratworst with apples was not that bad! For sure an aquired taste, but not bad at all. The only thing i didn't like was after dinner when i would burp i could tast the sourkraut....super gross! no one likes re-tasting their food! haha.
We had some good appointments this week, we got to see a couple we have been trying to teach, we gave her the book of mormon and her husband was the one who went to his preacher about the book of mormon. Well we talked with her some more about it, and re-emphasized to her that she needs to read it. Well then when we saw her later this week she totally read it!! and she said she is going to re-read it before our next appointment so she remembers it!! WAY AWESOME!!! We also had a really good appointment with the little girls we are teaching. They are sooo cute. They drew us pictures, one said that they love god, the other said missionaries ROCK...haha! sooo cute! Our tuesday night family we have dinner with was fun!! We had spaghetti tacos!!! yep i wrote that right....spaghetti.....TACOS!! and here is the best part...........they were SOOO GOOOD!!!! Its just cooking up some spaghetti, and then having hard taco shells and a bowl of shredded cheese, you put the spaghetti in, the cheese on top and ENJOY....and i did!! i knew my family would not believe me so i took a picture! haha. Whoever came up with that really weird idea was super smart! fun new way to eat spaghetti!
Wednesday was the best night EVER on my mission!!! hands down!!! We had our usual day of visiting people and having district meeting and so forth. The sperrys were out of town, and so they had teresa, who takes care of their son stay at their house while they were out of town. Well we have been slowly trying to share more with teresa, so we went and had dinner with her wednesday night and then after watched the joseph smith movie! it was soooo goood! Then we got to talk for like a hour and a half after the movie, answering questions and so forth. We found out that teresa went a bought a book of a mormon a while ago, and she usually reads the members ensigns when she stays the night to watch their son. And just all sorts of stuff that no one knew she was doing! we were way excited to hear about all this, and now we are even more excited to keep sharing more with her! Its going to be so great! she is a curious person, she just doesnt' show it most the time. haha. But she is just such a sweet person, and so awesome, shes rough on the outside but an angel on the inside! even though she would argue that! It was way cool!
Thursday i had a way cool experience. I was just struggling all day thursday just feeling like i've been a missionary for a year now and i should know more than i do, and i should understand the scriptures better than i do, so forth. I just felt down. Well after our weekly planning sister larson took a nap, so i went upstairs to have lunch and just read my scriptures to try and learn them more. I was just crying to be honest, feeling crappy about not knowing as much as i wish i did. So i just read and read and read. As i was reading i was understanding everything perfectly. It was so cool. Then i just had this spiritual confirmation from Heavenly Father telling me that i know more that i realize i do, and that as i keep reading that i will keep understanding more. I starting crying again, just so thankful for his awareness or me. Knowing how i felt, and knowing because i choose to try and understand them that he could bless me and help me to feel that he is proud of me always trying to understand them more and more. It was just so awesome! I love having experiences like that, i love knowing he knows me and is aware of me. This week i realized that of the re-occuring thing i have learned on my mission over and over....that means so much to me every time i re-learn it. Is that He is aware of me. He really is, he knows how i'm feeling, he knows whats going on, he knows me! I love re-learning that message and having that reminder!
Friday we had dinner with the weed family, who's little girl we just baptized! The funniest thing happened! thier little 7 year old i just LOVE more and more every time i am around her. she is spastic and high energy and all over the place and just sooo loveable! Well their mom was looking for her chapstick and asked her girls if anyone had seen it or took it. Well little eliana the 7 year old, was NOPE! Then she said, i haven't seen it since earlier today after school when it was in my hand!! hahahahhaha! sister larson and i starting laughing sooo hard!! sister larson turned to eliana and said, you know that means you took it right?! and eliana hops up and is all close to sister larsons face saying...nooo, noooo, i BORRRROWED IT!! hahahahah!!! we were laughing for i think like 10 minutes after that! Oh that little girl cracks me up! We also played the silent game, of course little eliana can only be quiet for so long. But little mayanna who got baptized was doing way good, so i decided to keep playing to see how long this girl can hold out! and she can hollllddd out!! I finally had to break the silence because we(sister Larson) was trying to share a message and mayanna kept getting up and leaving, so i finally broke the silence and told her she had to come sit down and pay attention. haha. But i was super surprised that she could hold out that long, we were quiet for a good 20-30 minutes. Another funny thing that happened is eliana was sick of us being quiet, and so she kept yelling at her sister MIMI....YOU CAN TALK!!! JUST TALK!!! it was just the funniest, she did not like the quiet. it was super funny!
We also had exchanges this weekend. Sister Larson went to Liberty for saturday, and sister Blackham came up to Chilli with me! It was a good exchange, we were super lucky because all week everyone we tried to visit was not home, but saturday EVERYONE we planned on visiting was home! it was wayyy nice! We didn't reach our goals or find anyone new to teach, but we got to talk with a lot of people we had been trying to talk with! so that was way good!
Yesterday didn't have much happen but still good stuff to talk about. First we went to go see jessica who we have been trying to teach. We see her, and she has a ton of family over, and there is always drama going on in her life. But we sit down and talk. We get to talk about the book of mormon, and we go to get jessica another one, and brought one in for her gma and neice. Well as we bring it in, her roomate asked for one, so we gave her one too! so now we have 2 really great potentials to teach hopefully this week, we plan on seeing them tuesday morning, and really pray that they both become new investigators. They are ready to listen and learn, there is just always choas going on, so its hard to teach! But we are going to make it happen!
Also we had dinner with the Deardeuffs. Well last time we were there we found out about this game they like to play, they take clothing line clips, and clip them on the back of people without them knowing so they walk around with them on. This started at girls camp i guess, and the family just continues it. Well they clipped sister larson last time we had dinner and this time they got ME!! i went to the bathroom and i turned around and saw in the mirror i had a clip on my cardigan!! They totally got me!! so the game went on the rest of dinner. but i finally got someone! right as we were leaving i clipped thier daughter who brought the idea home from girls camp! hahah! its way fun. So now our goal is to get them back at church on sunday, clip them and write on the clips happy fathers day! hahaha! Its going to be great!!! haha. good times!! LOVE IT!
Well thats all i got for this week. Its been a good week, had its struggles as every week does. But i have grown and learned from them! i am thankful for learning and growing, i am thankful i get to serve my Heavenly Father and be in this situation of complete growth, and service, and charity, all sorts of good stuff!!! I love it!!! I love you all!!!
Sister Barnum.