Monday, July 16, 2012

E-Mail #57 Missionary Work...What else

E-Mail #57
July 16th, 2012
Hello everyone!!!
I hope you all are doing well! I hope my fam was able to move safely to Springville. I cant believe its official that we are all moved and i wont be home in hurricane anymore. But it will be good, i got charity, and Tiffany up there...and others too! built in friends in a new place....not a bad thing at all! :) Well i totally meant to email last week about my first day here. We went to eat out at the local Mexican restaurant....i call its el keepin it real....its really called el camino real....haha. Well as we are walking in, the headline on the newspaper stand is woman in wellington kills her father....yep....thats the area for you! CRAZY!! haha. We were laughing pretty hard when we saw that. Oh and then we were driving around, and we past the local...or one of the local baptist church and their marquee sign says.... 'you think it is hot now?'............haha, what the?!!? are they condemning us via marquee sign?! I prefer to use the scriptures for that kind of stuff, but we all have our own choices. lol.
Well this week has been good. We were able to meet some more with those that we are preparing for baptism. Eric, Rae and Tiffany. They are all so great. I am super excited for a birthday baptism! WAY LUCKY!! haha. We took Eric to the visitors center this last week. Oh man it was such a spiritual experience for him. He really is growing and learning it is true, despite different struggles he has, he is amazing. He has been listening to the book of Mormon on cd, and he wants to finish it before his baptism! So he has already gone through 3 cds, last i knew of, and he said he wanted to get through them faster and go through like 2 cds a day! He is way cool, and his family isn't really supportive, but he is just so strong! I know he will feel ready to get baptized when august 4th comes! We also were teaching Tiffany, this girl is HYSTERICAL!! She was talking about how she feels a part of the church already, but baptism....and she used an analogy, that baptism would be like making a relationship facebook official!! We were laughing so hard, so she said after her baptism she is going to put on facebook that she is in a relationship with Jesus! HAHAHA! This girl is super funny, we think it would be even more funny if her baptism program looked like the facebook format. all sorts of ideas! We also taught Rae again a couple times this week. Oh man i just LOVE HER!!! she is down right amazing. She has such a strong testimony already. She has been prepared for this day to accept the gospel for so long, and it is just the coolest thing to be a part of, and too see how she is just ready to dive in, to be a part of this. Every time we teach her the spirit is so strong, and i just love it!!
We are also teaching a guy names Bryan who is preparing for baptism the day before his birthday, he wants to start the last half of his life right. He has such a strong testimony also. He has been working on giving up coffee, so we had him get a blessing to help. Oh man, his blessing was so powerful, he really really is ready for the church, and HF has so much love and trust in him, and who he is, and who he will become. He was told he would have many leadership callings in the church, and that through his faith he can help others. It was just way cool. I am excited for that baptism as well!

We also had a mini missionary this weekend. A girl from a close by stake that wanted to come be with the missionaries for the weekend. So she came Friday morning and went home last night. She was super quiet, but way awesome. She is int he pictures. He name is Mary Ann. She was fun to have around. We will have another mini missionary the weekend of my birthday, so that will be fun also. Oh birthday....i don't need candy....or presents....maybe just a LETTER.....from EVERYONE!!!!

get it?
got it?

hee hee. Man oh man. I sure do love you all at home. I have enjoyed all the pictures of my families new home. It will be exciting to go home there. This last week, and since being here i feel like my relationship with my Father in Heaven has grown soooo much! When there are changes in our lives we either just go through it, or turn to our father for his help and guidance. I have turned to him for help. So much help. And every night as i pray i can feel his love and his awareness of me just take over! I love that feeling. I love talking with my Father. I have come to look forward to that end of the day prayer....for that time to bond with him, and talk about the day. To ask for help, and guidance. Man. I just am so thankful for the chance and opportunity and time we can take to pray. I am thankful for a loving Father who watches over me so carefully. Who cares for me, and protects me. Its been great. I hope that you all have a wonderful week! I sure do love you!

The pictures are of us with our mini missionary, and the little girls are 3 of the bishops family, which they have 10 kids!! yep..........10. These little girls are so adorable. Ones name is Mary, Sariah, Mirriam. They are just super adorable. I couldn't help but get pictures with them.

I love you all!!

Sister Barnum

E-Mail #56 Welcome to Odessa Missouri

E-Mail #56
July 9th, 2012
Hello all!
My new area is Odessa Missouri....yep....3rd area....and still in the middle of no-where. haha. Guess that's just how I'm meant to serve, in abandoned places. haha. My new companion is Sister Park. She is really great and we have a TON in common. She has her degree in social work, we like the same things...we get a long pretty well. So that's way nice.
Leaving Chilli last week was pretty sad, and tough. I hate having to leave those people that we have grown to love so much, just like leaving Junction City, you become so at home with everyone that you are around that it just stinks to leave. Although its kinda weird to think that this very possibly could be my last area. Considering the fact that i have been in area's for a minimum of 6 months, and i have less than that left. I doubt i stay here until the end, but you never know. So who knows what will happen. We had a fun Fourth of July. We had a BBQ with some members in Chilli for our last night. It was a blast to spend some time laughing and eating with them. Oh and last week we had our doughnut burgers!! and guess what...THEY ARE AMAZING!!! We are totally making those when i go home so everyone can witness how great they are! Its surprisingly great!
Honestly not much has happened the last week or so. I got transferred out here, and President Keyeys surprisingly didn't harass me about my luggage which was wayyy nice. OH but he did tell me that they will give me the title to the truck when i go home...haha. Because they closed chilli they had to decide where to send the truck, so what did they do....they sent it with me to chilli. President said if you can take a truck from one area it just becomes your truck, and claimed it as mine. haha. I APPROVE!!
So the sad part is that S. Park has been super sick, and the nurse told her to stay home as much as possible this weekend. So my first weekend in Odessa has consisted of being HOME! haha. Which is fine because transferring is the most exhausting thing, so i got to luckily take lots of naps myself. Even though we were told to rest we still went to a couple appointments and its been awesome! We have been lucky enough that just in this weekend to commit 2 people to baptism and both of them accepted! and BOTH were at church on Sunday!!
It was actually way cool. One of them we committed to be baptized yesterday. She has come to church for 2 Sundays now, and the first time she got taught was yesterday. She has been really good friends with a member down here, and has slowly been learning a lot about the church. She has been so spiritually prepared to receive the church. It reminds me a lot of Char, who just had so many things happen in her life to prepare her for the day to accept the church and go for it! She cried a couple times during the lesson, as we talked about Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ, and the spirit was so strong. We invited her to be baptized on July 28th and she accepted whole heartily!! I am so excited for her! She is such a strong person, and just excited to be a part of the church. So i am way excited to see her progress and help her continue to learn. I just got here, but the work here is awesome and i am way excited to give my part in the work. I don't really have much else to share, i know that sounds lame. But its true. Here is my new address.
319 S 4th St.
Odessa MO 64076
Keep that address close, my birthday is coming soon you know. ;) haha.
I love you all!!
Sister Barnum


Monday, July 2, 2012

E-Mail #55 Transfers Week...Here Comes Changes...Like Em or Not

E-Mail #55
July 2nd, 2012
Hello all!!!!
Welcome area....birthdays!
Just a few of the things that are to come this month! This week is transfer week and i know that president Keyes is closing Chilli.... :( which is a total stinker considering the amazing steps that Shawna has made the last week. But i know her testimony is strong and she will be protected until that day missionaries can help her continue to progress!! We find out tomorrow what President Keyes is going to do with us....what area we are going to next, and who the new companions will be! I am hoping that i dont get sent to the middle of no-where again. Because so far my entire mission i have been in the middle of no-where and when i meet other missionaries they always ask me if i am new because they dont know me! LAME! I hate that. haha.
Well lets get to the best appointments that we have had allll weeeekk!! Well last monday evening we had our appointment with Shawna, and Momma Sperry came with us! It was such a goooood appointment. We talked about the chapter we left for her to read, she had questions and we answered them and helped her understand more. She talked about how she learns more and more everytime we come over and how its such a good thing. So after talking about different things for a while, i finally asked her, if she knows that the church is true, and without hesitation she said YES. I KNOW!!! isn't that just AWESOME?!!? Sis Sperry got teary eyed and just said wow. It was so cool, the spirit was so strong. You could just feel that Shawna had gained that testimony and understanding. We talked some more about baptism and about her praying about how she can be in good standings with God to be baptized. I know she is so in tune with the spirit that she will know what to do to be in that good standing with God so she can be baptized! It was such a great appointment!!!
Tuesday wasn't what we expected it to be. It was still good though. We went and saw a wonderful older lady that lives in a retirment home, it was her birthday so we brought her some sugar free candy to celebrate! She is just so funny! Then we went to see the wonderful Shelton family! They are doing good. Mary Lou is struggling with medical things right now, and we are trying to help her keep her head up. I know she will be alright, especially when mike gets the priesthood that we have been helping him work toward. He is worthy of it, he just need to meet with president coleman ( a story to be continued later in the email. )
We went and saw the 2 little girls we are teaching. It was fun, we taught the restoration to them again, with grandma present. So she got to learn what we have been teaching them. Then later this week we went to visit them again, and they were just grumpy and not listening so we left and said we would come back the next day. When we did they were in a better mood. Which was way good, and grandma and grandpa sat in on the lesson! Which was way nice to have their support. We told them that we were leaving this week. They were pretty bummed but something way awesome happened. The grandparents invited us over for lunch tuesday(tomorrow) he is going to make us doughnut burgers!!! have you ever had those?! NOT ME!!! i'm excited to give them a try though! I will take pictures and give you feedback next week on them! :)
We had our usual dinner with the Hamiltons on tuesday that went pretty good! It was a lot more relaxed, and comfortable. Its been so nice to get to know them and help them grow! they are just a wonderful family!!! We saw neal on wednesday and he is doing great. Continuing to make small but good steps. He is so wonderful and i know he is open to the spirit, he just has to keep learning at his pace, but the best thing is that he is finally realizing that he needs to put in effort and he is!!!
We also got to see Jennifer who moved to brookfield and came back. We saw them a couple times this week. But we had such a spiritual experience as we talked to them about the family. Saying prayers together and having family night. We shared with them the family proclomation! It was such a good visit. I know they are willing to listen, i'm not sure how ready they are to change. But i know our visits with them are taking them closer to that day they can fully accept the gospel!
Oh man, now i have to tell you about this spiritually crazy appointment this week. We went to visit a member who has just been struggling and struggling. She got ahold of anit matirial, and has started to question the book of mormon and the church. Just all sorts of stuff, not good. Well we go visit her, her son first off is all over the place and trying to start fights with us (verbally) and just being super frustrating, and a spirit SQUASHER! Well we talk with his mom and she tells us how well she has been doing and how she has read for 2 hours the last 4 days and she has been walking like 4 miles a day to get in shape, and all sorts of good stuff. Then she starts to teach us about the 12 tribes that she learned about in the bible. It was such a positive or s. larson did not feel good inside the whole time she was talking. Which was super confusing, because if a person is talking about the bible, you should feel the spirit. Well then it comes out that she has been reading a different version of the bible than what we use, King James Version. She told us how she cant understand the KJV, so we talked to her about the spirit and that the spirit is what helps us learn, and just the conversation took all sorts of twists and turns, and it just was the grossest feeling i had inside. I just felt gross and sad. Sad that she is not understanding what we are trying to tell her. Sad that she is questioning the book of mormon. Sad that this woman who was on FIRE a couple months ago, that me and s. larson wanted to find a way to get her to meet the prophet when he was here, was struggling SO MUCH....and did not have the spirit with her. All i could think is how Satan loves to imitate the spirit.....and that is what he was doing to her, and he is winning by confusing her!! S. Larson and i did all we could to help her understand and find out if the book of mormon is true, and how she can have questions answered. But she just wasn't listening. It was going in one ear and out the other. We both just wanted to cry after we left her home. Its just so sad to watch a child of lost, and your trying so hard to fight for her spirit to hear you, and to come back....and she just isn't....she isn't coming back. Its heart wrenching to see all of this happening!
Well to a extremely happy note now! Part two of the shelton story from above. We go and see them saturday. Well we knock on the door and come in and the chair we sit on are all set up in the living room for us to talk. Mike saw us pull up and went and got the chairs for us! sooo sweet! he is a good guy. Well we get to talking, and then follow up to see if mike got his follow up appoinment with president coleman about the priesthood. Because mike had to stop drinking coffee, and he did, so all he had to do was be interviewed to get the priesthood. Well both him and mary lou just kinda brushed it off and said they would talk with him tomorrow(sunday) and get an appiontment. We were like WHAT?! call him tonight and get the appointment. They just blew us off....were just like, okay...whatever. Well then comes sunday morning! We are sitting in church. President Coleman gets up to handle branch business and asks Mike Shelton to stand. I think my heart skipped a couple beats and jumped out of my chest as he said that Mike Shelton had been interviewed and found worthy to recieve the Aaronic Priesthood! Sister Larson and i started to just cry! We both had our mouths just wide open in shock and tears just took over! President Coleman looked over and saw the both of us crying, and got all choked up himself and talked about how its a wonderful thing when a man gets the priesthood, but even better when its a recent convert. Oh was just he coolest thing to see. As mike stood up to be sustained he was just GLOWING!!! GLOWING!!! It is an experience in my mission i will NEVER forget! We have been working SO HARD to help him understand how special the priesthood is, and how helpful it will be in his life! And there it was right there, a surprise to us!! he had been interviewed and was getting the priesthood!!!! Oh man, it was so great. So after church we got to be in the room when he was ordained. The spirit was so strong, and mike just kept glowing, he even was teary-eyed. Such a wonderful spiritual experience for our last sunday in Chilli!!!
Oh and Shawna came to church again yesterday. Her second week. She looked so cute too, she brought her 2 daughters and her daughters boyfriend came too, which was a surprise and way awesome. We saw her after church and were able to teach her daughter the restoration and shawna testified to her daughter about it being true...WAY COOL!! and her daughter said that she has seen such a difference in her mom since we have been talking with her, and other people that are around her mom have seen it also!! Man, the spirit is just so strong every time we are around her! She is so ready to be baptized, just a few hurdles to jump before! I know that the members, especially momma sperry will make sure she keeps coming to church and showing her some love! I am so thankful we got to teach her for the time we did. I am so grateful for the blessing it is to see someone we found, that doesn't already have members in the family gain a TRUE TESTIMONY!!! Someone we taught from bottom up, and she is so great! I just love that family and am so heartbroken that i wont be here to help her continue on, but her testimony is there!
Overall it was just a great week!! A great last week in Chilli!! I am going to miss this place a ton! Look forward to next week with the surprise of CHANGES!!!
Love you all so much! Thank you for always supporting me and praying for me. I am so thankful for family and friends that do so much for me! I know that serving a mission is the BEST thing i could have done with my life at this time. I know it is shaping me and molding me into the person i need to be for my Father in Heaven. Love you all!!
Sister Barnum