Tuesday, January 31, 2012

E-Mail #25

E-Mail #25
November 28th, 2011

Hello everyone!!
I hope you all had a great thanksgiving week. I know i didn't send an email last week.....it wasn't the prettiest week for me. But all is well and time to toughen up and MOVE ON. So this week i have quite the update....for the last two weeks. So we had interviews before we went out to Great Bend and Hays. It was great to see President Keyes and his Wife. They are so great. And because there were only 6 of us that were getting interviewed we got to spend a longer time talking to him, which was SO GREAT!!! We talked about our investigators, and how things are going. I asked him to keep me in Junction City at least one more transfer, i want to be here for Christmas. He made a note of it. Reminded me that its still the Lord that makes those calls, but to an extent he can make accommodations. I hope with all my heart i stay here. The day i leave junction city, will be a sad day, i know i will cry A TON!!!! This place and these families have become home for me. I love them all so much! After interviews we were off to Great Bend. It was about a 3 hour drive. PARTY PARTY......to church music. lol. But it was fun to be in great bend and to be with the sisters there for a day. My crazy companion wanted to get up early and go ride bikes.....when it was like 20 degrees outside. I went with her, i bundled up and just walked around outside while she rode around the neighborhood. She is so funny. I was freezing. It was fun to spend girl time with the sisters out there, we never get to talk to them like i wish, so it was fun to be with them. The next day we went to Hays Kansas. And spent Friday with the sisters out there. Although most of that day we spent in the car.....7 hours in the car to be exact. We went to their district meeting which was a 2 hour car ride away. Had district meeting with them, went to lunch with them. and then went back to hays, and then we had to drive home. So yep....7 hours in the car!!! The place we had lunch was at a members home who has the missionaries over every district meeting for lunch, and she makes a FEAST!! it was so good!!! We got to spend time with some of the senior missionaries who are in their district, and that was fun to. I'll attach a picture of one of them. Cause he reminds me SO MUCH of grandpa!!! it was crazy, he looks like grandpa (except his hair is shorter) their car even smelt like grandma and grandpa's and he has the same sense of humor as grandpa! it was great, it took everything in me not to give him a big hug like i would if i saw grandpa today. He is so great! they are great missionaries too. So moving on to the week of thanksgiving!!!! Well Wednesday, i got sick!!! what a way to start the holiday huh?! Yea, we went to an appointment and afterward i did not feel good, i didn't feel good before either, but after i wanted to die, so we went back to the apartment and i slept for like 3 hours, it was GREAT!! A very lazy day, i get nervous that i should have been out working, but it was so nice to relax and just try and feel better. Which worked because thanksgiving i did feel better! So thanksgiving was fun, we went out around 2, to our first dinner appointment, and we ate the sister fords home. She is an AMAZING COOK!!!! I mean...AHHHMAZING!!! So we ate....A TON!!! which wasn't a good idea considering we had 4 more dinner appointments to go to, but we couldn't help ourselves. I want to re-live that meal again it was so good! They had a total of 10 pies, about 5 different options of pies! It was CRAZY GOOD! I ate the mixed berry pie, it was AMAZING! I think I'm using that word too much, but what else can i say...it was goooood. After that dinner we went to the church, where people who didn't have anywhere to go got together to have thanksgiving. Unfortunately.....and yet fortunately they were done. We were so full we couldn't have eaten anything even if we wanted to....but it was a bummer not to see some of the people that were there. But i did see my cousin, sister tibbals....and she gave me a hug from my family. THANKS FAMILY!!!! i sure was missing you guys, when she hugged me it took everything in me not to start crying, and tell her to call you guys right then! lol. But i was a big girl, so no worries. We then went to the Capron family, who if I'm still here for Christmas we will spend Christmas with! They are such a great family, super funny, Brother capron reminds me a TON of randy, so i feel very at home around them. I had another slice of pie at their home. which was again....super goood! We hung out with them for a little bit, they entertained us, by pulling pranks on their kids, and just being the capron family! they are awesome! After that we went to Char (the most amazing investigator EVER) and met some of her family, and played with her boys a little bit. She gave us a WHOLE apple pie to take home and eat! lolginerale to drink because i thought my stomach was going to fall apart. I felt like death...from all the food. But we did discover the Thanksgiving movie to watch was harry potter because everywhere we went, they were watching harry potter. So I'm sure there are some of you reading this that did the same! haha. Oh and i have to tell you a fun part about thanksgiving, so before all the meals even started, our zone leaders were coming to our apartment to get some papers they needed us to fill out. So before they got there we had this idea to pull a prank on them....it was GENIUS!! We went to our Asian neighbor and asked him if we could put our picture of Jesus on his door, and when the elders answered the door if he would mess with them. He was excited he said that he was going to speak in Korean and be angry....haha. We were SO EXCITED!!! So we went upstairs with our camera's to hide and to video tape what was about to happen.....so the elders come inside, we and the floor above them, waiting for them to ring the door bell and to have Jo answer and yell at them in Korean....and all of the sudden....ELDER COX peeked around the stairs and saw us upstairs!!! WE SCREAM and were like DANG IT!!!! we almost got you guys!!! they came upstairs and were laughing at us....elder cox told us he has deaf eyes....he saw us through the balcony window!! HAHAH!!!! It would have been so great if the prank actually worked.....either way it was pretty funny though. So now moving on to Friday....Friday....what an eventful day. I didn't feel good Friday....was sick....again...and we got a call from the sisters in Manhattan and they were sick too! but they had appointments they needed to go to. So we went down to Manhattan, and i stayed in the apartment with one of the other sisters while sister fie'eiki went out with the other sister to their appointments. It was sad. The zone leaders came by and were shocked to see us all there...and all sick, they thought we were going to die, they called us like 3 times the next day to make sure we were alright. haha. They are so nice to care! Now on to Saturday, we went with the ward to do the big service project that the first presidency asked all wards to do. We went to several different places of elderly people and helped them out. We went to one of our ward members elder Williams. I clean his fridge out, wiped down all the shelves and all that. and we clean all sorts of stuff. made his apartment look good. He is such a cute old man, he loves to hit on us missionaries, he proposed to sister dent every time we saw him when she was here, and he just loves to flirt with me and sister fie'eiki. it was funny. He is great! Love adorable old men. Also after thanksgiving the city turned on their Christmas lights. We live next to the main park in junction and its all pretty with Christmas lights EVERYWHERE. we are going to go get pictures this week there with all the Christmas lights so we can put them on our Christmas cards. But before they turned on the lights. actually thanksgiving morning because we were sick on being in the apartment, so we went over to the park and did a photo shoot, I'll have to attach some of those pictures too! lots of pictures this week, hope you enjoy them! Now an update on investigators!!! We had a baptism this weekend, it wasn't in junction city, our investigator went to Iowa to be baptized, but he got baptized, we were super excited for him. His wife is a member and her family baptized him. So that was great. We are so excited for them, and they are expecting their first baby in January, so that is super fun! they will be great parents. And the GREAT CHAR...and family found out that her husband is expected to be home the week of Christmas.....which before it wasn't until the middle of January....which means she and he boys will be getting baptized soon!!! we are SOOO EXCITED!!! and then a year from that....and from her husbands future baptism i will be back out here to see them sealed in the temple! Although it will most likely be in south Carolina, because they are getting moved to another army station. :( but that's okay, i will go anywhere to see that family in the temple. They are a part of my family now! and then time for the BIG....the GREAT....the AMAZING MIRACLE!!!! okay me and sister fie'eiki decided to call this a 'preach my gospel miracle' WHY....because in preach my gospel they have these great missionary stories....that are amazing....but they rarely happen like that. BUT WE HAVE ONE!!!! PREACH MY GOSPEL WORTHY!!! Last p-day the Gavin's a member in our ward called us and told us she wanted us to bring her a book of Mormon to her work, she has a really good friend that she wants to give one too, and she has a really good feeling about this friend. So we take it to her and go about the rest of our p-day and week. YESTERDAY this friend comes to church with the Gavin's, her name is Donna. She tells us in the lobby that she has been reading the book of Mormon and is really enjoying it. She attended all of church, after relief society, she came and tracked us down and was like, i want more....i need a book that talks about your history, i want to read this stuff, i learn more when i read, can you give me some stuff. So we gave her a pamplet that talks about how the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored, and she didn't have a bible so we went and got her one of those too. And off she went. as she was walking away with the bible she was like, I'll start reading this today. We are thinking....man, that's awesome...GO FOR IT!! Well....it gets better. Later that evening we call sister Gavin to find out where her son lives because we were going to go visit him. But she starts telling us how she just left Donna's and tells us what happened when she was there. She was talking to her about how every time she reads the book of Mormon and prays about it she feels so warm inside and so great. and at church she felt so comfortable and so welcomed and so great! She just goes on and on telling us how she feels so warm.....and then tells sister Gavin that she wants to be baptized!!!! BAPTIZED!!!!! (let me remind you we haven't even HAD a teaching appointment with her yet) So she asks sister Gavin how that works, sister Gavin answers her questions, and she want to know who has to baptize her. Sister Gavin tells her it can be any guy in the church who has the priesthood, and that her husband could baptize her if she wanted, so Donna gets her phone and calls brother Gavin and ASKS him to BAPTIZE HER!!!! I KNOW!!!! are you freaking out yet as much as me and sister fie'eiki were last night!!!??? Anyways, so we are going to go join the Gavin's and Donna for FHE tonight, and we are going to teach her tomorrow. and hopefully we can have her baptized next Sunday after church. We will see how that goes, if not next Sunday it will be the Saturday after that! We WERE SCREAMING!!!! we were so excited!! THAT'S why we call it a preach my gospel miracle.....because when does that even happen!!!??! it was soo cool and we are sooo excited. The funny part is earlier that week we were reading in preach my gospel and read one of the stories they have in there and both of us thought, that never happens, i mean it does happen, but that does not happen to every missionary. We both thought this separately. and both thought man that would be nice to have that happen and to witness it. and WE DID!!!!! I mean even if worse case scenario...Donna doesn't get baptized, or whatever....which wont happen, but even if it did, HF showed us a miracle and taught us to have faith that those things CAN HAPPEN!!!!! I KNOW....SO GREAT!!! So this week is going to be goooood!!! we are super excited. Its going to be a December of BAPTISMS!!!!! that's what a missionary likes to see! :) and so does Jesus....just sayin (solo diego).....oh, and HF of course. :)
So there is your super super super long update. For those of you that read the whole thing i hope you enjoyed it. Lastly I'll tell you something me and sister fie'eiki have been doing. Because its an army post....everyone has NICE cars, because they don't really have permanent houses...so they buy nice cars, and there are SO MANY CHARGERS....so sister fie'eiki has been keeping count of every charger she sees, its like in the 50's and it hasn't even been a week of doing that. Well on Saturday i started counting mustangs, cause i noticed there were a TON of those too, so its been 2 days-ish. and I've already counted 29.....HOLY MACK....i know....army people, they all buy the same cars, i mean, they all have different paint jobs and rims, but they all are the same! funny funny! we'll see what the count is at by next week. haha.
Well i hope you all have a great week and i am so excited Christmas is less than a month away, i get to talk to my family!!! WOOHOO!!!! Oh and i haven't gotten mail in a week and a half. maybe someone should WRITE ME....SOLO DIGO!!!
ohhh, and last night we set up our Christmas tree in our apartment, and when i say we, i mean me....sister fie'eiki just sat on the couch and watched. lol. and the picture will show you how missionaries decorate tree's. HAHA!
Love you!
Sister Barnum.

E-Mail #24

E-Mail #24
November 14th, 2011
Hello family and friends!
I hope you all had another great week. I had a pretty good week myself. Last week i forgot to tell you all that i shared my testimony in Spanish in our Spanish branch. I used sister dent's books before she left and wrote down my testimony in Spanish, and then last week in testimony meeting i shared my testimony. It was super fun, even though I'm sure i sounded WHITE....but that's okay, i am! Last p-day me and sister fie'eiki got our hair cut. I cut mine back to shoulder length. Which is nice, because now i actually feel motivated to do my hair and look pretty, rather than just pull it back, like i usually do everyday!! This week we didn't have as big of an investigator finding week, but its been a great week because we followed up on all the people we met last week and committed 3 of them for a baptismal date, and 2 others are praying about being baptized. So even though we didn't find people it was still a GREAT WEEK!!!! It was so fun to challenge so many people for baptism. Man i haven't done that nearly as much as i should as a missionary. But it is even better when you know the spirit is saying they are so ready for baptism INVITE THEM!! Sister Fie'eiki and i worked really well together when it came to doing that. One of us would testify and then the other would invite them for baptism. It is so great to know that what we are doing is giving others the opportunity to take the first step to eternal life with their father in heaven. We are not just crazy Mormons who like to convert people, or tell people they need to be baptized.....we are letting others have that opportunity today on this earth to enjoy the spirit and to prepare to return with god!! WOOHOO!! missionary work rocks! lol. wow....way to much excitement, i know. Another surprising thing this last week. IT SNOWED!!!! IT SNOWED!!!! HOLY DANG IT SNOWED!!!! yea.....and it stuck, but it was melted by the next day. So everyone we saw after that was like talking to me about winter stuff and how I'm from southern Utah and we don't have winters there, not like Kansas anyways. And i had to inform many people our winters are a lot like what we saw the other day, snow, its sticks, it melts by the next day. and every person i said that too LAUGHED and said....oh its just the beginning, JUST WAIT!!! So here goes nothing, winter is coming if i like it or NOT!!! Its okay though, i like winters, I'm not sure how much i will like WORKING in the winter, but i like winter. Lots of HOT CHOCOLATE! This week ahead of us is going to be one eventful week. We have p-day today, district meeting tomorrow, interviews Wednesday with our mission president, Wednesday afternoon we are traveling to GREAT BEND KANSAS, and will work with the sisters out there for a day, then we will travel to HAYS KANSAS and work with the sisters there for a day, and then be back to junction city by Saturday. So this week is going to FLY BY!!! We are calling ourselves KANSAS TRAVELERS. Because this transfer we will also drive out to Lawrence and do exchanges out there to. So we are all over the place. But it will be a BLAST! ROAD TRIP! This week we saw the wonderful and amazing Flippo family. I cant remember if I've talked about them as much as i should. But we have been teaching Char for a while now, and she is going to get baptized when her husband returns from deployment and we are teaching her boys and they are basically the most amazing family EVER. I love char with all of my heart, and her boys are so DARN CUTE!! they come to every activity, make it to church every Sunday. No question asked, they are great! I am so thankful that i met this family, and i will be friends with them my entire life. I feel like i am in junction so that i can teach her! I hope that i stay here until January so i can see her baptism and it will be great! I love meeting people, teaching people and knowing you will be friends with them for the rest of your life!! The flippo's are AMAZING!! HANDS DOWN! :) Saturday we had a Spanish branch party for thanksgiving, and it was a blast. We were there from like 5 to 9 and we had so much fun. I love the Spanish branch, they are such spicy and fun people to be around, they love to tease us because we cant speak Spanish, but hey, we are learning little things and it is fun! We took some pictures and were having fun. I'll have to attach one of those pictures for you guys. We also yesterday taught one of our Spanish investigators. We haven't really been able to teach him, but finally someone from the Spanish branch came, and he taught him all the stuff because he is the only one that could speak Spanish, but we are excited because you could totally feel the spirit, and know he was feeling it too! next week we are going to teach and our team up with translate, and we are going to invite for baptism, because he is so ready for that! Its been such a great week, I am so excited for all the people we are teaching. OH SHANIQUA i need to tell you all about SHANIQUAshaniqua well guess what....WE ARE TEACHING A GIRL NAMED SHANIQUA!!! I told her we are twins. She is hysterical. We took her to a baptism in Manhattan, she is preparing to be baptized in December, she went to church yesterday, she is great!!! I LOVE HER!!! So man, i am going to need to attach lots of pictures today for you all to see who i am talking about, and what i am talking about and all sorts of good things. This week when i see president keyes i am going to ask him to keep me here for Christmas. And we already have a family that claimed us for Christmas dinner, i asked if they have Skype and if i could use it to talk to my family, and i warned them that there would be tears, they said that it is totally fine if i cry, as long as my family is okay with hearing them yell at me and say 'suck it up sister!!!' HAHAH. They are a great family, i am excited to spend Christmas with them!! I hope the lord is in agreeance with that! lol.
Well i don't know what else to add. I hope you are all doing good. I miss you all. Talk to you next week and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! (a week early) lol.
oh wait, i have to tell you this really cute story about this kid we met at the branch party. Sooo, this non-member family came, and they are SO CUTE. A mom and her 4 children, faith, hope, Thomas, and john. They are all SO CUTE! i should have got a picture with all of them, but hopefully i see them again. Well i will because we are going to talk to their mom and answer some questions she has, but we invited her to church and she came and her children came, and she said she was just going to stay the first hour, but she stayed both hours. and so we were in primary and this adorable kid Thomas, who is in the picture, with blue hair. we are giving out treats for them being good, and they ask him if he wants some, and he said 'no, I'm on a diet'......'i have a cavity' HAHAH!!! ISN'T THAT THEEEE CUTEST THING EVER?!?! We were all giggling, he is so cute, the day before at the party i asked him to be my best friend, and of course he said YES, then we asked him if he would help guard the food on the table until it was time to eat, because people kept grabbing snacks....it was sooo funny, he took that job SO SERIOUS, any time a kid was close to the table he was all up in their space, it was hysterical. He is super cute, and so is his sisters and brother. Anyways. that's all for now!

Love you all!

E-Mail #23

E-Mail #23
November 7th, 2011

Hello everyone....man do i have an amazing week to report on!!!
So lets start off with the big and GREAT NEWS!!!!
8 new investigators this week!!!!!!
HOLY DANG!!! check us missionaries out here in junction city, totally ROCKING IT!!! Although I'm not going to lie we could have done a little better than 8, but still 8 is PRETTY DARN GOOD!!! Its been amazing to see how the lord works and to be a part of his work! i just LOVE IT!!! So now I'll rewind back to last week. So Monday which was Halloween was such a party. We went to Manhattan around 2 and we were there until 830 that night! because on Halloween we are not allowed to go out and work, so we all had a party with lots of food and a desert competition in Manhattan and had lots of fun! it was great! Tuesday was good, we for some dumb reason forgot to put a back-ups for our appointments on Tuesday, but we were soooo blessed because EVERY appointment went through without a problem. we went from one appointment to another the entire day! super blessed!!! Wednesday was a GREAT day, we got 3 of our 8 new investigators on Wednesday. We had decided about a week ago that we were going to set apart 1 hour a day to find, which mainly means we are going to pray to find out where we need to go tracting and GO AT IT!!! Wednesday was super cold, but we bundled up and went tracting anyways, some people thought we were crazy to be out in the cold, but we didn't mind we were sharing the gospel. We met 3 really great people and are looking forward to following up with them and seeing how they are doing and seeing if they kept the commitments we left them with. But i have to tell you about a great tracting experience. so that day we are out and about and we knocked on a door of a really nice decorated house, super friendly looking right. The lady opens the door and she is in this really nice coat and everything, so we start talking to her, and as soon as i said our church name, she rolled her eyes and started to close the door. Quickly sister fie'eiki said do you know anyone that would be interested in what we have to share, and the lady turned around and said 'JESUS....Jesus would be interested in what you are saying' HAHAHA!!!! we were laughing pretty hard. So we are going to share our message with Jesus one day and see what he has to say about it. Nothing much happened on Thursday....but on Friday....wow WHAT A DAY!!! We got 5 new investigators that day!!! IT WAS GREAT!!!!! One was one that we didn't expect to even happen. Every Friday we go to a members home for lunch and she makes us this amazing meal every time. Well it was her birthday, yep her birthday and she was cooking for us, she is amazing, so then she invited her friend over, and as we were talking about the church her friend became very interested, so we kept talking and then have an appointment with her this week! ITS GOING TO BE GREAT!!! Then we met another great person tracting, she is 17 and super spicy and fun, and has SO MUCH FAITH it is SOO COOL!!! We also gave a guy a church tour, a guy that we tracted into a couple weeks ago, and he is super nice and the spirit was super strong when we were talking with him, and i am super excited to teach him more! Then lastly we taught a couple that learned about the church before but never got baptized, and they are still amazing and still great, and we are looking forward to teaching them more and helping them feel the importance of baptism!! It was such a great day! This week we are going to do our best to commit people to baptism, we do really great at teaching and testifying to them, but if we teach and testify, then we need them to understand baptism is where it is at!! its the first step to all the happiness and blessings, and EVERYTHING! so we are going to make sure we commit people! The weekend was kinda dull, but still good. But yes, that was our amazing week!!! We are soooo thankful for the time we are able to spend each day doing the lords work. It is so amazing. I think of how my personal study has changed, i am learning SO MUCH about the book of Mormon that it is AMAZING!! I'm trying to work my way through the bible and understand and read all those stories we hear growing up. Its so great to do this everyday. I am very blessed to do the lords work, and its not easy, i struggle every day. Its the hardest thing i have ever had to do. I have never felt so depressed and yet so blessed at the same time. Its weird how it works, but it does and its the lords work! I am just so happy that i am the lucky one who gets to witness the lords work first hand, see everything he does....because I'm not really doing much, he is!! and its so cool to see him prepare ZION!!! ZION!!!!! yep....that's right, i am helping the lord prepare ZION!!!! HOW COOL IS THAT?!!?
Anyways. I love you all!
Happy week!
Sister Barnum