Wednesday, March 28, 2012

E-Mail #42

 E-Mail #42
March  26th, 2012

Hello everyone!
I hope you all had a good week. Its been a pretty good week this last week. It rained for like 5 days straight this last week. It was crazy, but kinda fun, it made our drive home lots of fun with the water over the bridge and the muddy hill. This week we visited one family like 4 different times. It was really interesting to be with them, but nice. We are teaching the daughter and mom, and the dad in a sense. This family is less-active, the daughters are not baptized, and the mother is working on coming back into the church, and the husband....well we are not really sure if he is wanting to come back to church or not. So that is still to be determined, but we will see what happens. Its really nice to see them make improvements. They have done everything we have asked and started to do family prayers and they are working on reading their scriptures together. Its really fun, actually yesterday in testimony meeting the little girl we are teaching got up to share her testimony, it was so sweet to see her do that. She was so touching and had everyone tearing up. She talked about how before her mom went to lots of Church's, and now her mom found this church and her mom is happy, and she is happy, and she likes this church. It was WAY CUTE! loved it! We also some some really great improvements in other members in the branch. There are two wonderful ladies who have started to do a weekly scripture study together. One of them got up to share her testimony yesterday and she was so happy, and so vibrant, and just excited to share the fact that she knows this is true, and she has seen it change her life. You can just look at her and know she really feels it. She grew up in such a hard life, and struggles with her kids, but she is so strong now, its just great! i love it! Another really cool thing happened this week. For a while a member of the branch has been telling us that she has a friend that wants to hear about the church, but we haven't been able to meet her. Well we finally met her and her friend/roommate. We were so excited, they were both so eager and ready to listen and learn, we are going over to their house tonight to teach them! i cant wait, it will be great. They both went to church yesterday and one of them....who is not a up and shared her testimony and how god has always taken care of her, and how thankful she is for the members that introduced her to the church. It was so cool, that's a first in my mission seeing a non-member get up and share their was way cool!
It was way fun this week we also had Pres. and Sister Keyes come up to Chillimo to have lunch with us. We went to this really good place, little hometown cafe, that was soooo goood! we loved it! I was thankful to get to spend some good time with them. They are so sweet, we went and showed them a little about chillicothe and then our church building. It was lots of fun to have time with them. They are such great spirits. And i love having them as our mission president and wife! We also found out some really really great news with his visit. He wrote to the mission office in salt lake and got us approved for 600 more miles a month!!! which is HUGE....because before we only had 900 miles a month, which is about 30 miles a day.....with our HUGE area, it just doesn't cut it! So we are super thankful and blessed to have those extra miles to be able to truly work our area completely!!! We also went on exchanges this week, which was fun. Sister Larson went to Liberty, and sister Bingham came to Chillicothe. It was fun to show her around the town, and have her meet some of our members and help with the work here. She has a really positive attitude. It was fun to be with her for a day! and you pretty much know all about our Sunday. It was such a touching Sunday to hear the people we have been working with share their testimony and see them grow so strong. I really love seeing this branch just grow and grow stronger. Its such a special experience. I am getting more and more excited for the temple open house, not this Friday, but next Friday kicks off our FIRST day working at the temple. Things are going to get all sorts of crazy busy...and so much FUN!!! I cant wait! It will be such a good experience. I cant wait to be a part of that. I am so thankful that our mission will have a temple, i really miss going to the temple, so i hope i can go soon when it s finally dedicated!!!
Well i really don't have that much to update you on other than that. I hope you are all doing well. Love you.
Sister Barnum.

E-Mail #41

 E-Mail #41
March 19th, 2012
Hello everyone!!!
Man do i have an eventful week to catch you up on! so much has happened i am so excited to tell you ALL about it! Well this week we had a mission conference, where half of the mission met together in Independence on Tuesday. The speaker at the mission conference was Elder Evans.....he is a general authority, he will be speaking in general conference, so you will all have to keep your eyes out for him and you'll know who was speaking to us. It was really cool, we all got to go through and shake his hand before he started speaking. I really loved that so many missionaries were together because i got to see a lot of missionaries i haven't seen in a while. That was a lot of fun. But it was even more fun to hear Elder Evan's inspired words he had to share with us. We spent 6 hours listening to him, of course with a lunch break in the middle. The first half of the conference, we talked about the scriptures he assigned us to read, which i was glad that i read them, because i would hate to be the one who said i didn't read them. So for the first half we talked a TON about desire! That is all we talked about actually. All about our desire, and how we maintain desire, and gain desire in things that we just wish would change. So forth. He is such an inspired speaker, and him and president keyes switched back and forth a lot, sharing great things with us. I really really enjoyed it! Then the second half we talked about finding! Which of course applies to ALL missionary work, especially us out here in Chillimo. One of the great things that he talked about that really stuck out to me was that we need to be finding those who will BUILD the kingdom. Not just those who will listen, or even those who will burden the ward/branch. But finding those who will help BUILD the kingdom. I really enjoyed what he had to say about that. Because it is very true. Our branch is super tiny, and it struggles at times, we can find people who will be more of a burden to the branch or we can pray harder and find harder to be led to those who will BUILD and STRENGTHEN the branch! So we have been praying a ton about that, and its been working out pretty well, we continue to find people who will listen, and those who will help build the branch! It was such a good thing to hear and listen to. It for sure helped me to feel motivated to work harder to find those that are ready! Wednesday we had a really cool experience, we were out trying to find some former investigators, two of them on the same street, well the one address the house numbers skipped RIGHT over, so we went to the other one just down the road. Well no one was home, but across the street were some ladies sitting out on the porch, so we went to ask them if they knew if anyone lived there. We got to talking to them, and realized that the one lady was the one we were looking for whose house number it jumped over, she had moved. So we spent a good 40 minutes talking to them, about their lives and their struggles. Both of their moms and in prison, and they both had children at a really young age, and so forth. It was so cool to spend time with them, and help them realize their faith and how they can help their children be better and so forth. I thought it was even MORE cool to know that HF wanted us to talk to her that day, that even at the wrong house the wrong address, and by chance she was there and outside. It was a real testimony builder to me. I love having experiences like that. I LOVE so much seeing how aware of us our heavenly father is. EACH OF US. He does so many little things to reach out to us, to show us he is there. To show us his love for us, and his care. I think of how many times i didn't realize that he was reaching out to me, showing me he was there. I challenge each of you, especially if you are struggling with something right now, which we all are.....with something....always. To really realize that heavenly father is aware of you, he is reaching out to you somehow. Take a minute i bet you can think of something he did to show you he was aware of you, and knows how you are feeling right now! Another great and special moment on Wednesday was at night. We came home and since Momma and Papa Sperry were in Hawaii they had different people staying in the house to take care of Nathan. Well one of the people is Teressa, and she comes in every morning of the weekdays to take care of Nathan. Well she had had a really bad day, her son is going to prison for some really really ridiculous and stupid things that he didn't do, but they are still pinning it on him. So forth. Well we come home and she is telling us alllllsoccer with them, and red rover with them, and it was just such a blast, i truly love that family so much! Man....i keep talking about how much i love the people in chillicothe.....does that mean i love this place.....i think so.....YEP....CHILLICOTHE ROCKS!!! hahaaha.............................weird. Anyways it was a lot of fun. That same family we went to go see yesterday evening, and she was telling us how she was just trying to get the motivation to cook dinner, we volunteered to cook it for her, and she said no, because she has to do her dishes still, so we went in the kitchen and did her dishes! of course her daughters were right there helping us. They are so fun. One of their daughters, who i need to get a picture with, is Aubrey, i call her my friend and she calls me her friend. She is so cute, she always has her arm around my waist, and we just play together. On Saturday, we were goofing off and she was trying to knock me down, but couldn't so i taught her how to knock people down, to push them and then put your foot behind them and trip them. So i let her do it to me a few times. She was laughing pretty hard. It was super funny, of course i told her she cant do that to her siblings because her mom wont like that! hahaha. Its been a really great week. Now i have to get to some of the big and GREAT NEWS!!!
We found out what days i am working at the temple open house. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12-5....COOL!!!! i am so excited, but wait, it gets better. We ALSO at our mission conference got very pretty Kansas City Temple pins that we get to wear from now until the temple open house is over! our mission presidents wife bought them with her own money for all of us, before they even came out to the mission! They are so cute, we get to keep them forever! i love it! oh and wait, it gets BETTER!!! WE ALSO found out that the BIG cultural event that they will have the day before the temple dedication, i mean its a HUGE event, the prophet, and whatever other apostles and general authorities with be there. The youth of like 14 stakes have been prepping and practicing for all the dancing and performing....oh no, it gets better, the missionaries of the Missouri independence mission will be in the cultural event, we will be led in by President and Sister Keyes, and we will all be singing the primary song army of helamen!!!! SO COOL!!!! i know right?!!? I really am so excited, i mean other than being in the Mormon tab. choir, which i wont ever be, i don't know when i will ever get to sing in front of the prophet, with a gazillion other people, but who cares, i will be there, and i know i will be there, and now you all know that i will be there!!! WOOHOO!! :)
Yep, so i am pretty excited, the month of April is just going to fly with the temple open house, and then may will be here and the prophet, and just amazing things will be happening! I LOVE IT!!!!!
Oh and the pictures i sent today, well of us and our awesome truck! LOVE IT, and the proof the SPRING IS HERE!!! and i got a really cute package this week, but the best part was the letter from my lil bro!!
Well I think that is all i got for now. I want you all to know that i love you lots. And i am so thankful that i am a missionary in this mission today. I know that Heavenly Father needed me here now, and that it was his timing as i do his work! I love it! i love being here! I hope you all continue to grow closer to your father in heaven, i know he is aware of you, he knows you and he knows your needs, sometimes he just waits for us to realize that we need him before he helps us. He is always there, turn to him, he will help. I have realized that over and over again as i have served here in chillimo, its true, he is there, just waiting for us to trust in his help! SO TRUST HIM!!!
Here are some quotes for you
The Light of Jesus Christ is stronger than any darkness we face in this life, IF we have faith in him, seek after him, and obey him!
As we love Christ, have faith in him, desire to be like him, and follow him. HE will CHANGE us, PERFECT us, and ultimately BRING US HOME!!
Sister Brooke Barnum.


E-Mail #40

 E-Mail #40
March 12th, 2012
Helllllooo everyone!!!
I hope you all had a really great week. Mine has not been that bad. Well if i wanted to look at it like that i could say it was bad, but i don't want to look at it like that! But i will fill you all in on the drama that went down last week! Well Monday was super weird. One of the couples we have been teaching has had some tough times and have not made the best choices as parents and ended up that they had their children taken away from them. Which was super heartbreaking, because they are great parents, just made some wrong choices that equaled bad consequences. So we lost 2 investigators that way, because we can not get involved in legal things like that, and they want us to stand their side for the court cases, which we can not do. So that was a tough thing. We also met our local EX-mayor, who USE to be Mormon, It was a very interesting conversation with him. It was a super interesting Monday in general. But Tuesday was the same. We had another appointment with one of our investigators at the crazy house, that didn't go to well, he just wasn't willing to listen, or to learn more. So it was a rough appointment, and every time we go into that place people come out of the wood works and say they are members, and they want to come back to church, and other people say they want to come to our church, its just a overwhelming place. But i have a really funny story for Tuesday, we saw one of our former investigators who we had a VERY spiritual experience with, and he has a seed planted DEEP in his heart, but he hasn't started coming to church yet because of different things. But he is still super nice to us, and likes seeing us. Well we were out and about and we saw him and pulled over and were talking to him, and while we were talking to him a BIRD POOPED ON HIS HEAD!!!! HAHAHA, we were laughing SO HARD!!! It was THE funniest thing ever! I was laughing so hard. I will never forget his face! I'm sure you can imagine what reaction a person would have when they discovered poop on their head! ahhahaha. SO funny! We had dinner with our regular Tuesday night family the HAMILTONS, they are so great. We found out that Sis. Hamilton hasn't ever seen the funny 'can i have your number' and other ones. So her daughter pulled them up and had her watch them and it was super funny, so now we have even more jokes to share with them when we have dinner every Tuesday. haha. she loved it! Wednesday was a miracle day!!! MIRACLE DAY!!!! First off our district leader, who is not a very motivated person, and does not seem to EVER act like he cares, actually started to ACT like he cares! It was the most productive district meeting we have had in 6 weeks! Me and sister Larson were super thankful for his change in attitude, it makes us feel like we actually want to be there, rather than we HAVE to be there. Also on our miracle day, because we had lost and were loosing so many investigators we decided to do some finding. We prayed about where we needed to go, and looked at the map and choose a place. Here is the story:
So we go to were we are going to go tracting as inspired by our father in heaven. We pull over and there is a girl outside walking her dog, super cute little girl. We sit in the truck, and then pray before we go tracting
Then between Thursday and Friday we lost about 4 more investigators. because they were not choosing to progress or to act on the things we are inviting them to do, so we had to just cut the cord, and ask them to let us know when they are ready to continue to learn and come to church. It was rough to let them go, especially since they still have so much potential, but i don't think heavenly father wants us to use our time on someone who wont be keeping commitments, when we could spend our time finding someone who is ready to keep those commitments! Oh yea and this last week our members we live with, brother and sister Sperry went off to Hawaii!!! We are super jealous, we asked them to take us, but they didn't. So its weird to have the house so empty, but its fun too. Saturday we decided to again go tracting in a inspired place that we felt we can find someone who will listen to us and what we have to share. We found a street and went to work. The first door we went to, we found someone who listened to what we had to say, and took a pamphlet, and was willing to let us come back in a week or so to see if she liked the pamphlet. Then we also met a mom with 3 girls, she is married, but we didn't meet her husband. She has super strong faith and thought about serving a mission for her church, which is different than ours, but still way cool. She was willing to listen to what we had to say, and we told her about the temple open house and she seems excited to go! So it will be fun to see what happens there. We also found 2 more investigators, we were looking for someone who had met the missionaries before, we go to her house, and it seems empty. Well we ask the neighbor who is outside if anyone lives there, and she tells us where they moved to. So we went to their new house and met the mom and her daughter. We talked a lot about their faith, and how it has helped them through hard times and what their relationship with god is like. They were very nice and open with us. We asked them if they wanted to have us come back to talk with them some more, and they were willing, so we are excited to see where that goes! Another blessing from heavenly father! Yesterday was my HUMP DAY!!! WOOHOOO!!! sister Larson made it all special. She wrote a note to me on the mirror, made me breakfast. Then our dinner was with the GREAT deardeuff family, and we get out there and they have this white board that they decorated and wrote a big congrats on your half way mark on was super cute, and of course they made my favorite dessert, as sister Larson asked them to without me knowing. Cheesecake, with yummy sliced up strawberries in sauce to top it off!!! SOOO GOOOOD!!! It was funny sister Larson was making the cheesecake a surprise, but Sarah deardeuff didn't know it was a surprise, and she walked by me in church and was like, HEY....we made you cheesecake for desert! hahaha, sister Larson was like...AAHHHH.....hahah, it was so funny! surprise ruined, but still super good!
Now of course i must end with a super funny story from this morning. Well we are preparing breakfast and getting ready for our studies and sister Larson starts laughing because this bird outside keeps flying up and into the window, over and over again. So we both watched it and were laughing super hard, it just kept flying up and into our window over and over again, for no reason at all! i got a video of it, but i don't think i can email video's i will try though. It did that for over a hour.....we were laughing so hard, it just kept flying into the window. Dumb bird, but great for our entertainment! I hope the video sends because you will LOVE IT!!!
Well family and friends, that's all i have for today. I cant believe i am half way through my mission now, it is super weird. I am so thankful for the things i have been able to learn and experience since being a missionary. My testimony of the church has changed so much, and has become so strong. I have come to realize that as i live the gospel to the best of my abilities that i am the happiest and the most at peace. I know this church is true, i know that our Heavenly Father is so aware of us, and loves us so much, not as a general population, but he knows every single one of us. I have felt his love and knowledge of me over and over again. I have really come to know that he does have a plan for me, and that he is with me every step of this life, and that we will lead me to the places i need to be as i continue to stay worthy of him and his direction. I am so thankful for him and his plan, i am thankful that i can trust what he has in store for me, and as i continue to have that trust through everything. All the hard times wont be as hard, all the struggles wont be discouraging. This week could have just been awful, but it wasn't. We were blessed, we were showed over and over again that our father in heaven loves us, and knows how hard missionary work is. He knows how to help us and strengthen we let him! I am thankful for my family, who raised me in this church, who always taught us to go to church, i might not have always been there in my heart or in spirit, but because i had that habit of going to church i was able to hear my father in heavens prompting to serve a mission. I was able to be here and experience the changes that needed to happen in my heart and in my life as a missionary. I needed to learn to accept his will and to realize that by living HIS WILL i will be MORE blessed. The more i hold on to what I want, and less to what HE wants, the harder things are. But the more i let HIM guide and direct me, the MORE peace and happiness i feel. I know now more than ever that i will live EVERY step of the gospel the rest of my life. I will make mistake and i wont be perfect, but i will LIVE it.....because when i live it, everything else falls into place. I know that, from being a missionary and choosing to LIVE IT! I hope you all know that this church is true. I hope that you all are always continuing to grow and learn spiritually. I know that our father in heaven has blessings in his hands that he just WAITS to give us when we do what he asks! Don't be too selfish to receive those blessings, they are greater than you will ever know!
I love you so much!
Sister Brooke Barnum

E-Mail #39

 E-Mail #39
March 5th, 2012
Hello everyone!
Surprise, i am still in Chillicothe.....which really is not a surprise. Haha. But i am glad i am still here, I'm just not ready to leave this place. Which means i will be here when she work at the temple open house! yay, it is getting so close, i just cant wait! Last week on pday, i was able to go SHOPPING with my tax returns, it was so awesome, i got some cute new shirts, and some new flats for the summer, and of course a chillicothe hoodie! who wouldn't want that! i know you all reading this don't have one! :) Best part is, this week i am getting my hair done!! WOOHOO!! I am so excited, something i have seriously missed since being a missionary, and i am so glad to spend some time getting my hair done! I love it! 
Tuesday was a really great day, we taught so many lessons, and it was just super productive. We went back to the crazy house to meet with our new investigator Raymond. It was fun to sit down with him some more and talk to him about his relationship with god. We also found out WHY he is in longbloom(crazy house)......nothing big.....don't worry.....just second degree murder.....haha. Its okay, the guy is just an angel, literally, you can see it in his eyes. We also now will ALWAYS have a member with us when we teach him, because we KNOW president Keyes would not approve of us being there without a member present. So no worries mom! We also went to a former investigators house which was awesome, she wasn't able to talk with us because her kids were sick, but she asked us to come back, and set a return appointment.....needless to say, we have NEVER had that happen since being here. So that was pretty cool, we were excited to go back and teach her. We also were out and about checking on some more former investigators when we met this guy named bill. It was such a tender mercy from the lord to meet him, both for him and us. We found out that his daughter died a year ago, and he has just been struggling ever since. It was a tender experience to share with him how the plan of salvation provides so much comfort when we loose those we love. We left him a pamphlet and are going back tomorrow to see him again. I just know HF needed us to meet him, he said he isn't even usually home from work this early, he just got lucky that day. I know HF is aware of this man and his heartache with his daughters loss, and i cant wait to share more with him! It will be so great to give him that light and comfort he deserves. We also had another tender mercy that day. We went to the house of one of our investigators who we haven't seen in a while, and caught his wife home, who we have not been able to talk to. Well we were able to have like a 45 minute talk with her on the porch, she was super open with us about the loss of her son a few years ago, and how her faith has carried her through, and she agreed to having us back to talk with her, and share some of the stuff we have shared with her husband with her! It was just such a blessed day. I am so thankful for it. It really showed to me that Heavenly Father is aware of how hard it is to keep going in this area, and how tough it is, and how draining it can be, but he continues to show us, that as we stay faithful and strong he will bless us, and he will show us that he is aware of us! I am so thankful for those experiences, especially out here! 
Which it was such a blessing that Tuesday went so well, because Wednesday was STINKY!! haha
Friday was sis Larson's year mark!!! it was fun to celebrate for her, i made her a sign and put it on her bed, and then wrote all over the mirror happy year mark!!! it was so fun!! I cant imagine ever hitting a year mark, but i also never thought i would make it half way, and this Sunday is the official HUMP DAY, on the downhill of my mission time left....WEIRD!!! Of course, because we always end nights on a good note around here, we went to visit someone who missionaries had met before, to see if he was interested in learning. and he was SUPER RUDE!!! got to love those moments! NOT.....but what is cool is we have been finding a lot of people who are willing to have bring a temple open house invitation to them! I know the temple is going to bring a lot of good things, i cant wait to see the missionary work just BOOM after the open house, it will be so great. 
Saturday we went to visit some less-active members are a local rest homes.....they are fun places! Well the first guy we talked to that was less active was super nice, it was fun to talk to him. Then we went to talk to a member who had just gotten moved their the day before, who we thought might want a little uplift since she just got put there. Oh no.....she is super funny, she is super negative, and hard of hearing so she talks way loud. Sis Larson told her she was going to challenge her to not say anything negative the rest of the day. her response is 'well i don't think i can do that....I'm a NEGATIVE person' hahaha, we were giggling, she also told us how she told her daughter she refused to sleep in the bed there, it moves up and down, and it just doesn't make sense....haha, i love old people, they say the funniest things! Then she comes to church on Sunday, and it got even funnier. During sacrament there was some confusion about if everyone got the sacrament, and this wonderful old woman is saying this stuff out loud....'whats going on....oh they missed someone.....i got the sacrament.....did you get the sacrament.....they must be confused' hahaha i was covering my mouth from laughing so hard!!! it was great! and then in relief society, our teacher was not speaking loud enough for her to hear her, i guess. so after she was done teaching the lady pulled her over and said 'hunny i couldn't hear a thing you said, but your smile tells me that the things you were saying were important and good' HAHA!!! it was soooo funny!!!! I hope to be one of those old people, totally embarrassing my kids one day! They can get away with whatever! HAHAHA!  LOVE IT!!!
Well that's all that i have for this week. I am super thankful for this week, it has been hard, but so blessed. I have felt my Heavenly Fathers love carrying me through the tough times, and his small but big blessings every day to tell me he is aware of me! I am so thankful for those moments and those days. I am thankful that i get to serve a mission, i realize that my life would be completely different if i didn't do this, and i KNOW why Heavenly Father has me doing this. I think of how much my life has changed the last 9 months, and how much more i will keep changing before i go home. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who knows what i need best, even when i wanted to resist going on a mission, he knew best, and he knew this is what i needed!!! I have a Strong and immovable testimony, and it will never change, i know this church is true. I know Christ lives, and i know he has done so much for me personally that i may return to live with him, and my family, but even more importantly, to see my father in heaven again. I look forward to that day in my heart so much. I am thankful for my loving heavenly father, who carries me through the tough times, who hears me complain and still blesses me, and shows me that everything will be alright ALWAYS. Thank you everyone at home for all your love and support, thank you for all that you do for me! I love you all so very much. I hope you all continue to grow closer to your father in heaven everyday!
Love you so much!
Sister Brooke Barnum


E-Mail #38

 E-Mail #38
February 27th, 2012
Hello everyone, can you believe that march starts this week?!? holy hannah!!
So first off i want to wish my sister HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! i hope you have lots of fun, and get to go out on a date to celebrate, sorry I'm not there to watch the boys so you can go out. But just know I'm there in heart!
This week has been a good week, another struggle, but that is pretty much how things go out here in the chillimo! I might one day accept that fact that its a struggle out here, but until then, i might just have moments of throwing a fit, and then moving on. This week i got some pretty awesome mail!! I got a letter from one of my friends i met in the MTC who is serving in Canada! and then i got a letter from the great RIVA DIVA!!! They were the 2 letters i did not expect, so they made me so happy! i love getting mail, so thank you everyone for sending me letters, you rock! 
Wednesday was a really good day. We had some appointments with less active members, but the fun part was that evening we were asked to go to the activity days girls meeting, and to teach them how to wrap presents nicely. So that was fun, sister Larson did the teaching, i did the watching, i learned as much as the girls, and now i know how to wrap a present nicely. so that will be day.....when i can use it! Wednesday was also our last district meeting for the transfer, yep that's right transfers are this week. But do not worry, I'm not going anywhere. They wouldn't move me after one transfer of being here, especially after opening an area. So don't hesitate to keep sending mail. nod nod...wink wink. For our district meeting lunch we went to one of their recent converts restaurant and he made us lunch. It was way nice. He was sweet to make us lunch, we really enjoyed it! 
Thursday night we had such a good appointment with a couple we are teaching, Alexis and jimmy. They have really been trying to make changing but just haven't gotten there yet. Well when we went over there Thursday night there was a lot of tension in their house, and they were struggling, it was perfect, they were finally ready to make changing and make things happen. We had such a good appointment with them, and talked about how if they start to grow and focus on the spiritual things that their home will change and it will become better. So we left them with the challenge to make a list of house standards, to make a list of personal goals, and relationship goals. That night they text us and said their list was complete and they were going to have family prayer before they went to bed. It was SO AWESOME! we were so excited to hear that they were ready to make those changes. We went and saw them again on Friday, and their whole home felt so much different. You could tell they were ready to make changes, and that the things they had done already had started to work. They both said they are dedicated to making these changes and they wont let anything stop them! It was such a touching experience. I am so excited for them to continue on this path and to keep making these changes. Because before they know it, their lives will be so much happier and peaceful than they have EVER experienced! I love seeing people change! Its so great! On top of that, Alexis has always struggled with understanding scriptures, but we left her a chapter to read, and she completely understood it! it was so great! she was so excited and ready to keep going! Blessings are so great! i know heavenly father keeps showing us tender mercies, he knows we are in a tough area, and up against A LOT.....but he keeps showing us that there are possibilities, and to keep going! 
Friday night also was another tender mercy of our father in heaven. I suddenly got very sick on Friday, i had cold chills, but was burning up, my throat was hurting, i just didn't feel good at all....and for the record i still have a cold, but I'm not AS sick. Well i was being defiant, and i didn't want to go back to the house Friday, i wanted to WORK. Well looking back at the situation, i realized my stubbornness was a blessing from our father. Because i was being stubborn, and i was the driver, i drove over to a less active members home, who was too busy to talk, well we were walking back to our car, and her neighbor was outside, so we went and talked to her. It was SUCH a spiritual moment! It was so cool to give her the book of Mormon and explain where it came from and what it means to us. It was such a great experience! After that, we went home, i felt like we had accomplished something, and i could go home and be sick. But i was so thankful for heavenly fathers tender mercies. He shows so much love for us, and keeps showing us that even though its hard, not to give up. We just have to keep trucking along.
OHHH man, me and sis Larson were not going to go in, but our member is fearless and said, well lets go find him. The guy we were looking for. Oh man, once we were inside, i felt very worried. The place was just full of people, everywhere, and you could tell they ALL struggled with something mentally. We went downstairs to the lounge area and found who we were looking for. And got to talk to him, and he was pretty normal, so that was pretty cool. We also met a less active member there. We basically had 3 appointments without leaving our seats. First we were talking to the guy we were looking for, then 2 more people joined us, we taught them, then they left and 2 more people joined us. It was crazy!!! I couldn't believe it, the people there are really nice though, so that was good, at least we weren't getting yelled at or anything. It was just a scary place to be, and for those of you who know i HATE retirement homes, i bet you cant imagine how i felt in THAT place! hahaha. anyways, that pretty much wrapped up our week. Last night we had dinner with the deardeuff family! they are HYSTERICAL.....they pull out jokes left and right. There was a time or two that i was laughing so hard that i had tears in my eyes. They are super awesome, and such a smart family. Their knowledge is super intimidating, but way cool, because you learn a lot from them. And instead of sharing a dinner message, they all pulled out hymn books and we sang our favorite hymns. It was so fun, because they are all really good at singing. They are a pretty awesome family! And i am way excited because on march 11th is my half way mark, and we are having dinner with them again! WOOHOO!!! I'll have to get a picture so you can all meet the deardeuff family!
Well i love you all, hope you have a great week!
Sister Barnum


E-Mail #37

 E-Mail #37
February 21, 2012
Hello everyone!!!!
I hope you all had a great holiday weekend. I sure did! This week has again been a really rough one, lots of ups and downs lately, but it sure is teaching me to rely more on my heavenly father, and keep pushing through. He sure is teaching me a lot out here in the Chillimo. I'm realizing there are a lot of things he is doing to prepare me for my future.....its veryyyy interesting. Last week we had someone who is preparing to be baptized get her last interview from our mission president. She has been waiting sooo long to get her baptism approved. She had to go through the first presidency, and has been waiting 2 years, and that amazing and blessed day comes this Saturday that she will finally be a member of the church! She is so amazing for having so much faith and patience through this. She is great! we are excited to see her baptized this weekend, we know it will be great! 
On Valentines day we made our members we live with.....the Sperry's....a special valentines dinner date! They do so much for us and are so great, so we wanted to give them something special, we decorated the table with petals, and had a candle and a family picture they had on the table, with a sign on the wall that said happy valentines day. It was so fun!!! They are so cute! It was nice to do something for them! 
This week we have ran into a few intense moments with people telling us some anti-stuff.....or LIES.....we have gotten heated a few times, but were able to be calm and handle the situation appropriately. Its a struggle sometimes when you are teaching people and you love them and just want them to feel the way you feel about the gospel, and know in their heart that it is true, but they are just being resistant to letting it the spirit touch their hearts. Its breaks my heart, because i just want them to know that we are not here to tell them to be different people, we are here to give them something more, and to bless them so much!!! But they still haven't quite gotten it, i feel like they are slipping, Satan is working double time, but we are fighting just as hard, and are not going to let them go! 
Oh and big news of the week, i finally drove the truck!! WOOHOO!!!! Yea, it is awesome!!!! i love driving a truck, and i haven't crashed it or killed anyone, which is pretty nice, they say missionaries do have extra angels....i am pretty sure its true! I just don't even know what else to say about this week. It has just been so full of ups and downs and struggles and overcoming struggles, and tests of faith, and gaining stronger faith! But me and sister Larson decided that since as a church we don't do lent.....not our religion, but we thought we'd do like a sacrifice for the time frame of i am giving up junk food. Unnecessary snacking, and i am waking up at 545 every morning to exercise....yep, here goes some more weight loss! i am excited! I have been waking up that early for a few days now, and i haven't been as tired as i thought i would be, i think working out helps me keep my energy up through the day, so that's way nice! I love that the Sperry's have good work out equipment, they have a treadmill, and a bike, and we have weights, so its nice! We have been working hard on contacting less active members, some of them we have met have no interest in coming back to church, but we are so thankful that they have been nice as they tell us that. I hate getting the rude rejections from members, because they knew it was true at some point or else they wouldn't have gotten baptized. 
Yesterday for our pday we went with our member to st. Joseph, which is basically the closest city to our town. It was so fun to go shopping and checking out things. I bought some way cute jewelry, which i am excited to wear! We also went out to lunch, and just had fun dressing up our member for a new outfit for the temple open house. OH speaking of the temple open house, i forgot to mention last week. We found out that ALL the sister missionaries in our mission will be working at the temple open house!! WOOHOO!!!! i am so excited to work at it! it will be so fun and such a great opportunity to meet people, and share the gospel. And i was thinking about it, and because I'll be working at the temple open house, the wonderful, the great FLIPPO family will SO be coming to it, so i want to make sure they come while I'm there so i can SEE THEM AGAIN!!! oh man, i see lots of tears on that day. AND speaking of the flippo family, i got word that Bill....the dad, has a baptism date!!! HE IS GOING TO GET BAPTIZED!!!! SO GREAT!!! and then in a year from that, i will be back in Kansas seeing them day EVER! So pretty much, there has been good news and lots of fun things within this week! 
wyatt.....i was like...uh, i know this kid named reed wyatt, where does he live....yep.....reed wyatt, of laverkin utah....haha, funny!!! we were laughing so hard once we realized that. So shout out to the wyatt family, i'm serving in the same mission as your girl!! I also got to meet this adorable senior couple that serves at the liberty jail. Every time i meet senior couples, i wish so bad to serve at the VC or the Jail.....they are so great, its like being around your own grandparents all the time! who wouldn't like that as a missionary?!!? 
I am sure that there is so much more i have to say, but i didn't prepare my email very well because i didn't expect to have time to email today. So i love you all, and hope you are doing well.....and i wouldn't mind getting a few more letters, that would be pretty cool.....maybe one day! just saying.
Oh and guess what?!?! my half way day is getting closer SO WEIRD!! So here are the dates I've realized, Today equals EXACTLY 10 months until i  come home. March 1st equals 9 months out, March 11th equals my EXACT half way point, and march 21st equals 9 months until i go march is a CRAZY MONTH!!!! I will try not to think about it, but i am way proud of myself for making it this long, to be honest, i didn't think i that's pretty AWESOME!!!! I think after the 9 month mark, it might start to get a little weird realizing i am getting closer to going home, but most missionaries say its when you have 5 months left that you have a minor freak out....we will see what happens, i still got time!!! TIME TIME TIME!!!!
Anyway, i sure do love love love you all!!!!
Sister Barnum