Sunday, October 21, 2012

E-Mail #70 a pretty sweet month!!!!

E-Mail #70
October 15th, 2012

Hello dear family, stalkers!!!
Hope you all had a wonderful week!!!
Its been a pretty good week here in odessa! Last monday i got my hair cut, i was just going to get it trimmed....but i went a little crazy and now its chin actually looks pretty good!! I was surprised how well it turned out, i've never really had my hair that short.
Well last week i went to the good 'ol dentist again....why....because i'm a barnum.....yep, i guess thats just how we roll, always going to the dentist. I did not recieve happy news, but they put me on some antibiotics to hold me over until i come home and get the dental work done when i go home. I got a blessing to help make sure i dont get into some real pain until i go home and can have it fixed. I love blessings and the power of the priesthood!!! Its truely a power from God, no one on earth would be able to have that power if it were not for a loving Heavenly Father who will and has blessed us so much in our lives.
While we were down in Liberty for the dentist appointment we made good use of our time and took Rae who got baptized on my birthday to the Liberty Jail! I seriously love the Liberty Jail, the spirit is so strong there. And it had a whole new meaning after general conference because of President Eyrings talk about the pavilions we put over our heads, since that revelation was recieved in Liberty Jail, they talk about it, and it just was such a spiritual thing, made me thing what pavilion i have put over my head between me and my Father. Always room for improvement right?! Best thing about the spirit, always helping us improve!
We also saw our wonderful Dawn from New Jersey!! She is pretty sweet!! I love talking with her. We told her our first names and so now she always calls us by our first name, it makes me laugh. We have such a great relationship going with her, i love sharing the gospel with people that we have built that friendship with. It makes the conversations so productive and open. We all learn, including us missionaries. I love experiences like that. She still isn't sure how to recoginze the spirit, but it will happen, she will feel it hit her, when the time is right. Obviously Heavenly Father is VERY aware of her, considering the way he sent us to her!!! She's just pretty darn AWESOME!!
We had our zone training this week. I LOVE the new system of zone training!! Its always sooo uplifting. It was to prepare us a lot for the Gladys Knight Performance! Oh man, i hear it went really amazingly good!! I am so excited to hear how the work will just BOOM from her performance!! Im sure it will be amazing!!
Nick got confirmed this week in church! He is such an amazing guy!!! His testimony just makes me feel so humble and blessed to have his influence in my life. Of his dedication to the gospel!! We gave him a framed picture of Jesus Christ to put in his room to help him to remember the promise he has made. His blessing with his confimation was truely amazing. I know he is going to be such a strong pillar to those around him. It will be great!! He is going to be preparing to recieve the preisthood hopefully in 2 weeks. Also Eddi who got baptized last month recieved the preisthood yesterday!! It was so exciting!!! I love the preisthood and i LOVE seeing people progress in the Gospel. It never stops at baptism!! Thats just the beginning, of greater love and understanding!! Greater oportunity to serve others and share the Gospel with them!!
I can not believe how fast my mission is ending!! Its really amazing. The first two months of my mission i think was the longest time of my life, and now i KNOW the last 2 months are going to be gone before i know it. My heart burns to share the gospel with EVERYONE i see, to let them know what i believe and what i know to be true! My time is running short and i want everyone to know that i am a witness of Jesus Christ and i have something special, important and LIFE CHANGING that they NEED TO KNOW!!! I pray that i can do as my father has told me and find those that he still has left for me to find!!! I know there are some out there, i know that Dawn was one of them!! I am grateful for the blessing i recieved this week, to hear the words that my father is pleased with the work i have done and am doing, several times.....its so comforting to know, that he knows that i am imperfect but even with those imperfections that the is pleased. All he wants is me to turn to him, to trust in him, and keep working and he will continue to be pleased with the work i do in his behalf. I love that reminder of what a blessing it is to do this. To be his servant 24/ do his work. There is nothing better i could have done with my life over the last 16 months than what i have been doing, and what i will continue to do that last 2 months!! As you pray for me, pray that i will find those that our Father needs ME to find while i am doing his work! I love you all so much and am always so grateful for your love and support for me!! Thank you for everything!!!!
Love Sister Brooke Barnum......a missionary.....a mormon.....a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints....A representative of our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST!!
p.s.............i didn't really cut my hair to my chin, i just got it trimmed. ;-)


E-Mail #69 I'm a Mormon...I Know it, I Live it, I LOVE IT!!!!!

E-Mail #69
October 8th, 2012

Hello everyone!!!!
Man wasn't general conference AMAZING?!!??
I love general conference, i always feel so uplifted and edified. I always hear what i need to, and realized what i need to do to be better....ASAP. haha.
This week was a pretty darn good week! I felt like there were LOTS of good miracles this week! The one that was my personal favorite is earlier this week in the night i had a very vivid dream of a name of a person we needed to go visit. Just kept coming into my mind i my dream, and even while asleep i remember thinking, huh...this must be important i should remember this name. Then the next day as we worked all day, that name just kept staying in my mind and in my mind and in my mind. Well finally i said, lets go try this name as one of the places we were going to didn't work out. She see's us walking up to her door and comes out. Its not the lady we were looking for but someone who moved in. As we talked with her about who we are, she gasped and said that the last 2 weeks all she has been thinking is i really need to go back to church. But she has never gone to church here because she is from New Jersey. So because the spirit told me too, i usually dont tell people that i had a dream about them because then i feel like it makes me sound creepy. But i told her that i had a dream that we needed to come see her, and that all i could think about today was coming to this house. So here we are. We set an appointment to come back the next day and visit her. We went back and taught her the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! It was TRUELY an amazing experience. OH and this lady lives in a like combined house...type deal...well her sister lives next door. She opens her sister door because they are next to each other and tells her to come out. Well i feel like these ladies are family because as soon as the sister came out, the lady we were talking to introduced her and the sister said....'im adopted' I started laughing SO HARD!!! i of course told them about my aunt hopie and my mom and how my mom always says she is adopted when in reality Hope is the one adpoted!! haha. There were lots of other funny and super random comments made that i felt like i was standing with family on that front porch, it was hysterical!!! Even more proof of why Heavenly Father wanted me there. Because i am meant to teach them, they are basically family in everything they do and say!! Who better to share the gospel with than your family ?!
That was the big miracle of this week!!!
I wrote down some of my favorites from conference.
~With FAITH come trials of FAITH and increase in FAITH
~He waits upon us to come to ourselves and to come home to him
~Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not.
~IM A MORMON, I KNOW IT, I LIVE IT, I LOVE IT!!! (now i really wanna have a shirt made that says that just because of her talk! haha)
Those are just a few of general conference highlights.
One of my favorites was President Monsons talk. I mean....if ALL the prophet spoke about for 15-20 minutes was examples of PRAYERS ANSWERED....then WHAT is our Heavenly Father trying to tell us?!!?
Well i know what he was telling me, he was telling me to put my FAITH into that MY PRAYERS will not only be HEARD, but they WILL BE ANSWERED!!! I have let my prayers just get super lazy lately, i dont know why, i was doing sooo great, for a good time at saying true meaningful prayers. I was so grateful for that reminder from the prophet, from GOD....that our prayers WILL BE HEARD AND THEY WILL BE ANSWERED!!! I can ask anything, ANYTHING....yes it need to be with his will in mind, but even the small things, even a i dont feel pretty today Heavenly Father, will you bless me to have someone give me a compliment? and he hears that.....and he answers that!!! Does that have any ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE?! no....does that have anything to do with me returning home to him??! NO.....does he love me because i am his daughter and he sees what mortal needs i have and desire and he blesses me....YES!!!! Yes he does!!!! I will not, EVER doubt that. I hope that i can do better at staying on top of that as i put my FAITH into ACTION in my prayers. As i not only TRUST that he will bless me with the ETERNAL WORTH things, but also the little things, that seem insignifcant, but they matter! They matter to him, because it matters to us!
We are always improving in life. None of us ever stop. we have to keep improving, which is why i am graterful for conference, that time to feel the spirit and to know what you as an individual need to improve on....sometimes its a list of like 50 things to improve on....okay MOST the time its a list that big. But hey, we got God on our you can NEVER LOSE THAT BATTLE!!!
OH and i almost forgot to talk about our BAPTISM THIS WEEKEND!!! It went sooo good!!! our little miracle Nick, who left the room to pray to know if its true....well he got BAPTIZED!!! The spirit was TRUELY amazing at his baptism!!! Oh went so good. I am so grateful for his example to SO MANY in this ward. He will be a stellar missionary!!!
Here are pictures ENJOY!!!
Sister Barnum


E-Mail #68 Still in ODESSA Missouri!!!

E-Mail #68
October 1st, 2012

Hello everyone!!!
I hope it has been a pretty darn awesome week for you all. It has been for us. I am still in Odessa, with a new companion sister Peterson, she is 4'10 and a little fireball, she's super funny, and super intense sometimes, i just laugh! haha. Sister Park is now serving in the Independence Visitors Center, so that will be good for her. We had some really good appointments this week. We met with Dillon who was going to get baptized a couple weeks ago but it didn't happen, and he is praying about a new date to get baptized. He is such a great guy. He really has a testimony of the truth of the gospel, he just wants to feel ready, and that is totally understandable! We also had another great appointment with a couple we are teaching, and they are doing pretty awesome. I love teaching people, especially those that we have been teaching for a while. Its so neat to see the changes they make and the spiritual strength that comes into their eyes as they learn of the gospel!
Because my new companion came in from Kansas i had to spend all day in independence Thursday waiting for her. It was a very fun day actually. haha. I watched some church movies in the visitors center, i finished the book of Mormon, i watched ALL the videos in the visitors center. It was pretty fun. haha. I got to be around some other sisters, and some of the elders that were going home were at the VC for about 20 minutes so i hung out and talked with them. I cant believe i only have 1 transfer left. I really pray that i will finish in Odessa. I already have one of my favorite members here lined up to bring me into independence when its time to go home. She's like a sister, she does all the same things our family does, crafts, is a good cook, bakes....she just feels like family, so i want her to bring me to the mission office before i go home. Plus its always nice to finish your mission with people you know. if i move my last 6 weeks, it will be by the time i get to know people i will be leaving. So you all should include in your prayers that i finish my mission in Odessa, although i guess you can wait to start praying for that until the first week of November when President Keyes starts to figure out transfer business. haha.
Friday we went to a WEDDING!!!! We went to Maggi and Eddi's wedding. Eddi is the one that got baptized on Sept 4th. Their wedding was so great!!! It was so fun to be a part of their wedding! Then later in the night we went back to help them clean up, it was fun to help clean up, that way all the family didn't have to worry so much about the cleaning and spend time with the bride and groom.
Saturday we went to the relief society broadcast and it was super awesome. Oh man, i LOVE the new relief society presidency!!! they are truly amazing!!! Oh man the spirit was so strong and i CANT WAIT for general conference!!! oh man it is going to be amazing.
OH and we have another baptism this week!! WOOHOO!!! Nick is getting baptized!!! He is the coolest 13 year old i know, i think him and Joseph smith were best buddies in the spirit world!! He is so excited and so prepared to get baptized and get the priesthood and just keep being amazing!!!! I know i don't have much to say, but i have lots of pictures, so ENJOY!!!
Sister Barnum




E-Mail #67 Week from...Well lets Not Re-Live this one!

E-Mail #67
September 24th, 2012
Hey everyone!!!
Well last Sunday (a week ago) i thought that i had gone through one of the toughest days ever on my mission.....but i guess that was just Satan saying be prepared because I'm not done throwing stuff your way. Needless to say this week has been one of the toughest emotionally wearing week ever!!! But the week did start off good. We went to warrensburg for a zone pday and it was a BLAST!!! It was so fun to with the missionaries all day. We played sand volleyball and it was fun. Then we played football, well they7 played football and i watched. haha. It was fun though. So that was a great start. We'll just stick with the good stuff and give a short summary of the bad. Also on Wednesday we had a missionary themed mutual night! Which went way awesome! The youth were so great and the spirit was so strong. It was so fun to be in charge of a mutual night and put it all together and give them a boost to do missionary work and prepare to serve missions! It went way awesome! We also had a guy who is preparing to serve a mission in our ward share his testimony which was such a stellar testimony! I am so excited for him to serve! It will be way awesome!!! Amidst some of the worst days there are we were driving in the middle of no-where and came across these signs that I'll attach pictures of for you to REALLY enjoy! Those signs for sure made our day and helped us know that God DOES have a sense of humor and he will put a smile on our face even when things are super hard in missionary life! We also had a fun appointment with a couple that is in their 70's and after talking about prayer and fasting taught the wife how to be gangster and taught her to say 'JK' and 'FO-SHO' hahah. She did wonderful at learning. we will teach her more great stuff soon! We also had some more great appointments with our miracle mini Joseph smith....he is so excited to get baptized and just so sincere. He really loves the church and is so sensitive to the spirit! Its so cool, i wish i was like him at 13.
Well here is some of the stuff that went wrong this week. 1. a recent convert is going through some hard times and instead of letting us support that person, we basically got broken up with, i haven't had much boyfriend experience but i honestly think that break up was the worst of all of them. We were told by that person that they were not coming back to church until things got better....whatever that equals....we don't know. So basically a recent convert saying that they are not coming back to church for a couple weeks....and us praying that Satan does not get his licks in while he can. 2. sadly...but good....but sad our baptism didn't go through. He did not feel ready, which is totally okay. but it was very unexpected and we got that news while we were getting broken up with. 3. ALL of our appointments on Friday fell through, INCLUDING our district meeting, which its just a bad sign when missionaries cancel meeting with other missionaries. 4. i hit my 3 months left mark....which led to an emotional break down with all the above emotional crap going on with it. 5.....i JUST FOUND OUT that I'm coming home 4 days early....LAME!!!
yep....that was the gist of our week. Mind you reading it and even writing it, it doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was a very big deal this week on us emotionally. We were just drained and done and cried...A LOT!!!! i mean... A LOT!!!!! So good times....
Bonus of this week, we got our own jar of the FAMOUS Kellogg and sons BBQ sauce.........alright its not famous YET....but he entered it in a HUGE BBQ competition, and he is totally going to win!!! because that sauce is AMAZING!!! AHHHHMAZING!!! Check out his website to order you some, i highly suggest it....
That was a pretty sweet kick in our week, we have used it as much as we can, we also had a wonderful visit with the great Kellogg family, they are our mom and pop out here, always making sure we are doing good and checking in on us and such! I love having those people around who care for us and take care of us!
This week is transfer week and things are going to be changing a lot!! We had an all sisters conference call, which has never happened since I've been on my mission. And president Keyes was telling us of the changes that are going to happen, not in details but in a sense that there will be alot of changes because of how many sister are coming out to the mission. Of 22 companionship's 17 of them will be in training, which is a big thing! So that's crazy!! i honestly don't know if i will be staying in Odessa, i really hope i am, but both sister park and i are feeling like they are going to white wash the area and pull both of us out. We don't find out until tomorrow night. I pray that they don't send both of us out, but its a good chance. So look forward to next weeks email telling you what happened!!!
I hope that you all have another great week!!! Thank you for all your support and everything you all do for me!!!
p.s. the picture of the cat is the neighbors cat which acts more like a stray cat that i feed, because i am THAT desperate to have a pet!!! haha.
AND everyone should put as much about conference as they can all over their facebook and blogs!!!
Sister Barnum



E-Mail #66 What a Week!!!

E-Mail #66
September 17th, 2012
Hello everyone!!
I hope you all had another great week! mine has been pretty good! I forgot my planner which i usually use to remember what happened through the week to email about and i don't have a very good memory in missionary life because so much happens every i will try my best to get the good stuff in there.
Well i am going to start with a super funny story! So sister park is not a fan of small spaces....and our bathroom is not big AT ALL....and our bathroom door knob is super retarded and gets stuck every day, you have to twist the knob a couple times to get out EVERY TIME you go in there. Well this week it didn't work twisting it a couple times. I went and was trying to help her get out and she was kinda freaking out...i was laughing, and i couldn't figure it out. so we ended up taking to door knob off and the lock is still stuck in there, so that doesn't do us any good. So i call the elders and ask them to help us figure it out, we ended up putting to door knob back on and it worked just fine, but only the one time when we twisted it for her to get back out. because then it got locked up again, but thankfully the door was open at that point. I got some pictures while she was stuck in there so don't worry! Enjoy the pictures! hahah. It was GREAT!! ha!
Also an update, i decided i like cats....okay i don't really like them still, but i am THAT desperate for a pet and everyone in this area has junction city EVERYONE had EVERYONE has we have a family that we visit regularly and they have a super cute kitten, me and the kitten are best buds, i hold her every time we go over. She cute because she's small and funny, but they got older and boring....hence...I'm a dog person!
This week we got a lot of pictures so that's what I'm going off to remember. haha. We also went to visit an old man that we visit every now and again, he is very funny, he doesn't believe in the old testament, and he doesn't believe in the 10 commandments....and all sorts of other random stuff, but he does believe that we would have a prophet but somehow doesn't understand when we tell him that WE have a prophet. its very funny, the guy makes me laugh every time we visit him.
This week we went to the Liberty Jail with Curt and Terry, the wonderful amazing couple that we have been teaching for a while! They are so awesome! It was a very spiritual experience at the Liberty Jail, i am so thankful we got to go with them. They also fed us for the 3rd week in a row, they are just so sweet and do so much for us! I truly love them! They also plan on feeding us basically every Saturday! Its just GREAT!
We also have a baptism this week!!!! WOOHOOOO!!!!!! So pictures will be coming with next weeks email! Look forward to that wonderful day! We also were able to finally teach nick, our miracle nick the story from the scriptures come true nick! He re-committed to be baptized on Oct 6th before priesthood session of conference! so that is even more exciting, and we also have someone preparing to be baptized Oct 23rd!!!! So lots of good stuff is going on here in Odessa! I love this area, the work really is amazing!
In our mission we have an amazingly awesome event coming up!!! Gladys Knight is going to be having a concert for missionary work type stuff. She and he choir perform and then she gives her testimony! Everyone in the mission has been talking about it, and other people who have been in this event or seen it said that it is truly amazing and the spirit is off the charts when they perform!!! I am so excited. We already have 2 people we are teaching going and hope to have more go!! I don't know if we(us missionaries) will get to go, because they really want us to have the people we are teaching who we are having go, go with a member who they know. So we will see, i really really hope i get to go, but if not, i am so excited for the blessings that will come from this event!!!
This week we are also doing a missionary focused night at mutual. Sister Park and i are in charge and its going to be pretty darn awesome!!! We have put together some pretty good stuff and have others sharing their testimony and lots of good stuff going on!! i am super excited for that.
So as you can see things are going pretty darn amazing in this area. Lots of blessings!! sister park and i were talking last night about what a blessing it is to have things going the way they are. And as we know there is ALWAYS opposition in ALL things. Yesterday was proof of opposition. We had a very difficult appointment.....if you want to know what happened you can go read Alma chapter 30....and i can promise you everything you read in there is what happened in an appointment with us yesterday. Not fun at all. But i am so happy to know that even with that appointment that i can still declare

Sister Brooke Barnum