Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010


It was a great week here in Plano with Hermana Mata.. still working hard and seeing miracles!
Monday: We had an Family Home Evening with the Marrero family and their mom who is living with them and dying of cancer felt so bad that Hermana Mata's tortillas didn't turn out that she taught us how to make yummy flour tortillas and rice and CACTUS!!.. It was a yummy dinner and Hna. Mata felt a lot better about herself once her tortillas turned out!
Tuesday: We had splits planned with two of the young women in the stake so we had double appointments for the whole afternoon and then of course thirty minutes before we were going to leave one of the young women called and canceled.. so we were running around the rest of the afternoon trying to hit all of the people we made appointments with. We started the day teaching an awesome lady who at the end of the lesson told us she was going back to Mexico in three days.. I hate when that happens.. then we had a powerful lesson with Martina.. tried to set another date with her and she said she feels a lot of peace about getting baptized everytime she prays but wants more. We just told her that she is waiting for God to give her another answer and God is waiting to see what she is going to do with the answer he already gave her. So Martina is not getting baptized anytime soon but we are still not giving up on her... it was a pretty sad lesson though. And Hna. Mata was super disappointed because this was the first time in her mission she had a super disappointing lesson like we had but I just told her that if we stopped for the day or took a break then Satan was winning and the person we were suppose to find right now or needed us right now was the one loosing.. so we kept going and had a bunch of punched appointments but it was all better when we went to teach Gabina... when we first got there she was so frustrated almost on the edge of tears.. so i asked her what was the matter.. and she just sat there holding her HUGE Book of Mormon and said she had faught all night long trying to read the book... she said she put it at different distances, in different amounts of light trying to read it but couldnt do it!! I've never seen anyone with such desires to read the Book of Mormon.. it's such an example to me! That night we taught a lesson to Rosa Lopez and her son Brian actually sat in with us and at the end of the lesson where we talked about living together as a family... Brian was just sitting there almost day dreaming so we tried to pull him back to the lesson by asking what he was thinking about and he just said with the biggest smile, "I was thinking about how amazing it would be to actually live with my family forever." I love how much hope this message brings to families.. especially their family who is having lots of problems right now!
Wednesday: We brought Gabina a magnifying glass... I wish you could all see her sitting there with her huge book of mormon trying to read with her thick glasses and a magnifying glass.. but she did it!! It was super slow but she had a smile ear to ear and she just kept reading and reading and reading...It's so sad how we, people that can see and read, don't even pick up the Book of Mormon some days and here is Gabina who can barely see fighting to read it. She definitely understands the importance of the Book of Mormon.. do we? We then had a lesson with Manuel and Jorge and they told us that they knew everything was true and Jorge was able to tell us the entire Joseph Smith Story and about the first part of the Book of Mormon... they are crazy golden!!
Thursday: We had another amazing lesson with Gabina where we finished teaching her all the commandments...she is so ready to be baptized... everytime we taught her a commandment she would state her concern with living it and then solver her concern before we could say anything... she LOVES coffee.. but after we taught her the Word of Wisdom she said, "Well I guess I'm gonna learn to love hot chocolate!" We talked to her about Tithing and she thought it was BEAUTIFUL!! who thinks the law of tithing is beautiful!! She's awesome! We then had a youth come out with us and all of our appointments punched but then at the end of her three hours with us we found a potential investigator home named jorge ( a different jorge) we tried to teach him a first lesson but if we were interupted by his clients (he sells things like soda, chips, phone cards from his appartment and someone knocked at the door every five minutes) he was interupting us with tonz of questions that he wouldn't let us answer. so I finally told him that he could only ask questions on topic and could have one question at the end of the lesson.. we were teaching about Jesus Christ establishing his church and calling his twelve apostles and he said,"OHHHHH I have a question on topic... Did Jesus Christ have a wife?"... definitely not on topic Jorge! but at the end of the lesson he said the closing prayer and asked God to help him stop talking and just listen to us and really has sincere desires to know he has just been so confused over the years by so many differnet opinions.. he also blesses Hna Mata and my future husbands, childrens, jobs... he practically gave each one of us a new patriarichal blessing. :) his prayer was really thirty minutes long!! But we have a return appointment with him and I can't wait!
Friday: was a really good day.. we taught four new investigators.. all of which are awesome... they are all cute young moms. They have lots of potential and we taught all of their kids in the different lessons to sing "Soy un hijo de Dios".. that night we had dinner with recent converts for one of their birthdays and we ran over the interview questions later with Gabina so she was good to go for her baptismal interview on Saturday.
Saturday: We had lunch with the Castros.. hilarious as usual.. got two more new investigators.. then went and Gabina passed her baptismal interview..YAHOOOO!!! Then we went to pick up the young women who was suppose to come out with us for the night and she wasn't there.. her mom let her go to the mall instead of coming out with us... so i was trying to call around and see who could come with us at the last minute because if we couldnt find someone we would have to cancel our appointment with Jorge and Manuel.. but at the last minute we found Maria Del Angel who left her boyfriend to come out with us!! So we showed up to teach Manuel and Jorge but Jorge wasn't back yet but Manuel was all dressed up in a collared shirt and all shaved and clean.. he had cleaned the whole apartment even putting a tablecloth on the table and bought us waters to drink... we then started asking him why he didnt get baptized before when he was going to church for two year and he said he didnt feel ready then but that he feels ready now.. we then set a baptismal date with him for the 5th of September!!! We then started asking him if he was married or has kids trying to get to know him a little more... He then tells us that he had girlfriend and has an 8 year old son with her and they both live in Plano.. then he says.. I actually think they are members of your branch.. So we asked her name and I think i went into a state of shock when he said their last nigh twas SANDAVAL... well the Elder in our branch have been working with a family for over 6 months trying to get them married and baptized and last week they figured out a marriage date with them and then they are getting baptized with their 8 year od son on the 28th of August.. wel this is the SANDAVAL family.. and the 8 year old son that the eldesr have a baptismal date with is actualy MANUEL's son!!.. what a CRAZY coincidence.. God definitely has a sense of humor. Manuel said they are friends and fine with each other but we'll will see!! but he is still getting baptized the week after his son is baptized!
Sunday: was a good day at church but only Gabina showed up to church.. we then that night had dinner with the Cano's and then Anabella and Nelson met up with us to teach an appointment that punched so they contacted people with us then we went to visit Ariel who wasn't there but ended up teaching one of his roommates the Plan of Salvation and half way through the lesson Ariel came home so then after the lesson with the roommate we taught him. He told us he had been at his friends appartment and felt really anxious and butterflies in his stomach so he left and came home and said they disappeared as soon as he saw us. It's amazing how the spirit can really guide you to the places you need to be.. i was just happy that Ariel got to experience that first hand and understand the importance of listening to the spirit.
We had an awesome week filled with spiritual experiences, heat and fun!! love you all.. thanks for your love and support.. BUT STOP COUNTING THE DAYS!!
Hermana Barber

Monday, July 26, 2010

Judith and Joana- officially members of the church!! YES!!!

Hi Family!! We had another good and eventful week here in Plano, Texas! I'm glad you all are happy and healthy and I'm jealous I wasn't there to eat Ice Cream Cake Roll for Brad's Birthday... YUMMY!!! I hope you got my super nice card Bradley B!! Well here goes the update!!
Monday: First off we went to try to find sandals and after a year and a half of closed toe shoes it was too weird for me and I couldn't buy any!! OH NO I'M A WEIRD SISTER MISSIONARY!! ha ha!! We had dinner that night with the President of the branch... Presidente Cabello and his family then we got to teach one of their friends from Venezuela which was a very good lesson. We taught him about the Book of Mormon then had the Cabello's bear their testimony about it... they bore beautiful testimonies and Presidente talked about the logical evidence there is that people lived here in the American continent and the things people have found that could prove the Book of Mormon was true.. and all that stuff is really interesting to me but it is then that I realized that none of that stuff is what creates a lasting testimony. Laman and Lemuel saw ANGELS and still it didn't change them and cause them to have firm testimonies. That is when I bore my testimony of the spirit and the firm testimony that can only come through the witness of Holy Ghost.
Other side note, Sister Toro got called as 2nd counselor of the young womens and took ALL the girls to stake camp this week BY HERSELF and it was her first time too!! ha ha I think it was kinda a disaster but they had fun and she is soooo willing to serve. I love it!
Tuesday: We had a good district meeting where I was asked to do a talk on Faith which turned out okay then we went to meet with Martina to try and figure out what happened and why she doesn't want to get baptized anymore. She told us that she knows its all true she just doesnt' feel the desire to be baptized yet and that she hasn't talked to her kids about it still. So we are going to become detectives and find her real hold up and get her baptized. We then had a lesson with Judith and Joana about the Holy Ghost on the importance of their confirmation and again they taught us!! They are just so much happier.. it's crazy to see such a fast change in them. The coolest part was when they wrote me a note in my journal... I have had all of the people I am close to here in Texas write in a journal. But Judith doesn't show emotion much, she's had a really hard life... She is one year older than me and has four kids onto her third marriage and in one of them was beat.. she just acts like nothing phases her now, nothing makes her happy and that she doesnt' need anyone or anything. but she wrote in my journal and first appologized for how she was but then thanked me for the diligence and patience to get her to her baptism and then talked about how clean she felt when she came out of the water and how she KNOWS that she was cleaned by her Savior. It was an amazing note and all I could do was cry. She talked about how much she can feel the change in her heart and the happiness that wasn't there before. This gospel really is so amazing and the only thing that can heal the broken hearts that fill this world!
Wednesday: We had a good lesson with a new investigator Jasmin and in the closing prayer she prayed that we could come back.. I love investigators liek that.. that want us there instead of hiding from us!! ha ha We taught Martina again and made here this crown that said "Princesa Martina" from a Burger King crown and read a talk from Pres. Uchtdorf about our own Happily Ever Afters and we talked to her about what she wants for her life.. what would be her Happily Ever After. We then went to see the Bustos... Alejandra made me my favorite chicken tinga tosadas.. but we didn't get anywhere with them.. Alejandra is just as hard as Jose Luis now and got a offended by a member when she saw her in the store and she didn't smile at her.... While contacting we met a paletero (hispanic ice cream man) who told us that his purpose in life was the sell popsicles and that after this life there was NOTHING.. could you imagine that kind of life.. no purpose... we had an awesome contact with him and he agreed to have the missionaries over to teach him in a different area! We then had a lesson with Rosa Lopez and Hno Castro and his daughter came with us.. it was a powerful lesson on the Restoration and she knows its true jsut needs to put it as a priority in her life now.
Thursday: We have planning but the sister we live with wants us to meet all her friends.. she calls us her grand daughers.. she is so cute. So she made this HUGE lunch and invited over one of her friends Talmage Packard that just got back from her mission in the country of Georgia and her husband was called to be the new President of the Dallas Temple so she will be the Matron. That was a fun lunch hearing all of her mission stories from Georgia and before that they were in Japan and how President Eyring extended the call to them to be the Temple President. After plannning and dinner we had an appointment with Ariel and we help him study the lessons in Preach My Gospel. he has been studying on the christ like attributes and taking notes. He has such a desire to change and be the best member I love it!
Friday: (HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAD!!) After studies we did service for Sister Burrows, who we live with and we mowed her lawn.. it was an interesting experiences since it was my first time ever and Hna Mata first time ever even touching a lawn mower.. but you would have been proud of the finish results!! the process was the thing you probably wouldn't have been proud of!! ha ha oh and another funny thing is that I told Hermana Mata when we first got together that my goal was to make her FAT because she is a TWIG.. skin and bones... ha ha well she went to go put on her jeans to do service and she couldn't button them!! I told her I always accomplished every goal in my mission and I was dying laughing! Needlesstosay she started a diet the next day! We started teaching Emilio how to read in spanish and he's already got the whole alphabet done... he has such a desire so it's way faster! we then had an appointment with Judith.. well we have a super new zone leader and during Judith's baptismal interview he didnt fill out her baptismal record correctly so I was trying to fix it and I asked her about her marriage information.. she just looked at me and said, "I'm not married!" WHAT?!? I explained to her that in our missionary records it says she was married but the old brand president President Cuellar and she just kept saying tha tshe had imigration problems and it didnt go through... My life really flashed before my eyes.. i imagined my conversation to the Assistance and President Smith, "Ya I married an unmarried lady who is living with her boyfriend.. the law of chastity isn't that improtant is it??" I was freaking out.. Judith had me called Presidente Cuellar and everything.. well THIRTY MINUTES later after almost having a heart attack she told me she was kidding and gave me all her marriage information.. she thought she was sooooooo funny!! BAD JOKE JUDITH!!
Saturday: was a slow day of knocking doors, correlation, getting sick from chicken that a member fed us but we did get to teach Gabina with Hermana Toro and we read with her out of the Book Of Mormon. She is so cute.. when she saw us, she hadn't seen us in a little less than a week, and she just kept hugging us and telling us how much she missed her angels and her light.. ha ha it was funny but she is so cute and will definitely get baptized but she just a little old and slower at learning so it will be a process!
Sunday: Well of course I called Judith right before Sacrament to make sure she was on her way and she told me she wasn't coming and wasn't going to get confirmed.. i was all worried and she walked in the door two minutes latter laughing her face off.. she thinks it soooooo funny to give me a hard time.. NOT FUNNY!! ha ha but the old branch President came in from Utah so he got to confirm her instead of Baptize her and Joana. They just looked so happy and showed up wearing cute dresses! It was a good day... then we got roped into teaching Young Womens about exaltation which was actually fun! That night we went over to the Marrero's for dinner where Hna. Mata was going to teach me how to make flour tortillas and mexican rice.. the tortillas were more like frisbees than tortillas and I have officially concluded she is not from Mexico but more of a gringa than I am!!!!! We are having fun and working hard!! Thanks for all your support and love and I hope you can all make it to my homecoming on August 22nd!! PLAN NOW!! I want you all there!!
Hermana Barber

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hey family!!! I had a crazy busy but good week this week!! Thanks mom for the package it was perfect. Hermana Mata was so excited to get the American Flag SkyWest shirts and she is going to send two of them to her parents in Mexico for Christmas... Mom.. YOU FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE TO APPRECIATE YOUR SKYWEST PRESENTS!!! isnt' my companion the best??
On Monday we had a fun P-day with Hermana Cano who was just called with her husband to serve a service mission helping out our ward a little bit. We spent the day doing this cool craft with her where you take piece of glass and then melt them in a kiln in the microwave to make glass pendents for a necklact.. it was super sweet!! I made a little Texas Flag! That night we had dinner with Martina and the miracle was that her son that HATES the church stayed and ate with us and listened to our scripture. God really can change hearts and it was good for Martina to see that she might have more support from him then she thought. We then taught Deisy at the appartment of Juan Carlos and Mayela and it was a super good first lesson. I love teaching Deisy because after ten years you can see how much she hungers to know and come back to church!!
Tuesdaywe did some service by painting the room of Hermana Marrero's mom who has cancer really bad. We just sat and painted and talked to her then we had a lesson with Martina on the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity which she agreed to live..We had dinner with Hermana Dominguez who laid on the couch the whole time because I got her sick... oppps!!! then we had a lesson with the Toro family and they gave me a soccer shirt from honduras that her sister Mirian sent me from Honduras.. they said I am officially Honduranian now!! ha ha.. Then we spent the rest of the night and almost all of the morning on Wednesday packing, cleaning, and moving to a new members house!! We did it all by ourselves and were super hot and tired by three the next day when we were finally through and ready to start teaching again. I live with another member in an english ward named Peggy Burrows and she is the cutest little lady ever. She bought us twin size beds and decorated our whole room with pictures and bed spreads... it was so cute. I love the new place we are living. My new address is... 3928 Mesa Dr. Plano, TX 75074!! Then we went to teach Martina again with a member from one of the english wards.. .probably the best member present I've had my whole mission... on the way over there I thought I was going to die probably five times. She brought her great grandson with us who wasn't a member so I was trying to translate the whole lesson to him in english and he someone started talking to me about fireworks blowing off peoples faces and hands in the middle of the lesson that I then tried to transistion back into Nephi going and getting the brass plates from Laban... good fun!! Then the member fell asleep during the lesson and when we did ask her to share her testimony she told a story COMPLETELY off topic!! man I love members sometimes!! Then we got a phone call from Ariel saying he was going to kill himself because he lost his job again and things are really bad in his house in Nicaragua right now.... so we spent a little while trying to talk to him about faith and hope in the face of adversity. interesting day!!!
Then on Thursday we got a phone call from the zone leaders that we were having interviews with President and that we needed to change our schedule for the day to be there. So i guess the First Presidency sent a new program they wanted implemented into the missions, making things not as focused by transfers but by months.. so now interviews and zone conference will only be every quarter.. So at least I got my interview for this transfer but I will not get another zone conference in my mission so that's sad. And then they changed it where they will have three day long leadership trainings every month and instead of transfer focuses they will be monthly focuses.. and President will do a specialized training monthly however he feels he wants to... to a zone, to a district or even to a companionship. Well I can't believe I had my last interview with President Smith. It was a good interview that he mainly talked about how much I've changed and become as a missionary... I love my mission president, he is such an amazing man! That evening we made a random stop by the Bustos house because I heard that Alejandra had lost her baby. We shared with them about the Plan of Salvation but Jose Luis is still SUPER hard hearted but one day I pray they will come back! We had another lesson with Deisy who is already half way through 1 Nephi and LOVES it!!
Friday the definite highlight was getting to go to the temple that night to see the Elmore's recieve their endowments and I got to see HERMANA BRUNDAGE!!!.. or Jessica Garner now and I got to meet her husband Eric. She looks so beautiful and pretty... so that was really really fun! But it was weird to think how much time has changed considering I was with her her last transfer and now it is my last transfer!! Time flies WAY WAY WAY too fast! Caran and Steve Elmore were soooo happy!! and Steve made me promise him I would come back so I could give him a hug! The next morning on Saturday we hitched a ride with the Relief Society in our branch to go back to the temple. They just happened to be going to do baptisms together so I got to see Mayela enter the temple for her first time and be baptized for the dead!!! It was amazing... she is amazing! She has such a strong and vibrant testimony that she was continually tries to grow and learn more in the church. She LOVED the temple. Then we barely got to see her do baptisms before we had to run into the sealing for the Elmore family. It was amazing to see Caran and Steve sealed to Jonathan and Christopher. They looked sooo happy!! This gospel is amazing.. the blessings it can bring of an eternal family. what a peace and comfort!
Sunday we had only two people at church Martina and Gabina, a new investigator that is living with the Toro family from Honduras. But Mayela and Juan Carlos were there again and we talked Manuela into letting Luis coming with the Toro family even if she had to work. I also got the opportunity to sing the duet with Elder Esplin this week so it went really good. We sang I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go in spanish of course and acapello. That night we had a couple lessons and ate dinner with Sister Burrows who we just moved in with trying to get to know her better and Hermana Mata talked for an hour and half in english!! thats an accomplishment for her. She's doing AWESOME!!
Well family we had a really good week and saw lots of blessings that the gospel can bring!! I love my mission and I'm thankful for all my blessings!! Thanks for your prayers, love and support!!
con carino,
Hermana Barber

Monday, June 7, 2010


Hi my dear family and friends!! It sounds like you are all doing good and I miss you all and love you TONZ!!
Monday: President changed our P-day from Monday to Tuesday because all the libraries were going to be closed and didn't want all the missionaries to e-mail at members home... so we had a full day planned on Monday.. then we walked out to our car and realized that the miles had been added up wrong and we only had 10 miles for the whole day... so we called and tried to confirm appointments who were actually going to be there... everyone canceled because it was a holiday... so monday: no miles, no appointments, and a working day!! so we grabbed water bottles and headed out walking. We walked for over five hours.. it was hot but we got all our contact points and of course a miracle came out of it!! A couple days before a member had called us and told us that we needed to go by and try to teach Elizabeth's husband so we went by and he told his daugther he didn't want to talk to us.. so we didn't have plans to go back.. but because we had no miles and no appointments and Elizabeth lives really close to our house we decided to chance it and stop by.. It just happened that their whole family was there!!! At first her husband was just sitting at the couch and wouldn't come to the table but with time he came to the table and called for his daughters to come and listen. We got the opportunity to teach their entire family about the Restoration and by the end of the last prayer he was even crying! Elizabeth was crying practically the whole lesson because he never thought in a million years her husband would ever listen to anything about jesus christ or our Heavenly Father. The spirit was so strong and I was so grateful for the unexpected change of plans for the day!
Tuesday: It was a much needed P-day!! We played volleyball as a Zone and Elder Riggs.. a 6'5" elder that played volleyball in high school spiked it right into my face!! OUCH!! Keren also called us BAWLING to tell us that she decided to leave her boyfriend and move into her mom's house so she can get baptized and start a new life!! I felt bad for her because she is going to have a lot of struggles but sooo happy because I know what blessing await her! We taught Juliomar a lesson just about God.. he told us that he has prayed more to the Virgin Maria in his life than God and that he was raised to believe in more than one God... God of the Air.. God of the Trees.. so he is having a hard time grasping who God is.. he understands the plan of salvation and all the commandments.. but to him its more of... okay i can live with God if i do all these things.. But why would I want to live with him?? I am so grateful forthe knowledge i have always had of who God is and my relationship with him! During the lesson he just looked at us and asked.. "How do I know God loves me?" We shared John 3:16 and talked about the power of the atonement... he told us that everytime we come he feels such peace and thoughts come to his head and he has such a desire to change! Its so amazing to watch someone gain a testimony and receive an answer to questions they've always had.
Wednesday: After district meeting our first four appointments punched so we found four other people to teach.. dropping to of them.. Judith and Joana picked who they wanted to baptize them.. then we got a former investigator to agree to take the lessons again-her husband is a member and her brother served a mission! We taught a new investigator named Yolanda who is really into "hearing the word" but doesn't really get it! We had dinner with the Castros.. my first BBQ in Texas that was even semi as good as Dad's BBQ!.. then we went to contact in a trailer park and ran into the Bustos... that was sad.. but good to see them!
Thursday: We taught Keren and she was SUPER nervous.. she told her boyfriend she was leaving.. he begged her to stay for a little bit but she knows the anwser she got from God.. so we read with her a taught by Elder Holland and then she said the closing prayer.. we all kneeled in a circle and she jsut broke down BAWLING during the prayer. It was honestly the most heart felt prayer I've ever heard in my life. We also set a baptismal date with her for July 18th.. the Elders in Garland were really happy to get a referral WITH A BAPTISMAL DATE!! Later that afternoon we contacted a referral we had gotten fromt eh elders who is AMAZING!! She lives with a member named Aurora who is a recent convert bu tshe goes to a different spanish ward.. but we shared her conversion story with her roommate Martina and the spirit was so strong and of course she agreed to meet with us the next day for a first lesson! We had a lesson with Ariel and he tried to give another Book of Mormon away and his friend threw it back at HIS FACE.. then he tried to get his mom and grandma's addresses in Honduras and they just yelled at him and told him he was CRAZY.. he just told us.. well I guess I'll just have to do their work one day!! He is soooo strong!
Friday: We started the day by going over and helping Keren pack and clean.. we brought another scripture to share with her for comfort and we got there adn she was absolutely happy and smiliing!! She is excited for her new life! We taught martina a first lesson with the member Aurora and she is awesome... she will get baptized for sure! We then went and served the Marrero family who's mom that lives with them is in the hospital dying of cancer... Then we had dinner at a chinese buffet with the members and the Elders.. good change up! We then went to have another lesson with Elizabeth and her family again but her husband was sleeping so we just taught her at a members house but she told us that she knows everything is TRUE!!! That's the first steps so next week were going to conquer her fears!
Saturday: We did more service for Yolanda another investigator.. we helped her paint her front room BRIGHT BLUE!! Pretty much all of our appointments canceled on us.. we even showed up to our dinner at a members and she just handed it to us to go!! so we knocked lots of doors, but found a couple promising people!!
Sunday: We had kinda frustrating Sunday.. only one person at church.. but after the storm comes the calm right!! we are going to see miracles this coming week!!! I can't wait!!
I love you all... please pray for the people in Plano to be receptive to Hermana Mata and I this week!! Thanks for everything!!
Hermana Barber

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lisbeth got BAPTIZED!!

It was another great week here in Plano and the last week of miracles for Hermana Kleinman and I!!! SAD DAY!! We got transfer calls on Saturday and I am staying here in Plano and Hermana Kleinman is off.. There are no new Hermana's coming in so neither of us are training...we're not too excited for the change...but God knows best right??
Monday: I went to the doctor to get my MRI analyzed... well i have tendonitis in my right wrist and a syst in my left wrist that will eventually need to get cut out but the doctor said it is not an emergency so i'm gonna wait till i get home.. in the meantime i will be on ibprofen and braces... fun!! ha ha At night we taught a man named Miguel Escalante, a media referral, who told us his story and he sounded exactly like Joseph Smith about going to all these churchs and just wanted to know which of all of them was true... we had an amazing restoration lesson with him and he was so excited to read the Book of Mormon. We taught Ariel about the priesthood because he received the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday and he was so excited.. he is already done with Alma in his reading and is just moving along with the strongest testimony.
Tuesday:WE had a COME TO CHURCH lesson with one of our investigators, Juanita... after district meeting we had a lesson with a lady named Ulga who works nights and almost fell asleep during the first lesson.. then taught a less active who hasn't come to church in 21 years and doesn't even remember who Joseph Smith is..we watched the Restoration DVD with Judith Del Angel, the sister of a member in the branch and a former investigator... before we watched it we asked her 9 year old Joana if she remembered who Joseph Smith was and she told us his whole story almost word for word. After the lesson we asked Judith why she didn't get baptized before and she said, "Because no one ever asked me!" ha ha.. so she is know praying about a baptismal date for June. We taught Ariel with a member and we followed up on the challenge we had given him to share the gospel and a book of mormon with a friend.. we asked him how it went and he told us that his friend just looked at him and said he was crazy but his reply was.." I'm crazy? look at all the bad things your doing in your life... you're crazy." then he told us he was going to find someone else to share it with...I love how he didn't let it discourage him from sharing the truth!
Wednesday:We taught Mildre and Jayro... they were the only two that were there from the seven people we taught last week. Mildre's husband was there but gave us the "I'm Catholic" brushoff but the other two really wanted to learn. Mildre remembers when the Elders used to come to her house 6 years ago in Guatemala to teach her family and remembers the spirit the Elders used to bring and wants to learn more. Jayro doesn't know how to read or write and is really slow when we are teaching him but has such an enthusisiam to learn. At night we got to go teach a young lady named Viviana in english... a member who is 21, Lani, called us the night before and said she had been talking to her friend at work and wanted to know if we would come teach her the first lesson. OF COURSE.. she had a strong catholic background but said she notice things that just weren't right and has been going to tonz of churches looking for the missing link. We had an amazing first lesson with her.. at the end she told us she couldn't say she KNEW it was all true after on lesson but it all made sense..she said the closing prayer while bawling thanking God for showing her the right path to answer her questions. We had to turn her over to the english elders in Sherman but I know if she reads and prayers she'll get baptized..
we got to teach Mayela and Juan Carlos about the temple.. baptisms for the dead and getting sealed in a year... Mayela was so excited.. she just kept asking when she could go and how she could get her reccommend and how she could get all the information about her ancestors. She is serious AMAZING!
Thursday:We had three canceled appointments before noon :) then had a planning session and had the opportunity to contact. we taught a guy from the Phillippeans (?) then a lady from Iraq (obviously weren't tracting in a very spanish area!) We got to teach the lady from Iraq a little about what we must do to live with our families forever..she said she remembered two years ago when she got here from Iraq some missionaries bringing canned food to her door to help her and her family out... thats why she let us come in. She also told us that the way her and her husband met is he saw a picture of her then called her mom to "engage" her.. don't even think about it mom!! :) We then went to contact a member referral in the same complex we were in.. no one was home so we were walking away from the door and we went out of our way to contact this lady in the parking lot that was just getting out of her car.. after talking for a bit we figured out.. she was the referral we were trying to contact.. perfect timing or in other words.. the Lord's timing! At night we took a girl from the branch with us that is thinking about serving a mission to knock some doors in a trailer park.. it was fun.. we even got to "talk" to a Jehovah's witness for awhile.. successful night!! ha ha
Friday: our first three lesson definitely made me so thankful for my childhood, family, and all the things i have. The first lesson we had the lady was freaking out because he husband was in jail for drunk driving and they didn't have the money to get him out or get their car.. next lesson was with a lady named Thomasa who's house smelled like pee and they only had one little table in the corner of the house and all the chair were completely ripped and broken.. she couldnt' read or write but she actually really got the restoration and was completely humble.. it just makes me so sad... then in our next lesson one of the kids had just hit the other kid over the head with a remote control and his head was bledding super bad.. sorry mom!! ha ha.. We had a lesson with Manuela that night and she is almost done with the Docterine and Convenants and carried her triple with her in her purse no matter where she goes. She shared her favorite scripture which is in D&C "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." there is no greater happiness then seeing people you've met and helped be baptized continue to grow in their testimonies.
Saturday: During the day we had a lot of punched appointments but had some time to contact which is usually a good time with lots of fun stories... we met a man from another church going to door to door "spreading the good word" and selling cheese.. still trying to figure out how the two of them go together. We also met another guy that was pretty creepy so we gave him a pass-a-long card then we tried to hurry and leave so i just stuck out my hand to shake his hand and he went to KISS it... luckily i have "sister missionary" wierded out by boys reflexes and pulled away super duper fast and told him we couldn't do that as pretty much running away!! ha ha..We got to teach a new family we met while contacting in the trailer park, Andres, Paula, and their 15 year old son Zach... we had an amazing first lesson with them and we had to swing back by their house to give Zach a Book of Mormon in english and before we had even driven away he was sitting on his porch reading it... I hope they progress better thent he Busto family did!!! We got transfer calls that night... Hermana Kleinman is leaving and I'm staying.. we weren't too happy about spliting up but change always happens and something good always comes from it.. even if it is just a growing experience. Hermana Kleinman has been here for 6 months and this is her first area on her mission.. it will be good for her to get to see other places.. after this transfer I will have been here for 6 months also... 6 weeks in Irving, 8 months in Carrollton, and six months in Plano..haven't moved much have I? But there are obviously other people who need me this transfer so i'm excited to find them.
Sunday: Mayela showed up to church wearing her new outfit we had bought her.. she looked so cute... the Toro's came and Lisbeth was so excited for her baptism... the three girls always wear bows in their hair.. everyday.. so they bought and gave me some bows to wear with them.. it was super cute. Lisbeth's baptism was really nice.. Hermana Marrero baptized her and her aunt was their from Honduras who is not a member so it was an awesome missionary opportunity for their family.
Life is going great and excited/nervous about my new companion tomorrow!! PRAY FOR ME!! thanks for you support and love.. keep the letters coming!!
Hermana Barber

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ariel and Mayela...just waiting to be confirmed!!

This was honestly a great week and so full of joy!! First off CONGRATS MICHAEL GLENN BARBER!!!!.. can't believe you're a dentist... you're awesome! I can't wait for y'all and Mindy and Tales all to be in Utah again.. the Barber Gang will all be back together!! YAHOO!!!
Monday: We went to go contact a referral we got a for a man named Derby... you can imagine how surprised we were when a young man opens the door and says, "Hi sisters!!".. it turns out that Derby is actually a member and lives with two other members that are RETURNED MISSIONARIES! They havent' been to church in three years because of work but we're helping them get back... they asked their bosses the next day for Sundays off and Marvin and Derby are getting every other Sunday off. I'm so excited!! Then we helped the Bustos that night to move into their new trailer...I really will always care for them a ton... but they're just so comfortable with life they're not willing tow open their eyes to whatelse they need. Alejandra also told us that she's pregnant.. Jose Luis doesn't know yet but now he will marry her. It's so crazy how Satan is using complacency to keep people from listening to us.. they're lives are good enough so why should they change.. listen to us. What they don't understand is how much BETTER they can be! It was funny though because when Alejandra was telling us she was pregnant we said.. oh wow your 6th child and she said no my 8th!! we were like.. what?? where are your other two.. she laughed and said "Hermana Klayman y Barbie!" Man how I wish she got it! Before we left that night Jose Luis asked me to say a closing prayer in their new house and bless them and their new changes in life.
Tuesday: was interviews and training which I always LOVE.. it's fun to see President and Sister Smith and hear their trainings. We had trainings on how to include members more in the conversion process so that after baptism converts are stronger. My interview with President Smith was AWESOME as usual.. he is amazing. and for once instead of me crying in an interview.. he cried!! :) He talked about when the day comes when he stands in the presence of his Savior and it brought him to tears.. he really is an amazing man. You know you really are on the downhill when he starts bringing up that your going home in your interview... TIME JUST STOP!! After interviews and training we went to get the oil changed at a Pep Boys.. and I am for sure a weird sister missionary.. i asked the guys at Pep Boys to turn off the TV because it was talking about not such good things so i could read my scriptures.. yep it happened! ha ha
We got ahold of Juan Garcia again after two months.. he's still confused but we're going to try to teach him again... We had a lesson with a new family we met.. Miriam and Luis... they are super smart and really get the message of the Restoration. It was super embaressing though because during the openning prayer their little girl was on the couch next to me playing with a loud music toy so i couldn't hear the prayer at all. So I was sitting their and all of a sudden heard just silence... I said Amen and looked up to Hermana Kleinman and then just staring at me... then Hermana Kleinman just asked if i had fallen asleep and they all started laughing at me. At night we taught Juan Carlos and Mayela the ten commandments, tithing, and fasting... then we found out it was Juan Carlos' birthday so we ate little mexican cake things with them and sang. We also planned her program and got permission for Juan Carlos to speak at Mayela's baptism... they were sooo excited!
Wednesday: the best day of tracting EVER!! fun stories to let you know how tracting goes down here... we meet people from all over the world and from all different religions.. even their own made up religions... So we were trying to contact a less active who wasn't there so we knocked around his house. We knock on this door and waited then heard someone knocking at us through their window... it was an old lady.. she read our tags then turned around and walked away... her daughter came to the door a little later and was super sweet but her mom was in the background tell her to tell us we already have a church and to go away. The daughter yelled back.. "They're christians, mom" and the mom yelled back in spanish "no they aren't they're mormons" ha ha so i talked back to her in spanish and she was a little shocked... it was funny! then right after that we went to contact an african american man that was sitting outside his garage.. we started talking to him and he told us that he had gone to a lot of churches and that their were a lot of Bible but the one that was most correct was the King James version but even that one was mission things... we were super excited... so we started teaching him about prophets and he told us that his mom was a prophet... and then out walked his mom! We introduced ourselves as Sister Barber and Sister Kleinman then she introduced herself as Sister Jones... we finished contacting her son and were walking away when she stopped us to talk. She starts wobbling and bowing down as she telling us that she has been called and anointed by God adn that she has been prophesied about in the Bible in the books of Isaiah and Jerimiah.. that she is the Daughter of Zion talked about in those books. She proceeds to show us her palm and clams she has a star of David and a Z in the creases in her hand.. I couldn't see it. Then she told us that at night the stars spell out ZION above her house with a question mark because she can ask God anything she wants.. then some airplanes flew by and she yelled in the middle of her sentence "THERE GOES MY HATERS.".. She then tells us that all the destruction that is happening in the world she prophesied about a couple months before... she then saw a pass-a-long card we had with a picture of Jesus on it and started telling us that Jesus is black and if we didn't stop preaching about the wrong Jesus Christ we were going to Hell.. so at that point we told her to have a nice day and walked away and she called after us all down the street calling out scriptures and telling us we are going to Hell... it was sooo funny!!
Thursday: We taught Ariel that night about the interview questions for his baptismal interview. It is so cool how sincere he is. He pulled out a notebook to take notes on the questions so he could study and pass his interview... but as we went on he realize he already knew all the answers and was super excited to get baptized. We taught Luis and watched Finding Faith in Christ with him and talked about the importance of following Christ example then set another date with him for the 9th of May to be baptized with Lisbeth.
Friday: We taught a couple lesson but the people were just too confortable to really listen again... this whole week i just kept thinking of the quote that says the gospel of Jesus Christ is here to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.. we just have to cause a need for these people so they'll actually listen. We had dinner with Manuela and actually talked to Leo again and he promised to come see Luis' baptisms which is a huge step for us and him again. That night we gave Mayela one of those necklaces that you sent me mom.. she loved it!! thanks!! And Hno. Marrero picked up Mayela and Ariel for their baptismal interviews.. they of course passed!! and they seemed soooo happy!!! I couldnt' wait for Sunday.. it felt like waiting for Christmas!
Saturday: we did a lot of service... we went to visit a less active family and showed up right as they were moving all their stuff to a storage unit because they had lost their house and were going to live in a hotel for a week till they can figure otu what they are going to do.. so sad. We also went and bought Ariel a white shirt and tie.. he was sooooooo excited!! He tried it on for us and we said "Lord I would follow thee" with him and had a prayer... honestly I almost cried because the spirit was so strong. Ariel really has changed his whole life to follow his savior...there is no greater feeling then being able to be apart of helping someone come to know their Savior and feel his love and cleansing power!
At night we finished all the lessons with Lisbeth Toro so we will spend next week gettign her readdy for her baptismal interview... she is so cute!
Sunday: the GREATEST day!! Mayela, Juan Carlos, Ariel and the Toro's all showed up at church. Mayela was wearing her necklace and Ariel his white shirt and tie. Juan Carlos bore his testimony during testimony meeting about the importance of this church in his life and how big of a miracle this day was for him and his family... The baptismal service was absolutely beautiful and Juan Carlos did an awesome job on his talk on the Holy Ghost.. he was super nervous though! After the baptism we went in to help Mayela get ready and asked her how she felt and she just kept saying soooo good.. then said so grateful. After second of my mission is worth it when you see people change their lives like that!! I LOVE IT HERE!! There really is no greater joy!
Thank you for all your prayers and support!! love y'all and miss you!!
con carino,
Hermana Katie Barber