Monday, December 7, 2009

7 and 1/2 months in Carrollton and another GREENIE!!

Another great but VERY COLD week in Carrollton!! Monday (Nov. 10th) was a fun P-day but the Yeaman's ended up canceling on us because they were sick... we had no miles since it was the end of the month so ended up staying in Coppell where we had been for P-day but it turned out perfectbecause we got to contact Teresa and teach her a lesson.. yes still Teresa Andrade.. I'm so determined to get her baptized. She wants to she just doesn't want to change. So we started the lesson and her little boy Davin that is 5 say the opening prayer then we asked him what his greatest dream was and he just pointed to his mom and said live with her forever and ever and ever and ever... etc. Then we looked at Teresa and asked her what her greatest desire was and of course she said that
same... then we asked her what she needed to do. Of course she said the five steps and committed to work towards them again... I hope it happens this time!!
Tuesday we had a zone meeting which was way good on solving our investigators concerns using the Book of Mormon. We did role plays andthe zone leaders were pretty hard investigators trying to make us work for it. It was amazing thought because that night we went and taught a part member family and every single one of the concerns we had used in zone conference he actually brought up... it's amazing how the Lord prepares us here in the field to face anything! After that we went and taught Josue and Aliz Flores again... the parents are back together and they have decided together they want to be active again. They all came to church on Sunday as a family now we are just waiting on their dad to be able to baptize them. We then went and taught another part-member family, Christina Martinez and her children Melissa and Sophia Gomez. She was baptized when she was 15 but moved and hasn't been to church in years. We started re-teaching them but the says church is too early to come and that she has nothing to wear... she won't tell us what her real concern is even if we dig and dig and dig... but we'll get them there next week. She knows her family really needs the gospel and her kids need to have this foundation to grow and make different decisions then she did but I think apart of her thinks she is so far off the path she can never come back. That where we come in... help her feel that divine love again.
Wednesday we taught Nancy Adame who is so ready to get baptized but her husband won't let her come to church in Farmers Branch where the chapel is because the police are known for deporting... but they're moving out building to the stake center in Carrollton at the start of the month so maybe then she will start to progress. We found an old investigator named Silvia Orozco that we committed to take the lessons again. Then we went and ate with a Columbian family... the Sacristan. I love lentils that they eat with every meal but then after the meal she asked if we wanted hot chocolate which was said yes... then she said, "Con Queso??" so yes I ate my first hot chocolate with cheese... not the biggest fan!!
After dinner we headed over to the Yeaman's to check on Jason and how he was doing on not smoking and he's doing amazing!! We then talked about him quitting coffee and he made an agreement with me that Melinda was ecstatic about... he is going to stop coffee on January 1st which is also their wedding anniversary and we got him to express his desires to be sealed with his family in the temple!! That will be one of the greatest days of my life... I love this family!
On Thursday we taught Gerardo the Word of Wisdom and The Law of Chastity. I thought it was going to be an interesting lesson but I wasn't prepared for what he said to us. He said he has always felt his body was very sacred and then quoted the scripture in Corinthians about our bodies being temples which I was planning on sharing... he honestly
is sooooooooo prepared... and every time I commit him to live anything he always says "CLARO Hermana Barbara!" ... We planned his baptism and he wants Hermano Garibaldi to baptize him. I'm doing a talk on Baptism, Hermana Gomez on Holy Ghost and we're singing a special musical number. I can't wait!!
Friday we got to go to the temple with the Aguilar's. They received their endowments and I did my first session all in was super fun and so amazing to see how happy they were. It was my first time going to the temple for an endowment session in my mission... man do I miss that!
On Saturday we got transfer calls... I was sure I was getting transferred so I had been passing around my address book and journal to everyone in the area and was finally at grips that I wouldn't be spending the holidays here in Carrollton. Well you can imagine my surprise when President called us and told me that I was STAYING in Carrollton another transfer and TRAINING AGAIN!!! Three transfers...three greenies... can you say EXHAUSTING BUT EXCITING!! President Smith said I'm going to be the trainer extrodinare because I'm done.... I'm excited but I'm going to miss Hermana Gomez so much! We
were rocking it together!
Sunday Gerardo passed his baptismal interview with flying colors and will be baptized next week at five!! I can't wait!
Sorry this e-mail is shorter than usual but we have so much to do today to get ready for transfers tomorrow!! I love you all and thanks for the support and prayers!!

Con amor,
Hermana Barber

Monday, November 30, 2009

December 13!!...CAN'T WAIT!!

Happy Late Thanksgiving!!! It sounds like the family all had a great Thanksgiving and I did too!! Thanks for sending me the Banana Cream Pie recipe even thought I got it way too late!! I definitely missed mom's banana cream pie and homemade rolls and dad's stuffing and honey carrots.... No one can cook as well as y'all.. SORRY!!!
Well Sunday I talked to an old member in my English ward that I had gotten really close to named Melinda Yeaman... her husband is less active and trying to quit smoking and I have gotten really close to this family. I told her about a quit smoking program that we as missionaries teach and she just said her husband would never go for it... on Sunday
night we were doing out planning and all our appointments for Monday were falling through-we had three..Then as we were sitting trying to decide what we could do Sister Yeaman called me and said her husband wanted me to teach him that program! So I guessed the canceled appointment were an answer to prayers because we got to teach him the
next night and get him started right away. So on Monday night he made us all dinner.. Yummy filet minions!! And then we taught him the quit smoking program and one of the steps is that they can't drink alcohol, coffee or tea for the week they're trying to quit.. He told me he didn't think he could do it because coffee is like his crutch so I just offered to take his espresso maker away.. ha ha which I did along with all of his nice coffees!! His wife I think was in shock that he really let me walk out the front door with all his lighters and coffee plus way nice espresso maker. While she was driving us home she talked about how he used to not even come out and talk to missionaries or would say hi and just disappear and how other missionaries were intimidated or scared by his boldness or personality.. So I guess thank goodness for my thick skin.. she told me how much he respects me and it made me realize how we really are put in the places we are just to touch certain people... He thinks I'm giving him back his espresso maker in two weeks.. Little does he know the next step is getting him to quit coffee and back to church J
Tuesday was an interesting day because we were going to have a zone meeting and some of the sisters totaled their 2009 Malibu on the way over to the meeting.. hmmmm sounds familiar... I have decided they shouldn't let sisters drive!! (I'm sure my dad would agree) so we spent the rest of the afternoon driving the sisters around, getting them ice
packs, dinners, going to their appointment and so on but we did by 7 get to go to one of our own appointments with Gerardo, Mr. GOLD!! He told us how different he feels since he met us and how he was out with his brother over the weekend and just wanted to rush home to read the Book of Mormon and how peaceful he feels when he reads it. We then taught him
the Plan of Salvation briefly including the 5 steps he needs to do to live in the Celestial Kingdom forever. He said he realizes he is on the step of repentance and says he feels 50% ready to make the next step of baptism..and for only our second lesson with him I will take 50%!!
On Wednesday we had a great day and walked probably 10 miles...we were running low on miles since it's the end of the month but it is such great weather her still that we took advantage of it. We taught an old old investigator Maria Sandoval and got her to commit to take the lessons again with her family..Then we knocked some doors and visited
some members and less actives. We ended up eating two dinners.. Carne asada with familia Sanchez which was AMAZING.. and her husband is less active and his friend who has been less active for 8 years was there also so we had a nice lesson and talk with them. We taught Hermano Rojo who is a recent convert and they haven't been to church since I've been here since July so were going to start teaching them the lessons again because he said he really doesn't see the difference between our church and the catholic church.. Probably not a good sign! We then had another dinner with familia Navarro who are from Nicaragua which is where Hermana Gomez's family is from so she was soooo excited to have that food again... I didn't care for it that much but downed it... the fried bananas and cheese wasn't too bad. We then went and taught Aliz and Josue Flores again.. still painfully shy but still want to get baptized so hopefully we can get them there within the next couple months and get their dad to be able to baptize them.
Thursday (Happy Thanksgiving!!) was such a fun day filled with tons of good food! I started the day by making the rest of the breadstick mix that Janene sent me and brownies to bring to our three thanksgiving dinners. We first went to the Elmore's house where I helped Caran make the sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and corn... I love this house and them.. I really feel just like home there. We had a nice dinner then we played a game of Clue which I have been promising the boys I would play (and kill them at) for months!! We then made our way over to the Carraquillos where they had a casserole of every different veggie I think.. she did have homemade rolls, strawberry jam, and a banana cream pie so I tried really hard to stuff it done but was
so full I don't think I thoroughly enjoyed it. We then headed to the Aguilars where we had a nice ham since none of us really like turkey that much anyway but I felt pretty bad because I couldn't eat that much because honestly I felt like I was going to explode. We made turkey with them where the feathers were all the things they are thankful for and one of Hermana Corina Aguilars was that she is thankful to get to go to the temple on December 5th to receive her endowments!! I was soooo excited!! They aren't getting sealed until they have money to do a wedding since she never got one but at least they are progressing and going to the temple.. I got permission to go already and can't wait! It was a good day and I have so much to be thankful for.. I'm so thankful for this experience but it also made me realize how thankful I am for my amazing family who I love so much (and miss!!) Friday we had studies and did a little planning then ate two o'clock went and taught Gerardo with Hermana Caceras. We taught him the five steps (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end) again more in
depth focusing on repentance since that is the step he said he was on.. then at the end of the lesson we asked him what he felt like he needed to do to be ready for the next step and he said.. well I guess nothing and he felt ready! We told him we have some more lessons to teach him and that he needed to come to church but he is so excited and filled
with animo I love teaching him! We then went and taught a lady that just showed up to Relief Society last week, Sofia Gonzalez, it was an amazing lesson especially since one of her roommates is a way active member so she has a way good example already. She also had just found out that her daughter that is still in Guatemala has dangia fever (?) and in the hospital and she hasn't been able to find a job yet since being in the
United States. We taught her the first lesson, prayed, and sang for her and she just expressed what peace she felt.. I love this work! After teaching her for some reason I felt like I should call an old investigator that I haven't talked to in months and he won't meet with the other English sisters that got put in... So I called Joseph Esters to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving and he told me that his nephew Thurnell had passed away the day before Thanksgiving and his family were having a super hard time. So I went and bought them a lasagna dinner with a note and went to visit him... we got into talking and teaching him and got to sing for him and pray. He is still reading his Book of Mormon and highlighting the scriptures I gave him. I just testified to him that this is the only way he can live with Thurnell again and that I know Thurnell wants him to have this opportunity. He knows it is true just too scared to make the leap... but he didn't tell me pretty emotional that no matter where me or Hermana Richardson get transferred or changed we're never far away because we are his angels and close to his heart. He said I think God programmed to you Sister Barber just so you could get into my heart... there are very few people I let close to me and y'all are some of them! It was definitely another tender moment where I realized I am here for a reason. We then went to familia Escalante and helped them set up their Christmas tree and caroled with them. Saturday a lot of our appointments fell through and our day was going kind of crappy so we decided to make a stop by at Gerardo's since we were already in the area.. so we read the Book of Mormon with him sitting on his front steps of his apartment complex. We read 3 Nephi 11 with him when Christ came to the Americas but it had never stood out to me until we read it this time that when Christ comes after everyone gets the chance to feel the marks in his hands and feet he then calls Nephi to come to him and gives him the power baptize and teaches how and the importance of that. After we read Gerardo told us he was ready to get baptized and wanted to know when he could so we set a date with him for Sunday, December 13th after his third time coming to church. He is so excited... but he wears a hat all the time and told us that he wasn't going to take it off to come to church... that he never takes off this hat! We decided that was a minor problem and we could overcome that!! Ha ha We had dinner when a member family then went up to Lewisville to teach that less active Amelia we met knocking doors and her husband who is a non-member was there so we got to teach them a powerful first lesson..I don't think he completely gets it all but he at least agreed and was excited to read the Book of Mormon which is a huge converting tool.. it works miracles!
Sunday was such an amazing day!! Gerardo came to church with Hermano Garibaldi NOT WEARING HIS HAT, plus we had TEN OTHER INVESTIGATORS come to church...we were definitely not counting on that many plus the Escalante family brought some of their family to church that we have taught once and thought they wanted nothing to do with the church.. plus the Aguilars brought someone we thought the same thing about and then a member brought her sister and nephew who are not members... AMAZING!!
But the meetings were pretty intense meetings with sacrament about tithing which we had never taught Gerardo so we were pretty nervous about all that. So after church we went to eat with Tony Herinquez and Anias Zariate which is always an experience. Then we had the opportunity to teach Pedro Masias again who was a media referral from a month or so ago.. he really wants his kids to learn and come to church so I think they will go somewhere even if they progress kind of slow.. then we went and taught the old investigator Esperanza who we haven't seen in almost two months... well needless to say her pastor at the Baptist church had asked her where she had been and she told him about us and so he gave her some anti.. so our lesson with here was very interesting and I doubt I go back while I am in the area... just sad that she knew it was true and has completely rejected it like that.. it broke my heart. Then we had a appointment with a lady we just knocked into but found out she was sick so we went to her house just to sing to her and say a prayer which she really appreciated and said she was anxious for us to come back and teach her when she was better.. then we went over to Gerardo's to answer questions from church and teach him about tithing... we got there and asked him what questions he had and he just told us he has always felt like someone was missing.. that he had used his money to take care of his needs and send some home to Mexico and he felt like he was being blessed but he said that the church is the missing link.. He felt like tithing was his way of giving back to God. He said he is EXCITED to pay tithing and will pay it gladly...he is too perfect!!! Ha ha he said church was amazing that everyone was so nice and he felt like when Presidente Carraquillo was talking about how finding the church is like finding a light and the path that he was talking directly to him. He
said he learned so much that he was so excited to learn more and more every week. And couldn't wait for his baptism. He told us he knew we weren't always going to be with him but that he will always be grateful we showed him the right way and he said, "I will always hear Hermana Gomez saying go this way and Hermana Barbara saying do this!" He is so sincere and we walked away from that appointment and Hermana Gomez just looked at me and said, "moments like that make me love my mission!" It is so true!
I love my mission and I love this area of Carrollton. Transfer calls are on Saturday and I am praying that I can stay in this area for one more transfer and with Hermana Gomez for one more transfer too and continue to grow in confidence with my spanish and in our friendship.. she is great! Thanks for all your prayers and love and support!! Please pray for Gerardo and his baptismal date to go through!!
Hermana Katie Barber
P.S. If you haven't written me a letter in a while the holidays would be
a GREAT time to for me to hear from you!! Ha ha.. Thanks love you all!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Angie Vasquez is Baptized!!

This week has been absolutely amazing, stressful, but busy!! Monday started out with most of our appointments canceling so we went to Presidente Carrasquillo's house to teach a friend of his son who had questions about the church in english. We tried to teach him the first lesson but we later found out in the lesson he only came because he was determined to prove our church wrong and to get more material for his lesson he was going to teach the youth in his church about our church being a cult and non-christians... it was an interesting experience but it was amazing how our simple testimonies he couldn't dispute. Its so hard because my heart hurts for them just to know the truth and really want to search for the truth and open their hearts.. but the experience also made me happy I'm a spanish missionary!! Tuesday we had interviews and training with President and Sister Smith.. I love them!! We are focusing on the Book of Mormon this transfer and introducing it at the begining of our lessons and using it in door contacts and all.. so as a mission we all got the Book of Mormons we pass out everyday and we are reading it twice together as a mission.
The first time we are marking everytime the Book of Mormon refers to Jesus Christ or God plus all the pronouns.. then the next time we are marking key doctrines. I am through first Nephi marking the names of God and Jesus Christ and it is AMAZING!! You should all do it.. I've never known how much every page of the Book of Mormon helps us see more about our Father in Heaven and his son.. It truly is another testament of Jesus Christ.. each page hold precious truths! I also had an amazing interview with President Smith and as we were sitting there he said, "Hermana Barber there are 2... no 3 families waiting to be baptized in this area before Christmas. You need to take your greenie and go knock some doors." It was amazing to see him receive that revelation for me and our area right on the spot.. he is definitely called of God. So if you couldn't have guessed.. we went out and knocked some doors!! Within an hour we had talked to a man that said reincarnation and resurrection are the exact same thing, another man who said the reason we don't hear about Jesus in the Bible before his ministry at 33 is because he was abducted by aliens, and another lady that said she has the same power that Jesus Christ had because he gave it to her.. I asked her to show me in the bible where it said that.. she said she was going to go get her own bible.. she slammed the door.. i waiting a little bit but she never came back :)!! But we also found an amazing family.. Carlos and Lilianna with two kids and one on the way and she has a cousin that is a member!! We are going to teach them all
this week and i'm super super excited!!
On Wednesday we knocked some more doors and got a lady that asked us if we were from the mormon tabernacle choir so we told her yes and sang for her and she told us we were angels... she wasn't all there but it was fun!! We also went and visited an old referral named Romeo.. he was who we were going to teach when sister Richardson totaled the Malibu and we never went back. We taught him outside his apartment complex and it was an amazing lesson and he really wants to come to church.
Well on Wednesday Sister Smith called us and asked us if we would sing a song for our Zone Conference on Saturday and I agreed because my new companion really wanted to and i thought it would be a fun experience for her... but honestly i hate singing in front of people.. i would rather give a thirty minute talk than sing three minutes any day.. but I thought why not... so on Thursday we went to go print out the sheet music and all the libraries were closed so by the time we got it we had to be singing it in less than 48 hours.. Then the person that was going to play the piano we were told bailed... then i found out that the reason we were singing the song is because the wife or the seventy that was going to be speaking wanted it sung!! I had not agreed while knowing i was singing in a meeting where a seventy was speaking, Elder Flukiger... then i get to the church on Saturday to sing and the person i had finally found to play it was no where to be found so we grabbed a random sister to play.. practiced twice... oh and i get to our "zone conference" and find out it is really a multi zone conference including every missionary except for about 40 out east.. too far away.. so there were about 125 missionaries.. I definitely didn't bargin for that!! But of course i did it and it turned out pretty good. Sister Smith and Flukiger kept thanking us afterwards... but the best was when Elder Metcalf came up to me.. ha ha Cindy Metcalf has been trying to get me to sing in our home ward since i was 12 I think with you mom and i always told her NO!!... ha ha.. Mark just walked up to me and said,"You are going to be in SOOOOOOOOO much trouble when i tell my mom!!" I was laughing so hard.. Sister Smith heard the comment so he told her how i would never sing before my mission and she said, "Sometimes it takes a mission to step-up and do the unthinkable.." I don't think any statement could explain my mission more!!
Well we got out of Zone Conference late and barely got back to Carrollton in time to get things ready for our baptism.. the Zone Leaders Elder Andrus and Elder Roberts saved me by hurrying back to filled up the font while i waited for a ride that never showed up so
finally Hermana Richardson and Hermana Beetso (who are now companions) drove us back to Carrollton. Angie Vasquez's baptism was amazing.. her husband got to baptize her and confirm her.. Hermana Gomez and I had taught her three year old to sing "Soy un Hijo de Dios" and sang it with her at the baptism... Right after she got baptized she just sat in the water and started crying.. then after the baptism her husband came up to me and just kept thanking me with tears in his eyes. It's moments like that that make this whole mission worth it.. they are so excited to get sealed in a year!
Sunday five people came to church.. we went to go try to contact that lady Deana Alfonzo that went to Mexico for a couple months to see her dad again and ended up getting in her apartment and teaching her roommate who we found out is a very less-active member.. and her sister is actually the one that called us to refer us to Deana and told us her sister would NEVER listen to us.. but guess what she did.. we taught her and her father-in-law the first lesson and have another lesson with them tonight.. At night after eating yummy tacos with the Aguilars we went and sang to Sister Redo who is recoping from surgery to remove her cancer.. The spirit was so strong in that room..maybe the strongest i have felt in a long time.
Well i'm excited for this week to find our three families that need to get baptized for Christmas.. this work is amazing!! I miss y'all so much but we get to party for eternity!! Can't wait!!
Hermana Barber

Monday, October 19, 2009

Survivor of Swine Flue 2009 :)

Hola Familia y amigos!!
Well first off.. I AM AN AUNT AGAIN!! and can i just say that i have the cutest niece and nephews in the world.. when i come back I'm spending days just playing with them.. I can't wait.. please give them extra loves for me!! TATE is so super cute and I'm so excited for you Matt and Bean! My other shout-out is a Happy Birthday for Reilly Carlyle Barber.. I can't believe you are 23.. we are SOOOOO old... Love you and I'm writing you a birthday letter today!
Well my week was an interesting but exciting week for sure! On Monday we had an amazing Family Home Evening lesson with the Escalante Family.. we played Church Bingo with them that I made...(it reminded me of Christmas Bingo... dad you should send me my small set in my closet to play with people here..that would be an AWESOME christmas gift!!) but everytime we called out a word they had to define it or say why it was important.. the best was when i called out el templo and the Mom, Betty, started talking about how many there are in the world and how she can get married with her family for eternity there and throwing out all other kinds of facts and I was shocked.. i asked her where she learned so much and she said she had been studying on the church website!! This family is SOOOOOO ready to get baptized.. i pray for a miracle for them everyday.. (oh and I bought Landrea's birthday present from them too that night.. Landrea I was laughing sooooo hard!! I can't wait to send it to you!!!) But another highlight was at the end of the night when Vidal said the closing prayer and talked about el gozo or joy he feels everytime we come over and how he KNOWS he is on the correct pathway for Jesus Christ to follow in his example.. I love this family with all my heart!
On Tuesday we had district meeting and by the end of district meeting I wasn't feeling very hot.... so my zone leaders sent me home and gave me a blessing before. I had called Sister Smith to tell her some of my symptons and she said I had them all except for the fever for swine flu so she told me just to take it easy.. so the next two days I spent sleeping...I was so worn out and sick. But I don't listen to leaders that well and I had already scheduled an appointment with Teresa (my old baptismal date that started working so she couldn't get baptize cause she wasn't coming to church) and i wasn't going to miss that for ANYTHING.. so of course on Tuesday night I went.. and good thing because we set a new baptismal date with her for November 14th.. i pray she actually can this time!! It was really interesting thougth in my blessing from the zone leaders he mentioned patiences like three times...patience with myself, and my investigators and President Smith said that same thing in our interviews... I was so frustrated with myself because i was sick and couldn't go to most of our appointments for the week.. so I think there is a theme in the transfer.. PATIENCE.. and I'm going to either learn it or the Lords gonna keep giving me situations to learn it.. ha ha! So Wednesday the Zone Leaders called Hermana Beetso and told her not to let me leave.. so i was held hostage by my greenie and had such 'cabin fever' no one could have kept me in on Thursday.
After Studies on Thursday we went to Coppell and did a four hour service project for and investigator of the zone leaders.. we literally cleared out a forest in her backyard and i have the scratches to prove it.. but i did get to use a chainsaw.. the Elders were pretty scared not gonna lie ;)!! ha ha The lady's name was Mary that we were helping and she just kept saying, "When I told people that two young men came to my house and offered to help me they all just kept saying oh you'll never see them again.. they'll never come back and help you.. But you did and you brought 8 other people to help you!! you rekindled my faith and I know that Jesus and the Holy Mother sent you..(obviously they haven't taught her enough)" It was fun seeing how affected she was by a measely four hours of our help.. and it was fun!!
Friday we were out working and Hermana Beetso finally told me she wasn't feeling good.. we took her temperature and she had a fever.. so back to the appartment! But we left again that night for three appointments.. one with the Flores family.. Hermano Flores can baptize his kids in three weeks.. well two weeks now.. So he will baptize at least Josue his son in November but we dont' have the exact date yet! Its so fun seeing their family come back to church though and really starting to get the difference the gospel can make if they allow themselves to live this gospel again.. this gospel really is amazing! We also went to Teresa's and celebrated her birthday with her and gave her a calendar with her baptismal date and everything she needed to do to be ready for the 1 th!! she seems really excited... and so am I!!
Saturday was an interesting day because we had 7 confirmed appointments and everything canceled on us and our backup plans were no good so we spent a lot of time knocking doors but i don't think me and Hermana Beetso have ever laughed so much since we've been together so it was a good bonding day.. I am starting to understand her and her culture better and it is fun... she is great and is really trying hard, and I've seen a huge change in her this week.
Sunday we only had three investigators at church which was kinda frustrating but we had two "eternalgators" of part-member families agree to meet with us that haven't met with missionaries in awhile so i was really excited about that! Do you remember Elsy? the one we were teaching, getting ready to give a baptismal date.. then she told us she was already baptize.. well we areteaching her granddaught now and we taught her and she said the closing prayer and asked to be able to remember and understand everything we were teaching her.. especially about the mormon bible.. She is 15 and super cute.. then after her prayer she looked at me and said, "Was that a good one?" She wants to know and this was our second lesson to her and I asked her if she had prayed about the stuff we taught her the first time and how she felt and she said,"I just feel alot better about myself.. like i know who i really am!" That is a knowledge i have taken for granted... we are really children of god... sons and daughters!! I think how much my parents love me, and everything they have done and want to do for me in my life to help me succeed.. My Father in Heaven has so much love for me.. FOR YOU!!! and one of the things he has given us and done for us to help us succeed is given us this gospel, a prophet, the scriptures, the opportunity to communicate with him through prayer!! How many times do we really stop and think how amazingly blessed we are then thank our Father... that's my
challenge for you this week!!! Well after Melissa's we went to teach our investigator Maricruz but she wasn't there.. she is the hospital because she is really sick.. so I was walking to the car and really needed to use a restroom and there were a group of people sitting outside the laundry mat so i asked them if i could use one of their restrooms.. the first guy told me i could use his but i told him i couldn't because there wasn't another woman in his house.. (rules are blessings.. you just wait!) so the woman told me i could use hers..long story short we start talking to her and find out she is a MEMBER.. yep.. was baptized in Honduras seven years ago and hasn't gone to church 'cause the one she thought she found was super far away.. so now she is coming back to church this week and we are teaching her husband she married here!! Her name is Maritza and her husband Hector.. we see miracles EVERYDAY!!
Then last night we taught a part member family.. Tomja is a member and from the Dominican Republic and her husband Luis is from Cuba.. Tomja is pregnant and we had an amazing lesson on the Plan of Salvation. Luis is a little confused but mainly very comfortable with his ways and is young and doesn't want to change but is very willing to listen to us. I love this family.. they have a little girl named Sophie that really reminds me of Jules everytime I'm there.. I love it.. she always wants me to hold her and I can't and it makes me so sad.. it might remind me so much of Jules because she has barely any hair ;)!! I hope we can help them become a forever family... Tomja wants it so bad!!
Well family my week has been crazy fun and an adventure.. I am feeling 100% and ready for another week of miracles, lessons on patience :) and helping my brothers and sister here in Texas come closer to Christ!... I love this place...Everything is better in Texas, they're right!
con amor,
Hermana Katie Barber

Monday, October 5, 2009

I will never eat cake again!!

Well I don't have tonz of time but I just want to thank everyone for all their letters, packages, and love!!! i had an awesome birthday and did miss all of you but it was great.. this week was amazing also.. Monday after e-mailing we went shopping at the mall because my shoes broke so i bought new shoes.. then we went to go to lunch at outback and it was closed.. i was so sad until later that day I got a letter and a giftcard for outback from Landrea, Thanks Jane.. you know me so well! we went to go to Johnny Corinos a restuarant instead... ate our meal and were getting ready to pay when the waitress said that our bills had been taken care of already.. there happened to be a random member in the restuarant.. saw us and paid for our meals. super nice. At night we went to the Elmore families and they made me a yummy chicken dish and made a homemade chocolate cake that was to die for and since she works for mary kay she gave me some mary kay products for my birthday.. it was perfect! They really are like my family here and i started crying when i thanked them for everything.. i was feeling a little homesick so it was nice to have them and their love for me! We then went to the Aguilars who are recent converts and they also made me my favorite mexican dish of chicken tinga and torillas.. they also got me cake, didn't push my face in it just wiped it all over my face and their son Giovani learned how to play happy birthday on the violin for me!! ha ha.. But i think my greatest birthday gift was that the Elmore and the Aguilars called my trainer Jessica Brundage so i could talk to her.. and guess what SHE IS ENGAGED!! yep she is not even waiting for me (Love you Hermanita!! ha ha) she is getting married on January 29th and is sooooo happy!! I'm excited for her but mom and dad you have to go to the reception since i can't.. then that same night I found out that Eduardo is getting married to a lady from the ward!! ha ha.. I was so thrilled... truly he has changed his entire life!
Tuesday we had district meeting, volunteered at the Bishop's storehouse where i got to help the people who speak spanish which was really fun!! then we went to an appointment we made with a street contact named Berta.. we knocked on her door and it was definitely not her!!But we asked Ana who answered the door if we could teach her and she let us in.. we taught her and her sister and nephew and they were so intense into the lesson.. her sister Rosa really wanted her son to learn about God.. It's amazing how God places people in our paths that really want to learn even if we had the appointment with them or not. Then we had another birthday dinner with the Quinn family and Sister Quinn made me a German Chocolate cake because it is my favorite (oh and i forgot to tell you that the management office where i live, JJ and Jorge bought me a cake on my birthday... so this was my 6th cake of my birthday!... honest i never want another sweet again!) Then we went and taught a less active in the ward named Joel the first lesson.. he was baptized when he was
younger and knows nothing so when we asked him how he felt at the end of the lesson he just said.. i feel like i need to come back to church!! then his mom said the prayer and was bawling and prayed about how thankful she was...I pray her really gets it.
Wednesday was pretty much an amazing day.. do you remember the Flores family we taught then had to hand over to the elders because they weren't in our area.. well they have been avoiding us for over two months and would never meet with us again.. well our day started out at 8 AM with Hermano Flores calling us and asking when we were coming to teach his kids again.. so we said how about tonight! Then we went to an appointment at 9 AM because it was the only time this media referral named Wilbert could meet with us. We started the lesson with God is our loving Heavenly Father and he was trying to define what he thought the Godhead was... he was having such a difficult time so i read D&C 130:22.. the just stared at me and said.. exactly.. so simple! Then it was like everything else we taught him he COMPLETELY agreed with just because we were able to help him define his own belief of God with a scripture.. it was awesome! Then we went to contact a member referral named Naomi well once again Naomi wasn't there but her roommate Maria was so we started talking to her and found out she had a friend in honduras that was a member but has passed away so we started teaching her the Plan of Salvation and then she started crying (I don't know what i make people cry.. i should work on that!! ha ha) then she told us a couple months ago she had lost a baby and had always wondered where he was.. I am so thankful for preach my gospel and the opportunity we have to listen to the spirit and teach to the needs of the investigators!
That night we had two member present lessons.. the first one was with the Flores family and we taught them them the Plan of Salvation lesson too and at the end of the lesson the dad just looked at us and said When are you coming back? tomorrow? You have God with you.. i can tell! Then he started telling us stories from his own mission and we made an appointment to come back the next night and teach them.. then he said I want to baptize my kids!! The fire is starting to ignite in his eyes again and he is beginning to understand the importance of it in the lives of his kids! Then we had a lesson with a lady named Sandra Garcia they friend of Verenice.. we taught her a powerful first and the members testimonies were amazing.. we all kneed at the end of the lesson and prayed and Sandra said such an innocent and amazing prayer.
Thursday was planning... dinner with the Garibaldi's who still don't have a job and I am so sad about it.. i pray for them daily.. they aresuch an amazing family! They made me my favorite tres leche cake.. yep more cake! Then we had to cancel an appointment becasue their was such a bad thunderstorm for an hour then it was like bright and blue skies.. weird texas weather.. honestly! We taught the Flores kids with a cute young woman Yazmin Ruiz and it was so funny because we taught them the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom by using a picture of a temple in a page protector and took a red dry erase marker and put marks all over the temple for grafiti.. it was really a good example then we read out of the for Strength for youth one by one.. but it was super funny because it got to the young womans turn and she had to read the really bold paragraph in the sexual purity section.. ha ha her face was red!! I guess it doesn't phase me anymore!! ha ha Friday we had an AWESOME lesson with Rosibel on Prophets... she is finally starting to get it and we clarified the part about praying to know. she thought we were asking her to pray TO joseph smith not ABOUT joseph smith.. So knows she is getting it.. We went to Esperanza's and asked her all the baptismal interview questions.. the answered perfectly, now her boyfriend just needs to marry her and he won't. So she is moving back to honduras in a couple months... So I guess I have a baptism referrall for Chad Anderson :)!! We went and taught Estefania a new investigators and were teaching her a lesson and she said oh wait i have a scripture about that from my reading.. then she opened the BOOK OF MORMON and read us a scripture exactly about what we were talking about!! She is so full of questions and just dying to know... I love teaching people so prepared to listen and change. We then went and visited a part member family and her husband who is not a member wasn't there and she just kept telling us how she didn't think he would want to meet with us.. then he came home from work as we were leaving and said When are you coming back to teach me!! ha ha.. he made the appointment with us for this week! Saturday morning we at breakfast with some members, went to General conference in the Coppell building.. Neil's talk on repentance was amazing.. he is so humble and filled with the spirit.. During the afternoon session i was getting kinda homesick again.. just thinking what all y'all were doing with conference and how i would be normally watching it with y'all.. then right when i was thinking that i was watching the choir and saw AUNT JANENE singing in the choir.. I know that my redeemer lives!! what a tender mercy.. love you nene!!
Sunday we passed by Rosibels to do what i thought was wake her up for conference before the Garibaldi's passed by to get her for conference and she opened the door all dressed up and beautiful.. She came to conference and i was so estatic.. there were 7 investigators at conference for the first session on sunday and each talk answered a different question for our investigators especially the talk on personal revelation by Elder Nelson was perfect for Rosibel and her need to know if prophets are true!.. Elder Holland's talk was one of my favorites.. he is sooooo powerful and Elder McAllister (i think that is his name) was amazing.. he pretty much bible bashed for fifteen minutes!! he should come to this mission for a couple days!! That night we made some stop bys and found an inactive family with a boy that is ready to get baptized they having been to church in a year but they are going to start coming back and we are going to start teaching the family once a week to prepare the boy to get baptized.. we were really blessed this week and taught alot of lesson and met every single one of our goals which was amazing! We are trying to work hard and for that we are seeing alot of miracles! .. and yes i'm still exhausted but it is getting easier to work through the tiredness because of the help of the savior.. this morning we studied with Elder Moala and yep he brought four cakes and ice cream for my belated birthday... so i think i totalled a 11 or 12 cakes for my birthday!! I just hope never to see another cake again in my life :)!!! well I love each one of you and miss you tonz.. please keep our investigators in you prayers so many of them are so close to making the sacred convenant of baptism and i pray i can be a good enough teacher and help them come to this decision and grow in their
testimonies.. I love you all.. thanks for everything.. Y'ALL HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!
Hermana Barbie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Somebody has WAY too much faith in me!!

hola familia y amigos,
well this week has definitely been a whirlwind of events and emotions... This letter is really going to be exciting.. Brad and Matt you better read the entire thing!! I am glad everyone in the family sounds really blessed and doing amazing.. I pray for y'all everynight!!
Well I started my week last week with the greatest surprise ever!! I was buying groceries at Kroger and found GRATERS ICE CREAM!!! I of course bought a pint and ate it in memory of Matt and Charlene! ha ha.. Monday night we had dinner and FHE with the First Counselor in the sunbeck spanish branch.. he is from Argentina and she went on her mission to Argentina..they met on their mission and are so adorable! We then headed up to Coppell for our lesson with Teresa and she wasnt' there again.. I'm super sad about that situation but i'm still going to be persistant... she knows its true, but needs money so bad right now that she can't concentrate on anything else. But we were blessed an able to teach another family in Coppell a mom named Carina, daughter Biri and two twin boys named Chris and Christian... the little boys are so shy and never talk to anyone but I got them to talk to me thanks for CANDY.. thanks for teaching me to bribe kids with candy mindy!! :)!! On Tuesday I made it safely to district meeting without getting a ticket from officer Tran.. the assistants ended up coming to our district meeting the one week that the Elders talked me and Hermana Richardson in singing a duet... great! We sang I Need Thee Every Hour in spanish and english and it turned out really pretty.. that hymn is like my theme song now from the mission. We went and helped at the bishop's storehouse again so I got to see Elder Moala and then we were walking out and President and Sister Smith were walking in to interview the senior couples so I got to see them too.. which is always fun! We then had an appointment with Angel and Darwin scheduled and they weren't there so we went to contact a referral that we had in the area... we knocked on the door and asked for Robert and the lady just looked at us really strange and said no one by that name lived there so we tried to teach her instead.. after bearing testimony she just looked at us and said.. one minute.. shut the door then came back and let us in to teach her and her kids and her cousin that lived there named ROBERTO!!! she lied to us.. ha ha but at the end of the lesson when we were leaving she told us we are always welcome back and her homes was ours too.. she is a sweetheart.. then as we were walking to out other appointment we ran into angel taking out the trash... when God wants you to learn the gospel you can't hide from him or us.. even by not answering the door! ha ha.. We then had a lesson with Blanca and for the first time her husband Fernando and he actually invited us back and scheduled the appointment with us so it was amazing.
That night we had dinner with a recent convert and less active family and we taught them the five steps of the gospel focusing on enduring the end... we shared 2 Nephi 31:17-21 with them and asked them to find an aspect of their lives they could change to follow the lord more fully!..they gave sister richardson and I a nice compliment by saying when we were teaching it was almost like one voice they didn't even notice when someone switched teaching... that is what companionship strive for.. we finallly have it and we are getting switched.. kinda stinks.. but the funny part was they all committed to work on something then while i was driving away i looked in my rearview mirror and saw the women on the porch smoking.. i'm guessing that is not the thing she decided to change.. it's so sad. Well our appointments for the night fell through but we visited other less actives and actually got one of the boys to agree to come back to church if his mom bought him new church clothes.. we talked to him mom and she told us the last set she bought him he cut up.. ha ha we asked him why and he said he didn't liek them.. guess he has never heard of returning..I love watching people be filled with the spirit again and gain that desire to return and feel the love of Christ and their heavenly Father for them.
Wednesday I was really nervous because we had an appointment with the lady we had helped moved from the week before. She was member referral but everytime we talked to her she seemed very devote to her church.. so we went to the appointment and asked her if she found out who gave us her name and address and she told us it was her chiropracter. She then started going off on how much she loved him and his family.. i just kept having this impression over and over ask her if she noticed anything differnt in him and his family than other families.. so I did and she stopped paused and said that she did... that he is so blessed by the lord and his family is so well behaved and have the best relationships and she would always go to him for advice. I then bore testimony that he didn't just send us as missionaries to help her move but also to help her have that same gift in the life of her family... she expressed doubts she had with ehr chruch and then agreed to take the lessons and just said she was looking for hope!... it was a really cool experience how the Lord will give you a way to reach everyones heart if you are just willing to listen to the promptings of the spirit and then say what he needs you to say. That night we had a lesson with a recent convert family the Aguilars that are preparing to get sealed in the temple at the end of this year.. this gospel really changes lives!!
On Thursday we had dinner with the Garibaldi familia like every Thursday.. they are like my family here in Carrollton.. i Love going to their house.. after dinner we taught the Gonzales family and we asked him if he had prayed abou getting baptized.. he told us he knows he will be baptized and soon and then he gave the most sincere thanks to us for how much we had influenced and changed his family.. he even got teary eyed.. there is no where I would rather be! His daughter Claudia closed with the sweetest prayer and in it said, "Jesus I sure hope you love us.." I just wanted to reach out and hug and her and tell her how much he loves her.. i feel it everytime i teach them. There are so many people out there longing for the love of their Savior, I am so happy I get to help some of them find it! We then had a lesson with a man named Jose Hernandez who is in a part member family and watched the Restoration video with him and he said he knew it was true and wants to learn more so he can get baptized...
Friday was officially my 6 month mark.. can you believe it? Time is FLYING!!! On Friday Joseph Esters called during our spanish study and said he had some time which he NEVER has time so we dropped everything and went and taught him.... he is so sad that the "dynamic duo" is slipting up.. ha ha We challenged him again to get baptized and he said that he had told his sister a couple years ago he felt like he needed to get rebaptized but he never told her in which church then he started laughing... he actually lives with his girlfriend Brandy who is realy sick and he told us that she started anti-ing him the other day and all he did was look at her and said, "Don't talk about something you don't know or don't understand... if you don't like it you can leave my house." ha ha.. he knows its true and I can't wait for him to baptized.. He also told sister Richardson and I thanks for never giving up on him and that he knew God sent the two of us to him because God knew he would need some persistant and bold missionaries! We taught Paola Martinez after Joseph and her husband Darwin was there so we invited him in on the lesson.. we taught the second lesson then he ended up asking so many questions that we taught him the first too! I pray they act on their faith because there is no doubt in my mind that god wants this family to have this message and gospel in their lives right now. At night we taught an english less active family and one of the little girls started crying because her brother knew the answer and she didn't.. she actually looked at her parents while crying and told them she wanted to go to church so she could learn about Jesus... I will always teach my children of the Savior, take them to church.. they need it especially in this world that grows worse and worse every day!
Saturday we had a Blitz that wasn't organized at all and spent the entire afternoon tracting in the rain.. SUPER FUN :)!!! and we also got to "talk" with a Jehovah Witness missionary... that really was fun! We contacted referrals in Lewisville all day and ended up getting four new investigators... had dinner with Familia Escalante and during dinner I was teasing their son Roberto about having a girlfriend (and he doesn't) but their mom said... "He can't have a girlfriend until after his mission.." and they aren't even members yet!! They want to get baptized so bad!! please pray her divorce goes through soon and Betty and Vidal can get married and the family can be baptized!! Well after dinner we went to see Sister Redo because she just got out of the hospital.. the doctors found a huge growth on her liver that they have now identified as melanoma and the doctors are baffled because they thought african american's couldnt' get skin cancer but I guess it went in through her eyes or something like that.. please pray for her.. Well while we were sitting visiting with her our investigator Jose called us and we usually don't answer during an appointment but we wanted to see if he was coming to church.. well we then spent the next hour and a half trying to talk him out of committing suicide.. it was a scary/crazy experience as we ran around town trying to get his wife to talk to him and other family members and then we finally turned it over to the branch president of the spanish ward.. the craziest thing was that he showed up at church the next day!!! But at least he is alive... So after all of that we finally get home that night literally exhausted, drenching wet, and then we get TRANSFER CALLS... Hermana Richardson talks to them first and finds out she is leaving and training a new missionary then I get to talk to Elder Erickson, the AP, (remember this is only the end of my third transfer as a spanish missionary, I have been learning spanish for six months, and honestly... not that confident in it yet!!) He tells me that I am staying in Carrollton and TRAINING... then he preceeds to tell me that the other set of missionaries in the sunbeck branch with me are getting double transfered out and that I am taking over their area and will be only doing spanish work that my english ward is getting it's own set of english elders.... I am training and taking over ALL the work in the WHOLE branch....I don't think I have ever in my entire life felt so inadequate...I was finally feeling comfortable in my ablities in spanish and then he throws me into deep water to see if I can swim.. but really I think he always has to do it to me to remind me that I can't do this work without his help... I'm excited for the challenge and I know I am going to grow so close to my Savior through this experience.. probably while getting some good bruises on my knees!! I just hope I can be as good of a trainer that Hermana Brundage was for me.. If i ever needed your prayers and support before it would be NOW.. especially during this next six weeks... Part of me doesn't think I can do this but with the Lord I guess everything is possible right?? and I guess my spanish is going to have to come REALLY fast!! PRAY FOR ME!!!
Well today we had a real treat because we had the opportunity for half of the Dallas Mission and half of the Fortworth mission to meet together and listen to Elder M.Russell Ballard and Elder Costa in the Presidency of the Seventy and their wives. I was on the third row of the chapel and the spirit was so completely strong.. Elder Costa talked about always teaching and being guided by the spirit.. sister Costa told us to thank our parents for teaching us amazing things!! Elder Ballard was so funny.. at the beginning he had us stand up and said he would have us do "Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes" but him and Sister Ballard wouldn't be able to make it up from touching their knees.. he was so funny, whitty and smart..He talked alot about teaching skills, praying and expecting miracles, and reading the scriptures daily. He also bore an amazing testimony abou the power of the atonement he said that him the apostles in his words, "are a bunch of old men, but we're pretty cool." He then talked aboutsometimes when his age would take a toll on him and his work and he really thought he was so exhausted he could do no more... then he said he thinks of the Atonement of the savior, him suffering in the Garden on the cross for him and his glorious ressurrection and that instantly he is healed.. that he has the energy he needs. When we are focused on the Savior and use his Atonement we are putting Savior exactly where he wants to be in our life ... he wants to be our source of power and strength. We then got to have a Question and Answer session with him.. it was amazing. There is no doubt in my mind that we have apostles of the Lord and a prophet leading and guiding us today.. President Monson talks directly with God and if we follow ALL of their counsel we can gain the greatest reward EVER... Eternal life with our families.. I love you family and miss you everyday but I know I am exactly where I am needed right now!!
Tonight i get to go pick up the new sisters and take them out for their first night in Texas (and I'll see Elder Metcalf who sounds like he is doing wonderful!!) then tomorrow I'll perminantly get my "greenie".. wish me luck.. but i'm gonna need a lot more than luck!! I love you all.. y'all have a blessed day!! (people really say that down here!! it's great!!)
con amor- Hermana Barber

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Almost Done With My Third Transfer!

Well family y'all seem super busy and just having a blast without me.. i hope you somewhat miss me ;)!!! I'm glad everyone sounds so dang good!!
Well my week has been great as usual!! Hermana Richardson and I are still having a blast and got called the dynamic duo this week by one of our investigators.. we only have about two and 1/2 weeks lefts together and we're really sad but we are going to make the most out of it! Monday night after P-day brother Moala tooks us to dinner at Chick-fil-a
because he knows it my favorite and not only did he buy us dinner then we were getting ready to leave and he was like Sister there is food waiting for you at the counter I bought for you to take home. He is such a generous guy and I can never thank him enough for everything he does for me... If i ever have hand fulls of money I hope I can be as charitable as he is!! AFter that we had an FHE with the familia Islas in the spanish ward and their sister from Mexico lives with them who is not a member. We had a great first lesson with her and she will end up getting baptized but she had a little baby on Thursday so I dont know when we are going to be able to go back and teach her!! On Tuesday we spent a long time tracting which was fun and we taught a lesson to a man
named Bernidino.. he is from the Phillipeans and barely knows english but we taught him a really realy simple first lesson and then we ordered him a book of mormon and gospel principles book in Tagalog for him!!.. We are trying to find someone in the stake that served their mission there because he is so genuine and so CUTE!! We were also knocking doors and this man answered.. looked at us and said hold on.. then came back to the door carrying a Triple and said.. I've read it all the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.. I know its true and Joseph Smith was inspired by god... we just sat there... then he told us he has studied theology his whole life and knows that mormons as the closest to what Jesus Christ taught and all this CRAZY stuff!! I told him I know.. becaus we are the same church that Jesus Christ establish.. well we got a return appointment with him on Sunday and went back and taught him a first lesson.. he knew it all.. but its sad because he is so knowledgable that he is just stupid... here I am a 22 year old girl.. i haven't studied my whole life but i have more light and knowledge because I can actually listen to the spirit.. We are going to continue to teach Chris lingle... please pray he listens to the spirit! On Wednesday was Zone Conference in McKinny.. and it was super fun!! Our whole zone wore green to show our unity and the trainings and talks were amazing... One of the AP's Elder Erickson talked about the miracles we see everyday on the misison and it is so true!! He gave five steps to seeing miracles 1. Faith-all miracles are based on it 2. Look to the Loard for your blessings Mosiah 8:18 3. Make the sacrifice- give allt he world up to accomplish your goals here! 4. Expect the miracle- if you don't expect it you won't recognize it when it comes 2 Nephi 26:13 5: Receive the miracle with complete humility Alma 26:11 you didn't do it the Lord did!! The other talk I LOVED was by President Smith.. he is amazing! He said something to the extent of ... I'm sending this now because the I don't want the computer to kick me off and loose it!!
okay my computer was acting funny so here is the rest of the e-mail.. so President Smith said something to the extent of... " WE never stand still- we're either going forward or backward. Do that which is difficult everyday.. try to find the wall of fire and walk through it. Do not try to find what is easy.. find the difficult. If you always look for the life of least resistance, you will become less resistant to the temptations of Satan. you never hear,"I hope they call me on a mission and I get to sweat all day..." No one said it was going to be easy. Never be comforable as a missionary.. the reason you grow so much at the beginning of your mission is because you push outside your comfort zone. You become a great missionary by doing the hard things others aren't willing to do!" I LOVED THAT TALK!! ... missions are hard.. but this mission has changed the rest of my life.. pushed me beyond where I even imagined I could be and has forced me to do things I never thought possible but with the help of the Lord really everything is possible!
We had a testimony meeting and I bore my testimony about grown, change, and protection from the Lord... most of you know how I decided to go on a mission I got my answers when I asked the quesiton where Heavenly Father would have me be in my life so I could walk where Jesus would walk if he was here today.. but what i didn't realize before my mission is that not only do i walk in the footsteps of Christ everyday he is walking right next to me.. it is amazing how much my relationship with my brother Jesus Christ has grown..I owe him everything in my life! That night we met with Teresa and her baptismal date is still on but her work was goign to have her satrt working on Sundays.. she asked for ti off but they said they really need her.. she didn't comet o church on Sunday which means she can't be baptized ont he 12th anymore.. we have an appointment with her tonight.. I hope for some good news.. man does Satan try to keep people form making this amazing blessing in their lives!! Teresa's son Davin is five and like my bestest buddy.. all during the lessons he leaves the room and comes back with some kind of candy for me.. then leaves then come back with more candy.. he's so funny and cute.. We met with Rosibel Flores again this week and walked the REstoration video with her.. at the end of the lesson she told us that the day she met us she had been praying to Heavenly Father for someone to invite her to church and tell her how to become closer to
him!! then she ran into us!! ha ha.. man if God amazing.. he definitely prepares people everywhere we go!! now we just have to get her to find a new job so she isn't working at a bar!! ha ha... GREAT!!
We went to dinner with a memeber family on Thursday and her kids had just moved in with ehr from Garland and her step-son had just got out of jail so we are going to start teachign him this week which will be fun too :)!! We also taught that little 11 year old named Jessica the first lesson this week and she is SOOOOOOOOO excited to come to church and the activities.. she is kinda a space case but she is super cute and she has a really hard family life so i'm excited for her to have a constant something good in her life.. On Sunday we took the Elmores to this special fireside where Elder Fluekinger from the Seventy came and spoke to us on the subject of whether mormons are considered christians or not.. it was a special fireside for misisonaries and either less actives, investigators, or recend converts and it was amazing!! My week has been GREAT!! and I have seen the Lords hand in every aspect of my life.. thank you for all yours prayers.. please pray for Teresa Andrade, Familia Gonzales, and Jessica Jackson by name.. the power of prayer is amazing!! I pray for you all daily.. thank you for all yoru support and love!! Only 28 days till my birthday!! HAHA!!
con amor,
Hermana Barber

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having FUN!

hola familia y amigos,
como estan? Well first off I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD on the 27th!! How old are you turning?... 20? (you can send me money for that later ;)!) Also i want to say CONGRATS to LIZZY HENDERSON soon to be JENSEN!!! I can't believe it and I am soooooooooooo excited for you... what a lucky guy! Thanks Matt for the cute videos of Jules, she is doll and getting so big.. can't wait to play with her when I get home. Mom and Dad it just sounds like you partied all weekend with the family. I was a little jealous and miss you all but I know i'm right where i need to be.
This week was a GREAT week filled with lots of hard work and exhaustion but also miracles! On Monday for p-day we had a zone p-day and played dodgeball against the Yound Men and Yound Women in the stake, it was so fun because most of us missionaries showed up wearing shirts i helped design for the zone that say JUST DO IT! on the front with the baptism sign then ont he back says 09 TDM (texas dallas mission) and sponsered by MOALA.. he paid for them!! they are Texas Longhorn orange and SWEET!! ha ha.. then that night we did FHE with two inactive spanish families...It was really fun but it is so hard to see the light in peoples eyes slowing fading and them not even realizing it!! Tuesday we had a district meeting then afterwards our whole district plus the zone leaders came and did a BLITZ in our area (where they all just come and knock doors in our area or contact people for us!) It was amazing and they found us five new investigators and it is a new challenge in our mission to get baptismal commitments (at least soft ones) during the first lesson.. and the elders got TWO baptismal commitment for us during the BLITZ...they haven't all panned out yet but still new investigators and people to work with is great! The BLITZ was two hours of knockingdoors in the middle of the afternoon and it was really hot but I think it was one of the funnest experiences of knocking doors i have had...Hermana Richardson and I just laughed for two hours straight... she is so funny and we get along so well, at every door she would say somethingwhitty and i would just die laughing.. we also found two new investigators and got four return appointments... oh and we got to offer a pray in the house of a catholic lady and we were praying right next to a table where there were probably ten candles burning and five pictures of the virgin Mary.... felt pretty awkward.. and yet they say they don't worship idols.. can't figure that one out! For service hours that night I tutored a little girl of an inactive family in math for an hour... I found out that i miss school and i love learning.. random side note!
Wednesday was a really really good day also... the english ward i am in Dallas 6th randomly had a 13 year old boy's record show up in their directory and sent us out to figure out who he was and what was his story. So we got an appointment with him and visited him on Wednesday. He lived with his grandma in Alaska and took the lessons and joined by himself... he just moved back to Texas to live with his Dad and step sister Jessica who is 11 and she know wants to take the lessons. The Dad said he has a beef with the big man upstairs but would sit in on our lessons.. his name is Alex Jackson, please pray his heart softens!! They are so cute and I am really excited to teach her... she came to church on Sunday and we went to primary with her and she was so excited just to make friends, just to be there! Then after we met with the Jackson family we drove to Copell and met with a spanish young lady who is 21 named Teresa Andrade... she was a missionary referral from the Elders up in Garland and she took all the lessons with her parents before she moved out to Copell with her five year old son Davin. Her parents got baptized yesterday in Garland.. but she backed out on her old baptismal date. It was a really cool experience as we taught her the first lesson again and answered her questions... then i just looked at her and said, "You know it's true." She just looked at me and said, "i know." Then we set a baptismal date for September 12th!! My first real baptismal date..just pray that she has the strength and time to keep this one! This will change her and her sons life forever!!!
Thursday was planning and there is a family that feeds us every Thursday Familia Garibaldi.. they are amazing. They have very very little but they insist on feeding us every week because they say they always get blessings from it.. we always insist they can feed us every other week and they say NO!!! They have such faith... well they couldn't feed us last Thursday so they gave us money (after I refused it three times and they were getting really really frustrated with me!!) so on Thursday we treated ourselves and went to my favorite restuarant OUTBACK!! YUMMMMY!! Then that night we had two lessons.. one with an investigator then an Less Active English family.
On Friday we fasted for the Gonzales Familia that has been taught for five months and come to church almost every week... we just wanted to know how we could get them to progress or in other words get baptized. Well Friday during the day we were invited to a 16 year old birthday party for a less active girl in the ward and we showed up and we were the only ones there.. it was so sad good thing we got her a gift or she would have only got one shirt from her mom for her birthday. then we ate at this old spanish ladies house.. the creepiest/weirdest dinner i have had on the mission... she handed us this oatmeal, milk drink...i told her i have milk allergies.. which i do but Hermana Richardson had to drink it and was sooooooooooooo sick the rest of the night. We walked into her house and we asked her if she lived alone and she said no I live with my dolls.. there were dolls everywhere and mannequins too.. really creepy!! then after that went to teach the Gonzales family... Hermana Richardson wanted to commit them to baptism so I just took the backseat but they told her they still didn't feel ready but we finally got them to pray about a date and we told them we would set one next appointment.. so this coming week!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for them!!
Sunday we had 5 people at church and got to go to Primary so all in all it was a good day :)!! Plus all of the men Sister Brundage baptized while she was here and the recent converts i've been blessed to work with received the Melchizedek priesthood yesterday Brother Elmore, Brother Gregory, and Hermano Aguilar.. Hermano Aguilar also blessed the sacrament for the first time in a sharp looking suit.. he did awesome. And Brother Elmore got his first call as the Ward Executive Secretary.. they are AWESOME!! I am really coming to love the people here in Carrollton.. I hope I don't get transfered in three weeks 'cause i'm already planning my Birthday with them in a month!! (ha ha.. anyone that knows me would not expect anything less... my birthday is a big deal!!) Mom about my birthday I could use some journals, church cd's (not the Mormon Tabernacle choir), and I can't really think of anything else.. oh maybe spanish scripture cases for my biblia y libro de mormon... but they are bigger than normal so i don't know if you will be able to figure that out!! Love you all.. hope you can all figure out what to send me for my birthday ;) you only have one month and four days to figure it out!! ha ha ;)!!! Thanks for all your love and support and prayers.. missions are great.. EVERYTHING IS BETTER
con amor,
Hermana Barber

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eduardo Is Baptized!!

Hola familia y amigos!!
This week has been an incredible week!! not only did I get oddles of mail from all of you I also got two packages filled with goodies from Zach and Kelly and also one from Amber!! Also the cutest letter I have ever received came from Lacee this week.. she had her primary class all write me letters about being a missionary...It was so cute!! Thanks Lee!! Well I guess Stewart got blessed yesterday without me there but i hope my card made it to him... Charlene tried to send me pictures but the computer at the library wouldn't let me open them and i was pretty bummed. You all sound like you are doing amazing... Aunt Diane, I hope you know I love you and you are in my prayers every day.. day and night.
This week honestly has been amazing.. I started the week last Monday by getting to go and get the two new sisters from the mission home to take them out for their first night in Texas. It was one english sister named Sister Crawley and a spanish sister from samoa/missouri named Hermana Ulberg. We took them to a spanish lesson with the familia Gonzales who we have been working with for quite some time and they just aren't getting the concept of praying and recieving an anwser but our lesson with them was AMAZING... they actually prayed and we were able to help them connect the good feelings they
had after they prayed to an anwser from the holy ghost.... the light CLICK!!! love that. Then the teenage daughter Claudia had been promising me for two visits she would say the closing prayer but never would and this time i was not letter her get off the hook... she made excuse after excuse and finally found out she didn't feel comfortable praying in spanish.. so she said the most beautiful pray in english and will never forget her thanking heavenly father that we were there and that her family could learn about Jesus Christ. This is such an amazing job.. being an missionary.. nothing better! The family also came to church on Sunday and loved it.. the two teenage daughters loved young womans and the little girl who is a doll didn't scream her head off like she had the times before when she came.. (probably because I bribed her with candy.. I guess i am learning something from Mindy :)!!) After the Gonzales we went to a FHE with a recent convert english family the Elmores and it was fun seeing the dad trying to be such a faithful member doing everything he has been asked to do.. he prepared a lesson on honesty and the kids were SO ROWDY, and joking and wouldn't be serious.. he was getting frustrated and all i could do was laugh because I felt like home again!! ha ha!!! We then took the sisters back to the mission home and it is ALWAYS fun getting to see President and Sister Smith.. they're amazing.. but what was even weirder to me is that it was 3 months ago I was going out for my first night in Texas... man does time fly!! I remember it like it was yesterday.. seriously!!
Well we are teaching a lady named Esperanza from Honduras that i have told y'all about before but she has stopped coming to church and we were getting really frustrated because she told us her "espovio" (live in boyfriend) told her she couldn't go to church because she wasn't home in time to make her lunch... well we asked her if she would let us come and teach him and talk to him. I was a little nervous because i didn't think he was going to take the aspect of two young ladies telling him what to do.. but honestly the lesson was amazing! We showed up on Saturday and not only was Miguel and Esperanza there but also his brother sat in for the lesson. We taught him the first lesson and he asked us to come back and said it was beautiful... he also said he was going to come with Esperanza to church next week!! man does the Lord bless us and guide us in this work. Well we had to go to the car to get another Book of Mormon for Miguel but it was the most incredible sight to see that as we were walking back up to the apartment Miguel's brother Ivan was already on the back porch reading from the Book of Mormon... he was honestly "feasting" on the words!! It made me realize how much I take for granted this amazing book and the guidance and help we receive as members because of it! We also got to teach a recent convert new member lesson this week to a man named Brother Gregory and his daughter April who is 10 years old. We showed up to the lesson and couldn't get a woman to come with us so we had to teach him on his porch but the best part about this lesson was April had invited two of her ten year old friends to come over to play and be at the lesson. The whole lesson she explained to them what things were, why we believed them, and why we needed them. It was so simple for her to share her testimony... she has been a member less than a year and she is TEN and she had no reserve in sharing what she knew to be true. Share your testimony with everyone... don't be embarressed or think it will ruin your friendship... the greatest gift you could give someone you love is your
testimony and the amazing blessings that come with this gospel.
We are teaching another lady named Elsy and she was so close to being baptized... we went into the lesson with thoughts of setting a date... She has been so entuned with the spirit since the first lesson and loves the story of Joseph Smith.. she started giving the restoration videos we gave her away to her friends... well long story short we asked her to get baptized and she just looked at us and said.. i'm not gonna lie.. i was already baptized in 1990... so no wonder she was no entuned to the spirit she has the gift of the holy ghost!! A lot of the work in this area is less active work but it is so amazing when she them walk in to church on Sunday or realize the importance of the sacrament in their lives...
We got food poisioning twice this week from eating with members...thats all
i'm going to say about that...
Sunday was the best day of my mission so far.. we had eight people in sacrament meeting which means more stress for the misisonaries but that is our game day.. that is what we work for so it was awesome! Then after church we had dinner with a recent convert family who sent their brother-in-law who is not a member to buy us pizzas for dinner... I felt like a sinner eating the pizza on the Sabbath.. ha ha i guess out next lesson with them should be Keep the Sabbath day holy!! after dinner the Quinn Couple from the englishward drove us to Iriving for Eduardo's baptism.. IT WAS LIKE COMING HOME!!! I walked in the building Eduardo was sitting on the couch waiting to see me with a huge smile all dressed up in his church pants, white shirt and tie!! I can't even explain the feelings I had that day.. i've never felt them before. I saw all my family in Irving... got so many hugs, kisses on the cheek, smiles.. I miss them so much and man do they miss me.. :) ha ha they all said they're praying for me come back.. i hope i finish my mission in Irving! Well the baptism service was awesome and the WHOLE ward was there.. the chapel was FILLED... we had a talk on Baptism then Eduardo was baptized by the old first counselor in the bishopric Hermano Magana.. and i started crying during his baptism.. all the little kids looked at me and were like why are you crying Hermana Barbie.. ha ha.. then we had a talk on the Holy Ghost then Eduardo got up and bore his testimony and thanked God for the Misioneras that found him and saved his life. he then said he felt alone before he found the church and looked out and said now i have a bigger
family then i know what to do with!! ha ha.. he then said this was the best decision he has ever made in his life!! and I agree!! ha ha... i gave him the stain glass dove that Aunt Janene made and gave me that symbolized the holy ghost during the story of Jesus getting baptized and is suppose to remind him of his baptism day... i also gave Eduardo a three page letter I wrote in ALL SPANISH!!! aren't you so proud of me? I'm sure it has tons of mistakes and took me three days of language study to write but I did it!! ha ha... I will never forget the smile on Eduardo's face, the tears in his eyes, and the strength of his testimony.... This work is so worth it! It effects people's eternities!!
Well family I am doing amazing and Hermana Richardson and I are going to rock this transfer... we work so well together and we see miracles and the lord's hand in thiswork everyday!! Keep praying for our investigators!!
love you so much! thanks for the love, support and prayers!
con amor,
Hermana Katie Barber

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Hi familia!!
Well I have had a really exciting week this week so I'm just gonna jump right into telling you all my fun stories. Well after e-mailing last Monday I went with all the elders to go to dinner with the head elder at the Bishop's storehouse...His name is Elder Willie Moala...I felt kinda bad going to dinner with him at this Brazilian Meat Restuarant which is expensive when i didn't even know him. But it was the most amazing lunch/dinner ever! Brother Moala sat right next to me and there were 18 other missionaries but we ended up talking the whole dinner. He told me all about his life. He graduated from high school when he was 14...played professional rugby for new zealand by 16... joined the church when he turned 20 and went to byu hawaii. He played rugby at BYU provo and was scouted to play football for the Denver Broncos and played for them for five years when he had never even played football before! Anyway he owns his own general contracting company and is very successful... But he was so inspiring because we talked about my future dreams and schooling and he told me as long as i always remembered to put God first I would be successful in whatever I did. Mom that is cool that he called you and I am shocked that he really called y'all and offered to do that.... he really does want to do it out of the sincerity of his heart. Willie is an amazing man who has given his life to the lord and loves this missionary work... I have his address and have already sent him a thank you card for spending so much on us for dinner... He serves with nothing expected in return... I hope I can live such a selfless life like him. And I am happy that Presidentsucc Carrasquillo called you too.. he is AWESOME!! i love this spanish branch and I love his family... he wants me to marry his son! ha ha..
Well the next eventful day was on Wednesday... On Wednesday Hermana Richardson and I were on our way to an appointment and we were in the 2009 Malibu. She was turning left on a road she thought was three lanes.... but i noticed it was really four lanes when i saw a red F-250 truck heading right towards me really fast! I yelled to Hna. Richardson to go FASTER but instead she tapped on the brake... I just remember thinking HOW CAN YOU BE SO STUPID!! then the next thing i remember is facing the other way down the street and Hna. Richardson was hitting the air bag out of my face and my head completely POUNDING! The next couple hours were kinda a blur... but pretty comical now that i look back. The paramedics were talking to me trying to decide if I should go to the hospital and they asked..."What is today?" I knew it was Wednesday but as a missionary i loose track of the days... Hna. Richardson leaned over and said, "It's the 29th!" The paramedic just looked at her not amused and said, "You can't help her!" ha ha talk about companionship unity! Well then he thought i didn't remember anything so i looked at the paramedic (remember I was in complete shock!) and said, "I know it is wednesday and i have an appointment with romeo right down the road right now. I am a missionary for the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. I speak spanish...well kinda. I know that today is the 29th because yesterday was two months until my 22nd birthday." Yep... he just stared at me and said, "I'm gonna recommend you go to the hospital!" Well i refused a ambulance...but me and my companion just sat there on the side of the road. Another funny thing was my companion was talking on the phone to the missionaries int he office and She told Elder Hansen that she was going to go try to back up the car and get it off it street... and i look in the street and there is a wrecker getting ready to take the totaled Malibu off the road.. i told her she couldnt move it but she just kept repeating she was gonna go drive the car! ha ha.. well we were not in the best of shape so the Mission President and his wife wanted us to go get checked out... after a CAT scan, and spine X-day i got some pain killer, ice packs and went on my way with some whiplash. Well Elder Hansen from the mission office went to go look at the car the next day and just called us and said all he could do is pray and thank God we walked out of the car.... honestly if Hermana Richardson didn't tap on the brake our car would have been T-boned right at my door and it was so bad I know the outcome would have not been good. I know angels were watching over us...even though we have been really sore we are very grateful we are okay! We actually got back to work a full day on Saturday and I am feeling GREAT now!! So now I am the designated driver and Hna. Richardson can't drive the rest of the mission... we got a new car.. well a 2005 Malibu! ha ha Well that night after having a REALLY LONG BAD day... I was laying on my bed with ice packs all over, on a muscle relaxer and pain reliever and i got a phone call from a number i didnt' recognize so i answered... I asked who it was and it was ELDER PINCOCK my Z.L. from Iriving he proceeds to say, "So you don't happen to remember an investigator named Eduardo do you?" all i could say was NO WAY!!! Well yep Eduardo is getting BAPTIZED on August 9th and I can't wait! The Elder said he comes to church every week in a white shirt and tie (and they said they were nice ties like Donald Trump times.. ha ha!!) I have never experienced the joy i felt when i heard that news! The Elders might get the number but Eduardo will always be the miracle and answer to prayers for me and Hermana Brundage. Hermana Brundage and I always wanted to give away one of the stain glass doves that Aunt Janene gave me and now we are going to! God always answers prayers its just in his timing and in his way. Well I got permission to go back to the baptism and I can't wait!
Well transfer calls were on Saturday and we didn't get a call which means I am staying in Carrollton with Hermana Richardson for six more weeks and I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!! We are going to rock it this next 6 weeks... Thanks for all your prayers, love, and letters!! Texas is GREAT!!! ADIOS Y'all!! (that is my Tex-mex spanish for you!! ha ha) con amor- Hermana Katie Barber

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last week of second transfer!

Hi my dear family!!! Man how i love getting e-mail... they always makeme laugh my face off and miss y'all just a little more. This has definitely been my most interesting week in the mission and honest pretty unproductive. We spent most of Monday packing up the old apartment which consisted of junk from years of missionaries... honestly there was globes, sombreros, car seats... who knows!! Then on Tuesday we spent the day unpacking and moving into the new apartment but I am not complaining because I HAVE HOT WATER!!! and we live in a complex with three other way cute couples from the ward so that has been fun... plus the manager LOVES us.. her name is JJ Jantz, she loves us but she hates the church. Kinda ironic. I guess one time one of the couples gave her a Finding Faith in Christ DVD and she gave it back to them. But she comes and visits us like everyday and asked us to pray for her daughter-in-law that has cancer so maybe we are making little steps with her. She really is a loud, crazy, texan though with the big hair and all and i love her!! On Wednesday we spent the day deep cleaning the old apartment which was pretty gross but we are breaking our lease so we didn't want to give them any excuse to do anything to the church... so that took some hours. Then we thought we were done for the week and Elder Hansen (from the mission office) told us we need to take our 2009 Malibu in for a Oil change and then he asked if we could drive into the office and drop off the keys to the old appartment. So we spent the day at Pep Boys and Dallas... Then we were so happy because we finally thought we could really get to work then Hermana Richardson got a bad cold!!! We still worked really hard this week don't get me wrong it was just so mixed up with "worldly" chores!! So on Sunday we got done at dinner (I made spaghetti!! aren't you proud of me!) and went out to work and it started pouring like cats and dogs and lightning and thundering but we went out anyway!! Then we got home at 9 PM and our building was the only one in the whole building that didn't have power!! We asked the neighbors what happened and I guess lightning struck the electrical pole RIGHT OUTSIDE our front door!! ha ha.. so pretty much we didn't get power till one in the morning our apartment was scorching.. but hey we had HOT WATER!! ha ha.. aren't we the luckiest hermanas you've ever heard of!!??? Another funny thing from this week... two weeks ago two Elder in our Zone got hit by cars while they were riding their bikes so for district meeting on Tuesday I made a better than #%* cake and brought it to them with a label on it saying "In honor of Elder Dalley and Elder Zobell... Better than "getting hit by a car" Cake" Everyone laughed so hard and the cake was SUPER good!! But on the spiritual stuff of the week!! The spanish ward is kind of falling apart with lots of less active families and even the long time members of the ward don't really GET the gospel. So we have been contacting a lot of less active families this week and it has been amazing to watch from the second you enter their house to when you leave... they feel the spirit and understand the need to come back... all of them have fifty million reason why not to or have been offended by something but none of them deny the truthfulness of this gospel and the power of the spirit. All they need is to feel the love and that they are missed.... it was amazing to watch two of the families walk into sacrament meeting on Sunday!!! I was so happy! i love the spanish branch though.. the President is amazing.. his name is Presidente Carasquillo and his wife Hermana Carasquillo went on her mission to Argentina and is American... they are so loving and truly care so much about the ward and about this missionary work. He took us to lunch at Chili's this week to discuss the new ward missionary leader and what the plan was going to be and my companion and I shared a chocolate moulton cake... at the end of the meeting he thanked us for coming and then looked at me and said, " It was an EXPERIENCE watching you eat that cake.. i never knew someone could love chocolate as much as my wife but i think i just found her!!" I was laughing so hard.. he always gives me such a hard time! But he is going to Vegas this week for work meetings and i gave him mom's cell number (the only one i could remember) and he should be calling y'all since he is going to be in "my neck of the woods" like he said... he is hilarious!
One of my goals this week has been to talk to everyone I see...even if it's awkward just talk to them... well we were coming out of an apartment and I saw a lady pushing a stroller a little ways off.. out of my way so I was not going to go talk to her since we were late for another appointment but then my goal popped in my mind so I went up and talked to her and got a return appointment for that Friday. We went back to teach her on Friday and her name is Nancy Adame and has the cutest little boy ever... she pretty much told US the Joseph Smith story.. She remembered it from when she lived in El Salvador when she was 14.. she said some young men used to come teach her and her friends at school but she hadn't seen missionaries since they were transfered out. We asked her how she felt and she said she knew it was true... she is so prepared!! Our next step like with every other hispanic is to get her a job that she doesn't work on Sunday so she can come to church and for her husband to give up his catholic tradition!! But i just thought it was amazing how much the Lord knows us and longs to help us accomplish our goals when we are willing to put in our work and effort!
We got a couple great english referrals this week from a couple that live in our same complex... They are the Hansen family and honestly theyare the cutest little family I have ever seen... Brother Hansen is going to the Chiropracter school her and Sister Hansen takes care of their two little boys... they are from somewhere in Utah. But they called us this week and left us a message about a referral they had for us. They preceeded to tell us that they had been having a picnic at the park and
gave a Book of Mormon and our number to a homeless lady that lived on the south side of a certain bridge... We haven't been able to find her yet! Then they called us and gave us another referral of a lady thatlives in our complex...they invited her to dinner with us and she said she didn't know if she had time because she had to take care of the complex's ducks... she feeds them, talks to them, and has named them! So pretty much we are getting some outstanding english referrals this week!! ha ha.. got to love the Hansens! We can't get ahold of Willie this week which is really weird... it is the same thing that happened with Eduardo in Iriving.. they are like GOLDEN!!! and then we can't find them for a week or a month... so I'm praying she comes back as prepared as Eduardo was!! We also met an amazing older man this week named Joseph Esters that we are going back to teach this week.. He is really really really smart in the Bible so our lessons are going to be interesting.. but he is caring for his wife and nephew right now who are in the hospital with cancer, plus his little granddaughter and still trying to work on top of that!! His wife used to be a preacher but stop because she realized her church was hypocritical... so we are really really excited to go teach him and hopefully his wife when she gets out of the hospital. We have one family in the spanish ward that is ready to get baptized but the wife has to get a divorce from her old husband in Mexico first who won't give her the divorce because she has the two boys.... but she has to get that first so she can marry her boyfriend she is living with now so they can all get baptized.. We almost set a date with another lady this week named Esperanza but she has to marry her boyfriend of ten years also because she can and he doesn't see the need to be married.. most of the time i feel more like a wedding planner than a missionary. but it will all work out in the Lord's time... please pray for them!
Well I feel like my letter is completely jumbled just like my mind this week... I guess I have really realized the importance of being set apart from the world while you are on your mission and focusing all your attention on the work!! I am excited for this week and know it is going to be AMAZING!!! Love you family!!
con amor-
Hermana Barber

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Hola familia y amigos!!
I want to start my letter today by wishing MY VERY OLD BROTHER WHO IS TURNING TWENTY FOUR AND NOT MARRIED a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Love you Bubbie!! your card is in the mail.. I'm just sending it to the house! wish i could be there to celebrate... don't do anything too crazy! I can't believe Matt and Charlene just picked up and went to Hawaii.. super jealous.. and I heard matt is starting school in August.. so did he get into BYU or choose a different school? Stewart sounds like he growing healthy and Mike and Kara are having a riot being parents.. and I'm excited for Brandon Howick to get married.. please tell him i said CONGRATS!! mindy and tales are still ridicuously hopelessly romantic...enough said! Brad... still waiting for another e-mail from him.. as always! Brad.... did you ever make that phone call??
Well my week has been great! i have been in carrollton for two weeks now which means two weeks without a hot shower. But they have been dealing with this for over eight months now in that complex so we are breaking the lease and moving into a new apartment tomorrow that is really cute and in a way better part of town. So yes i have to pack all my stuff up again!! plus the rest of the apartment today!! super fun huh?? i am just excited for the HOT SHOWER!!! Plus in the complex is like four young couples going to Parker the Chiropracter school here and they are super excited for us to live close by... its like moving into the same complex as family... so i'm super excited and will feel super safe there!
We had zone conference this week in Frisco which was amazing as usual... my President and his wife are truly the sweetest most amazing, funniest couple ever!! Our whole conference was about getting investigators to church and then how to help them have the best experience possible once we get them there. We talked a lot about how each of our investigators don't just need someone to fellowship them but friendshipping.. not just being there becasue they are on assignment because they really care! We have been doing a lot of member training in hopes that our investigators will feel more welcome at church and stay... members really have a desire to help in the work but a lot of the time they have no clue what to do... so it has been fun getting to know the members more and do some little trainings on friendshiping our investigators. I always love zone conference because it is like a pep rally... we get all pumped for the work again and spiritually revived!! I talked to President and Sister smith after the conference and they gave me a little insight... we have one spanish sister coming in in two weeks so I really dont' know how transfers are going to go in two weeks we are praying that me and Hermana Richardson stay together and they seperate the threesome but that would mean they would probably double transfer someone back into
Iriving which doesn't really make sense since I know the area.. so it might be another shocker transfer.. but then we have three new sisters coming in in September and President said to me... just so you know all sisters that have over a month in the field will be training so I would study hard if i was you! with a little smile... then said most people don't get that much insight before such a big change!! i really am super nervous.. three transfers in the field.. four months in Texas and
training. Y'all better pray doubletime for me!! PLEASE!! Spanish work here in Carrollton in a lot more receptive and progressing then the english work here.. which shouldn't be a shocker! We have some fun families that are investigating but not progressing very fast for marriage problems or others... they are Familia Escalante, Familia Gonzales. We are also teaching older ladies named Elsy and Esperanza.. they are just kinda lazy and not willing to do the work to change. But really i have fallen in love with the hispanic culture and people. They are so warm and loving... plus they make good food! The english ward has some great families that I love.. one of the strongest families in the branch are actually converts from Sister Brundage... the Elmore Family and you should just meet them.. they are incredible and have such a desire to learn and grow in the gospel... Brother Elmore actually does his home teaching with a smile!! imagine that! It is amazing to see people come into the gospel after never having it in their lives and then I truly realize all the things I have taken for granted in my life always having the church...simple things like home teaching, visiting teaching, going to the temple... makes such a huge difference!! But the english work has really been suffering in this area there are lots of inactive families we have been trying to get back to church and we have been trying to find some solid english families and Man, has the lord blessed us! We got six new english investigators this week which is honestly unreal!! The first one is named Anne McDougal-Thompson and i'm not going ot lie is a bit of a nutcase. She loves world of warcraft and is a computer programmer that loves cats. She was in the former investigators pile from years ago and in her record it said she had an online boyfriend who was LDS. so my companion a couple weeks back went and knocked on her door and a guy answered the door and after they did their contacting spill thinking
anne didn't live there anymore he look at them and said, "I'm an Elder." So pretty much we went back and met Anne and she had married her online boyfriend, he moved away from his parents that were pushing him to break up with anne and go on a mission so he left... moved to Texas and they are married now. We found his records on the ward list and no one has EVER tried to visit him. So we started the lessons with Anne this week. She went to a lot of churches when she was younger and has some crazy
concepts of God... but we started teaching her and I stopped and had the impression to ask Zach how the gospel has blessed his life and his families. This was kinda a risky thing considering he hasn't come to church in over a year and I had no clue if he even had a testimony anymore. but the spirit poured into the room as he bore such a sweet testimony and was bawling as he talked about the power of the priesthood and other blessings. It was amazing... Anne still has crazy theories but at lease Zach is on his way of coming back to church! So then later in the week we got a media referral for a Bible for a person named Willie Owens... now usually when you get a referral for a Bible here in Texas they don't go anywhere.. or lead to bible bashing. But we decided to set up an appointment with Willie on Friday and we showed up to a older african american lady with a really strong and deep accent who loves the bible!! At first I honestly didn't think it was going to go anywhere.. we would share a quick scripture from the Bible and leave....then she started openning up to us and telling us about how her daughter had just died from cancer and she has gone from church to chruch trying to find something... so right then we knew we needed to share a first! She really related to Joseph Smith about going from church to church and wanting to know which of all of them were right. After the first vision she just looked at us and said with excited REALLY!!! well we committed her to pray about it and read and then set up an appointment for the next day. The next day we went back and we followed up if she had prayed and she said... you know i haven't slept since my daughter died and i prayed last night, felt complete peace, and slept like a rock until eleven in the afternoon. Then she continued to tell us how she had been praying that God would send someone to heal her broken heart and then we came along. She said she knew we wer from God. She is honestly golden and has such a caring, loving spirit about her. After we explained the steps to return to the celestial kingdom, faith,
repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost, and endure to the end. She said, "So do i need to get baptized again in your church?".... we explained proper authority and re-explained the apostasy but that is the PERFECT question that every missionary wants to hear! we have another appointment with her tonight... so wish us luck..well i guess you don't need luck as long as you've got the spirit!!
I am definitely seeing miracles here in Texas and God answers our prayers everyday even in small ways...even if it is just giving us hot showers again! ha ha.. but this the best work I could be doing right now in my life.. i'm in the business of saving souls and answering people's prayers... can't think of anything better to be doing with my time!
Thanks for all your love, prayers and support! My letters are starting to dwindle... DONT FORGET ABOUT ME!!!
love you all,
Hermana Barber