Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Hola mi familia,
como estan? Well this week has definitely been an adventure of a lifetime... one I will never forget in a million years. I flew into Dallas on Monday and it was so fun talking to mom and dad on the phone... hearing your voices made me miss you even more! Well as we looked at the window over Dallas as we were landing I had a peaceful
feeling as I looked at the COMPLETELY flat ground and all the green that i was suppose to be here... my home away from home for 16 more months... we walked out of the terminal into the baggage claim and there was my mission president President Barry Smith and his sweet wife with the AP's Elder Erickson and Elder Ford waiting to help us with our bags... Sister Smith ran up to us and gave us the biggest hugs and later in the testimony meeting said she had never got such enthusiatic and excited hugs before!! After that me and Hermana Christensen rode with President and Sister S mith to the mission office adn sincer there were only four of us that came in.. they said they had never had such a small group of missionaries come in before.. we had our orientation and lunch at the mission office. After the orientation we headed over to the mission home to write letters, get interviewed by President and the AP's, take pictures, have dinner, and had a quaint little testimony meeting. Then at six o'clock two sisters came and picked me and Hermana Christensen up to go out on two appointments with them that night. I actually wasnt' as overwhelmed with the language as I thoguht I would be, but didn't really say anything either! ha ha... but I was really really impressed by one of the sisters we went out with named Hermana Brundage who spoke spanish so well and used her PERSONALITY in spanish.... in my journal that night i wrote about how i want to be as powerful and loving as she is while also being able to speak spanish.. she was just so cute! Well that dropped us off that night and Hermana Christensen and I just hung out with Sister Smith and there 17 year old daughter Garnet then slept at the mission home which is really nice. My mission president and his wife are GREAT!! they are hilarious, down to earth, but you still knwo they mean business.. They are exactly the personality I needed. I am not exactly sure what he did.. but all I know is he sold his PLANE to come be a mission president so I don't think they are bad off! ha ha.. but really they are great and I love them already. The next day we got to sleep in till 7 and I was so grateful then we went to transfer meeting and had to sit on the stand waiting to see who our traniner was. I wasn't very nervous because I thought it was goign to be Sister Shulte the one I told you about in my last e-mail and Sister Smith had said how amazing she was so I wasn't too nervous... but then they called Hermana Christensen's name and announced her trainer as Hermana Shulte.. .I was completely confused!! Then I got the best surprise ever! They called my name then Hermana Brundage!!! I was so excited! her name is Jessice Brundage from Idaho Falls, she leaves at the end of this transfer and she is amazing... but i was still confused because she had told me the night before at our appointments that she
was gettign transfered out of Carolton... well you probably guessed it... We got double transfered.... I am whitewashing an area for my first area.. and I am the first person Hermana Brundage has ever trained. I am serving in Irving,TX in the Dallas Zone. It is on the border of the Fortworth mission and right outside of Dallas the city. My area i calld Shady Grove. We were both pretty anxious and nervous then we got into the appartment and saw that the Elder left us like NO investigators... and when we called the ones they did leave us... the investigators either didn't remember who the elders were or completely avoided a time to meet with us!! So pretty much we had no investigators. So we started by meeting all the members and after hearing fun stories from them we realized that the Elders president pulled out probably weren't the most obedient missionaries! So this week has been hard...to say the least... we are two missionaries that have no clue where we are, I don't speak spanish, and we had NO investigators, and knew no one!! Sound FUN?? ha ha.. it has been!! We have worked really hard, laughed alot, prayed our guts out, and put our complete trust in God! We started by contacting all the members, part-members, and less-active families which helped us get some references. My first member referral was from Claudia Moran and we went to the appartment of the referral and it was of a little chinese lady who wouldn't even open the appartment door for us!! ha ha.. no the right referral... We met a great partmember family named the Illades.. Reina the wife is not a member and we went by and met her then that night the relief Society president called us and she she wanted to feed us the next day. So we asked her if I couldn't come teach her the lessons to practice my spanish since i feel so comfortable with her and she said YES... she cross your fingers. I am in an all spanish area. Most of the areas in the mission you do both english and spanish work but i am consumed by spanish here. We actually have the
only spanish ward in the mission instead of just a branch. There are four other spanish elders in the ward with us so all six of us go to dinner at the members almost ever night together... I've had some yummy homemade tomalies (?) and tacos... Alot of the members here in Shady Grove are from Mexico or there are tons from El Salvador... we ate with a lady from Argentina last night... so I get a really wide range! They are so sweet and sometimes laugh at my spanish but I can take it! So
this week has been sun up to sun down exhaustion from working, praying, fasting, trying to find people that are interested in the gospel since we had no one to start with. It is so amazing how the Lord listened to our prayers and his hand is so in this work! We were contacting in an apartment complex this week and a man came out and waved us down... told us he was a worker at the complex and also a member.. he told us where all the hispanics lived! We had a guy cross the street the other day and just start talking to us! ha ha.. it is crazy how the Lord places people in our paths. On Saturday it was pouring rain here but we had planned another day full of tracting with some lessons at night... we threw on our raincoats, and put our hair in pony tails and got ready to go... we went to the apartment complex we were going to tract at and the first door we knocked on was Josefina's and she let us in and we taught her and her daughter the first lesson... they understood it all and were like GOLDEN investigators.. we will see how that works out this week.. Later that night we taught the cutest family that we got from a Media referral.. they saw the commercial for the Lamb of God and we brought it to her and taught her and her husband.. her name is Keydy (Katie) and Alex.. please pray for them we have another lesson with them on Wednesday. The biggest coincedince was that we made these little goodie bag things for the members with our phone numbers and asking for their help and we went and visited all of them. President Smith is really big on the missionaries making way good relationships and gaining the trustof the members so they can help us a little bit. Well we went to go seea member family and we were in the parking lot praying in our car andboth me and my companion peeked during the prayer and saw a young manstanding at the car right next to us. We got out and he was scraping asticker off his car and we offered him our help... he didn't want the
help but he was stuck so we took the opportunity to teach him... Hisname is Anothoy.. he is in his 20's and knows he needs to change hislife and is looking for God. Well we got an appointment for him tonightand then asked for his address and phone number.. he lives in appartment2025... wierd thing is his address is the exact address of the memberfamily we were suppose to be visiting but Anthony said he had beenliving there for 1 1/2 years and our ward directory is from a month ago.TheLord's hand truly is in this work and I see miracles everyday as wework hard and put our trust in him. So we started Tuesday with noinvestigators and after an exhausting week we have 8 investigators...two of which being families! Please pray for them... I think myspiritual highlight of the week was on Wednesday during our first lessonand I offered my first prayer in front of an investigator in spanish. I was so nervous, but afterwards my companion leaned over to me and said she felt the spirit the strongest during the lesson when I was offering that simple prayer in broken spanish. My spanish has come leaps and bounds though because i am constantly having to speak it and contact in it! I am doing good at the door approaches and last night I taught the first and second principles in the first lesson in complete spanish to a lady named Araseli! I was so happy and pray I get better ever day... I understand a lot but still look at people with blank stares or turn to my companion for translation but I know it will come!! Oh ya funny story!! so my Hermana Brundage and I were knocking doors for an hour or and we were so worn out that everythign was funny... so we were standing at this door and I turned to her and said, "Maybe they
will let us in if they think we are mental challenged cause they will feel bad for us..." So we started making funny faces and then i turn to my right only to see the person in the house looking at us through her blinds... needless to say... she didn't answer the door!! ha ha...It is so funny because the people like peek through the windows and think we can't see them and they don't come to the door but we just keep knocking... then they finally come and eventually slam the door in our faces but hey at least we tried right!! If i thought the MTC was a humbling experience I was so wrong... this has been one of the hardest weeks of my life, the most exhausting but i have worked harder than i ever have in my life, prayed most then i have ever prayed, and laughed longer than i have ever laughed!! Hermana Brundage is my strength and the best trainer ever.. we have so much fun but work so hard! I am so
thankful that President Smith and my Heavenly Father trusted me enough to put me in this area and in such circumstance because I have grown more than I could have even imagined was possible in a week... in my spanish, testimony, and who I am!!! I know this church is true with ever fiber of my being and if I only find one other person in Texas that accepts that and changes their life because of it it will be worth it... I'm gonna knock every door (probably literally) in this town of Irving (well in my area... shady grove north) until I find them!! Please pray for me and my amazing companion Hermana Brundage... we could use all the prayers we can get! I am so happy though.. honestly this decision to serve was the best i ever made! LOVE YOU!!!
con amor (with love)-
Hermana Katie Barber

No comments:

Post a Comment