Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Well today was such a fun day with e-mails and shocking updates from everyone!! First i want to wish my lovely little neice the happiest second birthday this week.. JULES BEVERLY BARBER I LOVE YOU AND HOPE YOU HAVE THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! I wish i was there to celebrate you entering your terrible two's.. good luck BEAN!! ha ha.. next I got a e-mail from aunt Lisseth asking if i was in her good friend's ward Veronica Salomon.. and as a matter of fact I AM!! Hermana Salomon feeds us like every week and has given us some good refferals.... such a small world.. but she is in Argentina for a couple months so I'll have to tell her hi when she gets back! ... I got a letter this week from a girl i went to High School with from her mission in Gionia Brazil and she didn't know I was on a mission but she saw a picture of me and Hermana Brundage that an Elder in her district got!! ha ha..(you know who that Elder is Hermana Jessica Brundage!!) once again what a small world!! THE CRAZIEST NEWS I GOT THIS WEEK WAS THAT KENNETH MARK METCALF GOT HIS MISSION CALL!!! which I am so excited about... but what is even crazier is that HE IS COMING TO DALLAS TEXAS WITH ME!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I was so shocked!!! I am so excited for you Markus.. you are going to LOVE IT... and LOVE LOVE LOVE your mission president.. they are great! I will start spreading the news to all my English buddies that the greatest missionary from St.George is coming.. make sure you are studying up in your Bible and ready to BASH!! ha ha.. I mean.. don't bash that's bad!! ha ah..I really am so so so excited for you and it will be fun seeing you around!! well here is Texas wa sa week of changes... my trainer went home from her mission and it was a hard day for me.. i was crying during transfer meeting.. i'm a baby what can i say... I don't think you really understand how good you had it until they are gone... honestly she
became one of my best friends, was such an incredible missionary, and I could walk into any situation with her with confidence knowing even if i threw the lesson away she would save it!! Man do i miss her!! My new companion is Hermana Medlyn from Ely, Nevada and she only has two transfers left in the mission... we have had an interesting week and her and Hermana Brundage are probably the most opposite missionaries there could ever be!! I am striving to learn something new from her everyday and we are learning to teach together after a couple train wreck lessons.. it has been kinda frustrating but also a growing week because I have done most of the door contacts in spanish and our first night together I actually taught an entire lesson in s panish by myself as she just kinda sat there and helped me once in awhile with spanish words.. it was interesting but has been a really growing experience with my spanish because now i am being forced to use every ounce of spanish i know!! so it has been good. You probably all remember a story about the GOLDEN family that just showed up the church about a month ago... Familia Moreno.. well they went to Houston last week to visit her brother and we have just been waiting for themt o get back and teach them this week and we wanted to set a baptismal date with their family this week. Well on Friday we went to their house and only the husband was there, he told us they had decided to move to Houston and that the rest of the family just stayed and he had only come back to move all their stuff.. i guess Taco Bell laid off all the employees that didn't have their papers so since half of our teaching pool worked at Taco Bell... everyone is out of a job. I was so sad... but they said they already found the church in Houston and I got their address to send the missionaries there. The highlight of my week was Friday though. On Wednesday I got a phone call from the A.P.'s (Elder Erickson) and he invited me and my companion to come to Mission Council that Friday. Mission Council is just a meeting with the A.P.'s, President and Sister Smith, and only the zone
leaders from around the mission... then us. Here i was in a meeting from 9-3 with all the best missionaries in the mission... the spirit was so strong and I felt completely inadequate. President did a training on how fear keeps us from reaching our potential and interferes with this work... then we had a training on teaching memeber to FRIENDSHIP new investigators not just FELLOWSHIP... I have never learned so much and made so many goals on the kind of missionary i want to become.. i have a LONG way to go but every day I will try to develop my talents and skills to try to help reach the people here in Texas.. well at the end of the meeting there was a testimony meeting and everyone got up and bore their testimonies... and i have really never felt a spirit so strong in a testimony meetin gin my life... but during one of the testimonies an Elder got up and talked about how he was going home at the end of this transfer and was so depressed to go home and then make him take off his tag...I think it is then that it hit me that in August i only have a year left to make a difference here and the time is going to fly.. i am going to feel that same depression at the thought of not being a missionary.. I have a lot of work to do. I want to come home with no regrets and be the best missionary i can possibly be!! Please pray for me that i can develop the talents that i need to and speak the language how i must to reach the people here. Yesterday we were stopping by an appartment complex called Sandpebble to see why a new investigator didn't come to chruch.. he wasn't home so we were walking out and there was a man leaning against a railing on the second floor of this complex so of course i starting talking to him and he said," So what are you Elders' names?" I kinda started laughing and told him we were sisters from the church and as i rambled off our church's name in Spanish.. he FINISHED IT!! I was kinda shocked and asked him if he knew of the church before... then he said, "Yes I'm a member!!" Well i guess he joined the church seven years ago in Honduros but hasn't come to church since he moved to the USA four years ago.. so we got his information and he is going to come back to chruch and we are
goign to starts teaching his friends in the complex (Hermana Brundage.. do you remember Reine and Julio the guys we taught on their front sidewalk by Carlos's house??... kinda awkward... ya they are his friends!! ha ha!!) But everyday i see little stories like this that the Lord's hand is in the work.. that he puts us in the right place at the right time if we are willing to listen and follow the spirit!! I love you all please pray for me and especially pray for the people in this area that they will be willing to listen to our message! I love you all and pray for you daily.... please we safe... AND WRITE ME!!! once again HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUBEE!!!
con amor,
Hermana Katie Barber

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Almost Done With One Transfer!!

Hola from Irving, TX!! I can't believe I've almost been in Texas for 6 weeks and starting on my next transfer. My trainer who is amazing goes home in a week and I am super sad and super nervous for next transfer. I am guessing they are going to send another Hermana into this area with me instead of pulling me out... I would love to stay with all the members in this amazing ward but this area is really tough and that would make me the one familiar with the area which makes me really nervous.. but hey nada es imposible con Dios!! (Nothing is impossible with God!!) i know every situation just makes me stronger!! Just some quick notes... CONGRATS ON YOUR HANDSOME LITTLE GUY MIKE AND KARA!!! I am so happy he is healthy... y'all are going to be the best parents ever.. thanks for the pictures it made me feel a little closer
to you all!! Charlene and Matt??... how is everything in life?? how is everyone feeling? business? my cute little niece!! Mindy and Tales.. Hilton Head huh?? all you two do is have fun I swear!! Love you... And my little Brad... glad to be home huh?? WRITE ME!! Happy Birthday Nicole Kristan Anderson Mahoney... 21 TODAY!!! Wish I was there to party with you but I'm definitely there in spirit!! Kristan.... tell Chad I am so excited for him and I work with a couple people here from Honduras and they are so humble and amazing.. he is going to love it... start studying spanish now especially gospel words.. you will be happy you did once you get there.. maybe start reading a spanish Preach my Gospel with an english one.. it would help alot!! love you and can't wait to talk when we get back.. WRITE ME!! Whitney... i'm glad everything went amazing with the wedding and they are so happy!! About Travis!! AHHHHHH!!! i can't believe guys in his district got swine flu.. that was liek the running joke in the MTC that that place would be like an incubator if anyone got it.. i guess its not much of a joke now!! He has been there so long... I would like to write him a letter.. maybe brighten his spirits a little if you get a second to send me his e-mail!! I'll be praying for him!! my week has been a good week... most of our appointments weren't there when we got there so we spent a lot of time knocking doors.. and knocking wasn't even very sucessful this week but we had some fun things happen still.... Our miracle man for a couple weeks back Eduardo disappeared a couple weeks ago.. his number was changed, his truck was no where to be found, and no one answered his appartments.. we thought he had gotten deported and were super sad.. then this week were teaching a lesson at his apartment and he pulled in!! He found work in Missouri so he is there all week comes home on Friday night then leaves again Sunday morning. We haven't gotten the opportunity to teach him again but i'm happy that he is still around so we can in the future teach him.. he really is golden. The hardest thing about working with hispanics is there amazing work ethic though.. they are never home.. and it is so hard to try to have someone change their priorities from just trying to meet their needs to putting God first and having faith they will help them meet their needs. We are still meeting with the Moreno Family and they are also amazing.. they went to church last week and cub scouts plus we taught them twice and finally got the opportunity to teach the dad who was super receptive. The only problem with them is they come to church but at 2 instead of 1 because of her work and they miss sacrament meeting which means they technically aren't progressing!! So we have to talk to them about that this week! On Wednesday night we knocked some doors then were heading to a lesson with a new member named Stacy Martinez... as soon as we got in the car it started raining really hard, lightening, thundering, and the wind started blowing really hard... Hna. Brundage said if it was too bad for us to be working the office would call us so we just kept driving. Then we were parked at a stoplight at all of a sudden we see Palentaros (hispanic ice cream men here that walk around pushing like fridges and ringing bells.) running for cover and the sirens for tornado warning for the city started going off!! it was actually a really eiry sound/sight... but we just kept on driving to our appointment because we didnt' get any kind of phone call.. we got the members door and knocked.. and she anwsered in shock... ha ha.. then she told us there were tornadoes on the other side of the freeway from our area!! ha ha.. well no need to waste time so we taught her a lesson anyway.. it was actually a blessing in disguss because no one was around when the house is usally SUPER loud and distracting and it was the most important lesson we had to teach her... the spirit was so strong and she finally understood the magnitude of her baptismal covenant and the necessity to obey certain commandments.. it is amazing how the lord's tender mercies come!! By the time the lesson was done it wasn't even raining anymore and we drove home.. but then the storm came back and lasted for over 24 hours! nothing compares to texas storms! On Friday I actually had the opportunity to go on an exchange in a different area called Grand Praire.. and I actually went with Hermana Schulte the one I thought was going to be my trainer in the first place and Hermana Christensen came to Iriving.. It was weird to serve in a suceessful area for a day!! HA HA!! We had teaching appointments all day and we only knocked on doors for like 30 minutes. It was a fun exchange and I learned a lot of Hermana Schulte.. she is very knowledgable about the Bible and a great missionary. We did study time in our own areas and Hermana Schulte just called me the night before to tell me about the lessons we would be teaching kinda what i needed to study... i had no clue who the investigators were or what was goign on in their life... but i felt
impressed to study the need for the Book of Mormon and not just the Bible. That night we were sitting in a lesson with a man named Freddy who honestly knows the gospel is true just won't act on it.. we were reading in the Book of Mormon with him and he looked at us and said, "Why do I need the Book of Mormon even if it is the word of God I have the Bible that says pretty much the same thing." Eveything I had studied came back to me in that very moment... it was amazing.. and how if we listen to the spirit and stay worthy of the spirit.. he will guide us in every aspect of this work... We truly are instruments in the Lords hands!! This morning we went to get our hair cut by a lady in the ward and she ended up highlight Hermana Brundage's hair and cutting it... I even let her trim my hair.. then she gave us like all this nice shampoo and product when we told her NO and tried to pay her. She is a single mom, trying to support her and her little girl by being a hairdresser... super hard life....These people love us.. she looked at us and said the way we were goign to pay her back was by letting her and her little girl come to our weddings!! ha ha... way far off but I love these people already and want to stay close to them forever!! I am so happy i am serving here... Yes they are poor.. and all i see is ghetto, poor Texas but they are so humble, and so much more receptive then all other races here!!! I love it!! Thanks for all your support, love and prayers... Please continue to keep in touch!! love you!
con amor,
Hermana Katie Barber

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

3 Semana

Well this week has been jammed pack with goodness and fun!! I have seen the Lord's hand in every aspect of this work and I am amazed daily at the miracles here in Texas!! First off... Mom and Dad HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!I love you both so much and hope you are so happy!! thanks for being the best parents EVER!! And Amber Nicole Varley Every I hope you have the BEST 21st Birthday.. wish I was there! Landy Jane I'm still waiting for that long DETAILED letter but thanks for the little note so I know you are still alive. Lacee Lee I also got your letter (and e-mail.. he he he) I started your letter already so I'll send it out today.. Give Beck and Teme a HUGE hug for me! Did anyone go to logan and Dani's wedding?? If not Whitney please give them hugs for me and tell them I wish them all the happiness in the world and I'm so excited for them! P.S. whit how is Travis doing?? He should have just gotten to Mexico if I am thinking right! Mike and Kara I'm getting so excited for ya'll!! Three weeks and counting till little Stewart huh?? I bet your are so anxious... I can't wait to see pictures... give him a hug and a kiss for me and tell him his aunty Katie loves his face! Matt...BYU huh?? wow do I not deserve all the crap I got when I went there! How is the house searching going? How is my sweet little (tall) Jules? Bean how are you feeling with the little baby in your tummy?? Mindy and Tales.. i love you! Nothing sounds really new in your lives but I still pray for you daily. Bradley B...how is Chicago.. I was thinking about what to send you for your birthday the other day and then I saw this perfect sticker on the back of a truck and since i know you love stickers on your car i'm gonna find you one.. it says HIGH CLASS WHITE TRASH!! ha ha.. (love you!)mom thinks you need to get married she said and don't worry about it.. i found you a wife already and she comes home from her mission in four weeks!! Her name is Jessica Brundage and she is my AMAZING trainer... and plus she is already writing mom just to get on her good side (ha ha... she wants to kill me right now!! ha ha) But really on Saturday we go to the mailbox to get letters and I was so excited to see who I had letters from because you don't get some for a couple days and i open the mailbox and there is a letter from MY MOM.. to MY COMPANION!! thanks mom!! ha ha This week has been amazing I don't even know if I am going to be able to do it justice with this e-mail but I will try. So last week was a really really tough week then to make a great ending to the week we met with the Bishop of the spanish ward and he doesn' t like Hermana let's just say and kinda told us we were worthless for an hour and my trainer was crying.. i don't know how to speak spanish so I couldn't really do anything.. lets just say it was a rough day. So we decided that we were going to work our tails off this week so no matter what he said to us on Sunday we knew that we did our best and God knew we did our best. So Monday after P-day we had some appointments at these one appartments and one of our appointments weren't there so we went to visit some other families we know in the apartment complex. After visiting we started walking home and Hna. Brundage stopped us and said we should walk the other way... the long way.. so we did and right as we rounded the corner there was Eduardo sitting on his truck bed just smiling at us. We started talking to him and he is GOLDEN. We met him a week ago and we have already taught him twice and he came to a baptism on Saturday and we have already commited him to work towards baptism on June 20th...He is just searching for the truth and it is sooooo cool to hear him talk about how good he feels and how he doesn't feel alone for the first time in a long time. This gospel changes lives! But Satan is also so aware of the work we are doing.. Eduardo never works on Sunday and yesterday we called him to see where he was for church and he said they had all of a sudden called him into work. That is the hardest thing about teaching hispanics is they have the best work ethic ever.. always working which means they are never home for us to teach or can't come to church! That is the problem with another family we are teaching the Ibarra Family.. they are so cute and they read the scriptures everyday and pray as a family.. the only thing that is keeping them from becoming progressing investigators is the parents have work on Sunday and won't let there kids come with out them. They don't have the faith to quit and let God take care of them...To our appointments with the Ibarra's and Eduardo's we invited the Relief Society president Hermana Rodriguez who is so super cute. Well she showed up with her little girl also named Daniela who is 8! Daniela gets out of the truck with a FUTURE MISSIONARY tag on and her scripture case. During the lessons she said either the openning or closing prayer, read scriptures, and even bore her testimony. I have never felt the spirit so strong in a lesson ever! It is amazing how this church blesses families. Kids grow up with knowledge that practically no gown adult even knows about the love of their Heavenly Father, the power of the Atonement, and who they are meant to become! On Friday this week we went to visit a member (Claudia Moran) to talk to her about a referral she had given us and we showed up and she was surrounded by mounds of pictures so we offered to help her out for a little while. Which was good because we hadn't done a service activity for the week yet. But I was so humbled listening to her life. She told us of how she crossed the border, how her ex-husband is in jail, she can't get child support from him because he is not a citizen, she has been looking for work for months and finally got a job at Taco Bell, she is raising two little kids all on her own, and she just got into remission for Breast cancer... then to top all of it off she tells us she just qualified for food stamps and wanted to know what OUR favorite food was so she could get stuff we could eat... the members and really so loving and would give you the shirt off their back even if it was their last one. We of course assured her we had food and to spend them on her kids but really that type of love and charity is so humbling. Talking about member feeding us I had my favorite food ever this week at familia Segovia's... it was chicken tostada's and then for dessert we got BLUE BELL ice cream.. amazing.. and we never get dessert here because the hispanics give you a piece of fruit for dessert..!! not then I really feel like eating it much because i am so stuffed by the end of the meal! Another fun meal with members happened on Sunday. We went to the familia Orozco's house with the Segovia's and the other four spanish Elders. They were fixing dinner and we didn't think anything was up until they started setting up the video camera and I was super confused... then we had me and Hermana Brundage sit in certain seats... ha ha then they brought out our food and everything on my plate was dyed GREEN!! it was my GREENIE breakfast... green pancakes, eggs, milk, and orange juice.. it was so cute of them and I was laughing so hard. Then they brought out Hermana Brundage's food and it was all dyed RED since she is STOPPING her mission! They were so
cute and I love these families.. they loves us! Well Texas is really filled with such interesting people. I used to hate knocking doors and talking to random people but now I love it... honestly you never know what character will appear behind the next door especially since my area is not very densely hispanic populated I get all sorts of funny people that speak all sorts of fun languages... and yes Texan is the hardest to understand! ha ha... but while we are knocking doors I really try to listen to the phrases Hermana Brundage says then use them on the next doors. Well it was really hot, I was tired and obviously not really thinking and we walked up to this door and knocked I said we were missionaries, asked the ladies name, then said, "Soy la Hermana Brundage..." then Hermana Brundage looked at me and said, "Soy la Hermana Brundage tambien?" ha ha I was laughing so hard luckily the lady told us later she couldn't read but I think she was really confused! Other fun things about being in Texas is that we get to work with people from all different cultures.. mainly from Mexico and El Salvador but also Argentina, Honduras, Peru... it is fun! I get to try different foods and hear differend dialects. Just two more stories to show how much the Lord's hand is in this work... On Saturday night we were running to get gas right before we had to be home for the night... we weren't going to stop but we thought we should better be safe then sorry! Well we got gas and our reciept didn't print so we had to go inside to get it. We started talking to the lady behind the counter and of course she asked what our tags were for.. we told her the church name and said, "Oh are you the church that gives out free dvd's.." and we said yes and she continued to tell us how she had an appointment with missionaries to get her dvd and is really interested and the missionaries never came!! We gave her the dvd then got her information for the english elders.. but the Lord really puts people in our path constantly everyday ready to hear this message. Well at the beginning of the week we decided we wanted to find a familiy and bring them to church that Sunday so we drew a picture of them on our whiteboard at church and wrote familia desconocido..(family unknown).. so every prayer we prayed for this family to come to church and all week long knocking doors we would say okay.. this is our family and we never found a solid family to come to church on sunday but we still had faith we wouldn't find them even till Saturday night... well church came and we were a little disappointed because not even Eduardo showed up and we just said oh well... definitely next week. Then we are sitting in a combined Priesthood and Relief Society class with five minutes left and one of the other spanish elder's slide on the bench looks at me and whispers "Follow Me".. I was super confused but we did.. then we got into the lobby and all he said was "Go get 'em.. there is an investigator waiting for you outside." We walked out of the church to a family... Mom, Dad, and four kids talking to the Primary Presidency already... saying they were coming to mutaul on Tuesday. We made an appointment with them and found out they are friends with the Segovia Family so they already have a fellowship family too!! Heavenly Father brought our family to church.. an even better and bigger family then we had drawn on the board at our appartment. Familia desconocido's name is Familia Morano! Really faith and prayers bring about miracles in this work! God has prepared people just for us to reach and brought me to Texas at this specific time to meet specific people. I know this gospel is true and when we truly understand it and who we are and the power of the Atonement it can change any life! I am so happy to be here as a representative of Jesus Christ... and no it is not easy at all.. it is actually the hardest thing i've done in my life. But like Elder Holland said how can I expect to call myself a servant of Jesus Christ one of his soliders and not expect to go through even a little bit of what he went through! This is the most rewarding thing I have done.. It is a different kind of Joy... I've never been so happy to hear someone else pray, feel the love of Christ, or walk into the church an dfeel the power of the spirit! Please pray for my investigators... Eduardo, Familia Ibarra, and Familia Morano especially!! I love you all and appreciate your love, support and prayers!!
con amor-
Hermana Katie Barber