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