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!!

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