Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010


It was a great week here in Plano with Hermana Mata.. still working hard and seeing miracles!
Monday: We had an Family Home Evening with the Marrero family and their mom who is living with them and dying of cancer felt so bad that Hermana Mata's tortillas didn't turn out that she taught us how to make yummy flour tortillas and rice and CACTUS!!.. It was a yummy dinner and Hna. Mata felt a lot better about herself once her tortillas turned out!
Tuesday: We had splits planned with two of the young women in the stake so we had double appointments for the whole afternoon and then of course thirty minutes before we were going to leave one of the young women called and canceled.. so we were running around the rest of the afternoon trying to hit all of the people we made appointments with. We started the day teaching an awesome lady who at the end of the lesson told us she was going back to Mexico in three days.. I hate when that happens.. then we had a powerful lesson with Martina.. tried to set another date with her and she said she feels a lot of peace about getting baptized everytime she prays but wants more. We just told her that she is waiting for God to give her another answer and God is waiting to see what she is going to do with the answer he already gave her. So Martina is not getting baptized anytime soon but we are still not giving up on her... it was a pretty sad lesson though. And Hna. Mata was super disappointed because this was the first time in her mission she had a super disappointing lesson like we had but I just told her that if we stopped for the day or took a break then Satan was winning and the person we were suppose to find right now or needed us right now was the one loosing.. so we kept going and had a bunch of punched appointments but it was all better when we went to teach Gabina... when we first got there she was so frustrated almost on the edge of tears.. so i asked her what was the matter.. and she just sat there holding her HUGE Book of Mormon and said she had faught all night long trying to read the book... she said she put it at different distances, in different amounts of light trying to read it but couldnt do it!! I've never seen anyone with such desires to read the Book of Mormon.. it's such an example to me! That night we taught a lesson to Rosa Lopez and her son Brian actually sat in with us and at the end of the lesson where we talked about living together as a family... Brian was just sitting there almost day dreaming so we tried to pull him back to the lesson by asking what he was thinking about and he just said with the biggest smile, "I was thinking about how amazing it would be to actually live with my family forever." I love how much hope this message brings to families.. especially their family who is having lots of problems right now!
Wednesday: We brought Gabina a magnifying glass... I wish you could all see her sitting there with her huge book of mormon trying to read with her thick glasses and a magnifying glass.. but she did it!! It was super slow but she had a smile ear to ear and she just kept reading and reading and reading...It's so sad how we, people that can see and read, don't even pick up the Book of Mormon some days and here is Gabina who can barely see fighting to read it. She definitely understands the importance of the Book of Mormon.. do we? We then had a lesson with Manuel and Jorge and they told us that they knew everything was true and Jorge was able to tell us the entire Joseph Smith Story and about the first part of the Book of Mormon... they are crazy golden!!
Thursday: We had another amazing lesson with Gabina where we finished teaching her all the commandments...she is so ready to be baptized... everytime we taught her a commandment she would state her concern with living it and then solver her concern before we could say anything... she LOVES coffee.. but after we taught her the Word of Wisdom she said, "Well I guess I'm gonna learn to love hot chocolate!" We talked to her about Tithing and she thought it was BEAUTIFUL!! who thinks the law of tithing is beautiful!! She's awesome! We then had a youth come out with us and all of our appointments punched but then at the end of her three hours with us we found a potential investigator home named jorge ( a different jorge) we tried to teach him a first lesson but if we were interupted by his clients (he sells things like soda, chips, phone cards from his appartment and someone knocked at the door every five minutes) he was interupting us with tonz of questions that he wouldn't let us answer. so I finally told him that he could only ask questions on topic and could have one question at the end of the lesson.. we were teaching about Jesus Christ establishing his church and calling his twelve apostles and he said,"OHHHHH I have a question on topic... Did Jesus Christ have a wife?"... definitely not on topic Jorge! but at the end of the lesson he said the closing prayer and asked God to help him stop talking and just listen to us and really has sincere desires to know he has just been so confused over the years by so many differnet opinions.. he also blesses Hna Mata and my future husbands, childrens, jobs... he practically gave each one of us a new patriarichal blessing. :) his prayer was really thirty minutes long!! But we have a return appointment with him and I can't wait!
Friday: was a really good day.. we taught four new investigators.. all of which are awesome... they are all cute young moms. They have lots of potential and we taught all of their kids in the different lessons to sing "Soy un hijo de Dios".. that night we had dinner with recent converts for one of their birthdays and we ran over the interview questions later with Gabina so she was good to go for her baptismal interview on Saturday.
Saturday: We had lunch with the Castros.. hilarious as usual.. got two more new investigators.. then went and Gabina passed her baptismal interview..YAHOOOO!!! Then we went to pick up the young women who was suppose to come out with us for the night and she wasn't there.. her mom let her go to the mall instead of coming out with us... so i was trying to call around and see who could come with us at the last minute because if we couldnt find someone we would have to cancel our appointment with Jorge and Manuel.. but at the last minute we found Maria Del Angel who left her boyfriend to come out with us!! So we showed up to teach Manuel and Jorge but Jorge wasn't back yet but Manuel was all dressed up in a collared shirt and all shaved and clean.. he had cleaned the whole apartment even putting a tablecloth on the table and bought us waters to drink... we then started asking him why he didnt get baptized before when he was going to church for two year and he said he didnt feel ready then but that he feels ready now.. we then set a baptismal date with him for the 5th of September!!! We then started asking him if he was married or has kids trying to get to know him a little more... He then tells us that he had girlfriend and has an 8 year old son with her and they both live in Plano.. then he says.. I actually think they are members of your branch.. So we asked her name and I think i went into a state of shock when he said their last nigh twas SANDAVAL... well the Elder in our branch have been working with a family for over 6 months trying to get them married and baptized and last week they figured out a marriage date with them and then they are getting baptized with their 8 year od son on the 28th of August.. wel this is the SANDAVAL family.. and the 8 year old son that the eldesr have a baptismal date with is actualy MANUEL's son!!.. what a CRAZY coincidence.. God definitely has a sense of humor. Manuel said they are friends and fine with each other but we'll will see!! but he is still getting baptized the week after his son is baptized!
Sunday: was a good day at church but only Gabina showed up to church.. we then that night had dinner with the Cano's and then Anabella and Nelson met up with us to teach an appointment that punched so they contacted people with us then we went to visit Ariel who wasn't there but ended up teaching one of his roommates the Plan of Salvation and half way through the lesson Ariel came home so then after the lesson with the roommate we taught him. He told us he had been at his friends appartment and felt really anxious and butterflies in his stomach so he left and came home and said they disappeared as soon as he saw us. It's amazing how the spirit can really guide you to the places you need to be.. i was just happy that Ariel got to experience that first hand and understand the importance of listening to the spirit.
We had an awesome week filled with spiritual experiences, heat and fun!! love you all.. thanks for your love and support.. BUT STOP COUNTING THE DAYS!!
Hermana Barber

Monday, July 26, 2010

Judith and Joana- officially members of the church!! YES!!!

Hi Family!! We had another good and eventful week here in Plano, Texas! I'm glad you all are happy and healthy and I'm jealous I wasn't there to eat Ice Cream Cake Roll for Brad's Birthday... YUMMY!!! I hope you got my super nice card Bradley B!! Well here goes the update!!
Monday: First off we went to try to find sandals and after a year and a half of closed toe shoes it was too weird for me and I couldn't buy any!! OH NO I'M A WEIRD SISTER MISSIONARY!! ha ha!! We had dinner that night with the President of the branch... Presidente Cabello and his family then we got to teach one of their friends from Venezuela which was a very good lesson. We taught him about the Book of Mormon then had the Cabello's bear their testimony about it... they bore beautiful testimonies and Presidente talked about the logical evidence there is that people lived here in the American continent and the things people have found that could prove the Book of Mormon was true.. and all that stuff is really interesting to me but it is then that I realized that none of that stuff is what creates a lasting testimony. Laman and Lemuel saw ANGELS and still it didn't change them and cause them to have firm testimonies. That is when I bore my testimony of the spirit and the firm testimony that can only come through the witness of Holy Ghost.
Other side note, Sister Toro got called as 2nd counselor of the young womens and took ALL the girls to stake camp this week BY HERSELF and it was her first time too!! ha ha I think it was kinda a disaster but they had fun and she is soooo willing to serve. I love it!
Tuesday: We had a good district meeting where I was asked to do a talk on Faith which turned out okay then we went to meet with Martina to try and figure out what happened and why she doesn't want to get baptized anymore. She told us that she knows its all true she just doesnt' feel the desire to be baptized yet and that she hasn't talked to her kids about it still. So we are going to become detectives and find her real hold up and get her baptized. We then had a lesson with Judith and Joana about the Holy Ghost on the importance of their confirmation and again they taught us!! They are just so much happier.. it's crazy to see such a fast change in them. The coolest part was when they wrote me a note in my journal... I have had all of the people I am close to here in Texas write in a journal. But Judith doesn't show emotion much, she's had a really hard life... She is one year older than me and has four kids onto her third marriage and in one of them was beat.. she just acts like nothing phases her now, nothing makes her happy and that she doesnt' need anyone or anything. but she wrote in my journal and first appologized for how she was but then thanked me for the diligence and patience to get her to her baptism and then talked about how clean she felt when she came out of the water and how she KNOWS that she was cleaned by her Savior. It was an amazing note and all I could do was cry. She talked about how much she can feel the change in her heart and the happiness that wasn't there before. This gospel really is so amazing and the only thing that can heal the broken hearts that fill this world!
Wednesday: We had a good lesson with a new investigator Jasmin and in the closing prayer she prayed that we could come back.. I love investigators liek that.. that want us there instead of hiding from us!! ha ha We taught Martina again and made here this crown that said "Princesa Martina" from a Burger King crown and read a talk from Pres. Uchtdorf about our own Happily Ever Afters and we talked to her about what she wants for her life.. what would be her Happily Ever After. We then went to see the Bustos... Alejandra made me my favorite chicken tinga tosadas.. but we didn't get anywhere with them.. Alejandra is just as hard as Jose Luis now and got a offended by a member when she saw her in the store and she didn't smile at her.... While contacting we met a paletero (hispanic ice cream man) who told us that his purpose in life was the sell popsicles and that after this life there was NOTHING.. could you imagine that kind of life.. no purpose... we had an awesome contact with him and he agreed to have the missionaries over to teach him in a different area! We then had a lesson with Rosa Lopez and Hno Castro and his daughter came with us.. it was a powerful lesson on the Restoration and she knows its true jsut needs to put it as a priority in her life now.
Thursday: We have planning but the sister we live with wants us to meet all her friends.. she calls us her grand daughers.. she is so cute. So she made this HUGE lunch and invited over one of her friends Talmage Packard that just got back from her mission in the country of Georgia and her husband was called to be the new President of the Dallas Temple so she will be the Matron. That was a fun lunch hearing all of her mission stories from Georgia and before that they were in Japan and how President Eyring extended the call to them to be the Temple President. After plannning and dinner we had an appointment with Ariel and we help him study the lessons in Preach My Gospel. he has been studying on the christ like attributes and taking notes. He has such a desire to change and be the best member I love it!
Friday: (HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAD!!) After studies we did service for Sister Burrows, who we live with and we mowed her lawn.. it was an interesting experiences since it was my first time ever and Hna Mata first time ever even touching a lawn mower.. but you would have been proud of the finish results!! the process was the thing you probably wouldn't have been proud of!! ha ha oh and another funny thing is that I told Hermana Mata when we first got together that my goal was to make her FAT because she is a TWIG.. skin and bones... ha ha well she went to go put on her jeans to do service and she couldn't button them!! I told her I always accomplished every goal in my mission and I was dying laughing! Needlesstosay she started a diet the next day! We started teaching Emilio how to read in spanish and he's already got the whole alphabet done... he has such a desire so it's way faster! we then had an appointment with Judith.. well we have a super new zone leader and during Judith's baptismal interview he didnt fill out her baptismal record correctly so I was trying to fix it and I asked her about her marriage information.. she just looked at me and said, "I'm not married!" WHAT?!? I explained to her that in our missionary records it says she was married but the old brand president President Cuellar and she just kept saying tha tshe had imigration problems and it didnt go through... My life really flashed before my eyes.. i imagined my conversation to the Assistance and President Smith, "Ya I married an unmarried lady who is living with her boyfriend.. the law of chastity isn't that improtant is it??" I was freaking out.. Judith had me called Presidente Cuellar and everything.. well THIRTY MINUTES later after almost having a heart attack she told me she was kidding and gave me all her marriage information.. she thought she was sooooooo funny!! BAD JOKE JUDITH!!
Saturday: was a slow day of knocking doors, correlation, getting sick from chicken that a member fed us but we did get to teach Gabina with Hermana Toro and we read with her out of the Book Of Mormon. She is so cute.. when she saw us, she hadn't seen us in a little less than a week, and she just kept hugging us and telling us how much she missed her angels and her light.. ha ha it was funny but she is so cute and will definitely get baptized but she just a little old and slower at learning so it will be a process!
Sunday: Well of course I called Judith right before Sacrament to make sure she was on her way and she told me she wasn't coming and wasn't going to get confirmed.. i was all worried and she walked in the door two minutes latter laughing her face off.. she thinks it soooooo funny to give me a hard time.. NOT FUNNY!! ha ha but the old branch President came in from Utah so he got to confirm her instead of Baptize her and Joana. They just looked so happy and showed up wearing cute dresses! It was a good day... then we got roped into teaching Young Womens about exaltation which was actually fun! That night we went over to the Marrero's for dinner where Hna. Mata was going to teach me how to make flour tortillas and mexican rice.. the tortillas were more like frisbees than tortillas and I have officially concluded she is not from Mexico but more of a gringa than I am!!!!! We are having fun and working hard!! Thanks for all your support and love and I hope you can all make it to my homecoming on August 22nd!! PLAN NOW!! I want you all there!!
Hermana Barber

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hey family!!! I had a crazy busy but good week this week!! Thanks mom for the package it was perfect. Hermana Mata was so excited to get the American Flag SkyWest shirts and she is going to send two of them to her parents in Mexico for Christmas... Mom.. YOU FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE TO APPRECIATE YOUR SKYWEST PRESENTS!!! isnt' my companion the best??
On Monday we had a fun P-day with Hermana Cano who was just called with her husband to serve a service mission helping out our ward a little bit. We spent the day doing this cool craft with her where you take piece of glass and then melt them in a kiln in the microwave to make glass pendents for a necklact.. it was super sweet!! I made a little Texas Flag! That night we had dinner with Martina and the miracle was that her son that HATES the church stayed and ate with us and listened to our scripture. God really can change hearts and it was good for Martina to see that she might have more support from him then she thought. We then taught Deisy at the appartment of Juan Carlos and Mayela and it was a super good first lesson. I love teaching Deisy because after ten years you can see how much she hungers to know and come back to church!!
Tuesdaywe did some service by painting the room of Hermana Marrero's mom who has cancer really bad. We just sat and painted and talked to her then we had a lesson with Martina on the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity which she agreed to live..We had dinner with Hermana Dominguez who laid on the couch the whole time because I got her sick... oppps!!! then we had a lesson with the Toro family and they gave me a soccer shirt from honduras that her sister Mirian sent me from Honduras.. they said I am officially Honduranian now!! ha ha.. Then we spent the rest of the night and almost all of the morning on Wednesday packing, cleaning, and moving to a new members house!! We did it all by ourselves and were super hot and tired by three the next day when we were finally through and ready to start teaching again. I live with another member in an english ward named Peggy Burrows and she is the cutest little lady ever. She bought us twin size beds and decorated our whole room with pictures and bed spreads... it was so cute. I love the new place we are living. My new address is... 3928 Mesa Dr. Plano, TX 75074!! Then we went to teach Martina again with a member from one of the english wards.. .probably the best member present I've had my whole mission... on the way over there I thought I was going to die probably five times. She brought her great grandson with us who wasn't a member so I was trying to translate the whole lesson to him in english and he someone started talking to me about fireworks blowing off peoples faces and hands in the middle of the lesson that I then tried to transistion back into Nephi going and getting the brass plates from Laban... good fun!! Then the member fell asleep during the lesson and when we did ask her to share her testimony she told a story COMPLETELY off topic!! man I love members sometimes!! Then we got a phone call from Ariel saying he was going to kill himself because he lost his job again and things are really bad in his house in Nicaragua right now.... so we spent a little while trying to talk to him about faith and hope in the face of adversity. interesting day!!!
Then on Thursday we got a phone call from the zone leaders that we were having interviews with President and that we needed to change our schedule for the day to be there. So i guess the First Presidency sent a new program they wanted implemented into the missions, making things not as focused by transfers but by months.. so now interviews and zone conference will only be every quarter.. So at least I got my interview for this transfer but I will not get another zone conference in my mission so that's sad. And then they changed it where they will have three day long leadership trainings every month and instead of transfer focuses they will be monthly focuses.. and President will do a specialized training monthly however he feels he wants to... to a zone, to a district or even to a companionship. Well I can't believe I had my last interview with President Smith. It was a good interview that he mainly talked about how much I've changed and become as a missionary... I love my mission president, he is such an amazing man! That evening we made a random stop by the Bustos house because I heard that Alejandra had lost her baby. We shared with them about the Plan of Salvation but Jose Luis is still SUPER hard hearted but one day I pray they will come back! We had another lesson with Deisy who is already half way through 1 Nephi and LOVES it!!
Friday the definite highlight was getting to go to the temple that night to see the Elmore's recieve their endowments and I got to see HERMANA BRUNDAGE!!!.. or Jessica Garner now and I got to meet her husband Eric. She looks so beautiful and pretty... so that was really really fun! But it was weird to think how much time has changed considering I was with her her last transfer and now it is my last transfer!! Time flies WAY WAY WAY too fast! Caran and Steve Elmore were soooo happy!! and Steve made me promise him I would come back so I could give him a hug! The next morning on Saturday we hitched a ride with the Relief Society in our branch to go back to the temple. They just happened to be going to do baptisms together so I got to see Mayela enter the temple for her first time and be baptized for the dead!!! It was amazing... she is amazing! She has such a strong and vibrant testimony that she was continually tries to grow and learn more in the church. She LOVED the temple. Then we barely got to see her do baptisms before we had to run into the sealing for the Elmore family. It was amazing to see Caran and Steve sealed to Jonathan and Christopher. They looked sooo happy!! This gospel is amazing.. the blessings it can bring of an eternal family. what a peace and comfort!
Sunday we had only two people at church Martina and Gabina, a new investigator that is living with the Toro family from Honduras. But Mayela and Juan Carlos were there again and we talked Manuela into letting Luis coming with the Toro family even if she had to work. I also got the opportunity to sing the duet with Elder Esplin this week so it went really good. We sang I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go in spanish of course and acapello. That night we had a couple lessons and ate dinner with Sister Burrows who we just moved in with trying to get to know her better and Hermana Mata talked for an hour and half in english!! thats an accomplishment for her. She's doing AWESOME!!
Well family we had a really good week and saw lots of blessings that the gospel can bring!! I love my mission and I'm thankful for all my blessings!! Thanks for your prayers, love and support!!
con carino,
Hermana Barber

Monday, June 7, 2010


Hi my dear family and friends!! It sounds like you are all doing good and I miss you all and love you TONZ!!
Monday: President changed our P-day from Monday to Tuesday because all the libraries were going to be closed and didn't want all the missionaries to e-mail at members home... so we had a full day planned on Monday.. then we walked out to our car and realized that the miles had been added up wrong and we only had 10 miles for the whole day... so we called and tried to confirm appointments who were actually going to be there... everyone canceled because it was a holiday... so monday: no miles, no appointments, and a working day!! so we grabbed water bottles and headed out walking. We walked for over five hours.. it was hot but we got all our contact points and of course a miracle came out of it!! A couple days before a member had called us and told us that we needed to go by and try to teach Elizabeth's husband so we went by and he told his daugther he didn't want to talk to us.. so we didn't have plans to go back.. but because we had no miles and no appointments and Elizabeth lives really close to our house we decided to chance it and stop by.. It just happened that their whole family was there!!! At first her husband was just sitting at the couch and wouldn't come to the table but with time he came to the table and called for his daughters to come and listen. We got the opportunity to teach their entire family about the Restoration and by the end of the last prayer he was even crying! Elizabeth was crying practically the whole lesson because he never thought in a million years her husband would ever listen to anything about jesus christ or our Heavenly Father. The spirit was so strong and I was so grateful for the unexpected change of plans for the day!
Tuesday: It was a much needed P-day!! We played volleyball as a Zone and Elder Riggs.. a 6'5" elder that played volleyball in high school spiked it right into my face!! OUCH!! Keren also called us BAWLING to tell us that she decided to leave her boyfriend and move into her mom's house so she can get baptized and start a new life!! I felt bad for her because she is going to have a lot of struggles but sooo happy because I know what blessing await her! We taught Juliomar a lesson just about God.. he told us that he has prayed more to the Virgin Maria in his life than God and that he was raised to believe in more than one God... God of the Air.. God of the Trees.. so he is having a hard time grasping who God is.. he understands the plan of salvation and all the commandments.. but to him its more of... okay i can live with God if i do all these things.. But why would I want to live with him?? I am so grateful forthe knowledge i have always had of who God is and my relationship with him! During the lesson he just looked at us and asked.. "How do I know God loves me?" We shared John 3:16 and talked about the power of the atonement... he told us that everytime we come he feels such peace and thoughts come to his head and he has such a desire to change! Its so amazing to watch someone gain a testimony and receive an answer to questions they've always had.
Wednesday: After district meeting our first four appointments punched so we found four other people to teach.. dropping to of them.. Judith and Joana picked who they wanted to baptize them.. then we got a former investigator to agree to take the lessons again-her husband is a member and her brother served a mission! We taught a new investigator named Yolanda who is really into "hearing the word" but doesn't really get it! We had dinner with the Castros.. my first BBQ in Texas that was even semi as good as Dad's BBQ!.. then we went to contact in a trailer park and ran into the Bustos... that was sad.. but good to see them!
Thursday: We taught Keren and she was SUPER nervous.. she told her boyfriend she was leaving.. he begged her to stay for a little bit but she knows the anwser she got from God.. so we read with her a taught by Elder Holland and then she said the closing prayer.. we all kneeled in a circle and she jsut broke down BAWLING during the prayer. It was honestly the most heart felt prayer I've ever heard in my life. We also set a baptismal date with her for July 18th.. the Elders in Garland were really happy to get a referral WITH A BAPTISMAL DATE!! Later that afternoon we contacted a referral we had gotten fromt eh elders who is AMAZING!! She lives with a member named Aurora who is a recent convert bu tshe goes to a different spanish ward.. but we shared her conversion story with her roommate Martina and the spirit was so strong and of course she agreed to meet with us the next day for a first lesson! We had a lesson with Ariel and he tried to give another Book of Mormon away and his friend threw it back at HIS FACE.. then he tried to get his mom and grandma's addresses in Honduras and they just yelled at him and told him he was CRAZY.. he just told us.. well I guess I'll just have to do their work one day!! He is soooo strong!
Friday: We started the day by going over and helping Keren pack and clean.. we brought another scripture to share with her for comfort and we got there adn she was absolutely happy and smiliing!! She is excited for her new life! We taught martina a first lesson with the member Aurora and she is awesome... she will get baptized for sure! We then went and served the Marrero family who's mom that lives with them is in the hospital dying of cancer... Then we had dinner at a chinese buffet with the members and the Elders.. good change up! We then went to have another lesson with Elizabeth and her family again but her husband was sleeping so we just taught her at a members house but she told us that she knows everything is TRUE!!! That's the first steps so next week were going to conquer her fears!
Saturday: We did more service for Yolanda another investigator.. we helped her paint her front room BRIGHT BLUE!! Pretty much all of our appointments canceled on us.. we even showed up to our dinner at a members and she just handed it to us to go!! so we knocked lots of doors, but found a couple promising people!!
Sunday: We had kinda frustrating Sunday.. only one person at church.. but after the storm comes the calm right!! we are going to see miracles this coming week!!! I can't wait!!
I love you all... please pray for the people in Plano to be receptive to Hermana Mata and I this week!! Thanks for everything!!
Hermana Barber

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lisbeth got BAPTIZED!!

It was another great week here in Plano and the last week of miracles for Hermana Kleinman and I!!! SAD DAY!! We got transfer calls on Saturday and I am staying here in Plano and Hermana Kleinman is off.. There are no new Hermana's coming in so neither of us are training...we're not too excited for the change...but God knows best right??
Monday: I went to the doctor to get my MRI analyzed... well i have tendonitis in my right wrist and a syst in my left wrist that will eventually need to get cut out but the doctor said it is not an emergency so i'm gonna wait till i get home.. in the meantime i will be on ibprofen and braces... fun!! ha ha At night we taught a man named Miguel Escalante, a media referral, who told us his story and he sounded exactly like Joseph Smith about going to all these churchs and just wanted to know which of all of them was true... we had an amazing restoration lesson with him and he was so excited to read the Book of Mormon. We taught Ariel about the priesthood because he received the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday and he was so excited.. he is already done with Alma in his reading and is just moving along with the strongest testimony.
Tuesday:WE had a COME TO CHURCH lesson with one of our investigators, Juanita... after district meeting we had a lesson with a lady named Ulga who works nights and almost fell asleep during the first lesson.. then taught a less active who hasn't come to church in 21 years and doesn't even remember who Joseph Smith is..we watched the Restoration DVD with Judith Del Angel, the sister of a member in the branch and a former investigator... before we watched it we asked her 9 year old Joana if she remembered who Joseph Smith was and she told us his whole story almost word for word. After the lesson we asked Judith why she didn't get baptized before and she said, "Because no one ever asked me!" ha ha.. so she is know praying about a baptismal date for June. We taught Ariel with a member and we followed up on the challenge we had given him to share the gospel and a book of mormon with a friend.. we asked him how it went and he told us that his friend just looked at him and said he was crazy but his reply was.." I'm crazy? look at all the bad things your doing in your life... you're crazy." then he told us he was going to find someone else to share it with...I love how he didn't let it discourage him from sharing the truth!
Wednesday:We taught Mildre and Jayro... they were the only two that were there from the seven people we taught last week. Mildre's husband was there but gave us the "I'm Catholic" brushoff but the other two really wanted to learn. Mildre remembers when the Elders used to come to her house 6 years ago in Guatemala to teach her family and remembers the spirit the Elders used to bring and wants to learn more. Jayro doesn't know how to read or write and is really slow when we are teaching him but has such an enthusisiam to learn. At night we got to go teach a young lady named Viviana in english... a member who is 21, Lani, called us the night before and said she had been talking to her friend at work and wanted to know if we would come teach her the first lesson. OF COURSE.. she had a strong catholic background but said she notice things that just weren't right and has been going to tonz of churches looking for the missing link. We had an amazing first lesson with her.. at the end she told us she couldn't say she KNEW it was all true after on lesson but it all made sense..she said the closing prayer while bawling thanking God for showing her the right path to answer her questions. We had to turn her over to the english elders in Sherman but I know if she reads and prayers she'll get baptized..
we got to teach Mayela and Juan Carlos about the temple.. baptisms for the dead and getting sealed in a year... Mayela was so excited.. she just kept asking when she could go and how she could get her reccommend and how she could get all the information about her ancestors. She is serious AMAZING!
Thursday:We had three canceled appointments before noon :) then had a planning session and had the opportunity to contact. we taught a guy from the Phillippeans (?) then a lady from Iraq (obviously weren't tracting in a very spanish area!) We got to teach the lady from Iraq a little about what we must do to live with our families forever..she said she remembered two years ago when she got here from Iraq some missionaries bringing canned food to her door to help her and her family out... thats why she let us come in. She also told us that the way her and her husband met is he saw a picture of her then called her mom to "engage" her.. don't even think about it mom!! :) We then went to contact a member referral in the same complex we were in.. no one was home so we were walking away from the door and we went out of our way to contact this lady in the parking lot that was just getting out of her car.. after talking for a bit we figured out.. she was the referral we were trying to contact.. perfect timing or in other words.. the Lord's timing! At night we took a girl from the branch with us that is thinking about serving a mission to knock some doors in a trailer park.. it was fun.. we even got to "talk" to a Jehovah's witness for awhile.. successful night!! ha ha
Friday: our first three lesson definitely made me so thankful for my childhood, family, and all the things i have. The first lesson we had the lady was freaking out because he husband was in jail for drunk driving and they didn't have the money to get him out or get their car.. next lesson was with a lady named Thomasa who's house smelled like pee and they only had one little table in the corner of the house and all the chair were completely ripped and broken.. she couldnt' read or write but she actually really got the restoration and was completely humble.. it just makes me so sad... then in our next lesson one of the kids had just hit the other kid over the head with a remote control and his head was bledding super bad.. sorry mom!! ha ha.. We had a lesson with Manuela that night and she is almost done with the Docterine and Convenants and carried her triple with her in her purse no matter where she goes. She shared her favorite scripture which is in D&C "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." there is no greater happiness then seeing people you've met and helped be baptized continue to grow in their testimonies.
Saturday: During the day we had a lot of punched appointments but had some time to contact which is usually a good time with lots of fun stories... we met a man from another church going to door to door "spreading the good word" and selling cheese.. still trying to figure out how the two of them go together. We also met another guy that was pretty creepy so we gave him a pass-a-long card then we tried to hurry and leave so i just stuck out my hand to shake his hand and he went to KISS it... luckily i have "sister missionary" wierded out by boys reflexes and pulled away super duper fast and told him we couldn't do that as pretty much running away!! ha ha..We got to teach a new family we met while contacting in the trailer park, Andres, Paula, and their 15 year old son Zach... we had an amazing first lesson with them and we had to swing back by their house to give Zach a Book of Mormon in english and before we had even driven away he was sitting on his porch reading it... I hope they progress better thent he Busto family did!!! We got transfer calls that night... Hermana Kleinman is leaving and I'm staying.. we weren't too happy about spliting up but change always happens and something good always comes from it.. even if it is just a growing experience. Hermana Kleinman has been here for 6 months and this is her first area on her mission.. it will be good for her to get to see other places.. after this transfer I will have been here for 6 months also... 6 weeks in Irving, 8 months in Carrollton, and six months in Plano..haven't moved much have I? But there are obviously other people who need me this transfer so i'm excited to find them.
Sunday: Mayela showed up to church wearing her new outfit we had bought her.. she looked so cute... the Toro's came and Lisbeth was so excited for her baptism... the three girls always wear bows in their hair.. everyday.. so they bought and gave me some bows to wear with them.. it was super cute. Lisbeth's baptism was really nice.. Hermana Marrero baptized her and her aunt was their from Honduras who is not a member so it was an awesome missionary opportunity for their family.
Life is going great and excited/nervous about my new companion tomorrow!! PRAY FOR ME!! thanks for you support and love.. keep the letters coming!!
Hermana Barber

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ariel and Mayela...just waiting to be confirmed!!

This was honestly a great week and so full of joy!! First off CONGRATS MICHAEL GLENN BARBER!!!!.. can't believe you're a dentist... you're awesome! I can't wait for y'all and Mindy and Tales all to be in Utah again.. the Barber Gang will all be back together!! YAHOO!!!
Monday: We went to go contact a referral we got a for a man named Derby... you can imagine how surprised we were when a young man opens the door and says, "Hi sisters!!".. it turns out that Derby is actually a member and lives with two other members that are RETURNED MISSIONARIES! They havent' been to church in three years because of work but we're helping them get back... they asked their bosses the next day for Sundays off and Marvin and Derby are getting every other Sunday off. I'm so excited!! Then we helped the Bustos that night to move into their new trailer...I really will always care for them a ton... but they're just so comfortable with life they're not willing tow open their eyes to whatelse they need. Alejandra also told us that she's pregnant.. Jose Luis doesn't know yet but now he will marry her. It's so crazy how Satan is using complacency to keep people from listening to us.. they're lives are good enough so why should they change.. listen to us. What they don't understand is how much BETTER they can be! It was funny though because when Alejandra was telling us she was pregnant we said.. oh wow your 6th child and she said no my 8th!! we were like.. what?? where are your other two.. she laughed and said "Hermana Klayman y Barbie!" Man how I wish she got it! Before we left that night Jose Luis asked me to say a closing prayer in their new house and bless them and their new changes in life.
Tuesday: was interviews and training which I always LOVE.. it's fun to see President and Sister Smith and hear their trainings. We had trainings on how to include members more in the conversion process so that after baptism converts are stronger. My interview with President Smith was AWESOME as usual.. he is amazing. and for once instead of me crying in an interview.. he cried!! :) He talked about when the day comes when he stands in the presence of his Savior and it brought him to tears.. he really is an amazing man. You know you really are on the downhill when he starts bringing up that your going home in your interview... TIME JUST STOP!! After interviews and training we went to get the oil changed at a Pep Boys.. and I am for sure a weird sister missionary.. i asked the guys at Pep Boys to turn off the TV because it was talking about not such good things so i could read my scriptures.. yep it happened! ha ha
We got ahold of Juan Garcia again after two months.. he's still confused but we're going to try to teach him again... We had a lesson with a new family we met.. Miriam and Luis... they are super smart and really get the message of the Restoration. It was super embaressing though because during the openning prayer their little girl was on the couch next to me playing with a loud music toy so i couldn't hear the prayer at all. So I was sitting their and all of a sudden heard just silence... I said Amen and looked up to Hermana Kleinman and then just staring at me... then Hermana Kleinman just asked if i had fallen asleep and they all started laughing at me. At night we taught Juan Carlos and Mayela the ten commandments, tithing, and fasting... then we found out it was Juan Carlos' birthday so we ate little mexican cake things with them and sang. We also planned her program and got permission for Juan Carlos to speak at Mayela's baptism... they were sooo excited!
Wednesday: the best day of tracting EVER!! fun stories to let you know how tracting goes down here... we meet people from all over the world and from all different religions.. even their own made up religions... So we were trying to contact a less active who wasn't there so we knocked around his house. We knock on this door and waited then heard someone knocking at us through their window... it was an old lady.. she read our tags then turned around and walked away... her daughter came to the door a little later and was super sweet but her mom was in the background tell her to tell us we already have a church and to go away. The daughter yelled back.. "They're christians, mom" and the mom yelled back in spanish "no they aren't they're mormons" ha ha so i talked back to her in spanish and she was a little shocked... it was funny! then right after that we went to contact an african american man that was sitting outside his garage.. we started talking to him and he told us that he had gone to a lot of churches and that their were a lot of Bible but the one that was most correct was the King James version but even that one was mission things... we were super excited... so we started teaching him about prophets and he told us that his mom was a prophet... and then out walked his mom! We introduced ourselves as Sister Barber and Sister Kleinman then she introduced herself as Sister Jones... we finished contacting her son and were walking away when she stopped us to talk. She starts wobbling and bowing down as she telling us that she has been called and anointed by God adn that she has been prophesied about in the Bible in the books of Isaiah and Jerimiah.. that she is the Daughter of Zion talked about in those books. She proceeds to show us her palm and clams she has a star of David and a Z in the creases in her hand.. I couldn't see it. Then she told us that at night the stars spell out ZION above her house with a question mark because she can ask God anything she wants.. then some airplanes flew by and she yelled in the middle of her sentence "THERE GOES MY HATERS.".. She then tells us that all the destruction that is happening in the world she prophesied about a couple months before... she then saw a pass-a-long card we had with a picture of Jesus on it and started telling us that Jesus is black and if we didn't stop preaching about the wrong Jesus Christ we were going to Hell.. so at that point we told her to have a nice day and walked away and she called after us all down the street calling out scriptures and telling us we are going to Hell... it was sooo funny!!
Thursday: We taught Ariel that night about the interview questions for his baptismal interview. It is so cool how sincere he is. He pulled out a notebook to take notes on the questions so he could study and pass his interview... but as we went on he realize he already knew all the answers and was super excited to get baptized. We taught Luis and watched Finding Faith in Christ with him and talked about the importance of following Christ example then set another date with him for the 9th of May to be baptized with Lisbeth.
Friday: We taught a couple lesson but the people were just too confortable to really listen again... this whole week i just kept thinking of the quote that says the gospel of Jesus Christ is here to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.. we just have to cause a need for these people so they'll actually listen. We had dinner with Manuela and actually talked to Leo again and he promised to come see Luis' baptisms which is a huge step for us and him again. That night we gave Mayela one of those necklaces that you sent me mom.. she loved it!! thanks!! And Hno. Marrero picked up Mayela and Ariel for their baptismal interviews.. they of course passed!! and they seemed soooo happy!!! I couldnt' wait for Sunday.. it felt like waiting for Christmas!
Saturday: we did a lot of service... we went to visit a less active family and showed up right as they were moving all their stuff to a storage unit because they had lost their house and were going to live in a hotel for a week till they can figure otu what they are going to do.. so sad. We also went and bought Ariel a white shirt and tie.. he was sooooooo excited!! He tried it on for us and we said "Lord I would follow thee" with him and had a prayer... honestly I almost cried because the spirit was so strong. Ariel really has changed his whole life to follow his savior...there is no greater feeling then being able to be apart of helping someone come to know their Savior and feel his love and cleansing power!
At night we finished all the lessons with Lisbeth Toro so we will spend next week gettign her readdy for her baptismal interview... she is so cute!
Sunday: the GREATEST day!! Mayela, Juan Carlos, Ariel and the Toro's all showed up at church. Mayela was wearing her necklace and Ariel his white shirt and tie. Juan Carlos bore his testimony during testimony meeting about the importance of this church in his life and how big of a miracle this day was for him and his family... The baptismal service was absolutely beautiful and Juan Carlos did an awesome job on his talk on the Holy Ghost.. he was super nervous though! After the baptism we went in to help Mayela get ready and asked her how she felt and she just kept saying soooo good.. then said so grateful. After second of my mission is worth it when you see people change their lives like that!! I LOVE IT HERE!! There really is no greater joy!
Thank you for all your prayers and support!! love y'all and miss you!!
con carino,
Hermana Katie Barber

Monday, April 26, 2010

Good-bye Bustos :(

Howdy Y'all!!! It was another GREAT week here in Plano with some ups, downs, and funnies!! Everyone at home sounds like they're doing great and being blessed which makes me super happy... miss y'all but time is going WAY too fast!!!
Monday: We taught Ariel about the word of wisdom and Law of Chastity.. the only things we thought could keep him from his baptism next week but he was so willing to live them... he had no questions or problems. He told us he had one concern and that was his tattooes.. he said he didn't want to go to church and be a bad example for the youth so they look at him and think it's alright to get tattooes and live that life. He wants to get them removed but it's too much money. We explained more about the atonement but I love how sincerely he wants to change and follow Christ example and also be a true example for others in word, looks and actions. Then we went to teach the Bustos... the night started by Alejandra being offended because she say a member at the park who appartently didn't smile at her then came out other doubts and concerns... we tried to settle them then get one with a lesson of the Plan of Salvation but the spirit just wasn't there at all. Hermana Kleinman would just pause once in awhile and stare at each other.. I was having the strongest impressions that we need to drop them and just leave... but not one part of my heart wanted to. But spiritual impressions aren't always easy but they're always right. So through many tears, I beared my testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel and how much their family needed it then invited them to pray together as a family about the truthfulness of this message and call us when they were ready to learn and have these blessings and then they called on my to say the pray... man was that the hardest night... especially walking away from Alex.. I KNOW he is suppose to serve a mission...but God can change hearts and he prepares people.. so maybe this was a part of their preparation. It also was a comfort to me that I know we did what was right because Hermana Kleinman and I both had the same prompting.. Please pray for them!
Tuesday:... the day of creepers!! We did a lot of contacting because most of our appointments fell through so we were knocking in this appartment complex and this completely drunk guy answered the door... i started doing a door contact on him but soon realized he was not interested in talking about the gospel with me so we gave him a pass-a-long card and walked away.. we were walking to our car and he came out of his back door and started yelling at me what my name was... after a couple times i told him I didn't have a name and he just said.. "Well I guess I'm just going to have to find you then." He continued to watch us until we had driven away... not to worry two days later we went back to that complex and i was hoping not to see him but of course he was the FIRST person I saw... he was trying to find out my name again and be flirty.. i was nice.. but VERY serious with him about my purpose there and since then everytime i see him he doesn't approach me!! good thing!! then that night we were contacting some referrals in a trailer park and we knocked on this older guys door who wasn't all there in the mind.. we started contacting him and getting to know him and he just said, "Why all the questions?" ha ha... We gave him a pass-a-long card and went to walk away and he just started following us... he finally left us alone when we started contacting his neighbor in the street and all of a sudden we just heard something fall and looked over and he had been watching us through the blinds and they had fallen down.. he was frantically trying to put them back up.. i was laughing sooooo hard!!
Wednesday: In the morning we taught Keren who told us that she is going to go to a different churh this Sunday just because her mom invited her for bonding time... It's so sad to see these people who were so fired up about gettign baptized and knew it was true... but they can't get baptized really fast because of some kind of reason.. usually because they're not married. And Satan just pounds them until they start doubting and just fall. I went to the doctor in the afternoon for my wrists that have been bugging me since November.. the doctor says I have systs in my wrists that i will eventually have to get cut out.. but Sister Smith said I would have to go home from my mission to do it.. so I'm just taking some anti inflammatory medicines and getting back to work!! I got an amazing blessing that night from Elder Andrus and we met in the home of a less active... After my blessing Hermana Dominguez asked for one.. even though it was in english we translated some of it to her afterwards.. but the really cool part is that her husband hasn't come to church in 20 years and the spirit was soooo strong in their house and all he could do was say thank you over and over again with tears in his eyes.
Thursday: We taught Ariel with Hno. Marrero which was a great lesson on fasting, tithing, and ten commandments.. he is set to get baptized on May 2nd and is super excited. We asked him how his reading was doing and he told us he is in Alma and he loves it. He really is sooo golden. We then went adn taught the Toro family the third lesson about the five steps we need to do to recieve the Celestial Kingdom... Lisbeth is still on for her baptism on Mother's Day and it was Lilieth's birthday so we brought her awesome cupcakes and sang.
Friday: We found a new investigator with six kids living in her house.. they didn't have much time so we made a return appointment but taught all the kids how to sing "Soy un Hijo de Dios" then one of them prayed for us. I love watching the church the gospel can bring into even the smallest child. AMAZING!! We taught Luis and he still didn't want to come to church because of the primary kids.. he actually started BAWLING!! It was so sad but we promised him we would go to class with him that Sunday so he agreed.
Saturday: we had a big service project with some of the elders to help Sylvia Rodriguez clear out her yard.. her back yard had grass up to our waists... it was fun but hot and lots of work. She made us homemade chicken fingers though for our help but the Elders didn't want to eat them because they're on some kind of slimfast diet... so being the sensitive person I am right in front of Sylvia I told her how much the Elders just LOVE chicken fingers and probably would eat 10 or 12 each... she looked at me and was like REALLY.. and started making more.. the Elders just looked at me with death stares... so needlesstosay when we went back out to do yard work i got attacked with the water hose and was SOAKED!! so to get them back while we were eating everytime they finished a plate i would say , "You don't want more??", "Is that ALL you're going to eat?" I think they both ended up eating 10 plus she gave them some to take home! ha ha... but Sylvia was sooo appreciative for all our hard work.. we were able to teach her about the importance of a prophet and they came to church the next day. They are going to the english ward but they LOVED it especially Anastasia the little girl and she just kept asking her grandma when they were coming back and when we could go teach them again. service really leads to love, trust, and respect... serve everyone around you!!
We taught Mayela that night and Juan Carlos was actually there. We drew out the five steps and asked her to filled them in.. most investigators get one or two and out of order.. but she said them all right in order and then explained each one perfectly... she's been reading the gospel principles book and is almost done with it. She even told us why it was important for her to be baptized in this church and not other ones... Her husband Juan Carlos still has no clue she's getting baptized and was probably thinking the whole time.. why aren't these sisters committing her to baptism??... are they crazy?? ha ha.. little does he know!! :)
Sunday: was an awesome day!! We first went to church with Sylvia and her grandkids then ran to our ward where it was missionary sunday. The elders both spoke and so did MANUELA!!!! .. she just got up there and read straight out of preach my gospel then sat down... i was just proud of her that she agreed to give a talk and got up there... she was super nervous. Then Hermana Kleinman and I sang I Know that My Redeemer Lives to a beautiful piano arrangement Elder Esplin made up... it went really well. Then after sacrament we went to go to class with Luis like we promised and they didnt' have a class so we got nominated to be the teachers.. but it worked about really well because we got to get Luis more involved and the kids were really nice to him.. i think he really enjoyed himself. I think the highlight of the day was when Juan Carlos walked in to the church with Mayela!!!... he was even crying through the closing song... he's going to be sooo excited at Mayela's baptism! We had an amazing week but next sunday is going to be soooo much better... two baptisms for some of the most amazing investigators i've met on my mission!! I love this place!! I love my mission and I love these people. Please pray for them especially Mayela and Ariel that they make it to the waters of baptism!!
con carino,
Hermana Katie Barber

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ariel's getting baptized on the 2nd of May

So this week has honestly been miracle week here in Plano and the whole week has been absolutely CRAZY!!! So if you don't normally read all my incredibly long e-mails (BRAD!!!!!) you will want to read this one!!
Monday: After all our P-day fun we went to dinner where we had lasagna with ham.. interesting.. then we went to teach Leo who was suppose to get baptized this weekend, but definitely can't. He started by telling us that he didn't want to get baptized.. we asked him why and he kept saying there was no reason. After pushing a little harder and asking what changed from out lesson a couple weeks ago on Friday to that Sunday that made him not want to come to church. He finally told us he got into a fight and in his own words "gutted" someone.. so needless-to-say Leo will not be getting baptized this weekend!! But we will keep working with him and try to help him change. I pray one day he can find the peace of the Atonement.
Tuesday: (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MATT!) we had district meeting then our first couple appointments of the day canceled on us so we made some stop-bys and got a couple return appointments.. then we were heading to the woodland appartments where the Busto Family lives. The weekend before we had met a lady having an easter party with her family.. she said we could come back but we didn't think she was very promising. She lived in the other side of the Woodland complex which is HUGE and we are hardly ever on the side she lives because it's opposite of where our other investigators live. Well we drove around trying to find vistor parking and finally ended up parking on the street...and as soon as we get out of the car there is a lady standing there waiting to talk to us.. a little strange. After finding out we speak spanish and being estatic she asked us where the church was... we were a little taken back because normal people don't beg us to come to church. Well come to find out that her Lilian Toro and her husband Renae and three girls, Lilibeth, Lilieth, and Lizbeth are all members that just moved her from Houston and they have been looking for the church. Lizbeth actually saw us the weekend before while we were making an appointment with the grandma at the Easter party and had told he mom.. so when we were driving around looking for a parking spot they had seen us and she ran out to find us... turns out the lady we met at the Easter Party lives right next to the Toro Family and she wasn't even there for the appointment we made with her. God definitely places us where people need us. And the best part is that their little give Lizbeth is 9 and isn't baptized so we get to teach their whole family the lessons agaion to prepare Lizbeth to be baptized in May!! MIRACLE #1
We also got two media referrals that day when we haven't gotten ANY the whole time I've been here.. MIRACLE #2
We had dinner with the Castro Family and as usual they were HILARIOUS.. Hermano had taken a picture of Hermana Kleinman and I on Sunday and photoshoped it and had printed us an 8 x 10 picture for each of us.. they're awesome.
Wednesday:We did some random contacting then went to go to our appointment with Manuel a less active and his wife Rosie who isn't a member. Their car wasn't their so we knew we had a little time to contact more. There was a guy sitting on his step outside his appartment getting ready to smoke so we approached him and started contacting him. Hermana Kleinman and I felt a little weird about the contact considering he was blowing smoke in our faces and I was about to just give him a pass along card and walk away when the thought came to me to ask him if he was happy... He kinda looked a me shocked and said well... yea.. then he added all the problems he was having too.He told us his name was Carlos and had not really heard of the church before. But after telling him that we knew the gospel could bringing him happiness to his life... he said, "I Know." We come to find out that his real name is Juan Carlos and he was baptized 8 years ago... he got the Melquesieck (can't spell it sorry!! ha ha) and everything... but that his wife had told him that he had to choose her and the catholic church or his church and he chose her... he has now gone down a back road including drugs, drinking, and other things.. he has no job and his marriage is falling apart. He told us he wanted to give us his Triple to give to someone who could actually use it.. we told him no.. that he was going to use it again!! I gave him my Book of Mormon to read a passage in 3 Nephi and I have never seen someone hunger so bad to read that book.. he started flipping through and by the end had given US a reading assignment. he told us stories about when he used to go out with missionaries and it was amazing how his countanence physically changed.. he went from blank stares and no hope to light escaping from his eyes and such HOPE!! he ended up giving us his cigarettes and took his ear out of his ear to give to us.. and we devised a plan to come back and knock on Friday night to try to get his wife to listen to us!! And once again our other appointment never showed up... God placed us again right where he needed us to be! MIRACLE #3!!
That night we went to get to know the Toro family where we got a second dinner and I got to know Lilian figure out a little more about their church history while Hermana Kleinman was talkign to their friend and their conversation led into a first lesson ending in a soft commitment to baptism.. while I figured out when Lizbeth was going to get baptized.. It was a successful night!
Thursday: During planning we were looking through all of the old investigator sheets in our area book and I stumbled across one that said MANUELA LEMUS LOPEZ!!!... Elders two years ago had found Leo and Jesse, Manuela's sons in the Fiesta parking lot and were teaching them for awhile.. Leo actually read 1/2 of the Book of Mormon.. but then they got to busy so the Elder's dropped them. I guess everyone just has their time! That night we had a member Hermana Saldias come with us to a lesson with Gregonio and the rest of the gang in the trailer and we taught them a Plan of Salvation. When we got in the car after the lesson.. Hermana Saldias just said "I never realized how hard your guy's job is... trying to help people believe when they really don't care.. we are so lucky we had the faith to accept this gospel."
So Thursday night we were laying in our bunk beds.. i was half asleep and we hear a knock... Hermana Kleinman freaks out and says "Someone is knocking on our window!" I just brushed her off thinking it was someone at the door so I yelled COME IN... but no one came in.. I just thought it was Sue, our roomie, knocking on our door... then the knock came again and it was from the window.. I looked out the window and there was a young man standing there...I just yelled.. WHO ARE YOU!!! I thought he said BUENO and I started freaking out thinking someone we had contacted or an investigator had followed us home.. then he said.. "Oh I mush have the wrong how does sue live here??" Well it ended up being Sue's grandson who is 18 knocking on the wrong window and scaring the daylights out of me.. so I went and got Sue and when I got back... Sister Kleinman just looked at me and said, "I just want you to know you just invited an 18 year-old to come in your room through the window ON YOUR MISSION!!!" We were laughing sooooo hard!
Friday: We taught Keren, when we got there she was in a really bad mood because her and her boyfriend had been fighting alot and she is probably going to leave him. We ended up having her watch part of the Special Witnesses of Christ DVD since she didn't come to church... by the end of the lesson she was smiling and said she knew we had a prophet on the earth today.. the gospel brings happiness.. NO DOUBT!! We had a lesson with Luis who isn't getting baptized this Sunday and doesn't even really want to come to church because of some rude things the kids in primary said to him.. so we are going to push for the 25 of April instead.. please pray for him!
Our next scheduled appointment was to go and knock on Juan Carlos' door and try to get his "crazy catholic" wife to listen to us. We were SUPER nervous because we had no clue what to expect.. but we got there and Juan Carlos had all the doors open waiting for us and when we got there he told his wife the door was for her.. she was sleeping so had to change and as she is walking to the door and asked who it was he said, "Las Misioneras, they can come in right?" without really giving her a choice he let us in and we all sat down at their table to talk. He pulled out a briefcase filled with 2 triples, 2 book of mormons, tons of Liahonas and church manuels and said... well what are you going to teach us. I talked to his wife Mayela for a minute and she told us she would take the lessons but didn't think she would come to our church. So I told her we could come back another time or start today depending on her schedule and she told us to go for it. We taught her the first lesson about the Restoration of the gospel and it was honestly one of the most powerful lessons of my mission. She had AMAZING questions like.. after explaining the great apostasy she said, "So where's the prophet today?" then after the first vision she blurted out "So what'd they say... which one did he join?" while explaining about where the Bible was from and where her ancestors were from she said, "So shouldnt' we have a Bible in the America's too!?!" Yep the Book of Mormon. Then we asked her husband Juan Carlos to bear his testimony...he was a little anxious at first but the spirit RUSHED in as he told her that he knew it was true and that she could know for herself it was true also. he told her that the happiest time of his life was while he was in the church and he never wanted for anything he ever needed. He told her that he knew God sent us at this time because they needed this gospel. After he was done she just turned to us and said "I can come to church this Sunday.. we'll be waiting and ready for someone to take us." AMAZING MIRACLE #4... God can change hearts!
Saturday: we did a blitz for the elders since elder Esplin has been out of commission for a while with his kidney stones so we knocked doors.. taught some lessons plus dinner but nothing I can remember to report.. good day! Wait a second.. that's a lie.. We taught Ariel the plan of Salvation on his porch and ended up setting a baptismal date with him for May 2nd.. he's super excited!! and GOLDEN!! MIRACLE #5
We waited and waited and waiting expecting a transfer call that night and IT NEVER CAME!!! Hermana Kleinman and I are staying together in Plano for another 6 weeks and we couldn't be happier!
Sunday: was a little frustrating.. but still good!! Keren didn't come to church.. we don't know why.. we stopped by our investigators/ recent converts in the morning and Joe was at his girlfriends... Leo was still hung over and couldn't even stand up when we went to pass by to see if he was coming to church... others weren't home. and Juan Carlos went out with his friends the night before and Mayela didn't know where he was at noon on Sunday. Then the member that was suppose to go by to for Ariel couldnt' find his appartment so just came to church without him... leaving Ariel waiting to come to church all day. But the amazing thing of the day was MAYELA CAME TO CHURCH.. even without her husband!! The "crazy Catholic" as she husband described LOVED church and told us she is coming back next week... now the only problem we have is getting her husband there. But it's amazing how God changes hearts and prepares a way! And Manuela said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting.. she went up there.. introduced herself and then said the prayer with her eyes open like she was giving a talk.. it was hilarious and she was sooo nervous. She is giving a talk on missionary work in a couple week.. that should be interesting can't wait!!
This has been an amazing week!! Thanks for all your prayers and support.. hope this week is just as exciting!
con carino,
Hermana Katie Barber

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sacrament Talk In Spanish!!

Hey Family!!! HAPPY EASTER and MATT... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!! Wasn't conference AMAZING?? I wish I could have been there to hang out with all of y'all and have fun with my sweet niece and nephews but that time will come oh too fast!! Thanks mom for my Easter package filled with goodies... i gave out the candy to the kids at the church during conference and it kept them entertained for a little longer.. thanks you're the best! We had a great week here in Plano like always with more and more miracles every week! Transfer calls are this Saturday and we probably won't stay together another week so we're going to make the most out of our last week (probably) together.
Monday:We did the normal chores on P-day but then we borrowed bikes from the Elders and went on an hour and a half bike ride picking up one of our investigators, Alejandra Bustos, on the way... It was super fun but my bottom was sore for the next couple days :) We ate dinner with Manuela that night, some yummy tamales she promised she would teach us how to make!!..She was kinda sad because a member in the ward is going to start taking over her new member lessons and out of no where she said I have lots of trust in you two and love you so much.. thank you. We had a lesson that night with the Bustos on the Book of Mormon and the importance of reading everyday... we opened it up for questions and they had none.. I think Youth Conference really helped Alex have a lot more faith in the truthfulness of the truth.. YEAH!!!
Tuesday: We had district meeting, lunch, then went home to wait for Sister Smith... she came up to have us help her with a talk she had to give in Spanish that night at a relief society party. We helped her for a couple hours and it was super fun having more one on one time with her and it made me realize I know more spanish than i give myself credit for.. reading and writing at least! We had dinner with the Cazeras... pollo de tinga otra vez.. I think the word is getting out that that is my favorite dish because we are having it a lot lately.. but I'm okay with that. We taught Gregonio again that night with his "son" Juliomar and soft committed them to baptism but they didn't come to conference so we'll see if they really progress. We then went and watched The Restoration with Mario but he still just doesn't get it so we gave him our number and pretty much dropped him but will stop back in awhile to see if he gets it more yet.. we need to save our time for those that are more willing to progress.
Wednesday: We had an awesome lesson with Keren and brought a member from the english ward who is amazing... her name is Katie Trusty. She served a mission and joined the church when she was 19. Her and Keren got along really well and she helped us control the kids during the lesson who were all home from school sick. we taught her the ten commandments and the importance of a prophet to receive commandments and then Sister Trusty invited her to conference at her house.. We were reading through the ten commandments and we got to #7.. don't commit adultery.. but instead of reading it like that she said.. don't do what Keren is doing.. She has such a desire to change but her circumstance is sooo crazy hard.. I can't even imagine being 23 with four kids already having a failed marriage and having to decide whether to stay with my boyfriend and marry him who is not the best either or to leave with my kids to a shelter. Please pray for her! Keren said the closing pray and Sister Trusty was crying by the end of it... I wish y'all could hear Keren's prayers.. they are so heart felt, a real conversation with God. Another shocking part of the lesson was when we got to commandment number 10.. Thou shalt not covet.. we explained it to her and almost crying she said you know what I covet or envy.. and we said no and she said,"you're happiness." You just look like you always roll out of bed smiling.. like you have everything in your life figured out. We explained the hope and happiness the gospel brings to your life no matter what you are asked to face. Do we as members of the church really understand what happiness and difference this gospel can bring in our lives?... I know I've always taken it for granted until I have been able to see how others live or believe... and how much this world really needs the hope and happiness of the gospel!
In the afternoon we took a 16 year old member from the English ward tracting with us and to contact referrals it was an eventful afternoon and i think we talked her into serving a mission. At night we took a funny gift to the elders.. Elder Esplin's kidney stone still hasn't even MOVED.. so he went to the doctor and the doctor said he has another one sitting in his kidney waiting to come out as soon as he passes this one.. he wasn't too happy.. so we being the sensitive sisters we are found these chocolates that look EXACTLY like little rocks and wrote him a note that said, "We hope these stones pass easier than your kidney stone!" it was super super funny!
Thursday (APRIL FOOLS DAY!)- April Fool's Day Tricks: We called some of the elders and gave them the PERFECT referral.. a mom with five kids, three over 8... we already soft committed her to baptism but she wants to go to the english ward. They were SOOO PUMPED!! Then we called them back and said,"we forgot to tell you something about them.. APRIL FOOLS!! They were so confused and didn't even know it was April 1st.. we got them good. Then I called Sister Smith and told her that I was having a hard time and I don't know if i can do it anymore and kinda want to go home. I felt pretty back because she was sooooo concerned and said well what is it that is bothering you and I said, "Well maybe because it's April Fools Day." She just paused and said,"well in that case.. I'll buy you a ticket home this afternoon!" It was a super effective companionship study :) Right after we got done with our phone calls our "roommate"Sue.. fell out of the shower and we found her flat on her back...interesting experience but luckily she didn't break anything! We taught a first lesson with a referral who was super super interested but then found out we were "mormons" and a wall went up.. hope we're good wall climbers! We had american hamburgers for dinner.. long time since I've had a good one of those so that was nice.. then we contacted another referral who was super interested and probably would have gone somewhere if her mom wasn't right behind her the whole time saying, "somos catolicos." ONE DAY!!
Friday: Most of our appointments canceled on us and all the stop by's we made no one was home so we went and tried to contact Manuel (super less active) and his wife Rosi (the one who's brother was on his mission in Provo) and the first thing they said to us was WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!! we thought you forgot about us! So we've started working with them again so that will be good. We taught the Busto family and ate some chicken with them... we gave them each a calendar to mark their reading, prayers, and church attendance on so hopefully they'll get better at keeping their commitments. We then went to the Marrero's to do some service and had more chicken... then we went ot our dinner appointment with the Dominguez and had more chicken.. NO MORE CHICKEN FOR ME!! I came home that night.. just when i thought my family forgot about me for Easter and found my package from mom!! thanks mom! I waiting till Sunday morning to open it though.
Saturday: I LOVE CONFERENCE!!! My favorite talk in the first session was the first one from Elder Packer on Fathers and their importance on presiding in the home. It made me think of dad..and how he has always been worthy to baptize us, ordain my brothers, give us father's blessings anytime we asked.. Thanks dad!! It really hit me the importance the priesthood in your home! Between sessions we went and picked up Hna. Berrios, a member, and went to teach a lesson to a guy named Ariel that we met at the laundry mat of this complex... we had gone one time before and met his roommates but didn't have much time to teach them so we told them our purpose and gave them a pamphlet to read on the restoration which no one ends up reading... EVER. So we get there and ask if he had read and he had!! During the lesson he was giving the definition of things he had remembered from his reading and we were able to soft commit him to baptism on the first real lesson. We had also told him in our first "our purpose" lesson that he was going to have to say the closing prayer next time we came by to teach him... so that time came for him to say the closing prayer and I went to give him his pamphlet where we had wrote the steps of prayer and he went and grabbed a notebook where he had written out a prayer and had been practicing how to pray just right all week! He has such a desire to know and to do what's right.. GOLDEN!! He is from Nicaragua, around 25 and is 6"4'.. the tallest Hispanic I've ever seen!!
During the second session my favorite talk was L.Tom Perry's I loved how he said he remembered his mom having the dinning room table filled with reference materials for her lessons.. that is EXACTLY MY MOM!!! I'll never forget orange choice and accountability stuff alllllllll over the table or your combat gear for your other talk for Girl's camp on year... I also loved how he said his mom had so much material she couldn't possibly share it in one class but she always used the things she learned to bless him and his other siblings... so true!! thanks mom!! I also LOVED Elder Holland's talk.. he always lays it down!!!
After conference we went and dyed Easter eggs with Karen and Alejandra Bustos and she made us dinner even though we told her we had a dinner appointment... but then we left for our dinner appointment and Alejandra came with us.. so we made her eat two dinners too!! We were all so full and it hurt to laugh! But at least we made her suffer with us.. ha ha!!
Sunday: We watched the first session in spanish and Alejandra came with Alex and Karen.. she loved it and was crying by the end of the closing prayer.... I tried to listen while translating in my head my notes into english and keep Alex and Karen entertained.. I didn't get the most out of that session but i loved listening to it in spanish because my notes aren't word for word what the person said but instead they are the true impressions and the things I got out of their talks.. we had lunch as a branch in between sessions then we watched the last session in english... Neil's talk was really good and I thought that was Mike's mission president.. that name sounded sooo familiar.. I bet that was super cool for Mike! We had dinner with Hna. Saldiaz, then we went and chastise Manuel and Rosi for not coming to church.. then we went to meet with a less active.. who is Hna. Dominguez's husband.. he hasn't come to church in 20 years... so we taught him the five steps focusing on Enduring to the end then ended up eating a second dinner with them of carne asada... YUMMY and a enchilada casserole thing!! I was yummy but I could not eat for a couple days and be perfectly fine!! Well I hope y'all had an amazing Easter. I am so thankful for my Savior and Redeemer and for the opportunity I have to share everyday that HE LIVES and that because he lives we will too and that we have the opportunity to live with our families forever..... this gospel really is a message of love, hope and happiness!! i love you all and miss you tonz but I'll see you WAY WAY WAY too soon.. STOP TIME!!!
Love you
Hermana Katie Barber

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!

We had a great week but Christmas hit Texas the week of Valentine's Day. We had record snow this week in Texas and had so much fun tracting in the snow, mud,and slush...ha ha my shoes are still drying!! Hermana Kleinman and I made a snowman with some of the Elders this week and it was a Missionary snowman with a tie, tag, suit coat, and even a Book of Mormon and the funnest part is that while we were making it some of our investigators, David and Dagoberto, walked by and helped us.
Monday night we had an appointment with the Bustos family where the dad wasn't present because he was sleeping but we watched the Restoration DVD, while drinking hot chocolate and animal crackers...they said they felt really good about everything and we had a BLAST with them. They are cutest family ever and I'm super excited to teach them more. We also got to teach Manuela which is always a highlight of my week.. she is so amazing and prepared.. she is already past Mosiah in the Book of Mormon.. and we got to start teaching her 8 year old son who she wants to get baptized. Teaching kids is always an adventure. We taught him the 10 commandmants using hand motions and thought he wasn't paying attention at all but surprised us by being abled to tell us them all when we asked him!!! I don't think he'll be ready to be baptized with his mom in a little over a week but we're going to try..
Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with this lady named Sandra who really wants to come to our church. She has a five week old baby and she told us that she told her baby this week, "We are going to go to the church of the hermanitas... I know what they're saying is true." (doesn't sound the same translated into english but she was super excited) but her husband decided that she can't go to church if it's not a catholic church so now we have an appointment to meet her husband... wish us luck!
That night we took our investigator Juan Garcia to a special fireside with Elder Evans fromt the seventy.. it was only for missionaries, recent converts, investigators and less-actives so it was pretty much amazing. He really hit hard the importance of the church the differences..and one of the funnest parts was that i got to see the Harkness family...they all said how much they miss me and I them..but they are still on to get baptized on the 21st so I'm excited to go back for that!
Wednesday we had our zone conference with Elder Evans which was very enlightening.. we did a bunch of role plays and he gave us tons of new challenges.. He also talked to us on a topic that is quite odd to talk to missionaries about but about marriage...He told us that one of the main reasons we were set to our mission was to learn and become close to our mission president and his wife. He said in the pre-exsistence we promised to serve together and that we had kept that promise. He then had us make a list on a board of the things we think about when we hear Presdient Smith or Sister Smith..they were two seperate lists... then he challenged us to find those characteristics in our future spouse or develop those in ourselves. It was a cool training and something to think about. I love my mission president and sister smith they truely are amazing and I'm grateful for the opportunity to get to know them!
Thursday was snowing really bad so at 7 pm we were told to go home for the night and stop driving but before that we went to teach Manuela and her husband actually sat down and talked to us which is a lot of improvement and she told us her daughter is meeting with the missionaries in Irving!!
Friday we taught alot of lessons trying to make up for canceled appointments on Thursday but my favorite lessons were with the Dominguez family who were less active when i got her but have gone to church three times now and her friends Elizabeth and her daughters Stephany and Ashley. We made Valentine's cupcakes with them then followed up on Elizabeth's reading... we committed her to come to church too!! She really is so darling and it has been such a blessing because Hermana Dominguez knows she has to be an example...We then got to teach a man named Antolin who is a very strong catholic but we asked about his reading and praying and he told us he has always KNOWN that the catholic church is the true church but now he is confused... good sign :)!! We then got to teach the Bustos again and this time their dad was there... we read with them out of the Book of Mormon and commited them to come to church after a long discussion with Alejandra, the mom, that a skirt will not make her look fat!! got to love girls!! They didn't end up calling..actually called to left us a message yesterday with a loud ambulance siren in the background so i couldn't understand but they confirmed out appointment for tonight so I hope everything is alright!
Saturday I got to go back to Carrollton on splits and Hermana Kleinman stayed her to go to all our appointments only for a couple hours though. Sophia Gomez got baptized and it was so awesome. Her mom and grandma who are completely less active were there and after the baptism her mom pulled me aside.. i've been teaching them since before October, and she just gave me a huge hug and thanked me for never giving up on her family. And promised to start bringing all her kids to church and change her life. I pray she really does it this time!! I talked to Sophia's sister Melissa at the baptism too and asked her when she was finally gonna go through with it and she said hopefully Feb.21st or March 7th!! Plus I got to see the Harkness family and Miguel who are all going through with their baptisms this coming sunday!! I can't wait!!! Carrollton will always have a huge part of my heart!!
Sunday we had 5 people at church... Juan came to the english ward in the morning because he had work during the spanish branch time but David, Emilio, Elizabeth and her daughters came to our branch. Elizabeth actually has five women that are her friends from the ward already and fit right in.. she told us her little daughter Ashley woke her up in them morning really early and asked her if it was time to go to church yet!! ha ha and she's super excited to come next week too.. With all the friends Elizabeth has in the ward it was really interesting that it took the less-active to invite her to take the lessons... there really are people all around us ready to hear the gospel or that need to hear the gospel we just have to have the courage to share our testimonies and invite them!!
I love this work and I'm loving Plano too!! thanks for all your prayers and love!!!
love your guts,
Hermana Katie Barber

Monday, February 1, 2010

PREACHING in the rain is WAY better than SINGING!!

My AMAZING companion Hermana Kleinman and I had an awesome week and a BLAST doing it!! So President Smith changed some of our key indicators this week so we now have a key indicator for contacts.. we have to get 20 contacts a day and if we do we get 2 points! A girl from the english ward asked us what we got for our pints at the end of the week like a brownie or what.. it was then that i realized.. absolutely nothing but then in that same second I realized we receive miracles, blessings, joy that is undescribable!! Man do i love my mission! So Monday after P-day and dinner it was around 6 and we had ZERO contacts for the day so off we went to an apartment complex to meet some fine people.. we were walking around trying to decide where we wanted to knock when i passed
an apartment with tons of paper crosses taped up in the window and on the door... Hermana Kleinman said before she knew what i was doing i was knocking on the door. A man openned the door and as soon as he saw the word Jesucristo on my name tag started handing me free jell-o and water bottles.. little did we know but he was the "tienda" for the complex and sold jell-o, sodas, phone cards to the whole complex... So as i begin to contact the Jell-O man Hermana Kleinman starts contacting all of his neighbors coming to buy things. Isn't it amazing how God places us in situation to accomplish all our goals!! Well I started explaining the Book of Mormon to Mr. Jell-o and he proceeds to tell me to take it to someone in the prision who really needs it then grabs a stack of five bibles and while pounding on them tells me that this is all the truth he needs.. little did he know that he was holding all the proof of the apostasy in his hands and the very reason why he really needs the Book of Mormon. He didn't want to listen to us but as one of his customers walked away he yelled at him to come and back and told him to REPENT and listen to us!! ha ha then the customer looked at him confused and said, "But i go to your church!!" Mr. Jell-o proceeded to tell him it didn't matter and he should listen to us because we brought the word of God! I walked away laughing SOOOOO hard and amazed once again at the Lord's hand in the work and at the Lord's sense of humor!!
Tuesday we had district meeting.. my zone is not as close here but it will be good to learn from new people. We ended up knocking alot but met some great new people who we scheduled appointments for later in the week. We were finally able to contact that one investigator that was already here when i got here.. his name is Juan and he is studying to be a preacher for the Church of Christ... the whole time they have been teaching him he only allows them to over come his doubts by using the Bible and not the Book of Mormon. So we had a very bold lesson with him about the fruits of the Book of Mormon and that we are there to teach him things he doesn't know and that the glory of the restoration is that we are able to find clarifications that we can't find in the Bible. We committed him to pray to know that the restoration really happened and if he doesn't allow us to use the Book of Mormon in our next appointment we are going to have to drop him which is sad because Hna. Kleinman and I both know he has received his answer already that these things are true he is just too afraid to change... why are some people content in their ignorance?
Wednesday we had another great day and taught another man that was very knowledgable in the Bible but he would just throw in pointless scriptures from the Bible that didn't even fit with anything we were teaching him in the first lesson.. so at one point I was just sick of it... and I think I shocked Hna. Kleinman a little bit because he went
to agrue with me and i held up my hand and told him... NO ITS MY TURN TO TALK.. ha ha.. I proceeded to tell him I knew he was intelligent and had a lot of faith but that we were here to add to his knowledge and help him come closer to God and Jesus Christ.. I taught him about the Book of Mormon without a peep out of him.. then I bore a simple, sincere testimony of prayer and the truth of these things. He then asked when we could come back!! We also had a lesson that night with an eternal investigator who is also taking lessons with the Jehovah Witnesses... and we had a break through.. she told us she knew that Joseph Smith was a true profeta and that Book of Mormon is the word of God... but then her little daughter who was 9 said she wanted to get baptized.. WHEN
SHE'S THIRTY!!!... we were thinking months.. not YEARS but at least they know they need to get baptized right?
Thursday it was raining like CATS AND DOGS.... and we barely had time to plan because we had so many appointments planned with people we had just knocked into.... some of them punched so we ended up knocking doors in the rain for a couple hours.. then we taught a couple new investigators Laura and Guermo which will probably go somewhere then we had a lesson with MANUELA!! We followed up on her prayer and reading and she told us she knew it was true but that she had only read a little bit.. she showed us where she had read to and she read the entire introduction plus up to 1 Nephi 5.. and she had it all marked up in red pen. She loved the Plan of Salvation lesson and was so excited to come to church on Sunday. That night we had a youth from the english ward come out with us.. it was still raining really hard and we needed a couple more contacts for the day so we knocked an apartment complex in the rain and the best part was that the parking lots were like lakes so we walked through water up past our ankles.. it only took three days for our shoes to dry out.. but we had a BLAST!! People would open their doors and thought we were absolutely crazy but would let us in even just to get our of the rain and cold but then we got to share a message with them!! Preaching in the rain is WAY better than singing!!
Friday we ate with the cutest family in the branch, The Angeles.. then taught a less active then did some service from Sister Kerr who we live with. At night we got to teach a less active Hermana Dominguez who came to church on Sunday and her friend was actually there too and we got a return appointment with her this week!! Another week highlight happened on Friday night.. there was a door contact that Hermana Richardson and Hermana Kleinman had made months back with a lady named Pamola..She's about our age with two little kids and a husband and she always made excuses why we couldn't come back.. so last week i talked her into meeting with us so when we showed up on Friday she was looking for an excuse to make us go away but we got in and actually taught her a first lesson.... it was amazing!! At the end of the lesson she just looked at us and said,"I'm gonna tell you the truth (all we could think was OH NO here it comes!!)... I REALLY love what you're teaching me.. But I'm hispanic... I'm CATHOLIC.. how can I just change?" We committed her to take the lessons, soft committed her to baptism and to pray to know it
was true. She made a solid appointment with us for this coming week and even told us her cell phone number that she supposedly didn't have before.. ha ha.. It 's amazing how this gospel changes people right before your eyes! After that appointment, it was probably the coldest night I've felt in Texas so far, so we of course decided to knocked doors :).. it was around eight.. we were tired, and FREEZING... couldn't feel our feet but we knocked this one door and I will never forget when it opened... This 15 year old boy stood there but he had a light in his eyes that you NEVER see knocking doors and I had a distinct impression that he needs to serve a mission! He let us in and we had the opportunity to teach his family a little about the Book of Mormon.. they were all very sincere to know and we made a return appointment with them tonight.. Familia Bustos. I very anxious and nervous to teach them because I know what Heavenly Father wants fo them!! Please pray for this family!
Saturday was a nother freezing day.. we had tons of canceled appointment but at night we went to teach a lady named Maria Salazar who we thought was just going to be another punched appointment but she let us in.. we taught her a first... she's so prepared. And she collects pigs (just like you right mindy?? ha ha!!!) and cows and she gave me and Hermana Kleinman two piggy banks.. my first one was cream with brown spots and flowers all over it and lucky pennies glued to the outside... SUPER ugly.. ha ha but my other one is pink and says With God Nothing is Impossible!! They are awesome!
This Sunday was WAY better and I got to know the members better since I wasn't super sick... They are all way strong and over 80% of this branch are recent converts from this year.. so they are super good fellowshippers. Manuela came to church with her 8 year old son Luis even though they were super sick... everyone was super nice to them and she just kept telling us how she was going to bring her daughter and
granddaugther the next week. We were so happy!! After church and dinner around 6:30PM we still had to get one new investigator for the week to meet our companionship goal of 12 new investigators this week. So we headed off to an appointment where the people we had the appointment with weren't their but we contacted the person that answered the door and he let us in.. We taught them a first lesson and they were super excited to know and read.. so not only did we get one investigator.. we got FOUR!! God always blesses us with more than we even think is possible as long as we are diligent and obedient!
Hermana Kleinman and I had a great week and we're super excited for the week to come to get all our new investigators to progress and get to church!! Thanks so much for all your prayers, love and support!! I love TEXAS!!! and guess what I'm fluent in Spanglish... aren't you so proud!! :)!!!!
con amor y gratitud,
Hermana Katie Barber