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