Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chula Vista - Week #39 - Jan 28, 2014

Emelio got baptized!! I love this work.

Hola familia!
EMELIO GOT BAPTIZED!!! AHH!! He was an investigator we taught in Ramona and I was able to attend the baptism. So beautiful! I have talked about him in other emails, but he is amazing! He gave a shout out to me and Hermana Hughes at the baptism (haha) for being so persistent and never giving up on him even though he was super duper busy, working full-time and going to school. He said he NEVER imagined himself getting baptized into the church. But the spirit touched him and he changed. Those change of heart moments make everything--every effort, every let-down, every exhausting day--so worth it.
We've had so many funny moments with recent converts lately. My favorite this week: We were talking to a recent convert yesterday about her conversion story. She was telling us about how she was on hard drugs for 10 years, and one day, not knowing why, she felt like she needed to stop. So from that day forward, she stopped cold turkey with no problems to this day. Then she talked about how she was a smoker all the way up until she was pregnant with her first son, and decided she needed to stop for him so she stopped cold turkey, no problems again. Then she was like, "You try to get me to stop eating chocolate or drinking diet coke, AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN" Hahaha. Are those things more addictive than hard drugs? Maybe. Beware.
This week has been a little rocky, but still full of great blessings. I've come to realize that every day, no matter how hard, is still full of many miracles. Being a missionary is SO HARD, but I love this work with all of my heart. I am so proud of my three brothers and everyone else who is preparing to serve missions right now. Get ready to be on the front line of the battle! Shout out to my papa who is turning 29 on Friday! Les amo!
Hermanita Barnes
1) Benji! (Coca's son) Happiest little birthday boy in the world!
2) Emelio and Reina at their baptism!
3) Emelio with us and the other sister missionaries who finished teaching him after we got transferred 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chula Vista - Week #38 - Jan 21, 2014

Quick update

I don't have much time to write today because we just got back from the temple! Wahoo! I love that place so much. We get to go every 90 days. I'll send another picture. 
A few quick updates:
--Manuel, our recent convert, went out with the missionaries for 4 hours yesterday! He's only been baptized for a week and he's already a solid member-missionary. What a stud!
--I've never eaten so much food in my life this week. The 20 pounds I will have gained when I get home will have been from this week. We eat so good.
--Played the piano at the Mission President's fireside!
--We had a really powerful lesson with some investigators, Ivette and Freshte, about the Spirit and how to receive answers. The very next day, we had the Mission President's fireside, and every single thing that was sung and said was exactly what Ivette and Freshte needed to hear. It's amazing, the way the Lord works. Tender mercies all around.
Well, I love you all!! I hope you have a wonderful week!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Barnes

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chula Vista - Week #37 - Jan 14, 2014

Manuel's baptism--wahoo!! Tennis miracle, etc.

Hola familia!
Manuel got BAPTIZED!!! Wahoo!!!
The baptism went SO well. So much support from the ward. He's already a super solid member in the Chula Vista 4th ward, holy cow. He was incredibly prepared by the Lord. He received the Aaronic Priesthood the same day he was confirmed a member and will bless the Sacrament this Sunday. Our bishop told us that Manuel is an answer to his and many others' prayers in the ward who are in need of more strong priesthood holders. We're so excited to see the difference Manuel will make in this ward!

We had to drop some of our really great investigators last night--La familia Sanchez :( It was so sad, especially because they had been progressing so well and were about to get baptized, but they are going through a severe pride cycle right now and won't keep any of their commitments. It is so heart-breaking... espeically when it happens to a whole family.  That right there is the hardest part about missionary work for me. Andres, the father, got a new job and is putting that before everything else. I know they will come back around when they are ready again and they will be baptized. I have a lot of hope for this family. It's interesting to see the pride cycle so apparent in the lives of these people, including missionaries (myself included). We always need to watch ourselves. Pride is the root of all evil and it's everywhere! Hel. 4:11-13! Watch out everybody!
Tennis miracle: So Hermana McBride and I play tennis every morning for morning exercise. Look out dad and the boys, I WILL beat you when I get home. Practice up! Anyway, there is this French couple that plays every morning as well on a different court and they are super good. A few days ago, we decided to go talk to them and see if they had talked to the missionaries before. The wife was like, "Hey, our son was baptized Mormon and lives in Utah with his family!" What?! Sweet! So we talked to them for a little bit and then they said, "Well, we would love to have you over for dinner this week!" Booyah! So we went over and had the most delicious meal I have ever had on my mission! It was all French and fancy. We weren't sure if we would be able to teach them at first because we didn't think they spoke Spanish, and then they were like, "By the way, we speak 4 languages, Spanish included!" Sweet!! They told us they wanted us to come over for dinner every week... added investigators right there. It was so stinkin' cool.
Moral of the story: Use all your talents to find people to teach! (Tennis is still a talent in the developing phase... developing talents work too)
Les quiero a todos! Espero que esten bien y que esten orando por las oportunidades misionales! Cuidense mucho!
Con amor,
Hermanita Barnes

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chula Vista - Week #36 - Jan 7, 2014

Solid Semana

Hermosa Familia!

What an emotional week. I was very saddened to find out about dear Aunt Glenna. She was an exceptional woman and has blessed so many lives. I love her and she will be missed. My gratitude for the Plan of Salvation increases ten-fold every time a loved one passes. I know there was a party in the Celestial Kingdom when she passed, that's for sure.

Manuel is set to be baptized this Saturday!! Wahoo!!!! Please, please, please add him to your prayers. He is so solid and so converted. Another cool fact about him: He speaks 6 languages and probably knows the Book of Mormon better than most members by now. The other day, he told us he finished the Book of Mormon and started over and is making sure he really studies it and understands the doctrine. Who is this guy?! That is one prepared soul right there.

I'm staying in this blessed place with the wonderful Hermana McBride for another transfer!! Hallelujah!

Remember what I told you last week about member missionary work? Well, Chula Vista is getting lit on FIRE with member missionary work this week!! We have a few member families who are fellowshipping our investigators like crazy! We don't even have to  tell them anymore. They have basically been setting up appointments with them by themselves and then letting us know the plan. Now that is member-missionary team work right there! Wahoo!! So sweet.

Something hit me this week. I was studying 3 Nephi 11, when Christ comes to the Americas, and something really caught my attention. In verse 17 it talks about the people falling to their knees to worship. I asked myself the question, "Am I helping my investigators get to the point of 'falling to their knees' to worship instead of just going through the motions?... Am I 'falling to my knees' to worship instead of just going through the motions?" This week I am going to ask myself that question every day and make sure I am really worshipping, really serving with all my heart. It's going to be a good week. I invite you to do the same!

I love you all! I just want to send out a huge THANK YOU to all the cute Christmas cards and packages! I loved every single one of them! I will work on writing individual thank you cards to you, but if that doesn't happen until next year, just know that I love you and appreciate all of you so much. Tengan una buena semana!!

Les quiero,

Hermana Barnes

1) Nellie, a recent convert, and her brother with his solid family who we are going to start teaching. They look like they're from Utah, right? They're both from Mexico and they rock!
2) Willy! Funniest old hispanic guy in the world who loves to dance and sing for us every time we go over there. He will get baptized someday.