Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Santee - Week #60 - June 24, 2014

Sometimes you have to break into cars so that others can keep the commandments.

Hola familia!
Saturday night, we got a call from the Gonzalez family asking if we knew how to break into cars because they locked the keys in the car. Immediately I thought to myself, "I am so grateful to my Dad who taught me at such a young age how to break into cars." So we replied with a resounding "YES!" and were off to the rescue. We got to their house and they said, "Hermanas, we really want to go to church tomorrow but we need to be able to drive our car." Okay, no pressure. After just a few minutes of struggling to get the wire hanger into the door, the blissful "Dink!" sound of the door becoming unlocked began a choir of angels singing. Haha the awesome part of it all is that we had just had a super powerful lesson with 1 Nephi 3:7 the night before about how the Lord will provide a way for them to go to church every Sunday if they had the faith to talk to their bosses. So it was a perfect object lesson--Satan tries to get you to "lock your keys in your car" but we have been given the tools (faith, prayer, wire hangers, etc.) to "break into our car" if we really have the desire and the faith to keep the commandments. I'm a cheese ball. But anyway, THEY CAME TO CHURCH!! Thank you, my wonderful father, for teaching me how to break into cars so that others could keep the commandments.
The changes this family are making are unreal. We'll have lessons where we bring up more of the things they need to do, and they basically say, "Oh yeah, we've been talking about that and we're already trying to make it happen." So cool. They are progressing so well but the adversary is working hard. I know I say this every week, but please keep praying for them!
I went on the coolest exchange in City Heights this week with Sister DeAngelo. I love going on exchanges because there are always loads of miracles because they are always expected. We just need to expect miracles to happen every day and they will. The last lesson of the night, we taught a family where the mom was pretty against the church but her heart was softened after her daughters were baptized two weeks ago. She accepted a baptismal date that night of the exchange!! It was one the most spiritual lessons I've ever had and coolest miracles I've seen on an exchange.
Well, thank you so much for all the love. I love you back. Go be a blessing in someone else's life today!
Les amo,
Hermana Barnes
Las fotos:
1) The family (Margarita, Karen, Abby) from City Heights.
2) A confirmation that I listened to what my parents taught me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Santee - Week #59 - June 17, 2014

Trial of Faith

Hola familia!

Awesome week!

Last Thursday was one of the coolest exchanges I have been on. Sister Hofer who is serving in Poway came down to Santee with me. We were able to have 4 member-present lessons and add 5 new investigators in one day! We got down to business! It was a huge blessing and something our area needed. Sister Hofer has only been out for about a transfer, but she did so well! Heavenly Father really does work miracles through all of us, no matter how long we've been out.

Not a lot of people were home in general this past week, which was a little discouraging. But we kept working! It was a trial of our faith, and the miracles definitely came. Just yesterday, we contacted a referral from a member and she accepted a baptismal date right on the spot! She is so incredibly prepared. We really need to continue to work on getting referrals from members--the members know what they're doing!

Gonzalez-Ambriz family is doing well! We didn't get to see them much because they've been in and out of town again but Pablo Ambriz is out of the hospital! Thank you so much for your prayers! Keep praying for them!

On Sunday, the newly called Elder Kacher from the Quorum of the Seventy came to our Stake Conference. It was awesome! He brought some major power to that conference. Later that night, it was President and Sister Clayton's last Mission President's Fireside. It was so powerful. Sister Hess and I got to perform in the very last musical number. Do you like how I often tell you how cool and powerful things are and then not give you details? Haha time is just slipping out from under my fingers.

I will tell you this though. One of the most important things I've come to realize is that it all comes down to two things:
1. Your personal relationship and love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
2. Your commitment to become like Them.

Everything we do and are-- every desire, every intention, every act of service-- should be rooted because of those two things. We get to make that decision. I have to go but I love you!

Hermana Barnes

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Santee - Week #58 - June 10, 2014

Powerful moments, funny moments. You need both.

Hola familia!

Super buena semana. Filled with all types of moments.

--One of the most powerful moments of my mission: I LOVE THE GONZALEZ-AMBRIZ FAMILY. We had a super powerful lesson about faith and desire. Arturo, the dad, with tears streaming down his face, told us that it's interesting we would talk about this today because it hit him so hard. He said they trust us and know that we and and the church have a lot of power, so they told us about his brother who is in the hospital in Texas. His kidneys are failing him and the doctors don't know why. He's only 31 and he needs all of our prayers.  We offered to send the missionaries in Texas over to the hospital to give a blessing. There were a lot of tears during this lesson but the spirit was so strong, it was insane. At the end, Arturo said the most sincere prayer we'd ever heard. He began to cry as he said that he knows this is the path he should take because the spirit touched him and we keep coming back.  This is ARTURO we're talking about here. ARTURO! I talked about it before, but he was the one totally against having the missionaries over just a couple months ago. Look at him now. The spirit really does change hearts. That miracle will never cease to amaze me.

--One of the funniest moments also happened this week. We were street contacting this lady named Tracy who was part of a Pentecostal church. We talked to her for a minute about the church and our purpose as missionaries and then she had to run. But before she left, we asked her if we could pray with her and she said "oh I'd love to pray for you girls." Guess what happened next? Before we could say or do anything, she ran up to us, put her hands on both of our heads, and started blessing us! In the middle of the street! It took all of our willpower just to keep our laughs to a minimum. What were we supposed to do?! Who knows what people were thinking as they walked by. We got BLESSED by a woman in the street that day. As she was walking away, she yelled out to us, "No fornications! Keep your hearts pure! I'm very pleased with you girls." We love you too, Tracy. Hahahaha.

--Another spiritual moment: Sister Hess and I got to teach part of zone meeting again this week. The spirit was so strong. We were asked to focus on opposition (one of the focuses in mission leadership council). We focused a lot on how we come to know our Savior and become like Him by going through opposition. There were a lot of tears in the room. There were just a lot of tears this week in general. Good tears. Anyway, this principle is something that has helped me a lot through my mission. Remembering that we have the opportunity to become more like the Savior if we allow every opposition, no matter how small, to make us better. With the eternal perspective, opposition makes sense. Without it, it doesn't. So rejoice in opposition and rise!

Les quiero!
Hermana Barnes

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Santee - Week #57 - June 3, 2014

Hola familia!
I don't have much time to email again so I'll just tell you a couple cool things/miracles really fast.
--The Gonzalez-Ambriz family are progressing so well!! We had some miracle lessons with them this week. They opened up to us a lot. The dad, who used to run and hide in his room when the missionaries would come over, finally accepted a baptismal invitation! When we invited him he said yes, and then all the kids were like, "I want to get baptized too! No I want to get baptized! No me first!" So we were like, "Children, children, calm down. You can all get baptized." Hahaha I love this family so stinkin' much. The parents just need to get married. They're getting closer and closer, they just have a few things to work out. I'm pretty sure all your prayers are working. Keep on prayin'!
--Had a super awesome Mission Leadership Council yesterday. It was President Clayton's last one before they go home this month. It sad because we're going to miss them, but it was so powerful. He talked a lot about opposition and how Satan is very upset with the good things happening in San Diego and how hard he's working to mess things up before the new mission president arrives. There has been a lot of opposition and hard things that have been happening to missionaries in the mission. When opposition comes, we just need to be prepared to fight back twice as hard and we will always win. We've all learned that the mission is just the beginning of the rest of our lives. It's preparing us to be soldiers in the Lord's army forever. I feel that.
I love you. I love this work. Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Barnes
1) A group of us missionaries headed to the USS Midway Military ship museum tour down in San Diego on p-day last week. Highly recommended. You boys would be all over that.