Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Santee - Week #73 - September 23, 2014

Miracles and Boxers

Hola familia!
We had a super cool week.
One of the big miracles we had was the Gonzalez-Ambriz family again. Every week they get closer and closer, even if it is only small baby steps. We were talking about setting goals and having a vision. We asked each family member what one of their goals was. Mayra, the mother, had been saying these past months that she wanted to get married in at least a year but when we asked her during this lesson she said, "Arturo (boyfriend) is holding me back from accomplishing a goal I have to be sealed in the temple. He just won't propose!" We were shocked. It was a miracle and we have been praying so hard that Arturo will change his heart and have a greater desire to get married and baptized. Keep on prayin'!
Julian is continuing to progress! We had a sweet visit with him last night and Uriel, a recently returned-missionary in the branch. Julian has had a hard time wrapping his mind around prayer and the Godhead. We showed him a powerful mormon message about finding God and then Uriel bore powerful testimony about his past experiences and Julian's heart totally changed! It was so cool to hear him say he has a greater desire to pray, read, and go to church. Uriel is the perfect friend for him. Missionaries really can't do this work without the members' help.
Funny miracle: We knocked on a random door yesterday and a big hispanic guy answered the door in his boxers! Haha! He was more embarrassed than we were but we were still able to teach him for a couple minutes and add him as a new investigator! He is also very interested! He told us he found a Book of Mormon and has been reading it! WHAT?! Miracle! Haha we walked away from that laughing our heads off. Only the prepared people will let you teach them in their boxers. Hahaha. 
Hermana Fairbourn and I have noticed that God is showing us every single tiny little weakness that we have. It's been hard but really cool at the same time (as weird as that sounds)! We have had to set a lot of goals and just go back to the basics with everything. We never thought we'd have to still work on some of these things towards the end of our missions but it has just shown us that God loves us enough to help us overcome even the smallest lil' things. I love this work.
I sure love you. I'm so grateful for you. Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Barnes
Las fotos:

1) Our zone at Zone Conference! I gave my first parting testimony... it was the most out-of-body experience I've had in a long time. I have at least 5 more of those to go.

2) Hermana Fairbourn, me, and some members at the mission president's fireside. The lady right next to me (Areli) and the guy right in front of me (Emelio) are two of our recent converts that we taught in Ramona! They are so solid!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Santee - Week #72 - September 16, 2014


Hola familia!
It's official, we just got the news that Hermana Fairbourn and I will be staying together here in Santee! We will both most likely finish here. We literally jumped for joy again. Wahoo!!!
This week was sweet.
--Went on exchanges down in Calexico again! I have so much respect for the missionaries serving down there in that heat every single day. It is literally a desert.
--Got to be part of the event staff and man a booth at a big emergency fair down in Jamul (country town 30 minutes away from Santee). We were the Spanish representatives. That Sunday, we got to go back down to Jamul to teach the young women there and answer their questions about missionary work. It is so cool to see the young women with that fire as they prepare to serve. I love it! Even if they don't end up serving a mission, the best thing any young woman can do is prepare themselves as if they were. We have been working closely with the ward down there to find the hispanic people down there. There was a lady that speaks Spanish that is interested in meeting with us this week!
--Went on exchanges in City Heights. All their appointments fell through, so the other sister and I spent a lot of the day street contacting in the hot 105 degree weather. Everyone has been saying that San Diego has never been this hot and that it's super abnormal. Second coming?
--Gonzalez-Ambriz are progressing poco a poco! We had a super awesome lesson with them at the temple again and they expressed that their family goal is to get sealed in the temple and they all want to get baptized. Keep praying that they will be able to overcome all their money issues. Also, please pray that Mayra's ex-husband will have a softened heart and allow one of the kids, Lulu, to get baptized. They are also praying really hard for that!
--Julian Arellano is progressing so well! He told us this week that he had never felt ready to learn when the missionaries would come to teach his dad the lessons before his dad's baptism, but that he finally felt ready when we met him at the restaurant. It's cool to see that many prepared people really do recognize when they are ready. Some don't quite know it until they find themselves accepting a baptismal date. Haha it's cool to see people change. It's the coolest thing in the world. Watching the Atonement change people in even the smallest degrees is a miracle to me.
I love you! Go change something!
Hermana Barnes
Las fotos:

1) Temple

2) Last p-day, the Gonzalez-Ambriz met us after our session at the temple and then we drove up to the most beautiful viewpoint in San Diego! You can see it all! I spy with my lil' eye... the temple!

3) Zone meeting. Hna. Fairbourn used her magic art skills and made us all bookmarks with our favorite Book of Mormon or Bible story. She's a saint.

4) You can't really tell, but that pizza is as bigger than both of us! Two party sized New York Giant pizzas can almost feed our zone full of Elders.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Santee - Week #71 - September 9, 2014

It's all inspired!

I hope you're enjoying the nice weather over there. It's been 105-110 degrees and humid this week here in the Santee-El Cajon area! The perfect, year-round 75-degree San Diego weather is only found in the movies!
Super cool miracle: The Gonzalez-Ambriz family told us that last week, they were really struggling with money and even paying their rent. They didn't know what was going to happen and whether they'd be able to make it to church. Then they said, "We decided to put our faith to the test and go to church." In tears, they told us that the very next day, they somehow received the perfect amount of money to pay the rent. Then they said, "We knew it was because you hermanas told us that we were going to be blessed if we showed our faith and went to church." It was so cool!! Our lil' hearts melted a lil' bit. Their faith is increasing so much. Pray that things work out and that they will be able to get married. If they don't get married, the kids will most likely still get baptized. It will happen! We are putting our faith to the test! Haha.
We have been adding some awesome new people to teach this week! We found a cute lil' family yesterday, and the mom, Christina, said to us, "I've been searching for a church to bring my family to. I want to bring my kids to your church." Well, c'mon then, let's go! I love families.
We had an awesome Mission Leadership Council up at the SDSU Institute buildling this week. We were instructed by two General Authorities, Elder Brent Nielson and Elder Saben. It was incredible. The Spirit in that room was out of this world. They talked a lot about what it means to be a good leader and the main idea was that good leaders ACT and are not acted upon. We can't wait until "they" do something because WE are the "they" that must act. It was super cool. Elder Nielson asked each one of us what we felt the mission did well and the challenges of the mission. It was a very inspired and powerful discussion as he pointed to each of us and I could definitely feel that these men were General Authorities. Everything about the church is inspired of God. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be so true.
Well, I love you. Be good!
Hermana Barnes
Las fotos:

1) Part of our zone at the USS Midway Museum last p-day! We are all wannabe fighter pilots. The Sister missionaries have to wear normal clothes to this museum because we climb up so many ladders to each of the different parts of the ship.

2) In front of the big military ship. If you turned this 60,000 ton ship sideways, it would be twice as tall as the tallest sky-scraper in San Diego. So sweet!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Santee - Week #70 - September 2, 2014

Rejoice in being uncomfortable.

We are headed to the USS Midway Military Ship tour for dia de preparacion and don't have much time today so don't mind typing errors!
Our area is getting lit on FIRE!!! It's always a lil' bit crazy for us during MTE season because we aren't able to spend as much time working in our area but check it out. I know these numbers might not mean to much to you, but all our goals were blown out of the water this week! We had 6 people at church, 10 referrals, added 5 new people, two with a baptismal date, and 13 member-present lessons! It's another testimony to me that God really does take care of your area even when you're not there if you trust Him. Haha we're giving Him all the glory for sure.
Our investigators are all doing really well. The Gonzalez-Ambriz are doing awesome and basically act as if they are already members minus the marriage part. We haven't had enough opportunities to see our investigators with baptismal dates, Cassandra and Pedro, but they are doing well. Please pray for them! Cassandra's husband is not very happy with her decision to get baptized so pray that his heart may be softened. We have started teaching Julian, the son of a recent convert, Jorge. He's so cool! He has SO many questions, some of them are super weird, but he's coming to church this Sunday with his dad! I love part-member families.
You all have asked about my companion... She's the BEST!! I LOVE Hermana Fairbourn way too much. We have too much fun sometimes but we are working harder than we ever have before at the same time. It's the greatest combination ever! Haha we have this goal of "Rejoicing in the Uncomfortable" these last few transfers and it's motivating us to just give it everything. The quote, "There is no growth in comfort and no comfort in growth," is one of our mottos. Haha we are doing everything we can to get each other out of our comfort zones and giving everything we have. It's the greatest feeling in the world and we are seeing so many miracles it's INSANE. So I guess my invitation to you all is to go do something out of the ordinary, out of your comfort zone, to help someone out this week. You will grow! I love you!!
Hermana Barnes
P.S. Thanks for the birthday love! You are all the greatest and I don't deserve you! I forgot you all asked about how that day was but it was just a normal day with some extra miracles and lil' piece of cake! Haha love you!