Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Successful Stake Conference

18 Sep., 2011
Hey mom/everyone!
well before i get i think that mail and dear elder are about the same because they just sit in the office forever!
so how is everything going? what else is new? well time does fly by but so so many things happen though!!! well you know how i was worried about being transferred. . . .well elder Hatton is now a trainer for elder Carvajal. he is from Guerrero. he is pretty cool but needs to do some adjusting to his companion (elder Hatton) like all missionaries need to learn. So i have a new companion also. His name is Elder Christenson. he is from Midville Utah. Funny thing is that his name is Jaron also!!!!! how cool is that. he will be going home in december also with elder Hatton. they started the mission together and now they are going to end together. so we have four missionaries in this barrio panamericano because there was so much success from the stake conference. in the stake conference there are usually 500 people, but at this one there was 200 investigators (or people that were invited) and 100 inactive members. so that was really cool to set a new record!!!
wow sounds like there has been a big change with the ward! how is that going?

ya you should definitely work with those two baptisms. it is really something special. in fact this week i think we will have four people baptized!!!! i have seen so so many miracles this week!!! it has been amazing! one of the guys that will get baptized is Omar. He is married to a member. He was really catholic and one time the elders passed by and gave him a book of mormon and he wanted to throw it away. he just started reading it recently with his family. he has one son that is 8. but elder Carrillo and i passed by once and read with him and i felt the spirit so strong. we also talked about prayer and sstuff. but later i passed by again with a different elder, elder Gressman. he doesnt have much time in the mission either so i was trying so hard to follow the spirit. elder gressman started teaching something that didnt have to do with his questions but it did in a way. but i started talking and i felt the spirit so so storng. when i finished talking he said that he understood at that point. we finished the lesson but elder hatton and elder Carvajal and i went by again and taught something and i felt the spirit so strong again. but i heard that he was thinking of changing religions after the one visit. so when we passed by we taught the restoration and i felt the spirit and asked if he would be baptized and now he is going to this saturday!!!! it was amazing and he recieved an answer of the book of mormon that night too.
one thing i have learned from elder hatton is that we can ask them to ask again about the book of mormon. like say i know that it is true but i want to have another answer to have a stronger tesimony. i dont know if i explained that well but it was amzing!!!
well i need to go. sorry but i havent sent anything home, but i will for sure SOON!!!!! oh for the independence day they dont do much but they do a GRITO! on the 15th at 12 they shout stuff like VIVA; VIVA MÉXICO! kind of like new years eve.
well i really need to go. i miss you all so so much. and i love you tons!!!
Elder Barnes

September 12th

Hey Everyone,
well these last six months have gone by fast!!! it is so crazy to think that i have 1/4 of my mission over. it went by fast. well at six months they do burn a tie but i didnt do it.

well the weather has been changing a tiny bit. in the nights it gets really nice out. it starts to feel fresh and cool, but the days are still hot!!!
its funny that you guys had stake conference because we did too!! one of the seventy came to ours. his name is Mosiah Del Gado or something like that. it was a big event here because the air in the stake center is being re-done. so we had it in the Teatro of the city. there was a lot of space, so us missionaries did a lot of inviting people and visited members to get them excited to invite also. this one family had so many referencias for us. it was pretty cool and we got 6 of our investigators there. but it was really cool because the seventy said some stuff about my companion and I. he saw us working and inviting people to the conference. so that was interesting.

ok here is the answer to your many questions about mexico. well their main meal is at two-ish. they have a lot of different foods and some of it is weird. . .like the cow stomach soup (menudo), and cow liver, and pig skin. ya they eat some interesting stuff but i really like the food here. oh their independence day is the 16 of september. so that is coming up and there are a lot of flags and other stuff to buy. i think i will buy a lot of stuff next year.
oh a lot of the houses are small and the are made of concrete. there are a lot of cockroaches too. the houses sometimes have gates around it, so we hit the gate with something that is hard. none of the house have grass either. there is NO GRASS here! the people that are rich have grass but the grass is hard and not soft like in the US.
oh they also have a lot of people out on the streets/ corners selling stuff. so at stop lights there are people to wash windows, selling pics of Christ, selling candy or newspapers. one time i saw a guy put three candy bars on the windows of the cars to tempt them to buy because it is right there in their face. but before the light turns green and they drive off, the guy retrieves his candy bars and money. pretty interesting!!! some even do cool fire shows. like juggling things that are on fire.

i would say that the security system is really weird but cool. the police have machine guns and they drive in trucks. and usually in the back of the truck are more guys with machine guns. it is really interesting and cool!!!
In the airport they had this button and if you press it and it goes red, they will check all of your stuff. if it goes green then you can go on ahead. i got the RED!!
well i need to go. the hour flew by. i might get transfered today but i am not sure.
I miss you all alot, and love you tons.
Elder Barnes

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Septiembre 5, 2011

Hello everyone,
the time has been flying by. i will have 1/4 of my mission done in four days. how crazy!!! time is flying by.
well the weather hasnt changed much at ALL!!! its still hot and sunny. maybe has cooled down a few degrees but not enough to notice. that is one thing that i want to do when i get home is go camping at silvercreek with everyone and feel that cool air!!! but ya its still hot here!!!

well transfers came again but i discovered the other side of it. i am still in Delicias in Barrio Panamericano, but i have a new companion!!! his name is elder Hatton. He is from Utah and he is going to finish his mission on december 5!!! he is really cool and really likes to work. he is really excited to work with me in this barrio. i already have seen an improvement from my last companion. my last companion was a little FRITO!!! Elder Hatton is really cool and he reminds me a lot of Landon Watts. so that is a really good change here!!!!

tell Granpa and Grammie hi for me. i wish i could be there to tell them that but i know i should be here and so do they!!!! i am so grateful for their tremendous help in missionary work!!!! i really know that it is SO SO SO IMPORTANT!!!!!!!! so tell them THANK YOU SO MUCH for the best time/gift in the world!!!!

So is Bri is going to Chicago? that is so cool! the mission will bless her life so much! as it has been for me and continues to be for me.

wow football has started up again. that is really exciting. Please keep me in contact about BSU and Centennial. it is awesome to hear stuff like that.

i love packages and letters so so much!
thank you so much for the awesome letter!!! i love hearing about the fam and others. well i better go. i miss everyone so much and i love a ton!!!

Elder Barnes

August 29th, 2011

the FAM,
hey how is everything going? it is about time i heard something about jills family!!! i havent heard much of them!!! how is EVERYONE doing?
so how is everything going with the new ward and stuff? who replaced dad for that short period of time in the bishopric?
well yes it is still really hot here. i look forward to rain but i dont really like rain. Although I do like it here because it cools the city down so so much!! i am very lucky to live in a house right now with air conditioning. very few houses have them. the houses are very small. they usually have a front room and a bed room and a small bathroom and a very very tiny kitchen. the neighborhoods are funny. i will take a picture because every house are exactly the same and my companion said that they arent because of the color and the top of the roof is a different shape but they are the same.
well yes i am back the bikes and that is one reason why i dont have money. the repairs are terrible!! my companion has had a lot of problems with his bike. yes we always eat with members and it is always at 2 o´clock. i believe that is the big meal of the day. at least for us it is!!!!
i havent had to teach the gospel principles for awhile because someone has the calling. my last time teaching it was in casas grandes. that is a nice relief. the thing that i am learning about myself is . . . . a lot of things. some are confidence, patience, diligence, and animo. i need to have confidence to talk with the people. a lot of the times when i start talking, the things that i want to say just come out without really trying but when i dont have confidence i worry and mess up. patience and diligence is because of this area. this area is really hard. the zone leaders and the district with his companion came and worked with us to help us a little. i went with my district leader and he put a baptismal date with an investigator and that was awesome. Animo is a spanish word. it means to be enerjetic or something of the sort. there isnt really a word for it but i need to be more excited because my companion isnt very excited. so that is also hard.
well i really need to go. i miss everyone a lot and love you tons!!!
Elder Barnes

Monday, August 29, 2011

22 Agosto

HEY!!! how is everything going? well first before i forget. i have been taking some money out of my account. i know that your watching but i dont know how much there is or how much i have taken out. i find it somewhat hard to live on the money that they give us at times. i dont by much food on mondays but i do buy some snacking food during the week. there are these little stores everywhere!! they are a part of peoples houses and i buy cookies and a soda every so often. the reason why i took out money was because i have to pay for bike repairments and light bill. also tell janae i got her letter and i loved it!!! i also got jordans dear elder. i think it takes around a month for me to get the dearelders.

well your questions. . . elder carrillo is really awesome!! he doesnt really speak english but he is trying. he can say some stuff but he cant put a sentence together on his on. he is from guanajuato. he will finish is mission in december. he was inactive for most of his life. the last 6 months he was reativated and is now on his mission.
my spanish is coming along, not as fast as i wish it to but elder carrillo is helping me a lot!!! during lessons i can talk with no problem because i have more confidence in myself but just with talking to people i dont have as much confidence and it isnt as great.

i email in any place that has internet, like right now i am in a papeleria.
we are teaching some investigators right now but we just started teaching them. like i said the elder before me left this area DEAD!!! we could definitely find more of these chosen people that the president is talking about. they are just so hard to find. we had a conference with the president again and this time i learned so so much and my companion volunteered to teach a lesson in front of everyone. that was a little nerve racking but it went well!!!

hardest thing about the mission. . . . is the language and . . . doing my best. i always feel like i can do more and more and better. at times i feel like i am not doing a good enough job. i KNOW that the Lord is preparing people but i am just having a hard time finding this people. i know that there are families that are being prepared and are searching the truth with out knowing it but i just dont know where they are. thats what is a little hard in this area.

the best thing is just the mission itself. i have learned so many things. there is nothing better than serving the Lord and teaching other people the outstanding blessings that come from the gospel.

I havent really had the chance to talk with the president but i think he knows because i wrote it in a letter and he asked me how my feet were and i said PERFECT!!!

Oh i also, tell janae that i have had menudo and it is not that bad. it is a soup with cow stomach. its not that bad. . .but its not the greatest either. the shrimp and fish that one time was terrible. shrimp is nasty!!!

but everything else is going great here. i think i will be sending something next week. i have to write to so many people that it is ridiculous. i LOVE getting letters but i am so busy and tired that it is hard to write back. oh the package. i would love to have the general conference ensign because i didnt get one. CANDY like reeses and m$ms and other candy. i can never have enough candy. thank you so so much. i need to go
i miss you all and i love you guys so so much
Elder Barnes

August 15th

La Familia,
While being here on a mission i have learned so so so many things but the most important thing is to read and pray EVERYDAY!!!! thank you for teaching me this while in my youth!!!!!!!!

Well everything is going great here in Delicias, México. somtimes coming into a new area is very hard. the elder that was before me just went home and he didnt really work hard his last few weeks here. he was a little FRITO (fried). so when the new missionary comes in the new area he gets the fruits of his works. but everything is going great!!!! Elder Carrillo and i are working very hard trying to find people. we taught a lot of new people this week and having more new investigators. so things are progressing. we have this young investigator that she really cool. she is really understanding our message and why it is important for her. its funny how the Lord sends out 19 year old young men to preach the gospel. i think it is so cool and such a great blessing to be serving and to have the gospel in my life. i have noticed that some people dont know why we are here. its such a blessing to know what is our purpose in the world. i know why we here and what we need to do. that is why the Lord sends such young men to go and teach people that are older than they because we know how the gospel can bless their life.

but yes everything is going GREAT here. oh tell jeff HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! sorry i didnt write to you? i know that i need to work on that. trust me i will send some soon.
well i really need to go. i miss you all and love you tons!!!! how is jordan by the way. what is he doing?
love ya tons
Elder Barnes

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8th, 2011

La Familia!
first off, WOW Brianne Stokes is going on a mission! that is so crazy, but so AWESOME!!!!

well i am doing fantastic!!! everything is going great here. well i am so so sorry that my email last week was so so short. well i really dont like transfers that much now. yes i am back in Delicias but a different ward. i was in Barrio Juarez but now i am in Barrio panamericano. my area is big and yes we have bikes. my companion now is Elder Carrillo. he is a big guy but very funny. he has a lot of animo when he talks with people. he is a great guy. he is also helping me with my spanish because it isnt the greatest. well my feet are doing great. they have healed and i did take a picture. its got a lot of pics and i have a ton of other SD cards. so i will try to send it home soon.
oh by the way, i forgot to get a letter for jeff sent this week, so i will try to send next week. i feel so so so bad about how terrible i have been with writing letters. i have been so so busy. i dont see how derek was so good at that. it is something really hard to do!!!! so congrats to him!!!!

oh in my next package (when you send one) could you send the conference ensign and maybe some more sunscreen? and more candy of course

well being back in Delicias has been great so far. my area needs a lot of work, but our church is being remodeled so we are in the same building as my last area. our sacrament service is at 8 in the morning, so this will be harder to get investigators in church. but the two wards overlap and i got to see my old barrio. it was GREAT. i saw some of my old investigators and members. its was great because when i left, that week i was going to have 3 people baptized but i was transfered. well Fabiola was one of them and she is married to an inactive member and she was baptized and now they are REALLY strong in the church. she has a really strong testimony. i also got to see the other little girl that i was going to baptize (Vanessa). she and i were both happy to see each other. she is a little shy though.
but ya it has been great to be back.

oh my area is almost the same as the other one here, but there are more poor people. like the houses are the same but there are more poor people hanging around here. a lot of them are Chileros. people that pick chile all day. i have taught this one outstanding family and they are really poor. they live in this place that is kind of like a hotel but they live there. its like off of the movie THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. two of the kids were baptized but the parents werent. the parents have STRONG testimonies but they cant be baptized because they arent married. the husband is from some other country and doesnt have his papers. its so sad that they have such strong testimonies but cant be baptized. but i have seen some weird stuff with these poor people like some sleeping on the side walk and another bathing in the canal. that would be nasty!!!! i would understand more if it was like the canals in boise but here they are disgusting!!!
well i better go. i love you all and miss you tons¡!!!!
Elder Barnes
thanks for everything

Zone Conference

Where's Waldo? I know...he is the one in the dark suit.

Trying to Understand Transfers

Hey mom!!!
welll this weeks letter will be really short. yes i am online earlier and it is because of transfers AGAIN!!! this week i worked a lot and my feet dont hurt. sister angulo looked at my feet and she understood that i could walk, but i havent really talked with the president. so now i am going BACK to delicias. i will be in a different area though. i am not really happy about this because i know that they have bikes and i hope this transfer isn't about my stupid feet. i hope this transfer is from God and his part of his plan for me.
well i really really need to go. i LOVED the letter so much. i LOVE you guys so so much. i miss you tons and i will ttyl.
Elder Barnes

Blisters Make for a Tough Week!

how is everything going? how is the US? how is everyone doing? how is jeff recovering? How is jordan liking it being home? hows dad?
well first off my companion has the same amount of time in the field as me. so really i have more time in the mission than he does. i say he is in my generation because we both got here the same day. but we live with the district leader and his companion is really the same generation as me. we both entered the same day. but yes my companion is the senior compnaion.
well this week was the hardest week yet. my area has less investigators and i can fix that, but this area is hard. i have to get to know everyone and the area. the problem though this week was that all of the roads are dirt. its terrible. so last time i wrote i think i had some blisters on my feet but it got worse. i had big blisters and some blood blisters. they hurt so bad. so we ended up calling sister Angulo and she got mad because we didnt call sooner. OOPS!! its just so hard to call when i want to work!!! she told me to go to the doctor. I didnt like this at ALL! i knew when the doctor would see my horrible flat feet he would freak out. WELL GUESS WHAT! he did. He said that i cant walk at all on my mission. i need to be in a area where there are bikes. well there are only very few area with bikes and thats Delicias and here. we dont use the bikes because they get flat easily because all of the roads are DIRT!!! the doctor didnt do anything with the blisters. he told me to buy this cream that was 180 pesos and it was only 10 grams. tiny little thing. totally not worth it. now i am afraid that the president and sister Angulo will think that i cant walk. well now my feet are pretty much healed and i feel great. oh i also got a fever and a bad headache the other day. but i feel so so much better today. i am ready to WALK ALL DAY!!!
well ya i love the area a lot except for the dirt roads. My house is very nice. it is an upgrade from the last one. ELder Candila is great. ya i also think that it was wierd that the president would put us together.
well i am really sorry this letter was more of a complaint. i am really not having that bad of a time here. i am loving it here.
i love you and miss you tons.
i cant wait to see those letters. oh the package wasnt open i dont think. it was beat up but i still got the deoderant.
well ttyl
Elder Barnes

Transferred to Casas Grandes!

Hey Everyone,
well now i do know why everyone doesnt like transfers. i am now in Casas Grandes. i found out about three or four hours before i left. i went to chihuahua wednesday night and thursday we went to a conference and i joined up with elder Weiss and elder Johansen for that day. elder weiss is about done down here and he was the AP for awhile. he is really cool!!! Friday i left chihuahua to casas grandes around 330 we got here around 830. my companion is Elder Candila. He is mexican and is from the same generation as me. so we both have the same amount of time in the field. he is a really cool guy and he doesnt speak very much english. not much at all. we live with another companionship. elder ward and elder Lopez. elder ward is from bear lake Idaho. elder lopez is from mexico and entered the mtc the same time i did but has more time in the field than me. he is really funny and can speak some english. our area here is small and ALL of the roads are dirt. its terrible!!! we dont have very many investigators either. i am liking it here though. transfers are just so hard because i was starting to get to know everyone in delicias and i knew the area really well.
so that little girl that wanted me to baptize her, i didnt get to. i also didnt get to see the other two people that were going to be baptized. we were going to have three people baptized but i had to leave. perfect timing!!! but like i said, i do like it here. there is just a lot of work to do.
that is so cool that jordan is home now. tell him to write me. i bet he had a great time in china.
Oh i got MAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!! i got the dear elder about jordan and the little thing with laytons pic and zachs and someone else. and letters from the jones. that was really cool. i need to write to kaytlen again. i also got that package of candy for the fourth of july!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that was awesome! thank you so much!!! i really like U.S. candy. Elder Lopez really likes it too. my companion didnt like the twizzers. that was funny!!!
so sister Wallace called you? well i dont know anyone here. i dont know her brother at all but i guess its somewhat right. my spanish is ok but i definitely need to practice more and more. oh i didnt really give a talk i just went up to introduce myself in sacrament meeting and bore my testimony. i gave a talk last week though.
(side note - Sis Wallace, who lives in our Stake, well, her brother lives down in Chihuahua and serves on the High Council. He was visiting a Ward where Jaron introduced himself and bore his testimony. He said that Jaron was doing really well with the Spanish and that he is in a safe area...which was so nice to hear!)
well i love the song baptism so much. i listen to it a lot here and i feel close to you also. for janessa i have 6 people baptized. i really wished to have stayed in delicias for one more week but that didnt happen. oh well.
yes that was a resturaunt but the lady is a member and owns the resuraunt. so i didnt have the choice to order it that nasty looking fish.
well i better go.
i love you guys tons and miss you a lot. thanks for the prayers!!!! i still need them haha
Elder Barnes

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 11, 2011 - ¨Por qúe ustedes no quieren enseñarme?¨

your welcome for the pictures. i had to use one of the other missionary´s camera. ya that fish was pretty nasty. this week i ate a lot of interesting stuff. i think i told you about menudo. its cow stomach and its a soup. its not that bad. we also had cow liver the other day. my companion didnt like it that much but i thought it was decent. but ya everything is going great here.

well this lady that we baptized was not ready for one. that was our bad and also the district leader because she passed the interview but we finally confirmed her. We also were going to have another baptism this past saturday but she didnt pass the interview. we have a new district leader and he is a little better than the last one. but the lady (Fabiola) is really ready for baptism but for one thing. she is from the catholic church and participates in the chior. but this sunday was a great experience for her so she will be baptzed this saturday. she is WAY more ready than that other sister. We will also baptized two little girls. their parents are investigators but they need to get divorced and married. so that takes a long time because it is alot of money for them. but they are really strong and they go to church everytime. they are almost stronger than most members. so they decided to get the girls baptized. the little one is vanessa and she wants me to baptize her. i thought that was interesting because so many elders have taught them and i only have been here for a little time. so that is cool.

well here it is not like brazil. we dont clap. everyone here has gates in front of their house and we hit the gate with keys or something like that. and no one has grass here. no grass. the people that do have grass, they only have a little. to cut the grass they do it by bush cutters or by a weed waker. one investigator that we are teaching works for a lawn care business but there is very little grass around the city. but anyways he doesnt even have a lawn mower. they use weed wakers.

oh funny but awesome experience this week. . . we were teaching a lady and we cant enter the house so we sat on chairs outside the door and she was inside sitting on a chair. While we were teaching her this guy across the street caught my attention. he was holding a bible up and wanted us to come over. i thought, oh great this guy wants to bible bash.we continue to teach this lady and he keeps trying to get us over. one of the times that i look over he was holding a chair up because we were sitting with this lady and he was just trying to tempt us to come over. then this lady that we were teaching gave us water and next the time i look over he is holding up two glasses of water. at this point i was trying not to laugh. he was very clever. but when we finished we tried to leave really fast and not bible bash. he got on his bike also and chased us down. when he got near us he said ¨Por qúe ustedes no quieren enseñarme?¨ it means, why didnt you guys want to teach me. this hit me really hard. so we both stopped and this guy was hammered. he was so drunk! so i felt a little better after seeing that. he talked with us and we gave him pamphlets(?) of the restoration and of the Word of Wisdom. we then said that he saw an angel and Jesus Christ. and he started acting like he was possessed. started speaking funny and acted like he could see Jesus at that very moment. this dude was crazy but i learned so much. I DONT WANT ANYONE TO SAY THAT SAME QUESTION EVER AGAIN!!! no one should ever say that. so that is my goal to not let anyone ask why i didnt want to teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
so this week was great.

well tell jordan hi and welcome home for me. and tell him to write me. mom i will try to write some hand written letters. dont worry!!! and no i havent gotten any mail but i will probably soon!! oh and i dont know if you should send anymore of my ties. because i might never ever get them. just a thought. oh how was dereks first week working???
what else is new? That is so cool about whitney floyed!!!
well i need to go.
Elder Barnes

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4, 2011

the Family,
Hey how is everything going? Here for the fourth we just listened to the "Star Spangled Banner" twice because its a hymn.
oh yes the president doesnt do many tranfers. He is an interesting guy but very strict. He has some pretty strict rules but its not that bad at all. last week was almost like a zone conference but with three or four zones. It was huge. he just talked about what we should be doing and our goal to baptize everyweek. That is tuff though, but we are trying. It also made my companionship stronger because now we both want to really work hard. The president said that the people beginning the mission should already be thinking of how we want to finish. I thought that was interesting. My companion and I watched the GREAT talk by Elder Holland and I learned a lot from that.

This week has been great!!! The weather was awesome. Usually it is really really HOT here! One day it was like 117 degrees! VERY HOT!!! but this week it has rained a few times and the cools the place down A LOT!!!! it was really nice. we also did a service project with the ward. that was fun.yes the food is not the greatest at times but i always eat it. on the first of this month we went to this food appoinment and we had this soup with shrimp in it. that wasnt the greatest either. and after the soup we had some fish. as the four of us we heading off we all went to the church and used the bathroom. it was BAD!!! that food destroyed us. also yesterday this one investigator gave me this soup call menudo. it is cow stomach! that wasnt that bad. i thought it would be worse but it was good. i also had a burrito with pig skin. that was not bad either. so yes i am learning to eat good. well i havent gotten anything in the mail. nothing!!!!!! It does just sit there in the offices forever!!!! so if you write things in dear elder make sure that it is something that i wont need to know for awhile.

i could do better with my journal writing. i wrote in it last night but i definitely WILL do better. i will also write you a long long letter. i definitely need to do better at that. on pdays i am busy and other days i am more busy. plus when i get back home, i am just so tired and want to eat and go to bed. it is so tiring to be on the mission. but i need to do better and write and stop complaining. so i will do that this week.
now here are some pictures!!!! YIPEE!!!!!!!!
hey dont feel bad that you missed writing to me. that was my fault because we had to leave really early.
i miss you tons and i love you guys so so much.
ELder Barnes

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 27th, 2011

well sorry that i am on a little early today. today we had to wake up at 530 because last night we got a call from the president or assistant presidents and we have to go to chihuahua today. i think the presidents is going to do interviews with us. the whole zone is going. should be great!

well this week was a little crazy for me! i am always busy. this week was not the greatest at first. my companion and i got in an argument that was retarded, but later things started to get better. this saturday we had a baptism. it was this lady that is 21 and she is really cool. she has a strong testimony and i think she be a great member. at the baptism though, it was really spiritual. i had to give one of the talks this time. it went really well. the baptism made everything great this week. she was confirmed on sunday and that was awesome too. i think that was one of the best baptisms yet.
the language is definitely coming. i am learning more and more everyday. it is great!!!
there is nothing else that really new. everything is almost the same everyday, but its great. oh i told you that we baptized this lady and her daughter. . .well they didnt go to church the sunday after their baptism because there was some sickness in the family or something. and it might have been just a running nose or something lame like that. yesterday they didnt come AGAIN!!! we called them to make sure they were coming and she said that she would be there but they never showed up. we went by the house and she wasnt there. the grandma said that they slept in. so we are going to have to do something about that. :(
i need to do better at writing also. i am just so busy even on pdays. i will also try to find that cord for my camera so that you can get pictures. sorry i will try to do better!!!!!!!!!
well i didnt get an email but dont feel bad at all. its fine!!! last time you felt really bad but dont feel bad. well i need to go so i will talk to you guys later. hope everything is going great!!!!
i miss you tons and i love you so so much. ttyl
Elder Barnes

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

how is everyone doing???? how is the weather? Excited for the trip? whats new in boise or meridian or nampa???
well the weeks fly by here also. the president says that we need a baptism every week and it flys by and so it seems very difficult at times. well we had another baptism this week. we baptized a mom and her daughter. i baptized the mom and my companion did the other. the other missionaries baptized one hermana and she is the sister of one in our area. she knows everything and what she needs to do but she is not ready to make the commiment. this week was great though. we had 7 invesigators at church and that was awesome. we also are having another baptism this week also. its another young lady. she is dating a inactive member but he is wanting and is changing. her name is liz and her boyfriend is alan. he works at this t-shirt place and he gave me a free t-shirt. i also got a free hat from this other investigator. its awesome being a missionary.
the water or the diarrhea isnt that bad! sometimes i am a little scared to eat but its not that bad. the other day i went to chihuahua and learned that my old companion is having worse food. so i think i am a little spoiled. i went to chihuahua for my visa thing. now i have a card that says i am living here just for a short time. but yesterday we had the worst food yet. the lady brought out this soup that wasnt that bad but it had fish in it. bones and everything. after the soup she brought out a plate of fries, small salad, and another fish. this fish was nasty though. it was just fried so it still looked like a fish but just a little crunchy. i took a pic of it and it was not great at all. i was close to gagging!!!
the pics.... i really want to send you pics. i dont have the cord that hooks to my camera to the computer and i tried the other missionaries cords but they dont fit into my camera. i will try to find a way though sooon!!! sorry!!!!!
my package...i need need need candy. i bought reeses here and they are terrible and nasty. they arent the real reeses. but i do need candy. i would also like some of my other ties that i left home. thank you so much. i hope to see that package sometime but i bet it will take away for me to get it.
oh i have been here for one transfer now. today i am starting the next transfer. so my agenda looks really cool. i put a cool picture on it!!!!
dont be worried about anything. there are just funny stories.
ya the spanish is tuff but i am learning. there is a lot of ways to say things i am learning that we cant say some of them because its slang. but i just need to have more confidence in myself because when i do talk, it usually just comes.
So has Whitney Floyd gotten her call yet???
the other missionaries in the house are the zone leaders and we talk with them quite a bit. they seem really cool. we only really see them a church, at night and mournings, and sometimes at food appointments.
oh when you do talk to mindy, ashley, kaytlen, or any other people, please tell them sorry that i am bad at writing back. everything here is really really busy. i will try to do better. i also havent sent a letter to janae either. OOPS!!! i feel really bad. oh and dad, HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!! during church yesterday they were talking about fathers day and i really wanted to call home and tell you what a great father you are and how much you have taught me. AND that i love you tons!!!! well i need to go
i miss you guys tons and i love you a lot!!!
Elder Barnes

June 13, 2011

Buenas Dias,
how is everyone doing? what is new? where did derek and julie go on their cruise? how was the camp out thing? are you guys gettting excited for the manti trip? that will be a cool experience for the youth. i think that is cool that dad is doing a lot of good for the young mens. i cant believe he offered them jobs. that would be cool. how is jordan doing? when does he return back home?

well everything here is going great. i am really busy and am having a great time. i am learning so much. the weather here is hot!!!!! siempre!!! but i think i am starting to get somewhat used to it. oh the other day we were riding our bikes and passed this dog and it was eating another dead dogs body. that was pretty sweet but it stunk a little. also i have had some bad diarrhea. i was like Harry off of the movie Dumb and Dumber. it was bad. but that has improved big time.

the food here is great though. often i get this stuff called mole. its this meat with chocolate and some other weird stuff but its good. we get that quite a bit and every meal we have rice and tortillas. tortillas are like utensils or you can use it as a burrito. they also call everything water. they will ask if you want water but they come back with orange juice. they make all kinds of different water. they just put vegetables in there and sometimes it is nasty but i am always thirsty so i drink. one sister put cucumber and lime in one and the cucumber was nasty. they also get these small sugar packs for the water (like the orange juice) but one tasted like candle wax. everyone has it and its not that good. and the poor people will give us that to try to cover the bad, tap water.

the church is somewhat big i guess. we have three wards here in Delicias and the stake is over three other cities. from what i know i think there are a lot of inactive members but i have never really seen what it is like in the US. thats one thing that has caught my attention. missionaries are supposed to confirm the converts in church and we bring investigators to church, but i have never seen that done in our ward in the US. have you guys seen that done?

how does my chart look like? getting more full?
well when you wonder what i am doing, i am usually teaching a lesson to an investigator or trying to share the gospel with my bad spanish. my spanish is doing better. everyday it is better but i still have troubles. it is hard to listen to the people also. i can get what they say most of the time but some times they just speak so fast or they use different ways of asking the same thing. but the language is coming. a little slower than i like but its coming.

this saturday we should baptize two people. it should be another great experience.

well i better go. i am sorry that my letters aren't detailed enough...i am always in a hurry. i never have time to write but i think i can do a lot better. i just got a letter from a girl from college this week and that was exciting. well i better go.
i miss you tons and i love you guys so so much.
Elder Barnes
ps i wil try get some pics to you sometime soon

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011

Hey Everyone,
Everything is going great! This week was Stake Conference and President and Hermana Angulo spoke. I think that they were great talks. I get most of the talks but not all. The spanish is coming. I keep getting commpliments from some other missionaries that are mexican.
We are actually teaching a guy in English right now. His name is Harley and he has a lot of questions. He speaks spanish also but he would rather speak english with us. So yesterday we got an english book of mormon for him. we are making a lot of progress.

Elder roth (my companion) is from Iowa but his family is in Japan. He also lived in Germany for awhile. The others in the house are Elders Gerratt and Hatton. Elder Gerratt is from Gooding!! I thought that was interesting and he knows some of the Andersons. Elder Hatton is from Utah. Dont know where exactly but near Provo.
Well that is good advice. I have been writing in my journal but now it only has been once a week. I need to do a little better than that. I have been writing in it a lot though.
I have also been writing the companions names down and the converts. But that is a great idea thank you so much.

Wow layton got baptized! That is so cool!!!! I bet that was fun to go out there. So how are they doing?

Its crazy at how much I am learning out here in the field, as to what is important and not. Like sports or Duty to God. I will have to send a letter to dad to have him read to the young men.

Well hopefully we will have another baptism this week but we might not. This week we couldnt because of stake conference. But everything is going great. I think the english guy (Harley) has gotten me to have confidence with speaking more in the lessons with the hispanics because H have seen how much I can do in english with helping my companion and the investigator that i want that same relationship with people that speak spanish. I dont know if that made sense but it does to me.
Well everything is going great. Its hot here also. I am sweating like dad at times. its terrible!!! But i am loving it here!!!
I miss you guys so much and I love you tons!!!! ttyl
Elder Barnes

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Scroll down to see pictures from the MTC.

May 30th, My First Baptism!

This week has been great! We had another baptism. We baptized this couple and I baptized the husband! The hard part was just saying his name or names. It was a great experience. Also yesterday we visited one of our many investigators and she is married to a member. We just started teaching her when I got here. I get along really well with her husband Beto. In fact I had to teach the lesson in Gospel Doctrine (because the missionaries teach it here and it was my turn to teach) so I needed some help so I got Beto to help me. It was a great experience because his wife Fabiola felt the spirit and started to cry. After church we stopped by to see how they were doing and to see how she felt in church. She told us that she got an answer to her prayers and knows that the church is true. So we will be putting a date with her tommorrow. It is so exciting!

Well you are lucky to have cold weather because here it is so so so hot! The other day I think it was about 104. So HOT!!!! They have been saying that it is either really hot here or really cold, so right now I am missing the Boise weather but I am starting to get used to the hotness.

That is so cool that Ben is leaving soon. All young men should go on a mission. It is hard at times but I am noticing already that it is worth it.

We have a ward here but it is somewhat small. It is growing from the work of the missionaries. The Bishop is a great guy and helps a lot with us missionaries. Oh we contacted this guy in Spanish but he stopped us and asked if we spoke English. So we talked with him in English. It was funny and some what hard to talk about the Book of Mormon in English.

Oh and yes I have recovered from my bike wreck. Well I need to go. I love you tons and I miss you guys a lot.

Elder Barnes

Friday, May 27, 2011

On Bikes?

23 Mayo, 2011


Hey how is everything going? That is cool to hear that you guys still did the bike ride! OH!!!! that is one thing about this area. WE HAVE BIKES!!! Our area is big and it is nice to have the bikes. We have four missionaries in the house that I am staying at. So we live just outside of our area. I can't imagine walking everywhere. we would lose so much time. It is truely a blessing to have the bikes. The other day though I wrecked. It was pretty funny. My companion told me that we had to hurry and so we started to go really fast and my companion got something in his eye and I went to pass him on the right but he was trying to wipe his eye. So he was all over the place when I passed. He turned into me and I flew over the handle bars. He just fell to the side, nothing happened to him. I got the worst of it. My hands were beat up, my ear was scratched and I ripped my shirt at the pocket and at the shoulder. So that shirt is history!!! My name tag also got scraped up but luckily I can get new ones.

This area is great. I love it here! I am really starting to love the people. My Spanish is improving but not as fast as I would like it to be. My companion likes to talk to me in English and I wish he wouldnt. I think he looks down on me and doesnt think I know some stuff. But, Elder Roth is a great companion.
The church building is small. Only one hall for classes and stuff, one foyer, and a chapel. The chapel doesnt have benches. The stake center does, but not ours. So they have to set up chairs all the time. My companion and I are doing better at getting investigators to church but we need to do way better.

O HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I am SO SORRY that I havent written you. I have been doing terrible lately about writing to people. Things have been very busy here. I HAVENT written to Ryan and Trevor also. Its terrible!!! I feel bad. But HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

We had a baptism on your birthday too. One lady named Berenice was baptized and confirmed. She has been an investigator for awhile but she wanted to be baptised before her birthday so that she can enter the temple on her birthday. Her husband is an inactive member. They are doing great!!! Now we have another baptism this week. Saul and Rocio. They are a young couple. They have three kids and are 20 and 21. Here in méxico they have kids EARLY!!! They are getting married tomorrow and baptised Saturday. Its great!!! They are awesome!!!

The food is great! I eat a lot. At times I feel bad but they keep giving food. Usually it is a meat of some sort and tortillas. Maybe a spaghetti here and there.

My companion is at the end of his mission. I will probably be his last companion but who knows. I should be with him for my first 12 weeks. So he goes home after those 12weeks.

I didnt know that it was new. (We saw online that Delicias is the newest city in Mexico...est. in 1933) The place looks terrible though. Its not very clean but I LOVE it here. Our house is alright, a little gross, but I like it.
To do our laundry we put our clothes in a big bucket thing full of soap and water and we stomp on our clothes. We swish and stomp on it for about 15 to 20 minutes then we scrub some parts like the collar with our hands. Then we have another bucket to rinse and we hang the clothes to dry. Its sad because my clothes dont get as soft as normal. Mondays are still busy. Its doesn't really seem like a p-day. But its great.

Well I better go! Tell Derek and Julie HI.
I love you guys and I miss you tons. México is great but its not like home. I hope everything is going great!!! I wish I could have more time but I need to go. ttyl. love ya tons!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! AND TREVOR AND RYAN!!!
ELder Barnes

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am In Delicias, Mexico!

My companion is Elder Roth. He is a great companion/trainer. Heis from Iowa but his family is currently living in Japan. I think his dad is in the Air Force. Elder Roth is great and we work hard. I think he is a good trainer for me. President Angulo is really cool. I thought it is weird that he puts us Americans with Americans. He likes to do that but the one Elder that was supposed to be in my district in the MTC has a hispanic...probably because he did the intermediate Spanish.
We have been working hard but we can always do better.

I already set my first baptismal date. Its on the 28 of May!!! It is this young couple with three little kids. Their names are Saul y Rocio. They are really nice. It's so cool to go contacting and teaching real people. We are teaching a lot of people. We have another investigator who is married to a member and she is only 17. She (Fabiola) married Beto who is 27. They are really nice. It is nice to go teaching because everyone gives us water, soda, or food. The members here treat us well. We are always fed at 2:00 and it is always good. There was one time that the food was on the edge but it still wasn't that bad. Its awesome.

When I first got to México, I was climbing down from the airplane and I saw two guys in camo with machine guns. Their security here is really interesting. They also had dogs searching our luggage. In the SMALL, TINY airport they have a funny security system. You go to this button and press it. It is totally random and if it goes to the green light they don't check your bag, but if it is red they check all of your stuff. I got the red light! Everyone else I think got the green. Also when we were waiting for a passport check we saw a helicopter land. There were guys sitting on the side all in black. They are the Federal and everyone is scared of them. I guess in Juarez they are everywhere and they are always having wars with the drug lord people. They have trucks and some stand in the back with turrets (machine guns). Its pretty sweet.
My area, Delicias, is about an hour outside of Chihuahua and isnt that bad. Its pretty safe here. The other night there were gun shots but I was sleepy and didnt hear it. The next day we saw a bunch of guys in the camo holding machine guns on our street. Everything is going great here and I am loving it! The language is HARD!!!! It is very hard to understand the people. They speak fast and mumble a little. Plus they are using different words than the ones I have learned. But I notice that I am getting better at it everyday.
Elder Roth and his companion before had a baptism the weekend before i got here. the guy´s name is Polo. He is a really cool guy. He just got the Priesthood and blessed the Sacrament this Sunday. Church is very different. I don't think that Hispanics can sing. I am loving it here so much though. The people are really nice and I am having a lot of success. Hopefully I will do even better though this week.

Well I better go. I hope you liked the flower that I folded for you and the pictures. I will try to do better with the pics.

Oh guess what?! Some places in our mission dont have washing machines and some do. well I was the lucky one and didnt get one. So today I washed my clothes by feet and hands FUN STUFF!!! Our place is small but its good. Well I need to go!!! I love you guys so much and I miss you tons.
Elder Barnes

MTC Photos

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mexico...Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Hey Everyone,
Well I am leaving the MTC on schedule. In fact last Wednesday after I emailed you, my whole district was called down to the traveling office. We then went to Salt Lake City to do some last minute things for our visas. That was so nice to leave Provo and go out in the real world, but the down part was that we missed the temple that day.

So my visa is here and I am still leaving on the 9th. I need to be at the traveling office at 3 am. Our flight leaves Salt lake at 6 and we land in Dallas. So I was thinking that I would call you in Dallas so you dont have to wake up early and it just might be easier for me too. I am not sure the exact time that I will be there but I have a three hour lay over. I will get back on and email you the exact time.

Its so weird how the time is flying by! My companion and I are doing this one thing for the new missionaries tonight. We go in and teach an investigator and get the lesson moving along on how the gospel is related to her/his life and why they need it. Once we get it moving along the new missionaries take it over and we leave. So hopefully we can get it moving along and be good examples. I dont know how we got offered to do this but I guess my teacher or someone else volunteered us or suggested us. We will see how it goes. The funny thing is that we weren't told anything about the investigator so it will be close to the real thing.

Oh mom, tell Grandpa Jay that he was right. I should have practiced the hymns a little more. The zone is now lacking in music talent. I played the piano in Sacrament. Another misssionary played also but I had to play two of the songs. It went well but I wish that I would've practiced more.

Well mom I won't be able to talk to you ON mothers day so. . . HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! You have been the best mom ever!!! On Monday you will have to tell me what you got in church for being an awesome mother.

Well everything else is going great! I am loving it here. I don't think that I am ready for Mexico but I know that it will be good. I need to go. I will talk to you soon and I love you guys so much. Tell everyone hi and tell Amy and Jeff thanks for writing me.
Elder Barnes

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hey everyone,
They changed the whole schedule at the MTC. They changed everything!!! At first I didnt like it but its pretty good. I thought they got rid of companionship study because it was not on the schedule but it is actually during the time when a teacher is here. One of the teachers has to give up a hour so we can do companionship study. It's a great idea because if we need help. They are there just in case. Plus if some of us are not on task then that will help too. We also have had a lot of subs lately because our teachers were gone. one went on a trip and the other had to stop teaching because his time was done. they are only allowed to teach for three years or until the graduate. whatever comes first. so that was sad to see him leave. he was the best teacher!!!
Ya I will send that SD card this week. I am sorry it has taken me so long to send it.
Oh guess what?!!!!!! Every missionary gets almost one apostle for Tuesday night devos. One of the districts in our zone that already left, didn't get any at all the whole tiem they were here. As you know we had Richard G Scott last week and we were so blessed to have Dallin H Oaks come this week. It was awesome! I couldnt believe that I got two Apotles while I was here. It was just incredible!!!!
I should be leaving in less than two weeks. I am so excited and a little scared because I know that my Spanish is not even close to where it needs to be. We should be getting our travel plans sometime soon. I have heard that we havent gotten our visas but I am not sure. Hopefully they come :)
Hey tell Aunt Jan thanks for sending that one dear elder. I really appreciated it. Maybe you should tell Jeff how easy dear elder is because I still havent heard from them. There is only two weeks for that dear elder. I would love to hear from them.
oh more news.
Elder Orchard and I are not Zone leaders now. President called new ones because he wants us to train them and he also wanted us to have some time to cool down and get ready for Mexico. So that was interesting.
The weather here is lame. Still cold and stuff. It has been snowing a little every once in awhile. Then it will get sunny ten minutes later. Its weird.
Hey thanks for that last package. I liked it a lot. Nothing better than a package!!!!!!! I will send a letter with the books about Dallin H Oaks talk and some other stuff.
This MTC experience here has been amazing. Miracles are already happening! I miss you all a lot and I love you tons.
Elder Barnes

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 20, 2011 -I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

Hey everyone! How is everything going? Everything is going great. My district has been doing a lot better this last week. They still slack off in some areas, but it has been a BIG improvement! They are even doing better at getting up on time.

The zone is awesome! There are only 4 districts in our zone. One district that is about to leave are going to California. Then there is my district. The District below us are going to Chile and Honduras. Then there is the new district and some are going to Argentina. I think one of the Hermanas is going to the Visitors Center in LA. Everyone in our Zone is going Spanish speaking.

This past week Elder Orchard and I have taught 2 really awesome lessons to our progressive investigator, Alison. She knows the church is true but she is still stuck on the Catholic church. She keeps bringing up these doubts and questions, but we do an outstanding job at answering the things. The Spirit was there too. It was awesome! We also taught Hermano Anderson as himself. He was having a hard time so he wanted us to teach him. It was great!

Well, last night was amazing! We finally got a member of the Twelve to speak in Devo. It was Richard G. Scott. When he entered, we all stood up in silence until he sat down. Just like when the Prophet enters for General Conference. Right when he entered you could feel his power. Then when he spoke, the power grew. He said many good things. He said that we should not doubt the Lord and what he can make out of us. He also said that the Holy Ghost will not prompt us to do something that we cannot do. I really liked this. But the thing that hit me the most was him talking about doing mission calls.

Elder Scott said that he most likely made quite a few of the mission calls for the missionaries that were there. He explained that when he would make a call he would have a peaceful feeling. Then sometimes he would be uncomfortable with it, but after he would move back to it and change the call, he had that peace. He also told us that he doesn't make the mission calls. The Lord does. The Lord send us tothe places where we are needed.

Earlier I was having a hard time with the Spanish and I was wondering why I couldn't go English speaking. I thought that if I went to an English mission I would be more useful. I could help more people come unto Christ. But when I heard this, my heart was softened and I was so happy for my call to Chihuahua Mexico! This Devo was amazing and I know it touched every missionary in my district and zone.

After the devo we went back to class for our district meeting. We just sat and talked about the things that touched us during the devo. It was awesome! My whole district was crying and of course, I was too! Hermano Evans was with us for our meeting. When we were done he asked what he could do for us. He always likes to talk and has awesome true stories to share. So he told us his famous septic tank story.

So here it is...The Septic Tank Story.
When Hermano Evans was 18, his dad told him to add some pipe to the septic tank. (I guess it was overflowing nasty stuff). So he was digging at times when he didn't want to be working. It was summer and he would soon be attending BYU. Time went by and soon it was time to head off to college. He didn't finish the job. When he returned back to his dorm one day he was told that he needed to head home right then. His dad was in an airplane and they haven't heard anything about it. The plane was lost. Finally they found the airplane and it had crashed and there were no survivors. The plane was struck by lightning and lost all the dials and controls so they had to fly by sight. They ended up crashing while trying to go around the storm. Hermano Evans could only think about that dumb septic tank and how he didn't finish the job. He then compared his story to Heavenly Father and Jesus christ. Christ was sent here to do His Father's will. Even though he didn't want to do it, he still endured and completed the task. Jesus Christ got to hear from His Father that He was proud of him and that he endured. Then he related this to us as missionaries. We have been called for this job. We need to finish the job, just like the septic tank, even though we may not want to do it.

I know that Chihuahua Mexico is the place for me! I am so happy and excited to be going there! I am so glad that I was blessed to be able to hear these great talks and stories. (there are still more to come!) :)
I love you tons and I miss you a lot!
Elder Barnes

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 20, 2011

Dear family,
The food is still good. Not anything like home cooked meals. In fact can you send one more package please. Could you send some peanut butter rice crispy treats. A LOT OF IT too. please. I love the candy that you and Jill send. Its pretty much all gone. I do like the food here, but its starting to get really old. I really wish I could go to Bajio right now. I usually get a wrap here at the mtc. Its like subway but a burrito. They put things that you want on it and then they put some sauces that you want. I always get the Jamican jerk sauce. It is very good but it is very spicy.
Today and last night I have been fasting so I am really hungry right now. I get to end my fast in a few minutes :) but I really would like some PEANUT BUTTER rice crispy treats. and maybe some cookies and reeses again. can never have enough of that. but thank you so much for that candy that you did send me. its so good.
Oh you could also send some of my old ties that I didnt bring? You never can have enough of those.
I have had amazing lessons this week. Elder Richard G. Scott came and spoke to us last night and it was amazing!!! Apostles speak amazing at general conference but it is way different here when they speak. The spirit was so strong! I think it was one of the experiences where the spirit was so stong. I will write you another letter of the things that he said and of the things that I have learned. We also had an amazing district meeting last night. These meetings are about the Devo last night so the spirit was strong there also. In that meeting my whole district was crying. I will tell you why in the letter. the stories and stuff.
In gym I like to play four square. In the video that you saw it looked like it wasnt fun but it is really intense.
I have seen two of michelles x boyfriends here. One I went bridge jumping with in Horseshoe Bend. It has just been cool to see people. Oh I see John Roylance almost every day. Yes Josh did leave to Japan on Monday. we dont know if we are leaving on time but i think we will. We get travel plans in two weeks.
I can get pictures. Jordan sent some about that bike thing that he broke.
the new district is awesome. There are 5 elders and 4 sisters. One elder and one sister are siblings. that would be weird!!!
My district is doing good now. everyone is doing better on goals and being more on time. I will write more in the letter but i need to go.
I hope to see a package soon!!!!!:):):) haha thank you so much.
I love you guys and I miss you so much!!!!
Elder Barnes

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 13 - A Long Letter

Hi! I am doing awesome of course! I am loving being the Zone Leader!

Today is p-day and our new district is here. I have seen a few of them and they seem like they are going to be awesome. Hopefully they work hard and do what they know is right. I love my district but they just don't have that knowledge of why they are here. Following the rules, being on time and getting up with a good attitude is sometimes hard for them. I just hope that this new district doesn't follow their example because it is just sad. Plus it will cause more work for me as their zone leader.

So how are Jeff & Amy? And Max with the broken leg? I haven't heard anything from them.

Well this week has been going great. We are now teaching all lessons in Spanish. It is a little hard, but it is fun. We have these progressive investigators to teach every week. These investigators are fake. Its just Hermana Forsyth playing as Allison, which is a person that she taught on her mission. She plays the part so well that it almost feels like I am teaching a real Allison. Our other investigator is in the TRC place. We just sign up on the computer with some teacher and play as an investigator. Our investigator is Danny. We have only taught him once, but it went really well. Allison is a little further along. We have taught her 3 or 4 times.

Oh, my teachers started this game for our district. We have 5 cards for the morning, afternoon and night. So 15 for one whole day. We have to speak only in Spanish. If we get caught saying a word or phrase in English we have to give away one of our cards. If we get below 10 cards we don't get any mail for 2 days! It is so much fun! It is challenging and sometimes you just get excited and start speaking in English. I never realized how much I say about the things that are in my head. So that is fun, but the other half of the district doesn't take it seriously. I have caught them a few times, but they deny it.

The days here a very alike. The days are really long and the weeks are fast! The nights go by too fast also. I am learning SO much here! My testimony has grown alot!

I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesucristo. I know that Joseph Smith translated it through the power of God. I know that it is there for us and it will answer questions that we have.
Well I miss you tons and I love you so much!
Love, Elder Barnes

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 13, 2011 - A short email

Familia, Hey I got your package!!! It is so nice to have a package full of candy. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Everything is going great here. Today I did intiatories in the temple. It was a long wait, but it was nice to do that. Oh today we get a new district. I cant wait to see them and introduce them to the MTC. Everything here is going great! We started to speak Spanish all day but there are some places and times we get to speak English. Its a fun game that our teachers are having us do. My Spanish is improving because of it. Well I will write you a long letter. I need to go though. I guess I will ttyl. Again, thank you so much for the package. I miss you and love you tons!!!!!! LOVE Elder Barnes

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 6, 2011 - Responsibilities of a Zone Leader

Dear Family, I am so excited to be a zone leader! I know it will be great. I am still shocked that they asked us to be the Zone leaders because we are just meeting the halfway mark. Yes, the Branch Presidency makes the decision and they said that all of them came with the same answer. Which is awesome to hear. Zone leaders have to do a lot of stuff. We go to a lot of meetings with other zone leaders and also meetings with the branch presidency. We also call the branch president every night updating him on anything new. We don't have to call if him or any of his counselors come by the residence hall that night. We also show the new elders around on Thursday nights and talk with them on Wednesday nights. This will get us out of class for like a hour which is really sad because I learn so much in class.

Yes I did get the dearelder letter. Those are somewhat nice because I get the letter the day of and I get to read it that night or when I get the chance. I just feel badly because I can't reply right then. (Side note - DearElder.com is a great way to email Jaron. It is free, he gets it that day and it doesn't take up his short email time) Elder Orchard gets a dear elder almost everyday from his mom and I think that is a little crazy. He is the first missionary out of the kids in his family and he is also the oldest child. He is 20 and turns 21 in August. He is a great guy and we get along really well. Oh and he is tall!!! 6'6"!

I would love candy and chips and salsa. I would like anything really. MORE TIES!!! I love ties. There is especially never enough on a mission. (Mother's note - He is obsessed with ties!) I don't think there is anything that I really need though. Thanks for emailing. I miss you and I love you so much.
Elder Barnes

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 2, 2011 - A Temple in Meridian!

Dear Family,
I am doing AWESOME! So I watched General Conference and how cool is that they announced a Temple in Meridian? I knew we would get another temple. This first session was really good.
My teacher taught a great lesson yesterday. Hermana Forsyth shared a scripture about becoming fat in our soul by feasting upon the words of Christ. She brought up how being anorexic, bulimic or a picky eater and calorie counting for the soul is bad. We need to FEAST upon the words of Christ and become fat in our soul. It was an amazing lesson!
Some of the Elders in our District seem to be having a hard time being positive and working with all of their might. Hermona Anderson took Elder Orchard and I out and said that we were awesome missionaries and that he could see that we know why we are here.
Good news!!! My companion was released as District Leader and Elder Robie takes over this Wednesday. But, the AWESOME part is that Elder Orchard and I are now the new Zone Leaders! We are going to be Zone leaders for like 5 weeks! Its weird that they didn't choose someone from the district in front of us. (but they are kind of quiet).
The current Zone Leaders are leaving Wednesday and that is when we take over until we leave.
Well I need to get back to Conference. Thanks for the letters and candy. :)
Love, Elder Barnes a.k.a New Zone Leader

Monday, April 4, 2011

March 30, 2011 - Fast Sunday @ the MTC

Hey everyone, Well first don't feel bad about the time I have on the computer. I LOVE to hear from the family and to hear what is going on. That is so cool that Mom, Jenessa and Lexi went to Janaes. I havent heard anything from Janae at all :( How is she doing? That is so cool that they have piglets. I would love to see a picture some time. It is crazy that my third week is gone and that I am starting my fourth. The days go by so slow, but the weeks go by so fast. Its weird. Also the days are so long and the nights go by so fast. It doesnt seem like I am getting that much sleep. But I am not that tired during the day. One Elder in my district is always tired and sleeping. Oh mom you were wondering what Fast Sunday was like in the MTC. Well we study from 7 to 10 and then we have a two hour missionary conference meeting. After that we have our Sacrament meeting at 12:30. Oh and they dont serve food for breakfast and lunch on Fast Sunday. The Branch Pres. asked every missionary to get up and bear their testimony in Spanish. 24 out of 28 did. I was one of the 24 of course. It was so cool to bear my testimony in Spanish. Spanish is hard at times but it is coming to me. After our Sacrament meeting we go for our usual temple walk. We just go and walk to the temple and chill for awhile and then we head back. Sundays are great here because they are very relaxing and a day to chill...but today is always the best.
Yesterday was cool because we got to go to the TRC and teach a volunteer but i will tell you about that later in a letter because my time is short. It is so cool to go to the TRC. Well I also look forward to your emails and letters.(Yes the people that write me will get a letter back). It is so cool to get letters. I also really liked the candy i got from Jill but that was gone really fast. Well it is so nice to hear from everyone and I hope everything is going great!!! Everything here in the MTC is great. I am learning a lot of Spanish but also a lot of the gospel. It is crazy!!! I love the teachers. They know so much. Well I gotta go. I miss you and love you tons! Elder Barnes

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 23, 2011

Family, Hey hows it going? anything new? that is so sad about Max. (sidenote - 2 yr old Max broke his leg) WOW Derek is coming to Boise!!! That is so cool. I cant wait to go and get my teeth worked on by him after my mission :) how is jordan doing? I felt bad because I had very little time to write to him so I said thanks and sent it before my time ran out. I bet he is having fun! Tell Jill that i loved her package a lot and that L would like more :) jk but the candy was great!
Well my district is great! There's Elder Adams, Evans, Robie, Orchard, and me. We are all going to the same mission. Our district is small and nice. Elder Evans is from Centerville Utah and Elder Adams is from Rigby. Elder Robie is from Provo. He says that he can run to his house from here. (That would be terrible knowing that!!!)
Yes I did get a bottom bunk. There are four to a room and Elder Orhard and I are the only ones in our room so he took a bottom bunk also. It is nice to have a room for the two of us. Also Jan said it would be nice to have a window or hopefully I would get one and I do have one. But it is never used. The blinds are supposed to be closed so its no use to have one. Plus at night it lets in some light so if anything. . . I dont like it.
My companionship with Elder Orchard is great. We get along very well. Oh! One Elder was supposed to be in our district but he never showed up. We kept getting mail for him too. Then we saw him one time here at the MTC and we think he is doing some advanced spanish course thing. But our teachers never knew about it and we didnt either. So Elder Robie had to join with Adams and Evans.
I have seen a lot of people here that I know. I saw Elder Matson the first day in the first ten minutes I was here. I also saw another friend,Elder Landon Dougal. He was in my zone for one whole day. He left the next day for Mexico City. We talked a lot for my first and his last night.
Well everything is great!!! I love my teachers Hermana Forsyth and Hermano Anderson. They are amazing teachers!!!! I have learned a lot in spanish. I can now say my prayers, get to know someone, set up an appointment, testify, and many other things in spanish. It is hard at times but it is coming along. I am also learning a lot about the gospel. My testiomny has grown a lot here.
Oh the food isnt that bad now. I think my body is getting used to it. I still get a lot of gas and burps :) I am having alot of fun and I am learning a lot here. Tell everyone that I love them and I hope to hear from them!!! gotta go. Time is almost out and I need to say something to Jordan.
Love ya tons, Elder Jaron Barnes

March 21, 2011

The MTC is going great! They don't give us much time to email back though. I tried to get on the website and my time was already starting before I logged in. Then the website or email didn't pop up and yet my time was still going. When I got back in, the time dropped five minutes. So I had no time to write back to Derek and Jordan. Hopefully this Wed. goes better! Well right now it is Monday morning. We are supposed to have service now but we do a little service on P-day. So right now it is personal time. Well its weird to think I have been here for almost 2 weeks! The days are long, but the weeks fly by! Some days are longer than others. On Saturday I had a really long day even though it was such a good day. I am learning a lot from study time with Hermana Forsyth y Heromano Anderson. Well, as of right now I can say my prayers in Spanish and talk with a person and tell them who we are. I can testify, contact and ask if we can come by to share a message. I also try to talk Spanish as much as possible. The main purpose of this letter was to tell you, Mom, that I had a great lesson the other day from Hermano Anderson. Do you remember when we went and heard John Bytheway talk? He talked about how Amalickiah convinces Lehonti to come out of his city just a little. Then convinces him to come lower. By the end of the chapter, Amalickiah has all power over everyone. Well, Hermano Anderson had us read this together as a class. He would stop and teach us stuff about the chapter. Then we read the last verse of chapter 47 and that it sums up everything the story is about. He related it to us as missionaries. When he taught this to us, the Spirit was SO strong! It has been one of the best lessons....so far. We also saw a video of Elder Jeffry R. Holland of when he spoke at an MTC Tuesday devotional a few yeasrs ago. It was amazing. He spoke with so much power as he always does. But this was just about missionaries. I took a lot of notes. Well it is definitely easier to write in a letter than email. I am loving it here at the MTC! Our zone leaders were released yesterday and I miss them. They leave today at 11:30. My district is awesome also. Yesterday we had a good district meeting and hopefully we will improve on some things. Oh! I found out a cool way to mark my scriptures! I will tell you later about it. Please write back in letters also. Jill sent some candy and that was AWESOME! Well, I need to go. I love you guys and I miss you so much! Love, Elder Barnes~

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 16, 2011

Everything is going great! I am loving it here.
Sunday is almost like everyday. We get up for personal study and for companion study, language study and MDT. But we dont have any teachers teaching that day. We also have a Priesthood metting and have Sacrament which is in Spanish. Between these meetings we have study time. After sacrament meeting we walked up to the temple and just chilled for awhile and took pictures. I forgot my camera but I will get another chance. Today is our p-day and we just got back from doing a session at the Temple. It is a very nice temple.
Well a normal day at the MTC is crazy. We study a lot with personal, companion, language, and missionary directed time. Plus we have teachers come in and teach us about the gospel and a lot about spanish. I am now saying my prayers in Spanish. Its awesome. Still needs work but it's kinda fun. Elder Orchard (my companion) and I taught our first lesson to a volunteer. We first had to contact in Spanish and we had to introduce ourselves and tell who we are and also ask him some questions, all in Spanish. It is somewhat hard but its really fun.
The food here is good but its doing weird things to me. It is great though!!! I have heard some pretty funny stories about having the runs so i am glad i am not like that :)
Yesterday we had a devo and Elder Richard Maynes of the Seventy spoke. He gave a wonderful talk and we happened to meet him outside and we shook his hand.
Everything is going great and I am learning a lot! Spanish is hard but its not that bad . . . yet!
Well my time is really short. I only get a half hour so i need to go.
I love you guys and I miss you a lot.
Elder Jaron Barnes

First Letter Home - March 11, 2011

Dear Family,
Hola! How is everything going? How is the house without me? Seem empty? How was the long ride home? What's new with Jordan? It was weird when you dropped me off. I was really sad to go and leave you guys, but I was SO excited at the same time.
After I left the car, we went to get my name tag and picture taken. Also got my blue card, the MTC card. Then we went to my room and set the stuff there. I unpacked later that night. We have had 2 big meetings with everyone that is new. There are 252 new Elders but there are usually around 400. My first class on the first day was good. They started teaching Spanish already on the first day!
The first full day was LONG! It seemed like it was forever. All we do is study, sleep and eat. That is the triangle. Dorm, cafeteria and classroom. We are always in those places. It is great though. I'm loving it already. My teachers, Hermoana Forsyth y Hermono Anderson are awesome. They have taught me a lot already. I was taught how to pray in Spanish yesterday and today. It is tough, but that is how I am supposed to pray now. Yes. I pray in Spanish. It is hard and needs work but it is great.
My companion is Elder Orchard. He is a great Elder. He is our District Leader, but it's weird because I am the senior companion. There are five Elders total in our District. Elder Adams, Elder Evans, Elder Robie, Elder Orchard and me. We were supposed to have one more, but he is a NO Show! Elder Orchard is from Idaho Falls. He is 20 and loves to play sports.
Oh the things that Aunt Jan was talking about where we have an extra hour to study is called Missionary Directed Time (MDT). So it goes personal study, companion study, Language study, then MDT. During MDT Elders are supposed to work on whatever they seem to need the most. So whatever I need to work on I do that.
Everyday we get gym,which is really nice. We can play basketball, volleyball, four square, run or other stuff.
Today was great because I got a lot out of study time and from my teachers. Plus today went by faster than yesterday. I am learning alot and I feel the Spirit alot. I love my zone and zone leaders. We also met the Branch President. He seems really cool.
Oh, we also have this tutor or teacher guy. He is really cool. His name is Hermano Nava. He knows Spanish really well and can speak it SO fast! He taught for while and he is one good teacher.
The food is great!!! I love the food, but it will get old soon. One meal was weird because it made my stomach act funny. Plus, I think food gives me gas....and I'm not the only one!
Well, I am loving the MTC and I am learning alot. This letter was to let you know that I am okay. Better than okay!
I will write to you on Wednesdays. The MTC lets us now to tell you that we are safe. Sorry but I need to go. I love you tons! Miss you tons also!
Your missionary, Elder Barnes

The MTC Drop Off

The MTC is very organized with their drop off. The sidewalks are lined with missionaries just waiting to greet you and wisk your missionary off. (I later found out that 200 missionaries can be dropped off in 15 minutes. Something crazy like that!)

We just happened to be directed to #21. My favorite number! This is a sign. All is going to be okay. This is a lucky spot.

Mom is trying to hold back the tears, but it is SO hard. Just can't do it.
Off he goes! This is the last time we will see him for 2 years! (tear, tear....no sobbing is more like it!)
The long ride home was made much better by listening to a book on CD. This really helped to keep my mind distracted. Still sobbing ensued from time to time. (and will pop up out of nowhere for quite awhile).
Jaron will be terribly missed, but there isn't a better place for him to be at this time in his life. We are thrilled he is serving a mission!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 9, 2011 - MTC Day - Part 1

Loading up the car. Thanks for the great hospitality at the Bowers Bed and Breakfast.

We attended a very full session at the Mt Timpanogas Temple. I can see why Utah has SO many temples! They are busy. (We could take lessons from this example) This is a very pretty temple! What a great way to spend the last few hours together. As always, it was a peaceful and calm place to be.
We were running a little behind schedule so we did a kind of quick lunch at the Golden Corral. (Missionaries get a free lunch here before entering the MTC) This was a special start to a very BIG day!