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 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, 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!

Saying Good-Bye

A few hugs, a few tears and quite a few pictures.

We will miss you Jaron!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All My Bags are Packed....

..and I am ready to go!
Jaron is now set apart to be a full-time missionary. A representative of Jesus Christ in the Mexico Chihuahua Mission.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Farewell Day - February 27, 2011

What a GREAT day! Let the photos tell the story.

The next best thing to the REAL thing! We missed you Jordan and Nathan! Jaron DID win the bum war!!

Papa does a backflip.Unbelievable! Jaron does his back flip! A pinata for some festive fun! What a great day with family and friends!

The Mission Call

Jaron's mission call arrives in the mail on a Saturday! After much deliberation, he decides to come home to open it. On the way from Rexburg, Jaron gets pulled over for speeding.(Hmm....)He is lucky and gets off the hook and makes it home safely. We have Janae on the phone with Derek on Skype and everyone else is crowded around on the computer screen while Jaron opens the big news. SO exciting! Jaron is shaking with anticipation. The question he has been wondering for years...."Where will I go on my mission?" will be answered right now!

Jaron is headed to the Mexico Chihuahua Mission. He will be learning the Spanish language. (this was what he was hoping for!) He is to enter the MTC on March 9th, 2011.