Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Hump Day!

March 9th marks 1/2 way through the mission!

What a blessing it is to have a missionary out serving the Lord and teaching the people of Mexico!

Preparing for General Conference

5 Marzo, 2012
querida Familia,
wow i am really shocked by this email. there were a lot of interesting things. it is amazing to see that chase and the rest are growing really fast. how crazy is that. everyone is so big especially chase. he is GIGANTIC!!! it is so cool to see all the fam together. i hope everything is going great.
i had a conference in the morning today and i got my second package finally. the jam somewhat survived. it spilled a little but thank you so much for putting the beautiful tie in a protective place. thank you so so much. i love you tons. it was perfect timing for my hump day.
wow one year has gone by. amazing how fast time has flown by. well right now i am really really excited for the next general conference. the third general conference in the mission and my second in this area. we have a big goal of investigators in general conferece. our mission presidente gave us the talks from the march liahona or ensign about how to prepare for the confference. the first thing it says is to be familiar and apply the teaching of the last conference. i hope all the family has read the last general conference to be prepared for this conference. this conference will be amazing. i am so excited. i am so glad that we read the ensign or talks as a family before my mission. i still hope that is something that you guys do.
i love you all and miss you tons. i hope everything goes good. you guys are in my prayers.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What I Miss About Home

Querida familia.,
wow another week is gone. how is everyone doing? what is going on there in boise? how is the weather? the weather here is getting hotter. i am not excited because i am still waiting for the cold. how did this week go for you guys? so how are my siblings? i havent heard from them for awhile.

everything here is going great . . .but the other day i took another good fall on my bike hahaha. my name tag is a little scraped up. this name tag will be a legend. oh and i didnt get your email before i left but that is ok. it isnt that important. the important part is that i write to you saying that i am ok. and i am ok.
everything is going great here. we have a baptism planned this week but i think we will postpone it for next week.

this week we went to chihuahua on monday and got back on tuesday. this conference was really cool and they gave us this cool little pamphlets of some of the talks. one talk is about becoming a preach my gospel missionary. i am trying everyday to apply it to me.
for some reason the computer is not letting me send pics. i am not a fan of electronics. oh by the way, at the conference they were going to put the talk of elder bednar and some music on my ipod and they erased everything that i had on there. crazy huh. so now i dont get to hear baptism by paul cardall.

this week some people have asked what i miss about home i have realized that i really miss playing games with the family and having family home evening. i also miss the temple. i dont really miss the food. i do miss the meat there. here the meat is thin and not juicy like dad cooks it. tonight we are going to have a family home evening with the couple that just got baptized and we are going to play a game. hopefully it will be like the ones that we had in our home.

i am loving the mission more and more. it is amazing what a mission does to such young men.
well i better go now but i love you guys so so much and i love reading letters and recieving packages hahahaha. oh didnt get my package but hopefully i will get it soon.
thank you for all that you do. i love you tons and miss you a lot.
Elder Barnes

February 20, 2012

mi familia,
hey how is everything going? whats new? what has been going on? how is work going for dad and jeff or color craft?
well we came to the internet place early because we are going to go to chihuahua again for another conference. so that means that i will get my other package from you quys. oh i loved the tie that you sent. i got so many compliments about that tie. thank you so much. one question. . . you said that you packed my ties up. i would check on them because i had my favortie tie packed up in my luggage and the cloth starts to form different when it is folded. so be careful!!!!!!! so how is the FAM? how are the young kids in the ward?
well everything here is going great! we just had another baptism of a nice couple. very interesting, when i was with elder christenson he and i left some pamphlets behind with one member with a store. the wife saw the pamphlet and asked for it and later we passed by and now they are members of the church. they have very strong testimonies already. they have family members that are really good people and i think it would be hard but they are really strong and hopefully they work to getting sealed in the temple in one year because that would one of my last weeks here in the mission. this baptism was really special. she has a fear of water but didnt tell us until the baptism. i was the one to baptize her and everything went great. i only had to do it once and she was very calm. the husband was in the military and has made a big change in his life. he used to have problems with smoking and before that with drugs. now he hasnt smoked or done anything agaisnt the word of wisdom. they are both really strong converts and i hope everything goes perfect so that they can get sealed as a family. they have a little boy named Angel.i recently read a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott and he always speaks good of his wife. his wife has passed on but in this talk he talks about being sealed. one part in the talk he starts talking about his son and how he had a heart problem and sometimes would cry at night and his wife normally took care of it but one time he got up and cared the baby until his heart slowed down and went to sleep. a few months later the baby boy died. (i was very confused at why he was talking about his boy when he should be talking about being married.) after they left the hospital they stopped the car on the side of the road and cried together. he then said that it is easier to lose a son when he realized that they have been sealed in the temple.
i am so grateful that you, mom and dad, did everything that was possible to get sealed in the temple. i know i would not be able to live without my family in the life to come. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
I learned to make tortillas. it is one thing that is pretty important to know here in méxico.
well i hope everything is going great.
i need to go but i love you all so much and miss ya tons.
Elder Barnes
Mi querida Familia,
wow another went by and things are amazing here. How are things going there? what is new with the family? it is awesome to here about the business of your callings. without your callings who knows what you would be doing with all of that time. anything else new or anything else new with the ward?
well i just got back from chihuahua. we had another conference and we left yesterday after church and just back here in delicias. no transfers. this conference was very interesting but i learned so so much. right now we have a talk by Elder Bednar of how to become preach my gospel missionaries. it is amazing at what this talk says and what i need to work on. the first step is most important, it is that we must know that we represent Jesus Christ. he talks a lot about our thoughts and actioins and everything. my mission president talked about this a lot because there is a part that says that we dont represent our families or country but only Jesus Christ. so our president talked a lot about this. for example i should spend 30 minutes or more writing him. some missionaries have problems with writing to their friends and family so bad that they dont have much time to write all the things they should en the letter to the pres. we also talked about how we need to talk to our friends and family like we are representatives of Jesus Christ. so i am sorry that i havent been doing the best at that.
oh mom a thought just came to my head that might help you with YW. the president once said that we have an enemy in common. this means my companion and i have the same enemy. so we are on the same side and should work together to destroy and beat this enemy. just an interesting thought. i hope everything is going very good in your callings. i plan on writing a letter to the young men asap.

i am very excited right now to start working harder.

oh i got one package. one with the nice tie (that i am wearing right now), and some other winter clothing with candy. thank you so much. i cant wait to see the other package. i also got a letter from kaytlen. tell her thanks and that i will be writing people soon.
i need to go . i love you all so much especially you mom and dad.
Elder Barnes
ps i got the cable and it works. so here are some pics

Get Married Free on February 14th!

how is everyone doing? what´s new? Whats going on the whole president deal. who will it be? thats a bummer that the patriots lost again. i am also a patriots fan. i am not much of a nfl quy but thats my team also. its so weird because that is a big event in the u.s. and here it is somewhat big. a few people like to watch american football.
well we had a baptism this week and it was amazing. i felt the spirit so strong. it was a 17 year old girl and her mom didnt give permission for awhile but after so many missionaries we got the permission from her and she also went to the baptism. she didnt go to the confirmation but hopefully someday she will go to church.
oh something interesting, we are teaching a couple and they will be getting married here soon. here in méxico on the 14 of february that weddings are free. so we have heard that a lot of people will be getting married. crazy huh? so these investigators will be getting married. they also HAD problems with the word of wisdom. right now they are both going strong and obeying the word of wisdom. the husband smoked and she had problems with coffee but they have been going to church and have a strong testimony. also the wife never cries but this week in church i saw that she was getting teary eyed. really cool!!!! they should be getting baptized the 18 of february.
oh this week the presidente came WITHOUT my package but i got the package/letter from the ward for CHRISTMAS. a little late but i still loved it. tell everyone thanks for the cards.
oh yesterday we ate with an awesome family. . la familia Gamboa Pantoja and we ate a lot but at the end she brought out a cake for my companion and i. it was really good. oh and the birthday song in español is very long. we had to sit there for awhile just to blow out the candal.
my companion is great but just doesnt see the need to be obediente with exactness. but he is definitely a good worker and we are working together to beat satan.
i dont know if you heard of the name of elder whitaker. he is my district leader. he is from Idaho. well i should be sending a sd card soon but i only have one more. what happened with the two that i sent? well enjoy these photos.
well i got to go. i love you all and miss ya tons.
"Now that you can chose between the good and the bad, now choose between the good and the better".
"The people that dont know Jesus Christ should want to know him for meeting you"
"God can fix a broken heart, only when you give him all the pieces"
"Everything that i am,I owe to my parents"
thanks for everything!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Barnes

Every Baptism is Special

Querida familia,
hey how is everything going? anything new going on? well i got a bunch of letters today. i got one from jill and jeff and derek. thats awesome. how is everything else going. how is the weather? anything new going on?
well things are crazy here. as you know i have a new companion that doesnt have much time in the mission and it seems like i am the first companion to teach him about obedience. it is very different to be with him. i am learning a lot! our numbers dropped a little also, but we should be having another baptism this thursday.
yes baptisms happen quite often BUT they are very special. every single baptism is a spiritual experience. i wish to have baptisms for frequent but it is a lot of work.
the people that are secretaries and stuff are just called to that position and hopefully i never get those positions. i dont really want to deal with all of that kind of stress.
well i have had a great week this week. the president has been making us fast every sunday for the last three months. it has been very interesting!
oh have you read the book DAUGHTERS IN MY KINGDOM? my bishop here read the book and explained a little to me. it sounds like a great book.
i also heard of a new church movie called 17 miracles. you should watch that also because i heard that was awesome too.
oh i still havent gotten your package but hopefully i will get it soon!!!! i think we will have a conference this week. well i need to go.
sorry that this letter wasnt as good but i hope all is well.
oh tambien i was wondering that maybe you should read the talk by Elder joseph b wirthlin called sunday will come. it is a great talk. i encourage that you read it with Grandpa. i love that talk so much
well i need to go now. i love you all so much and miss you also.
Elder Barnes
oh i dont hav emuch problems with answering in english but it is hard to ask things.

Forgetting How to Spell in English

23 Enero, 2012
querida familia,
well how is everyone doing? what is new? it is amazing to see snow!! (picture of the only snow Boise has received) wow. well transfers came and i have a new companion and i am STILL in panamericano. we had three people baptized also on your anniversary. happy anniversary.
my companion is elder Alonso. is from DF. DF is like Wash. DC but for méxico. everything is different with him. i am learning a lot with him. he only has three months in his mission and still loves to talk about his home. he is a very good guy though. i just hope i can teach him the importance of obedience. so i am missing elder carvajal un poco mucho
everything is going great. the weather is still really warm but they say that the cold will come again. i sure hope so because i am not ready for the heat again.-
well i dont have much time becasue we cleaned house today and went to cut hair. now i know to clean the house after internet and buying gracieries.
another thing i am starting to forget english and spelling. i can talk with people in english but if i have to ask questions, it is a little harder. very weird. its not really hard but i have to think a little and its not smooth.
well everything is going great.
oh mom there is a new book for the women called daughters of my kingdom or something like. you should look for it and read it.

well i need to go.i love you all and sorry this is a short letter. i love you tons and miss alot. ttyl
Elder Barnes

Loving the Mexican Food!

Querida Familia,
wow another week gone. the days are flying by. how is everyone doing? what is new? this letter wasnt very long mom! why? i love to hear about everything. oh una idea, maybe my sibling letters could be two every week because now i have to wait for almost 8 weeks to hear from them. idk just an idea.
well everything here is going great. the weather is really nice. right now i have my sleeves rolled up and it is sunny and nice. there is a little wind but not much.
oh tell jill that i am having fun with the glow sticks. my companion and i have wars right before we go to bed. we cut them open and spray each other and the whole room. so when we go to bed the whole room is glowing. pretty awesome.
yes i ate at Zandii´s house again. the food is amazing here. i love the food. it is really good. i also am starting to love to have spicy food. i got this one salsa called yucateco, it is really spicy but really good. even my companion says that it is spicy. oh also i love the hamburgers here. they are so good. also i had a hot dog the other day and it was amazing. usually i dont like hot dogs but this had beans, chile, onions, salsa, bacon, ketchup and mustard. it was amazing.
yes it has been cold some days. i bet it is freezing in juarez. crazy that this part of mexico gets cold.
well i dont have to wash by hand. this area has a washer but no dryer. none of the areas have dryers and very few have washers.
oh this sunday was really cool. we had a stake conference but it was a regional conference. so it was by tv. elder oaks spoke and elder ALONSO y ELDER rasband and hermana Cook. it was really cool. we had 11 investigators there. pretty cool. also we have 4 people that are going to be baptized. a lot of success.
oh package ideas. home maded rasberry jam with peanut butter. peanut butter is really expensive here. also captain cruch peanut butter. candy. ties, the usual.
well i need to go. i love you all so much!!! i miss you tons! tell my friends hi and that i want to hear from them
Elder Barnes

Friday, February 17, 2012

A facebook Message from Mexico!

(This is a message I received on fb from a sister in Mexico...also interestingly, I have seen more pictures of Jaron on fb than I have from him. Isn't this technology wonderful?)

I just want to thank you for raising such an amazing son.I've only talked to him once ( 12-25-11) and I could tell he is all sorts of amazing. Not only does he have a testimony, you can see it and even feel it, but he is also willing to share it and spend two years of his life doing it and seeing people's life change. Not many people are willing to do it, and of those that are willing to do it, not many of them do it as well as he does.

He and his companion are the first set of missionaries my Grandmother has listened to[there have been at least 5 sets] . I am not sure if she is still taking lessons from him, but last I heard, she had made an appt. ( she is very stubborn and won't let go of her traditions, but this is all changing now thanks to him. )

There are not many words to describe how thankful I am for him, and you,his mom, for teaching him the gospel and supporting him on his mission. He truly is changing lives for the best.

If there is any way I can be of help to you, don't hesitate in letting me know. It is the least I can do.

-Selene Burns Ramirez

Pangaricutirimicuaro...What is that?

9 Jan 2011

Querida familia,
hola! how is everyone doing? oh what is going on with the whole president deal this year? will obama be president again? i dont think he will be! who will most likely be president? the president here in méxico is going to change also, but here he is pres for 6 years and he cant be pres again. interesting.

well everything here is going great. the last two weeks have been really warm. one or two days i didnt use my sweater but when the sun went down i did. but i think it is going to get cold again.

chihuahua was great. when we go there we spend the night in the offices. the office is huge. its like three buildings and really spoiled. the main house building is really warm. but we slept in a different part and it is just a big room with 20 or so bunk beds. nothing else. the president talked with us about the new era and what we need to work on. also told us to concentrate 100% in the investigadores and nothing else. he also is telling us that if we have any free time we need to read the book of mormon. i have been doing alright with the reading. I didnt finish but i will finish here soon. i hope. i am in Helaman. i have set some new goals for this year. they are to become a missionary de predicad. el presidente talks about this a lot and i think there are great missionaries but they arent 100% concentrated. elder hatton was one missionary de predicad. the president talked about him the other week. but i have a lot more goals and i hope to complete them. i hope to read the book of mormon more and have more confidence en myself. i need to learn to just talk with people. i had this problem in english also. if people werent talking about something that important or interesting, i just sat there quiet. so i am going to try to join in the conversations more and show that i am interested and want to talk with everyone.
oh the president came again yesterday here in delicias. he talked about some stuff about the book of mormon. also hermana Angulo talked a lot about how we are planning and about our key indicators (?). i think i am starting to have touble with spelling in english.
another goal that i have is to study spanish more. lately i havent studied much because we have to leave the house on time and i want something to eat. but i am going to study spanish better now and have a big improvement. i just learned a word the other day and i am stilll learning it but its pangaricutirimicuaro. it is a town here mexico. i dont know where but it is fun to say. ask jill or ryan how to say it. hopefully they can say it :) some mexicans cant say it. so i am trying to get it down. there are also a lot of tongue twisters. some are the same as english like peter picked a pickle thing. i dont know it but its in spanish.

well everything is going great here in méxico. transfers are next monday so we will see what happens. hopefully i dont get transferred. We are starting to have a lot of success. we have 9 people with a baptismal date and had 10 in church this sunday. so hopefully i stay here to see the future baptisms.
well i need to go. i love you all so much and miss ya tons.
oh i loved the captain crunch cereal. it was perfect (hint hint). oh also i think i am getting better at eating spicy food. well adios. love you all.
Elder Barnes

A New Era

dear family,
well it a lot is going on. i am in chihuahua right now and i wont have time to write tomorrow so i am writing now. i also dont have much time. we came to chihuahua today around 4 and we will be here for like two days because of a conference. i think the president is going to teach and talk about the new year and how this is going to be a new era. i have set really high goals this year.

this week went really good. we didnt have many lessons but we tried really hard and we ended up having 6 investigators in church. it was a great day to start off the new year. i hope everything is going well over there and i hope to hear how everything went for the new years party and whats new. i love and miss you tons and im sorry this letter is short but i need to go. i love you all tons. take care and i will talk to you pronto!!
Elder Barnes

More Christ in our Lives

December 26, 2011
Hello Familia!
well everything went amazing yesterday. the phone call was really cool. really short too!!!!! well like i said right before you called i was with the garcia family and they were talking with their son that is in chile on skype. him and ryan talk somewhat the same to. really funny. i am really grateful for the mission president that i have and his strict standards.

christmas was really cool here. i got your packages, the garcia fam brought food, selene ramirez gave me some candy and another member also. it was really cool. also this christmas (not x-mas) i think i learned the true meaning of CHRISTmas. its all about CHRIST. another thought is christmas . . .CHRIST and MÁS. so more Christ in our lives. during church we sang the sacrament song and the spirit touched me and i really realized what the words said. ya i knew before what they said but now i know the importance of them. the song was i stand all amazed.

also i am so grateful that i went to the temple a lot before my mission. the members just got back from a trip. they went to DF to the temple. during sacrament they went up to talk about it and how beautiful it was. this is when i realized that I miss the temple so much. i havent been for so long. i miss the feeling/spirit it brings. i really want to go to temple square again during christmas time when it is all beautiful and there are so many people. i bet it was amazing when you guys went and i am sure that chase and trevor will remember that forever.
well i need to go.i love you all tons and miss ya tons!!!
Elder Barnes

Understanding the True Meaning of Christmas

19 Dec. 2011

HEy mommy and daddy and everyone else,
well i am so so excited right now. i can hardly type because i am just so
excited. i went to chihuhahua this week and had a conference and had a
christmas dinner and everything. we also did another concert thing there
but with a little more missionaries. but it wasnt as cool because stakes
sang also after us so we didnt have much time. also they had about the same
amount of people there even though it was three stakes together. ours was the
only one. very cool!!!!

i also got two letters from shalene and from sister
Egbert. it was really nice to read their letters. very special. tell them
thanks and that i will try to write back asap. I ALSO GOT MY PACKAGES!!! it
was so cool open these packages. i waited til i got here in delicias to
open them. truely amazing. i got three amazing ties and a lot of candy and i am doing the 12 days of christmas. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!!
i read the talk from grammies funeral. that was a little hard to read but very nice. i imagine that it was hardfor you and still is, but she is truely in a better place waiting for everyone and in a state of peace (alma 40:12). i hope that everyday i am making her proud by the way i am teaching people here in méxico. she is one of the best teachers. i bet she is teaching a lot up there.

i think i am starting to truly understand the true meaning of christmas.
this week was one week to remember with all of the one i have and will
have. i learned so so much this week. i have been fasting every week on
sunday and i know this has helped me a lot.

spanish is coming along. i need to work on my vocabulary y pronunciation ???
well ineed to go.
i love and miss you tons!!!!!!!! Love so so much. cant wait to hear everyone. oh i loved the tape. very funny!!!! tell jenessa hi and that i love her so so much and miss her a lot and i love hearing her voice and reading all her letters.
Love Elder Barnes

Doing the right thing

Dec. 12, 2011

Querida familia,
well its not hot here now. it has been a little colder. my companion is now at home with his family. that is so weird! well there were four elders in the house but right now we are back to two. two left to go home but the other one is with me. elder carvajal is my companion. He is from Guerrero México. he has about 3 months in the mission. maybe a little bit more. he is very cool and we get along good. my old companion is trying to look for you in facebook. he has some pics!!!!!! his name is Jaron James Christenson. you should look for him and he will give you pics.

well yesterday el presidente came to delicias and we had a christmas concert. we sang with a bunch of missionaries from chihuahua and the ones that are serving near by. it was amazing. i felt the spirit so strong. it was a lot of fun to go there because i saw fabiola. she was one of the girls that we baptized in barrio juarez. she is still going to church and is strong. how cool is that? also she has a calling. she is coordinating all of the food for the missionaries. her husband has a calling now. he is pres. of the young men. that is so so cool to hear. but the president came for this activity and didnt bring any letters or packages. hopefully he comes again.
well we had a few surprises this week. the district leader came to check on us early on tuesday. luckily i was doing my fitness because my companion was sleeping and got caught. they called him and he said that we were both doing our fitness but they said, "ok open the door because we can see you sleeping." so good thing i was doing my fitness. also they checked all of our stuff. the luggage
and everything else. it was pretty cool. they took some of my stuff . . . like my flag, trompos (a little spinning top) and some pics of friends. the president is telling that we need to clean everything that we have so that we cant fall into sin. it is really really cool. i am loving everything about the mission. the mission presidente has taught me a lot. i just hope i can go buy things at the end of my mission for you guys and for myself.
well the mission really does change people. i am changing a lot. i have learned so much here on the mission and i will continue learning more. it is truely amazing what the mission does to people. as of right now i dont want to leave ever. there are some things that i do miss. . .like christmas at home, but right now i am trying to study more about Jesucristo this year so that i really understand the importance of christmas.
Interesting thing is that the mexican missionaries call on the 24 because it is bigger than the 25.
oh i had a couple baptized this weekend. it was really special. really funny too because we taught alot of the lessons with this recent member. so i had him baptize them and he had to do it like 8 times because he was so nervous. really funny but really special.
well i need to go. thank you for the awesome letter. tell everyone hi.
i love you all so much and miss you tons.
elder Barnes

Putting your Heart into It!

5 Dic., 2011

La familia,
hey how is everything going? how is the WHOLE family doing. is it starting to look like christmas there yet? has Bogus opened? has it snowed? is there a lot of Christmas stuff on tv and the radiio? i really miss that right now! we went to a members house and listened to some christmas hymns and that made it a little hard. made me miss what chrsitmas is like at home.
well i dont think i got transferred because i can buy food this week. so i think i will be here for one more transfer. also my companion is leaving tomorrow morning and elder hatton. they are really excited but bummed. it has been weird to see all of the things that the members do for them at the end. i dont really want to see this day come for me. it was sad just to see them getting ready. i cant imagine how hard it is to leave the mission. that day wont come for awhile/forever. Que bueno!
well the president came yesterday real quick and I asked the secretary to bring my mail and he told that he will do it if he gets time and if the president asks him to do it. so i didnt get the package. i will try asking people that are coming to this area to get ALL of my stuff. i did get two letters from emma and michelle. it is nice that they wrote. so we will see if i get my christmas presents for christmas and not for april fools.
well we should be having two people baptized this saturday. i feel bad because its right after my companion leaves. i wish he could have finished with a baptism.
this sunday we had 6 investiagators in church but still a lot arent coming. they say that they will but dont. so sad because this sunday was ward conference and it was amazing. we had a seventy there and he was the counselor of my president. his name is elder vanezela. he spoke in the last hour and the stake presidency spoke. it was amazing because they talked about a lot of important stuff. especially for the members. we also had 174 people in church. that was a big improvement. a lot of inactive members went and some investigators from us and the other elders.
well this last few weeks have been awesome. the president is going crazy and telling us so much stuff about repentance and how we need to be clean and throw everything out that is bad. also we have been reading the book of mormon. i am now starting mosiah. hopefully i can finish by the time the year ends. he also told us to fast every sunday in december and a part of november. so i have been having some great experiences. i have never served the Lord with everything that i´ve got. its amazing what a missionary learns if they put their heart into the work. the president has a lot to do with this. he is just amazing and wants us to literally serve with all our heart might mind and strength.
i am grateful for everything. i will have to write a special letter because my time is up but there is so much to talk about. hope to hear more from you guys. que pasó con BSU?
well i love you tons and miss you a lot. i miss christmas too!!
Elder Barnes

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Pizza

28th Nov. 2011

Hola familia,
whats up? whats new? how was the cranberry jello on Thursday?
well thanksgiving here was pretty much like a normal day. i did get some dinner and it was pizza. it was awesome because we taught this inactive member and his family and then had pizza with them. other than that is was really normal.
weather is starting to get colder. our house doesnt have a heater so the house is colder than it is outside. today will be really warm but yesterday was chilly.

Christmas is definitely coming. i see some members putting up their trees. from what i have heard, the 24th is bigger than Christmas. they eat a lot and do a lot of stuff with family. oh sometimes they celebrate a kings day or something like that. its on January 6th. just like the kingsmen came late to Jesucristo when he was born. so they open some more presents. i havent seen many houses with lights, only two! i also cant listen to christmas music. it has to be in the hymn book in order to listen to it.

los investigadores are progressing somewhat. we had so many people that said that they were going to go, but they didnt. some had baptismal dates but now that they didnt go we have to postpone it. so now we wont have a baptism this week. this is the part of missionary work that is hard. people dont come to church and dont realize the importance of the things we are inviting them to do. at times i feel like i am not doing my part. its really frustrating. also the president said (after the other 4 missionaries left) that very few missionaries can say that they are true missionaries. so i am trying to obey with exactness and do everything that i can. the president also said that we have to read the whole book of mormon before the new year starts. so i have restarted the book of mormon and i am en 2 Nefi. hopefully i will make. i encourage everyone to read everyday at least one chapter.

I dont think i will have tranfers this dec 7. Two of the missionaries in this ward are leaving, my companion, Elder Christensen and Elder Hatton. this week we had a ward surprise party for them. it was really cool. quite a few people went too. I am sure that i will be here through this next transfer to show the next person the area and the investigators. but i think i am ready for a transfer. i havent had much success here. :( i really want to go to juarez!

oh mom i read 1 nephi 5. maybe this will give you comfort about my safety. please read that! i am safe and i will return home(not in a casket).
Janae thanks for the awesome letter.

mom i will ask for my letters and packages as soon as i can. i havent gotten any letters forever. last time i got a letter was a long time ago.
well i need to go.
Les amo mucho y les extraño tambien.
Elder Barnes
21 nov. 2011

Querida familia,
how is everything going? what is new with everyone? tell how thanksgiving goes? also TELL DAVE AND CINDY AND ZACH to write me!!!!! i want to know whats up with them.

well everything has been going great/interesting here. the president is cracking down. ever since i got here in the mission he has talked a lot about repentance and serving with all that we got. he also talks a lot about the process of santification. but the beginning of this week he wrote us a letter that said that four missionaries were going home because they sinned. we also had a little conference before church with him on sunday and he talked about it. he said that his missionaries are being attacked by satan like he would never believe. he also said that the missionaries were transformed into a missionary that defended the sin. he said that they just denied the sin. he also talked about how that sunday would be the first trial of their faith. to see if they go to church or not because everyone would ask why they were home. the president has had us study the talk of elder christofferson as much as we can. I have learned a lot about repentance and a lot of other things. he also had us read all of his letters over again. things are great though. i am learning alot. he also told us to write all of the things that we are doing bad in the letter to him this week. also the bad things of our companions.
things have been going great here.
we had a baptism planned this week but they didnt go to church so they will be baptized the next saturday.
right now we dont have many investigators. could always have more.

Thus far my companions have been. . .
Elder Orchard ~ mtc
Elder Roth ~ Barrio Juarez, delicias
elder Candila ~ barrio laguna casas grandes
elder carrillo ~ barrio panamericano delicias
elder hatton ~ ""
elder christenson ~ " "
this is all of them i think :)

well yesterday was the revolution of mexico so today will be really quiet.
well i better go. i hope everything is going great and i hope you have a fantastic thanksgiving.
oh weather here is really nice. still warm during the day but nice at night. its still really warm. well i love you all so much and miss ya tons.
study the conference talks!
Elder Barnes

Delicias is "Chill"

14, nov., 2011

Querida familia,
what are you guys doing for thanksgiving?
oh one question muy importante. ARE WE GOING TO LAKE POWELL WHEN I GET BACK??? just dont go while i am on the mission (like you did to Derek) :)
well the weather has been changing here. one evening is got really cold that i had to put on my sweater put i havent really used it sense. it start getting colder though. thing that sucks here though is that we cant warm the house. the houses are cement so the house will get cold also. but as of right now it is really nicew outside. it reminds a lot like home. more like october. it also has been a little windy.

well we went to chihuahua on thursday and i got the package from janae. it was really nice of her to do that. i think that is the fastest way to get letters to me. send a little package with candy and with the letters. i love the pic of my nephews that she sent. very funny because their hair is all the same and their faces also. very funny!!!!

i didnt get any letters though. i have heard from many missionaries that i have a ton in there. I LOVE HEARING THAT! they say i have around 10 or 15 letters. i hope to get them really soon. i am going to beg the sec. to give them to me.
christmas package=candy, ties, captain crunch cereal peanut butter flavor.

I am loving teaching the people that we do have. the bad part is that we have to drop some people that arent progressing and find new ones. so it is always changing. we found a nice new couple on saturday and we introduced el libro de mormón and they went to church with us on sunday. sunday night we talked about baptism and they would love to be baptized the right way, but want to learn a little more of course. they are really cool. another investigator and his family are doing great but he has a problem with drinking. he was drunk on saturday when we passed by. really sad because he made it a whole week without drinking. now we got to keep trying and help him more. the mom is really cool and the son too.

oh this sibling writing thing is nice. you shouldnt worry about my time. i am printing out the emails. but its really cool i get a letter because this was one of the first letters from jeff. REALLY COOL!!! so i think this will help them a lot :)

well the president shows this graph of the numbers and it was like 128 investigators in church for a month at the beginning when he got here. we had 340 last month in church. but then he should the graph for bautisms. there was 104 when he got here and last month it was like 110 a month. he talked a lot about reprentance and how it brings true progress or success. in fact i challenge everyone to read the conference talks. i have listened to them a lot and they are amazing. the talk by elder christofferson was awesome. that was the one about true repentance. AMAZING!!!! also the last liahona or ensign was amazing. you should read that also.

well the safety thing. things are good here. i guess the other elders in our area said that they saw a dead person yesterday but my companion and i were in a different part of the area. funny thing though is that we are usually near that area. hahaha mom, i am safe. i never feel like i am in danger. i do pray for safety but not that much as you do. :) i am safe MOM!!!! Delicias is chill

well i better go. i love you so so much and miss ya tons! i hope all is going well. tell jeff thanks for the awesome letter. i would also like a pic of the families. well bye and i love you tons.
Elder Barnes

8 Months on the Mission

7 Nov. 2011

La Familia,
hey how is everything going? it is awesome to hear that you got my package!!!! hopefully i will do that more often :)

well i have alot of stuff to write about. well the president got really mad about the numbers these last week there were a lot more transfers again. almost everyone had tranfers besides the four elders in my area. interesting. as you know we have to work at 4 on P-days now which is weird but not a bad thing. the bad thing is that this week went terrible. one of the worst weeks ever. so many things are going wrong. we had a baptism planned for this weekend but the dad said that we couldnt baptize her because she is under age, BUT we are teaching the parents so hopefully they end up praying and get their answer that the book of mormon is true. then they could all get baptized. we also dropped a few investigators because they werent progressing. we have some that are really cool though. its just so stressful because we were doing so good and then nothing this week. things are definitely going to improve.

oh dear elders/letters. i dont get them!!!! they sit in the offices forever. the only way around it is to send it to a member in the ward here. but i dont know if i am that desperate for them. i know that sounds bad but i know that i will get them someday SOON i hope.

time is really flying by here. i cant believe that i have reached 8 months in the mission. yet so many things are going on.
oh my presidente is going to come to delicias this thursday for a conference and he is going to check all of the houses to make sure they are good. he is really interesting but very cool. i bet he will be an area of the seventy or something.

i really wish i could have been at the funeral. i bet that was very hard. i sure hope that grandpa can feel happy. i really hope that i am being the missionary they would want me to be. well i better go.
well i better go. thank you so much for another awesome letter.
i love you guys so so much and miss you tons.

Elder Barnes

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Will be the Best Missionary that I Can Be

31 Oct, 2011

Dear mom/ everyone,

well it is really really sad to hear about grammie. very hard too! i did pray really hard for her and everyone! i hope her funeral will be great and peaceful. i sure hope grandpa can be alone for a little time and can feel her love. i just hope they both know that i am trying my best to be the best missionary that i can be and that i am trying to please them and the Lord.
everything here is going great! i am still in Barrio Panamericano. this is the last transfer for my companion and elder hatton. so they will be leaving here very soon. WEIRD!!! everything is great though. i sent a package last monday so you should be getting it here in a few days. i didnt write all the letters that i wanted but i should be sending more letters here soon.

well the weather here is cooling down now. still warm or really warm during the days though. well i am not sure that mexico celebrates halloween like the US. from what i have heard and seen it doesnt look that big.
that is so cool that there are so many missionaries in the ward.
everything here is really the same. the president doesnt seem too happy right now. he stopped writing to us for a few weeks so that he can write to some other missionaries personally. we had a lot of success in general conference but i think we have dropped and now we dont have district meetings on P days. now we have to work at 4 instead of 6. so that is different. my companion and i are starting to get in the groove. we should have another baptism on the 12 and maybe some the others. quien sabe. but its going great.
oh the other day i had scones. it was so delicious. there is a guy in our ward that is american and doesnt speak much spanish but married a spanish lady. she knows english also. but we had a party with investigators and inactive members with them and had scones. AMAZING!!!!!
yesterday in church was awesome! we had 6 investigators but it was awesome because we had some good lessons. also the investigators really liked church. they hope to go again next week.
mom, i hope everything is going great. help grandpa this week. tell him hi for me and that i love him so much and that I AM EXTREMELY GRATEFUL FOR HIS HELP in missionary work.
i hope and pray everything is going great at home. i miss you guys a lot and love you tons!!!
i hope to hear from you soon!!!! oh by the way i havent gotten any dear elders. they
sit in the office for months. so normal mail or dear elders does not matter.
love you so much. take it easy!!!
Elder Barnes

October 17th, 2012

La Familia,
Hola! how is everyone doing? whats new? have you guys gone on many bike rides? well i sure i have been doing a lot of that. how is church? still ajusting to the new ward? how is jill, janae, derek, jeff, and jordan doing? anything new with them

well everything here is going great! the food is still amazing! i think i am going to get really fat before i get home. i eat a lot here. the weather is still really warm during the day but during the night is cools down a little. teaching is going great. its just hard at times to decide to keep teaching them or leave them behind because they arent progressing. we are always finding more people to teach.
ya that poem is so true with everything. nights are slow, back hurts, sweating all the time, companions, EVERYTHING! my companion and i get along great. right now we just need a little more success. we worked so hard this week but our numbers didnt really show it. they will next week though.
last night we had an activity with almost the whole stake and the president and hermana angulo came. we sang in the beginning and there was also the stake chior also. but the president talked about general conference. well i dont know if i ever said anything or much about him but he is crazy. he is so powerful and talks with authority. so it was very intense and exciting. i remember seeing the pres. in the boise mission and he was also really amazing. i think it is cool for the members to see where us missionaries come from. and he talks with us with more power and authority. it was awesome though. he showed talks from the prophet and others but broke them down by pieces. it was amazing. i know that the members and the investigators learned a lot.
ya my president is really cool and strict. right now we cant listen to any music, ONLY to the GENERAL CONFERENCE! i really think he is one of the most strict presidents ever. but that just means more blessings/learning experiences for me :)
the spanish is coming along for sure. i do wish i had a spanish companion but thats ok. i try my best to always speak in spanish.

hey thanks for all of the prayers. luckily i am not in an area that is really dangerous. there are some things that happen here but not very often. there is a city or town called meoqui just 10 minutes away and that area is really bad. but things are great here.
i am loving every minute here and i think i will try to send the package today. if not, next week for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
well i need to go. thanks for a good letter.
i love you all so much and miss you tons.
Elder Barnes

Living the "Life of a Missionary Poem"

Oct 10, 2011

Hey Everyone/MOM,
wow another week is gone. time is just flying right by. the weather is starting to get nice in the mornings and during the night. during the day it is still really warm, not so hot now.
well i dont know anything that is really new. the missionary life is the same everyday and the days are long and the nights are extremely short. in that one poem that i shared the person said "630 already, it seems like i was just able to shut my eyes " thats what it really feels like. its a miracle that i can keep working harder and harder in these long days.
we are teaching a lot of people but a lot of them need to get married. that is a big problem here. . .NO ONE GETS MARRIED!! its really sad at times too because sometimes they have a STRONG testimony but they cant be baptized because one needs a divorse and then get married to the person that they are with and they dont have any money or they need to work on the papers. its ridiculous!!!
oh i dont think i have told you about the toys here. kids play with these things called Trompos. they are so cool and cheap too. before we go to bed we eat and play with them a lot. they are like little tops things that spin on a tip. but you wind it up with a string and throw it. some people can catch it in their hand and others have battles and do tricks. its awesome!
soccer was fun last week. it was the first time we were able to play in the mission. they havent played for over a year.
OH I GOT MY PACKAGE!!! thank you so so much. i love candy! thanks for the ensign too. i saw that it was sent on aug. 25 and the mission got it on the 9th of september and just sat there for awhile. i didnt get my letters though. urg! i also got my package because i asked for the sec. to bring it!!!!
Christmas!!!time is flying by. well i would love to have CAPTIAN CRUNCH CEREAL PEANUT BUTTER FLAVOR. also more candy!!!!!! ALSO TIES!!!! cant have enough ties.
WEll i need to go! thank you for everything. hope you guys have a great week. i miss you guys a lot and love you tons!!!! TTYL
Elder Barnes

Learning As a Missionary

sep 26 2011

well this week was amazing! we had 4 people baptized. one convert is amazing. he is truely a convert to the gospel he has repented and received a strong answer of the book of mormon. he is a different person. he was really different at first and was agaisnt the church big time but now he is truely a different person. that is the wonderful thing about repentance and baptism, to be able to be born again. i have learned so much during this week. its amazing the things that a missionary can learn in his mission.
tell everyone i´m sorry that i havent written much to them. things are just so busy and our mission president is really really strict. he is a great guy and thats why i am learning so so much!!! elder Christenson and i are doing great together. he is a great companion and does a lot of service for me. elder Christenson and Elder Hatton have been my favorite companions so far. also Elder Roth because he had to have had a lot of patience with me :)
well i really need to go because i still need to buy food and go to chihuahua hoy.
i´m sorry this lettter is short but i will make it up.
I miss you tons and LOVE you guys so so much!
Elder Barnes