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