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