Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 12-23-13

Dear Family and Friends,
                                        I would first like to start out by saying Merry Christmas!! I hope you all are enjoying this Christmas season. We have been doing great work up here in Devils Lake this week. We had a great finding and teaching week! Me and Elder Anderson have been staying busy with Tracting, and teaching. I have also been staying busy this week with my new calling as District Leader. We have bridge calls every Wednesday that usually takes up an hour. I have to give area calls on Thursdays and that takes up almost two hours. And then of course we have District Meeting on Friday which takes the whole day of driving for us. But it has been a great learning experience for me. I never realized how awesome Preach My Gospel and the Scriptures really are in missionary work! Last week for District meeting I gave a training on Addressing the importance of the family in our finding efforts. I knew that when we addressed the family the doors we knocked on were more receptive to us. After giving that training me and Elder Anderson went tracting the next day. As we started addressing the families more in our finding we noticed the more success we were having! We actually hit two doors in a row that would be willing to have us come back. This past week we got to finally meet with a potential named Joyce. We had found Joyce back in October when we were still meeting with Barbra and Laura. Joyce was very receptive to us when we found her and said she would take us in and listen to our message when she wasn't so busy. Joyce said she was looking for another church to go to, and she knew a"Mormon" co-worker she used to work with. So we taught her the Restoration and we boldy comitted her to be baptized on the first lesson, and she accepted! We just have to keep meeting with her and working with her to set a date.
                                       This Christmas eason has been a wonderful time of year for me as a missionary. For once I can truly focus ALL my attention on Jesus Christ and his birth, and not focus on what I want for Christmas  or anything commercial. It sounds crazy but it isn't too bad being a missionary at Christmas time. This season I can truly be thankful for Jesus Christ and his birth. His birth meanteverything to this Earth. Jesus Christ on the Earth taught us to be thankful and love one another. It has been awesome to be a missionary where that is all you do year round. I received Mom's package as well as Sister Bolli's package. Tell her I really appreciate the hand and toe warmers and that Beef Jerky was the best.  I can't wait to talk to you this Christmas for the 45 minutes I have. I enjoyed all of the Pictures that I received from all of you! It looks like you are all having fun! I can't wait to join in on that fun for a short time! I wish you all a Merry Christmas!!
 
Love, Elder Barber

Monday, December 9, 2013

What can we give? 12-9-13

Dear Family and Friends,
                                       Thank you for all of your great letters this week! It has been a pretty good week up here in Devils Lake. It has been getting pretty cold. We had a beast of a blizzard roll through here this week. But of course that is the greatest day to go out finding! So we went and knocked on doors offering if we could shovel people out of their houses. Which was really good. We didn't get too many potentials from it, but now the people here have a different view of Mormon Missionaries. I am for sure staying warm in this crazy weather. With all the layers on the only thing that gets cold is my eyes. Icicles form on my eyelashes when I go walking around in this stuff. We stopped by at an investigators house when it was snowing. He asked us if we would assist him in helping others get their cars un-stuck. So we drove around for a couple of hours helping people get un-stuck on the roads. When we were driving around I noticed the fierce wind that was out and the blizzard we were living through. I almost felt like I was serving in a polar ice cap. It is almost hard to believe that only a thousand miles away in Arizona it is 60 degrees and nice outside. The following day after the blizzard we went out trying to help people but they had already shoveled all their walks. And the next day we were banned to leave the house because it was -30 or below. So we sat inside all day and studied and watched Church Movies.
                                      This week we met with Donnada and she is still on date. In our last lesson we shared a conference talk "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee" by Thomas S. Monson. We also gave her Perro which is a Word of Wisdom approved Coffee drink. So she committed to live the Word of Wisdom. We haven't been able to meet with Michael in a while. And we have our investigator named Paul (he is the one that drove us around helping people) he committed to being baptized last time we met with him. Next week is transfers and I do not know if I will be transferred or not. The area is doing awesome so President might leave me here to keep on working. But I have been here since July so he might take me out. I am what they call a "wild card" in transfers this time around. If I stay we for sure get to Facetime and Skype. If I leave the area there isn't a guarantee that we could get hooked up with that. So we will know this Saturday what is to be done with me. But until then I need to keep on pushing in this area. Hopefully the weather allows me to leave the apartment. 
                                    Last night we got the wonderful opportunity to watch the Christmas Devotional. It was a very inspiring and wonderful meeting. Thomas S. Monson's talk really spoke something to me, It led me to the question "What can we give to our savior this Christmas season?" In the last General Conference address they encouraged us to find "one" person we can share the gospel with before Christmas. And I hope everyone has had the opportunity to contribute to that. I would like to echo that message just before the Christmas Holiday. I would invite you all to take that invite to heart. To pray for the guidance and help of our Heavenly Father. I can promise each and every one of you that as you do this eventually the answer will come. And will come before Christmas. May you be humble enough to follow the prompting that the spirit whispers. I hope that you can keep Jesus Christ at the center of this Holiday Season and help someone in need. Or assist a family in buying gifts for their children. Last night they gave us the message that Christmas is not about getting but the spirit of giving. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all and have a great week!

Love Elder Barber

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's getting snowy. 12-2-13

Dear Family & Friends,
                                    It has been a great week here in North Dakota. We have been receiving a lot of snow up here this week! It is a lot of fun to ride bikes out in this kind of weather and slide on the ice. The lessons have been slow for the week because of the Holiday. But we had a great week anyways! We got to do some fun exchanges this week! We got to do an exchange with the Grand Forks Elders! It was me and Elder Dibble who came back to Devils Lake and do some tracting. We didn't see too much success from the exchange, but it was still super fun! Last week was my 5 month marker! It has been a really fast five months! We got to go over to our neighbors Peter and Cindy for thanksgiving day. They had the Lions and Packers game on. Even though we didn't really watch it the score at the end was a sad score. Poor Packers. But they had a fun family to talk to, it almost felt like home! Almost. But after that we went and shared a Thanksgiving lesson with the Marshalls. It was really a spiritual message we shared. We watched the thanksgiving Mormon message with them and we went around the room asking people what they were thankful for. And of course we shared scriptures and ended the lesson. We had another Thanksgiving on Saturday with Jim and Roxanne, and their family. It was really cool because they wanted me to offer the opening prayer. And non of them are members. It was pretty cool. But right after that we went and had another dinner at Mina's house. And she really knows how to feed people! Well it is already snowing here like crazy! And I can bet that it isn't going away until May. But at least I will be having a very white Christmas.
                                   Yesterday we went to church and a lot of people couldn't make it out due to the snow, and the holiday! But there was about fifteen people in Sacrament meeting, and it was an awesome fast and testimony meeting! We had Sister Marshalls Dad and step mother in from Idaho. Elder Anderson needed to send something back to his parents so we ran over to the Marshalls after lunch to give it to Sister Marshalls Dad. Her Dad drives right through Rexburg so he will drop it off at his house. We got to talk for a little while, and Sister Marshalls Dad told us one of the funniest Story's I have ever heard. I will have to tell you on Christmas it is a pretty complex story. But afterwards we just tried potentials but we got to meet with a potential named Carol, and also Paul and his kids. So it was a great day yesterday with two lessons! We are one week from transfer calls! But I might just stay here in Devils Lake for one more term. Well it has been a great week! I will still be tracting and walking around until it hits -30 outside. It has been pretty warm lately. I hope you all have a good week!

P.S I have discovered THE greatest hot cocoa recipe. Its gonna be worth millions some day!

Love, Elder Barber

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful Hearts 11-25-13


Corey Barber
to meConcoGavin, +3
19 hours ago
Details
Dear family & friends,
                                 This week has been a great week that just flew right by! Thank you for all of your letters! This week we started out going fishing in the lake. We decided to use minoes for our bait (which are little fish). It was really stupid because everytime I cast into the water the minoe would go flying another way. And we didn't catch anything and it was really cold so not the best fishing experience that day! But the lake is now frozen over and I hope to at least ice fish once before I leave this area. The temperatures have been dropping this week. The coldest it got was about 0. It was definitely fun to tract in that! A lot of people let you in when it's freezing like that. We had a REALLY busy day on Tuesday! We had an appointment in the morning that was re-scheduled. We went over to the church to practice our special musical number for Zone Conference. And thirty minutes right after that we met with Donnada and Sister Christensen at the church. And then we just had many activities through out that day to attend! On Wednesday it started blizzarding up here! We got like about a foot of snow. We drove to Grand Forks and met up with the Sisters who drove us to Fargo from there. We had a wonderful special training for trainers and trainees by President Anderson. He gave me the opportunity to do a role play of teaching the restoration on the doorstep. It was pretty nerve wracking even though we do it often. But it went pretty well! That night we stayed in a members home in Fargo their names were the Mitchells. She went to Northidge back in 2004 and grew up near home so that is always good to talk to people who know where your from! They have two cute little boys who love the missionaries. So they were definitely excited to have them sleep over for the night! We received a wonderful training throughout the day at Zone Conference! That night interviews with President ran really late and we got to stay in Grand Forks for the night at the district leaders house. The next day it had snowed a lot and was still snowing. But we were definitely blessed with safety on our ride back to Devils Lake. We got to meet with a great investigator Paul last night. It was a really good lesson to be bold in. I learned that as a missionary if you want things to go in the way you want them to go be bold. All of our investigators are doing well! Donnada is still on Date for February 7th and Michael is on date for January 25th! We are still working with and teaching them!
                                Around this time of year we have many things to be thankful for. I am definitely thankful to be a missionary in the hastening of the work. I am thankful for the gospel which gives me the plan to return to our father in heaven. I am thankful for the pioneers and their great sacrifice they made for us to be in this gospel. And I am thankful to have a prophet who leads and guides us today! I found this scripture this morning in D&C 62:7  "he shall receive this blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with a bthankful heart in all things." I hope around this time of year we can all find things to be thankful for. I am also thankful for my Mission Presidents anouncement he made at zone conference. At Zone Conference he changed the Christmas Call Policy. And this year we will be allowed to Skype or Facetime for Chirstmas calls this year. I look forward to hopefully seeing you all this Christmas! The work is great and I can't complain! I hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Barber

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jumping out of the Boat

                                       It has been another great week! The time has been flying by this week! It seems like it was literally just yesterday I was pulling up to the library and it said "closed for veterans day". This week has definitely been slow in lessons. A lot of people had fallen through. This week we were out tracting, and we knocked on a very inspired door. We knocked on it and the lady answered "Oh are you here to see Rob?" and me and my companion were like "Who is Rob?" and it turns out that it was the house of a potential investigator we have. He came to church with Laura Chew when she came to town. He has been needing a pick me up lately so we got together with Rob and the Storys and spent the evening having dinner and doing activities at their house! It was a wonderful experience! We have had plenty of time for tracting this week! And it can be pretty humorous becauause people here hate using their front door, and sometimes prefer you to use their back door. We knocked on this one door, and of course it was an older man who didn't want to talk to us anyway! We knocked the second time and he got up out of his chair and came to the door. When he tried to open the door, the door slammed into him when it opened. He then angrily rejected us. We were out knocking doors yesterday, and this guy came to the door and was like "Do you guys realize the vikings game is on?". For a second I thought he was trying to be funny, but he was totally serious! And of course I knew the Seahawks were playing them that day and I responded "Well I'm a seahawks fan" he then told me the score and was still really angry with us for interupting his game. While out tracting some older lady invited us to come to St. Josephs catholic mass they were holding that night. So we took her up on the invite. When we were on our way to mass we went and got out neighbors Cindy and Peter (who are catholic) to take us there so we knew what was going on. We knocked on her door and she answered thinking we were just coming to drop by. But I promptly told her "hey were on our way to mass" she replied "Why are you guys going to Massachussets?". We then told her we were going to the Catholic Mass at five. So it motivated her to take us to her church. It was definitely an interesting service. It is always interesting to see how other churches do their service. Of course we got stared at the whole time by all the old people around us. But it was a fun night to go check out another church!
                                     It was a great day at church yesterday! I definitly love pot luck sundays! Darryl the older man in our ward has been living here for like forty years. I always make it a game on sunday to try and get him to admit its cold outside. So far I haven't been successful with that! Everytime he always calls it "Chilly" outside. I will definitely get him one of these times! It was way nice outside this week! We got in the high thirties and the low fortys. But it will now officially start getting cold! Yesterday our investigator Donnada showed up, and pulled me and Elder Anderson outside to help her. We realized that she got to the door and dropped her dinner she had brought to the pot luck. So we helped her pick it up. After the meeting many people were saying how sorry they were for her. But she told everyone that she had learned something from it! She said that she should have asked for help with the door instead of trying to do things by herself. I was bery humbled to hear that. If it were me who had dropped it I would have been kicking myself all day for it, and feeling sorry the whole time. But she moved forward and learned a lesson from it! Donnada is back on date for february 7th, 2014. This week in district meeting we had a training on "Jumping out of the boat". We watched a video of Bednar speaking about the story of when Jesus calls Peter to walk on the water. Peter was safely inside the boat. But Peter fastened his eyes on the Savior and began to walk on the water. Peter probably had no idea he could do such a thing! But when the savior prompted him and he focused his eyes on the savior he was able to walk on the water. Us as missionaries are sometimes safe in the boat of a "lesson plan". And sometimes the holy spirit prompts us to "jump out of the boat" or in other words leave our lesson plan and follow his promptings. After learning this at district meeting I have had many opportunities to jump out of the boat. I will be sitting in a lesson and the spirit will prompt me to take it somewhere else. And when I follow these promptings we teach exactly what the investigator needs. I hope that we can all have an opportunity to "Jump out of the boat" and take those steps of faith that God needs us to take. I hope you all have a good week!

love, Elder Barber

Sunday, November 17, 2013

End of another transfer. 11-11-13

Dear Family and Friends,
                                       Transfer three is officially done, and we are moving onto transfer four! We have been truly blessed up here in Devils Lake over this past transfer. Over the past six weeks we have seen five new investigators come to us! Which is a lot for North Dakota. It has been truly a great transfer. I apologize for my delayed letter again we showed up at the library and forgot it was veterans day! Last P-day we had a great time going out to the lake and fishing for a part of the day! It was really cold and the wind was strong coming out of the West! There was like four foot waves smashing into the shore! I felt like I was at the ocean again. This time the fish weren't biting as well as they were the first time. My companion Elder Anderson did end up snagging a fish by the belly with his hook. So we officially didn't get a bite that day. I have heard that many people have sent me letters/packages. I believe they have stopped mail here until transfers are over! I would like to thank you all for all the gifts and support! I truly appreciate all of you! We still have Michael on date for baptism on January 25th, 2014. We are going to work with him as well as we can to get him there! We have been seeing some great success with tracting lately! We went tracting in this new neighborhood and we got about three potentials from it. One of them became an investigator on Saturday night! We also have been working with this great guy named Paul. He is the guy who manages the Casino in Fort Totten, and runs the spook alley in October. He has a great family who have all grown really close to us as missionaries. Paul committed to read the Book of Mormon, and believes that God can give us modern day revelation! We went over to there house last night and Victor (his son who is eight years old) asked us if he could come to our church. So hopefully we can get them at church! We plan to do a little more tracting today, and we are expecting miracles to happen!
                                        This past Sunday we had a very touching experience with our investigator Donnada. She fell off her baptismal date for November 16th, 2013. But she will be set again on a date this week with our next meeting! She came to fast and testimony meeting this past week. Toward the end of the meeting she asked me "can I go up and bare my testimony?". I of course told her she could! She got up there and started out telling us that she wanted to bare her testimony. She also informed us that she was definitely going to cry. She started out by saying it had been a trying week for her because something was supposed to happen and wasn't going to happen. She then told us that what she was referring to was her baptism. She told us a story of when she was praying one night she was mad that she wasn't being baptized on the sixteenth. She then told us she asked god "Why am I not being baptized on this day? I thought this is what you wanted me to do!". She then got an answer to her prayer "I am the potter and you are the clay. If I spin you too quickly you will break". Donnada took this as her answer from God. She then told us that she knows that her baptismal date will come, and she will enter into baptism. She is still looking forward to that "beautiful day". Donnada has a wonderful testimony of God and his time table for us. We should all have the faith that she has. Whenever something in our lives don't come when we want it to, remember it is all in Gods time. I hope that I can live to see Donnada get baptized in this area. Well that is all for this week! I love you all, and I pray for you all! Have a great week!

Love Elder Barber

Saturday, November 2, 2013

One Great Week

Dear Family, and Friends.
                                       It has been another great week here in Devils Lake! We have witnessed many miracles, and the work has grown immensely this week. On Monday last week we had the wonderful opportunity to do service as a P-Day activity for the Mercy Hospital gift shop. They took us over to the Catholic Parrish Center here in town to help set up for a big event they were putting on for charity. It was great to work with all of them, and fun to do something great for the community! We did a blitz on Tuesday with Elder Cannon, and Elder Dibble in the Grand Forks area here in town. We have received many great potentials from that! Donnada is still on date for the Sixteenth, and she is very excited to get baptized! We had a wonderful District Meeting in Grand Forks this week! We got special training from our Sister Training Leader from Fargo. She did a great job, and it was a really fun time at district meeting. We have gotten two new investigators this week! We have a new investigator named AJ, and Barbra. And we have been getting many referrals this week. We have truly been blessed here because of our personal obedience, and diligence in this area. It is really fun to watch this small area rise up! When I first got here it had potential, but towards the end of my training it seemed like all of that potential vanished. But as me and Elder Anderson have been working hard we have seen this area again rise up, and strive better than ever!
                                       Last Sunday me, and Elder Anderson were out walking around when we got a call. It was an older woman named Laura Chew from Jensen, Utah. It was too windy to hear what she was saying outside. So we told her we would call her back once we were home! We got home about five minutes later, and called her back. She told us that she wanted us to teach her friend Barbra who lives here in town. But she then went on to tell us that she was going to be flying up, and attending her lessons. When she was watching conference this past October she heard Thomas S. Monson talking about how we need to reach out to "one person" and share the gospel. Instantly her friend of fifty years (Barbra) popped into her mind. She felt that it was her duty to God to share the gospel with Barbra. So we got the opportunity to teach Barbra with Laura present for two lessons, and we have another tomorrow. Laura Chew is a wonderful example to me of a member missionary. She truly followed her heart and the Holy Spirit more than a thousand miles to Devils Lake to share the gospel. I was very touched with her story that it was hard not to tear up in those lessons. I know that we can all follow her wonderful example and find the "one" in our lives. We may not have to fly a thousand miles to get to that "one". But we all need to be seeking that "one". I hope everything is going well at home! It has already been four months on the mission going on five now! The time is flying past me, I often wonder where it all goes! I love you all and have a great week.

Love,
Elder Barber

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Service in the community 10/21/13

Dear Family and Friends,
                                   This week has been great! It started off last week on P-day! We went fishing out in Devils Lake! It was really cold, and really windy out there! But luckily we were fishing under the bridge so we could leave our poles mounted in the rocks, and go hide under there! We went back and checked the poles and we both caught a fish! We both caught these perfect sized Walleye! Which Walleye fresh out of the lake is really delicious. After we froze for about forty five minutes we drove back and cleaned the fish and ate them! They were really delicious! Walleye is a lot like Halibut. It's a white fish, and it tastes really good! On Wednesday we got to meet with Donnada, and we had a great opportunity to do family history work with her at the library! We met a great guy named Paul this week when we were out tracting! Him and his family do a lot of service and are active in a christian church just outside of town. But his wife asked us if we could get her a Bible in Spanish. And Paul asked us if he could read the Book of Mormon! So we have great potentials in this area. This week we got to help the Perisho family move to Washington. On our way out to there house our "Change Engine Oil Soon" light came on. So on Friday when we went to Grand Forks to carpool to Fargo we dropped the Cruze off at the Chevrolet dealership to get fixed. We had our ZTM in Fargo, and it was very fun to see all the missionaries again! They gave us great council and help on how to improve our areas! We also got to hear from a member of the Seventy Elder Watson. He gave us great insight on how to become better missionaries, and how we can improve our lives when we get off our mission! We have been really blessed in our area this past week with service! We have been helping a lot around the community and asking people if we can help serve them. And many doors have been open to us because of service. When people see us in service clothes they aren't as intimidated by us. And I can truly testify that service is a wonderful gateway into the hearts of those around us. It will open doors and hearts that cannot be opened any other way. On Sunday it actually SNOWED for the first time of the year! It snowed in the morning, but it was all melted in the afternoon! I got to practice singing with the kids for their primary program next Sunday! It was really a lot of fun! That is all that has been happening in the field this week! I hope you all are doing well, and keeping safe! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Barber

Luau 10/14/13

Dear Family and friends,
                                   This week has been pretty good! The lessons haven't been as consistent as I like them, but this upcoming week holds great potential for this area! Elder Anderson, and I are still getting along pretty well! We have definitely been feeling the fall air come down from Canada! Donnada is still on Date for November 16th, but we don't have any other investigators on date this week! But we will try to continue to work hard to change that! This week we were biking our way to an appointment and I hit a pot hole, and it popped my tube in my tire! So it was great to get that fixed in Grand Forks this week! As I said it is cold but it is also rainy today! This week has been a great week for doing service! We got to go over to Darlene's house and stain her deck on one of the clear days! I have never done that before either, but it was a fun service project! We also got to go over to Brother Marshall's house, and help him do some house projects! I really think that service is the way to some of the people here! I have noticed that finding and door approaches yield very little success. But when we serve those around us, they tend to be more open to us. 
                                  We got the cool opportunity to go to a Luau this week out in Fort Totten! Brother Story texted us and wondered if we would like to come and help them prepare a luau pig in Fort Totten. It was really fun! We showed up, and they had a big pit dug out for where they were going to cook the pig. We laid rocks down in the hole (the rocks help hold the heat) and put wood over the top of them. We then laid more rocks and another layer of wood. We started to build the fire,and that was a challenge for us. But when we finally got the big fire going it burnt really well. We then went and hooked the chicken wire together so we could wrap the pig. And covered him in lettuce. We returned the next day and had a lot of pork! And our freezer is now full of pork ribs, and we have a ton of pork chops in the fridge! But that is all that is going on this week! I hope everything is well at home!

Love, Elder Barber 

A new beginning 10/7/13

Dear Family and friends,
                                 Thank you all for the love, and support that you have truly shown this week! What a good week it has been up here! Well on Tuesday me and Elder Garfield drove our way to Fargo, North Dakota. He had to say goodbye to a lot of good friends of his that he has made here in Devils Lake, and the surrounding towns. We made our way to Fargo and waited about an hour and a half the first bus came and took Elder Salmon to be a zone leader down in Rapid City! We will miss him as our district leader here in the Grand Forks District. We then waited about another hour and a half for the other bus to make its way in. It was funny because it had my trainee on the bus and Elder Smith who trained Elder Garfield. So we had to take a posterity line picture! But I am training Elder Anderson. He is from Rexburg, Idaho! He likes to go fishing, and worked up at the Snake River last summer. He is a great Elder, and I hope I can train him to the best of my ability. My knowledge of missionary work may not be worth to much right now, but I will try to train to the best of my ability. So far training has been going pretty well! I try to help him understand things pretty simply out here. Being out in the field is worlds different than being in the MTC. So far we have been doing pretty well with being out of the house when we should, and working hard until the end of the day! Training has really helped me to break out of my MTC shell, and be a real missionary. With lessons they have been really spiritual, I have noticed that when you share experiences with people, the spirit really comes into the lesson a lot more! We met with Michael this week, and shared with him why we have prophets! And we of course invited him to watch General Conference! 
                                General Conference was great this time around! It is always great to hear from the first presidency, and the quorum of the twelve apostles. It always is good to hear their messages that seem like they are directed to you! I really enjoyed hearing Dallin H. Oaks talk this time around. I hope its not causing to much fuss in Salt Lake. One thing that I got out of his talk was "Whose on the Lords side?" I absolutely loved that talk, and it is a talk that many members of the church need to hear! Of course it does make any missionary homesick to see Salt Lake, and the temple. And one of the choirs had families from Kaysville in it! They did a great job! I can't wait for next General Conference in April! Well that's about all for the week! I hope moving to St. George has been an easy move! I know that it must be hard to leave the Kaysville home. I love you, and pray for you! And thank you for the prayers you all have given! 

love Elser Barber

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A New Beginning First transfer after Training

Dear Family and friends,
                                 Thank you all for the love, and support that you have truly shown this week! What a good week it has been up here! Well on Tuesday me and Elder Garfield drove our way to Fargo, North Dakota. He had to say goodbye to a lot of good friends of his that he has made here in Devils Lake, and the surrounding towns. We made our way to Fargo and waited about an hour and a half the first bus came and took Elder Salmon to be a zone leader down in Rapid City! We will miss him as our district leader here in the Grand Forks District. We then waited about another hour and a half for the other bus to make its way in. It was funny because it had my trainee on the bus and Elder Smith who trained Elder Garfield. So we had to take a posterity line picture! But I am training Elder Anderson. He is from Rexburg, Idaho! He likes to go fishing, and worked up at the Snake River last summer. He is a great Elder, and I hope I can train him to the best of my ability. My knowledge of missionary work may not be worth to much right now, but I will try to train to the best of my ability. So far training has been going pretty well! I try to help him understand things pretty simply out here. Being out in the field is worlds different than being in the MTC. So far we have been doing pretty well with being out of the house when we should, and working hard until the end of the day! Training has really helped me to break out of my MTC shell, and be a real missionary. With lessons they have been really spiritual, I have noticed that when you share experiences with people, the spirit really comes into the lesson a lot more! We met with Michael this week, and shared with him why we have prophets! And we of course invited him to watch General Conference! 
                                General Conference was great this time around! It is always great to hear from the first presidency, and the quorum of the twelve apostles. It always is good to hear their messages that seem like they are directed to you! I really enjoyed hearing Dallin H. Oaks talk this time around. I hope its not causing to much fuss in Salt Lake. One thing that I got out of his talk was "Whose on the Lords side?" I absolutely loved that talk, and it is a talk that many members of the church need to hear! Of course it does make any missionary homesick to see Salt Lake, and the temple. And one of the choirs had families from Kaysville in it! They did a great job! I can't wait for next General Conference in April! Well that's about all for the week! I hope moving to St. George has been an easy move! I know that it must be hard to leave the Kaysville home. I love you, and pray for you! And thank you for the prayers you all have given! 


Love, Elder Barber   
                

Monday, September 30, 2013

A new transfer and a new beginning


Corey Barber
to meConco
10 hours ago
Details
Dear Family, and friends
                  It has been a great week up here, and a wonderful way to end the transfer! This week on Tuesday we did a blitz/split in our area! A blitz is when two companionships hit one area for a whole day of finding to increase the investigator number! And splits is when you split your companionships up. So Elder Davis (not from the MTC), and Elder Salmon came up to Devils Lake from Grand Forks to do this blitz/split. Elder Garfield and Salmon split up and me and Elder Davis got to teach Donnada/ go finding! Me and Elder Davis did what we call "inspired tracting" and we saw great success from that! We knocked on one door right across the street from the church. I had always wanted to knock on this door! And a nice lady answered her name is Darlene Shanefish and she used to be friends with the missionaries of Devils Lake years ago, and knows plenty of Mormons! So she was very excited to talk to us! We left her house and she gave us squash/tomatoes. We were already late to meet Brother Perisho at our apartment and we had to speed walk in the hot weather a quarter mile while the squash and tomatoes were breaking the bag and falling all over the place. We got the vegetables safely to the apartment, dont worry! And we barely caught Brother Perisho at our apartment! We then headed out to Oberon, ND to paint his shed for his three rot whilers he has! They can be pretty intense dogs! If you hold up a ball and say "ready?" one of them will chomp his sharp teeth. He is basically telling you "throw me that ball". It was quite a fun evening and we laughed a lot and had fun! They have a neighbor named Ray who always asks them about the gospel, but will never commit to come to church! So we role played with the Perisho's! We gave them a situation of talking to him and they acted out how they would share the gospel. The next day a great miracle happened! For the first time ever Ray needed a ride to New Town. Brother Perisho works out in the oil fields out there, and was heading out that day! So on the long drive Brother Perisho invited Ray to come to church for third Sunday pot luck! We definitely saw power in the role play, and a wonderful miracle!

     So I am sure you all are wondering about transfers, and what is happening in our area. Well this Saturday we were just going about the usual day when we heard the phone vibrating. It was stuck under our couch so we had to lift a part of the couch to see who was calling us. It was President Anderson! We called him back and he answered promptly. I heard President tell Elder Garfield "There will be a change of assignment for both you, and your companion" which usually means were both getting transferred, or were both going into leadership! He told Elder Garfield he will be transferred to Rugby, ND to train a new Elder from the MTC, and be in a tri-companionship with the District Leader (Elder West) there. After that I heard President say "let me speack with Elder Barber". He told me that my assignment was similar to my companions. He told me that I will be training in Devils Lake, ND!! This came as a shock to both me and my companion. So on Tuesday Octobor 1st (tomorrow) at one I will be driving to Fargo, ND to drop Elder Garfield off, and wait a few hours for my companion to arrive in Fargo. I am very humbled, excited, and extremely nervous to be a trainer on my third transfer out. It can be humbling, and hard to think about, but I know that the Lord qualifies those he calls. And I know he is not setting me up for failure. I plan to help the work progress in this area. I am very humbled that out of all the missionaries to be training the Lord has selected me among the few to train. I am excited to be Senior Companion/Trainer in Devils Lake. I know the Lord is going to help me and help me to grow a lot during this time! I thank you all for the love, and support I have received this week from you all. Please keep me in your prayers at this time! I need them now more than ever! There is an Elder I graduated with coming out this transfer his name is Elder Spencer Rohwer, and it would be cool if I got to train him! But I will have to tell you about my new companion next week! I hope this week is going well for you all I love, and pray for you!

Love, Elder Barber

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Last week of the transfer

Dear Family, and Friends
 
                                      It has been another great week, and we are on the last week of my second transfer! I have almost been out in the field for 12 weeks! My training is almost complete, and at the end of this transfer me or my companion could be anywhere. On Saturday this week we get transfer calls. Me and my companion might just be staying another six weeks together, but we never know! It has been really hard with investigators lately it seems as though some of them are idle in progression or going in reverse. So we have been really stressing the finding lately! It is really funny yesterday we were walking down a sidewalk that had like four people on it. As we continued down the sidewalk two people went in their backyard and two of the others said goodbye real fast and totally got out of the way. The people here tend to already have a strong opinion about us one way or the other. Donnada had to push her baptismal date back we are now thinking in November. Last week on Thursday President and Sister Anderson made a surprise visit in Devils Lake! It was very uplifting to hear from President and Sister Anderson. We had interviews with President, and he gave us both some really good counseling. And we got to talk to Sister Anderson who asked us all bout sickness and what we have for medicine. We also on the same day got a new dresser for the apartment. Well I hate to keep it short but it looks like we are almost out of time here at the library. I was glad to hear about the dog. And I was glad to hear about how moving is coming. I hope Dad enjoys his new job! Not much has really been happening this week! I love you and I hope you all have a great week! I am excited for conference that is coming up!

Love,
Elder Corey Barber

Quin Zone conference

Dear Family,
                 This last week has absolutely flown by out here! It was a pretty good week lesson wise. This week has been also very humbling as well! On Tuesday we had to get up around five thirty in the morning and book it to Grand Forks to arrive there before eight in the morning. It was a really foggy drive the whole way! We picked up Elder Salmon and Elder Davis in Grand Forks and then we headed straight to Fargo for our Quin-Zone Conference! It was really fun to be around the other Elders and Sisters from all over North Dakota and parts of South Dakota! We were very lucky to hear from President Snow of the Seventy. He definitely focused on the Holy Spirit, and how we work with it. He made a very interesting note that stuck out to me. He said that the Holy Ghost is the member of the Godhead who we get closest to. It is very important that we let our investigators realize this, and also less active members. They had a lunch their and the cooks who volunteered to be there were thanked by all the missionaries singing "called to serve". It looks as though Donnada is pushing her baptismal date back a little. She is still not married, and we don't know when that will be yet. I hope I can see her get baptized before I leave this area (whenever that is). Transfer calls are coming next Saturday. So they might be holding your package at the mission home for a little while to ensure it finds me. I will most likely not be transferred, but it is possible! I don't know yet and I wont know for two weeks from today! We got to have dinner with the Story's this week! They have become pretty good friends for us in this area. They have a daughter that is about Peyton's age. They also paint these action figures that go to a board game, and I have to admit they are pretty impressive! We also met with Ernie this week. Ernie is a less-active member who is Philippino! He always has candy in his house, and every time we go over he always gets us a huge bowl of peanut M&M's! He teaches me and my companion a little Tagalog every time we go over! Last time before we left he had us try this Phillipino nut called a Pili Nut. He also insisted that we take the entire box with us. Their kind of good but super funky at first.
                 We had our third Sunday pot-luck yesterday! The reason they have them is because we always get a visitor from the Stake Presidency on the third week. Because they have to drive really far we decide to feed them! I do love how church works here its only two hours and every third Sunday there is a pot luck! And I'm pretty sure Lake Region is the only branch that does it that way. I will admit the mission has been getting slightly harder. It seems like it is really easy to get scared entering some homes, because of the potential situations that could go on! It has definitely opened my mind up to a whole new world that you don't see living in Utah. I never knew what a "broken home" was until I have been out here. And it truly makes you thankful for the normal life you had growing up. Last Saturday was the Devils Lake High School Homecoming so we saw a bunch of people all dressed up over town. For a split second it actually made me miss High School. But the mission is a great place to be! No matter what problem I am facing out here in the field I am thankful for the Ensign article "The Healing Balm of Hope".   I know that if I follow the guidelines in that article, I can become a better missionary. I know that there is always hope for us. No matter how hard the situation is there is always hope. I love you all, and it is amazing to receive your letters! I know that before I can blink out here I will already be in my last area in my last week. I love you all, and I hope you have an amazing week!

Love, Elder Barber

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The weeks fly Faster

Dear Family,
 
                This week has been a pretty slow week. It has been raining like crazy up here! It rains at night and the lightning flashes every two seconds. And it is always great when it rains hard enough and it bangs on our air conditioner hanging in the window. I call them the nightly drum sessions. We are still looking forward to Donnada to be baptized on the twenty first! Elder Garfield has taught me and trained me also on how to play the piano. So I can now officially read sheet music! I can admit I'm still learning how, but I can read the music on the paper and translate it to the piano. Our primary program is in October and we are actually doing a duet with the kids. They want us to sing the second verse of "I am a Child of God" with the little primary that we have. My companion may not be here when that happens. So it might just end up being me having a duet with the little kids. But we will see how transfers will go this time around! As far as winter clothes go I don't necessarily need them right now. But it would be nice if you could send me some wool sweaters so I can hold in the heat when fall rolls around. And you can send me our GPS if you want to it would be really helpful! Also if you have a duffel bag that would be nice as well I am going to need something to carry my workout gear in when being transferred. And the bike trainer collapses so it is easy to lug around.

         This week we had our zone training meeting down in Fargo. It is always crazy when we have to go down to Fargo, because life is just such a fast pace down there! There is actually such thing as a real freeway system and exits. And its a pretty huge city it has more than one hundred thousand in it. But our zone training meeting was great! They are definitely changing how things are ran in our mission! It is all because of the hastening of the work. I also found out that if every member of the church were to convert one non-member person a year by referring them to the missionaries the world would be baptized in nine years! Of course that is thinking really high in the clouds but that is a really cool fact! We also visited Wade and Vonette again! They are just really cool people with lots of sweet stories! Wade used to work at Salt Lake International and load bags for some airline, and he can tell you all kinds of stories about SkyWest and airplanes. We weren't able to contact our referral while down in New Rockford, and we can't get a hold of her. But just right after visiting Wade and Vonette we drove eighty miles to our dinner appointment to Mina and Darryl Johnsons! Mina is one of the best cooks ever! She used to be a professional chef in China so she always cooks us three course meals! It definitely leaves you pretty full after! After our dinner there we went next door to their neighbor Uncle Tom to show us his "hunting lodges". He has like six mini silos and he has converted them into lodges. I took a lot of pictures that I will try and get to you. On our way back from Mina and Darryl's we were hitting frogs like crazy on the highway! At night the frogs come out of the mini lakes we have here and come on the highway. We usually miss most of them, but occasionally you will find one hopping and you here a tiny thud on the wheel.
               In this new Ensign magazine we got I really loved the first presidency message this month. I also found it a funny coincidence that it is on "seasons", and that is what Dad emailed me about. I would encourage you all to go and read it. It is very important for us to be saints all seasons. No matter what life throws at us we must move on with faith in God. Sometimes our season is good and we are living life happily, and others are hard to press through. But we must remember that it is the hard times that build us, and if we press forward through those hard times with great faith our testimonies can grow immensely. I hope all is well at home, and I hope nobody gets hurt while moving from our Kaysville house. I love you all, I am still pressing forward even in this rainy weather. I swear before you know it Devils Lake is going to be underwater.
 
Love, Elder Corey H. Barber  

Friday, September 6, 2013

LaborDay Delay

Dear Family,

                It has been a great week up here and a bit faster of a pace as far as lessons go. This has by far been the most spiritual week of my mission so far! We have an investigator named Patrick who is seventeen and in High School up here in Devils Lake. We have been teaching him and his family for quite some time now! Patrick is a great kid and honestly if I was still in high school and not on a mission he is the kind of kid you would want to hang out with! But we got the inspiration from our branch president to ask Patrick what he thinks of missionary work. He has always been asking us questions like "What did you have to do to be a missionary?" and things like that. So we finally talked to him this last week, and we figured out that he is actually has an interest in serving a mission! And it was a real testimony builder to me that an investigator who is seventeen doesn't just want to get baptized, but he is actually considering serving a mission. This kind of situation is very rare, and doesn't happen very often. But I really hope he can progress and serve a mission, because I know that this kid would be an amazing missionary! I have heard and seen the wonderful pictures of the new house! I don't know what I am planning to do as far as living goes. I would still like to give my homecoming talk in Kaysville if at all possible. But I can definitely support you all moving down there. I feel as though the Lord has been preparing me for this moment, I don't know if I will attend Utah State or go south, but I don't have to worry about that for a while either. I want to apologize for my letter coming a day late! The library was closed yesterday for Labor Day. The new house looks nice, and it has a fence so the dog can stay in the yard. Just make sure there is no way for the dog to escape! The house looks really nice and I can't wait to come see it. We will need to inform the mission office of its new address! I hope that it at least has a community pool. I will miss our house, and the wonderful memories that I will always have there. No matter what Kaysville will always be my home, and very possibly the place where I will live when I am older. Saint George is a very nice community, and it is where God needs Dad at this moment. And I will definitely be staying down there quite often! I know that God had his hand in this decision and I will support it fully! It is amazing to see the hand of God, and as a missionary especially last week I got to witness the hand of God first hand. We got a referral out in New Rockford, and we spared the miles to drive out there. We got out there and found the address of the referral, but nobody answered the door. So we visited this less active couple who are getting older so it is hard to get to church. We stayed there for about an hour and a half maybe longer. The husbands name is Wade, and he later told us that he was prompted to keep us there for as long as he did. He told us that if we were to leave his house when we were going to we would hit a deer on the way home and suffer severe injuries. He then told us that the timeline for that happening had passed and we were now safe to leave. So before heading out of town we headed back over to our referral for one last try. We knocked and got nothing and the car that was once there was now gone. We decided to try the neighbor and had a good talk with the neighbor. But then suddenly the car had pulled back in and we were able to contact our referral. Our referral was very interested and wondering if we would every stop by. We finished the night driving home safely. From this experience I learned that God has his hand in everything and he really did prompt Wade to keep us at his house for that time. It was really cool to see that God has a deep interest in everyone's life and he will help his children at all times and in all places. I know that for some reason God needs Dad down in Saint George. God has been very generous in letting me grow up with such wonderful parents. Where my parents are my home is, and if you are down in St. George then that is where my home is. Even though my hometown will always be Kaysville, my home is in Saint George. I love you all and I can't wait to receive another package! I hope you can send me some Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD's. Anything EFY or upbeat such as Nashville Tribute Band, or Mormon Tabernacle Choir America edition. I would really appreciate the CD of Called to Serve by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I may be purchasing some things in the coming week. I may need to buy a cheep GPS system so I can navigate these plains without getting lost. And I will also need to buy a bike trainer so my cardio can stay up in the winter months. If you want you can send me a cheep GPS or I can possibly buy one here. I love you all and I wish you the best this week. Make sure the dog goes with you to Saint George!

Love,
Elder Barber

Monday, August 26, 2013

One great Baptism

Dear Family

                 It has been a nice week up here in Devils Lake! This week we had to figure out Mina's baptism, and let me tell you it was rather chaotic at times! At the beginning of the week she didn't know her work schedule so her baptism was up in the air for Friday or Saturday. And she told us she wouldn't know for sure until Tuesday! But she eventually figured it out and told us she wanted it on Friday! So we had to emergency call the District Leader out here from Grand Forks to come and interview her super fast! But Mina was baptized on August 23rd by her husband Darryl Johnson. They were married last year on August 28th at the church here in Devils Lake. Darryl is in his 70's, and has been a member for quite some time! He is 70 years old and still gets up on ladders for his painting career in the summer, and gets on snowy roofs to shovel the snow off in the winters for his winter career. But he is a great friend of mine here in the Lake Region Branch! The baptism went well me and Elder Garfield had the musical number again, and we sung "When I am baptized" or in other words "I like to look for rainbows". It was a touching moment for me, because that same song was sung at my baptism by Aunt Marry Ann. I am not sure if my version was quite as pretty as hers but the Branch sure does love their "singing missionaries". We had two investigators at the baptism this week! We had Layel, and Linda Reese. Linda really enjoyed the baptism, and everyone really fellowshipped her well while she was there! I am not to sure if Layel enjoyed the baptism as much, but we are still working with him. This week me and Elder Garfield wanted to eat healthier so we can increase our fitness level. Well of course after making that plan we received night after night dinner appointments. We had dinner with our landlord Jeremy, and his wife Wendy who is from the Philippines. And they fed us a Phillipino meal on Tuesday, that was very good! We went over to Brother and Sister Story's from the branch and we had a fruit dip dinner on Wednesday that was really good! We then went out with Brother and Sister Marshall from the branch to Pizza Ranch on Thursday. Which when we fly back after my mission we might want to stop by Pizza Ranch! And then two nights later on Saturday we had a dinner with Emmy (who is a member) and Layel our investigator. And tonight we are going back out to Oberon with the Perisho's for dinner tonight! You definitely do not have to worry about not eating well here. Our fridge is so full of food I am half considering sending it home to you guys. But we are thankful for those who give us food in the branch they really are amazing people! 

                I love being out on the mission! The spirit can be really strong out here! It seems that every week I am spiritually growing and maturing. I really love the Ensign magazine, and its kind of funny because at home I didn't ever really care to read much out of it. But now that I am a missionary the Ensign is probably the only magazine on Earth that is worth reading (besides those other church magazines). I really love the August Ensign they just sent out, and I definitely loved Henry B. Eyring's message of giving thanks in our prayers. I would definitely invite you to read more from those magazines. I read the story this morning in the back of the Ensign of the mother duck losing her babies in a storm drain. That was actually a pretty powerful lesson. I also liked the article about the ten dollars. I really enjoyed hearing that story about Ruger, and I hope he isn't getting to fat! It sounds like he has grown a lot and I hope he is becoming more obedient, and not chewing things! This week we had a lesson that really seemed to be a spiritual drain. We came back and we had that pit in our stomach of the absence of the Holy Ghost. And my companion shared with me a wonderful scripture that I never knew existed. It is D&C 6:34 it reads "Therefore fear not, little flock; do good; let Earth and Hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail." When I heard that me and my companion thought of those here in Devils Lake who are in the Lake Region Branch. We have around fifty members in our branch, and of course some are less active. It showed me how we are just a "little flock" out here. But then it made me think of the world where there are only fourteen million Latter Day Saints in a world of seven billion people. We are what the Lord calls "little flock" but in that scripture it gives us a wonderful promise. If we are built on the Lords Rock let Hell and Earth combine, and they will not prevail. I know that it can be overwhelming to think about how small we really are compared to the rest of the world. But we have the great power of the priesthood of God on our side, and nothing will ever stop the work or the progression of God, and his church. I love you all and I pray for you all! I hope you can all be strong in a world that seems to grow in wickedness as the days go on. But as that scripture says fear not. I know that I am still working to be built on the rock of the savior, and I hope we can all try and be built on his rock. I love you, and I pray for you all. I definitely miss you but it's crazy that I have been out two months today! I hope you all have a great week and I have enjoyed your letters!

Love Elder Barber 

Monday, August 19, 2013

His trainer and his first area Devils Lake

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A few pictures of leaving, the MTC, and Devils Lake.


One Transfer Down

                    It has been a great week up here in Devils Lake! This week we have actually had some pretty good success. We have been teaching pretty consistently and the work is coming along! I was touched to read Jodie's letter about Grandma, I too know that Grandma was with her through those hard times! I did receive Moms long email and I loved hearing about the new baby and her trip down to Dallas. I did receive the package this week and I received the Credit Card as well as the thank you notes. The thank you notes might take a little while to write to everyone, but slowly and surely they will get to everyone! I did love the Duck Dynasty Band-Aids that Blake sent, and the Davis Darts pajamas those are pretty legit! I loved to read Dad's letter and it sounds to me as though Kaysville is changing. I really cannot stress enough how beautiful Devils Lake is on the morning jogs! This morning I was out on the trail around Ruger Park, and there was a thick morning mist out and every morning when the sun comes over the horizon it is red. It is impossible not to feel the spirit when you are surrounded by that kind of beauty. I don't know if I included in my last letter about Donnada she is now on date for September 21st and she is pushing towards baptism confidently, so I am really excited about that! Donnada has a great interest in our temples. We explained to her last visit how long the Salt Lake Temple took to build and she asked us very enthusiastically "have you seen it"? And to me that was a real humbling experience when I told her that not only have I seen it I have been in it. And it really showed me how much I took the Salt Lake Temple for granted. I grew up seeing the Salt Lake Temple quite frequently, but you have people not only here but probably all over the world who just wish to see it. So I really hope that Donnada can go see the Salt Lake Temple soon, and mostly I hope she can go inside it!

                  We have had plenty of dinner appointments this week with branch members. This week we got to go over to the Marshall's and have dinner. We get to go over there weekly for an amazing dinner. They live right on the shore of Devils Lake, and last time we had some fresh fried Wallai Fish. Devils Lake has some really good Wallai! Luckily for us Sister Marshall is a hair stylist and cut our hair last time we were over there! They are definitely a wonderful family to be around! On Thursday we drove fifty miles North to Cando, North Dakota. Unfortunately we didn't have much luck with appointments out there! But we did have lunch with the Mitchell Family, and also the Branch President had us over for dinner! On Friday the 15th we went to Fargo, North Dakota for a zone training meeting! It was really fun to see some Elders from the MTC, and get to know some Elders and sisters all across our zone! Our zone has a goal for ten baptisms for each month! Which is pretty crazy, but with great faith, hard work, and the Lords help I believe we can do it! On Saturday the 17th we went over to talk to ward members at the primary party they were having. After the party was over me and my companion always like to sing to hymns on the automatic player, and the branch presidents wife then figured out that we could sing. Long story short on Sunday the 18th they assigned us to sing "I'm trying to be like Jesus" with Sister Story in the ward. It actually went over a whole lot better then I thought it would! But then later my companion told the district leader about that, and he told us they are looking for a special music number in the Quin-Zone meeting. So my companion told them I could do a solo at the Quin-Zone meeting in front of a visiting General Authority. Yeah I am still debating if I want to do that or not! I hope all is going well at home, and in all of your lives! I hope Dad's new job is coming along well. And I have loved hearing from Uncle Mark! I am definitely going to try and write him today! I hope the dog is doing well, I was missing him a lot this week. Our Land Lords have a dog in their backyard his name is "Trump" he is a black lab. He is getting warmed up to me finally after six weeks. My companion will still be my companion until our twelve weeks together is up. He has train me for a required twelve weeks. But that is okay because we actually get along pretty good! The morning workouts are coming a long better with running, and I add a push-up a day I am now at forty one push-ups! The Lord has been watching over me, and I am loving the spirit out here in Devils Lake. I still miss you all and I think of Dad every time I see an RJ in Grand Forks or Fargo. I love you all, and I enjoyed the family picture I got and the pictures of the baby! Tomorrow on Tuesday the 20th I will have been out fifty days!  

Love, Elder Barber

Monday, August 12, 2013

A better week on the mission

        Hello family! It was a much better week on the mission! And I love the letters that I got from you all! It was incredible to see the pictures of Jodie and her new baby Jane! I hope that she is doing well, I wish that I could come and see her! But I am certain that you are all giving her great love! This week I had a great experience of going on a companionship exchange down to Grand Forks, ND. I got to be companions with Elder Salmon who went to Layton High, and I think he lived up in East Layton somewhere. We got to teach the great people of Grand Forks, and they were all really nice people. We got to go to dinner in East Grand, Minnesota with the Musgrove family! I really enjoyed my time in Grand Forks! Except when it came time for bed at night, the local speedway had their race that starts every Friday at nine. So of course I got to go to bed to the wonderful sound of NASCAR. But other than that we had a great time there. But of course we drove back to Devils Lake the next day, and it was right back to the work here! This week we were really successful with investigators at sacrament meeting. We set a district goal of 12 investigators at sacrament meeting (which is really high for our district) and we had five alone come to the Lake Region Branch! The Lord has blessed us greatly out here in Devils Lake! This week we have Donnada on date and we are helping her prepare for the 21st of September as her baptismal date! We also have Mina Johnson preparing for her baptismal date coming up on Sunday, August 25th. We have been really blessed! I am learning a lot out here! I am now practicing my teaching skills and Preach My Gospel verbage! Well there is a line here at the Library that is kicking me off so I have to cut this short! I love you all and I can't wait to hear from you next week.

Love,
Elder Barber

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy go take it easy

Dear Family,
           Hello family another week has gone by and we are officially in August! The weeks on a mission really do fly by! I just love coming to the Library every Monday to read everybody's letters they send to me! Well this week was kind of a slow and really hard week. We had pretty high teaching goals and we barely got any lessons in. Me and my companion are very humbled by the numbers on our key indicators this week, and we need to find ways to improve the work in this area. Another reason why this week was really hard was because of the tragedy of Elder Bennett. Elder Bennett arrived at the MTC the same day as me, and I got the wonderful opportunity of becoming a close friend to him. Elder Bennett had a heart condition and we had many scares with him in the MTC, he was a Native from Arizona, and he said the reason the Lord has called me to this mission is to serve those on other reservations. His famous quote was "from reservation to reservation" he was very diligent and no matter what he knew he had to press forward and do the Lords work. It was fast Sunday in the MTC and his blood sugar got low and his heart started acting up, I had to call the paramedics of the MTC to help him. Luckily our President was a doctor and assisted him to fly to Rapid City the next day. Elder Bennett was called to serve in Casper, Wyoming. But on August 3rd around 10:00 P.M I got a call from a district leader explaining to me that Elder Bennett had passed away after going into cardiac arrest on his mission. It was definitely a hard day for me to hear a close friend from the MTC had passed away. But Elder Bennett was a great example to me of bravery, he gave all he had to the Lord and served him to his last minute. I can only imagine the loving and warm welcome the Savior had for this wonderful Elder on the other side. I enjoyed Dads letter about seasons and Elder Bennett is definitely entering into a different season (life), but he is doing missionary work somewhere else now. My thoughts and prayers have gone out to his mother and father these past days for their loss.
 
         Every day I live in this town I find something interesting about it everyday. Me and my companion were walking at this park on the West side of town when this homeless person shouts at us "Messengers of Light". This definitely caught our attention and so we walked up to this man to talk to him. He told us about how he was a part of the Revivalist Church here in town and showed us his T-Shirt that had the words "Revivalist" on it. He then told us "If I had to choose what this shirt said I would have put Thrive to Revive on it" (I think he meant strive to revive). After talking to him for like ten minutes we asked him what his name was (this is where it gets interesting) He told us "Well because I am so close to animals I think Toby would be a good name, but some of my friends call me Simple John, or I guess you could call me Happy go Take it Easy" it definitely gave me a good laugh. So we don't know what this guys name is but I hope to run into our good friend "Happy go Take it Easy" soon. This week I did end up buying a brand new bike in Grand Forks, so I have spent money lately on my card. Also today I think I am going to purchase a hoodie and some sweats the morning runs are getting kind of chilly. I absolutely love running here in the mornings the orange sun is always on the horizon with the morning mist everywhere and it is breathtaking to say the least. I love Devils Lake and I have realized how much I will miss this place when I eventually have to leave it. It definitely is a great little Mayberry town where everybody knows one another. Don't worry mom we usually have to much food in our apartment, and the members are very generous here with Lunch and Dinners. 

       Yesterday we had Mina and Donnada at church. It was really great to see her there, Donnada is definitely an amazing investigator who loves the Gospel, and loves Jesus Christ. I hope everything is okay in Kaysville I wanted to share this article I picked up at District Meeting I repeat this to myself every morning in personal study time. It's called "The Fellowship of the Unashamed" I hope you can print these off and give this to my priest quorum because it is amazing, and increases my faith everyday. I would encourage you all to read it and ponder its words, they have definitely changed my life!

"The  Fellowship of the Unashamed" 
I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down,
or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense & my future is secure. I'm finished and done
with low living, small planning, smooth knees, color-less dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap
giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudists, or popularity.
I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his
presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast,
my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my
mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured,lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch
in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder
at the pool of popularity, or meander in maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed
up, stored up and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and 
work till he stops me. And when he returns for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me, My banner will be clear!  

I love this powerful article and I have really enjoyed reading it. I hope you all are doing well and I pray for you all every day. The mission is stressful and hard. But I know that God hears and answers our prayers, and we are guided by the Holy Ghost. I would encourage you to all help the missionaries find referrals. We depend on the members now more then ever. The progression of this great work is on EVERYONE'S shoulders. We must all remember the words to a great hymn "We are all enlisted til the conflict is over" I hope that every saint becomes a missionary with hastening of this work. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you next week.

Love, Elder Barber