Monday, September 30, 2013

A new transfer and a new beginning

Corey Barber
to meConco
10 hours ago
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!

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!

Elder Barber