Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful Hearts 11-25-13

Corey Barber
to meConcoGavin, +3
19 hours ago
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.

Elder Barber