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