Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 end. 12-29-14

Corey Barber
to me, Conco
0 minutes ago
Dear family and friends,
               I hope all of you are doing great! It was such a great Christmas that we had in Grand Forks! It was so good to give phone calls home to family! It was awesome to speak with you all, and hear and see you! This Christmas season was probably one of the greatest Christmas seasons I have had. I would say I came closer to the real purpose of Christmas this season than any other. I can attribute that to sharing he is the gift with everyone! What a great spirit that video brought into my life this Christmas! I feel like I remembered my savior more, and it brought a sacredness to this Holiday. One of my favorite moments of Christmas this year was giving. We have a Recent Convert in the ward named Lewis but he goes by Lew. He always brings happiness to those that speak with him. Something about him causes you to smile, and you don't know why. A few weeks before Christmas I remember the idea came to me that we should give Lew a Christmas gift this season. As I pondered on the thought of what we could give I remember thinking that he could use some nice new Sunday clothes. He usually came in a Carhartt and a T-Shirt on underneath. I presented the idea to Elder Cannon and he thought it would be a great idea. We called the Sisters in our ward and presented the idea to them and one of them had a similar impression and thought. And they said they would contribute. So our next mission was to find out his sizes. We went to the ward dinner party that night and started our investigation. We sparked conversations with Lew that night that always somehow led to his waste or shoe size. I remember one conversation that I started with him was the chaos of Christmas shopping. I told him that something that was never fun was going and getting your neck size measured at JC Penny's. I then asked him what's your neck size? And this is how we coordinated all of his sizes. The good thing is is that he never caught on. You could tell that around the Holidays he didn't have too much interaction with his family which caused him to act sad in a way and not his happy self. But I remember when he learned that we were coming over he was happy. And when we showed up he was beaming. Elder Cannon and I had wrapped presents in our arms. As he opened them he was stunned and touched that we would think of him, and that we would buy him such nice clothes. He especially loved the brand new Perry Ellis shoes that Elder Cannon's mom had chipped in for. And he really loved the ties donated to him from Ward Members and us. It was a great Christmas Present that we were able to give. You could tell that this moment alone brightened his Christmas. Lew was looking great on Sunday in all of his brand new church clothes! 
              This has been such a great year. I remember at the beginning of 2014 I called it the year of the Lord. Because that would be the full year I would give to the Lord in my life. At the beginning of the year I watched the small and new area of Devils Lake turn into a work booming town. Where Tanner and Deanna would be baptized just a couple months after I left. I was able to spend the majority of this year in the amazingly missionary oriented Casper 5th ward. And we saw much success in that ward with 11 baptisms from February to October on our area. And now I am here in Grand Forks with Elder Cannon. And the work has been great! All in all you could say 2014 was a great year! I am excited to ring in 2015 as well. I know that it brings great things! I am excited to see what the rest of my mission brings! And I am also excited to eventually see all of you at home half way through this year! I am thankful to have spent 2014 as a missionary! And I am excited to give it my all in 2015! Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Corey Barber

Sunday, December 28, 2014

the First Noel 12-22-14

Dear family and friends,
                  Thank you for all of your great emails! We have had a great week! We have seen a lot of successes of sharing he is the gift! Elder Pope and I used that on exchanges and we found two new investigators by showing he is the gift! Something I have noticed about that great video is it brings the spirit. You can always ask someone "how did you feel as you watched that video?" and they will always reply something along the lines of peace, happiness, joy. Which are evident feelings that only the spirit of God can give to us. When I was on exchanges in Bagley, MN this past week we were able to use the he is the gift initiative and find a new investigator with it! My testimony of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ has grown so much this Christmas season. We had a great special musical number in Sacrament Meeting this week. Elder Havens, Elder Lee, Elder Cannon, Elder Pope, and I sung "We three kings of orient." I was glad it went so well! Also Matt came to church! Apparently his pastor didn't go too hard on him. And we will be meeting with him on Tuesday. So that is all good signs! We met with Johnathan. He is the unbaptized child of record. We still haven't set a date with him yet. They don't know when the grandparents will be flying in to see the baptism. And they want the grandparents to be in attendance at the baptism. But they assume they will be here in February. Which is a long time a way for a baptismal date. But that's okay! As long as he gets baptized that's all that matters! 
                 I am so thankful for this time of year. Any missionary will tell you this is the greatest time to be a missionary! People are nice! And they are all in remembrance of the Savior Jesus Christ. Recently I have been really happy whenever I see a nativity. Before my mission a nativity was just a nativity set. But now every time I see a nativity I think to myself "he is the gift." I am so thankful for the Savior Jesus Christ, and I rejoice that he came! I am thankful for his atoning sacrifice. I know that that is truly the gift of Christmas. I am thankful we all can become clean from sin, and have potential to live with God again. I am thankful for the Gift of the restored gospel in these latter days. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon. Recently I have been reading that in depth. What an awesome message it contains. I know that this Christmas season as we read the Book of Mormon we can come closer to the Savior. I hope this Christmas season is a great one! I wish you all a Merry Christmas this week with safe travels! I love you all! And Merry Christmas!!

Love, Elder Barber 

Warming Up 12-15-14

Dear family and friends,
                      How are you all doing this week?! I can tell you that it has been another great week! And it has been so warm! Today not so much! But we were in the 40s for two days!! I will not shed one tear if it stays like this all of winter! I do wish we had a white Christmas coming our way. But the snow here just tends to melt or get blown away by the wind. But that's okay! Who needs snow? Or cold weather? I was able to go on exchanges on Wednesday with Elder Eastin out to Devils Lake. This time I had more time than just an hour! It was good to work the area again! And since Elder Eastin and Elder Autrey are both new missionaries to the area it was cool to show them around and introduce them to people I was working with when I was in the area! We had a lot of fun visiting members and old investigators. I didn't see Donnada or Bruce. But it was still fun to be back in the old apartment, sleeping on my old bed. Well this week we have been getting more referrals than we usually do. We taught this African family from Cameroon. Lets just say it was rather a hectic lesson. And we brought a recent convert to it. I felt terrible. I wish I could tell you they were trying to argue with us, but none of the scriptures they were throwing at us made any sense. For example: We were teaching the Gospel blesses families, and one of them would pipe up and say "but the bible says this and Jesus says blessed are they that are humble for they will inherit the kingdom of god!" And next thing you know their arguing same sex marriage out of the bible. And we couldn't figure out how it got there. If I could show you a near perfect example of a scale 10 crazy lesson it would have been that one. To say the least our referral dropped us because "we had different beliefs" even though nothing they brought up in the Bible contradicted a thing we said. Their biggest upset was the Book of Mormon. No matter how simply we said it they could not piece it together in their minds. This may have also been due to the language barrier. We were able to teach our investigator Matt. We have been teaching him a while. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and we brought over Brother Kay with us. He bore a powerful testimony and it was awesome! But Matt said he wanted to talk with his pastor before coming to our church. That usually doesn't go too well. But we will see what happens. We have two exchanges we are going on this week! Tonight I will be with Elder Pope in Grand Forks. And on Wednesday I will be in Bagley, Minnesota with Elder Docking. So we got a nice busy week and I'm sure it is going to fly by! It amazes me how fast the time is going by! I am loving the mission! Well I hope you all are doing well, and I hope you have a great week! I love you all! 

Love, Elder Barber 

Nativity scene 12-8-14

Here is our live nativity scene! I am the one in the purple with the crown. Elder Cannon is the one in Gold and Red. 

Mission lead ship conference 12-3-14

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Cannon <>
Date: Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Subject: pics

These are pictures from MLC in Rapid City! 

3 attachments

Busy week 12-8-14

Dear Family and Friends,
                   Well it feels like just yesterday I was emailing you, and now here I am! It feels good to be having a normal Preparation Day this week! I believe last email I wrote you all about Missionary Leadership Council down in Rapid City! Now I need to fill you in on the Zone Training Meeting we had. It was all centered on "He is the Gift." It went really well! We trained on the website! And how they can get members involved in sharing the message! At the end of the meeting we had these tea light candles and everyone got one and we had to state why he is the gift to us. As we stated and bore testimony of this we lit our candle. And the Whole room voluntarily shared why he was the gift to them. As everyone shared the room became bright. This represented us carrying this message to fill our areas with light. We then sang Silent night for our closing hymn in candlelight. It was a very powerful meeting! The missionaries all seemed to be extremely excited to go and share this with the world! Following our meeting our ward had a party with a live nativity! It had a live cow, and a real looking manger with goats in it. The members all volunteered to play the roles. Elder Cannon and I got to play the role of 2 of the three wise men at one point! We had to stand there for thirty minutes. Luckily for us it was a pretty warm night! We also had a display of he is the gift in the other room and had pass along cards for members to take. On Saturday we got a new investigator! His name is John. His parents are active members of the church but he is an un-baptized child of record. So we will be working with him which is really exciting! His baptism should be in late January sometime. It all depends on when his family will come to see his baptism. But were hoping for late January! Well that is about all for the week! I am doing pretty well out here! And it has been an amazinly warm winter for up here which I am grateful for! It has been a treat so far! I am looking forward to speaking with you all soon! I hope you all have a great week! I love you!

Love, Elder Barber   

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The gift 12-3-14

Dear Family and friends,
                   Hello! I hope you are all having a great week! I know this is a little different than the usual Monday email. But I have a quick hour to email you all today! We have had a busy week this past week! We had a great miracle given to us by the Grace of God. We were out trying unbaptized child of records. When we past by a potentials home that we have tried many times and been un-successful each time. All the cars were home that they told us to look for so we stopped in to try them. Their names are Jana and Lee. Lee came to the door and we told him we would like to come in and share a Christmas message with him. He asked us how long it would take. We told him about 10-15 minutes. He told us we could come in for 15 minutes and share it with his family before they started their movie. We got in with them and shared with them He is the Gift. The new initiative the Church is producing this Holiday season. The short three minute clip brought the spirit into their home. As we sat and talked with them after Jana and Lee don't really have a church they are committed to. They go to the Lutheran church because it is across the street from their home. But as we explained how the gospel could bless their family you could tell the spirit touched their hearts. They both have concerns for how the world is turning out, and how it will affect their children. We promised them the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way. It is awesome we are actually meeting with them tonight! We have faith that it will go well! On Sunday Elder Cannon, Sister Eaton and I packed up the Jeep and drove all the way from Grand Forks to Dickinson, North Dakota. That took up the space from 3 P.M to 8. And then we all got back in the Car and made our voyage to Rapid City. It was a really fun, and long drive. The culture of people is really different out here. We were just outside of the town of Bowman, North Dakota. When we drove past a guy who was doing a wall sit on the side of his car with his pants around his ankles. I couldn't believe my eyes. People out here get weird when the cold weather comes. But it sure made for a good memory and a terrible visual. We got to Rapid City and since it was P-day we all got to go out to this outdoor skating rink in downtown Rapid City. That was a lot of fun! It was fun to be with the Zone Leaders I did know (which is a lot of them.) We went back up to the mission home after some basketball at the Church. It was sure nice to have a second thanksgiving provided by Sister Anderson and one of their ward relief society sisters. We then discussed successes and concerns of our Zones. Mainly we just talked about goal setting. We got to spend the night in the mission home! And then we had a presentation given by the Assistants to the President on "He is the Gift." We discussed He is the Gift. And ultimately how we can share the gift, and help members to share the Gift. Just from visiting with Jana and Lee and showing he is the gift I have a firm testimony of it. I know the sweet spirit that video brings into our lives, and the hearts it can touch. Last year the Church made a goal of sharing the Gospel with one person before Christmas. I know that it will be such a great Gift to the savior this year as we share the gift with others. The way we can do that is by posting that video on Facebook or any other social media and bearing our testimony of the Savior and how he has been a gift in our lives. This Christmas season let us reflect on the savior Jesus Christ. Let us not only reflect on that babe in a manger. But what that baby became. Which is our savior, our redeemer. The very man who atoned for our sins so that we may have everlasting life. I hope you all experience the spirit as you discover the Gift, embrace the Gift, and Share the Gift this Christmas season. I hope you all have an excellent week, and a safe Christmas season!

Love, Elder Barber

P.S Below is a link to He is the Gift.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Frozen but thankful. 11-24-14

Dear family and friends,
                 It is that wonderful time of year again! The time where the Nation comes together, and realizes the things that they are thankful for. I know one thing that I am thankful for is to have a great family at home who supports me. I am thankful for the missionary work world wide that is taking place. I am thankful for the churches growth in my area, and also the world. I am thankful to be a missionary. I am thankful for all of the things that I have learned in the field. I am thankful for the next 7 1/2 months I still have to be a missionary. I am also thankful that I will have the privilege of returning and seeing you all once more. There are many things to be thankful for every day. This week was a slower week. The work is getting a bit more difficult with Winter coming into play. It is also more difficult because we are currently trying our hardest to find this upcoming week. It is hard to find up in North Dakota. There are a lot of great religious people here. But not many of them care to hear the message. So it was one of those weeks where we knocked a lot of doors and not too much has come from it. But we do have some people that have told us we can come back! We were able to get a new investigator his name is Bob! He is an older man, but a super nice man! When we offered him a copy of The Book of Mormon he said "I gladly accept." So we are very excited to teach him! We also just experienced transfer calls. This week in weekly planning I had a very tender yet weird moment. In the front of your missionary daily planner you put the months the transfer will go through. I put 11/14 and the ending will be in 1/15. It made this whole mission feel like she was slowly but quickly getting closer to the end. By the end of this transfer I will have a little under 6 months to go. I hope at the end of this transfer I can hang on to Elder Cannon for one more. He goes home in the middle of February. So if he stays at the end of this one he gets to end his mission in Grand Forks. And that means I will be a Zone Leader up here until my last transfer. And I will probably just go to Rapid City to end the mission. This very day my trainer is home! He and the missionaries such as Elder Parrish flew home today to be with there families for the Holidays. It is weird to think he is home. When I came out he seemed to me to be a younger missionary. As I watch my friends I knew at the beginning of my mission go home each transfer. It makes me want to keep pushing to the end. I am doing well up here. It has been a pretty warm winter so far! This time last year the temperature was dwelling in the negatives! So I am thankful we are still in the 30's! Well I hope you all enjoy your wonderful Holiday this week! Just know that I am thankful for you all this year. I am thankful for the examples you all have been to me! I hope the Lord touches all of your hearts as you list the things you are thankful for this year! I love you all, and have a great week!

Love, Elder Barber