Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year 1-6-14

                                     Happy New Year to you all! I hope you are all having a wonderful New Year! I hope that you all have made some awesome goals this year to bring you and your lives in closer harmony with his teachings. It has been a much better teaching week for us. We got to meet with our investigator Michael. We have discovered some new struggles that he has. So his baptismal date might be pushed back. But he did commit to seek strength from God to overcome his weaknesses. And he is still currently not married to Samantha. So we will be pushing his date back to a more realistic date. We haven't gotten to meet with Donnada for the past few weeks, but we do have an appointment with her tomorrow on Tuesday. We met with an investigator named AJ. We don't really know hsi true interest in the Church. So we will be working on finding that out. We finally got in with an investigator named Michelle and we showed her the restoration video and she said that truly helped her put Joseph Smith into a visual aspect. She told us that she believes God could call another Prophet to the Earth. So those are the successes we have had this week! We went to District Meeting this past week, we were blessed to have the Zone Leaders from Fargo attend. They were there to come on exchanges with me and Elder Anderson. I gave a training on how we as missionaries can find service opportunities. I mainly focused on finding those "un-planned" opportunities. For example helping an old lady you see put groceries away. The training and the role play definitely went well. And afterwards I had the opportunity to do a baptismal interview for an investigator for Elder Cloward and Elder Pawlenchuk in Grand Forks. He was a pretty solid and very smart investigator so of course he passed the interview. It was a really cool experience for me. Afterwards we got a call from our Branch Mission Leader warning us to stay in Grand Forks for the night. He told us that there was a terrible blizzard blowing in. But for our exchange we still headed back to Devils Lake. It was pretty scary you can only see the highway reflectors to guide you in some parts. But we made it safely home. We definitely will be more safe next time a blizzard comes through, I can promise you that!
It was also cool to learn how to be a better district leader from our Zone Leaders and get pointers and tips!
                                    Yesterday temperatures hit -55 with windchill. Obviously we stayed inside due to cold temperatures. We did walk across the street to Peter and Cindy's house just to get out of the apartment. It was so cold that your face was numb by the time you were across the street. But we had dinner with them that night and visited. Cindy got a call telling her to look at the Co-Op Bean Plant (which is the street just West of us.) We all went to the window and the Bean Plant had spiraling flames shooting out of it. So of course an event that big in Devils Lake attracts the whole entire town. We all went outside and took pictures. You could see it outside our bedroom window. So whenever I would wake up in the night I would sit up and look out the window to see if it was still blazing. It burnt until like four A.M. It is still smoking right now but you can tell it burnt the whole thing. And they shut down College Drive (the main highway that runs North.) So now 3rd Ave. NE is the new highway detour. So our boring little street is now a crazy highway. I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Love Elder Barber

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Have a Happy New Year with New Beginnings 12-30-13

Dear Family and Friends,
                                  We had a great Christmas up here in Devils Lake! It was great to see all of your faces and to talk to each one of you! It was definitely a good rejuvenation for me to talk to all of you! I miss each one of you very much. But I know that my time out in the field is being shortened. This last week I got to burn a tie the day after Christmas! I have officially been out for six months! And I think if that quarter of my mission went by that fast, I fear how fast it is going to go by once the work gets moving into the New Year! It is really weird it feels like it was an eternity ago that I was at the MTC being dropped off. And now I am six months out and it doesn't feel that long. So the mission time is slow but fast at the same time! It is crazy that at the end of tomorrow we will be beginning a new year and leaving an old year. This week was pretty slow with teaching lessons. We only taught one lesson due to the holiday and everybody being busy! We did get to teach Joyce who is a new investigator. If I remember right I have a written about her before. We had another lesson with her and showed her the restoration movie. It really helped put a lot of things in perspective for her. Our next lesson we will be bringing Sister Mitchell to fellowship her! And we are really excited about that! Me and Elder Anderson are now working on gaining the members trust in this area. We spent the rest of Christmas driving around trying to get a hold of less active members in the far away towns. This was an assignment given to us by our Branch President Christensen. It was really fun to drive around and try these people (even though we didn't get in with any of them). But I feel like we are now using the Branch better to help us with this area and our investigators. 
                                  It is exciting that 2014 will be here before the end of the week. I know that new years resolutions are something that almost everyone makes, but forgets. I think we should re-name new years resolutions as "The first two weeks of the year resolutions". But I hope that we all can make one change in our lives this new years. I hope that we can all resolve to make the Savior Jesus Christ the center of our new year. And by doing this I hope we can become more bold with those around us. To share the gospel with those who need it. To have a love for everyone around us, and help as many people as we can. I know that as each and every one of us are to center this next year on our Savior we will feel his love. It will strengthen our testimonies along with the testimonies of those around us. We all can make this the best year of our lives! I hope you all are doing well this week! I love you all and stay strong!

Love, Elder Barber