Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Love, Elder Barber
Dear family and friends,What a wonderful week we had last week! We were able to prepare Janessa for her baptism. She was excited all the way to the day of Saturday! And on Saturday we were blessed to see her enter into the waters of baptism. It was a very spiritual experience! I was then able to confirm Janessa in sacrament meeting in the Casper 5th ward on Sunday. I will never forget the wonderful experiences I had in the Casper 5th ward. I had a lot of great memories serving in the 5th ward. I loved serving with the member. I loved the investigators and the less actives I served with. But like all great things they have to end. On Saturday I was anticipating a call from the Assistants. As we were about to head out to go try some less actives I received a call from the assistant to the President Elder Kirton. We had a little bit of small talk about the District meeting of mine that he attended. He told me that on behalf of President Anderson he wanted to thank me for the hard work I had put into the District and the area. I then asked him the exciting question of "Well, where am I going?" He told me I would be serving in the Grand Forks Second Ward. My jaw almost hit the floor with shock and extreme excitement. I have been longing to come back to the Devils Lake/Grand Forks area for a long time. He told me I will be serving as a Zone Leader, and opening up the Grand Forks Zone!! He then told me my companion would be Elder Cannon. Elder Cannon and I served here this time last year when I was in Devils Lake. He was my District Leader in Grand Forks for two transfers and then I became a District Leader following him. When I heard it was Elder Cannon I might have caused Elder Kirton to lose his hearing. As I said goodbye to all those in Casper it still wasn't easy. But when I got on that train I was more stoked than I have ever been! I got to ride with my favorite Zone Leader Elder Parrish pretty much the whole way. He was my Zone Leader for a total of 9 transfers. Which is a year in the mission field. It was like saying goodbye to a best friend you know you wont see for 8 months! It was very hard. But Elder Cannon and I were together all the way from Rapid City to Grand Forks. As we both pulled into this familiar area it was fun to see all the billboards we recognized all the stores. I got to see the Devils Lake Highway sign which excited me to get out there some day. But we got here and it turns out the Elders who have the super nice apartment with two bathrooms want to be placed in another apartment closer to their area. So we get the super nice apartment! But for now were sharing the super nice apartment and sleeping on the rock hard floor. We are now very motivated to find them a new apartment. There are a lot of things I would rather do than sleep on that rock hard floor again. But I will probably have to spend the night on it tonight. On the transfer van I was talking to an Elder who had served in Devils Lake after me and he said Donnada might be getting baptized here pretty soon. Bruce is getting close to marrying her! So you can almost guarantee I will be there! Even if I have to walk the 90 miles to Devils Lake. I am excited to serve here as a Zone Leader. Elder Kirton told us we were making history by opening up this zone, and I believe him. We got a lot of things to do to get this organized but Elder Cannon is an awesome Leader and I have learned well from the Zone Leaders my whole mission. I am also excited to be travelling to Rapid City once a month for Missionary Leadership Conference (MLC). Well I hope all is well at home! I am sorry I had to leave you hanging a few days! Just know that I'm doing fine, and I'm back in my beloved area of North Eastern North Dakota. I love you all have a great week!
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Dear family and friends,This has been a great week! And luckily for us we have not had any more snow! We actually have had some really great temperatures! This week we were able to meet with Janessa a few times. Before our first visit with her Elder Bench and I both felt that we should push her date back a little ways. So when we sat down with her she told us that she wont be able to be baptized this week because she was going to be out of town. We also told her that she needs to be living the Word of Wisdom, and the law of Chastity. She also had a tragedy happen in her life this week. We were able to give her a priesthood blessing, and I was the one who performed the blessing. It was absolutely amazing. It was one of those blessings where you didn't know where the words were coming from, but when it was over it was hard to have dry eyes. It really built my testimony in Priesthood blessings. We had an awesome success meeting with Monty a couple times this week! He is still struggling with the Word of Wisdom. We taught him about tithing this past week. It is really funny trying to teach Monty because you can get so side tracked so fast! We were teaching about tithing and next thing we know he's bringing out his bow and arrow to show us. So it is hard to keep him on task, but we will find a way I'm sure. I was on exchanges with Elder Black on Thursday in our area, and we didn't have a dinner appointment. Which for Casper is quite a shocker. A thought came to me to go ask Ronald for a dinner appointment, but also commit him to invite his neighbor Rose to dinner. So we acted on it as soon as we could. Ronald accepted having us over for Dinner, and he also accepted the commitment to invite Rose. He invited her and she accepted! It was awesome just to fellowship her for the evening. We were able to share a message with her about having Faith in Jesus Christ. It was awesome! Though she isn't investigating she now knows that we worship Christ and he is the Center of our Religion. We had great support from our members this past week! We taught nine member present lessons!! It was an awesome week! Well that is about all for this week! I hope you all have a great week!
Love, Elder Barber
Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for all of your letters this week! It has been a great week out here! This week I got to go on exchanges with Elder Nixon who is from St. George. He lives on the opposite side of town kind of by the In-N-Out Burger. He is an awesome Elder to be with! We had a lot of fun on that exchange. He wants to make a list of fun things to do when he gets back! He is awesome! When I was on exchanges with Elder Nixon we got to teach Janessa. She reported to us that she had relapsed into smoking and drinking tea due to some stress she was going through. But she said she is done, and I believe she is still clean! So that is good. It is fun to see how excited she is! When Elder Bench and I were teaching her this week I was called upon to say the opening prayer. In this prayer I asked Heavenly Father to help Janessa to prepare for her baptismal date. When I said the word "Baptismal date" she kind of squealed for excitement, and tried to contain her excitement. It's amazing to see her excitement for this baptism! And we are excited as well we just got to help her stay clean this week and forever after that! We got to teach Monty this week, and we committed him to watch conference! And he kept that commitment so he is progressing along! This week in Conference we as a zone were challenged to ponder the question "How can I contribute to the zone to help it be more unified?" As I pondered this question the talk "Know where we face" (given by Elder Lynn G. Robbins at the Saturday Morning Session) stuck out to me! I had to ask myself "Do I know where I face as a missionary?" I could think through some things that I did well, and also that I need to work on. I hope we all can ask ourselves the question of "Do I know where I face?" Some questions to ponder could be "When I have an opportunity to share the gospel, do I do it? " "Do I reach out and help others in need?" These questions can help us know where we face in life, and whose side we stand on. It is crazy to think that it has been two years since that lowering of the age for missionaries. The world has been affected for good because of that announcement. When that announcement was made I started telling everybody "before the conference the mission seemed off in the distance, and now I am staring down the barrel over night." And now here I am two years later and I am staring down the barrel of coming home. Sure it wont happen for 8 1/2 months. But the time is slowly trickling away from me. It is weird to think that by next General Conference how little of time I will have. But for right now I need to know where I face and keep serving. I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!
Love, Elder Barber