Monday, March 16, 2015

Warming up. 3-16-15

Dear family and friends,
                  Thank you for all of your letters this week! It has been really WARM this past week! One day got up to the high 50's! It was awesome! We drove with the windows down for a good majority of the week! The Lord is truly blessing us! We also had an excellent exchange with the Assistants this week! I got to go with Elder Tidwell for the whole day! He is the missionary in Ron and Annes ward! I love that missionary! I think he is a really down to earth assistant. I feel like with being out for 20 months I have fallen into a "routine" which means I am getting really used to doing missionary life. Which is a good thing, but getting into a routine can also allow for me to get too comfortable and lose certain skills I once had. But going on exchanges with Elder Tidwell helped me learn how to talk with everyone, and be very diligent! I loved it! I felt like it was a turning point for me in my last three months! It really motivated me to push to the end of my mission. I only have a short time left to preach the gospel. And I don't want to get burned out. I am so thankful that my last winter is closing before my eyes. I HATE cold weather! So I am thankful to see springtime and rain and grass again! This week we went out to Crookston, MN which is a part of our area and we put Angel on Date for April 11th. The Crookston Elder were teaching him, but then they took missionaries out of Crookston. So we are stoked to have Angel on date! He is amazingly prepared for the gospel. A lot of the things he says is so in line with the gospel. It is crazy to talk with him, because it is as though he already knows this and already believes it. It just goes to show that the Lord prepares people in his own time and in his own way. I am really going to miss Grand Forks! I have a lot of awesome friends here! Brother Mackillop being one of them. He is an awesome Texan guy who wants me to fly down to Dallas this summer to visit him. I told him the only way I will do that is if he drives me up to OKC to fly home. But he is an awesome guy. Yesterday we had a barbeque at the Englemans (Bens) and we were there with the Hale family. We had some good steaks! We had strawberry shortcake for dessert. And one of the little girls didn't even touch hers and left it on the table. So Elder Smith was debating just eating it, and Brother Mackillop talked him into it. And as soon as Elder Smith picked it up and started eating it the little girl walked back in. So he had to go around the corner and scarf it down. The little girl was like "Where's my pie?" Brother Mackillop and I were dying of laughter because of the irony of this situation. It is good memory's like that you can't find anywhere else. Well I love you all! And I thank you for your support! It means a lot and has carried me through my mission! Have an awesome week! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A great ZTM. 3-9-15

Dear family and friends,
                  Thank you for all of your wonderful emails! We had such an awesome week! Not too much has happened since I last wrote you. We had an awesome Zone Training Meeting! Sister Woodbury gave an awesome training on Gratitude! Hearing that training for the second time has really blessed my prayers. I am now saying "Thank you" in my prayers a lot more. I remember at Missionary Leadership Council Sister Anderson gave a powerful training on Gratitude and that really touched me. She shared an experience with us of how she was trying to be more thankful in her prayers, and really striving for gratitude. Shortly after she began being grateful in her prayers her and President Anderson welcomed a new grand daughter in their family. She expressed to Heavenly Father how thankful she was that the baby was safe and healthy. She then got a text a few hours later from her son explaining that their new daughter was diagnosed with signs of down syndrome. Sister Anderson explained how this broke her heart. She began to have feelings of "no this can't be right, the doctors have made a mistake." She then turned to Heavenly Father in prayer. And in this prayer she felt prompted to show gratitude and be thankful that the baby was alive and well. And that is when she began to have more love and appreciation for the situation her family was in. She expressed thankfulness to Heavenly Father for the family that surrounded the baby to take care of it. She also expressed her thanks to the relief society for bringing meals over to the family. Even in our hardest circumstances always show thanks. We had a very powerful training on the new #becausehelives initiative the church is coming out with on March 28th. At the end we had a powerful testimony meeting. We announced at the end of our meeting that we would be watching the because of him video, and at the end of the video the floor is open to anyone who desired to share their testimony of the Risen Savior. The video brought an amazing spirit. The room was so silent and the spirit was so strong you could hear a pin drop. It was awesome and the testimonies were so powerful. It increased my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives! I love this time of year where we celebrate his resurrection. I absolutely love the testimony of that Joseph Smith gave in D&C 76:22. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, thisis the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! I can add my testimony to theirs that I know the Savior Jesus Christ lives. And he cares about us, and he wants us home. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Barber 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Because He Lives. 3-5-15

Dear family and friends,
                 I am thankful to be writing you on this day! I know it has been a little while since the last time I wrote. We had such a great week! I got to go on exchanges with Elder Adair who is serving in Cass Lake, MN. That was an awesome time! I got to meet a very awesome Sister who was in there ward. She is about 75 years old, and deaf. But she can talk to you like a normal person, and it sounds normal! I was blown away by her Family History. We were going to share a message of Family History with her, but it turns out she has about 1,167 names reserved to go to the temple. If there is anyone that needs to be taught it is me! She has so many names that the temple has told her to send them 100 names a month. We had an awesome M.L.C trip! Sister Woodbury is our new Sister Training Leader so it was really cool to get to know her for the whole 18 hours we were confined in our truck. But it was really good! We got to go to Mount Rushmore! I have awesome pictures, but they will have to wait until Monday when I can get the right flash drive. We had a great training on the #becausehelives initiative. I am getting really excited for this. The video itself comes out on March 28th! So it might be difficult to actually use in proselyting until then. But we are very excited. I am thankful to be living in a day and age where the Church has such a position in the social media. I have loved all of the videos that they have produced! The spirit is always the strongest. And the cool thing about this initiative is it is intended that it goes past Easter! It will be ALL year long. I am excited to see the miracles it will bring! It is hard for me to believe that Easter is coming up along with General Conference! I am so excited to hear from a living Prophet who testifies of the Savior Jesus Christ! I love you all and I hope you have an excellent week!

Elder Barber

Monday, March 2, 2015

A great baptism 2-23-15

Dear family and friends,
                 What an awesome start we have had to the transfer! I am sorry I am emailing you all so late. We had President and Sister Anderson in town. They met us at the church around 11:30 to conduct interviews. I had a great interview with President Anderson. Probably the best one I have ever had! It was awesome! This week we have started a new transfer! And week 1 is already in the books! I was able to go on exchanges with Lake Region this week! Elder Autrey is the new District Leader, and I have never before been on exchanges with him. It was a great time! I told the people in Devils Lake that it would probably be the last time they see me until July. Which to them doesn't seem too long! Elder Cook is also serving out there (he came out with Elder Smith and I). He was told by President his main objective is to get Donnada baptized. I hope that comes true. There is not too much work out there so I am not sure how much longer the area will be open. So we need to get Donnada in the gates of baptism before the area closes. I will do what I can, but it's not my area anymore. On Saturday we were able to see Johnathan baptized! It was a great baptism! Johnathan's father is a convert of about 10 years. And he did an awesome job with getting all the words correct! It was really cool to see! Elder Smith and Elder Cook taught Randall while I was in Devils Lake, and he committed to live the word of wisdom. We followed up with him on Sunday to see if he had been living the Word of Wisdom. And it sounds like he has kicked coffee and is living it! So it is really awesome! Randall is on date for March 21st! And at this pace he is looking like he will hit it! That will be one of my last weeks here! We look forward to Missionary Leadership Council next week in Rapid City! This will most likely be my last one while serving here in Grand Forks. It has been awesome! But I loo forward to next week! President told me at the end of my interview that the assistants want to take all the Zone Leaders to Mount Rushmore for our P-Day activity. Since the mission home will be swapping to Bismarck, North Dakota in April I wont get a chance to go to Mount Rushmore with President at the end of my mission. So he is giving us the opportunity now. I don't think it will have the same feeling, but it will still be cool to say I did it! SO this means next week I probably wont be writing until Thursday! But I want you all to know I love you, and I thank you so much for writing me every week! I love the encouragement and the support you all give to me! It means a lot! I love you all, and have a great week!

Elder Barber