Monday, July 2, 2012
Welp, I finally ended up in Managua. The one place i never wanted to serve...but guess what---I LOVE IT! It is such a challenge because EVERYONE has already heard about the church and all have prejudices to the members.. so in contacts we have like 30 seconds to change their perspective. My companions name is Hermana Aragòn. She has 4 months in the mission. She is from Guatemala and shes super sweet. She supports me in all my crazy ideas- i feel like i can do anything! (except slack off) haha. We have been contacting and trying to find families like crazy. Something wierd for me is that we are the only sisters in Managua. In all of my other zones there was at least 2 other companionships of sisters. But here its just us too with a load full of elders.They are so funny! and super competive. This last week we had a competition in the zone to see who could contact the most families and the ZLs would pay the cyber on monday for those who won---The ZLs are paying for my cyber today. fwa hahaha we won! Yesterday we had 5 investigators in church. it was great! No families though...we will be working this week to lograr eso.
We are going to have a baptism this saturday! His name is Julio. He has been taught for a while now but he never wanted to take the commitment. But last sunday his dad passed away. We went to his funeral on monday and set up an appointment for thursday. That appointment was so great! The spirit was really strong and I felt very strongly impressed to give him the batismal challenge. He accepted no problems, came to church sunday and to noche de hermanamiento and he is going to get baptized on saturday! It is so amazing to see how The Lord prepares people!
We had another really cool story in a guy named Michael. He will be getting baptized soon, Im not positive when though. We were contacting in Las Torres (a more dangerous part of our area) DURING THE DAY (so its not as dangerous) and a lady called us over to her. So we went over cuz it was a lady with a baby (what is she going to do?) and she told us she was a member and her husband is not. So we taught her and her husband, Greyner. Super wierd name right? Anyways we went back 2 days later and Greyner`s brother Michael was there. He started asking us questions about the church and we taught lesson one and then when it was over he shared an experience with us. Greyner and Michael dont know their father and when Michael was 12 and Greyner was like 8 their drunk mom abandoned them. So Michael was left to fend for his little brother (and he has a little sister too). He said at first it was really hard and one particularly hard day 2 guys came to his house in White shirts and ties. He said They prayed and sang with them and helped him to feel better, like there was hope. He said he felt something different when he talked to them. The missionaries gave him the address of the church and didnt come back. But Michael lost their address and was super sad, but couldnt ever find that church again. Until this last week. After he told this experience he said, I still remember the feeling i felt with those 2 missionaries, and I havent felt it again, until right now. It was so cool! Then I passed by their house on sunday morning and he came to church (He brought my and the member i was with, 5 recent converts, 1 investigator and 2 minus actives and 3 kids in a little trailer behind his motor cycle. IT WAS HILARIOUS. So ghetto. Just imagine. A guy pulls up on a motorcycle with a trailer behind, then 11 people pile out of it. hahaha the members were laughing so hard.) Anyways we got to church and he sat by me. It was testimony meeting and he asked me...Who are these people speaking? and i told him ..you know members with something to share. and he was like. anyone can go up? and i was like...yeah... and he was like... can i go up?... i was a little nervous because i have had some really awkward experiences with investigators saying things in group meetings.. but the spirit told me that it was alright. So he goes up there and was just like "I just wanted to thank all of you for encouraging me to be a better person. Thank you for this feeling. I want to keep feeling like this." it was so sweet! Then he proceeded to ask me...what do i have to do to be baptized?? GOLDEN INVESTIGATOR. I just havent put a fecha with him yet because he is married and i havent met his wife yet. She is a Jehovahs witness. We are going tomorrow so we`ll see how that goes.
As you can tell, Managua is a city of Miracles. Nothing progresses in this work without the hand of the Lord. I know i have only been here 2 weeks, But i have felt the spirit more here than in any other area. I dont know if that is just because I am learning how to recognize it or what. But i love Managua! Its going to be a great week! Love you guys!-Hermana Barrett
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I am so happy to report that we helped another family into the waters of
baptism yesterday! Their names are José and Esmerita! Their daughter Rosa
got baptized as well. Man, they were such a challenge! They live really
far away from us, deep in the mountains of Nicaragua. They live in a little
village called Aran Juez. It is an hour away from Jinotega in bus, and then
an hour more on foot because there isnt a bus that passes their house. (It
was a reference) Her sister lives in Matagalpa, and was baptized by Elder
Smith yesterday as well. It was so good to see them take this step as a
family. One step towards eternity. It was such an honor to be apart of it!
This week, I just really wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your
support and examples to me. I really wanted to say thank you to Alex Wernli
and His family. I am praying for you guys. I wanted to tell you how Alex
touched my life. Did you know that he emailed me everyweek? He sent me a
joke every single week. Though he had the most reason to be sad and talk
about problems, He always made me laugh. I will miss him. But i will not
forget him. Whitney told me that one of his goals in his life was to serve
a full time mission. Thinking of him makes me want to be a better
missionary-To not miss one person in the street, and not be timid with the
people. Alex has taught me to cherish every moment I have in the field. He
always wanted to come, and Here i am, whining about how hard it is? How
selfish am I. If He had the opportunity to come, I know he would have been
an amazing missionary. I think it is so so cool that he had the chance to
serve there. I know the Lord is so proud of Him. And I will be a better
missionary because of His example to me. I read a quote in an Ensign I
found from March 1991- and I immedietly thought of Alex--"“Even when we can
no longer do something for our fellowmen, we can still be something for
them; … no man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle,
and good without the world’s being better for that goodness.”
(*Ensign,*March 1991, p. 75.) Alex was something for me. I will
forever be grateful
that he was a part of my life.
Today for P-Day we Hiked to the Cruz--It is stinking high and I will
never be doing that again! I hope you enjoy the pics though! I love you
all-The Church is true. I know we can be families forever, and that Christ
broke the bonds of death for us. "He lives, and while He lives i´ll sing!"
Thanks for everything--Hermana Barrett
p.s. the little girl, Rosa, decided last minute to get baptized-so we didnt
have clothes for her--in this picture she is wearing the shirt i came in!
haha Jarron Azul!
Thanks everyone for writing me today-i feelin the love!
Ive been thinking alot about what i should share with you all this week. This week didnt go the way i wanted it too--no baptisms even though we had 2 families ready. But obviously my timing was yet again not in harmony with God´s timing. Anyways, I decided that today I wanted to talk about the scriptures.
I was studying this week in Alma 32 again,but this time some verses jumped off the page. This chapter reminded me of a primary experience.
I remember at least once in primary when Margot Gardiner gave us seeds in a cup. At first i was so excited--wow! A real seed in a cup! and then i would watch it grow.....or not. I dont know what happened-but my seeds never grew! BORING! Then my mom would get bored of this cup of dirt on her counter and then one day i´d come home from school and my seeds would have mysteriously disappeared.
This is how i was before my mission with the scriptures. I would get a lesson in YWs or a general conference talk or something to get me all jazzed to read the scriptures. And then I´d start and things would be going good...and then i´d get to second Nephi...and we all know what happens in second Nephi. ((2 nephi 11:2)Nephi´s soul delights in the words of Isaiah. Mine:not so much) and then slowly but surely that drive to read the scriptures would fade and eventually disappear.
But luckily I´ve changed. In Alma 32:28 we read:
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
That is how the scriptures are to me now. Delicious. I just live for personal study.When i read the words of the prophets, their testimonies and teachings, My faith is strengthened. And the more i study and learn about the gospel, the more and more faith i have until I can say i know its true. and then i dont need to use faith, because i know its true. that faith just becomes a part of who i am.
34 And now, behold, is your aknowledge bperfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your cfaith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your dmind doth begin to expand.35 O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea....
The stories become realities. Scripture study becomes more than just reading--it becomes a time to be enjoyed. Time to be edified. This reminds me of an amazing song by James E. Faust-This is the Christ.
I read His words, the words He prayed
While bearing sorrow in Gethsemane;
I feel His love, the price He paid.
How many drops of blood were spilled for me?
With saints of old in joyful cry
I too can testify; This is the Christ;
When the scriptures become a part of us- we become a part of the legacy of faithful saints that gave their lives for this gospel. I know that I am not perfect in scripture study- i still need to learn to love Isaiah- But its true what this song says-With saints of old in joyful cry-I too can testify. I know that our Savior came. He lived. He established this church. He performed miracles. He was baptized to give us an example. He died for each one of us. He died for my sins. and Then He broke the bands of death. I know He lives. I know he is always there for us. I know He has felt what i feel. He knows how to succor His people--we just need to turn to Him. We have to give Him everything that we are--and He will Help us become the people we want to be. For that I am eternally grateful. And i am also so grateful for the special opportunity I have right now to be a witness of Him. The opportunity i have to help my brothers and sisters find their savior and feel the joy that i have felt. I will try to remember that this week. I will try to cherish every moment I have in Nicaragua. Thank you everyone for your love and support. Have a great week!!--Love Hermana Barrett.
the picture this week: Rodriguez and I are not big fans of contacting. Its hot and Im not big on rejection. So We stopped to get a chocobanano. Its a frozen banana dipped in chocolate with nuts! Delicious! anyways, keep on keepin on!
Monday, February 27, 2012
What a week we had in Jinotega! I am just going to jump right into the story. okay so we had a fecha with a family to complete named Julio (member) and his wife Iris (investigator). So we have had 2 different dates with her to get baptized. The latest was yesterday. She didnt do it before because she felt like she never got her answer. So We went last friday with the ZLs and she finally got her baptismal interview. and she signed the paper and everything, but then she told the ZL that she would tell us tomorrow if she was going to get baptized on saturday or sunday. (sunday being yesterday) so then we went back saturday morning and she was just like straight up-I am not going to get baptized. Why not? Because i like my church. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church, but i like my church. (She has been Catholic her whole life) Man, heartbreaking after You get all excited for a baptism.
Anyways so we went back on Saturday night and we watched the amazing movie "together forever" and we felt the spirit really strong, so we asked her "do you think you have really done your part to know if you should get baptized tomorrow or not? have you prayed?" and she was like, honestly no. so we all got down on our knees and she prayed aloud. But she said- "Heavenly Father, please help me find your way." and then we just stayed on our knees and asked her--so, will you be baptized tomorrow? and she was like -no, i like my church. And then we said okay, Is it alright if we pray again? but this time you have got to be really direct with God. Direct Question-Direct Results. and she refused to pray again. But then her husband Julio came to the rescue! He prayed aloud for her "Heavenly Father, Please open the heart of my Wife. Help her to feel her answer." And then Iris just began to pray. Her prayer was just Direct and simple, but obviously sincere. She prayed "Father, Should I get baptized tomorrow?" And then we asked her...how do you feel? And she got all misty eyed and just said... "I dont know how to describe it. I felt an energy...a cool energy throughout my whole body." and then we said "So will you be baptized tomorrow?" "yes." Why are you going to do it? "Because I know its true. I know its what i should do." Man, what an extremely espiritual experience! In that moment I remembered why I came on a mission. Because I know its true too. It gave me such great Joy to help her come to that knowldege. It reminds me of Alma 17: 16 "Therefore, this was the acause for which the sons of Mosiah had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption." This is the whole reason Im here. To help people come unto Christ.
So, i left her house that night as a happy missionary.
Then the next morning, yesterday morning, we returned to walk with them to church.......AND THEY WERENT THERE. Thats right! She hid. Julio`s brother answered the door and told us she was at her moms house.... so then we went to her moms house and her brother answered the door and told us she was at Julio`s house. Dagger to the heart. How quick we are to forget the things of God, huh? By this time, it was 8:50, and we had to go to church without them. So we were sitting in sacrament meeting, and all the sudden Rodriguez looked at me, and i looked at her, and then we just stood up and left. (We took the sacrament) We went back to Julios house, and then back to her Moms house, and then her mother told us that she went to Mass. So then, as the good little sister missionaries we are, we went to mass too. (This cathedral is amazing, Ill send pictures i took today) Man, there is such a different feeling in a cathedral than in a chapel! It was my first time at mass.... I will not be going back. It was just super uncomfortable for me...I did not feel the spirit there, and i just could not feel calm there. It might have been the nametag and the people who i had contacted before staring at me. but whatever.. it was an experience. Anyways, Iris`s mom was lying too, becuase she wasnt there. We still havent found her to find out what happened.
How sad though huh? One of the best experiences in my mission quickly turned to me being a bit bummed. But, I can still remember how that felt. I am so grateful for the little reminder of my purpose as a missionary. Thanks Iris.
Okay, So my pictures today. Cathedral... the outside, the inside, and then me flashin my nametag in the doorway... and then Chicha..
This is Elder Humphries drinking his least favorite drink "Chicha" He was just like "Okay, I am just going to down it! Im going for it!" And so i was like-Alright Ill take a picture of your extreme courage! So i took a picture of him drinking and then all the sudden Rodriguez grabbed the drink out of his hand. Good Eye Rodriguez. There was totally a living worm in his chicha. I dont know what kind...but IT WAS ALIVE!!! We will be changing food citas here pronto. Hahaha. Good times in Nicaragua. Well, I love you all! Take care of yourselves!-Hermana Barrett
Dearest Family and Friends. Hola!!
I had changes!! They were very much needed. I am now in an area called Jinotega! It is a beautiful Rainforest! There are monkeys here!
Yeah, The mission is pretty much amazing!!! Like i said, i am now in Jinotega with an amazing lady named Hermana Rodriguez. She entered the Guatemala MTC the same day i entered the Provo MTC. So we have the same time in the mission, but she has one change more than me in the field because she didnt have to learn spanish. She is from Panama! But they put me as senior companion. Its a bit different, but with a comp as amazing as Rodriquez, it will be cake! No worries!
Man, Jinotega is so incredibly different than Esteli. The church is so much stronger here. There is an adequate size branch, and the members are much stronger in the gospel. For example, our weekly attendance in Esteli was 45 people. Here it is 90! WOW! they actually do their visiting teaching and home teaching, and there are teachers and priesthood to bless the sacrament and everything! So far, I LOVE JINOTEGA!
The only thing that is a little different... I have to wash all my own clothes. I will send a picture of the washer and the drier. And the other thing is that the shower here is HORRIBLE!!! It is like legit cold here at night, and it gets really windy, and do we have hot water? WHAT IS THIS, AMERICA? Why no. No. we do not. Like the whole mission talks about the frigid showers in Jinotega. But being the headstrong person i am, i got here and said--how bad can it be? I totally screamed. It is a shower of death. There isnt a showerhead.. just like a pipe that comes out of the wall and you can just turn it on a little, to give yourself a little like dry mental preperation space, but then the water will just shoot out occasionally and get your hair and everything wet when you arent expecting it. its horrible!! It is a good thing the ward is awesome to make up for it. Sorry i am sending alot of pictures. I am just super excited to show you guys everything.
It is amazing how different the people are here too. In Esteli the people are very stubborn and dont want to change or accept fechas (a baptismal date, i am sick of translating that. way easier in spanish.) anyways, so far (the last 3 days) in Jinotega we have found 3 new families to teach, brought a family to church, and put fechas with 2 families. the people are just totally different and so far the field has been white and ready to harvest. :D We´re on it!
Just the last thing from Estelí though, Cesar and Dora were SO SAD when i left! But i promised them that i would come back with my family to meet them (I sure hope at least one of you are planning on coming!) but Cesar´s birthday was the day after i left, so the day before we brought him a cake and for a present I got him a white shirt and tie! He is so stinking cool! I would send a picture, but its full! Anyways, i cant wait to see them again, and i hope they seguir adelante en el evangelio. I am sure they will. They are pilas.
Anywho, I dont really have anything else to say. Just that it is so amazing to be a missionary. Just when you think it is cool, something happens to make it that much cooler. sure, sometimes (like the last change for me) are hard. But it is always worth it!! I love you guys, Keep the faith!! -Hermana Barrrrrrrt
Monday, February 6, 2012
Well, I am still in the Rosario in Estelí. I love it here. Its just my little home away from home. The problem is that our recent converts are having a hard time.The holidays here are just people Drinking and being groady, and we are still in the aftermath. Well actually right now we are in the calm before the storm. I can tell that some of the recent converts of missionaries before me perhaps werent as converted as they could have been. They are still in the worldly way of thinking that they only need God when they have problems.And right now they dont have problems,so they dont need Him. We keep pleading with them to come to church and repent and they just wont come. So its really sad to watch. It reminds me of the scripture in Alma 5:26. " 26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a achange of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the bsong of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" oh man, chapter 5 is AMAZING!! I have to go on now.
27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves ablameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently bhumble? That your garments have been ccleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to dredeem his people from their sins? Man! Machete!!! Then we get to my favorite verses:
38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good ashepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not bhearken unto the voice of the cgood shepherd, to the dname by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd. 41 Therefore, if a man bringeth forth agood works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a bchild of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him. This is one of my favorite names for the Savior. The Shepherd. I didnt really understand it before my mission, but i´ve been studying. Did you know that sheep only answer to the voice of their Shepherd? I read an article. A shepherd was ill and He sent His neighbor to feed his sheep. The Neighbor went and said the same words the Shepherd would say to feed them, and the sheep wouldnt come. They only come to the voice of their Shepherd. Sheep are smart right? Who knew? They do this way better than we do! Alot of times we get confused on the voice of our Shepherd. Sometimes we choose different shepherds. Money, love, work, school--we are so easy to forget and so slow to act. But luckily for us Heavenly Father sent us help. The Holy Ghost. That is how we can know if we are following the right voice. I like how it says "if a man brings forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd" How do you feel when you are serving someone? The Holy Ghost testifies to us when we do what is right. My Mission president always tells us: "before you do something wrong the Holy Ghost will testify that it is not right." I have learned and am learning still that it is so super important to follow the promptings of the spirit.
We are having a hard time finding families to teach, so the other day we just got on our knees and prayed- Heavenly Father, We just want someone to teach. We are going to leave now, and talk to everyone in our path-Please lead us to a family to teach.--And we found two families. Wow right? It is obvious to me that 1)God listens to our prayers. 2)If we depend on Him, He will take us where we need to go. and 3) The work of God will go forth. He does not need us to do it, but we have the priveledge of being instruments in His hand sometimes. I just feel so extremely blessed to be out here.
And then just to sum things up, Verse 43 and 45 of Alma 5.
43 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should hear me, for I speak in the aenergy of my soul; for behold, I have spoken unto you plainly that ye cannot err, or have spoken according to the commandments of God. 45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I aknow of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true.
I like Alma know that these things are true. God hears and answers prayers. Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd. He will never lead us astray. I am so thankful for the spirit in my life, and I hope and pray that each of us can feel it every day! If you cant, repent until you can! I love you all! -Hermana Barrett
p.s. this pic is just my beautiful area with Hermana Pastran! AMAZING!
p.s.s. I HAVE BEEN OUT 6 MONTHS ON SATURDAY!!! WOOT WOOT!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
with having 3 families teaching. And so we set a goal to have 5 famlies
teaching....and then our 3 families fell one by one. It was really sad
because one of them even told us "Yeah, we know the book of mormon is the
word of god. We know this is the true church....but our church is true
too." Then we kindly but very directly explained that their church does not
have the authority. And then they told us that it didnt matter to them. It
was still true. Whatever. Some people need help.
I am learning something very important though. I read a talk called
"the Fourth Missionary" Which is AMAZING. in it it says that the only way
to be successful in this life and especially in your mission is to give
everything over to Heavenly Father. Your stresses and worries, past actions
and future hopes, and more than anything your heart and mind. I am learning
to just trust the Lord with it all. I have been really stressed lately
because I got a new companion...who knew that would be so hard? But I am
learning that the more I just trust God, the easier it is. The more i
trust the easier it is to find joy in every step.
And now a little about mycompanioon. Her name is Hermana Pastran. She is
from Costa Rica and has 9 months in the mish. She is really into Anime and
Twilight and x box games..iknow right? Ifeel like I am getting really blunt
but I asked her.. I was like..."are you emo?" and she was like "No! I just
act like one!" What does that even mean?! She is way sweet though and
follows the rules like nobodies business. Super Pilas. I am learning alot
from her. It feels like amore equal companionship than it did with Ruiz.
She is seriously an amazing missionary. We are having a trial finding
people to teach though! So this next week will be a fun week of "getting to
know you"---contacting! Yay!! Oh, and one more thing about Pastran! She is
4' 10" I finally just broke down and measured her. she is tiny!! Oh well.
Oh guess what! This wednesday an apostle is coming to Managua! Russel M.
Nelson is coming! I am so excited to hear his words of wisdom. I´ll be sure
to hook you all up next week! Sorry i dont have much to say...just kinda
figuring out how the mission is! Anyways, have a great week!ª! -Hermana