Thursday, February 21, 2013

5th Letter

Dear Family,
Life as a Res rat has been pretty good so far!! It's been the longest week, but I have really enjoyed it out here!! We are constantly busy which is good, but that also means that we are pretty tired a lot too... This area is definitely a service area like I said before, we are constantly chopping wood for people in hope that they will listen to our message as a payment of our service ha at least that is what it seems like. On Saturday we spent all day chopping down trees! It was a lot of work, but there are alot of people in Alamo that desperately rely on the wood for heating there homes. There is no such thing as a house in Alamo, everyone lives in run down trailors that are in horrible condition which is sad, but they dont want to work so they just rely on the little money that they get from the government each month. It's funny though cause all of them have really nice cars and like 60" TV's ha so when we show the Testaments its in life size. People here are way nice, and are usually willing to hear what we have to say even though it seems like none of them are listening.... But we press on and pray that the spirit will touch their hearts.
So we give like at least 3 blessings a day, everyone is really sick here or atleast thats what they tell us so that we will leave, but anyways my companion asks everyone if they would like a blessing which is good, but a lot of them are like "well I dont care it's up to you". Ha So we really try to tell them of how the blessing works, that is up to their faith wether or not the blessing will be effective. It always makes us laugh a little because all of them say that after we ask. So we went over to one of our investigators house who has a baptismal date for the 17th of March so thats exciting, she is blind and has alot of health issues, but anways so the first time we went over there I introduced myself, I was like hi I'm Elder Barrus and she was like hi Elder Yuunsiiin or (however you spell it in Navajo) ha so first off Collier (Branch misison leader) gave me that name which yuunsiiin means embarrass in Navajo... ha but it was really funny cause she said it right when I introduced myself. And she really likes me already haha we asked her who she wanted to give the blessing and she would be like... Yuunsiiin haha who do you want to say the prayer.... Yuunsiin and on and on haha Shes funny and hopefully things will continue to progress towards the 17th.
I dont have too much time to write today we have alot to do, but I'll answer some of your guys questions before I go. There is a little gas station in Alamo that is like the Springfield market, the milk is like $10 so we dont go shopping there much. We actually cover another town outside of the Res too called Magdalena, thats actually where I am right now, but it has a Family Dollar, thats where we do most of our shopping. Yeah I got a blanket and pillow so I sleep good at night!! :) Please please send off that package ASAP I need a jacket if not 2 and some more ties would be nice too. Love you guys tons and keep praying for me, especially our investigators!! HOW ARE THE RED SOXS DOING?!! ha its killing me! There has to be some news in the last month. ha jk :) Keep Bo alive too!!

Love, Elder Barrus 

Friday, February 15, 2013


We received a picture from Nic's Mission President's wife. It has Nic's Mission President, his wife, and the missionaries that went with him to Albuquerque. 

Here's the Letter: 

Dear Parents,
Sorry about that first dry run!!!!
Your son/daughter requested that I send this to you.  It was taken at the New Mexico Albuquerque Temple on the day they arrived. We so enjoy having them here.
Sister Marble
New Mexico Albuquerque Mission Office

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

4th Letter

Dear Family! 
What a week.... It really was great to talk to you guys! I wished I would have been able to talk to you guys longer, but I had too many girl crazy Elders in my group that took all of the phones. So anyways, Monday night we spent most of the day at the mission home being taught by the AP's, but they took us out to knock doors with some of the Elders in the neighborhood. It was the most crazy experiences of my life. So me and Elder Hermbirgner (about a year out) went to the most ghetto looking apartments in New Mexico I swear!! And we were knocking and having people slam doors in our face faster than we could knock!! So this one door we knocked on this guy answered it, and actually opened it and let us talk for a second, so we explained who we are and why we were there, and he didn't seem interested at all, but said we could come back another time. So we asked him what his name was and a phone number so we could contact him, and then out of no where he just flipped!! He said that we cant be soliciting here and started cussing us out. So we just said cool have a good day and let him be, and went and knocked on some other doors. So as we continued knocking we could still hear him yelling and cussing out Mormons, and how evil of people we are. Which is ironic after what happens next. We went up a level in the apartments and kept knocking, then all of the sudden we see that guy holding a bat type thing on the level below us. I crapped my pants.... He looked up at us and then said something and then broke this pottery thing to try to scare us. (it worked for me at least) So I looked at Elder Hermbirgner and he didn't seemed phased at all, which surprised me. I was like lets run Elder!! I dont think I can out run many people, but I felt like I had a step or two on this Elder so that comforted me!! haha ;) Anyways we just stood there and the guy yelled something else which isn't appropriate and then walked off. SO we kept knocking... haha great first experience. 

So Tuesday morning was the transfer meeting, and this was the exciting part. I'm assigned to the Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation! Which is way exciting and I have loved it. I was a little concerned before I went to the meeting on where I was going, so I prayed a lot! And the Lord really does answer prayers, and I definitely feel like President Miller was inspired to send me here. My companion is great! Elder Lish from Pocatello, Idaho. He is outstanding and I fell like we are going to do amazing things out here on the reservation. So I am the 3rd missionary ever to be trained on the Reservation. Collier is the ward mission leader, and he makes it very very clear to President Miller not to send just any missionary to Alamo. So both Collier and Elder Lish tell me that President must have saw something in me that he didn't in the rest of the missionaries. So I truly feel blessed to be serving in this area. So the Reservation is like 2 hours from the nearest civilization, and it feels like I am not even in America. There is so much missionary work to be done, we have about 70 investigators and like 20 in actives. Nobody on the reservation has cars, or they are broke down so it is hard to get everyone to church. But we have already taught 3 people today and I invited one of them to be baptized and she seems pretty promising so thats exciting. Natives are very stubborn and dont like to give up their hooka and alcohol so thats a challenge we face but  But yeah there is always someone to go see and teach so we wont ever be bored. So yeah there is only one cop in all of Alamo, and he just sits at home all day so there is so much crime that goes on, but nobody messes with the missionaries. We have a little trailer right next to our little church which about 1/8 of the size of our Stake center in Ammon. I try not to think about it, but Satan definitely is present here on the reservation. There is things called Skidwalkers that are like evil spirits that manifest themselves unto you, its because of how much priestcraft and all that, that goes on. All our blinds are shut and what not because my companion has seen stuff that he wont even talk to me about because he doesnt want to relive that memory. It's real and I am not even kidding. I know that the priesthood power is way WAY more powerful than that so it doesnt scare me, but it definitely is out there. And Satan really wants to stop this work and will do anything to do that. Read 2 Nephi 26 I think. The Book of Mormon really comes to life out here, It talks about how the Native people will loose the gospel and fall into priestcraft, and then the Gentiles (white people) through their pride will come and basically destroy them haha sounds familiar. Its sad, but thats exactly what happened. Prophecy through the Book of Mormon. It's hard for some reason to get the people to understand that this is their book and their ancestors, but we are trying to give the Book of Mormon more meaning to them as we teach it. But once again they are stubborn to their traditions.  

Everything here is so western, I'm surprised that they even have electricity. I definitely feel hidden from the world, which is a good thing I guess. 

I haven't seen McClain, I guess he is down in El Paso. But all of the Elders know who he is and say he is a hard worker, as I can imagine. This Sunday is Stake Conference down in Sucorro which is about 2 hours away, but I guess it is one of those regional broadcast ones where an apostle speaks so that should be exciting. Hopefully we can get some investigators to come with. 

My Email day is Wednesday and my address to send me things is: 
P.O. box 5130, Alamo, New Mexico 87825  
I really need like a nice fleece jacket like my champion one that I use to where all the time. We don't wear suit coats out here, because it gets so dirty. So if you could find and sent me one I would be very very happy! Probably just a Large. I probably wouldn't dear elder me any more, just because it will take just as long to get to me as an email would, but I definitely would appreciate letters and what not now and then. Please no more junk food. I get fed enough fatty foods as it is by the Natives. They cook everything in like 6 cups of lard!! Its disgusting to think about, but it tastes amazing!  

I hope everything is going awesome with the family!! Bo is still alive I hope!! Tiff still is feeling alright? It was really good to hear your guys voices, I didn't recognize Dads at first which kind of scared me, but thats what happens while your on your mission sadly enough.... Red Sox's done much? How are the Jazz doing? I saw at the airport that the Lakers have been doing really well.... thats too bad. So whats the news about the pope resigning? (fall of the great and abominable church anyone?) haha are people freaking out or is it nothing? Anything else been going on in the news? Probably not. Well the work must go on so I better go on.
Take Care and love you tons! Take a look at what the Navajo language looks like, its intense!! I'm starting to learn and Collier really wants me to learn, because the Natives really respect that. 
Love ya,
Elder Barrus

Phone Call from Nic

Nic left the MTC Monday, February 11th at 4:00 am. He was the travel leader so he was in charge of getting all of the missionaries ready for the flights. He flew from Salt Lake to Phoenix where he had an hour delay. We were able to talk to him around 9:30 am. He sounded really good and was pretty tired. He said it was pretty stressful getting all of the missionaries ready. He said he was ready to go to New Mexico! He also said he enjoyed the MTC and what he learned there. We weren't able to talk to him very long since his flight was called while we were talking to him, but he sounded anxious and ready to start the work!

Picture from the MTC

Dad received a picture from our cousin Spencer's roommate, Russ Hitchcock. He said he taught Nic. We were excited to see a picture of him!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

3rd Letter part 2

Alright so I just got back from lunch. The food here isn't too bad. First week I loved it, Second week it was aight, now im kinda getting sick of it, and its starting to really mess up my stomache if you know what I mean. So I'm looking forward to whatever food New Mexico brings me ha.
So yeah I already told Mom and Dad in my letter, but I am the travel leader (whatever that means) over the 20 missionaries headed to Albuquerque on Monday. I have a feeling that it is going to be really annoying, keeping track of everyone, making sure that they are on the right flight and what not. Hopefully everyone in our group has flown before. So we have to be down at the MTC travel office at 4 am that morning. Our flight leaves SLC to pheonix at 7:55 and then we have an hour layover there at around 9 am before we head to Albuquerque so I'll be calling you guys around then. 
And I forgot to tell you guys who I have been seeing, my first Sunday, (the day before Logan Tibbitts left) I finally saw him. It was a real emotional booster to be able to see him and to relate some of the feelings that we have been having. I see tons of other people from Hillcrest that you guys don't know. But I see Michael Wynn almost daily, and I saw Derick Moser here the other day it was good to see him too.
Mom and Dad, have you filed my taxes yet? Im glad to hear that Mom is driving my car, its probably alot easier to drive downtown and it will save on gas.
AH YEAH another thing that I have to tell you guys, and Mom is going to be so proud of me! I joined the missionary choir!! They sing at every Devo (on Tuesday nights) And they did a close up on me on the jumbo tron, it was awesome!! haha no but Devo was amazing Elder Don R. Clarke from the seventy, I have heard him speak many of times. Hes a really good speaker, really pasionate and direct. He talked about 4 principles of missionary work, which are finding, teaching, converting, and retaining. It was really good and I wish I could go into more detail of what he talked about.
So Happy Birthday Zac!! I really tried to get your address so that I could send your gift to you before your birthday, but you probably won't get it till next Monday or Tuesday. Just know that I love you and hope you are having a great day (probably working.)
Take Care my family, love ya tons!!! Thanks for the packages, and letters they are great!! 
Elder Barrus

3rd Letter

Dear Family,
I think I have finally got this language down, Its taken me a while, but I now feel comfortable in my teaching. haha Nah but I cant believe that my time here at the MTC is almost up, it seems like it was just yesterday that you guys threw me out onto the curb! I have learned so so so much in my experience here, and have really grown to love the MTC. I really see my testimony growing each and everyday. I know that the spirit is just pounding on me to teach me so many things, but it is just up to me if I want to learn them. I have really grown to have a deeper love for the Book of Mormon and also for prayer. As I have been reading versus stick out to me and the spirit really teaches me as I read, I have read the Book of Mormon twice all the way through before coming to the MTC, but I feel like I have learned more in my reading here than I have in my readings outside the MTC. I often find myself saying wow how can I have not read these amazing versus before, or atleast recognized their amazingness until now... I'm in a way disapointed in how I use to glance over amazing doctrines and teachings that are found in the Book of Mormon. There is so much to learn, and that is what is amazing. You can never have a perfect knowledge of the Book, (it's too complicated and too big to have that) when reading it involves alot of pondering and praying on what the spirit wants you to learn from it. When we don't read it we are taking advantage of the many blessings that can be poured upon us. One thing that I have really learned here is that every verse has meaning and can teach us, but its up to us if we want to put the time in to let the spirit teach us. We spent a whole hour studying the "dwelt in the tent" verse ha and it was such an amazing experience. It sounds kinda funny but I learned so much about the meaning of the verse.
So it sounds like you guys want to know what really goes on here at the MTC. so I'll kinda show you a schedule:
6:25 Wake up
7:00 Breakfast
7:30-10:30 Class
10:30-11:30 Study
11:30 Lunch
12:00-3:00 Study
3:00-4:00 TRC (teach random volunteers)
4:30 Dinner
5:15-8:15 Class
8:20-9:30 Zone teaching (older elders teach the younger elders)
9:30-10:15 daily planning 
10:15 quiet time
10:30 lights out
The days are incredibly long and exhausting, but the schedule has been approved by the First Presidency so it must be aight. I feel like I have so much still to learn after being here 3 weeks. I cant imagine how the 2 weekers feel, its crazy im sure their schedules are alot more crazier than mine. 

Im going to write another letter after Lunch around 1 so expect that.
Take Care Family
Elder Barrus

Monday, February 4, 2013

2nd Letter

Hello Family!!!
This week has been pretty crazy!! I have just been pounded with information here at the MTC and I can feel myself grow each and every day. I feel like im trying to get a drink out of a fire hydrant, they are pounding us with information, but not much is going in. Haha But no this week has been pretty good for the most part, one of the things that has really helped me is to be able to recognize the spirit in everything that I do. I have really been able to see a change in my learning and also in my happiness here at the MTC. So kinda a background on what has been going on here. Sunday was amazing I really had an amazing experience at the Fireside. My favorite part was when we have prelude singing and the whole MTC sings hymns, Its amazing how much the spirit can touch you through song. One of the songs that we sang was Come thou Fount, It was amazing!! I feel the spirit so strong just thinking about that song in my head. Tuesday night we had devo which was really good. L. Whitney Clayton of the seventy spoke to us about how to make our companionship stronger and something that I really needed. The Lord really does know what we need when we need it. Elder Taylor has been really good, he just gets really distracted sometimes, but we are working on it. and  I wish I had more time to tell you guys about my experiences, but they really dont give you enough time to write. I really love your guys letters and I really look forward to reading them everyday. I hope to be able to write more letters tonight in response to the questions on a more personal level. But please keep the letters coming. Id love to hear whats going on in the news. I feel like there could be a mass seral killer in Provo and we would never know about it. haha So today is my P-day and it will be the same next Friday. Im looking forward to going to the temple today, it will be a great experience. Thanks so much for your prayers on my behalf, I truly feel the blessings that have come from them. Let Clay know that I cant wait to "Welcome him to the MTC" once I see his dork dot. Haha 
Take care Fam!
Love Elder Barrus