Thursday, May 30, 2013

19th Letter: "Wow.. Its almost June!!"

Dear Family,
I'm back again, man has May flown by or what? But I have sure loved it!! Definitely been the best transfer of my mission so far!! We have been seeing the hand of the Lord in the work everyday!! There has been a ton of success coming in Alamo recently. We have 5 baptisms set for this Saturday. (Pray that all 5 will make it!!) And then 2 set for the 22nd of June. And It seems like everyone else that isn't on date right now will soon be, as they are praying for their answers. But anyways it sounds like everything is going great for you all which makes me happy!! Thanks everyone for the birthday presents they mean a lot, that you would take the time to send this little ole guy out in Alamo New Mexico a present. I had a great birthday spreading the gospel! Couldn't have asked to do anything else!! But back to what has been going on out here...
Norna and Hilbert are looking very solid for June 8th baptism. I am sooooooo excited for them, we had an amazing experience this morning as we went over to teach them and saw that they weren't home but had a note left for us on the door. They aren't married and so that was the only thing keeping them from baptism right now. And so the note said that they have left to visit someone at the hospital and to do some shopping, but at the end they invited us to their wedding ceremony tonight at 6!! then said "Love Mr and Mrs Hilber Apachito. :)(huge smiley face!!!) Words cannot describe the joy that I felt. So June 8th I hope!! They have 2 cute little kids.
Terri Apachito, the one that is probably the most shaky for June 8th, but I am sure she will make it!! Just keep praying for her!!
Richinda Secatero, she is looking great for the 8th. She is pretty poor health wise so it will be a tough baptism, but all will be well.
Lee Tsousie, we set him on date last week. He was baptized years ago, but they lost his records. And he has been meeting with the missionaries for the last 10 years and hasn't given in to be re-baptized until Elder Croft became his neighbor and best friend. Ha He is a great guy. Amazing mechanic too. Should come work for Dad.
Savannah, finally got back in with Savannah and set anther date with her for the 22nd. She has really been struggling with a lot of things, but she has refocused and hopefully wont turn back.
Lee Davis Apachito, a goofy guy ha don't know what to say about him too much. But we set a date with him for the 22nd as well.
But I have had so many very spiritual moments this last week. First probably on our hike that we went on with the Crofts on Monday. We went to Hop Canyon again, beautiful hike. But at one point during the hike I was just pondering on my whole life in general and all of the blessings that I have been given, amazing parents, wonderful siblings that have set amazing examples for me, Grandparents who have devoted their life to the service of others. How blessed I have truly been. Then I was just overwhelmed by the spirit, who just confirmed to me my Heavenly Fathers love that he has for me individually. Something Dad said towards the beginning of my mission that has stuck with me, is just that, that he knows and cares about each of us. That He knows are worries are pains are sorrows, and desires to help us!! 
Another experience was at FHE I was in charge of the lesson and did it on President Eyrings amazing talk. And on my favorite hymn "Abide with me tis' eventide". What a powerful message is in it. Something that I apply to my life is if I am desiring my Savior to abide with me? And is there anything in my life that I am doing that is not allowing his spirit to abide with me?
Last is every time that I read from "Jesus the Christ", that book is simply amazing! If you desire to learn more about your Savior then read it. He truly has set the perfect example for each of us and we aren't going to know what that is unless we learn what he has done!! One insight that really touched me the other day when reading was when Elder Talmage was relating the experience in Matt 16:15-17, I love verse 17. So powerful.
Well I better be off!! Know that I love each of you so much!! How happy I am to be apart of this great work!! Take Care.
Oh and my days are numbered with Elder Lish end of transfer is the 11th of June. Find out who is leaving on the 8th. He will leave wet haha lucky dog! I'll miss him.

Love your friend Elder Barrus

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Elder!

On Nic's birthday, Dad received a picture message from the Senior companions in Nic's area, Elder and Sister Crofts.

The message said: "We love Elder Barrus. We think he is a great missionary! You have raised a good young man!"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

18th Letter: "Birthday Boy Right Here!!!"

Dear Family,
Another beautiful day here in Magdalena (70's no wind)... I'm still in shock on how fast May is going by!! This transfer is going to be over before I know it!! Thanks everyone for the emails, they mean a lot!! Keep it up!! Sounds like everyone is doing good for the most part. Seems like you all are staying pretty busy!! Hope Tiff can hold off till Saturday to have the baby!! That's a great day!! ;) Amanda seems like she is being her busy self and can't leave work. Zac I'm guessing is getting settled into their place. And Mom and Dad are working their tails off I'm sure. And Bo is sleeping. Love that dog. So here we are again, I'm trying to think of some of the cool experiences that we had this last week. But basically all of our investigators are progressing really well. We now have 6 investigators on date. But Savannah has been going through a lot lately and kind of has shut us off, but hopefully she will let us back in soon. We work a lot with our less actives out here, and have seen a lot of success come by that!! In the month of April we reactivated like 10 people, and the branch is starting to feel up. Elder Lish and I still bless the sacrament and usually participate in about 80% of church, but hopefully that will start to lower as branch grows.
We set a baptism date last week with one of our part member families. Jr. Secatero (the guy we helped cut wood when I first got here) his wife Richinda. Doesn't understand a lick of English I don't think so we really work through Jr on the Lessons. When we asked her to be baptized she yelled A'ooo!! Which is yes haha it was kinda funny!! She is set for June 8th. Pretty solid she will make that date.
So: as it stands hopefully
Norna and Hillbert, and Richinda will be baptized on the 8th
Terri Apachito on the 1st
Savannah... sometime haha
This last p-day we went on another hike up Hop Canyon, different trail this week. It was a blast. Beautiful weather. I took a lot of pictures so when I get back the memory stick I sent to you. Yeah that is like the 4th pday in a row that we went on a hike with the Crofts. Ha there is nothing else to do!! I have really grown to enjoy it though! Plus it has been a really good way to exercise. I run every morning, and try to do some sort of workout. I want the mission to be a benefit to my health not a hindrance. So far it has payed off, this last week I have really been working hard, and have lost 10 pounds in just this last week. I hope to keep it going. Its hard though when you have dinner apt and the Navajos feed you fat... There has been a ton of deaths lately here, the health care is horrible. (not too surprised about that article Zac...its sad) All I hear every day is a story on how bad the clinic in Alamo is. Everybody has a bad experience with them. One guy had an infection in his surgery that he just had, and so he went in to the clinic and they lifted up his shirt took one look at the infection and said oh your fine just get some rest. So it never got better, he went to ABQ and they said it was a serious infection and that he is lucky he came in when he did.... Just one of the many stories I could tell of them. We see the ambulance go by at least twice a day. With 90% diabetes rate it is bound to happen.
I have been doing great though!! Got over the sickness last week, and have just been loving life!! My testimony is growing so much everyday, and have seen my relationship with my Heavenly Father be strengthen the more I am in the service of him. I got the conf. talks CD on Monday and have been listening to them this week. One thing that I have been looking for is the repetition of things said between the speakers, and it seemed like at least 5 times Helaman 5:12. I love that scripture because it is so relevant today. As I have been on the mission I have seen so many people especially members go through a lot of trials. And see how their foundation wasn't built upon Christ, and how they weren't prepared for the trial. And thus they fell away and didn't trust in the Lord. We live in a world that just living the gospel isn't enough, we have to be fully converted, and strive daily to strengthen our foundation. I truly believe that there will be a time in each of our lives that we will be truly tested by a trial. I pray that when that experience comes for me and for each of you (may have already come) that our foundation will have been strong enough to endure.
I love you all so much and pray for you daily!! I hope all of you are doing great, and loving life!!
That reminded me of something I heard a guy say last week that really troubled me. He said that He knows that life isn't meant to be happy. That nothing in this life can make us happy. HOW SAD!! I always think of the quote by President Hinckley that is hanging in Mom and Dads room. Life is to be enjoyed!! We weren't sent here to suffer!! Its up to us to decide our personal happiness!! That's why free agency is such a blessing!! Our happiness is predetermined like so many believe!!
Anyways I love you again!! Take care
Elder Barrus
Isaiah 41:10 :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

17th Letter: "Family!!"

Dear Family,
Hello again!! It was so good to see y'all on Sunday!! :)  I was kinda in shock that I was seeing your faces, but I really enjoyed it!! You guys are the greatest, it was really depressing having to say goodbye to you. Kinda made me a little homesick, but its only because I love you all so much!! But Im still doing great. Elder Lish and I have been feeling a little under the weather lately, but other than that things have been going great!! I kinda have a headache right now and cant think too well so if this email doesn't make any sense that is why!!

Well after I was done talking to you Sunday we went to that appointment and blessed the home. It went really well no crazy experiences. But man did the family tell some eerie experiences that they have been having. Hilbert the father said that Satan came to him one night and tried to pull his mouth open and suffocate him. Ha I have heard it 1000 times must be Satans favorite move or something.... But we had a great lesson with him a set a baptism date with them for the 8th of June. That's not all Norna the soon to be wife came to the relief society activity last night and brought 3 girls with her that want to listen to the lessons also!! They are probably 16.... Chain reaction huh? Oh yeah and they loooove the temple. Seems like a popular subject lately.
That's really about all the stories that have happened since I last talked to you Sunday. It is so crazy to see how the work has changed since when I first got here to now. There is so much progress going on!! Investigators are popping out of the ground. The Lord is definitely preparing the people for us to teach. Hopefully we can get all 50 investigators that we are teaching now into the water!! I pray at least!! 
Sorry if this letter isn't very great!! MY head hurts!! ha well I love you all!!! Take Care
Love Elder Barrus.... Im almost 19...Im tired of being an 18 year old missionary everyone makes fun of you!
Scripture: 3 Nephi 9:22

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day!

It was so exciting being able to talk to Nic on Mother's Day! We were able to talk with him through Google Plus so Zac and Chelsea were able to be on as well. He looked great and it was nice to be able to talk to him for 2 hours! Dad got it working on the TV so we had a big screen to see him! Can't wait until Christmas to see him again!

16th Letter: "OH MOTHER'S DAY IS SOON! :)"

Dear Family!!
How are y'all? I'm doing great!! Just out here in Alamo working hard!! I am really having a hard time keeping track of all of these days!! I'm still kinda in shock that I will be able to see your guy's faces on Sunday!! Sometimes I forget that I even have a family or that I was ever a normal kid at home. It seems like missionary work has been my life!! Ha Its going to really seem crazy when I'm a year out huh?! ha Well it sounds like all is going well with you guys!! That good. Keep up the good work!! Thanks Dad for sending me Stephens letters, sounds like that goober is doing pretty good!! Spencer finally popped the question huh? that's good they will be great together. Things around here are pretty much the same just preaching the gospel everyday of my life!! I love it!! So I'll just update you a little bit on what has been going on in the Alamo, even though I will talk to you on Sunday. 
So an update on Anita!! She is great!! Solid member of the church. She is our Navajo Mom. She told us that we are the only missionaries that she has liked. It is going to be really hard to leave her when I leave the area. She was mad at us on Sunday because we forgot to tell her that it was testimony meeting before...that was her excuse. But she said that she would have borne her testimony if she would have known. But every time we go over to teach her she always thanks us non stop and says that we have changed her life!! Ah I love her. She was a great convert to start the mission. I'm pretty positive that she will be going through the temple a year from now. I will be able to go if she does!! :) 
Ronnie and Savannah came to church on Sunday, and Ronnie met with the branch president which was good. But I'm pretty sure that he might be relapsing... I hope not, but they are kind of ignoring us now... We are going to continue to pray and go over and help them the best we can. Last visit they said that they will work on getting married, which is the only thing holding Savannah back from baptism. I hope everything will work out good. Just have to trust in the Lord at this point.
We have quite a few other investigators that are progressing towards baptism really well. One of which we hope to set a baptism date with in a couple of hours. Its a single dad of 2. They are great, not the normal Navajos. (I absolutely love all Navajos, but they actually understand what we are talking about) They have really been a focus in my prayers and studies. Please pray for them to accept the gospel. Roger Apachito and Roger Jr., Aria Apachito...... I don't know why, but I have a deep interest in them right now. I contacted Roger in the Alamo store about a month ago while Elder Lish was on exchanges in Socorro. He lives in Mag, and it definitely was the Lords hand in having us meet that day.
But I will talk to you more on Sunday of course!! :) Cant wait to see y'all!! Take care and know that I love ya!! You are the greatest!!
Love Elder Barrus
Scripture: D&C:11.... I have been reading Jesus the Christ like crazy!! That book is amazing I cant put it down!! I cant believe how much I didn't know about Jesus. I highly recommend it. It's only 700 pages haha Im on 200. I don't know if I told you but I finished the Book of Mormon in 2 months too. Everyone knows that I am not a reader, but now I am really loving reading. Personal study is one of my favorite parts of the day. Mom probably doesn't believe me. ;) Ha I have read 200 pages of JTC and Im half way done with Our search for happiness(great book also) and I started both of them on like April 15th...... wow it flabbergasts me. haha take care bye!! TTYL

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

15th Letter: "Family...ITS MAY?!!"

Dear Family!! 
My love ones how are y'all?!! I am still doing great out here on the Reservation!! And believe it or not that I am still with Elder Lish. He is going to be on the res for a total of 9 months!! Ha we have no idea what the real world is like. Our second area is going to shock us. He is the new district leader, so I am assistant to the district leader!! No such thing, but I want a tag. But I am glad that I am still with Elder Lish, he is great and we have so much potential this month. So Its good to hear that you all are doing pretty well for the most part!! Amandas birthday was a blast I'm sure!! Im sad I missed out!! But I will be there for her 28th birthday!! haha wow old!! ;) So for mothers day I will be going over to the Crofts to Skype or Google plus you. I hope you don't have to go to Rexburg that day. It will probably be between 1-6 Im not sure exactly what time I'll call though. We will be able to talk for an hour. I cant wait!! :)
So what has happened this last week...hmm time is just flying by, its hard to keep track of what all has happened. Nothing too crazy has been happening we have just really been working hard. Last week we had 37 lessons which is a ton!! Set 3 baptism dates and had 5 new investigators. It was the best week as far as numbers go that I have had on the mission. 
So on Sunday we had to give the talks in sacrament meeting.... that's fun!! And it was on the 5th article of faith. Ha it was kinda difficult. You have to keep things pretty simple with Navajos or else they will get lost and just stop paying attention. So I thought that we had quite the task with having to try to explain the 5th article of faith. I focused mostly on what being called of God meant and how we aren't called by man but rather by God as far as our callings in church go. I really emphasized this because nobody in Alamo wants a church calling let alone go to church!! But me and Elder Lish were the whole program so we each talked for about 20 min... But I really felt the spirit in both Elder Lish's talk and mine, I hope they got something out of it!
Yesterday I kinda had a crazy experience!! I gave a medicine mans wife a blessing!! We were teaching a recent convert and while we were there a medicine man and his wife (which was the recent converts daughter) came in and started talking to us. We talked for quite a while and I asked if we could come over to his house and teach them. He said no because he was a medicine man and I was like "oh you have killed a man"....jk but it is a prerequisite to being a medicine man for some reason. But anyways we just kept talking and were about to leave when he asked us if we would give his wife a blessing because he said that his powers don't work on her. Ha they don't work on anyone they just make people "high" so they think they are fine. Anyways I gave her a blessing and it was one of the most spiritual blessings that I have ever been apart of. She was crying afterwards, and Elder Lish and I bore our testimonies to her about the power of God and of having faith in Jesus Christ. She looks like she is trapped with her husbands beliefs which is sad, but hopefully this will be a start for her. We are going to try to start seeing them, even though he said no. haha
Also yesterday we went to a funeral for a less active member that passed away. It was really sad I got to know him over the time that I had been here pretty well. But his funeral was in a Word of God church. That was a different experience. I have never been to a funeral of a different faith before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I felt super uncomfortable and didn't feel the spirit at all during the whole funeral. People were singing rock songs and the preachers were constantly taking the Lords name in vain, plus they never even talked about the guy that had passed away!! Wow it was a testimony to me of how true our church is!!
Ronnie is staying sober as far as he tells us. He looks good and says that he is praying with his family and that he no longer has the temptation to do any of that stuff anymore which is a miracle. Savannah his wife is a solid, she really wants to be baptized!! Everything is going great on the Alamo. I hope the whole family is doing good! I want to hear from everyone that reads this letter because I love you all!! Just tell me about how your life is going!! :) I care. Love you all
Elder Barrus