Friday, August 23, 2013

31st Letter: ":) HI!!"


Dear Family,
Oh how great it is to write the family!! Tis another week has gone by and here I am again to share my wonderful experiences here in Alamo. I have been doing great, been working really hard so thus I am tired both physically and mentally, but I am great!! The work in Alamo is still going splendid, we had 75 at church beat the record that we set last week. Our little building is packed!! We are desperate for an expansion, I have talked to President Miller about it a lot and we have been brain storming and working together on how we can get things progressing to such. First off he wants to bring a cattle trough so that we can do baptisms in Alamo haha I think its kind of ghetto but would be pretty cool at the same time not going to lie. And he has also been talking to the Stake President to see what we can get done. I am amazed with all of the progress that has taken place here in Alamo. When I first got here there was about 30 at church if we were lucky, but now that has exploded. The Lord is gathering his sheep!! :)
So by far the highlight of my week and of my mission was going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with my Shi'ma Anita. What an incredible experience that was. We did the work for her parents and for her grandparents. She wanted me to be baptized for her father and grandfather super spiritual, definitely felt them while I was there. Anita was a little nervous at first, but she really enjoyed the temple. I was super glad that I was able to go with her for her first time. She also got her first calling in the church Secretary in the Relief Society. She will do great! Perfect calling for her. 
Another highlight of my week was a new family that we met Crystal Monte and her 5 kids. Crystal is the Crofts neighbor, and so she went over to their house and expressed her desire to be taught by us!! She has been going through a hard time, recently got a divorce and so she is a single mom raising these 5 little kids which has been super hard for her. They are a handful. So we went over there and had an amazing lesson with her I have never felt so prompted by the spirit before in a lesson to say certain things than I had with her. We taught her the Restoration and she really connected with Joseph Smith she knew that he is a prophet of God, because she knows that God answers prayers. We committed her and her 11 year old son to be baptized and they accepted. Super excited for her to experience the peace and comfort that the gospel will bring into her life.
So Billy Joe (Charolettes husband) is looking very solid for baptism next Saturday. We went through the baptism questions with him this morning and it went great!! I love baptisms!! YAY!!
I am amazed with myself I am finishing up Jesus the Christ, I would have finished a long time ago if I wasn't called as District leader and have to prepare for meetings during study. But nevertheless I am finishing it up and it has been an amazing read!! I recommend it to all. 3rd greatest book ever written. I have grown to know my Savior and who he truly was as I have read it, how grateful I am for the knowledge that I have gained of him!! :) 
Well know my family that I am doing great!! I hope you all are doing the same, because I love you all and want you to be happy!! And so does Heavenly Father, and my promise is that we will be happy if we are living the gospel. So if you aren't happy evaluate your life and your relationship with Christ, and make the necessary adjustments!! And I promise you will find joy, usually the reason that the majority of the world is sad and depressed is because they are putting something before that Person that has given them ALL. Don't let that happen to you. Pray often. Study the Scriptures. Magnify your callings. :)
LOVE YOU ALL
ELDER BARRUS!! 
Scripture: 3 Nephi 11: 35-36

Thursday, August 15, 2013

30th Letter: "FAMILY!!"


Dear Family,
Hey!! Its weird being here on Tuesday to write you, but tomorrow I have a leadership meeting in ABQ all day tomorrow.... fun... I hate meetings, all we do is role plays. I have never been a big fan of them (just like grandma), in lessons I am dependent upon the spirit to discern the individuals needs and teach them accordingly, but in role plays I struggle to find that spirit to help me teach. But I try my best!! Well I am doing great, and it sounds like you all are doing pretty great as well!! I am not in the biggest mood to write right now, but I will try my best to update you on what all is going on.
 
So President came to Alamo on Thursday and interviewed us, it was amazing. This man truly is incredible, one of those people that just being around him your immediately uplifted and feel the spirit super strong. I had a super good interview with him, he expressed his happiness on the way that Alamo has been going. He told me that he doesn't want to change things that are going good, and then said I hope you are liking Alamo because I have no desire in moving you anytime soon. Looks like I will be here till at least October 24th now!! :) Good Stuff!
 
Charolette's baptism was amazing! She asked me to baptize her, which is always a choice experience to enter the water. She had a bunch of her family come too and the majority of them are non-members, I guarantee that they felt of the spirit, because it was one of the most spiritual baptisms that I have been to. Billy Joe didn't end up getting baptized though, we still have a couple more lessons that we need to teach him first, and he needs to come to church a couple more times too, just so he knows what covenant he is actually making. But he is looking solid for August 31st.
 
This Sunday we had 70 people at church and the 4th Sunday in a row that we had more than 65 people. Truly a miracle!! When I first got to Alamo we were averaging around 30-40 people per week and now we are overflowing the church!! :) I hope that this only continues so that we can get an expansion on the building and become a ward. When they first put the church on the Res they never expected to fill up that little church, but now look what it has turned into.
 
Yesterday for p-day we went on a hike of course, but after we went to the Wellness center and played basketball... haha some Navajos wanted to play us in bball and so of course we did!! Haha lets just say that Navajos make me look like MJ!!! #brakingankles Ha they aren't the fastest and most coordinated of people, but it was fun to play!! And I told them to come to church and they said they would, so hopefully it payed off. They wanted me to come play on their team, I told them that if I could then I most definitely would!! 
 
Well I got to get heading to ABQ we are staying there tonight so we don't have to wake up at 5 in the morning to get there on time. But know that I love you and that the Lord loves you!! Take care and know I love you sooooo much!! ALL of you!! :) Write ME!!
 
Love Elder Barrus

Scripture: D&C 133:58

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Message from President Miller

Elder Barrus received this message and wanted to share with family. He has a great Mission President.

"Elder Barrus, I hope you know how much I love you and feel of your strength. When it was time for transfers It was so very evident to me that you are touching and changing lives in an area that our Father in Heaven has directed you to be. There is a great work yet to come and I testify that you will be in the heart of it."
-PM

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pictures

Elder Barrus sent us his SD card so I'll update on his pictures. I'm not sure what some are so he'll have to explain them to us one day :)








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29th Letter: "3 its a lucky number!! :)"


Dear Family!!
Hey my beloved family!! What a pleasure it is to sit down and write the greatest family in the whole world. I am doing magnificent, never been so tired both physically and mentally in my life, but I have never been happier!! Last week was super stressful, every baptism week is super stressful!! The whole week you are doing all that you can to make sure that the baptism will happen, and at the same time Satan is putting all of his forces against it. It definitely was a battle, but once again Satan can't win, and so he didn't.... what a loser. The baptisms were amazing, super strong unexplainable spirit was felt. As you guys know I have been working with Savannah my whole time here in Alamo, she has been a real struggle for me, I have felt super discouraged with her at times but never gave up. What a miracle it was to me to see her finally get married and then less than 48 hours later enter into the waters of baptism and make a covenant with God. Truly was a testimony to me that our hard work is worth it and to never give up on anybody, because Heavenly Father never forgets about them, He knows his sheep by name, and knows how to best help each of them individually. Flora was also a miracle to see get baptized, she is another one that I have been working with since the beginning, she always said that she would get baptized when it got warm, but really Heavenly Father was in control and it was until Vince was prepared to be baptized also, and it just happens to be warm outside too. She doesn't weigh more than 90 pounds!!! Vince was awesome too, he has changed his life drastically in the last month, it has been awesome to see his transformation.
 
So President Miller is coming tomorrow to interview us, and it just happens to work out perfectly so he can do the bap interview for Charlotte and Billy Joe Guerro. They are set to get baptized this Saturday, they are looking really solid they both came to church this Sunday and are super excited to get baptized. I just pray that they pass the interview, it is always a little stressful until they get in the water. Man I cant say it enough how truly grateful I am for the many blessings and opportunities that the Lord has blessed me with so far in my mission, I truly am humbled. The most baptisms by a missionary in Alamo before I got here was Elder Lish with 6 and I will be blessed to have participated in 11. It is not because of me at all that is for sure. I'm dumbfounded!!
 
I have a pretty big feeling that this will be my last transfer in Alamo, it makes me so sad!! Its not for sure, but I really feel this way. I don't know what I am going to do when I leave. It is going to be like leaving home again!! I love this place so much!! Navajos annoy me at times just because of there attitudes, but I have never loved a group of people more than them. I think it is because I really connect with them and there culture. All of them consider me there own. We were at the Crofts Monday and Anita called and told Sister Croft that she has been really sick and depressed, she talked to Sister Croft for a while and then Sister Croft asked her if she wanted to talk to any of us Elders and she said she wanted to talk to her son (me). Anita has been engulfed in the Family History spirit, she has 3 of her ancestors names reserved for he for when she goes to the temple to do baptisms. She really wants me to go with her to do her Dad and Grandfather, I will have to talk to President about that one ha.
 
Know that I love you family so much!! I care about each of you! Mom, Dad, brother, sister, G&G....etc. I miss you all tremendously! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think or pray about each of you. I know that God is blessing and watching over you and me because of my service and that makes it all worth it. I love this work because it is the only work that can bring us true happiness and true joy, and that is because it is "His" work and "His" way. I know that my Savior lives because I work beside him everyday, he loves and knows us each individually because he has felt our pains and our sorrows. Only Him. It is only through Him that we can return to our Heavenly Father let us never forget that.

Love Elder Barrus
 
Scripture: 2 Nephi 9! :)
 
Weather update: Muddy truck....down pour

Monday, August 5, 2013

28th Letter: ".....my cup runneth over, with blessings!!! :)"


Dear Family,
Hey my beautiful family in the promised land Northward!! It is so good to be sitting here writing you another letter, starting to seem like all I do on my mission is write emails to you haha But no I have been doing GREAT!! Truly have been humbled by everything that has been going on lately, the Lord has been pouring an abundant of blessing onto us here in Alamo. The last few days I have just been in aw because of it, it has seemed like everywhere we go the Lord is blessing us with opportunities to bless lives and the lives have been so willing to be blessed. I have felt the spirit so strong lately and it has been a constant strong spirit. I hope to be able to convey what has been going on so that you guys will be able to see how truly blessed we have been. So:
 
So this is kind of a funny experience, but the Sisters in Socorro have been a hand full haha It has been interesting. District Meeting went really good, it was different but good. But right after they asked me to give them each a blessing, and they had the other sister write down the blessing as I gave it.... weird! Anyways so on Saturday night I felt prompted to call and see how their day went, and when they picked up both of them were crying (I knew I was going to be on the phone for a while within 2 seconds) I asked them what was wrong and they wouldn't tell me of course, because they are women and want to drag it on for a while. They finally told me that when they went back to the appt. that night that there was 2 guys outside drinking and they said to them "where did the Elders go". I guess this made the Sisters feel very uneasy which is very understandable and so they just left, and went and sat in the Wal-Mart parking lot and that's when I called them. So I discussed with them all of the possible things that they could do. And they would not go back to the appt. so my best suggestion was for them to spend the night in the church. That's just what they did. Since then they have been staying with a member and we are moving them into a new appt. this Saturday. The appt. that they were staying in was really sketchy so I am glad they found a new place.
 
A miracle that occurred yesterday was we were at Anita's home giving her a lesson, as she is preparing to go do baptisms for the dead next weekend which is a miracle in itself!! No greater happiness does a missionary feel than when a baptism is going to the temple!! :) But that wasn't the bigger miracle. As we were leaving Anita stopped us and told us that her brother Keith Irving needed a blessing.... ok so Keith is a Robe Man which is serious in the Native Church. A few months ago he asked us to give his wife a blessing because he said his power doesn't work on her. I think I told you about that experience in one of my letters. Anyways I gave him the blessing (He has a serious heart disease) and he just sat there silent for a bout a minute and meanwhile Anita and his wife Marian are just bawling!! Super powerful experience, Anita said as we were leaving that she will get him to church this Sunday.
 
Another miracle that happened yesterday was as we were visiting with Norna, there is a car that kept honking outside, just non stop so Norna finally goes out to see who it is and she comes back in helping her grandmother in law Mary in. And she is just having a horrible time breathing. So we offered to give her a blessing, and as I was giving her the blessing she started to breathe normally, and she said that she felt like someone was holding her hand. It was truly a miracle and a testimony to me of the power of the priesthood!!!
 
The biggest miracle of all though will have to be this upcoming Saturday I pray!! Savannah Secatero, Vince Abeyta, and Flora Abeyta are set to be baptized!! :) Savannah we kind of had an idea that it would be this weekend but Vince and Flora was a pleasant surprise!! :) They had been struggling with coffee in the past, but has since given it up, because they know that they need to be baptized and keep the commandments. Savannah has been one of my goals to get baptized since I arrived here in Alamo, I probably will cry on Saturday. She asked me to baptize her which I am super excited for!! Such an honor. Flora as well asked me to baptize her. Vince though man that guy has an attitude!! I love him and honor his decision to follow Christ, but he is a special man! He asked Elder Gibson to baptize him which is awesome, but right after he said its because I am stubborn! ha I have been forced to be the bad guy with him!! I have told him how it is boldly with all of the commandments especially coffee, and I don't think he has liked that too much! But Elder Gibson is too quiet and beats around the bush so someone has to!! But I am super excited for Saturday!! :)
 
Also yesterday we set 2 baptism dates for next weekend. Charlotte who I have been trying to teach the whole time I have been here but is always busy, and unexpectedly her husband Billy Jo. They look pretty solid. Charlotte has been coming to church for a while and knows the gospel very well, Billy might be another story, we'll see. Miracles have been surrounding us lately though! I love the Lord! This truly is his work!! :)
 
So I thought you might be interested to know that I have developed the ability to cut my own hair on my mission!! :) ha I cut my hair last night and did a pretty good job!! Kinda cool...
 
Anyways thanks family for all that you do!! Love you so much!! :)

Elder Barrus
 
Scripture: Moroni 7:22