Tuesday, September 24, 2013

36th Letter: "Hello from the querque!!"

Dear Family, 
How are y'all doing? I appreciate all of the time that you put to writing me I know it is probably more than a burden if anything, but it really means a lot to me!! The strength that I get when I read your letters is unbelievable, I really need it!! Coming home and checking the mailbox after a long exhausting day and noticing that there is a letter in there for me is a huge unexpected encouragement! So just know how much I appreciate it!! :) So I have been doing really great!! We have continued to be ridiculously busy which is good!! We have so many responsibilities as Zone Leaders that we aren't able to proselyte as much as I would like but I have noticed that the Lord truly is blessing us when we are able to!! I have met the most weird and most amazing people in Albuquerque! I was talking to Elder Schneider about it one day, I was like "there are some really weird people here" and right when I said that a man dressed up like a women walked across the street..... I just shook my head!! What is this world coming to? Sodom and Gomorrah.... 
So my update:
ZL stuff... 
So this whole last week we were on the computer a lot preparing SMCM we had to put all of the Zones numbers and vitality stuff together to present it to the Stake Presidency last night. This happens once a month, and it takes a lot of work!! The meeting last night was pretty cool though it was nice to be able receive some input from the Stake on how we can improve the Zone. Stake Presidents usually are some pretty smart men!! ;)
Also we are doing trainings galore.... Zone Conference we presented a 30 min training to two different zones, which went really well, and then yesterday we did a training for the stake in a Mission Prep class that went very well also. I am really starting to feel confident in myself as a leader, and that is because I know that the Lord is with me helping because I have the desire to help the missionaries or the people that I am teaching. I truly am dependent on his help. And He knows that.
So as far as missionary work goes!! Roxanne and Chrichelles two kids Damiana and Isaac are super super solid to get baptized the week after conference. That has been such a miracle to me to be able to witness. I was really bummed that I missed out on attending Crystal and Damans baptism in Alamo, but the Lord has blessed me with more lives to touch here in ABQ. Roxanne and Chrichelle are best friends, early 30s and Chrichelle was baptized when she was 18 but has since become inactive and fallen off the deep end, but has put her all back into the gospel and is truly living it now.
There are many other investigators that we are meeting with and things are going great!! Most of all I have just really enjoyed being able to talk to people on my mission!! President Millers big push to us is to open our mouth and talk to everyone, and I have really been trying to do that!! Just as I am writing you there is a man sitting next to me that is getting my advice on Fantasy Football and I brought up how much I love sports, but that I have given them up for two years he was super surprised that I would sacrifice something like that. Its leading into the gospel very well.
Well I got to get going. I am going to find out where this gentleman lives and baptize him!! ;) ha love you all family!! Thanks for the support and prayers!!
Love your missionary!!
Elder Barrus
2 Cor. 4: 17-18 this scripture really hit me this week. "things which are not seen are eternal!! How true is that!! :) 
P.s I forgot to tell you that last week for P-day we took the Tram to the top of the Sandias!! Most epic thing ever!! :) 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

35th Letter: "ALLLBUQUERQUE!!"

Dear Family,
So here I am again! Sorry about last letter I didnt plan out the time very well that I had to write so it didnt work out, but hopefully I will be able to do a better job this time. So my life has continued to be a race. I have just realized that Heavenly Father doesnt want me to feel comfortable. He is always pushing me and pulling me in ways that I never thought were imaginable, at times I just think to myself.... man will I ever get a break!! But then I realize why we were sent here to earth and what our potentital is to become, and that doesnt involve breaks!! As Heavenly Father has tried me throughout my life I look back and see all of the strengths that I have developed from that trial. Being a Zone Leader definitely is a trial/ oportunity, there are so many added stresses that come with the calling of a missionary. Being over 26 other missionaries, trying to help them with there issues in concerns while you still are trying to develop as a missionary is very difficult to do. But I know that this is just an wonderful opportunity for me to grow and to strengthen myself!!
So kind of to describe my Zone. I am in the very very heart of ABQ and all of the missionaries in the Zone are as well. Part of the Zone covers the UNM campus, and just alot of downtown ABQ. So in our Zone we also have the Assistants, Mission Office, Mission Home. So we do alot of added work helping the assistans and helping the president with random projects and trainings. This Thursday we have Zone Conference and we have to present a training for that as well. All the other ZL's call us the Assistants to the Assistants. haha
So the ward that I am serving in is great! They feed the missionaries nightly which isnt helping to the continuing of trying to loose weight haha but they also come out nightly with us on visits which really helps alot because our mission really emphasises member presents. 

So a cool story as far as our investigators here is going is: My first week here we went and contacted a refferal from the assistants and her name was Roxanne. We went and saw her and she welcomed us in like we had been friends for years. Not only was she there but two of her friends were there as well. One of which finds out to be a inactive member of the church that has an amazing testimony but went through a rough patch in her life that took her away from the church, her name is Chrichelle. So we had an Restoration lesson with them and they soaked in everything that we taught and Chrichelle added her testimony to like everything that we said. Anyways so Roxanne and Chrichelles two kids have a bap date for the begining of October right now!! :)
Also I forgot to let you know that Crystal and Damian in Alamo got baptized! I was super bummed to have missed that baptism by a week especially because she wanted me to baptize her but hey she got baptized and thats all that matters.
Craziest thing happened as we were eating with a member this week. So I came to find out that the lady I was eating with is a Hatterly girl from American Falls. She looked super familiar to me when I first saw her but I couldnt put a finger to who she was. She knew me and our whole family really well. I guess she was in the same stake as Zac and Chelsea in Denver too which is crazy!! Ha she said that she was following our family around I guess!! 
So that is my quick little update for the week! Hey I always love letters, but I would especially really appreciate some letters right now in my mission. It has been kind of a challenge as of late so it would be much appreciated if you would have the time to write me.

I love you all and care for you a ton!!

Elder Barrus
(Proverbs 3:5-6)
Btw I met the assistant coach at FSU back when coach Nugent coached there and when Lee Corso coached there haha he was a neat old man!!
Also met Prince Fielder (1st baseman for the Tigers) aunt when we were tracting last week!! It was awesome, her brother is Cecil Fielder who was an awesome baseball player as well!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

34th Letter: "EXHAUSTED!!!"

Dear Family,
Well needless to say that I am super duper duper duper.... TIRED!! I have found out that with the calling of being a ZL comes little to no sleep!! Most of the time we dont get to bed around midnight dealing with Zone Leader issues and planning for the next days events. And we still get up at 6:30am it literally feels like I get no sleep, because I literally get no sleep!! I know that the Lord is blessing my with the strength needed to go about the day doing all that I need to do, but I am tired. A tender mercy that the Lord blessed us with today though was that somehow our alarm clock didnt go off and we didnt realize it till around 7:30 and man was the extra hour of sleep noticed!! It felt good!! So the transistion from being a Alamo Navajo missionary to a ABQ ZL has actually gone fairly well. It has been a definite testimony to me that the Lord qualifies those in which he calls no matter how inadequate they may be. Its hard to fully tell you all of the responsibilites that a Zone Leader has, but lets just say that there is alot, and for a somewhat new missionary that is still learning about the basics of missionary work I definitely feel very inadequate for the calling that has been given to me. Only two other missionaries in the history of the mission have ever been called this early in there missions to Zone Leader. Its hard for me to understand why the Lord wanted me to be the 3rd. But he has and I will just do my very best with the talents and skills that are in me and rely upon the Lord to help me with the trust he has inplaced in me to help lead the Zone with Elder Schneider. So I have about 15 min to explain everything that has been going on in these neck of the woods so we'll see how that goes...
So as far as ZL has been going.... So Zone Training is a meeting that we present to the Zone every first Friday of the month and it is based off of what we learned in MLC which is another meeting that we as all of the Zone Leaders in the mission have every first Thursday of the month. (btw I got to see Elder Lish!! That was awesome!!) Anyways so luckily enough I was able to present my first ZTraining in my first week as a Zone Leader, but everything went surprisingly very welll. I felt like I did pretty good for my first time!! I know that it was 100% in contribute to the Lord helping me but it went great!! We talked about many things but the "Origin of attitude" was something that really was great. We talked about what is driving us as missionaries to be a missionary and about how we get our attitudes from 3 different sources
1: Ourselves
2: Others
3: Heavenly Father
Super powerful think over that in your own life and whats driving you to be who you are!!
2 min left...
Address: 4401 San Pedro Dr Ne apt #507 Albuquerque NM 8719
BTW contacted Prince Fielders aunt last week!! super awesome!!
Love you all
Elder Barrus

Monday, September 9, 2013

33rd Letter: "FAMILY!!"

Hey I got a second to write you a quick not before I head to ABQ tomorrow to find out where I am going tomorrow. I got some super crazy news last night that threw a whole new bunch of emotions in the mix. President Miller called me and asked me to be a ZL.... Yeah I am super nervous to say the least. All I know is Alamo and Navajos and now most likely I will be in the heart of ABQ with more than 30 missionaries to watch over. I just trust in the Lord and know that he qualifies those that He calls. Yesterday at church we watched the "work of salvation broadcast" and something that I really heard gave me comfort and strength. The bishop said: "no matter how many imperfections that we have, if we do all that we can do then we wont fail". That is exactly what I am relying on right now. I am still a really young missionary and have plenty of imperfections, but I am going forward trying to do all that I can that I wont fail because the Lord will be with me to help me. So when President called me he said, "Hows my favorite missionary doing? Me: Im doing alright, you pulled a fast one on me President. President: What? who told you that you were leaving... Me: haha I think you did President?... President: Hey I had all intentions of leaving you there, but the Lord needs you as a Zone Leader right now..... That phone call gave me so much comfort even though I recieved the scariest news of my life. But it really touched my heart and the spirit witnessed to me how inspired of a man President is and that this calling and me moving is inspired by him. So I will have my first Zone Training that me and my companion will do this Friday!! Super nevous for that especially, going to embarrass myself!!

So leaving Alamo was incredibly difficult, I didnt think that I would have to leave home twice. I cried like a baby in my testimony. I think what has hit me the hardest is just how unexpected everything has been... Saying goodbye is never fun... I'll just say that!
The baptism on Saturday went great!! It was a great way to leave Alamo. Billy Joe is a heck of a guy. Super humble and wants to follow the Lord. :)
Well thank you so much family for all that you have done for me and for the love and support that you have given me to this point in my mission. I dont know what I would do without it.
Elder Barrus

Monday, September 2, 2013

32nd Letter: "HELLO!! :)"

Dear Family,
Hi my wonderful family it is great to be able to sit and write you all again!! Sounds like everyone is doing pretty great except for Amanda.... Sorry that you are not feeling very good!! :( I'll be praying for you!! So I have been doing great! Staying very busy and working very hard!! We have had a very good week and are continuing to see progression out here in Alamo. Like I have said in the past our branch has been exploding! We have had 60 plus for the last 2 months and thus people are seeing the parking lot packed and so it is sparking interest with the rest of the reservation so we have been starting to talk to some new investigators so that has been good.

The reason that I am emailing a little bit later today is because Billy Joe had his baptism interview with the Zone Leaders and he passed!! Yay!! It is kind of annoying because I am district leader, it means that the Zone Leaders have to come to do the interview and they live 2 hours away so scheduling them can be kind of tricky sometimes, but it always seems to work out in the end. Anyways though I am super excited for Billy Joe to join his wife Charolette in the church. He asked me to baptize him which is awesome, it is always such an honor!!
So Crystal and her son Daman who I told you about last week are doing very well also. Crystal came to church on Sunday and they are looking solid to be baptized in the near future!! It definitely was a golden find, the Lord has been preparing them for a while now.
So Anita has continued to spoil me here, she really has adopted me into her family! All of her family calls me their cousin or brother...etc It is pretty funny! I love them so much they mean a ton to me. Well she got me a legit penalton blanket!! It is super nice, I will be sending in home with the Navajo rug that she made me here in a little bit.
Well I don't have too much to report on this week. I really appreciate all of the letters and the support that you guys have been showing me thus far it really means a lot!! I love you all so much and miss you all a ton!! Looks like I will be on the Res for another splendid 6 weeks but I am looking forward to what work the Lord has in store for me!! It has been exciting to see the Lord gathering the Lamanite nation they truly have been blossoming as a rose as it says in the scriptures. It is just another witness to me of the closeness of the second coming, we truly live in the last days we are a chosen generation. I just finished reading Jesus the Christ as I have told you, man that book is amazing. I seriously recommend it to all, there is a very special spirit that is felt when reading about the Savior and his ministry. I cant believe how much my testimony has been strengthened from reading it. I am now going to read through the New Testament I am looking forward to it.
I love you all family! Take Care and have a blessed week!! :) :) GOD BE WITH YOU!!
Love Elder Barrus
"Come what may, and love it" - Elder Joseph B Wirthlin   
Moroni 10:32