Wednesday, December 31, 2014

105th Letter: "Last Email home..."

Dear Family,
Well I plan on keeping this email short and sweet, for the fact that I will be talking to you on Thursday, and I will be seeing you in person on Saturday! :) I will probably be giving you a phone call on Thursday around 12pm-1pm to set up google plus. I hope you all have a great Christmas! We will be having a great Navajo Christmas, we will be having a feast over at Anitas with all of her family after we Skype home. And we will be eating at the Magdalena fire station with all of the people in Magdalena that doesn't have a dinner with their families. I am excited! I cant wait to share with you all of the amazing experiences that we have been having out here in Alamo, the work is going amazing!
I have been feeling extremely humbled as I realize that I am in the final days of my mission, what an incredibly 2 years it has been for me. The Lord has absolutely solidified my testimony, I have come to know of a surety that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that He lives. That knowledge alone will forever change the decisions that I make throughout my life. I am super excited to share my mission experiences with you soon. Now anybody that knows me will know that I served in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission, it defines who I am now.
Number #8 principle that I want to share with you that I have learned on my mission:
"Families are central to Gods plan"
As everything is drawing to a close my heart has definitely been broken thinking that I will be leaving the place that has become home, but throughout my mission I have come to know how much my family (each of you) really means to me. I have realized how incredibly lucky I am to have two amazing parents who are devoted to each other and devoted to the gospel, and to helping their kids live it. I have realized how blessed I am to have amazing siblings who have constantly shown their love and support to me throughout my life and who have been such great examples. And Grandparents who have absolutely demonstrated to me what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and who have devoted their lives to being one. I have come to know that the gospel really does bless and strengthen families! I pray that you feel of my love and my excitement to see you all. I know that there are still so many things for me to come to an understanding of as I continue to live the gospel, and serve in different ways in the church! And I am excited for the adventure that is to come! :)
See you soon! :)

Elder Nicholas Rees Barrus 
Ps ho ho ho Merry Christmas
A bunch of Tongans!!

My nephew Malcolm

My companions

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

104th Letter: "REZ Dog! :)"

Dear Family,
Well here I am again in the Magdalena public library writing home, it almost feels like I pressed the reset button on my mission! I wish.... Things are going absolutely amazing though! We had probably one of the best weeks of my mission. The only downside is that the last 3 days I have gotten a pretty bad cold, I have just worked through it, but it has been such a nagging bugger! I have being sick! I feel like I am on the getting better side of the sickness though so thats good. Being back in Alamo has been awesome to say the least! There are so many people out here that I love so much, and have changed my life! God definitely knows me personally, what an incredible blessing it is to be back. I have tried my hardest not to waste this opportunity either. We have worked our little tail feathers off, and the Lord has been rewarding us! We taught 25 investigator lessons, 24 of which were with a member present. We had 9 investigators at church and we have 8 baptismal dates...we be breakin records! :) It is sweet all of the baptisms that we will be having...after I leave, but are from either Anita or Charlotte, who by far are the most solid members on the Rez right now. The work out hear is exploding again! I have tons of stories to share, but honestly I am getting kind of tired of typing letters, so I will just share them with you next Saturday! :)

I have 2 legit companions though, Elder Hafoka from the island of Tonga this is the first time that he has ever been in America, he is hilarious! And then Elder Baird from Idaho Falls, he lives just off of Sunnyside to but down west of holmes I think. His parents should be to my homecoming next week so that should be cool. He is a great Elder as well! I couldnt have asked for better companions to finish my mission!

The number 7 principle I have learned on my mission:
"Enduring to the End is what counts"

For what seems like millions of times on my mission I have taught the 5 principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Which is probably one of my favorite lessons to teach! Because this knowledge is what was restored through the message of the Restoration, and is the key principle to the Plan of Salvation. But I have come to know on my mission that nothing really matters unless we endure to the end, we must keep living and nurturing every principle in the gospel for our whole lives! Each day we should strive to strengthen our faith in Christ, by reading, praying...etc. Each day we must repent of the mistakes that we make so that we can qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Each Sunday we must renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament. Always we must follow the promptings of the spirit, and develop and strengthen that relationship.
  2 Nephi 31:20
 "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the  word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life"

Missionary work and anything in the gospel is so ineffective if we cant help people understand this principle we must all endure to the end in order to gain the wonderful blessing of eternal life! :)

Love you all and cant wait to see you soon!
Elder Nic Barrus
ps I will skype you briefly next week if that is ok with you! :)

103rd Letter: "Bye bye ABQ..."

Dear Family,
Hello again!! Well amid the craziness around me of arrival day, I still hope to get a decent letter to you with the short breaks that I get. This morning we welcomed 10 new missionaries here to the New Mexico Albuquerque mission, it is always exciting to see their nervous and excited faces! Ha they have no idea what they are getting themselves into! They are going to do great things I can already tell.

First off I have to clarify the picture that I hear is floating around on facebook. haha I am not watching Sunday night football, its the Christmas devotional and I got really sleepy sitting next to the fire, BUT I never did fall asleep! :)

Well tomorrow I depart for the promised land! I am so so so so so so so so so emotional, ecstatic, happy, glad, and feel so incredibly blessed to be able to go back and finish my final 2 weeks. I couldn't put it into words what a remarkable experience it will be for me to be able to go home before I actually go home. Last night I packed everything up, and it was late Elder Gibson and Snyder had already gone to bed. As I was packing up my 50 ties (dont worry I condensed from my 80), I had an emotional overload just thinking about how amazing my mission has been. I am so grateful for all that I have been able to experience. I don't know why I have been able to have such an awesome mission... man has the Lord blessed me!

Leaving the office, and the University YSA is difficult, I have loved serving here amid the many stresses that have accompanied it. I am really going to miss all of the amazing people here. Especially President and Sister Miller those two are just so awesome! They really have changed my life, I love them a ton!!

#6 Thing I have learned on my mission! "Temple is the house of God"
The term you dont really appreciate something until you dont have it, has proved to be true to me with this. I have missed being able to go to the temple whenever I want, that is something that I am so looking forward to doing. (We have to go the week I am home as a family) But the 4 experiences that I have had on my mission at the temple have been amazing, many of them I have already wrote home about. Something that has been a continual testimony to me that the temple truly is a refuge from the world, a place for relief and definitely a place of strength. Why don't we as Latter day saints take advantage of it then? Everyone that has gone to the temple knows that they feel those same things each time. We become complacent, and busy, and our priorities become out of place. My prayer is that each of us recommit to go to the temple more frequently. I will be going weekly with my immediate family for sure! (I will force them!) :)

Love you all so much! Make sure you dont send me any items for Christmas, just wait till I come home. I would love a letter in the mail from each of you to open Christmas morning though! :)

Elder Nic Barrus

Alamo address: (same as back in the day)
P.O Box 5130
Alamo, NM 87825

Monday, December 8, 2014

102nd Letter: "The letter you have all been waiting for!"

Dear Family,
Well this letter will be exciting! Brief unfortunately, but really exciting! To start off I am doing great. I would lie if I said that there wasnt a different feeling the closer I get to the end of my mission, its mostly a depressing feeling. New Mexico owns my heart! I love this place soooo much! And it definitely is starting to become a reality that I am not going to always be here. Especially because I received my departing letter from President Miller that has my flight itinerary and everything in it... I know that there are great things ahead for me! I am excited to see everyone again, and to start school! Having Tiff and Kellan at home is definitely an answer to prayers as well. I am so glad that they will be close! Another indicator that things are drawing to a close is that my AP replacement came on Sunday and it is...... my son Elder Gibson!! :) I am so happy, I trained an AP haha! He will do great.

So many of you have been wondering where I will be for my final 2 weeks..... So I am first off ecstatic for this opportunity. After many discussions with President Miller he has decided for me to return back to ALAMO. It still hasn't really felt real that I am going back, but I am sure it will be an emotional over load as soon as I see the "Entering the Alamo Reservation" sign. I cant remember if I wrote it home, but when I left the Res and went to ABQ, at that transfer site over a year ago President Miller and I had a discussion on how he needed me as a zone leader, and that he had a strong feeling that I would one day return back to Alamo before my mission was over. I am so incredibly grateful for these upcoming 2 weeks! It is going to be an awesome end of the mission! I have goals set for what I desire to accomplish. Definitely the number one goal is too strengthen the converts I had out there. :) So a week from today I will be driving back.

Well this week is going to be crazy, along with Transfer planning we have MLC on Thursday. I will be mostly guiding Elder Snyder and Elder Gibson to makes sure everything gets done that needs too. It will be weird giving my departing testimony at MLC. My #16th one!

#5 thing that I have learned on my mission!
Priesthood has been restored/  "The priesthood can work miracles"

Throughout my mission I have felt the power and authority comes with the calling of a missionary, and that authority came when I had President Biddulph set me apart as a missionary (seems like that was yesterday) with the priesthood keys that he holds. I have been able to see and be apart of so many miracles performed by the priesthood, I could share countless experiences that have continued to reaffirm this truth to me of the power that worthy priesthood holders have. I would like to share one though that is incredibly personal to me and to me there is no doubt that I wouldn't be on a mission if it wasn't for a worthy priesthood holder of a father. So during the fall of 2012 I was experiencing the most constant piercing pains in my stomach for about 3 months straight, during this I was preparing to coming out on the mission, I was honestly terrified that I had something potentially wrong with me that would cause me to have to postpone the mission. When I had my physical I lied when he asked if I was experiencing pains anywhere, and thus passed my physical. During all of this I asked Dad one night when I was down from Rexburg for a blessing, that the pain would subside and I would be able to focus on finals at BYU-I and in preparing for the mission. This was about 3 weeks or so before I was to leave to New Mexico. A miracle happend and the pain left for the week of finals, but then returned. I knelt down one evening in prayer and pleaded with Heavenly Father that it would just leave for the next 2 years, and promised him that if it left I would dedicate my all to my mission. I continued to have the pain up till the morning I left to the MTC. The family probably remembers how quiet I was on the way to Provo, nerves definitely contributed to that, but I mostly just sat in awe that a miracle had been performed in my life, and that God had answered my prayer. I know that the priesthood has been restored and that it truly is the power of God on the earth! I have complete faith in that power!

I love you all! I am excited to finish my mission strong! :) There is work to be done!
Elder Nic Barrus

101st Letter: "Happy Thanksgiving!"

Dear Family,
Welp, hello here I am again! Its probably been around 100 times now that I have written home. The weeks seems to be going by faster and faster too! I need to find out why that is and see if I can slow it down a few notches! ;) I think the biggest reason has been how busy things are lately especially with Elder Corbridge being here. That really sped up time a bit! The weekend just flew bye. It was pretty depressing yesterday when it hit me that this is probably the last time that I will be in Las Cruces as a missionary. Ah I love Las Cruces so much! It really is one of my 5 homes that I have developed on my mission. It was a great experience yesterday going to see everyone that I had taught. It was days like yesterday that makes me feel so incredibly grateful for the chance that I have had to serve. Being able to see Ezekiel Flores (RC) and see how good he is doing, how grateful he is that he was able to receive the Melchizedek priesthood and the different things that he is doing to spread the gospel. It was amazing to see the Dawsons. To see their progression and the depth of their testimonies. Both Ezekiel and the Dawsons you wouldnt be able to guess that they were just baptized 8 months ago. They truly are deeply rooted in the gospel. What an incredible blessing it was for me to have been able to play a part in their conversion.

So Elder Corbridge's visit was great, a little stressful at times for us but it was great. I learned allot on the structure of the church and how things are ran when there is a man of high authority present. I was so self conscious the whole experience making sure that I didn't do anything wrong. I didnt mess up conducting so I am grateful for that. Anybody that has conducted a large meeting before knows what I mean when I say it can be stressful. He provides some really powerful training though, he talked allot about what the "most important thing is" and how that should be our sole focus on everything that we do. And how that most important thing is in one phrase "the atonement" and in a sentence. "Partaking of the fruit of the tree of life and helping others do the same." There was tons of other thoughts and things that I will share with you from his visit when I come home. It was awesome.

So my number #4 thing I have learned from my mission:
1 Nephi 10:28 "I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men."

This truth is a testimony to me that God desires to give ALL of us knowledge and truth. I have seen that come to pass over and over again on my mission. Before my mission scripture study was definitely not very effective and I have come to know on my mission why that was. It was because I didn't have Gods full trust to be able to receive knowledge and light. God is not going to give us understanding if He knows that we arent going to act on it and if we arent going to accept that understanding. Just as in spider-man, "with great power, comes great responsibility" so with the gospel, "with great knowledge, comes great responsibility and I add accountability." God will never condemn us with knowledge that we arent ready for. It is my prayer that all of us will seek how we can better gain the Lords trust, whether it means being more obedient to what he has already given us or whether it means being more diligent in seeking it through consistent scripture reading, and spiritual church and temple attendance. I am so grateful for the light and knowledge that the Lord has entrusted in me! How beautiful is His perfect plan!

Take care and have a great week! Love you tons! Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for an awesome eternal family!
Elder Nicholas Barrus

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

100th Letter: "Life in Nob Hill YSA!"

Dear Family,
Another crazy week here on the mission! I think Heavenly Father really wants me to give every ounce of energy that I have into the work these final weeks as things have been absolutely insane!! For the most part they have been a good insane. haha Well its hard for me to believe that I will only have 5 more times emailing home. And according to President Miller I will only have 2 more weeks of emailing in Nob Hill YSA. I'll just leave it at that for now! :)

So we have been super busy preparing for Elder Corbridge to come in on Thursday, its looking like we are all prepared! I sure it will be good! I am just scared though, he is a head honcho! I fell like if I mess up he could excommunicate me on the spot. haha No it is going to be great, we are driving the area seventy Elder Villareal down to El Paso so thats going to be pretty intense too. Im guessing that I will gain some good mission stories from this weekend.

Quick update on the Nob:
Devin went to the temple and did baptisms for the dead on Saturday, and he passed the sacrement too for the first time Sunday!! He is doing great! Our investigator Kimball is doing awesome, he is solid to get baptized on the 13th of December. He has been out of town visiting his family in Window Rock, AZ lately. Josh our other investigator is doing great just super flaky, same with the Irish investigator Kevin. They both are pretty promising though.

Well my replacement as an AP will be called the 28th. Thats weird and depressing!

Well my #3 principle that I have learned is: (these arent in order of importance either)
"The Atonement is the key to temporal and eternal happiness"
This knowledge is absolutely one of the greatest things to understand! I have learned that this knowledge only comes through applying the atonement. Coming to an understanding that Jesus Christ has suffered for ALL of my sins, and that through that suffering I can be freed from the guilt and despair that following sinning, that is amazing. I have absolutely felt that freedom from sin throughout my life, and I am so greatful for that. There is no greater witness to me that Jesus Christ lives than feeling that freedom, time does not relieve that guilt. There is no way that time could do that alone, it is only through the atonement. Not only have I come to know that through the atonement you can be cleansed, but also through the enabling power of the atonement you can be strengthened. So often on my mission I talk to people that share their trials and how nobody knows how they feel and what they are going through. Oh how I just want to scream, "Yeah I don't but I know someone that does!!" That Jesus Christ felt everything, every little pain that you feel every single day. How I want to tell them that He wants to help them, and how he wants to strengthen them! I have a firm testimony. No doubt. That Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He performed the atonement for each and every one of us so that we can be happy! Eternally and temporally as families!
Love you all!
Elder Nicholas Barrus

Happy Halloween!

Elder Barrus and Elder Snyder

Los Lunas Turkey Bowl Catch of the Game!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

99th Letter: "Mid-November Report!"

Familia!! :)
Well I hope all is well with everyone! I am sure that you all are really excited to go to Johns baptism this weekend. That is going to be such a great experience! The spirit that is felt at baptismal services are so amazing, they have been incredibly humbling experiences for me throughout my mission to participate and watch that ordinance.

So time is not in my favor ever but especially not today, and I actually have a decent amount to report on too.... So first of and most important. Devin Tsosie recieved the priesthood on Sunday and I was blessed to be able to give it to him! It was so awesome! He is doing great, the progression that he is making is incredible. He comes out teaching with us all of the time too.

There have been allot of crazy things happening throughout the mission too, which have caused a missionary to go home and a couple other missionaries to have to get transferrred as well. So on Monday we had to drive up to Taos to drop off a missionary that needed to be emergency transferred. Everything is great now. Definitely everything happens for a reason, its always interesting how things always come to the surface. I just wish missionaries would have a greater sense of understanding of how important the time this short time to serve the Lord is! And how much are desicions effect those around us.

Overall though I am doing great! I have felt exhausted lately but that is to be expected. I am really looking forward to Elder Corbridge coming next week, it is going to be really special being able to have 1 on 1 time with him learning the ways of a member of the 70.

So my #2 thing that I have learned on my mission.
"The importance of always listening to the promptings of the spirit."
I think this is one of the very first things that I learned on my mission and I am greatful that I learned it so fast. It definitely was a result of how humbling of an experience the MTC was for me. I will never forget that first day in the MTC as we had the big group role plays, and just how terrified I was to be picked on to continue the role play. Luckily I was never picked on, but I remember leaving that being like man if I cant share anything in a role play how am I going to be able to teach people for 2 years! That first night I just knelt down and had the longest prayer in my life just asking if I was going to be able to do this. I remember clear as day the powerful answer that I recieved that this the misison was exactly the place that I needed to be and that the only way I was going to be successful was if I relied on the spirit. I definitely dont have the best social skills and I wasnt the greatest gospel scholar, but I have absolutely seen the Lord, through His spirit qualify me for this work! There have been many experiences throughout my mission that I look back, and I am like how did that happen? Or how was I able to do that? And then it continually just hits me that its not me at all. I love this work and I have no doubt that through followings the promptings of the spirit we experience happiness and joy and that those promptings are ALWAYS there for those that are worthy of them.

Love you and pray that you have a great week!
Elder Nic Barrus

98th Letter: "Hey November!"

Dear Family!
With the change of weather happiness has filled my soul! I absolutely love New Mexico falls, it is so nice not sweating every time we leave the appartment too! And I am beginning to feel the magic of Christmas in the air, I think everyone else is feeling it as well! People are definitley in alot better of moods this time of year!! :) Well things are going great for Elder Snyder and I here in the great land of New Mexico. We have been having a great time lately, and it doesnt seem like we are ever together since we have so many exchanges to do throughout the mission. Since last tuesday we have done 2 and have at least 9 more to go! :) It was great I was able to go on exchanges with 2 past companions of Elder Hicken and Elder Doutre. It is always fun to reunite and serve together and see how much we both have grown.

The work seems to be going great! We have been really busy with tons of administrative work lately but have stayed really busy teaching as well. Our Irish investigator Kevin has been causing us allot of grief lately and is the king of being flaky! Thats just YSA's in general though! It definitley hasnt been easy to meet with people consisitantly, their schedules are just so crazy! Kevin has a reset baptismal date of the 22nd of Nov. Same with our other investigator Josh who is projected for that date as well. He looks a little more solid, but hopefully they will both make it! Our big miracle came yesterday as we had a YSA passed off to us that was being taught by some family ward missionaries (poaching...we caught them) his name is Kimball and guess what?! He is Navajo! And is super solid and very very interested! He currently has a baptismal date for the 15th and we are praying that he makes that date. We have only met with him once.

This next week is looking pretty busy as we have MLC, and zone training and we will be going up to Espanola, NM for exchanges! I love being busy! I hate how fast it makes time go bye too! The following week we will be going to El Paso and then back to El Paso for the next two weeks after that! One of those times will be whille we are on the mission tour with Elder Corbridge of the 70. We are super super excited for that! Its going to be great being able to spend so much time with him! I pray that I wont screw up conducting! haha

So on Monday I set some personal goals for the remainder of my mission, and one of those is sharing 8 principles, one a week till I go home that I have learned throughout my mission with you all.

#1 "That God is absolutely mindful of ALL of His children"  
This knowledge is something that I cherish and love more than anything. There have been many different experiences throughout the mission that have absolutely borne testimony to me that this is true. I remember within my first couple transfers in the misson, Dad wrote me and shared an experience that he had in the Rexburg temple with me where he said that he had a powerful personal witness that God knew each of us individually and by name. I remember my thoughts earlier that same week was how that was possible, I definitley didnt doubt that God was there, but I questioned wether or not he cared for me individually. I remember reading that email and just having a powerful confirmation that God did know Elder Nic Barrus and that he was very mindful of what I was doing and what struggles I was going through. Every single convert that I have been blessed to be apart of their conversion has absolutely just reconfirmed this principle to me. I have learned that there are no such things as coincidences, that God is in control of all things, that He knows exactly what His children need in order to progress towards their divine potential! What an amazing blessing it is to me to understand this! This knowledge drives me to be a better person! It drives me to get through difficult experiences and to remain humble. I pray that everone will come to know if they havent already, that God knows him/her!

I love you all! Please share with me things that you have come to know! They strengthen my testimony!
Elder Nic Barrus

97th Letter: "Happy Transfers week!"

Dear Family,
Hello from Albuquerque once again! How in the world is everyone doing? Sounds like things are going really good! Everything is going great for me. Today we recieved 17 missionaries into the field, so we are keeping them under control. They are pretty well behaved so it hasnt been too bad. :) Picking up the new missionaries has to be up there for me as far as what I have loved the most among the many things we do. It is really amazing to see these knew missionaies bright eyed and so excited to work, walking by faith not really knowing what is ahead of them. I am always reminded of my experience coming into the mission, thinking about how scared and how unaware I was of the remarkable experience I was about to have. It amazes me how fast time has gone since that first day. It still seems like that was yesterday!

Elder Snyder and I are off to a great start! I aboslutely love the elder. We are going to have a great transfer together! I am super excited to see the work that we will do together.

The work in our are is going fairly well we have been seeing remarkable blessings with the time that we have had to proselyte which has been little, and probably will be little for the whole transfer. We have allot of leadership things to do! It is still my prayer that we will continue to baptize. I know that we will! The Lord always provides to the willing!

Devin Tsosie is recieving the aaronic priesthood on Sunday and is doing great! Still growing everyday as the gospel is molding him.

Time doesnt seem to be on my side lately as everything is going so fast! Know that I am good, and that I am working hard! I love this work, and I know it is the Lords work, because I know this is the Lords Church. I pray that you will all have a great week! Write me and tell me about it! :)
Love Elder Barrus

96th Letter: "Transfer Planning! #4"

Dear Family,
Well we are nearing the end of October which means Halloween is on the horizon! Looks like I will be dressing up as a missionary for at least one more year! ;) I hope you all have your costums picked out. Sounds like everyone is doing well and is really busy, which is good! Things have been equally as busy with me, as we wrapped of zone conference last week, and started transfer planning on yesterday. On Saturday I received my new companion his name is Elder Snyder and he is from San Diego. He goes home in March. I am super excited its going to be a great transfer!

I wish I had a buch to update on but really we have just been so busy with meetings, gratefully they have all gone as good as can be. This Transfer looks to be a decently small one we only have 15 missioaries coming in which is small compared to the last two. Also it doesnt look like too many missionaries are going to be getting transferred so it makes these next weeks a ton easier! It has been incredible over the last 5 months to have been able to work so closely with President Miller it definitely has been an incredible blessing in my life! He is such a great man!

Well sorry that there is not too much to report on this week. I have been doing pretty good! Just keep trudging along. Know that love you guys so much! Thanks for all that you do for me! Cheers to another 2 months! #getterdone
Elder Barrus

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

95th Letter: "Hey Hey! :)"

Hello Family,
Well another week is now behind us, and man did it go fast for me!! With Zone Conferences and things time just seems to keep speeding up. Its super scary how fast it is going!! Things have been going great for me, Zone Conf. has been really powerful all 3 of them so far. We have 2 more left, one tomorrow and one on Thursday and that will be that for my zone conference dues as an AP! :) haha no it has defintely been a blessing, there is just a ton that goes into it. It has been really cool I have now seen "Meet the Mormons" 4 times now, and it is just as powerful each time! If you havent gone and seen it yet, then go see it!! So some updates on what has been going on, and what will be going on in the near future. 

First off, I want to tell you what a miracle we have seen in the life of our RC Devin over the last 2 weeks since he was baptized. It has been absolutely incredible to see him continue to grow and develop in the gospel and his spirituality. The gospel truly has wrought a mighty change in his life, and has been molding him into a wonderful disciple of Jesus Christ. It has been such a testimony building experience for me, I have never seen someone change as much as he has in my life. And I have seen some pretty miraculous things throughout my mission too. 

With everything going on with meetings and what not, it has seemed like time proselyting in our area has been extremly little... Which is kind of depressing because our pool of progressing investigators is very small as well right now, but we have been seeing many blessings with the Lord continuing to prepare the hearts of the people that we are finding and teaching. Kevin our Irish investigator is doing alright, his progression slowed down as late a little bit, but is still looking pretty good to be baptized next Saturday if everything goes perfectly. We will see in our lesson on Friday if he is ready. He has had allot of things come up lately in his life that have caused him to be busy, and put baptism on the back burner a little bit... Pray for him! :) 

Something that has made me super happy this last week is on Sunday I got a call from Reese Dawson and he told me that he is recieving the Melchezidek Priesthood at Stake Conference the first Sunday in November along with Esequiel Flores is you remember him, he is another recent convert I had down in Las Cruces. I am sooo sooo excited for them! It is going to be such a blessing in their lives! It has been super exciting, and kind of depressing because it makes me feel like an old fart missionary, but to see my converts continue to progress throughout my mission. Also on Saturday we went out to Alamo for Alamo Days for our pday since we were busy down south with ZC last Tuesday. It was really cool, all of Alamo was there and so I was able to see everyone that I taught just in a few hours. The church had a booth their, and Anita and Charolette and Billy Joe Guerro were the ones manning it and they were doing tons of missionary work inviting everyone to come over and to fill out a referral sheet for the missionaries to come over, it was awesome to see! Haha I remember when they were non-members! 

Couple other notes is that I will recieve my new companion that I will have for 6 weeks on Saturday that will be exciting to find out who it is! And this weekend is Stake Conference and President Packers son who spoke in General Conference is coming! It should be great! :) 

Well Family I sure do love you! And miss you a ton! :) It excites me that I will see you all again soon! But scares me because I absolutely love my mission and I already know that I will miss it like crazy! 

Love you tons Family! 
Elder Barrus
ps dont be afraid to write me! 
I hit the flag on a par 3! From the tee. Best shot of the day

Same shot, it hit the green pretty hard :) haha

With the ABQ-E Zone Leaders


94th Letter: "Zone Conference!"

Dear Family!
Sorry to keep having all of these odd times of emailing lately, nothing is ever scheduled as an assistant we just email when we can! Things have been crazy busy we had Zone Conferences in EL Paso on Monday and then in Las Cruces on Tuesday, they went great! Very powerful meetings, that I feel were bennificial for the missionaries in attendance. As part of the zone conference we watched "Meet the Mormons" the new film that was produced by the church that will be in theatres this weekend! It is soooo good! You all should definitely take the time and go to it! 

Wasnt conference great! It was a fantastic weekend for me, I gained allot of personal revelation for myself and the things that I can improve on! I am sure it was a similar experience for you as well. It was pretty cool our recent convert Devin watched all 10 hours of conference. He is such a champ, it has been sooo sooo amazing to see the huge difference in him since his baptism! The gospel truly does change lives. Devin is even going to the Pheonix temple open house with the branch this weekend, we are super excited for him. One of our new investigators named Kevin came to conference this weekend as well and is still doing super good as he is working toward his baptisimal date of the 25th of this month. He is super super cool! 

Well I am way sorry but we are jam packed with things that we need to do. Next week we have 3 zone conferences up north and on Saturday I will recieve my new companion, that I will have 7 weeks to train how to be an AP before I am released. Time definitely is flying bye! Love you tons and know that I am doing great and very much enjoying the work amid the business. :) 
Elder Barrus 
ps I will send Devins bap photo as soon as I can!


93rd Letter: "Goodbye September!"

Dear Family,
Another hectic and busy week has come and gone, with an even more hectic and busy week on the horizon! Real quick thanks again fro all of your letters, and all of the time that you take out of your busy lives to update me!! I appreciate it allot, and I definitely feel of your deep love! Well as most of you probably know Devin Tsosie was baptized on Saturday! It sure was a wonderful experience! But it was very crazy as well, and I will tell you why. So Saturday was a busy day leading up to the baptism, we had appointments scattered throughout it, and we had to be at the temple for cleaning at 1pm to 3pm. The baptism was at 5pm and the plan was that the Stake baptisms that were earlier in the day would leave the font filled for us. They confirmed that they would do so and so we had trust that they would. That was a mistake. We show up at 4pm and none of the chairs are set up facing the font....immediately I knew that they forgot and that the font wasn't going to be filled! And it wasn't.... :( We rushed and started the font but it was not filling up fast at all, usually this takes about 3 hours to fill. So we went crazy filling up empty garbage cans in the kitchen, getting a hose from the janitors closet and hooking it up to the faucet there, and dragging it all of the way to the other side of the church to the font. Definitely a miracle took place as we filled the font in 45 min! It was not the cleanest water, but nevertheless it was water! Seriously Satan does all that he can to thwart a baptism from happening! He lost this battle though! :) So Devin was baptized and it was a powerful service, I was blessed to be able to baptize him, and a usual timid and non emotional man came up out of the water with the biggest smile on his face. It was really touching to see! Devin has gone truly seen a transformation in his life, from living in a life full of addictions to now a guilt free conscience and the spirit flowing through him! How wonderful is the gospel and the message of the atonement! It surely is a message of change!

So an update our investigator Josh should be getting baptized in the coming month. He is totally prepared, but just needs to find a house in our stake before he can get baptized. We had a miracle this Sunday as a potential investigator came to church named Kevin Mckenna, he is super solid too! He is from Ireland, he came over here with his mom and dad a few years ago. I was learning all sorts of Irish terms on Sunday. Probably only Zac would understand. "Whats the story horse?" I think that's my favorite! Anyways we expect great things from him, we definitely know that he has been prepared by the Lord to here the message of the Restored gospel!

So Thursday is MLC and Friday is Zone Trainings, so pray for me that all goes well there. Also we start zone conferences this next Monday, starting down in El Paso. I have a big feeling that October is going to fly bye! And then Stephen will be home, that will be weird, and then December will be here, and we don't talk about that! ;) Something that I am looking forward to in November is Elder Lawerence E. Corbridge of the seventy is coming to the mission! He will probably release me as an assistant as soon as he meets me, but I am super excited to meet him and work with him closely for a few days! Well Family I sure do love you. You really are the greatest family an Elder Barrus could ask for! :) I pray for you daily, and I hope you feel of the deep love and care that our Heavenly Father has for each of us!
Elder Nic Barrus

Sunday, September 28, 2014

92nd Letter: "I love to see the temple, I went there yesterday!'

Hello Family,
Good to hear another report from the y'all! Glad to hear that everyone is doing pretty good. I have been doing great as well! Things definitely still havent slowed down that much which still is good, but definitely tiring!! We were blessed to go to the temple yesterday and that was absolutely amazing! It was such a revelatory experience for me, and had powerful witnesses from the spirit that I was standing in a holy place. This morning in my studies I pondered and studied allot about the temple and I came upon a powerful talk that taught me powerful lessons that I wanted to share. The talk is titled "Holy Places, Sacred Space" by Elder Neuenschwander 

"Great personal preparation is required for us to receive the spiritual benefit of standing in holy places. Holy places and sacred space are also distinguished by the sacrifice they require. Elder M. Russell Ballard has taught that “the word sacrifice means literally ‘to make sacred,’ or ‘to render sacred’” (“The Law of Sacrifice,”Ensign, Oct. 1998, 8; Liahona, Mar. 2002, 13). The words sacred and sacrifice come from the same root. One may not have the sacred without first sacrificing something for it. There can be no sacredness without personal sacrifice. Sacrifice sanctifies the sacred.
To many, the grove near the Smith farm in upstate New York is simply beautiful and peaceful. To Latter-day Saints across the world, however, it is sacred because of the faith and reverence we bring to it and the depth of sacrifice it represents." 
This really hit me hard, definitely taught me an eternal principle of how the words sacred and sacrifice relate. And how we are to make things sacred. It definitely is true to me for mission. My mission has been incredibly sacred to me, and that is because my mission has been full of sacrifices. I hope maybe you can take something from that and ponder on the things that are most sacred to you and why. 

Well as for an update on our area, we should be having 2 baptisms if all goes well. One this week and one next week, definitely the Lords hand would have to play a huge role to make it happen but I have faith that it will. 

So going back to Alamo was absolutely amazing! I could talk forever on the wonderful experiences that I had this weekend. I was able to introduce the elders to about 30 new people there. I wish that I had another day to be with them, there was tons of people that I still wanted them to meet. I pray that the work will begin to pick back up there. 

Well Family take care and have another great week! If you feel so impressed feel free to send me something!! 

4400 Presidential Drive Ne Suite E 
ABQ, NM 87109 
Love you tons                
Elder Nic Barrus

91st Letter: "Better late than never!"

Dear Family,
Well I will muster all of the brain power that I have to write you what has been going on over this last week. I am super sorry that I haven't been able to write you sooner. As you know it is transfer week and we have been running all over the place! Transfers went incredibly smooth which was such a blessing! It was the biggest transfer in the history of the mission as well, so its a miracle that nothing really went wrong. I can say though that I have never been more tired in my life! And you have heard me say that many times before in my letters, but this definitely tops them all. You could never believe what all goes into transfers, especially when you have over 230 missionaries in a mission. Along with the stress of missionaries going all over the place, this transfer definitely had its flow of emotions. It was super hard to believe that Elder Lish was going home! It seemed like yesterday that he picked me up when I first came into the mission and took me to Alamo. Time does fly bye!! Both him and Elder Black gave powerful departing testimonies at the transfer site, both served incredible missions and are great examples to me! 

Well with transfers behind us, we are looking ahead to a very very busy couple of months! Starting off tomorrow I am going out to Alamo for a couple of days to try to help those missionaries pick up the work. It has really slowed down over the last year... I am going to take them to the whole Res. and really try to help strengthen the relationship with the missionaries out there. I am super excited! Most all of my recent converts out there are remaining active and are progressing towards the temple. It will be great to see them all again! 

Then on Monday will be my last temple trip before I go home! I am really looking forward to that, I sure miss going to the temple! It is going to be great being able to go whenever I want. For sure at least once a week! Last temple trip President Miller promised us in the temple that if we make the temple a priority in our life, then we will have greater direction on where happiness lies for us as we come upon important decisions. I think that promise is true for all of us!
Recently we have been planning zone conference with President it is going to be great! Also my last zone conference in the mission as well... thats hard to believe, I sure love zone conferences! We are going to be watching the church film that is premiering in October called "Meet the Mormons" I am sure some of you have heard about it, but its suppose to be a film about a bunch of different Mormons and their lives and why they are members. The Brethren are expecting us to use it as a finding tool, as it will be viewed in most theaters throughout the country. You should see if you could find a non-member or less-active to take with you to watch it! I already checked and it is going to be filmed in Idaho Falls, Mesa, and Las Vegas! :) And dont worry in Albuquerque as well! I am not exempt, but I cant go to the theatre! But anyways with Zone Conference comes allot of traveling and allot of time out of our area... which is sad because we have so much going for us! Devin is back on track and seems to be doing well to be baptized, along with Josh and couple of our other investigators in the near future. 

Real quick though I want to share some cool things that have been happening lately, definitely we have seen miracles in our area, but I have seen tons of miracles lately as I have followed up on my recent converts throughout my mission just in the last couple of weeks! First off I have been so blessed to have had such solid converts that are mostly remaining active in the church, if not coming semi-actively. But since I left Alamo I was extremely concerned about Norna and Hilbert Apachito, a couple that was baptized in June of 2013. They were super solid, and I got so so close to them, they were doing super well after they were baptized until about 2 weeks before I left the reservation. They had a series of traumatic events happen for a period of time and I didn't seem them or hear from them for a while, I was scared that they fell away from the church and were possibly divorced. I had been praying for them, and that I would be blessed to have a way to get in contact with them since I left Alamo. Then the miracle happened this last week as I called Anita and talked to her for a while, she is Norna's aunt and I figured she might have an idea where they are. She told me that they moved to Socorro with their two kids (1st miracle they are all still together). She didnt have a phone number or any way to contact her though. So I thought that I would as the Socorro elders if they by any random chance might have heard of a Norna or Hilbert Apachito, they said that just a week earlier they received a media referral from for a Hilbert Apachito that said he was requesting missionaries. They mentioned that they had been trying to contact him every day, but whenever they call they get no answer, and said that they were about ready to throw the referral away. I asked for the phone number and gave it a call this last Monday before the arriving missionaries came. I don't think words or anything I could type could put into feeling the experience that happened when I called. Norna answered the phone on about the second ring and I could immediately tell it was her, I said Yah'teh Norna its Elder Y'aansin (my nickname out there, means em"barrus" in Navajo). I couldnt hear a response for about 30 seconds but I could tell that she was crying... She went on to tell me that she had been praying that there would be some way that she could get back in contact with me, she knew that if they sent for help on that it would get to me somehow. She then told me that they went to church a couple of weeks in Socorro, but nobody said hi to them and they felt uncomfortable. She also said that Shant'e there little 8 year old girl came up to them as soon as she turned 8 and said now I can get baptized Mom! So I eventually got their address and gave it to the missionaries in Socorro, they have since gone over and visited with them. Norna and Hilbert said that they want to go through the temple and get sealed before I go home. It sounds like Shat'e will be getting baptized in the next couple weeks too! I am just so amazed at how The Lord works! He definitely is mindful of our prayers, and He will always grant our righteous desires! :) 

Love you tons family, I hope all is going well for you! :) Take Care! 
Elder Barrus

Saturday, September 13, 2014

90th Letter: "A letter home!"

Dear Family!
Well hello again, its just your missionary here in Albuquerque again. Things sure are bright and sunny here, its starting to feel as though fall is upon us though! As it is no longer 98 degrees but rather 94 degrees! :) I wish I could say I love the weather, lets just say I love the weather at night when the sun has gone to bed. Well thanks so much for your letters and for sharing your personal experiences it really does mean allot and helps and strengthens me to know that I am not alone! 

Things here have been crazy busy! Transfers are back again which I cant believe, we have 21 new missionaries coming in next monday and then on wednesday we have 2 temple square missionaries coming in. Its pretty awesome to see the mission continue to grow and progress. We definitely have entered the final hour, The Lord has been hastening His work and it is ever evident! Our area is continuing to progress, we have been finding new investigators like crazy, and Devin has reset his baptismal date for in a couple weeks. We also have set baptismal dates with our investigators Josh and with our investigator Melvin! God is blessing us!  

So probably one of the worst things about being an assistant is having to be with the departing missionaries for their last day and having to take them to the airport. It has gotten harder and harder transfer after transfer, as I have come to know and love the missionaries that are leaving. This transfer I am having to say goodbye to Elder Lish and Elder Black, two former companions that have become super close friends.  

Well I am sure I have tons more to report on, but my mind is spent! Transfer planning is so spiritually exhausting which makes me physically exhausted! Just know that things are going super well and that I am growing each and every day! I have said it over and over again, but I absolutely love my mission. I have set goals of the things that I know that The Lord has for me to accomplish for my final 100 days... (makes me sick) but I am going to work my hardest and really do all I can to fulfill the work The Lord has for me.  

I love you soo sooo sooo much! 
Elder Nic Barrus

89th Letter: "Hey September!"

Dear Family!
Well fam hello from Albuquerque, things sure are going great in this wonderful state. From what it sounds like things are going well back home, either you all are getting use to me being gone or you are just waiting to fill me in on life in a few months, but I dont think I now too much of whats going on back home. Maybe you are just trying to keep me from being trunky! haha thats probably it! Well I have a lot of things to fill you in on that have been happening in my life this last week, I dont have to much time so I wont be able to elaborate to much on things, but I hope you get a just of what is going on. 

First off I absolutely love my mission! It continues to humble me in gratitude for what my Heavenly Father has blessed me to be apart of and witness over these last 20 months. I'll be honest in saying that when I opened my call my first impressions werent that of joy and excitement to go to the deserts of the west, but there isnt a better place in the world to me now. It is going to break my heart having to say goodbye one day, its starting to feel like more of a reality that its going to be in the near future as well. I wish that every missionary would be able to experience the mission that I have! 

Items to report on: 
Melanie Aragon was baptized on Saturday and it was such a great ordinance! I am still doing good, havent had to redo an ordinance yet. I make sure that they are under before I pull them back up! ;) Unfortunately Devin wasnt quite ready to get baptized on Saturday, spiritually he is ready, and has done everything except he has struggled with the word of wisdom a bit... stinking devils lettuce.... He was clean for 2 weeks and then Satan tempted him hard core Friday night and he gave in. He is recommitted and should hopefully get baptized on the 13th or the 20th of this month. The Branch is doing great to support and help him along the path.

Reese and Sarah Dawson went to the temple in ABQ to do baptisms for the dead on Saturday and had a great experience. Reese said that he has never felt anything like he did in the temple. He said that allot of his questions were answered. I am so happy for them I love them so much! 

Oscar and Christabel (Las Cruces) set a baptismal date for November 1st, and are looking good for that date! They asked if I would baptize them, so we will probably make a special trip down there for that! I got super close to them while I served there. Elder Figgins and I found and taught them the lessons, they just struggled to accept the need to get baptized again. 

Lee Tsosie (Alamo RC) is getting close to go to the temple to get his endowment as well as Charolette and Billy Joe and Anita Apachito. I talked to Anita this morning on the phone and basically they are the only active members of the is super sad to see how fast the work slowed down out there... I am really praying that President sends me out there for my final 3 weeks.

Mark Corey (Academy Heights RC) should be going through the temple this next month as well! 

My release date is now official, I will be coming home on December 24th! Merry Christmas Eve! I am pretty sure that my flight leaves ABQ at like 6:30am and that I arrive in IF at like 12:30pm, we will see in the future. Just FYI

Hope all is well back home love you tons! 

Elder Nic Barrus
Wonderful weekend as I was blessed with the opportunity to both baptize and confirm Melanie. We were really praying that Devin was going to be able to get baptized as well, but it will probably be next Saturday, he is still super prepared and is really growing in the gospel! The work is definitely moving forward, and it is such a blessing to see! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

88th Letter: "BYE August!"

Dear Family,
Well hello there again! Sure sounds like things are going good throughout the Barrus family! Brings great joy for me to hear about those wonderful things, while I am in good ole New Mexico. Still it is amazing me how fast time is flying bye, there have been some great things happening here that have been super fun to be apart of. Devin is looking pretty solid to make his baptism on Saturday which is really exciting, Devin asked if I would baptize him which is a great blessing! First baptism in Nob Hill! :) Also the sisters in the Nob Hill branch are having a baptism as well and her name is Melanie, and she also asked if I would baptize her, so I am going to be getting wet on Saturday. :) Pray that everything goes great preparing for the baptism! Satan definitely does all that he can to prohibit the baptism from happening.  

Well with school back in session, we have been talking to allot of really great people! Seems like The Lord has prepared allot of UNM students to receive the gospel this semester! :) We are going to work our little tail feathers off to give as many of them the opportunity to hear about it too! We were actually able to get in contact with the UNM starting QB Clayton Mitchem, as well and we are going to start teaching him. He is pretty interested in the Book of Mormon. Randy Williams is the DE at UNM and he was baptized about a year ago, so we are going to see if he can help us out teaching him. So all in all the missionary work is going great! We werent able to meet with Eric this last week and he has been slow in returning our text messages so we are praying that he maintains his desire to be baptized! His brother just got home from Afghanistan so that is a pretty good excuse to be busy. 

So our travels has taken us all over the mission lately, we did trainings for all of our zone leaders throughout the mission last week. First on Wednesday we traveled up to Espanola with President Miller and trained the Santa Fe ZL's it was a great experience being able to be in the same vehicle with President for so long. He talked to us about all sorts of things, we asked him allot of gospel questions and deferent policies throughout the church and his views on them. It was a very special experience! For the last hour on our car ride home he just talked to us about dating and what to look for in a wife, and what not to look for! :) Valuable knowledge for sure! 

On Thursday we trained the ZL's in the ABQ area, and then immediately left for El Paso to start exchanges with the Las Cruces, and Mount Franklin west ZL's. We had a wonderful training with all of the southern ZL's Friday afternoon, and then President took us all out to Applebee's for dinner, definitely wasn't cheap, but it was very good!! We did another exchange down south following dinner with the Mount Franklin east and El Paso ZL's, and then headed back to ABQ Saturday morning. Something that was special was on our way back from El Paso we stopped in Las Cruces and gave Esequiel some things he asked me to get for him. He took us to lunch at McDonalds and we had a great talk with him, he is such an incredible man! His knowledge of the gospel is only growing! He knows more about the Book of Mormon than most members do. His desire to do missionary work is crazy too, he has given many people a Book of Mormon, and talks to about everyone about the gospel as he delivers mail each day. A funny experience that kind of lets you know a little bit more of what Esequiel is like: One day he was pondering while he was delivering mail is how he can help the Muslims come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and importantly the Book of Mormon, he desperately wanted to help them. He said that each day he would watch the news and see all of the horrible things that are happening, and he would immediately feel that they needed the Book of Mormon. So he decided one day he was going to write his testimony in a Book of Mormon and highlight some verses and put it in front of one of their Muslim Mosques. He didnt want to talk to them face to face, but he knew that they had services on Fridays, so he went Thursday night and put it by the door! He is one incredible man, he has been an incredible blessing for me on my mission. (He was baptized while I was serving in Las Cruces) 

Well family I am off to Taos, NM for pday! Have a wonderful week! And know that I love each of you soooo much! I know that the work I am doing changes lives! Lets all be apart of it! Talk to someone on the plane or at the store/ work. You can do it! :)
Elder Barrus

Friday, August 22, 2014

87th Letter: ":) Yolo"

Dear Family,
Well hello my beloved family members, it is once again p-day and here I am again for probably close to the 90th time writing you! My mission just keeps getting better and better, we had a fantastic week of inviting others to come unto Christ. Its been pretty remarkable seeing the growth and progression in this area as we have worked hard and relied on The Lord, something that I have strove to do throughout my whole mission. I have definitely been able to witness continual miracles in the work as I have done so. I love how much of a personal progression the mission is if you allow it to be, I have come to know that the missionaries that let the mission go through them are the ones that are truly changed and converted to the gospel and this work. Its not easy thats for sure, the mission has been the most difficult thing that I have done in my life, but it has been the most rewarding thing I have done for many different reasons, most of all I feel the testimony that I have gained of the Plan of Salvation, and being able to see things with eternal eyes now rather than temporal has definitely brought eternal blessings because of my mission. I feel that I have been able to gain a glimpse of the love that our Heavenly Father has for us and His desire for all of His children to return back to Him. 

Some experiences that we were able to have this past week: 
I think I have mentioned Devin before with you in past letters, but he is our most progressing investigator and is looking pretty solid to make his baptismal date for next Saturday. He has come to church for the past 5 weeks, and is really starting to gain a better understanding of the gospel. We had a pretty neat experience as we took him to the temple for our lesson on the Word of Wisdom, we discussed how God views our bodies as a temple, and so we should as well. He committed to live the commandment, it will definitely be something that will test him as he prepares to be baptized though. We promised him that he stayed strong tell his baptism that the temptation would be lesser following the baptism. 

So this might sound a little bad, but my whole mission I have desired a blacktism.... a black baptism. And so a couple of weeks ago at sports night on Thursday there was a black guy there and I wasnt going to miss out on the opportunity of teaching him. So immediately following one of their games I ran over to him and invited him to learn and he accepted and is super prepared! We have taught him twice and has accepted a baptismal date for September 6. Looks super solid for the date too. His name is Eric from Chama, NM. Plays bball like Carmelo Anthony too haha :) 

Love you family and God speed! Figgins's leave tomorrow... :( Going to miss them like crazy! 
Elder Barrus

86th Letter: "#Family!"

Dear Family,
Hello my beloved individuals of my life! It has been more and more apparent to me on my mission how amazing of a family that I have been blessed to have. Thank you all for being such amazing role models in my life. From the example of an older brother who I watched serve a mission, and follow the spirit throughout his life. To a sister Amanda, who no matter what I could always talk to and be strengthened by her wonderful testimony and example. To my partner in crime of a sister Tiff, who has been by me my whole life, who read ensign talks and scriptures with me when we couldn't sleep the night before Christmas. And especially to my wonderful parents who have taught me a countless number of lessons, and especially how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father has given me parents who love each other, who have been so devoted to each other for the past 30 years. Thanks Family! 

So this week has definitely been a lot calmer than last week! And what a blessing that has been! We have been able to devote a large amount of our time to proselyting, which has been a first in a while. But blessings and miracles have been flowing. It was pretty cool, before we started transfer planning we always fast that Sunday. And President Miller opened that with a prayer, in his prayer he prayed that our area would be watched over and blessed even though we wouldnt be able to devote our time to it, and that we would be able to recognize miracles as we returned from transfers. Needless to say we have. There is a really good chance that we could have a baptism either this Saturday or next Saturday of our investigator Aleks. We set a baptismal date with our investigator Devin, for August 30th he definitely is going to make it! And countless other miracles we have seen, with new investigators and the investigators that we already have starting to progress. 

Sorry I have to make this letter a little shorter, but as I mentioned last week we have Elder Figgins brother staying with us which has been incredible! I love him to death! He signed my flag "Elder Brandon Figgins (Best Buds)" haha But we are taking him right now to the Zoo, it is going to be sweet we have a hook up and are going to have back stage passes to the elephant exhibit. After the zoo we are going bowling, and then playing some bball! :) So we got a busy fun pday ahead of us! 

Love you tons family! 
Elder Barrus

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

85th Letter: "Hey Fam!"

Dear Family,
I am sorry that it has gotten so late in the week and I haven't been able to write you! Do doubt this has been the craziest busiest week of my mission!! First off thank you all for your continual letters that you have been writing me, they mean allot and I can definitely feel of your love. So to kind of explain the intensity of the week, it all started with getting 25 new missionaries on Monday. It went really well, but just the fact that you are responsible for 25 missionaries at one time, to get their housing, transportation, training, interview with president...etc in order takes allot of brain power. So needless to say Monday night I was exhausted, and really we didn't get to bed till early Tuesday morning. So Tuesday at 7am was our transfer meeting, so after our pinch of sleep we rounded up the troops and headed over to the church. The meeting went supper well, I was amazed how smoothly it went. Then all day Tuesday we were with the departing missionaries, and housed and transported all 20 of them. Wednesday morning they headed to the airport and headed off, it was a super depressing departing group for me as I got way close to allot of those missionaries. After we dropped the missionaries off at the airport President Miller commanded us to go home and get some sleep, we were able to get a couple hours of rest, but at 3pm we had to go to the airport and meet with President to plan MLC for the following day, that took the rest of the day and we didnt get home Wednesday night till about 12pm. Yesterday was MLC obviously, and it was a powerful meeting. We really felt impressed in our planning to focus on how missionaries and members need to work together, and how it is a responsibility of the missionaries to help the members be engaged. We have noticed in our mission that since the hastening of the work that missionaries have taken a step back and just put the weight of missionary work on the shoulders of members, or they just get too frustrated with the members and just do all of the missionary work by themselves. It was powerfully impressed upon our minds the importance and the significance that it would have on our mission, if missionaries and members learned how to properly work together. Yesterday we discussed ways to help this happen, various things that missionaries can do to strengthen the relationships with the members. 

Also something that I have forgotten to tell you is that Elder Figgins brother came into the mission for Elder Figgins last 2 weeks. He has high functioning cerebral palsy, he has always wanted to be a missionary, and so President Miller has allowed him to come. What is so awesome about it as well is that they are staying at our apartment. He is such a special young man and brings a powerful spirit about him. I am sure that you remember but Elder Figgins and I served together in Las Cruces, and he has become a very close friend we will definitely always be close throughout our lives.  

Family I love and appreciate all that you do. I know that I have been called of God to be a set apart representative of Jesus Christ at all times, to be able to bring the joys of the gospel into the lives of those around me, but I also know with all of my heart that this isnt the responsibility of just the missionaries! Members in all parts of the world need to join hands in this great cause of truth. Open your mouth and witness the blessings of missionary work! :) 
Elder Barrus :) 

Monday, August 4, 2014

84th Letter: "Last week of July!"

Dear Family,
Another week has come and gone, and we are just about to say goodbye to July. Its hard to believe that August is already here! July has been such an eventful and stressful month, but nonetheless a happy month! I have been blessed to see so many miracles in the the Lords work. And also the miracle of growth within myself! As I have faced so many difficult challenges The Lord truly has blessed me with the strength and capabilities to carry out his work. I would have to say that that has been one of the great blessings of realization that I have come to on my mission, that The Lord wants us to grow and progress, and that He always qualifies us for His work! More and more that I serve and share this wonderful message with the world, the stronger and stronger my testimony grows that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, and that they have called and answered Joseph Smiths prayer to restore their church back to the earth. I have realized that this is a priceless blessing! Especially as I have seen many individuals, members, investigators, and even missionaries struggle to be converted to what they share. I can say with out a doubt in my heart that I know that it is true.

This has been something that I have been trying to always remember as we have been carried away with duties that take us to the mission office each day as we help the mission in a different way. I know why I am here and what The Lord has called me to do. Transfers has been stressful but an amazing process to see everything come together, it has been incredible to see the inspiration flow through President Miller who has been given the keys over this mission to decide who needs to be companions with who. I have no doubt in my mind that The Lord is very much apart of the process and that He knows each of His missionaries individually!

We have been seeing slow progress in our area, it has been difficult as of late as allot of our time has been in the office, but with the time that we have been blessed to have to proselyte we have been seeing miracles in the Nob Hill Branch.

My challenge to each of you is to take an extra 10 min to study the Book of Mormon this week and to check your personal conversion to this gospel! I promise you that it will bless your life! :)

Love you tons!
Elder Nic Barrus

Friday, July 25, 2014

83rd Letter: "Hola mi amigos! :)"

Hey Family!
Just down here in El Paso practicing my spanish it basically is Mexico here! Well I have been doing really good! It is hard for me to believe that this transfer is about to come to a close as we will be doing transfer planning next Monday. 25 new elders and sisters enter the MTC to come to ABQ on the 4th, tomorrow. I have been thinking allot about how that experience was for me, getting dropped off at the MTC and all. Honestly it was kind of traumatizing. I definitely feel for those missionaries!

Well I dont have much time this week, but know that things are going good! I have been lost in the work! It is a wonderful experience being able to get so caught up in the work of The Lord that it is your everything! I have told you many times in my emails, but I love this work with all of my heart! I realized it again yesterday as I was able to see Esequiel Flores and Reese and Sarah and Brenda Chavez, of just how much of an impact missionaries can have on an individuals life! It brings so much joy and happiness to me to be able to witness that!! :) Its hard to believe that I have about 5 months left until I come home and go to school, it actually has been terrifying to think that one day this will come to an end. I have been studying allot lately about being converted and mastering self discipline, as I dont want to change or loose the valuable things that I have learned on my mission! I know that as we all focus on The Lord and live the gospel of Jesus Christ that we will all be alright! We will face challenges but nothing will be too much for us too bare! :)

"The Power of Self Mastery" By James E Faust

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud:
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed. …
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Love you tons
Elder Nic Barrus

Hi, your son Elder Barrus was on splits the other
day with a missionary from our ward. We had the
privilege of having them to dinner. I took this
shot knowing how fun it is to get a pic. I also
have a son on a mission, a grand daughter on a
mission and my husband and I are serving a
service mission here in our town of Albuq.
We are the directors of the Bishops Storehouse.
Janet Hess

Sunday, July 20, 2014

82nd Letter: "Yah'teh! :)"

Hey Family!
Well well it here we are again!! It sure looked like you had a fabulous time in Island Park, man I love that place. Probably the one of the things I have missed the most from being on the mission is camping. Grandpa and Grandma Barrus really instilled that love for the outdoors in me at a really young age and I have missed being able to sleep in the wild! haha even though I usually got scared and convinced myself that there was a bear outside my tent every single night, usually it was just Dad snoring!! Nah but thats great thats great that allot of the family was able to come I am sure it was great to see them all. Well my week was amazing! So so much stuff happened that I don't know even where to start. 

First off we have the wonderful privilege of calling all of the new missionaries before they enter into the MTC and ask them how their preparations are going, its a pretty fun experience. Most of them are so excited and nervous that they dont know what to say when we tell them that we are calling from ABQ. President has asked us to ask them a series of questions that include worthiness, study skills and if they have a girlfriend. The girlfriend question is always the funniest on to ask, most of the time they respond timidly. It has been pretty exciting though as we are getting 25 new missionaries into the mission! Definitely another influx. With that it is also our responsibility to find out which areas we are going to be opening throughout the mission, it looks like we will be opening 5 new areas this transfer! :)   

Well miracles galor this week as we taught 8 member presents and found 3 new investigators which is pretty much unknown of in Nob Hill, but it looks like it is going to be a new normal hopefully! We have seen incredible miracles with those that we are teaching, one of which is with Rudy who I told you about last week! He is doing great and still has a definite desire to be baptized. We set another date with a guy named Daniel Cruz who is promising as well. Went to the temple with an investigator named Ilya and had an amazing experience there, I will send pics later. Absolute miracle with our investigator named Alex. He has serious health problems and has been in the hospital for weeks now. He passed away for about 10 min and when they revived him he said that he had to tell us something. He told us that he needed to get baptized immediately, and that he knows everything is true now. He is still in the hospital but as soon as he is healthy which hopefully is soon, then we will baptize him. The work is going great!! :) 

I have allot more to tell you, but we have to leave to go to Alamo for P-day! The Crofts go home next week, and I wanted to spend the day with them! :) We will pick up Elder Lish in Los Lunas on the way down. Should be a blast, I will make sure to take plenty of pictures!
Love you tons
Elder Barrus
Good Times
Saying Goodbye to Las Cruces!

Heading to El Paso after church today!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

81st Letter: "Happy 8th of July!"

Hey hey hey its your boy Elder Barrus! :) Its so good to hear how good each of you are doing!! It most definitely brings a smile to my face! Sounds though that each of you have been crazy busy! Which is good because I have as well!!  I described to you last week basically everything that was going to be happening this week, and everything happened, and much much more... Everything went great but it was crazy!! So MLC went great, it was a little nerve racketing training the best missionaries most of which I had been companions with before, but the spirit that was in the room was incredible. Revelation flew from all of our mouths as we sought for inspiration of how to lead the mission. After that on Friday we went up to Espanola NM for Zone Training and had a wonderful time with those missionaries in the Santa Fe zone. After which I stayed in Espanola on exchanges with Elder Morris (who was the only spanish elder that came out with me) he is a fantastic missionary, and a good friend! We had a great time there teaching all of the druggies of Espanola. Everything was going as planned, and we were to have the weekend and yesterday to focus on proselyting in our area! Until we get a call from President Miller telling us that we needed to emergency transfer a missionary as soon as possible and it was on us to do it. Just as we got done with that we texted President and we let him know that the transfer went well, he responded "Perfect, call me later tonight we have another ET situation." So in the last 48 hours we have had to ET two missionaries... Its been quite the ride! Needless to say I am excited to relieve some stress by playing some bball in a couple hours!

Things have been good though. It definitely has been different, and really stressful and kind of discouraging at times, but I have been happy for sure. The hardest thing I think has been leaving an area like Mesilla Valley (LC) that I loved so much where I got to know so many wonderful people that I grew to deeply love, and then coming here where when I came in they were teaching 2 investigators that weren't progressing and really don't even want us to come over. This hasnt been something to terribly new for me I have had to deal with that literally in every area that I have entered. I came to a humble realization that Heavenly Father he wanted me to gain that same love for this area just as I have had for my other areas. That meant that I needed to have more faith and work harder at finding those that are prepared! Since I realized that on Wednesday we have seen incredible blessings. We have found 3 solid investigators, one of which I want to tell you about. His name is Rudy, we came into contact with him by receiving a referral for him from one of his friends that is serving in the Las Vegas mission. Rudy wasnt too terribly surprised when we showed up at his door, but still wasnt expecting it. He accepted to meet with us and we had one of the most powerful Restoration lessons that been apart of on my mission! It was incredible how powerful the spirit was as we taught him, he was listening so intently and you could definitely tell that he was feeling the spirit. After the lesson we proceeded to invite him to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God, and he immediately accepted, there was no hesitation. Right after he said yes he began to smile and you could tell he was excited for what laid before him. Truly was an incredible experience and I have already grown to love Rudy. Its amazing how we were taught in the MTC to invite someone to be baptized on the first and every lesson, I never really gained a testimony of that until I have applied it. God is working miracles among us, what a blessing it is to witness and to be apart of that! :) 

We also had a crazy experience this last week too, as we were teaching Jesse for the first time. The lesson started off great and the spirit definitely was with us as we taught about the Restoration, and we got to the point where we invited him to read the Book of Mormon and his facial expressions changed, and he got a creepy like possessed face on and just said straight up "NO", we were really confused because he just said how much he wanted to change and that he believed everything. We asked him with a puzzled look if there was a reason why and he didnt say a word back. We told him that it would bring him happiness, and he said that he was already happy... And just stared us down. I thought he was going to kill Elder Jensen. I am convinced that he got possessed like immediately as we invited him to read the Book of Mormon, it was weird. Other than that things are going great though! haha 

Love you all tons and hope you have a great week! 
Elder Nic Barrus