Thursday, February 20, 2014

57th Letter: "New Transfer!!"

Dear Family, 

Transfer day is officially the most tiring days of my life! I am exhausted, there is so much going on!! I will give you an overview of a bit of what has happened. 5:30 wake up and get ready, we have to be at the Transfer site at7:00am to make it to the leadership meeting that is before the actual meeting which starts at 7:30am. So I recieved a new companion whose name is Elder Doutre. I will be training him as a ZL. He has been out about 10 months now and he is from Sandy, Utah. So far so good he seems like a really great missionary so I am pretty excited. Its pretty crazy having the responsibility of training him, its hard because there is so much that goes into being a ZL that I don't know where to start. But I am very excited! It is going to be an awesome experience!! Just have to trust sometimes that the Lord knows what he is doing in all of this!! I have said this time and time again throughout my mission, but the Lord never lets you feel "comfortable" as a missionary. He is constantly pushing and pulling you trying to help you become better. I definitely am very willing, but all of this pushing and pulling is really making me tired! Haha what did I sign up for?! :)
Something that I did not expect to find out this morning is that my son Elder Gibson got made a Zone Leader, and his new companion is Elder Lish!! So my father will be training my son to be a zone leader, haha it is crazy I did not see it coming. Its pretty cool though 3 generations of Zone Leaders. Elder Gibson will do a great job I am excited for him. Also today they made a new zone down in El Paso and its an english zone leader area so now there is the possibilty that I could go to El Paso at some point!
Well that has pretty much been my day! Love you tons family take care!! :) 
Elder Barrus

My House

Party on the roof-top!! :)

Elder Black and I last night as companions we had to do the Panorama Heights North tradition of sleeping on the roof-top of our house. We had been meaning to do it a long time ago but we always wimped out because it was too cold or we were too tired! Ha so last night we decided that we were going to do it! It got freezing cold and about an hour earlier one of our members scared the crap out of us telling us how bad it is when black-widow spiders bite you :( so we didn't sleep very well but we kept the tradition going!! :) RIO ZION! :) I LOVE THIS WORK!! Thanks for all that you do my wonderful family and friends!  
Elder Barrus

56th Letter: "Barrus-bunch what up?!"

Hey y'all!! Sorry to keep switching up on you when I am emailing... I don't like it either! Our mission has a weird p-day schedule. So every week of transfers p-day is on Monday, but every other week it is always on Tuesday. So Elder Black is getting transferred and I will be staying in Rio Rancho for another transfer. There is a pretty good chance that we will be emailing tomorrow as well so that my companion can tell his family where he is, so feel free to still email me tonight because I should be on tomorrow sometime! :) Well I am really going to miss Elder Black it has been great being his companion! We have gone through allot together these last 2 transfers, and we definitely have learned allot! He is a really great missionary, he is going to do great wherever he goes. There are going to be quite a few changes happening in the zone as we will be getting 6 new missionaries into the zone, the change will be really good for the zone. Allot of the areas are really starting to improve, but the changes that will happen are going to help the zone improve even more. We had 3 missionaries die (go home) in our zone and they got super trunky and kind of brought the work down in the area because of it! It is super sad to see when that happens. That is one thing that I am not going to let happen to me! I love this work to much to work hard for 20 months and then just kill over when I am starting to get tired. I am always tired so I cant imagine it will get much worse in 7 months. 

No but things are going really well for me! We kind of had a rough week last week as it seemed like every appointment we had cancelled on us and I got a really bad sore throat for most of the week which never is fun!! But we still saw many miracles as we pushed through it all. Since many of our appointments cancelled on us we spent allot of time trying to find new people to teach, by just walking everywhere and trying to talk to as many people as we can. We were able find some really great potential investigators that we are going to try back again this week. It has been amazing to me to see our teaching pool expand over the last two transfers! Missionary work is really depressing if you arent teaching very much, so it has been super exciting to see this area improve in that sense.

Unfortunately Emery's baptism date got moved back again... His grandpa cant come in till the 8th of March now, it has been kind of frustrating now that his date has been moved so many times. The sad thing about it is that he desperately wants to be baptized and he gets super sad when we keep having to wait. We are struggling to think of things to teach him as we have gone over all of the lessons with him like 2 or 3 times so now we are having him teach us. He will be getting baptized on the 8th or else I will be giving his grandpa a call and we will have a chat! I love Emery a ton it has been a blast teaching him. Super funny kid! 

Other then Emery we are seeing great progress with Dulcy and her kids. We had an amazing lesson with them on Saturday night, the spirit was so strong as we testified that this is the path that Heavenly Father wants her to go. She was really touched and we were able to resolve allot of her concerns. One of the biggest miracles though with Dulcy is her father Steve. He is super devote catholic, but loves when we come over. He has accepted everything that we have taught the whole time. Last week he accepted a Book of Mormon and said that he would read and pray about it. When we followed up on it this last week he said that he has been reading, we were like great where are you in the book? Oh I am about half way he said. He was ecstatic about it, saying that it had answered so many of his questions and that it always makes him feel good. It will be tough because he has been Catholic his whole life and is still very very active, but we are seeing a great change in him. 

Well that is all here in Rio Zion! Love you all so much!! Definitely have the greatest family and friends that a man could ask for! Thanks! :) Know that all of you are in my prayers as I hope all of you are happy! Take Care
Love Elder Barrus

Saturday, February 15, 2014

55th Letter: "Family!"

Dear Family, 
Another week has come and pass, and once again I am here at last. This last week was full of lots of wonderful miracles as the work here in Panorama is only hastening more and more everyday!! With transfers once again on the horizon (next week) I am pretty sure that I will be staying. Since usually zone leaders only have 2 areas as a ZL and I haven't been here for too long. Which I am excited to stay because I know that there is still a ton that the Lord still has for me to do here! 

I am always super happy to hear that y'all are doing well! Thank you so much for your emails!! Its hard to understand until your a missionary how much letters and emails really help! But they do! They really give me the strength and the encouragement to keep going!! So thank you, you know who you are!! :) Family I feel like I write the same thing week after week, but I really do love this work!! Its amazing each day waking up at 6:30am knowing that allot of difficult things await you, and still the joy that you feel!! There is nothing more that I would want to be doing, than missionary work. I know that this is exactly where the Lord wants me to be, and I am going to put my whole heart into whatever the Lord wants me to do. I hope this will be something that I will hold strong to not only on my mission, but for the rest of my life!! Its hard for me to see as I go visit less actives, how they have forgotten that love of the gospel. I don't understand how they don't recognize the difference!! The spirit has such a profound influence on someones life only if they allow it to. 

We have been experiencing quite a few miracles as of late with finding those people that God has prepared for us to teach! Daily as we walk around and talk to 20 people that will blow us off or try to bash with us, and then that 21st person that says you know I really would like to learn about what you have to say. That is what makes those 20 rejections worth it. I often try to ponder as I work each day of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Definitely is a comforting thing to me especially when things are going hard. I often think of his own mission and how many people rejected and despised him, even through the many miracles that he was constantly performing. How discouraging it could have been for him to witness that every day! But yet he pushed on never falling short of what he was called to do. He fulfilled his mission perfectly! How grateful I am that he did!! 

Emery is doing well, his current baptism date is for March 1st when his grandfather can come from California to baptize him, and he is looking pretty solid to make that date, as long as his grandfather doesnt flake out again, and have to postpone. He is so ready for baptism!! Smartest 10year old I have ever met!! 

We also set a baptism date with a lady named Dulcy, at one time a super devote Catholic. We taught her the Restoration and she really grasped onto it and loved it. Her date is for the 8th of March. She has 3 baptism aged kids and her dad who are also taking the lessons with her. We should be able to set a date with all of them this week as well. 

Know my beloved family that I am doing great! I am happy!! I hope all of you are as well!! :) 
Elder Barrus

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

54th Letter: "February!"

Dear Family, 
I come before ye to write another letter home, to tell you of my wonderful experiences that I have been having here in good ole Rio Rancho!! :) Life is still good! I am happy!! It is hard not to be when you are a missionary having such awesome experiences daily! :) I continually pray that each of my wonderful family and friends are doing great as well! Life is too short! Do all that you can to fulfill the measure of your creation! Learn! Grow! Become better! Understand what Gods priorities are and make them your priorities! There in-lies true happiness! :)

First off it snowed last night in Rio Rancho!! Its a miracle! Haha I miss snow so much and it felt great to me able to see it fall again!! I miss the wonderful state of Idaho!! The weather here has been kinda bi-polar lately, sunny one day, then dark and gloomy the next! Those dark and gloomy days are the hardest to get passed the 7 hours of sleep that you get and work hard! But we do! :) 

So on Saturday, our wonderful Kat Andrews was baptized! And it was a wonderful service! There were tons on non-members and less-actives that attended. One including her Mom which was incredible to come see her support her daughter!! :) There was so many people at the baptism, we were forced to move the service into the chapel for the meeting portion of course. So during the waiting period while Kat was changing after the actual ordinance. Elder Black and I taught the whole Restoration! It was super powerful and the spirit was way strong! Afterwards members came up to us and said that they had never felt the spirit so strong, so consistently in there whole life. One member said that he was going to tell the Stake President and have us do it at a Stake Conference or something haha!  

Allot of many other wonderful things are happening in our area, as we taught more lessons this last week then this area has ever had before. We are being super diligent and are just praying that the Lord blesses us with opportunities to help bring his children closer to Him, and He has done just that. We are willing! And that is all it takes!  :)

I hope you all took my challenge last week, and are praying for someone that you are acquainted with. Maybe you wont see an immediate change in them, but I do promise that you will witness one miracle, if you are praying for somebody by name! 

Family Rio Rancho is taking off! Missionary work is now becoming a priority!! Lifes are being changed! This last month Rio Rancho had 4 baptisms the most it has had in a month for almost a year. God is blessing us! How grateful I am! This Thursdayis MLC (when mission leadership meets) and then Friday will be Zone Training. So excited to be able to teach the Zone again! I love it!

Take Care my wonderful family! I hope everyone spoils Zac for his birthday, he needs a pick me up after the Broncos got slaughtered... ;) Love ya! 
Elder Barrus