Monday, March 31, 2014

63rd Letter: "Zoom zoom..."

Dear Family,
Simply in amazement today at how fast time has been flying by, every single night now as I lay in my bed I just shake my head at how fast the day went by and the week and transfer!! I cant believe that next week is transfers already, with that said just a reminder that I will be emailing on Monday instead of Tuesday next week. This transfer has been the most difficult fastest transfer of my mission, but also the transfer that I have felt like I have grown the most and became truly converted to the work. I am not sure if I will be staying or leaving, you never know with transfers!! This last Sunday was SMCM and President Miller made a comment that made it sound like I might get transferred, but I dont believe him anymore after the whole Alamo experience. It would be pretty crazy if I got transferred and continued to be a Zone Leader, rarely does a Zone Leader serve in more than 2 stakes in this mission, but we will see what happens. I will be happy if I stay or if I go. 

Things around here are going pretty good, we have been terribly busy with Zone Leader business as of late with it getting close to transfers, and also with having to prepare SMCM for Sunday. The zone is doing great, as the missionary work is really picking up! We are going to have 8 baptisms total for the month of March as a zone which is going to be the most in Rio Rancho stake history! Which we are super excited for! The work is hastening and its amazing to be apart of! 

FYI: Emery Nelson is doing great! Hasnt missed a Sunday since his baptism and loves to say the prayers during our lessons. Also Kat Andrews is doing great as well she just got put in as Laurels president and is preparing to serve a mission in a few years! I talked to the Mckays back in ABQ and they are doing wonderful as well preparing for the temple in December. Havent heard too much from Roxanne and all of them but I know they have been going to church as well. Alamo gang is doing great too! Anita is rock solid talk to her every once in a while, it will probably be a few months before she will make it to the temple though. Norna and Hilbert are doing great, a missionary that serves around the temple texted me the other day and said that they met Norna and Hilbert on the temple grounds and they told him to tell me hi and that they will see me in June to go inside! :) Billy Jo and Charolette have been solid members as well and have been going to do baptisms with Anita for there ancestors at the temple weekly! 

Love you tons family! Take care!!
Elder Barrus

Saturday, March 22, 2014

62nd Letter: "Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

Hey Hey Family and Friends!!
Hope everything is going well for all those that I deeply care about! Hope that your St. Patrick's day was full of soberness and fun! :) For about 90% of New Mexico it definitely wasn't sober or fun because wickedness never was happiness!! Yesterday was interesting for us we spent a majority of the day contacting people on our ward list that we dont know. Usually resulting in meeting less actives, part-member families, or active members that we just havent met. We went and saw one specific "unknown" named Rick Costello. He came and greeted us at the door and first appeared to be a nice guy. We shook his hand and introduced ourselves and said hi, then he started to get hysterical and asked us if we wanted to come in for a "drink" we said no that we were good in a "polite manner" then he said "then you cant come in" and just started thinking he as the funniest man on the planet! So that was how our day was yesterday! Meet allot of really weird people in New Mexico! Its fun!

Well I have been doing pretty great as of late! The work is going well in Rio Rancho, we have quite a few people progressing better than Rick haha We are currently teaching allot of people that are kind of on the edge, they know that we are there to baptize them and help them come to church, but they just arent keeping the commitments in order for the spirit to bare witness to them that these things are true. Its kind of frustrating when they dont follow through... especially when you really care and love them and know this is what will make them the happiest. There are allot of really great things happening in our area though, last week we received a media referral from a inactive member that said he and his two kids want to come back to church, but they want to meet with the missionaries first. We went over there on Saturday and met them. The Dad came to the door in a BYU shirt and called for his dog named Jimmer, in my mind I shouted for joy haha! Super cool family the Schofields, both of the kids 11 and 9 havent been baptized yet. We will go see them tonight! I am excited, and they are super into baseball!! NICE!! 

Hope everything is going well back home! I love you all!! Its hard to believe how fast the month of March is going by. I am looking forward to the packages and mail! Thank you! Take Care 
Elder Barrus 
ps this last week I talked to both Anita and Norna and Hilbert from Alamo on the phone! They are doing great! Anita is carrying the Branch out in Alamo. With the whole movement on women and the priesthood...(absolutely ridiculous) she will probably be the first Bishop in Alamo! haha jk It was super nice to talk to them though!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

61st Letter: " HEY! :)"

Dear Family!!
Wow....... I am exhausted!!! This week has taken every last ounce of energy out of me. I don't know if I will be able to express this last week very well because when I think about it, I feel speechless. There is no greater comfort that comes to me than to know that everyone is doing ok!! It is so hard to be away as all of this unravels back home, but I know that Grandma wouldnt have me be anywhere else and that this is exactly where the Lord wants me to be. My relationship with Grandma has always been a very special one. She has always been one of my best friends! The experiences that I had with her are countless and the lessons that I learned from her are eternal. Grandma truly was an example to all that came in contact with her. She will be greatly missed! I can only imagine the type of missionary that she is on the other side!! Hopefully they aren't doing "role plays" over there she hated doing role plays in the MTC haha! 

Well "busy" would be an understatement for everything that went on over this last week. Starting last Tuesday with exchanges in Bernalillo with one of our District leaders through Wednesday, and then all day Thursday we were in a meeting with all of the leaders of the mission. Friday was zone training where we presented what we learned on Thursday to the Zone. Saturday was Emery's awesome baptism!! :) Good day!! Sunday was church and we had to plan what we were going to teach the next day at Zone Conference in Santa Fe. Obviously yesterday was Zone Conference all day which was tolling! All in all everything went great! It has been amazing to see the Lord qualify us and give us the spirit as we have prepared and presented trainings this last week it is amazing to me to think that I have been able to do all of this!! Well I am really looking forward to this next week where I can just focus on proselyting and not have to worry about a training we have to prepare. I have really felt overall the Lord lifting me up and carrying me lately I dont know or understand allot of things but I do know for a surety that God is very much mindful of the trials that we go through and he is always calling for us to ask for help because he wants to give it. What a wonderful blessing to know that! 

Our proselyting area is going pretty good, we are still struggling with the ward members jumping on board and helping us out, which at times makes me want to hit my head against the wall and say why dont you understand that "missionary work" is what our Heavenly Father wants us all to focus on. He has commanded us all to be anxiously engaged in this work through a prophet of God! Why are so many of us trying to ignore that call and justify not doing missionary work, because ultimately we are just scared to do it. I guess that is where our role as missionaries is as well to help open the members eyes to help with the work. Yay! Its crazy the contrast from ward to ward of the attitude towards missionary work. 

Well my dear family know that I love you!! What a wonderful blessing it is to know that that love doesnt end with this life!! Thanks for all of your love and support!
Elder Barrus  

60th Letter: "Emery Nelsons Baptism :)"

Hey Friends and Family!!
Just a quick note of a recent event that has happened here in Rio Rancho!! We were blessed this last Saturday with the baptims of Emery Chevy Nelson a 11 year old who had been taught for a good little while here. Emery is simply a genius and has been amazing to teach, this kids ability to comprehend the gospel is amazing. He has always been moved to do whatever his Heavenly Father wanted him to do. At one point in teaching Emery his Dad prohibited him from being baptized which was devastating to Emery! His Mom and him came to the conclusion that they were going to have Emery call his Dad and express himself his desire to be baptized and why. He stated that the basis of his conversation went like "Dad I want to live with my Father in Heaven one day so I need to get baptized, can I?" How do you deny that?? He couldn't and said that he could get baptized!! Simply amazing kid! #futuremissionary 
Elder Barrus

59th Letter: "Baptismal week!! :)"

Dear Family,
Holo family, sorry this is going to be a somewhat quick email, and it might be a little sloppy but I dont have too much time. The reason I dont have much time is because this morning we went over to a little Vietnamese tailor dude named Le so that I could get some new suites, he sold them to me for dirt cheap which is nice! I will be riding pretty fly now!! Anyways I have been doing really good, it was an amazing week full of miracles and blessings of being able to share the gospel. I love this eternal work!! :) There has been allot of stresses and weight on my shoulders lately, but I really have felt the love of my Heavenly Father lift that off and help me keep going!! That is what is so amazing to me about this life is that Heavenly Father will push you to your breaking point at times and really test your faith, but just when you think "I cant" he provides the "we can". How grateful I am to know that we arent alone in this difficult journey of life. That isn't how our Heavenly Father intended it to be, and so that isn't how we should make it be.
Well it is going to be a pretty crazy exciting week! Probably the most exciting part of it is that Emery Nelson is for sure getting baptized on Saturday!!! Yay for baptisms!! I am so excited for him! He is such a wonderful child that loves Heavenly Father and just wants to do whats right. It has been such a blessing for me to have had the opportunity to teach him and be able to learn from him. His grandfather from California will be coming to baptize him. His parents are working through a divorce and his Dad isnt to happy about the decision he is making, but approved it. It should be a great day!
Also this week we will be having our monthly MLC meeting on Thursday! It will be a family reunion! haha with both Elder Gibson and Elder Lish there. That should be fun to see them. So in the next 7 days we will be doing at least 4 hours of trainings between both Zone Training on Friday and Zone Conference next Monday! We definitely have our hands full with trainings, they dont stress me out as much any more, the more you do them the more comfortable you get with them I guess!
Well that is my little update for you FAM! I love you and want to hear from each of you! You will write me if you love me! ;) jk I know you all live busy lifes and I definitely understand!! 
Love Elder Barrus
P.s please read "Labels" by President Monson

Sunday, March 2, 2014

58th Letter: "Hey y'all!!"

Hello Family, 
Here I am once again with a new month on the horizon it is hard for me to believe that it is almost March!!! With March comes my wonderful sisters birthday!! Happy Birthday Tiff!! Sure do love ya!! Well lately I have been going through my journal and I am looking at what was happening a year ago, man I am horrible at writing in my journal but anyways it has been crazy to me to think that these experiences back when I was in Alamo were so long ago! Anita Apachito my first convert is preparing to go to the temple at the beginning of April, that brings me the greatest happiness! The Crofts said that when she found out that I would be there at the temple when she went through that she was ecstatic! I cant wait for her! She had been going through a difficult time as of late with various things in her family, but she said that she has been relying allot on the Crofts to help her and that things are starting to get better.  

Well things have been pretty crazy in my neck of the woods... There has been allot going on, and with that means that there is allot of responsibility! I have been pretty worn out as of late, but I have really felt Heavenly Father lifting me up day by day and giving me the strength and ability to push on. Elder Doutre is a stud, he is 23 and loves to work out... like LOVES so we get up at 6:00am and go work out every morning! I am going get in great shape with this comp! I run a mile each day and today I got a 6 min mile which was my goal!! :) Now I get to use it on the bball court today! ;) haha Its been an interesting companionship though, definitely have different personalities that have been hard at times to get along with. But things are improving.

Safe to say though that we are seeing miracles right and left so far this transfer! Emery is solid to get baptized this next transfer and Dulcy and her 3 kids are progressing towards baptism as well. Along with Arsenio, Linda and Jeff. It is looking to be an awesome transfer so I am excited. 

Well I got to go! Zone Sports awaits me! But Family I love you tons! Thanks for all that you do!!
Love Elder Barrus
Ps please send me letters or packages they help a ton! :)