Wednesday, April 23, 2014

68th Letter: "Easter!"

Dear Family!!
Happy Easter! What a wonderful week it has been! I hope each of you took the time to ponder the significance of this week an reflect on the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. What an incredible blessing that our Savior has given to all of the world. As we had many opportunities to teach people about the atonement it kept ringing clear in my ears that our Savior has suffered so that we dont have to, but that is dependent upon us accepting and using the atonement in our lives. Not only the cleansing power of the atonement but the enabling and strengthening power of the atonement. What an amazing blessing that I have to be able to share this with the world. You can think of how much the atonement means to you personally, can you imagine not knowing that? There are millions of people that dont! Or if they do they still choose not to use it mostly because they dont know how. That is our role to help them know how!

Things are going really well here in Cruces! Ezequiel will be getting baptized on Sunday!! What a blessing it has been to teach him! He has been prepared to receive the gospel, he absolutely loves the Book of Mormon and has already shared it with many people. Once again guarantee that he will be a Bishop one day. Cynthia is progressing well for her baptism the following Saturday, she has faced a challenge of working on Sundays that we will discuss in our appointment tonight, but she has such a wonderful testimony of the gospel that I know she will get baptized. Beatrice is scheduled to get baptized on May 10th and she is looking pretty solid as well, she has been taught for ever, hopefully we can seal the deal and get her in the water. Along with them Elder Figgins and I have continually been humbled with the people we are finding, the work is exploding here. We are teaching more than this area ever has and we equaled the total number of baptisms in this area last year, by last weekend alone. What a miracle and blessing it has been!

Love you all so very much, thanks for your continually emails and love that you give to me! I really appreciate it! 

Love Elder Barrus

Monday, April 21, 2014

67th Letter: "Week 3 in Cruces!"

Dear Family,
Everything is going great here in the desert! We have been so incredibly busy that I dont have anytime to do anything! It makes emailing home really difficult for me because I have so much to tell y'all but no time to do it. And my mind doesnt function well enough to be able to put it all into words. Ha and I actually have to go write now but here are some quick highlights:
1. Reese and Sarah got baptized it was awesome! Super converted couple that is already sharing the gospel. We go over and see them daily it seems like.
2. Brenda got baptized she is 19 and has a 2 year old and is pregnant. She lives with her boyfriends family who are active members, unfortunately her boyfriend is in prison, but that is also fortunate because now they cant break the law of chastity.
3. We are finding the most prepared people ever to teach. Two individuals that are just amazing that we have found lately are Ezequiel who is a postman and was a pastor for 12year. He has basically read the whole book of mormon in the last 3 weeks and knows it better than most members. I guarantee he will be a bishop one day! He is 50years old. He will be getting baptized on April 27th. The second individual is Cynthia she is in her 40's she loves God with all of her heart and is super super close to the spirit. She asked us to be baptized and when we invited her to church she said yes faster than a "bullet". Last night we taught her and read Moroni's promise as she read it she started crying and said over and over again... yes I know its true, I know its true. She is getting baptized May 3rd.
Family I love this work! It truly is a very humbling experience to be able to one of the Lords tools for these 2 years, and for the rest of my life. I know this work is true and it is directed by our Heavenly Father to bless lives. This weekend is stake conference and a member from the quorum of the seventy is coming and requested to take the last hour of all meetings, he must have something pretty important to talk about. We are super excited for that. Well Love you all and have a great week!
Elder Barrus 
Baptism of Brenda Rocha (one holding the baby)

Baptism of Reese and Sarah Dawson

Sunday, April 13, 2014

66th Letter: "Week 1 in Cruces!"

Dear Family,
Hello Hello Family! Just continuing to get a solid tan down here in Las Cruces! Things are going great for me, the adjustment to the new area has been good and very tiring. Between driving to ABQ and Las Cruces and doing training and trying to learn a new area, I have been pretty tired! It has been a blast though! Our area is really starting to explode as we are having 3 baptisms this weekend! Reece and Sarah Dawson a couple with two little kids who are super solid and very much converted to the gospel! Along with the baptism of Brenda who is a super nice very timid 19 year old lady who has a little 2 year old girl and is pregnant. Along with them we are teaching some super prepared people and are working towards having 6 baptisms in these next 6 weeks together!
Well I better bounce! I am super exhausted from running around on white sand so sorry about the lack of detail on the new area! The ward members here are super cool! Bring us groceries and do our laundry! :) Our apartment is the nicest I have had on my mission!
Love you tons!
Elder Barrus

Elder Figgins and I! We are pretty close haha! Its been a fun first week of the transfer!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

65th Letter: "....Las Cruces!"

Dear Family and Friends!
Well this morning I found out that I will be serving for at least the next 6 weeks down in Las Cruces with Elder Figgins from Las Vegas who is one of my homies from the mish!! He was one of our district leaders when I was serving in Albuquerque we were already super close from serving together there. Totally didn't expect to see that one, but needless to say I am excited to be down south! I am serving in the Mesilla Valley ward which was Elder were Elder Lish served after he left Alamo. It is super hot here and is only going to get hotter so I plan on getting a pretty nice tan! Its going to be super weird not being around Albuquerque, but I am looking forward to it. Its like a 3 hour drive from ABQ to Cruces, but feels like 10 hours, its like the drive to Eli, Nevada all over again! haha a whole lot of desert. Once you hit Truth or Consequences it starts to green up a little bit though. We have to drive back to ABQ tomorrow and are going to stay at the AP's so that we can be at MLC on Thursday and then we have to drive back to prepare for Zone Training on Friday.... Its going to be a whole lot of driving!
Well I look forward to an awesome transfer in the heat of Cruces! Love ya!
Elder Barrus
My new address:
1000 La Fonda apt K, Las Cruces, NM 88001

64th Letter: "Bye Rancho"

Dear Family,
Well here were are with March almost behind us... Hard to believe that! So Saturday night was transfer news and all day Saturday I was feeling like I was probably getting transferred up until right before the call came, and I was like no I am definitely staying.... so when they named off the missionaries being transferred and I was at the top of the list, I was pretty surprised to say the least. Its hard to believe that I am actually leaving, it seems like I just got here! Time goes by so fast. These last 4 months have been some of the most difficult yet most blessed times of my life! I have grown so much and have felt the Lord enable me to do difficult things yet again in my life. So tomorrow morning I will go to transfer site and find out where I will be serving for the next 6 weeks and who my new companion is. So whats most crazy about this all to me is that I will still be serving as a Zone Leader. Most likely then I will be serving in either the ABQ-West stake or the ABQ-East stake, but we will have to see. I am excited for the changes and know that there will be new and exciting challenges that will still await me as I serve. 

I have been so blessed to have been able to meet so many wonderful people as I have served here and been able do create such strong friendships and bonds. It is always so hard leaving an area because of just that. That is one of the greatest blessings of serving a mission as you meet so many people that just touch your life for the better.

Well there is a chance that I will have the opportunity to email tomorrow and let you know where I am serving. 

Love you tons and have a great week!!
Elder Barrus
Mike and Cindy Pyne (the greatest Young mens president and Relief society president you could ask for) Love them to death!
My good buddy LeGrand Johnson, I got super close to him over the last 4 months! He is an active member of the church that is going through allot of trials. We were instantly best friends because he use to work with Elder Croft (Alamo), and so any friend of the Crofts is a friend of mine. He would bring us the best breakfast burritos every Friday morning. LeGrand will definitely be a life long friend. I'll miss him.
Dylan Salehian...Recent convert to the church (only member of his family) He would come teaching with us all of the time. He is leaving to the Birmingham England mission on Wednesday!
One of the GREATEST families that I have ever met!! The Bergstens!
Frank Nebus! I love this man! Elder Black and I contacted him about 3 months ago and we have taught him since. He is one Christian man! We got have gotten super close and I plan on emailing him and helping him progress towards baptism still. 
Emery Nelson! I am going to miss that kid! He promised me yesterday that he is going on a mission!! :)