Wednesday, June 25, 2014

79th Letter: "Back in Albuquerque"

Dear Family and Friends!
Today is going to be quite the crazy day, I am still hoping to send personal emails to each of you, but that is going to be quite the task! So I thought I would write you a quick note to update you on what has been going on lately for me. It has been super crazy!! 2 Saturdays ago I got a call from my mission president who asked me to come service as his Assistant, I nervously accepted. Since then things have been super busy, the busiest of my life with so many things to think and worry about. But it also has been super spiritual, being able to do transfer planning (where we move around most of the missionaries in the mission) was incredible I can't describe the powerful spirit that was in the room as we were prompted to make changes. Transfer planning has taken up the majority of the week, but we also have been very blessed in our area. One example has been with a young man that we found named Ilia he is from Russia, and has been super prepared to receive the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He was found through an awesome member who has been the best example of a fellowship that I have seen. We had a powerful first discussion in which he said he would be baptized once he new the message was true. It was neat in his closing prayer he said that once he came to know that these things are true please bless him that he might be able to share it. He came to church yesterday and had a wonderful experience, we are meeting again with him on Wednesday and are excited to see his progression. 

So with all there is to be done it kind of seems like sleep has been put on the back burner... I definitely have never felt so tired in my life. It has been amazing though to see The Lord strengthen me to be able to accomplish what I have to do. It most definitely has been a miracle in my eyes. Thank you so much for the prayers that you have offered in my behalf! 

So a little bit of what lies ahead for me today. At 11:00am we will be picking up 13 new missionaries who are fresh out of the MTC. And we will be with them all day at the Mission home training them and helping them prepare to enter into the field. It is a super exciting experience to see them with their fire to begin to start preaching the gospel. 

I have been super humbled by The Lord with what he has called me to do. I feel as the young rich man in Matt. 19 who has been asked to do a very difficult thing, but nevertheless I hope to not yield the same results as him but rather follow the Saviors teachings in the following verses. v. 26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." I hope to continue to have that faith in The Lord that he will strengthen me and qualify me to His work.

What an incredible blessing it has been for me to be on a mission. I have witnessed so many miracles in those around me and definitely in myself, God truly has blessed me in great abundance! I know with all of my heart that this work is true! If you haven't fully embraced this Restored Gospel yet in your life, I invite you to do so! If you haven't learned about the Restored gospel, then I invite you to do so also. For I know that it will bless your lives as much as it has blessed mine!! 

Words cannot describe the love and gratitude that I feel for each of you. God truly has blessed me with incredible individuals that have helped me be molded into the individual that he wants me to be! Thank you! 
Elder Nic Barrus
Elder Jensen, President Miller, Elder Rosqvist, and Me

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

78th Letter: "Big News!!"

Dear Family,
First off I deeply apologize for the quality of this letter. I have like 5 min to write the craziness that has happened in the last 72 hours! So all this last week we knew that President Miller was going to be calling a new assistant, and everyone had been teasing me that it was going to be me, but I really didnt feel like it was. And I was looking pretty good not to be called because I hadnt of heard anything from President Miller up till Saturday night, I figured he had already issued the call and that I was safe. Haha I was just getting ready for bed that night and Elder Hicken shows me that someone is calling, it says "President Miller" my heart dropped! I answered it and tried to small talk with President for as long as I could just to deny the fact of why he was calling. He proceeded to say that he wanted to talk to me privately and then asked if I would accept the call to be the new AP. I accepted the call graciously and here I am. I left Sunday afternoon and drove up to ABQ by myself... that was crazy! My new comp is Elder Jenson from Boise Idaho, he has only been an assistant for 1 transfer now so we will be learning together! :) 
Love you tons Family
Elder Barrus 
ps pray for me!

77th Letter: "Glorious Family!! :)"

Hey Family!!
Man it sounds like you all are doing so great! That really makes me happy to hear. Tucker seemed to of had a great birthday, I think he really appreciated that cupcake most of all!! I hope you all have a fantastic trip down to Las Vegas, you will get a pretty good taste of what the weather is like in Las Cruces. It has been consistently over 100 degrees for the last week, supposedly we have been setting records. I feel pretty lucky to have been able to experience such a thing...(sarcasm) :) No I have been a survivor and I am getting a pretty nice tan as a blessing to the trial! haha
Besides the heat things are going great!! Last week as I explained was crazy hectic with meetings in El Paso and Albuquerque, so a lot of our normal proselyting time was spent in meetings. What was a miracle is how many lessons we were still able to have, we didnt skip a beat and taught just as many lessons as normal. It was awesome! We are seeing wonderful progression in this area and are teaching tons of really great people that are super close to baptism. We were able to have 4 of our investigators come to church on Sunday, and all of them are doing really well.
Esequiel has been coming out teaching with us pretty much twice a week, and we had a neat experience as we were teaching with him he received a phone call from an unknown number and felt like he should answer it, and it was a lady that he shared the gospel with and said that if she wanted to learn more to call him, and she did and we went over that same night and taught her with him! He is being such an amazing missionary. When I was in the MTC I bought another quad because they were so cheap and I had been carrying it around my whole mission, and I decided to give it to Esequiel. He loved it!
Stephen Talley and his family is doing really good too, He is soaking up the gospel like crazy! They love it!
Brenda is doing great she is about ready to have her baby at any time, and she still came to church on Sunday which was awesome! I was kind of surprised to see her. She is a trooper!
Reese and Sarah are still doing really well, they are definitely like the most solid members of the ward! Reese received a calling this last Sunday to be a Young Mens adviser, he is going to do awesome with that!! His personality is really going to help the young men in our ward. I am super excited for them. That family means the world to me!!
Well I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!! The Church is true! :)
Love Elder Barrus

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

76th Letter: "Dear Family!!"

Dear Family,
My beloved family! Hello tis a pleasure to write you this fine blistering hot day here in Las Cruces! Man family some days when I leave the apartment or get out of a lesson I feel that I am experiencing what the scriptures describe as fire and brimstone! It is absolutely the hottest weather I have felt in my life, it was over 100 degrees the last 5 days and it is suppose to be like 107 degrees on Thursday. So thats the depressing news, but the good news is that we will be in meetings all day tomorrow, and then we will be driving in an air conditioned car all day Wednesday and we will be in Albuquerque on Thursday so it should be quite a bit cooler up there. :) All is well in Zion!
Well family it sure sounds like things are going really well for everyone! Things are going great for me as well! We have been so crazy busy that its ridiculous, but I absolutely love how busy we are. There is always something to do, or someone to teach. The Lord is keeping our planners full! :) So tomorrow we are heading down to El Paso for Zone Conference, those meetings are always really powerful I am definitely really looking forward to it. The focus of the meeting is to help all of the missionaries become master teachers, by simplifying our teaching and cutting out the fluff, sticking to the pure doctrine in our teaching. We have to do three 40 min trainings on how to teach lesson 3 the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" simply. I have grown to enjoy trainings, because I have done so many of them! I use to absolutely dread giving them when I was a district leader and first got called to be a zone leader, so basically a year ago.
The work in our area is going really well! All 5 of our recent converts came to church this last Sunday. Esequiel passed the sacrament again for the second Sunday in a row and absolutely loved it! And he came out to teach Oscar and Christabel with us last week and taught like he had been a member for his whole life. He is going teaching with us tonight as well. The Dawsons are doing great as well! They have become a second family to me, I really love that family. And Steven Talley and Brenda Rocha are doing really good as well.
I cant believe that this is the 4th week of the transfer already! Time is really flying by! I am really hoping to be spending a good amount of time of my mission here in Las Cruces, but I will do what the Lord wants me to do! Whatever that may be, hopefully it may be a break from being a zone leader to end my mission, but who knows! Well Family I love you tons and wish you to have a splendid week! :)
Love your tan friend!
Elder Nic Barrus

75th Letter: "Hey Hey! :)"

Dear Family,
Well hello again! Its just your lil old 20 year old elder down here in Las Cruces New, Mexico. Things are going pretty good for me it was a crazy busy week for us as we had exchanges with the assistants on Monday and with the missionaries in Alamogordo and Cloud Croft on Friday. Those are always pretty exhausting, but good learning experiences as well being able to learn from other missionaries.

So I had a pretty good birthday on Sunday, it was just another ordinary day of missionary work, but those days are always good!! :) We actually had to talk in Sacrament meeting I kind of threw down on member missionary work... I started off my talk saying that I didnt want this to be another guilt trip talk on missionary work, but rather a talk that would awaken them to the blessings that they are missing out on from not doing missionary work. And proceeded to talk on what "Are you sleeping through the Hastening of the work?" relating it directly to President Uchdorfs talk on "Are you sleeping through the Restoration?" and really emphasized some powerful portions from his talk. Such as when we are in heaven and tell people that we were alive during the Hastening of the work, what will we have to say that we contributed? Also are you praying for the missionaries to find people to teach? or are you praying for yourself that you will find people for the missionaries to teach? I felt like it went well, it definitely was a topic that I am very passionate about!
As far as the missionary work things are going really good! Both Reese and Esequiel have received the Aaronic priesthood and have passed the sacrament! :) All 5 of my recent recent converts came to church this last Sunday! And we had 2 of our investigators Kiandre and Danielle that we have been trying to get to church come to Sacrament meeting and they loved it. It has been a battle at where to focus the time that we have to focus on either our recent converts or to focus on finding more recent converts! We have been doing a pretty good job balancing out the two.
Well next week is going to be pretty hectic! Sunday we have our stake correlation meeting, discussing the missionary work in the stake with President Miller, and President Robb. On Tuesday we have Zone Conference down in El Paso and we have to give three 40 minute trainings on how to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ effectively, and then on Wednesday we have to drive to ABQ for MLC all day Thursday! haha along with trying to balance what I talked about in the last paragraph! I dont know where the time will be.
Needless to say I am super excited for Zac and Chelsea!! I was praying like crazy she would be born on my birthday but I guess she wanted to have her own birthday! :) Cant wait to see pictures soon! I hope all is well.
Thank you all for you birthday wishes!! I love you all so much! You are the greatest!!
Elder Nicholas Barrus