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!