Tuesday, November 25, 2014

100th Letter: "Life in Nob Hill YSA!"

Dear Family,
Another crazy week here on the mission! I think Heavenly Father really wants me to give every ounce of energy that I have into the work these final weeks as things have been absolutely insane!! For the most part they have been a good insane. haha Well its hard for me to believe that I will only have 5 more times emailing home. And according to President Miller I will only have 2 more weeks of emailing in Nob Hill YSA. I'll just leave it at that for now! :)

So we have been super busy preparing for Elder Corbridge to come in on Thursday, its looking like we are all prepared! I sure it will be good! I am just scared though, he is a head honcho! I fell like if I mess up he could excommunicate me on the spot. haha No it is going to be great, we are driving the area seventy Elder Villareal down to El Paso so thats going to be pretty intense too. Im guessing that I will gain some good mission stories from this weekend.

Quick update on the Nob:
Devin went to the temple and did baptisms for the dead on Saturday, and he passed the sacrement too for the first time Sunday!! He is doing great! Our investigator Kimball is doing awesome, he is solid to get baptized on the 13th of December. He has been out of town visiting his family in Window Rock, AZ lately. Josh our other investigator is doing great just super flaky, same with the Irish investigator Kevin. They both are pretty promising though.

Well my replacement as an AP will be called the 28th. Thats weird and depressing!

Well my #3 principle that I have learned is: (these arent in order of importance either)
"The Atonement is the key to temporal and eternal happiness"
This knowledge is absolutely one of the greatest things to understand! I have learned that this knowledge only comes through applying the atonement. Coming to an understanding that Jesus Christ has suffered for ALL of my sins, and that through that suffering I can be freed from the guilt and despair that following sinning, that is amazing. I have absolutely felt that freedom from sin throughout my life, and I am so greatful for that. There is no greater witness to me that Jesus Christ lives than feeling that freedom, time does not relieve that guilt. There is no way that time could do that alone, it is only through the atonement. Not only have I come to know that through the atonement you can be cleansed, but also through the enabling power of the atonement you can be strengthened. So often on my mission I talk to people that share their trials and how nobody knows how they feel and what they are going through. Oh how I just want to scream, "Yeah I don't but I know someone that does!!" That Jesus Christ felt everything, every little pain that you feel every single day. How I want to tell them that He wants to help them, and how he wants to strengthen them! I have a firm testimony. No doubt. That Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He performed the atonement for each and every one of us so that we can be happy! Eternally and temporally as families!
Love you all!
Elder Nicholas Barrus

Happy Halloween!

Elder Barrus and Elder Snyder

Los Lunas Turkey Bowl Catch of the Game!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

99th Letter: "Mid-November Report!"

Familia!! :)
Well I hope all is well with everyone! I am sure that you all are really excited to go to Johns baptism this weekend. That is going to be such a great experience! The spirit that is felt at baptismal services are so amazing, they have been incredibly humbling experiences for me throughout my mission to participate and watch that ordinance.

So time is not in my favor ever but especially not today, and I actually have a decent amount to report on too.... So first of and most important. Devin Tsosie recieved the priesthood on Sunday and I was blessed to be able to give it to him! It was so awesome! He is doing great, the progression that he is making is incredible. He comes out teaching with us all of the time too.

There have been allot of crazy things happening throughout the mission too, which have caused a missionary to go home and a couple other missionaries to have to get transferrred as well. So on Monday we had to drive up to Taos to drop off a missionary that needed to be emergency transferred. Everything is great now. Definitely everything happens for a reason, its always interesting how things always come to the surface. I just wish missionaries would have a greater sense of understanding of how important the time this short time to serve the Lord is! And how much are desicions effect those around us.

Overall though I am doing great! I have felt exhausted lately but that is to be expected. I am really looking forward to Elder Corbridge coming next week, it is going to be really special being able to have 1 on 1 time with him learning the ways of a member of the 70.

So my #2 thing that I have learned on my mission.
"The importance of always listening to the promptings of the spirit."
I think this is one of the very first things that I learned on my mission and I am greatful that I learned it so fast. It definitely was a result of how humbling of an experience the MTC was for me. I will never forget that first day in the MTC as we had the big group role plays, and just how terrified I was to be picked on to continue the role play. Luckily I was never picked on, but I remember leaving that being like man if I cant share anything in a role play how am I going to be able to teach people for 2 years! That first night I just knelt down and had the longest prayer in my life just asking if I was going to be able to do this. I remember clear as day the powerful answer that I recieved that this the misison was exactly the place that I needed to be and that the only way I was going to be successful was if I relied on the spirit. I definitely dont have the best social skills and I wasnt the greatest gospel scholar, but I have absolutely seen the Lord, through His spirit qualify me for this work! There have been many experiences throughout my mission that I look back, and I am like how did that happen? Or how was I able to do that? And then it continually just hits me that its not me at all. I love this work and I have no doubt that through followings the promptings of the spirit we experience happiness and joy and that those promptings are ALWAYS there for those that are worthy of them.

Love you and pray that you have a great week!
Elder Nic Barrus

98th Letter: "Hey November!"

Dear Family!
With the change of weather happiness has filled my soul! I absolutely love New Mexico falls, it is so nice not sweating every time we leave the appartment too! And I am beginning to feel the magic of Christmas in the air, I think everyone else is feeling it as well! People are definitley in alot better of moods this time of year!! :) Well things are going great for Elder Snyder and I here in the great land of New Mexico. We have been having a great time lately, and it doesnt seem like we are ever together since we have so many exchanges to do throughout the mission. Since last tuesday we have done 2 and have at least 9 more to go! :) It was great I was able to go on exchanges with 2 past companions of Elder Hicken and Elder Doutre. It is always fun to reunite and serve together and see how much we both have grown.

The work seems to be going great! We have been really busy with tons of administrative work lately but have stayed really busy teaching as well. Our Irish investigator Kevin has been causing us allot of grief lately and is the king of being flaky! Thats just YSA's in general though! It definitley hasnt been easy to meet with people consisitantly, their schedules are just so crazy! Kevin has a reset baptismal date of the 22nd of Nov. Same with our other investigator Josh who is projected for that date as well. He looks a little more solid, but hopefully they will both make it! Our big miracle came yesterday as we had a YSA passed off to us that was being taught by some family ward missionaries (poaching...we caught them) his name is Kimball and guess what?! He is Navajo! And is super solid and very very interested! He currently has a baptismal date for the 15th and we are praying that he makes that date. We have only met with him once.

This next week is looking pretty busy as we have MLC, and zone training and we will be going up to Espanola, NM for exchanges! I love being busy! I hate how fast it makes time go bye too! The following week we will be going to El Paso and then back to El Paso for the next two weeks after that! One of those times will be whille we are on the mission tour with Elder Corbridge of the 70. We are super super excited for that! Its going to be great being able to spend so much time with him! I pray that I wont screw up conducting! haha

So on Monday I set some personal goals for the remainder of my mission, and one of those is sharing 8 principles, one a week till I go home that I have learned throughout my mission with you all.

#1 "That God is absolutely mindful of ALL of His children"  
This knowledge is something that I cherish and love more than anything. There have been many different experiences throughout the mission that have absolutely borne testimony to me that this is true. I remember within my first couple transfers in the misson, Dad wrote me and shared an experience that he had in the Rexburg temple with me where he said that he had a powerful personal witness that God knew each of us individually and by name. I remember my thoughts earlier that same week was how that was possible, I definitley didnt doubt that God was there, but I questioned wether or not he cared for me individually. I remember reading that email and just having a powerful confirmation that God did know Elder Nic Barrus and that he was very mindful of what I was doing and what struggles I was going through. Every single convert that I have been blessed to be apart of their conversion has absolutely just reconfirmed this principle to me. I have learned that there are no such things as coincidences, that God is in control of all things, that He knows exactly what His children need in order to progress towards their divine potential! What an amazing blessing it is to me to understand this! This knowledge drives me to be a better person! It drives me to get through difficult experiences and to remain humble. I pray that everone will come to know if they havent already, that God knows him/her!

I love you all! Please share with me things that you have come to know! They strengthen my testimony!
Elder Nic Barrus

97th Letter: "Happy Transfers week!"

Dear Family,
Hello from Albuquerque once again! How in the world is everyone doing? Sounds like things are going really good! Everything is going great for me. Today we recieved 17 missionaries into the field, so we are keeping them under control. They are pretty well behaved so it hasnt been too bad. :) Picking up the new missionaries has to be up there for me as far as what I have loved the most among the many things we do. It is really amazing to see these knew missionaies bright eyed and so excited to work, walking by faith not really knowing what is ahead of them. I am always reminded of my experience coming into the mission, thinking about how scared and how unaware I was of the remarkable experience I was about to have. It amazes me how fast time has gone since that first day. It still seems like that was yesterday!

Elder Snyder and I are off to a great start! I aboslutely love the elder. We are going to have a great transfer together! I am super excited to see the work that we will do together.

The work in our are is going fairly well we have been seeing remarkable blessings with the time that we have had to proselyte which has been little, and probably will be little for the whole transfer. We have allot of leadership things to do! It is still my prayer that we will continue to baptize. I know that we will! The Lord always provides to the willing!

Devin Tsosie is recieving the aaronic priesthood on Sunday and is doing great! Still growing everyday as the gospel is molding him.

Time doesnt seem to be on my side lately as everything is going so fast! Know that I am good, and that I am working hard! I love this work, and I know it is the Lords work, because I know this is the Lords Church. I pray that you will all have a great week! Write me and tell me about it! :)
Love Elder Barrus

96th Letter: "Transfer Planning! #4"

Dear Family,
Well we are nearing the end of October which means Halloween is on the horizon! Looks like I will be dressing up as a missionary for at least one more year! ;) I hope you all have your costums picked out. Sounds like everyone is doing well and is really busy, which is good! Things have been equally as busy with me, as we wrapped of zone conference last week, and started transfer planning on yesterday. On Saturday I received my new companion his name is Elder Snyder and he is from San Diego. He goes home in March. I am super excited its going to be a great transfer!

I wish I had a buch to update on but really we have just been so busy with meetings, gratefully they have all gone as good as can be. This Transfer looks to be a decently small one we only have 15 missioaries coming in which is small compared to the last two. Also it doesnt look like too many missionaries are going to be getting transferred so it makes these next weeks a ton easier! It has been incredible over the last 5 months to have been able to work so closely with President Miller it definitely has been an incredible blessing in my life! He is such a great man!

Well sorry that there is not too much to report on this week. I have been doing pretty good! Just keep trudging along. Know that love you guys so much! Thanks for all that you do for me! Cheers to another 2 months! #getterdone
Elder Barrus