Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Letter 36: Transfer to Limache, Sanfransico

Well looks like I'm in a new area! Man it really was hard to leave my last area but I was able to say my goodbyes and everything. I will continue to write letters to the people there as well. Alright on Wednesday I went to Viña (i was the ONLY missionary in my zone to go south haha it was super lame). I am now in Limache, San Francisco! After 10 months in the mission I am now in the south. It is pretty different here, especially because everything is pretty green and there are a lot more people than in Los Vilos! My new companion is Elder Isabel and he is from Mexico and a convert of 2 years. We get along pretty well, he and his other companion just baptized a mother and her daughter here (looks like they spent all of their time doing that because we have zero investigators now...haha), which is awesome! This area is pretty nice and the view reminds me totally of Utah! It`s a valley with mountains surrounding and some parts just totally remind me of home.
So far I'm loving where I`m at. We have a few challenges in this area which are no investigators, the area folder where we keep all of our records of the people we teach hasn`t been updated in 3 months, and the ward needs a bit of a jumpstart to get things going again. Despite these things I'm hopeful for progress and from the things I learned in my last transfer I know that we can improve things here a bunch! During our change meeting in Viña the president`s wife spoke about how when the people reject us it`s okay, we didn`t come for them, we came to look for those who are ready to accept our message. This is pretty true, so instead of getting discouraged after a day of rejection I`m going to try harder to keep motivated.
Yesterday I met a lot of ward members, there are about 60 that attend. The chapel is beautiful! (Palmira Romanos is the street if dad wants to know haha). I like my ward mission leader, he is 24 and return missionary. We have young men here which is great! Overall I'm happy to be here and excited to get to know the members more.
Hmmm what else..oh yeah so we are in winter here right? The other day is was sooooo hot! It was the weirdest thing is was just one random day with a bunch of heat and now it`s cold again. We have several hills in our area that just kill me when we have to go up them haha. Our area is HUGE by the way, I really want to have bikes here, it`s be way more efficient, but we can`t have them so...looks like I'll be walking!
Wow! Our house already looks pretty different but nice! Good taste! Oh hey, you better not have gotten rid of the lazy boy! Everything looks really nice and it sounds like you guys are staying busy and having a good time. I love to hear from you and the family every week whether it`s been a great week and I can tell you about success or whether it`s been a bad week with zero success, I'm grateful that you all write, support, and love me. I sure do miss talking with you! Mom remember how I would always give you good night hugs? I think that is one of the things I miss most. I miss my mama haha, but I'm happy you`re good and everything. I`ll be sure to send some pictures of the new companion! I love you so much! Thank you for all you do for me, i hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Letter 35: No more soccer = more people will listen!

Hey mom!

Happy Monday to you too! Yes the Chileans actually are really happy that Argentina lost hahah. So many people have been bothering my companion about and even though it´s funny I feel bad. He´s been a good sport though so it´s all good. It is crazy how worked up they get sometimes, we went to eat some completos the other day when Holland was playing and they showed the same thing when they lost, a lot of tears. But the best part is...drum roll please...No one is going to be too busy with soccer to listen to the missionaries! Woooo! Hahah seriously, you´d be surprised how much of a problem that is sometimes.

That´s so good to hear that Trevor is doing awesome at basic training. Haha that´s just like him to get such high scores that he got to call home! His letter was awesome too, he was good enough to include some hilarious qoutes from our childhood. He sounds like he is killing it out there and has improved a ton! He already graduates the 12th of August?? Time really is just flying by.

A lot of physical changes in the house, you should take some pictures so I can see! Sounds like you guys are just going to work there. It´s true, changes are this Wednesday and i´m getting change to.....I still don´t know haha. I will know Tuesday. I´m a little anxious (as always) BUT I trust that I will go..or stay..where I need to. We had another baptism on Saturday! Schlomit got baptized and then confirmed yesterday. I was able to participate in her confirmation and it was great! The service went really well and she is now a member of the church! We went to visit Bernardita and Felipe yesterday. They left for vacations a few days ago to puerto oscuro, it´s about 40 minutes away. So yesterday we took a bus there and were able to see where she grew up and meet her whole family. We ate some delicious homemade bread and were able to talk for a while. The best part is that we taught them about temples and put goals for them to go as a family (or all those who are baptized). It was amazing to teach them and see them have the instant desire to go to the temple and to be sealed. I know they will be so blessed and they continue in the church. I´ll be sad to leave them if I end up going but i´m so grateful to have met them. 

The weather is ¨cold¨ but it´s never ridiculous or anything. It would be like our fall a little bit, just with more rain. I haven´t got shoes yet! I went to a good store and they didn´t have my size. But maybe with the changes I will have a better store near by, we´ll see. I promise to keep looking.

Wow you have a busy month coming up in August! Sounds really exciting. 25 years?? Man you guys are getting old ;) nah just kidding. I have never heard of the Domincan Republic as a vacation place, but that´s cool! You´ll have to let me know wher eyou end up going. Be sure to take pictures of Trevor´s graduation. He will probably be ripped by the time he is done.

All is well and good here so no worries. It´s been an interesting transfer but i have learned a lot I feel like. I can´t believe it´s already almost 10 months! And Hunter Brown completes his year mark this month! Wow. Before you know it we will be talking on skype again! I love you so much! I hope you have a wonderful week! I´m always praying for you all. 

Love Elder Barton

Friday, July 11, 2014

Letter 34: Birthdays and Baptisms!

Hey Mom!

I can´t believe I´m 19. My last year of being a ¨teenager¨, pretty sure I thought this day would never come haha. I had a pretty good birthday for several reasons! On wednesday after our district meeting my district (Elder Bush, Elder Morales, Sister Frandsen, Sister Sosa, and the Schramm couple), sang to me a brought out a dessert with candles! It was pretty awesome because instead of a cake they brought out this dessert roll that looked like the pumpkin roll you would always make for me (but no, it did not taste nearly as good haha). On Thursday we worked as normal and were able to teach Bernardita and Felipe and afterwards my branch mission leader took me out to buy a frozen pizza, chips, and a drink. So all in all it was really good! Of course I missed you guys and all, but I felt happy and like I wasn´t alone or anything. Okay, so as for birthday presents I think I got the best birthday present which was.....FELIPE AND BERNARDITA GOT BAPTIZED!!!! They were baptized yesterday after our church meetings and it was so spiritual. Felipe wanted me to baptize him so I was able to do that while my companion baptized bernardita. Bernarda´s sister is a member and was able to speak on baptism and the holy ghost and wove in the eternal family. As she spoke she started to cry and so did Bernardita. After we baptized them both and after we had changed and everything Felipe started to cry. Man, that kid is just super sincere and can feel the spirit. I gave him a hug and told him congratulations and all. Overall it was a really good day! I felt really happy to be able to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands. These two baptisms came from Him and they were prepared before we met them. Their family was able to attend as well and feel the spirit, especially who mom who is catholic. Overall it was an amazing day! I will be sure to send pictures.

More than that we had interviews today with President Kahnlein! Bum bum bum....No just kidding. It was pretty good. Actually we got the call last night that he was going to be there at 8:45 in the morning! So we did some mad last minute cleaning and got all ready haha. The interview was actually very edifying. He was happy about the baptisms and some of the personal goals that I set for this change. He also said ¨hmm, three transfers already in Los Vilos..thats a lot of time, maybe its time for a change¨. Also he told me he was grateful to have me in the mission and that I have never made a problem for him. He was really motivating and kind this time, it was nice. In other words, it´s probable that I will be heading out to a new area this change, we´ll see! By the way, transfers are the 16th of July.

Okay funny story, I´ve told you my comp is a little...different haha. Well yesterday being the fifth sunday we had a meeting with everyone except the primary for the 3rd hour. Us missionaries were to give a training on home teaching each taking about 20 minutes. Well Elder Bush and Elder Morales take about 30 minutes and then we go up for our turn. I kid you companion talked for 20 minutes with out giving me a change to talk! Can you believe that?? Hahah I looked out into the congregation and saw people kind of laughing because they knew what was going on haha. My district leader finally caught his attention to give me time and we had 10 minutes left for the sisters so I just gave my testimony. Afterwards my DL told me to talk with my companion about it. Hahah so I talked about it with him and we a little ¨discussion¨} about that and other things that have happened. All in all, we are doing good! 

Chile is super sad that they lost and I am still able to brag that the states are still in it! I hope that it lasts. That´s awesome that you guys went ot see the Thunderbirds! I thought they didn´t fly anymore because of cutbacks? But anyway, I want to see photos! I remember going to an air show once and having to throw away my pocket knife :( but it was ridiculously cool so it was worth it. You will have to take pictures of the parade and fireworks this week. It was awesome because they celebrate Saint Peter down here or something and did fireworks the other night so I felt a little more like it was  July. The weather is cooling down here big time, I still haven´t bought my shoes because the quality here in Los Vilos is sub par...hahah. When I go to Illapel or Viña I will buy some I think.

Well I hope Trev gets my letter soon. I can imagine that he wants to get some mail (I know how he feels! Haha ). But I pray for him everyday and know that he is doing well. I also pray for you guys everyday too and know that you are all well and blessed! I know, it is hard to not see eachother for so long but we will see eachother at Christmas! And then a little time and i´ll be home already. Its very true what you said though, push through the hard days because they won´t last and then soak up every good minute of my mission because one day I will be home. I sure do miss you all though! I miss joking with you and talking with you and your delicious dinners! hahah

Alright mom, I hope you have a great week! Please take pictures I will send you some of mine right now! Love you!