Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Post 46: Trainer

Dear mom!

Oh how good it is to hear from you. Honestly sometimes I just need to hear from you and the family to feel a bit better. So the transfers came and.............I didn`t get transfered! Elder Huertas ended up getting transfered can you believe that?? Hahah By the end of this transfer I`ll have been here for 6 months. So my new companion is Elder Canales from Peru and I`m training him. He just got here and this is his first area. To be honest when I got the call I was pretty dang excited and a little nervous too. But....complications appeared out of the nowhere haha as always. When you think about a new missionary you think of someone who is ready to go to work and be obedient, well that`s not the case with my new companion. Gahhhh why?? My first son is so hard already -Sighh-. It`s weird because every single day i`ve had to tell him to get up over and over, he arrives to studies late everyday, doesn`t want to help plan, doesn`t like to stay focused in studies etc. I think you get the point. I`ve tried to be all nice and use please and everything and then I went to being more serious and firm but his reaction is the same for everything he just kind of laughs and basically says stuff like ¨no elder hahah it`s okay....or Elder don`t be a ruler/square (someone who is ¨overly¨ obedient) etc. Needless to say it drives me insane and were not even a week into the transfer. So THAT`s the bad news but the good news is that...hmm what  is the good news? Our investigators are progressing slowly but surly. Elder Morales my DL stayed too, so hopefully he can help me out a bit as well. Anyway that`s kind of the update of the situation in the mission. I MISS ELDER HUERTAS! Elder Huertas and I got along so well. But what`s done is done I just have to accept it and do my best. It`s the hardest thing to try and teach someone or be the example for someone who doesn`t want to listen. I`ll keep you updated on how it all goes.

Wow Thanksgiving already!..You`ll have to save me some apple pie. Seriously I`m getting pretty hungry just thinking about all the thanksgiving food. That`s awesome that Steve and his family are going to go up there though, that means...CHUCKARAMA! Two thanksgivings are always better than one. But all in all sounds like things are going really well there. Work is busy and the family is all doing great. Trevor arrived at this base and all. Plus the most important thing is that it`s Nichole`s and Bridger`s birthdays!! Give them a hug from me. :)

I can`t believe all of them are already returning home? I didn`t even realize either that so many left right around the same time. I`m really excited to talk with you guys next month too, it`s going to be the best! It`s lame that Trevor won`t be there though (or will he?). But for real i`m going to have to practice my English a little bit before with the other Gringo elder in my district. I have been with latinos since MARCH. I don`t know whats up haha, Nichole asked me if I was the only Gringo in my mission. You`re right though, even though right now is pretty hard I need to be grateful and keep working. Yesterday during church it was awesome because I felt really down because of all that is happening and the lesson that was given in priesthood helped so much. They talked about faith in Jesus Christ, works, and tribulations. Just keep me in your prayers please, I`m going to need a lot of patience and faith to keep working hard and truly trying to help my companion.

I love you so much! Miss you a ton as always but I know you`re in good hands as well as the family. Thanks for all you do and enjoy Thanksgiving! I`ll be sure to get the things I need. Thanks mom!

Love Elder Barton

Monday, November 17, 2014

Post 45: Benjamin's Baptism


So sounds like your trip to Georgia went really well and that the weather cooperated. I loved to see those pictures! Haha especially of Bridger dressed up his army get-up. You all looked so snazzy too in the pictures, I come from an attractive family, just sayin. I`m jealous you got to visit that museum seeing as how I love history. I feel like learning about the wars we have had and the sacrifices that were made really make me appreciate our country more. Sounds like the best part of all is that Trevor is home with you guys right now. You should just have a Thanksgiving feast early before he goes, haha I agree that`s lame he leaves right before thanksgiving but it`s true, we have no control over that. Take advantage of your time with him!

Well as you know transfers are a week from Wednesday on the 19th. I honestly have no idea what will happen but it`s probable that I'll be heading out. What I`m hoping...I don`t know, I love it here and I love the people I`ve come to know. This area has had so many trials and things that have happened but through it all my companion and I have overcome them and stayed strong I feel really good about that. I`m hoping that I stay, but it`s like that whole thing with Trevor, I have no control haha. 

Yesterday Benjamin got baptized and it was an interesting experience that`s for sure! So we arrived at the church an hour early to start the baptismal font and the church was FILTHY! No one had cleaned it on Saturday so we went to work cleaning everything and I had a feeling to call Benjamin so I called him and he was in a pretty bad mood. He lives by a building that is a place for dances and they had been playing music all night long and he hadn`t slept. Long story short he wasn`t very happy and we went to his house to see what we could do. On the way we were really doubting ourselves like if we should go through with the baptism and everything. Everything seemed to be going wrong and Benjamin didn`t seem so excited for his baptism. So we stopped an prayed basically asking for guidance and saying that we were going to try and go through with the baptism but if it wasn`t supposed to be then let us know. We arrived at his house and got everything ready and as we walked with him back to the church we listened. He was able to vent to us and we started to ask him how he felt about his baptism and all. We ended up arriving at church about 15 minutes late. During the sacrament my companion and I were able to both receive the answer ¨yes¨ to go through with the baptism. During the course of the classes Benjamin`s attitude changed completely and he said that he was so sure of what he was doing and he knew it was right. Right before his service his mom and aunt showed up (beforehand he had said they didn`t want to come seeing as how they were catholic). They arrived and you could see that Benjamin was happy that they had come. After he was baptized he was able to have a few minutes to talk in front of everyone about his experience. He said that he had never felt anything like what he had felt in the church and that was ready to make any sacrifice necessary to continue. His mom and aunt were able to feel the spirit as well and we gave his mom a book of Mormon. All in all it turned out to be a wonderful day. :) There is always SOMETHING that happens before a baptism like the last trial before the blessing. Alejandro and Lorena attended his baptism and loved it too. We were able to visit with them yesterday and during this past week and they want to get married and baptized. It`s amazing because they have felt in their hearts that it`s true and now without us even having to say anything or motivate them to do things they just do them. We went to their house this past week and  sat down and we had planned to talk about temple marriage and before we said anything they both said ¨okay, lets talk about marriage!¨...hahah my companion and I just looked at each other like...yeah! 
So things are going well here in San Franscisco de Limache. The members are starting to help more and more and I feel happy. I know that there are still a lot of things I can do better and that I need to learn but I feel really blessed to have the Spirit in my life always guiding me. In this moment God doesn`t expect any of his children to be perfect, he just expects us to keep going, to keep trying. I think that`s why so many people get discouraged, it`s easy to focus on all of our faults and weaknesses. But it`s like we talked about weeks ago, if we only focus on those things that`s what our life will be. We should focus more on the love of our Father in Heaven and the power of his son`s sacrifice for us. With them everything is possible.

Well to answer some of your questions...they don`t decorate a lot here for Christmas (it kills me!), and it`s super hot during Christmas so I don`t ever actually feel like it`s Christmas time haha. I`m feeling healthy for the most part. Something weird happens with my vision. Sometimes there is a black dot there but it only appears when I moved my eyes from one side to the other and the dot appears and fades away....soooo I have no idea what that means? Plus I found a brown fleck in the blue of my eye..don`t know if that`s related or if I just never noticed it.  My tooth is fine but one of my molars has been hurting a bit. One of the most interesting things I have ate lately is a whole artichoke...leaves and all. I thought they were joking but nope. You dip the leaves in limon juice and then eat the heart too, that was pretty weird. Oh how I miss your food!  

I love you so much! Thanks for the email and for the pictures, I love to see them. Have a great week with Trev!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Letter 44: Investigators

Dear...recipient :p

And October is.....almost over! Time is kind of a weird thing in the mission, the months just seem to keep passing by. Yeah I`ve heard that the weather is really nice there. Here it is getting pretty hot now. On Friday we had a day of about 34 degrees C...I forgot how much that is in Farenheit, but it feels so heavy with the humidity! Can`t same i`m terribly excited for summer but hey, I can`t change it so I`ll just have to accept it. Yeah the interview went really well and the next time I talk with him will be in December. I email him every week and could mention something but I don`t know I think in an interview would be better, what do you think? I promise to let him know!

That`s so exciting about Trevor, I bet he`ll be happy to finally see you all again! He told me that word has it his first assignment is going to be in South Korea WHAT! That would be pretty crazy. But anyway tell Bridger flying is awesome. Did he come with us when Uncle Monty let me and Brock fly the airplane? I don`t remember, but that was the coolest thing! Then when he told me that I was going to land it, I thought we all were going to die. Good thing we didn`t eh? Haha.

Man I wish I could have seen his superbowl! That`s too bad they lost by just a touchdown but I bet they played hard. Tell Bridger congrats! I bet that he is going to be taller than all of us kids when he gets older. Everyone here says that if you play basketball you grow...I don`t know what happened to me.

Esther`s story is a good one. It would take some serious courage and trust in God. You`re in the primary right? What age do you teach? Job another extreme story, it`s interesting how God teaches us with extremes. I think that it`s to leave out all doubt or leave out the question ¨to what point?¨. I`m just grateful that i`m not asked to pass through what Job passed through. Good luck with your class this week! Yeah we have been giving him scriptures to read and calling him for a few minutes everyday. He is a lot more motivated. His family keeps going to church on Sundays and all. Actually they said something really interesting. His wife said ¨I just want a miracle, I know God is a God of miracles and I need a miracle now. I told my husband that if God saves him i`ll give myself in service to the church and stop holding back¨. I hope that in our service to God and the church we never find ourselves in a moment of crisis regretting not having given our time and attention to God and the church. It doesn`t matter if the leaders aren`t ideal or if someone offends us, we know our responsibilities. It made me said to hear her say that but at the same time sometimes it takes thigns really big like this crisis to make people realize what they need to do.

This week has been really good. Alejandro and Lorena came to church again yesterday! We are so excited and happy for them, honestly they already share a lot of the standards we have and participate a lot in the classes. We only teach them on weekends because of their work but this Friday we are going to extend the invitation to be baptized. He is a phycologist and she is a nutritionist. They both are really good people and have sincere desires to know the truth. It`s been a great opportunity to teach them and hear and answer some of their questions. Pray that all goes well :). We have done alot of walking lately haha, but that`s nothing new. We have found a couple of new people to teach, one guy named Miguel that has millions of questions! Hahah we taught a lesson and it was basically just asking and answering questions, but the good thing that it`s a real desire to learn, not just questions to make a conflict. 

My suits are navy and gray. I still haven`t been able to get new shoes but i`m going to look again today, no worries. The chips did just find in my last package surprisingly haha, just a little smashed. Yeah Trevor is awesome! 

I love you guys so much. I hope you know that. I hope that this week goes great for you all and that you keep enjoying the good weather! Thanks for all of your support and love. I love being able to hear from you all every week. It`s true that life has a lot of unexpecteds, i`m sorry to hear about Bryce. Love you mom!

Love, Elder Barton