Sunday, February 8, 2015

Letter 51: Moises

Beautiful mother of mine!

Hey mom! You`re now New yorkers, that`s pretty exciting. Hahah i`m glad that your trip was fun and a great experience. Everytime I think about New York I think about when Trevor took me and we went to see the sacred grove and the hill cumorah. New York sure is an awesome place! It`d be sweet to experience the city too though. One day we`ll go! :)

Things are going pretty great here! This week we have worked really hard and we had a miracle happen on Saturday. So this whole transfer we have been looking and trying to find someone who can be baptized. Well after many attempts and people that ended up not working out so well we decided to go by an investigator that we had stopped teaching. His name is Moises and we stopped teaching him because he was ready to be baptized and we taught that lesson he told us he would never pay his tithing and that he didn`t care if God punished him. Well we had the impression to go by his house again (now about a month or so later), and he was completly changed. We entered into his house and right there on the table the scriptures were opened and marked. He had been reading almost the whole time we were gone. So long story short he told us that he understood that tithing was necesarry and that he was willing to pay it. He told us that he wanted to be baptized and that he wants to leave everything bad behind and start his new life. He told us how when he saw us at his door the impression came to him ¨this is your last chance..¨. We had been fasting that day and it was a direct answer to our prayers. We shared with him the scripture Mosiah 18: 8-11 and committed him to be baptized this coming Saturday. We left his house and I just felt like thanking God in a prayer so we found a quiet place that we could pray and just thanked Heavenly Father for having helped us out. It was awesome! Moises attended church yesterday and has his baptismal interview tomorrow. Pretty crazy right? And as to yoru question, yes, I have been focusing a lot more on the little things too and in reality it`s easy, it just takes a little more care and attention. I feel like it has helped though and I like that feeling. So this week has been a good one and we are excited for this Saturday! My companion and I still get along just fine. Every now and then we have little arguments but we always resolve them pretty quickly. We have different opinions on several things but we don`t let it impide our work. 

I`m glad your testimony meeting went so well because ours was one of those meetings not so great. We heard like 8 testimonies because every one took a ton of time explaining life stories instead of actually bearing their testimonies. But oh well, can`t win them all. I totally understand what that woman said though. I have seen it time after time on my mission how us members judge when we really should follow the Savior`s example of love and understanding. I`m guilty of it myself as a missionary sometimes. We just have to always take a step back and think and try to understand.

Well I think that`s my report for the week haha :) I love hearing from you and just being able to talk with you. The support you provide for me has been such a help during all of my mission. I love you mom and thank my Heavenly Father for you and the family everyday. Keep up the good work and have a fantastic week! Can you believe we are already in February??? Time is flying by. Love you!

Elder Barton

Letter 50: Dump Truck

Oh hey my favorite mom,

Hello! Oh woww this week has been crazzzy! Seriously I feel like sometimes I`m in a different country..oh wait. So basically this week a huge dump trunk dumped like literally a ton of trash of the side of the road and just so happened to dump in on top of a water pipe...turned out it was the main water pipe to about half the city. We didn`t have water for about three days! Hahah it was a good thing we had reserve water. The city ended up putting water stations all over the place and sending trucks fills with water around. You should have seen the people, it was ridiculous! I felt like I was in a mini apocalyps because when the water truck came by people ran and some fought to get water. We helped a less active member who can`t leave her house because her legs don`t work to get water with her 13 year old son. Crazy story right?

I agree time is pretty much flying by. I can`t beleive January is almost gone. We have transfers in two weeks, every transfer goes by faster and faster. That`s pretty weird though that the winter has been so mild, that means that next winter when i`m home it`s going to be not so mild (i hope). I just read through first Nephi two a week or so ago and it`s true. Laman and Lemuel had every oportunity to do things right and have a great life but they chose to harden their hearts and NOT listen. I think that is the difference between someone who is genuinely happy and someone who uses the world for happiness. We ALL have weaknesses, so did Nephi, but those who LISTEN to God and try to put in practice the Gospel and His teachings (even though they may fail), are those that feel like God is pleased with them. Like you said though it all comes down to gratitude, regaurdless of the situation. :)

Ah yeah! A package! I think after that pair of pants i`ll be good on pants for my whole mission. Also don`t worry about getting more shirts for now, I think those that I have will last. There are a few places here too that I can find some shirts. Beef Jerkey is the best, feel free to put whatever treats you wanna put, my companion is a fanatic of ¨gringo stuff¨ as he puts it. Oh hey and if you could, one of those tide stain remover pens again. Mine is almost out and has saved me so many times haha. NOw that i`m in a bigger city there a lot more places to eat and to shop, but we only go to the city part on Mondays. In my area there is harldy anything.

Sounds like your New York Trip is going to be great! And i`m sure Bridger is excited to stay home alone with Jeremy. Hahah yeah, good idea, you`ll have to call him. I only saw the New York temple from the outside but it was beautiful. I think one day we all (the whole family), need to do a session together and be in the Celestial room. Can you imagine? That would be the best.

Well basically we have been teaching several people, investigators and less actives. Honestly it`s been great when it comes to teaching, we have had some pretty productive and spiritual lessons but when the time comes to fulfill their commitments...not so great. Again we had commited several people to go to church and no one went. Sadly with our investigator Joseph we are thinking we might have to stop teaching him for a while and focus our attention on other people who are going to progress. We`ll see what happens though, we need to talk to about it first. Other than that we have been talking to a ton of people in the streets and knocking doors. We have had some success but a little slow right now. I had an interchange withmy zone leader and it was the best! He goes home in 2 weeks but when we were talking and everything I really saw the type of missionary I want to be when it`s my turn to go home. But this week we are going to work really hard and pray that we have success! Well mom, I love you Thiiiisssssss much! I hope you have a great week and enjoy New York! Thanks for your email. :)

Love Elder Barton

Letter 49: Interviews with President!

Hola Madre,

Hey mom, I`m doing pretty dandy this week! I feel a lot more used to my new area and basically like everything is normal again. There are really good members here and some...not so good as well haha. Some members are just so prideful it`s ridiculous but it`s all good there are more good than bad. Right now we are teaching a couple of people that want to get baptized they just have trouble doing the things that are required for baptism. We are teaching a 13 year old named Joseph, a 35year old named Juan, and a 15 year old named Martin. It sure has been interesting so far. I think all in all they need to understand that it`s great that they desire to be baptized but it requires effort as well. It`s not just a pretty experience they are going to have, it`s a promise they are going to make for life. So we are going to be focusing a lot more on that with them this week. Other than that we have been tracting a lot and visiting less active members. I like my area and the people here, I could do without the fleas but....I can`t really change that. The good thing is I cleaned the pension really well, washed the blankets, and sprayed insectiside and now there aren`t that many fleas. For these 2 weeks i`ve been here our hot water hasn`t worked so i`ve been heating up water and ¨showering¨ with that. Today a guy comes to fix that so we can shower normally haha. 

We have interviews with President TOMORROW! He will be coming to our pensions to inspect with the assistents and everything so needless to say we will be cleaning again today and making sure everything is ship shape. I`ll be sure to talk to him tomorrow and let him know about schooling and all. I`m looking forward to be able to talk with him and recieve more counsel and inspiration. My companion right now is district leader and he arrived one transfer before me. He`s actually pretty nervous for the interviews because he thinks President is going to get angry at him for not fulfilling and promise he made or something. That should be interesting. Other than that though not to much happened last week. Right now we are working so that this district can become a stake. They sent the solicitud to Salt Lake and we are waiting for the answer to see if we make it or not. In the meantime we are working a lot with the members so that they pay their tithing and that the less actives go to church! That`s awesome that you are now in a visiting teaching position that can make a difference. I know and have seen in my mission that the visits make a world of a difference. The hardest things here for the members are to do their visits and pay tithing. It`s like constant thing that we are reminding them to do. I know that you`ll be able to make a difference even if you don`t see the results right away. 

Well, all in all sounds like things are going great at home :) Everyone busy at work and doing there thing. I like your goal to go to the temple regularly. When I get home I will definitely go with you all the time! I miss you guys but I see that my time is less everyday here in the mission. I`m trying to take advantage of every day. I love you so much. I know that sometimes it`s hard being so far apart but I know that Heavenly Father has bless the family so incredibly much. What you said about how the missionaries come home changed if they worked hard is true. I hope that when I get home you can see that change in me. I don`t mean that my personality is going to be totally new but that I`ve been able to learn, grow, and become a genuinely better person. Thanks mom for all you do. Have a great week and enjoy the temple!!

Love, Elder Barton

Letter 48: Transfer

Dear mom,

Hey! Well you heard correctly, I was transfered on Wednesday. I`m now in the zone Valparaiso Oeste in an area called Quebrada Verde. I like it so far, the members are pretty great from what I can tell so far. Yesterday I was able to know several of them and see more or low how the branch is functioning. My new companion is from Argentina and is named Elder Correa. We get along pretty well,he kind of reminds me of a mix between Seth and Daniel Ockey hahah. He`s a little weird though...he randomly moons me in the pension. All in all it seems like it`s going to be a good transfer. This area though has so many DOGS!! And I have a bunch of flea bites, so i`m going to have to go buy a bunch of bug spray and start a flea massacre.

Well as the new year has arrived i`ve been thinking of goals and things that I can change to do better. As i`ve been thinking the things that come to mind is to really live the two greatest commandments. Love God above all else and love my neighbor as myself. There are a few other things I want to do but all in all I think that they all revolve around these two. My new companion is good, he is a hard worker and wants to do things well. I feel like these transfers were a little extra inspired for some reason, I guess we`ll find out in another month or so. 

Leaving my old area was a little hard but it was time. Of course is hard to say goodbye to everyone and all but it`s always good to have a change and recharge the batteries so to speak. OH and you`ll never guess what! Elder Holmes, the elder that finished training me is now Elder Canales´s companion and is finishing to train him hahah. I actually feel pretty good about how things ended with Elder Canales, we ended the last couple weeks on really good terms and I felt that we were both able to progress a lot. ALejandro and Lorena continue with their baptismal and marriage date for March. I`m sure they`ll send me pictures when it happenes. I feel geniunely good about the work I did there and I can see the areas where I need to do better and I plan to apply it in this new area.

I know, talking to you guys was amazing! I loved it. I`m glad you`re all doing so good and not to mention Trevor was able to be there. I like your goals as well. I know for a fact that i`m going to take advantage of the temple when I get home. It`s so weird not being able to go. You`ll have to share with me from time to time the stuff you are learning in the BOM andI will too. We started reading it again on the 1st. 

The pants that you sent me are a little to long but there is someone here that can hem them. A couple of shirts would be nice, maybe just like 2 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve.Hahah gel would be awesome! (i`m almost out). I know it`s crazy how fast time is passing by, it makes me want to give all I have even more in the mission. It looks like we are going to have interviews next week and i`ll be able to talk with President then. We`ll see what happens. But all in all I feel optomistic. There are a couple of things that kind of get me down from time to time (more than anything personal weaknesses or stuff like that), but I know that I just have to keep working on those things and doing better. I love you so much mom, thanks for ALL you do! You`re the best mom in the world, just so you know. I hope you have a great week and you enjoy the new year

Elder Barton