Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 62: Lots of Meetings!

So, this has been such a week....

On Monday, after pday, Sister Reynolds and I did a bit of knocking and then had plans to see a less active lady, but on our way we ran into someone else who Sister Reynolds had met a bit ago and spoke to her for quite some time.... so it turned to late to go by the member and we just street contacted the rest of the night. And at nine, three extra companionships of sisters showed up at our flat so we had ten sisters in total sleeping in our flat because....

On Tuesday we had to get up a bit early so we could all get to the church and get a coach to zone conference in Billingham! It was really good, we covered a lot of things and had an opportunity to train each of our zones individually, but it was only for 75 minutes, so it was almost more like a big district meeting, it went well. I honestly didn't say much, but the zone seemed to appreciate what we covered. I had been asked to organise a musical Item for the conference, which I did, but we didn't do anything super special. I just wanted to do something simple that would bring the spirit quickly into the meeting. I think I did a pretty good job getting a bunch of good singers, so I think it went well. I love getting together with everyone! Always such a spiritual boost! Afterwards, we traveled home and really didn't have much time to do anything else with our day.

Apparently, every first Wednesday of the month, our zone goes and helps clean up this park in Gateshead. We had a beautiful day and it's a really lovely park, so we had a super fun time sweeping the paths and talking to some people who passed our way. It was the weirdest thing being out so long in my jeans... Especially since afterwards, we went to help an older lady clean her windows. Thankfully she lives in a bungalow, so it was pretty easy. And it was such a lovely day! By the end, Sister Reynolds and I were turning a bit pink! We went home to change and have some comp study and then went to have tea with our bishop and his family. They are super cute, a really sweet family. Who are also pretty into their fandoms! We then ran to try to go see the Egyptian people we met a bit ago, but they weren't in, so we instead went to go see a less active recent convert who lives close by. Her cousin was there and kept asking lots of questions, he seems to be interested, but doesn't want to admit it.

We went on another exchange! This time with the sisters who we live with. Sister Chiu and I went out and did lots of finding. At one point, we were walking passed this older lady who was pulling up some weeds and we offered to help. Normally people say they are alright, but she let us! She was really sweet, and after we helped her, she let us in to wash our hands and we had a bit of a chat. She wasn't really interested, but she was sweet and we were able to uplift her. And as a thank you gift, she gave us this Noah's Ark lamp! I'll send a photo so you can know what I am talking about! So yeah, ended up carrying that around for a while! We had tea with an older lady in the ward and then we ended our exchange because Sister Reynolds and I had to get to Newton Aycliffe to sleep over again because...

We had to wake up bright and early Friday night to get to Leeds for MLC! This whole leadership thing just means more meetings I feel like sometimes 😂 jk. It was a way good meeting. Sister Brown got me to sing in a group for that as well. As you may have noticed, President really loves his musical items. A lot. It was a nice meeting, and I feel like us and the zone leaders in our zone are finally on the same page. Which is so good. After MLC, Sister Turvey gathered all of us sisters together and we had a chat. She feels kind of bad because we don't get the same sort of support as zone leaders, who have their district leaders, the office APs and also the travelling APs.... whereas it's jut kind of us as far as female leadership. So yeah, it was really nice. Cause our mission does have a pretty high ratio of sisters I feel like. I dunno. It was just nice of her to take us aside and have a little focus on our sisters. After the meeting we took the long trek back home, once again getting home in time to not have time to really do anything.

Saturday was back to a more normal missionary day. We went to go see a lady Sister Reynolds met on exchange, who had so many questions. We tried our best to stay focused, but it was a bit all over the place until the very end. We seized an opportunity and boldly declared the truth. It was amazing to feel the difference in the room as we testified of the Restoration, sharing the First Vision and Moroni's promise. The mom and son were still and quiet, and at the end, she said something about how there was power in the words we shared. We tried to help her see that that meant it was true.... but people have agency, so we left her with a Book of Mormon and she seemed very grateful for our visit and the peace we brought into their home. It was just a really neat experience that helped build my testimony of the power of the message of the Restoration. It brings the spirit fast. We then went home, had lunch, had comp Study, went to read the Book of Mormon with an older lady who can't read well, did some finding, tried by an investigator, and then visited a member, went home and had tea. That was our day. It was good.

Church! Love going to church. Especially with the Mandarin branch at the same time, it's just funny. It's a bit crazy, with two congregations each with two sets of missionaries, so there are eight of us running around. Oh! Almost forgot to mention the miracle that happened inches morning. I think I've mentioned how there is a very good metro system here in Newcastle that we use everyday. It's how we get to church. So we were running to catch our metro and we hear the door sounds going and we are running down the stairs knowing it'll be close if we make it at all... Sister Reynolds barely makes it on and I..... I'm right outside with a panicked look on my face! There was a moment of terror when all of a sudden.... the metro doors open again and I have the chance to get on. Yeah. It probably doesn't sound that great, but metros never do that! I've seen many a person just barely miss it and have such a disappointed face as they have to wait for another one. Yeah. It was a modern day miracle. My testimony of going to church was strengthened. After church, we went to go visit a less active lady, who really appreciated it. She apparently had lost our number, so it was good that we contacted her! We then headed home and had our weekly planning! Always a good time. Got things sorted for future exchanges, called lots of people... it was good stuff!

Hope you all had a good week! Love you!

Sister Barret

Week 61

I'm kind of getting tired of transfers.... having to adjust to new people, new areas, new responsibilities.... The list is endless. But at least this week I feel like I have been able to make some good progress in my adjustments to this area! Love it here in Newcastle. It's a really lovely city.

Monday, we did some finding and tried by some people and then had ward coordination, so nothing too exciting. Tuesday, we knocked on lots of doors, taught an old lady, and had just a very typical missionary-y day. Nothing too exciting. Wednesday, we had district meeting and then went on exchange with the sisters in South Shields. I got to go with Sister Bensige, who is from Sweden and friends with Sister Lundahl! Such a small Mormon world. It was fun to be the one to direct the exchange, it didn't go to bad for my first one. Biggest thing, I didn't get us lost! Still getting used to the area... We tried to see some people, but of course, we all have our agency. Then on Thursday, we did lots more finding, met with the zone leaders to discuss zone training, and also went to watch the general women's conference with the Relief Society. It was really lovely to be with them. Slowly but surely getting to know the members of the ward....! And then Friday we went to our "neighbors" weekly Planning (that is what we call the Mandarin speaking sisters who live with us!) and did more finding, and made lots of phone calls... which people love to ignore... and had tea with some members for this first time since coming here! They were so lovely. Saturday, we went on exchange with some other sisters! I went with Sister Hope who is from Arizona, and we had a good time. We did more finding and also went by a lady in the ward who struggles with a lot of different things. It was a nice visit. It was funny, so, we share the area with the zone leaders right? We never see them. Yet, while we were on exchange, each of us ended up kind of bumping into at least half of them. It was kind of weird. We never see them, this area is huge. And then on Sunday, we went to church! Yay! And our less active recent converts came to church on their own accord! It was so good! They were late, but that didn't really matter to us, we were starting to struggle to think of what more we could do with them, so yay! There is hope for them yet! They're great. And it was a really good relief Society, so that was nice. Because it was supposed to by a joined meeting but then that fell through, we had like a musical meeting. And it had quickly gotten out that I sing, so I did. Different sisters were asked to pick a song either to sing or for us to sing together and share why that song was important to them. And when I was asked to do it, I decided to sing This It The Christ, which isn't a hymn, but a really good song. That was really lovely. That song can really bring the Spirit! It was a good meeting. After that, we had our own weekly planning and in the evening, we went by a potential who had also promised us food. She gave us some really great lasagna and we shared with their the Restoration! We were able to bring her an Arabic Book of Mormon and an English one for her daughter! It was a good lesson. I'm sure there will be more to come with them!

I love serving a mission. I love how much I have been able to learn from my experiences here and just how close I have been able to feel to my Saviour and my Father in Heaven. I hope you are all doing well and I love you all so much!

Sister Barret

Week 60

So it's been another crazy one, and I'm sorry but this will probably
be a relatively short email...

So, I've moved up here to Newcastle! It was sad to have to say all of
my goodbyes to Doncaster. But I'm quite happy here in Newcastle! The
area is huge. It's a decent sized city and so finding is pretty great.
We had a member have some of her friends over for a little FHE, which
went great, and now we are teaching two of the three of them! We also
started teaching another lady who is so prepared! On Thursday, had to
go down to Leeds for a new leader training meeting, that was quite
fun. Love spiritually uplifting meetings like that! We spent the night
with the Billingham STLs in Newton Aycliffe which was so fun. I love
being around other missionaries so much. Which is the fun thing about
my new flat, we live with some Mandarin speaking sisters, they are
super sweet. So far, the ward and the area has been so good! And being
a leader hasn't seemed too different, but I might not be saying that
in a week!

Love you all!

Sister Barret

Week 59: Expect....

...the unexpected..... what's coming to you.... the worst and hope for the best.... what you want to happen.... Basically this is what sums up my week and how I feel right now. This has been a crazy week! Another really good one though. Basically, this whole transfer has been super amazing and I can't believe that it's over and we have to start another one! Only three left, it's so crazy!

Monday, we went to the Chatsworth House as you have already seen photos of. It's so beautiful out there, seriously. I am so used to being in cities and surrounded by houses, so it was nice to be out in the country side! So lovely. And thankfully, we had a fairly decent day. Afterwards, we went to go see Michelle and had a nice little lesson with her about the Restoration. We then headed back to the chapel and had a lesson with Andy about the law of chastity, that's always fun to teach. But he took it well, so no problems!

On Tuesday, we had a bunch of appointments fall through, which was no good. Tried by a lot of people, always fun when people aren't in when they say they will be. We finally saw L, the Spanish speaking lady, and gave her a Spanish Book of Mormon! That house hold now has three Book of Mormons, each in a different language! So funny. We ended up seeing G in the evening and talked about tithing and things like that. We brought a recent convert with us, it was so good! He had been baptised back in like December and just has such an amazing testimony. He's the best. It was a good lesson. We then did a bit of finding before having ward Coordination which is always a humorous time.

We had district Meeting of course since it was Wednesday, and then we did lots of knocking. Met this one lady who had semi recently lost her mum and had a really good talk about the Plan of Salvation. Pretty sure she's going to get baptised one day! She was super lovely. And let us use her toilet! England is the worst about public toilets, they just don't exist. Went by a less active and some other people, that was fun. Had tea and went by another less active and then went to ward council, which was the most missionary focused ward council I have ever been in.

Thursday, we went from appointment to appointment teaching lots of people. It's kind of crazy how we have been able to build up such a solid teaching pool since whitewashing the area. We taught an English class for the first time as well! Good thing I've had practice in my last area, lol.

Once again, we had a solid day of appointments. Kind of crazy, I have never been teaching so many people. Fridays I feel like are always a bit crazy. Oh well. We had a practice interview with A and he was practically teaching us at one point, man he is so prepared. He's the best. When we asked him about repentance, he said something interesting about how repentance is a way for us to be able to understand our mistakes so we won't do the wrong things and do more of the right things more. It was pretty cool.

Saturday was fun, went out to do knocking determined to schedule someone else. And we did. He was super excited to meet us, he had watched a documentary about Mormons the other day and hasn't ever met many, so it's kind of crazy we came by when we did! We had A's interview! And he passed! So amazing! And while we were waiting, President called! Sister Ashcroft answered and got called to train! That's when I realised I was moving and I was sad. But then she handed the phone to me and President called me to be an STL up in Newcastle! So cool! I'm so excited and a little bit nervous! Mostly because of Geordies.... they apparently have a rough accent. I'll let you know next week! We also went and saw K, she is so cute. Love her.

Easter Sunday! Got some eggs, had a good sacrament meeting about Christ, had some people come to church.... it was good. Between church and going to Fireside in Newcastle (I brought a packed suitcase to give them! Transfers tomorrow will be easier!) we went by M and G and said some goodbyes. It was good. We then spent the night going to Newcastle, being at a Fireside where Sister Berg and her professionally singing family did a musical Fireside, and then driving back. It was a night!

Things have been good here in Donny. And here I go to Newcastle! Leave bright and early tomorrow morning! Love you guys!

Sister Barret

Week 58 Crazy Week!

Monday: After our adventures of going out to some random field and wandering about, we went to go visit some members. Had a lovely chat with them and then went to go see A. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, which he really liked. Said it sounds very complete. It was a nice lesson.

Tuesday: The day started out with some finding and then we went to go see G and also taught him the plan of Salvation. As you may be able to tell, our three main investigators are in like the same place, it's really awesome. From there, C and B drove us around a bit as we tried to meet with people, but hey ended up dropping us off in a village and we did some finding before tea. After tea they picked us up to head to the chapel. It was so funny, Sister Ashcroft and I both looked out the car windows at the same time and shouted out cows and sheep that we saw.... it was really funny. Sounds lame trying to explain it. Ward Coordination was good like usual.

Wednesday: As per the request of a member, we went by a former, M. She was really nice and let us in and she started to tell us about all of her issues and how she is starting to turn her life around but needs help. So we are going to keep teaching her! That's pretty exciting if you ask me. We then went and taught A the Plan of Salvation as well! He also really liked it and we were actually able to answer some of his questions about spirits and things. We did some finding and while we were knocking, I did some hard core testifying that stopped him in his tracks a bit. We then saw A and had a lovely time with her. We then had tea again with the Nisars, man is that a mad house but they are so funny and amazing. From there, we started heading home, finding along the way.

Thursday: Went and taught a kind of rough lesson with A.... Bad prep on our end. Oops. We then did a lot of driving all day. Headed out to one village to see a member and try by a referral she gave us. Had to go to another village to visit Georgina and her kids again. And then we went to a village a million miles away to go by a referral the Zone Leaders gave us. Thankfully the guy was in and interested, he apparently though just moved in so is quite busy. We will have to go back again some day. And so after a full day of driving everywhere, we had Book of Mormon class where A and G were! We were able to teach them both the gospel of Jesus Christ at the same time, so that was really cool.

Friday: We had the STLs come over for our weekly planning, and halfway through, the senior couple comes for a flat inspection! Good thing our flat was immaculate that day!  We then went on a split with the sisters. Sister Shaw and I went to go see a potential and teach Andy while Sister Ashcroft and Sister Peterson saw G and J and F. It was a pretty good split. Afterwards, we went by a less active lady and her daughters. Had a fun lesson about the Plan of Salvation. We ate tea at the chapel and then went to go see K! Yay! Had a really good lesson with her that was very spiritual and got a bit emotional. Read the Living Christ and talked a lot about prayer. Was able to testify about the power of prayer and how we do receive answers, even if they aren't the ones we want or expect. Also talked about how God still loves us even if some of our prayers seem to go unanswered. It was a good lesson.

Saturday: Did some finding in the morning and then headed to go by a potential. She was quite busy, so we will go by her again later. As a back up we went to have lunch and got some burgers that we ate sitting out in some grass because the weather has been so nice lately! Seriously, it's been practically like summer here, it's crazy. But after that, we went by some recently reactivated members and got to know them a bit. We tried to find a Spanish Book of Mormon for a potential, but could only find Portuguese and Italian ones, so that was a struggle. We then went to M's for tea, and she made us a very nice bolognese. Her dog is so funny, little Louis. After her, we tried to go by a less active family, but it was a bit awkward, so we left and tried to do some finding.

Sunday: Easily one of my craziest Sundays on my mission. So Sister Ashcroft and I have started to get into this habit of just inviting everyone we meet to come to church, no matter who it is. Usually, people don't come. But, today, two of them did. Yeah... One was a Romanian Pentecostal, so that was interesting. The other one was not entirely sober when he showed up... A and A came and they were great and loved it. But Gospel Principles was a very interesting time. I'm just glad I wasn't the one teaching. I felt bad when we left all of them, since they were all male, with the elders and went to Relief Society! After church, we practiced our song for a bit, and then went to visit a potential, Michelle, and then Anne. With Anne, we had a little testimony Meeting since she wasn't able to come to church due to her health. After that, we picked up A and went to the Mission Home Fireside in Leeds! Brian took A and G in his car, which was super nice of him. They loved it! It was really good. And our musical Item went alright, the three of us sang Gethsemane and an elder accompanied us.

I have been feeling more and more lately like my weeks are flying by! We have been so busy lately and it's been amazing! I thank Heavenly Father everyday that I get to be a part of the wonderful work! I love my mission and I love each of you!

Sister Barret

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Week 57: This Week = Amazing!

So, even though we were in Sheffield for a portion of almost every day this week, I'm pretty sure that I have had one of the most amazing weeks of my entire mission. Talk about an abundance of blessings and miracles.

Monday, even though we got flogged, we had a really good night. We were able to see a recent convert, T. We made some return appointments with different people and found some new interesting people!

Tuesday, we headed over to Carcroft and had a really good lesson with a less active lady, M. We read some scriptures with her and had a good chat with her. It was funny, at one point, she was basically just teaching herself. We tried by more people, but kept getting flogged, so lame. We had tea with some members, which was lovely, even if a bit awkward. And then we went to ward coordination and had to get to Sheffield by the evening. Nothing too special.

Wednesday, I went with Sister Peterson and Sister Ashcroft went with Sister Shaw. It was pretty good, even though it was raining and just about everyone flogged. We did meet with one guy and scheduled him, he was way cool. We also visited with one of their Chinese investigators, but he kind of almost dropped them I think, so that was a struggle. Overall, decent day as a missionary.

Thursday. Amazing. Started out with zone training and interviews. Had good interviews with President and Sister Turvey, talked about some practical things. Zone training was good, talked all about out hearts and our motivations for doing things. That was good. And some elders let us use their peanut butter and Nutella to make a sandwich since we forgot to bring a lunch, that was nice. We then went home, got flogged, and did some finding. We decided to get Indian takeaway with C at one point, so we were street contacting nearby before it was ready for pick up when we met a bunch of different people who were willing to meet with us. One of them, G, said he would come to our Book of Mormon class that was going on 45 minutes later. We went to the chapel, ate our Indian food... And G showed up! So we hijacked the class and turned it into a first lesson which was super good. Talk about spirit guided. He is so amazing. He told us that he doesn't usually walk that way, but for some reason, he did today, and so he feels like he was really meant to meet us. It was way cool. And he accepted our invitation to be baptised! Way cool. At the end of the lesson, he said the prayer and he was feeling the spirit so strong that he was getting emotional. Afterwards, we went to a return appointment with a guy we met earlier in the week, A, from Greece! As it turns out, a friend of his had given him a Book of Mormon when he was still in Greece and he too is so willing to learn more! It was so amazing! He also prayed at the end, but said it in Greek! Way cool.

Friday, we went to a return appointment of this lovely couple who have the cutest baby. It was a really nice lesson and they were quite interested to hear more of our unique message, so here is hoping! We then had to quickly run to go see A, and man, I don't know where these people are coming from, but talk about another person who has been so prepared by the hand of God. So another great first lesson with A, he's really cool. We then headed off to have tea with a lady who lives out in a village in the middle of nowhere, good thing we have C who is so amazing... We then went back to the chapel to see if any of our investigators were going to come to the ward activity, an 80s night, that was going on. And A showed up! So cool. It was pretty funny. I forgot how much I love the 80s ;)

Saturday, we had some return appointments that fell through, so we spent some time finding... Until a random former called us and asked for us to come over. Turns out, she just wanted us to try her dumplings, which were way good. We then had a chapel tour with this guy, but he wasn't too interested in the message that we have to share. It was a bit weird at one point. And then we went to conference! So good! Afterwards, we went home and had dinner.

Sunday, as it turns out, everyone is busy Sunday morning and don't want to talk to us. That's a new one... We went to C's and then she took us and A to the 1pm session. He was quite surprised by the meeting, in a good way. We then took him home and picked up G and K to watch the 5pm session. They too enjoyed it, and on our way back, there was a cute moment where K taught G the Word of Wisdom! So funny. It was amazing.

Yeah, it was a really good week. General conference was amazing, I can't wait till I can read the Sunday afternoon session, but as of right now, I really enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Nelsons addresses. Those were really good. And for those who haven't watched them yet, watch the new Easter videos! #PRINCEofPEACE they are so good! Got a bit teary eyed in some of them... Hope you all have a good week! Love you!!!

Week 56: Happy British Mother's Day!

This week has been fun, we have been seeing a lot of answers to prayers and miracles unfold in front of us! So good!!!

Monday night, things just kept falling through, so we ended up street contacting at night. Fun stuff. Tuesday, more things fell through, but that's okay, we just spent more time finding again! We did have a lesson with a less active recent convert, but that really didn't go very well. She is a bit on the crazy side.... We went to have tea with some members, so that was really nice. And then we miraculously were able to catch a but back from their random far out village to get back in time for ward correlation. Wednesday, we went way far away to go see a less active lady who has some really cute but kind of crazy children, that was really good. Hopefully we will be able to help her out. After her baptism two years ago, she never got the missionary lessons again, so we are going to make sure she gets them now! We then headed out for lunch, had fish and chips with C, and then went to go see J. We got there, and after some confusion (they kept speaking in Czech) and shuffling around, we ended up teaching her son, T. Turns out, that about eight years ago, the whole family used to investigate the church! Crazy! We had a good lesson with him, and he accepted the invitation to be baptised! Yay! I love how quickly the spirit comes into a lesson when you recite the first vision, it's amazing. We then went out and did some knocking and got really really cold because it was really really rainy. We then had tea with some members who have like seven kids, and the husband is deaf, it was a crazy house! But they were way fun. Did a cute little lesson using the tree of life, that was fun. I was the tree and Sister Ashcroft was the director, and the kids played different people in Lehi's family. It was way good.
Afterwards, our angel C drove us to Sheffield so we could sleep over due to zone conference!! Yep! It's time again for another one! Crazy stuff. Slept in a flat of like eight sisters... That was interesting.... But zone conference was super great, even though it was a two hour coach ride there and back, that was gross. Also, found out that my zone is mostly elders, that's new. And weird. Oh well. But yeah, in zone conference, President was talking a lot about the Atonement and what it means to us and how it can help everyone. It was very uplifting and inspiring, since then, I have been trying to put more of a focus on the Atonement in my studies and the lessons that we teach. There was also a lot of instruction on really leaving good commitments with people that they will actually keep, so that was helpful of course. We had another testimony, and this time I did bear mine. I actually went up second because I knew if I didn't go then, there would just be a long line after awhile. So I did it, and talked mostly of Christ, and I actually quoted part of the song, This Is The Christ. It has been on my mind a lot lately, I really like it. You should all listen to it if you haven't. After zone conference, we went home. And that is all we did because it took such a long time to get home via the trains and things. I really was tired of public transport by the end of that day.

Friday, we had to drop everything and run when the elders called us saying that they couldn't make a return appointment that was happening in twenty minutes because they didn't have a member and she was a lady. This is the great thing about sharing an area with a set of each, passing people. We got there, and had a lovely lesson with a lady named F who seems really interested and excited about how the gospel of Jesus Christ can help her in this life. We then went to go do a bit of knocking before seeing a less active man, G, who is the sweetest guy. We met someone while knocking who said come back in an hour, so we did, and he let us in. He is Muslim and had a lot of questions for us because he had never heard of our church before, but knows quite a bit about other Christian religions. We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and inviting him to church. It was pretty cool. We had tea with some fun members, and then dropped off a Czech Book of Mormon for J and then headed to go see K who is sadly on bed rest. We brought her a picture of Jesus, and halfway through our appointment, we called B and he came over to give her a blessing. That was really amazing.

Saturday, we had lots of plans fall through again, but we were able to go see R being baptised! That was really great. Also, R is the human version of Manny from Cloudy With The Chance of Meatballs for those who have seen the great children's film. So funny. But yeah, there, we were able to meet the wife of a member who the sisters previously have been teaching and we tried to set something up with her, so that was good. We then ran to go see J and F and answered lots of questions that they had. Since they investigated the church for only a short time quite a few years ago, they had so many questions. But it was good. We are excited about continuing to teach them. We then had tea with some other members and then tried by a semi active family in the evening. It was good though, they let us in and we were able to learn of some of their various concerns. We hadn't actually planned on seeing them so we didn't know what to share with them as far as on a spiritual side, and so at one point, my companion asks if we can share something with them, gets out her iPad and hands it to me! Yup, it was funny, so I just had to pull something up on the spot, and shared Helaman 5:12. And then Sunday, after having to evacuate our building due to a fire on the first floor, good thing live on the fourth, we went to church, where we celebrated Mothers Day! Yay! Sister Ashcroft and I got to talk about our mothers and how they have influenced our lives, so that was fun. After church,we did more finding, met a cool Greek guy, found a potential we passed to the elders, tried by J and F, and spent our evening visiting single elderly ladies who are way cute.

So yup! It has been a good week! Hope you are all well! Also, super excited for general conference this weekend!!!! Love you!!!

Week 55: Who is Donny?!

Hey everyone!

This week has been so crazy.... So, Monday after pday Sister Luna and
I went with Sister Eschgfäller to visit their investigator, Ian.
Tuesday, we got up early and Sister Luna and I got a train to Leeds,
and from there, got a train to Doncaster. Got picked up by C,
Sister Ashcroft, and the elders here. C took us to our flat
and we put our stuff away, had a sort of comp study, and then headed
out! Went out and contacted people on the streets asking them where
the chapel was because we genuinely didn't know. We did end up finding
it though. We also tried to find bishops house, but had the very wrong
address, so we just knocked a random street. We ended up having ward
coordination which was super helpful and also really funny. Professor
Oaks! Good times. Wednesday, we had district Meeting and when we told
all of the elders there that we walked there since we don't know the
buses they all looked at us like we were crazy. It was only about a
half hour walk.... but the meeting itself was really good! My district
is pretty nice.
We then went out to a random village to get to know
more people. The elders showed up and kind of took our teaching
appointment with a recent convert, but we couldn't stay anyways, so it
was fine. Knocked more doors. Visited a less active man, G, he was
really great. Had tea with the Browns. Met a less active lady L who
is really great. Thursday, went back out to that village to meet
another less active lady and her husband. Had tea with some other
members. Had Book of Mormon class with some members and K and
it was really nice. Friday we had a good, very much so needed weekly
planning session. We then did more finding (you may notice that we
spend a lot a lot of time finding right now!). We also visited a few
members until the elders called us needing a baptismal record sheet so
we had to hurry home, just in time to see them jumping over this wall
that we live by.... we then did more finding and had tea at home and
hen headed to the chapel for a ward activity, a game night. May have
gotten a bit competitive playing this play-doh pictionary type game.
K came to that as well. She is so great!
And then Saturday C took us out to a random far out part of our area called
Goole. Turns out, not much is out there. We then came back to
Doncaster and went by some more people. I also got a blessing because
my back has been bothering me a lot lately. Though not as much since
then. We knocked even more doors and we ordered pizza that was
recommended to us from the elders. And when it was taking too long, we
said a prayer and looked out the window to see the pizza guy's car
pull into our parking lot. Miracles are real people. We then went to
K's house for a lesson. We asked her so many questions! But it
was really good, she basically spent the lesson bearing her testimony
to us based off of the questions we asked. It was awesome.
Sunday was so fun! It was ward conference! We got to meet everyone, it was great!
We also had a Munch and Mingle afterwards, which we got to help out
with, so that was really nice. We then headed off to knock more doors
and try by a few old potentials. We had tea with the Nettleships and
then they took us to visit a less active lady and her girls. It was
fun and it was nice teaching some of the Restoration with them.
Afterwards, we street contacted home, and Sister Ashcroft made me sing
for this random guy. I didn't know what do to because it was
unanticipated, so I started singing This Is The Christ, and it brought
the spirit really fast. He said it sounded actually pretty good, so
that was cool. Too bad he was in a rush. But yeah, that's been all
really this week! I love my new companion, Sister Ashcroft is great!
She's from Gilbert, Arizona, has five siblings, loves the great
outdoors and is so funny. She does and says some of the craziest
things, so it is never a dull moment! Love it here in Donny!

Love you all and hope you guys have a good week!

Sister Barret

Week 54: Transfer 10 with a Surprise!

So.... things have been going a bit upside down lately, so I'll just summarise the past two weeks real quick. L almost got baptised last week, A and L are talking to us again, teaching E has been really interesting due his Buddhist philosophies, we had a big zone conference with two other zones, went on an exchange with Sister Eschgfäller, and then we got our transfer call last night. And guess what. I'm moving. Yup, you read that right, after only a single transfer here in the Horbury area, I am now getting shipped off to Doncaster. In fact, I've already had to move out since Sister Wood is going home, we have to be in Huddersfield all of today to be with Sister Eschgfäller. Yeah, it doesn't make much sense, but that's been my life lately I feel like, unexpected phone calls that something I wasn't anticipating is happening. So, this morning, I started packing...  only to find that out and I just crammed everything in since I didn't want to spend all day doing it. Oh well. I dot like packing and leaving, so this just made it happen all at once really quick. Even though I feel like I'm getting kicked  out of Horbury right now. I'm really excited for Sister Luna though, she got called to train! Best thing ever! It just means that she will spend about half of her mission in the smallest area in the entire UK, probably all of Europe! But it's a great area, so no big deal. The lovely people and amazing ward make up for the lack of size!

Okay, so I mentioned a few things and I'm going to guess you'll all be really annoyed if I just leave things at that 😆 L. Love her, I'm going to miss her and M. She is doing so amazing! Like I said, she almost got baptised last week, but because of things coming up with her little girls health, it wasn't able to happen. But I'm sure soon enough, she will be!

A and L, yeah, they have been under a lot of pressure with everything, learning about a new church, the idea of getting married, health issues, and remodelling their home. It has been a bit crazy. So we have had to give them a bit of space. But in just the past few days though, things have been going better! We have finally been able to be in their home again, they came to some of church again, they just seem happier, and they still want to be baptised someday! So that's awesome.

E.... yeah. That's been fun. We will see how long he will continue to be taught. Doesn't seem too willing to do much.

And yeah, no is week, but last week, we had a zone conference with our zone, Huddersfield, Hull, and Sheffield, the zone I will be in starting tomorrow! It was a really nice meeting. Got to sing at it, we sang Let Zion In Her Beauty Rise. It's funny, Sister Wood was out in charge of pulling together the musical Item, she didn't want to sing, but she wanted us to sing her favourite hymn. I'm going to miss her. 😉 We had a testimony meeting where anyone could get up to bear their testimony. I didn't, but I really enjoyed those who did! The spirit was very strong in that room, it was amazing.

It was actually last Monday to Tuesday we went on exchange. It was really nice to go with Sister Esch. She is so nice! It was a bit sad because she had done something to her ankle, and my back was hurting again (I think from when I hurt it a few months ago, but now it is fine again!) so we were kind of hobbling about, looking like a sorry sight. But it was still fun!

Oh, almost forgot, we also had a stake conference this past week, and that was really lovely as well. Got a lift with one of my favourite member families in Horbury, the Hunts. I love their little boy Terry, he is so funny. It was a broadcast and the main theme had a lot to do with being spiritually self reliant, which is one of the points of the Area Plan. There was a talk about finding joy in the gospel, someone else talked about knowing what you believe, it was really lovely.

That's about all folks! Next time you hear from me, I can tell you all about Donny (apparently people call Doncaster that) and my new companion, Sister Ashcroft! I have actually met her a few times, and she seems really lovely! So on to a new adventure! Love you all! Hope you guys have a good week!

Sister Barret

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week 53: Letter to Mom

Hey Mom!

I’m doing well. Truly. It’s crazy that it’s been over a year since I’ve been here though. Just seriously so crazy. But I have loved it. I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned so much about how to rely on the Lord. I’ve learned to just love people. I’ve learned some Spanish! I’ve learned guitar. I’ve learned just how much my family means to me. I’ve learned what it means to me to marry a worth priesthood holder one day. I’ve learned what it means to me to one day get a good education. I’ve learned to appreciate having a car and that I hate public transport quite a bit. I’ve learned how to get along with people I may not like very much. I’ve learned how to share my feelings and work through them. (The bus I’m on right now has a flat tire and we are in a random village. Oh no! Hope we can keep going…) I’ve learned how much music means to me and can mean to other people. I’ve learned how to ignore creepers. I’ve learned how to talk to complete strangers. I’ve learned how to enjoy public speaking more. I’ve learned how to live with a diverse crowd of people of various backgrounds and cultures. I’ve learned how to really pray and receive answers to those prayers. I’ve learned to laugh in the rain. I’ve learned how to think quickly on my feet. I’ve learned how to eat on the go. I’ve learned how to recognize and follow promptings of the Spirit. I’ve learned how to not judge others. I’ve learned others can receive revelation for me and be revelation for me. I’ve learned to trust blindly (to an extent). I’ve learned that mom is always right. I’ve learned to be grateful for what I have. I’ve learned how to use my talents to bless others. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m so grateful that you have supported me all the way!

 Love, Lyv

Week 52: My Week

Monday: We had a chill pday and stayed in the Wakefield area. We then went to go see L with the Burnetts who gave her a blessing to help her have the strength to stop smoking. It was really lovely, M kept handing me her Frozen dolls which was cute. And we had a really good lesson about the Atonement which really helped her understanding. We then ended up going to go see Grandma Nolan for a bit and sang some hymns with her.

Tuesday: We went to go see E, but we discovered that she really isn't interested in the gospel. We did some door knocking, and then brought dinner to a couple in the ward who just had a baby. We then went to have tea with some members and the food was all pink! They gave us like a casserole that they had put beetroot in that made it all pink! It was nice though. We then went to have ward coordination, and that was our day!

Wednesday: So we went to district meeting per the usual.... And then afterwards we had a bit of a crazy day! We went to see E, a man we started teaching last week and taught most of the Restoration. We then had to run to go see A and L and had a good lesson with them. I managed to sort of bare my testimony in Spanish about eternal families, and it was really great. They had to really pay attention... lol... but it brought the spirit and it was great. We then had to go out to a random village to have tea with some members. We then went to go L and had a good lesson with her about the sacrament. But mostly we just sat and listened to her. M wasn't there, so we didn't have any distractions and she could tell us everything. It was really good.

Thursday: #throwbackthursday Went in exchange with Sister Wood! It was fun! Knocked some doors, realised that it was super weirdly familiar even though it has been months since we were together. We also scheduled someone at the door, that was pretty cool. And then we also visited this really old less active Jamaican lady, she was really sweet. And yeah. We had a good time being together again. 

Friday: After travelling back to Horbury and after having a flat inspection and then doing our weekly planning..... We went to go see L and really committed her to stop smoking. She was hesitant at first, but then she did agree after a bit. So that was awesome. We then went to have fish and chips with Grandma Nolan. And then we had practice baptismal interviews with A and L. We went with L and Sister Luna interpreted for the elder who was conducting the interview. It was really good. And quite helpful to see where they are both at in their progression. We then had English class and an FHE which was way fun. And I feel bad because I was like the only native English speaker playing a game that involved copying down a scripture, and because I knew the scripture, I didn't have to look at it too often to be able to write it down. Oh well.

Saturday: We did some things for L to help her stay committed to not smoking. Brought her dinner at one point, brought her by some other things. It was fun to do and she seemed to really appreciate it. We had lunch with a lovely member family, visited a lonely elderly lady, and yeah. Had a day. 

Sunday: What a disappointment. Yup. No one came to church. So many broken promises. Church its self was good, but man, always so disappointing when people say they will come, but no. Nothing. Oh well. We tried. We went by to see A and L after church to see what was up, but they had the plumber there and their fridge had just broken... yeah. They are a bit stressed about all the house work they want to accomplish. Yeah, it's crazy. We then went to have dinner with some members in their super posh house. They were lovely. We then got caught in a lot of rain.... that was crazy. We then visited an elderly man who is kind of less active and read some of the Book of Mormon with him. It was an alright day, just disappointing.

So that was my week! I hope that you are doing well and seeing miracles happening in our life! Love you!

Sister Barret

Week 51: Zone Training

This week has been pretty great! It started out with us going to go visit A and L and having a family home evening with them. The next day we got up early to make sure we could get to Huddersfield on time for our interviews and zone training. It was really great. Had some instruction on listening and really helping people to come closer to Christ. We went home and then had a meal with some members and had ward Coordination. Wednesday was a bit crazy, had some potential lessons that didn't work out, and did some service and had pretty good day. Saw L and A. And then Thursday was also a bit crazy, more lessons didn't quite go right... but then Sister Wood and Sister Eschgfaller came to go on blitz and we went to see C while the other sisters went to go see a potential that worked out! And then we all went to go see L and A and had a good lesson with them. We then had tea and saw L after the sisters left. Friday, we did lots of knocking. And had English class. Saturday we saw a recent convert, an old investigator and some members. Good day. And then Sunday, no one came to church, but it was still a good day. Knocked doors, visited some members, and then visited a less active man. I have loved being in Horbury with Sister Luna!

Love you guys!

Sister Barret

Week 50: Snow??

Monday: We went to Huddersfield to have pday with the zone. We also got some much needed lightbulbs, we had been going around in the semi dark.... We went home then via the train to go see L! She was doing well. We then headed off to see L and A. We had a nice FHE with them about faith and how we can build our faith. We related it to Nephi building a boat. It was pretty cute. They gave us some Colombian food, that was nice. It was like this thick fried corn tortilla, pancake thing with cheese.

Tuesday: We tried by someone, but she was about to head out, so hopefully more luck next time. We were going to Middlestown, but to get there, we took a bus to a certain point, and then practically hiked up this hill the rest of it. It was really lovely and we went by some nice houses, but it was all uphill and got a bit tiresome after a point. Knocked some doors and went by some other people without a whole lot of luck. So we headed back to Horbury and knocked in another place we had picked. It was a nice little neighbourhood. It was funny, at one point, I realised I needed a toilet, but there wasn't anywhere nearby to go, so I basically started praying so,done would let us in so I could not only share the gospel, but also use someone's toilet. Yup. We get to this one door and before we actually knocked, this old lady opens the door wide and says, come in! We gave each other a questioning look because no one does that.... and then walked right in. They were a very sweet elderly couple, but it was evident that they were getting on a bit, not quite all there. We had a sort of chat with them, ended up singing the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers (it originated in Horbury!), used their toilet, and then headed back out. Had to go out again a ways away to get to our tea appointment, but they were lovely and got us back in time for song practice and ward coordination! There is something just so cool when you hit just the right harmonies. 😊

Wednesday: Had district meeting, as per the norm. I had a Snickers with hazelnut, which may be better than with peanuts. After our meeting we went to L's again to help her around the house and to have lunch. We spent the rest of our day knocking doors and such. Went to a members home for tea, and I have never seen people enjoy their ice cream so much, I had to try hard not to laugh! We then went to go see A and L again, where we had a good lesson about the full gospel of Jesus Christ. They are amazing.

Thursday: Lots of knocking and walking. We went out to Flockton, but we had to go by someone on this ward list who lives out in the middle of nowhere.... it was interesting. I think this is where some of the frozen precipitation started to fall from the sky. So lame. We later went by L and found her in and had a good chat with her. We then had tea at a members home which was a lot of fun, they were hilarious. We then spent our evening at ward council.... which was pretty boring, I admit. It's hard when I don't know who most of the names were. I'll get there in time.

Friday: After our planning and things, we headed out to Middlestown again to try by someone who said yes... but they weren't in. Also, it started kind of snowing again. Odd weather lately. Because of how absolutely freezing it was, we ended up going to go see an elderly lady in the ward to see how she was doing and to invite her to come teaching with us the next day. We had language class, which I agreed to teach for some reason. It's funny, I had prepared to teach Spanish speakers English.... but then none of the Spanish speakers showed up! Basically all my preparation out the window. At least there were people to teach, so it was still good. We then had a bit of an FHE activity afterwards where we played a game that very closely resembled Mafia, but it was wolves instead. We had a good time with it.

Saturday: Tried by someone, and they weren't in, always such a disappointment. Why say yes when you don't mean it!? We visited J, tried to see E, knocked on some doors, went by A and L and ended up having dinner with them (Spanish/Colombian food is way nice), and then we tried to see L.... keyword being tried. She wasn't in again. The struggle.

Sunday: So we went to church, it was ward conference. It was really nice. I really enjoyed Relief Society, talking about unity in diversity, it was lovely. Heard the phrase pish-posh for the first time in forever. We did our musical number, me, Sister Boome, Sister Adamson, and Sister Carlton. It went well, got convinced to solo part of it.... 😐I've decided I live that hymn, We Are All Enlisted, go listen to it if you can't think of which hymn it is. After church though, we went to A and L's and had lunch, and then went with with to church for a second time for us! They are technically in the Wakefield ward, but we apparently have permission to teach them, so yeah. It was interesting. I love church, and there were a lot of good things, but the second sacrament meeting at the end of it all started to get a bit rough, had a harder time paying attention and things. Plus I was trying to keep M quiet, so that creates another distraction. It was nice though. After church, we went to the Adamsons for tea, and I already really like Sister Adamson. Not only was the food great, but afterwards, we took dinners to two lonely older ladies in the ward, and she came with us to visit a less active man we are trying to help! And then she took us home. She is the best, nicest lady. I think I've mentioned before, this ward has some absolutely amazing people in it!

Just a little thought from my reading this morning, Moroni 8:16, for perfect love casteth out all fear. A nice little reminder 😊Hope you are all doing well! Love you!
Oh! And happy Valentines Day! ❤️

Sister Barret

Week 49: Welcome to Horbury!

Monday: So last pday in Pontefract... so we went to the little museum which was pretty cute. Looked around there and took a couple of photos. After pday, we went to go say goodbye to O and then we had a little FHE with the Gs who are amazing. We played Dobble, which I forgot how much I like that game. And I'm not that bad at it either! 😉

Tuesday: Transfer day! Had to finish packing.... I have a bad habit on my mission to do fast last minute packing, all stressed out. It's great.... And because of various reasons, we had to kind of wait this awkward amount of time before we could head to the train station. But we eventually got to the train station after stressing for awhile to wait for Sister Majcs new companion before I left twenty minutes after her arrival. She arrived, we waited for my train, my train came, I got on the train, Sister Majc helped me with my luggage and then the train left for me to go to Huddersfield. With Sister Majc still on the train. And her new companion just sitting in Pontefract, not knowing anything about the area, all alone. Panic quickly set in. But we then spoke to a lady on the train and she gave us information for the fastest way for Sister Majc to get back to Pontefract. We let our leaders know what had happened and the ZLs headed off to be with Sister Marston since Sister Majc would take a bit of time getting back. So we got off in Wakefield and waited for her train back. While we were waiting I realised I was in the wrong place! I was supposed to stay on the train to go all the way to Huddersfield! Wakefield and  Horbury border each other so in my mind it all made sense, but I was supposed to go to Huddersfield to meet my new companion! So since Sister Majc was with me, I was able to call my ZLs and tell them what happened and they said it was alright, someone would come soon enough. So I saw off Sister Majc back to Pontefract and I went and sat down for awhile. Time passed... after a half an hour I started getting pretty worried. And so what did I do? I prayed. Yup, my first reaction when I'm lost as to what to do.... I had lots of ideas of what I could do, but I felt like I should continue to wait. I prayed that someone would come to help me, hoping some missionaries would just show up already. Help did come, but not in the way I anticipated! So it had been about forty minutes at this point and I was just like, well, people know I'm missing, hypothetically they know where I am, I don't know where I am.... I was kind of lost in a depressed train of thought when a man comes onto the station and was like, hey, you don't look so happy! You okay? Got talking to him, he identified me and himself as Christians, he was pretty cool, from Jamaica,  listening to his reggae.... and he let me use his phone! Thankfully, a long time ago, I had written down some potentially useful phone numbers in case I was ever needing to speak to someone and I didn't have a phone, so I was able to call my ZL in York and get someone to come get me! So after being alone for about an hour, I was picked up by the senior couple who works in Wakefield, the Burnett's, given a snack, and then I finally got to meet my new companion! Sister Luna! She is from Mexico and comes up to about the height of my elbow.... Okay, maybe not quite that small, but you get what I mean. She and I then went home to put my stuff down, did a bit of running around, and then headed to a members house for tea. We were at the home of an elderly couple who were lovely and quite chatty. We went by some people and then headed to ward coordination. We turned up rather wet because of the rain... Sister Boome, our ward mission leaders wife, went all mom on us and told us we should wear our hoods and carry brollies. She is really sweet. 

Wednesday: Had to head off kind of early for District Meeting in Dewsbury.... The ZLs wanted to come to our meeting, that's why. My district is kind of big, and it is all elders outside of us and Sister Burnett which is new to me. All of my past districts have been "sistricts", and the only elders were the district leader and his companion. Now it is us, three sets of elders and the Burnetts. For sure a different dynamic. After the meeting, we went home, tried to go by our investigator L, and then we went to go do some service for a lady in our ward, L. Helped her move this huge set of drawers up her tiny staircase into her room. That was fun. We then did some knocking and finding and things and then met up with a sister for tea. She has us call her grandma, which I still feel a bit funny about, but she really is so sweet. We went to this really nice place called 42. I had fajitas. Apparently the first time Sister Luna had fajitas was here in England! She is from the state of Puebla, from the middleish of Mexico, and they are apparently not really a thing there, but more northern Mexico. Fun fact. After being with her, we went to go see our investigators... who actually live in Wakefield... and don't speak very good English... I ended up sitting there kind of lost because at one point one of them got kind of upset and so Sister Luna stopped translating... yeah. It was a bit awkward. I feel like lately, God has been trying to tell me to learn Spanish. I'm going to start putting forth a bit more effort on that. 

Thursday: We knocked some doors and tried to go by some people without a whole lot of luck... We went to go see our investigator, E, and had a lesson with her. Got to meet her children which was nice. We went to another members home for tea, they have really cute twin boys. And their food was really good. Kind of got into a lengthy conversation about politics... I think especially since Sister Luna and I are Mexican and American, people really like talking to us about Trump. Which has been interesting. After tea, we went to go visit an elderly lady, C, from the ward. She was lovely. 

Friday: After we did all of our planning and studies and things, we went to this random little village, Nethertone, for awhile. I should say, I am apparently in the smallest area in the smallest zone in our mission. I cover Horbury, Ossett, and then some random villages like Flockton, Overthorpe, Grange Moor.... some random little places like that. It isn't very big and it's pretty posh a lot of it. But the members are really great, as I mentioned before. 😊 After being in Nethertone for a bit, we headed to have tea at the Hs. One of their sons kept calling me Mrs. Barret because he had a teacher at one point called that. It was cute. After a lovely meal with them, we headed over to the chapel for the language study class! That was fun! There were only really Spanish speakers learning English, apparently we were a small class that day, in the past there have been Portuguese and some others. After the class we went to visit grandma.

Saturday: Went by more people and things didn't exactly go as we wanted, but oh well. We visited J, had tea at the Ks, and then tried by various people. Not our most exciting day.

Sunday: Church! I of course had to bear my testimony and introduce myself. We also ended up teaching a primary class. And then I sang Scripture Power with another sister in Relief Society. After church that same sister and Sister Boome roped me into doing a musical number next week at ward conference. After church we visited L and A briefly. After church we did some things and then went to pick L to bring her to the Bs for tea. And it was like the whole B clan, it was great. Most importantly, L enjoyed it too! We then went to go visit W with J. And then we visited the Cs, who are a lovely older couple in the ward. Fun stuff!

Hope you all have a good week!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sacrament Meeting Talk

29 January 2017

PROMPT: Things That My Mission Has Taught Me and How That Has Helped Strengthen My Faith in Jesus Christ.

(I actually did this talk off of a few bullet points... So this is me kind of recreating what I said yesterday. You will hopefully get the message though.)

I left home for my mission almost exactly a year ago. Which feels like forever ago. For those who have never served a mission, being on a mission somehow simultaneously feels like it goes by in a blink of an eye and yet a separate lifetime as well. It has gone by incredibly fast. And things are constantly changing as a missionary! If I look back to who I was a year ago, I have certainly changed in many good ways. I have gained so much and I have learned so much in the process of trying to help my brothers and sisters come closer to the Lord. I was asked to speak on this topic of what have I learned, and I had a hard time figuring out what it was that I wanted to speak on, because I could be here for hours talking about different experiences and things, and I don't think any of you want that. So I have limited myself. A lot. 

There are a lot of things that I had to learn since coming on my mission, like having to figure out public transport, never did that at home! 
I've had to learn how to get along with different people from all over the world, that's been a fun one! 
And because of that, I've learned the importance of telling someone how I feel when something happens instead of letting it just simmer to a boil. It is so much better when you just resolve the conflict early on!
Because as companions, we have to rely on each other, I've learned that for sure. I would no way be able to do this work on my own, I need my companions!
Not only have I had to learn to talk better with people I know, I've had to learn how to in general, speak to people I had met two seconds earlier, let alone then bringing up the gospel to this complete stranger. Still haven't perfected that one. But I've come to find that people are nicer than you think.
I've learned how to take on more responsibility in my life, there have been plenty of things I've had to do that I may not have wanted to do on my mission. There is a lot of trust that goes on in a mission nowadays I feel like. We really have to be accountable for our own actions.
I've learned just how much the Temple means to me, it's been almost a year since I've been able to go since it isn't in our area, I miss it so much!
I've come to realise just how truly my life has been blessed by the gospel and I would not be anywhere close to where I am today without it.

There are two main things that I wanted to speak on today. The first one of these things was that since coming on my mission, I have learned just how to and how important it is to rely on my Saviour. This took me some time to learn, I have been a member of this church all of my life and I didn't really get it till recently. I certainly didn't get it when I was 13. I have always believed that God is there, I just haven't always understood just what that actually means for me. When I was 13, my father passed. I didn't get it, I didn't understand why, and I didn't really see how God was helping us out at that time. Now, looking back, I can see how events and people fell into place that helped my family get through the difficult times and that was one of God's ways to show he cares. I sort of thought I was just toughing it and pulling through, but truly, it was only through His help I was able to manage. Since coming on my mission, I have been able to see that heavenly help much quicker in my life, and I have really learned how to call it down better. So after I had finished my time with my trainer, I was entrusted with someone new to train. I prayed so hard. I didn't really feel like I knew what I was doing. We would make plans and sometimes those plans failed, but somehow, we would be guided to where we needed to be. I remember one surprisingly warm summer day, my companion had worn a sweater and was dying of heat. So instead of making her just suffer through for making an odd wardrobe choice, we went back home so she could change. I then had the idea to, instead of going back to where we were in the morning to go to where we were on her first day. We went there and started knocking on one end. It wasn't sitting right with me, so we went to the other end. It didn't feel quite right knocking on that side either. At this point my companion started to look at me like I was crazy when I made us start over again on the other end. We knocked a few doors when all of a sudden a woman opens the door and exclaims that she hasn't seen missionaries in forever and that she was happy to see us! It was great. We then went on to have a lovely conversation with her and found out that she was an excommunicated member. We were able to talk with her and show to her that she wasn't forgotten by God. It was crazy. Another experience comes to my mind when I think of relying on the Saviour. We were teaching a woman and she was ready for baptism. Her baptism was scheduled for the same day as another baptism and Nancy's wedding, which I'm sure you all remember. So we had announced it on the Sunday before, and during sacrament meeting, I was sitting there wondering how on earth it was actually going to work out. We didn't have any set plans, we weren't sure how we were going to make it what she wanted... There were just a lot of moving pieces. I sat there during teh sacrament and I sat their in prayer telling Heavenly Father that I knew that He would help us work things out and that I was going to trust Him, that He has our best interest in mind. Throughout that week, as we took those steps forward in faith, things started to fall into place and her baptism happened and it was an amazing day! This experience reminds me of the experience Nephi had when he had the desire to get the plates but didn't know how. In 1 Nephi 4:6, he said, And I was led by the Spirit; not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. I get what he was talking about now! Well, a little bit more at least!

The second thing that I wanted to talk about is love. Love for others, especially random strangers on the streets. My favorite verse that talks about this love and charity you need to have while on a mission is from Moroni 7, Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--But charity is the pure love Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day it shall be well with him. I mentioned earlier, I don't really like people all the time. I love them, but, you could probably at times count me as the anti-social type back home. I have had to work at this from time to time. Because it was hard for me to talk to people all the time in the first place, and then to love them and care about them after meeting them 30 seconds earlier... I had to develop some charity. There is a quote that I love that has helped me to see people better. It is by C. S. Lewis, It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses. To remember that the dullest, most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature, which, if you saw now you would be strongly tempted to worship... You have never talked to a mere mortal. There is a thing we sort of say as missionaries, that as we go about, we need to see people dressed in white. Not only the white of baptism clothes, but the white of temple clothes, because that is where we all want to end up one day! Remembering that we all have that same potential as children of God has helped me to have that greater love for my brothers and sisters on the streets of Pontefract. I have certainly learned that this work that we have all been called to is a labour of love. A very rewarding one at that as well! But it really is all about love .We need to have a love for God and his will. We need to have love for those we are serving as well. And as we do so, our love grows and grows. I don't think I have felt so much love in my life for the most random people until I came on my mission. My friend who was baptised who I spoke of earlier, she became less active after awhile. I of course left and I wrote her a couple of times with hopes that she would come back. It wasn't till last week, so a few months later, did I receive a letter in the mail. I was so excited when I realized who it was from! As I read the letter and she expressed her gratitude and that she was attending church and seeing the sisters... Words can't fully express the joy and gratitude and just love that I felt for her. It was amazing. My heart just burst a bit! It is interesting to see the difference from when I first met her to now. I am just so grateful that I do know her and have been blessed to be able to see her grow and help her progress back to heaven.

God is there. This is his gospel. He loves each of us inside and outside of this building. He has called us each to this wonderful work of His, helping our brothers and sisters to come home to Him. None of us can do it alone, I know I for sure I can't! I know how this gospel has blessed my life and also the life of others around me. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen

Week 48: Transfer 9

Monday: Yay p-day! We met up with the F's at a restaurant since their family is all male... So we can't exactly go to their home, but it was really nice of them. Pretty good Italian place in Xscape. We were then going to go visit S, but because she was feeling ill, she cancelled. Which turned out to be a good thing because then we were able to meet up with the STLs to go for a bit of a split with them! Sister Connolly and I got into this really long conversation with this one guy... That was interesting.

Tuesday: Did some good old knocking as per the usual. Went to go visit J and had a good chat with her. She is really starting to put forth more effort in her progression back to church! We later went to the W's again and shared a meal with them. We headed then to the chapel for a quick ward coordination meeting and then we had our first bible study class! It went pretty well we think. O came! Brother Barton taught it this time and it was so fun. We only got through the first ten verses of Genesis, but it was very educational! We talked about a lot of science that goes into the creation of the world, it was pretty amazing to think about.

Wednesday: Had to go to York! We were having interviews with President! And instead of us just sitting around doing nothing, we had the opportunity to receive training from the AP's, which was really great. It was on teaching and how we can better teach people not only about the doctrine, but about what it is that the doctrine can do for us. It was awesome. And then in my interview with President Turvey, we talked a bit about how much longer I have in my mission and then he basically told me that I am getting transferred. And then when I was in with Sister Turvery she told me that Pontefract was probably getting elders... So that was fun. The whole thing took a few hours and then we headed over to Selby with the rest of our district. That took a bit of time... But we then went with the sisters on a short split before we had to go to the chapel for the worldwide missionary broadcast! I went with Sister Calles to see one of their potentials. It was good to have chat with her since she is about to go home this week. So we then got to watch the broadcast as a district. It was pretty cool. the first part, they were talking about how to teach better, but then they went on to make the announcements about the new missionary schedule and key indicators. We are only counting four indicators, baptised & confirmed, new investigators, church attendance, and investigators with a date. So that is quite interesting. And then as far as the big points of the schedule change, planning is in the mornings, we have time for journalling, companion study should be between 30-60 minutes, p-days can start at 8, lunch should be only 30 minutes... That is about it. That actually starts on February 1 for us, so we are starting it with the new transfer basically. Pretty crazy! After the broadcast, we went to the Selby sisters flat because there wasn't a good way to get home at that time of night and we slept over!

Thursday: So we headed home... Where we discovered our heating no longer working! Yeah... that was cool... pun intended. We had to head off though and we saw H and started teaching him! So that is pretty exciting. We then went out to Normanton to go by some members and less actives. When we came back to Pontefract, we actually met up briefly with the man that Sister Connolly and I had met on Monday evening who we spoke to for forever. He didn't like that we are two young women going about who knows where late at night... So he was giving us something to help defend ourselves with. It was very nice of him! Don't worry, I'm not in that scary of a place! ;) We then went to the chapel to prep and teach the church history class that we are also starting out! People came to this as well, so that was pretty fun. We brought snacks.:)

Friday: Thankfully, we had a flat inspection, so we could talk to them about the fact that our heating was broken. That was useful. So we were able to get into contact with the heating engineer people. We headed off to see K for a bit but then had to come back home to let in the engineer to fix our heating! After that, we went out, we headed of to Featherstone, went by a less active couple, and then headed off to see M. Sadly, she and her kids were sick, so we just tried to do our best to help her out a little bit. Hopefully we don't catch anything!!! Afterwards, we went to get fish and chips where our investigator works so we were able to have a chat with her!

Saturday: Wen to go see Y, who was also feeling sick, so we took her dog, Jake, for a bit of a walk. We went and knocked and went by more less actives again. In the evening, we went to the chapel for a bit to make a digital copy of the ward list since the other one was lost.

Sunday: We went to church! Yay! And not only did we do the music again this week, I gave a talk! Whoo! At least I was given basically the best topic ever, I was just told to speak on what I have learned since coming on my mission, so that was awesome. After church, we went to Knottingly to visit some less actives and members. Started to rain at one point, that's always fun... We haven't had a ton of rain, so that has been nice. But yeah, we then went home and later found out about transfers! And I am headed off to Horbury! I don't really know anything about it! My companion will be Sister Luna! Who I have never met! But I am excited nonetheless!!!

So here is to another transfer and many more miracles to come!! Hope you all have a good week! Miss you all! Love you! xx

Week 47: Fireside

So.... This week. It's been pretty good. We have been able to do a lot of good finding, which is great. We have some pretty good things set up for this next week that we are excited about. So yeah, lots of knocking on doors. Friday my lower back started hurting really bad, so that has been fun to have to deal with. It isn't that bad, it just sometimes makes me have to walk a little bit slower and lay down more when at home, but other than that, it's been fine.

Sunday was probably the highlight of my week. On Monday, President had invited me to come to this investigator fireside that was happening on Sunday to sing. Sadly, we couldn't find anyone to come with us, so we ended up going on a bit of a split with the Doncaster STL's, so I got to go with Sister Pro! Companion reunion! We went with her investigator and a member to the mission home, which is a great place, let me tell you. Such a beautiful home. I do love President and Sister Turvey. It was also fun to see some other missionaries I haven't seen in awhile. The theme of the night was "A Change Of Heart", based off of the verse in Alma 5, which is a great chapter. It was such a lovely evening. Missionaries gave little instructions and experiences of theirs, there was a time where missionaries and investigators and members could bare their testimonies, the spirit was so strong. It was amazing. There were a number of other musical numbers along side what I sang. President accompanied everyone who needed accompanying. I sang a song entitled "Stay With Me", not the one by Sam Smith which was my first though, but by Michael McLean. It's nice. Sadly, I don't have a video, but I may have the opportunity to sing it again, so that'd be cool. President gave some remarks and he showed some really funny videos about resolutions and making a change in our lives, along with the theme about having a change of heart of course. It was all really great. I loved the theme that they went with, it's one we can all hear! Just made me think a bit more of whether or not I am truly allowing for my mission to change me and help me become more of who God wants me to be as I strive to help others come closer to Christ as well.

I hope that you are all doing well and that you have a good week!!! Love you!!!!

Sister Barret

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 46: Windy Weather!

Hey everyone!!!

This week has been pretty good. Thankfully, my back has been a lot better, so that has been making the work a lot more enjoyable. Man, when I don't feel well, I have a lot harder time enjoying what I do!

So, last Monday, Sister Majc and I went to go visit S in the evening after p-day. Love her, she is so hilarious. She is starting to express a desire to go to the temple sometime, so we are starting to work with her towards that. Man do I miss the temple sometimes!

Tuesday we went to go see K and we were also able to see Ch as well. We had a really great lesson where we were able to follow the spirit and read the scriptures and help both of them to come closer to God. From there, we went to the library to meet a potential, but he didn't show sadly. But instead, we finally got into contact with O! She hasn't been avoiding us as it turns out! She showed us some things that someone had brought to the museum for her to research about, she even let us hold a cannonball from England's civil war! Isn't that cool! That evening we went to go see the Waites and D again, always lovely. We also had a really good ward coordination meeting as well where we were able to make some steps forward to continuing to help this ward.

On Wednesday we of course went to Selby for district meeting. Got to love bus rides! It was a good meeting though. Like always. Love my district! Later, we went to go visit J again and had a lovely time with her, even though the winds were almost able to blow us over! That was crazy. Plans didn't all go quite to plan, but we ended up having a good day anyways!

Thursday, we brought K with us to visit R and had a lovely conversation about temples with him as well. that man has so many good questions! I'm always a little worried that we won't be able to answer his questions! But we usually can. He's great. We did some finding and then went to go to the Phiri's to have tea with them. They are amazing, and their food is pretty good too! ;)

Friday during our study time we got on some trains to York to go on exchange with Sister Berg! Love our STL's! We had our Weekly Planning with them, that was nice. I went with Sister Berg to have two first lessons back to back at the library. It's funny, because the second one was apparently not going to happen, but he showed up! It was cool. "Mormonism, it's the new black!" We had a good time... We then took the car, knocked some doors and visited a less active. A pretty good day in all!

We traveled back Saturday morning and then headed out to Normanton to visit some members and less actives. We actually met a less active man who said he wanted for us to come by again and help him refresh his memory basically, so that was cool.

And then Sunday! We went by some more less actives and all that jazz... But in the evening, we went to go see bishop and had a good meeting with him. Was able to show him some of things that we have been able to do lately, and just have a really good conversation with him about a lot of people in the ward.

So that has been my week! I hope you have all been able to do well as well! I love you guys and hope your 2017 is going well so far!!!

Sister Barret

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 45: Fun Finding

So.... This week. It's been pretty good. We have been able to do a lot of good finding, which is great. We have some pretty great things set up for this next week that we are excited about. So yeah, lots of knocking on doors. Friday my lower back started hurting really bad, so that has been fun to have to deal with. It isn't that bad, it just sometimes makes me have to walk a little bit slower and lay down more when at home, but other than that, it's been fine.

Sunday was probably the highlight of my week. On Monday, President had invited me to come to this investigator fireside that was happening on Sunday to sing. Sadly, we couldn't find anyone to come with us, so we ended up going on a bit of a split with the Doncaster STL's, so I got to go with Sister Pro! Companion reunion! We went with her investigator and a member to the mission home, which is a great place, let me tell you. Such a beautiful home. I do love President and Sister Turvey. It was also fun to see some other missionaries I haven't seen in awhile. The theme of the night was "A Change Of Heart", based off of the verse in Alma 5, which is a great chapter. It was such a lovely evening. Missionaries gave little instructions and experiences of theirs, there was a time where missionaries and investigators and members could bare their testimonies, the spirit was so strong. It was amazing. There were a number of other musical numbers along side what I sang. President accompanied everyone who needed accompanying. I sang a song entitled "Stay With Me", not the one by Sam Smith which was my first though, but by Michael McLean. It's nice. Sadly, I don't have a video, but I may have the opportunity to sing it again, so that'd be cool. President gave some remarks and he showed some really funny videos about resolutions and making a change in our lives, along with the theme about having a change of heart of course. It was all really great. I loved the theme that they went with, it's one we can all hear! Just made me think a bit more of whether or not I am truly allowing for my mission to change me and help me become more of who God wants me to be as I strive to help others come closer to Christ as well.

I hope that you are all doing well and that you have a good week!!! Love you!!!!

Week 44: Happy New Year!

I seriously can't believe that it is already a new year!! I don't really feel like 2016 even happened in a way since it went by so fast! Just crazy.

So, honestly, I don't have much to say about this week. Not a whole lot happened. We knocked on doors. We spoke to some people. We rode the bus a lot, again. I don't know how that always ends up being the case. It was kind of annoying this week since it was holiday this while week so all the buses were running a lot less frequently, but we managed, it wasn't too bad. We visited a lot of less actives and members as well and tried to continue to help them. We were also helping make these little random doll things for a nonmember wife of a member. That was fun. What else... New Year's Eve was fun. We got to come in at 6 and so we had time to make proper food, like fried chicken, mashed sweet and normal potatoes, and what Sister Majc called Russian salad or something like that. How is that I keep talking about food in these emails? I do do other things, I promise. We didn't do a whole lot that evening though, mostly just chilled. Good times. Sunday we ended up being the music people again since church was sparse. We also got a less active to come to church for the first time in 6 years, that was pretty great. So yeah. That was basically my week.

So New Years. I don't know about you guys, but I am really horrible at New Years Resolutions and stuff like that. I end up forgetting them most of the time and stuff like that. Have you guys seen the Mormon Message called New Year's: Look Not Behind Thee? If not, watch it, it is hilarious, I love it. It's a good one. We watched it and shared it with some people this week, not only because of the New Year theme, but the message it has, and it really relates to something that we as missionaries are doing in our zone right now. In the video, one lady makes a statement along the lines of how everyday is the beginning of a New Year, so we can always have the chance to start again. It's something that I love in this gospel, that we always have the chance to start again, Heavenly Father gives us billions of chances to start over, to try again, to do our best, to become better. So along with this message we have been sharing with people, we have been inviting people that instead of making big New Year's resolutions that, let's be real, they are going to forget about and not do most of the time, to do New Day resolutions, that each day, think of something small you can do to help yourself come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and more perfectly align our will to His. I have really enjoyed sharing this with people this past week, so I thought I would share it with all of you as well!

Hope you are all doing well and that you are excited and ready for a new year! Love you!!