Wednesday, August 28, 2013

hello, hello!

¡Hola mi maravilloso familia! ¿Como estas? Sorry... the accents on this keyboard arent't working currently for some reason... haha I promise I know where to put accents in the Español language.

But anyways, HELLO HELLO!!!!!! Soo today is P-DAY, of course, and I couldn't be happier about it!! I know I talked all about how amazing it is last week but seriously.... Tuesdays have become the BEST DAY EVER!! It is mind boggling to me that it is already p-day again though. I'm not kidding this week flewww by!!! It is kinda scary!! Time here is just so nuts. The days just flow together and all of the sudden an entire week has gone by. And today I hit my middle mark for the MTC (CCM)!!! I only have 3 more weeks left here... can you believe it!? I can't. It's a little scary too to think that in just 3 weeks I won't be sheltered anymore and will be in the REAL mission field, speaking to and teaching REAL investigators and having to truly to speak clearly in Español. Ahhh crazy!!!! But okay so I am currently a little overwhelmed because I don't know where to begin... I have soooo much I want to say! But we only have 1 hour, which is NOTHING to me, so I have to be speeeedy. 

So first off I'll tell you some random things haha. So last p-day night I went to bed all happy as a clam, re-read everyones emails before I fell asleep.... I do that about every night haha because I take pictures of or print out everyones emails... it's the best!! But then at 2 I was woken up by THE worst stomach pain I have ever felt in my life. I felt soooo so sick and didn't know what to do about it... well anyways, I was sick as a dogggg all night long. I was woken up about every 30 minutes and could barely move I felt so sick. By morning I was a lot better though and soon realized it was just a night deal. I went to breakfast that morning and overheard people talking.... supposedly A TON of people got super sick as well and experienced the same thing as me. This Elder was explaining his night to me and pretty much our experiences were identical. And everyone woke up the first time around 2-3 too haha soooo yeah. Something in the food got us all so sick.

I can now say I have experienced the CCM buggg. Haha I am just happy I didn't stay sick because the people that were sick for multiple days have a parasite. Let's cross our fingers I don't have one. However, I still randomly get the stomach pain. Hermana Latu has gotten it a little too. But I'm all good!! Haha don't worry one bit. I just wish I knew which food I should be ignoring. I am now eating the salad and it is amaaazing to have something fresh like that again but I am guessing it's from the meat?? Who knows... Haha last week an Elder found a cockroach in his beans though.. and I still eat them. Kinda gross?? And Elder Faerbar in my District found a piece of tape in his dessert one night... ohhhh man too good. I actually am pretty fond of the food now haha. I am just embracing it baby!!!! Rice and beans every dayyy.

Oh yeah. and last week a lot of people were sick with bad colds in my District. Hermana Latu and Elder Fridal our District Leader were wayyy sick. No good. And then other people have had the sniffles. Fortunately I haven't caught on to that.... but yeah I think this week will be tons better in the health department, hopefully. I think Hermana Wandell is getting Hermana Latu's sickness though... but we'll see. So next thing, today we went to the Mexico City temple again!!!! It was amazing! Oh yeah, I forgot to write about it two weeks ago when we went but yeah it was so awesome. The whole session is in Spanish and the first time we went I was a little lost but today's session was a ton better. I can't go into details because it's the sacred temple we're talking about here but I just felt a lot more comfortable in a Spanish session today. And the spirit was soo so strong. I absolutely loved it.

 Being in the temple with all these missionaries whom I have grown so close to and love soo much, there's nothing like it. Truly, it is soo humbling and special. And today el Presidente Pratt y Hermana Pratt, the CCM President and his wife, came with us so that was even more special. The temple workers were saints too... loved it so much. The drive to the temple is about an hour too so we get a small glimpse of the city... it's nuts!! But okay, next thing. Oh yeah!!! Big news!! Kinda.. haha so me and Hermana Howe were called to be Sister Training Leaders!! Those new Sister callings!! It is one Hermana companionship per branch and ours just left for the field so we have been called to be the Sister Training Leaders over our branch till we leave. Pretty exciting!! It's not going to be a HUGE deal here in the CCM but our Branch President expects a lot out of us and we're very humbled and priviledged to have been called amongst the other Hermanas. We're super excited for this responsibility, even if it means we have early early morning leadership meetings haha. 

Okay I have to now tell you about what happened to me last night... Soooo it was POURING rain outside during dinner and we had to get to our class afterwards for language study. We were unprepared with no umbrellas or anything since the rain started during dinner and once it starts, it doesn't stop and it rains soo hard. So anyways, we just made fun out of it, took off our church shoes, and raaaaan hahaha. I danced around a little too because I am in love with the rain haha but we had to get to the classroom and our building, the Joseph Fielding Smith building, is pretty far away so we were running. Just getting soaked haha. But anyways, first I screamed that I was going to slip and then I looked back and Hermana Wandell ate is soooo bad, soo sad, so after waiting for her we kept running and I almost made it to the door, like less than a foot away and BAM!!!! Slipped and totally ate it. Hahahaha it was bad though because when I slipped I slid into the door. And all these Elders down the hallway saw and rushed over to help me but I was just laughing my head off. It hurt a little but was way more hilarious. Then I got up and realized, I completely ripped my pencil skirt. It ripped all the way up the seam in the back and yeahhhh hahaha not a big deal. It was the yellow pencil skirt I got from JCREW... I know, so sad. But since it made a straight rip right up the seam I will just send it home once I get to Cali and hopefully mom or Kimbo can sew it back up for me?? ¿Por favor? Haha but yeah and I got a nice gash on my elbow but it's all good. Haha it was hilarious though because I still wanted to do language study in class so I just held my skirt together, sat down, and went to work. Everyone in my District was dying though and the Elders were all soo sweet. To Hermana Wandell too, she totally beat up her foot and knee. It was awful!! Yet one of the funniest things ever. Ahh man. Too good haha.

But yeah that reminds me, the Elders in my District are the sweeeetest. Seriously, love them soo much. I'll have to go into more detail about each of them another time but they're all the best. I am closest to Elder Ballstaedt and Elder Faerbar though. They're SO solid and such hard workers. Elder Ballstaedt is the one I could see myself being friends with outside of the field too so we get along way well. Those Elders just are the best examples to me and I feel so lucky to have such an awesome group. Every Elder is entirely different too, so we have several different personalities going on, haha but that's part of what makes it so great. And then of course I am obsessed with the 3 other Hermanas. They're sooo great. Best District ever. And best branch ever too.... they're all my best friends!! Elder Gee and Elder Dale, from our Branch, whom me and Hermana Howe got close too just left for Rancagua, Chile though so that was sad. I hate saying goodbye to these missionaries I've become such good friends with!! But then a lot of people are still here including Hermana Winters and Hermana De La Vega who are my faaavorite. Haha they're the best. Hermana Muir left last night though unfortunately as well as a few of mi otra Hermana amigas... but tons still remain. Oh yeah! And Hermana Garbett is here!! Suzanna Garbett from Skyline. Ahh she is the CUTEST!!! And I get soo excited when we run into each other. Haha way funny too, I guess she had been reading my emails from Abby's mission blog for me so when she saw Hermana Howe she said, "I've heard about you... Hermana Como!?" Haha we were laughing soooo hard. CLASSIC.

But anyways, next thing.. Abs I ran into Elder Eichers last p-day night at the Tuesday devotional, ironically, and now I see him all the time. Haha such a great guy. However he's two years younger than me.... it's normal. Seriously it is normal though. I am old over here. Did I tell you last week how people call me abuela?? Meaning grandma... and they called Elder Jugler (who just left) abuelo... since we're both 20 almost 21 year olds. Haha good times. I am the oldest in my District and probably branch too. But okay. Then let's see... onto the more spiritual stuff. 

We're teaching two investigators now. I think I mentioned them last week.. they're two of our teachers. "Gilberto" aka Hermano Arevelo y "Benjamin" aka Hermanpo Muñoz. Since they're our teachers I feel more comfortable with them however it's still quite the learning process. Which reminds me, last week I had my first overwhelming teaching experience. Me y Hermana Howe were teaching Gilberto and I made sure to really get to know him in the beginning and our plan was to talk about the Restoration but then he led into the Apostasy and asked, when we had no time left... why there are so many churches on the earth today. Somewhat easy question right?? We just needed to teach him about the Apostasy. However we had noo time left and the Apostasy is a big subject so I kinda stumbled over my words, for the first time my mind was going more blank, I got nervous so the Español words weren't coming and then I turned it to Hermana Howe for a minute and she said, "So with the Atonement........" haha totally off topic so I tried to redeem that and then Gilberto could sense we were nervous, his eyes welled up with tears and he expressed his gratitude for us teaching and meeting with him and immediately tears started rolling down my cheeks. It totally caught me off guard that he started tearing up and then caught me even more off guard when in that moment I was completely touched with the spirit and found myself tearing up as well. I just felt soo many emotions come over me and it was, to describe it the best I can, a VERY humbling experience for me. I know that my Español isn't anywhere near perfect, I have such a long ways to go, but my testimony is strong and with that... the Savior is going to be by my side.

At that moment Spanish words were flooding my mind and I ended the lesson with a strong message and my testimony. It was so special. It is pretty frustrating when you want to say so much but can't find the words to express yourself.... so that experience was amazing for me. Once I stopped thinking about myself, the Español, and how our lesson wasn't going to plan... and started thinking about my true purpose, the spirit, and my Savior Jesus Christ... everything else fell into place. That story is probably super confusing and I am typing soo fast because I have no time, but it was a great and growing experience for me. And then, to make my day even better... later in class we had Book of Mormon study and Hermana Doxey had us come up with a question we wanted answered as a district. We decided on, "How can I teach with more confidence?" ... We ended up studying and digging deep into Ether 12. 

Ohh my goodness mi familia... please please please study and ponder abour Ether 12. This chapter has inspired me in more ways than I can express and was exactly what I needed to hear and study that day. And any day. I know you've all probably read it tons of times but just really take into heart what it teaches us and apply it to your own life. I know this is a verse everyone has heard a million times, but Ether 12:27 was soo powerful to me as I read it, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they HUMBLE themselves before me, and have FAITH in me, then will I make WEAK things become STRONG unto them." I hope I said it all right... we have been memorizing scriptures tons and I get them a little messed up sometimes. But isn't that sooo powerful!? All we need is to have HUMILITY and FAITH and the Lord promises us he will make our weaknesses strengths!!!! It sounds so simple doesn't it?? However it is something we all struggle with, I know I do. But if we just obtain those two things... the Lord is bound and will fulfill his promise!! 

This now makes me thing of another scripture that I love sooo much... it's another one you all know by heart probably.. D&C 82:10, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." Ohh my goodness!!! It's soo powerful!! The Lord will be BOUND when we do what he says!!! But if we do not follow his council and do what he says, well then. He doesn't owe us anything. So crazy. So anyways, my testimony was really strengthened that day and I am working my hardest to become more humble and faithful. I am working my hardest every day. And I know to obtain those two things I must forget myself and trust in the Lord with all my heart. I love this Gospel sooo much!!! It's TRUE it's TRUE it's TRUE!!!! Haha I know I am sounding like such a missionary right now but I can't help myself. Haha and please study the Book of Mormon each and every day. I have promised myself I will read the Book of Mormon every single day for the rest of my life and I hope you all will do the same.

 Yesterday I had to pretend Hermana Howe was an investigator and introduce her to the Book of Mormon... wow. The spirit hit me soo hard when I found myself expressing my deep love and passion for the Book of Mormon. It contains the true words of God and is the KEYSTONE to not only our religion but our lives!!!! It has every answer and oh my goodness, I love and appreciate it more than I ever have in my life. It is INCREDIBLE!!! Ahhhhhh I wish I could express my true feelings about how much I love that book. It contains pure gold I tell you. My testimony is growing and being strengthened soo much each and every day here you guys. It honestly overwhelms me how passionate I feel for the work I am doing and the overall gospel of our loving Savior Jesus Christ.

The Savior is with me all day every day and I love him soo much. This past week I have also grown such an appreciation for all he has done, does, and will continually do for me. He has suffered sooo much for ME. And for EACH AND EVERY ONE of us. So that we can return to our Father in Heaven. This now reminds me of the most powerful talk I've heard since I've been here.. On Sundays we always have devotionals from an Apostle and this past Sunday we were fortunate enough to hear from our most beloved Elder Holland. Ohh my goodness this man speaks to my SOUL!!!! Actually, this talk he seemed to yell at it. He was literally raising his voice to the missionaries and getting so passionate about what he was talking about that my drop literally dropped and all of us missionaries were just frozen with our eyes glued on the screen. He talked about many aspects of missionaries and missionaries after their missions etc. I'll tell you real quickly my favorite things he said... so he talked about how they expect a lot out of us and don't apologize for it. They expect us to grow up over night and put away our childish pasts and things. He talked about how we need to keep that perfect image of a missionary and we don't have the PRIVILEGE (whenever I use caps from what he said it's because he was pretty much yelling haha) to to change the tradition of missionary service in our church. Therefore, we have a huge responsibility.

He talked about how missionaries often complain about how hard the work is and then followed to say, very loudly and powerfully into the mic (you all know how Elder Holland is) .... "Of course missionary work isn't easy.... SALVATION ISN'T A CHEAP PRICE!!! It was NEVER easy!!!" and then ... "Why would it be easy for us when it WAS NEVER EASY FOR HIM!?!?!" ... what gives us the right to think we're special and missionary work shouldn't be difficult when we're not even experiencing the tiniest bit of what our Savior Jesus Christ went through. Ohhh man did that hit me hard. It was sooo powerful I felt my heart stop and soul tremble haha. Wow. Elder Holland inspires me in more ways than I can express. And then he talked about after our missions and how the church expects one convert out of each and every one of us. That convert being ourselves. He said saving our own soul will be enough and the rest is frosting on the cake. I loved that though because he said him and President Monson are worried missionaries and making sure that they themselves are converted. Because he followed to say that if we do not have the gospel sooo engraved and deep into our souls... how can we expect those we teach to?? We ourselves must be converted first... or else he said, "WHY ON EARTH ARE WE GOING!?!" (on missions) ... pretty powerful huh?? It still gives me chills thinking back on it. And then last thing that really really hit me was he talked about after our missions and he said, "Don't you DARE come home and in the first 5 minutes try not to look like a missionary." ... "Some say they want to get back to "real life" ... THIS IS REAL LIFE!!!" and then he said we will never go back to the lives we had before and never be the same person we were before if we take our missions serious and let the gospel sink deep into our hearts and souls. Ohh man. Incredible. I will never be the person I was before my mission or live the same life. I am devoting myself to this gospel not only during the time of my mission but for the rest of my life. 

So anyways, as of now I am going to savor every solitary moment I have as a missionary and work my hardest every minute as well. This is my time to serve our Lord with all my heart and soul and devote myself 100% to him. I feel so blessed to be apart of this wonderful work and bring all those I can unto our amazing and loving Savior, Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary!!!!!!!! And I love you mi familia soooo so much. My heart is so full every day thinking about all of you. Also, all my loving and amazing friends at home. LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!
Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hola from Mexico City!

¡Mi familia!! Ohhh my dear dear familia. How I love you so. Oh my goodness, I have soo much to say!!! Of course. Haha and I have no idea where to begin. Well first off, it's P-DAY baby!!!! And we're all sooo happy because of it. Best day ever. Haha getting emails feels like Christmas morning!!! I'm not even kidding. It's the BEST THING EVER!!!!! I get like butterflies the night before when I go to sleep and more butterflies when we wake up and walk over to the Thomas S. Monson building to read our emails. It is soo amazing hearing from those you love when so far away and it is the best boost you could ask for. I love it so much. So just know that hearing from you all makes me incredibly happy and I have a permanent smile on my face now because of it. 

Ahh I feel so so blessed and my heart is so full. I don't know if I ever felt so blessed or had my heart feel so constantly full in my life. I am soo happy and I know that's because I am doing the Lord's work and am a representative of Him. Yesterday we had to do role play with one another in class and I had to pretend to be an investigator for some Elders and then me and Hermana Howe had an Elder in our district act as an investigator and anyways... you get the point. But when me and Hermana Howe were teaching I was introducing us as representatives of Christ and oh my goodness. The most overwhelming and powerful feeling came over me. It hit me soo hard that I AM A REPRESENTATIVE OF MY LOVING SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. I am not here to be Emilie Barth, but to be the Lord's representative and to do HIS work. I am now Hermana Barth. I am the Lord's representative and I will do all I can to be the best missionary I can possibly be and represent him to my best ability. When this hit me I told the "investigator" Elder Angell that it is as if the Lord was sitting where me and Hermana Howe were sitting. We are here to love, help, serve and care for our fellow Brothers and Sisters as the Lord would himself. I must act as he would and do as he would. And with that I feel a great amount of responsibility on my shoulders but it truly humbles me and I could not feel more priviledged to act in His name. I felt the Savior's love soo strongly at that moment too and also felt such love for all the missionaries here and for my future investigators. It is so crazy because I don't know the lovely people I will be teaching yet but I already feel soo much love for them!! I am already soo anxious to go find these beloved people and bring them unto Christ. I have a purpose to fulfill!! 

Our missionary purpose is to, "Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo al ayudarles a que reciben el Evangelio Restaurado mediante la fe en JesuCristo y su Expiacion, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la reception del don del Espiritu Santo y el preservarar hasta el fin." I have so much to accomplish!! Yet I am soo excited to be doing this work! Never in my life have I ever been anxious to fall asleep at 10:30 sharp, wake up at 6:30 sharp and work my tail off learning, studying, and teaching!!!!! I honestly wake up every morning with a smile on my face and an even greater desire to work even harder and learn even more. I pray to our Heavenly Father tons and tons and just want to thank Him constantly for blessing me this much and giving me the opportunity to serve his children!!!! I feel soo blessed and lucky and I just want to thank Him and our beloved Savior constantly! I love them both more than I could ever express and their love for me touches me in ways I can't express. 

I feel so loved and my heart truly is so full. I know that without my Savior's help in everything I do I wouldn't be where I am or who I am today too. And with learning mas sobre el Evangelio y idioma de Español ... more about the Gospel and Spanish language, I know there is noo way I would be learning so much and progressing so much if it weren't for my loving Padre Celestial y Señor JesuCristo ... Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, helping me every step of the way. I have never felt them in my life more than I do now and I know that my Savior LIVES more than ever. I can feel him constantly with me and it even brings tears to my eyes right now testifying to you all of what he does for me. My testimony has already grown sooo so much it overwhelms me. THE CHURCH IS TRUE and I testify that from the bottom of my heart. We also are so priviledged to get to hear from Apostles often for emotionals and I know without a doubt that these are true Apostles of the Lord just like the ordained Apostles of when Jesus established the church years and years ago. Their counsel if true and the word of God and I know the President Monson is our loving latter-day Prophet and I love him soo much. I feel soo lucky!!!! I know I am bearing my testimony lots but I just feel the spirit soo strongly with me constantly that I have to let out my feelings. The Holy Ghost is my constant companion and best friend. With the Holy Ghost I have been able to recieve personal revelation and learn more than I ever would be able to on my own. 

Also, with an update for Español, I have improved tons from last week and am kinda embarrassed I acted like I was so good when I last wrote. Haha everyone, although I keep improving... I am still sooo far from being good. I am still a beginner but I just feel blessed to be progressing as fast as I am. Our teachers have a ton of faith in us though and I know that helps a ton. I've also learned that having confidence in speaking goes a long way. So even though I may sound silly or not have the accent down or say things wrong... I'm trying my best to speak a ton so that I can improve faster. Speaking helps a million. It's crazy though how learning a language with such a wonderful purpose makes all the difference. El don de languas ... the gift of tongues is a real thing and I have faith that if I keep praying to recieve it and work my hardest, my Heavenly Father will bless it upon me. I know it. He has helped me thus far... and he won't back out on my. How amazing is that to know we have a loving Heavenly Father there for us constantly who will only help us improve and bless us!? I love Him!!!!!! But okay... now for some not as mishy stuff. 

Haha updates..... First off, we finished teaching out first investigator Ruby. We taught her 5 lessons and then she became another one of our teachers!! Hermana Howe has improved a ton in Español too and in the last couple of lessons participated more! It has been awesome and we've been setting really good goals every day and accomplishing them. Oh yeah and yesterday I memorize how to invite someone to be baptized, I tried it out on Miss Ruby although she wasn't ready... hahaha and then I memorized the entire First Vision!!!! Oh man. Saying that in English is one thing but saying it in Español is even better!! But as for Ruby.. Her name is Hermano Doxey and guess what!? 

So after she became our teacher, which was kinda weird at first, haha we got to know her a little and listen to this... she went to East and so of course I asked her the first family I could think of with East people and I said, "Do you know the Bennett's?" and she said, "Like Emma Bennett??" and I said yesss yess haha and then she said her mom is way good friends with Amy and I said MY mom is way good friends with Amy and said her dad even dated Amy and then she followed to tell me that both her parents went to JERUSALEM with Amy and I said MY MOM went to Jerusalem with Amy!!!!!!! Hahahaha soo Barb J, do you know the Doxey's?? I can't remember their first names but I'm sure you'll be able to find the connection. Let me know if you know them or remember them or ask Amy hahaha. CLASSIC!!! We were both dying when we made the connection and Hermana Wandell was like you make connections with everyone!! Haha it's true.. I find connections with lots of people here. I feel like you Barb J. Classic. Oh yeah so other people I've made connections with... I'll only tell a couple for now to save time.. but Hermana De La Vega this darling Hermana I've become close to is from Vegas ... De La Vega from Vegas ... funny right?? Haha well anyways, I asked her if she knew of the only people I know from Vegas, mom's cousins and so I said, "Do you by chance know a mom with the name of Zan!?" and she got super excited and said, "ZAN HYER!?!?!" Hahaha and then she proceeded to tell me she is super close with Zan and the entire Hyer fam. Is way good friends with Jared, the one I went to the Y with haha, and yeah she was soo excited when she found out I was related to them. Soo funny. But yeah and then I've made a ton of other connections with people including another one of Connor Haller's friends.. He came up to me and said, "You dated Michael Haller, Connor Haller's older brother!!" haha and I was like I sure did! And then he told me he had heard about me from Connor, seen pictures on Facebook of me and Miguel (I can officially call him Miguel now that I am speaking Español and am in Mexico hahaha best thing) and had heard about when Connor fake proposed to me, etc. Makes me so happy making connections with people. And I need to tell Connor he's quite popular over here. 

Haha no but it's way fun. I love my missionaries over here soo much. Like I said last week though, we only have about 160 Hermanas, we gained more this week... but then lost some too I guess so probably less than that... but it's way fun because I know everyones faces and I am friends with sooo many of them. It's the best. We're all just so close because we're all here doing the same thing, sacrificing the same things, and just all wanting to serve our Lord to our best ability. No greater place to make the best of friends. All the girls are DARLING!!!! And then there are tons and tons of Elder's and I've made friends with a ton of them too. You see a lot of the same faces around. It's so much fun!!! I wish we interacted more with the Latina Hermanas though but they're soo shy. 

The Latino Elders are CLASSIC though. Yesterday this one Elder was beat boxing and rapping for me and Hermana Howe... he was DEAD serious too and it was hilarious. And all these Latino Elders wanted pictures with us. Probably because we're so blonde haha. So funny. But yeah other updates.. oh yeah, so I had swollen feet for the first week and it was awful!! I didn't want to bring it up in the last email and sound like I was complaining but it was so bad because they would hurt one because they were swollen and two because they were tight in my flats and created man blisters.... I still am trying to heal those dang blisters but they're getting better. You should see how I bandage my feet at night. Maybe I'll send a picture haha. But they're good now and my flats are way more worn in. Mom, feel free to send me the comfiest shoes in the world though once I'm in Cali. Even if they're ugly as ever. Pillow shoes por favor. Haha no I am so good I promise and we're sitting in class a lot of the time. However we walk a lot more than we would in Provo because we're on a campus. 

Which is BEAUTIFUL by the way. Ahh it's soooo pretty. I heard there is a video on that shows the Mexico MTC, mi amiga Hermana Winters is supposedly in it too haha and so anyways you should try to find it so you can get an idea of where I'm living!! This place is huge and just soo pretty. Oh and in front by the sign there are these big Palm Trees and parrots fly around in them! It's the best! And as for the food, it's still the same old but I'm embracing it haha. Oh and highlight of me and Hermana's meals is when they bring out a new box of bread pastries... we're obsessed with these rolls that are just covered in sugar and they're AMAZING!!! Haha whenever they bring out a new box we rush over to get them because all the good stuff is gone sooo fast. It's hilarious the things we get excited over. Oh and haha the Hermanas always get to be first in line or butt the lines for food so we always get our food super quick. I'm still embarrassed when there is a huge line of Elder's starving and waiting for food and us Hermanas just trot in and get to go right up to the food. I feel bad but the Elder's are all soo sweet and have to be obedient haha so it's all good. Oh and the other day some Elder's found staples in their cereal... we're all taking extra precautions don't you worry. Hahaha. 

Okay and then let's see... we're teaching two new investigators this week. Benjamin y Gilberto. Two of the teachers we've already had. They're the best too so I am sooo excited to teach them and their fake investigator selves. "Gilberto" doesn't know any English either so that will be fun. Him and Hermana Doxey were doing a demonstration for us the other day and she asked him to try to do some of it in English and he only lasted a few words and went back to Spanish haha. We were all loving watching him try to speak OUR language. It was great. But okay and then as for my District, we're all doing very well but we've got some emotional ones on our hands. Two Elders, Elder Pace and Elder De Los Reyes stormed out of class crying this week when Hermana Hopoate asked them something. Don't know exactly what happened.. and then our District Leader Elder Fridal bawled the other day telling us a story but it was sweet. Then Hermana Wandell has had some more breakdowns. And many of the times not because of something spiritual. Ohh bless her heart. She is just super sensitive yet one of the sassiest and blunt people I know. This is one example for you though, the other day an earthquake alarm went off so we had to go to these earthquake safety spots... and anyways, I guess a real earthquake happened but we couldn't feel a thing. Hermana Wandell was soooo freaked out though that she started like hyperventilating and bawling her eyes out. Really she was FREAKING out. We all helped calm her down but yeah she just cries about a lot. Love her tons though. She's great. Oh yeah, so in my District and room in our home (we have student houses!!) it's me, Hermana Howe, Hermana Wandell, and Hermana Latu. 

You already know about darling Hermana Howe but then Hermana Wandell... she's the most different from us but we love her lots. She's obsessed with Stitch from Lilo & Stitch, went to Jordan High School, was way into choir so she has a beautiful voice, and stuff like that. Then Hermana Latu..... is half Tongan half Mexican and from Rose Park, SLC!!!! Dad's area when he was Bishop! She's my age but went to a Tongan ward dangit!!! Dad, you could have been her BISHOP!!! But anyways, she's absolutely stunning and the best! Ahhh I have so much fun with her. She always calls me home girl and loves making jokes about her being the only brown girl. Hahaha she is hilaaarious. Oh yeah and Hermana Howe did Drill at Pleasant Grove High School, Hermana Latu did cheer, and I did Dance Co. so we've all got that kinda in common haha. But oh yeah and back to my District being emotional, I am the only Hermana not to cry. Hermana Latu just has when she's talked about her mom being a convert and what not and I feel heartless sometimes!!!! Everyone has had breakdowns about home, the language or something but I just feel sooo happy that no tears have come. I have felt the spirit stronger than I ever have before too but it doesn't strike tears. It just makes me feel soo warm and happy. 

So mi familia, don't feel bad that I am not home sick but just know that your support and love encourages me so much and makes me beyond happy. I know I'll be home in a short 18 months and I'm not going to waste a minute worrying about the little things, I know the Lord is with me, and I'm not going to waste any time wishing I were home. Even though I miss you all soo much, of course. Something Ralphyyy wrote to me in his little note he wrote in the notebook Miss Abigail gave me has really stuck with me... I don't have the notebook with me but in it he said something like, promise me you'll never once wish you were home... because you'll be home sooner than you think and wish you were a missionary again. Something like that and ever since I read that I promised myself and you too Ralphonzo that I will never ONCE wish I were home. Because I know my mission is going to flyyy by and I need to embrace and soak in every minute I have being a missionary. Sooner than we know I'll be home and there is absolutely no point in dwelling over anything right now. So thanks for that mi hermano RALPH!!!! Oh and I wish I had developed my pictures!!!! I am dyyying for pictures of you all. Luckily I had a couple already on my camera but I NEED MORE!!! So gayyyorg, get on that will you please and send them either here or to Cali asap!! Oh yeah, people are getting packages and physical letters all the time. The address in my mission packet is the old one but with the new one stuff gets here in 2 weeks!!! Send some letters my way por favor!!!!!!! Also, feel free to Dear Elder me too!!! I can get those from the mail place too. I would love ANYTHING!!!!! 

Oh yeah and I still haven't met anyone going to my mission. I've met people FROM there but no missionaries going with me..... poop. Oh well, it will just be that much more exciting when I actually get out to the field. But okay well I need to go but I love you all soo much!!! I'm sorry if I make a ton of spelling mistakes in my emails or make no sense too because I am typing (with my two pointer fingers hahaha) sooo fast and don't have time to look back over my emails. But just know I love you all sooo so much and I'll tell you more next weekend!! Thanks soo much for praying for and thinking of me. I can feel your love so much and I am praying for each and everyone of you constantly too. I love you all so much!!! ¡¡¡Te amo mi maravillioso familia!!!!

Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


 How is everyone!? Okay so I am already freaking out about time because my countdown has begun and I have soo much to say but here goes.... so first off, I miss you all dearly but I am absolutely LOVING it here!!! I honestly am in heaven and I could not be happier. I truly am so so happy and feel sooo blessed every single day. I can't imagine being anywhere else right now doing anything else. I know without a doubt in my mind that I am here for a reason and am supposed to be a missionary for nuestros Salvador JesuCristo. Sorry.. I may be throwing some Español in here every once in awhile. So beginning with that, my Español is coming along soo nicely!! Oh my goodness you guys, I feel soo blessed. 

I pray for the gift of tongues, el don de languas, constantly in my prayers and I am not kidding..... I feel so lucky. I never in a million years thought I would be speaking how I am this quickly. I know to others I probably sound super bad haha but I am learning sooo much and feel like I have gained much success. Our first day here we learned soo much already. We memorized the missionary purpose in Español and learned how to pray. That night I had it memorized. And that next morning I was able to fluently say a prayer all in Español.... I don't know why I have been so lucky but I am super happy with my progress. 

Now in class, I can totally understand what my teachers are saying and can talk a ton to them, ask questions, make comments, etc. Oh yeah, and so in my District it's 12 of us... Me, Hermana Howe (we call her Hermana Como because "how" is "como" in Español hahaha we think it's funny....) anyways, then two other Hermana's, Hermana Wandell and Hermana Latu who are also our roomies, and then 8 other Elders whom I'll name at a later time... so anyways, we have the best district ever!!! We've all already become super close and I just feel like we're all progressing so much. My District Leader Elder Fridal is so awesome too and we all just get along great. And then our teachers are Hermano Muñez (a Latino who is awesome and speaks pretty good English...) and the Hermano Hopoate who is Tongan and from Utah but is totally fluent in Español and is the best guy ever!!! I love my teachers sooo much. They are so helpful, loving, and teach us soo much each day. Honestly, we learn SO much each day. I can't even tell you. Every day my Español improves a bunch and I just can't believe I have only been here a week!! Most productive and best week of my life! 

But okay so as for our schedule we pretty much wake up, eat breakfast, study, learn, plan, eat lunch, study, learn, plan, teach our investigator, have dinner, work out (we play Volleyball with our District outside and it´s soo much fun... our work out time is at night too so it's always at sunset, there's colorful Mexican houses all on the mountain behind us, palm trees everywhere and mexican music playing from the streets... it's amazing...) and then okay so your probably wondering more about us teaching investigators... well so... the third day we were here we had to teach an "investigator" an entire 30 minute lesson in Español. Pretty crazy huh?? And we have to treat our investigator like they're real and treat everything like it were real. It's crazy! However, I have learned soo much from this. We've taught our investigator, Ruby, 3 times now and we've experienced a lot. Oh yeah, and we teach in companionships. 

But okay so here's what has been happening... so Hermana Como is the cutest thing in the world and I honestly adore her in every way, we're seriously already the best of friends and other Hermanas will always say, "How did you two get put together!? You're already best friends!!" And we're probably two of the blondest ones here. But anyways, she is so great yet she is really struggling with the language. In all 3 lessons we've taught I've had to teach 99% of it. Luckily I am able to do so, but the last lesson we had it was a little frustrating because I would turn to her to say something and she would have no idea what we had been talking about and have no idea what to say so she would just get this look of complete fright on her face and just freeze.... I feel bad though sometimes for talking so much and having conversations with Ruby and not hearing anything out of Hermana Howe but I give her chances to speak and even sometimes point to our notes and she freaks out and will tell me to just keep going.... we're not supposed to speak any English either so I can't help her out much. And sometimes she'll want to help out and will just read something from her notes that is totally off topic and random haha oh it's classic. 

Last lesson though I turned to her to see if she wanted to say anything and she just whipped out the pamphlet, The Plan of Salvation (El Plan De Salvacion) .. and I knew I would have to be teaching it so I was like ohh man here goes... haha but luckily I had some notes on it so I was able to work something out. I hate looking down at my notes while teaching though because it doesn't feel real or personal so I avoid it at all costs. But we ended up getting Ruby to take home the pamphlet and promise us to read it... and then I asked Hermana Howe to say the closing prayer and she started it with, "Estamos....." and froze so I whispered to her, "Nuestro Padre Celestial....." and then she started again and then just started crying. I felt so bad. She just felt bad she didn't know how to help with the lesson and was super frustrated she wasn't picking up the language as fast as others... but I made sure to give her a big hug and help her laugh it off. It's going to get better, I know it. We've only been here a week. Oh, and earlier that day Hermano Hopoate made us get with our companion and get to know each other in complete Español.... and that was when Hermana Howe had her first breakdown. She had noo clue what I was asking or saying and tried asking me in English but Hermano Hopoate told her no ingles so she just broke down. And then he was super cute about it. But anyways, although it's hard sometimes because I feel like I have to get through the lesson on my own... I know it's helping me progress a ton and is really pushing me. Also, I hope I don't sound cocky because I promise my Spanish is still awful haha. I just feel lucky and overwhelmed with gratitude with how much I know already. 

But okay... I have to hurry. So singing hymns in Español is probabaly one of my favorite things ever. Especially Called to Serve or I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go...... I always have our district sing more than we even need to just because I love it so much. Elder Fridal has us sing every morning after we all say the missionary purpose too though so it's great. The spirit is always soo strong and we have a ton of singers in our district so they're always harmonizing. It's great. But okay and then as for the food.... it's a carb overload. We always have a meat, refried beans, corn tortillas, rice, and then tons of different types of bread, pastry things... oh and there is always cereal of cocoa crispies, fruit loops, and frosted flakes... with warm whole milk... mmmm. I'm definitely not eating healthy and I'm already getting kinda sick of the food, it's not great at all but when I'm starving I'll eat anything and be happy about it. Oh and at breakfast they always have some mystery meat thing, sweet pancakes which are pretty good.. and then yummy mango yogurt. That's my favorite thing by far... besides some of the sugary bread pastries. Haha oh and we all got filtered water bottles and there are filters all over so I'm good with the water. Oh and they have salad for dinner usually but since I just got my Typhoid shot last Monday I can't eat their salad yet. Supposedly one week everyone got super sick from it too so oh well... bring on the bread!! That's what gets us full. So gross, I know. Oh and they usually have canteloupe and honeydew too which is usually alright.

 Okay and as for the weather, it's perfect during the day and we have the craziest rainstorms every night during language study. Seriously never seen storms like these before and sometimes it even hails. It's crazy. It's so fun running around in it to and from class or too and from devotionals though and just seeing all these Elders and Hermanas getting soaked from puddles, etc, even with umbrellas.... but okay and my sleeping schedule is awesome. I was a little tired at times the first couple of days but now I am totally used to it and it's great! We are in bed at 10:30 sharp and I usually wake up at about 5:45-6 and am perfect!! I know you all are shocked haha. But okay I need to hurry.... So yeah I haven't met one person going to my mission and to be honest am pretty sure there isn't one. There are only about 130 Sister missionaries here as of now, we get a new load today, and I know everyone. So there isn't ONE hermana going to my mission and I know a ton of the Elders too and don't know of an Elder either... and nobody else has heard of anyone going to my mission either. I've met some going to Santa Rosa and Sacramento to which are my neighboring missions but NO ROSEVILLE!! So sad. Oh well, maybe there will be some coming today! Most people here are going to El Salvador, Chile, Panama or some other random state. Then there are some Ecaudor too... anyways... I have to hurry.

 Oh yeah, Abby and dad I met Logan Keller. He came up and asked if I were Abby Barth's little sister and introduced himself... that was nice. And then Hermana Muir and Hermana Jensen from Skyline are here. Again, nice to see familiar faces. I love all the Hermana's here soo much though and we're all such good friends. It's the best!! But okay well I wish I could respond to all your emails personally but I am almost out of time. And today we get to go the the TEMPLE!!!! Ahhh I cannot wait!! My district is soo excited and we've been looking forward to this all week long. Oh yeah, and Sundays here are the BEST!!! I'll have to tell you more later but I conducted the music in Sacrament... woot woot. And the day is just full of wonderful things. But okay well I really have to go... I'll fill you in more next week. But as for now I am soo happy to hear everyone is doing so well!! I miss you all like crazy but am never home sick because I know why I am here and I am ready to serve the Lord with all my heart. It's crazy though because you really have no time to even think of home or anything of that sort until you're back to your room getting ready for bed. All day you are just so busy and your mind is constantly thinking about studying, planning, etc. Well I love you all with all my heart and am praying for you tons each day. Seriously, we pray soo much here. But okay.. ADIOS MI FAMILIA!!!!!!!!
Amor, Hermana Barth

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Ohh my goodness dearest family!!!!! I know I only said goodbye to you all this morning but I already feel like it has been so long!! So first off, I just arrived to the MEXICO MTC and I could not be happier or more excited!! 
Ahh I already feel like I have so much to tell you all but I don't know how much time I have and I don't want to hog the computer.... real quick. 

Here's a little rundown of my day so far. So when I first got to my terminal I was all by my lonesome, sad.. I know. Haha but soon 5 Elders joined me and I felt better. Still I was keeping my eye out for a dear Hermana and soon enough... she arrived!!! And ohh my goodness she could not be more darling. We immediately clicked and were chatting up a storm. She is so cute I can barely handle it. 

Her name is Allie Howe, Hermana Howe, and she's from Pleasant Grove. She's a year younger than me and just finished her first year up at Utah State. She's a blonde, petite, beautiful little thing and I already adore her so much. Oh, and she will be serving in a southern California mission.. somewhere near Palm Springs, etc. I am embarrassed I can't remember the exact name of her mission and I would ask her but she just ditched me for some food. We're all starved. But they are providing us with sandwiches, drinks, apples, and a kinder (German pride woot woot) treat. But okay so anyways, me and Hermana Howe were just quickly becoming the best of friends and chatting not only amongst one another but with the 5 Elders as well. There's Elder Roberts, Elder Moore, Elder Lots, Elder Tasina, and Elder Merrill. They're all awesome young men and now some of my best buds! We all really have gotten along soo well and are just having a blast. 

So we then had our flight to Texas and lucky for me.... I had an open seat next to me so I partially lied down, handbag as pillow, and passed out. I think I slept a good amount and felt super lucky I got that little benefit. But then we arrived in Texas and our little crew just hung out and had a wonderful time together. We all just told so many stories, talked and talked and were just laughing at ourselves at how clueless we all are and how we don't know a lick of Spanish. Elder Roberts even befriended a kind old Latina woman and we were all trying so hard not to burst out laughing because she didn't know English fly to the moon and he is so clueless with Spanish but still tried to speak with her. It was hilarious I tell you. Haha so classic. Ahh everyone is just so happy and nice I love it!! But okay and then I thought I had to have my sponser letter printed out which I did not have so Hermana Howe was a doll and we trotted around the entire airport looking for a printer.. well there was not one to be found and we ended up asking a Latino man if we could borrow his laptop to open my email up and take a picture. He was a saint though and we had fun talking to him. 

But anyways, I need to hurry!!!! So then we took our flight to MEXICO and I sat by a nice, bearded Mexican/American guy. We ended up chatting a ton and I even brought up the church to him when I talked about how I was going to be a missionary... haha it was great. He has heard of the church though and knows of a boy serving a mission but he's catholic. But yeah so I had a grand ol' time chatting with him and then began writing in my journal. But then we got to Mexico and all looked like a dear in headlights. It was classic. We all were just laughing our heads off and feeling so clueless. Not too long after though tons and tons of new missionaries joined us and we were getting to know everyone and their doggg. I am yet to find someone going to my mission but it's all great. Oh yeah so I saw the boy from when I got my Typhoid shot mom and then I officially met Elder Garcia who was the Elder who got set apart right before me last night!! Well anyways, he said he has heard about me from Connor Haller because they are good friends. Haha I was dying. We talked about the Haller's for a good while and that was way fun for me and then we know a million more of the same people. He went to Olympus so you know how that goes.... 

Anyways, I have so many others I want to tell you about but I have to go. Real quick though, everyone is beyond darling and I already love them all to death. But okay so then we took a nice long bus ride and just got to the MTC!!! We just got out name tags, haha I was one of the first out of the Sisters to get mine so everyone wanted to look at it and we were all as giddy as can be. But and then Hermana Howe got her packet and all of the sudden she ran over to me and said, we are companions!!! Hahahaha we both screamed, literally, and embraced each other more than ever. We just hugged like crazy and were both ecstatic!!!! I honestly could not ask for a better first companion and I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I am. All day I have secretly wished we'd be companions and we're both stoked out of our minds. Well anyways, I really have to go but I can't wait to write again to tell you more!!!!! 

We have to go to our dorms and settle in. Anyways, I seriously could not be happier and feel so so so blessed. 
Oh, and Hermana Howe will be serving in the Redlands California mission. But okay well I love you all soooo much and will talk to you soon! I could not feel more blessed and know Heavenly Father is watching over me. ADIOS!!!!!!!

Love, Hermana Barth

Monday, August 5, 2013

called to serve.

My name is Emilie Katharine Barth 
and I have been called to serve a mission for 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
in the


I have also been called to preach the gospel in the 
Spanish language
and will be reporting to the 
Mexico MTC on August 7th!

I am so excited.
My sister Abigail will be updating my blog
with my weekly emails and pictures.

Thank you so much for all your love and support.
I love you all, and can't wait to serve these next 18 months!

xo Hermana Barth