My dearest and loveliest family!!!How is everyone!? Ohhh I love you all so much. Honestly, just thinking about you all makes me so happy. I need more pictures of everyone though!! I want to show Hermana Piggott more pictures. And I have a feeling I'll want to show future investigators pictures as well. I have some pictures of sweet sweet gayyyorg and one of her and ralphonozo's bridals, which are BEAUTIFUL and I love looking at and then I have one of Brad & Britt on my bulletin board from their package. Which by the way you two, thank you soo much for sending me a package!! It made me soo beyond happy you have no idea and I love it all so much. The darling journal, passport holder, sparkly bag.. PICTURES!! Ohhh pictures are the best. Britt doggg and Brodles you two look SO good looking in that wedding picture too. Such a handsome couple. Hermana Piggott thinks Britt & Abs are sooo gorgeous she can't get over it. Just the brunette babes and then there's me... hahaha but send more pictures everyone!!! Abs, send me more wedding pictures PLEASE!? But in the mail because the ones I have thus far I printed out at the CCM so they're just on paper and black in white. Still love it so much though. Oh and MOM!! I got your package the other day tooo!! BEST THING OF MY LIFE!!!!! You have noo idea. We check the mail every single day and we're always crossing our fingers we'll get something haha. And the other day I was like, please please please and BAM!! PACKAGE FROM MY MAMA!!!! SO exciting. Hahaha I love what was inside of it too.
First off, the silky nightgown. I was dyyying haha I look so grandma in it but you know I wear it EVERY night. I just model it for Hermana Piggott and she loves it so much haha. She even wants one too. Said she'd pay you for one hahaha. Kills me. So comfy though. I am going to be such a nightgown mom. Can't wait. I also wore sweats and socks underneath the nightgown the other night and felt like Sus. Haha it was amazing. And then as for the CD's... we love them sooo much!!! Piano is my favorite and he plays all my favorite hymns. Oh, we love them soo much. They really bring the spirit too and the other night after me and Hermana Piggott left the Relief Society Broadcast we listened to one of the cd's and we both were just like, AHH THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE!!!!!! And we looked at each other and both had tears in our eyes. Haha best moment. The spirit was so strong and we both were expressing our testimony on our Savior and this wonderful gospel. Amazing. So thank you thank you!!!
Right after this I am going to send you FINALLY a little list of some things I would like that I left at home though. Some skirts, tops, etc. Haha the mail is so easy here!! I love it! But okay... as for the mission. So everything is going wonderful!! Me and Hermana Piggott have been witnessing miracle after miracle and have received some more referrals who will hopefully be future investigators. And this past week we taught a ton. The only problem is with this culture it can be a bit frustrating. They don't keep their commitments always, they'll agree to meeting again and then when we come back just not answer their door, they can be a bit flaky and they all work a TON so since they already feel so busy they don't always take time to do what we've invited them to. Anyways, it can be hard but I love these people with all of my heart and I am willing to do whatever it takes to help them. I am soo ready for this work!!!! Every day I wake up so excited to go out and find more people, teach them and invite all those I can unto our Savior, Jesus Christ. Even though this work is hard, I love it soo much!! And there honestly isn't anything else I'd rather be doing in my life. I love my Savior more than I can express and I will do anything for him. I LOVE HIM and with that, will so absolutely anything.
Like that song, I will GO where He wants me to go, DO what He wants me to do and BE who He wants me to be. Wholeheartedly. I am here in Gridley, California to SERVE HIM. With all of my HEART, MIGHT, MIND and STRENGTH!!!! The church is ohhh so true my dearest family and friends. I know this!!! But okay so before I share a special experience I had, I want to give you a little background... so me and Hermana Piggott decided last week that we were going to be 100% obedient, work soo hard that when we come home at night we honestly collapse haha and just do all we can to have the spirit with us so that we can find those people here who are seeking for the truth. Or are unaware what they are seeking for but need the gospel and its goodness. So we decided to make some goals. Well, in District Meeting we challenged everyone to pray EVERY hour on the hour. On top of praying before every lesson, before and after studies, etc. And then me and Hermana Piggott made the companionship goal to read the entire Book of Mormon in 3 weeks. Meaning we'd read 25 pages a day. And then we read out loud to one another the Book of Mormon in Espanol every night before we go to sleep too. So anyways, these are just a few of the goals we've made but oh my goodness how they have already made such a difference! We have felt the spirit soo strongly with us all day every day and have been able to witness many miracles. Now although many of these miracles are small, for example: knocking someone's front door and having them pull up in their driveway and then from that setting further appointments with them.... they are big and definitely miracles for us. And that happened TWICE in one day for us! Amazing. But now I want to share with you a BIG miracle we witnessed this past week. Oh it gives me chills it was sooo so special.So last Monday we met with our new investigator Reina again. This night we taught her about the Restoration. We introduced Joseph Smith a bit and then showed her The Restoration video.. which was awesome because her two sons came home and watched it with us as well as one of Marvin's friends (who although had a scarier appearance: earring, tattoos.. was very respectful about it and liked what he saw but lives out of our area.. so we said we'd refer him to other missionaries) but anyways, we showed that and then bore our testimonies on The Restoration, on Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc. But our lesson went longer than we'd hoped for because she always loves just chatting with us at the beginning forever and talking about El Salvador, where she's from.. so anyways. We watched the video and then after we bore our testimonies on it we had everyone kneel down and said a prayer. Then we invited Reina to pray about what we taught and also gave her the invitation to be baptized. Which I think freaked her out a little bit... she said not now, she has to learn more. But we felt the spirit strong so we felt it was appropriate. We invited the boys too haha but they're just young and didn't know what to say. So anyways, that was that. Nothing too crazy happened. And then okay.. so we were supposed to meet with our referral Angelina on Friday night but she called and cancelled because she was called in to work (story of our liiiives.... nothing worse than appointments you're super excited for falling through) but right after the phone call, Hermana Piggott said, there has to be a reason that appointment fell through... someone else needs us tonight. So we then realized we wouldn't be able to teach Reina the next night like we had planned with her because of the Relief Society broadcast and she doesn't have a phone so we decided to stop by her place to tell her. Well, so we went to her place and she happened to be outside talking to someone. She then invited us in and we chatted for awhile. And okay, the first little bit of our conversation was pretty casual. She just got chatting and chatting away.
She couldn't get over my blonde hair and blue eyes and just kept talking about it. Ha and she asked me if I had a boyfriend... "Tiene un novio????" And I followed to tell her about Michael and how he was serving an LDS mission in Brazil.. and she asked for pictures, didn't have any on me unfortunately haha and then she said how she wished I didn't have a boyfriend because she wants me to date her son Johnathon after my mission. Hilarious. She just wants my blue eyes. She kept acting as if she was going to pluck them out of my eyes. Killed me. And my eyes aren't even that blue!! I can't imagine how in love she'd be with Abigail's eyes. Oh and she said I have cat eyes. Hahaha another name for my eyes!!!! I just keep on adding new ones to the list. Oh, which reminds me.. first time I met Elder Herrera he asked if I was half Asian???? Hahahaha kills me. I have the weirdest eyes apparently. Straight up asian, arabian, cat, alien, almond, rabbit eyes. Too good. But anyways, we just chatted a little bit like that. Very very casual and she was just hugging us and smiling away, etc. But then we got serious. We asked her if she had prayed about what we taught her and she said no... with the excuse that she's so tired at night she just falls right asleep. And then we continued to ask her what she felt about the lesson.. and she told us... worst thing of my life... that she just didn't like it that much and didn't care to learn more. Which seriously felt like a knife to my heart. I was crushed!! Almost had tears appear I was so sad. I love Reina soo much and knew she had felt something so I was so sad to hear this. But not too long after, Hermana Piggott was on game and said she wanted to bear her testimony. What's there to lose right?? So she bore her strong and sincere testimony and then I followed after and did the same. I bore it stronger than I ever have in my life too. I told her that I know this gospel is true with all of my heart, how this gospel is everything to me, told her about an experience I had while praying years back to know if it were true... expressed to her how I wouldn't be here if I didn't know it were true and since I know it is so true and have seen it bless my life in every way possible I want others, including her, to know of its goodness as well.
Well anyways, I shared strong testimony (which might I add was awesome because while I was sharing it I had our eyes linked and I feel like that is a great way to connect with the people) and then I out of the blue started sharing Grandpa Barth's conversion story. I told her how he didn't want anything to do with the church or missionaries at first while in Germany and then he finally let some sister missionaries in and read the Book of Mormon, prayed about it and had a very spiritual experience with it. I then told her that he gained a testimony of this gospel and was baptized. Well anyways, she LOVED this story and thought it was soo beautiful. I could feel the spirit soo strong during this and I could tell it got her thinking more. And note: I was sharing all of this in Spanish, she knows ZERO English, so it probably didn't sound perfect but I got the story across enough and touched her by it. The spirit helped me out big time.
After that Hermana Piggott was inspired to have each of us kneel down together and pray one after the other. Reina agreed to this and then Hermana Piggott said ever so boldly and powerfully, "As Representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ... I know that you the Holy Spirit is going to touch you. You are going to feel something." And what is crazy about that is afterwards, Hermana Piggott said she was a little nervous to say such a bold comment but because we have been exactly obedient and working our hardest, she knew she was worthy of the statement and could feel its truth. As Representatives of our Savior, Jesus Christ and as full-time missionaries we DO have the power to promise such a thing. Which I thought was awesome and a good lesson for all missionaries, including ourselves. BE OBEDIENT.
Well so anyways, we then all knelt down and Hermana Piggott prayed and then I did.. and while I was praying.. out loud... I prayed that our Father in Heaven would help her gain a desire to know what we've taught her is true... The Book of Mormon, The Restoration, Joseph Smith, etc. and I just prayed for God to bless her and her family with everything and expressed my love and appreciation for this gospel, our loving Heavenly Father, Savior, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, etc. Well anyways, the spirit was so strong with me. And then it was time for Reina to pray..... She started praying and it was the strongest and most heart felt prayer I've ever heard. Although I couldn't understand perfectly everything she said because she talked fast and was pretty quiet, I could feel the power and sincerity from it. Well anyways, she said a long prayer and near the end I could hear her prayer slowing down and her voice shaking. We then opened our eyes after she finished and her eyes were completely filled with tears. Me and Hermana Piggott then looked at each other and our eyes were filled with tears as well. Then Reina started really crying, we asked her what she was feeling and she said soo sincerely and sweet.... "I know that God is with us, I can feel his presence." And then she started BAWLING. She grabbed a cloth nearby and started sobbing into her hands. The spirit was soooo strong. We then comforted her and I could hear her mumbling to herself. She was just crying and crying. Well after she calmed down a little Hermana Piggott asked her again if she would like us to teach her more and she said, YESSS. We then asked her when we could come back and she said, as soon as possible, whenever you can and want to.
CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT!?!?!?!
I couldn't. I was screaming with excitement inside and could not stop smiling. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! The spirit touched her soo much and she FELT something so powerful. I was sooo happy!!! And that was that. We set up another appointment, for Tuesday and we're going to teach her about The Plan of Salvation. AHHH I cannot wait!! And I think we're going to have her cousin, who's a member, Oscar be present during the lesson as well. Ohhh I can't wait!!! Oh, and she then brought up how we invited her to be baptized the previous lesson and I think it freaked her out a little. So we told her that we were not just there to baptize her and there was noo pressure. We told her the reason we invited her to be baptized was just because we love her so much and that is our purpose is to invite all to come unto Christ and be baptized. But anyways, that made her a lot happier and she understood it more. So now she knows we're sincere and are truly teaching her because we love her. And she was like, yeah I need to learn a lot more and go to church more before I'd be baptized!! So yeah. AMAZING!!!! SUCH A MIRACLE!!!!!! Honestly, at the beginning of the lesson she was just like, "No me gusta mucho.... no me gusta." Saying she didn't like it and now she wants us to come back and teach her as SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!! And when I told her about Grandpa Barth's story I told her how we HAVE to pray about things or we won't receive an answer. It's the only way. So hopefully she'll pray this time and now I am just sooo excited for our next lesson. Tomorrow night!! But now we know that she is tender and we have to work slow with her. I don't want to mess this one up!
Oh yeah and we asked her what her husband thought about all of this and she said he didn't care, wants her to do whatever makes her happy. Which is SO rare here. A lot of these husbands are super controlling. Well anyways, that was the best thing ever. After we all were done being emotional too Reina made us some horchata and then we were out!!! Ahhh it was amazing. Haha and when me and Hermana Piggott got to the car we were both just beaming and could not get over what had happened. Such a miracle and we know that it is because we are being obedient, doing what we're supposed to and working our hardest. Hermana Piggott said this was the best experience she has had on the mission thus far too... for some reason she doesn't like how her first 12 weeks went. I think her trainer just didn't have as great of a desire to be completely obedient, etc. And I kinda get the feeling that that's part of why missionaries haven't been seeing as much success here. They haven't been as obedient as they should. It's a problem!!!! But we're not giving in to that. Nu uh. I am not here to sit on my bum and waste time. I have limited time to 100% focus on this work and with that I am going to work my very hardest!! I always remind myself that this is the LORD'S work, not mine and I am on HIS time, not my own. Ohhh I love this work with all of my heart!! But family, please pray for Reina and for all of my other investigators. I want to go into detail with a ton of other ones but I have no time. So I'll save them for later. But like I have mentioned earlier, we got some more referrals this past week... found some new potential investigators from knocking on doors (which I made us do haha.... woot woot) and I just have great hope that we're going to be seeing much success!!! I KNOW me and Hermana Piggott are companions for a reason and we're going to get things really started. We already have!!
But okay, well I have to run but I couldn't be happier!! I love this work with all of my heart and I know that I am here for a reason. Here in Gridley, California baby!!! Ahh I love it. And I could not love my companionship more. Seriously, Piggott is my faaaavorite. Haha I am obsessed with her in every way. She is seriously my new best friend and what's crazy about it is we truly have been this close since the second we met. We are THE SAME PERSON!!!! And just could not possibly get along better. Seriously, we get along PERFECT and have such a blast together!! I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life either. Haha we honestly find ourselves laughing our heads off at things and each other all the time. Haha she kills meeee. Some of her classic lines, "I LOOK LIKE A SHOVEL" hahaha because we both are looking so mishy these days it kills me!! And then sometimes after an appointment falls through or someone won't answer their door she'll say, "Oh hey do you want Eternal Life, Salvation, to live with God and your family forever???? Nahhhhhhh doesn't sound that nice." Hahaha so funny. Oh we make this work the best.
Honestly, picture just preaching the gospel with your best friend??? It's amazing. I love her!! And we already have made plans for after the mission, including me taking her to Bear Lake. I love it. Instant best friends. She's the best. But okay I have to go. Oh! And last night we got to eat at the Executive Secretary's home... who is English and served his mission in Argentina and anyways he's a farmer on an Almond orchard. She we got to eat there. Just a house in the middle of all these orchards. It was amazing. And cutest thing, his little daughter Abby (woot woot) said one of the prayers and it was THE cutest thing in the world. Made me soo excited to have a family of my own and raise them in the gospel. So darling. I can't wait to have my own family prayers, FHE, scripture study. Sooo cute. And that reminds me, so we read Jacob today and it was AMAZING!!!!! The allegory of the tame and wild olive trees.... wow, sooo powerful when you REALLY study it. I INVITE haha all of you to read this!!! Jacob chapter 5. AMAZING!! Actually, just read ALL of Jacob for me pleeease. I love it so much. And to leave you with a verse, this is sooo simple but I love it!! It says in Jacob"O be wise, what can I say more?"
SO SIMPLE yet SO PROFOUND!!!!
We just all need to be WISE!!!!!!!
And also, I know this sounds soo missionary but everyone PLEASE read your BOOK OF MORMON DAILY!!!!! I know I was soo not perfect at this at home and it's easy to get busy and forget but JUST DO IT!!! It will only bless and enhance your life!!!!! I promised myself in the CCM I will read from my scriptures EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of my life and I want all of you to too!!!! If we read every day we will keep the companionship of the Holy Ghost with us and continue to desire to do what is right. Will you please do that for me??? Every one of you. I KNOW you have time. And if you say you don't, you just don't want to make the time. And if you REALLY want to feel the spirit of the Book of Mormon, read for an hour a day.. at least. I know you can do it. Even if that means waking up an hour earlier or saving an hour right before you go to sleep. DO IT!!! And I promise you you will be ohhhh so blessed. Haha I know I sound like such a typical missionary but I just can't express to you how much this gospel means to me, how much I LOVE our Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ and how much I LOVE the word of God. We are so lucky. Oh so lucky.
I love you my dearest family!! And GENERAL CONFERENCE is this weekend!!!! Hahahaha I honestly could not be more excited. Me and Hermana Piggott can't stop talking about it. We're honestly giddy. I cannot WAIT!!! To hear from the LATTER-DAY PROPHET and his Apostles, etc. We are so lucky!! We get to hear exactly what the Lord wants us to know RIGHT NOW!!!!! Well anyways, get excited and I will tell you more next week!! Sorry I can't go into what we do every day or all the people we meet with, NO time... but just pray for my investigators please and remember I am praying for each and every one of you TONS each day. Love you all so much!!! Have a wonderful week!!!! Oh, and WISH GRANDMA A HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!! And tell miss JANIE EGAN CONGRATULATIONS on her ENGAGEMENT!!!!!!!! I am freeeeeeaking out and I want ALL of the details. Tell her to EMAIL me ASAP!!!!! I can't believe my little babyyyy is engaged and getting MARRIED. Yet, I could not be more thrilled about it. Love her and Chris George. Janie George. KILLS ME!! I love it. They could not be cuter. Okay, adios mi familia!!!!
Con mucho amor, Hermana Barth
ps. PLEASE send more LETTERS!!!!! Honestly, send ANYTHING and I will be THRILLED!!!! Hahaha okay, love you all.