Monday, November 18, 2013

Life is Amazing!

My dearest and loveliest FAMILY & FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!

So before anything else....... 


to everyone who emailed me today wishing me a Happy Birthday!!!!!! I got more emails than I could have ever imagined receiving and my heart is SO full. I don't even know how to express how grateful and blessed I feel right now. My heart could not be full of more happiness and love and I honestly have tears in my eyes because of how much it means to me. And the biggest smile on my face!!! AHHH THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!!!!!! SOOO SOO much. I am completely aware of each and every one of you who emailed me something and I love you all more than you know. Really, you all mean the world to me!!!! I feel sooo beyond blessed right now!! You ALL have already made my Birthday sooo so special. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!! And I am going to print out everyone's emails and read them again tomorrow too haha. 

I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much again!!! Sooo on top of being overjoyed from all of the wonderful emails I've received today, I am also sooo happy because


It is TOO good actually. I didn't know I could feel THIS happy and full of love. My mission could not be better and I could not be happier!!!! This past week has been ohhh so wonderful as well. Jesus is SOLID and went to Seminary all week with Oscar!!!!!! We couldn't be happier about that. Oscar is going to be such a rock for Jesus and he only became active himself not too long ago either.... so this all is sooo good for him as well. Ahhh I love them both so much and am so proud and impressed by each of them. Also, it is truly so visible to me that Jesus now has a different light/glow about him. He sincerely does!!!!! He now not only has the light of Christ but the gift of the Holy Ghost as well AND he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!!!!!! You can see such a clear difference, it's crazy!!!! But I absolutely love it. 

Jesus is continually changing, progressing and growing closer to the Savior and I couldn't be happier to witness it all happen. He is the cutest and feels like a little brother to me. I am sooo happy he has desired to take this path in life. It will bless him in more ways than he can ever imagine.... and then as for Marcella!!! My darling, golden investigator. She is impressing me more and more each day as well. She truly could NOT be more golden and is the exact investigator that every single missionary seeks and prays for constantly. Every time we teach her she is fully engaged, ready to learn and she just GETS it. Soo cute though.. we had her read Alma 32 on her own after we had read Ether 12 together and talked about faith and anyways.... when we talked about Alma 32 in our lesson, she saw how I had verses highlighted so she went and grabbed a colored pencil and started marking her favorite verses from the chapter as well. Sooo cute. 

When we switch off reading she also pretty much has her nose touching the pages she reads so intently and even when it's not her turn to read she quietly reads out loud. Haha I LOVE IT!!!!!! She is the cutest!!!!!! And she really analyzes the verses as well and even teaches me tons from the. Her perspective on everything is perfect and she again, just GETS it. Better than I always expect her too as well. But she absolutely loved Alma 32 and after we talked about it we watched The Restoration video and she looooved that as well. 

Pretty crazy too because we didn't know the video would flow as nicely as it did with what we had read.... but in the beginning of the video it talked about having a seed of faith that can grow into a tree, etc. So it was even more perfect!! But yeah she loved it soo much and one of her personal favorite verses in Alma 32 was verse 16..... it fits her PERFECTLY!!!!! You should all read it haha. But okay and her baptism is now going to be next Sunday on the 24th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH WE ARE SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And she is EVEN MORE excited. She talks about it constantly and yesterday at church was telling everyone that she was getting baptized in exactly a week. I wish you all could meet her right now because she is THE CUTEST and sooo strong in the gospel already. 

Which reminds me... she broke up with her boyfriend Oscar. We bummed for a split second because we wanted to teach them together but we are still going to try to teach him and they're still on good terms. She just told us that she wants to be soo good, prepared and ready for her baptism and she told him that once she's baptized she's dedicating herself to the gospel. So her eyes have been opened and she wants to be the best she can be. Once she told us that we were so happy and proud of her. She is already making changes in her life to be a better Saint and daughter of God!!!!!!! Ohhh I love Marcella!!!! I cannot WAIT for her baptism. She is TRULY converted and it is just going to be so special. She has literally completely raised herself her whole life too and the fact that she is choosing to follow the Savior, be baptized and become a member of the church...... INCREDIBLE!!!! 

She always tells us how much happier she has been since we've started teaching her too and just how now she feels so loved and full of hope. Oh my goodness, she is TOO perfect. Church with her yesterday was soo amazing too and she brought her little girl Estrella who couldn't be more precious. It was amazing. Our branch is awesome too and every single member came and shook her hand, talked with her, played with Estrella..... it couldn't have gone better. They would tell Marcella how nice it will be to get Estrella in the church too.... told her how blessed her life will be, etc. It was awesome. And we also took the first ever BRANCH photo outside after church which was pretty exciting. In the stake center every ward takes a photo about every 3-4 years.... well the branch has only been around for about a year but we took our first photo to go up in the stake center and us missionaries feel super lucky to be in it haha. And Marcella & Jesus are in it!!! Perfection.

 But yeah, Marcella is amazing and counting down the days till next Sunday. Oh! And we also had her read 2 Nephi 31 ... all about baptism and she loved that sooo much too. Just kept talking about how excited she is to be baptized and she also talked about how important it is that we continue to live the commandments once we're baptized and do what the Lord tells us to, follow His ways, or else what's the point in being baptized!?! She said, if we're not going to do those things... what's the point!? So she then expressed how she's not just getting baptized to get baptized, to get wet, but to truly change her life and revolve it around the Savior. To follow His commandments and teachings.... to be a true member in La Iglesia de JesuCristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.... how she just GETS it. 

So I know she is going to be an incredible and strong member and I couldn't feel more blessed to be apart of her conversion. To be a tool in the Lord's hands with bringing her closer to Him. It's an amazing amazing thing. We get to teach her tonight too and I am so excited!!!!! Me and Hermana Piggott look forward to her lessons so much. They are just always soooo full of the spirit and so happy. I learn so much whenever we teach her as well and my testimony always grows and is strengthened. THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!!!! And I know it with ALL of my heart. But anyways, we have some other new potential investigators.... Vicenta, Carolina, Jesus's dad (he wants to be baptized but we're kinda waiting it out because of some issues from the past....), Francisca, Marvin... and our current investigators are... Beatriz, Sonia, Margarito, Neli, Reina, Raquel.. etc. but we have some new PROGRESSING investigators, Antonio (his wife, Lorenza, is a potential), and his son Esgar (his girlfriend Armenia is a potential) and his daughter Yamara. So we have been over to their house a ton this past week and we've only taught them the first two lessons but it's because we have been teaching them separately sometimes and they always have tons of comments, questions, etc. so the lessons go super long. 

Well so anyways, yesterday we got the WHOLE family to sit in on our lesson and it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They all were asking tons of questions and we just got into many different discussions, but all super good ones. And anyways, Antonio seems totally ready but I think he just has some problems he's trying to work through. He attends AA which is Alcoholic's Anonymous and we've seen him smoking.... but yesterday, in English (so that Antonio wouldn't understand), Esgar asked us if the "someone" he knows has an addiction, if we think the gospel will help them overcome it even when they feel like they've lost all hope... and we told him how the gospel helps with everything and at our stake center we even have an addiction recovery program. His face LIT up when he heard this and he said how it wasn't him that has the addictions but someone else... clearly his father. So that was cool he brought it up and wants help for his dad. We know Antonio wants help for himself as well. You can just feel it when we teach him and he truly does want to change and grow closer to God and Christ. He believes everything we teach him too and I always feel the spirit so strongly when we're in their home.

 But yeah and Antonio kept bringing us food, first a sweet squash thing & milk and then sugary bread & hot chocolate..... we were getting like a 3 course meal!!!! Hahaha no but we had a chance to kinda talk to just Esgar and Yamara for a little and I knew I had to invite them to be baptized and I did and they both said YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We talked a ton more about baptism, being a member in the church, etc. Yamara and Esgar both had tons of questions and what not... but they were all good and they both want to be baptized. They're both going to come to Marcella's baptism next week too and Yamara is super excited for it. She would get baptized tomorrow if she could haha. She said she really wants to be apart of the church and ahh she is the sweetest. Oh yeah, Yamara is about 14 too and Esgar is 19. Pretty awesome. And it's soo nice that we've been teaching their parents as well so that we can for sure get their permission for Yamara to be baptized. 

We told them to keep praying about what we're teaching them and after last night, to really pray about baptism. Ohhh man there is SOOO much I could say about our lesson last night we had with them but I have no more time. So I need to end this but we're hoping to put them both on date tomorrow and work with Antonio and Lorenza to get them prepared for baptism as well. We are going to get this entire family to enter into the waters of baptism I know it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They're AMAZING. And after our lesson last night me and Hermana Piggott, yet again, were pretty much screaming with excitement and happiness. We don't understand how we are witnessing sooo many miracles!!! It is TRULY a miracle in itself. When I first got here, people kept telling me that Gridley was struggling, lacking in success, etc. and it would really really bug me and I told myself I would never let that get to me...... because you hear of stories about that happening all the time. 

But really, I KNEW we could turn it around with being completely obedient, trusting in the Lord, seeking after him for everything, putting ourselves in the Lord's hands always, having FAITH in God, the Lord, the people and ourselves.... and working our absolute hardest!!!!!!!! Because WITH GOD EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So me and Hermana Piggott are feeling very very blessed and happy right now and are continuing to witness miracles. It's incredible. The Lord is TRULY preparing His children, putting them in our path.... and hastening His work!!!!!!!!! The work is sincerely hastening people!!!!! 

I LOVE THIS WORK!!!! THE WORK OF THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

And I could not feel more blessed to be a full-time missionary. But okay, I have to go but I'll give you more updates next weeek!!!! As of now, Marcella is getting baptized on SUNDAY, Esgar and Yamara should be getting on date for December 14th (which is after transfers so me and Hermana Piggott are crossing our fingers we will still be together!!!!) and we have several other people we're working with so pray for everyone!!!!!!!!!! This is going to be an amazing week and I cannot imagine starting my 21st year of life better. It's going to be a GOOD year I know it!!!!!!!!! And


I know tomorrow is going to be such a special day and I feel sooo blessed!! Mom!!!! I got your 2 packages already and will be looking out for the 3rd one today!!! And I will anxiously be awaiting the one from Cynthia as well!!!! Which remind me, will you text her back and tell her I did get her email!! I just never have time to respond. I'll try to be better at writing handwritten letters back... I promise!!!!! I just never have any time!!!!! And I also got a letter from HERMANA HOWE!!!! Which made me soooo happy too. I could not feel more blessed. I have the absolute best family & friends in the world!!!!! But okay, I have to go. I am the absolute HAPPIEST & I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!

Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth

Ps. Dad, isn't it crazy to think that last year today we were FLYING to GERMANY!!!! And on my Birthday arrived in Stuttgart!?! I cannot believe that was an entire year ago!!! Best Birthday I could have asked for!!!!! I still talk about that trip ALL the time. I could go on and on about it.... but really, I cannot believe that was an entire year ago!!! Time is FLYYYING byyyy!!!!! Okay love you!!


I don't think it's possible for someone to be as happy as I am right now haha. So.... we had a BAPTISM on Saturday and Jesus is now an OFFICIAL member of
 La Iglesia de JesuCristo de los Santos de los Ultimos dias!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Ohh my goodness I could not be happier!!!! It has been the most incredible week/weekend and I could not be happier!!! And the baptism went PERFECT!!! I kept a ton of the programs so I'll send one home..... but it was sooo perfect. And as for the program, little Oscar spoke about the baptism (it was his FIRST church talk... soo cute!!) and Brother Orme spoke on the Holy Ghost (which was so powerful and spiritual) and then our district of missionaries did a musical number.... we sang the YM/YW medley... we couldn't find it in Spanish so we sang it in English, but the spirit was soo strong and some of our branch understand English so it worked out just fine.... and we sang that right before the ordinance was performed. Sooo spiritual and powerful!!! I always feel the spirit so strong when I sing that song but singing it at my first baptism as a full-time missionary.... at Jesus's baptism with all those I love sooo very much... my branch, district and other church members we've grown so close too. It could not have been better. And what is pretty cool for me is that all of my friends sang that together at Jane's baptism so it took me back to that night as well.... which is very very special to me. Such precious memories I have. 

But really singing that song was amazing.... and many people listening, including us missionaries, were getting teary eyed. And when I would look at Jesus he just had the biggest grin on his face. SOO cute!!! And MARCELLA came too!!!!!!! With her little baby girl Estrella (star) and Wendy. Which made me all the happier!!! She just had a permanent big smile on her face the entire time too. I loved it soooo much!!!!! But yeah so then Jesus was baptized by Elder Call (which was his first time baptizing someone and he goes home in 4 weeks.... so that was super special for him) ... but it was amazing!!!! My heart felt soooo full when I was watching Jesus enter into the waters of baptism. Seeing him be completely cleaned and purified... there's nothing like it and it was something I will never ever forget. It was soo special I don't even know how to describe it!!!! My spirit was truly touched soo so much and I was overwhelmed with the spirit, happiness, love, gratitude, etc. I wish you all could have been there soo badly. But I've made a giant addition to my family... here in Gridley... so I was still able to be with everyone I love so very much. Really, everyone that was in the room is soooo dear and close to me. Ahhh I never want to leave this place!!!! It has become a second home to me!!!!! But so the baptism went amazing and after the ordinance was performed and me and Hermana Piggott were about to play some Mormon Messages for everyone to watch while Jesus was changing... we all of the sudden heard a hoot and a holler from Jesus from back in the changing room.... hahahaha it was hilarious!! He was soo happy and excited!!!! I love it so so much!!! But then after the baptism we finished by singing Abide With Me Tis Eventide (my favorite hymn.... I chose it haha) and then Jesus said "I am so thankful for Hermana Barth and Hermana Piggott for introducing me to the true church... I know I am not perfect but I am going to try to be." Sooo simple yet so powerful to me!!!!!! I love Jesus and know he is going to be a wonderful addition to this church. He will grow to appreciate it more and more as time goes on too.... as do we all haha. 

I am so thankful for him and so impressed with his decision to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ and be baptized. I know Heavenly Father and the Savior himself are even more excited and happy about it as well. Entonces, EXITO con el bautismo!!!!!!!! SUCCESS with the baptism!!!!! Hahaha ohhh and after the baptism, we had freshly made donuts and an ice cream sundae bar. We asked Jesus what dessert he wanted afterwards and at first he just said, "Me gusta las galletas Chips Ahoy!!" Haha but we told him he could choose an actual dessert so that's what it was. And we were going to have the branch help us out with that but they would have wanted to make it a fiesta with tortillas, tacos, etc. so Sister Orme said she wanted to do it all so she did. She is the BEST!!!!! Honestly.... I cannot even express to you how much I love the Orme family!!!!!! We love them sooooo much. But so the dessert afterwards was lovely and everyone had a wonderful time. It was soo special!!!!! And Marcella LOVED it, said it was such a special experience for her and kept telling people she met that she was getting baptized on the 30th!!! Which we are all SO excited for. She honestly cannot WAIT to be baptized and is sooo prepared and ready. If we could, we'd already have her baptized haha. But the 30th will come sooner than we think..... weeks flyyy by here. 

Oh and Marcella also loves joking around and saying how when she gets baptized they'll have to keep her under the water for a loooong time. Hahahaha she always jokes and says how everyone will be able to take a lunch break and that she just needs to get a super long straw so she can breathe.... hahaha we were all laughing and laughing about it. And Brother Orme has this distinct laugh which only makes me laugh more... well anyways, she is so excited. We taught her a few times last week and all of the lessons went wonderful!!! Last Monday we had her over at the Orme's and we all ate dinner and then had a lesson on the Plan of Salvation... it was soooo spiritual and amazing. Then we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ the next day, went perfectly. And then the next time we went to teach her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and her BOYFRIEND (Oscar - another Oscar I know....) was there!!! So he joined us and we taught the both of them. It was the first lesson he heard but he was suuuper respectful about it, was reading through the pamphlets like crazy and afterwards said he wants to learn more. And it was probably an answer to our prayers that he was there when we taught those two lessons..... they can help each other out with all of that. Haha and of course the no Coffee was different for her at first but we taught her why it is important to abstain from all of these things and she has a firm testimony in Joseph Smith so she understood. And when we told her she has to obey both the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity for two solid weeks before her baptism, she counted to herself and said phewwwfff I still have enough time!!!!!!!! So she promised she would. She is the CUTEST!!!!! And her boyfriend was soo awesome and nice too. They are both the cutest!!!! And his aunt is a member (we're thinking less-active) but so he's somewhat familiar with the church but yeah we are super excited about him too. 

Supposedly he was talking to Wendy at work too and telling her he wants to learn more from what's he's heard thus far from us and Marcella.... soooo great!! And he joined in on the next lesson as well! Where we taught obedience and following the Prophet. He LOVED it and although it's a simple question, I asked him why he thinks we should be obedient and he said, "Because the Lord knows what's best for us." It sounds so simple but when he said it I felt soo happy. We want to teach him the lessons he has missed, the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ.... hopefully sometime this week. I know he'll love them and that he'll really start gaining a testimony when he hears them. We're hoping to put him on date for baptism this week too. I can just feel it!!! They are both going to get baptized..... I know it!!!!!!! But and after our lesson we showed them a couple of Mormon messages and they LOVED them so much that they asked if they could keep watching them. So we let them keep the dvd for the night...... amazing. 

But so anyways, we cannot wait for Marcella's upcoming baptism and hopefully Oscar's as well!!!! And anyways, the branch is sooo excited about these baptisms. Especially our Branch President, President Lopez... and Brother Orme. I was talking to President yesterday though and he was telling me how he has been going to the temple multiple times each week to pray about missionary work, building our branch, getting people baptized, etc. and he said it was sincerely starting to be really hard on him because he didn't know what he needed to do to help with the work.... well then he told me that we really have been such a blessing to him and the branch and that he's finally starting to see miracles and knows it's because of our efforts. I told him then that it's definitely not us.... has nothing to do with us... but is all the Lord. And he said how he thinks that the Lord saw how we were just knocking and knocking on door after door... and he has now placed those we constantly pray for in our paths. 

I remember Cynthia Haller telling me, when we went out to lunch and she gave me mission advice, to not let the 95 take away from the 5.... something like that. But to not let the 95 people who want nothing to do with you... take away from the 5 you will find who do!!! I love that!! Because it's soo true. I love that!! And oh!!! Cynthia!!! I took your advice and we taught Jesus from 1 Nephi chapters 8 & 11 ... when it talks about Lehi's dream/vision of the tree of life, iron rod... etc. We talked to him about how we must hold on to that rod, the word of God, when "mist of darkness" comes our way (the temptations of the devil) or people are mocking us for what we believe in "people in the large and spacious building", etc. because the reward we will get at the end..... "the tree of life" THE LOVE OF GOD & ETERNAL LIFE will be better than we can possibly imagine. Well anyways, we even had visual aids for this lesson and it went SO well. So thank you for giving us the idea to teach him it!! It was our last lesson with him before he was baptized. So good!! 
But okay, so everything is WONDERFUL!!!!! 

Oh, and on top of President Lopez... Brother Orme has been soo excited as well. He has even been getting emotional about it. Ohhhh I love him!!! But yesterday was his Birthday and we were talking to him a ton at church and then dropped a Birthday card off to him later.... well he was super touched all day and last night when we were talking to him at one point he was talking about how our branch has been really struggling and how we've been needing baptisms so badly, to strengthen the branch and get the members more excited and he looked me directly in the eyes and said, "YOU are the answer to our prayers." And he even got a little choked up about it. It hit me so strong when he said that. And made me want to work THAT much harder to bring all I can unto our Savior, Jesus Christ. But the thing is..... it has seriously NOTHING to do with me and Hermana Piggott...... 

it's ALL the Lord's work. 

We're just servants in his hands. He then said how me and Hermana Piggott just seem to be perfect for each other and work really well together and how he wants to box us up so that we'll never be allowed to leave Gridley. Hahaha I love it. This place has truly become home to me. It's the best!!!! Everyone is the best!! And yesterday I had to conduct in Sacrament, oh yeah I had to conduct for the baptism too hahaha but I am awful at it!!! And so when I was conducting I was just smiling away because I kept messing up hahaha and afterwards Hermana Ceja came up to me with tears running down her face and said, "Never stop smiling. You're our light." So cute. It touched me so much. I love her!!! And she speaks the FASTEST Spanish I've ever heard haha but I love her to death and we always laugh our heads off together. She also makes the BEST Mexican food. Which reminds me, I'm getting fed WAY too many tamales. I think half my body is made up of them now haha. But okay, well I have to go but I love you all soooooo much!!! Oh!! And mom!!! I got your letter with all the notes from the Barth side, the Gardiners, Jen & Phil (diiiied when I read Jen HATHAWAY hahaha) and everyone!!! MADE MY DAYYYY!!!!!!!!!! Really, I loved them soo much. And can I have the Gardiner's home address please?? I want to send them a letter, including Benjamin!! But okay.... well keep Marcella in your prayers!! As well as Oscar (her NOVIO - boyfriend) haha. And I'll update you next weeeek!!!!! 

Con mucho amor, Hermana Barth

OH!!!!! BEST NEWS!!!!!!! So Nubia is heading back to Utah the end of November for school (UVU) and Brother Orme is going to be in Disneyland on the 30th with his family so they both were going to miss Marcella's baptism and both REALLY want to be there.... so we called President Weston just barely to see if we could bump up the date to the 23rd so that they could both be there. Because the rule is you have to attend church 3 times.... and it's 2 before the 23rd... however, she is sooo prepared and pretty much found US and has the desire all on her own so President just said we can bumb it up!!!! BAPTISM on the 23rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!!!! Okay, have to go. OH!! And I am turning 21 a WEEK from tomorrow...... ahhhhhhh I am getting so old!!!!! Hahaha okay, LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Life is Wonderful!

Hello my lovelies!!

How is everyone!? Ohh I am in such a wonderful mood again. Life is WONDERFUL isn't it?? Okay, well here goes for some quick updates since I have to hurrrryyyy......

1. Jesus is still getting baptized on Saturday!!! We have been teaching him every single day, teaching him all the lessons and preparing him for his big day and we are all soo excited!! I honestly cannot wait to see him enter the waters of baptism and be confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!! The TRUE church of our Savior, Jesus Christ!! We still have a lot to do but it's going to be a wonderful baptism! I'll have to tell you all how it goes next week!! Keep praying for him though that everything still goes well till Saturday... but I can't believe me and Hermana Piggott are having our first baptism together!! When I first got here Hermana Piggott was kinda discouraged she hadn't had one yet and I KNEW we'd have one together. And sooon!! I could just feel it. Ahhh we're soo excited. And Jesus is the cutest. Oh, and this is HUGE for our branch. This is the first baptism our branch has had... and it has been opened for over a year now. So our branch President is BEYOND thrilled and excited. We ate dinner at his house last night and he was almost in tears he was so excited. He said it has been really hard on him that we haven't been having baptisms soo he is so happy we're getting things going and seeing miracles!!!! And I know this is just the first to many!!

(Jesus's little sister!)

2. We have a new investigator named Marcella. She is 23 and SO darling and here's our story with her... so on Wednesdaywe had dinner with this darling girl in our branch Wendy, she's 19 and Nubia's younger sister (the one I told you about last week who just returned home from her mission)... well anyways, she had us for dinner (signed up to feed us which was so cute) and Nubia was going to come but couldn't, so she brought her friend Marcella, who she works with, instead. Well anyways, she is BEAUTIFUL and anyways... while we were eating we got into a discussion with Wendy about the Atonement and Jesus Christ. It was a very spiritual conversation and while we were talking I could see Marcella's eyes just widen and she was very engaged in what we were saying. Well, I then asked her if she had a specific religion... she said no, and then Wendy brought up how when she was leaving work Marcella asked her where she was going and she said she was eating dinner with members from her ward and Marcella then said, "Why haven't you ever invited me to your church??" Wendy said she didn't know... and then Marcella asked if she could come to dinner. Well after Wendy brought this up Marcella then said, "I want to keep learning about your church!! Just sitting here listening to your conversation makes me want to learn even more!" So I got super excited and said, "Can we really teach you more!? We would love that so much!!" And she said, "Really!! You are welcome to come over to my house whenever you want and teach me!!!" Well so anyways, I was THRILLED as you can imagine and we planned a lesson for the next night. With Wendy and Nubia attending as well... And Marcella said, "Okay and don't get too full on dinner because I'll make you hot chocolate!!" She is DARLING!!!! So then the next night came and we were sooo excited. We got to Marcella's and they had it all set up. Our two chairs facing them on the couch... so cute. And well so we planned to teach the lesson in Spanish of course but as we started I think Marcella could tell we were a little nervous and she knows English way well so she said, "You can teach me in English!! Actually, I want you to teach me in English. I feel like in Spanish you won't tell me as much and I want to hear all the details!!" So.... we taught in English and I think it was a tender mercy because we were able to tell her every little thing and fluently. It was soooo good. And the lesson was AMAZING!!! Best lesson we've ever taught. The spirit was SO strong and I felt it soooo strongly while I would be talking and teaching that my face was completely blushed and I even looked down and my chest was all blushed as well. I was overwhelmed with warmth from the spirit. It was amazing. I could just feel the spirit inside of me soo strongly. I can't even explain it but it was so powerful. And while I would be teaching I could just feel Marcella's spirit and her eyes would just be completely locked. And it was soo awesome because we had Nubia teach some of it too and her and Wendy would bear their testimonies on things.... it was overall SUCH a powerful lesson!!!! It was amazing. And I was planning on asking her about baptism because the spirit confirmed to me that the invitation needed to be made but then Wendy brought it up beforehand and asked if she would want to be baptized and Marcella said YESSSS!!!!! And we asked her to pray about what we had taught her, about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc. and she said, "Okay I will!! However, I already know this church is true. This is the one." Oh, and when I was talking about Joseph Smith Marcella said she felt EXACTLY like him!! Her parents both went to different churches however she always wanted to know for herself which one was true and didn't feel right about either. It was amazing!! And when we were talking about the Book of Mormon she was like, "How can I get myself a Book of Mormon!?" And when we told her we had one for her she was sooo excited and could not wait to get reading it. Oh, and we set a baptismal date forNovember 23rd and she was so excited to come to church with us on Sunday, but it was Stake Conference so the hours were earlier and she ended up having to pick up her daughter in Sacramento so she couldn't make it... but she was soo sad she couldn't and can't wait to come to all 3 hours with us next week!! We had to push back her date though so now her baptismal date will be November 30th. Our mission rule is they have to attend church 3 times before they are baptized.... but anyways, she is sooo darling and SO GOLDEN. She is the perfect example of someone who was prepared and she has the desire all by herself. We weren't even directly teaching her at dinner but she herself loved what we were saying and from Wendy's example, wanted to know more about her church. And she asked US to learn more!! AMAZING!!!! Oh, and at the end of the lesson we asked Marcella how she felt and she said, "I feel something different and I know this is right for me. I am so happy Wendy brought me to this." And she started crying!!!!!!!! It was the CUTEST thing in the world!! The spirit was soo strong that we were pretty much all in tears. And she then expressed her love for Wendy and Nubia and said how happy she felt, etc. It was incredible. Oh, and for more of a background on Marcella altogether... she has a little girl but her and the dad are not together anymore (after 7 years), she has a boyfriend but they don't live together (phewffff) and her dad left her mom when she was little and her mom didn't parent her very well so she has pretty much been on her own and independent since a young age however, Wendy said she has the most positive outlook on life and you would never know she has had to do so much for herself. And when Marcella was talking about Wendy she was expressing how she is like the sister she never had and just said how much their friendship means to her, etc. Ahh I love it so much. It truly is through members and friendships that people convert to the gospel.... like Jesus and Oscar!!! But anyways, we are planning for November 30th and it makes me smile so much just thinking about it because Marcella is SOOO cute and has the sweetest spirit! She is our Heavenly Father's daughter and my sister. I love her soo much. Oh and after the lesson we had hot chocolate and Mexican pastries, mmmm. Oh and tonight we are having a lesson with her, her daughter, Wendy and Nubia at the Orme's house!! Sister Orme is going to have dinner for us and then we'll teach in their nice, warm home. The Orme's are AMAZING!! I love them so much. I'll have to write more about them another time.... but me and Hermana Piggott are suuuper close to Brother Orme and we've already planned to come back and visit and he wants to take us down to San Francisco. Hermana Piggott has never been there. So anyways, they will be life long friends of mine. We have some amazing members here and since Brother Orme (he's a high councilmen) served his mission in Mexico he is super involved with the branch and anyways.... we're teaching Marcella the Plan of Salvation tonight and I know she's going to LOVE it!! I cannot wait!! Pray for her family and I'll give you an update next week!!!! I am soooo happy we found her!!!! MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!

3. We got permission from Maggie's parents to keep teaching her and we met her older sister Rosa on Friday and talked to her about the gospel forever too!! She joined in after our lesson with Maggie and she's super Catholic too and a very very good girl. But so she said Maggie has been telling her about what we've been teaching and she wanted to learn more.... so we talked about a ton and were answering a ton of her questions about religion in general. She would say how the Catholic church had it's flaws because she had so many questions and we told her we had all the answers to her questions!! So we're going to teach her next weekend... she goes to school in Sacramento and is only here for the weekends so we have to wait but I am excited to teach her more!! I think it will help Maggie a ton too to have her sister learn as well... she can have more support with it all. I'll update more next week..... 

4. Halloween was fun! We had to come in at 6 pm and so me and Hermana Piggott helped pass our candy to the tricker treaters, we dressed up in some silly stuff Hermana Piggott's mom sent us haha you'll see from the pictures.... and then we watched THE JOSEPH SMITH MOVIE!!!!! We were so excited. It was the last movie I watched in the CCM but we got all cozy on the Adam's couch and watched it while eating Halloween candy... we were happy. And we wanted to carve pumpkins but waited too long and that night all the pumpkins in town were sold!!! Oh well, the movie was better anyways haha. And I LOVED seeing pictures of everyone!!! Mom and dad, you two KILL ME!!!!! Still can't get over the Elvis and his HOUNG DOGGGG hahaha AMAZING!!! Then Brad and Britt...... HILARIOUS!!!!!! I am still laughing over them all. Then Abs and Ralph's costumes..... DARLING and perfect, of course. Did Scooter dress up??? What about HENNNYY!?!? And CONGRATS ON THE RED SOX WINNING THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!! Hahaha I can just imagine you all freaking out with excitement. Pretty sad I missed out on that to be honest..... Hahaha have you talked to the Haglunds about it yet????? Sooo fun!!!!!

5. Real quick... I am obsessed with Oscar's family. It's big Oscar, little Oscar, Idalia and their little one Christopher. They were less actives when Hermana Piggott got here but now they are soo strong and ahhhh our favorites!!!! I'll have to send you pictures of them all but they are the cutest family ever and we love visiting with them and teaching them. They are so awesome and even since I got here I have seen little Oscar changing so much. He is so solid and Jesus's situation has been strengthening him even more as well... oh and yesterday we went over to their house and we had a Spanish/English discussion. They were teaching us English and we were teaching them English. It was soooo much fun. Hahaha I wish you all could watch us teaching each other. When we taught them the word "teeth" they could NOT do the "th" sound and we were all just laughing and laughing. It was amazing!!! But I learned soo much from them and I know that if we keep doing that with them, teaching one another, my Spanish will improve a TON and we'll be able to help Big Oscar and Idalia learn English too!!!! Little Oscar and Christopher are fluent in English but they don't help their parents... the stinkers. But I loved it and we're going to keep doing it with them and next week are going to have FHE at their house. I cannot wait!!! I will have to tell you more about them later, no time, but they're the best and I love their family sooo much!!! Also, they're from El Salvador RALPH!!!!! And when I told them you served your mission there they were soooo excited!!!! Do you know an Oscar Rodriguez?? Big Oscar said his uncle Oscar (or cousin... I can't remember) is a member over there. And his sons too?? Anyways, I learned more about El Salvador and that was way fun!! And when we have FHE with them they're going to make us El Salvadorian foooood. Can't wait!!!

Okay, well I don't have any more time because I have to write President. Which speaking of President Weston, he is AMAZING!!!! And I love him more than I can express. He is truly one of the most incredible men I have ever met and I admire him in ever way. He just radiates with the spirit and even though I haven't known him for too long I feel soo close to him and feel his love so strongly. When I met with him a couple of weeks ago I was just overwhelmed with the spirit and we had such an amazing interview/meeting together.... I love him so much and know he is my mission President for a reason. He is amazing!!! As if Sister Weston.... ohhhh I love them so much. And I was able to hear from both of them at General Conference yesterday and before Conference we had a class for our investigators, recent converts, potential investigators... Jesus came with us but President and Sister Weston talked as well as our Stake President, President Paine. It was soooo powerful and profound. Dad, do you do something like that in your stake?? If not, I highly suggest doing it. I'll give you more details of it later... I'm writing you today!!! But we felt very lucky to hear from such inspired men. What a wonderful wonderful day.... But okay, I really have to go!!! I love you all soooo much. You're all amazing and I think about you every single day. Thanks for everything!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth

Baptism...Coming up!

My dearest and loveliest family!!!!!!!!!!

Ahhhhh I don't even know where to begin!! I am sooooo happy right now. I cannot even express to you the happiness that I feel at this very moment. It is overwhelming!! My heart feels sooo full. I have so much to say too!! And of course I have no clue where to begin but thank you everyone who faithfully writes me!!!! It means more than you know. I have my solids and then today I was able to hear from the Haller's which made me soo happy and Scotty!! Andresa wrote me a couple of weeks ago!! She is darling and it made me soo so happy. How awesome is it for you to know that those you brought unto the gospel in Brazil on your mission are now soo solid and she wants to go on a mission!! I love it so much! You should feel soo good. You made such an impact and influence on all those you taught. They will never forget you! And Andresa said she'll never forget when our family visited Brazil..... I love it and hope to make the same impact on the people here in California. 
But okay, I am going to do bullet points for everything else........


JESUS IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

(Okay that looks a little off if you don't pronounce Jesus how you're supposed to...) but we committed him to baptism on Saturday and he will be getting baptized November 9th!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH BEST THING EVER!!!! And this will officially be my FIRST baptism as a missionary!!!!!!!!! AHHHH I am so excited haha. The reason I am even more so excited too is because it's a SOLID baptismal date set. Not just one that may fall through.... Jesus is GOLDEN and has the desire all himself!! Ohhh I wish I could tell you every little detail... but so we went over to his house on Saturday and set up an appointment with him for an hour later. We then went and got Oscar, who is the only youth member in our ward and his same age... I think I told you this last week but they share lessons so they're friends, anyways we wanted him to be at the lesson so we got him to come and he got all dressed up for it (sooo cute) and then oh yeah!!! So last week at church Jesus told us how he just felt a little dumb for not having church clothes, so we talked to Brother Orme and he said he'd buy him a white shirt and tie... well he gave us the money for it and me and Hermana Piggott went and got Jesus a white shirt and darling red and navy blue striped tie... so cute. And anyways, we gave them to him on Saturday!! And ahhhh best thing ever. It warmed my heart up so much. So we gave him the shirt and tie and his face LIT up!! He was sooo excited. And then the shirt looked a little big but then he put it on and it fit him PERFECTLY!!! Which made him sooo happy. As he was putting it on he was like, "Noo way!! It fits!! It fits perfectly!!! I think it's a sign from God!!" and then Brother Quist came to pick him up and helped him tie on the tie..... He looked so handsome and could not stop smiling!! He then ran inside and threw on some tan pants and his shirt was just hanging past his pants but he felt like a million bucks. He has never owned anything like it he said and he couldn't wait to wear it to church and fit in with everyone else!! Oscar was so excited for him too and we were all just beaming. And Laticia was soooo excited too. She may be a little different but I love her so much. And she was in tears over how handsome her son looked and how grateful she was that we got him the shirt and tie. It was amazing. We took a picture too that I'll have to attach to this... such an amazing moment. And then we went over to the stake center to have our lesson and he wore the shirt and tie!!!!! I loved it!! But okay... then we had the most spiritual lesson with him on the Plan of Salvation. He has been taught the Restoration before, when his mom was taught and remembered everything... about Joseph Smith, etc. so we taught him the Plan of Salvation and ohh my goodness. You should have seen his eyes light up and widen after everything we'd say! He was sooo engaged and loved every little part of it!! It was the cutest. And he wants all of it soo bad, so after we taught the lesson and we all bore our testimonies on what we taught, including darling Oscar.... we asked him to baptized and he said YESSS!!!! And then he has to come to church 3 times before so we asked him about November 9th and he said YESS!!!!! And his face again was completely lit up and we were all just full of happiness and the spirit. Amazing!! Haha and it was soo cute because he asked afterwards, "Will I still be able to play video games??" (he's a gamer haha) and we laughed and said YESS!! And he was like okay I just wanted to make sure because I want to be worthy!! AHHHHHH SOOOO CUTE!!!!!!! And sooo amazing. 

Ever since we have been meeting with him he has been so much happier and his whole presence has changed. I'm not kidding. When we first met him he was super down, sad, depressed... and now he is soo happy and has all this hope in life. I love it!! We are drawing him closer to the Savior and ya know what's even better.... it has nothing to do with us!! Me or Hermana Piggott. It all has to do with the Lord and our Heavenly Father!!! And the Holy Ghost. They're all doing the work and we're just helping by being the Lord's servants...... Ohhhh man. I love it so much. Oh and we had him say his FIRST prayer at the end of the lesson and it was the best thing!! He was super nervous about it at first and then said the sweetest things. It was simple yet so profound. He expressed his gratitude for the Savior, us missionaries and asked to be better and help with preparing to be baptized. AMAZING!!!! Haha oh and when the lesson ended I all of the sudden got a text from the Gridley 1st Elders saying, "NOVEMBER 9th!!!! SOO EXCITING!!! GOOD JOB!!" and I was like whaaaat??? Haha they overheard us when walking past and listened to the last part.... hahana and Elder Hererra said he was so excited he was surprised we didn't hear him from the hallway. Such creepers but we were all so excited. And then a ward was having a fall dinner so they invited us to it and me and Hermana Piggott already had dinner plans with Jose, our ward mission leader, but Brother Quist ate with Oscar and Jesus and everyone was shaking Jesus's hands which made him light up and then Brother Orme saw the clothes and was so excited and then we told him Jesus is getting baptized and he lit up and said, "Well then it looks like we'll have to get that boy another tie!!" Haha best thing. Jesus's family doesn't have much so the littlest things mean so much to him. And the members here are sooo generous and nice!!! And Brother Orme's the BEST. Gridley would not be the same without him. He does soo much for the church and for the branch.... I love the Orme's. But anyways, then Sunday rolled around and Jesus came!!!! And he came to ALL THREE HOURS with Oscar!!! Sooo exciting. And he LOVED it. They go to the English YM/YW so they had a ton of fun there. And he was just proudly wearing his new white church shirt and tie.... so cute. And then he's coming to FHE tonight. We're having a branch FHE at Brother Orme's and so Jesus will come with the Rodriguez family. And then we're going to try to get Nelly to come too however, Jaime just lest for Mexico.... we'll work on her. Oh which reminds me, everyone is SHOCKED we've been able to teach Nelly. Apparently nobody was ever able to reach her... for years. And now she's opening up to us. It's seriously a miracle!! We have to work and work with her...... she'll keep opening up and accepting the message. But yeah so we have that tonight which will be a ton of fun, the members in our little branch are the best!!! And it's always SUCH a party with them hahaha. I love all the Brothers and Sisters in it. And they're soo cute to us missionaries. 

Jesus and Oscar are going to go to mutual together on Wednesday. Which Oscar hasn't gone a ton because he felt a little left out being the only one from the Spanish Branch but now the two have each other.... and they speak English so they'll have a blast. I am so happy!!!! But yeah and everyone was shaking Jesus's hand after church again and he was just looving it!! So fun. And then last night we visited him again at his house to give him his own Book of Mormon and he was just so happy to see us, as was Laticia and his mood is just sooo uplifted all the time! And Laticia said she's seen a big change in him and he said whenever he feels down at all he just looks at the tie we gave him and he feels so much better. He said church has changed everything for him. And he even said when his little sister Maria hits him or something, when he used to get mad at her, he now just smiles and realizes she's a little girl. He really is so cute to her though.... But yeah, it's amazing!! And then we introduced him to the Book of Mormon and he thought the book looked soo nice and new, handmade even haha and he was like, "I will never put this on the floor!! And I will treat it with respect!!" And he was soo excited to get reading it. He started to read even the testimony of Joseph Smith and was pumped. Ohhhh I love it!! And then we gave them some cake, the Elders gave us from members and they were sooo grateful for it and then we got Laticia's permission for us to teach and baptize him, she was soo excited to sign the permission slip and said how grateful she was that we are teaching him and then we still need big Jesus's signature, he wasn't there... but he loves when we come over and what not and loves God, so he'll be more than happy to sign it too. BEST THING!!!

 And then after the little lesson on the Book of Mormon we asked him to say our closing prayer and he did!!! He got a little nervous again but then said the sweetest prayer. And in it he asked to know that baptism is the thing he should do and everything and afterwards he said, I know it is but I just want to see what other answers God will give me. I love it! And after the prayer Laticia was crying because she has never heard him pray and it made her so happy. She even said she wanted to go write down his prayer so she could always remember it and then we invited them to pray together..... I hope they do. And we kinda dropped Laticia but now that we're teaching Jesus she is being influenced by us again and when we were leaving she said she may come to church again. She just has some issues because of some bad experiences... with her husband and what not, I think I mentioned that before... so she's scared of a lot of things but I have faith she'll come around. But anyways, Jesus is getting baptized in just a couple of weeks and it is going to be amazing!!! I can't wait to keep teaching him till then too. I am so happy!!!!!!!!!! Me and Hermana Piggott feel ohhh so blessed too. However, ALL of our glory goes to God and the Lord. This is their work and their miracle. Oh, and Jesus asked what age boys can go on missions.... I can just see it now!! Him serving his very own mission one day!!! Ahhh I am so happy. Okay, I'm done haha I just keep rambling but I have to finish this email up. But I'll keep you updated on him next week!!

2. Okay, and then along with church yesterday... I spoke in sacrament meeting!!! Yep, my first time speaking in Spanish in church. Haha I had to write out my entire talk beforehand but the spirit ended up helping me out a ton and I was able to say exactly what I wanted to. And when I bore my testimony at the end the spirit hit me so strong and tears came to my eyes. Looking out and seeing members in my branch crying too didn't help.... the spirit was so strong and the spirit in the entire meeting was soooo strong and powerful. I loved it!! Also, a sister who's 23 from the branch just got home from her mission and had her homecoming talk after me!! She's sooo cute and we'll have her come to lessons with us all the time. Her name is Nubia and she's darling!!! But yeah so that was exciting!!!!! Oh and it was pretty cool because I quoted the first verse from "A Donde Me Mandes Ire" (I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go) in my talk and it was the hymn we all sang right after I spoke!!! 
Pretty ironic if you ask me haha. 

3. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!! Abs and Brad told me a little about the family Halloween party and it sounded AMAZING!!! Frodles as Elvis and Barb J as his HOUND DOGGG!?! I am dyyyyying. And Brodles told me him and Britt went as Frodles and Barb J...... still dying. I have the best family in the WORLD!!! SEND ME PICTURES!!!!!!!!! Hahaha I am laughing so hard to myself trying to picture these costumes. Ps. back to Elvis for a second.... did you know he took the discussions??? Haha he's probably converted now up in heaven!! Woot woot!! 

4. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRITT!!!!! I sent you a little Birthday package last week so I HOPE you get it today!!!! I am thinking about you and hope you have a wonderful day! Brad told me what he's getting you soooo I wanna hear what you think after you get the surprise!! You two are the cutest and I love you both so much. Brad, spoil her ROTTEN today ya hear me?? She doesn't deserve anything less!! But I love you Britt and I really hope you have such a special day!!!!! 

5. Abs I got your Halloween package!!! I got it when I came back from my first exchange, woot woot, haha and I love it soo much!! You're the best sissy in the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!! 

6. Mom and dad I am so happy you met the Smith's!! Hahaha they are a KICK!!! I met them when we were watching General Conference at the stake center and she told me they were driving to Utah and wanted to give our family kiwis, pomegranites, etc. And I kinda forgot to get back to her and then Elder Boyer told me to call her so I did and she said she called you and that you were going to meet up with her to give her some stuff for me and she would give you the fruit?? Sounds like it all worked out. She was sooo excited to do that haha she's the best. They kill me. Haha you got some delicious fruit straight from Gridley!!! We are so lucky and get to have fresh fruit from the orchards ALL THE TIME!! The Latino's just give us bags of fruit daily.... love it. And it made me so happy when Sister Smith called me back and said she talked to you on the phone.... you didn't feel as far away!!! Brother and Sister Adams, who I live with, were in Utah this weekend too but I didn't have you meet up with them, unfortunately haha.

7. Oh yeah so I had my first exchange!! I went up to Chico & Paradise for a night/day with Sister Lyman (the sister training leader) and Sister Perkins... we were in a trio. Well anyways, it was a ton of fun!! We visited with some awesome people and the area was beautiful!! Just tons of big tall trees, pine trees, so you had that forest feel and the houses would be set back in the trees like cabins.... way cool. But one house we went into reaked of stale cigarette smoke.... I was dying for the first part of the lesson but then I got over it, kinda haha. The English deal with that a ton apparently. But it was a lot of fun and it was fun teaching in pure English haha. I could really go into things!!! And the Sisters I was with were super nice. We had one super spiritual lesson... But anyways, I missed Hermana Piggott too and was so excited to get back to Gridley with her. This is my home!!!

8. Which reminds me, we had transfers!! My first set of transfers. Crazy. We all thought a ton was going to change but the only thing that did was our District Leader!! It is now Elder Boyer, the CRAZIEST Elder in our District soo we'll see how that goes...... he was joking last week during District Meeting lunch and said, "If I get made District Leader we'll have P-DAY EVES!!! And no more District Meetings!! Also, if you sleep in past 11 it will be breaking the rules!!" Hahaha he kills me. No, I think it will be good for him to shape up and have a leadership position. But I'll miss having Elder Call as the District Leader and he's kinda sad about it... he was the best. But my District is still together!! The family remains!! Hahaha

But okay, I have to go but I love you all sooooo much and am so thankful for your love and support!!!!! Have a wonderful week and know I am thinking of and praying for you always!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! And THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth