Monday, December 30, 2013


Hello my beautiful family!!!


In just 2 days!! Hallelujah!!!
Haha can you believe it's already here!? And that we get to skype and
I get to see each of your beautiful faces this week!?! I cannot even
believe it! I'll give you all the skype information at the end of this
email... But I am soo excited to see each of you and hear your voices
in just a couple of days. My Christmas is already made and my heart is
already warm thinking about it.

So things have been lovely this past week. First off, we got our iPads
haha. We EACH got our own mini iPad 7. Soooo fancy I don't know how to
handle it. Haha at first Hermana Piggott and I were overwhelmed and
wishing we didn't get them, weird I know.. But we don't use the
classic missionary planners or area books anymore. It's ALL on our
iPads. So we plan and do everything on these things. The church as
created an INCREDIBLE app for it all and wow... You would be AMAZED.
If Hermana Piggott isn't skyping while I am, I'll have to show you a
little bit. It's so crazy. And now after every lesson we automatically
update our area book and report about the lesson, it calculates our
numbers and compares them to our daily & weekly goals, it will switch
from investigator to a progressing one when you've entered in the
qualifications, etc. it's honestly the most incredible app I have ever
seen. The church is amazing. And we're only the 14th mission to get
them. California missions... We're so spoiled. 

But yeah, I'll have to
show you. President just made new rules on using them too though...
Like we can't take pictures or videos on them, we can only download
the apps the church hand picked, still cannot use the internet of
course... Except for Facebook (which I still hate and refuse to use)
haha we had to create Facebook pages when I first got here, I just
made a new one and yeah... even though it's completely allowed, I
don't like the feeling I get when I am on so I just choose to not use
it. We've taught one lesson using it and used it to contact Yamara and
Marcella before when they didn't have a phone but other than that....
noooope. Not a fan. Haha we just haven't needed it yet. So I only have
it for emergency reasons I guess you could say haha. But yeah and our
emails are on our iPads so we can now email on them too. And President
said we could at our house if we have wifi!! So weird!! I don't know
how to handle all of these new changes. But the hour still stays the
same and all the rules. And we can't go on our emails until Mondays
still. So that's good haha. But yeah... Missionary work is changing in
many ways and it's crazy to be apart of it! Haha they're making some
things almost too easy. But I know they'll help the work a lot. It's
really organizing everything. We also have every Mormon message,
manual, pamphlet, EVERYTHING you could possibly imagine on one app.
"Gospel Library" .. You should all download it! Oh and so we had the
iPad conference and then a Christmas conference as well with half of
the mission!!! It was sooo spiritual and amazing and we got to hear a
ton of musical numbers. My zone sang The First Noel too which was fun
haha. But my favorite part was being able to hear from President
Weston and his sweet wife. I love him so much. And when I went up to
shake his hand I was smiling away and he said to me, "Are you ever NOT
happy???" Haha I love him!!!! I'll have to tell you more about the
conference later too... It was amazing.

And okay, other than that... Everything is going wonderful! Yamara's
baptismal date is set for January 4th... We were going to do it this
Saturday but a ton of members are going to be gone and we want a lot
of people to come. Her dad wants to have a big fiesta afterwards and
we just had our branch Christmas party on Saturday night. Ahh soo fun.
Us Spanish missionaries helped decorate and set it all up.. We made it
look soo nice with all the decorations Grace Villanueva (the one in
charge) gave us. Haha I'll send pictures as soon as I get a camera
cord! I used to borrow Sister Moultons but she got transferred... So
that's why I haven't been sending any lately!! But it was sooo much
fun. Sooo many people came and less-actives, non-members and
investigators too!! Including the entire Elizondo family!!!! Yamara's
family. And they stayed the entire time!! It was soo fun. Hispanics
love their fiestas!!! Haha but a bunch of Sisters in our branch cooked
all kinds of Mexican dishes.. We even learned how to make tamales with
Hermana Ceja! And then we got a huge star (traditional) piñata which
we hung from a pulley that was on the ceiling in the middle of the
party. It was such a success and we had a huge line of little ones
wanting to hit it. It was a cement piñata though and took forever to
break! Haha and I even got to wack at it. Brother Orme volunteered me
and then everyone started cheering me on. Haha I actually had no
choice. Before I knew it I had my Mexican Sisters grabbing me, taking
off my glasses, blind folding me and spinning me in circles haha. Oh,
and when I started going for it.. I apparently hit it and candy
started pouring out so all the children ran to grab some.. And I heard
everyone screaming so I thought they were cheering me on but they were
screaming because I kept swinging and there were little children
around me!!! Haha I am not kidding. EVERYONE made comments to me about
it afterwards. Joking how I almost killed a niño. Brother Orme said it
could have made church headlines.. "First Sister Missionary to harm a
child while hitting a piñata at a branch fiesta" haha I am not
kidding. I never heard the end of it!!! Too good, yet so bad!! But
yeah we packed that thing with Mexican candies and confetti. It looked
pretty cool when it burst. But then Brother Orme had Santa come.. Who
was Sister & Brother Smith's son.. The ones you met dad haha. Couldn't
you picture it? Brother Smith does Santa too but wow.. They're perfect
for the part!!!! He looked amazing. It was so cute to see all of the
children sitting on his lap and telling him what they wanted for
Christmas.. So precious. And Estrella, Marcella's darling little one
did as well. I loved it. And then us missionaries sang a couple of
Christmas hymns, we all sang jingle bells when Santa came in and then
of course afterwards we sang Feliz Navidad, etc. It was the best! Haha
which then reminds me... Us missionaries did a musical number in
Sacrament meeting haha and part of it was Hermana Piggott and I
singing a duet!!! Hahahaha it's a REAL thing!! We both are not singers
whatsoever but we figured we'd never sing a duet in public again like
that in our life so we might as well take the chance to!! We sang "It
came upon a midnight clear" in Español of course.. And I enjoyed it
very much haha. We also sang half of it in acapella (I don't know how
to spell it). But yeah it was actually way nice. It just kills me that
I sang a duet in front of 50 people. Hahaha better than a large
English ward, it was just my little Spanish branch whom I am so close
to and are the last people to be critical haha but it's so funny. Abs,
remember when me and you wanted to record ourselves singing a duet
dead dog serious just to see how we'd sound??? Hahaha and then we
tried to sing Tangled "I can see the light" with Ralph as well, in a
serious manner and then we all burst out laughing listening to
ourselves... Hahaha too good!!!!!

We found 5 new investigators this past week!!!! I'll tell you all
about them next week or when we skype. But we found Raymond, Ana and
her DARLING family, Esgar's girlfriend Erminia and this other new
family!!! I have a lot to say about them but it'll have to wait!!

But then let's see... Hermana Piggott and I have a fully decorated
room with a beautiful, nice sized real Christmas tree!! We went to a
Christmas tree lot nearby last Monday and got to pick out a tree!!
They're all from Oregon and gorgeous!! Ours is PERFECT too! Just wait
till you see it. It's a perfect size, bigger than you'd expect, and we
bought a stand for it, bought lights, ornaments, etc, it's beautiful!!
And we decorated it while listening to a Mormon Tabernacle Christmas
cd.... While belting at the top of our lungs, "For unto us a child is
born... unto us, a son is given.. and the government shall be upon his
shoulder.. and his name shall be called WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, The
mighty GOD, The everlasting FATHER, The Prince of Peace!!" ... 2 Nephi
19:6 ... We're listening to it right now actually while emailing and
eating grilled cheese next to our tree!! Haha but okay... I'll give
you more updates on Christmas.. I have no time right now. But earlier
this week during personal study I studied and pondered over some
things and I wrote it down in my notepad on my iPad. I want to share
it with you......

The Light and Spirit of Christ

During this magical season I have, of course, been thinking constantly
about our glorious Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been celebrating His
birth and constantly giving thanks to our Father in Heaven for Him. I
have been studying and pondering about Christ's characteristics... His
love, His charity, His Spirit... His LIGHT. At Christmas time we see
lots of LIGHTS, everywhere. People decorate their homes in lights, we
decorate our trees with lights, there will be displays along the
streets in white or colorful lights, like we know in Salt Lake City,
we go to Temple Square to see "the lights"... etc. Well, I don't
believe there is any coincidence for this. When Christ was born there
was a brilliant and bright star indicating His birth and the
significance of it. This star was unlike any other and shone bright
for all to see. The light of this brilliant star led those, who were
seeking, to the new born baby. So like the North Star leading the
Shepard's to Jesus Christ through the dark night, we are so blessed to
have this same baby boy be our Savior, who is the light of our world,
who is here to lead us through the darkness that surrounds us now. He
is our personal light and guide to show us the path to our Father in
Heaven. As the Savior says in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the
light of life." We must follow the Savior... follow His light and if
we do so, "we shall have the light of life" .. obtain His light.
Through the Savior, we are truly able to obtain part of His light for
it is said that he,"lighteth every man that cometh into the world." As
is said in the Bible Dictionary, "the light of Christ is just what the
words imply: enlightenment, knowledge, and an uplifting, ennobling,
persevering influencing that comes upon mankind because of Jesus
Christ." So indeed, we all are born with the spirit of Christ however,
it is our job to now let this light grow in us. This light increases
as we hearken unto His word and act on the promptings we receive from
the Spirit.. "For the word of The Lord is truth, and whatsoever is
truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of
Jesus Christ. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh
into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the
world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit. And every one that
hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the
Father." D&C 84:45-47 ... And also, as we constantly seek after Him,
love Him, follow Him.. do as He would do. My perspective on the light
of Christ has been changing a whole lot while on my mission. I view it
differently now. I've always known of and noticed the light of Christ
in others but it is becoming more recognizable to me. The light of
Christ is not only something that we hold deep inside of us, in our
souls, in our hearts.. but it is something that shines, glows and
radiates off of us. It is also something that needs nourishment, "oil"
you could say. We also may not always realize it but we are attracted
to those who's light is bright. Those who are full of Christ's
characteristics.. love, charity, faith, humility (some of the
characteristics I want to obtain most) .. those who are are always
focused on the Savior and are truly trying to be like him. These are
the people who are always smiling, always happy, friendly, wanting to
serve others, wanting to be on the Lord's errand.. wanting to share
their light. With these Christ-like qualities, these people are truly
always glowing, always beaming... constantly touching people with
their light. It's no wonder why us Latter-Day Saints have something
"different" about us ... why people are drawn to us. Those who are
close to the Savior, beam. And not only do we have the light of Christ
but also the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Which is consistently
brightening our light. And along with the companionship of the Holy
Ghost, we have angels with us as well. I have recognized this very
much recently. As is said in D&C 84:88, "And whoso receiveth you,
there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on
your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your
hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." We have
angels alongside us everywhere and I can feel them with me every day.
And what is even more astonishing is how others have noticed as well.
At the end of our lesson with Antonio the other day he said something
that really hit me.. he not only told Hermana Piggott and I that we
have special spirits, that he feels something good when we're around..
but he said he can feel that we have angels with us. That really
touched me and warmed my heart. I know that I have the companionship
of the Holy Ghost with me at all times but I myself have felt
different angels with me as well. One night after we were teaching..
my two darling Grandpa's came into my mind. Although, I have never met
Papa Dee... I know that him and Grandpa Barth were with me that night.
I've never been one to talk much of angels or think much about their
presence but this night I did. And the minute this came into my
thoughts.. tears came into my eyes. As they do right now. It's
something I cannot fully explain but I know it's true. I have my two
grandpa's along with many others I am positive, alongside me at all
times. And with this work, I need them. Ohh how that humbles me and
softens my heart... I am so lucky. I am so lucky to have the light of
Christ inside of me, to have the gift of the Holy Ghost, to have
angels... and to constantly help others receive these special gifts as
well. I love it so much. On my mission I have been able to personally
witness this light increase in people. I have seen the contrast and
have watched those whose lights were dimming, grow as they accepted
our message and embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The difference is
astonishing. With all those we've been teaching I've seen their light
increase but especially with Jesus, Marcella and Yamara. First with
Jesus and Marcella, the difference I can clearly see in them now...
it's hard to explain. While we were teaching them I was able to see
their lights grow brighter and brighter each day but since they've
both been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.. They are
truly always glowing!! Their light is now radiating off of them. It's
so noticeable. And with Yamara, every single day I notice her light
increasing... it is so so special to watch the process and I cannot
wait to see her after she has been baptized and received the gift of
the Holy Ghost as well. She will be beaming. Ahh it warms my heart up
just thinking about these wonderful people. And that is one more thing
I want to touch really quickly regarding the light of Christ,
regarding the Spirit. As we know, light brings warmth and darkness
brings coldness. This is clearly why when we feel the Spirit we feel
warm.. I often blush a lot and get rosy cheeks.. I always say, my
heart feels so warm. When we let our light grow, the warmth, love and
comfort inside of us increases. It makes me think of a line from one
of my favorite Christmas movies.. dad's favorite, It's a Wonderful
George Bailey: "What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want
the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull
it down. Hey, that's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon,
Mary: "I'll take it. Then what?"
George Bailey: "Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve,
see.. and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes
and the ends of your hair..."
The spirit of Christ is like moonbeams shooting out of our fingers,
toes, and the ends of our hair. Haha and when I feel the Spirit it
sure feels like that. And when we touch other people with our light,
with the Spirit, they can feel those things as well. Ohh what a
wonderful thing that is. And as you now know.. the lights sparkling
everywhere, the talk and feeling of the "Spirit of Christmas" and the
talk and decorations of angels now all mean something different to me.
They mean something even more. Now I know this all may have not made
much sense, I just wrote a lot of these thoughts down like a journal
entry and have now been trying to organize it all to email it to you,
in not much time at that.. But may we all try to let our light grow
brighter and brighter each day and do those things that will grow us
closer to our loving, Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Prince of Peace, Jesus
Christ. He is again the light of this world and the One who can help
us make it back to our father in Heaven. To live with Him, our Savior,
our family and all those we love so very much, FOREVER. And not only
that but may we all help others receive this as well. We need to give
"gifts of eternal value" and not only during this Christmas season but
every day of the year. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is
on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it
under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all
that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they
may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in Heaven."

Ohh family I love you all so much. I am sad I don't get to enjoy this
Holiday season with you but I get to see all of your lovely faces in
just 2 days!!!!! Okay, and as for Skpe... My account name is
hermanabarth .... Can whoever's account I am calling to email back
their name?? And my email is as well ... So
if you can't find me, look that up. I hope this all works how we want
it too haha. But we're planning to call around noon?? We actually can
Skype from our new iPads so President said we can Skype from our
house!! Crazy huh?? However.... We only have 30-40 minutes.. I know,
sooo short. But it's in the white handbook and what President said so
I have to obey by it. Obedience is key in this work and I need all of
the blessings I can get!! Haha but so email me someone's account and
hopefully we'll be able to make this work!! I'll probably call one of
you when I am wanting to Skype to make sure you're all ready and that
it will work as well haha. So keep your phones on, loud, and with
you!!!! Please!! Oh, and Christmas is an all proselyting day for us so
that's why we're trying to figure out when we'll call and what not..
Plan on 12 Cali time. Oh!! And I have a Christmas package I am sending
home for you all but it's far too expensive to send to make it on
Christmas now and so it'll be a little late... It can be a New Years
gift too haha but get excited!!!!!!

Okay, I have to go but Merry Merry Christmas my lovely family!!! I'll
see you in just TWO DAYS!!!! Ahhhh seems too good to be true. I love
you all sooo much!!!!

Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth

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