Darling family of mine!
Hello hello everyone! Okay, so today I am going to be speedier than ever because I still have to email President a good, solid email (have to say many good things so that he doesn't transfer me or Hermana Piggott next week.... so scared) haha no but and we have a lot to do today so I am going to be super quick!!! But everything is going wonderful here in Gridley. Nothing too crazy happened this past week but I am still as happy as ever! Marcella is still sooo solid and the most darling person in the world. I truly love her soo much and she just warms my heart right up. I cannot wait for you all to meet her!! And Wendy is possibly moving to Utah the end of December and we've all been telling Marcella she needs to move to Utah and she wants to!!!! Soo who knows what will happen but it's a possibility!! And that way she could be surrounded even more so by members of the church. She would also be so close to me and Hermana Piggott which makes us soo happy. So fun!! Then we taught her boyfriend (they're kinda back together) earlier this week and we went into the lesson planning to teach Marcella about temples and he was there... so we still taught her about temples, eternal marriages (haha kinda ironic with him there), etc. and they both LOVED it and then she told us to teach him about the Plan of Salvation... so we did and he LOVED it. I think he may be our next baptism!!!
We wanted to teach him again later in the week and put him on date but he went out of town.... we'll see though!!! And he's already heard the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity lesson from when we taught Marcella about it sooo that's a big start!! And we barely went over the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the 5 steps.... faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end and he said he really WANTS to do those 5 steps so that he can return to live with God again and live with his family forever and to make it to the Celestial Kingdom like we taught them about soooo it looks like we've got some work to do with him!! We need to get him on date asap!! So we can work towards it... but okay and then Jesus is doing good. It has been pretty crazy for him lately. His mom left his little sister Maria in the bathtub, with the water running and the door locked... while she was in her room sleeping, so Jesus woke up to her screaming and he had to kick the door open (literally kicked a huge hole in the door) and got her out... so then the police came and took her away and now she's in a mental hospital. Not positive all that's happening but Jesus has been taking care of Maria and it's just super sad. We're trying to go over their tons because we feel like we're the mother figure in that home. And big Jesus, the dad, wants to be baptized, even told our Branch President he does... and he has been coming to every baptism and to church everybut with his rough past... I don't think he can for a little while. It's sad but it is better he waits, for now. He really is changing though but sometimes we have to deal with the consequences of our actions ya know?? We all know this haha.
But on Thanksgiving we went over and started deep cleaning their kitchen too so that was nice. It was very very dirty and grimy and we didn't feel like we were able to do as much as we wanted but we still made a little difference and it was cool to see how once we started cleaning, big Jesus and little Jesus started cleaning the rest of the house as well... and then when we came back the next day the fridge was totally clean which before had sticky spills and gunk all inside of it.. and they were started to work on things. Sometimes people just need a little push and good influence. And really, they just need a mom. But other than that Jesus is really doing awesome. Then the Elizondo family is wonderful as well. We've been teaching Yamara a ton and she is still dyyying to be baptized, every time we talk about it she gets tears in her eyes and when she prays with us about it she just cries and cries. In one of her prayers she just begged Heavenly Father to soften her dad's heart so that he'll let her be baptized and she said, "I know this is for my own good Heavenly Father." And really... there is nothing better she could do right now in her life. But I think he is softening up... because the mom is fine with it but the dad just thinks she's going through a phase. But he also said a week ago that he wouldn't want her to go to church alone, so a family member would need to go with her and he said if Esgar got baptized, she could too, etc. but thenhe told us he couldn't make it to church because he had some work to do in a field and we said okay, want us to get a ride for Yamara?? And he said yes please. Because Lorenza, the mom, and Esgar were going to go to the Catholic church. But anyways..... they are sooo good to us, feed us everytime we're over... hot chocolate and Mexican dishes and now the whole family sits in on our lessons so we're going to keep praying and try our best with them. We all watched the video of the Restoration the other night and they loved it, Esgar even said he didn't understand why people didn't believe Joseph Smith.... etc. but so anyways, I want to say more but have no time.
So just know they are great and we're working our best with them. Oh and we taught them the Word of Wisdom the other night as well and we told them we would go off something, sacrifice something for 2 weeks, if they would obey the Word of Wisdom. Well, Esgar and Yamara agreed to it and Lorenza and Antonio made their own sacrifices, Antonio wouldn't give up the cigarettes.... even though the rest of the fam was cheering him on to.. (they hate how he smokes) but anyways, Yamara wrote out a contract and had us all sign it, sooo cute, haha and we're all going to sacrifice these things for two whole weeks (and little do they know for longer too) haha oh and Yamara added soda to her list since she really was only sacrificing no more tea haha. But yeah it was kinda fun. I love this family sooo much. I have a ton of faith in them.
Okay and then Thanksgiving was amazing!!!! We ate at Jackie's friends place and it was amazing. They live on a beautiful property of orchards, etc. and their home was straight outside of a magazine. Inside and outside. Pottery barn to the extreme. Abs, mom and Britt.... you would have been OBSESSED. I was... I'll have to send pictures later. But it was so fun and we had an amazing meal. I felt bad for the Spanish Elders who had Mexican food on Thanksgiving haha. It just wouldn't have been the same. But yeah it truly was an amazing day and I felt a ton of gratitude in my heart. I also read a scripture that I feel fits perfect for Thanksgiving day and how I personally felt..... it's the last verse in Alma 26. Well anyways, I loved it and can you believe DECEMBER is already here!?!? Ahhhh so exciting. I'm sad we'll get no snow here but people are already decking their houses out in Christmas lights, etc. so I am happy. And we started listening to Christmas music (church approved of course... Christmas hymns you could say haha) yesterday while we helped the Adam's (who we live with) decorate their Christmas tree and decorate the house!!! I was in HEAVEN!!!!!!
Having the house be decorated is making me sooo happy. However, it's of course not the same as having my own house... mom, this may sound weird... but will you send me pictures of the house once it's all decorated???? I want to see it all. It will make me happy haha. Oh, and last night we had dinner at the Rodriguez's and we all sang Silent Night together in Spanish. Made my heart ohhh so warm. I love that family. I love Christmas. I love being a missionary. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ with all of my heart and I love His gospel!!! I just love many many things haha. But okay, I have to go. Time to email Presidente Weston, the best man!! I admire and respect him sooo much. I can't wait for you all to meet him someday too. Oh and one last thing!! Guess what!?!?! Us Roseville California missionaries are receiving our early Christmas present on... we're getting ipads!!!!!! Hahaha yeah kinda crazy huh?? We of course have major rules on using them but never ever thought I'd see the day where I would have an ipad on my mission. President Weston told us all in a Conference call the other day. But okay, I really have to go.... I love you all soooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh!!! And one last thing, again, haha for service earlier this week we helped Sister Hamblin make pies and we made one ourselves, a peach one, and DAD!!! I was bragging and bragging about your gourmet pies haha and regretting I never learned exactly how you make them. Nobody elses will EVER compare. I did cut out some of the crust into hearts though and color them with food coloring... like you'll do when you decorate yours but can you promise me that one of the first things we do when I am home is you teach me how to make your pies??? There is nothing I would love more. Which reminds me family, I brag about each and every one of you sooooo much to everyone!!!! Hahaha you would all be quite embarrassed by how much I talk about and brag about you all. I just LOVE MY FAMILY SOOOO MUCH!!!!! And know I have THE best family in the entire world!!!!!!! Seriously!!!! I AM THE LUCKIEST!!!!! But okay, I have to go. I love you all!!!!!!
Con amor, Hermana Barth
Oh and ps... for a major friend shout out.... ELISABETH ALLRED IS ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!! I am freaking out!!!!!!!! I knew it was coming but I am sooooooooo thrilled and happy for her and I can't believe it's actually happening!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just screamed out loud when I read her email telling me hahaha. Elisabeth, if you read this........... CONGRATULATIONS darling girl!!!!! I'll write you a personal letter but I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!! I love you!!!!!!! And you and Andrew could not be more perfect for each other. So exciting!!!!! Okay, again, love you all.... ADIOS!!!!