Wednesday, January 8, 2014


¡¡Hola mi familia encantadora!! ¿Cómo están todos? ¡Tengo muchas cosas que quiero decir y escribir hoy, pero no tengo tiempo! Quiero decirles a todos ustedes cada detalle sobre el bautismo de Yamara pero quiero enviar fotos también y así que voy a ser rápido...

So... First off, HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TODAY MOM & DAD!!!!! I love you both sooo much and am soo happy you two fell in love in high school so that I could be here today. Haha and then HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dearest dad on Thursday!!! I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!! You'll be receiving something in the mail from me this week. But okay as for mission updates........

Yamara was BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!! And yesterday received the gift of the Holy Ghost and is officially a new member of La Iglesia de JesuCristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Días!!!!!! I could NOT be happier about it!! This has been such a big miracle and continues to be one. When Yamara first decided she TRULY wanted to be baptized, her dad said she would have to wait at least a year and her mom wanted nothing to do with it. Her dad then cut it down to 6 months.. And all of the sudden said she could as soon as she wanted. Her mom however, still was completely against it.. Said she wouldn't support her, told her if she got baptized it meant she loved the church more than her.... etc. and when Yamara said she was going to be baptized with the consent of her dad, Lorenza (her mom) said she wouldn't attend... NADA. Well.... I kept faith with this and knew with the Lord's & Holy Ghost's help.. her heart would be softened. As was Antonio's. And it WAS. We kept going over to there house all of the time and actually, after the biggest argument they all had over the baptism, when Yamara was crying, etc. we asked Lorenza if we could start really teaching her the lessons and right away we taught her the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, along with some of  prayers from us, other missionaries, our families, our branch, EVERYONE.... Lorenza's heart was TRULY changed. She not only then gave Yamara her consent but supported her. She wanted to help plan for the baptism, for the food, etc. and of course she came and loved it soo much.

So as for the baptism. It could NOT have been more perfect. It was one of the best nights of my entire life. I don't even know where to begin it was so amazing. But so first off, earlier that day.. as a side note.. we went over to read about baptism again with Yamara, teach her one last time before she was baptized about the importance of the special ordinance, we wanted to keep her soo excited for that night (not that she wasn't already beaming with excitement over it... counting down the hours.. her password on her iPod is even 1414) but we went over to teach her and after we did, Antonio put us to work!! He had a full fledge lamb that he had sheared, gutted, taken apart, etc. that he was cooking for the baptism and we had to help de-bone all of the meat!! Ahhhhhhhhhh. It was gross, not going to lie. And not
because of the bones. But because of all the fat that had been sitting
in the vinegar he soaked it all in, etc. hahaha I was quite
entertained by the bones actually.. after my Anatomy class I was
loving inspecting everything. I even pulled out the spinal chord!!!
But yeah the smell of the sauce he had with it and everything, made me
gaggg and at the baptism Hermana Piggott and I were unable to eat any
of it even though everyone else was loving it haha. But so that was
fun!! It was a good experience. Oh and Brad, I was thinking about you
the other day because we were eating soup at their house and I all of
the sudden looked at something in my bowl, realizing it wasn't meat
and it was a pigs FOOT. The weird textured skin, some hair left on
it... Yeah. Reminded me of how you said when we eat meat if you think
of it as PIG it doesn't sound as appetizing and I couldn't have felt
like I was eating a pig more. Yikes!! Hahaha but anyways... back to
the baptism. Antonio did quite the process to make this lamb and it
was so cute because he just wanted to make it super special for
Yamara. But okay... as for the actual baptism. Next biggest thing.....

after we emailed President about how big of an impact he made on
Yamara at the fireside, when she met him and shook his hand.. he
emailed us back and said how when we had a date set with her to let
him know because he would want to attend. Well, a lot of missionaries
have invited him to baptisms of course and we've gone to ones where
they thought he would maybe come and he didn't but he kept calling and
texting us about it and HE CAME!!!!! This is SUCH a big deal!!!!
Hermana Piggott were wanting him to come sooo bad and KNEW Yamara
would fall over dead if he did... so we were crossing our fingers but
in the meanwhile wanted to make sure the baptismal program was
perfect. Well, we coordinated with the Liberty 1st ward since that's
the ward she attends Young Women's with and asked if the youth could
do a musical number. Well, they got sooo many youth to come and they
practiced beforehand, etc. and they sang the YM/YW medley (it's
becoming a tradition.. haha) and then I am a child of God in
Spanish!!! It was sooo good. And since the English was combined, we
invited a ton of members from that ward and anyways... we had the
program in the CHAPEL!!! Because there were so many people!! Usually
we have them in the relief society room where the font is and often
there aren't many people there... But we had sooo many people come and
support!!!! So many people love and adore Yamara though. But President
said at our last conference that he didn't want baptisms in that
little room, he wanted us to have so many people there that we have to
take it to the chapel... And we DID!!!! We had at LEAST 15
investigators there amongst the missionaries in our district too,
including many Spanish non-members and so it was amazing!!!!! And a
President got to sit up on the stand instead of a seat in the room so
I was thrilled. Up on the stand we had President Weston, our mission
president, President Paine, our stake president and President Lopez,
our branch president... Could it have been any better!?! But so back
to when Yamara showed up... We put everything together, said a prayer
just us three and then got her in her jumpsuit. We then had a feeling
President Weston had arrived (I'm not kidding I can feel his presence
when he enters the building) and sure enough he had. We went out into
the hall and saw him and then when we came back in the bathroom and I
saw tears rolling down Yamara's cheeks. I asked her if she was okay
and she looked at me smiled, with tear drops on her fresh white
baptismal suit and said, "Yes. I was just praying." It touched my
heart so much. I even felts little lump enter into my throat. But so
then we told Yamara how he was there and right when we walked out she
saw him and she clung on to me and was soooo excited and overwhelmed
with emotion that he was there. He then came up to her, shook her hand

she started crying again. She kept saying, "You're making me cry
again" and she keep shaking his hand and thanking him over and over
for coming... he kept saying how happy he was to be there, how it was
a priority, how excited he was for her, etc. It was SO PRECIOUS. And I
was pretty much acting the same when I saw him. I was all giddy and
filled with emotion. Haha really I feel the spirit SO strong when he
is around. But so then we continued to take pictures, with Yamara,
President Weston, the entire Elizondo family, etc. and President
Weston even pulled out his phone and took some pictures of us!! He
sent some to Sister Weston too, she couldn't make it because she was
sick however she called us earlier.. She's so darling. But really
Hahaha Hermana Piggott I honestly idolize President. I respect,
admire, love and look up to him sooo much!!!!!! He is amazing and one
of the most spiritual men I have ever met. But President met their
entire family as well... we finally got to watch Lorenza speak some
broken English haha made us so happy. She knows more than she'll ever
say she does. And they were all smiling and loving him!!!! It was
amazing. Apparently President told Esgar that he's a Raiders fan too
and Esgar is OBSESSED and so that really put President even higher in
his books haha. But then we all went into the chapel and began!!

Pedro, Yamara's uncle who is a member, said the opening prayer.. we
sang "Haz El Bien" Choose The Right.. which it was the best watching
President sing in Spanish haha and then MARCELLA gave the first talk
on baptism. WOW. Oh yeah!! And we had President meet her too. That was
awesome. She just had the biggest grin on her face and was so honored
to meet him as well. But back to her talk... First off, this is of
course the first church talk she has ever given and at first she was
sooo nervous and you could tell when she first started talking at the
pulpit. But then as she got going, wow... I have never been more proud
or impressed by her!!! She told her entire story of meeting us,
inviting us to come over, accepting to be baptized in the first
lesson, us coming over and teaching her almost every day of the week,
p etc. and while she was telling this she just had tears rolling down
her cheeks. And then she talked about her baptism and started crying
more... She talked about how much it meant to her and to Estrella,
talked about the feelings she had throughout the night, when she
entered into the waters of baptism.... etc. It was sooo special!!! I
had tears rolling down my face at this point as well. She continued to
talk about how the gospel has changed her life, how amazing all of the
members of the church are, how amazing, loved and welcomed she felt
the first time she went to church, said how we're angels and how the
Orme's are angels... I was sitting next to Brother Orme (he's the one
who baptized Yamara) and so we were both in tears and Marcella's face
was drenched in them... But yeah she went on about all of that and
then the best part, she then started looking directly at Yamara and
got all serious and started preaching the gospel.. she started telling
her how this decision is going to change her life, how it's the best
decision she'll ever make... how she will never ever regret it, she
talked about how special the Holy Ghost is... how excited she is for
Yamara, etc. and I was in pure heaven. I truly had tears streaming
down my face and I couldn't have felt happier. Listening to Marcella,
our recent convert, bear such a strong and sincere testimony and then
get serious and start preaching it!!!! I felt the spirit soo strong
and couldn't have been happier!! And then having Jesus there as well
and the entire Elizondo family and all those I love so much, sitting
next to Brother Orme and Hermana Piggott... Thinking about how much
love I feel as a missionary, how much I love this work... Just
everything was hitting me all at once. And Yamara was wiping her tears
away as well.. I cannot describe it. It was all in Spanish too but
luckily President Lopez translated for a President Weston so he could
understand it all. From the look on his face, I could tell he was so
touched as well. Everyone was. Even those that didn't understand a
word Marcella was saying were crying because the spirit in the room
was soooo strong. So many things came to my mind while I was sitting
there too but I remember specifically looking at Hermana Piggott,
looking at Yamara and the Elizondo family, looking at Marcella,
Brother Orme, President Lopez and President Weston and being sooo
overwhelmed with emotion. I felt soo much love, gratitude and
happiness... I cannot even put it into words. 

In that exact moment I knew it hit me again so strongly that I was called to this mission for
a reason. It is MY mission and these are my people. They're my family.
I could feel Heavenly Father and my Savior's love for me soo strong
too and truly the spirit could not be more present. Then us
missionaries went up and sang I am a child of a God in Spanish with
all the youth. It was soo spiritual. Then a young women leader of
Yamara spoke about the Holy Ghost.. It was darling and she even got
emotional talking about her. We then all sang the YM/YW medley. Which
always brings the spirit into the room sooo strongly. I loved it so
much. I remember looking down and smiling at Yamara when we first
started too and she gave me a huge grin back, then I smiled at Lorenza
and she gave me a huge smile back, then with Marcella and I could see
sooo many people getting touched and emotional while we were singing.
I loved it!! But what even hit me while we were singing... was one
time while we were singing our hearts out, we looked at and smiled at
one another, and so much hit me. It hit me that this was probably
going to be the last baptism we were going to have together and then
it hit me we probably only have a few short weeks left together as
well and ahhh. It was emotional for me. I felt soo proud of us and was
thinking about all that we have accomplished together... Looked at our
converts and thought of so many memories. It was as if our last 16
weeks together flashed before my eyes in a matter of seconds!!! It was
a lot to take in but the spirit was bursting inside of me and I was
one happy missionary. Ah I am going to miss my best friend Hermana
Piggott soo much though and everyone in that room sooo much when I am
transferred out of Gridley, but there's no point in dwelling over it
or even thinking about it right now. We still have so much more to
accomplish together!!!! So that was very special. Then the beautiful
ordinance was performed and Yamara was baptized by Brother Orme. It
was oh so special and warmed my heart up so much. Then after the
baptism, we all went back into the chapel and Hermana Piggott and I taught the Restoration. This is President's new rule and so we did just what we were told. We had about 15 or more non-members/investigators though so it really was perfect. We taught it in Spanish too of course and that was fun for President Weston to hear us speak it. It was awesome and I was so proud of us. We said it all so smoothly and afterwards many people were telling us how much our Spanish has improved since Marcella's baptism.... haha probably because we talked about something we teach every single day haha but it still made us feel happy. It was crazy though because there really were multiple times when I wasn't even thinking, I was just speaking. I loved everything about it. Especially singing the Elizondo family all trapped in listening and all of the non-members as well. It was very spiritual. Then following us, Yamara went up and bore her testimony. Wow, it was sooo spiritual and powerful. She gave her entire story, about how she used to be shy when we'd come over, didn't know if she'd really be baptized, etc. and then she talked about when we took her to the fireside in Chico and when she met President Weston... so she then looked at him on the stand and started crying when she talked about when she met him and shook his hand, she said as soon as she met him and shook his hand she started crying like a baby and thought to herself and knew "This is the path I want to take. This is the church I want to join. This is for me." She said this all in Spanish too because she wanted her parents to understand but President Lopez translated again for President Weston and I could just see how touched President Weston was by the look on his face and the look he had in his eyes. It was incredible. He would just get the biggest grin on his face as well and had watery eyes. Ohhh it could not have been better. The room was completely silent too and all you could hear was her voice and sniffles from people getting emotional. Including myself. I couldn't hold in the tears. She then continued to say how that night she told her dad she really really wanted to be baptized and how once her parents finally accepted she was soo excited, she talked about prayer & feeling the spirit, about us... etc. It could not have been better and I was so proud of her. She may be only 12 almost 13 years old but when it comes to the gospel... she is sooo mature. Then after she spoke, Jose Rodriguez, our ward mission leader, closed it up and shared his own powerful testimony. He was super emotional as well... telling Yamara's parents how impressive she is, how special she is, etc. and he even talked about her being such a good example to her family and everyone and even said to her family, "Maybe you'll be baptized someday...." I loved it! But it was amazing. We then finished by singing There is Sunshine in My Soul Today, I looove it in Spanish and then we all chatted. President Weston came up to Hermana Piggott and I and gave us the biggest smile and told us how PROUD he is of us. This means more than anything to me!!! He then told us how excited he was for us, how beautiful the entire night was, how amazing Yamara is, he talked about us teaching the restoration and how he loved listening to us "teaching up there!!" Oh I love him SO much. He then talked to Yamara for a good while and said how he wants to visit her family. He talked to Hermana Piggott and I about this alone as well. He wants to visit with this family and we all know we can get them all baptized and into the church. They're perfect!! But so that's amazing. WE HAVE TO GET THIS FAMILY BAPTIZED!!!!!! It's crucial!!! But then we talked to everyone forever, we introduced President to Jesus!! President asked him if he was taking care of us and Jesus said with a big grin, "no, they're taking care of me!" haha sooo cute!!! And anyways.... we then had a big fiesta with tons of Mexican goods. Antonio was loving serving everyone the lamb we helped him with, etc. it was the best!!!!! I have never seen Antonio happier either and Lorenza was loving it as well. And to think she originally wanted nothing to do with it and said she wouldn't come......... but anyways. Yamara was on cloud 9 too, as were the rest of us and it was the PERFECT night!!!!!! I have sooooo much more I could say too but I have already told you too many details for comfort haha. I haven't written in my journal about it yet so this is my way of remembering everything. But anyways.... Yamara is baptized and again was confirmed a member of the church yesterday along with receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now she is just glowing more than ever and is sooo happy!!! I truly can already see a difference!!! I love her sooo much!!!! Ps. she loves telling people how she's the first Mormon Elizondo and how she wants to serve a mission some day. It's so darling!!!! 

But okay, I have to go!!!! Sorry that half of this is centered wrong... I wrote half of it on my iPad when I was waiting for the Elder's to be done sending their emails and it goes all weird. But ahhh I have so much more to say and my hour is up!!! Okay, well we have NEW AWESOME investigators and we know one, Alicia Campos, will be getting baptized asap... she told us how missionaries taught her once, she loved it and they never came back?? And she's continued to read the Book of Mormon and LOVES it. We also saw that in her Book of Mormon she had Alma 31:31 marked... look it up. It's so precious. But yeah she said she loves reading the Book of Mormon and LOVES learning about our church!! We invited her to be baptized too and she said yesss. We invited her over to dinner with the Orme's tomorrow night too and she is so excited to come! We actually invited her to the baptism too and were supposed to call her but forgot because we were so occupied and she wanted to go.... yep. Still feel sick about it. But we'll get her to dinner and church this week. We all make mistakes sometimes!!!!!!! Yeah, can't talk about it. But we looove her, she's the nicest and I'll talk more about her next week!! Oh and she's probably in her 50's?? Anyways, we are seeing more and more miracles each day!! Also, we KNOW we are going to get the entire Elizondon family baptized. In time. It just makes us sad thinking we probably won't be together for it. But it's all about the ordinance. Anyways, I have to go!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!! Oh and for some other quick shout outs, CONGRATULATIONS TO MEG AND CARTER FOR GETTING ENGAGED!!!!!!! Junior high sweethearts.... I love it!!! And LYDIA OWENS!!!!!! Ahhhhh I can't believe two more of my friends are getting MARRIED!!!!! SOO exciting. I love those girls sooo much. Then CAL BABE!!! Happy Happy Birthday beautiful!!! I love you sooo much too and hope you have a wonderful Birthday. Okay, ADIOS!!!

Con mucho amor y un gran abrazo, 

Hermana Barth

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