Thursday, May 1, 2014

I Stand All Amazed

My loveliest and most dearest family,

So as for an update on the missionary life of Hermana Barth!! Let's
see... Well, to be completely honest, this past week was probably the
hardest one I have had on my mission thus far. I hope you all don't
take that too serious though haha because I often don't know if it's
possible for anyone to love being a missionary and serving a mission
more than me. But I do admit this week had been rougher than most. I
think I have knocked on more doors than any of you could possibly
imagine. Last night my District Leader told me every door I knock
gives me more "husband points" though.... whatever that means! hahaha.
All week though we have worked so hard every day trying to contact
lists of potentials, less-actives, formers and even referrals of
investigators that we have received from the other Hermanas but we
have hardly been able to contact any of them. Sometimes we joke and
say they all must be together at a party we weren't invited to. Haha
no but we have just knocked & knocked & knocked our little hearts out,
tracting included, and not seen as great of success as I would like.
Haha one day, while on exchanges with Sister Lewis, we knocked doors
for a total of 7 hours!! 

Don't get me wrong, I actually am a missionary who really enjoys tracting and I don't think 
I could feel more comfortable knocking on complete strangers doors and doing door
approaches haha but still... what I love most is actually being able
to really teach. I absolutely love teaching the gospel and could do it
all day, every day. No doubt in my mind. So when I am not able to,
it's hard on me! I just want to help others learn and grow closer to
our Savior soo much!! If only you knew how great of a desire I have to
do this. I never knew I would have as great of a desire as I truly do.
But with Sister Lewis we were fortunately able to get in a door, her
name is Gloria, she is a new investigator.. and I taught the entire
Restoration (by myself because Sister Lewis is English haha) but that
was great and we have picked up a couple of other new investigators as
well whom I do have a great amount of faith in. But yeah, overall we
haven't seen as much success as I would like and everyone is always
telling us how there is soo much work to be done here and the other
Hermanas and Elders are always so busy... so I want to be apart of it!
I want to be busy teaching & teaching! 

And I know, with time, it will happen. I have to experiment my patience I so often talk,
 study and read about... but it has just been a different week. It also is new
experience for me training a brand new missionary in an area I am
still trying to get comfortable with. Sometimes it makes me a little
sad because I want Hermana Hughes to be able to teach a lot and
experience the great joy that comes from it but we aren't able to as
much as I would like. But luckily she has such a greenie fire in her
and is always as upbeat & positive as can be so we are still trying to
make the very best out of it. I know success is coming along with
many, many miracles. I can feel it. I just crave it so badly right

But overall, I am still my same, old, happy self!

 Still absolutely loving being a missionary and would not want to be anywhere
else doing anything else. My mission is everything to me. We have set
some big goals for this upcoming week as well which I hope will really
help. Yesterday we set up times to go visit less-actives with our
Relief Society President and we are going to try to visit lots of
members to gain their trust and receive referrals. I believe that will
truly be key for the work here. The members in this branch are soo
solid and awesome too so I am confident they will be a great help. We
also had over 80 people at church yesterday which was a huge deal.
Felt much bigger than Gridley. We also are getting a list of
less-actives from our Branch President, President Rivera who is sooo
awesome and we just met this past week.. so excited about him, so I
hope that will help. Less-actives are ohh so important to activate
because they already have the ordinances performed and hopefully they
can give us more referrals too. We have a lot to do!! I love it!!

Also, miracle for the week!!! So this morning at church I was just
getting a little sad because we have worked like crazy this past week
and tried so hard to find new people and are completely exhausted from
it... but then we had a baptism for the Elders in our branch tonight,
family of 5, so awesome... and we wanted to bring an investigator so
badly. So with our luck from the week, you'd think we wouldn't be able
to make it happen, but with faith all is possible right?? So we went
to a few investigators homes and we stopped at Agustina's, she's our
more elderly investigator, and we invited her and she said she wanted
to come!!! So we had dinner with the Alvarez family and then they went
and picked her up and she came!!!! Best thing ever!! The other
Hermana's used to teach her too and when they saw her walk in they
were shocked, later asking us how we got her to come.. but she,
without hesitation, wanted to... so it was a miracle!!!! The baptism
was absolutely beautiful and so spiritual too so I couldn't be
happier. She loved it and everyone was so good to her. So we hope to
see her dressed in white very soon. But having her come was such a
miracle for me personally and it was just what I needed after a long
week. It really lifted my spirit and just made me feel oh so good. It
helped me remember how worth it all of my hard work is and how
sometimes even the littlest things mean so much. The littlest things
can be such mercies from God. Also, another tender mercy... the Elders
asked us to teach the Restoration during the time those who were
baptized were changing. We agreed to it, very last minute, but oh was
I so happy we did it. 

This was the first time Hermana Hughes and I have been able to teach the full Restoration together and it was so amazing. While teaching I felt the spirit soo strongly and I was
completely reminded of why I am so happy, why I love my Savior so very
much and why I love being a missionary. I also shared my testimony
which confirmed to me all of my true, sincere beliefs and it just felt
so refreshing and ahh purely amazing. So that was awesome. Also, sooo
many people were at the baptism, including a great amount of members
from our branch and they were all so beautiful to look at while
teaching. I cannot explain it in words. It was so good. Also, Hermana
Rodriguez-Toledo sang "Asombro me da" ... "I stand all amazed" again
and this time it literally made my eyes well up with tears. Along with
so many others. I was just completely humbled listening to the lyrics
and felt it was absolutely perfect for me to hear tonight. I couldn't
help but be overwhelmed with emotions. This past week I have also had
moments where I have felt weak and as though I was lacking faith so it
has led me to pondering & studying over His Atonement a lot. This has
greatly humbled me and I truly do know that through my loving Brother
& Savior, Jesus Christ... I am always able to gain strength and build
upon my faith. I also sometimes feel so imperfect but I know my Savior
suffered & died for me so that I truly can be forgiven of all my many
sins and become cleansed & perfected through Him. So with that all
alone, I stand all amazed.


I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

(In the beautiful language of Español)

             ASOMBRO ME DA
Asombro me da el amor que me da Jesús.
Confuso estoy por Su gracia y por Su luz,
y tiemblo al ver que por mí Él Su vida dio;
por mí, tan indigno, Su sangre Él derramó.

Cuán asombroso es que por amarme ̮así
muriera Él por mí. Cuán asombroso es lo que dio por mí.

Me cuesta ̮entender que quisiera Jesús bajar
del trono divino para mi ̮alma rescatar;
que Él extendiera perdón a tal pecador
y me redimiera y diera Su gran amor.

Cuán asombroso es que por amarme ̮así
muriera Él por mí. Cuán asombroso es lo que dio por mí.

Comprendo que Él en la cruz se dejó clavar.
Pagó mi rescate; no lo podré olvidar.
Por siempre jamás al Señor agradeceré;
mi vida y cuanto yo tengo a Él daré.

Cuán asombroso es que por amarme ̮así
muriera Él por mí. Cuán asombroso es lo que dio por mí.

If any of you ever have a day or week where you feel like things
aren't going your way or things just seem to be too hard.... try to
take a step back and remember all that our Savior Has done for you.

This is what I am trying my best to do and I already can feel the
difference. We must remember to always keep Him in our thoughts and
focus on all He has and continues to do for us. We must remember that
no matter who we are or what we've done.. He loves us unconditionally
and died for each and everyone of us individually so that we can
become ultimately perfected. Also we must remember that it is through
Him and only through Him we can receive complete joy, peace, &
happiness in this life and in the life to come. He is "the way and
there is no other way nor name given under Heaven whereby man can be
saved in the Kingdom of God." (2 Nephi 31:21)

I love you all so much and am so thankful for your love, support and
goodness in my life. I cannot express it enough how much I love you
all. Also, another big blessing... after a long day I received a
darling envelope in the mail from my best friend Hermana Piggott and
tears came to my eyes as I read her sweet words. This was another
great reminder to me of how blessed I am to have such wonderful people
& friendships in my life. Hermana Piggott, I love you so so much. Fam,
I still cannot wait for you to meet her in real life. She is the
absolute best and I couldn't love or adore her more. I think you all
already know that but I can't say it enough. Also, I got to talk to
Hermana Richards on the phone for a minute today and I loved hearing
from her as well. Hermana Richards is one of the best people I know
and I couldn't love her more either. I miss those two every single day
& I sincerely have the best friends ever. These two will forever be
close to me too. Heavenly Father loves me so much to have placed them
in my life. Oh how blessed am I. 


I love you all more than all of the stars in the sky and I want you to
know I truly would and will do anything & everything for each &
everyone of you. Thank you for being my loved ones.

Con todo de mi amor,

Hermana Barth

Other quick updates.... (These are super important for you, Hermana Piggott)

SAD UPDATE: I unfortunately found out this morning, during branch
council, that Hermano Montero from my Gridley branch passed away last
night. He had 7 heart attacks and didn't make it. I am so sad. No
words can express Hermano Montero and I may have mentioned him in
earlier emails as a very loud member in our branch.. he always would
yell out things during Sunday School or even Sacrament meeting, but he
had the biggest heart and I really always enjoyed him very much. Well
anyways, his dear wife Imelda is ohh so dear to me as well and I am so
sad for her. She is one of the strongest ladies I know of though but
please keep the Montero family in your prayers!! I still cannot
believe Fidel, Hermano Montero, is gone. I heard him bear his
testimony just a few weeks ago and I can still perfectly hear him say
very loudly (which he said every single time I saw him) "HOOOOLA
HERMANA!! ¿CÓMO ESTA?" Oh, it breaks my heart. The branch will
definitely not be the same without him.

FUNNY UPDATE: (to lighten the mood) I finally taught a Punjab!!! We
have a neighbor in our apartment complex, named Sahil, straight from
India.. and he is Hindu/Punjabi and he wanted us to teach him!! So we
did! His English is not the greatest so I am not positive all that he
got out of the lesson but Hermana Piggott used to always say if she
were to baptize a Punjab her mission would be complete (joke haha) but
I actually taught one and it was wonderful!! There are soooo many
Punjab's here but barely any of them speak English so it was awesome.
And also, during our lesson his darling mother, in her full-on Indian
attire, cooked us all this Indian food and it was amazing!!!! I hadn't
tasted anything like it on my mission and it was soo good. She didn't
know a lick of English either but was so smiley and sweet to us. It
was the best!! Haha oh, and also Sahil invited me to go to India with
him for his Sister's wedding... I told him I couldn't and he told me
how I must experience an Indian wedding. Yeah, no words to describe
Sahil. But he is very very nice. Great neighbor. Also, he said some
pretty inspirational quotes that I wrote down.... "We are not here to
focus on ourselves. We are here to focus on others." ... "My heart is
God. Without my heart, I cannot live. So without God, I cannot live."

Okay, time to go bowling!! Oh yes. This zone goes bowling for free
every Monday (a member owns an alley) and it is soo much fun. We went
last week and I loved it so much. Also, one of the Elders in my new
zone, Elder Clayburn, is from Pleasant Grove and is friends with
Hermana Howe!!!!! My other most favorite Hermana. Pretty fun to make
that connection. Okay, adios!

Oh!! And there are so many exciting events coming up at home!!!
Abigail's graduation!! David & Hailey's wedding (there invitation is
absolutely flawless and perfect by the way... such a gorgeous
couple... couldn't stop looking at it) haha tell them congrats from me
and that I love them both!! And then Miss Abigail Louise's birthday a
week from today!!!! Soo exciting! I'll write more next week on that.
But make sure to send this missionary plenty of pictures from these
special and important events so I can feel somewhat apart of the
celebrations haha love you all.

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