Monday, July 14, 2014

Una Vida Maravillosa

¡¡Hola mi querida y amorosa familia!!

¿Como están? Pues, tengo muchas cosas que quiero decirles ahorita y
necesito pensar sobre dónde quiero empezar...

  1. Last Tuesday I went to the Sacramento Temple!! With Hermana
Piggott, her companion Hermana Melchor, Sister Lewis and then
President & Sister Lopez!! Oh my goodness it was amazing!!! I honestly
could not have asked for a more perfect day. Being able to go to the
temple on my mission as a full-time missionary... there truly is
nothing like it. I hadn't been to the temple in about 9 months since I
went in Mexico City too so I was beyond thrilled to enter back into
the House of the Lord. It has been too long. And to be able to go with
my best friend, first companion in the field and trainer Hermana
Piggott... it truly was Heaven!!!! In fact, it really did feel like
Heaven. Or at least like I got a greater glimpse of what Heaven is
going to be like. "How far is Heaven? I testify that in the holy
temples it is not far at all ... for it is in these sacred places that
Heaven and earth meet and our Heavenly Father gives His children His
greatest blessings. As we touch the temple and love the temple, our
lives will reflect our faith. As we go to the holy house, as we
remember the covenants we make therein, we will be able to bear every
trial and overcome every temptation." - President Monson. I absolutely
love the temple and couldn't feel more grateful for the opportunity
and privilege I have to participate in the ordinances within it's
beautiful walls. "In the temple, the precious plan of God is taught.
It is in the temple that eternal covenants are made. The temple lifts
us, exalts us, stands as a beacon for all to see, and points us toward
celestial glory. It is the house of God. All that occurs within the
walls of the temple is uplifting and ennobling." - President Monson.
It is very humbling to me and I couldn't love the temple more. This
was definitely one of my most spiritual and special experiences I have
had in the temple as well. Part of that being how I was able to spend
a good amount of time, feeling completely peaceful & out of the world,
and talk about sacred topics, etc. in the Celestial room with my
dearest Hermana Piggott. I won't go into anymore detail than that but
the overall experience was one I will never ever forget. I hold it so
dear to me and I truly do now have a greater glimpse of what Heaven
will be like.
  2. It is official that I have now said goodbye to my dearest
President Weston. This goodbye was a lot harder than the others and
now I don't know how I thought I had said goodbye before this one...
ohhh President Weston. I know I have gone on & on about him in
multiple emails but I truly love, admire, respect and honor this man
more than I can say. So we had a "specialized zone training meeting"
which in reality was, "saying goodbye to the Weston's" haha that's how
President is though... always on purpose and has to make things
somewhat official. I love him!!!!! But so we had a wonderful meeting
with President & Sister Weston and the entire Weston family was there
actually. It was incredible and like the temple, an experience I will
never ever forget. President & Sister Weston spoke soo many inspiring
words, their last ones... and then they also had a period of time
where we did a "question & answer" type deal. We could ask them
anything we wanted. President said he wanted it to be as if we were
sitting in their living room haha. So, tons of questions were given
and of course they gave perfect answers to each one. There were a lot
of fun, light-hearted questions involved as well which I loved.
Including "their story" of how they met, etc. In which they met in the
8th grade, they were class officers together, sooo cute, and then they
were high school sweethearts, he went on his mission, came home &
proposed... and the rest is history. I love it so much!! And when they
were talking about it they were all smiles and awww it was so darling.
Sister Weston said, "he has always been my dear friend" and then she
went on about how wonderful of a husband, companion & father he is.
Ah, they are perfect & I love them both so much!!!! So anyways... fun
stuff like that. They gave tons of wonderful advice, for the mission &
marriage (out of the request of an Elder) etc. We all loved & embraced
every minute of it. Oh and dad he talked lots about when he was a
young missionary in Japan, made me think of you! And someone asked him
what the hardest thing for him was when he was a young missionary and
he said, leaving. And when he said it he got super choked up and
emotional as well. It made me get emotional!! Thinking about him
leaving and then myself leaving.... I can't do it. I already know it
is going to be so much harder leaving my mission than it was coming.
But anyways, then we sang together Called To Serve, God Be With You
Till We Meet Again & then the California Roseville Mission song!!! So,
I teared up singing all of them and then the tears really started to
come when we lastly sang our mission song and President Weston had
tears rolling down his cheeks... it ripped my heart out. And I have
sang that mission song sooo many times now with him and other
missionaries at meetings, etc. so this time it really hit me that my
time with him as my mission president was coming to an end. It is so
sad!!!!! I love him so much!!!!! And I need to send you all the lyrics
to our mission song sometime, I used to think it was cheesy but now I
think it is soooo precious & wonderful and you need to hear it sung. I
love it!! But so that was hard. Then we all got to shake his hand, and
hug Sister Weston. Along with the rest of the cutest Weston family.
Well, when I hugged a Sister Weston I couldn't hold in the tears and
then as soon as I shook President Weston's hand and looked him in the
eyes and saw his eyes full of tears.... I completely lost control of
my tears and it was so hard. He said the sweetest words to me too and
told me how much he loved me and I told him he has changed my life.
Sounds cheesy but he truly has. He then told me I will be seeing two
people who look strangely identical to him & Sister Weston at my
homecoming, haha and I told him you, my family, will be going to his
homecoming and he said he looks forward to meeting you!! I hope you
all can go!!!!! I promise you will not regret it. And if anything, go
for me! But so that was incredible. I can't believe he is already
leaving. And today at 12 ... so in about 30 minutes President Marston
will officially be set apart as my new mission president. Big things
are changing here in the California Roseville Mission!!!!!! (the best
mission in the world) so that's my update there. Adios a mi amoroso
Presidente. Hasta Utah!!!!!!!!!
  3. Updates with our most progressing investigators!! The Vargas
family! Well so first off, Beatriz and her two darling daughters,
Briana & Evelyn came to volleyball on Friday night here in Yuba!! And
although us missionaries couldn't play, they had soo much fun!!! It
was also wonderful because while Beatriz & Briana were playing.... I
played with Evelyn who is in a motorized wheelchair (the coolest). And
I was really grateful for that time I got with her. She is handicapped
because of a stroke she experienced as a baby, however she
communicates very well and could not be more darling. I had sooo much
fun with her. We were singing, she chased me around in her motorized
chair, I tried to race her but she creamed me every time.... hahaha,
and we just laughed & laughed and I love her so much. I feel just like
Beatriz when she said she is her little angelita. Also, randomly we
were talking about names and Evelyn, only knowing me as Hermana Barth,
said her favorite name is Emilie!!!! And when I told her that is my
first name she was soooo happy! Pretty cool if you ask me. I love my
little Evelyn. Also, we had an amazing lesson the next day with
Beatriz & Evelyn wanted to listen as well. Hermana Pedroza came with
us, they got to meet at volleyball the night before, and it was so
special. We taught the Plan of Salvation and I truly felt the spirit
burning inside of me while giving me constant chills on the outside
the entire time. It was amazing. Beatriz loved it so much and one part
that was soo special to me... was she had Hermana Hughes & I tell
Evelyn about the resurrection and when she'll be able to run, walk,
etc. one day. I read to her Alma 40:23, "The soul shall be restored to
the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint
shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not
be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect
frame." And afterwards as we talked about it a little more we all got
a little emotional, as did sweet Evelyn. It was such a tender moment
for me and I don't know if I have ever felt more grateful for the
knowledge I have of the resurrection. So it was overall so amazing and
I was sad Antonio wasn't there... he was with his brothers because we
were there at noon on a Saturday... and he had just gotten back from
San Fran... but hopefully we'll see him next week. And we invited
Beatriz to be baptized again and she still wants to read from the Book
of Mormon more and know of a surety it's what Heavenly Father wants.
But we know she will keep reading, she reads all of our reading
homework haha and she'll pray too. I know she has already received her
answer too, from how she says she feels while we teach, while she
reads from the Book of Mormon, etc. we just need to help her recognize
it. More updates to come next week!! Also, they didn't come to church
again but Beatriz keeps trying to convince Briana to come... she's
being the struggle.
  4. We had a really awesome miracle happen the other night. So it was
8:30, we have to be home by 9 unless we're in the middle of the
lesson... and we didn't know where to go. We tried a few less-actives
homes, I don't like bothering people we don't know that late (I've had
bad experiences in the past.... haha) and so anyways, I kept saying in
my head and aloud, "Who really needs us right now, who needs us right
now" and was praying in my heart to know too. Well, Hermana Hughes was
on top of it and suggested trying to visit Maria Salud. I clearly
remembered her telling us she wouldn't be back from Mexico till later
in July, but I had a feeling to drive by anyways.... well, as we were
driving by we saw her oldest daughter Eli outside watering her moms
plants. We pulled up, said hello... asked how she was, when her mom
would be back, etc. and to my surprise, she asked if we could talk to
her for a little. She is a less-active and supposedly hasn't been to
church in years & years so this was a miracle in itself. She then
talked to us a little bit about her brother, who's in a mental
hospital right now... we visited him a couple of weeks ago... and then
we showed her the Mormon message "Mountains to Climb." She had tears
during the whole video and it made her break down a little. Afterwards
she then said it was exactly what she needed to hear and we then got
into a discussion about faith and Heavenly Father's love for her & all
of His children. Well, long story short... she completely opened up to
us and told us how she has going through a really hard time but has
been constantly praying. She then said she had felt as though God was
tired of hearing her prayers & cries but then us missionaries showed
up, which was clear evidence that he was helping answer them. She then
continued to say, "I know that God works in mysterious ways... but
this truly was a miracle that you two showed up tonight." How amazing.
This was such a huge miracle and I know that God is truly mindful of
each and everyone of His children and their specific needs. "I never
cease to be amazed by how the Lord can motivate and direct the length
and breadth of His kingdom and yet have time to provide inspiration
concerning one individual." - President Monson. I am so thankful that
Hermana Hughes and I were on purpose and able to respond to the
inspiration we received. It was a blessing that those other people we
had tried to visit weren't home and that the spirit guided us to
someone who needed us desperately. Incredible. I couldn't feel more
privileged or humbled to be such a tool in the Lord's hands. I also
learned to never ignore promptings and to always be on purpose so that
I can hear & recognize them!! Also, I felt prompted to talk to her
about reading from her scriptures again and she didn't know where hers
were so we gave her all new ones and challenged her to start reading
ever night. She accepted the books, the challenge and expressed her
sincere gratitude for our love & help. That was such a heart warming
experience for me and I left feeling very uplifted and humbled.
  5. Fun updates on my recent converts/angels: Jesus went to scout
camp for a week which was a miracle!! He was super down and bummed out
right before apparently because he was needing to babysit little Maria
during the week of camp, but ladies in the branch stepped in and
watched her for the days he was at camp and made it so that he was
able to go!!! Everyone said it was amazing and so humbling to see how
much it meant to him & how much he appreciated that experience. He
absolutely loved it and he also was ordained a Priest last Sunday!! He
is so awesome and growing up like crazy! Then Yamara is doing awesome.
Still the cutest thing in the world and going to go to girls camp with
all the Young Women soon. I love it! Then for Marcella, right now she
has to work on Sundays... her shift got changed, bummer I know, but
hopefully she gets them back soon to go to church ever week. And she
is having her little baby boy in about a month now!! Crazy! Then for
Any & Maria. First off, Any has a calling and is teaching in Relief
Society!! She just had her first lesson and said she loved it!! Wasn't
nervous at all and loved preparing the lesson & teaching it. She
seriously is the most golden/solid new convert & member!! I love her!!
And I got to see them at volleyball on Friday night up here in Yuba
City which was the best!! I got to sit and chat with them for a little
while actually and it made me so happy. I especially got to chat with
Any for awhile and that was sooo much fun. After I introduced her to
Beatriz and told her how we found her... we started talking about when
we found Any and she told me her side of the story more. She said how
when we knocked she was exhausted from work and didn't know if she was
going to answer the door... but then she looked through the peephole,
saw us, and had a feeling come over her that she needed to open the
door. Then as I began talking to her she said she had another strong
feeling come over her to let us in and hear what we had to say.. which
had never happened to her before. She said she had had many other
people from other church (mainly JW's I'm assuming) come to her door
before but we were the first she ever let inside. Amazing. And then
she said right then & there, during our first lesson, she knew all we
were saying was true and thatbshe wanted to belong to our church.
That's why she accepted our invitation for baptism so readily.
Incredible!!! And then we talked about her beautiful baptism day and
everything. While we were reminiscing over these memories too her eyes
would fill up with tears and mine got a little teared up as well. I
really love her soo much!! And I was telling her how a lot of
missionaries doubt tracting or don't like it, but I always had a lot
of faith in it for some reason and enjoyed it because of that and now
I know exactly why. Her & Maria were the reason why. Heavenly Father
knew that was the way we were going to find these specifically
prepared individuals. I feel so humbled. I also printed out a ton of
pictures I have for them, from their baptism and other pictures I have
of them with Hermana Richards & I, etc. and sent them to her a couple
of weeks ago and she said she will just look at them sometimes and see
our happy, smiling faces & cry. I love her!!!! So that was amazing!!
Everyone in my little town of Gridley is doing wonderful!
   6. I have the greatest news!!!! Carolina is getting baptized!!!!!!!
I don't know if you all remember her but her husband is Pedro, who is
a member in Gridley, and she is Yamara's aunt!!! Well, Hermana Piggott
and I taught her a little and then Hermana Richards & I taught her a
ton & all of the lessons. Along with doing service with her, we
cleaned her house with Yamara haha, and we taught her son a little too
(drunk Miguel ring a bell??? haha) but anyways... she has had a ton of
health problems and right before I left Gridley she was having extreme
health problems and couldn't make it to church because of it... but
they got permission to let her only come to church once before being
baptized and she will be baptized this Saturday!!! I'm not sure if
I'll be able to go.... unfortunately... but I am so excited!!!!! Pedro
has been wanting & praying for this for sooo long and it's Yamara's
aunt & uncle so that helps her too! It's wonderful!!! I love my
Carolina. I got super close to her and I have sooo many good stories
about her. She's great! And she's the one who would always break out
into song during our lessons... haha I love her!!
  7. This past week on top of the meeting with President Weston, my
temple trip, etc. we spent a ton of time looking for new
investigators!! We went tracting a ton, did little fun tracting
adventures with las otras hermanas también, went tracting with our
less-active José again, and some of the Pedroza's... so we spent a lot
of time searching & talking to new people. We need new
investigators!!!! And one day we drove out, with the other Hermanas,
to a new area President Weston recently opened up called Robbins. It's
a teeny, tiny town outside of Yuba and it has never been tracted. So I
think there is great potential!! That was a lot of fun and something
very beautiful there was there was a gigantic field of sunflowers in
the area. It truly was a sea of sunflowers and absolutely
breathtaking. I have pictures, don't worry!!! But yeah... we are
spending a lot of time looking for new people!! We got a couple of new
investigators but we need more!!!!
  8. Fun fact. I went to my first quinceañera!! The huge, extravagant
party the Mexican/Catholic culture puts on for 15 year old girls. It's
pretty much a wedding reception without the groom. And it's a party
that usually nobody can ever afford to put on but they do because it's
a huge tradition. Haha it was crazy!!!! So anyways, we went for dinner
because it was for a girl from our branch and it was pretty fun!!!
There were mariachi bands and everything. Haha it was quite the
experience!! I'll never forget it! Also, I saw lots of members from
Gridley which was fun!! The Mexicans are a blast and definitely know
how to throw a good party!! Hahaha

 Okay, well I better send this off!!! Sorry I am not able to send any
of my spiritual thoughts or anything. I don't have enough time. But I
hope you all have a wonderful day & week!! Especially Scotty & Ang
because it is their BIRTHDAY tomorrow!!!!!!! Happy Happy Birthday you
two!!! I love you both SO much. FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!!!! Also, it's Elder
Haller's Birthday this upcoming week too!!!! And the 4th of July!!!!!!
Happy Independence Day everyone!!!!!!!! What a wonderful week of


con amor,


Ps. our family & friends softball team sounds soooo fun!!!! I love how
you are undefeated too!!! That's what I like to hear!! A family of
ATHLETES!!! Haha you're lucky I am not there or I would probably ruin
your streak.... I am still joining next summer though. And the fact
that it is called TEAM HELEN!!!!! Amazing!!! I love hearing about it
and seeing all of the pictures. Especially of the MVP, the beautiful
Helen Louise herself, in her TEAM HELEN SHIRT!!!! With Idaho on it....
Haha it is too good!!!! I love our family!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are all the

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