Monday, August 11, 2014

life is beautiful

Hello my loveliest family!!

How are all of you!? Well, I am not exactly sure what to say about
this past week but let's see....

1. I finally had a personal interview with President Marston! It was
amazing!! He is incredible!! He was very complimentary, sweet, loving,
easy going and I already love him so much! We had a wonderful
interview and I have already learned so much from him. He is pretty
different from President Weston, of course - two completely different
people - but with that, I am learning all sorts of new things!! I feel
so blessed to experience two mission presidents! President Marston
already has a big place in my heart like President Weston does and I
am very excited to get to know him more!! He is the sweetest!!! He is
very very personal, intimate and thoughtful too which I love. For
example: we send him an email every week and he has emailed me back
every single week thus far!! And his emails are the nicest!! Haha
today's was kinda funny too. So I told him how I had actually always
wanted to serve with both Hermana Lee & Hermana Briggs so I feel as
though I am killing two birds with one stone and he said, "Dear Sister
Barth, You mentioned killing two birds with one stone. Please don't
kill my two lovely missionaries. Just kidding, they are not like birds
anyway." Haha I love his sense of humor. And then he is so nice and
said, "I mentioned how appreciative Sister Marston and I are of
missionaries who take the time to look happy, look attractive (neat
and clean and sharp), and have a confidence about them. Let me again
thank you for that. As to the trio---I really believe it can prove to
be an amazing force for good. Three dynamic and faithful sisters doing
the work of the Lord at the same time with the same spirit and also
acting as ONE is surely to provide the mission with miracles, stories
of faith and success, and prove that not only can two people get along
in a companionship but three can do as well. Thank you, thank you.
Love and best regards, President Marston" ... I love him!! Also, how
darling is this.. he gave me a little silver heart necklace charm and
said that since he can't hug us sisters, whenever I need a hug from
him... I can squeeze the heart charm. And then he also gave me a
silver anchor charm and said it represents my faith. "Wherefore, whoso
believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even
a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh
an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and
steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
- Ether 12:4 ... I love President Marston so much!!! Also, I got to
have a good long chat with Sister Marston before & after my interview.
She is soo darling and amazing as well. Mom, I feel like you would get
along with her very well. Actually, come to think of it ... I think
both of you, mom & dad, would get along with President & Sister
Marston very well. They both remind me of you both. Also, she told me
they have a place in Bear Lake!! Salt Water condos or something like
that?? I can't remember exactly but I recognized the name and could
picture the area ... Fun connection! We both love Bear Lake!!
2. Our investigators are still progressing!! Maria's date may have to
be pushed back a week because she didn't come to church yesterday and
we found out her mom hasn't been very supportive of her being baptized
and she wants her mother's blessing, so we are working with her ...
But she, her mom Ana, loves us sisters and even made us beautiful
doilies (do you know what those are?? I'll send you a picture of Ana
holding them to her as a skirt - all Mexican old ladies make them and
have them all over there houses) and they always feed us when we're
teaching them ... So we have a very good relationship with them both
but we just need to get Ana on board. Haha she is a riot though, she's
this hard working, hard headed lady that even admits it and will say
quite often, "Soy negativo, soy negativo" haha so anyways, more
updates to come! Cecilia & her family and Amparo & her family are
progressing too but they still need to come to church!!!! Hopefully
I'll have more updates on them next week ... and everyone else is
doing well! Including our thug Amparo. Haha I love her sooo much!! I
need to send you a picture of us with her. She is so rough & tough on
the outside but we're digging into her soft side ... love the woman.
3. We did tons of service this past week which was wonderful! Every
week we do 2 hours of service at a local food pantry that is stationed
at the Lutheran church in town and it's awesome. I have had quite a
few casual chats with the Pastor too which has been pretty cool. He's
a very very nice guy and I am happy we can serve together. We also
painted the inside of a trailer which was pretty fun!! Haha there are
a lot of trailer parks around these parts. One in Yuba was called
"roll-a-home" haha classic!
4. Hermana Briggs & I spoke in church yesterday! We were asked to
speak on covenants and so Hermana Briggs spoke on "making" covenants
and I spoke on the importance of "keeping" & "honoring" the covenants
we make. It was pretty fun to speak together and our congregation is
quite small so I didn't have an ounce of nerves! I loved it! I love
speaking in church in Spanish too ... it is so much fun!!! I'm going
to miss that.
5. Our trio is still going amazing and we are honestly having too much
fun. Haha it has been the best time!! I love Hermana Briggs & Hermana
Lee sooo much and we honestly are the best of friends. We talk about
it all the time too haha. Pretty much every single night we have the
best pillow talk and out of the blue last night Hermana Lee said,
"Hermanas, do you know how much I love you??? I love you both so much.
And will you please never forget it??" Then she started getting on our
beds and Hermana Briggs was screaming, "you're breaking the white
handbook!!!" Which says ... "If you live in an apartment with more
than one room, always sleep in the same room as your companion, but
not in the same bed." Hahaha we are such nerds!!!!!! But then Hermana
Briggs & I joined in and we were all saying how our tripanionship is
such a blessing and that we are the luckiest missionaries ever!! Haha
we are the cheesiest but honestly, these Hermanas are amazing and I am
learning soooo much from them every single day. Haha everyone is
constantly serving one another in this tripanionship and there are
compliments flying left & right at all times, everyone took President
Marston's advice on being "more patient, more kind & more loving" to
the extreme but hey, looks like it's working out because we really all
could not get along better and I am soo happy!!! We also now all have
brand new wardrobes - one huge closet full of our clothes, we share -
haha so great!! I love my loveliest Hermanas!! I am crossing my
fingers we get to stay together next transfer as well. They are
amazing and incredible missionaries!!!! I am so blessed!
6. Fun facts:
- We died Hermana Lee's hair last p-day!! Haha I have now died hair
twice on my mission. Calee would be so proud!!
- We are living off of Horchata and I couldn't be happier about it.
- We are very diligent in exercising each morning. Hermana Lee has us
wake up every morning at 5:45 to start working out at 6!! Some morning
we run a few miles at a track behind our home and the we do some other
things as well. I'm so lucky I have companions that are so dedicated!!
I can't lie and say some mornings I wouldn't be just fine sleeping in
till 6:30 hahaha but I am always thrilled we did something that
actually worked up a sweat!

Okay well I don't have much else to say for today!! I love you all
sooo much!!!!! Have a wonderful day & week and know that I am thinking
of and praying for you always.

The church is true. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all of my
heart. I love my Heavenly Father and Savior & Redeemer, Jesus Christ
more than I can express. My relationship with each of them has become
increasingly stronger & closer in this past year and I am so humbled
even thinking about the love I have for them and the great amount of
love I feel from them every single day. I will never be the same
because of it.

I also have learned how crucial and important prayer, scripture study,
meditating & pondering are. It is through these simple acts that we
are truly perfected & transformed.

"Sometimes people think those are such small things ... prayer,
immersing ourselves in the scriptures, pondering, meditating, how can
that really produce a significant difference in a persons life, but it
does. As small as those things may seem, how daily routine they
sometimes may seem to be, these are the things that day by day,
transform us."
- Elder Christofferson

I have grown such a strong love for praying, reading - studying -
analyzing - and pondering over the scriptures and meditating and I am
sooo thankful for the wonderful habits I have picked up of these
actions on my mission. We must make time to pray, study & read,
meditate and ponder every single day. We must continually move upwards
and grow closer to our Heavenly Father and becoming like His Beloved
Son, Jesus Christ. I crave each of these simple yet powerful acts and
can feel them constantly changing me.



Con amor y un gran abrazo,


Ps. I got Ben & Angelee's wedding & dinner invitation in the mail the
other day!! I was so excited. They are a gorgeous couple and I am sad
I'll be missing out on the special celebration but send my love their
way!! I still can't believe I have never even met Ben's fiancé -
future wife!! So excited to meet her. They are darling!! So sweet.

Oh, and I just found out you are in my Heaven!! Jackson Hole,
Wyoming!! Have sooo much fun and make sure to send me plenty of
pictures!! Tell everyone hello from me as well, give them all big hugs
from me and tell them I love you soo much!!!!!! Have fun hiking,
swimming at String Lake, river rafting, playing double nines, whiffle
ball, etc. and just spending precious time with those who mean the
world to me!!!! Teton Troopers!! Woot woot!!

Here is a picture of my darling trio with Sister Marston!! We wanted
one with President but he was busy interviewing everyone ... So soon I
will send you one of him!!! Isn't she the classiest lady though!? And
my companions are so pretty and wonderful. It goes Hermana Lee,
Hermana Briggs, Sister Marston and me!!

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