Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Loveliest of Times

My loveliest & most beautiful family in the world!!

      How are all of you!? Mom & dad ... I am so excited to hear all
about your adventures in Germany, Austria & Switzerland! Dad told me a
little bit last week, sounded just as perfect as I imagined! I am not
sure if there is anywhere more lovely. I am so happy you two have been
able to enjoy that adventure together. It makes me very happy! And
it's about time mom got to visit the homeland as well. Also, I am soo
sad to hear about sweet uncle Helmut. My heart breaks for the family
and I immediately thought of Janine (Sister Shaefer) and grandma. Is
there anyway you could get me Sister Shaefer's mission address?? And
grandma mentioned the passing in her letter to me that I just
received. Ohh, I love my German uncles. They are so darling and I will
never forget eating cookies with Helmut & Barbara in Germany with you
dad. I am so happy I've been able to meet him. Please send grandma my
love & I'll write her back today. I sent her 2 letters just barely,
including a Birthday card and she wrote me back so fast. She really is
the best writer I could ask for! #1 pen pal. I love her so much. Also,
will you please wish my dearest g-ma, the beautiful Helen Louise, a
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY from me as well!!! I have been thinking about her
all day long and love her more than words. She is the most incredible,
spunky, sharp, fun, loving and overall amazing 93 year old in the
entire world!!!!!! I love my g-ma!!! I brag about her all the time too
and ohh I love her so much. Haha one of my favorite things to tell
people is that at her age she still makes sure to go to every BYU
basketball & football game and how just 2 years ago she spent all day
in Disneyland with us and was riding all of the rides including Tower
of Terror, California Screamin, etc. Actually, those are her two
favorite rides! Along with "It's a Small World" too of course. Ohhh
she is so so amazing. I love her soo much & I'll be sending her a
Birthday card today as well!

     Well, we had transfers, yet again!! So crazy!! They actually were
the CRAZIEST transfer calls too but I won't get into all of that right
now. Someday I'll have to tell you all about it. But as for me, I am
still staying in Orland!! I am soo happy! I definitely did not feel
ready to leave this wonderful place and leave behind all of the
incredible people we're working with right now. I love them all far
too much and again, I simply was not ready to leave them yet. Also, I
did not want to get booted after only 2 transfers like I was in Yuba
City. However, for some reason my 2 transfers here have felt even
quicker than my time spent in Yuba. Time is flying by faster &
faster!! It's crazy! Also, I get to officially kill off Hermana
Piggott!!! Not that the killing off part is exciting but this is her
last transfer of her mission and I get to spend it with her!! That
alone makes me soo happy. I dreamed of being the one to send her off
right from the beginning and it's now happening! I also have grown to
love, appreciate and adore her even more in this past transfer we've
spent together (I know, I didn't think it would be possible either)
and I am so happy to be serving here with my best friend. Life is
wonderful. And regarding the darling Hermana Briggs, she is going back
to Gridley! She was only there for a week before she joined Hermana
Lee & I up here so she is heading back there and training while doing
so!! I am so excited for her and know she will absolutely love
Griddles and it will love her right back. She is going to be perfect
for the branch & people there. I am so happy my little precious town
and people will be under good hands!!!! However, I am going to miss
having her as a companion as well. Hermana Briggs is an outstanding
missionary & person. She is sincerely one of the nicest, sweetest,
most Christlike, selfless and charitable people I know of. She is
always thinking of others and has made such a big impact on me. I want
to be more like Hermana Briggs and I am so lucky for the time I have
had to spend with her and the friendship we now have. It means so much
to me, she means soo much to me and I am excited for our friendship to
continue on after the mission as well!! She has applied for BYU so I
hope she gets in and we can see each other all of the time! I'm
crossing my fingers!! But really, I could not feel more blessed for
the companions and incredible ladies I have had the opportunity and
privilege of serving with! They are so so dear to me. I love my
Hermanas. And as for some updates ....
     1. We got Mercedes on date yesterday!!!! She will be getting
baptized on October 25th!!! Which happens to be her Birthday as well.
We have another one wanting to be baptized on her Birthday, I love
it!!! We had invited her preciously to pray to know if she should be
baptized or not, we told her to really focus on how she felt while she
prayed - see if she felt confused & discontent or at peace, warm,
good, etc. - well, yesterday as we got to the step of baptism during
our lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she told us how she had
prayed about it and really really wants to be baptized! She has
received her own personal answer from Heavenly Father!! She said she
didn't feel one bit confused or uncomfortable while praying &
pondering about baptism but felt & still feels very good, warm,
comforted and at peace with it. She now says she cannot wait to be
baptized and is soo excited!! As are we!! She also mentioned how she
feels so ready for it & all along I have known that. She is very very
prepared and an amazing girl. I am so excited for her upcoming
baptism!! Also, Mercedes is 14 years old if any of you forgot. I love
these darling young teenage girls who are willing & ready to follow
the Savior, Jesus Christ! Also, her sister Ana, who is only 12 and a
recent convert, is progressing soo much and we invited her to pray
every single morning & night for a personal progress goal and she has
been! Mercedes told us that the other night they were talking in her
bed and as they were falling asleep, Ana said, "this may sound weird,
but I always pray before I go to sleep" and she said a prayer for the
both of them. This is huge huge progress for her and really touched
Mercedes heart. They are such darling girls and I love teaching them!
     2. The Campos family is still amazing. I honestly love them soo
much and already feel right at home when I enter their home. It's
amazing. They are the sweetest & most loving people I know. We were
fortunate enough to get to have dinner with them on Thursday too and
it was so fun! The food was incredible, of course - authentic, in the
kitchen, Mexican food is heavenly - and then we got to spend some more
time with the family we love so much. Along with teaching them the
gospel. I loved it!! Also, Lorena's parents joined us which made it
even better. Then Lorena honestly could not be sweeter and I am
obsessed with little Eric & Alexis. They are two of the most adorable
little boys I have ever seen!! So again, things are still going
wonderful with them except we just found out some troubling but
fixable news. While teaching briefly about temples the other night,
Lorena told us that her and Alfredo aren't married. As she told us
this she got super hesitant though and said she doesn't feel right
about it and feels as if she is sinning. She then asked us if we
believed she was and as we explained the importance of marriage,
family, etc. she said lately she has been having that feeling inside
that she's doing something wrong, so fortunately she is aware of how
it is not good and not what God's wants. She then continued to tell us
how her and Alfredo have been together for 10 years now and he tells
her he wants to be married all of the time. We haven't met him yet but
this just gave us another reason to love him. Usually it's the other
way around. But yeah from all we've heard he is an incredible man and
really has his head on straight. She then told us that she doesn't
know why, but she has always been hesitant towards making things
official. As we kept talking about it though she was explaining how
amazing of a father he is, how wonderful he is to her, how incredible
of a man he is and it became very clear how in love they are with one
another and I think it was clicking in her mind that she needs to
marry him. That she is ready to marry him. That she wants to marry
him. Of course, we invited her to really ponder over this, as for it
is a serious matter, and to take it to our Heavenly Father in prayer
but I know she's ready. Us Hermanas agreed afterwards that it appeared
as though she received her answer while discussing it with us. We all
believe it will happen very soon. Especially with her now wanting to
be baptized and knowing that they'll have to be married before that's
possible. She said she would pray about it though and after that we
all started talking about the wedding. Haha us Hermanas told her we
could help her with everything, Alex said he would be the ring bearer
& Eric could throw the rose petals haha and then she became all smiles
and joked saying Alfredo better be making enough money in Montana to
pay for it all! Haha soo our now biggest goal is to get them
married!!!!! Then they can be baptized and a year later be sealed in
the temple as an eternal family. Ohhh I cannot imagine anything better
and if any family is prepared for such covenants, it's this one. They
are soo darling & special!!!!! During this discussion Alexis also
said, "They are still boyfriend & girlfriend and have kids!" he was
expressing how that's not right (this little boy is soo impressive)
and I think that hit her and then we asked little Eric what he loved
about his family and he said in the cutest little voice, "porque son
míos" ... "because they are mine." So so cute! Also, Eric said his
first prayer by himself this past week which could not have been more
precious. We were so proud of Him and I knew Heavenly Father was
beaming with happiness from above. But yeah, and Lorena even mentioned
how she does want an eternal family and knows her kids both need their
dad & mom forever. So, I know it will happen. How exciting! A wedding
& baptism! I've always heard about these but never had one myself! So
we most likely will be moving their October 26th date back, Alfredo
isn't coming home for another 2 weeks now, and we have to whip out a
wedding before anyone will be getting in the baptismal font ... but I
have faith that it will happen sooner than later!!!!!! Ohh I will do
anything for this family!!!! I love them so much. So I will keep you
updated on them but as of now, will each of you please please pray for
them! Pray that Lorena & Alfredo will get married and then baptized.
Along with Alexis & Lorena's parents being baptized as well. This
family is ready for the blessings & happiness that comes from the
gospel! And they deserve it more than anyone.
     3. This week we did sooo much service. I am not kidding when I
say it was at least up to 20 hours. We painted Maria's kitchen (still
need to finish it) ... the family room, kitchen & laundry room in the
Whitaker's brand new home they just moved into, we helped them fully
move into their home on Saturday, had our weekly service at the food
pantry and then last Saturday (which I forgot to mention last Monday)
we did service at Black Butte Lake! We painted lots of campsite signs
& numbers, etc. So anyways ... we have been doing all kinds of stuff
and it has been so much fun!!!!! I honestly have never loved doing
service more in my life. It's amazing! I know missionary work alone is
service but doing more physically demanding service is a nice change.
We were talking about it the other day and missionary work, for us
here in California (outside of the Country is different), is mainly
mentally & emotionally exhausting. Since we have a car, it's not
necessarily physically exhausting unless we're out walking all day,
but tiring in a different way. So it feels good to do physical labor
and let our minds somewhat be at ease for a little. To be honest, my
mind is always going 100 miles per hour as a missionary, but it still
has felt very nice & therapeutic.
     4. For the beautiful ladies, wasn't the General Women's
Conference incredible? I can't lie. I was sooo excited for it that as
soon as it started and showed the Conference Center, I got tears in my
eyes and then the tears kept coming back ... including when the
adorable Korean children sang "I love to see the temple." My heart was
so full and all that was said from the talks touched me more than I
can say. I won't go into many details, you all watched it and received
your own personal revelation from it, and I think all men should read
the talks as well ... but I did indeed leave the Conference feeling
uplifted, changed, inspired and so very special. What has stuck with
me the very most though is the knowledge I have that I am a precious
child of God. I am one of His heavenly daughters. I have a divine
purpose and through the sacred covenants I have made, I will be able
to accomplish this purpose and reach my full potential. I will be able
to be exalted, become like my Father in Heaven and dwell in His
presence forever. Alongside my dearest family. I also have been
thinking very deeply about the covenants I have made and all that I
must do to keep, honor & cherish them. I feel so privileged for the
opportunity I have had to enter into the temple, the House of The
Lord, as one of His guests and make these promises with my dearest
Heavenly Father. It is so special to me and I will do all I can to
continue to look towards the temple and keep the covenants I have
made. My desire is to attend the temple once a week when I am home as
well. I know it may seem a lot but I can easily take 3 hours out of my
week for things as important as helping others receive these
ordinances, gaining a greater understanding of the gospel, my Father's
plan, His nature and my purpose here on the earth and also growing
closer to my Father, my Savior and receiving more of the spiritual
nourishment I need so very much. I absolutely love the temple and am
so excited to enter in there again with each of you when I return
home! You are all welcome to join me whenever you please.

    Everything is amazing, I am so happy, my heart is continually soo
full and I love each of you more than you can possibly imagine!!!

The countdown till General Conference begins!!!! I hope you all are
half as excited as I am!!!!!! I seriously cannot wait!!!!!!!

Ps. Before Conference I suggest you all reading the talk by Elder
Holland from the April 2011 General Conference called, "An Ensign to
the Nations." You won't regret it!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Barth

Also, in regards of Hermana Briggs leaving us ... I am sending a few
pictures of me & her! I love her so much!!! Already missing this red
headed beauty. (Also, she is a definite sleeping beauty - looks
gorgeous while she's asleep too! Haha)

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