Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dia De Las Gracias!


     Oh my goodness this past week has been INCREÍBLE!!! We seriously
witnessed soo many miracles and I am soo happy!! I have so much to
say, as always ... but really it has been such an amazing week!! First
off, I absolutely adore my companion, she seriously could not be more
darling & we get along PERFECTLY - how have I been so unbelievably
blessed in the companion department?? Heavenly Father has put me with
all of my best friends! Sure, we didn't technically know each other
before the mission but I am positive we were best friends in the
Spirit World & probably discussed how we would do the work of The Lord
together on the earth. I just feel such a connection with each of the
Hermanas I have been companions with. They are all literally Heaven
sent and a perfect match for me. After each perfect companion I have
gotten too I have wondered when the crazy, lazy or hard companion was
coming my way - I was sure I would get at least one of them because
most missionaries do right?? - but now I can officially say that that
has not been the case for me in the slightest. I have only gotten best
friends as my companions. SINCERELY. I am the absolute luckiest!! So
anyways, Hermana Cluff & I are a perfect duo and having the time of
our lives together. I absolutely love witnessing her first experiences
in the mission field as well and just helping her set the tone for her
mission experience. Haha I am pretty sure she thinks I am the giddiest
human alive because I always get soooo excited talking about the work,
the people we're teaching and just life in general. I am a happy kid &
absolutely love life. That's all there is to it. But I love it and can
already tell she is catching on to the joy of the mission! I am so
happy!! Ps. For an example of how incredible she is. Today she passed
a kidney stone and now she is currently in the process of passing
more. She has passed kidney stones since she was 12 and she passed 22
in one week in the MTC!!! And you would have no idea. She has been in
bed pretty much all of today, besides studies, but she hasn't
complained once and says she is used to the pain. Is that crazy or
what!?! I am beyond impressed. She is such a champ and so strong. I
love her so much!! And anyways, we just have seen so many miracles
this past week and I am going to tell you a little about what has
happened ....

     1. Marcos. We had two wonderful lessons with him this past week.
We finished el Plan de Salvación and then taught him La Restauración.
Both lessons ended up going wonderful however, he definitely loved
drilling us with questions and testing our knowledge. During our
Restoration lesson he asked question after question (don't get me
wrong - we love questions) but fortunately we were able to satisfy his
concerns & wonders. I also referred back to the Book of Mormon very
often and kept testifying to him that the way he can know if our
messages are true or not truly come from having a testimony of the
Book of Mormon. So I invited him multiple times to read from the Book
of Mormon and do as is said in Moroni's promise ... Moroni 10:3-5. He,
fortunately, agreed to and then quickly got quite serious on us. As I
was expressing to him how he needs to not only read from the Book of
Mormon and ask our Heavenly Father if the messages the book contains &
we teach are true, but do so with a sincere heart, real intent, having
faith in Christ ... he turned to me and said, "Look ... I am taking
this serious & doing it sincerely. You are the first missionaries I
have ever listened to & invited back to teach me. However, if I do as
you say and read this entire book, pray to God and feel the same ... I
am going to be very disappointed & upset." Wow. It was intense. That
was then when Hermana Cluff was able to bear strong testimony that we
are confident he will receive in answer if he does as is asked. It is
a promise from God and God does not lie. Soo ... we are really looking
forward to teaching him more and now know he is taking it dead dog
serious!!! (Hermana Cluff makes fun of me for saying dead dog before a
lot of things - now that I think about it, that is a horrible saying.
Especially after what I witnessed with Hermana Hughes!! Ahhh!)
     2. This past week we had lots of lessons with the Campos family!!
We even put Lorena & Alexis back on date for January 3rd!! The day
before Yamara was baptized last year!! So they are still fully on
board but we haven't been able to teach Alfredo with them yet, he's
always working, and Lorena wants to be baptized with her whole family
so we're trying to get them fully on board as well but they still feel
as though they just need to learn lots more. Which is completely true.
They do. As of now they don't have the greatest foundation. But I have
great faith that we will get them all on date & baptized very soon!!
Please keep them in your prayers!!!
     3. On Friday we had our first Zone Conference with President
Marston!! It ended up being 9 hours long but was incredible!!! The
main focus was on the power of prayer and I learned so so much. Oh, I
loved it so much. Also, I was the chorister for the conference which
made me laugh. I am the chorister for my Branch's sacrament meeting, I
will be the chorister for our branch primary program that's happening
next week - we literally run the whole thing, I feel like a mom haha -
President had me be the chorister for the Trainer/Trainee meeting and
then I have been the chorister for the last Zone Meetings & now Zone
Conference. Is this a sign for my future??? Guess we will see!!! Haha
so classic. But anyways, it was overall so great and I loved spending
the day with President & Sister Marston and my zone. The spirit was so
strong throughout the conference and I left feeling so inspired,
uplifted and blessed. Also, at the end, as a companionship we got a
little darling Christmas tree from the Marston's! And as a mission we
are going to have a Christmas tree decorating competition. Haha I am
so excited!! Sister Woods from Manchester, England thinks she's going
to cream the rest of us but we'll have to see about that .... I cannot
believe Christmas is coming up so soon! I am so excited!! Not for time
to fly by but I just love  the Christmas season and feel as though
this December is going to be exceptionally special & memorable.
     4. Miracle # 1 ... so the night after Zone Conference we decided
to go out to Corning to visit Martina (a recent-convert). We planned
the lesson just for her but when we got there, her husband Jorge
joined us as well. Well, this was the beginning of the miracle. Jorge
had recently told someone that he wasn't going to come back to church
because of some things that had happened (long story) & our Branch
President was really concerned about it ... so when he joined us we
were very excited and I immediately changed the lesson plan. I felt
inspired to show them both the Mormon Message "El Señor aligera
nuestras cargas" ... and then the discussion took off from there. We
ended up discussing the Savior, Jesus Christ & His Atonement very
deeply and then we talked about preparing to be comfortable in the
presence of Him & God right now, talked about our purpose on the earth
as children of God & disciples of Jesus Christ, about the three
Kingdoms of Glory, etc. ANYWAYS, we were all getting so excited and
pumped up during the lesson, along with feeling the spirit so strongly
and recognizing the great significance of life, the Plan of Salvation
and the Atonement, etc. and at the end, they both got emotional and
expressed their great gratitude for our visit, the lesson we had and
the new perspective they were both able to receive from all that we
discussed. Jorge kept talking about how important him going to church
was too and with a big smile on his face and tear filled eyes he said,
"Gracias por la gana y ánimo que me da para seguir adelante con
fortaleza." Then, miraculously he came yesterday to church with the
entire family!!! WHAT A MIRACLE!!!!!!!
     5. Miracle #2 ... On Saturday we had a day of EXACTNESS. Or in
other words, a "day of exact obedience." Our entire mission promised
President Marston that on Nov. 22nd we would all be EXACTLY obedient.
With everything. We even had to text President when we woke up, text
our District Leader when we left our house for the day and text
President Marston at the end of the night to report if we had been
exactly obedient or not. If we hadn't been, we were to not even text
him. Well, fortunately for Hermana Cluff & I, we had a day of
literally EXACT obedience and what made it even better was that it
felt like a normal day for us. I can often be hard on myself too
wondering what more I can do to be more fully consecrated & exactly
obedient but seeing how completely normal everything felt brought a
lot of confidence & peace into my heart. However, what we tried to be
better & truly exact with was being prompt and completely time
conscientious. Well, because of this we saw a miracle!!!!! When we got
back from Willows, since we had been so exact on time, we ended up
having a little amount of time to spare before dinner. Easily, we
could have decided to just start dinner earlier and go to our next
lesson earlier than planned however I had the feeling to go to a
less-actives. Well, we found her home (which is unusual) and ended up
having a nice long chat with her. We shared a message on the Savior
and then she led into giving us a referral of a friend of hers and
then telling us about her new job. She now has a new job that has
Sundays off (which is a miracle in itself) and then she also said she
has 6 open spots at the job (sorting almonds) for anyone who needed a
job. Well, we have many Sisters in our branch who are in desperate
need of a job so this was incredible. Also, we immediately thought of
Ana, another less-active ... the one we taught last week, who hadn't
been able to come to church for a very long time because she was
working on Sundays. She told us however that she no longer has that
job and is ready & really wanting to come back to church so she was
desperately looking for a new job where she had Sundays off. With
tears in her eyes she asked us to please pray for her to find this
job. Well, we had been praying all week and we found it!!!!!!!!! We
told Mayra this too and she said Ana automatically has the job and can
start working Dec. 1st. What a MIRACLE!!!!!! We could hardly wait to
tell Ana. Then, yesterday we made chile rellenó her house and as soon
as we told her the news she was sincerely jumping up and down and
expressing her great appreciation to our Heavenly Father. She
immediately filled the application out and let's just say the rest of
the night we were all the happiest. Also, our chile rellenos were
superb!!! I will make them for you all when I get home.
     6. Miracle #3 ... Last night, after Ana's, our appointment with
Manuela fell through. It was getting late and it's often hard to know
who to visit at that time of the night if we don't have a set
appointment so I tried really hard to think outside of the box and
think of someone we have visited later at night before. Automatically
an investigator Hermana Briggs, Hermana Piggott & I tracted into came
to my mind. Adelicia. I hadn't seen her for over a transfer now but I
had a strong feeling to go visit her. So - with the desire to never
postpone a prompting - we did just that. As soon as we knocked on the
door, her little boy answered and got extremely excited to see us. I
always have stickers for the little ones so, of course, he wanted a
sticker and then started screaming with excitement for his mom to come
to the door. He kept saying, "Venga! Venga Mommy! Las hermanas están
aquí!" As soon as Adelicia came to the door, her face completely lit
up as well and she immediately invited us in. In the past she was
always very sweet & kind to us but last night was definitely
different. She was honestly all smiles and seemed soo eager to hear
what we had to say. We then sat down, learned how she is doing these
days and then led into a lesson on the blessings we receive from our
loving Heavenly Father and the blessing of our Savior, Jesus Christ in
our lives. Overall the lesson was incredible and she was SO much more
interested than ever before and was asking us all kinds of questions
and expressing her thoughts, unlike before as well. She then, after I
had her read a verse from the Book of Mormon, grabbed my arm and told
me how she has been wanting to read the Book of Mormon but has for
some reason had fear too. She said she knows it's Satan making her
feel that way but she truly has a very strong desire to know the word
of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I then tried to get familiar
with her religious background again and she doesn't really have one.
That is when she expressed to us that she wants to learn about it ALL
... she wants to hear ALL of the messages that we have. She wants to
know for herself and gain a testimony for herself. IT IS A
MIRACLE!!!!!!!!! We then read Moroni 10:3-5 with her too and she
absolutely loved it. We dissected every part of Moroni's promise and
she said she will do what is asked. Ahhhh I am sooo excited!!! She was
so different than before and I know she has been prepared by The Lord
during the time we haven't been visiting her. SUCH A MIRACLE!!!! We
are teaching her again tomorrow and I cannot wait!! More to come. Pray
for her please, she is sooo sweet, sincere  & incredible!!!!
     7. Last but not least, I want to thank everyone again ... my
beautiful, lovely and soo wonderful family & friends, for all of the
sweetest Birthday notes, thoughts, wishes and for those who sent me
packages, gifts!!!!! I received a Birthday package or two in the mail
every single day last week and even received emails on my actual
Birthday so my heart was completely overflowing on November 19th. I
cannot even express to you how much I appreciate it all. I promise
nobody who has done something for me has gone unnoticed or
unappreciated. I love you all soo much!!! Also, I had the best
Birthday ever!!!! I love Birthdays on the mission! And here is an idea
of how my day went. First off it was POURING rain all day long! HAPPY
BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!! We went on our usual morning run and I got to run
in the pouring rain!!!! Haha you all can imagine how happy I was. I
was just running, singing primary songs to myself and smiling away.
Incredible. Also, it rained last year on my Birthday too so I like
this pattern I'm seeing. We then had 4 hours of incredible studying. I
LOVE STUDIES!!! Seriously, so much. Let's hope that rolls over for me
studying for school too! I have a feeling it may. But anyways, then we
went and had lunch at a darling diner in town with our District. And
listen to this ... a mystery person saw us all there and paid for
us!!!!! So we got free lunch from a Saint. Then to make it more
exciting, a less-active came in and Sister Parks & I paid it forward.
That alone made me smile for the rest of the day. We then had a
wonderful lesson with Lorena, Alexis & Eric ... put them back on date,
we had service for a couple of hours at the food pantry, visited a
couple of other people quickly, had a delicious Birthday dinner at the
Whitaker - Hermana Whitaker is the BEST Mexican cook - she made us
homemade tacos and then chocolate cake (haha I still love my
chocolate) ... and then we went over to the Campos and they had
balloons, a gift and a full on tres leche cake for me. I love them soo
much!!! So that was a blast. They sang to me, Adriana smashed my face
in the cake ... this was my 3rd time receiving a traditional face cake
smash hahaha and it was overall soo much fun!!! We then of course
ended with a quick lesson/spiritual thought and I was one happy
Hermana. I had an incredible day!!!! All of the gifts and cards I
received made me get choked up as well and I could tell my emotions
were about to get the best of me. Ps. I received BOTH grandmas
Birthday cards on my actual Birthday!! Baby miracle for me. And then
as I was getting ready for bed, I got a couple of final emails. At
this point my heart again, was completely overflowing, and I then saw
I had an email from Scotty. Well Scooter ... I want you to know that
your letter did the trick. I couldn't get past the first few lines
which said, "It amazes me how fast time flies and I can't believe that
you are 22 years old and 15 months into your mission. I am absolutely
mind-blown. There are so many things I want to tell you about, but
first and foremost: I love you and I miss you so much." before I had
immediate tears running down my face. Then, as I kept reading ... the
tears kept coming and before I knew it, I was fully crying. I think it
took me a solid 15 minutes or so to read his entire email too because
my emotions were getting the best of me. I felt soo so much in my
heart and in that moment realized how MUCH love I feel in my little
heart from & for others. It was honestly overwhelming but in the best
way possible. On my mission I have never cried like that either so it
felt a little foreign to me, I usually only shed soft tears from
feeling the spirit ... but I will never forget it. So Scotty, thank
you so much for sending me such a darling letter. It made me CRY!!!!
On top of the sweet sweet thoughts from everyone else. I am so so
blessed. I also then received an email from Michael right before I
went to sleep and at this point, I couldn't handle the gratitude for
my loved ones so I went to sleep, "counting my blessings instead of

     Ahora, yo quiero compartir un poco de la gratitud que siento en
mi corazón. Estoy muy agradecida por muchísimas cosas en mi vida.
Estoy muy agradecida por primero, el conocimiento que yo tengo que
tenemos un amoroso Padre Celestial. Se que en realidad, Dios es
nuestro Padre en los cielos y que El tiene un gran plan para mi y
todos nosotros, Sus preciosos hijos. Se qué su Hijo Unigénito es el
centro de Su plan y que mediante Jesucristo podemos seguir el plan de
Dios con gozo, fortaleza y confianza. Si seguimos Su plan y nuestro
Salvador, Jesucristo, vamos a recibir más paz, esperanza, fuerza y
felicidad en esta vida y en la vida que viene. Vamos a recibir la vida
eternal y tener el privilegio para vivir en Su presencia con nuestras
hermosas familias para siempre. Estoy muy agradecida por el Evangelio
de Jesucristo y por todas cosas que Cristo ha hecho para mi y todas
personas. Estoy muy agradecida por su sacrificio, amor y misericordia
porque sí aceptamos Su Expiación, podemos dejar nuestra culpa,
errores, debilidades, etc. ... recibir una remisión y perdón por
nuestros pecados y llegar a ser mejor y más perfecto cada día. Día por
día. Estoy muy agradecida por los mandamientos que El nos da y por Su
ejemplo. Estoy muy agradecida por Su Iglesia, nuestro Profeta viviente
Thomas S. Monson, por todos de los Apóstoles y líderes de la Iglesia y
por la obra misional. Por la oportunidad y privilegio que tengo ser
una misionera y hacer la obra del Señor todos los días. Estoy muy
agradecida por my salud, conocimiento y potencial. Estoy muy
agradecida por mi familia y su apoyo y infinito amor en mi vida. Doy
gracias por todos ellos y todos de mis amigos y cada persona que ha
ayudado a cambiar mi vida. En total, estoy muy muy agradecida por el
don de la vida y otra vez por mi Padre Celestial y Señor, Jescristo.
Doy gracias por todos de ustedes y espero que todos ustedes nunca
olvide eso.


Con mucho amor,

Hermana Barth

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