Wednesday, January 28, 2015

19 de Enero, 2015

Hello my beautiful loved ones!!   

      How are all of you!? I hope each of you have had a wonderful week!! This past week for me was crazy! We had a lot going on and it completely flew by. I actually am very confused as to how I am already writing this email again. But it was full of wonderful events and here are updates!! 

      - TuesdayTuesday was a normal day and an amazing one! We had 6 lessons and even tracted a little in Hamilton City which led us to two new investigators!! So that was a successful day & we felt quite content afterwards. Also, while we were tracting I felt so happy. I honestly get such a thrill out of tracting and always feel so satisfied while doing it. There truly is nothing like having the ability to knock on complete strangers doors to preach the beautiful gospel & share the good news. We are helping others learn how they can better prepare for the Second Coming of the Lord, make it back to our Father in heaven and live with their family in celestial glory!! Could there be anything greater, more special or exciting!?
      - WednesdayWednesday I had my departing interview with President Marston. President is a very personable man though & his interviews always go a lot longer than planned ... so although we arrived at the stake center in Chico on time for our interviews ... I didn't end up meeting with him for about 3 hours after my scheduled time. He kept having other missionaries go before me too because I am the only one leaving in my zone, my interview was going to be an hour long and I think he knew it would last even longer than an hour haha ... and he was right. We ended up having our interview for about an hour & a half. It was fun beforehand though because I was able to spend a lot of time with Sister Marston and also, I was finishing up my departing papers. The "trunky" papers according to most missionaries but I am not trunky in the slightest so I dislike that title. Anyways, reflecting back on my mission while writing those papers made me a little emotional and although I had been previously talking to Sister Marston about how I don't feel anything as of now in regards to going home because it doesn't feel real at all, one time President Marston came in to grab an Elder and he made a comment about me probably dreading our interview but that it will all be good and to just relax haha and after he walked out I got a little choked up finishing up my thoughts on the papers. Then as it was finally my turn, I had an incredible interview with President. I won't tell you all that he said or what we discussed, I'm sure I'll share with you a lot of it at a later time ... but he made me feel so so loved & special. He always does. President Marston & I really do have a very special relationship and he knows it as well. I can't quite explain it but it's unique & special. At the end of our interview he got emotional too saying he still has a lot he wants to say to me but that it would have to wait because it would be too hard for him to say anything right then and he wasn't ready to. It really got to me when he said that too and my eyes filled with tears. I told him I couldn't say anymore, in regards to how much I love & appreciate him, yet either because I still had plenty of time so when I asked him if that was the last time I would officially get to meet with him he said, "Nope. It does not have to be." And he said he would love to talk to me briefly again right before I leave. I then asked him if he would give me a blessing sometime before as well and he told me he would love to & be honored to and said he will give me one in his office the night we have our dinner & testimony meeting with all the departing missionaries (23 of us) at his house the night before we take off. So I greatly look forward to that. Even thinking about it made me tear up too. Also, right before he said the closing prayer, I gave him back his hankerchief - there was one point in the interview when I got more emotional & he handed me it - and he all of the sudden paused, his eyes filled with tears, and he told me something came into his mind. He continued to tell me about his grandmother named Madeline Emily and then his mother Madeline Emily and he told me how he inherited a little box of some of his grandmother's handkerchiefs and how he would like to send me one of them when the timing was right. Wow. I could not have felt more privileged in that moment. He is far too good to me and again, always makes me feel so special. Then to make my heart soften even more, during his prayer he got a little emotional and especially when he thanked Heavenly Father for putting us in one another's lives. It was so darling!! I love President Marston soo much!!! There was so so much we discussed during the interview though and I took notes on all I could remember afterwards so I'll share more with you later. It was amazing though. Oh! And he also asked if I would bring him a picture of our family the night we meet at his house. He is so sweet. I love him. Also, while I was being interviewed, Sister Marston & Hermana Cluff went and got us all sandwiches for lunch!! We are treated far too good!!
      - Thursday. So Wednesday night we drove to Yuba to meet up with Hermana Hughes & her greenie Hermana Oliver, Hermana Hughes & I were dying as we were leaving and driving around Yuba City together. Soo many memories were flooding into our minds. Yuba City = Hermana Hughes to me so it was quite nostalgic. Ah, I love her so much. But so then I got to spend Thursday in Citrus Heights with my baby Hughes!!! It was the best!!! Of course, it was amazing because I got to be with Hermana Hughes & we just chatted our brains out catching up and reminiscing on old times but also, I loved being able to spend a day in the Citrus Heights/Roseville/Antelope area. I have never served in the more southern Spanish areas - Lincoln & Citrus Heights areas - so that was very fun for me. I always have served up north and oh my goodness the areas are so so different. It's much fancier in the south and the cities are huge. Haha I am used to literally the ghetto, humble, small town, orchard, field worker areas ... which I absolutely love. But there is definitely a different feel. So that was very fun for me. We had some incredible lessons and two of the lessons we had an investigator & a less-active cried which was apparently unusual so it was clear we had very spirit filled lessons. Oh my goodness the people are amazing there and the members are fantastic. I can't lie and say I'm not a little sad I never had the chance to serve there but I know the Lord has placed me where I have been needed and now I have spent at least a day in all of the Spanish areas (there are 5 of them) so I feel content. Also, we stopped by the mission office which was a blast. That's one of the benefits of the areas down south. They get to visit the office more & see President much more, lucky dogs. But so again, it was such a fun day. I am so so happy I got to spend another full day with Hermana Hughes too. I really have missed her a lot and I loved being "companions" with her again. She is honestly an incredible missionary and I loved seeing how much she has grown since we served together when she was fresh in the field. She's amazing. Also, something that really got to me was on our drive to Gridley the next night ... we had an incredible chat, we seriously talked about everything, but what made my heart feel very happy was we spent a lot of time talking about training - since we're both currently training - and she started listing off things that she learned from me when I trained her, she even quoted things she remembered me telling her that have helped her thus far on her mission and she told me how I really did set the tone for her mission. It's crazy but we talked about how trainers really are so important and make such a difference in their greenies mission. Missionaries, most of the time, pick up many of their habits, ways of working & thinking from how their trainer was. Often they end up being missionaries very similar to the type of missionary their trainer was. So anyways, that made me feel really good and I loved seeing how she has continued doing many of the same things I did with her with her trainee. Although I was not a perfect trainer at all, it brought a lot of peace to my heart to know I've made a positive impact on her mission in some way. Also, it made me reflect on how blessed I was to get the absolute best trainer in the world!!!!!! My trainer, Hermana Piggott, has become my very best friend - as you all very well know - and I owe her the world for how much she impacted, influenced & blessed my mission. It's no wonder the Lord put us together for 5 transfers. Besides her, I will not have served with a companion for more than 2 transfers. Crazy!
      - FridayFriday was incredible!!! So, we first had a trainer/trainee meeting in Gridley!! That was a total blast. We got to spend some time with President & Sister Marston and also, I got to see all of the Spanish Hermanas!! Every companionship is training right now except for one - but they're the Gridley Hermanas so they came to say hello afterwards. But then, after the meeting we went out to lunch with all of the Hermanas and it was so much fun!! Haha there are just 10 of us in the entire mission so it's a lot of fun. Also, Hermana Harper - who's now serving in Gridley - told me something that touched my heart more than I can say. She told me about how they were teaching Yamara one day and they had her make a list of things she needed to do to become more like the Savior. Then, they told her instead to write down her biggest role model and then list off the characteristics of that person and the things she must do in order to become more like that person. Honestly, this almost brought me to tears when she told me but she said Yamara wrote down & told them that her biggest role model was me!!!! Could there be anything more sweet or darling than that!?! Ahh I love my little Yamara more than words. She honestly means the world to me and I truly feel like she is my little sister/best friend. I love her so so so much. I cannot wait for you all to meet her. She could not be more adorable and wonderful in every way. I could not feel more privileged or blessed to have been a tool in the Lord's hand to help that choice daughter of our Heavenly Father come closer unto Jesus Christ & be baptized. She is such a miracle & blessing in my life. But so that completely made my day. I couldn't stop smiling or get the warmest feeling out of my heart for the rest of the day. It also just felt so good to be back home in Gridley. A giant piece of my heart is left in that town. But then after lunch, Brother & Sister Orme picked us up and we headed to Sacramento to go to the temple!!!! First off, it was beyond wonderful & exciting for me to see and be with the Orme's again, I know I've said this a million times but they sincerely feel like my aunt & uncle, and then having my darling Hermana Cluff with me and us all going to the House of the Lord together ... I could not have been a happier soul!!!!!!!! I was honestly on cloud 9. The whole drive to Sacramento was a blast for me too because I was able to reminisce on all of my Gridley glory days and then get updates on all my loved ones. Everyone seems to be doing absolutely wonderful!! Which makes me beyond pleased. The converts & members in that little town are so solid. I love them all soo much!!! Then of course, the temple was incredible. Beyond beyond incredible. For some reason everything looked even more beautiful & felt even more special that day. It was amazing!!! I was in the temple with 3 of my absolute favorite people. How does live get better than that!? Also, I got to see a super new temple movie that I had never seen before! I am super excited to watch it again on my next temple trip on the 30th. But anyways, it was so wonderful and did my heart & spirit so much good. I honestly haven't felt so much peace in awhile. When I am in the temple I truly can feel the Lord's presence so so strongly, the Spirit touches me so strongly that I feel as though my body is completely warm & tingly all over and my heart is about to burst the entire time. I love it. Especially in the Celestial room when I am able to really really ponder, meditate & pray in such reverence, peace & beauty ... ahh it does the heart & soul so much good. I think I could spend hours in the Celestial room. To me, it really does feel as though the rest of the world stops when I am in there. Nothing else matters except that which is of eternal significance & importance and I truly do feel as though I get a glimpse of the Celestial Kingdom. It is incredible. I also had a special spiritual experience while I was in the Celestial room but I feel as though it's too personal to share at this time. Oh, I love the temple so much. Then, after the temple, the Orme's too us out to dinner and we went to a place close by called Cattlemans. I don't know if any of you have heard of this place but wow. It was super super nice and their food was outstanding. It was clear they had incredible meat too so Hermana Cluff & I both got their tri-tip steak. Oh my goodness I don't know if food has ever tasted better in my entire life. It was the most delicious steak I have ever had in my life!!! I'm not kidding it was so good and I even was able to take some of it home for lunch the next day. It was heaven!!!! So that was a blast and the Orme's spoiled us rotten. I love them so much!! They honestly are far too good to me. I really do feel like they are family to me though and they say I feel like their other daughter so we have a pretty special relationship. Ever since my first day in the field this family has had a special place in my heart. Haha I honest met Brother Orme & his son Drew, little Brother Orme haha my first day in the field and we'll all never forget it!!! I am so blessed to have them in my life!!! How fun is it for me too that I can come back and visit them all of the time and three of their kids families live in Utah so they visit there all the time as well. I seriously am the luckiest!!!!
      - SaturdaySaturday we had a few hours in Chico doing service with our zone. We loaded more medical supplies heading to Liberia! And I had a lot of fun, especially chatting with Sister Woods, from England. I don't know what it is about her either but she seriously treats me so good and we all of the sudden have become super super close. She is such a sweetheart and so much fun to be around. Haha she also gives some of the best hugs ever and I guess since I don't hug much anymore - besides female investigators & members - they seem even better. But boy does she hug me tight. And she also always kisses my cheek hahaha I'm used to the cheek kissing by now. Most of the Hispanic ladies do it as well. But so that was great. We then had weekly planning & a few other lessons. One including Mercedes and it was incredible!!! We taught her again about keeping the Sabbath Day holy and then I decorated her a jar with Piggott awhile back and we cut out strips of paper for her to write on and list out things she can do on Sundays. Well anyways, it ended up being an incredible lesson and especially when she offered the prayer at the end. Each of us - the Warmoth's, Hermana Cluff & I - were all almost in tears it was so heartfelt, sincere and sweet. She thanked Heavenly Father over and over for us and expressed to Him how much we have changed her & her life and how much she loves & appreciates us. It was the cutest prayer ever and honestly was so so sincere. That is one of my all time favorite things about converts is when they pray, it is clear they are truly speaking to Heavenly Father & expressing to Him all that is on their mind. It always sounds like an actual conversation that they're having with God and I love love love it. 
      - SundaySunday was pretty normal, Sacrament meeting was awesome - I'm still the chorister & loving it ... President Paulson from our mission presidency came to our branch, Hermana Cluff & I taught our primary class - I love our little niños so much ... and then also, to our great surprise ... Guess who completely surprised us and came to church!?!?! Manuela!!!!! Our gangster/teddy bear investigator Manuela G!!!! I have been teaching this woman since I first arrived her in Orland 7 months ago and she finally came to church!! And get this, she walked to church!!!! Is that amazing or what!?! We were completely shocked!!!!! And she said it felt very good to go too! We are so so so thrilled & happy!!! What a miracle! Also, we had other great lessons today including one with members. We had dinner with the Orozco's and then Sister Orozco asked us if we would start teaching her family the discussions every Sunday after we have dinner with them. They're members but she wants her kids to hear the discussions and anyways, we had an incredible Restoration lesson with them and we went some different routes on parts and it was different than I have ever taught that lesson before but I loved it!! The spirit was super strong and we all had a wonderful experience. 

      Well, that's about as detailed of a report & update as you could get. I included far more than you would even like to hear but it was an event filled week!! Ohh it was such a wonderful week. I love my mission more than words and am having the time of my life. I never want it to end!!!!! We have such a packed week coming up as well & I cannot wait! There really is no greater feeling then being super busy as a missionary. It makes me so happy and it is so much fun!!!!!!! Missions are the best thing in the world & I am truly the happiest!!!!!

Okay, well I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Barth

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