Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 13! Got my trainee!



Familia y Amigos
Ok sooo lots of changes have happened! I present to you.. mi nueva companera la Hermana... Lopez!! My 'baby' haha! Wow what an awesome girl. She lived in Argentina till she was 10, then moved to southern California (about 30 minutes from where we live!) after that.  She is 19 and she is ready to work hard. We have seen some awesome Milagros (miracles!) this week! Its awesome. and I also feel my Spanish getting a tad better almost every day. not much though its a hard thing to feel grow (like a plant). Its crazy training so soon, but with the spirit and help from heavenly father it is so possible.
Well ok where do I start! So we now live in our area, in an awesome apartment. for the first few days we had no furniture or anything ha so that was interesting.. but we are all settled in now :) Its awesome living here and being able to work a little more each day.
So we had an awesome awesome lesson with Luciana's family this week! Wow they are special and they are getting closer and closer to really being ready for baptism. still pray for them though, they have hard lives!
So the weirdest part of the week was Antonio... We had a good lesson with him one day where he said word for word (basically but in Spanish) "yes I am for sure about my baptism!" but we got a call later that night that confused us way bad. Apparently his roomates are crazy and don't want us in the house anymore? so Friday we thought he dropped us completely, but just barely like 20 minutes ago while emailing he called us and said he still wanted to learn but it couldn't be at his house. so.. strange. but Yeah he is still progressing I guess so that's good!
Another cool thing- ok so we have been teaching Selma. We have tried to get lessons with her whole fam but it hardly ever works out ;/ but we have met like every member of her family, including her 17 year old sister named Isidora. So we got a referral from the English sisters one day with Isidora's name, and address and everything! they had run into her and they referred her over to us. So we went and talked to Isidora and she said she'd like to listen as well! Super cool. so hopefully tonight or tomorrow we can have a lesson with all of them :)
and of course CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING like always! We watched it at the stake center. Wow I learned so much and have  grown so much.. I don't have much time today but I would love to share some of that for another day.
Wow I have already learned so much from my awesome trainee. It really is amazing what happens when you submit to the will of the Lord, take a step into the unknown and find out that because of your Faith he has taught you even more. I hope we can all strive to be a little more obedient, and Christlike and a little more willing to reach out to others this week. I love you all so much!! Thank you for your prayers.
Love,
Hermana Barlow
p.s.mom- tell Jonny that my comp is from a city in the Cordova mission in argentina :) I forgot the one he served in haha!

Monday, September 30, 2013

I'm Expecting!


Hiii all sooo there is a kind of joke in the mission that when you have a trainee they are your "baby" and the trainer is the mom/dad. ha sooo Im gonna be a Mom tomorrow!
woohoo well really I'm so nervous. There is a chance that she will know more spanish than me- but if not this is all gonna be interesting. I can tell that I am going to need more faith, trust, patience, just EVERYTHING than I have EVER had in my life so far. Its truly amazing being a part of this generation of missionaries- but at the same time, because of the big rush of sisters, us sisters are having to train right away. So, idk. Heavenly Father must trust us a lot. Pray for me please please!
So this week, two of our investigators have been reading so much in the LDM! We loooove when that happens- and its so awesome that when they do, they have good experiences.
so Manuela- she said she has barely had time to read- only a little. We asked where she was and she said 2ND NEPHI 9 whaaaat??? We were like.. hermana... that is a lotttt. Ha oh she is so cute. It breaks my heart that we might have to drop her soon because her husband won't let her come to church or progress or anything :(
and Antonio- we were in our 3rd lesson with him and he just casually shares a scripture that he likes and gives us a nice summary of the beginning of 1st Nephi WHAT ok its soooo cool when people simply choose to progress and find the truthfulness of these things! Hopefully he will come to church soon.
Luciana, Ariana, Luis, and Leo came to church yesterday! They are so cute, I love them. Keep praying for them. They are progressing little by little.
also- funny story.
so one of our investigators who is suuuuper old lives with his sister, who is a pastora in another church. Ha she is super nice and has slowly warmed up to the missionaries, but has never let us in her house. but this time she did! and what do we see? The biggest Jesus shrine I think I have evvver seen. It was amazing the situation was absolutely hilarious I wish everyone could just understand haha.
Welll I am learning so so so much everyday and I think that Is about to sky rocket. I love this opportunity to serve. right about now Joshua 1:9 ( my fave scripture) is my anchor because... its taking all I have not to be super scared about everything! I love this work and I know that my Heavenly Father is with me every day and that he loves us!
Love,
Hermana Barlow



Sunday, September 29, 2013

A BRIGHT blue house was screaming our name


                                                                                      
Hey hey hey!!
So it was a good week :)
A few weeks ago when we were finishing up studies in the church after District Meeting, a hispanic woman named Maria walked in and said she was a member who just moved into our area!  So this week we were able to have a couple lessons with her family- her husband and two of her kids have not been baptized yet, so we were so excited to be able to start working with them! Such a miracle she happened to come to the chappell when we were there. Anywhoo, Her husband is super open as well as her cute kids, and they are so nice and willing to have us over.  Their only issue.... of course.... like most others... is coming to church on sunday. They come to tuesday activities.. but keep going to Chicago on the weekends! Not cool! Ha no but they are great and we hope to see them progress.
Luciana and her kids are still doing pretty well. I love them so much! Hopefully I will be able to attatch a picture of Leo and I- if I had a little brother I'd hope it'd be him haha! They still have desires to change but aren't really taking action. I'm scared for them, they are still not very good about coming to church either :( ahh pray pray pray, they fell off of their baptismal date yesterday :/ but not for long.
    - another miracle with them is- the 3rd to oldest kid named Jeronimo (who only believes in science.....) said a real prayer with us this week! progress! hahah
We had my last training meeting (at least...as a trainee...) :/ but of course it was wonderful. I got to see Hermana Jones! Love her!!! I love hearing from our leaders- I learned soo much I can't even explain.



















Another Lady we are teaching's name is Manuela. The first time we met with her and her mom in law, her mom in law was super nice but explained how she will never switch from catholic.  Manuela was baptized in another christian church in Mexico and loves the bible, but didn't believe there was anything but the bible. I was impressed to ask her about the Book of Mormon, and she showed a little interest. A few lessons later- and she really likes the Book of Mormon and believes it is true!! Her problem is- her husband doesn't want anything but catholic. She has tried to show him the Book of Mormon and everything :( but she is willing to pray and continue to read and do what she can to see a miracle in him. If this miracle does happen, they will be baptized! (im almost positive.....) She is super super sweet.
Also, Antonio is back on date to be baptized. He is a golden investigator for sure- he is even willing to ride his bike all the way to the church (which is way too far...). But when members really have gone for him he hasn't been there! Besides that he is so ready and SO very much in need of the gospel. Really nice man.
Another small miracle: We saw a BRIGHT blue house... screaming our name haha so we knocked it and we have a really solid potential there named Dante. Great things are happening!
We get transfer calls this saturday, and needless to say I am SO very scared. There is a very good chance I will be training- whatever the outcome PLEASE pray for me! Ah especially for the gift of tongues.
We also had a very inspiring stake conference. I got to watch the saturday session in english yay! haha but really, I'm not even a youth leader and I was inspired about what I need to do in the future when I am a youth leader. Important stuff...
Ah I finished the Book of Mormon again (in english) this morning!! ITS STILL TRUE!! haha wow I love love love that book and know I will be reading it continually throughout my whole life. I know that we will be closer to God through this book more than any book. It is the keystone, the evidence, and probably the biggest rock of my faith. I absolutely love it. READ IT!
I am on a constant search for improvement right now.  I know through study and faith and obedience these things will come. I'd love to invite you all- especially my family, to read "Lord I believe" by Elder Holland, and wright down the things you do know, and fan the flame of the faith you already have.
The church is true! amazing things are happening!! I love you all so very much
Love,
Hermana Barlow



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mini car accident...


Hola Fam and Friends!
ok so this week was a little longer than normal but there were some very great things that happened!
So last monday we had a lesson with Ariana, Luis, Diego, Leo and Jeronimo.  They accepted a baptismal date for october 12 and we are PRAYING so much that this will happen! Please pray! another wonderful thing that happened: Ariana said SHE WANTS TO SERVE A MISSION! Super crazy and awesome! We were on cloud 9 for a good 2 days after hearing that haha. We love their family so much and know they are super special. They were all for sure set on going to church sunday- and when we went to wake them up, Luciana, Diego and Leo were home, but not Ariana and Luis. I guess they went with their friends in Aurora :( :( we were super super bummed- that is their biggest obstacle in becoming ready for baptism.
BUT Luciana, Diego and Leo still came so that is super good!! We were still happy.
Mini Car accident:
Ok so this is a funny story... we were driving next to this apartment building in the parking lot, and out of this weird driving tunnel thing comes a young boy on his bike and he SLAMS into the side of our car!!! I about had a HEART ATTACK it was so scary. Luckily I wasn't driving too fast and, the kid was totally fine. Our side rear view mirror was broken though... but it ended up being totally fine haha now we have a shiny new mirror on 'Brady' (the name of our car)

I got a super super cute package from my mom! the Cutest scrapbook thingy with notes from my Fam y extended family members. Thank you thank you thank you! It made my day when I got it! and probably the next day too hahah.
Also, wednesday the 2nd counselor asked me to sing in sacrament on sunday! such late notice, but luckily Hermana Lane was able to sing with me. We sang 'We'll bring the world his truth" (in spanish of course) and with a few run throughs of practice, we pulled it off haha everyone had great things to say!
This week I have had a huge desire to set real good goals, and I'm finally getting around to it. My belief in the importance of goals is growing and growing and I want to keep this strong belief and desire for the rest of my life. I invite you all to make goals!
Also I suggest reading Mosiah 4- especially searching for themes of Christ/Atonement, repentance, and joy (or any other things or topics you can think of). Its a great chapter and there is so much to learn.
I love you all so so so much
<3 Hermana Barlow

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"There are times that are hard as hard as hard..."

Week 9 ahh-
Wow thats crazy I just finished week 9! Today is my 2 month aniversary in the field! Woo thats crazy. It feels like its come so fast but also has felt like a long time? Not sure!
WELL so it was a pretty good week! Tons of ups and downs for sure. But a lot more good experiences for my life.
So, we had another lesson with Luciana and Fam this week and we were able to meet Sadie- Ariana's new friend from school who is a miracle!  Ok so this girl is AWESOME. She was baptized... like idk a couple years ago? And wasn't really active at all after her baptism. She was still living the worldly life and not really the commandments either, up until this summer when she went to girls camp. Girls Camp changed her life and now she has the STRONGEST testimony, she shares it with everyone, she is such a good influence for their family. What a blessing! She also speaks spanish and might start coming to the spanish ward too :) So really cool. The lesson she came to was Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and Following the prophet.  Potentially could've been an awkward lesson... but totally wasn't.  Sadie has such a strong testimony about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom, and was able to testify that her life as a follower of Christ/ keeper of the commandments was SO much easier and happier. It was great because not too many members have lived both lives and is able to testify of that.
PRAY PRAY for them, their biggest thing is coming to church.  This will be so hard for their family :(( and it is crucial.
So we finally were able to have a lesson with Antonio, and he had read the WHOLE Restoration Pamphlet... that is SO rare that people do that! He is really great and wants to follow a good path, and he keeps saying he'll come to church but.. hasn't shown yet so. ahh he will eventually.
There are times that are hard as hard as hard.  But I know they either change me for the better or they are obstacles that need to be endured. With Christ nothing is impossible and I know that, he knows every single thing we go through.
you'll be happy to hear this story: dun dun dun DUN i sang TWO YEARS at our ward fiesta this last saturday! Haha so the Obispo calls us that morning and says "so... we need more performers. and I heard hermana Barlow has some singing talents. will she play or do something?" and of course my job here is to help him out.. and if thats what he needs me to do... I'll do it of course! I was like "well... I only know songs in English..." and he said that is fine and that Music is the Language of the world SO  I did it.  I announced " Esta Cancion es en ingles..." (crowd goes 'awwwweee') but oh well! Most speak english anyway haha. it went really well. It was such a fun ward party though! Each organization did a little dance, and the obra missional sang a nice hymn hahah. It was SOOOO fun.
I learned a lot this week, about so many things and especially me as a diciple of Jesus Christ. It is important that we know Christ, not just know about him.  "Waiting on the Road to Damascus" by Elder Uchtdorf helped me know how I can better do that.  When we study his life, learn his teachings every day, little by little become like him, say the things he'd say, do the things he would do, etc. we will find that we have come to know him and have his name written on our hearts. This is what I want, especially for when the time comes for me to meet him.
Enos 1
LOVE YOU SO MUCH
hermana barlow

Semana Ocho

 



So last monday we met a really cool new investigator named Antonio. He wants to follow the path of God now and he thinks that we are the way. Uhm yes that is correct. So yeah I hope things go well with him in the future!
The BEST lesson this week was with Ariana, Luis, Leo and Diego (and kind of Jeronimo...). It was so spiritual.  They have been having some really hard problems in their lives and they let us know about a couple of them. It was amazing because we went in there planning to talk about obedience, the 10 commandments, and keeping the sabbath day holy.  And after hearing about some of their problems, it set the stage perfectly (and the spirit was prompting us) to begin teaching about obedience.  Obviously, they need a lot of help from our Heavenly Father, and there are special and specific ways to get that! They are called the commandments, or as I like to call them 'ways to receive more blessings and help from our Father in Heaven'. A longer name... but still true.  Because of their apparent need and desire for help from God, they desired to know what these commandments were so they could receive these blessings.  The spirit was so strong!
ANOTHER little miracle with this same family:
we (us and cute Giovanna, a member) went back a couple days later, and Luciana, Ariana and one of Ariana's friends had JUST left to go on a walk. So we just had a mini lesson with Luis and Leo. We first see them and they said, "we know someone from your church!" and turns out, Ariana met a new friend at school who is a member of the English ward. SUCH A BLESSING. Honestly, since we first started meeting with Ariana, I hoped and prayed for her to have some new good influences in her lives. I saw right off the bat that that is what she needed, and heavenly father has blessed her with cute Sadie to be an example and a good righteous friend.  Ahhh so awesome.
Unfortunately, they didn't come to church and fell off of their baptismal date. we were SO SO bummed. ahh sad day. BUTTTTT we invited them to the Labor Day activity AND THEY ALL CAME!!! this was HUGE. They were able to have fun, meet members, tour the church for the first time, and just see it all.  They are coming to another activity saturday and to church sunday I hope hope hope and pray! so that was awesome and they had a great experience.  Ah I love them al so so so much.
I read a really inspiring talk/article by Elder David A Bednar this week called "Learn to Love Learning".  WOW. I feel like here on the mission I have Learned to love learning! Ah line upon line, precept upon precept I am learning new pure truths about my life, and the world around us and I love it. After my mission I am going to do all that I can to keep this up- so that by the end of my life I will know with all my heart, so many things, and those things we will take with us to this next life. Gospel learning is Faith and Testimony strengthening. More important than words can describe!
The mission is trial after trial but I feel myself getting stronger and more and more converted. I love it so much and I love you!!!!
Hermana Barlow





Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hola hola!


Hola hola!
ok so first of all I saw in my last email that I said 'consequences' instead of 'coincidences' so... I'm just gonna blame it on spanish even though thats probably not the root of the problem??
ANYWHOO
ok so I mean, I don't have a whole lot to say about this week! But yeah the good thing is we did get to see Emilio and Carrie as well as Luciana, Luis, Ariana Etc. I know last week we were bummed because they are the ones who are progressing!  Luciana's kids still want to be baptized, I just hope and pray that they see that coming to church is just as important- without coming to church you can't be baptized! It may take a miracle for real, but we're hoping.  Emilio also is open to the idea of baptism (even though 'he was already baptized') but wants to learn more.
Also Selma is super cute, got to teach her the Plan this week, we really really hope to see her progress!
This week we learned a little bit (from people telling us) what life is like in the ghetto- ah so heartbreaking.  Its different to see what it looks like from the outside and hear about whats going on from someone who knows about it more from the inside. This gospel, this church, this way of life is an escape from all of that.  I often can't believe how blessed I've been not only to live the life I live, but to have the knowledge that I have and to have made the choices I've made.  Blessings really are predicated on obedience and keeping the commandments really does = happiness (at least in the long term.) But the unfortunate thing is that I can't just let someone read Mosiah 2:41 and expect them to have the same knowledge that I have- it takes experience, it takes trying it out for yourself. Is that so hard? I guess sometimes yeah unfortunately.
We're knockin a lot of doors, planting a lot of seeds, praying for a lot of miracles and trying our best to be our best! I'm happy!
love you all so much
Love Hermana Barlow


Monday, August 19, 2013

"Hey it's an adventure!" Aug 19


Friends and Fam,
Hi! so, first of all saturday was transfer calls anddd.... I'm staying haha! So, that's good.
This week went by the fastest so far I think.  By sunday I really felt that it had been a day! They're not kidding when they say the days are weeks and the weeks are days haha. So funny.
OK so we had an appointment with Luciana and her family monday and... no show again! :( ah so hard. Hard to not let other's choices break my heart a little haha!  The english sisters who work in Geneva gave us a referral that night as well, and we went to contact him.  Jose didn't live there, but a really sweet girl named Selma did!  Ah she is super special and is definitely going places.  There are so many things about her that I admire- one being that she prays every day to be able to be led to people who need help.  Also she believes that everything happens for a reason.  She wants to figure out the reason why we were sent to her house looking for a Jose that didn't live there. NOT A CONSEQUENCE YOU NEED THE GOSPEL haha we were able to return and teach the restoration and give her a copy of the Book of Mormon.  I hope (and pray) she prayes diligently to find the reason why we met her :)
We met a lot of potential investigators this week- aka we did a lot of knocking and a lot of finding.  Hey its an adventure!
There is the SWEETEST girl in our ward, she's my age named Giovanna and she is home waiting to go on her mission.  She came out with us thursday night and from lunch till dinner on saturday!  Poor girl got to see the reality of what most the days are like.  Thursday we had 4 appointments- all no shows.  Friday we had two tiring lessons with many hard questions and stubborn views, and a few more no shows. Haha poor Giovana... I just felt bad... but hey, doing your very best is what counts out here. Some days are just like that and wear. you. out.
also Viernes I got a very special package in the mail! THANK YOU SO MUCH mom and family. I seriously love it SO much. A voice recorder with special messages from home. Loved hearing from you all! You're the best!
Lots of no shows and totally exhausting days this week.  Praying for miracles! We need them.
Yesterday evening we had a zone activity at President Fenn's house.  I love learning from him.  We had a Q and A and I learned so much, but I love those valuable times when the spirit teaches you too. One of our questions was about his favorite scripture, and of course he has a lot depending on the topic, but he shared a special experience about 2 Nephi 4- the Psalm of Nephi.  I could just feel in my heart as he was talking that Heavenly Father SPOKE to him through that scripture and the spirit.  I could tell in my heart the deep deep love he had for what this experience with this scripture had done for his life.  It reminded me that I have had a couple of those experiences too!  I do have a love for the scriptures and the revelations that can come through them, but I know that
There is a difference between reading the scriptures to get the story or learn of a topic, and realizing something about yourself, about the nature of satan, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. Amazing personal revelation and 'aha' moments can come if we want them! We can grow a relationshipwith Christ by learning about him through the holy ghost. I am striving for this!
Also this morning I read an awesome talk from Nov. 2012 conference from Elder Robert C. Gay: "What Shall a Man give in Exchange for His Soul?"
its amazing, because satan triumphs in the little things, the little justifications. The fact that people get tempted to just skip our appointments, or when any of us just decide to sleep in and not go to church that day. He loves when we do those little things that bring us away from Christ. We have to be careful for sure.  Go read that!!
Well sorry this letter was so long, I'm just learning so much and love sharing this knowledge with you! 
I love you all!!!
hna Barlow

These two cute kids were baptized on Sunday.  The elders taught and helped their family return to the church.



Friends and Fam! Aug 12


Friends and Fam!
This week went by so so very fast.  I am loving it here a lot!  I had a dream that I came home early for something medical and I was super sad in my dream. Not saying I don't miss you guys but... just sayin...
So Monday was a good night again! We went by to Ariana's house again and while teaching her and her brothers the restoration, their mom came in! My companion and I were nervous what she would say haha but she was super super nice, and even better, Ariana had already told her about us!  She was so great and explained that they were catholic by tradition and were baptized and did communions and everything, but that that didn't really mean that much to them.  She wanted herself and her kids to find the church they wanted and to stick with it.  Which is wonderful news! She was so open and kind and hilarious too.  We taught her the restoration as well and it all went very well.
Thursday we went with our ward mission leader Obispo Monarrez to teach them again and no one answered the door! Luckily we had a good back up down the street with a man named Emilio.  His wife is american and SUPER hilarious and nice, she likes to meet and learn and talk to us but she doesn't ever want to convert (she thinks hehe) But Emilio is a lot more interested in progressing.  He came to church this sunday! It was awesome.  Pray for him to continue progressing and searching for answers.
Saturday we were able to see Ariana and her family again! We taught the plan of salvation with Luciana (mom), Luis (brother) Ariana, Diego (bro) and Leo.  It was a really great lesson, super powerful- all thanks to the spirit. Luis, Ariana, Diego, and Leo committed to prepare to be baptized in september!  PRAY for them to continue to work for this.  and pray for their mom to have this desire.  They need it so much more than they know! We meet with them again tonight and we get to meet Luciano's boyfriend as well. Pray pray pray!
There is an english member here that we get to eat with every now and again named sister Mather. She is absolutely wonderful and I just love her and wanted to tell you all that haha.
We met many more people this week and invited invited invited. We got stood up many times, but we did our best!
Today I had an awesome personal study. I specifically prayed to be guided for our lessons tonight, what spiritual thought I wanted to send home (in this email),  and the things the Lord directed me to were pretty crazy!  In the Book of Mormon (I've been reading it through,) I'm in: Helaman 4 and 5, the part about repentance stuck out to me, and led me to King Benjamins address in Mosiah 4... where there are more great scriptures about repentance and forgiveness. I then went to the bible where I've been reading and today i was In Luke 14 (pretty sure, don't have my study notebook with me) I read about the lost sheep and the prodigal son. About forgiveness/ repentance as well! When just one sinner or one soul that is lost comes back there is REJOICING in heaven.  Then I went to where I've been reading in the D&C, (section 11) and it says 'say nothing but repentance to this generation'.  Then to end it all I had already planned to finish a wonderful talk by D. Todd Christofferson "The Divine Gift Of Repentance".  GO REAd it!
Repentance is a GIFT and in my personal study today I really felt guided to this topic.  I needed to hear it, those at our lessons tonight need to hear it, and you all as well!  Repentance is the only way we can be saved and only through our savior Jesus Christ.
I have a testimony that the Lord can guide us when we study!
well I hope all is well at home, I love you all SO much and I appreciate your prayers and love.
Love Hermana Barlow

Week 4 ( I think...) ! Aug 6


WELL I don't have much time today.. but yeah!
So about two weeks ago knocking doors we met a 17 year old girl named Ariana who is super cute.  She is super special and we knew it from the start! Last monday just after pday was done, we went to see her for our first official lesson. We didn't have too much time so we taught her about the Book of Mormon- but she prefered english and we didn't have one with us so, couldn't give her one right away (too bad..) but she committed to read it and pray and be baptized on a certain date as she comes to know these things are true! Ah I was so so so happy and I still am!
BUTTT
we went back for our return appointment... to teach the restoration and give her a book of mormon and teach her brothers too (yayy) andddd she wasn't there. :( so sad! she doesn't have a cell phone so, we haven't even talked to her since the monday she committed to be baptized. Hopefully we can have a lesson with her tonight! Ahh she needs it and is so prepared.
Staying in touch with people is a hard thing! Appointments fall through, people don't answer phones, its weird. who knew that would be a big setback in missionary work?
We had a 7 hour missionary training meeting this week which was long and pretty awesome. Our mission president is so great and basically has the scriptures all memorized. No lie! Its super cool and I always learn a lot.
I love that I get the chance to teach in both spanish and english.  Its gonna take me longer to really learn spanish, but its also nice to totally understand someone and really say what I want to say haha. But I love spanish too so its win win. I am getting better little by little, I wish it would all just hit me one day but i've accepted that thats not going to happen! 
I read a wonderful talk this morning from November 2011 conference by Quentin L. Cook (pretty sure...)  and I forgot the title (whoops!) but it had the word "song" in it haha. Go read it if you have a moment, its about trials. Very inspiring! I love sharing the gospel, especially when I get to share my testimony about and give away a copy of the Book of Mormon.  I felt like I did that a lot this week which just makes me so happy! I love that Book!!
well I'm running out of time, I love you all so much!
Love Hermana Barlow

MILAGROS!! July 29


Hola hola everyone!
So in the MTC I remember one day in Relief Society a lady gave us a few suggestions/ pieces of advice for the mission and I remember one was:
Expect Miracles!
So, some great miracles happened this week. The biggest yet!
So this week was great of course, one of our first lessons was with an old man named Jose. My companion and her last companion have taught him for a while now. He is funny and literally has no teeth :) hehe.  So he already has a testimony of the gospel... and he knows he needs to be baptized.... but.. he won't commit to a date? We're not sure whats up.  So in our lesson, we invite him to be baptized once again... and he says not yet.  Then he goes on to explain a dream he had recently: It was full on the spirit world, and people all dressed in white, and his grandpa telling him that he was the only hope for their family... so, OBVIOUSLY this is an amazing sign to be baptizedd that most people don't get! The sweet member who was present tried to explain that he needs to do the temple work/ baptisms for the dead for his ancestors, obv. But, he still said not yet. Haha it was a really amazing dream to hear about though.  He says he is expecting us to convince him to be baptized, and we aren't going to do that. So I hope he can learn that and come to his decision!
Tracting is always good when you get new investigators and return appointments, but a lot of the times we return and they decide not to be there! Ha its frustrating but what do you do. We met a few of those people and we hope that when we return next week we will actually get to share this message with them.
I ate a lot of meat one of the days this week.  Doin it because I love them and its hard- litterally too hard to say no. I have told like 1 or 2 families that I don't eat meat and since then they have been SO sweet about it but I just wish everyone could understand that they don't have to not eat meat with me haha... ah! so hard! but I love them so much
Friday was the day with the biggest miracles!!
We visited a less active (basically inactive...) member and her daughter again, and she was super awesome and open with us again. Our last meeting with her was super spiritual and this one was too. The change we saw was amazing.  This lady has a hard life and a hard situation, and I love seing her remember and build her testimony.  She was for sure on coming to church sunday and we could see that she meant it. Ah its amazing to see the way we acted on our promptings from the spirit and how that helped her change and come unto Christ.
Later that night, we went to a kind of less active family's house for a lesson with them and to help them with something they needed. We went in and they had amazing news for us! Earlier that day a lady- an old neighbor I guess- showed up at their house and knocked on their door and they talked for a bit.  They got on the subject of us (the hermanas) and she mentioned that she had met with hermanas in the past and was interested in seeing us again!!! So they gave her our number and invited her to come over later that night.  So we were obviously at this point like.... is this real life??? So then an there we call her and invite her to the house again.  So Romina came like 30 minutes later with a 16 year old girl named Nicole. Oh yeah and their last name is De Los Santana haha super awesome. Anywhoo, we had a way good convo and my companion felt so prompted to invite them to be baptized and they accepted a baptismal date! So amazing!! They said as they come to know these things are true, they really will be baptized.  WOW we were honestly like AMAZED at this miracle.  A literal miracle... things like that just do not happen that often at all. Our Father in heaven loves us very much. He really guides us when we are obedient and places people in our paths so long as we are patient and obedient.  It was amazing and we are so so excited to begin working with these wonderful ladies.
Sunday though... they said they were going to church but didn't. :/. ah we still have a lot of faith in them though. Jose did come to church though, so thats good.  Little by little he will come around I think.
I love my mission so much!! Such an amazing and trying experience that will help me for my entire life as long as I can remember the wonderful things I have learned.
I love you and am praying for you! Thank you for all your prayers!
Love Hermana Barlow

Familia y amigos, July 22


FAMILIA Y AMIGOS
Ok another week here in the field... Everything is going by faster and faster which is bittersweet!
So here's a little update.
Rodrigo y Mateo (brothers 14, 11) committed to baptism this week! Now we need to help their Dad be on board though.... I have faith that it will happen.  Their older brother is on a mission and I really think that they will recieve a lot of blessings from that, including their Dad allow them to choose to be baptized. Ahh we're hoping and praying for a miracle! I guess thats what we do everyday haha.
We don't always feel super led when we tract, but the times that I have noticed the spirit's guidance I'm always astonished at what happens, even if its a simple but positive conversationwith rejection.  Peoples agency is huge and I love how we invite everyone to use it in righteous ways. Keep praying for us to be led to those who are prepared!
Thursday was my first exchange with Hermana Smith! We didn't have much time together because of some things but it was great learning from her.  On the way to her aptment in arlington heights on wed. night, I saw the city! Just for a little minute when we were driving on the freeway. Its so beautiful and I'm excited to go there someday!!
With Hna Smith we went to a trailer park where a potential investigator lived.  She was a way sweet lady but I could hardly understand her at all haha.  I guess she told some wild story about crossing the border and stuff but... yeah thats besides the point HAHA
That was a way cool lesson because she was talking more than half of the time, which is really how it should be.  We were able to figure out a lot of what she believed and what she needed.  Towards the end she said that she had tried to recieve answers from God in her prayers but that it had never really happened, and she doubted that it was possible. I hadn't talked the whole time but I understood that and I was like "tengo una experiencia con recibiendo una respuesta de dios!" or something really broken like that... and I told her my experienced and testified that I know its possible.  After that she said something I didn't understand.. and after the lesson I guess she had said that I recieved it because I was expecting it... and that it wasn't real... ha if I had understood that I would have testified even more, but oh well. She was nice and really open to ideas and I hope the Arrlington heights sisters can help her progress because shes great.
After splits, the sister that went with my comp told us of someone to go see that she had visited when she served in our area.  So I guess this guy's family is in Mexico and are all baptized and he has seen how happy they are and ordered a Book of Mormon online and SLC sent her (that sister) his info to go see him and for some reasons they didn't see him much.
He sounds so golden and ready to recieve the gospel right?
So anyway, we went out to his house.  he lives in one of the MOST beautiful neighborhoods I have ever ever seen.  Like.......... speachless. I'll take some pics next time we are out there.  we were so used to being apartment buildings and smaller houses so, we hadn't really seen this life yet.  I'm telling you, random beautiful lakes with fountains in the middle, green green fields, houses so huge and gorgeous and spaced apart way nicely... it was crazy. Anywho we go up to this one big house and ring it and a sweet little girl answered. She was talking to us like we were her bffs right off the bat and we had to tell her to get her parents like 3 times.
Its hard to explain the look on his face while talking to us... it wasn't like normal where people are confused or interested, it was like he really wanted to hear our message and make it a part of his life.  He said he wanted to learn and to have what his family in mexico had (pretty much) but that his wife is catholic and didn't want to hear of it.  He gave us his number and said we could still teach him in a couple weeks though.  ahhhhhh pray for a miracle for Juan y familia!
Another little story- my comp felt prompted to visit this former investigator named Daniel. He had only had a couple small lessons though so he never progressed very far. He is 16 so we could speak to him in english, and we had a way good and deep conversation with him. It was crazy how the spirit was giving me (and my comp too probably ) prompting after prompting. Ah we know what he needs in his life and we know how we can help him, now its up to his agency! He is really interested in the world and loves learning of possible theories of why we're here and who God is and all that.  He also faces a lot of struggles in his life. and at the same time, he barely knows who Jesus Christ is and what he did, and why he is so important now.  He really needs that and I feel it in my heart! While having this discussion and hearing of his life and struggles, scripture after scripture came to my mind.  We invited him to start/ to continue to search and study the scriptures. ahhh we hear that all the time! 'read your scriptures read your scriptures' but really, it can change us and direct us in CRUCIAL ways. pray for Daniel.
In my scripture reading since then I have found countless things that he needs to hear. Those books contain things we all need to hear! God is waiting for us to go recieve answers to our prayers through the scriptures
I see this vision for everyone we know here, even the active members. A vision of conversion and for eternal life. Its real and its true! I know God lives and loves us and wants all to come unto him no matter what.  This is no small work- its for salvation and eternity. I'm forever thankful for this opportunity to help others and grow myself!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
read Mosiah 14- it hit me super hard as I circled each time it says 'our'.  Its so wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time.
quick shout out to all my fam in Bear Lake! I love you so much have a wonderful time but not too much fun without me! haha mucho amor

Saturday, July 20, 2013

EL CAMPO: AURORA!



EL CAMPO: AURORA!
 
Well its been two mondays since I've emailed so here I go!
 
Last days of the MTC were good, many goodbyes to some great friends!
 
One story:
One of our last days, we came into our classroom to find a note on the board that said: "Sister Barlow- Thanks for writing an inspiring song, 2 years. Good luck on your mission." and didn't say who it was from! But it was super super nice.
 
Another Elder also recognized me from youtube durring our in-field- orientation.  It is like the coolest thing when that happens I'm like whaaaaw
 
Monday at 4:30 we left for the airport! It was so exciting.
For some reason I get song inspirations on airplanes because I started writing one there HA (a spiritual one of course) but I'm saving it for after the mish or if I have time here.  For some reason I was feeling the spirit so strong on the plane!  I just sat there feeling and knowing that what I was doing was right and that I wouldn't be alone.  It was really cool. That day all 29 of us went to the Mission Presidents house, ate food, learned stuff, had interviews, and slept over there.  It was real fun!  It is super humid and h ot here haha I love it.
 
The next morning was TRANSFERS aka the reaping!! Ha just kidding.  But I got my new companion and trainer..... Hermana Hungate!! She is super great.  We are serving in the Aurora Spanish ward, covering the cities: West Chicage, Batavia, St. Charles and Geneva.That day was also sad though because I had to leave Hermana Jones :( I love her so much, I almost cried leaving her but I held it in.  The first couple days were a BLUR my mind was like whaat whoo... basically I was a little bit like a deer in the headlights!  I knew that obviously this mission would be different than san diego, but I guess deep down I kind of expected it to be I guess.  It seemed like the Sisters there were baptizing a lot, and they were always teaching people, and also they never tracted. Now that I'm here I see that they are pretty lucky haha! My first couple days we tracted so so much, heres why: Before I came there were only 4 missionaries in our ward: Two Elders and two sisters split the ward boundaries (which is the stake boundaries).  NOW there are 8 MISSIONARIES in our ward! so crazy! two pairs of elders and 2 of sisters. So,  the area is now split into 4. So... that means our investigators pretty much all went to the other missionaries, and now we don't have any progressing investigators :/ but thats ok we will find some! We did find some potentials and another which we are hoping and praying will progress.
 
Stories:
 
So we were trying to visit a very less active but couldn't find her, she had moved.  So we decided to knock around there.  Now how we knock is not just going down the line- we try our hardest to listen to the spirit to lead us and help us know which houses to knock on.  I felt that we needed to go right on this one street, so we did.  Another challenge we have is that we have to try our best to guess/feel which houses are hispanic! Tricky huh... So we were walking along and we stopped and I asked her what she thought. In my head I felt that we needed to go to this one house a bit down the street.  She paused for a minute and pointed to the house that I was thinking of, which was cool.  So at this door,I took the lead and what not (which is scary with my spanish!) But a sweet hispanic lady maybe in her 30s answered, and was very interested, and let us in, and we had a quick lesson about prayer and she prayed for/with us! It was so spiritual and shes so awesome. It was super cool how we were led there.
 
Also we happened to be in a certain neighborhood just walking around, and we ran into a former investigator.  At first she said she had no time, didn't want to talk, blah blah blah, but my comp was a boss and helped clear up mis-conceptions and re establish our purpose, and she ended up letting us into her house, and wanted us to teach her and her daughters. We went back and had a very spiritual lesson.
 
Little things like that just make my life because they are for sure miracles from the Lord.  Rejection after rejection can be so discouraging and hard, and finding can be difficult- So when the lord gives us tender mercies like that I am so so thankful.
 
I do love the mission as hard as it is.  The hard moments and days pass and the good moments come to make it all worth it.  I can see how this mission will be the most fulfilling thing.
This place gets more beautiful every day. The sunsets are amazing and the random cornfields are gorgeous! Also theres a giant river that I love.  Tons of the houses are so charming, Its a great place
 
I LOVE our ward members- everyone even-, I wish they knew how much!!
 
Love you love you!
 
Hermana Barlow





MTC photos!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mission Address!

Hermana Carli Barlow
Illinois Chicago-West Mission
1319 Butterfield Road, suite 522
Downers Grove IL 60515

Carli's email
carlin.barlow@myldsmail.net

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Final Countdown


HOLAAAA
ok so THIS WEEK yay
So I'll start with monday right after I emailed you:
So my comp and I were just sitting at dinner and these Elders come up and one was like "Carli Barlow?" and I was like oh no how do I know him, he's not even familiar? and then he was like "Two Years???" and I was like whaaa this is not happening! I was like "Uhm so like my dream is coming true right now this is a milestone in my life... its fine"  So awesome to be recognized for my music! It was way awesome and we got pictures and such.  He said he bought the song too and it made him cry haha it was funny and really great.
Tuesday there was an AWESOME devotional by Janice Kapp Perry- it was such a treat for me to see a woman who is so accomplished and has followed both her dreams of Music and having a family.  She wrote sooo many of the great primary songs and all the missionaries sang a little medley together.  Another major highlight was when we sang "The sisters of Zion and Helaman's Army." I am not sure if I told you but she re-wrote the words to her song "As sisters in Zion" and they are even more about missionary work.  SO COOL to have thousands of missionaries sing that together.  Loved it loved it
One thing I was struggling a bit with this week was really figuring out how to put all my trust in the spirit to teach with it- or better yet let it be the teacher through me.  Its amazing how through prayer and study and teachers/ others words, answers will come.  God wants to guide and direct our lives- we just have to let him.  I need to work on forgetting myself! I wonder how all lives would change if we could do that more often.
Wednesday we got to Host new missionaries!  It was kinda hard work but it was fun.  It reminded me of how fast I wanted to get away from you guys so that I wouldn't cry haha....
We got our TRAVEL PLANS yaaa!  Next early early monday morning we will be meeting at the travel office at 4:30 AM!  We will probably get to the airport by 6, so between then and 8 ish (Utah time) I want to say we can talk on the phone? Its kinda hard and I'm nervous I won't be able to reach you while you're in Lake Powell and stuff... you better find a good place!

Thank you so much for sending me things and pictures! You are so kind and I love you so much!
Remember to pray and read your scriptures and stuff even on vacation!!
I LOVE YOU
con amor
Hermana Barlow

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

We are ALL part of "THE WORK OF SALVATION"


HEY FAMILIA!
 
So this time I brought my journal to the computer lab so I can give you a better account about this past week.  I usually am RACING to write in my journal at night, and also its hard to remember significant things that happen every day. Ha but every little thing helps so I'm gonna do my best!
 
SO teaching has been good! mas o menos... My espanol seemed to be excelling at a rapid speed weeks 1 2 and 3 but now it is seeming to get harder.  It's so weird that way....  I feel like I've hit a flat line and I'm not progressing as well as I was but, hey little by little I'll get it.  I have to remind myself that learning a language takes focus and time time time. 
 
Funny story: So tuesday after gym and about a half hour before we had to go to dinner and straight to the devotional , my companera and I took showers in the 30 minutes we are allowed to get ready.  So the door stopper was in the door and everything but when we came back, it wasn't! We were locked out of our room and we were like whaaaat lets go to the 3rd floor maybe and find a worker! So we walk out of this one door to go upstairs, only to realize that we locked ourselves out of our floor!  We were in gym clothes with towels on our heads by the way! So we begin to knock on the door and luckily one of our Hermanas answered it and her and her comp ran across campus to get us spare keys.  In the meantime we played a quick game of hide and seek and probably something else thats real silly that I can't remember.
So we got the keys and I have NEVER gotten ready that fast I don't think.  We ate apples and protein bars on the way to the devotional and called it good! success haha kind of!
 
A funny/ cool thing happened thursday (i think)- so I go into the cafeteria and my friend from San Diego, Courtney Fries was there and I was like heyy! I knew she was coming and I had been looking for her. So I was talking to her and Sarah Pinnock walks up and hugs me too I was like heyy this is awesome! Then I find out that Hermana Fries and Hermana Pinnock are companions and I was like whaaat mind blown! It was super cool thats such a power companionship I love them both.  I love seeing people I know!
 
Friday we got up at 5:30 again to go to our newly assigned service project yaay.  We went annnnddd,.... they didn't need us hahha cool.  That day we did a mini "ayuno de ingles" (I think thats what its called)  Haha aka an English Fast.  We went from lunch to dinner without speaking english and it made my brain HURT but I could tell that It was really good for me. 
 
Saturday the MTC began to be transformed. The were moving things EVERYWHERE and we've been eating in the gym ever since then because its the exciting week of Mission Presidents! They are here learning from some awesome General Authorities that we don't get to see. It's an exciting time but its weird eating in the gym and there are less options haha but there is a Vegetarian table so I really like it!
 
SUNDAY WAS THE BEST!
did you watch the Worldwide Broadcast?!? If you didn't what are you thinking?!?! Hna Jones' mom said she saw us on TV for a minute so thats cool! Getting famouser....
Ha jk but for real, Sunday was awesome- I only have time to talk about the broadcast.  So I got to sing in the choir so we were there real early.  The place was practacally filled and the spirit was already there, but when the Apostles (11 of them were there! that is a BIG. DEAL.) Walked in the spirit just HIT and everyone could feel it, everyone went silent.  I love them.  And I would love to give you a play by play of the whole thing but there is no time.  All I know is that my spirit was strengthened, my perspective was changed for the better and my life is on an even straighter course of helping others return to our Heavenly Father.  As members we are ALL a part of "THE WORK OF SALVATION"- (I love that title SO much).  We need to invite others to come unto Christ- all of our friends, simple but strong and heartfelt invitiations will do,  ahh there are so so many things I loved about it but theres just no more time to write.  GO WATCH IT and make goals por favor!  We are on this Earth in these last days for a reason, and the Lord is hastening his work at this time for a reason, and inviting others to utilize their agency is what we've been asked to do.  AH I love the mission and love this work and love this Gospel so much.
 
I LOVE YOU!!!! TE AMO
 
Hermana Barlow