Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Christmas! and changes Dec 23

Dec 23, 2013
WOW it's almost been a week here in my new area. Its been pretty crazy and I'm not sure where to start so...
Tuesday was transfers! Super crazy as always. I got my new companion: Hermana Grant! Wow what a wonderful Hermana! She has been in the field for 5 weeks so I am finishing her training. She is from BC Canada and has almost got me saying "Eh?" haha she says it all the time its hilarious. But she's great. One thing I forgot to mention last week is that we are in a car share! meaning half the week we have no car :/. So it has been quite interesting and we've had some great adventures that you will hear about a bit later.
So a little more about my area- we cover 2 English wards as I said- so probably the best thing is that we get a lot of members to work with, and also they are AWESOME. They are so helpful and dedicated to missionary work and helping us out. Coming into the ward I imagined that there were going to be more spanish speakers that had been separated from the Rockford spanish branch and that had been coming here, but I was a bit wrong! There are probably.. 2 families and one single lady roughly? We have a lot of work to do! There are some other spanish speakers too but they've always gone to the english wards.  The hardest part is probably the fact that: in the Dekalb ward I have to translate in Sacrament and relief society (depending on who comes) and in the Sycamore ward I switch off every other week with a spanish speaker for Sacrament meeting and I have to translate in relief society. Yesterday was my first time doing it (only in relief society) for one poor lady and I am telling you... it was one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted to do!! Wow wow I can't even describe. It is so hard- and I just feel so bad for the lady I was translating for. eek please pray for me
So here is a cool story!  One day we were making calls to get rides for the next day when we weren't going to have a car. We called soo many people and all were going to be gone for the weekend before Christmas! We had no idea what to do! Then when we came home our sweet neighbor was talking to us and told us an inspiring story of how she has been a cancer survivor for 10 years. Then it dawned on us that she works right around the place we wanted to go the next day, so she said it was all right if she gave us a ride!  The next morning we got a ride with her into Dekalb. Buuttt, we didn't get dropped off exactly where we wanted to- we just told her a certain street, even though it was in the corner of the city! We saw an old lady member in an old people's home there and then left and started walking. The GPS said our next destination was about 3 miles away and we were walking about 3 miles per hour in the snow hahah so, it was fun. After like 10 minutes of walking, A lady in a black car pulled into the turn lane in the street and was like "hey get in I'll give you a ride!" and we were like uhhhh stranger danger but then she was like "I'm a Christian lady and I'm not gonna hurt you!" ha and so we thought about it a bit and felt fine about it so, we got in. She was like "wow the holy spirit just told me to stop and to go pick up those girls so I turned around and did!" so we got talking about her churches in the car and once we were at our destination we got her info and testified etc. So, that was cool! That day was really full of miracles too because each person we tried to see let us in and we were able to teach rather that be out in the cold all day so, that was cool. The Lord loves us and is blessing us so much!
Yesterday we had a 'specialized traning' where one of the senior missionaries dressed up as santa (hahahaha) (im so mad i didn't get a pic on my camera.. president Fenn has one on his maybe I will try to get it from him?) anywhoo we ate chili and later heard from president Fenn which is always great. He gave us each 3 scripture marking pencils and a new book of mormon from the supplies. We are having a special mission conference in April and he has invited us to start the book of mormon over today and  to mark the Red: The Atonement. Yellow: The Doctrine of Christ and Blue: Missionary work. I am excited to start this- for those of you who haven't tried it I suggest studying your scriptures looking for certain topics as you go through. It helps you read with a different perspective. President Fenn told a story yesterday that I thought was so interesting: When he was younger he had just finished the Book of Mormon again, and was reading Moroni's promise in ch 10. But instead of verse 4 sticking out to him that time, it was verse 3. "... if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember HOW MERCIFUL the lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things..." it really struck him that the Book of Mormon really causes us to remember how merciful the Lord has been to us. So he started reading it again- searching for all references to the mercy and grace of our savior, and he had finished it by the next week. Its amazing what we can learn from the Book of Mormon about how we can apply the atonement into our lives!
I know our Savior lives and that he sufferd for our hard times and our weeknesses as well. He is here with us in times of trouble if we let him in!
I love you and Merry Christmas!
Love, Hermana Barlow
The 12 days of Christmas
with Hermana Lopez

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