Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hermana Cadd took a vacation


Hi Familia!                                                                                  September 29, 2014 
                 
It’s been a good but crazy week- probably one of the craziest weeks
of my mission! It was very very busy. We had some sort of meeting or
activity almost every day. But it was good of course. Last Monday we
had two Hermanas come in who are from southern California. They both
started their missions in Mexico, went home for medical reasons, and
have now been re-assigned to the best mission in the world! We had an
awesome discussion about Obedience with them, the assistants, and the
other sister training leaders and it was just a really special moment
for me to realize that the obedience I have shown in my mission so far
has helped me be happy along the way and happy now as I start to look
back on the service I’ve given. So don’t forget about obedience, it
really does bring blessings.

We trained at the new missionary training meeting, and then
Hermana Cadd went on a vacation to Rockford! Hermana Jacobsen was with
me first, she is a new missionary and she is super fun and excited
about life. Wednesday morning we had an awesome opportunity- we and a
bunch of the missionaries in the Naperville zone were able to give a
church tour to a huge class of 70 high school kids studying world
religions. It was really spiritual and I loved answering their
questions and seeing all of the diversity. It was a special
experience!

The next day I was with Hermana Miller. She is awesome I love her! We
were able to teach the Santos family and it was a very spiritual
lesson, again about the atonement. I know that the atonement is real
and that it will change us if we allow it to. Please pray for the
Santos family that they can have the faith to do what is necessary to
see those changes in their lives. I would say that overall this week,
my testimony of the Atonement has been strengthened the most.

The next day I was with Hermana Taylor who started her mission in
Guadalajara Mexico, went home for knee problems, and now is serving
here. She loves it
here and I loved learning from her. She has such a desire to do her
very best! Our little Spanish group tried to put on a "Spanish Movie
Night" which, we did but the turn out was really small haha. We
watched the testaments. One of our less actives Martina was there and
she loved it. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and she was
crying after the movie telling us about the spirit she has been
feeling through it and how she really knows the church is true. There
is power in the Book of Mormon.

Saturday was of course, the General Women’s Broadcast! I loved seeing
all of my Aurora members! That was so special for me. I love them so
so much. A very cool thing happened there as well! So around two weeks
ago, Hermana Hungate messaged me on facebook telling me that she felt
that our old investigator Mia was ready for the Gospel now. She
asked me to send the Hermanas there to see. So at the broadcast I
remembered to tell them about her. About a half an hour later Hermana
Cadd and I were at a table with some Spanish speaking members I didn’t
recognize from the Aurora ward. We were getting to know them a little
bit, and one said she was from Batavia. I was really confused because
I for sure knew all of the members in Batavia! She must have recently
moved in. So I told her I used to serve there, and she said that she
remembered me. So I was so embarrassed haha I asked her for her name
again and she said “I’m Mia” and my face was priceless…. IT WAS
MIA! Wow she looked different and it had been a long time, it was so
crazy! A member had invited her there and it was the first invitation
that she accepted to come in over a year (I think). So that was a
really cool miracle, I introduced her to the Hermanas and hopefully
they will teach her again. I really loved that and I really know that
Heavenly Father loves her a lot.

So it's been a great week. We hope to find new, solid investigators
this week and to see miracles! Enjoy General conference and get the
most that you can out of it!

Love, Hermana Barlow

Monday, September 29, 2014

El Libro de mormon!! Sept 22


Holaa                                                                                                                                  
Warning- this email is long :/
Well, I could put a lot of things as my email subject title because a lot happened this week! 

Some ideas I had were: 
'tree zoo' because we went there last Monday. It's actually called an arboretum... it was really fun and beautiful. There are forests, groves and lakes with trees from all over the world. We kind of went at the wrong time because the leaves are barely starting to change color this week but Hna Cadd wanted to go before she goes home in a few weeks.

Another was 'airport adventures'- later in the week we took an Hermana to the airport because she was being medically released. We will miss her mucho and I hope she gets better ASAP! The airport was funny because it is HUGE; it really is bigger than most the cities I have served in on my mission. We were running all over the place trying to figure it out, but finally we got it. It was a funny adventure.

Also I thought of putting 'we listen to slayer.' Because we knocked a door this week and an American man came and said he wasn't interested but I gave him a card and testified of the Book of Mormon and he just goes "we listen to slayer".. Haha  we were walking away thinking....... Ok... Hahahah!

Another funny story: we taught a man outside his house and his little daughter was there. We pointed to the picture of Jesus and asked her who it was and she goes... 'Uh.... Guadalupe?' -___-

Something else I saw this week was that miracles are wrought after the trial of our faith. As missionaries, we go out and we show our faith. We open our mouths, we teach, we invite, we're bold! These are all definitely acts of faith. I'm finding that there are always ways to have more faith and show more faith.

    - One example included having faith that the Holy Ghost will guide our words.  Hermana Cadd and I went back with Jimena who we taught last week. She started to say "sorry, I just want to study one thing at a time, I've already started with the Jehovah's witnesses", blah blah etc. We both felt that we should keep the conversation going a little bit. So we kept talking, understanding her concerns, and just as I was writing our number down on a pamphlet for her, she asked kind of out of the blue "what do you believe about death?" It was really cool. I then knew the main reason we felt particularly strong about continuing the conversation. We shared a Book of Mormon scripture, we shared about temples, and in the end she wasn't saying 'don't come back anymore', she was saying that she would pray about it. The spirit while talking with her was so strong and very peaceful. We are going to follow up with her this week so pray for her please!

    - Another example includes having the faith that the Lord will guide us. Friday afternoon we went to visit a potential, but they weren't home. So our options were, go stop by another potential, or knock a few doors on that street. That street was special because a few weeks earlier Hna Cadd and I had both separately felt that we needed to find someone on that street. It's also not a street where a lot of Hispanics live. It was pretty weird because in that moment I didn't necessarily want to knock doors there but we both felt it was right. So it was a good moment of pushing past what I wanted and what the Lord wanted (sometimes that's a part of faith as well). So we go to a house and there is a Hispanic lady washing her car windows in the garage. At first she didn't really want to talk to us, but I said something like "we are representatives of Jesus Christ and we share a message that will bless your life and strengthen your family" and then she just starts telling us that she knows God lives and that he loves her... then she was just sobbing telling us these two stories of when he saved her life. We taught her the restoration, recited first vision, and invited her to be baptized there in her garage. She says she doesn't know yet but she was receptive and happily took a Book of Mormon and we are going back this week. She is really special and I know the Lord led us to her. Pray for alexa!

I love love this scripture. I know it's true for us today as well.

-40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
Alma 37:40


And of course.... Our mission conference: the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Yesterday, September 21st is the anniversary of when the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith. So of course we had to celebrate that. I loved seeing all my compañeras too!
It was amazing! One of the most spiritual meetings we have ever had. President and Sister Fenn both told detailed stories of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. President Fenn also went deeper into the doctrine of why the Book of Mormon is essential for the preparation of the world for the second coming. I wish I could tell you everything but I don't have time :(. I love the Book of Mormon. I had the opportunity to give my testimony in front of the whole mission. I told about how I first read the Book of Mormon because my dad told me I could get a cell phone, but that even though my intentions were strange, it was the best thing that I have ever done. It truly is and I know without a doubt that Moroni's promise is real! So shoutout and thanks to Dad for making me read the Book of Mormon before getting a new cell phone when I was 13. Perhaps the best moment was when we stood to sing "praise to the man" and President Fenn begins to sob as he looks out at all of us. I could tell that he loves us all so much. Of course I was tearful along with most everyone around me. It was very very special. I know I've said it a million times but I love my Mission President!! 

Really quick other random things that happened: I went on an exchange to Aurora and saw a lot of members and that was super exciting! I love them! Hna Cadd and I taught at the zone meeting about Finding people to teach and it went really well, the spirit really helped us. Also I got a haircut, nothing too crazy.
But also pray for us because we will be doing 3 exchanges all back to back this week so, it'll be loco!! Also tonight we have 3 Hermanas coming in who went home from their missions in other countries and were reassigned here so we will be teaching them as well.

I love you all!! Never stop reading the Book of Mormon!

Hermana Barlow

Sunday, September 28, 2014

el frío... Sept 15

Saludos                                             September 15, 2014

Hola familia! Some good things happened this week. It randomly got
really cold the past couple days which is weird.. So we are hoping the
temperature will rise this week.

We really focussed on the
less-actives and we saw some fruits from it! We also went on an
exchange with the Hermanas in Aurora. Hermana Bitter (who is my
grandchild aka. Hermana Lopez trained her) came with me here in
Wheaton! We taught Lucas, Carolina and her son. Their home teacher Brother
King(who is a seminary teacher) came with and he showed a good video
about Wilford Woodruff's conversion. It was a seminary video so of
course it was cheesy but it was really good and helped me remember how
precious the restored gospel really is. Lucas loved it and now he is
excited to look up all the videos and learn more about church history
so it was great!
  Hermana Bitter and I were in this huge apartment complex knocking
doors and following up on potential investigators when a specific lady
came to my mind. We went to see her and she let us in and we taught
her! It was really great I hope we keep teaching her. She said she
would be baptized when she knows it's true but she won't accept a date
yet. So pray for Jimena, that was a little miracle that we caught her
at the right time.
  Later in the week we saw a similar little miracle, we were in
another area and we planned to knock and follow up with potentials
again. We talked to a few people, and we were leaving to go to another
building when I had the impression to look at our plans because there
was someone there that we missed. At the same time I was opening up my
iPad, Hermana Cadd asked "who was that girl in building 37?" And it
was the same lady! So at the same time we got the same impression.
This lady Abigail seemed pretty promising the first time we visited but
she didn't keep her last return appointment.  I knew as we were
going there that something good was going to happen! At first the
cousin she lived with told us that Abigail was sleeping, but as we
continued to talk to her, Abigail came out and invited us in! We
promised her it wouldn't take long so we didn't teach much but, the
spirit was strong. I really feel that we were led there for a reason
and I also hope that she can begin to progress.
  Other good news is that 4 of our less actives came to church- 2 of
them haven't been in years, and the other 2 stayed all three hours
which they haven't done in a long long time. So we are thankful to The
Lord for that! Our little Spanish group was pretty big yesterday we
were all excited.
  I've been studying a lot about conversion because that is what I am
specifically looking for in the Book of Mormon right now. I'm making a
list of the steps/elements/results of conversion and my list continues
to grow and grow. One talk I read was "Converted Unto The Lord" by
Elder Bednar.
Talking of the converted people in Alma 23 he said:
"Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from
becoming converted unto the Lord?"
Whatever keeps us from being dedicated and putting the Lord on #1 in
our priority list, we need to burry deep in the earth... Sadly there
are a lot of those kinds of things out there.

I also loved this scripture:
2 Nephi 10:24
"24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will
of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember,
after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the
grace of God that ye are saved."

We reconcile ourselves and align our lives with His will when we take
the steps to be
born again and be truly converted. Then grace will save us. I love
that it all ties back to the atonement. I also love the fact that God
loves us so much that he gave us our agency, and a way to apply that
atonement in our lives. I love sharing that way with others and giving
them the chance to follow it. I love the gospel and I see it's
perfection more and more each time I share it and see people live it.
I hope we can all make the sacrifices necessary to be more converted
this week!

I love you!
Hermana Barlow

Saturday, September 27, 2014

member missionary miracle Sept 8

First, some funny stuff I've seen...



Hahaha!



Shout out to...







Fam y amigos                                         September 8, 2014

¡Hola! This week was pretty good. We had a lot of meetings! Monday the
new missionaries came in and we were able to eat dinner and have a
meeting with them and we taught a little bit. Unexpectedly, it was a
very special meeting. There is something so special about starting
your mission/ new missionaries, they are afraid but excited and they
just have no idea what wonderful and hard times lie ahead!

The departing devotional was amazing. There were only four sisters
going home this transfer, and Sister Davis (Mindy Davis from high
school) was there too because she leaves in between this transfer and
next. President talked about how you can keep the spirit and keep
moving forward spiritually after the mission which was comforting to
hear. The testimonies were so powerful. It caused me to reflect and be
grateful for the ways the mission has changed me and the mercies I
have received. It also caused me to be thankful for the time I have
left!
  A lot of things fell through this week unfortunately :/ Wednesday
we had a cool experience through showing our faith! That whole day we
had barely met anyone promising and we hadn't taught anyone. We were
nearing the time that we had to go to our dinner appointment so we
could have gone and been a little early, but we decided to go to this
one street and knock a door. So we hurried over, choose a door, and
knocked it. A Hispanic boy answered and went to get his Dad. His Dad
comes and looks TOTALLY white so I was like, oh great.. Because he had
light skin and light eyes. But he was from Mexico! And not only that,
he was super nice and interested and we will be going back this week.
Miracles happen after the trial of our faith.
  Friday we had mission leadership council. The night before,
President Fenn had read the whole Book of Mormon (he skipped a few
chapters) looking for all of its references to teaching and shared a
bunch of things he found- it was awesome. The Book of Mormon
contains so much more than we may think at first, we'll never be done
reading and learning from it.
  Our member missionary miracle was Saturday! Saturday ended up being
great, we had four members out with us at different times, and were
basically with members all day. It was great even though some
appointments fell through. We have a really awesome single member
named Roberto. He is outstanding and dedicated to the church and
missionary work. As we were pulling up to a dinner appointment with
him and two less active Spanish members, the less actives called and
cancelled. We were super disappointed because Roberto had made food
and we couldn't go eat it without another woman. So he comes out
to our car, we told him the situation, and he proposed the idea to
invite his neighbor that he hardly knew (a single American lady) to
eat with us! He didn't even know her name haha. So he buzzes her
apartment, she comes out and we explained how we can't eat with him
alone and she thought it was so weird But, we invited her, and she
said yes! She ate with us and it was wonderful, she is an awesome
person.  We had a very very spiritual lesson about the Book of Mormon
and we could tell she was feeling the spirit very strong. We asked her
a question about faith and she began to cry a little bit. I was in awe
at how strong the spirit was. Another cool small miracle was that I
just happened to have an English Book of Mormon to give away, which I
rarely ever have one in my bag. It was an amazing experience and
we are thankful that the Lord put everything in place for it to happen
and that our member had the courage to just invite. I love being a
missionary!

So yeah. Good things are happening but please also pray that our
investigators will come to church this week, they're having a
struggle!

Love you! Hermana Barlow

Thursday, September 25, 2014

staying in Wheaton Sept 1


Hi familia                                           September 1, 2014

It was a pretty good last week of the transfer. Of course Hermana Cadd
and I are staying together, it's her last transfer so it'll be great.
I don't feel like I have too much to tell you though.... We taught
some lessons... Found a less active who speaks Spanish who is willing
to listen so, that's good. We see some great potential in him and his
son and wife aren't members. It'll take some miracles but those
happen! So please pray for Elias.

We taught about the priesthood to Lucas and Carolina and her son,
it was really great. Their home teacher came and showed the video
"sanctify yourselves". I love that video! Go watch it if you can. Carolina
was in tears afterwards. The spirit was strong and it was a great
reminder of the appreciation I have for the priesthood.

A few days ago I got a letter from the mission office that had a talk
called "finishers Wanted" by President Monson with a note attached
that said something like: "this talk has been sent to you by request
of President Fenn in preparation for the last few months of your
mission." So I guess they always send that out when you have 2
transfers left. Pretty crazy though. It is a wonderful talk with very
specific examples of how to be a finisher- in whatever we are doing.
It's wonderful and I have set some goals for these wonderful few
months that are ahead. On Sunday the Bishop's son gave his homecoming
talk from his mission in Brazil. It was really good and it caused me
to think back on my mission so far and I was just filled with
gratitude. I just feel like my mission so far has been the best gift
I've been given. Words can't explain my gratitude. 3 less actives came
to sacrament meeting and I was just sitting there in the back with
them so happy for our tiny tiny Spanish group. I love them!

I'm continuing to read the Book of Mormon and learning a lot of
course. I love 1 nephi 17:13; if we keep the commandments The Lord is
able to lead us through the wilderness. I love how many times it tells
us to remember The Lord and seeing the way that that ties into us
having a lasting conversion. 1 nephi 19:18

Tonight we are going to President Fenn's to meet the new missionaries
and teach them a little bit so we hope that'll go well. Tomorrow we
will have the departing missionaries devotional so that'll be good!

I love you all don't forget what's most important
Hermana Barlow

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

bautismo Aug 25

Querida Familia                                       August 25, 2014

Good news! Lucas is a Mormon! :). THANK YOU for all of your
prayers. It was a great week. We taught him and his wife this week an
awesome and spiritual lesson about enduring to the end and missionary
work. They are awesome and have strong testimonies. They are excited
to be sealed in a year and I am just so thankful to be able to serve
here and know them and see The Lord work miracles with them as they
have allowed him to. I love how they, especially Lucas, has shown his
faith and felt the spirit testify that what he is doing is the Lords
will. I started the Book of Mormon again this week and my challenge
this time is to look for the principles of being born again and, the
power of conversion and how it occurs. I am also highlighting Christ's
names and the word "remember" whenever it's mentioned.  I have seen
the same principles that I have found in the Book of Mormon so far in
real life here on the mission. I've seen it in Lucas in my time here, as
well as others in whom I have seen changes through the Atonement. That
is just a testimony to me that the principles taught in the Book of
Mormon are true, everlasting, and apply to us today! As we study and
pray diligently, act on the word, feel the spirit, and through the
help of The Lord change accordingly, we are converted- this is a
process we can do our whole lives. Missionary work is the coolest
thing.

The baptismal service was very spiritual. The font here is the most
beautiful that I've ever seen! We sang a musical number, the talks
were awesome and there was a great turn out there. It was just really
special and hard to put into words. He has a strong testimony and I'm
just excited to see what the future has in store. The Lord has blessed
us so much.

This week I went on an exchange with.... Hermana Lopez! My "daughter"
haha! It was so great I loved being back with her. The exchange was
too short. She is an amazing missionary and I learned a lot from her.
She is very powerful in her teaching and testifying and she is doing
amazing things. We were able to teach a few lessons together and it
was awesome. We got some new investigators and I'll tell you more
about them next week if they continue to investigate.


We had an adventure 
trying to switch after the exchange because a member took us,
and her iPhone took us the longest way through traffic and eventually
we ended up at this closed road and went off- roading a bit to find
our way! Haha luckily a truck driver helped us find our way. Oh yeah
and we got caught behind a 15 minute train. But I think there was a
purpose for all that because the Hermanas who waited an extra hour at
the subway were able to teach an amazingly prepared man! So I think
it's all in the wisdom of God. We had a good adventure though. The
next day Hermana Montanares came with me to Wheaton and it was great
as well. She is a very awesome Hermana!

I have a cool story I've been meaning to tell since the beginning of
the transfer but I keep forgetting. I will try to tell it correctly.
So the 1st day of the transfer one of the English sisters in our ward
told us a story from when she was in Joliet. So I guess she had a
younger recent-convert girl who had gathered some lds music and made a
mix cd and one of the songs was Two Years. Around that time the girl
was debating on whether she would go on a mission. She had just been
praying about this decision and she got in the car, turned it on, and
Two Years started to play. She felt the spirit and took it as an
answer that she should go on a mission! Later on while in the car with
the Sisters and Hermanas she was telling them the story and Hermana
Hungate was one of the Hermanas and told them it was my song. I love
that story (of course)! I guess answers can be received through music.
Thought maybe you'd like to hear it.

So yeah. I just love you all and I know what we teach is true and I'm
excited to continue to stand for it!

Love, Hermana Barlow

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

El Templo Aug 19

Hi fam!                                                August 19, 2014

I am writing today because we went to the temple. It was
amazing as usual. I love the temple and the spirit is so strong there.
There is really no other place like it. I want everyone I know to go
there! 


This was a good and crazy busy week! Part way through the week when
Hermana Cadd and I had finished some back to back exchanges she says
"I feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off" hahah and
that was a good way to describe us! I was just laughing at us because
we're trying to juggle so many different things but I'm learning that
we are pretty good at handling stress. I'm getting even better at it
now for sure. 
We were invited to train at the New Missionary Training meeting
(which is one of my favorite meetings) so that was great.
After that I went on back to back exchanges in Rockford (my
last branch!) The first with Hermana Miller who is an awesome awesome
Hermana who is in her training. The day after that I was with Hermana Sharp
who is now serving in my last area with Hermana Klivans. We had 2 cool
experiences.  We went to a trailer park that Hna Klivans had worked
at now and again and we knocked on the door and had a really good
conversation with a girl, and I just felt the spirit so strong! I love
sharing and testifying of the restoration, it was so simple but
powerful. I asked her what called her attention about all the things
we shared and she said "all of it!" So, the Hnas are going to return
when the mom is home. Later on we met a lady who only spoke English
but was hilarious and mentioned that lately she has felt a really
strong need to have her baby baptized/blessed. We had a great
conversation and we hope something good will come out of that!

Friday/Saturday we went on another exchange, Hna Smith from Aurora
came here with me. She was telling me about a member referral they
were teaching who was sick and in the hospital- she and my
companion would be teaching them that day. So we went along with our
schedule, nothing too great had happened.Then we were in this huge
apartment building following up with an investigator that I hadn't met
before. After knocking I was just thinking "man. I just want to get in
someone's door -is that too much to ask?" Because... It had been a few
days since that had happened. And then this cute lady named Roxanna
opened and we found out she was the investigator's mom, and she let us
in!! I was like thank you thank you thank you Heavenly Father! Ha it
was a great moment. We didn't have much time but we shared the first
vision and she took it so well, it was awesome. The best part is,
later in the lesson we are talking about her ex-husband and we find
out that.... He is the Aurora Hnas investigator who was sick- the one they
were teaching that day! Hahah it was so crazy. We got with the
Hermanas after that and we were like...., what are he odds that we run
into his ex-wife on the same day you teach him? It was cool we are
excited to teach him again.

Another good moment was yesterday. We pulled up to park somewhere and
a man went into the driveway in front of us. So we start to pray like
we usually do before leaving the car and I just really felt to say a
faster prayer than normal to get out and talk to him. So I did and we
got out quick and caught him before we went in. Turns out he was
Hispanic! He was young and wearing a full on business suit. He already
looked like a member haha but we talked to him and he is so solid! He
is very interested, we gave him a Book of Mormon and we are going back
on Thursday when I will be here with Hermana Lopez! :) :). I just love
those moments where I know that The Lord was guiding us through his
spirit.

So yeah this week should be awesome mostly because....... LUCAS GETS
BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! He has been keeping the word of wisdom and feels
very ready!! He and his family are excited, we are excited and it
should be great. Thank you for your prayers I know they've been
answered. 
Yesterday we taught our awesome investigator family the
Estrada's and we are just in love. They have to get baptized. They
really want to go to the baptism Saturday so please pray that The Lord
will answer their prayers and that they will feel and recognize the
spirit.

Lately I've been studying about a lot of great things from the Book of
Mormon and Preach my gospel but I am out of time, I hope you are all
reading those things

I love you all so much!
Hermana Barlow

During personal study some squirrels were bugging us. I freaked out a little.
The squirrels are crazy here!



Monday, September 22, 2014

saw Chicago and went to Wisconsin Aug 11

Hola mis queridos~                                    August 11, 2014

This letter will be shorter, I don't have much time! This week was
pretty crazy. We had a lot of great appointments set up and almost all
of them fell through. So that's too bad :( 
but we worked our hearts out! 

Also Hna Cadd and I taught at 2 zone meetings- Rockford and
Naperville. It went well and The Lord really blessed us! President
Fenn taught about Spiritual-decision making and it was very inspiring.
These are things that will help me in the rest of my mission and
throughout my life.

We also had the privilege to ride up to Rockford
(1hour away) with President and Sister Fenn! We heard some awesome and
funny stories, as well as had some deep doctrinal questions answered.
It was so great. I wish I could remember some of the funny things he
said but, oh well,

After the Rockford meeting, I went to the Beloit, Wisconsin area with
Hermana Sewell! She came out with Hermana Klivans and Hna Simmons. She
is so so awesome! I love her so much. I don't think I've met a
missionary as excited about the work as she. There are a lot of black
people in Beloit, it was awesome! A cool experience was when we were
talking to a man on the street and I felt to share a scripture with
him from Alma 32. I almost didn't but then I was like, why not. At the
end of our conversation Hna Sewell asked him what caught his attention
of all the things we shared with him, and he told us that the
scripture did. It was really cool to see the power of the spirit that
accompanies the Book of Mormon working with him. That is something I
see a lot and it strengthens my testimony of the Book of Mormon even
more. Hermana Sewell also invited a lady to be baptized when she knows
our message is true at the first door approach and she said yes, it
was pretty cool. That Hermana is bold and I loved learning from her!

Please keep praying for Lucas, he is keeping the word of wisdom! Please
pray that our investigators will come to Church this week as well.
Thanks for all your love and support. I love being a missionary!!

Con Amor, Hermana Barlow

Ps. Also we went to dinner with a member and they live in a tall
building with a beautiful clear view of Chicago! So I feel more like a
Chicago missionary now that I've seen it and seen how close it is.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

cheering children Aug 4

JUST A SIGN I SAW :)Can you see the guy driving the taco? 


Hiiii fam                                                  Aug 4, 2014

So this week was pretty great, it went by a lot faster than last week.
Last Monday was good, we taught an awesome family that we are pretty
excited about. We are seeing them again tonight so
hopefully all goes well again. The dad's name is Elder which is
funny,.. It'd be funnier if we were elders.

Lucas is still on date and is keeping the word of wisdom!! Pray for him please!

Tuesday night we went on exchanges with the Hermanas in Aurora, my
first area! I got to go there with Hermana Morby. It was so fun going
back! I have a couple of cool stories from that. So at one point
during the day Hermana Morby took us to one of their investigators
apartments to drop by and see if she was home. As we were pulling up I
was like heyy I know these apartments haha that's where Maria and
Melanie, Antonella, and Julieta all live. So as we are driving in I see
cute melanie on her balcony and I wave and she was so excited haha. So
we go over and we end up teaching her, her mom, and her two cousins.
I'm still not sure if Melanie is ready yet but their cousins were super
interested! It was cool because they are just on vacation from Mexico
and we happened to run into them. We got their info to send the
missionaries to them in Durango. I feel like The Lord put us in their
path for a reason! I love testifying of the Book of Mormon, I'm sure
I've said that a hundred times.

  Another cool story is this: (two part story) 
part 1: ok so a whole
year ago Hermana Hungate and I knocked into a guy in his 20's named
Matias. He had tattoos on his eyelids so we called him 'Matias eyelid
tattoos' haha. We were able to return and give him a Book of
Mormon. We returned again and when we knocked, a lady behind the door
was like "Hey, you's da Catholics?!?" And we were like hahah no... And
she opened up and was really nice but full of excuses. She was Matias'
mom. (Not sure if I told that story after it happened, it was funny).
part 2:
So fast forward... I've been hearing about a "familia Garcia" that
some Hermanas were teaching and how they were awesome, and they 
got baptized two weeks ago. So... Hermana Morby and I go to teach them,
I go in and I see Luis eyelid tattoos! And the you's da Catholics
lady!!!! I was like ohhhhhh myyyyy gooodness no way- I know you people!
So Matias isn't baptized and hasn't actually been listening to the
missionaries, but his mom, dad and little brother did get baptized!
They said that they faintly remember me, and then Matias
stayed for the lesson for the first time! It was just really cool to
see that The Lord was leading us there for whatever reason a year ago,
and that he led the Hermanas there again in the exact time that they
were ready. I know the Lord's hand was in that!

That night we switched back and did a back to back exchange. A
brand new missionary (only in the field for 8 days) came with me to
our area in Wheaton! Her name is Hermana Richardson. It was fun doing
the 12 week program again :) we saw an awesome miracle!
Ok so last week I talked about Violeta I think. The one who we
taught on exchanges, and again when I was transferred here. So Hna
Richardson go for our appointment and she was there! We went in with a
very loose lesson plan, we weren't sure what she needed to hear more
than review about Joseph Smith. So we did that, and she had remembered
a lot! She had awesome answers to our questions, I just love her- she
is great. So there came a point where I was like ok..... What now. I
first thought about talking about church so I opened up to Moroni 6,
then I was like hmm... maybe we could talk about baptism too. So we
just started to read the chapter. It was a perfect chapter to read,
after the first couple verses we stopped and discussed baptism.
Throughout this lesson I had been trying to give Hna Richardson
opportunities to talk which sometimes started out with moments of
silence :) which was good. Hna Richardson is awesome. but after a
moment of silence she says to her "Hermana how do you feel right now?"
And Violeta said very good. Then I remembered we hadn't done a good
follow up about her praying. We asked her if she prayed and she said
yes. I asked her how she felt and she said "I felt so good! I felt so
much peace. I felt so free- like I could do anything." I was so
excited! We explained the spirit and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We
invited her to be baptized and she said she wanted to! We said we
wanted to set a date with her, so we pulled out the calendar. The 30th
is the last Saturday in the transfer, so we asked if she could do that
one and she said she'd try. I was thinking.... That doesn't feel right
:/. So we decided we would have 4 dates in mind and pray about it.
After the prayer, Violeta said, how about the 13th of September.
Which wasn't even the latest date! So we are excited and she is
preparing for that date :) the spirit was so strong and it was one of
those lessons that I'll never forget. I love being a missionary!

So I read a good talk this week called "beware of pride" by Ezra Taft
benson. It was really really interesting and true. Pride is the great
vice and it's manifest in so many ways. Go read it everyone!

Also I had some really great studies this week. I have still been
focusing on studying about faith, desire and attitude to baptize.
One day I read Alma 29 and my eyes were opened about desire! I think
Alma had more desire to baptize than anyone. In verse 6 it says "Now,
seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to
perform the work to which I have been called?" While reading this I
really felt that when we are called to a calling it's Gods will. So
really, what else would God want us to do besides the calling that he
has called us to? That is his desire and will. Having the desire comes
down to knowing Gods will and accepting it as my own. This passage can
apply to all callings in all different stages of life.

Well I love you all! I hope you're giving your best to the work that
The Lord has called you to.

I love you! Don't forget to pray for Lucas and Violeta.

Hermana Barlow

Ps. Yesterday we pulled into a parking space at an apartment complex.
A group of 10 foreign children in front of our car began to cheer
with the greatest joy and it was the best thing that's happened to me
in a while Hahahah 
Turns out we hit an empty soda can they put in the
road... but, still.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

the spirit guides us...and sometimes little girls too! July 28

Querida Familia                                     July 28, 2014

Hi! Ok WOW I have too much to write I already know that I won't be
able to say everything (what's new though...)  haha so things are
really good in the new area! The week went by slower than most, we
don't really know why because it wasn't a bad week but... Anyway. So
last Tuesday was pretty crazy. Hna Klivans and I drove all the way to
Naperville and I re-united with all my companions except for Hermana
Hungate! It was so great. I love all of them so much. But shortly
after being there I was told to find Hna Cadd and then go to some
extra meetings with her regarding the new missionaries that were about
to get their trainers. It was a very cool experience! President Fenn
really dedicates his heart and soul into leading this work the way The
Lord wants him to. The transfer meeting was great and Hna Cadd and I
were able to teach a lesson before we went to the departing
missionaries dinner and devotional at President's house. It was very
spiritual. President Fenn talked about the abrahamic covenant and then
each departing missionary gave their testimony. It was very special
and crazy for me to see, because I remember seeing/working around
those missionaries 3 transfers ago and they're already gone, it was
just a reminder that my remaining time is precious and small. Scary.

So, I've just been learning the area, learning from Hermana Cadd and
we've been seeing some miracles! I'm really excited about the people
we are working with. It is such a privilege to be with Hermana Cadd.
She is so dedicated and hard working, I'm honored to be the missionary
to "kill her off"- she goes home in October. She is an amazing person
and missionary and I just feel like a trainee again just learning
learning learning. Basically she is awesome! We have an investigator
on date for August 23 named Lucas, he is in a part member family and
just recently got married to the member he was living with- Carolina.
They are SO great, I love them so much already. We had a really great
lesson about eternal marriage and I could just feel the spirit so
strongly testifying that the sealing power has been restored to the
earth. I know it has and it is a HUGE deal. We are so lucky. Please
pray for Lucas that he can overcome his alcohol addiction and make the
goal he has set to be baptized the 23rd!

Here is a pretty sweet miracle- ask me to tell you it in person one
day because I can't really act it out through email.
So we were in this weird neighborhood of town houses looking for 
two investigators that Hermana Cadd found last week. There's a lady
and her friend, and Hna Cadd knew where one lived, but not the other.
They both lived on the same street. So we were walking down the street
towards #150, and we get to #116 and she just stops and says "let's
knock that one" so I'm like ok. The people there don't answer so we
are like, huh. So we walk a little farther down and a little girl
(like 5 years old) on a bike stops and then points to the house she
was in front of. Her face was totally serious too, it was hilarious.
So we're like, do you live here? Yeah. Is your mom home? Yeah. Does
she want to learn about Jesus? Yeah. So we knock the door and it's
Miranda! The friend that Hna Cadd didn't know where she lived. She let
us in and we taught the Restoration! She really wants to be closer to
Christ and have burdens lifted from her life through him. She said
"when I feel in my heart that it's true! I will be baptized". We gave
her Moroni 7 (a kind of long chapter,) for her to read, and when we
returned yesterday morning she had read it all and loved it! She
prayed and felt the spirit and wants to come to church this week.
Miranda is so ready, this experience really was just another testament
that the Holy Ghost will guide us to accomplish the Lord's purposes.

Another cool story! So I think I talked about my exchange with Hna
Cadd in my letter a few weeks back. We had put 2 awesome ladies on
date after teaching them the first lesson. So I got to the area this
week and I asked if Violeta and Paulina were still on date, and
Hna Cadd told me that despite trying and trying and calling them, they
had had no contact with them since that lesson. They had stopped
trying to see them these past two weeks. So yesterday we were on our
way to somewhere else when Hna Cadd says, let's just stop by
Violeta. So we do, and she is home! She was cooking but she let us
in. She had the Book of Mormon on the table and she told us that
Paulina had just barely brought it to her to give her a turn reading
it. She told us that she loved the introduction that she read. She was
just as solid that she was the first time. We taught about the Book of
Mormon more in depth, and she understood, had good questions,
committed to read and pray and with help, rides, faith and prayers she
will probably come to church this Sunday!! :D Wow it was really cool.
It makes me wonder if Hna Cadd and I are meant to teach her together.
Who knows what The Lord has in store for her!

So I'll tell you a little bit about the area. We cover a few different
cities and they are all really fancy. There are fancy houses and
stores and it is definitely a city area- there is one street where we
can see Chicago in the distance. We have a little groupito of Spanish
speakers! The ward itself is huge, well attended and very strong. The
Chapel was filled to the back. We are really trying to work with
less active Spanish speakers to strengthen the group and work from
there. The goal is that It will turn into a branch! It's very
exciting. This week we will start doing exchanges, starting with the
Aurora Hermanas! I will most likely be going to my first area so that
is exciting! I will let you know how they go next week :)




Today I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish. I LOVE the
Book of Mormon! It amazes me. I truly feel the spirit when I read it.
It inspires me in how I can personally strengthen my relationship with
and follow Jesus Christ. I love Moroni 10, the very last chapter,
where "speaks by way of exhortation" and exhorts us to do few very
important things. Most of all we need to remember. Remember what it
says there, and remember Christ. I love it, it changes me each time I
read it and I know it's true.

I love you all! This week President Fenn said that "our testimonies
are as elusive  as moon beams. It's something we must re-capture every
day." Don't forget to re-capture your testimony each day. Don't forget
about the Book of Mormon and don't forget about Jesus Christ and his
atonement.

Thank you and cuídense!!
Hermana Barlow