Tuesday, November 18, 2014

go big and then go home

                                                         This is how cold it is here now

Mis queridos❤️❤️

It was a crazy week. Not really in the way that last week was, but it was crazy because I gave my departing testimony in zone meeting. You NEVER think that day will come. It was so weird. It was sad and I now know how all those other missionaries felt. It's just like... How did I get here already? But it went well. I said mostly what I wanted to say. I have grown a lot on my mission, in ways that I don't really recognize right now because I have been learning/ changing in a line upon line process. It's like a plant growing kind of- I don't see every small change but I'm definitely better than I was.
My mission has been the peak of my existence so far! 1 week left and it's definitely going to count. We named this coming week 'go big and then go home' during weekly planning so, hence the title. Pray that we will see miracles please!

I was able to go on an exchange with Hermana Lopez down in Joliet last week. It was so great to be with her again!! She is awesome and I learned a lot from her. I love teaching with her! We taught a sweet lady from Guatemala who is staying with her family who are members. She is so close to accepting it all. We taught the plan of salvation- the spirit was really strong. I really know that she has heard this plan before this life, and I know that in that lesson she felt the spirit confirming its true!
We also taught another Lady the restoration which is always powerful! She let us come back because she saw we were young and she wanted to know how her kids could have a love of God like we do. My answer is for sure the Book of Mormon. I wouldn't be even close to the same person I am today if I hadn't read the Book of Mormon!

Sunday I was so excited because Mariana and her kids were going to go to church. Work off forever on Sunday's, they were all set right? Well I can tell you that the biggest struggle of my mission has been getting my investigators to church! (Which is funny because that's what we instructed on in zone meeting this week, :/ ) so anyway their cousins came in town.... Not even a good excuse. We were so mad!! Anyway it was pretty sad... So later that night we call, and Mariana's daughter Sara answered. She is super sweet! We asked if she was coming next week and she said she didn't think so because she now doesn't want to- she went to the other Ward because she has friends there and she doesn't in this one. I was just sad and I felt that nothing was going our way! But luckily we were able to go teach them right after we talked to her on the phone. I was super sad on the way over there because this family seemed kind of like our last hope at the moment, it's hard to find as solid of investigators as them. But I just really prayed that we would be able to help them understand the importance, and God answered our prayer. The lesson was one of the most amazing lessons we've had in a long long time. (Ask me next week to tell you more in depth) but basically we taught the atonement and obedience from the Book of Mormon. Hermana Johnson and I both thought of the same un-expected scripture (mosiah 2:20-22) at the same time and Sara had to go to her room to get a highlighter because it really hit her hard!
By the end she said "I want to go to church."
"Why" "because He died for us"
it was really great and it clicked with them 100%. Mariana said for sure she will be at church and if the kids are back in time from their dads they will come too. Please pray that they'll come! I love them!

I have seen the Book of Mormon change lives just like it changed Sara's a little bit last night. I love the Book of Mormon, I love the spirit, I love Jesus Christ and the atonement and I love being a missionary so so much. This next week will be amazing!

Hermana Barlow

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