Friday, September 24, 2010

September 20, 2010.

What a week!
I know for a fact that I do not have time to write everything I really want to write. It has been a great weeks with ups and downs, but mostly ups. This may be a random e-mail as I write my thoughts, but that's just how I am :) First of all, transfers were last Tuesday. I am part of the youngest zone in the mission. I was completely shocked to find out that my district leader from the MTC and another missionary that came out with me are training! We haven't even been out for three months! I have six brand new elders in my zone alone. The Lord has a great work for us to do in the north. Yesterday, President Brower specifically said "The Lord is watching over this part of His vineyard right now!" It is such an exciting work to be part of. My new companion is Sister Evanson from Taber, Alberta. It was pretty difficult to switch companions at first. I was very used to Sister Lavatai and felt safe/comfortable with her. Sister Evanson is very different than Sister Lavatai and I felt pretty alone at first. It really has been missionary work that has unified us. She is an AMAZING missionary! I have changed my whole approach to the work because of her. I have never talked to so many people before she came. She is able to get people to open up. Many people that I would have just given a card to or asked for a referral from have actually invited us in and allowed us to teach them more. My teaching pool went from two investigators to eight in four days and it is still growing!
I don't even know where to begin with the miracles. I have had some amazing lessons with strangers (who are now investigators :D). One of my favorite lessons was with Kaelie and Mike. They had so many questions about the prophet and why we need the Book of Mormon when we already have the Bible. The Spirit was present and Sister Evanson and I were able to answer their questions so they could understand. We are teaching them again this week. We met a college student named Daniel who lives at home. He reminds me a lot of Joseph Smith. He was so humble. He had such a strong belief in Jesus Christ. We taught him about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. We are going back tonight to see how his reading went and teach him more. We also taught Kelly two days ago and I discovered new things. She really doesn't know anything about Christ. All she knows is "something about a cross." So now I will have to focus a lot more on the importance of Christ as our Savior and how without the Atonement, we would be fallen forever. There is no other way. She is still committed to coming to church and learning, so we will continue to teach her. Jenn is getting baptized THIS week! I am SO excited for her. I taught her a lesson over the phone last night and honestly, I learned more about the Gospel than she did. She is so strong. I am so happy for her to receive the best gift in the world - the Gift of the Holy Ghost. There is nothing greater. No worldly possession can amount to this gift. The Holy Ghost is everything to me. He guides me. He testifies of truth. He comforts me. He helps me know who I am as a daughter of God. It is only through Him that I can really progress spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc. I will be forever grateful for the decision I made when I was eight years old to follow Jesus Christ by making covenants with him and receiving the Holy Ghost.
Yesterday was such a great Sunday. Sister Evanson and I drove to Sudbury (an hour and a half west) early in the morning for Stake Conference. We got a new stake presidency and there were two general authorities there. Elder Walker of the Quorum of the Seventy presided and the Elder Marriott, the area seventy (is that what they are called? I forgot :D), was there. Guess who the new stake president is? It is President Ian Jenner, Sister Jenner Sr.'s husband! I knew it would be him. I predicted it weeks ago. He is going to be such an amazing leader and I know he was truly called of God. After Stake Conference, the plan was that Sister Evanson and I would go to "the Castle" (the Zone leader's house) and we would meet together as a zone. The best surprise was that President and Sister Brower were there!!!!! It was SO good to see them. We had lunch and then we had instruction from president, the assistants, and interviews with the president until after 5:00 pm. I love missionaries. There is so much power present when we gather together. We role-played a lot and talked about investigator concerns. Sister Brower made us cute carrot cake muffin things in the shape of pumpkins in a little bag that said "Keep Harvesting!" I love her. I would SO do that if I was a mission president's wife (that shouldn't be a surprise to most of you hahaha). Sister Evanson left the meeting and drove straight to an appointment with a potential investigator named Cameron. We met him on the street last week. He was skateboarding, and we stopped him. When we showed up last night, it was very apparent that he had been in a fight. He had two black eyes, glue holding his eyelid shut, and he said he may have a broken rib. After smoking a cigarrette (we'll have to talk to him about that haha), he let us in. I don't know when I am going to learn to have faith...I totally thought he would bomb us. Anyway, Sister Evanson and I were able to teach him the whole first lesson. He seemed to be searching for something. He spends the weekends drinking and partying with him friends/girlfriend, but it doesn't seem like it is really making him happy (well of course it wouldn't. Anyone who says that makes them happy is just lying to themselves). Anyway, he said he would read the chapter we gave him in the Book of Mormon and we are meeting with him again on Sunday.
As you can see, this week was full of miracles. I wish I could write everything that happened, but this is just a taste of my week. The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings happiness. It brings love, peace, direction, comfort, joy, and everything good. My life is dedicated to my Father in Heaven. I am nothing without Him. Thank you for your prayers and support! I love you and Father loves you! Always remember that!
Sister Barton :)

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