Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011.

Greetings to all!!!
I can hardly believe that this is my last e-mail as a missionary! It seems as if I was just home packing up my stuff to come here and now I get to pack to go home. There isn't much time to think about it now because we found out this morning that Cataraqui is closing and we have to get the apartment ready to be vacant for a while. Sister Braithwaite is opening Guelph with Sister Yi (my mission baby!). That will be way fun. There are eight new sisters coming so most of the sisters in the mission will have been out for a transfer or less! The Lord's work moves forward! I am going to Belleville tomorrow evening and working there all day Wednesday with Sister Brandley (MTC companion) before we drive to the mission home. I think we are staying at a hotel Wednesday and Thursday nights. There are many people going home with me so that will be fun to see all of them.
We met with Barbara last week and had a good lesson about the Atonement. She said she was coming to church and then didn't come, so we're not sure what happened yet. We need to call her. Now she will have to be passed off to the Elders who now cover both of the branches in Kingston. I also have bittersweet news about Danielle. The bitter part is that we are not teaching her anymore. BUT the Spirit confirmed to me during her lesson that it was not time for her to be baptized. She has an amazing family and they are so strong. She feels that because it is only her going to church right now, it is putting space between she and her family. At first, I almost cried and I thought to myself "It is always the right time because it's the right Church." But as I sat there, I eventually felt the confirmation of the Spirit saying that everything would be okay and that she is just preparing to accept the fulness of the Gospel at some future time. She still believes that this is the true Church and will continue reading the Book of Mormon. We are going to her house tomorrow and I am so excited. I am grateful for modern-day technology that will allow us to stay in contact with each other. I love her.
So it was a rough week as far as eating goes. We not only had meal appointments everyday, there were TWO evenings when we ended up having to eat two dinners. The first was on American Thanksgiving. We were supposed to go to the branch president's house at 12:30 pm, but then he changed it to 4:00 pm. We also had a dinner at 6:00 pm but we didn't want to cancel one, so we geared ourselves up, ate a small lunch, and tried to eat a small amount. THEN on Saturday, we were in the farthest away area from our house and called a member to ask if we could drop by. We showed up 15 minutes later and there was a full meal prepared. It was 5:00 pm and we had a meal appointment at 6:30 pm. Oh boy. I was a long drive home for Sister Braithwaite and me.
I finished the Book of Mormon and also gave a small talk in Sacrament this week. I love this Gospel. It is the only way to truly progress in this life. It is the REASON for life. I'm grateful for the opportunities that our loving Heavenly Father gives us to grow. He definitely puts us through the refiner's fire at times, but it is all worth it. I know that the priesthood has been restored to the earth. It is God's power on the earth today and when used in righteousness, it heals both body and spirit. I will end with a scripture that has great meaning for me at this time and will forever in my life:
3 Nephi 5:13
"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life."
My work and calling does not end here. We ALL have a great work to do, hallelujah for that. Have a fantastic week and I am SO EXCITED to see many of you soon! I LOVE YOU ALL!
Sister Barton
P.S. I did have pictures but then I accidentally deleted the draft that I put them on :( Sad. Guess you'll just have to see them next week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011.

Hello Family and Friends!!!
I don't have time to make up a fancy title, so there you go :) This week was great and one of the highlights is that Danielle came to church for the first time!!!!! Yay! She came by herself and stayed for all three meetings. It just happened to be the annual primary program during Sacrament Meeting, so that was fun. And Sister Braithwaite and I taught the Relief Society lesson on the Millennium, which was fun. I think Danielle enjoyed it overall, but we did hit a little bump when on the phone last night she expressed to us some of her feelings about church. I think she was just expecting to feel the same way she does in our fun, spiritual lessons at her house. There were definitely moments like that at church, but I think it would have been nice to prepare her for the fact that church is just a little more of a serious environment. We will meet with her again on Friday and will hopefully be able to resolve her concerns. The most important thing is that she gains a testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration of the gospel through the Book of Mormon and prayer. If she knows that this truly is Christ's Church, then it won't matter what is said or what the people are like at church (although it is important that the members of the Church strive to stand as examples of Christ). So hopefully things are still looking up there! I sang in the Kingston Branch's Sacrament Meeting yesterday as well, so it was a very busy Sunday!
We have a meeting tonight with a potential investigator named Barbara who we met tracting a couple of weeks ago. She seems pretty promising, so I am looking forward to that.
Well, this may seem short, but time is short as well! I hope you all have a fantastic week and enjoy THANKSGIVING!!! Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that! Well, we got invited for dinner by the branch president since he is American, so that will be fun. I am so GRATEFUL for each of you in my life! I feel so blessed.
I love you!
Sister Barton

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011.

Hello Hello!
It is surprisingly warm up here in moose-land (by the way, I have never seen a moose here) and has been all month. Hopefully I will be able to escape the snow, although I will probably go right to it in Utah. Which brings me to my first item of business :).....Although I would never want to stop letters coming, I just want to let everyone know that it's probably best not to write any more letters (not that I'm going anywhere...), but if you want to, you can still e-mail. I just don't want to chance anything getting left here.
This week was incredible. First of all, we had dinner appointments nearly every day, which is always great ;). On Friday, the Kingston and Cataraqui branches had a Santa's Workshop Relief Society night where we all made Christmas crafts. Sister Braithwaite and I had fun making the craft we signed up for and visiting with many of the members. It is exciting to start feeling the Christmas spirit. The best part of the week was Saturday night when we met with our investigator Danielle. We were able to bring the perfect member for Danielle to fellowship, which was an answer to many prayers. I was determined that no matter what happened in the lesson, we weren't leaving until we had extended an invitation to be baptized on a specific date. Although we left the lesson a little late, we committed Danielle to be baptized on January 8th!!!!!!!! She is so amazing and I learn so much from her. She knows that what we say is true because she feels the Spirit. She says how she loves that we really mean what we say. After leaving her house, my heart was so full I didn't even know what to do with myself. I felt the true, pure joy of missionary work. I actually had the burning feeling in my heart of the Spirit for so long that I couldn't sleep all night! I am grateful for the miracles that come about when we are simply doing the Lord's work in the Lord's way. Teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ has been one of the great lights of my life.
Our zone did a study this week from the Book of Mormon on the different tactics that Satan uses to lead others astray. It was really neat to read a different chapter each day (Alma 1, Alma 30, Alma 31, Alma 47, 2 Nephi 28) and to recognize the ways that Satan worked back in the ancient times and the way he continues to work today. While we do want to focus on what is good and light, it is important to recognize the ways of the adversary so when temptation comes into our lives, we will be able to overcome it. We have the power and we are strong enough with Christ by our side to fight off any evil that comes our way.
That's about it for today. We are in search of more souls to bring unto Christ! We've had some good conversations with people at their doors, and some not so good hehe. But we push on to spread forth the truth. It's a glorious battle we are all in, especially since we all know who will conquer :) Have a wonderful week!!!!!
I love you all!
Sister Barton :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011.

Where has the time gone?
I mean that as in my e-mailing time and also the month! I'll quickly update on the highlights of the week. The best part of the week was getting a NEW investigator named Danielle!!!! We tracted into her two weeks ago and she is amazing! She is the happiest, most fun, funny person. She is very happily married and has two beautiful boys. She says that she loves Jesus and has felt the Spirit as we have been to her house twice to teach her. Her husband isn't interested right now. We have had two great lessons and have been able to teach by the Spirit. Not only have we developed a teaching relationship, but we have become great friends. I know we will continue to be friends even when I am gone (not that I am leaving or anything...). I think the main struggles right now will be getting her to come to church and setting her with a baptismal date. She wants to be baptized, but I don't know if she realizes that we want to set a date with her. We were going to at the end of our lesson yesterday, but right before we would have said it, her best friend came over and the timing just didn't work out. We are seeing Danielle again on Saturday. I love to see her embrace the gospel. She is already making many changes in the way that she prays and in reading the Book of Mormon. She has been very prepared in her life as she recognizes little things like how when she gets to bed too late, she feels that it's not good (Word of Wisdom), and many other ways that the Spirit has taught her. I love her.
We had many other lessons with members that went really well and I am getting to know the branch more. It is a wonderful branch and I wouldn't mind living somewhere like this. There are so many ways to serve those in and out of the Church. I bore my testimony yesterday in Sacrament meeting. (Side note: You wouldn't think I'd be nervous to do so after nearly 18 months, but my heart was pounding and I had to talk myself into it hahaha). I bore testimony of Relief Society and how I know that it truly was inspired of God and organized under the Priesthood. I have started the new Relief Society manual "Daughters in My Kingdom" this week and it has been amazing to read. I haven't had too much of an opportunity to be involved in Relief Society so far in my life, but I am SO excited to embrace it and do all that I can to serve. I also know that Visiting Teaching is an inspired program and I pray that I will never miss a month of visiting or reaching out to those I am blessed to serve.
That's about it for this week. It hasn't been too cold here and there are still beautiful fall leaves on many trees. I have been collecting some leaves and it has been a good reminder of how much Heavenly Father loves us to create such beauty for us to live in. I really know that He answers our smallest prayers and never forgets about them. This might be a silly story, but it illustrates this point. A couple weeks ago, while taking out my earrings, I dropped my earring back. These are real black pearl earrings that have a gold, very small back. I searched for over a week. I moved dressers, tried using a magnet, and used a flashlight and didn't have any luck. I prayed with faith that Heavenly Father would help me find it. Although my prayer wasn't answered right away, I somehow had this assurance that all would be well (I know, it doesn't seem like a big deal...just a little earring back, but it was important to me, and therefore to Father). While getting ready for church yesterday and not doing anything different than my normal routine, I stepped on something sharp and lifted my foot up to find my lost earring back. I knelt in prayer and tears filled my eyes as I thanked my Heavenly Father for caring about something so small and not forgetting my simple prayer to find it. He loves us. We can be so much more with Him in our lives!
Have a fantastic week and know that I love you all! Thank you for all that you do. Be strong and of good courage! :) We have reason to rejoice no matter what life brings!
Sister Barton :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October 31, 2011.

Happy Halloween!!!!
What a great day to be a missionary hehe. The day was started off with a zone meeting in Belleville where Sister Braithwaite and I wore our cute witch costumes (of course we didn't wear the hats for the meeting!).

We have to be in by 6:00 tonight so we are busy, busy today. It doesn't seem that there is much to update from the week. We aren't really teaching Mike at the moment because he is struggling to quit smoking and to have the desire to quit. He seems to want to contact us when he is interested, which is what he told us, but at the same time he feels like we have ditched him. I don't know what he wants us to do. We still invited him to church, and although he declined, he did ask for a chapter he should read in the Book of Mormon. We'll see what happens with him in the next few weeks. We had a great lesson with a member about the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the guidance Heavenly Father gives me each day. Often times I think He would give me more direction if I would but seek it from Him. I forget to do that sometimes!
Much of our week was consumed in getting ready for the branch Halloween party. A lot of the load was put on one member in the branch, so we gave her assistance in brainstorming ideas. Sister Braithwaite and I made a game called "Freaky Fishing" where kids could "fish" for candy and odd items. We decorated a cute board and put Halloween pictures on it (pumpkins, Frankensteins, witch hats, ghosts, dry leaves), found some sticks outside (we're missionaries...we can't buy real fishing poles!), tied strings and clothes pegs to them, and the kids "fished" away. It was fun. I actually spent much of the night in the haunted house we made out of the young women's room. It was really cute. I was a witch and I think I was a little too scary for some of the kids because they wouldn't feel the "guts" and "eyeballs" on the table next to me (gummy worms in a little water and grapes with the skins peeled off). It was fun.
Church was great yesterday. I sang in Sacrament Meeting and felt so good after. Heavenly Father has blessed EACH of us with talents, whether we think they are great or small, and the more we work at improving them, the more help we receive. I am so grateful for good music, which has changed my whole life. I don't know who or where I would be without it. We taught Gospel Principles and did a lesson on Missionary Work. We didn't prepare because we were told we were teaching when we got to church, but the lesson went really well. We stood up and decided we would just read the manual together, but it was amazing how the Spirit worked through us to guide the lesson with little use of the manual. I hope I can continue to teach throughout my life.
I love you all and hope you are having a great week. You mean so much to me. Keep being the best "you's" you can be :)
Sister Barton

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011.

Happy Autumn!
I am finally in an area where it feels like fall around me. It is beautiful here in Kingston. Now that I know more about my area, I can write it. I am in the city of Kingston, but I serve in the Cataraqui (pronounced Cat-uh-rock-way) Branch, thus my area is called Cataraqui. My companion is Sister Braithwaite, who is originally from England but has been in Vancouver, BC since 2005.

One of the highlights of the week was when I recorded our voicemail in an english accent, which I can do because everyone else will just think it's Sister Braithwaite. It was fun :) Oh, random story. Sister Braithwaite and I were sitting at our desks writing in our journals last week and she asked me where my dad is from. I said that he grew up in Seattle, WA. Then she asked me if my cousin is Stephanie Potter!?!?!?! I was in complete shock on how she even knew that!!! Then she proceeded to tell me that when my Grandma and Grandpa Barton lived in England, she was in the same ward as them in Lincolnshire! Then when the Potters went to visit, Sister Braithwaite hung out with Stephanie and they are friends on Facebook hahaha. What a small world! So that is a fun connection.
We are teaching a young single adult named Mike and he has a baptismal date for November 20th. The main concern right now is that he is trying to quit smoking. He has done it before for two years, but since he has been smoking since he was very young, it is a hard thing to do on his own. So he is going to start going to the addictions recovery class at the church. I've only taught him once, so there aren't many details I know about him. One of his best friends was baptized months ago and Mike attended the baptism.

The district (as in stake, not missionary district) had a hoedown on Saturday night and it was so much fun. The whole gym was decorated really cute and we had good food. Then it was fun to watch many of the members and some non-members square dance. Most of the people in attendance dressed up. Sister Braithwaite did the best we could with costumes and wore matching sort-of-plaid scarves :)

Neal A. Maxwell said: "Consecration is the only surrender that is also a victory." I know that this is true. The Lord doesn't even ask us to live the Law of Consecration at this time, but there is still much required of us. We must put our lives in the eternal perspective in order to realize that true treasures can only be attained by giving our all to God. His blessings are sure if we will but follow Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that He has shown us the way, the sure way. It is a blessing to have His guidance in my life. May we each strive to give more of ourselves and sacrifice what must be sacrificed in order to be a disciple of the Lord. Have an amazing week!!!! Thank you for all that you do.

Love you all!
Sister Barton :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011.

It's a season of change!!!
Well, it looks like I didn't escape transfer calls last night. Sister Hodgkin and I suspected a call coming, but of course we were in denial. We were on the phone with some Elders when we saw "President Brower" was calling. I got really excited, then realized that we just hadn't changed the name in the phone hahaha. It was of course President Scott and he was calling to inform us that Sister Hodgkin would be staying in Toronto and training, while I am going to Cateroqui (Kingston)!!!! I hear it's one of the most beautiful areas of the mission and is the farthest east area. My new companion will be Sister Braithwaite from England. She has been on her mission for almost a year now and I have met her a few times. I am sad to leave Toronto and Sister Hodgkin, but I know that Cateroqui is where I am supposed to be for this final season.
I realilzed that one of our main purposes this transfer was to be able to help less-active members come back to the church. I experienced the sweet joy of watching a sister come this Sunday who had not been in years. We visited her for the first time on Wednesday and came to find out that she even served a mission years ago! She had been less active for years, although she never doubted the church. She just did not have the desire to come. We had a very spiritual lesson and I was either crying or I was just so sick that amidst my yawns and tissues, tears kept coming out. Anyway, it was so amazing to see this sweet sister come back to the true church. She was glowing. The sisters are going to visit her this week as well.

Saturday was one of the craziest days of my mission!!!!! I won't tell all of the details until I return home, but it was definitely an experience. Haha. Sister Hodgkin and I went to meet a member referral for the first time at her house. Well, we never met her because of the events that occured, the Spirit strongly telling us to leave, and then watching an arrest. (Did I mention I'm glad to go back to the country?:D) We were pretty shaken up after the whole experience (sorry there aren't many details and it seems'll just have to wait until later), which made it easier to notice all of the other funny little things of the day. The feelings of warning from the Holy Ghost are PROOF that there is a God. No big bang or science could create such a feeling right at the heart. Some call it intuition, but when we humble ourselves, we will realize that it is not our own power that gives comfort, warnings, and direction. All of that comes from the power that created the very universe, which power is of God Himself. I will be forever grateful for the promptings of the Spirit and for the knowledge that Heavenly Father knows where His sister missionaries are and will make sure to protect them!

It's going to be a great week. Thank you all so much for all of your support and love! I love you all very much and pray that you see the joy in each day :)
Sister Barton :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Sister Hodgkin and I were sick most of the day yesterday so we spent the day inside and then we had a very interesting member appointment where we went to chinatown for dinner. Chinese food for Thanksgiving? Strange. There were only two bugs in the food though, which is better than the hairs in the viatnamese restaurant from a couple weeks ago. It was a great week with a few fun events. It was Sister Hodgkin's year mark on October 6th. I have never had a companion have a birthday on my mission, so I decided to celebrate her "birth"day (when she was "born" into the mission). It was a tender mercy from the Lord that she had to sleep longer due to being sick, so I could quietly decorate the apartment and make breakfast. I wrote her a cute card. She was confused when she came out of the bedroom and I shouted "Happy Birthday!" But then I explained it to her and she was so surprised. Even she had forgotten it was her year mark.

We got to go to the temple on Friday which was so amazing! I don't think my smile left my face the whole time we were inside. It was so peaceful and it felt so great to be dressed in all white again.

We almost had a new investigator and a baptismal date for the end of the month. Her name is Joanne and she has been wanting missionaries to teach her for months. We got permission to go teach her even though she is barely out of our area. We had a great lesson with her and she is totally prepared, but we then found out that we didn't have approval to continue teaching her, so we have to pass her off to the elders in her area. We also taught a couple of investigator lessons this week for other missionaries' investigators because they were busy. So we are definitely doing the work, but just not for our own area haha. At least these people are getting taught, which is all that really matters.

Random thoughts:
I also attached a picture of the downtown Toronto church building. It was built in 1938 (I think) and is one of the oldest LDS Church buildings in Ontario. It's pretty neat.

A bug crawled into my scripture bag in an appointment and when the member told me it was a cockroach, I almost passed out. Gross. I was paranoid the rest of the appointment because I felt like cockroaches were going to crawl on me! We had a mission president fireside on Sunday at the Stake Center and it was neat to hear the testimonies of a few recent converts.

That's about it for today. It's the last week of the transfer, but I am hoping to stay in Toronto. I'm not sure why I would move, unless Heavenly Father has something else in store for me.

We'll find out next week! You are all amazing and I hope you have a wonderful week! Stay strong and true to what you know is right!!!!

Love you all!
Sister Barton :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011.

Winter is coming!
It is pretty cold right now and although it may warm up this week, winter is definitely coming! Wasn't General Conference amazing?!?!?! I absolutely loved it and am so excited to study the talks further when the Ensign comes out next month. Conference is pretty much as good as Christmas when you are on your mission. I looked forward to it for so long and now it has come and gone. So it goes with life :)

I had a very neat experience on Tuesday shortly after getting on a streetcar. The lady next to me was on the phone when I sat down, but after she hung up, I asked how she was. She told me to ask her around midnight. She was tired. I came to find out that she was originally from Ohio and moved here to Toronto to be closer to her daughter and grandkids. Tears filled her eyes as she told me that she knows Heavenly Father answered her prayers. She said: "I was having such a hard day and then you sat down next to me." I put my arm around her and she cried. Some of her best friends in Ohio were members so she is familiar with the Church. She then told me how she had quit drinking years ago and before I walked on the streetcar, she was looking at the liquor store wondering if she should give up and go in. She knew that me sitting down next to her was an answer to prayers and was evidence that her loving Father in Heaven cares about her! She said: "You can't see it, but I am just beaming inside!" I definitely did see it. When she got off at her stop, she was smiling from ear to ear and was excited to tell her daughter who she had met on the bus. It was a tender mercy from the Lord for me to witness that miracle. I am so grateful to be used in His hands to bless the lives of those I meet.

Sister Hodgkin and I taught a Phillipino couple last night, which was a miracle in and of itself. However, they do not want to stray from their Catholic ways. It is hard to witness people hear the truth and have the fulness of the gospel at their fingertips and yet choose to go against it. This relates to other areas of our lives. For example, in General Conference, we hear the words of the Lord that will help us for our day. The truth of what we must do to move closer to Heavenly Father is in our hands, yet how often do we choose to remain with the lesser truth that we already know? Do not be stagnant on your journey to eternal life. As many of the talks said...there is only ONE way to eternal happiness. I am so grateful for that. God would not be a very loving Father if he did not give us direct directions on how to return to Him!

You will see here a picture of the lovely breakfast I made for Sister Hodgkin and myself. I have been into making pretty breakfasts lately and feel like I'm running a bed and breakfast :) Once again, you can still be crafty and creative on your mission!!!!!

There is also a picture here of two asian women (it was in Chinatown) who look like they are dressed in white to go to the temple! Coincidence? I think not! :)

Oh yeah!!!!!! We went to the ROM (Royal Ontaio Museum) on Monday!!!!! It was really awesome but would literally take a full day to even get through. We raced around trying to see as much as we could. There are exhibits from all over the world and it was very fun.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week!!!!! There is so much to live for and life can be as amazing as we make it! I love you all and you are in my prayers.
Sister Barton :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011.

My thoughts today will probably be very scattered since I don't feel like any big events happened this week. Sister Hodgkin and I have a teaching pool of zero right now so we are working to find more people to teach. I am SO excited for General Conference this week. I loved th Relief Society broadcast on Saturday and feel like President Uchtdorf's talk was just for me (I'm sure many people thought that!). I am going to print it off today and study it. Sister Hodgkin and I made homemade bread and already ate a whole loaf (they are small loaves) since last night hahaha. Woops. We are going to the Royal Ontario Museum today and that will be fun. I'm not quite sure what to expect, but we're excited. I highlighted Sister Hodgkin's hair and it looks really good. I felt like a professional hahaha. It was fun.

We ate at a Vietnamese restaurant with a member and Sister Hodgkin and I took a picture of the little bowl holding the gross parts of the food we didn't want to eat, such as beef tendon and cow lung (ew!). We also took this neat picture of a rooster on the window with the CN tower in the background.

Sister Hodgkin and I have made really good friends with a man who owns a new gelato shop near our apartment called "Artegelato." It's the best gelato in the city (someone told us haha). The owner's name is Sebastian and he always teases us to make sure we are getting home ontime. He's from southern Italy and I told him my mom went on her mission there. We have good gospel conversations. He gave us a box of free cookies, although we tried to resist :)
I was reading Alma 30 the past few days about Korihor, the antiChrist. It was amazing to read it at this time because almost everything Korihor says is something I have heard on my mission. I am realizing that one way of likening the scriptures to ourselves is being able to testify like the ancient prophets. Yes, we all need our own testimonies, but the way they sometimes testify to others is powerful. Next time somebody tells me that I cannot prove that there is a God, I am going to say as Alma did: "And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only. But behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true...all things denote that there is a God." It's true! There is no proof that there is no God, but there is endless evidence that He lives and loves us very much! I am so grateful for that knowledge.

This week we have the opportunity to hear from a prophet of the Lord and His apostles. How blessed we are! I know that Heavenly Father has individual messages to deliver to each of us through His servants' words. Go to conference with questions and with a willingness to do whatever the Lord asks of you. I know that we have much to learn in this life and that as we obey the Lord's words, as given through His prophet, we will receive the guidance that will keep us on the straight and narrow path to eternal life.

I love you all very much and pray that you will have a wonderful week! Enjoy the beginning of fall! I hear that the leaves are beautiful in Utah. The leaves haven't changed here, but hopefully they will soon. Happy Autumn!
Sister Barton :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011.

Good Morning from the Big City!
It has been a good week full of some adventures and shocking experiences. The weather tells us that it is fall now and we are wearing scarves and jackets. We had all of our usual plans this week of teaching ESL, going to FHE, having sports night, etc. We also had Zone Conference, which was really great because we got to meet President and Sister Scott for the first time. And you will see in the picture of me with the assistants that I crocheted each of them ties. They look pretty good, eh? At Zone Conference was when I got a big shock. One of the assistants stood up and asked if "Sister Barton and Elder Jung" would stand. He started to say some good things about us and then said that we would not be at the next zone conference (it will be around Christmas time) so we would be giving our farewell testimonies right then and there. What?!?!?! My mission is NOT over and I still have a LONG time! It was really strange to stand in front of everyone, bearing my last testimony at zone conference, when I still have a few months left. Normally I would have thought about what I wanted to say beforehand, but I guess this way I said what was in my heart in that moment.
On Tuesday we taught a girl named Ashley who had been contacted on a bus by an Elder. She was very girly and thought it was really "cute" that we prayed. She was really fun to teach and accepted everything except the baptismal commitment. She says that she wants to take things slowly. We tried to resolve her concerns, but we will have to continue tomorrow when we go to teach her again. We also taught Mike this week. It was a really good lesson, although we left not really knowing what his true intentions were regarding the gospel. He brought a friend to church yesterday and they both asked many questions. The Spirit was very strong at church, but in the end, Mike decided not to meet with us again. He did give us his info for after our missions though....funny. :)
Funny things always happen after teaching Mike (remember last week when I got pizza thrown at me?). Sister Hodgkin and I were taking the subway home when we had quite a scare. We were getting off at our stop and the doors were open for less than 15 seconds before they started to close. Sister Hodgkin barely made it through the Subway doors, but her side bag that was around her shoulder was stuck in the subway car, and she was holding the strap outside the car!!!! It was amazing to see all those around us huddle around, pulling the doors apart to help us free the bag. A girl inside the subway even got up and worked to push it out the door. Then her cell phone flew from inside the car to outside and we hurried and picked it up, throwing it into her hands in the subway car just before the doors slammed shut!. It was quite an adrenaline rush!
My back has been hurting this week so we went to a sister in the ward who does Chinese medicine. It can't hurt to try anything, right? Hehe. So she determined that my T1 (first Thoracic vertebrae) was out of alignment. She put a mallot on one side, told me to breathe in on the count of three, then hit the mallot with a hammer. Hahaha. It was interesting. After doing a few other things, I laid in her massage chair for about 15 minutes, which was great! I wanted to have the faith that the mallot hitting my back would fix it, and she said it would feel better in a few hours, but it still hurts and it has been two days. Oh well. It was worth a try.
There is a member that I love here because she makes me laugh so hard. Her name is Myrrhiam and she was baptized this past summer. She is from Jamaica and is in her 70's. She walks with a walker and her speech is very slurred because she is very aged. She is so funny. She comprehends the Book of Mormon more than more people and can recite complete stories to us from her reading. She is always laughing, clapping, and saying "Praise the Lord." And when I pray, she says "Amen" to everything I say hahaha. I love her.
A couple of thoughts for the week from some of my lessons with recent converts:
"It's easy to be positive when you're positive!" -I don't think Jimmy knew exactly what he was saying when he said this because it is in fact very profound. I interpreted it to mean that it is easy to be positive when you are positive or SURE. It is indeed easier to be positive in this life when you are SURE of your purpose, of Heavenly Father's love for you, of the great plan, and of the eternal truths that God desires to bless us with. A knowledge and testimony of these things brings about a light that emits positivity and happiness not found anywhere else in the world. :)
"Pride and humility are not feelings, they are attitudes that bring about feelings" -This was said by Rene, baptized a few weeks ago. There is a theme in the previous East Mission that they call "NBA - Nothing But Attitude." Much of life is not about events or just undesired feelings coming about. It is about choosing and working to have an attitude that will bring about fruits of humility, love, joy, security, and peace. So we can no longer say "I am a prideful person. That's just the way it is and I have no control over changing it," but rather we can change our attitude so that feelings of pride no longer come into our being.
That's about it for my week. Sister Hodgkin and I have fun making breakfast for each other and helping build each other up. This week will be great and we will find many of Heavenly Father's children to teach. I'm sure of it :) I love you all! If you want to write me straight to my apartment, get the address from my mom. I will most likely stay through the next transfer. But of course send packages to the office. Love you!
Sister Barton :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011.

Hello from the great city of Toronto!
I have been here since Wednesday and it has been so good. I was scared out of my mind when I found out that I had to drive to the Toronto Stake Center on Wednesday morning because I thought I would just have to drive to Hamilton and take the transfer van to Toronto. I got some great instructions and a map from an elder and it helped me get there! I am just happy that I will probably never have to drive a car again on my mission! I've been riding busses, street cars, and the subway all week. I even felt sick the other day because of all of the motion going on. Even watching the subways go by can make you sick haha. I have also been extremely tired, which usually happens after I move to a new area. But it has been great. We are very busy here with FHE on Mondays, ESL Tuesdays, district meetings Wednesdays, weekly planning Thursdays, ESL Saturdays, and church/meetings on Sundays. Teaching ESL is fun and we had a miracle when about 15 asian girls showed up on Saturday for the first time ever.

Sister Hodgkin (love her!) and I were walking downtown on Saturday night and witnessed a huge miracle. There was a guy walking behind us and I turned around to say "hi." I asked him where he was headed and he asked us the same question. Then I told him we are missionaries. Eventually we were sitting at a picnic table and teaching him about the Restoration. His name is Mike and he is going to school for his Masters. He had lots of questions and had somewhat of a desire to learn. He said that he would love to have the strong faith that we have. We told him it is possible. He tried to refuse the Book of Mormon saying he could just read the assigned chapter (Alma 32) online, but he eventually accepted the Book. We had SO much fun teaching and we all laughed a lot. We didn't set up a return appointment but we have his phone number and will call in a few days to see how his reading went. I don't know if he will investigate any further, but it was still amazing to teach someone right after meeting him.

After our lesson with Mike we walked and took the subway home. Then came one of the funniest experiences of my mission. Sister Hodgkin and I were almost to our apartment and were just crossing the street to get to our block. I could see a man on the corner and he was about five feet away from the path that we were walking. He looked a little homeless but he was obviously crazy because of the next events that occured. When I was just about to walk past him, he backed up about three whole steps and ran into me on purpose. Then he looked at me like it was my fault and about five seconds later, I felt something hit my back. I turned around and he ran around the corner after giving us the evil eye. On the ground I saw his half eaten slice of pizza. He threw his pizza at me, getting sauce all over my favorite shirt and my backpack. Sister Hodgkin almost peed her skirt because she was laughing so hard. Only on a mission...and ONLY in Toronto!!!!!

We did not attend the CES fireside last night because there was a fireside at the Toronto Stake Center. It was all about goal making and making our main goal Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. It was fun too see many of my missionary friends. Our investigator, Toshi, came as well. He is one of our only investigators right now but we're not really sure what to do because he doesn't live in our area, but he comes to our ESL and church. We're working hard to find new investigators. This week will be really great and I know we will find more people to teach. We have zone conference too, which will be great because I get to meet my new mission president. Everybody have a WONDERFUL week. Read the talk "Come What May and Love IT" by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. An elder gave it to me to read before leaving Burlington and it is so helpful to remember to laugh at any situation life throws at us. :) Be happy!!!! I love you all!
Sister Barton :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011.

First things first.....
AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Guess what? I got transferred!!!!! Okay, first of all, I am very sad to leave Burlington. I LOVE the ward and the city. It is home and I will miss everyone so much. But alas, I must move on to......DOWNTOWN TORONTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The best part? I'll be with SISTER HODGKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, enough excitement. I prayed months ago to be companions with Sister Hodgkin but then stopped because I realized that it would never happen. We are very good friends and I love her very much. I know that Heavenly Father knows my needs and answers my prayers. Downtown Toronto! That is SO exciting. We don't drive cars there but use the busses. That will be a big change and I'm sure I will have some crazy experiences. Burlington probably could not be more opposite. I'm about to go into one of the melting pots of the world with hundreds of different cultures. I believe I will be serving in a ward that was one of the first wards (I think it's the Ossington ward) and buildings in eastern Canada. There is a lot of history there. I hear it's the ward Donny Osmond goes to when he visits. That's another plus hehehehe. Anyway, I'm excited for a change and I know I will learn many things from the Lord and from my great companion. Want to hear something else funny? Sister Yi's new companion is Sister Yen. HAHA. Her family is from Taiwan but she is really from California. She speaks a little bit of Mandarin, but not much. She's American. But that's funny: Sister Yi and Sister Yen.
There isn't much to tell about the rest of the week. Brian is no longer an investigator because he doesn't want to act upon the things we teach. He sent us a text saying "I've come to the conclusion that I won't be attending your church. My search will forge on. Thank you." Side note: it's not our church, it's Jesus Christ's church ;). Sister Yi and I went to see him after getting the text and nothing much came of it. He is a wonderful person, but just not ready I guess. It definitely didn't help the situation that he was texting me last week and asking me out for pizza. Um...he's 53 years old. No thank you. :)
I have been busy crocheting ties for some of the elders haha. I made one for a certain elder as a joke and now everyone wants one. Haha. It's great. I won't have time to do that starting tomorrow though. I've had extra time during Sister Yi's language study, at night, etc. It's been fun to keep my crafty abilities up.
Yesterday was the annual Burlington Ward Picnic. It was loads of fun and a great opportunity to see everyone before I leave, which doesn't usually happen during transfers. Every family made mottos and banners like the title of liberty in the Book of Mormon. Sister Yi and I won second place (see picture). After the ward picnic, we went to teach Eddy with the elders (see picture). I'm not sure if I wrote about him before but he is amazing. One day he just showed up to church and nobody knew who he was. We came to find out that he is a member and was baptized when he was eight. He doesn't remember much about the church and is learning everything again. About a month ago he went to Alberta for his dad's re-baptism and that is what sparked the change. We watched the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" yesterday which is one of the best movies ever made. After, Elder Hanny asked Eddy what he would be willing to do to hold that same power of God that the prophet Joseph Smith had (and that all worthy priesthood holders have). He replied "Anything...Everything." He is one of the nicest people I've ever met and he is so humble. He will go where the Lord wants him to go!
I'm sure I will have many more adventures to share next week. I am so grateful to be a missionary for Christ. It's the greatest blessing of my life so far. There is a quote in the Joseph movie that Joseph says while the men are building a temple. He says: "We're not just building a temple here...the Lord is building us." That is very true of a mission as well. I'm not just building a ward or a teaching pool, but the Lord truly is building me. I'm looking forward to the rest of the day today. We're going to Hamilton to have some fun with the Elders...sports, music, signing books, etc. Then we have a dinner appointment. Then it's home to clean and pack! I pray that each of you have an amazing week. Smile :) Enjoy each moment! Let the Holy Spirit guide!
Love you all,
Sister Barton

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011.

Good Morning Loved Ones!
What a GREAT week! I can't really remember much of the week except for getting ready for the fireside which took places last night. I will write about that in a moment. First of all, as of today, I have a new mission president! President and Sister Scott arrived here yesterday, I believe, and I am very excited to meet them. I'm sure that President and Sister Brower received a very warm welcome home from all of their children and grandchildren. I love them so much and am excited to see them again soon. I find out about transfers this coming Sunday and then the move is Wednesday, so nobody write me at my Burlington address this week. Just send anything to the mission home. I am pretty sure I will be transferred, which is bittersweet. I am kind of in need of a change, but I don't want to leave Burlington. I love the ward here. And Sister Yi and I have been having lots of fun the last few days. She received her Patriarchal Blessing yesterday and said it was really great. She had to get it in English because there isn't a mandarin patriarch in Ontario. As far as she knows, there isn't one in mainland China either, that's why she didn't receive it before her mission. Anyway, I am excited for her to get the printed copy and study it. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in my blog last week: Happy Birthday to Elin on the 23rd! I don't know if she reads my blog, but maybe mom - you can tell her for me :) Thanks!
We met with our Zone Leaders for a few hours on Friday and they helped us to set some goals and feel better as missionaries :) Now I have started a goal book which is kind of like a journal/scrapbook and it is so great. I have been feeling great ever since I started it and am excited to be able to work on goals that will help me become who Heavenly Father knows I can be. I sang "Write Thy Name Upon My Heart" in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. It wasn't ever one of my favorite songs, but I really felt the Spirit as I sang. I love it now.
And now...the fireside! I'll tell you...this was a lot of work! But it was all worth it. There were about 70 people there, which filled much of the chapel. I arranged a program with seven musical numbers and quotes/scriptures or testimonies inbetween each song. There were tears shed in the audience with each musical piece. I sang with three young women, I sang a solo near then end, and then Elder Ward and I sang the last song. We had members do the rest of the music. Then Stake President Homer gave closing remarks. He mentioned how Christ was on the earth for a short time and while here, He performed miracles, taught His Gospel, and strengthened feeble knees. In this dispensation, Christ is not here among us, so at this time "We Are His Hands." If you remember from my past e-mails, that was the theme for the fireside. We had a poster that said "We Are His Hands" and the members brought cut-out hands upon which they had written experiences they had recently when they acted as the hands of Jesus Christ. The fireside could not have gone better. I am very grateful for my loving Father in Heaven who helped me knock down the road blocks in front of me that told me I couldn't do this. My district leader and I had a good conversation on the phone last night and he said "This fireside may have been the one reason you are here at this changed many lives tonight." I am grateful for the gifts God gives EACH of us that allow us to be instruments in His hands. If you want to achieve a goal that you have, then pray for strength and ENDURE until you accompish the task. With God, nothing is impossible!
Thank you for all you do for me! I will let you all know about transfers next week. Ahh yes, I will be e-mailing on Tuesday due to Labor Day on Monday. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend :) I love you all!
Sister Barton

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011

Wow, lots to write!
I am just going to start with Monday and see what I can catch up with :) Monday evening we went to dinner at a Chinese members house who lives in Waterdown. We cover that area, but this member goes to church in the Hamilton ward because they have a chinese class. That was a fun dinner. We had a funny experience on Tuesday as we were walking home for lunch. I started talking to this older lady named Adele and she told us to go to lunch with her. I didn't want to buy anything but we still went anyway. We sat there in the restaurant while she ate her Thai soup and taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel. I'm not sure how much she understood haha. I don't know if it is old age or something else, but I'm pretty sure she wasn't completely following us. In the end, she gave us the rest of her soup to take home. Then we found a whole snickers bar on the grass on the way home hahaha. Score! So we put it in the freezer when we got home (it was melted) and ate it after lunch haha. We had a conference call with the assistants and all of the sisters on Tuesday night to find out the surprise they had been keeping from us for a week. We knew about the sister sleepover on Friday night but what we didn't know is that all of the sisters would be going on exchanges from Wednesday to Friday! Sister Yi and I had to stay up late packing Tuesday night since we got off the phone right at bedtime and would have no time the next day to get ready. Sister Yi stayed in Burlington and I was off to London!
I spent Wednesday evening through Friday afternoon in London with Sister Rosenlof, who is so great. She is from the previous East Mission so it was fun to work with a sister with a different style. We laughed a lot and had a good time. We were able to set up a couple of appointments too. Almost everyone in London actually listens when we knock on their door! They are all so nice and we could actually have a few conversations, which hasn't happened in Burlington for a while! We left for Kitchener on Friday around 3:00 pm where we met with some other sisters to carpool down to Brampton.
It was SO fun to be with all of the sisters in the mission. I think there are 25 of us, including four Hermanas. We ate a yummy dinner. While enjoying my yummy sweet and sour chicken, I looked up and froze....guess who had just walked into the mission home? Sister Britney Lavatai - my trainer! It was SO good to see her and hug her AND sing with her later on. I miss her. AND one of my favorite companions ever, Sister Danielle Olsen, was there too so we hugged and talked. I knew they were visiting the mission, but I didn't think I would see them so I was very happy. Friday night we continued to have fun, play with hair, watch a church movie, and sleep all over the floor in sleeping bags!
Saturday morning we enjoyed a companionship study with President Brower who taught us about the temple. After breakfast, we drove to the Weston Chapel in Toronto (I never want to drive again haha) where we role played for about two hours. Then the big surprise was that we were going out on the streets to contact. Jane and Finch is supposedly the sketchiest area in the mission, so there we went...25 sisters and some elders...armies of Helaman! It was awesome. I was in a little bit of a mood and told a man who was lighting his cigarette: "You know, cigarettes are much better when they are unlit." Sister Swim laughed pretty hard and I just shrugged my shoulders haha. It was really fun.
It was so good to be with President and Sister Brower because they are going home this Sunday and I won't see them for a while. I am so grateful for them in my life. They have changed me and I will never forget them. It won't be too long until I see them :) But I am also very excited for President and Sister Scott to come on Monday. I know that they are called of God to preside over one of the Lord's greatest missions. They will be amazing.
I could probably keep writing for ages, but those are the basics of the week. Transfers are in two Mondays and I want to soak up my time in Burlington and with Sister Yi. Who knows what will happen!? I am grateful to be a missionary for Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and Redeemer. We can have eternal JOY - can you believe it? What a blessing! Have a wonderful week and count your many blessings!
I love you all,
Sister Barton

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011.

Good Morning!
The weather is cooling down here and I can hardly believe that summer is nearing it's end. It has been a great week. First I will start with the biggest news since last week. We are putting on a musical fireside on August 28th!!!!! I am so excited. The idea came about during District Meeting on Wednesday. I texted some elders asking if they really thought it was possible to do it and they said yes. So I have been busy busy ever since. Due to transfers on September 5th, and the fact that it will be Labor Day weekend (everyone will be gone), we are doing the fireside on August 28th! It's soon but it's going to be great. The theme is "We Are His Hands." Each member will trace their hand on paper, cut it out, and pray for an opportunity to be the hands of Christ in the next couple of weeks, whether it's through service, missionary work, etc. Then they will write it on their paper hand and bring it to the fireside to tape it to a big poster. This will really unify us as a ward as we ALL can be the hands of Christ. I've been busy doing crafty things for the fireside as well like posters, flyers, writing out quotes, etc. There will be many songs with quotes, scriptures, and/or testimonies inbetween. Many of the quotes are taken from President Uchtdorf's talk "You Are My Hands," from the May 2010 Conference Ensign. Sister Yi and I are going to Hamilton today to practice the music with some Elders. I also have assigned a few members to be doing musical numbers. I am so happy that everything is falling into place and I know the Lord's hand is in it. I have been tearing down the walls that I have put in front of myself all week. Thoughts of "I can't do this," "I don't know what to do," "What if nobody comes?" etc. have filled my mind. I've been able to push the thoughts out, stop thinking so much, and just DO! Sometimes that's my problem...I'm a master planner haha. But it's often best to stop making plans and just start taking action. Then I am able to figure it out as it comes. So the Lord has really helped me more forward with faith this week.
I had a really neat experience on Wednesday after District Meeting. Sister Yi and I were tracting and I was singing away as we walked. I prayed in my head that I would have the opportunity to sing to someone since it very rarely happens in Burlington. I KNOW that Heavenly Father answers prayers! We knocked on a door that had a sign on the front saying something about keeping visits to one hour. I figured the person inside was either very elderly or sick. A home care nurse answered and invited us in. In a back bedroom, we met Sheila. She is a painter from India but has been in Canada for 40 years. She was diagnosed with liver cancer in March and said "now all I have are my pain killers and my faith in God." She was amazing. I was able to sing her "I Need Thee Every Hour," and "I am a Child of God." It was a tender mercy from the Lord. The best part was that I was able to serve others, not just get blessings for myself. Heavenly Father will bless us much more in life if we are willing to give what we receive to others. :)
I had the neatest experience yesterday while on the phone with Brian. He had been avoiding our phone calls and messages for about two weeks but finally answered yesterday. He began to say how he wanted to talk to me, probably to say he wasn't interested. He said "I have a question for you. Be honest with me. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way back to God?" I testified that we do and told him why. I actually was able to use the third Article of Faith (We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all manking may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel) because I had read it on Saturday night. I mentioned the Book of Mormon a couple of times. Brian got pretty upset and started asking why I always referred to the Book of Mormon and not the Bible. He mentioned that he had been drinking. He may lose his house and is going through a really rough time. Remember that Brian is the one who is so afraid of going to false churches. He doesn't want to be deceived. This began about a five minute testimony from the Holy Ghost through me because I don't know where all of it came from! Here is a little summary of what I said: "Brian, you are very special to Heavenly Father. You are one of the few people on the earth right now who is searching for truth. Most people think they already have it figured out and their hearts are closed. You need to replace the fear that you have with faith. Doubt, confusion, and fear come from Satan, not God. Take a step into the unknown and God will shine light on the path! The Spirit will warn you if you are going in the wrong direction." I said many more things, but that's just a little bit. When I stopped, Brian said "Wow." I said "How do you feel right now?" And he said "I'm bawling like a baby." When we were ending our conversation, he said "Call me again." Later he texted us: "Thank you for calling. I need God in my life, the more the merrier. God bless you." I testify to each of you that the Spirit changes hearts! My heart was burning with the Spirit after this phone call because I KNOW that Brian felt the truthfulness of what I was saying. Feeling the Spirit of God is NOT an imagined feeling or sensation. It is the most real feeling that can ever be felt because it deals with our whole souls - our spirit bodies and our physical bodies. The Spirit can fill us when truly nothing else on this physical earth can. Of course I am not talking about love...put that aside because God is Love, so in a sense, that is all connected to the Spirit as well.
I'm looking forward to a fun week with many dinner appointments, district meeting, a sister sleepover at the mission home (yay - all 23 sisters!), more fireside preparations, and of course: Finding, teaching, and baptizing!!!!!!!! :) In the words of Elder Holland: "My mission means everything to me!" Thank you all for being who you are! You amaze me :)

I love you!
Sister Barton

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 8, 2011.

Hello loved ones!
Another week has passed and it was a great one. We had district meeting on Wednesday and Sister Yi and I taught about revelation through church attendance. I also shared the spiritual thought. On Friday, Elder Ward and I practiced our song for Zone Conference again and that was really fun. We were very prepared so when we actually sang it in zone conference, there was nothing to fear. So it is with life...when we are prepared, we can go forward in confidence and strength.
We had a lesson with Nyari on Friday and it was kind of awkward. I was the only one that talked because we didn't prepare enough for the lesson and Sister Yi didn't talk when I looked at her to do so. I definitely want to prepare more for her next lesson. She said she would come to church yesterday and then she didn't. I'm not sure why but will call her soon. We haven't spoken to Brian for about a week but we have been praying for him each day and hoping he will continue to have the faith to meet with us.
Zone Conference was amazing. We carpooled there with a few elders and I didn't have to drive, which was nice :) We went to London, ON, which is about 1 1/2 hours from Burlington. In Conference, we really focused on the role of the Spirit in missionary work. Since then, I have really counseled with myself and Heavenly Father about how I can be more consecrated and focused. It may seem like four months is still a long time, but if I don't make changes now then it will soon be over and I will not have become all that I can truly become through Christ.
Sister Yi and I got out of the car to begin tracting yesterday and I opened the trunk to get out a Book of Mormon. We were both trying to shut the trunk and tragically, her pinky finger got shut in the trunk. I hurried to push the trunk button to open it. Her nail was purple and immediately started bleeding, which is really good actually because then the pressure didn't build up in her finger. I held her close as we held her finger up in a napkin and she shed some tears. She was SO brave and amazing. She barely made a peep. I'm sure I would have screamed. We drove to a member nurse's house and she was able to "dress the wound" hehe. Sister Yi's finger is a little swollen today but it is much better and she is typing like normal. What a blessing! Her attitude was a great example to me :) I still have much to learn from her!
We have a busy week ahead of us and hopefully it will become busier with investigator lessons! Thank you all for being great :) You amaze me!
I love you,
Sister Barton :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August 2, 2011.

Hello Hello!
It is so good to write today. I am kind of hyper so my thoughts are all flustered. Sister Yi and I drove to Hamilton this morning. I was practicing a song with one of my zone leaders that we are singing in zone conference this week. We had SO much fun. He was in a band before his mission and it was just so fun to sing and make the song unique. I hope to record it somehow and maybe a member could put it on youtube so you can see it. So that made me really happy for the day because I love to sing.
The biggest story of the week happened on Sunday when Andris and Sister Hofstetter walked into the church. I was greeting at the door to the chapel and Andris said "I'd like to introduce you to Sister Krumins!" Then Sister "Krumins" put her hand up with a ring on it. WHAT?!?!?!??! He had proposed last Sunday, the day he got confirmed (they had never talked about marriage before), they planned it all week and the stake president married them in the church on Saturday. I didn't even know because only family was there. I am SO happy for them and they are so happy. They are going to Hawaii tomorrow. It was fun to see some pictures from the wedding and hear stories. I am so grateful for them in my mission and in my life :)
We got a new investigator named Nyari (pronounced Nee-yah-ree) on Friday. She was a member referral and is from Zimbabwe. She committed to read the Book of Mormon, but we just have one concern to solve...she says that her church in Zimbabwe had a boy similar to Joseph Smith who started seeing visions and they read a different book in addition to the Bible so she thinks that she has been baptized by the proper authority. That's a tough one. Well, all she has to do is read the Book of Mormon and pray with a sincere heart. The Spirit will witness the truth of the message of the Restoration to her and all will be well :) We teach her again tomorrow. We also have district meeting tomorrow and zone conference on Saturday, so it's a busy week. We had a zone meeting last week and met all of the new elders in the zone. It was really fun and we played some get-to-know-you games. The Spirit was strong as we worked together to decide what our zone focus would be for August. We all decided on the focus of "I am His hands" and felt very strongly about it. We will continue to make our action items as well.

Carey wasn't confirmed on Sunday because she was really sick so she had to stay home. She will be confirmed this coming Sunday so I am looking forward to that. This week has been BIG at home too with Hannah getting married and Alex going on her mission! I am so happy for them both.
Have a wonderful week and be strong! I love the gospel! Can you believe it? I am a missionary for the Lord, Jesus Christ. How great is my calling! I LOVE YOU ALL! Be Happy :)
Sister Barton

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011.

Happy New Transfer to Me :)
Today starts a new transfer and I am SO happy to still be here in Burlington and with Sister Yi. I would have cried all night if I was transferred. Today is also my little brother Jesse's SIXTH birthday! I cannot believe how fast he is growing. This e-mail might be random, but there is a lot that I want to say. First of all, it was a very hot week and the temperature on Thursday was incredible. It was nearly 48 C or 120 F with humidity! Crazy, eh? I was happy to have interviews that day and to do weekly planning so I was inside most of the day, but it was very hot. I am grateful for sunscreen and water!
Hmm..I just realized that I forgot my planner from the transfer that just ended, so now I don't have my reference for what happened last week. Well, I will just begin with the two most exciting events that happened: the baptisms of Andris and Carey!!!! Andris' baptism was on Saturday evening and it was so amazing. The Spirit was so strong. I was blessed to be able to give a short talk on baptism and then sing a musical number. We were so worried that Andris would have a hard time getting all the way under the water because he is very tall, but our ward mission leader rigged the overflow so we could fill the font an extra ~5 inches haha. It was great. Andris was so happy and many people attended. He was confirmed in church yesterday and is now a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! He is very special to Heavenly Father and his spirit will only grow from here!

Carey was baptized yesterday after church and it was a miracle because her mom decided last minute to come :) I was so happy because I know how much it meant to Carey. Her husband, Vigjay baptized her and they were both so happy. I was also blessed to sing at her baptism and to give the talk on the Holy Ghost. I found out I was giving the talk right before church and had to prepare quickly :) There were many who attended Carey's baptism as well and she is becoming great friends with the ward members. I am grateful for our friendship and for her ability to recognize the Spirit. She has a strong desire to do what is right and that is what will ultimately lead her back to Heavenly Father's presence!

Thursday we had interviews in Hamilton and had some instruction from our leaders. It was my last interview with President Brower, but I will see him again before he and Sister Brower leave. They got an extension, so they won't be leaving until around September now! I am grateful for all that they do.
We met with Brian this week, who is now our only investigator, and he still has a strong desire to be baptized. He had mis-read something in the Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago and it led him to put the book down and not pick it up again. I cleared up his misunderstanding and told him I was very grateful for his desire to follow the Spirit. He doesn't want to read anything or go to a church that will take him away from God. The High Council Leader gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting and said something that made me think of Brian. He said "We don't teach to bring people to church, we teach to bring souls to Christ!" That is so true. The Church was organized by Christ himself as a means of progressing toward Him and becoming like Him.
Have a wonderful week this week. I am so happy for two of my best friends, Alex who is leaving on her mission in two days, and Hannah who is getting married this week. I am so happy for you both! Thank you everyone for all that you do for me :) I love you all!
Sister Barton :)