Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 26, 2011.

Hello from foggy Burlington!

How is everyone? One of the greatest parts about this week is that I am an aunt again!!!!! WAHOO!!!!! My brother and sister-in-law had a little boy on Easter and he is so cute (I've seen a few pictures). I will miss holding him, but it will be fun to see him when I get home. It was a good week this week. Our investigator, Pinky, came to church for the first time on Sunday. We met with her earlier in the week and she made sudza (african food - I had it twice in North Bay) for us. I want to attempt to make it sometime soon because it is really fun.

It was Stake Conference and the speakers were so amazing. We got to attend the Saturday night session in Hamilton because all of the missionaries in the zone sang "Called to Serve," which was very powerful. I took lots of good notes and learned so much. Sunday morning we were able to watch Stake Conference in Burlington via broadcast! President and Sister Brower spoke. After conference, we had a baptism of 8-year-old Alex. We have taught his family a couple of times. I sang "He Leadeth Me" (the same song I sang at my niece Jessica's baptism a few years ago) and there were lots of people there. He looked so cute in his little white tux.

I had an appointment with a family last night whom I met for the first time. I learned so much from the Father. That is one thing I love about a mission...learning from each person we meet. We talked about the resurrection and atonement of Jesus Christ. This brother brought this insight: many people in the world focus on the physical pain of Christ during the Atonement. They focus on His death, the nails in His hands, the crown of thorns, and the cross He was nailed to. They focus on these things because they do not fully comprehend the spiritual part of the Atonement. The spiritual suffering was far greater than the physical. When we understand why Christ performed the Atonement and suffered for our pains, weaknesses, and sins, then we can look forward to the crowning event of His resurrection. We do not focus on the death of Christ. We focus on the living Christ, the Master, the Savior, our Redeemer. He lives and because He lives, we will all live again. I know this is true. Pray to comprehend this spiritual meaning of the Atonement and your life and priorities will be transformed.

Have a wonderful week! Remember who you are, have fun, and act as Christ would act :)

I love you all,
Sister Barton

P.S. Here is a picture of Sister Cheng and me after getting cupcakes from a bake sale. Three girls were selling cupcakes for "the sick kids in Hamilton" and one of them was wearing a bunny costume, so of course we had to contribute :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011.

Hello Hello!
How is everyone? First of all, Happy 75th Birthday Grandpa White! Yay! I hope you have a wonderful day! Is it sunny and warm in Utah yet? We had a rollercoaster yesterday of sunshine and intense blizzards haha. It was a typical spring here I guess. I remember it snowing last year at the end of April in Utah, so it's not too different. Last week Sister Cheng and I had 27 hours of tracting (knocking on doors)! And guess how many new investigators we! BUT...we shall continue the work and find them this week! I know there are people prepared to receive the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we just need to be in tune with the Spirit to find them!
Sandy was confirmed yesterday! He was looking forward to it all week and kept referring to it as the "most important part of baptism." He's right! The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we can receive in this life and it is essential. The stake president's wife invited us over for dinner last night and it was so much fun. I love seeing different families and how much fun they have together. I love my family, every single person in it :)
The other day we had a dinner appointment and right when we walked in the house, I knew I was done for. I could smell the was fish. I do not like sea food and especially don't like fish. I ate it anyway and honestly, it wasn't THAT bad. I still wouldn't cook it for myself or choose to eat it any other time, but at least I could get it down! Then came the dessert. Cherry pie, also one of my least favorite foods. Sister Cheng doesn't like it either and it was funny watching her try to get it down haha. But the crust was good. Look at the positive, right? ;)
I started a little gratitude journal where I write a few things that I am grateful for at the end of each day. They could be experiences of the day or just things that I had been thinking about. I want to show my gratitude more. I also started reading the New Testament while I eat breakfast this morning. I don't really have time to do an in-depth study of it on my mission, but I can at least go through it once and become more familiar with it. There is so much to learn from the Bible.
We have lots of people telling us to go home and spend all of our money, get married, have kids, have fun, etc. all because the earth is going to end in 2012. If any of you are wondering about this....stop wondering. It's not going to happen. Just because it was on a calendar that a man made doesn't mean that it is in God's plan for the earth hahaha. I asked a man if he really believed the world would end next year and he said yes. I asked him if he prayed about it and he didn't really have anything to say :) There is much to happen still before the second coming of the Messiah! May we ever pray to do all we can to be prepareed for that day!
Easter is coming this week, one of the most significant days of the year. We celebrate the resurrection and life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He died for us and He lives for us. Would we die for Him and do we live for Him? Show gratitude for His infinite atoning sacrifice which makes it possible for us to return to live with our Father in Heaven again! Strive to be like Him this week! Have a marvelous week and "let the Holy Spirit guide!"
I love you all!
Sister Barton

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 11, 2011.

Bring on the sunshine!

It is the warmest day of the year so far and it feels great! Time to pack away all of those huge skirts hahaha. Well, it's been a great week. Tuesday night we taught one of our investigators named Noel. There were lots of people there. Noel lives with a member and they have two other roommates. We brought our friend Margeaux from the ward who will put her mission papers in soon! One of Noel's roommates is deaf and I was able to sign much of the lesson to him (I took two years of American Sign Language in high school). That was really neat. I couldn't remember most signs, so I would fingerspell the word and John would tell me the sign. It was so much fun. I tried to teach John how to pray, gave him an example, and then asked if he understood. He didn't :( He isn't really accountable and that's why we aren't teaching him. But it was still great to be able to teach him a little bit about God, even if he doesn't fully comprehend all of it.
Wednesday was one of the hardest days of my mission. I don't really want to go into it because I'm trying to forget it. Let's just say that we met a very unkind lady. Sometimes when people are mean I can just shrug it off. But sometimes, it hurts. It's not that I believe anything she said, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard. The rest of the evening I found it hard to even talk to anyone because I was so scared of meeting another not so kind person, but of course I buckled down and did it anyway. Right before we went in for the night, the miracle came. The main point is that my loving Heavenly Father placed an angel in my path and I felt His love for me, which took away the pain. We were about to knock on a door when we saw a man across the street. We went over and said hello. I wasn't even intending to talk about the church, I just wanted to say hi. He walked over to us and began a conversation. Nothing about the church came up, but it was incredible. He told me "I know you have had a really hard day today and that people haven't been very kind, but don't worry. Keep going! Don't listen to them." He continued and tears filled my eyes. Heavenly Father is very aware of each one of His children. If you think you are among the crowd and He doesn't know you, then get on your knees and pray until you feel his infinite love surround you. That man was sent to me from God. I didn't ask for a miracle, but God knew I needed him at that time. There is no way he could have known the words to say by himself. He treated us like real people (I know, sometimes hard to believe that missionaries are real people! :D) and was so kind. I will never forget him.

On a funny note, we knocked on a man's door on Thursday and he said something so funny. He opened the door and said "You can go away; Lucifer doesn't like you!" HA! Thank you, sir, for stating the obvious. It was actually quite a compliment. I'm glad he doesn't like me, that means I am doing something right! ;)

Sandy got BAPTIZED! His baptism was after church yesterday. It was so wonderful. It was fairly short, but powerful. He is an amazing individual and has truly been guided and prepared his whole life. I'm so grateful I can be here at this time. I am excited for him to get confirmed this Sunday and receive the greatest gift, the Holy Ghost.

Thank you all for being amazing. I love my Savior and am so blessed to be able to testify of Him each day. Have a wonderful week!

Love you all!
Sister Barton :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011.

Hello from Burlington!!!!
That's right, I have been transferred, yet again! I am pretty sure I am the most moved around sister in the mission due to emergency transfers haha. I am in Burlington, which is right next to Lake Ontario. I am serving with Sister Cheng, who I was with in Brampton for her first week in the mission. This area is much different than Brampton. I am no longer in YSA work and am now tracting/knocking doors, which I like much better than contacting sometimes. We are teaching many people and are having a baptism this coming Sunday! Sandy, an 85-year-old man the sisters met outside of the bank will be getting baptized! He has tremendous faith. He has known about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints his whole life, but all he needed was someone to invite him. He said he would have joined years ago if he simply would have been invited. This is a great lesson to all of us who are trying to do member missionary work. Do not be afraid to invite! God is with you and will bear you up. There is no need to fear. We are also teaching a couple from Brazil and one from Mexico. We have a Columbian member come with us and he translates. I am going to learn a lot of Spanish and the member, Jorge, is going to give me a booklet with phrases and teaching tools. I'm excited.
Wasn't General Conference amazing!?!?! I absolutely loved it. I don't have a favorite talk yet because there were so many great ones. But I jotted down some of my favorite parts this morning. First of all, there was a big theme of families. The reason for this is to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, family is the central purpose for this life. My mission has been such great preparation for motherhood and now I cannot imagine trying to be a mother without this experience. Heavenly Father has much to teach me still. Richard G. Scott's talk on the marriage and the family was wonderful. He was so sincere and really captured the sacred nature of marriage in the temple. Paul V. Johnson said that "The only way to see the views is to make the climb." The only way to achieve a fullness of joy is be on the path now! There is no helicopter that will fly you to the top. We must climb the rocky, wet, dirty, steep, windy path (ew...that reminds me of when I hiked Mt. Timpanogos!). BUT, however hard the path may seem, if we do not climb it, we do not see the flowers, the beautiful animals, feel the sunshine, get the exercise ;), and breathe in the mountain air. Okay, lame analogy, but do you get what I mean? The joy does not only come from being on top or simply being with God. It comes from the journey we have taken to achieve those great heights. That goes along with what D. Todd Christofferson said: "The final judgment is not just about what we have done. It is about what we have become." We are always becoming :)
Sister Cheng and I are excited to see miracles this coming transfer. Our first miracle happened on the second door we knocked on Wednesday. A man named Tom invited us in and we taught him about the Book of Mormon. He is dealing with many health challenges, but we are inviting him to know how the Savior can heal him spiritually. I am grateful to be here and know that there are many people for me to meet and help. Thank you for being such wonderful people. I look up to you all!
I love you all so much!
Sister Barton