Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011.

Hello from humid Burlington!
How are each of you? It was a good week here, much different than I am used to as I have been learning chinese culture and teaching english grammar :) I will just go through a little bit of my week. Sister Yi and I went grocery shopping on Wednesday and It took a few hours! She pulled out her translator to type in what she wanted to buy and then we would go find it in Walmart. Can you believe there is not ONE Asian food store in Burlington? Crazy. So there is some food she cannot find. She doesn't like cheese, so that will be a problem because many American/Canadian foods have cheese. Jill cancelled her lesson on Wednesday because she was really sick so we haven't taught her lately. We had weekly planning on Thursday, which took up most of the day. By the end of the first day together, Sister Yi and I were exhausted from trying to understand each other! Sometimes I cannot think of another way to say something after I've already said it three different ways, so I get tired haha. We met with Noel on Wednesday night and Sister Yi was amazing! She told Noel that if he has a desire, then he can be baptized! She was pretty bold and it was great! She was able to understand much of that lesson. Although she is speaking English fairly well (minus the grammar - we are working on that!), she doesn't understand anything anyone says because we all talk to fast. I talk really slowly to her so she understands me. But when we are at a door, she will introduce us and as soon as the other person says sosmething, I finish the conversation! :) I know Sister Yi will learn quickly. It just takes hard work, time, and experience. Saturday we ate dinner at a members' home where the son recently returned from his mission in Taiwan. He was able to speak to Sister Yi in mandarin. When they brought out the food, Sister Yi thought she was in heaven!!! Real chinese food! Well, I'm not sure if it was Phillipino food since that's where the family is from, but to her, it was like a taste of home. They gave her a bowl and she ate with chopsticks. It was fun to see her get so excited.
I gave a talk on missionary work in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. I am the kind of person who has my talk all planned out and I don't really add or take away from what I have written. Well, I realized in the morning that my talk didn't have any personal experiences in it. I was a little sad because I couldn't think of anything to add. A few minutes before church started, I was going over my talk and the Holy Ghost brought to my remembrance a perfect example of an experience I had that I was able to use in my talk. I was very grateful.
Andris came to church yesterday. Our lesson with him on Tuesday was pretty rough. It was great until I brought up a baptismal date. The problem is that he is thinking of being baptized by the end of the year. Well, we wanted to set him for baptism in June! I know he will be ready. He is taking the necessasry actions to prepare - reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and attending church. Of course we want Andris to be ready and to have received the spiritual witness that these things are true. We simply set a date for baptism so the investigator has something to work toward. It helps them have a vision. Heavenly Father wants all of His children to come unto Him, be converted, and be baptized so they can receive the most precious gift of the Holy Ghost to be with them always. Andris cancelled his lesson this week because something came up so we won't be meeting with him until next week. Tami also had to cancel her lesson this week due to some family difficulties so we will meet with her this coming Saturday.
I am excited to work hard this week to find new investigators and to strengthen the ward members. I hope you are all having a great Memorial Day weekend! I love you all and you are in my prayers :)
Sister Barton

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24, 2011.

Happy Victoria Day,
I couldn't e-mail yesterday due to a holiday here. I had half of a p-day where I was very busy. My mind is quite flustered right now and I don't even know where to begin writing. I don't remember what has happened this week because the most current events have flooded my mind. Transfer calls were Sunday night. My predictions were either that Sister Cheng would stay with me or another sister who is now serving in London would come to Burlington. Boy was I way off! I got the most shocking phone call of my whole mission. I have been assigned to TRAIN AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It seems as if I was just in the mission home with Sister Brack the day she got here and last night I was there with Sister Yi. Sister Yi is from MAINLAND CHINA! To have a sister from mainland China is very rare and very special. I don't fully understand why Heavenly Father has so much trust in me :) There are many other sisters who have not trained yet, but Heavenly Father and President know that Sister Yi and I need to be together. This will be a very fun, unique experience for both of us! I have much to learn. She doesn't speak much English and was in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) for nine weeks learning English there. We will now be having language study in the morning. She is very sweet, cute, and fun! I am already exhausted from trying to understand her and talk to her simply today. It has been great and I know we will be great friends! I am very excited to watch her grow and to serve her. She means a lot to the Lord and she already means a lot to me. Sister Cheng will be serving in a triple in Kitchener and working with young single adults, where the majority of the university students are asian! I'm happy for her and know she will grow so much.
That news kind of takes the cake. I don't even remember what else happened this week. Oh yes, I went on sister travels this week. Sister Hodgkin came here to Burlington on Thursday night and Sister Cheng went to London. We each worked in our areas for the day on Friday. I absolutely loved working with Sister Hodgkin. She is a lot like Sister Evanson and we got along really well. We have lots of fun together. I don't know if we will ever have the opportunity to be companions, so I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with her.
Sister Cheng and I got a new investigator on Saturday!!!!! Her name is Tami and she is so amazing. We met her while tracting on May 7th, but couldn't meet with her until this past Saturday. She had cancelled our first appointment due to the family being sick. I honestly did not think she was even interested until we had our lesson with her. She had her husband take her two daughters out to run some errands so she could focus on the message. We taught her about the Restoration and as I told her of Joseph Smith's vision in his own words, she began to cry. I asked her how she felt and she said she felt an overwhelming feeling of the Spirit! My heart was full. She said that we came at just the right time in her life. She said she would read the Book of Mormon, pray to know if the message we shared is true, come to church, and eventually be baptized. I pray for her each day and know that we were guided to her.
Sister Yi and I will teach Andris tonight for his second lesson. It will be a good experience for Sister Yi. I am not sure how much Andris is progressing. He is reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church, but I'm not quite sure where his desires are. We will extend a baptismal date commitment today and just "let the Holy Spirit Guide" :).
Hmm...I know much more has happened, but I cannot remember for now :) I have a lot of things filling up my brain! I will catch up on missed experiences next week! I know that Heavenly Father is aware of each one of us. This church is indeed the Church of Jesus Christ in these the latter days! Christ is our Savior and He is the ONLY way to true joy, a fullness of joy. I love you all and pray that you have a wonderful week. Serve others, count your blessings, and find joy in each moment, for they pass far too quickly!
All my love,
Sister Barton :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011.

Happy Mother's Day Yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a beautiful day here and it was so great to celebrate Mother's Day at church. All of the women were given chocolate rose suckers. I spent most of the day sick in bed, but was very happy I got to call my dad and Heather. I will call my mom and Bill next week when they are home. I talked to my little brother first and he is so funny. He is getting so big. Then I talked to Heather and my dad, which was so great. I love my family.
This week start off interestingly :). We had a lesson Monday night and the family had a pet bunny. I would hold the bunny throughout our visit because she was really cute. The mom told us that she trained the bunny to go to the bathroom in the bathtub and they have never had a problem with accidents. Well, I witnessed the first. I picked the bunny up and was holding her on my lap, not letting her go (which obviously made her mad), and all of the sudden I felt something really hot in my lap. The bunny PEED on me! It was so gross. Everyone was laughing SO hard. I went into the bathroom and the mom was rinsing out my skirt with the shower head, which she could barely do because she was bent over laughing on the floor. It was a good thing that was our last appointment of the night. Lesson learned: don't hold pets, no matter how cute and innocent they look.
I had a district meeting on my birthday (Friday), so we were off to Hamilton in the morning. Some of the elders made cupcakes and had a candle that sang "Happy Birthday" when they lit it up. I got mail too, which was great. The biggest miracle of the day happened in the evening. First of all, in the morning, I had gotten a birthday phone call from a member here who said maybe we could go over there for dinner. Well, the evening came and while Sister Cheng and I normally would have left for dinner at home around 4:45 pm, we just kept tracting to see if the member would call. We knocked on a certain door at about 5:00 pm and a little boy answered. We gave him a card to give his mom (he said his mom couldn't come to the door or something like that - I don't remember). Not thinking anything of it, we were on to the next house. At 5:09 pm we got a phone call from a woman named Jillian whose house we had just knocked on. She said her son gave her the card and she just wanted to thank us for coming by. She said that she is disabled and her son is sick. It gave her such an uplift to hear something about Christ. We set up an appointment to meet with her on Wednesday this week and I am very excited! This is why I write our phone number on every card. Even if only one out of 100 people call us back, it is worth it! I have been praying for Jillian ever since our phone call and am excited to meet with her this week.
Another miracle of the week happened minutes before a member appointment. We only had about five minutes and were trying to decide if the street had already been tracted. We decided to do a couple of houses on the side that had least-likely been done and we found a great woman at the second door! We couldn't set up a time to meet with her but we got her phone number and were able to give her the Book of Mormon. We will call her soon and check up on her reading, then set up an appointment.
I am very excited for Zone Conference in Kitchener tomorrow. I have had a great week full of the scriptures. As I said before, I am reading the New Testament as I eat breakfast and have now started reading the Doctrine and Covenants during my breaks. I will finish both books before I go home and hopefully will finish the Book of Mormon two more times. I love the word of God! There is much to learn from it :) Have a great week and continue to share your light with others!
Love you all!
Sister Barton :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011.

April showers bring...May showers?
I don't really see many flowers yet. The trees don't even have leaves. It is still raining here but we did have a very sunny day this week. It was a good week, but still no new investigators. The whole zone is struggling to find new people to teach. We were able to give out one Book of Mormon to a man named Raj who is Hindu. He's interested to read but I don't know about teaching him. It was good to share that with him though. I sang in church yesterday before everyone shared their testimonies. I sang "It Was For Me" (from Sally DeFord) and it was so great. That song really brings the Spirit into the room and I got a lot of comments after.
Happy Birthday to me this week :) I'm sure it won't be very eventful here, but it will still be a great day to show my gratitude for life and my many blessings!
I was studying about Family History today because I was reading in Preach My Gospel about different finding ideas. Some people here in Burlington are familiar with the LDS Church because of our family history center and the emphasis we have on geneology. I want to use this to find more people to teach! We have a family history center in our church and I think it would be a great tool to ask those we meet if they would be interested in going. I got reading scriptures about this topic and I am so excited to be able to do this work when I get home. The research, the learning, and most of all the temple are so very important. True to the Faith says "As you receive priesthood ordinances in behalf of those who have died, you become as a savior on Mount Zion for them (see Obadiah 1:21)." Through temples, we really do become one with God in His "work and [His] glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). In D&C 128:18, we read "For we without them [those who are dead] cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect." Those who have passed on before us need our help. They cannot receive these blessings on their own. Go to the temple. Do your family history research. Pray to know how you can help Heavenly Father in His glorious work! I can hardly wait to spend more time doing this when I get home. After all, the work I am in right now is for the living!
Well, my mom will be out of town on Mother's day so I guess I will be able to call her the next week. I can still call my dad and Heather (my stepmom, not me haha) next week which I am looking forward to. I love Mother's day :) I love that every woman gets to celebrate. We all have or had mothers, grandmothers, friends, children, grandchildren, aunts, etc. whom we have had the opportunity to love. Show your gratitude for them. It is a beautiful time of year :) I am SO grateful for the women in my life! Have a wonderful week. Know that I love you all and would love to hear from any of you!
Sister Barton :)