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 :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011.

Hello from hot, humid Burlington,
First of all, I just found out one of my best friends Hannah (went to Julliard) is getting married on July 30th and I had NO idea. This is a big deal. This is one of the hardest parts of a mission...missing weddings, babies, family, missions etc. There is no way to describe it. It's just hard. But we must push forward! It was a great week and I have a miracle story to tell in a minute. FYI: Transfers are this coming weekend and since I have no idea what is going to happen, do not send me any letters to Burlington. Just send all letters to the Brampton address. Thank you :)
First of all, Carey (apparently her name is with a C, not a K like I thought), is still getting baptized this Sunday and I am SO excited for her. She is facing some real challenges but is doing her best to endure and realizes that it is Satan trying to stop her from taking this most important step.
The miracle is that this Saturday, Andris is getting BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!! WAHOO!!!!!!!! We had a lesson with him last Monday, which was the first since he had been away in the USA. He started the lesson by saying "These meetings have been really great and I appreciate all you have done, but I don't want to continue these lessons...after July 23rd...because I want to be baptized!" AHH! Sister Yi and I were SO excited. A lot of this decision was because of reading "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder." Everything just sort of clicked with him and really came to know that this is the only true and living church on the earth. There is only one way to eternal happiness and it is through Christ. We are looking forward to a weekend never to forget!
We also met with a man on Wednesday morning for the first time and set him for baptism on August 14th, but now I'm not sure what is going on. He has a lot of lifestyle changes to make and it won't be easy. He has a sincere desire to be baptized but is afraid of false churches and prophets. I'm grateful he is able to discern the warnings of the Holy Ghost regarding false teachings because that is very important. But as he shows his faith by reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and coming to church, he will know that the restoration of authority and the gospel of Jesus Christ have occured, bringing us the opportunity to receive all of the saving ordinances we need for eternal life :) It truly is a "marvelous work and a wonder!"
I was reading Jacob 2 today in the Book of Mormon and in verse 16, it says "...listen unto the word of [God's] commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls." The thoughts came to me that pride has the power to destroy our souls, but we must remember that with God, we have the power to destroy pride. Jacob also says in verse 8: "...they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, the word which healeth the wounded soul." The words of God and obedience to His words truly will heal all wounds!
I have interviews with President Brower this week, which will great and we just had a member call and offer to come out with us this week, which is such a blessing. I pray that each of you have a great week and remember that you are loved! Thank you for all you do for me :)
I love you!
Sister Barton :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 11, 2011.

Aloha friends and family!

It's been one of those weeks that has been super busy, but I can't think of anything to write haha. Well, to update you on my investigators...We have stopped teaching Emily because she isn't interested. She is feeling like coming closer to God isn't a priority at this time in her life, but maybe later. Um....NOW is the time she needs it. But alas, everyone has their agency. Karey is still being baptized on July 24th, although I'm not sure why she didn't come to church yesterday. I couldn't focus all during church because I was wondering where she was. We'll try calling her again today and hope that everything is alright. Andris returned on Saturday from his week-long stay in the States. It was so good to see him at church and we are meeting with him tonight. He has been reading "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder." Susan...I don't even know. She hasn't returned our phone calls or texts and she didn't come to church, so she is off the map for now. Andris and Karey are solid though and now we just need to commit Andris to "enter in by the way," a.k.a be baptized!

On Monday, we went to Sister Fuller's (former Jenner) to spend some time with her and watch a church DVD. She made us this cute cake because it was Independence Day! It's a very simple idea and it's so cute. Yummy too!

I got mail on Friday at District Meeting and got a birthday package from Alex (who leaves on her mission in 16 days! AHH!). Yesterday, for church, I wore the cute scarf she got me. It's too hot to wear even fashion scarves outside right now, so I figured church would be a good time to wear it.

Happy Birthday to one of my best friends and former companion, Danielle Olsen this Saturday! I love you!

Funny story from tracting yesterday: We knocked on a door and a little girl (well, Sister Yi thinks it's a boy because of the short hair, so I don't know if it was a boy or a girl) came running to see who it was. Her dad opened the door and as soon as he found out who we were, he quickly said "Oh, sorry, I can't talk right now. I've got to go get my baby because she can't be left alone." I told him to have a nice day and as we walked away, I heard the little girl say "We don't have a baby!" I can laugh about it now, but I was pretty upset that a father just taught his child that it is okay to lie. Our children will not have standards if we ourselves do not have them. Just sayin...
Have a wonderful week this week! Always remember what is most important and prioritize your lives accordingly. Share your talents. Develop a new talent. And be HAPPY! :) I love you all!
Sister Barton :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4, 2011.

What a beautiful day! I sang the "Star Spangled Banner" this morning and it has been fun to have Canada Day (Friday) and the Fourth of July so close! Friday, Sister Yi and I went to downtown Burlington and along the lakeshore and it was full of people dressed in red and white. And of course I wore a red skirt, white shirt, and maple leaf necklace :) We got Canada Flag pins and little paper flags we stuck in our bags. There was a dog show at the park which made me laugh because everyone here has dogs, so it was no surprise! Our original plan was to contact but there were too many people. We talked to a couple people but it is just too overwhelming with so many families. We headed back to the car and tracted before our dinner appointment.
We attended the funeral of a member, Brother Gatt, on Wednesday. He has two children in the YSA ward and he passed away due to Leukemia and was fairly young. I actually never met him, but I remember seeing his wife. The funeral was so amazing and the Spirit filled the room. The Brother Gatt's son was the concluding speaker and he focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Brother Gatt had asked that the men at the funeral don't wear "funeral ties." It was wonderful to see bright ties and clothes as we know that death is not the end. It is a progression and gift to the spirit who is now free. It was peaceful.
Now for the miracles of the week :) Our zone fasted once during the week and I know that had a big part in all of the miracles and blessings we saw. Sister Yi and I met with a girl named Emily on Thursday. We had met her the previous week when we knocked on her door. She is 14 years old but looks about 17 or 18. She goes to a catholic school but says she feels like she is losing God in her life. Well, we taught her about the restoration and committed her to baptism on July 31st! :) Her mom was there for part of the lesson and didn't seem to really care about religion. We are teaching Emily again tomorrow and are bringing a young woman with us. We are praying that Emily comes to church this week and continues to work toward July 31st for baptism!!!!!
That same night, we met with Karey and I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure if she was going to say that she still wanted to be baptized in July. Well, the Spirit is amazing and because of her strong faith and desires to follow her Savior, she will be baptized on July 24th! She is so excited. I told her yesterday in our lesson with her that July 24th is pioneer day and I explained what that means. She knows that will be a very special day for her and I am SO excited. She said that every time she has a question about the gospel, the next thing she learns answers it! It happened twice yesterday for her and she recognizes that it is Heavenly Father guiding her.
Saturday, after teaching Sandy (recent convert), we drove up to Waterdown (a little city outside of Burlington that is in our area). It was the annual Rotary Ribfest this weekend and our plan was to eat lunch there. Well, we went in to check it out but decided it was too expensive. Plus, there was a band playing and it was not really a place we could feel the Spirit. While we were walking out to go somewhere else, we ran into some members just going in. They told us not to go and that they would pay for us. Next thing I knew, I was eating corn on the cob and ribs! It was good. We sat far away from the band and I either tuned out or the band stopped playing the whole time we were there! It was great.
We dropped by Pinky's house after that and she was home! I hadn't talked to her in about two months, although I had called and left many messages. It was good to have contact again, but I'm still not sure what is going to happen there. We'll see. She wants to come to church but feels like she is a burden on the members who give her a ride. I assured her that it is not a burden and that we would just love to have her at church, but I don't know if she believed me.
Happy birthday this week to my beautiful nieces, Jessica and Jocelyn, and one of my favorite companions, Ashley Rigby :)
Have a WONDERFUL, fun, service-filled week. Oh yes, the mail strike is over :) YAY! So I can write now, and so can you ;D
I love you all!
Sister Barton :)