Monday, September 16, 2013

Dear Family!
 I guess that I can just dive into my week. It was a good one, but we are still struggling to find people to teach. I feel like every door has to have been knocked around here. But, I brought my journal this time, so I can remember vaguely what happened. We have the same problem today, that the other computer is logged off, so this might be a little small again. I don't feel like I am taking enough pictures here either.... 

Tuesday: We ran into our first bible basher. Her name was Rosemary. She invited us in and told us she knew who we were. She then proceeded to tear us a new one. But we threw down!!! It didn't go anywhere though of course. She just kept saying that we don't believe in the same Jesus Christ. That we misrepresent him. That we are all saved by him and we don't need to do anything here. She would ask us questions, and then cut us off when we tried to answer them. I tuned out soon after it started. She will get another chance to hear the message. We are working with a young man named Keenan and he starts for a highschool out here in basketball. Yes, he is black haha. But he has game too! It was just a little ward ball type game after youth night. We did alright though. Keenan's Dad also came, and told us he is shopping for a church. Well let me tell you, I think we got what he is looking for haha :)

Wednesday: Nothing too crazy went down. We met this one less active who is pretty opinionated and crazy. He invited us back to come skin a squirrel and eat frog legs. I need to try them, because I am all for Southern Culture right now. And if I can't have it inside me, then I can't have it on the outside haha. We had dinner at the Barnes's. Crazy right! Super sweet family and they have a son serving in Ogden. I think they sent a photo to you Mom! 

Thursday: Biking galore, then meeting with the Bishop and our Stake High Councilman. We also had two team ups that day and got to do Splits, which was super nerve wracking being away from my companion, and still having to teach. All of the people we went to see didn't answer. The biking is getting more enjoyable though. It rained just a little too. So it cooled down just a touch, but it was still humid. My manly muscles are getting larger!! 

Friday: Friday the 13th!!! Did anything out of the ordinary happen out there in Utah?? Because out here is was extraordinarily great! We got to go to the temple! It was what I was needing so bad, to get my mind off of things. AND, I got the temple clothes on Thursday! Thanks for that package Mom! I couldn't help but tear up. I LOVE those songs! Elder Savage won't let me listen to the Hercules one, and the For Me Alone song is only okay on Pday. I love the lyrics you attached with it. I keep glancing at the "This is where I am meant to be" line. I am still trying to know that for myself, but it will come! The temple really was awesome, and it is beautiful. It is hidden by all the trees, like everything else around here haha. We then had zone training and our Stake President Owen, and High Councilman Miller were there. They both talked about me and Elder Savage. They are both awesome people. President Harding then came up to me to essentially say I needed a haircut and talked about how moving it was for us to share our testimonies with the ward on our first Sunday. He also keeps saying we need to chat. And, Uncle Jason was so right about these suits!!! I get compliments all the time, especially at Zone Conference. Looking dapper is where it is at ;) 

Saturday: My first baptism! Super Saturday. I eclipsed my first month of serving as well. We had to do a little bit of service in the morning, by loading up the food the ward collected for a food drive. After that though, I had myself another southern experience.We went to a biscuit shack called Stilesborough Biscuits. And when I say shack, I mean shack. Old run down, side of the road, chipping paint, but oh so delicious food. I had some Grits, a Chicken Biscuit and a cinnamon roll. Oh my lanta. It was divine! I don't feel like I have been eating real southern at all here, but that hit the spot. I have been eating though, and I found a scale the other day. I topped out at 212 fully dressed. I think the gravity is stronger here too. And, I think I am putting a decent amount of muscle weight on in the legs. But back to the Baptism. I think I already spoke about him, but John Steele was so ready. Older gentleman. Super funny and sarcastic, kind of reminds me of Grandpa Barnes, but younger. It was so amazing to hear him and see him make that covenant. I wish I had done more to help bring him to Christ, but I guess we are all on the same team. We had Bo Jangles for the after party dinner haha. John said "Nothing says Southern Baptism like fried chicken". On another note, I knocked my first doors. Most weren't interested, but one family could potentially be soon! It was super nerve wracking, but I made it through! Improving everyday! 

Sunday: Sunday was such a blur. We had to give a little thought in primary, run here, do this and that. It is still fun to come in and meet new people. The ward here is pretty awesome. There was this one older lady, and she saw me 4 times at church, and just chewed me out every time for my hair. At one point she told me I must have done it with an egg beater. Southern women aren't afraid to tell you their mind. But she could have been a little more gentle! I thought I had good hair :/ Don't worry though Mom, you cut my hair just right! Needless to say I will be getting a hair cut today from one of the ward members. I am a little nervous, cause I like my hair! But it is all part of the experience! We hit a few doors and ran into this crazy black guy named Wayne. He was crazy and ended every statement with "You know what I mean" haha. He was super nice though. He also had some good insights. It is crazy how spiritual the people down here are. On a random side note, I want to hear legit prayer talkers haha - Someone who talks while someone else is praying, usually saying amen, hallelujah, etc. Maybe that is a skill I can pick up on. With a sweet Southern Accent, it would just spice up our prayers >:)

Well that was my week in a nutshell. Hope all of yours was as interesting! Today we will be going back to Zaxby's for lunch and doing a little shopping. We have an appointment with someone at 2:00, I sure hope we can start teaching her! We are still trying to teach lessons! It is just hard. Why can't Pday be the whole day... I could use me a nap haha. 

The only thing that comes to mind that I need is my GPS. If you could have it updated with the most current maps that would be awesome. It is hard enough being on a bike, but making a wrong turn on a bike is much worse than in a car. I could use as much love from home as possible. I love hearing from y'all and getting packages! It really lights my days up! I could also use a rugby ball, people have been wanting to toss one lately. I am thankful for all your prayers! 

I wouldn't be a missionary if I didn't leave something spiritual or food for thought, so:
You can only listen with your ears, but you hear with your heart.

Make sure you are listening with your heart and that it is in the right place! (That thought came to me yesterday, copyright it!) I love you all so flipping much! Please be safe and continue to smile! I can't wait to hear from all of you! Have another blessed up week! Don't work too hard! 

The Elder Barnes

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