Thursday, January 30, 2014
Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber, you go and... COMPLETELY REDEEM YOURSELF!! (name that movie!)
So let me dive right into my week! It is awesome to hear from y'all again and I apologize for the lack of substance last week. Darn Martin Luther King day. But yes, God is good! Sounds like all is good back the dude ranch (that's an actual word by the way).
The remainder of Monday was super awesome. I hope you got the photos from Red Top Mountain. Brother Miller called to get us permission from President Harding to leave the Zone. Clutch Mc Clutchins. It was super beautiful though. It is a park with a man made lake, called Lake Alatoona, or something to that effect. I was jonesing to do some wakeboarding, or landing flips on the air chair, to be honest, I felt like Dallan yet again, but that doesn't happen all too often. It was so awesome to get out though. I love skipping rocks too! That is about as close as I could get in the water, but we did throw Elder Wilson in, just for spite. Not really, but when I get home, we are going to do some outdoorsy things, maybe go see the National Parks in Utah!
Tuesday it snowed again, sign of the times, I tell you what. We are earning mega wife points, as missionaries refer to it. But the crowning visit of the day was linking up with Steve and Amy and their cute family. It had been too long, Amy had gotten her tonsils taken out, then got the flu, all during Christmas. Can you just say shoot me now? Their kids are so funny too. Kyle, their oldest, who is 5, said," Elder Wilson, you are the skinny one. And Elder Barnes, you are the.................. tough one." Nice recovery! A for effort!
Wednesday, the crowning appointment was our visit at the Bristol's home for Chris, Anita, and Tyson. Anita, the Mom, asked us to make this lesson, more of a discussion, to involve her husband. We were able to, I say we quite liberally, draw and color plan of salvation cut outs. Elder Wilson is a phenomenal artist. But it was awesome at the Bristol's. I love teaching the Plan of Salvation. And we truly didn't end up teaching much of it. It was more important for The Merryman's to hear everyone's testimonies of it. Tyson is still super sharp, Chris and Anita are super thankful for all that we do. It just feels like going to Grandma's. Incredible people!
Thursday, they are still just the longest. Weekly planning isn't too exciting. And maybe people just aren't home on Thursdays. But, we have been getting more bold at doors now. If at the very least, I want them to walk away with them knowing that I know what I am doing is true. Just going to put it on out there, you can send it back my way if you don't like the goods.
Friday, we got a knock on our door from the Traveling Assistants at 9:20 PM. Exchanges! I wasn't very nervous at first, I was a little embarassed about our apartment, but they were definitely sent at the right time. We have been wanting to make some changes to make us better missionaries. The Lord waited until we were ready to change. But, they totally crashed our party. But before that, we had the Family History Center, and I was surprised to see that ours goes back to the 11th Century. That's flipping old! If only we could make it back to Adam now, that'd be something. I did secure two mighty MTC talks, and no doubt you will listen to them when I get home. Elder Holland is amazing. I did get the ukulele package Mom! Thank you so much! I am super excited to get it all figured out, and ready to jam! Maybe singing at people's doors really will be heart softening.
Saturday, tend to be the best days, but this was even better. To have a super seasoned missionary help me along. Elder Freeman, he's from Lehi and his heading home in 3 weeks, went with me. Everyday can be like a Saturday, as long as we are doing what we are supposed to, God cannot deny us miracles. We did it all though! We invited 4 people to baptism, and one will be baptized on February 8th. Her name is Maria, and we fell out of contact with her the past few weeks! It was so well planned because Elder Freeman served 14 months in spanish speaking areas. Her parents will do anything for her to get to Church. She is 21 with 4 kids, husband has been deported, and just looking to change. We got her to pray, and it was the most beautiful thing ever! We taught a lesson with Kai at The Barnes's home. We talked to several people in Kroger, Publix, and Walgreen's. We tracted a few doors, we made 105 calls, Allen made it to Stake Conference as well (it was a regional broadcast this weekend from a Stake in Orlando, it was broadcast to 48 stakes in the South East, with Elder Nelson speaking). Glorious day! Best Day yet!
Sunday, we were nervous that we would slip back into our old ways, but nope! Luke 17:32, Remember Lot's wife! We are not going to go back, Miracles are truly out there, and I don't know exactly why it took me so long to see that. We had Stake Conference, which was really perfect for investigators and members alike. We had 30 minutes inbetween Stake Conference and Dinner/Lunch at the Sear's home. So what did I suggest? Knocking doors! We got 3 new Investigators, and invited 2 to be baptized, both accepting but not to a certain date. We then had an amazing dinner at the Sear's home. Easily one of the best families in the ward! We got to help them with dinner, do the dishes, have salmon, share a message. It was amazing. I hope you got the picture from her too Mom! Sister Sears is an absolute sweetheart. We were supposed to have steak, but next Sunday, we will be having our own "Steak Conferenec". I just love being here! We are considered family to them, which was super touching to hear. God placed me in this ward for a reason, and there are just so many families that have had a profound influence on me! After the Sears, we had to hit an appointment, for some reason or another, it fell through. So we stalked this one young man, drove by him, decided to swing back around. We lost sight of him, and started knocking doors to find him. Turns out, he is the Son of the Okezie family. They had been missing us really bad, and thinking of us. We had a nice chat with Glory and Obe, and we will be seeing them this week. She is wanting to come back to the LDS Church! Winning. The miracles don't cease there, we go to see another appointment, and we miss the road, so we head down the Road the leads to Maria, and stop in, because we didn't see her at stake conference. She opened the door as we walk up, and she had the biggest grin and glow about her. She let us right in! We talked with her, and it is amazing to see how the Gospel Changes people! I ended up playing with her kids, as the distraction, it was super cute cause all of them were trying to find Jesus pictures in the Book of Mormon. She is excited to meet with us tonight at Rob Johnson's for FHE. We found out Courtney will be there too! The Miracles! They just can't be contained! We went to the appointment we were originally going to go to, and they both accepted baptism invites. April and Michael, we had just ran into before the Sears! We'll meet with them this Saturday. Then, we had to polish the night off with talking to one more person on the street. It was 8:00, and we spotted one person, and we just talked with him. Who am I? Am I still Dallan, because he would never do something like that back home.
So there's that. No Zaxby's today, or Stevi B's. But all is well!
So, I think my fingers are about bleeding now. They haven't had a type-out like this in a few weeks! I hope you enjoy hearing from me as much as I enjoy hearing from y'all! Keep on keeping on! Fighting the Good Fight! And let me know if there is absolutely anything I can do! I love you all so much, and keep being amazing! Have another blessed up week!
Elder Dallan Barnes
If you have a date with Destiny, does she have a Sister, and is she hot?
Faith is measure not by Quantity, but by Quality!
This is going to have to be Freaky Fast!
Thanks again for your weekly email! Glad to hear all is well back at home! It is a holiday so the Library was closed today, so we are at the Phillip's to email. A few technical problems and we only have one computer. So let me cut to the chase!
Monday: I was able to pick up a Ukulele, which has been relieving! Just to unwind a little to some music. I can't wait to start playing hymns soon! We hit up Stevi B's again, I wasn't even trying and put down 21 pieces.... What's wrong with me?? I am becoming a food-a-holic!
Tuesday: Nothing too major came about, just hitting streets, and maybe people are too cold to answer their doors. Georgians love their heat! Lots of work to do and we are expected to make 40 calls a day. Good thing I learned how to work hard! Bishop Shell also took us out to a little Mexican Restaurant for Lunch, SUper thoughtful of him!
Wednesday: I have been really into my morning workout lately, involves over 1000 jumps with the jump rope. And 300 pushups and situps and squats. I still have yet to get a scale, but my pants seem a little looser! Winning! We had a super amazing lesson with a Less Active Part Member family that has been attending church this past month. Their son, Tyson, wants to get baptized, so we taught the whole family at their grandparents home, he happens to be the stake Patriarch. Such an awesome teaching atmosphere, and he is a sharp kid for only being 8. He reminds me of me a little, and the fact he is getting taught by missionaries at 8 like I was. The Dad, the non Member was super thankful, and he seems to be asking the right questions to move towards baptism. It's a slam dunk of a family! We taught the restoration using a jenga tower! Brilliant!
Thursday: Nothing too crazy to report on, just the usual. Knocking doors and moving on. We are finding some great people, but not many are too keen on being baptized. "I've already been baptized!" Austin, what would you do when you'd hear that out there in Samoa?
Friday: Similar story as Thursday. I guess we are just in the hang of things now. That is what missionary work is!
Saturday: Our other super amazing day this week. We got to teach Allen and address his concerns. He keeps telling us that he isn't prompted to be baptized and isn't prompted to stop investigating. But he keeps telling us he will when he gets the all clear from the big man. We also got to teach Kai a New Member lesson with her Home Teacher. She is rock solid, and that is the beauty of the Gospel. It can change people! You would have never suspected her to be the one that would get Baptized. We also went out with the West's and visited several people. He is the ideal example of a Member Missionary. We didn't have any appointments so he put together everyone we saw.
Sunday: We got to teach Relief Society, we got a last minute call to do so. It was on the Plan of Salvation so it wasn't bad. We were definitely the Elephants in the room! The Last frontier for Priesthood Holders. We needed a dress to fit in around there. But, it is particularly easy to teach them, because it is a discussion, chatty cathy's! Sister Carnell even snapped a picture of us teaching, hope you got it Mom!
That is just about it! ANother week down! Thanks for the package Mom! I am looking forward to opening it come February! WIsh I could repsond more, but I hope you all have an amazing week! I think we are going hiking with the Miller's. Have another blessed up week! I love you all so much!
Elder Dallan Barnes
Missionary work isn't easy, because Salvation isn't a cheap experience.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Well olo, my people!
Another week in the books. It feels as if, maybe, perchance, I was emailing about a week ago. It doesn't feel like a week. This one went by quicker than others which was neato. So let me tackle it!
Mondays are always superb! We were able to have a lesson with the Courtney, our investigator, at Rob Johnson's home. Courtney is really going through a lot, but it was a perfect match up. Courtney really just wants his family to be tight nit like the Johnson's. The Gospel definitely strengthens families.
Tuesday was the frigid of the freezing. 6 Degrees. Plus humidity. Cuts to the core of you. I am still thoroughly impressed with my coat's performance! NorthFace makes a good one! But it was so cold. We would knock 3 doors at a time, then scurry back to the car because that is all we could handle. They even closed school because "it was too cold". What is this?? Mamby Pamby land? Don't get me wrong, it was cold, but to close school? Really? Maybe I am just bitter because I never had a snow day. Later that day, we visited with Justin, our Recent Convert, and he has some serious concerns, especially with the title of being a priest. He wants to pursue a secular life... I never thought I would see some partake of the tree of life, then spit it out and move to the great and spacious building. It was super frustrating debating with him. He is pretty set in his mind. Hopefully the Spirit will work on him!
Wednesday, we got trimmed up at the Heinhold's, and I think my old hair might resurface more often! Although, Elder Wilson, thinks my new hair is better looking. A cool miracle was that we prayed specifically to go and find a family, and we found two! One was at a yard sale! We also managed to get the cops called on us. Some lady thought we were kicking down her door. Funny thing, we used the doorbell twice. What good is a door if you aren't going to answer it? I had some amazing Blackberry Pie at the Mankowski's home, with some BBQ. It was a long day of fasting, and it hit the spot!
Thursday we got to attend the temple, which was long overdue. We were up at 5:00 to ensure we made it there on time, with the other Elders. We also had Zone Training after that, which was neat indeed. I wish we could go to the temple more often. I never considered this, but President Harding pointed out, that it is the purest place in the state of Georgia. Such a blessing! Elder Wilson Stopped at Guitar Center and picked up a guitar. I have gotten the itch to pick up an instrument. We will go by today and get a cheap ukulele. If we could play hymns at people's doors, all the people will just beg to be baptized. At least that is what we are hoping for. We were supposed to have another meeting with Courtney at Bishop Shell's home, but Courtney didn't feel comfortable leaving. But they had a nice chat, him and Bishop.
Friday, heartbreak set in. Courtney is no longer living with his wife, and isn't allowed to return. I could not imagine. I wish there was more we could do. If I had it my way, he'd bunk with us! I just feel so helpless. Emotionally draining... Another Heartbreak was us meeting with Bob Feeney. We hadn't met with him all December, so we were thrilled to stop by. He told us that his Daughter said "You will not forsake a lifetime of Catholic living." Bob's wife was devout, and so is his daughter. She is misinformed and won't hear us out. But, Bob promised he would be baptized when she comes around. I have been working with him from day one, and to walk away, was tough. We will drop in once a month or so, but still. Devestated.
Saturday was amazing, we had the Baptism of 4 children. One of them was Lindsey Phillips. We were worried before hand because of the freezing temperatures, that the baptism would be post poned. Luckily, none of the lines froze and there was no flooding. It was beautiful though. To hear the primary sing Families can be together forever. Touching! The other cutest thing was that these twins were baptized, both 8. One is Autistic, and was hugging his brother the whole time they were singing. The Phillip's had us over afterwards, and they are just the bomb! Seriously! Y'all will have to meet all of these fine people in person! They know about Weiner Water Soup, and brought us dinner, with the appetizer being just that. We had to try it. We have the footage. It was so gross, like puke status. Wouldn't recommend it. I still feel sick thinking about it.
Sunday was amazing though, as usual. Allen made it to church out of the blue and Kai also came. We have been worried about both of them! Such a relief! And we also will be teaching a man who has been coming to church for the past month with his child. Primetime baby! I guess these things tend to fall into your lap when you are doing what you are supposed to. The church was packed too! They had to bless another set of trays. That has never happened here. I bet the ward will split within a few years. Did y'all tune into the CES Fireside? Amazing right? His book is exactly what he spoke about.
That's about it for me, hitting it and quitting it, as my brotha's would say down here in da South. We got a mighty week ahead and are praying to see miracles! Thanks for the email fam!
Thanks for all you do for me! I love all of you so much! It is always comforting to hop on and see an email! I am so spoiled! Keep being amazing, every last one of you! I hope that this week will be better than the previous and that you all keep fighting the good fight. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you! I am just an email and 7 days away! Have a blessed up week!
Elder Dallan Barnes
If all dogs go to heaven, and wolves go to hell, Where does Balto go? :(
You're never going to hit the ball if you are envisioning all the ways that you could possible miss it!
Monday, January 6, 2014
Well Happy New Year to YOU!
Well well well, look who we have here!
Thanks again for the email this week! Glad to see that all is still well, and not much has changed. And I am glad to see you all ushered in a good new year! My new year was sweet! Let me tackle my week.
First things first, after emailing, we went to Stevi B's for our last tango with the trifold, and we were aiming for record setting. I put down a mighty 25 pieces! Doesn't that make you proud Mom? Part of me thinks that some of it is still hanging with me. We really spend the rest of the evening packing, and I had to get all of my stuff down from the Carnell's. Sad day indeed. I wish I could have it all, but they are weening off the Lost Mountain Ward. But all is well, I am still super blessed to be here! Still got someone to baptize!
Tuesday was the big day of transfers, and really we just met at the church, and waited for the armed convoy to grab the departing missionaries. I came to find out that the Elders that will be taking my spot at the Carnell's, one of them I came out with. Elder Glasgow. So yes, we have competitition. But I am the missionary that has spent the longest time in Lost Mountain, one of the other Sisters got taken down to Fayetteville. I have been thinking of the weather lately, and it is such a blessing I am in a car. It has been freezing lately. We got a freeze warning for the next few days. It was snowing today too. Nothing quite like Utah, but it was snow none the less. It has been gloomy, rainy, overcast and to the bone chilly. We got to spend New Years Eve at the Woods home, and they invited over the Phillip's, the Heinholds, the Douglas's, Curby's, many people. New years was a normal day, so we got home at 9:30 and conked out. We did get an alarm for midnight though. Two's a crowd right?
Miracle of the week came on Wednesday, as we were out and about, we felt inspired to go visit an investigator. Turns out, he had been praying right before, and right as we were walking to the door, he came out to take a smoke. He has been going through some tough things. He just found out that his wife is carrying someone else's kid. Ouch town. Desperately in need of the Gospel. He wants to be baptized sooner rather than later, he told us. We actually have an appointment with him tonight! Super stoked! We also had a "Pig Pickin" for the Elders Quorum, where they roasted a whole pig. It was pretty delicious, if you could get over the fact that the Pig's head was staring at you when you were getting some meat. Morbid, but they could have drowned it in a bucket right Austin? Did you get cards from any of the Families out here?
Thursday, we spent some time arguing with a guy about God. He wouldn't let us leave. He was convinced that Marxists and Nazi's have found their way into the government, and are now running facebook, twitter, the news, etc. He served in Vietnam if that makes things any better. But, whether you believe in God or not, if everyone lived a Christian life, it would be a much better world. Also as missionaries, we are the full time moving force for families. I really don't mind it at all. It breaks up the work, and we usually get a meal too!
Friday wasn't too out of the ordinary. Breaking Necks and Cashing Checks as some would say. Tag 'em and Bag 'em. I managed to total how much I plan to read this year. 6000 pages. Lofty, but do able. I hope to be a master scriptorian when all is said and done. The main focus of the day was finding innactive members that are avoiding the church, and to see where they are at and if they want to come back. Most of the doors we hit, they people had moved. But we will find them. And we will activate them. We were able to teach a lady with Brother Barnes, after they had us over (I still cannot get over the fact of how amazing the members are here, it never ceases to amaze me), and she is really looking for religion in her life. Her husband was deported and she has 4 kids. Being a missionary is emotionally draining. I cannot think of being in some of the situations we come across. We got to see her Saturday too.
Saturday, seems to be the day that we have all our appointments. And all of them manage to fall through. We had 4 and only 1 came through for us. We really need some earnest investigators. The main thing we find out here is apathy and lack of commitment. I wish more people were honest instead of leading us on. Like I said, we taught this woman, and we found out that she doesn't really believe in God. Didn't think I would find that out here. It was quite a wrench thrown in the engine. But it will be awesome to introduce her to God and Christ. She was excited to come to church. We had dinner at the Ferrel's, and they are mighty of the mighty. He served two Mission President Missions, and was an Area 70. And he treats his wife like a gem, the most amazing thing. I hope to be like them growing up.
Sundays are always the best. This time I didn't have to be saying goodbyes. It was Fast Sunday, and the time changes so we actually got study time. It seemed a little late though. 12:30 to 3:30. Once again, I cannot have it all. It really doesn't matter because I cannot sleep in nor take a nap. Maybe in a few years! Everyone was surprised to see me still here, which was neat. I guess that means I am still wanted here! We also attended Priests quorum and asked about the Mini Missions we do with them. They love them, and have inspired them to go on missions. The main thing they said, is that they realized you can have fun. Glad to know I am making an impact! It was really disappointing today because none of our investigators came to church. I wish we could go, show up, and pick them up. I think people avoid it out of fear. Fear that it is truth and they'll have to change. Next Fast Sunday, I will be sharing my testimony. Can I challenge some of y'all to do so too? It really isn't that scary at all!
That is just about it from me! Once again I am glad to hear all is well back home. Sorry that the break has come to an end for all of you. I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted! Now, the countdown until Spring Break right? Then Summer Break. Wow, summer is right around the corner. Time is flying, what the heck!
Well, time to fire this bad boy off! Thanks again for the prayers, love, and support! I greatly appreciate it and all y'all do! I look forward to hearing from you all in a weeks time! Keep being mighty, fighting the good fight! Have another blessed up week! Be safe and of a good courage!
Elder Dallan Barnes
God's greatest joy, is his children. We are his greatest work. Allow him the Master's touch and he will make more out of yourself than you can on your own.
Happy New Year!!
I hope everyone has been hanging in there since we last spoke! New Years is in the fringes! What kind of resolutions are we putting out there?? Any who, yes indeed it was amazing to talk to y'all on Christmas! It was easily the best gift I received this Holiday season. Thanks for putting up with me! Missionaries are awkward for sure! And thanks for the photos! It is nice to see someone is keeping my bed broken in. The remainder of this week has been good! Let me tell you about it all!
We are going to start with Wednesday because that is when we last spoke. But After Skyping, the Miller's gave us a present too! M&M's with socks and a tooth brush! Super thoughtful of them! They are amazing! And they made sure to point out the card they received from you! It it a good looking card might I add! Expect one coming soon from them! We scampered over to the Barnes's for a dinner and they gave us matching ties. Sister Barnes is amazing! Not to mention it just felt like home. I was in the Barnes's home ;) I couldn't possibly have been any closer to home for that reason! After the Barnes's we were over at the Phillip's and snacked a bit, then played some more Apples to Apples! They were a little saddened we didn't Skype at their home, but they were super excited to have us over! They also pointed out our Christmas card! How did you get all of these addresses?? They also told me that they saw the Disney Movie Freeze or something and said one of the main characters totally reminds them of me, and they were cracking up the whole time. You are going to have to go and investigate! I also managed to drop the ball and not drop by the Carnell's. Totally spaced it, and before we knew it, Christmas was over. I honestly felt really bad about it. Why can't we just please everyone?? Thanks again for all the presents and love! It made my first Christmas away from home a very memorable one!
Thursday, back to the nitty gritty! It was a little hard getting back into, and most people weren't home to make matters even slower. Nothing too eventful happened, at least not eventful enough to report on. We met some great people, and hopefully they come around!
Friday, well, all of the appointments we did have, fell through. Seems to be a trend. But thank heavens I am flexible! We got out and knocked several more doors. We had a dinner with that Nigerian Family again, and they cook to feed an army! We failed again to eat all of it unfortunately. We will prevail eventually! We spoke a lot about fasting and they have fasted for 40 days, only eating fruit and drinking water for 3 hours in the day. Crazy! Not sure we can do that out here!
Saturday, was such a downer. It rained all day long. It was a long day of knocking doors, and once again, we met some awesome people. I have this fascination with most people, to hear their story! It is truly funny how most people open up to us, as complete strangers. It is almost like, we actually represent Christ, and they can see it! We also tried finding in a Dollar General... but we soon realized that if we want to find families, we need to go to Family Dollar! I feel really weird inside a store talking to people, or even in the parking lot for that matter! Eventually I will conquer this fear. I muscled down some squash soup again. It was tough, and my companions weren't too good about finishing it either. It is like squash apple sauce, but hot, and you add salt and pepper to it. Rough I tell you!
Sunday felt really weird, and I couldn't put my finger on it at all. We were still waiting on news of transfers, so I didn't know if I should be saying good byes or what. It was just odd. I love being with the ward, but I am starting to feel like I am just part of the ward now. Sister Buttle gave me a bookmark of hers (the lady that said I combed my hair with egg beaters) so that I can remember her! As if I wasn't already! It was really sweet of her though! Sunday was drab too, Georgia is just so ugly in the winter! It was overcast and rainy. But we still got out and invited two people to be baptized. They said yes, but didn't accept a specific date. It is going to be a white New Year, white with baptisms!
So, the big news... Transfers. I will be staying at the location I am at with Elder Wilson. Elder Thurgood will be headed to Griffin to be a District leader. They will be pulling two new Elders to stay at the Carnell's to bike. I wish I was headed back up there. I really do miss it, but maybe this is an opportunity to be kicked out of the nest! I am so super blessed to be staying in Lost Mountain another transfer! I got to baptize some of these people! Get DUNKED!!!
Well that is just about a wrap! I am excited to stay another transfer here in Lost Mountain, and am praying for miracles. Thanks for all your prayers and support! I am wishing everyone an amazing New Year! Make 2014 an good one! I will do my best out here in Georgia! I love you all so much! Have a blessed up week!
Elder Dallan Barnes