Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jan 27

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!

Jan 20

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. 

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