Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mon 3/17/14 5:51 PM
Top o' the morning to ya! Glad to see another juicy letter from y'all this week! Hope you all are decked out in green, because pinching is never fun! Like ever! I wish you all a very sober and fun St Patrick's day!

My week was intriguing, as usual. Monday we played Capture the flag at Piedmont Park, next to downtown Atlanta. It was a lot of fun, but the same things came up that we used to bicker about when we were kids. Puppy guarding and the likes. We got some serious sun though, the back of my neck was a little bit red. So no, please don't tell me that I am sunburnt. We later went to go see the Coppock Family, and to check up on David and see how he was doing. We taught the Restoration using the Jenga tower, and it totally clicked with him about authority (since Priesthood Authority is the middle block on the bottom, you remove it, the whole tower comes down). We didn't end up getting home until 10:30 because MARTA is ridiculous most days. 

Tuesday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I went out to Chamblee. Which is a Spanish area. So I was lost all day to say the least. It was a taste of what it would be like for the first several months of serving while speaking another language. I kind of liked the idea of the challenge at least. My three years of Junior High Spanish didn't do me too much but I did pick up things here and there. Elder Porter would turn to me randomly and tell me to teach about a certain principle, then he would translate it. We spoke to some SWAT officers and asked them what the craziest thing they have ever seen was. "Naked People" was his answer. "I mean, it is fine that you are fighting, or stealing a bus, but when you do those naked.... that's crazy!" I wish we could have swapped stories, but I haven't even seen any naked people.

Wednesday we helped move the Stone Mountain Sisters, which took just about all day. We were supposed to get started at noon, but it got pushed back to 2:30. It was a lot of work, but it always feels good to dress down, and be of service to others. We also got to teach Gospel Study this week, which is at 7:00. We had almost no time to prepare it, but we prepared ourselves to give a lesson, and the Lord delivered. We used a few videos and a talk, then just facilitated a discussion. It was one of my better teaching moments!

Thursday we got to visit with a man Elder Moore and Elder Zemcick met on the bus during exchanges. His name is Al, and he is rock solid. He unfortunately lost a job, but more importantly, he "wants to know God." We asked him how he felt about baptism and he said "I'm ready" Almost! Of course we were grinning from ear to ear when we heard that!

Friday was just an odd day. We got a little lost close to downtown Atlanta. Saw some really odd things, and yes, I took some pictures! We also tried the some World Famous Corn Dogs. They were $5. Best corndog I have had, but overpriced. It is a weiner covered in cornbread after all. We also flipped our plans that we made the night before, and it was the Lord guiding us again. We hopped on the bus to take us where we needed to go, and the first lady we see on the bus asks if we are Mormons. She lets us know that she has been a member for 15 years, just moved from Macon a few weeks ago, and had been looking everywhere for us. It was amazing! Her name is Teri!

Saturday was a miracle day, let me share it. It involved the Holy Ghost, and the Lord lovingly changing our plans. Elder Moore, out of the blue Thursday remembered a referral that we had tried contacting with no luck. The message was deleted from the phone, so we frantically called to see who sent it. We finally tracked it down, had to call it at this point because it was straight from the Lord. We were planning to go see them late one evening, and the MARTA train we were going to hop on, left 5 seconds before we could get on. Five minutes later, fire trucks and police took over the station, apparently the train caught fire or something of the likes. A huge miracle right there! We call them after we are escorted out of the station, and they don't know their schedule, so we should call back in a few days. Saturday we had several appointments lined up for investigators with members, and every single one of them fell through. The Lord was nudging us to go see this referral, so we did! We made our way to their apartment, and they let us right in. There turns out that there are three families living there, The Mom, Latasha. Her two daughters Brittanie and Kadeja, and their kids too. They have been wanting to come back to church and Latasha had actually studied with the Church before. They all asked us for copies of the Book of Mormon, and accepted an invitation to be Baptized. They are amazing, and the Gospel can do so much for them! The Lord is too good!

Sunday was good as usual. It poured all day, which presented us the opportunity to serve the ward, namely, escorting people to the door with umbrellas. Our suits were absolutely soaked by the time it was said and one. We also ended up missing the Sacrament, but all for a good cause. I love being able to serve others, a lot like pushing cars in the snow. It is just the best! We had a "Linger Longer" Where everyone brings a dish of food, put it on the table, and feast! Definitely recommend it! The South is the best! We also spoke with a less active member, who is trying to return, on the phone. He told us that he is looking for a wife now. "I am on the hunt fella's. I am a wolf on the hunt, AROOOOO!" Made our night for sure! So unexpected, but that is what makes it that much more memorable!
So that was my week, it is still currently raining, and might not let up for a few days. Some may say I know as much as the weathermen.  St Patricks has been great so far. Well, we are kind of on our own today for Pday, but we will see what we can do. Some Members want to take us to Coke World, The Aquarium, or the Zoo soon. So that'll be sweet! Mom I do have on green, but we actually haven't gotten your package yet. They took it back to the post office, which sucks. If I wanted it delivered to the post office, I would have had it sent there. Oh well, we will pick it up after this. I am so down for some girl scout cookies. Transfers are coming up next week, just a reminder. Thanks for the pictures of the dogs. I miss Ginger and Sam a lot! I see boxers out here often, and I just have to pet them! I will make sure to be careful on St.Patty’s day, and we will be plenty safe. President Harding in a conference call, in his testimony, told us to look both ways before crossing the street. I chuckled a little!
So that is a rap pap pap! Thanks again for the email! Glad to hear all is well! I love you all so very much and appreciate all that is done in my behalf! Please let me know what I can do to better help y'all! Have another super mega blessed up week! Fight the good fight, stand firm in the faith. Be sober, be vigilant! Love you all!
Elder Dallan Barnes

Life is only understood backwards, but must be lived forwards. 

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