Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23
Family! Friends! How are all y'all?
It is so good to see that I survived another week out here in Hotlanta, and it is warming up right quick! But we are thriving! This has slowly become my element! Georgia is so great! God is too! Thanks for the letter! I will jump into my week (the time is far spent!).
Monday we had a pretty mediocre Pday, helping one of the Elders Pack. It was good we were there, to have a little bit of bro time! The Roylance's had us over again for dinner! They are the greatest ever! I found out that there is over 750,000 people in the area of the ward. There is some serious work to be done out here!
Tuesday, put together my last District Meeting for a while! It was kind of sad to see things changing, especially since there were two missionaries that were headed home. I won't get to see them for a long while, but they be aight! Me and Elder Skouson had a monster last day though! We kept praying for families, and by golly the Lord delivered! We found three families of four, and a family of 5. Unheard of out here! I also treated Elder Skouson to a last supper, to a place called Soul Food! Let's just say, we got soul now! I love southern cooking!
Wednesday, the transfer day! Such anxiety! I knew where Elder Skouson was going, and his new companion made sure to introduce himself. I hope he is doing well in the Spanish Area! Transfer meetings are so much better the longer you have been out! I got to see some of my Lost Mountain Families! I saw Bro. Miller and Sis. Shell! (It seems like you had a good time with the Phillip's too!). Everyone somehow knew of my new assignment, and was congratulating me. I'm still just a missionary, so no congratulations required. It is interesting how people view leaders. I just thanked whomever for being a missionary. My new companion is Elder Rawlings, from Bountiful Utah. He came out two transfers before me! He played college basketball at West Minster. We get along all too well! He reminds me of Russ Walker, a lot! It seems like I have known him for a while, and I just knew that we were going to get work done this transfer! He serrved two transfers with Elder Savage, so all I can say is President Harding is inspired! And, we got the car. It was weird driving after 10 months. What would we ever do without cars? We are in for some good times out here!
Thursday was pretty busy.  I came to realize that me and Elder Rawlings are quite similar in work ethic, but have a different way of teaching/personality. He's on the bolder side, myself on the loving side. We complement each other I feel like! We had some experiences with people that I couldn't touch as much as him, and vice versa. We also taught a gay guy wearing a kilt, and his partner walked in. Talk about an elephant in the room... We helped with Scripture camp which was super fun, I do really love kids.
Friday we were super led again, finding families after families. I am just so grateful to have been given the Holy Ghost to know where to go and what to say. We got three families on date, it was quite miraculous! Teaching and Testifying, inviting all to come to Christ. There is true power in that. We taught Patience again, and she is rock solid! She has been praying about her Baptismal Date, and did so kneeling in front of us after the lesson. We also prayed about and set a goal of Baptizing 6 Souls this transfer. Lofty, but I know God will deliver!
Saturday, was full of meetings, so we fell short by not being able to find for at least 2 hours and to not invite anyone to be baptized. But it was Stake Conference, which was so great!
Sunday was Stake Conference as well, so we were certainly edified and uplifted! We prayed about where we should go, and wound up at a neighborhood to see a person we had been teaching. We were thinking of going elsewhere, but we felt inspired to turn back. We found three more families in there, and invited all of them! Fourteen people got invited to come to Christ! I love fulfilling my purpose!
Today, not sure what we will do! We don't have to rely on the other Elders for a ride, but I hope we do something together, although I would be okay with doing less than usual. Planning Pday was stressful when no one else had opinions. Good things are to come this week! I can sense it! 

Hope everyone has a blessed up week! Let me know what I can do for y'all! Love you so much!

Elder Dallan Barnes
"For every optimist that sees a glass half full there is a pessimist that sees the glass half empty. For every optimist and pessimist that see that glass, there is an opportunist that came and drank the water."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

              Got Your Nose!

June 16
Luke, I am your Father!
What's good, what's good? I can tell you that everything is good in the hood! We had another amazing week, they all seem to blend together, and when it is all said and done, I know I will be able to say I had an amazing mission experience. This is most certainly where God wants me to be! So let me share a little more!
Monday we checked out the Science Center, and that was kind of amusing. We were like children again (kind of like the Zoo or Aquarium). It was free and the Natural History Museum cost money, but we didn't feel compelled to slap that over. It was a pretty good day, and I think we have done about everything there is to be done in Atlanta. It's a sign that I have been here long enough. Just joking, I will be here another transfer, I'll talk about that later! I did hit 300 days as well. Crazy Crazy.
Tuesday we got to spend some time in the House of the Lord. The temple is an amazing place, where I can have my questions answered. And they were, by the Big Man himself! We had plenty of instruction on the new training program they are launching, so we can become "Preach My Gospel Doctors" and be certified. We are now waking up at 5:50 each morning to get an extra thirty minutes of study time each day. It is kind of overwhelming, but it'll be for our best good!
Wednesday was a peachy day (yeah, we have many of those too, since we are in the Peach State. I haven't had a peach yet though....) We were out and about, and we got totally poured on! Luckily I had an umbrella (didn't do much for the sideways rain). We had to talk 1.7 Miles to get to the church to do some baptismal interviews. Miracle Hour as we like to refer to it. We got drenched, but it makes for a good story! We met a lady along the way that is 22 and has 5 kids, disowned by her family, single Mom. She let us right in to pray with her, and it was quite powerful! We will be spending the Spanish Missionaries over asap! The interviews went great (still one of my favorite parts of being the District Leader), I had three of them. People are so prepared, and the missionaries out here are so incredible, they get this stuff done and get the people dunked. I got to speak with Bro. Collins again, love him! His Less Active daughter was in an accident and needed a blessing.
Thursday I realized I had lost 20 lbs here in Twin Oaks, which is awesome to hear. We had a great weekly planning session, and had some dinner with the Neff Family. Then we stopped in and gave Sis. Collins that blessing, I know I am here for them. That whole family has blessed me so much!
Friday we were here, there, and everywhere. It has been raining often, or fixing to everyday. It has been keeping it cooler thankfully! We went and saw the Coppock Family, and then went to have dinner with Bro. Priest, the Less Active we found and are working with! He is a master chef and wants us over every week. He got a job, and his life is truly changing. It is moments and people like this that I know that all of this has to be true. We had fried apples! I am just trying to fulfill the commandment: "Thou Shalt put some South in thine Mouth". I think it is in the 6th book of Moses somewhere ;)  We also had the opportunity to teach Patience in the Atkins home again, and had a great lesson going over the Restoration. She is doing well, and it is kind of disheartening to hear she is possibly wanting to switch to the Single's Ward. Overall, we hope that she is happy!
Saturday, the Traveling Assistants came to Twin Oaks to exchange for a day and a half. Elder Gautavai and Elder Bernard came and we hit it hard! Both are Polynesian so it was a good time. We saw many miracles, and Elder Gautavai has been the Assistant since I have been here. He is a splendid missionary, and I hung in there with him! It was a confirmation to me that I am doing many great things out here. I just happen to hold myself to an extremely high bar. Perfection is what I am shooting for (probably not going to happen.. not for now at least). We also got to see the four baptisms! What an amazing day! We found three families and talked with a ton of people. They had some nice remarks for us too. We had a car though (as much as I wanted them both to have the MARTA experience).
Sunday was superb as usual, got to stand in on some confirmations, feel the spirit as well. I hope you all got the the picture from the Allen's for Father's Day. They are the sweetest people. There is just such a friendlier vibe than when I got here. I got to speak with the Wallace's as well from Lost Mountain, and I truly miss them as well! I hope I can go back someday soon! That is the Zion of the South! We taught a few people along the way, nervous because there was no transfer news. We met with our investigator Darius, and he is certainly progressing! He is now 25% certain about being baptized, and the reason he has us over, is the way we show him love and treat him. That we don't just wear our faith, but we live it! Got home a little before 9:00, and took reports.
Today, I found out that I will be staying here in the Twin Oaks Ward, and Elder Skouson will be leaving. Super sad day! My firstborn in the wilderness! He will be going to a Spanish Area until he receives his Visa! I will be getting a new companion, and we will be Zone Leaders for the Atlanta East Zone (as if I don't get enough sleep as is..). It should be an exciting change, but I have loved every minute of being the District Leader. Change is good though, especially when I don't feel adequate. I am sure the Lord will provide, as he has thus far! He is too good!
That's a wrap! Hope everyone had an excellent week! Seems like it, and I wish everyone a superb one ahead! I know we will! Thanks for all of the love and letters! Prayers too! I can always use them! Let me know what I can do for y'all! Love you all so very much! Have a blessed up week!

Elder Dallan Barnes

Working for the Lord doesn't pay much at all. But His retirement plan, it's out of this World!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mon 6/09/14

I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse
We meet again! I am super glad to see that all is well at home, and that I still get emails! Thank you for that! It is certainly heating up here, what about back home? I have been drinking so much water, but the good thing, I am still losing weight! Running for Buses, and walking all day will do that for you! So let me give y'all the overview of the week!
Monday we did in fact go to the King Memorial Historic Site as well as snagged some Chicken and Waffles from Gladys Knight! The Memorial was amazing, and I really want to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King's Life. We got to see where he is buried, the house he was born in, as well as the church he was a minister for. It is amazing what one man can do to the world. Talk about being the right person, at the right place, at the right time. I think we can all make those kinds of differences, because we are where we are supposed to be! The Chicken and Waffles was a bit of a let down, $13 for for wings and a waffle. I guess the picture and experience make up the difference.
We had exchanges and district meeting on Tuesday, which made for a miraculous day. It was all about lifting expectations, and inviting people to be baptized. We set a goal of inviting at least 2 people per day per companionship. Me and Elder Schnell got 6, 1 of which accepted a specific date, his name is Darius, and he is a former investigator, I think I mentioned him before. We saw so many tender mercies too. We were out and about all day, in the heat, and the best thing I heard was,"Being on Foot is really tiring." All I can say is that it is worth it. We met with Nieta too, she's the bomb! We can always count on her to make us laugh and lift out spirits! Small world as well, Abby's roommate, Taylor Powell, her brother and wife just moved into the ward down the street from us. Small world!
Wednesday was alright, hump day right? We got to speak with Patience our investigator, and she was a little down. We helped console her and add to her faith. Hebrews 11 is one powerful chapter. She is still looking to get some things taken care of, but she is hoping to be baptized on the 12th of July. With God, all things are possible, I know that much. We also met a man who was on laughing gas, and got so excited when we invited him to be baptized and to receive the Holy Ghost. Got to love the south, particularly, Decatur! Another gentleman was convinced that the Book of Mormon would help him get women. Absolutely, but maybe not the way he was thinking. The Allen's had us over for Dinner, I'm so glad we have them here!
Thursday we ran out and about, trying to get some planning in, but some pressing appointments needed to take place. Brother Priest, the Less Active we found was eager to have us over again, and explained to us how much we lift his spirits. I would love to take credit, but that is certainly the Holy Ghost. Despite his situation right now, he still wants to feed us. It amazes me the sacrifices people go through for missionaries. I don't know if I can ever repay many people. One small miracle took place, while we were going to go see a new investigator named Darius. On our way there I felt like we should give him a call, let him know we were going to be a little early. I saw in the phone that there was a Former Investigator, named Darias, and called him thinking not too much of it. Come to find out, this was not Darius, but indeed the former. He had just lost his sister two weeks ago, and was extremely distraught, looking for purpose and wondering if he would see her again. We testified there on the phone, in the name of Jesus Christ, that he could and will as he accepts the Gospel. Talk about the Lord's timing and placement. We would have never called him, had we not been headed to this other investigator. We will be meeting with Darias this week, and plan on helping him receive the knowledge and peace he is yearning for. I can't say enough about the Roylance's either, they had us over for dinner, and they are the best!
Friday, we exchanged again, but with the Elders here in Twin Oaks. We had Elder Packard's last Zax Attack (Zaxby's run), because he is headed home on the 19th. Transfers are right around the corner, it is so crazy. We had a powerful day as well, teaching the Coppock's and David the nonmember said he would have no problem being baptized on the 28th. It poured the whole bus ride down there (thankfully, the one time you appreciate MARTA being slow), and when we hopped off, it subsided. Then the sun peeked out, and we were in a Sauna the rest of the day. That's good for your skin right?! I got to do a Baptismal Interview for a lady named Kay, that they Elders have been teaching. She is amazing, truly! The best interview I have had. She was uneasy about it at first, but I suppose I have a way of making people feel comfortable. She wants to call and let y'all know the impact I made on her, from this interview. Such a sweet, honest, and loving lady! We capped the night at the Atkin's with Patience, and talked about bearing up burdens, and how they can assist us. She is struggling a little bit, and trying to find a place where she can fit in. Being shy is of the devil!
Saturday, was one of the longer days I have had. Usually they are miracle packed, but not this one. No one wanted to hear from us, nor would anyone answer the door. Someone said that Friday was national doughnut day, maybe they had some hangovers from that. It was high 80's, 90% Humidity, and we didn't have too many solid appointments. We spent a good diddy walking, and riding, but the sun can just sap your energy. I drank extra water, and didn't have to use the restroom until when we got home. I must have been sweating it out. We met with a lady  named Tonya, and she loved to hear that she could find out if what we were saying was true (apparently the opposite of what other proselyting churches do....) We had to run home to make it in by 9:30, but we made it!

Sunday was great as usual. Less sleep of course, but the Sacrament makes it worth it. Nothing too earth shattering hit me during church, but we did get to do a little family history work to see if we could find a name to take to the temple. I couldn't find any, so we will just need to do some work. Especially Grandpa Barnes' side! We do have royal lineage though! We're kind of a big deal. We got to sit down with the Embley family, they are the bomb as well! We found our way up to the Cairn's for dinner, and a little bit of a team up! We got to speak with Thomas, one of our recent converts, and I missed him an awful lot. He has been working so much, that it is hard to get in contact with him. I also wish that I could have gone to Africa or somewhere foreign, cultures fascinate me!
That's about all I have! We are debating on Coke World or The Fernbank Science Museum for today! We also need to find a good BBQ place around here, I have been missing that. Transfers are coming up next week, so we will see what happens.

That is about all I have for this week! I wish you all the best of weeks ever, and hopefully you all will find something fun to do for Father's day! Have a super blessed up week, and let me know what I can do for anyone! Fight the good fight, keep the faith high!
Elder Dallan Barnes

"Marta: Taking you forever to get nowhere."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mon 6/02/14 4:42 PM
Happy June!!
I still am so amazed at how quick the time is going! I wish I could have a pause button at times (and maybe a rewind one in some instances..). But God is so good! Too good at times! My week has been one of the finest weeks in my service. So here goes nothing!
Tuesday we had an amazing time with the Partridge's at Stone Mountain! We were able to see some glass blowing, and ride the tram to the top, and also do a bit of a Rope Course. It was so much fun! I am so grateful for members that take care of us as if we were their own. They said next time they will take us to do the rest of the things we didn't do, like the Mini Golf, etc. I will need to come back for the Laser Show they have on the rock face. Thank you for the Pizza! The other Elders are appreciative as well!
Wednesday was District meeting again, and it felt like an odd day. We ended up spending all of our time at the Church, because we had to do training, lunch, and Weekly Planning there, up until when we had Gospel Study. Nothing too major went down, just a long day at the office I suppose. It is so much more fun to get out and do! I also packed and got ready for Boot Camp!
Thursday we were up early so the District Leaders could make it to Fayetteville. We swapped companions, and off we went with the other 3 District Leaders in the Atlanta East Zone. The Zone Leaders had the Camp Tuesday and Wednesday, and we got a little insight to what it'd be. We got to spend the day, night, and day at the Mission Home and be taught from President and Sister Harding, as well as the Assistants, and The Mission Presidency. They had the Fayetteville and Atlanta Zone's there. It was amazing, to not worry about all of the usual things, to take our minds of it all and just learn, and grow in faith. It was all about raising expectations, increasing faith, and becoming the missionaries that the Lord wants us to be! We were fed all 3 meals each day (hadn't had that since the MTC), and we even got some activities in. We played a little football, watched some fireworks, and watched Ephraim's Rescue. We didn't get to bed until 12:30, but it was so worth it. I am so blessed to have the mountain of a couple my mission president and wife are.
Friday Morning, we had an early morning jog around a lake, in the fog, next to an airport. Remember the Titan's status! It was pretty powerful, and we ended by jogging in the forest, and came across a banner that President had set up. We had a Joseph Smith like experience, with President burying some copies of the Book of Mormon, that we uncovered. They had some notes and a book mark in it. Overall, I just felt so much more united amongst the other District out here. Sometimes I feel like I am on my own, but I know for certainty that everyone else is having similar problems and successes. We had more instruction, as well as meals, on how to become finer instruments. We even had a water balloon fight, which turned into everyone gang up on President. And no, no one got sent home! We were taught about the Speed of Trust, which is an expensive program that Franklin Covey puts out to major businesses and corporations for increasing their productivity! We wrapped it all up with a devotional and off we went! So spoiled to be where I am at! Not a place I would rather be. I think the most moving thing was to see President get fired up (have yet to see him do such), about working. He spoke to some missionaries on the phone, and after, he turned to us and said, "I'll be straight up, I'm asking you to work harder. Work your tail off! Don't just work smarter, but work harder." I got home late that night, and got some rest as usual! I could always use a little more. The other thing I realized is that everything truly is in my power to do. Any excuse I can think of, can be overcome with faith. That'll be what I will work on, increasing faith so that I could get to the point of Jacob 4:6, Unshaken Faith.
Saturday, we hit it pretty hard, making it a point to achieve the indicators that we have placed before us. It was a slower day, but I invited like crazy, and I must say, I haven't felt better. True Success is in inviting! We are still working to find those that the Lord has truly prepared, but we ended the week finding 20 New Investigators. It rained and was a gloomy day, but I was determined. I hope this fire can branch to my companion and to the District.
Sunday, was a miraculous day. Fast Sundays are so powerful as is, but to recognize the extra blessings we get, makes it all worth it. We were blessed with 7 less actives returning to church, and 2 Investigators. One of the less actives we found here at the library, bore his testimony. I have had it easy compared to many of these people out here. After church, we went to a street we were inspired to go to, and we found 6 New Investigators. All were invited to be baptized, and are willing to when they find out it is true! I know that this is truth! One of the people we found, actually met with missionaries a few years ago, and wondered why they stopped coming by. Cool story is that, his door was the one I was lead to, but knocked others on our way to it. Such a beautiful thing it is, to be in the service of God.
Today, I think we will go to the Martin Luther King Memorial, and possibly Coke World. But You'll hear about it next week!
That's about what I have for y'all! Have an amazingly blessed up week! Let me know what I can do for you all! I'll be out here sweating my butt off! Yeah, I am losing weight! Love you all so very much! Fight the good fight!
Elder Dallan Barnes
"If Satan can't kill you, he'll hold your tongue." President Harding
"If you do it in His name, you need to do it His way." President Harding

"There is no downside to dreaming; there's infinite downsides to doubting."