Monday, August 10, 2015

Aug 10,
The Story Doesn't End Here,
It just keeps going, going, and going! In fact, this is the greatest story of my life, as I have told people the greatest story ever told! It is not simply a story but it is truth! Georgia’s on my mind and heart! This week has been a solid one for the books! Let me give the details!
Speaking of miracles, one of the larger ones, was a referral we were given by a member in the ward. Our recent convert had the home teachers over to give their children a blessing for the upcoming school year. A friend of the members walked in, learned about blessings, and requested one for herself and her daughter. They came to church this week! They loved it all and told us that they would be coming back this next week! When the members are the full time finders, the work explodes! We are excited to keep up with this family and see them in white three times, every time!
Another miracle we witnessed was getting back in contact with the Donat family! They have been MIA for the last little while. Last time we spoke with them they told us they found another church, or rather, returned to a former church. They had another bad experience with them (go figure… the Book of Mormon says it best: turning “like a dog to his vomit”). They happened to have just been thinking about us when we knocked on the door. They welcomed us right back in and will be coming to church on Sunday! I have a feeling that they are going to be ready this time! 
We connected with our good friend, Allen! We had an awesome lesson as we related Alma 36 to him and his life! He put himself in the verses and expressed how he had felt very similar feelings. He desires to have that change of heart that Alma had. There is power in the Book of Mormon! He will be coming to church Sunday with his girlfriend! 
We had a dynamite lesson with Lamoine! Brother Townsend came teaching with us. He was the member we had been praying for in order to help Lamoine. Bro. Townsend is formerly baptist and an intellectual. He reasoned so well with Lamoine and got the wheels turning! When the dust settled, I was floored by the Spirit that had been there! Needless to say, Lamoine will be delving into the Book of Mormon this week! 
We didn't have any unexpected transfers, that’s a miracle right there, considering our track record! No one got killed or maimed. Otter pops are the secret to sweating in the South!   
Surreal. It’s the only word that can seem to do some level justice on how I feel at this time. In Jacob’s closing remarks, he recounts his time and life then expresses, “Our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream.” (Jacob 7:26) I echo these same words! The time here in Georgia has passed away as if it were a dream. I’m still waiting for someone to pinch me, because it can’t be over! I know for a certain that God loves us and is at the helm of our lives! My being here is direct evidence of that! I needed to be here  at this time, with the companions I have served with, in the areas I have been, and to meet the brothers and sisters I have had the privilege of getting to know! I have thrusted in the sickle with my might and I do indeed say that the field is white already to harvest and that desire is what qualifies us for His work! It has been time well invested and I am ever so grateful to have had this opportunity, I wouldn't give it back for the world! I have seen the Lord’s hand in this work! I have great reason to rejoice! Jesus Christ Lives!

Here’s a poem that may depict what a mission has done to me!

As I stared out the window
The tears still in my eyes,
I saw the vision of those I love
As we said our last goodbyes.

The ride was long and trying
As two questions plagued my mind,
“Do I want the life that’s up ahead,
Or the one I left behind?”

Two years is such a long, long time
For going door to door.
In my reflecting I thought to myself,
“There really must be more.”

I dragged myself down off the plane
And started smiling at the beach,
When a man turned me the other way
Saying, “Elder, go find and teach.”

I sit reflecting once again
As this day is my last.
Please Lord, this isn't fair,
The time goes by so fast.

And I stare out the window
The tears still in my eyes,
I see the Elders and friends I love
As we've just said our last goodbyes.

The ride was long and trying
As two questions plagued my mind,
“Do I want the life that’s up ahead,
Or the one I left behind?”
I do want the life up ahead and I am eternally grateful for the life I will be leaving behind. In the great words of my good friend, Bruce Wayne, Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself the villain! Or I would submit you just finish your mission and return home! It has been real, it has been fun, and it has been real fun! Thanks for all the letters, prayers, encouragement, and love! It has been felt and received every day! I couldn’t do it without y’all! Fight the good fight of faith! Have a blessed up week! Smile extra big! I will see you all soon! Love you all so much! 

Elder Dallan Barnes

Monday, August 3, 2015

Aug 3,
Hey Y’all!
Someday’s you are the bug, other days you are the windshield. This week, we were both! However, whether flying free or splattered on tempered glass, there is not a better place to be! Miracles have been abounding, even day by day! Let me allow you to be the bug on our wall, not windshield (I wouldn’t wish that on anyone), for this past week!
One miracle from this past week stems from our amazing Bishop. We saw him Wednesday at the church and informed us that we have a unique service opportunity. Namely, moving someone into the ward! It was just us three and our Bishop moving this lady and her family. She is a recent convert of nine months from Colorado. None of her family is members, yet! She has a husband, and five children! They came to church too! The ward welcomed them with open arms. It is amazing what a little service and a lot of love can do to people’s hearts. We will be moving forward with the teaching and hopefully this family is a slam dunk! We saw them in white!
 We got to see our investigator Chanelle a couple times this week! We found out that her son’s fever stem from a liver problem. We taught her about priesthood blessings and asked her if she would like us to give her son Carter one. She accepted and we performed a blessing. We came by the next day, he was healed, no fever, jumping around playing with the neighbor kids. She explained to us that every time we come by, even from the first time, what we have shared has been just what she needed that day! She is on date to be baptized later this month! The Priesthood has been restored, to give blessings, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost! 
Chanelle’s neighbor, Kiesha, we are also teaching. We dropped by before a baptism on Saturday and invited them over. They came to the baptism. Kiesha brought all three of her kids, her friend and her friend’s kids. They were so moved by the ordinance. KaiKai, her oldest son asked me if I could baptize him next. The faith of children is appalling! We really need to be childlike! He also asked me if Jesus was our Uncle. Sort of… but not really! We got some work to do! 
There is this family we have knocked on their door thirty times since I have been here. But for the first time they answered. They are an awesome family! The Juarez! The mom loves the church and was a week out from getting baptized. Also her teenage son was in the same boat. Things got cancelled, work got busy, and here we are now. They lived up in Cartersville which was a fun connection we had. They committed to come to church and begin working back towards baptism. It is amazing to be in the right place at the right time! They weren’t in our plans but we felt inspired to go there yesterday night. Simply amazing!
The Temple was amazing this week! That is for sure where Heaven meets Earth!
That is about all I have for y’all today! This next week is fixing to be a good one! Hope y’alls is as well! Love you all so very much! Keep fighting the good fight of faith, keep the course, endure well, and have a blessed up week!

Elder Dallan Barnes 

“You know you got a true friend when you can throw poop at him & he doesn’t kill you. A wise monkey told me that once.” Elder Hanson
July 27th
Why oh Why July??
August is pretty much sniffing the behind of July, where in the world is time going? Which one of you is sitting on the remote control of life? Get off the fast forward button! It sufficeth me to say that this week was one of the most unorthodox, out of the norm, unusual weeks. I hope y’alls was fine and dandy! Let me give the play by play!  
Conyers is keeping us on our toes. This week’s development, happening on Wednesday, was losing a companion and gaining another. We lost Elder Lamb to Covington, he got a companion! So we no longer need to cover the Covington Ward. Our new companion’s name is Elder Hocker. He served in Kennesaw Mountain right after I left that area. He has been out six months and is from Virginia. The Lord made a change order, and when He orders, we deliver. He will be with us for the rest of the transfer, at least, that’s what we think. Stay tuned! I have learned so much from him though! God is good! It was crazy because we ended up having to wait a day for Elder Lamb to get his companion, so we were in a Quadpanionship! It is about as rare as a four leaf clover. You best believe we owned every street and door. Not really, we divided and conquered! Crazy times!
We had mission council down in Fayetteville on Friday. We had an awesome meeting! It is always good to see familiar faces and those I love! On our way back, however, we had dinner with a member. After the meal, we discovered that someone hit our car. Not a note or word was left. Hit and Run… a good policy in baseball, but not driving. We filed a report and everything. The car works great but the back corner is pretty mangled. Maybe I will lose some weight via bike. We’ll see!
We got in contact with an investigator of ours we hadn’t seen in many weeks, Allen. He explained to us that he almost didn’t come to the door because he hadn’t read the chapter we left him. He explained so much of the hard life he has been on, losing his parents and grandparents before the age of 15. He wants to change! We read Alma 32 and you could see the light growing and glowing in his eyes. He told Elder Hocker he sounded like Morgan Freeman. He committed us to go on a trip to Florida, all expenses paid, with him.
We had our Pioneer Day Party here in Conyers. Apparently the pioneers stopped in Conyers Georgia, of all the places… It was amazing really! We invited and invited all week long. We ended up having 10 non members there! The Ward took them right under their wings too! There was a pie eating contest, watermelon eating contest, a slip and slide, sack races, frog races, and baseball—all the essential pioneer activities! It was a lot of fun to say the least! It is amazing what the Pioneer’s did for us! They acted out of so much faith!
That’s all for today folks! Please keep being amazing! Fight the good fight! Have a blessed up week! Travel Safe! Smile! Love all y’all so much! I will hear from y’all soon!
Elder Dallan Barnes 

“If you a brotha, always be dat. Stay Brothers in Christ!” Allen

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 20
Happy Pioneer Day!
That day is coming up right quick! I don’t know how the Pioneer’s did it! I am thankful the Lord didn’t take them on a detour to Georgia, because that would have been miserable! Humidity, mosquitoes, fried food, oh my! They may have just ended up here, that seems to be what happens. People in Georgia stay in Georgia! I must admit Utah is the place, and the right one at that! As a missionary though, it is the best place to be, hands down! God is in the soil and the hearts of the people! Here’s the week in a peanut shell (Georgia is big on those!): 
The miracle of the week was to be privileged to see Marcus Clark baptized! It was a miraculous event! We filled the primary room with people supporting Marcus in this decision of his! It was crunch time this week in getting him ready for baptism. We had a few lessons to teach and just a few days to make it happen. We devised a memory matching game involving all of the Commandments and Laws & Ordinances. To up the ante, we obtained everyone’s favorite candy. On each card we had scripture references to the Book of Mormon to teach the principles from! It was a creative and fun way to teach Marcus! This is where we saw the power of the Book of Mormon this week! It teaches the doctrine so simply that children can understand it! That is the beauty of the Gospel! At its core, it is breathtakingly simple! It also struck me that this very baptism was similar to when me and Austin were taught by the missionaries. I am thankful the Lord gave me the chance to help pay it forward! Marcus is the man! 
Last Monday, we may or may not have fallen into a deep slumber, with intentions only for a power nap. A member in the ward calls it an “Efficiency Interlude.” That sounds more professional. We laid down and woke up three hours later. I feel indifferent about it! There is always too much to do than sleep!
We met a man who invited us to study Genesis chapter 1 and 2 and contemplate how Marijuana is essential to salvation. No thanks! Modern revelation trumps that Old Testament Stuff! 
We are having a bit of a scare with Philicia and her family, the ones from the Virgin Islands. We dropped by the other day and the youngest daughter came to the door and was uncomfortable. She proceeded to tell us that her Mom told her to tell us that we shouldn’t come back any more. The reason being we were rude to her younger son.  We are perplexed because we had only spoken to him one time. We are still hoping and praying that this is our family that is ready for the Gospel!
We found another family of five! The Garcia’s! We were totally led to them! On first contact they were a little unhappy, but upon praying with them, they totally opened up! All of their kids are baptismal age! They kept thanking us for praying with their family! They are super excited to come to church here this coming Sunday! There are so many people that are searching for that ray of hope, that happily ever after! We have it!  
That is about all she wrote! Thanks for all that you do for me! I really hope and pray this is the best week ever! Better than any previous! Keep fighting the good fight! Keep the faith! Enjoy to the End! Have a blessed up week and I will hear from you real soon! Love you all so much!
Elder Dallan Barnes 
“What’s your favorite Holiday?” Elder Hanson asked a child the other day, the kid responded: “BATMAN!!”

“Baptism is an event of eternal consequence.” Bishop Nolden

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13
This just in…
The miracles are still happening, the rain is still pouring,  and the missionaries are still sweating. What is new you may ask? The most recent developments are as follows!
We received a new companion on Wednesday this week. Elder Beckstead had to return home to seek medical treatment. It was sad to see him go because he is an excellent missionary. God is at the helm of this work and our lives! We received his companion, Elder Lamb, and will be working the Conyers Ward and the Covinton Ward. Can you talk about opportunities?! Our work was cut out for us before, then it got added too. Six Kneaders French Toast pale in comparison the challenge at hand! It is going to be awesome though, to say the least! I am pretty sure after all this time, it’s not my companions, it’s me! I was a problem from the beginning! Elder Lamb is from Bountiful and a very sincere and loving man! I have already learned so much from him!
The miracle of the week came on Sunday. We had scheduled some time to do some finding around some of our current investigators. We prayed in faith that the hearts and doors of many would be opened. The first door we knocked on, no one was home, which was strange seeing how there were three minivans in the drive way. We moved quickly to the next door. We met Kenny, who asked us to come back and teach him how his family of four could be eternal! He sent us to his next door neighbor, Harold, who just recently moved in. He asked us to pray for him and his family. At 23 years old, he has struggled greatly, but escaped his environment and is moving more towards a real family of his own. He accepted to be baptized on the 8th of August! Missionaries even taught him back when he was living in Virginia! We jumped back into the car enthused about the lives that we were touching. As we pulled away, we saw a man sitting on his front porch. Never delay a prompting! We got out, asked what we could help him with. He broke down in tears. He has three kids and a wife, just lost his job, and is struggling due to the financial tension. We called down the powers of heaven, of which he was touched and invited us back. He has never been baptized and knows he needs to. God blesses us immediately when we do what he asks. This is the Lord’s Church and he is entitled to blessings that can be found no where else! These people were the miracle for us, but I know that more so than ever, we were a miracle to them! God is mindful of us all! 
We have a baptism coming this week. The only problem is that Marcus has been out of town all last week. It will be another scramble to get the items ironed out, but it will be awesome! What happens in the Con stays in the Con. God will help us ensure that this happens, because He wants it more than any of us do! He really loves us!
We had our Mission Council at the Mission Home on Friday. The Foote’s are amazing people! They are also some of the highest caliber of people I have met! They shined our shoes even. Talk about serving us! It is so easy to feel their love. Being a mission president and wife would be a stressful calling, but they are doing amazing! 
The other highlight of the week (sorry, I cannot compete with Sports Center, no top 10 here). We saw the struggling fourteen year old young man, Bryson. He is going through a real struggle in knowing and seeing God’s hand in his life. He has a good heart! Elder Hanson shared the most powerful experience with him. You could see Bryson being shaken to the core. We will be having dinner with the family and seeing them weekly! It is crazy how much people really look up to missionaries! 
That is a wrap for today’s update! The work is moving forward! Not a better place to be than Conyers, Georgia! Keep fighting the good fight! Keep smilling, and enjoying every moment! Have a blessed up week this week! Love you all so very much! Thanks for everything you do for me!

Elder Dallan Barnes

Look for that miracle!

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6
Why July, why?
What the in the wide world of sports! July is forging onward! It is not fair! Who has the remote and is fast forwarding?? It’s hot. It’s humid. But by golly, it is fantastic! This is the work of the Lord! Nothing has brought me great joy! Maybe because 95% of it is disappointment. We truly savor the every ounce of good! This week was long and trying! This much I can say though, America is one blessed and privileged land! It is reserved for those that believe, love, and trust in God! Let me give you the skinny on the week for us! 
We finally got to meet the Foote’s! They are amazing people! They are so in over their heads too! What a chance to trust in God! You can really tell that they gospel has full sway over their hearts and that they love the Lord! They are so excited to be here and share the truth! I really look up to them! It saddens me that I won’t get the chance to serve more alongside them! 
Fourth of July Festivities. They included, finding, teaching, and not quite baptizing yet! We had a great dinner with Bro. Rasmussen. He fired of $500 worth of fire works. They were mortars in essence. Loudest and biggest fireworks I have seen fired by a civilian! We had our Recent Convert there too. He wouldn’t run away from them once he lit them. We were convinced he would lose an eye. It was a lot of fun! We also had tin foil dinners. It has been a minute since I had those! They turned out awesome too! Better than I remember them!
The miracle of the week actually took place yesterday! We were on a split and I was with our Bishop. He felt inspired to go see a certain family in the ward, of which had recently baptized grandchildren. They wouldn’t have let is in if we didn’t have our Bishop there. They explained the agony and turmoil they were in. Their grandson was just barely put into Juvenile Detention and they were struggling as the guardians for him. Moments like this, to see others in such pain cite my mind to what our Savior experienced. He felt exactly what they are feeling. Thankfully He is the way that they can be healed and made whole! I shared Mosiah 27 and they committed to having us by weekly to visit them and their grandson when he gets back. There is such power to the Spirit and Book of Mormon! They are our best tools in conversion! 
Couple of funny things that happened. We were waiting in the apartment office to drop something off. Brittney Spears came on the radio. All I can say is that she does not have the Spirit, my spirit was dulled and my vision lowered. Someone needs to baptize her. Our Indian neighbors told us we were too loud around 11:00 PM. We are getting ready for bed at 11:00 PM. Some people!
That is all I have for you! Let freedom ring this week! Fight the good fight of faith! Have another blessed up week! Keep smiling and enjoying life to the fullest! I promise you I will be doing the same out here in Georgia! Love you al so much! I will hear from y’all in a week’s time!

Elder Dallan Barnes
“Hey best friend!” Mark, a child of one of our Investigators
“Obedience is the blessing.” President Foote

Saturday, July 4, 2015

June 31
Happy Independence Day!
Lake Powell, what a place to be for the Holiday! I must admit, Georgia is still better! Let me first say that while y’alls week was vacation, ours was a battle! It was a week like none other before, a week full of miracles and disappointment exhausting hours! Let me run y’all through the ropes! 
The biggest and grandest miracle of this week happened to be an expected unexpected baptism! Let me explain! Back about three months ago we were teaching a man named Robert. He is David’s, our recent convert, uncle. He has been taught for a year! He would never set a date for baptism until we got closer to his birthday. Back in April he set the date of June 28th. He disappeared two weeks later back to Alabama. Had no way to contact him either. On Tuesday, we found out that David went back to Alabama now. We were going to visit another investigator, and saw Robert walking outside! We sped over there, and he asked if he could still be baptized on the 28th! Absolutely, yes please, for sure, definitely, sir yes sir! We scrambled and put it all together and he was baptized! Another one for the Lord’s Army!! 
Another miracle of the week, besides the baptism of Robert, was a family we found recently! We were finding around the members, “Asking who do you know?” From referral to referral, we ended up at a home of a lady who had recently had a stroke. She invited us to come back in a few days! We did just that, spoke with Philicia, and she let us right in! She has six kids! As we began teaching and testifying, the kids said they had some movies about the apostles and Jesus Christ. They pulled out a copy of the Testaments! They also have a Book of Mormon and a copy of Finding Faith in Christ! They were taught by missionaries three years ago in Texas. They just moved to Georgia a few months ago! They all accepted to be baptized on the 25th of July! They do everything as a family they told us! The Lord is preparing many for us to find! The Family is ordained of God! The Gospel perfectly blessed families to the point that they can be eternal!
On Sunday, Bishop Nolden called us up with a referral! It is a family in the ward that we helped move back into the Ward a few weeks ago. They informed Bishop that their 9 year old son hasn’t been baptized yet, but has received all of the lessons! We went over there quicker than Tiny Tim would be on a Christmas Ham, talked about baptism, and Marcus wants to get baptized on the 18th of July! There are miracles reserved for the exactly obedient!
The Harding’s are on their way out! I am so thankful for all that they have done for me! They the most incredible people I have associated with! I wish them well on their journey home! They have changed who I am, the way I think, and my vision of who I can become! The Foote’s will be arriving this afternoon! We are not going to skip a beat! 
We spent seven hours in the hospital Thursday, with a fellow missionary. He has been not well for the past week and a half. While we were visiting with him on and his companion, he were kneeling in prayer and as he began to stand up, he blacked out. Rushed him to the ER, spent a good minute there! He is doing much better though! It was a miracle we were there at that time, his brand new missionary from the MTC was overwhelmed as is! The Lord certainly puts us in the places where we are needed most! 
That is just about all I have left in the tank for today! It’s been real, it’s been fun, it’s been real fun! Thanks for the email and the photos! Thanks for everything that y’all do for me! I hope the trip to Powell is accident free and full of fun, laughs, tans, much food, and no drama! I look forward to hearing from y’all soon! Have an amazing blessed up week! Fight the good fight! Love you all so much!

Elder Dallan Barnes

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 22
Mi Familia y Amigos!
Some people out there may wonder how do we sleep when our beds are burning, yes, in case you were wondering, Nyquil of course. Thankfully everything but our beds were burning! It was a retreat to come back to the apartment and indulge on some popsicles! Three digit degrees are happening here in A town! Too hot for me! We survived, thrived,  and strived! Miracles were wrought this week, this Father’s Day week! Happy Father’s Day to all those Father’s and Father Figures out there! Let me outline the week!
Transfer news: I will be remaining in place and so will Elder Hanson! We will not be getting a new companion with us. Kind of saddening, I was hoping to train one more son here in the great Georgia Atlanta Mission! What is also crazy is that the Harding’s are on the way out! We get our New Mission President come Monday! The Harding’s are legendary people! I love them so much! They have helped me so much to become who I am now! I owe so much to them! I hope y’all can meet them, maybe even make it to their homecoming! 
The Miracle of the week had to of come around as we were finding 10 minutes before meeting up with a member! We went to a house where people were outside and began speaking with them! Three families were there and we had the opportunity to teach all of them, set return appointments with, and leave a blessing with them. They all have been looking for a church home to go to! They haven’t found a church that fits them! Chanelle, Kiesha, and Charlie and all of their families are reading the Book of Mormon now and are wanting to be baptized! They even asked us after the teaching when they could be baptized next! Surely the Lord is preparing many! Too, through, and on our way to members is ordained of God!
We also found another young lady, Chaniel, from Jamiaca! As we were driving by, we felt inspired to go speak with her as she was sitting outside. She is in her early 20’s, has two kids, and has been in the States for 2 Years. She expressed to us how she wants to come closer to God and she has seen how her life has decayed as she hasn’t been putting God first. She was in tears and told us that she would be a member of our church soon! We are all reaching for our Heavenly Father, it is such an honor to represent Him and be the means to get others to him! She will be baptized in August!
We had been praying and asking Heavenly Father for more people to teach. He delivered, and when it rained, it poured! We found 27 new people to begin teaching this week! Every time we turned around, there were more people! We were in the right place at the right time! Miracles come to the faithful!! We are excited to see these new people progress! Isn’t it crazy how much God trusts us with?
This is about all she wrote. Well, he, what a dumb saying. Thanks for staying tuned! Thanks for the email, prayers, and ever other little thing! I am truly grateful for all that is done in my behalf! Have an amazing week this week! Love you all so very much! Fight the good fight of faith! Endure the course! Smile a little bigger, laugh a little longer, love a little deeper! Have a blessed up week! I will hear from y’all soon! 
Elder Dallan Barnes 

What’s the difference between Heaven and Hell? A/C.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15
It is a beautiful day in the ‘hood!
It has been fantastic! Beautiful on all accounts! If I had it my way, I could do with some cooler weather but it all works out in the long run! A little sweat, well for me a lot of sweat, didn't hurt anyone. It may have killed a few from heat exhaustion, but that is a different scenario all together! Needless to say, we are thriving and surviving! It is a day to day thing! Georgia is still the greatest! I also heard that peach shakes are back at Chick-Fil-A. It’s a must! On that note, here’s the must hear news from our week! 
Today, we got a new companion! Elder Oviatt is getting sent back to Canada, where he is from, to wait for his visa to the Czech Republic. So, we got  his companion. Elder Beckstead! We have been on a few exchanges and he is the man! He is really down to earth, happy, and easy going! He also knows Spanish so we can confound some Hispanics, or teach them for that matter! I totaled it, I have had 17 companions! Time has sure flown! 
Our top miracle this week was involving one of our investigators, Lamoine! We had two powerful lessons this week with him! The latter was the most powerful. We had a member with us Saturday afternoon and went to Lamoine’s home.  We taught and testified of the Sacrament and Church Attendance. The member committed him to come to church and offered a ride! Lamoine was in attendance at church and connected with many members, he already knew several from school! He is pressing forward towards baptism here in July! He mentioned in Priesthood that he would be visiting with us from here on out! The members are the way to help investigators progress! We could not do it without high caliber members!! 
We reconnected with a former investigator, Gorne. He has had 4 heart attacks and 2 strokes. He was in rehab the past several months for a stroke. We felt prompted to go see him the other day. He got home that very day! He accepted to be baptized now that his health is a little more on track! The Spirit is so central in life!
Sis. Turner, the member we have been bringing back to church, brought her whole family to church! She absolutely loved it and her kids did too! Her faith is growing! All it takes is that little inkling of desire and miracles happen! She found a job a couple days after she came to church last week! She also had a few other items fall in place in her life! God immediately blesses us when we do what he asks! 
That is a wrap! Thanks for the email, the love, and prayers! It is always the best to hear how everyone is doing! Thanks for everything! Keep fighting the good fight! Have a blessed up week! I will hear from y’all soon enough!
Elder Dallan Barnes

The only difference between winners and losers is attitude.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

                            Goodbye Elder Anderson!

Special Delivery from Aunt Marie & Uncle Jason!!!

June 8
Another Day, Another Blessing!
Or maybe like a frillion blessings! This is the work of the Lord! The windows of Heaven are open! I have seen, heard, and experienced this very effect! This week has been nothing short of that! Let me give you the synopsis of the week!
We had our Fasting pay off big time, in the dividends of a miscellaneous package full of Goodies! The Lee’s are incredible! We were so surprised! Our pantry was looking a little bare! The only thing was that we couldn’t feast when we got the package, we were still fasting, but that has been mended! Thanks for taking care of us, Lee Family!
Our miracle has to be our back to back baptismal date day! We felt inspired the night before to follow up with a man named Terrel and his family. He has a wife and a seven year old boy! He is a stunt biker and comedian, quite the combo! We left him with a Book of Mormon and committed him to read it! When we pulled up, it was as if he was there waiting for us! We asked about the Book of Mormon, he was 17 pages into it! He has been sharing it with other people too and has some coworkers interested! He accepted the date to be baptized of June 27th! He will be bringing his family to church next week! Right as we were about to back up we saw a man loading his car up. We both felt inspired, so we obeyed, and spoke with him! Eric has eight daughters, all baptismal age! He accepted to be baptized with his neighbor on the 27th of June! The Lord can do miraculous things with those that are willing and worthy!
It was saddening to send Elder Anderson off. It was reminiscent of sending Elder Kennedy to Brazil. I know he is up to some good things. It was a good reminder that my time is finite here in Georgia, and I need to make every minute of it count! 
We began working with this one member who hasn’t been to church for eight years! We finally got her squared away with a ride and everything, we even had the bishop meet her the other week. She made it to church and she physically changed! It was incredible to see a glowing ember of a testimony be fanned by faith and ignite. She asked us during the service, when and who was picking her up next! The Lord needs Sis. Turner back, and her kids! The gospel truly changes people’s hearts! 
The Lord totally grabbed my attention this week! I had been feeling a little disappointed with some of the progress of our investigators, even my progress as a disciple of Christ. At the very moment in the morning we’re it was hitting hardest, I went to grab a quote out of some of my notes. I stumbled across President Gordon B. Hickley’s statement to “Forget yourself and go to work.” Later in our companionship study we followed Sister Harding’s counsel to visit the Adjusting to Missionary Life Booklet every day. We “coincidentally” were on the very page that has the same quote and story. In that very moment of need, the Lord told me to forget myself and go to work! This is the best work to get lost in! I feel that the more we lose ourselves in His work, we grow so much, to the point where we can better find ourselves because there is so much of us to find! 
Thanks for all that y’all do for me! I can feel the love! Stay safe, get tan, stay hydrated,  fight the good fight of faith, and have a blessed up week! Love you all so much! Can’t wait to hear from y’all soon! 
Elder Dallan Barnes 

The man on top didn’t fall there.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1
The Time has Come!
The time came quickly too! It was almost as if I was emaling a few days ago! Who would have thunk?! The week has been well! I am glad to hear that all is well on the home front also! Miracles are coming forth even more! This rain, I tell you what, there is something in it! One of the biggest miracles we have enjoyed has been safety! The Lord is very mindful of his servants! I know that to be true! Every day is an adventure and I am thankful for every single one of them!
We may or may not have broken the Word of Wisdom. Not intentionally! A member offered to buy us some ice cream after we had seen some people. It was getting close to closing time for us missionaries and I spied some ice cream at Kroger that looked so appetizing! It was chocolate, with chocolate swirls, cookie dough, and oreos! It was called “Double Dunker”. When we made it home that night, I made it through a full bowl of it, it hit the spot that some would say couldn’t be hit! Elder Hanson loved it too! Elder Anderson makes it two bites in and tastes something odd. Upon further inspection, he discovers that there is coffee in it. On the front of it there is a big coffee cup with a oreos and chocolate chip cookies being dunked into it… We’ve repented… 
The Miracle of the week was the chance that we had to follow up on the family of six we found on Memorial Day, the Donat (I know, it’s a funny name) family! We have taught them three times now, all with members present! They were set to come to church, but they all woke up ill that day. They’ve met Bishop Nolden too! The girls are the best! They all expressed desires to be baptized! They left us with three drawings of Jesus Christ! The gospel will totally change their trajectory in this life and the next!
It saddens me to see Elder Anderson giving up the Ghost, so to speak! I am certainly going to miss him! He is a good example of how to finish strong through the mission! He is going to kill it back at home with football and school, while me and Elder Hanson fill some big shoes!
That is an official wrap! Thanks for all that y’all have done for me! Thanks for the time spent emailing! I look forward to hearing how things on the home front are! Keep smiling! Keep enjoying! Keep being amazing! Fight the good fight of faith this week! Have a blessed up one! I will hear from y’all soon enough!

Elder Dallan Barnes
“That’s thunder. See you later suckers!” Four year old boy we talked to just before a storm. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 27
Happy Memorial Day Indeed!
I am not even sure where to begin past that! What I must say is that I am truly grateful for those souls that have passed in defense of this wonderful country! They enable us to do what we do every day! Freedom is not cheap! Religious Freedom is incredible! We can proselyte and share the amazing news of the Gospel and its Restoration! This is one blessed land! 
In Georgia, I have come to the knowledge that when it rains, it pours. Good for plants, but for white shirts and ties, less than ideal! Let me tell you what though, I think the rain is connected with the windows of heaven, because blessings were poured out on those rainy days! The first being safety! These lightning storms are fantastic! I also heard we got these storms from Houston… Thanks Dad!  
My newest companion is Elder Hanson! He is from Cedar City, Utah! He is quite country and wrestled! I tell you what, he is one of the hardest working humble missionaries companions I have had! Good things are at our finger tips here in Conyers! Elder Anderson, he’s practically dead, as we call missionaries that are graduating to the next mission. He is fighting hard! I have been blessed with two of the finest companions in the mission!  
Usually by this point, I have a good idea about what I would like to share from the week. There has been so many miracles, I don’t know where to begin. They haven’t been earth shattering miracles, but they have been miracles nonetheless! Memorial Day was magnificent! The Ward put together a party and we had several of our investigators there! 
I think the miracle that jumps out to me, stems from our Memorial Day feat! We had prayed, planned, and put together where we felt the Lord needed us. As we were on this one street, we felt nudged to go to this specific door. This was the one we needed to knock. Out came a man, Jimmy (yes he was thinking with his dipstick) who explained that he had been praying for help. He was searching for a church home for his family, four daughters and his wife. His wife was recently diagnosed with a terminal lung disease. He had a stroke early last year. He is working his tail off to make things meet, then we showed up! He accepted to be baptized! We will be teaching his family on Friday! God works through us to do His work. I am so thankful for that opportunity!
That is a wrap! Thanks for tuning in! That’s all for today folks! Please keep smiling, keep loving life, keep enjoying to the end! Love you all so much! Thanks for the support, love, and prayers! Fight the good fight, have a blessed up week! I will hear from y’all soon enough!

Elder Dallan Barnes

“You always got good reception with God.”

Monday, May 18, 2015

 The Happiest Missionary Trio out there!!!

May 18th
Look what we have here!
My family! Friends! It’s good to be back! It’s good to be back in black (on the inside)! What’s also convenient is the fact that those short sleeve shirts that you sent, Mom, they fit! It is sure heating up here in the South! Is humidity good for your skin and hair? Along with how many licks it will take to get to the center of the tootsie pop, the world may never know these things! Here is what I do know and know for a surety! That God lives! Jesus is the Christ! Miracles happened this week! I hope they have been abundant back on the western half of the continent! 
Our week was hectic! I was on exchange two days of the miracle mania! It was all totally worth it as Eric and Monica were baptized this weekend!! It was a special experience to see them begin listening, to being married, to being baptized and confirmed! They are now in the gate and on the path which leads to their happy ever after, if they prove faithful and endure well! I would trade everything to help one soul come unto Christ. We were blessed with two, and oh how great my joy is! These souls are precious unto me and the Lord! Amidst all of the stress around planning a baptism, we had an excellent week and we are now licking our chops as to who the Lord needs next! Elder Shepherd, in the font, with the Priesthood. Need I say anymore?! 
The transfer news, it’s disheartening. Elder Shepherd will be departing… The Lord has huge things in store for him, that is for dang sure! He will make a huge impact in the lives of many wherever the Lord will take him! We have a feeling of where he is going, but what does it matter. We are called to serve God! I will be getting a new companion and Elder Anderson will be departing on June 3rd. Crazy stuff I tell you! Does real life change this quick and this much??
While I was in Stockbridge on an exchange we had a miracle of miracles! We were visiting a Less Active Member. To begin with, she had been battling her own emotional battles and asked for a blessing. We gladly gave her one. The ensuing events were astounding. We met her son’s girlfriend who had been really hurting spiritually. When I see people in that state of anguish it beckons my mind to our Savior, He felt that, He felt it all! She asked for a blessing and we also gladly gave her one! Immediately her countenance changed, the first words she said was, “I felt my burdens get lifted.” We explained  to her how she can access that power daily, by being baptized. She accepted a date to be baptized on June 20th, wrote it in her Book of Mormon, and came to church on Sunday. The Lord puts us in the right place at the right time! 
I was on exchange with Elder Richardson in Jonesboro on Tuesday as well! It was so much fun to spend another day with him! We saw so many miracles as we biked in the humid heat! The Lord provided by way of people offering us bottled water. The big miracle was as we resorted to our back up plans we met a Liberian family (just like in Kennesaw Mountain). Alfred let us right in and we taught him the Restoration with a member with us! He accepted to be baptized as well! He has a huge family! African people are the best! Faith brings the power!
That is a wrap from me! The work is good! God is good! Miracles continue to happen! Georgia is the place to be! The Church is true! Keep fighting the good fight! Have a super blessed up week! Smile a little extra! Do a little better!

Elder Dallan Barnes

“You can’t ask Heavenly Father, that’s cheating.”