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