Friday, September 25, 2009

Ch ch ch ch changes!!

So, this week...what a week. I have learned to no longer say that a day or a week was hard because that seems to be common. They are all hard, and they are all happy, and they all have something wonderful in them. So, no more saying that it is hard, it is just a given. But one thing my dad says to me all the time is that hard is not bad, it is just hard. Ok, I can do hard things!Noemi and her son Lester are getting baptized this Sunday. We were hoping to have her husband baptized at the same time, but that will just have to wait for awhile. We taught her about tithing, and I was afraid to do it because their family is so poor. but, Satan, though he plants these littles dounts and fears in my mind, it is evidence thata it is probably something i should do, so we taught them about tithing. The next day, as Noemi was thinking and pondering about tithing and the effects of giving up 10 percent of her hard earned income up, the Lord showed her a miraculous witness of paying her tithing. She learned that she just has to have faith in the Lord because He will provide. It was such a treat to meet and teach this family. I am going to miss this tomorrow and the next transfer, but at least I'm still in Hialeah so I'll get to see their baptism and their progression with the gift of the Holy Ghost. in 3 Nephi and also in the New testament i have learned of the importance of the Gift of the holy Ghost--let me expound. When Christ visited the Americas He did three very important things from the beginning of his ministry.
1. He testified of Himself as the Savior. He then let all who were present to feel His wounds--to gain a witness for themselves.
2. then He called someone up to receive the authority, or preisthood, to baptize in His name.
3. He commanded the people to be baptized and then they would be able to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and then would they be prepared to learn all that He had to say to them. In the New Testament John the Baptist came first to baptize and be a witness of the Christ. Then Christ came and baptized with the Spirit and then he would teach. Ok, the lesson that this teaches me is thus: we can only go so far, only learn so much without the gift of the Holy Ghost. I always knew that we could only progress so far without baptism because it is a special ordinance that opens the gate to the temple, our ultimate goal. But, we can only learn so much without the spirit. that is why Jesus had everyone be baptized and recieve the gift because without it, the people would not have gotten eerything, they would not have been able to progress as much as they did. that is why we, as missionaries, must invite all to be baptized within one or two lessons. yes, that is our goal in this mission, and i have seen that those who are trully willing to listen to this invitation, and are ready to be baptized accept this invitation from day one. we do not have to hide baptism under our chairs for three or four lessons and then boom! surprise trhem with it. no, it needs to be done now so that their knowledge and understanding can increase far more than without it.Omar was not baptized this week. He had a rough week. He has severe depression issues which we've known about since day one. But, this week they became very apparent to us. he tried to kill himself and now he is in a crisis center. It is really hard to watch him struggle in such a place. He has had prayers answered, he has seen the hand of the Lord in his life, and then this happens. He asked his dad to ask us to come and visit him, which we did because he is trully a special kid, a son of God and he really just needs friends right now. It has been hard on Hna. Halversen and I to deal with this because it is such a stark place, and Omar is in a dark place in his life. I just keep wondering what Jesus would do if He was sitting next to Omar in such a place. that is when i feel inadequate, because i am not the Savior, i just invite him to heal Omar's heart, which is my job i suppose. I just wish i could do moer--the inner mother coming out, i suppose. It was hard!! My companion and i cried a lot this week. ROUGH!! it doesn't help that she and i are the exact same person, so though we know how to help the other, we can't because we're feeling the exact same thing.Yesterday the Lord showed me my potential. I finally feel like i have the ability to do great things and that not only is that my potential, but it is a very real thing--in fact i am commanded to be powerful and to make big changes here in hialeah. I am ready to move forward, not looking at my inadequecies, but to find those who need my message. oh, which takes me to my title. transfers are tomorrow, that is why i am writing this today, because on transfer weeks we proselyte on mondays (PROS MONDAY!) i am staying here in Hialeah, just switching companions with Hna. Martinez, one of the other sisters who has been here for a bit, and my trainer is training again. we kinda knew this was going to happen. i think i am going to be here in Hialeah for awhile. and i think i am going to train way before i am ready, but the Lord knows all things, and plus this is a young mission. next transfer we are losing one spanish sister, my trainer, and we are gaining four new ones. which means i will no longer be one of the young'uns but old and experienced because half of the girls are leaving and coming in november and december. i mean, in december we are losing one, we're losing one tomorrow. YIKES, i'm stoppong this thought process now!! i can't handle thinking about training. i can't even speak the language yet!! The Lord is good to me,, though, He lets me figure this stuff out on my own. He then helps me progress leaps and bounds beyond what i ever would have thought was possible. the work is good, hard and good.

love love love

hna. barros

ps, i miss lydia and payton soooo much. those pictures go with me everywhere nd i show them to everyone!! Lydia is so expressive, it just kills me. and payton, i wish i could just hear his little manly voice of impatience! I hope law school is going well, that dustin can find a job soon, and that tori is having a blast in the 'burg and that kacey is still going on a mission (read "the challenging and testifying missionary") and i hope that dad is still sane and not so stressed out of his mind. and i hope that Kit cleans up her mouth and realizes that she is an awesome person. and i hope joe is having a great time knocking into people with his football gear on, and i hope that pookey is not crazy lonely, and that the cats are just plain crazy still, and i hope that mom is happy even though she is so busy!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

And the whole world has to answer right now, who's bad?

Ok, so the reason for the title is thus: There is this little kid named Emmanuel who is four. He is about two feet tall and he is just the funniest thing ever. Anyway he dances just like Michael Jackson, and that is his nickname. We had FHE with his family, mom, dad, grandma, old woman neighbor, two older brothers (Andres, 13 and Alex, 9 (I teach him piano lessons)) and older brother's friend and the non-member tennent and then the two missionaries, and for the activity he danced for us. Now, imagine a little latino boy, two feet tall, with all the spunk in the world, dancing to Beat It and Bad, just like Michael jackson. It was the best FHE ever. The mom apologized for the craziness of the family. I said it brough me back to my home, and therefore there was nothing better in the whole world. when emman, that is his nickname, finished dancing for me, he sat down beside me. he then whispered that Step Up Two was his favorite movie. i told him it was mine too and then we proceeded to have a discussion about the coolest dance moves ever and then he did the moon walk. it was the best day ever. plus, i got to listen to something with a beat and not feel too guilty about it. This family is my favorite family. They are so amazing and fun. They just moved in from Utah and they are so cool. We are trying to build good relations with the members so that they will give us referrals or go out on exchanges with us or anything because without the members we do not get as much done. We need the members. So, i have adopted a few families for my own. there is a family full of teenage girls that i have bonded with-jenifer, ashly, and alison. Fun little girls who love to make fun of my spanish, which i recognize is very comical.

some of my investigators...

1. Omar Columga is getting baptized on Sunday! Yay! He is the first person I ever taught in the mission and he is getting baptized. He tried to drop us a few times, but I feel like I was supposed to be the missionary to teach him because we seem to have a lot of the same type of trials. So, he not only could never drop us, but he is getting baptized!!! He is such a sweet kid. He even said that he wants to go on a mission. My jaw dropped when I heard that because all I could remember was our few appointments where he said that he didn't want to be Mormon. He went to the single's branch and loved it, saying that everyone was very nice and he really liked it. On Sunday he reminded me that he really really wanted to still go on a mission and go to the temple. Ok, we can do that! What a special treat to witness this young man's 180 degree turn around. His prayers are specific, he receives definate answers to his prayers from the Spirit, witnessing that what we are telling him is true, and he really can not wait to serve the Lord. COOL!!!

funny story. Well, i took an investigator to the single's branch, (in miami beach!!! the chapel is right on the water overlooking yachts and the cool downtown buildings and everything, i will send pictures, i have to because it was unbelievable!) on a fast and testimony meeting-dangerous. but it was so entertaining. there was this mentally handicapped guy, who is 40 or so, who was a walk-in last week but as he was walking up the stairs and got hurt pretty bad. some of the members of the single's branch gave him a blessing and so he came to church on sunday. he got up to bear his testimony and told of his blessing. he pulled on his eye and said that his black eye was gone "my lip got cut, and it is still cut, but it doesn't hurt that much. and today i went to another church, the Calvary Chapel and I had some Cuban coffee. it hurt my stomach and i got really dizzy. I'm glad that is over!" it was really funny because no one knew who he was. Then in sunday school he sat in the front row. we were talking about the martyrdom of the prophet and he simply asked "who is that? Because i don't know anything and these two missionaries are going to come by my house and tell me everything and i want to know now." someone told him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. he then esponded "Wow, i can't wait to read this book. i'm on fire!" then, as the lesson continued, someone said that they love the book of mormon because it answers all of their questions. His hand flew up and he asked "excuse me, but how does this book do that?" when the question was answered, he responded "Oh, this is a good book, i can't wait to be baptized! but, my mom said that once i am a mormon i can't go to any other church, can i go to other churches?" the teacher said that you always have your free agency but he would only want to come to our church because it was the only true church. "How is it true? and how do you know?" the teacher told him it is the same church that Christ established when he was one the earth. "That's amazing!!!" omar turned to me and he is getting baptized on sunday!!!!

2. The Rivas family accepted a date as a family last week, but did not show up to church. We have tried to get a hold of them and visit them, but we can not get into contact with them. It is so disheartening to see this in such a young and special family, I don't know what's going on in their lives, but they need to come to church and partake fully of the blessings that baptism and the Atonement offer all of us.

3. We were teaching this man named Alberto. He came to a ward FHE and loved the people. But, when we went to visit him on Saturday he gave us the drop talk! I couldn't believe it. He was progressing, he had a baptisimal date and he was set to go, but then all of sudden he was telling us that he doesn't trust us and that he is looking for the truth. It broke my heart because THIS CHURCH IS THE TRUE CHURCH!!! but, the Spirit was not their in that session because of what he was saying, and he was kinda rude to our member present. Maybe one day I will know what is really going on in his life, but for now I am really confused and sad that he rejected the truth that he so despeartely is searching for.

4. We met this other family, the Expositos, they are pretty promising, but they lead very busy lives, so it might be hard to teach them. But I know they felt the Spirit when we taught them about the First Vision and the need for a Restoration.

5. Our investigator pool is looking a little dry. We have been going through all of our contacted people and checked up on them, trying to find those escogidos, but rejection is becoming the common thing in our searching. That's ok, we're looking for those who are ready to listen to our message and change. the others who reject us, vehemently even, are having seeds planted. Sometimes it is hard to see so much rejection. But, as Omar said it, "If this is the true Church why are there not more members? Or why do so many people hate Mormons?" The answer that I gave him was that because it is true, Satan fights really hard. That doesn't stop us, it just shows that we have to work harder. He liked that answer, and he still wants to go on a mission. And I don't blame him. Though there are doors slammed, or angry, hateful words spoken towards us, there is no better job or calling in all the world! The Lord has allowed me to see the joy in the work though the fruits of our labor are not always evident.

Ok, those are my thoughts, there are a lot of them.
Love love love
Hermana Barros

ps, the pictures, if you get them are as follows. A picture of Sister cCane and I with omar right outside of the chapel on our fun adventure to Miami beach to go to a single's ward as missionaries. fun times. ok, funny fact--sister crane and i were in the same ward at BYUI and we know a lot of the same people. she is sooooo fun and i love having her here for a few weeks because sister Fiala is doing a mission tour and sister crane is filling in for her. we have had so much fun. like eating crepes at a cool little crepe shop here in town. the picture is of my and my companion eating our crepes full of meat and chees. we did it in honor of proslelyting monday (because it was a holiday we had p-day today instead of yesterday). then there is another picture of...Omar standing in front of the chapel showing you how close the chapel really was to the water. mostly this is a bragging picture because, i mean, WOW!

i love you all so much. the letters you send are wonderful. mom, i am not mad in the slightest about the amount of mail. it is just great to get anything. oh, my PPI. President hale is so amazing. He is like Bishop Perkins. He comes out and says what he is thinking, and sometimes it comes out wrong in some opinions, but mostly, it is the right thing to say. he said some really cool things, but my favorite thing was that he told me that he was very glad i came on a mission. he said that he doesn't just say that to anyone, and not to every sister (though he loves and favors the sisters more than anyone else, it's a wide spread rumor that persident favors the sisters, and at zone conference he said, yes i do, now get over it!) but he said that he and i are going to be great friends and that we will get a lot done and that i will be training a lot sooner than i think. ok, president, bring it on.

ok, love love love

You had the grace to hold yourself while those around you crawled...

Exerpts from my letter to President Hale

Fierce Finding was very exciting. It was fun to go around different parts of Hialeah and contact, with the member’s help, as many people as we could. It was tons of fun, and doing a singing program with a short message in between really invited the Spirit into the homes or doorsteps of those who we had a chance to talk to. Then, we had a movie night out on the lawn in front of the chapel. We showed “The Testaments” with a projector and everyone sat on blankets or chairs eating popcorn and watching the movie. Every one of our progressing investigators was there with their families. It was really great! They put forth an effort, and when one of your investigators does that, there is a special desire to get them to do more and more until they are being baptized and then going to the temple as a family. One of our investigators, Omar, has been giving us a pretty difficult time trying to get him to go to anything. He came to the movie night, with lots and lots of questions about the Book of Mormon. His questions were sincere and I was blessed enough to be able to answer them sufficiently to satisfy his curiosity. I think he has a friend who is anti-Mormon, but Omar is slowly figuring this whole thing out. Last night we invited him to go to an FHE with another family tonight and before I could finish telling him what it was, he said he would go. He didn’t even know what he was committing to, but he made the commitment. Next step is church. We’re thinking that the Single’s Branch would be good for him. So we’ll see how this week goes for Omar.

One thing I learned is that we need to find the people who are willing to make the commitments and change their lives now. This is hard to do, dropping investigators, but some just want us to preach so that they can feel good, but they really don’t want to change. Yesterday Sister Halversen showed me the power of being bold. We have been teaching this family for a while but they just aren’t progressing. Finally I told them that baptism in our church was special and different because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the only true church in the world. They stopped me and said that they didn’t know that they could believe that. I told him that if he prayed, with a sincere desire to change, then he would get an answer. It was so amazing to testify and to be bold. We were not beating around the bush. I felt that I needed to tell them that without baptism in Christ’s church, then they would not be able to receive the blessings of the priesthood in their home, or go to the temple to become a forever family. I think they got the message that this is not a church full of spectators, but full of those who get off the bench and play the game. It was a very cool experience for me.

Items of business:
1. my address in FL is as follows:
Hermana Michayla Barros
7951 SW 6th St. Ste 110
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33324

this is the mission office, but all the mail gets to me. this will be easier because no matter where i get transferred i get the mail. also, Kacey, if you are the one in charge of forwarding this, please make sure Tara and Sarah are getting it. Tara mentioned not getting it, so if you could remedy that, i would love you forever, though i already do.

2. i need my piano music, churchy stuff, sent to me. President and Sister Hale have asked that i get all of my music sent so that i could share my talent with everyone. plus, i would just love having it with me. So, i think kacey has some, and the family has some. could you collect it all and then send that to my address? Also, tori, i put you in charge of making me a CD. are you still doindg that? I just need a few fun CDs of church music and soundtracks and anything uplifting because we only get to listen to CDs and MOTAB is getting old.

3. did you get my pictures from the last email? If not, i need to know so that i can send you hard copies in the mail.

4. mail takes about a week for me to get, so, if you need to know anything fast, it will at least take a week. but really, i can't imagine anything that you'd need to hear about from me really quickly, unless someone is pregnant, getting married, or getting their mission call, which means i would just have to wait for snail mail anyway, or you could email me and i'll check it monday. you can send little emails if you want, just nothing too big or time concuming because i only get an hour to email you, president, and anything else i need to get done on the internet (approved sites only, of course)

5. someone asked what we do to prepare for hurricanes. we do the following:
a. we buy lots of canned food and jugs of water every p-day so that we can store it. when a hurricane hits, we have an evacuation plan, but sometimes we just need to stay inside, so we, little by little, buy supplies that we can live off of until we can go outside or until we are moved out.
b. we never lte our gas in our car go lower than half way so that we have enough gas to get us to a safe place, or up to the mission home, or wherever we need to be. this is the rainy season, and it does rain everyday, but nothing like i imagined. it is kinda weak sauce some days. sometimes i feel like we need to swim from our car to the apt. because it is so crazy outside. but we've never been in danger of anything. plus, if you are obedient, you shall not fear.
missionary work is hard (this is not a hurricane thing, it is just some of my thoughts)!!! asome people just use as as "the feel good police" as i call it. they have us come over and preach the good word of God to them, and then they do nothing to change it. then they say something like, i have jesus in my heart, yet they are unwilling to do anything about it. so, what does it mean to have jesus in your heart? to me, it means walking the stright and narrow path, repenting, or getting back on the path when we fall, and helping others on their way. it is not just saying that Jesus is with me. notpe, for to be able to say that means you have to do something about it. so, my encouragement to you all is to get in the game and help others on their way. which means not yelling at seminary teachers, or sitting idly by, wasting time, waiting for someone else to do something good. take the first step. that got a little pulpit pounding, but, you know it is coming from me, and i'm just telling you things that i just barely figured out for myself.
love you ao very much. grateful to have you forever because eternity would be pretty boring without my peeps!

love love love

hermana barros

First week here = hot hot hot!


We are, once again, at a stand still. i have yet to receive mail from any of you all. how sad sad sad. but, that is how it goes. i am so busy here. the mornings go so slow and then the nights fly by. this is my new email address. here is my day, kinda.
i wake up at 6:30, which is not anything new, except it feels like 4:30 Utah time and then i find myself very tired. we then go run around our block, which is fun because it feels like running in a sauna. but i am so tired so i don't feel anything. we just run for twenty minutes then i do a ten minute yoga session.that's my favorite part because it keeps me awake. then we get ready and start personal study by 8. we live in a two level condo with three bathrooms and two bedrooms. we put all of the beds in one room to make one giant bed, which sounds interesting and not like something i would like, but it is pretty ok and fun. then at the end of the night, the four of us hermanas all go around the room saying te quiero porque...but that is bedtime, and i was talking about getting ready. i try to eat breakfast during personal study because it keeps me up. but if i can't then i walk around and up and down the stairs and all around the house and i do laps and it is so much fun trying to not fall asleep. by the time that hour is up, i have fallen asleep at least once and i have gotten a solid five minute nap in.

then we do comp study which is good because we go through the things that we need to focus on so that we can help our investigators. this ward is hopping. there are six missionaries in this one ward that covers a lot of ground. at first when i heard that there was going to be six of us i shuddered, but now i am glad because one set of missionaries could not do it all. last week we extended 11 baptisimal dates, got 13 new investigators, and taught a total of 19 lessons. that is a lot of teaching considering we only teach, really, in the afternoon and evening. it is hard though because we contact so many people who give us their information and we can't see them because we have others we have to see first. priorities, priorities.

you should see me now. i actually go up and talk to people about the church. i try to listen to what i feel, act on the thoughts that i have and then move forward, instead of worrying about every little detail.our goal for this week is for me to feel slightly comfortable on the phone in spanish, which is a very divvicult task because latinos/as speak soooooo fast and very unclear. we also are going to go through all of our floaters, those we have contacted but haven't taught yet, and weed them out and try to find the escogidos. my companion and i have started extending baptisimal commitments in the first lesson. i know ths sounds crazy, but people accept them, plus then they know that that is the point of our message. this is not an idley sitting by church, ni we have to act and that means you can't just have the missionaries over, feel good for the rewst of the day and then go back to doing thigs the way you want to. sorry, but it doesn't work that way. christ didn't teach that way, neither do we. and the cool part is, the spirit tells us to do these things and people, if their hearts are softened, are willintg and ready to accept the dates we extend. then comes the hard part because sometimes they just want to be baptized but not to change. i.e., the santos family. this family is a clown car family. everytime we go there about three new faces show up. they all shout and yell at everyone to come in, they gather aaround us and wait to be taught. the questions they ask are sincere and pure. the trouble is, they don't want to change. plus there is an older brother who is VERY baptist and he kinda poisins their minds with his (i learned it in prison) bible talk. the other day, we went through the baptisimal questions and when we got to Joseph Smith we pulled a picture out for the young kids. well, he couldn't handle the idea of the thrinity being three seperate beings. by the end i just wanted to ask, is it at all possible to even consider that what we are telling you is right? but my companion turned to one of the younger siblings and asked her how she felt. she felt good. the brother wanted to then bible bash. oh, the spirit is going to leave, i thought. but then, we told them that we didn't not come to argue, but to invite and that the only way to know it is true is to pray to find out. he then told us that he prays everynight. and wanted to turn that into an argument.

i was very annoyed, but they all agreed to go to church, we even got members to get them rides. but, they didn't show up. i am ready to give up on them. well, to be quite frank (which is a very popular saying for some of the really religious people here in this community) i wanted to give up on them from day one, but i couldn't do it. now i am really ready to give up on them. i am not some travelling preacher who goes around making people feel good. NO. i am here to invite you to come to Christ and to learn of him and eventually return to live with him. the only way to do that is through baptism and the other covenants that are offered through the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.

ok, positive story time. there is this sweet little family named the rivas. the wife, noemi is a sweet little thing with so much faith. her husband believes, but he has a hard time giving up the drink. they have three little boys, lester, 8, jarek, 4, and jimmy (the devil child)2. they are so sweet and the spirit is always present when we teach them. this last time, however, noemi broke out in sobs. jimmy, her husband, was passed out on the couch because he had been drinking and she had to leave the kids with him in his drunken stuppor. she put on a happy face, but when we asked her to pray she shook her head no, a big first, and started to cry. no one said anything, except little jimmy, who was trying to shove a fourth peice of gum into his mouth and jarek who was telling him to stop. we then taught her the first lesson, with the focus being on joseph smith. we had the boys help us out, hold pictures, and draw in our agendas, just so that noemi could feel the spirit. when we were finished, we asked her if she believed that joseph smith saw God the father and Jesus Christ. she nodded, and then whispered yes, with a smile one her face. we asked her how she knew it or why she knew it? and she said, i don't know, but it is true. Ding ding ding. yes, it is right, yes it is not logical to most, but yes, it is true. she is planning on being baptized, with lester, in two weeks. we were hoping to get jimmy to come along too, but we'll just have to wait and see.

there are so many cool stories. there are so many interesting people. cubans...they are so fun. you don't know a cuban by looking at them because they are all different, black with blue eyes, my kinda white with black eyes, chinos who only speak spanish (we are teaching a chino-cubano family now) and everything else. the people are so fun and funny and willing to listen to the truth. i am blessed to be here now. Hialeah is the best. President said that if he ever had a daughter who served a mission he would want her to be trined by my trainer and sent to Hialeah. he then said that he doesn't say that to everyone. it is a good place. about a half hour from miami, hot and humid with sporatic rain/lightning and thunder storms. (PS, there is lightning everynight and it lights up the whole sky and i love it!

ok, i gotta go.
love you all.
this church is true and i get to be a missionary now in the greatest mission in all of the world!
be good
share the gospel

hermana barros
p.s. everyone loves my last name because i am a white girl with a latin name and everyone has to ask where i am from. people always ask me if they've seen me before. i mean EVERYONE. my first day here three people asked me about it. then, just right now, someone asked me if i was so and so. NO, i am not. i have never been here before. the funny thing is, when i tell people this they don't believe me, but then, without fail, someone else walks up to me and asks if they know me.
i have decided i was student body president in the spirit world and that is why evryone knows me.
so, vote for me, because you already know me.

last email from the MTC

ok, first, the business...

1.i need phone numbers because i get to call home on tues when i am in the airport. my flight leaves at 7 in the morning that day. i was going to call the east coast, aka Brandon and Sarah and then p-town usa, aka Dustin and Tara around 5 or 6. so, i need those numbers. i know its early, but i am calling you anyway, bwhahahahahaha. then, i have a layover in atlanta at around 1 to 3, so i was going to call CA at this time. ps, these times are in the time zones of the areas, so just be there when i call. so, if i could get those numbers dear eldered to me, that would be great, unless you don't want phone calls, then i will call home and talk to dad that early, because i know that he is up at that tim eof the morning. but i am calling home, i am i am.

2. i was wondering if anyone has been watching my banking accounts and making sure everything is being taken care of? also, could you put some money in there so that i could pay for my luggage, a new red skirt (i need it!!) and some new garments?

3. i am sending two packages-one is going to dustin and tara with instructions inside the package. and the other is going home. you can just put the whole box in storage if you want. it is full of letters and memorabilia that i just don't want to take around florida with me so they are going home.

i think that's it.

my companion had surgery yesterday, so she got to call her family twice, which made me a little homesick because, know. so, that is why i sound a little harsh about the calling thing. i just miss you all and i won't be able to do this again until Christmas!!! anyway.

my legis doing sooooo good now that i have a physical therapist. once, while i was waiting for the shuttle, i ran into an older lady from Guatemala, who was so sweet and only spoke spanish. she and i chatted it up and then, at the very end, she told me i had a beautiful accent. i told her she had a beautiful soul for lying to me about that. she laughed at that and then told me to tenga un buen dia. i did! i can't wait to get out into the real world and chat it up in spanish and find those escogidos. i have, though, noticed that i had it really good here at the MTC. i didn't know how good i had it. i got a gym to work out at almost everyday, i got to go to the temple oncew a week, i got to socially interact with other missionaries so much everyday, and i didn't have to do dishes. so, in other words, i am going to miss the MTC, but only a little bit because i am sick of the food and the fake scenarios. i want to get out and teach real people and testify to those who have never heard my message before and feel the spirit on behalf of those i am serving. i am ready and waiting anxiously for this moment. this week is going to fly by, if two of the elders don't kill each other in the process, and some of us learn how to focus when all we want to do is pack and talk about our missions--it is just too exciting.
> i know the church is true. yo sé que esta obra es la obra de Dios y es un milagro. Yo sé jesucristo es nuestro redentor y Él es el Cordero de Dios. José Smith es un profeta de Dios y tenemos un profeta hoy, se llamo Thomas S. Monson. El sacerdocio, o el poder de Dios es en la tierra otra vez. Dios nos ama y quiere que oramos sinceramente cada día. Él sabe todas cosas y todas personas. no necesitamos tener fe cuando el Señor es en nuestro lado. Esat iglesia es de Él. Yo sé estas palabras son verdaderas. Digo estas cosas con amor en mi corazón para todos ustedes. Ustedes son mi familia y mis amigos favoritos.

con mucho amor,

h. barros