Friday, November 20, 2009


We've been bugging Michayla about what she wants for Christmas, so she sent us this. Mom thinks we should coordinate, so reader beware!!! Someone has already claimed the gift of a bag....

ok, another miracle. those CD's i asked for, one of my roommates had them all so i am going to make copies of them, so you don't have to worry about those. but i would love the following--
1. Jospeh Smith, the prophet of the Restoration soundtrack. someone said it wasn't out yet, but it is on my wish list.
2. Gladiator Soundtrack
3. Some of the music on my computer, the soudtracks from Finding Neverland, The New World, Road to Perdition...just the stuff i have on my computer
4. I need a new bag, the one i am using now i got in the free bin at the MTC and it is rapidly falling apart. I need a good, smallish, pack. maybe i could just buy one of my own, now that i have money, because i am pretty picky.
5. i do need scripture covers, individual for each BOM or Bible in englsh and spanish because mine are also rapidly falling apart.
6. i can't think of anything else

the weather is perfect. sometimes i wear a cardigan, but not very often. it is perfect, perfect. we get cold if it gets into the sixties. i still don't waer nylons--no need.

thanksgiving we are going to a slew of member's homes, kinda like the gilmore girls who have so many thanksgivings. it is giong to be a treat. we can eat with membres, but only if they have a non-member present after the hour of five. it is so that we can use our prime pros time effectivly. members know that and don't know anyone, so they make us food and send it home to us. we have been eating a lot of hondurean food (i am a honduras magnet--where ever i go there is a new family from honduras. i love them!!!!) on sat we have two appointments--someone is taking us out to lunch, and someone is feeding us dinner--miraculously enough i am still losing weight, evryone keeps telling me that and my skirts are getting smaller.

what does brandon want?

anyway--time's up.

love love love

Monday, November 9, 2009

strawberry fields forever...

or at least summer forever here in FL

It is odd not to start off with "another great week in Hialeah" but it has been another great week. There are a lot of things on my mind as i sit down to write, so i hope they all get out in an organized fashion. Like president said in PPI's, yes this is a very different look for me. I am now in a little place called Hollywood, right outside of Ft. lauderdale, which is funny because my area covers downtown Ft. lauderdale and the coast and the ghetto and...everything. There is so much to see. One day we got lost and then all of a sudden we were on the side of a big canal, full of these $1,000,000 yachts and penthouses/townhouses. No big deal. It was like we were in a whole new world. But because of it, there is a lot of differences too. More money equals less likelihood to listen. Some of these ghetto apartments, full of drunk latins, cost 1,000 dollars a month, and they only have one bedroom and one bath, and they are roach infested (and the roaches here are HUGEEEEEEE!!).

I am also in a three-some. i am with sister felton, a girl from las Vegas who takes the bull by the horns and does her thing. she is only a transfer ahead of me, so it is like two greenies leadng the blind. her spanish is not the greatest, which means that i a relied on for a lot of things. The second of my two companions is Sister Deloya, a sister from Temple Square. She is here for two transfers. She is originally from Mexico, which means her Spanish is good, but she teaches like a Temple Square Sister. She doesn't know how to get to the point or how to end a lesson and move on. This is mainly because she is used to giving tours and dealing with anti's. When people don't have the spirit it is impossible to teach. so you plant a seed and leave. she doesn't know how to do that and it gets frustrating for me. A three-some requires different diplomatic and leadership tactics that we all get to learn about and deal with this transfer. also, because we have so many sisters, they kinda made up an area for me and my two compaions. We split Hollywood Hills North down the middle, we took the "drier" side of the two halves, mainly because Sister Martinez, my old companion, showed me how to find in any situation, so I thought it would be nice to try that out. It has been a little rough, and soooooo different. I have learned a lot already. I am also learning how to deal with two very different companions. The Lord is truly humbling me. I just wish the humbling process was a little less painful sometimes. But, the key to getting over this is to work harder. So, that's what we do, we get out of the car and go contacting in some of the coolest places, and in some of the ghetto-est places, while being safe of course. Then we find someone completely unexpected and the mission feels like a success because i found one of God's children. like yesterday, i saw this girl that was smioking and gardening. she was acting like she was a retired old lady, but she was only 20. i was intrigued and decided to stop. That is one of the joys of being a missionary. when you see someone odd or intriguing you can go up and talk to them and see what they are like. it is harder to do thisas a regular person. anyway i went to go talk to this lady, Rachel, and found out that she has a three-year-old boy. she is about 4'10'' with died black hair and pale as can be. her son, jason is so cute. anyway, she asked if we were Jehovah's Witnesses (we get that lot).
"No, we're not."
"Good, because they don't know how to listen. they just preach and preach and then when they start condeming me, i get really annopyed, but they don't leave because they don't know how to listen."
"no, we're not Jehovah's Witnesses" we then talked to her about her life, well, she told of how she got pregnant and was always willing to find a church, but none of them stood out to her. perfect, because we've got something you might like. She speaks English, so we'll have to pass her off to the english elders (who happen to be the AP's. cool story, one of them had a dream about finding a woman named Rachel. When we told them about her, they got really excited to teach her. It is cool how things like that happen).

this apartment is very different, a lot of different personalities. The ward is also very different, and at times it feels competitive in the worst ways. I feel like the missionaries here need to become unified and all on the same page. We need to remember that we are not here to be in a popularity contest, to see how many, or which of the members are our friends. we need to include everyone and we also need to look beyond ourselves and just serve. I am still trying to figure out what kind of missionary i am, and the process of refining that is a difficult, uphill battle. It is hard to find the balance between loving and lifting someone up and standing on your soap box chastising others. so, i just sit back and think about what Jesus would do. he was so good at everything, i just wish i could be more like our Father in Heaven and remember how to love and serve.

in other words, the Lord has given me quite a few challenges this transfer and i feel slightly overwhelmed, like my talents aren't needed (which is ridiculous, i know). People look to me to see what i will do, how i will react, how i feel about things, and honestly, i am just me. i am a 23 year old girl who is trying to figure all of this stuff out too. i feel really burdened, like i am not quite up for the challenge that i face. but, that is whining. i am done now.

i know that i am blessed to be here, in the best mission in the world. i know that this is an inspired transfer. i just wish i knew what i could do to help others more effectively and how to say the words the lord would have me say. so, now that that is all said, i just want you to know that i will do my very best, and if it is not my best, i will try harder. i promised 18 months to the Lord, and if that means doing really hard, seemingly impossible things, i will do them and i will succeed.

this weekend is sister's conference. an RM sister missionary, married to Shawn Bradley of the NBA is going to speak to us. It will be really good. i'm looking forward to it. i'll tell you more about it next week.

i just thought that that was so cool to hear about kacey's tuition experience. it didn't hit me til now how blessed and grateful i really am for that. and now as i write about it i feel this overwhelming power of love from my Heavenly Father. I don't need to worry about things out of my hands, i just need to be my very best, work hard, and very best. So, He does answer prayers. And He does love me. he knows his missioaries. he knows us as a family and he wants us to return to live with him one day. let us do our very best to live worthy of that. i love you all and need you all with me for forever. let us do our very best to live worthy of the celestial kingdom together. i want to have barbeques up there because our mansions will be next door and i want to be missionaries there too. so work hard, marry good people (which the two boys have already done). i love you all soo much. i really do. mom, go to the templ this week for me. i wish i could go, i mean i am aguiring all this knowledge now, i wish i could go to the temple and learn more and receive that personal revelation. so, would yuo go for me this week? i know it will bless yur life, and i know that i will feel close to you this week. i kinda need that now. i am so weak, i just need you to go to the temple and think of me, ok?

Have a great week,
and i love love love you all,
Hermana Barros

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

come one, come all!!!

to the feast of fools--

This has been a very sad and frustrating week, and though this e-mail is short, i am sending some pictures with it and there will be a lot of mail going out in the next two weeks--i promise.

This week has been very frustrating for me. I have learned a lot of things, so when i train i will teach the things that need to be taught and teach the new mission culture. i read beware of pride this last week and i have been thinking about it a lot. if you read the book of mormon looking just for the word pride, you will find that the Lord is very mindful of our natures to slip into pride and thinking only of ourselves. I have seen the negative effects of pride this last week and so i now know to BEWARE of pride. companions and roommates can teach a lot of things, that is one of the great adventures of going on a mission. but i am excited to move out and experience something new. get a breath of fresh air.

hermana martinez is a great companion. i am really lucky to have been trained (for my last training transfer) by her. she has taught me a lot of things that i think will make my mission something grand. i can't wait to get out and try some of these new things out with my new area and companion(s). hermana martinez has been building me this last few weeks, telling me that i am moving on so that i can help other missionaries learn things and help them grow. that i need to go somewhere else and be an influence for good somewhere else. it makes me sad to leave hialeah and such a wonderful companion, but in know that she will be ready to train a new missionary. she is ready to run with hialeah. and i have a feeling the hialeah ward will soon be splitting. on sunday i noticed while playing piano for sacrament meeting that there was no room for anyone else. and if we grow, which we will because hna martinez and i finally figured out how to use our members (something i am going to utilize in a new place) and the work has exploded for us. and if someone is dropped, or they drop us, it is sad, but then we feel like it is totally fine, we can spend time with those who are ready to be baptized now. yesterday we taught a member referral who is solid. he has come to church a couple of times and is so eager to learn. a lot of our investigators are ready and hungering to learn. that is exciting. also, we got a new ward mission leader who is a return missionary (a Preach My Gospel missionary) who knows what it is like to be a missionary and understands our purpose. this ward is going to explode. it is going to explode. maybe i can help other places explode. my goal for next transfer is to get a baptism (at least) a week. i know i can do it. i have fasted and prayed for it, i know that it is possible and that i can do it if my eye is single to the glory of God.

ok, i might send those pitcures again because i don't know if it is working.

oh, thanks for those lydia pictures--soo cute. she is getting so big and animated! i miss my little friend. and payton--what a goofball! BRandon, get good grades.

love hna barros

oh, p.s. I ate cuban pizza yesterday--best pizza ever. and Materva and Ironbeer--two Cuban soft drinks are soooo good. Why do i have to develop such a love for cuba as i leave?

so, some info on these pictures. some are from halloween--we had a baptism ono halloween too! his name is saul from bolivia. then there is one with a family. this family is my favorite ever. their little boy, who is also in a picture with me, i nicknamed michael jackson becacuse he is a four year old who dances just like the deceased pop star. he and i are BFF's and he only responds to the name michael (or so his mom says). i really am going to miss them, but that is how it goes.

love you
m b