as most of you know, last week was transfers. i stayed in my area but also had another area merge into mine. so, where there was once two companionships, there now is only one. What a great week we have had here in Hollywood!!! there have been a lot of changes in this barrio. there used to be 9 missionaries here, only three of them stayed and three new ones came in. one of the ap's came and is jr. companion to our new District leader, Elder Bacon. Elder Bacon and I served in Hialeah 2 transfers ago. He and i are the same mission age. he and i are great freidns. he really respects me for who i am and what kind of missionary i am and he is so stinkin' hilarious. he and elder isom, the old AP are revelatory giants. they try so hard to always receive direction from the Lord. They have also inspired me to do the same. I have been given a great companion. In the last 5 days we have had some truly revelatory experiences. I don't know why i was chosen to be here among the noble and great ones, but i am so glad i am. but, not only are they great and so inspired, i feel like i am one of them and that i truly do belong among these giants. so, i guess i just answered my own question. i am here so that i can learn and grow and i can help others. This group here, though...man!!! noble and great. AND we are all on the same page!! we have been talking about things and then someone will say something and i will say YES, i've wanted to do that from day one here in Hollywood. YES!!! we all want to change things around, wake up this flojo barrio, and we are all willing to work to see it it happen. our first change was to get rid of dinner appointments. here is the reasoning behind it. We are not allowed to eat in a members' home without an investigator. well, those latin mamas who just want to feed the poor missionaries as their service to the missionary effort have started making us food and then giving it to usin plasticos. drives us nuts because we have to dr0op everything to go and pick up the food that they probably couldn't afford anyway. i don't...the food thing was getting way out of hand. plus the missionaries before have tried to be buddy-buddy witht the members, but let's be honest...that does not build trust. trust comes when a missionary works hard and has Christ like love and a true desire to serve the Lord. the members have gotten lazy and we need to wake them up. this has done it. this whole experience has opened my eyes. i mean...my worth is not based on how many people in the ward love me, or if i am in the popular crowd or not, or if i know everything that is going on in the ward. NOO!!! My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, member or non member alike. I don't have time to waste on getting in weith the in crowd. please, i am not in high school. so, this week we have had to painstakingly dismantle the unrighteous traditions of the missionaries from the past. it has been rough. some members are so mad at us, we even made one member cry (not because of the food thing only, but because she isn't even living some of the basic commandments). Please, all who are within the sound of my voice--keep the commandments. Wickedness never was happiness!! NEVER!!! oh, and the law of Chastity is called a law for a very good, brilliant perfect reason. it keeps you from destroying yourself.
I love my companion. She is so strong. She tries so hard to listen to the Spirit and say the things that need to be said to those who we are teaching. and then she says it. she is so bold, i just sometimes sit and listen to her teach and think that one day i might be half as bold as her. then she will turn to me, after the lesson, and say that she loved how i taught with the Spirit. I didn't even know, but when she says that, it all makes sense. it is so wonderful to work with the Spirit and to say the things Christ would say. We don't have time to beat around the bush. we have been roommates ever since she entered the mission field, since septemeber. now we are companions. because we have had so much time together we don't have to play the stupid get-to-know you game that every companionship needs to play befopre truly becoing successful. we just get to move forward.
We have been studying the scriptures int he car, discussing the doctrines of the gospel as we have any spare time. we have learned so much. we will learn something in our companionship study, then when we get together as a unit, someone from another companionship will pull out a scripture, saying that they learned that principle/doctrine today and then share the same exact thing we had studied too. I love revelation like that. and then, when you taste of the fruit of revelation then you don't know how you ever lived without it, nor do you want to live without it. and we MUST be diligent!!! which i have come to believe is repenting constantly and making sure that your life is truly in line with the Father's and make corrections as soon as possible and whenever possible. so, that is our companionship goal, to be diligent in all things, all things. all things.
we just had lunch with our unit. and we all just sat around discussing the things that we need to do to have faith, repent...all those things that are essential to our eternal well being. it was such a great conversation, especially with baleadas (the food from the goods via honduras). at one point i just felt this imense love for everyone sitting at the table. then one of the elders stated "i love you all so much! Everyone is so willing to work hard and work with the Spirit. That is what true unity is." He said eveything that i was feeling right then too. it was so cool. my heart has truly been changed and i feel love for so many people. itis so overwhelming, especially when they slam the door in my face or make fun of me, but i really do love so many people.
oh, we had Christmas Conf. this last weekend. I was put in charge of the music. i was so glad it was over. it was too stressful for me. but, after the conference we got this really cool meal and every missionary was there. anyway, i say next to elder ball from my MTC district. then all of my favorite people came and sat down at the same table. it was so amazing. i felt so much love. one elder even pushed his way in between an elder and myself because he wanted to talk to me and see how my new area was going. it was so cool. that is what the celestial kingdom is going to be like. after a long hard job we'll all get to rest for a bit and see and talk with all of those we work alongside and those we have truly come to love. so, for christmas, i want to invite us all to be worthy to sit at my Celestial kingdom table because i love you all so much and there is no other family i would rather be with and eat dinner and discuss the mysteries of the universe (which won't be mysteries anymore) than those who have the last name BARROS, for the time being. whoever else gets this email, you too are cordially invited.
with that, i sign out.
talk to you later
love love love love love love love love love
oh, so the song choice is dedicated to my celestial kingdom dinner party and also to dustin--a big shout out to no longer being at the OG. put that service to the test suckahs!!!