Thursday, April 03, 2008

This couldn't be the last one?

Well, if you remember, we have this less active lady who we have been working with – Sister Pare (Pa-ray, on your knees). She’s only been a member for like, 5 or less years, and hasn’t been to church in over a year. She is just not sure – She knows it’s true but is fighting it so hard. But she promised me that she would go to church at least once before I went home. I was talking to her on Saturday night just to remind her to come. I asked her why she was fighting the spirit so much, and that i wants to see her progress. Sister Pare was sick of people saying that, and that she’s sure she will be fine, and where even does the Bible talk about the Book of Mormon, and what is the first church, and logically it’s either the Catholic Church or the Mormon church that has authority, and all this stuff. It was hard to teach her over the phone. You can’t read them and you don’t have your companion there to back you up, and just all this stuff – it’s not an ideal situation. I was trying to answer her questions as best as she could with out offending her. Then she said, “Come on Sister Barrand, you’re a missionary, you should know this.” I wasn’t sure how to take that, for she was not right I do not know everything but I said little prayer in my heart and the answer came to me for her to open her heart and pray for herself. So I told her that she will only know for herself from God, if she opens her heart and prays about the true church. We ended the conversation her feeling distraught, not knowing for herself. So, Sister Pare got to church a little late and sat next to us (we sit in the back row).

As Brother Bronson got up he was having a very emotional time. He talked about how he can not look at one person in the congregation who has not helped Him spiritually, Not ONE PERSON… He was up there for a good amount of time. we look over and Sister Pare is bawling – using up Kleenex like nothing, and she is saying, “I’ve got to get out of here, I can’t handle this, I have to get out.” So she stands up, and instead of turning left towards the door, she turns right and goes up to the pulpit!!!!!!!! She bore her testimony about how I had encouraged her to read her conversion story, her member missionary and our long talked on the phone asking her to pray to know if the Catholic Church is true. She just knew that this was the true church, and that she has been pushing those feelings ways!!! What an amazing testimony meeting – for everyone!! Everyone knows Sister Pare and her situation, and they love her unconditional. But it did take everyone for surprise when she got up there. It was incredible.

We met this man at the library last week – as Sister Hill was writing her email – I talked to for at least an hour. He said that He went to school to be a priest and worked now but doesn’t get to give very many sermons. He had a lot of questions about the church and I was ecstatic to share with him. I kept telling him all sort of way neat things about the church and General Conference. We made and appointment with him for Wednesday (today). He was really nice, and humble, and seemed like just a simple country guy, with only every other tooth. He seemed really interested – He even took notes as i was talking to Him. His name is Randy.

We saw Him that evening by coincidence – We had been at our apartment writing letters, and were on our way to our dinner appointment and saw him walking down the street by our apartment. We stopped and said Hello. We asked if he lived around here and he did, and we said we did too. SO the next morning as we were studying, Sister Hill looked out the window and saw popcorn popping on the apricot tree, no (April fools) into the parking lot and noticed this car pull up that she didn’t recognize a man who she didn’t recognize either get out of the car and started walking towards our car!! She was watching more intensely now, ready to open the door and yell at Him for doing whatever he was about to do. But He just put something under the windshield wiper and then got in His car and Drove away. She asked me if I would watch her get this paper under our windshield wipers – it was a note from Randy – addressed to Tiana (Hello my first name!!!), saying how pretty we were, and how lucky he was to have met us…because we are so pretty. Then gave a scripture about how it is grace alone that we are saved (Baptists are obsessed with Grace. I think they just like feeling like they can do whatever they want).

Anyway, it was super creepy and really weird and stalker-ish. Our appointment that we made was to meet at the library. We called Him twice to see if we could reschedule to a later time at the church (on Wednesday night when there would be a lot more people around), and he called back saying, “I don’t know why you want to reschedule, the time we have is fine,” etc. and was kind of rude about We explained about our p-day and how it is the only day we have to go shopping, do laundry, write letters, etc, and he basically said he didn’t care. Man, we’ll in a couple hours I guess, what his intentions are (if he really wants to know more or if he just wants to Bash…or get a date).

Sister Hill talked to Westly on Monday – finally. He’s been avoiding us – not answering our calls, and never calling us back. We called Him from Sister Pare’s phone, so He didn’t recognize the number and answered. He basically dropped us. He said that He is just dealing with a lot right now, and that They just found out His Mom has cancer, and that His brother is drinking a lot to cope with it, and he has been driving his brother around a lot, and he got injured last weekend – a lawnmower fell on Him – and He didn’t want to 1) make appointments He kept breaking, and 2) get involved with this church He was pretty sure was true and then not be able to commit to it and do what he wanted to with it.

He also said that, although he is a happily Married man, Sister Hill and I are two very pretty girls, and that He is still a man, and sometimes we might distract Him from the message we are teaching… LOL!!!! I’m sure it was an awkward conversation for Sister Hill. We told Him that we could contact Him in a few months when He might have more time, and that there might be some ugly Elders that could come and teach Him (esp. if they take all the sisters out!), and promised Him that if He took time – any amount – to read from the Book of Mormon, that He would have an easier time with all the things He was going through. People don’t understand. There is never going to be “a good time” that they can go to church. They are never going to “find time” to do the things they need to do, like read the scriptures. They need to MAKE TIME!!!!!!!!! People drive me crazy!
We had an appointment with Tommy at the church yesterday. No call, no show. We waited there forever!! What a bum.

We went to the Beasley’s last Monday for dinner. Brandon, a 3 year-old, was sitting next to me during dinner. He was unusually quiet for a minute or two, and then mumbled something and pointed to my shirt. I asked him what he had said and everybody got quiet and looked at him. “You have boobies,” he said, and then reached over and patted them… LOL!! The whole family started laughing, especially the parents. “Hmmm…” said the Dad, “I don’t quite know how to address this. It’s never come up before.” It was terribly awkward but really funny.

Had an emotional interview with President Cowley. He assured me that my plans are going to work out all I need to do is “keep my motor in the ocean” (pertaining to relationships) and “don’t have too many eggs in my basket” (pertaining to overloading myself). President is amazing. I’m truly going to miss his sense of humor, love and Charity that he brings.Well I just wanted you all to know how much I’ve love being a missionary. I’m not sure how I’m going to take it when I realize I’m not a full time missionary anymore. Throughout the good and the bad I still love it. I have learned so much I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is to follow the spirit. There is so much more to life when you know the gospel and that everyone should have it in their own lives. I know God lives. I know he is our Father in Heaven and we are His Children.

I love pondering on how much we are loved by him. We can communicate with Him through prayer. Prayer is so simple but so miraculous. I know we are answered .I know God loves us so much that he sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ, and accomplish everything for us to return back to our loving Heavenly Father. Only in and through Jesus Christ and His Atonement can eternity be even possible. I personally know the atonement was for me and all mankind. I have felt the heavy burden upon my back and in supplication they were lifted. I know the power of the Atonement is real. I know the Father and His Son appeared as two separate being to the boy Joseph Smith and Restored the fullness of the Gospel. Joseph Smith was called to be the first prophet of this dispensation and laid down his life for us.

Never denying of what he knows to be true. I know he was shown the plates and translated them by the power and gift of God. We are so privilege to have the fullness of the gospel in our homes. I know what the gospel has done for my family and I would love to see that in every family. The Book of Mormon is indeed a true book. I know when I study the scriptures I have the spirit more abundantly in my life. I’m ever grateful for the change that has occurred through out my life and the wonderful spirit of missionary work. I know we have a living prophet , that guides and leads us today. We are so blessed. I will continue on because I know what it can do to ones heart. This Gospel is true.
I love you all so much and CAN wait to see you for at least another week.

Sister Barrand
P.S. Thanks for all the wonderful letters and such, they have meant so much.I’m going to miss it here!

Friday, March 28, 2008

American Gothic - Lancaster's
I've gained some weight and finally became an Elder and had to get a new suit.


Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!!

We were going though some old records and tracting cards and felt good about some names or just addresses, so we tried it out. We meet a bunch of people but we got to teach Timechee, Ruth and Ron. Timechee moved in to her trailer just a while ago and really was open for us to come back and teach, so we did, the lesson was a little distracting with three kids running around but she was very receptive. You should have seen her face when we told her no one get paid in the church. I was lucky enough to be watching her face and trying to read her. She’s excited to come to church and understands why there is so many churches today. She is a Baptist but seem to go to different churches all the time. She totally agreed to read pray and come to church, and I really believe her. She is living with her boyfriend at this time but is planning for the wedding this year or next. She just really down to earth and we’re way excited to share more with her, cause she seems so easy going and accepting.
We meet Ruth just as she was walking by, if it had been one minute earlier we would have missed her. We asked her if we could share more with her and she said she’d like that.

We stood outside in the most perfect sun shining weather to share Joseph Smith’s first vision. To everything we said she wanted more. We were filling all over the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. There was a lot of anti she has read or heard and wanted to know the truth. She was the nicest lady we had meet but didn’t want to be hurt by any religious scheme. Even thought she told us that she could see the light with in us and what we taught. She’s still pretty skeptical and her husbands views don’t help much either. She kinda had us mixed up with the Jehovah Witnesses and didn’t realize that we were the Mormons. She wants time to study and read on her own right now, which stinks cause we want to teach her soooooo bad. She might come to General Conference to hear the prophet’s voice though. Which I can’t wait for!

Do you realize how much goodness you can take in? It so full of goodness you can taste it.Ron English was an interesting religious guy. He belongs to The Church of God of Prophecy, but did not believe in prophecy. He got really stuck on understanding of the Great Apostasy. Basically he said the same thing over and over again to ever question even when it didn’t match. We felt we were talking to a recorder. He thought the Church Jesus Christ established was in hiding for awhile and that there is no authority needed. He wanted us to accept that our church might be lead by man but he wouldn’t accept the fact that his might be or that there is a Prophet of God that actually prophecies. The good thing was he was to nice to even considerate this bashing.
You can never have to many Chastity Lessons so we taught Jackie that again. We even sang her a song about Chastity, it’s one that sister Larsen and I made up. She is so ready for baptism though, we all can’t wait!

Went over to Karen Pare the other day and she had made us some Easter baskets with scrap booking stuff instead of chocolates, it was way nice of her. She mentioned that her cat Morris had been missing from the other night. I actually kinda like this cat cause he was so fat and heavy, but we all know deep down I don’t care for cats and most likely will never own one. But this was Karen’s cat and she loved him. We went out back to call/look for him. Glen her husband spotted him in the middle of the field. Karen knew right then that he was gone. She ran screaming hysterically for Morris, tears were just streaming from her. She ripped off her shirt to pick the cat up with but her husband told her to put her shirt back on, she knelt down hesitating to pet him and frantically tried to cover up the huge whole on the side with intestines hanging out with leaves, and swatting the flies and nats of off her loved cat. It was a pretty gruesome sight it kinda made all meat product not appetizing. We tried comforting Karen as best we could, and she doing much better, knowing that a dog killed him and not someone shooting him.
Well we did some yard work at the Lancaster’s.

We thought we would get the easy job but the Elders did and I actually perspired. I know crazy. Shoveling mulch and trimming bushes. It was nice the eat off the barbequer cause it made me excited for summer. All the Elders did was start to assemble a shed. Bright and Early Easter morning as I was getting ready I looked down and saw a black fuzzy ball on my leg. I tried brushing it off but it was attached for some odd reason. I got a closer look and it had legs! It was a Tick! I couldn’t believe that it was on me, so I calmly called for sister hill. She didn’t know what to think. We took a burning match to Eddie (name of the tick) but the match was to hot for my skin and it was burning me instead of Eddie.

His legs were wiggling when we put the flames near by but he was enjoying my blood way to much. I finally just got some toilet paper and pulled him out head or no head I just wanted him out! Eddie is a tuff little guy I had to pull with some effort. Eddie is still probably alive and still roaming around headless cause he was not in his death bed that we thought we squished him in. you have to give the little guy some credit, it was a good surprise. The Elders scared me even more by telling me they release a toxin that kills you, but I only believed them for a sec. The rest of Easter was great and I loved singing in the choir. I’ve been really enjoying the Hymns when I actually pay attention to the meaning. Hill and I sing a Hymn together every night before we go to bed. Well all the ones we know and that not many, there are a lot that we don’t know. I wonder what our neighbor think? Brother Stitt gave an excellent talk on the Atonement that really was comforting and the Missionary fireside worked out ok. All is well.
Love you all
Sister Barrand, Bernard, Brand, or Ba ba

Oh Mom and Dad if we could go to the temple before i get relesed that would make me very happy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Last Zone Conference
What do you do when your teaching at the church and the lights go out beacuse of a wind storm?
Kristen looks quite manly as a pirate.

PMG= Hot Cakes

Teaching kids is always fun. We got to teach Stevi’s girls that she is watching, the lesson was on how you can made a good Sundae (Sunday) using ice cream as going to church, banana as partaking the sacrament, Chocolate for spending time with family, and the sprinkles as prayer. This lesson worked so well that every time Wynter says a prayer she reminds Stevi that she get a sprinkle. Wynter is 5 almost 6yrs and staying with Stevi temperlarily, sometimes Wynter gets mixed up and call us the social workers instead of the Sister Missionaries.

Zone Conference was really good. All the newer missionaries were call on to teach us all. Sister Hill taught the Atonement and invited the spirit with a smile so well. From that I learned that I need to teach with a smile. Sometimes you just get so caught up with all the other details you forget to do it with a smile.This last little bit we have been handing out PMG provided by the ward out like hot cakes. We are sharing with the members and less actives how important they are and how PMG is for them as well. They seem pretty excited.We went to see Jackie our investigator in the Play “The Secret Garden” and them middle school and high school day came flood’n back. All I have to say is Celeste you are amazing and you were an awesome Lilly and Potifers Wife.

Actually I was waiting for this Lilly to run backwards into something like you did. But I was sadly disappointed. We have had some really good things happen since we have been going to the high school plays. We planned it out when we saw Joseph and the amazing technical color dream coat last week it would be on the night Lenora O’Brien would be there and we could get to introduce her to some members. The show was disastrous but we got Lenora to meet the members. At Secret Garden we meet Jackie’s Step Mom and she was pretty pleasant and we finally meet Blake. Blake is pretty hostile toward the church. He mentioned that he mother said when he turned 18 he could stop going and that’s exactly what he did. We got to get him to read and pray about Joseph Smith. He also agreed to come to church if we went to a different High School’s play. We made the deal but he didn’t show up to church. Everyone was shocked that he actually agreed to go to church, but now we can see why.The Elders mistakenly gave us a media referral that they thought was in our area. We taught / discussed with Jeff and his wife.

Well you could say we politely listened to him tell us that we were going to Hell if he is right and if we are right they are going to one of our heavens. They were very worried about our salvation. This experience was interesting it did not shake my faith in Jesus Christ at all it only made it more apparent that this is the true church and we need a prophet. This guy was an expert of man’s interpretations. Every point that he made rang no truth to me. This whole man’s goal was to get us in there and trick us into thinking that he is interested in what we have to say but turn it around and condemn us to Hell. He told us that the study of religion was a hobby, but depicted every single thing we testified of. We got out as soon as we could and told the Elders they can deal with him if they want. We are fighting now. Just kidding.

I didn’t think it was that bad but it was sister Hill first experience with someone that wanted to bash, so it was a lot to take in.For District Meeting we organized or tried to organize a fire side but there was a whole bunch of options, ideas and feeling and frankly we were getting nowhere until I pulled out the reflective listening. It really works! Thanks to mom our district knows the two fundamentals of life 1. Reflective listening and 2. Split ten!We had a family invite us out to dinner the other night to teach their friend. They warned us of his flirtatious skills, but when we met him he didn’t say anything. He seemed very nervous to meet with us. The encounter with him was similar to the one with Jeff, in the sense that he was talking almost the whole time. But different because I think he really wanted answers, and didn’t just want to ‘save us’. He obviously had had a hard childhood, and a not so good dad. I think maybe he had a lot of anger towards God, but that He is also searching for something more in His life. He doesn’t live in our mission, so we got his name and address, and sent the missionaries to his home, who had just tracted into to him and he shewed them away. Coincidence? I think not.

We have a new investigator that we found tracting. Tom Coleman opened the door right away to us. He knew we had to be good because we are wearing the name of Jesus Christ. We finally got to have lesson one with him. He was so exciting he was on the edge of his seat the whole time. He even asked what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ told Joseph when they appeared to him. He couldn’t even wait. He liked and thought ever thing we share was really neat. He liked the fact that we were on missions not to get gain or tally up all the people we talk to but that we have true desire to teach and serve the Lord. He was a little worried when we were getting his phone number that we were getting something worldly out of it. I was more than happy to say that this work is all volunteer and we desire the salvation of other souls. I’m so thankful for this privilege to serve.I love serving with Sister Hill she’s such a great teacher an amazing companion.
Love you all
Sister Barrand
Can you ask bishop what he wants me to speak on

Friday, March 07, 2008

Together Forever

Carl Jenning's pet Buffulo's. We can't teach him til may but we got to take pictures with really big animals? Majic tricks at the Bishoff's. They gave us real eggs from real Chickens and a cheap huge monster box of Froste Flakes from a Amish Store.
I forget what was so funny but i do remember it being funny.

Oh how I have been loving this work. This has been such a blessing to have Sister Hill here with me. We have been running all over the place like cockroaches when you turn on the lights. We have had some pretty amazing things happened that I’ve yet to experience and it’s only our first week. People think Sister Hill is not older than a thirteen year old but then again people think we look alike!! lol, The rumor is that Pres. Cowley likes to put people together that have the same names; Webb and Webb, Johnson and Johnson, Richie and Frichie (honestly), but there is only so many and none of the sisters have the same names, so he has to put together people that look alike. But honestly, we are very similar; we both have 6 kids in our family, and we are the 4th. 3 boys, 3 girls, we both use the same face moisturizer and went to BYU-Idaho…I.

We even recorded our answering machine the other day and couldn’t tell in it who was who!! Crazy. She’s great though.We went tracting last week and for the most part she didn’t feel comfortable yet, but we got her to take the last house. I’ll tell you the truth I was in the same boat I didn’t know what to say as a greenie either. Sister Hill started, and the lady was really mean and said no thanks and that she wasn’t interested at all. There’s a huge Baptist church around here called “Thomas Road” that a 2500 people belong to. So they always put that one in our face. What ever they teach the don’t like Mormons!!! It is so aggravating; the Baptist, protestant, Lutheran etc. Churches all started because the Reformers were not happy with the Catholic Church. They knew that that church didn’t have the fullness of the Gospel, and that it was corrupt, so they took the pieces they wanted and formed their own churches.

If Martin Luther and all those other reformers were on the earth today they would join our church!! It’s been restored! It’s the same one Christ set up when he was here!! But now they are so long gone that people forget why they had to form those churches in the first place. They are so caught up in saying how wrong everyone else is, and in telling everyone that they are right, that they forget these seemingly small details. It pretty frustrating.For example: Just about 10 minutes ago, when I was writing a letter to Sister Larsen this man looked over the top of this desk that i was sitting in on my letter and asked a couple of questions. We got some sneaky people here. He said that he was a retired Baptist preacher and that we were a cult. He seemed nice enough, but he was telling us that he had learned about Mormons in school, and that we are a cult because 1.) We believed in additional scripture, 2.) we don’t believe that we are saved by grace alone, and that we have to work to be saved, and therefore 3.) We don’t give enough credit Christ’s Atonement. Of course we believe in the Book of Mormon! It’s true!! Christ said that by the mouth of two or three witnesses will his word be proclaimed. And of course we need to have good works! Faith without works is dead!! We can’t be saved in our sins. That is crazy talk! And the Atonement is the only thing we people have that can save us.

We set up an appointment with him and his wife for next Saturday, but I can’t imagine we’ll get very far with him. People like that are not teachable. The best thing we can do when people want to bible bash is to bear testimony and leave.There are other people who are so ready though. In the week since I’ve been here we have received 5 media referrals (people who have called to order a movie or a book of Mormon from the commercials or online), which is rare. We were able to go see two of them yesterday. One was a man named Wesley. He has 7 kids, has been married 3 times, and is looking for more in his life. He says that he is looking for a not-so-showy church and one where the members practice what they teach.

He kept telling us some of his personal beliefs, and they were exactly what we teach!! We gave him a the Lamb of god video, finding Faith in Christ (cause I’m a big idiot and grabbed the wrong dvd) and a Book of Mormon. We told him he could gave personal testimony of the Book and he said “I already believe it.” He has great faith, and hopefully we’ll be able to keep teaching him. The other media referral went really well as well. Both of these people offered to come to church. It was crazy, nobody does that!We had dinner and a movie with the part member less active family the Bennett’s (Pat and Genesia). We had this really good noodle stuff and watched Together Forever.

We thought it would be good cause she had been asking about sealing and she just had a miss carriage. I t went really well and the spirit was strong as we bore unwavering testimonies on eternal families. It was blowing up a storm outside though as it rained and poured Pat Bennett worries about us young girls so much that he wants to build a apartment on his property to keep us safe.Tommy has been really hard to read lately. it seems like he is so open on the phone but when we teach him with a member he so shy and doesn’t say anything. Oh exciting news in the past couple of days we have been finding all these members that haven’t gone to the temple but have thought about it. We are going to get the temple prep class started so these members will progress. That’s what it’s all about getting them to the temple. Do realize the covenants that we make there. They are incredible.
Love you all
Sister Barrand
Hey dad I know what you should do about the fixing that car or not… pray about it. Your Father in Heaven will let you know.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Stevi and us
On our way to Transfers

Sisters Hill and I. We arranged to wear the same color. j/k

The Lord Knows

The Lord really knows. So I while ago in a interview with president he told me that I shouldn’t feel any less of a Missionary because I haven’t trained. He promised me that if I do train that it would be a good experience. I figured with only a little time left i would never train. I was ok with that because it would be a lot of responsibility and stress. And if you know me I don’t like that. So transfer were coming up and everything led to sister peck leaving, not knowing for sure she said goodbye and shared an excellent testimony. She didn’t want to leave at all.

Monday night rolls around and President told me that the new Sister coming in Sister Hill wants to be my companion. Basically the Lord trust me with a missionary. I was shocked usually the new missionaries get two transfers with their trainer so I totally thought I was out but I was honored and maybe felt like I would corrupt this perfect sister. President told me that she needs my happy personality due to her father pasting away last June. Actually her answer was confirmed due to that. On the way up to transfers I was making jokes to how old I am and about to have a baby. So you can add another grandchild. Every time I got a little nervous cause I didn’t know what she was going to be like I would mention that I had morning sickness.

Of course we were late to transfer because of the snowy roads so I missed some of the training meeting, but when I got in there guess who was in there? It was Elder Quillen. Crazy. That was the first time we meet. So dad I found him and we talked about New Jersey, it was great. I met Sister Hill real quick and then introduced her. I said “and God remembered Rachel” cause I’m so old, but I got a big time late reaction. Oh well. I’m so excited. The funny thing is Sister Hill and I have already been told we could be sister. I’m excited to have that greenie fire in full force.

We found out that Sister Hill and Danica went to school together. She made Danica’s Bridal veil and went to her bridal shower. Danica was her relief Society President. This was all too exciting. I love it. We are going to work so hard on getting these people to come unto Christ.It sounds like from being obedient and attending the temple Dave received some blessings. Well Tommy our gator has been reading and praying. We found work in the horse business that we had been praying for. I turn out that there is a member that has a horse to sell that Tommy needed, perfect color and everything. The lord does truly love and know us personally.Had a crazy story to tell you, I of all people was called racist. This African man was totally offended by the pamphlet that we gave him. He said he would read the Book of Mormon but he didn’t like us already.Well I’m glad you got to talk to Don and I’m excited to see him. I love that kid. The work is great and I’m loving it.

Love Sister Barrand

Mom: Happy 35th Birthday you young stunning, beautiful, favorite, much loved, Mother of mine. (on the 2nd of course)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Disappointed but not Discouraged

I have to tell you that just because there are some health issues it doesn’t stop us from the work. We are both determined to help theses people we love. We do have to be careful and not over due sister Pecks body but we get a lot done. The Bishop is actually shocked at the work that we have been doing but makes sure we slow down for Sister Peck. I also have to tell you that the Craven Family that was just this amazing experience cut us off and didn’t want to be Mormon. I know we planted a seed and they will accept it later.

We left the situation on a good note, disappointed but not discouraged. Oh and I’m not sure if I told you but Kathy with the baptism date thought we were telling her what to do with not being able to drink coffee and stopped the lessons with us. This was pretty hard to take because I was planning to give her the new quad that you all gave me. Now we will have to find some more. Which we are doing. Tommy and his Mom, Vera Jordan are doing well. They pretty much believe in everything we are teaching them but haven’t made the commitment to make it out to church.

We are praying really hard that these people will have the desire with in them to know for themselves. I noticed more and more the people just don’t care, they are happy the way they are. Oh but in our scavenger hunts for Less-actives we found Pat Bennett’s wife Genesia Bennett. They are probably in the 40’s to 50’s. You know the funny thing about ages is I cann’t tell anymore. On our weekly reports to the bishop we have to give an ages to each person and I just guess all the time. Sometimes I’m 20 years off. The ward sure has fun with that. This family really gets me cause they have a little baby girl and we just found out she is pregnant again. But anyways we got welcomed in by Genesia and taught her some stuff even though she didn’t have any questions. Pat Bennett was offended back in his teens and still holds on to that and hasn’t been to church in like 30 years +. He gets annoyed with the home teaching calling every month but it put a good impression on Genesia who feel like her church doesn’t even know she belongs.

Every calling is important!! Even home and visiting teacher ( we taught that to Jackie who is counting down the week for her baptism. Yea. Except I don’t like to hear how long cause that is the same time I go home, so I always plug my ears.) Genesia even asks him question and he doesn’t really answer them for her. When we were over there the other night we were kinda teaching Genesia cause she really doesn’t know she is being taught and Pat came home from work. It’s the first time he has been seen by the missionaries or ward member in 20 + years. He looked like he was in his 60’s J/k. He was way nice a polite he even brought up the sealing that took place with him family. This made Genesia spring up and ask questions. We got to teach all about sealing and Baptism for the dead and how Christ taught the people in the spirit world and she looked at Pat and said “I want to be sealed, Are we going to do that?” You see all long we have heard that Pat doesn’t go because he doesn’t think his wife cares but she is the one telling him that they should get back to church. It’s great and they invited us over for dinner.

They even talked about coming back to church. Speaking about church the less active Foster family are pretty good friends with an active family and are going to have family home evening together. They said they are ready to come back fully.Stake Conference was real good and I enjoyed all the talks. It’s made me want to be an exceptional mom and have a great husband that follows those “8 ate’s” I know big dreams. In my studies I found this perfect scripture for Stevi who is alone in the gospel and wants her husband to be progressing with her. I was having this great study about sanctification and found 1 COR 7:13-14. It came to me with out second thought that Stevi needed this scripture I wrote it down as fast as I could and gave it to her the next time we meet with her.

She Absolutely loved it and has been thanking me ever since for a scripture that reassures her that she is doing the right thing and it will be worth it even if her husband is a unbeliever. He will be sanctified by Stevi it she continues to keep enduring. This is one of the greatest parts of being a missionary. Coming across something or saying something that a person needed. I love revelation!!!! I’m so glad it has been restored back in this dispensation. We went on a hike as a zone for Zone p–day and it was literally freezing. I’m surprised I even went.

It was nice to be in the woods walking and thinking about Joseph’s first vision and Christ’s Atoning sacrifice. My thought were more focused on the atoning sacrifice as I knelt down with my companion and watched her shake and cry as she was going through this exscrusionating pain. I felt as the disciples might of, as they watched our Savior go through so much, when they could do nothing. I was hurt in side for how much my companion is going through. It only brings me to my knees for the sacrifice that took place in the Garden of Gethsemane. I am so grateful for repentance and this beautifully simple Plan from our Loving Heavenly Father.
I love you all
Sister Barrand

Happy Valentines DAY!!!or Happy Singles Day!!!!(that's for you Dan)

Dad, I didn’t some yard work! I worked so hard that my forearms were soar the next couple of days; I decided that you should move into a town home so we wouldn’t have to do a silly thing like that. Actually it was pretty pathetic that I was soar all I did was move the split pieces of wood the stack of wood and spread fertilizer. We did get to have a good lesson with their less active granddaughter. She has troubles with believing we are the only true church. It seems to be a very common reason around here. We went tracking on this street that we had felt we should tract and found Tom Coleman. But our first door this big old man came to the door and said “ Oh I don’t believe in your theology and we don’t anything in common, I ‘m a Bible man!” We assured him that we too believe in the bible.

But his response was shut off because he was friends with an excommunicated member. But Tom (the 4th Tom we are teaching) saw our name tags he invited us in. Of course we didn’t go in cause he was the only one home but he was all about showing us his near death experience and telling us his relationship with God. We had a great lesson with him and will try to teach him with some members.You wouldn’t believe it the Foster Family came to church. The whole gang, it was a sight to see. They were so welcomed back and I think they are realizing some good things here. I have to tell you about this Family the Cravens, that were referred by a RM. Kyle the member told to go over to his coach and Spanish teacher’s houses they lived right next to each other so it wasn’t hard to find cause it was down no holler. Actually we live in kinda a ritzy place.

Well we went to the coaches home and the Young’s had moved but Wang was very kind and said we could come back to teach his family. Then went over to the Cravens, She wasn’t quite sure why we were there but as soon as we mentioned Kyle’s name she let us right in. we told her what we were doing and she invited us back. When we went back we had Kyle there. (it helped that he was a good example and a good student) Cause Renée Craven only had nice thing to say. I wasn’t sure how we were going to make it over there during another ice storm but we did. It’s kinda funny cause nobody drives even when there is three snowflakes.

The lesson went so well and it was a family I think I’ve expressed how hard it is to find Families to teach and hear we had Renée and her husband Tom and their two girls. All the focus was on the lesson and there was really none distractions. What was really nice is that they weren’t going off on tangents, but they were intently listening. I felt so great after that. This is why I’m out here to bring families in.Mom thank you for all the valentines card stuff. We have made some to give away and yesterday we took one to a member in a nursing home. He was so delighted to see us and he couldn’t read the card so I offered to read it to him and as I did so I started to tear up. I couldn’t finish what we had written because I knew Christ went thought all this pain that he was going through. I just got the tiniest glimpse of what our Savior has done for us. That brings me to me knees in gratitude. I’m so grateful for the Atonement.
Love you all
Sis. B.
Mom/Dad you will have to tell me more about where these town homes are?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jackie & Ben and the sister us
My second ice storm?
Proud to be an American.
Elder's 6:00 a.m. Popcorn Prank

It's the fullness, that counts

I didn’t want you all to know but I got the worst hair cut of my life! By some member from France. It was all sorts of bad. My companion had the best spot she watched my face to whole time. The lady literally picked up the hair and whacked it off, you should have seen me face. OH well it will grow back.Mom you asked about a PMG ward and that is where the members are reading and applying PMG to their lives. Basically they know they are missionaries as well and we work on the lord work together. We need you just as much as you need us. It’s one big happy family.This week has been interesting. I was over whelmed with love as we were able to watch the President’s Gordon B. Hinckley’s funeral. I know the church is true. What a prophet he was. I’m ever so grateful for the time we have been given to have had him serving, what a miraculous prophet of God. I truly know that our Heavenly Father love us and we can be grateful everyday just knowing that. I love this.S

o my companion has been struggling pretty hard with a lot of things. Mostly with her carpel tunnel, not sleeping at night and not receiving news from home. At zone conference two weeks ago the pain that existed in her arms moved to her upper chest and down her right leg. She had shortness of breath. Carpel tunnel shouldn’t be any where besides the arms. So this was something different. We were both pretty worried and I for sure didn’t know what to do. I wanted to call Sister Cowley but sister Peck was sick of talking to doctors. I knew she was in a lot of pain and the only thing I knew what to do is carry her stuff for her. She is incredible and made the pain seam like it wasn’t even there but she broke down on Sunday. After all the hand shakes to everyone at church and fasting just broke her. She laid in bed and I wrapped her arms up with hot pads.

The elder gave her a blessing of comfort. And she slept well that night. The pain was still there so finally allowed me to call Sister Cowley. After a lot of phone calls, the doctors and the Cowley’s became really concerned that because Dr. Edwards said it could be MS. This was pretty hard to take in. As Sister Peck sat there helpless, I felt the love of our Heavenly Father and assured her that everything will work out ok. She stayed pretty strong, received another blessing and a lot of prayer. We went to the doctors and they are going to try and fix the shortness of breath so they told her that she needs to go off her anti-inflammatory medicine for the carpel tunnel. She now will have to wear some braces on her wrist and soak them in ice water to lessen the swelling. Sister Peck is strong she doesn’t want to go home and will do anything to stay out here.

We will be going back to the doctors soon. On a brighter note we taught all the people in the waiting room. There was one particular lady who was truly interested and asked the perfect question for us to share the restored gospel. I felt the spirit so strong as I shared the first vision. I love when ever we share that, the spirit testifies strongly and the surroundings are put on hold just for that 30 second. What a tender mercy. To bad we don’t cover that area, but we will make sure that she will be taught. Have I told you how much I love this kind of stuff it’s such a blessing to me that I get to do this.

I hope you all know that I know this is the restored Church in its fullness.
Thanks everyone who wrote my comp, she said thanks and she feels more apart of our family then she does her own. It’s a really good thing. Dad thanks for the hand written letter to sis. Peck she loved my silly little corks and teases me now. And mom for the arts and crafts, we will sure have fun with that. Bryce thanks for the email as well. You have no Idea how much this truly means to her and me. Her favorite was the fam picture, she felt so honored to receive that family picture. She is excited to meet you all in person someday. It’s all so good.Thanks mom for the pearls and the strips. “I use them pearls everyday.”
Love you
Sister Barrand

the Lynchburg life

Oh man was that the best Family picture or what, I love it. It hit home for me. My favorite has got to be Dave and that belly shirt hold’n a can, with Jensen also hold’n another can. I love it, thank you for agreeing that we can still have a great family picture. I love you all so much. It’s good to hear from Don. As soon as I tell people that he’s serving out there the pray for him specifically. It pretty neat to see how much care and love they have.

Sister Peck has a brother waiting to hear if he is going over to Iraq.We heard the night President Gordon B. Hinckley pasted away and I was hoping to have heard from him one ore time on my mission but I’m so at peace with where he is at now and I know he’s there with his wife. For all we know they could be having a party up there. He was an true Prophet of God and will ever be remembered by millions. He will never be forgotten his fruits will live on until the coming of Christ.

I ‘m looking forward to our new Prophet and no matter who they call I know they will be called of God. When we found out I thought of Stevi and if she was going to question this whole situation. When Stevi found out she was at peace as well. She loved President Hinckley and all the amazing fruits he grew and accomplished. Now she is looking forward to pray about the new prophet. All is good. Jackie still seizes to amaze me. We asked her about her parent and the support she will be receiving and it is none. Jackie is doing this all on her own. Both sets of parents give her the hardest time and don’t even allow her to go to the young women’s activities. It sad but I see the strength she is the her 4 year old step brother. She found him reading her Book of Mormon on her bed one day. Jackie will be baptized on the 8th of April on her Birthday and that my friend is a tender mercy of the Lord, that happens to be my last day here. I’m for ever grateful for that.So dad had given me the 17 points of the true church on some little cards. I had never studied them or really looked at them and just this week during comp study, we went through them. We thought of a bunch of people who would benefit from this but I have never brought it with me. But I out it in my scripture case that day. We set up some appointment with some less-actives and had a lesson with the Hunington’s. He is the only member of his family of five.

We had a great lesson with his daughter present. I had this feeling of bring out that little card, so I did. It went a little sour because he doesn’t care to belong to the true church but as we were leaving I was putting the card back in my scripture case cause he didn’t seem to care, but he totally stopped me and said he’d like to keep it and study it. I was shocked. The spirit pricks some hearts.You wouldn’t believe how long people can talk around here. We had a lesson with our only black gator and she can talk. She opened us with a pray and we had to reframe from laughing. It was a really heavy duty Baptist kinda prayer. Some of these less-actives drive me crazy they really have no excuses but they seem to come up with some good ones. Like “but church is three hours”, “I have to eat before I put God first” and “I’m burnt out”.

So our apartment was smelling really bad for the last three weeks and it was getting stronger of stench ever time we turned on the heat and nothing could mask this horrible stench. We tried airing out the place but the dreadful smell would come back. It was beginning to be hard to live in the place. We called the manager and left a message that there was a rotting animal in the vent. He was over the next day and fixed the problem in like two second. He put water down the drain and the smell went away. The smell of sewage is not pleasant every time you come home and try to plan but now I can breath fresh clean cotton. And I’m ever so happy.

Mission life is not all flowers and roses. Sometimes there is sewage.Zone Conference was really enlightening. I wish I could see Elder Barrand up there teaching me. We had a detailed lesson by Elder Lincoln on cars. We found out that we as the West Virginia Mission is the worst Driving Mission on the face of the Planet. Pretty funny uh. We are doing better as a mission but we are the worst . he he.Just to let you know Tommy is coming along he has already read 16 Chapters in the BOM and we didn’t ask him to. He feel good about it and is praying about Joseph Smith. We are excited for his progression.P.S. I like turnips. Had my first last night and it was good.
Love you all
Sister Barrand

I love Joseph Smith

Had some really neat experiences this week. The other morning I got this specific prompting to go tracking and to teach ten lessons. Now ten lesson is a lot for one day in this area. But I had a great feeling about this so I turned to Sister Peck and said we have to teach ten lessons today. So we went out and did. It was amazing, I loved every second in the cold snowy weather. We went tracking and found a new investigator named Tommy. We also found the less active family the Fosters. It was incredible how rewarding it was to follow that prompting and feel the spirit. The fosters are struggling with faith, I’m afraid he wants proof because he is a scientist but the ward is great and will help out in any way. We had a member come with us the next time and she boar her testimony simply but beautifully. We stressed how important it is for their two young girls and their new born to grow up in the gospel.

The Fosters took it all very well and are going to try to make it out to church. We also found out he was a hair dresser, so there so many tender mercies that are helping us bring these recent converts back to activity. So we have been teaching a recent reactivated member Stevi, She is amazing but still struggled with prophets and Priesthood due to a bad experience with her bishopric about 30 years ago. So we all have been working together to help her out she knew her testimony would come if she continued doing the right thing. Well on Sunday we had the most spiritual sacrament talk on Joseph Smith along with a musical number. I could not hold back, the spirit rung so deep into my heart of the truthfulness that we teach. Relief Society was also on Joseph Smith. Then in our lessons with Stevi we happened to be in the first lesson when Joseph Smith received the first vision. After all this Stevi looked up and said “ I think I received my answer.” She had been studying, searching and praying about this and it came to her. She realized how she always needs to do this. It was pretty neat to see that change in her.

So we had a kinda crazy reaction. We went to a part member home the moons. The son Michael was out side and told us we could go to the side door to talk to his mom. On the church records we knew that the father and three sons were members. But we call everyone sister and brothers, so we called his mom sister Moon. She was not very happy and said her husband was not interested neither was she. She kinda had this attitude of resentment. We prolonged the conversation and she totally opened up and let us her in her home. She told us all about her 22 year old son who committed suicide and her excommunication of the church. It was a complete change of spirit from the time she opened the door and by the time we left. We bore testimony and she bore hers as well. She even thanks us for our sweet spirits. It was incredible how much she still had even going thought all that she went through.

We will defiantly will go back and show her the love and support that she needs from members. I love new companion they always bring something new to the area.

Love you all
Dad: what dose this translate to: Ofa Lahi atu?Dad I’m excited for your two new callings. That will be great , just helping everyone. Your chocolate dessert sound delicious. Hate to say it but some times I feel like I’m teaching deaf/mute 10 year old boys. But the spirit is there and that is the teacher.
Crazy things will be different when I get home. It’ll be sad to have a different stake President. Actually I need to know that information about all that and tell the office so they can have the right information.