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.