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.