Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I LOVE ENGLAND

Good morning from Colchester!! We have seen so many good things happen
this week. Our two investigators that are preparing for baptism, J and
T, both came to church yesterday and they both absolutely loved it.
The ward was so welcoming to them and it was so exciting to watch.
Both of them felt so much love from those around them and from the
Lord. I love bringing people to church when the sacrament actually
means something to them, and the sacrament means so much to both of
them. J is getting his baptismal interview on Tuesday so we are
praying hard! I am so proud of him.
We had exchanges is week and I was with Sister Gade from Fiji. I sure
love that girl. It has been the funnest thing to watch all of the
younger missionaries learn and grow. The England London Mission has
some legends, I learn from all of the missionaries around me everyday.
We have had a lot of really awesome member appointments as well and
have been stretching the Europe Area plan to Bring a Friend. I love
the Ipswich Stake! They are all so on top of missionary work and they
really care!
We got transfer calls yesterday and I will be staying here in
Colchester and training a new sister training leader, Sister De
France! She is from Trinidad & Tibago! I am SO EXCITED!!!! Sister
Abeling will be whitewash training in Canterbury. I am so pumped for
her, I love Sister Abe more than life. Last night we were talking
about how old we are in the mission, don't know how it happened but we
feel about as ancient as Colchester castle.
I have such a strong and undeniable testimony that this church is
true. I see it bring light and happiness to the people of England
every single day. Testifying of Jesus Christ brings more joy to my
life than anything else! We are so blessed. Not to mention, I really
love England. More than I can even say!!

Have a wonderful week!

XOXO
Sister Barnes



Monday, January 8, 2018

We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet❤️

Another lovely week in Colchester! We had an absolute miracle and a
young man I talked with for 5 seconds on the bus before we had to get
off texted us and told us he wanted to learn more about the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!! We were super excited and so the
next morning we were planning on giving him a tour of the chapel. On
the bus ride there we were talking with everyone and just as I
finished giving the man behind me a pass along card, my phone vibrated
and I read a text from our investigator that we were headed to meet,
it said that he was so sorry to hear about our prophet passing away.
My eyes quickly filled with tears and I showed it to Sister Abeling.
When she read it we just both looked at each other and continued to
talk with people on the bus, this time with even more urgency. I think
that of everything I learned from Thomas S. Monson, the thing that
most stands out to me is the importance of listening to promptings and
testifying. I am so thankful for him. Without his guidance and
revelation I wouldn't even be on a mission! It has been a wonderful
week of reflecting on all that he has taught me, as well as testifying
of him. We thank thee oh God for a prophet! It's true!

Have a blessed week!

XOXO
Sister Barnes


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome 2018!

Happy New Year!! I am so thankful for the year that I have spent as one of Christ's missionaries, it has been the best year! And 2018 will be even better, I am so excited for all that the new year will bring.
We had a wonderful holiday season here in Colchester Ward. We spent Christmas with our ward mission leader and his family, he has two little daughters that are so cute and they made Christmas so magical! We truly couldn't ask to serve in a better ward. They love and support us so much and we LOVE them. Our investigators are doing great and we are meeting more and more incredible people each day. I'm so excited to help these people progress at the start of the New Year! 

Alma 7
10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.



I am thankful for our dear Redeemer and I think it is interesting that 2017 has been my greatest year so far, I've come to the conclusion that it's because (well because I'm a missionary and nothing is better than that) but also because I centered my life on Jesus Christ that year more than I ever have before. That is my goal to do the same this year! It will be wonderful. Have a Happy New Year, I love you!!


XOXO
Sister Barnes






Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Happy Holidays!

Earlier this year, President and Sister Stevens made an announcement
at zone Conference that was so special it had everyone in tears, they
told us that they received permission from the Area Seventy to attend
the London Temple as a mission at Christmas time. This Friday, the day
finally came! We had 3 of our zones attend at the same time and it was
one of the best days of my entire mission!
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in the temple with the
amazing missionaries I serve with and with President and Sister
Stevens. It was just incredible. I loved it! I have such a strong
testimony of the temple. We receive so much light and knowledge and
the temple always needs to be in our sights. I don't know what I would
do without it in my life.
We have been busy in beautiful Colchester, teaching and helping the
ward prepare for Christmas. Yesterday we sang "Mary Did You Know" in
sacrament meeting and we are also helping with the carol concert. Lots
of singing! Sister Abeling is one of my best friends and we are both
loving this opportunity that we have to stand as Disciples of Christ
at Christmas time. I am so thankful for Jesus Christ. I will celebrate
Him forever!


Merry Christmas!!

XOXO Sister Barnes




Monday, December 11, 2017

All is Merry & Bright

Hello from Colchester! I arrived safe and sound. I am here with my
original mtc companion, Sister Abeling and life is SO GOOD. This is a
wonderful area. Colchester is the oldest town in England. Just think
about that for a moment. There is literally nothing cooler than this
place. I try really hard every day to not completely nerd out over all
of the history here. I was on the bus my first day (not a double
decker red London bus how weird) and I was talking to this man and he
was like, "oh yeah! See those bullet holes in that building right
there? They're from the 16th century." Things like that every day.
There is a University here and so we teach a lot of Chinese students
on campus and it's soooo fun! We also taught an American and we have a
family that is originally from Cache Valley in our ward, I haven't
talked to Americans in so long that it doesn't even feel normal!  We
have the most amazing ward known to man. Seriously, they love the
missionaries and fight over having us over. We had an awesome ward
Christmas party on Saturday that Sister Abeling and I helped out with
and it was so awesome!
Yesterday, my first Sunday in Colchester, it snowed. And they
cancelled church. It doesn't snow that much in England and the country
really isn't equipped for it and so it is absolute mayhem when it does
happen. We traveled on the roads with the Elders and helped people
get their cars out of the snow. We went to all of the members and gave
a spiritual thought before the Elders administered the sacrament, we
shoveled driveways and just did all we could to serve. It was one of
the sweetest days of my mission. I'm so thankful for the opportunity
that we had to just go out and work and touch so many people with our
actions. This season really does emulate the spirit of Christ, that is
why it is such a special time of year. Let us all focus on our loving
Saviour and the joy that He brings to our lives!

XOXO

Sister Barnes



Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas in Colchester

Big news! The Lord is taking me out of my home for 6 months, Ilford, and sending me off to Colchester! I will be reunited with my MTC companion, Sister Abeling!:) I am so excited! But it's so hard to leave Ilfordstan behind, I truly am going to miss all of the Africans and Indians here. I will always consider this my home. I have never loved so many people this instantly and this much! The friendships that I've made will last a lifetime. I am so lucky to have spent so much time here! And I'm so pumped to serve in Colchester! The members told me that it is an ancient old Roman town and there's a big castle here. Also the story of Humpty Dumpty originated from Colchester. Cool stuff. I may go into shock because I haven't served so far from London since the beginning of my mission. And I will have to go back to the most cynical people, but I  love them anyways. . . . ENGLISH PEOPLE! Dun dun duuuun. Man I am so excited!!!!!! 
We had the best day on Saturday because our sweet 9 year old investigator was baptised. I LOVE her so much. Her mom was baptised when I was here in August and now she has made that decision for herself. I love and admire her so much! We had all of the Portugese members here to support her! It was the most beautiful day. The spirit was so strong. 
I love you all so much. Happy December! 

1 Nephi 7:12 
​Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all ​​​things​ according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise ​​​faith​ in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

Remember to Light the World! 

XOXO
Sister Barnes








Monday, November 27, 2017

The Sweetest Sunday

Hope everyone had the best Thanksgiving! Mine was amazing. We gathered
with the amazing Stevensons, members of our ward and they made us a
traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. (With an English twang;) I
am so thankful for the people that I have the opportunity to serve.
They are incredible!
We had Stake Conference yesterday and it was one of the best
experiences of my life. We got there and President and Sister Stevens
were going to speak, we had investigators and recent converts with us
and all of the missionaries in the zone were there. It was one of the
most spiritual meetings I've ever been in. The Romford England Stake
has so many amazing converts who would do anything for the Lord.
Sister Sanchez and I were sitting in the back with the people we had
brought. One of the speakers started talking about missionary work.
All of a sudden he said, "And we would like to invite some
missionaries right here, right now to come up and bear their
testimony. To tell us why they came on a mission. If we can invite
Sister Barnes and Sister Sanchez, please come up."
My sweet companion and I slowly got up and went to the front. Sister
Sanchez bore her testimony first, after she was done I pulled her into
a big hug and then went to bear mine. I've talked at a LOT of meetings
in church but this time it was so different. I have never been
speaking and had it be absolutely silent and that is how it was. It
seemed like time stood still and the spirit filled the room. Everyone
was paying attention and looking at me so intently and there was not a
sound. I just looked out at all of the people that I love so dearly,
the people that made me want to leave everything behind and serve. It
is a moment that matters so much to me. (Yes, in the picture with
President Stevens those are real tears in my eyes, I've never felt so
much love.)

I want to bear my testimony of repentance this week. I know that there
is no mistake or sin we commit that cannot be 100 percent overcome
with the help of Christ. We are all sinners, we are ALL unworthy at
times, but with the help of our Saviour our scarlett sins can be made
white as snow. I know that just as in Alma 36, the pain we feel and
the shame, guilt, and sorrow that plagues us when we repent, is
replaced with feelings of joy, peace, and forgiveness. I am so
thankful for repentance!

Isaiah 1:18 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Have a blessed week!

XOXO
Sister Barnes