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






Monday, November 20, 2017

Buna!

Buna! Our teaching pool is now filled with Romanian people and I may
or may not be a tad bit fluent in the Romanian language by the time I
return:) With Thanksgiving coming up, gratitude has been in my mind
pretty constantly. I am so thankful for these people that I teach,
talk to, and visit with every day. I am so blessed to be here. It
really is true. Serving a mission is the best decision I have ever
made!
This week we had a great exchange with the Cambridge sisters! They are
so cute. Sister Murakane is from Hawaii and so she taught us how to
hula dance. I was with Sister Robertson and she is such an amazing
missionary. We had so much fun street contacting around the Christmas
tree they put up in Ilford. It was so fun!
We had one of our Romanian investigators come to church with us and
then some members invited him to have lunch with all of us. When they
out the food down in front of him everyone was laughing and having so
much fun and he was so happy he almost started to cry. It was so good
to see. I hope we can all pay attention to the small details of our
lives that bring us joy. There is so much to be thankful for. I love
you!

Isus este Hristos!

XOXO
Sister Barnes












Tuesday, November 14, 2017

War Stories

This week started off with zone Conference in London, Sister Sanchez
and I gave a training about becoming the message and it was so fun to
be with all of the other missionaries and President. I was reunited
with Sister Campos, my daughter, and her trainee. I'm a grandma! Give
it five months and I'll be the mother of all Brazilian missionaries in
the ELM. We heard a lot of really inspiring messages and it was a
great day.
We had exchanges this week, I was with Sister Ståhlberg from Sweden
and then Sister Ikavesa from Tonga. Both good exchanges and great
sisters. I'm thankful for them! We celebrated my one year mark running
around Dagenham and teaching people like crazy. I love this area! We
had a Remembrance Day service yesterday and we have had dinner
appointments every night so I've been hearing sooooo many war stories
from all of our old veterans.
Our investigators are doing so well. I truly am thankful for the power
of fasting and prayer. That is real stuff! I love this Gospel with all
of my heart.

Sending my love!
XOXO
Sister Barnes














Monday, November 6, 2017

That would be a privilege!

This week we had exchanges with the sisters in Romford, they are in a trio so I spent the day with Sister Mühlbauer and Sister Strate, the German duo. We had so much fun! We went to see a referral from the Grays Elders, they baptised a girl this last month and her sister was interested in learning. When we got to the house we had a really good lesson and she is one of the most prepared people I have EVER taught. I almost didn't even know what to do. When we extended a baptismal date to her she just looked me dead in the eye and said, " YES. That would be a privilege!" We went over to her house the next day and her 8 year old daughter wants to get baptised too. They are helping each other to live the word of wisdom! There are so many people here who are willing to accept the Gospel it makes me cry.
We had MLC earlier in the week and it was awesome! As per the usual. This Sunday they had no nursery workers and so the ward panicked and they locked me and Sister Sanchez in a small room with 3 little African children for 2 hours. It went very well as you can see:) 
I will approaching my one year mark this week and it feels unreal, I am so tremendously thankful for my mission in London, England. Always will be! 

Alma 26
11 ​But Ammon said unto him: I do not ​​​boast​ in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my ​​​joy​ is full, yea, my heart is brim with ​​​joy​, and I will rejoice in my God.
​​​​​12 ​Yea, I know that I am ​​​nothing​; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will ​​​not​ boast of myself, but I will ​​​boast​ of my God, for in his ​​​strength​ I can do all ​​​things​; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.


XOXO
Sister Barnes 





Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Feliz Halloween!

It's going to be a short email for a long and awesome week! First
thing first, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Since they don't celebrate Halloween
very much in England, yours truly took matters into her own hands and
orchestrated a huge Halloween ward party. It was SO fun! Our amazing
ward came to support and a lot of investigators came! I love this time
of year!
And my new companion is Sister Sanchez, she is amazing! She is my
Spanish twin! We have had an amazing week! So sorry that I don't have
time to write more, but I want you to know that I love this work and I
know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. He is with us always!

XOXO
Sister Barnes