Monday, March 27, 2017

At Least the Food Was Good

I've learned a thing or two this week, you know those mission
nightmare stories where they hold a baptism and the person being
baptised doesn't show up? Well my friends, that is not just a horror
story. . .that is my reality. We held a baptism for R on Saturday, he
had fought a long hard battle against Satan and was so solid and
excited for his baptism. We told him to be there early, we got to the
chapel, all of the members came, there was tons of food, we handed out
programs, the person baptising him was dressed in white and ready to
go, and. . . he just never showed up. He told us he was on his way and
then we never heard anything back. The members just decided to have a
ward brunch, they were super sweet and way understanding, and then
everyone slowly left. It honestly was alright and the food was
delicious. Also, R hasn't been in contact with us and we still don't
know what happened. I lowkey feel like I'm living in a Nancy Drew
mystery novel. He was going back to Africa for a few weeks in a couple
days so I'm thinking at this will just be one of those things I wonder
about for as long as I live. The world may never know!
It was a very beautiful Saturday and the sun was actually out, so me
and Sister Benson went to a park and took a lot of pictures to cheer
ourselves up. We were kind of in a huge daze. I love my companion so
much. Like SO MUCH. Maybe I should just marry an Asian because my
mission has taught me that I really love having an Asian sidekick.
Even though Sister Benson's super American just like me:) It was way
windy and she somehow mangled my English Humidity Afro into the
coolest looking bun. And we made each other laugh and got right back
to work. While we were in the park talking with people we ran into our
other investigator! The one with loooooong black dreads, who is
awesome! We took a picture with him earlier in the week, and he is
doing great. This week was really good for us in finding new
investigators, we found plenty! No matter what happens, the Lord's
hand is always so evident in this work. I love the people of Watford
so much and I'm thankful to be serving here. We are heading to Harry
Potter World in a few hours and I think I could die of happiness. Love
you all oh so much❤️🇬🇧

The Lord is always on our side!
Sister Barnes

Monday, March 20, 2017

Praise to the Man

It was a hard working week! The best kind. We had exchanges in
Hatfield with the STL's, Sister Soulier and Matthews. They are so
great and I really love their area Hatfield, it's such a nice place! I
was with Sister Matthews for the day, she's from South Africa and this
is the last transfer of her mission, she seems so old and wise to me
haha. It was really good, I learned a lot!
We saw so many miracles just like we always do. No matter what happens
each day we are blessed with so many tender mercies. God is so good.
All of the time. One of my favourite things is tracting but we don't
do it often because it's usually not as effective here as street
contacting, however so many awesome things happened because of it this
week!! We followed up and went back to some houses that we have
already visited, we had a couple really good conversations with people
and set some return appointments. As we were walking up this one
street, we ran into this really nice man who was asking us questions
about the Atonement. He was so cool and was really respectful and
genuinely wanted to know more about it. The Atonement is the one thing
that I can just answer anyyyy question about, it's my favourite. I was
so thankful that God gave me and Sister Benson an opportunity to
testify to someone who genuinely wanted to know. On St. Patrick's day
in the evening, we went back to a different street that we had talked
to people on before and while we were walking there Sister Benson was
like, "How many doors do you think we'll need to knock on for someone
to let us in?" And I was like, "I dunno. 500 maybe." Then we both
laughed about it. AND THEN we knocked on the first door we had planned
to and had an awesome conversation with the lady that lives there, she
accepted a Book of Mormon and we are going back sometime this week. We
knocked on the 2nd door and the man who answered let us in! The 2nd
door! What was cool was that he was Irish. So we spent our St. Patty's
day talking about religion with an Irish guy.
The Elders had a baptism this Sunday and it was so wonderful!! Another
African Joseph is now a member of the Watford Ward:) The senior couple
serving with us, the Baron's, drove me and Sister Benson so that we
could all visit a recent convert. Then they drove us back to their
place and made us waffles! I am so thankful for senior couples. They
make me feel like I'm hanging out with my grandparents for a short
amount of time and they always just answer our prayers. I love them so
This P-day we went to the Wembley stadium where they had the Olympics
when it was in London, I'll attach a very attractive picture of my
mission squad. These are the people I hang out with most and they're a
bunch of goofs:) Love them tons.
I really learned a lot this week. On Saturday the streets of Watford
are lined with men from all of the different churches handing out
pamphlets and preaching with microphones. It's pretty crazy and
honestly I've never seen anything like it. There are a lot of old
churches all over England and church people stand outside of them (and
on every street corner) and scream at us when they see us walk down
the road. It was really funny because me and Sister Benson walk down
that road every single day and try to talk to people, but it's only on
Saturday that everyone comes out and tries to get people at their
church for the next morning. We were approached by so many men from
these different churches. We stopped this one really nice dad and were
having a great conversation with him when all of a sudden this man
came up to us and he wouldn't leave us alone and was just going off
about our religion, he was literally shrieking and right up in my
face. It's so interesting to interact with these people because they
run up to us and tell us how wrong we are without even letting us say
one word. When I looked into this man's eyes all I saw was pure fear.
We walked away and everything was alright (welcome to missionary life)
but I was just a little shaken up, reflecting on what had just
happened as we walked. Suddenly the thought of Joseph Smith popped
into my mind. It's hard to even tell you the level of reverence and
love I have acquired on my mission for our young farm-boy prophet, who
endured that treatment as a child seeking the truth. There is
definitely a war raging in this world and it is so confusing, I can't
imagine how confusing it must have been for Joseph Smith at 14 years
old to have to face that. I feel blessed and privileged to have
experiences that bring me closer to him and help me understand the
magnitude of what we have. We have the restored Gospel of Jesus
Christ. And it's so funny to me because as these people were trying to
reason with us and tear this church apart, every word out of their
mouth made me more sure that I belong to the true church of God. The
dad who we stopped, witnessing me and Sister Benson being persecuted
on the street, actually stood up for us because he noticed how we were
calm and respectful to everyone that approached us. No real
representative of Jesus Christ will ever run up to someone on the
street and treat them with nothing short of perfect love. The truth
has most definitely been restored❤️

Hurrah for Israel!

Sister Barnes

Monday, March 13, 2017

London Calling

London is so good. It truly is heaven. We had a mission tour on Friday
at Hyde Park Chapel, we got to hear Elder Phillips of the seventy
speak! When we arrived in South Kensington we were early and we got to
explore with the Elders and it was such a dream. We were just walking
around and taking pictures and enjoying life, I cannot even tell you
how much I love London!! It is hands down the most amazing place. And
guess what else was amazing? Elder Phillips' talk. He will probably be
an apostle one day and I got to shake his hand. No big deal or
anything. He didn't even use the podium, he came right down and
started drawing on whiteboards and talking to us directly. The spirit
was striking our hearts like lightning. It was such a good day!
It didn't rain here for like a solid 2 days and me and Sister Benson
spent every waking moment outside. It wasn't even cloudy either! Ahhhh
blessings We went finding in this amazing park we discovered, it's
like an England fortress. It even has exercise equipment already there
to use! Our plan is to start running there in the morning.
We met this really cool guy who just came up to us on the street (that
never happens) and he wants to learn more about the church! He really
wants to change his ways and settle down. Awesome right? And get this,
he is literally the nicest person I have ever met, he is so. cool. You
would die! He owns a really cool barber shop, and we teach him lessons
in the back room. He told us we get free haircuts and colours for
free. That's how nice he is. And today he invited his friend to join
our lesson and they're both coming to church on Sunday!!
My life skills have been greatly improved upon, we have been helping a
part member family move, they are the awesome Portugese family! Crazy,
but I love them so much. Their dad is the funniest man in the world
and whenever I would go get another box out of the moving van he would
hand it to me and make fun of my American accent. I learned how to
pack boxes super effective, manuever around tiny, wild children and
run around like mad trying to get everything organised in their new
house. Life skills. Also, an awesome member got us Harry Potter World
tickets. Because Harry Potter was actually filmed in my neck of the
woods over here. So my lifelong dream will be fulfilled shortly:)
Our investigators are doing great! How I love them. 0 of them came to
church though even after they promised over and over and over again.
They had me and Sister Benson fooled! I haven't been played that hard
since high school. I love them so much so it's ok:) The other night we
were sitting on a bench in town with our investigator R, and these
born-again Christians came up to us and started talking, they were
handing out pamphlets and I was just sitting there trying to be polite
and respectful, they wouldn't go away though and they saw our tags and
we told them who we were. Then they wouldn't leave us alone! All of a
sudden our investigator just went off! He was bible bashing so hard!
And I don't endorse or participate in bible bashing but MAN! Our
investigator literally left them speechless. And to be honest I wanted
to cry, I felt like such a proud mom. Me and Sister Benson just sat
there and smiled at each other as we listened to the monster we
There was a man I stopped last week and set a return appointment with.
He started to text us the morning of the appointment not wanting to
come and told us all of the things going wrong in his life, his
partner left him and he lost his job, and just wanted to do what was
best for his young son. I would not let him cancel. I sent the boldest
text to him and he actually decided to show up. He was so sweet and
just completely humbled and he told us he didn't want to meet with us,
but our persistence made him decide to just show up. We were able to
bare testimony to him of The Atonement and the spirit was so strong.
It really helped him and I was so thankful that we pushed just a
little harder to help him understand the importance and the grandeur
of the message we share.
It was Elder Parkin's birthday and so we had dinner at Nando's with
the Zone Leaders Saturday night and yesterday we ate dinner on a
houseboat with a member couple! It was really cool! We also were able
to spend time with "Broseph" the coolest recent convert in the world,
he took us to Five Guys for p-day milkshakes and we had a good time
rocking out to music and feeling like Americans. I sure love it here
and I am surrounded by people who constantly push me to be a better
version of myself each day.
I hope you know how dearly I love you all:)
Sister Barnes  

Monday, March 6, 2017

All Hail President

This week in Watford was a great one! We are teaching an older man, D,
and his son in Ireland actually filled out a referral for him and sent
it to us. D wants to change his entire life around and give up alcohol
and smoking, he came to church and loved it and he found out that his
entire family has been baptised. After he came to church he gave us a
call and said, "Sister! Can you find out what time my baptism is? My
sister wants to come!" Hahaha I seriously LOVE the man. He is so
excited to be baptised and is just the epitome of real intent. He was
going to meet with us twice this last week but after the lessons he
would call us and tell us he wanted to meet even more because he just
felt so good. A missionary's dream! Pray for him!
We are teaching a couple other friends, and they are all doing quite
well. We have a nice young friend E, and he is soooo cool. He is 20,
from Queens, New York, and has a job over here in accounting. Meeting
with him is so much fun but he texted us and told us he wanted to meet
just one more time because he's unsure if this church is right for
him. Pray for him super hard. All week long we have been worrying
about him and I might actually go into cardiac arrest:) Agency is a
killer! We also met a new friend who is awesome and has the coolest
hair! Like the longest black dreads you have ever seen in your life!
The work is all in all going great in Watford, these people are
We had interviews with President Stevens this week and I love that
man. He just fills the room with hope and makes everyone stand up a
little taller, I am always so thankful to be able to spend some time
talking with him. I really care about making him and Lord proud! It's
easy in the mission to feel like your president doesn't really know
you, but that is dead wrong. He is so inspired and knows me just
perfectly, he knows all of the right things to say to help me be the
best I can. Bless the man, he is a legend.
I hope everyone has an incredible week! I'm sending my love!
Sister Barnes