Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 8, 2016 - "Time Flies"

Hey everyone!!

Wow time really goes by fast. Everyone told us to just make it to Sunday, and now it's almost time to leave! It's crazy. I got my travel plans last Friday! We fly to Atlanta Monday morning, then to Johannesburg, and then to Zimbabwe! Let's just say it's about 36 hour s total travel time. Wow. I need to learn how to sleep on a plane.
This week has been full of blessings. We finished teaching Jen and it was amazing! She's really awesome and it was a wonderful opportunity to teach her. Ps she's actually a member and an RM so that was cool haha. We got new TRC investigators this week. Rod is middle aged and from Chile. Half his extended family is LDS. His wife and him have lost two kids and it's been rough, and we taught him the plan of salvation and he loved it!! By the way, Elder Dixon and I found out why we teach the restoration first. Lots of questions!! He said he'll work towards baptism and that he wants his wife to take the discussions and that if she reads the Book of Mormon she'll gain a testimony! Wow, he has so much faith. Jessy is in her mid twenties and going to UVU. She's struggled a lot in life and is having a rough time, but she has the happiest and most bubbly personality and it's great! We taught her about Heavenly Father and the Spirit and about prayer. Not only is she getting answers to prayers, the Spirit is almost tangible in our lessons! We were almost in tears yesterday. She's amazing and this gospel will bless her so much!
On another note, we had a devotional on Sunday. Chad Lewis came and spoke to us and that was really awesome. He knows Elder Gunther really well so we went back afterwards and talked to him. He gave me some awesome words of encouragement and Mom he said he remembers you and Mimi and Papa so that was cool. We had another devotional on Tuesday and guess who walks in: ....Elder Christofferson!! Ahh we got so excited. He spoke to us about repentance and about being trustworthy servants of God. It was amazing. We also sang in the choir and Spirit was incredibly strong. I love the Apostles holy cow. 
Elder Dixon and I are the spikeball champions haha. We've played a bunch for exercise time and let's just say it's not even close. It's so much fun. I've gotten to play a lot of volleyball as well which I'm very grateful for. My district loves sports so that's a blessing. We've had a lot of funny discussions and stories. Elder Sink and Elder Boice are the best storytellers and we have a lot of laughs.
Everyone in our district has had a cold in the past week and a half. I'm just starting to get over it. Let's just say it's not easy to catch up on sleep as a missionary. Some elders are struggling with it but everyone is doing ok. Class has been really good this week and we are learning a lot from our teachers. Haha we all have trouble staying awake during class sometimes, which is weird because when I lay down to go to bed, I'm wide awake. It's gonna take some adjusting.
At the beginning of this week I was having a tough time. Some things hit me and I was just feeling a little overwhelmed and insecure, but I have been blessed so much. I'm doing a lot better know. This week I've been reading in 3 Nephi when Christ comes. Something about reading words that came from the Savior is really special. The Book of Mormon really is true. I love this work so much. 
We got to go to the temple for the last time in 2 years today, which is really sad but also really amazing. The two times that I've been able to attend the temple have really been special. I know it is the Lord's house. On a side note today we saw Whitney and Stephen from Studio C in the temple! How crazy is that??!! That was cool. Anyways sorry haha. 
Ahh I feel like there is so much to say and I either can't remember it all or I can't fit it all in this email. Oh, haha thank you to everyone who has sent stuff. It means a lot. Also haha, we have way too much food. So thank you to everyone who has sent it I honestly appreciate it. I love you all. Next email will be from Zimbabwe! AHH it's so crazy.

I love you all and pray for you every day. Helaman 5:12

Elder Barlow

Elder Dixon, Elder Barlow, Elder Gunther, Elder Makalio

"Haha please don't send any more food we have way too much haha."

T-shirt from Elder Hampton (cousin) serving in N.C. Raleigh mission.

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