Wednesday, June 27, 2012



Once mind is blank and I don't know what to say!
We had a really awesome lesson yesterday. It is obvious that Sister Ferinho and I can't talk to EVERYBODY that lives here in Montenegro. We can't knock EVERY DOOR. There are only 2 of us here. So this week, instead of just praying that we would be able to find people searching for the truth, we also prayed that people searching for the truth would be able to find us as well. Sunday......a couple shows up at church. A really, really nice couple. The ward here is so amazing. They were so warm and welcoming to this couple! Sister Ferinho and I  taught them last night with a couple of members. They are seriously the nicest people I have ever met. The first words the husband said last night....."We were really well received at church on Sunday. I felt really good there. We want to know how we can continue, how we can help, and how we can continue with this church." My mouth dropped to the floor. So we explained to them that our purpose in meeting with them is to help them to come unto Christ. That we will teach them what they need to know in preparation to become members of the church through the sacred ordinance of baptism. Hahaha they are also legally married....which is a miracle!!! They have been "married" for 5 years, but were legally married in February. Guess where? The strip in Las Vegas hahaha! My goal is to help them in their preparation to be sealed in a place just a tad bit more holy......The TEMPLE! 

This week our new president, President Wright, will arrive! Sunday! It should be interesting. I will miss President and Sister Pavan, but am excited to meet the Wrights as well. We will have a conference with President Wright this next Tuesday, so my P-Day will be on Monday!

Oh....I am dying! No one has come or gone from the mission office since I arrived here in Montenegro, so I haven't received any letters in forever. So forgive me if I have not responded to any letters that have been sent in the last month or so. I will hopefully receive letters this Tuesday!! 

Sister Castro, another Sister that I live with, said that I was teaching a lesson in my sleep last night. I am sure my Portuguese when I am half asleep is bad.......but she said she understood me! 

Sorry this email is lame, don't have much time....... but I hope you all know how much I love you and love this work! 

Sister Autumn Barnes
A hamburger that Sister Castro made for lunch last P-Day. Ate the whole thing and finished first! Oh baby!
This couch just hangs out on the side of the road. Water break! 
Just walking up a hill in Montenegro!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Como vocês estão? Estou muito bem! Estou aprendendo cada vez mais! Espero que vocês estejam bem lá nos Estados Unidos! 

Greetings from Montenegro, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil! always seems like so much happens during the week but when it comes time to mind goes totally blank. Bear with me! 

This week we met a lady named Malena. Elect! Eleita! She has had some exposure to the church, and has been really impressed with what she has seen. She was asking lots of questions, paying really good attention, showing a lot of interest. We didn't even have to invite her to come to church this Sunday, she already asked what time it starts....etc. She is really searching for the truth right now. It has found her. Now all she has to do is pray to receive a confirmation of the truthfulness of these things. Sometimes I become really disheartened when person after person after person rejects the glorious message that I have to share. But......I truly believe there are people out there that aren't only willing to hear my message.........but waiting, SEARCHING! One person's acceptance of the gospel makes all of the rejections you went through to find this person worth it. 

But speaking of rejection.........ah my heart was broken this week. A couple weeks ago, we met a couple named Marcello and Rosangelo. They were so receptive, so friendly, so so special. This week we went to their house and they told us that they didn't want us to come back. Marcello said that he prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but he still couldn't see how they could be true. He said, "I hope to know one day that these things are true, but for right now. I don't see it." So we did what we could......bore testimony, encouraged them to keep praying and reading the Book of Mormon, and told them that they would always be welcome at church, and if they ever needed anything they could contact us. Marcello said that although they weren't ready to accept our message, they considered us angels for bringing God in general back into their home. Sister Ferinho kept her cool, but I was in tears. They are some of the most special people I have met here.........and this was heartbreaking for me. They have all the tools now, and I honestly believe with all my heart that they will accept the gospel one day! Last week I was offered a modeling position here. This guy (creep creep creep) offered me this modeling job after he found out I was American. What do you all think? Model or missionary? I think I will stick with missionary thank you very much. 

This week hasn't been as cold as last week was! Que bom! The humidity here is crazy when it is cold. I have to hang dry all my clothes and it seriously takes about a week for them to dry. I don't know why I even bother washing them, they don't smell very good after a week of hang drying anyway!

Guess has pretty much been one year since I received my mission call! One year! Crazy! 

I love this work! Although hard and tiring, it is rewarding and glorious! I feel sustained by the Lord each and every day! 
Amo vocês! Fiquem firme! 

Sister Autumn Barnes

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Queridos familiares e amigos,

This week I am doing much better! I think it is always a little hard the first week after a transfer. I am settling in right now. 

The weather was nice yesterday.....warmer than it has been! I will be buying more clothes for cold weather today! Here, you can't escape from the cold! I don't go home to a warm apartment every night, I go home to an icy apartment! In fact, it is warmer outside than it is inside my apartment. No built-in heating! Let me tell you.......I find something seriously wrong with the fact that I can see my breath inside my house! If it wasn't in the Missionary Handbook that I have to shower on a regular basis, I don't think I would! The shower is warm, but the air is not! Wow.........the steam that I create from my warm showers in the cold bathroom is seriously impressive! The cold weather doesn't help my problem of having a hard time waking up in the morning. Leaving the warm bed...................a nightmare! This place is so crazy. I don't understand how this place can be sooooo flippin hot and soooooo flippin cold as well! 

I am living with three other sisters. My companion, Sister Ferinho from Mozambique, Sister Holladay from California, and Sister Castro from Manaus, Brazil. We have some pretty good times together. Last P-Day we played UNO for an eternity, watched some church videos, drank some Chimarrão, and laughed a lot. I found it a little difficult to play UNO in Portuguese. I wanted to say, "YOU BUM!" so many times. was way fun. 

I was able to attend a broadcast of the Manaus, Brazil Temple dedication! It was so so so great. We woke up early and caught a bus to a stake center in a nearby city. We watched it there. The night before, we told our Zone Leaders over the phone that we didn't have white handkerchiefs for the Hosannah Shout. We show up at the Stake Center the next day and the Elders had white (or somewhat white) handkerchiefs (or somewhat handkerchiefs) for us. Uh yeah.....they cut up an old white dress shirt to make the handkerchiefs. Ghetto? Very. Did they work? Youbetchya. President Uchtdorf dedicated the temple. Elder Cook was also there. President Uchtdorf was cracking me up while they were doing the ceremonial cornerstone thingy. He is so funny! He had a translator.......but everything he was saying was not translatable (I am pretty sure that is not a word, but let's go with it). I felt kind of bad because all of the American missionaries were cracking up..... but no one else knew what was going on. Anyway, the spirit was so strong during the dedication of the temple. Brazil is such a special, blessed nation. The members here are so dedicated, so strong. During the dedication, I felt so privileged to be serving among these people! The people of Manaus and Northern Brazil deserve that temple. They worked so hard and sacrificed so much to finally see their temple be dedicated! It made me think about how lucky we are, at home in Utah, to have SOOOO many temples SOOOO close by! Take advantage of that! The temple truly is the House of the Lord.....a sacred place here on this earth. 

Oh, and Sister Castro.....the Sister from Manaus.....saw her sister, some of her best friends, and lots of people from her stake as they were participating in the dedication. She was pretty emotional! The dedication meant a lot for her! 

We are teaching a man named Jose Fabiane right now. He is really special. He has so much desire to be baptized, but he is working through some things right now. He is not happy, but he knows that through the gospel he will find true and lasting happiness. The other day I was telling him how the gospel is a gospel of happiness. He looked right into my eyes and said, "Are you truly happy?" Thanks to my Savior, Jesus Christ, His atoning sacrifice, His restored gospel here on the earth......I could honestly look straight into his eyes and say, "Yes. Yes I am." There are so many people in this world that aren't happy, that are hurting. With the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, we still have trials and heartaches.......but we have hope, we have family to support us, we can bear our burdens with faith. What a privilege it is to help people find this happiness. 

I love you all! I pray for you everyday! I know that this gospel is true. That it truly brings great and lasting happiness in this world and in the eternities. 
Sister Autumn Barnes
At the Porto Alegre Temple
Porto Alegre Temple at sunset
Sister Conegundes (I lived with her in the MTC) and Sister Wegener at a Zone Conference
My little Luiza after her baptism (Canoas)
A picnic that we had when I was in Canoas
Drinking Chimarrão in my apartment
My companion, Sister Ferinho, and I after the Manaus Temple dedication 
I taught this couple when I was in Novo Hamburgo. They were baptized the week after I was transferred. They are amazing. They gained a testimony the second they heard about the Restoration.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hello Friends and Family......

Wanna hear a crazy twist of events???? I told you last week that 5 sisters were leaving for home. Yeah......I am now a senior companion. With only four months in the field. Pray for meeeeeeeeee! I was transferred to a town called Montenegro. This town is a lot smaller than both Novo Hamburgo and Canoas. I am liking the small town feel. This town is a lot safer as well. Haha I will tell you now because I am not there anymore, but Canoas and Novo Hamburgo were pretty dangerous. So my companion is Sister Ferinho. She is from Mozambique. I lived with her in the CTM and we entered the mission field together. Haha I have six months in the mission, and she has four and a half. Talk about feeling a lot of responsibility fall on my shoulders. I am pretty scared to death and feel pretty weighed down. I am looking at this as a learning experience......oh boy is it a learning experience. I have such a desire to be a good missionary, to be a good teacher. However, my teaching is nothing very special because I am so limited with words. Now, more than ever........I am praying for the gift of tongues! Things have been going ok this past week. We didn't achieve some of our goals, didn't teach as much or as well as I would have liked, but our companionship is hanging in there. What scares me more than anything is thinking about the next transfer. Sister Ferinho has been here in Montenegro since she entered the field. She will probably be transferred this upcoming transfer, and I will stay here. And.....will probably receive a companion that has even less time than Sister Ferinho and I have in the field. I am really learning to trust the Lord! He obviously trusts me, because I know he never gives his children challenges that they can't overcome! 

Wow.....I am at a point where I can't think/talk in Portuguese OR English!!!! There is a family in my new ward that lived in Orem for 11 years. The kids were born and lived their first years of life here in Brazil, but because they spent the majority of their growing up years in Utah, they speak better English than Portuguese. I was able to talk (or try to) to them in English the other day. Talk about mixing two languages together! It was kind of a mess! Haha but it was also kind of nice to talk in English as well! I forgot what it felt like to be able to express my every thought and feeling! 

Holy is starting to get coooooooold. It pains me to think that it is summer back home. When people find out that I am from Utah, they say, " you are used to the cold." Hahaha not exactly. Because you see.....back home, houses have heaters. Faucets have hot water. It is not so darn humid. I didn't have to spend all hours of the day walking outside. I might just turn into a popsicle! 

Got to run! I know this gospel is true! I know that the Lord never leaves His Children comfortless! He is always waiting with arms wide open to help and save us! I am so privileged to be able to help others come unto Christ. How great is this work! 
I love you! 

Sister Autumn Barnes