Monday, May 27, 2013

Dear World,

This is my last email as Sister Autumn Barnes. It has been a great journey. It has been the greatest adventure.
This week, I worked my heart out. Until the very last minute. Today I am still working my heart out. Packing bags is not easy. Plus, I am trying to figure out how I can pack guaraná (a soda that they have here) in my bags. This one has me stumped.
Just like I predicted......I am brain dead this week. Lots of stuff running through my head. For this reason, I wrote my "last words" last week.
I know this church is true! I love being Sister Barnes! I am so excited to see you all!!!!!!!!

Sister Barnes Sr.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Best Thing I Have Ever Done

Oi Gente!
I still have one more P-Day to send email, but I know that next week my brain and heart will be I want to share my testimony, a testimony that was definitely strengthened this year and a half that I have been serving the Lord, this week.
Serving a mission was the best thing I have ever done. No doubt. By far. I knew the mission would be hard, but it is impossible to know how hard it truly is until you have served one. I have been stretched. I have been refined in my tribulations. When we think of the Atonement, we usually think of the redeeming power of the Atonement. I have gained a testimony of the enabling power of the Atonement. I know that the Lord has given me the capacity to be an instrument in His hands. I know that as we pass through our trials, the Lord strengthens our shoulders so we can carry our burdens with more ease. He qualifies and perfects us and expands our own abilities. He allows and helps us to change!
I have seen people change. Myself being one of those people. I have seen how God changes us if we are willing to follow Him. There is no doubting that God's path that we tread by living according to the principles and ordinances of the restored gospel is the means by which we can have happiness in this life. How do I know this? Because I know that I am happy when I am obedient and seek to do God's will. Also because I have seen a DRASTIC DRASTIC DRASTIC difference in the lives and families of those who keep God's commandments and follow Him and those who prefer to worship wordly things.God is so willing to grant us eternal happiness....that is His work and His glory. If we want to be happy, we have to make and keep covenants with God. It is that simple.
I have learned that there is GREAT JOY to be found in serving people. It is great to forget about your own cares for awhile and concentrate your efforts in helping others and building the Lord's kingdom here on the earth. I have made many friendships that will last for eternity...with converts, members, missionaries, companions, President and Sister Wright. Tá louco. Why have we been blessed so much? Not to keep these blessings to ourselves, but to use these blessings, knowledge, talents to push forward Zion's cause.
I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is evidence that the Lord loves all His children. The Savior didn't just establish his church on the Asian Continent, but appeared here in the Americas to minister to the people and establish His church here as well. I know those pages are sacred and priceless.
We have a prophet here on the earth. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece. We are the only true and LIVING church. Why can we say that the church is LIVING? Because of the revelation that we receive from God through a living prophet who has power and authority from God. I know that this power was restored to the earth through the Lord's servant, Joseph Smith. I know that the Lord didn't leave us here on earth without one of His special prophets.
I know that Christ lives. I know that this is His work. I know that He came to the earth to fulfill the Father's will. He passed through it all so that we don't have to if we will just turn to Him and repent. This is His church. He is at it's head. My sincerest desire is to be a worthy daughter of my Heavenly Father and one day be welcomed into His glorious presence as one who served Him with all her heart, might, mind, and strength.
I love you all and can't wait to see you so soon!!! (I don't think I will be one of those awkward return missionaries, but I will need all of your help if I am!!)
Sister Autumn Rae Barnes

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Hey, everyone! Autumn will be coming home from her mission on May 29th! She will be speaking in the Highlands Ward on June 9th @ 12:45 - 2:00. She would love to have any and all of her friends there! The address to the chapel is: 5378 W. Old Highway Rd | Mountain Green, UT 84050. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Yesterday was fabulous. For one thing.....none of my investigators went to church ( this part wasn't so cool) for another thing we had lunch (a delicious lasagna) at the coolest members' house. Then a little bit later.........I called home!

I am feeling super uninspired today, so bear with me.

Things are going well with Sister Loss. I am loving her. She is super hilarious. I am also living with 2 other sisters, Sister Bradley and Sister Costa.......and we have become super good friends. The other day, a member surprised us with 4 xis (a southern brazil version of a cheeseburger), so we had a little party on our balcony. We ate our xis, drank chimarrão, and laughed a bunch. This member was super inspired because that particular day was super hard for the 4 of us.

Speaking of this member, her name is Irmã Etsuko. She was born in Japan, but moved to Brazil when she was 6 years old. She is the most humble, pure, charitable person I have ever met in my life. She helps us with anything and everything that we need. This woman will be exalted!! She and her husband are planning to throw me going away party.

This week was a little hard, but it is in these moments that the Lord stretches us! It is hard to explain how I am feeling all possible feelings right now as I am finishing up my mission......sad, excited, overwhelmed, scared, anxious!!! It is definitely a mixture of about a million feelings!!

Love you all! The next email will be more inspiring!!

Sister Autumn Barnes

Monday, May 6, 2013

My mission is slipping through my fingers! 3 weeks!!!!
This week something a little bit more exciting happened. One day, I noticed that the bottom of my foot was hurting a little bit. At the base of my big toe, I noticed a little thing that looked like a wart. I thought, "oh great, wart on my foot." But then I went on with my life. The next day after I got home, I looked at my foot and noticed that it had grown a bit, but it still wasn't that big of a deal. The next day, my foot started hurting..........and the wart looked like a fish eye.....a white bubble with a black point in the middle. It was at this point that I called Sister Wright to ask what I should do. I was sent to the health clinic to get it checked out. Hahahaha this was a super funny experience. I had to give my full name, but no one hear understands my name, Autumn or knows how to say or write it. Hahaha so I ended up waiting in the waiting room forever because no one one wanted or knew how to call out the name of the poor little American girl. Racism. :)
So in case you were all wondering what this thing is called "Bicho do Pé." In english, the translation would be, "Foot Bug." Yeah.....there was this flee type bug that caved into my skin and was living there and laying eggs. You get this foot bug by walking through dirty sand that dogs do their business in. I HATE THE DOGS HEREEEEE!!!!! If I wasn't annoyed by them enough already. Anyway....the nurse used a needle to dig out the bug and all the eggs. So.....I am Bicho-Free. Something like this had to happen! I have been way too healthy on the mission! I needed a cool story like this to bring home from Brazil!
I don't know if you all remember about Nicoly, a girl that Sister Carneiro and I found in Santa Cruz, she was baptized yesterday! It is hard to not be present at the baptism of someone that you found, but I am happy to know that because I followed the spirit, she was baptized! That is all that matters!!
I am excited to talk to the fam on mother's day! It will be more like......."Hi. I will see you in 2 weeks!"
Haley is beautiful! She was absolutely shining in that picture that you sent me, Dad! Thank you!
Love you all! Don't worry! I am taking advantage of every second that I have left of being Sister Barnes!
Sister Barnes Sr.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yes!!! I was transferred! I am now in Osório. Osorio is a city that is close to the beach!!!! There isn't beach in our area, but the weather is super beachy! A ton of sea breeze!
I am training again! I am training the first and only 19 year old sister in Porto Alegre Norte! Her name is Sister Loss and she is from Espírito Santo, a state here in Brasil. Sister Zeller (my comp from the MTC) served in Sister Loss's ward! Small world! I can tell you one thing, these sisters entering the mission field right now are entering super prepared. Sister Loss is amazing!
This area is completely different from Santa Cruz! The people are receptive! I about dropped to the floor dead when people asked ME to visit THEM in their houses. In Santa Cruz it was almost impossible to enter into houses! The field is super white and ready to harvest here in Osorio!!! I am also living with another companionship of sisters again, and we all get along fabulously.
I realized yesterday that my English is amazing. There is a man from my branch that wanted to practice speaking English with me. He asked me how long I have been here on the mission. I replied, "One year and cinco months." You will have to bear with me when I get home. It will be tough, the transition back into English!
Love you all! Being a missionary is sooooo amazing.

Sister Aut Barnes

Monday, April 22, 2013


I was transferred from Santa Cruz do Sul!!!! I don't even know what to think! The thought didn't even cross my mind that there was a chance that I would be transferred......I only have 5 weeks of mission left!.....and I haven't finished training Sister Carneiro! But yes....I really was transferred. At times I love being transferred because after a long time in one area, I lose steam. But after only 6 weeks in this area with my amazing companion Sister Carneiro, I will be leaving. I wasn't prepared for this and am actually a little bit bummed. But, I know that President Wright and the Lord have something in store for me and that I did my part here in this area.
I think my part was finding Nicoli. Last Sunday, we were on our way to an investigator's house and we passed a street. You know that little feeling that says go back and knock the doors of that street? Yeah, I felt that feeling. I suggested that we turn back and knock the doors there. We knocked on the first door and the people hid from us and didn't come to the door. We knocked the second door and out came a 14 year old girl who opened the gate and invited us into her house without even giving us enough time to introduce ourselves. Her name is Nicoli and she has had a super tough life. When she was a newborn, her dad beat her mom. He beat her so much that her mom suffered trauma and became mentally ill. Now her mom has the mentality of a baby. Her older sister, who was old enough to see and experience all of this abuse, became depressed and schizophrenic. Nicoli's dad left them of course, so Nicoli doesn't even remember him. She has been raised by her aunt who also takes care of Nicoli's mom who can't care for herself anymore. One day, Nicoli's sister had an episode. She locked her mom and her aunt out of the apartment, grabbed a knife and started destroying everything in the house. After destroying everything, she cut her wrists. A neighbor called the police and they showed up soon after and tried to get her to leave the house. She threatened to kill herself if they tried to enter. I guess she was in tanto histerics that the police were forced to shoot her with a rubber bullet. She was knocked on her back from the impact and fell onto some sort of metal thing that punctured her back. She was taken to the hospital and from a mixture of her mental illness and this wound, died a couple weeks later. This happened about 6 months ago, so it is still pretty fresh in Nicoli's mind. She will be baptized in a week. Looks like I won't be here to see it, but maybe my transfer here in Santa Cruz was to find and teach Nicoli.
Sister Carneiro.......I am super sad to leave her. I don't know if I will ever see her again and she is sooo amazing. However, I am at the Lord's service.
Lisa, stay strong girl! I know you are doing great work! Just remember that our success or efficiency as missionaries isn't measured by our number of investigators or baptisms but by our desire to do the Lord's will! I love you!
I love you all as well! Pray that my last area will be the best of them all!
Sister Barnes Sr.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Wow.....I was under the impression that I would get home June 5! I got onto email today and found my "email trunky" (as everyone likes to call the travel itinerary here) in my inbox! I was super surprised to see that I will be going home a week earlier than I thought! Dia 29 de Maio e eu vou estar em casa! Tão logo!! Não acredito! 
This week was good. Hard, but good. It is such a blessing to have such a funny, positive companion because as hard as the week is still full of tons of laughs. Sister Carneiro has been such a strength. It was hard because we hardly taught at all this week. No one let us teach. We have been talking to everyone, knocking doors, trying to get the members to work with us......gah! 

But....the FEW people that we found this week are super special. We met a man named Valério. We saw him out on the lawn and stopped to talk to him. He let us in and we were able to talk with him a bit. We discovered that he separated from his wife a month ago. He has been suffering a lot because he knows that his wife left because he is an alcoholic. He started crying during our lesson and accepted to leave alcohol and be baptized. I am praying that all will go well! 

This week Sister Wright proscelyted with us. It was so cute to see Sister Wright with a backpack using the little portuguese she knows to talk to the people. She is soooo amazing. It was definitely a privilege to be able to work with her. She said she wanted to work with me for a day before I go home. 

I was talking with Sister Carneiro the other day how it is hard to be hated at times. It is definitely very hard to see people do everything they can just to avoid you. (The other day we almost saw someone get hit by a car because she tried to cross the street super quickly after seeing us walking in her direction!!!!!) It is hard to have people be super rude to you.....especially because I just want to bless their lives with the gospel! I don't feel like I deserve that treatment! But I have learned one thing through all of this treatment......that all of the no's in the world, the dirty looks, the laughs, the rude comments will never take my testimony from me. If I didn't have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, I would have quit a long time ago. I am so grateful for the capacity that we have to exercise faith! I am so grateful for opportunities to test my faith!!!!!! 

I love you all!!!!! Até semana que vem!
Sister Autumn Barnes

Sister Carneiro and I at the mission home!
The four of us that live in our apartment!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Autumn's plane ticket is purchased and she will be arriving home on May 29th!

Monday, April 8, 2013

This week Sister Carneiro and I were walking to an appointment. I got the feeling that I should knock the door of a house. No one was home. We started walking again. I got the feeling again in front of another house. No one answered. We went on our way. I got the feeling AGAIN in front of a house. We knocked and the owner didn't want anything to do with us. I started to think, "Why in the world is the spirit prompting me so strongly to knock here at these houses if nothing is happening?" Right then, a man was passing on the sidewalk. I made contact with him. Super curious and super receptive. I feel like he really has been prepared by the Lord. Moral of the story: At times we don't understand the Spirit's promptings. I was questioning the Spirit's promptings after a few failed attempts of trying to teach the people that lived in these houses. BUT....that wasn't the Lord's objective. He wanted me to knock these doors so I could be in the right place at the right time to meet this man, William. Funny how that works out, huh?
Conference was awesome! An answer to one of my recent prayers came to me in just about the first sentence of the first talk of the first session. WOW.......
I love you all! This gospel is true and is meant to be shared with everyone!!!
Sister Autumn Rae Barnes

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I am super offended. It is my half birthday and no one gave me good wishes. April Fool's Day! Ha but really is my half birthday...................
I am super grateful for my companion. Sister Carneiro is amazing. Besides being super hilarious, she is a power house! She is a testimony to me everyday that there are prepared and elect people out there just waiting to be presented with the truth. She was baptized about 4 years ago. She has always loved reading and always asked for any kind of free book that was offered on the internet. She doesn't even know how she ended up on this site, but she requested the booklet "40 Ways to Make Your Family Happier" or whatever it is called. A couple weeks later, Elders knocked on her door. She was Catholic, but also visited other churches trying to find a doctrine that actually made sense to her. She said that the first time she heard about the Restoration and The Book of Mormon, everything finally made sense. She bears powerful testimony because she can really relate to our investigators.
This week we taught Angelica, a nine year old daughter of a member. She absolutely loves us and will be baptized on April 13. She is super smart and loves to learn. She even wanted to take notes during our lesson! Haha but She really is a slave driver as far as my accent goes. After teaching her, I will be talking like a real life Brazilian!
Can't wait for General Conference this week! Next General Conference I am determined to be there at the Conference Center to watch! I love you all and thank you for the prayers! I feel them strengthening me everyday!
Sister Autumn Rae Barnes

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Life long dream lived this week.
We, the two branches here in Santa Cruz do Sul, had a little church expo right in front of the Great and Spacious Building. That is right. That huge Catholic Church. Don't. worry. Don't worry about it. We had permission from the city. Was it a success? I tried to make contact with a ton of people that continued walking without saying one word to me. I talked to people that said there is nothing good about the United States. Excuse me, but what does the church have to do with the United States? I tried talked to many people that were in too much of a hurry to make time for God. I talked to a few people that acted a little interested. One in particular that was super interested in the Book of Mormon. Every single day that passes I become more and more convinced of the power of that sacred book. Anyway, this expo was super fun.....especially because of where we were doing it.
I didn't mention last week, but Sister Carneiro and I are opening this area. Because there are more sisters arriving in the mission, they split a few areas. I am living with two other sisters that work in the other half of the city. Talk about while opening an area. Bring it!!!!
This Sunday, a member of the branch brought his daughter to church for the first time. She loved it and wants to be baptized. Her name is Angelica and she is nine years old. Haha super funny. When I met her, the first thing she said to me is that I talk funny. I love the sincerity of children.
I love Easter. Why? Because I love the Lord. Just think about how human we all are. We make stupid, petty little mistakes every day. We make huge mistakes every once in awhile. There is no way that we would be able to enter into the presence of our Supreme and Majestous Heavenly Father without the intervention of someone or something. Who and what is that someone and something? Jesus Christ and His infinite and atoning sacrifice. Without Jesus Christ, this life would be meaningless. Without Jesus Christ there would be no hope. I could go on forever saying "Without Jesus Christ......" but I prefer to think about the other side of things. With Jesus Christ we have EVERYTHING. I love Him. I know that he fulfilled all that the Heavenly Father required of Him. He lived, served, loved, atoned, died, and rose again. He lives.
Sister Autumn Barnes
Minha companheira! Sister Carneiro!
A member wearing the traditional clothing of the Rio Grande do Sul. Also, that beautiful street that I told you about!
3. Missionaries of the true church in front of the city's insane cathedral!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Santa Cruz do Sul!

It feels so good to be transferred! It is so funny how every area has its pros and cons. I am in Santa Cruz do Sul. It is about 2.5 hours from Porto Alegre. It was settled by Germans, so it has huge German influence. This is cool and hard at the same time. This city is super pretty. There is this street here that has huge trees on both sides of the road so it makes like a tunnel of trees. There is also this GINORMOUS Catholic Cathedral here. Catholic, but SOO pretty at the same time. Just to let you know how strong the German influence is.......every year they have Oktoberfest which is one of those huge German beer festivals. It is the 3rd largest festival like this in the world. The people here are also WAY LESS RECEPTIVE. I have had doors slammed in my face here more than in any other area of my mission. It literally feels like I am in Germany instead of Brazil. 

My companion is Sister Carneiro. She is a greenie! Yep, I am training again. As of yet, she hasn't been bitten by any dogs or twisted any ankles. She is from Sao Paulo and she is SUPPPPER hilarious and friendly. I am laughing a ton with her. 

Sorry....this week I don't have much time. Maybe next week! Hahaha maybe! I love you all so much! Next week I will tell you all something a little more inspiring! I know that Christ lives!

Sister Autumn Barnes
The Catholic Cathedral here! It is huge! 

Monday, March 11, 2013


I was transferred! I don't know to where yet.....but I will let you know next week! I have 2 transfers left!

Love you all!

Sister Barnes Sr.
Erik's baptism! It's been a while since I was last surrounded by 20 men (more like never). 
We went to Outback Steakhouse as a Zone before our temple session! It was amazing!! Sister Ferinho, Sister Young, Sister Araujo, and yours truly. 


Monday, March 4, 2013


This week was the baptism of Erik Rodrigues de Souza!!!! It was by far one of the most special of all the baptisms I have taken part in. Erik comes from a rough family. His dad and stepmom use drugs and don't even give him the time of day. It was super easy to get parental authorization to baptize Erik because his dad doesn't even care very much about what his son does. I was beyond happy to see that 75 people showed up for Erik's baptism!!!!...more than we usually have in the sacrament meeting. It was truly a miracle!!! At the temple a few days before, I bought him a Book of Mormon with Doctrine and Covenants and a Bible. I had all of the youth in the ward sign it for him a couple days before. I gave him this present after the baptism and he started crying. I could tell that it meant a lot to him. That was a SUPERRRR rewarding day!!
I found out agora, and almost started crying because of it, that an investigator that I found knocking doors was baptized in Montenegro. This really strengthened my testimony because at times we don't see the fruit of our labors. I didn't baptize him while I was there, but I remember very distinctly the day that I knocked on his door asking if we could share a special message with him. It was one of those of those hard days when all of our appointments had fallen through. We were walking past this street and I had the strong feeling to knock doors there even though it was a road mostly full of businesses and only had a couple of houses. I don't think there is a better feeling in the world than the feeling of knowing that you were an instrument in the Lord's hands in changing someone's eternities!!! I love the mission!

KELSIE WAS CALLED TO PORTO ALEGRE NORTE???????? I don't believe this! Too bad that I won't be here still, but I love the idea of having family carrying on the work here in the BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD!!! If she has any questions about the mission, Rio Grande do Sul or whatever, let me know! Tell her she will ADORE President and Sister Wright! 

My heart is so full right now after a very gratifying week. The Lord knows us! He is in control! It is only through him that we can find true happiness!!! Love you all!!

Sister Autumn Barnes

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ok.....I have tried to be a positive little girl and not talk about how hard the work is here in my area. But now I will tell is hard!!! But why am I choosing to tell you now??? Because I am finally seeing the fruits of my labors!!! BAPTISMS!!!!!!!!!! This Thursday, Erik Rodrigues age 15 will be baptized!!! Coming soon.......Eduardo!!
Erik is super special. He has such a hard life, and the gospel and the friends that he has made at church is his one shred of light and happiness! I don't have much time to say much about him, because we are going to the temple today.....but I have this certain love for Erik. I know the gospel is everything to him, and I know that he is everything to Pai Celestial. I have been privileged to feel a sliver of the love that God has for Erik. I am soooo happy for him. He will be baptized by his 16 year old friend, Hairom (it's pronounced like Hyrum, but the spelling was Brazilianized haha). I will send pictures!!! 

I don't mean to brag or anything, but this girl pretty much rocks at street contacting. Just kidding. I don't rock at it........I have just grown to love it. It is funny, because that is the thing that freaked me out the most at the beginning of the mission. I just love making the name of the church known....whether or not the people want to listen. And is super entertaining at times because you talk to every type of weird person and hear every type of stupid excuse. Hahahaha this is probably really bad and Unchristlike of me, but the people that make obvious efforts to avoid talking to us.......I go after those ones!!!!! It's unchristlike of me because I do it to spite them.......but I am also doing them a favor as well!!! 

I am officially out of time.....but the good news, I don't have time because I am going to the House of the Lord!!! Whoohooo! Love you all!!! I love the Lord and his glorious gospel!!!

Sister Barnes Sr.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Life is beautiful! Having said that, missionaries experience lots of disappointments! A woman that we were preparing to be baptized gave up this week. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Tithing and she wasn't willing to give up her coffee or give 10%. She completely gave up on baptism. We told her to pray about these commandments and also about Joseph Smith (because if she knows Joseph Smith was a true prophet, she would accept these things as true commandments of God), but she told us that she didn't even want us to return again. Wow. I was not expecting that. That was hard. 

However, this week the youth from our ward got home from EFY. Here in Brasil, EFY is a new thing, and it is organized through the stakes. I have spent the last couple of months encouraging the youth in my ward to go. Many didn't want to go because you have to live by high standards while there. In the end, most of the youth ended up going. Even a couple non-member friends went. They got home this week......different. Punk young men that said they wouldn't be caught dead on a mission returned with desire to serve a mission. AND......the non-member friends came home with desire to BE BAPTIZED!!!!!!! I truly say that the church is full of inspired programs. EFY is one of them. As the world gets more and more wicked, the spirit has to be felt stronger and stronger. As a missionary, I promised myself to live an even higher standard of righteousness and obedience so I can help all these people aqui feel a huge amount of the spirit. 

Sorry that this isn't long, but know that I am happy and healthy and lovin life! 

Sister Aut Barnes Sr. 

Great Mail Day! I was almost brought to tears!
Yep....we got caught in the rain again. Que droga!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Can I get a halleluhah? (I still haven't learned how to spell that word. Maybe I'll get the hang of it before I die). The Lord has been blessing us with cloudy skies and wind! Yeah......wind and skirts aren't the best combination in the world, but I prefer an occasional Marilyn Monroe moment over being fried like a french fry every day.
Right now we are teaching a woman named Georgia. One day a week or so ago, I had the feeling that I should knock the door of a house. We met Georgia and she let us in. She told us that she has a friend from work that is a member, so she already knew a little bit about the church. We had an amazing first lesson with her. We gave her a Book of Mormon as well. I would have to say that this time as I was bearing my testimony about the Book of Mormon, something was different. I felt a confirmation SO STRONGLY in my heart that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God. I was holding it my hands as I was explaining and testifying and it was as if a tangible power was radiating from it. I always testify from the bottom of my heart, but this tangible force I felt was different, amazing. We have taught Georgia a couple times since then. She has read the Book of Mormon and has felt good doing it, but she is afraid to pray about it. Why, you may ask? Because she knows that if she prays about it, she WILL receive an answer. She knows that means commitment and change. How can I help her know that the things she will gain as she follows this answer will be a million times greater than anything she has to give up. I already have a hugeeeee love for this woman.....I hope I can help her trust the Lord enough to enter into the waters of baptism. I know it won't be easy.
Oh yeah.....right now..........Brazil's famous CARNAVAL. What wickedness. An opportunity to party, drink, traffic drugs, watch almost naked women dance and parade through the town......sounds like fun, right? No. This week has been super hard. Holiday here. No one is at home. Everyone is vacationing for Carnaval. We also have to be at home earlier every night because the roads get more dangerous. I can't believe the contrast between my missionary life and the stuff that goes on during Carnaval.
I KNEW IT!!!!! I knew Lisa would compare the MTC to Hogwarts! I am so glad that she is having fun.
12 words. I got two packages and about a billion letters the other day! I am pretty sure that I died and went to heaven!
Love you all!
You better love me too..........
Sister Barnes Sr.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Today is transfer day!!! I only have 3 transfers left!!!!!! WHAT?? I will be staying here in my area. It will be my fourth transfer here. I was a little disappointed because this area is super small and I am already really sick of it, but I know that President wants me to stay here with Sister Araujo for a reason. 
So, out of all the 150 missionaries in my mission, I will be leaving at the very beginning of June ALONE!!! No one else from the mission is leaving the same day! Normally a day before going home, those leaving have a dinner and testimony meeting and go to the temple with President and Sister Wright. Because I will be leaving ALONE, I was invited to join the group that will leave one transfer before me................................................................................................................................just for the dinner, testimony meeting, and temple session. Hahahaha GOTCHA!!...I will come home when I am assigned to come home in June, I will just participate in the temple, dinner, and testimony meeting in April. Sister Wright is kinda worried about me flying home alone, hahahaha so she is working on finding me a direct flight home instead of a flight with the usual connections in Sao Paulo and Atlanta. Bless her heart....I love her. But wow......trunky. I saw President the other day and the first thing he said was, "You don't have much time left, Sister Barnes." Then Sister Wright told me that they are already working on buying my plane ticket and everything. I have 4 months to work my heart out!!!! 

This week we taught a gay couple. That is something I have never done before. A couple days ago, 2 men stopped us on the street asking for a  Book of Mormon. One of these men is a member that moved here to the Rio Grande do Sul a year ago and hasn't been to church since......because he found a boyfriend, is what I am thinking. The member seems totally normal but his "friend" acts, talks, looks gay. BUT he is really interested in the church as well. We taught him the Restoration and he understood everything. It was a great lesson in fact. They have kind of been skirting around the whole "gay" thing and have just referred to each other as "great friends." Pray for me as I follow the spirit to know how to approach this! How do you ask two men if they are gay? is really complicated, but I know that everyone deserves a chance to accept the wish me luck!!

Today we had a P-Day with the whole Zone. We went to a park and played basketball, volleyball, soccer, frisbee. Then we went to a member's house and ate churrasco! It was super fun! I will send pictures. I will be sore has been awhile since I have played sports! 

I love you all. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ, restored and perfect. At times I get frustrated because I can't express how special the gospel is in words when I bear testimony to people here. It really is something you need to live. As you live it, you will see the countless blessings that it brings into your life. You will see that it really is the path that gives us happiness in this life and leads us to eternal happiness in the world to come. The mission is the best thing I have EVER done in my life. Best decision I have ever made in my life up until this point. So grateful that my little sis will be able to share in this priceless opportunity as well. 

Sister Barnes (I will be Sister Barnes Sr. tomorrow!)
Zone P-Day
My zone

Monday, January 28, 2013

Espero que todos vocês estejam bem!

Yesterday was pretty awesome. So I guess the missionaries aren't cool enough to have a special conference with Elder Bednar. (He is here in Porto Alegre), but yesterday our stake had a special conference with Elder Gary Stevenson, the Presiding Bishop of the church. He talked about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is different from every other church.....authority. Because of priesthood authority the church isn't just true, it is living!!!!!! He also talked about his love for missionaries, so I of course felt super special. I was able to talk to him and his wife for a second after the meeting. I was one of the few there that was able to communicate with him. (He doesn't speak Portuguese, so he had a translator.) He said that they have property in Morgan because they like to hunt. Small world. 

This will be the last week of this transfer. It is a transfer of 7 weeks to make up for the transfer of 5 weeks that we had right before Christmas. I only have 3 transfers left!!!!!!! 

This week was good. We found a few people these days that have a ton of potential. The work has been really hard these days because everyone is at the beach or vacationing for the famous Brazilian Carnival! But......the work must go on!

I am sure Lisa's farewell was amazing, because she was amazing! I am super proud of her and this desire to serve!

I love you all and I love this gospel. I LOVE being a missionary!

Sister Autumn Barnes

Monday, January 21, 2013


Today is one of those days when I am brain dead! I can't even think about what happened this week! I am super tired! But, I am grateful to be tired because it means that I am putting all my energies into what I am doing. 

I took a shower with a lizard today! My companion (the Brazilian of the bunch, mind you) thought that was super gross. I thought it was super cool! I will miss Brasil! 

This week we experienced more rejection than normal. I know it is because I am training!! Thank you Heavenly Father for giving me this challenge when I already feel this huge responsibility on my shoulders!!! 

One thing I have been amazed with here on the mission is how the Spirit works. Sometimes, most of the time, we do things without knowing why. Sometimes we do what the spirit tells us to do, and things don't go right. But the Lord leads us on a wild goose chase of sorts........that thing that didn't go right, but put us in a position for something else to happen. I feel like that has happened with me these past weeks. Sister Araujo hurt her ankle so I went on divisions with a lady in my ward. While I was walking with her on the street, I had the strong impression to talk to a lady walking past. The spirit pretty much pushed me to do it. I didn't even have time to mentally prepare myself, so I pretty much attacked the lady and made just about the ugliest contact a missionary can make. (All with the member right there with me. How embarrassing. But the important thing is that I listened to the spirit and opened my mouth). Turns out the this lady and the member I was with knew each other a bit. Because of the member, I was able to make an appointment with this lady. Long story short, we weren't able to make it to the appointment when we had scheduled, so we went to her house yesterday. She was at home, but was hiding. I saw her, but she didn't come to the fence to us. So, I decided that because we were there and our appointment fell through, I would knock the door of the house next door. We knocked and out came this man and his girlfriend. Yeah.........super interested. Super cool! Thank you Heavenly Father! 

I love you all and hope you have a great week! The church is more than true!

Sister Autumn Barnes
It rained SOOOO hard the other day!
Leticia! She is an angel!
Sister Araujo and Sister Barnes

Monday, January 14, 2013

Da Mish

Hahahahahahahahaha got snow?
I bet you are all super jealous of me right now! 
But you shouldn't be! Because as cold as it is as hot as it is here! 
Can I get a Halleleluia? (Don't judge me.....I know I didn't spell that right at all!) Sister Araujo is walking on her ankle now! Oh yeah! I was dying! It was good to hit the pavement again! However, I realized that being cooped up in my apartment for a couple days gave me a special energy boost! 

Because I hadn't been able to share the gospel for a couple of days, the second I stepped outside, I couldn't help but talk to everyone that I saw! At the beginning of my mission, I was super afraid to make contacts with people on the streets or in the park or whatever. I have really grown to love it though. My companion thinks I am super crazy because I stop people on the sidewalk, talk to punk teenage boys, anyone and everyone. Sister Araujo is new on the mission, so she is super afraid of rejection. Yeah, of course it is sad when someone rejects your message because you know how much it could bless them, but even when I am rejected I AM SO HAPPY because I know I put the message out there. I am SPREADING the gospel. I am doing my part by informing everyone and letting them exercise their agency. My missionary advice of this week: Don't be afraid to open your mouth and share the gospel! You NEVER know who will be receptive! 

Yesterday, we made a contact with a man in a park. I was really wanting to give a Book of Mormon to someone, but didn't want to give it someone who would just throw it in the trash afterwards. We started talking to a man named Luciano who was sitting on a bench watching his kids play soccer. We talked with him a bit and asked us if we were "Mormons." We explained that Mormon is a nickname we have. He asked where this nickname came from. Booyah. Perfect lead in to talk about the Book of Mormon. I whipped out my Book and Mormon and said, "Because of this book right here." I explained a bit about it, testified about it, and gave him the Book of Mormon. He took it and was looking at it with so much admiration and hunger to know more. He said, "Thank you so much for coming to talk to me today. I was really needing this." Because I am the most unlucky human being on this planet, he doesn't live in my area, but we passed his address on to  some Elders that will teach him. I am disappointed that it won't be me that will teach him, but I am grateful to have been an instrument in the Lord's hands to find this special son of God. 

Word is going around that Elder Bednar and Elder Oaks will be here in Porto Alegre this month. Pray that they will call a meeting with the missionaries here!!!!!! 

I love you all so much! There is no greater call in which to be engaged than that of the Lord's!!! 

Sister Autumn Barnes

Monday, January 7, 2013

Feliz Ano Novo!

I can't believe that it is 2013! I can't believe that I left for the mission in 2011! Whoa. 

I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ. I was thinking about this last year that I spent as a missionary, and I realized that I could have been so much better. Thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can put this in the past and resolve to have a better year this year. I can repent and be forgiven. One of the things I have learned here on the mission is the beauty of repentance. I have seen unhappy, sinful people turn their entire lives around. I have seen them apply the Lord's sacrifice in their life and turn a new page. 

This week at church we had a special fast. We fasted as a ward that our ward would be able to grow and that we would do everything necessary to make that happen. Yesterday at church as we were all fasting, two couples showed up at church saying that they had just moved in. I am convinced that prayer coupled with fasting is so powerful! I knew that before.....but this strengthened my testimony of the fact. 

I am getting so good at teaching classes at the last minute!!!! If someone doesn't show up to teach or to give a talk during sacrament meetings......"Ask the Sisters.They will do it."

Sister Araujo is still in the boot. We have been working a and walking a little bit, but we aren't able to do a full day's work yet. 

I got my Christmas package, Mom and Dad! Oh yeah! Loved it! Sister Araujo LOVED the stocking. 

I love you all!
Sister Autumn Barnes