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 you.....it 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 also..........it 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? Anyway.....it is really complicated, but I know that everyone deserves a chance to accept the gospel.........so 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 tomorrow.....it 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