Monday, January 30, 2017

I'm in Neverland!

my nametag with Raiatea in the background

my adventure gear as a missionary- bike, helmet, and backpack

palm trees, the road on the left, the ocean on the right. My sector is probably the prettiest in the whole world.

Sister Chinking stopped by our house. She said "I have food for you two." It turned out to be two huge bags of groceries! What?
What our chapel looks like from inside. Lots of bright red plastic chairs!

Hi family!

It's sad to hear about Grandpa Barlow's passing. What a blessing it is to have the knowledge of the Gospel. I'm glad we can see him again one day after this life. I hope you're all doing well! I wish I could have been with everyone during the funeral.

This week went well! We have been so blessed. All the members in the branch here love us because we actually go out and work. They see a difference from the missionaries that were here before.

We're teaching one family of grown up sisters. There are 3 sisters who aren't members, and another sister is a member. We met them because I play the piano. My first day here with Elder J we went to see them and played the piano. Since then, we've started the lessons (every Monday night for family night) and they've come to church twice. They are super potential. I hope everything works out. Anyways, their sister who is a member loves us now because we're teaching her sisters. She really wants to be able to be sealed to them. Since we started teaching them, she stops by all the time at our house to drop off food and stuff.  The people here are so generous! I feel super blessed.

What other miracles happened this week.... We went to get a haircut and the guy did it for free for us. That was great (even though my hair looks like a flat top now.... haha). Oh, C, who I taught at Orofero called me this morning! He is doing well. It's been over 5 months now since his baptism. He told me he has started his mission papers and he will hopefully leave on a mission  before the end of the year. That made me really happy. What a life change he's made.

Also, we had our worldwide missionary broadcast this week. Elder Oaks and the missionary committee gave a live broadcast/training announcing several changes. First, the missionary daily schedule is a little different, giving us more flexibility as missionaries as to when to do our studies, planning, etc. Second, they announced changes to our daily and weekly reports. We no longer report how many lessons we do each week! Yay! Now we only report how many baptisms and confirmations we have, how many baptismal dates we have fixed, and how many people come to church. It's great!

One cool experience that I had this week: we were in a lesson and I couldn't really feel the spirit. I had no idea what to talk about. During the lesson I was praying super hard. At one point, a verse I had read in my morning study came into my mind. It was a verse in Alma 5, saying basically 'if you died today and were brought before God, have you sufficiently repented and been made clean through Christ?' I said something of that effect to our investigator and he was struck by the spirit. It was awesome. The spirit can lead us if we open our mouths!

Overall I am doing well. It is beautiful here, and I love the branch members. I had the thought several times this week: I never want to leave. I realized that I go home pretty soon. It will be sad to leave this beautiful place. I'm in Neverland! :)

Love you all,

Elder Barlow

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