Wednesday, May 29, 2013

1. the fish tacos of death before we knew they were the fish tacos of death :) haha 2. we found some balloons on the way to church 3. a sweet driveway! 4. there are cool flowers EVERYWHERE!!

When the Mormon Helping Hands get rolling, they can't be stopped!! :)

Thank you so much for telling me about how Sister Strasser and I are making a difference in Pocatello. It really means a lot! We can honestly feel your prayers... it's weird, but it's real. This week has been one for the record books! I have broken a lot of personal barriers and we have decided to go into what our zone calls "Beast Mode" :) Haha!

I'll start off with some random details. Some of the Elders in my zone have found out that I can get pretty worked up when provoked, so they call me Sister BarfyBarf all the time :) Haha! They just want a reaction. Bunch of sillies. So I'm pretty sure we live like 10 miles away from Sea World because I see signs for it ALL the time. We had one of the Wendy's new waffle cones... awesome little treat right there. You should go get one right now. And I had my first fish taco! It was yummy while I was eating it, but then ohhh man! Sister Strasser and I both got so sick. Bleh. Lets just say we're probably not going to have another fish taco. everrrrrr. So i'm pretty sure I'm scared of the ocean. So much for going on a cruise!! I would be so scared AND I'd probably get sea sick hard core... well good thing I don't have any money to go on one anyways :) Haha!

President Clayton reminds me of Dad so much. But really though... When he talks I sit there and I'm like "Dad? How did you find me? How in the world did you know I was going to be here today??" Haha! It's actually turned into a huge blessing because I respect him and love him and I'm not scared of him. Some of the missionaries are terrified of him and I just remember he's a dad and a grandpa, not some mean guy. A funny experience with President... We went to some training this week and we had to role play with another companionship. So my zone leaders are like, "Be with Us!!" So it's kinda scary to teach them right!? Well while we're teaching them the assistants come over and start observing so they can give suggestions. (BAHHH!!!! SCARY!) And then President comes over and just sits down to enjoy the Sister Barfuss freakout show! Seriously, that was one of the most intimidating things I've done so far on my mission.Turns out that all of them are so nice and so cool. They gave us great feed back and now we're friends. (WHEW! Had to put my big girl panties on for that one!)

WE GOT TO TEACH THIS WEEK!!! I taught the restoration for the first time! Not going to lie... the lady we taught was as drunk as a skunk, BUT! we taught! (boooo beer!) We also taught a recent convert that lives in a trailer in the back yard of a member. We sat out in a circle in camping chairs and used the motioned censored light by the porch for light. It was so awesome. He is the most humble and loving man I know. And lets be real... it felt nice to be in a camping chair at night :)

This week I met someone from Egypt, Italy, Finland, Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, and Iran!!! I also met a pro skateboarder and a 99 year old grandma! I can't believe how many people come from so far away to San Diego! I've found that 99% of people we meet here are either Catholic or Atheist. I had one lady tell me that she hates religion because it tells you to have children and every child that is born is ruining the earth more and more. Uhhhhhhhhhh........? I'm not gonna lie. My response to her was "Yeah. Okay. Well there's this museum in old town about the Mormon Battalion that settled San Diego. You should check it out!" (Que Sister Strasser with the pass a long card).

Yesterday I didn't email because we had a Sister Missionary Brunch. All the sisters in the mission met up and Sister Clayton had a good message for us and some yummy food! Watch for those pictures on the mission blog. After the brunch we went to zone sports where we we played basketball and volleyball. Okay I'm going to get all weird for a bit... but hang in there with me. Yesterday basketball and volleyball became a spiritual experience for me. I COULD NOT BELIEVE how good it felt to be in a gym with a volleyball. I sat there and passed against the wall for ever and ever. Then I set against the wall over and over. It was so therapeutic! So many memories of being in the gym came to my mind and I felt a part of me come alive that's been quiet for a while. I could not get enough of it! I felt so powerful and I felt like that was where I belonged. How many hours do you think I've spent in a gym playing volleyball mom? Seriously though? Hey Moo! I can still pass against the backboard more than 10 times in a row ;) Haha! Then we played basketball and I played SO hard. Seriously I have never had so much energy in my entire life. I felt like I was dropping pounds of stress and worry as we played. The sisters in my zone aren't too into sports, but I HAVE to have it! The elders took it easy on me at first but they're like,  "Kay we're done babying you Sister Barfuss. Lets play for reals!" And then we go crazy. It feels so good to sweat! It feels so good to wake up sore. My testimony of the Word of Wisdom was strengthened yesterday. Our biggest gift from Heavenly Father is the fact that we have bodies!! When we treat them well, other things (both physical and spiritual) come quicker. The Word of Wisdom is not all about not drinking beer or coffee, it's very much about the good things we should be doing also. I'm trying to be better each day! Join me!

And let's close with Al! Oh Al! Bless his heart. So we went over on Sunday and he pulls the same, "My dinner is on the stove!" I just kept it real and said that he was having dinner last time we came at 7:00 and now he's having dinner at 4:30? (Yeah right!) He told us that he still wasn't ready to talk about religion and that he wouldn't be for a long time. So I told him that that was just fine because we still didn't even know if he had kids, where he grew up, what he did for a living, what he enjoys reading, what his religious beliefs are, what his plans for the future are, and what he does with his time now! (GOT YA AL!!!) You might think that I'm being rude to him, but trust me, I'm not. He needs someone to be in his grill and he knows it. He told us about how he admires us and all that jazz but that Mormonism isn't his thing, and that if we talked to him about his life we would hear a whole bunch of sarcastic stories that would offend us. He said that his sarcasm often does that to people... hehehe WELL AL!! Let me introduce you to Sister Barfuss! I live and breath sarcasm! I told him to try it out on me to see what would happen :) We're going back later this week to clean up his yard. He's going to try and get us to leave, but sorry! When the Mormon Helping Hands get rolling, they can't be stopped!! :) 

I LOVE all the stories I'm hearing about you being brave and talking about the gospel! Keep it up! Heavenly Father is so grateful for you!!
Sister Barfuss

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


OKAY! Yay for another week in paradise! :) I'm going to start off with a bunch of questions... because I seriously am out of the loop now days. When is Sister Monson's funeral? We heard about it on the day she died, so for companionship study we watched a short movie on the Monsons. She really did dedicate her whole life to the gospel. Her and President Monson were so darn cute... They melt my heart! I couldn't even handle the story of how they met! Ohhhh people in love :) Are Josh and Kara Weathers married yet!? They were my very first friends at BYU when I lived in campus plaza! Her bridal shower was the day I moved home! Are Meg and Nate married now!? I got a picture of them at the temple, but it was before the 14th. Is Moo going to be a millionaire when I get back? Sounds like that girl is working hard! Go moomoo! Go moomoo! :) You should send me some of your money ;)

I busted open the Jerky you sent me in my birthday package... oh my so good! I felt like I was dreaming. Another food item I am loving are the whole wheat ritz crackers! You know how Brian Regan talks about eating fig newtons by the sleeve and there are shavings flying off the side while he eats them? Yeah, that's me and the ritzy ritz :) Hehe. The ASL elders are in my zone and they gave me a sign language name and I got taught how to say I'm a sister missionary! Sometimes while I'm bored in the bathroom or the shower I practice finger spelling... hahaha It's awesome! We have rummagers that go through our garbage multiple times a day.. seriously though. While I'm studying I can just look out the window and there are people searching through the dumpster for things they can recycle for money. It kind of breaks my heart, and makes me want to put a present in there or something that will make their day... maybe a Book of Mormon with some cans tied to it! Haha! 

Here's how our cockroach story ended... we told the elders in our district about it so they came over before we all went to zone sports for Pday. Elder Massey just walks right in, grabs it with his bare hands and throws it out the front door! He's from Florida... so i guess that makes him made of steel. BUT! The story doesn't end there! We were in charge of filling up the baptismal font for a baptism on Saturday. We went over to our church, opened up the font doors, and BAM! There were two cockroaches in the font! I was all like "Nope. Nope. Nope. Satan will not stop this baptism!!" So I got Sister Strasser's shoes and jumped in there and wrestled those suckers! When I squished them their guts squirted all over the font. Oh. My. Nasty. But now the cockroach population knows that Sister Barfuss is armed, hostile, and ready to roll. What's up now roaches!?

I got to go on exchanges in University City and I the sisters there live next door to the temple! And guess what!? I got to teach a lesson with them IN THE TEMPLE! How cool would it be to get taught by the missionaries in the temple waiting room?? Yeah. This was the miracle I have been looking for! The man we were teaching asked a pretty good question about God and the sisters I was with (along with me) did not know the answer and it was something really bothering him. I just sat there and prayed for an answer and I felt like I should look at the footnotes in a verse we were just in. I read it and my mind was just as clear as could be! I knew the answer! I told the man we were teaching, then testified! I have been praying for an opportunity like this for weeks! And of course it happened in the temple :) I can't wait to do a session... we get to on June 4th! :D I won't lie, I've noticed a hole in me from not being able to go to the temple each week. What a huge blessing I had at BYU! Never take the temple for granted. Lets all stay worthy of it's blessing together! The FOREVER Temple Team!

Now for the best experience of the week! After the baptism we filled the font for, Sister Strasser and I both felt like we should go try and talk to a referral we got. He is an old man that lost his wife 3 years ago and he is still in a lot of pain and denial. We were pretty scared to talk to him because the people that gave us the referral said he was pretty introverted and closed off to everyone. But we knew we needed to go and see him and that Heavenly Father would help us find him home. Before we got out our of the car we said a prayer and I prayed that we would be calm and collected so that he would see us as the representatives of Christ that we are. I also prayed that we would be brave enough to be bold and persistent  I got out of the car feeling good but still quite nervous. I said another prayer on my way across the street so I would not be anxious, and Heavenly Father answered me by saying that I was the one that needed to talk to this man. I needed to be brave and speak strongly of Christ. So we walked up to his door and he answered on the first knock! (never happens) I introduced us and he said he had dinner on the stove and that this wasn't a good time and he tried to close the door. I caught the door and said "Al. There are people that care about you so much that they sent us to you. They told us about your wife and they know that our message will change your life!" He just looked at me. He tried to change the subject by bringing up the fact that we were sisters and not elders. I brought it right back and said that we knew he would see his wife again and that there is great hope when accepting Christ into our lives. Then I told him that I WOULD NOT have left my family and my friends for 18 months if I thought that maybe the message was true! He just kept looking at me. Then he brought up something about his cat. I brought it right back and said "Al. You need a friend. We are not here to shove religion down your throat. We are here to be your friend and to love you. Please let us talk with you and get to know your story. Please." He looked at me and said "Barfuss? Is that English?" I told him IT'S GERMAN. (he probably wasn't surprised by that because I was all up in his grill Haha But I had to give a shout out to great grandpa Barfuss. He deserves one!) Al said that he would not make a commitment to another appointment but that "Barfuss and Strasser" could come back if they wished. :) that was all we needed. The next day was Sunday and we fasted for that sweet man! Probably the first truly faithful fast I have ever had. A miracle is going to happen. Heavenly Father is smiling.

Miracle May is in full swing!! Please keep me posted on the miracles happening in your life! :D
I love you all! (but really though. I love you)
Sister Barfuss

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Open Your Mouth! - 5-14-2013

It was SO wonderful to talk to you on Sunday! Honestly, I bawled after we hung up because it was just so perfect! Now i know why they only let us do that twice a year though... too much for my tender missionary feelings to handle. Haha! I don't know what it is about hearing people's voices, but MAN they bring back memories quick! I love you all so much! And even Peter said hi to me in baby talk... oh lanta i love that boy so much!
So here are the details I  forgot to tell you about during the phone call... I've been amazed at how much my love of music has been growing. Every opportunity there is to sing now,  I'm all over it. Mom, thank you SO much for making me take piano lessons and for teaching me how to sing. Very few things bring the Spirit into my heart like music does. I played the piano in district meeting :D Oh yeah mamas! I KNOW you're going to like hearing that! Guess what hymn i played ;) hehehe! You should look up the song "I am His Daughter" by Nicole (last name starts with an S). It is so good. I'm going to say that again. It is so good. Whenever I just need to sing out a praise to Heaven I turn on that song. It makes me feel so strong! YEAH!

So you know how Jessica Barfuss has a sister that serves in Mormon Battalion? I met her! She looks just like her! She's a sweetheart! Since we were wondering before I left... only the sisters that get called to the Mormon Battalion serve there. So I will be full proselyting my whole mission.

Katelyn and Todd? When do you celebrate your first date? When you would always go to Wendys and I would crash the party? Is it the 17th? Haha! Because that's my month marker... so we can all celebrate together! Good lanta I've already almost been out a month! :) Missions are so great.

So I've been asked if I know any Barfuss folk in Calgary Canada about 5 times now...seriously though. I say no.. am I right? I would love to claim some Canadianess though :) Weird how people keep asking me.

Things that should make you laugh... animals here (and in most states) hate me. Good gravy animals hate me! Hahaha! This week over 5 dogs have tried to end my life, probably 7 or 8 cats have stalked me and tried to rip my skirt off, and then we have this crow that hangs out in the palm tree right next to the window by my desk. It just chills there and talks all day long to me. Maybe it's lonely. There are snails all over the side walks in the morning when we walk out to the beach and they give me the heebeegeebees! Whew they're nasty. And to put the cherry on top of the animal kingdom, last night I was in our room getting ready for bed and I look over at my suitcase and there is a cockroach just chilling on it!! (I only know what cockroaches look like from watching episodes of Hoarders on TLC) Haha! If it was a spider I would have been calm and collected but good night that thing was huge! So I flipped out and got Sister Strasser... but when we came back it had ninja vanished. My heart dropped, for now the cockroach was within 5 feet of me but i didn't know where! We got a bowl and eventually it ran out across the floor and we pounced on it like a cheetah.  That little bugger can haul! We left the bowl on it all night because we don't know how to kill it.... we'll see about maybe flushing it down the toilet later tonight.

My favorite thing on the earth is Christmas music right!? So i started turning it on when Sister Strasser is in the shower because I know that normal human beings don't appreciate it this early in the year. But come on, every single day should be about Christ, so why not have music about Him too!? I'm with Uncle Greg when it comes to Christmas, there earlier we start celebrating, the better! We totally have a Christmas tree in our apartment :) it's up in a corner cabinet right next to this giant traffic cone that some dorky elders bought...

As for San Diego having perfect weather. I completely agree that it's perfect... IF YOU'RE 90% NAKED! (which is everyone here but us :) Hahaha) Around here you just don't wear clothes. Honestly. Not even shoes. But lets be real... if i lived here I would not wear a skirt, closed toes shoes, a blouse, and two layers of underwear and undershirt. I get sweaty so fast... so i've basically ruled out makeup. I put some on my eyes, but everything comes off by noon anyways :) Haha! YES! But whenever we're sweaty, people are kinder and let us into their house... so it's a good strategy ;) SWEAT ON SISTER MISSIONARIES!

Something I have been thinking a lot about this week... Spiritual gifts. For the longest time I really never thought that i had any of those 'cool' gifts that they talk about in the scriptures. WRONGO. If you read closer in True to the Faith and the Bible dictionary you will see that everyone has at least one of the gifts. How precious is it that Heavenly Father would take the time to personally give each of us a gift that we can use to build our testimony and the testimony of others? I invite you all to go through the list in the scriptures and see which gifts you have been given. Also, while you are reading them, look for gifts that you know other people have been given and tell them about it! Nothing is more uplifting that a genuine compliment from someone you love. Don't ever hesitate to tell people about their strengths, everybody needs to be praised. My mantra for the month... Open your mouth! Heavenly Father is proud of each of His children and is always looking for ways to bless them. Lets all pick one gift that we would love to have and take steps toward obtaining it. I'm thoroughly convinced that as we show Heavenly Father our desires and cares, He will give us more knowledge and power. You just have to believe! :) Heavenly Father loves His believers :) They have a special place in His heart.

Thank you for your support and prayers! Everyday Heavenly Father reminds me of how many people are praying for me, and it means a lot!

Sister Barfuss

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May Miracles 5-7-13

Hello people that I love so very much!                                                                         

So lets start out with Grandpa Preece passing away. So sorry to hear that, yet so grateful that he is with all of his loved ones right now. He deserves a pretty big party! I love Grandpa so much and I can't wait to hear about everyone's favorite memories of him. What a wonderful man! Here is how me hearing about him went... VERY cool experience. If you want to see 10 miracles happen in 10 hours please read on. It all started Monday morning.

 My companion, Sister Strasser (Straw-ser), and I started out with personal study. During personal study I was in Ether 7 learning about miracles. Our area (Pacific Beach and La Jolla) needs a miracle so bad. Our ward is very interesting because half of it is full of super rich people that are Less Active and do not want the gospel, and then the other half are the younger people who came to live on the beach and want to 'lose themselves.' We are RIGHT on the beach. Every morning we walk to the ocean for exercise... it only takes 4 minutes!!! Our mission boundaries end where the sand starts so we do get to touch it but we can only walk on the boardwalk and look out at the surfers and boats. The beach is called Tourmaline Surfing Beach I believe, and I can seriously  see it from my desk when I study in the morning. SO BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE THE OCEAN! 

So back to our ward... we have been struggling to find anyone interested in the gospel. We do not tract in our mission because many of the people live in gated communites and it is incredibly hilly here... who would have known!? President Clayton believes that our time is better spent in other places and I agree. Our area book with all of the information about what the former missionaries were doing before us is almost blank... so we are left with like 5 names and a prayer. Of course we visited all of those people in one day. So then what do we do the next day? Visit members 

 But then after a few days we're out of people right? So we have been praying for a miracle. We need someone to teach! So Ether 7 was giving me ideas on how to be more faithful and how to get a miracle and I just broke down. I started talking to Sister Strasser and she was feeling the exact same way. We had both been trying to be strong for the other one, but now it was 'keep it real time.' We both shared our frustrations and our worries. Sister Strasser has only been out 12 weeks!!! That is so young to be training! You could not train ANY earlier! While we were trying to figure out how to move the area forward we got a phone call from President Clayton and he asked for me. He told me that Grandpa had passed away and gave me some comfort. Good thing I was already crying!!! 

So while I'm on the phone with President Clayton someone knocks on our window and is waving at us... and of course :) it's four elders! They were coming to pick up a bike, but really we all know it was because I was going to need a blessing to make it through that day. They gave me one on our porch and it was wonderful. There is nothing I love more than the Priesthood. They left and then our zone leaders called and said the had heard about Grandpa and our numbers from last week (almost all zeroes). The took us to lunch with the District leader and they just sat there and listened to us the whole time. I have never felt so much love in my entire life. They had the idea of having a zone blitz where our whole zone would come and street contact for a few hours, hopefully giving us some referrals to work with. Honestly they feel like my family. Heavenly Father knew that Grandpa would pass and put 8 elders in my path with in 10 minutes! The most wonderful part has been that I was in Ether 7 and before Sister Strasser and I had started talking about our frustrations I gave a prayer that sounded like this... 

"Heavenly Father I want this area to be successful. I want to teach! I want to bring more people to Thee, but I'm stuck. I don't know what to do. I'm new. I'm so tired and we just got up. My body hurts. I don't think I have enough energy to be enthusiastic ALL day. I know that's what You need, but in all honestly I just don't have enough to give today. All I have is half of a mustard seed of hope and faith. I'm so sorry. I will try to give more each day. Please be patient with me." I gave Heavenly Father HALF of a mustard seed. HALF!!! And look at all of the miracles that came from it. Absolutely wonderful. MIRACLES!

Please tell Grandma that I love her and that she is amazing. I hope that one day I can say that I have as much patience, will power, and love as her. What a wonderful example of a hard working wife and mother. Truly a miracle.

Now for the details on San Diego. We are so close to the ocean, so we smell it all the time. Sometimes stinky! Haha! I love the palm trees and everyday I ask Sister Strasser about them. I really really want a book on plants in San Diego because my green thumb is dying to learn about them. Bahaha That sentence was ridiculous, but true! Our apartment is nice, but holy hannah the shower had an inch of mold in it. SICK! We got some bleach on that beast pretty quick. There isn't any parking around here so we have to fight for a spot everyday! I've had to parallel park a few time because Sister Strasser doesn't like to do it. 

I had my first rejection this week, my first dog attack, my first street contact, and my first Fbomb dropped this week! Haha They were all super funny! Funny things about our area... so on Cinco de Mayo there were SO MANY drunk people. Friday nights are pretty bad too. We have some neighbors that like to party. The members think that the missionaries are always super hot and hungry, so every time we go into a house they give us food and a water bottle  I'm starting a collection! I have 5 water bottles in the fridge right now :) haha I usually don't hoard like that, but heck! Why not start now?? ;) So you know those people who get paid to twirl the signs in front of Little Caesars? Well here they just get a manakin robot to do it. They look like giant barbies... SO CREEPY! hahahaha 

So far I've met a dude with super long dread locks, an autistic boy that can only talk by typing on an iPad, a Southern Reverend, and oh yeah, MITT ROMNEY IS IN MY WARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Hey. what's up Brother Romney. nothing. cool. not much here either. bye. BAHHHHHHHHH!!!

Speaking of cool people... this week I was in a members home and heard their boys talking about volleyball. So I listened closer (not in a creepy way) and it turns out they were talking about the BYU game! So I asked and they're like "Yeah we lost!" So I said "We? As in you went to BYU!?" Then they say..... "Uhhhh yeah. we're ON THE TEAM." Hahahahahha No way!!!!!!! So 2 brothers in my ward are on the team! The Heap brothers! I shook their hands! Man my ward is crazy!

This one time at dinner this week there was a fly in my water. Super awkward. We were in the wards pinewood derby this week! Our car is SO sweet! I'll send pictures soon :) I've seen the temple from afar... SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Mom I brought YOUR gingersnaps from the MTC to California... So now they've been from Idaho to Utah and then Utah to California! STILL SO GOOD!!! love them more than anything else. It's been raining like crazy here! I LOVE THE WEATHER. absolutely perfect.

Pray for us to find more ways to spread the gospel. I know that the combined faith and prayers of everyone I love can move mountains! 

I love you more than gingersnaps and milk. (that's a lot a love right there) xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxox

Sister Barfuss

She Made it to San Diego 5-1-13

We made it!! Woohoo!! The flight here was great :) I had my first missionary experience! The man next to me was named Sergio and we talked for at least half an hour.  He told me about boot camp, leaving his family, and his friends.  We had a really good conversation and I tried to bring up God and the church as much as I could :) We ended up talking about the church for a bit and he said he respected me for spending 18 months doing this.  When we got off the plane and I gave him a pass along card with my small testimony on  the inside.  Look at me being brave!  And I used to HATE talking to people!  Hahahah  Sergio is a good man that I think will accept the gospel some day.  It was weird how quickly I felt connected with him.

So as soon as we landed we went and got our baggage and there Sister and President Clayton were at the bottom of the escalator!  They took some pictures:) is was super cute!  It'a a little humid but it feels like a DREAM!!!!!! I Love It Here! It's so lush and green, with a  slight breeze.  Oh baby! I can't wait to be outside most of the day.  President Clayton says we don't do any tracting, we only use members:) very cool!  Plus, it's sooooooo hilly here!  They made us walk up their super steep driveway when we got here because it's so hard for the car to back down!  It was like hiking the "Y". Bleh.  Good thing it doesn't snow here

So here's what I've said about 20 times already. THIS IS SO AWESOME!   This is SO awesome!   This is SO awesome!  The weather, the scenery, the food, the ocean, the missionaries! Man I'm just so excited to get down to business!  We had 25 missionaries today :) Very Cool!  Heavenly Father knew this is where I belonged.  Palm trees are super cool.......I've only seen them like once!   Haha

I LOVED talking to you today! It was the perfect  way to start the day! Honestly I have the best family in the world!!Too bad for all the other missionaries:) hehehehe  We're going out with the missionaries TONIGHT so pray for me!  We're jumping right in!

 I love you so so so so so so so s o much!
Keep reading your scriptures :) keep praying :)

Sister Barfuss
PS - P-Days are tuesday in the mission.  We get 2 hours total between the companionship to email :) YAY!!!