Wednesday, July 10, 2013

God Bless America!

So the 4th of July was so fun!
The excitement for the holiday started to show a few days before, so the police department parked their RVs  up and down  the beach. We asked a cop what they used them for and she said that they get so many drunk people that they just handcuff them to the inside of the RV and then once it's full they drive it downtown and get all of them taken care of at once. WOW. On the 4th we had lunch with our district and then interviews with President Clayton. Can I just say that he listens to the Holy Ghost so well! I was amazed at the things he talked to me about because they were EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I love the Spirit :) Later that night we ate at a members and they fed us the classic 4th of July food... hamburgers and corn on the cob. And might I just say that that was the 1st time I had corn on the cob since my bottom retainer popped off! And it was SO AMAZING! Man, I never knew what I was missing out on! ps- I get my new retainers tomorrow! I got a clear one on top and bottom. YAY! Then we had to be in by 7:00 for safety reasons. We ended up parking about half a mile from our apartment because there were so many people. But it's all good because the walk gave us time to see everybody's America gear. People had America shirts, pants, underwear, swim suits, bandannas, scarves, hats, sunglasses, flip flops, you name it and we saw it! 'MERICA!!! That day we counted 44 boats and 66 surfers from just one look out on the ocean! Whew!

Random things: We went to Trader Joe's for the first time this week! I remember Annie loved that place so much so we decided to check it out. That place is totally rad! I got some practically homemade wheat bread for 1.99! I also got some super sharp Wisconsin cheese for 2.50 and then a big baggy of granola for 3 bucks!? What's that you say!? So I'm thinking that it would be cool to shop there in the future. Oh! Oh! And I got a chunky bag of dried cranberries for 3 bucks. Need I say more...? Did you see that Laura had her baby!? She sent me some pictures of little Lumi and I almost died! She is so precious! AND Dallin leaves on the 24th!? Oh man I'm so excited for him! Another Elder Preece for the world to love :D You're going to be amazing Dallin! Make me proud! :) 

Drum role please....................... (in my best announcer voice) WE HAVE 2 INVESTIGATORS WITH BAPTISMAL DATES!!!!!!!!! The mom's name is Nancy and her son is Cameron. They are so wonderful. We've known them for about a month and they have come to church three times in a row now! Nancy is the most humble person I know and Cameron is so respectful and kind. They really love the gospel. They chose the 20th to be the day they get baptized, TOGETHER! I won't lie, it has been so refreshing to see someone actually believe what Sister Strasser and I teach. They listen so intently and have tons and tons of questions. I'm also so grateful for the timing of all of all of this because now that I know what it feels like to not have a progressing investigator for 3 months, I'M ABSOLUTELY THRILLED! :) There is no better feeling than guiding one of Heavenly Father's children back to Him. We pray for their testimonies all the time. What a wonderful time in their lives!

Speaking of wonderful times in people's lives.... My life changed this week and it's never going back! Ever. In my last email I told you about how I got a blessing. In that blessing I was given specific guidance on something that only Heavenly Father knew I needed help with. This experience plus my next story I'm going to tell were so spiritual that my testimony of God's awareness and care has been solidified! ......We had a zone conference last week and it was nice as usual. We had a 10 minute break and then we sat back down for the last hour. The zone leaders brought around napkins to everyone and then they pulled out a box of donuts. We were sitting in a circle of about 24 people, so they asked the first elder if he wanted a do-nut. He said yes and then Elder Blair, my district leader who was sitting right next to me, got up and went to the middle of us all and did 10 push ups. I was like "what the hay was that!?? He is so weird."

Then they asked the next elder if he wanted one. He said yes and then Elder Blair did 10 push ups. This went on for about 6 people and then I started catching on to the pattern. The next elder said he didn't want one but Elder Blair did 10 push ups anyway. Pretty soon he had done 100 push ups and he was huffing and puffing.Then the zone leaders got to Sister Strasser and they said no one was allowed to make any noise from now on. Sister Strasser signaled that she wanted one and then it hit me. This was a object lesson on the Atonement. Elder Blair did her push ups and now that we were silent we could hear how hard it was for him. My heart just dropped. For the first time in my life I imagined what it would have sounded like to go through all of that pain. The Atonement became a very real thing to me very quickly. I started to feel emotional because I was starting to see how horrific and overbearing Christ's sacrifice for me was. I watched Elder Blair do all 10 for Sister Strasser while his face was bright red and I could hear how uncomfortable he was. 

Then they came to me, I grabbed my do-nut and I couldn't even watch Elder Blair because I felt so bad. By the time he got to my push ups he was extremely tired. He was breathing so hard. And when he got done with mine he didn't even look and me, he just put his face on the ground and got ready for the next 10. Once they had gone through everyone, Elder Blair had done 240 push ups in a matter of minutes. He got up came back to his chair right next to me and we all sat in silence. I couldn't even look at him because I didn't know what to say! I felt so bad but I was so grateful. 

After letting the Spirit teach us for a few minutes they told us to get with someone who wasn't our companion and bear our testimony of the Atonement. Elder Blair and I then had one the best conversations I've had so far in San Diego. I now know that Jesus Christ is my everything. I am forever grateful for Him. I know that My Savior loves me and the He is the only reason I have a chance in this life. He is my everything. As I allow Christ's love into my life more and more each day, I know that I can be everything Heavenly Father wants and knows I can be. 

This is the week that I finally said, "I love what I do!" I'm so grateful the Heavenly Father prompted me to go on a mission and to stretch myself. I needed this. I HAD to go on a mission. There are things that I could only learn here in San Diego. What a blessing to have this opportunity.

I love you!
Sister Barfuss

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