Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Don't Share That!

Tuesdays, Tuesdays, Tuesdays, yadahdoo! I love Tuesdays! 
Today we are going hiking as a zone, so that's going to be awesome. It's going to be WAY hot though... man, I just sweat like a beast ALL the time. Few favors I ask of you... will you send me some 5x7 or 4x6 pictures of everyone and everything? Haha! I want funny pictures that will make me laugh, older pictures of when we were kids, ones of mom and dad when they were younger and 'cool' :) Stuff like that!? I like having them in my hand because I can only look at the pictures you email me once a week for an hour... boo. So could I get some of those next time you're bored? hehe I love you!!

1. One night a few weeks ago I woke up with a super bad headache, so I went out into the living room and took some ibuprofen. Well a couple of nights later I woke up and Sister Montgomery asked me if I was feeling okay... I said yes and she told me that I had gotten up last night and taken some more ibuprofen again.... I went out to my purse and sure enough there was my little baggy of pills wide open sitting on my desk... shoot. I'm a crazy bus at night.
2. There is this song called "He knows me better" that I have been LOVING recently. I don't know who it's by or anything, but I love it! So one day another missionary had the song and the artist name and guess who sings it...? Janessa Buttars!!!! Katelyn's friend from high school!! :) I laughed and laughed and laughed! All along I totally knew who it was! She is so cool!
3. We went to our car on Friday morning and we had a ticket for 56 bucks! WHAT!? Turns out that there was street sweeping there from 3AM-6AM so we got a ticket. SO silly right!? Like they even swept the streets anyway. I paid for the ticket and my companions were so mad. They've been trying to pay me back... it's turned into a fun game :)
4. Since it's the last week of the transfer again I'm the designated driver and I am ashamed to say that I honked at someone for the first time in my life yesterday... the light was green... we wanted to turn left... they were just chillin there.... I was ready to get the show on the road....... California baby :) California
5. This morning we had a little bit of an awkward "tif." Hahaha! So we did all our laundry together and we were sorting it all out on Sister Strasser's bed. Well once we all had folded what we thought was ours, Sister Strasser noticed that she was missing a pair of underwear. So Sister Montgomery just grabbed one of hers and gave it to Sister Strasser. This was completely okay with me and I went on with my morning. I noticed that Sister Strasser was still counting and looking super close at everyone's underwear trying to find hers... Eventually the following was said "Why do you even care? Just have this one." Well turns out that Sister Montgomery and her twin ALWAYS shared underwear and then I ALWAYS shared with Emily... so to us it's not gross or weird. But Sister Strasser was not having any of that :) She said "I have six brothers!! I don't SHARE underwear!" Hahaha she never found the ones she was looking for.......

1. Cameron has the priesthood now! :)
2. Nancy is having us over for "a night to never forget." We are having dinner, having a lesson, watching a video about Brigham Young, and then watching the fireworks from Sea World from the bay right where they live :) i'm PUMPED!
3. Turns out that my whole district loves Brian Regan, so we quote him all the time and we just get rolling! Hahaha! Nothing is better than a little Brian Regan!
4. The black shows you bought me mom, the ones that were 'hush puppies' or something... are amazing. I've decided that I like them more than my tennis shoes! ps- i think i'm going to get some new ones soon... i wore a hole in the ones i have now.
5. We went to an old folks home yesterday and visited some of the old members that lived there.They are less-active, but it's really just because they are sick. We sang to them and tried to leave a message... but they couldn't really hear us :) but that's okay. It reminded me of Grandma and Grandpa Barfuss... They would be SO happy if missionaries came by for just  a minute or two!

the pictures...
-us in the car. i rock the back seat most of the time.
-us in an elevator with a mirror on the ceiling... trippy
- this is the kind of service we do... cleaning up yards next to SUPER nasty green pools

i love you! :) 
-Sister Barfuss

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Let me use this saw and I'll cut it down!"

Okay so here's the deal... I don't have as long as usual today because some certain events transpired (which I'll get into in a second) so forgive me for this being shorter than usual :) Here's the story!

 This morning the alarm went off at 6:30, we went out and exercised, and then we got back to our door and realized that the person that is in charge of the keys, forgot the keys to the apartment. So we just stood there and said "Uhhhh............... we have NO idea what to do right now............. *shoot*." So we sat there and surveyed the situation. We live on the 2nd floor so a window isn't and option, it's 7:00 in the morning and our neighbors aren't awake, and we don't have a phone. So we started shoving everything we could into the lock to slide it open. After about 30 minutes the big wooden door (you gotta realize that every house in California has two doors, one that's wooden and then another that's metal that lets a breeze come in) opened. It just opened right up. (WHAT!!?? Biggest tender mercy of my life right there.) So now we only had to get the metal screen door open. We tried everything and failed over and over and over and over. (Desperate times call for desperate measures.) We remembered that we have a neighbor that's always outside in the morning drinking his coffee, so we thought maybe we could use his cellphone! We went down the ally and there he was! (We call him Papa Smurf, but his name is Richard Haha!

 He gave us his phone but said that he only had 2 prepaid minutes on it left...... *shoot*. At that moment we remembered a paint store near us that is always open early for the contractors, so we walked to the store and asked to use their phone. They said yes and then we realized that we didn't know ANYBODY'S number!! *shoot* So we did what we never thought we would never do, and we called Sister Strasser's house phone. Her mom answered and called the mission office on her cellphone and then put the two phones up to each other and we talked to the senior missionaries in the office. (WOOOOOOW RIGHT!??) So they said they would send someone out our way in a bit. We walked back to our apartment and then sat on our porch for an hour. Elder Kitchen, one of the senior missionaries, finally came and just laughed and laughed at us. He looked at the door for a while and then pulled a saw out of his toolbox. Hahaha he is SO awesome!! So we started sawing the door hinges off. After 20 minutes the door finally came off and we rejoiced! So basically I spent 3 hours this morning sitting on our porch trying to get our stupid door open! I'm not sure what we are supposed to learn from this... but I'll keep you posted :) Maybe to not forget the keys?? Nahhh... Heavenly Father ALWAYS has something deeper to be found in every situation.

1. We street contacted a lady named Jan this week and we asked her if she had any religious background... well she said yes. She said her relationship with God is great and that He sometimes calls her "jana banana." hehehehehehhehhee is was SOOOO hard to keep a straight face on that one!! I wanted to be like "No way! He calls me marysa kissa!!" But that would have been rude :)

2. We were weekly planning again and it came time for the massive prayer that I've brought up before right!? So it's my turn this time... I start praying and out of nowhere we hear this clown horn come from the ally! So I try and keep it together (yeah right!!) and then the person did it again! So we're all giggling and trying to be respectful for a solid 2 minutes. We get it all pulled back together and I started up the prayer again. Then a few minutes later  we hear it again *ErrieErrrrrrie*. So now we're laughing out loud completely. After we pull it back together I started up again and then prayed for like 10 minutes. And then BAM!!! we get attacked by it AGAIN!! Now we're on the ground crying because we are laughing so hard! Basically, I think Heavenly Father was okay that we had the giggles. I think He likes it when we're happy :)

3. A member that works for the border patrol in our ward had us over for dinner last night and when we were leaving he gave us all our own person pepper sprays :) HAHA! Mine is red, Sister Strasser's is purple, and Sister Montgomery's is red :) We're protected now baby! They are just little ones you put on your keys. But he is serious about safety!

4. We ran out of toilet paper this week in the University City apartment and it wasn't Pday... so we just went over to the temple. Yep. THAT is how close I serve to the temple. We could have walked and it would have taken 3 minutes :)

Little shout out to Brennan... A family from the Philippines had us over for dinner this last week and we had Chicken Adobo! It was super yummy! Have you ever had that before?

5. And the last little funny for everyone... you're not allowed to make fun of me okay. So this last week I went to sleep every night with a sore throat. I couldn't figure out what the deal was because I wasn't feeling sick at all and my nose wasn't stuffed. I had all the energy I usually had and everything. So I sat there and thought and thought and thought. Then it came to me... it's because I never shut up!! All I do is yickyack all day and when I'm not talking to strangers, I'm talking to my companions, and when I'm not talking to my companions, I'm singing! And then when I'm not singing, I'm laughing!! So basically, I decided that I might loose my voice completely before the end of my mission... pray for me :)

Sister Barfuss

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

He's There! He Really Is.

What's up every body!?? Sounds like Brennan is having quite a time in Thailand! Man! All I have to say is that I would not do well with those lizards... They are massive and NASTY!
And I can definitely say that there is a reason that Heavenly Father sent Brennan to the Philippines on a mission... so he would already know how to deal with the craziness that is over there in Bangkok! What a cool blessing! And all the pictures you sent mamas of the house and the yard were beautiful! I have forgotten what green grass and a garden looks like, there really isn't such a thing here. And the common area got swings!? WHAT!?? I'm totally pumped right now! :D Yay for my future life!

So did you all hear about the guy that killed some family members in San Diego this week and then kidnapped the 16 year old daughter? Then he got caught in Idaho? Well we sure did! All of the missionaries' phones got an Amber Alert texts looking for the 16 year old and then all the electronic billboards here had her information on it while were driving around. Sad and scary stuff right there... It's so weird to not have the news. Members had to tell us why we were all getting Amber Alerts! 

Some funnies from the week...
1. We had zone meeting this week and they did an activity where we split up into 2 teams. The teams had to choose a person to come up to the front and be in a competition so my team made me do it. Well I get up there and they say "okay here's a piece of paper and here is a crayon." They gave me this stuff and then a card with words on it. I assumed that we were playing pictionary right!? Well then I they say "Oh yeah! There's a twist! You have to draw the pictures with your left foot!" OH MY NASTY!!! So I took off my shoe and my socky and away my foot went! I actually got 3 of the 5 done in a minute and we won! Hahaha 

2. Last Pday I played three on three basketball for a solid 3 hours and I decided that I stink at ball handling. So I had Elder Johnson give me a short "how to" and he just laughed and laughed at me the whole time. He taught me how to do the figure 8 between my legs which supposedly is supposed to help ball handling. I've been practicing in the morning during exercise. Sometimes we go to the church and Sister Strasser and I play against each other while Sister Montgomery runs :) it's great! So now the challenge is to be able to play under pressure... we're not playing basketball today as a zone because we're going bowling, but next week! I just want to be good at basketball darn it!!

3. So you know "The District" show that's on BYUTV? The one filmed in San Diego? Well there is a man on it named Brother Vargus who baptizes Ming and uhhhh.... I had FHE with him last night! BOOYAH!!!! :) My life is so darn funny!

4. We taught the Plan of Salvation to a girl this week in the church and after we were all done I asked her "What are you feeling right now?" She told me that she felt like it answered every question she could ever have! Then she said "But I don't believe it." Ummm... wait, what? Didn't you just say that you loved it? She then went on to tell us that we were super good saleswomen and that the training center must do a really good job  teaching us because we almost got her to believe it. Ummmmmm..... I think the reason we are "super good" is because we're telling the truth! We asked some more questions and I finally came to the conclusion that she knows the Plan of Salvation is true, but she doesn't know what to do now because her church doesn't have all of the answers we gave her and she used to think that her church had it all. It's very interesting to me that every church really does have truth but the hang up is they don't have ALL the truth. Come -  let us add to your testimony of Christ! You'll love it! :D

And now I am going to bear testimony of something that I feel very strongly about. The reason I feel so confident in this is because I've seen it first hand in my life and I KNOW that it can be a positive influence in your life too. I want to talk about the smaller applications of the Atonement for a minute. Too often we think of the Atonement only for huge sins. Stuff that we feel we have to talk to a Bishop about. WELL -  I'm hear to say that the 50% of the Atonement is definitely for those things, but the there is an opposite side to that coin. The Atonement is for our little weaknesses and shortcomings. For example, before I left for San Diego I was very caught up in the details of everything. I always had to plan my day out with a list of every little thing. If anything got thrown I was mad. Everything had to be perfect. If anyone made a mess in "my area that had to be perfect" I would be SO mad and then get frazzled about having to clean it up and then do this and that and this and that. I never felt like I was on top of things and I would lose sleep at night worrying about how I was going to get on top on things the next day.

 I planned and then worried and then planned and then worried. Well, when I got to the mission field I said to myself, "Self, this is how you are. You are a clean freak and you have to plan everything. You are just like that and you cannot change, nor should you. Keep being like this for the rest of your life because this is the only way to live life. One day other people will catch on." After a few days I found out that SO many things were out of my control. Everything I used to do was either not an option or I had to wait a long time to do it. I was so bothered and I got mad about it a lot. I felt out of control and that I would NEVER be able to function in this new environment I had. Well it's taken a solid 4 months of slowly adjusting and changing, but now I can say that I DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHING. Through praying for strength from Christ and also asking for the enabling power of the Atonement to help change me, Heavenly Father answered my prayers. 

Slowly Christ and I have been working on being patient and letting things go. He has been helping me see what is worth getting worried about, and what doesn't need to be a big deal. He has been teaching me about how NOT making a plan for everything allows the Spirit to guide my life and how that is the kind of life I should be living. Compare all of this to running a marathon (or a half marathon :) hahaha) We have to take it one step at a time. You're not going to be able to just change over night. You have to run a few 3 milers before you can run a 5. You have to run a few 13 milers before you can try a 18. Heavenly Father sees where we are at and has a perfect plan for how to move us forward in the direction of His dreams for us! He knows the PERFECT way to train! He knows exactly where you are coming from, what you struggle with, and where you can go! Let Him take charge. Let Him make you better. And most of all, let Him be the one that chooses your final destination, because He will always choose a better destination than we could ever imagine.

I love Heavenly Father. He's there! He really is. And He's proud of you.
I love you!
Sister Barfuss

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Today I am super grateful. Seriously though. Sister Montgomery got some bad news from home in an email and she and I just took a moment to cry. Honestly, it is so hard to not be able to talk to your family when you hear of bad news. I love her so much and I don't like seeing the people I love get hurt. It breaks my heart, but she knows that the Savior is aware of her and I know that the Spirit will bless me with promptings to know how to help her the most. Be so grateful that you can call anyone at anytime... because it's torture to not be able to. I'm NEVER taking that for granted again when I'm back. 

On a happier note... this week was lovely! Full of lots of happy moments for me and other people. Nancy and Cameron's baptism went so well and now they have the Holy Ghost, too! What a life changing thing! Sister Strasser and I sang,  'Be Still, My Soul' by Sally Deford because we sang it to Nancy the first time we met her. I wrote in a Alto part so it was a little more interesting than just the melody... thank you mom for teaching me about music and how to sing :) I love you so much for that.

Highlight Reel-
1. I shook Elder Ballard's hand!! Elder Ballard talked a lot about keeping an eternal perspective. It was exactly what I needed. He also talked about prayers. My prayers seem to be always changing because people keep teaching me about new and better ways to pray! It's really exciting!
2. Nancy challenged me to some ping-pong when we were at her house the day after her baptism (I may or may not have been talking a whole bunch of smack which led to her challenging me :) haha) So it turns out she is amazing!! I got destroyed 20-9. I promptly took my spot on the couch and stopped being so  prideful :) I'll try and send you a video that Sister Strasser took of it!

3. Since Sister Montgomery is a super awesome runner, we've been planning runs to cool places ever morning. We found this pier that is wooden and so pretty! Every morning we run to it and then out to the very end so we can feel like we're in the ocean! The best part is that since we've been doing so much more running my body has been more tired right!? Well since I'm almost always tired anyway, this means I've been able to master the art of falling asleep pretty quickly! Yay! SOOO story time..... when we weekly plan, to start out we say a very long and detailed prayer about all of the people we are working with... Well it was Sister Strasser's turn to say it this week. We knelt down and I looked at my watch to time how long this one would be just for fun. The prayer starts. Pretty soon Sister Strasser and Sister Montgomery were up and walking around and I realized that I TOTALLY fell asleep during it. Hahaha! They didn't notice  I was sleeping, but they did notice that I didn't say amen :) Haha I looked at my watch and her pray was 23 minutes long............ THAT is awesome :)

4. We saw some Jehovah's Witness missionaries on the street the other day and they have started dressing just like LDS missionaries! White shirts and a tie! The women missionaries look like they are from the 80s though... so that's cool that we get to stylin'!
5. We went to a dinner appointment last night and at the end they gave us the biggest chunk of bread pudding I've ever seen in my life. And it was nasty! When the mom left the room the three of us looked at each other in a panic because we knew we had to eat it, but it was so much and so gross! So I hurried and grabbed a piece of news paper from the counter and I put all of my bread pudding in it. Then Sister Strasser and Sister Montgomery chucked theirs at me too. I wrapped it up and shoved it in my purse so fast, oh man!!! And the mom never noticed. yessssss.

Remember my friend Carmody from BYU that passed away a few months before I left? She made a New Year's goal in January to see a butterfly every single day. Well I was thinking about her this last week and I decided to make that my goal,  too. I see a lot of butterflies around here, but just in case, I bought a picture of Christ with a child and they are holding and looking at a butterfly. It's so beautiful, and it reminds me of how wonderful Carmody's example to me still is every single day. Sometimes I think I'm too loud, too flustered, and too focused on the stresses of life. Carmody and I loved to just talk and shoot the basketball around every night for an hour or two in the summer. She really liked simple things. Carmody would only watch TV shows like MASH :) and listen to oldies music, and she never felt like she was 'missing out' on the world. It will do me good to slow down this week and let some of the blessings of my life soak in deeper. I want to appreciate my family more. I want to love my companions more. I want to understand them more. I want to enjoy every little flower in San Diego. I want to smile at everyone that walks by. I want to let Christ show me what He loves about Pacific Beach and La Jolla and University City. I bet He has some secrets He would love to let me in on :)

I love you! Thank you for your really nice emails :) they make me feel special! 
Sister Barfuss