Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Thank you that I've almost been cured of diarrhea."

It Rained - time for the rain coat!
                                                      normal things you see in spring valley
                              our bishop is the bottom right one... in high school :) hahaha we laughed SO hard!
Mamas I love you so much. Can I just say that!? 
The weather has been rainy! Which is so weird for here! In the morning it's been about 55 and then during the day maybe 85. So basically we layer up and shed layers as the day goes. I've used my rain coat like twice now... i think it's rained 3 times in the 6 months I've been here! Hahaha but man, my coat is cute!
Sister Holly (the one you talked to in the mission office) called me and said "I just got off the phone with your mother..." and i thought someone died. Whew! That was a close one. So basically the card was already cancelled when i tried to use it but my mission debit card has enough that we're good. So no worries there! thank you for figuring that all out for me :)
Grandma is 87!? Whew!! and moo turned in her application to BYU!? DAAAANG. Life goes on even when you leave doesn't it!? Funny story about Taysom Hill. So all the oldies is my ward watch BYU football and they know i'm from Pocatello and went to BYU, so they all talk to me about it all the time! Then I told them that I went to high school with Taysom and they flipped! They always keep me posted and talk to me about the games... like i know ANYTHING about that kind of stuff right now! Hahaha!
So good to hear that you guys are working with people in the neighborhood :) YAY!! that's exactly what Heavenly Father expects of you and you answered Him! I'm telling you that simple obedience things like that make a WORLD of difference!
Has Sister Satterfield brought a delivery to you yet!? BECAUSE SHE AND I ENDED UP AT THE SAME FIRESIDE THIS WEEK!!! Here's the story... i was sitting in a fireside and this lady turns around and says "Oh sisters!! I love sisters!!" Then she told us she was from Pocatello,ID and I was like "Whaaaaaa!?" She saw my last name and asked if I was Scott's daughter! Bingo! So we talked forever and turns out she was here in Lemon Grove for a bit and decided to come to this fireside and was driving home the next day. So I went home and made up a box of stuff for her to take to you and she has it in her car right now as far as I know! So get pumped :)
This week we were sitting in a lesson with a couple in the 60s that are Less Active, and all the sudden this guy walks out of the back room and the dad says "Son. Don't you go out there and do anything stupid!! You hear me!?" The son was probably 30 or so and was tattooed up all over the place. He started getting all fired up and went hauling out the door. Well when he left, the dad told us that his son has been in some gang trouble and the gang comes to their house looking for him all the time... (uhhhhhhhh you mean the house we are in right NOW!?) So pretty much he told us that a gang member has probably already driven past looking at the house since we'd been there, On another evil note, this high school kid walked past us in the parking lot of the church and yelled "Hail satan!!!" It's a problem that a lot of the elders have around here, so it was weird when it happened to us. The world is evil and messed up. It needs the Savior, and it needs Him quick.
So your packy was to die for!!! Garments, skirts (which are SO cute and SO perfect and you SO made them!!), the tops that you sent were way cute, the hidden money, the sister sticky notes, the small Book of Mormon, and the smell goods!!! I was so happy my face was smiley all day! :D :D :D
Best line in a prayer this week: "Thank you that I've almost been cured of diarrhea."
This week a sister was playing the Christmas song in the Primary book called "Samuel's prophecy of Christ's birth" or something like that and I LOVED it. But I saw that it had 3 flats and I said NOPE! But then the Spirit said "Try it! Do it!" And I spent a lunch hour at the church practicing and I played it!!!! I love music. Mom, I'm soooooo sorry that I was a cheese head to you about the piano. I whined and cried and cried every single time. But I was wrong. You were right. Plus, because of the piano I can sing too! Tonight at Bible Study Sister Bodine and I are singing "How Great Thou Art" because we studied Psalm 8! Love that song.
I finally read moo's letter to rachel and nikki... yeah uhhh so good! Seriously that girl is amazing :) My favorite part was when she said "You know what, I'd rather be known for being honest and true then all of the other stuff." And then when she said "Sometimes choosing the right means that you get to hang out with your mom on Friday nights and guess what, that's not half bad!" :) She loves you so much mamas.
Just as an update... i've been praying for my desires and my mindsets to change (concerning  being focused on missionary work) and Heavenly Father has been helping me. I looked back at how "in control" I was a few months ago verses now, and it's certainly improved! So yet another example of the Atonement being an everyday strength that changes you dramatically over time if you stay consistent. :)
sister barfuss


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Edamame is a vegetable!!!!!!

this is  "Sal" we teach him in the mornings for practice :) haha

 a little taste of california :)
Edamame is a vegetable :) they are a kind of a bean! They are SO good!

I got a packy from Katelyn!!!!!!! It was so stinkin awesome! She hooked me up! I got candies and hand sanitizer and Popsicles and quotes and tissues and candies.  HOLLAHHHHH!! :D She knows where my heart lies :) That was really nice of her! And everything was YELLOW!
Super cool to hear about your experience with writing the  Christmas program... I LOVE those moments when you really feel like revelation is running through you! When Heavenly Father just gives you the words to speak. That has happened more now on my mission and it is a experience to treasure. Thank you also for your quote about satan and his tricks...( Pres. Uchtdorf - Priesthood Session - Oct 2013 Satan’s purpose is to tempt us to exchange the priceless pearls of true happiness and eternal values for a fake plastic trinket that is merely an illusion and counterfeit of happiness and joy." can't believe how filthy and terrible the world is.  Every once in a while we are in a situation where we are by a TV for a second or we hear music and I am just astounded by the crud in it. I really don't know how any of that is acceptable.
One thing I'm learning is that there is SO much more going on than I think there is... in every aspect of everything. Heavenly Father is involved in EVERYTHING! There is so much more depth to the gospel, if I will just let myself go deeper. There is always more to be had when it comes to our conversion.There is always more to be had. I want to go to the temple so bad right now... December 10th is the day!!
So here is the craziness of the week! I hit 6 months!! WHAT!? And then we had  transfers and our zone got split! We were the biggest zone in the mission, so they split us Spanish and English. With that came a lot of whitewashing and guess who ended up back in the same zone with me as our new zone leader!? Anyone remember Elder Weidner? Hahaha I almost died. Here I thought I was leaving all of my friends when I got transferred here but secretly they were going to follow me!! So pretty much the Sweetwater English Zone is going to be sick. Once again, Sister Bodine and I are the only full proselyting sisters... crazzzy.

 And just as a fun fact for the world... I thought in my mind of all of my new friends that I've met in Spring Valley and 90% of them are between the ages of 65-98! That's what I'm talking about :) We have a list of 16 widows we keep tabs on, it's been really good for me to learn about enjoying every minute of life.
I love YOU!!
Sister Barfuss

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Columbus/National Boss Day

(what a GREAT day for Miracles!)
One thing I'm really excited for is that last night we went and saw a man in the ward we call "Grandpa Ted." He lives with his son's family who are active members in our ward. Grandpa Ted is 80 something and told everyone that he wanted to get baptized when all the family is here for Christmas. *YESSSSSSS!!* So we went over for our first lesson yesterday and had dinner after. He bought us each 5 rolled tacos and a pepsi :) hehe. I love it when we add new investigators!
This week it cooled off a bit (it was 47 one morning!) and on Wednesday it rained like CRAZZZZZY!! I'm going to send you some sweet pictures. Although it's cooler in the morning it's still 75-80 everyday :) life is good here in southern California! But to celebrate fall we bought a pumpkin spice candle to make it smell like fall in our apartment Haha!
Miracle Report!
1) we had a member ask us to come over yesterday morning and she gave us 3 bags totally full of groceries. Here she is, 80, single, probably not even five feet, no car, not a lot of money, and can hardly speak English, and she walked to the store to spend her money on groceries for us. Wow.
2) we went to another members house later that night and they gave us 24 oranges off of their trees and 8 avocados they had picked!
3) then to cap it all off Grandpa Ted gave us dinner and then sent us home with 4 packages of edamame (what is this, anyone?)! Heavenly Father took care of our grocery bill this week for sure!
4) we invited an elderly couple that we've been doing service for each week to watch conference and they told us that on Saturday they searched and searched for it and gave up. Then they tried again on Sunday and they couldn't find it again. The wife said that she kind of slammed the remote down in frustration and hit some of the numbers on accident and all of the sudden the channel with conference came up because she had hit the exact numbers for the channel... coincidence? I think not :)
5) a member took us to a taco shop for dinner earlier this week and as we were sitting there a random guy walked past and said hi to us.... understand that people NEVER do this... well after he ate his meal he came over to our table and looked at us right in the eye and said "You NEVER give up! You NEVER get discouraged! A mormon family took me in and saved my life and i will never forget it. Your mission might just be for one person, but that one person is worth it. You can save someone like me. You NEVER give up! You NEVER get discouraged!" And then he walked out of the taco shop. His name was Michael and he saved my whole entire day, to say the least. Heavenly Father answered all of your prayers for me and sent me a little angel to give me a boost. 
Back to Stake Conference... check this out. The opening prayer was given in Laotion, half of the talks were in Spanish, and half of the talks were in English. There were interpreters ALL over the place! What a wonderful thing to get to experience. Also very interesting, once a month President Clayton does a fireside and has missionaries sing at it. Well this month it was in Spanish but they needed more singers and it was in the zone right next to us, so Sister Bodine and I went! We sang called to serve and secret prayer in Spanish and then sat there for an hour while testimonies were being born in Spanish. I have NEVER been in a situation like that! I had NOOO idea what was going on, but I'll tell you one thing... the gospel is true in every language :) I'll tell you another thing... I think Heavenly Father knew I would do best in English work :) hahaha
Here is my closer today, because it changed my life. We went to go see a totally random woman who was less active. We didn't know anything about her before hand and so we went in 100% cold. As we walked up, the husband saw us from the garage and came out super fast yelling "Are you mormons!? DON'T EVEN TRY!! GET OUT OF HERE!"
 Instantly I was ready to be mad at him, but I said a super quick prayer to stay in control. I knew I had to stick up for us. I told him that we wanted to talk to his wife and then he just went off on every rumor and lie he's heard about the church. We just stood there and smiled. He told us how much he thinks President Monson is in it for the money (uhhh what?? he doesn't get paid yo) and that our leaders are corrupt. Here's what's going on in my head *uhhhh yeah you can say what you want about me, but not them!* We kept smiling. He FINALLY got his panties out of a wad and instead of preachin' I just asked him about his hobbies. Then a magical thing happened... he answered kindly.
 Later he said that he liked us but felt bad that we were being deceived by our leaders. Hmmmm..... heart softening anyone??..... then i asked him if he needed help around his yard. He slowly calmed down and we actually had a chance to bear a small testimony to him. When we left I shook his hand and gave him our number and said to give us a call whenever he needs help. He thanked us genuinely. 
Lesson learned? The way we conduct ourselves is much more important than our name tag. I think he was expecting us to bash with him and get all defensive, but we just smiled and brushed all of his rudeness off. I learned that my biggest missionary tool can often be my reactions and the way I conduct myself. Interesting eh?
I love you! Thank you for your prayers... they really were felt this week. Thank you!

Sister Barfussa

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We're KEEPIN IT REAL this week!

Sister Marysa does a fantastic job of being positive and making the best of every thing. She has worked hard at bettering this strength........but like all us humans she has her challenges, and this week I decided if would be OK to share some of these challenges. Missions are HARD and it doesn't do anyone any favors (and there are many all over the world reading this blog) to pretend that missions are never challenging and only about the cool food, and scenery. So - here are some excerpts from some of Sis. Barfuss  letters........

This week I had enough of my headaches.  I started tracking them and found out that I had had one everyday for 2 weeks straight! I decided to ask the medical missionary for help.  I have only had one migraine since I've been here and I slept it off just fine,... honestly it's not like my headaches have gotten worse, I'm just sick and tired of them because they make me irritable and want to be lazy and you can't be lazy in the mission!!
I called the senior sister in charge of medical and asked her for help. She referred me to a local LDS doctor and said that I should give him a call. He asked me a bazillion questions and then made all the recommendations that I've heard before in my life that haven't helped much. Basically I thought it was a waste of time for the first 15 minutes of the phone call. He gave me a few assignments (like to drink a gallon of water a day - man, I've learned to love water this week). Just when I thought the conversation was over and I thought that I was going to have to live with my headaches for the rest of my mission, he asked me another question out of the blue, "What is holding you back Sister Barfuss?" 

.....Sorry what!? And then he asked me again. I was confused at first and he clarified. Then we had the most inspired conversation that I've had on my mission so far. I don't know how he knew that I was struggling with certain things, but he brought them all up and we talked it all out. He basically chastised me for not submitting my will to Heavenly Father fully and for not trusting Him with all my heart and mind. I bawled and bawled to him. We sorted through all the things that were holding me back and why, and then he said "Sister Barfuss, I have one more recommendation for you. Come home completely and utterly exhausted every single night. Get out of your car. Start walking. Let Heavenly Father hold all of your worries and your short comings, let Him! Give up your selfish will and enjoy His service every single day. Be proud of yourself.... And drink a gallon of water everyday!"

 He gave me the best pep talk of my life and he has never even spoken to me before. That's the Spirit right there. I'm a little embarrassed to say that Heavenly Father has often had to "strike" me to get me to listen, but this is one of those times. I spent the whole week working on handing things over and trusting... I'm still trying as we speak, but the little bit that I've been able to do has been wonderful. I feel at peace, and that's a wonderful feeling. So my invitation to you is to let your will be swallowed up in the Lord's. What exactly does that mean for you? Ask Him! He'll take care of you. I know it. He's taking care of me :)
I love you to pieces :) I love you so much!
Sister Barfuss

I drank the gallon everyday and it seemed to help some! Well something worked!! Because I went three days without a headache (unreal for me!!) so that was nice. I'm going to see how it helps in the future
 Honestly,  for the last 5 months I've been in a "grin and bear it" mentality. Missionary work is soooo hard and it's very difficult for me to be motivated ALL the time.  It's gotten to the point that I can't just "grin and bear it" anymore because it's too much. So essentially Doctor Todd talked to me about giving up my will to God and letting Him take some of the load. He talked to me about how I needed to stop trying to do what I wanted to be happy and to do the things that Heavenly Father wants me to do to be happy, because that's where true happiness lies. 

 I read some talks ("The Fourth Missionary" by Lawrence Corbridge, was my favorite) and I found that my main problem is that I didn't trust Heavenly Father enough to give Him my will.( Just a side note... another hard thing about a mission is that you are stuck with yourself all day... for instance, before the mission I would watch tv or hang out with friends when I didn't want to do the things I needed to do , but on the mission you HAVE to live in your guilt). I found out that I was happy, but not truly happy, I was finding happiness in my relationships with missionaries and the fun we were having. So now I know why I got transferred out of north zone, I was "stuck" in my false happiness. Heavenly Father had to rip me away from all my friends, investigators, and ward members and throw me into a new area  to learn how to find happiness in Him. Trust me that everything is fine... but it's hard. 

So here we go!

 Missions are Beasts.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Happy Halloween you two."

 And then I got a truck load of pictures from you and Katelyn and they were perfect!!! I laughed and laughed and laughed! Some of them I don't even remember what was going on! But you picked out the perfect ones! I DIED when I saw the one of our family at the San Diego temple! How stinkin' cool is that! I don't even remember coming here! You even made me cry because I was so happy :) So thank you from the bottom of my heart. My favorites were the super embarrassing ones of me and Moo, the one of me and dad in the garden, the one when you took me and moo on a little day trip to the reservoir, the picture of me and brennan at the statue of liberty looking all nasty, and then the softball ones of katelyn and moo :) they were SO great! And our new family picture!! WHEW that's a good one! My favorite ones of katelyn's were her and todd and peter at the temple and peter is kissing her, her and peter on mothers day, and then the one when he's in the cupboards :) hehe THANK YOU SO MUCH :) :) they are perfect.
Last Pday we went to a pier only about 3 miles from the border! So naturally, we went the extra three miles and waved to Tajiuana! Not even joking... we saw the HUGE Mexican flag that flies over Tijuana and then we took pictures and such. The craziest part is that they have all these signs on the interstate that say "LAST UNITED STATES EXIT IN 500 FEET" so if you miss that one you have to go to Mexico. We were very careful to make sure we hit that last exit. Can you even imagine having to tell President Clayton that we went to Mexico for Pday!?? So bad. But basically we serve in northern mexico... Sister Bodine and I are the only full proselyting english speaking sisters in the zone. When we go to Pday stuff the missionaries are always blabbing in spanish and we feel kinda stupid. BUT! Let's just take a moment to reflect on who in the Barfuss family was the only one to not take French in high school for some weird reason... yup :) I know that Heavenly Father was even preparing me in high school for my mission because although I don't remember hardly ANY spanish from high school, I know how to pronounciate things around here! Yay! I can't tell you how many of the street names can make you look stupid if you don't know Spanish. Aka- "Jamacha" :) hahaha!
Some funnies...
1) we went to dinner at one of older lady friends house and when we walked in she had her fireplace going. Well you have to realize that it was 75 here and humid... BLEHHHH!! I sat there the whole time about to faint. It was SO hot! But I will say that the fire place brought on a new level of classiness that I haven't seen for a while, so I'll give her that ;)

2) during sunday school this week they were talking about the seagulls that ate the crickets that were eating all the pioneer's crops. Well since we're in California, the teacher took a moment to make sure he pointed out that the utah state bird is the CALIFORNIA seagull and everyone laughed and laughed. I'm pretty sure I even heard a couple of knees slap ;) People make fun of Utah SO much here. I secretly thought the whole situation was funny because of Johnny Biscuit's comedy routine he does on the mormon crickets... *But they ate the crickets bissssscuit!* Anyone!? Hahaha!

3) somehow we ended up on a toll road this week? And since neither of us had even been on one before we didn't know how to pay! We didn't want to hold up the people coming in behind us, so I grabbed my purse as fast as I could and slapped my debit card into the machine! Who knows how much it cost!? Hopefully not too much. Haha! But seriously... paying to use a certain street? Like whaaaat!?

4) I found that this week my brain was hungering for some sort of stimulation other than spiritual, so I decided to make a math problem for myself (I know, I know, I'm sorry I ever complained about math homework). Here's what I decided to do... Missionaries say the phrase "Set goals and make plans" about a trillion times a week because of nightly planning and weekly planning. I decided to calculate how many times an average missionary would say it their whole mission! *wOoOoW sister barfuss get a life* Turns out an Elder says it over 8,000 times and a sister says it over 6,000 times. That's what I'm talking about!!

5) we did some service for two elderly potential investigators this week and it was AWESOME. The husband looked at us and said, "I need you to weed whack this whole back yard of weeds." YESSSSS!!!!!! Could you pick better service for Sister Barfuss? I submit that you cannot. THEN he gave me a automatic hedge trimmer thingy and said "I want this bush to be 6 feet tall." So I gave a HUGE bush a hair cut! I was so nasty after... I found twigs in my hair for days. But man, it feels SO GOOD to use you body for service. Lots of missionary work is you mind and your mouth, so it was delightful to use my hands and my muscles for a few hours.

6) we printed out some invitations to watch conference this weekend and we've been giving them out. Well we gave one to this huge dude and he all he said was "Happy Halloween you two." Ummmm yeah, 
We got a good chuckle out of that one...
Can I just take a moment to say that if you want to learn about other cultures, languages, ways of living, etc., come hang out in San Diego for a bit (or maybe get out of Idaho and Utah haha!). This week I talked with people who are white, people who are Hispanic, people who are black, people who are Native American, people who are Polynesian. We talk with people who are more committed to their animals than their kids, people who like to cuss ever three words (lets just say that my ears have heard everything you can imagine plus a few more), and people who don't know what to do because they only have 10 bucks in their bank account. We run into to super lonely people all the time, people who are still single at 55, and people who work 12 hour day. My mind is really being opened up to the world. But more specifically, the things that I should be more grateful for.
Let's take a moment to talk about General Conference!!! YESS!!! The relief society session was perfect. Covenants, covenants, covenants :) That was my first experience with conference as a missionary and I can't wait for more! The way my mission lands I get to watch conference 3 different times! Let's get some guesses on what the main topics for this weekend will be... my guess is missionary work and covenants! BAM! Because in all reality the reason we do missionary work and that each ward has a rescue plan is so that people can make or get back to keeping their covenants... love it! Just a quick thing I thought of... in October 2011 conference they announced the Provo City Center Temple, October 2012 they announced the missionary age change, so what will October 2013 bring to blow my mind!?? I can't wait!

I love you to pieces :) I love you so much!

Sister Barfuss