Monday, 25 August 2014

There is Opposition in All Things

"Hey everyone!

I know that title makes it seem like I had an absolutely terrible week but that's not true at all! It was hard..but it's not supposed to be easy. Sister Blair shared a talk with me by Jeffrey R. Holland and he said that life was NEVER easy for the Saviour and it's not going to be easy for us. But we will never have to go through what he went through or suffer the pain that he had to suffer. That hit me HARD! 

So this week has been CRAZY! I wasn't going to tell you all this because it's an embarrassment, but I'll tell you anyway! So, sometimes we go to the church to work on various things. For example, this Saturday we went to the church to work on digitizing our finding pool. We started work, thought perhaps we should prepare some food, went to the kitchen and put some rice on to cook, went back into the family history center to continue work, and then proceeded to get lost in translation. About 15-20 minutes later, I turned at Sister Blair and was like "Sister! Our food!" We RAN out the door. I kid you not, immediately thereafter all hell broke loose.
The fire alarm went off SO LOUD! Blaring lights flashed throughout the building. We sprinted to the kitchen in time to see smoke pouring from our pathetic little pot of rice, making its way into the alarm system. We RAN to the stove and turned everything off! Sister Blair threw the rice in water, Meanwhile, I pried the window open, hoping to let out some air. Sister Blair called 911, hoping that we hadn't alerted the fire squad.

We had.

They showed up 2 minutes later. A guy in a jeep shows up and we went out to meet him to tell him that everything is fine..and then we realised that we left our keys locked in the church. Fortunately, a window was open, so we just crawled through that. He and his crew worked on turning the alarm off while we busied ourselves by opening windows throughout the church, hoping to get rid of the smoke. We breathed sighs of relief that it was only this small jeep which had come to the scene. Then we came to the main windows just in time to see the entire fire department parked in front of the chapel. 
Then the Bishop showed up. Fortunately, by that time, the fire troop had left. They were thankfully quite nice to us. Bishop had already been contacted by the alarm people. It was SO embarrassing!

So life goes on. Just another day as a missionary. Needless to say, we will never eat in a church again!

Okay another story...I had a dream this week and I HAVE to tell people about it! "Sister Blair and I were driving. Up ahead, there were tons of tornadoes. The sky was getting really grey; the tornadoes started off small and would then get bigger and bigger. Some of the smaller ones would come towards us and our car would spin. In the dream, I was FREAKING OUT. I looked at Sister Blair and she was totally calm. She was like "It's fine! This happens all the time". She just kept driving casually, the car kept spinning but she just kept driving. The sky started getting darker and flashing red--almost like red lightning. I was like "what is that????" and then Sister Blair said, "It's okay, look what happens next!" The red flashes in the sky turned to patches of blue and the sky turned completely blue and calm, all of the tornadoes were gone." 

When I told Sister Blair about that she was like "Sister Barrett..I think that might be really symbolic! She said that there might be storms up ahead for me. There could be a lot of opposition coming our way. And our world could completely turn but we just need to stay calm and just keep going and eventually the storm will pass and there'll be blue skies again! I was like "WOAH! I think you're right."

Anyways I wish I had more time but I have to run!

Love you all SO MUCH!"

Sister Barrett also sent this photo of her trip to the temple with Sister Blair!

Also, for anyone who remembers Sister Jenna Lewis who served in the Terenure Ward for a few months last year, Sister Barrett shared this cool story with me:

"So when we were in Boston on Wednesday I had the privelidge of meeting a sister in the mission, Sister Bailey. We got chatting and she was telling me that she served in Scituate which is one of the places my dad served so I thought that was really cool. But THEN she decided to tell me something! She was like "So one of my best friends got called to the France, Lyon mission but then she got transferred to the Scotland/Ireland mission" and I didn't even let her finish the sentence I was just like "SISTER LEWIS!!" And she nearly started crying! She was like "you know her?!" and I was like "yeah! she served in my ward!! She is the nicest person in the whole world and one of the best sister missionaries we've ever had!!" and she was like seriously nearly in tears! She was like "she's my best friend in the whole world"! It was SO SO SO cool!!"

Here is the picture of Sister Barrett and Sister Bailey.

Thank you again to all the wonderful people emailing Sister Barrett and writing her letters, she loves hearing from everyone and really appreciates it! Stamps to America are only €1, and if you want to write a letter just message either me or her mom for her flat address.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Bug Bites and Baptisms

"Hey everyone!!

This has been a busy and amazing week! I went to Westerly, Rhode Island for exchanges and it was completely different to how it is here in Norwich! I learned a lot from it though and that's the whole point of exchanges :) Something terrifying I learned while on exchanges..I keep getting random bug bites and I didn't know how. Well I was informed that they're probably spider bites. Spiders got into the apartment and bit me while I was sleeping! And now does everyone realise why I'm terrified of spiders?? The fear is continually growing :P where to start with the work we did this week. A good place to start would be to tell you that we visited with Ryan and Angela on Thursday and we asked Ryan if he prayed about a baptism date...aaaand...HE'S GETTING BAPTISED ON THE 6TH OF SEPTEMBER! We're SO excited for him! We're working really hard to help him retain that date. Him and Angela came to church yesterday and they loved every minute of it. We're going to help him to work on some family names to bring to the temple because they want to go to the temple together to do baptisms a week after his baptism so we're going to help them to do that. We visited them last night too and they had a friend with them in the lesson and now she's one of our new investigators! We got a referral from our investigator! How cool is that??

So yesterday was quite an interesting day all round. We had Clayton M. Christenson (Author of "Power of Everyday Missionaries") speak to us in Sacrament meeting. He's the first counselor on the mission presidency here. He's amazing! And that book is amazing! Myself and Sister Blair have been reading it in personal study every morning and I get A LOT out of it! If any of you have it or can get your hands on a copy you should DEFINITELY read it!

Another thing about yesterday...we were in class in the second hour of church and the Bishop came in and asked myself and Sister Blair to come out. He told us that one of the kids in the ward was having a baptism in 2 hours and he was JUST notified of it and that we needed to fill the font! We didn't know how to fill the font...but we eventually figured it out.The Bishop was fantastic at getting everything sorted in such a short space of time. He volunteered himself to give a talk..and he also volunteered me to give a talk. I ad 4 minuted to prepare it but thankfully we teach about baptism a lot so I came up with a quick talk and it was graaaand :)

So yeah this week was amazing! I'm really excited for this week too! On Wednesday we get to go to the temple! All the greenies and trainers are going to the Boston Temple on Wednesday so I'm SUPER excited and there'll be pictures to follow :)

I love you all so much!"

Sister Barrett found this in the Family History Centre at the stake centre!

Sister Barrett and Sister Blair
Thank you sooo much to all the people who have been emailing Sister Barrett, she feels so loved!! If anyone wants to send her letters, just message me or her mom to get her flat address, or you can send it to her mission home 😊

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Write to Sister Barrett!

Yesterday we received a letter from Rebekah's mission president! As we have seen from her emails, Sister Barrett is settling right in and is having a wonderful time on her mission so far. Here she is with her mission president, President Packard, and his wife, Sister Packard.

We also received some information regarding writing letters and sending packages to Sister Barrett. The fastest way to send her letters is to her flat, the address of which you can get from either myself (Aisling) or her mum, Maria. Remember she only gets a very short amount of time to email each week, and she would absolutely LOVE to get lots and lots of letters! Nearing the end of transfers, it will be easier to send letters to her mission home, the address of which is posted on the side of the page.

If you wish to send Sister Barrett a package, you can send it to her mission home. Please only send packages using An Post or USPS First Class or priority, as once the packages arrive at the mission home they are forwarded to Sister Barrett. If you send a package using FedEx, UPS or some other form or sign-for package it cannot be forwarded to Sister Barrett and it will take much longer to get to her.

Thank you all for your love, kindness and generosity in helping Sister Barrett to prepare for her mission and for all the letters, emails and packages she has already received!

Monday, 11 August 2014

"This place is THE BEST!"

This week marks one month of Sister Barrett's service as a full time missionary! Although it's already going fast, she is doing amazing in Connecticut and is having a wonderful time. Here is her email for this week.

"This week was amazing but kinda weird. It wasn't a normal week in the mission field at all. Sister Blair is like a pro cello player so she gets asked to play at every fireside ever, so we had to travel to Pitsfield, Massachusetts this week so she could play at a fireside there. We went there on Friday and stayed in a members house that night and then we went to the fireside on Saturday night. Also on Friday night we went to see The Boston Symphony Orchestra with President Packard and his family and on Saturday morning we saw Yo-Yo Ma, the famous cellist with the Packards again. It was pretty random but really good too. 

Sister Blair is AMAZING! She teaches me so much! I learn a lot from her. She's so amazing at playing the cello..she has already agreed to play at my wedding! It's happening!

We got to teach a couple this week, Ryan and Angela. Ryan is an investigator and Angela is a member, but she hasn't been active for a long time because she moved here from Colorado and didn't know where the church was here. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and then at the end we asked Ryan if he would commit to being baptised and he said YES! The only problem is that he has severe back problems so we couldn't set a date, so we asked him to pray about a date, and we're doing that too! So that's my success story of the week!

My ward is amazing! I gave a talk yesterday on prayer and people came up to me afterward saying that I really touched their heart and that they took notes so I was really glad that I could do that for people :)

I'm going on exchanges today so I'll be in Westerly, Rhode Island tonight and tomorrow!"

She also sent some pictures from her trip to Rhode Island on p-day last week to visit Taylor Swift's house.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Goodbye MTC, Hello Connecticut!

Sister Barrett has officially entered the mission field! She is serving in the Norwich Ward, Providence Stake in Connecticut. Here is her email for this week.

"I'm having an amazing time here! My trainer is Sister Blair and she's from..guess where..UTAH!! She's amazing! I learn a lot from her. We have a lot of investigators to teach here so we're incredibly busy all the time! But that's a great way to be..I wouldn't have it any other way! This mission is very different to all other missions. It's all about member/missionary work. We work closely with the members and we ALWAYS have to have a member with us when we teach investigators. It's so important for the investigators to have friends in the church so that when we leave, they won't be totally lost without us.

The Norwich ward is awesome! It's full of crazies..just like the Terenure ward! But that's what makes it so great. And there's a lot of solid members here who are happy to work with us.

Saying goodbye to Sister Jessop and Sister Zickella was SO hard! They're both in Massachusetts and I'm in Connecticut. I cried a lot when we were saying goodbye! We just became best friends in the MTC! But I'm so glad we're in the same mission so we'll still see each other.

My birthday in the MTC was the BEST thing EVER!! My district sang Happy Birthday to me...IN IRISH! I taught them how to say it! It was amazing!

In the Provo train station with Sister Zickella and Sister Jessop, "looking fab as always!"

Sisters Barrett, Zickella and Jessop with their trainers.

Anyway, we're going to Rhode Island for P-day. We're visiting Taylor Swift's house...I'm not even joking! I love you all and I just want you all to know that I'm so happy here and I love being a missionary!"

Now that Sister Barrett is in the field you can email her at her ldsmail account or write to her at her mission home address. 'Til next week!