Monday, 28 December 2015

And a Happy New Year!

Hey everyone!

Well, this week was fabulous! We had so many awesome things going on! Let's start with Monday..

So for P-day, Sister Saito and I decided to take a trip to Boston, since neither of us have really been around Boston much. So we took the "T" and went on our way! It's not too long of a trip! It was so much fun! We went shopping and saw the city a little bit. I forgot what it's like to be in a's kinda scary, but we had such a great time!

A familiar store in Boston!
On Wednesday we had our Christmas Conference! That was a blast! We started off with various trainings and talks. My favorite part was when President White, the First Counselor on our mission presidency, got up and gave a talk/training on how we can become consecrated missionaries. I've been thinking and praying a lot lately about how I can be a more consecrated missionary and that just answered all my questions and gave me A TON of action items! I LOVE MISSIONS!

Me with all of my companions! Well, the ones who are still here!
After lunch we had all the Zone videos and songs. It was SO much fun! We had such an amazing time! :D

President Miller and our zone at the Christmas Conference!
On Christmas Eve we had a district meeting where we all brought some food and did some Zion building activities, and our District leader gave a spiritual thought about Christmas. It was really nice to get together as a district and build Zion together! Then we helped the Digital Sisters, Sister O'Keeffe and Sister Markert, with one of their Skype appointments. It was with a Brazilian guy. We read Alma 34 with him in Portuguese and we all bore our testimonies to him. It was really sweet, and it was cool to teach with them :) They're awesome missionaries!

Then came the big day! Christmas! It was so great to talk to family and friends! Also, the ward was more than welcoming to us on Christmas day. We had more appointments than we could handle! We had a breakfast appointment, a lunch appointment, a random in-between appointment, and then a dinner appointment with our investigators, Gilka and Tarcio. Gilka made a Brazilian feast! I felt like a beached whale afterwards, but all is well now. It was a really great Christmas and I just loved celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Yesterday we had an amazing day at church! We had members coming up to us left, right and center telling us that they have people for us to teach! We were like "WHAT IS HAPPENING?! THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!" This ward is a blessed place and the members are incredible! First of all, this woman in the ward, Sister Carson, came up to us and said that she has a family for us to visit. They're less active members but they came to church yesterday and we're going to see them this week! They're super sweet :)

Then during Sunday school, these 2 Brazilians just came in. They're not members, but a family in the Portuguese group invited them to church. They're a couple, Michelle and Gil (we noticed we're teaching like 5 people named Michelle) and they just moved to the United States 2 weeks ago! They're super solid! They have so many questions! We're so excited to teach them!

Also, Sacrament meeting was just beautiful yesterday. The talks were all about how we can be better disciples of Jesus Christ and they were really powerful. Also, in the Marlborough ward we have a musical number every week in Sacrament meeting, which I absolutely LOVE. Like I said before, everyone here is super talented, and it's amazing to see all these people using their talents to bring such a sweet spirit!

I love this place so much! I LOVE being a missionary! I love sharing the gospel with everyone! The church is TRUE!

I love you all! Have an amazing week and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 21 December 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

Hey everyone!

This week was fantastic!

It started out with a special Musical Fireside in Revere. We went on Monday night, and it was beautiful! We went with Rayana and another member of the Portuguese group, Sister Souza. Missionaries from our mission organized the whole thing and put it all together. We have some really amazing, talented missionaries in this mission! I just love how sacred music really brings the spirit into our lives! Also, Rayana really enjoyed being there, and she really felt the spirit as she listened to the music.

Speaking of Rayana...we had a great  lesson with her this week. We talked about the real meaning of Christmas and invited her to take time to relax this Christmas season and just think about Jesus Christ, the real reason for this season. Sister Saito was speaking most of the time because Rayana only speaks Portuguese, but at the end, Sister Saito turned to me and said "Would you like to add to that?". I was a little nervous to speak Portuguese, but I went for it anyway...and somehow, Portuguese started flowing! I spoke to her about how this is a special time of year to reflect on our Savior, Jesus Christ, and everything He did for us. The spirit was SO strong, and I can testify to you that the gift of tongues is SO real!

Yesterday we had a wonderful Sabbath day. We had a special sacrament meeting. First of all we had a missionary homecoming talk, which was fantastic. I love hearing about other people's missions, and how much they've changed. I know missions can really change people. Missions really mold us into who Heavenly Father wants us to be. It's a special experience. After that we had a Christmas program. We have a really talented ward here in Marlborough! I don't think there is one person here who doesn't play an instrument or sing! We had a flute trio, a violin solo, the Ward Choir sang and it was beautiful! I am amazed at the talent here! 

This is an awesome family in the ward, the Patanao's. They're from the Phillippines :)
For our dinner appointment yesterday, we went to an AMAZING family's home, the Nixon's. They are just the sweetest people! They're an older couple, but they had their whole family over. There were kids and grandkids everywhere! It was so amazing. They really made us feel at home as they told family stories and laughed and joked together. We shared "A Savior is Born" with them, and we bore our testimonies of the Savior, and afterwards, one of their daughters thanked us for sharing the video and thanked us for coming and serving missions. She said that last week the missionaries in their home ward came over for dinner and shared that same video and she said that it's really amazing to see the whole world come together in the spirit of Christmas and celebrate Christ.

All of my planners from my mission! Shaped like a Christmas tree!

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas. Always remember the reason for this Christmas season. Remember that we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is a great reason to rejoice! :)

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

I love you all!! Merry Christmas!

Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 14 December 2015

Zone Conference & Miracles!

Hey everyone!

This week was amazing! I don't even know where to begin!

So Tuesday we had a Zone Conference with Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventy. We had open discussions with him and everyone. Sister Packer talked about the things we need to do to be worthy of the Spirit. She said we need to get along with our companions. That's absolutely not a problem with me and Sister Saito! We have a lot of fun and we work hard together and I'm SO grateful for her! Also...BIG NEWS! We're staying together for my last transfer! I'm SO excited! This will be our 3rd transfer together, and we're ready to make it the best one yet!

I got my Portuguese name tag this week! It's official!
Sister Packer also talked about keeping our apartments clean, being EXACTLY obedient, and doing family history! I'm excited about that last one. We talked more about Family History in Zone meeting on Friday and our Zone is piloting this new family history program. We all have to complete these family history booklets and do our own family history, and then we have to help our investigators to do it, and then make a little gift for them with all their family's information that they've gathered so they can have a cute book of stories about their family! :)

Sister Haws and I at Zone Conference! It was a beautiful reunion!
During Zone Conference we also made some goals with our companion and talked about what we're going to do differently after we leave Zone Conference. We have set some solid goals and we're ready to see some crazy miracles!!
Sister Saito and I at Zone Conference :)
Speaking of miracles..we got 2 new investigators this week! We've been doing a lot of finding lately. We're just going through all our old records in the area book and finding a ton of people! We had a lesson with this guy Sergio this week. He came over to a member's house and we had the lesson there. They're an awesome family. We talked about our purpose and helped him to understand what we do as missionaries. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and committed him to start reading it! We have another appointment with him this week and we're super excited!

Also, on Saturday when we were going through all the old records, we decided to call some people. This one woman, Selma, answered and she was like "Yes! Come over tomorrow morning! So we went over at 9am yesterday morning and we taught a lesson and we shared "A Savior is Born". She was speechless. She loved it. She's so awesome!

This week at one of our dinner appointments I got to hold a snake. It was so fun!


Then on Saturday night, we called our investigator, Michelle. The last time we were with her we committed her to read the Book of Mormon every day and when we talked to her she was like "Sisters I've been reading the Book of Mormon every night! I love it!" We're going to see her this Saturday. MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING!

This place is amazing! I'm so glad that I get to spend another 6 weeks here with Sister Saito! This is such a blessing! I LOVE being a missionary!

Our ghetto Christmas tree!
Merry Christmas from Marlborough!
I love you all! I hope you all have the best week ever!

Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 7 December 2015

A Savior is Born

Hey everyone!

This week was so good! Where do I start?!

So we went to see Rayana this week and we watched the new video that the church put out, "A Savior is Born". Afterwards, we bore our testimonies to her about how grateful we are for the Savior, and then Rayana told us that she wanted to share her testimony with us. She bore her testimony and the spirit was so strong. It was in Portuguese, but I just knew that it was heartfelt and sincere. It was amazing. She's incredible! Check out the video!

We had a zone p-day last week where we had an Arizona snowball fight. So basically we filled tights with flour and threw them at each other.

Before ...

aaaaaand after!
We had a great day on Friday! We went to see a bunch of people who were on old lists of potential investigators. Turns out, they really do have potential! We stopped by this one house and this older lady answers the door. We ask her if her name is Mari and she says yes so then we told her who we are and she was like "Okay come in". Just so you know...that is a rare event! So we went in and we got to know her a little bit. She's from Egypt and she moved to America so she could practice her religion freely. She said it's not easy being a Christian there. We told her what we do as missionaries (because she didn't remember missionaries coming years ago) and she said we are welcome in her home anytime! She was such a sweetheart! We're so excited!

Then on Saturday we had 2 Ward Christmas parties! We had our normal Ward Christmas party in the morning and everyone had breakfast together! It was awesome! One of our investigators came! It was a miracle! We haven't seen her in forever because she has a busy schedule and so does her husband, but she came! And she brought her little girl! Her husband was away on business so he couldn't be there but it was awesome to see her! We didn't even know she was there and then the Bishop came up to us and was like "Do you know Melissa?" We were like "YES!!" Then the rest of the party was wonderful! The whole ward was AMAZING! Everyone made her feel so welcome there and she's meeting up with a few members this week! She made friends real quick!

Then at our other Ward Christmas party, it was just the Portuguese group, and the Framingham Spanish Branch. I didn't have a clue what was going on half the time but it was awesome! We had another investigator, Gilka, at this one! She loved every minute of it! She said it's a "igreja linda"! I understood that ;)


This week we also  went to see one of our investigators, Michelle. She is struggling! Bless her soul. She has such a tough life. She was just crying and pouring her heart out to us. At one stage we asked her if we could all kneel down and pray. She couldn't even get words out. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY and we promised her that if she did, her life would improve. We KNOW that's true! Keep her in your prayers :)

I love you all so much! I love this gospel! I know it brings the greatest happiness to our lives. As we approach Christmas, remember the reason for the season, our Savior, Jesus Christ :)

Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 30 November 2015

The Spirit of Thanksgiving

Hey everyone!

 This week was amazing as usual! Where do I start??

So on Tuesday we had a mission Webex and it was really cool because President and Sister Miller and the AP's and everyone in the mission office just shared the things that they're grateful for in the spirit of Thanksgiving! It was really sweet :) I love Thanksgiving. I love sharing my gratitude for all we have! I have SO much to be thankful for :) Something that I'm particularly thankful for right now is my mission and all the wonderful miracles I've seen these past 16 months. I've grown and changed so much and come closer to my Savior and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity I have to serve a mission :)

Something else awesome about this week is that we had some awesome lessons with our digital investigator, Michelle! She is just amazing. She loves reading the Book of Mormon with us! She didn't go to church on Sunday and she told us why. She told us that life has been crazy lately because she and her husband are getting ready to Ireland. Yes, all of my Brazilian digital investigators move to Ireland! And get this...she's moving in January! What are the chances?? Myself and Sister Saito KNOW that Heavenly Father led us to her for a reason. She is so ready to receive this gospel. We have a lesson with her tomorrow :) We're SO excited! 

On Thursday we had Thanksgiving and it was amazing! We actually had dinner at a South African family's home so there were no Americans present. It was just a bunch of foreign people celebrating Thanksgiving! It was awesome!

Our penguin knows what's up. #swiggityswag

Me with our penguin!
On Friday I went on exchanges to Worcester (Wustah). It was awesome! It's so ghetto! I love ghetto areas! It was cool to be there, but I missed my child and I was glad to get back to Marlborough and be with Sister Saito again!

Saturday was SUCH an amazing day! We went to the temple with our recent convert Rayana :) She got the work done for her grandfather. It was so special for her and for everyone! The spirit was so strong there and she was SO happy!

Sunday was amazing as usual. We actually found out that the pilot thing that the Boston Stake is doing won't be that different after all! They're not changing the time any more /.. it'll be the same. But we're still working on making the Sabbath more of a delight! It'll be awesome :)

Ask me if we're busy in December ...
Also, I had a really great end to my day yesterday. I called Roxanne from Norwich because yesterday was the year mark of her baptism! It was AMAZING to talk to her. She is the sweetest person! It made me so happy to talk to her again. It's been so long, but she is doing so well and she's still as strong as ever :) 

Things are going so great here and I'm happier than ever! I LOVE being a missionary! I LOVE the gospel, and I love all of you!

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 23 November 2015

Miracles! Miracles Everywhere!

Hey everyone!!

Gosh, this week has been amazing! So many amazing things happened!

So on Tuesday we went to see one of our investigators, Gilka. Guess where she's from??? Yes that's right..Brazil! Well, when we went there her son, Tarcio was there and he had A TON of questions for us! Great questions! When we bore our testimonies to him about how the gospel of Jesus Christ can change his life he straight up told us that he really wants to make changes in his life. He said he wants to serve others, go to church etc. He has come to the right people! We took that opportunity to teach him and testify to him about Jesus Christ. He loved it and we're meeting with him again! He's our new investigator!

On Wednesday we went to see our recent Convert, Rayana (also from Brazil). We helped her to find a family name to take to the Temple so she can do baptisms. The Recent Convert Temple Trip is this coming Saturday and we REALLY want her to have her own family name to bring. We searched, and searched and searched! Brazilian family history is ROUGH! I thought doing Irish family history was hard. Apparently not. BUT we found a name! I have a testimony of It is AMAZING! Rayana has her own family name to take to the Temple this Saturday and she is SO excited! ALSO, she got her Patriarchal blessing yesterday! She is just on a spiritual high! I love Rayana! Even though we have limited communication because my Portuguese is rough and she struggles with English, I just really feel the spirit when I'm around her, and I'm so excited about her progression in the gospel! :)

Speaking of family history...after doing that family history stuff for Rayana I became more excited about it and I've been doing some of my own! Wow, it's exciting! I absolutely LOVE it! I feel closer and closer to my family who have gone before me as I find out more and more about them. 

This week I also learned how to pray in Portuguese! I can say a very simple prayer. I know I'll get better with time. It's coming along! :)

Sister Saito and I with Emily! She is such a sweetheart!
On Thursday, one of our members, Maria brought us out for dinner! We went to the Cheesecake Factory! Oh my goodness it was heaven! Also, she brought her friend who's not a member! It was awesome! We were able to tell her all about what we do, and she is just the sweetest lady! She kept saying that what we do is incredible! We REALLY want to start teaching her! She's amazing :)

This week we also found a new digital investigator (also from Brazil)! This woman is incredible! Her name is Michelle. We met her on Tuesday and we talked to her about who we are and what our purpose is as missionaries. We also bore our testimonies to her about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. She loved it! She told us that she wants to read the Book of Mormon so we got her address, called the local missionaries and got them to go by and give her a Book of Mormon and start teaching her. Well, they did! They taught her the Restoration. So when we had another Skype lesson with her on Friday we followed up with that, read 2 Nephi 31 with her and then we invited her to be baptized! Well...she said 'not yet.' But that's not "no". We're Skyping her again tomorrow. We invited her to go to her local church on Sunday. She lives right around the corner from the church. Also, she had another lesson with the local missionaries on Saturday so we'll find out how that went! Gosh, all of this happened in a week! I'm telling you, this woman is so prepared!

On Saturday we had a really special experience. So our Zone Leaders told us that they've been in contact with a lot of people from Greenfield lately because Keith, our recent convert is in the hospital in Worcester, where they're serving. They visit him a lot and they told us that we can visit him too because he's our recent convert! So on Saturday we took that opportunity and we went to Worcester to see Keith! He just had heart surgery, but he's doing really well! So we went in and Keith saw us and he said "Ahh hello little Sisters!!" He talked to us as though we never left. But he's SO different now! He has progressed SO much! He talked to us about how the Worcester Elders have been teaching him about the priesthood. They've been preparing him so that when he's better her can be ordained. He's really excited about it. He told us he can't wait to go back to Greenfield, wear his suit and bless and pass the sacrament! Bless his soul! He also talked about how he knows that the trial with his health is helping him to become stronger. He said that God is really helping him through this. Also, while we were there, the Caputos showed up! It was a Greenfield party in the hospital! Before we left, Keith said a prayer thanking Heavenly Father for sending us to him. When we left we were just glowing with happiness. Keith is doing so great and it was incredible to be there with him.

KEITH! This is the best picture we could get. It was an awkward angle.
Yesterday in church was also amazing. All the talks were on gratitude because this week is Thanksgiving!! I'm so excited! This is going to be another great week :)

I love this gospel so much! It brings me so much happiness! I love being a missionary! It is the greatest blessing!

I love you all! I hope you all have an amazing week!

Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Week of Miracles

Hey everyone!

This week has been amazing! I LOVE Marlborough!

We have seen so many miracles this week! It's incredible!

On Tuesday Morning we went to do service for this old man who's not a member of the church. One of the members of our ward knows him and told him that we could do service for him. So we went over there and raked the leaves in his yard. It was a lot of work so we brought the Framingham Elders along too. At one point we were all working hard, raking the leaves, and the man came out (his name is Joe) and he started talking to all of us about how his wife died in February and he is still having a really hard time with it. It was so sad. He said "she wasn't just my wife, she was my best friend". It was heartbreaking. But the four of us took that opportunity to teach him the Plan of Salvation. We helped him to understand and know that he can be with her again and they can be together forever. He was so grateful! He said "that's beautiful!" It was amazing. Also, the Elders gave him a blessing. Afterwards, Joe said that he could feel the warmth of the spirit filling him as they laid their hands on his head. It was such an incredible experience. It was a huge miracle of our week!

On Wednesday, our miracle of the day was AMAZING! We stopped by to see this inactive family. It's a Dad and four kids. His wife also died this year and we wanted to stop by and see if he needed help with anything and if he'd like some Home Teachers to come over. Well, he wasn't there, but the nanny and all the kids were. We talked to their nanny and she is so sweet! Her name is Lisa. She told us that she wasn't brought up with religion but she's been going to a church for years and she loves Jesus Christ. We told her what we do as missionaries and asked her if she'd like to learn more about the gospel. She said "absolutely!". She told us that even though she's been going to her church, she doesn't know if it's the right church. She said that whatever church she joins she will be 100% committed to it. She said "I don't just want to go to church. I want to LIVE my religion!' We were like "YES!!". Also, we gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read 3 Nephi 11. She said that she would, and she said that she wanted to read more to be prepared for when we come back! It was incredible!

Then on Thursday our miracle of the day was also amazing! We went to see a less active woman, Michelle. She invited us in and we got to know her a little bit. Then we asked her what her spiritual goals are so we could see where she's at and how we can help her. She told us that she wants to get into a habit of reading her scriptures every day because she's not doing that right now. We suggested that we could come over and read with her once a week to get her into the habit of it. So she agreed to that, and she was really grateful that we came :) We're really excited to work with her more. We were so glad that we stopped by to see her. We know that the Lord led us there.

This week we found a caterpillar in our car, so Sister Saito put him into a water bottle. We hate bugs!

The caterpillar himself.

On Friday we had an awesome Zone meeting! It was crazy though. I've never seen so many individuals at a Zone meting before. This Zone is HUGE! There were 30 missionaries in that room! It was slightly overwhelming but it was a fantastic Zone Meeting! 

This weekend was amazing! Saturday was such a great day! I'm getting a hang of this Portuguese thing...well kinda. I can bear my testimony, introduce myself and talk about food. That's all I need! Right?
Speaking of food...Saturday was rough with the food. We had a breakfast appointment, a lunch appointment, another lunch appointment and a dinner appointment. Then at our appointment after our dinner appointment, the family tried to give us food and I was like "nooooooooo!". I felt ill. I have eaten more food in the past 2 days than I did the past 6 months! And all we eat here is rice!!!! Not complaining though. I LOVE rice! 

A Brazilian soda called Guarana! It's so good!

Sunday was such an amazing day. I love this ward so much. The people here are the sweetest! We had the Primary Program and it was SO cute! The kids did such an amazing job :) Then we went to the Portuguese Sunday school and I didn't really know what was going on, and then we went to the English Relief Society. It was so great!  We had a lesson on missionary work and it was amazing. At the end, one of the Brazilian Sisters walked in and handed us an envelope. We opened it and it had notes from all the Relief society Sisters in the Portuguese group telling us how much they love and appreciate us and how grateful they are for the work we do. Myself and Sister Saito just cried! It was SO sweet!

The sky after church yesterday! Church finishes at 4pm here.
Also, we found out something awesome yesterday! The Boston Stake is piloting a new Sabbath day observance program starting in January. So what's happening is, they're cutting down the time of church from 3 hours to 2 hrs and 15 minutes. Sacrament meeting will be 45 minutes and each class will be 35 minutes with 10 minutes of break time in between. Sacrament meeting will be totally different. We're not going to have announcements in Sacrament meeting..they'll just be on the program. It'll be opening hymn, opening prayer, youth speaker for 5 minutes, adult speaker for 15 minutes and then sacrament hymn and administering of the sacrament is at the very end. After the sacrament there'll be a closing prayer and that's it. It's TOTALLY different! Also, there will be no meetings throughout the Stake on Sundays after church. No choir, no firesides, nothing. They want people to be able to go home and spend time with their families after church. This is all coming about because Elder Holland challenged our Stake President to find out what they need to do as a Stake to improve their Sabbath Day observance. So this is what's happening! I'm excited to see what it'll be like!

I love you all! I hope you've all had an equally amazing week! :)

Just a quick selfie!
Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 9 November 2015

Forces Reunite!

"Hey everyone!

Wow this week was CRAZY!! So many changes!!!

My last few days in Avon were so good, but so sad. I said all my goodbyes to everyone. We were running around trying to visit EVERYONE before I left. One of my last teaching appointments there was with this inactive woman, Iris. Bless her soul. She has so many health problems and she is struggling a lot. She told us that we were sent to her from Heavenly Father at a really crucial time in her life. She was so grateful that we could be there for her. I was so grateful that we could be there too! It was an amazing experience. She's a sweetheart.

Saying goodbye to Sister Salazar

and saying goodbye to Laurie!
 On Wednesday we went to Transfer meeting. I LOVE Transfer meeting!! EVERYONE and their dog was there! All three of my companions who are still in the mission were there, EVERYONE from Greenfield was there! It was amazing! And all of the departing testimonies from the departing missionaries were fantastic :)

Then I got to go home to Marlborough with my firstborn in the wilderness, Sister Saito! It has been amazing being back with her. She is SO great! I'm so glad we get to be companions again! 

We had an amazing lesson on Thursday. It was our first lesson since we've been back together. Wow, Sister Saito is an incredible missionary! Such an amazing teacher! This lesson was in English so I was able to participate (thank goodness). While she was teaching it reminded me of when we were companions back in Greenfield and we had interviews with President Packard one day. When I was in my interview, we were talking about how great Sister Saito is and he just said "That woman has the spirit with her!". I can testify of that!! The spirit was SO strong as we taught about the restoration of the gospel and as we testified of Jesus Christ. I LOVE being a missionary!!

My first dinner appointment in Marlborough was fabulous. We went to a Brazilian family's house and they had cooked this wonderful meal. Their dog, Pepsi, kept trying to jump up on me the whole time. At one point, I was sitting at the table and the dog had it's two front paws up on my lap. Then the dog proceeded to cough, and it coughed up some chicken onto my skirt. Sister Saito was like "Welcome to Marlborough!' and it was so funny that I couldn't even be disgusted about it. All I could do was laugh! So that was a lovely experience..

Speaking Portuguese has been crazy! I don't really speak. I just sit there and nod and smile. I'm understanding a lot more than I did before, but speaking it is different. I know I'll get better and better each day with the Lord's help. I know I'm here for a reason!

These past few days have been so great. Church was amazing yesterday. The ward is incredible. The people here are so friendly and welcoming. They love the missionaries. That's always a good thing :) I'm so excited to be here!

Eu amo ser um missionaria!!

I love you all!

I hope you all have an amazing week!

Sister Rebekah Barrett"

If you would like to write to Sister Barrett in her new area, you can contact myself or Maria on Facebook for the details, or you can send it to the mission home, the address for which is on the side of the page. Also for anyone wishing to send Sister Barrett something for Christmas, the final posting date for standard post parcels (through An Post) is December 7th. Thank you so much for all your continued love and support!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Eu nao falo Portugues?

Hey everyone!!

Okay so big news of the week...I'm getting transferred to a new area for my last 3 months! I'm going to Marlborough, Massachusetts! It's in the Boston Stake! I am SO excited!! But wait...there's more...

Marlborough is a Portuguese area. I am now in the Portuguese program and I'll be learning Portuguese over the next 3 months! I'm actually SO excited!!! This is a CRAZY new challenge but I'm ready to learn!!

Plus I have an amazing new companion that will teach me the ways of the Portuguese program. Well...she's not really a new companion. She's an old companion. Yes, I get my Brazilian baby back! Sister Saito is my new companion!! I have SO much to learn from her! I'm so excited to be companions with her again!!!

So this is my INSANE news of the week!!!!

As for the rest of the week...

On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Glastonbury Sisters. I went to Glastonbury with Sister Meireles (She's from Minas Gerais, Brazil...ALL THE BRAZILIANS!). We set off on our way to Glastonbury and when we were just past Hartford City, I realised that I had our phone.. We had to turn around and drive ALL the way back to Avon to give Sister Egan and Sister Lind the phone. I can't count the amount of times I've done that. Somehow I ALWAYS end up bringing the phone with me on exchanges! Haha but the exchange was really good. I learn a lot from Sister Meireles. We had the opportunity to Skype our digital investigator, Beatriz. She is also from Brazil! So Sister Meireles got to teach her all about the Book of Mormon and we got her information so we can contact the missionaries there to get her a hard copy of the Book of Mormon. It was really exciting!

Then on Saturday, Sister Egan and I Skyped her and we taught her the Plan of Salvation. We told her that I was going to a new area with a new companion and she was so sad that Sister Egan wouldn't be there. But I'm sure she'll be grateful when she realises that soon I'll be able to speak to her in her own language! 

So then on Wednesday we had interviews with President Miller. While everyone was going in and out of their interviews, the Zone Leaders and STL's did some great training with our District. Once again, I love our District. We all got to share why we decided to come on a mission and it was really amazing to hear everyone's reasons. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to serve around such incredible missionaries.

On Thursday we had a really good lesson with Mikele. We just read the Book of Mormon with her and helped her to understand and feel the peace that comes from reading the Book of Mormon daily. I'm really sad that I won't be teaching her anymore but I know that Sister Egan and Sister Zickella (yes that's my MTC companion, Sister Zickella) will really be able to help her.

Saturday night was super boring! As you know, we have an early curfew on Halloween. It was painful. Sister Egan took a nap and I wrote in my journal...and that was our Halloween.

Sunday was so sad! It's hard saying goodbye to everyone, but I'll always treasure the time that I spent here in Avon. I'm going to miss all the people and I'm going to miss Sister Egan. But I've learned so much here, and now it's time for me to go back to my Brazilian baby and learn how to teach people in Portuguese! #letsgooooooooo

Saying goodbye to the Callado family! I love them!

The Armisteds. They're hilarious!

I love you all SO much! I hope you all have an incredible week!

Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 26 October 2015

District Meeting & Hike!

Hey everyone!

This week was AWESOME!

So last Monday we went on a hike with our district. It was so much fun. It was Zion building for sure! Also, New England is so beautiful!

Some of our district on the hike!
Tuesday was SUPER busy! We barely had time to breathe! It was great though. We saw Laurie of course. We read Alma 7 with her and talked about Christ's Atonement. She loved it!

Then on Wednesday we saw Mikele. We realised this week that we've been spelling her name wrong all this time. So her name is spelled: Mikele. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. She had a million questions and it was great to be able to just listen to her and listen to the spirit so that we could answer her questions. She's so sweet!

We had an awesome dinner appointment on Wednesday. This awesome family, the Harts, invited us over and they invited their friend, Nuala, over too. She's from Dublin! She had a super strong Irish accent even though she's been in America since the 1960's. I've been here for 15 months and my accent is gone. How does she do it?! She was really sweet and we had the opportunity to give her a Book of Mormon and invite her to read it.

On Thursday we had our Zone Conference. I had to give a talk on the Restoration and I had to recite the first vision. I was told to basically just teach the Restoration to everyone. I was so nervous! But it went really well. I was glad that I had the opportunity to do that. So the main reason why we had this Zone Conference was so we could get our "Tiwi devices" installed in our cars. So we got these things in all of our cars that monitor our speed. We've named ours Edwin. We've had him for a few days now and he's hilarious. So every time you go about 7 or 8 miles over the speed limit, this thing literally says "Check your speed!", and he gives you a little bit of time to slow down. If you don't slow down, you get a violation on your driving record. I'm glad I don't drive! Every time he says "Check your speed" it scares the life out of us! We jump out of our skin EVERY TIME!

Progress update on the Hartford Temple! The spire went up this week!
On Friday we had an awesome District meeting. We built more Zion with our district. Our District is so awesome! After District meeting we went to one of our member's houses and we helped her to carve some pumpkins. She's a sweet old lady so she can't do it herself. It was fun and it was good to be able to help her out :)

Then after that we headed to Goshen CT to help our fellow missionaries out with their ward Halloween party. They had the Portable Visitors Center Sisters there, the Cromwell Elders were there, and we were there! The members there were really happy to see a bunch of missionaries helping out. 

Then that night we had to drive to Bloomfield to pick up our mini missionary! We got a mini missionary for the weekend! Her name was Talbot and she was SO sweet! Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures with her because we fail at taking pictures. But she was so great!

On Saturday we had our own Ward Halloween Party! It was fantastic! There were a ton of non members there and they all had a great time. We talked to all of them so it was awesome! This ward is amazing!

We had some visitors at church yesterday! I love the McKendricks! Oh my goodness it was SO good to see them! I knew they were coming to CT but I totally forgot until Sunday morning! They are so sweet! They gave me Twirl bars!! I was SO happy to see them! They are the sweetest! :)

I'm so grateful to be here. Being a missionary is the greatest blessing! It makes me so happy to be able to serve the Lord here for 18 months!

I love you all so much! I hope you all have an amazing week :)

Sister Rebekah Barrett

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A New England Fall!

Hey everyone!

This week was so great! It was full of surprises and new experiences!

We enjoy this season way too much ...

So the first new experience we had was on Wednesday. We were asked to help out with serving lunch to the construction workers at the Hartford Temple site! It was so much fun! We got to meet all the people who are building the Temple, and show our appreciation for them! Also, most of them are not members of the church so it was really cool to be able to meet them and talk to them :)

We also had some great success on the Digital mission that day! We picked up a new investigator. She's from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her name is Beatriz. We taught her the Restoration, and invited her to pray about what we taught her. We're excited to talk to her again this week!

Oh another thing that happened on Wednesday...we found another mouse! It was outside this time, and it was already dead. Sister Egan decided to get rid of it by scooping it up on our snow shovel and then proceeded to catapult it into the forest beside our house. It was pretty hilarious!

On Friday we had a crazy District Meeting. We were all just waiting for District meeting to start, then the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders walk in and that was fine. Then a few minutes later the AP's walk in and we're all like "What is happening???". It was fine though. It was great to have them all there. We had a great District meeting. We learned about creating the perfect teaching environment so that the spirit can be there. Because after all, "if ye receive not the spirit ye shall not teach." (D&C 42:14)

Later on Friday we had a really cool experience. After our dinner appointment we decided to stop by to meet a less active guy in the area, Alex. We stopped by his house and there was a man outside. We asked if he was Alex and he said "No Alex doesn't live here anymore, but his Mom is inside if you want to talk to her." We took that offer, and we went inside to talk to his Mom. Her name is Olga. She is such a sweet lady and she was really excited to see us. She said "Oh I remember when the missionaries used to come over. We loved it!" She also told us that she always used to drop her son off at church every Sunday, but she never came in. We invited her to our Ward Halloween activity next week, and we also asked her if she'd like to learn more about the church. she said "YES!" We know we were led there for a reason.

We stopped at the Irish store to buy some Irish chocolate for Sister Egan!
On Saturday we went to visit a ton of people! We had a girl from the ward with us pretty much all day so we visited EVERYONE! One person we met was a guy on our ward list who is 96 years old! His name is Brother Pond. He is so sweet! When he opened the door he let us in right away. He was a bit confused as to who we were though. After about 5 minutes of explaining who we are, he understood. Then he told us all about his life, and we got to read the scriptures with him. It was great! Bless his soul. He was very hard of hearing. At one point he asked who the Bishop in our ward is now. This is how the conversation went:

Me: It's Bishop Steele.
Brother Pond: WHO??
Me: Bishop Steele.
Brother Pond: KEELE???
Sister Egan: Steele! Like a steel bar?
Brother Pond: Oh yeah! Jim!
Sister Egan: Yeah! Jim Steele!
Brother Pond: Jim Keele.

He's the sweetest. Bless his soul.

Then yesterday we had an amazing day at church! Well our day started off weird. We were doing our studies in the morning and we heard a really loud "BANG" outside our house. It sounded like the trash cans had fallen over or like something fell on them or something. There's been acorns falling on our house for weeks now so we thought "It's probably just that". I started joking to Sister Egan saying "What if it's a bear out there??!" She was like "If there's a bear out there, we're moving!" Well later on, when we were leaving to go to church, we came outside, and our trash can had fallen over, and there was nothing in it. We looked up into the forest and our trash was all up there. A bear came and rooted through our trash, and took it away into the forest. WELCOME TO AVON, CONNECTICUT!

But the rest of our day was fantastic. Sacrament meeting was amazing. One of the Primary kids did a musical number and it was beautiful. She sang, and the spirit was just so strong! Then during Relief society, one of the women in the ward asked us if we had a dinner appointment that night. We didn't, but she invited us to have dinner with their family. They are the sweetest family. We were so grateful. It was such a blessing.

This place is amazing. I'm so grateful that I get to serve here and be an instrument in the Lord's hands. I love doing His work! I love this gospel with all my heart! The church is true!

I hope you all had an amazing week!

I love you all!

Sister Rebekah Barrett