Monday, 29 June 2015

Bittersweet Goodbyes

Hey everyone!!!

I hope you all had a fabulous week! 

This week was so bittersweet! Aahhh so much happened!

So first of all...Tuesday, we went to the church bright and early with the Zone Leaders and the Canton Elders to practice our song for the Farewell Conference. Before we started practicing, we made a fabulous breakfast consisting of pancakes and bacon! It was glorious! Then we practiced, and practiced...AND practiced! I was still super nervous. It sounded good, but I'm just a nervous soul! Sister Hansen suggested that I get a blessing, so I did, and it was really beautiful. The power of the priesthood is SO real! It gave me comfort, and I felt a little better :)  Then later that day I was talking to another Sister in our mission, who is an AMAZING singer, and I asked her "how do you never get nervous?". And she said something that really hit me. She said "We have been given gifts and talents from Heavenly Father, so that we can literally be an instrument in his hands to bring the spirit into people's lives through those gifts." I've never really thought of it that way. But it's so true. Heavenly Father gives us gifts and talents for a reason, and we need to use them the way He intends for us to use them, and literally become an instrument in His hands :)

I love this picture! With our Zone leaders, Elder Stones and Elder Silva!
We also got a text from Sister Packard on Tuesday evening telling us that there was a tornado warning! We were like "Nahh nothing is going to happen," But then later in the day, when we were on our way home, there were flashes of lightening in the sky. It wasn't fork lightening or anything..yet. The second I said "I wish it was fork lightening", this big bolt of lightening shot out of the sky! careful what you wish for! Then the sky started turning a really weird colour, and it was just so scary. So we were glad to get home! Nothing happened thankfully. It was like there was going to be a tornado, but it just decided not to happen.

Then on Wednesday, we had a really cool lesson with Patti! We brought Gloria, our recent convert. She shared her conversion story and bore her testimony, and it was just beautiful! We still haven't been able to get Patti to come to church though. Her 13 year old daughter has been coming though! So that's super cool! She'll get there :)

Then Thursday was the Farewell Conference!  We had a training on making the Sabbath day more meaningful. President Packard showed us a video from the General Conference training that the General Authorities get the Friday before General Conference, and we spent some time talking about our thoughts and feelings about the Sabbath day. It was really amazing. We talked about the importance of the Sacrament, and during the video, something that Elder Holland said really stood out to me. He said "The Sacrament is the only ordinance we repeat for ourselves". Sacrament meeting is the most important part of Sunday, and I feel like sometimes we forget that, so it's certainly a goal of mine to make sacrament meeting, and partaking of the sacrament ore meaningful :)

After the training, that's when Elder Stones and I sang, and it went really well :) It wasn't perfect, and I was still a little nervous, but it was still good, and I just hope that we touched many hearts :) I'm glad that we could literally become instruments in the Lord's hands to bring the spirit into people's lives through music :)

Than at the end, we all got to hug President and Sister Packard. Hugging President Packard was so special! He just looked right into my eyes and said the nicest things, and I just cried! Oh man, saying goodbye to the Packards was so hard! But now we have President and Sister Miller, and we get to meet them on Friday, so that's definitely something to look forward to :)

President and Sister Packard!

The mission is definitely going through a lot of changes, but change is so good! I know that we're all going to grow so much from this, and we all need the Millers right now. 

As I always say "There's no growth in a comfort zone, and there's no comfort in a growth zone". SO #letsgooooooooo

Our last district meeting of the transfer!
I love you all, and I hope you all have an amazing week!

Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 22 June 2015

End of Another Transfer!

"Hey everyone!!

So this week was AWESOME!!!!!

The awesomeness started on Monday evening when we had a lesson with our investigator Patti! We had 3 members there with us, and it was SO powerful! She got a blessing because she has been in a lot of pain lately, and she's getting her hip replacement soon. The blessing was AMAZING. After the blessing we all just sat, and it was silent for a few minutes because we just wanted her to feel that spirit that we all felt there in that moment. Then she broke the silence by saying: "There's something different. I feel different. I just feel more peace and comfort." It was incredible! 

She also said that she wants to be baptised! We don't know when it's going to happen yet, but we're going to be working with her a lot to teach her all the lessons and get lots of members involved. Then later on in the week we went back to see her, and we did some service for her, and then we sat down and read some of the Book of Mormon with her. And THEN we gave her a Restoration pamphlet, so she can know a little bit more about it before we teach it to her. And then yesterday, we found out that she went to her church that she usually goes to, but she was so excited about everything that she read in the pamphlet, that she went up and read it to her whole congregation! How cool is that?!?!?! This woman is awesome!!!

So then on Tuesday we had our last Webex with President and Sister Packard. We went to the church bright and early to watch it, and when we got there...the power was out. We were there with the Canton Elders (we share a chapel) and we just did NOT know what to do! We were stressing out because we thought we were going to miss the last Webex with the Packards! We ended up just saying a prayer together, so that we could all get calm and figure out what we were going to do. After a few minutes, Sister Hansen came up with the GENIUS idea to call the Holbrooks (Senior Missionaries serving in our ward). We called and asked if they'd be watching the Webex, and they said YES! So we all drove to their house (which is right beside where the Temple is being built) and  joined them! It was such a blessing! The Webex was super emotional. President and Sister Packard are SO amazing!

Speaking of the Packards..we have our Farewell Conference with them this week! That's going to be a super emotional day too! Our whole Zone and the New Haven Zone will be there. I'm actually singing at it with one of our Zone Leaders, Elder Stones. Please pray that I don't get nervous!! We've been practicing and it sounds really good, but sometimes my nerves get the better of me! AAHHHHH! I hope it's good!

So this Friday at District meeting, we did something quite unique. So we always have a "Zion building activity" as part of District Meeting, but this week's Zion building activity was...different. We played "Chubby Bunny". For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a game where you each go around in a circle and put a marshmallow in your mouth and say "Chubby Bunny" and you keep going around, adding more marshmallows and saying "Chubby Bunny".

Our zone leaders playing Chubby Bunny!

So the greatest news of all from this week is that T-Texts came last night, and SISTER HANSEN AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER!! WOOOOOO!!! We are so pumped!!!! I'm going to kill her! (For those of you who are not familiar with mission terms, that means that I'm going to be her last companion before she goes home.) This is her last transfer, so I know I'm getting a new companion for sure next transfer. I haven't killed any of my companions, so this will be interesting!

Waiting for t-texts!
Happiness because we love t-texts!
 This is what happens when you do hand stands up against the door frame! Sister Hansen likes doing hand stands, which is fine if it's up against the wall, or something that you know you'll be able to put your feet up on...but on a door frame...
So what happened is..she did it on the door frame once, and it was fine..but when she did it again, I guess she was a little further back, so her feet completely missed the door frame, dangled in the air for a second, and then she flopped down on the floor. She's okay though! We laughed about it. A LOT!

After the event!

Sister Hansen's knee

We are SO excited though! This past transfer has been a BLAST! We have gotten to know each other SUPER well, and we're just so excited for another transfer of hard work! This is her last sprint! #letsgooooooooo

So, that's all for this week! I love you all so much! I hope you all have an amazing week!

Sister Rebekah Barrett"

Just a reminder that Sister Barrett's birthday is coming up on July 26th! She would absolutely love to get some birthday cards and letters as she loves hearing from everyone! You can send letters either to the mission home or contact myself or Maria on Facebook for her flat address!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Cead Mile Failte :)

Hey everyone!

I hope you've all had an amazing week!! My week was fabulous!

So first of all..Tuesday. On Tuesday we had a nice, busy day, and we ended our day by going to the Youth activity in our ward. They were teaching everyone how to do Family History...something I've never been good at! Gloria (our recent convert) came too! She has gotten SO into Family history! It's great! 
So.. I've been told that Irish Family History is pretty hard to do..but it's still possible! I got help from one of the women in the ward, Sister Armistead. She is this AWESOME Australian woman! They're whole family is awesome! But she was SO helpful with my Family History. She even texted us the next day telling me that she's been doing a lot of research and she's found a bunch of stuff about my family history! She showed me everything and it's SO COOL! I just REALLY want to be good at family history stuff!! It's definitely something I need to work on!

This is literally on everyone's doors, and I wonder if they really know what it means. But if they don't, that's okay. That's why I'm here! To tell them that it means "A hundred thousand welcomes" :)

So then, on Wednesday. We went to see our investigator Hannah. She is so cool! She's 20, so we get along really well with her, and her parents are already members of the church. They just went less active before she turned 8 so she was never baptised. So we talked to her about baptism, and we invited her to be baptised on my birthday (July 26th..just so you all know), aaand she said no! But that's okay! We're still working on it! And she's really awesome! She'll be baptised someday, whether I'm here or not :)

Then later on in the week, we had a dinner appointment with this awesome family, the Rynne's. They just live around the corner from us so it's great. They're daughter, Nicole is literally the sweetest person! She's 18 and she's so awesome. She was wearing a t-shirt that said "Happiness is being Irish" and I was like "YES!", and then she was like "Oh I have something for you! I saw it and I just HAD to get it for you!!" 
She got me a t-shirt that says "Made in Ireland, and it has a picture of Ireland on it! Haha it's so awesome! I don't have a picture of it yet, but they're coming soon! Next week :P

Then this weekend was just fantastic! We had one of the Relief Society sisters, Sister Roberto, come out with us for a few hours on Saturday, and she is just amazing. We went to see our investigator Patti, and we did some service for her around her house because she's in a lot of pain, so she can't do a lot herself. She's getting a hip replacement soon! But while myself and Sister Hansen were doing service, Sister Roberto just sat down with her and talked about the gospel, and the Book of Mormon and EVERYTHING! And THEN she went in to talk to Patti's daughter and invited her to church. And then as we were leaving she said to Patti "I want you to read the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes a day. This book has brought me the greatest joy in my life. I testify to you that this book is true and that it will make your life better, and you'll be happier!" We were like "YEAH!!!" This woman is AWESOME!!! It was so great!!

Then on Sunday, in the evening, we went to the Stake Centre for a Fireside. President Packard did a Fireside about the Book of Mormon and it was SO amazing. 
I LOVE the Book of Mormon! I have developed such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon throughout my mission. It has changed my life. I know it answers the questions of our heart and soul. I know that if everyone reads it and ponders it, and prays to ask God is it's true, they WILL get an answer. And it might not be a big miraculous experience! It wasn't for me. But I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true, and that it is the word of God. 

I love this gospel SO much, and I LOVE being a missionary!

This dog thinks it's a meerkat!

I love you all! Have an amazing week!

Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 8 June 2015

Adventures in Avon

Hey everyone!!

Sorry about last week's email! This one is on time!

I hope everyone has a great week! My week was fabulous!

Last P-day we went to a trampoline park. It was super fun! Most of our zone went, and it was so cool! I've never seen anything like it!

On Tuesday night we went on exchanges with the Glastonbury sisters and it was so cool. I really like going on exchanges and learning from the other sisters in the Zone. We also went on exchanges with the Ellington sisters on Friday. It was so great. But I also love being back with my own companion, and in my own area. I really know that we're with our specific companions in our specific areas for a reason. Sister Hansen is just AWESOME!

On Wednesday we went to the temple with the Packards, and had our last MLC with them. It was really emotional. They bore their testimonies and it was beautiful! I love them! They also prepared us for our new mission president, President Miller. We're all excited to be here with him and Sister Miller, and we know that we're in the mission at this time for a reason.

With the Packards!

Later on in the week, we went to the baptism of an 8 year old in the ward. There were so many people there! One of our investigators came, because she's friends with the family of the little girl who got baptised. She was talking to someone afterwards and she said "I am very active in my own church, and we have activities and things just like the ones you have at your church, but whenever I'm here, I just feel different. There's a difference here."
It was really amazing that she noticed the feeling of the spirit there :)

Sorry this is so short. This week was really amazing. I hope you all have a great week!

I love you all!

Sister Rebekah Barrett


Hey everyone!!

I am SO sorry I didn't get to send an email last week! I'll be sending 2 today, so this is last week's one :)

Last week was INCREDIBLE! Okay so I'll start at the beginning of the week, and we'll save the best for last!

So, we got a media referral from Salt Lake telling us that there was a woman in our area who wanted us to we did! Her name is McKelle, and she's a super sweet lady. She has 4 kids, and her husband is in the navy! She talked to us about how she lived in Virginia, and she was meeting with the Sisters there, and they were really awesome. So we invited her to take the lessons and she's our new investigator now, along with her family! :)

Then later on that day, we went to our dinner appointment...and it was a dinner appointment like no other! It was at a mansion! We drove up the looooong driveway to this MASSIVE house, and when we walked in there was a chandelier and a grand piano! The woman who invited us over is a nanny and she works for these super rich people. I have never met people like them! I've only seen people like them in movies and TV shows! At one point the woman was just like "One morning I was just eating my breakfast and my husband came down and said "honey, would you like to go buy an Aston Martin today? and I said "sure!" Sooooo yeah it was really different, but it was great to meet them! I'm just still getting used to the way people live here! :P

I just have to tell you all how AWESOME the members are in this ward. They just call us up and tell us that their friends want to learn about the gospel. I'm telling you's the Temple! The temple is being built here, and SO many miracles are happening!! It's amazing!

Update on the progress of the Hartford Connecticut Temple!

I love to see the temple ... even if it's not built!

Okay so, the weekend....

So Saturday was just incredible. I can't even put into words how amazing it was! Elder Holland is just the most amazing man! We all got to shake his hand and tell him who we are and where we're from. So, I went up and introduced myself, and when I said I was from Ireland he was like "IRELAND?? Where in Ireland?" So I said Dublin and he was just like "Wow you don't have an accent" hahaha
But as for the actual "questions and answers" session...He started off by talking about Elder L. Tom Perry. He said "Before we have our questions and answers session, there's just one thing I want to address". He said "We are about to lose one of the greatest warriors of our time.", and then he went on to talk all about his love for Elder Perry. And he told us to keep Elder Perry and his family in our prayers. He was very emotional, and it was just really amazing to me how in tune he was to the situation. This was just 2 hours before Elder Perry passed away.

So, we all didn't get a chance to ask our questions. We only had like an hour and a half with him. So he answered about 5 people's questions, but in doing so,  he answered everyone's questions. He is just SO incredible! I think one of the coolest things that happened is, one Sister asked a question saying that her brother has served a faithful mission, but now he's home and he's inactive, how can she help him? And Elder Holland just cried and said that nothing devastates him more than that. He said we must be the people that we want our investigators to be, because we are God's investigators, and he is always working with us, and helping us to come closer to him. And then he asked the Sister where she lives, and said that he's going to visit her brother, and help him. Imagine Jeffrey R. Holland turning up on your doorstep! It just showed me how truly humble and Christlike he is. He is willing to go out of his way to minister to people individually. It was just such an incredible day!

And THEN on Sunday....KEITH GOT BAPTISED!!!! I got to go back to Greenfield to be there. It was SO amazing! Best day EVER! When I walked into the little Greenfield chapel again, it just felt like home. I felt like I had never left, and I just got emotional seeing all the people that I know and love there. Being there again was really special. And seeing Keith get baptised after 7 years of investigating the church was just AMAZING! I can't even put into words how great it was. It was just a really special day for me. Definitely one of the highlights of my mission. It was harder to leave this time, than the first time. I just love Greenfield, and all the amazing people there so much :) There will always be a piece of my heart there!


And as for Avon, well, it's wonderful! Sister Hansen is SO awesome! I love her! We just became instant best friends. It's the wonderful thing about having companions :D

I love you all so much, and hope you have had an incredible week :D

Sister Rebekah Barrett