Monday, 27 July 2015

21 Years of Life!

Hey everyone!

Oh my goodness this week was incredible!! Where do I even begin?!?!

Okay so I guess Monday is a good place to start..

So last Monday we went on exchanges with the Glastonbury Sisters. Sister Lind is a brand new missionary in the mission, and she came with me to our area. It was awesome! She's so great! Fun fact: Her dad served his mission in Ireland!

So we had an awesome lesson on Monday night. We went to teach Gloria one of the new member lessons, and we were teaching about The Commandments, and it was going great as usual. But it was even better because her son Eoin actually stayed in the room while we were teaching. We could see that every few minutes he'd stop playing his Xbox and he'd listen, but then after a few minutes, he pitched in and started participating in the lesson. He had some awesome comments! All the things he talked about were about the Plan of Salvation, so we said that next time we come, I'll bring my visuals for the Plan of Salvation, and we're going to start teaching him the lessons!!

So then on Wednesday, we had an interesting day. We did our weekly planning for all of our investigators, but we decided to do it outside because it was a really nice day. So it went great and we were very focused, and we came up with some great ideas to help each of them...but we were out there for a good few hours in the when we finished, we realised that we had WICKED sunburn on our legs! Mine were SO bad! Being Irish is rough sometimes...

The struggle is real!
Then Friday was another interesting day! We had district meeting and it was great as usual, but then afterwards we were making our lunch. We decided to make BLT's for lunch and we were all very excited about it. Well, the Elder who was in charge of making the bacon ended up burning it and I had a flashback of an interesting event that happened at the beginning of my mission. The fire alarm went off in the church, and the whole situation that Sister Blair and I went through in Norwich happened again. The whole fire department showed up. It was super embarrassing..and hilarious. Hopefully that will never happen again on my mission! :P

Okay then Saturday was AMAZING! We got to meet the couple who we got a referral for last Monday, Ashley and Adam. They are awesome! They live right beside the Temple, and they live in a little Mormon neighbourhood! We went into their house, and Ashley was so nice and she was so excited for us to be there, because she had been to church before and she loved it, but Adam didn't really look like he wanted us to be there. We got to know them and as we talked more and more he really opened up, and he was asking lots of great questions. When we asked them if they'd be open to taking the lessons, he said "You know, at first I didn't really want to hear anything, but I'm really surprised. I wasn't expecting it to be like this. I'm really intrigued and interested to know more." It was amazing! We have another lesson with them this Sunday, and they should be coming to church too!

Then later on Saturday, I got a lovely surprise! We went to the church to write up our weekly report, and when we walked into the library in the church, the Canton Elders were there and they had the room all decorated with balloons and they made a cake for my birthday! It was so nice!! They organised it all with Sister Hansen! I have the best companion!

Blowing out my candles.
Then on Sunday morning when I came out of the bathroom after my shower, there were balloons everywhere and a Happy birthday banner, and little sticky notes! It was so cute! Sister Hansen really went all out!

Sister Hansen's decorations
Then this awesome family from the ward, The Armisteads, came walking up our driveway and gave me balloons and a bag full of sweets...and some cheesecake :P I love cheesecake!

THEN after church, we went home for a few minutes and our house looked like it had been attacked by party decorations! There were decorations all over our door, and there were little American flags (because I love America :P) and there were oreos on our front step, and a bunch of cute little Happy Birthday notes from all the people I worked with in Greenfield! The Canton Elders organised the whole thing and it was literally the sweetest thing ever! It seriously made my day! 

What I came home to after church!

Happy birthday notes from the people of Greenfield!

THEN Hannah, our investigator made us a delicious 3 course gourmet meal and it was FAB!!! We had baked brie cheese with cranberry and apples and crackers for the starter, for the main course we had cajun chicken alfredo, and then for the dessert, we had cheesecake! Once again...I LOVE CHEESECAKE! 

Hannah gave me a birthday Tiara!
We also got to talk to Hannah about baptism, and we had a REAL conversation about it. It won't be happening before Sister Hansen leaves, but she is working towards it and getting closer and closer every day :) We love her so much!!

Oh my goodness it was juts such an incredible day, and an incredible week full of funny, crazy and amazing experiences! I love serving the Lord! Being a missionary is the best! It's changing my life with every day that comes :)

I love you all so much! Have an amazing week!

Sister Rebekah Barrett

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Green Cake & Miracles

Hey everyone!

So this week was AWESOME!! 

First of all, on Tuesday, Webex's came back! President Miller has decided to do a weekly Webex with us, so we're all super excited about that! It made my day!

Then Wednesday was my year mark and it was so weird just thinking back. I just can't believe it's been a year! It goes way too fast! It's just weird :P

Okay so the most AMAZING this that happened this week was...

On Friday after District Meeting, we got a call from our investigator, Hannah. She was in the airport on her way to Utah and she was asking Sister Hansen if she'd like her to visit her family. So Sister Hansen was like "YES! Visit my family!!!" And then Hannah said "I was thinking I could tell your Mom in person that you guys committed me to be baptised." We were like "WHAT?!?!?!?!?" It was the shock of the century! But we are SO excited!!! She's thinking of getting baptised just before Sister Hansen goes home, so we'll see what happens! We have dinner with her and her family on my birthday (she's a chef, and she's making a three course meal for my birthday...we're really excited about it), so we're going to talk more about it then, but it was literally the best thing EVER!!! I absolutely love that girl!!

So then on Saturday we got to go to a baptism! It was someone that Sister Hansen taught when she was serving in Canton CT. The Canton ward shares a building with us, so we didn't have to travel far! It was a really nice baptism :) The Canton Elders did a great job! This weekend we also baked a cake for Elder Dawson because it was his birthday. He loves green!

 (l-r) Elders Dawson and Terry, me and Sister Hansen!

So along with the miracle of Hannah, we also had another miracle happen today! We got a referral for a couple who live in our area. They live RIGHT beside the temple, RIGHT beside the people in our ward who are building the temple, and apparently they have a lot of awesome questions about the church! We are SO excited to meet with them! Miracles are happening!

The church is true! God is good! I know that when we work hard and give our all to serving the Lord, He truly blesses us! The work is moving forward!

I love you all, and I hope you all have the best week ever!

Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 13 July 2015

One Amazing Year

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had an amazing week!

So yes, this week I'll hit my year mark on the mission. I can't believe it's been a year! One year, three new favourite places in the world, and a ton of new best friends and amazing people that have changed my life. It's so crazy to think that this day last year I gave my farewell talk, and got set apart as a missionary!

BUT I still have 6 months and I KNOW that they are going to be incredible!!! Just like this week...

So what happened this week..

Well on Monday we went to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which was AMAZING!! Usually I don't really enjoy listening to choir music, but when you're right there in the room listening to it, it's just amazing! The spirit was so strong! Also, during the interval, I was informed that the Greenfield Sisters were there, so I scanned the room and found them and I got to see some of the awesome people from Greenfield! It was such a great day :)

At the concert!

Then on Wednesday we were in Boston AGAIN for MLC. It was President and Sister Millers' first MLC, so we all really didn't know what to expect, but it was SO good! The culture of the Massachusetts Boston Mission is "Zion". So, the Millers wanted to know what that was all about. They just threw a question out there: "What is "Zion" to you?" and we all got to stand up and say what it means to us, which was SO cool! We got to teach them all about the culture of our mission, which really meant a lot to us. ALSO, another thing that President Miller wanted to discuss as a council was Norwich! There was a few of us in the room who have served there, and he asked us to talk about why Norwich is so different to every other area, and why it's so successful. We got to talk about how the members work in unity with the missionaries, and the Bishop and other ward leaders are just SO on board with every idea we present to them. It really is the ideal area for missionary work, but I honestly believe we can do that with any area :) We just gotta WORK! :P But anyway, MLC was so great, and it was so nice to spend that day with the Millers, and get to know them better :)

Okay so Thursday was...interesting. To say the least. First thing in the morning, I was curling my hair, and I dropped the curling wand, but before it hit the ground I grabbed the wire, but the curling wand swung back up and burned my arm. It was so unfortunate. And then that just set the tone for the day! Haha I was so sad that my arm was in pain! We planned for Zone Meeting with the Zone leaders and we were just all struggling. Sister Hansen was sick, I was in pain, one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Tuckett had some bad chicken earlier that day so he was in and out of the bathroom throwing up, and Elder Silva was also sick. We were on the STRUGGLE BUS! So, it's safe to say that our planning did not go very well.

BUT we had Zone Meeting on Friday, and it was just amazing to see how the spirit took over. The four of us (plus our mini missionary) said a prayer together beforehand so that we could bring the spirit and have a great Zone Meeting, and the Lord provided! It went SO well :) Everyone participated, and we were all uplifted together!

Then on Saturday, I caught the sickness from Sister Hansen, so we were both struggling, but that didn't stop us from serving our fellow people! We made some delicious brownies for some less active people in the ward. It was awesome! But then we said goodbye to our mini missionary, McKenna. It was so sad. She was awesome, and brought a lot of good to our crazy week!

Then church was amazing yesterday! There were some great speakers. The first speaker was the Bishop's daughter. She's 14..I think. She talked about music, and I wrote down one of the things she said because it was so awesome. She said "Our voice is the only instrument that God sent us to the earth with". And then she talked about how we have to use our voice to share the gospel and build the kingdom of God. I was like "YEAH!"
Then Gloria gave her first ever talk! She spoke about "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy". She did SO well! She used all the resources and she shared personal experiences. We were so proud of her!

Update on the Hartford Connecticut Temple!
So that was our crazy, yet amazing week!

I hope you all have a great week this week!

I love you all!
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 6 July 2015

America the Beautiful!

Hey everyone!!

I hope you all had an amazing week! Our week was great!

So we met our new mission President this week, President Miller. When he first walked in it was kinda weird because he looks a bit like a shorter version of President Packard. They're totally different, but both awesome. Someone gave a great analogy. President Packard is like Elder Holland, and President Miller is like Elder Bednar. They're both awesome, but in completely different ways. 

So, we celebrated the 4th of July this weekend and it was wonderful! We went to some barbecues and we had a different curfew so we got to watch fireworks! We had to be in by 10:30, so we met up with our Zone and watched Fireworks together! It was so awesome!!! Then in church yesterday we sang all the songs about America at the back of the hymnbook! I never thought I'd ever get to sing those in church. Dreams come true!

We love America!

We got a mini missionary yesterday and we are so pumped! Her name is McKenna and she's from Groton CT, which is in the Providence RI Stake! My old Stake! She is SO awesome! She wants to serve a mission so we're going to make sure she has the best week ever! We have a really crazy week though. We have a bunch of mission meetings to go to, so she gets to see what it's like to be a Sister Training Leader and go to Boston twice a week! 

We're going to Boston tonight to see The Mormon Tabernacle Choir! The mission got 500 free tickets! We are SO excited! 

This week we had a really cool lesson with our investigator McKelle :) She is just very open to anything because she hasn't really been brought up with any religious background. She KNOWS God is there and that He hears her prayers, but she doesn't really know anything else. She's awesome though. When we talked about how we have a living prophet on the earth today, she was like "Yeah I have no problem believing that!"

I just LOVE the people here!

This gospel is true! It brings so much joy to my life! I love the happiness that the gospel brings, and I just love being a missionary, and getting to share my happiness and love for the gospel with people everyday! 

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

Sister Rebekah Barrett