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

Monday, 12 October 2015

Scots in Avon?

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty great!

So on Tuesday we went to see a media referral! He sounded pretty solid. His name is Ronald Marriott and he requested a Book of Mormon. We were super pumped to visit him and give him the Book of Mormon. When he opened the door he was really nice. He's an older man, probably in his 60's. Well he had plenty to talk about! He told us all about his past lives and how he's been reincarnated, and he was burned at the stake and he has a very clear memory of his past lives. He also taught us a science lesson at the door. We learned about energy and atoms and all that stuff. The whole time I was thinking "D&C 43:15, Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed: Ye are not sent forth to be taught, bt to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit;" We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and about the Restoration of the Gospel and he just kept talking about science and his past lives. It was so interesting.....

On Wednesday we had another lesson with McKelle and we taught her about Jesus Christ. Her understanding is not all there yet but she's progressing little by little. She's amazing.

On Thursday we had a great day! So many tender mercies!! We had a lunch appointment with a member but when we got there she wasn't home. We called and texted and knocked on the door. Nothing. We were really hungry so we were like "Let's just go to McDonalds". But here's what happened...we got to McDonalds and Elder Holbrook (one of the senior missionaries working on the Hartford Temple) shows up. He's like "Sisters! Are you going to McDonalds?! I'll buy it for you!" It was so sweet! We were so grateful. It was the smallest thing but it made our day! 

Some of the members from the Greenfield branch came to visit the Hartford Temple Site on Saturday, so the Holbrooks invited us along! It was amazing to see them all again! :)

Then later that day we had members calling us to tell us about their friends and how they want to introduce them to us! It was amazing! We LOVE that! The best thing you can do for the missionaries in your ward is introduce them to your friends so they can teach them!

On Friday we had an amazing Zone meeting where we talked about the digital mission, we talked about confidence, we talked about teaching simply. It was brilliant. Exactly what we all needed. One of the things we all committed to do was to give out at least one Book of Mormon a day. We're pumped!

Hartford Zone! #Hart&Soul

We're rising to that challenge! Last night at about 7:45 we realised that we had gone all day without giving out a Book of Mormon, so we parked our car in a parking lot of an outdoor mall and we just talked to the first people we saw, They were 17 year old kids. We taught them a little bit about what the Book of Mormon is. One of them was super quiet and didn't say anything and the other guy was happy to talk to us. He told us that he's not really religious and he hasn't been to church in years. I noticed that he had a really weird accent. I asked him where he's from and he said "Scotland". I was like "No you're not!" He really is from Scotland. When I told him I was from Ireland he started speaking legit Irish to me! It's been a long time since I've heard that! It was awesome! He accepted the Book of Mormon and even gave us his contact details! Who would've thought we'd meet a Scottish person in Avon, Connecticut?! Crazy!

We put sticky notes with uplifting quotes and scriptures all over the Canton Elders car! It was so fun :)

I hope you all have an amazing week!

I love you all!

Sister Rebekah Barrett 

General Conference & Henry the Mouse Update!

Hey everyone!!

This week was incredible! General Conference weekend is always a SUPER exciting time in the mission..but there was so much more than that!

This week we had an amazing lesson with McKelle. We brought Laurie again and that was great. We had planned on teaching The Gospel Of Jesus Christ lesson and it was going really. We read 2 Nephi 31 with her and then asked if she had any questions about it or if there was anything she didn't understand. She said no, but then she completely opened up to us about her life. She told us that she wants to be baptised but she wasn't brought up in a religious home so she really knows nothing about Jesus Christ or His life. She said that if she's going to follow His example and be baptised then she wants to know more about Him. We were really grateful that she opened up to us like that and basically told us what she wants to learn and needs to learn before she gets baptised.

Then later that day we went to one of our member's houses, Sister Gelbach, to do some service for her with the Canton Elders. This woman is literally one of my favourite people ever! She's from Panama and she is just SO awesome! We got to her house and she had a ton of food for us, and then she quickly put the Elders to work. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. They had to move a giant wardrobe from the upstairs of her house to the basement downstairs. Sister Gelbach's house is not small. Neither was that wardrobe. While they slaved over that, we got to share a message with Sister Gelbach. She is seriously the sweetest lady.

On Thursday we went to help the Glastonbury Sisters with the digital mission. I love the digital mission. It's so unique, and it's so great to have the opportunity to literally bring the gospel to all the world! We helped them get set up on their accounts and start contacting people all over the world! It was awesome!

On Friday we had such an incredible day! We had District meeting first of all. Sister Egan and I gave the training. We had to train everyone on how to best teach about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and how the Gospel blesses families. We started by asking everyone how they've felt God's love in their life and how the gospel has blessed their families. It was really sweet to hear everyone bear testimony to each other and come closer together as a district. 

Then after that we went to Hartford to give tours of their chapel. The Portable Visitors Centre Sisters were there. It was a cold and rainy day but we still went and did WORK! We stood out on the street and contacted people, and invited them to take a tour of the chapel. We contacted this one guy, Tyreo. We just walked right up to him and we were like "Hey would you like to take a tour of our church?" and he was like "Right now? Wearing these clothes? I'm not dressed for church". We told him it was fine and he came in and took a tour. We shoed him the "Because of Him" video and he loved it, and then we showed him this video "Christ's Church". We asked him what he thought of it and he told us "I've actually been wanting to make a new beginning in my life." And then he brought up baptism! We took that opportunity to teach him about the importance of baptism and what it really means to be baptised. We taught him that it is an important covenant with our Heavenly Father, and it is just the first step to follow the Savior. He agreed with everything we said, and we were both thinking the same thing. Sister Egan extended a baptismal date to him for October 24th...and he accepted! Then we got the Hartford Elders in there because they're going to be the ones teaching him. It was so cool! It was a unifying moment between myself and Sister Egan, and it was also amazing to see her boldness and confidence as she invited Tyreo to be baptised!

Fall is here!

We took some pictures at the lake near our house. It's so beautiful!
 Then this weekend was General Conference weekend of course! Oh my goodness I don't even know where to begin! Okay I'll pick a favourite talk from each session!

From the Saturday Morning session I loved Elder Larry R. Lawrence's talk. I loved his direction to us to ask the Lord "What lack I yet?". There is always something in our lives that we need to improve upon. We need to be humble and teachable so that we can become who the Lord wants us to become. When Elder Lawrence visited the mission last year we talked about this, and as missionaries we each took that counsel and asked the Lord "What lack I yet?" so that we could sacrifice something in our lives or our ministry that was holding us back from giving our whole souls to the work. Because of our sacrifices we saw miracles. That was the month that the Massachusetts Boston Mission baptised 100 people :)

From the Saturday afternoon session Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk really stood out to me. I loved when he said "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child". I just think it's beautiful that the love of a mother comes so close to the love of the Savior! He said that our mothers are "Saviors on Mount Zion, and like the Master [they] follow, [their] love "never faileth".

From the Sunday Morning Session I loved President Russell M. Nelson's talk. I loved when he asked "Sisters, do you realise the breadth and scope of your influence when you speak those things that come to your heart and mind as directed by the spirit?"

As a missionary, it's so important that I listen to the promptings of the spirit as I teach, and act on those promptings because that can really influence and change people's lives. I fgeel so blessed to be a missionary!

In the Sunday Afternoon Session, Elder Devin G. Durrant's talk stood out to me. I loved his invitation to us to "ponderize" one verse of scripture every week. As we do that, he promised us that "as we make this effort, we will feel an increase in spirituality". He also said that "We will always be able to teach and lift those we love in more meaningful ways".

I hope you all had an amazing week and enjoyed conference as much as I did!

I love you all!

Sister Rebekah Barrett

P.S. Update on Henry. We bought mouse traps, put them in our house. Put peanut butter on them. The next day I went to check the trap. The peanut butter was gone but the mouse wasn't in the trap. So we were outsmarted by Henry! THEN the next morning I went out to check it again and the trap was gone, so I asked Sister Egan "Sister...did you move the trap?" and she was like "no?? But I heard it snap last night". IT WAS GONE! So she checked behind the dryer, and there was the mouse caught in the trap. Henry is now dead and gone. That's the short version of the story. I'll tell you all the full length story someday...