Monday, 25 January 2016

God Be With You Till We Meet Again

Well, this is it! The last email of my mission.

Here it goes...

So this week was the most incredible week! It was topped off with the most amazing weekend of my mission! #letsgoooooo

Okay so this week I had my last exchanges with the STL's. It was great! I always love exchanges. I learn so much :)

Last STL exchanges!
We had a Worldwide Mission Broadcast on Wednesday so all the missionaries in the world watched that. We received some great training from some of the apostles. We learned from Elder Bednar about the importance of teaching with the spirit. The spirit is the teacher..not us! So I learned a lot, and I was grateful that we had the opportunity to put that into practice after the broadcast.

We went to see our investigators Melissa and Richard. They're a married couple with a 2 year old daughter and another baby on the way. Richard is from England and Melissa is from New York. They're such a sweet couple! We had an awesome member with us who was just perfect for them. They really opened up because we had her with us and we were able to address their questions and concerns. The great news is that they're reading the Book of Mormon and keeping their commitments. We're super excited about them!

District picture at my last district meeting!
On Thursday we had a car fast in the mission! Everyone in the mission had to go without cars for a day. We thought we'd be walking everywhere all day, and we were willing to do that, but the members of the ward had other ideas. They all stepped up to help us out and we were able to get around to all of our appointments and have members with us! It was awesome! The Marlborough ward is amazing! The members are so sweet.

On Friday we had a visit from Brother Caputo and Lee from Greenfield. They're experts at Family History so they came to help us out so that we can help our investigators to get into Family History! It was awesome! We learned a lot! I'm so excited about Family History now!

Our visit from Lee and Brother Caputo!
Oh man I love these people!
On Saturday we had a big snowstorm!! Our whole Zone got red dotted and had to go home early! It was kinda crazy, but it's always exciting!

Okay so we go. So I never told any of you this, but for weeks we had been planning to go to a baptism in Greenfield on January 24th. It was the baptism of Porter Wells, an investigator that Sister Haws and I found way back last February or March. He was a Media referral. He requested a Book of Mormon, and as soon as we met him he started taking the lessons. I taught him with Sister Saito also, and then the Sisters continued to teach him after I left. In my last lesson with him, last May, we invited him to be baptized and he said "no not yet", but I promised him I'd be there when he did get baptized. Well, it was his baptism yesterday and we got permission from the AP's to go. We got members from the ward to bring us, and everything was all set to go!

Then yesterday morning, the members who were going to bring us called us and told us that the snow storm had affected their heating system and it stopped working, so they had to stay home and take care of that. We were devastated! We got a call from our Ward Mission Leader after that and he told us that there might be another family who'd be willing to bring us, so we got their number and called answer. We called another answer. We decided to kneel and pray together and ask Heavenly Father to help us to find someone to bring us so we could be there for Porter on his special day. So after we prayed we called EVERYONE! Some people didn't answer and then others just weren't able to bring us. We were beginning to lose hope, and we were stressing out. Then we called a potential investigator and asked if she'd like to come with us..and bring us! She said 'maybe!' She said she'd call us back! At this stage we had to get to church. So we went and had a wonderful sacrament meeting. I got to bear my testimony here for the last time and I was so grateful to be able to stand and tell the people of the Marlborough ward how much I love my Savior and how much I have loved serving Him these past 18 months. 

After that, it was time for us to leave. If we were going to get to Greenfield on time for the baptism we would have to leave right then. We still didn't have anyone to bring us. Our potential investigator hadn't called us and we had pretty much given up hope! We drove out of the church parking lot and we were about to call the Sisters to tell them that we wouldn't be able to make it, but then we got a text from one of the members saying "Do you have a ride to the baptism? If not, we can take you!" IT WAS A MIRACLE! We didn't even call them! We didn't even tell them that we needed to get to a baptism in Greenfield! But they were the answer to all of our prayers!

We drove back to the church where they were waiting for us, we hopped in their car, and made our way to Greenfield! Going back to Greenfield was like going back home. We drove through Greenfield town and it was all so familiar to me. Especially because I was with Sister Saito. When we got to the chapel we walked in the doors and there was Porter. He saw us and his face lit up! He was like "Oh my goodness! You're here!" I promised him I'd be there. I wouldn't have missed that for the world! It was so amazing to see my Greenfield family again. I was so emotional. I cried most of the time I was there.

Porter with all the Sisters who taught him :)
Seeing Porter get baptised made all the stress of that morning worthwhile. After his baptism, all of the Sisters that taught him gave him a gift that we all pitched in for. We all contributed some money to buy him his own set of scriptures with his name engraved on them. When he opened it up he looked so happy! It was a perfect day. Heavenly Father answered our prayers and he made it the most incredible day ever. It was the best last Sunday I could ever ask for.

Porter when he got his scriptures!
I'm so grateful for my mission. I'm so grateful for all the converting experiences that I've been able to have here. I'm grateful for my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know my Saviour lives and that He loves every single one of us. I know we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and wants us to make the right decisions in our lives. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the gospel that I have received as I have served my mission. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that it is a guide for our lives. I know that by living the gospel, and by living the teachings of Jesus Christ we can, and will be truly happy. I have felt that happiness. My mission means everything to me.

I love you all so much. I hope that you can all have, and feel the joy that the gospel brings. Live it and love it!

Love always and forever,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Monday, 18 January 2016

Enjoy to the End!

Hey everyone!

Well, this week was absolutely fantastic! It was seriously a week full of miracles!

We found 5 new investigators! It was crazy!

So first of all we have Vini and Luciane. They are a Brazilian couple. We found their names in our area book so we just called them and asked if we could come over to teach them. They said yes! So we went there on Tuesday and we taught them the Restoration. It was amazing and the spirit was so strong. Also, they invited us to stay for dinner! Good thing we didn't have a dinner appointment that day! They are the sweetest people! We're going to see them again this Wednesday! We are pumped!

On Thursday we met Vicky. She's Brazilian also. We got in contact with her through the AP's! The AP's went to Subway, where she works and they talked to her there and she said she was interested, so they got her number and sent it to us! So we went over there on Thursday and she is a sweetheart! She's really prepared for the gospel! She just got married recently and they have a little boy! We're so excited to teach her!

It snowed this week!
Then we have a new Digital investigator! Her name is Fernanda and she is from....Brazil!!!! We committed her to read 3 Nephi 11 this week. She was really excited about it. It's the perfect chapter to read. It's all about Jesus Christ :)

Then on Saturday we went to see one of our investigators, Selma. We taught her the restoration, and we also invited her son to join in the lesson. His name is Vinny. He's 12 years old. We had a great lesson with them and we invited Vinny to pray at the end. He prayed and it was so sweet! There are SO many people ready to receive the gospel here in Marlborough!

The Lord is opening the windows, doors, the garage of Heaven! Everything! Miracles are happening here!

On Friday I hit my 18 month mark! It was a crazy time. I can't believe it's been 18 months. It has been the most fulfilling 18 months ever. I'm so grateful for my mission and everything I have learned, and everything I have yet to learn. This is a really sacred time and I feel so blessed.

I had to get rid of a pair of boots this week. #missionarylife

On Saturday we went to a member's house to have lunch. She's one of the members from the Portuguese group. She made a classic Brazilian dish..feijoada. But she put a little something extra in there. It had orelha de porco in it...that's pig's ear. We all tried it because we had to have that experience! It's safe to say that I'll never eat pig's ear ever again. It wasn't pleasant.

Orelha de porco!
Eating pig's ear!
I made Banana bread this morning. I do all the cooking between the 3 of us :P I've become quite good in the aul' kitchen :P I LOVE to cook! I make a wicked omelette! ;)

My banana bread!

When I was making an omlette, this is how the eggs looked when I cracked them into the bowl. #smile
Yesterday we had interviews with President Miller. It was great to chat with him about the work in Marlborough. I love asking him for advice about the areas where I serve. He always knows how to help! He is an inspired man. 

I love being a missionary so much! "The end is not yet, but is nigh at hand". I'm excited to keep working hard till the end. I'm enjoying every moment and not wasting a second :)

I love you all so much! I hope you all have a fantastic week :)

Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Terrific Three

Hey everyone!

It has been a crazy week! 

On Monday, we got a text from President Miller. He told Sister Saito that she would be training a new missionary and that her child would be arriving the next day!! So, naturally, I was like "Where do I go?!?!" Then he said that I'd be staying here too! So we are now in a trio, and Sister Saito and I are training TOGETHER! It feels like just yesterday that I was training her back in Greenfield, and now we're training our new companion together! So our new companion's name is Sister Stancliffe and she's from Washington State! She is awesome! It's so cool being in a trio!


So we had a great week this week! On Wednesday we went to see this family from the Portuguese group. Their daughter, Giovanna, is preparing to get baptized, so we've been teaching her the missionary lessons. We taught her the Plan of Salvation this week, and for an 8 year old she had some DEEP questions! She LOVED that we taught her the Plan of Salvation. She told us "I'm really happy that you taught me this but now I want to die so I can see everything else in this plan." We were like "Please don't.' After the lesson her friend Skyped her and she introduced us. Then she was like "OH! YOU NEED TO GET BAPTIZED INTO MY CHURCH!!!" How bold! She's going to be a great missionary!

This week we've had some great lessons with one of our digital investigators, Beatriz from Brazil. She is amazing! She prayed for the first time this week and it was incredible. She was so nervous to pray in front of us but she did it! She also planned on going to church on Sunday and we were so excited! We Skyped her after church and followed up. She told us that she went to church! But it was the wrong church!! She went to some Baptist church! Bless her soul. She told us her whole experience. She went into the church and told some man "it's my first time here. Where do I go?'. Then this man starts shouting at her and he brings her to a room full of old people! So then she asks someone "Do you have a Book of Mormon?", and obviously they said no. But when she was leaving they gave her a magazine...overall she had a terrible experience. We felt SO bad for her! But we're going to make sure she gets to the right church this week! The struggle is real!

On Friday I had my last Zone Meeting! :( It was super emotional. All the departing missionaries in the Zone got to bear their testimony, and I bore my testimony without crying! I saved that for when I sat down. It was a great Zone meeting. Something that I really liked about this Zone meeting was that the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders asked a few people to share why they decided to come on a mission. I love hearing people's reasons for coming on a mission.Then they asked some other people why they're still on a mission. It was really sweet. I really felt like I got to know my Zone better and I feel like Zion was built. 

On Sunday we had a great lesson with our new investigator Alisson. We taught him the Restoration. He was so receptive throughout the whole lesson. I even got to bear my testimony in Portuguese at the end! It was a great experience. I love teaching people about the restored gospel! It brings happiness!!

This week we also found out some sad news. Our mission won't be having Transfer meetings anymore. When missionaries get transferred they'll just make their way to their new area. So I guess my invitations that I sent out didn't need a date on them after all!

Rain is gross ...
Anyway, I love you all and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love always,
Sister Rebekah Barrett

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

MBM: Return of the Snow

Hey everyone!

This week was amazing! Gosh, I have so much news!

So, I'm going to start with Thursday, just because it was such a great day! So when we left our apartment on Thursday, we were all ready to go to our first appointment! Then we realized we forgot something, so we went back to the apartment, grabbed what we needed, and when we were coming out of our apartment, we noticed our neighbour was struggling with his bags, so we offered to help him! We brought his bags to his car for him. He was SO grateful! He introduced himself to us as Jason, and then we told him we're missionaries and he was like "Oh wow! Do you have a card?". First of all...who asks that?! NOBODY! Second..YES we have a card! So we gave him our card that has our number on it and the church address, and a picture of the Boston Temple. He took one look at the Temple and says "THIS IS BEAUTIFUL! What is this building?! Wow! It's so beautiful!". So we told him about the Temple and he was like "I want to go there sometime!" Oh my goodness it was such a beautiful moment! He told us about how his brother died when he was young and he turned to alcohol to get him through the sadness, but now he doesn't drink. He hasn't drank in 8 years! Then he told us that his Mom has cancer and she's about to die too, but he feels like he needs to go another direction in his life. He said he wants to "turn to God". He said "It's not by chance that I met you two today! I'm getting chills!'. Then we told him that what he's feeling is the spirit, and he was like "Yes it is!'. Jason is SO PREPARED for the gospel! He wants to come to church so hopefully he'll start coming! That was a MIRACLE!

Later on Thursday, we went to this less active family's house. We had dinner with them, and we talked about their spiritual goals for the new year. They have so many amazing goals. They want to start coming to church every week, they want to have family prayer every day, they want their 8 year old son to get baptszed, they want to go to the Temple for the first time. We're so excited to help them with these goals. They are so sweet! snowed this week. Yes. It's back. 

On Friday we went through some records that we had. We decided to just park our car and walk the streets of Marlborough. We went to a bunch of the addresses that we had and we had some great success! There are so many people here who are prepared for the gospel! We went to this one apartment and we knocked on the door. Some guy answered and we asked if Luisa was there. Luisa came to the door and she let us in. There were a bunch of other people in there. All Brazilians of course. We shared a message with them and invited them to learn more. This one guy told us that he has a friend who's a member of the church in North Carolina and he's interested in learning more about the church. We're so excited!

Later that day we went to dinner at this awesome family's house, the Hutchins. They're  an older couple. He's the Stake Patriarch,  he was a mission president in Florida, and Temple President of the Boston Temple. They have 9 children who live ALL over America! One of their sons is the Stake President of the Providence, Rhode Island Stake. He was actually there at dinner with his family. Somehow he remembered me from when I served in Norwich...over a year ago. He has a great memory! It was really great to be with their family though. They're the sweetest people!

On Sunday I took the opportunity to bear my testimony, as it was the last fast Sunday of my mission. It was certainly an emotional one! But it was great to be able to stand up and share my love for the gospel with everyone. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Okay, so fail of the week...I made A TON of really cute invitations for my transfer meeting and I sent them out to EVERYONE in my old areas! I was so happy with how they turned out! So I started giving them out to people here in Marlborough, and after a while Sister Hutchins came up to me and asked me "So when is the Transfer meeting?". I was SO confused. I was like "Isn't it on the invitation?". 
It's not. 
I forgot to put the date of the Transfer meeting on my invitations. So now everyone in Norwich, Greenfield, and Avon have invitations with a location and a time...but no date. How embarrassing! And awkward. IT'S JANUARY 27TH! SPREAD THE WORD!

Apparently I have no teeth ...
Anyways, all is well! It was an amazing week and I'm looking forward to another fabulous week!

I love you all!

Sister Rebekah Barrett