Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31,2015

Wow this week was a crazy week! So on Wednesday we did an exchange with our district leader which was a lot of fun. His name is Elder Clawson and he is from California. He knows a lot about cars and that is mostly what we talked about haha. He had a job at Subaru before his mission and he was teaching me all about engines and how they work and stuff. He even taught me about NOS and how it works ha. Friday and Saturday we did service literally all day. Friday we went to someone in our ward who is about 95% blind and can really only see movement. We did some yard work for him and helped to make his yard look nice.  He has a super nice Stingray Corvette that just sits in his garage because he cant drive it. He also own 2 new dodge challengers that are pretty awesome. Then we went to another members house in our ward to help him pull out his engine that was blown up. There were three holes in the bottom of the engine so that's what we suspect was wrong with it haha.

Sunday was the most interesting day of the week. So we woke up at the normal time and get ready for meeting like every other Sunday. We had good meetings and had an awesome sacrament meeting as usual. I am actually growing to love church more and more. I took church for granted too often back home. Church is amazing because it allows us to feel the spirit and learn more about the gospel. Take advantage of church because learning now is better than learning the same thing later on down the road. But anyways after church we found out that we were supposed to go to a priesthood session down in Charleston so we got a ride with someone from the ward. On our way to Charleston we got a phone call from President Salisbury out of nowhere. Getting a random call for the mission president can be nerve racking and I looked at Elder Spinks with a nervous look on my face before I finally answered it. He told me that I needed to be emergency transferred to Virginia and that I am leaving this Wednesday. I was so surprised I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I had never heard of a missionary getting transferred in the middle of the transfer so it was pretty unusual news. So I am going to be leaving Williamstown, West Virginia and heading to a place called Hillsville, Virginia. I don't know very many details other than I am supposed to be there. I may not know why I am getting moved so quickly, but I do know that Heavenly Father knows me perfectly and He knows that I need to be there instead of where I am at right now. I am sad to leaving Williamstown and all the people that we have been teaching, but I am excited to see whats in store for me in Virginia. I love you all and thank you so much for the support and love you have for me! Talk to ya next week!

Elder Barazoto
​Cool shop in Harmar, Ohio. It is owned by someone in the ward and she makes log cabin quilts. They are really cool.

Another picture of the inside of that Basilica. It reminds me of something from Italy.

​This is the inside of that Catholic Basilica that I sent a few weeks ago. It was pretty cool, but not as cool as the temple!

​Ceiling of the Catholic Basilica

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

Hello Families and Friends!

Pretty awesome week! Last Tuesday we were asked to attend a funeral for someone in our ward. She was only about 27 and she passed pretty suddenly.. It was sad to see so many people mourn over her passing but even though it is hard to part ways with people during this life, we know that the Savior made it possible to overcome death and be reunited with our families! How amazing is that! A lot of people on earth need to hear that and that is why missionary work is so important! After the funeral, we went to this awesome slushie place on the side of the road. They make what looks like a slushie that you would get from sonic or something but they put ice cream in with it! I know Maddy is getting authentic Italian food in Italy, but this was pretty delicious! Haha! 
Wednesday was zone conference and that was a blast. We got a ride down to Charleston with someone from the ward and had a lot of fun talking with him and his life experiences. He is a Vietnam Veteran and has some pretty cool stories. He has worked on airplanes and even defused bombs! Zone conference took almost all day but it was so worth it. I have learned to love receiving instruction from leaders. Seeing how much President Salisbury cares about each and every one of the missionaries in the mission is amazing, but think about how much our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us is even more amazing! 
The rest of the week was pretty slow because I was sick. I am feeling a lot better now, but being sick on the mission is so frustrating! Sunday was pretty awesome because we had a fireside on how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. Most of the ward was there and President Salisbury spoke at it. It was a really awesome meeting and we hope that future firesides will allow for more missionary opportunities! I know that this gospel is true and I know that it does indeed bless families! I have seen it personally and it testifies of the truthfulness of this gospel. I love being here in West Virginia teaching people about this amazing restored gospel! I love you all and I cant thank you enough for all the support that you guys give me!

Not too many photos this week and I'm sorry! I will try better to take more and include me in them! Haha

Elder Barazoto
​This train literally runs through the middle of town in a small place called St. Marys

​This is a pretty awesome view from one of our investigator's property!

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

Great week! We did tons of service this week! 

So on Thursday we had transfers and Elder Spinks and I are staying in Williamstown for another transfer! We met up as a district after transfer meeting so we could met the new missionaries that we got in our district. Elders Jamison and Sievers replaced Elders Pease and Varner who both are home now! Im going to miss them, but I know they are starting new and important chapters in their lives! Elder Sievers is straight from the MTC and his companions is our district leader who is Elder Clawson. Elder Jamison is with Elder Tan and they serve with us in the Marietta Ward. We are very excited to have them! After getting to know our district we went to this school to do some service for someone in our ward. The school is new as of last year and they needed help getting it ready for the new year. They have a huge emphasis on the Constitution kinda like Benjamin Franklin so that was awesome! Its a private school and a lot of the kids from the ward attend the school.

Friday, we drove out to a place called New Matamoras to help someone in our ward tear down their old barn. I mostly just pulled out nails from the wood which reminded me A LOT of Bluewater! Haha we had a lot of fun braking stuff so that was entertaining! On Saturday we actually went back to the school that is called Veritas to do more service. We enjoyed helping them and I know that they appreciated our help! Sunday we got to see the family that is preparing to be baptized next week. They are so awesome and loving! I cant wait for them to make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father that will greatly bless their lives! I know that this gospel is true and I know that the gospel blesses families in so many ways! Heavenly Father is truly preparing people to hear the gospel and I know that He is putting people in our path to be taught this amazing gospel. I love it here and I love my Savior. Thank you all so much for all your love and support! It truly means a lot to me! I love you all! :)

Elder Barazoto
Sorry for not taking too many pictures this week! But I thought that this sign was pretty awesome! Its not a very good picture because we were driving and timing when to take a picture at the right time is really hard haha.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12, 2015

This week was transfers week so Pday got moved up to WednesdaySo West Virginia is not as hillbilly as you think! There definitely are many hillbilly here haha but there are some really nice places here too! Last Tuesday, We had a dinner appointment at a members home and their house was beautiful. It looked like a mixture of Grandma and Grandpas house with the rustic look of house you would see in a magazine. It was way cool! They actually have a pretty cool story too. So the father of the family is a convert of about six years and in those six years he has served in the bishopric, the high counsel, and some other important callings! It was so crazy to me that he has served in so many positions in such a short time! 

So something kinda funny/embarrassing/awkward happened to me on Friday. We were in this area in downtown Marietta that is called Harmar. It actually looks kinda like downtown Gilbert but with more trees haha. We have driven past this really cool looking Coca-Cola shop many times and a member said that she would buy us lunch there because we helped make some of her quilts. So we went inside and it was super cool because there is a restaurant and a Coca-Cola museum inside. We ordered some food and as missionaries we of course started to talk to the waitress about the gospel and things like that. She said that she misses going to church and would love to go back so we invited her to church this Sunday. Things started to speed up in the restaurant so she had to walk around more and it was hard to keep talking to her. So before we left, I asked her if we could get her number so we could text her the address of the church in her area. She laughed a little and then said is that some kinda of pickup line? Hahaha I was so embarrassed and I immediately said no, we go to a different church building that is closer to us. It was pretty awkward for me but she did give us her number haha. I hope that awkward experience turns into something bigger though!

On Sunday, we had another cool experience that strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father is preparing people for us to go see. We had some appointments fall through and Elder Spinks and I decided to try and contact someone that was taught a while back. We hadn't been able contact them in the past and going back to try again felt hopeless. But to our amazement they were home and they we super nice to us! He immediately invited us in which doesn't happen often and he was so happy that we came back because he really wanted to learn more! It was so cool and he is so eager for us to go see him this week! I hope things continue to progress with him and his wife! I know that Heavenly Father prompted us to go see them and it is amazing how He is using me to further His work! I love being a missionary and although it is hard at times, I know that I am being blessed for my efforts! I love you all and thank you so much for all your love and support!

Elder Barazoto
​Yes that is a Batman watch and yes I know that it is awesome.

​Bear Grylls in church clothes!

​Really cool place off the side of the road!

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

Another great week here in the West Virginia Charleston Mission! So this week we had some pretty awesome lessons! There is this recent convert named Rhonda that was baptized the week before I got to this area and we started teaching her the new member lessons. She is so solid and is looking for opportunities to share the gospel with her friends and family! She told us about how she is feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost more in her life and it is just amazing to see the amount of progress that she has made! She has a pretty cool conversion story. Yesterday, we went to see the family that we put on date to be baptized on the 29th. We taught them the commandments and they are so solid! They love when we come over and teach them, it is really cool to see how much different they are since we have been teaching them. They seem much more happy and eager to learn from us! Seeing them progress in the gospel makes every single hardship that I have experienced on my mission completely worth it. I know that this church is true and everyone can benefit from it. I know that diligently studying the scriptures and praying morning and night will help us all come closer to our Savior. Heavenly Father loves us so much and he wants to bless us, but he only can when we keep the commandments and do the things that we know we should do. I love you all and I hope that all is well! Be sure to email me! :)

Elder Barazoto
​If you look at one of the pictures from last week, you can see that this is on the opposite side of the street. 

​Cool government building in a place called St. Mary's, West Virginia.

​Awesome view of the river in a place called Boaz in West Virginia.

​This is a painting on a building in Marietta, Ohio.

This is one of MANY cool looking houses that I have seen. I know you will like this kind of stuff mom haha. The best houses in this area are in Marietta.

​This picture and the next one are right next to each other. I just turned a little bit to take this one.

​Awesome view from on top of a hill. This is right now the road from our church building in Marietta.

​This is just me trying to be a professional photographer haha. This picture was taken right down the road from the last 2.

This is a turtle some investigators gave to us. We arent allowed to keep pets so we boiled him up haha. Im going to keep the shell though. More pictures on that next week!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July 27, 2015

This week was awesome! There were some pretty powerful lessons where the spirit was undeniable, it was so cool! So on Tuesday, we went and visited an older woman named Fay. Her son is actually a preacher for another church. She has been an investigator since before I came to the mission but we just haven't been able to see her till this week. She was actually wearing a funny t-shirt that had a picture of a rubiks cube on it and underneath it was the word genius haha it's a pretty awesome t-shirt and I want one. So at the beginning of our lesson, she kept trying to give us back the Book of Mormon and pamphlets that we left her last time. She said that she did not want them and that she doesn't understand why she would need them. We started to teach her the restoration and told her that we need it because it contains the fullness of the gospel. Then came the cool part. She was not really understanding very well so we kept teaching her and we got to the point of the First Vision. After talking about Joseph Smith's experience, her questions turned from "why do we need it?" to "well how do I know it's true?" This was such a cool experience for me because when the Holy Ghost is present in our lessons, he will teach the investigator the way that they need to hear it. Teaching her seemed difficult at first but as soon as the Spirit testified to her, it became a matter of her praying to know it was true. The First Vision is an amazing event and when we talk about it to people who are willing to listen, the Spirit can be so strong. I know that Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It is because of this amazing event that we have Jesus Christ's original church today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friday we had a ward party and it was super fun! So apparently the game cornhole is super big up here. They even have cornhole tournaments it's pretty intense haha. We also played some two hand touch football which was super fun. Speaking of football, we went to a massive flea market and I found some pretty awesome 49ers football cards! They were in packages of 20 and were selling for only a dollar! I bought 2 of them haha. Ill send pictures! 
​This is what I ate this morning haha

A church in Marietta, Ohio. They are everywhere haha

​Super fun road to drive on!

​Sunset on the bridge that connects Marietta, Ohio to Williamstown, West Virginia.

​This house is super cool with an amazing view behind it! It looks a lot better in person haha

​Telephone wires! So cool and green!

Something happened to the road. Not really sure what though

​Elder Spinks driving pretty fast haha

​Marietta's court house. Those are brick roads too!

we like taking "artsy" pictures. Brett would be proud of this one haha

​12 of 40 for only 2 dollars! These are some of the ones that I thought were cool