Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

Awesome week! It has been raining for three days straight and I dont think that I am used to that yet! Ha! I dont think that I have used an umbrella this much in my whole life! Arizona doesnt get rain like Virginia does! Ha!
As far as missionary work goes, we had some awesome lesson this week! One was with this family that is progressing very well! The father has been investigating the church for about a year and a half now and we were able to teach him and his whole family too! Ashley is his wife's name and she recently is coming to terms that God is real. Her mother recently passed away as well so we taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was so amazing! The spirit was SO strong and we all felt it! It was awesome! The whole family is so loving and the gospel will bless their lives so much! I know it!

The next day, we drove to a place called Cana, Virginia to follow up with someone who requested a Bible from We talked to them a little bit and they invited us in to learn more about what we believe. We talked about the Restoration and they enjoyed it! Most of the people out here go to church somewhere and it can be pretty difficult to get people to listen to you sometimes! They are mostly set in their ways or comfortable with the church that they are at which is really sad! I know that this is the only true church on the earth and it can benefit them so much! I hope that they recognize this too because it is absolutely true! 

Missionary work definitely has its ups and downs, but the "ups" always make up for any "downs"! When someone believes what you teach or accepts the gospel in any way, it makes every trial or disappointment totally worth it! I know that I say that all the time, but I just love it! The happiness that comes from sharing the gospel is amazing. I want to feel it all the time! I love my Savior and because I love him I will serve him! I love missionary work! :)

Elder Barazoto

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23, 2015

Sorry for the late email! Transfers week!

Hello Family and Friends! 
This was a pretty great week and I could really feel myself becoming a better missionary through some pretty amazing experiences! But before I get to the good stuff, Ill fill you all in on the struggles of serving a mission in the United States haha! So most of our mission has cars and on Thusday we had to drive to Roanoke to install this little black box in our cars that monitors our driving... If we go 3 mph over the speed limit, it will say, "check your speed" and if we dont slow down fast enough it will send a message to the mission president that we were speeding! When we were leaving Roanoke to go home, I completely forgot about it and it yelled at me to slow down because I was going too fast in the parking lot haha! but enough of these "First World" missionary problems and on to the good stuff!

So on Tuesday, we saw our top investigator and he is doing great! He is progressing really well and I hope that he continues to progress! On Friday, the Elders Quorum had a big bbq and he and his family came! They had a blast and now the wife who we haven't really be able to talk to yet wants to come to church! Elder Sawyer and I were so excited! We hope to be able to teach there whole family if things continue to go this well! Ward activities are so great!

Another really cool experience that happened this week was on Saturday, we decided to go try and contact a potential investigator who keeps avoiding us, but we went to go see her anyways. As we were walking over there, we passed by this weird looking super rundown trailer. There were dogs outside that were barking at us and stuff, but that is pretty normal in Virginia haha. We passed the house like it was any other house on that street but I felt very strongly that we need to go back and knock on that door. Elder Sawyer told me that the person that lived there is a former investigator and wasn't very nice to the previous missionaries, but we went anyways. The dogs barked at us all the way up to the door but I didn't care because I knew that we needed to see this person. An older woman answered the door and we invited her to learn more about the gospel and she said yes! It was an amazing experience and I am so happy that I listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and turned around instead of just shrugging it off! I know that Heavenly Father is the one that directs this work and I am just an instrument. It is my responsibility as a missionary to listen to the spirit and allow awesome experiences like that to happen! I know that God is very real and he is influencing our lives whether we know it or not! I have felt the spirit more and stronger than I ever have in my life and it is truly amazing! The gospel is for everyone and it can help us with anything! I love it! True happiness comes from living the gospel. Always remember that!

Thank you so much for all the support and love! I love you all and be sure to choose the right! :)

Elder Barazoto
​Me swinging around the club! I miss golfing!

​Elder George and Halterman! They were in my MTC district. Love them!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sepember 14, 2015

Dear Family and Friends!

This week was pretty great! Wednesday we had a lesson with one of our investigators named Jim. He has been investigating the church for a while and for some reason wont commit to a date to be baptized. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and also why our church is different from other churches and we helped him to understand why we are asking him to do all these things. As we were talking to him and things were starting to make sense to him, we asked him if he was now willing to be baptized. He thought for a minute and told us that he knows its all true but he does not want to change his life... It was pretty frustration as a missionary to hear that but people still have their agency! We actually met with him again yesterday and basically told him that he needs to pray and make a decision on what he whats to do, so we hope and pray that he will make the right decision! 
So on Thursday, Elder Sawyer set up an appointment to see an optometrist that is in our ward. He is actually the former bishop so he is super nice to the missionaries. His office is actually right below our apartment too haha. So we went through all the test and one of the assistants is actually a less-active that we are working with and we talked all about the different eye instruments and how they work and stuff! It was super cool and I loved learning all about that kind of stuff! 
Then on Friday and Saturday we did a companion exchange with the district leader and that was a blast! I went with Elder Boyd and Elder Boyd's companion who is Elder Vest went with Elder Sawyer. Elder Boyd is pretty new to the area so we did a lot of trackting. I really enjoy trackting but sometimes it can be pretty difficult! We found a little ripstick and so I had to try it out to see if I could still do it! Ha! 
Sunday we went with a return missionary in our ward to go see a less active family. Ill be honest, it can be pretty intimidating to teach with a return missionary who is pretty awesome at missionary work but it was great! He is really awesome and he wants to come out with us a lot more so that will be fun!

I continue to be amazed at how amazing this gospel is. I learn everyday and I know there is so much that I need to learn! I love reading from the Book or Mormon and learning from it. I know that it is true! It has changed my life and I know that it can bless yours too! Continue to be righteous and do the things that you know are right! I love you all so much and thank you for all the support!

Elder Barazoto

No pictures this week, Sorry!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8, 2015

Sorry for the late email! Everything was closed yesterday because it was Labor Day!

Wow what a crazy week! So much has happened!

So Tuesday and Wednesday we didnt get very much done because I was packing for the transfer, but Wednesday night the whole Charleston Zone was invited to a baseball game! I never thought that I would be attending a baseball game on my mission so that was a pretty interesting experience! President asked that each companionship bring someone to the game whether it be an investigator or a recent convert because they were going to have a devotional before the game. They called it "Mormon Night" and it was a lot of fun! There were so many missionaries there it was nuts! So after the game, Elder Spinks and his new companion left and I was put in a threesome with the Assistants! I spent all dayThursday doing missionary work with them and it was such a blast! We had so much fun together and they are awesome missionaries. I was only with them for about a day and a half but I learned so much from them. Friday morning, we woke up early and headed to Virginia. The drive to Virginia was incredible. There was so much green and tons of hills and just beautiful landscape. It was awesome! We got to the zone meeting where I met my new companion, Elder Sawyer. Elder Sawyer is from Ogden, Utah and he is pretty awesome. He is so loving and he has already taught me a lot! 

So in Hillsville around Labor Day, they have this MASSIVE flea market. It covered the main street in town and trying to get around was a total nightmare. We were able to go and see an investigator named Jim though. He is a retired cop and we basically stopped by and invited him to church. It was really interesting trying to get him to commit to come to church because he has back problems, but as we were talking to him he finally promised that he would come! It was a pretty awesome experience and I know that it was the spirit telling him that he needed to go to church! 

Monday we met up with some elders in our district and we went fishing. I didnt catch anything but I know that will eventually! Haha I'm starting to think that fishing is a mission wide P-day activity. We've gone fishing almost every P-day now! Ha! Well that's all for this week! I am so excited for the rest of this transfer and I can't wait for all the work that I will get to do here in Virginia! I know that this church is true and I know that the Savior lives! I love you all! 

Elder Barazoto
​I probably should have rolled down the window before I took this picture but this is just a house that I thought was really cool in Marietta.

​This is another house that I thought was really cool! It reminds me of a barbie house!

​Baseball Game!

​Relaxin at the baseball game!

​This was the score of the game when we left, but we later found out that the West Virginia Power won! Woohoo!

​Funny license plate that I found in Charleston. The owner of the vehicle was actually walking over when I was taking this picture haha it was awkward!

​President Salisbury's board of missionaries

​Presidents office!

​Me and Elder Halterman! We roomed together at the MTC!

Elder Sawyer! 

​The Assistants! Love them!

​me and Elder Sawyer

​Flea market! So crazy!

​New room!

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​Our room is on the other side of the wall to the left so our apartment is pretty little!