Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this week has been a pretty interesting week! Lots of fun things to talk about! Haha so we have been working very closely with our investigators who are getting baptized in the coming weeks! Mark has been having a bad week this week so we haven't been able to see him until last night! He has been having a lot of pain in his hands and feet so we gave him a priesthood blessing and he said that it helped him! I could tell that after the blessing he was feeling better so that was awesome! I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood! It is amazing to think that I hold the same priesthood that Jesus Christ holds and used to perform so many amazing miracles! 
We were also able to see Brittany who is also on date and preparing for baptism! Her desire continues to increase and she is not only excited for her baptism, but also to go to the temple and be sealed to her family! I love her drive and motivation because growing closer to the Savior does not stop at baptism! It merely begins! The temple is something that our mission has been putting a huge emphasis on because new members who work towards and enter the temple stay active! I love all that has been going on here in little Hillsville, Virginia! Haha 

Thanksgiving on Thursday was super great! There was a member in our ward that put on a neighborhood breakfast gathering in the morning so we went to that and it was super awesome! A lot of their neighbors are non-members so we got to sit down with them and become acquainted with them! They all already attend their own churches and everything but thats ok! Haha so in the evening we went to another members home and ate dinner with them. There was so much food, I was stuffed! Then as we were leaving, they gave us three plates of food and desserts! Haha! It was pretty insane! 

So Sunday was a pretty interesting day as usual ha! Before church started, we were talking to our ward mission leader about the people that we are working with and how we can help them progress in the gospel and as we were talking, the second counselor in the bishopric comes up to me and Elder Larson and tells us that someone on the program isn't going to be able to make it to give her talk and so he needed us to speak in place of her! I'd be lying if i didn't say that I was pretty nervous! Ha! But we only had to speak for 5 minutes each so it was nothing super major. I spoke about the importance of the Savior and Elder Larson spoke about the character of Christ.I think it went alright! I was actually pretty surprised at how fast I threw it together too! The mission most certainly helps you to be able to think on your feet! Ha! Plus I used all scripture masteries so dont overlook those because they are very helpful! :)

Well this week has been a great one! Lots of food and memorable experiences! Because Thanksgiving was this week, I will share a few things that I am thankful for. I am so grateful for my Savior. I know He lives and I know He loves each and every one of us! I am so grateful for my mission too! I have learned so much and I cant wait for all that I will learn! The mission is difficult at times, but it is absolutely worth it! And I am so grateful for all of you! I love you all very much and I appreciate all the support that you give me! I love and miss you all very much! Have a great week!

Elder Barazoto

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was very eventful! We have certainly seen the blessings of working hard and being obedient! One thing in particular that we have been blessed with this week is finding new people to teach! We were walking downtown trying to talk to people that were outside and we weren't seeing very much success so we decided to start trackting this one street that we hadn't given much thought to. We were a few houses down the street when we knocked on a door, introduced ourselves and they let us right in with no questions asked! It was unexpected but we weren't complaining! Haha! We had a great lesson with them and they seem very excited for us to teach them more! I see so much potential in them, it's amazing! I know that the Lord is providing and leading us to people for us to teach!

So Friday was a pretty funny day for us. We had planned to have a Bible Study in Galax at the public library and we did everything we could to get as many people there as possible so we could hopefully find even more people to teach! After all our efforts, we have 3 people there and 2 of them were members... Haha! It was saddening, but the Bible Study was awesome and it actually turned into a teaching appointment for the non-member that was there so it all worked out! We made the best out of that situation and it turned out really awesome! Ha! 

Well this has been an awesome week for me and Elder Larson and I look forward for the success that we will have in the coming weeks! Thank you all for your prayers and support! I love you all and I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving! 

Elder Barazoto

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

Dear Family and Friends!

What a great week! We have been able find so much success as we exercise faith in the Lord! I love it!
Monday was one of those days where it felt like the day was just a complete mess, but by the end it was really amazing! So we tried to see a bunch of people but none of them were home at the time, so we decided that we would walk around town and see if anyone was outside that we could talk to. We told each other that we were going to meet 2 people and share the gospel with them. As we were walking downtown, Elder Larson says lets knock on this door so we do and before we could really say anything the man invited us in! I was so surprised and so happy! His wife was there and we had a really great discussion about the Book or Mormon and invited them to read it! It was such an amazing miracle because we were able to talk to the 2 people that we wanted to! I know that it was because of our faith that we were able to find them! So awesome! 

So this past week we had a zone conference in Roanoke and an area seventy was there! His name is Elder Kopischke and he is so awesome! He is from Germany and we were able learned so much from him! So before the conference, he asked that we come with questions that we wanted answered and all of the questions that I brought were answered during the meeting by the Spirit! It was such an amazing experience and I know that this is applicable to any church meeting! I know that if you right down questions and bring them to church, they will be answered! That is a promise and it really works! 

We were also able to go see Brittany who is getting baptized in a few weeks! She is getting more and more excited and she should be! Baptism is such an amazing ordinance and because of it we can become closer to God! I cant wait for her to partake of this amazing and sacred ordinance!! 

This week was an awesome week and one thing that I noticed is how the Lord is preparing people for us to teach. He puts thoughts and ideas into our minds that lead us to do that things that He needs us to do! As we did this, we were able to be led to the people that need to hear the gospel! I love my mission and I love all that I am learning! Knowledge is Christ-like attribute and I am so happy because I love to learn! Ha! My mission has been such a blessing to me and I wouldn't trade it for anything! I know this church is true and I know my Savior lives! Talk to ya'll next week! :)

Elder Barazoto

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends! 

Wow! What an amazing week! So much to talk about! So Thursday was transfers and we woke up pretty early so that we could be in Charleston on time for the transfer meeting. We drove to this place in West Virginia called Princeton where 2 seventeen passenger vans and a big Uhaul truck picked us up to take us up to Charleston! Its called the "Transfer Train" and it was such a blast! There were so many missionaries on the train, there was never a dull moment on the trip to Charleston! Ha! When we got to Charleston I got to see so many missionaries that I knew it felt like a family reunion or something! It was a lot of fun! So my new companion is Elder Larson and he is from Eagle Mountain, Utah! He is a really awesome missionary and we work very well together! When we got home we unpacked a little and went straight to work. Unfortunately all our plans fell through, which happens way too often in missionary work haha but we were still able to teach a part member family which went very well! The non-member husband has not seemed very interested in the past, but he was totally engaged and he accepted the invitation to take the discussions! So awesome! 

We were able to teach a lot of people this week and it was such a blessing! We went to see one of our top investigators and he is doing really awesome! He has been committed to baptism on December 5th and he is getting more and more excited for it! I cant wait to be able to see him partake of baptism and see all of the amazing blessings that will come to him as he becomes apart of this amazing gospel!

So yesterday was probably the most interesting day of the week ha! At church, one of our investigator's sons was sitting next to me. He was being kinda loud and disruptive but that is to be expected of a 6 year old haha. He was going through my scripture case and found my scripture markers and he got so excited because he thought they were crayons! He took them out and started to color the program for the rest of sacrament meeting and by the end, the whole program was basically covered in colors and my scripture markers were basically ruined! Haha! It was pretty fun and I wish that I could have gotten a picture because it was a real piece of art! Haha

After church we were able to go and visit a family in the ward that has an investigator living with them. It was probably one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. So most of the family doesn't speak English so we brought the elders quorum president to translate for us. When we first got there, it was really loud and noisy and I was thinking that this just isn't going to work out but I knew that we need to stay and teach this lesson to this family! As soon as we said the opening prayer, everyone quieted down and we were able to teach without any distractions! It was awesome! But that isn't even the coolest part! So we were teaching the Restoration and when we taught the First Vision in English, the Spirit filled the whole room and it was awesome! Then Brother Nielson, the elders quorum president, translated for us and when he recited the First Vision in Spanish, I felt the Spirit even stronger! It was an amazing lesson and I know that everyone there felt what I felt! It reaffirmed to me the truthfulness of this gospel and the things we teach! I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ! I know that he restored the priesthood to the earth and I know that he translated the Book of Mormon and it IS the word of God! I know these things of myself and I want everyone else to feel of the peace, comfort, and joy that comes from knowing these things too! I love my mission so much! 

I love you all very much and have a great week!

Elder Barazoto
Family tree

Family tree part 2

Elder Larson and I

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4, 2015

Dear Family and Friends!

What an awesome week here in Hillsville! Tons has happened this week and most of it has been very unexpected so get ready for some craziness! Haha so for Halloween the ward put on a trunk or treat/chili cook off and it was a blast! Members from the ward brought their homemade chili and for some reason the ward decided that the missionaries needed to be the judges for all the chili's! They had different prizes for the different chili's like the spiciest chili or the sweetest chili or beaniest chili! Ha! Some of them were insanely spicy, I was dying! Haha but it was still a lot of fun!

So this week Elder Sawyer and I have been trying to figure out different ideas that we can try to find more people to teach and we decided that a Bible study was something that people in this area would enjoy and hopefully turn into a way to get more people interested in the gospel! So we reserved a spare room in the local library and we had a Bible study last Friday! Only one person came and he was already an investigator, but thats ok! Haha we will get more people next time! We actually were able to visit with that same investigator whose name is Mark the next day and set him on date to be baptized next month! Wahoo! He said that he knows that he needs to be baptized so naturally we are super excited for him! We can't wait! :)

Sunday was a pretty awesome day too! After church our Elders quorum president came up to us and asked if he could come out with us to a few lessons. As we were talking, we decided that it would be even more effective for us to go on exchanges with the Elders quorum presidency! So I went with Brother Warr who is the 1st counselor and Elder Sawyer went with Brother Nielson who is the President! Brother Warr and I saw a few families and it was way awesome teaching with him! He hasnt been home from his mission long so it was almost like teaching with a returned missionary! He definitely taught me a lot and I am grateful for that!

Alright so since this week is transfers week, here comes the transfer news... Elder Sawyer is leaving... It was a blast working with him but now it is time for someone new to come to Hillsville! I actually got a call from President Salisbury on Monday and he informed me that I will be getting a brand new missionary! Crazy responsibility, but I know that the Lord will help me as I continue to work hard and stay obedient! I love this gospel and I love my Savior! I miss all of you very much but I also enjoy missionary work very much! There is nowhere that I would rather be! I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Barazoto

Sorry for not taking very many pictures this week! I will have a bunch next week, I promise!