Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016

Awesome week! Most of the news this week is what is happening for transfers, it's pretty crazy and I was not expecting what is going to happen!! So President Salisbury called me Monday and released me as a zone leader. I was reflecting on my experience serving in this capacity and it has been such a huge blessing to me. I feel so privileged that God, the creator of the entire universe, has entrusted me with the sacred responsibility to look after a few of His missionaries! What a blessing! So after that, President then asked me to serve as a district leader again!! I was pretty excited because I didn't think I would ever get to be a district leader again! With the knowledge that I have gained since the last time I was a district leader, it makes me really excited to continue to serve other missionaries, but on a more personal level! YAY! :)

All this was pretty great news, but it doesn't even end there! My new area is going to be Marietta, Ohio!! No one probably remembers this, but my very first area on my mission was Williamstown, WV and Williamstown is literally right next to Marietta! So I am going back to the first ward I have ever served in on my mission! I am so stoked! My time in Williamstown honestly feels like 1000 years ago so I am really excited to serve there again as a much more experienced missionary! Also, another pretty crazy thing is I will be in a tri-panionship!! And one of the missionaries I am going with is someone I served around in Buena Vista!! Most of this is probably seems pretty insignificant to everyone, but it all just makes me super happy :)

Well, I am super sad to leave Clarksburg and Elder Clark, but I know that God has work for me to do in Marietta and I am just super excited to bring people to the joyous truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love testifying of the Book of Mormon as convincing evidence of this Restoration. For me, it has impacted me in amazing ways. When I read it, I feel the Holy Ghost inspiring me to be a better person and also missionary. Every time I read the Book of Mormon I KNOW that it is much more than just a book. It is the word of God and it testifies to us all that God loves us more than we can comprehend and He will always guide us to greater joy and happiness if we follow Him and His chosen prophets. The church is just so true and good :) I hope everyone had a great Christmas and have a great new year! I love you all very much! Be good! :)

Elder Barazoto

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016

Hello Family and Friends! 
Well this has been a great week! Lots of things are happening that we are pretty stoke about! I am just so amazed at how many people the Lord is preparing to hear about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! So this week Elder Clark and I went to go visit a part-member family that we have been working a lot with. We had this lesson set up a while in advance and when we found out that they weren't home when we came by we were pretty sad and also confused... The son's girlfriend actually answered the door and so we decided to try and make the best of the situation and get to know her a little bit. She ended up inviting us in and we were able to teach her! It was awesome! She is super nice and will probably be coming to church with the member family this weekend! We are really excited about her so we will see what happens! :)

We also taught another preacher this week! It's always a different experience every time we met one and this one was pretty interesting. We sat around his table and he just asked us a bunch of different questions about the church. Unfortunately a lot of the questions were most likely from an anti-Mormon website, but we were able to clear up a lot of his questions! The nice thing about teaching preachers is that they are usually pretty humble and so we were able to commit him to join the church if he came to know the Book of Mormon was true! He said he has lots of questions for us to answer for him so we will mostly teach him again hopefully this week. I have heard about preachers getting baptized because missionaries answered all their questions so I'll be crossing my fingers and praying he recognizes the truth! 

Well Elder Clark and I are having tons of fun and we are super for Christmas! We have a couple of appointments on Christmas so we are being taken care of. It is such a great time of year to remember and testify to others of the birth and mission of the Savior. His birth and ministry are truly reasons to rejoice! May you all have a great week and a Merry Christmas! Love you all!

Elder Barazoto

Also, please don't laugh at the pictures this week! I realize that I am the least photogenic person on the planet... Ha! These pictures are a pretty accurate representation of Elder Clark and I's companionship ​

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016

Happy P-day! It still amazes me how short the weeks feel! Its also pretty crazy that Christmas is in two weeks! I love the holidays and I hope everyone is enjoying this Christmas season as well! The Savior and what he has done for all of us is something we definitely need to celebrate.

Did I mention last week that I was going to speak in church? Well yesterday I spoke in sacrament meeting and it well pretty well I think! It was actually the first planned talk I have had to give on my mission! One time I was asked to speak about an hour before church started, but I think I like knowing at least a week in advance that I'm speaking :) haha! I spoke about Elder Oak's talk that he gave in the most recent general conference. It was pretty fun talking about what members need to do to be better member missionaries! I can tell that I feel a lot more comfortable talking in church than before my mission.

This week we were also able to have some sweet lessons with a couple different people! So we are working with an awesome part-member family. The daughter is a non-member and she sometimes seems a little closed off at times. Missionaries in the past were almost able to get her to baptism, but she hasn't been very close since I've been here. But we had a lesson with her this week and we were talking about the Kingdoms of Glory and I feel that we needed to just change our focus to baptism and how it helps us. I just ask her if she felt that she needs to get baptized and she said yes! We were also able to get her to talk about what holding her back and clear up the confusion she had! Elder Clark and I feel that she is making great steps towards baptism hopefully in the near future! It's pretty exciting!

Another cool thing is we were finally able to make contact with a long time investigator again this week and he is super fired up about baptism as well! He was even making progress to quit chewing tobacco in the time we haven't been meeting with him! Super cool and super prepared! :)

Well that's mostly it for this week! The weather has been pretty cold these past couple days so that's been kinda unfortunate, but I'm not as cold as I was last year so that's good! Elder Clark and I are having tons of fun and we are getting along really well! Life is pretty good! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! 

Elder Barazoto

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016

Pretty sweet week! We did a couple of exchanges this week and those are always a lot of fun! One was with the Elders in downtown Clarksburg. We did a lot of tracting and decided to go to this apartment complex where a bunch of people lived. There we ran into a less-active member who we thought moved away! It turns out she is staying in Clarksburg! We were pretty happy about that because teaching her is absolutely hilarious! She is probably one of my favorite people to visit in this area. She was only baptized about a year ago so everything is still a little bit new to her, but she is doing pretty good! Hopefully we can get her coming back to church soon! The other exchange we had this week was with an Elder named Elder Richard. He has been out for almost 6 months and he was trained by Elder Larson! I dont know if you all remember Elder Larson, but I trained Elder Larson when I was serving in Hillsville! So because I trained Elder Larson, he is my son and because Elder Larson trained Elder Richard, he is my grandson! Ha! We had a lot of fun, and we found a pretty sweet potential investigators while tracting! Then that night we had a super sweet lesson with another less-active member in our area. He was having a hard time accepting the Book of Mormon as scripture and Joseph Smith as a prophet, but we just kept telling him to read and pray about it! Missionaries have been visiting him since before I've been here and he just started to listen to the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago! So when we went to visit him a couple days ago, he told us about what happened to him as he was listen to the Book of Mormon this week. He told us that everything just kind of clicked and he just recognized that the people in the book are real and it was truly God's word! It was amazing!! Experiences like that dont happen very often so it was really special to be able to witness it especially from someone who we are teaching! I love those kinds of experiences because they just reaffirm my testimony over and over again! The church is true! Haha

So some other things that happened this week was we had our zone meeting! It was Elder Clark's first time conducting a zone meeting and he was a little nervous, but it went pretty well! One thing that we talked about was being a consecrated missionary and the blessings that come from being consecrated. It was great! Then yesterday night before the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, our stake put on a huge Christmas fireside! A bunch of people performed and it was just really great! Elder Clark served in this stake before he came with me so he got to say hi to a bunch of people he knew. He was pretty excited about that. Ha!

Well thats mostly it for this week! Our top investigator didn't come to church this week so we need to push back his baptismal date... :( but hopefully he and his family will shape up and he can get baptized soon! I am doing well and loving my mission! Love you all, and have a great week! :)

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016

Wow what a week! Lots has happened and I have lots of pictures too! Hurray! :) Haha so I dont think I even mentioned it last week, but we had a general authority come to the mission! It was Elder Peter F Meurs! He spoke in the most recent conference about the sacrament. He was awesome! Elder Meurs was actually just recently called to serve as a general authority so the mission tour here in West Virginia was his first real assignment! It was really good though. So we had to meet in Charleston for the conference so we had to drive down there Monday night, stay the night with the Assistants and go to the Zone Conference Tuesday. Then we stayed the night again and had an MLC all day Wednesay! It was crazy! We had tons of fun, but we were super tired when we finally got home Wednesday night. We had to go to a ward coordination that night and Elder Clark and I were totally falling asleep haha! It was hilarious!

Thursday was Thanksgiving of course and that was pretty wild too! We had our dinner appointment at this family in our ward, the Youngs. They are just the best! They made us all the good stuff and it was just delicious!! After the meal, Sister Young confessed that she used about 7 sticks of butter excluding the desserts so that was nice. Haha! Then she gave us basically all of their leftovers! They filled up 6 of those aluminium containers you get at Cafe Rio FULL of food and desserts! It was crazy, I thought I was going to explode I ate so much!

Anyways, the rest of the week was pretty usual, we have been doing our best and teaching a lot of people! I have noticed these last couple of weeks have been kind of difficult, but I am still loving my mission! It is just so rewarding! I wouldn't be able to trade these experiences for anything in the whole world. The Church is True! :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016

Wow I cant believe another week has come and gone! Time keeps going faster and faster on the mission! I try not to think about how much time I have left, but when I do it always baffles me how fast it has all gone by! Well this week was of course transfer week and my new companion is Elder Clark. He is from Springville, Utah and he is blast! We have been laughing and having tons of fun since he got here! I can tell we are going to have a great companionship! :) 

There is not a whole lot to write about this week, but we did see some great miracles! Wednesday night Elder Webber mostly said bye to people. Thursday was the day of transfers and it is always a little hectic trying to get everything done. So after we got everyone on their way, we were finally able to go back to our apartment and drop off Elder Clarks stuff. But by that time it was time to work and we got right to it! We first tried a couple of potentials nearby and met another family! We set up a lesson for later that night so we could teach the whole family and went to go work another area. When we came back for the appointment, no one answered the door... We were super bummed and walked back to our car and as we about to get in someone came outside! It was awesome! We were able to teach them the whole Restoration lesson and they loved it! I was so happy! I love little miracles like that. Hopefully they will be coming to church pretty soon! :)

I am loving it here in Clarksburg, there are lots of super nice people to teach and talk to! I am learning new things every single day and growing closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the amazing gift and blessing of repentance. I know and believe that God is our Father in Heaven and that he has a plan for each and every one of us. He wants us to obey Him so He can bless us! I love my mission and I love all of you! I am grateful for so much support and love that I have from all of you. I am truly blessed so much! I hope yall have a great week! Love ya!

Elder Barazoto 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

Another week! And its been a pretty crazy one too! Transfers are tomorrow and you'll never guess what is happening! IM STAYING! Hurray! But the sad news is, Elder Webber is leaving... Its super weird why that's the case because Elder Webber has been here less time than I have and we've only been together for one transfer! Pretty crazy stuff but oh well! So my new companion's name is Elder Clark. Hes been out a couple transfers less than me but I've heard he is pretty cool so Im excited about that! Other than that its been a pretty standard week of finding and teaching! :)

We started teaching another family this week, one that we are really excited about! They live in this apartment complex right near a different family we are teaching! They told us that they want to get back into church and they seem pretty interested in trying ours out! This week we also got a referral from the Sisters missionaries in our ward and it was right in that same apartment complex. The referral ended up being a member moving here from the DC area! We talked to them for a while and they are super awesome! They are recent converts and they have super solid testimonies! We are going to be visiting them again this week so that will be really fun!

We were also able to teach Kaleb again! He is the 9 year old who is going to get baptized soon! We had dinner with the family on Monday night and we set a baptism date for November 27!! We are going to have another baptism! YAY! We are pretty stoked about it! 

Lots of other awesome missionary stuff happened this week, but thats mostly all the important stuff! I love all of you very much and I am super grateful for all of the support and prayers! Have a great week!

Elder Barazoto

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016

What an awesome week! We saw some great miracles and they just keep coming! Its amazing to see how much the Lord is blessing us as we pray and work hard!! So probably the highlight of this week was church on Sunday. So the McCord family, the family that I asked everyone to pray for this week came to church! It was amazing!! Thank you for all the prayers because it worked!! It made me so happy because we visited them on Saturday night and invited them to come and the mom told us that she would be there, but the rest of the family would most likely stay home. We were bummed about that, but when Sunday morning came around, the whole family came! It was a miracle!! I was on top of the world all day that day :) hopefully this week we will be able to commit them to a solid baptismal date! Its going to be way awesome!

This week we also had MLC and zone meeting. It was Elder Webbers first experience for both but it went pretty well! He did great! Its always a lot of fun doing those, the missionaries in our zone are really awesome and it makes the meeting super spiritual!

We also had another opportunity to find another family to teach this week. It was later in the evening one night and Elder Webber and I were trying to figure out what we could do to end the day on an awesome note. We decided to pray for an opportunity and we both felt prompted to go to a specific apartment complex in our area. We had found a potential there last week and we decided to see if he was home and was! And what made it even better was his family was there too! The father said that he got a phone call a few minutes before we came with some bad news and us coming helped him to see that God sent us to him for a purpose! It was really awesome!

Well that's mostly it for this week! Everything is going really great here in Clarksburg, we are finding lots of people to teach and seeing so many miracles! It is such a joy to serve as a missionary, I love it so much! Have a great week everyone! Love you all!

Elder Barazoto

PS I took pictures this week but I forgot my camera at the apartment... So Ill send double pictures next week! :)

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016

Hello everyone! What a fun week! We had lots of success and we hopefully will be having a baptism soon! Elder Webber and I have been working a lot lately with a family that we found a couple weeks ago. We brought our ward mission leader out with us to go visit them and it went really well! It is amazing to see how local members can brake down barriers with people and help investigators to progress! This family we are teaching has 6 kids and they seem really interested and promising! I am super excited to continue to work with them and see how everything turns out! I can definitely see them getting baptized which would be AMAZING! Their names are the Mccords, please pray from them! :)

This week we also did our exchanges with the assistants. It was awesome because I was with a missionary who I came out with! His name is Elder Kidd! We have had a lot of interaction throughout our missions and we had such a blast together! He is a pretty stellar missionary! We were able to talk to a lot of great people that day too. We met this one guy while knocking doors and it was crazy to see all the things we had in common! He played lacrosse, did swimming in high school, AND he really enjoys playing volleyball!! I have only met one other person on my mission that played lacrosse, but I have never met anyone that has done that many things I used to do! It was way cool! And even better than that, he is interested in learning about the church!!! Its like the cherry on top! Haha! He is high on our list to go see again this week and I am super excited, he is way awesome!

Friday we had our ward trunk or treat and that went really well! We had a lot of people there and a lot of less-actives and investigators! We were able to meet one of our recent converts daughter who is a non-member and hopefully we will be able to start teaching her because she is pretty awesome! 

Well thats mostly it for this week! Next week is going to be a really exciting time and I cant wait to see how everything turns out! Thank you for all the support and prayers. They are much appreciated! Love you all! :)

Elder Barazoto​

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 24, 2016

Dear family and friends,

It has been a great week! We have met a bunch of really nice people, some that we will hopefully start teaching this week! I am super excited about it all! We had Stake Coordination this week up in Fairmont, WV so Elder Webber and I had to drive up there! Fairmont isn't very far from Morgantown which is where WVU its pretty highly populated which was really awesome! Also as we were driving home after the meeting, we saw an i8 BMW! It was way awesome and I have pictures of it! Its really sweet! Ha!

But this week we taught a lot of awesome people. The other day, we taught that preacher again and it was really crazy! He went into his house and walked out with his Book of Mormon and a piece of page full of questions on it front and back! It was a pretty intense lesson! He asked us a lot about the origins of the Book of Mormon, how all of the other churches are wrong and if God and Jesus Christ are the same person. All things that I have been asked for my entire mission! We tied it all back to reading and praying to know for himself if the Book of Mormon is really the word of God and he agreed to it! I hope he does it sincerely because he is a really awesome guy and I can see him joining the church! It would be awesome! 

Talking to preachers of other faiths makes me eternally grateful for the truths found in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These men are truly amazing people who are doing their best to follow Jesus Christ the best way they know how! But we know that there is more, much more! The ability to baptized for the remission of sins, the ability to seal families together for time and all eternity, the ability to receive a renewal every single week because of the sacrament, guidance from a living modern day prophet, and many more! I know that this is God kingdom once again established on the earth with living prophets and apostles and his sacred priesthood authority. I know this work is true and I absolutely love teaching others about it seeing them accept these restored truths! There is no other work on this earth better than His! I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support! Have a great week! :)

Elder Barazoto 

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

What a wonderful week here in the good city of Clarksburg! I really like it here a lot, we have met a bunch of super great people this past week! One highlight of this week was we had interviews with President Salisbury! It was a little strange because I have always been pretty nervous to talk to him just because you always are trying to put your best foot forward when you are talking to your mission president, but this time it was super relaxed! We just walked around the church building and I of course learned so much from him! I think he is the best mission president in the whole world! :) I dont know how he finds time to do everything, but he does a lot! 

The day before interviews with President, we did an exchange with the Elders in Philippi. It was a really great experience! I was with Elder Young who finishes his mission at the end of this transfer and I sure did learn a whole lot from him! He is an awesome missionary! We found this super awesome family who we are teaching and I can see them having some great potential for sure! I am super excited!! Then at the end of the night we taught another guy who was sitting on his porch and enjoying the cool weather! We didn't expect what happen to happen but he ended up being a preach for one of the big churches in town! It was crazy! I have taught a bunch of preachers on my mission so it wasn't my first time! Ha! :) He has read the Book of Mormon twice now and has a ton of questions about it! We have pretty fun discussions because he knows a lot about the Bible, but so do we! Haha! Luckily he was a super nice guy and we were able to challenged him to read and sincerely pray to know that the Book of Mormon is true! I cant wait for our next lesson! I'm still waiting to baptize a preacher on my mission! :)

Things in Clarksburg are really starting to pick up here recently! We found another really awesome family who are going to be teaching again this week and we are super excited about them too! We have to attribute our success to this White Christmas we are doing as a mission. As a mission, we are reading the Book of Mormon all the way through from October to December 3rd! Its been a lot of work reading that much but the success that we have seen from it is totally worth it! Its cool to see how the more we sacrifice, the more Heavenly Father blesses us! Obedience = blessing! I love it! Haha! Thats mostly it for this week, and I also have pictures! Hurray!!!

Elder Barazoto​

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016

Happy P-day everyone! It was a bit of a shorter week this week, but we've still seen a lot of cool things here in Clarksburg! Transfers were Thursday, so that was a bit of a headache but we had some really cool experiences while teaching people that day! We met this guy named Joe and he was searching for more answers in life when he saw the missionaries walking in front of his house! We were able to teach him and it was one of the coolest lessons I have been in in a long time! He agreed with everything we taught and wants to be baptized! It was awesome, the only bummer is he doesn't live in our area so the downtown Elders get to teach him... Haha but thats ok as long as he still gets baptized! Ha! :) 

So my new companion is Elder Webber, he is from South Weber, Utah and he is pretty great! He did a lot of golfing and snowboarding back home we have a lot of similarities! We get along great! He's been out for about 7 1/2 months so he is still a little fresh but I am super excited to see all the amazing success we are going to have!

On Saturday we met a super awesome part-member family! We were out trying to contact some people in a more rural part of our area when we found the house of the family. I didn't think anyone was living there because there were vines and moss growing all over the house but we tried it anyways and people were living there! Haha they invited us in right away which doesn't normally happen either but they are super nice people! The mom grew up in the church and at one point had missionaries living in her house! The dad is a non-member who helped build our church building! They are really awesome people and they want us to come back! I am pretty excited about teaching them. 

Thats mostly it for this week! Sorry I have been slacking on pictures I will try and send more next week! I love you all and I hope everyone has an awesome week! :)

Elder Barazoto​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I think I figured out how to send multiple pictures in one email! Hurray! :)​
Me and Elder Webber

This is the view from a hill in Clarksburg!

Me being goofy haha

We walk over this river almost every day! It makes me want to go canoeing again haha

This is a sweet house we found and I had to take a picture with it! Ha! 

The first is of downtown Clarksburg, pretty neat huh!

Elder Wozniak drew me boxing a burrito! Haha! Its pretty awesome!

The future temple in Clarksburg! ha!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 5, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Wow what an amazing week! So many things to talk about I dont know where to begin! This week was transfers of course and there are some pretty crazy stuff happening here! Unfortunately Elder Palmer is getting transfered to Huntington, West Virginia... He was SO much fun to be companions with but the Lord has plans for him in Huntington! So my new companions name is Elder Webber and he is actually currently serving in Clarksburg downtown right now so he doesnt have very far to go to come with me! Ha! Its kind of strange but it is going to be super fun! I will have pictures of us next week, I promise!

The other highlight of this week was General Conference! It was honestly so amazing! I took so many notes it feel like I was writing for 8 hours straight! Ha! One talk that I particularly loved and wanted to remind you all about was Elder Oaks talk about missionary work. That talk hit me really hard and I would encourage everyone to rewatch that talk because it is amazing! Missionary work is truly the most important thing we can do as members of this church! There is honestly so much joy in sharing the gospel with those around us! 

Another cool thing that happened this week was on Monday we were teaching one of our investigators named Kaleb who is actually the son of some members in the ward. He is 9 so he has to be taught the missionary lessons before he is baptized. But when we got to their house we found out that they have a cousin living with them who is a non-member and she is interested in learning about the church! We were able to teach her a little bit about the gospel and she is coming to church this Sunday! It was such a huge blessing because she is super solid! She even wants to get baptized! I love seeing how prepared people are, it makes me so happy! 

I am loving my mission and all the amazing memories I am making out here! Clarksburg is a really cool place and I really love talking to all these wonderful West Virginians! I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Barazoto

Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

Another great week! We have been seeing some great success in Clarksburg! We have been finding some awesome people this week! We taught a guy who was super cool! He told us that he would read from the Book of Mormon only if we read the same amount of pages out of the Old Testament! So this week I have been reading a lot from the Old Testament! Ha! The investigators name is Bob and he actually seems really promising! I am really excited to see how things turn out with him! 

On Tuesday we went on another exchange with the downtown Clarksburg Elders. I was with Elder DeGroff who is also from Arizona! He just barely got to the field a few months ago and he went to Mountain View High School! It was pretty fun spending the day with him! We rode bikes all day and with Clarksburg being super hilly, my legs were pretty dead at the end of the night! Ha! 

We also had a specialized training this week with President and Sister Salisbury! It was a ton of fun as always. He is such a spiritual giant! He showed us an awesome video from the mission presidents training at the MTC when he was there. All of the apostles get together and speak to the newly called mission presidents and it is crazy cool! What they emphasized and what I thought was really neat was the 2 most important events in the history of the world. The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the First Vision. It was pretty profound how they connected them both! 

Well that is mostly it for this week. I am loving my mission so much and its amazing to see the grow over these past few months! My testimony of the gospel has deepened immensely and my knowledge of the gospel has expanded exponentially! I was reading another talk given to us by President Salisbury from the mission president seminar and it talked about a missionary who ended his mission realizing that after sacrificing 2 years he gained infinitely more! I feel the same way! I know this work is true!

Have a great week everyone! :)

Elder Barazoto

September 19, 2016

Hello everyone! Its been a super great week here in Clarksburg! One highlight of the week was our exchange with the assistants! I went to Charleston again and Elder Palmer stayed in Clarksburg! Our exchange was super awesome! The people in Charleston are super receptive which is really great! We taught a family of nine and picked up the parents as new investigators and that was super sweet! They are a super nice couple and interesting in learning! It seems like all the crazy stuff always happens in Charleston! Ha! 

We did have something really cool happen to us on Sunday though! We saw someone we didn't recognize at church and she was following around one of the priests in our ward. We could tell she was unfamiliar with the church building so we asked the priest who she was and he told us she was a non-member who was interesting in joining! It was pretty unexpected, but we were super excited! We set up teaching appointments with them and we cant wait! It was awesome! 
Elder Palmer and I did a fast a couple weeks ago to help accelerate the work here and I believe this experience was a direct result of that fast! I have many blessings from fasting and I can testify that it truly is a powerful tool Heavenly Father has give us to show our faith. It is always amazing to see the miracles Heavenly Father blesses us with. We truly do have a loving Heavenly Father who knows what is best for us. His greatest desire is to bless us and he can bless us as show our faith!

Well thats mostly it for this week! Our current investigators are doing well and progressing! We meeting with Kaleb tonight who is our 9 year old investigator with member parents and he will be getting baptized really soon! We are of course really excited about that! I appreciate all the support from everyone and I love you all very much! Have an awesome week! :)

Elder Barazoto

September 12, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

Another great week in Clarksburg! It's so crazy to think about how fast weeks seem to go by! Its honestly hard for me to believe that I have been a missionary as long as I have! Time seems to be going faster and faster the longer I am on my mission! Ha! Well we have been pretty busy this past week. We had our MLC in Charleston on Tuesday and that was fun as always! I got to see a lot of missionaries I know so that was awesome! Elder Christensen was there too! He was my companion back in Buena Vista, Virginia and things seem to be going well over there as well! Then we had our zone meeting that following Friday and it was pretty different. For my whole mission I have been in some of the biggest zones, but this zone is about half the size of all the other zones! Because of that the meeting was on a much more intimate level which was good though! What is love is that even though our zone is pretty tiny, our missionaries still work SUPER hard and have just as much success as the other big zones! Its awesome! I love it! :)

This week we also had Stake Conference! We filled up the entire stake center with people and it only felt like it was a little bit bigger than our ward in Arizona :) haha but the people that fill the congregation are honestly amazing! They are so strong in their testimonies and truly love the gospel! President Salisbury was there too and he spoke about family history! I always love hearing him speak! It got me excited to do family history when I am able to. I don't think I really recognized the importance of family history until my mission. I hope all of you take some time and see how family history can help you feel the Spirit. I know it can because I have felt it!

With all these fun meetings we have been really craving time to proselyting. The work here is moving a lot pretty well. We have been seeing some great things since I have been here! Yesterday we found a bunch of new people to teach and it was awesome! They are mostly families too which is a gold mine for missionaries! Ha! I cant wait to see what is going to happen as we continue to teach these people! I know Heavenly Father is preparing the people around all of us to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! I invite you to pray for missionary opportunities and actively look for opportunities to reach out to the people around you! I promise that you will find significant joy as you look to serve your brothers and sisters! 

Thank you all for you support and prayers, they are greatly appreciated! I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week! :)

Elder Barazoto

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5, 2016

Hey Everyone!

Pretty great week! We keep seeing miracles happen all the time and people accepting the invitations to be baptized, and I love it so much! We are currently working with a family in the ward who comes to church fairly regularly and they have a 9 year old son that wants to be baptized! We were talking to them the other day and found out he was nine and in order for him to get baptized he would need to take the missionary lessons! His dad was a little confused about it, but we explained how it's no different from any other baptism! Its kind of funny because a scenario very similar to this happened just a few weeks ago in Buena Vista! We are super excited for another baptism though! :)

So this week in Clarksburg there was a huge Italian festival to celebrate Italian Heritage! I wanted to go SO badly, but it was out of our area... We did drive through it though and it was crazy! There were tons of people and Italians! I was super awesome! Plus, I finally was able to teach a fellow Italian!! It was so great! Haha! We were on an exchange with the Clarksburg downtown bike elders when I met him and his name is Angelo Finitari! Super Italian right?! Ha! He is actually a returning member and he has been coming to church really regularly and he is just so solid! We are working on helping him go to the temple so he can get sealed to his family! 
All the ward members here are kind of funny when they ask me about the origins of my name. They get all excited for me to teach all the Italians here! Ha! I think they are expecting me to be extra successful because of it! Ha! It fun, I love it here! The people are really great and really promising! :) 

Well that's mostly it for this week! I am loving Clarksburg and Elder Palmer and I are getting along super well! Hes got to be one of the funniest companions I have had! We work super hard and we have fun while we do it! I have definitely seen the blessings of hard work on my mission and I love seeing the blessings of being a missionary! I absolutely know this church is true because of my testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith! I know that we are all engaged in this important work to bring our brothers and sisters back to a knowledge of the truth! 

Love you all and I hope you have an awesome week! :)

Elder Barazoto

Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016

Hello everyone! 

Woah, it's been a pretty crazy week! I have been in Clarksburg, West Virginia now for a couple days and I really love it! :)

Thursday was transfer day and it felt so long! I woke up at 3 am and I rode in a huge enterprise truck to Charleston! We call it the "train" but the mission has a couple of big 17 passenger vans that drive to and from Charleston to pick up and drop off missionaries. So on the way to Charleston we had multiple stops where we saw other missionaries that I knew and that was really fun connecting with them again! I felt a little stressed because I was kind of directing everything and trying to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. It was good though! Then we rode a different bus to Clarksburg and got there at about 4 o'clock! We got to work and were able to teach a couple people before the day was over which was great! I was pretty drained from traveling all day and was ready to go to bed that night! Ha! 

So my new companion is Elder Palmer and he grew up in Arizona, but moved to Perry, Utah before his mission. Its pretty sweet having a companion that has lived in Arizona! He is super awesome. He is pretty athletic and played sports throughout high school. He is absolutely hilarious and we get along really great! I am super excited for this transfer because we are going to accomplish so much! I have only been here a couple days and based on all the great this going on, we will probably be seeing some baptisms really soon!!

Sunday was a little different because in Buena Vista there is only 1 set in the ward, but in Clarksburg we have 3 sets in the ward! So we had a TON of investigators at church which was super cool! The ward here is really great, its smaller than what I am used to but it's still really strong!

Well that's mostly it for this week! I am loving it here in Clarksburg and I am especially love being a missionary! It is so amazing! The church is true!

Elder Barazoto
Elder Palmer and I!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24, 2016

Hello everyone! Another crazy week in Buena Vista! Mostly because I had to tell everyone that I am getting transfered... :( Its pretty sad, I have LOVED serving in Buena Vista and I have grown so much from the experiences I have had here! Tomorrow morning I will wake up at around 3 a.m. so I can be in Charleston, WV for the transfer meeting! Then they will ship me to my new area, Clarksburg, West Virginia! Its near the top of West Virginia pretty close to Pennsylvania and Maryland. This has been the hardest area to leave, but there will be some pretty neat experiences in Clarksburg I am excited for! :) 

So we have been saying a lot of goodbyes, but we still have been able to accomplish so much! Saturday was awesome because we had a baptism! Asa John was baptized, confirmed, and ordained a deacon all in about 2 hours! Ha! It was really cool and I am super happy for him! Then on Sunday we had an awesome turn out! A bunch of the families we are working with came to church! It was awesome and it was a really rewarding last Sunday in Buena Vista! 

Yesterday was probably the best day of the week though! Brittney who we have been working with for a while now came to a church tour!!! It has been pretty hard helping her come to church so the fact that she came to look around the church yesterday was a HUGE step! It was a really awesome experience and the Spirit was really strong! She hopefully will now feel much more comfortable with coming to church on Sunday! It may not seem like a big deal, but the progress she has made from when Elder Maloy and I first started teaching her is amazing! I feel that the most amazing thing about missionary work is seeing that progress in people! It adds another witness to me that this is the true church on the earth because I know that with my lack of abilities and talents, there is no way I could have helped these people live happier lives if this wasn't God's divine work! I know this work is true!

Sorry for the shorter email, but I have a bunch of pictures this week! :)

Elder Barazoto

This is my Ward Mission Leader Brother Turman!

This is the Stake President and his family! We do a lot of work with him as a zone leader!

Kenny, one of our awesome investigators! He is hilarious! Ha!

This is Buck and Sue! Buck played minor league baseball in Idaho and is good friends with Charlie Manuel! They are awesome!

Randy, another awesome investigator!

This is a member family, the Grawrocks! They are one of my favorites!

The Porters, are a newer married couple in the middle and on the far left is a recent convert who they fellowshipped and I even helped teach! I have mentioned her story before, they are awesome!

The Garrets! A family that we are working with! They are really fun!

Brittney and her 2 kids (Far right) at the church tour yesterday!

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

Hi everyone! This has been a super awesome week! We had some really neat experiences happen that makes me so grateful to be serving in Buena Vista! So because we have an unusually large amount of members in this area, we do a lot of member work and we saw some great results from our efforts! There's this family in particular that we have been visiting every week to teach them from Preach My Gospel about missionary skills! One of their sons has been wanting to share the gospel with his friend so a couple weeks ago, we had a game night at their house and we taught a lesson afterwards! We didn't think too much about it until the family brought this non-member friend to church yesterday! After church, he came up to me and Elder Christensen and said, "I was wondering if in a couple of weeks I could maybe get baptized?" I was shocked!! We of course told him yes and we will be working with him more this week! I share that story because it makes me SO grateful for member missionaries who know the blessings of sharing the gospel with their friends! It hastens the Lord's work more than anything! I want to challenge everyone to look for one opportunity to share the gospel with one of your friends! Pray that the Lord with strengthen and guide you to who you need to reach out to because He will! :)

We also had a pretty sweet tender mercy fall into our laps this week! We're having another baptism!! His name is Asa and he is really great! He is actually the son of two very active members of the church, but he has autism so the bishop wanted to postpone his baptism till he was more ready! So we got a text on Tuesday night from the bishop telling us that he is now ready! He still needs all the missionary lessons so we have been scrambling to teach them all to him because he's getting baptized this Saturday! Its been pretty crazy, but we are super excited for him! 

Well, thats mostly it for this week! Next week we have transfers so we find out if anyone is getting transfered on Saturday! I'm a little nervous because I've been here for a good while and I really don't want to get transfered! Ha! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! :)

Elder Barazoto