Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

Dear family and friends!

What an awesome week! I bet my family is so surprised they have seen me so much because members here keep posting videos on Facebook or sending pictures home! Ha! They are such great people, I love them! :)

One thing we have been trying to do recently is plan and set up different activities that we can bring non-members to. One of the activities we are calling family fun night! We did one on Monday night and it was pretty fun! We started with a spiritual thought then played some balloon volleyball! It was a way fun activity, we just need to get the people we are working with there! Ha! This was one of the things that was posted on Facebook by the way! 

One of the highlights of this week was when we went to go visit our top investigator Debbie! She really wants to be baptized, but does NOT want to be pushed into it! Haha! We had a lesson with her and she is showing a huge desire and willingness to be baptized which is so great! She told us about how she wasn't as nice or happy person before she was living the gospel, but now loves life and is so much more happy! I love that! She is so awesome and so ready for baptism! I cant wait! 

Saturday we spent a lot of the day trying a bunch of different people. Not a lot of people wanted to talk to us sadly, but then we went to go try a former investigator named Stephon! She was being taught by the missionaries and even expressed some interest in being baptized, but for some reason the missionaries stopped going by! It doesnt make any sense to me because that seems to happen way too much! Haha! She was super excited for us to come back and teach her so we are of course super excited to go back as well! Ha! So cool! 

Sunday was another super awesome day! Elder Maloy and I went to a baptism for an investigator that a companionship in our district was teaching! I actually did the interview for her baptism so it was super cool to go to! Even cooler than that was she got baptized in a river! They found a perfect spot to do it and was such an awesome experience! The water was probably freezing cold but it was an experience that I know she will never forget! The Spirit was so strong and I loved it!

Well this was honestly a great week! I am so happy doing what I am doing! Serving as a missionary does have ups and downs, but I honestly love being a missionary more than anything! The joys that come from serving the Lord full-time are unlike any other! I know that this church is true! I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and he translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Barazoto

This was from the hike we went on last week! That is Elder French, our district leader! He isn't praying by the way, he is just looking at the ground. Haha!

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Dear Family and Friends

Pretty eventful week! I spent a lot of it on exchanges with others missionaries, but that's ok! ha! So after P-day last Monday, we had a dinner appointment with a really amazing family in our ward. They are super strong in the church, but have some wayward children... It was awesome though because one of them is about 19 and still living at home with his younger sister. About 15 minutes into the dinner appointment the parents told us that they had to leave to go to the younger sisters soccer game so they left just us and the less-active 19 year old son at home! It was a little strange, but we got talking about different things and became pretty close! Then Elder Maloy asked him what his plans were in the next year or two. He paused and told us that he eventually wanted to serve a mission! It was a total shock, and I don't know if his parents even know that! I was so glad that he opened up to us about it! We told him about the blessings of serving a mission and helped him to be less nervous about it! It was really awesome and we will continue to work with him and help him prepare to serve a mission! So awesome! :)

Yesterday we went to go see one of our investigators named Debbie! She has been taught a lot by the missionaries and lives with her mom who is actually a recent convert since November! We have been working with her towards baptism this whole week and she finally picked a date to be baptized in June! She may have a few things to overcome and does not want to be rushed but I think that she will end up getting baptized sooner! :) She also told us not to tell anyone about it so shhh! Hahaha

We also had an awesome stake conference yesterday and Saturday night! One of the general authorities came too! Elder Golden! He is from Africa and is so awesome! During the adult session on Saturday night, he opened it up for questions and answered some pretty deep doctrinal stuff! A lot of it he said, "I don't know" which is profound by itself, but also taught some pretty cool things! I learned a lot about the basics and how the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the least understood of all the doctrines of the church, but the most essential and powerful! I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and am so grateful that I can access the full power of His Atonement because of the restored priesthood! I know that He lives and is at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I love you all and hope that you have a great week! :)

Elder Barazoto

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March 14, 2016

Dear family and friends!

Wow this has been a crazy, awesome week! Thursday was transfer day and I spent a lot of time in the car that day! Ha! We drove from Princeton, West Virginia to Roanoke, Virginia and from there a member from my new ward drove us to our church building where I met my new companion! His name is Elder Maloy and he is from Monticello, Utah! He loves sports and played baseball in high school! He and I get along really great! 

We actually live right on SVU campus so we see students all the time! Its interesting because live in the same apartment complex with 2 other sets of missionaries! Ha! It is a pretty big contrast from Galax! Ha! Also, the members here are absolutely wonderful! They are so willing to serve and do missionary work! There are also many members in this area that it feels almost like a ward back in Arizona or Utah! It is honestly so different from other places in the mission, but it such a blessing to be around so many members! I love it here! 

So Saturday, was a pretty awesome day because Elder Maloy and I went to go try and see someone who is good friends will many members and loves the missionaries! We were able to sit down and teach them a lesson and the wife was talking about the stressful day that she was having and got a little emotional about it. We testified to her of the comfort of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was really awesome! The family hasn't been super receptive in the past, but now is seeming to open up which is so awesome! I know that the Lord is preparing people to receive His gospel, I get to see it first hand!

Well this was kind of a shorter week, but know that I love where I am and wouldn't want to be anywhere else! I love serving the Lord and can't wait to see all that is in store for me as I serve Him in Buena Vista! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Barazoto

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

March 9, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, what an eventful week! So much has happen, I dont know where to begin! Haha

Friday and Saturday was pretty cool because we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders! I learned a lot from them and how they teach and do missionary work! We had a ton of fun and were able to teach an investigator that they are preparing for baptism at the beginning of next month! His name was Paul and he is so awesome! He has so much faith that Heavenly Father will help him overcome his struggles and it is so cool to hear about all the improvements that he has made to be ready for baptism! I probably wont be able to see his baptism, but I just love meeting people who accept the gospel and allow it to change and improve their lives! 

Monday we had another pretty neat experience. We went to contact a referral who we knew hardly anything about and when he answered the door, he let us right in and was super nice to us! We found out that he met with missionaries a long time ago and somehow lost contact with them! He is studying to become a priest for another church, but told us that he is very open-minded and willing to listen to us! It was pretty neat and I hope that he continues to progress in the gospel! He seems to be pretty open to it!

So we also received so pretty sad news last Saturday... I am getting transferred tomorrow! I have served here in Hillsville/Galax for about 7 months and it feels weird to be leaving! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and it doesn't matter where I serve as long as I am serving the Lord! They did tell me that I will be serving in a place called Buena Vista, Virgina! Its kind of funny because they pronounce buena so much differently that what I am used to! They put the emphasis and the e rather than the u, pretty strange right?! Haha! Anyways, that is the big stuff that is going on with me! I am excited, but very nervous at the same time! It would be a great growing experience though!

I love this gospel and I love all of you! I greatly appreciate the support that I have and want to thank you all for it! Have a great week!

Elder Barazoto
This is the district that I have been serving in!