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