Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017

We had 2 baptisms this week!!! One was with Elder Harris and the other was with my new companion Elder Garrett! Elder Garrett is from the Montana and Idaho area and is a ton of fun! I am pretty excited for these next couple transfers! :) It was Elder Garrett's second day as a missionary and he already has a baptism, I can tell he's gunna be an amazing missionary ;) haha! Both baptismal services were very well attended and very spiritual! These few baptism really make all the hardships I have ever experienced as a missionary seem like a small price to pay. One of the convert's parents came to his baptism and now they are interested in learning more about the church so we are pretty excited about that! Our next goal is to help these converts get to the temple! If things go well we might even get to go with them! :)

So with our recent baptisms, we are going to be working really hard to find more people to teach and help them get baptized as well so that will be fun! After church on Sunday we actually were able to run into a couple families that I feel like have awesome potential to embrace the gospel! I am hoping for at least a couple more baptisms in this area so we will see what happens! :) Love ya'll lots and have a great week!

Elder Barazoto
​​this is my new cactus I bought today :)

Another baptism!

Elder Harris and I

 look pretty goofy in this but hey baptisms!! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 22, 2017

Wow its been a crazy week! So much has happened and I hope I can remember everything! We are swamped with a TON of things to do today so I wont have much time to write! So to start, we are having a baptism today!! So originally Brother Nolans baptism was supposed to be held Friday but we found out that Elder Harris is getting transferred... So we're moved his baptism to today but more on that later! Saturday was the day we found out about Elder Harris so a bunch of this week has been us just making a million phone calls getting everything ready to go for today because Brother Nolan really wanted Elder Harris to be able to be there! I know I probably couldn't have been this organized and composed about making all the changes and phone calls before my mission and this week I had a realization about how much I've grown and become a planner and not a procrastinator so that was really cool. But anyways, we are stoked about him today! To put into perspective how elect/golden/prepared Brother Nolan is, with all the changes we had to make, we had to interview him earlier than expected but the zone leaders in Charleston couldn't make the hour and a half drive to Marietta to do it. We were way bummed and thought we would have to postpone his baptism for a couple weeks but he was like "the only thing keeping me from getting baptized is an hour and a half drive? I'll do that in a heartbeat!" So yesterday morning he drove all the way down to Charleston to get interviewed!! He is got to be the most prepared and determined investigator I've ever met!

So yeah this is transfer week and Elder Harris is leaving tomorrow... He was such a bomb companion and Im gunna miss him a lot! President Salisbury actually called us on Monday and told me that I'll be training a brand new missionary! I'm pretty excited for that. It will be great to have someone so focused on the work that will help me really forget myself. I'm not sure what his name is quite yet but ill find out tomorrow!

Oh yeah so we are also having a baptismal service this Saturday for two of our other investigators!! Everything is really coming together in this area and I'm just so happy about it! :) We had a lesson with them yesterday and they are both really excited about it! Next Monday I will have pictures from both of these great baptismal services! :)

Well I love you all very much! I love my mission and I am learning so many wonderful things! My mission is something that has helped me tremendously! I don't know what I would be without my mission! Have a great week! :)

Elder Barazoto

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017

Hey everyone! Another week here in Marietta and things are going great! Although unfortunately, this week our investigators faced some great opposition... People at work and family members are very against them learning about and going to church which is really sad! Luckily these investigators are top notch and they're trying to not let Satan's tricks stop them from doing what's right! Opposition in missionary work and life seems to be all too prevalent and it can definitely be very disappointing at times, but the scriptures teach that even the best have to overcome opposition! Joseph Smith just moments before receiving the First Vision underwent intense opposition from the adversary himself and even following the First Vision he faced severe persecution! Job's experience I am sure was very difficult and he may not have understood all the reasons he was facing such trials but received twice the blessings after he endured well. Opposition is all around us, but opposition always precedes and proceeds a miracle so keep the faith because miracles are just around the corner!!

So last week on Monday we went bowling as a district and that was super fun! I have a picture from that, its pretty terrible quality but its a picture! ha! :) its always the best when we get to do fun things on P-day! We aren't allowed to get together with other missionaries very often in this mission so when we do we try and make it a good time! :)

I am excited for next week, We hopefully will see a lot of really neat things happen. If everything goes according to plan, we will be seeing a BUNCH of baptisms the following week!! I am stoked! Please pray for our investigators that they will be able to overcome opposition and be ready for baptism! :) 

Church is most certainly true, God is our loving Heavenly Father, and the gospel brings true, lasting happiness! Love you all and have another wonderful week!!

Elder Barazoto

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 6, 2017

What a great week! Elder Harris and I keep seeing miracle after miracles after miracle! So this week we had a lesson set up to teach one of our recent converts who was baptized before I got to Marietta. She has a ton of family close by in the area and just randomly decided to bring her sister and her financee who are non-members to our lesson! We of course weren't complaining at all, we were stoked! Haha so we taught all of them about the Book of Mormon and the benefits we receive from reading it often. They really enjoyed it and accepted the invitation to read it AND they even showed up to church on Sunday!! I feel like this area is probably the closest thing I'm gunna get to serving in South America :) Hahaha!

As I've been serving my mission, I've noticed that Sunday seems to be the miracle day of the week. We had 6 investigators at church!!! That's pretty amazing if you ask me especially in the WVCM. We have been seeing so many miracles here and I just love it! I know that God is really manifesting His power here in this area and I feel so lucky to be able to witness it!

So Mom asked me to write about something I've been focusing on lately so here's something I've been giving a lot of thought to recently. Since the beginning of my mission and even before I've been really focusing on trying to refining my skills as a teacher of the gospel. But I have noticed that as I've gained some experience as a missionary and improved my teaching skills drastically, I sometimes neglect the most original and basic elements of being a Christ-like teacher and that is Faith and the Holy Ghost! That is really where great teachers become powerful not because of any eloquence of speaking. 
I think we sometimes forget or neglect the most important and basic things we have always know we should do. Whether you're a missionary or a newly baptized member of the church, we must remember those basics and the power that comes from the basics of the gospel. Faith in the Savior Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel for a reason! We ought to seek for opportunities to develop our faith on a daily basis. We will be distracted with other things in our life from time to time, but if we remember that faith is where it all beginnings, we will see the power of God working in our lives. Elder Bednar taught in a missionary conference that the more we know about Faith, the more we will focus on it. I've definitely experienced that and know that it's true! 

Well that's mostly it for this week! I love you all very much and I hope you know how much your Heavenly Father loves you too! :) have a great week!

Elder Barazoto