Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

Pretty good week! Lots of ups and downs, but overall we had a lot of great things happen! So definitely one of the most significant things going on has to do with our recent convert Brother Nolan... He is going to the Columbus temple in a couple weeks!! Statics in the church say that those who are baptized and go to the temple soon after they are baptized are much more likely to stay active in the church than those who do not so we are really excited for him :) But there is something even better... WE HAVE PERMISSION TO GO WITH HIM!!! Columbus, Ohio is like 2 hours outside the mission boundaries, but we talked to President Salisbury and he said we could go! I am PUMPED!! I haven't been to the temple in almost 2 years so pretty overdue but on top of that I'll get to go with one of my converts which is going to be like the greatest things ever!! It'll be super fun to leave the mission boundaries and go to big city like Columbus so Im also pretty excited that too haha! Anyways, as you can tell I am just a tad bit excited about going to the temple :) :) :)

So our investigators we are teaching right now are still progressing really well! We have 2 really solid investigators, Tara and Cody. My hope and goal is for them to get baptized hopefully soon! They are both really good people and the gospel will bless them so much! I have a good feeling that they will get baptized so we will see what happens :)

There is another family we are working with that came to church yesterday. The husband is a member but the wife is not. They hadn't been to church in a while so we were really excited they came especially after the experience we had with them in our Gospel Principles class! So the teacher was out of town this Sunday so we just had to improve a last second lesson for the class. Normally I think I would have been freaking out, but I think it ended up going really well! Well enough that the wife of this family who struggles to believe in living prophets today saw how a prophecy from Brigham Young can true! She is now feeling like she can accept that doctrine! I can't take any of the credit for that because it was obviously the Spirit the bore testimony to her that God still speaks to prophets! The member husband later told us she is right on the verge of really being serious about baptism! It is really exciting!! It is just another amazing evidence that His work is hastening and people are being prepared to be taught! :)

Well, I am so grateful for all your support and love. I know I am so blessed because of all of you! Talk to ya next week! 

Elder Barazoto

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Hello everyone! This week was pretty amazing! I think I've probably said this like a million times but Marietta, Ohio has got to be one of the most fruitful places in this mission! We just had 2 baptisms a couple weeks ago and the husband of one of our converts is wanting to learn as well! At this point, I am pretty satisfied with all the blessings God has given us. I don't know what we did to deserve all these blessings and miracles but this week we saw again how God is preparing even more people in this area to hear the restored gospel! So last Monday night we went to contact a referral in our area. We had been tried to meet with her for a while now and weren't able to catch her home but we decided to go try and see her at a different time of the day and she was home! That was pretty cool by itself but then she tells us her story... She's had a bit of a rough past dealing with certain trials in her life but was trying to find the right church for her to go to. She has a LDS friend in another part of the state that invited her to church a while ago and when she went she felt a peace that she hasn't felt in any other church before and she loved it!!! People who are or have been missionaries will understand that when a person says something like that you're like about ready to pee your pants your so excited haha so basically she came to church yesterday with her three kids and she is just amazingly golden! I just love being a missionary!! Experiences like that just make it hard to not love being a missionary.

Easter was really great as well! We did a whole Easter program in sacrament meeting and Elder Garrett and I did a lot of singing for that which I think we both enjoyed. We had a bunch of investigators there too so that was also amazing. One song we sang was Where Can I Turn for Peace and for some reason it really struck me. I thought about the blessing of our Savior, Jesus Christ and what He can do for us. I am eternally grateful for the peace that the Savior brings into our lives especially this Easter season. The Church always does these amazing initiatives for Christmas and Easter and the one they did for this Easter was probably one of my favorites. If you haven't taken the opportunity to watch it yet, do it! Ha! Its all about finding peace through Christ and its amazing. 

Well I love ya'll very much and I hope everyone is happy and healthy! Please do all you can to represent yourself and the Savior well every day this week! :)

Elder Barazoto

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017

It can be a little heart-wrenching when you are planning to have 7 investigators at church on Sunday and you end up only have one... Haha :) We are SO happy about our investigator Cody coming to church but it would be nice to see everyone come to church that commits to! Next week should be much better because most of the reasons that our investigators didn't come this week was because they were sick or they accidentally slept in. So Elder Garrett and I are super pumped next weekend! 

Other than that our week has been pretty good! We had a really rewarding experience this week for me at least. We are teaching the new member lessons to our most recent convert Sister Russell and we ended up talking about missionary work. She was telling us all the people she wants to share the gospel with and it was just a huge blessing to see a new convert's desire to share the thing that has brought her so much joy! Being a missionary is such an amazing blessing oh my goodness, I dont want to be anywhere else but serving my Heavenly Father and helping His children find happiness. Sister Russell even cooked dinner for us yesterday! So awesome!! That family is just the best :) Right now we are working on helping her husband get baptized, he was the one at church this week and we are hoping that he will desire to be baptized soon!

This week we have been running into lots of people who either were formerly taught by missionaries or used to active in the church but are no longer coming. Its been a while since missionaries have visited them and we are hoping and praying that their hearts have softened and they are willing to make sufficient changes to be able to experience all the blessings of the gospel! Everyday I am amazed with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the Savior, we all are able to make something of our lives that we couldn't before. Truly our Heavenly Father's eternal love for us is manifest in the opportunity we have to be freed from the burden and guilt of sin and return to live with Him again!! I know this work is true and I love it so much! As always, I hope everyone has a wonderful week!! :)

Elder Barazoto

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Hey everyone! Wow this has been an amazing week! General Conference was SO GOOD!!! It is unbelievable to me to think I took it so for granted before my mission. Its literally Prophets and Apostles just like Moses or Peter or Paul talking to us! Amazing! I dont know if I can pick a favorite talk just yet but one of the biggest things I took away from Conference was the significance of the Book of Mormon in our lives and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit emphasis's different things for every person who watches General Conference and that was what He taught me! 

We found another new family to teach! Its actually a grandmother and grandkids but the grandmother has known about the church for a long while and knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet! I think their only obstacle will be getting to church but I feel like we will definitely be able to work through that really soon! We are really excited about teaching them!!

We have also been having really cool spiritual experiences with our investigators this week and that has been really awesome! It is so rewarding when you get to see the Spirit work in the lives of people you love! My mission has been such a huge blessing to me! I absolutely love serving the Lord as a missionary, there is just no experience like it! 

Well please know that I am happy and so grateful for the gospel! It most certainly is true and God is definitely real! Love you all and I hope you all have a great week this week! :)

Elder Barazoto