Monday, February 6, 2017

No More Counting Steps on Sunday!

We had a very nice week. First and foremost, I would just like to give a shoutout to the church's missionary department. They came in clutch by changing the daily schedule and the key indicators. I feel like the Saints in the times of Jesus when he announced that the Mosaic Law was no longer necessary. No more counting steps on Sunday

In other news, I received a phone call from our beloved vehicle coordinator Elder Taylor today informing me that I ran a red light in Tomball and the traffic light took a picture of it and now I owe $75 to the state of Texas. 😁🤠🙃

This week we gave service to 2 members whose wives left them unexpectedly recently. That was really hard because they are great men whom I admire dearly. But they were appreciative when we helped them move. It just reminded me more and more about my role of "Lifting up the arms that hang hopelessly down." There are many in this world who need that kind of support. Our job is to help them understand that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the answer to all of their trials. 

Also, we finally were able to get in with Ivan. He is a good kid, but he expressed a concern to us about how he still wants to get more tattoos before he gets baptized. He told us to give him 2 months. We lovingly shared John 3:5 and explained that Jesus said that in order to go to heaven, we must be baptized and that there is no reason to put this off unnecessarily because we don't know how much longer God will give us. We are taking a member with us on Thursday who has had a similar past as him growing up who can help him see how much better his life will be if he completely leaves Babylon and comes to Zion. 

Exchanges with Elder Blackford
 Also, on Friday I went on an exchange with Elder Blackford. Seriously love that man. He's always so positive and ready to give it his all in missionary work. 

It is really hard to believe that I have less than a year left on the mission. I am striving to be my very best, because I know that this next little bit will go by quickly. I have really come to love the mission. It is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and I am excited to be a solid member missionary for the rest of my life in order to do my part in building God's kingdom here on the earth. Anyways, I love y'all. Be good, wherever you are. ❤

Élder Barrus
THM (Texas Houston Mission)
In Front of a Huge RV

I Have Been a Missionary For One Year

This week not really much new happened but it was still a good week by all means. On Friday we went contacting at Prairie View A&M University, a university that is predominantly African American. So you could say we stood out just a little bit. And by a little bit I mean we stuck out like a sore thumb. But it was still really awesome because I was able to talk to college kids my age! Most of them are very open minded and willing to try new things. Sometimes it feels as though we are knocking on the same doors and people are giving us the same hard-headed responses so it is nice to talk to some younger people who have not been hardened by years and years of tradition. 

As well, we had someone named Joanna come up to us and ask if we were the Elders. She told us that she was a member of the church from San Antonio and asked where the nearest chapel was. She ended up coming to church on Sunday with one of her non-member friends who loved it! That was a real miracle because we felt that God inspired us to go to Prairie View that day so we did and ended up meeting a member who needed to come back to church. 

As well on Sunday we had 89 people come to church. That was awesome to see because not that long ago church attendance in Waller hovered around 50 or 60 each week. I have really come to enjoy being in Waller and have come to love all of the members. They are so determined to serve and willing to help those who are struggling. They've been a great example as to the kind of member I need to be when I return. 

Anyway, Friday both Elder Wells and I hit 1 year as missionaries. We were planning on burning shirts to celebrate, but then we got tired and forgot. Maybe we'll do it this week sometime now that we plan in the morning instead of the night. 

Elder Barrus

New District!

Almost One Year--Casi 1 Año 😎

This email was sent January 23, 2017

We had a super great week here in Waller. I don't have a lot of time so I'll make this short. We ate pupusas ricas with a member in the Woodlands so it was worth it.

The Hernandez family got baptized on Wednesday and are very happy now.

As well, we have been working with the Escobedos and they live in the same house as the Contreras, an active family in the branch. The Contreras have a son named Ivan who didn't get baptized when his family did. But recently he told his parents he wants to be baptized, so we met with him and set a date for February 25th! He's the man. As well, Enrique and Deseret would like to be baptized on the same day, so it'll be another triple baptism!

Also, when we were out knocking doors a guy told us that he would shoot us if we didn't get off his property. So we got off his property.

Great things are happening here in Waller. So blessed to be a part of them. God is good. Jesus is the Christ.

Yep. I've been out almost a year. As for our plans (both Elder Wells and I came to the mission on the same day), we'll probably burn a shirt. So that should be fun.

The top 3 things I've learned on the mission can't really be explained in a short email. But I'll try:

1: Diligence: I've learned to avoid discouragement and never give up. Even if everything seems to be working against us, I've learned to keep going.

2: Patience: With companions, investigators, myself, members. I've learned a lot about patience.

3: Being bold: Helping people find a better way, even if they can't see it.

-Elder Barrus