Friday, December 16, 2016

My Mission

December 10, 2016

Dear family and friends, 

Well this could come as a surprise to some, and to others not so much, but I am currently on my way back home to Alaska. 

I have been really sick and my health has been deteriorating by the week, so after counseling with the Lord, my parents and my mission president, we decided that it would be best for me end my missionary service here in Oregon and return home. It was not an easy decision because I have loved every minute of my mission, and I am grateful for being able to serve a whole 7 months and dedicate that time to the Lord. 

I do not in any way feel like what I am doing is wrong, I know I have served the time that the Lord had predetermined that I serve, and I know that I have touched the hearts of those that I needed to. 

I have learned and grown so much these last 7 months, and I am grateful for those whom I have served with and for those I have met, my life will forever be changed because of you. 

Hermana Rodriguez, Hermana Barnes
I am eternally grateful for the love and support of my family and my extended family, I couldn't have done this without you, your love and your prayers. 

This last week and a half with Hermana Rodriguez has been both the hardest, but I have also grown the most in this last week and a half. Hermana Rodriguez has taught me what it means to be truly and genuinely happy, loving and caring, no matter what you are going through. To always turn outward instead of inward. From the moment I met her, I could feel of her love for me, and it's because of her love and strength that I was able to make this decision to return home, and she has supported me every step of the way, and I am grateful for that.

While here on my mission I have learned more about the enabling power of the Atonement and how the sacrifice that Christ made for us, when He suffered for our sins, pains, sickness and afflictions of every kind, are extremely powerful, and that it is real. As I have been sick I have learned to rely more on my Savior and my Heavenly Father, and to turn to him in prayer, and as I have done so I have received the strength and faith that I have needed to finish the time here that God planned for me. 

My mission has been the best, and most life changing thing that I have been privileged to do, and I am grateful for that. I know a lot of people think or say that a mission isn't for you, that it's only for the people, but I know that is not true. I truly believe my mission was more for me than for anyone else I have taught or met, because I am the one that has changed and benefited the most. 

Baessa Family
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Hispanic culture and I am grateful to have been able to serve them. The members are amazing and their stories are incredible. I have enjoyed being here and I have felt so honored to have been able to experience the many varieties of their cultures, and I will forever hold them close to my heart.

Thank you again to all those who have supported me in any way and have prayed and fasted for me, I promise they were not in vain, they have given me more support and strength than I would have normally had. 

Now I am moving on to the next chapter of my life. I don't know quite yet what all that will entail, but I know I will still go forth sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ because I have seen how much it has blessed my life, my families lives, and now the lives of so many others. 


I love you all so much! Thanks again for everything! 

Love, 


Hermana Rebecca Barnes  ️️

Transfer news

December 5, 2016

Hey everyone, 

Well not too much has happened since Thursday. 

Kill picture
This week was transfer calls though... and I am being transferred to North Salem, to be serving with Hermana Rodriguez. I am only happy to be serving with her. To be honest, Salem was the last place I wanted to go. I have never heard anything good about that place. All I know about where I am going is that it Is the only Spanish ward in the mission, we have like 5 sets of missionaries or something like that, and the members don't like the missionaries and they don't like to do missionary work. Also the ward apparently doesn't get along to well because it used to be 2 branches but then they put them together and they hate each other. So sounds like there is a lot of healing that needs to be done there, I just hope to have even a little bit of a difference.

Salem Spanish District
(from left) Elder Ellis, Elder Carbajal, Elder Altamirano,
Elder Chamberlin, Hermana Barnes, Hermana Rodriguez,
Elder Stringham, Hermana DeRobles, Hermana Bennett
So a lot of yesterday we went around to members houses so I could say goodbye to them, and needless to say, I have cried a lot in the last couple days. I never realized how much of impact I have had on the branch members here in McMinnville until they were saying bye to me yesterday and told me how I have effected their lives. It's really nice to know that you've made a difference in the lives of those you serve. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with Hermana Tanuvasa even if it was only for a short time. She is an amazing missionary and extremely hard working. She has taught me how to be more goal oriented and what it means to really use the Atonement in your life. I have really enjoyed this time with her. 

Well that's really it for this week. If you haven't seen it yet, there is a new holiday video out and I really love it, and it has a challenge to go along with it. I invite you all to go to Mormon.org and watch the video and take the challenge. 


I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! 

Love,
Hermana Rebecca Barnes


Hermana Barnes, Hermana Bennett, Hermana DeRobles

Keizer Zone
Keizer Zone
Merry-go-round with hermana Rodriguez

Hermana Barnes, Hermana Rodriguez

Saying goodbyes


Oregon State Capitol, Aka The Capitol form Hunger Games

Happy thanksgiving

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I am so grateful for the holidays, they just bring me so much peace and comfort as more of the world is thinking about our beloved Savior Jesus Christ. I wish it was like this all year round where people’s minds were on Christ. I feel like though, even this time of year is getting scarce for people to think about Him. But that is why I am here as a missionary. 

I hope this day has been full of yummy food and thankful hearts. 

Hipolito, Hermana Barnes, Alondra
This has been an extremely LONG week for us since we didn't have P-day until today. But it was good The area is doing good. We just hit a little bit of a dip in the road because we had like 6 people this week decide to drop us, but we are starting to be able to work with our members more which is nice, and we have people that are willing to come out finding with us as well as to set lessons, so that's super helpful. 

Good news though! One of our investigators, Alondra is on date to be baptized December 10th! So
that's exciting! We have been working with her for a couple months so we are really excited. 

Mac Zone
(from back left) Elders, Kryer, Meyer, Hall(ZL), Timothy(ZL), Davis, Scorse,
Mayers, Searcy(AP), Bowen, Mounteer(AP), Famuliner(DL), Carslile, Salem ZL
(from front left) Elder Walters, Sisters Teedro, Powell, Shumway(STL), McKay, Hartvikson,
Bennett(STL), Hermana Barnes, Hermana Tanuvasa, Sisters Densley, & Bronson. 

Well we have transfer calls on Saturday so that's fun... I guess we will see what happens. 

Mac District-
(back, left) Elder Hall, Elder Timothy, Elder Bowen,
Elder Famulener (DL), Hermana Barnes, Hermana Tanuvasa,
Sister Hartvikson, Sister McKay
So we had a neat experience yesterday, we went to this house looking for someone, but a different man came out instead and posed a question to us that really got me thinking and reminded me why I am here on my mission and why I am here on this earth to accomplish. He asked "What is one thing that you want to do to change the world in the time you have allotted here on earth?" My answer to that is, if I can bring but one soul unto Christ I will be happy, because at least I could make a difference for that one person. 

It reminds me of Alma the Younger, Alma 36:24 "Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost." Because of the enabling power of the Atonement I have a desire to share the gospel and to bring others unto Christ. 

Well I will leave you with a quote that I love and that I am striving to apply more to my life.

We need to walk more resolutely and more charitably the path that Jesus has shown. We need to “pause to help and lift another” and surely we will find “strength beyond [our] own.” If we would do more to learn “the healer’s art,” there would be untold chances to use it, to touch the “wounded and the weary” and show to all “a gentle[r] heart.” Yes, Lord, we should follow thee. (Chapter 20: Walking the Savior’s Path of Charity, President Howard W. Hunter)

Well I wish you all a happy thanksgiving. Don't forget to give thanks to the one who has given you all. 

Love, 

Hermana Rebecca Barnes  ️️


Saying bye to McMinnville family

Nancy and  Judith Rodriguez
Malena and Rafael Rulas
President Angel and Isabel Aguiar, Hermana Tanuvasa
 

Mya, Hermana Yanira, Hermano Oliver Vera
Briana Williams
               

Gallardo Family 

Yolanda, Krystal, Amy, Rafael, Gomez
Pacer and Jade West



Urraco Family
Clifton Family
         



 
Gaby Gomez

Do you want to be baptized?

November 14, 2016

Hey everyone! 

This week was super awesome! We saw so many miracles. 
I just wanted to share a miracle that we saw this week that really touched me and has given me fire in my life with the work.
So after zone conference, that same day we went out and used those Books of Mormon that the wonderful sisters in the office made for us with the questions of the soul. That night we were going through our area book to see if there was anyone else we could visit in Dayton before hearing back to McMinnville, and we had a prompting to go and see a family that had been dropped back in May. 

The husbands brother, Marco, and his family are members of the church, but the Marco died of cancer about 1 1/2 months ago back in September, and I remembered that someone said to visit them. So we went and saw them and used the Book of Mormon and asked them what their questions were, and of course, with the passing of his brother, the husband asked what happened to his brother and also why we have to suffer here on earth. And so we were able to show them that the Book of Mormon has answers to their questions. They were really excited and accepted and copy of the Book of Mormon and invited us back. 

Fist bump with a lion and a tabbed Book of Mormon
Then again on Wednesday we were trying to find people to teach and we felt prompted that we should try to visit someone and as we were walking there, we saw the neighbor outside watering her plants so we went over and talked to her and asked her what her question of the soul is and she asked us why would Christ suffer for us if people don't use His Atonement and He knew a lot of people wouldn't. So we shared Mosiah 2:27 with her and she was so blown away by our answer with the scriptures and asked where she could get one, so we gave her a Book of Mormon and she invited us to come back this week! 

We also had an investigator at church with his kids because of a question he was able to have answered. The Book of Mormon is seriously such an amazing tool and gift that we have been given. 

We have seen so many other miracles this week as well with the tabbed question of the soul Books of Mormon, it's been so incredible to see people's questions that they have burning inside them. My testimony has grown so strongly this week about how we can use the Book of Mormon to answer questions.

Also funny story yesterday we had a lesson with one of our investigators and we had a member with us in before the lesson we told her that we are going to invite him to be baptized and in the middle of a lesson she stops and said "Victor do you want to be baptized?" and my companion and I just looked at each other and almost laughing because normally we ask at the end of the lesson and it just kind of took by surprise and she was super blunt about the way she asked and it was really funny.

Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you!!

Love Hermana Rebecca Barnes 

Evergreen Space and Aviation Museum




Hermanas Barnes, Tanuvasa, Sisters Hartkivson, McKay

     

48 days till Christmas (yes I'm counting) ☃️

November 7, 2016

Hey everyone, 

 How's it going? 

This week was good for what we actually did. I was super sick almost all week so we really didn't get to do much. We were in Wednesday night, and all day Thursday and Friday. I was really lame. I started out last week with a SUPER bad sore throat. I thought I was getting strep, but nope, turns out it was just a cold because then the sore throat went away and I got a really bad cold and now I am just stuck with a terrible cough that is acting like it doesn't want to go away anytime soon. So that's fun! 

But yesterday was stake conference and it was super good! They talked a lot about being prepared both physically and spiritually and how as saints we keep putting off the urgency of food storage. But it really hit me just how important food storage is in these last days because we never know when disaster will hit. 

But just as important as it is to be physically prepared, we also need to be spiritually prepared and always be feeding the light of Christ with in us by studying the scriptures each day, having daily fervent and grateful prayers to our Heavenly Father, going to church and partaking of the sacrament each week, and attending the temple regularly. These things are so important and I've gained a stronger testimony of this as I have been on my mission and seen the difference in the lives of others who do these things and who do not. 

Also, something else that stuck out to me is they were talking about keeping the commandments, and how paying tithing is one commandment that we can keep PERFECTLY. There is no other commandment that we, as mortal, sinful, men and women and keep perfectly, other than paying our tithing. And they talked about how God gives us that commandment, that we can keep perfectly, so that we can see the blessings we can receive as we perfectly keep the commandments. It's something to help give us motivation. I think that is such a blessing! 

So we have been trying to work closer with our youth to strengthen them because our youth are not very united and don't care too much about church. But we have been starting to take them to lessons and teach them and it is so incredible and so much fun! The light and energy that the youth have is just so awesome! I just love working with them and I am so excited for this opportunity to work closer with them. 

Well that's all for this week! Love you all 

Love,
Hermana Rebecca Barnes

Because who doesn't like being a giraffe? 
Exchanges with Sister Shumway
Vera family
150 pound bear

Broccoli Rain

October 3, 2016

Hey Everyone! 

How are you all doing this week? 

My week has been pretty good, nothing too exciting happened this week. The weather is starting to change, and for the first time in my life I am getting to experience the season of fall. It's beautiful! 

We had General Women's Conference for our church on Saturday and it was super good! President Uchtdorf says that there is only 2 things that faith can’t do. 

1. It can’t break the agency of another person.
2. It can’t force our will on the will of God.

I think that it super awesome and I know it is true. I know it is important to have faith and we can do so much with our faith, but we need to keep in mind these two things, because you and have all the faith in the world, but it can't break someone else's agency or force our will upon God. 

So fun fact of Oregon for the week: When it rains it smells like broccoli, but the locals can't smell it. It's the strangest thing! 

I hope you all have a good week! 

Love you all! 

Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Hola from the rainy side, and Transfers

October 17, 2016

Hey everyone! 

This week has been crazy stormy. We have been having lots of storm advisories this week and there were a couple tornadoes on the coast over the weekend. This morning when we were shopping it was super loud in the store from the rain pouring and the parking lots were all flooded. It was insane. And we have been having crazy wind too. May I just say, I am already starting to miss the sun haha. 

So we got transfer calls this week! My new companion is going to be Hermana Tanuvasa. I don't know her, but everyone else is super stoked for me, so I am getting pretty excited. Plus she got trained by Hermana Tuisaula from my home stake! So we have a connection going on there which is pretty awesome too. And another awesome thing is that Polynesians are TONS of fun and they always seem so happy, so I am excited for this companionship and transfer! 

And sadly, Hermana Bunderson is heading home to Utah on Wednesday to finish up her mission. I have really loved serving with her and have learned many valuable lessons serving with her. I have really learned that it is so important to work hard, have patience, and just love. 

I got to have exchanges this week which was fun. I got to go to the English area for a day which was a nice break. I am glad that I serve with the Hispanics though. The culture is just so much different, and I love it. Everyone is always so nice, loving, and giving, even though they don't have much.

Also, I can't believe that I am about to hit my 6 month mark in 2 weeks!! That's 1/3 of my mission! I seriously don't know how I have already been out 6 months. And everyone says that the first 6 months is the longest... So it should be interesting to see how fast this next one goes.

I am really loving my mission and I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. I am learning so many valuable lessons here on my mission and I am grateful to be able to learn and grow here. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all!!!


Love,
Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 
1. Oregonian Missionary: Works rain or shine, but especially in the rain
2. Last companion "selfie"
3. Groupie with Elders Meyer and Patterson from our branch
4. Our awesome member Hermana Aguiar 

5. Our investigators Jesus y Maria

Conference and "Daylight Savings"

October 10, 2016

Hey family and friends! 

How are you all doing this week? 

My week has been kind of slow but it was still really good.
Fall has officially set in, and it has been raining, and raining, and raining. But it's still been good!

I LOVED conference!! There were so many talks that I was really needing, so it was great. Kinda bummed that Jeffery R. Holland spoke at the priesthood session, but it’s all good, I'll just read it later! 

Not much really happened this week.

Oh! Actually hahahaha so a member had told us that this week was day light savings so we slept in yesterday until 7:30. We felt pretty refreshed haha. Funny thing is though that we got up at 6:30, said our prayers and then I went to the bathroom and then looked at the clock in the kitchen and saw that it was 6:30 which should have been 5:30 so then we slept for another hour.... Haha needless to say we aren't trusting that member about day light savings anymore.

Also yesterday we knocked on an investigators door and when the kids opened the little boy let out the LOUDEST fart. It was so funny. And then he was laughing so hard that he farted again. It was super funny! 

How have your guy’s weeks been? 

I hope all is going well for you all! 

Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Hola Amigos!

September 26, 2016

Hola Amigos! 

Como estan?

This week was a pretty good one! 

We got dumped on with rain on Saturday. That was fun. We decided to walk most of that day so needless to say we were a little soaked by the end of the day. It ended up being a lot of fun! And we actually met quite a bit of people walking which was a blessing! 

We went a visited a lady this week and she let us in. It's been a little over a month since we first met her, but she just started talking to us and she told us that her son was in a SUPER bad motorcycle accident and he got flipped over a van. But because she had gotten him super good riding gear, it actually saved his life and all that happened is he broke his knee cap and arm... The medics said that he should have died and it's also a miracle that he did get run over because it was on a highway. I truly know that God has a hand in our lives.

So funny story of the week: We had an investigator that we were going to have a lesson with but before we went to see him we tried to see if his neighbor was home because we still had a few minutes till our lesson, but right as we rang the neighbor’s doorbell we realized that our investigator was sitting outside so we tried to shove ourselves into the doorway to avoid him seeing us.... But it kinda failed and made the situation even more awkward hahaha. Fact #1 of missionaries: WE ARE ALWAYS AWKWARD. It's just a fact that every missionary has to come to terms with. But it's okay because everyone else is awkward too...

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!! 


Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Dinosaurs and Mission Tour

September 13, 2016

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great week!

Life here in McMinnville is going good.

We have a few new investigators with quite a bit of potential. I just
love being able to help people come into Christ and see that light
fill their lives as they learn snd make changes in their lives to
follow Christ, it's got to the be most rewarding part of this work.

So the other day we were out tracting and we probably walked whet felt
like 50 miles (probably more like 2-4) because we are really bad at
mapping out where our investigators live, not to mention it was about
90 degrees that day. But anyways, while we were out we decided to stop
by a less active members house and visit her. Her daughter got a
dinosaur costume and was showing it off to us. It's probably about 7
feet tall. Funniest thing ever!😂😂😂 She tried doing a push up for us
too, which is what the video is.

So yesterday we had a mission tour where someone from the Quorum of
the 70 came and spoke to us. It was super good! Something that we
talked about is things we are good at, talents God has given us. It's
interesting because as disciples of Christ we try to be humble and not
boast about ourselves and a lot of times that means we don't recognize
our talents. But he encouraged us to recognize what we are good at so
we can know what tools we have to help us progress in life and help
others as well. He also told us that we the only God allows for us to
covet is other people's gifts(ex. The gift of service). It's okay to
covet these things and then ask God to help us develop these talents
that we admire. So I am now trying to better recognize my talents and
gifts and see what I want to be better at.

So last thing before I go, but, I cut my hair!!! It's super short and
really strange. But I like it. It was kind of a last second thing, but
I like it.

I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all!!

Love,
Hermana Barnes

Transfers and Miracles

September 5, 2016


Hola familia y amigos,

Como estan? Estoy muy muy bien :) 

So good news! My companion and I are staying together for another transfer!   So I will be sending her home in 6 weeks when she ends her mission. It's bitter sweet. We are excited to be staying together because we are starting to see lots of miracles, but it's also sad that we only have 6 weeks left together. But we are determined to make these next 6 weeks full of fun, hard work, and miracles.

So more exciting news! We have one of our investigators getting baptized this month! We are shooting for the 24th of this month! Her name is Alondra and she is 10. She is SUUUUPER excited to get baptized and her knowledge of God, Jesus Christ and this gospel is incredible. It always surprises me when I talk to kids because they are like sponges, they soak in everything they hear and they are so humble to be taught. Its just so awesome! :D  

So one of our elder halves of our branch is heading home this week, so we got a goodbye picture with him! And also like half of our district is being changed as well. When we took the picture with our district the power actually went off so we had to do my last new missionary training in the dark, so that was fun haha! 

I hope you are all have a great week! 

Inspirational thought for the week: As we work on who God wants us to become, our to do list won't seem to be as much of a burden. So work on your to be list, and your to do list will become easier and you will do all that you need to.   

I love you all! 

Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Miracle Family and The Gift of Tongues

August 29, 2016


Hey everyone, 

How are you all doing?

This week has been good! So the Elder's in my district ran into a guy the other day from Mexico and he told them he wants him and his family to be baptized! He used to be a member in Mexico but isn't anymore. But it was super awesome, and they came to church yesterday and we got to teach them this morning.

We are super excited for them! And for all the miracles we are seeing. 

Haha so our church plants roses but everyone likes to pick them... So the picture is the result of what we have now.... 

We also had exchanges this week which was super fun! I stayed in our area and had an English speaking companion so that was fun and also a little terrifying. But I was able to communicate just fine in Spanish which was a huge confidence booster. It was also really humbling to see just how much of a blessing the gift of tongues is. ​​


Sorry this isn't a long email; I just don't have a whole ton to say this week. But we have transfers next week so we will see if my companion and I are staying together for her last transfer. 

I love you all. Don't forget to keep your faith and build upon it.

Have a great week! 

Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Miracle couple and 911

August 22, 2016


Hey everyone!

We found this SUPER awesome couple on Saturday and we went back and
saw them last night and they were waiting for us and we are going back
again tonight but they are super open to hearing our message and the
Hermana was even crying last night from part of our message. They seem
so open and its super cool. And they are so sweet to each other which
was really cool because you don't tend to see that a lot on your
mission.

Also we called the cops on some people this week as well and turns out
that my dad teaching me to be observant has really paid off. The guy
had a knife in his pocket and was fired up about something and was
screaming foul things at his wife and wanting to fight a guy that we
were talking to so we left and then called the cops and I was able to
tell them lots of things my comp didn't even notice, like about the
knife. And we are pretty sure he beats his wife because her arms and
legs were covered in bruises... It was a little scary but we got out
of there as fast as we could and got in our car and then like 6 cops
came.

"President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “God sent you here to prepare for
a future greater than anything you can imagine.” That future, a day at
a time, comes alive when you do more than just exist; it comes alive
when you live your life to fill the measure of your creation. This
invites the Lord into your life, and you begin to let His will become
yours." (Discovering the Divinity Within)

I have been learning more about submitting to the willing of the Lord.
It's super difficult but we have been seeing so many more blessings
pour in as we strive to do this. It's really incredible how many
blessings the Lord has promised us if we will just do his will and
follow his commandments.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Hermana Barnes

The church is true

August 15, 2016


Hey guys,

I hope you all had a great week! I want you all to know that I love
you and that your Heavenly Father loves you.

This week we had a really cool experience. We were out tracting in 100
degree weather on Saturday and we were ready to be done but we decided
to try one more house before going to dinner so we went and there were
a bunch of Hispanic guys outside and we started to talk to them. I was
able to have a conversation on my own with one of them and I shared
the Book of Mormon with him and Moroni 10:3-5 with him and it just
touched his heart that he invited us to come back the next day and
share more. So we went back Sunday and he said that before we had come
Saturday he had prayed to God to help him find his bible but we showed
up and gave him the Book of Mormon and shared the scripture and he
told us he knows it's a sign from God. And he just asked us over and
over how we knew to give it to him. But we are going to start teaching
him and he is super excited to come to church this next week, so
that's awesome!

I read a super awesome Poem this morning from Elder Packer that I
wanted to share with you guys:
            In ancient times the cry “Unclean!”
            Would warn of lepers near.
             “Unclean! Unclean!” the words rang out,
            Then all drew back in fear,

            Lest by the touch of lepers’ hands
            They, too, would lepers be,
             There was no cure in ancient times,
            Just hopeless agony.

        No soap, no balm, no medicine
          Could stay disease or pain
          There was no salve, no cleansing battle
          To make them well again.

            But there was One, the record shows,
            Whose touch could make them pure;
             Could ease their awful suffering,
            Their rotting flesh restore.

            His coming long had been foretold.
            Signs would precede His birth.
             A Son of God to woman born,
            With power to cleanse the earth.

            The day He made ten lepers whole,
            The day He made them clean,
             Well symbolized His ministry
            And what His life would mean.

            However great that miracle,
            This was not why He came.
             He came to rescue every soul
            From death, from sin, from shame.

            For greater miracles, He said,
            His servants yet would do,
             To rescue every living soul,
            Not just heal up the few.

            Though we’re redeemed from mortal death,
            We still can’t enter in
             Unless we’re clean, cleansed every whit,
            From every mortal sin

            What must be done to make us clean
            We cannot do alone.
             The law, to be a law, requires
            A pure one must atone.

            He taught that justice will be stayed
            Till mercy’s claim be heard
             If we repent and are baptized
            And live by every word. …

            If we could only understand
           All we have heard and seen,
           We’d know there is no greater gift
            Than those two words--“Washed clean!

I think this is an awesome poem of the atonement and I am so grateful
for the sacrifice that our Savior made for us so we can be cleansed
from our sins and have our pains and sorrows taken away.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,
Hermana Barnes

Miracles and The Atonement

August 8, 2016

Family and Friends,

I hope you are all having a fantastic week and that you have been able
to see the hand of God in your life this week. :)

My week was pretty good, we have seen many tender mercies this week.
We have really been seeing the work pick up and more people becoming
interested and it's really great. You just feel so much better when
your able to get out and do the work of the Lord and be busy.

We have an awesome family we are working with right now. They have a
really strong faith and a desire to learn and it is so awesome. The
whole family has only lived here for a year so the kids know hardly
any English which for some reason is hard for us because the kids
usually only speak English, it's very interesting. But they are always
super excited when we come over, and it's awesome :)

I have also been learning more about the Atonement, or sacrifice of
our Savior for our sins this week. It's quite an incredible thing. I
have been learning to rely on it a lot the last couple months,
especially since I haven't been feeling good I have really been coming
to realize that our Savior suffered for more than just our sins, he
suffered for all our sicknesses, pains, and sorrows. I found a quote
that I really liked. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shared the following
testimony that the Atonement can lift our burdens from us:

“Are you battling a demon of addiction--tobacco or drugs or gambling,
or the pernicious contemporary plague of pornography? Is your marriage
in trouble or your child in danger? Are you confused with gender
identity or searching for self-esteem? Do you--or someone you
love--face disease or depression or death? Whatever other steps you
may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel
of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma’s
testimony is my testimony: ‘I do know,’ he says, ‘that whosoever shall
put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their
troubles, and their afflictions’ [Alma 36:3].

“This reliance upon the merciful nature of God is at the very center
of the gospel Christ taught. I testify that the Savior’s Atonement
lifts from us not only the burden of our sins but also the burden of
our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair [see
Alma 7:11–12]. From the beginning, trust in such help was to give us
both a reason and a way to improve, an incentive to lay down our
burdens and take up our salvation” (“Broken Things to Mend,” Ensign or
Liahona, May 2006, 70–71).

The Atonement is such an incredible thing and it is only through
following the example of our Savior and using the Atonement that we
can return to live with our Heavenly Father and our Families forever.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love,
Hermana Barnes

Bed Bugs and a Fiesta

August 1, 2016

Hey everyone! 

So this week was pretty long. We had a chaotic mess going on. We thought we had bed bugs because my companion has been getting bites at night and then I started getting them, so we spent a better part of an afternoon trying to find them and going back a forth between the mission office to get sprays and washing bedding. So yeah that was fun.

So who would have known that guys would be a problem on the mission... My companion and I keep getting hit on, and she even got proposed to the other day! He was going to try proposing to me too but I told him to get up and stop being ridiculous. I mean honestly, have some dignity. He even has a girlfriend! Some people’s children... Haha.

We had a super fun branch party on Saturday that was a TON of fun! We had lots of yummy food and played volleyball and soccer. Haha I am still learning how to play soccer, but man do Hispanics love it! 
​​​​
Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Transfers Week!

July 25, 2016 

Hey everyone! 

Well I made it through my first transfers in the field! It's crazy to think I have already been on my mission for 3 months, time is going faster than I thought, which part of me is grateful for and then part of me is dreading because my mission is going to be over quicker than I know.

I am really loving being here, some days are super hard but I really just love it here. The people are super awesome, I just love the Hispanic culture! 

So my companion and I had our first "biff" yesterday. We are both just super tired this week and we had just had enough and were short tempered and so we were being super ornery with each other and were very unhappy... But we didn't want to go to bed with those feelings towards each other so we talked it out and were able to find the root cause of why we were feeling this way. 

She is on the downhill slope of her mission, only having 2 transfers or 3 months left and she is struggling with wanting to work super hard but just being done. And she is worried that she is being a bad example to me. And me, well I just don't feel great and it's really hard being here. Some days are really good and I feel great I really enjoy being here, and then other days I really struggle with wanting to go home, and it's hard because I know I need to be here and I really do want to be here, I am just selfish and am thinking too much about what I want, so we are trying to help each other. Satan is working really hard at us because he knows we can be a really successful companionship and that because we get along so well we can be really effective and see lots of miracles. 

I really love my companion, she has become my best friend and we have so much trust and unity in our companionship. I am really learning so much from her. 

So we had exchanges this last week with our sister training leaders (STL's). It was super good. I was able to go to the English area for a day, and even though I had a lot of fun I realized how grateful I am to be Spanish speaking. The culture and atmosphere are just so different. 

It is so important to make sure that we are keeping our spirit strong so we can withstand all the evil that is in the world. We are seeing that more and more now than ever. Please stay strong.

I hope you all have a great week! Stay strong and don't forget that God is always here for you.


Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Hey everyone!

July 18, 2016


How are you all?

Well the weeks are starting to go by super-fast! We are already at the end of my first transfer here and I can't even believe it. I am enjoying it though. The people here are so wonderful and nice and just always willing to talk which makes starting conversations a lot easier. 

We had some really awesome lessons this week and met some really cool people. We met the Rodriguez family. They are super awesome. They have like 8 kids, and some English speaking missionaries actually ran into them and played soccer with their kids and they said that we could come back. They are super sweet and the mom invited us in and just started talking to us, and we get to go back on Saturday to see them. I am super excited for them because they have so much potential! It is great to see the hand of the Lord working through me and others. 

We also ran into a guy from the country Jordan in the middle east. He was a very interesting fella. He is Muslim, and it turns out that the way the Muslim religion came about was very similar to ours and they believe a lot of the same things, he just has a couple things that are off a little. But it was very interesting to talk to him, especially since I never knew anything about his religion.

We always meet really interesting people on the streets and it's fun to talk to them and see the differences in people and their beliefs. We also ran into some people from Kansas, they were quite interesting too. Had the accent, attitude and everything haha. 

Well I hope you are all having a great week! 


Well I love you all! Have a great week! 

Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Spiders and Temple Trips

July 11, 2016

Hey everyone! 

This week was super awesome!! We saw so many blessings. We have been praying more specifically to be put in the paths of prepared people, and WOW the difference that that has made. We really didn't teach very many lessons (Usually our average other lessons is about 30 and we only taught about 15) But those lessons we taught were with really awesome people that have a TON of potential and that we see really loving this beautiful gospel. I have learned that first impressions made such a difference. 

Haha so we were in a lesson this last week with a lady named Martha and she decided open the shades to bring in more light and I was right in the middle of speaking when she did and as she opened it there was a HUGE spider and I just kinda went speechless and all I could do was point. So she took care of it and after that her and my companion couldn't stop laughing at me... I really REALLY don't like spiders.... ​​ 

So our investigator Elma is getting BAPTIZED!!!! I love this lady so much!!! We are hoping for the 22nd of July!!! We are so excited!!! We started teaching her the week I got here. She is a sweet heart. She also came to the temple with us on Sunday (yesterday) and she loved it! She can't wait to go back home to Panama and bring her husband to the gospel. She has already been telling him all about it over the phone and she really wants to be sealed (being married for time and all eternity under the guidance of God, which allows us to live with our families and Heavenly Father forever after death, instead of being married until "death do us part”) in the temple to him. 

The members here have been so awesome to her and have really taken her under their wing. My testimony of member missionary work has grown so much! It is almost impossible to have a fully converted member without support and help from the members, we rely on them so much! SO seriously, ask the missionaries in your ward what you can do to help them, it would take so much weight and stress off their shoulders. We are always worrying about how we can best help the investigators and ward and strengthen everyone, but sometimes we feel like a burden when we are always asking, so don't be afraid to ask the missionaries! 

I am really starting to notice a difference in the language. It's nowhere near perfect but I am defiantly understanding a lot more and I am stating to be able to speak a lot more too. I a so grateful to be serving here, I love the people so much and I have been blessed with a super good companion! She is so awesome! We are best friends and we just click so well, which is a HUGE blessing, and she is helping me to learn so much with both the language and the gospel. 

Thank you all so much for all that you have done to show me your love and support, it really helps keep me going.

I love you all and hope you all have a great week! 

Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Hola!

June 27, 2016


Hey everyone! 

So update! We had an investigator at church yesterday! Her name is Alma! She is super awesome; I love her so much! Such a sweet lady and she has such a desire to learn! She met with the missionaries before she moved here too. But she is progressing pretty quickly and we are hoping to have her on date for baptism pretty quick here. 

The Lord has really been pouring in the blessing this week, which is incredible because we really haven't had too much time this week because we have had meeting after meeting. But we have 2 progressing investigators and another potential named Martha who is super awesome and has an adorable daughter. 

The Lord has just really been placing us in the paths of the prepared! 

My trainer is awesome and I love her to death. We have been having a lot of fun and she is really trying to help me learn and grow.

So this last week on Thursday we had a farewell for our mission president because they get switched out this week, but while we were in the meeting they were messing with our Tiwi's (devices that tell us to check our speed, or to stop driving aggressively) and anyways once we got done it was being a lot more sensitive and now my companion has gotten 8 aggressive driving’s since Thursday and if you get 9 then you are suspended with driving. Haha so I might be driving here soon if they can't figure it out....

And it looks like no pictures this week because they won't download.

Well I hope everyone is doing well. Know that I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Rocks, Temple and New Companion!!!

June 20, 2016

Hey everyone!!

So week one in the mission field! Wooh!! So happy to be here! I am serving in McMinnville and other surrounding areas and I am in the Dayton 2nd Branch- Spanish. 

The people here are incredible. We are teaching so many people I literally don't even know how many. We find so many new people every day that are allowing us to come back. There is so much work to be done here and even with 2 sets of missionaries in the branch it's still not enough. But I love it.

The weather and area are gorgeous right now. Definitely a perfect time of year to come here. 

The Hispanics are all so welcoming and kind and I just love them. The nice thing about being Spanish speaking missionaries in the US is that we get to meet people from all the different Hispanic countries. I have meet some from Mexico, Peru, Panama, Chile, and Paraguay. It's really cool. 

So when I first got here my mission president took us to the coast so we could see the theme of our mission which is "build your testimony upon the Rock" and it is a haystack rock. It is HUGE. And the coast is super pretty. We also got to go to the Portland temple and the visitor center. It was awesome to go back there since that is where my mom and dad were sealed and I've grown up with that temple hanging on our living room wall my whole life. It's so pretty. 

And then my new companion is Hermana Bunderson. She is from Utah and has been on her mission for 14 months now. So she will most likely finish her time here with me. It sounds like I probably won't have too many areas since I am Spanish speaking. This is only her 3rd area for her whole 14 months and she got here in March. I won't mind it though because it's beautiful, the people are great and the work is really progressing here. Never a lack of anything to do here.

We don't currently have anyone on date but we do have quite a few people that are progressing and that we are hoping to have on date soon. 

I have been having so many emotions being here because I love it but it is also exhausting and hard and not being able to understand everything is super frustrating but it is also super humbling to have to rely completely on the Lord.

Thank you all so much for the love, letters and prayers.

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!  
  
Love,

Hermana Rebecca Lynn Barnes 

Week 6: Diamonds not Coral

June 14, 2016

Hey everyone! 

Guess what! Today is my last week at the MTC!! I leave tomorrow morning in the early AM of 3:50. Should be joyous fun. 

The last couple days have been rough for me as I have been saying goodbye too and watching my district leave and saying goodbye to my teachers. Some of the hardest things I think I have done since I have been here. I have really come to love each and everyone one of them with each of their little quirks. But I know we are here to do the Lords work and there will be time later to catch up. 

I am so excited to get to Oregon and meet my mission president and my companion. I have been praying to have a companion that will help me the most (yes, I know that can be a risky thing to ask for, but I know in the long run it will be worth it). 

So funny experience for this week: Since my companion Hna Oliphant was leaving Monday morning she had to wash her laundry on Saturday, plus we still had class on top of that and so needless to say she had a million things going through her head and she was stressed. So as we were sitting there and she was emailing and I was studying, I looked up and happened to notice that her clothes were in the dryer and not the washer. 
"Uh Hermana... Your clothes are in the dryer, not the washer."
"Well isn't that just great. If I were a coral, I'd be dead."
"Well it’s a good thing you are coal then because that means you’re in the works of becoming a diamond"

With only 3 minutes left on the cycle she just let it finish and then opened it and had a lot of powdered detergent fly into her face. And of course I couldn't stop laughing. So from that experience we now have the term "I am on the struggle bus today." (Also for those that may not know when corals get under stress they die, and when coal is under stress it becomes a diamond).

We also had the opportunity to hear from Elder Bednar this week. It was a really good talk about how God knows us one by one and how as missionaries we need to be teaching our investigators and getting to know them one by one because they are more than just a number on the list. Heavenly Father cares about us one by one, which means that we should do the same.

Also the song by him that we sang called "One by One" will also be aired in the New Era this coming month and there might be a video of it as well, so if there is go and look for me!  

I hope you are all doing well! I would love to hear from you! 
Thank you so much for the support and prayers.

I love you all! 

Love,
Your Sister Rebecca Barnes 
Pictures:
1. Look who I ran into! Elder Bob Holbrook
2. Scooping ice cream out with a plastic bag, because why not?
3.Saying goodbye to Hermano Santillan 
4.Goodbyes with Hermano Hood
5. Packing ft. Hermana Grover

6. Goodbyes with Hermano Franco

Itineraries and Bouncy Balls

June 7, 2016

Hey everyone!! 

Well here I am and another week has come and gone. Time is really a crazy thing, but I am loving (almost) every minute of it. I now only have a week left in the MTC and I am so excited. I am ready to get out to the field and serve. 

So we all received our itineraries on Friday. It was a bitter sweet moment. It was great to know the time to get out of here is almost upon us, but the realization that we are all going to be separated hit us. My district has become family to me over the past 6 weeks, and it's going to be hard to go our separate ways.

Also I will be the last one out of here. Everyone leaves either Monday or Tuesday next week except for me, I don't leave until Wednesday. Which isn't really all that bad since Tuesday is Pday and I will have all day to pack and get ready.

So we finished teaching our investigator, Diana, on Friday. We didn't realize it was our last time so we didn't get to say goodbye or anything which was really sad. She was such a sweetheart. She is starting to go to church with one of our teachers though, so hopefully she will continue to go.

Teaching at the MTC is interesting because you really don't do much. They just give you a paper each week telling you who, where, and when you will be teaching and then you just show up. 

So the Elders in my district found bouncy balls and have been going crazy with them. They have started playing this new game where they go in one of the small 7x5 rooms, shut the door, turn off the lights and start throwing 4 balls against the walls as hard as they can. Needless to say they have come out with many welts haha. 

Oh so exciting news!! Elder Bednar is coming to speak to us tonight and I am singing in the choir and we are singing the song he wrote which is so cool! I am super excited! 

Well this is all I have for this week! The MTC is just so routine that it doesn't really leave room for anything too exciting. But next week! 

I hope you all have a fantastic week! And thank you all so much for the letters, emails, packages, love, and prayers! 
Love,
Your Sister Rebecca Lynn Barnes 
1. Last district temple trip
2. New Zealand friends
3. Travel Itinerary! 
4. My wonderful Spanish teachers Hermano Hood (left) and Hermano Santillan (Right)