{ The Healthy Lifestyle }

Look good...feel good...perform well. Aside from all of the spiritual growth that I have been able to feel from returning home from my mission, (Which really is the energy that keeps me going) there was never a better day than the days that I could go for a run or eat healthier than normal! I love being able to control what I eat and how much active time I get now being home.  I love something that Kayla has said... Being unhealthy and out of shape is a hard life and hard work... living a healthy lifestyle, eating well and working out is hard too.. pick your life! Being spiritually rounded, healthy and motivated to live a positive life help me keep going and do it feeling excellent! 
has helped me get back into it all! I can study the scriptures all day but as long as my spirit is up to par, my body needs to feel the same way! I enjoy not only getting back into shape, but learning how to live a more healthy lifestyle. It's something that needs to be applied daily! I've tried the whole no sweets, gluten free, juice fasts fad diet thing but those only last for a moment in time. What really matters is the act of living it every day, each day at a time to feel good! I love this guide. Most of it's already in my mind and a lot of it is what I've grown up learning but it's good to have something to follow every day! We need food, but we also need a healthy balance. We need exercise but we also cannot be working ourselves to death.
As I was reading today I realized a lot of things. If we go days without exercising or if we chose cheat days to just binge eat whatever we want, our progress is turned into digression.  Not only by one day but by two days! It has to be constant or else we'll start to fall back. At first it can be hard, but like anything and everything, once we practice and apply it to our lives it becomes a habit and it can even become something that we love. Living a healthy lifestyle is something that I love and would never choose to replace it. If we really want something we can work for it. 
Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the same effect. A day without prayer or a small study time just puts me in the hole. Sometimes when I'm having a bad day I have to think... why is my day like this?! It's usually because I didn't read or I haven't looked outside of myself to serve someone. It's something that I've put into practice and can't live without it. Living a healthy lifestyle and seeking spiritual strength are a lot more a like than I could imagine. Once anyone starts, it's hard to go a day without it because strength, both spiritual and physical, is unlike anything else. It carries us. 

{ Daily Bread }

We can be everything that we want to be through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can change, we can build confidence, we can recognize our purpose, we can learn patience, we can seek help, we can recognize our worth and we can live a happy and positive life. 

There's a purpose in life far beyond living life comfortably. Change is constant. 

He is the bread of life. 


{ The RM }

It's a title that's still pretty strange to me. Hey Kendall, you're a returned missionary! Yeah and so is almost everyone else here. What's the point? RM is Returned Missionary, not Retired Mormon or Rundown Mess and I'm trying to find the healthy medium of living in the world but not of it. Attempting to continue many of the habits that I developed and slowly trying to make my weaknesses strengths. I'm not going to lie, being home has been AMAZING.. but it's also been rough. Change is rough but, it's necessary for growth.

Decision making is hard... along with a melting pot of other things that are just plain difficult! But I say, if I could finish an honorable mission... I can do just about anything! I wish it was that easy... and maybe I'm just an overdramatic kind of person but that's what's going down in my life!

While being home from my mission I have discovered many different things. There are things that I miss, there are things that I am grateful for and there are things that I have learned that aren't so important or necessary in my life.

  • I miss the Latin Culture. I cried the two times that I went to see McFarland in theaters. It'll get ya sobbing!
  • I miss the language. I find myself laughing at what the Mexicans say in stores or on the streets, it's like I have my radar on all the time. We were walking to the conference center and I heard someone that was standing asking for tickets speak in Spanish so I said "Suerte!" "Yo hablo Español también!" and then I kept walking with a smile on my face because I found some little opportunity to talk.. haha lame. But I was giddy. Mom always looks at me when she hears someone speaking Spanish and I'm just standing there oddly smiling in my own world. She just laughs and thinks its this supernatural totally awesome crazy talent that I have. Then when my family asks me to speak it's like I'm turned into a mute.. I mean who wants to talk to someone when they don't even understand you?! I wish I did, plus the embarrassment of the accent and not remembering a word has gotten to me... WHY. Take me back to that fearless time. Reminds me of the beginning of my mission.. hmm. They talked to me and all I heard was gibberish. I need to share my talents. Or else, as I have witnessed... they diminish. 
  • I am grateful for cars. 
  • I am grateful for phones.
  • I miss my planner.
  • I am grateful for the temple.
  • Listen.
  • Don't Judge.
  • Don't feel judged.
  • Look for light.
  • Posting about every single thing that I am doing on my social media really is not important at all. I kind of wish it didn't exist. Well, for the first few days I needed to catch up on all of the gossip so it was helpful yet... kind of sad that I didn't even have to talk to the person and I already knew what happened in the last year and a half of their life. 
  • I am grateful for exercise programs that kick my butt. Also. I am grateful for determination. (A weakness)
  • Carpet. 
  • Power naps.
  • I miss being able to testify of my Savior every single second of my day and feeling totally and completely comfortable with it. 
  • I miss inviting others and committing them to change their lives.
  • I'm grateful that the missionaries let me go to lessons with them and they listen to my advice like I'm some kind of alumni or something! Score!
  • Fast food is a problem.
  • I miss studying for the sake of someone else's salvation.
  • I still do name tag checks.
  • I miss that dead beat tired feeling after a super long and successful day. 
  • Boys are kind of nice. I like them. However, expectations are higher. Which is also good.
  • I don't like flaky people. 
  • The scriptures are a pure written testimony that God lives and loves us.
  • I like the Holy Ghost. He is my friend. Yet sometimes, I don't want to follow his advice, but that just makes me sad. I learn to accept the will of God every day from the moment that I wake up.
  • Thank the heavens for daily repentance.
  • My love for shopping/ buying/ trying on clothes/fashion and wanting the newest and best thing is slowly coming back into the picture..kind of.. not really. But I realize that I have so much. One of the first things that I said to my mom when we got home was "Why the heck do we have so much stuff?!" (Culture Shock) There are people with so little. The joys of a simple life are really the best. I miss it. I try to maintain it. I love it. 
  • I miss snail mail. 
  • I am grateful for clean water and air conditioning.
  • Sushi. 
  • Nail polish
  • I have realized who my true friends are. I will keep them forever, the very few (yet numerous in my eyes) that remain.
  • I have faith in my future.
  • I will be an example forever.

I have learned a lot since being home. But something that I have loved applying in my life is to always, always, always follow the will of the Lord. The act of doing what God asks of me because I love him and because I know that he has a plan for me. I can feel right from wrong, it's so visible. Decisions aren't made because of what I want to do or what will make me happiest but they are made to please God. I know that might sound cliché but it's true. The feeling that one feels when they please God isn't even describable. Knowing that I followed the spirit, knowing that I made a good choice, knowing that I helped myself or another person, it's like being on cloud-9. I like that feeling. It's a good feeling. It's not worth losing. And if it's lost, I can tell that something is askew. 

I've learned that scripture reading is tough. It's tough to chose it over sleeping in a little longer or, going to see a movie or whatever worldly fantasies there are. I never say that I don't have time because that's just a straight up lie.. something I also put into practice as I taught some of the most busy people in Argentina. I always have to tell myself that I didn't make the time. I didn't keep my priorities straight. Whether it's one verse, a mormon message, a talk, there is always time. There is time for everything, it just depends on where my priorities are. It's like when I say I didn't have time to work out or I didn't have time to make healthy food or shoot I'm sorry I didn't have time to call you back.. not true... it just wasn't my desire. But I have also realized something even better

We can pray for anything and everything. If I want the desire to do something good, I can ask. I love giving thanks and asking through a direct communication with God. It's also hard. He's not just standing there so that I can see him physically... It takes a lot of faith. but I know I saw him once and will see him again. I'm usually wiped out at night, or I just stare at my Pinterest screen for too long until I literally don't have energy/ desire to say a prayer. (guilty) But, it has to be done. It's the best.

Being a Returned missionary is something that I hold dear to my heart. My name tag still sits where I can see it. I still see the broken bindings of my journals where I wrote my heart down on pages. I can see my Spanish scripture set sitting in their new etched leather cases. I can see my mission plaque with my favorite scripture written on it in Romans 8:28. I find an Argentine peso here and there on the ground. I am reminded daily of the beautiful people that I met and was blessed to help. I try to relive my experiences in my mind, although they seem like a dream, I know that they were a reality. I still rock my watch and shoe tan. I have everything else packed up. Just like a lot of my memories. They are hidden from the world but they will never escape the box in my brain that reads "The best 18 months" with a subtitle of "My Joy" It's not something that I freely share all the time. Not because I don't want to. Not because I don't know that it can help someone. But, because I feel like the only one that really understands my efforts, my memories, my struggles, my joys is myself and God. I think that maybe I've turned away a lot of opportunities where I could have talked about my mission but there seems to be a wall that was put up so that I won't ever say too much. If I can tell that the desire to listen is there or my experiences are needed, I'll poor out my heart. I want to walk the walk and not talk the talk. This whole month and a half has been a lot of talking, I can share countless stories but what I really want is to apply all that I learned to my simple life.

I hope to be able to share many of my experiences as a returned missionary and maybe I will start to feel inspired to share many stories of people that inspired me on my journey. I am excited to know that the journey didn't end though. I am being shaped every day through daily repentance, Christ's infinite love and grace, by trying to be a member missionary through the small and simple things and by serving others selflessly. It's simple. Yet my brain is still getting a hang of everything. I still feel like I just got back from the mission, yet I have made so much progress in these last 6 weeks as a person and have a better picture of who I want to become every single day. 

I will be a returned missionary for life, but, I don't want that to be a title on any LDS resume. I want to be a true follower of Christ. A disciple. A loyal daughter of God. A believer. I want it to illuminate through who I am. 

So here's to a returned missionary life. My mission doesn't define who I am but it has helped me better understand who I am, who everyone is, who I can become, how I can accomplish my goals and has shaped my understanding of the reasoning behind everything that I do on this earth. It has helped me understand the true definition of everlasting joy and how I can enjoy that for all of eternity with my Heavenly Father and my family. I know who I am, I know God's plan, I'll follow him in faith. 

From Phoenix to Buenos Aires, Argentina and back. August 2013- February 2015
Amo ser misionera.  Amo ser feliz. Me siento tan bendecida de haber tenido la experiencia de servir a mi Padre Celestial. Nuca lo olvidaré.


{ Lovest thou me more than these? } #71

February 18, 2015

My Dear Family and Friends,

It looks like this wonderful journey has come to an end. For the past 18 months I've represented my family, the church and my Savior Jesus Christ (As it says on the name tag) while inviting them to come unto Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Letting everyone know that the Church of Christ is on the earth and it's here to stay forever. Thanks to this truth, we can live with our families FOR ALL ETERNITY. 

It hasn't been the easiest thing... talking to tons of random people, inviting people to make changes in their lives, promising eternal happiness to many that are already happy and more than often being rejected. But, despite all this, my mission has been the most fulfilling, happiest, most sacred experience of my life. It's the hardest thing I've ever loved to do.  I'm going to miss it so much.

I'm going to miss my companions and all of the amazing missionaries I've met. Having one purpose in common brings us all together. I learned something special from each companion. There is a special place in my heart for all 11 of them. Each one from a different background but each one inspired by God to be my companion. So many memories, some bad, lots of great lessons, some bad, lots of laughs, some tears.... I will never forget them!

I will miss the food. At first it was all so strange but it's all so good now! Empanadas, milanesas, ice cream, homemade pastas, pepas, bagged milk, coripan, facturas.... the list goes on and on! Lunches with the members were priceless! We ate well!!  Back to some good old Mexican food and Homemade Mom’s cooking... I'm not complaining either!

I will miss this beautiful culture, language, accent and all, It's just... home.  These people are so easy to love. They trust you in an instant! They tell us their whole like in like 5 minutes and we're just like.... “Okay! Now that we completely know EVERYTHING about you, here’s how the gospel can help you!” Everyone is just so free and so expressive. I love it! The language... well I can't say I know it perfectly but I now think in Spanish and English is beginning to get a little weird.. .not that I ever really understood grammar too well haha but It's going to be interesting! 

I have loved teaching the Restored Gospel. It brings me so much JOY. I know that it is true and it really brings me so much happiness :) :)

I had exchanges with Hermana Evans from Idaho this week. We had a blast and found some great new investigators!! Lourdes won't be getting baptized this weekend but, after I leave…yes. It makes me happy to know that so many are coming unto Christ. This transfer has really been the best ever. Luis had a dream about getting baptized... and he now has a date in March. Miracles, miracles, miracles! THEY EXIST!!

When I first started the mission I had a lot of goals. But one that stuck the whole time was that I wanted to be converted. I wanted to be converted to be able to help others realize how they can do it too. I can truly say that I have put all of my effort into the Lord’s work and I have no regrets whatsoever! It's the best feeling. I have loved every moment of this work. Although I might not have accomplished everything I wanted to, I know that through this journey, the Lord has helped me become who my Heavenly Father wants me to be. I feel 100% different than when I first got to the mission. And, I love it :) My personality is the same but I now see things so differently. 

I have learned so much from the scriptures. They say that if you want to learn something... teach it. It's so true! I can't wait to dive deeper in my studies once I arrive home. 

I pondered one of the stories in the New Testament this week. Sunday Elder Avila, a General Authority from the 70 came to our ward! So great! He talked about being fishers of men. 

 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with 
 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
 15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.

I want to stay in this work together. I want to follow Christ forever. Although the apostles went back to their profession... back to what they were used to be doing, they followed Christ yet again.  I now understand the importance of this Gospel. I understand the truth and I not only believe, I know that it is true. 

Thanks to everyone for your support. I feel like every single emotion is going through my head right now but I am so excited to see what the future holds! I can't wait to see you all and catch up. My mission is something that will be in my heart forever. I may not be able to put many words to it because it is truly sacred. All I can say is that it has changed me. It has made me a better person. And through that, I have been able to help others do the same; change, with all my might, mind, heart and soul. 
I am so grateful for this amazing experience. It's been a blast!!! Like Ammon said in Alma 26, "I give thanks to my God forever." 

2 Timothy 4:7 

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
 I have kept the faith.”

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Barrett XOXO

Bowling with the Elders-Zone Activity
Yes...we bowl in dresses...
Familia Diaz
Cooling off in February

Friday and Saturday only! Luis and Sebastian are Sabbath Day keepers!
Protecting las cabezas!!
Loving my bike!!
We went running with Lourdes, our investigator.


{ Finish Strong } #70

February 9, 2015

Hi Everyone!
Thanks for all the encouragement to finish strong during these next couple of weeks! There is no doubt that I will be finishing strong. There is so much work to do here and so many miracles happening every day!

This week flew by! We had two exchanges. I was with Hermana Winfield from Wyoming in Claypole first.
She is just about to finish her training! It was fun being with her and teaching their investigators. I learned a lot from her patience and diligence... also her humility. She is so ready to take advice and learn new things. She made me pancakes in the morning and to add to it I ate an egg with hot sauce... bad idea... as we were heading back on the train to go to Alejandro Korn my stomach felt like it was going to explode! But what are ya gonna do?? haha. We had a great day together and were able to teach an investigator that in that moment received a testimony of the blessings of tithing! A member that we went with shared her testimony and he is now willing to keep the commandments :)

On Friday I was in San Vicente with Hermana Edquén...
She is so great! She's got about 5 months in the mission and she is such a loving person and ready to learn and teach. I was amazed at her ability to follow the spirit. At the end of the day she felt like we needed to knock at a door and we did it, the girl came out and let us teach her! We are seeing miracles every day! Another great exchange with Hermana Edquén!

This week I have been learning a lot about service. Doing it from the heart. Putting others first before everything. I am trying to put pride aside in every situation. It's hard but it is the answer to happiness! We need to always submit to the will of the Lord. :) 

The mission is like training for life! I have come to the end of the year and a half and I just feel like wait.... I still have so much to learn and do!! But, luckily, I've got all of my life to do it :) I feel at peace to know that I have done everything within my reach to do everything that I could in the mission. :) I love what I am doing! I will miss it so much but the future is always bright! I know that my duty to help others come unto Christ will continue on!  I have learned to anchor all of my faith in the Lord.  

"If you've ever seen the anchor on a large ship, you know how massive it  is and how sturdy and strong the metal links of the anchor chain are. But when compared to the total size of the weight of the entire ship, the anchor and its chain seem small indeed. Still, if properly placed on the bottom of the sea, a sturdy anchor can hold a giant ship fast, even in troubled waters."  -Our Search For Happiness

The gospel is and always will be the answer. I am glad that I have discovered it :)

Remember Luis and Sebastiana from last week? They shared with us that they completely stopped selling food on Sundays... and they plan on keeping it that way. Miracles :) The Gospel is blessing their lives.

Love you guys so much!
Talk to you soon!
Wednesday next week because it's a holiday here!

Hermana Barrett

A member let us borrow her waffle iron. The Zone was so excited because....
We had a Zone Waffle Party!!