{ 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.

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