Monday, December 29, 2014

This Is Where I'm Supposed To Be!

Ayyyy!! Its so good to hear from you all again!! Skyping was definitely hard and going into it I was really nervous that It was going to make me really home sick but it just confirmed to me that I am doing the right thing and that this is where I'm supposed to be. I'm so happy that I don't have to be home and deal with any drama and out here I only have to worry about doing one thing which is missionary work. It was so good to see everybody and to hear every ones voices. I am so grateful that I have a loving family that is supportive of me and wants me to succeed. I don't think I would be strong enough if I was doing this alone and had no one helping to push me through.

Christmas was....ehhh..... All the other missionaries were talking it up so much and I was expecting it to be heaps of fun but it definitely not Christmas to me, it just felt like a regular day. All the zones did skits and we had like a little talent show which was fun but it your aren't with your family than it doesn't feel right.  Singing in the choir Sunday was really good and everyone can hear my bass cause its sooooo deep hahaha I cant wait for you to hear me sing hymn 44 "Beautiful Zion" which is our mission song. 

The day after Christmas here is called "Boxing Day" which is where everything is on sale and everyone goes out shopping, kind of like black Friday. We had a Multi-Zone conference and President and the assistants were able to train us on how to better introduce the book of Mormon. New Years is now coming up and no we are not allowed to stay out until midnight and watch the fireworks, we have to be in the flat by4pm and stay there the rest of the day cause people get a little cray cray and all the drunks are out. Honestly Im so excited because its the one time we can be in the flat and not go out and they told us to try and do something productive like clean the flat but our flat is clean so Im goin to bed EARLY!! HAHA  Also, I found out I can watch vidoes that you send me so if you took any at Christmas send them to me!!!!

Transfers are tomorrow and we were supposed to find out transfer info this morning but we had some problems with the phone so I still don't know if Im getting transferred and Elder Tau knows who is leaving and wont tell us..... so I guess you will have to wait till next week to see if I am staying here or if I leave!!

My Christmas package was amazing but I am mad that you sent that much!! 80 freakin bucks just to send that is just dumb although I absolutely loved getting it!! Haha the ties are awesome and if you ever wanna send me something, ties are the best thing to get, along with tie clips. I recorded myself opening it and I cried when I opened the picture you sent and also when I saw Sam's little basketball. The letters were so sweet and made me smile all night long. You said something about a chocolate Santa? I never saw one in there but I reckon it would've been fine.

Allie and Paytons gift is so sick!! Drew looks like he is having heaps of fun as well with those bubble things!! Where there any big presents or just little ones? Obviously the best gift for me was seeing all of you and I hope that was your favourite thing as well haha I was just thinking about how many posts on instagram and twitter Sam had made about me since I've been gone. 

Love ya heaps guys and I will talk to you.....next year? lolololol   
--
-Elder Barnett

Then he typed (I just found out I am getting transferred! I leave tomorrow and I haven't haven't packed one thing!! I!) but we didn't get any more info!!!!  ARGH!~!!!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lead, Teach, INVITE

Hey hey!!! How ya goin family?!

Man it was so good to hear from you and to know what is goin on at home. I hope Dad is feeling better!! Also tell Drew to knock that kid out;) Just kidding fighting gets you no where!! Learn to love and just shake it off! I cannot wait to talk to yous on Skype and be able to have a normal conversation!! I always get so flustered when I email cause I have so much that Im thinking about!! 

Anyway I know you are wanting to hear about my week and it has been  pretty full on. So the biggest thing that happened this week actually just ended. We had MPC which is where young men and young women go on a "mini mission" for 2 days with us full time missionaries to experience what missionary life is like. They prepare kids so well here for their missions and they know exactly what a mission is and what they will be doing and so when they get to the MTC they can hit the ground running and not have any problems.

 I feel like that is the biggest problem we have in Utah cause we seriously do little and almost NO missionary work as members. I know its partly because everyone we know is probably members and if they aren't they already know about the church so whats the point of talking and inviting people to church. My commitment that I am going to leave for the family is to invite one of each of your friends to come to church with you. It doesn't have to be someone that isn't a member, it can be someone that is less-active but I promise you if you really open your eyes and get more in tune with the spirit you will be able to recognize those who are struggling at this very moment and need someone to be their friend. The biggest thing I have learned on my mission is that we are called to INVITE others to come unto Christ. Now we may think we are failures as full time missionaries or member missionaries if we don't get someone to church or have some crazy miracle that happens but we aren't called to change someone's agency. We are just messengers and all we can do is extend a hand or an invitation and then its up to them whether or not the accept or not.

Ok so moving on from my little motivational speech... MPC was great and it was the first time I truly was the leader in the companionship. I did everything....from following up with commitments to sharing the lesson, then bearing my testimony, promising blessings, and then leaving another commitment. I really had to stretch myself and I saw how much I really do know. I always beat myself up about not knowing enough and not being a good enough teacher but over this weekend being with a 16 year old kid that barely said a word I realized that I am capable of leading and teaching. It was a humbling experience to know that I could be the person that impacts this young boys life and helps him make the decision to serve a mission.

Church was great and we had some good testimonies. The Wirihana-hawea family came for the 3rd week in a row!! Ahhhh those little girls just melt my heart. Also Pryce came who is the 15 year old in the picture I sent and she hasn't been to church in ages so we were able to rescue her.

All in all it has been a really eye opening week and I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be here serving the Lord. I cant think of anything else in the world that will teach you as much as a mission does in just that short amount of time....its unreal!!

Love ya heaps guys!!
-Elder Barnett


-PO Box 97 Marden, SA 5070 Australia


Elder Barnett with the Wirihana-Hawea family girls - little Huni (Honey) loves Nate!


Photo taken this morning 12-8-14 of the Elders off to the Library in Semaphore to email home!


Elder Barnett with Pryce - The girl's Auntie and sister to Cherise Wirihana-hawea - last weeks photos

Monday, December 1, 2014

Yams, Heavenly Potatoes, and Baptisms

Man another week down and it is already December!! Only a few more weeks until Christmas and I get to see all of you!! Ahhh Im so exited!! 

This week has been really good, even though I didn't have thanksgiving dinner... but even though I didn't get to have turkey I did get to have a baptism!! Daniel was baptized on Saturday and was confirmed yesterday at church by Brother Touli. It was a really good experience and Daniel said he was really able to feel the spirit. I was asked by him to give a talk at the baptism and yes it is still just as scary as ever even though Im a missionary. Actually its even more nerve racking now because people are expecting you to be a good speaker and to blow their mind with your testimony haha

The talk went alright and then Elder Tau baptized him and he had to do it twice cause his leg came up the first time....lol... Also the Wirihana-hawea family came to church yesterday as well!! They stayed for the whole time and the kids said that they loved it. We have continued teaching Haare and he is progressing really well and we had a lesson with him the other night and he prayed for the first time in front of us!! Man it was the best prayer I have ever heard and it was so sincere. He prayed for his family and for him to be able to receive the answers that he is looking for and then he went on to say how grateful he was for his family and all the blessings that he has. The lesson we had with him was on the Plan of Salvation and it went really well and he understood everything and didn't really have any questions, he said he was just "soaking everything up." Then at the end of the lesson we asked why he was wanting to learn more and what was his goal that he wants to work towards and he actually started bearing us his testimony without even realizing it and then said that he wants to be baptized once he has had all of the lessons!! I cant believe how far he has come and he has been such a good example for his family and has actually been they key to getting them all re-activated in the church!!
I hope everyone had an amazing thanksgiving!! I was thinking about mums heavenly potatoes and those yams... mmmm I want it right now!! Lucky enough last night we got to go to the Touli's and have dinner there and every Sunday night is pretty much Thanksgiving haha heaps of family and a massive feed.

Well Im gonna try and send you some more pictures really quick while I email president!

Love ya heaps!!

--

-Elder Barnett



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Semaphore, South Australia for Christmas!!!

(Forgot to Post this last week)

November 16, 2014


I am staying in Semaphore for Christmas!!

 Just got transfer information this morning and I cant believe that this transfer will be my 6 month mark... like what just happened? You will all get to skype me in my first area that I was born in!! Elder Tau will be staying with me as well and things have been going good. I just think that on Christmas Day he is gonna be really cross with me cause he will probably only skype his family for 45 min and I will be talking to you guys for ages!! Hopefully we can go to the Touli's for Christmas so you can meet all of them!
Oh my gosh I forgot to wish you a happy birthday mom!! I forgot that I wouldnt be able to email you!! How was it?! What did you do? How is all the family goin and what is the latest with life?

 Our investigator Daniel is set to be baptised on December 6th and he is really exited to do it! He came to church yesterday and we were able to take him on a chapel tour and show him the font and take him up on the stage and show him the pulpit and everything. Elder Tau took him down into the baptismal font and the second he stepped into it he said, "wow I can just feel that this is a holy place" CRAZY AY?!

 I had a gut feeling yesterday that I was going to get transferred so we went and saw the Touli's and the Chau's which are the 2 families in the ward that are pretty much my family here. I was so sad yesterday because I was so convinced that I was gone. Everyone in the ward was coming up to me and saying how much they loved and appreciated me and wishing me luck for the rest of my mission...its gonna be funny rocking up to church next week and seeing their faces haha

Hahaha no thanksgiving here!! What day even is it? (that just shows how American I am) 

Also in answer to your question, we ask the person who they would like to baptise them and usually we try and have someone in the ward do it to kind of fellowship them in because missionaries come and go but if they have the person that baptised them in the ward that just gives them more incentive to go every week!

Anything for Christmas sounds amazing!  We get the lollies here, theyre so good!  And New Zealand chocolate is the absolute BEST!!!

Leaving in 10 mins.  Sorry for the quick update!

Love

Elder Barnett

"I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!"

Man this has been the best week by far and it was all because of the things that happened yesterday at church. I have had the biggest smile on my face all day today and yesterday and then just about 40 minutes ago we went out to the car and saw the door was open..... My heart sank and I knew someone had broken into it. I got in and saw that the glove box was wide open and that papers were thrown on the ground.... then I looked for the 2 pairs of glasses that I had in the car, one of them being my Oakley's.... both of them are gone. That is the worst feeling just knowing that someone was in my car and took the things that belong to me. Frustrated with Elder Tau cause he is the one who went out to the car last night to get something and didn't close the door and that's how they got in. Ugh... anyway I will try and get on a positive note.

So the biggest surprise happened yesterday. We have coordination at 8:00am which is where we talk with the ward missionaries about how the work is going and how they and the ward can help us progress. After we went to the foyer and I saw Bishop run up to me. This isn't the Bishop of the ward, its a little boy that is 9 years old and he is part of the Wirihana-Hawea family which is the Mouri family from New Zealand that I have come to love so much. I never thought I would see the day when they came back to church. Also the oldest daughter, Cerise (21), has a partner named Haare (Ha-Day, 19) and together they have a 3 year old daughter named Huni (honey). Haare isn't a member of the church and is covered from head to toes in tattoos and he rocked up to church! He is now a new investigator and wants to learn more about the church!! He said that's something he wants for Cerise and for Huni. We had a lesson with them last night and I couldn't stop smiling. This is what Elder Duffus and I were waiting for!! I got a picture with all of them at church and I will send it to you.

Also Daniel our other investigator came to church and this is his 3rd time attending which means he is eligible for baptism! We had his date scheduled for December 6th but we felt prompted to ask him if he would like the date moved a week earlier and he said that he felt like he should be baptized earlier as well!! He is now going to be baptized on the 29th which is this next week!! We are now trying to figure out the whole program and get everything organized for him. He is so exited and has been keeping every commitment we have given him and he is already up to Jacob in the Book of Mormon and we have only been teaching him for about 2 and a half weeks!! We are having a lesson with him tonight at the Touli's house and they invited us all over for family home evening. We will take some pics on Sonja's phone and upload them to facebook so you can see all of us!!

George isn't really progressing at the moment and we dropped his baptism date cause he got a bit crook. He has started feeling better and we met with him the other day and scheduled an appointment for this Wednesday. Hopefully we can get him back on another date.

What an amazing week full of miracles. I cant believe some of the things that have happened and I am so grateful that I got to be a part of these peoples lives and to watch them change and become happier people right in front of my eyes. In all honesty you can start to see someone just glow with happiness because they have started to change their lives for the better.

I love being a missionary!!  

--

-Elder Barnett

    Elder Barnett and Elder Tao-  With the Awesome Touli Family!  Their son, Kirwan (next to Nate)       just received his Call to Auckland New Zealand speaking Samoan!!!!!! 


     Elder Barnett with the surprise of his life, one of his favorite families came to Church.
     Haare (Hah Day) and Cherise and little  Huni "Honey"
   
    Elder Barnett - Oh, so Nate!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Be Happy, Work Hard.

Nov 2, 2014

Hello Barnett's!! Man 4 months down and 20 to go!! Can't believe it! I feel like I have been out for ages but in reality I am still brand new! 

This week has been so good and I looked back in my journal last night and realized that every single day I have wrote that I have been happy and have loved my mission! Things have been going so well and that's what I really needed to happen. 

This week I have been focusing on being happy and finding joy in everyday missionary routine which is really difficult because missionary work is HARD and honestly its difficult to just stay awake during the day, let alone be happy. Also I have been striving on working with my confidence and trying not to dwell on the things that I cant do perfectly and focusing on the things that I can do well. I have been able to see myself improve significantly over this past week simply due to the fact that I'm not doubting myself and my skills and because of that I am able to speak with more power and conviction and also able to bear a stronger testimony because I'm not judging myself the whole time I am speaking.

This week were able to find an amazing potential investigator named Anna and she is a born again Christian and we just started chatting to her on the street while she was about to walk across the road to her sisters to have tea (tea means dinner here) anyway we asked her about her beliefs and how she came about believing in God and why she gave her life to Christ and then just told her that as missionaries we go around and help people strengthen their faith in Christ and that we are able to provide more knowledge to her. We told her that we wanted to come back some other time and have a chat with her and talk more about our church and she said that would be great! She is going on holiday for the next 2 weeks so if I don't get transferred I may be able to get her as a new investigator!

Also really good news! We were teaching the Wirihana-Hawea family last night and we were talking to Haare (ha-day) who is pretty much the man of the house because the dad split. He is 19 and is dating Cerise and they have a 3 year old daughter named huni (honey). Haare isn't even really part of the family but he still acts as the dad haha but we were talking to him and going over the restoration and he was really interested to learn more. He doesn't really know anything about the church and was baptised as a Christian but stopped going to church because he was being forced by his Auntie but the whole family committed to come to church next week!!  

Halloween is pretty much dead here and I only saw like 15 people trick or treating and that was really weird and it is just so freakin hot. It stays about 100 degrees constantly here during the summer...

Also this week we were walking around and street contacting and we met this guy named Travis watering his lawn, he wasn't really interested in religion but as we were walking away from his house I saw in his driveway that he had a Yamaha R1 and I freaked out and ran back up to him and started talking to him about it and he ran and grabbed the keys and brought it out for me and started it up and let me sit on it and get pictures!! Man that was the highlight for my day!! I will send you some pics of Elder Tau and I and also pics of the bike!!  
Hahaha I thought I was tired before my mission.... You dont realize how good you had it until you leave it haha!

Oh mom,btw, I am in the Choir for the Christmas program we are doing here and our first practice is today!!

Ahh I love Sister Touli!! You need to do one other thing to my facebook and make it so that anyone can friend me and that you dont need to confirm who is my friend. After emailing I think Im gonna go get some KFC or Hungry Jacks. KFC is SO big here and it is way different then KFC back home cause its way modern and nice here and you get chicken burgers and chips and a drink. It reminds me of chick fil a but way better:p I miss cheap food!! Let me give you an example.... A 30 pack of coke here is 25 bucks....for 2 litres of coke its 4.50. Plus the coke tastes different here and its not as good. Fanta is massive here and there is another drink called Solo which is sparkling lemonade and I love it!!

Anyways I gotta go but give everyone a hug for me!!
Love you so much!
Elder Barnett


Sunday, October 26, 2014

My First New Comp and my First Baptism!

Oct 26 2014

Hahaha how is everyone doing?! Yes I did baptize that boy Ethan this Saturday and he was confirmed yesterday at church! Such an awesome experience! Yes yes I definitely wrote about it  and I have pictures too so dont worry;)The baptism was really good and I felt pretty overwhelmed and nervous but Ethan was already nervous enough so I had to act calm and relaxed and everything went really smoothly! There were no hiccups and I felt really at peace afterwords. It was special because he reminds me so much of Andrew so it was almost like I was baptizing Drew. It just made me realize how important it is to not take time for granted and to be the best brother I can be:) 

Also we met with George yesterday and he is now on baptism date for the 6th of December! Also we were going through our ward list to follow up with who is in our area and who is less active and we came across a David Barrett who is a less active man that hasn't been to church since the 90's and the only reason he stopped going is because he lost his eye sight and couldnt make it to church! Some people in the ward said they were gonna pick him up and take him so for 3 weeks he got dressed up every Sunday but they never came!:( So as sad as that is- we are going to be able to get him back to church this week! 

(I am still trying to read all of the emails that you sent me!:p That Nissan Skyline looks unreal!! Alright so now you have to buy me a white Ducati and then have someone do that for the paint job;) 

 Man all those pictures look so awesome and Drew looks like he is really growing!! I have taken those pictures that you sent to me and showed them to everyone here and they keep saying how Drew looks like me! I cant wait to skype you on Christmas!! Ive never been so excited for Christmas in all my life! Its amazing to really know how important family is, not only to me but to everyone in the world. Even if people dont have a family they have really close friends that they consider family and that is always a great way to start sharing the gospel with them and telling them that because God loves us he has given us families to help strengthen each other and be able return to live with him again.

When you sent me the pic of Sam when she stepped on the plastic thing I can just imagine in my mind what that sounded like and how she reacted;) hahaha btw I got the letters written and will be sending them off hopefully today! Church was really good and is always the highlight of the week because I can sit back and re-fuel with the spirit for the upcoming week.  

I know its crazy ay?! I cant wait to see how tall he is! Btw we arent supposed to talk to other elders in our area but elder duffus shot me a message and said he missed me and the families we were teaching and also sent me a picture of a bike he saw that he was in love with:p He is getting a bike right when he gets home and I dont think his mum was very happy that I made him fall for bikes haha!  But
Elder Tau is doing good and is trying to help me learn and grow as much as possible. I feel like I have really grown with my teaching skills and my understanding of preach my gospel. He understands that I have been having a hard time and is doing everything he can to help. Ya Duff knows Tau and he knows that he is strict as and that I was gonna have a difficult time adjusting to him and of course Duffus got put with a super chill Elder that he already knew and had served around but I feel like I have really spiritually grown with Elder Tau so as difficult as it has been I think it has been worth it.  President Carter has really been taking care of me and watching out for me and Im so grateful to have him as my mission president. He is such an amazing and inspired man and he actually said that missionaries arent called to their mission, they are called to their mission president and I think I am starting to believe that the more I get to know him.

 How has the week been over there?! It is getting hot as over here! Im gonna die in the summer.... It hit 37 or 38 this last week which is 100 degrees at home and that was just a taste of how hot its gonna be on average every day in the summer. They said last year they had a heat wave come in from Northern Australia and for 2 weeks it was in the mid 40's..... thats like 115-120ish every day and at night when you would try and sleep it would only cool off to about 90... 

I have no clue what will happen with transfers but December 6th is next transfer so I dont know if I will still be here. I am still trying to think of the best way to send my photos home and I think that I am going to use up my whole sd card and then send the card home and have you guys download and save all the pictures on the home computer. I bought a usb here but it takes to long to download all the pics and it doesnt hold that many. I was thinking about buying a hard drive and backing up all the photos on there before I send the card home but a hard drive is expensive!!

Alright we are leaving! I love you all so much and you will get my letters soon!! Please write me some letters!! :p

Love  your son,
Elder Barnett



       Elder Barnett w new companion Elder Tao from French Polynesia



                      Elder Barnett's first Baptism - Ethan!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Growth - Spiritually AND Physically

Hey family!!

Wow its so good not to have crazy long emails because now I can actually read and respond to them and I can write longer emails!! lol

This week for me has been the exact same as you guys, just same old same old. We dont really have too many investigators making really good progress except for 2. Ones name is Ethan and he is 10 years old. He is the absolute craziest kid Ive ever met and it really makes you think hard about effective ways to teach someone that is like Andrew on 200mg of vyvance and then throw him a couple red bulls!! hahaha He is on baptism date for October 25th so hopefully I will still be here because next transfer I can drive! (SCARY)! Transfers are in 3 weeks and I'm really sad because there is a 99% chance I wont be with Elder Duffus and that's gonna be extremely hard. I really want to stay in this area for this next transfer and lead it because I think I need some more responsibility to keep me on my toes. I feel like I have been slacking a bit, but I have been trying my hardest to keep studying the BOM and to really learn and apply the principles in that book. Over this last week I have really been thinking a lot about why I'm out here and what I actually believe. I know my testimony has grown on almost every subject in the gospel, but still when I look inwards and look at who I am and ask myself what I believe that's when I realize how small and simple my testimony is. The only way to grow your testimony is by bearing it so that's a personal goal I'm going to set for this week while we are teaching.

In all honesty there isn't too much going on so its hard to give you details when there aren' many. The families that we love to death are either less active or members and the less active families don't really want to go to church but they love having the missionaries over. Umm its starting to warm up here and its really weird that its getting close to Christmas time and its not cold! I think I would like a warm Christmas if I could go to the beach and swim but that's not gonna happen;P But man its so weird how much I miss Utah! I bagged on it so much when I was there and now I realize how amazing and BEAUTIFUL it truly is! I miss the mountains and the canyons and all of the friendly people! Aussies are hard people.... except for King Duffus!~
  
Oh please ask dad to send me the recipe for the cinnamon tooth picks, Elder Duffus and I want to make them and then can you ask him which airport is better in Texas, the Austin or the Dallas and if the drive from Dallas to Austin is nice. Sister Touli (aka my aussie mum) is planning a flight and wants to know and I thought dad had been there heaps when we lived there

please shoot me any questions you have cause Im gonna try and write John Cloward and then tell Sammy I am writing her a hand written letter so she has to wait for it:) 

(Oh will you take a pic of the basement and one of the room downstairs cause that's where Elder Duffus wants to stay;) you dont have to send it right now.)

Also the weight I put on is muscle and I have put on around 15ish I think! I'm eating heaps of rice and pasta!! LOL and honestly I cant see a massive difference but maybe you can? Tell me if you do see any! I will send you a pic and hopefully you can see a difference. And YES, you will get the pics right now!! You might want a tissue for any tears momma;) ;) hahahaha- your boy loves you to death!~

Drew - there are Nissan skylines everywhere and Toyota Supras!! You would die at all the sick cars here! hahahahaha Drew- love the pics!  what a stud!! Elder Duffus says he looks skux (aussie word for swag) hahah he wants to meet you! Aight big brother has gotta go!! Love ya heaps!!



This is Brother Singh the Indian fella that we baptized!


Elder Duff-us and Elder Barnett
The Best 2 years FOR our lives
Called to Serve



Elder Barnett puttin on the lbs!
One of his missionary goals :) 

With his Aussie "family" 






Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Short and Sweet and 10 lbs on Elder B!


Nate's email this week was short and sweet with the attached pictures.  Lots of personal stuff, so I'll translate instead of post the whole thing:

He's got very limited time at the library to read and send emails, and apparently sending photos takes a long time!  They actually make them log in and use the computer for exactly an hour at a time, so when his time is up, and there isn't another computer available, that's it!  :(  He and Elder Duff-Us are doing great, he's so grateful for another stint with him as Companion until the next transfer date.  Nate is kind of hitting a little spot of Homesickness and missing the family alot. (I'm told that it's to be expected around that 2 month mark?) He's resolved to get back to basics in studying the stories in the Book of Mormon and learning the Parables more thoroughly in the Bible.  He said he's going to start singing the old primary songs of his youth!!  He was kind of bummed because the gentleman named George that he spoke about before, that he committed to baptism, was called away to help his brother who was in a very serious car accident (hit from behind by a semi truck). Nate is trying to figure out a way to get in touch with him, but he fears it won't be until after the next transfer when he may change areas.  At least a seed was planted?

The weather is perfect right now, reaching the low 70s during the day. Great photo of him out tracting with "a friend".  And as the momma, I was so glad to stalk the cleanliness of their room in the bottom photo - leave it to Nate to have things organized and at right angles.  Yep, that's Elder Barnett to a T.  Leaving his "mark" on the Flat.

He sends his love to all.  His email is nathan.barnett@myldsmail.net if you want to give him a shout. He sure could use the love and support- even if he's not able to respond personally - it means so much to him when his email is full.

PS, he says he's gained 10 lbs!!!!! :)






Sunday, August 24, 2014

For the Love of Motorbikes!!!

Hey so you havent sent the package yet? You dont need to send the backpack or really anything anymore. I thought a backpack would be expensive but I got one for 25 bucks so no big deal:)

Oh and Elder Duffus's mum tried sending you an email to the address that you sent her and it didnt work? So I will just give you this one that is hers so you can email back and forth, it is sjduffus1@tpg.com.au

Ok this week has been great and I finally feel like I am connecting with investigators and not just sitting there like a zombie and making Elder Duffus do all the work. Today is the end of the FIRST TRANSFER!! Can you believe it?! I was hoping and praying that I would stay in my same area with Elder Duffus because we work so well together and we are becoming really good friends and I got my wish! We are staying in the same area together for this next transfer and he might become zone leader, we will find out more tomorrow:) Im so mad that he goes home so much earlier than me because he is someone I would want to come back here and visit with and he really wants to come and stay in Utah with us and buy a motorcycle with me:p

 I cant believe how happy I actually am, without having all the comforts of home. Even though this is by far the hardest thing Ive ever done, it has been so rewarding and so much fun! Being able to meet these families and grow so close with them and develop such a strong love for them is absolutely incredible. I wish you all of you were here so I could have you meet these people that I consider my Aussie family:)

Oh also I was on trade off with my zone leader and I was leading my area without Elder Duffus! I was with Elder Flintoft and we went to go teach George, who is 61 and wants to join a religion but he wants to make sure it is the right one before he joins. He has researched heaps of different religions and thinks that ours makes the most sense.

I believe George is one of the people I was called to this area to teach because, of course, he has a love for motorbikes! I am able to relate everything to bikes and it helps him understand and he gets really involved with the lessons. Anyways we were teaching him and the spirit kept prompting me to invite him to baptism, but I was scared and tried to just keep teaching and then I felt it again. I stopped talking and just waited for a little and then asked him. He looked right into my eyes and smiled and said YES! I didnt know what to say! So I just jumped up and hugged him hahaha It was such a humbling experience to know that I was able to be that tool that Heavenly Father needed to bring his son back to him.



 **** Hey Daddy! I will see If I can get another computer but I think we will be leaving to go do shopping and play some sport. I miss you so much and hope you are having fun in Cali! Its amazing that so much of Australia reminds me of Cali cause of the big palm trees. If I dont get to respond to your email that you're writing,  just know I love you and I hope you know how happy I am and I know that serving this mission was the best decision I have ever made. Im so happy I am able to have a father that is a great example to me:)

 Love your son

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Its All About the Details and Pics!

WOW this has been an amazing week and it is so crazy how fast the days go by here!! Ok really quick to answer some of the questions you have that I havent answered haha... Ok yes we do have a car and I will be driving after my training is finished which is 2 transfers and I cant believe my first transfer is almost over!!! The sausages are just beef sausages that you can get at any supermarket and they come in a big pack and they are only like 7 bucks:) ummm I will be sending heaps of pictures and I took a picture of Elder Duffus and I in the car on the way over to the library so now you will know what I look like today  :p

About the emailing back and forth, it is completely fine and yes all the other missionaries from the states do the same thing. BTW my district leaders name is Elder Christensen and he is neighbors to Sams Peyton and knows everyone including Jim and Issac Beckett! 

About the package that I need. The Burton backpack is totally fine and I cant think of anything else I really need. The sweater would be nice but it really doesnt matter all that much. My cologne here is almost out so I just was wondering if you could send that cause the prices here are nuts... I can buy stamps here and I will do that today when we go shopping. I wish there was another way for me to get pictures to you because its so hard  trying to send them over the internet because I can only send 2 at a time and they take ages to send!

I am going to buy a little USB port and download all of my pics on there so my camera doesnt get backed up with pictures but I know my SD card can hold heaps of photos.


Im going to read through your email again and see if I missed any other questions lol- feel free to ask me anymore that you have!! Ya I can look at my past emails but I dont have time!! I barely have enough time to read the emails I get this week! I had 17 today!

Hhahaha ok a normal day consists of getting up at 6:30 and then working out for 30 min, then getting ready from 7 till 8 and then personal study from 8 till 9 and then comp study from 9 to 10 then extra hour of study since im new from 10 till 11 and then lunch from 11 till 12 then we have appointments with recent converts or less active members throughout the day and then mix in some finding here and there and then dinner at 6 to 7 and then more appointments and then be home by 9 and plan for the next day and get ready for bed and write in your journal and do whatever till 10:30.

Yes I went on trade off with Elder Christensen and it was eye opening to see how diligent he was with finding and talking to everyone we rode past. we were on bikes that day and we would stop and talk to people at the bus or wherever. Its really freaky and i dont like it at all but the only way to get better is by throwing yourself in those uncomfortable situations and sometimes failing and then realizing what to do better next time.

Yes we had a baptism for Brother Singh on the 10th! A member in the ward that he became friends with baptised him but is was still a great experience. He is so converted and its incredible to see someone change their entire way of living and go against not only their existing faith but also their family! His father in law was very against him joining the church but he said there is only one person that he needs to please and that is Heavenly Father!! What a STUD!

Best story... um not really anything too crazy but the picture I sent you last week of Elder Duffus and I with that big family, they are the Tueli family and completely remind me of our family. I love them to death and they are some of the kindest and most humble people ive ever seen. Plus their son Kerwin is the really buff Samoan kid in the front and he is probably the best looking guy Ive ever seen. Girls just drop for him not because of his looks but because of his humility and willingness to serve others and always be a friend. The mom totally reminds me of you and is the nicest lady ever! I have to go grab another computer cause my times up so It might take a few minutes and then I will send you all of the pictures I can!

Gotta go mum! We got some shopping to do and then we are gonna go play sport and kick the footy around! Love you and I hope those photos satisfy your for this week;) haha

 STAY STRONG!

Love your son

                                       












Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lava Lava! Check it off the Bucket List

So this weeks email is really choppy.  We heard the sound of Nate's email coming in and it was the following 2 lines:  
Nate:  Hey Mom are you on the computer?!! You said its like 8 or 9 at night on Sunday so hopefully you see this while im writing the long email!!
Me:  Yes, we are ALL HERE reading this from you!!! 
Nate: oh my gosh!!! I have the biggest smile on my face! im in the middle of the email im writing and it says new emails!!Cmon guys type faster!! hahahaha im dying over here!!

So with Allie and Payton over for Sunday dinner, we all got on our phones and the computer and bombarded him with emails!!!  He actually got to write immediate responses back and forth a little bit as if texting!  What an incredible feeling knowing that he is sitting in a library in Adelaide Australia at noon on MONDAY morning, typing back and forth to us in Utah at 8:00 Sunday night!  Technology is insane!  We've gotta get the kinks worked out with his ability to send pictures...but for now, the following will have to do.  All I know that for me and the family tonight,  it's been so awesome knowing that he was just a few keystrokes away!!!
Ok so this has been an incredible week here and I have never been more happy in my life! Its funny how I can be happy doing something I dont really like (tracting) and sharing something I know almost nothing about, plus not having the luxuries of home and I am still so happy!!! These emails from you and dad are incredible.... I cant believe what is happening at home... Ok so I will try to email everyone back but i mostly focus on just emailing you everything and then you just telling people or updating the blog. Its so hard cause I only have a limited time and for half of the time im in the library im reading the long emails! lol but the whole thing with dads hand is crazy and all of the Elders are scared of him just from hearing that story hahaha but I hope he is doing well and Im happy he doesnt have to have a cast! Im glad I wasnt there to see him get that angry because that really doesnt happen anymore.

(We kept sending him email after email that he was responding to, so he said, Ok so this is what I have so far that I was typing!! hahahaha ahhhh im not even going to be able to type fast enough!!!!)

Sam the MTC is a hard place with an insane schedule. It is full of people that know more than you and it seems like everyone knows more than you. It was so hard for me to stay postitve while I was there because I always felt inadaquite...don't know how to spell that word... but i knew that what I was doing was right and that as long as I was trying my hardest that the Lord would make up for my short comings. After getting out to the mission field I realized how different it is from the MTC. The hard thing about the MTC is the schedule and the insane amount of info they want you to memorize. In the field you get discouraged and depressed much quicker because no one wants to hear what you have prepared and studied to share. You realize how much you need to rely on the Lord and this gospel.

 Luckily I haven't had anyone that has been extremely rude to me or cussed me out. But every single door you meet such great people and see how much the gospel could help them with their struggles and addictions or help them come closer to their family but they want nothing to do with any church and they are content living their life in darkness. Most people will act very weird when you start talking to them because its not normal for someone on a bike to stop and talk with you if you are sitting at a bus stop. Then when you bring up church it gets even weirder... I absolutely hate it and hate talking to people about the church but I love just talking and getting to know people. Once I break down their defense a little and they start talking to me I know that the second I bring up church they are going to rebuke me and want nothing to do with me. They act like I have a disease they could catch and will do everything to get away from me. It doesnt really get easier but when you meet that one person who actually wants to speak with you it makes up for everything.  
SAMMY im doing soooo good!! I miss you like crazy and I have a shrine that i made in the Flat of your picture with a bowl of coffee beans and candles in it!!!! I will send you a picture! Hold on let me grab the camera! I sent Drew his own email tell him to check it!

Ok the cord to upload pics isnt working but Elder Empey has a SD card reader that i can borrow when he is done sending his pics

Im at the library right by the huge-as mall but today we are going to go downtown and walk around with the whole district!! I cant wait to get some pictures and some food!! Ok everyone is waiting on me so we can go..... It takes so long to send pictures I hate it!! Im sorry I cant send more but I love all of you and I will start writing real letters so I can send them whenever.

Love you!!


Elder B, Rockin the Lava Lava! (check that off his bucket list!)


Elder Barnett with Companion Elder Duffus ("Duff Us" :)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

HE'S ALIVE AND WELL

7/31/14

IM ALIVE!!!!!  Wow it has been an absolutely crazy week, I cant believe I have been gone for almost a month now!! So the plane ride wasn't as bad as I thought It was going to be, but I was still able to only sleep for a few hours. Luckily I sat next to my companion on the plane and I also got an isle seat, but I still wasn't able to stretch my legs cause there were always people running up and down it.

When I finally landed in Australia It was raining slightly but still was an absolutely gorgeous place. I got to the mission home and got all of the boring paper work out of the way and then we went to the church, where all of the new missionaries and their trainers were. I sat next to Elder Duffus at dinner and was hoping that he was going to be my trainer because we connected so well....and sure enough he was my companion!! He is the greatest guy and we have an absolute blast together!!

Yes driving on the wrong side of the road is weird but I'm now getting used to it but most of this last week I have felt sick/dizzy due to jet-lag and having everything switched around on me. The food here is great and is a little bit like America but they have heaps of different names for all the candy and sodas. THE BEST FOOD is Australian sausage's they
are cheap and they taste nothing like the sausages back home. I don't know how to explain them but they are about the size of a hot dog and they are unbelievable! (oh and they are cheap)
The only thing that sucks about Australia that I very quickly learned is that everything here is soooo expensive!! So I pretty much live off pasta, sausage's, spam, eggs, noodles, and toast. As bad as that sounds it is really good hahaha.

Ok so getting to the missionary side of things, all of the members and investigators are such amazing and sweet people. Everyone loves you and wants to shake your hand, which is really weird at first since you kind of just want to stay in a corner and watch and listen to everyone. The ONLY thing that I really hate is tracting/finding new investigators. Aussie's are extremely stubborn and are completely content with their lives and the way they are living. Most of them are either Atheist, some form of Christian, or nothing at all and don't want any part of religion in their life. Luckily the investigators we have and the sweet members that love us to death make up for that.

I have never seen such a diverse culture and I absolutely love it!! There is every race you can think of here but the most common are Samoans, Tongan's, and Maori ( Kiwi's/New Zealanders ) How the islanders live and how they treat their families is eye opening. They are so loving and have an incredible amount of love for anyone that shows them respect, especially missionaries. They give us massive feeds and are always wanting to give us anything we need . Even is a family is incredibly poor and have barely any food left, they will take all of that food and serve it to us. It is heartbreaking to watch a family scramble to feed you everything they have, yet you cant tell them no because that is rude and offensive to them because you are acting like you are above them and don't want what they have to offer. It is something I think all humans should adopt , to aalways be seeking to give anything and everything they have to help someone else.

I know I wont be able to answer all of your questions because I only have an hour to email but I will be able to email again on Monday. Also we have a 10 year old boy that we will be baptising in September and a man from India that we will be baptising on August 10th.

I love you all and love reading all of your emails. You're all in my prayers and I am always thinking about you.

Sincerely your Brother, Friend, and Son
-Elder Barnett

Mission President Letter


UPDATE:   It has been a long couple of weeks waiting for Elder Barnett to get on the plane to Australia!   His departure date from the MTC in Provo was originally set for July 14th, but after a long Planes, Trains and  Automobiles kind of a day, all 7 Missionaries had to return from the SLC airport for another WEEK in the MTC.  Their flight to Australia was rescheduled for the following Monday night.  Once he left Utah, we didn't hear from him until Thursday when we received the following:  (photo wont load!)
            

                                                         24 July 2014
Thomas and Holly Barnett
11756 N Sunset Hills Dr
Highland UT 84003 USA

Dear family,

Elder Nathan Barnett arrived in the Australia Adelaide Mission safely. Sister Carter and I are mindful of the great trust you have placed in us by sharing your son. When he arrived, we met him at the airport and he was taken to the mission office to be introduced to the staff and assistants for orientation and pictures. Our interview was followed by dinner and testimonies at the adjacent church with the other arrivers and senior couple missionary staff.

Elder Barnett’s companion is Elder Brendan Duffus from New South Wales, Australia. They
Are serving in the Semaphore area of the Firle Zone.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL MAIL IS TO BE SENT TO: 

                                                               AUSTRALIA ADELAIDE MISSION OFFICE
                                                               ELDER NATHAN BARNETT
                                                               P O BOX 97
                                                               Marden, SA 5070            
                                                               Australia

I am aware that the Lord blesses, in many special ways, the families of missionaries.  As your son serves, you will find that to be very true.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

You may contact the mission president, should the need arise, at 2014556@ldschurch.org at any time.  Missionaries are allowed to send and receive email from family and limited friends only. They check it at the local library on preparation day, which is usually Monday.

Warmest Regards,


President Bradley D. Carter
AUSTRALIA ADELAIDE MISSION 


Monday, July 7, 2014

MTC Week 1- The joy (and tears) one email can bring!

Monday, July 7, 2014:  

Elder Nathan Thomas Barnett entered the Provo MTC last Wed, July 2, 2014. He is scheduled to leave July 14th for Adelaide Australia.  There was so much planning and preparation getting him ready and packed- (as if the past 5 months haven't been enough time!) So after all the hoop-lah of family, friends and his Farewell, this past week has been a roller coaster of emotions ranging from the highest highs, to just wanting to curl up in a ball on the couch and cry, (which I finally did on Saturday).  I just needed to know that my son was OK.  Momma needed DETAILS!  I've never felt such happiness and peace as I heard the "ding" of my email notification. I read the email out loud with my mom behind my shoulder and we both bawled like babies.  I'm happy to report that there were lots and lots of details and more than just an "I'm doing fine", which I had almost expected. Small miracles and tender mercies continue to come into my life. It sounds like My boy is where he needs to be and he's doing awesome: 




Momma!!!! Oh my gosh you cant even understand how crazy it has been here! Ok so I only have 60 min. on the computer so I'm gonna be really informal and try and talk to everyone and just send it to you. Also I cant send pictures here for some reason but just know that already I've takin around 100! So I know that Payton had a hard time on his mission and said that he didn't want to tell his parents that he was struggling, but I am going to be completely honest with you guys. The first 2 days were amazing, the spirit that flows through these halls is incredible. The biggest shock to me was how absolutely insane the schedule is... there is no time to do anything. Ok so you start off by getting up at 6:30 and then getting ready and having personal study then at 7:30 you go  to class and have a district meeting ( we have 4 Elders including myself and 4 Sisters ) all of the elders are going to Adelaide ( Elder Tolbert, Elder Boyde and then me and Elder Briscoe ) and the sisters are going to Canada ( Sister Moss, Sister Sudweeks, Sister Lundine, and Sister Robb ). Then we have class for 3 hours, then lunch, then class for another 3 hours, and then companionship study for an hour and a half. Then a lot of zone meetings and devotionals. It is non stop and I can definitely see the benefit of it because it keeps your mind busy and not thinking about home, but then at the same time I feel like it takes away from the enjoyment of things. When people talk about all the pranks and stuff they did in the MTC I have no idea how its even possible. The second you get back to your "residence" (I feel like a senior citizen saying that haha) you want to pass out. 

Yes I have been writing in my journal every night so don't worry, it really is the only thing keeping me sane because I can talk about all the hardships Im having and the feelings I have. These last 2 days have been extremely hard for me and make me think about going home every night. I feel like my spirit is being overloaded and i just want to stop. My companion is Elder Briscoe and he is a good dude but definatly not the first person I would've picked to be my companion. He is from Kuna Idaho and has a little inner red neck just like me. He loves diesel trucks, especially Ford's. He is 20 and has a serious girlfriend who..... get this... is here at the MTC.... It is so awkward being around them and I cant imagine how hard it would be. In our classes we have been teaching fake investigators "our teacher" and it is extremely hard. You think it would be easy but they completely get into a role of a person that could have any type of religious background. I feel like Elder Briscoe is so spiritual at times its overwhelming and he forgets to truly love the investigator. I on the other hand try to get to know more about them as a person and understand where they are coming from, but then have a difficult time getting into gospel doctrine. Today is the first day we have TRC which is real investigators that the church hire to come here and talk to missionaries to sort of test them and get them used to speaking with people about the church. Needless to say I'm scared beyond belief. Ive never cried more in my life then while ive been here. 

The notes that Grandma put in my garments was the best idea ever. When I read Sam's letter I got through the first 2 lines and started bawling. It was supposed to be companionship study and I just sat on my bed trying to read that letter one sentence at a time. Thankfully Elder Briscoe just studied without me while I went into the bathroom and just cried. Then on the 4th we got to watch 17 miracles at the end of the day and I cried through the whole thing. Its amazing how close to home everything hits when your on a mission, literally everything relates to you or your family in some way. Ok I'm so scatter brained trying to put everything in one letter haha but one thing I did forget was toothpaste... luckily the store here has EVERYTHING. From luggage to laundry bags, even white shirts and ties. You could have not packed at all and bought everything here!! 

The scariest experience I had here was yesterday when one of the sisters ( Sister Moss ) said she was starting to get sick and asked if we could give her a blessing. We talked to President Brady and he said it was ok for us to do that. We asked her who she wanted to give the blessing and she said she wanted Elder Briscoe to anoint the oil and for me to seal it and give her a blessing. It was the most nerve-racking experience ever. I knelt down and said a prayer and asked for my heart and mind to be open to the whispering of the spirit. I gave the blessing and didn't mess up but I felt like it was terrible and I didnt say the right things in the blessing. The other sisters teared up and said it was amazing but they kind of have to say that because they know im having a rough time. My heart was shaking and after the blessing I had to sit down and just zoned out. But practice does make perfect and I'm happy that I got to do it to someone that is a member first. 

The food has been awesome but my stomach is hurting today so hopefully I can get rid or that. I am so happy I have melatonine to knock me out when I sleep. I did meet with Brother Brown yesterday and he is a member of the branch presidency. He was extremely kind and loving .......

Tell everyone I love them and please pass out my email to everyone!! I can check it and read it during the day but cant respond but I think I might have to start because I have only emailed you and Nick and the hour is already up. Mom I love you with all my heart and cant stop thinking of you and Dad and the examples you are to me. Sam and Andrew are always on my mind and I feel like I have to lead by example and not give up but I have never been tested and tried so hard in my life. I can also receive packages so I would love to get one from you guys. I really want pictures that I can hold in my hand and maybe write something on the back of them. I can get them laminated to I can keep them perfect my whole mission. Anything that you can think of I will absolutely love. I miss the puppies like crazy and wish I could just hold them at night. Give everyone a kiss for me and tell them that I'm doin alright and that the I'm in the Lord's hands. 

Sincerely your Elder (just started to tear up)

Elder Barnett