Thursday, July 31, 2014



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.


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

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 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

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