Sunday, June 14, 2015

BAPTISM * THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK!



Man it has been the craziest weekend I have ever had and probably the 2 most fun days as well. We have had such a packed schedule trying to go and see everyone and set up the baptism for yesterday. Everything went so great and we had a really good turn out. The family was getting a little flustered trying to get everything ready and get clothes for Brandon and Ben to wear. Also sorting out the program for the baptism and getting all the talks, hyms. prayers, and food sorted.

So obviously yes the baptism was the highlight of this week and it went really smooth. I gave a talk on baptism and I was super sketched out cause there was gonna be heaps of non-members and I wanted to smash the talk and it was alright but I will always be nervous when I have to give a talk. Also Elder McMurray and I sang I Need Thee Every Hour (a Capella) with one other guy in the ward. It sounded pretty good seeing as we only practiced for 15 min before it all started. haha! Everyone was really able to feel the spirit and it brought Ben's parents to tears who are both non-members. The actual ordinance went great and Ben said all the words perfectly even though he was really nervous. We were able to enjoy some refreshments after the baptism and talk with everyone there and they really enjoyed the service and were able to feel the Spirit.

On Saturday we woke up and left the flat at 9 and went with the Apelgren family to their property where they keep their horse and we did some service for them and washed and brushed their horse...really it was an excuse just for us to go and see some horses and be with their family haha! but it was heaps of fun and I got pictures of everything. Then after that we went to Branden's basketball game for 40 min and watched him play and then went to lunch with them at a sushi restaurant. Then we got home and went to the Pearce's to do some service and help mow the lawn and prune the rose bushes. Then we went home and showered and changed and then we were off to the ward potluck dinner and quiz night and It was sooooo much fun!!! Ahhhh man missionaries live for ward activities and that's like the 3rd or 4th one Ive ever been to!!

Then Sunday we had church and then ward council and then the baptism and dinner and then saw some less actives so It has been a hella hecktic week!!

I LOOOOOOVE all the photos and holy crap my little brother looks my OWN freaking size!!!!! I cant even imagine what he's gonna look like in another year...it kinda breaks my heart that Im not there for him and Sammy while they are in these important years of their life.

I hope you guys are doing so good and I am so jealous of all the fun you are having.
BAPTISM OF BRANDEN RATCLIFF

BEN RATCLIFF, ELDER McMURRAY AND ELDER BARNETT

SISTERS/ELDERS

THESE TWO!  ELDER McMURRAY

BAPTISM SELFIE!?!

SO HAPPY!

IT'S GREAT TO BE 8! * CTR *  i hope they call me on a mission * ARMY OF HELAMAN
 

--
-Elder Barnett

-PO Box 97 Marden, SA 5070 Australia
     _______________________________

Wake Up and Put On My Badge...Proud to Represent.

JUNE 8, 2015

Last week of the Transfer!! Holy cow these past 6 weeks have flown by...I'm now starting to get nervous cause I definitely thought I was leaving and I was kinda exited about it but now I am getting nervous cause I don't wanna go and learn a new area, plus I love the members here so much and I love my companion. Everyone is telling me that once you get comfortable that's when you are gonna leave and I agree with that.

This week has been good but it got a little mixed up cause it was the Queen of England's birthday yesterday and that's why we weren't able to email cause its a public holiday....for the dang Queen that doesn't even live here. Oh and I found out that its not really even her birthday!! Australia get your holidays together. haha. So yesterday was just a normal day of proselyting and it was hard just cause no one was out and all the shops are closed and that's where we usually hang around cause that's where the people are. Also it was cloudy for most of the day and looked like it was gonna rain. (I'm not digging the cold weather and this is supposed to be one cold as winter!!)  Luckily I will be going home in the summer time!!

So today we are gonna go and cause some ruckus in the city and we are all so excited cause we went thrift shopping at Savers and mum.....I got the 2 sickest button up shirts on the planet and we are all rocking the dopest clothes. I really wanna go to the Ferrari dealership and take some cool photos and we also have a nice spot that we are gonna eat for lunch that is a little like rainforest café but the have a lunch special for $9.90! I took heaps of photos already right when we got back from Savers and I also changed how nice my camera takes pictures so I should be able to send photos heaps easier *fingers crossed*

The highlight of this week would probably be yesterday because we had Zone Training in the morning and we were able to listen to a talk given by President Uchtdorf. The talk was given in the Provo MTC in 2014 to all the mission presidents about to go out into the field. He talked about so many great things and honestly I wish I had a copy of the DVD cause I would watch it over and over again. If I was to write all the things that I liked in the talk it would take a few hours to write but in summary it was about fearing no man. He talked about how we are all disciples and we are doing the same thing that the Apostles were doing when Christ was on the earth. He spoke about the story of Peter and I have never really studied much about Peter and it was amazing to hear his story through the mouth of a current day Apostle and all of the insights that he had. The talk really inspired me to go out and to work as hard as I can and not to be afraid of proclaiming the gospel and the things that I know to be true, even if I am mocked and ridiculed. It gives me comfort that I am in the service of my Heavenly Father and I am proud to represent him every time that I wake up and put on my badge.

Branden Ratcliff is doing amazing and we have to see him 2 more times this week while we are preparing him for baptism!! I am so exited for this week man!!

Anyway I gotta email a couple more people and then we are gonna be off but I am sending photos!!

Love you so much!! 



 THRIFT SHOP FINDS :)

ELDER McMURRAY AND ELDER BARNETT

SAVERS Trip - all of their great finds!
MISSING HIS BRANDI GIRL

THIS IS JUST......WRONG!

WITH A SIDE OF CRAZY!!!!!!

SOME THINGS WILL NEVER CHANGE ---  You can take a boy outta the car, put him on a bike and he STILL ends up in a
FERRARI ??  :)
(pssst, the steering wheel is on the wrong side!)







I will keep Purifying my Motives and I will be Sustained in Whatever I am Called to Do



May 3, 2015

Well as all of you know Elder Cook will be leaving me this transfer and will be heading home to Texas. He fly's out on Wednesday and I cant believe the time is already here. Yes I am remaining in Golden Grove and I find out who my next companion is tomorrow at transfer meeting and to be honest I am heaps nervous.... Elder Cook has changed my mission and truly shown me how to find happiness and joy in the mission. He is such a great guy and seriously has taught me so much, more than he probably realizes. I was never comfortable going up and contacting people in the past and now because of this transfer I can go up to anyone and not be afraid to speak and I know that even if they don't wanna talk to me I will just pick myself up and move onto the next one because I know that there is someone in this area that the Lord has in store for me and my new companion to find. I have been really working on increasing my faith that I really am making a difference here and even though this entire transfer we were finding and really haven't found anyone solid to teach I have seen the blessings come from hard work.

I was thinking about the Ratcliff family and why they decided to rock up to church that first week that Elder Cook was here. They moved from Sydney a year ago and have been living here in Adelaide but on that specific day they felt the spirit prompt them to take there family to church and to get their lives back on track. Now why didn't they do that the entire 2 transfers I was here with Elder Rawlings? I know that it was because we weren't being as diligent as we should've been and we weren't pushing the work forward, we were more relaxed and got comfortable. Now the result of that was us becoming depressed and discouraged that we weren't seeing any progression in ourselves or in the area so we slowed down even more. I know that because Elder Cook and I were doing everything we could and we were working all day every day and to the best of our abilities the Lord placed them in our hands and trusted us that we would watch over and guide his lost sheep back to the fold.

I am feeling all the emotions right now of having a new transfer ahead of me and I hate getting a new companion just for the fact that I was comfortable with my previous one and we knew how each other worked and we both know the area and can work together. I am scared that my next companion might be someone a bit slack and I will have to pull more of the weight and do everything the Lord expects of me and to become the missionary he wants me to be. I feel like I have truly started to change my nature instead of just changing my behaviour. I have been acting heaps different then when I left yes.. but was I doing that for the right reason or was I just doing it cause that's what I was supposed to do and that's what my companion wanted me to do? Or was I doing it out of the love that I have for not only the Gospel but also the people here in Golden Grove that I have been called to serve? I would like to think its that latter one but I still need to keep working on it and purifying my motives.

This week it finally hit both Elder Cook and I that he was leaving and I had to once again take over the area and really lead and be the example. I am scared that I might have to take on more responsibility if am put with a younger companion or maybe even called to be the new district leader. There is a lot I don't know and I am nervous but I know I will be sustained in whatever I am called to do.

Yes we had heaps of fun in the city and we went to Krispie Kreme and I shouted the District 2 boxes of doughnuts!! Hahaha we went to a museum and just walked around. We went to China town and we got a massive plate of food for 5 bucks and it was as much as you could put on the plate....needless to say it wasn't good Chinese and .....ughhh so gross.

We saw the Ratcliffs heaps this week and went to a sushi train place for lunch, a pizza night with them on Saturday, and then stopped by yesterday to say goodbye. The kids are sad but they are scared about my new companion as well. Haha! Also Vanessa Ratcliff (the mum) knows Elder Bettridge and they are friends on Facebook!! How crazy is that!! I think he knows the whole family!! Ben (the husband) also knows him and I believe there was one guy Austin served with that he said was the reason he joined!! Man the church in Australia is crazy cause literally everyone knows everyone and everyone is related in some way... 

My headaches have gone down and that has made me really happy. Havent done anything different this week so I wonder why they slowed down. I had one yesterday after church but I reckon that's cause I was fasting and I always get one when I don't eat.

I cant believe the devastating stuff that happens in families! That  happens a lot here but I never knew how frequent it was until I got on the mish and found out how many people are struggling. Im interested to see how the ward is when I get home cause I bet some just put on the Sunday face and goes to church and looks like a happy family but until you are actually involved with their life you don't know that anything is wrong.

I am so stoked that its drews birthday coming up!! Im gonna try and find something today at the shops I can send him, I hope it wont be too expensive.

 AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  You guys are making me smile ear to ear!!!!!! Freak my family is gorgeous!!! Man I cant wait to see those faces this week!!
I can't believe it's Mothers Day is next week and I cannot wait to see you guys!!! AHHHH man It came so fast!!!! I will figure out what family we are gonna Skype with and let you know the details.

I am gonna email Fuzz and a couple other people but I will send you some photos!!

I love you guys so much!


--
-Elder Barnett
 ____________________________________________________________________

Watching the sun rise on our roof yesterday!! We got up at six and took the couch cushions and hopped up there with blankets and had our jumpers on. The one and only sunrise Elder Cook has ever watched!!

____________________________________________________________________
MAY 17, 2015 

Hey guys!

Well its been a week since I talked with you guys and it feels like its been ages already... Honest I wish I could just talk to you every week cause it doesn't make me home sick at all, but really its just cause I'm too lazy to type everything out haha

The week has been really good but the only downer is that Elder Mcmurray is starting to come down with what I had so hopefully his flu thing doesn't get too bad. Also this morning was the first morning I have ever had where I woke up and had a pounding migrane... that was no fun at all but I have realized that my headaches have died down significantly and I have no idea why cause I haven't really been doing anything different.

Biggest news/highlight of the week!! Brandon Ratcliff is on baptism date for June 13th and transfers are on the 15th!! So I will be here for his baptism!! Man I am so exited that I get to see that kid go all the way from the start of us teaching them to him entering the waters of baptism! The family is going really well and we all went out to eat at a place called Nando's which is a Portuguese chicken place that is sooooo good (dad I will be taking you when we come back) We talked with the parents about making Brandon a baptismal calendar and putting the lessons we still need to teach him on there and then having his date so he can know what we will be talking and teaching about. Honest you guys this kid is like another little brother to me and I see so much of Drewbees in him. When they took us home I had my arm around him in the backseat and he held onto my hand and talked to me about his basketball games and how his AFL teams were doing:) I am gonna get heaps of photos with them. We got to play footy with the kids yesterday and it was so much fun!!

Other than that things have been pretty average and we are truckin along reaaaal nicely haha I am so stoked that its p-day and I paid Ben Ratcliff to make heaps of doughnuts for the whole district today so I am gonna surprise them all:) (he works at a bakery)

How has your week been?! The photos of you and Sammy are sooooooooo cute!! Ahhhhh I died when I saw sissy making the whipped cream!! lolz that is so her!! I will send that photo of my badge with the Roo, are there any other pictures your dying for? 

--

-Elder Barnett

______________________________________________________________________

May 24th, 2015

Ok so P-day isn't today cause we have the temple this Thursday but we are at the library filling out some surveys and I had to jump on the computer and let you know. This week has been really good and I cant believe we are getting Brandon ready for baptism!! Im so excited!! 

He is the best kid mum and he loves me like a brother and he said he is saving up his money so he can get me some AFL stuff before I leave....how cute is that?! Tell Sammy congrats!! She looks gorgeous and I cannot believe that she is graduating....she is so.......OLD!!

Tell Grandma I love her heaps and BTW I sent Drew a letter but Im not sure if its gonna get there on time and I really hope he doesn't hate me for that....

Ask me any questions while im here! Love you 

____________________________________________________________________
May 27, 2015

Well we just ate at KFC and now we are at the library for the next 90 min while we email and then our p-day is over...:( pretty rubbish p-day to be honest even though we got to go to the temple. It was good to get a little spiritual boost and kind of sit there and think for a while. Also I got to see the Chou's who is the family that I absolutely loved back in Semaphore, man the church in Adelaide is so small you're bound to run into someone that was in your previous area. Also I forgot my camera and hard drive so I cant send you pics I have but I will steal Elder McMurrays and send you some of the ones that he has.

The highlight for this week would be seeing Ben Ratcliff ordain his 12 year old son William to the Aaronic priesthood. Ben has been a member for only a couple years and has been less active for most of that time and now he has come back to full activity and is able to be the priesthood holder in that home. What a blessing it was to watch such a humble man lay his hands on his sons head and ordain him and give him a blessing. I was thinking to myself how simple the blessing was and yet it was still so powerful, and that's what I love about the priesthood. It enables imperfect people to act on Gods level and to exercise their faith while doing so. I am grateful for that experience that I was able to have.

Things have been going really good here. David, our previous investigator got back from Venezuela and we will start teaching him again. Brandon is progressing really well and is stoked for his baptism. He is such a smart kid and is already got plans for where he wants to go on his mission, he says he wants to go to Utah and all of our family.

I hope everything went solid for Sammy's graduation and also that Grandma is setting in right. What are the plans for Drew's birthday?

Love ya! 

____________________________________________________________________________

May 31, 2015

Hey mum I just got here!

Man this has been a really interesting past couple of days and last night we went over to Michelle Pearce's house and she told me that the girl that got in the car accident had passed away. I hadn't seen a picture of the girl who got in the wreck and she passed me her phone and my heart dropped....

Mom, I know Ben Anderson and I have been to his house and I have met his family. We have hung out before and I used to go air-softing with him and a group of friends. I couldn't believe what a massive impact it had on me when I was looking at those photos of him hugging his sister for the last time. My heart ached and I couldn't stop reading all of the posts that they had said and all the pictures that they had put up. When I knelt down to pray all I did was pray for them and I felt angry for some reason. I wanted to know why after all of the prayers and blessings and service that everyone around that family had rendered, why she would still be taken from this earth. I wanted to feel some of the sorrow that the family was going through and then instantly I thought of Sam and how I would take it if I had to hug her and say goodbye for the last time. I then realized how thin my faith still is because I didn't know why things like this happen and I thought of how angry I would be with God if it happened to me and my family. I then thought of Abraham and when he had to sacrifice his son and what a trial of faith that was for him. He was taken to the absolute edge of his faith and yet he was still willing to obey God and sacrifice his son who he loved dearly. It was only at the last second when God said that his sacrifice wouldn't be necessary. I couldn't imagine the thoughts that were going through his mind and also the Andersons minds when they were both asked to go through these extreme trials of faith. I want you to please let them know of my love for them and that I am always thinking and praying for them.

This weekend has been pretty good and we are so excited to help Brandon really start preparing for baptism over these next two weeks.

Elder McMurray and I are doing great and are having a blast and I hate thinking that there is a good chance I will be leaving this transfer.

Tell Drew Happy Birthday and let him know how much I love him!!

How is Sam and how was graduation?  Drew looks massive!!!!! How is Grandma doing and how long is she staying there? Any big plans for summer?

Love you so much!!

--
-Elder Barnett
________________________________________________________________________

At the shops in Adelaide

The great and dreaded Chinese Food







ELDER BARNETT and ELDER MCMURRAY








Be As Little Children...

APRIL 6, 2015

This week has been absolutely fantastic. We have still been pounding the pavement yes and we are trying to do prime time finding which is finding from 5 till 7 at night 3 times a week. It really does a number on me being depressed cause I hate taking rejection after rejection for 2 hours straight, and to be honest I've never seen a new investigator come from a door knock. I have only seen people be interested if its through a street contact or a referral from the office or another area. Although the area is still struggling we are really getting a hold of it and doing everything we can to help the area progress. We have been working hard on aligning ourselves with the bishop and stake presidency as well as what the area presidents want us as missionaries to be doing. We have been smashing the ward and really trying to get them involved more with missionary work especially around this Easter time where peoples hearts are softened and they are more open to hearing about Jesus Christ or religion in general.
Yes the weather has been heaps cold and raining pretty consistently which would be totally fine....if we weren't on bikes.... plus my bike keeps having issues and I need to fix a flat that I got the other day when we rode past a BMX track and I took my bike over to show the kids how a real man does it and also that I could do it in a shirt and tie (I got it on video as well) I launched my bike into the air and hit some fun jumps but I got a 3 corner jack in my tire which is just like these little spikey things that are all over so ya that's no good. Great and I can now feel a headache coming on probably due to the lack of food and sleep.

The companionship is still going really good.  Elder Cook is doing a great job but sometimes he realizes that I cant keep going at his pace and I need to take a break and get my mind together. He really is pushing me to do my best and always helps to pump me up to talk to someone or to knock the next door. We get along really well and Im really surprised how good it really is cause I was crapping my pants thinking that my life was gonna be a living hell. Yes I am working like a dog but I am happy a lot more now. On a side note I have been getting a lot of headaches lately and I haven't stopped working but I think they are getting worse. My body hasn't been doing the greatest and I am going into the clinic soon so I will tell you if anything is up

So yes Easter is a lot bigger here in Australia not for the fact that its celebrated more but everyone gets a 4 day weekend. Everyone has Friday off because its good Friday (when Christ died) then they get Monday off as well so that's why we didn't email or do anything yesterday.

The highlight of my week has been being able to really grow with that new family I told you about that moved into the ward last week, the Ratcliff family. Man they are so solid and we have been able to go over to their house 2 times for dinner and then all the 5 kids gather round us and we have a lesson with all of them. Its so much fun to teach really really simply and to get down to their level. Elder Cook was studying in the BOM the other day in 3rd Nephi I believe? Talking about how Christ would always have the little children run up to him and he would bless them and talk with them and it goes on to say that some of the questions that these little children would ask were so profound that they couldn't be recorded down. I couldn't believe how true that was because I saw it first hand when we were teaching these children. They had some of the most amazing questions and some of them were difficult to answer especially in a way that would make sense to them. They are really keen of having all the kids learn and grow together and to almost integrate us into their family so that the kids can be comfortable with us and really open up about any questions or concerns they may have. They lessons take a long time just because they have so many questions and we were teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we were supposed to get through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End and we barely managed to get through Faith haha. Such a great family though and I absolutely love seeing them get so excited about the Gospel and about learning.

   Man I had a touretts moment in the middle of the library when I saw those photos!!AHHHHHHHHHH Both my sisters are gonna be little nurses!  Love those pics! Alrighty we are leaving! I love you guys more than life!! Keep working hard and I will be home in no time!!

--
-Elder Barnett

-PO Box 97 Marden, SA 5070 Australia
_____________________________________________________________________________


April 19, 2015

Well it has been a little while since I've emailed yous but I thought I would let you know how things are going in the Golden Grove area #sacredgrove. To be honest nothing has changed and things are still getting worse and worse with our investigators and we haven't seen really any success with the things we have been doing, even though we have been constantly finding day in and day out. Like I said the other day, our only investigator at the moment is Branden Ratcliff and he and the family are solid but other than that we have no one to teach. On Saturday we were out finding for 7 HOURS..... we have walked some ridiculous amount of kilometres just cause our bikes are a little broken at the moment but we are hoping to get them fixed today.

Even though the area has been rough I am still heaps happy and Elder Cook and I are getting along really well. Its crazy to think that he only has like 2 and a half weeks left. He doesn't like talking about him going home and he is incredibly dedicated and consecrated to this work. If he could he would totally extend his mission but we aren't allowed to do that. I can tell that it is really starting to get on his nerves that nothing is happening in the area even though we are trying our hardest to work and be effective. Last night during planning he said he was sick of not having any people to teach and I don't think my attitude helped cause I am more relaxed about it cause we have always had a tiny amount of people to teach so I have gotten used to it and its been hard for me to have faith that we are actually gonna find someone on the streets that is gonna want to learn more. We have a few people that said they wouldn't mind us coming around but most of them haven't panned out but we talked to a guy yesterday that was really cool, his name was Alex and he lives close to our flat. He told us he wasn't part of any denomination cause he thinks that committing to one faith restricts you and your spirituality. He said he likes to experiment with different things and also said he loves to do LSD and Shrooms and to go on his psychcadelic journeys.... so ya its hard for me to have faith or even a hope that something is gonna come from people like that. I love him and he is a great guy but I don't see anything coming from him, maybe 1 lesson or 2. 

The Ratcliffs are amazing and we had so much fun with them on Friday. We weren't able to go to that place I told you about but we went to a café and had some really good food, they are taking us out again this Friday to Hoggs Breath.

My headaches have still been off and on. We walked to that Wooly's right next to our house and I bought a 24 pack of Pepsi that was on special for like 15 bucks. I told President about it and Sister Carter gave me a call and gave me some tips on what to do when I get one but ultimately she said to take 2 Excedrin and a coke and lay down in the dark....and you know that that's my specialty hahaha 

Other than that it has been a pretty uneventful couple days but I am still lovin it! We are headed to St Kilda again today to that big play ground for adults. Also the weather here has been crap and its been raining heaps and getting really cold. I snatched a jumper from the Semaphore flat when I left but I think I might pick one up today from Big W or something....

Love,
Elder Barnett


ADELAIDE AUSTRALIA TEMPLE



Sunday, April 19, 2015

When Was the Last Time You Went To The Temple?

Hey guys!!

 Man I totally spaced last week and forgot to tell you that we had our temple trip this week and so our P-Day was moved to Thursday. 

Man this week has been really good and the temple was exactly what I needed. I just felt so recharged spiritually and that's really what I was wanting most. I was really paying attention to all the covenants we make as we go through the temple and its amazing how many things we are promising to Heavenly Father that we will do. The way that we remember it in the mission is by an acronym; Oh Some Good Chocolate Cake. I wanna see if you guys will be able to name them all of the top of your head.

So yes P-Day will still be on Monday this next week so I will be emailing you guys in just a few days. So we just got back from eating a massive KFC Family Feast with the whole district and that was heaps of fun. We got tons of pictures while we were at the temple and I will be sending those off on Monday. Unfortunately I only have about 35 more minutes to email so I will try to make it the best email I can in that short time.

First off that Lamborghini Aventador at church just blew my mind...if you tell me that it was that dude that just bought that McLaren MP4 the other week that you sent me a pic of in the Smiths parking lot I will vomit. That has got to be the prettiest car I have ever seen.

The highlight of this week would be continuing to teach the Ratcliff family and just seeing all of them progress and really dive into the lessons. When we taught them last week the lesson went heaps long and we just covered faith but this week we got through the rest of the 3rd lesson and we had all the kids save their questions till the end. They retained everything that we shared with them and they couldn't wait for the next lesson. We are only able to teach them once a week usually on Monday nights and they told us that we could come over on Friday which is tomorrow and we are gonna have a lesson and then they are taking us out to a restaurant!! I just love teaching these kids and seeing their eyes light up when we start talking about Jesus and Heavenly Father.

They are taking us to a place called Hogsbreath Café and its like an "American Wannabie" steakhouse but its really good according to them and also our ZL's have been there. Its about 30 bucks a plate... and you get a steak and ribs and curly fries and who knows what else....mmmmm cant wait!!

My headaches are still KILLING me and I have been getting them heaps more frequently and its become like an every other day thing and I had such a bad one on Saturday night at like 8 and I wanted to go home but we had a set lesson with a recent convert so we went and I just like sat in the dark with my hands over my eyes. I went to the doctors and it was the WORST clinic I have ever been to in my life. I had a flipping nun/muslum lady who was really sweet but I couldn't understand a word she was saying. She asked me about when I was getting them and if their was a pattern and then I told her about how much we slept and the hours that we work. Then I said we are away from our families and we never have a day off and she pretty much said "Ok I think the problem is that you're stressed" and I was like NO SHIZ Sherlock hahahaha so Im pretty much stuffed. I hate hearing that I freaking made you stay up all night crying cause I couldn't be there for you to take care of. Trust me all I wanted was an AMERICAN Coke and somewhere to sleep.

Elder Cook and I are doing great and we are continuing to smash the area and are relentlessly finding but we haven't had any success still. Also David one of our investigators went back to Venezuela this week and now the only investigator we have is Brandon Ratcliff. We have been going through all the former investigators and trying to find someone....anyone that we can teach.  OHHHHH MYYYY ok guess who Elder Cook knows in Texas!! The Rothlisberger's!!! They were in his stake and he knows them really well!!! I was dying!!

I have been loving my personal study in the morning and I just finished Alma and I will be honest the last 20 chapters are a bit difficult just cause its about all the wars but there are some gold nuggets in those scriptures. One of my particular favourites is Alma 47 where it is talking about Lamonti and Amalikiah? I don't know how to spell there names but it was so good and I related it to how Satan will try and tempt us in really big ways and we may say no but the real way that he gets us is by slowly tempting us to come down the mountain little by little until we are ensnared by him.
READ the chapter and tell me what you think.

When was the last time you guys went to the temple? The Elders and I were talking about how often we want to go to the temple when we get home and we all said we would strive to do it fortnightly and at the very least once a month. I cant wait to go through the Salt Lake and see the live session!!

Oh ya!! Conference was amazing and I loved a lot of the talks! I especially liked the one about the medicine man talking to the doctor about how he can teach the doctor to dance but he cant teach him to hear the music. It made me think of all the people that are in the church and just do it because its normal and the never question it or challenge there faith or beliefs. Then one day they go less active because they realize they were never going for the right reason and weren't really "hearing the music" they were just doing the dance. That also applies to missionary work really well and directly at me. I thought of all the missionaries that are just out here cause that's what their parents wanted or its just what they were supposed to do. We just get up and do the work because that's what we signed up for. If we are just going through the motions out here than we really aren't changing our nature as people, we are just changing our behaviour, then when we go back home we will be the exact same person as when we left. 

Anyway I love you guys so much and I didn't get to email anyone else today so my email on Monday might not be as long. I will tell you how the dinner went with the Ratcliffs and all that. AHHHHH those pics of Drew and Sam are sooooo cute!! Man Sam is just.....Wowwwwwwww!  I miss her so much!! Alrighty we are leaving!! I love you and will talk to you on Monday!!

Love you!!   
--
-Elder Barnett

-PO Box 97 Marden, SA 5070 Australia


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Work Hard, Play Hard - Keep Smiling! (Even if you gotta fake it!)

Hellllooo family!!!!

New transfer and new companion!!! Shucks things have been absolutely cray cray here.... Like you have no idea!!!  So my new companions name is Elder Cook and your not going to believe where he was just serving. He just came from being the Assistant to the President for the past 5 transfers and now he is on his last transfer with me in Golden Grove so I will be "killing him".  (Last area/ last comp) I was so shocked when he was up at the pulpit reading out transfer information and said that he would no longer be the assistant and that he would be serving with me!! He looked right at me and gave me the cheekiest smile and my heart dropped.  haha!!!   I thought I was screwed cause the "big bad assistant" was going to be my comp for his last transfer, but so far it has been absolutely great!! He is from Dallas Texas!! So naturally we have some common ground but unfortunately he has never been to Sonny Bryans!!

I have never worked so hard in MY LIFE....I have never talked to more people and never gone tracting or street contacting as much as I have with him. I could probably count on 1 hand how many people I have passed WITHOUT talking to in the past week!   We have been working non-stop I have really come to love the work!!!  I have had some times where I just have to sit down and take a breather cause we are doing so much  and yes there have been times where I have gotten really sad and depressed but I have been praying for strength every single night that I will be able to go out and do everything I can the next day and that the Lord will sustain me throughout it. 

So the highlight for this week....Although we have been working extremely hard we haven't seen much come from it. We have found a lot of potentials but haven't been able to follow up with them yet and have them become new investigators. Anyway we had a miracle yesterday that we know came from the Lord because of our diligence and perseverance. It may not have been because of the work that we were doing but it was because we have stayed faithful and knew that something would come of it eventually. 

So yesterday at church,  a massive family rocked up that we have never seen before and they took up an entire row, mind you there are only like 80 people usually at church. We went up and introduced ourselves and they said they were the Ratcliffe family and they had moved here from Sydney about a year ago and haven't been to church since they were in Sydney. They have 5 kids and the oldest is 12 and he doesn't have the Priesthood yet and then they have a 9 year old that isn't baptized yet and they asked us if we could come and teach all the kids about the church and prepare the 9 year old to be baptized!! They also have two 7 year old girls that are twins and their birthday is in September and we will be preparing them for baptism as well!! What a crazy miracle aye?!?!

Other than that things have been great here and I have been really happy this past week and I am just gonna keep on smiling even when things get me down...man Ive gotten really good at faking looking happy haha!!!

I hope everyone has been going good and I cannot believe that Pheobes is getting married.......holy crap.... Also I read dads email and I love the photos of nicks place! That bathroom looks mint!!

Ok, I have HEAPS of photos from the Gorge Wildlife Park and I will send you what I can since the internet here isn't working so well right now!!  Oh- Also since I will be  "killing"  Elder Cook here that means that I have a 99% chance that I will be here next transfer.....2 areas and I will have been out for a year... hahahaha I love it!! Hopefully somewhere cool is where I'm headed next!!!....

Alrighty - guess we are leaving. Apparently we are gonna go on a hike up Anstey's hill which is a lookout point!! I will get some more good photos.

Love you guys so much!!

--
-Elder Barnett 
-PO Box 97 Marden, SA 5070 Australia




THE GORGE WILDLIFE PARK, AUSTRALIA!



ELDER BARNETT'S BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT HIS WHOLE LIFE!!!!!!!





BUCKET LIST ---- CHECK!!!!!






Staying in The Grove - There's always a bright side!

Well for some reason this is the most nervous I have ever been for transfer information and I am kinda torn at what happened. I will be remaining in Golden Grove and Elder Rawlings will be packing and going somewhere else. I am exited that I am staying in the area but I am really nervous about who my next companion is going to be cause this area is extremely difficult.... It also sucks being the one to stay in the area cause you have to lead everything and show the new missionary around and pretty much do everything so you have a lot of pressure to preform and do well, hopefully I can take it on ok, and that my new comp is chill!

This week has been blehh and the crappiest thing that happened this week was yesterday when we rocked up to Roy's house to see how he was going and Tracy came out and told us he wasn't up for it right now. Its so strange that Roy isn't even coming out and seeing us now. So this has been the second time that we have tried to see him and haven't been able to. We may try one more time this week with the new comp but if that fails we may have to drop him for a little while. David is still moving along and nothing has really changed with him and he is really our ONLY investigator....so that's why I'm so nervous for this next transfer cause I think we will just be hitting the streets all day every day.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE!!!! Guess where we get to go today for P-DAY?!?!!?! We are going to the Gorge wildlife park! Its only 15 bucks and you get to go see HEAPS of animals and you get to hold Koalas and Kangaroos for FREE!! They have like a petting zoo type deal with heaps of Roo's jumping around and they have albino ones as well and you get to play with them as much as you want. Apparently its the only place where you can hold a Koala for free. Needless to say I am so freaking exited!

The highlight of my week was being able to build a really good relationship with a less active member named Murray Shepard. He served his mission here and then came back and married a girl that they were teaching. He is the guy that we were watching the dogs for while he was in Queensland. We bumped into him and his family while we were in Tea Tree Plaza grabbing some lunch and we were able to sit down and chat with him and his wife and they were so grateful that we were willing to help them out. We will be seeing them this week as well and hopefully we can have a lesson with them and maybe get Murray back to church!

I got some solid photos this week that I will be sending you!!


Also I really need to send off the Aboriginal paintings that I have and also the picture from Casey Stoner. I don't want those getting ruined and I really want them framed so I can hang them up.

Love you all!
Elder Barnett


The following pics are just a little P-Day fun and Elder Barnett "bonding" with his baby!  







Elder Rawlings, Barnett and friend Malachi Castle  Sunburns!!!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One step closer to CASEY STONER!

March 15, 2015

This week has been really good!! 

The highlight for this week is finally breaking our streak... We found new investigators last night! 

We were having dinner with the Mckims and they told me to "man up" and go knock on Casey Stoners In-Laws house!  So we got up and walked down there and right as I was about to knock on the door, a man opened it and came out and started chatting with us!!   His name was Joni (pronounced yani) he was extremely friendly and open and apparently the missionaries have knocked on his door before. Obviously me being a MASSIVE Moto GP fan, I told him about my love affair with his son in law :0  HE is the BEST motorcycle rider in all of Australia!!!!  And, he is in the top 5 riders in the world!!!  He yelled inside to his wife and she came out with a SIGNED POSTER from him and I almost shed a tear (keep it together man).... hahaha!
CASEY STONERS SIGNED PHOTO - OBSSESSED!!!!! 
  Anyways we chatted for a minute or two and then he asked us a question that caught me off guard a little.  He asked us how our relationship with Jesus was haha!  And then he started telling us all these stories about amazing miracles that he has seen in his life and how Jesus has pretty much chosen him to be a vessel of love and to share the knowledge that he has with everyone. He said that the key to being a disciple of Christ is by being completely submissive to His will and by being strictly obedient. He was a very devout Christian but he said that denomination's don't matter and as long as we follow Christ then we will be ok. We asked if we could say a prayer with him and we said he would love that so we said a prayer with him right there on his doorstep!!  After we finished praying he started offering a prayer as well and kept thanking God for everything in his life and also to bless us and that we would have success in our ministering. He invited us to come back and to talk to him and said we are welcome anytime! He is a rough diamond and is a little crazy on the outside,  but if we can teach him a little bit,  hopefully his eyes will be open a little more and he will be accepting of what we have to say.

Other than that incredible experience, this week has been pretty much normal, We had a fun bbq with the "country saints" that came in from all the outlying areas and we got to meet them and it was fun for Elder Rawlings cause he has served in some outlying areas so he knew a lot of the people.

We didn't get to teach David this week which sucked but we are hoping to go over either tonight or tomorrow. Bad news with Roy, his wife seems to be taking over and we haven't been able to meet with him for ages. We popped by his house this week and Tracy came out and said that they were leaving and didn't have anytime:/ not really what we needed cause we are already struggling with investigators.

I got some sweet pictures to send you!! I got a picture with one of the really nice Holden's so Dad and Drew can see the big bad muscle cars here in Australia, and to be honest I love them heaps more than any muscle car in the states....they sound soooooo mean!!

Anyways that's my week in a nutshell! I hope yous have had a good week! I have been praying for Sam and Drew every night so I really hope they are doing well!!   


Love you all so MUCH!!!!
Elder Barnett

These birds are crack up!! They poke there long as beaks in the ground and grab worms. They walk right up next to you!!! They are in all the parks and stuff and I can totally imagine Sam running around and trying to grab one hahahahahaha!


BULL ANTS!  GETTING BITTEN FEELS LIKE GETTING "SHOT" THEY SAY :0

ELDERS AND THEIR GYROS - ENJOYING P-DAY

Me and the Holden R8. 325 kilowatts which is around 400 horsepowaaaaaa!!!
1.21 gigawatts!!! GREAT SCOTT!!! 



Some pups we are taking care of for a less active guy while he's in Queensland.
The dark one is a blue heeler and the other is a red heeler I think?
 The dark ones name is Jack and the other one is Mango


MY SALAD I MADE!! Tomatoes Cucumber Eggs and Cheese!! With a squirt of lime on top... 


--
-Elder Barnett


-PO Box 97 Marden, SA 5070 Australia

You have to ASK!

Mar 9, 2015
Hellllllloooo!! Elder Barnett comin at you live from Adelaide Australia!!! 

Man this week has been so amazing and I reckon its just cause I got to talk to you guys and see how yous are all goin!! I feel like I actually know what is going on now at home and what everyone is doing. 

I apologize I wasn't able to email yesterday because it was a public holiday. Only in Australia would an entire city get shutdown for a horse race..... It was the Adelaide Cup yesterday and everything was closed but for some reason we still had P-Day and there was nothing to do. We woke up and went and did some service for a single lady in the ward that is moving. We helped her and her son clean out their garage/shed, that took about an hour and then on our way home we found a Foodland to go muck around in. We just ended up walking around and then bumped into a member there (Brother Hatchard) and caught up with him. He is who David our investigator is staying with. 

Speaking of David we had a really solid lesson with him and we really hammered on the apostasy and on how if Joseph Smith is really a true prophet then the Priesthood is back on the earth. It finally clicked with him cause he was starting to talk about how he was baptized about a year ago by a priest. Then he paused for a moment and said that that he didn't know if that priest had the priesthood hahaha! So things are going really good with him, and we committed him to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if this was the only true church. 

I LOVED DADS PICTURES!!! Oh my gosh I cannot believe some of those photos, its just crazy how alike we are!! I saved them all to my hard drive and I cant wait to keep looking at them. I think it makes an even bigger impact on me to see them while I am in the mission field cause I don't think I would've connected as much if I saw them while I was still home. Man seeing dad doing exactly what I am doing on HIS mission was just crack up!! He looks so good and his hair is long as!!!

I don't have heaps of time to email cause today technically isn't our P-Day but I want to email some friends and you guys already got to talk to me for ages the other day:p
Alright we are leaving- I love you Momma!!
I love you guys!! 

--

-Elder Barnett

The Church is True, MANG!

Hey guys!!

I just saw all the pictures yous all sent to me of Andrew and Sam both on hospital beds!! What the heck is goin on?! The Barnett's look like they are goin downhill hard! At least they both had smiles on their faces! I was lucky enough to go over to the Hynd's house yesterday after church a late lunch/early dinner and sister Hynd's sat me down and got on facebook and clicked on mums page and I got to see all the stuff you have been posting and I got to see Sam's basketball video that Allie made! It was so good and I was so proud standing there saying "That's my SISSY!!" Then I saw the pic of drew and it really caught me off guard, I had totally forgot that you had mentioned that he was having issues with the cartilage in his knee, have you gotten the results back yet?

I read the post about how Sam is livin the dream life and being hand fed cesar salad....hahahaha.  It reminded me of when she had her panic attack and we were all sitting around her and she would yell for some gummy worms and Allie went and got them from Smiths. Ahhh those were the days. Sam you are a crack up!

Unfortunately I forgot my little sd card reader so I cant send any pictures to you today but just as we were walking into the library my zone leader, Elder Miller, handed me a letter that looks like my birthday letter from Sam! I cant wait to read it when I get home:) I have been writing letters this week and I will be sending off the one I am writing to Sam but luckily I'm not far into it so I can read her letter and write back any questions that she has for me. Also is Grandma still at the house? How long has she been there? Did she come down to watch Sammy?

So Nothing major  has happened this week and we weren't able to find a new investigator but I think that was mostly my fault because I have had some bad migraines and have had to stay in the flat for more time than I would've liked. I'm still so grateful that I don't get them as bad as mum does!! 

On the bright side we did get to see David Aula which is one of our investigators and he is a really cool guy. He moved here from Venezuela to get a better life and to get away from all of the violence that is happening there, He said its like a war zone and when you walk out your front door to go to work you don't know if you will be coming back home. We taught him about the importance of the Book of Mormon and the lesson went really well but we still think he isn't completely understanding the Apostasy because he wants to go back to Venezuela in July and see what the Catholic church is like (the church he grew up in).  His sister is a member and so is her husband and they have been great in helping to teach,  but David feels like he completely agrees with the bible and the Book of Mormon and says that they are pretty much the same thing, even though he says he knows the Book is true. Its so difficult when you feel like you are explaining something so simply and someone still doesn't understand and you just want to shake them and say THE CHURCH IS TRUE MANG!! He believes that pretty much all churches teach the same thing and that's why he doesn't think he needs to get baptized or join another church.

So I have a gospel question to test Sam or Allie on. If someone thinks all Christian churches are true and they all teach pretty much the same thing (which is kinda true) which part of our church are they not understanding. (Hint its the first thing we teach people) and its what sets our church apart from everyone else.  I think that's been the biggest thing that I have learned this week is how much this church logically makes sense. I think that's really important for me because it is what I was so hung up on at home was that I couldn't wrap my mind around it,  But when you break down the church and the doctrines therein are so simple, and that's how we need to teach it to people. That is what makes someone a master teacher, if you can take something as complex as the gospel and simplify it down so it is easy enough for a child to understand.

Ya dad told me that you sent that package to Kirwan and I forgot to tell you his last name was L!! Haha I bet he needed some love cause the MTC is rough for the first little bit!! Ahhh now you got me thinkin about chicken noodle soup.... Tell dad I have been dreaming about some of his soup with the Kale in it and also any kind of meat that has been smoked!! I miss potatoes so much and Im sad I didn't pay enough attention to how you make them so good but even if I did,  I don't have the time to make them:(The office gave us all these little cook books and we tried making some shepherds pie and it turned out pretty good. I really just miss a good salad and don't even get me started on thinking about a Texas Roadhouse house salad right now..... I tried to make a Waldorf salad and it was ehhhhh. Next time I might try something more simple haha!  Yes, they have peanut butter here lolz hahaha I was wondering why you sent me that at Christmas!!!  :0   I have been collecting recipes I like from members when we are having tea. I just cant be bothered to make anything plus buying all these little ingredients that you need,  are just gonna use a little bit of and never use again,  starts to add up $$$! 

So today is P-day and I'm feeling like I need a Yiros for lunch (dad I wish you were here man) you are gonna be so surprised when I get home and you see how much I can eat hahaha!  the Lebanese food here is PRIME. I still reckon the place in downtown Seattle is better doe!! I love you!! I will take some pics of me today eating that Yiros so dad can get his mouth watering;)

Love you!
Elder Barnett


Monday, February 23, 2015

Hitler, Hell's Angel Roy and Happy 20th Elder B!

2/23/2015

Heyyyyyy!!! Man yesterday I couldn't believe that another Monday was just around the corner!! It has been a really good week here but really its been the same old stuff and I'm sure you are sick of hearing that. We have been trying really hard this week to get new investigators and widen our teaching pool, but unfortunately that didn't happen - but my spirits weren't dampened as much as usual. I think it was mostly because I was just talking with as many people as I could - and I am so used to getting rejected - so it just kinda bounced off me. I was really seeking just to have a good conversation with people and leave them with a better impression of who Mormons are- and that we aren't just brainless machines trying to piss everyone off and ruin their day by talking with them.

I did have 2 experiences this week which really made me reflect back on why I'm here. While I was on trade off this week with one of my ZL's (Elder Reese) we were knocking doors and we came to this house and right as we knocked on it an old man came out and I swear it looked like Hitler reincarnated. He was in his 60's and had a Hitler moustache and a broken German accent. The second he opened the door he was already yelling at us and usually people will stay behind the screen door and yell at us but he opened the door and came out on the porch and stood there yelling at us. He wasn't screaming but he was completely convinced that what we were doing as missionaries was the reason that the whole world is going to SH** (profanity is different than in the US! :0 and that the only way that people were going to stop killing each other was if we stopped religion all together. He looked us both in the eye and told us to GO HOME and that we weren't making any difference here. I got pretty depressed after I left that house and luckily my companion was there to pull me away because I was starting to get really angry and I was arguing with him. Elder Reese did his best to calm me down but ultimately it was up me to get myself to relax and let it go.

That guy shook me a little bit and made me think if I was even having any effect or doing any good out here, but something clicked inside me and I realized that what that one man said didn't matter. I KNOW and have been promised and have been told in Priesthood Blessings that what I am doing out here is good.  I KNOW that I have been called to serve these people and if I'm not able to preach then I need to look for opportunities to serve them so that their hearts will be softened down the line. I keep thinking about that experience and honestly I'm grateful for it.

Hell's Angel Roy has still been really busy and is trying to remodel his house because they are planning on moving. Hopefully he stays here for a while so we can teach him more but only time will tell.

Sister Hynds told me that she put all those pics of me with her lizards up on Facebook and that you made a montage of them!! They were the biggest lizards Id ever seen!! Hopefully you can see that the are the length of my entire arm! One of them is a blue tongue lizard that is native to Australia and he felt identical to a snake.....speaking of snakes, mum you may want to look away when I send this next photo. Your boy still loves his animals!

My birthday was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best package in the world!!!! I recorded me opening the whole thing and I freaking loved everything!! The ties..... I love them so much....the tie clips......they are the bomb!! Ahhhh the hymn book and the pillow case!! They were the best!! I love the pillow case so much I don't wanna put it on and drool all over it! Its so funny cause I bought a little hymn book in the MTC that's identical to this one except for having it engraved but its missing all the good stuff on the inside! Luckily Elder Rawlings was in need of one so I gave him my old one and replaced it with this one.
  
Oh one last thing.... waking up on my birthday and popping my usb into our little dvd player and watching you guys sing me happy birthday was my favorite thing in the world. Grandma's harmony and just seeing you guys busted my heart wide open. Also tell dad I was CRACKING UP when you sent the video where he cracks open the pepsi and says "HERE'S TO YA MATE!!"  I was on the floor laughing hahahaha!

I love you guys so freaking much!!!

--
-Elder Barnett

-PO Box 97 Marden, SA 5070 Australia
GOLDEN GROVE AUSTRALIA

ELDER BARNETT AND ELDER RAWLINGS - "PIZZA, PIZZA!"


AUSTRALIAN HEARING AID???   EW

ARE WE KIDDING????!!!!!


ST KILDA - PLAYGROUND FOR THE PARENTS!


THE SISTERS AND ELDERS PLAYIN A LITTLE "SPORT"