Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31/12 Email From Vitória

So this is the last day of 2012 that is strange.  It feels like it was just yesterday that it was New Year's.  So this week after we talked we had a busy week. We got called to help with an emergency transfer for some other missionaries. We had to go to the bus station and pick up a missionary and then do the exchange. Then the next day we had to take the other missionary to the bus station for him to go to his area. We lost a day of work, but I liked helping and I know that President trusts me to help with that.

We have been working, but everything has not been going very well with the end of the year coming. We did a lot of contacts and not many people wanted to talk with us or they live in other cities. Pretty much all of our appointments fell through, but I know that that is just how everything goes at the end of the year. It was this way last year as well so I am not getting too down about it, but it is a little difficult. It has been more difficult on my companion, so I am trying to help him with that.
I am really liking things here.  Vitoria is really busy and not a lot of people want to hear the message that we have to bring to them. So think of Seattle and you will know what Vitoria is like other than it being hotter here than it gets in Seattle. I am liking the members here, I am having them come up to me and tell me that they are glad that there has been a change0 in the missionaries and hope to see the work pick up.   I am glad to be getting their trust.

Michell and Elder McBarron
You will never guess who I ran into Sunday, Michelle from Anchieta!  She was at church here in Vitoria.  She was visiting a friend to see her wedding.  She told me something that is kind of funny and also a little strange.  She said that every time that she receives one of my letters the next Sunday she encounters me.  The first time was there in Guarapari, I sent my letter, she got it and then I was transferred and was there on Sunday.  This week she got my letter this week and she saw me here on Sunday.  It was really cool to see her and see that she is still strong in the church.  She is one of the strongest baptized members that I have had here on the mission. 

My companion and I also had our fireside, that went over well and it was pretty much just the youth in the ward that were there and the former Seventy that is our ward mission leader.  The ward mission leader said that it went really well and that he liked it.  The youth in the ward said that we should do another one, I think that that means that they liked it too.  Michelle was there also for the fireside, that was pretty cool too as I was able to use her story (without using her name) as part of the fireside and it helped it.  So, I figure if the youth want another one and a former Seventy is saying that it was good, it was good.  I thought that was pretty cool.

Not too much more happened since we talked on Tuesday.  The Christmas dinner we had was really good. They had a hot sauce that was hot, but also sweet at the same time, it was really good. I have come to like hot sauce on the mission.  The rest of the week was a race to try and get things done.  The highlights of the week were talking with you all and seeing Michelle.  I will find out when I get to come home probably on the 3rd as I will be going to the mission office to have an interview with the Mission President and I will ask the secretaries.  Miss you all and love you all!

Elder McBarron

Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/12 Email from Vitória

Tomorrow we will be talking over Skype I will be using the computer in the church to Skype you guys.  I was thinking about calling tomorrow about 4:00 or 4:30 pm here which would be about 10:00 in the morning for you guys.

I am in a new area that I have not been before, I am now in the Capital of the State of Espirito Santo which is Vitória.  My area is huge and it is just me and my companion here in the ward.  Our new area is the center of the mission and the mission office is in my area which is pretty cool.   If I want to I can pass by there and pick up things or grab material for teaching. We hope to make a difference here, we both have a vision that this ward can grow. I have gotten to know a lot of the members from this Ward and a few from the neighboring Ward, Marauipe.

I am getting a long with my new companion pretty well, his name is Elder Stelzer, he is from São Paulo.  We are trying to think of ways that we can work more with the members, we are trying to find ways to the ward members excited about missionary work.  We have an idea that we are working on, we are going to do a missionary fireside this next Sunday and we will be having a competition with the ward members with prizes for helping with the missionary work.

View of Vitoria outside our window
So the first day in the area was an interesting one, people were coming up to us and just giving us their addresses and that was pretty cool.  We found a family of 11 people this week and we are working with them and, hopefully, will be baptized before the end of the transfer.  We also did a service project for one of the city representatives that we met where we helped her deliver presents to kids in the city who don't have much.  That ended up being more of being a security guard of the toys as the kids were really excited.  We also helped with a party for the Primary kids and my companion was Santa Claus, that was pretty funny.

All is going well here, me and my companion are really excited for the work. We are going to turn Vitoria into the area with most of the baptisims this year.  I have opened all of the Christmas presents, I reallly like the 2 shirts and the air guitar!  I have pretty much eaten all of the food already.  Oh, I also really liked the books.  See you tomorrow!  Miss you!
Elder McBarron


Monday, December 17, 2012

12/17/12 Email from São Mateus

This week I was the chorister for church and I gave a talk yesterday so that was pretty cool and strange. This week I have been learning about a lot of stuff. I have learned about forgiveness and missionary work and how they are linked even more than I thought. We help others know how to treat each other and how we need to forgive them. We need help others learn to forgive. We need to share the gospel and, as we do, we will as well be forgiven and that as we learn to share the gospel we will know how to forgive. We need to forgive ourselves, which is often times, the hardest part. We had an investigator that has struggled with this. I have also learned that if we do not share the message of the restored gospel we can not receive the salvation, this church and gospel is one of work, we can not just sit there and do nothing.

I will be getting transferred this week on Tuesday, which is tomorrow.  I am excited, but also not, I want to leave but I also don't want to leave.  I will have to get to know a whole new area and figure out what I am going to do for my Christmas call home, that will be fun.  This is going to be a strange week after 9 months here I will be going to another area.   I hope that I go back to an area that I have already been in, but who knows what will happen, I will find out tonight. We didn't find out until last night if I was leaving or if I was staying. My baptism is setup for the 29th, but I guess now it is not my baptism.

I come home in 4 1/2 months to be exact.  I  am not really sure what I will be doing when I get home.  I want to work for a while and do some online classes and I think that I might go to BYUI, but I am not sure.  I will have to get home first to really decide.  I am thinking that I will study psychology as my major and exercise as my minor.

Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!  So, I am 22 and you two have been together for 25 years, that is pretty cool.  As I get older you do too!  I am sending a picture of a dog doing something weird, he is trying to watch everyone from underneath a door.  So we are going to have our mission party for Christmas.  I am going to be leaving after nine months of being here in São Mateus and going to be going to another area that I may not know and that is a little nerve racking.  I am ready for Christmas and for in 4 1/2 months to get home.  Miss you and love ya!

Elder McBarron


Monday, December 10, 2012

12/10/12 Email from São Mateus

Brazil has been gearing up for Christmas since the end of October.  We have been hearing Christmas music and seeing Christmas stuff since then.  They don't go all out like the Americans do but they do a lot of stuff.  Americans do a lot more than the Brazilians do.

Things have been a little tense this week as there have been some problems with one of the other elders that is living with us, but we got everything worked out yesterday.  Me and my companion are getting along fine.  I am getting along better with my District Leader, we talk about a lot of stuff and just mess around, I just feel better with him.  We are teaching a lot but we only have 1 baptism setup and it is for the 29th so I will probably not be here for that baptism.

I am up to the same old same old, teaching and teaching, having training meetings and teaching.  I am happy that it is almost Christmas.  Things will slow down after Christmas and after Christmas I only have four more months. 

I still don't know if i will be transferred or if I will be staying here.  I will probably find out on the 14th or 15th.  We have the mission Christmas party on the 18th, that is going to be great.  I am now getting my bags ready for a transfer because I will probably be transferred, but if not they will be ready for the next one.  If I get transferred I will send an email to you about where I am and when we can talk over Skype when I get to my new area.

I miss sitting and just watching movies, that is something that I am really missing now.  I am also missing the cold weather, it has been super hot here these past few days.  Me and my companion have gotten burned at least 2 times in 3 days and the Brazilians are getting burned as well.  It is getting to be really hot here as this is just the beginning of the summer here.

My most spiritual experience this week was helping resolve things with our one missionary roommate.  I sat down with him and talked with him for about a half hour and everything ended up just fine.

Well, I hope that the turkey was great.  Other than that I don't have too much left to say for this week. I love you and miss you.

Elder McBarron

Monday, December 3, 2012

12/3/12 Email from São Mateus

Thanks for your emails and am glad that you guys replied because it really helped me.  The rest of the week was better than the first few days of knowing what had happened.  I know that I only have 5 more months and 3 more transfers, so I am trying to make the best of it with my companion and mess around and have fun but also work hard and smarter.  I am going it to try and make every day a good day.  I am not sure what will happen with the transfers yet, I will not find out until later, but I will probably be transferred before Christmas.  If that happens I will do everything that I can to have a good time.

So this week we have a river in our area and it started to overflow.  We took pictures and there is a lot of water that has left the river.  We also had a zone conference that we had to go to another area really early in the morning and then when it finished there was not a bus leaving for our area until 7:00 at night to get a bus to another city and then another to our city and when we got home it was after midnight.  That really was a pain, but there was a good side, we got to see some of the people that I taught and were helping bring back to church and they were really excited to see us.  That was really cool.

My best spiritual experience was that of bearing my testimony of the importance to find those that are looking for the gospel because we never know when they will return back to our Heavenly Father´s presence.

I have been teaching a person that is living with an inactive member and she has been learning and asking really good questions that I have never been asked before and we have had answers to these questions and they have been from the Spirit.

We were able to go and ride bikes again when we were teaching and that was really good.  Also, I have been able to do a few exchanges this week with my district leader and that has been fun.  I have been able to help him and him help me.

I don't really have too much more to say.  This week has been a slow week and yeah, miss you and love you.

Elder McBarron

Thursday, November 29, 2012

11/29/12 Special Email

I have gotten special permission to send this email during the week. I wanted to let you know that this last Tuesday night, the 27th, I received some news that was not too good of news.  I found out that one of my recent converts passed away.  I am better than I was that night, but I am still a little shaken up about it.  Things are better, I just wanted to let you know earlier rather than later.  By doing this it is also helping me get everything worked out.  It appears that she died because of cancer, which was kind of to be expected I guess as she has had to have many cancer treatments in her life.

I am now working which helps and I have learned a valuable lesson because of this.  I am feeling more of the Spirit with me helping me to be full of peace and helping me continue with my great task of helping others get to know our Redeemer and His wonderful power.

Don't worry too much about me for I know that I am doing the Lord´s work and that as I work He is watching over me and helping me.

I love you and miss you

Elder McBarron

Monday, November 26, 2012

11/26/12 Email From São Mateus

Ok so this week was a better week than the past few all around no sicknesses with either me or my companion that was great! This week we went to an English class to help with the students to hear the accent of a native speaker, that was pretty fun, but difficult.

We had a conference that we went to this week that was pretty cool. I got to see a lot of the members that I know from other areas that were there. We got to hear from someone from the Seventy speak to us and that was really cool, he pretty much just taught about missionary work and about service, his name was Elder Griender and that was really cool. We went to Colatina for that (that is about a 3 hour trip), and as we were going there, there were 4 people that were throwing up during the whole trip, everyone was happy to get off the bus. Do you remember the area where I said it was always hot and where I got sick really sick one day? Yeah, it was there but it was surprisingly cool there yesterday which was really weird.

We got to use the bikes again for one day and I took some pics. As we were out trying to find an address we saw a kid whacking a piece of wood against the ground and then walk away and afterwards we saw why, we found a snake that had had its head smashed up by the kid and so we had to take a picture of the to show as well.

I got the packages from you guys and liked was was in them that was not wrapped. I really am liking to treats and I can't wait to open the presents. I have to admit that when I got the package on of the presents had the wrapping paper ripped all the way around it and I could already see what it was so I took the wrapping paper off the missionary statues and that was a pretty cool gift. I really liked the Captain America stuff and the the blue, green and yellow tie.

So as for the meat in last week's picture that you asked about, it was really good. We went and got a lot of meat and then cooked it in the grill. The rolls were soft but not too soft, they are actually a type of bread here, so we ate the meat with that and it was really good especially with the BBQ sauce.

I have thought about home and coming home, but I am trying not too right now but it is kind of hard not too because I am in a house where there is another elder that is close to going home, but he is closer to going home than I am. So it is a little hard but it is fun talking about some of the stuff with him. I try to stay focused on the work and I am sure that mom is counting the hours.

So we are getting ready for the holiday season, one of the other missionaries has put up some Christmas lights in our apartment and I have my lego tree up and we are already singing Christmas hymns. We can't wait. I don't know what else to write for you as there wasn't really too much else that went on other than that here in my area.

Miss you and love you!

Elder McBarron

Monday, November 19, 2012

11/19/12 Email From São Mateus

Well this has been a crazy week for things happening.  This week we didn't really have too much go on other than a really good lunch this last Monday and goofing off with the other missionaries.  I am including pictures of it.

So this week went by really fast as well.  We had a training meeting that was kind of a pain, but hey what can you do, you have to have some of those every once in a while.  This week it got really humid, it was still raining and it was good that it was still raining because it is definitely getting hot here.  It has been raining so much that there was actually part of my area where it started to flood the streets and it has stayed there for a few days now.

Our next baptismal dates fell through, we will see what is going on with them and if they actually have a desire to continue with this journey that will bring them more happiness or not we will see.  
This week we have not idea what we are going to be doing other than working and working.  I am ready to have some fun here this week knocking doors and doing contacts because we don't have any references. We are going to try and get some references from members this week but we will see.  We have a district conference this Sunday which is just like a stake conference but with a member district. 

The best part of the week was having an exchange with my district leader and I learned a lot despite not having a very productive day. We talked with a lot of people that were iffy about hearing our message.
I don't really have anything else to say   Have fun with Thanksgiving and eat a lot of the meat for me okay!  Love you and miss you!

Elder McBarron


Monday, November 12, 2012

11/12/12 Email from São Mateus

So, I am still in my same area, I will probably be leaving in another 5 weeks. After these 5 weeks I will have 9 months in this area. 

I was sick this week, I had to stay home for a day and sort that out and the next day I was working even though I was still a little bit sick.

We had a baptism this week, that was great, and we had it in the ocean!  We are finding a lot of new and good people here and we have 3 more baptismal dates marked.  We are planning on marking more dates with other people as well this week.  We have an investigator that is having problems with forgiveness, let's just say that he had a problem in the past and now he is having a hard time forgiving himself and others for their actions.  It would be really cool if you could help with him, if you could at least help pray for him that would be great.

I am really tired today we had and exhausting week and we finally get to rest today.  I really don't have anything else for this week other than that I received another testimony that the Atonement is real and that we can be forgiven and that our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us.  Well, other than that, I don't really anything else.  Miss you mom and love you.

Elder McBarron


Monday, November 5, 2012

11/5/12 Email from São Mateus

Well this week was a pain, I had to go and get another ingrown toenail removed.  I had to wait a really long time to get in and get it done and then I had to stay at home for two days.  Those were two really boring days and then it rained on us up until today.  We tried to talk with people and get their address so that we can visit with them, but the rain does not help with that.  So we are now getting ready for this next week to have a baptism and to have a good start to a new transfer.

We did get boxes of candy on Halloween to celebrate and I got the last of the Christmas stuff for you all so I will be trying to get that out to you all this week. 

A really good part of the week was that we marked a new baptismal date for the 10th and he passed his baptismal interview.  We have another investigator who has not gotten married yet because of not having enough money right now, but he will get married here in a little bit.

Dad that is awesome that you got a new companion for home teaching, tell him for me to take care of you with the home teaching and try and help him find the value and the worth of home teaching. That is something that I am finding on the mission, that most of the family home teachers here don't know the importance of why they are doing home teaching and some only do it because they are required to do it, not because they actually want to do it. I really miss doing home teaching, it brought a lot of joy to be helping people. I didn't know the whole worth and value of home teaching when I started home teaching with you, but I learned from you the value and worth and also with my other home teaching companion as well. But it is our first companion that sets everything up for us, just like the first companion on the mission. The first companion shows you the ropes and gets you started on the right path.

I can't wait to get the package from you guys and I can't wait to talk with you all at Christmas. I will be trying to send a package home to you which I am going to try and do that today, we will see what happens.

Oh, I will be staying one more transfer so I will be here for 9 months in one area, that is pretty crazy.  Well, I don't know what else to put down, so miss ya!
Elder McBarron

Monday, October 29, 2012

10/29/12 Email from São Mateus

My week was a crazy week we were running around trying to do a lot of stuff but it was a really good week. We were putting a new teaching pool together so that is why it was crazy.  We aren't riding the bikes anymore, we don't really have a the necessity to use them any more.  For service projects we usually move furniture, weed yards or help build houses. That is the usual service stuff.
I can't believe that it is Halloween, they don't really do anything here to celebrate it, but I am thinking up a costume that I can use on the next Halloween which will be great.
We saw some really cute puppies this week and I took a picture of them for Megan.  We also saw some burrowing owls and I took some pictures of them as well.

I will probably be staying but I will not know until Saturday, but there is a good chance that I will be staying.  I am starting to get the new guy opened up and get the work going really well.  We did not have our baptisms this last week and we will not have baptisms this week either.  We had our baptisms fall through this week (this means that they are not ready to get baptised or that they don't really have a desire to get baptized).

We are going to work in another part of our area to try and get things rolling again and see if that gets everything back on track.  We found a family that lived in the states for 12 years which is pretty cool. Their son speaks really good English.

I helped make a Brazilian Torta which is like a cake and pie kind of thing, it is hard to describe it, I can pretty much just say that it is food so I am including a picture of it.

My best experience this week was talking with a family that lived in the states for 12 years.  I can't believe that I only have about 5 more months here time flies really fast here. Well, I don't know what else to put.  Miss you and I will be looking forward to the Christmas box.

Elder McBarron



Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22/12 Email from São Mateus

This week we went to a fair type thing and we got a lot of free fruit, that was cool.  We were just talking to a guy and he told us to go and grab a watermelon for free.  We found a kid that wants to be baptized.  He is almost 14, he is really excited about getting baptised and was really excited about church yesterday.  We are working with him to get him baptized on the 2nd of November.  I have an investigator that is going to be getting married soon and then afterwards he can be baptized.  Getting married here is a pain, there are a lot of things that you have to do and then you have to wait for about a month before you can get married.

This week was really crazy, we ran into a lot of investigators at other peoples houses that we had visited. We also visited a different church with an investigator that came with us to church. Yeah, let's just say that I had some experiences that strengthened my testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is really the true church of Christ here on the earth.

I  do not know if I will be going yet, we will find out not this Saturday but the next if I will be going.  I am doing well with my companion.  We play dominoes almost every night.
I am missing the cold weather, it is getting hotter and hotter here every day.

Well, those are the highlights of the week.   Miss you and love you.
Elder McBarron

Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15/12 Email From São Mateus

This week was a bust, there were 4 different holidays in just this weekend so everyone has been out partying, or traveling so it was kind of hard to get our visits done.  We did find a really cool family through their son. The son speaks English and the dad does too a little bit.  The dad was a little apprehensive about our first visit thinking about all of the things that he has heard about the church that are negative.  But after we had our first visit he said that from what he saw just from our visit is that we sincerely teach what we believe and act upon it, that we are a lot truer to our faith than some other churches and that a lot of the things that he has heard are not true.  He said that he actually believes that we are doing the Lord´s work.  We will see how things go with the family.  We are also trying to help a kid my age to stop smoking.  We have gotten him down from 30 cigarettes per day to about 16 so far. 

There is a member that works at a bakery and this week he gave us a ton of bread, we don't have to buy anything anymore to eat really, we just have to eat the bread that he gave us.  We brought home 2 garbage bags full of bread, yeah we have a lot of bread to eat.  He keeps trying to give us more, so we are taking a little bit here and a little bit there so that we don't get over loaded with bread.

Ok so the best learning experience this week was that of helping a couple sort out a few things so that their lives will be a little more mellow and so that they can have the spirit with them.  It helped me learn more about what I am going to have to do when I have a family to be taking care of and a wife to be taking care of.

I have less than 200 days left and I am starting to feel it, my body is starting to become a little more tired every day and I am starting to get a little bit more crazy, but I think that that might just be me changing and becoming a little more crazy and not so much quiet.  Well that is pretty much just about it for the fun stuff other than being able to ride bikes here in part of our area, a member is letting us use their bikes, yeah, that is so much fun. Well that is it.

Miss you and love ya
Elder McBarron

Monday, October 8, 2012

10/8/12 Email From São Mateus

This week was really good, as for the work on the mission front was good pretty much the same old same old, us helping a lot of people and doing all that we can do. I am getting physically tired, but hey that is what p-day is for -to rest. I am still eating a lot, I have been having the munchies for the last little while. We got to ride some bikes this week during our proselyting time, we borrowed them from a member and we went with him and visited a lot of people. I am a little saddle sore right now but hey that is what happens when you have not riden a bike in over a year, but it saved a lot of time. We did mark 4 more baptismal dates and we will be marking more this coming week.

Conference was really good from what I got to see. I was able to watch the last 2 sessions. I can't believe that they changed the age requirements. We are going to be having a lot of missionaries coming now that are really young and a lot of young women now that will be serving a mission, that will be really weird to see here in a couple of months. The missions are going to be flooded with sisters now and there will be just as many sisters as there will be elders, that is going to be strange. I really enjoyed what I was able to watch of conference, but I didn't get to see too much.
My companion and I are getting along really well and I am getting along really well with the roomies as well. My companion is cool, he is a little quiet, I am a little more crazy than he is. I am trying to help him be a little bit more animated and find his crazy side. I just need to make sure that i am taking good care of my companion and everything will be fine.

Fun and unusual this week would have had to have been the bike riding and eating BBQ, yeah that was good.

We need to do all of our Home Teaching visits because we help support everyone all of the members by doing our visits and also by showing that we care. At least a 1/3 of the members that are inactive will be reactivated by just the visits of members, our visits as members are very important.
The best part about this week was the people that we got to meet and for the things that we are able to do. I am really liking it here in São Mateus and I don't want to leave here, but I have a feeling at the end of this transfer I will be leaving. I will have 7 and a half months here in this area at the end of the transfer, but who knows.

I am missing you and love you.
Elder McBarron


Monday, October 1, 2012

10/1/12 Email From São Mateus

This week went really well, I am good but really tired.  This last transfer of walking 20 km every day
 has caught up to me and I am ready to just rest today.  This week we didn't have too much fun stuff, just a good long trip to Vitoria and getting my new companion.  We also got 2 more missionaries in the area as well.  I have a new American from Logan, Utah as my companion.  He has 9 months on the mission and his name is Elder Peterson.  He was trained by a friend here on the mission.  We got back from the transfers around midnight, that was fun, and then I woke up at 5:30 am.  This week I pretty much just showed my companion around and also the other missionaries that are here with us.  We got most of our goals done in about 4 days which was really good.

Having my new companion is good so it helps with not thinking about home.  I am not really thinking too much anyways about home, I still have 6 months to go.

This week we were going to have a baptism but it fell through at that last minute.  His sister came into town and she said that she would not go to his baptism and then gave him a bunch of stuff that she had found on the internet.  He decided to just put the baptism off for a little while instead of canceling.

Oh, we did eat a lot this week, we ate a ton.  I had 2 lunches with a member where they made a ton of food and they kept putting more on our plates and the food was really good.

Well, I don't really have too much else to say.

Miss ya!

Elder McBarron



Monday, September 24, 2012

9/24/12 Email From São Mateus

This week we had the baptism at the beach and it was in the ocean, that was so good.  I will send pictures next week, I need to get them from my companion because mine didn't turn out too well.  We have had 3 baptisms this transfer.  We will have another baptism this this Saturday

I am staying here in my area and my companion is being transferred.  We will see what will happen this week.

My best experience this week was the baptism and then the branch activity that we had afterwards.

I don't really have much to say about this week other than it has been a busy week with up rushing around. We had a day this week where someone had let off a few shots near where we were, that was a little strange.

Miss you and love you.

Elder McBarron

Monday, September 17, 2012

9/17/12 Email From São Mateus

So this week has been a very busy week.  I traveled 3 out of the 7 days during this week.  I went to another city do a companion exchange and I got fried there in a neighborhood that had no shade.  Then the next day I had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to get the bus to return to my area where we worked all day and bought the bus tickets for the Zone Conference the next day.  So the next day we had to wake up at 4:45 am to get to another city for the Zone Conference, that was fun.  When we got home after the Zone Conference we had only 3 more hours to do our work.  We had an interview for a baptism that will happen this Friday in the ocean, that will be fun.  I will be baptizing this person!  After that we pretty much just slowed down because we were tired.  So, needless to say, I am a little tired. 

Our mission president went back to our area with us and, not today, but the next p-day we are going to paint our entire apartment with president and his wife.  That is going to be fun.

Well, we are trying to set up other baptisms for this week and for others.  I got a package from Gram that has a  Lego Space Needle that was pretty cool.  Yesterday we had a good day, we made a type of treat that is really good, with some of our investigators.

I don't know if  I will be moving or not, we will find out this week.

It has been raining a lot here but I have to say that I miss Washington rain.  That is pretty much the excitement here for this past week.

I have learned that if you don't do what the Lord is telling you to do, you will not receive the blessings that He is trying to give you or you won't help the person that really needs your help at this time.
Miss you and love ya.

Elder McBarron

Monday, September 10, 2012

9/10/12 Email From São Mateus

We pretty much were in a rush to do everything this week. This week we were running around like mad men because we had so much stuff to do and so little time to do it in.

I had some fun things happen this week.  I got to play Uno with some of the members for a family home evening.  I also got to make pizza at a church activity that was pretty fun.  I am going to make pizza when I get home.  Other than that the only other fun was eating BBQ for lunch with some members.

The only thing that is really new was that we are helping some people get married which is good.  We will help them be able to get baptized and have a better life.

My best experience this week was making the pizza.  Other than that we didn't have anything else happen this week.  I forgot my camera back at the apartment so I will send some pictures next week okay.

Miss ya & love ya!

Elder McBarron

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

9/3/12 Email from São Mateus

So this week was a week of running around.  We were just doing everything.  We had a meeting in another city one day that pretty much destroyed our schedule that day.  Then we had a lot of things that just went a little wrong, but in the end we fixed them.  One was filling up the baptismal font, that was a fun one.  The other one was getting clothes for our baptism person to wear.  We had to make a toga for her to use because the baptismal clothes that we had did not fit because she is pregnant.

Well, I can't really think of anything else that we did that was out of the ordinary other than walk a lot.  We figured out that we walked at least 75 miles last week and pretty much each week, yeah that was fun to figure out.  We didn't really meet anyone new this week unfortunately, but well you have weeks like that.

The funnest thing that we did was pretty much just messing around during the day.  Oh, I wore the bacon tie all day yesterday.  That was pretty funny to hear what all of the members were saying about it.  Some loved it and others hated it, it was kind of funny.

My best experience that I had this week was at the baptismal meeting.  I was conducting the meeting and as I was conducting I talked a little bit about baptism and also when I was just sitting there during the meeting I felt the Spirit there really strongly and it made me really happy and joyful.
I can't wait to go for a ride when I get back that should be pretty fun. I am missing riding my dirt bike.  I am sorry that I don't really have too much more for you, but that is pretty much all that happened this week.  Also, I have to go and get a lot of stuff done this p-day and I have very little time to do it in.  Miss you and love you .

Elder McBarron

Monday, August 27, 2012

8/28/12 email from São Mateus

So this week I got my birthday package and loved everything that was in there and my companion as well.  I really liked the Star Wars stuff and the bacon tie.  Also, thanks for the BBQ sauce, we are definitely enjoying that.  My birthday was pretty great this year and last here on the mission.

It is really cool here to be getting to know pretty much the whole city like the back of my hand just like I did with the last area where I stayed for a long time.

We had a baptism, we baptized a man that was very large and could not bend his knees so we had to have me and my companion there to help support the weight and make sure that he was baptized correctly.  That was pretty fun as I got to be the one to baptize him.

So it is raining a lot here, it is starting to remind me of home.  I am starting to have a hard time trying to write in English.  I started studying and writing what I am studying only in Portuguese and that is messing with me a little.

So I am trying to remember what all happened this week other than the zone meeting and getting the package and cards there.  The only other thing that was really exciting would have to be the baptism that we had.  Oh yeah, I did a service project that was really fun.  I got to cut up huge branches from a tree into smaller pieces with a machete that was really fun, but I got some blisters on my hand that popped that was not too much fun.

Well, I have to go, but hey here are some more pictures, mostly of my birthday gifts.  Love you and miss you.

Elder McBarron


Monday, August 20, 2012

8/20/12 Email from São Mateus

So unfortunately I have not gotten my package yet, I will be getting it tomorrow.  Our zone meeting was postponed until tomorrow.

This week was kind of a dud week because it was raining and seemed to be freaking everyone out.  We didn't have a ton of lessons like usual, the few we did have got canceled because of the rain.  We pretty much just had fun in the rain.

Other than that we just marked to have one baptism on the 1st.  She has 2 siblings that are members and her mom is studying with us too.

I am happy about what I have done with my mission so far, the people that I have met and the people that I have helped return to our Father in Heaven or at least get on the pathway.

I can't wait to get the package tomorrow!  Yeah, that is about it for the update.  Miss you and love ya!

Elder McBarron

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

8/13/12 Email From São Mateus

l[What happened this week?]  The weather is good but it is feeling a little cold now and that is a little strange considering it is warmer here than it is in Washington normally.  I am liking the rain a lot.   This was a hard week because the other to missionaries were ending their missions this week and that just brought us down because it was two missionaries and not just one leaving.  It would have been easier if it had been just one, but well they are gone now and things are better, oh, and I got 4 new ties because of them.

[What did you find out about transfers?]  So the 411 for the week is that I will be staying here and my companion as well.  This will be our third transfer together and it should be a fun one because we will be by ourselves in the whole city again.  But, hey, that means that we have more people that we can baptize then and . 

[Any baptisms scheduled?]  The baptism of the other elders that left happened Saturday which was good and I got really excited about it.  Now my companion is thinking that I am crazy, but hey, maybe I am a little crazy.  We have someone that is going to be baptized on the 25th of this month, he was taught by the missionaries that were just here that are going home now because they have finished their missions so we will baptize him.  We also have 2 more people that we have marked baptismal dates with and we will be working with them so that they will be baptized on the 1st of September.  We are trying to teach some other people too and we are thinking about marking a date with one other person for the 25th or the 1st.

[What did you get to do for your birthday?]  Well, as for my birthday, I  got a really funny surprise from the other Elders.  We didn't have a cake or anything to put candles in so they grabbed something that we did have and, yeah, that was a potato.  They brought it in with the candles lit and started to sing, that was pretty funny!  Then as we were going throughout our day we went to a member´s house and they made a cake and sang Happy Birthday to me and that was pretty cool.  My companion and I also went and got milkshakes and that was pretty good.  So it was a good birthday.  I will be getting my package on Friday since I will not be going to the transfer meeting.

Well miss you and love ya.

Elder McBarron

P.S.  Garoto is a chocolate factory here where I am serving it is basically the Hershey of Brazil.

Monday, August 6, 2012

8/6/12 Email From São Mateus

[How was your week?]  So this week we didn't really have anything big happen, we pretty much just had the same old same old.  We did have our interviews with the Mission President and then we had a few situations with some atheists this week, yeah that was fun.  I was sitting there the whole time just wanting to tell them that they are wrong and that they know that, but they are too proud to admit it.  We also had some situations with some Seventh-day Adventists, they tried to tell us that we were wrong and that we are not following the 10 commandments.  Then they gave us their books and we gave them the Book of Mormon and we told them to read and pray about our message and they asked us to pray and see if we were are not following every part of the 10 commandments, we said ok.  We went home, we prayed and, yep, we are following all of the commandments.  I guess that had to have made our week a little exciting

[What is the weirdest dream you have had since you have been on your mission?]  My craziest dream that I had was a dream where I was doing contacts, but I was not a missionary anymore.  I was talking with everyone as if I were a missionary and I was talking with a girl that I had never seen before.  We were walking in the street and I was walking with the missionary pace and she could not keep up and at the end I was just talking with people.

[What would you say is the worst apartment you have had so far?]  The worst apartment, I have no idea they were all bad and good at the same time.-

[What funny experiences have you had with people in the streets?]  Everyone here thinks that we work for the bus companies so they come up to us to ask when the next bus passes by and other things.  It is funny to tell them that we don't work for the bus companies and then do a contact with them.  A lot of the drunks call us over and ask us to preach something to them and then they offer to buy us a beer.  It is really funny talking with the drunks, they have no idea most of the time who we are, what we do or what they are doing.

[What was your best experience this week?]  My best experience this week was performing a baptismal interview, that was pretty cool.  The other elders are going to have a baptism this Saturday!

Well, that is the highlights of the week without all of the boring stuff of walking, eating, sleeping and studying.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Thanks for the birthday wishes! unfortunately i did not get my package yet, but I will be getting it at transfers on the 14th.  Let me know when the package that I sent gets to you.  Miss you and love you!

Elder McBarron

Monday, July 30, 2012

7/30/12 Email From São Mateus

We had a crazy week this week, we had a lot of big things happen.  We planned to have some baptismal dates marked, but one had to cancel because her mom said said that as long as her daughter was living under her roof that she could not be baptised.  The daughter was really sad, but we will be going back just to keep talking with her and help. 

The best thing about this week was that we got to hear from the area authority, one of the Seventy. He just had a lot of funny things to say with all of the other missionaries.  It is kind of hard to explain everything that goes on. 

Other than that we didn't have too much going on here.  Just knocking doors and trying to teach people.  I have not seen my birthday package yet, but I will probably be getting it on Wednesday.  If not I will be getting it at the transfers.  I have sent you all a package, it has some stuff for you all and a lot of stuff that I am sending home.

We don't have any more baptisms set up for a while and we are trying to find more people.  I don't have too much more to say, other than we need to be constantly working on sharing the gospel with others.  We often forget that when we are sharing the gospel we are also serving our neighbor and when we are serving our neighbor we are also serving or Heavenly Father.  We are the examples that everyone sees of the Church of Jesus Christ by the way that we act and by the way that we help others.  That is how we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints show that we believe in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.  We are in a war to save our Brothers and Sisters and we will be enlisted until the end.  We need to help our brothers and sisters that have fallen away, we need to do our visits always, if one of the people that we are responsible for was not at church we need to worry about them and show that we missed them at church, we need to show others the pure love of Christ and help each other back on the pathway to our Father in Heaven.
With love

Elder McBarron

Monday, July 23, 2012

7/23/12 Email From São Mateus

The name of the YSA Ward in our home area!
This week we didn't have too much fun, other than the usual stuff, laughing at each other and you know that kind of stuff.  This week was kind of a frustrating week, we marked a few dates and they have already fallen through.  We are going to be going at things differently this week.  Since I don't have too much time here on the mission, and my companion as well, we are trying to figure out what we need to do better to have better success here, that is our focus for this week.  We are going to focus on building the faith of our investigators more and then we will mark baptism dates.  We are starting to see again that we have to work smarter and not harder.

This week we found some oranges that are green and the size of a baby´s head, that was pretty cool.  I will take a picture and send it to you this next week.  We also found a really cool store full of really cool things.  I bought a few things for you guys and I will be sending a package home soon.  I did buy a few things for me as well.

What is good is that we are still working and doing all that we can to help everyone here.  The branch president just said yesterday for all of the branch to do their visits and that they would have more success with the growth of the branch.  That they need to help with the missionary work here too.  We are trying to work with the members more and find people that can be baptized and that are willing to hear the message that we have to bring.

I don't really have too many pictures to send that you have not seen, but I am sending a pic of the last baptism that I forgot to send last week. I found a sign in my area that has the name of the Young Single Adult ward back home on it so I am going to send that picture too.

Miss ya!

Elder McBarron

Monday, July 16, 2012

7/16/12 Email from São Mateus

[How was your week?]  This week was a really good week, we had a baptism this week that was pretty much a surprise.  This investigator has been studying with the missionaries for about 8 months and we hadn't been visiting him, but he was going to church and this last Sunday he said that he wanted to be baptized.  We worked as hard as we could to make sure that the baptism happened this week and it did!  Saturday I helped put up a roof at a members house and now I am really sore. After that we walked around and finished our day off.

Yesterday we were lead by the Spirit pretty much all day.  We helped an investigator know that what she was feeling was the Spirit and know why it is that we do not worship the Catholic Saints and a lot of other things.  After that we got stopped by an inactive member that has been inactive for a long time.  She said that she wants to come back to church and have her husband baptized.  After that we went and talked with a family of members to schedule a family home evening and we asked them about the less active members in the area and they told us about one.  So we went and visited them and when we got there they were just getting home.  We marked to visit them another day but we found out that she is going to a different church now, so we are going to help her  find her testimony if we can.  Then there was this dude that stopped me and my companion in the street and wanted to talk with us.  We talked with him and he took us for a ride around in his car, a really nice one, and we just talked about the Church and our purpose.  After awhile he took us to get something to eat.  We gave him a Book Of Mormon and got his address to send the missionaries to visit with him and his family as he lives in another city.  Yeah that all was pretty cool.  I have been feeling the Spirit guiding us a lot in our work this week.

[You said you were on a bus for 10 hours, how come?]  So I was on that bus for 10 hours because I had to go and renew my visa in Vitoria and no I would not have done that just for fun.
[I wanted to text you when I was out of town as I was texting your sister and dad too and was a little sad because I couldn't.]  Well, mom I hope that you can hold out just a little bit longer.  I know that I am far away and you miss me, but I only have a little bit more time here, you can't get trunky on me just yet.

[How is your companion and did the other missionaries get to stay in your area?]    My companion is helping me learn how to draw better.  I am the oldest missionary age wise here in the city, the two new missionaries here are both 21 and their missions end at the end of this transfer.  We re-divided the boundaries of our areas for the two companionships here.  We went from teaching in the poorest part of the city to working in the richest part of the city.  We are now teaching some rich people, we will see how that goes.  I am still working near the beach as well, that is still pretty awesome.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I have, what is called by the missionaries, a snake (a snake is a girl in the mission boundaries that likes a missionary).  Well, my snake is in one of my old areas, but her mom said that she willing to wait for me to end my mission and then she wants to marry me.  That was a little strange for me.

So that is pretty much most of what I can remember from this week.  I am really missing my guitar and ukulele.  Love you and miss you!

Elder McBarron

Monday, July 9, 2012

7/8/12 Email from São Mateus

[How was your week?]  This week was a mess of running around and meetings.  I am no longer the district leader, but that's fine with me as I was losing sleep because of it.  A district is a group of 4 to 8 missionaries and a zone is a group of 10 to 26 missionaries.  We got another companionship here, but both of them will be going home at the end of the transfer.

[What was the funniest thing that happened this week?]  The funniest thing that happened this week was getting the other two missionaries here in the area, they are hilarious.

[Since you were so tired last week, we hope that you got some extra sleep on your p-day?]  I did get a lot of sleep this last p-day.  When I got back from emailing and at lunch I was pretty much out until 5:30 pm.

[We had a thunderstorm last night, did you get to see many?]  I miss thunderstorms, we don't get a lot of those here.  I have only had 2 in my whole mission up until now.

[What is something boring that has happened?]  So something boring, well we took a trip to Vitória this week and that was pretty boring.  I was in a bus for 10 hours with pretty much nothing to do.

[When you say you work your butt off, what do you mean?]  Well, as for working our butts off, we were walking fast and teaching a lot of people and doing everything that we could do that would pretty much make you tired out of your mind.

[What was your best experience this week?]  Well, the single most outstanding thing that happened to me this week was that I had a baptism at a members house and one of my other baptisms got to perform the baptism which was pretty cool! I also got my Visa renewed this week so I should be good to go for a while.

Miss you and love you.

Elder McBarron

Monday, July 2, 2012

7/2/12 Email From São Mateus

This week, me and my companion are really tired from the work that we are doing we have been working our butts off this week to show that we need another companionship here, but if we do not get it we will work together just fine.  We have had a lot of things happen this transfer that we are just exhausted from.  We are probably going to sleep today when we get back to the apartment.

We had our baptism this week that was great!  He was baptized and confirmed the same day to close the tri-mester, that was pretty cool.  I got to preform the confirmation!  Then yesterday he received the Priesthood!

Our week was great but full of work.  We worked our rear ends off this week.  We are probably going to get 2 new missionaries here.  Elder Litchfield and I are staying here.

The winter here is pretty good, it is nice and cool, but it hasn't really been raining much.  It would be nice if it rained a little more.

That is pretty cool that you got the Google translate app for your ipad!  At least now if I want to I can write in Portuguese and you will be able to understand it a little easier.

My best experience this week was when I was prestando meu testemunho por um pesquisador sobre oração e que Deus existe, eu senti o espirito muito forte, foi ótimo [in English:  giving my testimony by a researcher about prayer and that God exists, I felt the Spirit very strong, it was great].

Feliz Quarto De Julho!!!! [in English:  Happy Fourth of July!]  Unfortunately, here it won't be the same.  They don't have the fireworks or anything here because they do not celebrate this holiday.

Well, the best lesson was about oração [in English:  prayer].   That was pretty good and cool!

Well I have to go.  Miss you and love you

Elder McBarron