So as of yesterday, our bishop is on the same page as us. He has decided that it is time for the ward to split into a Lafayette ward and a Yamhill ward. Possibly even a Carlton ward. The next ward council will be devoted to changing the mission plan, which consists of 4 baptisms a year right now. We saw it and decided that it was way too weak-sauce lol. So the vision that we created is to divide the ward!
This is just the beginning of what will happen in the Yamhill area.
My new district is pretty funky. Our 4'10 sister got placed with a sister who is 6'4, which is pretty funny. We also have an elder who is 6'10, and his companion is a stinking genius. So we call them Pinky and the Brain XD
In this area we have many people who have seen a lot of death. We have a less active church member we are teaching, and he served in Columbia fighting the drug cartels. The PTSD these people have is definitely evident. Another investigator we are going to start teaching grew up in Hawaii. He is going to cook us an authentic hawaiian dinner! So stoked!
If you can't tell by my unfocused email, I haven't got on different meds yet... So yeah lol. Sorry!
Hurrah for Israel!
<oh no....no new meds? lol...his poor companion!!>
For the past five weeks he and his comp, Elder Andrus, have been serving in two wards, McMinnville 2nd and Yamhill. Yesterday, he was split from Elder Andrus (sad day!). Elder Andrus was moved to Madras. Elder Barrow stayed in the Yamhill Ward, and was moved out of the McMinnville ward, where they received two new elders. Elder Barrow is VERY excited to stay with Bishop McConkie and their ward. He has a lot of work to do, but is very excited!
I asked if he was able to get everything back into his bag.. "I can't even pack yet! They don't even have anywhere for me to go! haha. And yes, I only have one ward now :) Just Yamhill, no longer mac 2nd. However I am staying in the mac apartment until I have somewhere else to live that is closer to my area..."
David is now serving with a new trainer, Elder Schultz from Farr West, Ut.
Yamhill Ward consists of several towns, mainly: Yamhill, Cove Orchard, Pike, Fairdale and LaFayette. Yamhill city, itself, has about 1,100 people in residence :).
It's a beautiful area that holds annual Lavender festivals and hosts many vineyards and local wineries.
Hey :) So yes, I got the money for the bike, and the bike is awesome. I want to talk a little bit about vision. In our mission we have a vision, which is a high end goal. Our vision is to build upon the rock. There was a missionary in Dublin that had a vision for his area, which at the time was just a branch, that it would become a stake. As he set forth with that area in mind, he labored diligently to create that vision. Just a few months before he went home, this little branch of Dublin had become a stake of Zion. It was a lot of hard work, had to work diligently, but it came about as he established his vision and love for the people.
In Yamhill, we are going to do just that. Right now, Yamhill, Carlton and Lafayette are all in the same ward. I have faith that the Lord wants there to be 1 ward for Lafayette, and 1 ward for Yamhill and Carlton. In one year,I know that this can be done, but it is going to be a lot of work. We have to begin with the members. There is no way that we can do this if the members are not on the same page as we are. We will begin with the Bishop, who holds the priesthood keys to all of the missionary work in those 3 cities. After we know he is seeing this same vision, it will spread to the ward council, to their counselors, to the visiting and home teachers, and finally to each member of the ward. By the end of the next 4 months, each branch of the ward (RS, Elders, HP) can have 80%+ home teaching if we do this correctly. That is how we will know if we are doing our job as missionaries. My job as a missionary, currently, is to teach my wards how to have their own visions for their ward.
Our Bishop is pretty much on board with this whole thing already. He asked me yesterday to help him create the agenda for ward council next week, which is pretty cool.
I know that as we create this vision for our area, for Yamhill County, the Lord will inspire us to do the things that he would have us do. It kind of stinks to lose McMinnville 2nd ward, especially the Britts and the Greens, and the Markhams, but I am where the Lord needs me: he needs me to work and to labor exceedingly in the vineyards of Yamhill. [PB - quite literally!]
He will bless me and my new companion, whomever he may be, to do what he has commanded.
I am so excited to get going on this, you have no idea!
"By the way, people can send me as many e-mails as they want. My e-mail adress can totally be known! Below is the mailing address, it's the mission office, so whatever mail is sent there is sent to me wherever I go. :)"
"We are doing everything we can to help our ward: going to every ward meeting we are invited to, visiting each family in the ward, etc. But for some reason, the ward members insist on calling upon the missionaries for even the smallest of things: Mowing lawns, picking weeds, blessings for sprained ankles, everything like that. Unfortunately, the home teaching in our ward is at 20%, and the members are calling the missionaries to do things their home teachers could be helping with."
[ Definition: Home Teacher - two male members of the congregation who serve two or three families in the congregation, visiting their homes at least once each month. Every family is assigned home teachers, unless they ask specifically not to have them. Home Teachers visit with a message, and generally check on their families during the week. They take a special interest in Supporting the father in providing a righteous home environment, and the family in their important occasions. Because of their caring and friendship, the Home Teachers are often included of as a member of the family :) - plb]
"We are going to talk with the men in our ward, and try to help them understand what their role is in the church. If there is one thing that I would tell the ward it is to realize your place in it and why it is so important to magnify your calling. [meaning to do your utmost with what God has asked you to do, namely watch over one another]. Being a member of this church means accepting that responsibility placed on you. Our job as missionaries is to help our wards realize this, so that we can get more things done later on."
I received three emails from Elder Barrow today, but nothing substantive :) I assume he thought the pictures told a thousand words so why write? hahhah. Perhaps on Friday. So far I get to hear from him twice a week. Although Tuesdays are usually his big email day.
Here are the pictures he sent!
Elder Barrow (black jacket on right) with his district during lunch at the MTC. His companion is across from him! This is where we fatten up our missionaries with an all you can eat buffet every meal, every day. Good thing this group was only there 12 days! WHEW! :)
Elder Barrow and his district at the Provo Temple! They are a great looking group! Elder Barrow is in the back, his comp peeking around in front of him :).
Elder Barrow and his MTC Companion Elder Viecco!
At the MTC, Elder Barrow bumps into Elder Spencer McGlinche, a fellow encore choir member and friend from Oregon. :)
Elder David Barrow greets a sweet familiar face!! David and Sis. Maddie Grant graduated from High School Together! Maddie was one of my seminary converts to the Gospel in 2010.
Now she is on her way preach the gospel in Russia!!
Introducing Elder DorkyDude.
We sent him some colored pipe cleaners in his "greenie missionary package". They were intended to use during his lessons which involve children...nope. Instead he chose to make this "splendid tie!"
And don't you just love his allergy-induced-swollen-eyed-skooshy-face?! LOL poor kid.
Too much MoTab?? NEVER!! David asked for some more music, and I wrote asking some specifics within mission rules. Given that John is in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir we thought it was funny that David was taking his "dad" on his mission, hahha. Imagine my immense laughter when I read this in his email today: "Yes, has to be hymns, but they can be upbeat and fun. In fact, prefferably so haha. There is only so much mo-tab one can take :P" Bahahahhaha :). So, we are parusing our library for "upbeat hymn arrangements". John suggested we record our own...he's warming up his accordion Hahahhaha!! Oh how I love my family :)! Given the changes in the "tracting policy", I wanted to know if they now had more "down time". "We still tract on our "down time", so no we don't have "down time" at all lol, but we are going around to each member's home to talk about what they can do to become member missionaries. We are very busy!" It's true. In fact they are visiting EVERY member in the two wards they are in. Their days are filled with spiritual and physical service. HE's SO HAPPY!! VERY very proud of these guys :).
I'm Just thrilled!!! My dear friend Rebecca Shinkle Matz and my sweet son, Elder David Barrow, finally met :). She has been and always will be my spiritual sister. "Met Sister Matz today, she definitely seems like she'd be a good friend of yours, so I'm not incredibly suprised haha" Here are a few pictures she posted of the Elders and her Husband Douglas Matz.
A hike on P-Day! (FB Post from their Ward Mission Leader) Da boys ran into a really good friend of theirs out at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey on P-day. They wanted to go to another monastery that specializes in chocolate, but I steered them clear of that one for now. Can't promise how long we'll be able to hold off on that visit, though...
Missionary Service requires physical endurance. They often bike or walk miles each day. Sad part is, these Elders have a car! Exercise is something their dear Ward Mission Leader is excited to help them with :) The other physical Endurance test? ALLERGIES!
So, after hearing of his "outbreak", I sent him this question...and her is his response:
MOM - How are your legs?? I heard you had a run in with some tall grass the other day?? LOL ELDER BARROW - oh my gosh yes... We went hiking. It was hot. And dry. And my legs got allergic reactions to the grass and trees and shrubs and everything. It was soooo bad lol. And of course when I'm at my breaking point and just want to leave, Brother Britt stops and takes pictures of Mushrooms! And beetles practicing procreation! And other things he thought were interesting! Lol my legs were itching so bad by the time we finally got to the end of the trail. And then my allergies are terrible at night because we have to sleep with the windows open, all we have is a swamp cooler that we can't hoist on a windowsill, and we're on the 3rd floor. So I haven't been able to get a decent sleep in over 2 weeks. It's been pretty bad. Those moments when you wake up because snot dripped into your ear canal and gave yourself a wet-willy... Totally not cool.
1.) [You're now officially in your new mission! Are you excited?] Yes, I am. The mission meeting today was really really cool. Our mission president is extremely inspired. He revealed a prophecy given him to our mission that the spanish people of Salem will, within the following years, flock by the thousands. Not hundreds, thousands. I got to kind of speak with him, but I should have a personal interview sometime within the next week or so.
2.) [Will you be getting a new mission packet?] I will send you a copy as soon as I know of it, I haven't even seen the map yet!
3.) [You mentioned buying your District Leaders bike. Is he in your new mission?] Yes, our entire zone is in the salem mission, and our DL is stationed in Newberg, right next to the mission headquarters.
4.) [Niqui and I have our opinion...did you get the Greenie Box we sent and did you open it from the top or the bottom?] Yes, I love the greenie package, it is very appreciated! Especially the Otter pops! And I opened it from the top (assuming that the postage thing was on the top flaps...?)
5.) [Are the ward members feeding you guys dinners] Yes, in fact because we have 2 wards we are serving, we often have 2 meals a day with members. It's pretty crazy out here. They certainly love to feed the missionaries. Making it really hard to lose weight out here!!
6.) [what are you guys eating for your other meals?] Breakfast - egg / ham sandwiches, cereal. Lunch - sandwiches, burritos, apples, carrots, leftovers given to us from the members.
7.) [what are you learning?] I am learning that I know nothing about teaching lol. No, not really, I'm just learning about how to get a better first impression [and teach to what the investigators need].
8.) [Do you have a photo converter yet?] Not yet, but my comp has one. I left my camera at home today, it's been a really busy day so far.
9.) [Tell me more about the families you are working with]. We are teaching several families. There is a man named "Carlos" [names are changed] and his wife "Sofia" and they have this bird that they just love to bits. They are commited to taking the lessons from us. We are also teaching a guy that survived not 1, or 2, but 3 helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. He's a pretty awesome. He totally knows his bible. On my 2nd day in the field we were talking about the apostasy and I shared the scripture in Amos that talks about there being a famine of the word of God, and asked him something along the lines of "If there is a famine of the word of God, would there not also be a famine of the power of God?". We are also teaching an LDS [Latter Day Saint] family that is just going through a rough patch, the "Mitchells". They are all like me as far as the white knight goes, and they help anyone they can, but they kind of let their family get chaotic in the process. So we're trying to help them get their family back in order and weed out all the bad stuff.
10.) [You've requested mail so you can get a library card? Why do you need one?] I need a library card so I can use the computers, and so I don't have to get a guest pass every time I walk into the library to do e-mail lol.
11.) [is there anything else I need to send you?] I don't think so, not as of yet.
12.) [Has anyone been writing you?] Nobody has written me yet. I have been e-mailing Zac Grubbe and Jared Weeks though. That's been fun :)
13.) [I know you guys are limited on July 4th...what are your plans?] We get to proselyte all day, wear our missionary clothes (shirt and tie) and we get to stay outside until 7:30 pm before we have to be inside! LOL Basically, we're going to be hopping around from BBQ to BBQ all day that day until 7:30 when we go home.
When Elder Barrow was ages 9yrs - 11yrs he would get two shots in each arm 3 days a week. His allergies were so bad that his eyes would swell completely shut. These shots helped ease the reactions and allow him manage his life much easier. Living in Oregon was awesome, he loved it, but it was hard on him several months of the year. Thank heavens for Zyrtec, Allegra, etc etc etc. What are his allergies? Tree pollens (especially cottonwoods), all grasses, horses and dogs. He never let it take him down...we have two Saint Bernards, he always mowed the lawns and we took him camping often. Seriously, this young man is amazing. So imagine my giggles when he got called back to Oregon :). The trooper lives on!! I received this message from his Ward Mission Leader yesterday. I anticipate Elder Barrow will be taking his allergy meds from now on :).
"Despite some weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and the effects of allergies, we made a little more of an outdoorsman out of him today by hiking to the shrine of Trappist Abbey. It was bug-filled, muggy, and hot, but he survived. I totally should have gotten a shot of his legs after this...apparently they didn't take too well to grass..." From Mom: Um yea..."Elder Barrow maybe wear your jeans? :)."
THE FIRST DAY OF A NEW MISSION!! -- Today, Elder David Barrow is part of the new Oregon Salem Mission, with a new mission area!! Can you tell I'm just a bit excited??! I KNOW ALL THESE PLACES!!! Out of 405 missions around the world...he gets called to my old stompin' grounds!! Incredible!!! Mission Cities of Interest (from Mom/Patti) Tillamook and Lincoln City - I Loved these places as a kid!! We even had a house on the Siletz River for a time. Living in Oregon as an adult, I took my kids here OFTEN on beach trips :). Grande Rhonde, Sheridan and Willamina - Lived in Grand Rhonde for a time, Sister graduated from Willamina High School and lived in Sheridan for while. Salem, Keizer - I grew up in Salem, graduated from McNary High School in Keizer and student taught in several schools in the Salem/Keizer School District. My brother still lives in Salem! Dallas, Independance and Monmouth - I graduated from WOU in Monmouth and know these adjoining towns really well! (Interesting fact: Monmouth is a "dry town"!) Albany - As a kid I spent many summers in Albany with my two sisters! My family knows that place backwards and forwards..my sisters still live there :). Silverton, Mill City - Growing up, I spent nearly as much time at my cousins house in Silverton as I did in my own house in Salem! My Cousin still lives in Silverton while my Aunt and Uncle live in Mill City. Warm Springs, Sisters, Prineville, Redmond and Bend - College trips!!