Friday, April 30, 2010
I have a few matters of business to attend to:
premierment- this shift button sucks. so if my lack of capitalization offends, don't blame me.
deuxiem- thank you so much for the letter, aunt annette. it is the only one I've gotten since last thursday. YUP.
troisiem-- mom and dad-- my tape is in the mail. it's a micro tape, so be aware. but IT'S COMING. I do love you. I promise. I put a lot of tiem and effort into that tape. please love love love it.
and four--- I just read michayla's letter. I don't have a first name either, anymore. I dreamt that a boy I used to date was dating me again. And he kept calling me soeur barros. and I never corrected him. because that's my name. CASE in point: I have an elder that comes to me and says "tell me a story about a girl named suzy," or "tell me a story about a girl named ashley." I love this game. So one time, Elder D was in on our game. His companion asked me "tell me a story about a girl named..............." and Elder d said "Kacey." I was so weirded out by that. He knew me on facebook before we came here, so he remembered my name. But it was weird to hear someone use my name. Even weirder from an elder. But I still love my letters sent to my first name :)
This week has been crazy. Why? Because I've learned how to teach with the spirit. A lot of these experiences are too sacred and too long to write in an email, but I will try to give you a sample:
Elder know-it-all? Well, we all started excluding him. He called a meeting right after I wrote last weeks email, and he sat there and cried, telling us how hard he was working to be part of our group. It touched me so much. I made room for him in my heart. the next night, our teacher Soeur Roubicek (who is from clovis and goes to ben pitman's ward.... CRAZY) had us all write down serious questions we had about life. No one thought these questions would be read, but when she started explaining the activity, we all panicked. We were each going to get one "randomly" and we were going to pray and use scriptures to answer the question of our classmate. I got elder-know-it-alls. And I was SOOOOOOO excited. I prayed, and I studied scriptures, trying to follow the promptings of the spirit. By the end of prep time, I stil didn't have an answer. But I had faith. So it came my turn to teach elder know it all, and that's when it all got amazing. As I shared the scriptures with him, the spirit became super strong, teaching me things I hadn't known before. As I spoke, the answer to his question came out of my mouth without me even realizing it. He sat there and cried, saying I was an answer to a prayer. I knew it too. And I wouldn't trade anything for that experience. I later spoke with my teacher, and she started crying too. She said "I knew which one was his. My first thought was "Give it to Soeur Barros." And then I was like "UHHHHH no! Those two hate each other!" But then I felt it again. So I gave you his. And as you taught, I KNEW the Lord had set this up. He KNEW you were the one who needed to do this." And we both cried. Later, elder know it all (his name is Smith, actually) told me that no one else could have delivered that message with such force and humility. And that he loves me (as a sister) because everything I do is a testimony of the Lord. WHAT????!?!?!?! We used to HATE each other! But now, I can't even remember what that felt like. I can't even IMAGINE what it felt like to hate him.
Another time, we taught our teacher. Not while she played a role, but it was her. And we did it in French. I can't remember what I said, but I remember that my thoughts were clearly expressed. And that the spirit was there. And we taught her needs.
Next was the TRC (where we teach actors who speak our language). It was our first time in French, and it was amazing. We taught things we hadn't prepared in French, because the spirit told us to. They asked about my Dad's conversion story, and I told a lot of it, IN FRENCH. I've never told his story in French!!! WHAT????
It's amazing. I love it. I can NOT WAIT to get to France and teach people with the spirit. I know that the Lord knows what everyone needs, and that if I'm humble and serving Him, He will lead me to those who are ready. he will tell me what to say.
I love this gospel so much. It's sooooo true. I have felt my savior's love all week, and I'm trying to do everything I can to keep that feeling.
Pray for me. I feel your prayers and your love.
Love love love
PS--- DAD!!!!!! PLEASE write down your conversion story and send it to me!!! The one I told was a very brief and edited version, but I really really want the whole thing. I love you. Do it. Kay thanks!
Friday, April 23, 2010
We've talked the whole night through. Good mornin, good mornin to you!
I never know where to start with these things...
Okay, before I forget, AGAIN, Tyler Reist is here with me. I've had a friend arrive each week that I was at the MTC. First was Me. Duh. And then it was Jenny... and thenTyler... and then Nyssa.... and now Michelle. So that's been fun. Nyssa is actually my voisine (neighbor) here. It's rockin.
MOM AND DAD. I PROMISE there is a tape coming to you SOON!!! I have a special musical number prepared by my zone to record for you, but they refuse to do it until SUnday.
Speaking of special musical numbers, you have to audition to do one for a Fireside or Devotional or even Relief Society. They are held every thursday from 10h to 12h, with the MTC music coordinator and President Smith (the MTC mission president)'s wife. An elder, Elder Portwood, in my zone/ branch came up to me on Wednesday and asked if I would accompany him playing the violin. I'm like "Choutte. I'll do it!" I looked at the music and gasped a little in my head. "Uhmm, is this for sunday?" I ask him. "I was actually thinking for auditions tomorrow." THen I laughed. Hard. Glancing at his face, I realized he was serious. "Oh. Well, let me try to play it later tonight and I'll tell you if I can do that." He shrugged and said "Cool. If not, we can just do it for church on Sunday." I nod my head and say "Sure." Well, I couldn't master it by the next morning, nor could I fake it (which is my specialty--- and hey, if you had three 16th note runs in every measure you'd cut half of it out too). So we played it on Sunday. And we rocked. So on Wednesday night, like two days ago, he's all "Wanna audition this thursday?" I did. We go into auditions and sit quietly while the old lady version of the American Idol judges talks to the previous auditionees. We notice that all the people in the room are elders from our zone. I knew they were preparing a musical number, but I hadn't heard it yet. Well, I'm glad we got to auditions early, because it was AAAAAMAZING. Oh my word, I could NOT wipe the smile off my face. And like three of my favorite elders were in the group, so I was even prouder than a mom at a T-ball game! The spirit was so strong as they sang, all 8 of them, acapella "Beautiful Savior." It gave me such chills. And the time they are preforming is during a devotional for NEW missionaries, so if I hadn't heard it then, I never would have.
SO next it's mine and Elder Portwood's turn. The old lady AI judge person said our names, just to make sure she could pronounce them, in case we passed auditions. She said "Baaahh rose?" And I said "That works." And she said "I want to know how YOU say it." Well, I've been saying it with the Portuguese pronunciation for almost a year now, so I told her "Bah hose." (two r's make an H sound in portuguese-- ah the joys of having brazilian roommates). The old lady judge, and President Smith's wife both jump up. "YOU'RE PORTUGUESE!!!" they shouted. Sis Smith said "I haven't heard that name in AGES!" ANd old lady judge said "OH! I can't believe I didn't remember that pronunciation!" Then I told them my family was from the Azores and they got so excited. My nerves went away, and we played well. We'll be doing a musical number in about two weeks. I don't know if it's devotional or Fireside yet.
Life is good. Elders can be dumb. I got really mad at all of them this week. There is a sister missionary here that allllll the elders think is hot, and I believe part of that is because she wears extremely tight clothing. Well, I heard one, FROM MY DISTRICT, say something about her. Ohhhh, you don't talk about sister missionaries that way, I don't care how tight fitted her clothing is. I whipped around and said "If I hear one more thing like that come out of your mouth about a sister missionaire, ESPECIALLY that one, you'll live to regret it." I didn't yell. But I think I had death in my eyes, because he hasn't said anything like that around me since. Thought, her flirting doesn't help much. Have chairty, Kacey. Have charity.
The spirit has been so strong lately. We have a fake investigator that we make appointments with and teach in French. Our first appointment was HARD, mostly because we crammed and didn't really prepare. This week was GREAT: the spirit was strong and we started to really get to know him. Soeur Wood and I spent our entire companionship study time trying to figure out how to help him. OH my gosh it was great. We also discussed how our district has become really passive agressive and it's because the person we all have bad feelings for will NOT take criticism, so we just sound dumb when we try to fix the problem. We decided, as the only sisters in the district, that it was our job to set an example. Some elders look up to us, and when we're passive agressive, they are. We know that as we show MORE charite and less agression that the atmosphere will greatly improve.
I love you all SOOOOOOOOO much! I wish you could hear everything I have to say!
Those who wrote me this week: THANK YOU! I'm writing letters back today!
THOSE WHO DIDN'T WRITE ME:
Here's my address:
Sister KAcey Barros
FRA-PAR #85 0525 (don't forget that last part. I've been getting heck for it from the mailroom)
2005 N 900 E
Provo UT 84604
Friday, April 16, 2010
This has been an interesting week. To say the least.
Sunday night was the annual BYU men's chorus fireside. It was AMAZING to hear MUSIC!!! For those who don't know, you're are not allowed to listen to music at all in the MTC, unless it is prelude music to a meeting, or Music and the Spoken word. AHHHH!! THEY ARE SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!! And they sang some spirituals which just made you smile, and some hymns that made you cry.
At the end of the fireside, I had to run to a training meeting for new coordinating sisters with my new partners in crime, the zone leaders. And that's when it hit me... the nausea I mean. I started feeling SOOOO sick. We ran back to the classroom after the brief meeting to sing with the zone one last time, and I knew I was going to throw up; not then. Not soon. But that night.
The singing went well (except for the hot flashes and nausea), and we said good bye to some of my favorite people. We lost 30 members of our zone to the mission field. One of those that left was a sister that we missed the moment we said goodbye. We cried as the elders got to hug eachother and cry. All we could do was give handshakes. It took all my control NOT to hug them, or squeeze their hands: this was it. Now it's off the bench and into the game. But not all things are bad. We got three new elders, and one thinks he's pretty hot stuff. Well, at least he acts that way. I've come to realize that about half the people who act that way really have low self esteem, or doubt themselves constantly. So we'll see which half he falls into.
Anyway, I did get sick that night. I threw up several times, making it to the dorm bathroom each time. I swear it was the spirit. I'd think "I need to go to the bathroom." and then think. "No. I really don't. If I get up, I'll vomit." and then "............................." then "oh." Yup. That's the spirit. Luckily someone had left out cleaning supplies from Saturday, so I cleaned everything up. Yay responsible Kacey!!!
Monday I went to the doctor, and he freaked me out. He made me drink tons of gateorade and said "come back this afternoon to see if your fever is down." (oh yeah, I had a fever.) SO I drank my gateorade and tried very hard to pay attention in class. No luck. Went baack to the doctor in the afternoon and he really freaked me out. My temperature was still up, and he pushed in on my stomach and it HURT. BAD. He tried to take blood, but I was still too dehydrated, so I had to go off campus to the BYU student health clinic for them to draw from my hand. Yeah. Send the sick girl who the doctor thinks MAY have apendicitis for a WALK to the SHC. Great.
Turns out I'm fine. Just a stomach bug. But I got really nervous.......
Life is good here. It's sad that one of our sisters has left us, but we know she's doing what she's supposed to. When we get new sisters, how am I going to say goodbye to them? I'll just think of France and all the good food.... yup. That will be my tactic.
I had ana amazing experience with an elder here. I've been getting on him to tell me his conversion story, and he finally did. As he told the story, the spirit grew sooo strong. In the middle of a full cafeteria, it was just him telling me his story, and me listening. And the amazing thing? Almost all of it sound like Dad's conversion story. SERIOUSLY. All I could think while he was talking was "Holy cow. It's Dad's story." I told Elder M that (that's his name), and he just stared at me. "Soeur Barros. I'm so glad you told me that. The spirit is so strong right now." The whole experience made me inspect my own conversion story, and this is what I wrote after an hour of study, pondering, and prayer.
"My conversion was not an all of a sudden thing. Mine was gradual, slow and subtle. I was baptized when I was 8 because I knew it was the thing to do. When I was 12, I felt the spirit testify to me about the savior and His atonement. That is my first revollection of recognizing the spirit.
After that, I felt it testify often. At church, at youth activities, at school. I knew the reality of Joseph Smith's vision and power befor I was 16. I felt it reaffirmed during a youth pioneer treck, as my brother, portraying joseph smith, fell from a t0 foot window. And even recently, as I watched the Joseph smith video, I realized how much that one man, a mortal and imperfect man, accomplished. He restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ! What a service to the world!!
I don't always do the right thing, but I try. A repentant soul is a converted soul. I'm still becoming what the Lord wants me to become. My conversion happens every day. Each time I feel the spirit, it grows. Each time I fail-- it gets harder. Each time I have faith, it grows again.
I am a convert. I'm making my changes. And that is the type of convert I am."
I know it's true, everyone. I love this church and all the amazing blessings it gives me. Life has become many more good things than bad, and I LOVE that!
Have faith. Pray OFTEN and SINCERLY. You will be blessed in ways no one can comprehend, I can promise you that.
I love love LOVE you.
Soeur Kacey Barros
PS- If you want to send me ANYTHING.... hint hint to EVERYONE.... here's a list of things I've been wanting/ needing:
Tori- that great body lotion you gave me at Christmas: I'm almost out. Pick something nice and send it to your sister please!!!
KNEE HIGHS!!!! I'm starting to destroy mine, and it's getting too warm to wear full length nylons.
And LOVE!! And PRAYERS!!!
okay, that's all.