Monday, March 30, 2015

Busy In Baton Rouge

"Hey y'all! 

Monday (3/23/15): P-DAY! Fun as always!!! I sent my packages and went to the church to be with my zone! It was so fun! My zone is really awesome. I'm still trying to get to know everyone, but it's going good!!! I love P-days! 

Tuesday (3/24/15): So... this was a fun day haha... we did studies, we prayed before we left the house, and then out we go--headed to district meeting that starts at 10:30am! Things were going fantastic! We got in the car, got right to the edge of the road, and the car starts shaking and stops and we start rolling back! We were FREAKING out! Turns out Sister Carpenter Didn't even realize that we forgot to get gas in the car. Awka- Awkward! No gas in the car... then a voice from Tiwi (monitors our driving) says "battery dying!" so the battery was dead too! 

We had to call the office elders to come save us! It was so funny! I was laughing the whole time. Sister Carpenter was dying and almost in tears because she couldn't believe she forgot that even a mission car needed gas and that it doesn't just magically appear in the tank! haha! Well as far as district meeting goes... we didn't get there until 11:30am! haha We're so dumb! Lesson learned; always put gas in the car! 

So sad to run out of gas AND have a dead battery!

No gas!

Oh, good! The office elders are on their way!

Elder Ryan was one of the elders who came to save the sisters! He goes home in a few days!

Wednesday (3/25/15): It was kinda slow because everyone and their dog cancelled on us! Lame! So we went tracting/contacting. Let's just say, I had my first door slam in my face.. and it didn't feel too good! Sister Carpenter told me, "You knock once for them, and once for you!" 

The guy popped his head out the door and said, "Not a Prospect!" 

It was so crazy! Later that night I had the chance to go to a rest home for one of our investigators there... we think she has memory loss and she's not really interested, but she likes the company, so we go see her! She was the cutest. She talked about her love story with her marine! Ahh! It killed me; it was so cute! We shared Joshua 1:9 (Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.) with her and she loved it! We told her to be strong and of good courage and always trust in the Lord to help you get through hard times, and one little tear fell from her eye as she told us she was so grateful that we came! She was really missing her family and her marine! 

We also shared the footprint story how in your hardest times the footsteps are Heavenly Father's, because he is carrying us through our trials! It was such a testimony builder for me! Such a neat experience! 

Thursday (3/26/15): We met with Ariel, one of our investigators. It was so tough; I'm not going to lie! She asks some pretty tough questions. She wants all the background info of the church and we talked a lot about the time line of the order of the restoration. Every time we showed her a picture of Jesus, she thought it was Joseph Smith! It was pretty interesting! She doesn't ask the questions to find the bad in the church; they are legit questions, and you can tell she is really trying to investigate the church. It's just really amazing! 

But let me just say how grateful I am for COMPANIONS real fast! Sister carpenter is so smart and she was able to answer almost every question she had! I could feel the spirit so strong that it hit me like a truck, and I was able to bear my testimony, as simple as it is, that I know this Gospel is true, and even when you don't have all the answers, the foundation of basic truths are okay! And that things in this gospel can be hard to understand but Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to have all the answers all at once. It takes time! It was such a powerful lesson! That is the coolest part about being a missionary; watching people convert and be changed through the gospel! Man, it was awesome! 

Friday (3/27/15): Tracting/Contacting again! We went to the city park and just talked to people about the gospel and how it can bring them more happiness than they could ever imagine! We talked to some really cute families that all seemed to be really interested! Also a man with gold teeth told me I had really pretty eyes in the park that day! haha! Thanks dude! And this is the day I ate crawfish for the first time! BOOYAH! I'm so cool! Also I think this is a south thing, but every time we ask, "How are you?" everyone says, "Blessed!" What a beautiful answer! Then they go on long spills about how they love Jesus!!!! I LOVE LOUISIANA!!! 

People just take huge boxes of crawfish and eat it in the park! haha Not with these ladies, but I peeled my very first crawfish! It was delicious!

Saturday (3/28/15): WOMEN'S BROADCAST! NEED I SAY MORE?! haha I loved it! Families are forever! Families should be centered on Christ! Families need to stick together! Man, I loved it! Not going to lie, it made me a little trunky! I miss my family, but I know that we can be together forever and that was amazing! I'm so proud to be a sister in this church! 

Sunday (3/29/15): CHURCH IS ALWAYS MY FAVORITE! I love every second of it! We had dinner with President Marks and his family and had a lesson there with Ariel (our investigator). It didn't go as well as we hoped, because there was too many teachers to one investigator and it got too deep and crazy for Ariel to handle all at once! 

I was really struggling because during the whole lesson I had no idea what to say, and it was making me so frustrated! But I finally just bared my testimony of the importance of baptism and Sister Carpenter told me that she could really feel the spirit from what I said! Sometimes you just got to trust that the right words will come out of your mouth at the right time and the Lord will never mislead you! We just have to follow those promptings! Which is sometimes the hardest thing ever, but I know he will be there to guide my every sentence! It was amazing! 

Sorry it was so long! haha! It was an amazing week! I know my Heavenly Father lives and loves me, and that he puts people into your path for a reason. We may not always understand why but the Lord does, and he will always be there for you every step of the way! 

Love all y'all and each y'all! Have a beautiful week!
Sister Barclay"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Yesterday, Sister Barclay got a chance to email and she basically just sent me a bunch of pictures! That's good though because a picture says a thousand words, right? So here are about 6,000 words for you! We're glad to see that Sister Barclay is having a good time in Baton Rouge. We just know that those students at LSU will love our sister missionary!

Sister Widdison and Sister Barclay are pros at photo-bombing the elders during District Meetings before the transfer!
Sister Barclay meeting her new companion, Sister Carpenter in Baton Rouge
Checking out the LSU campus
Checking out the new area as companions!
Sister Barclay is already loving Baton Rouge

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Transfer Information

Sister Barclay has been transferred to a new area! She just emailed today to let everyone know the details PLUS her new address! Be sure to send her some love very soon to welcome her to her new place! Hopefully, she'll love it just as much, if not more, as Metairie!

"Hey y'all!

You'll never guess where I am serving!!!

ON the LSU (Louisiana State University) campus in Baton Rouge!!!! It's crazy! I'm in a YSA (Young Single Adult) ward! and even better I'm in a car area!!!! It's beautiful! I'll tell y'all more about it, but here is my new address. Feel free to send me letters!!

5131 Nicholson Dr. Apt. B8
Baton Rouge, LA. 70820 

It's definitely a new environment and has been a really hard change! I absolutely miss Metairie and New Orleans, but it's going to be a good thing I think! My new companion is Sister Carpenter and she is soooo wonderful; I'm really excited!!! It's going to be good! I hope! Wish me luck! 

Love y'all! Have a wonderful week! Talk to ya soon!!
Sister Barclay"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

TRANSFERS and one CRAZY week!

Ok, so we got an email from Collette today! It basically says everything... so I'll let her do the talking:

"Hey everyone!!

Hope you're all doing well!! Everything's going really good here! It's been such a crazy crazy week!!! 

So it's transfers...... and..... ME and WIDDISON are getting doubled out of Metairie! Ahhh! I can't even! I feel like I've only been here for 5 minutes!  I have no idea where I will be going next!!! It's so crazy! I really love Metairie and I feel like the work here was just starting to pick up... I called all my people yesterday... and they couldn't believe we were both leaving! I'm going to miss everyone here so much! Every one of the people that I have met so far has definitely changed my life and I am so grateful for the opportunity I got to serve the crazy people of New Orleans! I am so excited to maybe be going to a CAR area though!! I did not want to bike in the summer and I think Heavenly Father knew that!! haha!"

And then she gave us the update on the crazy week:

"Monday (3/9/14):
It was P-day and Sister Widdison and I decided we just wanted to spend the whole day together! Widdison is seriously my best friend. Heavenly Father definitely sent her to me for a reason. I have really loved learning from her, and she has really helped my testimony grow this past transfer! She is so amazing and I love that I can just be real and, best of all, she just lets me be myself and helps me shine! I love her so much and I'm going to miss her with all my heart!! 

So on Monday, we went to Panera Bread! It is the best! I can't even describe how wonderful it is! Just go there! Then we went to Plato's Closet and I got the cutest shirt! Then to finish off the day, we got lost in Old Metairie and it took us two hours to get home! haha it was just peachy, but we finally made it and found a woman we know's house it was crazy! She was so drunk, but we sang church hymns and had a wonderful testimony meeting on her living room floor! Her testimony turned into a prayer to God, but ya know, it was wonderful. It was the first time I really felt the spirit in that house! And to finish off at her house, we sang Frank Sinatra and did the Can-Can in her kitchen! It was a party!  All around that p-day was crazy, but it was such a beautiful day and I'm so glad I was with my best friend! 

Tuesday (3/10/15):
It was district meeting and we had the best time with our elders ever!!!! We all ran out in the pouring Louisiana rain!!! It was so fun! I love this district so much!!!! Then we topped off the day with some IHOP Pancakes! We were at home for the rest of the night because we couldn't bike in the storm!! 

Wednesday (3/11/15):
It was pretty slow, but it was a good day! We went to Kimberley's and found out that Big Rick, her husband, wants to get baptized!!! We were sort of getting that impression that he would be doing it just for us because he LOVES us! But I really do love that family with all my heart! I wish them the very best!! Kimberley truely was our southern momma!!! 

Thursday (3/12/15):
Happy Birthday ERIN!!!!! I love you so much! Don't you even think for one minute that I forgot your B-day! Me and Widdison even sang Happy Birthday to you!!!! Hope you had a wonderful day!!!

So the rest of our day was pretty good! We had inspections and we passed! Our house was so clean!!! It was so great! We have been really trying to keep it clean... There have been four Cockroaches in our house so far and they are the most disgusting thing; I can't even! But Widdison is scared of bugs even more than I am so I was the one to take care of it! It was awful!!!!! I Hate Cockroaches! 

Then we went to Laufenere Park to contact people; it was so fun!!! That is my favorite park! I'm taking all y'all there!

Friday (3/13/15):
Mental Health Day! They are real things; I promise! But Me and Widdison had a 'Catch Up On 12 Week Party'! We were so behind, so we ordered pizza and did 12 Week and it was quite the party! It's always a party with Widdison! But I was so happy. I am getting better at role playing so... wahoooo!!!! 

Saturday (3/14/15):
We had dinner with Kimberley and her family! It was so fun, but we are so sick of the bike ride to her house. It takes us at least 45 minutes to bike to Kenner, where she lives! It's such a long bike ride, but dinner was wonderful and she just talked our ears off, ya know, the usual Louisiana same old, same old! 

Then we traveled over to Harahan to help those elders with an investigator. She is really sweet but she has a lot of big things going on in her life and needs female role models and just really needs good influences to help her move on with some things! So we have been helping with that and it's going pretty good, but she's not really keeping her commitments, so it's hard, but I have faith that she will be okay and come unto Christ! It'll be so great! 

Sunday (3/15/15):
We went to church! It was the best. I am so grateful for the sacrament and getting to just start fresh for the week; it's such a beautiful feeling! During sacrament, ya know, I was just sitting there with like 92 things on my mind... and then over the pulpit I hear, 'And one of the speakers didn't show.. so if we could have Sister Barclay come up and share her testimony with us....' 

Let me tell you, even as a missionary you get nervous! It was like one of those times where you just wish your name wasn't Sister Barclay, ya know?! But I put a big ol' smile on my face and walked up to the pulpit and I just bared my testimony. It was short and simple, but I'm so glad Heavenly Father gave me the courage to get up and share what I know! 

Elder McArthur, an elder in my district, gave the best example of what a testimony is. He said that a testimony is like gumbo.. you can throw whatever you want in it... everyone makes it differently and everything you throw in will taste good and make others happy! A testimony is definitely your own and you need to make it your own! Don't ever be afraid to share your testimony or help others grow from what you know! Remember the Lord is always there backing up every word you say through the spirit! 

Monday (3/16/15):
It was such a crazy day! We did service all morning, then we went and I had red beans and rice for the first time! It was quite the accomplishment! haha Then that night, we got transfer calls and off I go.... I'll keep all y'all posted! 

Tuesday (3/17/15)
That's today! haha It's P-day... and a sad goodbye day! I'm leavin' Metairie.... the place I was 'born' and going off into the world... Ahhh it's crazy! I'm even done training and everything! I'm still a greenie, but it's still good! 

I know that this church is true and I know that wherever I end up, that's where the Lord wants me and I will do my best to make my Heavenly Father proud!

I hope y'all! Have a fantastic week! I'll let ya know my new address as soon as I know! 

Love all y'all and each of y'all!
Sister Barclay"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Q & A

Hey y'all! (Just channeling our Southern sister missionary with that opening line!) We hope everyone is having an enjoyable week so far. Sorry I'm a bit behind on the posting this week, but my mom had a chance to email back and forth with Collette for a while on Monday, and she wanted to share a bit of what Collette had to say so we could keep you all updated.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for and writing to our missionary! Transfers are coming up on the 18th of this month, so we'll see what happens with her staying or going. I'll be sure to post an updated address if anything changes! For now, the address in the 'Write Me' tab is still good. USE IT! Pretty please... with cherries on top!

And now, from Sister Barclay:

"I am so excited! Here in our ward, a member of the bishopric, Brother Bush, challenged us to ask all the members when was the last time they attended the temple, because he is in charge of recommends. So we accepted the challenge and asked a family in the ward if they had been to the temple lately, and they said, 'Ya know? We haven't. Why don't we set a date and go?' And they invited us to go with them, so we are going on the 26th! I'm so excited! I miss the temple!"

In a letter my husband, Dan, got from Sister Barclay, she let him know that yes, they get to go to the temple but only two times a year. She said, "It bums me out! And it's the Baton Rouge Temple! It's small but super pretty. I've just seen the outside, so I hope I get to go in soon! I love the temple!"

Collette also told my mom:

"Every time I teach the restoration and say how important family is, I just get excited to talk about my family and how much they have helped me be here and how much I love all y'all! Y'all are what keeps Cole going! I know that this gospel blesses families, because even though I am far away, I'm seeing the blessings go straight to my family!

...Don't ya just feel like your testimony is growing stronger every time you teach someone else? It truly does and is strengthening in me every time I get the courage to open my mouth! This gospel is so amazing!"

And for all of you reading from Cedar, Collette commented that the snow you all have gotten lately is the most snow she's seen in Cedar for a really long time! She said that it's been raining like cats and dogs in Metairie lately and by the time she got to the library to send emails that morning, she was soaked!

She also says:

"Everything is going good here! Transfers are on the 18th and I just really hope that I don't leave! I love Metairie so much! There is still so much work I have to do here! I wish we'd get a car though! haha oh well, one day!"

On that, apparently she hates biking because the traffic there is "nuts!"

Later in the email with my mom, Collette asked her to send her some music she can play on the piano because playing the piano makes her happy! (She really does play beautifully! We miss hearing her sing and play at home.) She says, "We went to New Beginnings the other day for the young women [a program welcoming the new girls and their families to the Young Women Program in the church] and they didn't have a piano player to play the prelude music, so I jumped on the piano and started playing and it was really good! I love the piano and singing; it really shows my testimony. All of our elders just love singing with me as I play, and they think they are the most awesome singers ever! haha They're funny! They even want to do a district musical number, and me and Sister Widdison are thinking that's crazy! They are such great elders!"

Then Collette does kind of question/answer time with my mom that I thought might be fun to share. Sometimes it's nice for those of us back home, to hear some of the ins and outs of missionary life. My mom told her they were "silly questions" but I thought they were great; stuff I was wondering too!

Question from mom: Do you do you laundry at a laundromat?

Answer from Cole: We have a washer and dryer in our apartment, so we just buy laundry soap! And me and Widdison share! We usually split the grocery list too. We buy everything we need and just split the cost in half.

Q: Where is your favorite place to eat and does the ward feed you or do you have to eat out?

A: My favorite restaurant to eat is Copelands. They have amazing cheesecake and these things called crawfish fries! Yum! A sister in the ward usually takes us there! I love Cane's. It's like the best chicken ever, besides Brothas chicken, it's the bomb! Everything is so spicy. It's got a real good kick! We have dinner appointments but not every night... just depends, but our ward is pretty good about feeding the missionaries, and we have a lady that lives next to us that buys our milk for us! She's so sweet! We are trying not to eat out so much, but ya know, we sorta fail at it because biking makes us hungry all the time!

Q: If the members could do anything for you, what would you suggest? I always wonder what we could do to help them.

A: Ummm, one thing I would say is feed them and ask them if they need rides!!! And find people for them to teach, like referrals! We like those!

Then Collette asks my mom if they have sister missionaries in their ward and my mom tells her they don't. Collette told her that they have 8 sets of missionaries in their ward! Holy cow! Just their ward!

In closing Collette says:

"Vio con Dios! (God be with you!) haha an investigator tells us that every time we meet with her! I love the people of Louisiana!
Love, Sister Barclay"

Until next week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Time Flies

Here is the newest email from Sister Barclay! I missed it yesterday, since she sent one email in the morning and this one came later in the day. 

Be sure to keep those letters coming-- we know she really loves to hear from you all! And be sure to pray for the missionaries who are serving. They are working hard each day to bring the gospel message to everyone. It's not an easy thing to do, but they know what they are teaching is true! Your prayers for them and those they are serving are heard and answered, so keep it up! 

Without further ado... 

Sister Widdison and Sister Barclay

"Hey Y'all!

This has been the fastest week of my life! It's just flying by; I can't believe it's already Monday again! Not a lot happened this week... I got a little sick earlier this week and I think I'm finally just getting over it! It's been pretty cold here, so biking has been a GIANT challenge. The other day I wore a hoodie, tights, bike shorts, gloves, and a coat (still in a dress) just to bike to the church five miles away; it was so cold!!!! We looked like noobs, but we were so toasty warm, we ended taking off layers because we were sweating to death! I thought cedar had bipolar weather! Louisiana can't make up its mind; it's either freezing or hotter than the sun, there is no in between! It's just been raining here allll day! I was soaked! It's gonna be a fun bike day! Hopefully we can get some rides!

We had interviews with President Hansen this last week! They actually went really good! Not a lot of the missionaries here like him too much, because they had a different president here a little while ago that was so opposite from President Hansen, so they are all still adjusting! But I really like him, he has his moments, but during my interview he just listened to me and gave me some really good counsel! I have been struggling a little bit with just opening my mouth and letting the words come out, and he told me that if I just keep working on it, the words will come, and he told me to trust in the Lord and let him help me! And he told me what a great missionary I was, and how bubbly and fun I was and that he was so glad I got sent here! It was really awesome! He loves me! haha!
Also, we had a really cool experience happen to us last week when we were at Dairy Queen. I love that place! But the owner, her name is Miss Susan, and she was asking us all these questions about who we were and what we were doing, and we told her we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and she was so sweet. She thanked us for the great service we do and how much she loved that God's children were doing his work. She told us she wasn't a religious person but was just grateful for what we were doing, and she gave us each $20 gift cards to DQ! It was such a fun experience! So we gave her a pass along card with a cute little note thanking her and our numbers! She hasn't called us, but we went to DQ today and she was there and she was so happy to see us!!!!  It was really cool! 

This week has been pretty crazy. We have had a lot of drama going on within our zone, but I've learned that you're not going to get along with everyone, but it's okay, you just gotta learn from it and keep your head up! The whole drama side is a long story, so I'll have to tell y'all when I get home, but it's just been crazy! You really just gotta trust in the Lord and LET IT GO!!!

I love this gospel with all my heart and I know what I am doing is for the Lord and I am only his servant! I know that he will help me in all my efforts to become a better missionary! I gotta give myself credit... I've only been out three months ya know!  Anyway, I hope y'all have a great week!
Love all y'all and each y'all!
Sister Barclay"

Monday, March 2, 2015


Today we are going to give you a glimpse into some of the physical activity the sister missionaries take part in on their p-day... Welcome to Sector6 Extreme Air Sports!

According to their website, Sector6 has over 12,000 square feet of connected trampolines! Holy cow! Don't they look like they're having a blast? Sister Barclay is in the back in the white shirt... She said she did her first ever back flip there! Go, Collette!