With that, I will post her latest email FIRST so it is the freshest. That way, you can read about her very latest self and be done if you'd like... OR you can continue to read and catch up on her other emails that I've missed.
Again, I'm very sorry. Truly, I am! Sister Barclay is such an inspiration on what it means to stay positive and trust in the Lord. Before I "pass the mic over" to her, I'll just say that talking to her on Christmas was wonderful. She looks so good and she is doing well. Can't believe time is moving so quickly! Thanks for your powerful testimony and your service in sharing the Gospel! We love you!
January 5, 2016:
"Well everyone, it's that time again! TRANSFERS.
I have been in Gonzales for 3 transfers with Sister Wood! This area has been one of those areas where work was really slow and not too many have been interested in meeting with us, but I was able to learn some incredible lessons like; "don't be selfish", "truly when you are in the service of others you are in the service of God", "communication is the key to everything", "how much you have to rely on God and have faith in the Atonement and know that God knows you personally and he loves us more than we can even describe", and "a simple testimony is a strong testimony". I have learned more about who I want to be and the person God wants me to be and am more fully converted to this amazing Gospel. I love Gonzales so much! I love the people and, oh my gosh, the food!! I know I was suppose to be here for a reason; even if it was just to learn all these lessons.
I am so grateful for everything I have learned from Sister Wood as well, she is such an amazing, beautiful, strong, loving person, who just loves the Lord so much! She has taught me so much about life and this gospel; I just love her. God truly puts people into our lives for a reason. I needed Sister Wood. I needed a good friend. This will be her last transfer :(. She is such a great missionary! She will do so awesome and go out strong! I was hoping I would get to, as we say, "kill her off" but it's okay! I will miss her so much!! She's my bae. #baesforlife if ya know what I mean!
I learned so much in this area and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve and love the people here! I was unsure how to feel about what was going to happen this time around with transfers ... but we heard this morning what is going to happen. First of all, they changed how they do transfers. We used to meet at the stake center in Baton Rouge, but not anymore. We just go to our areas, so we will be meeting at the mission home instead to work out car arrangements to get everyone where they need to be. Sooo crazy! It will probably be a hot mess ! Anyways..... I will be headed to DENHAM SPRINGS tommorow! I am pretty nervous/ excited. We'll see what this transfer brings! I will let y'all know the new address tommorow or soon! We'll see what happens!
I love this Gospel with my whole heart. I know the Lord puts us, missionaries, in places we are most needed; I just have to trust he knows better than me! I am so grateful for everything Gonzales has taught me; it will be crazy to leave. I said the prayer before we left this morning and I started crying:( it's getting real y'all!! But it will be okay! I'll keep everyone updated!
I love y'all so much! Only 5 months left of my crazy emails! hahahaha
Love, Sister Barclay"
|"Merry Christmas, y'all! From down here in crazy Gonzales!"|
|The cute Christmas card from Sister Wood and Sister Barclay|
|"The Zone Sweater Pic!"|
November 16, 2015:
"Hey y'all! How's everyone doing?
This week's been crazy, as always!! Here's a few crazy things that happened this week!
Monday: The Lambert's (The relief society president of our ward and Bishop Lambert, over the single adult ward now); they are so funny! They love us so much (we are like their daughters). They decided to do something fun with us for p-day last week; they made it sound like we were going fishing or mudding.. gees, they got us all excited to go do something crazy... hahaha no... guess what we did?? ha-ha played frisbee golf at a park behind their house, and if we were the last to get the frisbee to the destination we had to act out an animal? What the....? They thought they were so funny, making me and sister wood dance around the park acting out different animals! It was so funny; we were dying! Not even what we expected! They are the best though. They give us marriage advice all the time! "You just got to have fun in life or else what are you doing here?" Bishop Lambert says.
So you think that's crazy, it gets even better... I know what your thinking, 'how can it get better than animal frisbee golf?'... but later that night it got even crazier, at a little event called EMPTY NESTERS (the older people in our ward that don't have kids living with them anymore)! hahaha we got invited by this crazy old man and his wife, The Leblanc's, to their house with a bunch of old people in the ward to have gumbo and teach a family home evening lesson! That was pretty crazy?! We were the youngest people there! Man, Monday was crazy. I'm not even kidding!
Tuesday: My biggest dream is to clean the temple, and today, Brother Perilloux almost made that happen, except a ward got to the temple early, and it was all done by the time we got there! I was so sad!! So he took us to lunch instead! So this Tuesday, me and sister wood are going!!!
Wednesday: Was pretty slow. We helped Sister Lambert with a service project she is doing with the ward (making mats for the homeless out of plastic garbage bags)! Don't ask me how she does it... no idea. We just tie the bag yarn! She had a goal to make 10 mats, and it looks like they will have 32 mats for the homeless. It's such a cool project!
Thursday: We had district meeting. I got to teach the instruction on the Book of Mormon out of Preach My Gospel! That was such a powerful topic for me to instruct on. My love for the Book of Mormon has increased so much from being out on a mission. I know the Book of Mormon is true with my whole heart. It is another testament of Jesus Christ and, along with the Bible, it contains the fullness of the Gospel. It testifies that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and it is what is holding me together every single day! I know that if we read and pray about the Book of Mormon, we will know it is true through the power of the Holy Ghost! I love this gospel so much!!!
Friday: We have been getting a lot of media referrals over the past two weeks, and we contacted four of them and set up some appointments!!! I am sooo excited!
Saturday: It was Sister Lambert's birthday so we went and 'heart attacked' her front door! She thought it was the cutest thing! We tried to contact another referral (it was far out right on the top of our area I think?), so we went on an adventure to find this lady! She lives by this beautiful river with some pretty fancy houses out there! It was so fun! Sadly we didn't find who we were looking for, but were going to try again!
Sunday: We taught the Gospel Principles lesson on the Word of Wisdom. It went pretty good! We also went to our dinner appointment that night and they said they had a friend who wasn't a member coming to eat with them! WE got a NEW investigator! We have been praying and praying to get someone to teach and look what Heavenly Father did for us! It was so cool; she seemed pretty open and ready to learn more, so hopefully something happens!!!
This week was pretty good! It's finally starting to cool down, been in the 60's- 70's. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Can't believe Thanksgiving is almost here! This year has just flown by! Transfers is two days before Thanksgiving and I'm pretty sure we are getting split up:( so I'll let y'all know!!
Love you all so much!
|"Sister Lambert's door"|
|"The beautiful river we found"|
|Admiring the gators|
|That gator is creepin'|
|"Oops, my eyes are closed." (But Sister Barclay is still looking SO cute!)|
|Look at that fog!|
November 2, 2015 (Letter to my mom):
"Well, mission life is good. It's been a slow week! People are hard to teach and find out here in Gonzales! Brother Lambert told us last night that everyone here is fat and sassy! Meaning they are set in their ways, and life is so good that they aren't ready for us:( It's so true! We are working with some less-actives mostly. One lady is coo coo! We read scriptures with her and the other night we went over and read on her giant bed... it was interesting. She is on a lot of medication for depression, and pretty sure she has multiple personalities or something... she goes back and forth; different moods and ages. It's a trip every time we go over! She's not really progressing. She tells us what we want to hear... that's pretty much everyone here. This area is kind of a struggle. So, were doing the best we can with what we got!
We got to go to the main Bishop's Storehouse in Slidell; the one were all the food gets shipped to! It was so cool. It was like we were working in a factory! We helped put together Thanksgiving bags with stuffing, pumpkin, cranberry, and olives. We knocked it out in 2 hours! We made at least 300 to 400 bags! I love the Bishop's Storehouse. This is the second time I got to go help, and man, it is amazing what this church can do to help those in need! It was really cool! Service is a huge part of being in this ward here; everyone is so service oriented! I have really learned when you're in the service of others, you are serving God!
The Trunk or Treat went really good! We helped serve hot dogs and homemade root beer! Brother Perilloux bought us witch hats to wear! haha it was really fun! We got sent home with so many cupcakes and bags of candy! My food coma problem is so real!
It's been a pretty good week! Visited with lots of members and ate a ton of food! All is going real good!"
|"Our homemade root beer for Trunk or Treat"|
|"Brother Perilloux (the ward mission leader)"|
|"Young Women in the ward"|
|"That Ninja Turtle though!"|
|"Sister Wood with some scary good costumes!"|
|"The Bishop's Storehouse in Slidell"|
|"What happens when missionaries are on lockdown!"|
October 27, 2015 (pictures from Sister Barclay to my dad):
|Sister Barclay looking beautiful while visiting a church in Lousiana|
|Sister Wood and Sister Barclay visiting a church in Lousiana|
|Inside the church|
|Inside the church|
|Inside the church|
|Sister Wood and Sister Barclay visiting a church in Louisiana|
|Just checking out some legit tombs|
|Just checking out some legit tombs|
|Sister Barclay's new pad... just kidding|
|Sister Wood and Sister Barclay showing off the beautiful scenery|
|Sister Barclay in the beauty of Lousiana|
|Seeing the sights|
|Sister Barclay's new BFF|
|They got the band together again|
October 19, 2015:
Hey y'all! How's everyone doing?? I miss all y'all so much! This week has been so crazy!!! Let me tell you all about it!
Monday: It was a day for us because transfers was on Wednesday! We had a really good day! One of the people I was seeing back in Baton Rouge, John Luther, came to Gonzales to eat lunch with us! He is so cool; he's an older fellow and he's like a grandpa to us! He goes to the Healing Place Church, which is giant by the way and kind of like a rock concert for Jesus. The first time I went, I got to see about 30 people get baptized! haha it was funny. They wore blue T-shirts and shorts and came up out of the water cheering! It was interesting... but he loves it! He's super nice to us! He owns a barber shop and gave us t-shirts to remember him if we ever left! He's sweet! After that we decided to go tracting. It was long, and we didn't have much success. I was getting sad, but as we tried and talked to a few people and my whole attitude changed. Then we got to visit Nora Nash! She is a less active and she looks like Madia! For real though! She is so funny and crazy and so hard to understand sometimes!
Tuesday: P-day! I love p-days! It was a good! We just emailed! We had an appointment with a referral, Trudy Wells, but she didn't answer the door when we went over. She then called us later that day and told us she was sick and to come by another day. Oh, the life of a missionary! Well when everyone cancelled on us we decided to go see Elder Richardson, who came to Baton Rouge because he was going home Wednesday! We went and got snow balls and just talked about mission life! It was so sad because he was my Zone leader in BR for 6 months! He was one of my best friends! And now he's home!
Wednesday: TRANSFER meeting! There was about 9 elders going home this transfer, and all of them were our friends so we went to transfers and listened to their final testimonies as missionaries! I was bawling like a baby; talk about a wonderful group of elders! They all love this gospel and they have all grown so much. They made me want to be better and give my all to the mission and the Lord! It was so sad seeing them all go! Me and sister wood were a hot mess saying goodbye to all of them! I finally got that turtle shell Elder Richardson promised me 5 months ago! It's so cool! After transfers we went to visit Sister Holcomb (we call her Nana)! haha we are just collecting a family here in Gonzales! She is so cute. She gives us TV dinners called meals on wheels. They are gross, but she loves giving us food! we sometimes watch Jeopardy with her! It's a good time! I love her!
Thursday: It was kind of a slow day, but we had dinner with the Housley's. They are from Utah and both of them served missions in Indiana! They have two little boys who are the cutest lil' things! They fed us make your own lil' pizzas, and talked about their missions! We had a lesson with them about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was so strong! They thanked us for serving a mission and gave us Diet Coke! haha it was a good day!
Friday: Crazy day! We woke up at 5:30am to go have breakfast with Mom and Dad Mann! It was so early; I just rolled out of bed and I was looking good! After we had district meeting and had a super good lesson on the Atonement. Holy cow, I love the Atonement so much and it was perfect because I had to give a talk in church and it was on the Atonement! It gave me a lot of insights! We got flu shots today! Sister Hansen asked us to get them! So we got them as a district at Walgreens! Later we had dinner with the Castex' and it was a little awkward; Brother Castex kept staring at Sister Wood with crazy big eyes and Sister Castex told us her life story! They are sweet! She asked me if I had a boyfriend I said yes, and she got so excited and said marriage was the best thing I could do! People are funny! We spent the rest of the night with the Mann's making cinnamon rolls... it's kinda like we live there because we're there all the time!
Saturday: Mostly stressing about my talk... we also had to get a lesson planned for Young Women's so we were kinda running around like chickens with our heads cut off! But Saturday night I finally finished!
Sunday: Our talks went really good. My talk was on the conference talk by Allen D Haynie called "Remember in Whom You Have Trusted"! It was the longest talk I have ever given! Mostly because Dad Mann threatened to kick me in the back of the knee if it was short! He's in the bishopric! I just love this gospel so much! While I was giving it it was like the spirit just took over my words; I didn't even hardly use what I wrote. I was probably repeating myself a lot but I really felt the spirit so strong! It was a wonderful feeling! I know my Savior loves me and he is always there for us to take away our sins and relieve us. We truly have a loving Father in Heaven who made all of this possible he knows us personally and he wants us to return to live with him again and the Atonement makes this all possible! Because of this gospel and through Jesus Christ, I am a better person! Stay close to the Gospel and come unto Christ and you will never be led astray!
This week was a really good week! It went by really fast! I love all y'all so much!!! Hope you have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Barclay!"
|"Elder Lehr (was Elder Richardson's comp in BR as Zone Leader) and Elder Richardson. The elders that went home on Wednesday"|
|"Me and Mom Mann"|
|"Me and Elder Crouch. He is my best friend from Metairie!"|
|"Only in Louisiana! Look at the tail on the back of that bike!"|
|"My Gonzales District"|
|"Mama and Daddy Mann"|
|"The tall one in the middle, Elder Floyd, just got done training by the other elder, Elder Armstrong! They got doubled into North Baton Rouge! Elder Floyd got transferred up to Alexandria! NOTICE THE TURTLE SHELL IN MY HAND!"|
|"MY MTC District back together again (minus Sister Mastertellar who had to go home a couple months ago). We're all still going strong!"|