It is NOT Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Family Prayer
Hey everybody! So let me start off this week by referring to the subject line of this email. So, it dropped into the 60's on Friday for the first time. And then it went right back up to the 80's. It looks like it will be in the 70's consistently from now on, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. I have officially adjusted to that fast and 80 degrees feels good, so that is a step. A few members have started singing "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" Which is awesome because I am super pumped for Christmas, don't get me wrong, but it still feels like late August and September...so it is something I am adjusting to still haha. It is very hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here. Time has been flying by really fast. I have been out nearly 4.5 months. It definitely doesn't feel like that at all. So that is fun. Alright, now to the week.

Monday - We played wiffleball and gatorball (mix of rugby, soccer, and ultimate football) and had a lot of fun. We went to dinner with a less active in the ward, and we taught her daughter the Restoration. She is 9 and wants to know that this is all true before she is baptized, she is super smart. We are hoping that she will be baptized before Christmas comes around, so I will keep you posted on that. :) We had a lesson with Jesus (hāso͞os') and President Christensen was there with us! They talked a little bit afterwards so that we can see when Jesus can be baptized. No word on that yet.

Tuesday - All of our lessons cancelled, but we did service for the Fisks. Brother Fisk is a counselor in our Elders Quorum. We had dinner there too and then went on splits with our Elders Quorum President Brother Dreyer and Brother Stark (no, his name is not Tony) who is the secretary.

Wednesday - We went on exchanges, so I went into Arizona City area with the new missionary Elder Cundick! So I basically trained for a day. We had a lot of fun and spent most of the time trying to contact their investigators. We had little success, but we had some really good teaching moments that I tried to capitalize on.

Thursday - We had a lesson with Margaret, a member referral, who is one of the sweetest old ladies I have ever met. She has had a really rough life to this point and really wants to be baptized, but we weren't able to set a date yet because she has some surgeries coming up soon that she wants to wait to see how those go. She is going to be baptized though.

Friday - Had a great lesson with a new investigator we ran into on the street named Mike. We taught him the restoration and before we even started we mentioned baptism to set expectations, and he said "Wait, you guys baptize people? Sign me up. I've wanted to be baptized but no one was able to do it for me." So he wants to be baptized too, but we want to make sure it is for the right reasons. He is super cool though and we think once we have our next lesson he will be on date. We went to dinner at Golden Corral (which wrecked my digestive system for the next two days) with Brother Ridgway and Brother Haws, two high councilman in the ward, and I ran into Nathan, our kettle corn guy that sold us kettle corn every week my first transfer here, and he said he wanted to see us back next weekend, so we are going to get some more kettle corn on Saturday and going to teach this guy the gospel.

Saturday - I felt terrible all day long, but we still worked our behind's off. Thanks Golden Corral. We had lessons with the Evans family and the Bushnell family, so that made the day much better. We had dinner with the Parks, who are snowbirds, and they are pretty awesome.

Sunday - Church! I love church. It is pretty stressful as a missionary, but it is still awesome. Go to church everyone. We had yet another interesting gospel principles class. We taught on the Holy Ghost which was super spiritual and awesome up until about 1:28, two minutes before we were to close. We asked if anyone had any more comments, and Brother Mejia gets up and starts to talk about how to tell when if an angel appears to you, whether or not it is from Satan of from God. Doctrine and Covenants section 129 if you were wondering, but way too high level for a gospel principles class. So one of the class members, who is new to the church and has been learning a lot and decides to raise his hand and to expound on this point. At this point i had stopped listening to try to maintain my sanity, made eye contact with Brother Evans, who was trying not to laugh after seeing the hopeless look on my face. After that we had no time to try to save the class, so Brother Mejia cut everybody off and asked for a volunteer for the closeting prayer before anyone got the chance to testify. Awesome. Anyway, church was still great, Hannah came for the first time! She loved it and even made Elder Harris and I Christmas ornaments. We went to the New Convert Devotional in Tempe with Jesus, and he loved it!

That is about it for the week. I hope all of you have a bomb thanksgiving! We are having dinner at the Evans and the Plumbs house!! Two Thanksgiving dinners, I am pumped. We also have permission to play in the turkey bowl, the football tournament that is a mormon tradition. Elder Harris isn't very excited, but I taught him how to catch a football today so that helped a little bit. I am super excited though, so it'll be a great week!! Love you all! Stay awesome. God loves you and he wants the best for you!

Oh also, on Friday the 25th the church is releasing a Christmas initiative known as #LIGHTtheWORLD, which is going to be great. If you have any questions about it, let me know and I will direct you to the video and all the details you need!

Elder Barlow

Ice Cream Trucks Everywhere!
Check out the license plate!
Someone Left Us a Box Top. #blessed

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