Monday, June 23, 2008

Michael's letter 06.23.08

Hey folks!

Man! How are you guys doing? That was sure a bunch of quick new you told me. I'll pray for Bronson and Dad. I got transferred to Paris Illinois. The town names here are silly. I guess I might be a small branch elder cause right now this is just seemingly Canton #2. HAHA. The ward members are more loving and unified though so it is an upgrade. My new address is:
227 W. Madison apt #2
Paris, IL 61944

Yup! Yeah I can transfer my money for myself. I still know my online code for UCCU. I need a bike for this area so don't be suprised when 200 or a little more dissapears. :/
My companion is Elder Skaggs, He's really great. I'm starting to be known as a very fun yet hardworking/obedient elder. He's pretty much the same so we hook up good. He's from california. No one cleans though except me. The paris apartment is trashed and the canton one was beautiful due to my OCD stewardship of it. So I'll just have to mary poppins paris too!
Oh! The biggest news is I got to fill sandbags in quincy (near nauvoo) for 3 days! It was so fun! The Ap's called us: "Elder Barlow, Nauvoo area is flooding, meet in the nauvoo stake center ASAP."
We were on the news! Did you guys miss it? They showed us some utah news and I saw me (I think)! I'm popular! We put on those bright yellow 'mormons helping hands' shirts and it was great stuff. As soon as we put those deals on we realized half of the crowd was mormon. There were quite a few normal civilian helpers too. It worked like this- The performing nauvoo senior couples hosted us (ours were real nice) We worked 'til 4 p.m. (7 hours work) showered up, ate the visitors center senior couples food and then PLAYED IN NAUVOO! It was so fun. The church made a deal with the town to build the temple so we cant proselyte anyway. We just watched some performances and threw frisbees. FUN! It felt good to just work my can off in manual labor. And then blow all my energy and excitement into frisbee. Oh! we can only go to the temple every six months but we got a freebee! It was good to go to the temple. It's only been 5 months but it felt really long.The bad part is that, with the situation how it was and the introduction of lots of new young nauvoo sisters there was quite a bit of showing off and flirting going on. Therefore, we got RAILED ON at transfer meeting. President listed off a ton of recent abuses and things and restricted stuff even tighter again. I hadn't done anything that he talked about so that's good. but there was a huge guilt aura in the room. He kind of set a guilt tone so we could re-analyze ourselves. President gave us a talk by spencer w. kimball called "Lock your heart" and we have to commit in writing to be obedient once again. Anyway. I'm in paris things are good. My companion is capable of working hard and having fun so we'll be good. Man! Nauvoo was so good for unity though. I'm pals with a ton of people now. Lot's of kids I worked sandbags with were like "MAN! It'd be a dream to serve with Elder Barlow! I hope I get to before I go home." It was pretty cool I'd better not let it get to my head though. haha! I'm pretty loud when I can be, (I had people start singing songs and telling me their 'special talents' and I'd pretend to be really shy and ask elders to hold sandbags open for me) so the really "too cool for school" kids don't love me much. Sorry, That's really long but Bottom Line=It was so fun and rewarding too! Taking breaks like that really help me re-focus on the work too! Knocking on doors almost felt soothing after breaking my back in sand piles. Well that's way too much info for one little email. I still can't think of anything I need. I don't know our investigators yet, I got here friday night. It's 9000 people big (a little smaller than canton) but it's not as burnt out so it will be fun.

Once again my address is: 227 W. Madison apt #2
Paris, IL 61944

Love y'all. Sorry I haven't written you laura (too busy(for real)) Have heaps of fun with that lady in your lab mim. Read yoru scriptures all!

-Elder Barlow

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