Sister Sydney Barber

Sister Sydney Barber
Sister Sydney Barber

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


This week was super nuts, but so so good! Sister Jolley and I had exchanges with the Ewa Beach sisters this week!  I knew that it would be super hard for me to go back to my old area again, and we felt like Sister Chapman should get a chance to lead her new area, so I stayed in Makaha with Sister Blackner and Sister Jolley went to Ewa Beach with Sister Chapman! Sister Blackner and I had a blast! I got to introduce her to some of the people that I have met so far, and we had the opportunity to teach one of our new investigators together. It was really neat. 
  There has been a really big push in our mission to talk to more people, so this week Sister Jolley and I decided that we were going to try to talk to at least 100 people. The first few days, we met a ton of new people, so we set appointments with them throughout the week. At the beginning of the week, we had at least 4 appointments every day! It was awesome! We found a golden family! They are all interested in the gospel! We met with Withy this week, who is part of the golden family, and we committed her to be baptized on December 19th! She is so prepared! She was so excited to go to church and everything! Then, on Saturday, Sister Jolley and I had appointments in the morning that all fell through, so we decided to walk all day and just talk to people. So, we left our car at our house and started walking. Well, it turned out to be one of the coldest and rainiest days of the week, but we kept going. We talked to so many people that day! It was amazing! One of the guys that we talked to was this guy who would barely give us the time of day, because he was busy working on the side of the road. Then, at church, we got a text from him that said that he knew that we had prayed for him, because his men that were working on the road almost got hit, but the car stopped just in time! That was an amazing wake-up call for me on how prayer truly does work. Heavenly Father was able to teach that man and us through that experience, about how real He is. 
  This week I think that the number one thing that I learned is that Heavenly Father truly does know us each individually, better than we know ourselves. So, if we are willing to turn to Him for help, He will guide us to make decisions that will bring the most happiness into our lives now, that will last into the eternities. 

I love you all. Thank you for you prayers, love and support.

Love, Sister Sydney Barber

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


We were so blessed to have the Sisters over for dinner tonight, especially with it being Sis. Barber's last night in our ward. We have truly been blessed to have both of them in our ward serving with all their hearts and being wonderful examples to the youth and all who come in contact with them.  We will truly miss Sis. Barber, but know she is needed elsewhere. We are so happy we still have Sis. Blackner and look forward to watching her continue to grow!
Here's some pics from tonight!
One of the pics is from last month.  :)

With love,
The Thomsen Ohana
(Ben, Amanda, & Keven)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hello there!! This week was really great! Here's why:
  • Sister Jolley and I are just having the best time together! It's really great when you can have a blast with your companion, while working hard! I have been so lucky for the past 6 months! All of my comps have been so awesome! Anywho, Sister Jolley is great. :)
  • We got to check planners and area books for the other missionaries during interviews! It took forever, but we got to talk with Sister Warner, so that was fun. :)
  • Sister Jolley and I were trying to contact a referral and the person had moved away, but the girl that was there instead told us that she wanted to be baptized. So, our first lesson with her is tomorrow! Her name is Withy. She is 17 years old and Marshallese. Her cousin wants to be baptized too! She's a little bit younger. They are both so cute and so prepared! 
  • During ward council, the 1st counselor  was eating a triscuit and he fell asleep when it was halfway in his mouth.. Sister Jolley and I just looked at each other and tried not to laugh. It was so hard though, because he was so out! Then he woke up and just started chewing again, like nothing happened! It was Hilarious!
  • Something cool: Sister Jolley and I went to lunch, so we didn't have to go home, and there was a less-active member from the Nanakuli ward that ended up being our server, so we talked with her and left her our number, then at church the next day, she walked in and flagged us down! She was there with her husband and kids! Then, the Elders were telling us that that was the first time she had been to church in a super long time! I thought that was kind of neat. I hope she keeps going.
  • Then, this morning we played an awesome game of bball with the Elders! I lost....
 Overall, it was a pretty great week. Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is how the elect are truly out there, and how they are just waiting for the gospel. I remember being a bit skeptical at the beginning of my mission, but now I know for sure that it is true. 100% true. I have been so blessed to meet so many of those elect as I have been diligent in my searching. I have been amazed at the direction the spirit gives us, when we are worthy, and willing to listen with our hearts and our minds. The spirit should be our best friend, because it will never lead us astray and it will always help us to make decisions that will bring us the most happiness! 

I love you all! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love, Sister Barber

Monday, November 2, 2015

Aloha Oe

  These past couple of days have been the most difficult of my whole mission so far... Not because anything bad happened, but because there is so much change happening... I am leaving Ewa Beach to be a Sister Training Leader in the Makaha ward in the Makakilo Stake. I knew it was coming, but it didn't really seem real until Sunday morning. We got to church and I realized that it is probably my last time going to church as a missionary in that ward. The night before, Sister Blackner and I, after we found out about the transfer news, kept having random breakdowns. We would be talking and laughing and then crying and then laughing and then crying, or it would just get super quiet for a long time. Man... it would be so much easier to leave if I hated her guts... 
   It was fast and testimony meeting too! So, I got up and bore my testimony. I kept it super short and simple, partly because I felt that that was all that needed to be said, but also because I didn't know how much time I had before I became a mess of tears and... I had a cold too, so I just knew it wouldn't be pretty... 
   Anyways, after I bore my testimony, I sat down and then came the tears. So many beautiful testimonies were given. The Choi boys all got up and shared their testimonies. It was the cutest thing ever. 
   After the closing prayer, I was asked to stand up on the stage, so that the ward could sing "Aloha Oe" to me.. that's when I really lost it. One of the YW was leading the music and she started whispering to me to try not to cry, but then she looked at me and was like, "Oh... too late.." haha it was wonderful. ;) Nah.. It really was. My heart was so full looking over all of the people that I have come to love so much. 
   After they finished, I came down, and I was surrounded. It was so amazing. It's nice to know that I may have made at least some kind of impact on the lives that have impacted mine so much. 

   The Dortch girls all came up and gave my leis and hugs and cards. One of the leis was made out of cereal, which I thought was very clever. It looks really cool! Little Lana Dortch just about broke my heart though, when she came up to me and said: "Why do you have to leave?" I told her that I have to give another missionary the chance to be her friend, and then she said: "Why? I don't want you to leave." That did it. I wanted to call President Warner right there and tell him that I refuse to leave Ewa Beach. I don't think that would've gone over very well though...
   I know that it's my time to go. I can't be selfish and keep Ewa Beach 1st ward to myself, no matter how much I want to. I know that the next missionary who comes in will be very blessed by serving here, and I am sure she has a lot to offer them as well. 
  I will never forget my last Sunday in Ewa Beach though... I will always remember seeing the Atanoa family sitting happily together during sacrament meeting, the Chois reunited with their oldest boy, the Dortch family smiling up at me during "Aloha Oe", Kim standing up to be sustained as the new program coordinator, Rachel and Vito sitting in the Gospel Principles class together, Uncle Iosefa telling me that he didn't want to text me back when I told him I was leaving, because he was too sad, and so many more. I will never forget my time here. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and for his love for me. I know that he loves me, because he allowed me to serve here with all of these incredible people. 
   I know that I will find joy in the other places that I serve, and I will grow to love the people in those areas, but Ewa Beach will always have a special place in my heart. 

   I love you all. I hope you have a wonderful week. Aloha, Sister Barber

Sister Smith and Sister Blackner

Sister Carlson