Hey! Whats good!

So this week was a pretty great week! We had a lot of quality lessons. We helped quite a bit of people by just listening to them and being there for them. It was a really cool week. Elder Kneupper was a great companion but he is now in the land of eternal p-days! I am grateful I was able to be his companion! I am grateful that I was able to stay in Normandy Park. Its a great area, and a lot of good things are going to happen this transfer, I can feel it! 

My new companion, Elder Savage seems pretty cool! I am grateful for what the mission experience is doing for me. I am growing in a lot of ways that I didn't know was possible. It is a great experience! 

So I read in Malachi 3 and in verse 3 it says that "he shall sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver" That is a way cool verse. The process of purifying silver is really cool. So the refiner puts the silver into the furnace to clean out the impurities in the silver. As the silver is purifying the refiner has to keep his eye on the silver so he does not injure or burn the silver. So he has to watch it constantly. And how does the refiner know when the silver is ready? He knows its ready when he can see the reflection of himself in the silver, then the silver is ready to come out of the furnace. Jesus Christ is the perfect refiner. He knows exactly how long we need to be in the Furnace because He never takes His eyes off of us. Though the trials and hardships are tough, He knows how much we can take, and He will NEVER give us more then we can handle. He will NEVER let us become injured. He takes us out of the Furnace when he can see himself in us. Trials and hardships bring us closer to God especially if we ask for His help throughout the trial. We will always come out on top if we ask for Gods help. 

I am grateful to be a missionary at this time. I love you all!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

(email from July 1, 2014)

Greetings from Seattle!

What up!!
This week was kinda slow...but we learned a lot and the lessons we did have were pretty solid! We have been struggling so hard to get our investigators to come to church! They aren't making it a priority, we did get a couple less actives to church though, which is just as good because they are taking a step forward! Elder Kneupper is still staying focused which is good because he goes home in 6 days! 

Today we went to the temple and it was a great experience! It was really cool seeing all the missionaries together in the temple! I am thankful for the opportunity I have to serve at this time with all my heart, might, mind and strength! I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what a blessing it is! 

Hope all is well, have a great week! Peace out!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

(email from June 24, 2014)



Seattle is so awesome! I am so grateful to be here! 

Well, this month our mission has a goal to baptize 100 people. We were challenged as a companionship to baptize at least 8 people. The cool thing is, we have 11 people who are willing to do the things necessary to be baptized! Our mission is really focusing on setting High Expectations for yourself. When you believe you can do hard things you can achieve anthing. Our investigators are doing really well. They are absorbing what we teach them and they are grateful for the Gospel. 

I love you all!!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

(email from June 9, 2014)


Don't have a lot of time left like 5 seconds, but I am grateful for Missionary Work and the blessings I have seen come from it. I am grateful for trials and how after them we have the experience to get through even harder trials, we always grow for the better! 

Love you all!!!!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

Here are some fun pics from this week:

 This is Gloria and Efren - a brother and sister that they are teaching

 and…typical photo from Elder Barney :)

 Normandy Park Missionaries!

And…the prison…hmmm :)

(email from June 2, 2014)

Good Morning/Afternoon

Hey everybody!

This week was a pretty good first week of the transfer! Our investigators are doing really well. They are really Gloria and Efren are still super great, Brooke is still solid and Trina is super cool. This week I was studying the Atonement and how to better understand it! To understand the Atonement you have to understand the Fall of Adam, to understand The Fall of Adam you have to understand the creation, which are three essential stages of the Plan of Salvation, which is the knowledge that keeps us going! All of the Gospel is connected, when you understand one thing, you better understand another.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be on a mission and what I am learning, I know that the experiences I am having out here are experiences that are once in a lifetime. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I heard today from another missionary that what we learn in a transfer is like what we would learn in a year, how true that is. What we do everyday, how much we do everyday, and who we are with everyday prepares us for our lives after the mission. Being within sight and sound of the same person for 24/7 and required to have the spirit with you while you work, prepares you for life!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney


Hey everybody!

Well today was transfers and Elder Kendell is outta here...and Elder Kneupper is in! I really don't like doing only one transfer with a companion but its alright, I will get over it haha. Normandy Park is a great area with a lot of potential! It has been really sunny here and really warm, so thats good.

Our investigators are progressing really well. They are really absorbing what we are teaching them. Gloria and Efren are still rad, Brooke is still solid and Trina is super cool.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be on a mission and what I am learning, I know that the experiences I am having out here are experiences that are once in a lifetime. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I heard today from another missionary that what we learn in a transfer is like what we would learn in a year, how true that is. What we do everyday, how much we do everyday, and who we are with everyday prepares us for our lives after the mission. Being within sight and sound of the same person for 24/7 and required to have the spirit with you while you work, prepares you for life!

Don't count the days, make the days count! - Muhammad Ali
Love you all!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

(email from transfer week - Tuesday May 20, 2014)

Hey Everybody!

Greetings from Seattle!

It is already week 5 of the transfer! Next week is transfers, its insane how fast time is going!

This week was pretty good, our investigators are doing well. Gloria and Efren are not getting baptized this week but they will be baptized soon! We haven't met with Justin this week, and Brooke is on date for baptism on June 7th! She is taking in what we are teaching here and remembers like everything we say, its great because she connects everything herself! She is super solid! We tracted into this band who was practicing for their services on Sunday, they invited us in and they wanted us to listen to what they were practicing, they were really good gospel songs.

What I studied today: I read "The Miracle of a Mission" by Jeffrey R. Holland. It is a great talk from an MTC address that talks about the blessings of a mission, not just his but the people around him. Its a good pick me up! And I read Matthew 15 and 16 (I started the New Testament over) I hope you have a great week!

Here are 2 awesome quotes!
What happens in this life, echoes in eternity!
Rise and rise again until lambs become lions!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

Here are a couple pictures he sent in this week's email:

 This picture is from some service they did - pulling ivy from a local park

This picture cracks me up - it is all about the tie!  Austin's uncles (my brothers, all 4 of them, James, Paul, Jared and Michael) took and wore this tie on each of their respective missions.  One cool thing - they each wrote their names and when they served on the back of the tie - it is kinda nasty - because they swore they weren't going to clean it - it is the missionary tie.  One that will go down in history for sure.

(email from May 12, 2014)

Hello From Seattle!

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had a fantastic week! So in my studies I read the talk "Lessons From Liberty Jail" by Elder Holland and it is a freakin awesome talk! 

My favorite quote:
"We must live the Gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well. Indeed, they knew that the real test of our faith and Christian Discipleship is when things are not going smoothly. That is when we get to see what we are made of and how strong our commitment to the Gospel really is."

 It is pretty much self explanatory. I suggest you read that talk, it is a testimony builder!

This week was pretty good. Gloria came to church, Efren can't make it too church because of his anxiety, but he says he is getting better, he hasn't been able to leave his house for like 8 months now, that's how bad it is! The anxiety came out of nowhere that's the sad part. He had to drop out of school, quit his job, and all his friends left him. Which would be devastating to me! He has made a lot of progress though since we have been meeting with him. He seriously has so much faith and hope, he knows God has a plan for him and that he won't leave him comfortless. Talking with him builds my testimony and guess what! He is only 17! He has a lot of experience under his belt. They are both on date still for the 17th of May!

Love you all!!!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

(email from May 5, 2014)

Hey Everbody!

How are you all doing? I hope you all had a great week!

Last week was a great week! We tracted quite a bit, and tracted some more and then tracted again haha. We taught 24 lessons and put 2 people on date for baptism for the 24th of May! So all together we now have 5 people on date, 2 people who were on date dropped us and 1 fell off date this week, but we won't give up on them because we know how the Gospel can bless their life.

So Te'Aundtre, we went to visit him on saturday and as we are walking to his porch we look up and there we beheld 2 Jehovah Witnesses teaching him, he is taking the discussions from us and the JWs, we are just hoping that he can differentiate between the 2 doctrines while we teach him. 

Gloria and Efren, They are brother and sister, 21 and 17 years old, Gloria referred herself on Mormon.org all by herself. She is super solid, we go over and teach them every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, its great!! They are on date for May 17th, and they are on track for it, we taught them all of the discussions and they took it all in and keep asking for more. When they first started reading the Book Of Mormon they couldn't understand, so they prayed that they would understand what they were reading and then they could understand and couldn't stop reading until like 3 in the morning! So they pray then read and then pray again to thank God for letting them understand! It is so great!!

I am grateful to be a missionary at this time, the Lord is truly hastening His work!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

Here are a few awesome pics he sent today:

 Beautiful view from his airplane window - on his way to Seattle!

 Him and his companion - Elder Kendell - what goof balls! 

Excited to be back in Seattle!!

(email from April 28, 2014)

All The Way From Seattle:


This week was a slower week, but it was still great! I am really enjoying Normandy Park, it is so great! 

One of our investigators Te'Aundtre, who is on date for baptism for the 10th of May, got tracted into by Jehovah Witnesses, so he is really confused now because as soon as he prayed to know whether to join our church or keep looking, they knocked on his door. He is still taking the discussions, but he is also taking them from the JW. So this is going to be an interesting situation. I know that God has a plan and that it will all work out for the better! 

Today we are going to have a Zone Activity and we are plaing Ultimate Frisbee! I am really excited, I haven't played in forever! Well farewell! 

Love you all!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

(email from April 21, 2014)

Grandma Johnson

April 16, 2014
Elder Barney's Great-Grandma passed away and this is what he sent:

Don't worry, President Choi told me to do this :) 
could you read this at Great Grandma Johnsons funeral :)

Hello Friends and Family,

I am Elder Austin Barney currently serving my LDS mission in Seattle Washington, and just wanted to write a few things. I will never forget the times when Grandma and Grandpa would dress up and do shows for us when we were little kids. I loved watching them and thought they were the coolest!

Before I left on my mission, grandma would always say this when ever she saw me "Boy! you have gotten so big and strong! I can't wait for you too serve your mission! You are going to be such a great missionary!" I loved talking with her. The last thing Grandma told me before I left was, I will never forget what she said. She said "Now Austin, I don't think I am going to be around when you get back, I just want you too know that when I pass away, that I will be with you will you are on your mission. I love you so much." I know that she is with me and watching over me right now. 

I recently read this scripture in D&C 84, its verse 88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. I believe that Grandma is one of the angels that are with me. I know with all my heart that I will see Grandma again, because of Christ and His sacrifice. I am grateful for that knowledge. I know that she is saving us all seats right next to her in Heaven.

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

Greetings from Seattle!

April 14, 2014

This week was fantastic!! The only complaint is that we kicked the hermanas out of their apartment, so there was sisters things like clothing, hair stuff, make-up and hair EVERYWHERE!  Everything is labeled in Spanish too, so I am learning Spanish! 

So we found out that we white-washed into this area, meaning we opened the area, so we had no investigators, didn't know the ward, nothing so we tracted the first 3 days. We put 4 people on date for baptism, we found 11 new investigators, taught 29 lessons and found a few potential investigators by the end of the week!! The Lord truly answers prayers. 

We are also sharing the area with a set of Sister missionaries who have been in the ward, they are pretty cool sisters. The ward is fantastic and they are very missionary minded! I am so grateful to be in a great area!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

Oh and one more thing, 
share this video on facebook, twitter and instagram!!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

Day 1

Day 1 of being back on the mish has been awesome! 

My mission president has been awesome and I got a great companion, Elder Kendell. He is a stud! I am in a great area called Normandy Park, I finally got into a Seattle area! I am glad to be back on the mission, and can't wait to start fresh make it my own! 

Love you all!!!

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

The Airport

Ok, having done the MTC drop-off, I didn't think anything could be worse - boy was I wrong.  To me, the airport was WAY worse than the MTC.  Although the MTC gave me a sense of peace (I knew he was immediately safe and in good hands), the airport was - well let's just say it was really hard.  Maybe it was because we were saying goodbye (or a see ya later) for the second time - knowing what emotions lay ahead.  But, for whatever reason, the airport was very difficult for me.

As he got all checked in, I was shaking.  It was hard to breath.  I couldn't focus.  It was weird, because I have heard that sadness and happiness can not take place in our hearts at the same time - I am here to say that they can.  At the exact same time.  I was overjoyed that he was going back to Seattle, and completely heart broken at the same time.  Happy because I knew this was right and that I wouldn't want him to do anything else, and sad because he is my son, and I was going to miss him, terribly.

His whole life, I have teased him for being really independent.  For example: his first day in nursery, as I dropped him off he walked right in, turned around, waved and said, "bye Mom" -- not even a moment of hesitation, no tears, nothing.  Independent.

So, for the few days before he left, I would say, I need at least a "look back" or something…his reply was usually something like "I can't look back, I only can look forward" or "if I look back I might turn to salt" or some goofy comment like that.

Well, after the hugs, tears and final good-byes he knew it was time he needed to go.  It was SO hard…as he walked down the hallway after going through security, as we watched him go, my heart was so full of love and appreciation for Heavenly Father for sending us such an amazing young man.  Yet, in the same space, my heart was so full of sadness, watching him walk away knowing I wouldn't be able to see his face, hug him, or hear his voice for a while.  I was sad, but totally ok with it…weirdest conflict of feelings ever.

Just as he was about to turn the corner to be completely out of our view, he looked back, gave a smile and a wave…my heart burst…literally burst into a million pieces of love, joy and sadness.  That kid - knows exactly what I needed, and what a tender mercy from him (and the Lord), for me.

Then, later that day - we received an email from him…this is what mine said:

Hey Mom!

Did you notice that I looked back? yeah that was for you! I wasn't sad either, I am glad I have come back. I am glad because its like a fresh start.

I got a really great companion, Elder Kendell. He is a pretty cool dude. I am in Normandy Park which is pretty awesome. I am finally in Seattle! Oh and if you want to send me stuff, send it to the mission office.
10675 Northeast 20th Street BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON 98004-2860 UNITED STATES

I will try and stay as close to the spirit as I can ;)

Love ya!
Elder Barney

<Kia Kaha>
-Elder Barney

How great is that!  I love this gospel.  I love being a missionary family.

From here on out - this blog will be filled with pictures and emails we receive from Elder Barney.

The church is true people - the church is true.


Documented: April 8, 2014

This is it...

So, as we quickly (a bit frantic actually) got him ready to go again - we paused for 2 days to listen to Conference (April 2014).  I am so glad we did - there were amazing talks THE WHOLE TIME…

Like this one from Elder Holland "The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship" (you can listen to it here https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/the-cost-and-blessings-of-discipleship?lang=eng).

Then there was this one from Elder Rasband "The Joyful Burden of Discipleship" (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/the-joyful-burden-of-discipleship?lang=eng).

Then this one from Elder Anderson "Spiritual Whirlwinds" (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/spiritual-whirlwinds?lang=eng)

That was just some from the first session!!

Saturday afternoon was just as amazing…"Let Your Faith Show" by Elder Nelson (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/let-your-faith-show?lang=eng)

Or "If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments" by Elder Hales (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/if-ye-love-me-keep-my-commandments?lang=eng)

Or how about "What Are You Thinking" by Elder Zwick (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/what-are-you-thinking?lang=eng)…

Ok, you get the point?!?! :)
It was amazing - and exactly what we needed to hear, as a family and individually. I firmly believe that this General Conference was 100% for our family - a gift directly from the Lord.

Monday proved to be quite the emotional day.  As a family, we had some amazing moments, and that evening, Austin was again, set apart as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (by his Stake President/Grandpa Mark!) and I have to admit - the spirit that was in that room, was stronger than I have felt in a really long time.  I knew this was right, as did every single person in that room, including Austin.  Again, another tender mercy from our Father in Heaven (by the way - if you ever question - please know that He knows EXACTLY what He is doing)

Tuesday morning, April 8, 2014, at 8:30am was the time his flight was leaving for Seattle.  I was anxious, as I know Elder Barney was as well.  But, as we got ready, and headed to the airport, there was an excitement and a happiness that was literally tangible the entire morning. It made it very difficult to be sad when the spirit was so strong and full of joy.

I am thankful for tender mercies.  I am thankful for this experience that has brought Elder Barney closer to the Savior, us closer together as a family, and our testimonies stronger.  I love this gospel. I love that the Lord knows exactly what He is doing - and that He has a plan for each of us that is specific to each of our needs. It might not seem like a 'normal' or 'traditional' plan - or even the plan we had in mind, or expected, but it is EXACTLY what is meant to be, and for that - and all its unconventional ways - is beautiful. I will never regret or wish different for this experience - not for Austin, nor our family. We have grown in ways that would never have happened otherwise.

I know that the experiences Elder Barney will have in Seattle, and for the rest of his life, will be better because of this experience. I know that his mission experience - his entire mission experience - will be for his good, and for the good of others, as he will be able to help others in ways he wouldn't have before. This gospel is true. If it weren't, none of us would be doing what we are doing - because we love the Lord, and He loves us - perfectly.

Documented: April 8, 2014