Monday, January 27, 2014

Member Missionary Work

I've been doing well this past week, well other than the fact that I caught a really bad cold which caused me to be down and out for a day. But I'm doing better now! Thankfully I didn't catch the stomach flu. Another Elder caught that since it has started going around. I stayed with another Elder who was also sick and Elder Hall went out to work with the other Elders companion. So you can imagine that my week was a little less productive than usual, but we still were able to do a lot! 

We have been getting investigators to the temple so that has been super awesome! You can feel the spirit so strongly there! We also have been going up onto campus and contacting people. We haven't had too much luck (college kids can be a little stubborn sometimes) but I have had "a lot" of time to practice the Ukulele! :) haha 



Our Book of Mormon study group has also continued to grow! We have just finished 1 Nephi. Yay! And our ward mission leader got his mission call to England! Elder Hall and I and a bunch of other missionaries were able to be there for him to open his call! 




We had 4 investigators come to sacrament meeting yesterday so that was super awesome! Most of our investigators are friends of members so I can stand as a witness that member missionary work..... works! It is the way things should go! 

We had a investigator drop his baptismal date so that was sad, but we are still working with him to help build his testimony. Also, I'm going to be teaching Institute tomorrow so I'm super nervous for that! It is going to be so cool! :)

I love you all lots and hope everything is going well!


Love,

Elder Barker

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Staying in the Singles Ward!

It has been really hot here lately. It was in the 80's all week and that is crazy! It is January! It has also been really really windy too. The Santa Ana winds go through here every winter I guess. 

Things with K were interesting. It was a very short meeting, but we just told him if he really wants to know if this is true he needs to read the Book of Mormon himself and ask in prayer. We are trying to get him to go to institute tonight, so that will be good for him. 

Things with D have been going well. He actually went to the temple on Wednesday and we were able to take him inside into the waiting room. We are going to ask him about how he felt about it when we meet with him next. Hopefully it will go good. I feel like it might take awhile for him to realize that what he has been feeling is the spirit, but he will get there.

We had a special stake conference this past Sunday. The adult session was super different seeing as they invited all the youth ages 12-18 to come to it as well! Apparently that is what the First Presidency wants the stakes to do now for stake conference.

Then for the general session there was a special broadcast from Salt Lake City for all of the stakes in this temple district, I believe. Elder Anderson and President Eyring spoke about doing member missionary work. I don't believe I have ever seen President Eyring get as emotional as he did in that talk! I thought he was going to burst into tears! It made me(almost cough cough)cry. It was super good!

We still have our one investigator working to be baptized so we will be working with him this week to get that more solid. Things are going super well. Transfers are this week, and me and Elder Hall are staying in the Singles Ward for another transfer. I'm glad, I like it here! :D

Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Barker

P-day, Elder Hall and Elder Barker

Big doggie!

Elder Barker and Elder Hall


Monday, January 13, 2014

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

This week was a very good week! It was probably the best week of this transfer! It didn't start out that way though. :( 

On Tuesday we had a lesson with one of our investigators named K. He is someone who came up to us on campus and he was super awesome and asked sincere questions and stuff. But we showed up to our lesson and he had a friend with him and he told us he wanted to show us what he had "found" about Joseph Smith. It turns out that he had been going to anti Mormon websites looking for material to try and prove Joseph Smith wrong. And because of that we pretty much lost him. We bore our testimonies, but that is about all we could do. 

Our mission president has asked us to focus on teaching the simple truths about the gospel. He says "The church isn't on trial." So don't teach people as if it is, the church is true so teach them the simple powerful truths that will build their faith and help them come to a knowledge that they do indeed have a loving Father in Heaven who speaks to man today. 

It is heartbreaking to see K lose his way because of little meaningless things that are designed to distract from the simple powerful truths that only come from this gospel and turn people away from asking God himself if these things are true.

It is interesting to me that every point K had for us seemed to be specifically designed to have people trust in man's wisdom and turn away from God's. We will be meeting with him again tomorrow, but if he doesn't open his heart to feel the spirit then we will have to drop him. 

So, if that happened...why was this week so great? Well first off we gained some new solid investigators and it is sooooo obvious that the Lord has prepared them! 

One of our investigators pulled a 180 on us! His name is D and just a few weeks ago he told us that that he had prayed about Joseph Smith and he said he got the answer of no. We were a little surprised. We asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon, and he told us a little. Then we asked him his attitude about taking the lessons and he told us he was skeptical. Basically we told him that he needs to read from the Book of Mormon and put his skepticism away and we left. Then we met with him on Thursday, and as soon as we walked in, we knew something was different. His prayer was different, his attitude was different, things were just different. 

We asked him about how his reading had been going and he told us: "I don't know how to explain it but when I read the Book of Mormon it was like I was reading the Bible." He had this look on his face that just said "guys, what is this?" He was feeling the spirit, and he wanted to learn more. He asked us for more scriptures from the Book of Mormon, and he asked for some more time to read and stuff. It was so awesome!!

What I learned from these experiences was that the gospel CANNOT be taught using your own wisdom or opinion, because then people will make assumptions based on your understanding and not their own. The only way people will come to know if this church is really Christ's church is if they read the Book of Mormon for themselves and ask God to show them the truthfulness of it. He will show them the whole truth. 

I again bore my testimony that this is Christ's church and it is led by his Prophet and Apostles. I know first hand that the doctrines taught in it will bring so much happiness and will bring everyone who lives them closer to God. 

I love you all and hope that you have a great week! 

Love,

Elder Barker

My Companion, Elder Hall and our Ward Mission Leader

Showin off my new haircut...


Monday, January 6, 2014

Don't be afraid to share the gospel!

Happy New Year! It has been so weird to be away from home for New Years! We just stayed in the apartment and went to bed a little early. I haven't received your package yet, but I'm super excited! 

I don't have any pictures this week because I forgot to bring my camera to the library! :/ But that just means there will be lots and lots of pictures for you next week! :) 

This week has been a really great week! We started teaching a new investigator this week. His name is M. He is a friend of a member of our ward. We went over to the members house to teach him a lesson on doing member missionary work and he tells us that he has a friend that we could go see right then and there! We were like OK!! Then he started over thinking it and told us that his Mom didn't want missionaries over and his brother doesn't like him. We looked at him and said "We are going to go see him right now!" So we did. While we were over there we read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and asked him if it was something that he wanted to learn more about! He said he wanted to learn more and we were like YES! Then his Dad came over and started to ask us questions about the church, and he told M. that it was his choice to learn more and he would have his parent's support! You never know what will happen if you just try to share the gospel with those you know!

Things are definitely starting to pick up after the holidays. Campus opened a few days ago and classes start today so we will be able to start going up there and do some work. Our other investigator is doing really well. We are going to be meeting with him tomorrow and see how he has been doing. I miss you guys a lot! Have an awesome week!

Love,

Elder Sam Barker