Monday, November 24, 2014

Member Missionary Work

It is so good to hear about your efforts with member missionary work. One of the hardest things as a missionary is trying to help the members gain the drive to help in the work. Member missionary work is so important and can work so many miracles! It is something that I want you to be on my back about when I get home! :P But it sounds like things are going well with the family you are working with. It is always hard when the husband is not very supportive but the wife is so prepared. That is the situation that we have had with Sita. 

Some advice from your missionary son is to just be a great example to their family. Doing small acts of kindness will go a long way in softening the husband's heart. Inviting them over for a BBQ, fun little game night or movie night would be cool too. Something that the husband would like and wouldn't feel weird doing. If he isn't ready to hear the lessons, then just try to think of and pray about ideas that will help him get to that point, and of course getting Dad in there to help would be awesome too. Hehe. Since they also have kids, as the Relief Society president you can get with the missionaries and coordinate with them on enlisting the help of a family who has kids that are around the same ages and would get along. I will keep them in my prayers.

Things have been going well around here, but just a little slower than we'd like.  Sita is still struggling with wanting to be baptized or not. I guess she has been feeling that we have been trying to force her into baptism or something. Which it is sad to hear because before we start teaching anyone we tell them how this is all about them and how it will be their choice and how when they come to know that it is true for themselves, then that is when they should willingly take the step of baptism. 

We explained to her the promise in Moroni 10:3-5 and let her know that we are here for her and how much we care for her. Because it isn't about adding another number to the church, it is about the blessings she will gain from the restored gospel and happiness she will feel. So that is where we are with her. We also have been having a hard time meeting with any of our other investigators but we did see a lot of less active members this week and things went well with that. But this work is all about faith so as we keep that up we will have success!
Me & Elder Griffes...the picture I promised you. :)
Thanksgiving we are going to go out just like every other day, but we are apparently are going to be headed over to a Tongan feast at a members home. I'm going to get sooooooo fat here!! I've already gained like 20 pounds!! I'm going to have to hit the tread mill hard when I come home to work off all this Tongan food! 

We got your 'gift of tongues' package, we liked it a lot! :D

I forgot to mention that the baptism we had scheduled has been pushed back so it is not going to be this week. They are waiting for some family to come into town and so it might not happen until like December or January. :( 

I sent Kameron an email for his birthday today, I hope he has a great day. I also heard from Alyssa, it's pretty crazy to think that California will be the place to be for the Barker kids, I bet you are excited to have them closer! :D 

Have a great week and enjoy Thanksgiving! I love you all!

Elder Barker

Monday, November 17, 2014

Questions Of The Soul

Sorry I'm so late emailing today, but we did a lot of cleaning! I think you would be proud of me! I'm not so much of a slob anymore, well almost haha. But I am cleaner! 

I split another pair of pants this week, that was fun... :P I guess I can try and get them fixed when I get my suit dry cleaned. But things have been really good. It is cool that you were able to meet Elder Langi! He is a great guy! We were in the same zone for a long time.

I'm also happy that McKenna liked my card! I thought it fit well for our relationship! haha 

Things have been good for my first week as a zone leader. I haven't done a lot yet, so it hasn't been too different. I guess it will require a lot of responsibility though! I'm too goofy for responsibility! ;) haha just kidding... kinda. But it is good. 

My new companion is named Elder Crossett. He is from Orem, Utah. He is a lot shorter than me so that is a bit different since most of my companions have been as tall or taller than me! But he was a wrestler just like Nate and he actually might have wrestled Nate before! Weird! He has been out for about 5 months. It has been really good so far to be his companion.

Our investigators have been doing well for the most part. We have put the Hifo boys on date for baptism, well one of them. The other 3 boys will be child of record baptisms, but they will be baptized on Nov. 29! It will be great!

We also were able to make a appointment with Jackie so we will see what happens with her. Hopefully we can get her to take the lessons from some other missionaries in an English ward. We also had a sad experience with Sita. We went to see her and she told us how she didn't want to be baptized anymore. But we had a really good talk with her, and we were able to get her to pray about the Book of Mormon, so we will follow up with her this week.

I've really been getting a lot out of my scripture study. I've been studying about the "Questions of the Soul" from the Book of Mormon, that has really been a great experience. There is so much that we can learn for our daily lives as we study from the scriptures! I know that I've learned a lot!

Anyway, I love you all lots! I hope you have a great week! Take care! 


Elder Barker

Monday, November 10, 2014

Change Is The Word

So this week we have had a lot of changes. Jackie ended up dropping us because she broke up with the guy she was dating in the ward. We were super saddened about that. Also Misty had been having some troubles as well, but as we were teaching her the plan of the salvation I think that helped her to progress. 

It was a very difficult lesson to teach at first however as there were a lot of distractions. Little kids were running around and crying, a loud Spanish party next door was enjoying blasting its music louder and louder. However in the midst of all of this I felt that we needed some way to bring in the spirit. I mean we can't teach without the spirit, it just doesn't work. So the thought came to me to sing a hymn. So we stopped and sang "I am a Child of God".  It changed everything and may seem like a weird thing to do but the spirit it brought helped us teach our lesson. 

Not all of the week was disappointing though. Si'i came to church and we were happy about that! He has been doing really good. And we picked up two new investigators. They are 9 and 10 years old. It is a similar situation as the Taukeiaho's but they are younger boys.

Transfers are here again, and I'm staying in the Tongan ward. But Elder Griffes is leaving for another ward here in Fontana and my new companion is Elder Crossett. I knew him in San Bernardino so that is cool, he has only been out for 4 Transfers. We are going to be Zone Leaders together. So that will be a big change! 

It is so weird that McKenna is going to be 16! I've got a card for her in the mail that I thought was pretty funny when I saw it. :D But tell her she is not allowed to date until she is like 45 or something like that! Otherwise I'm going to use my best Tongan pose and scare the kid to death! :P haha 

Anyway, things are going well.  I love you all lots and I hope you have a great week!


Elder Barker

Monday, November 3, 2014

It Matters What You Believe In

It is so crazy how things change so fast. When I come home it is going to be so weird! But it will be good. Change always happens. I'm getting a lot better about handling that!

So this week was really good. We were able to pick up a new investigator on Saturday! Her name is Misty and she is the niece of one of the members of the ward. The lesson was super awesome! At first she was telling us how, "Oh I believe it doesn't matter what you believe in", and by the end she was just like "WHAT IS THIS?!?!" It was super crazy! 

Things with Jackie are still going well. She committed to live the word of wisdom and she is excited about that! So things are really good in this neck of the woods! Halloween we went in at 6:00 p.m. We only had ONE trick or treater come to our place. I was bummed! But oh well. 

We have also been working with a less active named Si'i. He was telling us how he doesn't want to come to church because he doesn't want to feel like a hypocrite coming. As we were talking with him I got the feeling to share a scripture in 3 Nephi. As we shared it, it totally changed his perspective on the whole thing. He felt the spirit really strongly. Now he is dying to come to church next week! :D It was a really cool experience. 

Have a great week!!

‘Oku ou ‘ofa ‘ia koe,

Elder Barker