Monday, January 26, 2015

Charity & Love

One of the shirts we sent Elder Barker for Christmas. :)

I'm glad to hear that the missionaries spoke in your ward and that you liked the talks they gave. I've given a few talks in sacrament meeting on my mission. It is always fun to do. So you're going to have the missionaries over for dinner? What are you going to feed them? :D I'm sure whatever it is, it will be good! 

Do I have any experiences about love with the people in my mission? I've had lots of them throughout my mission. I love Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel which is all about developing Christlike attributes. One of my most highlighted is the section on charity and love. I've come to know throughout my mission that having charity and love are what makes everything happen in the Lords work. Love is why we are here, love is why we share the gospel, love is everything in the gospel. 

In fact the first thing we teach people in Lesson 1 from Preach My Gospel is that God is their loving Heavenly Father and that He loves them more than anything. If we can just understand the love God has for us we can more fully understand why he does the things he does. It is super cool to be a missionary because there are so many times when we teach or talk with people when you can just feel the love God has for that person. There is no feeling like that in the world. 

It also leads us to weep when we are rejected only because we feel the sorrow our Father in Heaven must feel seeing His children reject Him. I really think that it is little wonder that God commands us to love Him then to love one another, because then we truly realize how to see people the way God sees them and how much happier we can make them by doing as our Father in Heaven would do. I think if we really want to learn how to love people we need to look at the example of the Savior because in all things He is our Exemplar.

We had our Ward Conference this week, that was super great! The stake presidency really knows what the people here need and gave great talks. So that was cool! 

Something also that was super cool is we took the bus and saw a lot of miracles happen. We got some bus schedules and mapped out our route and spent the day out there. It was super good because we talked with so many people on the bus. There were a lot of them that I felt that were just in the right place at the right time and we were able to dispel some false rumors about the church. 

But the best thing, is that as we were waiting at one of the transfer stations for our bus; we were actually able to meet some Tongans on the street. They are non-members that are related to some of the members of our ward. It was super cool to see how the Lord set that up for us to talk with them. That was a really cool miracle.

By the way, I got my package. And I'm almost through with eating it all! haha So ya I liked it a lot, thank you! It was great!

Anyway, I hope that you all have a great week! I hope your lesson goes well, Momma!

Elder Barker

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Excited To Be A Part Of This Work

With the holiday yesterday, we don't have much time to email this week. So first off, I don't have a picture for you. :/ I've been meaning to do it but we had a lot to do this P-day and not a lot of time. But I will get it for you! And I haven't received your package yet so I hope that it comes soon! I'm excited for it! 

This week has been good and we have had a lot of good things happen, but we also have had some disappointments as well. Misty talked with her Mom about being baptized and her Mom said no, so that was sad. It had a big impact on Misty and now she doesn't want to be baptized. We had some good lessons with her but for now she just needs to ponder and pray and grow her faith, so we will be striving to do that. 

This week was Stake Conference and we had a member of the Seventy come and speak, it was really good. It was all about being converted to the gospel and how we do that. President Van Cott also spoke and that was super awesome as well!

We are continuing to try to help the members this week, so we will be spending a lot of time teaching them about the restoration. As we do that, it will help the members out when they have missionary opportunities come up and they will know what to say! 

So that was our week in a nut shell. Not too much, but I'm still just so excited to be apart of this work. It is the best experience ever!! 

Well I hope that you have a great week!! I love you all tons!
Elder Barker

Monday, January 12, 2015

Good Things Are Happening!

It is really cool that you are going to an Institute class! I think that is awesome! I'm excited for Institute when I get home. You learn so much! It is crazy that dad is now the High Priest Group Leader! Is it bad if I had no idea what that was before I came out on my mission? haha But I know what it is now! :)

This week has been really good! We had our zone meeting with President Van Cott and we have a lot of good things that will be happening this year as far as missionary work! I feel we will be doing a lot of good things! I continue to get better and learn a lot more the more I'm out here. 

But also for us personally in our ward we had a lot of really good things happen. We have been reading from the Book of Mormon with Mokeni, we have it set up that he will read it everyday with his Dad. It will be good for him to start creating those good habits now while he is young! So he has been doing really well. 

We have also been having many members of the ward come to us with advice on what we can do with some of their non member friends. It is really cool to see that they trust us enough to help out with those they care about a lot. So hopefully from that we will be able to pick up some new investigators soon! 
Malakai (a ward member) and Elder Barker
Also Misty has been doing super awesome! She pretty much is ready for baptism, in fact she is planning on it. All we are really waiting for with her is to get parental permission from her Mom. Her family situation is kinda complicated and she lives with her uncles so we will see how that goes. But I'm excited! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it really struck her. She talked about how we were able to answer some questions she has had like her whole life! It was really good. I'm excited for her. 

Well anyway, that is pretty much what is going on with us. I'm making a New Years resolution to get in shape and become buff before I come home!! Enough of this flabbiness that I've gotten from the Tongan ward! haha :P I love you all! I hope you have a great week!

Elder Barker  

Monday, January 5, 2015

#NewYearsTempleTrip #Baptism

New Years was so great! We spent New Years Eve at the Redlands Temple!! It was so awesome!! I love that Temple, it is really tiny compared to the ones in Utah but I love it so much. I had some really great experiences while inside, Temples are the best! It was pretty chilly that day as well, there was actually snow in some places. 

Mokeni's Baptism was super awesome! His brother Ma'ake baptized him and afterward when he was bearing his testimony, he started crying. The spirit was very strong. It was also one of the smoothest baptisms that I've had, which was great. There were a lot of people there, it was a very good start to the year. First, the temple, then a baptism. I can't believe that 2014 is just gone; it really just flew by! I guess that is what happens when you get lost in the work! 

I've been having a lot of great experiences with the spirit lately and it makes me feel very optimistic about this coming year. I feel that the Lord has some great things in store for the people here. The work is going well. 

Misty has been facing some challenges with her family that have been difficult for her. However it seems that things are going better for her and it seems she still wants to be baptized! She even bore her testimony in Young Women's yesterday! It seems to go like that a lot, just as they are committing to the Gospel; trials and difficulties start to enter into their lives. 

I feel that God allows this to happen so that the investigator can learn for themselves that when challenges arise they need to turn to Him and they will find peace, joy and support. Lately I've really felt the love that God has for His children! He loves us a lot!

I hope that you have a great week! 

Elder Barker
Painted by Phay, a friend of Elder Barker's Mom. 
** A picture of the cookies that Elder Barker & Elder Crossett made to deliver as they caroled has been added to the Dec. 29th post.