Monday, March 23, 2015

HOT In The Desert!

So life in the desert is nice. Our area is really small, it is like 2 miles by 2 miles. So we are walking and biking. It gets pretty hot out here from what I hear, like 120 degrees in the summer. So that will be nuts when that comes around! I'm actually not in a tri-companionship after all. The Elder that I was supposed to train was a visa waiter but he ended up getting his visa the day before he was supposed to come out here. So he is headed off to where ever that was supposed to be. 

We found that out on Wednesday when we came to the training meeting. Now I'm a District Leader out here. My companion's name is Elder Duffin, He is from Spanish Fork. Utah. So this is now my third companion from Utah! He likes sports, cars and BYU. That will make Dad happy! (The part about BYU) :)

Things have been really great. We have spent most of our time trying to meet the members here. They are super nice people! And we have some very well off individuals here in the Bermuda Dunes ward so that has been a big change for me! It has been pretty warm for us here already, today it hit the 90's. I don't mind the heat at all, but my companion likes colder weather a lot better. 

Moala and Sione's baptisms are going to be on the 29th of this month, and we are going to be able to be back for that. They actually want us to do the baptism for both of them! that will be exciting! 

Anyway, I hope things are going well for you all back home! I'll have some pictures for you next week I promise! I got a lot of good ones but I forgot my cord! I love you all!!

Love,
Elder Barker

Monday, March 16, 2015

Transferring & Training!

Transfers are here and the news is in.... I'm going to be transferred this transfer out to the desert. I'm going to a place called Bermuda Dunes. One thing I really won't have to  worry about anymore, is what I eat! haha I hear a lot of good things about it, so I'm excited! Even though I'm also super bummed about leaving too. I'm going to be in a tri-companionship and I'm going to be training.  Elder Crossett is being transferred to Banning, and they are putting Sister Missionaries into the ward. 

Moala and his Dad are going to be baptized on the 28th, so I'm going to have to try to make it back for that. I'm really going to miss it here, but when the call comes you just have to do it. :) This week has been good, we have had a lot of good lessons with Moala. We can't find Sione's membership records so we are going to baptize him again.

Rodney is doing really good, he is a little scared about coming to church just because he doesn't want anyone to make fun of him for not being able to read very well. But he is still making leaps and bounds. For service in this area we usually go out to the Bishop's Storehouse over in Colton. It has been a lot of fun to go out there. We've gotten to know a lot of the people who run it, so that has been awesome. I'm going to miss Palmetto. I've learned a lot from this ward. But now is time to start another adventure! So bring it on! 

I'm happy that I was able to help out McKenna. It sounds like she is whipping our family into shape! :) I think it's  awesome! Well anyway, I hope that everything is going great! 

I love you all! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Barker

P.S. I got my package in the mail, and I loved it! Thanks!! :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Teaching & The Spirit

So, you just gotta love Daylight Saving Time, losing an hour of sleep is never fun! :P When I'm home I'm going to sleep for like 10 days straight! I can just live with you and be a bum so I don't have to do anything for a few years right? haha Just kidding!

That is cool that you went to the temple a bunch this week! I wish I could go! But hopefully we will have a temple trip again sometime soon! That would be awesome! 

I don't have as much to write about this week as I did last week, but things are going good. We are still seeing so many great things happening! Sita is warming back up to us and so is Misty! Soon we will be able to teach them again, and they are showing genuine interest. That has been great!

Things are going really well for Moala. Now that his Dad is here he is even more excited about his baptism. We are still waiting on Sione's records though. They are having a hard time finding them. He says that if we can't find them, he wants to be re-baptized with Moala! Sione's testimony seems to get stronger and stronger on a daily basis! 

We are backing off a little with Letta. We are going to let the members of the ward work with her parents to get them on board. If we can do that, then Letta and her siblings will get baptized.

We also are teaching Rodney. He is a white guy that lives with some of our members. He knows the gospel is true he just needs to keep his commitments. Rodney is another example of the Lord doing his own work. He is a little slower so the best way to teach him is just to have him read to us from the Book of Mormon, then the Spirit does the rest. His retention for reading is really really good. He wants to be baptized really soon. He just needs to overcome smoking, then he will be golden!

Anyway things are going great! We're having some really nice spring weather right now, It's starting to warm up and I love that. I love you all! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Barker

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Miracle, A Wedding, And A Baptism to come...

Soooo, you want to know the best thing that happened to us this week?? You might want to get comfortable in your seat. We had some pretty crazy things happen this week and I'm not sure how to put it all into words. I will try and do my best to describe what happened this week because it was pretty nuts. 

Okay so we have Moala (David) and his situation right now. His Mom is coming back to the church and wants him to be baptized. His Dad was super against the church and to keep him from being baptized he was going to come down the first week of March to take Moala and his brothers and sister back to live with him in Seattle. 

Wednesday morning we went over to our Bishop's house to talk with him about what to do. When we got there Sister Tuitupou asked us "have you been praying for miracles?" and we told her that we had been praying really hard for a miracle to happen. And she told us "well we had a big one happen!" She then told us how Moala's Dad decided to come down a week early to pick up the kids and take them away. 

When he got here to Fontana things started to change. He stayed overnight at the Bishop's house and they talked for a long while. As they were talking, Sione (who had been a member of the church in his teenage years and knows the Bible very well) started to ask some questions and Bishop Tuitupou opened the scriptures to answer those questions. He opened the Bible and showed some scriptures about the scattering of Israel. He told Sione how the people in the Book of Mormon were a remnant of the House of Israel led away by the Lord to the the Americas. He showed him in 3rd Nephi where the Savior personally appears to the people here in the Americas. 

They stayed up to 2:00 in the morning talking. Sione started to feel something. He said that it was like a fog was lifted from his mind and he could understand the scriptures more. He started to accept the Book of Mormon. The next day the Bishop took Sione and his ex-wife (Moala's mom) to the church so they could talk things out in his office. He had them open with a prayer and then felt that he needed to leave them alone in his office for a bit. After awhile Bishop came back to see if they were done talking. They told him they had decided on getting re-married, that they were going to live here in Fontana, and that Sione was coming back to the church!

So on Wednesday, after Sister Tuitupou tells us about all this they top everything off by telling us they wanted us to be witnesses at their wedding...that day! So we witnessed a wedding on Wednesday. 

      

Then on Thursday we had a lesson with Sione to see where he was at in his conversion. We could really feel his desire to learn and to know for himself if the Book of Mormon was true. So we committed him to read at least a chapter and to pray about it and then we left. 

The next morning we went over and asked how the reading went. He told us he had read the introduction, all of the testimonies and the first 2 chapters. Then he told us "I prayed and got my answer right away. It is true!" So Sione went from hating the Church on Sunday to having a testimony from the spirit that the Book of Mormon was true on Thursday night! Oh, and as the icing on the cake, Sione's job in Seattle wants to transfer him here to L.A., then possibly out to Riverside!

So now Moala is going to be baptized by his Dad! And they are all working on going to the temple to be sealed! It amazes me how the Lord really does His own work! The Lord put a broken family back together in less than a week! I have been standing in awe of how powerful and loving Heavenly Father really is. Miracles come after the trial of your faith. Nia was on the verge of losing everything. Her house (she got kicked out by her sister because she is coming back to the church) her children. But because she stood her ground, she got everything including her husband, and soon an eternal family! 

Pretty nuts huh! So that was my week! I hope things are going well for you! I'm enjoying my hair clippers haha! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,
Elder Barker