Monday, April 27, 2015

Refiners Fire & The Plan Of Salvation

We haven't got any word on transfers just yet, but I will keep you posted if I find out soon. Anyway I really like the stuff I heard about Stake Conference back home. Dad told me a little about it as well. I think it is a theme recently to talk about trials and the need to face them and learn from them. I really have learned a lot about that out here. I think the Refiners Fire Mormon Message teaches that really strongly. (Refiners Fire Mormon Message)

We also took part in a day of service for Just Serve in our area on Saturday. We helped clean a preschool. I took like a billion staples out of the walls and stuff! It was pretty nuts. I think service and being good neighbors really helps break down barriers that otherwise wouldn't ever come down. 

We were able to meet with our investigator Billy, this week and he is doing super awesome! We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he loved it. It was a good lesson for two reasons, One: we were able to really connect with Billy a lot during this lesson. It seemed that a lot of the questions he had for us in the first place were questions about the Plan of Salvation. 

Two: It was good for me because I felt that really I was the one that was being taught, not Billy. haha Some answers to some of my really old questions and fears just came to me as we were teaching. It is crazy how that happens when you are teaching! Something that Billy said really struck me too. He said "I don't know if there is anyone who wouldn't want what you are talking about. To be in a happy place surrounded people you know, who you want to be around; who you love, and who love you. Even if you don't believe this, even if you were an atheist, this sounds better than any other option."

I thought about that to myself and I was like, ya that is true. What we have in the gospel and the Plan of Salvation really is something I think everyone would want, and guess what! It is true and there is a way to get it, so let us teach you how! :D haha 

Anyway that was my week. It was pretty good! I love you and can't wait til Mothers Day! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Barker

Monday, April 20, 2015

Moving Men = Missionaries #ILOVESERVICE

I got another flat tire this week...I have had so many problems with this bike. :( Elder Duffin has been having some foot problems this week, he has another infection on his left foot now. So we can't do too much until our bikes are fixed because he can't be walking around a lot. But other than that we had a really good week. 

We picked up a new investigator this week. His name is William. He is a personal trainer and he is the son of a less active member of the ward. He didn't seem to be too interested until we talked with him but now it seems like he has some deep questions that he wants answers to. So we can help him with that. :) 

We have been doing a lot of detective work this week. We have a list of people that we got from our bishopric of prospective Elders. We have been able to go through most of those names this week. It is always funny to go and do this stuff, because we get so many different reactions from people. Most of them give us a "I don't want to deal with you right now". However, when we come across some really nice people who actually like to talk with us for a little bit, it makes it all worth it. 

We have been doing a lot of service so far. We have helped a few people move since we have been here. That seems to be the biggest thing that we help people with. Who needs moving men when you have the Missionaries around! :-) We don't have too many interesting stories from that but it is always fun to help out! 

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

Love,
Elder Barker

Monday, April 13, 2015

Flat Tire, Coachella Fest & Speaking In Church

So this week I got another flat tire, so I had to get a new tread, that has been fun. :/ The biking saga continues...haha

In town here this week, there has been a music festival called Coachella Fest. It is a pretty big deal and has brought many people here for us to talk to. :P Even Justin Bieber! He is staying next door to a member of the ward! We haven't seen him, but our member has. We had a run in with some of his security today though as we went over there. haha It wasn't much, but good thing we have a member living right there! It is pretty nuts. 

We have been able to meet a bunch with Francisco this week. He is doing good but still says he needs to find his answer of whether or not he should be baptized. He did come to church and we spoke in sacrament meeting on Sunday. We spoke on the role that members play in missionary work and how we can work with members to help them. People keep telling us they were good talks, so I hope they are telling the truth! haha. 

We have spent a lot of time walking around this week, in spite of bike issues but it has been fun. Elder Duffin doesn't like it as much, but I think it is fun to go and talk with people. We haven't found any new investigators this week, but our members have been very helpful. We have many people to go see this week and a few potentials that want to meet with us so that is exciting. This upcoming week should be great for us so I'm excited. Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you  all and miss you! 

Love,
Elder Barker

P.S.
So this is what my chocolate bunny looked like when I got it! At first I was sad, but then I just started laughing. And then I broke my whoopie cushion, but then we fixed it so I was happy!:)

Poor bunny didn't travel well...

Tell Shaury, this was lots of fun! :D


Monday, April 6, 2015

Binding Ourselves To Act

Conference was super awesome this weekend! I'm super sad that it was the last one of my mission. But I've learned to really appreciate and love General Conference more than anything. I remember when all I wanted to do was sleep and how I saw it as a day off. My appreciation for General Conference is just one of the many things that have changed about me since I've been out. 

It goes by too quick! All of the talks were so awesome. As always Elder Holland was one of my favorites. As I've been thinking about what they all said and as they were speaking, I kept wondering to myself if I'm humble enough to follow all of the counsel they have given. When I am home am I going to be willing and ready to put the Savior and the gospel before anything else? Will I keep the sacrament sacred by staying off whatever device I'm going to have when I'm back? 

I think listening to General Conference would be pointless and a waste of time if we did not "bind ourselves to act" and seek to apply what they teach into our lives. So I decided to commit to listen. I've been thinking a lot about who I've become and I've changed a lot! 

This week while on exchanges in another ward we met a man and we invited him to come to Conference. He came! I think the reason he came was because of the bold testimonies we bore to him about living Prophets. Imagine me doing something like that before I left! 

We had a really nice Easter dinner with some members, the Fraley family, they are super nice. They made us steak too! :D

I'm grateful for the Easter season because it helps me to have no fear of the future or of man. The resurrection of the Savior and his triumph over sin and death help me have hope even in hard times. I really liked Elder Bednar's talk about hushing our fears, because I think he taught what I've been feeling really well. 

Anyway, I hope that you have a great week! I love you all!
Love,
Elder Barker

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Baptisms!!

This week was great! And I have a LOT of pictures for you today! Most of this week we continued to meet with the members and things like that. It got pretty warm here this week, it was 101 degrees on Saturday! Crazy huh! We were finally able to meet Francisco. He is an investigator left to us by the sisters, it was a really good lesson! We got to know him a little bit and he is pretty awesome! He is progressing really well. He is paying tithing and everything! 

We mostly taught about the spirit because he was telling us that he had never felt it before. We were able to help him recognize that he has felt the spirit many times! After our lesson he told us that he felt as if a weight was removed from his shoulders. It was pretty cool!

We also were visited by a member of the Seventy, Elder Nielson. I can't remember his first name, but he is not Elder Gifford Nielson. Elder Nielson will be speaking in General Conference in the Sunday morning session! I got to shake his hand, so that was pretty cool! He spoke all about the atonement and how it is central to our purpose. He spoke on how we need trials in our life to help us to become who we need to become. He also talked a lot about grace and about the enabling power of the atonement to become better. It was really awesome! It was super cool, because in testimony meeting on Sunday that is what everyone bore their testimonies on! 

Moala and Sione's baptisms were awesome! I was able to baptize Moala and Elder Crossett baptized Sione. It is so cool to see how far they have come and they are both just so happy!! Sione was funny because he talked a lot about how Satan had been tempting him like crazy the closer that he got to his baptism. But as we were changing Sione just said "I feel like I beat him! I won!" It was really great to see everyone again! 


After The Baptisms
Sione & Moala
Well anyway I hope that things are going really well for you and that you all enjoy your visit with Skylar and Alyssa! I hope you have a great week! I love you all lots!    
Love, Elder Barker

Here's a bunch of pictures that I promised you... :D
Simote Vave
Brother Tuifua
Rodney
The Kofu Family
The Aluesi Family
The Tupola Family
Me and a Parrot belonging to one of the members of my new ward