Monday, June 29, 2015

The Family & The Temple

Don't you worry Mom, you will be my first hug when I come home! Haha And no, you didn't tell me you have my flight itinerary! That is so weird! I guess I can speak on the 13th. :) Haha

Things haven't been too bad heat wise. It stays at about 110 most of the time, but now it is down to about 100. Yes, I know Elder Craven. He is my roommate, He is actually right next to me, right now. :) 

But anyway, this week was good. We went to the temple which was great! It was on Thursday which I think was perfect since it was only the next day that we found out about the Supreme Court ruling. It has been a pretty big deal around here. 

I don't have too much to say about it other than I'm grateful for prophets and apostles that receive revelation. We have been sharing The Family: A Proclamation To The World with everyone. The document is amazing. And the timing of when it was given was inspired by God. 

I have a testimony gained from personal experience and confirmation from God himself that gender is a divine characteristic, and that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and is in fact, when sealed with the priesthood of God in his holy temple; the only way to fulfill God's purpose for us being here. And true happiness can only be found with it. 

There is no way to receive exaltation without it. I invite all who read this, to study The Family: A Proclamation To The World and pray and ask God if what it teaches is true. I want that on my blog, and I want everyone to know that this is my position on the family. 

We do need to remember to be respectful to others, and bear our testimonies of the plan of salvation. I love this scripture in Alma 31: 5 "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God." 

I really don't like arguing with anyone about what I believe and really that will do nothing, but I will testify of what I know to be true and how I know it and then invite others to find out for themselves by reading and asking God for themselves.

Things have been going well for the Anderson family. They are on date for baptism. We had a great first lesson and sister Anderson really just soaked it all in. By the time we invited her to be baptized, she was just like "of course!" I think that things will go well with them. 

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

iPads & Missionary Work

Palm Desert Zone Conference
I've been having a good week! We had Zone Conference and it was really good. We mostly talked a lot about ways to find investigators and helps for planning. Then we got our iPads at the end, and spent some time setting them up at the church. It is really nice to have them now, we are really enjoying them a lot. It is great because now we don't have to wait at the library for emailing and stuff like that. We can now just go to the church and spend some time emailing.

The iPads are really nice for the work! They are the mini iPads. We have the gospel library app which is really great! We don't have our area book app yet, but when we do it will be really helpful. It is also nice to share videos during lessons and stuff like that.

It is weird to think that Ammon is going to be coming home soon. It
seems like just yesterday that he was escorting me through the MTC. You know I never asked you what what was it like driving away from the MTC after dropping me off. Was it emotional? :)

The work has been going well. It has been hot lately. It was 118 on
Thursday! The average temperature is about 113 or so. And it is only
supposed to keep getting hotter! It makes it so we have to get creative with how we find people. So it is fun!

Things are going well with the Anderson Family. Sister Anderson came to church! She was able to meet a lot of people at church. We are going to have a lesson with them on Wednesday, so that should go well.

Well, anyway I hope you have a good week! I love you all lots!

Elder Barker

Elder Stafford & Elder Barker

Monday, June 15, 2015

Working Hard In The Dunes

Haha Ah poor McKenna! She looks so miserable after getting her wisdom teeth out. I will have to send her an email to cheer her up! :) She looks funny in her picture :P haha But I know that is how I looked too! That is crazy that you are getting a new fence. It will be weird not to have the wooden one that I've had all of my life! it will be strange to see all the changes when I come home, wont it?! 

It is getting really hot over here right now. It has been in the 100's all week. It is supposed to reach 110 this week so that will be fun. ;) We got the package you sent, so we will have fun with the gift cards and everything, thanks! Elder Stafford is really awesome, we get along really well. Funny thing is, he has been companions with every single elder from my MTC district. I'm the last one! 

We have been doing pretty good this week. We have found a new investigator that we will meet with tonight. She is a friend of a member of the ward and is staying with them for the week. We also had a really good lesson with a family that is in a really bad place right now. They reached out to the church because they are going to lose their apartment. The Bishop asked us to go over to meet with them. So we went over and talked with the wife.

We had a very spiritual meeting with her, where we talked about how our message can help improve the quality of her families life. They are not members, but have some member friends that pointed them to the church. We talked about the Savior and asked them if they would like to take the lessons. She told us they were interested, so we invited them out to church so they could meet the Bishop. They didn't end up coming, so we don't know what is going to happen with them. But hopefully things will go well. 

We are seeing a lot of good things happen, so I'm super happy about that. Anyway I love you all! I hope you have a great week! Oh, we get our iPad's this week so that is exciting! We will be able to email from them, so that will be super nice! I'm really stoked! 

Elder Barker

Monday, June 8, 2015

Transfer Week Is Cool and Hot

Transfers are here and I'm staying here in Bermuda Dunes and and Elder Duffin is headed to San Bernardino. My new companion is Elder Stafford, he is from Missouri. He served around me in my district in Fontana, so I know him well. It should be fun!

We get our iPads in like two weeks or so. As soon as all the missionaries do their online training, then President Van Cott can start giving them out. This week was cool! Francisco was able to stay until Thursday, so we were able have another lesson with him. 

We also were able to learn more about his mom. She is a really neat lady. She loves the VanBuskirk family (the member family Francisco had been staying with). She also has seen the changes in Francisco and she really likes that. We feel she will really want to take the missionary lessons, so we are going to send her in as a referral.

If she gets baptized then I feel that Francisco will get baptized in an instant. We also had Billy come to church again yesterday. It was cool because we hadn't seen him in a while. His mom wants to start coming back to church as well. 

Things this transfer will go good. It will get really hot! It's going to be over 100 degrees all week.  I'm going to come home very sunburnt! haha 

Anyway I love you all and hope you have a great week! :D I'll be waiting for that package! Tell McKenna that I hope she enjoys all of the ice cream she can eat when she gets her wisdom teeth out. :) Hope she feels better soon!

Elder Barker

Monday, June 1, 2015

In The World, But Not Of The World.

Things this week have been going better. I heard about Elder Perry's passing yesterday, I will miss him a lot. He was an amazing man of God. We were only able to meet with Francisco this week, his dad let him stay another week. We are going over to spend some time with him today.  

There are a lot of exciting things that are going to be happening in the mission. We had our iPad training on Wednesday, and it was really awesome! It wasn't so much of a technical training as it was a spiritual training.

We talked a lot about how these iPads are just tools. They haven't been set apart as missionaries and they don't have the gift of the Holy Ghost. But we do. All of these tools are here to help get us in front of more people. We will be able to reach the world with these tools, so they will be a great help for us. 

There was a lot of cool things which they shared with us that I could share with you all, but I want to focus on the things that are spiritual. It was really good for me to see how the Lord is preparing the rising generation. These tools are going to arm the missionary force with power and healthy habits that will go far beyond our missions. It really is an inoculation for us. We were taught safeguards for using technology. 

These safeguards include things like being focused on your missionary purpose. Be disciplined, rely on the spirit, and be one with your companion and the other missionaries in your district. It seems that the Lord really wants to pull all of his children together. One of the keys to being safe is to be open and united with those we love. If we are one, then Satan can have no power over us. I love the scripture from John 17:15-22.

17 15 pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the worldbut
that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.16 They are not of the 
worldeven as am not of the world.17 Sanctify them through thy 
truththy word is truth.18 As thou hast sent me into the world, 
even so have also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakesI sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the 
truth.20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which 
shall believe on me through their word 21 That they all may be oneas thou, Fatherart in me, and in thee, that they also may be oneius: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me have given them; that they may be oneeven as we are one.

It seems that the more that I study the gospel, the more I learn that our purpose is to be united with our Father in Heaven and to be together. Satan wants everyone to be alone. God wants everyone to be together!

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

Elder Barker