Monday, July 29, 2013

Dads, Grandpas, & Great Grandpas

We are in the Columbia area, and it's a great place! It's all so green and full of trees and bugs!!! Our apt is pretty cool, but I think I would think any apt is cool because I've never had my own apt. :P We have a little kitchen that I can cook anything I want in (There is four of us in the Apt, the other three Elders don't mind that I cook for them ;) ).
My new Companion is named Elder Sumner, He's been out for a little over a year (8 months) We aren't supposed to say how long we've been out. haha he's my dad! :) It's kinda funny, I'm his trainee, so I'm his son, he's my dad, and Elder Welty ( One of the other elders in my apt) is his dad, so my grandpa, and HIS dad, is one of the assistants to the president! So I have a dad, a grandpa, and a great grandpa!
We're going to get a 4 generation picture :P It's kinda fun! Elder Sumner is being so great to me, he is teaching me everything! We've taught a couple of lessons to non members, and I put a girl on date
for Baptism!!!! :D
It's so amazing out here! I'm so loving this!!!! I love this beautiful place! Missionary work is amazing Momma, It feels so good...The spirit is just so strong whenever I'm teaching or learning more and more about the Gospel. It's overwhelming. I love when I'm sitting and teaching a family, and I recite the first vision from memory, and the spirit just floods the room..and you can tell when they can feel it.. :)
The humidity isn't even that bad, I thought it would be terrible, but it's not nearly as bad as Nauvoo was. I can walk around in white shirt and tie and be completely fine. However, since it rained last night, It's much more humid today than it usually is. I haven't ridden my bike yet though :P We're in a 2013 Ford Fusion with only 700 miles on it! :D We have a gas card :) We just have a specific amount of miles we are allowed in a month. Hahaha I didn't know it would be a car area! President Holm turned it into one as soon as I got here, I think he likes me :P
An average day for me is, we wake up at 6, exercise in the apt for about an hour, have an hour to shower and get ready, personal study for 1 hour, companion study for 1 or 2 hours, then we go out and either visit members, try to contact less active/non members, or we just knock doors. then, after a couple hours of that, we drive either home or somewhere to eat lunch. Then, we go back out for a number of hours, then we go home for dinner. We either cook, or members bring us food or take us out. We don't get fed all that much because the members REALLY prefer the sisters. They are like double booked on being fed. We barely get fed :P Sexist church people. ;) Today, we are going to go grocery shopping because I have no food :P
The church only put 30$ on my card, + the money that got refunded for my baggage claim, so I have to take that off and keep that cash but I'm going to try to keep it cheap. :)
I knew it had to be sister Jackson! Also, her twin sister was an actress in High hopes and River boats when we were in Nauvoo. haha :) I got my ties, as well as the other package, nothing exploded, pants are great, almost done with all my eggs :) Thanks so much for everything! I love getting things from home! I wanted to ask, Those digital picture frames, how much would one of those cost? If they aren't too expensive, I'd love one :) Or even just a scrap book full of pictures. I'm writing a letter, as well as this email, so you might hear some of this twice, sorry haha. The way the flight went was, we got on the plane ( I got window seat!) and I stayed awake while we took off, and for like 30 minutes after that, then I fell asleep until we descended :) I enjoyed being in an airmane!
South Carolina is so great! It rained like CRAZY Last night, and so everything is foggy and wet, and UNBELIEVABLY GREEN!
Hey momma, I have to get off, so I will send that letter today, send me lots of letters, alright? I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
"Do you need anything"? ~I think I'm good Momma :) Just letters, I love getting letters. :)
I love you! Give the kids hugs for me! Tell them I love them!
Tell them ALL that I love them so much!
Elder Sunshine, Out.

PS, I don't get packages unless it is sent "Priority".
idk what that means but I like getting mail ;) Send me packages whenever you like :) Love you!

On his "airmane"

This is the mission home.

Changing room (Garage)

Found a live Cicada!

This is the apt.

Photo in the apt of the Columbia temple. 

Our study room :)

Elder Sumner.
 Joel's companion, trainer, dad:)

Elder Gundersen trying to get my Companion to stop being Boneless on
top of him (Don't you go Boneless on me Shawn!) ask Sawyer ;)

Elder Gundersen 

Elder Welty

We went there to do service this morning.

This is Elder Barker at the library this morning :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

There's Sunshine in South Carolina!

Cyndi~ On Monday, July 22 Elder Barker flew to South Carolina. We were able to speak to him while he was waiting for his flight. He sounded great. He was so excitied to get to the mission and find out who his new companion would be :) 
These are the pictures that were taken on Monday the 22nd when he arrived. The mission home posted them on their Facebook page on Wednesday. 
Before Joel left he told me that when the mission posted picture of him with his mission President that he was determined to get Pres Holm to smile with teeth, He Did IT!
We expect his P-day to change to Monday, can't wait to hear about all he is doing as a missionary!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Leavin' on a jet plane

Okay, last night in the MTC!!! I am definetely leaving in the morning!
I will call you in the terminal! LOVE YOU!
Elder Barker!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dryer sheet flavored gummy worms :)

I'm so excited to wake up at 3:30 on Monday and head to my mission! I've
been on a mission for nine days, and I'm so ready for the rest! South
Carolina is going to be the best!!! Thank you so much for the package!
I loved everything inside! Especially the washing machine soap and
dryer sheet-flavored gummy worms! ;) The jerky was a very! VERY! nice
surprise! :) Send me as many packages as you can! I love getting them!
as well as the fruit/food...that's always nice. ;) I need to know
where my other SD Card is, so that I can send you my MTC SD card, and
yes, I have been taking pictures :) Where did you put my leatherman? I
don't think it ended up with me..
Tell Wanna, that she has to write me a letter, telling me allllllll
about mill hollow! I want to hear everything she has to say! :) Tell
her also that I miss her and love her very much! :)
Tell Sawyer that he can't imagine how unbelievably proud I am of him.
He's going to do great things with those cows, and I can't wait to see
even more of the man he's becoming. :) I'm so proud of him. That
picture you sent me just made me smile, bigger than I have in a long
time. And I got to gloat about how my little/big bro is taking over the
project I had with my cows. He's the coolest. :)
It's funny you say that about the overpass, because I was thinking
about how long that would stay there the other night! That's really
funny! :)
No way! The Palmers are going to be in the same mission as Elder
Sherwood and Elder Whitehead! Uganda Compala! That's so great!!!!!
Also, if you could, in the next package you send, would you include a
picture of Wilson and Ellie? I'd really love that. :)
I'm going to go change my laundry, then I'll come check my email
again, LOVE YOU!!

Man, the laundry room is hot and humid :P I should put on my
suit and just hang out in here all day. that'd get me ready for South
Carolina! ;)

 I can't wait to head to South Carolina! The best is when the spirit is's really amazing :) And it's like,
nothing else in the world matters. The most fun I think I've ever had,
other than fourwheeling with Sawyer.

Time is flying by like crazy! The classes seem to go on for forever, but the days go by in a blink! I'm having a lot of fun! I'm so glad to hear about Wanna, I was thinking about her last night and I wanted to know how she was doing. Hopefully she doesn't have to shoot any bears. ;) I did write a talk, actually, I've written three so far for sacrament meeting and for our zone devotional. I didn't end up speaking in sacrament this time, but I probably will this Sunday, and I'm definitely speaking for the devotional.
The garden bits made me very happy :) Tell momma that they lasted all of 4 seconds ;) And they were delicious! I laughed really hard at the way you ended the email, and my comps read it and laughed as well. I love you! I'll try to call you guys while I'm in the airport! But we have to be at the travel office by 3:30....a.m.
Love you!!
Elder Barker

It rained hard the other day. made me happy :) I splashed around in
the mud puddles last Friday

Elder Roetker

Random jungle room in the main lobby area!
I told him it was an atrium, he said I was making up words again ;)

Branch President, Elder Boone

Temple Walk

Joel said this was him testing how waterproof his camera is. Of course he would test it :)

Elder Roetker, the photobombing companion

Tie trading is just for fun. if someone sees a tie they like, they'll
ask if you want to trade, you look at all of their ties and choose one
you want, then you trade. haha that was Elder Lassig. He's like my
best friend.

 No wonder I like Elder Adams so much! hahaha
Elder Adams is also in my district, he's the silent, hilarious one.
when he talks, it's either very spiritual, or nacho libre quotes. :)

Elder Roetker on haircut day.

Cyndi~ Joel was able to email us back and forth 2 times today for an hr each time, it was just like texting him. He sent us a BUNCH of photos. He, of course, is having a GREAT Time and loves all of the letters he has been getting. Thank you all for supporting him!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Athletic shoes -vs- Vibrams

Hi mommy, I can't respond to your email yet, because I haven't yet
read it. I'm not supposed to be emailing right now because my P-day is
on Friday. But, I had a gym day today, and they wouldn't let me do
anything because they don't allow Vibrams on the court for safety
reasons :( So, I was curious if you'd send me a good pair of athletic
shoes....please...I wan't to participate in the sports...okay, so, if
you want to get ahold of me before p-day, please write me a
hand-written letter. I check the mail everyday. Love you!
P.S., I think i'm a size 9 1/2 or a 10.
thanks momma! Love you! Talk to you soon!
-Elder Sunshine :)

Cyndi~ He can get packages and letters everyday but emails only on Friday. No packages are accepted at the MTC after 11am on Sat. He departs on the 22nd of July. By the time he leaves, we will be experts! :)
His physical address is on the right. Please remember to not update him on too many things at home, just help him look forward so he doesn't get homesick. Lots of encouragement! THANKS for supporting our Sunshine!!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

First Email from the MTC

Hello Momma, and rest of family! :) Today is the first day that I get to Email! I am having such a good time here! My companion and I are getting along really well, his name is Elder Roetker, he and I are just about the most opposite from each other as we ever could be, but we get along perfectly. We also just ditched my computer, email open, to literally run as fast as we could back to our dorm to grab his address book, so he could remember how to log in. And it doesn't seem to be working for him. haha. :P Our classes are going great, I am learning so much about how it's going to be in the mission field. I must admit, it isn't as bad as I thought being stuck in a class all day but it is hard to pay attention when I could be running around the perimeter of the Provo temple. Elder Roetker (Rhett Kur) and I ran about three miles our first gym day yesterday, it felt so nice. It was weird to be out of the M.T.C....There was a protester that told us all about the preachers in South Carolina, he got on his knees and started praising Jesus really we ran across the street on a red light. I'm sorry if this email is kind of jumbled and doesn't make much sense, my mind is in 1000 different places. My companion and I are writing talks for this Sunday (our mission President chooses random Elders or Sisters each week to give a talk, so we all have to prepare one) as well as a lesson to teach to our presiding "Investigator" Who is our teacher, Brother Holt. I'm a little bit nervous to teach the lesson. My companion is really gung-ho on teaching, which is really nice because he prepared a lot of the lesson, but I don't feel like I am completely ready. I know this is just practice, and he'll give us notes throughout the lesson so that we can do better. Again, I apologize if none of this makes sense. :)

 Let's go to a new topic..The other Elders in my room. Elder Whitehead and Elder Sherwood. They are the funniest, most amazing young men I've ever met. :) Elder Whitehead is from a small town in Idaho, I told him i'd be moving in with him after our missions. Elder Sherwood is from Ellensburg, Washington. He is kind of the big football player type. He is also the biggest softy I've ever met. He got up and bore...beared...beard? Bored..? Bore us...? Bore us his testimony, and cried the whole time. He is really really nice guy. We have the best time in our dorm. Elder Sherwood kinda treats me like his little brother. He watches over me and takes care of me and pushes me into bushes. just kidding, only once. haha. In my district, there are 10 of us. 4 Sisters and 6 Elders. 3 Elders are going to Louisville Kentucky, and the rest of us are going to the best mission there ever was. Columbia, South Carolina! Momma. Please send me a list of where things are in my luggage. I'm thoroughly confused. And I was curious if I was packed stamps, laundry soap, my multi-tool, envelopes, and some other stuff that I can't think of right now. I will check my email as frequently as I can, but I have to go now! Please write me as well as email me! And, if you want to send me some snacks, like fruit and other things I like, I'd enjoy that! AND MY PILLOW PET.....I need my stitch. :) Tell the family I love them and that I'm having a wonderful time! I love you guys! I am a beautiful person who is the best of luck to you. P.S. Tell Savannah I love and miss her and give her a huge hug for me! Tell Sawyer that I love and miss him and the game. :) Tell Alec that I love and miss him too! 

Cyndi- That afternoon a good sized package was delivered to him. The Post Mart in Provo delivers same day for $2. 
MTC Address 
Elder Joel Preston Barker 
2011 N 900 E Unit 256 
Provo UT 84602 
Also, He will depart for South Carolina on July 22, 2013

Take Luck Elder Barker!!!

Reporting to the MTC 
July 10, 2013

 Cyndi- When we dropped Joel off at the MTC it was a wonderful experience. It only took 4 minutes, he was excited and ready to go! 900 new missionaries reported that day so we got there early! They were ready for us and very welcoming. The spirit is very strong there and there is no better place for him. We are so pleased by his choice and his willingness to serve the Lord. We are blessed.

The night Joel was set apart as a missionary Monday, July 8, 2013