Monday, April 27, 2015

When we put God first, all things fall into their proper place ~President Benson

Hi Momma! 
This week has been pretty good! Ever since I got to Union, it has been raining like crazy. Everyone has been saying that it hasn't rained this much in quite a long time. God must know I love rain! But today it has been nice and sunny! 

This week Elder Browne and I have been working on finding new people to teach by working with the members as well as finding through our own efforts. We have been knocking in some new areas, and haven't had any great luck yet, but we are still working :) 

We are still blessed with a car to get us around. Elder Browne was designated as the driver for our companionship, but in the middle of last week, he decided to call and switch it so I could drive because he knows how much I love driving :) He is very selfless, it was awesome of him to do. He is a lot like Elder Speck, and is very focused. I am just doing my best to be a good companion for him and help him stay on purpose. He is such a good guy. I promise I will drive carefully, we have a lot of mission rules for drivers, and we follow them. Even when we are on the freeway (Which there aren't any within like 50 miles or more) we don't go more than 60 mph. :)

We went fishing the other day and I caught a turtle! 
I didn't have my camera though, so I will have to catch another one so I can take a picture and show you :) I am determined to learn how to make Cooter Stew! I know, right? And people will correct you if you say turtle soup. haha

I got your package just fine, and like all things act in our family, as soon as I got your camera, mine started working again -_- haha wonderful. I am still going to send mine home though, because it still has that dot inside the lens. 
I don't really know anything about Skype-ing yet, but I imagine it will be at our Branch mission leader’s home. I will be sure to find out for you :) Church here starts in that little itty bitty building at 10 am :) So when y'all get to church, Elder Browne and I are just starting our Gospel principles lesson! 
It’s the same as any other lesson we teach. If you compare teaching a bunch of members that already know a lot about the gospel, to knocking on someone’s door and testifying of a truthful doctrine and just praying that they will let you into their home, Gospel Principles is so easy. I love it here. I already know the area pretty well. Well, the close places anyway. Branches are nice because you get to know the members very well and very fast and everyone is related somehow!!
I promise I will take pictures now that I have a working camera. Also, we should be having a baptism this Saturday, so I will do my best to have someone send a picture home, 
Love y'all!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Union, my own little South Carolina Fremont.

Elder Barker and Elder Browne

Transfers have come and gone! I left Elder Jeremy Olmstead to train a new missionary in Windsor Lake, which is such a great area. This new missionary has a great Trainer and an awesome area to learn how to be a missionary.
I am now with Elder Devin Browne, and I tell you what momma, he is just like Elder Speck. I know God needs me here, and with him. In only 5 days he has taught me so much, and we have had an absolute blast together. He is such a Christ-like person, and has an extreme love for this Gospel and this area. He is from Lindon, UT. And I told him that it would probably be within a week that you get in touch/have lunch with his Momma haha.

When we first got to the area, we had been on an hour drive back from the Irmo Chapel, and it was POURING rain while we were being driven back by the senior couple in our branch. We made it back, and to my surprise, we live in a house! I little, tiny, itty, bitty, white house in a small neighborhood. :) Haha I love it.

Elder Browne Gave me a hug and asked if I would like a blessing for being in the new area. After I received a very sweet blessing of comfort and confidence, we went out to work. I love it here. :) It is like my own little South Carolina Fremont. :)
We taught a couple of lessons our first two days together, and we already teach in unity, and have a great time doing it. :) I think I might be able to pick up my drawls while I am here, because for once, I am away from the city and I am around people who truly speak like they are from the Carolina's. :) Haha
On Saturday there was a stake youth activity in a place called Boiling Springs, SC. Our most progressing investigator is J. He is 14 and will probably be the next Prophet. We got permission to go there with him since he wouldn't really know anyone, so we got to go on a little drive together and meet him up there. When we got there, there was Ultimate Frisbee going, Volleyball, GaGa ball, and soccer. It was so much fun! By the end, he had a ton of friends, and they announced to them that he would be getting baptized. He loved it. He is ready for baptism and knows all the lessons very well, so when we go over there we spend our time throwing a football back and forth and quizzing him while doing it and he always does so well. :)
Yesterday, the weather was pretty bad, and we heard that we were on Tornado watch. Haha now, there was no way there was going to be a tornado, but the thought of it was way cool!
I have secretly hoped I would get to see a tornado while serving, but all we got yesterday was another super heavy rainstorm, so we went and played in it.  :)
I also had an investigator send you a picture of us last night. Her name is T. She is such a sweet lady, and as Southern as Southern gets. She is notoriously busy, and is very hard to catch at home, but we have been able to go over and let her vent to us about work and just bring the spirit into her home with the scriptures. We are working on finding a good time to invite her to baptism right now :) We were over there last night talking with her on the porch. We were going to be heading in, but right before we left, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, so I ran into her back yard, and caught the toad that was hoppin' around. :) I started walking back, and said "Now, Elder Browne, don't freak out" To which he squealed and hid behind T.
He doesn't do bugs, dogs, or any animals really. I love him to death, he is so funny.
I love Union so much, we are a branch instead of a ward, and the building is SO SMALL! I took a lot of pictures, and I will send them.
Love Y'all so much!
Have such a good week and keep me in your prayers!

This at a members home, he has this little tent up because he is cleaning it. Elder Browne tried to trap him in it, so he got him in this little arm hold thing haha it was so funny :P 

The B-ball one is the same type of lesson as I explained with the football. :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

With an eye single to the glory of God, and his work!

Turtles everywhere! haha. We have to swerve not to hit them! There are so many and so many different kinds out here! We were driving out of the Sand Hill elders apartment on Wednesday, and there was one crossing the street that we almost hit. Elder Frasz, who was driving, wouldn't stop so I could save it. But we all watched in the mirror as it made it across right before a truck came by, and we all screamed for joy it was way fun :)
We had a cool little miracle this week!  We had a bunch of soft folding chairs in our car from the church because the ward got new ones, and we were told to take these ones and give them to missionaries. Well, we brought them to ZTM, and no one wanted any, we were pretty frustrated that we loaded so many into our car and nobody took any. Then, we went to a Less Active's house who we had been trying to get in contact with since I came back. We got in and he had 4 people living in his house, and not furniture of any kind. Boom, haha we knew why we had put all the chairs in the car, and we made his day!
Elder O and his new companion will keep up with Paulette's family. We are actually going to try to stop by tonight or tomorrow sometime. Last time we talked to them, J and her husband were working on an Explorer, so we sat and visited for a little while. They were good :) We just had a nice friendly conversation and talked about a lot of different things. It is nice to be friends with them, and get to know them, so that way they can slowly keep getting to know the missionaries, and the more we are around, the more we can pray that they will feel a difference in the spirit when we are or aren't there. :)
I am sad to leave this area :/  I have been packing this morning, and between your email and reading my Patriarchal Blessing this morning, I think I'll be okay. You are able to strengthen me in ways I couldn't even think of how to ask, and before I could ask. :)  
I am excited to keep serving, and when I am going to be able to say, for reals, I am a finisher, with an eye single to the glory of God, and his work!

Found him on exchanges at an investigators house. I think he was a pet, but I'm not sure .
Elder Chaffey :)

Sesquicentennial state park in my area for the stakes day of service.
Everything looks like this!!!!

 Those are Millipedes. :) Haha weird, right?

We also went fishing while I was on exchanges, and I didn't catch any big fish, but I caught like 10 guppies by hand and put them in a jar :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

I loved Conference!

Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief,  Elder Barker  has gotten a haircut  :)

Momma :)
I loved Conference! I went into it with a prayer in my heart, and some questions I wanted answered, and I had them answered differently than what I thought I would get. I am pondering my answers, and seeing what God might have me learn from all of this! It was very interesting! I feel like the past couple of General Conferences were a lot of "Bewares of this" and "Don't do this" And this one was all about "The second coming is soon, keep the commandments and find a family!" Haha a lot of preparation rather than warnings. I love knowing that the work is moving so quickly!

I haven't gotten my GPS yet, where did you send it? I was actually down in Hopkins the other day having our new map printed down at the staples right there, because they were the only one that had the right sized paper, we ended up waiting 2 hours, so we had our hour of time at the library I used to email from!
We also went and got lunch at the Zaxby's in my old area, and stopped by the Clows' to get my package. It was so cool! We both loved them!! I love how crafty they are! Best Easter basket I have had yet! And the snacks came in handy during Conference! ;)

I think it is so cool that you were able to help the Ciprianos by picking Sarah from the airport! Her Momma just called and went on and on about how nice you were and how lucky I am to have a Momma like you. All I really knew how to say was "I know :) " haha

There were a couple of times during conference that my mind when straight to you, when they sang "Have I done any good" I rolled my eyes for you, and the odd use of the word even-  "Even Jesus Christ" haha I laughed thinking that you would be thinking the same things :P I really did love Conference!
If only I had had a puzzle to do!
We watched all of Saturday's broadcast at the church, but started it out better than any other conference I've ever listened to: With a baptism!! It was so fun :) everyone was just so smiley and happy for B! Then we were able to listen to some amazing talks, and all of our hands and wrists hurt from writing so many notes :) We Got to go over to a members home (The Boe's) for the afternoon session yesterday, and it was so comforting. Something about being in a home with a family :) where people are just comfy, and messing with eachother, and maybe throwing something across the room to get someones attention. :) It was nice haha Sister Boe is like a momma to us Missionaries!

 I went and got a fishing pole because they were on sale for 20 dollars, so you can tell Grandpa that I went and bought an Ugly Stick! The gx2 model, because that's what he would've had me get :) We are going fishing for P-day, most likely down in Hopkins with the Elders serving in Columbia, and I will do my very best to go catch a huge fish!

Momma bear, I promise you that I will listen to you. My loyalty is to God, then my Mission President, then my companion.
But God is first, and he said "Honor thy father and thy mother" And that's a commandment.
Love Ya!