Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Southern Style

Hey Y'all!
It's raining. A lot. :) I love it so much! When it rains here, it makes you feel like you're in a tropical rain-forest! All the trees like so cool, everything holds little drops of water, and there is usually mist or fog, and the air is so clean! South Carolina is a beautiful place! I love serving here :) 
So, we had a really good week, because we had set a lot of goals for ourselves and our companionship. Goals that will help us to improve ourselves as missionaries, and help us find new people to teach. :) We have definitely been doing better.

We had an awesome thing happen on Tuesday right after DDM, where we got a call from an unknown number. We love unknown numbers, because it is usually someone we gave our number to, or a referral! Well, this time it was a guy named J. He is the boyfriend of H! We finally got back in touch with them! We had her on date to be baptized, but out of no-where, they disappeared. Well, He called us to let us know about how he moved, lost his phone, broke his hand, and was in need of a lot of help. A lot of hard things had gone on in his life, but it opened the door to us being able to talk to and serve him! We came over, and the home they are living in, needs work. A lot of work, and they know it. It was a last minute thing, and someone let them stay there if they promised to fix it up. We went back home to change into service clothes, came back and spent a good while painting and doing some other things. We had an awesome lesson with them, and they said they'd come to church! It was so cool! Well, skipping ahead to Sunday. We had worked out a ride for them, because the lady that we asked has a van and would have plenty of room, she had no problem picking them up. She was happy to find out they were coming! We get to church, set up, and we wait. A half hour goes by, and we don't see them. We wait another ten minutes, and we get a call from her. Her husband had lost the keys after taking the kids Trick-or-treating last night, and didn't tell her! We called J and H to let them know she'd be a little delayed and they said that was fine. About 15 minutes later, she shows up with her kids, but no J and H. She turns around and mouths "Sorry" turns out she had to drive the little truck and cram all the kids in it. We talked with our branch clerk, and we left. We went and got them and brought them back for the rest of the meetings. :) It was funny, and the only time I have ever left church on my mission. It was for a good cause though! The member felt really bad, and thought we had told him she wouldn't be able to make it, and apologized profusely. Everything turned out great in the end though! Hopefully we can put H back on date and help her progress towards baptism again!

Okay, going back to DDM! We left our meeting, which was way fun! Elder Bowles gave an awesome training on how his mission went, and had us all thinking. The spirit was very strong. We took some funny pictures of our district since it would be the last time we would have a meeting together.
We then left for exchanges. I was going up to Duncan with Elder Evans from Texas! He's an awesome kid! We had a lot of fun. We started our exchange by eating at Fuddruckers, and then we got to work. We saw a couple really cool people, and had some good lessons. The best one however, was a lady named S. We went over to see someone else, actually, but we found her. She came out to talk to us, and she told us of some of the hard things her and her girls were currently going through. She seemed kind of closed off, but was still willing to talk. I know that we were supposed to be there, because as soon as we started talking, the spirit took over completely. I know that she could feel it as well, because she got up off the porch and invited us in. Later she would tell us that we were the first missionaries to ever actually get into the home. We had a very spiritually strong lesson! She has heard a lot of things about the church from someone she is close to that either aren't completely true, or are just things that don't really matter but are harder to understand without the knowledge of a prophet, and the restoration. She had kind of already made up her mind that she didn't like it. We talked for a good while, and as the time went on, she got more and more open about it. She was actually listening to what we had to say, she was thinking about it all, and she felt the spirit. She is the coolest lady, and I really hope I can see her enter the waters of baptism! She has twin daughters that are both baptismal age, and they are really funny. We get along pretty well. They’d never met a missionary that listened to the same music as them :P I love all the little things God uses in us to help break down peoples' walls. We concluded with invitations to read and pray about what we had learned, and we said a prayer together. She has been in touch, met with the missionaries again, and came to the Halloween party on Friday! It was a lot of fun. We came up to Spartanburg Friday for the Chili cook-off and trunk-or-treat, and our costumes were Dollar store mustaches. :) It was funny, but itchy. 
Everybody called me Elder Hitler...

We had Lockdown Halloween night starting at 6:00 PM. 
Elder Olmstead and I went and got Pumpkins, and spent the night carving and giving out candy to Trick-or-treaters. It is weird here in the south, because everyone trick-or-treats out of their cars. The parents drive the kids around, and let them get out to run up to the house. It is really frustrating for people because on the more popular streets, cars line the streets and block everyone in their houses.

Oh, I also carved a watermelon. Because yeah. Haha

 We had dinner with our RS president, and her neighbor has this huge pit that is chained out back. It usually barks and barks at us, but has let me pet it a couple times. Well, we walk past and see that the chain is twisted so bad, that it can't get to its food or water. We tried to contact the people that own it, but they weren't home. I used that as consent to hop the fence, tame the beast, and unravel the chain. We're friends now. :)

Anyway, fun week coming up. 
Week before transfers, hopefully all is well! 
Love y'all!! 
-Elder Joel 'Sunshine' Barker! 

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