Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm grateful for y'all this Thanksgiving!

Hey Y'all!
South Carolina is FINALLY COLD!! Haha this has been so great :) Woke up this morning and went out to the car and just sat there. It was 44 Degrees, and I love it :)
This has been a fun week, and a crazy one too. We have found 2 new, awesome investigators who both have a close connection to a member that lives here. J is one, and D is the other. We are really working on trying to help solidify them both to where we can have daily contact with them and help them gain the desire to learn. J is a way cool dude, and is on date for December 19th, please pray for him! And pray that D will accept the invitation to be baptized!

S is awesome! She is not in Union, she lives in Duncan where Elder Crapo and Evens were. Elder Crapo is now in Gaffney, and Elder Bateman is in Duncan now, or I guess it is Spartanburg 2nd. She is doing awesome! Her and her 2 girls are getting baptized on December 5th! Pray for them!
Thank you so much for sharing those things with me about the family Thanksgiving party, everyone has been in my prayers, and I am so grateful for y'all & so glad that everyone is doing great.

I am also glad that you were supplied with pictures and videos from people here! The members here love you!  Last Sunday, Alonzo, who is our branch mission leader, asked me to come listen to his car because it was making an awful squealing sound. I went, and so did another mechanically inclined man in the church, and we both ruled that the bearing in his alternator pulley was bad. He knows a guy that rebuilds them for cheap, so he had me come take it off. No problem, got it off just fine, the problem came while I was trying to put the new one back on. I was trying to put pressure on the tensioner pulley, but the power steering pulley was made of plastic, so it crunched in and broke. Good job Ford. We went the next day, and bought him a new one for 10 bucks, and went and took it all apart again, rented a tool with Brother Song, and took the old one off and pressed the new one on. We also changed the idler pulley while we were there. It still squeaked like crazy, so we did some more investigating to find that it was now coming from the water pump. We got a new water pump, but the awesome guy at "O'really's" told me a little secret. He told me to put a little RTV silicon of any color on the pulley right where the belt hits it. I did that before we put the water pump on, and the squealing went away instantly. That was way funny :P We took the water pump back, and all is well. I really enjoyed working on his car :D

There have been an unusual amount of possums around Union the last week or so, and we have gotten to interact with them quite a bit. Sister Song has a trap by her chicken cage so they'll get left alone, and she caught one, and had no clue what to do with it! She called us (Awesome) and we got to take care of it. I just took it way back into the woods and let it go, because we had to get to our DDM, and I didn't have enough time to skin and dress it ;) I also have a companion that isn't very okay with that kind of thing. Last night when we came in, there was a possum by our house, and I usually get out and chase them, and they run up a tree, but this one didn't. It just backed up to the wall, and started to hiss and growl at me, so I grabbed a stick and played with it for a little bit. :)

We also got to go fishing with our recent convert A this week. :)

We went out to John D. Long. It is lake that was just reopened after being drained for years. Lots of fish!

We caught upwards of 25 bream and 2 catfish :) They were delicious!

We are going to head back out this evening around 3 to go catch more!

Pop is doing well, he loved his gift!! You are the best momma and Dad is the best dad ever!  He isn't cooking this week actually, he is going to be eating with his family. We ate lunch with him yesterday, and it was so good! When I come home, I am going to need to find a place that sells grits, and collard greens. Well, collard, mustard, or turnip greens. They're all good :) I have learned a lot of new recipes that I am excited to show y'all!

Ummm....Is it me or does Joel look exactly like his Grandpa here....

Elder Olmstead, Elder Bassett and I are doing so well. We are all so happy to be serving with each other, and everything we do is so much fun. We have such a good time with the work, and it was such an easy transition! It is like Elder Bassett was never not here! Our small house is housing all three of us very well, and is much more lively now. :) We are allowed to go see single sisters now, because there are three of us, and with a branch full of older widowed women, it is very useful! We have been able to see a lot of the people we were unable to before. :) We are unstoppable!!!
This week has been challenging though. Not just for us either, we have been hearing how all the members have been having trials too, which makes me think that Satan is working hard on separating this branch.
We have been working hard though! 

I am doing very well Momma, everything is good here. I am not even nervous about transfers. I am sad, slightly that I most likely won't get to spend Christmas with Elder Olmstead and Elder Bassett, but that is overcome by the feeling of safety and comfort I feel in leaving this are in their care. I know they will work hard and do good things here :) I trust them, and so does the Lord. I don't even know if I will be leaving though. It could happen, but I could stay too. Whatever the Lord wants.

 Moroni 7: 27-29 27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men? 28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

~and my favorite:
 Moroni 7: 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

In this world, we need to have faith. Because of the truths we have, we know that faith will bring miracles. I have seen so many amazing things happen in this area because we have had faith that they will happen. "Faith precedes the miracle" -Spencer W. Kimball

And now, a list of things I am thankful for this last week:

1) Bishops that work hard
2) The book of Ether
3) Clean water
4) Spiritually prepared people
5) Cold weather :)
Love y'all! Talk to you next week! Happy Thanksgiving!
Elder Joel 'Sunshine' Barker!

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