Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I love love love doing service!

Hey everyone!
This week was pretty interesting.
I will tell y'all though, white-washing an area is hard. You don't have the luxury of someone who already has a relationship and a knowledge with all the members of the ward, and you kinda have to just start from scratch. The challenges are great, but so are the blessings. We are able to work free of any rumors or bad knowledge that may have been in the area, and we are able to completely rely on God for everything that we do. There is only room for faith in a white-wash. Well..I guess faith coupled with common sense not to do anything dumb..haha anyway.
The week didn't go as planned, but we still had fun! We were excited because we had set up a couple of appointments and we were supposed to have some members come out with us that day too! At the last minute, everything fell through. We ended up not having people to go out with us, we actually couldn't even get anyone to return our calls. Our appointments all fell through as well. It makes it very difficult to feel like you are a good and hard working missionary when you see no success in an area, but then you have to remember that nothing happens in our own time, and we just have to have faith that God knows what He is doing, and has a plan. Then, we just keep working.
We have a couple awesome opportunities to do service in this area though! Every Wednesday we go to the Habitat for Humanity and do odd jobs that they have for us. We do things like: writing addresses and names on thank-you card envelopes, organizing a scrap-book (we let the sisters do that one). They actually had us watch a video they had put together for a charity the Seattle Seahawks were doing and write up the script as we heard it, then put them in as closed captions. It was a lot of fun. We will be going back again next week. On Thursdays we get to go do an hour of service at the library. They have us straighten the books on the shelf, organize any that are in the wrong place, and make sure that they just look neat. After we are done with that, we do our hour of time. I love love love doing service, and we are going to continue looking for opportunities to serve in other areas!
We discovered the extent of the disc-golf course that is in our area, and we are so excited to be able to go play that one of these P-days when it is actually warm and not soaking wet. :P
Right now there is a small lake in the middle of the park where we would play. Depending on if it is warm enough, we may just go do it anyway! I can just wear my Chaco's and go with it! 

We had Stake conference, and we thought we would be getting a ride down to Columbia with one of our members, but when that didn't work out, we turned to the family. I called Brother Clow from the Hopkins ward, and he came and got it was good to see him again! We had a blast, and it was really cool to be back in the Hopkins building. I got to see many people I know and served around. Sister Clow made sure I got skittles and some Rice-Krispy treats for the meeting ;) haha they are just the best. The Ciprianos’ were there too, and made sure that we had the Clows’ number. I love those families so much. It is so cool to have come on a mission and get to be so close with certain people, that you know you will be in touch for the rest of your lives. 

I can't believe that it has been exactly 1 year since I came back into the field, and was serving only 26 miles from where I am right now. This is the 3rd time I have been in this zone, and I love it here. I can't believe how fast everything is going by, and how soon September will be here.

We had a great P-day too! We went over to this family's house for the majority of the day. They have a big game room upstairs where we can play pool, foosball, ping pong or whatever we want! Elder Whittaker and I went out in the back yard and rode our bikes on the dirt bike track and went off all the jumps. It was a blast! It would have been more fun had it not been pouring rain an hour earlier and the ground was dry, rather than feeling like we were biking through beach sand in the water..haha we had a blast though.
Well, that's my week! I love y'all and hope you have a great week!
-Elder Joel 'Sunshine' Barker

...I may or may not ride on walls...cut through puddles, bunny hop anything and everything I can, ride backwards while sitting on the handlebars, lay on my seat and superman, and perfected the wheelie. :D
*Disclaimer* all the things that could be dangerous (most of them) I only ever do while in a parking lot where I cannot get hit by a car. :D 

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