Monday, April 11, 2016

Ice cream for the win!

Hey y'all,
The theme of this week is wind. 
Haha it has been insanely windy the last few days, and was windy at the beginning of the week too. Back home, the only time I ever really thought about the wind affecting what I was going to be doing, was if we had a frisbee game planned, or if the family was going to try to burn Fremont to the ground with lanterns...Haha but I never really thought about how difficult biking would become when you have a headwind, somehow, both directions you travel. Man, our legs have been sore this week. I remember lying in bed one night and having my knees just ache and not knowing why they felt like that, and it just clicked like last night why.
We have had an AWESOME week! 
I don't know what changed to cause it, but we started to get some great referrals, people started listening to us, and members starting taking the exchange list a lot more seriously. 
We have 2 new investigators this week, one man has had a rough life and just got out of the hospital from having 2 strokes, and a very life-threatening and traumatic experience. He is interested in the gospel now and since a lot of his family are members here in Camden, he has a lot of support behind him. He is on date for the 14th of May!
The other is a young women that we always talked to whenever we went into Chick fill-a, and it helped that there are 4 members that go to school and work with her there. She started asking them questions about what we believe and how our church works. We had a good lesson with her this week, and it went a little meh at first, but got a lot better as the time went on. She had brought her little brother along for lunch, and he wasn't too happy to be there. He is 13, and his birthday was the following day, so he kept talking about how he needed to go home and do stuff, and since he was the birthday boy, he shouldn't have to sit here and listen. He was being pretty disruptive, so I decided that since it was his birthday, and we needed to keep him busy so we could teach, I bought him a big icecream cone, and then we would teach. That worked wonders! Haha icecream for the win :) The lesson went very actually surprised me. We started to teach, and she just looked at us, and you could tell that she was really was actually really cool, because her little brother did the same thing! I love when lessons just go well.
Another cool thing that happened in that lesson, was when we started teaching about Joseph Smith, and the first vision, and when we talked about how he was called to be a Prophet, I looked at her little brother, who was 14 himself, and asked how it would make him feel if God and Jesus came to him, and told him he would be a Prophet. His eyes got really big, and he just said "Woah...I'd be scared. I don't know how to do that!"
It was so cool to be able to relate it to him, and to find out that he'd actually been listening, and was able to liken the message to himself. I really think he got what we were saying. The spirit only got stronger from there, because we started talking about eternal families, and about her grandparents who passed away, and how she had been told that her Grandmother wasn't going to heaven...goodness..she was so sad at that point, and I was so eager to teach that she will have another opportunity, that I almost couldn't wait for her to be done sharing her thoughts. We talked about that for a while, and slowly her little brother lost interest (His IceCream was gone) and our time ran out. She told us she would think about what we'd shared, and accepted our invitation for her to pray about it and about coming to church.
It was a wonderful lesson :) She wasn't able to come to church, and that was a bummer, but we won't give up. We will keep working :)

Elder Thompson (Our District Leader) had a minor procedure on his foot this week, and was still wanting to go out and work, but he wasn't able to wear a shoe on that foot. He was still able to walk on it, but he said it was weird and hard to walk with only one shoe..I had an idea, and offered him to wear my Chacos for the day and just wear black socks with them. 
Tacky, I know, hah but very affective! 
He accepted it, and it made me very happy that he let me serve him that way, and I got to teach someone about my Chacos...haha I know I shouldn't be as excited about Chacos as I get, but I am. :P I love em.
We had out Stake Day of service on Saturday, and we had a blast. We went to a ball field in our area, and we hung gates that a man in our ward had welded together, then the primary kids got to spend time painting them (That was fun !) and we also had some garbage can holder things that needed to be sunken into the ground and cemented in place, so "I got a post hole digger, and I got after it. Had the sun on my back and a blister on my hand, but man I had myself a goal" for all my Rodney Atkins fans out there. 
I love doing that kind of work, and we had a lot of the youth that were just old enough that they could help out, and when I would give them an opportunity to help digging a hole, they would get really excited, it was a blast. Sometimes I forget how much I love working with and around younger kids and teenagers since I am always talking with mostly adults. Makes me think back on my days at Frontier teaching a merit badge class of some sort, and how much fun I had with that. I love being able to look back and recognize how and when I was being prepared for a mission way back then. :) It helps so much to develop teaching skills early on like camp teaches you to :)

Well, our day holds fishing and Taco Bell. Love y'all!
-Elder Joel "Sunshine" Barker!

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