Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Mother's Day Momma!

Dear everybody,
This has been an eventful, long, and fun week!
We had a great p-day for Elder Connolly's last one here in Camden, we hung out at Brother R's like we usually do, and we spent some time playing pool with the other Elders. We spent Tuesday saying goodbye to the people Elder Connolly wanted to see, as well as going to a few appointments that we'd made the previous week.

It was sad to see him go and I will, & already do, miss him very much. He and I served together for quite a while, and grew very close. The week leading up to transfers; I was caught up and very worried about who he would be placed with, and where he'd be serving. Well, I had done quite a bit of praying that, if he left, he would get a great companion in an awesome area. They have changed the way they do our transfer meeting, so they actually sent an email to all those people who'd be getting moved, and the email had their new area in it, so I found out that he'd be going to Union to be companions with Elder Cuff! - for those of you that are reading this and aren't aware, here are two things you need to know:

 1) Elder Cuff and I are close friends, I love the kid, and he served in the next area over recently, so he knows Elder Connolly very well.

2) Union has been the area that I have served the longest in, and it is awesome! As soon as I learned this, I had an overwhelming feeling of peace come over me, and I had no worries anymore about him being treated well. Everyone in that area is going to, and probably already is, loving him. :) 

The way the new transfer goes, is everyone puts all of their stuff inside the building, and we all sit in the chapel, and they read who your new companion will be, and you get up, find them and you leave the chapel, and the next person gets their companion. It is kinda odd, but it seems to work okay. I already knew where Connolly was going, so we just unloaded his stuff directly into the back of the truck going back to Union.

My new companion is an Elder Eric Taylor! He is from Holladay, UT. He went to Olympus High, and we probably crossed paths at the G.T.I. Building while I was taking vet classes with Dr. C! He's a great kid, and I already love him a lot. He goes home 6 weeks before I do, so we will probably be together until he goes home, and I will most likely have a companion here when he goes home and I'll leave for home from Camden in September. It is interesting to have a companion who has been out as long as me, because we both know the ropes pretty well, so we are able to get a lot done!

We had a fun service project this week with Bro R! He does a lot of body work and has this Ford Focus that was wrecked on the side, so he was restoring it. We were going over to help him wet sand it, and then paint it. But first, Lowes in Camden was having a customer appreciation luncheon and they were serving Pulled pork, so we went there first :) Then we went over and spent a few hours wet sanding this car with him. Took a break while it rained and I cut Elder Taylor and Elder Dearden’s hair using the little barber shop their daughter has attached to the house. That was really fun :) Then we got back to work on taping the windows, trim, and any part of the car we didn't want paint on, and then Bro R painted it. 
There were a few times it started to rain on us, so we had to hurry and get everything in the garage. The windows on the car were all taped over with paper, so there was no way to see out of it, so I had to lead Bro R to the garage while he had the door open and his head out. Fun time! We eventually got it figured out!

We have 2 people that are preparing to be baptized still, and we are very excited for them! It is actually going to be a pretty awesome day, because another companionship has 2 people on date to be baptized that same day, so if all of our investigators stay solid, we will be having 4 that day!
We had both of them at sacrament this week, and had a great lesson with one of them as soon as we were through with church. It was great! The ideal situation!

We spent our Sunday with our ward mission leader and his family, who were having a get-together to celebrate his son graduating from the Citadel, and another son being accepted to the University he’d been praying to go to. They fed us, we had an investigator there, and we got to have a lot of fun! Elder Taylor tried to Skype his family while we were there, but his family's Wi-Fi wasn't working, so we had to post-pone it until a little later that night, when I would be Skypeing.

We went from our Ward Mission Leader's home, over to another member’s home who has some awesome Wi-Fi that would be more than capable of allowing both Elder Taylor and I to Skype at the same time, and we got to talk with our families. :)

That was so much fun, and a much needed time! I loved that I got to Skype with each of y'all individually. It felt like I got some personal time with each of ya, and helped me greatly. I miss y'all so much, and I am so excited to see y'all again :) I hope y'all had as good of a time Skypeing as I did! I am so excited to be able to go on adventures with y'all, and just be home and actually be able to relax and have a good time with y'all :)

We went over to Brother R's again today for Pday, and Elder Kirby and Elder Kevin cam....I mean Elder Griffin, came up and we all hung out :) I missed that guy. I am excited to hang out with all these guys that I have gotten close to. Everyone went upstairs to the game room to play pool and ping-pong, but Griffin and I stayed outside with Brother R to help him take the wrecked side of an F350 apart so he could do some body work on it. I enjoyed using my hands to work again, and getting to talk with Elder Griffin. :)
We have a great service project tomorrow ripping a bathroom and kitchen out of a house, and some awesome appointments coming up!

We also are going to have interviews with our mission President this coming Friday at our Zone Training Meeting and they will be one-on-one interviews, which we haven't had for a while, so I am excited to get to talk with him. :)
Okay, I think that about does it for my week.

Love y'all!
-Elder Joel 'Sunshine' Barker! :)

My new companion, Elder Taylor!

I was so happy to see Pop at transfers!

Last day with Elder Connolly, at transfers.

I got to see Elder Browne!

We "helped" at a mutual activity :)

The Pday bunch at Bro R's.

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