Wednesday, May 4, 2016

He's in his element.

This has been a good week y'all.
We were able to have 2 super awesome lessons yesterday with our ward mission leader. We have 2 people that I want to talk about, and both of them are on date to be baptized next month!
We have a man who was involved with the church his entire life, but in the recent couple years, backed away for a while and is now deciding to be baptized. We have had a few really awesome lessons with him, and it warmed my heart to see his 2 boys who were raised in the church. One is 4, and the other is 11. They stick together like glue. While we were talking to their father about the restoration, the 11 year old started to pull out Mormon action figures and his little brother was naming each of them as he pulled them out. I loved seeing that :)
Well, yesterday after church, we got picked up by our ward mission leader to head to his home where we would be having another discussion with this man. Before his discussion time though, we picked our other investigator, TD, up and brought him over for his discussion.
Anyway, our Ward Mission Leader is actually the cousin of our investigator, TD, so having him over was just amazing and the spirit was ever so present. We had a meal before and as soon as we were done with that, we moved to the living room and said a prayer to invite the spirit. We started the lesson, just explaining a little bit about Joseph Smith, and Brother C (ward mission leader) took over. He went on and on about it, jumping from scripture to scripture, talking with TD, and using the bible to explain everything in very great detail. TD was in tears at one point, and said "I have never heard any of it like this, and I love it!" It was just so cool and at one point, Sister C came in while Brother C was teaching, and when she saw that he was on a roll, walked up behind me, and giggled "He's in his element" and he was. It was the best lesson. So powerful!  TD should be getting baptized on the 21st. 
As soon as we were through, we drove him home, and came back for our lesson with our other investigator, which was just as powerful, but we taught the majority of this one. We went through the Plan of Salvation and, like always, we emphasized on the family aspect of the whole thing. It is very interesting because he has been involved in the church for so long that he already knows it all so all we are doing is rekindling that faith and spirit he had and felt at one point and time. Such a great time :)
We got our transfer calls this morning, and I will be losing Elder Christopher Connolly...I am pretty upset about it, and wish there was some way that I could be with him for at least one more transfer, but I know how good it will be for him to see missionary work from another perspective and with a new companion. This kid has become my best friend and I feel like his older brother and I will protect him as such. I know he has a bright future ahead of him in the mission and I know God will take care of him through it all. 
The whole district is changing. The only two that are staying from the original district are me and Elder Thompson. We are getting our sisters back on Wednesday. We have really enjoyed having the car, it has made a huge difference in how we are able to get around and get out to the farther areas in our area, and has helped a lot in the pain I feel in my ankles while on a bike...but it will be good to have the sisters back in the ward, and I know the members have missed them.

We have been helping a guy in the ward with a project he has been working on, of turning an old Bug into a camper. We sanded the entire thing, helped him put a couple layers of base paint on it, and when we went over today, it looked like a hippie van! It was awesome. It is going out to Utah for his daughter, and he had us put our initials on it, so that way we could prove we helped make it when we see it. :P You can't miss it.
Well, that's my week. I will fill y'all in next week when I find out who my new companion is, and where Elder Connolly goes.
Love y'all!
Talk to you on Sunday when we Skype!
-Elder Joel "Sunshine" Barker!
My amazing companion practicing. I love to hear him play. 

This is my buddy Jonathan. He has some autism, and is very very loved in the ward. Their family had a little hard day, and he was very broken up about it. He was having a hard time, and talking to his momma about it. We walked up, and I began to tell her how he was my best friend, and how he always makes sure to tell me hi, and give me a good fist-bump when he sees me.  I signed one of my ties, and brought it to church for him. He seemed to like it :)

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