Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Repent Ye, and Be Baptized = Awesome Meeting!

So sorry ya'll for jumping the gun a bit last week about transfers. Transfers is coming up, but we will get the call this upcoming Monday, the 20th, instead of this last one. Oops. Again, I will just blame the skewy sense of time all missionaries have. =D. 

Anywho, the reason for the later email is because of a very long meeting on Tuesday, and a holiday on Monday. Who would have thought that everything would shut down because of it?! So yeah, that's my excuse.
We've been having some awesome weather out here of late. A bunch of big storms with lots of potential for tornadoes, lightning, nasty stuff most people don't like. Everyone around here got super worried about this storm, but like most of the others we've seen in Walnut Ridge, the storm was a bit of a push-over. Lots of rain, some lightning, but not much else. Yes, I heard that tornadoes had set down in other places, but The Ridge was left largely untouched. Right now the sky is completely clear and we are loving it.... mainly because we are on bike week again! Yay! All joking aside, I really am grateful for this, because we, as a companionship, have been having a weekly goal of finding 7 new people to teach each week. It's a bit of a tough goal, and one that will be made easier by being forced to actually use our feet. Haha.
With this new goal of ours in mind (well, new-ish. We started it a few weeks ago) I've got a really awesome experience to share about last week. Two weeks ago I was in Paragould on an exchange with another missionary, Elder Wahl. His companion, Elder Cook, came down here, and while he was here he found a woman named T***. Even funnier, it turns out she is B***'s sister, but I'll get to that later. We went to go and visit with T***last week on Tuesday to introduce the Book of Mormon to her and to answer any questions she may have. It went very well, she's super interested and is a huge blessing to us. The lesson went so well, in fact, that we had gone over by about 20 minutes without even realizing it and were now late for another appointment. We asked her if there was anyone she knew we could go visit, and she recommended we go and talk with her three neighbors: Next door, Behind, and Across the street. We were on our way out and saw that one of the people in the Next home were there, so we detoured to go talk with them. He wasn't interested. Sad, but ok, moving on.
We started hurrying to the car, which was parked up the street a ways, to hurry to that appointment we were now dreadfully late for. As we were walking, Elder Raiford turned and looked at me and said we needed to go and knock on the Across house. We've had the Holy Ghost prompt us to go and do crazy things like this before, although not while we were so late, but we did it anyway. If God speaks, you listen.
We knock on the door and a woman answers surrounded by several young children. She told us that both she and her husband were recovering drug addicts (she'd been clean for 2 years and he for 4 months #HurrahForIsrael!) and would absolutely love for us to come back and share a message about Jesus Christ with them. Needless to say we were elated. Now in high spirits, but still very much late, we hurried to the car and drove over to the appointment. They weren't home. Well, we couldn't really blame them and started working with our backup plans. They failed too.
Mostly on a whim (AKA God told us to) we decided to go and visit a family who had been dropped by the missionaries some months ago becuase they were never home or it was never a good time to stop and talk. We did so, and not only were they home but were incredibly interested in everything we had to share. We had a good 3 hour conversation about everything from Joseph Smith to the the Law of Chastity to Apostles to "Are you allowed to marry 9 women?" It was a great discussion, and we hope that next time we can have one that is a bit more organized. Btw, no, we do not marry more than one person. Mormons are not polygamists.
At the end of the week we had found 11 new investigators, a record for both myself and Elder Raiford.
Tuesday we had a really good Training that was all about Repentence. The Spirit pointed out several things that I needed to work on, but one of the main universal things talked about was that if people are not willing to keep commitments or to change, then they do not understand repentance. At it's heart repentance simply means change. First you build faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Next you want to become more like him (repentance). Next comes baptism and an improvement of your life. We all need to realize that we cannot do anything to save ourselves, that we need to accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repent of those things which are not in harmony with God's will. Only then will we find true and lasting happiness.
I know that God lives, and that he loves us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to save us all from death and to help us return to Him. I know that we can come to know the truth of all things through prayer and scripture study. I know repentance can and does change lives, and that through Christ we can all be saved in the Kingdom of God. This is my witness to you. God bless you all.
Elder Jayden Barker

 Missionary Suppers (Chips and salsa, Pancakes, and Gummyworms) Not typical of us, but awesome nonetheless.

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