So this past week has just been crazy. First off, the whole Missouri thing about the cop shooting a black young man had the whole mission on lockdown. Meaning that first night we had to be in an extra 4 hours early, and the next night we had to be inside with doors locked by 7, no exceptions. From what I've heard there are still riots and stuff going on in some of the bigger cities, like Memphis and Little Rock. The riots didn't affect us up here in Walnut Ridge any, but I honestly would have been surprised if they had. A small town of about 5 thousand people isn't exactly the hot spot for rioters.I also learned something new in my Bible studies this past week. Did you know that there is a record somewhere that has the words of Enoch it in? Yeah, it's totally referenced to in Jude 1:14. Guess what we don't have in the Bible? That record! I'm just a bit bumbed out about that. I wouldn't mind reading the words of a guy who was so righteous that he and his entire city got translated straight into heaven. I'm sure he has some great pointers.And as to thanksgiving, I'll just refer you to the following pics:I made both of these myself. The one on the left is an apple pie (made with assistance from the parental units), and the one on the right is a banana chocolate cream pie (made completely on my own! #accomplishments).We didn't have nearly enough food to feed us missionaries.The District.Appart from simply eating with the other missionaries, I also was able to go and eat with the Branch Mission leader and also with the Branch President. Largely because trying to share messages about Christ don't ever work out on the Holidays, we just played board games with the Pocahontas Sisters and with some investigators that they brought along. It was pretty awesome, and my popular vote, if I were a type of vehicle I would be a segway. Not sure how I feel about that..... Hahaha!We've also been able to talk a great deal with the C**** family They're pretty sweet, but weren't able to come to church yesterday. Something about being up till 6.30 in the morning taking care of screaming infants make you really tired? Not sure how that works, but apparently it's quite the problem! =D While we were driving around we also got a really good look at this crazy looking storm-front that moved in a few days ago. The pink in it and everything was totally legit, and it looked much cooler in real life:
I know, awesome, right!
I've got some really sad news though, which is mainly why I left it till the very end. About two years ago, in October, the Prophet announced that the age for missionaries has been lowered by one year for men and by two years for women. Because of this there was a huge surge of outgoing missionaries, both of men and of women. Now that it is two years later, all of the women who started their mission trip when that announcement was given now are going home. In this mission this means that we are losing 37 missionaries tomorrow, but are only getting 11 new ones in. Because of this many areas are shutting down, simply because we don't have enough missionaries to cover every location as we have in the past. One of these areas is the Pocahontas Sisters, so as of Wednesday the only missionaries in the Pocahontas Branch will be Elder Holden and myself. Neither of us are being transferred, but the work here will get a bit more difficult now that there are half as many of us working in this area. Sister Elder (I know, ironic name right!? She's heard all of the jokes) and Sister Sommers are leaving, and Sister Elder will be going home on Tuesday as one of the 37.
I don't have much else to mention, other than a suggestion for every single person that these emails get: With a large surge of missionaries going home it is time for everyone, full-time missionary, RM, or regular member of the church, to step up their game in sharing the Good News. It's more important than ever now to do all we can in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world, starting with our family and friends around us. The Lord is hastening His work, and He will bless us in our efforts to help Him in the work of salvation.
Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
Elder Jayden Barker