Thursday, April 23, 2015

March 30, 2015- "The aftermath of Bambi"

Today we moved a piano. It is the primary reason I am on so much later than normal. So yeah, that was fun.

This past week has been crazy and intense with all that went on. First off, the weather was remarkably kind to us. Usually when an Elder is forced onto walk week for any reason Mother Nature tries to add insult to injury by making it as wet as possible. The plus side to that though is you can hear all of the frogs going crazy just outside of your house. Apparently they like the moisture or something like that! But yeah, it was up in the 70's all week, with the one exception where it was raining lightly. Super nice for us as more people are out and about. --> Awesome Easter Message. Check it out and send it on to all your friends!

On Monday we were able to email over at the Cockrum's house and spend some time with them. It was nice to be a (somewhat) normal human being again and just get to geek out a little bit playing some board games with the Ward Mission Leader and his family. Afterward we had supper at Sister Gates's home with a FHE afterward. It was an interesting experience, more so because we had A*** there with us too.

Tuesday was our District Meeting, which was super awesome. We set goals for this upcoming month, and then set specific steps and goals to help us reach those "master goals". Brother Sigler was kind enough to help us out in getting down there and also took us out to eat afterward at Western Sizzlin', a steakhouse/buffet place In Russelville. It was sooooo good, and I enjoyed myself a little bit too much; by the time we made it back home my stomach and head were not happy with me. I think it started somewhere around plate three when I went back for my second helping of chicken legs and blackberry cobbler, but I'm not entirely sure about that. It could have also been the mashed potatoes and gravy or even half-dozen rolls I ate. Again, just a hypothesis, but it could have been those too. (totally worth it)

WHile we were in Russelville we also stopped by and got a Spanish copy of the Book of Mormon from the Spanish set there. (Random cool side tangent, one of the two elders was a student of some sort a few years back at Weber High. We flipped out a little bit when we made that connection.) We had met a guy named J***a while ago in Morrilton and he wanted a copy of the BoM that was in Spanish. We were happy to oblige him

Wednesday was crazy in that we visited so many people, but out of about 30 people we tried only 2 were home. To make it even better we had a member with us that afternoon, a guy named Troy who is preparing to serve his own mission once he is able. Yeah, great impressions..... #RealMissionaryWork. That evening we taught the Isiah chapters of the Book of Mormon, and that was really fun. 

Thursday we met a really awesome family on our way to go and see A***. Because of where we live in relation to the rest of the town it takes us about an hour of walking just to get to a point where we can easily move from one person's house to the next. Because of this we really don't see it a big deal to spend a few minutes to go out of our way to go and knock on a seemingly random door. This is how we met V*** and L***. We had an awesome lesson with them about our purpose as missionaries (to bring everyone to Christ) and how the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, helps with that purpose. We have as yet been unable to set a return appointment due to their crazy schedules (L*** is a church singer working on getting a CD published!) but, just as he promised us he would, he gave us a call on Sunday to try and set something up with us. We will be getting in contact with him hopefully tomorrow again. 

We also saw A***that day, and talked a little bit about smoking. It was interesting in that before we had gone over there the plan was to go through the Missionary Stop-Smoking program to help them get ready both for her baptism and also for her son coming home from the military (he got diagnosed with asthma. ugh...). Before we went over there, however, the Spirit told me that this wasn't what she needed at the time, that she had to be truly ready to make that change in her life first, and it wasn't something that we could just do for her - she has to ask. I didn't like that idea very much, but I have found that arguing with God is an even worse idea, so I went with it. She will stop when she is ready to stop, and we will be there to help her once she gets to that point.

After our Weekly Planning on Friday we got to try and see a lot of very nice people and got rejected by a lot of other people. It was just one of those kinda days, the ones that help you repeat the mantra "At least the Church is True" over and over to yourself. If there ever is a testimony builder, it is days like those where you run face first into a brick wall, but then ask a passing angel to give you a bit of a lift over it so you can keep on going being awesome. Angels are pretty chill like that. The Passing Angel in this case was an older man I'll call Mr. Young
​. He is a minister at his own small baptist church here in Morrilton, and has been doing so for many years.

The thing that makes him so cool is that even though he was a preacher at another church he was still willing to stand and talk with us for a short while. We talked a bit about the differences between his church and ours, and some of the ways that we are helping others get ready for Christ's Second Coming and keep our families strong. It was a really good conversation. Before we left I reached into my bag and pulled out a Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet (I usually carry about 6 with me at all times) and gave it to him with a simple invitation to read it so he could know more fully what it is that we believe. Of course, the end goal is that he will feel the Spirit and want to talk to us again, resulting in baptism, but even if that does not happen he is in a position where he can help dispel some of the falsehoods that are preached in some churches about our faith. I honestly doubt very much that we will every be able to see him and teach him again, but I know that the Lord leads us to specific people every day so that we can be a good influence in their life and bring about some sort of eternal Good.

Saturday was a lot like Wednesday, complete with a member being with us. Perhaps the highlight was a visit with a guy named Mr. H***. He's going in for an operation relatively soon, which means we most likely won't see him again for some time. We've been over there several times to visit with him and to help him progress towards Christ and the Salvation He offers, but he just can't get past the fact that Christ would ever speak to anyone outside of Jerusalem, or that said person would have the audacity to write down what Christ said to them. I dunno why this is such a hard thing to believe, but I do know part of it has to do with the condition of the heart. The Pharisees and Sadducees of the New Testament knew more scripture than anyone save Christ himself, but that didn't help them any in believing what Christ was trying to tell them. However, look at the power and effect that Christ's words had on a few simple fisherman. The difference between the two, other than their scriptural knowledge? How soft their hearts were. It does not take a scriptorian to be close to God; it just takes a heart willing to recognize the truth when it is heard.

Sunday we met a woman named S***. She has been going through a really rough time lately, and is working on getting her kids back after being in jail for a short time. While she was in there she attended a daily bible study and came to have a faith in Christ that she didn't have before. When we went over there yesterday and met her for the first time we introduced the Book of Mormon to her and just just soaked it all up like a sponge. She loved the idea that there is more of Christ's word that she can read, and said she can't wait for us to come back again. It is people like her that make everything we do worth it.

Then we get to today, where I am frantically typing as fast as I can to get this done before curfew. The piano made things fun (sorry Mom, no pics this time), as was the email service being down globally for missionaries earlier today. But all is better now!

I hope your day/week/other was just absolutely fantastic, and look forward to hearing from you again! Thanks to all those who take the time to write your missionaries; even just a simple conversation with your sister can mean the world on a day that otherwise was just quite painful.

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!

~Elder Barker

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