Monday, September 7, 2015

August 17, 2015 " Let's start at the very beginning"

You know the saying that a journey starts with a single step? Actually, for this missionary it began with a 4 hour drive from Little Rock, stopping by at a Walmart to get rope so we could more securely strap down our luggage to the roof of the minivan on the way over to Jonesboro, AR! Jonesboro is right beneath Pocahontas, one of my old areas. Also, our new home is in the more northern part of town, so if I wanted to and decided to ignore the rules for a bit I could totally be in Walnut Ridge in 20-30 minutes from our house. I kinda want to head up there one of these PDays and go see some old friends there. Meh. We will see.

It is strange for me to be out of Morrilton Ward, but at the same time kinda nice. I was in that area for 7.5 months, the same amount of time as I was in Pocahontas Branch. Don't get me wrong, I love it there, but you can get a little burned out as a missionary if you are in one place for that long. I was getting jokes that I might as well just buy property; a previous elder in that area applied for (and received) an Arkansas state driver's license from that apartment. What with me having 6 months left, this will most likely be my last one. And with that being said, my goal is that before I leave we will have baptized and reactivated enough people to allow this ward to be split!

Here's what we have to work with: A total of 3 sets of Elders! This is a crazy number of missionaries for just one Ward, even if it is a rather big one. 

Originally the Ward had been told that they were going to get a new set of Sister Missionaries to go in Jonesboro. You can imagine their surprise when we showed up, looking distinctly unfeminine! Hopefully they will get over their disappointment soon! lol

With us opening a new area, we started out with a teaching pool of nobody, and we have been working hard to change that. We are living in a more poor and rougher part of town, which means more people who will be willing to listen to what we have to share with them. Just in a few days (one of them I got sick) we were able to teach 10 lessons and find 5 new people to teach, including setting a baptismal date. We should have even more people to teach by next week. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

One of the best things that's happened so far is the cooling temperatures. No more heat index of 105+ for us! Whoot!

Thanks for all you do, and I will talk with you again next week!

~Elder Barker

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