Thursday, September 17, 2015

September 14, 2014 "Recollections"

This past week was busy and crazy, but I'll do my best to run y'all
through it! Perhaps I should start following my companion's advice and
write this from day to day? It might be a good idea!

Monday was awesome. Much thanks for all of the birthday wishes, and
thanks to those who sent cards and packages. After emailing and the flammable
adventures, we headed over as a district to play some Settlers. Even
when the Blue man and the Red man ganged up on me, I still led the
White man to victory!

About halfway through the others found out it was my birthday, which I
enjoyed greatly. We had a good time eating with the G*** family near
the end of the day. Here's a pic:

I also got to hold a chicken.  Also thanks to the parentals (you guys are the best) the Ward found out quite quickly that it was my birthday. It was great.

Tuesday we had a district meeting. Originally we were supposed to have a Zone meeting on Friday, but that got cancelled, so poor Elder Hamblin had to throw something together last minute. It was a crazy meeting, and certainly one of the more memorable ones. The focus was on getting lessons off of tangents and back onto the lessons.

Wednesday we worked hard, and saw some small successes, but nothing too crazy. We spend a lot of our time in areas where the people are living a very worldly life, and so we see a lot of very interesting people with lots of very interesting ideas about things. Several people we tried to see weren't home, and several more rejected us outright, but we did get some referrals from a Vivint guy who was working that same area. It was pretty good. Near the end of the day we decided to go and try this one man we had visited the previous week. He had been going through a bit of a hard time before we walked up, and even told us a few days later that he had considered sending us away just because of the gloomy thoughts on his mind. He said he was glad that he didn't, because we were able to share a short message that seemed to be exactly what it was he needed to hear. I know the only reason we were led over to that area was because we had stopped a short time previously to ask the Lord for direction. It is seeming more and more crazy to me as time goes on that any missionary would try and do this work without doing seeking aid from the person Whose work this is, but I've been guilty of that multiple times. I am working to change that though, going back to the basics.

Thursday was a day where we did our best as much as we could. Lots of success, but also lots of failures. That seems to be the norm here in Jonesboro, that there won't be that many days where things are just mediocre. It might swing from one extreme to the other quickly, but rarely will it sit peaceably in the middle. It just keeps life interesting all of the time! The biggest miracle was running into a guy named D*** again. We had met D*** the first week we arrived in Jonesboro and had a great lesson with him. We tried several time after that to catch up with him again, but never were able to find him. We didn't even know where he lived, which tends to make things a little bit difficult. We had just left someone's house after being dropped by one of our most promising investigators when we saw this dude walking toward us on the opposite side of the road. I didn't really want to talk with him, I was silently lamenting this other man's loss, but I guess the Lord took pity on me and told me to try it anyway. After talking for a bit he said he was still reading the book we had given him, and I recognized him as D***. We got his proper address, and said we would meet up again soon. Really, it was nothing short of a miracle. We ended the day playing basketball with some of the other Elders' investigators. It was fun.

Friday there isn't a whole lot to talk about. Got rejected some more, taught some random kids about who prophets were, and did our planning for the week. We tried to see D*** again, but we couldn't find him. Found his house, but he wasn't home.

Saturday was busy busy busy. Our day started early, at 8am when we helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity. They help low income families get homes of their own when they meet certain predetermined requirements, and they use volunteer work to build the homes. It was a lot of fun. We tried to visit this other family at about 10, but they were busy smoking weed and didn't want to talk. *sigh* We headed back to the apartment for studies and lunch, then hit the streets hard until 8pm for supper. We saw lots of different people and found a few new solid potentials! It was perhaps the longest day and the most rewarding one we've seen in a while. It helped when we took a 10 minute nap in the car about halfway through the day. It's incredible what a power nap can do for a guy!

Sunday was church and back to the grindstone! We had a really good lesson with a guy named R***, and we have plans to see him every sunday at about 2. He is really busy, so that's the best time to see him. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation, and will finish teaching him about it next time. We had dinner with the M*** family over in Bono, and even contacted a few referrals while we were there. We will be going back to that general area again later this week.

I think that's about everything. Thanks again for all you are doing, and particularly for who you are. I love you, and will write again next week!

~Elder Barker

"Don't forget to read!"

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