Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 9, 2015 "This Week"

This week was intense. My new companion is Elder Smith, from Washington state! He's a great guy and is already progressing towards becoming a truly great Elder. He's about 5' 2" and is able to crank out pushups like nobody else.

We've had a lots of downs this week, but we've also had a lot of miracles happen. But since time is an issue right now (we are sacrificing 2 of our PDay hours to help with a baptismal goal of 100 this month) I will include just one of them:

Yesterday after church both of us were feeling rather down, for obvious reasons. We had been expecting about 10 people to come to church and only 1 came. The news about A*** was a blow below the belt. I really didn't want to do anything even remotely resembling missionary work after that; I was tired both physically and mentally, and I wasn't feeling the spirit like I wanted to. Training though has given me a stronger incentive to go and do what is right, because I really want to help Elder Smith have a happy successful mission. I knew that work is the best antidote to feeling depressed about things, but it was still difficult for me to put that into action. I know that the miracle that followed though never would have happened to us had we just stayed inside. We headed out on our bikes, just looking for new people to talk to. There were a few smaller side streets on our path, and since there were only a few houses on each street we paid tribute to traditional tracting and knocked every door on the street. This yielded more rejections than appointments and we decided to stop paying tribute after about an hour. We continued on, stopping to talk with the few people who were outside (one of them was brewing beer; we have a return appointment for tonight) and to contact the referral we recieved. Ultimately though, it was appearing unsuccessful. 

We looked on the map to see where we were and about how long it would take us to bike back to our apartment for supper and studies when I noticed a few streets that caught my eye, mostly because the names were kinda funny. We decided to go there before heading in. On our way to those streets I saw a few kids outside playing in the street down a road that we were just about to pass. Following a gut feeling I now recognize as the Spirit working through me I told Elder Smith that we needed to go and talk with them. When we got there four of them recognized us, calling out "Missionaries, Missionaries!" It took a moment but I eventually recognized them as some kids we had met the day before in a completely different part of town about 20 minutes away by car. They had been staying with an uncle of theirs while the mother was shopping. The uncle, J*** spoke with Elder Smith for just a few moments while I was talking with the kids outside about the Book of Mormon. What Elder Smith said to get him interested I don't know, but he ran up to me and said that he (J***) wanted to be taught right then. We headed inside and learned a bit about him, how he had come from a rougher life and how he was now a Deacon in a Baptist church and then taught him a great deal of the Restoration. We were unable to get through all of it because of the good questions and comments he had about the scriptures we shared, but we left him with a copy of the BoM and a desire to learn more. We go back on Saturday. I know none of this would have happened had we just stayed inside like I had originally wanted to. I am sad that I had even considered giving in to the natural man, but am glad I decided to work anyway. My driving thought was that no doubt the Savior would have wanted to stop and rest at some point during his ministry also, to just give in for a small time, but had he done so the Atonement never would have happened and his greatest work would have been left undone.

I love this work and all that I am able to do. I love that the last 12 weeks of my mission are able to be spent training a new missionary and sharing my knowlege with him. I am really looking forward to everything we are going to accomplish!

Thanks for your prayers and all that you do to share the gospel with those around you.

~Elder Jayden Barker

What do you do when your mother sends spiderwebs in your halloween package and mission rules say that you have to stay in Halloween night?  Dress up as Santa Clause, of course! 

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