Monday, December 28, 2015

December 7, 2015 #RiseUp

Good Morning Ladies/Gentlemen/Other! This past week was one of miracles mingled with sad disappointments. But sweet is the work, and the work goes forward!

Monday was a bit of a slower day, but we were able to teach a short lesson with S*** and B***. They are still making baby steps, but each step is a step in the right direction!

Tuesday we were able to recontact a few old investigators. Had a great lesson on the BoM and it's use with a woman named S***. She was pretty interested and wanted us to come back later that week to talk with her again and some of her family members. Lots of finding afterward, followed by a great dinner with the Schelins. We were also able to go on splits with some of the members of the ward, and had lots of success. We were able to find a lost member who hasn't been out due to health problems and also set a baptismal date with A***! We are so excited to help her move toward her future baptism!

Wednesday was also spent recontacting people, but we were also able to find a super awesome family that lives not far from some of our other investigators. One of them in particular, N***, is more hungry for the Gospel than anyone else I've ever met. She wasn't able to come to church yesterday with us, but she is excited to go next Sunday!​ She has no experience with church at all and her few attempts to read the Bible on her own left her frustrated and confused. (If you are going to start for the first time, don't start with Genesis; read the New Testament first.) I felt prompted to go over with her how to find passages in the scriptures to help with the problems and concerns she has. It was so neat to be able to help her gain an appreciation for the Scriptures. We also were able to visit with A***again, having a great lesson on what Faith is, how we can grow it, and what it can do for us.

Thursday we were able to burn some miles and contact some people up in Brookland. There we met a really neat woman named A***. She was busy at the time, but we set a time for us to come back a few days later. We later dropped in to visit with N*** again, and she had loved reading the pamphlet we had left with her the time before. She had a few questions for us, which we were more than happy to answer! We also were able to have dinner with T***D*** a recent convert. She is super awesome, and I really look forward to all the times we are able to eat with her. Later we were going to go and see N***i, but she texted us saying that it wasn't a good time. As we sat there, trying to decide what to do, we saw a guy standing awkwardly in front of a house, not really doing anything at all. As we watched, a car whipped into the driveway, and before it even completely stopped a short little white guy flew out of the passenger side, ripping his shirt over his head as he went just positively shaking with rage. When I say that this guy is white, I mean he is white, as in we-could-not-bleach-him-any-whiter-if-we-tried white. Anyway, he runs over and confronts the guy who dared stand at the foot of his driveway, looking all the while like a poodle confronting a grizzly bear. It looked like it was going to get pretty heated with everyone else that was outside asking the first guy to please just leave. He refused, and after a few tense moments everyone else went inside. The guy never left the bottom of the driveway, and with our sitting in a dark car with the engine off we didn't want to attract attention to ourselves by starting it back up and trying to drive away, so we just stayed put.

We had probably been sitting there for only a few minutes or two with nothing to do except talk quietly among ourselves about what we should do with the rest of our time and watch the guy as he talked on the phone a few times with someone. We were about to start up the car anyway, even though this guy was still there, when the front door of the house flew open. The guy from earlier was back, and he was madder than ever. His shirt already off and thrown to the side, he sprinted down the driveway and threw a punch at the first guy before he even got close. The first guy was a lot more calm and collected, whereas the shirtless guy was jumping around like a mad grasshopper. It was crazy. The short guy took several more swings, untimely deciding it wasn't worth it when none of them connected and the bigger man just put him in a head-lock. After a few more heated words everyone went back indoors. Later some people in a black SUV came and picked up the first guy, which is when we made our grateful exit.

Alas, I am out of time again, so I will finish this tomorrow and get it off next Monday.

Until then, Catch you later!

~Elder barker

#Rise up Continued…

So, I got a bit more time than I had expected, so I get to continue my stories earlier than I had thought! Right now the other elders are playing PingPong, and since I am a terrible PingPong player I'm sitting this one out and just enjoying watching them get more and more into it! Who knew it could get that intense? Anyway...

After the epic little show on Thursday we spent the rest of the evening getting haircuts from a woman in the ward, Sister Boudrero. She is one of my favorite people here in Jonesboro.

Friday was pretty relaxed. Not a whole lot went on, other than some practice on the piano I had to do to prepare for the Christmas Zone Conference on Wednesday. I still don't know if I will be ready for it. We will see.

Saturday was the crazy day. We started of by heading to the church early for a Pancakes and PJ's activity. It was super good (we didn't go in our PJ's btw), and we were able to teach our first lesson of the day there. After that it was just go go go for the rest of the day. All week we had been stacking the events to line up on Saturday for a huge competition that the Zone was doing. You see, the week before the Civil War was all tied up with the Union winning 2 battles and the Confederacy winning 2 battles. Saturday was to be the big game changer. Each new investigator found that day counted as a point, each lesson taught with a member present counted as a point, and each new baptismal date set counted as two points. By the end of the day Elder Smith and I had 13 points. When the final score was in from everyone on each side, our companionship accounted for a third of the total points! We were super blessed by all of the miracles that worked out for us that day. Our reward: The STL's are baking everyone in the Confederacy baked goodies. Score!

Sunday we had the Christmas Devotional. It was really awesome, and if you hadn't had a chance to see it, please go to and watch it. It is well worth the time. We also were able to have some of our investigators there, Q***and X***  

So Glad I was able to catch up, but it is getting close to 6. Time to get back to work! Thanks for all you do, and I hope that you can take the time to remember the Savior and all of the miracles in your day-to-day lives. As you recognize them, you will see them more often.

~Elder Jayden Barker

"Don't forget to read!”

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