Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Teaching in Chinese, a Repentance story and Dub Nation

This was a good week, Missionary wise and normal person wise. First of all, I haven't taught a single lesson to anyone the past 3 weeks who learned English as their first language haha. But that might change soon cause we got a referral, and the word used to describe him was "elect"! We'll meet him this week. Apparently he's been talkingto missionaries online for a few weeks. 

Also this Chinese lady who has been looking for a church to join randomly came to church last Sunday. She has a Mormon friend who suggested she come. Luckily we have 3 people who served missions in China or Taiwan so they help us teach her. It also gives me a chance to flex my Chinese skills.  我不是好在中国. But it will improve!

Also someone I taught down in Hollister got baptized recently! Her name is Vickie and she is super cool. We also taught her husband and he was gonna get baptized too, but was thrown in jail the morning of his baptism. What a bummer. He was at his daughter’s wedding earlier in the week and she wanted to smoke weed with daddy one last time and he complied. Well he felt so bad about it he repented and felt like he need to tell his parole officer, so he did. Got thrown in jail a couple hours before  he and his wife's baptisms. Oh 🐳.  But he's been asking for copies of the Book of Mormon to give to his cell mates and buddies so good for him, gold star for missionary work ⭐️.

Other than that we've officially started pick-up basketball at the church every week and it's super fun. My
favorite comment this past week was "I never thought I'd get tricked into a Mormon church in my whole life". #GotEm. That guy is gonna give me a fresh cut soon so obviously he's not too mad. Other than that I
adopted the Philippino missionary in the district as my son so that's pretty exciting – he’s a great missionary.

And, Warriors just won it all so this area is bumping. Least amount of basketball I've watched my whole life, but being in the winning team’s area is pretty neat. All the bars are selling drinks half off around town so that's a plus too  (that includes sodas as well!)  Gotta love Dub Nation.

Until next week.
Love ya,

Elder Barker

Elder Deeter, Elder Andrade and Elder Barker at the Bay on Pday

Last week's Pday

Monday, June 5, 2017

Making DL Meetings Fun, Guest of Honor and Pink Blazers

Hey ya'll,
This week was really jacked up cause we had to go to the mission office three times for different reasons between a new missionary in the district and training. Also Elder Deeter had 2 other meetings outside our area so we only had one normal proselytizing day, and that was in a trio so it's been a weird, but fun week.

I had my first district meeting and my goal is to not have a boring one and week 1 was a success. We played scripture games and took turns doing commercial breaks, i.e the old Mormon commercials. Other than that we really didn't do much. We did convince the new missionary that I know black magic because of this magic trick I do and I think he's scared of me now. 

I went to Lekka's (Tonga) graduation and then his grad party where I was privileged to be a "guest of honor" and it was lit. Today for p-day, we're going bowling.  Oh, the attached video shows what happens when you lose a game called "what are the odds." I can't think of anything else to say so bye.

Elder Barker
ps - we saw the pink jackets in the store and just had to try them on
Guest of honor at Lekka's graduation party

District Meeting Fun

Seeing the Snows, taking the 17 mile drive and DL


This week was the last week of the transfer, it was aight. Our game
with the elders quorum got postponed until this Thursday (they're
scared) so that was a huge let down. Especially since Elder Finau in
our district got transferred and he was our PG. Oh well. Other than
that we went to Monterey today. Played a bunch of sports with the
Polynesian ward down there and also got to see Aunt Carisa, Uncle Kyle and Jared.
 took me out to lunch at this bomb Vietnamese restaurant. Then
Jared took us down 17 mile drive and showed us the courses and we
watched this scrub old lady putt from the tee box with her 7 iron (she
wasn't very good). Other than that it was a chill week. Met some cool
people got called as a DL and went to seminary graduation. Sorry for
not having anything interesting to talk about.

Love ya,
Elder Barker
Tonga Keti's seminary graduation

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Great week and the Elder's Quorum challenge


''Twas a good week this week." We were able to find some new investigators who are pretty solid and they're actually coming to church which is always fun. Actually, this last week was probably the most successful missionary week I've had here in this area - we've been blessed.

We had a "Why I Believe" fireside where we have a bunch of recent converts from the area talk about their conversion so we invited a ton of people to that. I had suggested a few weeks ago that Andrew Gold speak at this event but the High Counselor over missionary shut me down quite rudely and said 3 weeks after Andrew's baptism would be too soon for him to have to speak at a stake fireside. Well President Mella met Andrew Gold and went ahead and invited him to speak at the fireside and Andrew accepted. 

At the fireside, Andrew gave by far the best talk. It was 20 minutes and afterwards there was literally a line to talk to him (no coment High Counselor). 

Also our Elders quorum won the stake basketball league. And so like any good missionary, I let them know that our zone team is better and we're the real champions of the stake. Naturally the old men responded with some weak trash talk and one thing led to another and now we have a game against them on Thursday. Our Zone vs. Eagle Park Elders quorum. I'll let you all know how bad we beat them next Monday.

Love ya,
Elder Barker
We joined people who were meditating for a solid 24 hours - didn't stay that long!
Julien Gold at the "Why I Believe" fireside where his dad spoke

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


This week went by pretty boring and uneventful but went by decently
fast. We're doing a lot of walking around trying to find another Gold
family so my feet kinda hurt ...no luck yet, but we'll keep trying. 

We had an awesome Cinco de Mayo dinner at the
Johnson house. Not my mission mom Juliette Johnson down in
Hollister (shout out Momma Johnson) but our Ward mission Leader Mark
Johnson. It's always fun eating at their house, then afterwards I
whooped the district in some air hockey. 

Nothing else happened other than me laughing at my Utah companion complaining about 
the humidity here lol. He just doesn't understand.

Love ya,
Elder Barker
Cinco de Mayo at the Johnson's

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mini Missionary, English Lessons and the Gold Family's Baptism

Hey ya'll,
So this week was super hectic. We tried to start our English class, had a baptism to plan and perform and still had to teach the Gold family like 2.5 lessons before they could be baptized. And....on Thursday we found out that we were getting a mini missionary. 

The Mini Missionary
Have to be honest, all I could think of was how awful it was the last time I had a mini for 2 weeks, but, this one turned out to be awesome. The mini was part of a weekend missionary program and was suppose to be with us from Friday to Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately we couldn't meet him on Friday cause of baptism stuff so we sent other missionaries to pick him up. We picked the mini up from the other missionaries on Saturday morning and went to Meredith Gold's softball game. The mini then helped us advertise our English class and we gave the mini an opportunity to live the missionary life by drinking 3 raw eggs.  Sunday the poor guy got a taste of 8 hours of church and he didn't stand a chance....got a picture of him and Deets both sleeeping. We got special permission for the mini to stay late on Sunday so he could attend the Gold's baptism, great way to end a mini mission.

The English Class
So, the English class....boy do we have a lot to learn about this stuff! Leading up to the first English class we spent at least 2 hours advertising and inviting people to attend. To prepare to teach, my comp and I visited others who had taught English classes and got ideas from them on things we should do. Then we made more signs, put them up the street leading to the church, and wait for it.... nobody showed up,  not even the people who said they'd come help smh. 

We're doing the same thing this week, not giving up on this cause Deets and I know these classes are really needed and will also help us get to know the community better. And, it may help me learn how to deal with the world fair I walk into every time I step out of my apartment. 

The Gold's Baptism
I mentioned that we needed to teach the Gold's 2.5 lessons this week so they could get baptized on Sunday like they wanted. For the life of us, we could not get ours and the Gold's schedules coordinated this week. Everyday they either had a game, a school event or Facebook thing (Andrew works there). One day we couldn't do it because the mom, Sharon, was helping run the Relief Society fund raiser for the refugees.

Friday we finally got them for 30 minutes and taught part of the first vision and restoration, tithing, Word of Wisdom and the law of chastity. You'll would've been super impressed. They were so excited to get baptized so we had to do what we had to do. And, they still needed their baptismal interview which happened at 4:30 and the baptism was at 5 freaking 30. If they didn't pass the interview it was gonna be super awkward. Oh yeah, and when they showed up, the baptism clothes didn't fit 2 of them, but when it was all said and done, it was the best baptism ever.

The baptisms were held at the Stake Center and the entire chapel was filled with people in the area and from the Ward. There were at least 200 people who watched this amazing family enter the waters of baptism. 

So this week was wild, but when I got in the water with Julian, the Gold's son, after watching his parents get baptized right before him, it was all so worth it. There is nothing like the feeling of baptizing someone into the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope you all had a great week as well.
Love ya,
Elder Barker

Andrew, Sharon, Julien and Meredith Gold

The Golds, Elder Gartside, Elder Deeter and Elder Barker

Elder Barker Elder Deeter and Julien Gold

Birthday Week


I'm finally 20! It was a fun first week with my new companion Elder Deeter. Deet's from a town outside of Ogden and he's a pretty good athelete so we get a long well. We've decided that we're going to start teaching an English class beginning this Thursday so we've been going to all the Asian and ethnic neighborhoods and that's been hilarious. Tellin people who don't speak English that they need to learn English, in English. But, we got a lot of people to agree to come so it'll be interesting, we estimated 9 different languages should be coming. 

It's been a good birthday week - way better than I thought it would be. My Hollister friend arranged for me to be taken to lunch up here and delivered an awesome cooler full of meat - man I've missed that! On Saturday, my birthday, we had so many sweets. I got 2 cakes before noon, and another at dinner. And, I had steak for the first time in 3 months at  dinner as well so it was pretty great. 

And, the best news - the Golds are getting baptized Sunday and I'm really excited for them. The parents and their son Julian will be getting baptized and confirmed the same day. Meredith is 7 so she'll be baptized next March.

Thanks to all who sent me birthday wishes - they were much appreciated...can't believe I'm this old!

Love ya,
Elder Barker
Birthday Cake at the Johnsons
With Julien Gold at his baseball game

Coordinated with Tonga Keti to get Garrett a birthday cake from us