Monday, August 29, 2016

The Police and Bishop Gerrald Causse'

Sup y'all,
This week was really good, even tho I was super sick. At least once a minute my stomach would like cramp up so bad I couldn’t even talk. Along with that was constant nausea and a splitting headache. I thought it was zika virus (jk) so I knew it wasn’t serious. After like 4 days it just randomly went away. It's funny tho, every time I would teach a lesson, I felt fine like nothing was wrong. Power of prayer/spirit is super real, I proved it last week with that!
 We actually got stopped by police because apparently some people in the neighborhood we were walking through thought we were trying to break into cars and houses. The cop pulled up behind us with his lights and siren on. I tried giving him a Book of Mormon, but apparently he wasn’t very interested in salvation at the time, Oh well.
Also this week, Bishop Causse (I think that's how you spell it, he's a Frenchman so whatevs) came and talked to our mission on how to better find and teach people for like 2.5 hours. He's so flippin’ smart. I got to see all my MTC buddies at the conference so that was cool. It was in Menlo Park, a super nice area. We all went to East Palo Alto (ghetto) to get this awesome authentic burrito afterwards; so worth it. I saw like 5 stolen google bikes lol.
 Also, Gilroy had a luau this week, and you were only allowed to go if you brought a non-member to it. So we brought three families haha. It was super cool - some dude was like juggling and swallowing fire. I have some pictures from that, they're just super dark because apparently people in California in silicon Valley have not developed a "flash" feature on their phone – crazy, right?
Also I found a family that all play lax, and I get to go play for like 2 or 3 hours later today. Any ways, thank you to all who have been sending messages and packages, they really help a lot. They remind me how much better the east coast is than the west coast (sorry mom).
Yours truly,@Big_Fly_55​

 Elder Barker & Elder Methvin at the Gilroy Luau
I received this picture from Sister Andrea Hughes of the Hollister Ward

Zone Conference August 2016

California San Jose Mission with Bishop Gerald Causse (Garrett is in the middle of the left third of the picture)

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Week of Service

Sup y'all

So this week was full of service which made it easy. Methvin and I have trimmed just about every tree in Hollister it feels like. If this whole college thing doesn't work out then imma just cut trees the rest of my life. We had some lady tell us Jesus Christ was Satan's son, so that was interesting. Other than that it was a pretty chill week. 

The A's fan chose baseball over salvation so he wasn't at church Sunday. We rescheduled his baptism but he just can't get past his Catholic church even though he doesn't like it. I'm just super confused by the whole situation. We meet a lot of people because we don't knock any doors in SJO so we just go contacting which is walking around until we find someone to talk to. This way we don't get doors slammed on us or dogs chasing after us, it's pretty legit. 

Methvin and the people of Hollister are turning me into a true country boy. I've eaten more Elk than beef this past week and I'm not complaining. Elder Misrasi from Gilroy and I tried buying a blow dart gun, but they can't ship it to Cali so maybe if someone back home loves me (hint hint wink wink mom) I might get one in the mail. I still miss NC, but Hollister is about as close to the south as you're gonna get over here. don't really know what else to write, sooo...

Love ,
Elder Barker

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pictures of Hollister Apartment

Received these pictures after the p-day letter was received and distributed.
Hollister Apartment Kitchen (with Elder Methvin)
 The living room
 The study area
 P-day basketball with Elder Banks

1st letter from 1st area - Hollister, CA


This place is freaking awesome. They call it the "celestial kingdom" of the mission, and for good reason. It's just a small agricultural town near Gilroy, but it's the closest thing to home I'm going to find on this side of the country. 

My companion/trainer Elder Kyle Methvin was a rancher in Kansas so this is pretty much home for him. I'm in Hollister First ward and they spoil me rotten. I get fed just about every night, and they come to half (if not more than half) of all our lessons. 

The weather is gorgeous. it feels better outside than it does inside. Y'all need to look it up on google maps to see what I'm talking about when I say it's a small farming town. Also one of my friends from the MTC Elder Azuara Espitia lives like 5 doors down from me so I see him every day. 

President and Sister Mella are the nicest people ever. Literally all I did the first day I was here was play ping pong, fuse ball, air hockey and basketball, and then I stayed in a queen size bed (because I'm the biggest) in the Mella's guest room. I only get $30 a week for any expenses (food, haircuts, etc) but our freezer is packed with wild game like pheasants, Venison, and elk so that's what I'm eating at my apt. 

We've already had quite a few teaching appointments and got a lot more scheduled this week. Also, I already get to go to the Oakland Temple on Friday! We are going with a recently baptized couple. They might not be able to go in yet, but we are still going to the grounds and to the Visitor Center. There was a baptism set up for Saturday, but he needed to go to church one more time and he decided to go to the A's game instead yesterday haha. When it comes down to eternal salvation, or the Oakland A's, that's a tough choice if you ask me. 

For P-day today we are going to a zone sports thing where I get to see Elder Banks again (which is awesome) but apparently when there's nothing to do we'll pick up the Spanish elders and run down a turkey up in the mountains and have a thanksgiving lunch! 

I'm so happy I came out here and I got put in the best situation possible. And since Elder Methvin is a ZL, every Monday night we go to the other ZL's place and have a little elder slumber party to do the weekly numbers. My new address 500 Hillock drive, Apt. 133 Hollister, CA 95023.

Btw I don't have any pictures because we don't get our Ipad until our second transfer and I kept forgetting my camera, but I swear i'll do better next week! Mom has a few pics of me that President Mella sent her so imma have her attach those.

Love yours truly,
Elder Garrett Barker

Friday, August 12, 2016

Welcome letter from President Mella

Dear Family,
We are thrilled to report that after a day delay with flight cancellation, Elder Barker arrived safely in his mission yesterday here in San Jose, California.  We picked him up at the airport and he was able to do some missionary work right away. He ate dinner at the mission home, followed by an interview with me.  This morning, after orientation at the mission office, all of the missionaries met their new companions and went back to their areas.  Elder Barker will be serving with Elder Methvin in the Hollister area.
You should expect to hear from your missionary on his next Preparation day, which will be Monday, August 15. Thank you for your prayers and support, and for sharing Elder Barker with us here in the wonderful California San Jose Mission.
Also, I encourage you to join the "California San Jose Mission Moms" Facebook page, where we often post pictures and missionary updates.
With love,
Glen D. Mella
President, California San Jose Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Barker with President and Sister Mella
Elder Barker's first companion in Hollister, CA - Elder Methvin


First picture from the mission field! This picture shows President and Sister Mella and the 22 missionaries who arrived on the same day as Elder Barker.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

And he's off!

The 20 stranded missionaries were able to get on 2 different flights this morning. Garrett was in the first flight with five other missionaries. His companion for the flight is Elder Banks (on Garrett's right in the picture). We are anxiously awaiting to hear about his first location and his new companion!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Slight delay...

Elder Barker was suppose to fly to San Jose today, however, due to the Delta Airline computer issues experienced earlier in the week, his flight was cancelled. A kind missionary mom took this picture of Garrett at the airport before the missionaries went back to the MTC. We just got word that the 20 San Jose missionaries are getting up at 3:00 am to head back to the airport to try again tomorrow!

Last week from the MTC

Hello all! It's a great day because it's my last day in the MTC/Utah!!!!! I leave for SJO tomorrow morning it's LIT! MTC was great and all, but I'm ready to go into the field. 

I'm super salty because Sister Hamilton saw the Yeomans at the temple and I didn't but I got over it. I literally see sister Hamilton at least 3 times a day so It's nice having a little bit of home in this place. 

​2 of the sisters in my district wrote a song (the Tongan made it past 2 rounds in American Idol) and it's awesome and I thought I'd share it. 

Turns out there's a good chance I'll get to speak Mandarin on my mission so that's good news. Also if it's not too late, Mom can my mission scripture thing be 3 Nephi 5:13? If not it's not that deep. 

I'm super sad I can't watch USA dominate this year in the Olympics but oh well.  I suck at these mass emails so if y'all have any questions please just email me separately and I will answer them. 

Sincerely, Starshine

Elder Barker with Elder VanSweden and Elder Andersen in the MTC
 Elder Barker Rocking some glasses
 Elder Barker's Zone in the MTC
Garrett says this Elder is his spirit animal as they're so much alike.

 Garrett modeling the vest Dad sent him.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2nd Letter from the MTC

So I found my first familiar face since getting here! Sister Hamilton found me while I was doing orientation for the new guys and so I had to grab a picture for the 336. 

This week is going by a lot faster. It's a sad day... we have a lady investigating and I was real excited but when I walked in, she was wearing a Bama shirt :(  I handled it correctly tho, I exhorted her to repentance and invited her to come to the right side as a Volunteer fan. She declined, but she's entitled to her wrong opinion.

They convinced me to play volleyball and I figured out I really really suck at it. So the phone I have for emergencies as ZL actually received a call but it was on silent. Turns out they called 11 times because a missionary was missing. I had to work real hard to get out of that one, but Ship and I are good now. 

Not really sure what to write, kind of an uneventful week other than me failing as a ZL. Thank you to all who sent me an email or a letter through Dear Elder, it's very much appreciated! 

Have fun back East!
Elder Barker