Man, it was really great to talk with you all. You´re all
looking great! And Jesse´s voice is sounding manly. Everyone talked about how
beautiful you are, Mom. They always say, she looks so young!
It was great! I´m
sorry for my lack of tact and awkwardness. I was struggling a little bit. I´ll
brush up on the English before Mother´s day. And tell Zoe I miss her too!
Christmas was awesome. We went caroling at the Bus Station
(Terminal Grajau) with our zone and one other zone. And then we went walking
down the streets giving pass a long cards and singing. It was a good time. The
only down side was the heat and I was wearing a suit and a santa hat. It was
We had 3 baptisms and confirmations this weekend. It was a
very special experience and a great way to close out 2013.Their names are
Katherine, Nick and Elisa. Eliza´s baptism was really a miracle. There was an
incident on the day of the baptism and I thought that there was no way she
would be baptized. Her family is basically anti mormon, but all was well in the
end. I´m so happy for the decision they made.
What?? Matt´s engaged? He didn´t say anything to me yet. I
just knew that they were dating. But I´m happy for him and it sounds like he is
Have fun in St. George! and Happy New Year! 2014 is gonna be
a good one.
Thank you for all you do for me and all of your support!
Transfer this week, never know what´s going to happen...
Parelheiros is going to have 6 missionaries now.
So good to see all the pictures and hear from you! Except
about Zoe´s accident, that´s so sad. I can´t believe Christmas is coming. Time
One year has come and gone. That is insane. It just so
happened that I got to go to the temple on my mission birthday and it was
awesome. Elder Steadman is the only other American in my group and he was at
the temple too. So we celebrated with the Shurrascaria, The rodizio grill close
to the temple. We even bought the expensive drinks and dessert. Mango with milk
(rocks), and the dessert was ice cream and fried banana. Worth it.
And I did burn some shirts. Not because I hit one year, but
becuase the mold is attacking from every direction in my wardrobe. A problem I
never dealt with in dry Wyoming. But I´m learning how to counter attack it
I spoke in church yesterday about being perfect like Christ
is perfect. I love the scripture in Moroni 10:32-33. Perfection is a process.
It doesn´t happen all at once. I like the example of learning to play the
piano. Nobody can play a song on the piano perfectly without a lot of practice.
We practice, make a lot of mistakes, but we get better. We progress and one day
we will be perfect.
Remember that we are living in a magic time! The hastening
is happening. Now is the moment for missionaries and members to work
We´re seeing miracles here in Parelheiros because the ward is excited about
Love you all and I´ll be seeing you soon!
Ps- Everybody will receive packages at the christmas meeting
next week. But I´m excited! Thank you so much.
Happy birthday for Jesse this week! He´s getting old... is
he getting any bigger? Hope you all celebrate well.
How are things back in the cold? It´s super nice here. About
80 degrees today. Had one day that it got up to 100 last week, and it was one
the hardest days on the mission. All of my short sleeve shorts were washing or
very dirty, so I was in a long sleeved shirt in the hottest day of my mission
so far. Every single appointment fell through, so we were in the street the
whole day (we entered into one house the whole day). And to top it all off we
had a zone fast. It was a struggle. But the Lord really blessed us for our
efforts and this last week was full of miracles. We had 4 baptisms in the ward,
between the two companionships, and many more people with potentiel for this
The ward is getting more excited about missionary work and
everyone is giving referrals and sharing the gospel.
I haven´t heard anything about Christmas yet, but I´m sure
I´ll be able to Skype. It will probably be in the afternoon.
Another blessing this week is that I get to go to the temple
again. I don´t know why, usually it[s every three months, but I´ve been able to
go a bunch lately.
Elder Steadman got transfered to my zone now, I´m excited
about that. I think we´ll get to work together a little bit.
Love you all and hope you are all healthy and happy. And if
you aren´t happy, just share the gospel with someone and you´ll cheer right
Something that we learned with Elder Mazzagardi is that
angels are always with us. And they record our testimonies. In DC it also says
that our sins will be forgiven when we bear our testimony. I think it´s DC 63:2
or 62:3. So, I bear my witness that this church is the kingdom of God on the
earth. I know that this church was really established by Jesus Christ and the
Joseph Smith was called as a prophet. Let´s share it with everyone!
Love, Elder Barker
Give Jesse a big hug for me and tell him that I´m very proud
of him and so happy to have him as a brother
So Thanksgiving was this last week... I was confused and
thought that it had already passed. I got Dean´s package, by the way. It was
This Thanksgiving we had a mission tour with Elder Jairo
Mazzagardi, from the 2nd quorum of the 70 and the Area Presidencia of Brasil
(you can find him in the Liahona). The meeting was from 8 in the morning until
about 3 o´clock. It was an amazing experience.
At about 7:55 I was getting off the train in Santo
Amaro (a little bit tardy). I was with E. Pereira, my zone leader, and he said,
I will not be late for this meeting. So, we started running for the church,
which is about a mile from the train station. I wish someone would have
got my mile time, because I PR´d. When we got there it was just a bit after 8,
I was sweating and dying. So we went to the bathroom to wash up really fast.
When I got out the Assistents were talking on the phone with Pres. Pinho and
said Elder Barker, come with us. I thought I was going to get in trouble for
running to the meeting. It was like getting called to the Principal´s office.
They said, just wait here, You´re going to be interviewed by Elder Mazzardi. Luckily,
I caught my breath a little bit before the interview and it was a really great
experience. He asked if I was worthy of a temple recommend first, and then
about my family, my companion, area, mission president, and a lot of other
questions. He asked if I was having success on my mission and about goals after
the mission. It was really cool, I just wish I would have taken advantage of
the opportunity and asked more questions, but I was caught off-guard. I think
what impressed me most about the interview was how humble he was. When he sat
down, he almost slouched and just talked to me like we were long time friends.
He said that he´s been to Evanston, Star Valley and Jackson. He said he went
there with Elder Anderson, of the 12, and that he went fishing and
snowmobiling. His life is amazing. I wrote a bunch in my journal, but one of
the coolest things he said was that when he has meetings with the 1st pres. and
12 in the temple, they bare their testimonies much more ´openly´. He bore his
testimony that Christ lives, and it was one of the most spiritual experiences
of my life. I learned so much. I was one of about 10 or 12 missionaries to be
interviewed. I don´t know why Pres. Pinho picked me, but I´m glad I had the
opportunity, and also that I got to the meeting on time.
I also had the opportunity of meeting Elder João Grau,
an Area 70 that was here for stake conference. Also an amazing man. This week
was a spiritual feast. At stake conference, I also saw some of the recent
converts that I taught from Cipó, super cool.
I don´t know if you remember Nelson from my last area,
but I also heard that he was baptized recently and that he´s going to be
baptizing his son this next week. It´s really amazing to be a part of this
work. To at least be a part of the conversion of these people is a special
Love you all! and remember to extend a hand for at least one
person before Christmas! Missionary work is the best kind of work.
Love, Elder Barker
P.S. Duck Dynasty arrived in Brasil. The Brasilians get a kick
out of it.
Happy Thanksgiving! We were eating on Thursday in the house
of a member and I looked at the other American Elder and said, It looks like
thanksgiving dinner. And he said, yeah but thanksgiving is still a few weeks
off. And then I thought about it for a minute and realized that it was really
thanksgiving. So strange how the time passes.
I found out this last week what day I´ll be going home. The
old mission secretary knows all the dates and he was trying to make me homesick
(didn´t work), but, more than likely, I´ll be boarding the plane 1 year from
today. He said I´ll catch the plane the 25 and arrive home the 26th. Holy
smokes. How did that happen? A mission is an extremely short amount of
I think it´s Isaac´s birthday tomorrow, so send him an email
if you get a chance. Sounds like he´s doing well in the américa central.
Good to hear about Grandma and Grandpa, I´m excited for
them. Sounds like basketball is going to be great this year.
Love you all so much. I feel so close to my Savior lately. I
really feel like I´m getting to know Him. Obedience really is the key to
This week was awesome. The temple was a great experience.
The new video arrived in Brasil and it really was amazing. I love going to the
temple and I got to see a bunch of old companions and friends. I got called as
district leader this last week. It´s been a good experience so far. The zone
leaders are in my district and I´m learning a lot with them. Our district is
made up of the two companionships in Parelheiros and the two in Casa
It looks like we´ll be moving into the new house 10 of December.
So for now it´ll be a little bit tight, but it´s all good. Elder Dudley and E.
Neris are our new house mates. Elder Dudley is from Michigan and Neris is from
Fortaleza, Ciara (Brasil). They´re great missionaries and both have about 4 or
5 months on the mission. We´re going to divide the area this week.
Snow storms, closed roads and basketball games... winter
arrived. It seems so far off for me, it really is strange. It´s been really hot
here, with a lot of rain. Real Rain. It´s the kind of rain that soaks you even
if you have an umbrella (I didn´t have one). I was unprepared because it was a
really clear hot day, but I won´t make that mistake again.
And my guess for Grandma and Grandpa is Cleveland, OH.
They´ll be working there and also a little bit in the Kirtland visitors´
As far as the package goes... I´m happy with whatever ;) but I would like a step counter and maybe deoderant if it
were possible. PB is always a prized possession.
Love you so much. Thank you for everything!
Don´t worry, I know your life gets pretty busy. I´m doing
great! I ate Mcdonalds and Subway, but just one time. And I made french fries
and hamburgers last P-day, so that was good. My companion is Elder Parraguez.
He´s from Chile. But I live with two other missionaries too. They´re really
cool. I have a weight in my new house, so I get swell now. And I go running.
It´s so cool here! I love you so much! Make sure everybody in the house is
reading their scriptures!
Hey, sorry I haven't Wrote in a
while. Life's great! How are you doing? Do you get to eat American
food much? Basketball just ended:( . But volleyball is just starting, at least
my traveling team is :) . I miss you so much :( . But I know you are doing the
right thing. (First grade is going great.) fourth grade is good to. But
my back pack is way to heavy. Who are your companions? Please write back soon!
Another week come and gone. Good to hear that everyone´s
doing well! Haha putting up flags... good times. When I think about it, the
things that prepared me most for the mission were things like putting up flags,
service projects, collecting fast offerings, shoveling snow, working on the
ranch, home teaching and things like that. Seminary and Mission Prep. were
important too, but the mission really is just work. What makes a good
missionary is his desire to work and willingness to serve the Lord. I´m really
finding great joy in His service. I have so many things to get better at, but I
know that the Lord accepts our service when we work with our heart, might, mind
I can´t believe it´s November. I´ll be going to the temple
on Thursday, so I´m excited about that. And we´re going to receive the new
missionaries tomorrow. I think we´re going to move to another house, too. Lot´s
of exciting things going on right now! The Lord is hastening His work, and we
get to be a part of it. It´s awesome. This is certainly a historic time.
So this week was exciting. Feels like it was a longer than a
week, because so much happened.
I got thrown into another emergency transfer. I got called
on Wednesday and I came here on Thursday. I´m opening an area called
Parelheiros with Elder Parraguez. He´s also from Chile, Santiago. He has about
4 months on the mission. Neither of us are familiar with the area, and it´s the
biggest area in the mission. It´s more interior, and it´s actually neighboring
Cipó, my first area. And the districts have changed since I left, so I´ll be
going on exchanges there in Cipó! It´ll be cool to see everyone again.
I don´t really know why President closed the area, but for
this to happen is very rare. It´s been a little bit challenging, but it´s good
for us. President said that he trusts us, so it´s a good feeling.
Parelheiros is really cool. It´s a HUGE area. We have to
take the bus to get to a lot of the neighborhoods. And there´s a lot more trees
and hills here, so I like it. President also said that we´re going to have
another companionship here in a couple weeks, so that´ll be nice to split up
the area. So they say there´s an indiginous tribe in our area... but it´s not
as cool as you think. They have houses and everything. I imagine it´s a lot
like the indians from
Life is good. It was good to hear from you. I loved the
pictures. I tried to send pictures, but it didn´t work and I got frustrated and
quit. But I´ll try again next week. And I did get the package with the shirt.
Happy Birthday to Bridger and Happy Halloween! (They don´t
really celebrate here, just little things... lame)
Remember Elder Ballard´s talk, and extend a hand from now
until Christmas for at least one person ;)
So, we´re four hours ahead now instead of three. And... We
spoke in church yesterday. It went a lot better this time. Everyone understood
what we were saying and everyone is getting more excited about missionary work!
President Pinho got super excited after General Conference
and we have a new program that we´re going to apply. It´s based on the talk
that M. Russel Ballard gave. Estender a mão para apenas um entre hoje e Natal.
Que presente maravilhosa para o Salvador. It means to extend a hand to at least
one person from now until Christmas. What a marvelous gift for the Savior.
Elder Ballard said that If everyone in our wards and stakes invites at least
one person to talk with the missionaries, we will help millions of people join
We´re going to pass by the houses of all of the members now
and ask a lot more referrals. I´m inviting all of you to extend a hand as well.
In our family alone it would be 6 more people in the ward, if you don´t count
Zoe. It will be awesome!
I feel great satisfaction in the service of the Lord. There
really is no feeling like it. Even though sometimes we don´t see the results we
want, I sleep well at night.
Is Bridger getting excited for his Birthday? Happy birthday
B-ridge! (much warmer than the happy birthday he gave me a few years ago) Happy
birthday, jerk. I think it was over a Frosty at Wendy´s that he got upset.
Thanks Mom for the updates and information. You´re the best.
This week was good. I´ve still been thinking a lot about conference. It´s been
a lot warmer lately and we had some cool rain storms. Yesterday we were just
walking down the street and it was a hot, muggy day and in less than 3 seconds
it was pouring rain. It came out of nowhere It was kind of crazy. We didn´t
have umbrellas so we just waited it out a few minutes until it stopped and then
it was just hot and muggy again.
Remember that family I said that we found at the end of that
really long day? Well they went to church that week, went to conference (and
watched the rest on line), and went to church yesterday too. They´re a really
cool family. The ward loves them too. There baptism could be this Saturday, but
the dad, Nelson, has doubts about the Book of Mormon, so we´ll see. I´ll keep
you updated. But their names are Nelson, Adriana, Jessica and Guilherme.
Not much more to report on... Saturday was Day of the
Children. All the kids get a bunch of candy and toys and stuff. It was also the
day of one of the catholic saints. Nossa Senhora Aparecida. I don´t know what
it is in English.
Anyways, I love this work and I´m grateful to be a part of
it. I´ve really been blessed with amazing experiences. I´ve witnessed a lot of
crazy things and a lot of miracles. I´ve learned a lot in these few short
months. Talk to you soon!
We weren´t transfered, so we´re happy about that, everyone
in hour house will continue the same for now.
I was shocked to hear about Beverly. I didn´t even
know she was sick. I had sent her a letter, but I don´t know if it got there in
Man, conference was awesome. We went to the stake center for
the sessions. The sessions were live transmission, so we watch at 1 and 5. And
we (missionaries) watch the priesthood session the next day at 6 am, because it
goes to late into the night on Saturday. Members can watch on the internet, but
a lot of them went to the stake center too. They had a room in English this
time, so that was cool. President Pinho prefers that we watch it in our own
language (me too). All of the talks were awesome. I don´t know if it´s because
I´m on the mission, but I think I learned more at this one than any other
conference. I felt the Spirit testify of all of the speakers. And I felt an
especially strong confirmation when President Monson spoke. I love our Prophet.
I learned so much. I took notes and I´ve set goals to apply the teachings in my
life, one of those being to memorize the Articles of Faith. Something so
simple, why don´t I have them memorized? We should know the basic beleifs of
our own church.
Did you like (or even notice) Ulisses Soares? He´s from São
Paulo. He spoke in the first session about meekness and controlling our temper.
It was really good. And the President of my Area gave the closing prayer of
conference, Claudio R. M. Costa. Pretty cool.
Anyway, I was truly inspired. I am excited about my mission
and excited about life! We are members of the church of the true living God. We
need to share this knowledge with EVERYONE. I liked the talks about missionary
work and member missionaries. Work with the missionaries and invite friends to
hear the marvelous news of the gospel. All too often we selfishly keep the
gospel to ourselves, because of fear, lack of time, or lack of faith. Invite
EVERYONE, and at least give them the opportunity.
I have a testimony that the one true path to happiness is
holding firmly to the iron rod (word of God) and keeping His commandments for the
rest of our lives.
Having put our hand to the plough, we can never look back.
Thanks again for all the birthday wishes, cards and such.
And Happy Birthday to Verna and Roy and Zoe today!
I don´t want Zoe to grow up anymore before I get home! She´s
not even a baby anymore, and she probably prounces ´chocolate milk´correctly by
now. Sad. I love her so much. Tell her that I miss her and ´I need her`.. haha
Things here are great! It´s been raining a lot, but the
weather is warming up. Next week is the transfer, so I don´t know what will
happen yet. Elder Cerda and I are working really well together. He´s a really
cool guy. He´s studying to be a doctor. He´s already done 5 years of medical
school. He spent 7 years outside of the church, or inactive. He started going
to church again and left on a mission the same time as his younger brother.
(His brother is serving in Brasil too). He has a very strong testimony.
President Pinho said that we have 1 hour and a half now to
email, so that´s pretty cool. Starting next week.
I´m very excited to hear the words of a living prophet next
week. General Conference is a special time to receive revelation for our own
lives. I testify that Christ really lives. I´ve felt His love for me in His
service. It´s amazing that suffered such a great price for all of us sinners,
and just as incredible that Heavenly Father gave his only begotten son for us.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I love all of you. Have a great week! And
please tell Kenzee to drive safe going back and forth from college!
I´m very blessed for all of the great people in my life.
Thank you so much for the Birthday wishes! It´s going to be great day! B-day on
P-day is a blessing. I´m gonna buy some groceries and clean the house a little
bit and take a little nap. What more could I ask for? I opened the package, it
was great. The Brasileiro, Chileno, e Peruano gostam de Oreos, Skittles and
Beef Jerky haha My housemates are happy too! I haven´t gotten the other yet.
Thank you very, very much. I feel so old. Since when does 20
years pass by so fast? Fazer o qué, né?
Sounds like it was a good week, too bad for the Cougs. How´s
Wyoming this year?
I love you all and so grateful for the positive influences I
have in my life. I´m so grateful for everything the Lord has given me. I´m happy
to give a little bit of my time in His service. President Pinho says that these
2 years are 2 seconds in the eyes of God. I´m seeing how true that is. Love you
all, let´s take advantage of everyday that we live!
Thanks for the emails! Mom, don´t worry, the first email
with Bridger and Mia worked. But it was nice to get the other too :)
Mavis flew home?! I don´t believe it! Que maravilhosa hahah
I´m happy for Zozo.
Sounds exciting, football and hunting season. That hunt that
Ben went to sounds pretty cool. Kayden was saying that there were some big time
hunters there recently and they were pulling huge elk. That has to be hard for
Kayden to see!
I had some great experiences this week. We worked really
hard. We decided to raise our vision. We talked with EVERYONE in the streets.
Saturday night I was exhausted and it was like 800 at night. It was a rough day
and we were heading back to the house, and it was just like those stories you
hear. We wanted to try one more house. It was a referral from the other
missionaries. It was a family of four and the accepted the baptismal
invitation. It really was a special experience. It reminded me that the Lord is
in charge of the work and we are just instruments in his hands. I love you all
and I´ll talk to you soon!
to hear from you! Não esquenta sobre a email semana passada. Tudo tranquilo.
Don´t worry about the email last week, I know that you guys are busy. I´m doing
really well. There´s not really a whole lot to report on. I still don´t have an
iPad... I think it´ll be a while until we get them. But that´s super cool. I
have a referral for Meg already.
to hear about football and hunting season! I think it´s my favorite part of the
year. Go Red Devils. And that was a sweet win Cougs.
excited to hear about Grandma and Grandpa´s mission call. The more missionaries
in the family, the better. Right?
glad your birthday was good Mom. Sorry I couldn´t be there...;)
testimony gets stronger everyday here. I really am gaining a testimony of our
Savior. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He really lived a perfect life and He
still lives today. His sacrifice was perfect and it is infinite. The atonement
is sufficient for all of our weaknesses and faults and sins. All of our
problems can be solved through him.
Hope all is going well back home. How was the first week of
school? Jesse liking High School? How was your birthday mom? I heard that the
U.S. is going to attack Syria or something? What´s that all about? I´m just
happy that I´m a missionary and don´t even have to worry about all that stuff.
This week was really awesome.
We had a Mission Conference, Multi-zone conference and a meeting with all of
the Bishops and Ward mission leaders too. It was a full week of meetings and
activities. President Pinho said that our mission is one of the smallest in
size now, but we have more than 6 million people in our mission still. That´s a
lot of lost sheep. I´m learning so much lately and I think I´m really improving
as a missionary and as a person. The water ran out on our street on Saturday,
so that´s been humbling. It still hasn´t come back, so we might have to go to
the other Elders´ house and take a shower. I don´t know, we´ll see.
I had a cool experience
yesterday. We were teaching a family and talking a lot about receiving an
answer from the Holy Ghost. We´ve been teaching them for a couple weeks now. We
were really trying to help them realize that they had already received an
answer that the church was true because they are keeping commitments and liking
church and everything. Anyway, we bore testimony and there was a little pause.
And then Leticia, she´s 14, said, I think I just got my answer... It was super
cool. The two girls want to be baptized now, but the parents are still a little
bit resistent. I´ll keep you updated on them.
Love you all and hope that you have a great week! The time
always flies by fast, but remember that it´s always flying by with
opportunities. Stay close to the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. PMG is not
just for missionaries! The chapters can be applied in any part of life. Use the
sections for anything and everything.
All is going well here in São Paulo. I have a new companion. His name is Elder Cerda. He´s 25 and he´s from Chile. He has about 5 months on the mission. He´s really cool and I think we´re going to work well together. He says he´s from Viña del Mar which is pretty close to Santiago I guess. Three of my companions are going home either today or tomorrow. (Laughlin, Nazareth and Nogeuira). It´s pretty crazy how the time passes.
Before I forget Mom, Happy Birthday this week! I love you and hope that everyone treats you super great. Are you and Dad going to go anywhere or do anything special? Anyway, I´m so grateful for everything you have done for me and continue to do for me. You´re amazing. I know how blessed I am to have you as my Mother. I got the package you sent for my birthday. I think I´ll save it until my birthday. Does it have anything that I would need to open earlier than that? Thank you so much! I´m almost as excited as the other Elders to open it.
I went to the temple earlier this month, but it was still the same. I had heard that there was a new video, but I won´t know for another couple months if it´s here in Brasil.
Sounds like everyone´s doing well with school starting up. All three of them look very grown up! What is happening?...
Karina had her baby this last week. Have I told you about her? Her and Jefferson are brother and sister in law to Gabriel and Carol. They´re not married yet, but I think they´re ready now. They both want to be baptized too. We´re super excited for them.
Well that´s about it for me, our activity yesterday was awesome. We had a barbeque as a mission, that´s why I didn´t email. We played volleyball, ping pong, and had a few card games. President Pinho is really good at volleyball, and he got a little bit competitive. It was really funny. He told us it was a day to relax and not think about missionary work. Everyone really enjoyed it.
I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. The more I learn about Him the more I want to live and share His gospel. I´m so happy that we have the gospel in our family and I know that it will bless us for eternities. I love you all and I´ll talk to you soon!
Another great week has come and gone. I didn´t email earlier
because Elder Nogueira had a meeting for all of the missionaries that are
leaving next week. It was a training about life after the mission so they don´t
go home AS awkward. The mission really is a different life. So I´ll be getting
a new companion next week. It will be my ninth if you count trios and the
I got your pictures mom, but the video
didn´t work. And thank you for the Priesthood line of Authority. It´s awesome.
How´s Kenzee liking college? Football season already, que bom.
I don´t remember Uncle Bud really well. I think I remember
visiting him once. I´m glad you got to go see some of his family. The plan of
salvation is real.
I ate Subway last week. It was awesome. We did a ´blitz´ in
the area of the sisters (Interlagos) and they have Subway and McDonalds. Blitz
just means we worked in their area one day. The people there are super wealthy,
it´s alot different from where I´m at.
I´ve been thinking a lot about Family History work lately. I
have a feeling that there is still some work to be done for our ancestors.
There are people waiting for us to do their work. Help the ward get excited
about it, and take advantage of having temples so close to our house. The
temple is a blessing that we take for granted some times. I read in the Topical
Guide, I think it was, that Temples are the most sacred places on Earth, and
the Lord visits His temples. If we have a recommend why wouldn´t we want to be
Tudo está tranquilo aqui. Nossa área realmente está fazendo
muito bem. We have a really good ward here and we´re working with the members a
lot better now. The pictures are Gabriel and Carol with me and my companion.
The other is a family home evening and I made pancakes again. And the last one
is with my zone leader, Elder Fernandes in our house. I´ll try to get better
pictures of what my area is like here soon.
Kenzee had a good birthday? That´s awesome, and fair week
too! Good times. Now it´s already time to wish Courtney a Happy Birthday! S/O
to her ;) Love her so much.
We had a good Sacrament meeting yesterday. Something that´s
cool here is there´s never a pause in the testimony meeting. There´s always a
line to bear your testimony. And usually if a woman bears her testimony, the
husband does too. It´s always a really good meeting.
Oh, I´ll try to answer your questions better. You asked
about my release date, and it´s looking like it´ll be Jan. 3, 2015 or around
there. But that´s a long ways off mother ;)
Oh, I have to tell you Mom that when people ask to see
pictures of my family they always say how young and beautiful you look. A
family yesterday couldn´t believe you were my mom, they insisted that you
looked more like my sister. You´re the best.
I liked a scripture that I read in DC 50 today. It´s verses
41 and 42 I think. It is just a great reminder that the Lord is looking over us
and He loves us. We have no need to fear anything.
How´s everyone doing? Man this last week was super good.
Carol was baptized Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. Gabriel, her brother
baptized her. He´s 16 and she´s 18. Gabriel blessed the Sacrament too, it was
super cool. They´re awesome. They´re both going to be great missionaries here
in a couple years. Their other brother is ready to be baptized too. He´s 20 and
he´s living with his girlfriend right now, but we have a Family Night there
tonight and we´re going to help them mark a date for marriage. His girlfriend
wants to be baptized too!
Man the Buckner Reunion sounds like it was a
blast. I want that video that Uncle Jimmy made ;). Summer sounds like it´s a
bunch of fun, and that´s exciting all the new stuff with the house and the
trailer. Does Grandpa have a lot of hay this year? And how does the barn look?
I spoke in church yesterday. I spoke about love and charity
and how it is at the heart of missionary work. I was feeling pretty good about
it, but then afterwards I realized that no one really understood what I was
saying... It was a shame. But I think the main message got across ;) Oh! It´s
Kenzee´s birthday this week! Happy birthday gizmo. Holy smokes, 18? Hope she
has a good one, even though she already got a car.
I love you all. I´m so grateful for all of your
support and love. The Lord really has a plan for us, isn´t that amazing? He
knows us personally and he knows exactly what we need to experience in order to
reach our potential. I had a really special experience this week with an inactive
woman. We just taught the Restoration and bore testimony of the first vision.
Her attitude changed a lot by the end of the lesson. She started to cry and
told us that she knew she needed to come back to church. There are so many
members that are just waiting for someone to call them back church. Join in the
Rescue like Presidente Monson says!
Love you all, Elder Barker
P.S. Don´t hack my email MoM!
Hahahaha jk You can look all you want. But really, don´t
worry about me, I´m doing great.
Are my emails really that weak? I just got some rebuking
reading your emails. ;) I´ll try to do better. I´ll send pictures next week...
I need to take some pictures. So... Lorena didn´t get baptized yet. She is
doing everything right, already a member basically, but she says she just
doesn´t have a desire to be baptized. Strange isn´t it? We think it might have
something to do with her family, but we´re not sure. We have some good ward
missionaries that I think will help her out.
Have I already told you about Gabriel? Well he was
baptized about a month ago and he´s awesome. He does visits with us almost
every day. He´s 16 and he can´t wait for his mission. Anyway, his sister Carol
is going to baptized this week. She was very hesitant and then one day she just
came out and told us that she got an answer to her prayers! She had a really
cool experience and asked a very specific question, and she got a clear answer.
We´re excited for her. Just need to help their parents get married now.
So my area is really cool. It´s a lot closer to
everything than Cipó, so that´s nice. We have a some little favellas here, but
they´re all really safe. Our house is really cool. We have an awesome view of
the Repreza de Guarapiranga. My companion is Elder Nogueira. He´s from Minas
Gerais. It´s a big state up North a little bit. His family has a farm there and
he really likes horses. He says it´s more like the Wyoming of Brasil. He speaks
English really well.
Did you have other questions? I forget. Yeah Mom, you can
send me those recipes, that would be awesome;). Kenzee got a car? Que Bolsta.
Jesse is liking golf huh? I remember I went quite a bit with Isaac and Matt
when I was his age.
Life is good, it feels like yesterday that I was emailing
you, but another week já passou. Love you all. I know that Jesus Christ lives
and loves us. We are so lucky to have the gospel in our lives. The gospel and
the sacrifice of Christ are the solution to all of the world´s problems.
Happy anniversary Mom and Dad! You are the best parents in
the world. Did you go anywhere cool this weekend?
And Happy Birthday Dad! Love you and hope it´s a good one!
And for Amber too!
Things are good here. Elder Nazareth was transfered so I´ll
have a new companion tomorrow here in my same area. It´ll be my 8th already.
I´m really excited to work here in this ward. There are some great people here
and we have a lot of potential to grow. We´re working with a lot of less active
families and families where not everyone is a member. I´m learning a lot about
the love of the Lord. He never gives up on us, no matter how far we think we´ve
strayed. I´ve had some great experiences here already. We´re going to continue
to build Zion here in São Paulo ;) Love you all, and I´ll talk to you soon!
Good to hear from you as always! Sounds like 4th of July was
a blast. I heard some fireworks but I think it was still about Brasil soccer.
But I was on an exchange with an American named Elder Baisden. We celebrated
with a pizza. And you can´t email Isaac. He´s in the wild. He can email at the
end of the 6 weeks is what he told me. OH! I got the Barker Reunion package! It
came pretty fast, 2 weeks? Man, it was Awesome! A whole lot of sunshine for
sure. I loved everything, especially the letters, it was great to hear from
everyone. Can´t believe Kenzee and JJ ate at Elements, they don´t deserve
Desculpa, mandei errado. Foi mal.
Anyway, we had a mission conference this last week. It was
sweet. We have 105 missionaries now instead of 205. Both of my companions from
the MTC are in other missions now, it´s crazy. I´m glad I stayed in Interlagos
with President Pinho. Our mission has a great reputation, and Pres. Pinho has a
lot to do with it. He is a great motivator and he talks to us all personally. You
wouldn´t think that he has 100 other missionaries and things to worry about.
The ward I´m in now is really good. We have a baptism this week, her name is
Lorena. She was Adventista, but when she moved to São Paulo she moved in
with her Aunt that is a member. She´s 17 and she´s already in the middle of
Alma in the Book of Mormon. We´re also going to get to couples married this
week, well that´s the plan. The process here is a little bit more difficult.
They have to marry in what´s called the Cartorio. It delays a lot and in some
places it´s really expensive. But it should work out good this week, it´s going
to be a great blessing for their families. I love you all. I´m so grateful for
this work and for our Savior.
You know it makes the mission a lot easier knowing I have my
family praying for and supporting me! Love you all so much. Sorry I made you
worry with the last e mail hahaha it really wasn´t a big deal. Tudo Beleza! All
is beautiful :) I´m feeling great and working very well with Elder Nazareth. We
live with two other missionaries and they´re awesome, Elder Assis e Mariano. I
bought a hammock this week too, so our house is sweet. I love my hammock. Did
you hear about Isaac? Holy smokes he´s going to some Island without water and
power for the next transfer. He´s excited, but pray a little extra for him.
Alumni tournament sounds like it was fun! Why didn´t my boys win it? A shame.
Hey do you think you could send me my priesthood line of authority. I´m curious
and I don´t have it here. Brasil was pretty crazy last night because of the
soccer game against Espanha. It was the final, and I got just a little
taste of what the world cup will be like. EVERYBODY watches the games and
shoots fireworks and it will be even crazier next year. We also had some
protests here recently against the government with prices for transportation
and stuff, we haven´t been affected by it much, but it´s pretty interesting.
Oh, I´d love to get monte´s and megan ´s emails por favor. How´s
everything with my bank account? My card is still good to use? Thank you so
much for all you do! It´s been raining for about a week now, everything is
always wet, but the work is going great. We baptized and confirmed Marcelo this
weekend, he turned 8 this week and his brother and uncle were already baptized.
Don´t worry, we´re teaching the parents too ;) the only reason they haven´t
been baptized yet is casamento... marriage. But it will be very soon! Love you
all, this work is amazing!
Sorry I didn´t write very long last week, I´ll do better.
I´ll be honest, this week was a little bit crazy and a little bit tough. First,
we had a surprise transfer and I left Cipó. It was a big transfer to get
everything settled before the mission splits. I´ll still be in the Interlagos
mission, but I´m in Parque das Nações now. It´s more of the city. It´s a lot
different from Cipó, but it´s a really cool area. Has a new church building
here and a really good ward. We work in alleys a lot more than streets. It´s
cool, but it´s like a maze and I don´t know where I am, and it´s not flat. It´s
hard to describe, but the alleys go up and down, it´s really interesting. I
also got pretty sick this last week. Had a fever and stuff, but I´m feeling
better now. For packages... I don´t know I love everything, still peanut butter
and beef jerkey can´t find here. And I have requests for skittles, pop rocks
and oreos ;) but anything is great. Why arent my siblings writing me? But
anyway, my new companion is Elder Nazareth, he´s a very good missionary and we
get along well. And the address I sent last week is where everything should be
I have a grand testimony of this work and of our savior. I
know that only through Jesus Christ can we be saved. We have to accept him as
our Redeemer and live our lives for him. I love you all! Have a great Week!
like the reunion was good, and everyone´s doing well. We have some great new
families that we found this last week. There are many of God´s elect here in
Cipó. So what´s the fireside about on Sunday? They just told us that it will be
live transmission from Salt Lake, should be good. There´s no joy that comes,
like the joy of the gospel. Open your mouth and share it, but more importantly
live it everyday and let other people see how happy you are. Hope Father´s Day
was great! Thank you to the great examples in my life. Dad, Grandpa and all my
uncles. Love you all.
new mission address. So everything should be sent here I guess now.
Sounds like a good start to summer. It´s funny that it´s
winter here, but we´re probably having pretty similar temperatures. Camps and
all that stuff going good? I like Zoe´s new haircut! She´s still as cute as
ever. I couldn´t stop laughing when I saw that, Zo Dirt for sure.
All is well here in Zion, but we still can´t rest ;) A lot
of work to do. My new companion is Elder Laughlin. He´s from Oregon. He´s a
great guy and we´re doing well together. He went to BYU Idaho and says that he
knows Marie and Alex Thomas. He´s super funny, this is his second to last
transfer so I´m learning a lot from him.
We are working with some great people as always!
Reactivation has been really good lately, some great people
coming back to church! I love you all!
Good to here from you as always! I picked up the package
from the mission office this last week. It was awesome! I loved it. And
everything was perfect for Elder Ribeiro. He was definitely excited. He says
that you´re going to the Celestial Kingdom for sure, Mom. I already knew that.
You´re an angel. Getting a package makes me feel a little bit like I´m in the
Hunger Games when the little parachutes come floating down from the outside
world. It´s a good feeling ;) I loved the letter from Mia. I´ll send her one
Oh, I forgot to tell you, the day after Mother´s day I saw a
monkey. Kenzee had asked the day before. It was just a little guy, almost like
a Lemur. I got some pictures of it. It just came jumping out of a tree and was
sitting on a wall in the street. It was pretty cool :)
Our investigators our doing well. This is the last week of
the transfer, which is crazy. I think we´ll have one baptism before the
transfer. His name is Guilherme and he´s 18. He has family in the church and
says that he received an answer that it´s true. He´s a really good guy.
I can´t believe that school is ending already. Kenzee is too
young to graduate! And Jesse already has 8th grade Promotional? What in the
Anyway, I love you all. The Lord is hastening is work, share
the gospel with Everyone. I know that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.
Another week already! Sounds like State Track was fun.
Congrats to Kenz, She´s awesome! Was the weather good? Did you get my
card/letter yet? The weather is pretty good right now, It got a little bit
chilly and we had to wear our suits coats one day. Everyone was complaining how
cold it was, and I was just thinking if this is cold than I think I´m going to
be just fine this 'winter'. I was reading a talk by Elder Uchtdorf from the
conference in October 'Of Regrets and Resolutions' I think... Anyway, one thing
he said really stuck out to me. He was talking about enjoying our time and
making the most of life. He says, I try to imagine the Savior bustling and
hurrying around trying to get a long list of things done, and I can´t see it.
How true is that. I think we all just need to slow down sometimes. Life
is super good. Appreciate the little things of life. Remember it´s a journey,
not a race ;)
I made German pancakes and Buttermilk (magic) syrup last
night, it was awesome. Elder Ribeiro didn´t know what hit him. Thanks for the
recipe! P.S. that syrup can´t be very healthy
Hey! Watch out for crazy people with guns in Evanston!
What´s that all about?
Anyway, I love you all. Thanks for your support and love!
Feast upon the Words of Christ, the Book of Mormon is true!
We got to SKYPE with Elder Barker yesterday. It was so great! It was all that I hoped for and more. He has been out 5 months, and this is the first time we've really got to chat for more than 5 minutes. It made me miss him a little more, but at the same time I feel like it was some fuel to get through until Christmas!
You are honestly incredible. I hope that Mother´s Day was
wonderful. I didn´t express my feelings well enough yesterday that you are the
best Mom in the world. I love you so much and sometimes don´t feel like I
deserve you. You are truly amazing. Thank you for everything. Thank you for the
love and the support, the letters and packages and especially the prayers. You
don´t have to worry about us missionaries getting discouraged. We are truly blessed
when we do the Lord´s work, and I have seen great blessings already in my life.
I´ve already learned and grown a lot.
Sorry, if the phone call wasn´t all
you´d hoped it would be. I was kind of lame and couldn´t think of a whole lot
to tell you guys. For me it was awesome just to see your faces. I love you all
so much. Seriously, I´m so blessed to have the siblings and parents I have. It
gives me strength to know I have you rooting for me back home. Tell Zoe that I
need her, too! ;)
I´m really excited for this week. We´re
teaching some great people and the ward is really excited about missionary work
right now. We´re going to have a lot of lessons with members this week, it´s
going to be great. One man that we´re helping right now is named Nilson. He has
cancer right now and he´s not in super good shape. He´s had all the missionary
lessons before, his wife is a convert and one of his daughters, too. One day
his wife called and said that he wants to be baptized. It was a testament to me
that all missionary work is important. The missionaries that worked with him in
the past helped prepare him to be baptized in the future. It doesn´t always
happen all at once. (It also helps that he can´t smoke or drink coffee now).
But he´ll probably be baptized this week, or next.
Work to improve the missionary work in
Evanston. I don´t know the missionaries there, but try to help them out. Pray
and give them referrals of the people you feel are prepared for the
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo vive. A igreja
de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias é o reino do Senhor na Terra. Eu
amo meu Salvador. Eu sei que a Expiação de Jesus Cristo é real. Nos podemos
viver com nossa família para eternidade. Sou muito grato por isso. Eu amo
Another week has come and gone. Crazy how that goes. This
picture is of our baptism on Saturday. Vitor is 13, but he looks like he´s 16.
He´s seriously amazing. He´s so solid and can´t wait to serve a mission one
day. His step dad, Milton, is next to me. He´s inactive, but a super good guy.
His mom is on the left. She was very skeptical at first, but the more we talk
with her, the more she wants to know. It won´t be long until she´s dressed in
white and Milton is active again ;). They´re feeding us lunch sometime this
week. In front is Marcelo. He´s a member in the ward, great guy. It was
definitely a special experience. Victoria (also 13) was baptized as well, along
with her 8 year old brother. Their dad baptized them and that was really cool
too. Victoria just never had a desire to be baptized before, and decided last
week that she wanted to be baptized with her brother. We taught her all the
lessons in like four days.
Debora and Bruno still didn´t come to church, chato. But
we´re still working with them and I think they´ll come around. I´m excited for
Mother´s Day, and I think 100 o´clock your time will work perfectly. I´ll Skype
from Guilherme´s house, so it´ll all be good ;)
Cipó is still Sião. I see miracles everyday, I just have to
look for them. One of our investigators, here name is Debora, was really
progressing, but we just couldn´t get her to church because she had to work
every Sunday. It was just sad because her and her boyfriend are both really
interested, but could never come on Sundays. Well we passed by last night and
she got fired! She´s not super excited about it, but I know that it was a
blessing. Bruno is her boyfriend and they have a three year old daughter. They
said they´ll be coming to church this Sunday, we´re super excited for them.
One more cool story. We were walking up one of our huge
hills in Cipó on our way to visit a recent convert (Gideyuma), and I had an
impression that we should stop and knock one door (except for it´s really clap
at one gate). Well it turns out that a family of four lives there and we´re
teaching them now. Tais is the one that came to the door and she´s the most
interested. She´s 19 and asks some really hard questions, but it´s really good.
Anyway, after the first lesson when we were walking away, Elder Ribeiro said
that he had had the same feeling to stop at that house with his companion
before, but never did. It was a confirmation to me that as long as we´re in
tune with the Spirit the Lord will guide the work.
Oh, for Mother´s Day you need to let me know if you want to
Skype or just talk on the phone. Next week, tell me what Number or Skype to use
and what time you want me to call and all that good stuff :) I think I´m three
hours ahead, right? We get one hour to talk, so anytime after noon is good for
We´re still working with Victor. He stopped drinking coffee
and is still really solid. He has a strong testimony. For some reason his
parents are still a little resistent, but the Bishop talked with his step dad
(Inactive) and I think he´s going to allow Victor to be baptized this weekend.
We´re excited for him.
The food is still super good. I don´t know if you´ve ever
heard of Feijoada, but the Brazilian women make good use of almost every part
of the Pig. It´s really good, you just have to be careful to not eat the bad
stuff. I love the fruit here too! The bananas taste like banana Creamies and
the help my legs not cramp up, so I eat a lot of them.
Anyway, I love you all! I have a strong testimony that the
Lord knows us personally and he is looking out for us.
Love, Elder Barker
(President Pinho as been dropping some PMA quotes on us from
Napoleon Hill. He´s Awesome)
I totally forgot to tell you about the Temple. It was
beautiful, and the inside is even cooler. It was an awesome trip. We went to
Wal-mart too, so that was kind of cool/ strange.
We are doing very well. We have two baptisms planned this
weekend, Tiago and Victor, but we´ll see what happens. Victor´s parents want
him to wait a while, so I don´t know.
We helped carry a Drunk guy off the street yesterday. He was
sprawled out Spread Eagle in the middle of the road. It was pretty crazy.
We have some great people preparing for baptism right now!
The work is going very well. Transfers tomorrow, but we~re both staying in
Cipó. Love you all! I have a testimony that the Lord is looking out for us at
all times! Ate Logo! (mother´s day three weeks!)
Life is as great as ever in Cipó. Life really is so good.
Courtney wrote me and said that with the kind of family we have She´s excited
for eternity. Man, I love her. I couldn´t agree more. We are extremely
Thanks for the update on everything. Sounds like things are
going pretty well. I´m really glad to hear that Nathan Anderson is doing
alright. That´s so scary. The Lord was definitely looking out for him.
Track going well? I wish I would have enjoyed it more.
Looking back on it, they really are some good times, even running 400s.
I´m trying to send pictures, but it´s really difficult, so
And mom, will you save my emails? My teacher in the MTC said
that he´s really glad he has them to look back on, like a second journal.
Anyway, the work is going well. There are amazing people
here. We have a baptism set on Sunday for Victor (13). He´s really awesome. His
step-father is an in-active former bishop/counselor in the Stake President.
He´s been in-active for years. Sounds like you dad, except for the falling away
from the church part. You´re not allowed to do that. Anyway Victor is really
solid. He´s reading the Book of Mormon and Praying every night. We´re just
praying that his family won´t keep him from being baptized. Also teaching a
great family right now with a member of the ward. The member´s name is
Jefferson Santana and he´s super solid. The family lives right next to him and
he comes with us to the lessons. I´ll keep you up dated.
I miss everyone, but probably Zoe the most... ;) So I´m glad
you´re recording some things!
Love you all, My testimony is getting stronger everyday.
Here´s something I learned this week, Studying the Scriptures gives us
Spiritual Strength. Simple, but so true. Romans 12:21
Love, Elder Barker
Chocolate stuffed crust pizza. America could learn a few
Thank you so much for writing me, everyone. You don´t know
how nice it is to here from each of you. Sounds like Spring Break and the
cruise and everything were a blast! I wish I had more time to write back to
everyone, but we only get a limited time. Today isn´t P-Day, we just get to
email. P-day is Friday because we get to go to the temple! I´m so stoked. The
only bad thing is we have to use 50 Reais for travel this week. For District
Meeting, Interviews with the President, and the temple, but it´ll be worth it.
The buses here are nuts. It´s pretty exciting. Conferencia was awesome! Even
though I only understood about half or less than half I still feel refreshed,
happy, and excited for the future. Those men are truly called of God and if you
listen to them you can´t deny it. I was curious if L. Tom Perry broke any rules
with his visual aid? Did the other brethren not tell him about the letter they
sent out. JK. But seriously every talk was really really good. I can´t wait to
read them next month. I heard the word luz a lot. (light). And I´ve been
studying in my scriptures a little bit about truth and light lately, it´s
pretty interesting if you want something to study. Jesus Christ is our beloved
Savior. He is the Life and the Light of the World. He is also our older brother
and our friend. I´m eternally grateful for him.
I was wondering if anyone has contact with Brother
Leifson... I want to say that he told me he served in Cipó too, but maybe not.
Somebody should ask him. Oh, mom if you haven´t sent the package yet, my
companion´s birthday is coming up at the end of Abril and I thought you could
send him something. He loves soccer, so if you can get your hands on a cheap jersey
or t-shirt, Real Salt Lake or USA team, he´d love it. If not no worries! He
also loves Reese´s, Beef Jerkey, and Peanut Butter so any of those things would
work. Ooohh, maybe some gray socks too, if you have time. It´s really not
urgent. Elder Watson told me he just got a package from his mom that she sent
in June, so hopefully a little bit faster than that :)
I wish I had time to tell you all the incredible things that
We had a an 11 year old boy named Gustavo tell us that he
wants to be baptized. He is amazing, I don´t know any 11 year old boys like
him. You should see the light in his eyes, from the time he started talking
with us and reading the book of mormon and pamphlets. Seriously Incredible.
Love you all. I have to go!
Elder Barker, Elder Ribeiro, and a member in the ward who often goes on splits with them.