"Let my servant William go and proclaim my everlasting gospel with a loud voice, and with great joy.............."
Doctrine & Covenants 124:88

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hello Everyone!

Hope all is going well back home. Everything is fantastic here. I had a great P-day. We got to go to the temple and get a lot of other stuff done at the residence and stuff. We have TRC tonight, where we teach members that speak Portuguese. It's also really cool. Last week we had a couple from Sao Paulo and they were super nice. Our teacher said they'll probably have more Brazilians there tonight so I'm excited. Thank you so much for all the letters and packages! I love getting anything you send. I have so much candy and cinnamon rolls and stuff, I can't help but feel loved (even if I'm not) ;). Sounds like all the kids are doing good. They're all champs. How's Dad doing? Haven't heard a whole lot from him. We got to host for the first time this week. That was pretty fun. One of the Elders I hosted was from Colorado. I could kind of tell that there was something a little bit different with his family when we were at the car. The parents weren't exactly thrilled to be there and it just felt different. Well, after talking to him for a little while I found out that he had gone to the University of Wyoming and joined the church there about a year and a half ago. He is the only member in his family and his parents weren't very excited about him going on a mission. He told me how he found the church through one of his friends and he said he never thought he'd be serving a mission. He's heading to Las Vegas, English speaking. He's an awesome guy and I was glad I got to meet him. It made me realize how good I've had it all my life and how blessed I am to have a family that supports me and raised me in the church. It's also a testament to the reality and truthfulness of this gospel. That a 20 or 21 year old guy that has no reason to be serving a mission is leaving everything behind for two years to go share the gospel. So that was a really cool experience. Let's see... Dave Evans came and spoke to us on Tuesday. He's on the Missionary Board with Elder Holland and Elder Nelson. He gave a great talk and presentation about faith and miracles, especially on a mission. I also sang in the choir for that devotional. It was a really cool experience. We sang 'Lead Kindly Light'. I wasn't very familiar with that song, but after practicing it for a few days it became one of my favorites. It has a wonderful message about giving up our own will and desires to follow Christ. The chorus says 'Lead thou me on', it's a great song. We also got a new MTC Presidency this last week. We have President Nally, 1st counselor President Hacking and then President Roach. They're all very impressive men. We had 19 missionaries from our Zone get reassigned this week. It's a mix of West Virginia, Alabama, New York City, Tampa, Florida, and Oklahoma City. So they're all over the place. They leave on Monday and Tuesday. If I get my reassignment at the same time they did then it should be in about 12 days. I finally saw Wade Eyre this week so that was sweet. He's been here for two and a half weeks and I just barely saw him. Justin Covington is here too so it's always fun to see them. Isaac comes over to my residence sometimes at night so we get to see each other pretty often. He's doing really well. He's a district leader and his Spanish seems to be coming along pretty good. So I don't know if I told you about Greg Olson, but he came and spoke to us around Christmas. He's a really famous artist. All of his paintings are awesome. I want you to go look up some of them. I think my favorite is one of Christ laying down looking up at the stars, it's really neat. I think you all would like it. Oh yeah, I guess Ashlyn Jorgensen got her call. She's going to New Jersey, Morristown Spanish speaking, I think. She reports May 1. I'm excited for her! Well I'm out of time. I'll talk to you all soon. Mom, do you need anything from me? The picture and scripture work out all good? Just let me know if not. Love you all!

Elder Barker


Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 18, 2013

Hi Mom,

     Everything is going great. I'm still learning a lot and enjoying my time here. The days really blend together here and the time is flying. We had a sweet surprise on Tuesday. Elder Holland showed up and spoke to us. It was so awesome. We had a tip that something exciting was going to happen so we got there really early and had really good seats. His talk was so good. He also dedicated some of the new buildings which was really cool. An apostle doing a dedicatory prayer in person is pretty neat. He talked about how exciting it is to be a missionary at this time and how the Lord is really hastening his work. Elder Holland was very firm in commanding that none of us go inactive after the mission. We have to be the first convert of our missions. He was also very fired up when he said that this is Real Life. Capital R, Capital L. It drives him nuts when missionaries say 'real life' referring to life outside the mission. He also shared some scriptures about 'astonishment'. You will notice more and more this word in the scriptures. He said we need to astonish people when we teach. It will be there own personal thunder or earthquake is what he says. This happens when we teach with the power and authority of God. I just wish you could all hear his talk. It was phenomenal. It was certainly an experience I'll never forget. He is so passionate about missions and the church that you can't help but know that it's true. I love our Prophet and Apostles and know that they are called of God. That was really all that has happened that's been exciting. I ran into Johnny Russel and Kyle Shephard so it was exciting to see them. I've met some Elders from Herriman that know Alec and the Johnsons. Mc Kissick and Sanford both played basketball with Alec and said that he's just a giant stud. I got assigned to be a Zone Leader a couple weeks ago so I've been able to meet almost all the new missionaries coming in that speak Portuguese. It's been a good opportunity to serve and I've learned a lot. I love getting all your letters and hearing about everyone back home. I guess basketball season is in full swing now which is exciting. I wish I could be there to watch all my siblings play. I can only imagine how cold it must be up home, because Provo has been freezing. This is my sixth week now so I'll be getting a reassignment in about a week and a half if Visas don't come. One cool thing is I get to call home if I get a Visa or a reassignment, so I should be talking to you pretty soon! Sorry, there's not too much stuff to report today. Eu amo voces! Talk to  you soon,

Love, Elder Barker


January 11, 2013

Minha Familia!                                                                                               1/11/13

P-day is on Friday now. We went to the temple this morning so that was sweet. I'll write you a letter today. I just wanted to send some pictures. If this doesn't work for the Stake President's wall I'll send a better one next week. I got to see Isaac right when he got here and Stan and Christine so that was awesome! Notice in one of my pictures my buddy Elder Algaer. His name is Chad and he has a hilarious YouTube video called Chady's wisdom teeth, go check it out. Love you all, talk to you soon!
Elder Hinkley & Elder Barker
(buddies reunited)

       Elder Algaer & Elder Barker

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I just have to send a quick message today, because my P-day got changed. We are getting new teachers because of BYU's semester starting, so we are getting a new schedule. We don't know all the details yet, but I will keep you updated. There hasn't been a whole lot going on here. One girl got her Visa this week, but that's it. So they definitely aren't coming in very fast considering we have over 100 Brazilian missionaries here waiting for Visas. We have a Porugal district leaving next week and that is going to be sad. They are all awesome and we became good friends with them right away, it's Bascom's district. We are getting a new district this week of 13, though, which will put our Branch at 96 missionaries, so we are certainly growing. And we're not the only Portuguese branch. So, I promise to send pictures next P-day. It's kind of hard to do that here, because they only have a few computers that you can send pictures from. The days are going by pretty fast now. I've already been here for 4 weeks, it's crazy. I'm definitely anxious to get out in the field, but I'm still learning a lot and having good experiences here. Thanks for sending the Christmas card, it was good to see all of your smiling faces! You don't need to worry about the phone card. I can buy one at the book store when I get my Visa or get reassigned. I get to call home when that happens too, as well as from the Airport. So that will make up for not getting to call on Christmas. Happy Birthday to my sweet sister Mia! I love you so much. I hope that turning 6 was all that you hoped it would be! ;) You're awesome! Write me a letter and tell me how it went. I'm really excited for Isaac to come in tomorrow, can't wait to see him. I hope everyone is doing well, I love you all and I plan on writing you again this week. It might have to be a written letter, but I'll see what I can do. Here's one Portuguese tip... When the letter 'h' comes after another consonant it usually makes the 'y' sound. The same way ~ works in Spanish. So President Pinho's name is pronounced Peen-yo. Love you all! Talk to you soon.

Elder Barker

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Just a few things to clear up a few of his comments………..Bridger is going to try wrestling, that is if I can’t talk him out of it by tomorrow because he is starting jr jazz and he has a hard enough time keeping up on school work.  Howard Peterson is an old cowboy who Will home taught for 5 years or so, he passed away Saturday, he loved Will, in fact we just found out today that Will is an honorary pall bearer (made me cry). 



Happy new year! I love you all so much. The new year here wasn't very exciting... Just another day, but there was some good food and stuff. So apparently everybody is deciding to get sick here all at the same time. There's a bad flu or something going around and they canceled the devotional tonight because so many people are catching it. I feel fine and they gave me a flu shot when I got here so I think I'll be alright. Good to hear Kenz got a win, good for them! She's going to have a good season. I love to hear about the family. I'm excited for Bridge, hope he likes it. Is he still going to play basketball? I still haven't heard what everyone got for Christmas. Sounds like New Year's Eve was fun with the Walkers. I love them so much. It is so hard to hear about Howard. He is an amazing man and I love him and Bev both. He is the kind of man I aspire to be one day. I know that the plan of salvation is real and we'll see him again someday. Please tell Bev I love her and miss her. I am very excited to hear about Kayden, when does he enter the MTC? And I can't wait for Isaac to get here next week! I also have some of my good friends from college coming in tomorrow, so I'm stoked about that. I'll make sure and write Ty tonight. Is there anyone else I need to write? I don't know what's up, but I've actually lost weight since I've been here. Don't worry, I'm eating healthy and still work out a little. Elder Watt got re-assigned to Burmingham, Alabama. He was a really cool guy. He's from Idaho and we became pretty good friends right away. There's still no word on Visas for any of us, but I'm not too worried about it. It's all gonna work out. I'm still in a Trio with Elder Bowers and Elder Steadman and it's going great. They are great men and examples. I finished the Book of Mormon today, so that's a new record for me. I love that book and can promise you that it is true! All of my siblings, please read the Book of Mormon. You're not too young to understand it and you'll learn so much from the stories and teachings in it. I had a pretty neat experience the other day with one of my 'investigators'. We were teaching the first lesson and we started talking about Joseph Smith and  the first vision. I wasn't very confident in my memorization of it, and was a little bit nervous to say it to him, but it was amazing. Once I started talking I just felt the spirit very strongly and all of the words flowed out so easy. It was crazy, it actually sounded like I spoke Portuguese a little bit. The rest of the lesson went great after that point and all the words seemed to be coming easy. After the lesson I reflected back on what had just happened and couldn't help but cry. I know it sounds dumb with mock investigators in the MTC, but I just feel so blessed to be serving a mission and cannot wait to bring the gospel to people in the world. I love you all, write me some letters. I'll talk to you soon.


Elder, Barker