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 great!
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 experience.
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.