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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Magic Syrup
World Cup Streets
FIFA 2014
Elder Will "Neymar"
Families are Forever
Dear Family,
I´m doing great! Ranieri is a blessing. New President is getting here on Friday, I think. Tomorrow is our last meeting with Pres. Pinho. It should be good. Brasil is winning so the people are happy. It really hasn´t been too crazy. Just a lot of fireworks and people drinking, but we´ve been staying home every game. Yesterday we made Pancakes and I introduced `magic syrup` to the other Elders. They liked. I made french toast today, too. Good stuff. 

Attitude, faith and desire is so important as a missionary. I think it´s important in all aspects of our life. Something I´ve learned is that there is never ´lack´ of desire, there only exists a greater desire to do something else. If someone doesn´t have desire to work, it just means they have a greater desire to stay at home. We can control our desires. It´s so cool and simple. We simply have to want to want it. Our thoughts determine our desires. 

 I´m doing great and loving the work. I love getting your letters and emails. Keep writing me! 4th quarter is where the magic happens. Gotta go to work! 

Love you all!

Elder Barker

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear family,

How´s it going? Good to hear from everyone and sounds like you a had a good week. I´m in a new area called Ranieri, it´s in the Guarapiranga stake. My new companion is Elder Dudley. He´s from Detroit, Michigan. I´d already worked with E. Dudley before, not as companions, but we were togeter in Parelheiros and Itapecerica. We´re happy to be together a gain. He calls our area the ghetto, but it´s really not. Maybe Monte has heard of Flint, Michigan. He says it reminds him of Flint. We´re teaching some great people and the Bishop is young and has a lot of energy. The Stake President is also excited. This stake is very close to splitting. We´ve been making plans to be able to help out a little.

Some of my best friends on the mission went home this last week. So weird and really sad, but life goes on. Did Preston Pace already get home as well? Hey, I got the Dear Elder package with the Peanut Butter. I love getting those things. Thank you! I live with another companionship of Elders and everyone is asking their mom´s for a package like that now. So... with the World Cup we stayed at home on Thursday and we have to stay home again tomorrow (Brasil is playing). So, tomorrow is really our P-day, we´re just sending email today. Next week we´re going to stay home on Monday and email on Tuesday. It hasn´t been too crazy yet, but it is an interesting environment. It´s like the 4th of July or Christmas, but a lot bigger, at least when Brasil is playing. You also have the protestors, a small percentage of the people, who are against the government saying that they spent way too much money on the Cup when they had bigger problems to worry about. The´re never satisfied. Vai Brrraaassiiilll!

The work goes on. I had the opportunity to go back to my last area for some baptisms on Saturday. Very convenient, because it borders my new area. I baptized a man named Agnaldo. His nickname is Alemão, which means German. He´s a big white guy that didn´t even participate in the lessons when we taught his family. He was always drinking when we went over. The week before he left he said that he wanted to talk to us. He said that he wanted to drop the addictions and be baptized. He was so determined that he stopped with everything in two days, aclohol, smoking, coffee and tea. He got sick and went through withdrawals, but he stayed clean the whole week. He was the happiest I had ever seen him this weekend. He was baptized and now his whole family are members. They can´t wait to pass through the temple. I´m so happy for them. I know that this gospel really changes lives. The atonement was not made for just a few people or just some sins. It was the eternal and infinite sacrifice. Christ came to heal the sinner, each of us. I saw the miracle of the atonement in the life of Agnaldo. I know and testify that we can always be forgiven of our sins. There is always hope. I love you all!

Elder Barker

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dear Family,

 I´m trying to send pictures, but you can never trust the Lan House. Let me know if you get them.

My week was good. We had the mission conference and Pres. Pinho gave like a three hour training. It was awesome. We also watched Ephraim´s Rescue, which I really liked as well. Have you already seen it? The meeting was really good. They had a clip of Pres. and Sis. Dalton talking to us, so that was neat to see them, too. 

Someone told me that Hollywood is making a Book of Mormon movie, is that true? You´ll have to check it out, because Mormon rumors are so distorted by the time they get to São Paulo. 

We also had a stake conference this last weekend. It was a transmission for 101 stakes and 13 districts in Sâo Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake by Elder Ballard, Elder Scott, Carol Stevens and Ulysses Soares. Very good. We took some investigators and they really felt the spirit. They slept a little bit as well, but at least they felt the spirit. The theme was basically Hastening the work and the Work of Salvation, but what impresses me more and more is that the Prophet and Apostles aren´t as worried about bringing in new members as they are about protecting and saving the very members of the church. The work of salvation is not just to baptize more people. It is about that, but it also includes saving the families that we already have and getting them to the temple. That is why `Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together` because members need the spiritual protection that comes from missionary work. Family History is the same thing. When we´re anxiously engaged in a good cause we don´t have time to sin. Everyone was talking about missionary work the whole weekend, and then when Elder Scott got up to talk (In Portuguese) he spoke about prayer, our family relationships and the temple. Elder Ballard talked about technology, pornography, family, and the temple. They stressed that the laws of the land will never change the laws of God. The family is under attack and we´re going to have to bear down and protect our beliefs. It was very edifying.

 Oh yeah, I got transferred. I´ll be leaving Elder Schleiger tomorrow morning. I still don´t know where I´m going. We´ll see tomorrow!

 Love you all so much. I´m grateful that our family can be eternal.

 Elder Barker

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dear Family,

 First of all, I do not have a Portuguese accent, Mom.

Second, I got ahold of Wells Fargo and cancelled the card. They said that someone had put a password on it already, and luckily I said my mom´s name and they let me in! I still need to order a new card. I think they´ll send it to you, because they said it would be easier that way. But everything worked out.

It was good to talk to you too mom, it surprised me a little when Pres. Pinho handed me his cell phone and told me to call you. He wasn´t at all worried about the money.

There have been more riots and things, and everyone is getting excited about the World Cup. They are painting all the streets and putting up flags on everything. They love their soccer. We´ll probably just be staying at home every day that Brasil plays, and the day after as well. It´s a lose-lose situation. If Brasil wins they have crazy parties, if Brasil loses they break and burn everything. So it´s not a good situation for missionaries either way.

I´m happy for Hailey. Tell her I love her. And sounds like all is well with summer break.

We had a crazy week. We got to the church to fill up the baptismal font on Saturday and it was full of paint, because they´re reforming the church. So after cleaning it out, we went to fill it up. Buuuut, the church ran out of water. Bishop had faith, so we said a prayer together with two more members asking for water. We tried again and had nothing. So we almost had a baptism in a member´s swimming pool. Then, about a half an hour before the baptism we ended up using a fire hose to fill the font. The water was a little chilly and dirty, but everything worked out. It was awesome. Marcia, Bia, Marcelo and Vanessa were baptized. Marcia is a mom of twin boys (2 yrs) and Bia, Marcelo and Vanessa are a family. Amazing people. Sadly the father´s of these two families are still struggling with the word of wisdom, but they´re not far behind.

We have a conference with the whole mission on Thursday. It´ll be Pres. Pinho´s last meeting and a lot of my good friends´ last meeting as well. Sounds like Pres. Dalton´s getting excited, too. He´ll get here in 4 weeks.

I love you all. Thank you for your testimonies and support.

Love, Elder Barker

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dear Family,

 This was a pretty eventful week. Due to strikes and protests in São Paulo we did not get to hear from Elder Anderson. Pres. Pinho said that Elder Nelson and Elder Anderson received revelation that we should not leave the house on that particular day... Almost a year and a half on the mission and the one day we can´t leave the house is the day that one of the 12 would speak with us. And they went back to the U.S. the next day. What luck. But I believe the Lord has His reasons. We took advantage of the day and cleaned the house, updated the Area Book, slept a little, wrote in our journal, ordered pizza and watched the Testaments.

That´s too bad about my debit card. Apparently you can´t trust people selling home-made corn bread in the street. I´m just kidding, the only time I use my card is at the super market every once in a while. Elder Schleiger´s got robbed too. I´ll try calling again today, but when I called from the pay phone it went directly to SAMU, which is like 911 in the US. They said, ´SAMU, What´s your emergency?`. I thought that it was the card lady, so I started telling her all my problems with the debit card. She heard me out, but sadly said that she couldn´t help me. It wasn´t until afterward that I realized what was going on.

Tomorrow we have mission leadership council. I think it´s the last one with Pres. Pinho and they said he´s going to prepare a big breakfast and lunch. It´s going to go almost all day. 

The work is going good. I often feel like the Lord gives us miracles and blessings that we don´t deserve. He´s the best employer in the world. You give him a little bit and he pays you back infinitely more. And on this Memorial Day I´m especially grateful for an eternal family. I know that families can be together forever.

Love you all!

Elder Barker