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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dear Family,

I´m thinking about just sending email every other week instead of every week, because it seems like they are passing faster than ever. Just kidding. I will write every week, it´s a rule from the Prophet. I´m doing great and I´m loving the work. Our area is being extremely blessed. We´re having great experiences and the mission is doing well. Happy Birthday for the best Mom in the world! Hope you have a great week and that everything goes your way :). I love you so much! Have fun at school and work! I loved the video of the family reunion! Crazy that Matt Johnson got married. Good for them, I´m happy for them both. Sounds like the open house at the temple will be pretty cool!
Well I love you all and hope you have a great week. I have gained a strong testimony of obedience. It is the key to happiness. We can always choose the right and trust in the Lord. He will bless us for being obedient. Miracles really happen. God is a God of miracles and they will always happen according to our faith. This is the true church of Christ, I bear my testimony of it.

You guys are the best!

 Elder Barker

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dear family,

 Well... My week was fantastic. I believe that the Lord knows exactly what I need to pass through and experience every day. He prepares everything. It seems like there´s always something new to learn how to deal with. Just when I think I´ve got it all figured out, there´s a new challenge. I got to thinking, Is it going to be like that my whole life? And I think that it will, huh? We´re here to learn, and we wouldn´t learn much if we already knew how to handle everything. 

Everyone is getting excited about football season? I´m happy for Reece, he´s a great guy. I can´t believe he´s home already. 

So I read a talk about Remembering and Gratitude by Elder Eyring. It´s a classic apparently. I realized how blessed I really am. We often think that things are "ours" or "mine" when really we came into this world with nothing. Everything that we have comes from the Lord. We also often take for granted two of the greatest gifts, The Atonement and the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

 I´m grateful for an experience we had this last month-
So... About four weeks ago a member in our ward was robbed walking home from work. A guy on a motorcycle pulled up and ended up taking her purse. So she was very upset and crying, and a woman that lived near by helped her and took her into her house. They said that she was a very nice lady and they wanted us to pass by there. Well, that week we marked a visit with them to visit a different investigator that we had met in the street. Her name is Lucia. When we got there, they couldn´t believe that it was the same lady! So, she had clearly been prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel, missionary contact and member referral in the same week. Turns out that her husband was receiving the missionary lessons right before he died and that her son wanted to be baptized in the church many years ago, but she didn´t let him. When we taught the Plan of Salvation and about temple work it really touched her. She was very emotional, knowing that she could be forgiven of the past and return to see her husband one day. And even have his work done in the temple! Lucia accepted the invitation and was baptized on Saturday. She loves the church and is anxious to go to the temple. She is a great lady.

I love the gospel. I especially love the hope it gives us when we think there is none. And the relief that replaces regret. Families really can be together forever. The Lord lives and loves us. We are so blessed.

 I love you all,

 Elder Barker

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dear family,

Life is so good. I love hearing from you all. I am happily working and life is flying. I´m constantly tired, but really happy. It´s a different feeling, that I think we only have when we are serving the Lord. Elder Cole is doing great, he loves McDonalds. I think I eat more fast food now than I did in the U.S. It´s pretty sad. There´s a Burger King here in Santo Amaro as well, so it´s pretty hard to avoid. We have an elevator in our apartment, too, so I´m a little bit concerned with my weight. Gotta keep doing exercises.

 I have learned a lot about faith these last few weeks. Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel for a reason. When we have faith, anything is possible! Sometimes it takes time, but our faith really brings miracles. We just have to act, or exercise our faith. Think about Peter. All of the other Apostles stayed in the boat, but when he saw the Lord he took a few small steps onto the water. He felt a solid surface walking on water! That´s incredible. But when he fell, Christ called him a "man of little faith". If Peter is a man of little faith, what am I? Sometimes people criticize Peter, but he is the only one that had the faith to leave the boat. It´s hard for me to leave the comfort zone sometimes, but the miracles happen when we "leave the boat". 

Things in the area are great and there are so many cool things going on in the mission. 

Oh by the way, I got my birthday package this last week! That was very fast. Thank you very much! I´m stoked to make the cake. And it was perfect mom, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Have a great football season! Go Red Devils!

Love you all,

Elder Barker


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dear Family,
I love you all and I´m grateful for all of you! This week was great. A man named Eduardo was baptized on Saturday. His family was baptized a few weeks ago, but he had to stop smoking. His son, Bruno baptized him and it was really, really cool. This is a special family. They now have a picture of the temple in their front room with the date of one year from the baptism as a goal to be sealed. They are incredible! We´re also teaching some of their friends in the same neighborhood. The other missionaries are some that taught him before the transfer. I´m loving my new area and my companion. It´s been really great. Thanks for the pictures and updates. 
So, I don´t have much news. The days are blurring together and the time is flying by even faster. Sounds like you had a good reunion! Too bad that everyone got sick... Don´t worry about the emails mom. You are the best. Tell Hailey happy birthday for me. She´s getting old! I know that this work is true and that the Lord works with us according to our faith. Faith is truly a principle of power. I´ve seen that so much is possible when I just believe and ask for specific blessings. The Lord wants to bless us! He just wants us to ask Him and show that we are dependent on Him. Love you all! 
Mormon 9:21

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dear Family,

I hope all is well with you. How was the 24th? Is Kenzee going to do anything cool for her birthday? 

This was a very hectic week. I got transferred to one of the best areas in the mission. It´s called Campo de Fora. It is really great. My new companion´s name is Elder Cole. He´s lived in many places, but his family is currently in St. George. He will be going home in October. He was a skater before the mission. He skated with a lot of pros, he also likes wake boarding and his dad is a brain surgeon. He is a great missionary, I´ve already learned a lot with him. I got called as an assistant as well, so we´ve had a lot of meetings and trainings to prepare. It´s been cool to work with Pres. Dalton a little bit more. I was hoping to be able to train a new missionary to finish, but I´m happy wherever the Lord wants me. I love being a missionary.

So is Preston Pace home? And how´s the summer going? Has it been hot? It´s been pretty cold here lately.

I really know that these things are true. I love the Savior and I love serving Him. I´ve seen so many things in these last few weeks, I couldn´t write half of them. The gospel changes lives. We are so blessed, and we don´t realize it sometimes. We have Temples that are so precious. Families really can be together forever. God is our loving heavenly father, and he really knows us personally. I love you all!

Elder Barker