Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010!

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for all the emails. So great. I wish I had time to write all of you back individually but by the time I read all the emails, and read the email to the President then write the president I don't have time much time left. So sorry, I will try next time to write more individual ones. Thanks for the cookie recipe, if you want to send me one more that doesn't take chocolate chips that would be great. We don't have an oven just a stove top but maybe later in another apartment we will, but several members have been asking for cookie recipes. No one makes cookies, they are a novelty. Thanks for all the suggestions about food for Hermana Venegas. It’s too bad that letter took almost a month to get there. I think I didn't put enough stamps on it. Woops. But she is doing fine, we are still careful what we eat and we try not eating at member's houses too much and she hasn't had any problems. She told me to tell you all thank you so much for giving her all those suggestions and for the Christmas gifts. We loved them.

Well New Year's Week was pretty good. We didn't have too many appointments and most of the members were really busy too. So we did a lot of knocking (we have started to call it "gritar puertas" instead of "tocar puertas" which literally means yelling doors) and spent a long time recontacting people we had appointments with before. We did get a lot of good first lessons, surprisingly a few people let us in to teach so we're excited to go back and teach them a second time. Something sort of cool that you can tell Rob and Cindy Norton if you see them, is that we found a man and his daughter that live in Naranjito that were taught by Elder Norton way back when. It sounds like they taught them quite a bit and they did service for them several times. They talked a lot about him and how great he was. Their names are Victor Nieves and the daughters name is Enid. We taught them the first lesson and it was super spiritual, we are excited to go back and teach them again and hopefully they'll want to learn more and can progress. We taught Emma again this week several times. She is so awesome! She loves the Book of Mormon, she told us she started reading it from the beginning and loved it so much but then she remembered that she had an assignment of something to read. She is reading everything we give her and has the best questions. We brought a member with us to visit her and she started telling her how we found her and how every time we would come by she was busy, things kept happening to distract her but finally we came back and were able to teach her and it’s been distraction free ever since. Then she looked down at her arms and rubbed them and said "I get goose bumps every time I talk about it". *in Spanish of course :) She is so great. We talked to her about attending church with us and I could tell she wants to but she is just really nervous to go. It is so different for her. But she said she would come if she could find something to wear. So we waited outside the chapel for her forever, just waiting looking for every time the light changed hoping her car would turn into the parking lot. She never came and we were so said. We had been fasted and praying so hard for her. But we are still hopeful.

Not too many other things to tell we are still just spending a lot of the time either walking around sweating a ton or being rained on. Thanks for the umbrella by the way my companion is borrowing it cause her's broke. I'm trying to think of other funny or crazy things that have happened this week. New Year's was pretty funny because everyone here is pretty crazy. We had to be home at 6:00 pm so we bought martinelli's apple cider and some popcorn and then did our weekly planning. Meanwhile you can hear fireworks and music blasting and everyone shoots up these things in the air that are full of dynamite so it was pretty insane. Surprisingly we slept pretty well, the next morning it was pretty much silent. More quiet than it has ever been since I got here. No noise anywhere except for the coquis. No one was even out in the streets til the afternoon. Things here are good though I am getting a lot better at understanding the Spanish here and being able to speak it. Oh guess what? I forgot to tell you that Elder Bednar is coming on the 23rd to our mission. We are super excited that we get to have a mission conference and hear him speak. Also transfers are this week and Hermana Venegas and I are staying in Bayamon. Which means I will be with her until she leaves to go home in 6 weeks. So we have decided that we are going to work extra hard so that she can finish out strong. Thanks so much for all your letters this week, wish I could write more. Rach you are going to London this week! That's crazy and so exciting. I want to hear all about it. Good luck, Erin, with going out to Vermont, I'm sure it'll be really good it sounds like you are going to have a great semester with a really good advisor. Hopefully it will be a little less stressful too. Don't worry about writing any super long letters cause I know that when you are there it is super crazy. Abby, sounds like school is going well. I'm excited to see dance pictures and I'm glad you had a good time on New Years. Thanks for all the long letters it was so good to hear from you all. Sorry mine are always so short. P-days have been crazy. This transfer has been nuts, every P-day has been crazy first we had to buy things for the new apartment, then we were in the hospital, one week we spent forever getting my license, one week we had to get the car service so we spent several hours in Pepboys, it’s crazy and there is barely enough time to do laundry, grocery shop clean and do everything else. Hopefully this next transfer things will calm down and I can write home a little more and hopefully relax. But that's probably not likely. Oh well. Love you all. Good luck this week with going back to school, work, etc.

Hermana Barker

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