Monday, April 5, 2010

Transferred to Toa Baja

Hey Family,

Thanks for the emails this week. I have to say I especially enjoyed the slap bracelet picture from Erin, very cool. haha. What was the conference for that you went to in California? Sounds cool. Sounds like Rach is once again having an amazing experience in london you'll have to show me pictures when you get back (ps I can't see them unless they are attached individually which is quite sad). Sounds like things are super busy at home. Hope you get this these next two weeks at work Dad without being too stressed. Have fun on your trip these next few weeks what's the itenerary? What are all the places you are going to? Yea, Ab, you got into housing at Helaman that will be fun and it will be super close. I'm so excited for you. BYU is awesome you will love it. Say hi to all the family for me. Sounds like Easter was fun. It didn't feel like easter at all here, except for conference. PS I'm supposed to tell Amber Worthen hi from an Elder Hill that is serving in my mission.

So I haven't moved too far, just the next ward over, Toa Baja, the ward that meets in the stake center.

It was sad to say goodbye to Bayamon and I related a lot to what Rachel was saying about saying goodbye to the people in her spanish branch, saying goodbye to the investigators and the members that we had there especially since I had no idea if I would be going to the next ward over or to the other side of the island but its fun that I'm not too far and I got to see a ton of the people in the Bayamon ward at General Conference which was really fun. I am very excited to be in Toa Baja though. This is an excellent ward with a lot of really strong families. Many of them are american, or at least speak english. My companion is amazing!!!!

 Her name is Hermana Thornton and she is from Fruit Heights, Utah and has been out almost a year.

 I am really excited to work with her because she is really excited about missionary work and you can tell that she just loves this gospel and is so excited to share it with everyone. Wow, she's really an amazing missionary and I am already learning a lot from her. We are really excited to start out this new transfer and have a lot of the same ideas and goals that we want to work on and complete this transfer so I am really excited. We get up every morning and go to track nearby which is really great. Its amazing how much energy you have when you exercise more in the morning.

I still haven't met all of the people that we are teaching but I am really excited because our investigators seem really great. We have to baptism dates for this month both of them are young people and both references from members. Madeleine is 17 and she's awesome. She's really excited for her baptism and has been working on her personal progress and is just really excited about the gospel. Jose is another investigator that is 19 and really cool. He's so excited about the gospel. We taught him the word of wisdom the other day and he full heartedly committed to it saying "if that's what I need to do then I'll do it". He's really excited about his baptism date. Our area is huge, Toa Alta, part of Naranjito, part of Toa Baja, Corozal and Dorado. There are places that have probably never been knocked before which will be really great but also hard because we have to drive really far to get anywhere and most of the members live pretty far away. Its more country than Bayamon. Bayamon has tons of small houses close together since its city but this area is more country with lots of hills and also Dorado, which is a really nice beach area with a lot of closed urbs that are really nice. We are already planning a p-day activity to go the beach (to take pictures of course, no swimming) and to play tennis!!!!! at the courts that are in a complex where a member lives. I am super excited its been a long time since I've held a tennis racket. Haha, little side note.

For General Conference we went to our ward, which is the stake building and we watched General Conference there.

There was a room with a tv just for the missionaries, the younger full-time and also the missionaries that work in the mission office, and we watched it in English, (those who don't speak English watched it with the other members of the stake). It was a fun two days. Wow, what an amazing conference!!! Wow, the spirit was so strong and those were some of the best talks I have heard in a long time. It was obvious the overlying theme of the conference seemed to be strengthening the families. We can also see that the world is getting a lot harder, life isn't easy. Its almost as though our leaders where saying "the war against satan is on. Time to rally up the troops, Mother, Father, all priesthood holders, young men and women and even the little kids. This is the time to be better and stronger than we ever have been because things are harder than ever before but if we focus on the doctrine of the atonement and eternal families we can conquer anything". If I could summon up conference in a few sentences that's what it would be. It was amazing. Wow, you can see it here on the mission more than ever how many people need this gospel. Life is hard. But with the gospel of Jesus Christ we can overcome anything. I am so thankful for an eternal family. That's what the end goal is. We have a new goal to focus more on the family, not only testifying more about the family but also focusing on strengthening families in the ward, and using young women and young single adults to go out with us. Anyway, conference was amazing, the spirit was especially strong. I can't wait to get the Liahona and go back and read them again and try to apply them in my life and use the talks to share with the members and less active members here.

Well I am attaching some pictures of me and my new companion and another of all the sisters in the mission. Got to love the pictures where everyone is looking at 20 different cameras. I'll send some more pictures next week.

Love you all a ton,

Hermana Barker

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