Monday, June 28, 2010

New companion from El Salvador

Hey Everyone,

Sounds like everyone has had a ton of fun. Wow, I want to see pictures from this New York trip. Sounds like you had so much fun! You'll have to take me all around next summer to see all these awesome places, the narrows, rapelling, Havasupi etc. I'm jealous sounds like you are having an awesome summer. Wow, look at how outdoorsy you have all become. It's crazy.
Well I am still in the same place. Toa Baja ward but I live in Toa Alta. Its my third transfer here. My new companion is amazing! Hermana Rodriguez. She is from El Salvador. Second companion from there. She started the mission in November with me but I barely know her because she has always served She is so fun always really positive and really humble. She teaches with the spirit and has such a strong testimony and works really hard. I am already learning a ton and she's awesome. We are really excited for this transfer. She's helping me with my spanish and my accent and I am helping her learn english, she started learning here in the mission and she already knows a lot.

Its been a pretty great week. Julio is progressing! We taught him the plan of salvation and he really liked it he had a ton of questions because it is something so new. He came to church on sunday and really liked it! He is reading and loves learning everything. We are going to try and set a baptism date this week so we're praying really hard that things will keep going well. He really is awesome! We are trying to work a lot more with the ward to get them involved and its really awesome because the new young women's president is a return missionary and having her in our meetings is great with her we want to plan more ways to get the youth involved in the work. Our new mission president comes tomorrow. So strange! It will be good though. He is amazing. I have heard him speak twice and its like hearing a general authority speak. He has been an area 70 for the last few years. So we'll see what changes will be made by the way there is a really good possibility that we will have p-day on wednesday from now on. So if you don't get an email next monday you will know that's its been changed to wednesday. Anyway I have to go sorry its sort of short but I'll send some pictures next week and tell you more.

Love you all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Companion

Hey Everyone,

Sounds like everyone has had a really crazy week! Wow. Dad I'm really sorry to hear about your leg. That's crazy I'm glad that you're okay. Sounds like Erin and Abby had quite the adventure flying into New York, you'll have to tell me about it i'm still a little confused about what happened. You'll have to let me know how your trip went. Sounds like a ton of fun.

Well tomorrow I get a new companion. I don't know who yet. Hermana Thornton is leaving and this will be my third transfer here in Toa Baja. Wow, it is so crazy how time flies. I can't believe that I've already been here that long. But its an awesome ward. Its so great because we are finding a whole bunch of new people to teach. We are really excited about them and are hoping that we can just get everyone to start coming to church, that's the hardest step but we really do have some awesome people. This last week was a little hard because of Father's Day no one came but next week for sure!

We are still teaching Edgar, he's awesome because he is really excited to learn more, we watched the restoration video with him and he loved it. Julio, is also awesome. He is reading and just loving everything that we teach him. Actually it was really funny this week because he told us something that really made us laugh. He was telling us how the first time he met missionaries he asked them why some have bikes and some don't and they told him that its like levels, first you start out on foot, then you move up to bikes and then eventually if you are really good and have been there a long time you get a car. Haha! Elders! Why do you say things like that? haha. Well apparantly he felt really bad for us because we were on foot, we were knocking at the time. He said he thought to himself these poor girls they haven't even made it up the level of bikes yet. When we called confirm the appointment he kept saying that he could meet us somewhere and come pick us up because he felt so bad making us walk to his house. well of course thats against mission rules and we showed up in a car and when he told us that we had a good laugh.

Everything is really good here. It will be interesting to see who my new companion is and its crazy because sister Martineau and President Martineau are leaving. Our new president President Alvarado officially because president on the 29th of June and we will no longer be the Puerto Rico San Juan West Mission just San Juan. So weird! But we won't be really be sending missionaries from our mission over there or their mission over here until next transfer. But those elders who are in the ABC islands will be finishing their missions in the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission. Sorry, I need to go but I'll write more and send more pictures next week.

Love you all!

PS the cookies did arrive pretty stale they weren't completely dry but they were pretty crumbly but I appreciated them all the same. Thanks!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Awesome week!

Hey Everyone! Thanks for the emails and the pictures. Wow, sounds like you've all been having a really fun time. I love the pictures from your bike trip Erin! That looks like so much fun. I am super impressed. I also love the fact that I have two pictures of you taken within about a week that show you biking in Moab and this desert landscape just about a week or so after the picture of you skiing in the snow covered mountains. Puerto Ricans would never believe it! Haha skiing and mountain biking red rock during the same time of year. That's what is so awesome about Utah! I'm glad you had fun biking in Spring City, Mom and Dad. Sounds like I'm going to have to get in shape and get myself a good bike when I get home to catch up with all of you. I got your graduation announcement Abby! Wow! You are done with high school! That is so crazy! I just can't believe it. Mom and Dad said that you did really great this year in school they're really proud of you. Sorry I couldn't be there but send me pictures. You and Erin are going to New York? Where are you going to stay? That's really awesome. You'll have to tell me all about it and send me pictures.

Well this week has just been extremely amazing. We've been able to find a lot of new people to teach and more of the members are inviting their family to church and ward activities. This sunday we had three baptisms after church.  They were are children of members, but two of them were young men rather than 8 years old, it was a really great experience to help bring the spirit. The best day this week was friday. I had this feeling that we should go knock in this one area where we live that we have never knocked before. As we got out of car I saw these two guys outside their house up the street and we decided to go talk to them first. Wow, the best first lesson I think I have had on my mission! Their names are Edgar and Peter. Peter is a family friend of Edgar. He is from New Jersey is staying here for the summer. They were so excited about the message. Edgar was writing down all of the scriptures that we used so that he could go back and study them later. We talked about the apostasy and Peter looked at Edgar and said "This is just what we were talking about last night, right?! If there is only one God and Jesus Christ why are there so many different religions?" I've never seen anyone get so excited about the message, they were so excited to have a copy of the Book of Mormon we luckily had a english copy in the car for Peter. Right as we were about to say the closing prayer Edgar's girlfriend and he picked up the phone and said "write these down" and then he listed off all the scriptures we had given him and told her that he had tell her about what he had just learned. Then he said "hold on a second we're going to pray" he put her on hold and we prayed and left and they told us that they wanted to come to church and that they were going to invite his girlfriend to the next lesson.

We went back to the first house to call out to them and then as we passed by their house he was on the phone with her excited telling her about the lesson. It was so funny. We always give the example of a building and how without a foundation the building will fall. We share a scripture in Ephesians about the foundation of Christ's church being prophets and apostles. He said in an excited voice "We are like the saints of God and the church is like a building! It needs to have apostles and prophets! and listen to this...." As we passed we heard him telling her about the apostasy. Wow, it was crazy to see someone so excited about the lesson. He called us this morning before our studies and told us that he had finished with his reading assignment and he wanted to know what else he could read. Its so cool to see how that even though there are always people that are stuck in their ways and don't want to listen that there are people that are prepared to receive the gospel and its amazing to see their enthusiasm about it. The mission is awesome!

Its crazy to think the time is going by so fast and I feel like their isn't enough time to do everything but that's okay. Hope you all have a great week. Love you all!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Exceptional Week-6 new investigators!

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for the emails this week. Wow, sounds like its been a fun week. Its crazy that its been so hot and flooding in Salt Lake, sounds like Puerto Rico! Congratulations on graduating Ab! I got your graduation announcement. Mom, said that you did an awesome job on your Madrigals concert too. That's so awesome. Have fun your last week! Hope your bike ride went well, Erin. That's crazy that its so long. One day I'll be in that good of shape. I can't believe its already June! and you are all done with school.

Time is flying by really fast. Its crazy because this transfer just has two weeks left and in two weeks we will be combining with the East mission and we will have a new President. It will be interesting to see the changes that are made. It will be sad to see President and Sister Martineau leave but our new president is really awesome too and things have gotten back to normal. This weekend was just exceptionally good. Our ward is amazing because four new people were brought to church on sunday. Madeline invited her friend Linette to young women's camp and Hermana Torro who is Linette's math teacher invited us over to her house to meet her. Hermana Torro had given her a Book of Mormon with some chapters marked and we marked another one to read. She read them all that night and came to church on sunday morning. She's really shy and quiet and I guess she was really nervous to ask her mom for permission to come to church she finally got the nerve to ask her at 11:50 saturday night. She loved it. The Negron Family's two kids both invited their friends too for the second time. Our ward is so awesome! Now its just a matter of getting permission from their parents to let us teach them the lessons. But they all really liked church. Another woman came in and sat down by me on the bench and asked me if there were missionaries that lived in her area, I said, "Well yes we do.  When can we come by and see you?" She came with a less active man that decided to come back and he invited her to come to church and she's already reading in the Book of Mormon. As we were leaving the parking lot we got a phone call from a man that got our number from a pass along card and asked where the church was so he could come next sunday!

We were knocking that night and we found two great new investigators, Felicita and Benjamin. They invited us to sit right down on their porch and started asking a ton of great questions. It was amazing! They had some really great questions and we would open up the scriptures and before we even said anything they would tell us exactly what we had wanted them to get out of the scripture. Benjamin, after reading Moroni 10:4-5, said "You've just helped me resolve one of my doubts" and then explained to us exactly what he needed to do so he could find the true church. They were so excited to receive the Book of Mormon. Before we even had a chance to invite them to church, in the middle of talking about something else Benjamin asked us when and where the church was and then said "9:00? I'll be there for sure, nine o'clock." We are really excited about them. We just had a really great day yesterday. Its been a hard transfer but I know that Heavenly Father is starting to bless us by putting people in our path for us to teach. Wow, I just love being a missionary!

Hey thanks to everyone that has sent me emails. Its so good to hear from you. I can't write back on e-mail so send me your address so I can write letters. Steph congrates on your graduation you are amazing! Crazy that Marcus is back from his mission. Katie Price! Haha sorry I guess that would be Matthews now. You are a school teacher! Hey Jake, I don't have your Spain address by the way. Anyway I love you all crazy. Keep sending me updates on your lives.

Anyway, have to go but hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Barker

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cats in the hood.

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for the emails and for the package. I really appreciate the clothes too. Sounds like things are going well fun week in Spring City that's good that you were able to relax a little bit. I still can't believe there is enough snow to go skiing! That's so crazy. Wow sounds like you have had a fun week though. I'm glad you had fun on the California trip and that you didn't die on the crazy bus ride. Good luck on your Mads concert. I can't believe you are graduating! So weird, my baby sister is going to college! Crazy. But I'm excited for you good luck on your mads concert. Erin I can't believe you are doing a hundred mile bike ride. That's awesome you are probably in such good shape. You'll have to tell me all about it. PS That is hilarious about the inspector 42 thing, I totally want to get a copy of that or something, so funny. Sounds like everything else is going well at home.

This week has been pretty good Hermana Thornton is still pretty sick. We are waiting to hear back from President and his wife about what the next step is. We are still having a hard time finding people to teach because we haven't been able to knock doors a lot but we were able to go out yesterday and it was great. But we still had an okay week. We have been working a lot with some less active members in our ward and its been great. Two of them came to church this sunday and we have some possible new investigators becuase we are trying to work with some part member families as well.

Funny story, we have this rule in the mission where at least one of the companions has to be outside of the car while the car is in reverse so Hermana Thornton was backing me up out of the driveway and started telling me to stop turn off the car and pop the hood. I was so confused I popped the trunk and then saw that she lifted a kitten out of the hood of the car. Well she put it down on the ground and we were about to drive away and we heard it meowing again and it had jumped back in from underneath. The neighbors had to help us get it out because it wouldn't get out. So I guess we'll have to check the car for cats before we drive away each day. Anyway random funny story.

Other than that things are good. When Hermana Thornton went to an internal medicine doctor this week I talked to her about my eye. She gave me allegra D instead of just Allegra and she gave me a sample of Singulair for month. Remember that I used to be on that for my asthma. She said to try and go back on it. She said that allergies have been ridiculously bad this year and she is having tons of people come in with problems. She also gave me suggestions on how to help my allergies so I we got this stuff called damprid which helps make the apartment not so humid, I am trying to wash my sheets more, dust more, and I bought these allergy covers for my mattress and pillow case at K-mart they are not as nice as my ones at home but basically the same idea. We are going to see if that helps. She gave me a perscription for an x-ray and I am going to go get it this week. We'll see what happens because the antibiotic from the other doctor didn't help. Anyway I'll let you know what happens.

Love you all!