Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

    Well I should start out this week by mentioning that I am now in Valdivia.  On Wednesday during the afternoon we were visiting Miguel, a less active member (because he is sick in bed because of his age), when President Rappleye called.  He asked me how our plans were for the afternoon, and I informed him we had only one appointment.  He asked if it could be changed for another day because he had something he wanted me to do.  He then went on to say how he knew me as a sort of "minute-man" and that he could rely on me.  I could only imagine what would follow shortly after a statement like that.  He then asked if I could have my bags ready within an hour and a half because he was sending the assistants to Pucòn to pick me up.  We ended the conversation and quickly ran home to pack my bags.  I plugged in the camera to charge a little and started filling bags.  We took a break and ran to the two houses we could reach so I could say goobye and then ran to pick up my clothes from the branch president's house.  We arrived at home and finished packing up the bags.  The assistants arrived around 10pm and dropped off Elder Malaver to stay in Pucòn.  We arrived in Valdivia around midnight.
     I am now here in the sector Laurel (the same church building as Martìnez de Rosas where I was a year ago).  My companions name is Elder Balbuena from Mexico, and we are serving here as the zone leaders of Calle-Calle.  It has been a really interesting change.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

 My last Sunday in Pucòn I had decided to start playing the keyboard (which I detest very much, rather than playing a real piano) to be able to help the branch members out.  Right when I decide to play, they transfer me.  Now I am playing the piano, a nice Clavinova, here in the Laurel ward.  I have decided to teach classes on leading music and playing piano because the church has a great program to help people learn. Unfortunately as a missionary I do not have the time to dedicate to these classes for the quantity of personas that have the desire to learn.  Therefore, I am taking the course material and crunching it down into a small 6 week program.  I will be teaching our ward mission leader and probably one other person to lead music and to play piano so that when I am no longer here they will be able to take the time to teach the rest of the people, hopefully in the whole stake, to lead music and play piano.  I have such a desire to help, yet I simply am not permitted to do it in he full capacity that I would like to.  However, I will do what I can to get things moving.  Maybe someday I will be permitted to spend more time teaching in that capacity.
     We have been working a lot with members because we are both relatively new in the sector.  I know the majority of the members from when I was close by a year ago, and we have their trust.  We have been teaching them and talking about their friends.  This past week we were able to receive over twenty references from members and we contacted five of them.  This is the first time in the mission that I have seen such success with references.  I urge everyone who reads these letters to pray about your friends who are not yet members of the church and ask the Lord how you may be able to present them to the missionaries.  True joy will be brought into your life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

     Many things have been happening here in the District of Villarrica.  We have seen many people choosing to follow more closely in our Savior´s footsteps.  On Saturday I went to Villarrica and Sandra and Odaliz had their baptismal interviews.  They are prepared and will be baptized this upcoming Saturday.  We are inviting all of our investigators, and I know that this will make great progress for the district for the month of March.  We will be discussing baptismal goals and in March we will see miracles.  There is no district meeting on Tuesday because on Friday we will have Zone Conference.  
     As of now we have many people who have accepted the invitation to be baptized and we are working very hard with our new branch mission leader.  We are receiving more and more help from the members each day.  Tomorrow we will have a three-way companionship exchange with the zone leaders and the sector Ancahual.  I am realy short on time so I must apologize for the shortness of this letter.  Today we went to "Los Ojos de Caburgua" as a district and took a lot of pictures.  It was really amazing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

   This is Elder Bosse, Elder Jolley, President Rappleye, and Elder Barker. 
These three missionaries were in the same MTC group.
  The district is doing absolutely amazing.  We started a game of sorts to increase the efforts in the zone.  Every time we extend a baptismal invitation, we are to "pinch" (call and let ring once and then hang up) our corresponding leader.  We set a goal as a zone to reach 18 baptismal invitations, and we reached 36 in all of last week.  Of those 36 there were 18 that accepted baptism.  I feel great about the progress that we are seeing.  This week as a district we will be focusing on how to get our investigators to attend church.  I woke up this morning in such a great mood and my personal study was incredibly effective.  The meeting tomorrow will be great with participation from all.
     On Saturday night we were assigned to speak in church with two topics.  One being fasting and fast offerings, and the other being family unity and exaltation.  I wanted to speak on both of them, so I let my companion decide which one he wanted to speak on.  I ended up delivering a message on Family Unity and Exaltation.  I felt really inspired when I was preparing the talk, and it greatly strengthened my testimony of families, however when I was speaking I was prompted to remove several scriptural references from the discourse.  I feel as though what I found edifying for myself was too harsh for the members to handle.  Family issues are very common here and I was prompted to  tone down the message so that the Spirit could testify to them of the basic principles that aid a family in its progress to salvation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

I am adjusting very well to the new area. The sun has come out and we will reach highs of 38°C with only one day of rain next week. Within the next two weeks the population of Pucòn should multiply significantly with all the tourists. Today as a district we met together here in Pucòn and around a quarter to 1 we left in colectivos to Calabozos. From there we started our hike at around 1pm to reach the top. My companion and I hike this route once a week to visit familias who live up on the mountainside. It takes around 45 minutes when just the two of us do it. We hiked quite a bit farther and within an hour and a half we arrived at the waterfall Salto el Claro. We took lots of Pictures, ate lunch and headed back out. Now we are wrapping up our Pday writing to our families. I just realizad that half of these words have probably been automatically corrected into spanish due to Microsoft Office automatic spell check. Well thank you all for the love and support and everything you do. I hope all is well for this upcoming year, and I hope to hear back from you soon. -Elder Barker