Date

July 20, 2016

Area

MTC

Companion

Elder George

Faith

SSUUUUPP FAM!! So time is weird here. They say the days go by like weeks (because they are ssooo stinkin long haha) but the weeks go by in days. Seems like just yesterday when I got dropped off!

Because of that there is literally so much that happened.
To start off with, my companion is Elder George from Fresno, Cali. He's tall and blonde. He loves the Lord and really wants to work hard and be super obedient, which is wwaayy good for me==>being punctual mom;) haha. I'm just getting out of the shower and stuff and he is already to go with his tie and badge and everything hahaha I'm like bruh. He doesn't usually start any conversations but man he's got a killer laugh. To give you a quick intro to him: I was just barely putting my laundry away and he was done putting his away in 2 seconds and so he just watched me put my clothes away kind of awkwardly... hahaha but I love him!

So my district leader is Elder Johnson from North Houston Texas. He went to a year at byu before coming out. He is a stud! Wants to be an engineer, but surprisingly has a great sense of humor! That little jab was for Dad. His comp is Elder Bosco from right here in podunk Provo. Talk about hard for him with homesickness and stuff. Going to the temple this morning he saw like 3 church leaders from his ward or something. But he has a powerful Spirit about him. These two are in a room with me and Elder George and also Elder Matt Jones and his companion from Syracuse are in our room! That's been nice. Matt gets packages literally every day and last night got a nerf hoop so you know we ball till quiet time! haha. They aren't actually in my district, which is weird, but they're in my zone. Also in my district is Elder Yu, from St. Louis who's Asian-looking but doesn't know any Chinese, and Elder Allen, from Lehi. Elder Allen ran his first marathon last May, or whenever the ogden marathon was, in 2 hours and 49 minutes. Yeah, he's a runner. Funniest thing with Elder Yu, or maybe you just had to be there, but one night for dinner we had Chimichangas, which were pretty good by the way, and Elder Yu thought it looked like a really good egg roll. I was like "no no no no it's a chimichanga" and he's like "a WHAT??" haha so he goes and gets it and couldn't figure out how to eat it!! He's trying to use his hands and all of us are just cracking up, but didn't want to make him feel bad. I don't know it was hilarious. Also in our district is Elder Boud and Elder Olsen. Boud is from South Jordan and goes to Bingham and knows Daniel Peterson! He's is ssoooo sick. That's his hammock I'm sitting in in one of my pics. I love him. Elder Olsen is wizard at Chinese. He's also from Lehi. These two, along with Elder Allen and Yu are going to Singapore and Malaysia, Mandarin speaking.

My zone is ssooo awesome. They're basically my family for the next 9 weeks. My zone leaders are super tight. Elder Fear is nice and sings, and his companion Elder Mckusker from Southern California (mission vejao? is that a place?) Mckusker does Crossfit! haha both these guys went to a year at BYU. Me and Mckusker haven't thrown down a WOD during exercise time yet, but it's definitely going to happen at some point. So some kids had been here for 6 weeks when we first got here, and they're all going to Taichung. Then there's some Elders here that were here 3 weeks and they're all going to Taipei. Some incoming Elders with me are going to London, Aradia Calif., Singapore/Malaysia, France, and taichung. So that's cool.

Hey! first Sunday here I got assigned to be the branch's pianist! haha I honestly don't even know how they knew I could play. That gives me an excuse to spend some study time with Elder George in a room with a piano so I can "practice". haha. Seriously, music and hymns and stuff are so powerful.

So honestly, first day was INSANE. Hard, stressful, feeling like I was way in over my head, wondering "What. am. I. doing here?" I walk into class after dropping my bags off in my room and my Lao Shi (teacher...pretty good right? that's like all I know so far haha) is only talking in Chinese and it's just like BOOM! and like I'm not Adam anymore...my name is Elder. haha. Just some weird adjustments.

We legit taught a lesson in "full" Chinese on Friday, and then again on Saturday, and then again on Monday, and we'll go again tonight. I basically just read off of my paper what I want to say and she (our investigator) responds and Elder George and I go "uhhhhhh....." and we just go onto the next line we wrote in our papers. haha. Kind of hard to not get frustrated with it and stuff. It takes so much faith that it turns out I didn't have a week ago. Hebrews 11, especially towards the end, brought me strength. It's through my faith that I'll be able to learn this Chinese stuff. It's really overwhelming but I have faith that God didn't call me to Taiwan to fail. Through my diligence and divine help I can do it! Haha we all walk around with our flash cards and pens and stuff and try to just use Chinese whenever we can! It's kind of cool to think that over a week, I can say simple prayers and testimonies in Chinese already! but my vocab and grammar understanding is way behind everybody else in my district. It's like in the first Harry Potter movie when Ron can't get the feather off the ground cuz he's not saying it right and Hermione just walks up and gets it perfect. I'm Ron. haha

So check this out. For Sunday night devo we watched a recording of Elder Bednar's address he gave to missionaries here awhile ago about the character of Christ, which was basically just that we need to turn outward and not inward. So that was cool. And then guess who walks out onto the floor and up the podium after the movie? Elder and Sister Bednar! In real life! haha. They just did some Q&As with all the 2500 missionaries here and bore some testimonies, but it was legit!

There's this one Elder in my zone that's going to Arcadia California Mandarin speaking, and EVERY time we see each other, we stop and say "ni hao" in a totally legit way and then bust up laughing. I don't even know him! haha but I love him. It's the little things.

So my schedule here: wake up, study, eat, study, eat, class (study), eat, class, teach, study, plan. haha. So yeah that's great. Maybe slightly exaggerating but not really. We have exercise time too, which is ssooo nice. Today I played ball with some kids in my zone and it was way fun. Most everyone is super nice and happy. That's how I want to be soo bad!!

The devo last night was super awesome and helpful too.

Anyways. I love you guys ssooo much!! haha. Your cute little notes stuffed in random places in my luggage make my eyes water up everytime (it's allergy season!!) Also, this place is almost like being at Davis High again, just cuz I see SSSOOOO many people I know all the time. That's really nice.

Love you guys so much!!!! Please keep praying for my Chinese tongue to be loosed. haha much needed!

Till next week!

Elder Barker




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