October 10, 2016


Xihu, Taiwan


Elder Hanna

If you like the way you look that much......

HELLO MY FAMILY!!! hahaha seriously love you all so much!!! Thanks for all the early birthday letters and stuff too. Really means a lot.

So compared to last week, this week was a lot more chill. During companionship inventory, Elder Hanna said my strength was cutting my own hair. That made me feel so good!! haha just kidding. That's not all he said, but pretty much. haha. But I'm not gonna lie, it does look pretty shuai (chinese for fresh/handsome/good-lookin' etc.).

The houses here all just have a screen door that looks into everyone's living room, so when we go tracting we find a lot of people in nothing but their boxers just chilling (hhmmmmm...;) haha super funny. Last night we found a kid in his boxers that was at least wearing a shirt, and it was a David Ortiz Red Sox shirt!! You know we hit it off! He said the Red Sox were still doing good and in the playoffs, said the Angels aren't (wwhhyyy????), and that Bryce Harper is shuai, and him and the nationals are doing good in the playoffs. He's 17 and is a pitcher for his baseball team. Gave him a Book of Mormon and said the feeling you get when you read it is better than hitting a home run! Totally kidding, I have no idea how to say that. But I did bear testimony that it was true and could change his life cuz it had in my own life. So that was cool!

We also had zone training meeting this week where we all meet in Yuan Lin and go eat lunch at McDonald's and an Elder made everyone chocolate chip cookies in his crappy toaster oven everyone has in our apartments. Ah. McDonald's and cookies. Just like home!! Except not really. The McDonald's was almost the same as in America except the only drinks they had were Coke, Sprite, and lots and lots of tea. Where was the blue Powerade and Hi-C??? Bless their hearts.

Some days this week were zeros -days where lessons fell through and nobody was interested in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These days are tough. But I've realized one thing is for sure out here: if no one else got converted to Christ that day, at least I did. There's really nothing else like being a missionary!

We finally got to watch conference!! Woo Hoo!!! I love it so much. And no, I didn't have to watch it in Chinese. Actually, we watched it with our Ward Mission Leader, Mike. He served a mission in Minnesota a few years ago so he speaks English relatively good and wanted to watch them in English with us! I had been trying to slowly persuade my trainer and Mike to get sushi after Priesthood session cuz I knew they had some nice Japanese restaurants here and Mike said he liked sushi. He said he would take us to his favorite sushi place.

So I was all excited to keep up the tradition of Priesthood session sushi! hahaha bless his heart. He took us to a nice Japanese restaurant, but they had no sushi!! haha dang. But it was still amazing of course. And they had this jello thing for desert that was made out of aloe (as in aloe vera). It was actually really good!

Then last night we taught a man named Shi Xian Sheng. It was totally random how we found him: he saw our tags in a 7-11 Saturday night and went off about how Jesus didn't love him. We kept talking to him and eventually got him to set up, and then he showed up! And WOW. One of the most spiritual experiences of my life. He has been through some tough things in his life. Our lesson became focused on Christ, and specifically His atonement and love. Elder Hanna and I cried as we bore testimony of Christ's love and testimony of the infinite power of the atonement. The Spirit was so strong and he felt it too. He's a man a little rough around the edges, but I saw the love of God soften his heart. That's what it's all about!!! Being a missionary is awesome!! I love it!

One of my favorite talks from conference was Elder Cornish's. One thing in particular that he talked about is really applicable to me right now, and I know it can be to all of you too. He said we should NEVER compare ourselves to others. That's a Satanic strategy that will only make us feel bad about ourselves. He said the ONLY thing we should compare ourselves with is who we are now to who we were before. I love that. I can testify that as we strive everyday to exercise faith and repent, we are growing so much! And because of that, we are ALWAYS good enough.

AHH!! 'till next week!! Love you all so much!! Have the best week ever! FIGHT ON!!

Elder Barker


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