Date

October 31, 2016

Area

Xihu, Taiwan

Companion

Elder Hanna

Hello From the Other Side (of the World)!!

FAMILY!! I love you all so much! Thanks for the constant prayers and support! I felt them this week!

I've been here in Taiwan a WHOLE transfer already! How legit is that? haha. And I'm still using the same BIC pen I started with on July 13th. He's a trooper! I use him for everything. And mom I'm still using the same travel hair gel you slicked me before I left. Learning to be thrifty and what not -jk I've always been like that.

At District meeting this last week our district leader surprised us with Dominos pizza and root beer floats! A&W never tasted so good! What they say is true -I've literally eaten rice or noodles at EVERY single meal these last 6 weeks. This was good for a change. haha. It's also insane how fast you can lose your fitness...I don't want to talk about it. haha.

This week I've heard Adele say "Hello!" at least a million times. Not sure why it was the song of the week in all the convenience stores and at Ba Fang. Speaking of Ba Fang, we just finished eating there and I'm getting on my bike when a big long slimy snake comes out of a little crack. Haha I was just in shock! It gave me a hiss, and it's head did the cool cape thing like a viper. Everyone was going insane. hahaha good times. No harm done tho, so no problem.

So you know how we're supposed to learn from our mistakes and not make them again...we decided to NOT do that and ride back out to ErLin! haha but this time was awesome! We didn't go to the school and waste time! haha. Instead, we saw miracles as we were lead to find and talk with some super cool people! So yeah that was fun. Met a member that goes to the English branch in Taizhong randomly named Lehi, and he stuck 500 TW dollars in my comp's pocket in spite of our protesting. We ate good that night.

We went to visit an LA this week and stayed WAY too long. Happens all the time here where you plan on just stopping by, they always insist on coming in for some fruit or something, and then get distracted and waste time. haha. You'd think we'd learn, but the pears here are just so. dang. good. Anyways, while at this guys' house we played with his creepy puppets and saw his legit samurai swords that he definitely should not be in possession of. haha. Just a really bizarre experience.

I saw a tiny glimpse of the World Series when we were tracting one night. I freaked out a little bit on the inside. It was just for a split second, so I consider it a tender mercy. haha.

EXPECT MIRACLES!! This week was a miraculous week for finding potential investigators! We worked our butts off and talked with SSOOO many people and we truly saw miracles in finding some people really interested in Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

Also, all the members on Sunday made sure to point out my nasty acne on my chin. So that was nice. And they're trying so hard to celebrate "Halloween" but they don't know how. haha. Members asked us for some suggestions. And the 7/11s here have had both Halloween AND Christmas decorations up all week. WHAT?!?!?! And I think Elder Hanna is itching to listen to some Christmas hymns. haha.

So if you didn't know this already, the Book of Mormon is absolutely amazing. It truly has the power to "heal the wounded soul". Towards the end of Mosiah, Alma's people are going through a rough time. They were trying to do their thing and live righteously, yet the Lord still "trieth their patience and their faith." In our lives, we have this exact same experience, even as missionaries! Right now is a hard time -a real test of faith and patience. This week's numbers were the worst my trainer has ever seen in his whole mission. haha. but I just said "Hey! They can only get better from here!" haha. Even when we're working our butts off in life to do everything right, to do everything we can, sometimes we don't see the physical results of our efforts, and that is hard! But the next verse tells us what to do: "...trust in Him and we shall be lifted up at the last day." Keep the faith! Fight the good fight!! Trust in the Lord and I testify that by His power we can overcome all things!

Love you all! till next week!

Elder Barker!




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