Date

November 28, 2016

Area

Xihu, Taiwan

Companion

Elder Hanna

Count Your Many Blessings

FAMILY!!! I love you all so much! So good to talk with you all.

So YEAH! haha what a week. DTM fell on Thanksgiving so we were in Yuan Lin and had lunch with the District before. Of course we had Jia Yi world famous (not really) turkey rice! But, that wasn't even the best. An Elder in our district found REAL potatoes from America somewhere and made legit mashed potatoes!!! AAHHHHH!!!! Not quite like at Grandma's, but good enough for now. AND thanks to some members who went to Costco (no Costcos near us) we had a PUMPKIN PIE!! YEAH! Such a blessing. Grateful for pie. SO GOOD!!

Besides that, it was raining a mass load for a lot of the week. Reminded me a little of biking in New York City in the pouring rain. Remember that? hahaha good times. During the really bad storms I just get one of those laughing attacks where you can't stop and there's no reason for laughing other than how crazy/fun it is to have completely soaked through slacks and have my skin be all pruny. hahaha My trainer thinks I'm such a weirdo. I'll have to take a pic of my pants next time. Also, you know how when you're skiing behind someone with twin tips and like snow or big ice chunks come flying up at your face? It's the same when biking in the rain!!! And I'm ALWAYS the one behind! haha. Ahhh skiing...it'll be there when I get back.

We played on some "exercise equipment" that old people use and are in every park on the island. haha I'm having way too much fun here. An awesome member got us some sweet "Family is Eternal" ties from the distribution center in Taibei. Also, everyone thinks we LOVE to drink coke so we have a TON of unopened coke -Happy Holidays! Not sure what to do with it. And I got my first tear in my shoe! Woo Hoo!! Like a real life missionary or something.

I've been thinking a lot about choices lately. Choices are so important! Pres. Monson said in conference last April "Our goal is Celestial glory, and the choices we make will, in large part, determine whether or not we reach our goal." I think that we have the big obvious choices like choosing where to go to school or choosing what type of noodles to order. When those happen you're like "k. I clearly have a choice here." and then you make a choice. But I think when little things that happen, like me tearing part of my shoe or having to ride an hour out in the rain to get to Bishop's house, we're still faced with a choice of how we react. I think these ones are the harder choices. In those small moments our character is proven. But it's hard sometimes! Choosing patience or love or selflessness or whatever may be the right choice ALWAYS seems hard in the moment. But choosing to be Christlike IS the right choice, and it is SO worth it. It makes everything go better and the Spirit is able to stay with us! Besides, complaining isn't going to make the situation any better (trust me I have SSOOO much experience! haha). President Monson put it best when he said, "choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."

God lives! I know this is His work! Christ's atoning sacrifice is real and there for us! Lay our troubles and burdens at His feet and He will gladly deliver us. I know this is true!

Love you all! Fight on!! Have a great week!
柯長老
Elder Barker




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