December 5, 2016


Xihu, Taiwan


Elder Hanna

I looked out the Window.....

Hey FAMILY!!!! Love you all so much! This week was so good here in Xihu, you know just doing the Lord's good work and what not!! It's the greatest.

I'm used to being able to tell it's December by looking out the window and seeing snow on the grass. Ahh...but everyday I wake up and still think it's July. Taiwan has little grass and definitely no snow. haha. But it IS cooling down a little which is WAY nice! Not sweating EVERY second of the day is a tender mercy.

So we started this last week off strong by going to Yuan Lin last Monday to eat some burgers! They love putting peanut butter on burgers here for some reason...was that a thing in America? It's actually pretty ok! And this place was super weird cuz they have like 7 or 8 cats that just play around and chill with you (I may have kicked a couple on "accident"....cats aren't exactly my thing. haha). The food was REALLY delicious though. I heard there's a phase you go through here where all you want to eat is American food. I don't think I've hit that yet, but I really need to start prepping my body for when the time comes. So out of shape it's disgusting.

There's a former investigator who wants so so so badly to be baptized and have a happy family and she called us the other day to go visit her. AH! She thirsts after righteousness and is the Lord's elect! But her husband is insane and hates Christians and won't let her be baptized (people's misconceptions about us and having family members protest their getting baptized is sadly SO common here). We had a really good meeting with her. After talking with her I was like surprisingly pumped up and wanted to go find her husband and give him a piece of my mind....hahaha. But alas Elder Hanna said we couldn't. Hopefully we CAN actually meet with him and show him that Christians are actually cool and drop a Spirit bomb on him so he'll let his wife be baptized.

I spent pretty much all of English class trying to explain Disneyland fast-passes to Samantha. haha

With the church's Christmas initiative to light up the world, we decided one day to read the Book of Mormon to old people. hahaha. It didn't last too long though. First guy we talked to was 86, going real hard on those exercise things, and wasn't having ANY of it. And we were trying way hard and I was just laughing my guts out cuz it was the funniest situation to be in ever. hahaha.

We were able to meet with Shi XS -that guy who said Jesus didn't love him from literally forever ago. His life has had so many hard things. He hasn't always made the BEST decisions, but he wants to change! Having that desire is the necessary first step! His repentance process will be painful, but so worth it. He set a baptismal goal with us last night too! Progress! This is why I came on a mission -to testify to people that through Christ we can overcome anything no matter how hard, and that the cleansing effect of His atonement is real. It was nice to have that reminder this week!

What's crazy is that next time I email I will no longer be in training. NNOOO!!! hahaha jk. It's just that it's been nice to have the whole "I'm still in training" excuse every time I say or do something way stupid. hahaha. I trust that the Lord will inspire my mission president to know where I need to be and with what companion I need to be with!

The Book of Mormon is true. And not only that, it's AMAZING!!! I absolutely love studying it out every day. It truly has veins of gold in there that we can mine out and use! I don't know how you study the Book of Mormon, but something Elder Bednar talks about in one of his talks, and I just did it, is reading the Book of Mormon through looking for, highlighting, marking, and taking notes of a specific topic. For example, I just read it through looking for what it has to say about the Atonement of Jesus Christ (which is actually WAY too much to write in one email). And then the idea is that you pick a new topic, like maybe the Doctrine of Christ, and start it all over again! This has given my study of the Book of Mormon a lot more meaning than it did before. Because I know the scriptures contain the "words of eternal life", I hope that over the course of my mission I can find a lot of gold and know the scriptures well.

Well yeah that's about it! Have an amazing week and FIGHT ON!!!!! The Lord needs us!

Love you SSOOOO much!!

Elder Barker


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