January 30, 2017


Xihu, Taiwan


Elder Cook


What is UP??!! haha. Family, this place is going bonkers with the Chinese New Year's madness! Fun times. The lines out of the banks were staggering like a week ago and I thought the economy was tanking and everybody was making a run on the banks. But Elder Cook said it was just New Years. Everyone's getting their money for the red cards they all give to give to their kids.

Extra hard winds blowing earlier this week. And we still love biking all over the place. So I thought about how big winds can make for big legs -a metaphor for life. haha Can you tell we have too much time to think on those bike rides?

We had zone conference in Taizhong on Saturday so we had to sleep over in FengJia (that SUPER nice area in Taizhong) Friday night. Wow. It was beautiful, but also a ghost town because that's the night of New Years so everybody's with their families inside and literally EVERYTHING shuts down. It was really crazy. Except we did meet the owner of a Lamborghini/luxury car store. He was way nice and gave us some waters. We also found a real jamba juice in a mall. SO expensive. but fun. They love American stuff here.

For zone conference we met up with half the mission and watched the world wide broadcast where they announced a bunch of changes to the missionary daily schedule and such. It should be interesting....haha. Nothing like too crazy.

But yeah. Xihu's going nuts right now. Not a whole lot of missionary work getting done cuz nobody's having any of it, but we're trying our best! It's really busy cuz everyone's coming back to their old folk's houses here in Xihu. Firecrackers and other forms of explosives are a constant. Kind of sounds like a war zone at night. haha super fun! And even though finding is running relatively slow, the members here are coming through! They've been feeding us every meal since Thursday and are set up through Wednesday (New Years celebration lasts a week) and like they're really big, nice meals. Very delicious. Very pleasing.

Seems like Chinese New Year is the only time a lot of these people get to rest. Like, they work work work for a whole year, and then get a nice week of rest. I'm so grateful for the Sabbath. A day we can take out of each week and set aside for some spiritual rest and refocus for the next week. Obviously, the most important part of the Sabbath should be the ordinance of the sacrament. One of the things that was discussed in the World Wide Broadcast by President Nelson was that we as missionaries need to be partaking of the sacrament worthily in order to earn the Spirit's constant companionship and become more persuasive teachers. Whoa. This caused me to reflect on the way I've been treating the sacrament lately -it truly plays a vital role for using the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives and I'm so grateful for that. The Lord, in His mercy, literally lets us recommit and start fresh every week. Too good.

Alright! Love ya SOO much! Hope you have a bunch of snowball fights and keep hitting the POW for me! Have a great week!

Fight on!!
Elder Barker


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