October 18, 2021


Santa Cruz, Bolivia


Elder Poma

Have You Ever Seen The Rain

Hey y'all! Another great week down here in Santa Cruz. Today for P-day we played soccer, got acai bowls in the plaza, and cooked some sort of tribal meat...not sure what that means! Playing soccer with a bunch of latinos is quite the party. Us gringos held our ground and didn't embarrass ourselves TOO bad.

This week at district council I led an English learning game! It's cool to see people have such a desire to learn English. Randomly during the game, everyone would start yelling and chanting different things to try to get specific people to dance. I'm not sure what they said, but I love the enthusiasm! The missionaries down here are always the most excited people I've ever met. Also, I swear every Elder here has a guitar. One of them handed one to me and begged me to sing an English song. They loveee hearing English songs! I gave in and played them a little song, and for the rest of the day all of the Elders called me Elder Archileta! That was really something!

On Wednesday during our morning studies, a truck drove by blasting random Spanish gibberish. This is a very common thing here, so it didn't really catch my attention. Elder Poma, however, stood up quicker than lightning and ran outside yelling “vamanos vamanos!!!” to me. We ended up coming back with a dozen bananas for the equivalent of about 60 cents! Fruit down here is amazing!

This week it legit rained! I loved it! I'll probably be sick of it in a week, but it was so cool. It even cooled down a little! Instead of being wet all day from sweat, I was soaked all day from rain which was pretty refreshing. The streets flooded so fast. All day we were walking in shin high water. It was both the worst and the best. Elder Poma said when it rains in Bolivia everyone sleeps. He wasn't kidding! Eventually we were sick of having no one to talk to, that we started contacting this half drunk dude on the sidewalk. Don't worry we taught him the word of wisdom haha! We did meet the coolest family that day though! They loved our message and had so many wonderful questions and thoughts! It was a mom named Fabiola, and her 9 year old son Santiago. Santiago is sooo excited about God and going to church. It was so cool to see a little 9 year old boy being so excited about God!

We also had the opportunity to go to the baptism and 8th birthday party of our pensionista's son, Lucas! It was the coolest thing! Little kid's birthday parties down here are lit. I've never seen so many decorations, lights, music, swarms of little kids dancing, about 30 minutes of taking pictures with each guest, and singing 10 different birthday songs. Some of the songs were in English which was pretty funny! I definitely carried the group for those ones. It was amazing to attend his baptism and be reminded of how the gospel blesses families!

This week I read a little bit in Ether. Chapter 6 has some beautiful symbolism! We read that God caused "furious winds" and "great and terrible tempests" to toss the Jaredites upon the sea. In fact "they were many times buried in the depths of the sea." In life we experience many furious winds and terrible tempests. Sometimes it may be just a breeze, and other times you feel like you're buried deep into the mountainous waves. However, in verse 8 it says that "the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land". Through the whole entire storm, all the ups and downs, God was leading them towards a great land of promise! How beautiful! Also, every time they sunk deep into the sea and cried upon the Lord for help, "He did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters." Ah so much amazing symbolism in that chapter! I promise that everything in life happens for a reason, there are no mistakes, and through the mightiest of storms, you are being guided to a promised land! I challenge you to read Ether 6 and write down your own thoughts or impressions that stick out to you!

Love you all!
¡Que tengan un día bendecido!
Elder Barker



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Bolivia Santa Cruz North Mission

Length of Service

85 %

Days in Mission Field