Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 7, 2013 letter

Hello Family,

Wow what a week. I want to thank you to all who wrote me. I love hearing from you all and what is going on back in Utah. I want to share how my week went and the wonderful things that have happened and then I will comment on the things that you wrote me. 

As you all know Monday is my pday so me and our district went bowling at the bowling alley. It was super fun!! Although I didn't do too well it was still fun to just relax and bowl. After we went bowling, we went to go teach a less active in our ward. His name is Ricardo. He is a very very strange man. He has a twisted perspective on the whole gospel. He doesn't really believe any of it and just talks a ton! He has a horrible life style. He lives in his garage because his mom doesn't like him living at home so she won't let him go upstairs unless we are there teaching him. He is about 40 years old. Really weird guy but he is nice. He watched conference too!!! So awesome! So we taught him and just read from Mosiah 2 since that chapter is pretty much a general conference that happened 3 thousand years ago. Really cool chapter.

On Tuesday we taught one of our progressing investigators. His name is Roger. I ask that you can remember him in your prayers. He is an athiest but he is willing to keep hearing lessons from us. His wife is a convert to the church and she is really wanting him to find out if the church is true. So we are doing all we can to help him receive a testimony. In all honesty we are stumped. We do not know how to help him. He says that he is a pessimist. So he finds the negative about life. We have seriously taught him almost everything about the gospel. So we are trying from the raw beginning. Prayer. He prays and reads the scriptures when we ask him to and he even goes to church with his wife. He thinks that he doesn't have faith but I know he does otherwise he wouldn't be doing those things. He tells us that he doesn't mind praying but he does not like reading the Book of Mormon. He says it brings him sorrow and physical pain. I don't know what to do. He thinks about things too much. Just keep him in your prayers. I would appreciate that.

Also keep Jordan in your prayers. She is 17 but has a learning disability so we have to teach her as though she is a child. She is super nice and could totally be baptized by tomorrow but her parents are against the fact of her getting baptized. Anthony, who I told you about last week is her older brother. So we are just praying that her parents will soften their hearts. The parents also don't want her to get baptized because they think that because of her learning disability, baptism is too much of a big step for someone like her. I know Jordan is accountable though. I don't know but we are continuing to teach her as though she does have a baptismal date so that when the parents allow us to baptize her she will be ready and worthy.

I went on exchanges on Monday. My companion went to Half Moon Bay and I stayed in my own area which means I was the one driving!!! California streets are so confusing its ridiculous! I got lost like 4 times! ugh I need to get the hang of the layout of my area haha.

We had a really amazing experience on Thursday. We received a referral from the Samoan Elders. I guess this guy they met was high on marijuana but told them that he wants to learn more. So they referred him to us! Me and my companion went to his house but he wasn't home. Instead, his wife answered the door so we started talking to her about the church. She told us that they had moved from New York and had neighbors that were LDS. We were so excited. She then told us that she had been going to the church around the corner but she didn't feel that it was right. She asked if we had a nursery and we told her yes!! She told us that she wanted to go to church with us on Sunday. We were so excited and told her that general conference was on Saturday and Sunday. And she agreed to watch it. Hopefully we can add her as an investigator soon because we need more!!

Last but not least, General Conference. I absolutely loved Conference. I heard exactly what I needed to hear. There were indeed so many amazing talks that were given and I felt that almost all of them related to me. I especially loved Elder Jefferey R. Holland's talk. Boy whenever I listen to that man I feel like I'm getting a spiritual spanking. He is such a powerful speaker. I just broke down as he spoke. I felt as though God walked up to Elder Holland and said this is how to help Mckay haha. I was also thinking of our investigator Roger as I was listening to his talk because it could relate to him. I also loved President Uchtdorf's talk and Henry B Eyring's and also the Prophet's talk. Super good! I hope you all enjoyed it. Conference was like Christmas for me! 

I am going to comment on your letter now. And about the talk of the earthquake, No that is not where I live. I live on Mission st. Market st. is in downtown San Francisco. I live in just San Francisco, about 20 minutes south. But yeah its crazy. Earthquakes happen a lot down here although I haven't felt one yet...I am kind of hoping that I will be in one. It would be pretty cool haha. And we have the privilege of getting each issue of the Ensign so yes we will be receiving the next one!!.

I'm very grateful that Ryan and Lindsay had a great time at the ranch. I read what Kam wrote me and I laughed so hard about the whole hike experience. At least they had a great time hiking. I hope you had an awesome first priesthood session Kam!! I wish I would have taken conference more seriously before my mission. It truly is such an amazing time that we have to hear the prophets and apostles speak to us, to help us with whatever we are struggling with. So awesome!

I can't believe Ellen is getting baptized!! I'm so proud of her and her decision!! Everyone is getting old. It's weird!! I hope she has an amazing experience and I know you will talk well at the service Mom, You always give good talks. 

Holy crap Gavon is old!!!! I can't believe he is 40!! And that is such an amazing experience that Gavon had!! I don't think for one second that what happened in the tent at 3 in the morning was a chance. I hope you remember that experience. I know that so much good work is going on on the other side of the veil. They are not only helping those who have passed on but they are also helping us here in life. That is so awesome! And thanks for writing me Gavon. I enjoyed hearing about your experiences about doing the best you can on your mission. I want to follow your example by doing the very best that I can. Thank you again! I do my best to remember every single one of you in my prayers at night. And I know that Heavenly Father will bless you all so much according to how much you use your faith that you already have, like Elder Holland states. 

Yeah I know Rachael!! That is so awesome how they are engaged!!! I thought they were already married haha. Tell her congratulations for me!!
Thank you Dad for sharing what you taught in the institute class. That was hard for me to hear but It was hard for him to go through. I guess no matter how much we think we know what he went through. We just don't. Christ has done so much for each and every one of us and I am eternally grateful for Him. I hope that Dad will soon be able to ease back on the work so he can take a breath haha I am so proud of how hard he works. I know that he will be rewarded for his long efforts. Did you get a picture message of me at the chapel with my companion? We met this guy from Utah who knows Becky Buckwalter. Small world. And I also wanted to ask something. My district wants to go to Alcatraz next week. But it is 30 bucks to go. I told them that I don't know if I would be able to go because I don't know if I could afford it. So I wanted to ask you about it. Also are you going to set up a skype account that I could use for Mothers Day? Anyway that is all. And I did say thank you to Brian and Cheryl and uncle Brian. 

Thank you all!! 
Love, Elder Barkdull