Monday, June 24, 2013

Dear Family,
Thank you again for informing me about the good old family back at home! It is so wonderful to hear about all the great things that are going on back at home. I had such a great week! I love my new companions so much!! They are awesome! My new companions are Elder Isley and Elder Roessler. Elder Isley is from northern Arizona. He is a convert to the church. He converted to the church about 3 years ago! Super awesome that he is out here serving! He is super funny and we get along great. And Elder Roessler is brand new in the mission field. He lived in Nampa Idaho. He is great too! Its kind of funny seeing the way he acts because it reminds me of how I was when I first came out. I have been giving him a little advice about the work. It is a little bit more of a tight fit in our apartment but it is not too bad. We had a very busy week with a lot of driving. We had to go to the mission home in Oakland 3 times this week!! The driving was awful! It takes a little over an hour to get there from Half Moon Bay. Plus the traffic it was even longer. We have driven so many miles it's crazy.
I loved the the leadership broadcast yesterday! It was amazing and the things that were mentioned are so true! Member missionary work is so important! The missionaries really would not be accomplishing much. There is a great talk about that 2 conferences ago. It talks about the honey bees making their beehive. Something like a honey bee makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life. So it is so important that all the members contribute their part to make the Lord's work highly expand. Something that really stuck out to me was that sometimes people get nervous about extending invitations to people because they think that it would offend them or something. But what Jeffery R. Holland says is that if we extend an invitation to someone out of a sincere love and desire for their salvation, then that invitation will never be taken in offense. It doesn't mean that they will always accept the invitation but they will know that it was out of love. I think it is so important for every member of the church to be involved in missionary work. And you don't need a name tag to have that responsibility. When we were baptized, we covenanted to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. And what Jesus Christ did was he spread the gospel to everyone. He loved them and served them all throughout his life. And we need to be doing the same thing. By taking upon ourselves the name of Christ, we need to do the same thing by sharing His gospel to everyone. In my area, the best way that we find our investigators is through the members. Tracting is not very effective in our area and it is so important that the members are  involved because we would be nowhere if they weren't.
I wanted to update you a little bit on Chad. We took him to the visitor center in Oakland last week and he absolutely loved it! He wants to go again already! And he came to church on Sunday! It was so great to see him there. He has been having trouble with drinking coffee. He tells us that it is very hard and I believe him. He really wants to get baptized and he is determined. He just needs a little extra help. We have to bump his baptismal date back to July 13 because of the word of wisdom thing but it's okay because I know that he will get through this. I am so proud of him and how well he is doing. Keep praying for him that he can overcome this addiction. We have a few more investigators that are doing alright. We have an investigator named Amy. She has had an extreme addiction to coffee. She has been taking missionary lesson for about 16-20 years now. She is married to a less active member. She is so nice and she wants to have a testimony really badly. I am positive that she has had an answer that it is true we just need to help her recognize that answer. Then when she has that testimony, it will help her overcome her addiction much easier. Pray for her as well.
Everything is going really well around here. We have a goal to teach 27 lessons this week!!! That is sooo high for this mission but I am confident that we can do it. My Spanish is also improving a lot more. I can now talk more with the people who speak Spanish in our area. Some people are just plain hard to understand haha. Elder Isley is really good about helping me learn it though. This area is his first area that speaks English. Since technically this area is English but there are Spanish speaking members so ya...
I want to thank Gavon and Tanya for sending me the late birthday present! That was honestly one of the coolest gifts ever! I was laughing so hard when I opened it! I had no idea that you can customize M&M's!! And of course it was all of my ugly faces that I made hahaha. Thank you so much Gavon and Tanya for that! You are the best!
Well its all cold and foggy here in Half Moon Bay. That is how summer is here. But once fall and winter come, it will get a lot nicer. So weird! So different from Utah! But I love it. I love you guys so much and I can't wait to hear from you all next week!
Love, Elder Barkdull!!