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Friday, October 24, 2014

I'm Going to ARGENTINA!!!!!!!!!

Oh my gosh I am so excited I can't believe my VISA and airline tickets actually came!!!

I'm going to ARGENTINA!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I Cannot Believe I Have Been in the MTC for a Month

This week has been an interesting one that's for sure.

I'll share the fun story first. So I mentioned last week that I was kind of sick...well it got a little worse and my eyes started getting SUPER red and after a couple of days of looking like I had Pink Eye my left one started to get Saturday I went to the clinic at the MTC and guess what... THEY ARE CLOSED! WHAT?! So I went to the front desk to ask them what I could do and they said they would call the doctor and ask his opinion. Long story short I ended up at BYU Urgent Care. We got to walk there and since it was homecoming week there was a parade and tons of people. Real people. And MUSIC. It was so foreign to me...hahaha But I guess I have some virus that attacks my eyes my throat and my lungs so they have me on some medication to dry up my sinus and my throat trying to keep it out of my lungs and then to keep me from looking like I have some serious pink eye I have been taking 800mg of Ibuprofen every 4 hours....haha Like I said it's been interesting. 

We had a really good week with our investigators. We got Johnatan to keep some commitments and he prayed in a couple of our lessons, super cool! Jose is just a solid guy. He is progressing so well. Olga has been the most interesting one, but the last lesson we taught with her went really well she prayed too, which was a HUGE step. It's so cool to see these people's lives change. 

Classes are getting crazy. We are starting to get into some nitty gritty grammar concepts that I can barely grasp in English...we have a lot of study resources that are super helpful and I've been using those a lot more. I'm so glad I have a long plane ride that I can study all this stuff...If all my VISA stuff works out in less than 2 weeks I will be in Argentina! It doesn't seem real that I have already been out for a whole month! That went by so fast. 

I love getting letters and packages. Eryka and Drew sent me one yesterday and I was so happy. I read the card and started crying. They are so sweet! I hope all is well with them in Brazil and I got one from Roxy too.

Oh and my district and I LOVE the Krispy Kreme delivery and the homemade popcorn was a huge hit. Thanks mom, you're the best. I don't think I have the physical capability to eat all the food I have in my room right now...I guess I will have to make room for it in my suitcase and take it to Argentina! 

Every Tuesday and Sunday there is a Devotional and someone from the Church comes to speak. Yesterday Elder Carlos Godoy of the 70 came. (He is the guy that spoke in Portuguese in General Conference)  He gave and amazing talk and it helped me so much. Since English isn't his primary language he was struggling at some points with pronunciation and stuff and he took the time to say that as missionaries we shouldn't be worried about being fluent it will come, we just need to be worthy of the spirit and it was so true. I'm so so so happy I got to see him speak before I left for Argentina; it made me feel so much better. 

Oh and I've got some other good news! Say hello to the newest Sister Training Leader. (I got called on Sunday) It's kind of like being a zone leader but I'm just in charge of the sisters. So it's not quite as big as a responsibility. We have a new district coming in today that I get to spend sometime with tonight so I'm super excited to get to know them and help them out! I know how stressful my first day/night/week here was. 

I love you all and thank you so so much for all your love and support! 

Love Always, 
Hermana Barker


Just hanging out in the dorm with Hermana Gibson (my awesome companion)

Early Christmas, just in case the rumors are true and you really cannot successfully receive packages in Argentina

Krispy Kreme doughnuts for all - Called 2 Serve actually delivers these to us at the MTC!

Ritz crackers & spray cheese - you have got to have it

It is so cool to be able to go to the Temple twice a week

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Half Way Through My MTC Training

So this week was super interesting. Hermana Gibson and I taught a ton of lessons and some went really well and others not so hot. It is so frustrating because sometimes the language comes so easy and other days it's such a struggle. We are starting to learn the nitty gritty rules of Spanish grammar; I'm not even good at English grammar so it is definitely taking some extra work. 

Hermana Gibson and I are getting really comfortable with the gospel aspect of the language it's the general day to day conversation in Spanish that is hard... It will come though (: 

All four Hermanas in the district get along really well Hermana Ballard, Gibson & Snyder. There are so many "you had to be there" jokes that come from the MTC. Mainly because we are supposed to speak our new language as much as we possibly can…which leads to a SERIOUS amount of Spanglish.

Spanish is coming along but it's impossible to explain how good and bad it is at the same time. We have three 3-hour blocks everyday. We have a teacher during two of them and one of them is solely study time. We work on all sorts of stuff. We work on language A LOT and then we hit the gospel side of it but then we have to go back and learn the language for the gospel points we worked on, it's a CONSTANT process. 

So we have 3 investigators that we meet with twice a week. Johnatan, Olga, and Jose. They are all so so different. Johnatan is almost there, I know it. I think I have told you about him before so since then not a whole lot has changed. Olga. She is great. She wanted us to teach her the basics of the gospel so we went in and we gave the best lesson ever. We used an object lesson and we used the chalkboard ( heard me...CHALK board) to draw some things out to keep everything straight and she did SOOO well! I'm really excited to see what happens with her. She helps us with the language, which is always nice. 

We get to go to the temple twice a week once on P-day and we get to go in and do temple work and then on Sundays we get an hour or so to go for a "walk" so we always walk up to the temple and hang out it is so pretty but the flowers are nothing compared to Temple Square. 

Life in the MTC isn't too hard it's just different. Sleep is an on and off sort of thing. So many of us sleep so close together I get woken up a lot at night but since I've been sick I've been sleeping better which is helping me feel better. Not being able to take naps is KILLING ME...(I got way used to that in college...whoops).

I'm dying to get out of here, but dying to stay at the same time. I'm so so, so excited to get to the field, but it's going to be so hard there because I KNOW I don't know enough Spanish to really get by. We will find out this Friday or next Friday if our VISAS have been approved, they literally wait till the last minute to tell you just so you don't worry about it when there really isn't anything we can do to change it, or speed it up. 

I can only write letters on P-day so I'm trying to get to everyone. But please write me. I love getting letters.

I think that's it for this week!

I love you, thanks for all your support!

Hermana Barker

I get to go to the Temple twice a week. It is great!

My District

I found Cami!

The Fun Hermanas

dearelder is the bomb 

This was a good idea until we realized the fresh coat of shellac was not dry - JK
Go Bahia Blanca

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The MTC is so Different Than I Expected

We heard about the Utah game and the BYU's really funny, before my mission the temple was the only way to ever really escape the world and being on a mission (especially in the MTC) we are completely secluded from the world but when we go to the temple is the only time we are exposed to the world...haha so we found out about the games at the temple from a family that was just walking by. 

Okay so our P-Day changed because we moved to main campus, and got all new my P-Day will be on Wednesdays from now on.....I hope, I don't think they will make us change it again.

Main campus is so much different than West! It's huge and everything is always busy! I like it though because I'm a total people person! I've seen quite a few people that I know here. 

General Conference was amazing! We watched all the sessions and General Women's meeting. I liked every single talk that was given! Watching GW made me miss you a lot, mom. But not in a bad way. And there was a part when these adorable Korean children sang "I like to see the temple" I cried because it was so cute!!! I absolutely loved being at the MTC for General Conference because it wasn't just the 2 hour blocks that were so spiritually condensed it was literally the whole weekend after a session we would talk as a district about our favorite things and what we learned, I love seeing through other people's eyes because I there is always more for us to learn! 

So we have 3 investigators now. Raquel, who we taught last week so I might have already talked about her, she is so great and so so receptive of everything we teach her, her mom is a member so she has been exposed to the church for a few years and she just gets it, it's awesome. Then there is Jonatan (his name was spelled wrong on his birth certificate when he immigrated so he just rolled with it) He is a little less receptive. He's very reserved and it's hard to get him to open up, but we have only taught him once...Then there is Olga...she's challenging. She doesn't believe in God and thinks that she has to completely believe in God before she can pray to him which is so totally false...but she wants us to break everything down to the smallest possible fragments we can, it's hard because the things that seem so simple and basic....really aren't, so I totally understand where she is coming from! And tonight we will get one more, Jose. We don't know a lot about him yet other than he is an illegal immigrant but fun fact, that doesn't matter at all. We are completely allowed to pursue teaching and even baptize illegal immigrants! (It just proves that the gospel really is for everyone) 

The MTC is so different that what I expected. But my favorite part about being here has got to be gym time. There are so many different things to do and one of them is Volleyball...I'm in love. I miss playing so much, but I get to for a few more weeks and there are a lot of people here that are way good, so it's super fun to play. 

I love my district! We're really starting to get close and to the other district in our zone. (There are only two districts right now because 2 left on monday and we don't get a new one until this afternoon, and we're only getting one. so we will be even smaller than we were before)

Everything is going so well, and I'm learning so much. Thank you everyone so much for your love and support! I love love love getting letters and dearelders (hint hint) I promise I will write back if you write me! P-Days get a little crazy, so e-mailing is kind of hard. 

I love you all.

Hermana Barker


Nine hours a day to study 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Amazing First Experiences at the MTC.

So I made it to my first P - Day!!! But that is not where I'm going to start so lets back up to Wednesday! After you guys all dropped me off, it was all a blur, all I can really remember was walking into a giant maze. Main campus is crazy huge! They aren't kidding about getting you right into things. I don't think that I was here for an hour before I we were all in the classroom!  got all my books and everything and then they put me on a bus. I guess they have all Spanish speaking missionaries staying on West campus, it's really nice and roomie.

My first companion is Hermana Gibson, she is from Oregon and going to Tampa Florida, Spanish speaking of course. We are the smallest district in our branch with only 8 missionaries. 4 Hermanas and 4 Elders.

After all the craziness of meeting everyone and the first class we had dinner and went to our first activity. All the new missionaries from W. Campus (like 50ish) of us sat down in a big class room and got to teach 3 "Investigators". All at different times, but it was really cool to see how it kind of works and get a feel for everything day one. What a surprise that was. 

Thursday things picked up even more. I'm not kidding, they want us to have everything read and memorized week 1. We had to memorize the missionary purpose by Sunday, as well as read the Missionary Handbook by then and our branch president has challenged us to start and finish the Book of Mormon while we are in the MTC. We also learned how to pray in Spanish....well Spanglish. Since we don't know all the words we need to  we have to try our best but what we don't know in Spanish we can pray for in English. But it's not just prayers. We are expected to talk in our new language as much as we can so it's literally 100% Spanglish all the time on W. Campus. Oh I have rad blisters from my shoes already but I found out that they specifically make band-aids for blisters, they are AMAZING and work SOOO well. If you ever get a blister I highly recommend them but more than that I highly recommend not getting blisters. 

Day 3. We got to teach today. Like a real lesson. In Spanish to an investigator that doesn't speak It actually went semi okay. I've come to find out that when I'm tired I laugh. All the time, so I have been laughing a lot. 

We taught our investigator again on Saturday. It's so nerve racking trying to teach someone the gospel that sometimes is hard to explain in English...and we get to do it in English. We also found out that our "Investigator" is just pretending and she's going to be our teacher later on down the that kind of took some pressure off, but not much. Our current teacher is a return missionary from Idaho and he actually served in the same mission that Dylan Cox is in but he spoke Spanish but he said he knew who I was talking about. Our teacher ONLY talks to us in Spanish. 

Sunday was amazing! Relief Society gets to watch Music and the Spoken Word it reminded me so much of you mom, and when we would go, but it is so different to watch it on TV vs live. Every Sunday there is a devotional and it was really cool but after we get to pick from 4 films to watch and we watched one from a talk given by Elder Bednar to the missionaries a few years ago and it was so inspiring! I loved every second of it! 

Today has been interesting. P - Day. You think we get to relax sort of thing...nope we got up at 5 so that we could do our laundry before it got crazy crowded so P - Day has actually been significantly different that what I was expecting!!!

Oh I love getting Dear Elder letters (hint hint) but really it's so nice to hear how things are going. I can only write letters and e-mails on P - Days.

I love you all!!!!


-Hermana Barker

I have my name badge

My first companion - Hermana Gibson