WEEK 5: Multicultural week! + Jehovah's Witness missionaries + mini miracles...

Hello! Kia Ora!

This week was so full of experiences, of all kinds! We met people from all over the world! I started keeping track of all the different people, and I realized we had met and taught people who were Brazilian, Argentinian, Nepalese, Indian, Dutch, Phillipino, Japanese, Irish, Australian, Maori, and Pakeha (white). It was a testament to me that the simple truths of the Gospel are universal, no matter where you go. It was cool to just break down the culture barriers and testify that we are all children of the same God, no matter where we come from or our differences. God loves all of us. 

I want to tell you I haven't watched conference yet, because everyone in New Zealand watches it a week later. But I have heard the news that church is two hours! what a blessing to be able to help the less actives come back to church with that news, haha. I am so so excited to watch General conference and I keep telling my companion that it's like Christmas for missionaries... or really for everyone! We get to hear the prophet speak!!!

I want to highlight some of the people we are teaching and a few of the experiences I have had. I have slowly started to recognize teaching with the spirit and I love the feeling. I love to share and teach basic doctrine, because it really is life changing when someone gets it and feels the truth of it. Here are a some people that I have felt that with:

Janette Booth- She is an older lady that was baptized back in the 60's and can't really remember it. She was baptized for social reasons and then never went to church. So we are starting from the bottom with her. She has always turned the missionaries away but her heart has been softened and when we went to see her she said, "You know, I might just surprise you girls and come to church on Sunday" AND SHE DID. We were so shocked and excited! She used to be an opera singer and has an entire photo album of her cat. She calls us her darlings. She is  such a quirky person haha! but I know God has prepared her. We had an appointment with her where we taught the whole restoration lesson and the spirit was so strong. That was the first time I taught that whole lesson with sister Toi and it just swallowed everyone there with the spirit. I reflect on that lesson a lot. 

Ruth, Michael, Koji- Our neighbors!! They see us often leaving the apartment and they kindly let us borrow their hose on Pday to wash the car. Ruth is 60 and Michael is her 30 year old son and Koji is a Japanese student living with them while he studies here to become a pilot. They invited us over to have a lesson with them and we taught them about the plan of salvation. They are really cool people. We went back another day to teach again and talked to Koji outside in simple English about God. He didn't understand much the first time we came so we brought a pamphlet in Japanese and just went slow to help him understand. It is really good for us to teach people who speak other languages because it helps us be simple. SIMPLE IS SO IMPORTANT. Then Michael came outside and started asking really intense questions about the old testament, so it was like we were having two different lessons at once, but the spirit was still there. It was awesome.

Surya- We met Surya when we felt prompted to go to a previous investigator's house. We hadn't met the person (named Douglas) but we felt like we should go. We knocked on the door and discovered that he had moved but Surya let us in right away and wanted to know what we were doing. She is a Young Indian mom in her 20's. She was born into Islam but then changed to Hindiuism and then went to a Christian school, so she has been through a LOT of religion. She was very sweet and said we should come back and tell her more. So we did, and I brought her a picture of Jesus Christ to put on her wall. She started to cry when I gave it to her and said that she knows God is watching out for her. We shared our testimonies of Jesus Christ and His example to us. Just then, the Jehovah Witness missionaries knocked on the door!!!! WHILE WE WERE TEACHING!!! She said, "oh no.. i don't know what to do about this kind of situation" and then she went to the door and told them to come back another time. It was so funny. We then resumed the lesson.

We had a mini miracle when we were tracting. We were not finding anyone and then sis. Toi said we need to read the scriptures for guidance. She said we should just open the Book of Mormon to a random page and read. I opened mine and she opened hers and we opened to THE SAME PAGE. WHAT?! It was the end of Mosiah 27 and the beginning of 28. The last verse of 27 was what God wanted to tell us. It was to "publish peace and good tidings of good". Even if no one wanted to listen to us, we just needed to say "good tidings of good" :) That has been our moto for the week.  

Love you all!
-Sister Barker

    Beautiful sunset!!