Dear family and friends,
Thank you all for your letters! May is here! I can't believe it is here! I think it will be even more unbelievable when June gets here. But for now May will do! Hanging above my study desk is a calendar that has very beautiful scenes from around the world. Each picture scene on the calendar has a beautiful picture to accompany the time and season of the year. It also has inspirational Christian quotes on each page. For the Month of May the quote is "When wait patiently on the Lord we are trusting in His Love." For the Month of June I can't recall the exact quote but just to paraphrase it states "Pretty soon the winds and waves will cease, and all will be calm again." Sometimes I lead myself to believe that these quotes were inspired for me, and this time of my life. It seems that the Lord is telling me subliminally (or clearly) "I know it's May but be patient and trust in my love." And for the month of June it seems it is telling me "The winds and waves may be rough right now (as they have been for the past two years) but hang in there. Soon it will all be calm again." I know that the mission brings forth trials. It has it's times where the tempest of the work may toss you around. And it has it's times of peace and happiness. This past weekend it seems like it is one of those times where it tosses you around a little bit. We were on exchanges with the other Elders here in Aberdeen. Elder Mitchell is our District Leader and he was going to interview Paw Say for his baptism. He was able to interview Paw Say but eventually Paw Say revealed that he did not feel ready at this time for baptism. But on the bright side he still wants to meet with us to learn more. I'm not sure exactly what his concern is. I think he believes he needs to be perfect after he is baptized. And he is not sure if that is the kind of commitment he is ready for at this time. Which I can truly admire as discouraging as it can be. I would rather have him be baptized knowing what he is getting into rather than just trying to please the crowd. We also got a text from Camille on Saturday sharing with us that her friend Timmy told her three scriptures from the Bible that "disprove" the Book of Mormon. But she wants Elder Price and I to meet with Timmy and herself this upcoming week. She said Timmy is willing to hear us out (which is the good thing). I'm sure he will bring up concerns with the Book of Mormon, but we will do our best to help him to address those concerns. So it was a week of trial for us. On the bright side we reached our peak of lessons this transfer. So we were super busy teaching!
While serving in Grand Forks we shared an apartment with Elder Dutton and Elder Lee. Elder Dutton had a box of these beautiful paintings of the Savior that the artist himself wanted him to give out on his mission. Elder Dutton told Elder Cannon and I we could both have one. I picked out the picture of the Savior calming the tempest. When I picked it out I told myself "I want this picture to remind me of who I need to turn to to calm the storm." I have had many moments since then where the Savior had calmed the storm for me. I can remember one occasion in Grand Forks where Elder Smith and I were out street contacting. And we saw a man underneath his car doing maintenance." We approached him and started talking to him. He was an older man in his sixties. He got up and started talking to us. Instantly he told us he was Lutheran and started bashing our Church. He told us how the Book of Mormon was thought up, and how "John Smith" was either telling half the truth or he was a complete liar. And if any of you know me I love the Prophet Joseph Smith and get extremely fired up when anyone disgraces his name. I have never felt such extreme anger in myself before. You could probably say the tempest of my heart was extremely stormy and intense. And then the weirdest thing happened, peace overcame me. I remember as Elder Smith and I opened our mouths we testified of the Savior. And instantly the storm in my heart was calmed. I have a testimony that day that the Savior filled my heart with his love and whispered to my heart "Peace, be still." We weren't able to change this mans mind, but that day I walked away knowing in my heart that the Savior can calm any storm. And this is his work. I know his peace can fill each and every one of your lives. He is our redeemer, and he will always calm the storm.
Love, Elder Barber