So, real quick I think I'll be calling at 12 my time sothere. I am now in Camden, NJ which is right across the river from Philly. My address is 425 market st, Camden, NJ 08102. The 2 most ghetto areas in the mission I have now served in both. Things got really screwed up with getting transferred, and it honestly made it feel not like Christmas again. I was starting to make Smyrna home and had set up a lot of great things for Christmas. The branch is small but not as small as my first area. My companion has only been out for 2 transfers and is quite hard to get along with. They took out the other elders serving in the branch so our area just got doubled in size and with public transportation quite infrequent we walk a lot. I'm down 2-3 lbs already. This week has been rough. And it's going to be a 7 week transfer instead of a 6 week.
My first night here, we were walking from the church and this guy (obviously homeless or close to it) asks us if we're from the church and points at our building, and we answered and said yes we're missionaries. He immediately asked if there was someone who could give him money. We told him there wasn't (there was only youth and their parents in there) and he then turned hostile and told us to give him money , because If we're "God people" then we need to do that and he added, "the way I see it, you people owe me" and went into this story of how doctors or someone messed his hand up. Then he went on and told us how there is no God and to look around, there is no God in this city and how God needs to give him money . I asked him "so you only need God for money?" And he still said yes. So I bore my testimony of the love of God and his heart immediately softened and said he always knew God provided hope.
The rest of the week was just a lot of knocking on doors with no answers and frustration because our area books on the iPad are not working.
So yesterday was the Christmas zone conference and we watched 17 miracles. It's a really good movie and shows what the pioneers went through I suggest watching it. Had me in tears not even going to lie. Then we had a talent show. I was really upset last year that I didn't do it so I signed up and I rapped missionary/Christmas song I wrote haha. I was terrified but everyone came up to me and was like dude you got some serious skills haha. I stumbled over my words a decent amount but it was fun and I got it on film too but I can only email short portions of things.
We help out a decent amount at a nearby Ronald McDonald house here and I really enjoy it. These kids are so happy and grateful for what they have and helping them and the people who operate it have really helped me gain that spirit of Christ(mas) more despite being transferred here so close to Christmas. Well I will talk to you guys soon. I hope Nate got the package I sent him and I sent a package to Amanda's home but I guess she's going there. I sent it on Monday so you should have gotten it. But just be logged in on skype and I will call! I can't wait to see everyone! It is crazy to think it's been a year.
I love you,Elder Barker