Josh's current address is 51 N 2nd St. Apt 310 Stroudsburg, PA 18360. Packages and letters will be safer going to the mission home. The mission home address is 721 Paxon Hollow Road Ste. B, Broomall, PA 19008. Keep in mind that there will be a delay because it take some time to get packages and letters from the mission home to Josh.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Email (and photos!) from September 30th

So this last week was pretty cool! our zone focus (goal) was to get 3 new investigators.  Tuesday night we were just walking up a "busy street" and it had been a relatively slow day and then a guy across the street with two friends yells out at us, "you enjoying your job yet?" and he was so astonished that we told him that we volunteered for this that he ran across the street to come talk with us! he wasn't really sure if he believed in a God and his two friends were atheist (one was his gf or wife i'm not sure).  so they were asking a lot of questions about general christian beliefs and a bit about the Book of Mormon as well. one of them was about dinosaurs and it brought back my memories from loving dinosaurs as a kid -- only for like a second though.  he asked about what happens to people who don't believe in God because he was worried about his girlfriend and was a bit worried if she was going to hell. we then explained to him about the 3 kingdoms of glory and how after we die God is going to give us every opportunity to accept the gospel in the spirit world. he then asked about families and so we started talking about temples and how if people get married in a temple they are sealed together in this life and the next, not just "till death do you part."
he got really excited about that actually and asked how he can get a temple recommend. we told him that someone has to be baptized and be a member for a year in order to be able to enter. he then said "well i know what we're doing in 2017!" haha we left him a book of mormon, his girlfriend took his and had read some actually. while we were talking to him a couple of guys ran across the street and just started asking us who we were and what we do because he had seen us walking around earlier that day. his name was Justin and he was really interested in learning more and invited us to play ball with them at this park sometime and we naturally accepted.  

Thursday we had an interesting visitor... by that i mean a part centipede part spider part one of satan's demons almost ate us. i am going to send a video i think so you will understand what i mean. it teleported across the room!! i wish i was joking... anyways i am not going to waste time in writing this haha.

This is the bug!

on saturday we helped give service to this art program. they are trying to bring some culture to this town and one of our investigators volunteers there a lot so we went and helped. we helped clean up their painting stuff as well as all the paint chips, i could hardly breathe until i got the mask on. with our help we were all able to finish cleaning within 3 hours. we then had to carry a 200+ lb tarp full of paint chips down the fire escape... that was fun. but the guy in charge of the project was so impressed that he was asking us about our church and asked if he could keep the book of mormon we had brought (which was why we brought it to give it away)

 we finally got a beat to teach (basketball). we were passing by this park that we always walk by and there was a group of people playing. there was one guy who was really good and then one guy who was athletic but not a ball player at all and the rest were bad. so when they finished their game we walked up (in our shirts and ties) and asked if they wanted to play twos.  we played to 15 and we just rained 3s on them. we couldn't miss so we won. my knee was killing me though after because church shoes aren't great for basketball. 

we got invited to play again and the people there watching just instantly loved it. we went back sunday because we saw Justin playing there so we were going to stop by and say hi and a lot of the people that were watching on saturday were there and immediately were like i call those two on my team!! we didn't play though don't worry. but then we had an hour long discussion with him as well as about 10 other people who were listening in and asking questions. he had a rough background and at times had found it hard to believe in religion but he told us that he knew he was supposed to come up to us on Tuesday and introduce himself he just doesn't know why. 

we got about 5 new investigators from that courtside discussion. we talked about joseph smith, the plan of salvation, the 3 kingdoms, and the book of mormon. they asked if it was our bible and we told them that nothing can replace the Bible but that the Book of Mormon enhances the teachings in the Bible and allows us to better understand it as well. unfortunately we did not have any to hand out but we had plan of salvation pamphlets and we handed out about 6 of those to people who asked us for one.  it was kinda funny because when we would talk about a principle of the plan of happiness they would all be like, "shoot man that's some deep stuff" i censored it a bit but it was generally that. Justin though his thirst for knowledge and truth was great and i look forward to beating him in some basketball tonight actually. 

thank you everyone for the letters i love them! Aunt Michelle thank you for the cut outs they were really cool and tell Jacob and Robbie i say hi! Mom thank you for the care package i immediately started reading Jesus the Christ. and the pictures i have on my dresser. Tell amanda i loved her letter and will write her as soon as i can! 
I love you all and i hope you all are doing great

Elder Josh Barker
 my mtc zone. my then companion is on the very left in the back
 my companion after we killed it. yes we destroyed our room...
 it was a tiring but well fought battle
 my mtc district with the best mtc teacher ever! (brother vogt he served with Jake Tui in salt lake!!)

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