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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 21, 2013

It is very unlikely that i will be transferring after this week because i am still being trained and most likely will stay in this area at least 1-2 transfers (6-12 weeks) after my first 2 transfers so sending the package is a safe bet. 

This week was relatively slow unfortunately.  Wednesday was pretty cool. we went to an investigator who had dropped us and then picked us back up and were going to share a message from the book of mormon but he said he just didn't have any time at all. we were walking down the street and then all of sudden a guy yells from his truck, "hey my friend from utah you never came to my house!" then he pulls over and gets out of his car and starts walking towards us. Elder Parker had met with him once before I was there.  Joe was his name and is a huge Penn St. football fan and because Elder Parker is going to go play at USU he just loves him.  he was raised Catholic but just questioned a lot of things from past experiences but has a very strong belief in God. He got our number and he wants to get together and have his wife cook us a delicious dinner and we are never going to say no to food haha. he also told us he wants to take us to a Penn St game!! Which would be awesome!! but pretty unlikely, i'm kinda hoping President Anderson gives us an ok for it :). 

Later we went to dinner at the Gottstein's (the Elder's Quorum President) home and his wife made shepherds pie it has come to be one of my favorite meals ever.  after we had dinner we went to Michael's and he was fairly down again and was venting to us a bit, but then all of sudden he said, "you guys are telling me i can be happy... so what would i have to do to get baptized?" and Elder Parker and I told him about how the Holy Ghost can help us stay away from sin and we challenged him to not drink from then till Sunday was over. He recognized it would be very difficult but he said that through Christ all things all possible and accepted. unfortunately, he was unable to attend church but we are meeting with him tonight so we are going to follow up with him.  Thursday night was exchanges and i got paired with our District Leader here at Tamaqua.  we had a lesson with an 81 year old widow named Helen who knew Elder Flake's (our DL) aunt.  she was one of the sweetest and funniest people i have met and had more energy than me!! she unfortunately does not know what she believes in anymore. I just enjoyed talking to her though she was so quick!

Saturday we had a couple of cool lessons.  the first was with Brother Roman (our mission leader). we began teaching him about the Melchizedek priesthood and the significance of it which was fairly difficult to teach because Elder Parker and I have a combined time holding that authority of maybe a year! and here we are teaching of college professor of about every known course and study on the Earth about the oath and covenant of the priesthood! this lesson could have lasted with days of both of us learning as much as him! we need to meet with him again because, although our lesson went very well, there is just so much to cover and we won't cover every single detail it's just so much! i never realized how much there is to it being raised in the church i always just kinda viewed it as the next step. i wish i had taken some time to study more of it.

Right after Brother Roman we went to Brother McFarland's house.  a big reason for him coming back to church since he was 12 is to put some spirituality in his daughter's life who is almost 13. he has taken her to church a few times but would love to meet with us with dezyrai (his daughter) so he could learn along with her. I spoke this week on the importance of coming to church and the blessings we can receive from doing so and apparently his daughter was asking him questions about things in my talk and what not which is awesome because it means she was paying attention and brother mcfarland came up to me and thanked me for my talk and said it was very enlightening. 

i was super nervous for my talk and i don't know why really. i didn't really have my talk written out like every one in the past i just wrote an outline with topics and notes that i wanted to touch on. i did have a quote from President Uchtdorf's talk at conference. many people said i had a really good one and thanked me so i hope i was able to help a couple people in any certain way. i paraphrased Elder Bednar when he spoke about tithing and i said that actively coming to church can bless us in subtle yet significant ways which i completely believe. in sunday school sister molano shared a clip from the movie 17 miracles which is about the martin handcart company and if you can i would watch it. it is one of the best movies in my opinion and is so sad yet uplifting.

Later that night we went to our branch president's house for dinner with Elder & Sister Tew (the senior couple) and sister molano is such an amazing cook!! President molano grilled steak and Sister Tew brought pot roast and cheesy potatoes and sister molano grilled salmon and made scones!! i apologize if this offends anyone but it was the best meal i have had in recent memory! they even had strawberry lemonade candy corn! and we brought leftovers which will be legen, wait for it.... dary!! haha. but after dinner we had one of the most spiritual and intellectual conversations i have had; let me change that, we had THE most spiritual and intellectual conversation i have had! we talked about so many principles such as the atonement and why Christ had to suffer the way he did which enlightened me so much. i felt exhausted after that talk.  unfortunately the Tews leave tomorrow for home and will be very missed and Sister Tew took me aside and gave me a couple of talks and ensign articles that she had printed out and told me to not give up and continue to work hard and not stray away from the path. i am going to miss those two. 

today we are going to have zone unity day and play games i guess it is going to take up the whole pday basically so i hope its fun haha.

i hope everyone is doing well and i love you all,

Elder Josh Barker

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