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.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Email from 1/27/14

Hey Dad,

This week has been a little bit more difficult but it ended on a better note i think. Elder Parker and I honestly checked out a little in the beginning of the week mostly because he had to pack all of Tuesday since he slept on p-day. Then Wednesday we were walking out the door to go to transfers but then we got a text saying a lot of main roads are closed due to snow so transfers got pushed toThursday. He had everything he owned packed so we both weren't too productive. On Monday we did get to talk to Mario however, he took us out to dinner and we immediately felt bad because he told us the reason he has money was because he recently got a loan... I hope he wises up with his money soon.

Thursday I met my new companion his name is Elder Hansen from west of Provo. Friday we met with Brother Nunemacher and Brother Hyland and introduced them to Elder Hansen. Brother Nunemacher is in Alma right now in the middle of the war stories of the Book of Mormon. With Brother Hyland we talked about the Priesthood and the duties thereof. We also went to the local Salvation Army and the community arts center to volunteer and we are going to the salvation army again today to talk with their colonel. Saturday we saw John Boyle and talked about the Restoration and Joseph Smith. The Spirit was there and it was really cool when we went over the First Vision. We also saw Brother Heffelfinger (1st counselor) he hasn't been to church in a few months and is technically less active so we wanted to see how he is doing. We shared a spiritual thought on Church Pray Read (CPR) and how it can bless his life. Sunday Elder Hansen and Elder Cowley (Elder Newbold's new comp) spoke and they both found out on Thursday that they were haha. They both did a good job and the spirit in that room was really strong. possibly my favorite though was Bryan Tejeda's. He is 13 years old and i think he was the first youth speaker in the time that i have been here. He was incredibly nervous and didn't look up once, and even though his talk may have been less than 2 minutes the Spirit and faith that that young man had was amazing and it really touched me. That night we got to go tract for some time so much fun not really but it wasn't bad, we ran into some really nice people. BUT DAD! 

We started talking to this man who is in the Air Force and has been for some time and continues to be. I asked him if he knew Boeing and he said of course. I told him that you help with the C-17s and he said, "I was about to say we need more C-17s out there. Best cargo plane there is" I thought you would really like that, people really appreciate the work you and your colleagues do and it is saving lives!

That's too bad about Nate's team but he seems to be doing awesome! 18 and 10? what is he averaging because those are star power forward numbers and he is 2,3 i assume.  Thank you for your thoughts on the mission. I am sure Brother Hull will be appreciative of them. I did not do too well on finding a scripture for the week but there was one this morning that stuck out to me about missionary work and patience.. I believe it is Alma 26:27 and it talks about if we bear with patience the Lord will bless us with success. I love you all and I hope you are all doing great! Tell Andrea I say hi.

Elder Barker

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Email from 11/20/14

Hey Dad,

I did not get transferred but Elder Parker will be so we are driving down to Broomall Wednesday for the transfer meetings. I did get the wallet and with the gift cards it is a really nice wallet and tell her I say thank you.  I have facebook but it is for only missionary work so i cannot contact people from home unless given permission from President.

As far as the scripture reading goes... that is the classic reason [I have no time, I get busy, I forget] we hear every time from investigators that we eventually drop. Ask Steve or Mitch haha 

I really miss Daisy and Emmy were there pictures taken at California Adventure?  If so I would like some haha. We will not get any baptisms this month but we have a date for Mario on March 8 but we could make it on March 1 I believe, and hopefully we can have at least one more in March as well. 

This week was interesting haha. Monday we had a Birthday bash for Elder Parker & Newbold (who is staying in Hazleton) and we played basketball on some outside courts, it was a warm 40 so it was nice:) 
Tuesday we had the soul kitchen again in Hazleton and one of the ladies there brought Elder Newbold a Spanish Boyz ll Men CD i wanted to listen to it so bad but of course i did not and neither did he but it is weird going into stores and hearing music like this morning I heard "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5 and I tried really hard to not listen or watch ESPN which was on in the place as well (a member took us out to lunch).  Thursday we went on exchanges and i went to Pottsville and we visited someone who was getting baptizedon Saturday to interview her. Turns out... that she was the only one home and we did not have an adult male with us -- which is not allowed -- and the elder i was with just kept doing small talk until I initiated the interview.. she did get baptized though so that was good. 

On Friday we went to Sandy's house to give her and her now husband a blessing because they were getting married the next day and both were feeling a little under the weather. Saturday was awesome it the wedding of Sandy and Zane (who got baptized in October). It was held in the Lehighton building and because they are both converts, there was not too many members there. They asked me to say the opening prayer, Elder Leavitt to read a couple scriptures, and for Elder Parker & Newbold to sing "Love Is Spoken Here" and it went really well. We went to the reception after and talked to people there, since that was why they invited us haha, once again it was really weird hearing music but it was fun I had some Ziti pasta and salad it was good. It is a lot easier to eat new things when you are a missionary haha of course I am in the US though so that helps as well.  Sunday at church Mario came again:) and Brother Nunemacher came for the first time in years! It was awesome seeing him there. I taught the English Gospel Principles class and i feel it went really well. 

This week we also set up the "Tamaqua Tyranical Titan Wall of Tirade" which totally makes sense grammatically haha. Basically we put up pictures of memories and awesome Star Wars stuff that we did. 
I am going to try and start a scripture/hymn/quote of the week and this week is "I Need Thee Every Hour."  I love this song it hit me pretty hard in church when singing it, especially the 2nd verse which I believe goes like: "I need thee every hour, stand thou nearby.  Temptations lose their power when thou art nigh..." We need to surround ourselves with good things for Satan to not have power over us. I have seen this so much, ever since leaving on my mission Satan has tried so much harder on me, especially mentally but if i sing a hymn or pray it is so much easier to stay away from situations or thoughts that come up.

I love you all and hope you are doing well:)
Elder Barker

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Email from 1/13/14

Hey Dad,
sorry about last week I don't know what happened.
I don't really have a whole lot of time to fill you in on last week but nothing too exciting happened that I can remember other than tracting in a snowstorm.
This week the Hazleton Elders had a baptism and Elder Parker performed it, it took us all by surprise. 
Monday: Elder Parker and I went to go see a man that I tracted into with our DL, named Bill McCoy aka the Real McCoy (I have no idea what that is a reference to). This man may be the most interesting man in the world. He once was a multi millionaire and now lives very modestly and honestly i would take up my whole pday if i told you about him. He won the international salesman award in Europe a couple of times and I could tell that he was looking at which way I looked and examining our speech patterns and everything, he even told us he was and that he liked what he sees haha. Awesome guy. He wants to set up a seminar type thing for us to speak to the youth here about faith and Christ and how it has helped us stay away from trouble. He is going to introduce us to a lot of local leaders here from different organizations to discuss how we can help out in the community. He basically told us that he prayed us here when Elder Clark and I met him the first time. 
Tuesday: We met with Brother McFarland to talk about the priesthood because he is advancing to Priest and it went very well. He actually advanced yesterday and Elder Parker and I were in the circle.
Wednesday we met with Dezyrai and talked about baptism and the Holy Ghost. She loves coming to church and Sister Mousseau -- who Dezyrai has really taken to -- would like to see her be baptized soon so hopefully by February 15?  
Thursday we saw Brother Nunemacher and had another awesome lesson. We asked him what we can do to help him get to church. He told us that you've done a lot and it is all up to him to come. I don't know if we can do anything new but just visit with him from time to time. After we saw Brother Hyland and he was so happy for food that was delivered to him from the Bishop's storehouse, it filled their fridge perfectly. He seems to be doing a lot better and has been consistently coming to church for about a month and a half. He was unable to go yesterday because he had to go to the hospital. We went there last night and gave him a blessing .
Friday: we painted over where the hole used to be in the wall.
Saturday  was Fabio's baptism and Mario and Brother Nunemacher came! it was awesome to see them both there. Later that day we went to go see Kenny & Lissette and just testified of this gospel and the book of mormon. It was really spiritual and i told them of some of the trials i went through before leaving on my mission and how this gospel helped me and is helping me. We both had them in tears and they invited us over next sunday for dinner and that we would see them at Church.
Sunday: Mario showed up to church and sat with Zane and Sandy as well as Elder Parker since i was blessing.  Kenny and Lissette did not show up again... It was really disappointing; if i were to compare it to sports it was like you being tied and you get fouled at the buzzer and all you have to do is make 1 out of 2 free throws and you win... then your teammate misses them both so you have to go to overtime. Mario loved church though and we were able to get a date for him to be baptized on March 8! I'm super excited for him:)

We get transfer calls friday night so we find out who is leaving. I will probably be staying honestly but who knows.  
Nathan starts league in 2 days! That's crazy. Elder Parker and I miss high school ball so much. we might get to play today because the YMCA is free this week:)

Hope you are all doing well. I love you!
Elder Barker