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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Email from Feb 24

Hey Dad,
Wow, seems like a lot is changing back home;  The wedding sounds like it'll be good i wish i could be there for a lot of things but i know that I am where i need to be. You told me about the youth conference special olympics, that'll be fun we did that my sophomore year i believe and i had a good time doing it. The weather has been really bad here but this week it was good hitting the 40s a few times so that was nice. How's Cali? raining yet? I probably will get transferred we find out Friday so i will tell you next Monday. 6 months seems to have gone by fast and i can't believe that Elder Tuimaualuga has been out for over a year! 
Monday night we got to see Tom, an former investigator that Elder Parker found. The lesson went great and we talked about the Restoration and the Spirit was there so strong as we recounted the First Vision. We committed him to read Alma 7 and pray about it. 
Tuesday we helped out Brother Bhola again and as we were shoveling and picking ice it got really warm and we took our coats off and were shoveling snow in just our white shirts and ties haha. He then gave us some really weird stuff to eat. They seem normal from the outside but always adds things different, like hot chocolate he puts some spice in it haha. Then we helped him put some grip things on the stairs (I don't know what they're called) but he puts them on backwards because it's better? He's an interesting guy haha. Afterwards we went to go see Bill McCoy and man can he talk haha. Eventually he got to the point about his stories and that he wants help us with our "Sales pitch" haha. So we did the Restoration and as I told him the First Vision in Joseph Smith's own words I could feel the Spirit and I could see in his eyes that he could too it was great but right when i finished the door bell rang and he needed to go take care of something so we left. 
Wednesday we called Bill McCoy and he talked about more stories haha but then he said that he was so proud of us and how we present ourselves and that he liked our chemistry and our "pitch" went really well haha. We got to go tracting! Maybe eventually i'll like it haha. We did set up a couple of return appointments though with people and so that was good. 
Thursday I went to Pottsville on exchange and we went to a member's house and had dinner with them. He made a spaghetti casserole with sweet peppers and hamburger in it it was really good and he makes cheesecake. Elder Prue told me he makes 57 flavors or something and is working on swedish fish haha. After that though we had dinner #2 at a person's house who has a reputation of being very unhygienic. The smell was terrible in her house and me having a full stomach almost threw up and was really nervous about the food but the tacos she made was not too bad thankfully. The Elders in Tamaqua though got to go see John Boyle and did the Restoration again. They brought him to tears this time while talking about Joseph Smith and the spirit was super powerful there they said but then he changed the subject and started talking about something else. They also got a couple of new investigators and set up an appointment for Tuesday, we need to find a male to go with us though because they are both women and they are feeding us dinner. Puerto Rican food:) i hope i spelled that right. 
Friday we had planning all day pretty much. Joe Marioni called us though and asked if we would like to go to dinner that night and so he took us out. He was the Christian Atheist. I was pretty nervous and afraid that bashing could occur. He did tell us that he read the Book of Mormon that Elder Parker and I gave him. We asked what he thought about it and that it wasn't a very good literary read. He started going off on how there isn't a universal theology in the world and so there isn't a God. He attempted to bash and if i am being honest, I won. He said he got the answer that the Book of Mormon wasn't true and we asked if he had prayed about it and he said no because he would have to practice a principle of our religion. The Spirit was gone that night when we went home.  
Saturday we had more lessons fall through so that was good but we were able to meet with Eric, a former from 2005, and set up a return with him on Saturday as well. 
Sunday we got to go to Kenny & Lissette's after church and we had a really good spiritual thought. I would call it a lesson but Lissette kept running around but we were able to talk about the Atonement and it was really good. They had read up to 1 Ne 9 since last time we saw them. we committed them to pray together at least once a day. They are really great and Kenny said he can't wait for the Philly temple to be finished!
This morning I was studying my favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon; Alma chapter 32. I love how it talks about faith and how we can build our faith from just a simple desire, or seed, to believe, we can have our faith grow into a tree of perfect knowledge! I invite you all to read it!
Hope you are all doing well!
Elder Barker

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