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, March 10, 2014

Email from 3/10/14 and a note from a member in Josh's new area

[On the 6th, our dad got this email along with a couple pictures from a member in Josh's new area.  It so nice of him to send it, letting us know where Josh is, and reminding us all of how awesome he is. :) ]
We had the opportunity to have your son in home for dinner.  He is doing
well and happy in our ward.  He is in the Bayview ward in North East
Maryland.  He is a wonderful young man and know he will do so well in this
area.  Thank you so much for sending your son on a mission. 
[Thank goodness he's eating some ice-cream!  Look how slim he's gotten!  
 [This is Elder Taylor, Josh's new companion]

[Josh's quick note to Amber: (Side-note for those that may not know: A missionary's work is a lot more efficient when local members give them referrals for people that want to learn more about the Gospel, rather than relying on street contacts or knocking on doors.  Despite what the stereotype is, missionaries would much rather spend their time following up on member referrals than on door-knocking! :)  Utah missionaries stay very busy because there are so many members who are constantly giving referrals to the missionaries here.)]

Hey Amber! So my new address is 15 Bertram Ct, North East, Maryland  21901
I will talk more in my letter to dad but I feel like a missionary in
Utah! We barely do any finding ourselves! It's great and the members
feed us almost once a day! I love you! Tell Steve and the girls I say

[Josh's email for the week:]

Hey Dad,

Yeah Brother Fletcher took a couple pictures and asked for your email. The members here love the missionaries and we get fed about once a day so my weight loss may cease but I've been working out a lot more in the morning so hopefully that'll help. I am in the Bayview Ward here in Maryland and there's an average of 130 people in attendance on Sunday. My new address is 15 Bertram Ct, North East, MD 21901 (the 1 I sent Amber is the correct one so check with her to make sure this is right as well) I am very excited to be here. How are Elders Coggins & Mason doing? I am excited for you and Andrea that's cool that Bishop can do that.

So Monday we went to the Hulls house for dinner 1 last time and had a lesson with Mario about the 10 commandments and keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was an awesome lesson to end with and when we left the Hulls came out on the porch and sang, "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again." 
Tuesday was a lot of packing and we got to see Michael Bravo 1 last time and Mario as well. Then we drove to Pottsville to spend the night.

Wednesday was transfers and I was the 2nd to last one to find out where I was going so it was very nerve racking. My new companion is Elder Taylor and he has been out for 18 months and, like both of my other companions, he is a farmer haha. I'm getting all these farm boys maybe The Lord is trying to tell me something haha. We went to go see a couple that night who have a baptismal date in April, their names are Jamie and Nicole. We were pretty unprepared honestly so we pulled out a Mormon message series called Daily Bread, it's a really good one. We were able to have a really good lesson after that and we talked about their baptism coming up, Jamie is ready for it and, despite having family in his ear against it, has no more fear about it. Nicole is worried about not being perfect enough for it and we explained how we dont need to be but she is a perfectionist and wants to not mess up.

Friday Elder Taylor started feeling really sick later in the day so a member waiting for his mission call, Michael Dean, and I went to a couple of lessons with him. One of them was with a young 17 year old man named Seth who will joining the Marines actually. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and since the youth were going to the DC temple on Saturday we talked a lot about the spirit world and what goes on there. It was very spiritual. 

Saturday we helped move a couch.  we had a few lessons that day, one was with another person with a date named Jackie but she wants to move to Jersey with her boyfriend and he said to her, "are you sure you want to go back to church? You're not the Holy type." That really made me mad when I found that out. We told her to pray and find out what God wants her to do, not her boyfriend.  Later we went to Jamie & Nicole's again and we watched "Hope of God's Light" by President Utchdorf. They seemed to like it and then started to get a little off topic so I asked if I could share a personal experience and after I did and bore my testimony on the power of the Holy Ghost and how they can have the peace and comfort it brings everyday after they are baptized, there was just silence for awhile. Elder Taylor looked at me and gave a thumbs up haha. Testimonies really do bring the Spirit in abundance. It was a really good lesson:)

Sunday I got to give an introduction/testimony in sacrament meeting and while I was speaking I felt I needed to talk about something that had happened that I was not planning on sharing. In the words of President Thomas S. Monson, quote, "Tears were shed" close quote haha but it was great I was able to get a few laughs as well:) but afterwards a member in the ward came up to me and told me that the Spirit told very strongly that I should go see a less active member, he is about the same age as me and she feels that I would be perfect to help him get into church. I really hope I can do that and I will definitely act on this Sister's prompting! 

I am really excited about being here:) how are Amanda and Mitch doing? Tell them I miss them and I love them.

Have a good week!
Elder Barker

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