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, April 1, 2014

Email from 3/31/14

Hey Dad 
Wow sounds like this last week was a blast. I was pretty scared when I saw the post on Facebook about the garage sale thinking you guys were just going to sell all my stuff like all the stories you hear from RMs haha. Hopefully it was just junk haha. But that's really cool that you got to talk a bit about Christ and the Book of Mormon. Simple things like that are so effective in member missionary work. 
So I am pretty upset about BYU-Hawaii. [BYU Hawaii recently made the decision to get rid of their sports program] That was one thing that I didn't like about Idaho was there was no sports to go watch. At least your place in the all time lists will be untouched (including the turnovers haha). UVU though is going to start sports soon and That could possibly be an option for him. Have any other schools expressed interest in him? I pray for him to receive the guidance he needs on this decision whatever it may be. How tall is he now? I'm sure he's taller than me now, which is weird. I have been encouraged more and more to go to Utah St or UVU and I wouldn't mind either one, U of U has a pretty good pharmacy program though (so I've been told maybe Dan thinks otherwise). That's not important now though. 
So anyway this week was different. We were more service oriented this week, and even though it's not about the numbers, our numbers were bad. 
Monday we went to the lighthouse here, I believe I sent you pictures, it was pretty fun.

Tuesday we met with Jackie in the morning and we read with her in chapter 15 of 1 Nephi. She is doing great but is being tested a bit. She is so excited to be baptized though she told us that she has invited her family to come and see it happen. She is just so genuine about learning more of the Gospel and coming closer to our Father in Heaven and Christ. After we met with her we had interviews with President Anderson. It went really well. When I talked with Sister Anderson she asked for my favorite scripture. I gave her 2 Nephi 18, it is one that is comparing Isaiah and I still have no idea what it's talking about or how it applies to my life. This isn't my favorite scripture, but it's the one that gave me a testimony of the comforting power that the Book of Mormon has. I read it in early November when I wasn't doing too well. It was when I read that chapter I felt that everything is going to be okay and to continue on. Elder Christofferson talked once about Daily Bread and the Book of Mormon has become my daily bread to continue going on. The Book of Mormon is easily my favorite part of my studies in the morning. There are so many great stories in there! I have found that if I read out loud then it helps bring the stories to life. When I read silently I always have the same monotone voice and so it becomes boring, but the Book of Mormon is truly an amazing book. I always believed that it was true but my mission has shown me the power and spirit that is contained within its pages.  
[Josh sent us a picture of this scripture, but no explanation.  He must have just been inspired by it]
Wednesday was pretty bad, each of our 6 appointments fell through. So pretty much nothing happened. Jackie did go to the temple site in Philly though so that was awesome that she could go:) 
Thursday after district meeting, we went to help the Whitley's at their Bed 'n' Breakfast to help them put up an event tent. The tent was like 45x80' or something and it took about 45 minutes to just unfold the tarp. We were there for about 6-7 hours total helping getting it up and cleaning it (our appointments cancelled again so we had a free night and they really needed our help). When we left the tent was up and we sprayed it with stuff to get rid of the mildew on it, inside and out. A lot more needed to be done and we offered to come back at 6:30in the morning and work on it some more. The look on Seth Whitley's face was one of shock and pure appreciation. It meant a lot that we would come help again, they needed all the help they could get because an event was going on on Friday. We got back at 8 and so we met with Jackie and talked with her about the temple visit, she absolutely loved it, and God's Plan of Happiness. She said that it made a lot of sense and told us that she just loves the way she feels when we visit and at the temple site. It was powerful. 
Friday we woke up a bit early and went to help with the tent more. We found out that Seth worked on it till 6 am. We woke up when we called it a night. That guy works hard. We scrubbed outside and in the whole time, I got to be on the inside... Yay. I smelled like cleaner the rest of the day even after a shower. I wish we could have had a before and after picture because the difference was pretty good. I hope it was able to help them. After that we did our weekly planning and could barely lift our iPads. I was scrubbing above my head for hours so I was pretty sore. We then went to the Jayaprakash's and helped them move furniture and TVs up and downstairs. They really appreciated it. After that we went to Noelle's house for dinner. She was baptized a few months ago and her soon to be fiancĂ© (he served in Australia) was there along with Michael Dean. They all go to the DC temple all the time and do baptisms. I'm pretty jealous but they're all hilarious it was a lot fun. Michael is still waiting for his call to come it's been about 3-4 weeks because he needed to lose some weight. I'm excited for him he already is an awesome missionary.  
Saturday morning we helped the Clowards with a service project. Have you heard of the "flat Stanley" thing? Maybe Amber has. Well we took a picture with Flat Stanley and I was in my Laker shirt from service so got some product placement but we didn't have a Book of Mormon.
That night we stopped by Karen Thodos. When she opened the door she asked if we could come by another time because it wasn't a good time. We went back to the car and Elder Taylor said, "Call me crazy but I'm going to knock on that door again." So we got back out, got soaked in the rain, and knocked on her door. We could tell that she had been crying. After Elder Taylor bore a quick testimony about the love God has for her and telling her about blessings, she let us in and asked for a blessing. We gave her a blessing to help comfort her. Her dog was barking so much when we walked in but was silent during the duration if the blessing, and when we said amen she told us that she felt so much relief and she feels that she doesn't feel so weighted down anymore. We shared a brief message about living to our potential and enjoying the privileges we have as children of Heavenly Father and committed her to quit smoking, she wants to and I believe she can. We asked her to close with a prayer and she was very nervous and even started over once but it was a beautiful prayer.  
Sunday wet met with Jackie before church. We talked about the Word of Wisdom, mainly smoking since that's the only thing she has a problem with but she is trying hard to quit. She also told us about her going to watch the women's broadcast and how much she loved being there. She told us how happy she is that we've come into her life and how the Gospel has helped so much in her life in the weeks we've been meeting with her, she's doing a lot better. we met at our new location, the stake center, at 2:30! It was pretty late and the fast Sunday was hard for some people. We gave a quick presentation during sharing time with the primary kids that was a lot of fun. 
I hope you're doing well! I love you Dad!
Elder Barker

Ps could you send me some short sleeve shirts? Size 16 1/2 preferably fitted shirts

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