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, July 15, 2014

Email from 7/7/14

Hey Dad,
So I will start off with saying that I almost got shot... But more of that later
My 4th was pretty cool didn't get to see any firework shows since they all started when we had to be in bed:/ but we did get to go out and see some cool stuff. Philly definitely goes all out for the 4th. Kensington (the district that we live in) did go crazy with fireworks though. People were lighting the big ones off in the middle of the streets, even the main streets, yeah I didn't like that and apparently a lot of people got their hands on sticks of dynamite and set those off too! Those were really loud. I do hope the Lakers get someone good haha here in Philly I hear sports talk all the time and it's kind of a ice-breaker since people are shocked that this white dude in a shirt and tie knows basketball haha.
The mission is going well our area has the best numbers of the zone which is surprising because it's not like our area is amazing and you would think that being in the middle of Philly it'd be easy to teach a bunch of people but people really don't like talking to us haha. But hey our area is progressing and that's what is important, not our numbers. So for the garments the site is blocked on our iPads so I can't go to the store. If you could order me some that would work and just send them to the mission office maybe? I would just need a couple more pairs of cotton/poly boxer briefs and cotton/poly rounded shirts. Unless Steve thinks something else might suit better for hot and humid weather. And the pants yeah i desperately need some because my suit pants are becoming lighter and lighter than my suit jackets. There's just only one place where I could buy good ones and it's far (well for public transportation it is). And I can't really afford to dry clean haha. Yeah I have had good companions there's only been one that just really bugged me but I was only with him for 1 transfer so I was able to just swallow my pride and go on, something I have had to do my whole life with all those pesky arguments that Nate and I had haha. That's crazy that Rachael is almost done! I feel like we all just barely left.

So this week was interesting, it had good things and things that are bad. So on Wednesday the only thing that happened was that there was a really big thunderstorm that night and on the way home I just stood by the bus stop and watched the lightning. My comp took cover under an awning because it was raining a bit. It was so cool I felt like a little kid seeing all the flashes of lighting and feeling the thunder shake me haha. East coast thunderstorms are awesome, it's the only thing it has over the West Coast. When the bus dropped us off it was a waterfall of rain! We got soaked and we had no umbrella I'll send a picture of how drenched I was haha. I'll send a picture. 
Then Thursday we met with a less active household, the Layton/Clayton/Browns, and taught them the 10 commandments it went well. After, we went to the Book of Mormon class that we hold every Thursday and another storm hit, not as bad but still. The class went really well we read Mosiah 4 and it is one of my favorite chapters there are so many awesome things in that chapter:) 
Friday we had a ward breakfast at the church and it was a lot of fun and since there are lot of students In the ward we talked about college and someone told me that if I stay at any BYU and try to transfer well it would be very difficult for any of my credits to transfer even at a Utah school and that it would be harder to get into pharmacy programs with a bachelors from a BYU. I have a lot of time but I don't want to make that decision last minute. Maybe others could shed more light but that's what this member said. 
Saturday, we went to go play football and as we were waiting for the bus, well this guy came up to us asking for change as many people do. I told him that I had nothing but he didn't believe it since we were waiting for the bus and pestered some more and my companion then said that we have passes that we just swipe and they guy said to let him see. My companion unfortunately did and held it for him to see and the man took it from his hand and proceeded to walk away and I, being bigger than him already, grabbed him pretty firmly and told him that that wasn't his to take. Well this guy then proceeded to put his hand in waist and said, "you think I'm playing?" It didn't look like he had a gun but I wasn't going to chance it. Elder Cooley then started explaining how we are missionaries and pleaded for his pass back. The man gave him his pass back and started asking questions about what we do. He said he would come to church on Sunday (he didn't). But he started saying how respected that I stood up for my companion and that I was like a bigger brother haha. He said that he got a little scared when I grabbed him. It was awkward because the whole time this guy is talking to us trying to be friendly, I still have adrenaline going through me thinking this guy just threatened to shoot me what the heck haha. So yeah if we tour my mission we won't visit Kensington. But then we got to football and told everyone what happened and they all thought it was funny that we committed the guy to come to church haha. Football was fun though but when we finished my back was a little tight and well now I have back spasms. I had it my senior year during volleyball and it was pretty painful but this is so much worse. The nurse should call me today sometime.
Also on Saturday we met with Roni Ho from China. We talked about the Gospel of Christ with an emphasis on the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it has helped us. It went well and she said she will get baptized when she feels it's true. She's hard to read though, I feel usually I'm pretty good at reading people but not with her. I hope and pray she will come to know the truthfulness and divinity of this church.
That was basically my week, I hope you are all doing well.
Elder Barker

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