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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Email from 10/13/14

Hey Dad,

I will recount some of the things that have happened the past couple of weeks. :-D So my new comp is Elder Olsen, he's been out for about 9 months and is from Moab Utah.  
2 Thursdays ago we had a lesson with the Giordano family. In the past Paul, the husband, was always shut off but liked us. Well they used to be mormon but left and Paul went back to being Catholic, and we started talking about the Godhead and Trinity. I asked him questions about the trinity and brought out the bible and read some stories such as Christ's baptism and Acts 7 and asked him how are they one. He acknowledged that it didn't make sense so we talked about our view of the godhead and the spirit was really strong because we weren't arguing just talking and teaching. He asked us to keep praying for him at the end because the mold around him is chipping. Elder Cooley and I had been praying for a long time for him to be humbled a little bit so it was great walking home from there seeing that answer to our prayers.  
Conference was great I forgot my notes but I loved how so many talks were about family and receiving answers to prayers and then also taking responsibility for yourselves. With those talks I felt as if spiritual darts were thrown everywhere chastising people left and right haha. But those talks made me look a little more inward as to how I can improve myself.  
This last week we got to watch the movie, "Meet the Mormons" at zone conference. It was amazing and I hear it's in the box office top 10 too! I loved it have you guys gone to watch it? You could totally invite someone to that its an easy way to do missionary work, I mean, who doesn't like to go to the movies?  
On Sunday Brandon was able to receive the priesthood and was ordained to a priest! He was so excited I love working with him. And we had a less-active named Annie that We've been working with since before I got here and she came to conference and church this last Sunday and stayed for all 3 hours!:) she brought her niece and nephew too and they loved it as well! 
It was a good week, fairly quiet, but good. Friday was horrible because well I lost my wallet again and I was just really angry the whole day but I tried to humble myself so I could have the spirit so we could teach and luckily there was another bus pass in the office. How much was my card charged? I'm still really mad about it I'm not going to lie.  
But basketball is always fun at least there's some decent guys that play but obviously not too good because I can guard all of them fairly easy. It's usually good at getting rid of stress. 
But I hope you are all doing well,
Elder Barker

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Email from 9/29/14

Hey Dad,

So yes, the belt came. For the sweatshirt, I'd like a volleyball one and you can send it to either the same address you sent the belt or the the mission home. I am staying for another 6 weeks, in fact Elder Cooley is already at the mission home since he's going home. 

 For the leadership, I still haven't had a call from president so unless they surprise me at transfers I am still a regular proselyting missionary.

Anyway, that's really great about your new calling that should be a lot of fun! As a missionary I've been a gospel principles teacher in 2 out of my 3 areas. Just have a discussion, not a lecture, and you'll do great! I'm sure you know that already but it is hard to listen when someone in priesthood or Sunday school just talks, just be personable:) that's too bad that you do t have that voicemail anymore, I'm really upset about itSmiling Face with Horns for Nathan, do you think you could ask him to send me an email or letter about why he may, or may not, want to serve a mission. Like what his real feelings are, not what he thinks I want to hear. I will be very prayerful in my answer, because despite all of the negative and, quite honestly, depressing things that have happened on my mission, I do not doubt or regret one bit of coming out here and serving, and I hope he sees that. 

That's crazy that Jordan is almost done!  

Brandon got confirmed yesterday! It was great he was so happy to have the Holy Ghost now. Elder Cooley had a great way to end his mission I'd say. Sorry I'm a little scattered brained, we were playing ball and a bunch of guys came in off the street. A lot were high and it was getting hard to control. I kinda wrecked them all, not to be prideful but they were all talking about the white boy so I just didn't miss haha. We had to kick them all out though. It was not good, the spirit was completely gone. But anyway, Brandon is great! I'm happy it's been great working with him and I am so excited for general conference!! I am stoked! I hope you take notes haha.

Well I love you Dad,
Elder Barker

Ps I am super nervous about getting my new companion. Pray for me and him to get along.

Email from 9/22/14

Hey Dad, 
So no I did not get the belt, did you send it to the new address?
So there are two things I wanna talk about. 
First off Brandon got baptized!! It was great and much needed. He is sooo happy to, as he says, "be clean in the eyes of God." I would talk more about it but honestly I am exhausted and I am trying hard to stay awake. Sufficeth to put a screenshot of what he posted on Facebook about it. 

This is Elder Cooley's last week. Because he is about to die ["die" in Missionary Speak means that a missionary is about to finish his mission and return home] I encouraged Brandon to have Elder Cooley baptize him and i think that was the right decision. 
The other thing is we had interviews with President and we talked about some of the things that have happened during my mission and he told me that he's proud of me for how I've dealt with the things that have happened. He also told me that I'm going to be called to lead in the mission. I asked him for a blessing because I haven't had one since I got one from you the day before I went to the MTC and in it he told me that leadership positions will come to me in the mission from here on out. I'm pretty nervous about it especially since everyone thinks I'm going to train and possibly be district leader as well. Hopefully not haha. Well I'm sorry it's so short but I gotta go. I love you 
Elder Barker

Ps. Could you send me one of my sweatshirts from high school? Either basketball or volleyball, preferably volleyball. Thank you!