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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Email from 4/12/15

Hey Dad, 
So I am typing in the car because we have to drive to Broomall (2 hours one way I might have to) soon to pick up the car that my last companion beat up. Didn't even get to do laundry so we'll have to use time tomorrow. Since I get carsick I'm not sure how long this will be. 
Anyway, so was Nathan's last game bad? Did you get footage of his good game or dunk contest that I can have?  
Answers: my mailing address is 51 N 2nd st. apt 310 Stroudsburg, PA 18360. Transfer calls are on April 24 though so I'm not sure if I'll be here or not after the 27th. So you can send it to the mission home or wait until I know where I'll be.  
With college, President has given me permission to look into that so you don't have to worry about it I already knew that registration was in June. I don't know if I'm going to be rooming with anyone in September from my mission as most of them are going in winter and/or are engaged and might be married by then. It might just be like the first time and see what roommates I get. 

This week was good we got 14 lessons (an area high) and got tracting time in (yayyy🎉). We made a lot of progress though with a lot of people. We met with Freddy, Monica, and Adrian a few times and they are starting to progress as a family which is great to see because there have been some moments of contention there. Adrian told us that he wants to be baptized and his parents said that that's okay. I don't know if I told you last week but Monica (the wife) is a member! She was baptized at 15 in Ecuador and never went back. There is a youth temple trip May 2nd and Adrian really wants to go so we want to get him there with some names.  
All of the lessons were in Spanish however but I was to feel the spirit in them. It's so interesting, I've never had a full conversation with these people, but I love them so much and I want them to get closer to their Father so bad. I'll miss this area whenever I leave. Well I am starting to feel sick, I'm sorry I know it's short. This will send whenever I get wifi. I love you Dad.
Elder Barker

Ps can I have bishop coggins email as well as president aragons?

Email from 4/6/2015

Well I just accidentally deleted the whole email I typed up so I'm gonna have to make this quick. Real quick- did Nate get my card? This week we had zone conference and we talked about being a full purpose missionary.  General Conference was really great I loved President Uchtdorf's talks (as always). Elder Oaks kinda threw down on teenage me, but he's right, we can't just coast through the gospel and expect to live a
 good faithful temple worthy life. I have realized that more and more on my mission.

Anyway, i was really sad to see how President Packer was doing. It was a really good talk but there were so many things I only caught because of subtitles. I wouldn't be surprised if that was his last conference but I hope he gets better. President Monson also looked like he was starting to age a lot. Also he spoke very little this conference and
didn't even close the conference. I hope he's doing okay. What was with the boos? President Uchtdorf handled it like a boss though. I really enjoyed the Sunday morning session that was my favorite I think. The themes I got though (I have to get going) were family, honoring and magnifying our priesthood, and honoring the sabbath. I am so grateful to be able to have modern prophets and apostles to help guide us today. Their words always make me reflect on what I can do better and habits I need to develop now. It's weird that that was the last one I will watch on the mission.

 Well I love you Dad.
 Elder Barker

Monday, April 13, 2015


This week was crazy! I am so tired we taught 13 lessons (not much but it's the most this area has taught since being opened. I do feel bad because the majority of lessons are in Spanish and so its all Elder Mask pretty much. Anyway so on Monday, I almost dunked (gosh I have fallen so far), we went to the Santiago family for dinner after P-Day and that family is crazy! It's so chaotic but so much fun they are a great family 
On Tuesday we were able to teach a new investigator named Julio. He was born Catholic but he is not really sure what he believes. He really dislikes the fact that he didn't get to choose to be baptized catholic, instead his parents "forced it on" him when he was a baby as he said. He believes that he doesn't receive help from God, he believes he has everything he has because of himself. It was a Spanglish lesson and so I didn't get all of it, but he was very nice and honest about what he believes so that was good. 
Later that day we saw the Freddy and Adrian. Even though they are Spanish speaking (well Adrian can speak English) I still feel so much love for this family. I remember on Tuesday the week before, I don't remember if I told you this or not, I had a prompting the whole time that I needed to bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon to this family. I tried paying attention to understand more and I could tell that they were coming with more and more doubts about the Book of Mormon and it got close to the end of the lesson and the spirit then told me that I would deeply regret not sharing my testimony, I then had a quick picture in my head of them dropping us. I then lean over to Elder Mask and asked if he would translate for me so I can speak. I then bore testimony of how the Book of Mormon has blessed me and my family, how in the darkest and lowest times it has brought me to light, how it has shown me God's love and that it can strengthen their family as well. Fast forward to this last Tuesday and and he told us that "it's time for me to stop waiting and ask God" (in Spanish) whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. It was a good end to the lesson. 
Then right after that we saw a less active sister named Carmen. She is this sweet Hispanic woman who loves the missionaries. We read with her from the Book of Mormon (2 Nefi 33). I read as well (in Spanish since that's relatively easy to do) and she was so impressed and thinks I can speak Spanish now all of a sudden haha. She kept saying, in Spanish, "Wow you learned very quickly! Very good" haha.  
On Wednesday we had an English lesson!! It was with the Otis family, they're members that recently moved from New York City. We had a good lesson with them about FHE. They hadn't done it in about a year. They have a puppy German Shepard and I might get one, it'd be one of the few dogs I'd be okay with having. And she came to church this Sunday! It was great seeing her and her kids. 
Thursday we didn't have any lessons but we had 2 dinners back to back, OH MY GOSH, haha. And members, especially Hispanic members, always pile more on your plate, a lot more haha. So I was already full when we went to the second dinner. Anyway yeah haha
Friday gosh, we went to a less actives family home for dinner and they want us over a lot. So this Friday it's happening again! 
Saturday was a good day. We saw Freddy and Adrian again and as soon as I saw Freddy you could tell that he had finally prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. He was happy and so excited to see us. Long story short we invited them to be baptized on April 26. It was a really great week even though I'm exhausted every single night. Elder Mask and I are starting to turn this area around and it's great to see.  
I've been meaning to write something and I've completely forgotten the past few weeks. I want to challenge you, Nathan, Amanda, Mitch, Amber, and Steve to all finish the Book of Mormon (wherever you may be in it) by the time I come home from the mission. I want to finish the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon by that time. It's 4-5 months and I am completely confident that you all can do that. 
With me going home, it's not up to me it's up the presidency of the 70. 
I love you Dad
Elder Barker

Sent from my iPad

Email from 3/23/15

Hey Dad, 
Okay so first, [regarding Josh's plans for school] i still plan on going to fall, winter just came into my mind a couple times so I thought I'd ask, I wouldn't want to be sitting around so I still want to go to Fall. It's something I've been very prayerful about. 
Well I have a new companion now and his name is Elder Mask from Gilbert! He is friends from another elder in the district from Gilbert named Elder Rossell. We are doing work! The majority of lessons are still in Spanish but at the end of each night I feel like I had earned my pillow. I am so exhausted every day but it's great I feel great every day. Still don't know a whole that goes on in lessons but it's all good haha. I'm looking forward to this transfer:)  
I love you Dad!
Elder Barker