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.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Hey Dad,
it was really great to see you all yesterday i was glad to be able to talk to everyone. I can't believe how big the girls are getting!  Utah would be nice and it would be great to have everyone closer. So if you do move up there i am completely behind you. 
This week went a lot better than last week for sure, last week we only got 4 lessons, this week we got 13 and we should continue to get more. On Saturday we just stopped by a whole lot of people we mapped out in the southern part of our area and dedicated the whole day to down there. We stopped by some inactive members that haven't been in contact with the church for years and one of them told us how just 2 weeks ago, his active family members (who he hasn't talked to in 15 years) stopped by and he just felt love and then out of nowhere we stop by and that he didn't want to run from the gospel anymore. Other people we stopped by also were very willing to have us over and they haven't been in contact with the church either in years. Later that night we were walking to another house and we stopped and talked to this guy who was just sitting on a chair on his porch and he told us to take a seat after a few minutes of talking. He was a really cool guy named Kyle and we talked about the Book of Mormon and cleared up some misconceptions he had and gave him a copy. Towards the end he asked us when we were going to be stopping by again, so hopefully we are able to see him again this week and talk more. 
The Santiago family, the man who said hi on skype yesterday. Was talking to me yesterday afterwards and he told me how much his family has grown stronger in the gospel since they started having us over for dinner weekly (Elder Mask and me) and having "Deep Dish" haha. Their oldest son, 15, never was sure about a mission but now he talks about it more and his Brother Santiago believes it is because of the Spirit that has been present when they have had us over and it really meant a lot to me to hear that. I definitely want to visit them again after I am home. They're oldest daughter, Zoila, is leaving for her mission in the Dominican Republic where she was born on the 20. It's weird to think that my mission is almost over, so i just don't think about it haha. I have seen Elders get trunky, and I don't wan that to happen. 
I have loved my mission so much thank you again for helping me decide from an early age to serve!
I love you Dad
Elder Barker

ps. be sure to have Nate email those videos of the dunk contest he won!!!!

Email from 5/4

Hey Dad,
A couple things first, could you give me the DMV number so I can call them and work it out like last time? This week was the first time I had driven for the first time since I was still being trained in Tamaqua and I have loved it. I decided a long time ago that when I am home one of the first things I need to learn is how to drive a stick. So maybe Steve or Mitch can show me how.
With the call next week, I'll just call after church. I don't have wifi in the apartment anymore since we moved so I might have to go to the church. I don't know if I'd want to impend on a member on Mother's Day so most likely it will be at church. Oh for college before I forget I am looking at some places my old comp sent me and I'll let you know. Here is what he's sent me: Mountain Lofts,The Towers, North Point, The Gates, & Windsor Manor. 
Baptizing someone in Spanish was really cool and super nerve racking, in a way it was talked about in my patriarchal blessing. I am really sad I won't be able to meet with them anymore. Those baptisms were the 5th and 6th on my mission but my first where I did the baptizing. If possible I'd really love to talk to Nate one on one whenever. When does Dixie st start? I'd really like just some time where we can hang out and talk when I'm home. No news on my release either President said he'll let me know.
This week was pretty stressful since we basically doubled in, or white washed the area. We don't  have any plans from the past elders so it was pretty slow this week. Thursday was District Meeting and the first one I've ever led. I didn't know what to plan on so on Tuesday I prayed and said I'm going to flip to a random page in PMG and I'm going to talk on that subject. So I did and flipped to finding people. So I started searching and so many things started to flood to my mind it was really cool. But I'm still nervous for having to do that again this week haha.
Someone in Spanish that we found came to church! That was really cool, a lot of Spanish people came up to me and gave me a hug, I guess they do miss me, I always thought I was just "the gringo" and I realized even more how much I miss them. 
We confirmed Tiseam (got baptized two weeks earlier) and as we were sitting in testimony meeting, I leaned over and challenged him to go up if I do. He got up after I did and bore just a simple and sincere testimony it was really powerful. Things are going to go better this week. I can feel it, just thinking of the week ahead I can feel the spirit and I am so excited:)
I love you Dad!
Elder Barkerd

Email from 4/27

Hey Dad
Okay so first off, I am staying and my companion and the other elders in
the English Ward are leaving. I am taking over two areas now and I was
called to be the district leader. This district is only going to have one
other companionship and its sisters (we call it a double date district, 2
elders + 2 sisters) so I'm not too fond of that but hey I'll do my best.
Also I need my license renewed ASAP! I kept forgetting to tell you the past
couple weeks but it expires on my birthday! So if you could renew it and
send the driving certificate to my address I would really appreciate it! Oh
and since I am staying go ahead and send the package to my address.
So now on to the long stressful and amazing week!
Well we had 2 baptisms and confirmations!! We went to the Freddy & Adrian's
on Monday night and at the end of the lesson Adrian (the son) asked Elder
Mask if he would baptize him and Freddy (the dad) asked if I would. I was
terrified because it would be in Spanish. I read the prayer in Spanish over
and over again. My heart was pounding on Saturday haha. Adrian was so
excited the whole time especially when it came time to baptize him. As I
got in the water with Freddy my heart was still pounding but I said the
words right and everything went well. He afterwards said how he felt
different than he's ever felt before, he said he felt so humble.
On Sunday we went over to the Santiago family for our weekly session of
"Deep Dish." It's hard to explain but it's named after me haha, basically
we just start on simple gospel truths and dive into them. It's really fun
and it's always so spiritual, they never want us to leave.
I have to be honest I am so so nervous for this upcoming transfer
especially since I don't know if I'll still be in the Spanish branch or
I love you Dad
Elder Barker

Email from 4/20/2015

Dear Dad,
I am currently on my way down to Philly so I am not going to have much time to email so I'm typing this in the car. 
This week was very long and stressful filled with lots of tracting which, as far as I know, didn't accomplish anything. 
Monday was very stressful because we had to drive down to Broomall and pick up our car and then drive back to our dinner appointment where we were super late (we got there at 7:30). We got a call from a Spanish member at like 5:30 asking if we were coming over for dinner that night and they made food already. So we got there at like 8:40 and just grabbed food and left. They never even signed up and they were like, "how did you not see us sign up?" It was a stressful day. 
Tuesday, we tracted a lot for the sisters. We had a lesson with the the Medinas though and we invited Adrian to be baptized on April 25th and he accepted!!! He is so happy to get baptized he has wanted to for such a long time. We are meeting with them today to finalize everything for it. We invited his dad but he wasn't sure but he asked us to pray for him so that he would want to be baptized. Oh on Sunday we spoke with him and he told us that with all the sincerity of his heart he wants to be baptized on the 25th. 
I am so excited for them! There is a youth temple trip on May 2nd that Adrian will be able to go to and hopefully elder mask and I get to as well! This is what happens when members introduce their friends to the missionaries. We have been working so hard trying to find people to teach and I am exhausted but members are starting to bring others to church and it is such a blessing. Tracting can be pretty hard. Member missionary work is the most powerful tool in missionary work. I love this area but it is definitely one of the more stressful areas. I find out on Friday if I'll be transferred so I'll let you know next week. With baptisms and people preparing to go to the temple (possibly New York) I would love to stay. 
I hope everything is going well and I will send another email in response to yours when I'm able to download it
I love you Dad
Elder Barker