Hey Dad,I have to say, I don't want my mission to end I really don't. Sure I am excited to see everyone again and everything, but I really have just loved my mission so much. This has been my life for nearly 2 years, the gospel has all I've really had to think about really. I don't want to lose that, you always hear about elders who go home and get back into old habits and I don't want that to happen. I want to stay who I've become, I feel like I still am the old me but I have a relationship with God now and I don't want it to diminish, only to grow. I look at the music I listened to all the time back home, that rappity hippidy hop, and I can't listen to it if I want to keep my mind set the same, I've recognized how much of a challenge that is going to be when I'm home. I want to still set aside an hour a day for my scriptures, I feel like I've grown to know each writer in them especially the Book of Mormon. In district meeting we talked about the importance of using the Book of Mormon, and in preparation I basically looked up all of the dying testimonies of the prophets. My favorite I have to say is Moroni's. I mapped out a few verses to sum it all up and here are the verses I put together: Mormon 8:2-4, 34-35 Moroni , 32-34. Moroni went through so much and saw everyone he knew throw their faith away and die until it was only him. He could have written on anything and he chose to write on faith, on hope, and on the Atonement of Christ. You find that with every writer; they all were willing to give their lives (and some did) for their testimony in God the Father and Jesus Christ. How has your scripture reading been going? Daily scripture reading has been such a great source of strength these past 20-21 months. I'm going to miss it out here, I really have grown to love a lot of people. I hope to go out with the missionaries as much as I can when I'm home. Are there elders there? I think going out with them if you can would really help. You will have so many spiritual experiences as you watch people grow closer to our Father. Whenever you can I would invite you to tell them you can go out. Members coming out is such a huge help. We met with this woman named Lisa for the first time (she had met with the other elders) and it went really well. A member who just moved in the ward (Greg K) came out with us and he's awesome he even offered to go tracking with us!! Who does that?! But we helped answer and address some questions and concerns she had and it led to us basically going over the latter part of the Plan of Salvation and she told us that it all made sense. We invited her to be baptized when she feels it's true and she said she would. She added that at times she has felt that this is the true church but sometimes just doubts creep in shortly after, Satan is good at that. I do believe that she will be baptized, she is an honest seeker and one of the most Christ like individuals I have ever met.I love this gospel and I am so grateful for the atonement and its enabling power.I love you Dad.Love,Elder Barker
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.