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, July 1, 2015

6/22/2015

Hey Dad,
Happy Belated Fathers Day!!! Hopefully you get my card soon I unfortunately sent it a bit late. My pday got moved to today so that's why I couldn't email yesterday. That's pretty cool that Nate got to go to that, so is he getting the Camry or the Corolla? How much is he getting paid? So will I be giving 2 homecoming talks then? Or just at El Cerrito? As for school the only things I need to figure out are books and a job. Not to sure how to go on about for either one. I think I can just take care of books when I get there, if I remember correctly. As for the job, I just really don't want a cafeteria job or anything like that haha. My class schedule is kinda ridiculous at this point, my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are jam packed. Because of all the commotion that happened during registration it got even more complex. So Tuesday and Thursday will be mostly study and homework since I believe, I currently only have one class those days but hopefully I can change that soon. That's awesome that you're going out with the missionaries! When was the last time you did that? You'll have to let me know how it goes! 
This week was still a little slow in the beginning since Elder Westmann still wasn't feeling too great. On Monday however, last pday, we were able to go see Radu. It was the first time we had seen him since he came to church just a couple weeks prior. We talked about his experience with church and he said the variety of people threw him off a bit. Some people were farther on their spiritual journey than others and we tried explaining how church is a hospital for sinners and hopefully it helped. The spirit was very strong as we testified of church and he told us that he knows we are "holy men" because he can feel it but he just didn't get the same feeling from everyone else.. Unfortunately he did not come to church.
On Thursday we went to R and L's home to help R load up the van so he can take stuff to where they are moving to in Michigan. Elder Westmann couldn't lift so he gave us moral support haha. As soon as we got there though one of their kids, (who's special needs) just goes right up to Elder Westmann and pokes him hard right in the belly button — which is where they made an incision. It looked like it hurt a lot. It was good to be able to help them out though:) one of their kids, K, (he's not special needs but he's like 4) just calls me "Big Man." Every time he wanted me to chase him or play soccer he'd be like, "Hey Big Man!" Haha I love that kid.
On Friday we went to go see a super sweet elderly woman named Cecilia. I had originally met her in April or March. She's felt helpless ever since her husband unexpectedly died and so we shared the Plan of Happiness with her. She kept telling us during the lesson, "I never learned this in Catholic school!" Haha but she said it makes so much more sense. She had known a lot of Mormons when she lived in Vegas for a time and she said that she's never met so many sincere and nice individuals. At the end of the lesson she brought up baptism! She told us that she thought about joining the church when she was in Vegas. We are seeing her again this Friday and she should be coming to church this Sunday as well I really do want to just help her be happy and have her feel that God really does love her. 
Then yesterday we had a really good day. We went to a zone conference where Elder Kacher (of the 70) came and spoke to us. It was really great and at the end we sang the mission hymn (army of Helaman customized to the mission) and I realized that is very likely the last time I'll ever sing it as a missionary and as we sang, I ain't e'en gonna lie, I started crying I hadn't cried like that in a really long time. Afterwards, a couple that were Elder Westmann's neighbors from his last area took us out to lunch. They were really cool, they weren't members but they loved the elders. We had some really cool experiences contacting people afterwards, we were driving and we saw someone outside this one formers, named Vince, house and we had been trying to get in contact with him for weeks so we pull over and park. We walk back and as he sees us he got super happy and told us that he wants to get back to the church and meeting us. He still remembered the first elder he met, Elder Zolman who is in the district. That was really cool. At night though we called up a part member household and they told us to come over. The member, R, is allowing a couple, J and D, to stay with him for the time being. We had taught J and D the Plan of Salvation last time but they didn't remember too much so we read through the pamphlet. As we got to the Atonement we asked J who Christ is to her, and she gave us an answer that we could tell was more of what she was told rather than what she really felt. So we asked her how it made her feel (probably like 3 times) and she gave a simple answer, but it was from the heart and the spirit came into the home. We then read John 3:5 with her and explained to her about baptism and she told us she had wanted to be baptized in the church as she's talked about it with R. We watched the Bible video of Christ's baptism and extended to her a date for August 2 which she accepted. The spirit was there as we bore our testimonies and we invited her to pray right there with us to ask God if August 2nd was the date she should be baptized. As she said amen she just kinda leaned back in the couch and said, "Wow." She then explained that her heart started racing as she said Amen and she got emotional as she tried to explain how she felt and said, "I think I got my answer." She has some work to do but if she strives she can hit it. I'm so very grateful for the time I've had to serve and I would never trade it for anything, even for a NBA contract I wouldn't trade it. I say that as a joke but I really mean it as well, my time as a missionary has meant so much to me. Yes I would love to be an NBA player it's been my dream ever since I could dribble, but my mission has affected my life for good greater than anything else I could be doing. I have loved my mission!
I love you Dad and don't worry, it will all work out in the end.
Love,
Elder Barker

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