Monday, July 16, 2012

Hey Mom!! Thanks so much for the letters and package! I just sent you a few letters just barely. I am so glad that dad's talk was good, and really spiritual!! That does not surprise me because dad has always been so strong in the church and lived a life where he can always have the spirit with him. So have you though!! These past couple days I've realized how blessed I am to be in our family. We truly have the best family I could ever ask for and I will never take it for granted. Thanks to you and dad for raising us like you two. So I am getting more and more used to the MTC now. Sleep is hard sometimes, because we don't really get enough I think. I saw Elder Trevor Nelson from football. He is from Snow Canyon and he has a twin, Tavish. I talked to him for a while. I also saw Jeff Staples here!! He said he was looking for me everywhere for 4 days then I finally saw him and we talked. Thanks for sending me the watch and debit card. And the package with bears!! We have been doing p90x workouts at night with my district! And perfect pushups! It has all brought us closer and is fun to just work out. So last Sunday an elder was feeling really homesick. He was crying that night, and our district decided to give him a blessing. It was the most spiritual moment ever. I started crying in the blessing, and the spirit stayed there in the room for 30 minutes as we all bore our testimonies and said how much we loved each other and that every thing will be okay. This last Thursday, I was frustrated about the language. That night I prayed for the spirit. I asked why I wasn't learning the language fast enough. Then, this Sunday, a miracle happened. Elder Jones our first counselor in the branch presidency came up to me after Priesthood meeting and asked how I was doing. He then asked how is the language. I said good. He said really? But then I finally said, it is going alright, coming really slow. Then he told me of his experience and how he didn't get the gift of tongues until 6 months out on his mission. He told me to not worry one bit, and to not compare myself to others learning the language. He said my time will come. That Heavenly Father has a reason for how fast the language comes and when it comes. Everything happens for a reason. That was not a coincidence that he asked me about the language. I know that he has inspiration. And he is the expert on Spanish now. So I have much faith that everything will work out in the end!! So there are 12 of us in our district but 4 leave next week to the mtc in Peru! I just bought a new backpack today. I saw some, but they weren't too good. So I just waited and some nice ones came in today, so I bought one for 45 bucks. Nat told me to let you know if I got her letter, which I did. Tell her thanks. It has been raining here for like 3 days, which is wonderful! So. yesterday for the devotional Jenny Oaks Baker came, which is the daughter of Elder Oaks!! She graduated from Julliard and was nominated for a grammy award! She played us songs on the violin. It was so spiritual and she played the violin better than I have ever heard anyone play it, no joke. Then she had her kids play I am a Child of God. They were between 10 and 5 years old. There was four of them, and they all memorized the song. It was incredible!! You should see if you can look some of her songs up on the computer. Well I love you and am so excited to be here!! Don't worry about me, I am in the right hands :) Love you
Amor, Elder Parker

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

First Email from the MTC

(In a letter written by Tay the first day in the MTC)…July 5, 2012

Hey Familia,
It’s my first day in the MTC! My companion is Elder Gooden. He is from Peachtree City, near Atlanta, Georgia. He turns 21 in November. He is a really cool guy. He did ROTC and went to BYU for a year. He wants to be a marine. Today was very busy and it has been super hot. I saw Colton Barney, Jesse Bettridge and Elder Watson from Desert Hills. The spirit is already so strong. I love my District. The food was good! I will have p- days on Mondays. We are sharing a room with the DLs. I got a bottom bunk. I’m excited for tomorrow and gym time. I met the soon to be district leader and he was from Lone Peak in 2011 and walked onto BYU! He played outside backer. Everyone is so friendly.
I love you guys! Thanks for everything. I will be totally fine. I am in the Lord’s hands!! 
Love, Elder Parker

Mom!! My p- day is today on Monday. It has been a really busy few days!! but the spirit here is so strong!! I hope you got my letter, I sent it the first night. Wow!! Zach is going to my same mission? I had no idea!!! That is such a miracle, because it will help us both so very much. I love Zach. That surely is a blessing that you can now get packages to Courtney. I now kind of understand what she went through. Thank you so much for the package and food and letters, that really made my day. I really like it here. My companion talks a lot but he knows the language pretty well, so he has been helping me out with it. We have already learned how to bear our testimony and greet someone and say a prayer in spanish. We have learned so much. We already had our first little meeting with our investigator. I told him we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was really scary. But we talked for like 5 minutes in spanish. The days are really long. But my district is amazing. Elder Stevenson from Cedar City is in my district. I saw Colton Barney the first day I was here. Since then i've seen Preston Root from Snow Canyon, Elder Nelson, Elder Watson, and Elder Forbes from Desert Hills. Myles Anderton, Jesse Bettridge and Jacob Wilson from Hurricane!!! Yesterday was the most spiritual day here so far. We listened to a fireside from the admin. direc. Brother Heaton. Then we listened to that talk you showed me by Jeffrey R. Holland. The one about the road to salvation goes through Gethsemane. It was way spiritual. That same day we were able to walk around the Provo Temple. It was such a beautiful temple. Don't worry about me here. I will be fine. It is hard at times, but that is only normal. I am so blessed to be here! I love you!!

Off to the MTC

July 5, 2012

Dropping off Elder Parker at the MTC was wonderful and bittersweet. Missionaries are now dropped off at the curb.
It was a beautiful rainy day. The state is in much need of rain, and we had been praying for it---what a blessing!!
It was like the Heavens opened up and poured out rain and love upon our missionary son!! We love you Elder Parker!
You will make a great missionary!!

Setting Apart

Taylor's Farewell