Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 17, 2012

Taylor's Branch Counselor and his wife

Brother and Sister Jones

A fun family from their ward

Hey family!!! How are you all doing.. well this week has actually gone by pretty fast. I was able to buy more food luckily!! Finally. hahah so don't worry, I will try and eat more food. It is hard though because some of the food I don't like, but I am finding stuff that I really like. For instance, today at the members house we had a fish. hahah a whole fish with the head and all. it was weird but I kind of liked it. 
Well one experience this week.. There is this member girl about 17 years old. She is really sick and needed a blessing one night after our meeting with the bishop. There were four missionaries in the room with her and her friend. She then said I want you Elder Cota to annoint the oil and I want you Elder Parker to give the blessing. I was like are you kidding me... I did not know why she picked me to do it. But she really wanted me to do it for some reason. Luckily, they said I could do it in English. It was really spiritual and I was so happy I could give her a blessing. If you get a chance, look at the Mormon messages by David Bednar about the light. I had the opportunity to look at the Mormon website and watch "Good Things to Come" by Jeffrey Holland. (The one you showed us, and love so much, dad) I really love that video! I also was able to look at our house on the maps site on the LDS website. hahah it was nice to see it again. Well guess what!! I gave my first talk here in Mexico this past Sunday. It was on the Book of Mormon. I was so nervous, but I prayed for help and when I started, the words just flowed out of my mouth. I don't know how I was able to pronounce the words so well, but I was truly blessed. Then one of the members, I will try and connect a pic of him and his family, he came up to me and said that was such an amazing talk. He was crying during it, because I was crying in my talk also, when I was bearing my testimony at the end. He reminds me of dad. Anyway he said I was just going to come to sacrament meeting today and go home after, but after I heard you talk the spirit came over me and it was so powerful it consumed me. He said after he felt that feeling he wanted to stay for the rest of church. He is such an amazing guy. 

So we have seen a lot of drunk people here. The other day one of them came up to us and wanted to punch my companion. He kept pointing at him saying stuff. Then he would look at me and shake my hand like a thousand times saying I like you a lot, but not this man. It was really weird, but I wasn't scared at all. hahaha We met this other man, he lived in California for ten years. He was in prison for 4 years in Arizona because he shot some people. but he had to come back here and his two kids and wife are in California. He expressed how sad he is, but he said he has changed his life, no drugs or anything. I bore my testimony to him and started to cry because I know he can change. He was starting to cry also. Well september 15 was their Independence day here. It was pretty exciting. Towards the night after our day, we ordered a pizza and watched the restoration in our house. It was nice to relax and have some pizza finally, but the pizza here is pretty expensive. 

Happy birthday Nathan!!!! Wow 9 years old already!! You are growing up so fast. I sure do love you! Lauren how was the dance? Josh, wow, sounds like your game was really exciting, keep working hard. Dad, I will try and eat more food, I actually try and get as much sleep as I can. I usually go to bed around 10 instead of 1030. Thanks for the cds mom, because I listen to them like every morning, that or the ipod. I heard the song Jackson 5 today while we were buying food in Walmart. They like to listen to a lot of English music for some reason. I saw a Perry the Platypus shirt also hahaha. They really like the movie Nacho Libre and Skeletor. I hope everything is going well back at home. I still haven't received any mail. I heard we don't until every change or when there is a special occasion and we get to see the President. Every change is about a month and a half. So our next change is October 15. But the zone leader said he might be able to pick it up the first of October if they let him. He is really nice, from Texas. Well dad don't worry, I am stretching every day. I will try and eat more. It is just difficult to get used to at first, but now I am eating more and buying some good food. I am going to try and upload some pictures so I hope they work. How's the family doing overall? I sure do love you all so much!! Just know that I really am doing okay here and you don't need to worry about me or anything. I am in the hands of the Lord. Seriously. I sure do love you all and I can't wait to speak Spanish in front of you with Court when we get back.
 love Elder Parker 
 P.S. We take our laundry to a guy and he washes and folds our clothes for really cheap. So it is really nice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 10, 2012

Hola, mom. This keyboard is weird so bear with me. So first off this week has been really bad... I got robbed and have no money. I have a black eye and my stomach kills.. just kidding hahahah Actually this week has been really good. I think I am losing weight here though. hah because we have one huge meal for lunch but really no breakfast and not any dinner. The members feed us every lunch, so that is really nice. I have to force myself to eat a ton because if I don't I will be really hungry for the rest of the day. Well there are lots of mosquitos here and many bugs. One morning my companion was yelling and I went in the other room and there were lizards hahaha it was so funny. Our house is really small and honestly really dirty. But it's a house and I'm thankful for it. We don't have washing machines or anything either. No carpet or tile on the floor no air conditioning or anything. But luckily I have a fan for when I sleep. It is all good.

I love being here and seeing this other world. In one week I have already seen improvements in my understanding the language. The members here are so very nice. One member gave us 250 pesos. He reminds me of dad because he is very giving and expects nothing in return. I am trying to get used to pesos, it is really weird. All the people here play futbol all day. But all the people are nice here, I actually like talking to them. I don't have much time I really don't. Today has been really really busy. I didn´t have time to write or anything like that. But it is all good!! Our area is called Bosque, it is really big. I love it in this area. All the people are nice and smile and say buenas tardes. Well they do talk really fast here and most of the time I just look at them and nod my head like I understand. haha its quite funny actually. I will get better. But seriously, this is nothing like what Christ had to go through. Whenever I start getting down on myself or being selfish or saying this is too hard, I immediately say wait.. Christ had it so much worse than this and he never complained.

We get around by walking almost everywhere. But we get in coletivo vans or taxis but have to pay for that. Vans are 5 pesos, taxis are like 35. It is weird being in a van with everyone so close to me. I dont know if I have time to write anyone else. So sorry if I don't. We are running late as it is and I am typing as fast as I can. They watch movies here like ice age and drake and josh haha it is funny to see when I am tracting. We tract so much here because we are both new to this area and didn't know anything. So we are working with members a lot and just tracting. My companion is elder Olvera he is the district leader. He is from Hildalgo Mexico. He has been out for 8 months. He is really kind and loves serving these people as well as me. Yesterday we had one of the best lessons. Both of the hermanas were crying and I started crying a little even though I didn´t understand all of it. We asked her to get baptized and she accepted for September 22. I am excited for her.

Elder Petersen is actually in my zone so I get to see him every Tuesday. What a relief. I know this is hard and I want what is best for my old district. I was able to give my first blessing in Spanish. Wow.. I don't know how I did it but I did. I know I was helped because I couldn't have done it on my own.

Our door in our house is always open. All the doors here are never closed unless at night. It is really weird and I am not used to it. But I do kind of understand what dad had to go through growing up... a dirt house. We are so blessed where we live. It is so dirty here and trash everywhere. It has rained like 5 days since I have been here. Yesterday it rained so much. But it is still hot and humid when it rains here! Well I don´t have much time. I still need to write court. I love you all so much. Don´t worry about me here. I haven't got any mail, who knows when, hahah But it is no problem at all. I love you all so so so much . gracias por todo.
love Elder Parker

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First email from Mexico

Dont have much time..... But they let me email really really quick. We got here safe. We got here at about 8. We ate at President Cardenas house. Now we are emailing and getting instructions. It is really humid and is raining a lot!!!!!!! already. it is so so so green here and so pretty!!! It reminds me of Jurassic park. Really beautiful. Well, gotta go. I love you all!!!
Elder PARKER!!

September 3, 2012

This morning at 7:30 am, we got a call from the Salt Lake airport…it was our wonderful missionary, Elder Parker! He sounded so good and it was great to hear his voice! He said it was so neat seeing other people in the airport—after being in the MTC for 2 months. He is traveling with 11 other elders, and he said people in the airport were cheering for them and smiling at them, and it made them feel so good. He said he has already grown so much and loved the MTC and the other elders there. Also, the Branch Presidency and teachers, etc. But now he is so excited to get to Mexico and teach the wonderful people there. Their plane is supposed to land in Tuxtla Gutierrez around 6:15 pm. What a great day to be able to talk to our amazing missionary! He wanted us to send all of you his love. He also mentioned how much he loves his sister, Courtney, and that he’s praying for her, and how happy he is that they will both be out in the field together, as missionaries. He was filled with the spirit, and excitement for this great work to move forward in Mexico!! We love you, Elder Parker!!

August 27, 2012

Hey mom!!! Como esta? hahah Estoy muy entusiasmado por que yo voy a Tuxtla Gutierrez en una semana!! Oh yeah!!!! I talked to an elder last night who is from Mexico! He said he has been to Tuxtla Gutierrez and absolutely loves it there! He says it is so beautiful there and the food is actually healthy he said! He told me about this huge fish with a crocodile mouth! It has a really poky back. He said when it rains a lot, they get flooded out of the rivers and such, and swim through the puddles in the streets!!! It is a little scary, because if you step on it, the spine can go through the shoe I think he said. He was telling me all of this in Spanish! So I understood most of it. But he said it tastes good? hahah not like I'll be eating those!

Wow... So last Tuesday Elder Neil L. Andersen talked to us for our devotional! We were so blessed to hear from him, because we have been waiting this whole time to hear from a general authority!! Right when he walked in, the spirit just overcame me! I didn't see him at first, then everyone started standing up, and I looked over, and the spirit just ambushed me! It was so amazing! He gave such a wonderful talk! He talked about 9 things President Thomas S. Monson would say to us if he were there. It was also President Monson's birthday that day, so he put a picture of him up on the screen, and we sang happy birthday to him! It was funny, and cool at the same time! Then, when Elder Andersen left, we all stood up and kept standing until he walked out of the room. It again, was another spiritual moment. We were just so blessed to hear from him. The number 4th thing that Thomas S. Monson would say was that "The Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it." Wow, that meant so much to me. He also said after that, "When we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help." That was so powerful, and that is what I liked hearing the very most.
Then this Sunday, yesterday, my district got the chance to usher! In the huge gym, where there are over 2100 seats! It was actually not bad at all, I was at the very first letting people know how many free seats there were and directing "traffic". Kind of like how Lauren and Court and I would always tease about directing with our hands. If you don't understand that, ask Lauren. hahah I actually was signaling in a couple Elders, doing the circling motion with my arm. hahaha. It was funny! But at the end of this devotional, a Samoan Elder sang, "How great thou art." Wow... It was the most powerful voice I have ever heard. I get chills right now just talking about it. He had such an amazing voice, with so much passion and the spirit was so so strong, it stayed the whole entire song. It was by far the best voice I have ever heard here. It reminded me of the huge Israel guy who sings "Over the Rainbow", but it was more powerful than that.
When I was ushering last night, Elder Devin Bennett came up to me and was like Elder Parker!! It was nice to talk to him, and see him! He seems like a really nice Elder. Then after the devotional, I planned a little get together picture, by the huge Map at the MTC. So first I took pictures with Elder Wilstead, and Elder Murdock from Pine View, they are leaving today around 4. They are actually really awesome, and we have grown to be good friends while we've been here. Then after they left, I took pictures with all the Elders from Hurricane. Elder Gubler, Mills, Staples, Bulloch, Evans, Canfield, and I think that was it. It was really fun, and we got a lot of good pictures. Cash Mills left this morning, and last night was the first time since I've seen him here. So it was really nice to see him, and he looked really excited to leave. He ran up to me and gave me a huge hug!!
Well this is my last Monday p-day here! I am hoping and think they will give us a little time on Saturday to pack and get ready to leave. On friday, all day, we have infield orientation. We go to workshops and learn how to place copies of the Book of Mormon, and other things. Well I can't wait to hear you all on the phone!! I am so excited for that!!! Today, was my last time that I went to the temple! It was probably the best experience since I've been here. I tried doing what you do and stayed in the last room until I was almost the last one. When I looked up at the picture of Jesus with his arms open, the spirit just overcame me. I knew right there, that I was going to be safe in Mexico, and that everything will be alright with our family and with the people in Mexico. It was such an amazing feeling!!! I love you so so much Mom~!!! Let the family know how much I love them.
you quiero compartir mi testimonio,
yo se que esta iglesia es verdadero.
yo se que el libro de mormon es la palabra de Dios.
YO se que Jose Smith fue un profeta, y thomas s monson es un profeta hoy.
Amo mi familia, y se que podemos vivir juntos siempre. amo ustedes mucho!!!!!
I would keep going, but I don't have much time. I love you so much!!!!
Love Elder Parker