Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 29, 2012

Provo MTC

Elder Gayton - a good friend from my district. He played football also. He is the only member in his family. I respect him a lot.

Familia!!! How are you all doing? It is awesome to hear that you and dad had those good spiritual experiences. This week for me went by really really fast. We have been working so hard. We had 16 lessons with a member present this past week. The most in the zone. But we can have more. I am loving working with my companion. One night with the family in our ward, he played "Dust in the Wind" on the guitar. He is so good at the guitar. We were walking along the road after lunch one day and a man came up to us and asked for a Book of Mormon. We said sure, you are a member right? He said no. We were both like is this real? haha He read 20 chapters in the first night. 

There are these bananas frozen with chocolate on them. They call them chocobananas. It is my new favorite treat here. A member sells them to us for 2 pesos. They are so good, my companion absolutely loves them as well. When I get back to the U.S. I am going to sell them and become rich. hahaha just kidding. There was a huge fiesta outside our house in the street last night. They set up huge tents with music and people dancing. It was kind of cool. The culture here is definitely different. But I like it. There are a lot of bands that play in their houses. We walked past one the other night and they sounded pretty decent.

This past week the primary sang in sacrament meeting. It was so so spiritual. I loved it so much. That is always one my favorite times of year is when I get to listen to the primary children sing their songs and give their testimonies. How is everything going at home? I haven't used those shirts yet, I am going to save them for when I need them. I am okay, I don't really need anything right now. Maybe some more snacks. I love eating snacks. It doesn't seem like a lot, but for me they make my day. I will probably buy some shampoo in 2 weeks or so. But everything else is fine I believe. Thanks for asking. The members here are so amazing. I am so blessed to be here. My companion said that in his first area, there were 7 people in his ward. hahaha He said I am so lucky to be here. I have no doubt. I really hope that I can stay here as long as I can. On Thursday we will be hearing from Elder Johnson. He is of the 70 I think? But it is a really big deal here. He presides over this mission. I haven't received any mail lately. I should within this week I believe. I love you all so much! I hope everything is going okay. How are Dad and Josh? How is Lauren doing with school and everything? and Jo? Nath dog, how is football going?> I love you all so much. love Elder Parker

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 22, 2012

Hey, family!! This week was so so good!! I got my new companion, Elder Velazquez. He is so amazing. This is his last change before he goes home. He is twenty five years old. He is the most humble young man I have ever seen. He knows how to speak English and is really patient with me. He helps me correct myself with my Spanish and I talk a lot in lessons. The other night he made me do a door contact by myself while he stood in the street. The man answered the door and I said we would like to share a message with him. He said I don't have time, I am leaving soon. I then said look, I know this message will bless your life, we only need ten minutes of your time. He then said alright. We had a great lesson, longer than ten minutes. Then, after he gave us cake and a drink. It was so nice to know that the Lord helped me, because I couldn't have done that on my own. My companion is from Baja, California. He really cares about the people and we work really hard. He is so funny. He makes me laugh every day. I wish we could be companions longer, but this is his last month and a half. We dropped Elder Olvera and Elder Petersen off at the OCC where the autobuses are. Elder Petersen gave me a letter and we said our good-byes. Elder Olvera gave me a tie. It was a good day. How are Dad and Josh doing with their injuries? I hope you are doing good. I love you all so much. I pray for you daily more than 5 times- hahaha- a day. I like the scriputre in Doctrine and Covenants 115:5.

We walked up these huge hills to find our references. I was sweating so badly, but I didn't care. I am helping the people here. We then walked through the jungle. Seriously, it was like Jurassic Park or something. We met a man last night. Wow.. we were guided. We started talking, prayed, then he told us of his parents how they both died when he was little. He started crying. He said he used to work in ST. GEORGE, UTAH!!! He knows Hurricane. He said it is the best place in the world, he said it is so calm, no problems, the people are calm during the night. He wants to go back. I bore my testimony about dad. I told him the story about dad, and how my dad is an example to me. I told him he can be an example to his son just like my dad is for me. He wants to change and he wants the best life for his son. It was so spiritual and I was crying. The whole way home I couldn't stop crying. Because I love my family so much and I know that we will live together forever.

Nathan, this morning I saw a snake on our patio. I couldn't get a picture because it slithered away. We are teaching a lady with six kids. They are all so cute. There are twin boys, about 2 years old. They walk and grab my hand. My Spanish I can understand more than I used to. My companion helps me talk more. I love you all so much. Keep living strong, the Lord will bless us. We are working hard here and I love focusing on the people instead of myself. Love Elder Parker

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 15, 2012

Elder Taylor and Elder Peterson
Friends from the MTC District

 Elder Parker and Elder Olvera
 Elder Parker's Zone

Hey family! It sounds like it has been a really crazy week!! I am so sorry to hear about Josh and Dad. I love you both and will pray for you. I am so sorry! I hope Brian is doing okay. And Zachs thumb. Well this week has been really crazy for me. First off the sister's had a baptism, and I was the one who baptized the girl. It was my first baptism here and it was so spiritual. Then, I did something because of mom. The man in our ward was going to be gone for two Sundays and needed someone to play the piano in sacrament meeting. His wife came up to me on Thursday night and asked me if I knew how to play the piano. I said yes, sort of, and they asked if I could play in sacrament meeting. So.... I did!! hahaha Wow I for sure did something that was out of my comfort zone. But I was thinking about you the whole time, mom. And I was determined to play. I played Sweet Hour of Prayer, Come Follow Me, and God Be With You Till We Meet Again. It was the most spiritual Sunday since I've been here. It was fast and testimony meeting. And twelve people cried during their testimonies. The people here have such strong testimonies. It is crazy. I couldn't help but crying. It is amazing how this gospel changes peoples lives for the best.

I sent some more letters last Tuesday. Have you still not gotten my letters? I saw a fight in the park, two drunks were fighting and kicking each other. It was actually pretty scary. Then I heard the Firework song that mom likes. I loved hearing it. Then today in a members house I heard Crossfire by Brandon Flowers. And I was telling the mom how this song my mom likes the most. We had an activity after the baptism on Sunday for my ward. It was the iron rod activity and we had a rope they had to follow while being blindfolded. It was a good time to have some fun. Then on sunday we were contacting people and in the park there was a wrestling match. Just like the wrestling matches on the movie Nacho Libre. They had masks on and boots and everything. It was so funny to see it in real life and we watched for a few minutes.

Well.. my companion is being transfered to Tonola. He will be the zone leader there. I am staying here and getting a new companion tomorrow. Elder Velasquez, I think. I am sad, because Elder Olvera is my favorite. We had so many good memories and it is sad saying goodbye to him. I will definitely miss him. And also, Elder Petersen is transfering to San Cristolbol. So now they are both gone. But I will be fine. I like this place and this ward. We have good families who we are teaching right now too. hahahah funny story, so one night I was sitting in a house and a lady walked in the front door, here it is normal for the ladies to kiss people on the cheeks. She grabbed my hand and almost kissed my cheek but I hurried and moved my face. I felt so embarrassed. We hurried and left. hahah it was so funny afterward. And Nathan, I saw a parrot, the other day in a house, it was giving itself a bath. They are pretty smart I guess. Well I love you all so much. I hope you get better Josh and Dad. And for everyone else, I love you so much. I am learning to completely rely on the Lord now that my companion and Elder Petersen are gone. It will make me stronger, and that is what I need. So I am grateful for this oportunity to learn more about myself. :)
I love you all so much
Love Elder Parker

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 8, 2012

Elder Parker with a ward member

Hola familia!!!!!! How is everyone doing? Wow.. I can't believe that about Brian.. I feel so bad for him. I hope that he will be alright, I will pray for him everyday. He is one of my best friends, I loved him so much. He is such a strong young man and I know he can make it through this.

This week was full of good experiences. First off I loved conference so much! The first session on Sunday we watched in English on a computer, Elder Petersen and I! such a blessing because I was worried I wouldn't be able to, so we were so so so happy. The seccond session we just watched in Spanish but with subtitles of English, it wasn't the same but better than nothing. The Spanish is coming along, I can understand more and more each week, the talking is mas o menos but is improving also. The lessons are good, we actually had one investigator come to conference with us on Saturday. And one investigator to church the week before. But the people are hard to teach here, they all think they know what is true and what isn't. It is really frustrating because I know this church is true and can help them but they won't even try and read and pray. I will have faith that we will find the escohidos. This week we had kfc at a members house, it was so good! The first of the month I received the package!!! Wow thank you so so so much! I don't know if I should wait until halloween or what? I received letters too!
Then on thursday, we had an interview with the President. He called that morning and said meet at my office and bring your area book. My companion and I were freaking out a little. It was like on the Best Two Years. Because we were like why does he want to see us. Once we got there it was perfect, he just wanted to see how we were doing and asked if he could help in any way. I could tell he really cares about us. It was my first time really talking to him. Then I received more letters while I was there! Thank you for all the letters! I sent a letter two weeks ago! I hope it got to you! Dad we receive 1300 pesos every month. 400 of that goes toward transportation. The other money is for food and stuff like that. The ratio is 13 pesos to one dollar. So you can figure that out. Thanks for all the letters, package, and helping me pay for being out here! I am so blessed.

My house is the worst house in the whole zone, but I actually like it. It has running water luckily, a little shower, and 1 bedroom with barely enough space to fit two beds and our suitcases. We have a small fridge also. I like it because now my next house will seem so big and nice. I am glad I started off not so great. We don't have any areas in our area to visit on pdays so we study then go buy food, get a hair cut if necessary. Then nap or write letters if time, then eat then email then work! Our whole zone is having a hard time finding people to teach, but we will have success, I have faith. Walmart is about 10 away in a van. It is really nice. Thanks for the football highlights, I enjoyed them. Wow conference was so amazing, I loved Elder Holland's the most. Conference is my favorite!! Well, after conference, you won't believe this.. We drove past a crash, and a dead guy was lying on the street. It was so depressing and I couldn't bear it. He got hit by a car and he wasn't covered with anything. He was just in the open and the cops were just showing up. It was really sad. Yesterday we were tracting and a kid threw a soccer ball so I could kick it with him. I juggled it and played a little bit with him it was so fun and the litle kids were laughing! Today was a record, we fit 20 people in a van! I was so squashed and was in the very back corner with a huge lady like sitting on my lap practically! hahaha me and my companion were just laughing. Well thank you so much for everyone! I don't have much time I think we are leaving right now! Thanks I love you so so so much don't ever forget that I pray for you everyday. I love the family and tell Brian I love him so much. I love you all so so much!! I will try and send pictures!! love Elder Parker

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 1, 2012

Wow, how is my wonderful family doing!!!!! I am doing so good over here in Tuxtla Gutierrez Mexico!! This week has been really fast, but full of many adventures, blessings, and spiritual highs. Mom thank you for all those fun stories. Wow it sounds like you and dad had a lot of fun that one night!! I am so excited that you had fun, because I would feel bad if I was the only one having fun over here!! Keep having fun!! I am glad that the family is doing good!! I hope Jordan will get better soon, I pray for him everyday, and the family!! Many times during the day! Mom, happy birthday pretty soon!!!! I wish I could be there and give you a huge hug and a tortilla or two, but it will make it that much more special in two years when we can celebrate it, with the entire family, that is!! Wow, Lauren is going to Liberty Park for tennis!! Sounds like she is doing really good! Keep up the hard work, seester!! Mom, it sounds like you have a lot of courage to play the organ in church, I know I wouldn't be able to do that. Last week we were at the church for interviews with investigators and I played the piano for about 30 minutes, it was really fun and my companion was singing along with me. I read a quote in my personal study time this past week, it says... when great events occur, there are three types of persons manifested; 1. the individual who doesn't realize that anything great is happening. 2. The individual who realizes something is going on but doesn't know what it is. and 3. The man behind the scenes making it all happen. I loved this quote, and I am feeling the spirit right now as I am typing it. Just thought I'd share that with the family. We can all be the third individual if we do our part, and follow the spirit.

I met a kid who plays quarterback for their football team here. There are actually 4 or 5 kids I have met here who play football. I was able to carry some what of a conversation. Then on thursday, I had a division. I spent the whole day, slept over, and the next morning with a different companion in a different area. My companion was elder Parker, the zone leader. He is from Washington. He is American. We had a lot of success and he taught me a lot of good things about the mission and what to know. He is really awesome and I really love him a lot. So that was a fun day. One memory we had during that day was he thought he knew this family, so we started running after their car in the street. They finally stopped and we caught up to them about 200 yards down the road! hahaha turns out that it was the wrong family! It was so embarrassing, but we couldn't stop laughing. Last week my companion and I found a turtle in the road. We kept it for a few days as a pet. But the next morning we woke up, and it was gone. I guess it slipped through our gate and walked away... because it can't run away! hahah (Thought Nathan would like that story because he always wants to know if I've seen any animals.)

I heard for Christmas we can skype. I am not sure, but we will see once it gets closer to Christmas. Wow, so yesterday was really awesome, one of our investigators came to church. Then during church, that morning it was so, so hot, we were sweating within seconds as we stepped outside our house. Then during church, it started raining so hard! I mean really hard. We then left church, luckily a member gave us a ride. The water in the streets was so high. Seriously, the water was covering the tops of the tires on the cars. No joke. It felt like we were driving through a river. It was so awesome, and I couldn't believe how much water there was!! The food has surprisingly been really good here. I think the members figured it out or talk to each other about what I like, because I have liked everything these past couple of weeks. Today we had really good hot dogs and hamburgers. The members were making fun of me because that is what I said I wanted to eat. hahah He kept saying hot dog, because that was the same house where we ate the whole fish and he made fun of me and was saying, you like hot dogs but not fish. haha I love that family. I hope everything is going great at home. I do miss your cooking mom!! hahah no lie. None of this food can compare to your food. So Josh, Nathan, Lauren, Dad, and Jo, you don't take for granted what mom makes you!! spoiled!! I heard that my ward is the biggest ward in the mission, but who knows if that is true. They are so so kind, and I hope I stay here longer. The next transfer is on October 15. So we will find out then. Oh, I got my first haircut here in Mexico today! It feels so nice here! How is the whole family doing? How is football going? I love you all so much, and I realized how much I took being with you for granted. I love you and can't wait to make more memories with you when I get back. love Elder Parker-- the tan, mustached, Mexican, that is.

September 24, 2012

Hey family... how are you doing? I am doing so good here!!! In the background right now the song is "Don't Worry Be Happy". It was a blessing to hear that song. Well let's start off with monday. Last monday it literally rained cats and dogs. We had a lesson at around 8 that night. It was raining for like 2 hours. After, it was still raining and it took us a whole hour to get back to our house because... the roads were literally rivers!!!! hahaha no kidding. There wasn't a spot of the road that wasn't at least 2 feet deep in water. We had to hop around on rocks and stuff to cross each road! It was actually really fun and we were laughing the whole time. Then on Tuesday we went to the immigration center, and it so happened that my whole old district was there! It was so nice to see and talk to all of them, they all look so different already. I happened also to receive my letters! I received a lot actually. It felt like christmas and I loved it so much. Thank you so much for all the dear elders and that card. It really made my day. I am now legal in Mexico, because I received my green card that same day. This week I have probably eaten the best food since I have been here. I have had spaghetti, corn, soup, beans and lots of other foods that I like. It is really weird, some days I feel like I don't have any more energy at all, and all of a sudden this huge feeling comes over me and the spirit is so strong and I have strength. I have no doubt it is from your prayers and how I am being blessed through prayers. It is so spiritual and powerful.

Well, this week the hermanas in my district wanted to see pictures of my family so I showed them pictures. They were so so excited! And they said that you, mom, look really really young, they couldn't believe you were my mom!! hahah good thing I have a good looking mom!! love you~!!! Then yesterday, we took a taxi to a sistérs house in our ward, but the hill was so steep that the taxi couldn't make it up. It was hilarious. This week has gone by so fast. And I am finally getting the hang of things! It is very different here, but I find myself laughing and smiling and having fun all the time. Like last night, there were four hombres singing and playing their instruments at a party. It reminded me of Nacho Libre. Just little things like that make it fun. How is everything going at the house! I am glad that Nathan had an awesome birthday, and Josh!!! Happy Birthday!! Wow you and Nathan are both getting so old! I can't wait to hear how football is going for both of you. Don't worry about me here, I'm just getting tanner and growing a sweet mustache hahah. My hair grows faster here, that is for sure.

I love my district and zone. We had a baptism activity this past Saturday. I was the witness for the baptisms. It was awesome, because it was my first time. I talked to Elder Petersen like the whole time I was there. Our investigator didn't get baptized because she had work, but it is alright, no worries at all. I bought a bunch of food today, which is nice. I changed my 20 dollars into 250 pesos today! So I have some extra money. Thanks for the updates for football, I love hearing about that!! The language is increasing so much every day. I am far from where I was three weeks ago, but still have a long ways to go. Yes, I understand people at the door, most of the time. I have to listen really close, but in most conversations, I can understand. But then sometimes it is harder. I am getting used to the humidity, but I still sweat so so much! I don't need anything right now! Thanks for asking though. We are working really hard though, and I have faith that we will find people. We do teach about 5 lessons a day! Which is nice! Keep fighting the good fight, because we are going to win!!! I love you all!! Sometimes I took our family for granted, our house, our food, school, everything. But now I realize how blessed I am to have you all as a family. I love you all so much!! love Elder Parker