Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 11, 2013

Hey I am doing fine. And you? Well this week was a little slow and boring. hahah But that's alright. So this whole week up to Friday we could only work for like 3 lessons a day. The rest of the time we would go back to the house to rest. So we were in the house a lot of time. I was in the office Monday night. But after that i could now go back to my area. Friday night the mission doctor took me to the doctors office. They took out my stitches there. The doctor said i took really good care of the wound. Which i did. haha So i don't have stitches. But i still need to clean the wound every day. Because the skin is not quite attached still. It looks really different. And the doctor said i can't do any exercise until after a month. so like in December. But he said i can walk and everything. So we are now working on full cylinders. I will have another appointment with the doctor like the 28 of november to see how i am progressing. That should be good. It now doesn't hurt as much. Every now and then it hurts, but a tiny tiny bit. Somehow the first councelor here found out and talked to me. He was really nice and offered help if i needed it. this week we worked hard, with what we could do. We will have the zone conference this Friday. So we have to get the food. I called a member from my first ward. He will be providing the food with his brother. They are great guys. So that will be fun to see them again. Well thanks for all that you do. I will go so we can chat. :)

Love Elder Parker
love you all.

November 4, 2013

Hey everyone how are you doing? I hope you can get this message mom!!
I am doing good don't worry about me. This week was full of events.
So this Tuesday we had the council with the President and the zone leaders.
It went really well and I got to see some good friends. I got a package for halloween
from you and letters. Two dear elders and a letter from Court from Nicarague still hahah.
I also got a letter from Elder Kaden Ashcroft. He wrote me a great letter. Thanks for the package and letters.

The surgery was Friday morning. The mission doctor drove me to a clinic or small hospital. We entered they checked my hernia
and then they told me to change clothes. So I changed clothes and put on this weird looking tunic thing.
So they put me on a bed and first shaved my belly hair haha. Then they put an iv in my hand.
They sent me into another room where I put on these weird looking socks. It reminded me of Avatar.
Then I walked down a straight narrow hallway into a white white room. With air conditioning luckily.
I laid down and the doctor said, this is going to hurt alot. I was like oh no.
He tried to inject three shots around my belly button but he said my skin was like twice as thick as the normal skin.
So it wouldn't penetrate so he pushed really hard and I could feel it penetrate the second layer. Which hurt a ton.
Then after my stomach was frozen or whatever you call it he opened my belly button. By the way
I was awake the whole time and could feel everything. But it didn't hurt. He cut a bunch of stuff with scissors,
had his finger in my bellybutton (because that was where my hernia was) and I don't know what else he was doing. Finally he pushed the
fat hernia back in where it belongs and he said the hole was like an inch or more wide. Which is pretty big but not too big. He stitched the hole
back up and then stitched the belly button back together. The whole surgery lasted like 50 minutes. But it felt really weird.
I then left with the doctor from the mission to the mission offices. Where the President got there and his wife. They asked how I was doing
and then bought me some subway. :) I stayed in the office the whole day. Then went home in the night, slept at the house and went back to the
office in the morning for the next day. Then yesterday I went to church and after went back to the office to rest. I am doing good.
It still hurts but it is getting better. I will be getting the stiches out this Friday at 11. Everything is fine.
I should be able to work today. But walk really slow. I walk like a space alien with a 90 degree angle hahah not quite a 90.
Saturday the President bought me chinese food.

The tours of the temple for the visitors is going great. I was there watching, because I couldn't work. A lot of people left crying because of the spirit.
It is a great experience.
It has actually been cold again here. Which is a blessing.
I ate some weird food called chicharon. It is like pig skin.

We had a great lesson with Ana that investigator.
I cried really hard when I bore my testimony of Jesus Christ.
It was an extremely spiritual lesson.
Oh yeah, I played the piano in sacrament meeting. I did pretty good actually!!

I love you all. Sorry its so long. I hope we can chat. Love you all.

Love Elder Parker

October 28, 2013

Hey mom thanks for the email. Well this week went by really fast! It was a good week. We are working really hard and walking a ton. Last Monday we got to eat in Little Caesars. It was my companions first time in his life eating there. He said he loved the crazy bread! Hahah So I am pretty sure we will go there more often to eat those Mondays. This week we walked really far. We walked to one of the highest peaks in the area. It was crazy how high it was. We could see the whole city. It was probably like 3 miles of walking or more. But I couldn't measure how far. haha

The weather has been spectacular!! I guess there was a cold front rolling in. So almost the whole week it was cloudy and actually kind of cold in the night. One night I was actually cold. What a difference right? But I thiink it already went away because today is hot and a clear sky. Tomorrow we will have the council meeting for the mission. So I will get to see President tomorrow and spend like 8 hours over there with all the leaders. I love the meetings we have, I'm excited. We got to teach that lady named Ana again. Well just English this time. She wants to practice her English. So I taught my first class of English in my life. It was pretty interesting. I brought an Ensign in English and I taught them how to pray in English. There were just three people who showed up, a member, Ana and her cousin who wants to learn English also. It was fun and they learned how to pray in English. They loved it. It's not as easy as I thought teaching English. Maybe because I can hardly remember English now. hahah

Wow we had a miracle happen this Saturday. So Friday night we were planning to see who we should teach and visit. We were thinking and I was like, the family Montero.. So we put their name down. I don't know why I said their name, but I said it. So we left the next morning looking for them. Finally we found the house. They are activie members by the way. So we get there, and the grandma opens the door. She is a temple worker here in the temple. She says please come in. So we went in and she said, why are you here anything that I can do to help you? We say we would like to visit her and see how she is doing. She then tells us she is really sick, she is really old by the way. So she was like, can you give me a blessing? We said for sure. So we gave her a blessing .And she was really grateful and said she knew the Lord sent his angels to her to help her in time of need. I felt great to be an instrument in the hand's of the Lord.
Well I love you all so very much. I will go so we can chat a little bit. Happy Haloween!! Love Elder Parker

October 21, 2013

Hey!! How is everyone doing? I am doing great, this week went by really fast. Mom, I hope everything goes good with your surgery. I will be praying for you. This week nothing really huge happened, actually... si!! hahah We had the start of the visitors center this Saturday!!! Wow, it turned out great and like 40 people showed up which is huge. A lot being members but still that is a great start. The President has always told us, if we get one person to come here it is a success. So we felt really good. I didn't really get to participate this time in the visitors center. Only three companionships got to give the tours. We will have our turn in a couple weeks. But I am really excited for it. I just got to be there for about 3 hours to observe and see how everything was working.

I was able to talk to a good friend of mine in the mission named Elder Turner. He is a zone leader also but ends in 4 months. He is so funny and so amazing. He has been a great support here in the mission. We were talking a long time and I was explaining about what side I used to play in safety in football. We were both standing there, he on the right and I on the left and i was like.. well I liked that side. It was so funny. Because it was out of nowhere and so innocent I was like.. yeah I umm liked that side a lot. We laughed a long time. My companion is from Oaxaca! Which is really close to Chiapas. He has like 21 months in the mission. He might entend the mission a little longer. He is very obedient and excited to work with the ward here in Tuxtla. We are working well with the members. Oh!! I got to see Elder Jensen!! It was the best ever. We had a huge meeting with all the missionaries here in Tuxtla with the bishops and ward mission leaders. So I got to sit by him and everything! It was such a nice time. What a blessing it is to have the gospel in our lives. Thanks for the emails. I will go so we can chat. I love you all. Bye Love Elder Parker

October 14, 2013

Hey everyone! :) how are you all? I am doing great. Well we are here still waiting for the call for the transfers. They should have already called us to notify us but we are waiting. So i can't tell you if i will stay or go yet. But i am sure i will stay. it is my first transfer here. This week went really well. Thanks for the emails. Well the visitors center will officially start this saturday at 5. It is actually something really huge here. My companion and i had the idea and we told president in an inverview. Now the whole city and threee stakes of tuxtla will be involved. It will be every thursday friday and saturday at 5 to 8:30. It will last until Christmas. So we are pretty exciting. the president feels like we will havea lot of success. The other day i saw a really nice tennis court. I contacted the owner and he told me the price and schedule. I am thinking about playing tennis on one of these pdays to relax and have some fun. He lends the equipment and it costs like 50 pesos an hour. Which is a little expensive but worth it.
We were able to have another baptism this saturday. The dad got reactived and he was able to baptize his son. So it was a really spiritual baptism.

We found a lady that i would like to count the story behind it. So when i was in Terrazas this lady arrived at the church with a friend. with the sister xochitl. Which is the sister that lended me her computer for mothers day. The one who her husband isn't member. Anyways, her friend, Ana, she has like 65 years or so. I was talking to her and she was really friendly, she was like when can you come to my house to teach me about the church. She told me where she lived and i was like hijoles... Because she didn't live in my area. So i was a little bummed. She we left and i didn't think much of it after. Well.. Like 5 months later, here in my area, we left a lesson and a lady passed in her car, stopped in the middle of the road, and said hey... do you remember me? and i was like wow... It was ana. She was like hey when can you visit me? And she said i live right here. And it turned out she lives in my area now. That was such a cool experience because i know it was a casualidad that i was transfered to this area. So we put an appointment for the next day. Then the next day we get to her house, and i told my companion elder.. taht looks like the car of sister xochitl. So we knocked went in and sister xochitl was there also!! She was really excited to see me and she told me her husband always talks about me. So we got to teach the sister ana about the authority and baptism. Sister ana is a widow. Her husband died. She is really spiritual. She would be a perfect member. So we had one of the most spiritual lessons that i have had here in the mission. I felt so good. We invited her to be baptized and she said she wants to be sure and will pray. But she is willing to keep listening.!! After the lesson i felt really good and the spirit was strong. Then yesterday she made us dinner with sister xochitl. It was really good food. We ate rice with coconut juice on top(food from colombia) and fried bananas and sweetened pumpkin. It was a really nice dinner. She introduced us to one of her sons.

On another note, should i save that letter from Grandma to read it with you guys? I love you all. Thanks for your prayers. I fasted for the family yesterday.
Love Elder Parker

October 7, 2013

Hey family!! Thanks so much for the emails. :) I am so glad that you are all home safely. I am glad you got to have a great week. That is so good to hear. I am doing good here! The conference was something amazing! It was definitely needed. I felt like the speakers were directly talking to me. I felt the spirit so profoundly. I know this church is true and that the speakers were inspired of God. We are still working on the visitors center. Last night we had a meeting with the three stakes here and President Cardenas. We will officially start it the 19 of October. It is bigger than I thought it was going to be.

Happy birthday mom!! Sorry I didn't get a chance to tell you. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope this email goes through so we can chat for awhile. We will have transfers next week. But I am pretty sure I'll stay here. :) Thanks for all you do for me. We also had the conference with the President and all the leaders. It was so spiritual. I loved when the President talked to us about John 17. He talked about Jesus Christ and how He lived with the Father before and how He already knew He was going to be betrayed. He talked about why He talked in parables, I think it is in Matthew 13. It was really spiritual. I got to see some good friends. I saw my old companion and he said in my old old area in Terrazas a lady got baptized that him and I taught together. It was such a peaceful feeling because she was amazing. She had lost her husband with a cruel crime that they killed him, but we taught her the plan of salvation. She was able to get baptized!!

It rained pretty hard a few days. Wow, after Conference on Saturday it rained like no other. It actually started hailing also! But luckily everyone was in the church. Last night at like 2 all of a sudden the lightening and thunder struck. and I woke up and it was pouring rain, luckily I got to shut the windows on time. But now it is clear and hot hahah.

I thought I should get your opinion. On Tuesday I got some letters. One of them is from Grandma Parker. I don't know if I should open it or wait to open it with the family. It will be the last letter I have received from her. Well I love you all so much. I hope we can talk. I love the gospel. We are an eternal family. Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. May we all walk tall. :)

September 30, 2013

Hey family. Well I love you all. I hope this email can get to you. I have gotten all your emails now. We had to look for a different place to write home. We came to a really nice internet place so I could get ahold of you guys. It has air conditioning here. Well... I know that Memaw will be waiting in Paradise. We will get to see her in the Celestial Kingdom. I am really sad. I sure did miss her. She would always write me. I didn't get the chance to write much to her. I feel bad about that. But I loved getting her letters. She always made me excited and felt her love always. She is really amazing. I love you all. I hope everyone is doing good.

We are doing good here. It has been raining a lot here. But now it has stopped and has been extremely hot. Tomorrow we will have the council with the President and the leaders. Should be fun. I finally sent my suit to the dry cleaners hahah About time. I guess like 10 elders will sleep in our house tonight because of the council we will have in the morning. They live about 5 hours from here. I am really excited about the General Conference. Should be really exciting!! The visitors center went huge! We haven't had it yet, but the President talked with the three stake centers and we will now have it for all of Tuxtla, not just our stake here. So we will have a meeting this Wednesday or Tuesday so we can get rolling with it.

So I guess you leave to Nicaragua tomorrow? Well I don't really know what more to say. We had another baptism. It was really spiritual. It was a wife of a member. She has like 70 years. They can now be sealed in the temple in a year. I miss you all. I love grandma Parker. Thanks for everything. Love Elder Parker

September 23, 2013

How is everybody doing? I am doing great. I don´t know what is wrong with the emails. Are my emails getting to you? I am getting some of yours. Thanks for the pictures and emails..
Happy birthday Nathan!!! Happy birthday Josh!!! Happy anniversary mom and dad!!!! I love you all!!!
This week was a really amazing week. A ton of things happened this week. First off this Tuesday we had divisions. I went to a place called Coita. It is outside of Tuxtla by like 1 hour. I went there and got to work with another missionary. He is from Utah, Taylorsville. He said he knows Liz Lucas and Jake Adams. That was a fun day. Wow.. I was so surprised over there. It is like a little town with a ton of green trees and stuff. But I saw a full on basketball gym!! It was like the gyms in Vegas. It was a huge building and all of a sudden I heard some basketball squiks so I went to check it out and it was a full on gym. It reminded me of Glory Road over there in El Paso Texas hahah. It was a nice gym and they were playing a full on game. That was a surprise. Then another surprise. We were headed back to Tuxtla to end the divisions when Elder Jones called us. I guess they had a problem over in their area with security issues so they came and slept at our house for two days. Elder Jones and his companion. The President told them to. So I got to spend a little time with Elder Jones and Elder Garcia. It was fun. I got to work with Elder Garcia one day in my area, and Elder Jones worked with my companion. The last night we bought some pizza. It was a good time. Elder Jones is one of my good friends.

Thursday morning we had interviews with President Cardenas. It was great. I love talking with the President. My companion and I and President are planning over here a visitors center around the temple. It is a huge project but we are really excited. We will be planning it the same week of conference. So that we can invite everyone to the general conferernce also. So that should all take place next week.

It rained a lot again over here!! I think there was a huge tropical storm for Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. But that is far from here. We are just receiving the rain. hahaha We had a funny experiecne with the rain also. It poured rain. So we ran under the intersection. There we were surrounded by rivers in all the roads. We couldn´t cross the roads to get to our lesson. The cars could hardly drive against the pressure of the rivers in the roads. It was so crazy!! And we were laughing so hard. So I said Elder Martinez... I have an idea, we can´t lose time waiting here all day. So I said, when a truck comes, we will signal them so we can jump in the back, they can then drive us to the other side of the road like 10 yards and then we can jump out and follow walking to the lesson. So we were like deal... we waited forever but none of the trucks stopped. Finally one truck stopped, we communicated really fast and we jumped in, he took us to the side and we hopped out and that is how we got to the lesson with dry shoes. hahaha It was the funniest thing and everyone wsa watching laughing. Sorry if that story is hard to understand, you would have to see it to understand. Thanks so much for the package!! I loved it. And the President told me I can wear those pants also. Thanks so much. I loved the package. Thanks for the letters also. We also had some baptisms this week. We baptized Jordin and Arlet. They are 2 teenagers of 11 and 16 years old. It went really well. I loved the baptism. I love you all. I hope this gets to you. Sorry it is so long. Love Elder Parker

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 16, 2013

Hey how is everyone doing? I am doing great. This week was pretty crazy with the weather. It rained so much like 3 days straight. I didn't see the sun in three days hahah. The roads were crazy with so much water. It was fun though. It was actually cold here in the nights and morning because of that huge rain storm. I bought the shoes. I spent 500 pesos. I took out 600 pesos. Thanks so much for the money. The shoes I bought are really comfortable. They are nice and didn´t cost too much. I bought them in one of the nice stores here.

The conference with the President and the leaders went really well. I got to see a lot of my friends there. We got to talk a lot. It lasted like 7 or 8 hours. We ate breakfast and lunch there with the President. I really enjoyed the meeting. It was really spiritual. There are a few changes in the mission now. The people used to be able to be baptized after they had assisted 2 times at church. But now here in Mexico it got changed to 5 times. So it will take more time to baptize, but they are more likely to be converted truly! And we will get to experience their conversions and find the people who are willing to obey the sabbath day. So that was a huge change. I felt the spirit a lot in that meeting. The President is a great man. He told us, that he has never seen the work move as fast as it is now. He bore testimony that the Lord is hurrying his work. He told us, we are the front line. I felt the spirit so much, and right now I can feel it again. Yesterday we got a call from President. He invited us to a meeting. So we went to the stake center with the Stake Presidency and the President, and us. We got to talk about the work of salvation and help with the work inside the stake. It was really fun to see us work together and the spirit was definitely there.

So can you let me know the birthdays of everyone. So I can write all the dates on my calendar. We are working hard. I love the work. We had our first zone meeting together this Wednesday. It was my first one as zone leader. I loved it a lot. I got to see Elder Jones. One of my good friends from Heber. We talked in the meeting, about the wheats and tares, that we need to find the chosen people waiting for us. Then we talked about the obedience. And a few other things. It went well. I loved it.

How is everything going? So your anniversary is this Thursday, right? I loved the pictures that you sent. You two look so good. Happy Anniversary. And Happy Birthday to Nathan. 10 years old--wow. And I like Josh's football jersey:) I love you all. Love Elder Parker

September 9, 2013

How is everyone doing? I am doing great! I am really excited to be here in the area. The area is very different, but I like it a lot. I don´t know where to start. I guess I´ll start with the house. The house is huge that we live in. It is an apartment, but they are really nice. There are gates outside and everything. We live like on the 5th floor. I feel like I am living in a hotel. Because it is really nice. Because we have all the material for the zone and extra beds and stuff like that. The lock on the front door says Parker. Haha so I guess I was meant to be here. We have a small little gym that we made in the house. With a bench press of huge buckets of water. haha The area is pretty big!! There are three types of social classes here in the area. There are the really really rich!! They have a ton of money. Their houses are huge. I haven´t seen houses as huge as these. For example, the governor of Tuxtla lives in our area. We passed his house the other day and his house took up the whole block!! Not kidding. So that gives you an idea of the area. Then there are the middle class. They have a little bit of money and then there are the poor class. They hardly have much. So we are working really well. We usually work with the middle and poor class, we haven´t really worked with the rich class yet. But we have met a few less active memebers for that area. We live in the rich class. The ward is pretty great! There are like 71 active members here. The bishop got released this Sunday so we don´t have a bishop, we are waiting for someone to get chosen I guess. My companion is Elder Martinez. He is from Colombia!! He has 15 months in the mission. I knew him before, in my first area he was in that zone. He is a great missionary. Really happy and a hard worker, we get along really well!! It is so great to work here. We ate some hamburgers with the members one day, I threw down 3 hahah. I guess I was pretty hungry. Tomorrow we will have a confrerence with all the zone leaders and the President. I guess we have those every month. It's like a 5 or 6 hour meeting. Then we will transmit everything we learn to the whole zone the next day. I´m pretty excited. I will be emailing from here on at around 12 o clock every monday morning. Because we have an extra hour at 11 to write a huge inform to the President. So we have to be here at 11, and the next hour I can write you guys. I have a few questions. Should I buy some shoes today? Thanks for everything. I love you all. BYE!!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 2, 2013

Hola familia!! Como estan? Estoy muy bien y contento. Well this week went by really well. I saw some great miracles this week. I'll share the stories with you. So we have been visiting three families less actives here in the area. They haven't been able to go to church and some of them we have visited a lot. We visited all three of these families this past week and invited them all to church. They all said yes. So we believed them, and we had to show our faith that they would show up on their own, which they told us to believe in them. So we got to church talking to some of the members before church and all of a sudden two of the families showed up!!!! They brought their husbands and friends that weren't members also. They all looked so happy. The first instant I saw them, the spirit filled me up inside. I was the happiest guy in the church. So then the meeting started and I was a little sad because the other family didn't come and all of a sudden they walked in the sacrament room!!! I was like, are you serious? It was the most spiritual experience. Because they all looked so happy there in the Lord's house. I felt like I was doing my part. The spirit was so strong that day in the church. I couldn't stop smiling. I bore my testimony. And I was so full of the spirit that my heart was beating really fast and eveything. I just wanted everyone to feel good and happy. I cried a little and made it fast so I could escape the tears. It was the best Sunday I have had here in the area. And the assistance was the highest it has been these past 5 months. I am grateful that the Lord helped those families arrive. The President of the Stake bought us food on Wednesday. Two boxes of Little Caesars pizza. Well... I did it.. I ate a whole box of pizza for the first time in my life. :) hahaha I didn't think I had it in me. Maybe that was the problem, I didn't have any food in me before. hahaha
I got to see a ton of members from my last ward on Sunday. I guess the bishop changed and all the leaders and councelors. That should be a great change. I was excited to see them all. I went to Copoya, another area in my district to do changes with another missionary. I was with a North American a whole day. I felt really weird, because two Americans in Mexico together hahah. It was a great time and I learned a lot.

Well we had transfers today. It turns out that most of the district changed. I will miss my district, it was the best ever. We had some really good memories together. I will be leaving my area. I will be going to a place called Paraiso [paradise]. It is still here in Tuxtla. I will be the Zone Leader over there. I will be the zone leader of the assistants to the President and secretaries. It is the zone that has the President and all his leaders in it. It is the Stake Tuxtla Mexico. So I have been in all three of the Stakes here in Tuxtla and haven't left Tuxtla. That is so funny!! I don't think that ever happens here!! I am really excited!! I know that is where the Lord needs me at this time. Maybe Elder Jensen will be in my zone.. I hope so!! I love you alll!! bye
Love Elder Parker

August 26, 2013

Hey mom and family!! how are you all doing? I am doing great thanks for wondering!! I am feeling a lot better but continue to take the pills so I cannot get sick again. This week was a great week. We worked really hard. I am glad that everyone is doing fine! Wow that is so neat that you will have a family night with that family and the missionaries! I really am excited about that. The missionaries need your help. The members are everything in the work of salvation. You will help them out so much!! The members here are helping us out a lot also. We are all excited to work together.

We had a great distirct meeting this week. I gave the class again and afterward the sisters in my district asked for a blessing. I thought they were sick but it turns out that the new sister missionary is having a hard time being valiant and talking in the lessons. So she asked me to give her a blessing. I gave her one and I felt really good afterwards. They told me, "you are the best district leader here in the mission" I was like no.. And one of the sisters said, "yes, I never knew Moroni but you remind me of him. "I felt really good about that comment because I feel like I am helping out other missionaries here in my district.

Wow it is really hot here sometimes, right now I am sweating up a storm hahah :) Today I got to eat at Burger king! It was good to taste that , it has been like over a year since I have eaten there. Wow I am really happy in the mission and never want to leave. We have been witnessing some miracles. You remember those two boys that we baptized? Well their family were less active and they are really active now, and we had a family night with them this Monday and we saw the husband and he had shaved off his beard and mustache!!! He has changed so much because before he used to drink every day. But now he is living the gospel! They are all happy. My other convert in Terrazas, Leonardo is doing great, I got to see him again at the church. He is so happy and has changed his life also. When we first saw him he was struggling in life. But now he is so happy and looks completely different. I am so glad he is strong in the church, he is like one of my best friends :) I love you all so much. Love Elder Parker

August 19, 2013

Hey mom and family!!! How are you all doing? I am doing great!! :) So the baptisms happened!!!! Wahoo. This week was really good. I got sick Tuesday and we couldn't leave all day. But I bought medicine and everythying so am I doing good now. It was my stomach and my head. But now I feel a lot better. Thursday we had a multi zone conference with the President. It went reallly good! I learned so much, and I felt the spirit a lot. The President is really powerful. We did a lot of practicing and at the end we ate lunch with him. There were like 50 missionaries there more or less. I got to see a lot of good friends there and got to talk with them. I loved it. Then on Friday I had divisions with the zone leader Elder Ngatuvai , he used to be my zone leader in my first area too. We had a good time! Then Saturday we had the baptisms. It was really neat. Their whole family showed up in the nicest clothes they probably own. They are a really poor family, but it was really neat. They all looked so good and happy. A member baptized them both. The spirit was so strong there. During the hymn Nearer My God to Thee, I felt the spirit and I realized baptism is neccesary and they were choosing the right decision. Sunday was great also, we got to church, and I got to confirm one of the boys as a member of the church and give him the spirit. It was my first time in my life. I felt so happy and grateful :) I know the gift of the Holy Ghost is a true gift from our Father in Heaven. And the bishop told us after church, "thank you so much, I can't believe you already are baptizing here when you just got here, I guess that's what a leader does. I appreciate your work. You have reactivated a whole family and baptized two kids. Thank you" it was really great to hear from him. The oldest boy that got baptized, Jairo, he received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday also!! And his brother only has 9 years. I love you all. :) love Elder Parker

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 12, 2013

Hey family!! Wow I had such a good week. We worked really really hard!! It was probably one of the best weeks in months!! WE just got after it and took care of business. I am really happy. Thanks for the email. That is great that you went to the fair, it is always fun there! The young man from the ward that left went to Monterrey Mexico. I love the mission so much, I don't want to leave it!! This morning I went to the mission office to sign some papers for my visa, because I have almost been here in Mexico for a year! That is so crazy. I saw Elder Stevenson, Elder Jones and Elder Bassett there. We all signed papers together on the same desk and everything. Talking about the memories we had in the mtc and stuff. It was a lot of fun and I love those elders a lot. I have made some really good friends thanks to the mission. I will never forget the friendships I have made. Especially with the members here and the converts. I am enjoying this area a lot. If everything goes according to plans we will have two baptisms this Saturday. :) I know the Lord is blessing me. We are so blessed in our lives. Whenever we get down, we just need to think of all the blessings we have. And we will be so surprised with what the Lord has given us. I have no doubt that the Lord blesses us, we just need to accept Him. Thank you so much for all that you have done. I feel really emotional right now about you guys. I miss you all so much, and love you all.

We are teaching a family. They are not members but the daughter is on her mission. She is the daughter and got baptized two years ago, and now has been out for 2 months. We are teaching them a lot, and they are always way sad to not have her around their house. They cry a lot, but we always give them encouragement. So if you guys back home are worried about me, there isn't need. I am in the best place I could be in my life at this time. :) Seriously, I am doing great.

Wow this week I ate something really... let's say.. weird. I ate worms!! hahaha like that one movie we saw about the worms. They don't have the head and they like gut them or something and cook them. So it tastes like burnt meat or something. IT is so weird. I ate some for the first time and was about to puke but after I liked them. It is called "zats" it is a word indegenious. Maybe you could look for pictures or something on the internet. hahah We will have a zone conference with the President this week. And next week I will be taking pictures for my visa again :) Time is flying by. I love you all so much. I am so proud of you all. Thanks for being faithful and trusting in the Lord. Love Elder Parker

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Hey mom and family!! I am doing great this wonderful day. And you? The new area is going good. We have quite a few of people listening to our message. The members are really excited to work with us. They have been helping us receive referrals. Yesterday was so an amazing day!! I loved it so much. There were so many surprises that happened. I'll start off with the morning. So I was in church and we left the Sacrament meeting after it ended. And I saw my old bishop from Terrazas. Because those two wards are in the same chapel. So I was like hey is Leonardo here still? Leonardo is my convert from Terrazas. He said I think so. So I went outside, and from a distance I saw him. I waved and he saw me and started running towards us!! It was like in the movies slow motion and everything. We finally met and we hugged. He was smiling so big and couldn't say anything. Finally we started talking and laughing. He told us he misses us so much. He sure looks up to us. He said he was having a rough week, but then he read his Book of Mormon and found our letters we left in the back of the book. He said that cheered him up so much, those two letters. He was really really excited. I sure do miss him. He has changed so much and looked so happy in his white shirt and tie! I hope he will go on a mission someday if he desires. We said goodbye and he left. Also another surprise in the church. During sacrament meeting. All of a sudden the back doors opened and the Villatoro family arrived. Wow!! They are members but their kids aren't baptized. We have been visiting them a lot. They arrived and were so happy. They told us afterwards that it was the first time they have gone to the church in a year and a half. We were so surprised and pleased with the Lord. They were extremely happy. Then after church we were walking and all of a sudden I saw a family from my first area in Las Torres. In Bosque. I could not believe it. It turns out that her brother is in our ward and they were going to visit him. So we went for a little to talk to them. They were so excited to see me and I was so happy to see them and talk with them about my old ward. It turns out that my converts are still going to church and are strong!! :) That is the best feeling ever. Also when I didn't have a companion that one month over there, a young man worked with me for a week. He got his mission call and leaves this Wednesday. It was neat to hear that, because I was able to help him for a week. In equal manner he helped me. We talked about all the families and the converts. I was smiliing so much, it was hurting to smile. Then they told us they were going to bring dinner to us tonight. So I hurry and wrote some letters today so they can give them to my converts and my ward. I am really excited for them. It was a great day.

Today we went to Sam's to buy some food for two weeks. I loved it there. I felt like I was back home in Costco!! There was some good stuff there. :) So I should have plenty of food for awhile. Thanks so much for the package!! I loved it from Yellowstone. I am so blessed. Thank you so much. I think I am the Elder that receives the most packages and letters here in the mission. All the Elders call me Elder Vanpelt from that movie The Best Two Years I believe. All of them say I always have letters and packages. hahah It's because I have the best family. But you don't need to send so many packages, because I know how expensive it is and I am doing fine. :) Well I love you all.

Love Elder Parker

Friday, August 2, 2013

July 29, 2013

Hey mom and family!!! How is everyone doing? I am doing great. Today was had an activity with the President!! WE went to the canyon of Sumidero again and after we played sports in Cana Hueca. And afterwards we ate pizza. It was such a blast!! I got to see a lot of my friends!! I got to see my companion that I trained and Elder Jones and my old zone and just a ton of friends. We had a great time. The canyon looked so beautiful this time. It was really really green. the last time was really dry but this time was really green. Then we sang "How Great Thou Art" in Spanish up at the top of the canyon looking down. It was so spiritual.

I was ripping it up in sports!! I sure do miss playing sports, especially football. I got to throw the football around and run some routes with a few missionaries. The only thing is is that there aren't a lot of missionaries that play. But I was able to find some that used to play also. I loved it so much. I love throwing the football around. Just like the good old times in the backyard. We got to eat some pizza also. The President played against me in basketball. It was really fun, he is actually really good. He said he used to play on a church team. I didn't get too sunburnt because I put on sunblock in the morning.

This week went really well. We got to meet most of the members because we ate with them this week. We are working hard. There aren't a lot of members in our half. Most of the ward is with the other missionaries. But we have really faithful members. They are all so humble and most of them are converts. Our ward is a lot bigger. I have a question. how many people usually go to church in our ward. Like the ward assistance? I got to talk to my old companion about my old ward, it was really fun, he said the members are always asking where I went. I guess they miss me. We were talking with the Presiden'ts wife today and she told us that my generation will be ending the mission with her and the President in June. So I'm not sure what exactly will happen. Like June 26 or something. Or maybe the option to entend a few weeks after they leave. But I don't want to think too much in that right now, there is still time to work. I think I am losing weight. hahah Which is normal I guess here in Mexico. Well I want to go so we can chat. I love you all. Love Elder Parker

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 22, 2013

Hey mom! How are you and the family? I am doing great! Well.. we have transfers! I am going to the new area, and I'll have the same companion. We will be officially opening a new area. It should be really interesting because we don't know anything about the area and we don't have any people listening or informs of past investigators. It will be harder than the last two areas I opened. I am really excited to see what we can get started in the area. It will require a ton of work, but I'll get it done with the Lord on my side.

I am so glad that you got a email from Sister Hamada. She and her family are wonderful people. They will always be my friend. I hope some day they will be able to visit us. That is amazing that the missionaries went to our house. I am sure they loved it. I loved when the missionaries used to go to our house. Wow, Nathan was really blessed that nothing else happened to him. I am not surprised of dads talk. He has always had that blessing to talk and help others feel the spirit.

We have had a really tiring week this past week. This morning we officially moved out of our house. We move everything this morning into our new house. I am really really tired. But I am excited to have the new house. We looked for the house. The president gave us permission to do everything. So we found the house and put the price and everything. It was hard work, and moving was so hot, but I'm grateful it's over. I will miss the people here in my ward. It was really hard saying goodbye to Leonardo. He was our convert. I was about to cry. He said well thanks for everything and said, you two made me a better person. He has changed so much. Then after he went upstairs, I believe he went cause he was crying. I was so sad, but luckily my new ward assists the same chapel. So I'll get to see him. Wahooo!

Hahah well I bought a hammock. It was reallly cheap. I will use it in the mission I think to sleep in or something. I am glad that everyone is safe and happy. I had interviews with the President this week. He is amazing. I loved it. I will still be the District leader. There will now be 2 sister missionaries in the district as well. It is a big district again. I love you all. Stay strong, and endure to the end!! Love Elder Parker

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 15, 2013

Hey family!!!! :) How are you all doing? Well.. I have some big news for you. This week was pretty good, we worked really hard. So i'll give you a clue.. "the best two years" when the President goes to the house of the missionaries.. Well.. This thursday the President came to our house! It was the coolest thing. The Zone leaders called us Wednesday night that we were going to have interviews in the office or our house. so we said okay. Then we were like, well he won't come to the house. But luckily I started cleaning a Little that night and everything. But not like the house was really messy, just a little bit. Then we were planning for the week on Thursday morning and we were waiting for the President to call. He didn't call forever, so we figured he wasn't going to call us. Then at the end he called.. My companion was in the bathroom. He said "Elder Parker, are you in your house?" I was like yeah. He said "wait for me i'm heading your way right now." So we hung up and we hurried and cleaned a little more and got everything ready. haha my companion was really nervous. Because he didn't think he would come. But I told him he probably would. Then he arrived in about 10 minutes. We met him outside, and he said "Well let's go to Lomas." Another área in the district with other missionaries. So we grabbed our backpacks and hopped in his car with him. We traveled like 30 minutes with him to the other área. I was in shotgun talking with the President. I felt like I was with dad in the car. Then we got to the house of the other elders. We entered their house and he said.. Well let's make some changes. I need your help. He had a few maps. And it turns out we created another new área in the district and split another área and changed everything. It turns out that here in my área will now have sister missionaries. So we are automatically transferring next Monday. We created another área, which we have been working in that área this week and our área. He told us to look for a house also to rent. So we have been looking for a house. So the other Ward will now have 4 missionaries and our Ward sister missionaries. It is weird because I already know I am going to leave next week. But we still don't know if we will go to the new área and open an área or leave to another part of the misión. It should be really interesting!! I am excited to know what will happen. Then we ended with the President and he took us back to our área to eat some lunch with some members. So that was such a great experience. He has been calling us about the houses and stuff also. I am happy and will miss my área but changes are always good! :)
That is so sweet that you are getting a puppy!! The dog looks really playful and happy. It has rained so much here this past week, and it looks like it will rain right now!! The road was crazy again and one car passed, which was crazy and the wáter was higher than the Windows of the car. hahaha it was insane. There is still water flowing down our road at this instant. Well I love you all. Thanks for everything. Love Elder Parker

July 8, 2013

Hey mom!! How are you doing? I am doing great! This last week was amazing!! I had the best time ever. I was so blessed. My birthday was fantastic thank you so much for the presents and the packages and all the letters. It was awesome because in the morning of my birthday my companion put up streamers from the package and blew up balloons. While I was in the bathroom he laid all the packages out, except one so I could open it. And he bought me a tie and made some oragami stuff. It was really awesome!! So that morning I couldn't enter the room with all the presents. Then my companion put on some music and started recording me and I entered the room and saw all the presents and it was so sweet. Then we went to the zone meeting later that morning and when I arrived everyone came up to me and wished me happy birthday. Elder Stevenson gave me a tie and a letter and elder Gaytan gave me some pictures and a snickers. It was so awesome. I also received more letters from you and the family and from Court and Grandpa and Grandma Linda and some friends. Then I also received the package of the Fourth of July and the package from Dave and Nat.
So a few elders had interviews with the President that morning. But he had to leave early so I didn't have mine. I was like well... he didn't remember my birthday. Then all of a sudden at the end of the meeting, he showed up with his wife with a birthday cake! And everyone took pictures and we ate the cake. I was like, "No way... "It was the neatest thing ever!! We took some pictures of that. I was really happy and it hurt smiling because I was always smiling. Then he took us to his office and gave us a brand new microwave. Because we didn't have one that worked. After that we went home to drop off everything and elder Macias pulled out a package from his family and the things were for me!! They gave me some treats from Liverpool, a store in Mexico, and a tie also! They also gave me letters. It was so neat. Then we went and ate at a returned missionaries house. He bought us some food from San Marcos. A really expensive restaurant. It was like pizza but made of pork and cheese and steak. It tasted so good! After that we worked and taught a little bit. Then in the night we did service, painted. And after they made us dinner for my birthday and gave us flan. It is like a cake more or less. It tasted so good. So the whole house is still decorated with presents and balloons. I loved my birthday. Thank you so much. We ate so much on my birthday that my companion couldn't lay down at night because he was so full. hahahha It was so hilarious. We were so so full.

The Fourth of July we sang hymns, the Star Spangled Banner and waved the flag and took pictuers in the night. I put that mini tie on my backpack the whole day to celebrate the fourth. It was a great day. Then the fifth was a great day also. (My hump day). We had a fun day and I interviewed some investigators to be baptized from our district. So we got to travel to another area like 30 minutes away. This week has been great. Thanks for everything! This week I also tried some different food. I ate little fish. Really small and the head and everything. It tasted really weird. hahah Well I will go so we can talk. I love you. Bye :)

July 1, 2013

Hey mom :) How are you doing? How is the family doing? We are doing great! Sorry I took so long to get on, we had to run a few errands. But we got to eat at Little Caesars pizza hahah. Thanks so much for the birthday wishes and all the emails and pictures. It sounds like the cabin went really well. I was really worried last week because you didn't email back, I thought something happened to you guys. But the Lord comforted me throughout the week. I am so grateful.

This week was a good week, we are having difficulties finding people to teach but we are working hard. I know this week will go by better, a lot better!! :)
Wow, so it rained so so so hard here last Wednesday. I am serious, harder than it has ever rained here. It was insane. We were teaching a few members in their house when it started raining. We finished the lesson and I was like, well we need to leave now. And they said, you are not going to leave. They got that right!! We were trapped in their house three hours straight! It was raining so so hard, and the lightning and thunder was so powerful! The whole main street was flooded and they had to block off the entire road. All the streets had rivers. Wow.. and our street where we live. You won't believe it. They blocked it off, the water pressure was so strong that it took out a wall!! And the wall washed away with the river. The people were emptying their houses with buckets of water! It was the craziest thing ever! Luckily we live on the second floor so nothing happened to our house. There were cars in the roads stuck and couldn't move. Than the next day a tractor came and scooped up all the sand in the street. It took like 3 or 4 dump trucks to remove it all in just 60 yards. It was funny because we were watching them clean it all up in the morning. It was quite a storm, and right now it is raining again! I love the rain. Well I will go so we can chat. Thanks for everything :) We will have our zone meeting on my birthday!! love Elder Parker

June 24, 2013

Whoa there!! Those are some pretty cool stories that happened in Yellowstone and with Court! How was the cabin? I hope it went great! The pictures look awesome!! :) This week went really well for us. We did divisions with a few Elders in our district this week. So I went to Suchiapa the área of Elder Stevenson with his companion. It is so different over there. We traveled in a van like 40 minutes and it was so Green! It was like a redneck city it was so funny. Elder Stevenson calls it Radiator Springs. Like the movie "Cars", I'm in Radiator Springs get me out of here. hahah It was a really small town. It was really hot and a ton of insects were always on our faces. It was a good experience. I tried a new fruit over here it is called rambután and another fruit is pitaya. The pitaya is pink on the outside and like white with dots in the inside. And the rambután has a weird shell with hair and inside it tastes like a huge grape! So crazy!

Wow, yesterday we listened to the transmisión of "The Work of Salvation"or something like that. It was a broadcast by the Prophet and his apostles for the missionaries, the Misión Presidents and Ward councils. It was so powerful, you will have to watch it, it is like 2 hours long. I got to watch it in the stake center in English with air conditioning. :) The coolest part also was that I saw Colton singing in the choir!!!! There were thousands of missionaries there and I saw him!! There was so many, it was powerful to see all of them. They said there are over 70,000 missionaries in the world now. I feel the spirit so strong right now, and when I was watching the broadcast also. I know this work is of the Lord. Wow.. I loved the broadcast!!

Today a member washed our clothes, that was really nice! The other day I heard the song It's a Wonderful World. That's a great song. Well I will go so we can chat. I hope you are safe on the ride home. Thanks for the pictures :) Love Elder Parker

(This is Elder Parkers mom--the cool stories he's talking about, is that on the same day he saw the huge Iguana, just minutes after he sent us the picture, Lauren and I and Elder Parkers grandpa and grandma saw a bat in town in Yellowstone. It was hanging on a sweatshirt outside--in broad daylight! And the day before that sister Parker saw a huge hairy tarantula that almost fell on her from the top of her door--on her mission in Nicaragua. (There's a picture on her blog). So it was a few days of crazy, curious, creepy, critters!!! And all within 2 days of each other!!)

Monday, July 8, 2013

June 17, 2013

Hey mom and family!! I love you all!! This week went by really well! We celebrated elder Macias birthday a lot. Thank you so much for the package and the celebrations that you sent for him. It was really fun what I did in the morning of his birthday. The morning of I was eating breakfast and he was sitting next to me, then he jumped into the shower and I got on my horse and whipped open the package and started putting a lot of presents on his desk and blowing up balloons and banners. I was running around like a wild chicken. And right when he was leaving the shower I finished and jumped in the bathroom after. Then after he was really excited. He couldn't stop saying wow wow thank you so much. We took a picture for every present and we filmed the opening and everything. It was really fun. He thanks me for you guys every day. I wrote him a poem hahah. So he had a great birthday! We went to the offices this morning and I got my other package from you guys and letters. I haven't had time to open the letters or package yet. But thanks a lot!! :)

I loved this week, it went by really fast. We passed the week with a lot of memories. And you won't ever believe what happened. We were walking to email you guys right now when we passed an iguana. A ton of people were watching it on a telephone line. I took a picture so I will try and send it to you. I am excited that you are in Yellowstone, that is the funniest thing ever. Because right before right now, I was eating with the members and told them we had a cabin in Yellowstone and we were talking about all the animals and everything for a long time, then I found out you were there!! What a coincidence. I love the cabin! Make sure you enjoy it there!

The baptism went really well! He was really happy and a lot of people showed up :) I will try and send some pictures of the baptism also. He has had a hard life, he has changed so much. I remember when we first met him, Leonardo, he was really different and a little crazy. But now he has changed so much and prays and has the desire to do whats right, he has quit doing a lot of things and I know he has changed because the gospel helps us change. It is a miracle. I have sure enjoyed seeing him change. What a miracle. Wow.. He is 20 years old. His mom and dad are separated. He relies a lot on Dios now. Well I will go so we can chat. :) Thanks!! I love you all.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

June 10, 2013

Hey mom!! How are you doing? I am doing great as always! Wow this week was awesome!! :) The baptism was absolutely amazing. It was really spiritual. She was filled with the spirit. Her family showed up and some members even. We took a bunch of pictures before. I felt the spirit so strongly during her baptism. After she bore her testimony! She was crying and she said, now, my next step is to serve a mission. Wow.. How powerful that was. I can't wait for her to leave on a mission. It went really great. This week was really good. And guess what, no one in my district is transfering. We are all staying the same. So I will have Elder Macias's birthday here my birthday here, the 4th of July here and my hump day. What an experience! I am glad I get to stay because we will have another baptism this Saturday! So I wanted to stay for that. I like this area, there is everything here in the area. Dominos', Little Caesars, Walmart, a bunch of other stores too. Burger King, KFC, it is like the middle middle city. I am really happy serving the Lord, I have felt the spirit so much lately. I know the spirit testifies of the truth. I sent off a letter today for court! I miss that girl. We will be opening the package for Elder Macias soon! Thanks so much :) I love you all. I am so glad that you finally got those letters. The one champion one I drew the picture when I was really sick and in bed all day. But I finally got to send it off. I am glad youi liked the letters! I love those kind of movies, like 17 Miracles. That is awesome! The Lone Ranger, I don 't remember what that is. But our mission leader in our ward was asking me about it, he told me to ask my parents if they knew, which is funny because you just told me about it coming out on my birthday. It has been really hot here, but that 's normal. Today we ate in Dominos! haha tastes pretty good. Mccrae wrote me, which was really nice. I miss that guy. Well we also had the activity of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It went really good. I bore my testimony! I felt really good, and so did the members. well I'll go now so we can chat. adios amigos :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

June 3, 2013

Hey mom :) How are you doing and the family? I am doing great!! Wow, has it rained here or what!! I heard abiout that Hurricane also. That is so crazy that I was receiving the effects of a hurricane! Rock you like a hurricane. I was socking wet yesterday. It was so crazy! But I loved it. We had to walk really far, and we couldn't cross any road because it was so deep, the water was flowing really fast too. I felt like I was actually in Salina or something because there were ¨rivers in every place¨. The hurricane was mostly in Tonala on the coast. That is where elder Petersen is. I heard it was really bad over there. Over here nothing was harmed, only the amount of water and the wind. We are doing safe. The boots are working really good. But yesterday was a really hot day. So we decided not to put on the boots. Then all of a sudden at like 4 it started raining really hard, luckily a member let me borrow his umbrella. So we got soaked. It was a fun experience. We were the only ones in the streets, everyone else in their houses. We just use plastic bags to put our scriptures in.

Thanks for the package!! The one for elder Macias. When should we open it? There are transfers next Monday. I have a feeling one of us will leave! But guess what.. We will have a baptism on Wednesday. Her name is Karla. She is amazing, she knows a lot. Her mom and sister are members as of one month ago, but she never accepted baptism. She is like 23 years old. She has been listening on and off from the missionaries for like 1 year. And she accepted our invitation!! She said she has never felt the feelings she has felt with any other missionaries or lessons or anything. She feels the spirit so much. I know we were meant to find her and help her in her life. She was our chosen person. I can't wait!! I am doing good, we went to Walmart this morning :) The house is fine. We are enjoying the mission. I love you so much. :) I will go so we can chat. Love elder Parker

Friday, May 31, 2013

May 27, 2013

Hey mom and family!! I love you all! How are you all doing? That is so funny that grandpa's car was running the whole entire time, I was laughing out loud when I read it. I feel very grateful that Grandpa and Linda and Dave and Nat went to Lauren's graduation. I wish I could have gone, but I know it was really special and that Lauren was the most beautiful girl there. I can feel the spirit really strong right now. Thanks for everything.

This last week we had a zone conference with the President. He talked about repentance. It was really powerful. He is an amazing man. Like 4 companionships didn't show up forever, they got there late. And he told us, I don't feel good right now, I can't teach you guys because I don't have the spirit. So he said, let's sing hymns to invite the spirit here. He was a little worried because the missionaries hadn't gotten there still. So we sang and after he felt really good. It was amazing. Because the simple things is what brings the spirit. He gave a really good talk and his wife too. I saw Elder Gaytan and he said to say hi to you all. He is awesome, we talked for awhile. After the conference I received the package from you guys and letters!! I loved it. The package was awesome! With Lauren's graduation and letters from the boys and the card from you mom, and of course the treats. I will get to see Elder Gaytan on Wednesday because we will have another zone meeting. So I will give him those things that you sent!! Thanks! :) There is a guy in our ward that reminds me of our neighbor.. Brother Vanderhorst. He looks the same, and acts the same!! hahah

Wow. Has it been raining here like crazy!!! Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday it has rained and it has rained today and will continue raining. It has been really fresh. Not too hot with the rain. I love the rain so much! The roads have been rivers! The water is higher than the tires of the cars in some parts! I love it!! I have been using my umbrella. :) Should I start using my new boots that I have never used? Or I could save them and sell them? My companion and I bought some pizza from dominos, it tasted really good!

So two stories happened this week. One a miracle and another you could call it a blessing.. I will start with the blessing. So Sunday after church we were going to eat with a family from the ward. They couldn't be there but they left the food in their house with the grandma to give it to us. So we went and picked up the food and said thanks. We left and were walking thinking... Where can we eat this food. There wasn't a place where we could eat. So finally we got to this cool looking park and sat on the curb. Thinking oh well this part looks safe. Then just before we said the prayer. Two people came up to us. Like a 25 year old guy with his girlfriend. And they said, do you have a phone to call the police, those guys over there just stole our wallets and cell phones. They were panicked. So we tried helping them, but they left. So we left, which was a blessing they talked to us, because those guys would have robbed us too. We thought we were safe. In fact we passed those guys before we sat down, and they looked suspicious with their backpacks. So that was the blessing. Wow.. it is raining a lot right now!!

Now the miracle...I had splits with the Zone leader on Tuesday. We were on a bus going to a lesson with a recent convert. The driver said is anyone going to issste.? We didn't answer, so he took a different route. Which was a lot further. We finally realized the problem and after 10 minutes we decided we should get off and walk. I paid with 50 pesos and he gave me back 40 pesos. 5 pesos each person. I decided to jump off the step of this huge bus we were in. Which I never jump. I jumped really far, so I thought. When a van wizzed past my face not even an inch. I was in the air when I saw the van and couldn't do anything, but somehow the van didn't hit me. It was a miracle because I jumped hard, but I felt like my feet became magnets and stuck to the ground right before the van hit me. Because I know I jumped further, but it was like a force field that stopped me going any further. It was really scary. And the only thing I could say after to the elder was "Well... I just about died" It was really scary, but I was calm, I know the Lord watched over me. It was weird because that bus stopped in the middle of the street to let us off, I thought we were by the sidewalk like every other time. But it was a miracle. I was really blessed. I love you all. Love, Elder Parker

P.S. Oh, when is memorial day? hahah I can't remember a lot of things. I hope your eye gets better, I will pray for you mom. Remember when I would get home for lunch during school and sing, "have I told you lately that I love you" :)

May 20, 2013

Hey mom!! I love you!! I sent off some letters today to you guys :) I am doing good! My talk went really well, I was a little nervous in fact, but I think that is good. I was talking with my companino about how much time we had. 10 minutes each to give a talk. I was telling him that before the mission that would be so much time, but here it is not enough time to talk about everthing that I would want to say. It is amazing how I can now talk a lot longer than before. I talked about the talk from the May 2012 Ensign from the talk by bishop Edgley or something. It is in the priesthood session. I read the story of the young lady that was less active. I talked about how we can help the members come back to the church and we can help them with their problems. I also talked a little bit about elder M Russell Ballards talk from 2000 in the Ensign that says that the members are the key of missionary work. There are a lot of less active members here! So I hope I animated the members to help those less actives.

This week was good, a little hard at times. But I am learning a lot. We are doing everything possible to find more people to teach. We are searching new and different ways to find people. We are forcing ourselves to go out of our comfort zones even a little bit more. It will work :) I am glad that dad's talk went well. He is great on giving talks! I am so proud of Mitchell and his talk and him wanting to serve a mission. He has always been a great kid. That makes me really excited. I miss Mccrae, too. The mission is so amazing. I am so glad I came out here!! I am serving the Lord!!!! :) I got an email from Mike Mangum. He is one of my best friends. He is such a good kid. I loved spending time with him in high school. I can't believe that Lauren is already graduating! It seems like I was just there last week. It is so crazy how time flies. I seriously can't believe it. Oh.. I was thinkiing of Sister Choate --I can't remember how you spell it. But I sure do miss her. I loved going to her house after church to give her the sacrament. One of the best memories I have had. She is so amazing. If you can contact her or something and tell her I miss her and send her my greetings. I made a list of how the gospel has helped me and my family this morning in my studies. It was a long list of like 40 things, but I could have given so much more. It was amazing how we are so blessed with this gospel. We have another lesson with the Stake President and a family he is going to invite at 7pm. Wish us luck! I am so excited to teach them. The Stake President is awesome, really excited with the missionary work. The ward is really small here. 58 people came to church this week. Years ago there used to be 150 members, but they all moved or are less members. We are going to get to that number again, that is my goal :) I love you all. Bye :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 13, 2013 From Corinna

What a great Mothers Day this was!! We got to hear from our 2 wonderful missionaries!! First we got a phone call from Sister Parker and we got to talk to her for awhile. We even sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" in English and then she sang it back to us in Spanish. We all had tears in our eyes by the end of it, then towards the end of her phone call we got a skype from our other amazing missionary--Elder Parker!! So for the last of Sister Parkers phone call, and the beginning of Elder Parkers skype, we all got to talk to each other at the same time!! Before Sister Parker had to leave, we got to hear an exchange in Spanish between her and Elder Parker!! It was absolutely amazing and their Spanish was incredible. We could only understand a few words, but were just so enthralled and excited to hear them speak to each other in Spanish, that we just listened to their exchange in amazement. We didn't want it to end. They even had such an incredible accent. Nathan said they sounded just like Mexicans. He recorded some of their conversation and listens to it over and over. It is so neat, how just a little while back, neither of them knew much Spanish, and now to see how much they have grown and learned in the short amount of time that they have been out in the field. When Sister Parker was about to hang up, we were all in tears because we could feel of their wonderful spirits and are so proud of their hard work and growth and desire to serve others. We are so grateful for our missionaries and for the choice they have made to be hands for the Lord and to move this amazing Gospel along!!! We know it can be difficult to be away from home, and to be in other countries and different cultures, but we know the rewards far outweigh the hard times. And they both say they love their missions!! What a blessing!! We know they are where they are supposed to be at this time, and we couldn't be happier for them and for those they are serving. (We have always loved the song "Feliz Navidad" at Christmas time, even before they were called to Spanish speaking missions, so we made up our own words to it and attempted to sing it to them in Spanish. We must have done ok because they understood most of it... at least they got a good laugh out of it. Josh played the guitar and we wore sombreros and fake mustaches. This is what we sang... "Feliz dia...Feliz dia....Feliz dia....de su familia eterna. Llegamos a saber de nuestros misioneros, tenemos que saber de nuestros misioneros, tenemos que saber de nuestros misioneros....quien amamos mucho!!! Here it is in English for those of us that don't know Spanish:) "Happy day...Happy day....Happy day... from your eternal family!....We get to hear from our missionaries, we get to hear from our missionaries, we get to hear from our missionaries....who we love very much!!!) We do love our missionaries very much! They bring so many blessings to our lives and others:) Love, their mom (Corinna)

May 13, 2013

Hey mom!!! How are you all doing!! I am doing great today! It was so good to talk to you all of you yesterday! It was also really amazing how I got to talk to Courtney also, and in Spanish. Her accent is perfect. I loved seeing you all. You all look so good and have changed looks a little. I can't believe Lauren graduates next Thursday, that time went by so fast!! I loved talking to all of you, it was amazing. I had my companion Elder Macias film parts of it too, so I have it on my camera! He was like, you have such an incredible family. He really liked you guys. He is turning 19. I also got to talk with his family on Friday. Thanks for the package that you sent. I saw Elder Gaytan last week in the zone meeting. He said to tell the family hi, and he asked for the address to send more letters. I gave him some jerkey. Don't worry about sending more small Preach my Gospels, I think most of the missionaries will get them from the President. Thank you so much. =)
I hope you had a great mother's day! I sure enjoyed last night. It was great. I sure do love my family, I am really blessed. I feel a little bad about not talking a lot with Nathan, I realized that last night. I sure do love him. He was always my best friend at the house. We would always play games and he would spend time with me all the time. I miss that. I miss you all, but I am happy =) I can't wait to get back and have more memories together. But as for now, I am making my own memories. =) I can't believe that Court only has 5 more months!! Will you guys visit her? I love you all. Bye =) love, Elder Parker

We have a lesson with the Stake President at 7:30 tonight and there will be 5 investigators there. I also give a talk, like dad, on Sunday. I am excited! I did tell the family thanks that let me skype from their house. They have a big house, oh, and they gave us a ton of food to take home last night. It was a blessing:) It's a cool house we live in now. The house is nicer. I like the area, we don't have to walk as much as my last area. And there is pavement everywhere.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 6, 2013

Hey how is everyone doing? I am doing really good!! We are now in the new area... My second area, and my second area that I have opened.. meaning, we are both new to the area again. I thought for sure I would have a companion that would already be here. But my companion and I got here together, the two of us new. We didn't know anything about the area. We didn't have any investigators, only 1 and we didn't know any of the members. It was quite an experience. We got here not knowing anything. But now we know a little bit. My companion is named Elder Macias. He is from Culiacan Mexico. Where Jordan Prince is serving. He has 6 months in the mission. He was in Tonala before with Elder Petersen. He is a really obedient Elder. He teaches really well, and we seem to get along well. So that is nice. We are both expecting big things in these couple of months. We have big goals even though we don't know anything about the area. The house is nicer than my last house! I am like 30 minutes from my house. But we are in the middle of the city here. The people are a lot different and there is a little more money in the area. In some houses. We are renting a house, well upstairs. It has running water. The shower is apart of the house, in the back patio. This house reminds me that I am in the cabin or something. It is really weird. But I like the house a lot. It's just a house with a little room to study a room to sleep in and a kitchen and a little bathroom outside. It is a little bit more fresh the weather in this area. But the ward is so small. There were only 42 people that showed up. In my last ward there were like 150. It is a really small ward. I am learning a lot about this area, and it has been quite fun living in another house and a new area. I really like my last area, i think more than this one. The members were better and more quiet during the day and night. But i like this area too, I will learn to love it. We only have one fan, so I have been a little hot in the night, I wake up sweating. But I will be fine. It is like 85 degrees at 6 in the morning here. At least that is what the alarm clock says. I am happy and healthly. :) i am excited for skype. I can do it the 10 11 0r 12 of May. Whatever day you want!!!! I love you all. Love Elder Parker

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 29, 2013

Hey family!!! How are you all doing? I am doing great, I am now better from my health!! Well... I am now leaving tomorrow to a new area!! I will be going to a stake called Mactumatza the area is called Terrazas. I will be the District leader there also. It is a different stake but still in Tuxtla, which I am really blessed. Because Tapachula, Arriaga, Tonala, Pijijapan are really really hot and humid. And the food isn't too great. So inside the city is always the best. So I was lucky to stay here in the city. I don't know how far away it is from here probably like 30 minutes or something. I don't know who my companion will be but I am excited. The ward is a lot smaller than the ward here supposedly. I will be leaving tomorrow in the morning. So today I have been packing and enjoying my last day here. I will say goodbye to my converts and the members. We ate pizza with two other elders, like a going away party or something. It was fun. I will sure miss this area. I am sad and happy.. Because we have 3 for sure baptisms already set, which I won't be able to see them get baptized. Two this Saturday and one the next Sunday. Then we have a lot that had dates to be baptized in 3 weeks. So I am pretty sad about that, but happy they are getting baptized. It seems like right when we were having the most success, I ended up leaving. But I have learned alot. I am really excited to get to my new area and get working!! I am going to work so hard right from the start, it is my first transfer so I will have to get "cracking like honeybadger" :)
I got the package last night and the letters!! Thank you so much, I loved that so much. It was a great surprise. I also got a letter from Court. Jo dog wrote a really good letter with a cool poem. That was really nice of him. Court wrote a really good letter also. I also got your dog card and a dear elder! I got a few letters from some friends also. I think I will be in the same Zone as Elder Gaytan again. So I will be giving that beef jerky to him! Thanks so much for everything. Please, you don't need to keep sending packages, I know it is expensive, and I am fine here. This week we worked so hard, one of the best weeks we have had. I am loving the mission. Thanks for everything. I love you all .:)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 22, 2013

Hey family!! How are you all doing? It sounds like you had a good week!! I also had a good week up until friday night... Well it had to happen sooner or later, and I was blessed so long. I finally had the chance to experience the sickness.. It was a killer. I am still pretty sick, but I feel a lot better. Friday night I was feeling some really bad stomach pains. So I went to the bathroom... well. yeah. Then I went to bed, and not kidding every 5 minutes I would go to the bathroom, then return to the bed then go back to the bathroom. I did that like 25 times in the night. Then in the morning my head was hurting so bad, I felt like my head was going to explode. My muscles were aching. I was sweating really bad. And so I just layed there. I told my companion to call the President's wife. She then called the doctor and they called a member to go get the medicine for me. This was like at 7 in the morning. I just layed in bed waiting for the medicine because I felt so bad. Finally.. at 10 they got to the house with the medicine. I was thinking it was like 4 in the afternoon but it was only 10. So I took some and I felt a little better. But my companion left with another Elder to visit some important lessons. So I stayed in the house with a different Elder. Then all of a sudden I had the matazuma's revenge... I then exited the bathroom and I was dripping in sweat. The Elder said did you throw water on your face and I was like, no that is sweat!! So I just layed in bed all day. We didn't get to work Saturday or Sunday. But I managed to force myself to go to church, because I really wanted to go. Today I feel a little bit better, well a lot better. But I still don't feel a whole 100 percent. Now I know what it is like to get sick here in Mexico!!! But don't worry, I had to experience it one day or another. This week should be my last week here in my area. I should be leaving this next Monday or Tuesday!! I love you all!! Love, Elder Parker P.S. I am loving the mission, learning quite a bit. Thanks for the scriptures!! I am trying to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish in 3 months. I am in Mosiah already!! I am highlighting every time it refers to the name Jesus Christ. I am learning a lot about Him. I love you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 15, 2013

This week went by really fast. We had some really good lessons. Sunday was really good. I felt the spirit a lot, and gave my testimony and I definitely just talked like I already knew Spanish. It was a blessing. I am learning a lot about the language also. I am really working hard. I am enjoying the mission so much. I have learned so much, I am so glad I chose to serve a mission, because I am growing and learning so much. I am realizing I didn't know a ton before I came out, which I think every missionary feels the same. I was thinking about the day I left the mtc to come here to Mexico. That night I stayed up just scared to death. I remember talking to Elder Jones and Elder Petersen. We were just talking in the hall a few hours. We were all scared. I remember how my stomach hurt because I was thinking so much. But now that I am thinking back on that experience, I have realized how much I have grown. I know the Lord knows how much potential I have. I didn't know I had that much potential before I left, but now I know I can trust in the Lord and I will do miracles :) How is the family doing? I love you all so much :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 8, 2013

Hey Mom and family. Como estan? Estoy muy feliz. I sure did love conference!!!!!! I got to watch it in English!!!!!! Woohoooo!! And in a room with air conditioning!!! It was the best two days!! We got to watch it and stay in a cold room and sit on soft chairs and actually eat a few snacks. :) hahah like how we always used to back at home. We had about 6 Americans in the room with us only. The 6 missionaries. So it was really nice to be able to listen to it, and the other Elders were really excited also. I really loved the talk on Saturday morning. By Brother Cardon from the seventy. He talked about how Christ wants to forgive us. He is waiting. How we can receive forgiveness for whatever thing we have done and will do. I also liked another part that one of the leaders said, God didn't make this plan so we could fail it, or he could torture us. He made this plan so we could accomplish it and get help and comfort. Something along those lines. Wow, I did learn so much about conference. They talked a lot of the families!! About problems with family members and problems in the home. But they always had the positive side! I loved that part. The home is the most important place. I loved the talk that said that he asked the maid to take care of his kids more than the house, and how she later went on and her daughter got married in the temple and everything. We have such a good family, and our home has always been a refuge from the world. I have always felt so comfortable in the home and safe. I could always share my thoughts and feelings. There is always peace in our home. So thank you, mom and dad for the peace and comfort that we have in our home. I, too, am trying to have our little house here in Mexico to have peace :) We had a great week this week. The conference was outstanding. I will never forget the experience I had.

We also had another fantastic lesson. With that same family before. The dad is the only non member. We are working so hard with them. He really wants to change. But he is so scared. He has a lot of doubts. But I can tell he wants to change. The family needs him. So I am just so grateful that we have dad, who is a member of the church and who served a mission, and has the priesthood.

The weather is okay. It has been really hot, but not really really hot yet. We went shopping at Walmart today :) I am doing good health wise. I am working really hard in the language, and the doctrine. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but hey.. who doesn't? haha :) I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!! Thanks for the example you are all for me. Did you get the package yet? Love Elder Parker

(We hadn't gotten the package up to this point yet, but right when Elder Parker was on the computer the same time that we were, we heard a knock on the door. It was the post man delivering the package Elder Parker sent us and he even delivered it in the pouring rain!!! So we were able to receive the wonderful package and open it while we were on line with him!!! What a wonderful miracle!! He sent some soccer jerseys for the boys, some cute Mexican keychains for each of us, a fan for mom, a cute big poster from the primary children to him---with the cutest picture of the primary kids, a picture of him, and notes from each of the primary kids on it---, a letter and pictures to the family from his friend Elder Gaytan, and a hat and letter and things for Jacsons birthday. What a wonderful blessing that it arrived at the exact time he was on the computer with us!!!)

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 1, 2013

Hi mom and dad!! How are you all doing? I am doing great!! We are having a great time over here in the area. We had the baptism on wednesday. It was a really spiritual experience. We had over 50 people from the ward show up. That nevers happens here. There are always like 10 members that go to the baptisms. It was so many people, and they all contributed in the program. The primary sang a song about when they were baptized. It is called "When I am Baptized" It was really spiritual. Then we had some talks and then the ordinance. It was so nice when we were talking about families and they were feeling the spirit so strong. It was such a good baptism.

We are working really hard here in the area.We are giving lessons to all the members like Elder Dehoyos told us to do. He is from the 70. Then they invite a friend to the next lesson when we go to their house. That way we find a lot of people who we can teach. My companion is great. We are learning a lot. We had a lesson where 6 of us were crying. It was powerful!!

I really love the atonement. The Savior atoned for us because He loves us. He did it out of pure love. I am so grateful for His sacrifice. I will do everything possible to pay a little piece back for what He did. I can't wait for General Conference. We watch it in the Stake Center on a big screen.

Well I don't want to write a ton, because I want to talk to you all. I love you so much. We ran this morning :) I want to stay healthy. We ate s'mores with the family Bruno. It was really good, I have missed smores. I can't wait until the cabin when Court and I get back! Love you all so much!! :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 25, 2013

We were in the occ this Tuesday receiving companions.

Hey mom!! And family!!! Well I finally have a companion!! I went on Tuesday with the meeting with the President and then I met my companion! I almost started crying when we hugged because I felt the spirit and that I finally had a companion. He is really awesome. He is from Puebla Mexico. He is 18 years old. He isn't very tall. He is skinny. He is really spiritual and really nice. For example, one morning I got out of the shower and he had pollished my shoes. He does a lot of nice stuff for me. He is really nervous in the lessons, but he is getting better. I am doing all I can to help him improve. It has been a good experience so far. We are having a lot of success. And we will have a baptism this Wednesday. :)

Tell Kim and Brian Lee congrats. We had a meeting on Saturday with Elder Dehoyos. He is a spiritual man. I saw Elder Jensen, Elder Taggart, Elder Stevenson, Elder Petersen and Elder Jones. I saw a lot of my friends. Me and Elder Jensen sat next to each other in the meeting. :) It was really nice to talk to him and catch up on a few memories. I sure do love writing you and the family. I catch myself thinking in the morning during Mondays that I will be able to write my family!! :) How is everything going over there? Well if you could send some beef jerky. An Elder in my district wanted some beef jerky, and he will pay me. I am fine with ties, I have a lot. You don't need to send anymore :) I sent a package today, so I hope it gets there soon. I am really enjoying the mission, I am learning so much about the Lord and myself. I really am changing so much. I can feel it everyday. I am so thankful for this gospel that we have. It is truly the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the earth. I am doing a challenge that Elder Dehoyos asked us to do. We are to read the Book of Mormon in 85 days and highlight everytime it refers to Jesus Christ, when it says his name. Because we can realize that it talks about Jesus Christ and not just Joseph Smith like everyone thinks. I am already learning a lot from this activity. Thank you for everything!! I sure do love you all so very much. Take care. I am doing great :) Thanks for all your help. Love Elder Parker.