Monday, July 17, 2017

Episode 94: A Week Full of Miracles!

Hey everybody,

Well to start out, I want to thank everybody for their birthday messages. It means so much to me to have all your support.

Things are going insanely well here. This week has been full of miracles. First off, Marilyn was able to receive her and Londar's birth certificates and we were able to turn them in to the notary. They are going to be married on July 28th so we are super excited. Londar presented us with one of his cousins and he has been able to attend church as well and is enjoying it. Viviana has also been progressing a ton and she is bringing two of her nieces to the church activities as well. We also started working with the brother of the young men's president and now he is attending seminary and all the other ward activities. All in all we have a bunch of people who are progressing so we are thrilled out of our minds.

Well, about the progress on the temple. Here is the image that the office sent us.

Inline image 1
Barranquilla Colombia Temple in progress

Everything else is going great. We've got a lot to do so we have been keeping ourselves busy. 

Have a great week and I'll talk to you guys later.

Elder Parker

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Episode 93: Getting Baptized in the Future!

Hey everybody,

Well, I'm stuck writing again on Tuesday because yesterday we had a huge rainstorm and all the power went out in the town. 

But everything has been going great here. We have been working a lot with Viviana and she is progressing well. We invited her to a ward activity that we had and she loved it. She has been reading all of the assignments that we have been leaving for her as well. We challenged her to be baptized on September 30th and she was a little unsure of the date but says that she would like to be baptized in the future so we are happy with that.

We also have been able to start working with a few youth that came to church on Sunday. They are siblings of our branch's young men's president and we talked with the oldest who is 17 years old and he seems to be really enjoying the church as well.

As for the friends of Erick, we still haven't been able to do anything with him yet because the schedule for the students who are in their last year of schooling is terrible so he basically doesn't have any free time, but he has been able to help us in our visits with Viviana so we're still really thrilled with his support.

Healthwise I've been doing pretty well. I've had a cough this week but it hasn't been bothering me too much so I haven't paid too much attention. There are a lot of people right now who are sick with the flu so I've been carrying around a bottle of hand sanitizer with me wherever I go.

And well, that's about it. It's been pretty sunny here if you could imagine. But all is going great.

Have a great week and I'll be talking to you guys more in the future.

Elder Parker

Monday, July 10, 2017

Episode 92: Sharing the Gospel With the Youth!

Hey everybody,

Well yesterday we had transfers and me and my companion will continue together. Yesterday was also a holiday here in Colombia so there was no way for us to write. But things are going very well here. This past week we have been working like crazy visiting the members of the branch to try to activate a few of them and to keep the rest excited and motivated in the church. It has been great and the members have really been treating us with a little bit more respect because they see that we are working.

About our work with the youth, this past week we went to visit a youth named Erick and we told him about our goal to be able to help him to share the gospel with his friends and he told us that he already has a list of friends ready that he wants to introduce us to. We were just really excited and so this Friday he is going to help us to meet his list of friends. 

We were also able to find a new investigator on Saturday named Viviana and we invited her to church on Sunday and she got there on her own. We were so surprised when we saw her but also really happy.

Well, all in all we are very happy with everything that is going on right now and can't wait to see what happens in the future.

I hope everybody has a great week and we'll be talking again soon.

Elder Parker

Monday, June 26, 2017

Episode 91: Small Answer to Prayers!

Hey everybody,

Thank you so much for your letters! Things have been difficult this past week but we're going to keep on fighting! We had been working so much with a few of the investigators that we already have and throughout the week we had 8 or 9 that said they would attend church. But on Sunday when we were calling them and we even passed by the house of a few of them and they all cancelled except for Londar and Marilyn, who were able to attend. It was really tough but we tried our hardest.

About Londar and Marilyn, we have been trying to help them find their birth certificates but they seem to be lacking in their efforts to find everything. We have been trying to help them with a few of the commandments to get them even more prepared for baptism so we are hoping that all will go well.

And well, this week we also had a super great experience with a woman named Bertha. We contacted her daughter about 2 weeks ago and started to teach her last Sunday. She has been progressing a lot and we had a really spiritual lesson with her on Saturday. She was able to recognize a small answer to her prayers about our message and then we invited her to be baptized and she accepted. Unfortunately she couldn't attend church on Sunday either but we are going to keep working with her on that.

Everything else is going great here. Dad, I'm going to put in practice what you sent me about working with the youth and I'll let you know how things are going next week.

Elder Parker
with Elder Choez

Monday, June 19, 2017

Episode 90:Santo Tomas Poses Challenges!

Hey everybody,

Things have been going okay here in Santo Tomas. The work has been a little bit difficult here in the branch. We have been trying several different approaches to find investigators but up until now nothing has been able to lead to good results. We talked to a few of the youth but the problem is that we don't have much support from the Young Men's president so it makes it a little hard. But we're going to keep working and looking for anyone we can find.

As to Londar and Marilyn, we have been trying very hard to help them but the hard part is not to impede with their agency. We have talked to them many times about obedience and marriage, and they told us that they want to get married so we are leaving them in charge of getting their papers and everything filled so that the experience can be more genuine.

We were also able to have a open house on Saturday to show the new church building to the public. Unfortunately only 6 people came, but they seemed to enjoy our presentations, but none of them were able to attend church. But this week we are planning on visiting them to be able to follow up on the things that we talked about with them.

During the open house I was able to give a small presentation about The Family: A Proclamation to the World and it really impacted me about how important the gospel is in the family. I mean, it's possible that a family outside the church can find happiness, but it is a lot more difficult. And it is honestly impossible for a family to be together forever without the blessings of the temple. It's so amazing to have the gospel in our family.

Have a great week,

Elder Parker

Monday, June 12, 2017

Episode 88: Time is Getting Short!

Hey everybody,

Things are going great here in Colombia. I was really surprised when I opened my email and found my flight information. It honestly shocked me a little bit because I hadn't realized how close the date is but I've still got a little more time to go so that's good.

This week we have been working a lot with Londar and Marilyn to help them with their wedding. The plan was for their wedding to take place on the 15th of June, but they are a little bit low on cash so the plan now is for the first weekend of July after Londar gets paid. They seem to be very excited with everything so we are going to try to continue supporting them in their efforts.

Unfortunately we are not doing very well by way of finding new investigators. I mean, every week we are finding more than 20 investigators, but until now none of the people we have contacted have attended church or accepted a baptismal date. I have been thinking about visiting the previous investigators in our area book to have a place to start looking. But I also liked dad's idea about working with the youth. Unfortunately there are only five or six youth in this branch, but we will try to work with them.

And well, I haven't been able to buy anything to remember Colombia but in a few weeks I'll start to have that in mind..

I hope you guys have a great week.

Elder Parker

Episode 89: Surprise Transfer!

Hey everybody,

Well, today we had a surprise transfer and so my companion left and now I am with a new companion. His name is Elder Choez and he has been in the mission for 9 weeks. He seems to be a great person and a very good missionary so I am looking forward to working with him for a few weeks.

As for our investigators, Londar and Marilyn are going to get married June 24th. Yesterday we had a very direct discussion with them and the branch president was with us too in order to help them decide to get married this month instead of waiting until the next. They still aren't sure about getting baptized yet but we are focusing more on their marriage and then we will work on their baptism.

Unfortunately the rest of our investigators are not doing so well. We have had to say goodbye to several because they haven't been completing their commitments but we have found several new investigators that we hope will progress here in the future. 

Unfortunately this week really hasn't been that interesting really. This week I am going to try to use family history to find new people to teach so we'll see how that goes.

Have a great week back at home,

Elder Parker