Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Episode 22: Teaching Repentance and Baptizing Converts!

Hey Everybody,

 Sorry I couldn't write yesterday. The email service was down so nobody was able to write but we all have the opportunity to write today.

This week was great. We had a conference with the mission president and had the opportunity to participate in a worldwide broadcast for missionaries. It was all about Teaching Repentance and Baptizing Converts. The talks were all super great and I am very excited to continue working.

About the mail situation, about two weeks ago I received two letters that I forgot about and this last Wednesday I received the letter sent through the Pouch system. I guess the mail system works but is just very slow.

I am playing the piano every week in sacrament meeting and every time we have a meeting as missionaries, so a couple times every week. It's a little rough because I don't have time to practice at all so I have to sight read everything and the person who chooses the songs likes to pick one's that I have never heard of before, but it's all good. I am getting much better and have been able to give a few mini lessons so hopefully someone else will be able to take over when I leave.

We are still planning on the baptism for Berta this weekend so hopefully everything goes well with that. We are trying to have another one next week for Edwin but are still having some trouble getting permission from his parents. His mom is definitely starting to soften up so we are trying to work with her more.

I hope everyone is feeling better. Please tell everyone how thankful I am for all of the support that I am receiving . I love you guys so much and hope that everything is well at home.

Elder Parker

Monday, January 18, 2016

Episode 21: It feels like home!

Hey everybody,

Things are going so great here. I miss you guys but I am loving it here. I don't know how but I am finally starting to feel at home in Colombia. The work is going great and we are having a somewhat successful transfer. We are still seriously struggling with the attendance of our investigators, but this week was super great for less actives. We had nine that were able to attend, including a family that has been less active for a while and hasn't attended since before I arrived here. It was so great to be able to see them at church and my testimony of my purpose here as a missionary really grew.

Dad, I did not break any rules in writing to you on Tuesday. We called the Zone Leaders and they talked to the Assistants who gave us permission to write on Tuesday. And today we received a letter from the Mission President making it a standard policy that if we can't write on Monday we can make up the time on Tuesday.

That's so awesome that Jonathon got his mission call. Wow, I can't believe all of my friends are starting to serve missions. I kinda feel like one of the sons of Mosiah when they are all leaving for their missions, and I am only hoping that I can be the kind of missionary that Ammon is. I have been studying in Alma and I love his attitude about missionary work and the joy that he has from helping the Lamanites. I just have to make it my goal to be as good as him and keep working at it.

Everything is going pretty well in our ward (Mom, it's called Garupal). We are getting ready for a baptism in 2 weeks. It is for a sister named Berta, and she is super excited about getting baptized and has so many friends in the ward that I feel really good about her baptism. She has her interview next Saturday and then the baptism the following Saturday.

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope Emma gets better soon so I can beat her at soccer when I get home and am super good. Just kidding, I probably won't be super good. But still being sick stinks.

Thanks for all your support. See you soon,

Elder Parker

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Episode 20: Internet shops are such a headache!

Hey Everybody,

Sorry I couldn't write yesterday. Here we can only write in little internet shops and the only one's that were available yesterday didn't let me and my companion sit near each other so we weren't able to write. But we were able to find a new shop with a lot of computers so hopefully I will be able to write on Monday for the rest of the time that I am here in Valledupar.

Things sound super great back at home. I hope Emma is doing well and can recover soon. Zach, congrats on the job! That sounds super great, and that's awesome that you are involved in the construction projects too. I feel like I am missing out on all the fun meetings to talk about drywall and stucco and desks.

My stomach has been feeling way better for like the last week. Right now the only problem that I have is that I have been getting a lot of headaches, but I just keep working and trying to focus on helping people.

Things are a little rough with the people we are teaching. We have a lot of people that we are working with, but hardly any of them are attending church. They all just making up excuses when we ask them like that they don't have money for a taxi or they just weren't able to make it. It is really tough and I'm kinda stressed out about it, but I know that if we try our hardest, then things will work out. 

With that being said, we haven't been able to set a date for Sandri's baptism because she wasn't able to attend church this week so we have to wait a little bit longer but she still needs a little more help to be ready for baptism. But German is still attending so that is good, but we are doing all of the effort for him to attend so if we leave I am positive that he is going to go inactive so that makes me really sad, but I just have to try harder to help him find support from the ward.

We have started teaching a girl named Angela who is the sister of a less active member of the ward and she is doing great. She has a great testimony and has started to receive answers and knows that the church is true, so we are super excited. She just has to wait 3 weeks to have enough weeks attending church but she is very happy so we feel really good.

Um, that's basically it. Things are going well, we are working hard and I am super happy. I am learning so much every day and it's so great to be out here.

I love you guys so much and am so glad that you guys can receive the blessings from the work that I am doing here.

See you soon,

Elder Parker

Monday, January 4, 2016

Episode 19: Same bat place; Same bat companion!

Hey Everybody,

Things are super great here. I am still in the same place, with the same companion. It is super weird to still be with my trainer since my training is done but now we have a lot more time to work and teach so it's super great. We are hard at work to make sure that we can have a lot of success now that we have the ability to teach more people.

Mom, congrats on the calling!!!! That's so awesome that you are in the Primary. Did you just switch so that you could spend more time with Adelaide? Haha it's so strange thinking back on my time in primary because it seems so long ago, but it was only like 8 years. I feel old. 

New years was a party. We just did the same exact thing that we do every day, and the only difference was that we got to listen to music all day and night. And we really couldn't contact anybody because everyone was drunk, but that was fine because we just had lessons with members and investigators, and a lot of them gave us food which was awesome. But it really doesn't feel like 2016. These past four months have just been so weird that I've really started to lose track of time.

In the next couple of weeks we should be having another baptism. There is a woman we have been teaching named Sandri and she just needs to be interviewed and then we are ready to go. But I honestly have been way more focused in just helping people to be happy, so I'm not too bummed that we haven't had too many baptisms. 

I hope everyone is doing well. How's everything going with Zach and the Air Force? Has Lydia bit anyone else yet? How old are James and Adelaide? I feel really bad but I don't remember anything. Please tell all the kiddos that I love 'em and can't wait to see how much they are growing in a little while.

See you soon,

Elder Parker
Christmas came to Colombia
German got baptized
Family Home Evening