Monday, February 20, 2017

Episode 73: Duvan Ready for Baptism!

Hey everybody,

Everything is going well here. We were able to have the interview for Duvan and now he is all ready for his baptism this Saturday. He is really excited and his family is too. We are going to try to have all of his family attend the baptism but I don't know how difficult that will be. In his family there are 7 members, his parents, who both aren't members, his oldest brother is less active, the second brother is active and came home from his mission about 3 months ago, his third brother is an investigator that we are teaching, then his sister, and he is the youngest. We are teaching all of them with the exception of the dad who has a very difficult schedule.

Today was a good day. Our P-day activity was a grill in the church while playing volleyball. It was interesting because I was working with a missionary from Argentina to do the cooking but a bunch of people kept coming up to us and trying to do stuff and it was just a little bit stressful. But in the end everything went well and the food was good too.

So I haven't been able to buy a suit yet because I am waiting until I leave Cartagena because things here are a little bit more expensive. I had to buy some new shoes to play soccer and they are okay. I bought them in the center of Cartagena and they only were about 15 dollars so they aren't an official mark or anything but they should last until I go back home. Aside from that I haven't had much need to buy anything.

In this ward we don't have to teach Gospel Essentials and I don't even have to play piano as much as before. In this ward there are a few youth that are also able to play piano so I usually only play one or two songs a week. 

Have a great week and talk to you guys later.

Elder Parker

Monday, February 13, 2017

Episode 72: Romario got Baptized!

Hey everybody,

I am glad that everything is going well back at home. 

So Romario was baptized on Saturday. It was really great being there with him and the best part was that his little brother, who is 8 years old, came up to us at the end saying that he wants to be baptized too.

Duvan is also doing great. He is really excited to be baptized so we are trying to finish teaching him the lessons this week for his interview. And yesterday we had another miracle because the mom and the brother of Duvan were both able to attend church. The mom has attended in the past but we still haven't been able to talk to her about getting married so for now she is not getting ready for baptism. But the brother we have been able to teach a few times now and he is really great. He has had a few challenges in the past but has the desire to learn more and has a lot of great questions that we have helped him to answer.

This ward is really interesting. The bishop here is relatively new, he has about 4 months in this calling. But he is really hardworking but also very direct and really demands respect from the members, but in a good way. The family that prepares our lunch is really great too. The parents are more or less active in the church. They both work in a hotel about an hour from Cartagena so their time is a little tight, especially on Sunday. But they have attended church two times since I got here so that is great. They have 3 kids, a daughter who is preparing to go on a mission, a son who was baptized about a year ago, and a son who is waiting to be baptized ( he is 8 years old).  They are really great people and there are lots of other good families in this ward too.

Have a great week,

Elder Parker

Just hangin' with Elder Da Silva at Subway
Romario ready for baptism

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Episode 71: A Small Miracle!

Hey everybody,

I hope everyone is doing great back at home.

Romario is officially ready for baptism. He passed his interview and all is ready for his baptism on Saturday. We have another young man that we are preparing for baptism named Duvan, and he is such a rock star. My companion started teaching him the week before I got here and he has already attended church 4 times. He is really excited about the church and frequently asks us about when he will be baptized. We are trying to prepare him for February 25, which gives us about 2 weeks to finish the lessons with him.

I'll be honest with you guys, it's been a little bit difficult adapting to this new area. All of my previous areas have been in neighborhoods that weren't very economically successful, so there were always plenty of people to teach. This area is a lot better off, and the people aren't quite as humble or willing to listen to us, so it has been difficult to find new investigators to begin teaching. We have been knocking a lot of doors with little success, but on Friday we were able to see a small miracle. We were knocking doors all morning without success, and then we talked to a man watching tv in his house. When we started to talk, he went immediately to the door to let us in, so part of me thought that he was going to contend with us and so that was a little scary. But everything turned out great, we were able to talk to the man and his wife about the Restoration and they agreed to continue listening to us. And they even gave us a glass of soda!! And even if they don't progress, it was still a great experience to see that some people will give us the time of day sometimes.

Thanks for all of your help. Have a great week.

Elder Parker