Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014 - Quick Answers

Haha bueno... I have not worn sunscreen once.. I'll try to remememer :)

I needed the neosporin because we played soccer a few weeks ago, and I slipped and got a nice abrasion on my knee and it got way infected.. But all good now :) haha 

Yeah, they sell green mango gatorade here, and it is amazing. My second favorite flavor. And it is a special edition flavor. 

The problem here, is that the youth are either in school or are working, and we don't have a lot of support from the ward, only from like 2 or 3 members, so it is hard because our investigators or menos activos sometimes don't have friends in the church. 

Chris should go for it! It is still my goal as well to come back and tryout at least. But I really think that he can do it! He is a baller. And that is awesome about his scout stuff! What is his project? 

No you don't make things harder ;) It is good to hear about things!   But, no, I don't know about this missionary program.. I have only ever heard of prayers faith and support.. haha
That is so exciting about Peter and Florence. Haha speaking of Peter Parker, everyone here, whenever they meet me or talk about me, or call on me, they always do the web shoot hand haha. They are always like, Parker, like Hombre de araña (Spider man) haha

I have not had to play the piano yet, but I also have not been able to practice at all. soo.. that is a bummer because I don't want to lose that.  

We had changes today, but I am staying right where I am now, so that is good :) We are trying to divide our area, because we can only work in half of it because it is so big! 

My showers are amazing when they are warm! :) When not.. yeah.. 

I have to go, but ALso, will you send me pics of our lego sets? haha

My thought this week. I was reading my pillow one day, and something that westley said stood out to me.  "Be true to yourself" Yes. be true to yourself. In all things. Think about where you want to go, and what you want to be. I really am out of time, but I love you all and will reply to the kids next week too. Sorry I have not been able to do that! Next week! 

Leave your nets and feed His sheep!


Elder Parker

I finally have my camera, so here are pictures!

1. With my comp with our zone shirts, with a tiger :) Our zone is nicknamed Eye of the Tiger! :) Yeah, I am meant to be here haha :) 
2. My bed, with Tiger blankets :) So you know I sleep well every night ;) 

3. One of the "tame streets" in my sector :P haha

4. My fetching shower. It is a fight every single morning. I will be all soaped up, and it turns off, so I have to jump out of the way and retame it :P Yeah, showers are fun haha 

1. Mom, you are going to be so jealous right now. If you have ever wondered why you can't find one dollar coins, it is because they are all in ecuador.. ;) haha I am not even kidding. I pay with a 10 and get all dollar coins back for my change.
2. Some of the coins have a president of the US on them, and this is my collection of presidents and whatnot.  Don't worry, I am saving all of them that I get so I can share a few when I get back. ;) But I already have like 25, and that is 25 dollars, so... 

3. A pic of our front room from the door.

4. My closet/floor/drying rack space for my stuff haha

5. My toilet and sink.

1. All of the missionaries in our ward, and our ward mission leader. We took apart his roof in his house so they can build higher. 

2. My desk for studying.

3., This is what the goals look like here. Always under a basketball hoop. And this is how it was in Mexico too.

4, . Pic of part of our area, it is a lot bigger than that! 

1. other pic of area

2. Our door. We have parts of milk cartons to cover the little windows.. haha and newspaper stuffed around the sides because it is not sealed at all! 

3. All of the gringos in my zone! 

1. View of the city from the Panecillo, which is a big statue of a virgin that is supposed to protect the city. 

2. The statue 

3. The other elders in my group

1. The cathedral of san francisco

2. Me with one of my zone leaders


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 21, 2014 - Answers to Your Questions


Yes! I am feeling much better :) I got a blessing last week and am doing much better! I don't have problems anymore. I have no idea what it was but it sucked. Every morning I woke up and couldn't do much haha. And it lasted for a week. Every morning and random times throughout the day. It was the worst when it hit me during citas hha. But all better now! The food actually has been pretty normal here. Umm, yeah, only different thing is that when we eat fish, they usually just cook the fish whole, with bones and tail and face and everything haha. It is a litle bit tricky to eat because there are tons of tiny bones that will wreck your throat if you eat them. But that is the most different thing! Something that we eat a lot is salchipapas. French fries with hot dogs, or eggs or something. It is not good for us, but it is the cheapest and easiest thing when we don't have time, which is always. haha 

Okay, for qtips. They are like 50 cents for 100 or for 50 or something. I don't remember, but they are pretty cheap. 

There are supposedly like 200-220 in our ward, but we have an attendance of like 110-120 every week. It is not good. There are full menos activos in my sector. So many. And the thing that is diferent here, is that everyone has some crazy story about why they are menos activos. Like in the US, it is just that they weren't totally converted, or just stopped going to church. But here they are like: one time this person did this, one time this person didn't do this, like 10 years ago. They are really good at holding grudges here. We do so much work with menos activos and it is really hard to restore trust, especially because we don't have a whole lot of help from the ward. But we have a new leader mission of the ward so we have hope that it will get better! And because the old missionaries from like 4,5 years ago I guess were not good.. and lost the trust of a lot of people.. bueno haha

My companion is 21 I think, and has been here for 7 months. He has been in the church for 2 years and is awesome! Work hard, play hard! That is what he always says hha. And yes I have spoken and yes I have taught a lesson!  :P haha I don't get cut any slack for not knowing spanish, but it honestly has helped! I feel a lot more comfortable. Not totally, but more. I actually felt more comfortable when I was with a white companion, because, actualy I don't know why, but I did! haha And there is actually a chance that I will be a trainer in one more change. There are 20 gringos coming this next week (changes are in a week) and 20 the next one, so after I finish my training (12 weeks in total) I might be training too.. Who knows haha. 

There is nothing but hills here. I am not kidding, we are never walking on level ground. We have to walk down to get up, and walk up to get down, and it does not make any sense, but it happens. And no. Our area is huge and people are not really close. If you look up carcelen bajo in google maps, it is all of carcelen bajo, valle de carcelen, mastodontes, and josefina. and that is our area, and it is huge. 

We only have to wash fruits if they do not have a cascara? I don't know how to say that in english.. Like bananas have a cascara, and oranges. But apples and strawberries don't. So we only wash them if they don't have a cascara.   But we don't necessarily have anything specific to our mission.. Don't flirt. and that our future spouses are not in our mission, as missionaries or the people of our mission. There was an apostle or a seventy that said that. I don't know. hah that has been a problem before, we got an email specifically about that, but I think it is better know. And that is basically it.   

My questions: 
Do I need to be wearing sunscreen..? haha
Do I have neosporin or something? 
If you see a gatorade green mango, buy it and save it for me please :) 
I don't know if I will be sending many packages because it costs like 5 dollars for a letter, and I don't know about packages.. And I got your package! Thank you!! 
And you should answer my questions from this email and the last one too!

Sorry this is so long!

That is awesome about all of your activities!  :) It would be awesome to be there with you all, but honestly, I do not want to be anywhere but here. Sorry hah ;) I have had a couple dreams that I am already home, and I was way bummed haha. 

I like your thoughts about fasting! How true is that :) And not only fasting, our attitude affects every aspect of our lives! That is something that I have learned here :P 

 My thought this week is the power of prayer. I have found so much that prayer is something so important. Everytime we ask someone or a family how we can help them, they always just say pray for us! And I have also found that when we pray before a lesson, I can speak and understand much beter than when we are contacting and we don't pray!  Also always remember how much people respect us. We had, this week, a man come up to us (Catholic) And he asked us to help his son who does not have direction in his life, and has problems with smoking. This man told us that he knows that we have power, and that our message and what we teach blesses lives. Then we have a guy, probably 20 come up to us and ask us for help with drugs, becuase he wants to quit ad has tried everything, but he told us that he knows that we and God can help him.   Always remember who we represent!

Leave your nets and feed His sheep :)

I love and miss you all :)

Elder Parker

July 14, 2014 - Sick Week

To answer questions:

The weather here is perfect. It really is. Sometimes it feels hot, but I know that I can't complain, and it is rarely cold. And it also does not rain here. Like never. It has sprinkled a couple times, but that is it. I have used my sweater one time, and that was because it was night time and I was sick, so I was already more cold. 

Right now, all of our investigators are individuals. We have one with a daughter, but her daughter is full catholic. It is so hard to find families here, and I am not sure why. OH! Actually, we might have a family soon. There is a woman and her brother, and her daughter, and we hope that we can get her husband as excited as they are. They are golden. 

Well, we do knock doors. We have a goal for 20 contacts every day. That can be knocking doors, or talking to people in the street. Whatever. And we don't have a ton of investigators, but full menos activos. There are so many here, and partly because before, I don't know how much time, the ward was not super good, neither the missionaries. So we do a LOT of work with menos activos.

On P-days, we usually have an activity with the district or zone, do some shopping, and come and write. And that has basically been it. haha not a lot. But next week I think we are going to the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the world). Maybe haha..

There is a member family that washes for us. It is so nice :) We just drop our clothes off and pick them up later! 

Haha we eat a lot of bread. The panaderias here (Like breadshop) Have really good stuff. And cereal, and milkshakes. Lunch we eat with members, and always rice and some kind of meat, and soup. 

Yes, I alternate my shoes! Ummm, well I have been sick for the past week so we haven't been able to. I wake up everymorning with a nutso stomach ache, and it sometimes hits me during the day, but we still work, it just sucks. haha oh well. I got a blessing today, so I think I will be getting better. But we usually do weights or stuff, and maybe are going to start running.

We drink soda. All the flipping time. I don't like to drink soda, but it is cheap, and almost everyone has it. Or juice or water. But with members, soda. Almost always. I wish we didn't, but oh well. haha

Lots of fried banana, is what they eat. We have fried or cooked banana with almost every meal. Or bread, bread is fairly cheap and easy to get. 

No, I have not gotten my package yet.. But it usually takes a long time I think.. Like one elder got a package 3 months later. So yeah, it might take some time.. 

That is so awesome for Leland! I'm so proud of him :)  Truly, and that is something that I have really gained a testimony of here, the importance and strength of families. There are TONS of family problems here. and it sometimes makes things hard. Actually a lot of times. 

Now I want to ask questions haha:
Is that pillowcase safe to wash with other whites?   Do you have ideas for activities that can help the mission work?     Who won the premier league title?    Melkezidek priesthood holders can ordain together with priests to ordain someone to a lesser office, right?    Where are the rest of my qtips?     I think that is it for now haha

That sounds like a fun week! How was it for Chris? Has he been talking to the coaches? Does he want to play? 

Thought: Moroni 7:13.   Always do those things that the Lord wants of us! And then verse 16 :) 

I love you all, I am sorry if I forgot to say something, but it is hard to remember everything haha :P
I love you all and miss you :)


Elder Parker

well, since I don't have my battery yet, nor do I have a way to move the photos to the computer yet, here is a foto of my district :)   haha


July 7, 2014 - Utah


First to answer your questions.

Things are going well here! The food in the city here is pretty normal, actually. It is in otavalo with the indiginous people that the food gets weird.. or so I have heard haha. Tons of potatos, and I guess they dont always prepare them. I talked to an elder that said they just gave him potatos, dirt and all haha. Can´t wait! :P   The most different thing I have had here is I had a fish the other day that was just cooked, bones and everything, then yesterday for lunch with members I had sea food, and I don't know exactly what it was, but I heard them say tentaculo. (tentacle) haha there is a lot of sea food her, but it is good! 

Our apartment is fine. Its nothing special, but it meets our needs and is home. haha I don't have my camera battery yet, but tomorrow hopefully so I can take and send pics of everything. The showers are an adventure for sure. We just have little electric heaters for our shower heads that heat the water right there, and they are super temperamental, so you have to be very gentle and precise and turn on the water as low as possible while still giving enough water to start the heater. Too much water and it can't all be heated, so it is cold. It is a very delicate process to at least have luke warm showers haha. They are not hot, but not cold and I am grateful for what I have!

I feel good! Everything is normal. I have been healthy and had energy. Some days are easier and better than others, but that is to be expected. 

Good things: we have 14 new investigators from this past week, and 5 of them have baptismal dates! And we are going to have return appointments with the rest. My first baptism was last saturday, but I was not the baptist, but it was still awesome to see!  :)  I am teaching english to a menos activo ( I don't remember how that is in english) and she has been coming to church for the past 2 Sundays! And she has an awesome testimony, so hopefully she comes back so she and her family can be sealed. Her husband just returned  a few weeks before I got here. Ummm, we walk a lot, which is good and bad. Good because I think I am finally slimming down a bit haha, but bad when we are tired because the streets here are like roller coasters. Its nuts. We have to go up in order to get to a house that is lower. It makes no sense haha.  Also, my first night here in my sector I gave a blessing in spanish. Holy scary. I was so nervous, but it went well. I have given I think 3-4 blessings in 2 1/2 weeks. 

Hard things: The language is difficult. Always, but it is getting better. Understanding is also very hard sometimes. Especially when they talk fast. But that is coming too.  Also, we are soooo busy here. We never get back to our house before 9. And partly because when we have appointments, we are always fed. And if we turn down food, they get offended. Curfew is 9:30 when we have a cita, which we always do. 

Scary things: not much actually. We just always have to be careful. And it is much safer because we are always together, and there are two of us. But when it gets dark, which is at like 6:30, it can be dangerous in parts. And there are tons of dogs, but we have only had one problem where we almost got attacked, but it was all good! The cars sometimes. Like I have almost been hit a couple times, but its really not that bad. You don't have to worry about anything!

Yeah, the world cup is nuts here. When ecaudor played, we got ZERO done. We could not do anything. Everything was shut down. Even when other teams play it is difficult because everyone is gluedd to the tv. But it is almost over. 

That is awesome about the 4th! Haha we didn't celebrate at all here. And I am so happy for Leland and wish I could have been there! But I am proud of you, Lele, even in the cold water! Was it in a creek? Or where? But that is awesome!! 

Is chris doing soccer camp? 

Quick thought: D&C 24:8  "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endurethem, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days."  
How true is this! Wow. But this is something that is hard for people, to have patience and to endure to the end! But He is with us! Always!

I am out of time for now, but I love you all!!

Elder Parker

Here are a couple pics. Me with my mission president and wife, and with my whole group that came on the same day as me. I am the only gringo in my group haha :P

June 30, 2014 - Not much time

Sorry this is so short. We were WAY busy today. But I figured out how to take a warm shower now.. haha we have little electric heaters that heat our water and are basically our shower head, so it is just super finicky, and sometimes it turns off, and then the water gets frigid all of a sudden. It is an adventure when I take showers haha. I never know what to expect :P haha

Sorry, I don't have much time..   but  read romans 8:28. Be totally obedeint, and all of the primary answers, things will work out. We will be protected. You will be safe in all that you do. I know that.
More next week. I love you all!!!

Love, Elder Parker

June 23, 2014 - ECUADOR!!

Its crazy here, but I love it. I don't have a lot of time, but I will have more next week.  I am in ofelia, which is north quito. The food is normal, and things are pretty good. The members are awesome!

Things are going well, but it is very hard to understand and speak the language. It is an incredible test of faith! But I love it here. It is so cool. My first companion is honduran and speaks very little english. So we talk in all spanish, which at times is difficult. But the people are patient and it is getting better.

How was your week with girls camp and everything? How was High Adventure? Tell me everything. The people hear keep up pretty updated on the world cup haha. 

Thought, Always remember 1 nefi 3:7!! So important and wonderful to remember! I love it and have relied a lot on it this week.  

One other thing. When you pray for me, please pray for the gift of tongues. I would not normally ask for something like that, but we were told in the CCM that if we asked family and friends to pray for that too, that we would be more blessed with it. 

Elder Dallin R Parker
Mision Ecuador Quito Norte
Calle Robles E4-151 y Av. Amazonas
Casilla: 17- 03- 078
Quito, Pichincha

This is my address, but don't send packages more than 4 pounds, and I have not gotten the first one. But hopefully soon! And you can send letters, but I don't know how fast it will be. And don't send anything you want to lose. It is not guaranteed that it will get here. 

Everything is well here. No need to worry, but pray always for the work. It is amazing and is 100% true. I testify of that. 

Always remember, leave your nets and feed His sheep!

I love you all!

Elder Parker

Here is my companion! Right next to me. I left my camera batttery in the mission home, so I will send more next week!

(The letter below is from Elder Parker's Mission President, President Brian and Sister Susan Richardson)

Elder Parker has arrived!

June 23, 2014

Dear Parker family,

We wanted to let you know that we are delighted to have met and spent three days last week with Elder Parker.  He is enthusiastic and appears to be excited to be here and will undoubtedly be a great addition to our mission.

We assure you that we will do everything possible to help him have a positive experience here in the newly formed Ecuador Quito North Mission.  This is a wonderful mission which experiences a high number of baptisms, and success in reactivation. Our boundaries include coast, jungle, a native Indian area, as well as the highly populated city of Quito so our missionaries have a wide range of experiences.

The theme of our mission is translated “The Center of the World; Centered on Christ,” and we have a wonderful group of 8 missionaries that arrived with him.  He will be serving in Ofelia, a sector outside of Quito, with Elder Herrerra, a very obedient, humble and kind elder from Honduras

We know you’re already planning on it, but we want to remind you to write your son a weekly letter.  His preparation day will be on Mondays.


President Brian and Hermana Susan Richardson
Misión Ecuador, Quito Norte

June 17, 2014 - Ecuador

I'm here in Ecuador. Sorry I was not able to call this morning. We couldn't find any phones in Bogota. But I am here and safe and doing well. I had one of the states elders take a box and he will send it to you. There are bracelets for all the kids and mom. I was going to get dad a tie, but there were no good ones at the tienda, so you will get something from Ecuador. I hope things are going well with everyone and that you are all safe and well.

Elder Parker

June 16, 2014 - Pictures

One is my zone, then the guys in my district, and then our whole district before we say goodbye!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

June 11, 2014 - Happy Mother's/Father's Day

Dear Family,

First of all, Happy Mother's day Mom!! Because I totally forgot to say it for the past month, but better late than never. Sorry. And Happy Father's day dad! Before I forget about that too jaja.
Uhh, what has happened. One of the elders broke his toe playing volleyball. It rained like crazy last night and all the streets were flooded and while we were in devotional, the auditorium started to flood too, and I will send pics of that. And we live in a culdesac at the bottom of campus, so it was all filled up! It was so cool! Can't wait to get that cada día in ecuador!   One of the Hermanas in our zone is the niece of Boyd and Josie Moffett. That was cool. Uhh, I got a haircut earlier today, and now there is gel in my hair, and it looks kind of good, so I bought some for like 8 pesos, which is 60 cents, and I might use gel, but probably only while it is really short. 

We play with latinos that are missionaries. No one from the outside really comes in. The CCM is in like the slums or the favelas basically of mexico city. So we hear guns and sirens a lot, but the CCM is way safe. our teachers said that the only place that is safer is the president's palace. So you don't need to worry! 
No choices at meal time, but there is always beans and rice, and fruit, and every breakfast and dinner there is nutella and bread! And I always have fruit. We drink lots of juice. I don't really avoid anything, some stuff is just better than others. The eggs they serve are way good and Mexicans know how to do mashed potatoes. So good. 

What I want everyone to do is go read 1 Nephi 17:12 and tell me how that verse relates to missionary work. We did that in class this week. You just have to think outside the box ;) Then next week I will tell you what I think.

Also, I will be emailing again on probably Monday before I leave Monday night, so probably in the day like sometime between 12-2. Not totally sure yet though. 

The thought that really struck me this week was Jacob 2:35. That chapter talks about the wickedness of the people and how Jacob was calling them out. Then that verse says "Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you."     
Whoa.  That was strong to me. It just made me think about the kind of example that I want to be, and how I treat my wife, and my kids. And even though I don't have kids yet, I bet that they are looking down on me from heaven, and even now they are watching me and looking at the example that I am setting. And it motivates me too to be the best I can be for my future wife even though I don't know who that will be, and always be worthy and a good example for her, even now. I want you, Chris, West, and Leland, and even Dad, (Even though he is already a pro at this) to always be a good example and always be worthy no matter what. And this can apply to sisters as well. Always be the best you that you can be, then God will make you better.

I love you all!


Elder Parker

Pictures of the city at night, my district, and our cul-de-sac filled with water. (Coming Soon)

one is the city at night, the other is a district selfie ;) 

This is our culdesac filled with water, then some pics of our district. The dressed up one is right before my haircut, and the other right after!

June 11, 2014 - Answers to Questions

Dear Family,

Answers to questions:
#swagginwagon is like our district nickname.
Mexico's food is better for you compared to Provo's because there is always fresh fruit, but sometimes it is a little bit weird. 
We have investigators here at the MTC, but they are just our teachers acting like investigators that they had on their missions. 
P-days, we wake up, go to breakfast, have an hour of study, then go do laundry, mess around or take pics or stuff like that, eat lunch, email, then play sports and stuff till like 5. Then we have dinner and class for the rest of the night.
Most of the missionaries here are going back to the US. But one of new districts are all going to Ecaudor Quito. 
CCM is Centro de Capacitación Misional. Translated is basically the "center for training missionaries".

Stay strong, and love everyone and everything! 


Elder Parker