Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015 - Feliz navidad y prospero aƱo nuevo!!

Happy christmas and happy new year to all! We had a very good christmas in house once again, doing exercise to work off all the food we ate that day! We were also able to have some quality study time. I know that Jesus Christ came to earth to save us all, and to give us peace and joy.

For christmas here, they normally eat turkey. And rice. always rice. So that is what we ate! twice. and a lot. so full. It was a blessing and a curse. But the members here are really generous and we really feel their love, even if it hurts and makes us sick. 

As we approach a new year I know that many of us will be making plans and have a lot of goals for this next year. Just remember, those goals only come to pass if we work at them always. If we apply, we can go far. All too often those goals get left in the journal, or in our tablets nowadays (I assume...) and don`t get looked at during the year. That is the secret to success. The application. I know that the constant steady effort is what allows us the possibility to improve and grow. 

Thank you all for all that you do! Happy new year! 

Elder Parker

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 21, 2015 - Christmas Party!

We had our branch Christmas party this weekend, and it was a doozy! haha We spent all saturday setting up and getting ready for it, but it turned out well. There were about 95-100 people there and a lot of investigators, and a lot of people that had not gone to church in a long time! It was a little tricky at times because there was a lot of people and a LOT of children, but it all turned out well. I had no idea how much it took to plan a big party or activity.. haha

We also had changes last week, I think I forgot to mention that. My companion left and went to Esmeraldas. I am now with Elder Veliz, a Peruano. He is really happy and likes to work, so things are going well so far. We are trying to take as much advantage of the time that we have in our sector. 

The Lord loves us. That is why He sent His Only Begotten Son to the world to save us. This week, I invite you all to think about Him. He who was perfect, and He who loves perfectly. Think of all the opportunities that we have because of Him. 

Merry Christmas!!!šŸŽšŸŽ

Love, Elder Parker







Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015 - Cena NavideƱa

This week we had our Christmas Dinner with President and Sister Richardson. She made homeade rolls, mashed potatoes, turkey (they eat turkey here for Christmas) salad, sweet potatoes, and rice! Can´t forget the rice. haha And to finish it off, we ate mint brownie with ice cream. Que rico!

We had a cool experience yesterday as well with a new investigator that we have. She was a reference from a colombian refugee that was baptized a few weeks ago here. We had been trying to find her for a week and a half, and yesterday we found her. When we talked to her, she said she had been waiting for 28 years to be able to talk to missionaries. It was an amazing blessing that we recieved to be the missionaries chosen to share the gospel with her after 28 years of her waiting for the opportunity. I know that the Lord prepares the way for us to find the people that are ready to accept this message. 

Thank you for all your support! 

Love, Elder Parker


Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015 - Week of Blessings

In reality, "week of blessings" could be the title every week, but I have to change it up sometimes.

First, President Richardson took us for the mission council to "The Crater." It is an old volcano called pululahua. People live in the volcano. There are only 5 (I think) volcanos in the world that are "inhabited" by people, and this is one of them. That was a way cool experience, and it was also the last time I will see my first companion here in the mission. :( He leaves next week and is in the coast, about 13 hours away. haha 

Then this week, in the branch, for the first time since the branch began, there were 100 people exactly assisting! It was such a blessing. I have been thinking for a long time how to help more people come to advance and progress, because before there were 80-90 always going, but in the past few weeks, there have only been 60-70. I have been praying a lot to know what more to do, and the Lord responded this weekend in many different ways. I know that if we seek His guidance, He will provide. In His own time, and in His own way, but He will always provide. 

Thank you all for your prayers and support, and as we enter this Christmas season, may we all reflect on the light that we have recieved because of a Babe who was born in a manger. I know He lives, and I know He loves us. 

Love, Elder Parker

1. With the other zone leader in our zone, the one from Coca. 
2. With my first companion in the mission.
3 With President and his wife. 
4. The volcano Pululahua






Sunday, December 6, 2015

November 30, 2015 - Gospel in the Home

Another week has flown by in the jungle! It seems that every week goes by faster and faster.

They [members] do different things. But almost everything is based on the oil. Most of the members don´t actually work in the companies, but when the oil is doing well, lots of people come from all over the place, which generates other excellent and stable job opportunities in restaurants, teachers, taxis, and other things.

In the lists that I have there are 188 [people in branch]. But we only have about 90 going to church every week. I am in the mission of finding out who all those other people are, because I have heard that many are no longer here. There are about 10 active youth. And there are a lot of primary kids, but they don´t all come every week. Normally there are also about 10-15.

The problem is that people here are not consistent, and it is hard to rely on them. There is not much personal responsibility, so many times you get failed on. It is actually pretty normal. But we are working to change that and to make them feel more responsable. Even the leaders. It sometimes takes a good hard talking to to make them react and to fulfill.

Yesterday in the branch, I gave a training from some video excerpts that the area sent to share with the members about the Sabbath Day. They were segments from a training that the apostles gave for General Conference and it was powerful. Something interesting that was stressed a lot was the importance of preparing in the home. They testified a lot of the importance of teaching the gospel in the home. If we can always live the gospel in our home, we will be much safer from temptations, and we will always be progressing.

I know that we have families for a reason and that they are meant to help us and strengthen us. 

Love, Elder Parker

1. Our little branch activity to put up the tree :) (we did take the lights off after the pic)
2. A delicious fried fish with yuca that a member gave us this week. It was a lot of food. What you don´t see very well there is the altitude of the mountain of rice.. 




November 23, 2015 - The Week

Well, it was a pretty normal week. There was not too much excitement. It was really hot at the beginning of the week, but now it has been raining for the past few days and it feels really nice.

The work is interesting here. There are many many receptive people but something that is a problem is that many people work in companies of oil deeper in the jungle. They work 20 days, then have usually 8 or 10 days off. So it makes it really hard to find and be consitently working with them. 

We had an interesting lesson this week that taught me an important principle. An investigator had asked us why Joseph Smith does not show up in the Bible. And it was a very good question, at first we did not know what to say. But then the thought came to mind. "The Lord wants us to walk by faith, not by knowledge." The Lord asks us to have the faith to be able to find out for ourselves if Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God. For that reason he is not talked about explicitly in the Bible. I know that he was a prophet of God and that he was the instrument in God`s hand to restore this church. 

Thank you all for your support and prayers. I love you!

Elder Parker

We were playing soccer this week and I got kicked and my leg swelled up.. But it is all good now. 


November 16, 2015 - cockroach + fridge = ¿?

Well, this week I went to Quito for the mission council, and it was an amazing experience. I know that our leaders are called of God. They are inspired and this month was no different. The trainings were excellent and just what the we as leaders needed to better guide our zones.

In the orient, things are a little bit different because there are 2 cities in our mission out here that are about 2 hours apart. So there are 6 missionaries in Coca (the other city) and 6 here in Lago Agrio. To be able to manage everything better the president split the zone leaders up as well. Normally there are 2 together, but here, I am in Lago and the other zone leader is in Coca. We also travel every other week to the other city to have zone/district meeting. This week we did it in Coca. So instead of going from Quito to Lago, then Coca super early the next morning, I just went to Coca with the other zone leader. And they have air conditioning in their house :) 

But today we had an interesting experience cleaning our house, and it has to do with cockroaches. In our fridge... Now before you start to judge us or start to think that we are just messy and dirty kids, let me explain. We were cleaning it all out, and I took the cover off of the water dispenser on the outside of the fridge to clean it out. I pull off the cover and there it is. A big fat cockroach. Unfortunately I don´t have a pic because, well, just because I forgot to take a pic.. I took the foto after of where it was. But it was there with all its baby cockroaches. But now: Problem solved. šŸ‘

In this time that I have been in the orient, I have had the privilege to work very closely with many of God´s children, and it has strengthened the testimony of the divine potential that we all have as children of God to learn and grow and progress. I have also had the privilege to see the Lord´s hand work and move things in His church to hasten the work. I know that the Lord works through His servants that He has called. He moves the pieces. 

Thank you for all your support.      
I saw this video and it touched me a lot. The Lord has something for all of us to do. I know this church is true. 

Love,
Elder Parker







Those black specks on the floor are the eggs.. šŸ˜Š haha

November 9, 2015 - Military Checkpoint..

A week of many miracles has just passed. The most recent one: we came to Quito today for the mission council, and whenever you travel from Lago Agrio to Quito, there is a military checkpoint where they make everyone get off to check their passports and if you don´t have papers, they make you stay there I think, but I am not exactly sure. But today, I forgot mine.. So when they made us get off the bus, I was praying and thinking, What do I do? I thought about trying to sneak past, but that would have been a dumb idea.. haha. So I go up to the desk and tell them, I forgot my papers at home. And they ask me questions like if I knew my passport number, and I did not.. and then they asked me what I was doing in Ecuador and I told them I was a missionary. They sat there thinking about it for a sec and asked me a couple of other questions about why I was traveling, and then they let me through.. So that was a neat experience and testimony that God does take care of His servants.

Then this week the Lord also blessed us a lot to be able to find some awesome new people that could really use this message in their lives now. One of them is a girl named Katy. We contacted her one day and she told us to come back on Saturday. We almost didn´t go visit her because it was raining super hard, and she lives alone with her daughter and there was noone that could go with us to be able to go in to her house, but we made one more call and there was a brother who was able to go with us. She told us that she was really confused about all of the different churches and that she did want to know which was the true church. So I will be updating you more on her as the time goes. 

Things in the Orient are really fantastic. It has been raining recently, but that just makes everything feel super nice. I know that God lives and that He loves us.

Love, Elder Parker

November 2, 2015 - Changes...

Well, my companion is heading home tomorrow morning and I am about to recieve my new companion, Elder Pinto from Honduras! I have met him before and am super excited to start working with him. 

This week we ate worms. But not just any worm, we ate mayones. Big fat juicy worms. And what an experience it was. They were taken live, skewered and then basically barbecued. There is just something about big fat juicy worms that is not that appealing. There is a pic of the worms before we ate them, but the video is too big to send home. But it was an experience that I will not soon forget. 

We were also able to go and see an newborn baby of a sister in the branch. It was a very interesting visit for me, because it made me think of life, progress, and our nature as children of our Heavenly Father. It was weird to think that I was once as that little guy too, about 20 years ago.. Wow..  Our time on Earth is so special and valuable. 

We have been having continual success as a zone and as a branch. In our sector we are still looking for more people to teach. There are a few investigators that we have but we have had to shift the focus just a little bit to strengthen some members of the branch that are starting to weaken. But we have been able to have some amazing spiritual experiences with some members here. 
My testimony has grown of the power that family prayer and scripture study have. To all families, please make that a priority every day. Even 5 minutes can make all the difference. The Lord promises blessings in 3 Nefi 18:18-21, and I know that those blessings are true. The family is one of the most precious things that we can have in this life and we must protect it. I have seen the difference this small practice can have in our families, and I know that if we do it, we will blessed and strengthened to be able to live with our families forever. 

Thank you all for your wonderful examples. I love you all. 

Elder Parker


1. The new baby Moroni.
2. The mayones... 
3. We went looking around in Coca (another city) and found some cool things.. haha
4. The tire of the bus blew out while we were going from Coca back to Lago Agrio.




 

October 26, 2015 - The Week

It has been a good week. Today we went and did a barbecue with a family of members and we ate TONS of meat, chicken, chorizo, maduro, yuca, and fresh orange juice. And coco!! We got them out of the tree and opened them for the water and are going to take the meat home to eat or make coco juice. I also ate chicken neck. haha it was really good. You can see it in the pic, the long piece that sticks out.

This week we had a cool experience with some new investigators, Jason, Maria and Maria.  We had contacted Jason a couple days before, and we were walking to an appt, when he called us over because he wanted us to talk to his family too. He lives with his mom and grandma. So we went and talked to them. And it was a really interesting lesson. We were talking to them and the grandma said that she would not change her religion for anything, but we kept talking and near the end, we felt to invite them to be baptized and the ALL accepted.. We were shocked. But It strengthened my testimony of the power of the spirit and that the Lord really does prepare people. I will keep you updated on that family.

Love, Elder Parker



1. We pulled down some coconuts and opened them up for the water and meat :)
2. and 3. There was a turtle at the members house where we ate today. 





A couple fotos from the baptism!



October 19, 2015

Sorry, Dallin did not write a group letter this week, but he has been in the Orient for four weeks now and has been getting used to everything there.

October 12, 2015 - Week of Reunions

This week was a super busy week with reunions. We went to Quito on Monday morning and got back here to Lago Agrio Friday morning at about 1am. We had the mission council on Tuesday, and then after the meeting they told us that we were going to have to stay in Quito until Thursday for another leaders meeting that there was. So we stayed, and we ended up leaving Quito at about 5:45, and got home at about 1. It was fun, but it did kind of wipe us out. They were really good meetings and we learned a lot from them.

We had baptisms this weekend! We had two in our sector, and in the district there were 3 others. We baptize in a river, but the pics will come next week. It was a way cool experience. 

I hope all is well with all of you! Thank you for your support and prayers.

Elder Parker

October 5, 2015 - Fotos

I am sending this early because we are going to quito today and are going to be traveling all day. Enjoy!











September 28, 2015 - The Orient

I have been a week here in the orient, which is the north east of ecuador, basically the jungle. I am in a city called Lago Agrio. It is a really big sector, and this week we went and visited a family that lives days away. First we had to take a bus to another town called Dureno and then from there we had to walk. It is about 13-14 kilometers in. We were walking in for about 5 Kilometers and a guy picked us up in a truck and saved our lives. But then we had to walk all the way out, and it took us 2 and a half hours.  But it was a really good visit.  

I am out of time for the day, but things are going really good here. I am loving this time and I love where I am too. Heavenly Father loves us all. 

Love, Elder Parker

September 22, 2015 - Changes

All is well over here. I have changes and am going to the orient, and for that I have not been able to write much, but next week I will write! I love you all. Thank you for everything!

Elder Parker

September 14, 2015 - Pics.

here are some pics. 
1. The river esmeraldas.
2. The missionaries that arrived in Ecuador with me that are in the mission council.
3. Me with my trainer who is now the assistant 






September 7, 2015 - The Time Flies...

This week we went to Quito again for the mission council with President. We talked a lot about the planning. And it was really interesting to see and study and realize that planning is so important in all that we do. If we do not have goals or plans, we really are not going to be able to accomplish much.

We are having a good time in our sector. We have a few investigators, but we are just trying to help them to really progress. But we are super excited to keep looking. We have been working a lot more with the wards in our zone to work better with the members. 

Today, for our day of prepration, we cleaned our house and slept. And it was soooo nice :) We have been going, going, going and have not had a normal p-day all change, so it was nice to slow down a little bit and have some time for us. 

Today I read 2 Nephi 4:5. It gives a promise to the families. If our children are raised in righteousness, they will not fall away from the right path. Pretty cool. Thank you mom and dad for teaching me and guiding me!

Love, Elder Parker

August 31, 2015

Sorry, Dallin did not send a group e-mail this week. He is doing great and is still on the coast.

August 25, 2015 - Tachina

Well it has been a pretty busy week! Yesterday we had trainings with President so we were not able to have p-day, so that is why I am here today.

This week we went to a different part of the sector where we had never been before. It is called Tachina and it is on the other side of the river Esmeraldas. It was WAY good. In the 2 visits, and 6 hours that we have spent in that part, we have 4 new investigators, 2 of them are preparing to be baptized, and we found a less active as well. We are super excited to keep working over there and have tons of faith for Tachina. 

We also found another investigator 2 weeks ago that, when we knocked on her door, she told us that she had been waiting for us. Wow. And she went to church yesterday! :) Our sector is progressing and getting better every day. On saturday a member presented us to one of her friends, and he was super excited and just said, yes, I want to get baptized. Wow. But then on sunday, he fought with his mom and she kicked him out of the house (he has 20 years). So that was a bummer, but it was a testimony to us that there is someone that does not want him to be able to go to church, so we are even more determined now to help him. 

This week I tried for the first time caldo de pata de vaca (Soup of the hoof/lower leg of the cow) I don´t even know how to describe it, so you are just going to have to look it up. 

And that was our week. This week is going to be even better. Thank you all for your support and prayers. This work is true and I know it. 

Love, Elder Parker

My camara died, so I will send fotos next week

August 17, 2015 - Questions

I am doing really well. I am healthy, but it is not super hot. And I have gotten used to it. Like, sometimes it is hot and the thing is that you almost always sweat because of the humidity, but it is not that bad right now. Only to church we were our jackets.
My companion is way awesome. He is 26 aand from colombia.  We have  couple [investigators], and are in the process of finding more. Haha we didn´t eat today. There was no time, because we were doing analysis of the numbers of the zone. :P haha i have been eating oatmeal but with juice packets instead of sugar. haha because we have no sugar..and the members feed us lunch. So here that is normally rice and fish and verde.. haha. Haha more than a snack, a lot of times, we just need something to drink. but I would not mind some snacks right now. haha
Every week we get all of the numbers of the things that the missionaries did in the week, and we have to analize thta to see where we are struggling, where we can improve, who needs help. Stuff like that. 
Just a cyber. There are just little businesses that are cyber labs. So that is where we always write. 

Elder Parker

August 10, 2015 - Still on Coast

  I am doing really well! Things are going well here. It looks like I will be here in the coast for at least another 6 weeks :)

Elder Parker

August 3, 2015 - The Move

So this week we moved houses. And boy was it fun! haha I got back to esmeraldas from quito on tuesday, we went and just talked to some people in the street that night, then on Wednesday to Saturday we were running around, we moved some other elders on Wedensday, then we packed our house up on thursday, friday we moved, and saturday was spent doing informs of the zone and trying to organize everything.

We had a really cool zone council on Thursday. We talked about our month, things that we are going to do better, and then basically just had a testimony meeting with the elders. And it was really special, because even the ones that are more jokesters and are normally a little bit more wound up bore powerful testimonies. That was really special for me to see. And it strengthened my testimony of the truth of the work that we are doing. I have honestly never been happier in my life. I just want to stay here forever. haha

That was our week. Lots of stuff that just has to be done sometimes. But I learned a lot. And I felt that I have grown.  Thank you all for your prayers and support. Take a moment to look back at your past, and look for the ways that you have been able to change because of a loving Heavenly Father. And if you can`t say that you have changed much, it might be time to think about your purpose in this life. All of us can change, no matter who we are or where we have been. Trust in your Heavenly Father.

Love, Elder Parker

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015 - Training Week

It has been another week of trainings. We started the week with President, the wife of Pdte, the assistents, and the leaders of the 2 zones in the coast in a small leaders meeting. Then on wednesday we had our zone conference with everyone in the coast and that was a really special meeting. We did some practices where the only objective was to feel the spirit, then talk about how we felt the spirit and why we did and what happened to invite the spirit. It was super neat to talk just about the spirit and how it works. It helped me remember the importance of the spirit in all that we do, especially in the lessons, instead of just teaching to teach.

Other bit of good news. We are going to move! We found a house that is much nicer than the one that we are in right now, and this week we are going to move. I am most looking forward to having quiet, peaceful study sessions. :) haha

And to finish the week off, I came to Quito with an elder in my zone that got an infection in his foot from a bite that he had from a bug, I think. And we are currently still in Quito. So it has been a weekend of some pretty good study sessions for me haha. 

Being in the coast has made me realize how valuable our time really is. We have to go home an hour early than normal for the safety, and it just makes our day seem super short. So I have been learning and practicing a lot how to make the most of every moment of the day. I have loved everything about the coast. Even the hardest moments. I have learned to see the good in everyone and everything, especially the moments that seem like there can be no good. The Lord has greatly blessed me with this opportunity to serve a mission and to represent Him in this time to serve the people and other missionaries. 

Thank you all for your support and prayers.

Love,  Elder Parker

July 20, 2015 - The Atonement

So we had our mission council this week with all of the ZL y Sister leaders and it was an awesome experience. We talked a lot about the atonement and enduring to the end. It strengthened my testimony a lot of the atonement and the love that Heavenly Father has for us.  There was a quote from James E. Faust in the talk that we studied.
  Any increase in our understanding of His atoning sacrifice draws us closer to Him.   
I invite you all to take some time to study the atonement. I promise you that it will change your life, little by little, especially if you do it everyday. 

So we were in Quito all week, We left Monday morning and got back Thursday night. We did not have a lot of time to work, but we were able to get in some good lessons. Then today, we went and ate encebollado, and it was super good! Then we got our haircut, and they gave me like a military cut on the sides, and left it kind of longer on top.. So, yeah.. Not that great. Hopefully with gel it looks better haha :P Ojala. 

The coast is awesome. Nice and hot and humid and sunny with plenty of funny people. There is always something funny that happens every day. Always something new! 

Always remember to enjoy every moment of your lives striving to be more like our brother Jesus Christ. It is the easier way in the end. Thank you for your prayers and your support!

Love, 

Elder Parker

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 13, 2015 - Tender Mercies

This week has been full of tender mercies. I don´t have much time. We are in Quito now for some meetings that we have, but this week, even though it was hard, I felt the love of the Savior. Every day, something happened that we had to take care of. One day the house flooded, other day our phone got baptized and died so we had to take care of that, but the Lord always loves us!

If we do not have fear and trust in the Lord, He will always support us. I have seen it so many times in my mission. 

I hope you all have an excelent week. Thank you for your love and support!

Elder Parker

July 6, 2015 - The Coast

The coast is the best. It is just hot. and our house is super ghetto. But we are looking for a new one! And the food is really good. And I love it! We spend all day walking around and sweating, so hopefully I will keep losing weight! haha And cold showers in the morning and night are just about the best you can get here. And it is pretty cool here because everyone knows us. They always see and greet us by saying "los elderes". Even in the sketchy parts they all say hi. It is super cool being here. The people are so different, but it is way neat. They are super lazy because it is hot, so that is pretty funny too, some of the things we see every day.

We are going to have a baptism this weekend of Jisenia y Scarlet. They are chosen of God. I have met them once so far, but they are so ready for their baptism. And we are in the process of finding more people every day.

We found a guy last night that is called Manuel. He was a reference of a less active and we first met him on Tuesday, and yesterday he went to church and we visited him again. When we visited him, he told us that he had gone to this less actives house to go to church. He took the initiative and actually helped the less active go to church. wow. and he told us that he knows that this church is true, but that he is still going to pray and ask God if these things are true. The only challenge is that he cannot read or write. But we will change that.

I know that this is the true church. There is no doubt in my mind. I am so grateful to be here. The Lord will always bless us if we make the effort to follow Him and search for His blessings. 

Love, Elder Parker

June 29, 2015 - Changes

So I am writing a little bit early because we had changes!! And I am leaving!! And going to the coast. to esmeraldas. So I am going to be traveling all day, and I don´t know if I am going to have much time to write when I get there. But all is well! It has been a wonderful time in San Carlos, and I am excited to see what the Lord wants me to do in the coast.

Love, Elder Parker

June 22, 2015 - Trials

I learned a grand lesson this week about trials and why they happen. I read a talk this week by Elder Richard G. Scott called
"The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing"
Wow. I am changed. But there was one quote that changed me more than any other. “God never bestows upon his people,or upon an individual, superior blessings without asevere trial to prove them.” - Brigham Young,
Wow. That is wisdom and it makes all the sense in the world. This week has not been the easiest one, but this quote has lifted me to another level. Even though there were trials this week, I felt so strengthened to be able to look past them and to be able to look beyond the moment. It helped me so much to be able to have a different vision, a diferent perspective on everything. I know that this is true. I felt it this week and I know that it can be true for all of you as well. 

One other super special experience that we had this week was the opportunity to visit a couple elderly members of the ward. The mom has 90 years, and the son 63. They literally have nothing. The bishop and relief society president get them food every 2 weeks. That is something that I never knew until sunday morning. And it also changed my life. 
They go to church looking super good, all nice and clean, when in reality they have nothing. We read the Book of Mormon with us, and the old sister started crying telling us how we were her heros for what we do and all that we suffer. And I can tell you I have never felt smaller in my life. She and her son are my heros. Nobody knows what they are going through. At church this 90 year old little lady high fives and fist bumps us to greet us, as happy as can be. What an example of love to the Lord. I am rededicating myself to do all that I can for Him. 

Love,

Elder Parker

June 15, 2015 - Family History

A quick email. Sorry.  The people that we have been working with are all going through really hard times right now. But even so we are working hard to help them understand their purpose.

I just want to share my testimony about the importance of family history work. We have been focusing on that in the mission and it is a super important work and one that really brings the spirit. Do it! Fill out the booklet ´´My Family´´ It is super cool!

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support!

Love, Elder Parker

1. eating shawarmas y arepas
2. teleferico






June 8, 2015 - Time Flies

The time passes really fast, and it scares me sometimes. But I just put that out of my mind and things get a lot happier.  It was a week full of meetings, but it was super spiritual too!

We started the week on Tuesday in the Mission Council, and it was super special to be able to talk about our potential and what we can really do and the servants of the Lord. It is really interesting too, because I have been pondering this topic a lot. Our potential. I have read some talks and been studying in the scriptures too about what we really can do here on earth, and even more as representatives called of God. 

Then on Friday we had our zone conference with president and the assistents. It was super special too and we talked a lot about family history and how important that is. And it really struck me. It really is important. And at the end of everything, we got to raise the Title of Liberty, and it was awesome. 

Today we went to Teleferico again this week and it always blows my mind the wonderfulness of all of God`s creations. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary and to share His gospel with His children. I have grown so much and am not the person I used to be. And I am grateful for that and for the confidence that God has placed in me. 

I love you all and thank you for your prayers and support!

Love,

Elder Parker

Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 1, 2015 - A miracle.

The miracle was that the Familia Ribadeneira went to church. After two months, they went to church!! It has all been worth it. They are also finally moving for sure now, so on wednesday we are going to help them to move all their things. And they have a baptismal date for the 20th. SO we are really excited for that!

This week was a little bit slow, but it was still really special. The other family that we are working with is reading the Book of Mormon, and although they did not go to church, they still really want to listen and learn more. 

Today in the zone, we did a barbeque and it was so good. haaha It took a while, but that was our activity today and it was super fun! 

I love you all!

Love, 

Elder Parker

May 25, 2015 - The new change

Well, it was kind of a tricky week, being in meetings with President Richardson, with the Stake president, and being in the hospital, but the good news it that I just have like a small contusion or something in the muscle. So no worries! I just have to do some special exercises and take some pills, and all will be well!

This week Jennifer got baptized!! :) It was super good, but really stressful also. The baptism was supposed to start at 5, but they had gone to the south earlier that day and it had been raining really hard, so they had to wait and they did not get here to san carlos until 7, and the baptism started at 7:30. So that was stressful. Then on Sunday, we went to get them at their house to come to church so she could be confirmed, but they did not leave their house until 2:30. So we got to church super late. But at the end of the meeting she got confirmed, which was super good too! 

We have been working with the Familia Ribadeneira and they are FINALLY moving to a new house, which means they will be able to come to church because they have been looking for a house every weekend for a long time. And they showed up to church 5 minutes before it was over, which, hey, is an improvement!

I was going to send fotos, but my camara just died.. so yeah. Oh well! Thank you all for the support you always give and for your prayers. All is going well here in our sector and things are improving a lot! We have a lot of people we are working with here, which is a big improvement from the beginning of last change. Thank you!

Love,
Elder Parker

May 18, 2015

Sorry, Elder Parker didn't write a group letter this week, but he got a new companion from Bolivia!

May 11, 2015 - Time goes too fast..

I have already been a missionary for more than a year now. And it has been the best year of my life! I could not be happier. I have grown and changed and have a completely different view on life. And I know I am going to change even more in this next year and I know I am going to enjoy it even more than I enjoyed the last one!

We were loaded with meetings this week and were not able to do as much as we would have liked, but we still were able to have some quality lessons and other activities. Only one of our investigators assisted the church this weekend because of Mother´s Day, and while I love my mom SO much, it was kind of frustrating hearing from every person, "I have to go visit my mom." What can you say to that. We got really direct with some people about sabbath day, but no pudge.. 

But Jennifer is doing really well! She went to church and is going to be baptized on the 23rd of this month! Her mom is also really excited and is going to be rescued this month too. We are still working with the other people, but progress has been a little bit sloww. 

Today we went to Teleferico, and it was awesome. We could see just about all of Quito, and it boggled my mind. It was sooo pretty. And it was cold :) It was so nice to feel cold cold wind on my face again. 

And that was basically our week! We had some fun and I am learning how to juggle too! But I slipped on a rug yesterday and exploded an orange. hehe it was so funny! But I plan on being a pro when I get back. 

Happy Mother´s Day! Happy Birthday Dad! And Happy Anniversary to my parents (it was the 1st) :)

Thank you all for everything you do!

Love, Elder Parker

We found out this week that it is TRUE! if you cook an egg in the microwave, it will explode. And then you can eat it! hahaha


May 4, 2015 - Week of miracles

It has been a week of miracles. Truly. And it has been awesome. We set a goal in the zone this week to find a new investigator every day. And to have a new investigator, we have to be inside their house, teach them a lesson, end with a prayer, and have another appointment with them to return. So, if we don´t have any appointments with people, we have to go contacting and hope that the people will let us in to their houses! But, we wanted to do it soooo bad. So we went with full faith into this week, and had miracles.

First miracle is Gabriel. On tuesday, we had to go do an interview for one of our district leaders. And that took up some good time, but when we got back, we made a few calls, and our other appointments were´nt there. So, we went and said a prayer, then started contacting. After like, an hour and a half of contacting, we did have an appointment that was not set, but we were just going to go and see if they were there, so we are heading to the church to meet up with a member, and we see this guy walking down the road going the opposite direction as us, and I just felt that we should contact him. So we do. And I was thinking, "this is our guy. He is going to take us to his house and we are going to teach him!" But... it wasn´t the case. Bueno. Lets go to the visit. So we are going to the church and we see a man waiting outside the church. When we get there, he asked us if there was a program or anything like that. We said no, but asked him if we could do something for him. And he tolded us he needed help.  That is a statement that we LOVE to hear as missionaries. So we invited him inside and had a lesson with him. He told us that he had separated from his wife 4 days earlier and was super bad. So we were able to teach him the plan de salvacion and he accepted a baptismal date! He told us that he had been walking up the same street where we talked to that guy before going to the church and had passed us and almost decided to talk to us, but saw that we were busy. SO, if we had not talked to that random guy in the street that I thought was going to be the one, Gabriel never would have passed us and we never would have met him. He is amazing. We met on Friday again and told us that he felt peace after that first meeting on tuesday. That was our first miracle. 

Second miracle is that we have been working with Monica, who is less active, and her daughter Jennifer who is 12 and is going to be baptized in 2 weeks! Monica had a boyfriend and was going to get married with him this friday, and we had tried to teach him and all that, but he was just weird and like, really disrespectful. And we did not like him. We were always worried he was going to be there when we taught Jennifer because he always interupted. But we found out on friday that she had dumped him and is now 100% ready to come back to the church and be active :) And they went to church yesterday!

sorry this is kind of long, and there have been more, but those are the biggest. 

I love you all! Thank you for your suppport and prayers! 

Love,
Elder Parker

list of areas served in:
 
1. Carcelen Bajo en Barrio Carcelen en estaca Ofelia por 4 cambios. CompaƱeros: Elder Herrera - San Pedro Sula, Honduras (2 cambios) Elder Larsen - Meridian, Idaho (2 Cambios)

2. San Antonio (y otras partes) en Rama El Ejido en Distrito Ibarra por 2 cambios. CompaƱeros: Elder Apaza - Arequipa, Peru (1 cambio) Elder Obando - Trujillo, Peru (1 cambio) 

3. CollaLoma en ComitƩ del Pueblo en Barrio CollaLoma en estaca Calderon por 1 cambio. CompaƱero: Elder Miranda - Cusco, Peru.

4. San Carlos en Barrio San Carlos en estaca Quito por 1 cambio (o mas. Estoy aqui ahorita) CompaƱero: Elder Guild - Star Valley, Wyoming.

April 27, 2015 - New Investigator

It has been a pretty normal week! Work, and walking and talking, and having fun! Me and my companion get along super well. We are trying our best to help this zone progress. We had a couple baptisms this week in the zone and are super happy for that. But we are going to work even harder to help even more people!

There were changes intermedios (?) in the zone, so we had to be in the terminal this morning, and then we went to the offices.. Yay.. so fun.. haha But we are really excited for this week. 

Our days are really normal. Iris has slown down a little bit in her progress. We are afraid her friend has been telling her things that she saw on the internet. But she is still reading the Book of Mormon! There is hope :) 

The Familia Ribadeneira don´t actually live in our ward, but are trying to find a new house, so we are actively looking for one too, hoping that we will get to keep working with them! 

We have a new investigator called Jennifer. Her and her mom actually contacted us one day in the street. Her mom is less active, but she is not yet a member. But she has been reading the Book of Mormon and said that she felt something in her heart and just couldn´t stop reading. :) OH ya. We just have to help them come to church. Tomorrow we are going to have a Family Home Evening Night with them. 

I have started a study on all of the atributes of Christ that are found in Preach My Gospel. I have a new Book of Mormon and am reading the book, looking for stuff about one of the attributes at a time. And I am really enjoying it. I am reading about Faith right now and it is super cool! 

I love you all! Thank you for all that you do. 

Love, 

Elder Parker


My first time ever solving a Rubix cube. What joy. haha

April 20, 2015 - Another Week

Well! Another week has flown by. It has been really good though. On Friday we had our monthly training with President and the assistents, and WOW. It changed me. It was such an amazing training and you could feel the spirit so much!

We have been working with a family Ribadeneira. They are way cool, but are looking for their answer through knowledge instead of the spirit, so we are trying to get them to change that mindset. 

We are also working with a woman named Iris. She is cubana and we invited her to general conference in the street in a contact, and she went! And took her friends! Whoa... so now we are working with her and her friends to help them get a testimony of this church and the Book of Mormon. 

That is a brief summary of who we have really been teaching and focusing on. It has been raining here a lot. And raining hard.. :P We have gotten super wet a couple of times. And the rain is cold. But then when we get home and it is cold and we get into bed, it is the BEST! haha I am sleeping with my warm up pants, a hoody, and 4 blankets  Que rico...

Thank you all for your support! 

Love, 

Elder Parker

April 13, 2015 - First week.. Check

Well, I am done with my first week in my new sector and things are going well! Due to a lot of fallen appointments, we got to talk to a lot of families this week! It was fun, and really satisfying, being able to talk and share with the families. AND we have a family now that has a baptismal date and that we are working with :)

My lesson that I have learned this week has been the power of testimony. We contacted a man that was over 80 years old this week. We started talking to him and he sounded pretty interested. He had gone to church before when he was younger and liked it, but didn´t want to be baptized. We started talking about baptism or something, I don´t remember exactly what, but then he started saying that this was wrong and that was wrong, and I started trying to teach him that it was right, and it was getting a little contentious I will admit. But then my companion just bore his testimony about living prophets and their power. And the whole atmosphere changed. It was amazing to feel. Then I realized what I was doing was not helping at all and bore my testimony too of living prophets and the church. And we are going to visit him this week! 

I love you all!

Love,

Elder Parker
 
 
 

April 6, 2015 - General Conference and Changes

I had changes again. Only one change in my old sector. Oh well. I am now in San Carlos in the zone Quito Oeste. My companion is Elder Guild from Wyoming. 

I was kind of sad to leave my old sector. There were a few people that the Lord blessed us with that I did not get to see be baptized, but that is OK! I know that they will take those steps to make those covenants with the Lord, and that is all that matters.

Nothing really new or exciting has happened. I just have a renewed testimony that we have prophets and apostles that are called of God! And they recieve revelation for all of us!

I love you all! 

Love, Elder Parker

March 30, 2015 - March 30..

It has been another normal week here in CollaLoma. We have been working a lot with William Rojas, and we are just waiting for the papers to get taken care of so they can get married. That should happen in about 2 weeks!  :)

We are also working tons with Fabiola, and WOW! We made plans with her to pick her up with a member that has a car, but she walked to church on her own in the rain, because she wanted to be there on time! She is doing super well! 

Today we just went to the offices to get a few things for a few of the missionaries. And now we are writing! 

I was going to send fotos, but my camara died.. Shoot. 

But I am sooo excited for general conference this weekend! And all of you should watch the video, Because He Lives. It is a video that has helped me sooo much! 

Thank you all for your well wishes! 

Love, Elder Parker

March 23, 2015 - The Week

It has been a good week. We had a conference with President and the assistents on Friday, and that was way good! Then saturday and sunday we had stake conference and Elder Godoy of the 70 came to find the new stake pdt. His talks were also really good. He asked a very interesting question. What is my part? What is our part in our calling? What are we supposed to do? It was a very interesting question. And it made me think a lot. I hope it does the same for you all :)

On our P-days, lately we have just been doing shopping, going to the offices to pick stuff up, and resting for a little bit. That would be it! Kind of boring, but much needed haha. 

We are working with a less active that is called Fabiola ProaƱo. She is an old lady that has so many problems. I don´t have much time now, but just know that this gospel is blessing her life so much. I have learned so much from the lessons that we have had with her, it has been amazing. 

Food, we have been cooking almost every morning. And it almost always contains eggs, because that is easiest. haa But it is always SOOOO good :) 

DyC 67:10 is officially my goal in the mission. Just so you know. Thank you all for all of your help! I love you all! 

Love, 

Elder Parker

March 16, 2015 - Another Week

It has been a pretty good week. We spent a lot of time in divisions and accomanying the companionships in their sectors to try to help their investigators. It was cool though, to see this message change lives! We accompanied the sisters to one of their appointements to someone that was not exactly understanding the importance of baptism. But the Lord helped this sister to understand through the Book of Mormon. It was the coolest thing! Literally it was like a light bulb turned on. haha She was just like, whoa.. Ohhhhhhhh.   It was way cool!

This week was a little bit tough, but we got rewarded at the end of the week with 11 less actives in the church, that are going to be rescued next week :) 

We have an investigator right now called William Rojas. He is awesome. Seriously. He has been the golden investigator of my mission. And I love that guy. He tries to speak little things in english with me and it just makes me laugh. He is super friendly and understands things super well. It has been awesome teaching him. He is getting married this week, and next week will get baptized! :) I am pumped!

I have to go now, But I love you all!

Love,

Elder Parker

March 9, 2015 - New Sector

Ok, so I have actually been here for two weeks, but have not had time to write at all. I am now in CollaLoma in Calderon, in Quito! It is not super far away from my first sector. Like 20 minutes in bus! And it has been way good! 

I met my companion on my first day in ecuador.. haha He was an assistent when I got here. But things are going super well with us! We get along great and work well together. It has been a nice break :) haha 

Today, we did a few things, like pick up the clothes, cut our hair, and then SLEPT. It was amazing. We have been getting to bed a little bit late because of the things we have to do for our zone. But it was the best hour of my day :) 

The sector is progressing well and we are seeing miracles! I don´t have much time right now, but I will explain our many miracles next week! 

I love you all! 

Elder Parker

March 2, 2015 - No Time...Sorry

Sorry. I don´t have time. Another busy day. But get your questions out and I will do that next week! I am going to have more time next week. But all is well and I love you all! :)

Love,

Elder Parker

February 24, 2015 - New Sector

So I don´t have much time because we got home late yesterday and there was no light, so we weren´t able to write, so I am writing a little bit today.

I am in a new sector. Sadly, I have left the beautiful city of Ibarra and am Quito once again. But I am excited to be here and to have new experiences. My new companion is Elder Miranda once again from Peru.. haha yeah... But it is going to be much better now. He was the previous assistent and we are serving together as zone leaders in this part. 

Our P-day yesterday was just travel, go to the offices of the mission, go home, and work! It was a good day. Last week, we went to the coast, and next week I explain a little bit more about that, but it was WAY awesome! :) 

Everything is going well, and I wish the best for all of you! Thank you for your support and love! 


Love,

Elder Parker

February 16, 2015 - Not Much Time

Everything is good! I dont have my package yet.   But I am in the Jungle right now and it is HOT.  Haha Rigth now I am too warm. 

I have to go now, and I am not sure if I will be able to write any more today. We have a 2 1/ 2 hour drive to get home. But all is well!







February 9, 2015 - 9 months.. wow.

We finally have a baptism this weekend!!!  After more than 2 months here looking under rocks and above the trees for people who want to get baptized, we found him! His name is Jorge. 2 weeks ago we started teaching him. He had been coming to church, and then finally decided that he wanted to listen to us! :D So we taught him and this weekend he is getting baptized. 

This week, Luis and Tania also got married! So now, he just has to come to church and then he will be baptized also! 

We had a super cool experience this week. On Saturday, we had been working, but all of our appointments fell. We had no idea what to do! We were lost. But we decided to do a prayer and ask for guidance. So we did! We finished the prayer and I just felt pulled to the right, to leave the street we were on. So we went, but then we passed a house, and the feeling stopped. So I looked back, and saw this wooden door. I just knew. That was where we needed to go. So we went. And this lady opened the door. She was talking on the phone and we heard her say, I have been really down lately. And I just knew even more. So we started talking to her and it turns out that her daughter had been listening to the missionaries before, but that she had died from an illness 2 or 3 weeks ago is all. We were able to teach her the Plan of Salvation, and invited her to church, but she didn´t come :( But we are going to go visit her this week because I know that she is ready to hear this message! :)

That is all that I have time for! But keep reading the Book of Mormon! Keep praying! And always go to church so that you can always be ready to recieve the blessings. It is like a cup. The purpose of the cup is to hold water. But if it is turned upside down, it can not do it´s job. Like us! God has many many blessings for each of us! But if we are not oriented good, or if we are turned upside down, we can not recieve the blessings!

Love, Elder Parker
 
Luis and Tania! 

And my district gave me guanabanas for my 9 month mark!! :)))))) AMO guanabana :)
 

 
Waterfall!  haha 

And the baptism of Jonathon! :)
 

 

 
 

February 2, 2015 - Happy Groundhog Day

Will there be more winter or not??

It was a pretty good week, although I am pooped. Really. We spent a lot of the week just contacting and talking to people and just getting rejected basically. BUT!   We do have one person who is really interested and wants to get to know the church and wants her husband to listen to this message too! Her kids were super excited when we got to their house and we didn´t exactly teach a lesson, but talked about the church and just testified and it was super cool! 

We are also (finally) teaching a man named Jorge. He is the "boyfriend" of a member of the branch and has come to church in the past, but did not want to listen to us. But this past week he decided that he wanted to listen and now he wants to get baptized!! He has a date for the 14th of February.  haha  and it is going to be awesome!! 

This past saturday, the branch also had a baptism! :) I had the opportunity to baptize Jonathon, the son of alexandra, who was baptized about a month and a half ago. Jonathon only has one leg, so elder etcheverrito helped me baptize and support him. It was way cool and WAY spiritual! 

Today we went and visited the Arch Angel that protects Ibarra. It was pretty cool, and we could see all of Ibarra. It was pretty neat! 

I started reading the Book of Mormon again this week, and it is such an amazing and special opportunity that we have to have this book and to be able to know that it is true! The Book of Mormon is super powerful and gives us peace and happiness in our lives if we are willing to read with an open mind and apply its teachings! 

I love you all and am grateful for your prayers and thoughts on my behalf. 

Love, Elder Parker 

January 26, 2015 - Week of Meetings

Last week was a week of meetings and sitting in a suit listening to trainings that really were awesome! Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we had meetings. So it was pretty hard to work this week and we did not have a lot of success, but there is always something good, at the end of every storm there is a rainbow!

Rainbow 1: We have been visiting a member and her kids to strengthen them and to help prepare her daughter for a mission, and she has a boyfriend or something. I don´t know exactly what he is, but I just refer to him with her as "futuro" He has come to church one time before, but has not been super interested in listening to our message, but he came to church yesterday! And he said he wants to listen to us!! And we didn´t even ask him!!! It is the best when the people come looking for us. Saves us a lot of walking.. ;) haha  So we are going to visit him on Wednesday! :)

Rainbow 2: On saturday, it was a super rough day. All of our appointments fell and we had to just contact. I wasn´t feeling super good (I have been with a cold) but then, at like 8:45 at night, we found her.. She listened to us, and although she did not have a lot of time, she did say that she wanted us to come back and teach her. And she was treating me like she was my mom too, haha. Telling me all these things I should do in order to fight the cold that I had, and telling me to take care of myself. It was neat (don´t worry Mom, you do it better! :P) but it was nice to have a random lady (AKA future member of the church) looking out for me! :) 

Rainbow 3: We have power again!!! hah We did not have power this weekend because the guy who is supposed to pay it is in the orient and didn´t pay it. So it was cold showers and recieving all the reports from the missionaries in candle light this weekend!

Today for P-day, we did a Parrillada, or basically a barbecue with the zone. We made food, played soccer and volleyball! It was a lot of fun! Other news.. This week I am going to get the privilege of baptizing someone. I baptized a mother about a month ago, Alexandra, and this Saturday I will get the chance to baptize her son who had a car accident about 6 months ago and lost a leg. But he is getting baptized this weekend!! WHOO

Final thought. Repentance is real. It is SO real. We had a lot of capacitations about repentance last week, and we learned about how we can have more confidence before God (the talk from elder Klebingat and from elder Robbins). It is an amazing thing that changes lives and destinies!! 2 Nephi 1:15 :D

I love you all!
Love,
Elder Parker

January 19, 2015 - Another Week

We had a couple of sweet experiences this week. The first, one wednesday I was sick with food poisoning (not throwing up, just a lot of diarreah) but I was in the house all day. We went to an appointment in the morning with someone that we had talked to, but I almost threw up there. It was close. hah so we went home. We called the Zone Leaders and asked them if they could come give me a blessing. THey came and gave me a blessing, and in the blessing told me something like if I worked and did the Lord´s work, I would be blessed. After the blessing, I rested for a little while longer, then we went out to work. We had an appointment set with a recent convert, so we went there. I was super excited for that appointment, but they weren´t there. I got a little discouraged at that point, but the a thought came to my head, "Let´s go look for Diego" He is a less active member that is really trying to change his life. SO we went. I didn´t remember where is house was, but I just felt that we should go looking for him. Well, God blesses us and knows where He wants us to be. On the way to the house of Diego, we found him in the street with his girlfriend. He stood up, and asked "let´s go to the house?" And wow. THat was awesome! SO we went and had a super spiritual lesson with him. It was way neat!

The other experience that we had was with an investigator. LUIS. He is way awesome. The problem is that he has to go work for the next 3 sundays and will not be able to assist the church. But! he and his wife still are going to get married on the 5th of February!! And then we are planning his baptism for the end of February! He is awesome. We always feel the spirit super strong with him! It is way awesome! 

Today we went to the waterfall again, but this time it was raining and it was way cool! I have some pictures that I am going to send.
 
The week has gone well. I have just been fighting some food poisoning that I got on Tuesday from some meat that I ate. haha But all good now! 





Woops, didn´t include all of the pics..  Here they are!!!  I love you all and pray for you always!!

Love, Elder Parker