They gave us a couple minutes to read emails and write a little bit.
I'm so glad to hear you are all doing well, and I love your emails,
they really do build my testimony.
I just found out that if you sent me a DVD of that animal thing I
can watch it at the church, but it has to be a DVD. don't worry
about sending it if it's too expensive, I have no idea how much it
So I've had the worst sore throat of my life the past couple weeks,
I keep waiting for it to get better but it's just getting worse. I've
been taking all the herbal stuff I can and it's still not helping. I have
a hard time breathing every night for about half an hour, to an hour
before I adjust to the change of temperature. I've never been one
for complaining so I haven't said anything about it but finally last
night I broke down and told, so we're calling Sister Smith tonight.
So I did something the other day that I always vowed I would
never do, and it nearly killed me to do it... please don't think any
less of me when I say it. I buzzed my hair, it's true! I wear a helmet
all day and it always looks terrible! so I went from looking terrible
to looking terrible, not a lot of reason in that is there?
I heard this and I'm writing it from memory, but I think this is how
it goes. I know the spelling is off but that's how all my letters are.
"God doesn't ask for our ability but rather our avaliability, and then
if we show him our dependability he will improve our capability."
Well I'd better go, we've got lives to change and people to
I love you all so much, thank you for your example you're the
greatest family anyone could ask for.
Elder Parkinson (enda paa-gin-saan)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Wow I don't know where to begin! I love this place so much, the
people are so welcoming and always trying to make you
comfortable which includes plates and plates of rice every meal
because as soon as I get close to finishing they fill it again, and
yet I still lose weight? I don't get it!
I had my first real rain storm the other day, and when I say rain
storm I mean a rain like you have never seen before. We were
in a lesson teaching a man when we started to hear the thunder,
we looked out and could see the cloud coming, it was the coolest
thing ever. After the lesson we looked out again, while watching
the cloud approach I could hear a buzzing/static noise. The man
turned to me and asked if I could hear it, then he said it was the
rain falling miles away. Then he said "This will be one heck of a
storm." We started biking back to the church to drop off our stuff
so it didn't get wet. Then the rain hit! I was soaked all the way
through in less than 10 seconds, the rain hurt when it hit because
of how big the drops were. I couldn't believe it. We were planning
on going trackting for the next hour and a half and I was so excited
to be out in the rain that was until the sewers started to overflow
out into the streets. Here we were walking through water and
anything else you can imagine, and some stuff you can't imagine=),
it was up past our ankles. I started thinking of Hel 5:12 which just
made me all the more determined. We were talking to people
under the coverings but the rain was so loud that we were
screaming at them, it was so cool! I saw an old lady out in the
rain; I guess her motorcycle had died on her. We ran out and
spent the next few minutes trying to get it started (at this point
the "rain" was about 6inches deep), finally I got it started and she
went on her way. We keep walking around trying to find people
and had some great discussions. People thought we were crazy
because we were the only ones out in the rain. Finally, after we
were done and the water was up to our knees, we went back to
the church to get our bikes. When we were riding home the
water was almost to our knees and I've never had to peddle so
hard in my life. What a crazy experience. I LOVE THAILAND!!!!!!!
I was going down the street the other day when I sat down next
to a guy who was a dook dook driver (taxi with three wheels).
We started talking about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration,
then I looked down at his feet, he was missing a couple toenails
that were so infected and brown he had maggots and other
little bugs crawling through them. You wouldn't believe some of
the living conditions here.
The playboy bunny is more popular then the Nike sign, everyone
has one on their shirt, car, bike and everything else they own.
We go to eat and they have porn all over the walls, it's so sad to
see. We were teaching a guy the other day, he had two friends
over who were all drunk and smoking and there was porn all over
the walls. Right after we got there we were getting to know
everyone when I turned around to talk to one of them. I started
turning my head around to talk to him when my head just
stopped; it was like I couldn't turn my head. Then I got the
impression "Don't turn around!" I still don't know what was going
on but I'm so grateful that God isn't too busy to help a young
missionary maintain virtuous thoughts!
Oh, you won't believe this... we got hot water this week!!! I
decided to go all out, so I took the shower hose and took it over
to the tub, and yes, I filled it up and took the first warm bath
in months. It was the greatest thing ever!!! Not that I like warm
baths or anything, right fam=)
I had another language mess up the other day. I was talking to a
man about his family when I asked him how many siblings he had,
he went off on something and I was really lost. After he was done
I thought "I'll go with a safe response and just say "oh that's great,"
so that's what I said. Everyone looked horrified for a minute but
then started laughing. He had told me his father had just died
and I said "that's great" you can imagine how red I went!
God lives, this is His work. Jesus Christ is my Savior, your Savior
and has an unconditional love for every one of us. This is His
church. I love you all and pray for you all of the time!
p.s. I'm sending this early because we've got zone conference for
the next couple days!
p.s. I had chicken foot soup this past week. I've never prayed so
hard in my life to try and finish something. It was terrible!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
To start out I'll answer some of your questions about mail.
I only have an hour to write and read emails. I would love
to get one from the family but as far as personal letters
could you send them through "snail mail"? Sorry I know it's
expensive but I'm afraid I won't have time to read them all
and write you too.
"We"re not in Kansas anymore"
I LOVE THAILAND!!! After getting to the airport it was way
confusing but we got everything figured out. when I walked
outside I about died because of the heat, it felt like I
walked into the bathroom on Sunday mornings after four
people have showered, wet and hot!! But it's great, I really
don't mind the heat that much, although I constantly look
like I just put my head into a bucket of water. GA-ROSE!!!
I got my new companion (Elder Whrite), and I love him, he
is the greatest! We get along so well together. After
knowing him for a couple minutes we were joking with each
other and getting along like we had been best friends for
years. He is good at the language too, and has helped me so
much. We're serving in a city in Ubon, it's right by Laos
and Cambodia where their "Thai" is a mix of all three of
the countries, yeah...crazy!!
The culture shock from being here is crazy let me show you
through a story. We were going to a lesson and we weren't
sure where it was. We went out to a swampy road for a long
time. Finally we stopped and I looked off the road down
into the trees and I saw what looked like a tree house.
There were two little kids running around without shoes,
and they only had a shirt that was huge. We walked down the
slope on a plank, and into the "house". This house was the
size of our front room in our house, and had a family of 5
living in it. We were sitting on the floor teaching when
the little girl started coming over to me, tripping over
holes in the floor where they couldn't afford to put wood.
When she got to me she started handing me magazines full of
porn, i couldn't believe it, and as I looked around I
realized it was all over the floor. This was a real eye
opener to me. How blessed we are to have a house with more
then two walls, built with more then broken down boxes.
They take baths in a pond full of dead animals and mold.
I had another experience. We're not allowed to give money
to people because of stuff that has happened. I was eating
dinner when I felt something on my arm, i looked around to
see a small old lady who could hardly stand up wearing the
same thing she had been wearing for months. she held out a
cup to me. I didn't know how to say what I wanted to in Thai
so i just said "I don't have money". she stepped back and
looked me up and down; first at my $150 shoes, then my $250
suit, she said "yes you do...your American" I didn't know
what to say, I didn't have any words in Thai I could say to
explain what I felt, I just looked her in the eyes praying
that somehow the message would be communicated to her, then
I turned around and didn't even want to eat. She sat there
for awhile just looking at me, and then dropped her head,
turned around and started very slowly trying to walk away.
What an emotional experience that was for me.
Well on a lighter note. The rule still stands "don't you
dare talk to, wave, or look at girls. We don't want people
to think we came over here to get a wife or anything else
white males come over here to do. It's pathetic how every
white male is the "hottest" thing they've ever seen. I hate
it when they flirt with me, AHHHHH!!!
I've never understood why anyone would come home from their
mission, but over the past week I've seen why. This has been
the hardest time of my life: emotionally and physically. i
can't talk to anyone; people who are our "friends" make fun
of me every chance they get because I don't understand. I'll
be talking to someone and they will just turn around and
leave because I can't speak Thai very well. It's really
comforting to know that the Savior of us all has
experienced all this before. He successfully overcame
before, and because of that he can help us do the same.
I love this gospel, I love the trust the Lord has put in
me because of the calling I have. I will serve with all
that I have despite hardship.
I love you all so much,
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Thanks for the package. I loved it everyone in our district was
gathered around it looking at the pictures on the box. I also got
the one from the Meeks family. Thanks so much. I now have
more food then I know what to do with and because of that
everyone loves me.
About my travel plans, I am leaving the MTC on Monday at 5:30
p.m. I'm not sure all I have to do before I leave or at the airport,
because as you know, I've never been on a plane. But I will be
able to call there around 7 ish I think. I'll be free for an hour or
so, we should be able to talk for a while. My first flight takes
me to L.A. California, then I have a 17+ hour flight to Taiwan,
then from there to Thailand. I'm so excited although I'm a little
worried about the flight, the only time I've been on a plane was
at Lagoon, it was blue and a bit slower then the real thing.
We just had the craziest day. We were at the gym playing
volleyball when a kid spiked the ball onto another Elders finger.
It shoved his finger back into his wrist, it was so gorse looking.
After gym was over I walked back into my room to see one of my
roommates with blood running all down his back. His head was
gushing blood, I grabbed a towel and put it around his head and
sat him down and then called for medical help. After 8 staples
he's back with only occasional headaches, he fell coming down
This past week has been a little hard as far as sleep, I've had to
stay up till about 11:30 or later trying to get Elders from other
zones to get in bed so that my zone could sleep. There's one
elder in my district who was having a really hard time sleeping.
The other day he came up to me and kinda freaked on me.
I've had so many elders freak out when I try and enforce the
rules. I'm surprised I'm able to keep my cool as well as I do.
This is one heck of a learning experience.
I've been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in
Thailand, and what I'm going to do to accomplish it. I heard a
quote and made it my "theme," if you will. "They could warm
their hands on the fire of his faith." Even though I can't speak
the language very well I want people who meet me to see the
face of the savior and want to come closer to him. I love seeing
how this gospel changes boys into men, and teenagers into
servants of the savior. This really is the work of angels.
I'm having mixed feelings with leaving. I can't wait to be in
Thailand but I don't want a new companion. I have really grown
to love Elder McConkie, he is such a spiritual giant. He is going
to be so great in Thailand, he spends so much of his time serving
others, sacrificing his time and energy to everyone but himself.
The face of the savior is reflected in him. We decided that
when we become companions out in the field we're going for
I want you all to know that my life has been changed in so many
ways because of this gospel. I am a different person from when
I first got here. I know the savior loves, and knows every one
of us. God loved us enough to watch his very own son die for
us. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, He lives and is there fighting
for us. he is our Advocate with the father, and through our
obedience we cannot fail.
I love you all too much and can't wait to talk to you on Monday.
I'm glad you all had fun at girls camp and stuff =)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I'll start out with some crazy culture facts. People in
Thailand love hair. Hair on arms and legs are a favorite
for them. I was warned that when we're sitting in church
the members will take our arms and sit there and rub them
the whole time because they LOVE hair. And if that doesn't
just creep you out the next one is even worse...people over
there don't have any personal body space so they will just
randomly put their hand on your leg and I was told "I mean
upper leg" ahhh! I just don't know how I'm going to take
this, as if the toilets aren't bad enough!!!
Another funny story. I love to debate and have
discussions but this seek we were having a lesson on
Sabbath day observance when I made a comment that an elder
(the same one that hit me in the head with the lunch tray)
didn't agree with. He turned right to me and said "I
disagree with you completely," it shocked me because he was
kinda mad. I tried to prove my point again, and yet again,
he started getting mad. I just stopped talking for a while
because I was starting to get a little aggravated, because
I knew I was right and I wanted to prove that. During the
rest of the class he kept saying stuff like "there's no
way Elder Parkinson can be right" or "I totally disagree
with him," then he would point at me. It was all I could do
to keep my mouth shut. This elder is one of my favorite
elders though, he just Gets bugged about stuff sometimes.
I have an elder in my room who was really serious with
his girlfriend before his mission and is having a really
hard time focusing on the work. This last week he received
a package from her, she had send a bunch of tapes that were
full of lovey-dovey stuff and kisses. He listens to it
every night sometimes in the morning, it kills me! We all
talked about it and I told him that it doesn't affect just
him, it's hard for all of us, who have left people we love
behind, to hear about home day in and day out. But oh
well! When we struggle that's when the lord helps us most.
I've heard it said "mans afflictions are Gods
opportunities", I should be glad he listens to it every
As a district this week we were having a hard time being
unified. Everyone knows the time is short, and there is so
much to do, we've all been thinking about "me" and "I" to
much. I have been praying a lot about it and trying to find
a way to unite everyone again because when we are united we
learn more and the spirit is able to teach us. In district
inventory I brought it up, and we talked about it for
awhile and then I stood up and shared a story with
everyone, the spirit took over and I started saying things
I didn't know i had in me, that room was absolutely
silent. After that everyone started sharing ways they could
help everyone and the district as a whole. People were
crying and testimonies grew so much that night. Our
district has never been able to work so well together. I
am so glad to be living in such a way that the spirit can
work through me.
Sorry the letters are going to be kinda lacking this week,
today was one of our last days in the temple and we spent
a lot of time there today, which means less time for
I love you all, and pray for you about 8 times per day.
God lives, Jesus is the Christ, He loved us enough to
come down and die for us, each and every one.
13 days till Thailand!!! I'll let you all know about the
phone call, I haven't heard anything yet.