Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hunker down, here it comes

I’m glad you all enjoyed the pictures, now you get a very small taste of Thailand.
I’m really considering sending home a spider somehow so that you can see just
how big they are.

As far as the accent, I’m still working hard at it but all the vowels are different
sounds than we're used to, I’ve never had to use my throat and nose to make a
sound before; it’s a workout sometimes.

So supposedly there’s some crazy weather coming our way, you probably know
about it. It’s been raining for well over a day straight. Every Thai person we see
tells us to get into a house because when this storm comes…dun dun dun!!!
Personally I’m way excited about it, I keep thinking about Helaman 5:12. I really
know nothing about this storm though except that we were told (from what I
understood) 300 people died from it. This is going to be awesome!

The sisters called last Thursday, as soon as I picked up the phone I knew they
were stressed, “I’ve had it, I can’t take it anymore, I want this thing dead” I knew
better then to tease them, so I just said "we’ll be right over." From the way they
described this “thing” it was about as big as King Kong and twice as fast and
stinky. So there we stood outside the door of their study room not knowing what
was on the other side. After getting ourselves all pumped up and exchanging
“good-games” we charged into the room as if possessed with mania. We moved
the table and right as I turned to move a chair the creature made its move. In
unison we started jumping around waving our arms while screaming “MOUSE”. It
was quite a pitiful sight. It jumped up into the air conditioner. It took us a minute
to find a screwdriver, but finally, with screwdriver in hand we went back to work.
I took the front of the conditioner off and the games began again. I really don’t
know what happened: brooms, mops and papers flying everywhere, then the
mouse ended up under my shoe somehow. What a rush! The mouse slayers
is our companionship name now, I’m just kidding!

They asked for a translator this week in church again and I offered to do it
because I wanted to know if I had improved at all. It was crazy the difference,
I actually taught this man the lesson being taught, I may have stretched
something a bit because I didn’t know but it felt so good to see that I’m actually
learning this language and that it’s a pretty safe bet to say I’ll speak it
someday =)

As far as the baptism; we’ve been working hard with him and he seemed to be
doing really well. While thinking about him during personal study the other
morning I again had the strongest impression “he’s not ready.” I couldn’t figure it
out, he kept saying I don’t think I have a testimony but I knew there was
something else, too. We stopped by his house this past week to see how he
was doing. We walked in his store and couldn’t see him anywhere, we looked
out the back door and there he was out back smoking. You can imagine how
we felt, he turned around and saw us, it was really awkward for all of us. It’s so
hard for me to see, he was doing so well. This one think is stopping him from
receiving the happiness of membership in the church. I can’t describe my
feelings, I didn’t feel angry but rather I felt inside myself how much I really loved
this man. I don’t know how to help him see, I feel like I’ve done everything I
could. I was close to tears: I have spent every day thinking about him, praying
for him, and dedicating all my study to helping him. Please pray for him I know
he wants to be baptized but this addiction is so hard for him to overcome.

Every week we visit this man named nii-pone. He is handicapped; he has a very
hard time controlling himself, and can’t talk. I love teaching him because he is
so solid in the gospel and has such a spirit about him; and he is so funny. We
ended up coming to his house a day late due to missionary complications but
as soon as he saw us his face lit up and he couldn’t stop laughing and smiling.
He brought us in and Elder Wright and I taught a powerful lesson after which we
asked him to say the prayer. He was so excited. He grabbed a piece of paper
and a pencil and he started writing the prayer, it took him a long time but the
spirit was so strong and you could tell it was sincere and that he knew his
Father was listening. He wrote “Father in Heaven, your child is so grateful for
this day of happiness, in the name of Jesus Christ… what an experience.

We just got the call saying I’ll be with Elder Wright for another moves, it’s
awesome! I’m stoked; I know we’re going to be able to do some great things in
the next 6 weeks!

Well time is short so I’d better wrap this up, I love you all, I can’t believe I’ve
almost been out for 4 months, it seems like a couple weeks ago I left. I’m
doing great and loving every minute. This is the church of Jesus Christ, he
has given and will do everything to help is of we but ask him in faith. I love
you all so much.

Tyrel (Elder Parkinson)
P.S. How's Mychel doing? Did everything go okay with the baby?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh my, Elephant

Well to start off…Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!! Krista I had a feeling it would happen.
But now I’m going to miss a wedding so you'd better leave some cake in
the freezer for me. Engagements, dates, complicated love stories. A typical
house full of girls! I’m so glad to hear your all doing well.

I was getting dinner the other night and after a long process of trying to get
it all figured out I got my food only to turn around to find two guys right in
my face trying to get me to buy stuff. I tried to talk to them but they
wouldn’t listen so I turned around to escape it all, as I spun on my heals to
run I ran into an elephant. It’s trunk just about knocked me over. I just
stood there looking at it, not believing what I was seeing, when it started
hitting me in the face with its ear. It was the coolest thing ever, but to my
great dismay, I didn’t have my camera! Crazy!

Well the baptism went through. I’ve never seen someone so happy over
anything. He started talking to us about how this was the best day of his life
and talked about what he was feeling, it was such a great experience for
everyone. He got up in church and bore his testimony, it was so powerful.
It’s amazing to see the progression he’s made in the last four months, I love
him to death, he’s going to do great things with his life.

We have another investigator who was supposed to get baptized this week
but we’re not sure he’s ready. We don’t know why, but it’s the impression
we get, so we're trying to work on building his testimony. Please pray for

Last week before planning we knelt down to say a prayer and I was up. I
thought I would mix it up a little bit and pray in English. I started and then
froze. I started stuttering and saying all my sentences with the worst
grammar you’ve ever heard. I struggled through and finally…amen. It’s
been about 4 months sense I’ve prayed in English and it about killed me.
I can already tell my homecoming talk will be a struggle and I just got

So you remember that red head missionary you saw in the MTC pictures
who is serving in Thailand too? Well the other day we were all going to the
church when we stopped at a red light. We waited for a while and then the
light turned green. We started out into the intersection and out of the
corner of my eye I saw this car flying toward us. I slammed on my brakes
and tried to yell at him, but I was to late. The car slammed into the front
of Elder Crowley’s bike and sent both of them flying through the air. He fell
on the ground and I ran over to him. He just stood up, picked up his bike
and carried it out of the road. His bike was a little screwed up but he didn’t
even have a scratch. It was a miracle, this really is the work of angels and
they are out here protecting us. It’s absolutely crazy how many times we
have all almost been killed in some way or another. But we’ve got some
one looking out for us.

I remember as a little kid watching “the lion king.” There’s one part when
it starts to rain, I was always impressed because it was in a straight line
(dry(the line) rain) as it crossed the river. We were getting into a took-took
the other day when it started to rain way hard, we started to drive and it
only got harder and them all of the sudden it just stopped. I looked out
and the ground was completely dry, I looked back and saw this wall of
water coming after us. In about a foot or two it went from raining so hard
you could hardly hear, to completely dry. I couldn’t believe it.

It’s almost time for “moves”. I really hope I get to stay with Elder Wright,
we really get along and have tons of fun. We slept outside last night on the
ground with no blankets or pillows just because the Thai people do it and
we wanted to prove to ourselves we were man enough also. I can’t even
begin to tell you how many mosquito bites I have and how much of the
night I didn’t sleep. but I have now proved to myself that I am a man! Or
maybe a boy trying to be cool?

Now to answer more questions:
For conference: I think we get it the week after you do, but we get to listen
to it in English whoot whoot! I seriously can’t wait. Finally I will be the
student and I will understand it.

We’re not allowed to “knock doors” so we ride around on our bikes and
talk to people on the streets. When we go to visit people we can’t walk up to
the door so we stand out on the road and yell “sawadee khrap” and if they
come out we go in. It’s really cool.

Well I’m almost out of time so I’ll wrap this up. Thank you all for your
prayers, I am now able to understand a lot more in the language and I’m
loving the work I’m doing. This is what I should be doing, and I know it’s
going to affect the rest f my life. I love you all!

Elder Parkinson

Do you know those stickers people put on envelopes with the return
address on them. If you could send me some with my Thailand address
on it I would love it. I have to take a water break before I finish writing it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Deep fried frogs (the whole frog =)‏

Yeah! I got all your letters, thank you so much! I love
hearing about how things are at home. I can't even believe
all that's going on at home: dating, 16, dance classes,
fires, and everything else. It sounds like you're just as
busy as I am.

So to answer some of the questions I was asked:
I ride my bike about 15-25 miles per day and I love it.
I'll admit it's hard going from sitting on seats at the MTC
for 3 months to a bicycle seat, it was pretty rough for the
first little bit but I'm great now.

Ubon is one of the biggest cities in the east part of
Thailand but we also have some country that is pretty far
out that we've gone to a couple times, it's so pretty, I'm
only supposed to have my camera on p-day so I don't get to
take a lot of pictures but I'll try and get you some good

My companion is the greatest! He's only got a couple months
left before he goes home (and yes he has a girl waiting,
probably one of the only ones in the mission). He's so funny
and we have tons of fun together. I couldn't have asked for
a better companion.

Food: I'll admit the food is still hard for me at times
although it's getting better. I just added a new food to my
"crazy food" list. After church a lady offered me this crispy
piece of who knows what and it was pretty big. On closer
examination I realized it was a frog. They had taken a whole
frog, killed it and fried it with everything still in and on
it. I knew I had to eat it so I said a quick prayer and took
a bite. It wasn't too bad the bones were in my teeth for a
couple hours after (because it's impolite to put your fingers
in your mouth), yes I know "What a man", right?

This week had been one of the greatest weeks of my mission.
I'm finally starting to understand what's going on in
lessons and sometimes on the streets. It is crazy to me the
growth that takes place in such a short amount of time. I
know it's not me that's learning this language I'm getting
lots of help from upstairs.

There is one line that I hear all the time, "Yes I believe
your religion is true, I believe all religion is true" it's
hard to explain how badly I just want them to have an "Alma
the younger" experience. I want to somehow show them what I
have, what this gospel can do for them in their lives. How
their fake lives of "if it feels good...do it" don't mean
anything. I don't know how to help them see this. But this
is God's work, he is the Master and his work will not be
frustrated. "This is My work and My glory".

We have a man getting baptized this Sunday and another one
next Sunday. I love them to death, they are the greatest.
I wish so bad that you could meet them. I love watching the
repentance process. It's like a little baby opening his/her
eyes for the first time, and looking into the loving eyes of
his/her father. I love this work with all my heart, I just
wish I could do more, be better... I wish, as did Alma "that
I were an angel and could have the wish of my heart...cry
repentance unto this people..." Alma 29: 1 (i think)

I love you all so much! sometimes it's so hard to realize
just how good I've got it. I have so many people at home
that love me, I have a father in heaven and an older Brother
who died for me. Because of all of you my life makes sense,
I know who I am, and I have purpose in life. I wouldn't trade
that life for anything. You are the greatest! I love you so

Elder Parkinson

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Love Rice

Brittan! Happy birthday!!!!! Big 16! I can't believe another one of my sisters is in the dating pool. Keep those boys in line! I sent you a letter last week (with lots of pictures) so it should be getting there any day now.

What’s happening to all my sisters! When I left they were already the cutest girls ever; you guys better stop or else those boys won't be able to restrain themselves! I was looking at the pictures you sent me in the MTC, you have changed a lot! I didn't think it possible but you’re all even cuter!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m proud to announce that I am the cleanest missionary (that was for dad) and I cook all of the time and it’s way good (that’s for mom), OK in reality I’ve cooked three times.

The other day I sat down to eat a meal of…… you won’t believe it…Rice, but what’s weird about it was the fact that I had been craving it all day and after I was done, even though I was stuffed I didn’t want to stop eating, I loved it! It’s crazy but there are some rice dishes that I absolutely love. I know “what’s happening to my son?” It’s true he’s starting to like it! For a snack people buy a bag of sticky rice and just eat it. Yes even I have started doing the same. “Yeah, Weird!”(Name that movie)

I can’t believe how many dogs are here; they line the roads and run around in gangs creating havoc. So far I’ve only had to kick a couple who were trying to take my leg off. Sometimes in the middle of the night (or day) you’ll hear a gang of dogs killing one dog, it makes your skin crawl. They will just start eating it until it dies. The dogs are mental!!!!

Now for some more spiritual topics: we have two people who are getting baptized in the next couple of weeks. They are so great, and have such a desire to grow and become the person God would have them be. Their names are guy and boam (rough English translation) I’m so excited for them their lives really have changed so much in the past couple of weeks. And their faith is so strong; they’ve had to give up so much.

I only wish you could all come and meet some of the people over here, you can’t find a kinder people. We’ll be walking down the street and people will stop us and offer to feed us, and give us all kinds of alcohol and anything else we want. So far I’ve only had 4 people who were really rude to me (out of the ones I could understand=)). Another thing that I find so funny is the honesty of the people, if they have something to say they say it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the sisters be called fat. It’s really funny. It’s kind of like when people hold a baby, while smiling and trying to get the baby to laugh they say “your just so fat, oh yes you are!” same idea, they mean the best but say it how it is. The kindest people in the world will be talking to you and randomly just say (right to my face) your terrible at Thai, or my favorite “your new in Thailand aren’t you” but it’s not rude at all. I sure hope I don’t come home brutally honest about everything. It’s great though because I can now understand that they’re making fun of me instead of just smiling and pretending to be following the conversation.

Last night we celebrated Elder Wrights birthday. It’s the big 21 and we’ve been trying to think of the perfect thing to do: something fun, yet a test of true manhood. Finally after much deliberation on the matter we decided that we would go and get 21 scoops of ice cream. I’m telling you I’ve never seen someone eat so much ice cream in my life. He got so cold that his whole body was shaking and he started turning purple. It was hilarious. I only had 8 scoops but it about killed me! Yeah that’s right, my companion is a stud!
So far I haven’t gotten any snail mail but the mission office sends it out every week so there’s a good chance I’ll get it soon.

I’d better go but just know that I’m doing great, this is the prettiest country, second only to Huntsville, I’m sorry my opinion of Huntsville with all the memories will always be first in my heart followed closely by Thailand. I love the people with all my heart and know that it’s going to be so hard to leave! This is the work of God, it’s amazing to see how he prepares the hearts of people and how he takes them by the hand and leads then through this hard decision while helping them come to know him.

I love you all so much
Elder Parkinson

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Our Fearless Warrior

Hello family!
So yesterday I had this absolutely perfect email typed up, just the
right amount of humor and spirituality, and I’m not going to lie it was
flat out hilarious at parts but right as I went to send it the computer
shut down and I lost it all! But it’s a mission rule to write your parents
every week so I got to come back and try it again!
It’s so good to hear you guys are doing great, I love hearing
about you all! It’s crazy to think that I’ve already been gone for over
three months; it feels as though only a couple of days ago I was
starting out on this great adventure. Sometimes I wish I could just
slow down!
The language is starting to come; it’s crazy to think of the
progress I’ve made with the help of the spirit. Here I am talking to
people in Thai, what happened? It’s still very humbling to see how
far I still have to go but I now know all things are possible if our
hearts are in the right place. This past week I had to translate in
church for a man from America. I just about died, but it’s over and
I’ll probably do it again next week. I know it’s helping me, even
though I don’t much like looking like an idiot=)
I’ve got a story for the girls in the family, I know they’ll love it!
Just the other day Elder Write and I got back from a run, I was
walking into the shower when I remembered I had some clothes
outside drying. Dressed in nothing but my bath towel I headed out
the door. Just before I got out the door Elder Wright started
screaming bloody murder “Stop, stop…get in here now!!!” I’ve never
moved faster in my life. Expecting the house to fall I ran back into
the house. I asked him what the problem was. He pointed just above
the door where I was standing and there was the biggest spider
I’ve ever seen in my life, it was over 5 inches. I’ve never been afraid
of spiders but right then my legs started shaking and I started
sweating more then I already was. My fearless companion handed
me a slipper and said “he’s yours” and something about how fast
they run! It took me a couple minutes, but I started inching my way
over to this monstrous beast. “baby steps to the spider”. When I got
within a couple feet of the spider it turned to look right at me. All
courage was gone, I didn’t want to turn around and I didn’t want to go
forward. After a couple minutes Elder Wright started singing “we are
men, we must be swift as a coursing river, with all the strength of …,”
then after yelling a few more things for encouragement I made my
move. I sprung forward. There I was flying through the air with a
slipper for my weapon, a bath towel for my armor and my crazy tan
lines for battle paint. To my horror as soon as I jumped forward so
did the spider! We both flew at each other but the white missionary
ended up on top, and the spider got smashed. After growing a few
more chest hairs this masculine child of yours smashed it about 7
more times. What a rush, I’ll send you a picture of it.

Well, I’m no longer sick. This past week I’ve been on three
different medications. I feel better than ever so no need to worry!
I’d better run, sorry this is short I’ll tell you all about our investigators
next week. I love you all so much. I am so grateful for everything you
have taught me. God lives and loves each one of us. Christ is the
savior and redeemer of us all. This is his work and he does have a
hand in it!

Elder Parkinson

And thanks for telling me about Mychel and Dale, I’ll be praying
and fasting for them.