Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Wedding Singer

Hey family!

Thanks for the package. I'm in Bangkok right now renewing my visa
and I walked into the office and to my surprise I had a gift waiting! I
love the pictures and I'm so glad you sent those pills, I really think
they'll help me, for some reason I always feel a little sick and I'm
hoping this will help.

About the blog. It's not a rule about whether or not you can look at
blogs, but we have been told that myldsmail is the only website
we're supposed to use. I probably will not be looking at the blog just
because I don't want to try and stretch rules.

We've been planning this wedding for a while, we were planning on
serving because the branch pres asked us to, but it turned in to quite
more than that...dun dun dun! Right after we left the house we went to
the church to grab something before our lesson, the whole church
was full of people, all requesting our help. We spent every second
in between lessons helping at the church to get everything ready.
Finally it was time and we went and changed into our nice clothes
(long sleeve shirts and matching ties) and started greeting people
as they entered the church. A good number of them were drunk
already which made for quite a make a long story
short, after we were done serving dinner I was asked to sing for
everyone, I laughed with him for a minute and then realized he was
serious, so shaking and nervous I walked up to the stage, they had
this karaoke thing that had a few songs in English so I choose the
most appropriate one "as long as you love me" by the backstreet
boys. I jumped up and started to sing and everyone started yelling
"white guy...he's singing!!!" yeah, awkward let me tell you. They even
threw flowers at me.

Hey dad, do you remember when we ate those really hot peppers,
and how wimpy we looked crying our eyes out? Then the next day
we remembered that everything that goes in must comes out?
Welcome to my life. I never start a meal thinking "Sure hope I can
finish this spicy dish," my thoughts are more along the lines of "can I
take this for a couple of days" what a man I'm becoming =) one thing I
love about it is when you can't feel your mouth at all because of the
spiciness and then you lick your lips and it's as if they disappear, it's
a way cool feeling, I love it!

This past week there was this one sister in our branch who wants to
be angry with the world and really didn't seem to like me much. I was
really trying to do everything I could to make friends with her so she
didn't hate me. Finally after days and days I asked my companion what
I could do and he said "forget it man, she hates the world and she'll
never like us". I was praying that night when I sincerely asked for help,
I felt like I was doing everything I could and needed help. The next day
I saw her walk into the church and thought this is my chance. We had
an appointment in the church anyway so it wouldn't be awkward. I
walked in and joked around for a minute only to receive a stare of
death. Finally she asked "can you give me a blessing." I was
shocked but willingly agreed. She was feeling really sick so I and
Elder Wright went into a room with her and I gave her a blessing, it
was so powerful. When she stood up she almost looked like she was
about to cry and she said she felt a lot better, she bore her testimony
about the spirit she had just felt and about God, such a powerful
experience! I know it was an answer to prayers.

I and Elder Wright went off sugar for the past week and after a week
we felt really good because neither one of us thought we could. we
went to a district meeting and the sisters had made a four layer
brownie/cake thing. I was excited until the sisters cut it into four
pieces, one for each elder and said "I don't think you can finish it"
and so I began, facing my 10-11 inch foe. With fork in hand I began
to eat and eat and eat and eat. It was the densest cake I have
ever eaten and right after no sugar for a week I thought I was going
to die. After quite a battle I overcame my foe and then headed to the
bathroom. After throwing up three times I realized how stupid that was
and thought "What would my mother say?" I knew dad would give me
a good-game and say "that's my boy". That is why it's scary when
boys leave home, they lose all common sense =)

I'm so glad to hear about the family and what good examples
everyone is being, you really are the people God works through to
bring to pass changes in others. I love you tonz and tonz

(Tyrel) Elder Parkinson

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Best week so far

I found a way to print off talks but it’s the biggest pain. Don’t
worry about sending them every week, but if you get the
conference report and can send it I would love it!

I’m so glad to hear the family is doing great, and that the swine
flu hasn’t killed anyone. People are always walking around with
masks on here too. It’s ridiculous how angry everyone gets about
it. It’s as though, if you won’t get a shot, or wear a mask (as
in your case too) people act as though you had insulted them,
their family, kicked their dog, and scratched their new car. It’s
so humorous at times and I love it.

Persecution is the greatest! It’s probably bad but I get this crazy
rush every time someone (usually white people) yell at me and
tell me to “Go back to where you came from!” The first thing
that comes to mind is heaven, that’s where I came from, and
then I try to bring them along with me. Oh it’s great!

It’s kinda hard to learn one language when a lot of the time I’m
trying to understand another one. In any given lesson I usually
hear Thai, Laotian, and Eason which is a language mixed with
tons of others and is just crazy. The crazy thing is that a lot of
the time I can understand parts of all of them. There is a good
chance I will be able to understand a couple languages in a
couple more months, crazy crazy!

This past week was the greatest week ever we have had so much
success: members, investigators and comp unity. We had a
companionship inventory (thanks dad) and we resolved some
stuff and now we're on fire and I love it. A couple days after we
were going to go trackting and we didn’t know where to go.
We knelt down and prayed and then as soon as we stood up and
walked over to the map we instantly knew where we needed
to go. It’s hard to describe, the spirit told me exactly where
to go, down to the street we needed to go on, it was like I saw
the time of day too, it’s like it was a snapshot of us in this road
in the later evening. I know it was the spirits prompting so we
went. We found interested people over and over we usually
don’t get that many people in a week; and all of this because
someone was willing to listen. The experiences I’m having here
are unlike any other, and I wouldn’t trade this time for

So, last night we went to the church to meet a member, after
talking for a while he came with us to see in investigator. As
we pulled up to his house he jumped up and I instantly knew he
was drunk, but he insisted we come into his house so in we
went. I took off my backpack and sat down. He started talking
about who knows what, his thoughts were jumping
everywhere. We knew we weren’t going to get anywhere
with him so we tried to leave over and over, but he wouldn’t
let us. Finally after telling us about how desperate he was for
money and how he wanted to give our book back (Book of
Mormon) he stopped for just long enough for us to say “we need
to go, thanks” and we broke for the door, he came staggering
after us trying to talk without hitting into things. We left and
went to dinner. After about an hour I realized I didn’t have my
backpack, and that I had over 2,000 bhat of money, a camera,
credit cards, and visa. I was scared out of my mind because he
needed money and his friends too. The member that was with
us went back on his motorcycle, I was thinking through
everything that might have happened. Canceling all my credit
cards, new camera, all the money for the house…gone. As I was
in a state of despair and saying lots of prayers he returned with
the bag. Everything was there I guess it fell under the table and
no one had seen it. Scary! Answered prayer for sure.

Well I’m almost out of time so I’d better finish. It’s starting to
get into the cold season which means not as HOT, people are
starting to wear jackets and stuff and were still sweating like
crazy. It really does feel a lot better though, I love it.

I can’t think of anything else you can send other then peanut
butter, as much as you can ;) jk. Send me whatever; any form
of American food is good.

I love you all and pray for you all of the time, keep it up
Love Tyrel (Elder Parkinson)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cinderelli, Cinderelli

Yeah, I’m finally getting this internet cafe figured, so if
you all wanted to send me emails I can print them off.
But as far as pictures I’m afraid of sending them, with
these computers, because missionaries keep getting all
their pictures deleted. I finally got some printed off and
I will send them in my letters (snail mail).

Going into Saturday morning you wouldn’t believe how
excited I was, conference! Better then Christmas for the
missionary who couldn’t wait to finally hear a talk from
someone in a language he can understand. When we got
to the church something happened, they only had
conference in Thai. My heart sunk. I got to translate
(or try to) for a lot of it. It kinda put a damper on the
day, but I know it was good for me, I had to focus that
much harder which I know helped me, and I have tons
of vocabulary words I’m learning now. Oh yeah! if you
could send me a copy of the conference report when it
comes out I would love it, all we have is Thai.

On Sunday while we were eating with the members I
had another great food experience. I already had my
plate of food and there were some members who
wanted me to go sit by them, and I knew that if I sat
by them I would end up eating something weird. But I
knew whatever it was wouldn’t kill me so I went over
and started eating with them. After a while a lady slid
a plate of something toward me. I knew just by looking
at it that I would have to fight the gagging reflex the
whole time but I grabbed it and began to eat. I didn’t
ask what it was because that would just add to the
drama. Finally I finished and started eating a bunch of
spicy rice stuff to get the taste out of my mouth. After
I was done, I flat out lied in front of everyone… "That
was great! What is it?” and the reply “octopus”. I thing
I sprouted a few more chest hairs from that
experience! Whoot whoot!

This past week we had switch-offs again but this time
I ended up having a Thai companion. I was so excited
because I knew I would have the chance to speak Thai
all day with someone. After companionship study I felt
like I had learned more then I had the whole past
week. The day just keep getting better. We were in a
lesson when my companion said we will read this
chapter together. The man was really old and I knew
he couldn’t read which meant that it was up to me and
my companion. We switched off ever other verse for
what seemed like an hour. It’s amazing how much
better I was by the end of that chapter. The whole day
he was pushing me into different situations and letting
me struggle, I absolutely loved it!!! It was one of the
greatest experiences ever. I hope so badly that one of
these days I get a Thai companion.

It’s crazy how different the Thai people treat people of
their own nationality; sometimes they acted very rude to
him which really made me mad. People here love white
people and I know that sometimes the Thai elders have
a hard time because people don’t want to talk to them.
I only hope I was able to portray my love and gratitude
for him in my broken Thai and actions.

Today your son has been playing Cinderella; we’ve been
cleaning all day because we have house checks in a few
minutes. Our house was already clean but we did a
deep cleaning of everything which took forever. For
some reason the mice act different in Thailand then
they do in the fictitious land of Cinderella because all
they wanted to do was make a mess and make our life
hard. But I think if I make them some little sweaters
things will change.

Dad, thanks for all your advice, it really helped a ton.
It’s crazy how a few simple words can help build
someone so much. I know this will help me grow so
much. Oh and “play it cool boy” don’t go picking on all
the little boys back home =) I’m sure you would have
handled them all just fine. Out of all the pictures of
missionaries dads that I have seen…you can take them
all! THAT’S MY DAD!!!

Well I’m out of time. I sent a bunch of letters this
past week so you should have all received one now.
I’ll try and be better. You guys are the greatest, and I
love you all so much. Keep it up.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Slithering Man Killer

Sorry the email is late, we were traveling to zone conference on
p-day and didn’t have time to email. I’ll begin with another crazy
food. For Sunday lunch everyone in the ward does a big potluck
thing which is always terrifying because you never know what
your eating or if you will be able to keep it down. I was offered
some soup that looked really weird but obviously I had to eat it.
It had some weird red chunks in it and I had no idea what they
were. I thought maybe liver or something because of the deep red
color. I got a chunk and put it in my mouth…not liver, it was
really weird and I had no idea what it was so I continued eating
trying to subdue the gagging reflex the whole time. After I
finished I realized after talking to another missionary it was blood
soup. They take horse blood and boil it until it clots up and then
they put it in soup and stuff. You can’t even imagine how I was
feeling after that. I had just consumed a ton of horse blood.

They're having this holiday right now called the candle festival
where they race boats down the river and there are parades
everywhere. They make there huge wax statues of crazy animals
and stuff. They parade them around followed by these big drums
that shake you to the very center, it’s quite the experience! The
fireworks are out of control, they never seen to stop, day or night.
It’s like the 4th of July every day but with way more fireworks.
Little kids are always throwing them at us for a good laugh. Gotta
love it!

this past week the sisters called as again saying they had a snake
in the house. I’ll admit I’ve never been a real fan of snakes and I
really had no idea what to expect. We went over and I was just a
shakin’ with fear. They said it was in their water cooler. We
looked but couldn’t see it. I picked the cooler up and carried it
outside trying to hold it as far away from me as I could when the
snakes head poked out. I’ve never moved so fast in my life. The
crazy thing was that it came out after me, I grabbed a broom and
tried to stop it from getting to me when it took after my
companion. It didn’t want to get away it wanted to kill us. There
were brooms and tools flying everywhere. Finally I pinned it
down with a broom and elder wright came in for the kill with a
big knife. The most scary part was the fact that it’s neck puffed
up a little bit when it came after us, I thought for sure we were
dead. But “I will survive”. It really wasn’t that big though, about
3 feet

Well, I don’t have a lot of time so I’d better end quickly. What a
week this has been as far as the language I have grown so much,
it’s amazing what a little faith can do. I’ve actually had a couple
people say that I speak very clear and not like most
missionaries, that really made my week.

We have had some really great spiritual lessons this week, we
have two more people committed to baptism and they are doing
great. I love this work, it is really changing my life in ways I
didn’t think possible.

I’m so excited for conference tomorrow, finally I will be the
student and not the teacher, weird thought, and it will be in
English, YES!

I love you all so much, you’re the greatest!