Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh, Where did she go? Oh, Where did she go?

To start out...Tara...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Just think
you're another year older and wiser too. whoot whoot!!

No news about the girl who is still in this city of 22
million trying to find me, other than she hasn't found
me, it's such a crazy deal, I keep seeing people who look
just like her popping around the corners, only after I dive
behind the garbage cans and the such do I realize it's
not her. What a crazy deal! I hope she decides to give
up the chase soon. ahhhhhhh!!!!!!

Two weeks ago I went to this temple place called the
Temple of Dawn; it is thousands of years old and is so
cool looking. From the paintings and statues on the walls
you can find out all about the history of Thailand. There
is this one place where you can climb way up on top of
this thing and look out over Bangkok. it's such a pretty
sight, and is impossible to explain, the Buddhist temples
in the midst of huge buildings, the rivers carrying people
to work, it's a little different then Ogden=) when I
started to come down from this temple I saw this
staircase that was steeper than anything I've ever seen
with a railing, and it was the only way down from way
up on top of this thing. I'll admit I didn't want to go
down and there was a group of about 10 other people
who were trying to get the courage to go down. After
awhile people started sitting down and scooting
themselves down the stairs and you had others who
would get on their stomachs and slide down backwards.
Finally it was my turn and I just grabbed hold of the rail
and walked down. It really wasn't as bad as it looked
but everyone around me was scared to death and were
about to cry. I tell you this not to make myself sound
like the fearless hero who did what no one else could
but rather to draw a comparison with my study the next
day. I started reading about Nephi's account of the tree
of life and the iron rod. I thought in a very similar
sense we all are climbing down a staircase and at times
it seems too much for us, we are scared and sometimes
are only able to sit down and just slide along very slowly,
we have some that just sit there and cry to scared to
move. Up until I grabbed a hold of the railing I was
scared too, but once I had something to hold to I didn't
have any more fear and only wanted to help others. This
is something that has really helped me realize our
responsibility as members of this church. We all have a
hold of this rod and because of that we feel safe. We all
need to help others feel the same.
sorry this is short but I'm off to an appointment. I love
you all.

Nasty, Nasty, Nasty

Surprise, surprise! I got your package yesterday! that was
way quick, I guess this whole mail thing isn't so bad =)
thank you so much, I absolutely loved it! and I can't wait
to start opening the presents!
New food, eggs boiled in horse urine, nasty, and I mean
nasty. Don't try this at home kids!
I'm going to have to finish this tomorrow because we didn't
have time today because of zone stuff. I'll just have to
skip lunch tomorrow I guess but no worries, I just might
lose a couple pounds =)
I love you all so much, your the greatest.
Elder Parkinson

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bangkok here I come

Wow what a week from the beautiful city of Ubon into the heart
of Bangkok, what a change. I’ll admit I’ve been told stories about
how much everyone hates being in Bangkok so I was I little
disappointed but after only a couple hours I have fallen in love
with this place. It’s so different but people actually speak Thai
which is great because that’s the language I’m supposed to be
speaking =) the city is called Thonbury, and is one of the two
areas that don’t use bikes due to the amount of traffic.
My new companion is Elder Evans, and is the biggest stud in the
world. He is about six foot four inches tall and weighs about
210 lbs. Yeah I come to the land of small people to
be with a giant, ironic isn’t it =) I’m so impressed with him, I’ve
never had more spiritual lessons in my life, I feel like we are a
powerful team and will do great things.

I absolutely love the members here, they are so kind and
getting to know them is so much easier then my last area due to
language complexities is the past area. My first day we came
home with five bags of food from members. They are so giving
and I love them to death. I’m finally getting to where I can say
just what I want in our lessons and I keep getting complements for
how long I’ve been here. It’s such a good feeling going from
greenie, to having people say “what? You’ve only been here for
3 months, you speak very good” I’m not going to lie I kinda like
it =).

I’m so glad you are all doing well back home, and getting
ready for Christmas, it’s really weird to think it’s snowing at home
while I have hot sticky sweat sticking to me all of the time. I got
you all something for Christmas that I will be sending home.
They're small and not much but it’s Thailand in a box for ya.
I love you all so much.
Elder Parkinson

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Moving

I got a call yesterday informing me that I’m moving. I have no idea
where yet, I’m traveling down to Bangkok again tonight (11 hour
ride) and I will find out when I get there where I will be serving. I
never imagined it would be this hard to leave an area. I have grown
to love these people so much, they have been the ones that have
helped me on those down days, they are the ones that have helped
our investigators feel welcome and who have helped teach through
example and word. Last night I said good bye to everyone. “You
don’t know just how good you’ve got it till it’s gone.” It’s hard to
imagine a better branch to serve with, and more loving members.
I also had to say goodbye to out investigators which was even
harder because that has been everything I have thought about for
three months and I want to see them be baptized so badly, they
have grown so much and have so much faith. I love them so much.
How great it is to know that this life is so short and that we have
the rest of eternity.

For the past couple of weeks we have been practicing singing for a
Christmas program. I was assigned the part of Nephi, I have a
couple of speeches I’ve been memorizing. Let me tell you what, it’s
nothing like memorizing lines for a Shakespeare play, its sooo hard
but I was just getting it when I was called to move. No more play
and no more Nephi.

This past seek there was an elder from the area right next to ours
that was called to be a branch president and had to leave last week
so his companion Elder Crowley (red head in the mtc with me)
joined our companionship. Crazy! We have been covering two
areas with three of us, lots of biking, and sore legs. I was able to
switch off with Brother Diaw (he said your friends on facebook) for
a day. It was so cool to realize that I was talking with a Thai
person all day and was able to say exactly what I wanted. Ok he
does speak I little English but it was pretty much Thai all day. I
never really notice the progress I’ve had in the language because
it slowly changes day after day but I’m getting a lot better and can
understand a lot more. I love it and am so grateful for all of your

We had a baptism last week for the sisters, and what an experience
it was. It was about an hour before it was going to start and we
went in to fill up the font and the water wouldn’t work, we tried
everything we could think of but after a good long while we went
at it with buckets and hoses. It was a long process after a long wet
hour we were able to proceed and she was able to get baptized.

I’m really going to miss my companion; we have really been able
to grow a lot together in the work. I’ll admit there have been some
hard times but I couldn’t have asked for a better companion. It’s
crazy how God gives you exactly what you need to grow and
become the person he would have you become.

I have focused on noticing the small miracles this past week and
it’s amazing to me how noticing and paying attention to how the
Savior himself works in the lives of each one of us every day. I
have been able to feel the spirit more and I know I am able to have
more faith to follow the promptings I receive because of the
knowledge that I am being led by a loving father in heaven.

I love you all so much, keep it up and continue being examples to
those around you
Elder Parkinson

PS. Could you send me some Josh Groban CD's and the prince of
Egypt soundtrack

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Cold!!!!!! =)

I’m cold!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you probably thinking “Thailand?” I
thought the same thing when I walked outside and got hit by a gust
of cold air. We have just entered the windy week here in Thailand
which marks the transition into the cold season. Now when they
say cold season it’s very relative to who you are. It was said best
by a man in our branch named Udom; he said “There are three
seasons in Thailand first we have the hot season followed by the
hotter season then shortly after that comes the hottest season
and then it starts right back over.” Although this week is a bit cold,
I’m loving it. This week is called the windy week and its crazy
because there is a constant wind, and I mean a wind blowing
against us: sand in the eyes, legs burning from exhaustion, it’s the

So to answer some of your questions, we have a branch of about
500 members in Ubon, 100 of which are active members. It’s one
of the biggest branches in Thailand and I would argue one of the
best and kindest as well. As far as how we find people. It usually
consists of riding bikes around and stopping to talk to random
people or going to parks and walking around. As far as sending
pictures in emails, it’s a go, send as many as you want I would
love to get some.

Speaking of inviting, it’s a very hard and yet a very rewarding
experience. I get the opportunity to talk to people all day and I get
to hear the same things over and over. There is this saying in Thai
that goes “go good get good, go bad get bad.” It’s the idea that by
doing good you will be bless in the next life, which I totally agree
with, and tell them so, but then it’s usually followed up with “All
religion is good.” This is where it gets tricky. People agree to
learn more, because religion is good and teaches how to be a
better person, but they don’t agree with the idea that the only way
to receive true happiness is thought Christ and His atonement. It’s
so frustrating because I will teach people and I will ask them how
they feel about what we are teaching them and they say “I know
it’s true,” but yet they're not willing to do anything. They feel the
spirit and know that the things we are teaching are true but for
some reason aren’t willing to put their faith into action and follow
the Savior. It’s so frustrating, although this message is a whole
new concept for them. In our church there are commandments,
rules if you will which “limit” what a person can and can’t do. The
mindset in Thailand is “If it feels good, and you like it then do it.”
following the word of wisdom is hard; and the hardest
commandment I have seen is the law of chastity. The people over
here are very “active”, they begin breaking this as early as 10-11
years old, it is considered perfectly normal and encouraged. It is
very hard for some people to give up. But through the midst of all
of this there are so many that humble themselves and allow the
savior to take them by the hand and lead them through these hard
addictions. It’s incredible to see, and has really helped me grow. I
love these people with all my heart. It’s so frustrating trying to put
my feelings into words because I want you to know the love I have
for these people. They are so kind and are willing to do anything
they can to help anyone. I see people give up their food and money
to other causes when they can hardly feed themselves.

So this past week was one of the greatest weeks ever. Boom (the
man we baptized) was able to baptize another investigator. It was
such a spiritual experience seeing the growth and progression of
this man, he has the greatest desire to learn and to grow. He is one
of those people who have the light of Christ in everything they do, I
know very few people as Christ-like as him. This gospel really does
change people, and I see the hand of God working on people every
day, and I see them being molded and shaped into the people that
will one day run the church in Thailand.

Well I’m out of time; I love you all so much. Remember the
examples you are for those around you and understand that the
Lord may be using you at any given second to influence the lives of
Elder Parkinson
PS. you might want to check the spelling on this one, it's terrible.