Monday, December 28, 2009
I'll admit this year for Christmas I wasn't sure what it
was going to be like being away from everyone, the
snow and the homemade caramel but I would have to
say this is one of the best Christmases ever. I too am
filled with such gratitude for my savior and for the
opportunity to be representing Him. I'm overcome when
I think of my ankle and the help I received for Him, but
even more then that all I'm more grateful than ever for
you. It was a bit of an emotional phone call I know but
hearing every one of your voices was the best Christmas
present I could have ever wished for. I'm so glad that
you all had an enjoyable Christmas and that everything
back at home is going good.
So you already got the pictures of our concert, way cool
huh! We got a call from a member in our ward asking us
to put on a Christmas festival thing at the school. While
trying to decide what to do Elder Schulte decided a
concert was just the thing. After getting there and not
having all of the equipment we needed it so happened
that Elder Schulte played the guitar and I sang a solo
for an hour and a half in front of 360 students. Talk
about scary, I was sweating so badly for a while but
then I started getting into it and the next thing you
know I was up dancing on stage, and it just went on
from there. The kids loved it, and I felt like a celebrity,
every single kid rushed the stage when we were done
trying to shake our hands and wanted to talk to the
"white guys". What a blast. After that we went and
sang Christmas songs at a park, lots of people came up
and talked to us, and we were able to talk to lots of
people about Christ. All in all my Christmas was great,
i loved it!
So just a little update on the language. I'm feeling
pretty comfortable, I'm still nowhere near fluent but I'm
to the point that I can be put into any situation and
talk to people and know what's going on. One of my
favorite things to do is put myself into crazy situations
and try and talk my way out of it, it's such a blast! This
language really is like a game: how many topics can
you cover with the taxi driver in under ten minutes?
How much Laotian can you speak with him, there is no
end to the fun! I'll admit there have been some pretty
awkward drivers that take all the fun out of the games,
but even with that sometimes I give them a good life
lesson: "And how does your wife feel about that?" or "Do
you think that's good, do you feel right about..." It's so
great finally being able to speak!!!!!!!!!!!
Right now we are working with a couple investigators
who are working toward baptism. We have been blessed
so much with the people we are teaching, they truly have
been prepared. One of them named "Go" will call just to
ask how Elder Parkinson is doing, How is his ankle doing?
I just love him to death, he is so great and in our last
lesson he walked in and said "God lives, I believe He
does" you can't even imagine how that made me feel,
after promising him that he would know these things are
true he received his answer and is excited to keep
It's so funny how every Thai person assumes that we
can't speak Thai. I love it when you're sitting in a
restaurant (chair on the side of the road with a piece of
fish on a stick and rice in a bag) and people will start
talking about you. The greatest part of it all is when
they ask a question to their friend and you answer it.
They always bust out laughing "You speak Thai?" "Yes
I do...do you really think that we are...?" It makes for
some of the greatest discussions because people know
you're funny and that you're not just some scary "white
guy". The other day we passed some girls and they all
started talking about how ugly we were, knowing that
this was a way funny situation Elder Schulte said "Really
did you know we speak Thai and can understand
everything your saying?" I've never laughed so hard in
my life, after I rounded the corner I about died laughing.
Elder Schulte is so funny and we have some great times.
Well I'm out of time. Happy new-year everyone, I love
you all so much.
PS Tonight we will be playing Blockus, and maybe Uno
with a relative of the king, the great granddaughter
of the late King Rama VI. No pressure! I think I'll let
them win =)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I can't even tell you how excited I am for this phone call. YEAH YEAH
YEAH!!!!!!!!!! Right now I'm getting emotional because of how excited I am
to hear all your voices again. We don't have reception in our apartment so
we'll be at the church when you call. The time I have been allotted is 7 in the
morning here which would be around 5 on Christmas Eve evening. The number
you'll need to call is 01166815567533. I'll be waiting with baited breath.
So about the ankle, what a miracle! When I went in and got it looked at I was
told to come back in a week to get the real legit cast put on, and for more
x-rays. I was told that it could be months before I could walk again. "Months"
I thought, "I can't do this for months", the work here is really hard with two
good ankles. That next week I prayed a lot and I worked as hard as I could
to be worthy of blessings. I'll admit there were days when touching my armpits
would make my want to cry and I would go out like that and track for hours
on end. I wasn't going to waste any of this, already far too short, time I have
as a missionary because of some injury. A couple days ago we went in to the
hospital to get the next cast and for the x-rays. I got in and they took the cast
off my leg, and looked at me with shock, they started to touch it and move it,
they asked me if it hurt to which I responded "no". The doctor was shocked
and didn't know what to do. He said "We should probably still keep it in a
brace," I of coarse said "No sir, I'm fixed already". I'm now out every day
walking without a limp. What a miracle, from broken, to not even a limp in a
week. I don't know about what others are thinking right now but I'm thinking
someone knew I needed some help and wanted me out teaching instead of
My new companion is Elder Schulte, and he is such a stud! I've never known
a missionary with so much desire to work and really help a ward progress. He
has already taught me so much and I know we are really going to help this
ward grow a ton. He is from Indiana, and is genius. He plays the Guitar and
has perfect pitch. You can make a noise and he will know the pitch instantly,
something I don't have in the least.
The work in our area is probably one of the hardest areas in Thailand people
say because of "I have no time". We end a lot of days without teaching a
single lesson (except for on the streets) because people won't show up because
of being busy. We have been working so hard trying to figure out just how to
work this area because it's different than the rest of Thailand for some reason.
We have an investigator right now named "Go" who is progressing way fast.
After meeting with him a couple times he came up to me and said "God lives,
I believe he does." He has such a desire to learn, his only problem is he goes
to school every Sunday and can't come to church. It's hard to work with but
he says he really wants to be baptized. He's so great. There have been so
many lessons that I would say, I have really been able to speak with boldness.
I have really had to "throw it down" with some people about church and the
sabbath. A lot of the time missionaries are too scared because of not wanting
to offend people but when the spirit tells you to say something, you do it and
it surprises you what you can say. Sometimes I feel like I'm about at go onto
the lacrosse field, I'm all pumped up when I go into these lessons.
Well I'm out of time; I love you all and can't wait to talk to you in a couple
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Yes it's true. The sad truth is that my ankle is broken but have no
fear I've been doing everything you said (with the oils) already
and it's feeling a ton better. It's a little hard to hobble around
Thailand with a cast and crutches but it hasn't slowed me down at
all, we've still been able to work. You would not believe the crazy
medicine people are giving me all of the time, I've gotten oils,
beans they tell me to eat, it's great but sometimes a little scary
because I have no idea what they're giving me. Hopefully I don't
start growing feet out of my head or something.
Well tomorrow I will be getting a new companion, which is good
I guess, but I'm going to miss Elder Evans so much, we have had
some great times and really work and teach well together. I'll
admit I'm a bit sad about the whole thing, but the mission is all
about change, and who knows what President Smith has in mind.
That's so crazy about all the snow back home, I must admit I'm a
little jealous as I'm sitting here with sweat rolling down my face.
Christmas here is a bit different than back home, first there's no
snow, and second there really isn't any Christmas. They don't
even celebrate it. I've got it good because unlike most missionaries
I don't walk out the door to hear "Merry Christmas" every day.
This past week we had our stake Christmas party. It was a blast.
The elders were asked to sing a song as part of the program. They
had me sing tenor which I'm not very good at so I was a little
nervous. When we got up there to sing the man come over and
put the microphone right in front of my mouth and then the
music started to play...well, I sang the song and when I got
down people kept coming up to me and saying "we sure heard the
tenor part". Basically I sang a solo, how embarrassing is that,
ahhhh! Good thing all of the elders look the same (except for I
was the only one on crutches) because people might forget it
We have an investigator whose name is "go". We just started
teaching him a couple weeks ago and at first he seemed like an
average investigator who was going to take awhile but all of a
sudden last week he came up to me and said I want to meet with
you tomorrow, and if course I said OK sweet! The next day we set
a baptismal date and he was way excited about it, the date is a
ways away because after school he wants to "buid" for his family
which means become a monk for 15 days in order to help them in
the next life. His mother wants him to do it for her. People aren't
looked to highly upon if they don't "buid". He hasn't been able to
come to church because of school, but we just found out that he's
been traveling to another one of our churches every Sunday to go
to church later in the day. I'm so excited for him and I can tell that
he had been prepared. I hope this makes sense I was about half
way through and it all got deleted so i had to type it really fast.
I love you all so much. Merry Christmas.
PS I haven't heard anything about the phone call on Christmas yet,
I should find out tomorrow I think. Sorry I wish I knew more.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Think of the most beautiful piece of nature you've ever
seen. OK now times that by an infinite number and you
will be standing with me two days ago at the foot of
seven waterfalls. I can honestly say I didn't think it was
possible for nature to be that beautiful. I was there for
a couple hours and I still can't fathom it all. We went
up to these waterfalls back in the jungle the other day
with a group of missionaries; monkeys, huge butterflies,
and vines, and I mean "Tarzan" style vines. It was such
a cool experience; I'll have to send you pictures.
OK, I must tell you something that I wouldn't normally
tell you due to the nature of the news but I promised
mom that I would tell her absolutely everything if I ever
got hurt. Ahem... do you remember all the countless
ankle injuries I've had throughout my life? Well the
other day I was walking down a trail and there were
two big rocks ahead and I thought what a sweet picture
it would be if I were standing on top of those rocks. I
got to the top of one of them and didn't get the
picture so I decided to jump to the second one. There
were leaves on the top of the other rock but I figured
that there was rock under them so I jumped about 5-6
feet on to this other rock. It so happened that the
leaves were covering a hole in the rock. I came down
and my ankle twisted and I just dropped to the ground.
I didn't want to act like I was hurt so I just sat down
for a minute and then started on my way. I already feel
like I don't have time enough to get all the work done I
want to so I thought "I'll tough it out" (I know what
you're thinking mom..."Stupid boy") I could hardly walk
across the room, and walking out on the streets killed
me (although people gave me all kinds of free food
because I was a hurt American that can speak Thai).
I've gone through two days of this and finally decided
I couldn't take it. I broke down and called Sister Smith,
but just my luck their phones are all off. My foot is all
sorts of colors and is huge; but have no worries. If two
men who were almost too weak to stand can stand up
in the back of a wagon and shout back to their
families then I can walk on a hurt ankle for a couple
Oh PS don't worry about sending me any medicine, I
So something else you won't believe. I LOVE THE
PHONE. There is nothing more fun than calling people
and trying to figure out what they're saying. Any chance
I get to call someone I do, big change from back home.
"You're doing it peter (Elder Parkinson)"
Culture fact: there is this thing here called buading
(English translation). It's where a boy will go to be a
monk for a minimum of 15 days. It's supposed to bring
their parents good luck and give them what they call
"bhoon" which means in their next life they will come
back as something better; meaning that they will
come back as a horse in the mountains instead of a
working horse. You wouldn't believe all the culture over
here that is so different then back home.
Tell Mychel congrats for me. I've kept her in my prayers
and am so glad everything went as well as it did.
Well I'd better go; I love you all so much. Keep it up!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
To answer your question, no my companion isn't a zone leader; we
just had a lot of stuff with the zone these past few weeks.
I have another food to add to the "what the heck am I eating" list:
chicken intestines, yeah I know, what a treat right! But I will have
you know I finished a whole plate of them. Not terribly glorious but
not too bad=)
This past week we had the opportunity to be taught by a member
of the 70. It's Elder Pratt, and what a spiritual giant he is. He gave
us a wonderful talk on the spirit and how to recognize it in our work.
It was so powerful and it has changed the way I think about
missionary work. We also had the opportunity to be taught from
President Smith. The examples that I have in this work are amazing
and teach me so much. As a mission the baptismal rate per person
had dropped a lot over the past while and so they aren't going to be
sending as many missionaries here. In February we will have dropped
from 150 ish to 92 missionaries. It's hard to see but it's a great
opportunity to really give everything to this work, it's a lot more
responsibility but after seeing the kind of missionaries we have here
I know we're up for the challenge.
I think I'm finally feeling somewhat comfortable in the language, I feel
like I can teach what I want and can understand just about
everything (in lessons, with the gospel vocabulary). Just making
conversation with anyone is still a bit hard but I'm amazed at the
growth that I've had. A lot of the time I can walk away from talking
with someone and they would think I had been talking Thai for years,
it's a great feeling!
I’m so glad to hear you all had a great Thanksgiving, and that you
got to spend time together. It was a bit different here as you can
imagine. We had the opportunity to go to a member's house that is
from America and is way rich. As soon as they opened the door for
us to walk in I didn’t know what to do, I was standing in the
weirdest environment: I was standing on carpet and there were
couches and a piano. I’ll admit it was quite the culture shock =) I
didn’t know how to use the fork, it took me forever to finish
everything because I couldn’t use the knife and stuff, how
As far as the phone call, I haven’t been told anything, I have no idea
what’s going on. Sorry I wish I knew more!
So this man sitting next to me at this computer has been looking at
porn for quite a while and finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. I took
a picture of Christ and set it up by his screen without saying
anything. You could tell he knew who it was, he laughed a little bit
because he felt stupid but now he has stopped. It’s amazing now
the very thought of Christ can stop people who don’t even believe
in him from doing such stupid stuff. I see it over and over after
reading the name on my chest they hide the beer, throw away the
magazine or change the way they are talking with their wife. It’s
amazing the power that comes from one simple name. Jesus Christ!
Well I’m out of time. Thank you all so much for your examples, I love
you all so much.
Ps. I won’t be able to send any letters this week, I’m sorry.
pss Side note, could you send me a couple pictures of me playing
lacrosse, people here don't understand it very well and it's way hard
Pss. The man who was looking at the porn just thanked me and left.