Monday, February 15, 2010

Up and Downs

I'm so glad you got the pictures and the package, although I will
admit none of those pictures are from me, it was Elder Evans
pictures. My pictures were on the other CD... oh well I'll have to
try that again in the next package. I hope everything is still in the
package, occasionally things end up missing in packages. Melissa
sent me a letter with a dollar in it and when I got it the letter was
there but the money was gone. I don't know about this whole
mailing system over here =)
Yes, I just got your package and loved it to death. The best part
was using my key to scrape the Carmel off of the pictures in order
to see them =) ha ha JK it wasn't that bad. I'll admit you are all
changing back home, it's crazy. I hope I'll still recognize you all when
I get home, oh and I hope Sammy does too because I think she
would gave me a run for my money now.

That's so crazy about that Jon kid Jon. I'll admit it's got me in all
sorts of a fury. That is something that is very rampant here as well,
the only difference is in America they put them behind bars, here is
just "bad luck for you"! I can't tell you how glad I am that you
( Brielle) have been the example you are because people recognize
you as someone with integrity and who you "don't mess with".
Oh and if something like that ever happens again just show them a
picture of your DAD with his shirt off with a look of "don't mess"
on his face and they'll be gone! Yeah Yeah dad!

This week was an interesting week. It's been full of ups and also
filled with some of the worst downs of my mission. Remember
that man I told you about (nume) who we meet and I told him to
stop drinking if he wanted to learn with us. Well this week he was
supposed to be done drinking and we went to see him to see how
it was going. When we got there he was drinking. It was really hard
because he said some stuff that was really hard to hear. He
grabbed my hand and started kissing it telling me I was the source
of his happiness, and that he didn't need God he only wanted us to
come visit him. It broke my heart to hear that. He was progressing
so well and knows the truth but won't help himself. I sat down next
to him and told him we were done teaching him if he drank
anymore, as I was talking to him trying to help him see what he
was doing to himself, I lost control and tears started falling. I want
to help this man so much but I can't do anything if he doesn't want
to help himself. We went back a couple days later when he was
sober and talked to him again. He was the same, he wouldn't give
up smoking and drinking, which made it so that we were unable to
teach him. I gave him a commitment to read Alma 5 (a little
Hell-fire and damnation) and then turned and we started walking
away. He was yelling out "Elder me...Elder
Parkinson..." it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I
love this man so much, but I'm on the lord's time and I can't waste
it on people who aren't willing to change!

On a more positive note. We got a call from the assistants to the
president the other day telling us they were very impressed with
what we had (with the Lords help) been able to do here in
Thonburi, and how we had brought the missionary work from
very low to a very high. We have been able to change this area like
I can't even believe. We have no time to teach all the people we
have. Sometimes it's a problem but oh how glad I am that it is a

This past couple of days has been Chinese new year, I didn't know
there was such A thing until I woke up one morning to what
sounded like gun shots going off outside my window (with all the
red shirt, yellow shirt stuff going on I thought it was our turn for
some "excitement"). I threw back the curtains to find the source
and found a house with smoke pouring out of it. I could only see
tons of flashes through the smoke and didn't know what was
happening. Elder Shulte and I didn't know what to do, for all we
knew people were down there being shot at. Finally after the smoke
settled we saw a bunch of people come out of the house with a ton
of new fireworks to light off again. I felt pretty stupid, as did Elder
Schulte. It was quite the holiday, all sorts of fireworks that you can't
even find on the black market in America were going off all day. It
was loud but way cool.

Thank you all for the package and for your example and testimony,
you are the greatest. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Zion's Camp

Dang about the package, Sorry! I do have all my pictures
still but there was some cool stuff in that package.

This past week has been a little bit of a Zion's Camp.
Last Friday night I went to bed feeling sick as a dog. I
had the chills really bad and I was sick to my stomach.
I couldn't sleep all night because of a really bad head
ache, it felt like I had people standing on either side of
my head. It wasn't the funnest night and I really didn't
get any sleep. When the alarm went off at 6:30 I was
feeling worse, and I didn't know how I was going to be
able to work that day. After a long morning I had Elder
Schulte gave me a blessing so that I could go out and
work. After the blessing I threw on a tie and went to
work. It was a very long day, and I ate hardly anything
because I knew it wouldn't stay down. When I returned
home that night I realized it was fast Sunday. Well after
two days of no food and very little sleep. I was ready to
kill over and give up but then the thought of Zion's camp
came into my mind and I realized I didn't have it that
bad. Unlike lots of other people I'm able to return home
to food every night, it was a really sweet experience, and
it's a real eye opener. Oh and I woke up this morning
feeling like a champ, blessings, blessings, blessings.

So I was thinking about Thai food the other day and how
if you only could see it you would die. I was watching a
lady make my food. She grabbed some meat that had
probably been there for hours and hours in a little bowl
sitting in the sun and was starting to change all sorts of
colors. While she was cooking it I realized, at the market
it was probably out in the sun for another day or two.
After three days of in the sun and I'm still eating it. it's
a little different than a hot pocket -if it's frozen cook it
for three minutes and your eating a perfectly safe and
delicious meal. This now seems so normal to me, it's
crazy! oh beautiful Thailand!!!!!!!

I can't even believe the dating that is going on back
home... Tara you started it, and now look at all you girls.
I think I'm with dad on this one, "you can't date till you
married" (insert son giving his dad a high-five here) you
all just keep in mind that marriage is out of the question
until next June..Just kidding! It sounds like your all
having a great time and are staying busy. Way to be,
take advantage of life, live it, love it!

An update on our investigators: we have tons of people
who we are trying to see on a weekly basis. we've had
a couple lessons where we had to tell them that they
had a choice; learning with us, or smoking and drinking.
I've never hated alcohol so much in my life. This is
something that comes straight from Satan's workshop.
I've seen so many of the most respectful people, turn
into people with no self worth, who don't care about life,
who all of the sudden turn on their wives and treat them
worse than the dogs in the streets. It's one of the
hardest things to see because I see their divine
potential, I know what they could have, and how bad
their going to regret their decisions when they stand
before their loving Father in Heaven and see their life
and realize that because they chose a temporary, fake
happiness in a bottle, they are going to miss what their
Father has in store for them, which is something so great,
happiness so rich, that the mortal mind can't even
comprehend it. How grateful I am to know these divine
truths and can pattern my life after them so that I
don't miss "the greatest gift of all the gifts of God"
Well that was preachy, but that's all I do now =) I love
you all so much, and keep you in my prayers.


PS. Happy Valentines Day to all my princesses back at
home and to you mom. I love you all so much.

PS. Could you tell Camille congratulations for me and
tell her she has to (no choice) send me a wedding

Monday, February 1, 2010

Little Preacher

I can't tell you how good it makes me feel that your hand is feeling
better and that you aren't suffering (quite as bad). It's been on my
mind all week and you have been in my prayers. I have told lots of
people about it and they told me to tell you
(hayreewreewnakhrab) =)

Before I forget. The other day I was walking down the street when
I heard someone yell "Elder". I about died because someone knew
us and it was in English. I spun around to see a black man walking
over. We started talking and I found out his name was Steven and
that he was a member. We is new in Thailand and was looking for
the church. We gave him the number for the English branch and as
he was leaving I asked where he was from, he said "Nigeria" I
couldn't believe it. I told him my grandparents served two missions
there and right before I could say anymore the bus came and we
were gone. Grandma and grandpa might know him?

"Little preacher" is right. One of the things that I have been doing
wrong as a missionary is making this message sound like a good idea
rather than Salvation. These past couple of weeks I have really
testified with boldness and it's really helped us. I was walking
down the street the other day when I saw a man in a wheel chair
who called out "elder". We started walking over not knowing who
he was. When I got there and as we started talking I found out that
the missionaries had taught him before, after a while I found out he
was a staunch catholic and went to church every week even with his
broken leg. We sat down and we started talking. He expressed
interest in learning more about our church I told him a little bit and
then I felt that I needed to say some things to him. I started saying
I would love to help you learn more about salvation and happiness
but I will only do so under a couple conditions; see that beer your
drinking, I can't teach you if you keep drinking it, so you must stop!
Another thing you must come to church with us this week. He sat
there and then he said "Well why should I go to your church" to
which I said "Because it's the only way to find happiness and gain
salvation" he said a couple things about "Well my church.... and my
church..." "I understand what you're saying but I want to tell you
about a way to know, from God, that this is the only true church"
Elder Schulte and I told him how it was and left it at that. The end
of the story, he came to church and wasn't drinking. It's amazing
how the spirit works when you're able to put off "self comfort" and
just testify with boldness. It's true I get laughed at a lot but that's
up to them, agency is the one gift our Father in Heaven has given
us that won't be taken away, and is central of this gospel. It's
through this great power that God takes a young, immature 19 year
old boy, throws him into the furnace of experience, pain, sorrow,
discouragement; and after a two year process he pulls him out and
looks at the masterpiece he has created. It's so great to be serving
with Elder Schulte because this is something that has happened to
him, and I hope it is slowly happening to your little red head child,
or I should say, one of your little red head children.
I love you all so much, keep it up.
your only son.