Monday, September 27, 2010

Things are just GREAT!!!!

This week was AWESOME!!! Our focus for the past forever has been to get 20 lessons in a week this is a goal that President Smith has set as the standard of Excellence. We’ve been really close for a while and this week we finally hit it. Along with that we had one investigator for every four members at church this week (11). We now are teaching 5 families on top of everyone else we are teaching and we've got four people preparing to be baptized. The blessings of the Lord are so easy to see. The fact is when you truly give it all to Him and forget about self comfort and embarrassment the lord is able to do miraculous things. We have become one of the best areas in the mission.
I had an experience last night that really has affected me in so many ways. Our investigator Tee has been progressing very well, his family has been coming to church and the whole works but he has been frustrated over the fact that he doesn't feel like he's gotten an answer about the Book of Mormon yet. I called him about church the other day and I sensed something was wrong, the next day at church I felt something, the spirit told me there was something I needed to help him with. Just last night we went to see him with another member in our ward. We sat down and his son came over and we drew pictures and spelt words and stuff for a little bit and then we began teaching. He started talking about how he really liked this gospel and then he said my younger sister (who lives in America) told me some stuff about your church...I’ve been on some web sites and found some stuff that you didn't tell me about... he went off about how Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and many others has multiple wives. After he was done he looked at us and said "Do your members at church even know about this...why didn't you tell me?” As you can imagine I was praying for help and guidance. The member just looked at him and said "Don't you worry, Elder Parkinson knows" then they both looked at me. I felt the spirit direct me with some thoughts, we began talking about Abraham and his wives and how it's been something practiced from the beginning, according to the will of God. The spirit completely took over from there I couldn't believe the thoughts that were coming into my mind and the scriptures I was remembering.
After we addressed that issue he said ok I understand but I have one more question. "You've been promising me I would get an answer from the very beginning...why haven’t I gotten it..." he went on about a lot of stuff for a while until one point when he said "Elder how do I know you’re not lying to've come here and told me stuff, you've promised me stuff and it hasn't happened? How do I know you’re not paid to come here and tell me all of this stuff?" This hit me like a load of bricks when he said "How do I know you’re not lying to me?” Then again the spirit took over and I knew I needed to let him know again, that I knew. I’ve never born a more powerful testimony in my life I’ve never wanted something so bad, ever. With everything I had inside of me I wanted him to know I knew these things were true. The spirit really hit everyone to the core. After a while he said this will take some time to think about... after that we returned home for the evening. I went into our dressing room and fell on my knees in tears, I’ve never cried so hard in my life. I’ve never wanted anything so badly. I expressed gratitude for the help we had received and then begged for help on Tee's behalf. It’s an experience I feel is too sacred to express, but with what I can say, I was led to know that God sent us to him and that Tee was in God’s hands.
I now have come to understand what the son of Mosiah said "We could not bear that any soul should perish, yea the very thought did cause them to quake and tremble". The fact is that no matter how much we love Gods children, God loves them more and at times of need he will not leave then comfortless or unaided.
I feel like the past month or so I’ve really changed a lot. I’ve always been the "grit and bear it" type of person. The fact is my whole life I’ve been taught how to work and I really do work hard, I’ve been blessed with a dad who is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen; someone who gives it all and takes nothing for reward. This last little while I feel like I’ve become closer to you, Dad, the first half of the mission I worked because I knew it was the Lords time and that it was my duty to work as hard I was physically able regardless of broken ankles, hemorrhoids, and all of the other crazy ailments, I gave my hardest to the Lord but I was missing something. Love. I've now learned how to give it all but this time I give my heart too. When the lord says I want your whole heart, might, mind and strength, and we are able to give it to him it's like the lord promised "my angels will be round about you to bear you up". This is the work of angels, God is at the head guiding us all, it's up to us to take hold of the rod and follow.
I love you all
Ps. thanks for all the info about school; I’ll let you know pretty soon what I decide.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Must be time for moving

I'll admit I about went through the roof with excitement when I got the letter from Christena as well. I was also having a bit if a stressful day and it really helped me as well. It’s so crazy to see how my whole family, all my cousins and everyone I know is changing so much, every time I get pictures I’m just blown away.

This area when I first got here was really low and it's been a long process of learning the hard way how not to do things but through the tender mercies of the lord I think I’m finally learning how to be an affective instrument in the hands of the Lord. Our area has been exploding the past month or so. We have seen so much growth as far as lessons and people at church. As has been the pattern in the past it means it's about time for me to move but we'll see.

Jesse (the transvestite) is progressing really well, it's been a really hard thing for her but she really has a desire to change. I’ve never had to be so bold in my life. I’ve learned to teach in a way to leave out all questions: "this is how it is". OH something else I wanted to tell you about one of her prayers. I knew she was a man but she didn't know I did. One day she said something about how she had something that if she were to tell me she would have to kill me. A couple weeks later after we talked about her uniqueness she was praying and said "I know I said that if I told Elder Parkinson about my problem I would have to kill him but I promise I won't smoother him with my pillow..." the reason I think it is so funny is because she is more girly than any other girl I’ve ever meet. Maybe it's one of those things you have to be there for. Teaching Buri and Tee about the commandments has been so much fun and now every one of them has a baptismal date in the next couple of months. I seriously can't even describe the miracles I see every day and the help we have received from the lord.

Thanks for the info about collage; it's something that has been on my mind a bit due to the fact that School is one of the next big decisions for me. I’ve been thinking about what to study. Do you know what kind of classes they have at the BYU extension in Salt Lake and the Utah State extension in Brigham City regarding law, and engineering?

About the suit, it's all done and at the house. It only takes a couple of days but it would be one of those things you would want to do when you came over here. You get to go fabric shopping and after that you take it to a shop on the street and a couple of days later it's done.

Well I’m out of time; I love you all so much

Monday, September 13, 2010

Great Success

September 13, 2010
Hey Brittan happy birthday...I can't believe your already 17...ahhhh! You are all getting way to old way to fast. Just you take it east as far as the boys are concerned.

Elder Shipley and I had one of the funniest experiences this week. We were out inviting when we came across this old man. Elder Shipley went over and started talking to him. He wouldn't even look at us, which is typical as Dad well knows so we decided to just give him a pass along card. Elder Shipley kept talking to him. His neighbor saw us and informed us that he was deaf. We talked to him for a good minute and he didn't have any idea we were there.

Oh the miracles that have happened over the last week. Our area is exploding. We really have been blessed to have the success we are having. We are teaching like crazy, we have lots of people progressing toward baptism, and we have a lot of people at church. This last Sunday we had ward conference which involved the stake leaders. One of our investigators (tee) has been really struggling getting answers and having the faith to change. In Priesthood the stake president got up and posed a question "all other churches, regardless of who, profess that they have the do we know?" people started saying we can pray, he then say "I’ve meet with tons of preachers who say when they pray they feel something as well, and take it as an answer from God" this made everyone really think. Finally he said "prayer isn't requires studying in the scriptures as well and following God before we get an answer". Tee then raised his hand which shocked me to death. He began to express his concerns and questions. Everyone in the room turned all their attention to him and answered him in a loving powerful way that cleared up his concerns. The spirit was so strong. I can't express the gratitude I felt after trying for two months help him find these answers, I think about him all day and what I can do to help him. When I finally saw it "click" for him I couldn't keep the tears of gratitude from flowing.

People tell us "you would be of more worth if you gave up on religion and just taught us knowledge", the fact is this is the greatest knowledge anyone could ever have. With a knowledge of God our vision expands to what life really is and what God has in store for us, it's something textbooks can't teach, professors of religion can't prove but if we want to know it is through the spirit that we will know "the truth of all things"

I love you all

Ps. I just went and got a custom suit and some custom pants cut today and could use some more personal money to pay for it. After everything the pants were 11 dollars and the suit was about 60 dollars. Dad I’m telling you, you should totally consider having me get you some.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Great mission stories

It’s great to hear from you all, this letter will be a bit short because of all the letters I wrote to all of you all but I’ll begin.

I’ll start by telling you about Buri. Every time we meet him I see miracles. He is a guard and has to work all night every night and all day Sunday. Basically any time the business isn't open he has to be there. This week we taught about the Sabbath day and how going to church is a commandment. I knew this would be really hard for him but it's a leap of faith that will only make him stronger. We started teaching him and talked about what church was and then he asked me when it was. I said every Sunday morning at 9:00 till 12:00. I just sat there and waited. It was quiet and finally he said "I think I can do it". This shocked me because people never say that to us, going to church is one of the hardest things for people but he didn't have a problem with it. He keeps saying "I want to live with Jesus again and I’ll do what I need to to go there.

Another great experience we had this week while teaching was with a man named Tee. he's been learning for about 2 months and the last couple of week he's changed and doesn't seem to be doing as well as he was. We met with him the other day. I was determined to find out what his problem was so I started asking a long train of questions in order to understand him. I was trying to ask questions according to the spirit when I felt a prompting to tell him the story about how we meet him. I began telling him about how on the night we found him we were planning on seeing someone else but we went to their house and they weren't there, I strongly felt that there was someone else we needed to find, right after that we came across his street and he invited us in for a lesson. I flat out told him "God sent us here to find you and give you this message; he wants you to live with him again and knows this gospel is the only way". One thing I have learned the past little bit is what Boldness is. With all the boldness and love I had I bore testimony, and promised blessings. By the time I stopped we were both crying (tee and I). It was a great experience for me because the more I talked the more love I felt for him and I understood more about how God loves each and every one of his children. I love his gospel so much

I love you all