Monday, May 21, 2018

Week 96: May 21, 2018. First week in la Libertad.

So this week has been awesome.  My new area, la Libertad, is awesome and my comps are amazing!

Elder Sorbonne and Elder Monson are some of the best missionaries I have ever met and I am so grateful to learn from their example every day.

So this week we were able to witness some new developments in our missionary work.

1. We have started to give big English classes in some apartment complexes, which have been awesome.  The people are really receptive and it is always fun to practice our English. We are planning on having a big movie night in this apartment complex this week which will be awesome.

2. The members have been so awesome to us.  They all want us to pass by and visit them and are so open to talking to their friends about the gospel. We have a fair amount of future families to visit this week.

3. The ward is really receptive as well.  They allowed us to give talks in Sacrament meeting and it was so awesome to testify that Christ wants us to share the gospel with everyone to bless their lives. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to preach the gospel.  I love being able to talk to people about the amazing blessings that come from the Church that Christ has restored once again. It is so joyous to be a part of this gospel and this great family.


Elder Parson

Family Night

Talking to people on the bus

English Class

Monday, May 14, 2018

Week 95: May 13, 2018. Mother's Day Call & Last Transfer!

Great Mothers Day video call with Elder Parson...of course, he was strictly obedient and limited us to 40 minutes!

Our last video call with Elder Parson!  Happy Mother's Day to Allison.
He is doing happy...loves Colombia and the people he's been blessed to serve and serve with.  A highlight of the call was when Marisa announced her engagement to Taven Herd by sharing in Spanish "I am engaged".  Alex and his Companion immediately started to cheer and "snap" their fingers.  Elder Parson and Elder Buhrley sang a beautiful song in Spanish and we are grateful to have that memory recorded.

After our call, Alex received word that he would be transferring to Libertad 3 in Bogota.  He will finish his mission serving in a Trio with Elder Sorbonne and Elder Monson.  While he's excited for this opportunity, he will miss Elder Buhrley who he loved serving with.

The past 23 months have passed by quickly.  It's hard to believe Alex will be coming home the end of June.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Week 94: May 7, 2018. 2 Spiritual Experiences and a Miracle

This week was incredible.  We were able to visit a fair amount of our investigators and a few of them were able to come to church, which was awesome. I was also able to have an exchange with one of my best friends in the mission, Elder Ostler. We started in the MTC together and throughout the mission I have been amazed by his example. He really knows how to work with the members and is great as a District Leader. He really gets us pumped to do missionary work.

To explain my email, in our District Meeting we played a game to get to know each other called "Two Truths and a Lie".  For my email, I am going to share two spiritual experiences and one miracle.

1st experience--  While I was on our exchange with Elder Ostler, we were outside waiting for an investigator to come to his house when I noticed a soccer game being played outside.  As I watched, I noticed that all of the players had goggles on their heads and they didn't run very fast, but slowly moved the ball around. While I was watching them, a member told me "they are all blind".  As I watched them play for 3 minutes, it was so cool to see how they were able to play soccer without the use of sight. They had guides that shouted out instructions to them to be able to dribble, pass and shoot. Although they didn't make many goals, every small thing they did was impressive and amazing. I received the impression that this is a lot like God in our lives;  He gives us instruction and every little thing we do well.  He is so happy to guide us to success in our lives, even though we have our weaknesses.

2nd experience-- while we were in church, I was watching all the testimonies of all the Ward members and, reflecting on some families that weren't able to come to church, I felt an immense joy in my heart for all the members that came. I felt so happy because I knew that all the people that came to church were preparing to return to our Father who is in heaven. And it will be so amazing to live with Him and all of those people in a perfect life. And that I can be with them and my family will be incredible. I know that every soul can return to God and it will be so amazing to be with Him again.

Miracle--  Elder Sorbonne called me on Saturday night to tell me that one of our investigators from Ciudad Jardin was baptized on Saturday. He had such a huge change in his life and I am so happy to know that he finally took the steps to be baptized. I am so grateful for all the that Lord has given me but especially to work in His work.

Love y'all,

Elder Parson

Popsicles that we made out of a soda

Soccer game by blind players

E-mail from Elder Parson's companion, Elder Buhrley:

Hey guys!

This week was amazing!

Monday- Super fun Pday, played some UNO (The brazilians have super messed up rules, it's hilarious), played some basketball, and had an Argentinian grill out for Elder Araujo's birthday, it was awesome! Then that night we taught Carolina and Cesar's family the Gospel of Christ and they accepted a baptism date for June 16th! They still have to get married, but they want to! It's just kind of expensive but with God's help, they can do it! Then we had a super cool FHE at Mauricio's house with 16 people! (9 non members and 7 members) It was super fun! We played Simon says and taught them about the spirit and how you have to listen carefully to hear it. Then we made them Coke floats (The closest thing to Root Beer floats here) It was super fun!

Tuesday- Had a great Zone meeting and district meeting! I taught the English class and we learned some conversation stuff. Then we had a lesson with Anderson about the Plan of Salvation, and it was great! It really helped him realize the importance of baptism! Then we walked around all night and people kept canceling so that was too bad! So we said a prayer to decide where we should go and I felt like we should contact for this one area. So we went there and probably like 15 doors in a row all said no. We started to run home because it was like 8:55 but I felt like we should contact this one last door. So we knocked and met this golden family, the Familia Lasso-Martinez! They're way cool and let us in for a quick lesson! The Lord will always guide us if we ask for it!

Wednesday- We went around looking up Antiguos with Mauricio. We didn't find any that wanted to talk to us, but we got some great contacts! We set up 12 citas, which is awesome! Then we taught Angela a really good lesson about the day of rest, it was great and really spiritual! Then we taught some new's, Doris y Jorge! They're super awesome and want more peace in their home and want to know how to read the scriptures!

Thursday- Great weekly planning session! Also we told Anderson that he should read the Book of Mormon every time before he plays Clash Royale, and that helped him read like 10 chapters!

Friday- We taught Anderson the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and he commited to live them both! Then we taught the Familia Alcon (We call them FALCON) with a recent convert, Michael! It was a super awesome lesson and they've been very prepared by the Lord! They were investigators before and have had all the lessons and want to be baptized! They just have a grandma with Alzheimers and haven't been able to attend church in the past because of that. But they think they can work it out now to be able to come to church and they accepted a baptismal date for May 26th!

Saturday- We had intercambios! I was with Elder Santiago in our area! He walks kinda slow, but other than that he's awesome! In the afternoon we walked a lot and had lots of canceled citas. Then we had correlation with the Ward Mission Leader. Then that night we taught Doris and Jorge about the Plan of Salvation! It was a bomb lesson! Then after, Jorge was talking to us outside and told us about how he thinks his wife is posessed by a demon! He told us some really wild stories about it, it's pretty crazy. So we'll have to see what happens with that! Then we taught Angela the Word of Wisdom, it was awesome!

Sunday- We had 4 investigators come to church!! That was super awesome! Then we taught a new, Camilo, who's super cool about the Book of Mormon and gave him a baptismal invitation. Then we went with the Familia Ortiz (an awesome member family) to Carolina and Cesar and talked about eternal families and the sealing ordinance, it was really powerful.

It was another great week, we're so blessed!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Week 93: E-mail April 30, 2018. A BYU Scholarship...and a great week!

Elder Parson was excited to share that he was notified that he received a full-tuition scholarship to BYU!

So for the title of this message... after 22 months in the mission one starts to miss root beer floats.  So my companion and I received revelation that Coke with ice cream should be a good combination and it was awesome. It might be better than root beer floats;  I invite you all to try it.

So this week was good.  I would like to start off with what I am grateful for...

1. I am grateful that the Lord gives us inspiration on the mission. On Sunday night my comp felt that we should call an old contact and we did and were able to teach his family about the Book of Mormon and how we can improve our lives through repentance. It was incredible.

2. I am grateful for the rain. This week we were caught in some heavy rainstorms where the roads where turned into rivers by the amount of rain. It was super fun to go out in the rain and visit people, especially after being in my mission with 100 to 110 degree weather, it was awesome.

3. For mission leaders. My friend Elder Ostler is my District Leader and he gave us some great counsel on how to help people complete their commitments by being sad. We were able to use it a fair amount this week. And on the picture below is one of my favorite Zone Leaders, Elder Marsh, an amazing elder that came back to Colombia to visit. I am so grateful for how they've changed my life.

4. I am grateful for members. This week we had 4 appointments in 2 hours and we weren't going to be able to go visit everyone.  But I was able to leave with a member and my comp with another and it was so much fun being able to visit people. 

5. People who want to change. I honestly believe that humility is so important in the Gospel and missionary work because it allows the Holy Ghost to work through people. When people are humble and want to change, their lives begin to become so peaceful.

6. The opportunity to be a missionary.

I love you all,

hasta lueguito,

Elder Parson

From Elder Buhrley (Elder Parson's companion):

This week was a great one!

Monday- we played micro (small field turf soccer) for Pday and it was awesome! The latinos get really mad when they get beat but they just focus too much on handles and not enough on shooting, it's all good though! So that was really fun! Then as a zone we went to this super cool restaurant and shared a big meat platter thing and had piña coladas! (non-alcoholic of course, don't worry mom). Then later in the night we had an awesome FHE with some less actives and some investigators!

Tuesday- Had an awesome district meeting and zone meeting! Our zone/district is awesome. We're working right now on how to be devastated when our investigators haven't read the BofM! Then we taught an awesome Restoration lesson to Angela and she accepted a baptismal date for May 26th! The spirit is always so strong when teaching the Restoration! The only bummer is when we came back she had just found out she's pregnant with the son of the Familia Mayoral who's a member. So that wasn't good but they are planning on getting married so hopefully they do!

Wednesday- Went over to the Familia Plata for a lunch invite, it was good! They're a super cool family, we just gotta get them coming to church! Then we contacted for a while but it was really hard because there was a big game on between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich so nobody answered their doors! Then we had the English class at night and played Simon Says in English with them, it was pretty funny!

Thursday- Again weekly planning took quite a bit but then again we saw tons of miracles after! We taught David and Luisa, the brother of one of our investigators Danny. They're way cool and really want to increase their faith! But they have a car wash and it's gonna be really tough for them to leave it on Sunday's for church. But we're hoping and praying they'll make the right choice and be able to recieve those blessings! Then we did divisions with two brothers in the ward and me and Mauricio went to a new investigator, Julian, who is really cool and said he already gave up smoking and drinking a few years ago because he felt like it was the right thing to do! Then we taught Carolina and her 7 kids that live with her! They're super awesome and we taught the Restoration!

Friday- We walked a lot and everyone canceled their citas but we still got in a couple lessons and got some great contacts! And it rained super hard which was awesome!

Saturday- We taught an awesome NI (New Investigator) Aleida and her son Tom! They're really cool and are really interested in learning more and hopefully will have the faith to act on their commitments! Then we taught the Word of Wisdom to Maria Bautista and she's gonna have a tough time giving up coffee because everyone drinks it here, but she can do it!

Sunday- We had a conference for all of Colombia and Ecuador! It was streamed from Salt Lake and we heard from Elder Richard G. Maynes and from President M. Russell Ballard, it was amazing! We only had one investigator that could come, Anderson, but it was in a building pretty far away and most people don't have the money for it. We just have to do everything we can for them and pray hard!

It was another great week, the Lord's hand is in this work for sure.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Week 92: E-mail April 23, 2018. A week of miracles.

This week has been incredible, just like all the weeks of the mission. But we have seen some amazing miracles in our area. I will just name a few.

1. People have been contacting us. I have never had that happen in all my mission. But we have been walking in the street and people will call us over to find out who we are and where is our church. Then one day while we were eating lunch a lady asked us ¨what do I need to do to get a visit from you guys?¨ How awesome!

2. We have really been trying to look for families and people to teach. We felt that we should go by the houses of members and contact around there for new investigators.  The second time we did that the first door we knocked a man let us into his house, told his wife and all his kids (7) to come listen to us. His wife in now reading the Book of Mormon and they want to come to church and be married.

3. The Lord has allowed us to work with many of His Children. We have a less active family who are awesome. The husband told us the thing he most desired in his life was change. He has since come to church, accompanied us, and we have a family night later at his house tonight. His wife has been sharing the gospel with her neighbors. And this week their less active nephew came to church.

4. My companion, he is always so happy to get out of the house to go and contact. He is always positive and is so willing to do the Lord’s work. We are having a blast!

5. The Book of Mormon- I have seen how happy people become by reading the Book of Mormon. And when we do this while explaining the plan of salvation, people want to be baptized, it is a natural consequence. I am so grateful for the power of the Book of Mormon.

Everyday I wake up so so so grateful to be a missionary. I can’t believe that God would trust me so much to participate in His work. I love being an instrument in His Hands. I love being able to proclaim the gospel to whomever I can, to help their lives become free from sin. I know God is real, that He has power to do everything, and that He loves us. He loves every single one of His children and what He most desires is that we come home to Him.

I love you all,

Ever gracious to be a missionary,

Elder Parson

Another part of our area

Our area

Playing Football

Lunch on P-Day

1. our lunch today
2. playing football
3. our area
4. another part of our area — with Alex Parson.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 91: E-mail April 16, 2018. New investigator...Anderson

So this email will be real quick, because the hour is almost up...

This week was really awesome.  We had the opportunity to visit many less actives and read the Book of Mormon with them.  I am still amazed by the power of the Book of Mormon;  it really is the best tool along with the Atonement of Jesus Christ to change peoples lives. I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to use it daily to become more like Christ.

Also we witnessed some miracles this week.  We were contacting way late at night and we were able to enter into an old contact's house.  They let us in and the son, Anderson, began to read the Book of Mormon and came with us to church.  The Lord is always preparing people to receive the blessings He has prepared for them.

Love you all,

Elder Parson

Monday, April 2, 2018

Week 89: E-mail April 2, 2018. General Conference...Layton, Utah, to get a Temple.

Well, I know we aren't supposed to scream during General Conference, but I definitely did.  It was amazing! I am so happy that Layton finally has a temple.
Our week was awesome!  It was holy week so we were able to visit a lot of members and have family nights.  Also, we had Leadership Council so I was able to see all of my old friends from my group.  It was awesome to be able to hear our Mission President talk.  He explained the importance of always using the Book of Mormon.

It was also amazing to hear General Conference.  I am so happy that we have a Prophet here on the earth to lead and guide us.

Well, I've got to go but I know this gospel is true and that the best is yet to come.


Elder Parson

Friends and Missionaries from the Zone

Elder Parson's MTC (CCM) Group

Elder Sorbonne and Elder Parson

Zone T-shirts