Monday, June 18, 2018

Week 100: June 18, 2018. Carol and Daniela are baptized. Testimony as mission comes to a close.The

So this week was incredible! We had an incredible week visiting many investigadores to help prepare them for baptism. We also were able to go down to Girardot and Ibague, two of my old areas for a training.  I was able to see Elder Buhrley and some of my other friends. It was awesome and I am so grateful for these friends that have made me a better missionary. We also witnessed the baptism of Carol and Daniela who were SO PREPARED to be baptized. After the baptism they gave some of the best testimonies I've ever heard. They talked about how the Book of Mormon gives them peace as they read it, answers their questions, and helps them learn about the Gospel of Christ. They said they knew this was the true church, that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God and that by being baptized, they had become clean from sin. My jaw literally dropped for a solid 2 minutes as Ifelt the Spirit work through them and testify of these truths. They were so excited and so ready to be baptized. I am so grateful the Lord showed us to them and that they could make a covenant with him. 

Two other side notes. This week we started to contact using different methods, two of which were pretty sweet. We went to a mall and started showing families how to throw an American football. We were then able to offer them a document about families. Many people were very receptive. 
We also made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which was very fun to give to our neighbors of our conjunto;  some of them were very excited to try it and others were scared because they believe American food is bad. Either way, we were able to talk to some people about the Gospel of Christ.

As my mission is winding down and I will have to leave Colombia next week, many feelings of joy, gratitude and sadness fill my heart. I love Colombia. Truly I feel that they are my family and that I am Colombian. I love their jokes, their graciousness, their hospitality, their music, their way of speech, their food (mojarra frita y bandeja paisa), their music, the dances / salsa) and many other things. More than anything I love their faith in God and their desire to be with their families. 

I am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to come to this country and to learn from their examples. I am so grateful to have known such amazing families and people that have placed God above everything else in their life. I love their humility to listen to some gringos trying to share a message. I love them. 

I am so grateful and happy to have been able to dedicate two years of my life to the Colombian people and to the Lord.  I felt the Lord guide me at every moment to share the gospel with someone who needed it.  I have never felt so much joy as to see someone accept that the gospel and to receive the ordinances of salvation. I am so grateful to have been able to talk, teach, and meet so many amazing people and help them receive the restored Gospel. I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to work every day preaching the gospel to these people. He has been my guide in every moment. He has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined. 

I am very sad to leave this beautiful country, to leave these amazing people, and to no longer be a missionary, to no longer dedicate all my time to the Lord. To say that these two years have been the best moment of my life would be an understatement.

However, I am grateful the Lord was merciful enough to use me and allow me to work with Him in this part of His vineyard.

I know that Christ lives, He is the Redeemer of the World, and He loves us infinitely. He and Our Father in Heaven are watching over us everyday, guiding us to keep their commandments and to have joy.  I know that the Gospel of Christ allows us to become perfect and that by the ordinances we can return to God's presence.  He called Joseph Smith to be a Prophet of God, Russell M Nelson is the prophet called of God today, and the Book of Mormon is the most powerful tool to strengthen our testimony of Christ. 

I invite all to read this book and pray to apply the precepts so that the power of Christ can flow into your lives and make you happier than you have ever felt. 

Yo se que Cristo vive.
con todo el amor en el mundo,

Elder Parson

The baptism of Carol and Daniela.

Elders Sorbonne, Parson, Card and Monson.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Week 99: June 11, 2018. God's love and guiding hand.

So this will be a quick email, as all of them are, but I would like to share a quick experience about God's love and guiding hand.

As I was walking down the street on Thursday, I felt prompted to talk to a lady who was sitting on the side of the road. As we started talking, it turns out that she was an old contact from Elder Monson about two weeks earlier.  We were able to share a message with her where she expressed her desire to follow God and go to church. We were also able to take her daughter to seminary.

When we found her she told us about her situation.  She had been kicked out of her house and she only had one more day to stay in the place where she lived and then she would have to live on the street. She was very nervous about if she would be able to provide for her daughter and find work. But by the next day she found a place to work, she found a job, and she felt great peace in the church.

I testify that God loves each of us, knows our trials and struggles, and He always sends help. Whether heavenly or earthly, He ministers to us and allows us to prosper.

I love you all,

Elder Parson

Monday, June 4, 2018

Week 98: June 4, 2018. Reading the Book of Mormon brings peace.

This week has been incredible!  I just am so grateful that the Lord has helped us find so many incredible people who are progressing towards baptism.  We had many families who came to church and who are excited to be baptized. The Lord really gives us miracles when we show Him our faith.

Here are the families that we are working with who are just incredible:

     Family Montoya- this family was investigating the church a month ago but were having difficulties in their marriage and stopped investigating. We were able to visit them and they were so ready to fix their relationship as a couple and have more peace in their lives. The wife and the young son came to church this week.

      Nini, Carol, and Daniela- we found this family at a movie night in an apartment complex. they came to church for the second time and they were so motivated to read the Book of Mormon and be baptized.  They have really seen that as they read the Book of Mormon, they have more peace in their lives and they receive blessings.

     Jesusita - she was a friend of a member that we were able to visit and she really just wants to please God in her life. She came to church and is progressing

     Yolimar and her family- they are Venezuelans who were passing through rough times but she has been trying to find the right church of God.  She is progressing to be baptized on the sixteenth.

     Douglas is an awesome teenager that likes to go to church.  His mom is a recent convert and he wants to be baptized.  We are helping him quit smoking so he can be baptized.

     Elizabeth - we also found her through our movie night. She was having a hard time with work but as she prayed with faith she is a lot happier and has seen blessings.

     Jonathan- PLEASE PRAY FOR JONATHAN. He is an amazing Christian who is married to an awesome returned missionary. He has had some hard times in the past but we are trying to help him to ask God what is HIS will for him. So we are so pumped.

I am so grateful to be a missionary and look for ways to help others return to God.  Nothing is better. 


Elder Parson

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Week 97: May 30, 2018. P-day Changed for Training.

This week was great...and because I am low on time, I will limit it to the best 3 things of this week.

1- the movie night was awesome!  We had 70 people come and we were able to teach 5 new investigators from this and 4 came to church. It was awesome to see how small activities really open peoples' hearts.

2- we had one of our last meetings with President Baquerizo which was so incredible.  I was able to see a lot of my mission friends in this conference and it  made me so grateful to know so many amazing people.

3- I found out that some of my old investigators were baptized in Ibague by Elder Burhley which was so awesome to see that these people were able to enter into a covenant with God. My kid is so awesome and I am so grateful for all of the amazing people that I have known and have chosen to follow God. It gives us such amazing happiness.

Love you all.
Move Night.

Colombian Friends.

President and Sister Baquerizo...the presiding couple leading all of the missionaries in the Colombia Bogota South Mission.

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!