Monday, November 21, 2016

E-mail 19: November 21, 2016. One of the best weeks of my life.

Wow, everyone, I almost don't have words to describe how much I love the mission and Colombia. This week was awesome!! I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve my Savior.
First off, my comp is awesome!  He was a zone leader for 8 months and he's a stud. We are working extremely hard to achieve all of our metas. The days are flying by, just working to bring souls unto Christ. We had 4 lessons every single day this week which has never happened in this area. The Lord has helped us so much--really I don't know what I did to deserve these amazing blessings. This is when the mission became way fun, when all I could focus on was how I can improve and help my investigadores progress towards baptism.

We are going to have two baptisms this week, Tania y Lizandro.  One is a teenager who lives in Silvania and the other is a father of a part-member family. They are both so awesome and they want to be baptized. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost.  I was way worried about having to help these amazing souls recieve a testimony and I didn't want to mess up. But fortunately for me, I really am not teaching;  if that were the case no one would be baptized.  Really it is the Spirit and all I need to do is live worthy of His companionship.

Another awesome thing is that we had a lesson with Carlos. I believe I have mentioned him before, but he is married to a member and all of his kids are sealed in the Temple. The last lesson we had with him he wouldn't commit to a date of baptism and we were way sad. But he came to church on Sunday and he loved it.  In the next lesson he told us that he had talked with his grandson about baptizing him. I was freaking out!! It was so awesome! I was just smiling and looking at my companion like "What just happened?"  Such joy filled my soul--that we can watch this beautiful family become complete. And now the lessons are so much fun because he can't read and talk very well, he is 73 years old, but he is giving awesome answers to our questions, and whenever he does this we just start freaking out!  Here, they do a weird snap thing with their hands when somehting is awesome and we just start doing that and he starts to laugh and laugh. I am so happy for him and his family--but more importantly, because it is all possible through our Savior.

We were teaching a family and they were really hesitant about baptism. They kept telling us to be patient, that they didn't want to rush anything.  Me and my companion felt prompted to say:  "Really, we dont want you to be baptized. We want you guys to be married forever, with your kids, living with our Heavenly Father."  And sometimes we are persistent, because everyone needs this awesome gift, the best gift of the world, and we want you to have it. Our goal really isn't to baptize, it is to have friends in the Celestial Kingdom. It is to have families become eternal, and nothing is more beautiful. Baptism is just the first step. 

I am so grateful I get to testify of these amazing gospel truths.  My friends, family, brothers and sisters, this is the Lord's church, this is His gospel, and it is how we live with our family forever. This is how we have JOY! 

I love you all.

With all the love from the loveliest place in the world

Elder Parson

Sunday, November 20, 2016

E-mail 18: November 14, 2016. Todavía en Fusagasugá!!!!!!!!!

We had transfers this week! I was way sad to have my companion go, Elder Beyler, i learned so much from him and we had an awesome time. But my new companion is awesome también.  He is such a stud! He is from Logan Utah, but was born in Hawaii, so he kinda looks like a latino. I am way pumped for the upcoming cambio. We are going to do all possible to raise the standards. Also, for the first time in my mission, we had 3 progressing investigators that came to church. It was so cool!!! They are all doing well, and I know this is because of your prayers, so thank you so much. If all goes well, Lizandro and Tania will be baptized in 2 weeks. It is so awesome to see these guys progressing and the power of the gospel in their lives. They have been reading and coming to church. I am a little nervous as now I will have to be guiding these lessons, but I know that if I am obedient to all things, the Holy Ghost will help me.

Some interesting things...
  • Everyone here is kinda freaking out about the election with Trump. In almost every lesson that we have had, they all ask us what we think about Trump winning. Also, we had a member telling us that for the first time in history, Utah was going to vote for Hillary. I was really surprised by this, and he told us that  Hillary was going to win. Well, from what I have heard, Utah still voted for Trump so it is the same old Utah. It still is kinda funny to be talking with people in the street and they will tell us how sorry they are for us, that we have a mad man for our president. But it has been a good week. 
  • We also played soccer with the zone for P-day.  It was way fun and embarassing. I haven't been able to be with the zone for a P-day yet becasue I am so far from my zone. But it was so cool to see everyone!
I am so excited for the next cambio. My attitude as gradually changed over time. Now I am so excited to go out and work to bring others to Christ. I know that the power of prayer and the Atonement have changed my life. I hope you all know the love I have for you and how much our Heavenly Father loves you. This is what I have noticed more than anything--that when we find people who really need the gospel, and they understand their identity, that they are children of God, the lessons and commitments become easy. The gospel really leads to such true happiness.
Thank you for all your prayers, for being such a great example in my life. I am so happy to be in Fusa otra vez, the members are so awesome, and I would be so sad if I left. It is crazy how much the time has gone by. I love you guys with all my heart. I know that this gospel and the mission are the best things in the world--the things of the most value. 

Have a great week.

Elder Parson

E-mail 17: November 7, 2016. Elder Maynes visits the Misssion.

This week was awesome! We found a lot of new people ready for the gospel and have been working with a lot of old investigators. Two have a date for their baptism. One is name Lizandro and he is so cool. He is married and has three kids, one of which is baptized and the other one is about to be baptized. He wants to find out for himself if the Church is true and be able to baptize his kids. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach him and that he has a real desire to be baptized. 

And one of our investigators named Tania is progressing towards baptism. We were originally having trouble with her parents because they didn't want her to be baptized, but they have changed their minds and are open to it. I am so grateful for the Lord's hand in my life.  He has blessed me to be with an awesome companion in an awesome area. Although everyday has its challenges, I am able to find joy in this marvelous gospel. 

Also, this week we had the opportunity to hear Elder Richard J Maynes from the Presidency of the Seventy. It was so awesome to learn from him. One thing I loved that he said is that the first investigator in this dispensation was Joseph Smith, and he completed all of what the first companionship in this dispensation asked of him, Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. This is so true and I am trying to find people that are ready to follow all of God's commands. Originally I would get discouraged when people would reject us, or when I wasn't having success.  But as I am finding out, everyone in the world at one time needs the gospel, and if they have a positive experience with missionaries, whether they accept us or not, they will know where to look for joy.

Thank you for all your prayers, I love you all so much. I am so grateful for this gospel, that I can improve when I make mistakes, and even in times of trials.  Just as the Nephites, when we are in our hardest trials, we can also be the happiest people on earth. I love you guys so much.  Thanks for your prayers.

Con mucho amor,

Elder Parson

P.S. a few pictures... 

A cool spider

Transmillenial Bus 

My friend in the MTC

A Llama

E-mail 16: October 31, 2016. "Christ's Atonement Helps Us Change".

Well this week was definitely one of the harder weeks. But it was also way good as well. There are definitely a lot of emotions here on the mission. This week we had a lot of meetings in Bogota, so we didn't get to spend a whole lot of time in our area. I had the opportunity to do intercambios in Soacha, a part in Bogota, and it was awesome. We had such a good day with a lot of citas. It was kinda interesting, the first time we walked out of the apartment to go contacting a little kid said, "Look! a gringo."  But it was way fun day. My companion was awesome and it was fun to be in a different area.
Now for the hard part, we didn't have any progressing investigators this week. We had one lady come to church, but she left halfway through cause she didn't like it. And then all the investigators that said they would come ended up leaving for Bogota. It was way frustrating because now we don't have anyone progressing towards baptism. But I learned an important lesson, when I was really frustrated and depressed, I was able to use the power of the Atonement in my life. The Atonement was made for us to change. It helped me change my attitude, that I need to become a better teacher, and also find more people to teach. I am grateful for the Atonement of my Savior that I can change. We also hardly had any lessons with investigators, but we have awesome members who gave  us great references, and we have a very good schedule lined up to find new investigators. I am way excited for the next semana. I know the Lord is always there to support us when we are down, if we will only turn to Him and humble our hearts.

I love you guys so much.  Thank you for being my friends, and better yet, my teachers. I have seen so many influences in my life that have prepared me for this moment, this glorious opportunity to serve the Lord and help others experience the marvelous change it brings. I hope all of you have a great week.  Thank you for your prayers.

With all my love 

Elder Parson

Picture is of the intercambios
 Hiking on P-day
 An interesting tree that we hiked to called the "arbole de las ventanas"