Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Week 75: December 27, 2017. White Christmas -- Lucia's Baptism.

So Christmas in the mission is the best thing ever! 

This Christmas the best gift was the baptism of Lucia! She is a teenager who listed to the missionaries a couple years ago.  When I got to Chicoral, she kept coming to church. We just started to read the Book of Mormon with her every day and she just kept progressing until her baptism. 

Lucia's Baptism.
On Christmas Eve, I was able to give out little toys to the kids and it was so awesome to see their faces.  Although the toys were super tiny, it was super awesome to be able to brighten their days.  I've got to go but I hope all of you have a great day.  

And the best part about Christmas is being able to fight to help others experience the light of Christ. 

Love you all,

Elder Parson

NOTE:  Elder Parson sent a recording to his family in which he described their Christmas Eve and Christmas activities.  He was most excited to have a "White Christmas" with Lucia's baptism and shared that he was singing "White Christmas" that morning.

Week 75: December 27, 2017. White Christmas! Baptism of Lucia.

So Christmas in the mission is the best thing ever! t

This Christmas, the best gift was the baptism of Lucia! She is a teenager who first heard the discussion a couple of years ago.  When I first got to Chicoral, she kept coming to church. We started to read the Book of Mormon with her every day and she just kept progressing until her baptism. 

On Christmas Eve, I was able to give out little toys to the kids and it was so awesome to see their faces.  Although the toys were super tiny, it was super awesome to be able to brighten their days.  

I've got to go but i hope all of you have a great day.  The best part about Christmas is being able to fight to help others experience the light of Christ. 

Love you all,

Elder Parson
Lucia's Baptism.  A White Christmas!
NOTE:  Elder Parson sent his family a recording for Christmas.  He shared his excitement to have a "White Christmas" with Lucia's baptism.  He said he woke up that morning singing "White Christmas".

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas 2017 Call. December 23, 2017. 38 Minutes...

A highlight of Christmas was being able to video call with Alex.  He is happy and doing well.  He loves Colombia and the people he has been blessed to serve...and serve with.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Week 74: December 17, 2017

Hola paisanos, como les va?

So this week has been really different but really good. Probably one of the coolest things is that my comp-convert, Duvan, is right now reading the book of Mormon while I write.  He is in Alma 5.  If all goes well, he will finish it before the end of the transfer.

I have never visited as many people as we visited this week in all my mission. What we have been doing everyday is running around and visiting all the less actives and our investigadores.  We are just reading the Book of Mormon with them to give them the spiritual power that thy need to progress.

Also we saw several miracles this week. When I was serving with Elder Murphy, we visited a family and they presented us to some of their neighbors and they are super ready for the gospel. They have been reading the Book of Mormon separately and together as a family for the past few days and we are really hoping that this week they can come to church. 

Also, here in Chicoral, it is so tiny that everyone knows the missionaries. I love to contact but it is sometimes unexciting when you touch ten doors and they all know you.  But my comp said something amazing he said, well if they already know us, that should make it easier right? That was the right answer. 

Another miracle I witnessed this week was with a less active who we met.  She was so nice and happy but told us that she wouldn't be able to go to church.  I felt sad but then she came anyway.  I was playing the piano and almost started to cry.  

The Lord will always be there to touch the hearts of those who need Him. 

Love you. 
Duvan with Jerky -- part of his Christmas Stocking. 
Elder Parson shared that Duvan has never had a birthday or received a gift. 
Alex had to teach him how to open a present.
Elder Parson's family is thankful they were able to send a "12 Days of Christmas" package
and some Christmas gifts to Duvan.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 73: December 11, 2017. Duvan is baptized and becomes my companion.

So first of all, I would like to apologize for the lack of a group email these past few weeks, but I hope this will make up for it. 

So this week has been kinda crazy but pretty good.

To give a quick rundown, Tuesday, we were working normally until we received a call for emergency transfers. So we ran up to Bogota and got there at two in the morning.  On Wednesday I was with the secretaries and on Thursday we had the mission Christmas party. That was so awesome to see some of my old friends and companions. It was awesome to see Elder Roque who I was with for almost five months in Girardot.  I love that kid so much and am really trying to pressure him to go to BYU. Also, it was great to receive a message from our Mission President and his wife. They are so amazing and as they talked about miracles and how we can obtain them, it dawned on me that many times we witness miracles everyday, sometimes we just don't realize them.  

And then I was put in a trio in Espinal (the next town over) until I could get my new companion. They were super awesome and we had a fun time in the hottest place in the mission.  Also, my amazing family sent me a Christmas package and some much needed AMERICAN COOKIES.  Honestly, such a highlight.

When we were coming back from Bogota, it was a holiday here in Colombia, so there weren't any buses. Normally it was a four hour bus ride but it was insane.  We were pushed in the bus and we had about 40 people in a 25 seat bus. I felt the prompting to give my seat to someone, and truly felt that the Lord helped me as me and some other people stood on the bus for the six hour bus ride that it turned out to be.

And the highlight of the week was the baptism of Duvan. He was progressing to be baptized a while ago, but because he didn't have permission he wasn't able to be baptized.  But when I was here on an intercambio, I felt the need to touch his door and he has made so many changes in his life and so, I was able to baptize him. He was baptized in a pool because the font in Espinal is broken.

My Mission President then asked me if I could find a mini missionary to accompany me this transfer as my companion.  I asked Duvan and he said "yes".  So right now, Duvan and I are companions. 

I am so grateful for him.  He has been through a lot in his life but he teaches so well and with a great testimony that Christ really does love us. I am so grateful for him and how he has helped me this week.  I am excited to get to work. 

I hope you all have a great week

Elder Parson

My old companions in Libertad.

A view of Chicoral from a hike.

The pool where Duvan was baptized.

Duvan and me...mission companions.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 72: December 4, 2017.

Short email this week and some exchange on Google Hangout with our family.

Elder Parson shared...

The biggest gift you could give me this Christmas season is to do the Light The World with all of our friends, family and neighbors.  I hope you all have a great day.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Week 71: November 30, 2017. Transfer to Bogota...then to Chicoral.

Thank you missionary moms for the package!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are truly angels that uplift every missionary with your letters.

So this will be a quick but fun email.  This week has been really good. I was in Chicoral this week and then I went to Girardot for the last two days. It was awesome to see some of my converts before the transfers. Right before the transfers, I just had a feeling that they were going to close my area so I was able to get everything cleaned up for the house and get the area all ready.  And sure enough, they closed down my area.  I am super grateful for following that prompting. 

So I was transferred to  Bogota, La Libertad.  This would have been my first area in Bogota, but then I was emergency transferred again and now I am in Chicoral with Elder Murphy!  I am super excited for that. We have an amazing investigador that is progressing for his baptism next week so I am super grateful for that.  I am also super grateful for the missionaries  and for the Spirit here in this mission.  The missionaries that I was with for just 20 hours really had an impact on me to just enjoy the opportunity to be on my mission. I have truly noticed how God places everyone of his children in the places where they need to be to truly bless our lives. I was leaving Girardot feeling sad to go away from my 6 month home but eternally grateful for the opportunity that we have to always be in the service of our God. I still have plenty of time on my mission and throughout my life to be an instrument in His hands. 

This Christmas season, I hope that His light will illuminate our  souls so that we may ever be at His service.

A la orden

I love you all.  Have a great week.

Like always, I can't send fotos.

Elder Parson

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 70: November 20, 2017. Chicoral.

Sorry fam and friends for not sending a group email last week, but like always, the excuse is, the time got away from me.  However, this week has been really good.  Other than the fact that my comp was sick, poor guy (he has had it rough), but he really pushed himself to go out and work hard.  It has been great. 

Some cool facts were that my investigadores, Natalia, Ingrit and Kevin were baptized this week! Although I wasn't able to see the baptism, I am super happy to hear that they were able to enter into the baptismal covenant.
Also this week, we were able to find a new investigadore named Duvan.  The interesting thing is that a month ago while I was on an intercambio here in Chicoral, I had the prompting to go contact this house that was across from a less active we were teaching.  We contacted them but were never able to get an appointment.  But this week we found one of the kids in the house that actually used to go to church four years ago but had stopped coming.  And now this week he came to church and is progressing towards his baptism.  It is truly amazing to see that the Lord always guides us; that is something that I have truly learned and loved about the mission.  When my will is truly His will, the Lord has always guided me by the Holy Ghost.

And this week we have been inviting everyone to church but on Saturday night, everyone said they wouldn't be able to attend. But I felt a calming spirit that told me everything would be all right and we actually had an investigator show up that we were teaching a while ago but haven't gone back and he came to Church. The Lord works in mysterious ways .

Well, my time is going.  I hope you all have a great week.  I would like to end by quoting something that was shown in the JAS cara a cara "Young Single Adult Face to Face" that we were able to watch. "We are the Lord's people and truly should be the happiest people on earth."  I hope everyone will be as happy as the Lord wants them to be.

Con amor,

Elder Parson

these pictures are of espinal, my comp and me deep frying cookies and pband j
My Comp and Me Deep Frying Cookies & PB&J

Deep fried cookies and PB&J


Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 68: November 6, 2017. Amigitos!

Como me les va? todo chevre, que bueno

How ya'll doing? I am doing fantastic! Although I just wrote you guys, this week has been a good one. 

First off, I am so grateful for the training my President gave us this week. He showed the zone leaders that we weren't translating the ideas of the mission very well. So we got a chance to repent and make it better. Also to see my great friends from the mission was just amazing.

Right now I am in a little town of about 500 people and there is a branch here of about 100 members. It is a little part of heaven. It also has a lot of mangos, so I am excited to drink a lot of mango juice, USA problems when you don't have mango juice.  For two weeks, I will be working with Elder Murphy from Texas. He is a stud! He is 9 weeks into his training and he teaches super well. He testifies with power of the Atonement which is something so  amazing to have in a companionship. There is a lot of work with the members so we are going to try and have 20 references in these two weeks! I am super excited to be in this awesome town.

Well, as always, I can't send pictures but I want you guys to know that I love you guys and that this work is the most exciting work ever.

Have a great week--make it better than the last one.

Elder Parson

Thursday, November 2, 2017

E-mail Week 67: November 2, 2017. Alba and Felipe Baptism.

So this week was awesome!!!!!!! 

I am going to be real quick because my email time is almost done.  The highlight of this week was the baptism of Alba and Felipe. I had the awesome opportunity to baptize Felipe. When we was  going in the water, he was jumping up and down because he was so excited. And then Alba and Felipe explained about the great change they have had from the gospel. They were super excited to experience this great change and they want to help their family have the same experience. It was awesome!

And that about sums up my week. We were able to go to consejo de liderazgo and be with my group. Something that I would just like to end with is this. Conversion is an experience in which we come to love the Lord and desire that by our thoughts, desires and actions, other people can come to love the Lord and delight in His grace.

I love you guys so much.  

Have a great week.

Elder Parson

Elder Parson, Alba, Felipe and Elder Ruiz

29th Anniversary for my Mission President and his Wife

Great to connect with my group from the MTC.

Monday, October 23, 2017

E-mail Week 66: October 23, 2017.

So this week was awesome! To start it all off, my new comp is awesome! He is going to die (meaning go home) in a month and he is super excited to finish his mission off strong. When he got here, we started doing a planning session on how we could help the zone and how we can help our area.  He looked at me and asked how many baptisms we could have this transfer and we put the goal of 4. And this entire week we have been focusing on baptizing in every action.
In the zone, everything is going great.  There are a lot of new people in the zone that are my friends from a long time ago and we are trying to make it the best month ever!  In our district Girardot, we started to invite everyone to church, in every contact, in every lesson and in every phone call.  And we just tried to pump them up.  And we had 5 people at church!!!!!!!!  After such a long time without a lot of people, we had people at church!  And Alba and Felipe came to church and are going to get baptized this Saturday! Felipe was telling all of his family that he wanted to get baptized this Saturday. So we are super excited for that. 

Real quick, I just want to testify of the power of prayer. I had been praying and the real desire of my heart was to just work like crazy and to have more hope; and that is what the Lord has given me. I was a little bit worried to be with a companion that was going to finish his mission but it has been so awesome! The Lord truly answers our prayers. And the mission is the best.

I love you guys so much.  Thank you for your prayers.  And I hope all of you can feel the love and hope that radiates from Christ, our Savior.

Elder Parson

The next week I will send pictures.

Monday, October 16, 2017

E-mail Week 65: October 16, 2017. Transfers and new companion.

So this week was a crazy, crazy week. We had to run so many errands and so I am dead right now. But it was a great week. We were able to have intercambios in Melgar and in our area with Chircoral.  And one of my best friends in the mission, is going home, and then we had transfers.  So my comp and I are not companions any more. This was super sad.  I was with him for four months, the longest of all my companions.  I truly feel like I am without my brother right now but I am super happy for the times that we had.  I hope to see him soon.

So this week  I was able to go to Melgar with Elder Urribarri, a missionary from Venezuela.  We got off to kind of a rocky start, but at the end of the cambio, we were able to work out our differences and I am excited to keep working.  It is amazing to see his endurance in a really hard area and with his country and his family in a lot of trouble.  It is awesome to see his faith.

I also got to say goodbye Elder Damiano.  I watched him drive away to Bogota.  He is so awesome.  I learned so much from him:  how to improve my Spanish, how to lead and excite people to complete their goals, and how to be a companion.  I am so grateful to him. 

An interesting experience that happened this week.  We were with a big family this week and I felt prompted to invite them to baptism.  When I invited them to baptism, the room got quiet and one of the ladies that was progressing a lot wouldn't talk to us.  They started to explain excuses and why they didn't need to be baptized.  I then invited them to pray, to know that this gospel is true. I said that we are here to help them get baptized that it is the only thing that will help their lives. And then they decided to stop listening and meeting with us.  That was pretty hard.  But then I was wondering all week if what I did was right.  But I felt peace understanding that I can never control other people or their desires but I can invite them. 

Even though this week has been crazy, crazy difficult and we are basically starting over, nothing is better than serving the Lord. I testify that every effort to share and live this gospel is qualifying us to enter into God's Kingdom.

I love you all, 

Elder Parson

1Eldre Damiano leaving
Matrimonio de some members

i d

Matrimonio de some members

Elder Damiano Leaving

Monday, October 9, 2017

E-mail Week 64: October 9, 2017. Felipe and Vaness's Baptism. Farewell to Elder Damiano.

So this week was really good. It started off with interviews with President Baquerizo!!!!!! He is so awesome and I am so grateful to be able to learn from him. He is amazing. And then we went to Ibague for a Zone Conference. It was so cool to see the people form my MTC group and see how much we have all changed. The mission is truly the greatest. 

Also this week we had an interesting opportunity. As we were walking in the street, a car pulled up all of the sudden and shouted "Elders!!!"  Not sure whether we were going to run or find someone really awesome, we stayed and talked to them. They invited me to go to an English institute and talk about America and our culture to help with one of their kid's presentations. So we were able to go and present "MERICA". But it was a great opportunity. I was able to talk a little about our culture and relate it to the need for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we were able to pass out pamphlets about the Restoration to all the parents that were there.  This was an awesome experience.
We were able to find some new investigadores and we found some great people. I have been able to see the small influence of the Gospel changing my life. I have been able to see incredible people change their lives just from the smallest amount of faith. Like on Sunday, our lunch fell through which would mean that we wouldn't eat until nine at night.  But the Lord was able to help us and a family offered to give us lunch. And this extends to greater things. 

In the baptism photo, you can see these two people, Felipe and Vanessa, who were so ready to make this covenant. As we begin to have the faith to change our lives, greater sins become abhorrent and small sins become displeasing. And thanks to the Atonement of Christ, we continue to change everyday to be free from the weight of sin and experience the liberty of obedience. 

I love you guys so much.  Thank you for your prayers and for your example. 

Que Dios los bendiga y que se me cuiden. 

Elder Parson

Our Zone.

Baptism of Felipe and Vanessa.

T-shirts we made as a Zone.

Farewell  steak dinner for Elder Damiano who goes home this week.  Sad to see...he is an incredible missionary. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

E-mail Week 63: October 2, 2017. Alba and Pipe. General Conference. "We are beings of light".My

So this week was awesome! I would like to apologize for not writing last week, i just simply ran out of time.  But como me les va? 

This week was so good, because first we were able to go up to Bogota and have a leadership training. I was feeling a little bit down when I got up there because our week had been tough; but my Mission President is amazing. He talked to us about having the faith for miracles. God is the one who decides if we will have the miracles and the only thing we need to do is to show our faith. This really helped me understand more about the idea of success. I am just going to work as hard as I can, and then let the Lord determine if I will have success.
Also we had a busy busy week just trying to catch up on lost time.  We were able to watch all the sessions of General Conference and we witnessed a miracle. We have been trying to work with Alba and Pipe, a referral of a less active and we have been trying to help them come to church for a while so that they can be baptized. They love the church and the Book of Mormon but for various reasons they haven't been able to come to church. But it was so cool to see them Sunday morning all ready for church. And it is super funny.  If you have ever seen "Megamind", imagine his voice and actions of a little kid who tries to talk in English. That's Pipe, and he is such a stud. We are so grateful for this miracle from God.

Also, we have been so blessed to hear the Prophet and the Apostles this week with General Conference. I am so grateful for these inspired leaders who receive revelation to help us change our lives. I loved a quote by Elder Uchtdorf  "We are beings of light". All we can do is bring more light. And that light comes from Christ. We really are just created to reflect the light of God in all things. It is just our absence of following His counsel that diminishes that light. But when that light reflects in our soul and actions, we are continually striving to remember the heavenly home from which we came, which is pure light, God's light.

Love you all, have a great week.

Eder Parson

The picture with the ties in our mouth..... its better not to ask

My comp trying to eat an
Elders Parson, Nielsen, Roque (my companion) and Hoffman.

Elder Parson and former companion Elder Thompson.

Ties in our mouths...better not ask!  Elders Ostler, Sorborre, Jeppson, and Morrison.

My companion trying to eat an ant -- really disgusting!

Monday, September 18, 2017

E-mail Week 61: September 18, 2017. Meeting Omar. The Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Change Lives

Como me les ha ido?

Well I hope all is going well for you.  I am just doing genial aqui en Girardot. The past few days have been a little bit cooler with a lot of rain, but then it gets back up to 100 and me and my comp are sweating buckets. 

But this week was good. We had a fair amount of people with baptismal dates fall through so we have been blessed with the awesome opportunity to contact. And so we contacted, which was awesome and tiring!  It is super amazing to see the people who are ready for the gospel. We found a guy named Omar, who was has been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. We gave him the book in a contact and then the next day, we came back and he had already read the introduction and the first four chapters. He has a baptismal date for the 28 of Octuvre.  

Also we  found an amazing lady who has been coming to church for the past two weeks. She has  a husband who is a member and her desire is to have her family in peace and to know if the Book of Mormon is true. Talk about real intent!

Well not much this week, but I would like to share an experience real quick. This week when I have been really tired contacting, I have been thinking a lot about the power of this gospel. It is amazing to see that people who really need this gospel and allow the gospel to enter into their lives and blossom, really are so happy and I am so happy.  I want to keep finding people like that because there is nothing better than this in all the world. 

I testify that Christ loves you, and will always help you. 

Have a great week.

Elder Parson

photo 1, friendhsip day so we ate a fish, so good. mojarra frita

Friendship Day so we ate a fish.  So good!  Mojarra frita.

My companion  kissing a dog...a little desperate, still has 9 more months to wait.

Monday, September 11, 2017

E-mail Week 60: September 11, 2017

So as you can read from this email, this week was crazy, but awesome!  We were able to contact a bit more and help some other investigators get their baptismal date back on track! This week has been great, the Lord always blesses us. 

So something that was crazy this week was transfers. I am staying with my comp, but as zone leaders we have to make sure that everyone gets to their areas safely. We had an Elder who came from the jungle and was coming to Girardot with a new missionary for the first time and while they were opening the area, they had no way to get to their apartment and they didn't have a cell phone. Due to unfortunate circumstances, they decided to leave the bus early and we couldn't get in contact with the other Elders to go pick them up.  So at 12 o clock at night we had to get up and call a member to take us to Melgar, a town about 40 minutes away.  In this town, there isn't a train station and so we had no idea where the Elders were. We had to run to pick up a taxi, go to his house, go to Melgar, and then we couldn't find the Elders.  We were freaking out!  But then we decided to go back to Girardot and go check the other missionaries house.  Fortunately, at 2 in the morning, we found them in another missionaries house.  So we found them! The Lord really blessed us that we didn't lose them.

This week was good because the members talked with our investigators and invitee them to church. After a few weeks of having very few people in the church, we finally had people come which was a miracle!  We were able to find some amazing people who want  to come to church. And if all goes well, the brother of Felix who got baptized two months ago should get baptized in two weeks. We are having a great time and trying to focus on planning better to help people progress.

A cool experience this week was with Luis, our convert of three weeks.  He is super excited to go to the Temple this week and yesterday we were trying to help him find names to take to the Temple. HE was calling all of his family members, asking them for the dates of his brothers that died, and then he would say  "We have to baptize mom and dad.  They need these blessings and you guys too.  Do you want the missionaries to pass by your house?  He has given us about ten references of his friends all over Colombia. YEAH, that's my convert!  He's a better missionary than me. I am so grateful to know him.

This week I was having a little trouble feeling the spirit but I heard something in church that inspired me, "Dios bendice a los que luchen", or "God blesses those who fight!"  This is so true!  Although we have our faults, God loves us and is happy when we fight to improve, to change.  It is our desire that matters and he always helps us. 

Que Dios los bendiga (have a great week).  

I love you.

Elder Parson

if you have seen this shot in white collar, the first counselor in our branch is an amazing pool player and can do the same

Colombian food -- bird and crocodile.

Leaving at 12:00 at night to find the lost missionaries.

If you have seen this shot in "White Collar", the first counselor in our branch is an amazing pool player and can do the same.

Playing pool.

Monday, September 4, 2017

E-mail Week 59: September 4, 2017.

Well I hope you are all doing well.  I am going to apologize for the shortness of this letter because there were transfers in our Zone and we have been trying to get everyone in their assigned area so I haven't had a lot of time to write. 

This week has been fairly interesting to say the least.  We have been focusing on the counsel of our Mission President  to help all those with a baptismal date to progress.  And so we have been working really hard with 5 people:

  • Alba, who had been coming to church 20 years ago and could never get baptized but now is starting to take the lessons again.
  • Kevin, a young man who is coming to seminary and has had a great time loving the activities at church
  • Mariluz and Andres, the family of the recent convert Felix. 

So we have been trying really hard to help them progress but no one came to church on Sunday.  Although that was kind of depressing, I am still happy.  It is amazing here in the mission to learn about the agency of others--but also your own agency.  Although I am sad about the people leaving, I am excited that I can focus on finding more. Although I am not the best missionary, I can use the scriptures and the counsel of our Mission President to improve. 

I am so grateful that in this confusing world God always gives us the tools to help us be happy and successful. 

I hope that you all have an amazing week. 

Sorry for the short email.

los amo mucho (love you very much),

chao pues (bye then),

Elder Parson

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017. Visit from the Arias Serrano Family from Girardot, Columbia

On August 31, Alex's father, Scott, was fortunate to meet the Arias Serrano family for dinner. Unfortunately Allison wasn’t able to come.  

It was SO fun getting to know this pioneer family in the church in Girardot, Colombia.  The father is an attorney, the mother his partner in a commercial construction company, Alexandra (daughter) just finished medical school and will begin her required medical social service, and Joe (17 year old son) is starting to attend the BYU ESL Program.  Joe speaks English very well and translated throughout dinner.  

It is very clear that this family loves Elder Parson VERY much!  They feed the missionaries lunch every Friday.  Sister Arias told Scott that they consider Alex to be their “SON”.  Brother Serrano commented that Alex is a very diligent missionary.  It was great to learn more about Girardot and Colombia, what life is like there, the climate (hot, hot, hot), the education system, the Church in Colombia, food, safety concerns, etc…  

These great people offered to take a package back to some new white shirts, shoes, ties and a few treats are on the way including letters from the "Missionary Box Mamas".

From left to right:  Alexandra, Sister Arias, Brother Serrano, Scott and Joe.

Brother Serrano -- Baby Back Ribs American Style!

E-mail Week 58: August 31, 2017. Luis' Baptism.

I am sorry about the late email, but the computer I was on was way slow and then we had to go to Bogota for a leadership conference.  This week was awesome! The first thing that was great was that Luis got baptized! It was so awesome to see and it was really cool that I was able to baptize him. He has made some great changes in his life and now wants to share this gospel with everyone. He wants to come with us on appointments even if he walks with a crutch all the time. He is such an amazing person and I am so glad to know him.

Luis' Baptism in Girardot, Colombia.
For P-day this week, we were able to go to the farm of the District President here in Girardot and have a barbecue which was amazing. We were able to relax and hang out with the Zone which was great!

We were also able to go to Bogota and have a great reunion with our Mission President. I was able to see a lot of my friends from the CCM who are all going to be Zone Leaders soon.  I love them all so much. I am so grateful that I have been put in the greatest mission on earth (I apologize for that comment but it's true :) ).

In our leadership meeting our President talked about how we should see everyone as God sees them. Oftentimes I look at people in a short term perspective, in who they were, or who they will be later.  But God looks at everyone as who they were, with Him before, and who they will become -- and they will become like Him. I testify that everyone has an amazing purpose here on earth and we should always remember that our potential is infinite.


Elder Parson

Monday, August 21, 2017

E-mail Week 57: August 21, 2017. A Miracle in Girardot. Christ's gospel is perfect, His atonement powerful and His words uplifting.

Buenas tardes mis parceritos! 

How are you all doing?  This week has been a really good and busy week. We have been trying to look for a lot of menos activos and we  had a miracle this week!  We were kind of lost and were trying to walk to an appointment in a neighborhood where we hadn't been.  As we were walking, a lady started looking at us funny, and says "Elderes".  So my companion and I, (by the way, my companion is such a stud, I love that guy so much--he is probably one of the craziest guys I know), start talking with her. We found out that she is a member and has been sick for the past two years and hasn't gone to church.  We were able to teach her and her daughter (who isn't a member) and they came to church -- awesome!  We have a baptismal date with her daughter which is also aweseome.

Also, our investigator Luiz is going to get baptized this week and we are super excited. He is so ready to get baptized and is really ready to accept this ordinance.  Something really cool is that he came to Girardot a month and 8 days ago;  we found him a month ago. It was the perfect timing of the Lord. 

I am so happy to be in the mission and to be able to improve.  I have felt a little different about my personal progression, but I know one thing, the Lord always gives us the tools to improve. His gospel is perfect, His Atonement powerful, and His words uplifting;  all to help us receive strength and peace in our lives. 

I love you all.  Have a good day!

Elder Parson

Elder Damiano, my old Zone Leader

An awesome member who is going to Utah

Monday, August 14, 2017

E-mail Week 56: August 14, 2017. Lorena's Baptism.

So this week has been pretty good.  We were able to witness amazing blessings from the Lord, starting with Lorena!!!!!!!  Lorena is awesome.  She has  been waiting to get baptized for 3 years 
and this week she was able to be baptized! It was such an amazing opportunity to teach her because
she explains the change that she's had in her life from the Gospel of Christ. And this is what the mission is about!  And now we have plans to try and teach her husband. 

Lorena's Baptism.
Also this week I was able to go to Melgar for intercambios so it was cool to see another part of our area.  I was with Elder Sotoski from Brasil, who is crazy but loves the scriptures and has a great testimony of the gospel.

And I was also with Elder Chandler from Idaho.  He is another amazing Elder and it was great to be with him because we both started in the same area and had the same companion so we were able to talk about that for a while.

Another amazing part of last week was that we were able to have interviews with President Baquerizo which was great because this week has been kind of difficult with all the interchanges and I didn't feel the same amount of excitement for the work. But one thing that is true is that the Lord always helps us in our times of need.  He never departs from us.  After a difficult Sunday when all of our appointments fell through, I was starving and it was 8:00 at night and we had been walking all day.  I didn't have the strength to keep going on.  But I prayed hoping that God could help us find someone and that we could continue to serve him faithfully.  At the first door we knocked, we were able to teach someone.  Faith doesn't mean that we are perfect, or that we won't have trials.  Faith is to follow God's plan no matter what the circumstances may be;  it's to trust that God knows better and will help us to return to Him.  That's His goal, and that's my goal too--even when I fail a lot. 
But that's the amazing part about the mission, to repent and follow God better and to help others to do the same.

I love this amazing work and I love you guys too!

Have a fantastic week.

Elder Parson

Monday, August 7, 2017

E-mail Week 55: August 7, 2017

So this week has gone by super fast. We went to Bogota for our leadership council and we also went to Ibague for another training.  I was able to see my friends so it was incredible.  Also the work is going great here.  We are working hard and have seen many great blessings.  Almost all of our investigators are working towards baptism and have the desire to be baptized.  I am so grateful for this amazing work. 

Because I don't have much time, I would like to quickly explain about what we were allowed to train on in Ibague.  We talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon.  There is nothing that draws us closer to God than this book.  Really it is amazing how much our faith in God increases.  This book was written for our day, a story about Christ coming to the Americas and how He has given His gospel.  Nothing is greater than to understand the divinity of Christ's atoning sacrifice.  I am so grateful for this book and its ability to convert us into disciples of Christ. 

I love you guys so much!

Have a great week.

Elder Parson

Monday, July 31, 2017

E-mail Week 54: July 31, 2017. New Investigators.

So after realizing that my last emails have been bad, I am going to try and change so that this email is a little bit better.  First off, I am doing AWESOME!  The mission is still the best and my companion is such a stud and it going to keep being the best.  This week has been great!  We were able to find some more people and they are awesome!  I am constantly being amazed by the faith that people have.  But to start off, I would like to thank everyone for emailing me.  I love  your emails and I love you guys.  I am sorry if I don't answer all of you individually. 

So let's start off with the best part of this email, the investigators!!!

This week we were able to teach someone that came to church for the first time.  When we talked to her the first thing that she said was "Well I'm here to keep progressing in the gospel and get baptized".  My comp and I immediately started doing a "finger snap" (which I have no idea how to explain) because it was awesome.  She told us that she had been coming to church three years ago and was going to be baptized but couldn't because she left and couldn't find the church.  She told us that she has changed so much and it is really cool to see this change that comes from the gospel of Christ.  Whe now has a baptismal date for August 12th.

We also found someone else touching doors and it was something that really humbled me.  When he was younger, he got involved in narcotrafficking because he needed to provide for his family.  This happened in the jungle and someone ended up shooting him and he was left in a wheelchair for 20 years.  And then his wife left him because he was in a wheelchair.  Now, he's only able to walk using crutches.  We began teaching him and he wants to feel the love of God in his life and thank him more. It was incredible to see his faith.  On Sunday, he walked a mile to church using his crutches--this was very painful and it took him 45 minutes.  But he came ðŸ˜€ it was awesome.

Finally, Felix, our convert of one month, introduced us to his mom and we were able to teach her!
So all in all, a great week.  Also we were focusing a lot on how the Book of Mormon can change peoples' lives.  It really is one of God's greatest gifts to man, another testament of His glory and His divine power to change our lives.  And I have also learned about service--service through the application of gospel knowledge. It is really the greatest thing. I am not talking about service projects, but rather, allowing everyone to feel of our love--and this changes lives. 

Well, that's it until next week.

I love you all.

Elder Parson

Monday, July 24, 2017

E-mail Week 53: July 24, 2017. Norma's Faith to Obey The Word of Wisdom.

So this email is going to be quick, because I don't have time, but this week was great. 

We had 4 interchanges and I got to know all of our Zone.  I was in Melgar, which is a party city, but also looks like a jungle and is way pretty.  I also got to go to Espinal which is one of the hottest places in the mission.  It was way awesome to be in these intercambios.  I love all the Elders of our Zone and am so grateful to be with them and to learn from them.
Also we had a great experience with an investigador, Norma. She has been drinking coffee all her life, 4 times every day.  And we explained to her about the Word of Wisdom and she was quite surprised but she accepted so that she could be more in line with God. It was amazing to see her faith--that just to live God's commandments she was willing to change all the culture of her family. And I am so grateful for these amazing blessings that God has given me to know these people.

And that's it. 

I love you guys.

Elder Parson

This is Melgar, a baptism that we had in the District.

Our group of Elders after transfers.