Monday, February 27, 2017

E-mail 33: February 27, 2017. Faith During A Massive Rainstorm in Neiva

Wow, everyone, it feels like I was just writing you guys, the mission just is going by way too fast. This email will be pretty short, but it has been a good week. 

Number one, the investigators Jose and Sonia have finally put a date for marriage and they are so ready for baptism. They invited us to their birthday party and it was so cool.  We were able to contact his son as well. 

Also we are still having a good time with the Las Palmas Ward.  I love them so much. I just want to share a quick story.

So this week, right before Sunday, there was a massive rainstorm.  It is hilly here and and some people can't get to church.  We had no investigators at Sacrament Meeting which was really sad.  I was giving them excuses, that in Colombia if it rains, and if it is muddy, it is really difficult to get to church.  I was just thinking about this at church when I saw Hermana Lilliana walk into church. She is a convert of seven years and is eighty years old. She walked to church in the rain, two miles from the chapel, without any excuse. This is the types of faith that I need to have.  That no matter what, the Lord will help us keep His commandments--look at 1 Nephi 17:3:

"And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness."
So yeah, that is it for the weekly email.  I apologize for the shortness, but I hope all goes well, and that you know how much I love you.

Keep enjoying the cold!


 Elder Parson

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

E-mail 32: February 20, 2017. Living the dream.

Hola mi familia, como estas?

Well this week went by way too fast, but it was awesome. And not to mention I almost have a month with my companion, which I haven't had in a very long time. But as always, I am living the dream.

This week we have been working very hard with our investigators to get them baptized this month. We have an amazing couple that are so close to being married. They want to be baptized and I am amazed by the faith they have. We taught them the Word of Wisdom and they began to tell us how much they like a little bit of wine, and some tea. We tried to explain the principles about living this commandment, but they still didn't sound to sure. We asked them to live the commandment and they said "Well if this is what we need to do to be baptized, we will live it".  I was so shocked, but so happy. 

Also we witnessed a miracle this week. We were walking home after a kinda disappointing day.  We hadn't found a new investigator at that point and we had just given kinda a frank lesson with another investigator. I was feeling depressed and then as we were walking a lady said, "You are the Elderes, right?"  We said "Yes", and she proceeded to tell us that she was baptized 20 years ago but hasn't attended since. We were able to teach her and also her sobrino (her nephew).  The sobrino was way interested and then we were able to teach his entire family. And now they all have a baptismal day, want us to come back and want to come to church on Sunday. What a miracle. Also we have a less active that has come to church for the past 2 months and wants to get reactivated and baptize his son.

I have been so blessed with the opportunity to be in this ward, they are incredible, but more importantly, to serve the Lord as his representative here in Neiva. I have really felt the power of His love this week.  I have really been trying to focus and fix my weaknesses in hope that as I improve, my investigators will improve as well.  The faster I leave my weaknesses and disabilities, the more I am able to help my investigators. 

I love you all.  Have a great week

A local iguana

Missionaries serving in Neiva

Lunch with an awesome family

Neiva, Colombia

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

E-mail 31: February 13, 2017

This week went by crazy fast, I really don't remember what has happened this week, but it went good. We had a difficult week, we weren't able to have a lot of people at church. But we did have one miracle this week. We have been trying for months to help this couple get married and we have been trying and trying and trying. But we were sitting in ward council this week and one guy said, "it is our job to help these people get married. They want to be baptized" and he offered to pay for a third of the matrimonio. This is incredible, this is the love of God. I was able to give a talk this week and really, sharing the gospel comes down to love. Living the gospel is love and this is why we are here, to bring others to Christ in any way possible. 

I love you guys so much.  I apologize for this email, but really, I do love you.

siempre pensando en vosotros,

Elder Parson

I'm sorry, I can't send pictures right now.

Friday, February 10, 2017

E-mail 30: February 6, 2017.

So for the first time in 3 months, I get to keep my same comp! I am so happy for this. He is such a stud, and has been through some difficult things in his life, but I am learning so much from him. And it also helps that we are having a blast in this ward.

So this week it was crazy. We received 11 references from the ward, which I have never had in all my mission. It is so fun to be with these members, because we can be really frank with them. In Ward Council we say "so this week we have been asking for referencias, and we need some more, so what is your homework for this week" it is kinda harsh, but we are doing well. Also we had a fair amount of people come to church even though they didn't show up for the Santa Cena (sacrament). Right now we have a lot of people progressing towards baptism, Jose and Sonia are doing well, they just need to raise money to get married so they can be baptized.  We also have two kids, Steven and John, who are preparing for baptism, we just need to get their parents on track.  And two other families are investigating as well.  The Lord is really helping us with success.

Also were able to spend a few days with an awesome returned missionary, Faiver Gonzales, who is visiting from Utah.   We had pancakes for breakfast and spent the entire day with him.  I love these awesome people!

Thank you for all your prayers and support.  I really am loving the mission. While I miss my family, there is nothing better than being in the service of the Lord.  To end, I would just like to pass along a quote from someone in my zone, 

"Who you are is the greatest gift God gave you...
who you become is your greatest gift to God".
I love you all, and more importantly, God loves you with every fiber of His being, which is the universe.

Have a great week.

Elder Parson

Elder Parson, Elder Thompson and friends in Neiva, Colombia.

Elder Parson, Elder Thompson and friends with Faiver Gonzales and friends.  Neiva, Colombia.

Enjoying a pancake breakfast with Faiver Gonzales.  Neiva, Colombia.