Wednesday, March 22, 2017

E-mail 36: March 22, 2017. New Companion...Elder Montano (from Bolivia)

As you are going to see, I am writing on Wednesday because we have had some changes.  I had transfers and my old companion Elder Thompson left to be District Leader in Fusa, where I was born. I am now training Elder Montaño from Bolivia -- who is awesome! He actually served a mini mission in Bolivia and so he already knows a lot about the mission. I am way excited and kind of nervous to be training.  It involves a big responsibility with a lot of risk.  I am just beginning to realize that I still lack a whole lot to be a better missionary but I have faith the Lord will help me.
New companion, Elder Montano (from Bolivia) and Elder Parson
This week was awesome! First off, my zone leader, Elder Centurion from Argentina, who I was with in Fusa and now in Neiva, is going home.  I had the opportunity to spend his last two days in an intercambio. This guy is such a stud and I am so grateful that I was able to spend 6 months of my mission with him and learn a lot.

Elder Parson and Elder Centurion (from Argentina)
We also had one of the coolest experiences in my life this week! There is a little town about an hour outside of Neiva that had some crazy flood problems.  A ton of people lost their houses and are without water and food.  So we had the opportunity with Mormon hands to go and deliver food and water to the people in need.  It was awesome!  For about 5 hours all we did was haul about 6,000 bags of water.  I know that sounds unreasonable but it was into a storehouse.  We helped make food kits and brought in mattresses. But by far the coolest part was to hand out the food to those in need. We weren't allowed to contact anyone there but we had a ton of people coming up to us and asking who we were and what church we belonged to.  It was so awesome!  We were riding in the back of a police car just tossing out pamphlets to all the people that wanted them.  It was so amazing and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to help these people and I hope that they will begin to feel of the love of God. I felt such a great love for these people.

I am so grateful for the Lord having me serve a mission in Colombia. Lately I have been having a tough time putting my trust in the Lord's timing, but I am beginning to understand this is for us to learn.  If we are obedient to the Lord's commandments and fulfill all of our duties as His children, He will bless us with all the things we want, we just need to place our faith and love in Him.  I am so grateful for the Lord and His hand in my life.

I love you all so much and hope you have a great day.

Elder Parson​ 

Monday, March 13, 2017

E-mail 35: March 13, 2017. 8 Months down...16 to go. Time is going crazy, crazy, crazy fast!

So today marks 8 months here in Colombia. It is crazy to think where the time has gone, it has been crazy fast. This week we had some awesome things happen.
This week we went on interchanges with the Assistants and i was able to see my old companion Elder Henline. That guy was such a stud and really helped us understand the importance of keeping commitments, and how we can help our investigators really repent and feel the Spirit. I am so grateful for these awesome leaders that I have here in the mission to learn from.
This week went pretty well. We found 21 new investigators this week which I have never done before, but unfortunately only 2 of them went to church. But we also witnessed a miracle. We have been teaching a less active husband and his wife for about a month and the wife has only gone to church once. This Sunday they both went! It was such an accomplishment. I was honestly shocked to see him come in, we had talked to him the night before and he seemed really tired and we didn't think he would come. But it was so cool to see him come in with his little baby, and his wife, who has been reading the scriptures really well these past couple of weeks. It made me think, that as a missionary, really when we work and are obedient, we are able to see these tiny miracles from the Lord. This guy is starting to change and the best thing is that he loves his family. He is a tatoo artist for a living and to change this would require a lot of faith. But he said, I don't want my little girl following in my example. And for that reason I am going to change. I am so grateful for the Lord allowing me to witness this little miracle here in Neiva.
Also a little side note. Our investigator is amazing! She went to church all by herself, her husband wasn't feeling well in a downpour and she was sick. We were in the Gospel Principles class and she started telling us all about Nephi and what a great example he is for us with obedience. If all goes well, she and her husband should be baptized in 3 weeks.
Friends and family, thank you for all your support these past 8 months. There is honestly no other place I would rather be, inviting people to change their lives and receive the greatest blessings the Lord has to offer. I love you all so much,
Elder Parson

Pictures of me and my former companion
Playing Paintball on P-day (Preparation Day)

Making pancakes out of cookie dough mix -- heavenly!!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

E-mail 34: March 6, 2017

This week was one of the best and hardest weeks of my mission. To start off, we had training with my Presidente this week, who is such a stud. I learn so much from him. He told us that the blessings always come to those who are righteous. Even if we can't see them right now, we are always laying them up in heaven. This week we also had the opportunity to help some members move, Colombian style. This basically means you get a truck, and just throw all the things you can on top of the bed, and then just hope that the truck can move. It was quite a crazy experience and I am sure right now I can move anything. 

Now, onto the reasons this week was hard. We have been finding a fair amount of people this week, but most of them are unwilling to commit to anything more than reading a folleto. We have passed and passed for our investigators, inviting them to church, and they haven't gone. We have talked to a lot of people, and many didn't want anything, or the worst, they want somehting but there isn't a guy in there house so we can'tenter. But, enough complaining. While we were contacting, I was thinking a lot about coming home. Not being trunky, but just what it would mean to take off the plaque. It will be way sad. I am not the best missionary, I lack a lot, but with this plaque I can do 2 incredible things. I can invite others to change their lives and I can promise them blessings in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Nothing is better. I am here to help others to come to Christ. While sometimes I don't see the results, Christ as well didn't have everyone in his church. And there is nothing better than seeing the lives of these people change. That is why I am here on a mission.  As long as I serve with all my heart, leaving any type of laziness or disobedience aside, and tryihng my best, I feel like I can say I am completing my calling. I am so grateful for the opportunity to dedicate 2 years of my life to this great calling. And I thank all of you who have led me and helped me to make this decision. 

Well, time for me to go. I love you all so much,

Elder Parson

and once again I have no pictures because.......... Colombian computers.