Monday, April 24, 2017

E-mail Week 40: April 24, 2017. Jose Receives the Priesthood

Buenas tardes!

How is everybody doing? I am sorry that this email will be really short but thank you for everyone that has been emailing me the past couple weeks.  It really makes my day.

So this week was awesome! Although our area has had its struggles, many of our investigators are progressing but don't have an answer yet to be baptized. And so this week we were blessed with many opportunities to contact. And we were able to see many miracles of the Lord

This week, Jose received the Priesthood--and it was so cool. Also we were in Gospel Principles class and Jose always listens to us read the Book of Mormon but I never really knew if he had studied about the church or knew if it was true. He had the opportunity to teach some of the class and went off, writing all over the whiteboard explaining why the church was true, talking about revelation and prophets.  It was so awesome to see and I am grateful the Lord has let me know them.

I wish I could explain a little bit more about my week, but to finish, I would like to share an experience. Sunday night, we were running late and hadn't had a companionship study that day. I prayed to know if we should have one, at six at night, and be late for an appointment.  We ended up studying and after, as we were leaving the house, a man came up to us in tears crying about not being able to feed his family.  We went up to our house, grabbed most of our food and gave it to this man. He began to cry and told us that actually he was a member but is really inactive. And then as we were heading home at the end of the evening, at 8:30, I felt an impression to go to an investigator's house in an interesting part of our area.  As we were going, I felt an impression to talk to this big group outside of a house, twenty people. It was kind of nerve racking but I felt the Spirit way strong to do it. So I started talking with them and they were awesome!  We were able to share a quick message and then they said that they wanted to hear more and give us lunch next week. Golden investigadores or what. 

I know that when we follow the Spirit, miracles happen.  We just need the courage to follow the prompting. 

I love you all.

Have a great week

Elder Parson

Monday, April 17, 2017

E-mail Week 39: April 17, 2107. The faith of Luz Estela.

How is everyone doing?  

First off, I would like give a shout out to Jensen Clifford who got his mission call to the  Ukraine. Dude you are going to kill it!  It is the best thing you could possibly do.

So this week has just flown by. We have been having a lot of intercambios and a lot of lessons, which is awesome.  But, we haven't had a lot of opportunities to contact. 

Although we didn't have a lot of investigadores at church, I would like to share one story.  One investigador, Luz Estela, has been coming to church for a month and is way ready to be baptized, but is waiting to get married to her husband, who doesn't want to. She told us that this week, after praying that she could get baptized and praying that her husband will want to get married, that she has had a lot of trials. Her dad came to her house and told her if she gets baptized he will never talk to her again. Her brother tells her that she is crazy going to the Mormon church and her neighbors, as well, have been saying the same thing.  She then said that so far she has loved going to church and when she reads the Book of Mormon, she feels a great peace. I asked her if she was willing to follow going to church and reading even if she couldn't be baptized.  She said of course. Although I was way sad, this made my day.  The Book of Mormon and the gospel have power;  power to change our lives and the faith that we have.

I hope all of you have a great week.  I love you all so much.

Elder Parson

My awesome Zone Leader from Atlanta -- Elder Damiano

My shoes after 9 months in Colombia

Monday, April 10, 2017

E-mail Week 38: April 10, 2017. Jose and Sonia's Baptism in Neiva

So this week was awesome because Jose y Sonia got baptized!!!!!!!!! It was so awesome that after about 3 months of working with them, they were finally able to take this awesome step. It was such an awesome baptism, we had about 40 people from the ward there and they bought Jose y Sonia a cake and soda. 

Sonia and Jose's Baptism.  April 8, 2017.  Neiva, Colombia
It was really cool after their baptism that they were able to bear their testimonies and they simply said:  "This gospel has brought us peace."  The Church's hashtag this season de pascua, or Easter, is "#PrinceofPeace", which is exactly what we get when we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this gospel and the joy it brings, especially when we live its precepts. It was amazing to see that this gospel really had changed Jose and Sonia. When I first found them on my second day here in Neiva, they had a lot of problems within their relationship and a lot of debt.  Once they decided to live the gospel and to keep the commandments, their relationship improved, he was able to find a better job and they are a lot happier. I am so grateful for this moment my Heavenly Father has given me. 

Another thing awesome about this week is that we had training with Presidente Baquierzo! This guy is such a stud. I learn so much from him every single conference. I love one thing he said "The reason we stress and talk so much about obedience is because when we are obedient we receive more light, we receive more joy, and we become more like Christ."  I can testify of this.  Although I am not perfectly obedient, when I give my all to be obedient, I receive more knowledge and I receive more joy. 

This week we have also been teaching Danilo, a referral, and he is awesome.  He is already reading 2 Nephi and loves the Book of Mormon. He still doesn't have his answer if he should be baptized so please keep him in your prayers. 

I love you guys with all my heart.  Thank you for your awesome examples and have a wonderful day!

Elder Parson

Elder Cuellar -- Zone Leader

Elder Palma -- Zone Leader

Sunday School Class in Neiva

Monday, April 3, 2017

E-mail Week 37: April 3, 2017. Jose & Sonia's Wedding and General Conference.

This week went by way fast.  I wish I could write all of what happened but it was a great week. First of all, we weren't impacted by any of the flooding that happened here in Colombia.  Also we had General Conference this week which was awesome.  I learned so much about how to be a better missionary and a better defender of the Restored Gospel.

The Gringos during General Conference
I don't have much time so I will hit the highlights of this week...

Jose and Sonia got married!  After so much time they were finally able to get married.  It was so awesome to see and now this week they will be getting baptized.  I am so happy for them and for the opportunity I have to teach them.  
Wedding of Jose and Sonia
Also this week we were able to have a lot of lessons which normally doesn't happen.  In one neighborhood we found an antiguo investigatdor that wanted to hear from us again, we taught a referall after 2 months, and then someone called us over as we were leaving the neighborhood to teach their son.  It was awesome!

The past few weeks have been a little difficult and as I am training and I still feel like I lack a lot;  but I have been loving my time here.  I asked my companion to give me a Priesthood blessing and was amazed at how much love I felt from my Heavenly Father.  He is always there when we need Him and even when we don't feel His love, He is there carrying us. 

I love you all.  Thank you for your prayers.

Elder Parson

With Elder Campos from my MTC group.  He is such a stud and one of my best friends in the mission