1 Nephi 3:7 "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Elder Parkinson is doing awesome!!!  We got to skype with him on Christmas Day which was the best surprise ever!!!  He told us that he had known he was allowed to skype ever since he got a new Mission President in July, but wanted to keep it a secret from us.  It was so great to be able to see his face and watch him smile and laugh.  He looks better than ever and happier than ever.  We are so proud of this amazing young man.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey, I am doing great.  I was up at 5:30am again playing ball.  I am getting good.  I love the people here.  They are so nice and friendly.  I am doing great.  Um, the day after Christmas was hard just because nobody was home.  We went by 30 people and none of them were there, so it was tough, but the next day we set a date for the end of January.  It is way cool.  I loved the opportunity to Skype.  I hope that everyone back home is doing great.  I did get the water bottle and the pants.  They fit great.  I love you guys so much.  I was blessed to have parents like you who raised me into who I am.

Mom:  I can't believe you are up playing basketball at 5:30!  That is awesome!!!  Are you going to play some more today?  How has the weather been?  Do you do anything special for New Year's Day?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, we are going to play ball most of the day and we work all day on New Year's Day.  Today we can't go out because there will be a lot of drunk people, so yeah.

Mom:  Yeah, stay away from the drunk people ;)  Is next week transfers?  Have you heard anything about what is going to happen?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, transfer meeting is next week.  I think that me and Flake are staying together for one more transfer.

Mom:  I hope you get to stay with Flake for at least one more transfer.  That would make all of us happy.  Who do you play basketball with?

Elder Parkinson:  We play with other missionaries, members and some of the member's nonmember friends.

Mom:  Are you one of the better players there?  Tell me about the person that you have a commitment date for in January.

Elder Parkinson:  Um, yes, I am one of the best ones.  Her name is Abigail and we have been teaching her for a month.  She is always very busy and has her 2 grandkids that live with her and give her trouble.  She said that ever since we have been coming over, she has felt a change in her life.  She was definitely prepared for us, we are just bringing the message.  It is amazing how God works.

Mom:  That brings tears of joy to my eyes.  It is so amazing what you can do as an instrument in the Lord's hands.  Is everything else going well?  Are you needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  Everything is okay here.  I do need more bread though.  Also, the address for Norman is --------.  I love you guys so much.  It did snow 2 days ago here.

Mom:  Okay, I will send out some bread and thank you for that address.  I bet you loved seeing snow!!!  Was it a lot, or just some flurries?  How did that sweater fit?  I love you too!!!  You are amazing!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Just some flurries, but yes the sweater fit well.  I have to go now so someone else can email, but I love you so much.  Will you ask Hannah if she has written me back yet?  I love you so much.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Feliz Navidad

Elder Parkinson still had his Pday today, but his message was short and sweet.  I'm okay with that since we get to talk with him tomorrow!!!!! It will be the best Christmas gift ever!!!! We haven't spoken with Jordan since May 13, so we are very excited around here.  Luckily, Elder Parkinson did send a sim card last week so there are some fun pictures to post.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  This will be short, but I love you so much.  I am doing great!  The 25 days of Christmas is going great and we really like doing it.  Elder _____ loves the glasses!  I am loving it out here and I will call you tomorrow morning.

 Elder Parkinson reading the instructions for the "25 days of Christmas" package

 Elder Parkinson with the zone leaders waiting for Elder Flake to arrive as his new companion.

 Decorating their real Christmas tree
(Yes, I do think the other Elder is wearing footie pajamas)

 The finished work of art.

 These four Elders all share the same house in Palmdale.

 Elder Thacker and Elder Parkinson reunited shortly

 Elder's Flake and Parkinson giving their cheesiest grins.  You can see why they get along so well.

 The four amigos making their Christmas card

Look Ma, No Hands!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Missionary Christmas Card

I was SO excited to receive this card in the mail.  It is definitely my favorite.  What a fun group of missionaries!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Giving Heart

Elder Parkinson is still LOVING his mission and being companion's with a good friend.  They are working well together and enjoying every day.  Jordan has such a kind and giving heart and we know he is where he is supposed to be right now.  We have been missing him this Christmas season, but we know that there is no better gift that he can be sharing.

Elder Parkinson:  The week was good.  I do have a cool story for you.  We were knocking on Saturday and I invited this guy to come to church the next morning and he came.  He is so legit.  I loved the Christmas book that you sent out.  It was good to hear your recorded voices and I promise that I won't open my gifts until Christmas.  That is good to hear that the house is still moving along.  It will be exciting for you to see the old houses get knocked down.  I was so sad to hear about what happened in Connecticut and all of the deaths.  I was so mad.  Why would a man do that?  I always keep Austin in my prayers and I hope his shoulder gets feeling better and is okay.  I am doing so great!  Um, I want to get Elder ........   some Oakley's for Christmas and Elder .........  some new basketball shoes.  So how could we do that?

Mom:  That is an awesome story!!!  You were definitely being led by the spirit to that door.  As far as the presents go, do you have time to go shopping for those items or do you need me to do it?  If you have time, I could put some $ in your account, but if not I would just need to know what to buy.  Have you found out anything about your Christmas phone call?  Do you think this new mission president will let you Skype?  I was just wondering what time you think it would be.

Elder Parkinson:  Um, for the sunglasses could you get them?  He would like a teal/turquoise color.  For the shoes, I think I will go today to get them.  For the phone call I will call in the morning to set everything up on Christmas Day.

Mom:  So do the sunglasses need to be Oakley's?  I will probably order them online and have them shipped to your address.  So you are going to call on Christmas morning to let us know about the phone call?  Will you still have P-day next Monday?  Are you going anywhere for Christmas?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, I think Oakley's would be the best and ordering them to be shipped here would be perfect.  Yes, I will call you Christmas morning to set things up.  We will still have P-day next Monday and for Christmas we are going to members houses all day just to say hi and celebrate.

Mom:  That sounds great!  Is there anything you are still needing?  Are your shoes and clothes still holding up?  Did you ever get the package from Hannah with the peanut brittle and treats?  What are your plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, my pants are kind of falling apart, but other than that everything is going well.  Yes, I did get the package from Hannah.  Has she gotten my letter back?  We are going to go do some Christmas shopping today, so will you put a little money in my account?  I love you and I am going to play ball now so I will talk to you next week.  I love you so much.

Mom:  I love you too!

I also got this bonus email and photo today from Elder Flake, Jordan's companion.  It is so comforting to know that they are enjoying each other and working well together.

Dear Parkinson Family,

This is Elder Flake!!!!!!!!!!!  I just want to tell you how great your son is and how awesome we are doing.  I also want to say Thank You for everything you have done for me!

-Elder Flake

Elder Parkinson and Elder Flake dressed in their Bountiful High basketball gear with their money shirts from their 25 Days of Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Loving Being Together

Elder Parkinson is working hard and loving his mission.  He is SO happy to be companions with Elder Flake and they are taking Palmdale by storm.  Today was short and sweet, but I am so happy for him.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  The week was great.  We set a date with a boy named Junior for December 30.  He is 16 and he is so cool.  Other than that, we are just working hard and loving being together.  It is so weird because we know the same people.  It is funny to hear different views of people.  Um, yes we go the Christmas ties and also the 25 days of Christmas is great.  What was the package from Hannah?  What was in it?  Um, no it hasn't snowed yet.  It is a little cold, but now too bad.  I love it here during Christmas.  I am glad that all is going great.  I am doing so well and I don't know about the Christmas phone call yet.  Do you remember the date that I went through the temple?

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that things are going well and you are loving it there.  Hannah told me that her and her grandma made some candy and treats for you.  Hopefully you will get it soon.  Who are some of the same people that you and Elder Flake know?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, he knows David, Colton and Richard and then I know all the Davis guys that he knows.  So, what was the day that I went through the temple?

Mom:  You went through the temple on November 26, 2011.  I am supposed to tell you that David remembers wrestling Elder Flake in 9th grade.  How is your spanish going?  Are you speaking pretty fluently?  Any fun plans for today?  Did you guys get a real Christmas tree.

Elder Parkinson:  That is good that David remembers Elder Flake.  My spanish is doing well.  For today we are just going to play bball most of the day and yes we did get a real Christmas tree.  I am doing so well, but I have got to go.  Thanks for all that you do and tell everyone back home hello and thanks.

Mom:  Have a great week.  Love you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

MTC Friends Reunited

I was so excited to email with Jordan today and find out who his new companion was.  He had been having a rough couple of months with a companion who was ready to go home.  The news of the new companion was such a comfort and blessing to me.  Elder Parkinson is very happy and that in turn makes me a happy mom.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  You are not going to believe who my comp is.  It is Elder Flake from Kaysville that was in the MTC with me and came out to San Fernando at the same time as me.  We get along really well and we have been working really hard and it has been great!  Yes, all the stuff for the 25 days of Christmas got here except there isn't a day 24 or 25.  We love it!  We are just about to buy a real Christmas tree also because we have a house, so we are going to do that haha.  The work is so good.  We are going to extend 3 baptismal dates this week to hopefully take place in 4 weeks, so that will be great.  I am so happy to hear that Austin and Cooper are doing well.  I love you.

Not the best picture, but this is Elder Parkinson and Elder Flake enjoying St. Patrick's Day together in the MTC.

Mom:  That is sooo exciting!!! You love Elder Flake!!!  Has the work picked up then?  Where did Elder Flake transfer from?  Is there anything you are needing?  Any thoughts on what you want for Christmas?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, yes, the work has picked up a ton!  I am so happy!  Elder Flake came from the valley.  This is his first time in the desert so I am helping him out.  No, there aren't many things that I need, but for Christmas, I am not sure yet.  I need some new g's and some ties for sure and idk what else but make it fun.  I love the mission president!  He told me that Elder Flake and I are two of the best missionaries in the mission.

Mom:  That is awesome!!!! You are awesome!!!!  Now you guys get to show them how Davis county boys work :)   I am so happy for you and for the people of Palmdale that you are going to teach.  Are you still on bikes?  Has is gotten cold yet?  Any preferences for tie colors?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I am happy that Davis county gets to be together.  Yes, we are still on bikes and having a good time.  It is a little cold out here, but not too bad.  For the ties, just a lot of variety would be good.  Send some out for Flake too.  I am going to play ball so I will talk to you next week.  I love you.

Mom:  I love you too cutie!  Hugs.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Senior Companion

Elder Parkinson's emails sounded great today.  I think he is very excited to get a new companion and get to work.  Watch out Palmdale!!!  I am so blessed that he is such a hardworking, obedient young man.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Thanksgiving was good.  We did play a Turkey Bowl (football game) and I did get the pumpkin pie you sent.  It was so good.  We had turkey and ham at a member's house and it was really good.  Yes, it is transfer day here.  Nothing big is changing.  I mean my comp is going home, but I am not training this time because we didn't get any new spanish speaking elders.  I am glad that you had a great Thanksgiving and I am so glad to hear about Austin and Cooper and how good they are doing.  I love you and I hope you get this email quick.

Mom:  I am glad to hear that your Thanksgiving was good.  Who is your new companion?  Where is he from?  How long has he been out?

Elder Parkinson:  I won't get my new comp until tomorrow, but I am going to be senior comp.  President said I am going to have to work hard.

Mom:  So who are you with today?  Why did he say that you are going to have to work hard?  Are you at the same address?  Do you have any fun plans for today?  Is there anything that you are needing?  I love you SO much!!!

Elder Parkinson:  I am with the zone leaders today.  President said that because he said that I am one of the best missionaries so he is going to give me someone who needs a little help.  Um, yes, we are still at the same address.  We are going to play football again today, so that will be fun.  I don't think I need anything, I am good.

Mom:  You make me such a proud mama :)  Thank you for always working hard, putting your best foot forward and following the Savior's example.  You are going to get a package either today or tomorrow for the 25 days of Christmas.  Try to let me know that is has arrived safely when you write your letter home and take lots of pics.  How many elders play football with you?  Are you still working out?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, like 16 elders play and yes I still do work out, haha.  So how is the house looking?

Mom:  The house progress has slowed a little.  Our builder came back to us with a very high bid, so we are going to be getting some other bids to compare.  I'm hoping it will all work out for the best.  That is a lot of elders to play football with.  Are they all in Palmdale?  Are they all spanish speaking?  How is the work going?  Any new leads?  Are you still enjoying the ward?

Elder Parkinson:  I'm sorry to hear that about the builder.  Yes, all the elders are in Palmdale that we play football with, but no they are english and spanish speaking.  The work is going to explode this week!!!!  I sill love the ward.  How is Double B doing?

Mom:  With you in charge, of course it's going to explode :)  Double B is doing great.  He asks about you all the time and says what a wonderful young man you are.  He just got a new counselor because Brother Jensen is moving.  Dan Lilinquist was made the second counselor yesterday.

Elder Parkinson:  That is great.  Tell Double B to send me a letter, haha.  Well, I am going to go play some ball.  I love you so much.

Mom:  I love you too!!! Have a great week.

Monday, November 19, 2012

First Thanksgiving in the Field

Sending Peaceful Wishes For Thanksgiving

The holiday season is upon us and this is the first time we have not had Elder Parkinson with us.  I'm sure it will be a growing experience for us all and Jordan will be well cared for in Palmdale.  He sounds great and, from his recent pictures, he looks great too.  

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, I am doing good.  Yes, this is my last week with Elder Garnica.  Um, we don't have any new baptism dates yet, but we have a lot of potentials.  We had stake conference over the weekend and it was great.  It was almost all on missionary work.  I am kinda sad to hear that you are not going to start building until spring, but I guess it will all work out.  I just want you to know that I am doing great.  I pray for Austin every night that he can stay healthy.  That is so good to hear about Cooper's game on Thursday.  I'm glad he's knocking down the 3's and doing well.  Tell Rylito congrats for me and to enjoy the moment.  It is the best time ever.  We haven't really seen a huge number of new missionaries with the age change yet, but we are expecting a lot.  I love you.  This computer is really slow, so you probably won't get this email in time to reply.  I think I am going to buy a new football so we can play a turkey bowl.  I gave the football that you sent me to a member kid that needed it.  Yes, we will be eating at a members house for Thanksgiving.  I hope that you can make it to Idaho to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I love you so much and hope that you are doing great.

Mom:  I am SO glad to hear that you are doing well.  Do you think that you will be staying in Palmdale for the next transfer?  I love you sweetheart.

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I will be staying in Palmdale.  I had my interview with president and he said I was.  I am happy about that.  I am so sorry, but I have to go.  There are some sister missionaries waiting to email.  I love you so much and I will email longer next week.  The computer took 1 hour to load.  Thank you for all that you do for me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

P-Day Hike

 Elder Parkinson looking good and keeping hydrated

 Striking a pose before the start of the hike.  Love those beautiful mountains in the background.  Ahh, November in California.

 Keeping up the legacy of "planking"

 Elder Parkinson and Elder Whitley

Elder Parkinson in Devil's Punch Bowl.  Love this kid!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 300

Tomorrow Elder Parkinson hits 300 days since he has been out on his mission.  Some days have gone fast, while others have seemed like forever.  At this time of the year, however, I realize how thankful I am that Jordan is a part of our family and is out serving his Heavenly Father.  Jordan is an amazing young man with a heart of gold, a great positive attitude, a friendly smile and a ferocious work ethic.  I am so grateful that he is willing to give up two years of his life to share this wonderful gospel message with the people of the San Fernando mission.  What an example he is to us all.  We love you Elder P.

Elder Parkinson:  Hi mom.  Everything is going great.  We didn't have the best week, but we are trying to get better this week.  I am just pushing through these last 2 weeks before my comp goes home.  I know how not to act when I am almost done with my mission now, so that is a good thing that has come out of it.  That is crazy about the snow storm that you got.  I guess you probably won't be able to get the foundation laid this fall, but oh well.  I am sad to hear about Cooper's championship game.  It is hard to lose, especially when you know that you played better than the other team.  I hope that Cooper is still happy that they made it to the championships though.  That is funny that Coach Maxwell calls Austin "chubby."  I do kind of miss basketball, but not as much as football, haha.  I am doing great and love you guys and the example that you have set for me.

Mom:  I am glad to hear that you are pushing through.  It will be a good learning experience, if nothing else.  How was your hike last week?  Any fun plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, it is a good learning experience.  The hike was great.  We went for a little adventure and we are just going to play ball today.  We are doing great here.  That pic with me and the other white missionary on the bench is Elder Whitley.  He is such a stud.

Mom:  What picture? Did you send a sim card?  It is so nice to hear that you are making some great friends out there.  That makes me smile.  I am supposed to tell you that Zac is going to carry on the legacy of your winning dunk at the meet the team night on Thursday.  He said he is going to do the "show your abs" dunk.  Do you have any new baptismal dates?  Does it ever snow in Palmdale?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, um, yes I did send a sim card.  It should get there today.  I am so happy to have friends out here on the mission.  It really helps me to keep going.  Tell Larry that the "abs" dunk is my dunk and no one can steal it from me, haha.  Just kidding, I think it would be funny if he did it.  We don't have any new baptismal dates yet and they say that it snows here but it hasn't yet.  Well I am going to go play some ball, so I will talk to you next week.  I love you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Devil's Punch Bowl

As usual, Elder Parkinson sounds great.  I found out that his Halloween included being in by 6pm and doing a deep clean on their house.  That probably qualified as a pretty scary event :)

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  All is good here.  We are working hard and on Halloween, we had to be in by 6pm.  We just cleaned the house.  We don't have any new baptisms yet, but we are working on it.  My companion has 3 weeks left.  He is SO ready to go home, but we are getting along just fine.  That is sad to hear that you may not get the foundation poured until spring.  I was so excited for you to get it laid and get the house started.  I am also sad that there was no candy sorting and trading going on at the house this year.  Austin is just a teenager now, haha, and doesn't want anything to do with that little kid stuff.  I heard that him and Hannah's sister have been hanging out.  I am so happy that Cooper is finally having a winning football season and having fun with it.  Dad is a very good coach and I'm sure he will find a way to get them the W for the championship.  I hope that Austin does well in basketball.  Tell him that hard work always pays off in the end.  It's not the most fun while you're doing it, but after it will pay off.  That is not good to hear that btown lost, but they will come back strong again next year.  I hope that all is well back home.  I am doing great.  We are going on a hike today so that will be fun.  I would really like if you could send some more bread and will you send 2 extra loafs for one of the missionaries out here.  He is like my "Thacker" here in Palmdale.

Mom:  Yes, it is kinda sad that all my kids are growing up.  I guess I'll just have to wait for grandkids ;)
I am glad to hear that things are going well.  Where are you hiking today?  Make sure to take some pictures and include yourself in some of them too.  I am also excited for Cooper and his football team.  I'm glad that Dad and him have had this experience together.  Yes, Austin does hang out with Hannah's sister sometimes.  She is part of their big group of friends.  I will make sure to tell Austin to work hard!!!  What is the Elder's name that I am sending bread to?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, well I don't know how quick you are going to have grandkids, haha.  I will make sure to take some good pics for you.  The Elder's name is Elder Whitley.  He is from Ogden.  He is so cool and I love him so much.

Mom:  Haha!!! I can wait several years for grandkids!!!  I am so glad that you have found another Elder that you get along with and have fun with.  I'm sure it makes things even better.  I just love you so much and am grateful everyday that I get to be your mom.  How is the work going?

Elder Parkinson:  The work is a little slow because my comp is going home, but I think that I might train a new missionary next transfer, so the work will pick up then.

Mom:  That's awesome that you might get to train next transfer.  Are you ready for that?  So where is it that you are hiking today?  Are you near an Air Force base?

Elder Parkinson:  I think that I am ready, I guess I will find out.  The place is called Devil's Punch Bowl and yes we are close to an Air Force base.

Mom:  I'll have to look up Devil's Punch Bowl on google earth and see if I can find where you're going.  I think you will be an amazing trainer!!! Just remember all of the things that you have liked about your own trainers.  Is the weather still pretty mild there?  How is your ward?  Do you get to go to the temple again anytime soon?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I am so happy to go hiking.  The weather is getting a little cold.  The ward is really good and I think we are going to the temple again around Christmas time.  I have to go.  I love you so much and can't wait to email again with you next week.

Mom:  I love you too cutie.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Carving in Palmdale, CA

Elder Parkinson sent us these photos of the pumpkin that he carved this year.  I think he is trying to send a subtle message that he would love to have a "King Ranch" truck when he comes home.  It is always nice to dream, isn't it :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Learning Why The Lord Put Me Where I Am

I learned some new missionary language this week and Elder Parkinson refers to it in some of his emails.  Just so you know, this is some of the lingo: Expecting a child is when you find out you are going to be a trainer. The trainer becomes that new missionaries Dad. Any other missionaries that "Dad" trains are brothers to the new missionary. A companion to an Elder who finishes his mission "kills" the leaving elder. They count how many people they "kill" and how many "children" they have.  I thought this was kind-of funny and I guess a good way to all understand each other in their own way. I wanted to share this so that you didn't think Elder Parkinson was really wanting to "kill" someone.  I love his attitude and his positive way of thinking.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, sorry about the emailing last week.  I only got one of your emails.  Yes, I did get the letter from Christeen (Jordan's Aunt), so you can tell her that she is sending it to the right address.  As far as gift cards go, if anyone asks you what kind to send, just tell them that food places are always good.  I did get all of the packages and the blanket is perfect, so thank you!  The baptism last week went well.  I did the baptism and I filled out the paper work and I guess I did it wrong, so my comp is all grumpy about that.  I just feel like he is judging me at all times and I am ready to "kill" him and get someone new.  He is hard to work with, but I am pushing through it and hoping that I can just learn why the Lord put me with him.  I am glad that all the snow melted, so hopefully you will still be able to get the foundation poured this year.  Tell Cooper to not be discouraged about basketball and to just keep working hard.  Tell him about my junior high and sophomore experience with not playing much and then I became the 6th man for varsity my junior and senior year.  That is so cool that Austin's seminary teacher thinks that he is a really spiritual kid.  I am so happy for him and I am happy for everyone.  I hope you get this soon.

Mom:  That is too bad about your comp, but you have the perfect attitude about it.  There are always people in our lives that we just don't quite click with, but if we learn to accept them for who they are and make the best of it we are blessed.  I'm glad that you got the packages and that the blanket is what you were looking for.  Are there any specific food places that you would prefer gift cards for?  How are your other investigators doing?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, but it is okay, we are still trying to work hard.  As far as gift cards, BK and Carl's Jr. would be good.

Mom:  Sounds good.  How was your BBQ last Pday?  What are your plans today?  You said that you have started working out with 2 other elders, what do you do?  Where do you work out at?  I just love you SO much!!!!

Elder Parkinson:  The BBQ was great.  We had some good food.  Today we are just going to play sports.  When we work out, we just do all kinds of different stuff, but we do it at our house.  I love you too.  Tell Abbey Smith thanks for writing and I will be writing back shortly.  Will you also ask Hannah is she has replied to my letter?

Mom:  Yes, I will thank Abbey and ask Hannah.  How are your investigators?  Any new baptisms coming up?  Are you liking Palmdale?  Keep smiling and know that we all love you.  Oh, and some new pictures would be nice, hahaha.

Elder Parkinson:  The pictures are on their way.  We are going to set up some more baptismal dates this week.  Well, I have to get going so I love you SO much and will talk to you next week.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Love You So Much

I waited to post Elder Parkinson's email today, because I was hoping that more came through like last week.  I was not so lucky.  I am, however, very grateful that I received his first and last emails today.  I don't think he saw any of my responses, but that is okay.  He sounds happy and that is what matters the most.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Our investigators are doing great.  I love all of them so much.  Our next baptism is this week.  The district is great and working hard.  I hope that it stays warm enough for you guys to be able to get the foundation poured before winter.  That would be too bad if you had to wait until spring.  The weather in Palmdale is probably about the same as you have in Bountiful and yes I have all that I need as far as clothing.  That is good to hear that Austin will be getting back into sports.  That makes me happy.  I am not surprised that Cooper's football team is doing well this year.  Dad is a very good coach.  That would be so cool if his team got the #1 seed for playoffs and then won it all.  I am crossing my fingers for B-town and hope that do good in playoffs.  Thank you for sending that message on Facebook for me, I really appreciate you doing those things.  I did get the popcorn balls and the gift cards.  Thank you SO much.  Oh, and will you send me Richie's address?  I want you to know that all is well out here.

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that everything is going well.  Tell me about your baptism this week.  I want you to know what an example you are to us all.  Thank you for working so hard and sharing this amazing gospel with the people of San Fernando.

Mom:  Jordan, are you still there?

Elder Parkinson:  I guess it is slow again.  Today is going to be a fun P-day.  We are playing bball this morning and then we are going to grill and play football later today.  It is going to be so fun.  I hope that you get these emails soon.  I love you so much and could you send out a bigger blanket and some protein for 3 because I am working out with 2 other missionaries.  I love you so much, but I have to go.  I am so sorry that it didn't work this week, but I love you so much and hope you have a great day.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Transfer Down

Popcorn Balls and Contacts are on their way!

Today was transfer day in the San Fernando mission and Elder Parkinson is staying right where he is at.  He will be Elder Garnica's last companion in the field, as Elder Garnica goes home at the end of this transfer.  He sounds great from the little emailing I had with him today, just a little sympathetic for his Bountiful Braves.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Today is transfer day and everything is staying the same here except that Elder Shaur is leaving.  You have got to be kidding me about Bountiful losing to Woods Cross.  This better not be a joke because that would make me mad about Bountiful and all that.  I am glad to hear that Cooper is doing well with football and Austin getting up to go the temple on Tuesday mornings is really cool.  I did get the carmel apples and the post card from Hawaii.  It was nice to get that.  Where is Dallin Butters going on his mission again?  That is crazy that he leaves next week.

Mom:  I wish it were a joke, but I'm sad to say it's not.  The streak is over, but in reality it was just another game.  Who is Elder Shaur?  Dallin is going to Boston, Massachusetts.  How was your week?  What do you do on P days in Palmdale?

Elder Parkinson:  That's horrible, but oh well, Bountiful will always be my team.  Elder Shaur is just a cool kid that is in my district.  That is so crazy with Dallin.  Tell him bye for me okay.  The week was good, hahaha.  Um, what else, on P days we play bball and soccer and that is it.  I am getting back into shape again though.  So how was Hawaii?

Mom:  I am glad to hear that you are getting back into shape.  Dixie will need you :)  Hawaii was warm and beautiful.  It was nice to relax after the move, but I wish I could have taken my whole family with me.  How are things going with your 15 year old investigator?  Any other new investigators that you have found?  How is your ward?  Are you liking Palmdale?  How is the weather there?

Mom:  Hello?

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, sorry I have to get going.  Could you send me some gift cards?  I love you so much.  Oh, and some new shaver heads because I ran out.  I love you so much and thank you for all that you do for me.  I hope you have a great week.

This email came through around 3:30pm.  It must have got lost in space somewhere and was the answer to the last email I had sent him.  He must have thought I was crazy saying Hello? to him!

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, I can't wait to get back and play football.  The fifteen year old boy is looking good.  I love this work so much.  Palmdale is great and the weather reminds me of back home, kind of cold right now.  The ward is still getting to know us and yes, we have like 6 more dates coming up soon. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

All Is Well

I have been worried about Jordan since last week when he told me that his district was not getting along.  One of the hardest things for Elder Parkinson is somebody questioning his work ethic, because that is something he prides himself in.  I was so happy to hear that all is well in Palmdale once again.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, yeah everything is better with our district now and we are getting along.  I talked with my district leader and he has changed.  I am happy to hear that the house is going well, haha.  I am so happy that Austin and Cooper are doing well cause I love them with all of my heart.  I am very sad to hear about Grandpa Baugh passing away.  He was a very good man and is going to be missed by everyone.  Um, what else, I haven't received the carmel apples yet and I would like to make a request to get some popcorn balls.  The next transfer isn't this week, but next and then my comp only has 6 weeks left of his mission.  The baptism got pushed back.

Mom:  I am so happy to hear that everything is going better.  I was worried about you!  I was also worried that you wouldn't be able to email today because it is Columbus Day.  Where do you email from?  What kind of popcorn balls would you like me to send?  So what are your thoughts about the new missionary age?

Elder Parkinson:  For the popcorn balls, I would like Abbey's kind please.  I think that the new mission age is a great thing because then the boys won't have to worry about college and everything else.  So how is life?

Mom:  Okay, I will work on getting those popcorn balls sent.  I agree about the mission age.  It is a really big change for the young women too.  Life is good.  I am just busy doing the normal stuff in addition to trying to figure out everything for the new house.  It has been tough to watch Austin having to be the water boy on the sidelines this year for football, but I am excited to see how the basketball season goes. Cooper is also doing great and it is fun to see him growing up so much.  So any exciting things happen this week?  Why did the baptism get pushed back?  What do you guys do on P days in Palmdale?  Are all of your clothes still fitting okay?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, the baptism got pushed back because he didn't come to church, but he is a very good kid and it will be fine.  I hope that it all works out with the new house.  I have to go now because other missionaries are waiting, but I love you so much and hope that all is great back home.  Also, will you send out some new contacts?

Mom:  Will do.  Love you to infinity and beyond.  Have a great week!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Little Piece of Palmdale

 This is the new address. 
 Elder Parkinson is now staying in this cute little house in Palmdale.

 Sunset over Palmdale

 Map of the Area

The New Companion, Elder Garnica

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Small Road Bump

I just love this Elder and look forward to each and every Monday that I get to hear from him.  He is an inspiration and example to our whole family.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  I didn't send a letter this week because I didn't write down the new address to the rental.  So, yeah, we are living in a house, not an apartment.  It is very nice.  I still love Palmdale and we find new investigators every week.  We have a date for a baptism in 3 weeks and it is very solid.  I love it.  I am so happy that all is great back home.  Here in the mission, our district is starting to fall apart because our leader thinks that we are not obedient.  He went and told the mission president that and now he is thinking that we don't work and are bad missionaries.  So yeah, I am a little mad at our leader because he doesn't even know how hard we work or anything.

Mom:  So tell me about the investigator that you have a date for in 3 weeks.  That is too bad to hear about your district.  Why does your leader think that you are bad missionaries?  

Elder Parkinson:  Our investigator is 15 years old and we are doing great with him.  He is a golden investigator.  Ou district leader just thinks that we are not obedient and that we don't work.  All he cares about is the numbers, not the missionaries.

Mom:  So he thinks you are not working because you are not baptizing a lot?  Are you going to talk to your mission president?  Do you feel like you are giving your best effort, because if you do then that is all that matters.  Did you get the letters from dad and the boys this week?  I sent the one from Austin and Cooper on Thursday, so it may not be there yet.

Elder Parkinson:  I am going to talk to the president here soon and I always give my all.  I was taught well.  I got the letter from dad, but not the boys yet.  Did you tell Anne to tell that girl from Utah State to write me?

Mom:  Yes, I told Anne.  She is sending her your address.  Do you get along with the other elders in your district?  I'm sure that you are doing great.  Just remember to always do your best and follow the spirit.  100% obedience brings the biggest blessings.  Is there anything that you are needing?  Where do you get to watch General Conference at?

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, that is good to hear that Anne is taking care of that.  I am trying my best with all we do.  We are watching conference at the stake center.  I get along with all but 2 elders in my district.  I kind of miss Van Nuys a little because I got along with all of them there, but I am good.  I love you and I have to go.

Mom:  I love you SO much.  Just remember what an AMAZING young man you are!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saying Goodbye to 506 S 1200 E

A lot has been going on while Jordan has been away on his mission.  We bought a lot just around the corner from where we are living now and are going to build a home.  In the meantime, our current house sold way quicker than we expected, so we are having to move into a rental for at least the next year.  We are moving this week.  It is a little sad that Elder Parkinson didn't get to have an official goodbye with this house, but good memories will be awaiting him when he returns.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey, that is sad to hear about the house.  I am going to miss that house, but I guess it is time for a change.  Yes, I still love my new area.  We have fun, but work hard too.  We had to drop our baptism dates for September 30 because they didn't come to church, but it's okay.  That is good to hear that Austin and Cooper are doing well.  I am so happy to hear from you every week.

Mom:  How did your week go?  Are you still knocking doors like crazy?

Elder Parkinson:  The week went great and yes, that is all we do is knock doors.

Mom:  So how is the weather is Palmdale?  Do you ride your bike everywhere?

Elder Parkinson:  The weather is getting better and yes we ride about 20 miles a day.  I am getting bigger legs than before, but I hope that I can stay fast for football.

Mom:  Big legs are always good for football players and I'm sure you'll stay fast.  I forgot to tell you that Coach Campbell said to tell you hi from the team.  How are things with your companion?  Do you get to see your mission president very often.

Elder Parkinson:  That is good to hear from coach, haha.  Um, things with my comp are great.  We get along very well.  I don't see my mission president ever.  So how is the rental house?

Mom:  I am so happy that you and your companion get along.  We haven't officially moved into the rental house yet, that will take place on Thursday.  It should be okay though.  I will take a picture of it and send it to you.  It is up by Dylan Salazar's.  It is weird to leave this house, but it will be exciting to build.  Do you have any other requests for the new house besides a drinking fountain :)

Elder Parkinson:  Um, I woud like a nice big bath and shower in my bathroom with speakers wired in.  Well, other missionaries are waiting to email so I love you so much and hope all is well.

Mom:  I love you too cutie!  Have a wonderful week!

The New Digs in Palmdale

Monday, September 17, 2012

The New Area Is Nice And Ready To Be Harvested

Jordan has always been a man of few words.  He doesn't enjoy writing long novels with lots of details, he just covers the basics and gets right to the point.  I have a feeling that his emails are going to remain very short from now on.  It is nice to know that he is focused on the work and we'll just have to trust that we'll get all the great stories when he returns home.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey, all is good here in Palmdale.  The new area is great - just nice and ready to be harvested.  My new comp is about to go home in 9 weeks, so it is a little hard to get him to work all the time, but we get along really well.  So when I said that he was a native speaker, I meant that he was born in Mexico.  I love it here so much.  With opening a new area, it means that we start from scratch and just knock doors all day and try to find people.  There were a lot of new missionaries that came in, so President had to open a new area.  Also, yes we still do have a home ward.  Palmdale is different than Van Nuys just because the town is a little more laid back and relaxed which is just what I want.  My companion was born in Mexico, but he comes from Chicago.  He is super cool and I love him.  He knows how to work and is a good example.  Palmdale actually is a lot like St. George but without the red dirt.

Mom:  I am glad to hear that things are going well and you are happy.  Are you still getting fed a lot?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, yes we get fed a lot.  Also, did you make sure and tell everyone my new address?

Mom:  Yes, I made sure I let everyone know that you have a different address.  I also put it on your blog.   So you have 3 baptismal dates for September 30?  That is awesome!  Tell me about them.  Everything still fitting okay?  What was the charge on your debit card at the bike shop before you left Van Nuys?

Elder Parkinson:  They are old investigators that we are working with.  One is a lady in her 40's and there are 2 kids in their teens.  Um, yes, everything is fitting fine.  Oh, the charge was that  I got a bike tune up so that it was running nice when I came up here.  I have to go right now, sorry.  We are loving life here and doing well.  Also, tell Anne to give that girl from Utah State my address so I can get to know her.

This is Elder Parkinson's new companion.  I told him that I need a better picture, preferably one where he is not brushing his teeth :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome To Palmdale

Elder Parkinson has finally left Van Nuys, after being there since March 21.  He is now in Palmdale, California which is about 35 miles to the north and east.  He said that it is a little more rural and he absolutely loves that.  I had a feeling that this is where he was because I saw a charge on his debit card at the Palmdale Walmart on Saturday.  He was a little surprised that I already knew where he was at before he could tell me.  The emailing did not go well today at all and I'm wondering if that is how it's going to be in this new area.  There was quite a delay with the email and I don't think he even received the ones I was sending.  No worries though, we still got to hear from him and know that all is well and he is as happy as ever.

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, so yes I am in Palmdale and it is great!  I am opening up a new area with my companion that doesn't know the area either, so yeah it is fun.  We are just knocking doors trying to find people.  My new companion is Elder Garnica.  He is a native speaker.  He only has 11 weeks left on his mission, so he is really good and experienced.  Elder Thacker went to be the zone leader up in Ridgecrest.  It is at the top of our mission.  I love Palmdale because it is away from everything and it feels like I am more in the country, which I love!  That is good to hear that Bountiful got a win and I am so happy that Dixie beat their opponents!  Tell Austin that I am sorry about his injury, but football is a memory that he will never forget and he will always be so happy that he made the decision to keep playing.

Mom:  I am so glad that you are happy!!!!  I want to know all about your area and your new companion.  Where is he from?  Did you get settled in okay?

Elder Parkinson:  Well mom I am doing great.  I guess everything with the computers is slow, but I love you and I hope that you get these emails.  We are loving life here.  I would like to make one small request for some more bread so that I can make some sandwiches.  I am going to play basketball now, but I love you and the fam.  I am very grateful for all that you do for me and all the support that I get from you.  Could you please let both Abbey's and Hannah know my new address?  I have to go now because other missionaries need to email.  Love you.

Mom:  I love you too.  Hugs :)

This is the new address:

Elder Jordan Parkinson
2918 Fairfield Ave.
Palmdale, CA 93550

A Photo of a Joshua Tree at Sunset in Palmdale

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Leaving Van Nuys - Destination Unknown

Final Photo From Van Nuys, California

I was so excited for today's email to hear what was going on with the transfers and see if Elder Parkinson was staying or going.  The only thing that I found out was that he will be leaving Van Nuys, but he doesn't know where he will end up yet.  He still sounds so happy and is loving life in Cali.

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, well they switched transfers up this time and I know that I am leaving, but I don't know where or with who until Thursday.  I know that I am going to be on a bike again and that is all that I know.  That is good to hear about football and that Austin and Cooper played well.  Missing football is one of the hardest things for me, but I am fighting through it.  I LOVE that sport!  That is too bad that Dixie lost, but they will start to pick it up.  I am so happy to be serving the Lord.  The Walmart gift card that you sent did get to me and I am doing so good out here.

Mom:  I am so excited to hear where you end up.  Are you excited you'll be on a bike again?  Things going well?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I am glad I am staying on a bike because then I can stay in shape, haha.  Um, yes, all is well.  I am doing great.  So how was boating?

Mom:  I didn't go boating because Austin had football practice at 1:30.  I think that everyone who went had fun though and the boat didn't even have problems this time, haha.  Are you going to be able to take everything with you when you transfer?  What about the fry daddy?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, everything is packed, even the fry daddy, haha.  I will have to make my new companion some fries and stuff.

Mom:  Yay!!!  Fry up some twinkies for him :)  Is today your P-day or was that yesterday?

Elder Parkinson:  It was yesterday.  I went to the mall and helped Elder Christensen pick out a new suit because his year mark is in 2 weeks.  It was a great time.

Mom:  Oh fun.  Are you going to get a new suit when you hit your year mark?  Aren't you supposed to burn a shirt or something too?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, no.  The two suits that I have are good and burning a shirt is against the rules, so I am not going to do that, haha.  I don't know what I am going to do for my year mark.  It is awhile away, so I am not going to worry about that.

Mom:  Good idea :)  Are Gomm and Thacker transferring too?  I just love you SO much!!!!  You make me smile.

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, I love you too.  Thacker is transferring, but Gomm is not.  I hope that Thacker and I stay close to each other.

Mom:  I hope you guys stay close too!  Will you be a trainer yet?  How is the spanish going?  How do you transfer all of your stuff?

Elder Parkinson:  No, I will not be a trainer yet.  My spanish is good and the way we move all our stuff is by the members giving us a ride.  I love you so much and I have to leave now.  I hope you have a great week and I will write a letter when I know where I am going and who I am with.

Mom:  Love you too!!!!

Elder Parkinson tied to a chair with string!  Oh how he will miss Van Nuys.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Little High School Football

The emailing worked great this week and it was so good to hear that Elder Parkinson is still loving his time in the service of our God.  Transfers are next week, so Jordan wanted to make sure I tell everyone to send letters to the mission home instead of his apartment address for the next couple of weeks.  Letters are very precious to him and he wants to make sure he doesn't lose a single one.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Everything here in Van Nuys is great!  Transfers are next Monday and the library is going to be closed that day, so I won't be able to tell you where I end up until Tuesday.  I think I am going to be leaving Van Nuys though.  Mart is still doing great.  She is a wonderful lady.  It is starting to cool down a little bit out here and I am happy about that because I already don't like wearing a shirt and tie and then when you throw in heat to that it is even worse, haha.  That is crazy that you sold the house.  I hope that you can get the new house built fast so that you don't have to be in a rental for very long.  This week was alright.  I got a little sick on Friday night and Saturday, but I still worked hard.  We played basketball again today and I can still get up and throw it down, haha.  I haven't gained anymore weight.  I am staying at 245 for now.  I did get your package and will you tell people to just send letters to the mission office so they don't get lost while I am in transition?  I love you so much!

Mom:  I am so excited to find out what happens with transfers.  That will be my birthday present.(Jordan asked what he could send me for my birthday next week.)  I'm sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well.  Was it an upset stomach?  I will make sure to let everyone know to send things to the mission office for the next couple of weeks.  Are you still doing well?  Anything you need?  Will you get to take your bike with you if you transfer?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, okay that will be your present.  So when I was sick, it was just everything.  I didn't feel good at all, but oh well.  Yes, I will take my bike with me if I go.  I am doing great and I don't need anything right now because I might get transferred and that is just more to pack, haha.  I am so happy out here and I have made so many amazing friends out here already.  I did have the chance to watch some high school football on Friday night though.  Elder Thacker and I had to go buy some potatoes and on the way back we stopped and watched a little bit of the game.

Mom:  Are you feeling better now?  I am so glad that you got to watch a little football.  Did it make you miss it?  I think those friends that you make on your mission will be your friends for life!  I am so happy that you are surrounded by amazing people :)  I forgot to tell you that BHS beat Mountain View on Friday and they play Logan this week.

Elder Parkinson:  Watching the game did make me miss it a little, but I am okay.  Yes, they are going to be my friends forever.  They are such good guys.  I feel a lot better now, so I think the sickness is gone.  That is great about BHS.  I hope that they keep on winning.  Also, tell Rylito to write me!  Oh, and will you tell the Seljaas' thanks?

Mom:  Did Rylito not write you yet?  I told him to and he said that he would for sure.  Any fun plans for the rest of your p-day?  How are you liking the new mission president?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, no, he hasn't written me yet but it's okay.  The mission president is a real cool guy and I love him.  He is very spiritual.  I don't really have anything fun planned, but we do have 2 appointments scheduled for tonight.  I think that we are about to leave, so I love you so much and hope that I can let you know where I am going as soon as possible.  Well, love you and I hope that you have the best week ever.

Mom:  Mi hijo, I love you more than you will ever know.

Elder Gomm. Another One of Those "Friends for Life"