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."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Goodbye MTC/Hello Van Nuys

We got our first sim card in the mail today from California.  It showed Jordan's last day at the MTC, his trip to the airport and his new apartment and area.  He looks so happy and we are so thankful for these pictures.  They really help us to feel like we have a little piece of him with us.

 Elder Parkinson and Elder Kovacs
Defensive End Buddies from BHS

 Goodbye Provo MTC

 Inside the new apartment. 
(Looks like it could use a little decorating) 

 Eating Some Cake On His Birthday with Elder Flake
(So thankful for good people watching over him)

 Another Missionary Friend

Ready for a Day on the Bike

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Welcome to the San Fernando, California Mission

We finally got the letter from Jordan's mission president saying that he had arrived safely.  It included a photo of Elder Parkinson with President Martin and Sister Martin.  Jordan looks so happy and also tall :)  The letter also included a paper entitled "My First Letter Home from the Mission Field."  I think Jordan filled this out the day he got to California.

 Such a good looking Elder :)

 Hey, just sitting in Cali.  It is great.  I love it out here and I have one problem, they don't have my dmv driving record on hand.  Um, I love it so much and am so happy that I got called to serve here.  The mission president is so cool.  I don't know who my companion is yet.  I tried to call Austin (from the airport) but his voice mailbox was not set up.  The weather is so nice.  I am safe and sound.  I know that time is going to fly by here.  I love you all so much.
-Elder Parkinson
Never mind on the dmv.  They made a mistake.

Justin made sure to point out the second to last paragraph to me. 
 NO visiting him, even if we happen to be in California :(

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Digs

Elder Jordan Parkinson
15616 Vanowen St.  Apt. 109
Van Nuys, CA 91406

First Email From Van Nuys

We received our first email from California today.  Jordan seems to be doing great and we are still waiting on the letter from his mission president saying that he has arrived safely (obviously we now know he has).  He is serving in Van Nuys, California.  It is an area just to the north and west of LA.  He bought a bike the second day he was out there and loves everything about his new area already. 

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, I'm on for a little.  I'm doing great.

Mom:  Hi honey!  Tell me about your new area!

Elder Parkinson:  It is so nice.  The weather is great, my companion is great, the zone is great and I love it!

Mom:  Where is your companion from?  Do you get along?

Elder Parkinson:  He is from Mapleton, Utah and yes he is so cool.

Mom:  How is the language?  How is the new bike?

Elder Parkinson:  The language is hard, but people are so nice and help me.  Um, the bike is way nice.  So what is the plan with the bike?  Am I going to leave it here when I'm done or what?

Mom:  We'll just have to wait and see.  I am so excited to hear everything!  Have you had any cool experiences?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, we are doing great.  We have 4 baptismal dates and the food is so good.  I love the hispanic food.  My spanish has improved so much, it is amazing.  I am great.  My companion and I work well together.  Um, no cool experiences that I want to tell you, you will just have to wait until I get home haha!  Um, will you ask Colton why he hasn't written me back yet?

Mom:  Yes, I will.  What do you mean wait until you get home!  Do you have your address in Van Nuys?  How was your birthday?  Tell me more about your area.  I love you sooo much!!!  

Elder Parkinson:  Well, you are probably busy with subbing today, but we have some baptism dates set up.  I love my area and I love my companion.  The language isn't too bad and for food I am doing great.  I was blessed to be put in a biking mission so I won't get fat.  Um, my birthday was great except I had to sit in a meeting for 7 hours of the day haha.  I can't wait to get back to my bed, a big bed, so I can be comfortable once again.  Um, what else........the members are so great.  I love my mission.  My zone is so cool.  Our area is putting up big numbers.  The outside world is a lot different than the MTC and I actually get to have real food.  A lot of the people know english and we help them while they help us.  I love you guys so much!  It is so fun.  Tell everyone hi and that I love them.

Oh, the address is 15616 Vanowen Apt. 109.  I don't know what the area code is though :)

This is the bike shop where Elder Parkinson purchased his bike.
I found it on Google Earth :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy 19th Elder P

We had to celebrate even though our JP is in California.
We picked cupcakes because that was the last treat we all ate together before Jordan left for the MTC.

Farewell to the MTC

We got a package in the mail today from Jordan.  He was sending home some things that he didn't want to take with him to California.  We were so happy to find a sim card hiding amongst the goods.  What a pleasant surprise to see what his last few days in the MTC were like.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the MTC and District 16D

Yet another friend :)

Such amazing teachers!

"The District" joining together in singing a spanish hymn

Matching Ties For District 16 D

Elder Hudson and Elder Parkinson
MTC Companions and Friends For Life

"The Net" that was cut down from their mini hoop before leaving.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed

Delta Airlines
Flight 4677
Departure: 11:18 am (Salt Lake City Intl. Airport)
Arrival:  12:05 pm (Bob Hope Airport-Burbank, California)

California Dreamin

This morning was magic.  I got a phone call from Jordan at 10:00 am from the Salt Lake airport.  It took all I had not to start crying at the first sound of his voice.  He sounded amazing and it was so great to hear his personality come through and listen to his laugh.  It was magic!!!

Here are a few details from our 30 minute conversation:

- I loved the MTC.  The food was good, it just got old after awhile because the menu was on a rotation.  I slept great and had a lot of fun.  There is not any downtime, but that is good.  I also enjoyed the service that we did and attending the temple every week.

-My favorite part of the MTC was the teaching and showing love for others.

-Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk yesterday about faith and the Holy Ghost.  We had a lot of amazing talks.

-I had some of the best teachers ever.  My spanish is great.  It is amazing that you can learn this much of a foreign language in just 9 weeks.  (He did talk to me for about a minute in spanish and I was very impressed!)

-I am in a travel group of 13 elders.  We are all flying into Burbank, California.

-My suitcases were each 45 lbs and everything fit perfectly.  My carry-on bag is pretty packed :)

- I donated the hair product to the "free box" because I won't be needing it anymore.

-This will be the best birthday.  I get to spend my first full day in the field on my birthday.  That would be way awesome if my trainer had a baptism scheduled for tomorrow ;)

-Please tell everyone that I love them and I am doing great.  I am so excited to be in California.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Moving On After 9 Weeks

Elder Parkinson is getting ready to leave the MTC in Provo, Utah and head out to San Fernando, California.  He is very concerned that I let everyone know of his new address and remind people not to send DearElders to the MTC anymore.  There are now two ways of contacting Elder Parkinson:

1.  Write him a letter and send it to the following address:

Elder Jordan I. Parkinson
California San Fernando Mission
23504 Lyons Ave Ste 107
Santa Clarita, CA 91321-2530

2.  Write him using DearElder.com

-Choose the California, San Fernando Mission
-Select the choice of having it mailed, not emailed
-It will cost you the same price as a stamp

Once Elder Parkinson gets settled in California and finds out what area he is in, we will let you know his direct apartment address.  As for now, things need to be sent to the mission home at the address above.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hair Part No More

This will be the last sim card from the MTC.  Jordan looks very happy and seems to be having a blast with his district.  These will be such great memories.

One of the last pictures with the hair parted.
What is he going to do with all of that product now?

New haircut, courtesy of the MTC barbershop.

MTC District 16D in their matching T-shirts

 Elders Harris and Parkinson looking happy to be outside.

 Practicing baptism with Elder Davis

Elders Davis and Parkinson strike a pose!

Great Friends, both heading to San Fernando.
Elders Parkinson and Lisonbee

It's always fun to catch the companion taking a nap :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Getting Ready To Pack Up

I was a little worried about how today's email would go since I was substitute teaching.  I had already talked with the teacher about it, and she had given me permission to have the students silent read while I emailed with my missionary.  I was expecting his email around the usual time of 10:30-11:00 and it never came.  Finally, at 12:01 my email alert went off on my phone and it was JP.  I had told him that I would be substituting and I think he planned it out to email around lunchtime, knowing the kids would be at recess.  What a great boy.  He seems to be doing well and I can tell he's getting excited to get to Cali.

This e-mail came at 5:36 am this morning.  Jordan had sent us a letter last week telling us he was leaving on Tuesday, March 20 with an 8:30 flight and a layover in Denver.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey, I will be on later today but I would just like you to know that my travel plans got switched.  I now leave on Wednesday the 21.  I am supposed to meet to leave around 8, but I think I won't leave until around 8:30.  Then it's that drive to the Salt Lake City airport.  Um, then I will go through security and all that so I think I will call around 10 or 10:30.  My flight leaves at 11:18 and it is a direct flight into Cali.  I will talk to you later today.

The email that came at 12:01

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, I'm on now.  How is subbing?

Mom:  Hi cutie.  Subbing is okay.  I am not used to subbing for an entire week.  How is your week going?

Elder Parkinson:  It has been great!  I can't believe that it is Thursday already.

Mom:  I can't believe that this is your last Thursday at the MTC!  Does it look like you will be able to fit everything?  Is that box that I sent going to work?

Elder Parkinson:  I haven't started to pack yet, but yeah that box works fine.  So do you know how mail will work in the field?

Mom:  I think dad is still going to hand write you a letter every week and so are Austin and Cooper.  I can either email you or write you a letter, whichever you would prefer.  You will have to find a nearby post office so that you can send your letters to us.  I think I am going to send you another sim card so that we have 3 in the rotation and then you will never be without one.  You probably only need to send your sim card home every couple of weeks.  I do know that you can attach pictures to your email though.  Right now, I just have the address of the mission home, so you will have to let us know what your apartment address is when you get it.

Elder Parkinson:  Ok.  So I think if people send stuff to the MTC it will get forwarded to the mission home.

Mom:  I would think so.  I have told everyone not to send anything after this weekend, so hopefully everything will get to you.  Any exciting news this week?

Elder Parkinson:  Not really, hahaha, just that I got my travel plans switched.  Other than that, no.  How about back home?

Mom:  Who else in your district is traveling with you on Wednesday?  Is there anything that you need sent before you leave?
Things are good here.  It has been warm this week, so Cooper is practicing baseball outside.  They are supposed to have a scrimmage game this Saturday.  Austin is still going to therapy and shooting a lot.  He gets his braces off on Monday.  Dad is staying busy and even hit some golf balls yesterday.  I am just subbing this week and trying to keep track of everything :)

Elder Parkinson:  The people going on Wednesday are:  me, my companion, Elder Davis, Elder McPhee, Elder Lisonbee, Elder Flake and then some other people that we don't now at all.  It's good to hear everyone is doing well.

Mom:  So what did you do with the March Madness brackets that I sent?

Elder Parkinson:  I passed them out and I will be sending mine home with all of the stuff so you guys can grade it, hahah.  I think the family should read the parable of the Good Samaritan this week.  I read it this week and it got my mind going.  I think I am that person who just walks past people.

Mom:  We will definitely read it.  I don't see you as the person who walks past people.  You are usually the one who is giving the clothes off your back, your extra money and anything else you can think of to others :)

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, but I can always improve.  Um, well I think that I am going to start to pack things up.  I love you so much!  I won't be able to email until not next Monday, but the next.  So, love u so much and keep being a great mother.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

So Many Friends

Elder Parkinson looks so happy in his newest pics.  In typical Jordan fashion, he is making many friends and loves the Poly's.

 If you're happy and you know it give us a smile :)

 Why he is doing what he's doing

 His friend looks a little chilly

 Hanging with another friend

 So grateful for wonderful leaders to teach these young men.

Hermano Zenger 

Elder Parkinson and Elder Parkinson

Friday, March 9, 2012


Sent our first package to California today, so it will be there when Elder Parkinson arrives.  We figured he needed a new pillow and a blanket of his own.  Jordan also celebrates his birthday just 2 days after arriving in Cali.  Hope he is able to make his own cake and light the candles :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Temple Is Great

Nothing too exciting from Elder Parkinson this week except that he is getting anxious to leave the MTC and head out to California.  He was very curious about the weather in San Fernando and I can tell he's been thinking of how and what he is going to pack.  I know he is doing well and loving this experience.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, I just got done with the temple.  It was great.  I loved it!

Mom:  Hey cutie!!!  I am so glad to hear that you loved the temple.  I went yesterday and it was great.  How are things going this week?

Elder Parkinson:  They are going great.  I did sealings today in the temple.

Mom:  Awesome!  Was that your first time doing sealings there?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes.  It was so cool.  I can't believe that I might be in there for myself in a few years.

Mom:  I know!  It will be one the best experiences of your life :)

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, but that isn't important right now.  Um, have you gotten the letters from everyone?

Mom:  I got a letter from Elder Hudson and two from Elder Davis.  They absolutely made my day!  I started to cry when I read them because they said how lucky they are to have you as a companion and in their district.  They said that you have the biggest heart of anyone they have ever met.  I also didn't realize that some of the elders call you "dad" :)     Did everyone like their ties and treats?

Elder Parkinson:  Hahaha yeah people loved their ties and treats.  Yeah, I adopted a few more kids here at the MTC, haha.  Have you got my travel plans?

Mom:  I haven't gotten your travel plans and from what I hear, I won't get them, only you will.  So you need to let me know when you find out.  Has anyone else gotten theirs?

Elder Parkinson:  No, I think that we all get them today but I'm not sure.  I can't believe that I am so close to leaving.

Mom:  I know.  I am so excited for you!!  Can you believe it has already been almost 8 weeks?

Elder Parkinson:  No, haha it is flying by.  I can't believe it.  Um, so how is life back home?

Mom:  Things are good.  Cooper just started track and his coach told him that if he gets his form down for the high jump, he could break the 7th grade record.  Austin is still doing therapy and started speed and agility.  We still don't know when he will be released to play again.  He shoots everyday though.  Dad is working hard and has been really busy.  He is also happy with the basketball team because they have been playing well.  I am just doing the usual :)    
Kyle Palowski got his call to New York, New York spanish speaking.  Jbell got his departure date moved up to May.  Did you see Matt Clay yesterday?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, I am so happy to hear that everything is good back home.  No, I haven't seen Matt yet.  I hope I do.  Um, tell Jbell hi for me and the new district that just came in is going to New York, New York.  Do you know when Kyle comes in?

Mom:  I'm not sure when he enters the MTC.  I will try to find out.  Is there anything else that you or anyone else needs?  I love you soooo much and am so happy that you are doing great and loving your experience :)

Elder Parkinson:  No, I don't think so.  Just the week that I leave, tell people to send hand written letters because they won't deliver dearelders.

Mom:  Okay, I will do that for sure.  Any cool experiences you want to share?

Elder Parkinson:  No, not this week :(      Will you look up the weather for San Fernando for me and then send me a big box already labeled to go home, so that I can send stuff that I don't need?

Mom:  It is 62 degrees currently.  How big of a box do you need?

Elder Parkinson:  Idk, not too big.  I think I am going to send home all of the letters that I have gotten so they don't get lost.  Then, will you put them somewhere that I can get them when I get home?

Mom:  Yes, perfect!  So do you need to send home anything fairly big?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, I might send home one pair of sweats and some books that I got in class.  What is the 10 day forecast for San Fernando?

Mom:  Okay :)   The ten day forecast is sunny and highs in the upper 60's to low 70's.

Elder Parkinson:  Thanks.  Um, well I'm going to leave you with 2 scriptures that I liked this week.  It is D&C 100 and D&C 76 verses 1-10.  I love you so much.  Until next week.

Jordan actually sent a picture of D&C 100:1 earlier in the week

Monday, March 5, 2012


These pictures are like Christmas at our house.  We are so excited to plug in the sim card and see what crazy things Elder Parkinson has been up to.

 Elder Parkinson taking a picture of the "hair product."  Between him and 
his companion, they have 4 different kinds to choose from.

 Elder Harris and Elder Parkinson goofing around at the temple.

 Silly Elders!!!  I love the jacket over the shoulder look :)

 Brothers don't just shake hands, Brothers hug!!!
Elders Parkinson and Lisonbee

Elder Parkinson and his companion decided to have a "funny" hair part day.
I'm really hoping it was just for one day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Proud to Call Myself a Brave

I just love Thursdays!!!  We had a slight change of format this week with Jordan sending a longer email first.  It was nice to hear that he is doing so well and is happy.  His time in the MTC is getting shorter and I can tell he is ready to be in the field.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, how are you :)  I love you.  Well I don't know if you are on or not, but I will just start with a long email.  I am doing great.  I am so happy to be here.  Can you believe that  I am 3 weeks from being in Cali?  Um, I have some more requests for ties for some kids who don't get many packages.  One wants a nice red Trump tie and the other wants a lighter blue colored one.  The one that wants the red one is Spencer ____ and everything else is the same address as mine.  The blue one is Zach ____ and his departure date is the 19th.  They are good kids and I feel bad that they don't get much.  Also, if you could send my companion a skinny tie that is like a plaid look that would be awesome.  You know his name. 
 How is life back home and how are the sports teams doing?  How about March Madness?  Will you tell Gary to tell the bball team this is an opportunity of a lifetime and don't regret anything.  I would give anything to be in their shoes playing in the playoffs.  Tell them I know that you will be tired, but if I could do it then you guys definitely can do it.  Also tell them that I love them and I am so proud to call myself a brave.  
I am so happy that I have made the choice to serve a mission.  I can tell that the Lord is helping me so much that I can't even comprehend how much he has helped me.  I love the spirit and my district.  Did you get my travel plans yet, cause if you did I would like to know so I don't have to tell you when I get them.  Also tell Austin and Cooper that if they ever feel down, to start reading The Book of Mormon.  It has helped me so much!  
Also tell Sam hi for me and Lares.  Please tell my kid (Tanner Redding) to write me because I have been waiting for a letter from him for a long time.  What else?  Oh, um I broke my name tag so I have to get a new one.  I will send the broken one home so you can do something with it.  Tell Abbey that I am sorry that they lost in the first round, but she will do great at the next level if she decides to go that far.  By the way, those cinnamon rolls were really good.  I don't really like the dried coconut, but the mangos are way good.  I don't need food yet, I will let you know when I run out.  
Um, tell dad that I am at 240 right now with my weight.  I am trying to keep it in muscle weight, but they only have weights that go up to 50 pounds here so I have to do a lot of reps.  I also got my shot back.  I have been draining the threes haha!!  I love gym time here.  It is like going to Lake Powell.  Um, I am glad that David is doing good and Rich.  I have not yet been a host, but I might be one this next week.  I hope I get to because that would be way fun.  
Guess who spoke at one of our devotionals?  Elder Holland! It was such a good talk and I loved every second of it.  My friend, Elder Parkinson, leaves on Tuesday.  I can't believe it.  I can't wait to get out into the field and give people the happiness that we have.  One more thing I would like is for you to send me 2 copies of that poem I read at my farewell.  I want to read it to my district.  Tell everyone back home that I love them and pray for them every night.  Love you.

Mom:  Hi sweetheart.  What a great email.  It sounds like you are doing amazing!!!  How did Elder Flake like his tie?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, I am.  Elder Flake loves it, haha.

Mom:  What did you do with the other ties?

Elder Parkinson:  I kept one and gave the blue one to one of my roommates.

Mom:  I just love you :)
Are you writing in your journal everyday?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, haha, I am.  I have to go, but I love you so much!  I hope that you have a great week and tell the bball team buena suerte.

Mom:  I will for sure.  Love you!!!