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 9, 2013

Coming Home

I cannot believe that the time has come for Elder Parkinson to come home.  I didn't think this day would ever come.  Writing my last email to him seemed so weird, but yet incredible at the same time.  What is it going to be like to just pick up the phone and be able to call or text him at any time of the day.  It is the little things that we have missed and taken for granted.  Our family is so ready to have him back even though these last two years have been such an amazing blessing for all of us.  I couldn't ask for a better life and spiritual experience for my son and am so grateful for the things he has learned and the lives he has touched.

Elder Jordan Parkinson
California San Fernando Mission  -  January 18, 2012 - July 1, 2013
California Bakersfield Mission  -  July 1, 2013 - December 11, 2013

His Companions and Areas:

Elder Hudson - Draper, Utah
MTC Companion

Elder Calder - Mapleton Utah
First Trainer - Van Nuys, California

Elder Gomm - Ft. Worth Texas
Second Trainer - Van Nuys, California

Elder Garnica - Chicago, Illinois
Third Trainer - Palmdale, California

Elder Flake - Kaysville, Utah
Fourth Companion - Palmdale, Utah

Elder Barker - Evanston, Wyoming
First Son - Lake Los Angeles, California

Elder Zobrist - Las Vegas, Nevada
Second Son - Lake Los Angeles, California

Elder Farnsworth - Castle Rock, Colorado
Third Son - Lake Los Angeles, California

Elder Sawyer - Vermont
Fourth Son - Rancho Vista, California

Elder Ruiz - Las Vegas, Nevada
Fifth Son and Final Companion - Rancho Vista, California

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Four Thanksgivings

Elder Parkinson is doing great and continuing to work hard until his very last day.  He had a great Thanksgiving and is now starting to prepare for his return home.  Jordan sent a box home of items that are important to him and it was a little bit surreal looking through it.  Some of the items included his Preach My Gospel book, his daily planners, his full size scriptures and a bunch of the letters that he had received.  It was so cool to look through these things and see how marked up they were.  It gave us a little glimpse into the amazing work that Elder Parkinson has been doing these past two years.  This has definitely been a life changing experience for all of us and we can't wait to have Jordan home with us again.

Elder Parkinson:  Hello mom.  Well I am glad that the package got there safely.  All is well out here.  Last week was a little slow but it's all good, just working hard.  I am still in denial that I am coming home so soon.  That is good that you had a good Thanksgiving.  My Thanksgiving started off with some basketball and then we had 4 meals with members that day.  I was so full, but it was good.  That is good and bad about the weather because I really want to see snow, but I want the house to move faster too.  It is so crazy that basketball season has started.  I am so glad that both Austin and Cooper are on the team and I can't wait to watch them play.  That is exciting that Austin is going to his first high school dance.  I remember how I was about dances, but they are fun.  I loved going and having a good time.  I am also glad to hear that things are falling into place with football.  I love you so much and can't wait to hear back from you.

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that you are doing well.  Four Thanksgiving meals is quite a bit!!!  Were any of them Mexican food?  I think it's okay for you to wish for snow.  The house will get done eventually :)  I'm excited to see what happens with you and football but I know that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.

Elder Parkinson:  No, none of them were Mexican food, haha.  Okay, I am going to wish for snow then.  I hope I can still play football when I get home.  I love that sport.  I saw some little kids putting on their pad the other day and I almost cried.  I love football.  Yeah, all is well.  So what is it that you want me to bring home for sure?

Mom:  With your hard work, attitude and determination I am sure you will be playing football again.  I remember you first putting on your pads for Southeast Jr. High in Iowa City.  It was so funny to me that you were on the big guy team because you were so skinny :)  As for stuff to definitely bring home, all I know that I really care about is the shoes.  I want to keep them as a reminder of how hard you worked.  If you have anything that is still in good shape you can bring that too, like ties, clothes, etc....  Don't bring anything home that you are never going to wear again.  You can leave most of your toiletries too.  What other things do you have?

Elder Parkinson:  How about bed stuff?

Mom:  What do you have for bedding stuff?  You probably should bring home the Duke blanket.

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, but like the sheets and stuff?

Mom:  No, don't bring home any of the sheets or pillows or towels.  Have you started packing?  What are your plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  No, not yet.  I will do that this Sunday.  For today our plans are to just chill and relax.  

Mom:  Do you not play basketball anymore on Pdays?  Any ideas on what you are going to do with Thacker next Monday?

Elder Parkinson:  No, there are not many good players, so it isn't fun.  I have no idea what Thacker and I are going to do except have a good time.

Mom:  That is too funny!  Do you sleep at the mission home the night before you fly out?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I do.

Mom:  Well, you'll have to take us back this spring or summer and let us meet everyone.  I hope you have an amazing week and are successful in all you do.  Always know I love you to the moon and back.

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, same to you.  I love you so much.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

It is so crazy to think that this will be Elder Parkinson's last Thanksgiving in the mission field and even crazier to think that we get to see him in just over 2 weeks!  He is doing great and still working as hard as when he started.  His attitude, work ethic and determination are an inspiration to us all.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, how are you doing.  I am doing great and just trying to work hard and be the best missionary that I can.  It is so cool that you got to see Thacker.  He is so cool and I love that man, haha.  That is not good that you had another mini wind storm, but I am happy that it didn't do anything to the house.  All is good here and I think it is great that you are going to have a little family Thanksgiving.  Well, I can't wait to hear back from you.

Mom:  I'm glad to hear that you are still doing well and working hard.  Has the work picked up at all?  We were happy to see Thacker and he is excited to spend your last Pday with you.  Have you figured out your plans for Thanksgiving yet?

Elder Parkinson:  No, the work hasn't picked up that much, but it is okay.  I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for this area.  I can't wait to see Thacker again!  I don't know what we are going to do for Thanksgiving yet.

Mom:  Yes, Heavenly Father definitely has a plan and you are helping make that possible.  What are you doing for Pday today?  Have you had to pay your ticket yet?  How are you and your companion doing?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, for today it is all up in the air.  I have not had to pay the ticket yet, but it should be paid by next week.  Me and my comp are doing great.  He is a good kid.

Mom:  Sounds like things are good which makes me SO happy.  Did you want to write a little something for the friends newsletter and share your testimony?

Elder Parkinson:  Sure, I will do that right before I get off.  How is all back home?

Mom:  Sounds good.  Everything is going well here.  We drive by the new house at least 3 times per day to see the progress, which makes it seem even slower, haha.  Dad is staying busy with work and I am just doing the normal mom things.  The boys stay busy with basketball and school and Austin is also trying to lift 4 days a week so he can get stronger and not get hurt as much.  Speaking of stronger.....what are you weighing in at now?

Elder Parkinson:  I am at 245 and I can't wait to get back and work out.  That is something that I miss.

Mom:  You have just been working out in a different way.  Is there anything you are needing?

Elder Parkinson:  No, I think I am good.  Do you know when my homecoming talk is?

Mom:  It will be Dec. 29 because we have stake conference the Sunday after you get home and the next Sunday is the Christmas program.

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, sounds good.  I love you so much and I am going to write my entry for the friends newsletter now.  Have a good Thanksgiving and I love you.  Can't wait to see you.

Elder Parkinson and his high school classmates have a newsletter that they all submit to quarterly.  A mom puts all the entries together and then emails it out.  It is such a great way for them to all see how their friends are doing and keep track of each other while they are away.  Here is Jordan's submission:

Well boys, it is over.  I can't believe it but I do know that this mission changed my life.  I wouldn't have traded it for anything.  I know that this church is the Church of Jesus Christ and I know that we have the authority on Earth today.  I have seen many miracles because of the priesthood.  I love the gospel and I hope that whoever is still in the mission will work as hard as they can because it goes by fast.  It felt like high school football with how fast it went.  Well, I love you all and hope to see you soon or hear from you.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Translating On The Spot

I absolutely love Missionary Monday's.  Hearing from and being uplifted by your missionary is the best way to start a new week.  I can't count how many times I press "refresh" on my email just to make sure I haven't missed one minute of Jordan being online.  I think I am going to have to readjust when he comes home and make myself not text him all day long on Monday's.  Elder Parkinson is doing great and still working hard all the way through the finish line.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, all is well.  My talk yesterday went great.  I forgot the Spanish version that I had written out, so I had to translate my talk on the spot.  It was fun.  That is cool that both Austin and Cooper made the high school basketball team.  I can't wait to watch them play when I get home.  I hope that the house gets going faster and no, it doesn't bother me that I will be coming home to a rental I've never seen.  It's not the house that I am coming back to, it is my family, so yeah I will be fine.  I did get the new dress shirt that you sent and yes, I do have a place to take it and get it pressed.  Well, I love you so much and I hope to hear back from you.

Mom:  Wow!  Was it hard to translate on the spot?  How long did you talk for?  I'm glad that you got the shirt and you will be able to get it pressed.  Are you needing anything else clothing wise for your return?  How is the work coming along?  

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, no, it wasn't too hard.  I talked for about 15 minutes, but I could have gone longer.  I am doing good and I don't think I need anything else before I go home.  

Mom:  15 minutes is a long time!  I am so excited to hear you speak Spanish when you get home.  I just sent you a few pics of the new house with the trusses they have on so far.  How does your suit fit?  Is it going to be okay to come home in?  What are you doing today?

Elder Parkinson:  The house is looking good!  My suit is just fine.  I have no idea what the plan for today is, haha, just chill I guess.

Mom:  How is the work coming along?  Have you found any new Spanish investigators?

Elder Parkinson:  The work is the same.  We are having a hard time finding any new people, but is is okay because we are trying.

Mom:  Well I'm sure you are giving it your best.  Do you know your plans for Thanksgiving yet?  How is your companion doing?  When do you have to pay your speeding ticket?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I am giving it my all.  My comp is great!  I don't know our plans for Thanksgiving yet, but I will find out how much the speeding ticket is tonight or tomorrow.

Jordan's current companion whom he is going to finish out his mission with.

Mom:  So everything is good?  You are happy?  Any special requests for when you come home?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, all is great!  I just have one question: Do you know when I am going to be released?

Mom:  From what I have heard, you get released the night that you get home.  I would think it should be within a few hours.

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, sounds good.  Well, I love you so much and I will talk to you next week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Speeding Ticket

I was a little worried that we wouldn't be receiving an email from Elder Parkinson this week, but thankfully Missionary Tuesday's are just as good as Missionary Monday's.  In the letter that came with his SIM card last week, Jordan informed us that he had gotten a speeding ticket.  It was quite a surprise to us that our missionary got a speeding ticket while right now we are focused on our 16 year old not getting one.  I guess he did inherit at least one thing from his mother and that is a lead foot :)  Aside from all of that, Jordan is doing great and working hard to finish his mission just as strong as he started it.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  So for the speeding ticket, I was going down to meet some elders to get a GPS so that my companion would know where he was going the next day because we were doing exchanges.  I looked down and saw that I was speeding and it was in a canyon so I was going downhill.  As I went around the corner, there was a highway patrol just sitting there and the rest is history.  So that is what happened.  I am so sorry and it will probably be an expensive ticket.  I won't know exactly how much until next week.  I am still allowed to drive and my mission president didn't say anything to me about it.  Oh well, I guess it is in the past and we just learn from our mistakes.  I am glad to hear that both Austin and Cooper are in love with football.  Tell them that basketball is fun too and to enjoy it as much as they can.  How did their tryouts go yesterday?  Sorry I didn't email yesterday, but there was nowhere to email from.  I hope that the house gets going and I'm glad that you liked the SIM card.  I was happy that I had a SIM card to put in with my letter about speeding because I knew if there were pictures you wouldn't be too mad.  

Mom:  Well, you know that I am the last person who can say anything about speeding, haha.  Just try to be more careful and I will make sure that there is money in your account to pay for it.  The boys said that there were a lot of people at tryouts yesterday.  They both made the first cut.  I just hope they can transition into basketball mode and give their best effort.  What did you do yesterday for Pday?

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, thank you.  I love you.  I know that they will be able to switch their focus to basketball because if I did it, then they definitely can do it.  Yesterday we played volleyball and it was really fun.  I can't believe that I only have 4 of those left.

Mom:  I know!  It is crazy that you are down to just 4 Pdays!!!  How is the work coming?  Have you found any new investigators?  How is your companion?

Elder Parkinson:  The work is slowly progressing.  We found a lot of English people, but now Spanish and we can only teach in spanish.  Guess what I have to do this Sunday?  My companion is a cool guy and things are good.

Mom:  Well at least you are having a little success.  Make sure to be patient with your companion and lead by your example.  I am guessing that you have to speak on Sunday?

Elder Parkinson:  Well since I like my companion, then that should be easy.  Yes, I have to speak.  That is going to be fun.

Mom:  Have you had to speak yet on your mission?  What are you going to talk about?  It will be good practice for your homecoming talk :)

Elder Parkinson:  This is the first talk on my mission, haha.  I am going to talk about unity and yes, it will be great practice.

Mom:  I can't believe you haven't had to speak yet!  I'm sure you will do awesome.  What ward are you speaking in?  Do you have any appointment set for today?

Elder Parkinson:  I am speaking in our spanish branch.  Today I will be on exchanges, so I have no idea what the plan is, but I know we will work hard.  How is the weather looking out there?

Mom:  You always work hard.  The weather is gorgeous today.  Last Tuesday it was snowing and today it is supposed to be 65 degrees.  How is your weather?  I just found out that the trusses for the house get delivered tomorrow, so we should at least have a roof by the time that you get home :)

Elder Parkinson:  That is good to hear.  Could you send me a pic so I can see how it looks?  The weather here is in the 70's, so it's good.

Mom:  Do you have time for me to drive down there right now and send it or do you want me to send some pictures in the mail?

Elder Parkinson:  I have time.  That would be great, thanks!

These are the photos I quickly took for Elder Parkinson.  The first one is the front of the house and the second one is the side of the house facing Barton Creek.

Mom:  Did you get the two photos I sent?  Do you want any other ones?

Elder Parkinson:  I got them, thank you.  It's looking good!

Mom:  Just waiting for a roof before the snow gets here.  Who are you on transfers with today?  Are you needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  I will be with Elder Martinez.  He is funny and a good missionary.  I think that I am good as far as needing anything, but thanks so much for asking.  I have to get going now, so I hope you have a great week and know that I love you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

We Love Pictures

For the first time in Elder Parkinson's mission, he was not able to email on Monday due to a holiday.  He has had several P-days fall on a holiday, but somehow he always manages to find a way to email.  No such luck today.  I guess we will just have to be patient and hope he emails tomorrow.  In the meantime, however, we did finally receive a SIM card in the mail - hooray!!!  There were several pictures that were taken with families and people he had become close to in Lake Los Angeles since he served there for almost 9 months.  Most of the pictures show happy, smiling faces, but I'm sure there was a little sadness when he had to leave these wonderful people who had become like family to him.  Tears were definitely flowing looking at these photos because I can feel the love that is present.  I know these wonderful people will always hold a place in my son's heart.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Working Hard To The End

This has been such an exciting week for our family because we finally received Elder Parkinson's travel plans.  He will be coming home on Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm to the Salt Lake Airport.  I don't think I have stopped smiling since I heard the news and we are anxiously counting down everyday until our family is all together again.  Jordan has been such an amazing missionary and is continuing to work hard through the end.  He is still training new missionaries and continues to be the district leader, so we know his heart and mind are still in the right place.

Elder Parkinson:  Well I am doing great and just working hard.  My new companion is Elder Ruiz and he is from Vegas.  He is fresh out of the MTC and he is cool.  I really like him.  That is crazy that I am coming home on December 11.  Do you the know the other elder's names that I will be flying home with or no?  I can't wait to get home and see all of you.  I did get all of the Halloween stuff so thank you very much.  That is sad that football is over, but I guess it's just on to the next sport.  

Mom:  I am so happy that you and your comp get along.  You will be a great influence on him these last few weeks.  Make sure to show him how you never give up at the end and finish strong.  Are you still the district leader? 

Elder Parkinson:  I will do that for sure!  Yes, I am still the district leader.  It is fun.  So when does my plane leave from here?  I love you so much and I can't believe that the time is almost here for me to come home.

Mom:  You leave Bakersfield at 12:30, fly to Phoenix and then land in Salt Lake at 7:30pm.  It is soooo exciting that we get to see your cute face again in 37 days!!!  Have you been doing any sort of exercise to get ready for your meetings with the coaches?  How is the work coming?

Elder Parkinson:  That is a late entry, but I like it.  I have been trying to get myself ready for the coaches, haha.  I can't believe we are 37 days away!  So what are the plans for the day?

Mom:  Just keep working hard and doing what you are supposed to and everything will work out.  For today I am just doing the usual Monday things of laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning........The boys have basketball conditioning after school and then they are going to do a little shooting later tonight.  What are your plans?  You didn't tell me how the work is going.

Elder Parkinson:  My plans are idk, hahaha.  The work is slow because there are two new missionaries in the branch and they took the area that we worked last area that we found everybody in, so we are left with nothing.  We are just starting from scratch.

Mom:  Well, if anyone can start from scratch and work hard to find success it is you!  I forgot to tell you that it snowed yesterday and it still hasn't melted all the way.  I am not quite ready for winter yet. Are you needing anything before you come home?  Is your coat still in good shape?

Elder Parkinson:  I am doing good and I don't need anything.  I will be sending a package home soon with all of the stuff that I really want to keep.

Mom:  That sounds good.  Make sure you bring home anything that is still in good shape.  I also want your shoes that are all worn out to keep as a memory of how hard you worked.  Did you remember to take a picture with your last companion? 

Elder Parkinson:  I did not get a pic with him, sorry.  I will try to bring everything that I can home.  Don't worry, I will bring home my shoes.  They have held up very well.  Will I get my old phone number back?

Mom:  You are really struggling with the pictures and SIM card lately, aren't you, hahaha!!!  Make sure you get one of your new companion at least ;)  Yes, you will get your old phone number back.  Cooper has been using it, but he can get a new one.  I'm so glad you are doing well and working hard.  You are a great example to us all.  Are you playing soccer today, haha????

Elder Parkinson:  I promise I will get a pic with my new companion.  Yeah, all is good, just working hard.  I am not sure if we are playing soccer or not, but yeah, that is all I know how to do is work hard.

Mom:   Well, I love you SO much and hope you have an amazing week with lots of success!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Thank you and I love you so much too.  I will talk to you next week.

This is one of the pumpkins that we carved for Halloween as a tribute to Jordan.  It is supposed to be a heart with the shape of the state of California inside.  We added the "CALI" wording to help people understand ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Training Again and Staying Put

It is transfer week again for the Bakersfield mission and Elder Parkinson is going to be staying in Rancho Vista.  He will be training another missionary once again, which is pretty cool in the sense that he will get to leave one last legacy for the mission before he heads home.  This will most likely be Jordan's last transfer and we couldn't be more excited.  He is an amazing missionary and has grown so much (in more ways than one)!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Well, I am doing great and just working hard.  For transfers I will be staying here and training again, haha.  I am great though.  The work is great and we are working away.  That is cool that you got to listen to some songwriters on your trip to Nashville.  I wish I would have been there.  I love country music.  I am glad to hear that Austin took charge in his sophomore football game and led the team to victory.  That is too bad that varsity lost, but maybe they will do good in the playoffs.  I am also glad to hear that the boat got to Idaho safely.  The meeting we had with the member of the seventy was a little different and it wasn't my favorite.  He was kind of talking bad about the missionaries that had been out for a long time and basically told all the young ones not to listen to us.  That is probably an exaggeration, but it just wasn't my favorite meeting.  So any news on the release date?  Can't wait to hear back from you.

Mom:  I am so happy you are doing well.  Are you excited to be staying in Rancho Vista?  Will you be training the same missionary as before?  I am sure that the meeting wasn't intended to be negative, maybe it just came across to you in a different way.  I am so glad that you are such a hard working missionary.  It is an honor to be able to train these new missionaries and prepare them because they are the future of the mission.  Did you talk with your mission president about the release date?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I am excited and no, it will be another missionary.  Also, I did not get a chance to talk to my mission president about it.  Have you heard any news on it?

Mom:  The latest I have heard is that they are still working on it.  Our Stake President is going between your mission president and the mission department to see what works best.  You need to make sure to take a picture of you and your current companion so I have a record of all your comps.  Are you staying at the same address?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, okay, sound good.  I will see what my mission president has to say about it.  I will make sure to get a picture with him :)

Mom:  Sounds like a deal!  Have you worked on that SIM card yet?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, um, I am working on it.  Sorry, I have just been so busy.

Mom:  No worries.  I know you are a busy guy.  I would just love a pic with your current companion and then one with your new companion that you get tomorrow.  Are you doing well?  Needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  I am doing great and I will be at the same house.  I am not really needing anything, but I don't know if you have sent that new shirt out yet or not.

Mom:  I haven't sent the shirt out yet.  Are you ready for it?  What are your plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, I guess not yet.  I would send it in like 2 weeks.  Well, for today we are just getting everything packed up for transfers and getting everything ready for transfers.  So what day do we leave for the basketball tournament in Vegas in December?

Mom:  Okay,  I will send it in 2 weeks.  It sounds like you are going to have a busy day getting ready for transfers.  Will you get to see Elder Flake tomorrow?  Do you still keep in touch with Thacker?  We would be leaving to Vegas on the 19th of December and I think you are supposed to have a meeting with Utah State on the 18th.

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, sounds good.  Thank you for everything that you do for me.  I do still keep in touch with both of them and they are doing great.  Well, if I have that meeting, that means that I have to get back before then.  My comp is getting restless trying to get on the computer, so I will talk to you next week.  I love you so much!

Monday, October 21, 2013

All Is Great In California

Another Missionary Monday and another great report from Elder Parkinson.  He is continuing to work hard and have success in Rancho Vista.  It is so amazing to see the growth in Jordan and the man he has become.  

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  The week was great.  We worked hard and had a great time.  The trio is a little tough, but I don't care because I just work through it.  Thank you for the Halloween package and the pumpkins and thank you for all the support that you give me.  That is cool that you are going to Nashville for a meeting.  You should get me some country stuff while you are there, haha.  I am sad to hear that the Bountiful varsity lost to East, but I am glad that Austin and Cooper won.  I really do miss football a lot.  That is great news that Idaho State is interested in me too.  How did you found out about that?  It sounds like that movie, The Saratov Approach, is a great movie.  I would love to watch it when I get home.  I also wanted to let you know that transfers in December are on the 10th, so I don't know if that would help at all with my release date.  Our next transfer is next Tuesday and I don't know what is going to happen.  Yeah, all is great.  I am just working hard and I am glad to hear that Austin's ankle is doing better.

Mom:  It sounds like you are doing well.  How are all of your investigators?  Any baptisms in the future?  I will look around Nashville for some country stuff for you ;)  I heard about Idaho State through Alema.  He sent them your highlight film from high school and they are interested in meeting with you.  You're going to have a fun decision when you get home.  It will be an exciting time for you.

Elder Parkinson:  Our investigators are doing great.  Since we are in a trio we don't see our investigators as much.  That is cool about football.  It will definitely be a fun time.

Mom:  Why don't you see your investigators much when you are in a trio?  Are you needing anything? 

Elder Parkinson:  We don't see our investigators much because the area that the other elder is in is a lot busier so we work his area a lot more.  We are in a trio all the time until transfers.  I think I am good as far as needing anything.  Oh wait, you know that new long sleeve shirt that you sent me?  Well, it ripped, so yeah.

Mom:  Well it sounds like you are definitely keeping busy!  I can't believe that new shirt ripped.  How did that happen?  I will have to send you out another one so that you have a nice shirt to come home in.  Do you think you will stay in a trio after transfers?  So do you know a lot of people coming home on the Dec. 10 transfer?

Elder Parkinson:  I don't know how it ripped, haha, but thank you for being willing to send me a new one.  I think that I will just have one companion after transfers.  Yes, I know a lot of people who are coming home on Dec. 10.  I just think it might be a lot easier if I go home on the 10th with everyone else instead of a week later because then they won't have to figure out where to put me for a week.  I will just go home and not mess anything up.

Mom:  Well, maybe you can talk to your mission president about it and see what's best.  Maybe he will have you work in the office for those few days or something.  What are your plans for today?  Do you have a busy week?  I didn't get a SIM card in the mail yet ;)

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, I will do that and see what he says.  For today we are going to play soccer so it will be so much fun, hahahaha, NOT.  I am sorry that I haven't sent the SIM card yet, I am just busy and haven't had time to send it off yet.  This week one of the members of the 70 is coming to the mission.  Also, yesterday in Stake Conference, Elder Cook was there.  It was super cool!

Mom:  What a great experience!!!  It is so amazing to feel the spirit from our leaders.  Where was Stake Conference at?  I'm sure you are going to tear it up in soccer today!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Stake Conference was in Palmdale and it really was great.  Well, I have to get going so I hope that you have a great week and that we can get my release date figured out.  I love you!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Serving In A Trio

Today was such a good email day with Elder Parkinson.  I have been a little worried about his stress level these past few weeks, but in emailing with him today, he is doing great!  I always love to feel and hear of his positive attitude and work ethic.  He is such a gem and I am so proud of my amazing son.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  I hope that the emailing works well again this week.  My area is doing good.  One of the elders in my district got sick and had to go home, so we are in a trio with an elder named Elder Monzon.  He is way cool and he is helping a lot with my comp.  I did get the cologne that you sent and I love it.  Thank you.  That is good to hear that Austin got to play varsity and also I am so proud of him and Cooper and the work that they are putting in.  I love them so much.  I would love to go down and watch his basketball tourney in Vegas if I get home in time.  So what have they said about my release date?  Don't worry, it won't distract me, because I work hard no matter what.  That is all I know how to do, haha.

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that things are going well.  Where is the other elder from that is in your trio?  Do you still ride bikes?  I think they are trying to get you home on the 17th, but we won't know for sure until next week.  Did you hear about the missionary that was killed last week while riding his bike?  He was in the California, Arcadia mission.  Please be careful when you are riding.

Elder Parkinson:  The other elder is from Salt Lake and they gave us a car to drive since there are three of us.  That is nice because I can get super fat.  So will you let me know next week if I am coming home on the 17th or the 19th?

Mom:  That is nice that you have a car, especially with the weather getting a little colder.  Now you will just have to run or something to exercise, haha.  Yes, I will let you know on Monday if I hear anything about your release date, but don't stress about it.  How is the work going?  Do the members feed you very often?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, it is great to have a car.  I will try to do some type of exercise, haha.  Yes, the members do feed us very well.  So what are your plans for the day?

Mom:  Well today I am doing the normal Monday stuff of laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning.  I am also meeting with our designer to pick out exterior colors for the house.  What are your plans?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, we are going to play soccer, haha.  Yeah, so kill me now :)  What colors are you doing for the house?

Mom:  Soccer?????  You are going to LOVE it ;)  For the colors, we are trying to decide between a bluish/grey or a greenish/brown.  Decisions, decisions.  Do you have any investigators you are teaching right now?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, we have a lot of investigators.  We are covering both areas, so we have like 40 investigators so there is a ton of work to do.  So yeah, I am doing great!

Mom:  That is amazing!!!  I am soo happy for you and so excited for all of the lives you are touching.  You are providing the best gift possible.  What an example and inspiration you are to all of us back home.  We love you so much.  So, do I have a sim card coming this week?

Elder Parkinson:  Thanks, I love you guys too.  I will send you a sim card soon.  This week is going to go by really fast.

Mom:  Is it going fast because of all your investigators?  I hope you enjoy soccer today and have a great week.

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, it will go fast because of the investigators and also I have to do a lot of district leader stuff.  I have to get going now.  I love you so much and I will talk to you next week.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Finish Stronger Than You Start

I love Missionary Monday's.  It makes my entire week when I see an email come through from Elder Parkinson.  This week we were actually able to email back and forth a little bit which was so nice.  Jordan is still doing great and is such an example to us with his amazing attitude and perspective.  The best news about today was that he got his official release date of December 19!!!  That means we are down to 10 weeks!!!  

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  I'm sorry to hear that the email is not working too well, but hopefully we will get lucky today.  I loved conference so much and how much they talked about families and how important they are.  I liked the idea that you guys went up in the mountains for the Sunday afternoon session.  We will have to do that next conference when I am home.  The week was great.  My comp and I are about the same, but it is all good.  I haven't gotten the cologne that you sent yet, but when did you send it?  I am doing really well and I am thinking about just waiting to get a new suit when I get home because I know I will probably lose some weight.  I will be fine with the ones that I have until then.  So it is official that I will be home on December 19 and Elder Flake will be home a week later.  That is great that Austin and Cooper won their game last week and it is crazy that you had snow on the ground.  I can't wait for snow and to see the lot.  I will try and get some pics to you this week.  So yeah, the work is about the same.  Just working hard and hoping to finish strong.  I want people to remember me as someone who finished stronger than they started.

Mom:  I LOVE your attitude.  You have always been such a hard worker and it shows.  I sent the cologne on Tuesday, but since it is considered flammable, it had to be sent a slower way through the post office.  Hopefully you get it this week.  So do you have your flight plans yet and if so, when does your flight arrive on the 19th?  Are you needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  I am trying to be hard worker.  It is kind of hard because the last 6 transfers I have been with a new missionary, so I have had to do everything.  I have not received my flight plans yet.  They will come about a month before the 19th of December.  I hope that I get the cologne this week and thank you for sending it.  There is nothing else that I really need except prayers that I can get along with my companion.

Mom:  The reason they put you with the new missionaries is because you do such a good job training them for the rest of their missions.  Just be patient and know that you are with them for a reason.  I will continue to pray for you.  Are you still playing basketball on Monday's?

Elder Parkinson:  It switches up every Monday.  It is either basketball or volleyball or soccer.  I am so glad that the email is finally working out this week.  I really liked the quote that said if you are tempted to give up, stay a little longer.

Mom:  You are definitely not one to give up!  Do you stay in Rancho Vista for Pday?  How is the bike riding going?  Is the weather still pretty warm?  

Elder Parkinson:  We come into Palmdale on Pdays and the bike riding is great!  It is starting to get a little colder now.

Mom:  How far away is Palmdale?  Do you have to take a bus to get there?

Elder Parkinson:  Palmdale is pretty close and we get a ride from some of the other missionaries.  I have to get going now because there are other missionaries waiting to use the computer.  Please know that I love you and I hope that you have a great week.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Starting The Last October In The Field

The emailing back and forth with Elder Parkinson has definitely taken a turn for the worse these last few weeks.  I couldn't really figure out why Elder Parkinson and I were not getting each other's emails and I was even ready to go out and buy a new computer to make it better.  I finally found out that the server that the missionaries use is having problems and I am pretty sure it has to due with the thousands of missionaries emailing every Monday.  I am so grateful that I get at least one email from Jordan every Monday.  I've realized that all I really need to know is that he is doing well and is safe and then my heart can be at peace for another week.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, sorry about last week.  It was crazy because it was the first week of the transfer, but now everything has slowed down a little.  So to start answering all the questions that you asked in your email, my new area is good.  There are not a lot of Latinos so that is hard, but I like it a little better than my last area.  I am in a house and that address that Thacker gave you was the right one.  Thank you so much for sending the bread, it is great.  The only thing that I need is some more cologne and I am also thinking about getting a new suit.  I was wondering what your opinion on that would be. We don't share the house with any other missionaries and my companion's name is Elder Sawyer.  He is from Vermont and he is on his second transfer in the mission.  I think I have been around new missionaries too long, haha.  We are trying to work things out, we are just total opposite people so it is kind-of hard.  Being district leader is good and I am riding a bike now so I am getting into shape.  I had to stop doing the insanity workouts because they banned them from the mission.  I don't know why they did, but I just listen to what they say.  That is not good news at all that Woods Cross beat Bountiful again.  We cannot let them start their own streak!  At least Austin and Cooper won so that is good.  I am so happy to hear that Thacker sold that Dodge, haha.  I am so excited for General Conference.  It is great because you get to learn so much.  I hope that I will enjoy it just as much when I get home.  I hope that you are able to email me back, but I am doing good and working hard.  I can't believe that I come home in 11 weeks!!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hola Rancho Vista

We have been waiting on the edge of our seats for the past week to see where Elder Parkinson was transferred to.  I had been checking his debit card activity everyday last week, but for some reason this was the first week of his mission that he chose not to use his debit card.  Go figure :)  After all the waiting, we heard from Elder P around 1:30 today and now know he is serving in Rancho Vista, California.  His email was very short today and the emails weren't going through, so we weren't able to email back and forth, but he seems to be doing well.  He also forgot to let us know his new address, so we got a little help from our trusted friend, Ryker Thacker.  I don't know how Thacker found the address so quickly, but we are grateful that he has magic powers!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Well I got transferred to a place called Rancho Vista.  It is on the west side of Palmdale.  My new companion and I don't really have a lot in common and are having a hard time finding anything to relate to, but we will make it work.  The area is super good and I didn't have time last week to write a letter with my new address.  I don't have a lot of time today to email either, but I want to say thank you for all that you do for me and I love you.

The new address:

Elder Jordan Parkinson
39323 Jacob Dr.
Palmdale, CA 93551

 Image of the area from the web

 Go Eagles!

I put Elder Parkinson's address into Google Earth and it looks like these are his new digs.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Goodbye Lake Los Angeles

This week is transfer week in the Bakersfield mission and Elder Parkinson is finally leaving Lake Los Angeles.  He has been serving in this area since February and has loved every minute of it, but is excited for a change and some new scenery.  He hasn't found out where he will be going yet, but this will most likely be where he finishes out his mission before his return in December.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  I am doing great.  I will be leaving Lake LA and going somewhere else, but I won't know where until tomorrow.  I will stay district leader in my new area and I will finish training another missionary.  That is so good to hear that there hasn't been any football injuries yet.  I am happy that Austin and Cooper are doing good and that is so cool that Austin got to play in his first varsity game last Friday.  I remember when I played varsity for the first time and it was so exciting even though I only played for just a little bit.  Austin is a little better than I was though, so that is why he got in early in the season.  I can't wait to hear from you.  I love you.

Mom:  I am so excited for you to have a new adventure in another area.  Will you be moving tomorrow?  Is your companion staying?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I will be moving tomorrow and yes, my comp will be staying.  I will be going to  a bike area too, so hopefully I will get back into shape, haha.

Mom:  That's good that you'll be able to use your bike again before you come home.  You crack me up saying that Austin is better than you at football since you are now a college football player.  Were you excited that the US beat Mexico in that soccer game last week?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, well I am not a college football player right now, haha.  I was so happy that the USA showed Mexico how to play soccer.  USA, USA, USA, USA!!!!

Mom:  You are so funny!  Were there a lot of people in your area cheering for Mexico?  Are you still going to Lancaster today to play ball?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, everyone was cheering for Mexico, but we showed them, haha.  Yes, we are going to play ball today in Lancaster.

Mom:  I hope you have a great time playing ball.  Are you doing okay?  Are you needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  I am doing great!  The only thing that I need is some bread, but wait until you know my new address before you send it.

Mom:  You are so awesome!  Will you send me a letter with your new address or should I just wait until next Pday?

Elder Parkinson:  I will send you a letter so that you can let everyone else know.

Mom:  Okay, that sounds great!  I hope you have a fabulous last day in Lake LA.  I think the people there are really going to miss you.

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, I think so too.  I know that I will miss them.  I hope that you have a great day and know how much I love you.

These scriptures are on their way to a new area in the Bakersfield Mission.  Goodbye Lake LA.

Monday, September 9, 2013


For some reason the email connection between Elder Parkinson and myself did not work very well today.  His emails took about 30 minutes to come through and I think mine were doing the same to him.    As a result, we weren't able to communicate back and forth a lot, but I do know that he is doing well and is happy.  He is getting excited to cheer on the United States when they play Mexico in the World Cup Soccer qualifier tomorrow.  Many of the people in his area are cheering for Mexico, so he said he is going to represent the good ol US of A.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Well this week was a little slow because just about everyone got sick.  We did teach that family and it went very well.  We did not find anyone new to teach this week though.    My companion and I are doing great.  I'm glad that you liked that video that I sent for your birthday even though most of it was me recording my companion trying to learn our phone number and address in Spanish.  It was so funny because he could never say the number right, haha.  Oh well, he finally got it.  I am glad that you got to go to dinner for your birthday and I am really glad that you got your fountain Coke!  I bet dad misses coaching a little.  He is a great coach and an even better dad.  I love him so much!  That is good to hear that Austin and Cooper won their football game.  I'm sad that varsity lost but I'm sure coach Wall and Coach J will get them into shape.  I am happy to hear that the house is coming along.  I hope that it moves fast.  I love you so much and I am so happy to hear that you are still going to the temple once a week.  I love the temple and we are so blessed to have one in Bountiful.  It is my favorite temple that I have been to so far.  Well, I can't wait to hear back from you.

Mom:  I am happy to hear that you are still teaching that family, but sad that everyone is getting sick.  How are you feeling?  Did you get that picture I sent of Austin and Cooper?  How is your ward?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, I am doing good.  I did get that pic that you sent and it is a good one.  Thank you for sending that.  Our ward is doing good and I really love them.  Tomorrow the USA will play Mexico so there has been a lot of smack talk going around.  I have got to represent America, haha.

Mom:  What does the US play Mexico in tomorrow?  Are your transfers next week?  Are you needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  They play in soccer.  It is a World Cup qualifying game.  USA, USA, USA!!!!  Transfers are next Tuesday and I don't think I'm needing anything.

Mom:  I'm sure you'll be cheering loud.  Just know that we love you and are here for you.  Keep working hard and finish strong.

Elder Parkinson:  Well, I have to go.  I love you so much and I am so sorry that I haven't been able to email with you that much.  I love you and hope you have a great week.  I think we are about 15 weeks from me coming home!

Austin and Cooper after their win last Thursday against Logan