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, February 25, 2013

Hello Lake Los Angeles

Jordan had transfers last week and we had no idea where he was going.  He said that he would send a letter with his new address, but we didn't get that until Saturday.  It was a long week wondering where our Elder was at.  We finally found out that he went further into the desert into a very small area called Lake Los Angeles.  Jordan is a country boy at heart, so he will be fine in this new area.

Elder Parkinson:  I am glad that you finally got my letter.  I am doing great.  Lake LA is so small and there wasn't any work when I came in.  My comp is Elder Barker and he is from Evanston, Wyoming.  He has been out 1 transfer longer than me.  I am still on a bike, but the area we are in used to be a car area so it is way big.  We ride our bikes almost 45 miles a day.  I am so tired and I am ready to go to a car area, but it will be fine.  Lake Los Angeles is kind of like Burley, Idaho - there is nothing here, haha.  We are about 45 minutes away from Palmdale.  I still live in a house, so that is good.  Elder Barker is a country boy so we are both hard workers and ready to get this area going again.  I am glad to hear that Cooper's team won their basketball tournament and that he was able to have his Eagle Court of Honor.  It is very useful to be an Eagle.  Also, I am glad that Austin is enjoying basketball.  I hope that BHS does well in state.  Could you send me out some bread and whatever else you would like to send out, haha.  I hope that all is well in Utah.  We got a little snow here in Lake LA and it is also very windy here, which makes it even more fun to be on a bike.

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that you are doing well.  Are you the only missionaries in Lake LA?  How is your new bike?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, we live with two other missionaries that speak spanish and then there are 2 english missionaries.  The new bike is great.  We are doing our best to get the work going, but it is hard.

Mom:  I know that you will do great because you are such a hard worker!  Are there many places to eat in Lake LA?  How is the branch?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, there are like local places to eat, but no McDonald's or anything like that.  The branch is small, but it is good.  They are great cooks!  To shop we have to drive 30 minutes to get somewhere that has a bigger store.

Mom:  Do any of the missionaries there have a car?  Are you doing okay with all of your other supplies and clothing?  Where do you email from?

Elder Parkinson:  The english speaking elders have a truck so that is how we get places.  We are supposed to get a truck in 4 weeks, but we will see, haha.  Everything is good and I don't need anything else.  We email from our church and we always do it at 10 in the morning.

Mom:  That is good to know :)  You are such and amazing son!  We love you SO much!  Are you still working out?  What do you think you will do on P days in Lake LA?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, I am still working out, yes.  Today we are going shopping then we are going to play ball at the stake center in Lancaster.

Mom:  That sounds fun.  How far away is the stake center?  Where do you have zone or district meetings at?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, the stake center is about 30 minutes away.  We have our meetings at our church which is like 5 minutes from our house.

Mom:  Who are your zone leaders?  I hope you have an amazing week and are able to find some success!

Elder Parkinson:  My zone leaders are Elder Maxwell and Thacker.  I have to go now because there are others waiting, so I love you and will talk to you next week.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Leaving Palmdale - Destination Unknown

Today is transfer day yet again in the San Fernando mission and Elder Parkinson is going to be leaving Palmdale.  He is not quite sure where he will be going yet, but he is excited for the new adventure.  We are glad that he and Elder Flake were able to bond one last time with their eating challenge last Monday.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  This week was great.  I am leaving Palmdale, but I don't know where I'm going yet.  I do know that I am going to another bike area, so I am going to buy a bike.  That burger that we ate for the challenge was SO hot.  The quantity wasn't a lot, but it was very spicy.  I am very happy that Austin and Cooper are doing great.  I am loving life.  What else....did you send some more contacts yet?  I am very excited for the basketball team.  Tell Austin to enjoy the state tournament because it's very fun.  I don't have much to say, but I do want you to know that I do try to keep an uplifting hymn in my head like you suggested.  Well, how is life in Bountiful?

Mom:  So when do you leave Palmdale?  When will you find out where you are going?  Do you know where you are going to buy your new bike?  I didn't send the contacts yet because I wasn't sure if your address was going to change.  Are you totally out of contacts?  Life in Bountiful is treating us well :)

Elder Parkinson:  Well, I leave tomorrow and that is when I will find out where I am going.  I don't know where I am going to buy a new bike, but we are going today to look around.  I am just using my glasses right now until you can send some more contacts.  I will be changing addresses and I hope that I get to go somewhere cool, haha.  I am going to miss Elder Flake.  I heard that you guys are looking into buying a share in a houseboat.

Mom:  That's exciting!  I'm sure Elder Flake is going to miss you as well, but I know that you will always stay in touch.  Where should I send the contacts?  Should I just wait for your new address or just send them to the mission home?  Yes, dad is looking into houseboat shares, but it's definitely not going to happen this year.  Does Elder Flake know where he's going?

Elder Parkinson:  Elder Flake is staying here in Palmdale.  I hope that dad is able to get a houseboat share for the year that I come home, haha.  Either way though, a houseboat is a houseboat and I will be happy with anything.  I hope that all is well back home.  I will send you a letter with my new address when I get it.  Well, I love you so much and about the contacts- just wait until I send the new address and then send them there.  I hope that all of you are doing well and everyone is having fun.  I love you all so much and I am excited to move on in the mission.

The 3lb Burger and Fries Eating Challenge:

 Elder's Parkinson and Flake standing outside the challenge site.  They look pretty confident don't they?

 The Challengers

 Signing the waiver 

 The Food.  Elder Parkinson said it was the hottest thing he had eaten.  The burger was cooked with habanero, chipotle and some other spice.

After the Challenge.  You can see that Elder Flake didn't fare so well and Elder Parkinson is needing some milk to cool his body down.

The Results:
Elder Flake - Gave in after 5 minutes and said that his stomach felt like it had a blow torch inside it.

Elder Parkinson:  Gave in after 17 minutes and finishing half of the burger and all the fries.

The Other Elder:  Gave in after 18 minutes, finishing half the burger and dealing with hot sauce in his eyes.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Valentines Week


This past week, the Boat Show was in Utah.  This is one of Jordan's favorite things to do.  He loves to go and look at all of the new boats and boating equipment and live in dream world for awhile.  It was kinda weird to be there without him because he is the most avid boater in our family.  We then realized, however, that next year he would be there with us.  YAY!!!  This second year of the mission is going to go by a lot faster than the first year did, but in the meantime, we are so happy that Jordan is busy serving the Lord right now.

Elder Parkinson:  Hello mom.  I am doing great and loving life here.  I hope that it stops snowing sometime soon there so you can start on the house.  That is so cool that Austin gave a talk on Sunday.  I like the story that he used and I might have to use it out here too.  That is great to hear about BHS basketball.  They should be able to beat Highland because they don't have Nate F. anymore, haha.  Tell Cooper that he needs to play high school ball.  It is so fun and he will be able to play church ball when he gets older.  That is crazy how tall people have gotten.  I don't think I have grown at all and I am sorry to hear that you are now the shortest one in the family.  That is so cool that you guys went to the boat show.  Did you take pictures?  I know our boat is great.  I am so happy that you got a new wakeboard.  Could you send me a pic right now if it?  Um, that is great to hear that Dave is back out and doing well.  He is such an example to me.  We will know more about transfers this Saturday.  My knees are okay.  Today I will be doing a food challenge.  I am going to try to eat a 3 pound burger and a pound of fries in 38 minutes!

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that you are doing well our there and loving your mission.  That makes me SO happy.  I cannot believe that you are going to do that eating challenge!!!  Is anyone else doing it with you?

The New Wakeboard

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, Elder Flake is doing it with me.  I am so pumped to do it.  I love that board.  It looks good!  Did you take any pics of the boats?

Mom:  You will have to take some pictures of you and Elder Flake pigging out ;)  I didn't take any pictures of the boats, but the new color schemes on the Malibu's are a little crazy.  They are like sparkly pastel metallics.  How is the work going?

Elder Parkinson:  We are going to record the whole challenge, haha.  That is cool about the new boat colors.  I can't wait to see what they look like.  The work is slowly progressing.  We are trying to work our butts off to find those that are prepared.

Mom:  Any idea what will happen with transfers?  Are you still playing a lot of basketball?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, I have no idea what is going on with transfers.  Yes, we are still playing a lot of bball.  I have to get going now because someone else is waiting to use my computer.  I love you so much and hope that you are doing well.  Tell everyone hello for me.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

He Is Yours

I saw this poem today and it immediately brought me back to January 18, 2012 when we dropped Jordan off at the MTC.  It is so well written and expresses my emotions exactly.

As we went through the MTC doors,
I said, "Heavenly Father, he is yours."
With tears burning in my eyes
We said our farewell and good-byes. 
He's not off to kindergarten, he's not out to play,
He's doing the Lord's work today. 
I guess the mailbox will become our best friend
As we wait for the letters he will send.
A strange silence fell on our home.
Someone is missing and I feel alone.
No "Hey Mom," or even his voice on the phone.
His winter coat is hanging on the rack.
It will be two years until he is back.
Too much milk in the fridge, no more wash to do.
My workload is lightening, but, Son, I miss you.
Crying, I walk into his room.
Then I remember Christ's empty tomb.
My sacrifice is so small
Compared to it all.
It is hard to let go of my boy's hand,
For when he returns, he will be a man.
And as I turn and walk away,
"God bless our boy," I silently pray.
Into the bright light through the MTC doors
And once again, Father, I know he is yours.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Loving It Here

Elder Parkinson is loving his mission and the people of Palmdale.  He is still riding a bike that is a little too small until he sees what happens with transfers.  I'm sure we would all love to see a picture of Jordan with his long legs on a little bike.  Elder Parkinson always has a way of bringing a smile to our faces.

Elder Parkinson:  I am doing great!  I love it here in the mission field.  I am glad that everyone is feeling better.  If that sickness put dad down for a couple days then it must have been bad.  I am also very happy that you were able to turn to the scriptures and that you got an answer.  That is crazy that Dave is back out.  I hope that he does a great job, but I know that he will.  So, about the Super Bowl, at least my niners made it that far.  I did get the package and I loved the hat, haha.  Thank you.  That is so crazy that there is only a month left of high school basketball and that March Madness is on it's way.  What else.....about the bike, I am just going to stick it out until I find out if I am going to a car area or not.  Tell Cooper and Austin to stay away from the girls.  They will only get themselves in trouble.  I am so happy that dad gave me that advise and also that I had David to be there with me for the most part.

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that you are doing well.  Is the bike still bothering your knee?  What did your mission president say about it?  How are your investigators?

Elder Parkinson:  It is bothering my knee a little bit, but I think it will be okay.  My mission president hasn't gotten back to me yet.  We had to pull the dates off of our new investigators because they keep flaking out on appointments.

Mom:  That's too bad.  Just keep doing your best and the Lord will lead you to those who are ready.  How is the ward?

Elder Parkinson:  We are working hard and the ward is doing great.  They are on our sides and we love the work.  I think I might go zone leader.

Mom:  How exciting.  What does zone leader do?  Would you stay in Palmdale?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, that is what we are thinking.  The zone leader just watches over like 20 missionaries, but I am not sure that is what will happen.  We will find out in 2 weeks at transfers I guess.  So how is the snow?  Did you get more?

Mom:  That would be cool.  The snow is still here.  We've gotten a little more and it is not melting very fast either.  It is definitely the most snow I have seen in Bountiful.  How is the weather there?  What are your plans today?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, it is in the 60's, haha.  I'm not really sure what our plans for today are, but I do have to get going.  I love you so much and I hope that all is great there.