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, April 29, 2013

Driving A Car

Elder Parkinson is driving his first car of the mission and he is very excited about it.  He had been riding up to 40 miles per day on his bike, so this is a welcome change especially with the weather getting hotter.  He continues to be upbeat and positive about everything and we just love hearing from him every week.

This a picture from the internet of the type of car Elder Parkinson is sporting.

Elder Parkinson:  Hi mom.  The week was good because we got a car, haha.  It is a 2010 Ford Fusion.  We have been in a car area on bike, so it has been hard, but now we have a car.  The work is starting to pick up a little.  It is time for my comp to leave this area because he doesn't have much faith or hope left, but we are still working hard.  I am just hoping that the people will keep meeting with us when I get a new comp.  I canceled the order for my watch because I was scared that they were just going to take my money and not send the watch.  Would you order it for me?  You are good at that kind of stuff :) haha.  I am so happy to hear that Cooper is doing good.  I didn't even know what 7 on 7 football was so that is why I never played it.  I would have loved to have played though.  I hope that Austin gets stronger so that he doesn't get hurt so much because he has so much talent and he can go D1 easy if he keeps working hard.  I hope that you can start to get the house going soon.  That is crazy that we got a whole new stake presidency.  This next transfer will most likely decide what mission I will be in for the rest of my time here.  I think I may end up in the new Bakersfield mission.  Do you know who she is getting married to?  I hope it is someone good because she is a nice girl.  I haven't received an email from Kilpack lately.  Tell him to get on it haha.  Well, I love you and can't wait to hear from you.

Mom:  That is so exciting that you got a car!  Who gets to be the driver?  Just make sure you keep exercising so you don't get out of shape now that you aren't riding 30 miles per day.  Do you have meetings with the President this week since transfers are next week?  If so, maybe you can talk to him about your companion.  I'm not exactly sure who she is marrying, but I know it is a return missionary and he looks nice.  Kilpack is taking finals this week, so I'm sure he will email next week.  I see him a lot at Smith's, so I will stay on him!  I'm glad that you are so confident in my shopping abilities :)  I did go ahead and order that watch for you, so will you let me know if you get it?

Elder Parkinson:  I am the driver, so I guess I get to practice my driving a little bit.  I am still working out a lot, so don't worry about that.  We do not have a meeting, but I let him know through email.  I am glad that she found someone good.  I hope that she is happy.  So have you got to meet Kilpack's new girlfriend?  I hope that he is happy.  Thank you for ordering that watch for me.

Mom:  Drive safe ;)  I haven't met Kilpack's new girlfriend yet.  Maybe someday I will.  When do you find out about transfers?  Will you get to see Thacker before he leaves?  How is it going with your military guy?  What are your plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  So on Saturday I will find out about transfers.  I will get to see Thacker today because today we are going down to play bball with them.  With the military guy, we are going to go by and see him tonight to talk with his parents so we can try to get him baptized.  I hope that all goes well.  For today we are going to play ball, then we are going to dinner with a member, then we have an appointment after that and then we have one with the military guy.  I hope that all is well back home.  So have you heard about Rich at all?

Mom:  That sounds like a busy and fun filled day.  Are you going to Lancaster to play ball?  I haven't heard too much from Rich, just his emails that his Aunt posts.  It sounds like he is doing very well.  He is a zone leader right now I'm pretty sure.  Do you get to email with him or David?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, it is going to be a great day.  Yes, I am going into Lancaster to play ball and to get my suit dry cleaned.  That is cool that he is a zone leader.  I have emailed with Dave, but not with Rich because I don't know his email.  It is about time for me to go, so I love you so much and hope that you have a great week.  I will update you on the watch and how long do you think until it gets here?  I will let you know if I am leaving or not for transfers.

Mom:  Sounds great!  I think your watch should get there early this week.  We would also like some more pictures of you.  Get one with you and Elder Thacker before he leaves.  I love you SO much!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, will do.  I love you too.  Have a great week.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A New Watch For The Elder

Another Missionary Monday and another great time emailing with Elder Parkinson.  He is doing great in Lake Los Angeles, but does say that the work out in the desert is definitely slower than the work in the valley.  We received a SIM card from him this past week and it was mostly 2 videos that were each about 6 minutes long.  In each of the videos, he speaks mostly Spanish for at least half the time.  We were all looking at each other amazed at how well he knows the language.  God definitely grants these elders the gift of tongues.  He also wanted to know what happened with the bombings in Boston and references that a little in his opening email.  

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  I am glad that you understood some of the spanish on the videos.  So the marine guy that we are teaching is not doing so good.  He invited us over for a BBQ, but then he called us like 5 minutes before and cancelled.  He said they weren't going to have the BBQ anymore and I thought that was a little weird, so I called the Elders who have a truck and asked them if they could drive by and see if his family was having a BBQ.  It turns out they were, so he lied to us.  We have an appointment with him tomorrow so we will see how that goes.  We haven't had the chance to teach the family yet, but we are going to set an appointment with them for this week.  The week was a little slow, but zone conference was way good.  We learned a lot of new stuff.  That is too bad that Austin's team didn't win the championship in their tourney, but at least they made it to the highest division.  Tell him to man up and get over his injuries, haha, just kidding.  I hope that his ankle and finger start feeling better and I will be praying for him.  I bet that Cooper will be able to clear 5'6' in the high jump this year if he really puts his mind to it.  It sounds like he is turning into an athlete man.  That is so sad that people are doing that (the bombings).  I hope that we can all just see that we are sons and daughters of God and that he loves us all the same and that we can just support each other.  I hope that the house gets going soon.  When do you think it is going to be done?  I did get all the things that you sent out to me.  I have slept so good this past week with my new pillow!  Well, I love you and can't wait to hear back from you.

Mom:  That is too bad with the marine guy.  Maybe it is just not quite his time, but don't give up on him.  When does he report to training?  We are thinking that the house will probably be finished next spring.  That means that you get to come home to the rental and see some of the building process.  Did you get any other emails this week?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, we think that he is scared to let us talk to his parents, but oh well.  I don't really know when he reports.  That will be cool that I will be able to see the rental house, haha.  I got an email from Hannah and it was good to hear from her.

Mom:  I emailed Elder Thacker's mom this past week and found out when his homecoming is.  She invited me to meet them at the airport when he flies home, but Austin told me that it would be weird if I went.  Is it getting hot there yet?  When are transfers?  What are your plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  That is good that you got to talk with Thacker's mom.  I don't think that it would be weird to go to the airport, but idk anymore.  Um, it is getting hot here.  I hope that it cools down soon, but I really don't think that is going to happen.  The rattle snake season is coming also.  I am not too happy with our plans for today because I think we are going to stay here and clean the house.

Mom:  Haha, you should be a pro at cleaning the house by now.  Does that mean no basketball?  Are there a lot of rattle snakes there?  Have you seen any?  Are you still eating okay?  Do you need anything for the hotter weather?

Elder Parkinson:  I hope I will be a pro at cleaning, haha.  We will play basketball for a little while here, but not for that long though.  There are a lot of rattle snakes out here, but I have not seen one yet.  I think I am good as far as needing anything for now.  Um, I am trying to find a watch still.

Mom:  I hope that you never see a rattle snake :)  I was asking Austin about those watches you were looking at and he said that he thinks the g shocks are big looking.  Where did you see these watches?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, one of the members here has a g shock and was showing me all of them on his iPod.  I found a couple that looked good, but if I am not going to go with a g shock then I would go with a Nixon.

Mom:  I think you just need to go with whatever makes you the happiest.  How are the members there? Are you still getting fed a lot?  I am still amazed at how good your Spanish was after watching the videos.  I also thought it was funny listening to that one elder from Mexico laugh all the time.

Elder Parkinson:  Ok, I will make a choice soon.  Yes, I am getting fed a lot and the members are way cool.  Well thanks for the compliment on my spanish.  So what is new out there in Bountiful?

Mom:  Bountiful is still good ol B-town.  We are getting a dunkin donuts in where the Iceberg used to be.  Hopefully it will last there since everything else that goes in there seems to leave.  It has been a little bit of a colder spring so far this year, but I think it is going to warm up soon.  Coach Wall is in the process of tending to his football field.  I saw a sign on it a few weeks ago that said to keep off the grass.  Other than that, just lots of sports going on.  Are your transfers coming up soon?

Elder Parkinson:  Oh yeah, transfers are in 2 weeks.  I forgot to answer that question earlier, haha.  That is funny about Coach Wall.  I hope that donut place stays because I really do love donuts :)

Mom:  I am so excited that I get to talk to you in 3 Sundays.  Will you be able to Skype again?  I love you to the moon and back.  Thank you for making me such a proud and happy mama.

Elder Parkinson:  So this kid just showed me a watch and I like it.  Could I order it?  I can't believe that the time has come again to call home.  Yes, I think I will be able to Skype.

Mom:  Yay!!! I love Skype!!!  Are you able to order it with your debit card?  Will it get there before transfers?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I think so and yes it should get here before transfers.

Mom:  Okay, if it is something you love then I say get it.  Just remember to take care of it because being a missionary is usually a little rough on things.  Also, I don't want it to be something that someone would hurt you over or be judgemental to you because of it.

Elder Parkinson:  No, it will be good.  It is a nice watch, but not too fancy and thank you.  I can't wait to skype and see all of you guys again.

Mom:  I am counting down the days :)

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, I love you so much.  I have to go, but I hope all is well.

About 10 minutes later I got an email confirmation about the watch order.  I guess this was the one he really loved.

Monday, April 15, 2013

15 months!!!

Elder Parkinson just keeps plugging away in the deserts of California.  He is always so upbeat and positive about everything.  We are so excited that he has reached his 15 month mark and we are now able to count the months until his return in single digits!

Elder Parkinson:  Well, the week was a little hard because the boy was not able to come to church, so we had to take away his date.  It is sad but we are still working with him as hard as we can to try to get him to church.  The problem is that his parents are fine with him being baptized, but they still want him to go to their church also, so it makes it hard for him to get to our church.  Man, I was hoping that Indiana would win the NCAA basketball tournament this year, but oh well.  I can't wait to watch next years, haha.  So now that Austin and Cooper are working out hard they now know why I was always so tired and sore.  I wish I was there to make fun of them like they used to make fun of me, haha.  Tell them that it will help them a lot though.  That is way cool that Cooper is getting over 5 feet on his high jump.  I am excited for some pictures.  I am also glad that he is having fun with baseball.  I loved umpiring.  It was a good way to make some money.  I still laugh at how the coaches told me that I was a good umpire because I think they were just scared of me, haha.  I hope that Austin's team will work together so that they can win their tournament this weekend.  I love those kind of tournaments.  Tell Coach J thanks for helping me with football decisions.  I agree with him completely.  I am happy to hear that Jensen is going on a mission.  It is going to help him so much.  I hope that all is well back home and I will talk with Thacker tomorrow to find out about his homecoming details so you can make sure you are there.

Mom:  That makes me sad for that boy too, but no matter what happens the seed has been planted.  Just trust in the Lord and know that he will guide you.  How is the family that you found doing?

Elder Parkinson:  Oh the family.  We were not able to teach them last week, but we are going to this week.  They are way cool.  I hope that they progress.  So I got an email from Kilpack and I was so happy to hear from him.  When do you think you will break ground on the property?

Mom:  That's exciting!  As far as breaking ground goes, we hope that it will happen before the end of the month.  They are working on burying the power lines now.  The weather has been a little crazy though, so that doesn't help.  In fact, it is snowing right now!  Did you ever get your bread?  Was it still good or was it stale?  I am also supposed to ask if you'll write something for the next friend's newsletter?  I just need it by next week.

Elder Parkinson:  That is crazy that it's snowing!  I hope that you are able to break ground soon.  I did the bread and it is great.  I love it.  I will write a little note for the friend's newsletter soon.  Um, I was thinking that I want a nice watch.  What do you think?

Mom:  I think a watch is always a useful thing.  What kind are you thinking?  Do you want it while you are on your mission?  Have you been taking any more pictures?  We would love a new SIM card with some pics of you ;)

Elder Parkinson:  Well, I was thinking of a nice one for dates and special occasions or else a more durable one that is also nice.  I will make sure to send home a SIM card this week.  I have it ready.

Mom:  I think you would probably like one that you feel comfortable wearing most of the time.  If you only wear it now and then you will most likely forget you even have it.  Are you thinking of buying it out there?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, I don't know yet but I just thought I would let you know that I am thinking about it.  So what is new?

Mom:  Well, I will put some money in your account and when you see one that you really like you can decide then if you want to get it.  Nothing is really new except for all the house stuff and basketball and baseball games.  It seems like we are having to travel a lot this year for various tournaments.  Anything new for you?  What are your plans today?  How is the biking?  Are you still working out?

Elder Parkinson:  Thank you!  For today we are going to clean the house.  The bike is going good, haha.  I am also still working out and can't wait to get back and play some ball.  I love it and hope that I will still be able to play when I get home.  I have to get going, so just know I love you so much.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Every Member A Missionary

I always love emailing with Jordan after conference weekend.  It is fun to see the talks that he really enjoyed and see if they are the same as mine.  He is still doing great and working VERY hard.  I received a letter in the mail last week from his companion telling me what an awesome missionary Elder Parkinson is and how much he enjoys being his companion.  This makes a mom heart smile.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, I am doing great.  I did get the post card that you guys sent from San Diego, but I haven't gotten the bread yet.  I bet it's on its way.  I loved conference.  I really loved Holland's talk and President Monson's too.  I also loved how they said that every member was a missionary.  That is so true.  Us missionaries need all the help that we can get.  We watched conference at the church here and none of our investigators were able to make it, but it's okay.  It sounds like you guys had a good spring break and that is nuts about all of the sports that Austin and Cooper have going on.  I am happy that you got to go to Idaho.  As far as school goes, I am still deciding.  I do want to go where I will be able to play football.

Mom:  It is so good to hear from you!  I was starting to get worried because your email came later than normal.  It is raining/snowing here as I email with you.  I am ready for the warm weather to come and stay!  How is your investigator coming for the 21st?

Elder Parkinson:  It better start to warm up, haha.  We had to move the date back for our investigator to the 28th so he could come to church 3 times, but he is doing great.  I love him.  He was so ready for the gospel.

Mom:  That's exciting!  How is the rest of the work going there?  It is really important for the members to help the missionaries with the work.  Did you get any other emails?

Elder Parkinson:  The work is a little slow, but we did find a family so that is cool.  I didn't get any other emails, so maybe Kilpack didn't have time, but it's okay.  So how is dad's work going?

Mom:  Dad is keeping very busy.  He is working at 4 different hospitals and is doing a lot of stuff with different medical boards.  He still manages to find some time to help coach though :)  What are your plans for today?  How did you find the new family to teach?

Elder Parkinson:  That is good to hear about dad.  We are going to play bball today.  We found the family by knocking doors.  We asked Heavenly Father for a family and he led us to one.  We have an appointment for this Saturday.  It is a family of 5.  So how is Cooper looking in bball?

Mom:  That is so amazing how the power of Heavenly Father works!  Cooper is looking pretty good.  He is a definitely a gangler, just like you ;)  He really likes to shoot from the outside and doesn't want to play post, so he is trying to work on his ball handling.  He really does remind me a lot of you with everything he does.  I think that he will be the one that will surprise you the most when you come home.  Where do you play bball at?  Are you needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  We go into Lancaster and play ball with the whole zone.  It is good basketball, haha.  I think I am good as far as needing anything, but just know that I love you guys so much.  I have to get going soon, but I love you and I will talk to you next week.  I hope all is well.

This is a horrible picture, but Jordan sent us a video of himself blowing out his candles on his 20th birthday.  I tried to take a still picture from the video and this is the best I could do.  No matter what, we just love this Elder!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Doing the Work and Finishing Strong

It was so nice to be able to email with Elder Parkinson today, knowing that we were in the same state.  Even though we are a couple of hours away from him and are not going to be in his area, it felt like we were right next door.  We are so proud of him and his amazing attitude toward everything.

Elder Parkinson:  Hello!  Well, this week was great.  We set a date for the 21st of this month and he is way cool.  His name is Saul and he is 17 years old.  He is going into the marines.  He is a way cool kid that we found knocking on doors.  For Easter we just tried to go by people and didn't have too much luck, but oh well.  I can't believe that kids were throwing punches at Austin's basketball tournament.  That is when you want me on your team, haha.  Well, I am a little sad that Duke lost but they made it farther than North Carolina, so that is all I care about, haha.  That is way cool that you are in San Diego.  I hope that you enjoy it there.  I am excited to email with you today.

Mom:  I am so excited that you have found someone who is ready to accept this wonderful gospel.  I am happy for Saul that he will now have this knowledge to take with him into the marines.  Did you get your Easter package?  What are your plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I did get the package, that was so nice.  Thank you so much.  I hope that all is great.  For today we are going to go shopping and play ball and then go to dinner and then visit someone who used to have the missionaries over.  Could you tell Kilpack that I can email him now, so I need his email address?

Mom:  Yes, I will talk to Kilpack.  Are you still riding your bike a lot?  Is it getting hot?  Do you have more time to email now that the rules have changed?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, um, well yes we are riding our bikes a lot!  On Friday we had to call it early because we couldn't bend our legs because they were so tense.  It is starting to get hot, but it's okay.  It can't get as bad as that day down at Dixie where they canceled practice because our cleats were melting on the turf!  I do have a little more time to email, but I would still like to keep it a little short so other Elder's can email too.

Mom:  Yes, Dixie was definitely HOT, haha!!!!  Are you doing okay clothing wise?  Do you need any more shirts or anything?  Are you healthy and feeling good?  How is everything with your companion and the language?  You are SO amazing and we love you more than you know!

Elder Parkinson:  When you get back into town, could you send me some more bread?  Other than that, I am doing great.  My comp is doing okay.  He doesn't like Spanish, but he is trying hard.  I am feeling okay, I am just way tired but I guess that is how I am supposed to feel.  I am way healthy, haha.  I hope that you guys know that you are amazing and that I love you and that because of you I have a great example to follow and I know how to finish strong.  I hope that all is well.  Any other questions?

Mom:  Yes, I will for sure send you some bread.  We get back on Thursday, so hopefully I can get it to you by Saturday.  I guess being tired means you are doing exactly what you should.  If you had energy, you would know that you were not giving it your all.  How is your ward?  Do you get fed a lot?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, it is actually a branch, but they are great.  They feed us a ton of food.  Have you had the time to talk to Coach J yet?

Mom:  I am going to give Coach J a call after spring break.  I guess one of the issues with Weber is that if the coach doesn't win this year, he will most likely be replaced.  That makes it a little more difficult to talk to him about next year.  Have you had to speak at all in your branch?

Elder Parkinson:  Okay, that sounds great.  No, I have not had to speak yet, but I have had to translate and that was fun.

Mom:  That is awesome.  I can't wait to hear you speak fluid spanish.  It is crazy that you know enough to translate for people!  Are you liking the Lake LA area?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, it is way small, so it isn't the best for missionary work, but I like it.  I have to get going, so thank you for all you do for me.  I hope you travel home safely.