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, July 29, 2013

Last July in the Field

Elder Parkinson is doing so well and absolutely loving his mission.  It is crazy for us all to see missionaries coming home that graduated with Jordan.  It makes us more excited for his return in December!  He has transfers next week and we are looking forward to seeing if any changes will occur.  He said he will go wherever the Lord wants him to go or stay wherever the Lord wants him to stay.  Jordan is such a great example to all of us and we are so proud of the work he is doing.

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, this week was good.  It went by so fast.  Nothing new with transfers, just that they are going to be on the 6th of August.  I know I will be coming home the week before Christmas, but I'm not sure on the day yet.  They are trying to book my flight, so all is well.  It rained way hard last Monday so we didn't have family home evening.  It is so crazy that it is almost August and it is even crazier that Dan is already home.  I hope that he is doing good and that he is enjoying life.  I can't believe that it was 2 years ago that I went to his farewell.  It is good to hear that dad could whoop Austin's basketball team into shape and get them to play as a team.  I'm glad that they beat some really good teams.  Dad is just a great coach like that.  I hope Cooper makes the high school team, but he will do well either way.  Thank you for ordering insanity for me.  There is also one thing that I am needing and that is a new debit card.  Mine won't swipe anymore.  The house is looking super cool and I'm excited to watch the progress through pictures.  Well, I can't wait to email with you.

Mom:  It does sound like you had a great week!  I am so happy that you will be home for Christmas this year.  That makes me smile :)  I will go down to the bank and try to get a new debit card today.  Are you still able to use it?  What are your plans for this wonderful P day?

Elder Parkinson:  Every week is a great week on a mission!  I am very happy too.  Thanks for checking on the debit card because I don't think I can even use it.  Today we are going to be playing bball all day long and then go to the family home evening.

Mom:  I love your attitude!  You are such an awesome missionary.  Bball all day long sound like your kind of thing so I hope you have fun.  Keep working hard and things will work out the way they are supposed to for you.

Elder Parkinson:  I am working hard and trying to stay focused.  I am heading to Lancaster right now to play ball, so I will email you from there.

Mom:  How is basketball going?  Cooper is afraid he's not going to make the high school team for football because he thinks they are only going to keep the big guys.  I told him that you didn't play at the HS in 9th grade and look how well things turned out for you :)  I think he's still feeling pretty bummed though.

Jordan as a 9th grade football player.  He and Cooper look so much alike!

Elder Parkinson:  It is going good, just ballin it up haha.  Tell Cooper not to worry because it isn't that bad if he doesn't make the HS team.  He will do just fine.  Tell him to work hard and enjoy the moment.  It is so fun and it goes by way too fast.

Mom:  Okay, I will tell him.  Thanks for always being so supportive of your brothers.  They are lucky to have you.

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, no problem.  I love them so much!!!

Mom:  They love you too!  They are always speaking very highly about you.  I want you to know how much all of us love you and pray for you every single day.  We are here for you no matter what.

Elder Parkinson:  I love you so much!  I hope that you have a great week.  Tell the fam that I love them and can't wait to see them again.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Keeping The Elders Safe

I was in California again this past week for the second week in a row.  It was even harder this time knowing that Elder Parkinson was so close and nobody I knew was going to see him and give me an update.  I just had to keep telling myself that I will get to see him very soon.  He will hopefully be released before Christmas this year.  Elder Parkinson is doing awesome and loves his companion and the work he is doing.  I have heard from so many people that he is such a positive example and a great leader.  I sure do love that boy!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom.  Well the week was a little slow because nobody was home.  That made things go slowly, but it was alright.  I did get the bread and the pictures.  Sushi was great like always, haha.  That is crazy that we were in the same state again.  Just 5 more months and then you get to see my face in person again.  I am not happy to hear that their are ball hogs on Austin's team.  I really don't like players like that who think they are better than everyone else.  It is not fun to play with those type of people.  I am so happy to hear about Cooper and football.  That is the dedication I like to see out of Cooper with conditioning.  I hope that he gets to play up at the high school.  I loved going to the creek after football and then going and getting a big breakfast.  It was great.  I am happy that the house is starting to come along nicely.  I hope they can get it done fast.  I love you and can't wait to talk to you.

Mom:  Hi cutie!  I'm sorry to hear that you had a slow week, but I know you will keep working hard and find the people who are ready for you.  What are your plans for today?

Elder Parkinson:  We are going to play basketball and then we are going to dinner and then we are going to teach a family home evening at the church for all of the members to come to.  

Mom:  That sounds like a great day!  What are you teaching for family home evening?  How many people do you expect?  Are you doing the lesson?

Elder Parkinson:  Well, we are just teaching the missionary lessons and we all just take turns teaching it.  I don't know how many people are going to come, but probably not that many.

Mom:  That is a great idea to have family home evening for the members.  I bet it will be great!  I drove by the lot this morning and there were five concrete trucks lined up ready to pour.  It is quite a sight!  Is next week transfer week?

Elder Parkinson:  That is way cool that there are five concrete trucks ready to pour.  You should send me a picture.  Transfers are on the 6th of next month.

Mom:  I will drive down there and get a picture.  I'm sure there aren't as many trucks there anymore since that was around 8:30.  Is is hot there?  How is being the district leader?

The line of concrete trucks waiting to pour the footings at our lot today.

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, that is a lot of trucks!  How long do they think the house will take?   It isn't too hot here anymore.  We got some rain yesterday and that was nice.  District leader is good.  It is mostly just me making sure all of the missionaries are safe.

Mom:  Yay for rain!!!  Have you had any unsafe situations occur?  Speaking of sending pictures, when is the last time we got a sim card from you?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, um no nothing unsafe.  People are too afraid of these guns.  Remember that I can't go into the stadium because I have weapons, haha.  (This is an inside joke between Jordan and I.  When he says guns he is referring to his muscles.)  I will get a sim card sent off soon.

Mom:  Haha, I remember that day at BYU!!!  Do you still have your guns?  They think that the house will take about a year to finish.  Do you still keep in touch with Thacker?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, yeah, I sill have my guns.  I have been keeping in touch with Thacker and he is doing good.  He got a new truck.  I will try to forward you a picture.

Mom:  Oh boy, a new truck!!  Is he going to start school in the fall?  Are you needing anything?  Socks, shirts....?

Elder Parkinson:  Yeah, he is going to start school.  I am doing great and I don't think it would be worth sending out new stuff with this much time left.  I am just going to throw everything away when I leave anyway.  

Mom:  Okay, I guess I won't send anything new out then.  Make sure you are exercising and staying fit because you want to make a good impression with the football coaches when you get home.

Elder Parkinson:  I am trying to stay fit.  Could you send me this thing called insanity so that I can work out more?

Mom:  Sure.  I will try to find it and send it out.  Remember that cardio is the best way to burn fat.  I hate running, but sometimes you just have to do it.  Just don't stress out too much and remember to focus on the things that are the most important.  You are amazing and I love you sooo much!!!

Elder Parkinson:  I am doing great and working hard, so don't worry too much about me.  I love you so much too.  Have a good week.

 The chain of command: Elder Calder (blue tie) who trained Elder Parkinson and then the two "sons" that Elder Parkinson has trained.

 Baptism Day in Lake Los Angeles

Elder Parkinson with his two "sons" 
Elder Farnsworth (left) and Elder Zobrist (right)

Monday, July 15, 2013

So Close, Yet So Far Away

This past week Austin, Cooper and I were in California for a basketball tournament with Bountiful High School.  It is so hard to be only about 1 1/2 hours away from your missionary.  Luckily, some of our friends went to visit Elder Parkinson and took him some donuts and were able to visit with him for a little bit.  The picture they took was priceless to me.  He looks so grown up and has definitely turned into an adult.  Our friends said he seemed so confident and looked very, very happy.  

 The town where Elder Parkinson is currently serving as district leader.  It is pretty much a desert in the middle of nowhere.

 Cute bakery where they purchased donuts for Jordan.  The owner said he knew who Elder Parkinson was.

Carleen and AC Seljaas with our cute missionary.  He is definitely turning into a "big boy."

Elder Parkinson:  Hey mom, all is great.  The week was alright.  Nothing too exciting happened.  There is nothing new, just working hard and loving the mission.  That was great to see the Seljaas', especially AC.  He is a man now, haha.  I can't believe that I will see them again in like 5 months!  That is crazy that BHS did so well in the tourney (they made it to the semifinals) and that you will be in Cali again this week.  I hope Austin and Cooper are loving football.  It is the best time, even the summer conditioning, haha.  I am so glad that the house is making progress.  You will have to send me a pic so that I can see how it is coming along.  I love you so much and I hope to hear from you soon.

This is the progress on the house.  It has all been excavated and they will be doing forms and foundation this week.  The man in the red shirt is Justin, which shows you how big the hole is.

Mom:  You are always working hard :)  When are your next transfers?  How is your companion?  I am supposed to tell you that -------- has been trying to respond to your emails, but she doesn't think you are getting them.

Elder Parkinson:  I hope that I am always working hard, haha.  Transfers are in 2 weeks and my comp is great.  He is so cool and we get along really well.  I am emailing with her right now, so I think all is well.  Guess where I am going today?

Mom:  You are so awesome :)  I am going to guess that you are going to sushi.  Am I right?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, yes, you are right!  I am doing so well.  So what part of Cali are you going to be in this week.

Mom:  I know you SO well, haha!!!  Where are you having sushi at?  We are going to be in Anaheim again.  Did you get the postcards that we sent yet?

Elder Parkinson:  We are going to a place called miso.  It is all you can eat, haha.  That is cool that you will be in Anaheim again.  I have not gotten the postcards yet, but I am so ready for them.  You do know me so well :)  What are your plans for today?

Mom:  How far is Miso?  Today I am going to be doing laundry, going down to the lot to look at the progress, getting the boys' haircut and lots of other small errands.  Are you doing anything else after sushi?  How many people are going to sushi with you?

Elder Parkinson:  It is about 20 minutes away and that sounds like a great day you have planned.  No, we are not doing much except for sushi and I'm not sure how many people are going.  Why?

Mom:  I was just wondering if it was going to be a big party or not ;)  Are you having any more luck with your investigators?

Elder Parkinson:  Um, not really.  It is a hard area.  I don't think that it's going to be too big of a party, haha.

Mom:  How is the ward?  How are the members?  Are you needing anything?

Elder Parkinson:  The ward is doing good and the members are way cool.  I do need some more bread. Will you send out a couple more loafs for an elder here?

Mom:  I sure will.  What kind of bread do you want?

Elder Parkinson:  I would like about 4 loafs of the Grandma Sycamore's bread if you could.  Also, I have a favor to ask - could you send a Red Lobster gift card to Elder ------- ----------?

Mom:  For sure!  Do I just send the gift card to your address?

Elder Parkinson:  No, haha, send the bread to my address and would you send the gift card to the California, San Fernando mission office address?

Mom:  I can do that!  Do you know how much I love you?  You are amazing!!!

Elder Parkinson:  Yes, I do know that and I love you even more.  I hope you have a great week mom.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Welcome To The Bakersfield Mission

Our family was in Lake Powell all of last week, so I didn't get a chance to email with Elder Parkinson.  It was really hard to not be able to have the slightest bit of communication with him, but his happiness makes me happy.  He is doing really well and enjoying the last 1/4 of his mission.  He is now officially in the California, Bakersfield mission.  This area covers a lot of the desert to the north and east of LA.  Elder Parkinson has now had 3 different mission presidents in addition to the two different missions.  He loves his new mission president and the companion that he is training.

Elder Parkinson:  Well, the week was great and everything is going well.  Yes, we did meet the new mission president and he is way cool.  I like him a lot.  He is from Cedar City.  I am so relieved that you got to Powell and back with no problems.  It had to have been very hot without the AC working on the houseboat.  The Blue Devil (our ski boat) is a great sleeping spot though and it isn't that hot.  I love sleeping there.  Just so you know, that is still my spot when I get home, haha.  I am glad that Cooper still keeps the early morning wakeboarding runs going.  It is definitely the best time to go because the water is like glass.  I remember football conditioning really well.  It does help a lot and it is hard, but worth it.  Now Austin and Cooper will know why I was so sore all the time because I would do that then go work out with Gary.  That would be nice to talk to Coach J about Weber, but I know that I am going there for sure.  I received that answer in the temple.  I cannot believe that you are coming back out to California for the high school basketball tournament again.  It is crazy that it has been a year ago that I had breakfast with Coach because it seems like just yesterday.  If he has time, I would love to see him again.  Yes, we are finding a lot more spanish investigators.  It is going great.  I am going to talk to President when I see him next about my release date.  Not too much is different at the moment, but I will keep you updated.  I did wear my 4th of July tie and baked the cake that you send.  We had a BBQ that day too and it was great.

Mom:  I am so glad to hear that you are doing well and you still have that positive attitude and sense of humor.  How is your companion doing?  Are you still at the same address?

Elder Parkinson:  My comp is doing great.  He is a great guy and we work very hard.  Yes, we are still at the same address.  So do you have any pics that you could send me from Powell?

Mom:  Of course I have pics.  I will try to send them right now.  What are your plans for today?

 Our Captain- The Best Dad In the World

 Cooper Doing The Surf Thing

 Austin Catching A Wave On The Surfboard

 Cooper Getting Air On The Wakeboard

 Pizza Dinner Before Heading Home

Sunny Is One Lucky Girl With This Group Of Boys

Elder Parkinson:  I got the pics.  Thank you.  What restaurant is that?  For today we are going to play some ball around 10:30 and after that I have now idea, haha.  What are your plans for today?

Mom:  That is pizza place in Page called Stromboli's.  For today, I am trying to catch up on my 11 loads of laundry, take Gramps' truck in to get fixed, take Austin to a basketball scrimmage at 1:00 and then go to the football conditioning meeting with Austin and Cooper at 5:00.

Elder Parkinson:  That is a lot of laundry!  Didn't you guys go to the Mexican restaurant this time?  I love that place.  Did you stop and get a Chubby Burger?  You have a busy day ahead of you.

Mom:  We went to the Mexican place on the first night that we were there and then ate at the pizza place on the last night.  We weren't able to have a chubby burger this time because we traveled on Sunday both days and they are closed on Sunday's :(

Elder Parkinson:  That is what you get for breaking the sabbath, haha.  So how is the house coming along?

Mom:  I will have you know that I did go to sacrament meeting before we left last Sunday ;)  The house is finally becoming a reality!  They are breaking ground on Wednesday.  I am going over tomorrow to mark trees and get ready for the big equipment to come in.  Are you feeling good?  Are you happy?  Any baptismal dates set?

Elder Parkinson:  Haha, well you were at "another ward" all week so I think you are good.  That is great that the house is going to get started.  I am doing great.  I am very happy.  For right now, no baptismal dates because we kind-of started from scratch.  I am so happy to be serving a mission.  Can you believe that I only have like 5 months left?

Mom:  I cannot believe that you are coming home at the end of this year!  I am SO excited for that day!!!  You are such an amazing missionary and this experience will change your life forever.  What a huge blessing.  Remember to finish strong and be a good companion until the end.  I love you SO much!!!!

Elder Parkinson:  I love you too.  I hope that all goes well this week and that all is great.  I hope that the house will be going well.  I love you so much mom.