Monday, February 24, 2014

The Gospel Changes Lives!

Pics? ... the cord on my camera doesn’t work and I can’t find a usb drive for memory cards, but I’ll keep looking so until then.

This week, because of marti gras, missionaries aren’t allowed to be on the island for it, we had another companionship in our apartment Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  It was crazy, but super fun.  I took the part of the area that we usually don’t work cuz no one lives there so it was super hard to find people to teach, but it was good.  And then we went to the new Texas City branch for church.  Haha, its just in an office building.  And they only have 50 people but then 12 missionaries were there so we had a bunch.

I caught a lizard on Sunday and his tail fell off in the apartment so I gave my district leader 2 snickers to eat it.  He said it didn’t taste like anything, but he didn’t chew it, just swallowed it.

Oh and we have this investigator Ignacio.  And when we first met him, he had an unstable job, drank a lot, didn’t spend much time with his family and so on.  But after we’ve taught him everything and helped him to see how the gospel can bless his and his families life he has completely changed.  He hasn’t drank for 2 months.  He got a better job.  If he is not working, he is at home with his wife and kids.  They are all super happy.  It’s just cool to see how people can change when they know God will help them.  Hopefully he will get baptized now.  He has a date but his wife is a little skeptical, but we are working with her.

Oh yeah, and tell grandma thanks for my package.  I loved it!

Elder Lundy

Monday, February 17, 2014

Prayer Circles and Off Roading

This week wasn’t like the last.  It was super slow because we are trying to teach all of our new people more times.  But it’s pretty much impossible cuz no one wants to talk about church stuff again.  They either have their own church, or they are too busy.  Or if we set an appointment, they make sure not to be home. But we have done a lot of walking this week, just for fun and to save miles.  And walking is definitely way better than in the car or on bikes.  We just cruse around and talk to everyone on the streets and play a little with the little kids outside.  And its just a lot more fun.

Haha, we have also done a lot of prayer circles.  When we go to pray, a lot of people just put out their hands and expect us to join in.  We have done it so many times its almost just natural every time.  And it’s always the best when people shake our hands during the prayer.  Or some put our hands up to their face cuz its symbolic of something.  Whatever.  But one time, when praying with somebody, I caught myself saying “dear lord” after every sentance cuz that’s what everyone does here!  It was rough.

And Elder Harper Smith, before his mission he drove a big lifted jeep and he forgets that we drive a Corolla.  If he sees a back dirt road he will just charge it and he has gotten the car stuck twice in ditches and I have to get it out for him. And because he had a jeep he’s a terrible driver.  He is just used to driving over everything, haha.  He will just cruse over curbs and bushes and it almost doesn’t even faze him.  Haha, he’s crazy!  Sometimes I have to tell him to mellow out cuz he is always flooring it, but I have to remind him that we are missionaries.

As Always,

Elder Parks

Friday, February 14, 2014

Crazy Teaching on the Dike!

So this week was crazy!  We taught a total of 55 lessons somehow!  haha. I think that is a mission record!  One day we wanted to proselyte for 12 hours straight so we woke up at 5 in the morning and packed sack lunches and left by 9:30 and didn’t get home till 9:30.  We taught 24 lessons that day.  And we went and biked the dike.  It’s like a 5 mile long jetty that you can drive down and a bunch of people fish off of it.  We road it and talked to everyone we saw.  And when we talked, we would pretty much just start out with “Who is God for you?”  And these people didn’t know we were teaching them the first lesson until after we got to Joseph Smith and by then we were pretty much done.  We ended up being on the dike for 5 hours!  The only problem was we only taught 4 people in Spanish, haha and one of them was full blood Japanese but spoke perfect Spanish too.

And we taught this guy named Mike the next day.  We talked about Jesus and prophets and church stuff the whole time but somehow we also worked in Jason Bourne, terrorists, crops and harvesting, diet coke, colon cancer, early Chinese alarm systems, and so much more! Haha.  We knew that we weren’t getting anywhere with him but he wouldn’t stop talking so we would play with what he said a little to have fun till he just got sick of talking.

We also taught this guy named Dave.  We taught him the restoration and at the end we asked if he had any questions.  He said no and just wanted to hear everything we had to say.  So my comp started on the plan of salvation and I worked in the gospel of Christ during our life on earth.  Then he said he still wanted to listen so we talked word of wisdom, Sabbath day, law of chastity, prophets, Ten Commandments, and every other bit of doctrine missionaries teach.  Then we gave him a baptismal interview without him knowing and he accepted a date to be baptized if he knows its true by March 8!  So we taught him all the lessons, passed a baptism interview, and got a date in less than 30 minutes.  It was so funny though and it doesn’t count because he was a little tipsy and I think he just thought we were having fun, which it was!  Probably one of my best experiences yet!

It was a crazy week!  This toothless grandma kissed me on the cheek.  She just surprised attacked me after a lesson.  A guy gave me a bible study book from 1880 called the bible looking glass but it broke while I was carrying it and riding a bike so hopefully he doesn’t want it back!  We also tried to take a shortcut in our Corolla and I ended up driving it through the middle of a forest all over roots and stumps and stuff.

I hope you had just as much fun this week!

Love, Elder Parks

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Teaching the Intoxicated

My new comp is named Elder Harper-Smith.  He is from some town by Salt Lake City.  He is a tall clumsy boy but he’s a good missionary and he is going to work me hard.  But he’s got so much energy! In the morning, he’s bouncing off the walls and I’m running into them because my eyes are barely open.  And sometimes I go somewhere and then I turn around and he’s just standing there smiling.  It freaks me out at times.  But we only speak Spanish, which is hard at times, but my Spanish should get pretty good.

But this week we have been biking a lot so we have found a lot of people. But it has also snowed this week twice.  And I’m pretty sure that Satan controls the wind because whenever we have an appointment, we bike straight into the wind. When we have nothing, the wind pushes us. But we have taught a lot of drunkards. One lady wouldn’t stop talking so I told her the answer to her question was in 1 Nephi 1 so she started reading and then we just left while she was reading and I don’t think she noticed.  Then we helped this other drunkard move his fridge in his house but halfway through, he had to take a beer break and told us to keep working.  So we moved it in and then just snuck out the back.  And this other girl wanted to talk to us about Noah and the ark and she kept quoting the movie Evan Almighty but she was convinced it was straight from the Bible. That was a fun conversation.

But we have taught a lot of people about family prayer and scripture study and how it brings families closer.  And I was able to talk about how we would pray every night together so you better still be doing that cuz I don’t want to be caught a liar.  But that’s the 411 this week.

Elder Parks

Sunday, February 2, 2014

It's a Small World After All!

Parker's mission companion is Elder Bilal.  Elder Bilal's aunt was in our Laguna Beach ward today and wanted to find us and meet us.  She quickly shared the following photos of Parker that Elder Bilal had sent home.  It's always good to see pictures of Parker from whatever source!  What a small world it is in the church!
Elder Lund and Bilal the first time they met each other
Elder Lund and Bilal in their apartment
Looks like they are getting enough to eat!