Monday, March 31, 2014

A Baptism on my Birthday!

Floris being baptized!
In our apartment
This week we meet an 18 yr. old girl that is a Buddhist.  One day her teacher lady asked her what church is most like Christ.  She said Mormons because they are the only ones that send people out in the world to serve others.  And then her teaching lady told her to follow her heart and join the Mormons!  So pretty much we will baptize her and her whole family cuz her parents think the same thing.  So the Buddhists are doing missionary work for us!

And we are teaching a 16 and 10 yr old, Amairani and Jorge.  Amairani wants to be baptized and Jorge likes the church cuz mutual is fun and he gets free snacks.  But their mom, who was fine with it before, is now super against it now. She won’t let them go to activities or be baptized.  We have to teach them outside now.  I think it is just strengthening Amairani's desire to be baptized.  But we are just going to serve the mom all we can to soften her heart cuz she loves us, just not baptism.  So we are helping to paint her house tomorrow. Hopefully it works out.

And on my birthday we had a baptism!  It was for Floris.  She is like 45 and super cool.  We like never taught her cuz she would read the pamphlets and know it so well she didn't want to waste time talking about it!  The baptism was super cool. I’ll send a pic.

To answer your questions, all my stuff is holding up.  My shoes and pants and shirts are all good (check out his shoes in the picture above!).  BTW, Mr. Mac is terrible.  Turns out every missionary hates them and I see why.  The pants shrink and all the stitching comes out.  So I never wear those pants, but I got some from goodwill that I wear instead.

Love, Elder Parks

Monday, March 24, 2014

Strange Food & An Angelic Choir

Me and my old comp in Hispanic attire
Me and my new comps 
Me and Luke Bryan
Just me
Guess what? I live right next to the little Sugarland airport so I watch private jets and Cessnas and such take off and land as we go to and from the apartment. One day when I come back to visit we can fly into it.  And my companion’s girlfriend is in Fort Collins, Colorado on her mission right now.  If I never got reassigned I could be there too.

Last P-day we went to the Houston rodeo.  Well it was actually kinda lame cuz the real cowboy stuff didn't start till 6 and that's when we had to leave.  So we just watched mutton bustin’ and walked around the carnival and the livestock show.  And I entered to win like 4 different ford trucks so I might be sending home some cars.  

And also in this area we tutor kids every week in a trailer park because none of the kids there ever graduate from high school so we are going to change that!  It’s pretty fun cuz niƱos are the best!  

And I had my first super weird member dinner on the mission.  We went over to the Santiago family and it was fish and salad.  Except the fish, they just cooked a straight up fish!  Like with the tail and head and scales and all!  And it was all brown and gray it looked so nasty.  We were like picking out spines and stuff the whole time.  But it wasn't too bad, just gross looking and super hard to eat with the bones.  Then the salad was just some garnish, like on a restaurant plate, and red onions with no dressing.  It was so weird! Hispanics, man...

But next week, we do have a lady getting baptized.  Her name is Floris and she is like 50.  She is the best!  We gave her all the pamphlets and she read and studied them all and then read them to her family.  And she already does "family home evening" or something like it 2 times a week.  And she heard people at church pay tithing but since she doesn't have a church she donates more than 10% to charities every week.  She is so ready! 

And we teach kids named Jorge and Amaironi. (Like Georgio Armani, but not!) but she is 16 and she has come to a baptism and said she felt something weird but good, aka the spirit.  And George just loves the activities and how there is always food.  But they will be baptized on the 19 of April and the only thing Amaironi is worried about is that her mom won’t approve, but the mom tells us that she doesn't care. I think Amaironi just doesn't want to take a chance, but they come to church and mutual so they are solid.

Oh and the ward choir sang yesterday. Oh boy!  Hispanics and choirs just don't mix well!  It’s like mustard and orange juice!  They were just shouting in their high pitched voices.  Haha, but I love it at the same time.

Anyways, Love, Elder Parks

Monday, March 17, 2014

Good Times with the AP's!

So this week, in my last day in la marque, we did a whole day in our service clothes.  We had planned to help one person move, paint a guys house, and help build a patio.  So we just decided to ride bikes the whole day and see who else we could help.  So we helped move and paint but the patio job backed out.  But we did meet some other people and help with yard work and stuff.  It was super fun, and I spent almost the whole day in jeans and my shark shirt and my vans!

But then I got transferred up to Sugarland, the area where the mission office is. So just send anything to the office at 602 Eldridge Rd. Sugarland, TX 77478 because we are there like every other day.  We are also there a lot because I am companions with an AP, Elder Johnson, and Elder Garcia, a kid from Spain that I came in with.  So pretty much we are the best companionship ever! 

And elder Johnson teaches me everything both throughout the day and comp studies.  I learn so much but he makes me feel like I don’t even know what the gospel is at the same time.  Our comp studies usually start out with us sharing what we learned in personal study and then one of us has a question so we pretty much go deep doctrine discussion for the rest of the hour.  Like we have discussed how Jesus is both the father and the son, and how we can personally become Saviors, and Mosaic Law, and other stuff I don’t even know.  It’s crazy but super fun! 

And Elder Garcia just teaches me Spanish and cuz he is from Spain he pronounces all his c's as th's so his name Garcia is actually "Garthia" and he says "Grathias."  Me and Elder Johnson start doing that too sometimes but way overkill and its super funny! 

And we live in an apartment with the other AP companionship so its us 3 and then Elder Jones (AP) who I’m super good friends with from my last zone, and then two big poly elders.  I’m pretty much poly now cuz I just hang with the poly group at meetings.  I’m not “Palongi” anymore (I don’t even know how to spell that but it’s the Samoan version of gringo). 

But our apartment gets crazy. Like Elder Johnson taught me how to throw cards last night (btw he almost broke the world record but didn’t cuz he cant find a place big enough to throw, and he can cut fruit and stick cards into the sheetrock.)  So we just started throwing at each other but it turned into a brawl with the polys.  Crazy stuff!

And we drive a Tacoma now!  So no more tiwi, not more speed checks.  We don’t have a limit on miles and we drive a truck!  And it’s a brand new one so it’s better than the one I had.

But pretty much this transfer will be super fun and I will learn a lot!  And the area is super ready!  Like this week we went from 0 dates to 5 people to get baptized in April!

Love Lund

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sad To Be Leaving My First Area!

Picture of my companion

Picture of the dike

To answer a few of your questions, there are a lot of Spanish elders in my mission.  I’m pretty sure every area here has Spanish and English missionaries that work it.  But there are usually like 1-3 English companionships for every Spanish area.  Like our area is worked by 3 English companionships.  And we only go to our Spanish branch except for when we couldn’t go on the island for Marti Gras we went to the English branch.

Oh ya, me and my boy taught 172 lessons this transfer, which is crazy, but terrible cuz we didn't really have much progress with people so it doesn't count for much.  For the past couple weeks we have had a really hard time seeing the people that had progressed the most.  Like Ignacio, the guy who wants to be a good dad. We haven’t really progressed with him at all. And with Raul and Francisco (they both had dates) we have been able to talk to them but not teach them the whole transfer.

It’s super sad to see someone progress and then just stop for no reason it seems.  But we did find some new people.  Like this cool guy named Mauro from Guatemala.  The only problem is he talks about his family back home and then his girlfriend here so... then we started teaching this guy frank that is a welder and an amateur boxer. He showed us a super cool motorcycle that he made himself and then all his boxing stuff and told us about different fights.  They are pretty swell guys.

The only problem is that I am getting transferred on Wednesday. I don’t know where I am going but don’t send me anything till I find out.  I’ll miss my people here. Like my boy Alex Ramirez and all our talk about Pokemon. And Ricardo Aguirre was going to show me the video of his fight when he won the golden gloves in boxing.  And Jessica was going to show me the video of when she won the women’s golden gloves. And Howard was supposed to show me how to fix cars.  

But this area was super fun and my comp just got an email from Pres. that he is going to get a missionary who has a hard time following rules, which is funny because he hates to have to be the "mature" one. So he will have fun. I’m hoping I go to the island because one of my closest missionary friends is there and he dies soon so I want to be there for it.

But I’ll tell you all about my new stomping grounds next week

Elder Parks

Monday, March 3, 2014

Finding people to teach a little difficult

My Zone
Me next to a big totem pole
A tunnel we found and rode through
This week wasn’t too special, but we have figured out that the easiest people to find and teach are the ones that never keep commitments!  It’s hard cuz when we have nothing to do, we know there are always a few people we can visit but they don’t progress, so it’s kind of a waste of time.

Like we met this one guy, Carlitos.  He is crazy.  (He says he is the prince of whales and buds with Columbus.  He also raised Jesus and he and his knights of the round table have been to every country and even secret ones that aren’t allowed to be on the map).  And then he makes up words and uses them in his conversation.  And he is completely serious too but me and my comp try so hard not to just bust up laughing cuz he has a story to go with anything we say.  He is so fun to talk to but no matter what we say he just shrugs it off or says he is not allowed to read the scriptures or come to church or pray.  And then if we don’t see him for a week he gets annoyed that we don’t come see him anymore.

We have a lot more people that want us to come by all the time even though all they want to do is talk.  I think we have 1 or 2 people that we see every once in a while that we have actually taught multiple lessons to.  Those two are what I do this for.

This morning we went with a less active to some Chinese store in our zone.  He wanted us to go with him because he is 82 and doesn’t like to drive by himself. He is 82, but he acts like a 40 yr old!  I don’t get it.  He still cruises around and benches 100 lbs!  He even fell off his deck, which is 10 ft up, and just walked it off!  Who does that?!  But we agreed it would be 2 hours so we would go with him but it ended up being 5 hours.  And we were only in the store for like 10 minutes. he took us to a buffet and just sat there and told us war stories for like 2 hours. He’s a little crazy too, I guess.  Haha!

I’ll talk to you next week,

Elder Parks