Monday, April 28, 2014

The Sierra Family

My son’s name is Elder McKinley.  He is from San Diego and younger than I was when I first started.  He is kinda awkward but super funny!  And he really likes to work which is super good.  The only thing is he can get offended super easily so I’m learning to develop a lot of patience and charity.  He has a GF and has a big picture of her on his desk, a binder full of letters to read every night, and a teddy bear from her he sleeps with... so we are working with that!  

And another thing is me and Elder Johnson, our personalities, just mix so well. And we joke and tell stories and like to do things the same way.  But elder McKinley is completely different in a good way though.  We are doing a lot of things different and I think it will help.  I was also made District Leader, but that’s super easy.  I just call people and help them accomplish their goals.

I don’t know if you know about the Sierras but they are the coolest.  We were over at their house for a long time on Saturday.  They needed our help organizing everything in their backyard and then wanted us to stay for dinner.  So we showed up and the dad wasn’t there so we just played soccer and tag with the kids.  It was so fun cuz we played with ones that range from age 3-13.  Then when the dad got home we organized the backyard and it was full of the kitchen parts of a food truck he used to have.  That stuff is so heavy!  Good thing we have been getting big lately!  But that took an hour and then it took another hourish to start the food so we played some more and talked with the dad.  And we couldn’t leave or else Hispanics get super offended.  But the food was sooo good!  It was special Honduran homemade flour tortillas filled with beans, carne asada, cheese, sour cream sauce, and onions.  And then it’s eaten like a big taco.  It was something else.

And by the end of the night, the parents said they wanted to adopt us and we can sleep on the floor!  And the 13 yr old kid who doesn’t have many friends and has some depression said he is going to cry if any of us leave.  But it all paid off!   The whole family came to church and the 18yr old said she got her answer that she wants to be baptized on May 24.  The kids said it wasn’t boring like all their other churches.  We have progressed so much with them.  We started with us only being able to come over on tuesdays at 4:30 and them not even being home!  But now they invite us over everyday, half the time to eat and just play.  So we have had to give them some slack.  I feel like I’m dating their family, haha!

Elder Lund

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter and Celebrating the Ressurrection

Yes, I got your package.  Easter was super fun but I’ll talk about that later.  And having an AP for a companion is cool.  He is a spiritual giant so I learn so much. We sometimes have to go to the office for a little, but not much.  But when we do we just watch bible videos, which are my favorite things now.  There is a link on  And for sure tonight watch the "Because of Him" video either off or  It’s so good and it made me super pumped to teach the resurrection!  And btw, LDS media has really stepped up its media! I would encourage you or Becks or anyone to explore the Mormon Channel website. There are some really cool ones.  But no, I don't ever see Pres. maybe like every other week and it’s just “hello, how’s it going” stuff.  Not even the APs really see him, just talk on the phone and at meetings.  The ones who see him are the Sister Training Leaders.  They study with him every week.
Anyways… so on my mission I have gotten super into Chipotle.  We have only been there like 3 times but it’s so good.  And if you get a burrito make sure it is double wrapped, more tortilla and it holds up better.  And the hot sauce chipotle style is super good, but if you put too much it ruins it.  I’ve been trying to get into spicy things.  We have a member, Hermana Cuevas, who is the best!  She is from Mexico (I like Mexicans better than other Hispanics, more fun and better food) but she is crazy and we were just like shouting and laughing and being sarcastic and she is the only one I can do that with.  But she made spicy taquitos and she says I have to learn to like chile so I’m not a gringo anymore cuz I have the Mexican attitude down to just be loud and obnoxious and crazy, haha.

Also you know Amairani and Jorge?  Well they aren't getting baptized anytime soon.  We tried to have a lesson with the mom and just praise her and love her and get Amairani to bear her testimony.  But right as Amairani started to get into her testimony she stuttered a bit and her mom just went off.  She was saying she doesn't believe and we are just forcing her, and she is just changing to make the mom mad, and she cussed her out.  It’s super sad cuz the mom just works so she can go out and party and get drunk.  She leaves Amairani at home to take care of Jorge all day and the mom has no interest in them.  So Amairani is done with her, so this summer she is moving in with a cousin at UCLA and going to work and finish senior year there.  Then make enough money to move Jorge out too.  It makes me so grateful for a nice family!

But Easter was super fun.  We went to a big family dinner.  In our ward there is the Perez family, and they are to our ward as the Kimball family is to Laguna Ward.  We went to their family dinner it was so fun.  Then we went to another dinner with some single sisters that live together.  She is super into music so she gave us ukuleles and tried to teach us how to play.  She also gave us a big Easter bag, but I think it’s just all her left over stuff, haha.  But we bore our testimonies of the savior there and the spirit was so strong!  Then we had to go to the office so I watched the "Because of Him" video on  Again super good!  So I got super pumped to teach about Jesus and we left and “I believe in Christ” came on in the car.  It was a version where Bruce R McConkie narrates a couple verses.  It was perfect!  But then not one person would open the door or talk to us on the street.  I was defeated.  But I still have my testimony so all is well.

It was a good week, Elder Parks

Friday, April 18, 2014

Baptisms, Service Work, and Getting Ripped!

Converts!  (I baptized the girl on the left)

Cockpit of the space shuttle at NASA

Plan of Salvation lesson we drew on a wall

So this week me and my companions decided that we are going to get huge so we contacted a guy in our ward, Hermano Colon, because he is ripped and in the army.  So in the end he wrote us a body weight work out and he gave us his old Boflex.  And since my comp is an assistant, we got keys to an extra apartment and we put the Boflex in it.  He also has a speed bike that he is going to give us after he fixes it.  So we will be getting huge!

And we taught Amairani the plan of salvation in depth and drew it on her wall cuz she is about to repaint anyways.  She wanted to know everything about the "three worlds" so we taught it super detailed.  Then the next morning, she found out her friend in Argentina died of bone cancer.  She was super sad, but it was cool how we focused on death and the life hereafter right before she actually needed it!

And I don’t know if I have told you about the Sierra family.  They are from Honduras and are a family of 8.  We went to surprise them at the Buddhist temple.  Well its super hard for them to have time for lessons so all we do is serve them cuz they are super ready for the gospel.  Like in between conference we mowed their lawn.  But this week, we went and pulled out a bush she wanted removed.  No one was home but the dad left some tools out so we just started.  Within 10 minutes, we broke his hedge clippers so we went to Home Depot and bought new ones.  Then we finished the job and used a shovel to get the roots out but we realized his old clippers were a lot more sophisticated then our new ones so we went back to Home Depot and returned the old ones to get newer nice ones. Then we came back to their house and left him the new super nice ones.  So the whole deal took about two hours, haha!.  But we did have some great contacts at Home Depot with the worker and the cashier.   And the family liked that the bush was gone and the new clippers so now we just have to get them to church so they know what they are missing.

And do you know how everything is bigger in Texas?  Well the allergies here are killer!  You walk around and the cars and the ground is just covered in yellow pollen.  I’ve never really had allergies but I’m dying!  My nose is always running, I sneeze like 80 times a day, my eyes half the time are just blood shot!  It’s crazy but I guess all the missionaries get it their first time cuz no one is used to it.  And then I got a gnarly cough so my voice has been so classic for the past week!  It’s deep and raspy and it cracks all the time. It’s so funny. 

And I’ve gotten super into listening to old talks like conferences, firesides, and BYU devotionals.  My comp has an iPod full of them so I listen to them in the morning.  I would suggest you try them for your drives cuz I know you like your podcasts.  You can download them off I think.

Also, I would recommend the song “Come Unto Christ” from cuz we listen to it on repeat and me and my Samoan are making a missionary version of the song so maybe next week you will get some lyrics.


Elder Lund

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference and a Buddhist Temple

Conference was pretty rad.  We just watched it at the church.  Then we had a baptism that night with Eliza and Katherine.  They are 18 and 16 and the daughters of a recent convert.  They are super cool and now we are going to try and baptize the mom.

During the sessions on Saturday, we were going to go mow an investigators lawn while they were out of town, but we got there and halfway through the dad walked out!  Turns out they didn’t leave till that night but it was super cool because we got to serve with the dad together.

And last Monday we went to a Buddhist temple to surprise this same family at their meetings.  So we got there at like 6pm and parked in this field with a bunch of other cars.  There were about 600 people listening to a large Asian monk guy.  It was different!  We got special water and wish necklaces. Then some old guy and I sang some song while holding a candle in the air for his wife who had passed on.  It was a new experience!  Then when we tried to leave early we couldn’t get out cuz our car was completely blocked in so we had to wait till like 10pm till it ended and people started to leave.  So we ended up getting home at like 10:30pm, which is our bed time.

Today we are going to NASA so we are emailing super fasty.

Elder Parks