Thursday, February 27, 2014


Sorry if last week seemed a little crazy and disorganized. We have email at the library and my computer shut out half way through so I had to log back in and didn't have much time. Today was a fun P-day. We went to where they shot some of the Port Royal scenes in pirates of the Caribbean and it was fun. It wasn't what I expected it to be though. I guess some storms have damaged/destroyed much of the set so there wasn't a whole lot to see. We also went to this waterfall on the north side of the island that was really cool. There were many different kinds of tropical plants that reminded me of Hawaii. I'm glad to hear that you and Ben are getting closer and I wish you guys could be here. This past week started off a bit slow but really picked up after Wednesday. We met a lady who is really interested and seemed like a golden contact the first day but then when we came back next, she wasn't as enthusiastic about the gospel. She is reading the Book of Mormon, so her attitude should change. One of the people that I'm most excited about is a man named Benjamin. He's from England and is here for a while so that he can get married and hopefully take his son back to England with him. We contacted him in an area called Brighton earlier in the week and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon to read. When I returned Saturday with a different Elder (Elder Richardson from Jamaica) he had read through several chapters of 1 Nephi and explained that when he reads it, he feels calm and peaceful. He loves to read it when he is stressed out because it helps him cool down and think straight. I can't wait to see where he can go. It also made me happy to see that he is getting married. There are basically no Fathers down here except in the church where it's better. Walking back from church, we saw a couple fighting and their daughter was outside crying. We stopped and Elder Jacobson helped the young girl to the house next door where her mom was sending her to get away from the fighting. It just shows how important it is to have both parents and I'm so glad that you and mom raised me the way you did and that our home has so much love in it. We also taught this old lady named Ms. Bob. She can't read, just like most of the old people here because they never wore sunglasses and the sun damaged their eyes so they can't see small things like print very well. We were talking about priesthood authority and talking about how a policeman has authority to arrest people but an ice-cream man doesn't have authority. We then asked her if she would let the ice-cream man arrest her in order to help her realize the importance of authority. She can't hear very well either so Elder Jacobson ended up yelling to her several times, "Will you be arrested by the ice-cream man!" as we were sitting on her front porch. No wonder some people think Mormons are weird if that's what they hear us teaching, ha-ha. There is this other younger girl who's 17 who has been inactive for about 8 years who is now back into coming to church. Elder Jacobson and I didn't know that until after we had gone over to meet her and invited her to come back to church. She really trusts us and has opened up to us about a lot of her life. Sometimes I feel like I can't relate to a lot of people down here because the way they live everyday is about as good as the way I live when I'm camping. This week I also tried some iguana and it was nasty. Don't ever try it, especially if the scales are still on. They taste extremely slimy and the bones don't add anything good to the flavor either. Every Monday we eat at a Chinese place with all the other young missionaries on the island and it's really good. If you and mom come down here, I'll take you to it. I just ate there so it's on my mind. Another investigator we were teaching is really interested but was down in calliqua visiting a friend for a few weeks so she is now on the north side of the island where she lives. She is ready for baptism but the Elders up there are going to have to take care of that. In caliqua, there is this single mom who we have been teaching who wanted to come to church but due to some communication errors, she couldn't come. She'll be at church next week and hopefully she will also accept an invitation to baptism. There are many other cool people that I've met that I wrote about in my journal, so you can hear about them later. Tell everyone I love them and I'll talk to them soon!
Hurrah for Israel!  

-Love, Elder Parker


I left the MTC Monday the 10th at 3am. We rode on a greyhound bus to the airport in salt lake. It was raining hard all the drive up there. Then we flew to the airport in Houston, which took about 3 hours. We had an hour layover there and grabbed some food at Wendy's. Then we got back onto a plane and flew to Port of Spain Trinidad where we were met by President Mehr and his assistants Elder Creech and Elder Anderson. Everybody was very nice and fun to be with. The 11 of us that flew down together were then split up with the sisters going to one apartment and then the Elders went to a different apartment about 4 blocks away from the mission home. I slept on the floor with a fitted sheet as my blanket and found a pillow lying in the corner that I used. The shower there was, well I'll just say it would have freaked mom out. In the apartment there were the 4 Elders I flew down with, along with an Elder from Trinidad, Jamaica and England. They were all cool and the English Elder is here on St. Vincent too. His name is Elder Malyon. That next morning the AP's picked us up in the big white 15 passenger van that we rode in the night before from the airport. We went to an orientation thing at the mission office. There was a slide show of what could happen if we don't take care of our temporal needs, like some weird and nasty diseases that mosquito's carry. There were some "wonderful" pictures of cases of those diseases. They also talked about the money info we need to know and other important information. After that, we went to a zone conference and then to the mission home. The Mehr's house was really nice and there were a few iguanas running around in the back yard. We had some pizza for lunch and then we had a fireside for about 2 and half hours and then we ate dinner. It was ribs and other BBQ food. President Mehr is a very intelligent man and is able to explain gospel concepts in a very insightful way. He and Sister Mehr are both awesome people and have strong testimonies. At about 8;45 we headed back to the apartment. The next morning around 9am the AP's came and picked up Elder Malyon, a few others and myself that were going to serve their first transfer off of Trinidad. We had to allow an entire day for flying that should only take about 2 and a half hours because the airline we use called Liat is infamous for landing on the wrong islands and dropping people off wherever there is a place to land. At the end of flying and thankfully landing everywhere we were supposed to I arrived in St. Vincent, where I met my trainer, Elder Jacobson. He is 18 and has been out for 6 months. He is a great example and knows the lessons and scriptures very well. The first night we went out and met a few people. we are blanking the area so we didn't have any set appointments. This all happened on Wednesday. The place that we stay is on top of a hill in a nice apartment that has a great view of the ocean. Our landlord's name is Gideon and he's cool. He always is asking if there is anything that needs fixing or if he can do anything for us. He lives next door. When you walk in the front door you enter a living room with 2 couches and some side tables. Then behind a wall is the kitchen and further back is the laundry room and the bathroom. At the very back is the bedroom and it has air conditioning! That being said, I don't think I've stopped sweating since I got here. In between our beds there is a door that opens up to a small back patio where you can see the ocean and get a nice sea breeze. Friday we taught a few more people. There was this one lady we met whose name is Janell and she is here in St. Vincent to have a baby. She is actually from the Grenadines and is married. We taught her the first discussion and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was really interested in learning about how it can change her life and how it testifies of Jesus Christ. Elder Jacobson and I feel that she is going to progress very quickly and we can't wait to see how things turn out with her. We are on foot and ride in 15 passenger vans to get around. The people here stuff as many people as possible into these vans so there are always significantly more than 15 people in the vans and you are squished up against the other people in the van. The work is progressing fairly well and we teach multiple sit down lessons every day. People here are very willing to listen and talk about religion so getting into a discussion is pretty easy. we cover an area on the Island from Caliqua to an area called Diamond. we live in the middle close to the medical school. Saturday was fun because we went to lunch with the senior couple down by the dock in Kingstown and then spent some time with them getting to know the area. The Birds are the senior couple and are really nice, experienced and do most of the public relations stuff for the mission. We meet in a green house that has been converted into a church building that is about a half mile southwest of where we live. From it you can look out at the ocean and an island called Beckway. During sacrament meeting it was rather distracting. we do baptize in the ocean in a little bay about a quarter mile south of the church building. for exercise in the morning, we run to the church and do some core stuff and then run back. I have had a coconut cut up for me and drank the coconut milk inside. It was good but it would have been better if it had been cold. I have tried some other fruits like passion fruit and I have fallen in love with guava juice. Mango season is coming up so I'm excited about that. Elder Jacobson and I are teaching a family of a mom, son and family friend. The family friend came to church and made several friends but the other 2 didn't come. They felt really bad about coming and said they will come next week for sure. There is this other boy who wants to be baptized but his mom want to know a little more first before she gives permission. we also got a less active to come to church Sunday and she enjoyed it. She was really interested in the Sunday school lesson about the Atonement. We stopped by her house later that night and talked for a while about the sacrament and the Holy Ghost. There are several other people I'd like to tell you about but I don't have time. For P-day we went to a black sand beach and played American football for 2 hours. It was really cool to be right next to the ocean again after being at a different beach on Saturday for a baptism. It takes 3 weeks for letters and 6 weeks for packages so if you could put on Facebook that mail is not a great way for me to get things that would be great. P.O box 601 Kingstown St. Vincent and the grenadines VC0100 for letters. Use DHL or FedEx for anything other than letters. It will get to Kengonsalves Ocean Terrace Indian Bay St Vincent and the Grenadines VC0100 in 3-4 days but is VERY expensive. Love you and I will send pictures next week! Hurrah for Israel!
-Elder Parker