Tuesday, March 25, 2014
We've been trying to find a new area to work in because we want a back up in case things fall through in our good area. Our good area is in the village called Calliqua, and it extends up past this cool looking old Anglican church. We have many investigators who are progressive in that area. There is a street in Calliqua where we are teaching in nearly every home. On this street there is a man named Richard, who we really like and would be a great addition to the branch. Another man named Oakel, and his daughters. A young boy named Darren who is the grandson of the first counselor, A lady named Linda, and a man named Chris. They are all very progressive except for Oakel. The only problem is getting them to church. They need friends to make them feel more comfortable in a new setting. I'm beginning to understand that member missionary work is crucial in successfully helping people to make lasting changes. Tonight, we're bringing a sister in the branch over to Linda's house and teaching the plan of salvation from pre-mortal life to life on earth. She is a very intelligent lady and that has helped her progress faster. She works at a bank in Kingstown (known as simply "town") and has a young daughter. We'll see how tonight goes. Some good news is that this next weekend is zone conference in St. Lucia. Then the next weekend is general conference. I don't think I've ever been so excited about conference in my life! Also starting in April, we have baptisms every week except for the 10th all the way to the end of our next transfer. By the way transfer calls came in and everything for Elder Jacobson and my self is staying the same! We have become pretty good friends over this last transfer so I'm glad to have another transfer with him. What you said about the difference between good and great is relentless attention to detail. I noticed specifically that paying close attention to time helps me feel more hard working and purposeful. Thank you for your advice about Akelia. I think that should help her out, specifically with the stories of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah. The work is going well. The youth program is growing a lot. When I first got here there were 4 youth consistently coming to church. Now we have about 12. We are also starting up a young men's program that I am ecstatic about. Love you all!
Hurrah for Israel!
Monday, March 17, 2014
I'm glad to hear that you are doing missionary work at home. I sent you all letters.
Last Tuesday I went on a trade off with one of my zone leaders named Elder Gibson. He is from American Samoa and it was fun to be able to work with him for a little bit. The investigator named Richard I talked about earlier is progressing slowly but surely. He can't read the Book of Mormon very well because he has bad eyesight. We gave him the audio version and he is listening to it. He is also warming up to the idea of baptism. Friday night we had Wanda's Chicken and it was really good but we didn't have any sour cream to add so it wasn't as good as when you make it. We are also teaching the grandson of the 1st counselor in the branch. His name is Darren (12) and he has a baptismal date for April 5th. He is really open to the gospel and his mom, who isn't a member but is supportive of him going to church but we need to check with her about the baptism. We are also teaching a couple who lives very close to us in a house where the only piece of furniture is a dirty mattress. We sit on coconuts during the last lesson. I can see them changing their lives and it is awesome. This is the same couple that just a few weeks ago were fighting and beating each other. Now when we pass by we see them improving their house and putting a front door on their house. They are reading the Book of Mormon and have come to church. We taught them the word of wisdom last time and they accepted it really well. That lesson was on Thursday. They have agreed to be baptized but they don't have dates set up yet. The only other investigator with a baptismal date is a girl named Doniesh. I don't know if I have told you about her yet but she has a lot of faith. This last Tuesday, we gave her a blessing so that her migraine would go away and that she would feel better because she may be pregnant. She was feeling ill from that too. As soon as we said amen, she was healed and then we had a great time reading from the Book of Mormon. Yesterday we met with a less active member named Akelia. We found out that she has a serious problem with forgiving herself. She wants to punish herself by never forgiving herself. We read and talked about how the Atonement is for everybody and that part of the repentance process is forgiving yourself. I don't know what to do. Otherwise the work is progressing well. We have several people who have accepted the invitation to be baptized as they find out that The Book of Mormon is true. That's the case with Richard. The last thing that happened last night was that ants attacked me. Elder Jacobson and I were standing off the side of the road talking to a man named Bob. While Elder Jacobson was talking I felt a weird tingling/stinging feeling moving up from my foot. Then it started to hurt. I looked down and both of my legs were covered in little biting ants. I felt like I was in the Indiana Jones movie. Thankfully a guy named Alex, whom we had met before, gave us a ride back to the apartment so that I could shower and get all the ants off of me. That brings new meaning to the phrase ants in your pants. At this stage, I don't know about transfers, I'll find out next week. For family home evening you should go through the PMG lessons in chapter 3. It's never a bad idea to get a refresher on the fundamentals of the Gospel. The work is going well.
I testify that Jesus Christ lives and that through his Atonement, we can be healed of any wounds we may have.
Hurrah for Israel!
Love, Elder Parker
Monday, March 10, 2014
I got the package on Saturday from the Birds. Elder Jacobson and I ate all of the cookies in 2 days. They were really good. Thank you! We're trying to be a bit more conservative with the chocolate and beef jerky.
District meetings are every week on Tuesday. We meet in the Kingstown chapel, which is about a 45 minute bus ride away in traffic. The biggest roads we have here are 2 lanes and most are 1.5 lane roads, so traffic happens a lot. For dinner we usually eat some combination of ground chicken, corn, peas or a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and rice or pasta. We have been experimenting with some taco shell pizza stuff though that has turned out pretty well. Most everything we need is at the grocery store so things haven't changed too much as far as meals go. I'm feeling great! This last week I went on a trade off with the Elders in Kingstown and something finally clicked. Before I wasn't adding very much to the discussions but after Tuesday I feel like people actually grow and benefit from what I say. I just needed to have faith and press forward trusting in the Lord. We have been doing a lot of tractingbut we call it finding. We do have a young lady (age 20) who has a baptismal date set up but she must overcome her marijuana addiction first. There are also many other people who we have invited to baptism but they feel they must learn more first. One guy we talked to yesterday is ready for baptism but he wants to be baptized with his friend so we have to talk with his friend first. This man, named Oakel, told us when he decided that he wanted turn his life to Christ. He is a fisherman and has been for several years. Before that he sold drugs on the streets and robbed from people to make a living. Once while he was out on a fishing trip, about 90 miles away from land, his ship got caught in a storm. The ship wrecked and his captain was killed when he hit some rocks. Oakel was thrown around and had his pant leg caught on to a piece of coral. His life jacket was pulling him up and he thought he was going to die right there, with the waves crashing around him. Then he thought to pray. He prayed " Jesus have mercy on me! If you save me, I will turn my life around and become a good Christian." The moment he finished praying he shot up to the surface where he was rescued by a coast guard ship. That was 2 years ago. He says he is ready to keep that agreement he made and be clean. It was really cool to listen to him share that story. Several of the people we have given Book of Mormons to are reading and loving it. Whenever we sit down with people they always express how awesome, clear and uplifting it is. Just last night, another guy we are teaching just shook his head and said "I love this book." after we read Alma 37:37 with him in answer to how we can be made spotless. Things are progressing extremely well and I can't wait for these people to get baptized. Next week ask me about a guy named Richard. He's really cool and he loves having us come over and talk with him. The Book of Mormon is true! As people read it, I can see them changing because they are letting the atonement of Jesus Christ work in their lives and the Book of Mormon tells them how to do it! Hurrah for Israel!
Love -Elder Parker
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Elder Jacobson and I made some cookies but we'll just say that they didn't turn out too well. I'm getting to be much more comfortable with teaching people. I live about 200 yards southeast of the Trinity medical school. The house is on top of a hill and is next door to a place that usually has vans and car parts in the back. To the south of us is a hedge and then another house but then it should be all downhill. I'm not sure how to send you pictures yet since the computers don't have SD card slots. We have a few people who we are going to challenge to baptism and one who is working towards baptism (we already challenged her). The lady we already challenged is named Hiesen and lives fairly close to us. We are also teaching her son and his name is Ashroy. we are having s’mores with him and his friend Kelsen tonight. That should be fun. We haven't eaten with any members yet. The iguana was from some other Elders who got it from some members. I have also eaten some oranges that I picked off the tree and they were really sour. I also picked off a lime and I might make some limeade tonight. I'm getting pretty tan and I haven't burned much since the first few days. I also wear sun screen everyday and don't need bug spray because there aren't many mosquito's. This week we had some dogs chase us and bite at us. Since we can't sit inside houses unless another man is there we had to sit outside and give a lesson while it was pouring rain. It's so great when we find good men down here because they are so uncommon. This week I had 2 eye opening experiences that really made me aware of how important it is to listen to the spirit as you teach. The first was when we were talking with a lady who's husband just died and we focused more on doctrine rather than comforting the lady. That was a major mistake. The next experience showed me that we learned from the previous experience. The guy we talked to lives with one of our investigators and we were able to explain things in a way that allowed him to understand and start to accept the truthfulness of our message. We also were able to have a lesson with a husband and wife from Iowa who are here for med school. It was refreshing to talk to some Americans. There is this other lady named Nadine who really didn't like the missionaries but allowed us to teach her children if we agreed to only use the Bible. We agreed and have taught her kids 2 lessons. The Lord is softening her heart so hopefully we can introduce the Book of Mormon to her soon. I thought that I would suggest that for FHE sometime, you guys should go over the restoration from Preach My Gospel. I wish I had know more about PMG earlier. There are a lot of other people we are teaching right now and we keep meeting new people everyday. Things are great here! I'm glad to hear that you got to the temple. I've eaten so many oats this past week. I couldn't believe it. Because cereal is so expensive down here we just buy normal rolled oats and eat it like cereal. Say hello to my friends for me!
Hurrah for Israel!
Hi Gabby! I love my companion. He is a lot like Nate and Andrew mixed together. He likes to think about things a lot. The food is actually pretty normal buts it's more expensive here. The coconut is really good and you can get it for free just about anywhere you go. Great job with your meet! I'll be praying for your next one to go just as well. It's great being here and seeing the gospel change people's lives!
Love you too!