Monday, December 21, 2015

12.14.2015 (pictures)

We had 5 investigators come to church. Branch attendance has been going up. The peak was 71 at church, but yesterday there were 65 at church in Rosignol. One of our coolest investigators was a referral from our branch president that we taught this week. His name is Henry. He came to church last week after being invited to church by the branch president. Henry has been to church in the past. We met him at church last Sunday and then taught him this week with the branch president and then he came to church again. We are also starting to make some headway on figuring out how to help a less active and his girlfriend get married. They also came to church. There is this other promising investigator who lives right behind us. She is Hindu and was excited to hear about the Book of Mormon. We can only meet with her once a week right now, but hopefully that will change soon. The pig was bought and killed across the river and then Elder Horsley brought it over to our back yard. The pig roast wasn't to celebrate anything in particular but it is a fun unique to Guyana p-day activity. My package is coming down to me this week with the missionaries getting transferred in. I can't believe that I am down to my last transfer. I bet skyping will be at the church. As far as times go, I don't have anything to say yet. I was just thinking about uncle Richard the other day. Is he doing well? This week Elder Leung Choi and I hit 32 lessons for the week. I also got to drive since Elder Leung Choi had a knee problem and I got to borrow the van from Elder Horsley. On Tuesday, Elder Horsley and I taught a zone meeting all about the Book of Mormon. One of the things that stuck out to me was a promised blessing for receiving the Book of Mormon and working righteousness in D&C 20:14 that teaches the blessing to be a crown of eternal life. That has been a focus this week is that the most powerful tool in conversion is the Book of Mormon combined with the spirit. Over the course of my mission I have found that a habit converted people have whether they be members, investigators of missionaries is that they have spiritual experiences while reading the Book of Mormon everyday. Joseph Smith said "that a man will get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book." Merry Christmas!
-Love, Elder Parker  

Thanksgiving 2015 

Pig roast on an Ironing board - Elder Dulaki is the cook.


This week was an interesting week. We were excited to be helping the Ramkumar family have their 9 year old son be baptized on Dec. 19. They were at church, except for the less active dad. The package hopefully can come down with those who are getting transferred. We roasted a pig today as a zone in our back yard. We only had 2 investigators at church. One was Arif, and the other is an investigator who can be baptized until her boyfriend gets back into the country so they can decide if they will get married. Church attendance also went down because people were taking care of cleaning, or working for extra money in preparation for Christmas. The stalwarts were at church though and we watched last years Christmas devotional because this years didn't start till 9 at night. Love you lots!
-Elder Parker


This week went alright, but I'm sure that I could have had the spirit more
with me by being more diligent about opening my mouth to talk with everyone
I can. We were able to continue to set a few more baptismal dates and we
had some good lessons with the part member couple that should be getting
married soon. We taught about the Law of Chastity and they understood it as
we used an analogy about the covering of wires protecting the power from
causing damage to the home. This week I think we will need to focus in more
on those who can progress at a faster pace. The attendance at church went
up again to 71 in Rosignol and 24 in Bushlot. The Bushlot branch council
went well, however I could not say the same for the Rosignol Branch
council. There was a previous branch president that was causing a bit of
contention. But the Lord is greatly blessing us and I'm sure that as we
continue to work with our branch leaders, these problems can be overcome.

I'm planning on getting back into running as soon as I get home. I was
thinking about maybe getting a little more into weight lifting, but I am
still pondering about that. I hope that we can all go to Disneyland
sometime soon. Those are fond memories. The goal would be to go for spring
and maybe summer term. It's exciting to hear that vistaxc is doing so
Love, Elder Parker


I have been in the Isaiah chapters of 2nd Nephi and have decided that I should take an Isaiah class at BYU because it is a struggle to understand sometimes. I have been using Preach My Gospel a lot more lately and I wish that I had used it more earlier in my mission. This last week went pretty well. I couldn't figure out how to get our oven to work so last Monday I baked brownies in the microwave for district meeting on Tuesday. They were a little more chewy than usual but no one complained. District meeting was taught by my old companion Elder Dulaki. He taught about counseling with the Lord and how we need to always seek His will if we desire to be successful in the work He has called us to. Wednesday was an ok day. It took a long time to get back from the other side of the Berbice river after doing a tradeoff.  Thursday we had a good lesson with the Duarker family about the Restoration. They are a less active family. I have been finding that as we teach the simple truths of the gospel, the spirit is the strongest. Reviewing the basics like priesthood, prophets and the Joseph Smith account help members to feel the Holy Ghost testify to them of the truthfulness of the message being shared. Friday went great! We went to Bushlot for the first time to proselyte. We were able to meet some old investigators and a member family. Saturday we helped to clean the chapel. On Sunday after coming back from splits with our branch president and branch mission leader our last appointment fell through. Elder Leung Choi had the idea to go and the the Branch president's family who were at their grandma's house. To our surprise, we met President Narines sister who is not a member. President Narine invited his sister to join our lesson about the Restoration. She was very attentive and at the end when we invited her to be baptized as she comes to know this message to be true, she quickly accepted. The Lord is greatly blessing us. Love you lots!
-Elder Parker


The struggles of the week were that we didn't get to meet with our investigator with a baptismal date. We will have to talk to her and see how sincere her desires are. We did receive a referral for the friend of a sister in the ward who we will be hopefully teaching at the members home this evening.We were also blessed to have a successful branch council as a result of what was learned at my last zone conference and a branch president training meeting. We discussed the temporal welfare of two sisters in the branch and planned for a service project to help clean up one of the sisters yard. We only were able to get through that and some reading in handbook two at the beginning, but the branch members were happy with it. Helping members understand their callings and also working with them was the focus of zone conference. We had 21 lessons this week, but I know we can have more. I have a machine but a lot of things have to be done by hand. All the machine does is spin the clothes. I have to move some switches and fill up and empty the washing bin manually. We have some clothes lines that we dry our clothes on. I gave a surprise talk on Charity this Sunday and my companion was asked to conduct the other Branch's sacrament meeting. We did splits this past Sunday for church. I stayed in Rosignol, and Elder Leung Choi went to Bushlot branch. There were 15 people at sacrament meeting there. Rosignol had 51. The food is similar to that of Trinidad. Lot's of curry, but people eat less frequently here because of the poverty here. I see the ocean when I cross over a long bridge to get to district meeting, but the water is chocolate milk brown as far up the river as you can see and the same into the ocean. We have been teaching several part member families, but so far we don't have anyone that is progressing very well. We did have 2 investigators at sacrament meeting again, but they need to get married before they can be baptized and one of them has her "husband" who is out of the country for several months at a time. Cookies are always nice. Don't send anything that customs might find valuable. I'll have to think of some other things that I might like. I also found out that Micron has read the Book of Mormon 43 times now. His mission papers are finished and he should be getting his call soon. Love you lots! Happy Birthday to Sarah and Gabby! This is from my last zone conference.
Love Elder Parker

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Sunday was good. Still no investigators at church, but we have been able to see some more success with less active members. We have been working with Brother J. for a while. He has been back to church pretty regulary for a while, but it was just him coming. As we taught him more and invited him to share the gospel with his family he has helped more of his family come to church. This Sunday he brought his daughter who hasn't been at church for a long time. We haven't been able to visit her more than a quick hello and good bye, but Brother Jonkiesinhg has been reaching out to those that we have been unable to. I am excited to go to blank for my last area. I read about Ammon this morning in my personal study and it got me excited to be going to my new area. I hope that I'll be able to help a few more people be baptized before the mission is over. I liked Ben's costume. 
Love, Elder Parker


Rosignol is like a western town with coconut trees. Many people have donkey carts or horse carts. There are cows and horses, sheep, goats, chickens and various other animals all over the place. I haven't seen any live crocodiles but you can get wallets and scripture cases, or really anything you want made out of their skin. I might get a few things before I come home. It's really hot here, or maybe I'm just getting used to not having an air conditioned car. I don't know too much about the government, but there haven't been any major problems. The vast majority of people here are from India. They were brought here by the English to work on the sugar plantations. Most of the native Americans live in what is called the interior, which means the jungle further south. I am only about a mile from the ocean, and right by the Berbice river.  A popular job is cutting cane (sugar cane). That is what the Branch President, President Narine, does for work. I am going to need to do some adjustments to my teaching style because the education level here is pretty low, but everyone is very friendly. Illiteracy is common. We meet in a rented building underneath a Hindu persons house. Sacrament attendance was 48 yesterday. The branch is cool, but there is some contention amongst a few of the members. There are 180 people on record in the Rosignol branch. Almost all of them live within a 20 minute walk of our house and the church. The branch president and his returned missionary son who is the branch mission leader are awesome. They went teaching with us all of Saturday and Sunday. Since the branch hasn't had missionaries in it for a while they were very excited to have missionaries in the branch.  President Egbert gave the branch permission to do missionary work while they didn't have missionarries so we were able to meet the investigators that they were teaching and 2 of them came to church on Sunday. It will be great to work with the members here. A big focus from President Egbert is training the members on their callings and especially on how to make branch councils happen and be productive.  We were able to set a baptismal date with a part member family on Saturday with one of the people that was being taught by the branch for Dec 12. She might be able to be baptized  sooner than that depending on how quickly she and her current boyfriend can get married. I was able to find a map of where most members live in our area book so that helped out a lot in finding less actives and active members. I have 2 transfers left. Elder Leung Choi and I get a long pretty well. We are working on being exactly obedient. So overall I am excited to be here. It was a good change for me. I was starting to get a little down in Trinidad, but this new challenge has helped me to forget myself and work harder. Love you lots!
-Elder Parker

Monday, October 26, 2015


My week was good. No investigators came to church, but 3 recent converts came to church. They haven't been in a while. We found a couple new people to teach, but we will see how they turn out. There was one cool lady that we started teaching that is a long time friend of R who was baptized about 3 years ago. We taught her about the plan of salvation and about the restoration. She seemed to be interested in the idea of modern prophets. It's good to hear that Sarah did well at the state meet. 

10.19.2015 (pictures)

We reactivated sister S this week. She is an older Indian lady and had been gone from church for a while, but when her daughter was reactivated a few months ago it helped sister S to want to come back to church. My favorite lesson with her was about the plan of salvation. My companion and I thought that focusing on the bigger picture would help her in her resolve to be active in church again. It's exciting to see people coming back to church. There is another lady that we are teaching who is doing good. Her mother and her daughter were just baptized a little before I got to the area. We made a special effort to follow up with her about reading in the Book of Mormon and when she didn't read, we read what she was supposed to read with her. I think she understood that we actually expected her to read what we left her. She has been consistently reading the Book of Mormon since. She hasn't been to church in a while though. She was supposed to come to church on Sunday but I think she and her daughter had an argument that morning so neither of them came to church. But today she is supposed to go do some paper work to get a divorce so that she can get remarried. I am excited for that because it usually takes a good bit of encouragement to help people to go and take care of that. There are a couple other people that we started teaching, but nobody that is progressing very fast. I have been able to see the Lord's hand in His work more this week. I hope Sarah runs well on Wednesday. I might take piano lessons when I get back. I think that I could be disciplined enough to practice every day now. Sarah, Gabby and Ben are going to be so much older when I get home. Does Sarah have friends that work at Roxberrry. I have one thought for the new house. There should be a library section with a nice comfy chair in the middle. Anyways, it was good to hear from you. Love you.  Elder Parker

Canadian Thanksgiving

10.12.2015 (pictures)

It must be fun to be able to have the family over whenever for football games and things like that. Sarah and Gabby have had some good running seasons. Will they be going to Arizona for NXR? This week there were 2 baptisms in our zone. One was in one of the only places in the mission where baptisms are still done in the ocean. It's a place called Point Fortin. It was really cool to be able to go to the baptisms. The other baptism was for a lady that is from the Cominican Republic and speaks very little english. Most of her baptismal service was in spanish, but I could still feel the spirit even though I couldn't understand everything that was being said. Our investigator pool is still low. We did find some potentially progressive people this week near where the last 3 baptisms in the area were. President Egbert is his name. I am celebrating Canadian thanksgiving with the Senior couple here in San Fernando. Have a great week! Love, Elder Parker

Monday, October 12, 2015


This week, I learned some good things. We have been doing a lot of part member family work. There is a young woman who was baptized just before I got here and we have been teaching her mom Stacey. Last night we got the paperwork from Stacey to our ward mission leader Brother Simmons so that the work can commence for her divorce so that she can get married to the person she is currently living with. We have been able to have some spiritual lessons with her and she has been showing some good signs of growth, like reading the Book of Mormon on a consistent basis, and deciding not to go lime with her friends (limeing with friends=riotous living). She needs to come to church again, so there are certainly several mountains to help her climb over, but the beginning steps have begun. Unfortunately the teaching pool has remained low this week. Conference was awesome! There is a noticeable difference that comes during the conference season. I noticed a big theme from conference is the need to be more prepared to defend the faith, and being more centered on Christ. I liked that counsel, especially because I am working on being more courageous. Being more willing to stand for the truth. I am down at the knuckle on the ring finger if you make a map of Trinidad with your fist keeping the pinky and thumb extended parallel to the rest of the fingers. I thought of you during Elder Holland’s talk. You really are a great example. I think of your strength from you telling about during your high school years how you would stay away from parties and other activities because of the standards you held. It has been helping me. It must have been fun to see some of your old missionary friends. I have been better about taking pictures. I love you mom.

-Love, Elder Parker

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I played basketball this morning and I realized that I am not in the best shape of my life. I weighed myself today and I was 160.4 lbs. I was transferred to San Fernando on Wednesday, so I am not training, but am a zone leader with Elder Dorrance who was in my MTC group. There were some paper work problems that would have prevented me from driving so there was a last minute call. I hope that the investigators in Arima continue to progress with the new missionaries. In my new ward the Bishop is from Idaho, and has attendance in the 95-105 range. That is the most that I have had my entire mission. Unfortunately we did not have any investigators at church. Earlier this month there were 3 baptisms, but now we don't have any progressing investigators. We are going to need to find some more investigators soon. Elder Dorrance reminds me a lot of Geoffrey. Since I haven't been very good about writing in my journal lately I decided that I would make a video journal of the highlights of my day. I have been able to video everyday this transfer, so at the end I will have a video journal for every day of transfer 15. Who did Sarah go to homecoming with? I am excited for conference to be coming up, especially to find out who the new 3 apostles will be. Maybe I'll see you on conference!

Love, Elder Parker


I love the Book of Mormon too. I have been thinking about how to help one of our investigators develop greater faith to be absolutely committed to getting married soon, and I was reminded while reading in chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel that one of the primary purposes that we invite investigators to read the Book of Mormon is so that they can increase their faith in Christ. I will be training again and they have split the Zone leaders so that the other Zone leader will be in another area. It's going to be a lot of responsibility but I think that that spurs growth and reliance upon the Lord. I always think of you guys when I watch conference. I remember that you are also listening to the words of the Lord at the same time I am. Sure do love you and mom and the whole family! 
Love, Elder Parker

Monday, September 14, 2015


The family that we are teaching are doing well. We taught them about the law of chastity and committed the parents to marriage. C readily accepted, but D wanted to wait longer. After talking to him about it, and also inviting him to pray and ask Heavenly Father what His will is, D also decided that a sooner marriage would be the best thing to do. We will be calling the stake president (who has a license to marry) this week, and hopefully they will be married before the end of the month. We set a date with them for September 26 to be married. That was exciting. However, C had some KFC that didn't agree with her Saturday night into Sunday morning so they didn't come to church, but they have come the 3 week prior to this Sunday. They also love watching the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie. They found it on their own and watched it at least 3 or 4 times last week. So they are doing well. A baptismal date should be forthcoming this week. I got Grandma's email and was glad to have it. We had 10 new investigators this week. The coolest one is named Ch, but there is also another family (with married parents!) that also seem to have good potential. There is an older sister in the ward named sister J who we have been taking teaching a lot. She is like a grandma to everyone she meets, and is also the new seminary teacher. We have been teaching one of her friends named Je. With the help of sister J, Je has been progressing well and is planning on attending church this Sunday. I have been praying for things to work out with the move, maybe I'll pray more specifically for the house to sell. Glad to hear that sports are going well and that everyone is adjusting to the move well. Elder Grimm goes home next Wednesday, so I will find out who my new companion will be Saturday. I have been learning how leaders do the most teaching through their own example. Elder Martinez of the second quorum of the seventy taught that if I want to help my zone to work better with members, I should be able to bring them to my area and show them how I work with members. It's been a good week. 

Love, Elder Parker  


This week had its ups and its downs, but overall it was good. My birthday was good. I happened to be at the mission home for a mission leadership council so it was a good way to start of my 20's. The council was about leadership and developing some of the skills that a leader needs, like giving correction and counselling with other leaders. There was a lot that I learned from Elder Hugo Martinez of the 2nd quorum of the Seventy about counselling. He taught from D&C 107:27,29-31 and how the purpose of counselling together is to find out the will of the Lord. When church leaders, husbands and wives, or companionships are unified in their decision, that decision has great power. The key, he said while quoting from the late President Packer, is to have the spirit. So that was what I did on my birthday. While meeting with the Branch President this Sunday after stake conference, I also got a birthday cake. Tell grandma thanks for me please. We had 2 investigators come to church this week. They have come 3 weeks in a row and have come more on time each time! They also are doing great on reading in the Book of Mormon and the tracts that we leave with them. They even read together as a family at night! We are going to teach them about the law of chastity this week to help them get married and then baptised. Our branch President and his wife are planning on coming with us, so hopefully that will be a powerful lesson. Our other investigators understand a little about the sacrament, but we had to drop a few investigators this last week. They had stopped progressing. Tell Grandpa and Dad, happy birthday.

Love, Elder Parker