Thursday, October 23, 2014

Almost outta here!!! (WEEK FIVE) 8/23/14

Week 5 of 6, and in about 11 days, I head off to the ever-wonderous Mission Field in Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador!!! I'm more excited than ANYTHING to be able to get out there, and preach to the wonderful people there - in the fantastic language of Spanish - about the Everlasting Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm not gonna lie, it's been tough, being away from home, my family, my friends, and just about everything I have come to own and love. But, I know both in my heart and in my soul that what I'm doing is the absolute right thing to do, devoting 2 years of my life to show my Lord and my God just how much I love them, and how much I desire to bring more of God's children closer to Him. Now, on to answering some questions.

My favorite food at the Mexico MTC/CCM so far are the Chicken Strips. However, they have these AMAZING ice cream bars that they occasionally serve called "Paradise", and believe me when they say that they have that name for an exceptional reason.

It's been surprising easy for me to do my own laundry, and not just because the washers and dryers here are the exact same models that I have at my house back in Meridian. Best part is all I've needed to buy in terms of washing my clothes are some bottles of Liquid Detergent at the store they have here, and one bottle takes care of both my Whites and my Colors. So it's been surprising, extremely easily to wash and take care of my clothes.

Out of the discussions that we've had so far, I would have to say that my favorite would have to be concerning the very first time you get to talk with an investigator, because I learned that if you're able to combine your choice in words, with the Spirit that you have to be EXTREMELY careful when trying to invite into your conversations, then you can sometimes make a convert out of an investigator within even the first or second visit.

The most important things that I personally have learned so far as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are the Power of Prayer, and the Power of the Spirit.

This has unmistakably been one of the toughest 5 weeks that I have ever had to endure in all my 19 years of life on this Earth. But, I know with all my heart and with all my might, that so long as I have faith in my Savior, so long as I immerse myself in His work, that anything and everything is going to be alright. Before I know it, it'll be 1 year after I've left, and even 1 month before I come home. I'm so grateful for all the love and all of the support that everyone I know has been giving me since I've left on my mission, and I couldn't be happier to be out here doing what I know I've been called by my Heavenly Father himself to do.

Friday, October 17, 2014

SEMANA 4!!!! (WEEK 4) 8/16/14

Hi Mom (and everyone else, LOL)!!!

I am swell. I'm just chillin' with my companion, writing you guys. I'll let you in on a bit of a secret... The members of my district are kinda jealous of the four letters that I've got from you guys so far, haha! They're even jealous of the swag-filled picture of Auston that he sent me.
Today, my district and I get to go to THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!! ... Well, the Visitor's Center, anyway, because the temple here is under renovation :/ It was fantastic! I took some really great pictures that I'll be sending in some other emails. I kinda wish we were able to go into the actual temple, but it was still a ton of fun to go to the Visitor's Center.

I bought a couple gifts for Auston and Leilani. I was gonna find something for Nika, but I couldn't find anything "unique" enough, haha! But, I'll be sure to get her something that matches her sparkling personality, hahaha!

Here are the pictures I took of Auston's and Leilani's gifts. Auston's is a t-shirt that says he's an Aaronic Priesthood holder (in Espanol, haha), and Leilani's is a Future Missionary tag meant for girls (Hence, Misionera). Hope they'll like it when I'll get to find the time to send them back to you guys!!!


I absolutely love my calling as a Zone Leader. My district, as well as the newer district, think my companion and I are the bee's knees ( O_O I did not just say Bee's Knees... )

Yesterday, I got Auston's letter and school picture. My district says he looks NOTHING like me when I showed it to them, haha! I'll keep it in my wallet, along with any and all the other pics that you guys will send me. I cannot believe that it's Week 4 already! Time flies SO quick, it's RIDONK! 

I miss you guys. I've had more trials here, in these four weeks, than I've had in the 11 years that I've had with you guys.  It's been unmistakably hard being here, away from you guys. But, I took what mom told me to heart. All of this will be completely worth it. I pray about you guys each and every day that I've been gone. I pray at least 10 times EVERY DAY since I got here, so yeah!  I know in my heart that the Spirit and the Love of my God is with me as I take this fantastic journey. I love you all! Have a fantastic day!!!

Elder Conner Parke

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 9 2014 (Week Three)

Dear Madre,

I am doing quite exceptional here. I am glad to hear that you guys are doing fantastic as well. It's still pretty warm here in Mexico City, other than a cold front yesterday which dropped the morning temperature to 50 degrees! It's still surprisingly green here at the CCM (MTC), palm trees and all, hahaha! I got called to be the Co - Zone Leader of Zone 10 last night, and if I can just say, it is a privilege to have this new calling :D If you can, tell Auston (and Nika)  that I'm giong to take a special picture that I'd like to send to you guys next week when I have more time to talk, as well as send tons more awesome pictures! I've already made a lot of great friends here made up of basically my entire District, especially my flippin' awesome companion, Elder Badham. Our District is infamous for our Ping Pong Prowess, and we've been both loved and feared for each of our skills and contributions on the good ol' tennis of tables. ;) Tell the kiddies (if they don't get my reply snail-mail letters) that I really appreciated their letters. It means more than they know, hearing from them while I'm away. I understand that it can only get more challenging from this moment on in my mission, and the only thing I ought to do is immerse myself in what I should be, which is the Lord's work. I have admittedly gotten homesick more times than I could count, but so long as I remember why I'm here and not there, the time will go by faster in no time, and I'll be home before I know it. I love you guys so much, and always remember that I mention you guys in the dozen prayers that I say each and every day. I love you and miss you all, and can't wait to hear from you guys again next week!

Elder Conner Parke

P.S.  Try to see if you can have some Scripture Study with Auston. I think it'll really help him out. In addition, I'll be sure to mention him specifically in my prayers. Even though he's gotten rough and chipped on the outside, he's still that sensitive, lil' white boy of a younger brother deep inside. What I personally think he needs to do is build up his Spirit and Testimony, and learn to be more humble and teachable. I understand that it can be hard where he is, growing up with all those kinds of changes and thoughts racing through his head, because I was in his exact same position.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 2 2014  (Week Two)

Hola, mi familia y amigos en Idaho!!!

First off, I'm gonna answer the questions I've been asked.

1) My companion, Elder Tyler "Batman" Badham, is one the most AWESOME MTC companions (even though he's my only MTC companion) I have ever had the epic pleasure of being roommates with here. We even share the common trait of being half-Pinoy! Also, all the Native Speaking missionaries and other people here call him "Elder Batman", which I personally find to be the greatest thing ever to make me laugh here, in this first week (even though he prefers Superman any day, lol).  And, as a matter of fact, he's even the District Leader, which technically makes me his "assistant". But yeah, he's a really epic guy, and I couldn't feel more awesome to have him as my companion here. :)

2) The food here isn´t all that bad, but I'm not gonna lie, it could be better. By this, I mean that I've already got a couple of "indigestion issues" from it, and I heard that that's pretty normal for the food from around here to do to you, so I can't complain, unless I'd rather starve, hahaha!

3) I am doing FANTASTIC here. I've made a lot of friends, I've picked up the language surprisingly well for only my first week here, and I even got to be a part of two blessings (one for an Hermana in my district, and one for my sick teacher, who came to my companion and I of all people for a blessing). Even though I have admittedly felt homesick a good few times, I'm still glad that I'm here, doing the Lord's work :D

4) PLEASE do not touch ANYTHING in my room until I get home. I don't have anything AGAINST it, but I would really rather come home to my room looking exactly the way it was when I left it. The reason being that one of the first things I want to do when I get home is flop onto my bed, and take a well-earned nap, haha! I appreciate the selfless gesture in mind, but I'd honestly rather come home to my home-sweet-home-same-old-same-old looking room. ;)

I will gladly like to give a shout out to my family (my mom, my dad, and all my siblings), Brother Siddoway and his family, and the Taylor Family (especially those cute, awesome kids that I was so glad to have the chance to Home Teach before I left on my mission. I'm specifically calling out that awesome kid of theirs, Caleb Taylor, for being SO excited to have me come Home Teach him before I left). I can't wait to hear from everyone while I am out here serving! Even though I am still just training at the Mexico MTC until the beginning of November, I'm still having a blast here, and making every minute count! I love you all, and can't wait to come back with some fantastic stories!

¡Nos vemos! 

Elder Parké

P.S. I can only respond to both e-mail and "snail mail" on Thursdays, which is my P-Day here. So I have to apologize for not replying back sooner! Thank you so much, though, for writing to me, and for the love and the Spirit that I can easily feel here, coming from back home.