Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Bueeeeeeeeenos Dias, Familia y Amigos, from the ever-amazing, extremely humbling, always-toasty Babahoyo, Ecuador!!! Today marks my second week here, and I couldn't be more grateful to have the opportunity to be doing the Lord's work in such a fantastic city. The people here are just the most humble, selfless, amazing people that I have ever had the privilege of meeting. I'm almost jealous from how nice the people here are, despite this place being so... Simplistic, I guess you could say.

Allow me to take this time to talk about the showers that they have here: The showers here (at least, the ones we have in our apartment) have two settings - Cold... And colder, hahahaha! However, I've realized this past week that a cold shower is much more a blessing than a burden to have. At first, it does send a good chill down your spine, but a guy like me has come to find out just how stress-relieving a cold shower can be, after waking up each day for my mission. So just remember, if you ever are feeling more stress than you can imagine (from, for example, serving a mission, hahaha), a cold shower every morning will surprisingly do you a TON of wonders.

This past week, I've had the privilege of being a part of a lot of really spiritual moments. I got to participate in a skit with the rest of my district for a Talent Show, I got to bear my testimony to this family about the role of Prayer (especially in my mission), and I got to give my first blessing in COMPLETE Spanish. Granted, I butchered the blessing (and felt kinda awful about it), but I still feel grateful that my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and my Trainer all have the confidence and trust in me to do fantastic things like that, in the Lord's name, even though I've only been here in the mission field for only just over a week.

May God be with all of you until I have the privilege of speaking again next week (on my next P-Day, hopefully), and thank you all so much for the love and support that I have easily been able to feel while serving here in Ecuador.

Elder Conner Duane Parke

Also, the package we had the chance to converse about last week "just so happened" to arrive in the haul the very next day. I'll have you know that I inhaled the Pringles (after sharing them with my trainer, of course), and I gave the Pez as a gift to this fantastic hermana in the ward we're assigned to, Hermana Geoconda. I told her to consider it as a gift from the United States, haha!

I feel like I'm going to forget to tell you guys this, so I'll just say it now: I ATE MY FIRST FRIED EGG IN YEARS!!! A Member Family invited us over to their home for Lunch, and they served us rice (of course, haha), beans, and a fried egg. Obviously I was going to feel horrible if I didn't eat it, and my trainer refused to let me slide it onto his plate, so I just said to heck with it, and bottoms up.

There isn't a single day - heck, there isn't a single hour - that goes by here, that I'm not thinking about each of you guys back at home. I miss all of you guys more than absolutely anything, but I know (and I'm pretty sure I've begun to grow a testimony about) that I'm supposed to be here. I've had times here, already, where when I look at your guys' picture, I've come on the verge of crying from hearing in my head of each of you guys, AND my Savior, and my Heavenly Father, all figuratively saying to me in my mind: "I'm proud of you." It's been tough, and I know that it'll only get more tough. But I'm gonna give it my all, and then keep going.

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