Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 15 - Happy Heat-filled Holidays

Dear Mom,

First of all, you have NO idea how relieving and a blessing it was to see you guys last Thursday. That was by far the greatest blessing that I have received so far on my mission was that one video call. I feel a little bad that my next video call won't be for another 150 days, but I still look forward to it, as well the opportunity that I get to write to you guys each week. This past week was literally like cashing in all of my trials and hardships that I have had so far, in exchange for the fantastic blessings that came with last week. ESPECIALLY the chance I got to actually see and talk to all of you guys since 3 months ago. :D

Happy Heat-filled Holidays from the center of the Earth itself, hahaha! This week literally blew by like a snowstorm (metaphorical of course, being in Ecuador), but here we are, the last blog entry of the year. This week's come with a TON of blessings that I couldn't have been happier to receive, including some FANTASTIC Christmas food, and a Video Call to my family. I know that it's only going to get tougher from now on, but I think I got what it takes to buckle down and enjoy the extremely bumpy ride.

So, this past week, I was able to Christmas Caroling with the other members of my zone (by the name of Kennedy) here in Guayaquil, and boy was it HOT! There is a really legitimate reason why normal people don't try to go knocking on people's doors, singing, in the middle of the blistering heat of Summer in the States, because WOW, was it baking down here! On top of that, I can't tell how far or how long we walked, but my dogs were barking after that (The Office quote... How I miss that show, hahaha). I guess it was worth it, to see the smiling faces of the people we sang to, in addition to the fantastically amazing Video Call that I was able to have with my family afterwards.

A couple days before Christmas, we had a Mission Field Reunion, which may I remind you consists of around 260 missionaries, all coming together from any and all parts of our Mission Field to our Stake Center here in Guayaquil. Surprisingly, they still had enough food for me to have 3 plates full of Mashed Potatoes, Turkey, Stuffing, and Peas&Carrots... Not to mention dessert!! I have to say, this mission may come with a long-haul truckload of trials and hardships, but in exchange for the opportunity to teach people about the Everlasting Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as experience fantastic occasions like this, it's more than worth it to be here, and to go through anything and everything that gets thrown in my way, and in my face. I believe that my personal testimony of this Gospel has grown TENFOLD since I first started my mission, and I owe it all to these very special past three months. I love all of you so much, and I can't wait to write to you all again in 2015! Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!!!

Con Sinceridad,
Elder Conner Duane Parke

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