Hola, mis miembros de mi familia y mis amigos! Elder "Poderoso" (that means powerful, by the way) Parke here, and we are now entering DEFCON aka Week 10. I'm extremely tired, but for all those returned missionaries out there, they know about that good kind of tired you feel after working back-to-back each day, and wanting to just come "home", get some sleep, and do it all again the very next day, hahaha! Despite some of the bumps along the way, I couldn't be happier to be here, serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
First things first, I'm kinda recovering from some stomach pains that I've had for a few days now, but no worries! I'm perfectly fine, according to the Enfermeras Misionales (Mission Medics), and as of yesterday, I've been feeling well enough to continue persevering in hastening the work :) Obviously, I need to be careful with what it is I put in my body (which I already have, so no worries there), and make sure that I'm getting a 100% balanced diet, even though I'm here in Ecuador. In other words, I was sick, but I feel fine enough to continue working, and preaching the Gospel.
Things have been a bit slow recently (even before I got sick), but that's not going to stop my companion/trainer and me from getting out there and finding those that we know are here, and have been specially prepared to hear what we have to say to them, concerning the Restored and True Gospel of Jesus Christ. We've been having some slight issues recently, especially with our Investigators "wanting" to come to Church, but "can't." Not only that, but this has been an issue with the Less Active Members in our area, as well. However, I believe in my heart (and I am sure that my companion Elder Pagoada feels the same way about this) that we were transferred here and he became my 2nd trainer AKA my "stepfather" for the reason and fact that these people NEED us. They may not want us, sometimes, but that isn't going to stop us from helping those who are looking for the truth, but haven't had the pleasure of finding it yet.
Obviously, my trainer isn't the most perfect of trainers. Obviously, I'm not the most perfect of trainees, either. But, even though it can sometimes be difficult for the both of us to be here (more specifically, with each other), I feel that, overall, I'm blessed to be here, and blessed to have him as a companion and my trainer at this time. Trials and tribulations, I learned from my studying, come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. But if we can see past the fact that they're trials and tribulations and see how they're placed in our lives for our benefit (one way or another), then it can make overcoming those trials and tribulations ten times easier, and later on, having the wonderful chance to receive and enjoy the blessings that our Heavenly Father has in store for each and every one of us. My calling as a missionary isn't the easiest of callings, but in my eyes, it's one of the greatest callings one can ever receive in this lifetime, and it's one of the greatest privileges to be able to share this Gospel with those who can benefit from its teachings at this time, and in this dispensation.