Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WEEK 29!!!!

Salutations from Middle Earth! If anybody asks me, no, I have not seen any hobbits, dwarves, elves, wizards, orcs, or gollums. The only thing here is blazing sun, and lots of Spanish-speaking people, as far as my knowledge takes me. But, I digress. What's going on, everyone? Elder Poderoso Parke here, and I would just like to say Happy Easter, everybody! Obviously, today's the day that everyone looks forward to eating lots of chocolate, finding hidden colored eggs, and remembering our dear Lord and Savior, and the life and sacrifices that He made for each and every one of us.

So obviously, I had the grand privilege of not only watching conference while serving on my mission, but I also had the "blessing" of watching conference COMPLETELY in Spanish. So, you guys can obviously understand how difficult it would be to take notes without having the need to re-watch and/or re-listen to General Conference (ALL of it) one more time, just to be able to take notes more effectively, hahahaha! Regardless, my favorite speaker personally during this session of General Conference was Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, because he's just such a powerful, amazing speaker, especially during Easter Sunday. How he can move people by testifying with all his heart about the great and irreversible sacrifice that Jesus Christ made by bleeding from every pore, and enduring agony beyond agony... For all of us.... It's tear-jerking, but it's also so beautiful to both watch and listen to, in any language.

To end things off, I have good news and bad news. The good news is I got TONS  of really great pictures for everyone to see on the blog! The bad news is that my DS card is very, VERY rarely accepted in the computers here, so I'm sadly not able to download and send any pictures just yet. I either have to get a new camera cord and download from my camera, or like my companion did, buy a DS card/USB port converter. Sorry guys, but I promise that I'll send pictures as soon as I can, because all you guys are just looking so forward to seeing my beautiful, smiling missionary face, hahaha. But, until then, I hope all of you guys take care, I love all of you, and I couldn't be more grateful for the Spirit, and the love, and the support that is far too easy for me to feel on this mission. May God be with each of you, in your prayers, and that you may be able to overcome the trials and the tribulations that some of you may be facing right now. Until next week!

Con todo mi sinceridad y amor,

Elder Conner Duane "Poderoso" Parke

WEEK 28!!!!

Hi, Mom, Dad, Leilani, Auston, and Nika,

First of all, I'm SO sorry that I couldn't write to you guys yesterday. Some things came up, and we ended up spending our ENTIRE P-Day practically working. But, it's fine. We're having lots of great success in our sector. In fact, last weekend, we had 2 Baptisms! They were two kids in this part-member family, who were inactive in the Church for a while, but learned that leaving the Church is never the right thing to do - especially in this life. So, we took some time teaching the Padilla Family our missionary lessons, and talking with our bishop and other Church leaders in order to have them rescued and baptized into the Church. Now, this family's fully active, and couldn't be more grateful to have us help them re-invite the Church, and its teachings,  and (most importantly) the Spirit back into their home and their lives.

Sorry I couldn't send any pictures this week - no P-Day, no camera usage - but I promise that next week, on P-Day, I'll have lots of really awesome pictures to send to you guys both for the blog and to keep for memories. I have some pictures of this awesome food that my companion and I made (Executive Peruvian Cuisine, he tells me), of the baptisms (which include me dressed in all-white, because this was my very first Baptism!), and LOTS more! Again, sorry that I didn't have enough time to be able to send any pictures this week, but I promise that I will be able to send some next week for you guys to enjoy, as well as those that are reading and following the Mission Blog :)

I can't lie to you guys. This past week, I've had experiences that have peeled my humility down to the core, that have made my faith desire to hide under a rock, and I can't help but still question whether or not I am truly, sincerely, absolutely, without a doubt, supposed to still be here, serving this mission. But then, I think to myself that, it's those experiences that peel down our humility, that challenge our faith, that make us seriously question, "What lackest I yet?"  In other words, what more can I do in this day to invite the Spirit, and be able to help invite others (including myself) to come unto Christ? It's those experiences that help us come to know the truth, and come to know what it is we need to know to have success in our mission, as well as the rest of our lives.

I love you guys so very much, and again, I'm sorry that I couldn't find the time to write to you guys yesterday, nor find the time to send pictures. Everyone's been looking super forward to hearing from me this week, so I couldn't say no, and I couldn't wait another 6 days until I could talk to you guys about how much I miss you, how much I love you, and how anxious I am to see and talk to you guys again this Mother's Day. But, I'm going to have to settle for writing you guys these gigantic E-mails until then. I love you guys, and may God and His Spirit be with you.

Con Sinceridad y Amor,

Elder Conner Duane Parke