Hi, Mom. First of all, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Thank you so much, Mom, for everything that you have given me, everything that you have done for me, and for all the love and support that you have given me, in order for me to be prepared physically and spiritually to serve on my mission. I love you so much, Mom, and I just want you to know that you absolutely deserve to have the best birthday ever. I did have some awesome photos that I wanted to send you, but I can't seem to find a computer here that is compatible with my SD Card. Ah well, I guess I can still wish you a super happy birthday with all of my heart, photos or not. With that being said, it's SO crazy that this is one of the first times that I have celebrated this without being able to be there for it. It feels extremely different, but I know that why I'm here and what I'm doing here is the right thing. To not be able to be there with all of you guys, my family, to eat cake, to sing at the top of our lungs, and to do other crazy cool things to make Mom feel on top of the world like she deserves does indeed feel strange. However, at this time next year, I hope that I'll be able to give just a little bit more than just an e-mail and a blog post. You are an absolute wonder in my eyes, to be able to put up with a loco son like me, and to have given me so much in my life. I truly don't believe that I will ever be able to re-pay you, Mom, for all that you have done for me, and all that you have given me. Just for you, I will try to make the absolute most out of the rest of this divine, unforgetable time that I have to serve in the name of the Lord, and be thinking of you, and all of the love and support that I have had the absolute blessing and privilege of being given. Thank you for being such an amazing example, with all the hard work, all the patience, all the diligence, and all the perseverance that you have in this Gospel, and more specifically, as my loving mother. Nothing special has happened so far, but simply having the miracle and blessing of being here, and having your love, Mom, to support me and help me keep going every step of the way has been such a testimony builder for me. Until next week, keep praying often, and as my friend Rob told me once: "God danced in Heaven the day that you were born." hahaha. God loves you, Mom, I love you, and have a happy birthday, surrounded by all those that love you more than absolutely anything in the universe.
Con Todo mi Sinceridad y Amor,
Elder Conner Duane "Poderoso" Parke
Your Oldest Son