Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 62 "Black Christmas" 12/7/15

Hi, Mom. So, things have been a lot slower lately, not too sure why, perhaps from all the preparations for Christmas and New Year's. But yeah, our appointments are starting to fall through a lot more often, and it's getting harder to find new investigators to teach. As President Riggins says, this month, we gotta step it up. We gotta give it all we got, because this season is what the Mission calls "Black Christmas". It's up to us to testify with all our hearts and all our might that this is the true Church of God here on Earth. We gotta show them that our Church is the only Church that contains a prophet called of God, twelve apostles, and holders of the Authority to act in God's name. President Riggins also made it clear that, despite the fact that the Book of Mormon supports our belief and respect for the Virgin Mary, we do not worship nor adore her, considering that that would be in contradiction with the Ten Commandments (thou shalt have no other Gods before me, for I the Lord God am a jealous God... etc). Also, these people ought to know that not only do we not worship Joseph Smith (nor Adam, nor Moses, nor any prophet of God, for that matter), but we also don't address God by His "name", for that too is blasphemy. We address Him through one of the most respectful titles we could, which actually is "Father". Think about it: Do any of us call our fathers/dads by their names, or simply as "Father"? The point that I'm trying to get at with that is we address Heavenly Father as such, in order to show that we have the utmost respect, love, and even fear for Him and all power/knowledge we know He has. There is virtually no way that one can prove the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a man-made Church, with man-made doctrine, man-made teachings, and above all, a false prophet. That being said, I am extremely grateful for the blessing and opportunity that God has given me to be here in Ecuador to share with others how this Church has blessed my life, and how it can bless their lives, as well. I can testify without hesitation that God hears and answers our prayers, that He loves us, and if He didn't, then He wouldn't give us the blessings that He does. I can't wait for the blessing that I'll get to Skype Call you guys, so you can once again have the privilege of seeing my face and hearing my voice again. It's so crazy that this Christmas marks my 15th month in the mission. How the time flies! Before I know it, I'll be Skype calling home again for Mother's day in May, and then going home in the Fall. WOAH! I can't believe it! I love you guys a ton, and I'll be sure to send some awesome pictures for this coming Christmas for everyone to see and have fun with on the blog. Until next week, stay strong, and remember that so long as you guys stay true, and keep a prayer in your hearts, God will always help you in your times of need. Give Chloe tons of love for me, because it still breaks my heart that I can't be there to do it myself. Take care!!!!

Con Sinceridad y Amor,
Elder Conner "Duane" Parke

PS: The latest package I received was of the razor, deodorant, and my USB Cable. And the last letter I received was from the Youth/Mutual. If you can, let Brother Siddoway know that I'm still super grateful for helping me find a job before I left on my mission. If possible, I'd actually like to have my old job back. Thanks!

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