My experiences sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Concepcion Chile from September 2015 through September 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

For sale...

So this week was super good. Actually I think it was one of the best for me personally and for us a a zone.  We are still working with the 5 people we had with a baptismal date but only two of them are going to get baptized this week. There were problems this week with injuries and alcohol that are going to keep the other three from getting baptized haha oops.  Victor hasn't been able to meet with us because he lives far away. Camilo has problems with the word of wisdom. We taught it to him but on Saturday he told us that he was going to have a birthday party of his cousin and that they were going to drink. We tried to help him to get ready so he didn't drink but in the end he ended up drinking. A lot I think. And because of that he wasn't able to go to church either so there were two problems and because of that his baptismal date fell through. But we are still going to see if we can get him baptized the 2nd of Septiembre. We are going to have two though. Patricia and her daughter Javiera. They are so awesome and its going to be sweet especially because the ward is supporting them a ton. Its been cool to see.

 But the funniest part of this week was when we got home from lunch one day and saw that there was a for sale sign on our house and we hadn't been told anything. I guess the owner wanted to sell the house but he didn't want to tell us anything about it. It was funny as well because after about 45 minutes the owner showed up with other people to show them our house haha. So we decided that it was probably time to look for another place to live. So we dedicated that entire day to look for a new house and haven't found anything yet so there is a possibility that I end my mission homeless haha. We also got home one day this week to find that a cat had gotten in our house and stolen our bread and broken dishes and stuff. We had shut the window where it entered but then found out that it was still inside the house. The thing was panicked and like super hostile so we had a fun time trying get the cat out of our house. It was an exciting week. But hope that all of you have a good week!

Elder Parker

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I hate rain!

So this week was going to be super good but in the end it was super rainy and I dont think I will ever have desires to leave when it is raining. The hardest I have ever seen in rain has been here and people try to tell me that I will miss it one day but I think thats a lie. They call it here Tropi-Conce. All of the older people here always tell us that it doesn't even rain hard here anymore like it used to but I have seen more rain in one day here than I see in a month in Utah. It would be terrible to live here if that is true. We were going to have a bunch of people in church again but we didn't have anyone because there was so much rain and wind that it was starting to damage the roofs of our investigators and the water was coming in. It sucked. But we this week finished with 5 people with a date to be baptized. We are going to hope to have 5 baptisms on the 26th. We still have Camilo and now we have Patricia and her two daughters, Joanna and Javiera and we put Victor with a fecha bautismal. We are trying to get them all baptized the 26th but its probably going to change with Victor at least because he is hard to meet with. But we are super excited. I'm not sure if the 8 baptisms that I want will be possible but we will see. I would be happy with 5 haha. But yeah it was a good week overall! We went to the temple and saw the construction with investigators again this week. Its super pretty even though its not even close to being done. But I really don't know what else to write about. Hope you all had a good week though! Love you all!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

weekly email

Hows it going everyone? I honestly cant remember if I sent an email last week or not but if I didn't... sorry haha. We are doing great this week. It was one of the most successful weeks I have ever had in my mission. We had 6 investigators in church and we put one of them with a baptismal date. It's funny to see how the Lord works. We fasted for 3 people and in the end he helped one of them to get to church as a family (Patricia) and gave us another one out of no where. His name is Camilo and he is super awesome. He is a 21 year old friend of a member and is super good. He accepts everything super easily and is intelligent which is the best because he understands the things we say to him.He has a baptismal date for the 26th of august. We were super bold with him and he understood that he has to be part of the church. It was super awesome. We are going to see if we can find a way to put all of those people with a baptismal date before the week ends. 

I now have less than a month left in the mission and honestly the worst part about it is that everyone thinks its funny to remind me as much as they can. Especially my companion thinks its hilarious. I feel really old haha and still don't feel like I know very much so when one of the newer missionaries asks me something and I tell them that I don't know they kind of look at me funny and I don't think that I will be able to get used to that. But yeah I think that's about it for this week. Have a good one everyone!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Happy August

Hi mom how are you? Things here are good. We had a bunch of meetings and conferences this week so we couldn't work very much at all.  We don't have anyone with a date yet either but we did have Patricia in Church on Sunday so we were excited about that. We aren't too sure of what were all of her thoughts but we are going to see tomorrow and are going to try and put her with a date. But that is going to be the goal this week to have a few people with a date. Elder Couto and I are doing fine. He is really different than elder Baquerizo and we arent really used to each other and the way the other one works but we are working on getting better with the unity. He has like 19 months so he might finish here too in a few more cambios. And yeah I am willing to fast with you guys. I think that over all we can fast so that I can get a few more baptisms before I leave. Like about 6 or 7 months ago I set a goal to get 10 more baptisms before ending and up until now I only have 2 which is kind of frustrating. But Ill just hurry up. I think we can still get it. It will be a miracle but I think we can get it done. And I still feel nervous and not excited about going home but I'm not too worried. And no I haven't heard of the training but it will be alright. If I really am struggling when I get home Ill do it. 
But with the homecoming, I have no clue who you can invite. You can invite whoever you want. You could invite President Arrington if you want. But yeah I don't care too much haha. I would like to see the family and my friends over all. Haha Jake is funny. He might be trying to move to New York here in a year or so to do an internship. That's crazy. And I like what you said about that scripture. I feel like I have learned to not do that as much in the mission and I hope its a habit that stays with me throughout my life. I cant remember who but someone had challenged us to read chapter 101 of Doctrine and covenants so I am going to read it. But that's about it I think. Thanks mom for everything that you do. Love you and have a great week!!

Elder Parker

Monday, July 24, 2017

The last of everything...

Today marks the first day of my last cambio and I don't know how to feel about it. Thinking that I am one of the oldest missionaries in the mission is uncomfortable. I am going to soon begin to count how every different day will be the last of something. Honestly I'm not too excited for it but there's nothing that you can do. 

And about me, I'm fine. I'm really sad that this is my last of everything basically. It isn't fair and I don't want it to end even though I know it has to. I just have to end this cambio on a good note. If I can have a great last cambio I will go home happy, or at least try to do it. With my transfers, I am staying here in Andalien and I'm happy about it. I will be with Elder Couto, an elder Brazile├▒o that I have already lived with before in the mission. Hes super fun so I'm happy. It will be a good cambio. And baptismal dates we weren't able to put this last week because of vacations but this week we are going to be able to put more people with dates and have a lot more good visits so we are pretty excited. And yeah lets fast that day then. And yeah the day that I get home I don't have any requests specifically. I want to see star wars though. That would be nice. And I would love to drive home from the airport. And yeah I'm not feeling a whole lot better. I truly think its just the desire to not let it end. But I know it has to. I am going to ask my president for a blessing this week in our zone conference. But just know mom that I love you and I want to thank you for everything that you have done for me during these TWENTY THREE months haha not twenty four yet. 

So this week I had the best, most spiritual experience of my mission and of my life I think and I wanted to share it with you guys. If you want to you can share it with other people but I didn't want to send it to the usual group email.

Last Sunday, we were working at about 8:30 at night when we found ourselves with a member who told us that he had received a prompting to go and share the message of the home teachers with an inactive member named Samuel. There were a bunch of roadblocks placed in his way but in the end he was able to visit the less active and share the message from Elder Eyring. Its something like "the blessing of carrying your burdens well" I don't know how you say it in English but its super good. He felt prompted to share that message with him and as he did it he found out that Samuel's daughter was recently diagnosed with lupus, a disease where the body's immune system attacks a part of the body. Sebastian, the member, offered to call us to give her a blessing but he said no not wanting to rush it. He said that another day with a little bit of preparation would be better. 

We called him and set up a day to go by. On Friday, we passed by and started to talk with them about what was happening. We met the little girl. Tiare, is 8 years old and is an angel. Honestly, my companion and I both said that when we looked at her we saw pure innocence. It was something that glowed around her. The mom, a non member, explained to us that this disease in two out of three kids is life threatening. She also explained how she knows that God can heal her daughter but that sometimes it isn't his will to do it. I actually shared my experience about my Grandma Liljenquist and how I prayed every day that she would be healed and how it never happened. But how in the end it has helped all of us to have a more perfect faith. At this moment the spirit was already incredibly strong. We began to give the blessing to Tiare. I did the anointing, my companion gave the blessing. As we put our hands on her head to do the blessing and as my companion began to speak he started with the words like, "I bless you Tiare to be healed." And in this moment I felt the spirit stronger than I ever have before in my life. It came all at once and was stronger than any other thing that I have felt in my entire life. I had felt the spirit before but nothing as real as this was and still is to me. It was the most incredible experience of my entire mission and my entire life I believe. I have no doubts that Tiare will be healed completely. After finishing, We gave a blessing to Samuel to help him to find his faith again after it has been diminishing with the problems with her daughter. The spirit continued with the force that it had arrived. We then gave a blessing to Carola, the mom, who asked for one as well. We testified of what we had done in that moment and left them with a prayer. That same spirit stayed with me for half an hour after having left the house and gone walking in the street. My companion and I talked about what had just happened and especially about what we had both felt. As my companion opened his planner to see that same Friday, he saw a phrase that he had written a few days earlier after having read about the history of the church. It talked about the 22nd of July, or the day after, as being a day titled by the church as a day, "When the power of God would be manifest." I know what I felt that day. It was real. I know that we have the Priesthood of God on earth today. I was able to experience it in that moment. I know that God is a god of Miracles. He lives and loves us. I will never forget what I felt that day.

This week though was good. We have a ton of really good investigators at the moment and now we just have to figure out how to get them with a baptismal date. There are two people specifically. One is named victor who is the son in law of a member who doesn't actually live here in the sector and doesn't even live in the mission so we asked permission to baptize him and got it so now we are just going to have to find some way to have lessons constantly with him. The other is a girl named Jordana. She has gone to church a few times but shes hard to meet with constantly but the next time we visit her she is going to have a baptismal date. Hope all of you are doing super well this week though! Have a good one.

Elder Parker

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

weekly email

So this week was really rainy and for the first time in almost two years I heard thunder. I dont know why but here it doesnt usually happen when it rains. So yeah we were walking beneath the water for like 3 or 4 of the seven days but it was still a good week. One of the best things that happened was on Tuesday I went to do an exchange with an Elder in another sector. We went specifically with the purpose of putting two people with a baptismal date. One of them, an older lady who is kind of nuts who simply doesnt see the need to be baptized again even though she knows that her baptism isnt valid. We had to try everything to get her to just to accept a day as a type of goal for her but in the end we did it. I honestly dont think that she will be baptized that day but it is progress that she accepted that day as a goal. The other, was the dad of a family that had never been baptized before but recently went to church for the first time and liked it. We also put him with Fecha for the 5th of August and I think that he probably will be baptized that day. It was awesome. Our investigators are doing alright still. They are all super great with a huge potencial but there is always something that keeps them from accepting a baptismal date or from accepting the invitation to go to church. So there we are. In one more week we have cambios so I am hoping that they dont change me from Andalien. I dont think they will because I have only one left but we will see. Hope you all have a good week!

Elder Parker

Monday, July 10, 2017

Confidence in Christ!

So this week I don't know what to write about. It was a good week though. We are still working with the same people generally speaking.  We had the family again in church and this time Lorena and Carlos took one of the daughters, Daniela. We had those two and another girl that had gone before That I mentioned to you. Her name is Jordana and shes super super good. She went to all three hours yesterday and they were talking about family history in one of the classes and now she has signed herself up for a class to do family history. Shes pretty great and we are going to try and get her a baptismal date this week. We also talked with Lorena about marriage because she isn't married to Carlos and she said that they both were thinking about it and then she said that she will invite us to the wedding haha. So yeah we are just going to have to make sure that we get things solid with them and they could be active members within a few months. Patricia, the mom with a rebellious son is doing well and they really understand why we are there to visit them now. They were busy this last Sunday but we are going to try and get them in church this Sunday. They are super good actually and we are really excited for them.  I also did quite a few companion exchanges this week and actually wasn't with my companion working for 3 days straight haha it was entertaining. But yeah besides that I don't know what else I want to write about. One thing that I have been thinking about recently is the confidence that I have in the gospel. My companion as well. Its impressive to be able to go into whatever situation there is, family problems, depression, another faith, problems with addictions or anything else, and know that what you have can help another person. This week especially I was able to see that happen in the lives of other people. Really I know that this gospel helps people to be happier. I'm grateful to have that confidence in Christ. Have a good week!

Elder Parker