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

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

Monday, July 3, 2017

Strangers in church and the beach in the rain

So this week was super good. We are having a bunch of success with really good people that we are finding but they have the problem of not going to church. Its like they want everything we have to offer up until we tell them that they have to go to church and then they kind of lose interest and desire. Its kind of frustrating actually but its alright. The families are still progressing but its slow. They have to hurry up so that I can get them baptized before I go home which comes way too soon. But the newest family that we have is the best one with the mom, her two daughters and her son. She has problems with her son because he just doesnt want to obey.  Basically all of our investigators told us that they weren't going to go to church this week which killed us because we have a ton of good investigators that could be baptized easily if they would just go to church. So we fasted and prayed and had to simply start inviting strangers to church. We invited a ton of people and with one of the ladies that we invited, named Ana, told us that she would go. We didn't really believe her but we made plans with her to pass by her house and pick her up before and when we went we were pleased to find her outside of her house waiting for us haha. We went together and she liked it a lot so now we are going to see if she becomes a good investigator.

Today in the morning it was raining pretty hard again with a bunch of wind so we decided that it would be a perfect day for the beach. So we got together a group of 8 missionaries and went. After a pretty cool hike we made it to Ramuntcho,a hidden beach that I guess is usually super cool and calm with water that is like green but today it wasn't like that. We finished super soaked but it was still fun. The first picture is seconds before I get my feet soaking wet from a big wave which is the second picture haha.

But yeah hope that you all have a good week. Have a good 4th of July!

Elder Parker

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The storm continues...

Hey everyone, this week was pretty good, but what I thought was the end of the storm from last week wasn't the end actually and it just kept raining and raining and never seemed to stop. Wednesday we were working and it started to rain so hard while we were walking that it was like whiteout conditions where we couldn't see 100 feet in front of us because of the rain. My supposed waterproof clothing didn't work and I ended up soaked from head to toe with my rain boots completely filled with water. That was at about 5 in the afternoon and we still had 5 more hours to work. The worst part though is that my scriptures got wet. Luckily they dried. But the damage done to my hymn book was too much. So that day we just worked soaking wet. It was a rough day and easily not one of my favorites. 

In good news we have a bunch of people progressing.   People here are doing well and we actually had Lorena and Carlos in church yesterday and it was a super good meeting so we were super happy about that. Their daughters though, Daniela and Katalina were sick though so they didn't go. But without even telling them they committed themselves to go again this next week which will be super awesome. So hopefully we can get the whole family. We found another family too this week which is really good. They are a family of four. A mom and her three kids and they are pretty good because they have some family communication issues and we are going to try and help them out. Jana was busy all week so we didn't get to visit her which stunk but its alright. And yeah the other family that we had is a mom and her two daughters who this week were showing way more interest so we are pretty excited for that! I really hope that they start to progress way more because I would love to have all of those people baptized before I leave. That will be the trick. But yeah that's about it for this week. Hope that you all have a good one!

Elder Parker

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rain and Wind

So this week we basically had a hurricane pass through Concepcion. Its rained super hard with super strong wind for like 3 days straight and there was no possible way to not get absolutely soaked from head to toe. It was a miserable experience but in the end I know that Ill miss it someday. But this week was pretty busy, we had transfers, zone conference, and two training meetings so we didn't work like half of the week. But even with not working too much we found a single mom who is super good. Shes good friends of a member and already accepted baptism and the invitation to go to church. Her name is Jana and she has gone through a bunch of trials in her life and more than anything wants to be with her son forever. Her husband is in a rehab center for drugs right now and she is having to raise her one year old son alone. Her life has been super hard. Shes pretty dang awesome. The family that we have too is committed to go to church this week too so we are hoping to have a bunch of people there.

Other than that, while I was in exchanges, we visited a member that has a bunch of new puppies and played with them for a good while. And the best part was that one of them pooped on my companion!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Zone Attacks and Cambios

Hows it going everyone? This weeks was super good and actually way fun. We had the goal as a mission to have every area get 20 lessons with a member present in the week. It was a pretty high goal and we have quite a few sectors that get about 5-10 in a week. So in the end we had to go over to other sectors and start to help them get their own goals. At the end of the week we weren't even working in our own sector but were getting members to go over to other sectors and to help them get lessons. We kept track and in the end, my companion and I got 33 lessons in the week. 20 of our own and the rest to help other sectors.  We had to basically run everywhere and take a whole bunch of buses but we were able to do it and as a zone we got the goal. I honestly feel like it was the hardest week of work that I have had in the mission haha but it was super awesome. We also found out today that I am going to stay with my companion for a third cambio so we are going to be together for a super long time but hes cool and we are working well together so in the end I'm fine with it. That does mean though that I will most likely be staying here in Andalien until I finish the mission in three months. But hope you all have a good week!