Monday, January 26, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 63 - January 26, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

hey mom a suite at the Aulani that’s ridiculous. sounds good. track sounds fun i would like to see that, but in a little. i feel kinda the same as you mom. getting used to all the new: new area, new companion, new assignment, new everything but things are starting to get going and i feel really good about where i am in the mission as of right now. tomorrow we got interviews with president and I’m pretty excited for that. 

M: Yes, sometimes new is good, most times it depends on how you look at it.  Sometimes, often times, new is hard, not bad, just hard, but the rewards are usually pretty good.

So why are you excited about interviews with President tomorrow?

: i don’t know talking to president is usually pretty cool. he says something cool every time haha. and i just feel good about where i am in the mission. i feel like i know what to do and how to do it well and i finally can do things how i should haha. 

M: Its like going into a performance review knowing that you are at the top of your game and the outcome should be really good.  I get it. so what's going on with you in your area, how are the investigators coming along?

EP: ya feeling pretty good. we got 3 investigators right now pretty good. gonna have an awesome valentines day this year haha. we got 3 with baptismal dates for February 14. Abigail just has to get married and she probably will this week. Gibran is the brother of a member and he’s awesome. and Blanca Estela came to church for the first time this Sunday.  

M: I'm excited for your investigators.  Did you all raise the money you needed? Is that for Abigail?  How old are these people, young like the ones in Xico. Can you tell me more about each one?

EP: we haven’t raised the money yet but we will see what happens. ya its for Abigail. Abigail is like 22ish i think i don’t know. her future husband is a member who was inactive but they are awesome. they are gonna have a kid and want to raise him or her in the church. Gibran is also like 25. his brother Alan is a member and he just started asking about the church cause Alan was talking to him about it. Alan completely changed his life so Gibran wants to have the same kind of changes. Blanca is like 50ish. she has a lot of family problems and one night we were walking down the street and she was sitting on the curb alone. i said hi and kept walking but then i was like no i gotta talk to her. so we went back and talked to her. she was waiting for her family cause she didn’t have keys and was just lonely. we ended up talking for almost an hour and she came to church yesterday. She’s super cool and excited about the gospel. we also got the Mendoza family. the parents, 2 daughters and a son. they are super cool but don’t want to get baptized. we had a super awesome lesson with them Saturday night. Sunday they couldn’t come to church but the mom just told me, elder we can’t go today but i got my answer and were gonna keep going in the church. give me this week and next week we will be there and later we will talk about baptism. i don’t know what happened what answer she got but it was awesome. and the son was like ya i work some Sundays but I’m gonna go talk to the lady i help and tell her i cant work Sundays cause i gotta go to church. so they received a crazy answer. we talk to them tomorrow. i am excited to see what happened

M: That is amazing son.  Each one has a different story and yet all the same in that they are searching for something.  Loneliness, direction, family, all can be addressed through the gospel.  Interesting that this set of investigators are all pretty much older: young adults or older where as in Xico, they were youth.  Maybe you had to learn how to be a missionary with the young ones so that you would be prepared for the older ones and their families, more adult situations and stuff.  I too am curious about the family and the answer that came.  Is this the family that has been taking lessons from the missionaries for a while now?

Do you have a story for me?

EP: ya the same family. ya i got a story. so last week i was watching videos on to be obedient haha. and i found one just by accident that was elder Anderson talking. the talk is called you know enough. i saw the video and immediately thought about the Mendoza family. last Sunday we had a kind of brutal lesson. my companion planched (grilled) them pretty hard and i just felt really bad. i saw the video and immediately thought of them. we had a lesson with them Wednesday so i fasted Tuesday to Wednesday for them and they weren’t there. we went Wednesday Thursday and Friday and every time they weren’t there. i was like no they don’t wana see us they feel bad or something and i was jut like no no no. we got there Saturday night with a member and see the mom walking away from her house and I’m just like no this can’t be happening. we talk to her and she’s like no i will be back in like 10 minutes but you can go wait there my family is there. i was like ok that’s cool. we go and she takes like an hour. I’m like no way its super late were gonna have like half an hour and its gonna suck haha. but she finally gets there and we start. we read the talk and start talking and the spirit is just like super strong. the mom and the oldest daughter start crying, the dad who usually doesn’t want anything to do with us opens up and it was awesome. but they have big economic problems and they were like we can’t go to church cause we gotta work and we can’t right now cause we don’t even have anything to eat. i don’t know what happened but i just told them if you go to church, if you get baptized, and if you do what we tell you you will always have what you need for your family. the Lord will always provide for you and you will find the answers to every single one of your problems in the church. then the brother that came with us is a counselor in the bishopric and he was like, “if you pray as a family right now when we leave you will receive an answer. i don’t know what’s gonna happen but you are gonna know what to do.” and Sunday morning they told us they received their answer. it was super cool and the spirit was just super strong. 

ok love you, gotta go, talk to you in a week. have a great week.
Elder Park

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 62 - January 19, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

hey mom sounds good. It’s crazy to think Apo’s home already but that’s cool i guess. i don’t wanna  come home yet haha. i am feeling good in my new area. getting things going al little bit. still a lot of work to do but i am excited to get things done. good for dad and ty. hopefully next year i can help out a little bit.

Welcome Home Sister Chong from faithful service in the Fiji Suva Mission. Well Done!

M: I don't think she wanted to come home yet either! But like I told her and I told you, the Lord calls you for a time and that time will eventually be up and it is time to move on to a new adventure and calling.

: haha what’s up with Kino’s skirt haahahahha. Papa’s tie is cool. send me some of those haha. um story. well this week was just a little disappointing. we talked to the loads of people and it was a little hard a bunch of people didn’t want anything to do with us but then Friday and Saturday we had some great days. we found a bunch of people who were interested and everyone said they were gonna come to church and then no one came. but we are still excited. we have a family that has been listening to the missionaries for ever and they are really great they just don’t want to get baptized for some reason but we are gonna work super hard with them and were gonna see if they can get baptized this week. we also got a great sister named Abi who’s probably gonna get baptized this week or the next. she just has to get married. so i might be paying for a wedding haha just to let you know. she is super awesome and super ready. she read the whole gospel principles book and is super excited. o story so we went to her house and ate this Saturday after the food we were talking to her and her neighbors were gonna kill a turkey so we opened the window shades and watched cause she never saw it before. o man it was brutal and then after she was like o my gosh that is not of God haha it was super funny.

M: So i am glad that your attitude is as it should be. You truly have the right spirit in this. I am wondering about you paying for a wedding, what does that mean? I just want you to be careful, if it is the Lord's will then you know we will support you and get you what you need, reasonably, but you need to make sure that this is what you should be doing.  Okay, I feel like a regular mom again! I know that you will use your head and listen to the spirit to make right choices.

I'm excited for you that you have potentials.  How is your area, your ward?

EP: nah its cause they charge like 900 pesos to get married here and the family is kinda struggling so the bishop is gonna see what they can pay what the ward can do to help but if there still isn’t enough me and my companion are gonna pitch in as well.

 its alright. were going in the right direction. its not perfect but i doubt there are any perfect wards but what i like about here is that the people are willing to work. a lot of members are willing to work. we just need to work together to find people to teach and help them get to church.

M: Ok, I am good if the Bishop and the ward is helping, then you can totally make up the difference. 

I'm glad that the ward is willing to work with you, in your email to president, that was the biggest problem in Xico.  I'm excited for you.  That's super cool and we always hear that when we are willing to work with the missionaries, the work moves along so much better. 

So how are you, you sound good.  Tell me how things are different in the city compared to the country like Xico.

EP: ya its something i wished i did when i was home but something I’m gonna repent for. haha i will help the missionaries more at home. especially with friends like it says in my blessing.

There’s just houses and buildings here. no green but its cool. more fast-paced and just a totally different feeling, in the country its more calm and relaxed.

M: we all have work to do and we all need to be better.  I am glad that you are remembering and constantly referring to your blessing, it will be a wonderful tool for you through out your life.

What did you guys do today for p-day?  How are things going in your district?

EP: we went to the chapel and ate tacos and played some soccer. things are going ok there are some problems but normal stuff everything is good. but i gotta go i will talk to you in a week. love you guys have a great week.  
Elder Park

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 61 - January 12, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

hey mom i am good. i am in a new area called Huicholes in the state of Mexico pretty close to Mexico City. Its super different. I miss my little towns super far away from everything haha. now i am like right in the city. and it is super dry here. like in Xico it was humid but here its super dry so my lips literally are dying and bleeding but all in all we are good here

M: Did you buy yourself some chapstick or do I need to send you some, what about lotion for your skin?

I know this is just the preview and you are writing more details about your area, your companion, what's new etc.

: ya i got chapstick. nah my skin is fine just my lips haha. the area is like city and right now we don’t have like any one. we are working hard to find people to teach. it sucks i left a bunch of people in Xico and came to nothing but its ok gotta go to work. my new companion is elder Hernandez from Tijuana and he’s got pretty much the same time as me a few months less.

M: So has your companion been in that area for a while or are you both new?  Do you have leadership assignments?

EP: he’s been here for one cycle. um ya i am now district leader.

so my story for the week. we were walking one night and found a drunk guy walking in the street we helped him for a little and then we left him when he said he was almost home .then we found him like 10 minutes later and he was super lost. he asked us for help and i felt bad so we walked him home. we finally got back to his house and his granddaughter was like o thank you so much. were gonna go back sometime this week and hopefully find him sober so we can teach him. hopefully he remembers us and will listen haha.

M: Thank you for the story.  When you find people in that state, do you allow the spirit to tell you if they are harmless?  How do you know if they are safe?  Just wondering, I am glad that you were able to help him and take him home, eventually.  Meeting him two times is probably not a coincidence and I would guess that he was put in your path for a reason.  I am hoping and I will pray that this is your beginning in Huicholes and there will be many more to follow.

EP: idk he was an older guy and super nice so i thought it was ok. o and i just talked to elder piña in xico and no investigators went to church yesterday. i don’t know what happened but that kinda sucks haha. I’m thinking a lot about xico and here and not just my area now but the whole district. its a lot but i love it haha. the companions good. today we went to go play soccer in the park with some students and it was fun. I’m not super good but i at least hold my own haha.

M: How big is your district? How does being the district leader differ, what are your responsibilities?

EP: ya the whole leader thing isn’t freaking me out. i feel pretty normal and i feel like i can help them. we are in the same situation as we were in xico, we just gotta work and find people to teach. i just hope they listen to me and go to work hahah. My district is me my companion and 4 sisters. the difference is every Wednesday i have to give the district class. that kinda sucks you know me and talking in front of people but i think i am doing ok so far haha. i am like in charge of these 3 areas. i gotta keep track of what they are doing and how to help them work better.

ok well i gotta go but one more story. haha so yesterday some Jehovah’s witnesses knocked our door. it was cold so i had my jacket and my name tag was under so he didn’t know i was a missionary. he starts talking to me super nice and asking me questions and sharing scriptures and everything and then he’s like so you live here. and I’m like well were renting right now were missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints so we change a lot. his face changed super fast and was like o you’re mormons? and i was like ya? and he was like but there’s always a foreigner with you guys. and i was like um ya I’m not Mexican I’m from Hawaii. he was like o ok well have a great day bye. it was super funny as soon as i said i was a missionary he like completely changed and left as soon as possible it was weird.
have a great week love you guys. tell ty don’t worry about getting crazy about sports. in my mission i have gone to play soccer in the park twice and both times there were fights. well today not really but almost and the first time ya a legit fight. so its pretty normal haha. love you guys. 
M: Funny story, love you too and no FIGHTING in sports of any kind is not acceptable!
Elder Park

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 60 - January 5, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

I got changes so i am leaving (Xico) tomorrow and it has been like the hardest two days of my life. I seriously love it here. I love the people and it has been super hard to say goodbye. Haha i think it’s harder to leave here than it was for me to leave home. I am happy but super sad at the same time. It sucks a lot haha. 

M: The Lord said it wouldn't be easy, only worth it!

Well, I don't know how to take the fact that this may be harder, but I think I am beginning to understand.  You have found eternal friends in the people in Xico and you have brought an eternal perspective to their lives. You want to see that continue and you want to make sure that they stay on the right path, but that is not your job, you did your job in Xico.  That is part of the life of a missionary I guess. And maybe you were getting to comfortable so it is time to move on and go find others who are waiting for you.

: and like leaving home i always knew i would be coming back soon. That the mission was gonna be great and i would always be coming home. Here it’s a lot more iffy. Ya i know but aw man i almost cried a couple times today and yesterday haha

M: So what is it from your perspective that makes this so hard?

EP: haha idk just leaving everyone i have come to love. Like we went to visit a sister last night. And after she sent us this message. haha I’m gonna give you some Spanish homework.

hola se le va a extrañar mucho elder park que le vaya muy bien  que dios lo bendiga y espero que no nos olvide. echele muchas ganas y aproveche la oputunidad de estudiar ya que muchos no la tenemos. esa es una oportunidad que le esta dando dios. le deseo lo mejor del mundo que dios lo bendiga y a su familia. es una gran persona gracias por enseñarme lo que dios quiere para nosotros. le mando un abrazo. solo hasta hoy he conocido a tres personas que hablen de nuestro padre sin barreras sin miedo y con mucho amor. dentro de esas son ustedes 2 y usted me daba valor para ir a la iglesia y no sentirme rara pero nos deja :(

M: (Translation from a website Spanish Dictionary) Hi will you surprise much elder park that do very well may God bless you and I hope you remember us. take many want and explore the oputunidad of study since many don't have it. This is an opportunity that you are giving God. I wish you the best of the world that God bless you and your family. It is a great person thanks for teaching me what God wants for us. I send you a hug. only today I've met three people who speak of our father without barriers without fear and with much love. 2 you are inside those and you gave me value to go to church and not feel rare but leaves us :(

IS this the right translation, or the jest of it.

A gift: “you speak of the Father without barriers, without fear and with much love”, incredible!

EP: haha google translate doesn’t work so good. Ya its pretty much it. Ya it was crazy. Just a bunch of great stuff but hard at the same time. I am kinda like wondering what’s gonna happen now but i feel good (about transfers and missionary work). Like now i can really get to work. I know what to do and how to do it i just gotta do it. 

M: You have finally found your missionary mojo!  You have put aside your fears and doubts, trusted in the Lord and have found your place as a missionary.  Maybe that was why Xico was the place for you, to find Elder Park! and the people there who accepted you for what you are helped you to find that.  But like you said, now it is time to move forward and go do work! Like you know you can.  Don't get lazy or complacent, work hard no matter what and you will never look back on your mission and say I wish I had.

Can I have one more story from Xico for the blog, something great that happened or will happen?

EP: ya that’s what i was thinking. Xico has been so hard but i have learned so much and feel like i have grown so much. I will send you a copy of what i am writing to president:

Hola Presidente,
I am gonna write this one in English because there are just so many things i want to say. First of all thank you for everything you have done for me, taught me, and blessed me with so far in my mission. You always seem to write letters for exactly what is happening in my mission at just the right time. Thank you for this time you have given to me here in Xico. It has been a bitter sweet day for me. I feel like maybe it is the right time for me to go right now but at the same time xico has become a part of my heart. I feel like i am leaving a part of my soul here and I think it is harder for me to leave Xico than it was for me to leave home. When I first got here a lot of people talked about the other missionaries that were here and they come to Xico to learn a lesson and don’t leave until that lesson has been learned. I was thinking a lot about that and what is my lesson to learn. They would comment about the things that others needed to learn and I would reflect if I needed to learn the same or a similar lesson. I think I have finally learned my lesson here and I hope that i have truly learned it well. I feel like here I needed to overcome the pretextos and excuses. A lot of times I would tell myself don’t worry about everything so much you’re in xico. It’s a hard area and no one baptizes here or no one gets 40 lessons. If you get those things awesome but if not its normal. I lowered my own standards because of what others would tell me. Recently I have seen that the excuses will always be there. Maybe in some places more than in others but if we look for them they will always be there. It is up to us to go to work nothing more nothing less. I have seen that when we just get to work and work hard everyday. Don’t worry so much about numbers or about what people are saying is when results will come. We are super excited for this month in January not only in Xico but in the district. Unfortunately I won’t be here to see it but I feel like I have done my part. I have worked and left everything I have here in Xico and that’s why it’s so hard for me to leave, but I know the Lord has a plan for me. I was joking around with my companion and i told him I was gonna fast so that I wouldn’t have changes, but when i said my prayer to fast i just asked that what the Lord wanted for me would happen. That all our investigators would be blessed with the things they need whether it’s with me or someone else but that they will all receive the love and support they need.

M: its amazing son, you are growing up in front of my eyes and it is truly a blessing.  A beautiful lesson, excuses and doubts, always, always there, but like you said we have to push them aside and just do what the Lord asks.  I was reading 1 Nephi this morning, we are doing a challenge with aunty Summer BoM 365, everyday there is a reading and then a question of the day.  One of the questions was about having the faith and courage to do what the Lord asks.  I thought about Laman and Lemuel and the excuses and murmurings all the time, everywhere they went, there was an excuse: it’s to hard, to dangerous, crazy man, on and on.  We can choose to be Laman and Lemuel, or we can choose to be Nephi and Lehi.  When we truly and completely trust in the Lord, we know as Nephi proclaimed that He gives us nothing that we cannot handle.  HE loves us, knows us and wants us to be happy and succeed.  Good lesson, I am glad you learned it!

EP: ya i hope everything works out with everyone here. Here are some pictures from Xico.  The families there are maria del carmen and her two sons. and hermano Pedro and his family. ana is the one on my left who sent us the messages. but i gotta go i will talk to you guys in a week and let you know where i am and all that good stuff. love you guys.



Elder Park