Monday, August 31, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 94 - August 31, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

hey I’m on a little early today cause we are going to the pyramids so i don’t know if i will be on later but it was a good week. just trying to keep working and working. Sonia was able to get confirmed this week so that was awesome and then this coming Saturday we are gonna have 2 baptisms and then the next week is the re-dedication of the temple in Mexico city so that should be super cool, an interesting way to end the mission. we don’t have normal Sunday services that week just the re-dedication. Can’t believe how fast time has gone by and that there are only 2 more weeks and then i will be home hopefully to help out a little.

M: So there was a picture on the mission blog, was that Sonia and her family?

Wow, a re-dedication, that really is super cool.  Do you guys get to go to the temple or do you just watch it from the stake centers?


EP: ya that was Sonia and her family. her mom and older sister. no we are gonna watch it in the stake center. but its the same stake as huicholes so i am excited for that too. hopefully i will see a bunch of members from there. 

M: Is Xico part of Huicholes? That will be pretty cool to be able to see some of those members before you come home. How exciting and then the dedication of the temple is a really neat experience. A very nice way to end the mission.

EP: no xico is super far from everything haha. huicholes is where i was before pachua. like in January to April.

M: Tell me about the two that you are baptizing this week.

EP: ok one is Graciela. her daughter just got baptized like a month or 2 ago and she’s super cool. she didn’t want anything to do with the church but she went to the baptism and the confirmation of her daughter and granddaughter and since then has loved it. she has gotten her answers that the church is true and to be baptized. she said one night she couldn’t sleep and so she went to her living room and turned on the tv and there was a program on about the church and she was like wow and that was her answer. then she said her husband was telling her a bunch of stuff about the church and why we don’t talk about the virgin Mary and blah blah blah and she said here take this. she opened the book of Mormon and told him to read and it was open to the page where Nephi has a vision and sees the virgin Mary. when she told us that story i was like wo that’s insane haha. but she’s cool and super ready. the other one is Emeliano. He’s 9 and his parents are members. He’s super cool and a little shy but a good kid. He’s gonna get baptized so he can go to the temple rededication with his family. pretty excited for this week and those baptisms. but i gotta go i will be on later hopefully. love you guys 

Elder Park
From the mission blog

Hermana Egbert posts:
In the last few weeks we as a mission experienced a few challenges... but through the Lords help, and the faith and courage of the missionaries, all will be well!

- Elder De Leon lost his dad to liver failure (Didn't return home- relied on his faith)

- Elder Ellibee lost his dad this last Thursday (Knows his family needs the blessings of his continued service in the mission)
- Elder Park's family home in Hawaii burned to the ground and his little brother could not get his elderly grandparents out of the home in time and they perished. (He finishes his mission in three weeks and is giving all his efforts in this work to bless his family at home through this difficult challenge and tragedy)
- Elder Harolds returned home for surgery on a wound that would not heal 
- Three Elders sent home for transgression/disobedience

Two things I continue to learn while here-  #1 is that Heavenly Father is in charge and though difficult things happen we are never alone, and #2 that Satan never rests! These missionaries can never think they are safe, that they have arrived; because Satan is cunning, deceitful and persuasive!

Tecamac I Zone Fitness/Health Activity Day: Looking a little Tired!!!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 93 - August 24, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

hey mom ya it was kind of a really full week. we had zone conference and baptisms so we were pretty busy. The good thing was we had 3 baptisms this weekend. A mom and her two daughters it was super cool. Unfortunately only 2 got confirmed. One of the daughters has a kind of disability so they didn’t want to confirm her. They are gonna talk to President Egbert and hopefully she will get confirmed this week. A sister gave me that talk a couple months ago. Lessons from liberty jail. It’s a good one. i liked how you said in even the worst situations we can have the most spiritual experiences of our lives. 

M: Why do they baptize but not confirm, that's very interesting.

EP: its weird. president has the keys to baptize but the bishop the keys to confirm. but that’s also why we are kinda upset. we told them from a week ago that we were gonna baptize the three so if they had questions or stuff they should’ve talked to president this week before the baptism. cause it was super lame that we baptized the three everyone super happy and then Sunday the bishop just tells us that only two are gonna get confirmed. But, it was amazing. The mom shared her testimony after the baptism and it was awesome. like always simple a little rough around the edges but powerful and pure. She just shared how happy she was and how she knew and felt that all this was true. that it was a huge commitment she had made with her heavenly father but she was ready and willing for it. then Sunday night we went and she just said i know today i received the holy ghost. when they put their hands on my head and were talking i just felt super hot inside and i just felt good. I didn’t hear all the words he said but the ones i remember i know came from god and are to help me. it was super cool. it made me think about this video.

i really am good. just working my butt off and worrying about here and then when i get home the stuff that has to be done there. yes i know haha i always said i didn’t want to extend my mission cause nothing major could happen in a cycle. if i didn’t do it in the first two years a month and a half wont make a difference but boy was i wrong haha. i have learned so much in these past two weeks its been crazy. like you said basically just humbling myself. i always thought i was humble but when you think you’re humble i don’t think you’re really humble haha and i learned i wasn’t very humble. There’s a lot more to learn and to grow and humble myself and just accept His will in all moments in all things. 

M: So are you considering extending? I think we are better than we believe ourselves to be, but we can always be even better. I know that we have been humbled to a new level because of the experiences that we have had over the last few weeks. Things that were important are not as important as others. How we treat others is so much more important than I ever thought. How we live the gospel is a beacon to others and we need to make sure that we are portraying what the Lord would have us portray. There are things we know we need to change, we need to treat each other better, especially family because family is important. We have learned so much in these last weeks and we have been humbled. It's how we move forward that is important. How you choose to spend these last few weeks, that's important and then yes, we deal with whatever comes next. Again, we are growing together and having similar experiences and that, I think, is incredible. So know that though we are far apart in distance, we are close in our growth and our learning is so similar, all because you chose to go and chose to stay.

EP: nah I’m not extending just letting you know how the lord once again taught me how wrong i am haha. we went to visit a sister on Friday. she is having a hard time and a bunch of stuff was happening in her life but we only talked to her a little. really shared very little just bore our testimonies and listened to her. she accepted a baptismal date and to come to church with us. she was ready at 7 in the morning on Sunday to go to church and then while walking she was like i need to tell you guys something. the day you came i just felt so much peace i went up to my room and just fell asleep. just completely lost sleeping. i have trouble sleeping but that day i just felt so good and peaceful that i just slept the whole night. i don’t know why but i just felt so good when you guys came. she went to church and loved t so we are hoping she is a chosen one haha.

M: Very cool story. I love the stories of peace, it reminds me of my peaceful night after we spoke about you going on a mission. I to this day have never ever slept like that again. Like she said, completely lost in sleep. Then grandma shared that scripture from D&C 6:23 where the Lord speaks about peace and it being a witness. That's an awesome story and yes, a soul that has been waiting for you. You have much to be grateful for, as do we.  When times are hard, count your blessings!

EP: hey i gotta go but i really am good. Don’t worry about me. soon enough i will be home and the real problems start haha. but I’m ok. i will try to be on earlier next week but i don’t know. we are going to the pyramids so we will see how that goes. i will also try to send pictures. i love you guys so much. have a great week. 

Elder Park
From the mission blog

Buenos dias Presidente,
Esta semana ha sido la semana mas difícil de toda mi misión por mucho. Ha sido muy difícil para mi enfocarme y no pensar en otras cosas. Me esfuerzo mucho durante el día y en las lecciones para poder enfocarme totalmente en mis investigadores y las personas que estoy enseñando y la verdad he podido hacer lo mucho mejor que pensé posible. El problema ha sido mas en las noches y en las mañanas pero he podido aprender mucho esta semana. Las escrituras que teníamos que estudiar para la conferencia el día de mañana me ayudaron mucho. Nunca en la misión ni en la vida he sentido tan débil y solo. Más que nada yo quería estar con mi familia en estos momentos y ayudarles pero sé que tengo que estar aquí. Sé que puedo hacer mas aquí que allá y que el Señor cuidará a mi familia. No sé como están o que esta pasando en casa pero he podido sentir la fortaleza y el amor de mi Padre Celestial y mi Salvador en esta semana. Realmente cuando soy débil entonces soy fuerte. He visto muchas de mis debilidades esta semana pero he aprendido muchas cosas que me ayudarán por toda la vida. He aprendido a confiar al Señor en cada momento. Aún cuando no entiendo por que sé que él tiene un plan perfecto para mi y para mi familia. Sé que esta es su obra y él esta trabajando con nosotros porque sin su ayuda esta semana yo estaría en casa. A pesar de todo eso la semana fue maravillosa. Tuvimos 10 investigadores ir a la capilla esta semana y 5 nuevas fechas. Las personas que están mas cercas de hacer este convenio nos han comentado muchas cosas que me aseguro que realmente han recibido respuestas y están haciendo estas cosas por las razones correctas. Amo a esta obra y amo a mi Padre Celestial. Les amo muchísimo a usted y a su esposa. Gracias por todo y por todo su amor.

Elder P


Monday, August 17, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 92 - August 17, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

it has been a super hard week but nothing like what i thought it would be. like you said i have felt the love and strength of my Heavenly Father everyday. I’m ok. i don’t know how to be honest but i am ok. just like you mom i think Monday night more than anything else i just wanted to be home and hug you and just be with you all but there’s a reason things happened. i hope it was the right decision to stay in the mission and i will do all i can to make sure i finish it how i should. i am not gonna finish and let myself do it bad when now more than ever we all need the blessings and just the strength to do everything. i am good as well. Don’t worry about me i will be ok i am trying to lose myself in the work and worry about everything else later. Also tyler was the first person to come to mind. i didn’t know he was in the house but just like you guys worried about him. i don’t really know how to put everything in words but i love you guys so much. i will also do my best to be that example for everyone in the mission. give my all at all times. i love you all so much. i have felt your prayers and your concerns but I’m ok.

it was a rough week. haha just trying to focus the best i can on what i need to do. in the day i have been pretty good but at night and in the morning when i have a little more personal time its been a little rougher. but we have been working as hard as we can. president gave us some scriptures to study. one was 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. 

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

this week i have felt that. weak, small, like i can’t do anything to help you guys at home. worried. just a bunch of stuff. but then I have felt so strong in other moments. maybe not out of the ordinary but i know that without that help i wouldn’t have made it through the week. i would probably be home right now. i know that this is what i need to do right now because He has helped me to do what i need to do. this week we had 10 people come to church with baptismal dates. we have 3 baptisms this week coming up. another one next week. and those 4 have told us that they know its true. they are totally convinced of everything and they show it in the their actions. it has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions this week but i feel like i need to just finish the best i can. i have learned more than anything to trust in the Lord this week. Trust Him with everything and just do what i can. I also have been a little worried for ty. he didn’t email me but just tell him i love him so much. and if he wants to talk we can talk.

this week we got Lorena and Guillemin that are gonna get baptized like super sure. the other daughter is Sonia but she has a mental illness. she cant talk but she understands us. so she is gonna have a baptismal interview if she can respond through gestures or something like that then she will get baptized with her mom and sister. we have Graciela. her daughter and granddaughter just got baptized like a month ago. she was super against it at first but then she went to the baptism and the confirmation and hasn’t stopped going since. she loves the church. her life ahs been hard and its still hard for her but she has found the gospel and the peace and joy that comes from it. we have 2 magic children. Isai and Israel. we are working with their families so they all get active and they can get baptized. we have Martha and her 3 kids that went to church  for the first time this week. and we have angel. he’s 17 but also has some mental problems he just finished middle school but he loves the church. he goes by himself every week. 

i only got a couple more minutes. but like you said maybe there’s not much i can do there and not much to come home to except my family but that’s all i need. its been a rough week for everyone and i think for the first time in my whole mission i wanted to just go home but i know that’s not what the Lord wants for me or for you guys. I love you all. Take care of ty i will write him something right now. In 4 short weeks I’ll be home and well take it from there. for now there’s things to do and like you said a lot of investigators right now that need my attention. i know you will all be ok. i love you and thank everyone for their support and prayers. 

Elder Park

Mexico Pachuca - Week 91 - August 10, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

so i am in Montes. its kinda cool here. close to Mexico city and a lot more city than i have ever been but its cool. working hard and walking a lot. i get home super tired every day but its been good. its hard to think that this is my last cycle. i don’t think its really hit me yet but there’s still work to do and look forward to doing it. 

M: Montes, close to the volcano that is erupting?  Who is your companion, from where, how long out, how is the ward, you need to give me a little more than that.

EP: : there’s a volcano erupting haha???? no i don’t think its close. my companion is from Peru. his name is elder Perez and he’s only got a month and a half in the mission. the ward seems good. i don’t know most of them yet but there are some members that are super cool. there’s a lot of work to be done. hopefully we will have like 3 baptisms this month and we are working on September. I’m his trainer but just to finish his training. and i am also district leader here. it will be interesting haha. 

M: Why will it be interesting?

EP: i am district leader of just my companion and 2 other elders but i feel super weird haha. my comp has like 2 months in the mission. and the other two have 3 months and 8 months so they are like all just starting. but its good. they are all cool so it should be fun.

M: What a great opportunity for you to mold and to teach these young ones, kind of like padawans! What you teach them will be the foundation of their mission and how they will serve, you have the opportunity and responsibility to make sure they serve with perfect obedience and to work hard, more especially when the work is hard. I think it is a perfect way to end the mission, you have to work hard till they very end so that your district will do the same. Nice.

EP: haha like padawans. when i first started the mission my district leader told me we are like Jedi haha. the force is the priesthood and we also go 2 by 2 like the Jedi haha. ya i know gotta keep working.

M: Yes, as you think about it, Jedi travel in twos and there is always a senior companion. The force can totally be the priesthood and these are young jedis (aren't padawans young jedi in training? would that be primary and youth kids not missionaries?) I like the analogy, it works.  There is definitely a dark side and we are trying to bring as many as we can over to the light. Temptations, even for Jedi, can be overwhelming if we are not careful, but we can always figure ourselves out and return, through the process of repentance like Anikan did eventually.  Funny where you can find the concepts of the gospel.  The next Star wars movie is coming out in December I think.

EP: so that means i can watch star wars in the mission right casue its like straight up doctrine hahahaha. ill ask president haha. um i think what i loved about this week was just getting to know a bunch of new people really being able to see the gospel in action. one recent convert shared how she became converted to the gospel. it was literally a 180 degree turn. she smoked like 2 packs of cigarettes in a day and when the missionaries taught word of wisdom she dropped it totally. things that shouldn’t happen that are ¨impossible¨ happen with the gospel. when we understand the gospel and are willing to do anything to follow the gospel principles than we can do anything. something else i have come to recognize in the mission is actually kinda funny. a lot of times we stress out about trying to teach everything we need to. or just focusing so much on what we are saying but it really doesn’t matter. usually investigators and even a lot of members when they are new in the church don’t understand anything at all. It doesn’t matter if we teach perfectly they usually don’t understand anything but they can feel something very very different. they can feel a peace and a happiness that only comes from the gospel. that is the most important part of helping people receive the gospel. helping them feel good. like in contacts we make in the street or first lessons with people. if we can help them feel the sprit and feel good than they will change and they will want more even if they don’t understand why.

M: So who are you baptizing?

EP: we got two for the 22nd. Lorena and Guillermina. mom and daughter. they are super cool and just super chosen to receive the gospel right now. Lorena told us the day before the missionaries came she asked god for guidance and she said whatever you tell me to do i will do it i just want to know what i need to do. she said she felt like she is a good person but she just wasn’t getting where she needed to get and so she prayed. the next day the missionaries knocked on her door. so its pretty crazy how the lord works. we also have Graciela. her daughter is the recent convert who stopped smoking.

M: That's awesome son. We love you so much and are so proud of you. Exciting times. We will continue to pray for you and all that you work with. 

EP: ya exciting times. were working on finding more and more and just doing everything we can. I’ll talk to you guys next week. love you. have a great week

Elder Park