Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WEEK 2 LANSING (WEEK 73 0F MISSION)

great week. we drove safe. everyone got where they needed to go! haha we were in Traverse City last weekend with the zone leaders up there and it was beautiful! we were door knocking on the peninsula and it was soo gorgeous! had a great time. we are going to teach a girl named Samiya tonight so wish us luck! 

the Book of Mormon is true. Read it. Read 3 nephi 1. the people were being mocked for their beliefs. they were going to be killed. even some that believed began to doubt. they were going through a trial of their faith. if anybody is going through a trial of their faith, just hang on. dont jump ship. read 3 nephi 1 and see how the Lord provided for the nephites and know that He will do the same for you. Just hang on and believe in good things to come. Please watch the church's newest Mormon Message on depression and encourage all around you, including yourself! Heavenly Father loves you infinitely. Do not allow the adversary to tell you otherwise. Here is a quote from Brigham Young, "If you have a bad or negative thought about yourself, tell it to go to hell, because that is exactly where it came from." it is true! push through the trials of your faith. use it as a time and an excuse to get closer to God! 

love you all! have a great week!


if i get a chance later this week i will email you all back!

Amanda Voyles from our stake here in South Jordan, who now lives in Parker's ward in Lansing. So thankful for her kindness!

Monday, October 20, 2014

WEEK 1 LANSING (WEEK 72 OF MISSION)

hey everybody! what a great week on campus! serving on campus is super different, but super fun! this week is transfer week, which basically means that for the next 4 days i will be driving a giant 15 passenger van with a trailer behind it for about 1400 miles. so.. yeah... not a lot of missionary work happening this week haha. 
 
Why are all three of them squeezed into the front seat?!?
No explanation of what this is all about!  Missionaries and their pictures?
so we pc'd all week (personal contacted). that is where we walk around and talk to random people all day long and invite them to meet with us haha. it is basically like we are ping pong balls because we just bounce from person to person and group to group. we have a lot of fun. we set tons of return appointments and get loads of phone numbers. sad part is, not everybody follows through haha. so we were wondering how we can be more effective on campus. and we had this idea. we took a big white cardboard poster, made it look nice, and put, "what would you ask God?" in the middle of it. we walked around campus and asked students what they would ask god and had them write their questions on the board. then we told them we would hold a large group class this next week where we will answer a few of these questions each week. and it went awesome! we got some sweet responses and met loads of cool people.

here is what was so cool: we ask people all the time what the purpose of life is, and nobody wants to say i dont know, so they give a token response. but yesterday, lots of people wrote things like what is the purpose of life? why did God put me here? especially the chinese students. when we would ask if they think about their question often, they would say every day i wonder why i am here. or something like that! cool, right? so we are hoping this new idea works! 

i love James E Talmage. check out this parable of his: it is a little lengthy, but soo worth reading! please read it!

Sometimes I find myself under obligations of work requiring quiet and seclusion such as neither my comfortable office nor the cozy study at home insures. My favorite retreat is an upper room in the tower of a large building, well removed from the noise and confusion of the city streets. The room is somewhat difficult of access and relatively secure against human intrusion. Therein I have spent many peaceful and busy hours with books and pen.
I am not always without visitors, however, especially in summertime; for when I sit with windows open, flying insects occasionally find entrance and share the place with me. These self-invited guests are not unwelcome. Many a time I have laid down the pen and, forgetful of my theme, have watched with interest the activities of these winged visitants, with an afterthought that the time so spent had not been wasted, for is it not true that even a butterfly, a beetle, or a bee may be a bearer of lessons to the receptive student?
A wild bee from the neighboring hills once flew into the room, and at intervals during an hour or more I caught the pleasing hum of its flight. The little creature realized that it was a prisoner, yet all its efforts to find the exit through the partly opened casement failed. When ready to close up the room and leave, I threw the window wide and tried at first to guide and then to drive the bee to liberty and safety, knowing well that if left in the room it would die as other insects there entrapped had perished in the dry atmosphere of the enclosure. The more I tried to drive it out, the more determinedly did it oppose and resist my efforts. Its erstwhile peaceful hum developed into an angry roar; its darting flight became hostile and threatening.
Then it caught me off my guard and stung my hand—the hand that would have guided it to freedom. At last it alighted on a pendant attached to the ceiling, beyond my reach of help or injury. The sharp pain of its unkind sting aroused in me rather pity than anger. I knew the inevitable penalty of its mistaken opposition and defiance, and I had to leave the creature to its fate. Three days later I returned to the room and found the dried, lifeless body of the bee on the writing table. It had paid for its stubbornness with its life.
To the bee’s shortsightedness and selfish misunderstanding I was a foe, a persistent persecutor, a mortal enemy bent on its destruction; while in truth I was its friend, offering it ransom of the life it had put in forfeit through its own error, striving to redeem it, in spite of itself, from the prison house of death and restore it to the outer air of liberty.
Are we so much wiser than the bee that no analogy lies between its unwise course and our lives? We are prone to contend, sometimes with vehemence and anger, against the adversity which after all may be the manifestation of superior wisdom and loving care, directed against our temporary comfort for our permanent blessing. In the tribulations and sufferings of mortality there is a divine ministry which only the godless soul can wholly fail to discern. To many the loss of wealth has been a boon, a providential means of leading or driving them from the confines of selfish indulgence to the sunshine and the open, where boundless opportunity waits on effort. Disappointment, sorrow, and affliction may be the expression of an all-wise Father’s kindness.
Consider the lesson of the unwise bee!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5–6).

what a lesson for us all! i hope you enjoyed that thought from Elder Talmage.
I love you all! wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WEEK 11 OKEMOS (WEEK 71 OF MISSION)

In the Mission Office with Elders Foust and Derricott

hey everybody! 

hope you are having a great week! so we have seen some awesome things this week and this week has been OFF THE WALL crazy. elder elwood and i taught a lady named traci that we found a week ago. we had to cancel our first appointment with her, but she rescheduled right then (that never happens haha). we went and taught her and she was super excited to be meeting with us. she loved the restoration and had great questions. she prayed for the first time at the end of our lesson. she prayed a very sincere prayer and asked that she would be able to, "believe the way these guys believe." how cool is that?? 

here is the problem with traci.... i got transferred. in the middle of the week i was suddenly abducted and called to serve with elder derricott on campus at msu as an assistant to president jacobsen. elder foust (the assistant i am replacing) is training me. he is the greatest so luckily i will be able to learn a lot before he leaves. we have been super busy and planning to call the missionaries and let them know where they are moving for transfers. we are also preparing to move all of the missionaries to their new areas. luckily we still got to go out on campus and find people. it was awesome. 
MSU Campus
we had a great stake conference this week, Elder Hamula came and it was incredible! 

we are working hard and having fun. Elder Derricott says hi! remember, he was my mtc comp. 

we are so weird, but today we went to the rare isotope beams laboratory for fun. and we took a tour from an awesome msu professor there. he was so cool and we talked for a while and learned a lot. at the end we asked him if he believed in God and he said yes for sure. he was a nuclear physicist and an astronomer. we asked him if he wanted to learn what we believed and we sat down and taught him a little about the pre earth life. i love that we can answer the question, "why did God make an earth and put humans on it? why did he create us?" was it for fun? an experiment? company? what was it? no, He created us to become as He is. He loves us infinitely, even though to Him, we are infinitely small. Choose to believe in His love. We don't have to know everything. We just have to know and believe that God loves us all (1 nephi 11:17). last thought: how do we avoid temptation? 1 nephi 15:26-27. the only way is to have our minds so caught up in other things. have our thoughts focused on righteous things. preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. think good thoughts. love you all. have a great week.


ps if this is the last longer email i send, i am sorry. life is about to get busy. well.. busier. 
MSU Hall of Fame
Spartan Stadium 
MSU National Football Champion Trophies


Monday, October 6, 2014

WEEK 10 OKEMOS (WEEK 70 OF MISSION)

Parker trying to look so smug (smudge as we call it)!
Trying to be cool in their minivan!

Two white boys from Utah in shirts and ties in their black minivan driving around Michigan

Having lunch with a sweet member from 
Wyoming, Sister Van Horn.
Parker on Trade Offs with his old Trainee, Elder Norton

hey everybody!! wasn't conference epic?? ahh I loved it!

I don't have a ton of time this week, so here are a few quick updates. we are still knocking the daylights out of south lansing and Okemos trying to find those who have been prepared to receive the gospel. lorie is doing alright. every time we meet with her it goes so well! she is just struggling to get work off long enough to come to church! she works nights as a nurse. she would have loved conference! ahhh.. oh well, we wil get her this week! kevin came to two sessions and seemed to enjoy it. he yelled out "amen!" in the middle of two talks when he liked what they said, so if that's any indication... haha he would be such a great member! Julie is doing well. she will be watching conference from her home as she was out of town this weekend. we are still trying to find new investigators! we keep finding new ones, then they get anti'd, but we just need to find some families! that is our main goal and our main prayer.

I loved conference! a few quick thoughts. the 12 and the Prophet were really stressing the importance of gaining a personal witness from the Holy Ghost that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the Book of Mormon is true. We each must do that. Listen to Uchtdorf's first talk (sat morning session) and apply what he teaches for however long it takes. please. the strength of the church is not determined by the size of its congregations, but by the strength of the testimonies of its individual members.

faith is critical. God has revealed Himself and His Son that we might have unshaken faith in them because they possess in full all of the attributes of godliness. Joseph Smith taught that unless we can count on God to be merciful, loving, forgiving, patient, and every other good thing, then we will be in constant doubt of salvation. but once we know God's character, such knowledge does away with doubt, and makes faith exceedingly strong. there is much we do not know in this world. the tides of the world are getting stronger, yet more subtle. isn't that something? they are less perceptible, yet more powerful. all you have to do to see where the world is going is walk into a mall. trust me. we did it today haha. it was not good. see the immorality and lawlessness. ask yourself, "if I live the lifestyle the world is telling me to live, where will I be in 50 years? will I be closer to God? will I be ready to meet Him? will I have self-respect? will I want my children to follow my example?" harsh questions, I know. but we each need to have our own testimony that God lives and that His commandments are for our best benefit. do whatever it takes to receive that witness from the Holy Ghost, then do whatever it takes to keep the Holy Ghost with you at all times. Believe in Christ. He is as good as the scriptures say. He will forgive you. He loves you. God loves all people. listen to elder klebingat's talk please. follow his counsel.
Just when you thought Parker was getting too serious on ya!
Parker's Trainee, Elder Norton, and Norton's new
Trainee, Elder Tubagus.

love you all! have a great week!