Monday, June 13, 2016

What Can I say More?

One last letter!
I would try to write a really great final letter, but our day is packed and we have no time. We had a great week, I learned a ton, emphasis on ton, and we had great experiences. Ask me for details when I get back.
God lives, he has a plan for us, we all need to repent and follow it, and the gospel is super cool. Read the scriptures!

Parkinson Elder

Monday, June 6, 2016

Read the Scriptures

So we switched out P-days back to Monday because Saturdays are way more effective for working. I hope no one thought I was dead.
This week went well, we went out working one day with President Szabadkai, we actually got let in tracting with him and got to teach a great restoration lesson, which was awesome.
We got to travel a bit again as well, we went down to Kecskemét for splits and did a baptismal interview in Dunaújváros.
I'm almost done with the Book of Mormon reading challenge marking Christ's name. I'm at a little over 5000 counts so far under about 135 different names. I'm hoping to finish by Saturday. It's been a great experience, I recommend it.
We had a Western Europe stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake, that was super cool. All of Tom's Norwegian saints up north were watching the same thing. Small world.
We were able to have a couple lessons with some cool new people this past week. I always joke with Elder Paul that the Lord is leading his feet because he always narrowly avoids stepping in dog poop on the street (there are a couple dogs on our street with bladder problems), but he really does in even more significant ways. It's always great when we find those that are ready for and need the message of the gospel.
Congrats to everyone on graduating/getting into orchestras/getting new jobs/getting married/finishing the school year/being awesome/whatever else you are all doing back home. Have a great start of the summer!
Parkinson Elder

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Missionary Work

This week was busy, we went on splits twice, once to Győr, once across the river to Pest. Those were both super fun, and luckily neither required too much travel time. I don't know why, but for some reason sitting on a train for a couple hours makes me way more tired then tracting.

We have tried this week to really work with the members more. We set up to meet with a few active people, we were able to meet with a long time inactive member with our ward mission leader, and will go back to her. We have one member who is already has a friend she wants us to meet with, and we should be meeting with them soonish. Give a referral to your local missionaries.

We have some good potential new investigators, a family we tracted into on Sunday and met again yesterday with a member. Another younger guy we found tracting that Elder Paul taught this week on splits, he is very interested, and another potential family, dad and daughter. We had a ward hike and picnic today, the daughter came with another family friend and they both enjoyed it. It was a super good ward activity, a lot of members and investigators showed up. We put together a little game of football and taught everyone how to play. Two hand touch of course.
Parkinson Elder

Saturday, May 21, 2016

It's Summer!

Dear Family,

We were planning to have a bunch of new investigators and lessons this week, but all but one of them dogged, so we spent a lot of time finding instead like usual. The one lesson that did go through went well though, so we can't complain. We also got let in a couple times tracting. One of them was a cool experience.

I have been thinking a lot about personal revelation lately, because I have thought about revelation through the priesthood line a lot throughout the course of my mission (see Dallin H Oaks, Two Lines of Communication Oct 2010 and I feel like I have gotten good at that, where I search the words of the prophets (and other priesthood leaders) and the scriptures and trust that to be the truth, but I now need to work on opening up the other line more actively. So in comp study we were talking about where we were going to head out tracting in a short block of time we had, and I said this one place sounded good, and Elder Paul who understands how the gospel works suggested we pray about it and ask God if he has anywhere he wants us to go and if not we would go where I had said. So he said a prayer, and as he said it the image came into my mind of a street corner I had been to once on splits. So when the prayer ended I suggested we jump on the 102 bus and go to this street corner. He agreed. 

We then ended up being crunched on time later in the day, and it didn't look like we'd have enough time to go, but we went anyway and figured we'd push some other things back. So we went to this street and started tracting, after a couple doors a super cool older man let us in, we were able to teach him about the restoration. He was still firm in his beliefs, but he accepted a book of mormon and we gave him a couple chapters to read from. He told us to call him in mid-June when he will have had time to read and we can talk then. So I'll probably never hear of him again, unfortunately, because that is when the transfer is.  But hopefully he will keep meeting with the missionaries. And if not, at least I learned something about following the spirit.

Also, there was a mini transfer yesterday and half my MTC group went home. Now only 2 of us are left. That was weird.
In better news, if you count every day from 8:00-21:30 as missionary time, then I just passed my 10,000 hour mark as a missionary. So I guess I'm now a master missionary according to that one theory. I also am at my 2 year mark today, and overtime work should get double the blessings, which means we should have a great couple weeks coming up ahead of us.
Have a great week.
Parkinson Elder

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mother's Day

It was nice talking with all of you on mother's day!

Hopefully the work here is finally starting to pick up, we had a really good planning session yesterday and have a pretty packed week for next week. We finally have a member present set up for later tonight, so we hope that goes through. We also are going back to a family we tracted into this week on Tuesday with our ward mission leader. We have some other new people we have set up with as well, hopefully they all work out. We have still been focusing a lot on finding, hopefully when we now start teaching people we will be able to remember how, I'm excited for what this next week brings though.
We had MLC on Wednesday, after which we were joined by a bunch of the stake leaders and we talked with them a bit on how to improve missionary work and work with the members. Working better with members is something we are trying to work on a lot. A lot of the members here are pretty new, especially in the small places (it's weird that I've been here in Budapest for 7 months now, I keep forgetting about all those small branches with all the small branch drama). The one big thing we are hoping to do is get all of the missionaries to have daily contact with the mission leader in their ward, which has been basically non-existent until now. It should go super well here in Buda, we are hoping it goes smoothly in all the small branches as well.
Also, after 2 years of hearing other missionaries tell stories about it, it finally happened to me. A guy on the street told us Jesus was Hungarian. Gotta love that national pride.
Have a wonderful week.
Parkinson Elder

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

We are continuing to spend a lot of time finding, we had teachings set up this last week with 4 new investigators, but only one of them went through, that lesson went really well though, and we hope to meet with him more in the future.
We had New Missionary training on Wednesday which was a lot of fun. I love being around new missionaries, they are so full of fire and motivated. It's also fun because I've seen them since day one and know them better. Elder Paul and I gave a training on obedience that went really well, except we got a little to into it and went way over our time limit. Punctuality is not our strong point.

We were also able to travel up to Dunaújváros yesterday so I could do a couple baptismal interviews. That was Elder Paul's last city and he had previously taught the people I was interviewing, so that was super cool. I remembered the train times incorrectly though, and instead of getting back for a 6:34 train we should up at 6:55, and had to wait until a 8:29 train left, pulling into Budapest past 10. So much for that great training on obedience and keeping curfew.
We have stake conference later today and tomorrow, The stake is now 10 years old, the first stake in post communist Europe. Hopefully we have another one soon.

Also, spring is fully in season with it's flash rain and hail storms. Luckily I always have an umbrella with me. Unluckily, Elder Paul usually does not. 

I'll see you all (or some of you) tomorrow.

Parkinson Elder

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Scripture Power

The work here is hopefully going up, we are already set up to meet with a couple of new investigators this next week, and so hopefully those go through. We've been talking with a ton of people lately, so hopefully it starts paying off.
We got to go down to Szeged on Wednesday for a Zone Training, that is the only Zone that I have never been in on my mission, so it was nice to see it. The training went well too.
The Book of Mormon reading challenge thing is going great. I just finished 1 Nephi, in which I marked about 700 references to Christ already. It is full of them. Also, I assumed that it would be really easy to just read through and know when it was referencing him, but it has been a lot harder then I thought. I have learned a lot already about the Godhead, and just how one they really are. Because some of the times when the scriptures say Lord, or God, or some other thing, it is hard to tell who it is talking about. I think mainly because when God does something he almost always does it through Christ, and when Christ does something it is usually under the commandment of the Father. For example, God created the heavens and the earth. So it's a good activity.

We found a juicer in our apartment cleaning so I juiced up half a litter of fresh apple cider this morning. Super good. I'll have to make that a habit.

Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder