Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Awesome Chirstmas week.
We were able to meet with some great members at Christmas time, we had a solid amount of dinner appointments, the benefits of being in Budapest for the holidays. We have a lot of families in our ward which is great, we need more of those here. Christmas Eve was especially great, we had dinner, watched Joy to the World, and sung christmas carols with them.

We tried to look up as many members as possible before Christmas, most of the active members are in the other Elders area, so we have spent a lot of time trying to look up inactives. We had one family that told us we could come back and so we returned on Saturday and were able to get to know them and share a Christmas message. We also got let in Tuesday on our last look up of the night to a young man, on the list his mom and all his siblings were members, but now it is him and his new wife, he said he stopped coming 4 years ago when his sister died but was thinking about coming back. He said he had been waiting for us to come, because we usually do this time of year. That was a really cool experience, he works a lot too but I think he is sincere about wanting to return. I'm hoping he can come to the New Year's party and the baptism.

We have V.'s baptism planned for Saturday, everything is ready to go for that, he is at the point where it is hard to find stuff to teach him. We were in one teaching last week talking about trials, and I told him there was a good scripture in the doctrine and covenants about it. I took his and opened it, it flipped right open to DC 122 and he already had verses 7-9 highlighted. And he was making really good comments in Sunday School, and the topic was exaltation, which is a bit hard to grasp for all of us. He smoked his last ciggarette on Thursday. He is also sharing the gospel with all his friends now that he can get around well and is no longer sick, he has given out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon already, and a ton of our A Savior is Born cards. He is going up to all his old drinking friends, showing them the changes he has made, and telling them how. He's incredible.
Also, we spend a lot of time ringing into apartment buildings when tracting trying to get in, but aparently there are some of them that require a code to get out us well. We found that out yesterday after finishing a building and trying to leave. So we started knocking on doors again to try to get someone to let us out when some people came down the elevator and we were able to follow them out. All I have to say is fire hazard.

Happy New Year!

Parkinson Elder

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the year...

We actually had a really busy week this week, which is good, its means we are starting to get some more work. We met with V. a ton again, and he was able to make it to the ward Christmas party on Saturday where he also took part in the program on the organ and to church on Sunday. That was super cool, he is now looking pretty healthy. So if he can get off those last couple of cigarettes he should be good to get baptized at the begenning of the year.
We have a mission goal of visiting all the members before Christmas, so we mapped up all the members in our area and hae spent a lot of time going around and looking them up. We have gotten a lot of bad addressess, but hopefully this next week we will have some more success.
We had the Christmas Zone Conference on Friday, that was a blast, we also got special permission to go see the little prince in theaters as a part of it, so that was really cool as well. Good movie. And the large popcorns here are only 650 forint.
We met with a few interseting people, one guy on the street that used to be good friends with Joseph Smith. Then they both died. I guess he is back now. We meet him again on Tuesday. And maybe the Budapest mafia. Or at least a nice lady with mysterious Russian friends that popped in and 10000 kg of tea in her basement possibly imported from Iran. I think tea is a code word.

I cant think of much else that happened, we have a lot of appointments set up with members for this next week, that should be a blast. I cant wait to skype on Friday.
Merry Christmas
Parkinson Elder
PS. Due to keyboard problems I claim lack of responsibility for lack of certain puncuation marks that might make things better English or more exclaimed. Spelling mistakes are still my fault.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Time is Here!

Dear Family,

Transfers happened. Elder Anderson went home and I got Elder Cannon, really nice guy from Brigham City, he's been out here for one transfer longer then I have, so we're both getting pretty old. Also, all of my sisters from the MTC just went home, we had a great group.
I don't want to sound repetitive, but the main thing that happened this week was V. again. He is now over two weeks clean of alchohol, off of coffee, and slowly taking down smoking. We are hoping that by the time he gets to church on Sunday he will be completely clean. Unfortunetly he still wasn't able to make it to church yesterday because he is still weak, but we went out with him this morning for a practice walk, and he is looking a lot better. The ward has also been a huge help, coming to lessons and giving him a lot of support.
We had a couple of people show up at church yesterday, for I think the first time I have been here. A nice older man that the sisters in Buda just passed over to us, and a less active couple we've been meeting with for a while, only the Dad came, but their active daughter just came back to visit for the Christmas season and so we are hoping she will get them both going and we can keep them coming when she leaves.
I can't think of a lot else that happened, people are starting to say Merry Christmas to us on the streets and when we tract. It's that time of the year again.
Parkinson Elder

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The gospel is so true!

First off, transfer calls! I'll be staying here in Kispest and getting Elder Cannon, I have no idea who he is but have heard a lot of good things about him. We could also be here for a while because due to complications we've been having with the government and stuff it looks like they won't be bouncing us around cities as much as they used to.

Also, Santa came on Saturday! Bonus Christmas!

Besides that, the only thing that really happened this week was V. But that has been incredible. We have met with him at least every day, and he is now 10 days free of alchohol, and has dropped his smoking significantly. It's insane how fast he is picking things up. A lot of times we'll start teaching something and he'll finish our sentences for us. We've also had great success bringing a lot of members to the programs with him and they have been awesome. Today was supposed to be an extra hard day from the alchohol withdrawels, the ward mission leader said he'd run over at 9 and check up on him, and then we'd come over again around noon to make sure he was doing good. We showed up at 12:30 and the two of them were still there talking. Also, it's super cool to see his personality coming out now that other things are affecting him less, he is actually super funny. He is really good with phones and technological stuff, the ward mission leader pulled out his phone during a program and he looked at it and said "who made that phone, I want to pray for them". He than proceeded to compare apple products to the perfectness of God. Also, he showed us a recording of him playing the organ at some place, he played out the first bit of Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (or whatever that hymn is called). He asked if we liked it and Elder Anderson says "that was awesome, I really like that song too". "What, I was improvising". I could go on for a while but lets just say this man in incredible. Such a testimony of the power of the atonement, when we first met with him and were talking about how he can become better I had trouble believing the words I was saying sometimes. We kept telling him he could do it but there was literally nothing we could do to help him. Good thing we have the Savior backing us up.

I really can't think of a lot besides that. We had a couple of other good programs. Got dogged a few times. In English class we tried to teach them about sarcasm. "Okay everyone, you basically lie to their face but it's okay." "Couldn't that be mean?" "We aren't encouraging it, we're just saying it happens." We have a really wierd culture back home.

Elder Beaumont (one of the other Elders here) came up with a great idea last week to get member missionary work going. We're going to try and visit all of the members and share with them a 10 step program we set up for them to share the gospel with their friends, and then follow up with them on it and get that going. The idea is still pretty new, but I think it could do a lot of good. Although Elder Beaumont just got transfered out so that's a bummer.

We'll, I'm excited for this next transfer, stay tooned for next week!
Parkinson Elder 

Monday, December 7, 2015


I think I've fixed it so Erik's letters will email again.  This is a test.  No need to reply unless I ask you.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Don't Drink, Watch Star Wars

Sorry for the late email, our Zone ended up having interviews with President yesterday and so we had to knock emailing over to today. And that'll happen next week as well with transfers.

We had a super awesome week, I can actually think of stuff to write about. We had a baptism on Saturday, one of the other Elders investigators. Cool story, her son met the missioanries in England through a free meet the mormons showing (they then asked him if he wanted to meet the elders. Oh, there's a sequel!) He then got baptized, told his mom to look it up, and then came down to baptize her 6 months after his baptism. Really cool and some great ward turn out, we even had a new investigator show up to it.

The miracle of the week goes to that man trying to quit alchohol. We've been talking to him multiple times a day by phone, but hadn't met for almost a week and a half until we finally did Saturday. He decided again he's going to quit alchohol, and up until know he hasn't drunk anything since then. The first day or two stopping the withdrawals literally almost killed him, but he is doing a little better now, still a bit sick. He also called me up Saturday night with a question about how to get answers to prayers "I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and nothing happened. Except for when he Iooked at it I got a really good warm feeling." We were even able to set a baptismal date with him for January 2nd (Happy Birthday Harriet!), and are really hoping he can be all ready to go for that. So if anyone has any doubts about the atonement, I will testify of it's reality.
We had a good little Thanksgiving, we had some Turkey and mashed potatoes. And we each got a piece of pie from one of the senior couples when they came with us to a program the next day. Pumpkin Pie is so good.
We had another investigator that we had been thinking about dropping tell us she had a big miracle in her life, she got a much better work place where she doesn't have to work on weekends, and gets paid a lot more so she can save up to get married. So that was awesome.
Fun tracting story of the week, we are in an apartment building, and it had automatic lights so as we are walking down the stairs the lights above us turned off and so we were in darkness. As we get to the bottom those lights flick on, and Elder Anderson yelps and scatters to the side. I glance over the other way and am also suprised by a huge cardboard cutout of C3P0 in front us. Go Star Wars.
I finally had to get my trenchcoat out this past week. Although today it is a bit warmer.
Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Sound of Music

First off, Happy Birthday David! I hope you had a good one.

We had a great week, a lot of it was full with our investigator who is trying to quit alchohol. We met with him almost every day, he gave me a call on Wednesday and told me he had quit, but that only lasted a few days. He is doing better now then he was though. Also, one program we went to the branch house and showed him around before the lesson, he asked us if he could play the organ.So we let him go for it, it turns out he is and incredible organ player. We sung a hymn to start our lesson and at the end he went and played it on the organ with no practice. And he is self taught and was a little drunk at the time.

We also had stake conference yesterday, over half the country was there, it was awesome to see members, missionaries, even some old investigators that showed up. We also had two seventies come and give great talks, and the stake president was incredible as usual. We were all kind of hoping that the seventies would announce a second stake, or build a temple, or something else really big, but I guess great doctrinal instruction will have to cut it.

We also had another great Zone Training on Wednesday, it was about leadership, and about how we are all leaders. I have learned a lot about that on my mission, how the leadership structure of his church is perfectly established, and so if we all do our part, and lift where we stand, his will will get done. And if we don't do our part then his will will get done anyway but we won't get the spiritual growth and added conversion that comes from helping in it. Also, we made a lot of analogies to Captain Moroni and his army, and so we made another title of liberty. We were wondering what President Szabadkai's reaction would be when Elder Anderson ripped his shirt off, he smiled and took a picture. Love that man.

Also, we should be having a baptism next week, a lady the other Elders are teaching. Her son will be coming down from England to baptize her as well, so it should be awesome.

I can't think of much wlse, although I know a lot of stuff happened. We cut some more wood for a lady in the ward. It finally got cold.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, November 16, 2015

Captain Moroni

Dear Family,

This was a long week, I'll try to remember it all. We had a couple of good programs with members at the beginning of the week, one of them was 1.5 hours out by bus and we missed our stop but we made it eventually and they both went great. We were able to share a great thought with them, I highly reccomend it for any missionaries going to a place with kids, especially if they might be going home soon and have extra shirts (Elder Anderson goes back in a few weeks). We read about Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty, and as I read Elder Anderson ripped his shirt off (he had another underneath), wrote out the Title of Liberty on it, and tied it to a broomsitck. All the kids loved it. 2 shirts down.

We also had another great MLC on leadership, we watched the Bible video on John 21 as part of it, I liked it a lot, especially thinking of Elder Hollands talk on the subject. I think he gave that talk right when they changed the mission age. I think we are all like Peter in some ways, where we want to stick with our old ways and just go fishing. Christ gives a very simple alternative. Follow thou me.

We had a sweet program yesterday, a family we tracted into last week, the 7 year old cousin was over, his dad is athiest, and so the kid said at the begenning that God doesn't exist. Then Elder Anderson basically had a conversation with him that was almost word for word Ammon and King Lamoni, the kid was so cute, he loved it. And his dad came over at the end, he asked if we came there every week and said he'd bring his kid back next time we're there. And the lesson with the rest of the family went super well too.

We were able to meet again with the man we met with the big drinking and smoking problems. And we talked with him on the phone a lot. He has almost finished the Book of Mormon, loves it, but is still very addicted and the doctors say he could die anytime if he doesn't quit.

Also, word on the street is Hungary just beat Norway twice in a row in soccer to qualify for the world cup. We saw some Norwegians in viking hats last night on the way to the match.

Parkinson Elder

PS  Finally some pictures for you:

​Elder Lawrence and I about a month ago, we went up to little village on P-day.
Thanks for the cake!
​Just in case Hungarian wasn't hard enough, we have old Hungarian. If anyone can correctly translate it I'll be very impressed (yes, that was a challange).

Monday, November 9, 2015

Long Week

Dear Family,

This might have been the week on my mission we the least amount of
actual teaching going on. All of our old investigators (not that we
had a lot) seemed to be not answering their phones or busy, and all of
our new potentials dogged us. We did have an awesome let in yesterday
with a family that we set up with again for next Sunday so if that
goes through it will make up for all of it.

We also got to go on splits with the Érd Elders, I was with Elder
Santander, I think he is the first missionary to ever come to Hungary
from South America, he is from Chile. It was incredible to see his
example, working to learn Hungarian from English, which he is still
working on learning as well. So no more excuses for me to compain
about the language.

We also had the Primary Program this week in chruch. It went super
well, we have a lot of kids here and they were all super cute. Some of
the little talks and testimonies were awesome. One of the little 3
year old girls had a little cheat sheet for her talk, it had four
pictures, Jesus, scriptures, Joseph Smith, and the church. It was a
great talk.

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Parkinson Elder

PS  A quick note I thought the bird lovers might enjoy. My birthday
morning we found a pigeon flopping around on our balcony. It looked
like it was freezing to death, possibly had a broken wing. We decided
to try and rescue it (because pigeons are just a subspecies of doves
which represent the Holy Ghost and we had just talked about trying to
follow the spirit better so this seemed symbolic). So we put it in a
box inside with water and some bread. By the time we started comp
study it was dead. We think it snapped it's neck flying into our
window. And according to the pigeon expert in the mission that we
called up he might have been dead the whole time. Pigeons flap around
after death. Which I guess is good because we aren't alowed to have

Elder Parkinson

Monday, November 2, 2015

Humility and Happy Birthday!

Dear Family,

This was a long week, at the beginning all of our programs with investigators kept canceling, which was a little frustrating, but it worked out in the end. We did have a couple of good programs with a recent convert women and a les active man. One of them worked out especially well, the women has a 2 year old daughter and we brought a member who had two daughters that he brought with him. So they were able to play in the corner while we were able to focus on the lesson (mostly, the two year old has a lot of energy). 

We also had one really cool program yesterday. Sunday after church we got a call from a man we had met streeting a week ago. It had been right after the Halloween party here and we only had 45 minutes before 9 and that late at night we didn't expect much, but we met a man named Victor who said he would be interested, he didn't know his phone number by memory so we gave him ours and hoped he would call. I had given up hope by Sunday (people rarely call us), but Sunday he called and we went and met him at a bus stop. We taught him about the restoration, he has searched many different churches in his life, but never found his place, and right now he is at a very low place in life, he told us he's out of money, addicted to alchohol and smoking. Really wants to change. We have a long way to go with him but he said he believes what we say and wants to get baptized. It reminded be a lot of Alma 32, being in humble circumstances and ready to hear the word.

We also got to go on splits with Pest, I was with Elder Stanley who is now in his second transfer, it was a lot of fun, and I got to see a new side of the city.

Also, I don't think I've mentioned yet but it's really nice having a companion who can cook. Now that it was bad living off of potatoes and pasta, but some variety is nice. I'll have to steal some of Elder Anderson's recipies and make you all some nice Hungarian food when I get back. Keep planting paprika. And buy a pig we can slaughter.

Well I didn't think I had much to say but that ended up being pretty long. Thanks for all the birthday wishes. And Happy birthday to Tom up in Norway!

Parkinson Elder

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Halloween!

It was a very busy week last week, we had a lot of stuff going on. On Wednesday we had Zone Training which went really well, and then we went on splits with the Buda Elders, I was with Elder Lee (old companion from Kaposvár), so that was a lot of fun. We were able to find a cool new investigator tracting too, an older man, before I even finished saying my name he told us to come in. "I don't know who you are or what you want but I'm sure I'll find out." When we told him we were missionaries he said he was athiest, but was open to the idea that that could change. The hardest thing was trying to stay focused, he had so many questions. I kept having to use the we'll talk about that later card. But we'll head back tomorrow to continue.

Some other fun tracting things. A dog that was at least 200 pounds. He could have eaten Splash. I think it was half wolf and half elephant. We also got let in by a nice lady soon after that - blessings for not being scared away. We also had a young guy open the door in a robe (not bathrobe, think old Christian monk). We interrupted a feast to the Celtic gods. But we got his number and he said we can come back.

We also got to do some service chopping wood for one of the other Elder's investigators. That was a nice little workout.

We had a ward halloween party on Saturday. Halloween is not Hungarian, but they are picking it up, especially in the church because all the missioanries love it. And we had it a week early because Buda is having one next week. That was fun, we had a good show up and some investigators showed up. We also got to take part in the pumpkin carving contest.

That's about it, life is great. I've been thinking a lot about how God helps us in this work. It's interesting, because as he directs us it's not neccesarily just to spread the gospel. It's about building us. God is perfectly capaple of spreading the gospel (see Mosiah 27 for details), but he is helping us to become the best we can. And while we're at it we get the blessing of being able to help others. That's really what the whole church is about.

Thanks for the letters! And once again have a wonderful week!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tracting and Stuff

So I feel like my subjest line is really lame because both my siblings have awesome identical Nephi quote's in theirs. Anyone else notice that? It'll have to do.

This was busy but good. I guess those two are usually related. On Wednesday we got to run over to the other side of the river for Mission Leadership Conference, it was my first time at one of those so that was pretty cool. We also went on splits with the AP's right after that, so I had an oppourtunity to be back in Buda for a day. A lot of fun and I learned a lot as well. We now need to plan out Zone Training for next week, this will be the first time I've taught one of those. We have a really sweet Zone though, I have 3 old companions here (Elders Craig, Martineau, and Lee), which is half of my old companions that are still out here.

This week went really well, we ended up with more programs then we expected, mostly from some good success tracting. One interesting one last night, two Jehovah's Witnesses (they were still very open though) who had been drinking (not too much, but a little) and their athiest communist roommate. We ended up giving the 2 a Book of Mormon and they said we can come back, the third is not interested and moving soon anyway.

We also got a suprise new baptism date.He has been meeting with the missionaries for a while and we actually both knew him from Buda, but he called us up and we met, basically we asked him why he hasn't been baptized, he didn't feel ready, we talked about it and he said the spirit struck him and that he wants to get baptized as soon as possible. So we set a date for November 7th, but he didn't come to church so we'll see. That was a really cool program though. Whenever an investigator tells you the spirit just told them to get baptized it's a good day.

We also went and tried to meet all of our neighbors (advice for President Szabadkai), so we went and knocked on all their doors and introduced ourselves and made some no bake cookies. It was really wierd for both of us knocking on doors and trying to be normal people. I'm definetly going to be an awkward RM when I get back. It went pretty good, most of the people didn't really say a lot, but one couple might have us over for dinner at some point.

Have a great week! Enjoy daylight savings!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, October 12, 2015

Big City Life

So I'm back in Budapest, my area is the south half of Pest, but we get the main part of the city as well, so our area has about a million people. Which is about 15 times bigger then Eger. I like it a lot, I enjoy big city life, all of the people on the streets, having more then just concrete Russian buildings to tract. Although I'll be honest, I've come to love those concrete Russian 10 stories. It's super cool having a ward here too, I had my fisrt mission correlation meeting in 3 months, and we had a lot of people in church, with the sacrament being passed by all young men. And we have a ton of little kids in this ward to, it was so loud in sacrament meeting, I love it.
We also got to see the last session of general conference, they played it at church for the 2nd and third hours. All the talks were really good, I feel bad for the guy that had to translate ponderizing. That was a really good talk, and I also liked Elder Bednars. It's wierd thinking how many apostles have died during my life time. It's also wierd thinking that President Monson has been around since before Mom and Dad's lifetimes. So many great people.
So I'm serving here with Elder Anderson, this is his last transfer before he heads back home. We have pretty similar lives, he was born in the big city (Vegas), moved to Nebraska when 1, and then moved to Idaho about the same time we did. Except for he lives in Burley. Isn't that Grimsey's home town? Anyway, he's a great missionary and we should have a great transfer.
Also, there are four of us here in Kispest, us and Elder Beaumont who is training Elder Stephens, the one Tom mentioned in his letter a few weeks ago with a twin in Norway. So it's a small world.

We don't have a lot of investigators here, so we are hoping to get that up. I like finding here though. The only down side is that we have to spend a bit of time travelling to get to the main city where we do a lot of our work. Back to public transport. Unlike Eger where we could walk anywhere in 30 minutes or less. Also, it's definetly starting to get colder. Luckily suit coat season starts in 3 days.
Elder Parkinson

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Back to the Big City!

First of all, Happy Birthday to Dad! I'll be back for your next one.

Transfer calls came in today. I will be heading back to Budapest, this time in the KisPest area, so on the opposite side of the river from last time. I will be serving with Elder Anderson, who was in my district last time I was in Buda. It should be a great transfer, I'm looking forward to it a lot. It will be hard to leave Eger though. I have really loved this city. I feel like every city I serve in becomes my new favourite.

Anyway, conference was awesome, we got all of the technology to work smoothly and had some investigators show up as well. It was nice being able to understand it well in Hungarian, I remember a year ago when I was watching it in Tatabánya and struggling to understand what was going on. I look forward to the LIahona still, Everytime I listen to conference it is so much information that I have trouble remembering it all afterwards. A lot seemed to talk about our personal progression and an eternal perspective in that. Or at least that's what I got.

We also had interviews with President Szabadkai before transfers. Those went super well, it's always great to talk with him. I'm greatful for the wonderful leaders that we have, including all those that spoke in General Conference.

That's about all I can think of, Conference and transfers is all I can really think of right now. Being a missionary has really given me short time memory problems, at least as far as some things goes. And my terrible facial recognition has still not improved. In my defence we talk with a lot of people.

Have a great week wherever you are!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, September 28, 2015

Marriage and the Priesthood

Awesome week this week. It started out with a great Zone Conference in Budapest on Tuesday, one of the Area 70's came down to the mission leadership conference on Saturday and so the training was based on his remarks. We also watched a lot of segmants from the general authorities on keeping the sabbath day holy. Lots of really good stuff.

Best day of the week was probably on Thursday. Which was good because usually Thursdays seem to be low days. We had a great program with the family we met a few weeks ago, they had some health problems over the week and so couldn't read the Book of Mormon, but we read through 3 Nephi 11 with them and talked about it, the Dad asked some really good questions about prophets and said it is all coming together to him why Joseph Smith is important. We talked about how the Lord called Nephi and gave him the authority to baptize, and invited them to both be baptized by the same authority. He said yes, but then the doorbell rang, and so we had to finish the program. He offered to say the closing prayer before we left though, something he has never been willing to do yet, So that was really cool. We then went tracting and had some good success. On one let in we were talking with a women, then her kids got home from school, one of her daughters had just turned 12 and spoke some English so she had us sing Happy Birthday in english as she walked in. I think we suprised her, she walked in, we started singing, and she walked right back out, and wouldn't return until we left. Super funny.

We had a marriage in the branch on Saturday as well, one of our members and a man from another city. Which is awesome for them, and also awesome for us because we now have a man in the ward who has been a member for 18 years. We even had 7 people in priesthood quorum on Sunday, 3 were missionaries, but still a lot better then my first week here when it was me, Elder Egan, and the Elders Quorum President sitting in a circle talking for an hour. Also, shout out to Brother Frew, the lesson was on leadership so I used his biking example, one of the men there was a biker so he loved it.

I'm super excited for General Conference this weekend. As long as we can get it to work, we will be running it and the Bailey's will be out of town for the weekend, so we'll see what happens.

Transfers are next week so I will be emailing on Tuesday.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, September 21, 2015


Our week started off pretty rough, by the end of Tuesday we had had 6 straight programs fall through, but after that it picked up and ended up going really well. We had some new people we met with, one really cool younger couple we met on the streets last week with whom we were able to share the restoration. We also had a family we tracted into a few weeks ago call up a friend and bring invite him to our program, he has met with the missionaries in the past as well, and will be coming to our program with them next week.

We had a couple of new inactives that we were able to get in contact with this week as well. We have been working a lot here with the sisters and the Baileys to go through the branch list and clear it up, it reminds me of Tom taking on the list in Oslo but not as big. We hadn't been having a lot of success, mostly just wrong numbers or adresses or not interested people, but last week we had a 14 year old guy walk up to us on the street and tell us tehy were members, we got his dad's number from him and have been able to meet with them twice already. And another lady that finally returned our calls that we were able to meet with.

We had a pretty intense program on Saturday with one of our investigators, he has really been trying to find the truth about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We taught the Gospel of Christ and focused on the Priesthood, it worked perfectly because we have a member getting married this week so he had a question about church marriages and so we were able to start by talking about temples and the priesthood sealing power. It went good over all, but I hate it when people ask the So my baptism isn't valid question. It went well in the end, he knows it all comes down to the Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon question.

That's about it, we went out to a super pretty little village this morning and did some hiking.

Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder
Eger Branch

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Spirit

This weel went great, we had a lot of people cancel and not show but it still went well. More finding.

Highlight was on Friday. We had a district meeting in the morning on the Spirit's role in conversion, and how to help investigators feel it. It went super well, we then went out tracting, and I was feeling awesome, talking with everyone, full of enthusiasm. I think the Spirit was saying thanks for giving it a shout out in District Meeting. I should do that more. We were able to get numbers from two people on the way, one of whom we met with again this morning to give him a Book of Mormon and he said he would be at church on Sunday. When tracting we had one super cool experience that the Spirit deffinitely led us to. At one door we were waiting, and another man came up and asked if we were looking for the man who lives there.  We said we were missionaries trying to share a message, so he calls up the man who lives there, and we talked briefly over the phone and he said we can possibly come back tommorrow. We then talked with the other man who gave us the phone and set up to go visit him on Wednesday and share a message about our church. It was not by chance that we both showed up to that door at the same time.

We also went on splits with the Zone Leaders again this week, it went great again. We have some awesome missionaries here in Hungary.

We went on a hike this morning to the top of a nearby hill (the Hungarians might call it a mountain, but definetely not), we had to run back part of the way, luckily we made it back in time to get some emailing in.

The branch took a bus out to Miskolc yesterday for district conference, that was a lot of fun. Almost 4 hours of translating for the Baileys, but it was all good stuff, and most of the speakers didn't talk too fast.

It's starting to cool down, fall is here!

Parkinson Elder

Monday, September 7, 2015

Picking Up

This week went well, it feels like we are finally starting to find some people after all the finding we have been doing. We have been getting a lot of people the past couple weeks who have said they would like to meet, but no new investigators from it, either people being busy, dogging, bad numbers, or other stuff. We found a family last week tracting that we taught twice and are going back to on Saturday so that should be sweet. We also met a couple of men yesterday tracting that we gave a Book of Mormon to and who said we could come back, and we have a first program set up for Thursday with a member's father in her home, and ran into an old investigator on the street yesterday who said he had been out of the country but that we can meet this week. So Eger is hopefully looking up. Also, the sisters here are killing it, we finally had a real prieshood lesson in church yesterday, 2 of the 3 people there were their investigators.

Also, we had a beautiful display this week of the right way to act when running into missionaries in a foriegn country (shout out to Jeff and Tracey Hicks).
1. Run into them in the main square of the city and buy them ice cream.
2. Give them the contact information of a family you met there that would be intersted in meeting and hearing a message on the family.
3. Give them some great missionary advice on how the gospel blesses families that pumps them up for the rest of the night.
4. Accidently run into them the next day and take them out to lunch.

We also have started up our English classes again after a break in August. It was pretty small, but hopefully it builds up again.

That's about it, we are off to a member family's house tonight to teach an FHE lesson on the restoration. That should be fun.

Elder Parkinson

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summer over

So this will be quick, we had the new missionary training in Buda yesterday which is why we are emailing today. We don't have much time so it will be quick.

We had branch conferecne on Sunday so a lot of people came down, including the mission president and his wife. And I got to teach sunday school afterwards so that was fun. It went really well, lots of comments. We are also now down to a 2 hour church here, we decided we don't have the people to support a 3 hour schedule.

We also had President and Sister Szabadkai do a devotional thing for us on Saturday night, a lot of people showed up and it went really well, that was a good experience.

We had a lot of stuff to do last week coming into those two things on the weekend, but it all ended up going really smoothly.

Quick companion description on request from the parents- Elder Lawrence, just turned 19, from Arizona, went to ASU for a year before the mission in bio-chem, he's about as tall as I am, speaks very well for being young, and likes talking to people. And he has already been taught how to make Lecsó.

We had a lot more finding as well, that went well again. I'm hoping that with the summer vacation ending we will have an easier time meeting with people and setting up programs. We are also starting up English Class again this week, we took a break in August.

All in all, life is good.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, August 24, 2015


This week we had a lot of finding time, possibly the most in my mission. August 20th was a big holiday and so a lot of people were out of town or busy. We have been having a lot of success, getting a lot of numbers, but we are still having trouble contacting people, and a lot of our potential people are out of town as well. Yesterday we were finally setting up a program with a man we had met but when he was telling me his address the phone service died. So hopefully we have more success with that this week,

We had another Zone Meeting in Miskolc this week, so we got to go back up there again. It went well, they talked about finding a lot, which is a good topic. It's getting to the point where I feel like I've already heard it all before, but we can always learn. I think finding with faith is the most important thing. And dillegence.

We finally went and toured the Eger castle today. Lots of cool history inside. When I get home I need to do a bunch of research on Hungarian history because I get a lot of snippets from people we talk with and other stuff, but I want to get some solid research done. Who are the Hungarians?

Also, the Eger Castle had a wax exhibit displaying the main characters from the Eclipse of the Crescent moon book. Maybe it will help you enjoy the book more.

Love, Elder Parkinson
Eger from the castle walls

Overlooking the Eger main square

The captain and his wife

Turkish soldier

Istvan Dobo

Monday, August 17, 2015

God is at the helm

This week went great again. We spent a lot of it out finding, mostly on the streets, but it went really well. I think we got 10 numbers of people who said that we could set up with them to meet. They all have busy schedules, but we have set up for sure with at least one of them. We'll see what happens with the others. We also met a cool inactive guy the other day, we were in the area and decided to do some look ups. We really need men in our branch, Our joke with Elder Bailey (the Branch President), every time we meet is that before we come back we have to find a Branch President. We're working on it.

Chats with people on the street always seem to be super random, I guess that's how missionary work is, but everything is unique. Each has it's own story. Anything from a lady reading a book on a park bench to an old man standing in front of a bar (he ended up inviting us in for drinks too, even just a coke when I said we don't drink. I decided that wasn't the best option). God puts people in our path though. Even if he just knows we are having a hard time and need someone to talk too. On Friday night we were streeting and I was feeling very tired, suddenly a man ran up to us, shook our hands, and said, I just want to wish you both a lot of happiness (Tip, if you ever want a wish to come true try wishing that to someone, it works really well). Then he ran off. Just what I needed to keep going. Or talking to Ági and seeing how happy and changed she is after her baptism, I just want to give everyone that same feeling.

I can't really think of any other stuff. We found our bikes in the basement, I mentioned to another Elder at transfers that I wanted to look into getting bikes, and he said we already had them, we just had to fiddle around with the 12 keys we have lying around to get through the 2 locked doors between us and them. And then go pump up the super flat tires. But now we have transportation!

This Thursday is August 20th, Szent István's corrination. I guess it means I'm getting old now that I'm starting to hit holidays for the second time.

Also, so everyone always complains about Nephi killing Laban, Exodus 20:13 - Thou shalt not kill. The other day I read Exodus 21:13. He was totally justified Biblically.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, August 10, 2015

This week was awesome!

So the transfer happened, We went down to Budapest on Wednesday, and actually ended up meeting a guy we knew on the train. So we talked and he blew my mind with an analogy of basically the Bible and the Plan of Salvation to a Jewish wedding feast. Kind of like the parable of the 10 virgins on steriods. Super cool.

Anyway, I met my new companion, Elder Lawrence. He is straight from the MTC, grews up in Arizona. He's awesome, reminds me a lot of my self, but not as in love with his calculator. He's very ready to do missionary work and so we had a lot of success finding people this week, especially out on the streets. He is helping to push me to really talk with everyone. Oh. and one of the people we met was a 71 year old man, and he used to be the Hungarian IronMan triatholon champion. Back in 97 and 98. Yeah, do the math. He's still in good shape. Don't we have an ancestor or something that always ran ironmans when he was old? I remember some stories. So many cool people.

We also had the baptism on Saturday! It went super well, a lot of people showed up, including one of our investigators who loved it. We rented a pool at a hotel nearby, and had a conference room there as well where we had the program. The whole thing was awesome. I was able to both baptize her on Saturday and then confirm her on Sunday. The whole thing made me think a lot about the idea of being an instrument in the hands of God, I really didn't do anything to make this baptism happen, that was the work of countless others over the past year and a half, but I was blessed to be able to take part in it and be an instrument in God's hand to help his work go forward. 

That's about it for the week. This week has been so awesome, hard to describe in words so I won't really try. Just picture me smiling.

Parkinson Elder

A and I before the baptism
​The district with A. The sisters taught her. And Elder Lawrence is there on the right. Yeah, they picked up my camera when everyone decided it was time for the funny ones, hence the classy poses.

​A and M after the baptism. Identical twins, also 10 minutes apart. I taught M for 2 months up in Miskolc, and she got baptized in March. It was awesome to be able to talk to her again about that, she is now a ward missionary and an awesome member.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Transfer Calls came in this morning! Elder Egan will be leaving and I will be staying here and training! That will be sweet, I will go meet my new companion tommorrow in Budapest.

Other awesome thing of the week. On Saturday I did my first ever baptismal interview for an investigator of the SIsters who is being baptized on Saturday. And during the interview she suprised me by asking if I would be the one to baptize her! So that will be happening this Saturday. And to make it even more awesome she just happens to be the twin sister of someone I taught in Miskolc who got baptized a few weeks after I left, and she will be coming down for the baptism as well. So that was basically awesome.

We also are still teaching this new Buddhist investigator of ours, it's interesting, because some things he understands really really well, but other basic truths, such as God and Jesus Christ he doesn't get. It kind of reminds me of the letter Tom just wrote. But he responded really well to Jospeh Smith, and decided it was true. It was also really cool when we talked about the Book of Mormon. He read a bit and said it has to much fighting, and then started talking about his life and his enemies, problems, etc... I was like, this is exactly why the Book of Mormon is so important, they all had problems too, wars, rumors of wars, all that good stuff. If life was all perfect in it how could it help us in our messed up lives? I didn't say it exactly like that but pretty much, and he took it pretty well. He is also the only man I ever had complain church was too short when we invited him. I think he would be down to become a Mormon Monk.

We also had a sweet experience yesterday, we were tracting and knocked on the door of our first counsler. I still hadn't been able to talk with him much before this so it was awesome to get let in, be able to go over some administative stuff with him, get to know the family, share a spiritual thought, and have them give us the name and address of a friend they know who would like to meet. And then on the way to our next thing after that a 14 year old kid walks up to us, says he's a member and holds the priesthood, and is coming to the baptism on Saturday. Elder Egan has been passing the sacrament every week this transfer so hopefully we can change that.

We also had interviews last week with President Szabadkai. It was awesome having an all Hungarian interview. He will do great things for this mission.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, July 27, 2015

So Much Learning!

This week went well again, time seems to be flying here in Eger. Because the last transfer was a mini we will be having another transfer next Tuesday. We are thinking it will be fairly small, but we'll see.

We had a chance to go on splits with the Zone Leaders on Tuesday. I felt a bit bad becasue we had no programs set up for the day, so it was basically just a bunch of finding for all of us. But it went super well, I was able to learn a lot from Elder Bagley, and we found some people. On the street we met with a Buddhist man (used to be a monk) that we then set up for later in the day. Short program, we'll see where he goes. And the other Elder looked up a referal we got from a man on the street, he said his brother and law might be interested and gave an address, and it turned out to be super legit. We met with him and he has met misisonaries in the past, just has a hard time beieving Joseph Smith was a prophet. But really wants to find the truth, awesome man.

We also had Zone Conference on Friday up in Miskolc, the Zone Leaders gave us some great training on how to be better finders, which went great with what I learned on splits, and the Sister Training Leaders talked about working with members. At first I took that a little pessimistically, how to work with the ward mission leader, yeah, we don't have one, etc. But then I decided I should stop being negaitve and focus on what we do have, because we do have some great members here. One thing I want to focus on is just getting them more invovled in missionary work, coming to programs and stuff. And then we can go find or reactivate a ward mission leader.

We were finally able to meet up with that awesome guy from DC we met a few weeks back. We had a sweet program, it was a but unstructured though because we were still just trying to answer the main question of how we get salvation. But it got more complicted. We tried to focus on the restoration and the plan of salvation. I still don't know other church beliefs super well though, so sometimes we would say something that I thought was no big deal, like we return to live with God, and they would be like, wait a second, you think we already were with him? Pre-existence and stuff. I was very gratefull for my last year of scripture study though because I feel if I had been in that program a year ago it would have been nowhare near as good. I also love Bible talking with non Bible bashers. It's not Bible bashing, just sincere talk by all of us trying to understand each others views and the scriptures. It was sweet. I love the scriptures.

Well, that's about it. Have a great week everyone! I write next Tuesday.
Parkinson Elder

Monday, July 20, 2015

Another Week in Eger

So, this week went fast and had a bunch of stuff that I will hopefully remember as I write this.

Elder and Sister Bailey got back from Romania on Tuesday. Thay are still in the process of moving from Miskolc to here so we have been helping them with that. We also had a couple of meetings with Elder Bailey on how to get the branch going better here, are numbers in church for the past 2 weeks have been 13 and 16, including the missionaries, so we are hoping to get that knocked up. We spent a bit of time looking up and calling people on the ward list (another thing we are trying to get cleaned up, I figure if Tom could take on Oslo's list then we can figure out Eger's). We had one awesome visit with a less active family who I really want to get back to church, we really need famlies here.

We also had a great branch outing on Saturday, we went to a nearby lake and did a classic hungarian thing where you cook bacon on sticks over a fire and then drip the fat on bread with paprikas and tomatoes. Super good, and we had 17 people show up. It then started raining, but overall it went really well.

We spent a lot of time last week out finding too, trying to get our investigator pool up. We had a couple of potential people that we can hopefully meet with more this week, but we'll see. The hardest for me is when we actually have a good conversation with someone and get talking about everything, but then they say they aren't interested. It kills me. But some people say yes and that is why we are out here.

I can't think of much else and I'm low on time, writing the mission president now takes longer that it is in Hungarian. It is good language practice though. I also just finished the Doctrine and Covenants this morning.

Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

PS  A quick book recommendation, I noted it to myself for a post mission read bought thought you two might like it. Eclipse of the Crescent Moon. The Bailey's both loved it, it takes place in Eger 500 years ago when the Turks invaded and the great Dobo István and his army fought them off in the castle right by the city center.

Monday, July 13, 2015

First Week in Eger

This has been a busy week. I will have plenty to do this transfer here in Eger. We have a very small branch here, the branch President is a senior missionary, Elder Bailey (I served with the Baileys in Miskolc, now there are here to help out the branch), and I am the second counseler. The Baileys are in Romania right now because they also do auditing around easter Europe, and I still haven't met with the first counseler. On Sunday we had 13 people at church, I conducted, helped bless the sacrament, and gave a 25 minute talk. One of the sisters who just got here gave another long talk, played a musical number on the violin, and taught Sunday school. My goal for my time here in Eger is to get the branch up and going more so that the members are carrying the wait more by themselves. I am also hoping to work a lot with the inactive members this transfer, we have a lot, apparently a ton of people went inactive about a year back, so we are hoping to meet with as many of them as possible and get them back. The members I have met so far are great though.

My companion here is awesome, Elder Egan (funny because it sounds like Igen, Hungarian for yes). he has been here for 5 weeks so far, was just getting trained by Elder Hall, who Tom played basketball against back in high school. (Note to Tom - I think he told me to say hi to you from him my first day in the country but I forgot, so hi). He is great, loves to work. We don't have a lot of investigators here either so we are hoping to change that.

Eger is a beautiful city though, super European.

We had an awesome experience on the street last night, we met with a young guy from America, he is religious, knows the Bible and we had a super awesome talk. He had a super good definition of how grace and works, works isn't want saves us, only Christ does that, works is just a natural consequence of what we do because we are in awe of what Christ did for us. Super cool guy. We had a hard time explaining to him why our message is important though, because he doesn't really see a need for a church. We told him we'd try to formulate a better answer for him and meet up later this week, after we left I had one of those I really need to read the scriptures more moments.

I also just finished the Book of Mormon in Hungarian! I made it a goal to get it done by my year in the country mark, and finished a few days early. That book is true!

I'm out of time, but life is going great here! I love you all!
Elder Parkinson

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Leaving Kaposvár

Wow, it was a long week. A lot has happened. We have a mini transfer going on due to a bunch of people going home, and so I will be going to Eger, a city between Budapest and Miskolc. It will be sad leaving here, but I heard that is a good place. And I will be serving with Elder Egan, who has only been in the country for 4 weeks, so that should be a blast.

We also got a new mission president this week, President Szabadkai! We had suprise Zone Conference on Thursday so we could meet him (we got a call about it the day before). The trains were down so we took buses, left at 11 and got back at 11:15 for a 1.5 hour conference. It was worth it though, super good. And the whole thing was in Hungarian! President Szabakai is also a math major! And he gave a great talk too, I'm looking forward to this next year under him.

I also got to meet with Uncle Tom this week! He drove down from Veszprém on Wednesday and we went to dinner with him, had a great chat. Super cool to get a visit. I also found out that when Hungarians say they invented the Atom Bomb and Microsoft they aren't entirely lying, there were some big Hungarian influences in both. I'm still skeptical about the Ford Model T though.

We had one really cool program this week with the guy we met last week that new us from South Park. He basically said he believed in God but the European religions didn't satisfy him, thought our church looked like it had some good stuff (thank you South Park). Super cool man and very smart. It was cool to just bear testimony that we know this will bless him and his family. Awesome. The program was also Sunday right before we were about to head home and break our fast, it was super hot, and we had just biked a lot. He asked if we wanted some water and we succesfully politely declined. Then 5 minutes later his girlfriend walked out with a pitcher of cold lemonade with lemons in it she had made for us. Yeah, we broke that fast early.

Also, I had multiple people this week talk to me about Hungarian history, they said the Hungarians started out in this area originally, then went out east, and then later came down from Russia to here. One lady said Hungarians are actually the Summarians and that Hungarian is 10000 years old. Basically, I'm convinced they're the lost tribes of Isreal (from here, went out east, came from the north, apparently they believed in the trinity before they hit Europe...).

Elder Lee and I made it in the paper. We were streeting one day and a man with a camera came up and said he was from the county paper and wanted to get a picture of us drinking out of a fountain. He then wrote an article in the paper complementing our summer style (I guess short sleeves with a tie is a no in Europe trends, but he said we looked good in it, shout out to David for the birthday tie).

Also, happy 4th of July! We celebrated with an American Night at the Millers on Friday (a day early I know), a lot of members and investigators came and we had hot dogs and s'mores. A good send out for the Millers as well, they are on a plane right now back to America.

American Night​

Goodbye to the Millers​

​Goodbye to our Branch President

Well. that was a lot. Next week I will be emailing from Eger. I hope you all have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

Monday, June 29, 2015

People are awesome!

We had an awesome week this week. I think the best part was just all of the people we were able to meet.

There was a man that met with the missionaries 2 transfers back that we were finally able to set up with. He started off by saying he respected our church but had doubts about it, but we had a really strong program about the Spirit, the Book of Mormon, the Saviour and forgiveness. He says he knows he felt the spirit when he watched the restoration film with the old Elders, really wants to just be a better person. Incredible man.

We then had a family that we tracted into a few weeks back and were finally able to meet again. They are having a super hard time in their family with lots of personal problems. We asked if they had read from the Book of Mormon and they said a little, the dad then flipped open to Alma 42, read a few verses, and started to comment on how well it explained things. So we switched up our lesson plans and taught the Plan of Salvation, awesome program.

We met an American on the street, journying through Europe with his guitar. On splits Elder Lee and Elder Winkel gave him a Book of Mormon and had a sweet talk with him, and we met him again the next day and had a good chat. He had read from it, left town that day but hopefully keeps reading.

Saturday night we were knocking on doors, as we were waiting at the gate a car pulled up, we told the man who we were and he told us to wait while he parked the car and he'd be out. It turns out he had heard of us from South Park, and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon and get his number, hopefully we can go back next week. Now imagine what will happen when Meet the Mormons comes out this summer.

The best thing about missionary work is the spirit, I have noticed that a lot this week, how when the spirit is with us we are happy. Even if we are just out knocking on doors for hours if the spirit is with us then we can do it with a smile on our face. Because we have sunshine in our souls.

President and Sister Smith go home this week and President and Sister Szabakai will come out. I'm sad to see the Smith's go home, but I'm excited for the changes that lie ahead.

Enjoy the heat wave back home. The weather here is gorgeous!
Sok Szeretettel,
Parkinson Elder

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

I hope you had a wonderful Father's day at home! I Love you Dad!

We had a baptism this week! That is always a high point. Her name is L., her mom is a already a member, but she just got baptized on Saturday, her dad come up from America to see it, it went super well. And then Elder Miller confirmed her in church.

We also had a sweet Zone Conference in Budapest, President Smith gave his final training, he talked about personal integrity, doing what is right despite what others think. It only matters what God thinks. That is something I have been thinking about a lot and trying to improve on. President Smith has been a great example in that, he has been an incredible mission president. As we sang the closing hymn (of course it was God be with you til we meet again) I started to tear up a little. I'm excited for President Szabakí to come in though.

We had a cool find this week tracting, we got a let in to a couple, and we taught them about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. They both loved it. At the end when we set up to come back we realized they weren't actually a couple, she was just a friend who was over to help out because his back was hurting. But they said they both want us all to meet together again, cool experience.

I think I found a couple of Kuvasz tracting, only one of them was confirmed though. The lady said she had had 4 break-ins and so bought the kuvasz, hasn't had a problem since. 

Tell Bjorn this is his cousin.

Near resort hotel where we went for baptism -- only place we could find a "font"

Also, we biked up to a local lake last P-day as a district, got a nice picture. In order me, Elder Winkel, Elder Cox, and Elder Lee.

That's about it, the weather cooled down thanks to some rain and so it is now perfect!

Parkinson Elder

Monday, June 15, 2015

Rolling in the Heat

Summer is rolling around in full now, this week it was in the 30's and humid, luckily the city put up a misting thing on the main street, basically a big arch that sprays mist, a great way to cool off. The mayor just won my vote.

This week we had difficulty setting up with a lot of people. Our finding was super good though, we had a lot of people we talked to tracting and on the streets, the only problem is that we have had a hard time setting up with them again as well. And one man we had a super good talk with at the door and gave a Book of Mormon answered the phone yesterday saying super quickly that there was a misunderstanding and he doesn't want to meet. I suspect he Googled us and found some bad stuff.

We did have a really great streeting experience the other night, I started talking to a guy on the street, and following the idea from another Elder in the district I asked if I could share a favorite scripture from the Book of Mormon. Right when I finished a big bachlourette (no idea how to spell that) party walked up, from what I understood one of the girls told the guy he was supposed to eat the candy that was tied on a necklace around her neck, all the other people whipped out Iphones. At this point I'm thinking, well, there goes the spirit and now we're about to be all over facebook. Luckily he turned them down and asked if we could keep talking on a bench nearby. We had a great talk and were able to give his number to the Pest Elders (he lives in Pest).

We also had some great pinch hitting from the other Elders, Elder Winkel (same one with the scripture sharing idea) made a deal with one of our investigators that he wouldn't drink energy drinks or soda for the rest of the transfer if she wouldn't drink alchohol for the same amount of time.

J. is also officially in Switzerland now, at first we thought he wouldn't go, because his friend was having trouble leaving behing his pet king pythons, but I guess they worked it out, he called Sunday morning and said he was off. I hope he can continue to progress there.

I also finished the New Testament, now on to D&C. I love the scriptures.

Enjoy summer vacation back home! Stay classy!


Parkinson Elder