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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Life is Good!

Dear Family,

This week was awesome, super busy. We went up to Miskolc for splits, it was nice going back to there, especially because the split went really well and we found some cool people. One lady that we stopped at a bus stop late at night, we started talking and offered her a Book of Mormon, she said she couldn't take it because she is out of work right now and has no money, when we told her it was free she started crying. She gave us her address and phone number, the Elders should start teaching her. Also, God times things out perfectly, her bus came about 15 seconds after we had finished talking and gotten her contact info. Super cool. And a good last impression of Miskolc, up until now I have just remembered it as the city where I got kicked out of the most buildings on my mission.
We had MLC yesterday, that went super well. It's wierd being the oldest person at these things now.
I finished the Old Testament this week. Super good, Everyone exagerates the number of geneologies in there. And it was just in time because I finished the Book of Mormon again this morning, and we just started a mission challenge to read the Book of Mormon marking the references to Christ (see PMG end of ch. 5 for details). So I'm really excited to do that with my last bit of time here.
That's about it, some more great finding, a couple of cool lessons.
Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Transfer calls came in, I'll be staying here in Buda and serving with Elder Paul. He is from Sandy, Utah, and got out here two transfers after I did. For details about him, read the book of Acts. I'm looking forward to this transfer a lot. And Elder Priest went to Pest and is now my Zone Leader, along with another old companion, Elder Martineau.
We had to do a bit of stuff in the office on Monday to get ready for transfers, and then on Tuesday the new missionaries came. We got to go meet them at the airport and then go streeting with them afterwards. I got to spend a couple hours out with two of them, and it was a ton of fun. They were super solid, each gave out a Book of Mormon, and had no fear talking to people. I would just point and shoot. We also got to go out to Buda castle with them at night, it was fun seeing their reactions, Budapest is beautiful.
On Wednesday we had 5 missionaries go home, 2 of them were old companions of mine, Elder Cannon and Elder Gonzalez. We had a good dinner with them and the Szabadkai's the night before, and sent them on their way.
We've been doing a lot of finding like usual. The weather has been beautiful which has helped, and suit coat season just ended so we are now out and about in short sleeves. We have had some good conversations with a lot of people, on Thursday one man that was a neighbor of an inactive told us we can come back on Monday to talk more about the restoration, so hopefully that works out. We also found the Prime Minsister's house.
I feel like a lot of the time one of the hardest things about finding is that people don't really understand what we say. For example, we say, "The church has been restored through a living prophet", and they hear, "The Catholic church is true." At first I just took it as selective hearing, but lately I decided everything is all lined up on a 5 dimensional scale (basically the veil) from Outer Darkness to Kolob and that as we progress in life we move up it, but that we can not understand things higher up on the scale until we have moved there (Alma 12:9-11). Hence, the fact that we are always singing songs like I am a Child of God but only at times do we catch a glimpse of what it really means, and we always are learning new things from the scriptures, and teaching the same lessons again and again in church. Through the power of the spirit truths on this scale can be learned and understood (either in big ah-hah moments or slowly over time), and because of the atonement we can progress through it as we become more and more like God. This paragraph is suddenly kind of long and thoughts like this usually make a lot more sense in my head then in writing, but then main point I was aiming for is that the spirit is important in life and in missionary work.
Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Happy Saturday!!

We went on a long hike today with the ward, it was a lot of fun. Also, we had a szalona sütés halfway through, cooking big chunks of fat over the fire and dripping it on bread, then eating the bread and the fat. Super good, great way to start a fast Sunday.
General Conference was awesome, it's sad to think this will be my last time watching it in Hungarian. It's nice how much easier it is now then it was back when I was in Tatabánya. I especially enjoyed both of President Monson's talks, President Nelson talk on the priesthood, and Elder Holland's talk at the end. Some good advice on personal improvement.

We had some decent success tracting this week, we had one family that let us in for dinner and listened to the restoration (I think that's the second time I've been let in by a family, definitly the first time they've said, "We're having dinner right now, want to join us?"), the spirit was strong as we tried to focus it on families, we were not able to set up a time to go back though, they said they would read the book of mormon and then call. If they don't we'll probably try knocking on their door again in a couple weeks. We also had an older lady we talked with at the door on Monday who said we could come back Friday. We were able to set up to go over there with a member, but when we got there she was sick and couldn't meet.
Here's part of the group we hand today, we had about 30 people come over all, but not all of us could fit on top at a time. Notice the great view of the clouds behind us. You can't see them this well from the ground.

We'll that's about it. Have a great week everyone! Transfers will be next week, so I'll either write normally on Saturday or next Monday if I get transfered (unlikely, but who knows?).
Parkinson Elder

Saturday, April 2, 2016

General Conference!

This week was a little slow, a lot of the people we met with last week we couldn't set up with this week. We are still struggling to find some solid investigators. We are still searching though, so hopefully they will come. And with the improved weather finding has seemed to be going better. The people are happier when it is warm outside, including us, especially those of us from deserts (I can't remember if it's one s or 2, some if there is any confusion look up sivatag on google translate).

We met again with our skype investigator and it went really well. We spent most of it talking about baptism and what it mean's ,he had a lot of questions about what he would have to do afterwards, what the commandments are, and so forth. He is taking it all very seriously, he told us at the end that he would like to take a week and read the whole Book of Mormon and think about it and pray about it, then meet again. He then sent an email asking if we could meet the week after instead (understandable as the book is over 600 pages long).
We went on splits down to Pécs this week, one of the most beautiful cities in Hungary. Soon after we got there the Elder I was with got really sick though, so we stayed home. I was able to map out a lot of inactive members for them to go look up later and do their dishes though, so it all worked out. Also, thanks to the 3 hour train ride each way I got fully caught up on my journal.

The senior couples had a big conference yesterday, and afterwards they had a cultural event they were going to. They had 2 extra tickets so they invited us, it was super fun. Old traditional Hungarian song and dance, the first performers were all from a small village way out in Romania or somewhere, they spoke really old Hungarian, I felt like I was a new missionary all over again trying to put together what they were saying. And Hungarian dance is super cool, look it up. It was also special because at the end they paid tribute to a famous Hungarian who has played a big hand in preserving Hungarian culture, song and dance throughout his life, it was his 90 birthday and at the end he got up and song a duet.

I'm looking forward to General Conference tonight, this will be my last one in Hungary. Which means it should be the one I can understand the easiest as well.

Parkinson Elder

Sunday, March 27, 2016


The weeks are flying by. I keep feeling like I just barely wrote. We had a good week, we got invited over by members 3 times already this week and are off to some more tonight, so that has been a ton of fun. The perks of serving in a ward, working with members is always tons of fun. Give your local missionaries a chocolate easter bunny.
We got a really cool new investigator this week that we teach over skype. He got referred to the church by some member on an internet forum, and the secretaries sent him a Book of Mormon and some other stuff. He lives in a little town a good distance from any missionaries, so we skyped him. He was super legit, I love it when people really have a desire to learn, it makes our job so much easier. He would ask all the right questions and even asked us for a homework assignment he could do before the next time we talk. Super cool. It reminds me of last time I was here in Buda the Elder's were skype teaching a guy in Noway that Tom knew.
Easter should be awesome tomorrow. I started reading through the New Testament accounts of the Easter story this morning augmented by some Talmage commentary to prepare. It was super good.
I have been reading a bit in Jeremiah as well lately, and despite the reputation the Old Testament has for being dry it is actually super good. All about the scattering and gathering of Israel. I like reading through it as a missionary, because it talks about the work we are doing know, and reading about Jeremiah's life makes missionary work here seem really easy.
Happy Easter!
Parkinson Elder

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Holidays!

It's finally springtime here in Hungary. The weather is beautiful, despite the fact that there was apparently a blizzard in the hills on Tuesday (Elder Priest was on splits so I wasn't there, but he's also from Arizona so I'm not sure if I believe him). I do believe that he is a runner though, we have started going on some early morning runs, and he is fast.

We finally got our area mapped out and all of the members put up on it this week, and so we were able to put that into work a bit. We spent a bit of time looking up some members and tracting and streeting in their areas.

We spent a lot more time finding, we have a couple of potential investigators that we weren't able to meet with this week but hopefully will next week, and our one investigator canceled our teaching appointment. I have been working a lot to apply what we learned in the conferences, specifically to have a solid finding approach. There was one man that we stopped on the street on Wednesday with whom we were able to set up a time to go to his house on Friday, but when we went his doorbell ringer didn't work and nobody else would let us in the building, one said she there wasn't anyone of that name there that lived there. So we don't know if it was a bad address or just bad luck. He had been to church before so hopefully he will show up and we will be able to talk to him there.
Also, Elder Priest is playing the piano for an easter musical number tomorrow, so I got roped into singing a duet. Life lesson, take piano lessons.
We also had a national holiday on March 15th, so everyone was celebrating. The nice thing about missions is we get twice as many holidays to celebrate. For the rest of our lives.

I can't think of much else to write. Have a great week!
Elder Parkinson

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Line upon Line

First off, congrats to Hannah!
This week was awesome, we started it out with splits on Tuesday with the Miskolc Zone Leaders who are super awesome, we had a great day and found a couple of people we can hopefully go back to. There was one cool younger guy who let us in and we talked about the Book of Mormon, it went well, but I didn't think it was going great. We then asked if we could say a prayer before we left, and he asked if he could say it. He then said an incredible prayer, saying God, you sent these two boys to my door with a book and a lot of faith, and you know I have been open to this kind of thing lately, I'm interested to see where this goes. So we will hopefully go back to him on Monday and see what happens.
 We then had our mission tour with Elder Leimer of the 70, that took almost all of our time Wednesday through Friday, it was super good. All of the Zone Conferences went well, the first two were very similar, but the third one ended up being very different, it was really cool to see Elder Leimer adapt what he taught based off of the needs of the missionaries and the spirit. It was a bit draining, I was really tired by the end, but it was awesome.
That took up almost all of our time and made me forget about basically everything else, so that's all. Have a wonderful week!
Parkinson Elder

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Another Busy Week in Budapest!

The work here is still going fairly slow, but we had a couple of people that we were able to find who will hopefully start investigating. We were on splits on Tuesday and after a full day of finding Elder Martindale and I streeted a guy at night near a metro station. He had headphones in, and so at first he didn't hear and kept going, but then realized we were trying to talk to him, turned around, and we were able to talk. We weren't able to say a lot on the street but are set up to meet with him on Tuesday, so that's exciting. Also, headphone technology is really annoying as a missionary. And what is worse is when we think they are just listening to music and start talking to them and then realizing they are actually on a phone call. Technology these days is crazy. But I guess we need it to do our family history work. Anyway, the same day the other Elders also ran into a girl that Elder Priest had given a Book of Mormon to last transfer on the street, she has been reading it and taking notes, and now wants to meet. 

We will be having a mission tour next week by a member of the 70 so that should be awesome. We will be having 3 different Zone conferences and an MLC, so it will be busy.

We were able to go meet with a Serbian member family that I knew from when I was here last year, that was a lot of fun. When we were sharing the spiritual thought we had them read aloud a scripture in Serbian, and then we talked about it in Hunglish. They all speak 5 languages, it's crazy.

I honestly can't think of much else to write, but Elder Priest looks like he's writing a big long letter so if your still following him he might have more interesting stuff to say.

Also, it's strange that now when I introduce myself and talk about my family I can no longer say that half of my siblings on on missions as well. Maybe if they lower the age again David can get out before I come home. Or I could extend for 3 years...

Parkinson Elder

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tovább menjünk tovább - "Go GO GO"

It was a fun week this week, we spent a lot of time tracting and streeting, we got dropped by the only investigator of ours that I have met with so far, the others have been hard to set up with. So we went finding. It was great, after being stuck inside a little last week it was great to spend all our time outside working, the weather was great too, and Buda is beautiful, our tracting area is up in the hills of Buda, with a full view of the city, castle, river, and Parliment down below. There are also a ton of embassies in the area, so we have to be carefull not to knock on those ones. We accidentaly tracted into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Tuesday, fulfilling our call to preach the gospel to all nations. In our defence we didn't see the sign and just thought it was just a really nice house. 

We also found a pair of beautiful Newfoundlands at one house that I was able to make friends with while we waited for the owner to show up. There were a couple of people we were able to share copies of the Book of Mormon with, so we'll see what happens with that. On of them was a lady we started talking to by asking if we could help her fill in a hole in her driveway she was filling in. She said no, but we started talking. She told us that whenever she needs help in her life it always comes from books that she finds and give her advice. We couldn't ask for a better introduction. So we gave her a book that will hopefully give her advice as well.

Also, at church last week I ran into Jeffery Lewis from Minnesota. That was super cool. There were a bunch of Americans that showed up for church and we were trying to figure out the translation for them when I looked over and thought, oh my I know that man. A bit of a suprise. He was suprised too. It was super cool though, and then he and one of his buisness partners took us out to dinner on Wednesday and we got to talk a little. It's good to know there are still great people in the world.

We are planning on going for a hike up in the hills today, so that should be a blast.

Also, I'm not sure if Tom is going home this week or next week, but whenever it is have a nice reunion. Somebody bring 2 chipotle burritoes with avacado to the airport. He deserves them.

Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

Jeffrey Lewis and Parkinson Elder

Sharing a meal in Budapest

Saturday, February 20, 2016


This week started off a bit slow, Elder Priest got sick, so he had to take some rest time. Then one of the secretaries got pretty sick as well (tip, only buy sushi at legit sushi places) so I spent one or two days basically on splits full time with the other secretary while they stayed at home or went to the doctors. On that note, I realize I always forget to give companion info so before anyone reminds me I forgot I will. His name is Elder Priest, he is from Mesa, Arizona, has been here in Hungary a little over a year. He is a cross country runner, so he used to run 20 miles every morning back home. He is super nice and outgoing. At first it was a little weird because most of my companions for the past year have been quieter like me, so it was strange to have someone talking all the time. We get a long super well though.

We had 2 more missionaries go home this week, so we got another delicious dinner with the Szabadkai's.

We were able to meet with a couple of people and have some lessons, but with the sickness and other stuff going on we didn't get to do a ton of missionary work this week. On Wednesday I was going through hard core I haven't been tracting in 3 days withdrawels, so maybe it will be a good thing to get straight back to BYU when I go back, because I probably will go crazy if nothing is going on. I was able to get a lot of studying in though, which is a plus. I read through Our Heritage (getting close to my goal of finishing the missionary library), it was really good, nice to see all of church history lined up next to each other. What especially stuck out to me was the incredible work of the early church members as they established the church. eventually in Utah. And then the statement by President Kimball that we must lengthen out stride. We must not let our contributions and efforts be any less then that of those early saints.

Also, a continuous theme I have been running into and studying over the past few months is the House of Israel. I had a really good talk with Elder Priest the other day about Jews, and it changed my outlook a lot. In the past when I have met someone that is Jewish I haven't really known what to say, but now I might say something like, "Hey my brother from Judah! I'm Elder Parkinson from Ephraim, the Lord's promises towards our people are beginning to be fulfilled. We have a message and a book written for your people announcing that as long promised God is once more gathering the scattered House of Israel and restoring them as his covenant people." The hope of the gathering after many years of being scattered is one of the central messages in the scriptures, and especially in those pertaining to the last days. This is now being fulfilled.

I also found this pearl in Psalms 106:19-20 : They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

Don't be an ox. Don't eat grass. We have way better options.

We also had a run in with a con man. Long story. Another one to ask me about when I get home.

Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Long time no write

So the fun thing about having 2 P-days within 4 days of each other is that not a lot of new stuff happens to write about.

Kispest ended on a good note, we got to have a really good last teaching with V. after a couple of crazy days beforehand, so that was a relief. It was weird not having to travel far again for transfers. After taking trains across the country for most of my mission I haven't traveled anywhere far for a long time. Anyway, we got to have the new missionary training which was fun, and dinner with the Szabadkai's and a departing missionary. Sister Szabadkai is a really great cook.

We had MLC on Friday which was fun. We had some guy from the area come down and talk to us about the churches 12 step program for quitting addictions, and how to use that. It's a good idea for implementation, because of lot of people here have addictions of some kind. I guess that's true for most of the world.

Also, this computer has spell check in English on. Really helpful. Spelling is hard.

I can't really think of anything else to write, really not a lot has happened since Tuesday. I'll write more next Saturday.

Have a great week!
Parkinson Elder

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Moving Right Along...

Transfers again this week. I will be out of Kispest, but staying in the big city, going back to my old area of Buda. So the same ward I was in earlier (although I was only there for a transfer so don't know them super well).  This time I will also be serving as one of the assistants to President Szabadkai. So we'll see what happens with that. I think I will probably be emailing on Saturdays in the future because of that, just a heads up.
It was a fun week to end in KisPest, we found out a less active member we were working with was helping a friend with a move, so we got to help with that. That was a ton of fun.  It is nice to do some good physical labor.  Honestly it was also nice to do some work and be able to see direct results of it. We carry a bunch of stuff up stairs, now the cellar is empty. In missionary work it takes a lot of faith a lot of times to believe that our efforts are doing something, especially on some of those days when they really don't seem to be. So yeah, that was nice. We also got to try and break into a safe.
On that note, we had some good results to our missionary work as well. We had a good lesson last Monday with a new investigator we had met tracting right after she lost her job. She prayed for God to send help and we knocked about 30 minutes later. She couldn't meet then but we finally met Monday, had a good first lesson, she was Catholic and at first as we talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon she seemed pretty passive in regards to it, then the three of us (us and a member) took turns bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it has helped us, and her countanence changed. We haven't been able to coordinate another meeting since but hopefully she will read and pray.
We had a little bit of a rollar coaster again with V. he is signed up to give the spiritual thought this week after English class so that will be good for him. Hopefully we should be meeting with him tonight and I'll get to say goodbye. It's been quite a journey with him, I've learned at least as much from him as he ever learned from us.
I also had an interesting thought this week. Whenever life is getting rough just imagine your life as if you were in a muppet movie. It makes it way better.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd

Dear Family,

Long week. But most if it is probably to long and complicated for this email so ask me when I get back.

Stuff that did happen- We were able to meet with a couple of solid less active members, they all went really well, none of them ended up making it to church which was a dissapointment, but hopefully this next week will be better.

We had another experience of being kicked out of one building and then getting let in twice in the next one. And to be fair I don't really blame the one guy for kicking us out, he was the first on the list as we were ringing in, said no, the next person let us in the building, we guessed the building layout wrong and were looking for door number 9 on the top floor, there were only 5 doors, so we ended up in some wierd area with the boiler room. When we came out the guy opened his door, and asked us what we were doing back there. We tried to explain but he told us to leave. Maybe if I had a more colorful tie on it would have looked less sketchy. 

Transfers will be next week, so I'll be writing on Tuesday.

This was kind of a lame email, I'll try to write a better one next week.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, January 25, 2016

The God of Israel lead the Camp!

Busy week, I'll try to remember what happened.
We got to watch the world wide missionary broadcast on Wednesday, that was really good. A lot on just focusing on the basics, teaching about faith in Christ and repentace according to the Spirit. We then had a Zone Conference the next day, We talked a lot together about the broadcast and how we can apply it in our work. We also wathced a clip from the church history films on Zion's camp, I think it applies really well to all of us, how our most important job is to keep the commandments and God will lead us (On that note I read a talk by Elder Bednar in which he compared Moses 1:39 with D&C 11:20. Mind=Blown).

 I was then thinking of that the next day when tracting, we only had a little bit of time, and we were squeezing in an hour of tracting between weekly planning and a few RCLA's (we have a new mission goal to tract a hour a day. Well by new I mean 6 months ago but is has been re-emphasized), and we had one lady not be very nice to us early in on, and then soon after got kicked out of the building we were in. So it wasn't the best start, but I remembered back to the Zion's camp thing and we just kept at it trying to do our job, we ended up getting let in soon later by a guy in the next building who likes american basketball, american country music he needed help translating, and said he would come to church (he didn't, but maybe next time). Anyway, it was cool to see how the failure and getting kicked out of one building led us to success in the next building. It's all about God's timing. Sometimes it doesn't work that fast but it's nice when it does.

V. was having a pretty rough week this week, so we spent a lot of time with him. It's just a reminder that the consequences of sin can be lasting even if we repent, he has made so much progress, but after so many years of alchoholism he has a lot to rebuild in his life, and not a lot of experience. So we have been trying to help him as best we can, and the ward members are still giving him great support.

We had some cool programs with a few less active people, hopefully we can get some of them back to church.
It snowed again, and this time it was sticky. One day when tracting we saw a guy make a small snowman in the courtyard of the building. By the time we had gotten to the bottem it had fallen over, so we put it back up. Daily act of kindness. Doesn't seem like much, but I was able to build my first snowman in at least 2 years so that was sweet.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, January 18, 2016

Knocking on Doors

Dear Familyl,

Ever since V. has gotten baptized things have been pretty quiet, meeting with him so often made me forget about how few other people we were meeting with. He did pass the sacrament this week though. And just got called as ward organist.
We spent a lot of time tracting, we actually got let in a couple of times, we were able to teach the restoration and give out some Book of Mormons. It's so great teaching something that makes so much sense. We had one guy let us in, we were talking about why the restoration was important in connection to the priesthood authority and baptism, he said, well what about all those people that lived between the Savior and Joseph Smith. Great question, the spirit world and baptism for the dead. He said it made a lot of sense, I'm just hoping he prays about it and reads the Book of Mormon.
We also had more success with some less actives. A couple more of them we were able to get into contact with. One of them we were talking with and realized that we had just talked with her daughter, also inactive, over the door phone a couple of days earlier, and are going back there tonight. Small little connections.
I can't really think of much else that happened, I am looking forward to that missionary broadcast on Wednesday.
Parkinson Elder

Monday, January 11, 2016

Gathering Israel

This was a great week, we spent a lot of time doing some look ups on less actives, we had been trying to look all of them up by before the holidays ended, that didn't happen (lots of inactive people here in Budapest), so we are still going. We also have a ton of people to look up again that haven't been home. We were able to find one cool family that we went back to on Saturdaay for lunch, and were able to share a good message. They also have a son on a mission so we'll see what happens. For some reason I feel like I owe that missionary to take care of his family. He is doing his job, we'll try to do ours.

We have also had some cool success tracting the last few days, on Saturday we got let in halfway through our first building and were able to teach an older couple about the restoration (unfortunately they were not interested in hearing more), and yesterday the first people we talked to let us in and we were able to teach again about the restoration to a family. Hopefully we will go back to them, and they also gave us a neighboor as a referal. It was a good experience to feel that God was guiding us to those who would hear our message.

Also, here is a picture from the baptism.

V. is still doing great, he came to a teaching with us last week and was a big help, he is trying to serve as much as he possibly can. We had another investigator come to church on Sunday and during Sunday School V. shared his story and testimony for a bit. She asked us afterwards "how did you do that". We didn't do anything, it was V. and divine help. Anyway she said that was a testimony builder for her. So he's already changing lives.

Closing thoughts, the local store has this thing where you can fill a bucket of oranges and buy it for 950 forint (about 3 bucks). Thanks to some inside info I have in the spherical orange stacking buissness, we got 28 oranges.

Parkinson Elder

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New Life

Big news of the week, V. is a priest. He got baptized on Saturday, confirmed on Sunday, and then had a quick interview with the bishop and was given the priesthood during priesthood meeting. Also, speaking of priesthood meeting, we had 30 people there. And thats not even counting the Bishop and first counsler who were doing interviews. Thats possibly twice as big as the biggest priesthood meeting Ive ever seen here, and 10 times my first week in Eger. So the church is going well here in Budapest. 

V. said he feels like a completely new person, he looks like it too. He called us up last night and told us he was free all day and if anyone needed any help with anything he was ready to serve. Also, his mom came to the baptism and to church yesterday, hopefully we will start meeting with her as well. The ward members were great with that, after the baptismal service we had some snacks and she sat down by herself. I thought, I should go talk to her, make sure she is fine. 2 seconds later she was swarmed by a bunch of women who started chatting with her. Also, he played the organ at the baptism which was super cool. Did I mention he is self taught and can't read music?
Besides that I can't think of a ton that happened. We had a ward New Years party, which was a lot of fun, but none of our investigators showed up.
We had a couple of new people that we met with, including a guy from Italy that let us in and a guy from Argentina that told us we could come back. We also met with another really poor guy that is also apparently a really good pianist and oranist. Conincedence?
Oh, it also snowed today. Its officially winter. Its getting a lot colder too. I am starting to feel some sympathy it for those Minnesota missionaries back in the day.
My camera just died so I will send baptism pictures next week.

Parkinson Elder