Sunday, December 5, 2010

Last letter in the MTC

It was a super fast week.  It was a good week though.  I'm getting reassigned to the Sports mecca city for mormons.  Thats just a hint. The weather has been really messed up here.  It was freezing cold until Wednesday and now its pretty warm.  Almost all the snow we had is gone.  There is maybe a inch in spots.  It is kind of nice to be in the warm weather again.  On Sunday we had a really good speaker.  He works at the mtc and we've heard from him before but he does a really good job.  He shows us whats important.  On Tuesday we have Julie Beck from the relief society presidency.  She did a fine job.  It wasn't really a motivational talk or spirtual it was more just about experiences.  She talked a lot about Brasil.  That was a good and bad thing.  Made us all want to be there.  But it will happen soon enough.  This wednesday was super busy.  In the morning we went to Pysical Therapy.  I loved it because i got to work out in their gym for an hour.  We are going again today so i'm excited.  After the PT we got to host and then we had TRC in the middle of hosting.  The morning flew by.  I only got to help host one sister before TRC.  This week TRC was awesome.  It went so well.  I have never felt so comfortable speaking and hearing the lesson.  It was good to go out on a good note, because i wont hear portugues for a while.  
Things are really winding down here.  It is crazy how fast time went.  It will probably only get faster.  I'm really nervous to leave the MTC but i'm glad because this place is getting old.  Also our Districts attitude has gone downhill lately.  It is pretty lame.  I don't like being around all the negativity.  I'm hoping that i'll have a pumped trainer who wants to succeed in the field.  It would make things a lot easier for me at least then trying to teach myself how to be a missionary.
Love you all,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MTC Days Continued

This past week went by really fast.  Every week goes by faster and faster.  This past tuesday for the devotional we heard from Per G. Malm for the second quorum of the 70.  He gave a great talk. He was a really funny guy as well.  He talked about how we are more prepared than we feel.  I sure hope he's right.  I guess we need to have faith as well, it will all work out though no matter.  He also talked about how its not a coincidence that you are on a mission right now.  There is a reason you're here now and not some other time.  That was right to me.  At the end of his talk he said "if we do the Lords work in the lords way....where are the limits?"  There aren't any if we do it that way. 
We get our temporary reassignments on Wednesday if we don't get our visas.  I get to call home then.  So if i get to choose the time when is the best and whose phone?  I don't think i get to talk long.  Maybe 5 minutes, so don't plan anything big.  The first two weeks i was here they got like 25 visas.  Since then there have been 5.  So they've slowed down a lot.  Who know's when they will come.  But I know i'll get it...its just a matter of when.  When we get our visas in the field we fly out as soon as possible.  We don't even wait for the next transfer.  I wouldn't be too disappointed to go stateside to see what a mission is like here and then go to Brasil.  It would be interesting to contrast.  I just hope i got to a warm spot because i don't want to get winter clothes for a short period of time.
It is really cold here.  There is hardly any snow.  They shut down BYU on Tuesday i think because there was suppose to be the worst storm in 65 years here.  There were maybe 12 MPH winds and a half a inch of snow.  Lamest storm ever.  I really wanted snow.  
My companion's back's been hurting him so we have been able to get off campus twice this last week and at least 2 more times this next week!  It felt so good to get out of the MTC grounds.  I was crazy to see the outside world again.  People that aren't always wearing suits and dresses.  But it was very liberating.  I can't wait to hit the field.  I'm nervous but I getting to comfortable here.  A mission is suppose to force you out of your comfort zone so i need to move on to the next step.  
Thanksgiving was surprisingly good.  It looked like it was going to be horrible at the beginning because of the schedule but at the morning fireside Elder Holland came and spoke with his family!  The first thing he said was we are going to be your family for the day.  That was pretty cool, if i can't be with my real family then being with an apostles family is a good second.  It was awesome to hear from him.   He is such a great speaker.  And his wife gave a really good talk as well.  He had his grandchildren sing a primary song to us it was really cute.  Made me think of Caiden and Bailey.  He had a lot of good things to say.  I wrote them down but i forgot to bring what he said.

- Elder Parsons

MTC Days Continued

Hey everyone,
It was a pretty decent week.  Every week is going faster and faster.  I got to host the new missionaries this week.  It was a good and bad experience.  The first car that pulled up the mom was crying her eyes out and looked mad that her kid was going on a mission and then his little brother got out and starting crying.  I almost quit right there.  I don't want to deal with that.  But the rest we got at our station were good.  We met some really cool people.  And the day went by so fast. 
   At TRC this week it was a interesting experience.  The kid we were teaching was like sleep deprived or something he couldn't stay awake.  But we kept asking him question to try and keep him awake and he'd answer right away so he must hear in his sleep.  At the end we almost started laughing because he almost fell over he was so tired.  Interesting experience.  We got a new teacher.  Irmao Paries is developing the new curriculum for the MTC.  The new teacher is way cool and he went to Brasil.  He has some way crazy stories.  Some are a little scary but good stories if you make it out of there fine.  He is also a lot easier to understand because he speaks Brasil portugues instead of crappy Portugal portugues.
  So we were getting lunch a couple days back and there are a lot of people in the cafeteria from Brasil, they were asking where we were going and when we said Salvador she replied, "Watch out for the naked women there."  That's going to be way awkward.  Hopefully it's not too bad.  But i guess it'll be an experience.  We also talked to this other kid from Brasil and he said Salvador was way pretty.  So hopefully its a nice place.
   Geez the weather is crazy there in Moscow.  We had a little breezy weather the other day but nothing too bad.  The temperature has been all over the place though.  One day its freezing cold and the next its warm.  The mountains are starting to get covered in snow here.  That is cool.  I'd rather have there be snow and cold instead of just cold.
  We had Brother Pearson from the first quorum of the 70 come this week.  He gave an excellent talk.  One of the most inspiration if not the most inspiration talk i've heard since being here.  He talked about finding out divine identity.  I've never heard about that in those terms.  It was awesome.  He talked about how if we loose ourselves in the mission and follow all the rules we will become what we are suppose to be...if we dont then we will stay at what we think we're suppose to be.  He also talked about how obedience strengthens our faith.  He talked about some other stuff but it was an amazing talk.  Our room has made a goal to be 100% obedient these last couple of weeks following all the rules even the really small rules that can be an annoyance.  And keep it throughout the mission. 
  If i get my visa before the 7th of december I'll go to the CTM first.  But we get reassignments week 8 which is coming up fast.  I hope i'll get a week or so in the CTM but whatever happens is suppose to happen. 

-Elder Parsons

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MTC Days Continued

Things are going pretty well here.  The MTC is finally starting to go faster. We had snow here this week.  I was so happy.  I love the snow and i'm going to miss it alot.  We had a snowball fight which was a lot of fun.  We're not sure if thats allowed but no one has said anything yet.  The weather is absolutly beautiful today though.  High 60's.  We went to the temple today and did sealings.  That was an amazing experience to see what goes on.  Makes so much more sense and makes me want to stay worthy for those amazing blessings.  What a gift!  Its always great to feel the spirit of the temple too.  Its probably the only reason i make it through the week is because we go to the temple every P-day.  Just the best ever!
The visa situation is making us all super annoyed and angry.  Its like they don't even care about us.  The travel office here is a bunch of ignorant people.  They say they don't know anything about our visa's.  Isn't their job to find out for us whats going on.  We can't do it.  I'm not sure about that electronic visa thing.  There have been people that haven't done it and gotten their visa...and vice versa.  If you ever get time maybe you could contact the LDS travel office and see what the real problem really is.  Because we've heard so many rumors and we're getting a little tired of feeling like no one cares about us here.  There hasn't been a single visa for Brazil issued since i've been here.  I guess i'll stop ranting...but it'd be really nice to be in Brazil so we could really start learning the language.
Last week we prepared our talks in Portuguese, so for the rest of the time they're be in Portuguese.  I don't think i'm picking it up super fast.  But i'm also always hard on myself and expect a lot so i really don't know how bad i'm doing. There are 13 missionaries in our district...and around 300 people going to Brazil here all waiting for visas.  
We had Elder Scott come and talk to us on Tuesday.  It was the most powerful talk i've heard in a long time.  It was a truely awesome experience to be at it.  He bestowed many apostalic blessings on us...very humbling experience the ones i remember off the top of my head were the gift of tongues and the blessing of greater success when we get back from our missions...or something to that effect.  It was quite amazing! 

Elder Parsons

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another day in the MTC

It was good to get a letter from you.  Reading letters are probably my favorite thing to do during the week.  Reminds me that i have family and friends still.  Thanks for the encouraging words on the language.  I know that i need to be more patient.  Its not one of the christlike attributes i was well gifted with.  But i'm getting better thats for sure.  I am trying to fill my batteries here.  Its funny that you use that analogy Russel M Nielson gave a talk on tuesday here and used the same analogy.  It was a really good talk and it was awesome to see a general authority so close.
That is terrible news about The CEO.  His family will be in my prayers.  It really does make you think about how fast life can be taken away.  I am so thankful for the knowledge that i have that familys can be toghether forever so that those situations can be handled as best as possible. Its a comfort.  
Thanks sending the package.  I didn't know my debit card wouldn't work in Brasil.  I thought it was just a fee to use it there?  I guess i'll just have no extra money if it doesn't work.  
I miss the hockey season.  It was good to see that most of my teams are doing well except buffalo needs to pick it up.  I was right in thinking that toronto and tampa were going to do well this year.  We will see if they can keep it up and make it to the playoffs.  Have they starting laying ice there yet? It has been really nice weather here.  Cold in the mornings but nice and warm like 70's in the afternoon.  They opened the field so we've been playing beach volleyball.  I love it so good to get outside.  It is a little harding being in a classroom for that long everyday.  But its worth it.   I'm learning a lot and my testimony is growing.  We were able to go to the temple today that was great.  Last week in class we watched a talk Holland gave when he visited the MTC a few years ago.  It was super powerful and a great pump up.  He talked about how rewarding and important a mission is.  He said if you leave it will ruin your life.  I'd look it up if you ever have time.  It was really good and showed a side i've never seen of him. 
Hope all is well.  Its always good to hear from you.
Elder Parsons

Monday, October 11, 2010

A New Experience--First days in the MTC

I am doing well.  The MTC is completely different than i thought it would be.  They are a lot more laid back.  They want you to be the proactive one.  You have to be motivated to learn on your own.  Which is fine.  My comp is super cool.  He is from California.  We get along really well.  Sometimes its a problem because we get sidetracked way to easily and don't focus on learning the language or gospel.  But we are having fun.  We've pretty much broken every rule by accident...welll nothing serious just stupid little rules.  But we are starting to learn the system.  Its been rough getting to class on time because we are so bad with keeping track here.   
We've had gym everyday.  That must be a new thing because Andrew said that they didn't get gym until the 2nd or 3rd week. But the gym is gettho here.  Way too small for how many people there are.  I can't complain too much though because its exercise.  The food is ok.  It hasn't been setting well with anyone really though.  But i'm not going hungry thats for sure.  I'm eating way too much food.  
They do expect a lot of us quickly here.  We are suppose to be doing discussion in portuguese next week.  We go to lab and the people may be members or investigators we don't know.  Talk about nerve racking. I can barely say hi in portuguese let only keep a conversation.  We also have to write a talk in church every week and then 2 elders are picked to give theirs.  By week 4 they have to be in portuguese.  I hope that i get it before then.  
My district is really cool. The people are really cool and it is amazing how much we have in common.  It just goes to show that this isn't random.  Pretty much all of us have a background in German.  Maybe we are suppose to teach some x nazis or refugees.  Our floor has a lot of missionaries going to french speaking places and it makes so much sense.  I can't really stand any of them.  They all seem super aragant...very french like.  I'm so thankful i'm going to Brazil because we are so much more chill.  Another thing that is very surprising is how many older missionaries there are.  I don't feel very old here...more like in the middle of the pack.  But you can tell instantly the missionaries just out of high school...they are super immature.  I have to stay away from they cause they annoy me.  I've also solidified that i'm not going to BYU when i get back...i can't do it anymore.  I'll go back to the U of I before i go to BYU.  I see what there like and its just not me.  I also have found out that i don't want to go to BYU Hawaii.  My roomate went there and is going back after he gets off of his mission.  It just doesn't seem like a school for me, especially if you're white. Even though my comps white.    
Portuguese is so hard.  Spanish is so much easier.  Especially to pronouce word...its a lot more dificult in portuguese.  But i think portuguese sounds cooler/better than spanish does.  It will be awesome when i can actually speak it...but thats a long ways down the road.  
It feels like i've been in the MTC for a decade.  Its going to be a rough 9 weeks if its like this.  They just pile so much onto  you that you don't know what to study or prepare for.  I'm just glad that pretty much everyone feels this way so i normal i assume.  I'm hoping that our district gets our visas at the same time so we can all go to brazil together. I'd rather go to Brazil with support than try and tough it out to the MTC without companions.  But whatever happens will be for a reason.
    I thought school was rought at times.  I'd take school work day over this any time.  There is literally no time to do anything really besides church stuff.  From 7:40 till 9 we are in classes/person/comp study.  There are breakfast lunch dinner breaks too but they are only 45 minutes and go really fast.
I hope that you are all doing well.  I love you all.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Leaving the nest

Elder Parsons left for the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center) on October 6, 2010. He has been called to serve in the Brazil Salvador South Mission, speaking Portuguese. He will leave for Brazil once he receives his visa. He will be a wonderful missionary and we are very proud of his decision he has made and the life he has led to be worthy to take on this opportunity. This blog will be emails/ letters that he would like to be shared.

Elder Parsons with little sister Brianne

Ready to leave!

Pictures with Dad and Sister before leaving

Proud Mom

Both Happy Parents!