Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 10 Genk- "The Weather Strikes Back"

Hello Everyone,

What a week it has been once again. But holy cow can the time go by any faster? Felt like yesterday I was typing up my email from last week. And it's already conference! Geeze it's just cruising by. Crazy! I am yet to understand how time works on a mission, but if I ever do find out I'll be sure to let you all know. It's a weird thing out here.

But unlike last week which had beautiful blue skies and mostly sunshine, this week we say the exact opposite. Wind and rain pretty much the entire week long. And that always makes for a good, interesting, adventerous and character testing week. But you still always seem to have fun and just enjoy what you have no matter the circumstances.

Going along with that, that was actually one of the talks I studied this week because we shared it with one of our Less actives. The one called being grateful if any circumstances, or something close to that. And that reallly just hit me. I mean there are so many things to be grateful for and happy about and you really can always find happiness even in the dark and bitter moments each of us will have. Where? I found that out too. The Gospel Of Jesus Christ, the true source of eternal happiness!!!! I just really love that and decided that is so true, the world will not give you happiness, but what we got will! How blessed are we!!

I wanna share a cool little miracle that Elder taggart and I saw this past week. So we found a potential last week sunday andtuesday we went by at night to see if she was home. Well we knock, she opens the door and we are standing there soaking wet, and she says come right in. That was the first part of the miracle haha got out of the rain. Well we get in and start talking with her and her husband comes in and we got to know him a little as well. Super cool people, who have never really been religious before. Well we got talking about who God was and how we can come to find Him in our own lives. Shared a few more things and then it was time to leave. She asked us to pray, and when we said Amen. She look up and said that was the first time in her life were she had felt true peace. She invited us back for next tuesday right then!! That was so cool to see how powerful prayer is and see it just touch her heart. I love it! I can not wait to go back and see what happens with them! Super cool for us.

We also had zone training this week which is always fun, got to see some familiar faces and have a good time. It was an incredible conference talking about becoming friends with our Savior. Thats probably what stuck out ot me the most. He is the greatest freind we could EVER have, yet sometimes we don't let Him in and aren't that friend back. Really made me think and reflect alot. Become a friends with the Savior.

This week we were out alot, knocking in the rain and really being tested to see if we would go out and work. I am glad to say that we did. And unlike some other experiences, we didn't see alot of success for doing that. But I think I learned a more powerful lesson. One that changed my character and made me always want to be the one who will say to the the Lord "Thy will be done". Doesn't matter if I go and have crazy success or non at all, because I know what Christ thinks of me, of Elder Parr, and thats what matters. I have seen that simple question change me, ask yourself " what thinks Christ of me?"

Well thank you all for the emails, the prayers and all the support!!! You're amazing! Have a great Easter and Enjoy celebrating the Savior and conference! Love you all!

Love, Elder Parr

**sd card reader wouldn't work today - no pictures sorry **

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 8 Genk "Fietsen is leven!"

Hello Everyone!

Wow where to begin.....This week has actually been super busy we have been all over the place, biking, buses, trains cars you name it haha. And I think that I can honestly say this is probably the most tired that I have been in my entire life! But that's a good thing right? We were blessed to have at least one appointment every single day this week even with a couple being dropped. That was just a tender mercy to us.

So we have all decided that Belgium is bipolar with its weather, one day it can be warm enough just to wear a white shirt and the next day you are back in thermals, scarf, jacket, etc. I love it! You wake up and you never know what it is going to be like. But luckily for us there was more sun then not this week:) And biking in the sun just makes it 100 times better. Warm hands, you can see everything, not all wet, I forgot what it was like seems like paradise after riding around all winter ha ha! But holy cow I have never biked so much in my life, well I probably biked more in Delft but here there are a ton of hills and I got my good trusty 1 speed race bike ha ha. It's coming along just fine though!

But this week we saw a couple cool things happen. The work is continuing to move right along here and we are seeing it happen right before our eyes. We were blessed with finding quite a few more potentials in Genk this week. Hopefully giving us a lot of people to work with!

Funny story, one of the days this week (I don't really remember which, they are all blending in) we got let in by two different people who at first seemed to be super super positive and very open to talk. They were both incredibly nice and hospital to us and we were like, heck ya. Then we began to teach the first lesson to them, which ended up having us getting told that we are insane to believe what we believe and that we were so so wrong. I have never heard so many bad thing said against us in my life.....By the end of the appointment we were actually able to get to one of them and he softened up a whole lot and accepted the Book of Mormon and said he'd read and pray, but the other wanted nothing to do with us. Anyway, I don't think I have ever seen the promise to Joseph Smith fulfilled so much in my life the one that says, "They honor me with their lips but with their hearts are far from me." I can now say that that is true! But by the end we couldn't help but smile and be grateful for our testimonies of the Gospel and knowing that there is NOTHING that anyone can say that can take that from us!!

Sargun this week was once again just incredible. That girl is so smart it's ridiculous. She wanted to learn about the Life of Christ this week so we taught the first half of His life to her. I just have to say I love how strong the spirit is every time that we are with her. Sure right now her parents might be keeping her from getting baptized and ya, that is hard. Because we feel and can see how strong of a testimony that she has every time that we go over there. It blows me away. But then again at the same time I can't help but smile seeing her faith! Truly an example to me.

Monday last week was so much fun, we all went to the WOK plaza for mine an elder Taggarts birthdays and it was INCREDIBLE! Between the four of us we dropped 100 euro.....Just picture 4 missionaries walking into like the nicest buffet and trying so hard to look like we know what we are doing ha, that was a night to remember. Probably ate some of the weirdest but also best things that i have in a long time!

Saturday we got to go to family Gijbels again! They are the craziest dinner appointments ever! The two little girls are just the best though, remind me so much about my neighborhood back home! Those appointments were you just feel at home are always nice and that is exactly what the Gijbels never fail to deliver. What a blessing to have such a strong family in the branch.

Sunday was our Ward conference and it was super good. This little church building was packed full and full of enthusiasm! The spirit was so strong as we talked about the stake mission program for this year and how it’s going to bless this branch and the people in it. Really got the members excited to work with the missionaries and invite people to church. So we will see how it works. Then they served some great lunch after, mhmmmm that's always the best just enjoying your time with the members! Then tonight Elder Taggart and I told family knoops we would cook for them this week and they would do the spiritual thought. So we cooked up an incredible meal if I might say so myself, probably should say thanks to Elder Lee for teaching me how to cook all of this stuff though. But anyways they all ended up loving it, luckily:) And then they gave a spiritual message and it was so funny, we were dying the whole time. They did like a fake missionary role play for part of it and holy cow, the funniest thing that I have seen in a long time. That family is incredible and so great to us missionaries. Really do love them for all they do for us, makes a world of difference.

Along with all of that and a couple of other cool lessons, this week has been fantastic. I feel like I am going to die every day I hop on my bike after doing insanity and seeing that hill up ahead, but the Lord keeps me moving. He is pouring out His blessings upon this mission! Our district has seen a TON of cool miracles. I am thankful for our Loving Heavenly Father. My relationship has grown with Him so much since i have been out here and I know that He is there and Loves me!

Thank you all so so much for the birthday wishes and sweet letters. I love you all and hope all is going great back home. Don't forgot God loves you!!! And the Church Is True and one day everyone will know it! Loves!


Elder Parr

I hope you like my new style........jk it was just for laughs:)

Hope you like my new style...j/k it was just for laughs.

Birthday picture - yeah!  Happy 19th Birthday Elder Parr

Week 9 Genk " Sea Food....."

Hello Everyone,

This is going to be a short one not a ton of time today because we are going hiking. Yes you heard me right we actually found a 'mountain' in Belgium.  Actually it's all of the stuff from the coal mines but we'll pretend it is a mountain. Supposedly you get a really cool view because it's the highest thing around, so that will be fun.

Anyway this has been another really good week. White shirts and sweaters! No need for a jacket anymore!!:) Oh how i have missed the sun. We have been super busy running all over the place and biking like crazy. I don't bike as much here as in delft but oh boy let me tell ya, delft was perfectly flat (the biggest hills were the bridges over the canals) and here every other street is a hill. Me and my one speed fiet's got to work hard to actually go fast ha ha. But I am not complaining it's keeping me in shape and keeping me from not getting too fat. Which is needed because this week I developed a love for Belgium's pastries, holy cow they are incredible!

This week we finally got to do some service which was so much fun! Sister Pollet had us come over and we got to plant some potatoes and some trees then clean out the chicken coop. I couldn't help but smile with all of the memories that just came pouring back of working on Grandpa's farm. Made my whole week. But we actually have met with Sister Pollet and her daughter twice this week and they are making so much progress. It's been so cool to see their trust in us grow every time that we come. They even invited us over for Easter! I am so happy they are making their way back to the church and that I have had the chance to support and help them along the way.

We have actually been working with a lot of less active members this week and it's just been so amazing to see them slowly begin to change. People who hadn't wanted a whole lot to do with the missionaries are now letting us eat with them, come over twice a week and really letting us know how they truly feel. I know that that has not been because of the things that we have said, but the thing which they have felt when we have been there. The spirit has been so strong in our appointments and you can see their testimonies being reignited. What a blessing it has been for me to see it, because I can honestly say my testimony of the Holy Ghost and of Prayer have grown a lot this past week!! It's real, I know it.

A cool story, so we have a couple of potentials we found a week or so ago who live about 40 minutes away on the bus. So it's hard to get out there and still be effective sometimes. But this past Thursday we felt we needed to make the trip out there and look these people up. So that's what we did. But for a total different reason then what we would of thought. Not one of the potentials were home who we were planning on teaching. However we had 20 or so minutes until the bus came so we decided to do some knocking. It wasn't the first door this time but the last, a young man opened it and we knew we were met to be there. We talked and he was super interested and we scheduled an appointment and gave him a Book of Mormon and he is super excited to read. That was super cool for us to see the Lord lead us to him. Because we were actually lost and had no clue how we ended up were we did, but we found out why.

And lastly, Mom, Dad, you wouldn't believe what I am about to tell you but, I ate raw squid, eel, raw shrimp, some weird eye thingy and other fishy stuff at an appointment this week. I gagged it down but I did it and have video evidence to prove it:) I don't know what is changing me but I know before my mission I wouldn't even come close to that stuff. It's been fun trying to eat it though, makes people laugh every time and always the classic gagging picture. Ugh, I hate that stuff but can't let a challenge just go so I always end up giving in, to good. I Love it!

Thank you all for the support and the emails, it means a lot! I hope you all have a great week and remember The Church Is True!! Love you all!

Elder Parr

Just chillin' with a car that a member is working on.  It races in Dubai!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Week 7 Genk - "Finally Sun"

Hello Everyone,

This week has been different than most of the weeks to this point of my mission. But none the less it has been one to remember. To start off, you guys will be happy to hear that the sun actually does exist here in Belgium and there is a blue sky. It really isn't just grey clouds! This week we were blessed with some great weather for the first time since my first few months out. And boy am i grateful that it was good, because this week we needed it. 

This was defiantly one of the most testing weeks for a couple of reasons, one very long days with few appointments and two I don't think I have ever been so tired in my life. (You got to love it:)) Pretty much everyone we are working with was fairly busy this week, we still had a couple appointments but very few compared to earlier weeks. So that left us with loads of time to get out the door and go find some people who are prepared to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And let me tell you, it's a lot harder getting yourself excited for a gap of 4 hours of contacting then getting excited for appointments. I learned that this week for sure. It really puts you to the test and puts your character and diligence to the test. To see if you are going to still go and give it your all even when sometimes you feel like it won't make a difference. But it does, people notice and people are there and are prepared. After several days of not seeing a whole lot of success we kept on pushing and were blessed with around 16 potential investigator this week. That right there was a testimony builder to me that if we do our part the Lord is going to do His! I know that, i have experienced it. 

We had a super cool appointment with Sargun this week, last week we asked her to prepare a lesson about faith and she would teach us a little next time> Keep in mind she is 13. So we show up and after a lot of persuading we finally got her to start. Holy cow, I can't even begin to tell you how amazing she did, she knows so much and loves what she learns. That was one of the most spiritual moments for me and really made me grateful to see that people actually love the gospel :) 

And lastly Friday night was the funniest thing ever. It was world prayer day and it was a blast. So about 8 or so religions came together and we all got to share a little bit about what we believe and that was cool. But the end was awesome, a group of Africans all got up and they sang "go tell it on the mountain" And everyone, including me, joined in and sang. That made my entire night, what a blast that was. I wish i could show you that video, too funny!!

Well, once again short on time so that’s all i am going to be able to write this week. But thank you all so so much for the birthday wishes and the letters!! You are all the best and i am so grateful for you!!! I hope you have an amazing week and remember the church is true!!:)

Elder Parr


** Happy 19th Birthday to my Elder Parr  TODAY ** No pictures again this week :( **

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 6 Genk - "Round 2 in Genk!"

Hello everyone,

This week has been great! A little bit slower than the previous weeks of my mission, so that was a little different and a lot longer days. But it really opened my eyes to how blessed I have been up to this point in my mission!! I cannot tell you how many miracles and tender mercies I have seen and felt. Those times just give me so much strength to move forward when you hit those days that are hard, or weeks that are rough. Just knowing there is always a light at the end of the tunnel if you just keep on pushing forward. So that was probably one of the biggest lessons learned this week. Which is one that I am glad that I got to experience and to learn from. It really is true what everyone says about a mission, it’s the refiner’s fire. I love it!!

Though, it might not have been the best week for the work, the Lord still blessed us with miracles and showed me that He is by my side. The first happened on Tuesday, when i was on exchanges here with one of my zone leaders Elder Lynman. He arrived at out appointment around 10 or so and we had an awesome day ahead of us.....until about 5 minutes before we were about to leave, when all of our appointments that day canceled and on top of that the heavens just decided to open up and begin pour like crazy!!! But we had several look ups planned and had chosen an area to go and knock and were determined not to let the rain stop us ha-ha. Well that’s exactly what we did, hoped on our bikes and headed into the hail! Then the first door we knocked, a man answered and we began to talk, and about half way through the contact the rain stopped and the sun just shined. Not trying to make it dramatic of anything, but hey it was pretty sick ha-ha. Well the guy was super positive and we have an appointment with him this week, so we'll see what happens. Along with that the next 5 doors were potentials!! What a miracle street, really gave us the boost we needed to get through the rest of our day!

Thursday was zone conference, so that was just a blast, got to see a lot of old friends and what a reunion that was!!! Love my friends out here, great group of missionaries! The zone conference was also very inspiring, ready to go hit the ground running this next transfer here!

Sorry this week was a short one, not a whole lot of time or a ton to say. But I am loving this work and KNOW it’s where i am supposed to be. Thanks for the sweet letters and the prayers! I hope you all have another amazing week!

Elder Parr

** he forgot his sd card reader this week so no pictures. Hopefully he will sned them later this week.  His birthday is next week on Monday March 9th so if you want to send him a birthday email.**