Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 5 Zaandam - Blessing! (1 year Mark)


This week was so amazing! But to be honest I sat down to start typing this and everything just left me.....so it'll probably be a short one this week. But I do remember that we had just a solid fun week and saw some cool things happen. Missions are just straight up amazing!

I know my mom is dying to know what is happening with Evy and Peter so here it is. This week they have seen some amazing miracles. We went over on Tuesday to teach them and we walked in to glowing faces. They were so happy. Turns out that Evy gets to stay and that they are allowed to be married. On top of that peter found a new job and everything is finally falling into place for them. So she just has to wait for her mom to send her he actual birth certificate and then they can get married. So by the end of this month or the beginning of august they should be getting baptized!! They seriously can't wait. It was so cool to sit in there house and just listen to Evy tell us that she knows without a doubt that Jesus Christ saved there family! I know that that is so true. We are just there being his instruments, He is the one changing their hearts. What a miracle and blessing to witness.

This week I also hit my year mark and had a nice little celebration with some of the elders. Crazy to think that is has already been a year. It just goes by too fast. I love my mission so so much! I know that this is were I need to be and even more so, I know that what I am sharing with people is the truth! The church really is true!!

Sorry this was so short, but mom, just know that i am happy and got a smile on my face. Nothing to worry about. I love you all and the support you give to us missionaries,you're great! Have an amazing week.

Love, Elder Parr

Oh and if you get the chance you should watch the video, "lift" on Mormon channel. Incredible!
Me, Corina (Evys mom), Evy and Peter:)

Week 4 Zaandam- Laughs, reunions and so much more!

Hello hello,

This week has been another amazing one. And to be honest this one has probably been the fastest week of my mission. All the days just blended in and went SO fast. It's crazy! In two days I hit my one year mark! Like holy cow, where did time go? Before you know it it is just gone. But I can say that this past year has been one of the best, most rewarding, most difficult, most inspiring years of my life. One that I wouldn't trade for anything. It's truly a blessing to have the opportunity to be a missionary and represent our Savior, Jesus Christ, in a country that needs the gospel so badly.

This week has been one of many miracles, tender mercies and great reunions. But at the same time has been a week of hardships. So we will end with the good. This week we were able to get out and continue to work hard, and for a good portion of the week we got torn apart. I don't think I have knocked areas that were so against the gospel on my mission. We had plenty of slammed doors, scorning remarks, laughs ,pointed fingers and things of that sort. Which is never fun to have. But compared to the blessings and miracles and small things that happen in our everyday missionary work it doesn't even measure up. It's true what they say, the good ALWAYS outweighs the bad, you just got to look at it through the right eyes. There is always good around you.

Peter and Evy this week was great. We were able to meet with them twice and have just incredible lessons with them. But to start off, they got hit with some bad news. They got a letter in the mail saying that Evy's permit to stay was denied. So they are taking it to an appeal and we will see what happens. They were originally planning on getting married this past week so they could be baptized this week, but obviously that has suddenly become a little more difficult. So unfortunately this week they won't make there date, but we will find out tomorrow what is going to happen with that. It's interesting to see how hard Satan is working to stop the work of the Lord, but just like Joseph Smith said, there is nothing that will be able to stop this work from moving forward. And we saw that with peter and Evy. Between the two lessons that we had, Elder Frisby and I could just see how serious they are about the gospel. This is something that they truly do want. They tell us everytime that we go they have a goal to be baptized as soon as they can and then to marry in the temple. It's been amazing to see them to go to the book of Mormon is their time of difficulty as well. They were both able to share some inspiring answers that they had received from reading in the book Of Mormon. There truly is a power behind that book, I know it and know they know it! They as long as Elder Frisby and I have a testimony that the Lord will prepare a way for them to be baptized, just like He promises to do. They are ready and willing. Still a miracle in the making in my eyes.

This week I was able to see sooo many friends froms the past. Starting on Friday afternoon. Coach Rigby gave me a call and said he would be in Zaandam and wanted to take My companion and I out to lunch. It was so great walking up the stairs towards the station and hearing "Elder Parr" then getting a great big hug from Burke. I love that man, he's sure taught me alot. So it was great to see him and the rest of family and enjoy an amazing lunch with them. So if they are reading this thanks again!!! Then on Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference for stake den Haag. So for those two days I got to hang out with all of the members that I served with for six months in delft. Holy cow, that was such a blessing. It was so weird seeing how all of the sudden I could talk to them all in dutch and know what was going on, unlike 6 months ago. But seeing Daan, Emma, Scherfs, Prosmans, Muntingas, de jonge. So much fun. They all said that they feel I will be coming back to den haag, that would be awesome, but we'll see haha. So for me those were just some sweet tender mercies!

But other then that this week has been a good one! I had to say goodbye to president and Zuster Robinson at stake conference and that was so sad. I am going to miss them so much, they have been the greatest examples to me and the rest of us out here. They have truly changed this mission. But at the same time I am excited to take on this new chapter of my mission with a new president. It'll be great!

I love you all thanks for all of the support and prayers. I am praying for you as well. The church is true! God bless!

Love, Elder Parr

Peter Evy and I:)

Week 3 Zaandam - Getting lost, boat rides, conferences and marine..

Hello Hello,

This week has been another one to remember to say the least. It has been an emotional roller coaster but ended on a high and that's always great. It seems like just yesterday I was typing up an email and now I am already back in the same chair doing it all over again. Crazy.

where to begin, I think that Netherlands has a mind of its own. I mean who knew a country could have mood swings haha. One hour it is beautiful weather and hot and the next you are getting buckets dumped on you and wind ripping you off your bike. I am still not used to that but, you sure learn to enjoy it. Brings some fun adventures into the day and that's always good. Got to love it right?
Well this week we were able to meet with Evy and Peter a couple of times and it was incredible. Tuesday we were finally able to share the plan of salvation with them and I think it is pretty safe to say that was one of the most spiritual lessons that I have had on my mission. I don't know what Elder Frisby and I have done to deserve such great experiences but I can say I am grateful for them. The best part about that lesson was when we were talking about the Atonement. I have never so clearly felt the spirit enter the room so strongly. As we were testifying of our Savior Jesus Christ, Peter's whole body literally just filled with goosebumps. And he began to say how grateful he was that he now knows that he has a Savior in his life. It's hard to describe the joy that you have when you witness somebody accept Christ as their Redeemer. It truly does bring a light into their lives. We were also able to have a lesson with them as well as dinner at The De Vries's a family in the ward. We finished up the second lesson then it turned into a testimony meeting and was just incredible. Both of these families have gone through such similar trials and hardships. And to see them all in tears by the end of the night and they shared how they know the gospel and their testimonies of the love of Jesus Christ got them through their trials. Couldn´t have gone any better. They came to church again this Sunday and loved it once again. In short they are a miracle to Elder Frisby and I.

Other then those two we didn´t have alot going on this week. We did some fun service projects and some hilarious dinner appointments. Oh ya, I also got wrecked this week. I went on exchanges with Elder Bonner, a hardcore marine, and did the craziest run of my life. But I am proud to say I finished it in one piece...but I am not going to lie it kicked my butt haha. Lot of respect for those guys who do that in gear.

Oh Monday night the jovos had an activity and they taught us how to salsa dance and it was the funniest thing in the world. Me and Elder Taggert were trying to do and we looked like the biggest goofballs ever. It was fantastic though. Got to love what weird experiences missions bring. If only you saw it in person you would die!

We also got lost in Noord Amsterdam for a solid two hours, but in the process ended up having to ride the boats back to central and it was so nice. I miss being on the water, great place to be. So that was my little tender mercy haha.

We also had a zone training this week and it was so good but so sad. President and Zuster Robinson gave their dying testimonies. So sad to see them get ready to head out. They have been the greatest blessing! I´ll never forget them. But at the same time I am excited for a new chapter in my mission with the new president. It will be just as good!

Thanks for the love and prayers! Love and miss you all. I hope you have a great week and keep enjoying summer.

Love, Elder Parr
The Gangster bird we found after we got lost.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Week 2 Zaandam - Miracles Everywhere!

Hello Hello,

I don't even know where to begin with this week. Probably been one of the biggest miracle weeks of my mission!! Is all I can say is that i know God answers prayers and that if you are working hard and doing you best good things are bound to come. 

First off we were blessed with the best weather that I have seen since the day I stepped off the plane. This week had more beautiful warm and sunny days then it did rainy ones. It was just incredible seeing the sun. And let me tell you I am getting my tan (color line and sleeve line) on haha. But it's great. 

So this story is probably the biggest out of the blue miracle I have experienced. Last week Elder Frisby and I went and looked up a referral and they were not home so we left a card for them to call us and by the time tuesday rolled around nothing had happened. So we decided to go back and look them up again. Knock on the door and we tell them we are the missionaries and they buzz us right up. We get up the stairs and make it to there door and they were SO excited to see us there. A girl named Ivna and Peter and their little boy Pedro. A young family. They let us in and just treated us like we were kings. I have never been treated so good in my life. We got talking and Ivna began to tell us her story. She is originally from Brazil and some of her family back there were members so she knew the church. But when she got older she met peter and moved to the Netherlands. Since she has been here she has gone to 4 different churches trying to find which one was best for her. But as time went one she just felt that something was missing but she didn't know what. She eventually started talking with her mom who has been Less active for 20 or so years. Well her mom began to tell her how the happiest time in her life was when she was baptized and an active member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. And that if she wanted the happiness she was looking for she would find it here. Thats where the referral came into play. She felt why not lets give it a try. Well at the same time she is married to a Dutch man, who always believed there was a God or something but wasn't ever religious. After the mom had told them this they began to study the Mormon church. Began watching mormon messages and reading things for lds.org. The more peter read the more his interest in the church grew. The more he looked back at his life an realized that there is no way there couldn't be a God. In short they have been so prepared to receive the Gospel. More then anyone i have ever met. The spirit in their house is indescribable and so strong. We were able to teach them the restoration and have a couple of incredible lessons with them. The goose bumps on their arms just showed testified to me the spirit was touching their hearts. We were able to set a baptismal date for them for June 28th. They both lit up and said that this is what they want. They want an eternal family and the gospel in their lives. Well they came to church this week and just felt at home and absolutely loved it. It was incredible. They have been the biggest miracle and I am so grateful I can be apart of it. I can't wait to see them progress and the Gospel change their lives. I know God led us to them for a reason and He is going to make all of it work out. 

On top of that we found a couple cool new investigators and were also able to have a cool little lesson with Carola. After last week she kind of fell off the map but then she called us back and invited us over for dinner. It was a blast being there with her. Hopefully we can get her on date here pretty soon too. The Lord is hastening his work here. Its incredible!

Also the Governor of Utah was in our ward this week so I got to meet him and talk. That was super cool. 

I love you all so much. I hope everything is going amazing. Thanks for the love and support. 

Love, Elder Parr

Look where I live!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 1 Zaandarm- Belgie naar Nederland

Hello hello,

This week has been a pretty good one.  Have been all over the place, literally. So this week I had to say goodbye to Genk and some of my best friends. To honest it was hard to say goodbye. I have grown to love that place so much and the relationships I had with the members and everyone there were just incredible. I will forever be grateful for the chance that I had to serve there and to meet the people that I met and experience the things that I did. Will definitely have a place in my heart!

But when Wednesday morning rolled it around it was time to take the walk to the train while dragging suitcases and my bike along. I wish you guys could just see it when the missionaries are both leaving and have to take all of their stuff by themselves. We probably look quite ridiculous. Especially trying to move trains and all that fun stuff. You would all get a kick out of it. But Wednesday I went from one of the most southern cities in the mission to one of the most northern cities. So I pretty much got to see every single city along the way. As well as a bunch of missionaries which was just great! I was hoping to see Wade Bringhurst but turns out his visa wasn't in soon enough again so he didn't make it in.  I was a little bummed, can't wait to see that kid. Well that day I took Elder Larsen to the Schiphol airport hotel and got to say goodbye to him and some of my other friends: It was sad, I am going to miss those guys, great friendships.

But Zaandam is going to be a whole new chapter of my mission. It is almost the exact opposite of Genk. Showed up and we pretty much have zero investigator pool and a whole lot of work to do. But keeping our heads up that is exactly what the rest of my week was like. I don't remember the last time I was out going along the doors or going through the Centrum for such long periods of time. And on top of that having 100% different reactions then I did in Genk.  Zaandam is VERY Dutch. So that being said, we had an awful lot of doors slammed in our faces and some unpleasant remarks. But non-the-less we kept working hard. And kept our heads up.

Well it payed of. We finally were able to find a couple of cool potentials and give some Books Of Mormon away. And even saw a pretty cool miracle in my eyes. Elder Frisby and I are pretty set on baptizing someone together so everyday we have been praying and working hard to find someone to do that. Well one day we were contacting and we ran into a lady named Carola, well actually she ran into us. Turns out she is from Chili and her entire family but her is baptized and she wants to be! We were blown away, like did that literally just happen? It was such a tender mercy and a blessing from the Lord. I am super excited to she were she ends up. It'll be great.

So after we were out and getting poured on and doors slammed in our faces I walked into our apartment and saw this hanging on the door.

My Missionary Commission
by Elder Bruce R. McConkie
I am called of God.
My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!

And it just hit me pretty hard that I have nothing to be complaining about. I have no reason to be sad and to think that I have to help rebuild this city alone. Jesus Christ my Master is with me. Just like it says He has chosen me and I am here in His shoes. It was never easy for Him so why should it be for me? But I do know that He is by my side, lifting me higher then I can be alone. With Him I know all things are possible.I know the 'dutch of the dutch' can have there hearts softened and we can see success.

Well my ward here is pretty great. A lot bigger then the branch back in Genk.  Oh and we get TONS of Americans visiting every week. This week there were 32 BYU students (some from Snow Canyon who had my mom as a teacher) and even a family from St. George! So that was pretty great!

I love you all thanks for the prayers and the support. I hope you are enjoying summer! Have a great week.

Love, Elder Parr

Family Knoops! (minus Ammon)