Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012

At the Christmas Party

My new shoes

Elder Wiscombe (lived in Hurricane), me, my comp, Hermana Venegas and another Elder at the Christmas party

HELLO!!!!!!!!! hola familia! First, I want you to know that I took 40 dollars out today and I bought some new shoes that are really cute!!! hahahah and I also bought a mesquito net for my bed because my arms are looking like I have the chicken pox again hahah. And I still have 20 dollars left over so as you can tell, Nicaragua is really cheap! Remember now that I am in Nicaragua I am such a cheapo! hahaha.So it was SOOOOOOOOOOO great talking to you all!!!!! Wow, it was just like normal but wow, it was so great wasn´t it!!!! hahahahah just laughing and having a good time like we always do whenever we are together or talking! Thanks so much. It was the best Christmas present in the whole world! Also, thanks for all the gifts. I loved them all and I cannot say in words how much I appreciate all the love, and hard work that went into all those gifts! I am SO spoiled. I hope you know how grateful that I am! So thanks for writing those letters too. Nathan and Josh, I loved the Christmas letters. And mom and dad, the Christmas card was so adorable I just loved it. I also received a package from Chantelle with pictures and treats and owl stickers and an owl keychain that lights up. It was so great and so nice of her!!!!!!! THANKS CHAN! I will be writing you very soon! So that´s cool that you all got to go to the temple. It´s funny when you were telling me how cold it was in Salt Lake. I cannot even picture that. Like today is 87 degrees and I feel like it´s super cold here!!!! Seriously though, today has rained a bit and it´s just a great cool day! I love it. I am thinking that I will be here in March... aka THE HOTTEST MONTH OF THE WHOLE YEAR HERE!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhhh pray for me please. 
Sooooo we had our mission Christmas party and guess what!!!!!! I received a very secret letter from the President´s wife... I had no idea what it was until I opened it and read... This is your Mom and Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH the tears just started flowing. I have never received a more meaningful letter in my whole mission and I felt so great at that moment. Thank you so much! There was actually another slide show and our family picture was in it and I was just soooo happy to see the family. We are such a handsome bunch now, aren´t we. hehehe. Thanks for everything!!!! Also, the party was sweet because my best friend, Elder Wiscombe was there (he´s the one I told you that now is ZL... he lived in Hurricane in the rv park for one summer ) We got to catch up and hang out and everything it was just like old times in Diria and Diriomo! So much fun. And then the night before was so much fun because Hermana Creel and her comp had to come stay the night because they live so far away and didn´t want to wake up too early to have to get to the church that we had the party at, which is our church in our area! We are so lucky hahah. So yeah we have 2 twin size beds in our apartment. And Creel and I slept in my bed and then my comp with Creel´s comp in the other bed. Let´s just say we slept on our backs not moving the whole night! Good thing we aren´t really big girls. So we just stayed up just laughing and talking. So much fun! Then for the Christmas party we had to do a skit with our zone and of course they volunteered ME to be Mary in the nativity! UM OK!!!!! hahah. That wasn´t stressful at all. It was actually really fun though and we all dressed up and I was just a cute lil pregnant Mary! So fun! Then we did a present exchange and that was fun. I got a really cute clock and hand towel. But then I actually gave it away as a gift to a cute little girl where we eat lunch! Then we had a CATERED lunch! It was great. This party was so great. We got a mission shirt. The girls shirts are green and the Elders are gray. And we just had so much fun. Then we went outside and played water games and had huge water balloon fights. There was even a bounce house that was velcro so it was so cool! We put on our velcro suits and jumped around. 
Well, you asked what they do for New Years. We are actually invited to 2 homes tonight to have dinner and just hang out. It will be fun because both of the people I love so much! One is a member and she gave us this nice body spray for Christmas and then the other is the family where we eat lunch and they are not members but they are amazing people and the cute 15 year old today told me that she wants to buy this friendship neclace before I go that says best friends and I can have one part and she can have the other. How cute, huh. I just love her!!!!! Also, I ordered these weights that you can fill up with sand so that I can lug them around and all. They were really cheap so I figured why not! 
I feel like this email is just all over the place. Sorry!!!!!! I am just trying to fit everything in haha. oh! So the baptism that we were supposed to have on Saturday fell through because he wasn´t ready, so we are going to prepare him more and hope for the 12 of January. He has been 4 times in the church and wants to learn so I think it´s good! Also, there is a girl I can´t remember if I told you about her but she is 18 and was supposed to get baptized with us a bunch of times, we taught her ALL the lessons and then she went over into a different area and found the Elders and said she wants to get baptized and that she has already been taught everything.... so yeah she got baptized but it wasn´t our baptism. I think she might have a crush on one of the other Elders or something. We taught her everything but we don´t get to be at her baptism or anything and it was us who found her and everything. Sad huh. But oh well, at least she got baptized!!! Also, I am pretty sure this Saturday a man named Vladimir will get baptized. He just needed his 3 times in the chruch! He´s a great guy and he´s ready! We shall see. Pray for him, please. Oh and the greatest thing that happened to me today is that... I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY MISSION!!!!!!!! I wanted to finish it before the New Year and I finished it New Years Eve. How cool is that? I was so happy and jumping up and down and my comp just thought I was a little crazy. Then I knelt down and prayed. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and another Testiment of Jesus Christ. I know with all my heart that God calls prophets to lead us and guide us and that through Joseph Smith the Church of Jesus Christ was RESTORED! What a wonderful feeling. Something that I liked in the ending was how it talked about the people who think that little children need to be baptized but it tells the people that they are mocking God if they say children need baptism! Because it´s so true. So many people think that they need to baptize the children because they were born with the sin of Adam, but it´s not like that. Well, and just the whole book I just loved a lot. It means a lot more to me now that I am on the mission and I am so grateful to be a member of the one and only true church! 
Well, I am chatting with Tay right now so today is just great! Thanks for everything! Glad you had a great Christmas and have a very wonderful New Year! Happy New Year! Love you all sooo much! I will be in 2013 one hour before you all! Weird huh! Love you sooooooooooooo much! So great talking to you on Christmas. Thanks for the letters and the emails and oh I loved the card that sang and lit up! So cute. Thanks soooooo much! Tell grandma, and grandpa and grandma Linda thanks for the money and that I love them! Oh and Fro, thanks for the Dear Elder. Will write soon. Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE HERMANA PARKER

December 24, 2012

DEAREST MOTHER AND FATHER!!!!!!!!! Wow, thank you for both of your spiritual emails. I loved them both. Those miracles of mom´s were amazing and dad your message about the Savior was powerful. I am so blessed to have you two. Thanks for the examples and support that you are to me. Well, the day is finally here and I can hardly wait! I have been so excited to finally get to call you guys! I miss you all so much and it´s so crazy that we are not going to be together this year for Christmas. But yesterday at church we had a really great sacrament meeting and I felt the spirit so strong and I felt like my heart was about to burst, not even joking. It was incredible and all the people who gave talks had the spirit and then the bishop gave a talk and it was about him when he was little, they could never even afford a tree for Christmas but he remembers being with his family and that was all that mattered because he had Christmas in his heart. But one year they finally were able to go cut down a small tree and they thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world but it was just like an ugly weed. But he said Christmas night they all just sat around the tree and sang and were just so happy to be with the family. How amazing. It really is a humbling experience to be over here in Nicaragua. They have nothing but they all invited us over for dinner and for everything. It´s like they are serving us but they have nothing and they still want us to be happy. It´s amazing. We have been giving out some gifts and people are so happy. It´s priceless, the act of giving. I love it. So it reminds me of the grinch when they all have nothing for Christmas but they all are still singing and everything. Then the grinch realizes that gifts are not the true meaning of Christmas. It´s weird in Spanish because the word Navidad doesn´t have anything to do with Christ so I definitely like the word Christmas a lot better because in the name alone it shows us what we need to celebrate. And even though Christ wasn´t born this month it´s a very good tradition and helps us to remember our Savior.
Well here is the thing, tomorrow I will be calling sometime after lunch. So I was thinking between like 1 and 3. Hope that´s ok and that you are not busy. So are you going to Salt Lake this year? Hopefully you all have a wonderful Christmas! I will be missing being with you but what a blessing we have to be able to talk. I feel soooo blessed. I am just so excited. I don´t even feel like it´s real. Am I really going to call tomorrow!!?!?!?!?!??! ahhhh. But yeah. Just pick up the phone if you see a weird number. We had a zone activity today and it was cool hanging with Sister Creel and all of the Elders. We have a really fun zone this change and things are great. Changes were actually on the 19 but my comp and I are still together and neither of us got changed. So things are good and we get to spend Christmas together. Nicaragua has their Christmas today basically. They have huge dinners and family over and all that jazz and then tomorrow they just open presents in the morning and that is it. They will all be staying up until 1 in the morning tonight with fireworks and alcohol and all that stuff. hahaha. Yeah, I am glad we will be in the house before it gets crazy. So today we were invited to 4 different houses to eat dinner. And we cannot turn down invitations. I feel like Dave and Nat... having to go to a bunch of different houses to eat and all. Now I understand how exhausting that is! Sorry Dave and Nat! You two are so dang tough! haha. So tell everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS and that next year we will party even harder. hehehe. I miss you all soooo much and the 16 days of Christmas has been sooooooooooooooo great. I LOVED the owls with the m and m´s, I almost cried with excitement. And all the stories that you sent. With the oranges and the trees and all that great stuff. WOW. It has been so fun. Thanks so much. I know that a lot of time and hard work has gone into all of that. Dad, yes 90 degrees over here in the Managua heat. It´s absolutely crazy and today we were sweating a lot. I love you all soooo much. Mom, I am so proud of you on the piano. Such a trooper. My parents and family are the very BEST! Thanks for all and I will call you tomorrow!!!!! hahahah so good to say that! BYE LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hasta manana love Court

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012


Ella Gutierrez

Our baptism-all the elders came to support us.

Luis is on the left

Christmas decorations and nativities

The 16 Days of Christmas presents and tree

My Owl Picture

HELLO!!!!! So things are going great. Thanks so much for writing me! I am pleased to announce that we had a baptism Saturday and it went very well. I was leading the hymns and I looked down at this amazing 78 year old man and he was crying. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. It was great. Then his confirmation was along with the other that we baptized 2 weeks ago and so it was so spiritual! Anyways, this week was crazy. We were in the house of the lady we just baptized and her son is really sick and has a bunch of problems and so these ladies from another church came over and they were praying for him and then they told us that they wanted to say a prayer for the old grandma that was there because she is 94 and isn´t feeling too great. So then they walked over and poured some veggie oil in my comps hands and then they looked at me and I said, no, it´s ok and they said don´t be scared and so I was like, um, ok. So then they said ok we are going to pray and they were praying for this old lady but then they started praying for us and the lady said forgive these young children because they don´t know what they are doing, they are so young and they are just lost in life. Haha they went off and off about how we are bad souls and everything. Then we said, ok, first off we do not use oil unless it is blessed. Secondly, we are missionaries and we are representing Jesus Christ. And she said, well we have the priesthood so what do you guys have? Wow, it was off the hook. Hahahaha yeah I just froze up and didn´t know what to do because I hate contention and my comp bore her testimony and then the lady left super mad! 
Ok, so YES, I got the Christmas package and I loved the cute owl picture that I got to color! And the 16 days of Christmas has been soooooo fun! I have been having the best time with it. I am always so excited to get home so that I can open my gift. Tay sounds to be doing so good and things are going good. Dad, thanks for the letter that is so great about that property that you were able to sell! Sounds like the blessings really are coming and I am praying for you all everyday! Thanks for all that you do for me! So I found out my new release date from my zone leader and I will be done here in Nicaragua on the 2 of OCTOBER! Mom, you know what that means... you will be here on your BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so happy when I found out. It is most likely set for that day. It could change, I suppose, but that will be the date to look forward to for our family! And yes, I heard about that shooting that happened over there in the US and it broke my heart. Children and all. I could not believe it. Makes me so upset and I was so sad when I found out because I am going to be a teacher and I just love kids so much. I hope their families can find comfort. We are so blessed to know where we are going after this life and that we can see each other again and for forever. Wow, so this week we watched a Christmas video with our investigators and I felt the spirit so strong. We are SO blessed to have the gospel in our lives. 
Thanks for everything. I am glad that Josh is healing and that the kids are doing good. Sounds like Lauren is doing good in school. Also, I got your dear elder and Josh sounds like basketball is doing really well. Also, I got a letter from Grandma Thompson and I got a card from Linda and Grandpa that I will open later when it is Christmas. I hope that all is well with you all. Kiss Nathan for me and tell everyone I love and miss them! Thanks for the Christmas music and all the cute things you all have done for me. I am so blessed. Thanks so much! Also, I will try to send some pictures right now too. I´ll give you the number to call next p-day and we will have a very Merry Christmas. The people over here celebrate more on the 24 I guess so that will be different. I am loving reading the cute stories every night. I feel so loved. 
Today we got to go to the mall with our zone leaders and it felt more like Christmas because I actually did something kind of normal feeling. And there was Christmas music and everything, it was awesome and we bought Mcdonalds. Anyways, I hope that all is well. I hope that I included everything in this email. That´s cool that dad is about out of school. And how did it all end up dad, and mom, how is work and everything for you. Tell everyone hi. l love you all soooo much! Love Hermana Parker

December 10, 2012

HELLO!!!!!! Well here is the sad news... I can´t send pictures today because this computer will not allow me. I was ready with my camera and everything. But sorry. I will try my best to get a better computer next week. I took some good pictures of my tree and decorations. This week was very good. On Wednesday we got to get on the computer to check out and I looked up the videos and I found 2 under the Christmas that you should try to find. One is called "What Shall We Give", and the other is called "Look to the Light". They both made me just sit and sob.
Speaking of crying... this week I have cried a lot. But not because I have been sad or anything but because of other things. First, on Wednesday, we had interviews with our President and when we were done I asked if he could you give me a blessing. And he said, of course... which, he is a super busy guy so I am glad that I was able to get one. He blessed me to be able to receive revelation to understand even more the Spanish, that my family and I will be blessed and protected, and that I can always be happy, and that I will be able to understand the scriptures even more, and many more wonderful things. He told me in my interview that he has only seen me with a smile on my face and that it´s a gift that I have, to always be happy. It was good to hear that. But during the blessing I just started crying, because I have missed dad´s blessings and it was nice to get one from another great man that I respect. Then today, we went to the children´s hospital here in Managua with a lady who is not a member, but I love her a lot. She reminds me of sister Stackhouse. Anyways, we brought packages of diapers and clothes and when I walked into that hospital, my tears just started flowing. I could not believe that these children are going to have to spend Christmas in the hospital. Also, these hospitals are nothing like those in the U.S. They are old and hot and everyone is in the same room... sick and all. It was sad, but the looks on their faces when we handed them their gifts, were absolutely heavenly. I have never seen a prettier sight in my life. There is nothing I would rather be right now than a missionary of this wonderful work....
Ok, now on a bit of a funnier note.. my companion and I, this week, were walking through the street and they celebrate the birth of Mary as catholics here. So it´s crazy with fireworks and all, because you can light a firework every waking second in this land over here. So, we were walking and someone lit off a work and my companion is deathly scared of them and I'll admit, I was a bit jumpy too... So all I saw was this firework, called the foot finder, chasing after me. So I started running in a zig zag motion and my comp was running after me and we ran into each other because I was in zig zag and she was trying to find protection with my body. hahahahahahah. Then the firework ended and we looked back to about 15 people busting up laughing at us. It was hilarious!!!! Wow. Anyways, we are definitely being careful now a days. Don´t worry. But it was way funny. We laughed for about 15 minutes after that. 
Oh, Cottam says that just calling on Christmas will be a bit easier so I will find the number you guys can call and you just tell me what time and I´ll find the phone. I cannot wait. I opened up the amazing nativity set! I let my comp open it and we loved setting it up. Cannot wait for the rest. We are so excited. I talked to Tay about it and we are soooo excited. Oh, somethiing cool is that Hermana Creel and I went on divisions this week for a couple hours and we were so nervous because we were like not sure if we could do it. But we did GREAT! We both just talked it up with our Spanish and everyone understood us and we taught and taught and taught and it was soooo fun! It was so great being with her and just talking about everything. It was an absolute miracle. Also, when we were together this lady was like... ahhhh greengas! So then we looked up and there was this lady from Ohio who comes and builds houses here with her husband. She knew no Spanish, but we talked and it was so great getting to know her. She´s not a member, but we still invited her to the church there in the states. 
Yesterday was so cute. In church I told this lady that I loved her earrings and bracelet. Then after church she came up to me and said, I have something for you, and put her earrings and bracelet in my hand. It was the cutest thing ever. I cannot believe how freely the people just give here. It really is such a humbling experience. 
So how is all the service going over there!!!! We have a baptism Saturday at 3. His name is Luis Mendoza, and he is 77 years old. The cutest man I have ever seen!!!!!!!! Love him with all my heart. We are doing well. Thanks for all you do for me and for always writing! I love you all soooo much. Praying for you. Also, not sure if it´s a goal over there but here in Central America there is a new goal to finish the Book of Mormon by April. I am going to try to do it in Spanish. Don´t know if you have time to do it too, but let me know and we can all do it together! Love you all sooooooooo much! I am so happy! Work hard... every commandment a blessing! I miss you. Love Hermana Parker p.s. I can´t wait to open all of the 16 days of christmas. No, I haven´t gotten the other package yet, but I should soon! Love you all. Court.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012

Mom and Dad. First, thanks so much for the spiritual emails , they really touched me. And yes, dad, you are right. The mission isn´t all that easy, it´s hard work but when I put all my trust in the Lord I see so many more blessings. This week was ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FIRST, I put up the amazing tree!!!! WOWOWOWOWOWOWWWW!!!!! It´s soooo creative and beautiful. The lady we live with is in love with it and everyone who sees it is in complete shock. It´s beautiful. I am sooo grateful for my family. Wow, that´s so cool about the 12 days of Christmas you are doing and doing all the acts of service. You guys are all showing love and charity towards others and that is amazing. That is what Christmas is all about. It´s not about all of the other things. Which are sometimes fun and nice and some days I miss the Christmas spirit over here. It´s just still so hot but some people have pretty decorated trees and it makes me so happy. The Christmas cds are absolutely amazing. I have been listening as much as I can and I always think of our family because I remember how much dad loves to sit and watch the christmas carols with all the family and just sing to Jordan Bluth. hahaha. I love that guy his voice is amazing! And "Arise"! My companion always wants me to put on repeat a bunch of the songs. She likes them too. It´s sooo fun.

So we had a baptism! It was a crazy situation because her son has a really bad mental disorder and so on friday night we had to get permission to go to the mental hospital because he wouldn´t go unless we went too. So we went there and it was a very sad place. My heart just ached and people were in the back rooms and screaming and everything. Then there was this guy that was waiting to talk to the doctor but he started hyperventilating and we were like, hey let´s say a prayer, we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ... and then he said ok, I will pray and he knelt down on his knees and started praying and crying. Then right after the doctor came out and was ready for him. It was a miracle. But yeah, then her son had to have 2 guys come to her house on Saturday to watch her son. So then we finally got her to come to the church and get baptized. It was super amazing. Her name is Elia and she is a single mother and she only has her one son. Hes´s 29 and she´s in her 50s. So it was spiritual.

Today I got to go the distribution center. It was great. I bought a family home evening book for a dollar and then I bought a little girl we are teaching with her dad, a Book of Mormon stories book. It was only 14 cords. Which is less than a dollar. It was cool! Also, I got letters from lots of people. I got the dear elders super fast and just wrote everyone today! So great. Expect letters soon. Gosh I have so much to tell you all but I don´t have time because we have been rushing around today so I can´t have my full hour to write but I want you all to know how much I love you. I know that if we have faith we can move mountains. I know that we can do anything that we put our minds to. Thanks for all the prayers. I love my new area. Who would have thought! Thanks for the prayers. I am being watched over. Thanks again for all the gifts. I haven´t opened number 1 yet but I will later tonight! I love the wrappings and everything. We are so excited!!!!!!!!!!! We have changes on the 19. Not sure what will happen. I will stay here, but not sure what will happen with my comp. She might stay too. Hopefully. If not it will still be fine. Oh, we can use skype on christmas but I´m not sure if I want to. Let me know what you want. Skype only for half hour or the phone for an hour. Let me know. I need to sign up if you wanna do skype. Love you alll sooooo much! Thanks for the emails, letters, gifts, and most of all the LOVE! Love you all! Love, Court