Monday, July 27, 2009

2009_07_27 Week 17 Valencia Mom

Hey how are things going? I am doing good. Sorry for last week. they are trying to make the internet here in Valencia faster, upgrading I guess. But last week we were in the cyber just starting to read our emails when they did something wrong with the upgrade and all of the internet was lost. I don´t know how, but that is what they told me this week when I asked about it.

Are you healthy and happy?

Ya! I am just fine.

Did you have a good birthday on Saturday?

Ya! It was great! I ate lunch with the family that we normally eat lunch with and then went to our house and ate lunch again with the family that lives next door. We ate lasagna and we had a cake. They call it a three milk cake. It is really good. Then we went to the church and I taught English and then we went to the Esperansa and we ate with a sister there, the one that I told you about a few weeks ago that loves to cook for us. Then we came back here to Valencia and went to the house because it was late.

Have you had any baptisms the past two weeks?

No, but we are working on it. We have a few people that are getting ready. We are working on it.

Do you have any investigators with baptismal dates set?

We have the baptism date with Esther, but she didn´t come to church, so we will have to wait longer to baptise her.

How are all of the people you have told us about recently doing? Give us some updates on their progress, please.

Everybody is doing good. We are working on visiting everybody, but our Bishop has just set up a new family home evening plan where every night there is a family home evening in the house of a family here in Valencia and everybody wants the missionaries to come to their family home evenings. So we are visiting with a lot of members and we are getting a lot of good references, but it is taking away from the people that we were already teaching. So it makes it a little bit harder to visit everybody, but we are trying.

How are things with your companion going?

Things are going good. We are getting along good and he seems to be progressing a lot. So for me that is a good sign.

Are you both working hard?

Yeah. We are working very hard right now.

Are you getting along well?


How was your Zone Conference? Tell us about it in detail.

It was really good. We learned a lot about how to help people that are inactive to come back to church and we have been putting it into practice and it is really working well.

Have you passed off your Maestro?

No. I am still working on it.

Are there many mosquitos out during the day? Are you wearing Deet?

No and No

How is the weather? Are you still getting burnt all the time? Are you wearing sunscreen?

It is a little cooler right now. Yes, but not badly and no.

How are your allergies? Are you taking any medication?

Doing good. I haven’t had problems for a while now. No and I don´t need any more either.

Which packages have you received? Describe what was in each one you have received, if you can. We still have not received yours. I guess we will consider it lost.

I have received the three birthday packages and the three hump day packages.
I got the package that I sent to you guys back last week. I guess they can´t send this package, so I will try and send it another way next week.

Have you sent me a package with photos?

No, next week.

Can you add some photos to your email today?

No, because I don´t have any here with me.

Is there anything you want or need me to send you with the glasses?

Send me a few new oil vials. Mine broke, so I don´t have one right now. See if you can find me a shadow grass camoflauge tie, too, please.

Tell us more about the ward you work with. What meetings do you attend. Do you work well with the Bishop? Are you still trying to find people in La Mana to form a branch with?

No. We have changed our focus. We are trying to strengthen the ward here in Valencia, so we are looking for priesthood here to baptize.

Has there been any effect on the missionary work, good or bad, because of the violence that happened back in May?

No. There haven´t been any affects good or bad. The people have pretty much forgotten about it now.

What is the best meal you have eaten lately?


Have you eaten anything you really didn’t like or that was different?

Guinea pig. It was really good and we ate I think it was mountain goat, too. They were both really good.

Hi Curtis,

It is good to hear from you. I am glad all is well. I am at the store right now getting a couple of things then headed home to finish dinner for the missionaries. Answer more of my questions if you have time. I got your glasses so I will send them this week. Do you need the oil vial that attaches to your keys or a plastic bottle of oil to refill with?

If you could send me a bottle to put oil in too that would be great I gave mine away in Balzar, but what I really need is one that attaches to my key ring, so if you could find a couple simple ones and send them to me that would be great.

Okay. Can you get olive oil down there to put in the bottle?

Yeah, don´t worry. There is olive oil here.

Was everything in the package that was returned okay? I guess just keep those glasses there and I will send you the new ones. We had blueberry cobbler and dutch oven potatoes and chicken for your birthday celebration here. I forgot to take pictures. Sorry! I am glad you had a good birthday. Did you take photos? I want to see them. Sorry your packages were all early, but early is better than late.

Tell us what you have been doing these past two weeks. What did you do
that was fun or exciting or spiritual?

2009_07_27 Week 17 Valencia Dad

Dear Curtis

How is everything going? Did you have a good Birthday Saturday? What did you do on your p-day last week? Mom just called and told me that you were on so email me back.

I Love You, Love Dad

Hey, things are going good here. Last week, they were trying to upgrade the internet here in Valencia and they did something wrong, so they lost the internet. So we couldn´t write because there wasn´t internet. Things are going good. We haven´t had any baptisms, but we are working on it.

What did you do on your p-day last week? Have you been doing anything with your district for fun on p-days?

We bought food, tried to use the internet, cleaned the house, slept and then went to a family home evening. No, we usually don´t do anything with our district because we are a ways away from everything. We are in our own city, so we usually just stay here by ourselves for our p-days.

I have got to go take a shower the missionary are coming for dinner they
should be here in 20 minutes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Parkinson Descendency Chart

This is a Descendency Chart that I created to give to my Parents for their Anniversary during our Parinson Reunion last week. It was created with Legacy Charting a part of the Legacy Family History Program produced by Millenia Software. The chart is 8 feet long by 2 feet high and I had it printed on canvas. The background photo was created using Photomerge in Adobe Photoshop from photos I took at the Logan Temple. It was created by combing eight different shots of the temple into one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

2009_07_13 Week 15 Valencia Mom

Hey! How is it going? Hey, it sounds like you had a lot of fun on the trip. You know the Mesa Falls that you went to and the Warm River? When I went with Skyler and his family, we went past Mesa Falls and we stopped at Warm River and fished. I didn´t catch anything, but Skyler did, but he said that there was hardly no fish there when we were there. Do you know why the fish liked the dog food best? They are planter fish and the planter fish when they are in the fish hatchery eat a special fish food that looks a lot like dog food, so they are used to eating big brown balls of food, so dog food would be one of their favorites to eat.

Well things are going good here. We didn´t have our baptism because Isabel didn´t want to have her interview, so we will have to wait for another day to baptise her in I think two weeks. We had an interchange to do the interview, so I went to Buena Fe with a new elder that had two weeks here in Ecuador. He is from Argentina. His name is Elder Jimines and his companion Elder Vargas was here in Valencia with Elder Castañeda to do the interview. It was cool. I got to spend the night in Buena Fe with Elder Lopez from Peru and Elder Frye from California. I also bought a tie while I was there. It is a tie of Ecuador. It has the colors of the flag and the symbol. It is really cool. I was thinking there is a member in Buena Fe that is a taylor and I can have him make me a custom suit for 90 dollars, but what do you think?? Everything is going good here. I love you all lots. I hope I hear from you soon.

Hi Curtis,

It is good to hear from you. I am sorry about your baptism. I hope it will go through next time. What seemed to be the problem with having the interview?

Some of the fish in Warm River were really big. It looked like they had been there a long time. There was a guy fishing up higher on the river, but the place we stopped to look at the fish was posted, "No Fishing." The guy would throw a handful of dog food in and the fish would jump all over the place to get it. The bread they sort of sucked under, so you didn't get to see the fish as much. We didn't go to Big Springs. Grandpa Parkinson says there are not too many big fish left up there.

Did you stop to see the falls at Upper Mesa Falls? I thought it was a very beautiful place.

That is cool that you got to go on an interchange and work with a brand new greenie. I have seen photos of Elder Frye. He was in Babahoyo when a bunch of the Elders were there together. Elder Vargas has been out a while. He trained Elder Fuentamavida and an Elder Martinez. He is Elder Tyler Walke's Grandfather. But that seems kind of strange because I believe Elder Fuentamavida has gone home now, so I would have thought that Elder Vargas would have gone home before him. Maybe there were two of them and I have gotten things mixed up. Oh well.

I guess it would be okay for you to have a suit made for you by the member who is a taylor. I think several of the missionaries have done that while they have been there. I know Elder Ogden talked about his suit in some of his letters. The tie sounds really neat. I saw a photo of another elder somewhere who was wearing one like that. I was hoping you would find one along the way somewhere.

Love Always,

Hey! How are things going? I´ll see what I can do about getting a suit made. I´ll probably have to go next Monday if I want to get one made. This week, we are going to have interviews and Zone Conference. Do you have questions today for me?

I haven't written any up yet. Just tell us what you have been doing and how things are going. What is happening with each of those investigators you talked about last week?

We have been pretty busy here. I am teaching a Jew. He is from Jerusalem living here in Ecuador. He wants to get baptised. The thing that is really cool is I am teaching him in English. His name is Moshe. (That means Moses in Hebrew.) He says that he has been praying like we do to God in the name of Jesus Christ, but the problem that he is having is that his family says that if he joins the church he will be dead to them. But the real problem is that he has a daughter that is one year old. He isn´t married and he hasn´t lived with the mom, but she isn´t a Jew. But she lives the Law of Moses and she says that if he joins our church that he can´t visit his daughter and that is what is the hardest for him. The mom says that it could be dangerous for the daughter if he visits her and teaches her about Jesus Christ. Yeah, it is really hard, but he wants to progress. He wants to learn and that is what is really cool. Shirley still doesn´t have a baptism date and we still don´t have permission. Esther still isn´t baptized. We are having some problems with the Bishop there. He doesn´t want us to baptise her because of the problems that she is passing through. The Cuello family is still progressing and doing well. We are hoping for two weeks from now. Isabel didn´t want to do the interview, so they didn´t do it. That is who we have been visiting the most and helping them to be baptized.

It sounds like you are working hard. It would be a really hard thing to make a choice between the church and your family. In the end, though, you can't have your family in the next life if you don't choose the church first in this life. Is there any chance that Moshe can reconcile things with the mother of his daughter and get married? They they could all join the church and become an eternal family. It is neat that you get to teach him in English. Do you remember how to speak it anymore?

Shirley is a tough one. I hope you read the letter from Alma Clark and the "Lock Your Heart" Talk by President Spencer W. Kimball. He was a wonderful prophet. He was the prophet when I first gained my testimony. I remember him as being such a loving man. Do you think Shirley has a testimony of the church or just a love for you?

Esther will struggle for a long time with young children and no husband. It seems odd that the bishop would not want her to become part of the ward where she can get some help and assistance. Maybe their resources are already tight with the economy being like it is. Maybe he knows more of her background than what you have told me, so there may be other things that are influencing his decision. I guess we should always trust our leaders to know best and hope that they are living in a way to be inspired by the Lord to do what is best for each person.

I am glad your Cuello Family are progressing. I hope that all will work out for you in two weeks. Do you know why Isabel did not want to do the interview? Was she just scared? It might be easier for her if her daughters join at the same time as she does. How is the marriage coming along?

I know it must be frustrating to think you are going to have a baptism and then have it not work out. That has happened to you quite a few times now. Hang in there and keep trying. It will work out eventually.

Are you healthy and happy?

Why did the Zambrano family want to stop listening to your message?

Did Esther's boyfriend leave her because she started listening to the missionaries or did something else happen to drive him away?

Did you get the contact solution? How much? How much did it cost you?

I got a little. It cost a dollar and a half, but it is like 60 ml so it won´t last long, but I´ll keep looking. But if you want to send me a bottle of Aquify that would be fine. Esthers boyfriend is a member of the church. He was baptised when he was nine or ten and then became inactive. He is now 25 or 26. He left because he got another girl pregnant, so he went to live with her. And the Zambrano family stopped listening because the dad said that he was a member of another church and that he couldn´t listen to us anymore, so ya.

I will get some shipped off to you. I might send you several bottles. I will just have to see how it fits in the packages. If I have to use a box rather than the envelopes, I might as well send 4 pounds worth since it will cost the same no matter what the weight. If it will fit in an envelope I will just send one or two for now.

They used to make pills that you could dissolve in purified water that would clean the contacts. I wonder if they still make them. They would be easier to send. I will check.

That is too bad about Esther's boyfriend. It is sad that Satan gets hold of good people and makes them do stupid things. It sounds like one of the local preachers got hold of the father in the Zambrano family and fed him some anti-Mormon information.

I will keep praying for you to be successful. Keep working hard and being obedient so the Lord can inspire you and work through you. I love you so much and I am so very proud of you.

While saving your emails I noticed that your letter to President Gamboa was sent from you to you instead of to him. You might want to resend that letter again.

Ya, I knew that it was sent to me. I forgot my planner so I didn´t have our numbers for the week so I sent the email to me and we went and ate lunch and then came back and I brought my planner so that I could finish the email and send it to president. So I just sent it again.

Okay. That makes lots of sense. What else do you do on your P-days?

We usually go shopping but that is pretty easy when there is a market that sets up every Monday in front of our house, so we buy what we need in the market and then we do internet and we sleep and clean the house and that is about it.

Okay. How much extra sleep do you get on Pdays?

How are you coming on your Maestro? Have you gotten it passed off yet?

You mentioned that you have a Zone Conference. Is that this week? Where?

It depends on the week I usually get an hour extra of sleep. The Maestro is coming along and Zone Conference and interviews are this week. Thursday is interviews and Friday is Zone Conference.

Try to get a good photo of your Zone this time and send it to us. It is always nice to know what missionaries you are working with. Tell the APs to send the photo by email this time. LOL.

Maybe your Mission President can do something to help you with your Bishop to get these investigators baptized. Talk to him about that in your interview if it is appropriate.

Have a really great week and work extra hard to make up the time you will be missing for the Zone Conference. Take photos if you can at the Zone Conference. When are you going to send me some more photos? I want to see your happy, smiling face. Please?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

2009_07_06 Week 14 Valencia Mom

I got a new debit card for you in the mail. When does the one you have expire?

I will probably mail the card to you in the regular mail in an envelope. I will try to send it next week. Then I will email you the phone number to call to activate it. You can either activate it from our home phone or there is a different number to call from International locations. It is probably best not to activate it till after you receive it.


The debit card that I have expires in August of 2010, so don´t send me the other one, ok? Things are going good here. Sorry for last week. I could enter my email, but I couldn’t send anything to anyone. I didn´t send a letter to the President, either. There were a few that had this problem with their myldsmail accounts last week, so I´m sorry. How is the drive to Island Park? Tell grandma and grandpa hi for me. Email me back and let’s talk, ok?

Hi buddy. We have only made it as far as Lewiston. We got all ready then Grandma said Kavin was only ten minutes away so we waited for him and that took another 25 before he arrived and by the time they went to the restroom and we left Smithfield it was 10:20. Oh well.

Hey, how is it going? Things are good here in Ecuador. We are planning a baptism for this Saturday. It should go through ok. We aren´t planning on having any setbacks with this one. It sounds like you are going to have a fun week in Island Park this week. Make sure you visit all of the fun places and tell everybody hi for me and thank you for the birthday letters. They were great. Send me an email, so we can talk.

You are welcome. How many packages did you get? I just sent you four more for your Hump day with one set of garments in each package.

Hey, you are going to get there a little later than two if you were just leaving at ten thirty, but ya. So how is everything?

It will be good now. Dad was stressed this morning because we were a few minutes later than he wanted to be, but no biggie. When we got to Logan the CNG pumps were not working so we are already running on regular gas. We are going to check in Pocatello. We found a CNG station online. We are just not sure if it is a public station or not. Clain drove the Civic up for Michelle. We planned on leaving it in Smithfield, but had to leave it in Logan at Michelle's apartment in Logan or she would not have had enough CNG to get back to LW's.

Okay on the debit card. I was hoping that was the case. The only problem would be if you end up staying longer for some reason. I will call the bank and talk to them about what to do about this debit card.

Congratulations on the baptism. Tell me about the people getting baptized.

Her name is Isabel Coello. She is 40 years old. She really wants to get baptized. Yesterday we went on splits and Elder Castañeda took her coffee away and she is really excited to get baptised this Saturday. We are also teaching her kids, a daughter that is 14 and another daughter that is 19 with her boyfriend, so we are working on helping them to get married and the other daughter just needs to come to church one more time and she can be baptised.

That is cool. Is this one of the families you told us about earlier? How are those families and the two ladies you were teaching doing?

Who did you go on splits with?

I went with one member and Elder Castañeda with another, so that we could cover more ground.

Great. It is awesome when you can double your time and contacts by doing splits with members. Are the members helping you find a lot of people?

That’s good. I have been busy here in Valencia. I am not District Leader and I am still with Elder Castañeda so everything is good. We are working hard.

That is awesome. You will be district leader soon enough. Is Elder Castaneda wanting to work harder now?

Yeah, we are working very hard and it is paying off.

Some are doing good and others no. The Zambrano family, they don´t want to receive us anymore so they aren’t progressing and Esther is still progressing, but slowly. It is hard. Her boyfriend of 8 years left her with two little girls, one five years old and the other two years old. Last Tuesday, we went and visited her and helped her plant a garden of onions, tomatoes and peppers (they use these three in just about all of the food here), so I took along my new machete to test it out and see how it works. It works great! Just so you know, I´m gonna have to bring a few home to use.

And the other one is Shirley. She is 17 and she is in love with me. I talked to her yesterday and tried to convince her to be baptized, but she said that her mom won’t let her, but that she could be baptised when she turns 18 in November. But I told her I won’t be here in Valencia in November and she said that she won´t be here either, that she is going to Guayaquil to study in the University and that if I was in Guayaquil that she would visit me there and be baptised there. So I asked her what happens if I go to Manta and she said that she would go to Manta, so What do I do???? She is in love with Me!! What do you think?????

Sorry. I lost signal for a while. I got signal back on Clain's phone and now on mine. I don't know what you do about Shirley being in love with you. Do you love her or could you ever love her romantically? If not, don't lead her on. She needs to join the church because she has a testimony. Not because she loves you.

This family sounds wonderful. I will pray that the marriage will work out for you and the other baptisms. Do they all live together in one home?

Yes, they all live in the same house, so it is really easy to visit them and the thing that is really nice is that there is a sister from the church that lives in front of them, so before we visit them, we visit her and she sends us with her daughter to teach them. And then when we get done, we go back to her house and she always has something cooked for us to eat, usually rice and chicken or patacones or something, but there is always something. She loves to cook for us. She calls us to ask us when we are going to come, so she can cook for us. Here in Valencia, the members help us out a lot, some in different maneras, but everything helps.

That is awesome. Good members can make such a difference to the work. Clayton is having lots of success right now because the members are really doing their part to find investigators.

Keep working with Esther. Try to get the Relief Society involved with her. If she makes some friends among the members she will want to progress and feel the love and support of having that sisterhood to draw upon. Does she work?

I knew you would end up with some machetes. I just hope they let you bring them home in your suitcases. Your package has still not arrived. What day did you send it? What were the contents?

I sent a couple of ecuabags that I bought, one for Clain and two for Skyler and Stephanie and a few more sucres and my glasses. One day I was on a split with Elder Janampa and it was raining really hard and I couldn´t see anything in the rain, so I took off my glasses and put them in my shirt pocket. And we were walking and we had to pass for a place that I had to duck really low to pass and my glasses fell out of my pocket and I accidently stepped on them and scratched the lenses all up, so I sent them to you so that you could replace the lenses and send them back to me. I also sent you some candy. It is my favorite from here so far. The flavor is milk and honey. It is really good. I really hope that nothing has happened to the package. I bought the ecuabags in the Mana one day. There was a few from Otavalo that were selling their things and I bought them there. Now the family of Elder Castañeda sent me two more ecuabags from Otavalo, so now I have three, the one in the photo that you have seen and two more.

Okay. I do hope they arrive sometime. Are you wearing your contacts all the time now? How is that working? If the package hasn't arrived when we get home from this trip, I will go and order another pair of glasses for you and get them sent to you. What day did you send the package?

I think it was the 27th of May that I sent them. Right now I am wearing my contacts all of the time and it is going good. The air here in Valencia is a lot cleaner than the air in Balzar was. I just need to find some more solution, but don´t worry. I have some friends that own a pharmacy and they are going to find me some. I need to go ask them today if they have found some because I asked them last week to find some and they said it would take two or three days to find, but I keep forgetting to ask them. I am pretty sure that they have some now, so don´t worry.

That is good. I will still work on the glasses in case you end up in another place with dirty air. I am glad you are able to get solution. You might want to get several bottles if you can while you have friends with access to it.

Right now Esther is not working, but she can´t work because then she would have to pay someone to watch her girls and there goes all of the money that she would earn for the day or most of it anyways. She worked really hard when she was younger and she has a good amount of money saved in the bank and she has been living on that and her family is helping her out, too. We aren’t giving up on her yet. We are still trying. As for Shirley, I don´t know what to do. I don´t know if I could be in love with her or not, but I don´t have time to find out. I have other things that I have to do that are more important.

Good. I am glad you have your priorities in order. Make sure she has your contact info when you leave the area and she can keep in touch when you finish your mission. Have you tried to convince her mom to let her get baptized now?

Yeah, we have and we are going to try again Friday to see what happens.

Okay we will pray that the Lord will soften her heart. Maybe you could fast and pray for that to happen, too. Can you get Shirley and her mom to attend your baptism on Saturday so they can feel the spirit?

Ok. Thanks we are going to fast today, because we forgot to yesterday, but that is what we are going to fast for.

Awesome. The Lord will help you if you exercise enough faith.

Yeah I will see what I can get and let you know next week.

Okay. I can send some if you can't get it. Any luck on finding those people that returned missionary asked about?

What I did is sent them a letter through the pouch. I put that they are in the other stake and sent it. The missionaries in the other stake will know a little bit more and when they deliver the letter the letter has the email address of the return missionary, so I hope they get it. If not, I´ll start asking in the Zone Conference.

Sounds good. I will let the guy know. Thanks.

Still there? I love you. It has been good to chat with you today. I miss that a lot, just the chance to talk to you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2009_06_29 NO EMAIL

So sad! No email from Curtis this week.