Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Skype was definitely the highlight of my Christmas! It was great talking to you guys and catching up! Now we just got to wait until May to do it again! Haha crazy to think I only have one more Christmas call left ALREADY. This is going by too fast. I don't want it to go away!

For this week, I have an awesome story! So from Christmas until yesterday, not a lot had happened. A member in my ward got hit and was in an accident, but other than his car, he was fine. He's just been resting for some time, so we went over there a lot and talked with him. We also talked to members a lot. But just barely yesterday, as we were at church, some new people walked in we hadn't seen before. Naturally, me and my companion went to go talk to them. The mom greeted us and told us she finally got work off of Sundays so she could come back to church, and she is actually still a very faithful member, but get this!!! She has a niece that lives with her now, and she is 17, and her name is Estephanie. She wanted to come to church because she is very interested, so we met her at church and asked if we could go over and teach her lessons. She accepted and so we went over after church, and we had a little trouble finding the house, but my companion just had a feeling it was this one isolated house. We stayed outside that house for about 15 minutes when the Sister finally opened the door and let us in. After that we taught Estephanie her first lesson and she really enjoyed it. She most definitely wants to learn more so we have time set up to go back on Wednesday at 2. We asked her before she left if she'd be willing to get baptized, which is crazy to do after the first lesson, but she said as she learns more she definitely would want to if she felt it was right!!! It just amazes me how the Lord prepares people to receive His gospel. Absolutely amazing! :)

Oh and another thing, we got water one day. We hooked up about 20 hoses together and strung it from the fire department water source to our house. It was still a lot of work, but we filled up all of our buckets! That was two days ago. Our buckets are basically empty again. :( But hey, you got to work to relax right? Still haven't actually had any water come out of the taps in our house for 3 weeks still though. But hey, that house I told you we were looking at a while back? The Office Elders went and checked it out and told us it is likely we could be moving to that house in two weeks. Best part?? IT ALWAYS HAS WATER. We'll see how that goes! Oh and next week we are going on splits so I will be sleeping in another missionary home for a day and do work in their area so we'll see how that goes! 

Anyways, I love you guys, glad to see you are all having a good break! Remember to read your scriptures! They really are a blessing and teach you a lot! LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU ALL!

Elder Weiss

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Greetings!

Its that time of season!!!!! My dearest family, and friends....
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Boy what a day it has been for me! I am so grateful that I get the opportunity to be a missionary during the Christmas season. What a blessing it is. Let me just start off by saying thank you to all of you. You have all made such a big and inspiring impact on my life that has helped me become the person I am today. Its the season of giving, so I would like to give you all my thanks and also, I want to give you a little rundown of what has been going on in my life.
Basically life here is amazing. Its always hot, but I love it and the people are so nice. Well most of them. During the last couple of weeks members keep inviting us over to had dinner or lunch with them, which is nice considering I only have about $40 for the rest of this month for food and stuff. That right there is a blessing! Anyways, the Spanish is coming along quite nicely. Although I still struggle, it is starting to get easier. Which is great! :)
My house...... we haven't had water for the past three weeks now, so we bathe at members houses and stuff, and the water is COLD. Like straight out of the deepest part of the ocean. Freezing. I am used to it now though! Hahah but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Be grateful for what you have!! Anyways life here is great.
Anyways, the people here are easy to talk to. Hard to teach, but super friendly. Its a struggle to get into doors but I know the Lord will bless us.
So, MERRY CHRISTMAS! This day is for the Savior so remember Him as you go throughout this day. Remember what He did for us all. To you all I wish you a very Merry Christmas! I am praying for you and I love you all so very much!
Con Amor,
Elder Weiss :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 16th Emails

My area is called Hato Nuevo. It's 45 minutes outside of the main city. About 30 minutes from the MTC. There is no address for our house. It's in a big old apartment thing, so we have no clue what our address is. We get all our mail and stuff from the mission office. 

When we left the MTC we left at 4 in the morning to go to the mission home where I met my new companion. The traffic here is absolutely nuts. It's a "guess if its safe" type of deal, like in the Bahamas. Really sketchy but you get used to it. Anyways after I got my new companion we sat in a home for about 4 hours talking about life in the field. Then we left using a guagua (bus). Lucky us though, a guy in our ward is a guagua driver so we got our own seperate ride. The bad thing about guaguas is when they are public they fill them up as much as they can. Anyways, we got to our house and I met my two other housemates. One is from the DR and the other is from Guatemala. They only speak Spanish, which in turn has helped me learn a lot faster. I started unpacking that night and found out that half the time we don't have light or water. Yes we get it, but its rare. So when we have it, we fill up our buckets for the upcoming weeks and we iron all our shirts and stuff like that. Recently though we've had it every day which is nice. The water is still really cold, but I've gotten used to that.

 No I don't live by the beach, instead I am in the mountains which reminds me of Utah so I like it a lot! In fact, I still haven't seen the ocean yet. I guess that's another P-Day opportunity. So its Christmas soon and I honestly don't feel it at all. WHERE IS THE SNOW? hahaha Actually there is one part of the DR that gets snow. That's right, snow. It doesn't stick but it snows there. That's what I've heard anyways, don't know if its true or not. haha

So with the guy from the University, I have heard from him! He emailed me last week and said he is getting taught by some missionaries and has read the entire Book of Mormon. He sounds really excited and is planning on getting baptized soon. So glad I was able to be there for him, and the Lord put me in his path. As for that other family. The mom and dad want to be baptized and have to wait. The reason why is because the husband is waiting for his visa and he can't change his marital status now or he'll have to wait longer and hes already been waiting two years. However, he finds out this month if he gets it or not. If he doesn't, then they are gonna get married and get baptized. If he does get it, he will leave and the mom will get baptized. Kind of a weird situation but you just got to roll with it.

Another thing.... I play baseball all the time down here. There's a professional baseball player in my ward so we play with him a lot. Needless to say, I am officially a baseball fan. And my favorite team? Definitely the Boston Red Sox. :) Hahaha Anyways, besides that, we have been doing a lot of tracting lately. Not a lot of investigators for us right now which is a real shame, because I really want to be able to teach this gospel!!!!! So we do a lot of tracting. Scary thing..... recently I've been shaking non stop. Like I can't stop shaking. Don't know why, but it'll pass. It's probably because I have been feeling a little sick recently, but that will pass.

My Spanish is getting better slowly. As usual I've been struggling and have been getting really down on myself, but I'll get it eventually. I know with the Lord's help I will be just fine. He has prepared me for this work. :) 

There are only 4 Elders in my district, me included, and they all live in my house. And our Christmas we are going over to a families house to have a Christmas dinner. The husband is a pro baseball player. They are called the Castro's and I love them! They are so cool! I can't wait to Skype with you on Christmas!

I love you all and I have you all in my prayers. Remember, the Lord is always there with you! 

Con Amor, Elder Weiss

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dec. 9, 2013-Transferred from the MTC out into the Field

So lets just say life here is great! I've got some stories for you though!!!!!

It was a cruel awakening hitting the field. The CCM is nothing like the field at all! Crazy crazy stuff happens! I'll start with the plus side. On the plus side, I have a way cool ward! Super awesome people and they are always begging me to come eat at their house, which is awesome. Also, on Saturday, and this will sound crazy, but I had my first baptism!!!! A nine year old kid named Jason, who is a convert! Crazy story. We couldn't fill up the baptisimal font because there was no water, so the fire department came and they filled it up for us. Anyways, we baptized him and are later planning on baptising the rest of the family! They all want to be! :) So thats awesome!

 And my companion, he is just the boss!!!! What a cool guy. His name is Elder Zilm and he has 16 months, he knows the language extremely well, which is good considering I feel like I know nothing! haha and the other people in our house are way cool! They only speak Spanish though, which is also helping me learn a lot! I also got to give a priesthood blessing to one of our new investigators in Spanish last night. That was kinda crazy! But it was a good learning experience! :) 

Now for the bad: Hahahahaha so basically, I shower with a bucket and pail. and let me just say, the water is beyond freezing. It's like jumping into the snow naked. Soooo cold. Another thing.... my apartment rarely has light. So that's a downer but you get used to that. :)  Anyways, another crazy thing... haven't gotten sunburned
yet, but man it is always hot! And there is no air conditioning anywhere!! I got used to that though so no biggie. :) When we walk around people yell at us and tell us to go home, but that doesn't get me down at all! :) And I never eat like ever. I always work out in the morning and stuff, but we never have time to walk 20 minutes to get food. But I'll be fine. We are stalked up on rice.

 Anyways that is life so far! Been doing a ton of tracting and contacting and proselyting. Hopefully we'll be getting some new investigators soon! I love you and I've been praying for you! This work is amazing and I am so grateful that I can be a part of it. Love you!!

Elder Weiss

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 4-Nov. 21, 2013

You want to hear my fun story this week??? It's amazing!
So I met this guy at the University. His name is Jose, and he was a golden investigator. He came up to us and asked us about our church. He was speaking english which was nice! Anyways, he had never heard about our church, but the night before he had been praying that he would meet someone that would put him back on the right track and then he met us. Anyways, he had just stopped drinking two weeks before and had some awesome questions about our church. In the end I gave him a Book Of Mormon and he told me he could feel what I was saying was true. I gave him my email and he emailed me!!!! He already read the entire book and is meeting with missionaries and thanked me for showing him the gospel. And also, he is in my mission, so I will be able to visit with him when I get out in the field!! So excited to talk to him again! He is about 23 I believe. It's amazing to know that this gospel blesses families! I am so proud to say I am a part of that!
Other than that, not a lot happened this week! Except my spanish has skyrocketed! I learned a ton this week and its absolutely amazing! I feel the power of God in my life. It's amazing. I love you guys! I got to get to some more emails, but I'll get back to you if I can! I love you a lot and I am praying for you!
Elder Weiss :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Email from November 7th and Nov. 14th

(Elder Weiss email on Nov. 7th).  
So this week has gone by quickly. We're always studying and it seems like Spanish is getting easier and easier. We are giving fake lessons to our teachers that pose as investigators, and let me tell ya, its not easy. I understand most of what they say though, and I can get out a lot that I want to say, however, it is still very difficult. One of our teachers keeps falling asleep on me and my companion during our lesson. Super frustrating, but thats that! We just have to change our approach. :)
We got to go to the store on tuesday. It's like a walmart, but its called Serta or something like that. Anything from the US has a 40% tax and then the DR's regular tax is at 18%. So don't complain about the US tax!!!! I pay 58% tax for anything from the US. It makes it all so expensive. However, the ties here are way cool and are around 2 bucks a tie, and they're really nice. So I got a couple of those bad boys. Awwwwya. The temple last week was awesome, and we get to go again in about 30 minutes and I'm way excited. Oh, and tomorrow we get to go to the University to teach real university students about the gospel. Real people...... me and my companion's spanish will be tested tomorrow! We get two book of mormons and like a bazillion pamphlets, so we have to choose the people we think will want a Book Of Mormon. Hopefully that goes well.
It's crazy how I am already in week three here! Man, it's flying by. Oh also, I just was reminded this, its nearly impossible to send stuff down here while I'm in the MTC. Or anywhere for that matter. So I don't need any gifts for christmas, unless you want to send me a card with a couple of bucks in it. Other than that, save your time and money! The only gift I need is to hear from my family, and a strong faith in this gospel. (That was cheesy)
I SAW AN IGUANA! I got a picture too! I might send some pictures later, so be ready! Hahah But ya, Iguana's are everywhere here. It's sweet. And lizards too.
Side note, I am singing a solo in sacrament meeting sunday with the master pianist Elder Cook. It's a combination of Be Still My Soul, and Nearer My God To Thee. Its amazing and I cant wait for Sunday! And my companion and I also get to give the lesson is sunday school.
Anyways, hope life is good, and I hope you guys are continually studying in your scriptures. The Lord continually answers my prayers each and every day through the scriptures. And man oh man is this gospel awesome! I absolutely love it. Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadero y Jose Smith es una profeta verdadero. Dios es amorosso y Sus Evangelio es muy fantastico y yo se que mi familia son eternas. Love you all, praying for you guys!!!!!!!! Stay strong!!!!
Elder Weiss :)

(Emails from Nov. 14th)
My solo in sacrament was way good! Two of the quorum of the 70 were there, so that was intimidating, but they said I did an amazing job and brought the spirit better than they've felt in a long time. Made me feel super good!
There is the picture! Each of those 4 ties only cost me 2 bucks each. Also, I just got a haircut, so that is in that picture too! Anyways, I love it a lot down here.
Elder Weiss' new ties and haircut
Santo Domingo Temple on the same grounds as the MTC


The elders are way cool, and its really easy to get along with them. I'm still not a huge fan of the whole "wear pants every day" thing, but I'll get used to it. Time to time, the missionaries that are out in the field come to the CCM. They tell us its nothing like we will ever expect. Not sure if that is a good or a bad thing, but I know regardless I will love it!!! Oh, here is a cool little side note. There is an Elder here that his great uncle is President Eyring. His name is Elder Eyring, go figure. Way cool guy, and he looks like the apostle Elder Eyring too.

 I have a cool story finally, so I expect you to share this with the family!!! Prepare yourself....
My companion and I got to go to a college last friday and do some tracting. Absolutely amazing experience. We met a guy who didn't seem to interested to talk to us. He was wearing sunglasses, and never looked at us. As we started talking I felt impressed to ask him if he had ever heard about the book of mormon. For some reason, that peaked his interest. He told us that he did not know what our church was called, but he had found that book and read it with his grandma at his house. He told us he still reads it and wanted to learn more, but didn't know how. He had been praying to God to give him an answer, and then we stumbled into his life. Then my companion gave him the mission home number so that he could be taught by the real missionaries. When he got that number, he took off his sunglasses, and I could literally see his eyes light up. He got really happy and thanked us for being his answers to his prayers. It was truly amazing. And we get to go back to that college again tomorrow, so if he is there I would love to catch up with him!!
I love this gospel. Getting to study it everyday just brings more and more blessings to me. I love all the people I have met. My companion rocks, and so do all the other Elder's here. There are a lot of cool stories from these guys. Next week marks a month of me being out!! Crazy!!!!
KEEP FAITH, especially when life seems difficult. Love you guys!!!!
Elder Weiss :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Buenos Dias!!!!
I love life down here! Absolutely love it. The people are amazing, the weather is warm, and my companion and all the other elders rock. We are always laughing and having a good time! The spanish is coming along great! Oh and they do have coke at the store, which I got to buy some on tuesday when we all went to the store. So I am good with that. As for my weight, I think why I lost so much was because I was barely eating. The food always has rice and beans..... which I don't like. But now, I love them. I eat them every day, so ya-  I think it has to do with the fact that I'm not allowed to snack when I want, or the fact that I can't drink coke every second, and we get to exercise every day and the food is super healthy, so it's not a bad thing. My body was just shocked. And I haven't been losing much more.
The MTC president absolutely loves me. He heard me and Elder Cook singing and playing piano one day and now we are doing the intermediate solo hymn thing in sacrament on sunday. You can say I am nervous. Hhaha
I'm sure TJ will do great in his talk. Wish him good luck for me, and tell him he will absolutely love the MTC! It's a spiritual place 24/7. You always have it with you. Sad thing is he will probably get out of the MTC before me..... oh well... hahah.
I'll most likely have some awesome stories to share with you all next week, so be ready for the awesome Parker story telling skills. I mean, in retrospective, I rock at telling stories. Big time.
Also, the temple here: ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. It's brown marble on the outside, and the inside is amazing gorgeous. Definitely my favorite temple. I want to get married here. Too bad that isn't my decision. Anyways I got to head to the temple now. 

Elder Weiss

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hola !!!!!
Life down here is absolutely wonderful! It's feels like 110 degrees ALL THE TIME. It rained one day so we laid out in the rain. It's like a typhoon when it rains here. Absolutely crazy. There are some Haitian missionaries here right now, so I'm able to use the little French I know to talk to them. They're way cool, and one of them speaks English. I'll be sending some pictures soon. My companion is the coolest kid ever! Way down to earth guy! His name is Elder Nielsen. He's like me, pretty chill, go with the flow guy, but together we get so much done and have a good time. I have the best District (group in MTC) ever! I've never laughed so hard in my life. But we also are really good at bringing in the spirit. I've never felt the spirit so strong than last Sunday. It literally brought us all to tears, and our MTC president's wife was sitting in our class and told us that it was the biggest influence of the spirit she has ever felt in the MTC. It was amazing. I sing a lot down here. So far they've made me do three solo's during our nightly prayers. Everyone's really surprised how high I can go. My companion told me I sound like Adam Levine, which made my life complete. :)
Its good to hear you guys are having a good week! Halloween is today, so HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! I won't be celebrating sadly, but I'll be able to go to the Temple today, which is just as good. :) 

Just in case you were wondering, I currently have 56 emails waiting for me to respond to. I hate being popular. But I'll write personal messages to as many as I can! And Dad, what the heck? You were suppose to shoot a deer in honor of me!!! Curses!!! Hahaha
In case you were wondering, my P-Days are always on Thursday, which is a strange day, but that's okay. I'm not complaining. I mean sure this week has been really rough, but its manageable with this one day off. :)
As for Spanish.... It is pretty difficult. They talk so fast here. Every Saturday mi maestros make us go out and talk to people around the temple and bear our testimonies. But hey, in the fourth day here, I could bear my testimony, say a prayer, and have a decent small talk conversation all in Spanish. I know the Lord is blessing me and helping me move forward.
Food here is weird. They eat beans and rice all the time. And no, there is no coke here. BUT, this is way cool. I've lost 10 pounds already. I don't know how, but yes, I'm eating healthier. So I guess it isn't that bad!
Oh, and we never wear our suits in the MTC, except on Sundays. Other than that, its all short sleeved.

I love you guys, I'm praying for you! Put your trust in the Lord. He will always be there to guide and direct you. When your burdens make it feel impossible to stand, kneel. :)
Elder Weiss

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On October 23 2013, Elder Parker Weiss left home, family and friends to serve in the Dominican Republic  - Santo Domingo West mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Postings and pictures will be updated periodically to share his journey as he searches for souls eager to hear the gospel. A special thanks to all those who continue to support Parker throughout his life defining experience...

3 Nephi 5:13
My dearest family,
I arrived and I am doing well! It's amazing here, but super humid! Wanted to let you know that everything went fine, and I look forward on sharing my experiences with you! I have to get off and go to bed now though, so I'll write more next time!
Elder Parker Weiss