Elder Parker Thomas Alexander

Mexico, Torreon LDS Mission
June 30, 2010 - June 2012

Elder Parker Thomas Alexander
Mission Mexico Torreon
Apartado Postal 792
Coahuila, 27000 Mexico

This blog is updated weekly by Parker's family.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hello Family!

Wow! It feels like I haven't talked to you guys forever! haha, but seriously... How long ago was it? haha it does feel like it was a while ago. Well, a little update on the week's activities!

So, I told Dad how we did companionship exchanges the 23rd and 24th. That was way fun. I went with the Zone leader Elder Watson. He's heading home next week! Needless to say, he knows a bunch so I learned a TON from him. It was pretty cool. After that, was the highlight of the week! I talked to you guys!!!!! Yay!!!!! That was the best!

Ok, so after I was done talking, the member whose house we were using wanted a haircut. I bought some clippers a while back to save money and time so he had me cut his hair! That was pretty weird, but I think Tom Hardy might be having some competition in a few years! haha. Dominos pizza was way good too. It was a Dominator so it was huge! We ended up putting about more than half in the fridge and I ate it Sunday morning for breakfast! haha I love me some cold pizza!

Sunday came and guess what I had for the first time in.... well about four months... Turkey! It tasted sooooooooooo amazing! You guys don't even know how amazing turkey is! haha

That's really all that happened this week. This afternoon, we washed our clothes by hand. That was a new experience. We'll see what happens and how that all ends up! haha

This week is gonna be a good one! 6 months in the mission! and I don't want to ruin any surprises, but I'm expecting to learn a bunch this week!

Love you all!

Elder Parker

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas message to friends and family

December 20, 2010

Well, I just wanted to take some time today and wish all my friends and family members a Merry Christmas! I really hope that this is a season of togetherness with your family and a time where you can really remember our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know from experience that sometimes it's hard to keep the focus in the Christmas season on where we should be keeping the focus.

This is a pretty strange time for me... This is the first Christmas I'll have in my life without my family, without the lights of Temple Square and without the familiar "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" or Rudolph cartoons that I'm so used to watching every year, but I know that none of that material stuff and none of the hustle and bustle of Christmas is important.

Some say that the Christmases in the mission don't feel like Christmas at all, and I would agree, but really, the mission is a perfect place and time to make the most memorable Christmas one can ever have. I have tried to devote these few weeks in my personal scripture study, for just a few minutes every day, on something about Christ. I've read Luke Chapter 2 in English and then again in Spanish and It's the same story no matter what language you read it in. It's a story that really shaped history.

I love in the Ensign this December, the First Presidency message. We really do need to remember to look for the things in life, and especially in the Christmas season, on the things that matter most, like our Savoir. I know it's something hard to do sometimes, but I also know that Jesus is the Christ and his birth was one of the most important things in the history of this world, as was his resurrection. Those two days have made it possible for all of the people in the world, all of our brothers and sisters, to have eternal life together with their families. As a missionary, it's my job to testify of these things to the people of Mexico. As your friend, brother, nephew,
or son, I testify to you personally because I know how important it is, that Jesus Christ was born to Mary in that manger so that we all can return to him one day. That is the most important thing in my life.

I want you to have a merry and a fun Christmas this year! Enjoy yourself. Make hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols! Give gifts! Drink Egg nog! Do everything you normaly do, but this Christmas, remember the Christ child in the manger. Remember his love for us. He does love us. Most of all, if you can, spend this Christmas with your loved ones and family. That's really where it's all at.

Have a very Merry Christmas and God bless you!

Elder Parker Alexander

Nuestra zona de fiesta de Navidad!

"Jesús en pesebre"

Elders Young, Lambert and Alexander - Zone Compadres

Crazy Elders - December 2010

Merry Christmas from Elders Lopez and Alexander
Mighty Action Heroes...or Stripling Warriors?

Happy Christmas - December 20, 2010

Hello, my family!

I hope everyone has had a great week! It sounds like from all the letters, it was a good and quick one! It was a way crazy one for me! First off, how lucky is Nate to go to Disneyland in Christmastime! That really has got to be one of the coolest things ever! Definitely, I have another thing to add to that bucket list I'm going to have to start now! haha Really, that was just too cool to see all your pics and stuff!

I'm way happy you all got the package. Some of that stuff is yours to guard for me until I get back... Yeah, that Ski Utah shirt is gonna be my prized posession in about 18 months! haha It makes me happy that you all got it and I'm glad you're happy with what you got. It wasn't much, but it was sent with love. I know that sounds all mushy and stuff, but it́s true! haha And don't think becaue I sent that whole testimony stuff that I'm all serious now, because I'm not! hahah I'm still just a goofy guy. My testimony's just the only thing that I really have to share!

Ok so this week was pretty nuts....I had my second zone conference in the mission and it was way cool. Basically what they are is that we learn how we can improve as the Lord's representatives and it's way cool. I don't know if you remember, or if I told you about the last one, but I had to share a spiritual thought in it, and guess what.... My zone leaders called me that morning and asked me to share another one! hahah so I shared in 1 Nephi when Nephi gives his perspective on everything that had happened in verses 1 and 2 and then Laman and Lemuel share their point of view and the difference a positive perspective can make on our progression in life. I thought it was pretty cool.. and after the zone conference, we had the famous Christmas dinner in the mission! I had hopes of like this way cool fancy dinner, but we got some pasta, a drumstick, and mashed potatoes and a few rolls. I thought of how the sisters of the stake sacrificed their time and talents to provide for us. It was actually a really cool meal. We even got little stockings filled with Christmas goodies! Oh, and I actually sang something in front of someone again! It was sweet! We sang away in a manger in Español and English! COOL!!!

Anyway, that was Thursday, Friday I had a leadership training from 9 until 4 which was good! I learned even more that I need to learn even more! haha It was good fun though.... and guess what... President Clark asked me to give another spiritual thought! haha So this time, I shared 1 Nephi 3:15 and 4:1, which is basically just Nephi bearing his testimony to his brothers and showing the dedication he had to complete the mission no matter what. It was way cool, I thought.

Anyway, that was about it for this week and next Saturday is....CHRISTMAS!!!! Cooool! I'm so stoked! ... And that's about it for this letter so....


Lov you!

Elder Parker Alexander

Christmastime - December 13, 2010

Hola and Feliz Navidad!

I hope all is well with you because I am sure doing great here right now! I had a pretty sweet week this week!

It was actually probably the fastest week in the mission so far! I am not lying when I say that because, wow! Didn't I just write you all yesterday? I could have sworn that I had... anyway, I am happy and heathy and ready to talk to you all NEXT SATURDAY! Isn't that nuts? I've been in the mission close to 6 months now! Nuts! Ok so here goes this week in a nutshell!

Wednesday was pretty sweet to start off with something of note. We did companionship exchanges again with some Elders in my district and we worked our tails off. It was kind of lame, but we contacted a ton of people and it was a fun day. I got to know another Elder in the district pretty well. His name's Elder Limon and he's from puebla, Mexico. It was pretty sweet and I learned a lot! He uses a ton of scriptures when he teaches; all from memory. That is definitely what I need to try and do. It was definitely a sweet day.

Friday was the Ward Christmas Party! It was pretty fun and there were investigators there who probably haven't gone to church in forever and a few actually went to church on Sunday and partook of the sacrament and everything! It was pretty darn cool! It was fun though. There were a few of us who sang and then a cute little primary program thing that just made me grin! haha There are the same cute little primary kids all over the world. :D It was wayyyyy fun! But the only bad part was that we had to go home before the food was served to be home on time. haha It was was sweet though! I grately enjoyed it!

Oh, and I think next Monday we're going to try and make some Scotcheroos, but I
don't know if there are butterscotch morsels here. I'll look! I sure hope so! Oh mom, tell me what talk you're going to study each week and I'm going to study one every Sunday morning before church. It would be way cool to study the same one each week!

Love you all soooooo much!

Elder Parker Alexander

Christmastime in Durango

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Pics from Durango!

Two words:

Viva U. S. A.

Companieros - Me with Elder Lopez

December 9, 2010


Okay, so I've got to start out this letter by telling you all I love you bunches!!!!

So, I got the packages this week! That's right, both of them! I opened them up at the same time and you guys dominate! Everything in them is perfect and it feels like Christmas in the house now with our little tree! haha. Really, I cańt tell you how much everything in those packages mean to me. Especially those messages from you guys in that CD. Ím going to keep that CD for forever and a day because it means a bunch! Not gonna lie, I did get choked up a bit when I listened to it and yeah... I'm turning into you, mom,or even grandpa. I'm all sentimental and stuff! haha It's weird how things change, eh? I'm a big softie just like my grandpa! haha And tell him thanks for that great message!

Ok, so other than that, this week was pretty crazy. Elder Lambert's companion had changes so he's a lot happier right now! His new companion is the Elder who trained Elder Beltran how to be a zone Leader so he's way sweet. He's a hard worker and a great guy. But this week... wow full of stories! Elder Lopez and I got sick Tuesday so we didn't do much of anything that day except study. Wednesday was completely normal and then Thursday, we got up to find that we had no gas! Crazy stuff! Anyway, so what happened was that every Thursday we plan, so we leave the house later than usual. So we studied as usual and at about 10, I braved the frigidness that was the shower! That is not a thing I would suggest to anyone ever! Ha! It was great though and really refreshing and took my breath away! haha

So that was Thursday. Fun stuff, really. Friday was actually one of the longest days of the mission so far for me. I went 3 and a half hours to another city to give a district meeting thing to the elders in that area. It was quite the adventure! The craziest part is that I went alone! That's right! Alone! What happened is that it's kind of expensive so Elder Lopez couldn't go and so he said goodbye to me in the morning at about 7:30 and went with Elder Lambert and his comp. I boarded the bus and off I went. Luckily, I borrowed an iPod with General Conference in it so I listened to conference for three and a half hours on the way up, worked with the elders over there and came back for three and a half hours! Crazy eh? I got back at 7:30 and Elder Lopez was just there waiting for me! Yay! haha He's fun. Wéve become good friends.

Saturday was a special day! And not just because we got ready for Sunday! We had a car wash with all the elders and hermanas in the zone and did that for about 3 hours to give service and to teach the people who brought us their cars. It was fun! And the best part, I got my packages! Thanks again! You all know me too well with that Bazinga t-shirt! It made my day! Anyway, I'm going to send a package home to you guys this week if I have time, with some goodies for you guys and some things I've collected so far in the mission! Also, there's going to be some letters that you'll need to distribute to some hightly important people like the grandparents, Enos,the Bish and Sandy and a few select more. I just hope it gets there before wicky time!

Anyway, that's about it for me! THANKS for everything again! I got the best family ever! Love you all and until next week,

Elder Alexander

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Ok, so I've got to say that Thanksgiving was weird in a foreign country. It was a pretty fun day though and we worked hard. Only one member lady knew that it was Thanksgiving. They just call it the day of thanks here because there isn't really a translation for Thanksgiving. It was cool though. Sadly though, I did not have anything that even resembled Turkey. Instead, I had more cow udders. I've gotta say, guys. I'm going to eat everything when I get home no matter what it is. Ha! I'm even eating fruits and things regularly. As for the weather here, it's nice. It gets up to about 75 or 80 still in the day, but it gets way cold at night! It's been fun though. I am definitely eating good food and I'm enjoying that a lot!

Other than Thanksgiving, let's go through the week. So first off, Elder Lambert is here and happy! He has a really tough companion, but his Spanish is way good and I know he's going to be a good leader in the mission. It was funny. We have District Meetings every week with the zone and afterward we were talking (in Spanish because we are in the company of people who don't understand English) and he just stopped and said he had to talk in English with me because he had a bunch of questions for me about everything he's supposed to be doing. It was kind of weird because I realized I didn't know what I was doing either. haha. Anyway, we talked for a little bit and he seems to be doing really well and enjoying Mexico and everything. Speaking of district meetings, it was weird. My zone has a bunch of goofs in it and it's tough to get stuff done, so we had to talk to the districts about the importance of our calling and important stuff like that. It was strange to tell people what they need to be doing because really, I need to work just as hard as anyone else and more to be worthy of my calling and the priesthood. I do love how much I've learned these few weeks about myself, about who I want to become these two years, and who the Lord needs me to be. I have so much room for improvement, but I promise I'm trying to do my best. I have definitely felt the Lord lift me up in my times of need and my support always comes from your letters, talks, or scriptures. Thanks so much for all your support!

Alright, so moving on with the week: Oh, mom, you're gonna love this! There is a guy in my ward who looks like.... Johnny Depp! And when I say looks like, I mean he acts like him too! At least in the interviews I've seen! Fun, eh?

So, last night we went to a member's house and guess what we did! We wrote letters to Santa! So you all don't even need to worry about me because Santa will find me and it'll be alright! Sweet, eh?

Anyway, lots of love,

Elder Alexander

November 22, 2010

Hey guys! How are you all? I hope amazing because I'm feeling pretty good! It is a little weird right now to not be home for Thanksgiving because people here don't really know about it. haha. It is fun though. Christmas is beginning here and it's like 70 degrees or something. Crazy, eh? Anyway, it is pretty fun here. Elder Lopez is pretty cool and we're working pretty well together. We really don't have any problems because we just keep going and WE work. He's really funny and a little crazy which
really is ok because hey, I'm a little bit nuts too.

So this week on the 20th was the centenial of the revolution of Mexico which was cool. There were fireworks going on, special speeches, stuff like that. It was cool. (Oh and by the way, people really don't celebrate cinco de mayo. Half of them don't even know what happened then. I guess it was a battle of some sort. Who knows?) So that was cool and also, I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders this week to learn a little bit more of how to teach better, contact better, and really just do everything better. It was actually pretty cool. I went with Elder Watson for 24 ours in his area
to work with him and Elder Quintana went to my area to work with Elder Lopez. It was fun and I did learn a lot. I learned that I need to work hard because I don't know very much! haha It was good though and we taught some amazing lessons with the Spirit and I can't even tell you how cool it is to just bare testimony of the Gospel and help people to resolve doubts or problems they have.

Ok, so I have to tell you the crazy thing I ate and there really isn't a nice way of going around it so..... I ate bull testicles.... Gross, eh? I don't really want to go into detail, but yeah, they didn't taste too bad and really it was just meat, but still.... yeah.....nuts, eh? We were with a family and yeah, they served it to us in a stew type thing. Can you believe it, we're outside burning with heat and they have stew and soup at every meal. haha.

Anyway, that's about it other than the fact that Nate has a beard!!!!! I definitely need to see some pics of that because I'm just not picturing it or believing it right now!!!! Crazy!!! I would love to be doing that charity thing too, but guess what.... I shave every day! haha It's actually getting to the point where I really need to because my neck and chin look bad in the mornings. Oh, and some other news, Elder Lambert's coming to my zone!!!!!!!! I'm stoked to see him and even though he only got here like 3 weeks ago, he's senior companion! How sweet is that? He's gonna dominate and it's gonna be fun to have him here!

Ok so really, this is the last thing... maybe. I feel old because this week I bought an Iron. Crazy! My comp's Iron wasn't working so I bought a nice $20 Iron to smoothe out those wrinkles. I feel like an old man. Oh and hey, just have a few requests of you.... I need the picture of me, mom, and Nate the day I reported to the MTC because I printed out the one mom sent and the resolution is really bad so if you could e-mail another one, that would be sweet. Also, there's a picture of Joseph Smith that I love and I found out who painted it and what it's called. It's "American Prophet" by Del Parson.... If you could encounter that somewhere and send it to me that would be awesome. Also, there's this picture of Jesus where he's smiling with his teeth and everything and I don't know what it's called. It looks like the normal one the church uses, but hes smiling and I would relly love to have that too. Also, I want to send a package of stuff home for you all, but I lack the funds here to do so, so if you could put some money in my account just so I can do that, that would rock!

Love you all sooooooo much and here's a little Spanish:

Mi familia: les amo bastante porque soy un miembro de la Iglesia verdadera por ustedes. Muchas gracias por sus ejemplos y la vida que yo tengo. les amo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Durango, Durango

November 15, 2010

Well, my awesome family, I’m still alive as a district leader. haha

I’m doing pretty good, though. This area is way sweet and fun. There are some waaaay cool members. There’s this one guy who reminds me a lot of Enos so we hit it off right off the bat. The members here are actually pretty darn rich compared to everyone in Industrial. My Christmas is gonna rock so don’t even worry. We’ll be with an awesome family for Christmas and their house is the most American one I’ve seen here. Really, Durango is a lot more American in general. I went to Walmart today and I just died I was so happy! Haha. It was fun. I am pretty sure that Wikipedia lies because it’s not about 40% Caucasian.... there are a lot of really white Mexicans here though. Maybe they count that as Caucasian. Haha, it’s cool though. I think next Monday we're either going to McDonald’s or Burger King to eat because I haven't had a fast food burger in more than 4 months and I'm cravin a big Mac or a Whopper! There really is a bunch of cool stuff here though and our house.... dominates! Ok so I'd rather live in the cabin than my new house because it’s nicer there, definitely, but it’s cool. We actually have tile and a hot shower (sometimes). It’s cool though and really upper middle class here and rent’s like 100 bucks. It’s great!

Ok so a little bit about my comp. He’s a convert of 3 years and he’s really energetic and he pretty much bounces off the walls. It’s actually pretty fun. He’s a huge people person and so he likes to contact and stuff which is cool. He's from Coulican or something like that. I don't know how to spell it. ... Anyway, we're just going to keep on working hard and get baptizing!

District leader stuff really isn't that difficult. Once a week I have to give a training thing to my district and really I learned more last week than them.... ummm.... other than that, really all I do is call them every night to check up on them and then call the zone leaders to give them a report on the day’s activities. It’s lovely. haha. Really the only thing is that if the numbers in my district are low, I have to get on them and tell them to work harder. That means that I have to be working way hard too. That’s all. It’s cool though. Elder Lopez said something pretty cool: that I now have the right to receive revelation for my district to help them along.... pretty cool. I just gotta stay worthy to receive it!

That’s about it! I'm happy... And that’s really all, but wait... there’s more.... I guess with the us postal service, you can send me candy!!!!! not food, but candy!!! real American sour patch kids or something like that!!!!

Love you all!

Elder Alexander

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010

"Crazy Times "

Hey my family! I hope you know right now how much I love you all! So, as the subject of this wonderful weekly e-mail states, there are some crazy times happening in the mission for me right now, but you’re going to have to make it through all the letter before you get to the good stuff, alright? Or just skip to the end.... either way.

First off, thanks for the e-mails this week and thanks for sending that package! You guys are good! So cool about Blakey and Elder Lambert! I haven’t seen elder Lambert or anything, but I’m sure he’s safe and sound. His trainer’s an American and he’s in Torreon. That’s all I know. haha

I’m doing good though. I was talking to one of my zone leaders the other day, Elder Welch, and guess what? He went to Weber for two years before the mish and loves it! How cool is that? I guess his grandpa was a professor of chemistry there and department head or something like that and he knows Preston really well too because he’s from North Ogden. He has 11 months in the mission right now so he’ll be back spring semester 2012. Cool stuff! I’ll get to hang out with him after and maybe take some Spanish classes with him or something.

Ok so now comes the craziness. I got a call last night at about 9:30 that I had changes, so guess what... I’m no longer in Gomez Placio. I’m in Durango, Mexico. Isn’t that crazy? I was up until about midnight packing all my things and yeah, it’s pretty nuts. It’s weird that I’m a 2 and a half hour bus ride away from Alicia and everyone in that ward. Nuts. Anyway, that’s not all the news. The other part is that I was made district leader and senior companion of an Elder who’s been here for 6 months. Can you believe it? I really do not know what I’m doing right now and not gonna lie, I have felt kind of scared at times since last night and I didn’t sleep, but I feel ok... The Lord has called me here to do this so I know I can. I’m going to work hard and I know the Lord has something he wants to teach me here. It’s like Nephi: I will go and do. I won’t try and die. haha. It really is pretty nuts though here and wow... It’s a big responsibility, but a big chance to serve. I’m going to be needing prayers and maybe some Rogaine for the hair I’m about to lose. haha I know I’m here for something, though... I just gotta figure out what it is and work my guts out.

Love you all tons and thanks for your support, I really mean it. I love you all and I will forever.

Elder Alexander

Pics of Durango, Mexico - Listed as "Victoria de Durango" on the map

The City of Durango, Mexico

Note from Cami: I found some interesting facts about the City of Durango.

From a travel blog:
One thing Durango has that Mexico City or Tequila or Lagos de Moreno or the Costalegre don’t have is a golden history as the place where many beloved movies have been shot over the course of the past 100 or so years. There’s even a Museo de Cine in town.

For obvious geographical reasons, many of those movies were westerns–John Wayne was here so often he eventually bought a local ranch which was ultimately turned into a movie set. The western main street (saloon, post office, jail, etc) that served as the set for many famous western movies is now an attraction called Villa del Oeste which. For 30 pesos per person, including bus transportation from downtown, you get a blessedly tongue-in-cheek “re-enactment” of western scenes played out on the dusty main street, plus plenty of beer, snacks and food. It’s cheesy but also strangely enjoyable and we ended up surprising ourselves by being really glad we came.

From a letter to Parker after sharing the facts above:
Well son, you know how much I love John Wayne, so you must be in good country, eh? This is the place where Chisum and The Sons of Katie Elder were filmed. Both incredibly good John Wayne movies....

It also well know for it's extreme sports: kayaking, mountain biking, rapelling and free climbing...because of the big, beautiful gorges..

Wikipedia says that 45 - 50% of the population is Caucasian. Is that true?

They have a Sam's Club and a Walmart there, plus a Subway and Applebees. Woo hoo.!

Another interesting note:
There are four meeting houses in Durango and eight wards.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

4 Months!

My Family!

I really cannot believe the speed in which time is flying by for me! I have no idea if it's passing as quickly for you all, but I hope so. It really has been so cool to be in the service of the Lord for the past months and I really cannot imagine what I would be doing right now if I hadn't chosen to serve for these two years. It's just crazy to me. It has been a crazy few months, but I'm doing my best to enjoy every minute of it because that's what I need to be doing! And thanks this week for the Happy halloween wishes. You know how much I love that holiday.(Parker was only kidding...) It's not nearly as big here though so it's alright. Tomorrow's the Day of the Dead so that's going to be a fun time had by all I think. It's just a lot more drunks. haha

This week was pretty nuts though. I got a big taste of Mexican culture becaused it was the Day of Saint Judas on Thursday and there were huge bits of idol worship going on. It was fun. There were worship dances going on in every corner and it was not the best day to have appointments because everyone was there. haha I did have some saint-blessed food though that one of the members was given. It was way good! By the way, I had more prickly pear this week and did not enjoy it. It was nuts though. It's a huge tradition here and people start dancing at like 3 years old sometimes and do it until they can't anymore. It's mostly young people in their teens or twenties though. Crazy stuff.

More news on Alicia, too. She and her fam are heading to Zacatecas because she wants to live in a more peaceful environment. Her heart's not doing too well still and it'll be less stressful down there. Also, her husband's going to be looking for a job down there. We did start teaching a 16 year old this week. ...He really is cool though. He's really independent and wants to change his life around. I think he'll get baptized!

That's really all that's happened this week. It wasn't too exciting. A little bit of sweat and tiredness, but other than that, good stuff!

Love you all sooooo much!

Elder Alexander

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My 2nd companion, Elder Nava.
My new teddy bear
my fam sent me.

This is a cute little 8 year old girl I was able to baptize.
"Week of Changes”

My dearest family members!

What a week! It was just a little bit crazy. As I told you all, Elder Nava had changes again after 1 week with me which yeah is a little nuts. My new comp’s name is Elder Guardia and he’s a hard worker so I’ve come home tired each night this week and just crashed. It’s a good thing! He’s pretty cool though. He’s from the Mexico City area and he’s the only fully active person in his family which is cool. He’s only out 6 months in the mission which is crazy, but he knows what he’s doing.

Ok so that package dominated! Thanks so much for sending it! The Teddy Bear has a name now and of course it’s Waldo! It́s just sitting on my bed next to the Goofy pillow and all is well. The CDs are great too. I’ve listened to a bunch of them and I’m digging them! Thanks a bunch! The Book Bag is perfect too and especially thanks for the letters! I’m going to keep them forever and always! I was especially happy to get the news about Frank having arthritis! Thank you for that amazing news... haha it’s alright though. That just means he’s not going to be running away while I’m gone. I hope he’s feeling alright with the pills he’s on now though. I love my doggies! And make sure you tell grandma and grandpa thanks for their letters! I sure love those two bunches and I’m going to keep their letters in my binder forever! Aww precious! haha It really means a lot to me though. So I bought a sweet coat and sweater last week! Thanks for that! And they dominate!

Some news on Alicia too. She’s moving! She’ll be heading out in about two weeks to get away from the crazy life in Gomez and her husband needs to find work there so they should be alright!

That’s pretty sweet of Elder Layland calling! He told me he would, but I thought he’d forget or something. He’s hilarious. Don’t believe him about the Spanish though. It’s a lie! haha I’m trying to my best, but it’s still a big struggle to talk and understand and all that. He’s way cool though and I hope he makes a great choice with coming to Weber. Did you tell Fran and Andy that I’m still recruiting? I hope so, Maybe I’ll get a bonus or something when I get back. hah

So news on food this week... I had prickly pear and i hated it! haha I hope I never have to eat that again! I do have news though... I like tomatoes and avocados now. Is that insane? I think so. I actually elected to put some on my hamburger the other day! haha

Cool story! I baptized the cutest 8 year old yesterday! She’s just the cutest thing ever! It doesn’t officially count as a baptism because she’s not a convert, but it’s still way sweet and it got me excited for that day like 30 years from now or so that I’ll baptize my little kid! It was a cool one!

Anyway, love you all! Take care and tell Tate welcome home from me!

Elder Alexander

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hasta luego mi companero...mi amigo!

Friends for life!

amigos de toda la vida !

October 18, 2010

Hey Guys!

It’s another fabulous day in
Mexico and I am feeling great!

Ok so let’s get started with this week, eh? First off, that’s sooo cool about New Orleans and I hope you are just having a blast! I still really want to go there someday. It seems like I always get the short end of the shaft as far as vacations are concerned... wait.... I’m in Mexico! Haha It’s not really a vacation though. I have never studied, walked, or worked so much in my entire life! I’m still having a blast though!!!!

Ok, so this week has been very strange! hah So, Elder Nava is extremely quiet and doesn’t really talk to me which is kind of sad. I’ve had a little bit of a hard time with that, but not too bad. It’s just a little weird to not be with Elder Beltran. We really became great friends in our weeks together. He’ll be a friend for life, I’m sure. He wants to visit and work in Utah for about 6 months after he gets back from the mission so we’ll have to take him to the cabin or something! haha So back to Elder Nava, he also got sick this week really bad... (he has some health problems) We stayed in one day so he could rest and I studied. I love studying so much now! haha It’s just a great time to learn more about the scriptures and the Lord and I’ve learned a ton since getting here! It’s been great!

Elder Nava is starting to open up to me, but we got some news Saturday that he’s going to have special changes tomorrow which means I’ll be getting another, different companion! Isn’t that crazy? Now I’m going to have to get used to someone else now, too and my mom’s going to leave me! haha

All is well with me, though. I’m trying to get like a binder of all sorts of stuff spiritual and/or the mission so I can look at it and go, ̈ahhhh” or something like that; all sentimental and stuff.

And I tried a Mexican hamburger yesterday.... They don’t really know how to do stuff like that here. haha

Love you all, bye!

Elder Alexander

My First Zone

Monday, October 11, 2010

Some Web Pics of Gomez Palacio, Durango Mexico

October 11th - My New Assignment

Hey, I'm back online! I have my new comp and he's another Mexican. His name is Elder Nava and I can't remember exactly where he said he's from, but oh well! haha He seems pretty cool, but it's still the kind of awkward quiet moments so far. He says he doesn't understand any English which means this change is gonna be fun! We did get some news though about our area. We just about tripled our area size. It was nice and small before, but now we have another ward that's way big! It's pretty exciting though. It's time to really just work hard and trust in the Lord because that's the only way I can do this. I have a really good feeling in my heart right now though and I'm excited for whatever's coming my way in the next 6 weeks. We're just going to work hard!

Ok so I did forget to tell you something this morning. Alicia is not doing good again. We thought everything was well and she was doing better, but Monday night we called her again and she's not got much time I guess. It's kind of scary. We're just going to concentrate on teaching her family the plan of salvation to them and everything really well and help them to
know that all will be well, whatever happens. I have a crazy strong testimony of that after Derek's death and all that happened after that. It was pretty sad though. Elder Beltran wanted to go visit her this morning before he left to tell her goodbye, we went, he told her, and she started to cry pretty hard. It was a tough thing and I know it'll be that tough when I
leave too. I'm loving this ward and

October 11, 2010

My dearest fambily!

How are you all this week? I hope just dandy!!! I have some crazy news. Elder Beltran has officially left me. He boarded a bus this morning for Fresnillo and I'm going to hang out with another elder until our change meeting where I'll get my mom! (Second companion) I've got about two hours and then all the waiting will be over! haha!

Ok, well here's this week in a nutshell.... Sick! haha I'm feeling great now though so don't even worry about me. I'll now recount the grand story:

Ok, so it started out as a normal week. Business as usual. On Tuesday though, we had interviews with President Clark. That was a pretty neat experience. The whole thing was in S
panish, which I guess is unique because every North American has their interviews in English. I guess I'm just weird like that or something! It was way cool to talk to President though. He's a good, good man! Wednesday, though, something cool happened. I went on divisions with Elder Layland because he's going home today and he wanted to spend some time with Elders in the zone, so I went to his area Wednesday morning with my stuff and spent the night over there. That was way cool! He really loves this place and we were just talking about the mission and some experiences he's had and stuff like that. It was way fun and cool. The bad thing is though.... I ate waaaaay to much fooood! It was all pork soup or something like that. I didn't really know, but the sister put more in front of me so I had to eat it. Anyway, Thursday comes along and I was sicker than I have ever been in my life! Not a fun experience!

We didn't leave the house after I returned with Elder Beltran and I was either in bed or the bathroom all day. No bueno! Friday I was feeling pretty ok though, but we still didn't want to risk being far away from home base so we just stuck around the house. I tried really hard to look on the bright side of things though and I realized something in my frenzied sick state! haha. I was just hoping it wasn't something horribly wrong that would make me go home or anything because I realized I have no clue what I would be doing and it really scared me! haha I really am starting to just love this place so much that I have no idea what it would be like to be home! I don't want to see you all for about 21 more months! haha, but I promise you that when I see you all again, it will be one of the happiest moments of my life! Oh... and I've lost 6 pounds this week from being sick. haha

Other than that though, things are way good. It is a bit weird to be without Elder Beltran though and not knowing who my next comp's going to be. I don't really know Spanish nor my area still, so it's going to be an adventure. I'm going to have to learn a lot the next week or so and I know the Lord will be there every step of the way! I'm loving life and healthy now! I just gotta eat food and pump some iron! haha

Oh, and guess what! There are black and white cookies here and they are amazing! Different, but amazing.

Love you all so much,
Elder Alexander

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010

Hey Familia!

Well good news! I officially signed my VISA down here so I’m kind of a Mexican now! Isn’t that way cool? I sure think so! It was fun because the 7 of us who came to Mexico together on the 30th all went down and signed and all that good stuff so we all shared stories and everything of the first month in Mexico! That was way fun to talk to my generation of Torreon Missionaries and my buddies from the MTC.

I can’t believe I’ve been in Mexico for more than a month now! I’m telling you all that time is passing by like crazy! If the next 20 months or so pass by this quick, I’m going to be back home in a blink of an eye. It literally seems like I got here maybe a week ago tops and I only have a week left in this transfer!

So there hasn’t really been that much going on this week. No cool new food, but we did eat at a place today that’s like Rodizio Grill that was really good! We ate there I guess because there are a bunch of elders going home this week and it’s a tradition or something. It was way good! It was fun to see the Elders heading out and talk to them. They’re great Elders. One of them is my grandpa (in the mission) I got a good pic I’ll send your way.

Other than that, the only cool thing this week was conference. We were able to head to all the sessions in the Stake Center and watch in Spanish... Very weird, but actually pretty cool. I have a testimony now more than ever of the gift of tongues. It’s real and it’s crazy cool! I was able to understand and take notes in conference! I did not think that I would understand anything, but I had a constant prayer in my heart and WOW....Our God is a God of miracles! I’ll testify to that until I die! Mom, I did sing I am a child of God, but the words were up in English so I was sure to sing “with parents kind of dear!” Haha it was awesome to sing that! And if I had any questions, I sat next to Elder Layland, so he helped me understand what I had questions with! It was cool! I’ve gotten more out of this Conference than ever before! It was a little weird not just being in my jammies for it, but I think it’s better to actually be alert! Haha!

This week was a good one and Alicia is doing a lot better! We’re actually going to bathe her dog Lucho today for an act of service! Oh and funny story, Lucho had 2 kids and they named them Alexis and Beltran! Haha. Alexis is a girl there so no jokes! Hah.

Love you all, and the Church is true!

Elder Alexander

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Zone Leaders

Elders Perez and Layland
Elder Layland goes home in two weeks. He's been a great help to me through this month!

Baptisms of Francisco and Juan

(on my immediate right)
is Alicia's husband.
Elder Beltran baptized Juan
(on his left)
on the same day.
Two great men who overcame many challenges to become members of the
Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints.

September 26, 2010

September 27, 2010

My Family!

How are you all this fine week? I hope all is well and thank you so much for those great pictures! I was actually going to ask for some of the day I reported! ¡Gracias! And that picture of my baby, Sherri, I almost cried! Not really, but thanks for that! I just saved it in my memory card, which is being well used so you will all be happy in 21 short months! Haha!

Anyway so this week has been nuts again, but first, let’s talk about some sweet stuff! I just started a study journal legitimately last Tuesday. I started over in 1 Nephi to have a complete journal of my thoughts and what not. It’s been crazy cool! I have never gotten so much out of reading first Nephi! It’s way sweet! And so true! Oh, and we have been having more rain this week which is crazy. We had to stay in a few hours late again a few days ago so we had some more study time! That was great! I honestly think studying the scriptures is my favorite thing in my days. Maybe not my favorite because there are soooo many cool things about being a missionary and being in Mexico!

I’ve decided something... I love Utah so much! We were contacting the other day and we ran into this lady in the park, started talking and everything and she asked if we were from Provo.... Random, eh? Anyway, we started to talk about Utah and Deer Valley and the Salt Lake Temple and all sorts of stuff. I guess she has a granddaughter who was married there and she was sad because she couldn’t go see it, but we talked about the temple some more and she invited us over to talk more about Utah because she loves it so much! Haha it made me so happy because I really do love my home!!!!

Oh so another cool thing: I’ve started a binder of conference talks and letters from you guys and stuff like that so if there are any Conference talks or anything you’d like to send that you think will push me along, please send the names or something and I can print them off or something like that!

Ok so ready for the crazy stuff? We have to do kind of a review of the baptismal interview questions before the actual thing and if they have problems with the forth question, we have to take them to have an interview with the Mission President. But on Saturday, he (Juan) had an interview with President Clark and passed! He’s a fully repentant man and way cool!

Anyway, more craziness! Remember Alicia? well, as soon as we get done with Juańs interview, her daughter calls us and she was in the hospital for some heart issues. Nuts! We were going crazy and booked it over to the Red Cross building. We were there with her for about two hours and then all seemed well so we all left together. It was all good. And then Sunday came and we were getting ready to pick her up for her confirmation and found out she went again to the hospital! Her hearts not doing so well so we were thinking she wouldn’t go to church yesterday because of it, but she wouldn’t miss her confirmation! She’s a great lady and has an incredible spirit! She says she has to live at least one more year so she can be sealed in the temple with her family! SOOOOO COOL!

I loooooove my family SOOOOOO much! Thanks for your prayers and for letting me be here! Love you!

Elder P.T.A.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Hermano Beltrán

Alicia's Baptism

is the
mother of
(to her right)
that I
baptized my
first week
in Torreon.

Alicia and Francisico

Alicia (Left/Front) calls me and my companion mi hijos. (My sons)
Her husband, Fransico (Right/Front) will be baptized this weekend.

Week 3 - Good Stuff!

So first off, it was Elder Beltran's birthday last Monday, so of course we celebrated! We went to a member family's house and had mole and pastel. Mole's great and pastel's cake. Haha. It was fun and way good!

...So I've been here for three weeks, right? Our zone leader comes up to me two minutes before it started and asked me to have a spiritual thought ready for the beginning of the conference and , of course, it needed to be in Spanish! Haha. It all worked out though. I shared Alma 5:7-12. Good stuff about changing your heart and that really is what the mission is all about: helping others change their hearts and having your own change of heart in the process. I'm loving these people and this mission!

Alright so now the fun begins with Francisco and Alicia. They're so cool! Alicia kind of reminds me of a mix between Grandma Blau and Mom. Basically hilarious! Haha. She always calls me Elder or Hermano Alexis. I don't know why, but it's cool. She loves us too. SheIs the mom of the girl I baptized my first week and we got them married this Friday so they could be baptized too! Cool Stuff! I'll send some pictures (by the way, you can send me attachments and I would greatly appreciate some pics). It's kosher, I promise! That was way fun, but lasted for like four hours on Friday and they needed witnesses so the other companionship in our district came along. After we were done with that, Alicia invited us all overt for some food at 3. Guess what! We had a food appointment at 2 as well so we just went to both! HAHA! I have been eating a bunch of food... This week, I had liver and onion tacos... don't think I’ll try that one again if i can help it. Anyway, two comidas in a row. Good stuff, and of course, we taught a little lesson to them so it wasńt just all food, food, food.

Alicia is so awesome though, guys. This family has nothing and their greatest dream is to have enough food to fill their fridge... so humble, but again, they love us and she feeds us a trough full of food every time we go over there. She's started to call us hijos now too which is pretty cool. She's like our mom over here and I love her a whole bunch. Mom, I'm well taken care of.

Anyway, we baptized Alicia this Sunday, but we have to wait on Francisco because he hasńt given up smoking quite yet. We had to have him interviewed by president Clark, who is awesome, because apparently when Francisco was a joven, he robbed a bank with his buddies. all is well though! Haha This Sunday, I get to be dressed in white again for Francisco.

We also have a golden investigator. He has been going to church with his nephew's family, we talked to him once and set up a date for him to be baptized. Perfect! Lessons with him are a little difficult though because he likes to talk and I don't understand all that much still and have a short attention span ... a little difficult. Haha He's awesome though.

All is well, my family. I love you.

Elder Parker Alexander

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Week 2 in Mexico" - exerpts from 9.13.2010

"Pretty sure I'm going to be a chunker in 22 more months of eating like this. Yesterday we had like....20 meals. Not really, but still. TONS of comida (food) !! Speaking of food, guess what it was this week: Pig skin gorditas. That's right, I basically ate a football, haha. It wasn't bad flavor, but a little crunchy for my taste. haha. I'm diggin the food though. I've had some pretty spicy stuff down here and it's tough, because if you go crazy after eating something hot, they might get offended. So I just try really hard to keep my face normal. Maybe in two years I can. Who know! Ha!

So this week was crazy though! We had RAINSTORMS 3 times this week! Three! Crazy! It's not good at all though, because if it was just rain, it would be fine. But before the rain comes sandstorms. Seriously! We had to duck and covor in the house an hour early because it was some scary stuff. I was a good time to study though...

I also got my first blister this week, so I think that means I'm working hard enough! I sure hope so. I come inside, plan, write in my journal, and then I'm out. It's crazy being as tired as I get. But gues what I found today! Mountain Dew! Seriously! There's a store in Torreon that sells a bunch of American products. You can't get it anywhere else here.

...friends can email me and I can email back, but they won't be very long.

This is so fun! Guess what! We get to marry two people this week so they can get baptized on Sunday! And it's the Mexican Independence Day on Wednesday! It's a fiesta! Oh, and we went to SUBWAY today! Eat fresh!!! haha

The church is still true. I know that now more than ever!

That's about it for this week! Love you all sooo much!"

Elder Alexander

The baptism of Wario

Wario - His mom wanted to name him Mario, but it was too common...so she turned the M upside down. Great story!

I miss my puppies!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mi Famila - exerpts from 9.6.2010

"Alright, so here's Mexico: The first day I got there, guess what I had to eat...An avocado sandwich!! Just my luck, right? Great stuff! Also, Friday night, I had cow utter tacos....those were atually amazingly good. Wierd, huh? Good though. I didn't know what they were at the time, but after, mi companero me dijo (my companion told me) Fun stuff! Oh yeah! I didn't tell you about my comp...His name is Elder Beltran and he's from Puebla, Mexico. He doesn't know a lick of English, but I already love the guy. He's my papa in the mission! Haha. We're having a blast. I guess I do have some pretty sweet news....I baptized someone yesterday!!!! Soooo cool! haha Her nickname is Lluvia because the day she was born, it was raining. Haha RARE occurrence here!

I am a place called Gomez Palacia and it's directly outside of Torreon, but in the state of Durango. It's so cool. We live in an extremely poor area and it's soooo cool! The members are great and we have a huge lunch with a member every day. Lunch is the big meal around here. We don't even eat dinner a lot of the time because we're packed full of stuff to do. It's alright though, because we eat at 2 in the afternoon each day. This ward is sweet though. Everyone knows that I can't really understand them and I learn new words every day! A LOT! I can't believe how much more I understand today than last week though. It's crazy. There are still thsoe people who talk crazy fast, but it's all good. I just mimic the facial expression of Elder Beltran. I'm pretty sure this area's the smallest in the mission. We're never more than about two minutes away from our house which is pretty cool in case we have to make emergency food runs. Oh yeah! They have Lunch Charms here!!!! YEAH And coke....is huge!

I am loving life, loving the people and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ so much! I can't talk about the Gospel in English anymore. I try and it's just Spanglish. I'm glad I'm here though and I love Mexico. It's even more different here than I thought it would be!

First Sunday in Mexico

I had the oportunity to baptize Lluvia (Her nickname...."rain" because the day she was born it was raining. A rare occurrence here!) We are with my new companion, Elder Beltran of Puebla, Mexico.

Life in Gomez Palacia, Durango, Mexico

This is me with some drunk guy in front of our house.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Parkers 1st Letter from Mexico 8.31.2010

Hey! I made it! I just had my first night in Mexico! It's way cool! There are seven North Americans here and seven Mexicans, so we're already learning more! This is so cool! I'll be out in the field this afternoon teaching the people! I don't know who my trainer is yet, though. I'll find out later.

Love you all so much!

Elder Alexander

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30th - I'm in MEXICO!

August 25th - 2010

"Alright, first things first. My foot it great! I'm out of the boot...the podiatrist said it's probably the joint being stressed or something like that. So in otherwords, I'm good to go to Mexico on Monday. Things are looking good with it and it feels pretty good, too. The story is this: I was walking down the stairs in the temple and I missed a step and somehow came down on the top of my foot. It was no bueno and pretty swollen so that's about it. It's not a cool heroic story or anthing like that. Sorry to disappoint. haha

Alright, not here's the fun stuff: TRAVEL PLANS!!! We got them on Friday and here's what they say. I'm the travel leader because my last name starts with "a" so I get to be the one responsible for 13 19 year olds traveling to a foreign country. Fun stuff eh? Alrighty so here's the thing though. We haven't receive the actual visa, but we did go to the Consulate so we're just waiting for them to be processed and everthing then we'll ship out. Here's the actual day on the 30th...We fly to Dallas/Fort Worth where we're there for a glorious 6 1/2 hours, where we get to call home! YAY!

So coolest thing this week: Elder Holland came last night to our devotional and spoke to us. He was, of course, amazing! He knew right what to say to motivate me to be a better missionary and be a better man! He is an incredible man with an incredible testimony of our work in the mission!"

Elder Lambert: Ryan, that is...

Elder Lambert (Ryan) and I have both been called to Torreon, Mexico. Elder Lambert is a nephew to my Bishop. He was an ambassador at USU while I was an ambassador at WSU.

The other Elder Lambert...Tyler

Elder Tyler Lambert, from St. George.
Nephew to my Bishop.
He's now in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Why so serious?

These two handsome Elders found one thing in common: Maurie (Bubba) Blau ... My cousin and his classmate from Roy High.

Elder Eric Buckmiller

another awesome
Weber State Wildcat!

Hermano Cameron, Spanish Instructor

This is a terrific man. His name is Hermano Cameron. He was one of my Spanish teachers in the MTC. Hermano Cameron was good friends with Blake Strebel. Blake was with my best friend, Derek Jasper, when he was killed in an auto accident - April of 2009. I knew when I met him, that Derek was watching over me.

Life at the MTC...Study, study, study....

Latest Pics

These are a few compadres from the MTC. Hermana Young, Elder Holder, Me (I'm the goofy one.) Herman Blain and Elder Stewart.