Total Pageviews

Friday, September 30, 2016


September 11, 2016

Hey guys, I'm running a little short on time but I'll hit it up with a quick update.

I've now been in Buota since the end of July, but I'm still in my first month of training my Tongan-American companion Elder Tuikolovatu. He's the man and it's already been a good experience training. I'm grateful for the opportunity to train. The branch here in Buota is still a little bit of a struggle, but we are trying our best. Most weeks we have between 70 and 80 people at church. We have been working a lot with less active members and it's been rewarding to bring a couple of less active Melchizidek priesthood holders back to church. We are trying to get them re-activated and keep them active.

We have lots of investigators and some families, but it is a challenge because the chapel is far away and many of them work on Sundays.  But we do have one investigator I really want to tell you about.

Ten Otineiti: A 110% golden investigator. Never smoked, drank, etc. He's a 30+ year old guy who's a fireman at the airport. His wife and sister are recent converts of one year but he refused to listen to missionaries for a super long time because he was a really firm protestant. A couple of weeks ago, we came to their house and I felt prompted to ask him if he wanted lessons and he shocked us and said yes. It's gotten better and better since then. He legit has the strongest testimony and just little miracles have been happening to help things out. He went and bought a white shirt and ties and then got work off all by himself without even being prompted by us to do so.  (That's unheard of here.) And then all these crazy little things happened and somehow he was able to come to church yesterday after it seemed like Satan was trying to do all he could to keep him from it. He told us that he has gained a testimony and won't move from it. It was pretty easy to see the Lord's hand in it all. His wife bore her testimony in our lesson and said how this was one of the happiest days of her life and she felt so happy that her husband was led to the truth and how she knew that this was the true church. If he can come to church next week, then he will be ready for baptism. Legit why I was sent here! I know he's going to stay strong and is exactly what this branch needs as he will prepare himself in time to become a Melchizdek priesthood holder.

That's pretty much it. <3 Love you guys and I would love to hear from everyone! The church is true.

Elder Parrish

Monday, September 5, 2016


August 28, 2016

Somehow I became a trainer this week. 

We were called on Tuesday night and told that I would be training a new missionary who would be coming on Thursday morning. It was all really, really fast. I said goodbye to my Young Single Adult (YSA) comp and said hello to my son, Elder Tuikolovatu. He is a  big 340 pound Tongan American who just barely came to the mission. He was a late-comer after having to go home to his family when he tore his meniscus in the MTC. Luckily he is feeling better and super blessed to be a missionary. He's a super nice kid and a lot like a teddy bear haha.  I think things will be fine. It just really took me back to day one! He has lots of questions and obviously will take time to learn the language, but I'm excited to be training.  I decided from the time that I was trained that I would be a good trainer if I got the chance. I remember those first months when I would bawl to Heavenly Father every morning for help with the language and the culture shock. Eventually it got better and training has already reminded me of how hard it was and how far I've come. 

Other than that, the branch where we work is a real challenge.  It's difficult to be a missionary when the members won’t fellowship.  Church is a great distance for most members and we have far too many less active members. We have a list of 1,030 members and legitimately had fewer than 50 members at church yesterday.  It's difficult because we don't know WHO to visit or WHERE they live because the member list has not been updated.  But we have plenty to do.  We should be having four baptisms this week, which will be nice.

Just a quick spiritual experience:
I finished the Book of Mormon for the third or fourth time as a missionary yesterday and had the strongest spiritual experience as I read Moroni 10 and prayed for the truth. I received such a solid definitive answer and it made me so happy. And then later that night we were teaching a lesson on the Book of Mormon to our golden investigator (a 30+ year old man) and I like legitimately teared up teaching Moroni's promise.  What the heckkkk?  I couldn’t have imagined this before my mission. 

Love you all,
Elder Parrish