Tuesday, May 27, 2014

And I thought I only had to worry about water in Brazil

May 26, 2014

So to keep you guys still interested in the subject of this weeks letter I will explain to you what happened here. So on Friday they happened to tell all the people of Portland something pretty interesting. There was a high number of E. coli found in the water sources for everyone... So we were put on a boil notice. The mission
presidents wife called all of us and told us about it. She made sure to tell us how crucial it was that we didn't drink the water or put it anywhere it can go in our face. We had to boil everything! So ya she made sure to tell us that it could kill us. And if it didn't kill us we would wish we were dead... So ya that happened. Tons of things preparing me for Brazil every week haha. Luckily no one has gotten E. coli yet.

Keeping on the topic of Brazil I had to re do my FBI clearance... All over again. Haha it expired. So I had to redo all of that on Friday. It was quite... Fun... Haha it was really frustrating. I have been so
excited to get to Brazil. But I know that The Lord needs me right here for now. I also found out that the Houston and Chicago consolate stopped sending out visas for the time being... They have literally stopped sending them to Brazil... So I will be in the Vancouver Washington mission for quite a while.

I got a pedometer just to see how much I walk In a week. So here is the stats for this week!  26.82 miles  58127 steps

Awesome lunch with dan. We have an investigator named dan. He is way
cool. He's super smart. Well he took us to lunch this week. It was way
fun and we had great food. We also stopped by guitar center. His
choice by the way. It was a good day. Actually after that I was feeling super frustrated. Like a few days I'm a row I was like that. I don't know why. But I guess you get pushed down to be picked up higher. Because the day after that was pretty great.

We got a new investigator! She already basically believes everything that we believe. It is crazy. And awesome. She currently goes to an African American church, and she loves gospel music. She said she would join the church if she stopped singing hymns and sang gospel
music. It is really funny. She even already gave us a gospel music mix cd! It is way fun and cool to listen to. Music is just great.

I am on page 432 In The Book of Mormon now! I am almost done with it!
Just another week and a half and I should be done with it! It's cool
to read it twice through in succession like this.

I love service. We got to rip put a bunch of carpet this week it was
way fun. And they were listening to the music that I loved back when I
was home. Got love those tender mercies.

We had a crazy guy drive us home from the mission office. He went like
90 out of nowhere. He was crazy haha..

A cool story this week. I was walking
around tracting... And I saw
these two dudes skating it up. So I went up to them and said if I Ollie this four stair will you listen to what we have to say? So they said ya.  I Ollied the four stair with all of my Proselyting clothes on. But then I asked the kid if I could use his shoes..I didn't land it because i haven't skated in a while, but it was pretty fu.n I'll
send some pics and maybe a video. It was fun and we got to talk to
them and had a lesson with them after. We talked all about prophets
and how awesome the Book of Mormon. I figured I'd send you this
because it's personal and a not so normal thing to do as a missionary.
But I think I did it for the right reason.

Here's some pictures but this is it for the week. Also the E. coli
thing lasted a day. It was blown way out of proportion.

I love you all

Monday, May 19, 2014

This week was proof you can work hard and have no numbers

May 19, 2014

Alright so a basic run down of this week before I get into any crazy
details or anything. So we had zone conference on Tuesday so the first
couple days of the week were pretty relaxed with no work. The next few
days after that we went hard. We tried to work as hard as we could all day and every day to make up for the days we missed. We went out and talked to as many people as we could. I found a new tactic that makes tracting for me much easier. You go out onto a busy road and simply wave to the people driving by. When I do that I just get happier, I
get more and more excited about the work, it just makes it better. I
have found since I have been out that knocking doors really does not
do much for me. We have little to no success. But when we go out walk
around the sidewalk where people will be we find way more people who
are open to hearing our message more (generally). So you know how we
worked our butts off this week? Every single appointment of ours got
canceled except for 1 or 2. It was absolutely ridiculous. No one would
even tell us, we would just show up, and no one would be there. So I felt good about this week until I realized our numbers... We haven't had anyone to church in 3 weeks... We have no progressing investigators. But I know that numbers don't matter, but they do. When
you try your hardest, work the best you can and you don't get the numbers you had set for goals, or had planned for for that day, there
is nothing that you can do to change that. We have to do our part, but
the people we are teaching have to do their own part too. So this week
was pretty good. I felt good about it at least.

Last p day we went to a place called multnomah falls. It's an awesome
waterfall that you can hike up to the top of. Sadly the bridge to get
to the hike was broken... So we went there and took pictures and fun
stuff around the area. I loved it. That is what p day should be like.
Not sitting in the middle of a gym at a stake center. I will be
sending quite a few pictures this week so don't be alarmed by how many
emails you get haha.

Zone conference was great. It's like a mini general conference just
meant for you and a couple other zones. It was really good for me. The
main focus of it was faith. Faith is what brings results in the majority of missionary work. Sometimes faith isn't the Easiest thing to have though. I know for me it has been a reoccurring challenge. It's a challenge because there is always that little sliver of doubt.
Whether it just be oh they never answer so they won't answer this
time, or no one in this neighborhood wants to listen to us so why would this door be different. I think we all do that with everything in our day, we receive failure, and we expect failure once again.
Basically we all need to expect success always in everything that we
do to be honest.

While we were doing all this talking one day we walked about 8-10 miles in a day. That is kind of crazy to think about. At least for me. Up to that point the most we had walked was probably 2-3 miles.. It felt really good to be honest. Oh ya and on that day it was about 93 degrees. So compared to 60 and raining, ya it was hot haha. I like to look at that day as a mini Brazil experience. In Brazil I should be walking quite a bit in about the same temperature or hotter. All these
little things are preparing me for Brazil. Now we will just have to see when I actually get there haha.

Another day we were walking we ran into a Jehovah's Witness. It was actually a great experience for me. At first I think he was way intimidated. He just kept on rattling off verses and random poems to
make himself sound educated. Once he realized we weren't there or bash
or argue or tell him that we were right he opened up. Invited us to his house and gave us some of their literature. To be honest most of their beliefs are pretty similar to ours. It's important when teaching people that you always look for the similarities first. Otherwise
you're basically going to be telling them what to believe. If you find those similarities first then you can build their belief and faith from there. Hopefully we will be meeting with him again sometime soon.

So something pretty cool about this area is that we found a gas station that no matter when we get in there to go and get slurpees we get them for free :) it is really cool that we get them for free. Just
one of those little blessings that make a day better. We only go there at night after a long day though. It is pretty nice.

On Friday we did this huge service project for a potential investigator that took our whole zone! We did a whole lot of yard work, and we had to take out a lot of blackberry bushes. Those things
are not nice, they are quite sharp too. I love service, it is possibly one of my favorite things that happens on a mission. So as some of you
may know it was my birthday on Friday. To be honest birthdays on a
mission kind of stink... A lot Hha. I guess it is just because I'm so used to how birthdays were back home. The whole day I was waiting for letters from people just because I has been expecting them previously and I never got them. Needless to say it was frustrating. I did
receive a postcard from my mom which made my day a little better, basically the whole day I was walking around thinking of what I could be doing on my birthday if I had friends with me or if I was back
home. I got a little homesick that day. It was just a bummer of a day.
To make it worse we got back to the apartment and we didn't have a key
and I had to go to the bathroom! I was so mad! Haha we had to wait 30
minutes for the other elders to come and they weren't even picking up
their phone. Once I found out why I kind of felt bad for being angry.
They had gone and bought me some cake mix and had a member of our ward
(sister palomo) make me a cake. They then surprised me at the end of
the night with a cake, candles, singing, and everything. Thank you to
elder burk and elder archibald for making my birthday.

We are still struggling to get in with our investigator hoodini the blind man. He always seems to disappear from us when we set up a lesson. Who knows what the deal is, but we have had to set his baptism date back twice now since he hasn't been to church for 2 weeks. We
will have to see what happens there.

When you are walking around everywhere you find some treasures haha. I found a broken knife and many other things, the knife is way broken,
but me and elder burk are trying to make it a fixed Blade with a cool paricord handle. We will then be making a leather sheathe for it as well. Dad you would be proud of me, but I still need a knife because to be honest this one isn't the best haha.

So something that is the motto or slogan for this mission is that GOD
DOESNT DO RANDOM. We were tracting and my companion really needed some pants for some reason and it was the middle of the week. I told him no
we shouldn't do that, but he wouldn't give up so of course I had to go
with him. Anyways we go and so that, then I realize there is wifi so I
stop for a second, then I had a feeling that I should not stop to get
on Facebook or whatever to take the time to set up the wifi. So we
left. Turns out if we would not have done all those things we would
not have ran into a super solid potential investigator. I love taking a look to see heavenly fathers hands in all of our lives. It's kind of funny when we are walking along the road and we get called names. It's funny that we get called out for doing the work of The Lord and trying
to help everyone, haha makes me laugh.

During Sacrament meeting on Sunday, the main topic was the priesthood.
There were quite a few of the young men that spoke and bore there testimonies off the Priesthood. One of them had just spoken about Elder Holland's talk/mormon message called sanctify yourselves. It's a really powerful one that brings into perspective the power of the
Priesthood and being ready to use it at any time. An older member of the ward came up to us shortly after and asked if she could borrow a couple of us Elders to give a blessing to her daughter out in the foyer. I went with Elder Burk. We found her laying down in pain and
holding her side. We went into a small room to gave the blessing. They
didn't tell us too much about what was going on, but I went ahead and
anointed her, then Elder Burk sealed it with a blessing. Right at the end of the blessing the lady started to throw up. We haven't heard what happened after that except that she was taken to a hospital.
After the experience we both were like, what just happened? It was a
pretty crazy and a neat experience to have happened, especially at the
time that it did. Hopefully she is alright.

Anyways I will be sending some fun and cool pictures to you so enjoy
those hopefully.

I love and miss you all so much,

Elder Hamrick

King of the day with my princess tiara

Taft Palomo, Elder Olschewski, Elder Burk, Me, Elder Archibald

Sent from my iPad

This week in Gresham

May 12,2014

So yesterday we had Skype with the family! It was way awesome! I got
to see all my family! I enjoyed just simply talking with them. And of
course or made me miss them, but it gave me strength too. It made me
want to keep working even harder and harder, so when I do get home it
will be even better. Don't worry though I'm not even thinking about
being home. I've still got like 21 months :)

A funny story for this week. Elder burk the new one in the apartment
really likes to rope things like with a lasso. So while we were at dinner he tried it out on the members cat. Needless to say the car didn't enjoy that very much. It started spazzing out while jumping a couple feet up in the air. It was ridiculous. The cat made it away with the lasso still around its neck. Sitting In the corner trying to
get it off while we were just laughing a lot. Luckily the members didn't even notice what had happened. I got the cat to come back to me and subtly slid off the lasso. It was one of the funniest things that has happened so far hahaha.

Another funny story. We were out knocking doing our normal thing, and
this lady comes out before we could even get to the door, we were in the street still. Anyways she walks out yells at us points somewhere and says "NO SOLICITING" me and my companion looked where she
pointed... She was pointing at a brick.... Haha I was so tempted to yell back "that's a brick!" But I guess I should be nice I'm a missionary :P

So we continue to stop by a bunch of potentials with no luck
whatsoever, it is kind of a waste of time at this point. But you can never know if maybe that one time you try by they will be there waiting for you to teach them and give them the gospel. So we will
keep trying. I think the reason I feel like we aren't doing anything is because we aren't solidly teaching anyone. I kind of feel like I'm in between a good missionary, and just normal me. It's a weird feeling, not too sure how to explain it.

We finally met with the blind brother (hoodini) he is super excited
about the gospel and is ready to be baptized. We have taught him two
lessons already. He knows everything we teach is true. He was on date
for the 24th but he has to go to church two more times before he can
get baptized and he missed last week... Bummer. We actually had zero
investigators at church this week. It would have really bummed me out
but I knew I was skyping right after church.

We had a great zone meeting. The thing that stood out to me was to be
ME and not just another missionary out here. I am here for a reason. I
have a personality that is going to connect with someone while I am
out here. Who knows when it will happen, but I know that I am here and
not on Brazil for a reason. So we will see what comes next.

I have gotten pretty close with a couple of young families in the ward, they are just awesome. I love spending time with them.

The Portuguese class I go to basically takes up a big chunk of my day
when I go. This week for some reason I just keep getting all these feelings that I will be serving with ky. We have both had a dream that we were going to be serving together. That sounds a little cheesy but
I don't think that just happened randomly, especially for both of us. It is kind of like the feeling and the determination that I was going to be Landon's host, I had a feeling and it happened! God works in
some crazy ways sometimes so we will have to see what will happen with

I have been thinking a lot this week of how we as missionaries could
better introduce ourselves. No one really is going to talk to us if we go "hey we are missionaries, we are going around sharing a message centered on Jesus Christ" pretty much everyone says "oh I already know Jesus I am good see ya". I cannot seem to find a good way to introduce ourselves. That is something that is going to be on my mind for a

I had the privilege of teaching relief society on Sunday. I am actually very glad that I was able to so that though. I started to come out as a better teacher. It was a really cool and awesome
feeling. Words started naturally coming into my mouth. The lesson was
on the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. We can all truly be witnesses of the Book of Mormon. If we read it and know that it is true, why wouldn't we tell others, and share it around. That's something I never
did when I was home. I never really shared anything I knew. Sure everyone knew I was Mormon at school, but who really knew what I believed? Practically no one. Now that I am here that is all I want to do. Is to tell everyone all about everything that I have come to
learn. Prayer and scripture study is super crucial to all of this. Without it, it would practically be impossible.

Here is what my desk looks like!

Me and Elder archibald

Sometimes we don't know what we can do until we are told

May 5, 2014

So this week was an interesting week. Transfers were on Wednesday. So
we basically didn't do anything until Wednesday. I really like the new
elder in our apartment. He is a really cool guy, and man does he know
his scriptures really well. It is crazy. He has been out 16 months.

We have done quite a bit of service this week. On Wednesday we went
over to our only current investigators house and cleared up a huge
bunch of dead limbs on a tree, and also a whole lot of vines. I really
love doing service, you can help people do something that they just
really can't do by themselves. And it really isn't that hard to do! It
can mean the world to someone and you may never even know it.

Thursday was probably the best day on my mission so far. It was how
missionary work is supposed to be. We got up and did our studies, we
ate lunch, then got right to work. We actually worked this day! I have
been telling my companion every day for quite a while that we need to
just get to work. When we did that we saw blessings flow instantly. We
ran into a man who has talked with missionaries before, he seems like
he is just more confused about being Mormon than anything else, but we
can solve that problem :). I don't know the whole day just felt good. 

We had a couple of days that were super solid. Then the rest was just bleh once again. I think I know why I am here and not Brazil. I need to become a leader
in this mission first. Even president Anderson said something along
those lines. Once I become a leader here, I will be able to help the work progress much quicker in Brazil. I won't have any down time once I'm there. I will get there and go straight to work, not worrying
about the language. Because I know that the spirit will help me become
much stronger in that language. The gift of tongues is a real thing.

Heavenly Father gave me all these talents, abilities, and capabilities, and I want to be able to say that I used everything he gave me to give my all to this work. I have yet to find the time to
say that. But I still have a lot of time left on my mission.

I love the members here in this ward. Some of them make me feel like I
am part of their family. Every week we go over to a members house on
Sunday for family home evening. Last night was probably one of the
best ones. We talked about things in our life that show that God
really does love us. Some talked of nature, all the beautiful things
that we have been given. All the mountains, the trees, and the rivers.
How beautiful are those things? Something that I brought up was music.
One of the most powerful tools at least for me in my life. It is also
a language that every single person in the world can speak, and
understand, and feel those emotions it brings.  After we  talked about
those things for a bit we all shared our testimony. Mine has
strengthened so much for the pioneers and all that they did so they
could have the gospel. They had so much faith, courage and everything
that I strive for every day. I would like to say someday that I would
have the unwavering faith that any of those who went through that

A scripture that stood out to me as I am reading through the Book of
Mormon once again. It is amazing. It is so true to all of our lives. We have times in our lives that our hard. And I have learned  as a missionary that could be multiple days of the week but this scripture gives me strength "10 Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an
instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of
his truth." (Mosiah 23:10)
I am now on page 201 on my second time through since I have left.

I am still looking for musical opportunities every day. We went and did a lot of service at this members house. Who's wife is not a member, I found out that the husband and I are super similar in a lot
of ways, he played trumpet. He was in bugle corps, he plays ukulele, piano, guitar and sings! After dinner we shared a spiritual thought of the Book of Mormon and I felt the spirit so strongly. The non member could feel it too I just know it. Something may come from that. Who
knows. After that I had an awesome opportunity. I played with brother
Clark and sang with him for quite sometime. It meant a lot to him, and
it definitely meant a lot to me too. I think it made his wife happy too by seeing him play and sing again. He doesn't really do it much anymore. Maybe that's what I am supposed to do with music. Just make
people feel better, or good.

I love you all and miss you,

I hope you enjoy the letters I send out.

Elder Parker Hamrick

Hmmm. What to write

April 28, 2014

Well this week was another one of those interesting ones where not much really happened.

P days sounds fun and all... But to be honest not the most fun for an un-athletic musician kid. Haha I basically just sit there and play guitar and sing and stuff. Gets me feelin like I was home. That's probably the thing I miss almost the most is just being able to call up a friend and sing and have a jam sesh with them. It's weird the things you miss on a mission.

The next day we basically spent the whole day working on johnnies
truck. My companion wants to be a mechanic so he really enjoyed that.
I knowing nothing about cars basically just watched as he helped. I was worthless there haha. Oh well I got to spend more time with Megan and johnnies my favorite people in the ward, and one of the newest members in it!

This week was honestly just kind of bleh. Not anything really noteworthy happened. A lot of to,e we just kind of tried by potentials, with no success whatsoever.

One potential that we have is practically impossible to meet up with.
He was a member and he got his records removed from the church. He is
ready to come back, but he needs to be retaught and rebaptized. He is
never at his apartment! What makes it even more ridiculous is that he
is blind! Who would have thought that a blind guy would never be home,
and is impossible to meet up with. He was even at church yesterday, we
set up an appointment for 4. He called us like 20-30 minutes before we came to make sure we were coming at that time. We went... And he wasn't home! It is so odd to us, we can't figure it out.

Transfer letters came this week! I am staying with my companion. Elder
Doyle, the big guy is leaving us! Noooo! He is super funny and awesome
to be around. He is going to the Tongan ward! I'm super jealous of that! That is going to be awesome. They basically pay you in that ward. It's pretty funny. Hopefully i get some opportunity to speak with some Polynesians while I, here.

Friday night there was a fundraiser for the young women! They had a
dinner and a dessert auction. You wouldn't believe how many desserts
there were... It was insane.... Haha and guess what. Since we are missionaries of course we need a whole lot of stuff.. Well we went home with 3 cakes a pie and two plates of cookies, that people just
bid on... Then gave it to us! Haha I really feel the love I'm this ward though! It is awesome!

To be honest nothing much spiritual happened, except for church of course.

Love you all,

Have an awesome day,

Elder hamrick

We basically found a jungle!